Sadiq is a blogger from Bangladesh who is currently working in Singapore. In a recent post, he explored the meaning of the statement of Jesus Christ, quoted in the The Gospel of Thomas:
'I myself will lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven.'
The “her” is Mary Magdalene.
In the discussion on Sadiq's post, Mark Walter referred to the other well-known message of Christ, which we find in Matthew, Chapter 18 (in the King James version of the Bible):
“Except ye be converted and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
This subject – becoming like a child – is close to my heart. I have written earlier about my presentation on “The Child in the City”. That was like an exploration of the meaning and implications of Christ’s message, in the context of our cities.
I reproduce here two narratives on this subject.
"To the child, everyone is equal, he has no discrimination of high and low, and consequently no distinction of caste. ... Nor has he any hatred, or any idea of cleanliness and pollution.
He is truly wise who has seen the Lord. Such a man becomes like a little child.
How sweet is the simplicity of the child. He prefers a doll to all the wealth and riches of the world.
God is to be reached through childlike faith and guilelessness.
"What he (i.e. Jesus) is saying is exactly the meaning of receptivity. The child is receptive because he knows nothing. ... The consciousness should always be like a child, not childish remember, but like a child; grown-up, mature, but innocent. ... Become a child. Start functioning from the state of not-knowing and then silence will come of its own accord, and great awareness. And then life is a benediction.
The young child is free of fear; children are born without any fear. If the society can help and support them to remain without any fear, can help them to climb the trees and the mountains, and swim the oceans and the rivers, if the society can help them in every possible way to become adventurers, adventurers of the unknown, and if the society can create a great enquiry instead of giving them dead beliefs, then the children will turn into great lovers, lovers of life - and that is true religion. There is no higher religion than love.
All parents think they love their children. If they really loved their children, they would not like them to be their images. But a child has a destiny of his own; if he becomes your image, he will never become himself.
Watch a small child. Leave him in the garden and just watch. That should be your way also - so wonderful, wonder-filled : running to catch this butterfly, running to catch that flower, playing with mud, rolling in the sand. From everywhere, the divine is touching the child. If you can live in wonder, you will be capable of celebration.
Childhood has an immense clarity. In that clarity, in that transparency, in that perspective the whole world looks a miracle. The humble man comes back to this miraculous existence. He is as if a child again. He has no claim, but only gratitude."