INNER CIRCLE: Eyes To See October 21, 2022

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Saying 26: Jesus said: “You see the mote which is in your brother’s eye; but you do not see the beam which is in your own eye. When you cast out the beam from your own eye, then you will see (clearly) to cast out the mote from your brother’s eye.”

It’s difficult to see this saying from a fresh perspective as it has already been taught to us ad nauseum from countless Evangelical Christian sermons and Sunday School lessons as a lesson on why we should take time for self-reflection before we attempt to correct another person’s faults.

Yes, that is one important takeaway from this proverb, but here in the Gospel of Thomas – especially as it follows the saying we’ve just examined – the meaning is much, much deeper than an admonition to think twice before offering advice to others.

This saying has much more to do with cultivating our own capacity for seeing clearly and less to do with correcting other people.

In this passage, Jesus emphasizes the importance of removing whatever blocks our vision, preventing us from seeing the true reality of our Oneness with God, and with our brother or sister.

What is most essential is that we see clearly. Our eyes can so easily be blurred or blinded to the transcendent truth of our Oneness. The “beam which is in [our] own eye” is the illusion of separation that persists all around us. Our primary concern must be to daily remove that beam from our mind’s eye so that we can see clearly the beauty of our inseparable connection with the Divine, and with all humanity.

When we focus on the “mote” or the speck in our brother’s eye, we are falling into that blindness that comes from accepting the notion of separation. Our minds become distracted by how our brothers and sisters act or think or behave differently from us. That is the “speck” we become fixated upon; a speck that blinds us to the truth: We are One with them and they are One with us. The separation we perceive as a contrast to our own opinions, attitudes or behaviors blinds us and becomes a beam in our mind’s eye that we must diligently work to remove.

So, yes, the overall theme of the saying might be self-correction and examination, but Jesus has a very specific form of self-reflection in mind. He wants us to realize our tendency to become blinded to what is true and what is real: the Kingdom of God within us that unites us together with God, and with everyone else.

We cannot help others to awaken to this beautiful reality of Oneness if we ourselves are blinded to this reality.

Our pupil is theirs. Their eyes are ours. What matters is not our perceived differences but our undeniable unity in Christ.

Do you have eyes to see this?


Keith Giles is the author of the hot new bestseller, SOLA MYSTERIUM: Celebrating the Beautiful Uncertainty of Everythingavailable now on Amazon. Keith is also the host of Second Cup with Keith, a new solo podcast available now on the Ethos Radio App, for Apple and Android and on Spotify. Keith is also co-host of the long-running HERETIC HAPPY HOUR PODCAST.


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