An Inconvenient Proof
(The Mystery School Gospel of Thomas Reader’s Digest Version)
A whole generation of modern scholars, now, have labored under the presupposition that the Gospel of Thomas is some kind of a sayings list that has some interesting doublets and may be arranged, at least in part, in some kind of topical sequential order but there is no over-all design or list of protocols or conventions that went into its crafting as one integrated thought experiment.
It has not been conceivable by the Pharasaical Thomasine industry that a brilliant first century mystery school master has bamboozled them by hiding everything in plain sight. Just like legions of religious fanatics can convince themselves that there is no global warming by arguing from irrelevancies so the legions of jot-and-title scholars pouring over the minutia of every Thomasine nuance with the skeptical and fragmented modern brain miss the A-HA! Moment of backing off twenty feet from the violent, raw splurge of paint in a museum of Impressionist painting to actually see the brilliance of a clear and coherent design from a distance.
Just as it may seem difficult for some to prove the global warming that we all know is happening from weather that is periodically extreme it takes right brain thinking to perceive the patterning, metaphors, and analogies filling Thomas to the brim. However, there are logical conventions ruling the construction of Thomas that can be understood by the left brain as well in cooperation with the right brain.
The Gospel of Thomas was probably crafted as a response to the stirring challenge of the Synoptic Gospels near Edessa which was in the country of Osrhenia in the Parthian Empire just East of Syria that was free of Roman interference. Current scholarship is coming to the consensus that The Gospel of John was a clear response to Thomas so a logical dating for Thomas would be roughly a half century after the Crucifixion in about 90 C.E.
Thomas was designed as a right brain exercise to develop spiritual sight by the use of metaphor and analogy but also as a coded short-hand or texting and memory device to be used by a traveling spiritual teacher who didn’t want to be caught and interrogated as to his orthodoxy and innovation. This was already a large concern in the first century. The Church of Paul was also the church of the Herodian ruling class as we can see from Paul’s letters referencing “the littlest Herod’ (Herod IV), Aristobulis of Chalcis who became King of Asia Minor, “saints” of “Caesars household”, and Epaphroditus who was probably Nero’s Greek Letters Secretary and probably had a big role to play in crafting the Synoptics. In addition, Acts reveals Paul chatting amiably with the powerful and famous in Felix and Drusilla.
Christian mystery school adherents in the West suffered through a series of disastrous events in the first century. In 49 C.E. “Jews” were banned from Rome because of the disturbance arising from a “Chrestus”. By the mid-Fifties Christians are back in Rome but it is clear from the letters of Paul that he is booting out of his communities anyone who doesn’t toe the party line and conform to Roman-friendly morals and beliefs. In this period as well, Paul’s adherents are clearly in charge in Ephesus where Acts 19:19 records that they round up huge volumes of books on magic and burn them. Paul’s efforts go for naught in 64 C. E. when Nero rounds up Orthodox and Mystery School Christians alike and crucifies all he can find around Rome.
The Gospel of Thomas as a nonsensical sayings list would have seemed to have been an innocuous and harmless text if found on a person that did not obviously contradict Pauline theology and Synoptic history. It had enough anti-Jewish view-points to allay suspicion that it was “Judaizing”. All the Sophia/Wisdom material was pretty well cloaked along with tell-tale verbiage like ‘the Pleroma’ of Bridal Chamber/Mystery School Christianity. The Gospel of Thomas was the perfect subversive teaching tool to enter the West that could only be wielded effectively in the hands of a skilled spiritual teacher.
The Gospel of Thomas was not designed, however, to totally frustrate true spiritual seekers who can find with some faith and effort that sayings are sequentially and redundantly informative, mathematically resonant, and continually and ever more deeply insightful. In fact, at least a handful of universal, logical, and consistent protocols or conventions can be detected by a careful student who will eventually find that every saying in Thomas is consciously crafted as to be part of a holistic design except for L 114 that is a later addition.
The most simple and natural protocol skeptical scholars have a hard time accepting that it works every time is the Context Convention which states that every saying comments upon the previous saying and is commented upon in turn by the following saying. The only exception to this rule is L 114 which is accepted as a part of the Jesus tradition but is a later addition to the design. This convention corresponds to the principle that everything is related to everything else. It is like the strong force in quantum mechanics that binds quarks together.
