The Gospel of Thomas


Light at the Centre

Jesus said: "There is Light at the centre of a man of Light,
and he illumines the whole world"
Was he referring only to himself?

Logion 24 Show us the Place where you are

There is something surprising about the disciples’ question. They are rubbing shoulders with a Jesus of flesh and bone. They are seeing him; they can touch him; yet here they are asking him to show them the place where he is as if they had in front of them a mere replica of his presence! .............

The disciples’ misunderstanding is hurtful. .......... Jesus’ reply seems to betray a certain grief, if only because of the introduction in mid-logion - not at the end by way of conclusion - of the formula we already know: He who has ears let him hear! Jesus presents himself as being the Light (log. 7; Jn 1.9; 3.19; 8.12). The disciples, incapable of transcending the bounds of mind, can neither see nor expect a light other than the one which they imagine and which they believe to be associated with eschatological events. In vain would Jesus say: What you are expecting has come (log. 51), they do not comprehend it. Their earlier guides (log. 3) have told them that the Son of man would appear in the sky wrapped in fire. They are still deep in their illusion. They are encumbered by the teachings of those who have hidden the keys of knowledge (log. 39.3). This is why they have forsaken Him who is living before them (log. 52). Now, to receive the message of Jesus, the self must be made empty: When the disciple is emptied, he will be filled with Light (log. 61.15-16).

Realisation is either internal and personal, or it is not at all. Radiance is a function of internal Light. Jesus is Light. He who carries the Light within him sees in Jesus the man of Light: as Jesus does, he illumines the whole world. His Light spreads instantaneously through the whole cosmos. In order to receive it, as to emit it, we must be on the same frequency, otherwise we remain in the darkness.


Logion 50 If they say to you 'Where are you from?

How to convey by words that which is beyond words? The disciples are fortunate to be within the aura of the Master. But others, those who learn by hear-say - how to convey to them what is in the domain of the inexpressible? Let us leave aside straightaway those who are not worthy of the mysteries of his teaching. Besides, those could evince only indifference, sarcasm and contempt, unless they pick up for purposes of self-assertion what is in the nature of spiritual work. .......... We are left with those who are worthy of an esoteric teaching but who cannot receive it from the mouth of the Master. It is they whom Jesus dreams of, perhaps across centuries and millennia. He does not want that his words be transmitted only down a chain of initiates: a teaching is secret only from those who are unworthy of it. But others, those who yearn for the essential, who want at whatever price an answer to the Gnostic’s harrowing question: Who am I? To those, Jesus replies urbi et orbi : Through the things that I say to you, do you not know who I am? To learn who he is by deeply studying what he says, that is the heritage that Jesus leaves to us. And in the logion which challenges us here, Jesus wishes to facilitate the disciples’ task and allow a selection from which will be excluded importuners, consolation-addicts, and charlatans of every kind. In the form of a dialogue, the Gnostic, or the spiritual being, responds to essential questions. However, the response is accessible only to the person who has already known the beginning of initiation or, at least, who desires with all his being to acquire the knowledge.

The Gnostic hails from the Kingdom of Light, which pre-exists manifestation. .......... The chosen of the Living Father can say like Jesus and following the principle of identifying (log. 108): The Father and I are one (Jn 10.30). They are directly involved through that other saying: I am in my Father, and you in me and I in you (Jn 14.20). What is the sign by which to recognise him who bathes in the Light of the Father? We have arrived at the centre of the mystery, there where words can do no more. It is for silence to speak. Even so Jesus, in a last impulse towards man, wants to give drink to those who are thirsty; he adds: Say to them: it is a movement and a repose ….