58: The Divine Life

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Tau Malachi
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58: The Divine Life

#1 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue May 25, 2004 10:12 am

Jesus said, "Blessed is the person who has labored and found life." (Gospel of St. Thomas, saying 58)

This saying is simple enough. The person who has taken up the spiritual life and practice, and who has realized the Light in him or herself, is blessed, for he or she has found eternal life. Indeed, if I know I am a person of Light who has come from the Light-continuum, then as a Ray of the Spiritual Sun, when I depart this world, even as while yet within this world, I will be taken up in rapturous union (perfect devekut).

This idea is reflected in saying 59 also, which reads: "Consider the one who is alive while you are alive, lest you die and then seek to behold that one - and you will not be able to behold."

Saying 58 is, indeed, simple, and yet it will be understood differently depending upon the Gnostic practitioner who reads it. For in the tradition there are house-holders who are initiates of the outer continuum, and there are initiates of the inner continuum, and there are apostles (elders and tau). Each will understand this saying according to her or his call in the Spirit and their life's intentionality.

Laboring and finding life indicates one's way in the Divine Life - the balance in one's own life. There is a different balance and integration of the mundane and spiritual life for the house-holder, initiate and apostle - all depending on their life's intentionality. Each Gnostic practitioner must find her or his own balance in the Divine Life, which requires some spiritual work and the acquisition of self-knowledge.

This is not an issue of better than or less than, but rather how one's lives the Divine Life and to what degree one becomes involved in the continuum of the Light-transmission. One of the greatest difficulties aspirants may experience is not being clear about their own call and capacity, and thus not finding the right balance of spiritual practice and daily living. A house-holder cannot afford the involvement of an initiate of the inner continuum, and likewise, every initiate of the inner continuum cannot afford the involvement of an apostle - each has their own way upon the path.

Likewise, this saying alludes to the Five Ways on the Path: Knowledge, Power, Devotion, Work and the Weave. With every initiate there is a different mix of the Ways on the Path - this, too, is part of the balance we must labor to find.

Perhaps these ideas expand the contemplation of this saying and allow it to deepen and to invoke greater self-knowledge; for, in truth, oneself and one's own life is the Path.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi
Sophia Fellowship
Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

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#2 Postby lleyr » Sun Jan 23, 2005 5:08 pm

Greetings Malachi!

I believe the really important to keep in mind here is that being on the path is the goal...

It seems that part of being human involves wanting to have to do something and to obtain something. Isn't that the whole issue with traditional spirituality? The fact that "we" think we have to acquire something and "arrive".

I really appreciate all your reminders that being on the path is enlightenment.... that the goal is to continue and that there is no time when we have it all.

Blessings & Shalom!
Mark

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#3 Postby Coop » Fri Apr 15, 2005 9:04 am

Shalom Malachi & Mark!

The mention of capacity in your discussion caught my eye ... and how each must find balance in the spiritual life.

I was curious whether capacity is fixed, or if it seems to expand when the aspirant is ready? I imagine it depends a lot of one's dedication to pursue a spiritual life. I'm not sure if it's appropriate to get personal on this forum, but I certainly don't have a clear picture of my own call or capacity.

And now i've just reread your post, Malachi, and notice that you say that each person will understand this saying depending on her or his call in the Spirit and their life's intentionality. Is this intention something we have influence over, or is it a matter of a mission in life revealed by spirit?

These questions always lead me to wonder about who or what the self actually is, and who is running this life, anyway. Lately I've been seeing this in the form of a sort of cooperation. When one surrenders to christ-self, and christ-self takes up a life to one degree or another, it strikes me that this is one motion. The 'self' is both the one who surrenders (as well as the one that convinces lower self to surrender) and the higher self that steps in, all in one organic flowing movement.

I've been thinking a lot about finding this balance you mention, and how to weigh it more toward the spiritual side. And as you recently said, Malachi, reasons do seem to keep appearing as to why 'i can't do more right now.' I don't like the reasons, and have moments when I see that i contribute greatly to the obstacles.

This sounds a bit like meandering, but then I remember the topic: "Blessed is the person who has labored and found life," and believe these thoughts are on topic.

And whenever I do ask questions of this nature -- how to discover my calling and capacity -- I hear my teacher's voice and see her face, and she's telling me to practice, practice, practice!

Many Blessings,
Coop
"The Universe is a big place -- perhaps the biggest." -- Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Tau Malachi
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Capacity

#4 Postby Tau Malachi » Fri Apr 15, 2005 10:55 am

Dear Brother Coop!