The Doublet Convention states that every saying in Thomas has a doublet of some kind. Some are maxi doublets with the same basic wording and meaning. Some are mini doublets using partial phrases. Some are noetic doublets using different language but the same meaning. Some are opposite doublets using the same language but with opposite meaning. This convention reveals the principle that everything partakes of quantum entanglement in the nature of wormholes. The Doublet Convention corresponds to the quantum force known as the ‘weak force’ which upgrades and downgrades energy and makes quarks change ‘flavor’. A handful of doublets are recognized in Thomas by current scholarship.
The Numbers Convention states simply that numbers have meaning whether it is the numerical value or whether it is numerical relationship. The Numbers Convention corresponds to the truth that everything has value. It corresponds to the quantum law of electromagnetism which plays a big part in the larger universe but is not needed so much and submerges with the weak force in the quantum field into become the electroweak force.
The Gospel of Thomas is not only crafted in sequential, topical order but composed like a crossword puzzle. This represents the truth that everything is dimensional and a complete conversation exists only in octaves. This represents the quantum force of gravity. The methodology used is a format derived from the pentecontad calendar in use by Babylonians and some Semitic groups in the first century where a month had 50 days. It was probably used by Semitic groups because the number 50 has a resonance to the 50 year Jubilee renewal in the Pentateuch which is replayed later in Luke with Jesus announcing the Jubilee in his home town.
In the Jubilee format the number 49 represents the end of a cycle. This number is used in Thomas to represent a completed conversation. There are 15 three-saying groupings and 33 two-saying groupings. The complete proof of the doublet convention would be too voluminous to include in this essay and the proof of the Numbers Convention is a bit technical but following are the proofs of the Context Convention and Jubilee Convention in that order where it can be easily seen that sayings are sequentially topical and dimensionally conversational:
L 1 Talks about deathlessness
L 2 Explains that it is about the higher god self (the male aspect in 'ruling')
L 3 Explains about how to get there—it’s within you and outside of you (the female aspect of Holy Spirit)
L 4 Explains it is about being at the breast of the Holy Spirit: the "place of life"
L 5 Explains "Recognize what's in your sight"--the breast of the Holy Spirit--see the Holy Spirit
L 6 Says act from the Holy Spirit
L 7 --This is what you do on the 7th day or Sabbath - Do not be eaten by fundamentalism but eat it yourself and transform it.
L 8 All the preceding means choose the big fish of the higher self and throw away the rest.
L 9 Don't worry about failed evangelism or failed efforts. Good soil gives some seed unbelievably harvest.
L 10 The Holy Spirit starts like a small fire, then blazes unbelieveably.
L 11 The fire is the light above the physical, and above the astral that gives you complete freedom.
L 12 You can manifest both in heaven and on earth
L 13 The gnostic life is a bubbling spring considered heretical but heresy hunters will burn from the fire of their regret
L 14 What you receive in any way in this life won’t hurt you, but only what you give back can harm you.
L 15 Do not worship anything fleshly but the One who is not.
The following is the summary proof of the Jubilee Convention:
L 1 speaks of immortality. 49 sayings later is L 50 which is the great ascent story in Thomas of ascending past what would be the gatekeepers or archons to the Pleroma or ‘rest’. 49 sayings farther on is L 99 speaking of who will make it into the Father’s kingdom. Cycle 1, then, can be described as a discussion of the Father’s Kingdom.
L 2 speaks of seeking, finding, being trouble, amazed, and finally ‘ruling’ that is a description of finding the higher self, the image of God, the Primal Adam. L 51 describes the conventional idea of the end of the world and the new world coming saying it’s already here. L 100 gives a different rendition of the ‘Render unto Caesar’ story in making a distinction between ‘God’ and Jesus. In this case, ‘God’ would have to refer to the demiurge who rules this world but makes the same point that Jesus isn’t here to establish an earthly kingdom. These three sayings can be seen to be a discussion concerning the Son.
