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Where is Christ?

Chapter 24 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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His disciples said to him, Show us the place where you are, since it is necessary for us to seek it.

He said to them, Whoever has ears, let him hear. There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. If he does not shine, he is darkness. (24)

Johnson: His disciples requested: Teach us about the Place where you live, for we must seek it. He said: He who has ears let him hear. There is light in a man of light, who gives light to the world. If he does not give light, there is only Darkness.

In the Gospel of John we read: “Again the next day after John stood, and two of his disciples; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the Lamb of God! And the two disciples heard him speak, and they followed Jesus. Then Jesus turned, and saw them following, and saith unto them, What seek ye? They said unto him, Rabbi, (which is to say, being interpreted, Master,) where dwellest thou? He saith unto them, Come and see. They came and saw where he dwelt, and abode with him that day” (John 1:35-39).

Show us the place where you are, since it is necessary for us to seek it. There is a mystical sect in Bengal known as Bauls whose habit is to ask someone: “In what ‘station’ do you live?” What they are asking is what state of consciousness is the person’s constant abode. When we are with highly advanced yogis we often realize that although they are physically present and interacting with us, yet they really are somewhere else altogether and living in a manner invisible to us. This was very much true of Swami Venkateshananda, a disciple of Swami Sivananda of Rishikesh.

So the disciples want to know where Jesus really “is”–and we, too, need to know that, for we also must seek that place, that level of consciousness. This is bold aspiration, but a most necessary one. Jesus came into this terrible sea of samsara to deliver us from it by calling us to higher life. Our response must be a wholehearted seeking of our own Christhood.

Whoever has ears, let him hear. Jesus knows that there is no need speaking to those who lack the capacity to understand and follow. “Everybody welcome” is a sure sign of religion that is really a business. There is no place in the kingdom of heaven for spiritual window-shoppers.

There is light within a man of light, and he lights up the whole world. He does this in two ways, inner and outer. Inwardly he lights up his own perceptions, knowing both himself and all that surrounds him through the light of his perfected consciousness (buddhi). Outwardly he illumines those in the world who have eyes to see. Just seeing him can cause a person to begin consciously seeking God. In my early sadhana days my spiritual batteries often started to go flat. Realizing that this was a dangerous condition, I would get an appointment to see Sri Daya Mata, the president of Self-Realization Fellowship. The moment she crossed the threshold of the room I would be aflame with the desire to know God. Not a word need be said. Away I would go with a full spiritual charge. Many people can give inspiring talks and even work miracles, but rare are those that can awaken us by their very sight.

If he does not shine, he is darkness. In other words, however great his reputation may be, however great the claims made by his followers, if he does not “shine” into our inmost hearts and bring us closer to God, he is nothing but darkness. I met a lot of “gurus” in India and America that had a big staff to promote them through a stream of books, photos, recordings and whatnot, but they were lumps of coal. Yet I also met simple-appearing, unassuming people whose initial glimpse thrilled my soul and I knew they were God’s light in this world. I never even learned the name of some of them. They came, they shone, and they went leaving my heart aglow. This is not poetic exaggeration. In my memory I have a gallery of blessed visages to which I can put no name, but they are living in me at this moment. I also met many whose name I did learn and whose greatness is as present to me as then.

Read the next section in The Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Love and Protect

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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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