Gospel of Thomas: Thomas 97
Evolution of This Universe
Thomas 97: Jesus [said], “The [Fathers] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn’t know it; she hadn’t noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty.”
In Thomas 97, Yeshua explains the creation of this universe. Just as in Thomas 96, Yeshua uses the symbol of the woman to make a link to the creative aspect of God, the Source—the one Jesus calls Father. The meal, also used in making bread, which we see in Thomas 96, represents the material substance of the universe – all the galaxies, stars, and organisms within it. In this universe, the stars are like the grains creating the meal. The natural action of stars burning releases elements, which create life as we experience it in this realm. Human bodies are composed of these elements, also known as stardust. In this way, the processes we see in nature mirror the realm of the Spirit.
Thomas 97 explains an action that is symbolic of the creation of our universe and negates Intelligent Design. Christians who support the notion of Intelligent Design would argue that God had carefully planned out creation and its ongoing evolution. This is not to suggest there is no influence from the realm of the Spirit on the material universe. However, the truth we see in Thomas 97 is that this realm is incidental to the actions of the Source. The Father (Source) is an energy composed of Light. It has immeasurable creative potential (the woman carrying the jar of meal). As the possibilities of existence are countless, they have manifested in many varied forms. When the Source (Light) moved out into the abyss (the distant road) Its expansion released layers (meal) from Itself. This Light took the form of physical matter, which we see in our universe. This was a passive action, not an intentional, premeditated one (‘she didn’t know it’). When the woman returns home, she notices the jar is empty. This is the realisation from the Spirit realm that an expansion had occurred and a new layer had been created—this universe. Through this action the creation of the material universe occurred, but the Father’s invisible Light is here too (Thomas 83 and 77). This Light constitutes the kingdom, It is all around us, but humans do not recognise It (Thomas 3). Through the actions described in Thomas 96, we see that the Father—the aspect of the Source of all things that issues forth Its Light (becoming visible in humans but ‘is hidden by his Light’ [Thomas 83]), seizes the opportunity to place fragments of Itself within bodies. These are the souls that may become enlightened Spirits. The souls are the leaven the woman in Thomas 96 places within dough (sentient bodies capable of growing through creative thinking). Successful links between the Source and souls are made through the collective consciousness (Holy Spirit), which is the aspect of the Father having intent. It is the thing of creativity, empathy and compassion.
The influence of God, the Source can be cited through Rudolf Steiner’s book, ‘Cosmic Memory: prehistory of earth and man’, which presents an explanation of how our world and all the creatures that live on it came into being. He does this using a spiritual text known as the ‘Akasha Chronicle.’ From this ethereal text, Divine wisdom is revealed to the one who is able to delve into its recording of the past, present, and future. This text is what Steiner uses to explore how the Earth and man came about, beyond what science (of his time) was capable of doing. Essentially, he taps into an intuitive wisdom to explain the implanting of the soul into the body. One can detect influences from Hindu theology in the essays (chapters) through the references to ether or the etheric body, which is the consciousness that influenced creation and that may be experienced as the aura of the soul. Moreover, one can see a Gnostic influence in this text. This demonstrates Steiner’s struggle to reconcile traditional Christian edicts with intuitive logic and his contractions regarding his integrity, as he felt pressure from traditional science. In the chapter, ‘The Hyperborean and Polarean Epoch’ (Ibid p. 107-118) we see Steiner describe the formation of life in a way that has parallels to what scientists have concluded—that all life forms started from single cell organisms. Some twenty-five years after Steiner’s death, Stanley Miller and Harold Urey showed that the ‘primordial soup’ theory could indeed create amino acids, which are the building blocks of life. Steiner presents how and why the cells formed in the primordial soup when he writes:
‘The soul or astral ancestors of man were transported to the etheric earth. So to speak, they sucked the refined substances into themselves like a sponge, to speak coarsely. By thus becoming penetrated with substance, they developed etheric bodies. These had an elongated elliptical form, in which the limbs and other organs which were purely physical-chemical, but they were regulated and dominated by the soul. [Emphasis added]’
As in most of Steiner’s aforementioned text, this excerpt explains how physical life started, beyond the conventional, scientific hypothesis. Conventional science suggests accidental combinations of chemicals and environment caused life to spontaneously happen. As mentioned earlier in 77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree, it is an injustice to humanity that Steiner did not have access to the Gospel of Thomas, as it certainly would have added clarity to the grey areas in this form of spiritual science (Ibid p. 69). The information provided by Steiner gives us the confidence to know that we are indeed connected to God, the Father (the Source of all things). The knowledge of how the physical realm has been influenced by the spiritual realm is evidence of our link to this Source. This knowledge is supported in the Gospel of Thomas, through 77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree.
