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Nag Hammadi is a city in Upper Egypt located on the west bank of the Nile River. In December 1945, near the town of Nag Hammadi, some local Egyptians inadvertently unearthed a jar containing thirteen papyrus scriptures (that is, volumes with flat bindings like our modern books), with leather covers. They had just made one of the 20th century’s most remarkable discoveries of ancient Coptic, or Egyptian manuscripts. The 1156 inscribed pages, which are in various states of preservation, contain 54 different works, including the famous Gospel according to Thomas, a collection of the secret sayings of Jesus or Yeshua of Nazareth.
Today I’d like to share an insight I’ve had about one of these secret sayings.
Secret Saying number 6: “His disciples said to him, "Do you want us to fast? And how should we pray? Should we make donations? And what food should we avoid?"
Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because everything is revealed in the sight of heaven; for there's nothing hidden that won't be revealed, and nothing covered up that will stay secret."
I was inspired upon reading this particular secret saying of Jesus because it reminded me of the equally “secret sayings” of my grandmother who often admonished me with similar cautionary advice.
She’d say, “Boy don’t start to lie now. When you tell one lie, you’ve got to tell another one to cover that lie up.” Then she’d continue, “and when you start to weave that web of lies, then you’ve got to remember what lie you told. It’s so much easier to just tell the Truth because then you don’t have to remember what lie you’ve told!”
On another day, in another transmission of “secret sayings,” she said to me: “Now listen here Boy, what’s done in the dark, is gonna come out in the light!”
This sounds precisely like the Gnostic truth shared by Yeshua of Nazareth, who said “there’s nothing hidden that won’t be revealed and nothing covered up that will stay secret.“
The idea of the Christ within and the presence of this Truth within us is very ancient and has been making us aware of its presence within us for many thousands of years. It shows up in various ways and many guises, many times when the “Christ Presence” shows up in someone around us spouting reminders of spiritual Truth.
To me, one of the most profound ideas in this “secret saying number 6” is the guidance that states: “and don’t do what you hate because everything is revealed in the sight of heaven”.
If we consider that the Master Teacher Jesus reminded us that the kingdom of heaven is within us, we could translate this to mean that even if we successfully lie to ourselves and do what we hate, deep down inside we will know it and ultimately pay the price for doing what we hate.
In one instance we might take a job that we hate and pay the price later. Sometimes we will lie to ourselves and do what we hate while telling ourselves it’s what we have to do to make ends meet. Or we may take an action that violates our code of ethics and pay the price within our own consciousness.
Ultimately, however, we will discover Truth within our own consciousness. For once we know and know that we know, we cannot “not know”. And nothing covered up will stay secret.
Dr. Martin Luther King said in his 1968 speech that “Truth crushed to the Earth will rise again.” The words contained in these ancient scriptures and the words of our ancestors remind us that Ancient Truth lives inside of us and awaits our awareness of it.