Some thoughts on #62
- "I speak of my mysteries to those who are worthy of my mysteries.
That which your right will do, let not your left know about it."
1. It's not specified here HOW one becomes worthy of the mysteries.
It may be that one has to reach a certain level of gnosis, or it may
be that one has only to be as innocent as a child - it's simply not
stated. What does seem to be implied, however, is that it's those on
the right who are worthy of the mysteries (whatever they are).
2. The word 'hand' doesn't appear. The Copts had a word for 'hand',
so they could have used it, but they didn't. 'Right/left' actually
had a more general meaning. Whatever was on the right was considered
the more righteous of any pair. Your "right-hand man" was your "best
man", so to speak. The left was the inferior side. (I could go on and
on about this, but I won't.)
3. One's own left and right may be connected with another saying -
that one should be innocent as a dove and cunning as a snake. Your
right = the dove, your left = the snake. Presumably, if the left knew
what the right was doing, it would pervert it or compromise it in
some way. In any case, "the right" is intended to rule over "the
left", not to share power with it. It's a monarchy, not a democracy.
Therefore, the right is not to share its intentions with the left -
it merely announces them and commands that the left carry them out.
This is the GThom method, I think, of making the two one. The left
(body/snake) is to be a slave of the right (spirit/dove).
4. 'Mysteries' - this is the same Greek word which eventually became
known as 'sacraments'. What we now know as Xian sacraments were
originally thought of as mysteries, to be revealed only to initiates.
Later on, church leaders decided against this emphasis on "mystery"
and went in the direction of making Xian doctrines publicly available.
The original secrecy aspect was probably caused by Xianity being a
small and persecuted movement. As it drew more adherents, it could
announce its doctrines more openly. It is, however, not clear whether
the "mysteries" spoken of here are only the sacraments, or encompass
other Xian doctrines as well.
The Coptic Gospel of Thomas, saying-by-saying