The Thomas Gospel
The Thomas Gospel contains some of the esoteric sayings of Jesus. The three main religions of the Western World have two types of teachings. The exoteric one, for the masses, and the esoteric or secret teachings for the inner core. Islamism has Sufism, Judaism, Kabbalah.
In the initial centuries after Christ, Gnosticism flourished, but, during the reign of Emperor Constantine, when Christianity was enthroned as the official religion of the Roman Empire, all the Gnostic texts were considered heretics. In the year 367 A.C. Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria, ordered all the heretic books be destroyed. Fortunately, some monks didn’t agree and buried several in a jar in a hillside near the city of Nag Hammadi, in Egypt. In 1945, they were unearthed, and the Gospel of Thomas was one of the pearls recovered.
The Thomas Gospel contains some of the esoteric teachings of Jesus. It contains 114 sayings of Jesus, many repeated in the canonical Gospels but others entirely unique.
The Gospel of Thomas is not easy to understand. Being truly spiritual, it does not conform to the materialist view that prevails in the world today.
We will present these sayings and our understanding based on the concepts of Jungian psychology. Although psychology did not exist as a science at the time of Jesus, some of the most mysterious sayings can be explained with the assistance of the Jungian concepts.
The two Gospels, The Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of John were written probably at the same time, at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second. The Gospel of John was accepted in the New Testament, but not without many discussions and objections. The Gospel of Thomas was considered heretical, although Thomas, as well as John, was one of the twelve apostles. It is true that these gospels, attributed to these apostles, were probably not written by them, but by their followers.
These two gospels have much in common, but also significant differences. The main one being that John clearly points Jesus as the only son of God and Thomas records a saying of Jesus affirming that the image of God is hidden in every human being, although most people remain unaware of its presence. Contrary to John, the Gospel of Thomas teaches that the light of God shines not only in Jesus but, potentially, in every human being.
This saying calls attention to a Jungian concept. Jung claims that there is an archetype – the Self – inside the psyche of every human being. Jung said that God, this Major Force that created the universe is well above human understanding. We cannot have access to this Major Force, but we can talk, using the method of Active Imagination, with the archetypes inside our psyche, including the Self that he also called the Image of God.
In summary, we cannot talk to God, but we can communicate with the Image of God inside our psyche. Maybe the mystics can talk to God, but human language is imperfect and they cannot convey their experience to us.
Sayings of such depth allow for multiple interpretations. What follows are interpretations based on the concepts of Carl Jung.
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The interpretation of the other sayings will be posted when ready.
I am Roberto Lima Netto, a writer who seeks to present, in easy words, the ideas of Carl Jung and of notable mystics and sages. I also write fiction, always trying to convey lessons of life. After all, Jesus taught us that the stories are the best way to present ideas. Some of my books are: The Little Prince for Grownups, The Jungian Bible, The Amazon Shaman and In Search of Happiness.