L 3 Dismisses the idea of the kingdom being outer but says it is “inside you and outside you”. L 52 dismisses the importance of the prophets and speaks of the “living one in your presence”. L 101 dismisses the importance of the family but mentions that “(my) true (mother) gave me life”. This is in reference to Sophia, the Holy Spirit, so Cycle 3 can be characterized best as a discussion of the Holy Spirit inside you, outside you and now.
L 4 speaks of a seven day old child knowing the place of life. This is, obviously, the mother’s breast. This is also an obvious metaphor for being at the breast of the afore-mentioned Holy Spirit from Cycle 3. A seven day old child was one day away from being circumcised and entering into a human covenant. L 53 is the only other saying mentioning circumcision—again negatively: “Rather the true circumcision of spirit has become completely profitable.” Just like the mouth of the baby encircles the mother’s nipple, so the circumcision of spirit encircles the spirit and cuts off the dross. L 102 has a similar image to the baby feeding which is the oxen trying to feed—but being harassed by the Pharisees who are described as “dogs”—another negative reference to Judaism. Cycle 4, then, can be called a discussion on being nursed by the Holy Spirit.
L 5 says “Recognize what is in your sight” and it will be revealed to you. Another word for ‘recognize’ or ‘know’ that gives a truer sense of the meaning would be ‘love’: ‘love what is in your sight’. The baby loves or knows the mother’s breast and teases out the milk like one should try to tease out wisdom from Sophia, the Holy Spirit. L 54 is the traditional “Blessed are the poor, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.” The baby is quite happy only knowing the mother’s breast and poor towards everything else. L 103 is just the opposite metaphor used to teach that it isn’t literal wealth or poverty that is being talked about: “Fortunate is the man who knows where the brigands will enter, so that he may get up, muster his domain, and arm himself before they invade”. This head-turning metaphor refers to being spiritually prepared for the loss of the things we are attached to before we lose them so that we don’t lose the Holy Spirit. The latter saying also reflects the idea that the ability to know can be utilized by rich or poor for different purposes. Cycle 5 can be considered a complete discussion on spiritual sight.
L 6 is a discussion on daily activity. Rather than asceticism, be honest and do what you love. L 55 speaks of putting aside family concerns and accepting what life gives you. L 104, once again, rejects asceticism and advocates being in the Bridal Chamber. Cycle 6 advocates putting aside other concerns for Bridal Chamber Christianity which means always being in the Holy Spirit or in ‘the Chamber of the Bride of Yahweh, Sophia—the Holy Spirit’.
L 7 discusses what to do on the seventh day or Sabbath. Do not become possessed (or eaten) by received tradition but transform it. L 56 says to not be impressed by anything in this world (which is only a corpse). L 105 refers to the Sophia Mythos of the fallen Sophia: “He who knows the Father and the Mother will be called ‘the son of a harlot’. Cycle 7 refers to not being impressed by anything in this world but be transforming of received tradition by knowledge of the Father and the Mother in the Bridal Chamber.
L 8 is a traditional parable variant about catching lots of small fish but throwing them all back to keep just the biggest—which is the experience of the higher self in the Bridal Chamber. L 57 is a traditional parable variant of the weeds among the tares. It means ‘don’t worry about your sins too much or being good enough’. On the “day of harvest” (such as in the Bridal Chamber) you will see them and let them go. L 106 is a variant on the ‘move a mountain’ story but this one means that once you unite the lower self and higher self in the Bridal Chamber that you will be outside of time and space and be able to see mountains rise and fall. Cycle 8 can be described as a discussion on choosing the higher self.
L 9 is a traditional ‘Sowing Seeds’ parable making the point that many efforts in this world do not bear any fruit but a few give an unbelievably good harvest. This can be true for evangelism or for other personal efforts. L 58 supports this point: “Blessed is the man who has suffered and found life.” L 107 reprises the number scheme and meaning of the first saying with a variant ‘Parable of the 99 Sheep’ where one leaves the 99 to find the one big sheep which one loves the most because of the effort it took. The ‘one big sheep’ in its simplest meaning, of course, is the higher self, image of God. Cycle 9 is a discussion of the process of finding the higher self.
