Why Being a Good Girl or Boy Will Not Get You Up There to Heaven

“If you believe that rubbish, that you’re on earth to get to heaven and that God lives somewhere in an eternal light, and that your whole life is about being a good girl or good boy to get there… you have missed everything!” – Andrew Harvey at the second Christ Path Seminar

So we are continuing our journey of radical transformation through the logions of the Gospel of Thomas, with logion 3.

Jesus said: “If those who lead you proclaim to you: ‘The realm is in the sky,’ then the birds of the sky will enter before you.  If they proclaim to you: ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will enter before you.  Rather, the realm is within you and outside of you.  When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will realize that you are the children of the Living Father.  If, however, you do not come to know yourselves, then you dwell in poverty and you are that poverty.”

This is the most extraordinary radical thing that Jesus ever said. He strips away many, many centuries of addiction to transcendence, of addiction to a vision of God that is placed outside the creation, a vision of God that you’d conveniently give your life to earn. Jesus is saying, “This is a load of bullshit.” He virtually says that, and I’m sure that with his low-life companions he would have used some stronger words.

He said: “If your rulers say to you, ‘Look, your Father’s imperial rule is in the sky, the Kingdom is in the sky’, then the birds of the sky will precede you.” If you believe that rubbish, that you’re on earth to get to heaven and that God lives somewhere in an eternal light, and that your whole life is about being a good girl or good boy to get there, if you believe in this world as an illusion and that world as the ultimate reality, you have missed everything!

You have missed everything.

He continues: “And if they say to you, ‘It is in the sea,’ then the fish will precede you. Rather, the Kingdom is inside you and outside you.”

It’s inside you as this burning, clear, noble, spacious, pure, powerful divine consciousness, and it’s outside you in three very important ways. It’s outside you living in every creature. It’s outside you burning in the glory of the creation – every whale, every plant, every tree, every stone, every mountain is brimming with this sacred breath, this light consciousness. It’s outside you, because it is potentially the Kingdom/Queendom of an honest, just, egalitarian, harmonious, balanced, sacred economic and political system, which would radiate the laws of that Presence. It is a comprehensive inside/outside experience of a wholly new world!

When that happens to you – when you see you are divine, and everyone else is potentially divine, and the world is radiant with the light of the Divine already – then what you are turned into, ladies and gentlemen, is not some passive mystic sitting on a cushion. You are turned into a revolutionary of love as He was, because what you see, when you see the Kingdom as a true divine potential, is that you also see the terrible betrayal of the Kingdom on every level by human chicanery and evil and cruelty and injustice, and that tears at you like a mad dog. Then you really risk your life to bring the truth of God and the truth of humanity together in the way that He did and you stop playing small.

When you know yourselves, He says, when you really know that this magnificence is living in you, as you, then you will be known by the Divine, because the Divine knows Itself in you. It is self-knowing. You will know that you are the children of the living Father/Mother. You will know that you, and everyone else, are the children of the living Father/Mother.

You will know that this is a sacred world; that the human beings and animals and all sentient beings are divine, nature is divine; and the Divine is living as a potential reality right now. You will know that the Divine only needs us all to get real, get down and get working with this sacred reality, and get dedicated to pouring out all our resources of courage, generosity and justice to make it real!

Otherwise, what are we doing while the world is burning?

What are we doing?

As for Jesus — if you think I’m excessive, I learnt it from Him, because this guy doesn’t mince any words in any of His teachings. If you read Jesus, the idea that He was ever this milquetoast sweetheart is absurd. There is no fiercer Teacher, because there is nobody who had a more glorious vision of what we could be and nobody who knew more realistically the devastation of what we have chosen. So this is how he ends this logion, and it’s a tremendous warning to everyone who hears it at this moment in this crisis.

He says, “But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty and you are that poverty.” This is what will happen if you don’t go on the journey to uncover your divinity, and uncover the responsibility for sacred activism that belongs to that divinity.   We must start doing something at this point, when everything is at stake and the potential of the new birth of a radical embodied humanity is possible. If you don’t do that, you’re not just not doing something, you are actually serving the machine of death!

You are actually conspiring with the darkness that is destroying this world. You are the children of poverty and you are spreading that poverty like marsh gas. You are walking cholera.

This is very ferocious stuff, but it is the ferocity of an evolutionary, very real transformation.

In my next post, we’ll continue with logion 77 and reveal what the supreme divine consciousness will unveil to you about yourself, when you begin on this journey.


