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Who Will Die; Who Will Live

Chapter 61 of the Gospel of Thomas for Awakening

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Jesus said, Two will rest on a bed: the one will die, and the other will live.
Salome said, Who are you, man, that you… have come up on my couch and eaten from my table?
Jesus said to her, I am he who exists from the undivided. I was given some of the things of my father.
[…] I am your disciple.
[…] Therefore I say, if he is destroyed, he will be filled with light, but if he is divided, he will be filled with darkness. (61)

Relative existence consists of dualities, including life and death. Although we think of death as opposed to life, as canceling it out, it is actually an essential part of life. For in truth everything is Life because everything is a manifestation of the Divine in whom there is no real death. What we think is death is only a change. Therefore in the ancient texts of the Mass for the Departed we find the words: “Unto thy faithful, O Lord, life is changed, not taken away….”

Nevertheless, the appearance of death is always with us in the form of drastic change. For this reason Jesus enunciates the cosmic law that some will die and some will live in a perpetual sequence of change. There are none that live that will not die and none that die that will not live. Those of earth-dimmed vision are always troubled by this assertion, as was Salome who demanded to know who Jesus was that he could seemingly lay down this inflexible law that brings fear and sorrow to nearly all.

Spiritual teachers of all ages have been challenged with the words: “Who are you?” Many are the answers that have been given, including silence. Here we are told at least one reply Jesus gave to the demand, an answer that we all can give even now, though more fully in the future. His reply is twofold: “I am he who exists from the undivided.” And: “I was given some of the things of my father.”

Although we are dreaming the dream of separation, in reality we are rooted in the very being of the Undivided Reality, Satchidananda Brahman. We did not “come” from That, we are living in That as an eternal and inseparable part of That. That is why in the Chandogya Upanishad Uddalaka keeps saying to his son Svetaketu: THAT THOU ART. As simple as it is true.

We are not the Father, the Absolute, but being part of That we are also like That in some ways. That is our “inheritance” so to speak, which is why Jesus says: “I was given some of the things of my father.”

These two facets of our identity should ever be kept in mind.

Finally Jesus gives us a fundamental principle regarding enlightenment. We do not attain enlightenment, we uncover it in the depths of our being–or we do not, and practically speaking remain unenlightened. But it is essential to realize that no one becomes enlightened, but rather discovers the Light is already present within.

The translation seems strange, but it means that those whose illusory shell is being dissolved and whose age-long wrong identity is being destroyed are on the way to experience enlightenment. But Patterson and Maeyer render it more clearly: “For this reason I say, if one is (whole), one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness.” If we are one, as is the Father, then like the Father we will find that we are totally Light. But if we are in the illusion of division, of duality, then we will see only darkness–even if we mistake it for the Light.

“The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!” (Matthew 6:22, 23). By “eye” is meant our consciousness. If our eye is single, is one, then we are full of light. But if it is divided, is dual, then it is full of darkness. And if we mistake that darkness for light, how great indeed it will be. Most people live in that state, which is why Krishna said: “Truly this maya of mine made of the gunas is difficult to go beyond. Verily only those who attain me shall pass beyond this maya” (Bhagavad Gita 7:14). Those who seek God alone shall seek and find–none other.

Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: The Path of Unknowing

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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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