Main Point: Seeing is believing VS Blessed to believe having not seen…
New Light: Thomas is not with the other disciples when Jesus first appeared to them following his resurrection, and, with some incredulity, asks for careful proof that this could be true. From this, the proverbial aspersion “doubting Thomas” was coined. However, in the Gospel of Thomas, verse 13, Jesus extols the high state of consciousness that Thomas had attained when he said, “Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring which I have measured out.” Note: I read this metaphorically. (Smile!)
Truth: Thomas’ request for proof, or for direct experience of the risen Christ, is analogous to the Quaker value of ‘speaking from experience.’ Blind faith, or blind belief upon which no experience is based, could be said to be little more than superstition of dogma. Having personal spiritual experience melds one’s faith. However, in this scripture, although Jesus grants Thomas’ request and invites him to reach out and touch and see so that he might believe, he also declares that those who do not need to see to believe are blessed. It could be that either way – seeing and believing or believing even though you have not seen are equally valid spiritual paths.
Implications: Perhaps the real question is, as Twyla suggested, is: How is it that we become available to receiving the truth? When we don’t know for certain, are we able step into the darkness, and be open to possibility beyond our rationality? Can we move into the uncomfortable vast field of unknowing, and find the light within it, even if we do not know its source?
Problems / Opinion: For myself, I rather appreciate inquiring minds. I admire those who really want to know, those who ask, who search, who question, who are open to discuss, and who are open to new ideas and new ways of thinking. I find little in common with those that blindly believe without inquiring. Though ultimately spirituality is a matter of belief, when it is approached scientifically belief matures into realization – a direct knowing by soul intuition, a kind of deep knowing that seems almost assured – as in beyond belief. This is the unshakable faith of certitude, even for that which is unseen.