The Hidden Treasure

Where Ancient Wisdom Meets Contemporary Psychology

Peace Comes To A Disciplined Mind

Written By: Vic Rebman Ph.D - Mar• 26•15
Contemplation #12

Jesus said,
“The kingdom of the father is like a certain man who wanted to kill a powerful man.
 In his own house he drew his sword and struck it into the wall
in order to find out whether his hand could carry through.
 Then he slew the powerful man.”
(Gospel of Thomas #98, The Parable of The Assassin)

If you are not aware of the Gospel of Thomas, here is an opportunity to explore a parable from this collection of traditional sayings of Jesus.  You will find it as part of the Nag Hammadi Library, which is a collection of religious texts, as collected by Christians, believed to be buried around 400 C.E. and rediscovered in 1945 in the Naj’ Hammadi region of Upper Egypt.  Many of the sayings found in the Gospel of Thomas have parallels to the Gospels of the New Testament, yet some, like the parable of “The Assassin,” are unique to the Gospel of Thomas.

At first glance it seems difficult to reconcile Jesus’ parable of  “The Assassin,” with his teachings of love, compassion and forgiveness, as found in the Gospels of the New Testament.  To make sense of the parable requires we first understand that Jesus is not addressing an interpersonal conflict, but rather an inner conflict of the self. The conflict is an inner battle against the physical and material desires of the ego mind, which robs us of our inner peace.

In this parable, the kingdom of the father is the perfect peace which can be found within each and every one of us; it is the kingdom of heaven within (Luke 17:21).  The “powerful man” refers to our ego desires. Our eternal soul, or what is often referred to in psychology as the “Higher Self,” longs for reunion with God; our source of all life, love, peace, joy and contentment. Our human ego attempts to satisfy the soul’s eternal longing for God through material means, but one desire only leads to another.  This results in a constant striving which only intensifies our insatiable desires and chronic dissatisfaction.

When we begin to awaken and realize that the love, peace, and joy we long for cannot be satisfied by physical or material means, we begin to look inward. However, before peace can be discovered within, the powerful urges and desires of the ego mind must be overcome (the powerful man must be slain). This was what Jesus meant when he said,  “for whoever wants to save his life will lose it.” (Matthew 16:25)

In the parable of “The Assassin,” the sword symbolizes perfect love (Christ love) and the wall represents the insatiable desires of the ego mind.  Jesus says, “he drew his sword (Christ love) and stuck it into the wall (into his ego desires) to see if he could carry through (was strong enough to resist temptation). When we are strong enough to surrender all physical desires, stress , worries, and grievances to the power of perfect love within, we are able to rise above them and slay all bad habits and set ourselves free.

One of the most efficient paths to awakening the power that is within us is the practice of daily silent meditation, the daily disciplining of the mind.  Through meditation, we can dissolve worldly desires, calm the mind, and awaken the soul. In the Bhagavad-Gita it is written:

 Peaceful is he who sits quietly and dissolves all desires from within.”

To know inner peace does not require that we give up all the pleasures of the world, but it does require that we be mindfully in control of our desires. This requires a higher level of consciousness than can be found in the ego mind, which knows itself only through a relationship with the physical world.  Daily meditation is a practice that frees the mind from its attachments to the physical world; awakening us to a Higher Self which is not controlled by the desires that dictate the physical realm.

Peace is an attribute that can only be found within oneself. To discover the peace within requires a daily discipline of silent meditative prayer. It is through silent meditation we learn to quiet the mind; we “slay ” the powerful urges of the ego mind and rediscover awareness of our Higher Self as spiritual beings.

mind peace

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *