By Mike Gleason
The Gospel of Thomas, translated by Jean-Yves Leloup
Shambhala Press, 1590300424, 51 up. (+ author notes), 2003
For those of you whose first reaction is “This is a Christian book,” you’re wrong. It IS a book of sayings attributed to Jesus, but that doesn’t make it a Christian book.
It contains a selection of 23 of the total of 114 sayings which were discovered in the Nag Hammadi library in 1945. They are coupled with beautiful, and colourful, calligraphic illustrations.
While it is a short, fairly expensive work, the colours and illustrations make it worth the price and more. While it is possible to breeze through this work in just a few minutes, rsist the temptation. Take the time to read one Logion (rather similar to Zen koans) at a time and allow yourself time to experience it. Meditate on each one. Poke it. Prod it. Examine it from every side. When you think you understand it write your impressions down in a journal, and move on to another one. BUT remember to go back after six months or so and see if your perception of it has changed.
The illustrations will also benefit from continued examinations. They are beautiful in their own right, but they will stimulate your meditations as well.
This is a beautifully produced, well bound volume, which may very well find itself residing on your bedside table. If you take a moment to read one Logion before retiring for the night, you may have some interesting dreams.