The Kingdom of God is Within
you and All Around You
- Nag Hamadi Scroll
Guardians of Darkness
RCPriest and Tani Jantsang
In 1945 a scroll was discovered in Nag Hamadi, "The Secret Sayings of the Living Jesus," i.e., The Gospel of Thomas; it is a Coptic translation of a Greek translation of Jesus' oral Aramaic sayings. Scholars agree that this is the closest record we have of the historical Jesus.
The lines that "Jesus said himself," as seen in the movie Stigmata, have made people search for this manuscript to find the lines from the movie; many have been unable to find these lines. (The irony of an organization like this having the answer is not lost...)
The problem is that the lines do not all appear in one place, right after each other, as it was presented and made to seem in the movie, and they aren't all from the Gospel of Thomas. It is primarily from the Gospel of Thomas, but the main message of the Kingdom being within you is in also in Luke. Some of the words from the movie can be found in Gospel of Thomas verses 3 and 77 (marked below with the exact words from Jesus). We were unable to find the line "not in a mansion/building of wood and stone," however, the idea might be alluded to in Gospel of Thomas verses 6 and 14 (marked below with the exact words from Jesus), combined with a phrase in Acts 7:48, where it says, "the Most High does not dwell in houses made with hands," and also with this from Luke 17:21 (Pharisees are asking when the Kingdom of God will come..) "Neither shall they say, lo here or lo there for, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you."
Here are the lines from the movie Stigmata:
Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you,
Not in a mansion of wood and stone.
Split a piece of wood and God is there,
Lift a stone and you will find God."
In Judeo-Christian terms, at first there was anarche and God said, "Let there be Light." Therefore, God was not, and there was not any, Light prior to that. Often it is said that one can't "see" God because of the Light that is in front of him! If the Kingdom of God is that "Incomprehensible Light that burns in Boundless Darkness," then Guardians of Darkness is in agreement with the verses above - it is WITHIN you and ALL around you: literally, not metaphorically, not religiously - it is LITERALLY true (we say).
According to the movie Stigmata, at the end where they give you the real information on the Nag Hamadi scroll, the Vatican considered the Gospel of Thomas to be heresy! We aren't so sure that happened, though the Vatican has no intention of adding it to the Bible as approved Scripture. The Vatican has no reason to supress these words, or even fear that they might lead to people not attending church in a building, especially one filled with riches, like many Catholic churches. Jesus' words do admonish against that in the Bible: "And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But you, when you pray, go into your closet, and when you have shut the door pray to your Father which is in secret, and your Father which sees in secret will reward you openly." [Matthew 6:5-6] The reference to "go into your closet" has been translated in other versions of the Bible as "go into your inner room," "go away by yourself," "be all alone," "your most private room," "enter into thy chamber," and "go into your room." The message of Mathew 6:6 clearly implies that: Jesus condemns prayers in situations where other people are present. Prayers are to be an intensely private communion between an individual and their God; no one else should be present. One can infer that, according to Matthew, prayers should not be given in groups, for instance, in a building called a church!
"I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there." (This is verse 77)
"If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you." (This is verse 3)
His disciples questioned him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How shall we pray? Shall we give alms? What diet shall we observe?" Jesus said, "Do not tell lies, and do not do what you hate, for all things are plain in the sight of heaven. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered." (This is verse 6)
"If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits." (!!) When you go into any land and walk about in the districts, if they receive you, eat what they will set before you, and heal the sick among them. For what goes into your mouth will not defile you, but that which issues from your mouth - it is that which will defile you." (This is verse 14)
Here are some other interesting things Jesus said in quotes, from the Nag Hamadi scroll - with our annotations and hypotheses in pparenthesis:
"Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death." ("Not taste of death" is not the same as "you will not die." Obviously you will die. "Taste" of death might refer to the fear of death which becomes like an overbearing shadow spoiling life and joy.)
"When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty." (True, inner truth is truth that is OF that Light that Burns in Darkness. Anything else is barren and can not shine out.)
"Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. And there is nothing buried that will not be raised." (True, this is more about inner truth. Hiding what you are from yourself only lasts so long. Eventually, Something grabs you by the heart and makes you see it.)
"This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away. " (As we'd say, all things return to the Eternal Voidness.)
The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?" Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death." (That's like saying that the Thatness was, is, and will be - all at the same time.)
"Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being." (!!)
There are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death." (That's the Five Principles or Dharmas!)
Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the kingdom." They said to him, "Then shall we enter the kingdom as babies?" Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]." (If you are a Whole Person, not divided against the Self, then you ARE in the Kingdom.)
His disciples said, "Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it." He said to them, "Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark." (The Dark that Jesus always speaks of is what we call Ophionic or Klippothic, deluded against the Self, holding back the Light in yourself. It doesn't refer to the Darkness in which the Light was born or to the One Darkness. It can also be the Dark Hand of God, that is, the one-yet-five defenders or punishing angels [Seraphim] that guard the Five Dharmas. This wouldn't be just our interpretation. In the Scriptures we find the right hand of God mentioned a great many times, and the left hand of God is mentioned on a number of occasions. The word right as used with hand is generally the Hebrew word yamiym meaning STRONGER, MORE DEXTEROUS. The word for left is smowl meaning DARK. From the meaning of these two words it is very easy to understand that God's right hand is His strength and dexterity, or His wonderful ability to do all things. The implication is that the right hand of God is the GOOD HAND of God, doing GOOD things. The Psalmist confirms this when he says, "In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your RIGHT HAND are PLEASURES for evermore." (Ps. 16:11). But the left hand in the Old Testament means DARK and from this we can readily understand that it signifies the opposite - what we call bad or evil. The left hand represents the DARK SIDE OF GOD. In the Scriptures, the left hand that is DARK is God's punishing hand. The Dark that Jesus spoke of is still God - just a wrathful or Obic aspect.)
"If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels. (We also say spirit is first, the body is IN the Spirit.)
"If a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a hole." (:-D)
His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?" Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."
"The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so. As for you, be as sly as serpents and as innocent as doves." (True, being sly or wise as the Serpent and keeping Innocence is to HAVE the Light flowing within you.)
"Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have." (We think this means that open-hearted sharing people tend to automatically share, they shine outward; but barren people have nothing to share, no love to shine forth, and when they "get" things from others, the joy they have doesn't last long - or turns sour.)
"Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven." (Phew! The Holy Spirit is the one thing in Christianity that is exactly like Kundalini, Black Flame, the Light within.)
"If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'" (Meaning you are in the image of that Light, materially and spiritually, both. Yes, the Light came from Darkness, but ALL matter/energy and space/time is OF the Light; it is what that First Light became see "Light Forces and Dark Force" for physics on this subject.)
If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father [God] in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'" (!!)
"Whoever is near me is near the fire, and whoever is far from me is far from the kingdom." (If Jesus is claiming to BE the Black Flame, Fire, Logos, etc, then this makes sense. See Augustine for the concept of the Logos and where that came from.)
"Images are visible to people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light." (The "Father" is what said, "let there BE light," in the Bible. The Light within people is hidden by their entire bodies. Obviously whatever said "let there BE light" was not Light itself.)
"The Father's kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little leaven, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"
"The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty."
For excellent reading material on the issue of John's view versus Thomas' view: Elaine Pagels' "Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas"
This below is the "Lord's Prayer" from Jesus, from the literal Aramaic - note that it sounds more like our stuff and very little like the "Lord's Prayer" you might be familiar with!
O Cosmic Birther of all radiance and vibration!
Soften the ground of our being and carve out a space within us where Your Presence can abide
Fill us with your creativity so that we may be empowered to bear the fruit of your mission.
Let each of our actions bear fruit in accordance with our desire.
Endow us with the wisdom to produce and share what each being needs to grow and flourish.
Untie the tangled threads of destiny that bind us, as we release others from the entanglement of past mistakes
Do not let us be seduced by that which would divert us from our true purpose, but illuminate the opportunities of the present moment.
For you are the round and the fruitful vision, the birth-power and fulfillment, as all is gathered and made whole once again.