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Twofold Life

Chapter 89 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Do you not realize that he who made the inside is the same one who made the outside? (89)

It seems to be the curse of religion on this earth that no matter how abstract, metaphysical or spiritual the teachings of a great master may be, his supposed disciples set about immediately (usually even before his death) creating a completely external religion that neglects, conceals and even destroys inner, spiritual understanding and makes impossible a truly spiritual way of life that tends toward transcendence of the world.

Although he could certainly say the same thing to contemporary Christians, Jesus was addressing the Pharisees who were obsessed with ritual purity, interested only in outer purity while contentedly filled inwardly with impurity to such a degree that they even sought and obtained the death of Jesus while scrupulously maintaining their ritual purity. “Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.… Then said Pilate unto them, Take ye him, and judge him according to your law. The Jews [Judeans] therefore said unto him, It is not lawful for us to put any man to death:… Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.… When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God.… When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified him” (John 18:28, 31; 19:4, 6, 7, 13-18). Here we see the ultimate madness of externalized, exoteric religion.

Everything in relative existence is dual on many levels. Most basic is the fact that everything is twofold, possessing an interior and an exterior. Therefore any spiritual system that is going to lead us to higher consciousness must deal with both aspects of our being. Otherwise it will be ineffectual and ultimately hypocritical and spiritually destructive to those who adhere to it.

Jesus’ words make it clear that true spiritual life is one of continual purification. Enlightenment is an inherent characteristic of every sentient being, but that inner light is buried beneath the debris of karma and the ignorance that spawns karma. We must continually purify all our levels of existence, inner and outer, until all that blocks the light of the spirit is removed and our eternal nature shines forth unhindered. This reveals that evolution is a process of refining and clearing our consciousness as well as all our bodies, gross and subtle. The only process that directly and fully purifies the consciousness is yoga. It is not a matter of choice but of necessity: each person must in time become a yogi and persevere. Then certainly we will be received “into everlasting habitations” as Jesus promised in the previous verse.

Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: The Yoke of Christ

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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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