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Well-dressed Ignoramuses

Chapter 78 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, Why have you come out into the desert? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a man clothed in fine garments like your kings and your great men? Upon them are the fine garments, and they are unable to discern the truth. (78)

In the Gospels of Matthew and Luke words similar to these are in reference to John the Baptist. However they could just as well be applied to Jesus himself.

The idea is not difficult to perceive. There is form and there is content. The outer appearance that pleases and attracts is almost always without any value, without any authentic spiritual content. In our modern world almost everything has become a matter of packaging. So much so that many people cannot see beyond the external appearance and remain enamored of valueless things that appear valuable. In religion this abnormality has become the norm. That which appeals to a barren mind will almost certainly itself be barren.

But Jesus implies a very important principle. A worthy spiritual teacher is one that can discern truth–and therefore falsehood as well. Consequently we should give little attention to how any teacher looks, and no attention at all to what their followers say about them. We must scrutinize them and see if truth is known to them and imparted by them. But to do that, we must ourselves be capable of discerning the truth. And if that is true, then why not learn from ourselves? If it really does take one to know one, then all those who follow an incarnation of God (avatara) must themselves be incarnations of God.

What is the solution to this dilemma? We should not be seeking others, we should be seeking ourselves. That is, we should be yogis intent on the realization of the Self. As the light of the Self becomes visible to the yogi, so also do those who know the Self. By investigating inner realities it is possible to begin perceiving the reality of what is outside as well.

Therefore the answer to all problems is to become swayamprakash–self-illuminated. Otherwise, what good can any external factor be for us? We are the problem and we are the solution, not something outside us.

“Therefore, become a yogi” (Bhagavad Gita 6:46).

Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis:  True Blessedness

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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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