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"Astonished" by the "Light"

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  • santmat@zdnetonebox.com James_Bean
    Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 28, 2000
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      "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they
      find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will
      marvel......................." (taken from Saying 2, Gospel of
      Thomas) Some translations of this verse use the word "astonished"
      instead of "marvel." In Syrian Christianity mystics have always used
      words like "astonished," "marvel," and "wonder" to describe the
      experience of gaining a vision of the Light of God during
      contemplative prayer. More from Thomas and Syrian/Syriac Christianity.

      "If one is <whole>, one will be filled with light, but is one is
      divided, one will be filled with darkness." (Jesus, Gospel of Thomas,
      saying from # 61) This is quite close to, "If thine eye be single,
      thy whole body will be filled with light," found in Matt. 6: 22.

      "There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole
      world. If it does not shine, it is dark! (Jesus, Gospel of Thomas,
      Saying 24)

      Mystics (and only mystics) speak of a "singleness of vision" that
      takes place when they gather together again all the energies of their
      soul which have been scattered and dissipated in the outer world of
      the five senses. When the world is transcended during contemplation --
      is stripped away, and Singleness of Vision is attained, then the
      Light appears.

      "The impulses of the mind are extended from the sphere of material
      things towards those impulses which are without limit, that is to say
      astonishment" [see Thomas # 2, "astonished"] "at the New World, and
      the faculty of vision which belongs to the contemplation of the Holy
      Trinity. For when the vision of the mind is mingled with the Light,
      all its impulses become infinite. For none of the visionaries or
      gnostics is able to distinguish the identity of the mind as a result
      of the vision of that glorious Light that is seen, for all the
      innermost chambers of the heart are filled by that blessed Light."
      ("The Syriac Fathers on Prayer and the Spiritual Life," translated
      from the Syriac Aramaic by Sebastian Brock of Oxford, Cistercian
      Publications)


      James
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