A Brief Overview

Many scholars now believe that the Gospel of Thomas, which was discovered in 1945 and published in English in 1959, is the earliest record of the sayings of Jesus. John Mabry, an interfaith minister, offers his favorite version of the text. Then he proceeds to explore the teachings of the Thomas School with its emphasis on "internal authority rather than external authority, and promoting a unitive consciousness that is in many ways indistinguishable from the goal held up by many Eastern traditions." Mabry is convinced that this text has much to offer to contemporary spiritual seekers.

Four of the Nine Insights Presented in This Book

• "There is one thing in the universe, and you are that thing."
• "The Kingdom of God has already arrived."
• "Religion is the problem, not the solution."
• "We must be alone to be truly free."

Revelations by Jesus and by Mabry

God is in all things and all things are in God. That is the panentheism path and the one we think is alluded to in the Gospel of Thomas. This perspective means that those who take the path of Jesus reject the notion of separateness. Nothing can be excluded. At the end of this chapter on "Insight Number One," Mabry includes the following spiritual practice:

"Practice embracing all your parts. Every time you become aware of a part of yourself — an attitude, a talent, a fault, even a hint of meanness, say to this part, 'I embrace and love you.' Say this especially about all the things you really hate about yourself. This will be extremely uncomfortable, but utterly transforming if you can keep up the practice."

In his reading of the kingdom of God, Mabry concludes:

"The Kingdom is no one's possession unless it is everyone's. There are no insiders, no outsiders. There are no damned. There are no saved. There is no us, no them. There are simply people who choose to live in the Kingdom and those who do not."

Jesus calls us to accept his mysteries just as we abide in the mysteries of our family and our friends.