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The Religion of Ignorance

Chapter 39 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge [gnosis] and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. (39)

The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge [gnosis] and hidden them. Perhaps the saddest aspect of this is that they no doubt had no idea they were keys and that there even was knowledge they did not already have. Instead they no doubt thought the things they suppressed were wrong and somehow subversive to their ideas and control.

Most of the time those who suppress knowledge do so because they think it is nonsense and they are making sure no one gets confused. On the other hand, there are those who know they are hiding truth, being consciously and intentionally evil. To such, Jesus said: “Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it” (John 8:44).

Whatever the motives, those who seek gnosis are always portrayed by these people as enemies of God and truth. Considering themselves as the forces of right, they are are vicious toward them in both word and deed. Basically, they hide the truth beneath their lies.

They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. Hatred and fear are the reactions of such people toward both truth and those who seek truth. I well remember as a child seeing in our local post office a huge green, black-spattered poster with the words: BEWARE THE HOXEY CANCER CURE! That was all. A few years later a woman I knew developed an inoperable brain tumor. She went to the Hoxey Clinic in Dallas, Texas for a few weeks and returned completely free of the tumor. Fortunately, neither she nor her parents heeded the false warning actually put out by our government. During my last year in high school one of my fellow students who planned to become a nurse gave a report on the Hoxey treatment, demonstrating by medical principles that it was absolutely safe and effective.

The most rabid enemies of truth are those that themselves once subscribed to it and then sold out for some reason and became its opponents. In many instances the most hysterical enemies of truth are those that simply hate the idea of people escaping from the prison they are too weak or corrupt to abandon themselves.

You, however, be as wise as serpents and as innocent as doves. We do not blame these people, argue with them or declare them our enemies. We ignore their attempts at repression and march on in our chosen path, unashamed and unafraid. Yet we must be wise and full of good will to all that oppose us. Satyam Eva Jayate: Truth Alone Triumphs.

The Patterson and Maeyer translation says we are to be “simple as doves.” Wisdom is noble, but cunning and machinations are base. We must avoid such absolutely. Yet we must be fearless and straightforward at the same time, diplomatic but never conciliatory. Naturally we will be denounced as crazy, evil, negative, divisive, inflexible, stubborn, bigoted and all the things that our accusers themselves really are. That is why Jesus said, “Whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, and saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented” (Matthew 11:16-17). In the Gospel of Sri Ramakrishna we find this good advice:

“The conversation was about worldly men, who look down on those who aspire to spiritual things. The Master was talking about the great number of such people in the world, and about how to deal with them.

“MASTER (to Narendra): How do you feel about it? Worldly people say all kinds of things about the spiritually minded. But look here! When an elephant moves along the street, any number of curs and other small animals may bark and cry after it; but the elephant doesn’t even look back at them. If people speak ill of you, what will you think of them?

“NARENDRA: I shall think that dogs are barking at me.

“MASTER (Smiling): Oh, no! You mustn’t go that far, my child! (Laughter). God dwells in all beings. But you may be intimate only with good people; you must keep away from the evil-minded. God is even in the tiger; but you cannot embrace the tiger on that account. (Laughter). You may say, Why run away from a tiger, which is also a manifestation of God? The answer to that is: Those who tell you to run away are also manifestations of God–and why shouldn’t you listen to them?”

We must hold firmly to our principles while doing all that is reasonable to “follow peace with all men” as Saint Paul counsels us (Hebrews 12:14), even those who claim we are they “that have turned the world upside down” (Acts 17:6).

“Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:16).

Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Within God

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Chapters in The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

  1. The Open Secrets
  2. Seeking Is More Than Just Finding
  3. Seeking the Kingdom Realistically
  4. The One Goal
  5. From the Seen to the Unseen
  6. What Jesus Wants Us To Do
  7. Eat Or Be Eaten
  8. Fishing Wisely
  9. The Inner Field
  10. Guarding the Flame
  11. What Will You Do?
  12. Who Shall Lead?
  13. The Unspeakable
  14. When Virtue is Vice
  15. Father in Heaven; Father on Earth
  16. Divine Discord
  17. The Divine Gift
  18. The Origin is the End
  19. Original Being
  20. A Mustard Seed
  21. Disciples of Jesus
  22. How to Enter the Kingdom
  23. Unity of Vision
  24. Where is Christ?
  25. Love and Protect
  26. Seeing
  27. The Fasting and Sabbath of the Spirit
  28. How Jesus Saw the World
  29. Hidden Treasure
  30. One
  31. The Power of Unbelief
  32. Spiritual Strength
  33. Speak It Out
  34. The Blind
  35. The Secret of Spiritual Security
  36. Live Carefree
  37. Unashamed Before God
  38. At the Source
  39. The Religion of Ignorance
  40. Within God
  41. Spiritual Gain and Loss
  42. Move On
  43. Challenging the Master
  44. The Source of Good and Evil
  45. Great in the Kingdom
  46. Impossible Duality
  47. Peace That Moves Mountains
  48. Back to the Source
  49. Children of the Light
  50. Here and Now
  51. Seeing Yet Blind
  52. Outer Ritual or Inner Growth?
  53. Infinite Transcendence
  54. “Hate”
  55. True Understanding
  56. Wheat and Weeds
  57. Finding Life
  58. Live and Die Not
  59. “Lest Thou Also…”
  60. Who Will Die; Who Will Live
  61. The Path of Unknowing
  62. Awakened by Death
  63. Turning Ourselves Away
  64. Gullibility
  65. The Rejected is Truly Accepted
  66. All–and Nothing
  67. The Blessings of Persecution
  68. Life or Death Lie Within
  69. Admission
  70. Not a Divider
  71. Seeking the Harvest
  72. Thirsting in Vain
  73. Who Shall Enter?
  74. Unfailing Treasure
  75. The All Speaks
  76. Well-dressed Ignoramuses
  77. True Blessedness
  78. A Duplication
  79. Balancing the Inner and the Outer
  80. Near and Far
  81. Seeing the Unseeable
  82. Seeing Your Unknown Side
  83. Our Forefather Adam
  84. Blessed Homelessness
  85. Doubly Wretched
  86. Onward and Upward
  87. Twofold Life
  88. The Yoke of Christ
  89. Knowing the Unknown
  90. Asking and Hearing
  91. Give Not…
  92. Seeking and Knocking
  93. Right Generosity
  94. The Expanding Kingdom
  95. The Fulfilled Universe
  96. Taking Stock
  97. The Spiritual Family
  98. Three Debts
  99. Father and Mother
  100. Exoteric Religion
  101. Ready for Invasion
  102. Penitential Discipline, Anyone?
  103. Daring to Know
  104. Ending Duality
  105. “I Love You More…”
  106. At the Source
  107. Finding the Hidden Treasure
  108. Having Come to the End
  109. Immortal and Above the World
  110. Body and Soul
  111. Where is the Kingdom?
  112. Male and Female?
  113. In Conclusion
  114. Glossary
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