Home - Real Peace vs. Imitation Peace–Which Do You Prefer?

Real Peace vs. Imitation Peace–Which Do You Prefer?

Saint Thomas CrossA Commentary on the Gospel of Thomas

Jesus said, If two make peace with each other in this one house, they will say to the mountain, “Move Away,” and it will move away. (Gospel of Thomas 48)

This actually has two meanings, one outer and one inner.

Outer peace

It is very easy for people to be friends when they meet only occasionally in the right setting. Some families hardly know each other after years because they never really spend much time in one another’s company. But when two people live together–really live together for many hours a day–they meet each other’s quirks and flaws and the entire array of aberrations and peculiarities they have gathered over a long succession of lives.

Considering the fact that this earth plane is the bottom rung of the evolutionary ladder it should not surprise us that prolonged exposure to one another does not conduce to endearment. Conflict is bound to arise and exasperation with one another’s failings, not the least of which is egotism in its many forms.

Often one of the two will be very passive and recessive and will suffer for decades without a word, often without even admitting to themselves what a misery their life has become. When this happens they have “a good relationship” or marriage or association.

Of course it is no such thing at all, quite the opposite, but because no indications surface everyone (often even the sufferer) thinks all is well. The Bible tells us: “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matthew 5:9), but such people do not have peace, only a ceasefire or stalemate. Peace at any price demands a terrible price, often the destruction of a soul.

It does not do if only one is a peacemaker, masking the ego and faults of the other. If, however, there is enough evolution and awakening on both sides, then harmony, understanding and profound love can result. It is these people that Jesus says can move mountains. For truly, in this troubled and unstable world peace is the greatest of miracles, and those who achieve it together deserve all praise and respect. The reason it does not occur more frequently is the unwillingness of people to make (create) it.

Inner peace

In the seventh chapter of Romans Saint Paul describes the intense conflict between his higher self and his lower self, between that part of him that gravitates to the spirit and that which reflects and is shaped–even enslaved–by the body and its material environment. The war between intelligence and instinct rages.

Sri Ramakrishna said that he saw within himself two persons (purusha), the man of evil (papa purusha) and the man of good (punya purusha). One of them, he said, must kill the other–there is no peaceful coexistence possible.

Those who do nothing about this will find their good destroyed by their evil. Then they will have the sterile peace of death.

Those who refuse to concede to their evil early on discover that they will have to fight to the death in the inner conflict. Only then can the peace of higher life be gained.

“He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city” (Proverbs 16:32). To win this conflict by truly destroying the roots of ignorance and evil is to be a god, a genuine miracle-worker. Such a one has already moved mountains, invisible though they be. It is also true that the mere word of such a one can banish all obstacles to future evolution. Theirs is “the peace of God which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

Gospel of Thomas cover


The Gospel of Thomas for Awakening, by Abbot George Burke, is available at Amazon.com in print or as an ebook here. You can also read it on our website here, or download a free PDF here.



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