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What Jesus Wants Us To Do

Chapter 6 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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His disciples questioned him and said to him, Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe? Jesus said, Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered. (6)

“What would Jesus do?” has become a faddish saying in the past few years, although the books In His Steps and What Would Jesus Do? were written over a hundred years ago. Actually the question is irrelevant, because neither you nor I are Jesus. The relevant question is: What should I do? For as Krishna says in the Bhagavad Gita: “Better is one’s swadharma, though deficient, than the swadharma of another well performed. Better is death in one’s own swadharma. The swadharma of another brings danger (Bhagavad Gita 3:35).

His disciples questioned him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?” The disciples of Jesus apparently had an opinion regarding what was incumbent on all seekers of truth, and therefore asked the foregoing. As was so often the case with Jesus, he refused to go along with the matters set before him by others and insisted on telling them what the real questions were. And then he gave them the answers.

Here we see that the disciples were interested in fasting, praying, almsgiving, and dietary discipline–all of which have value and are enjoined by all viable religious traditions. But of themselves they mean very little. The disciples had not yet understood the basics, the foundation without which any superstructure would be doomed to collapse.

Do not tell lies. There are many ways to lie: by words, by silence, and by actions. What Jesus is telling the disciples is Live Truthfully, that is: live the truth, be embodiments of the truth. And what is the truth? God. So Jesus is telling the disciples to live God–to manifest the divinity that is inherent in them and in all beings. Later Saint Paul would write about the necessity to be numbered among those “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For… ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit” (Romans 8:4-6, 9). It is not a matter of being “bad” or “good” but of being truthful. To live as a material being is to live a lie; to live as a spiritual being is to live the truth. And that is truly “life and peace.” “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit,” for “he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit” with the Divine (Galatians 5:16; I Corinthians 6:17).

Do not do what you hate. Hypocrisy is also a form of lying in life, therefore Jesus tells the disciples to not do what they hate–what they have an aversion to. He is not speaking of indulging the childish, egoic whim that functions solely on the level of “I like it” or “I don’t like it,” but rather of the developing spiritual and intuitive sense of right and wrong–the conscience of the spirit.

No outer authority should determine our actions. We alone must live our life. Does that mean we should not listen to holy books or spiritual teachers? No, but it does mean that our own inner certainty must determine whether or not we follow the counsels of those “authorities.” There are mindless slaves who do whatever they are told and quote scriptures and teachers like parrots to justify their zombie existence. But those with awakened consciousness realize that ultimately it is their decision as to whether they follow external advice or not. “God says to do it, so I shall,” is actually a statement of personal will–at least when made rightly. When Jesus said: “Not my will, but thine, be done” (Luke 22:42), he was making a supreme act of will.

There is no place here for “surrender” or suchlike, though it is a favorite in cult religion. God is not our enemy, God is our essential Being. Wherefore Krishna says: “I am the same to all beings. There is no one who is disliked or dear to me. But they who worship me with devotion are in me, and I am also in them” (Bhagavad Gita 9:29).

For all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered. There are two “heavens,” one outer and one inner. The outer heaven is the infinite expanse of Divine Being, and the inner heaven is the highest level of our own individual being, where the finite and the Infinite touch and are one. Neither of them can be fooled by our egos. At the beginning of the film Almost An Angel the main character is in the hospital and has what seems to be an out of the body experience. He meets God (played by Charlton Heston) and comments on how much He looks like Charlton Heston. Then he says: “You’re God; I can’t lie to You, can I?” To which God dryly replies: “You can try.”

The wise do not try.

Read the next section in The Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Eat Or Be Eaten

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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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