Our capacity for the Light in the inmost part of our soul is infinite, for the inmost part of the soul is a holy spark of the Infinite and Eternal; hence the Yechidah. Hayyah and Neshamah participate in this infinite and eternal quality - this Bornless Spirit, and thus, at the level of the Supernal Soul there is no end in sight to our evolution of capacity. Yet, on the level of Ruach and Nefesh, there are restrictions in the flow of the Light, distinctions in our capacity. It is the Ruach and Nefesh that develops and evolves, along with an aspect of the Neshamah, and we may speak of this as an "evolution of capacity."

In the incarnate state we see two aspects to capacity - to some extent there is a peak to our capacity. For example, we all have certain physical and mental-emotional capacities, like our intelligence and so on, and what we have is pretty much what we have for this lifetime. Yet, there is a constant flow and ebb in terms of the range of our capacity, and likewise, under certain conditions, Grace can enter in and seemingly endow us with a radical leap in our capacity - our talents and abilities. Even in terms of our seemingly fixed peak of capacity, reflecting karmic conditioning, it is a potential that must be actualized. In the spiritual life and practice we continually push the development of our capacity, and generally speaking people have a far greater capacity than they actually manifest - people are much greater beings than they realize.

Life intentionality has two aspects, that which applies specifically to this very life, and that which is the aim of all lives. It is connected to our Neshamah, and to our talents and abilities, and our unique individuality - both aspects are innate to us, and one may say are us. We are really talking about being oneself and following one's inmost heart's desire - being and becoming all that we can be in life. Awareness of this is all about self-knowedge. It is not separate and apart from us, it is us. We merely need to know ourselves and be ourselves, and, yes, the Mother Spirit will help us look and see this if we ask her, and if we are willing to look and see, and yet more, willing to take action.

Yes, truly, we wish there to be no difference between the outer and inner self, and in some way it seems that their union is the Christ Self - that all the while, in truth, they have been one Self, whether or not we recognized that truth. The spiritual life and practice is all about this unification of the Outer and Inner Self, and the embodiment of the Higher Self; our shall we say the recognition and realization of Outer, Inner and Secret as one and the same Self or Being (hence and Integral Self-realization).

Oh, yes, your teacher is right: practice, practice, practice - or as I shall say, live the Divine Life! :D

May the Mother empower us continually in the spiritual life and practice, and accomplish her labor in us, amen.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia

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#5 Postby newbee » Tue Aug 09, 2005 12:14 pm

Hello, Malachi! I hesitate to write only because, being new to the Gnostic path, I don't have the language and wisdom that I see in the other replies. I have only one real Desire and that is to find and express the light and love that I know I am. I have gone in and out of many "New Age" and other spiritual practices in my life and find that reading and contemplating the "Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas"seems to bring hope and comfort to me. I feel like I have been called because, no matter how far away I seem to get, I keep being pulled back to the same strong Desire. And nothing in the external world gives me any kind of peace. :roll: I feel ready for a teacher and have read that when one is ready, the teacher will find the student. Is there anything specifically I need to do in order to be truly ready?
Christine

Tau Malachi
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Preparedness

#6 Postby Tau Malachi » Tue Aug 09, 2005 2:18 pm

Greetings and welcome Christine!

First, please do not let the vocabulary put you off, but feel free to jump into our discussions. It seems to me that the desire for Light and for Love; the desire for Union, is what it is all about.

In terms of being prepared to meet a spiritual teacher, earlier this week this question came up on the Gnosis and Gnosticism forum, under the topic "feeling a call..." Perhaps some of the responses posted in that discussion might prove helpful.

In short, I can say, however, that being prepared is simply having a sincere desire to receive and letting oneself be open and sensitive to the play of the Mother Spirit. Since a spiritual teacher shares with us teachings and instructions in the spiritual life and practice, cultivating a daily spiritual practice is also very helpful. Other than this, though, I do not know that we can be prepared, really, it seems our process of getting acquainted is the preparation, and from that our sacred frienship develops. With everyone the sacred frienship is unique.

Perhaps our spiritual teacher will live near to us - that is ideal, or perhaps she or he will live at a distance. In any case, it is all about spiritual friendship - we merely need to be ready for friendship, though, indeed, this friendship is rather different than most.

I'm happy to hear that The Gnostic Gospel of St. Thomas has been useful and beneficial to you.

Again, welcome to our online community.

Blessings & shalom!
Tau Malachi

Sophia Fellowship

Ecclesia Pistis Sophia


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