twyla’s take on verses 2 & 3

Ten of these koan-like sayings at once is a little overwhelming to me! Actually, the Gospel of Thomas has been proving a challenge for me to get through. I bought a copy of Leloup’s translation and was quite excited about beginning it. Since then, I have been stuck on the first three verses. (is it verses, or sayings?)

Verse 2 grabbed me right away. It was like shining a spot-light on my life for the last 5 years. Since the day my atheist heart began to imagine that there may, in fact, be a God after all – I’ve been on a quest to know this being. Doing all I knew to do, I immersed myself in church life. The churches I ran into were evangelical, conservative and fundamentalist. I didn’t really know there were other flavors out there until I was heavily invested in the one I was attending. It was a challenge for me to subliminate much of my natural personality and bury my true thoughts about things, but I wanted to “do it right”.

The problem was I met very few fellow believers who were hungry like I was. When I broke from that system 5 years ago, it was a huge adjustment. I had to unlearn a lot, still am. It was hunger for God that brought me to where I am, and the process is described in Verse 2:
Whoever searches
must continue to search
until they find.
When they find,
they will be disturbed;
and being disturbed, they will marvel
and will reign over All.

When my searching led me to a place where I found I needed to re-think all I knew about God, it was extremely disturbing. But shortly into the process, I became invigorated with new life. I was amazed at how expanded my thinking and my heart became. I was amazed at the inclusiveness of God, of the immanence, the presence that saturated me and everything around me. I truly have seen the truth of this verse.

In a similar way, verse 3 speaks to me deeply. The Kingdom is inside you, and it is outside you. I’d begun to experience this very thing – the presence of God both within and all around me, filling creation, making all things sacred. When you know yourself, then you will be known, and you will know that you are the child of the Living Father’ but if you do not know yourself, you will live in vain and you will be vanity. I’ve been on a journey to reclaim my soul, the core of who I am. This getting reacquainted with myself has been wonderful and hard. It seems I spent almost 2 decades wrapping layers of acceptability and normality around me to fit the mold I was told I should fit. I’m afraid I lost sight of who I really was, what I really thought. I was looking to others for approval and to leaders to know what I should think. It grieves me to think of those years spent pretending in so many ways. It really was vanity.

Coming to this place of knowing myself and of knowing God within has been so freeing. It’s as if I’ve become the author of my own identity. I have a sense of internal solidity, an inner ground to stand on. I trust God and the Spirit within me to lead me, to teach me and to transform me. I am following this inner Wisdom, wherein I find the authority, the solidity, the internal coagulation, that allows me to give voice to my soul.

(I’m sorry this post is a bit long…since I’m new, there was some biographical info that I needed to share to say what I wanted to say. I promise I won’t always be so long-winded!)

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4 responses

  1. Hi Twyla. Don’t worry about the lengths of your posts … it seemed just the right length to me.I like the way you have interpreted the sayings though your own experience – that makes the gospel “living”.

  2. Thanks, Twyla, for your wonderful blog; I feel like it’s about the most meaningful thing that’s been written here in quite a while.I’ve always felt that to be autobiographical is the way to love. When we don’t love, we hide from one another. To love is to trust, to reveal yourself as you are, knowing that what you say will be accepted and used creatively by those who hear you.For me this is what Christian community is all about.I’ve noticed that Thomas has a great appeal among many people who have become alienated from conventional religious groups who expect you to believe what you’re told.People who have developed their own personhood will not do this. Thomas obviously didn’t want us to “believe what we’re told”; he thought God was anxious to give each of us directly what is right for us.From what you say, you’ve found that way and find it exciting. I find it exciting, too. Blessings.

  3. Way to God Twyla — just dive in. And you find we each get autobiographical wehn we feel the urges too.

  4. Twyla, I enjoy the easy intimacy with which you have joined us. My heart opens so wide for you, as I see my very self in your script. I especially related to the verse on being disturbed as well. When the realization of a living breathing being, as you say, the “inclusiveness of God, of the immanence, the presence that saturated me and everything around me” it is a moment of awe, of unsettling, a disturbing sensation that knocks your feet from under you as everything you once thought to be true, or were once just very confused about, has now been seen and experienced in a startling new way. When we find the presence of God both within and all around us, and we recognize that this presence fills all of creation, all things become sacred. I was mused by your writing on vanity. So much could be said about vanity, or as a friend of mine calls it, our ego identity. It seems that much of this journey is really about shedding pretenses, shedding this coat of vanity. Taking off the layers that separate us, identify us, immobilize us to being truly awake is the process of opening to God. And, inexplicably, when we shed these layers, we find our truer selves – the most honest pure element of our self, infused by grace. This is trustworthy, totally trustworthy. Blessings,

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