ThomasWeb-Zine
March 2009 Issue 17

Divisions

Asked to negotiate a financial settlement, Jesus replied 'Oh man, who made me a divider?' [logion #72]. He then turned to his disciples and challenged them on whether they understood that division was what he was trying to overcome. You can almost sense the frustration in his questioning of the disciples.

Jesus uses a telling sequence of word images in logion #47 to highlight that maintaining a division-the two 'worlds' (duality)-will destroy our spirit. It is impossible to mount two horses, to stretch two bows, to serve two masters. Impossible; not difficult, but impossible. Most of us cannot ride nor draw a bow, but we all tend to take on more physical activities than we can achieve. This usually leads to a feeling of stress and tension.

We all serve 'two masters'. We have our daily responsibilities, our commitments, and our busy-ness. Which master is offended? Not our family, nor our colleagues, nor our friends. It's the Real Self that suffers the offence; and suffers in silence. It only has a still small voice but the disturbance within creates a deeper suffering that we can never ignore.

Jesus goes on to remind us of the danger of accommodating these two selves: little self of today and our Real Self of eternity. We tire of our old 'wine' and seek new delights, new knowledge, new perspectives. Our drive towards our new Life cannot contain vestiges of our old life; our ahamkara contaminates this new Life. And it is the overcoming of our ahamkara that is the strongest theme in 'Thomas'.

Finally Jesus emphasises that if we try to hold onto our old ways when we have a new perspective, a new understanding, a new Life then this will create a division within ourselves

In this logia Jesus clearly lays out barriers to achieving unity, wholeness, and Oneness which he wants us to have.