A few weeks ago, I enrolled in wisdom school. Among the texts we’re exploring are the 114 verses — called logions — of the Gospel of Thomas. Each logion is a saying or quote attributed to Jesus. And in one session, we based a discussion of the saying “Search and you will find” on the second logion.
Yeshua says, “If you are searching, you must not stop until you find. When you find, however, you will become troubled. Your confusion will give way to wonder. In wonder, you will reign over all things. Your sovereignty will be your rest.” ~Logion 2, The Gospel of Thomas, translation by Lynn Bauman
Knowing With More of Ourselves
When I tell people I’m in wisdom school, they wrinkle their faces, look at me curiously and say, “What? What is wisdom school?” Some people probably think I’m joking.
I understand why. I’d never heard of wisdom schools before I enrolled, but turns out, they’re are a thing. The general idea is that wisdom requires ways of knowing that our minds aren’t capable of alone. Wisdom schools help participants access and use those other ways.
Well how else, you may wonder, can we know? Isn’t the mind responsible for knowledge?
It’s true that our minds process information, but wisdom is more than information. As yogis, we know there is wisdom in our bodies, even if it’s not clear what that means. And most people understand, in theory at least, that intuition is an important tool for knowing as well.
We can learn to use movement and emotion in addition to our minds to know. This deeper kind of knowledge is what we refer to as wisdom.
The quote from the Gospel of Thomas alludes to what happens in our minds when we search deeply for truth. Inevitably, we get stuck. Something we thought we knew doesn’t apply, or we realize — gasp — we were wrong. Then our minds become confused. What now?
Confusion can be troubling, even terrifying. But when we can work through the fear and defer to the seeking itself, we begin to wonder. It’s always the place of unknowing that leads to growth. But being comfortable there takes faith. And practice.
The interesting thing about deep seeking is many people find they have no choice in the matter. It’s not like we choose to shake up our comfortable belief systems or ways of living. It’s as if something is pulling us in. As Rumi put it, “What you seek is seeking you.”
Search and You Will Find — Sovereignty?
So what about the idea that we can reign over all things if we wonder? What is the sovereignty Thomas describes all about? It doesn’t exactly sound like a spiritual goal.
Thomas isn’t saying confusion gives us earthly power. We “reign over all things” when we allow ourselves to wonder. With faith, we can rest easy in the state of wondering — in the mystery of creation — because we know it will lead us forward.
To me, the fact that people are drawn to schools that take them beyond their minds shows there’s more to knowing than meets the eye. A better way to say that is there’s more to knowing than what satisfies the mind.
If you learn a concept on a superficial level, it often makes sense. Even a working knowledge of science, math, grammar, cooking — whatever it may be — seems straightforward for a while.
But then there are exceptions, questions, outliers, places where the concept as you’ve learned to understand it doesn’t quite fit. It doesn’t work. Where can we turn for wisdom in these cases?
Getting Out of Our Heads
One thing we can do is move out of our heads and into our hearts. We can also allow our bodies to interact with reality, then trust what is in our cells without needing to make sense of it with our minds.
What do I mean by that? To avoid the trap of trying to use my mind to convince your mind that the body knows, I invite you to turn consciously to your yoga practice for a while. Practice with presence and full attention to the physical sensations, sounds, scents, and images that accompany each action. If you’re comfortable with chanting, tune into the vibration of the sounds.
Then settle into meditation. Let the mind get quiet enough to hear the still, small, sometimes illogical voice within. But don’t try too hard to make sense of it. Just trust it, trust God, and stay in the mystery. Eventually you’ll come to know something new. Keep up the search and you will find!
Would you like to explore more yoga topics in depth—perhaps with a group of yoga friends? Get your copy of Yoga Circles, A Guide to Creating Community off the Mat. You’ll find lots of topics and activities for living the yoga lifestyle and enjoying time with like-minded yogis! Click here to order!
Hi, I’m Maria. I created Yoga Circles for you if you want to delve more deeply into the philosophy, practice, and life-changing effects of yoga. I’m also a writer and editor who helps small business owners, wellness professionals, teachers, and authors publish books, develop marketing strategies, and connect with readers, clients, and students. Visit my website (link below) for more about that. I’d love to hear from you!