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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Experience the Christ Path Seminars in real time! Register for “Cosmic Christ and Youth: The Occupy Generation,” the next Christ Path Seminar weekend taking place 10/11-13, featuring Adam Bucko as guest speaker, and based on Matthew Fox’s and Adam Bucko’s groundbreaking book, Occupy Spirituality: A Radical Vision for a New Generation.

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The Difference Between Religion and Spirituality
Occupy Spirituality: A Dance between Body, Mind and Soul
Spirituality: Where Seriousness and Playfulness Meet
Occupy Spirituality: Creating Communities in the Service of Life
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


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