At this point, it is necessary to explore further the parallels we see in the natural world and how it mirrors aspects of the inner realm.. Physical phenomena in this realm are not, of themselves, signs of what the Source is like. This premise is in error; it is why we have the problems derived from the Abrahamic religions. We have previously noted how water, symbolically, mirrors the soul, through the combination of two elements. The soul is seeking to connect with God, the Source, in order for the one to become two. In Thomas 96 and 97 we see the Father’s Kingdom is like a woman who brings life (the soul), through the introduction of leaven and the accidental scattering of meal. Does this mean that women and men are different creations and serve different purposes? At first glance it would seem that this is the case, if we take what we observe in this life as our only point of reference. Through the Gospel of Thomas and 77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree we can move beyond this limited premise. In Thomas 22, we see that we cannot think in such simplistic terms. There is no difference in male or female when it comes to the Spirit. What we see in Thomas 96 and 97 is an explanation of one aspect of the same thing. The Father and the Mother are, in this sense, from the same point of origin, but these aspects of the Source have different actions.
Consider the way humans reproduce (without medical intervention). It requires the entry of the male (father) into the female (mother) for the seed (body) to be placed within the womb for gestation. Symbolically, these actions are like the female (creative) aspect of the Source seen in Thomas 96 and 97. The male (father) aspect is the Light, or energy, which we might think of as the Soul inside the body, like the foetus placed inside the womb (leaven inside the bread). The idea of a male and female aspect is not a new one. This can be seen within the Wicca tradition and Kabbalah, for example. In the context of the Gospel of Thomas, we now recognise that the Father/Source has not designed the male and female with intent. It has been a necessary evil, because this is the way this realm functions. These biological organisms (patterns) are not the end point. They are the reflections of different aspects of the Source, which are divided in this realm. Yeshua asks that we change our perception of these phenomena in Thomas 22. When they are two, they are in the realm of the Spirit (Thomas 11). When they are one, they are in their divided form, perceived as male and female. In Thomas 22, Yeshua asks that people see male and female as one (the genderless Soul)—then humans are able to join with God, the Source, becoming two.
Marginalised groups, such as homosexual, transgender, and intersex individuals, reveal to humanity a truth. Science has proven that genes determine sexuality. The reality that transgender and intersex people, whose brain is not the gender of their bodies, is fact. These traits are not choices. This kind of orientation and body dysmorphia happens among other creatures of this world. Sadly, a number of religions have used their narrow view of gender to convince others that their typecasting is something God has ordained. They make what is determined by nature into sin. In fact, it has nothing to do with sin. To attempt to force these marginalised individuals to fit such narrow stereotypes is damaging to the relationship they could have with God, the Father. They are representative of a kind of beauty, a kind of beauty that is cerebral, because they are manifestations of truth. It is a truth about this realm and how it mirrors the inner realm. Through Thomas, we see there is no male or female division of gender in the Father’s Kingdom. These reflections become a rare and enigmatic truth seen in this fractured realm. Judgement of others is not what Jesus wants of us (Thomas 6 and 14). When people release others, and themselves, from all notions of sin, they are free to grow. This is why it is important to see the reflections in this realm for what they truly are. The human soul, along with the meal, has been scattered upon a distant road, a universe of great diversity and wonder. The universe reflects the creative energy of the Father’s Light. When humans accept all things for what they are, people will create a place of peace, where souls are united through the collective consciousness.
77th Pearl: The Perpetual Tree – audio extracts from the book on YouTube
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