Jesus said, Come unto me, for my yoke is easy and my lordship is mild, and you will find repose for yourselves. (90)
Patterson and Maeyer: Come to me, for my yoke is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves.
Nancy Johnson: Come to me for my yoke is light, my rule is mild and you shall find repose.
In commenting on verse eighty-seven I pointed out that Jesus’ teaching was on two levels: one for the totally committed and one for those whose very real limitations restricted what Jesus could teach or require of them. This verse is for the committed disciples, for anyone who has had any experience knows that what those dedicated love and consider a source of peace and happiness will be considered miserable and laborious by those not so dedicated. Those who are being called by Jesus are those whose development enables them to appreciate the path of purification that leads to expanding awareness and spiritual fulfillment.
In my life I have seen people miffed and complaining about very mild disciplines and requirements, but I have also see people happy and cheerfully expressing their gladness at learning of very stringent things necessary for continuing their progress in spiritual life. It was all a matter of experience and the resulting perspective.
Those who have entered the path to Christhood and experienced its value are not reluctant to take upon themselves the discipline and purification required, for they have already gained a depth of insight and experience of inner life that draws them onward to attain more.
When we move onward we leave a great deal behind. For some that is a loss because of their attachment to those things, and for others it is viewed as a freedom from hindrance. The path of yoga, for example, demands not just a great deal, it demands everything. Yoga is fundamentally an all-or-nothing matter. It all depends on what we really want out of life, what we think life really is.
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls: who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it” (Matthew 13:44-46).
This is a picture of one who has caught the heavenly vision and realized the true value of things. For joy the seeker gives all that he has because he knows he shall receive so much more in return. What he will receive he wants; and he no longer wants those things that he must abandon to attain the kingdom of heaven, the realm of limitless consciousness.
The yoke of Christ is easy to bear because of what it bestows, and the lordship of Christ is mild when the guaranteed gain is so vast. Beyond all the worlds and their contents that the questing soul must leave behind as it moves from level to level of ever-increasing consciousness, there is a rest, a peace of spirit that is worth all that had to be sacrificed to attain it. Giving up what is now seen to have been really nothing, the dauntless yogi has come to possess everything. Total fulfillment is the result.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (II Corinthians 5:17). It is worth the price; indeed the price was nothing. That is the secret that the saints and masters have come to know. And which we should learn from them.
Read the next article in the Gospel of Thomas for Yogis: Knowing the Unknown