Thomas and Zen Buddhism
- The G of T has analogs in Zen Buddhist koans, particularly re: the
beginning and the end
Gnostic gospel of Thomas:
For many who are first, will become last, and they will become one
and the same.
Zen Flesh, Zen Bones, Paul Reps:
Whoever understands the first truth should understand the ultimate
truth. The last and the first, are they not the same?
Gnostic Gospel of Thomas:
Whoever has something in his hand, will receive more, and whoever has
nothing will be deprived of even what little he has.
Zen flesh, Zen Bones:
When you have a staff, I will give it to you.
If you have no staff I will take it away from you.
The casting of fire may have precursors in the rg veda and in the OT.
In the rg veda, Agni god of fire, was also the god of the self
sacrifice and presided over cremations so that the body upon
cremation would not be consumed by the flames but would be returned
to God whole.
The Mesopotamian sarifice to Moloch involved placing a baby in
Moloch's lap upon which a fire was blazing. If the baby emerged from
the fire unscathed the baby was immortal. From there you have a
burning bush that is not consumed by the flames that envelop it
(although the bush probably symbolized an individual rather than a
family line). If the self sacrifice is self immolation, then emerging
unscathed from the self sacrifice meant you were immortal and had
conquered death. You could brave the flames and live forever.