L 10 speaks of Jesus who “cast fire upon the world, and see, I am guarding it until it blazes.” This is an obvious reference to Jesus as the channel of the Holy Spirit. L 59 takes it to a personal level: “Take heed of the Living One while you are alive, lest you die and seek to see him and be unable to do so. We know “the Living One” is a reference to Wisdom from Cycle 3. L 108 reprises the ‘Jesus as channel’ idea: “He who will drink from my mouth will become like me. I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him.” This “drink from my mouth” is a Wisdom reference, again. Cycle 10, then, can be seen as a discussion about attaining the God-consciousness of the Holy Spirit.
L 11 speaks of the freedom one has in the light which is above earthly consciousness and astral plane consciousness (Which is why it is important to “Take head of the Living One while you are alive” so you don’t end up haunting the astral plane of your own unfulfilled desires when you die.) L 60 is very funny Good Shepherd imagery where the fellow is carrying the lamb to eat it rather than save it. This is a clear warning about Pauline Christianity. L 109 is a ‘Treasure in a Field’ parable with a very similar meaning to L 60 where generations lose the treasure but someone else who bought the field and found it “began to lend money to whomever he wished”. This is a reference to Herodians using Pauline Christianity for personal gain as a Roman-friendly religion. Cycle 11 is a discussion about one’s freedom in the light and importance of not selling it out to contemporary religion.
L 12 uplifts James, the Just “for whose sake heaven and earth came into being”. This represents the idea that from the higher self that one can manifest on heaven or on earth. L 61 gives the warning in the story of the wealthy Salome that enjoying the couch of the wealthy can kill the Spirit. L 110 reinforces L 61 by advising: “Whoever finds the world and becomes rich, let him renounce the world.” This refers to understanding the world and becoming wise or “rich”. Cycle 12 is a discussion about how manifesting things from the higher self should not be used for selfish purposes.
L 13 is the self-revelation of Jesus to Thomas. The ‘drink from my mouth’ of Cycle 10 becomes “you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring which I have measure out”. Thomas tells the others that Jesus told him three secret things that are heretical and they would want to stone him but the fire of regret would burn them up if they did. L 62 perfectly mirrors this situation: “It is those (who are worthy of my) mysteries that I tell my mysteries. Do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” Fundamentalists are on the left hand and Gnostics on the right. L 111 lists three things that were heretical—that Thomas could have been stoned for in L 13—the ability to return to your higher self that is outside of time and space, the ability to achieve immortality, and the affirmation that the higher self is more valuable than anything else of God’s material creation.
L 14 is ‘The Great Commission’ variant advising not to be hypocritical with spiritual practices, just eat what is provided, and heal the sick. Only that which comes out of your mouth can really hurt or “defile” you. L 63 supports ‘The Great Commission’ theme with a ‘Parable of the Rich Man’ who intended to fill his barns but then died “that same night”. L 112 summarizes 14 and 63 in a humorous manner. “Woe to the flesh that depends on the soul” summarizes the advisory of L 14 saying not to engage in spiritual practices that try to manipulate God. This clause is followed immediately by: “woe to the soul that depends on the flesh” in summarizing L 63. Cycle 14 is a full discussion of ‘The Great Commission’.
L 15 advises worship of one “not born of woman…That one is your Father”. L 64 is a variant of the ‘Parable of the Wedding Feast’ which, here, is a regular dinner where invited guests will not come to so all from the streets are invited. A significant addendum attaches to this variant: “Businessmen and merchants (will) not enter the places of my Father”. L 113 ends Thomas with “the kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth and men do not see it.” This is a doublet with L 3 which speaks of the Holy Spirit. The difference is that L 3 emphasizes inner knowledge while L 113 emphasizes outer Spirit. Cycle 15 is a Mystery School commentary on the Trinity. L 15 advises that God should not be anthropomorphized. Since Jesus was “born of woman” this can be seen as an attack on Synoptic theology. L 64 eliminates any sense that the banquet is for the singularity of the ‘Son’ or his ‘Wedding feast’ but because “visitors” had arrived—another similar attack on Synoptic theology. The final statement about “Businessmen and Merchants” not entering can be viewed as an attack on the Herodian sponsors of the Synoptics. L 113 emphasizes the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world by rejecting it coming in the future or being in a certain place. This can be seen as an attack upon Pauline theology and Pauline Church primacy.