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About Andrew Harvey

Andrew Harvey is an author, religious scholar and teacher of mystical traditions. As Founding Director of the Institute of Sacred Activism, Andrew has spent the past two decades supporting global peace and sustainability. A lifelong scholar/translator of Rumi, author of more than thirty books on Buddhism, Hinduism and Christianity, he has devoted his recent work to envisioning inspired solutions for the world’s current crisis. You can learn more about Andrew on his website: www.andrewharvey.net

  • Art Nicol

    Penetrating scholarship is one way to follow Jesus into the lifestyle he lived and now asks us to live. It’s a time consuming, convoluted path, but is may work eventually. A short cut is available for those of us who are not inclined to the academic’s path. That short cut is found in Jesus’ admonition that doing “unto the
    least of these” is equal to “doing unto him.” That path is the path of sacred activism absent the academic overlay of explanations as conditions precedent to the achievement of the goal. It’s an experiential path for those of us who learn best by experience rather through study of recorded words. Since Jesus is a master teacher, he knows the need to present various learning modalities to suit each person’s aptitudes for learning. Fortunately experiences cannot be buried in earthen jars for centuries waiting to be rediscovered. They are available to anyone who has a neighbor to love as God loves.

    Through the in-person, hands-on, hearts-open, minds-communicating laboratory approach (in contrast to the library researching, lecture-discussion, intellect-oriented approach), Jesus shows the way to know by experience the “oneness” that his prayer recorded in John 17 addresses. If we set our hearts, minds, wills and spirits (in short our “wholeness”) upon the task of seeing one “least of these”
    (by whatever category we determine) as being the Christ as Jesus is the Christ
    (simply put, a child of God), then we endeavor to care for, love and remain
    committed to that person as if we were caring, loving and remaining committed
    as an expression of God. Think about it! If we undertake the care of one person who is so unlike us that we consider him or her to be a “least” in our eyes (e.g., a social loser, misfit, reject, not someone we’d want to be) and do so with a promise to God that we’ll not hold back anything and are willing to lay down our life for that person as a dearest friend (even when he or she started out as a stranger), then who will honor our overzealous, faith-based commitment to such a “foolish” undertaking and make it the wisest decision we’ve ever made? Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Father of both of us will sanctify the relationship and make it holy, effective and blessed. Jesus himself will make up for all the ways in which we’ve
    been so foolish as to believe him and dive in head first by faith.

    The Talmud states that a person who saves one other person saves the whole world. How can that be? Can it be that such a transformational commitment changes the world for both participants because both become aware of heaven’s glorious presence within them and their relationship even as they yet remain on earth? Can all of the academic studies, seminars and workshops accomplish this experience born of an emerging sacred relationship that began as less than sacred? Will the study of principles of humanity’s universal oneness until they are well memorized accomplish what the intentional and devoted practice of such principles within a single uncompromisingly committed relationship will reveal by
    experience? The wider the gap between the “have-enough” and the “least of these” is when the relationship begins, the greater the experience of God is because the perceived gap between the two invites the most of God to enter in to make the gap disappear as oneness becomes the participants’ new reality. That the “other” is always a “brother” (and sister too!) is all that Jesus ever wants us to recognize and live as our reality.

    May those who don’t have the seat to endure extensive academic studies or the resources to pay for tuition, airfares, meals and lodging find solace in knowing that getting up out of our seats locally with no significant cost to find someone to
    actively love with all our hearts, minds, spirits and earthly resources will work as well to reveal to our consciousness the God who loves us all. Loving our neighbors as ourselves! Who would have ever thought such an idea would really work miracles if practiced as Jesus practiced it while on earth and continues to practice it even now by being within the hearts of our earthly neighbors waiting to love us in return.

  • Elo Devi Heart

    It’s both/and not either/or, and I love you. I work as a caregiver with an MA in Transpersonal Psych. I was with Kathryn in Mendo, 98, for over a year and in need of a few weeks break. Now if you are goodly employed soul you may get a few days. I decided to take few weeks, and they hired someone else. So I decided to do a work study program at Ananda Village…don’t know if you are acquainted with them. Jesus Christ was one of Paramahansa Yogananda’s guides, and they pray to Him and He blesses them on the altar there. One day I was going into the temple for yoga. I had been taking care of an injured bird and left it outside up on shelf where it would be safe. I had a strange feeling come over me. A couple of hours later I came back and the bird had died. I was saddened, but knew it could have happened anyway. Still there was a nagging feeling about it. I suddenly thought–oh yes. Kathryn died. I called and could not get anyone…then tried a few days later. Speaking with her daughter I realized the bird had died just before Kathryn. Namaste……….