THE LIVING ONE:
Contemplations on the Gospel of Thomas
“…It is like the smallest of seeds and if it falls on prepared soil, it produces the largest of plants and shelters the birds of heaven…”
Many scholars believe that the Gospel According to Thomas preserves a glimpse into the oral traditions of the Gospels. The book is a collection of sayings, parables and dialogues attributed to Jesus and forms part of the Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of ancient papyri found near the Dead Sea in 1945.
In this unique interpretation Stuart France brings the oral tradition to life, retelling the Gospel in his own words, in the way it may have been shared around the hearthfires of our forefathers. Deeply entwined with the story is the personal journey to understanding, following it down some rather unusual pathways. It begins with a road trip in an arid landscape far from home; a journey that led through a country that captured imagination and set it to music. It ends with an ancient story, told as you have never read it before.
“Look, it’s obvious, mozzies are God’s Angels in disguise.”
Accompanied by a commentary which draws upon the esoteric traditions of the Mystery Schools, The Living One provides a new window on an age old story, being a transmutation of the spirit of the words, born of the personal realisations of a seeker after Truth.
“Salome said to Joshua, “Who are you mister, you have eaten from my table and climbed on to my couch as if you are a stranger ?””
The Living One: Contemplations of the Gospel of Thomas is something of a strange and unique little book. It is strange in that it interweaves short re-tellings of the Gospel of Thomas with equally staccato-like chapters of prose about the author’s trip with Jed (to whom the book is dedicated) during which the author finds the Gospel of Thomas in a bookstore. Various comments and explanations of the Gospel of Thomas rewrites are offered at the end of the book together with further re-tellings. The overall effect is a fascinating and unique look at this important Gospel. The book probably should be read and contemplated a number of times to obtain its full effects.I have long thought the Gospel of Thomas to be an important document to study for esoteric truth. Many of the sayings in the Gospel are, at first sight, bizarre and therefore warrant contemplation in an esoteric context. Stuart France has tackled this in his own unique manner enriching the subject matter and opening it up to further contemplation and insights. He also writes well and I enjoyed it as a result.