What Grandeur!

Logion 84

Yeshua said:
When you see
your true likeness,
you rejoice.
But when you see your icons,
those that were before you existed,
that never die and never manifest,
what grandeur!

The above translation is a bit different from the one Larry posted. Most striking is “How much will you bear,” has become, “What grandeur!” a seemingly different exclamation.

When Jesus says, “When you see your true likeness you rejoice,” my first inclination was to the early biblical passage that states, “God made man in his own image.” So, I wonder, is this true likeness the image of God? And/or, could this “true likeness” simply be our true self, sans ego, reputation, career, personality, relationships, yada yada…, but just fundamentally who we are underneath all of our labels and usual descriptions. I sense that it would be so freeing to just be able to be who we are without expectation of role and responsibility, something most of us likely only get an occasional glimpse of, and that occurs when we are lost to the world through an experience of something such as serious illness, deep meditation, or quiet solitude.

But when you see your icons…” must be referring to something primordial, something that exists always, neither arising nor passing away, something unborn and undying… Again this primordial expression would be the image of God, the Absolute, the Source – that manifestation known by a thousand names, or no name at all. This is often referred to as “Your original face,” the face of God. So yes, “What grandeur!”

However, could it be that it is the grandeur that is already, everywhere present? Could this image, say it is the image of Light, be like our ordinary light, yet, because it is light, we cannot see the preexisting light that is always and ever present? Perhaps it is also that which we call the Light within, that indescribable quality of love and warmth and purity in the heart of each of us. What if we could “see” that? How much could we bear of this grandeur?


2 responses

  1. Thanks, Meredith, for posting this other version; the chief difference seems to lie in the word icon instead of image, and of course the what grandeur instead of how much can you bear.As I reflected on the logion, the case of Enoch came to mind. Did God take Enoch because “walking with him” was more than Enoch could bear?What would happen to us if we walked with God in the way that Enoch must have?I love the way Leloup put it: “This is the Image of God, which is never born and never dies. It’s discovery is cause for rejoicing and grandeur beyond words, for it is the direct discovery of the Uncreated in the heart of the creature.”

  2. I like your translation, Meredith :-). An interesting comment I saw said …Funk and Hoover write: “This saying is closely related to Thomas 83 and reflects the same early Christian attempt to employ Platonic categories. Some gnostics believed that each person has a heavenly twin, or image, which never perishes, but which awaits the moment of death, when the gnostic’s soul is reunited with that twin.” (The Five Gospels, p. 518)

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