The Gospel of Thomas



The large fish ...
... the single pearl ...
What do they represent?

Logion 76 The Kingdom of the Father
is like a man, a merchant

S everal logia, including this one, appeal to the discrimination without which access to the Kingdom remains closed. It is indispensable to put to one side what is not if we want to discover what is. Wisdom carries this price; we cannot know Reality without becoming aware of that which we are, or in other words, without discovering our true identity. Now, we have seen in the commentary to the previous logion that nothing exists save Him and that I am not other than Him. The big fish (log. 8), the single pearl (log. 76), the single sheep (log. 107), the treasure (log. 109), have made necessary a choice which totally changes the behaviour of those concerned. From the moment of this choice, life has changed. The inalterable treasure is that which culminates in the evidence that other than Him does not exist, it is the Living issue of the Living (log.111), invulnerable, immortal.


Logion 8 The man is like a wise fisherman

The man in question here is like a wise fisherman. He is a man of discernment, a man alive in the sense that Jesus means when he says: The living will not die (log. 11.5). ..........

What does the wise fisherman do who is here held out to us as an example? Having taken from his net a large and good fish from among a quantity of little fishes, he goes straight to the essential point: losing neither his time nor his energy in holding on to the little fish, he chooses the large fish without trouble.

To choose the large fish without trouble is to opt, as something which goes without saying, for quality against quantity, it is to forsake the many in order to effect the reversion to One. That the large fish symbolises the One, the All, the Father, the Kingdom, in short the Absolute from which we proceed, we need scarcely underline. The fisherman’s spontaneous choice is comprehension and recognition of his original and fundamental Being. He comprehends, he recognises, because he is “wise” in himself, possessed by the fish, identifying with the fish. The fish is the inside and the outside of him. The fish knows the fisherman as it is known to him: it enables the fisherman to take cognizance of his absolute Being, of his essential, authentic reality. Having initially seen the fish as being outside of himself, in a still dualist perception, he becomes, in a spontaneous leap of his whole Being, the object of his contemplation: he lets himself become absorbed into it: he makes the two One.