work in progress by t.a.
With the foregoing we have reached the end of the gospel’s first section, which deals with the spiritual challenge of human life in an intimate and most direct sense. The second part is going to deal with the same challenge, but in most cases with a view from the societal plane in focus. To start with we only render a selection which links this societal view with the view ‘inside ourselves’, the focus of the first part and the underlying basis of the whole:
“Show us the place where you are” his disciples said, “because we need to look for it.”
“Anyone who has ears to hear should hear” he told them. “Light exists within people of light and they light up the whole world. If they don’t shine, there is darkness.”
‘Shall we climb mountains or cross the seas to come to find the destination?’ – The sage doesn’t need crossing the threshold of his hut to know the universe. (Laozi, 47: 不出户知天下)
The disciples naiveté who want directions pointed out to the place where their Master can be located physically is challenged again and again: if you have ears you should hear they are being exhorted – and become a person of light with those who are lighting up the world. This ‘direction’ cannot be pointed to literally with the tip of a finger even less shown on a map. To get the message cross to the dumb, sleeping mind the finger might even get cut off; as in one of the more muscular Zen-stories…. (Mumonkan, Gutei’s Finger)
Yeshua said, “If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that’s amazing. If spirit came into existence because of the body, that’s really amazing! But I’m amazed how such great wealth has been placed in this poverty.”
A reference to philosophers and pharisees regarding the impossibility to deduce logically what came first, spirit or matter. One way or another, it is amazing that there is something. But the real amazement is of a different kind, it’s the realization of great treasure in and beyond this poverty and pain of self-indulging, worldly sophistications and suffering; or even the treasure and beauty in and beyond the suffering in the animal world as pointed out by Paul already. And last not least, the treasure and beauty all around us, withering and decay notwithstanding.
Yeshua said, “Be passersby.”
Life is passing and does not stand still. If you want to live, stand up to it, to the beginning in ending (18)…. Or, en route, as the well known saying of medieval mystic Angelus Silesius has it: Wandrer, Wandrer bleib nur ja nicht stehn, du musst von einem Licht fort in das andre gehn.
Great work, great teaching has a pinnacle, a lightening’s brevity and penetrating force. This command is an outstanding example….
„Who are you to say such things to us”, the disciples asked him.
“You don’t realize who I am from what I say to you, but you have become like those Judeans who either love the tree but hate the fruit or love the fruit but hate the tree.”
By now the poor disciples are completely dumbfolded. ‘For god’s sake, who is this guy?’, they ask with some desperation. Yeshua gets a bit desperate in return and answers with a second reference to the ‘hen or egg’ dilemma (cf 29) , which confronts casuistic dissections of ‘those Judeans’, whose mind only can grasp one-sided half-truths and necessarily turn against the other half – while the acceptance of both makes the only remedy to prepare for true recognition – beyond dualistic appodicition of worldly ideologues.
The master is scolding the disciples who cannot see the forest for the trees, cannot understand who he is for the words he speaks. But now that you are two, what will you do???! (11)
Yeshua said: “Whoever slanders the Source (Father) will be forgiven, and whoever slanders the Son will be forgiven; but whoever slanders the Mother (Holy Spirit, Love, Compassion) will not be forgiven, neither on earth nor in heaven.”
Confronting the helplessness and limited understanding of his followers Yeshua turns to the love and forgiveness, the Grace of the Ultimate One.
To err is human and not to see and understand the truth is no crime, even ridicule and slander of the truth and its creation out of ignorance can be excused and forgiven. But to deny the power of love, the enlightening flame of inspiration and recognition is to cut off access to life itself – and there is no place and no way to forgive this.
“Grapes are not harvested from thorns, nor are figs gathered from thistles, because they don’t produce fruit. A person who’s good brings good things out of their treasure, and a person who’s evil brings evil things out of their evil treasure. They say evil things because their heart is full of evil.”
While much will be forgiven, don’t expect the right things from the wrong people. Be straight and open your eyes. ‘Most people are bad’, as the Pre-Socratics already had it. So, don’t expect light from those who shed darkness. Be prepared, be wise. – This Logion and the following encompass the subjects which Mary asked about when inquiring, “Whom are your disciples like” (21):
Yeshua said: “From Adam to John the Baptizer, no one’s been born who’s so much greater than John the Baptizer that they shouldn’t avert their eyes. But I say that whoever among you will become a little child will know Ultimate Reality and become greater than John.”
While the worldly powers are encroaching on your house (21b) you must prepare your defenses so as to be able to return the harvest of the field, which you don’t own. John knew that and preached accordingly. But, if you become what Yeshua is comparing you to, a little child stripping naked in front of the father who owns the field (21a) then you reach that stage, which John was there to prepare.
Part I ended with “I will choose you, one out of a thousand, two out of ten thousand…. ‘, but here, with the ending of Part II, the perspective is reversed: anyone of you, if becoming a child, will be the one – out of millions, whatever – in the One – and Know.