"Astonished" by the "Light"
- "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,
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
"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