The THOMAS Web-Zine
July 2007 Issue 7

You are Becoming!

Logion 42 is the shortest and most powerful saying in 'Thomas':

Become yourselves, while passing away

The Coptic original comprises of just three words, literally translated as 'Become yourselves, passing by'. Other translations attempt to overcome the enigmatic nature of these few words with additions and subtractions:

  • Become your Real Self, as ahamkara passes away
  • Be passers-by
  • Become passersby

These additions or subtractions may be helpful but as logion 42 crystallizes the very core of Jesus' Teaching, it is worth every effort on our part to understand it and integrate its personal message into our spiritual lives: to make it our mantra.

Becoming ourselves

On waking in the morning we are in a brief state of pure consciousness before our mind takes over and contaminates us with our daily tasks, our desires, our ambitions, etc. On rising we not only clothe ourselves with garments we also put on our 'faces' for the day: mother, business man, carer, son, etc. But in that short moment on waking, we are our Real Selves, the rest are just facades.

What is this Real Self ?

Its nature cannot be defined, measured, quantified, nor even described as it is beyond language or words. It is like air. We breathe it, it is our life. It is everywhere, but we cannot hold it, grasp it, define it, nor see it. If we do not breath it, we are dead. Jesus reminds us that if we don't search for our Real Selves, we are also dead; logion 60.15-19:

. He said to them:
You yourselves, seek after a Place for yourselves
within Repose,
lest you become corpses
and be eaten.

Our Real Self is not a property of the mind; rather the mind is the property of the our Real Self. Everything emerges from our Real Self and it in return merges everything into itself.

So we need to learn, understand, and assimilate this mantra for ourselves:

Become yourselves, passing by

That's all we need; everything else will be added to it.