“When you are able
to transform two into one,
then you too will become Sons of Man,
and should you speak these words,
‘Mountain, move away,’ it will move.”
(Logion 106, Gospel of Thomas)
This is an interesting one. As Cynthia Bourgeault rightly points out, it’s about phasing out duality in our lives, which is sort of built into our culture. Duality is seeing things in black and white, either/or, good/bad, in/out, etc. In other words not both/and.
When we can see the validity of both sides, we make progress toward being truly human. When we can’t, we’re stuck, each in our own positions, worlds even.
I think this is true. And I think there is more to this. This concept of becoming a Son of Man (let us say Daughter as well and humanity, or humankind to include all as I believe was intended) is the key here. Jesus already calls himself that. It’s his perspective that he’s talking about. Seeing things as one. We’re all part of creation. No one part is “higher” than another. We are together, even dependent upon each other, on this “horizontal “ plane: earth.
The “more” is: the vertical plane, us reaching up to the Creator. What does that require? Oneness seems to me the culmination of a process of becoming a Son or Daughter of humanity. It’s about growing up, seeing the grey areas, not clinging to our own experience exclusively, seeing the other’s point of view. But how do we get to that?
Logion 16 , I think, holds the key. Jesus says He’s come to throw the world into chaos. To upend things as they are. Then he says, and this is the ending so it has added importance:
”Parents will rise up against children
and children against their parents,
Until at last they stand united
on their own feet.” (emphasis added)
That last part – ”Until at last they stand united on their own feet” is saying several important things I think. First of all “stand united”, there’s the oneness thing again. But why does He say “on their own feet”? The feeling I get is of persons formerly divided, in the chaos, standing up from that chaos, on the vertical plane toward God. The visual I get is “standing and turning”. Turning away from chaos, turning away from division, turning toward oneness, toward God.
So the two sayings are closely related I believe. Oneness with all of creation, unity, is required to “see” God. Turning away from division, anything that divides us, is required to get to unity.
You’ll have to forgive me, I love Scripture, and I love parsing it out, teasing out meanings. It’s my Seminary training. But do you see my point? My point of view? I’d be interested in hearing yours.
Peter J Nagle