Practical Oneness - Meaning of Thomas 22

Practical Oneness (Meaning of Thomas 22)

Oneness is the meaning of Thomas 22. Here, Christ urges the seeker to “make the two one” and prepare to enter the kingdom of God.

Oddly, this logion (saying of Christ) is the only one that Thomas the apostle, or perhaps Jesus himself, chose to present as a yogic meditation. This commentary examines the meaning of Thomas 22, and provides a mind-body approach to the practical oneness meditation.



Yeshua (Jesus’ Jewish name) visited earth to aid in humanity’s ascension process. On its surface one might take that to mean “go to heaven.” But Master’s teachings often carry more than one meaning. In the Bible, and other extant texts such as Thomas, oneness dwells at the heart of Christ’s theology. With daily practice and faith, Master’s advice and the meaning of Thomas 22 can spark self-healing for emotional stress, chronic pain, anxiety, and minor health issues.

In short, Christ’s wisdom at Thomas 22 can make us whole.

Gospel of Thomas can heal us.

After I had studied Gospel of Thomas for a year or so, blemishes, cysts, and things that had camped on my skin for many years began to vanish. My lifestyle changed also, to the extent that friends asked me, “Why do you look younger?” Best of all, I felt much closer to God. I can only credit Master’s practical oneness program for these welcome changes.


Thomas 22 contains specific instructions, which we shall now practice. More, we’ll attempt to sense the energies, both physical and spiritual, that Jesus’s words trigger in us.


Read Thomas 22

From the Annotated Gospel of Thomas by Dr. Paterson Brown
Study all three Coptic gospels at FreelyReceive » (en/es/el)

Yeshua saw little children who are being suckled. He says to his disciples: “These little children who are being suckled are like those who enter the Sovereignty (kingdom of God).” They say to him: (1) “Shall we thus, by becoming little children, enter the Sovereignty?” Yeshua says to them: “When you make the two one, and you (2) make the inside as the outside and the outside as the inside (3) and the above as the below, and if you (4) establish the male with the female as a single unity so that the man will not act masculine and the woman not act feminine, when you (5) establish eyes in the place of an eye and a hand in the place of a hand and a foot in the place of a foot (6) and an image in the place of an image— (7) then shall you enter the Sovereignty.

Meaning of Thomas 22

(1) “Shall we thus, by becoming little children, enter the sovereignty?

Thomas 22 helps us to exchange duality for oneness. Good and bad, past and future; these states cease to exist when we trust, enter, and peacefully co-exist with God’s creation.

So far as I know, a little child is the only person capable of total oneness. Little children—especially those who are nursing—do not expect. Neither do they worry about the future, nor blame, nor judge. They just exist. Feel. Most importantly, young children trust their parents to feed, clean, and care for them. As children of God ourselves, our heavenly parents can easily care for us. But when we grow worried, judging society’s many faults, and casting blame on others (sometimes God, too), we sink into duality, or “twoness.” A constant state of mild chaos besets us. This can lead us to feel dissatisfied, depressed, unwell, and far from God.

Thomas 22 can help us remember how to live as the trusting child lives. Christ’s instructions can restore our connection to the good and widen the pipeline to God, our sole source of life and healing.


Practical Oneness Experience

Recline in a quiet space, close your eyes, and draw in a few deep breaths. Because this is all about becoming a little child, a warm blanket can greatly enhance your experience. Clothing is likewise optional. If you are spiritual, be present with God, your angel, soul, or guardian. The aim is to create a space in which you can visualize the imagery and feel its effects. If nothing much happens at first, keep working at it. In time, committing Christ’s seven short phrases to memory will make the experience even more effective.

(2) “When you make the two one, and you make the inside as the outside and the outside as the inside…

This practical oneness exercise creates a state similar to that of a fish hovering in a quiet pond. When the fish matches its internal forces to those of the outer world, it neither rises nor sinks. The fish has no need to struggle against, resist, or try to overcome its watery world because it has brought its world into itself (made the two one).

With your whole body, breathe deeply in and out as you shift the inside/outside sensations back and forth. Repeat until you feel the two states merge into one.


(3) “And the above as the below…

Some scholars suggest that in Christ’s day the term “above and “below” symbolized the head and body. Using the same process as the previous exercise, “breathe” the head and torso together until both feel the same. Another approach is to envision the room as two layers (heaven and earth), then merge them. I often imagine angels, spirit beings and deceased loved ones moving around me.

There are no rules. So try not to think “Am I doing this right?” If something isn’t producing an effect, invent your own technique. Then push it to its limits. In this exercise, for example, sometimes I combine the inner breath work with the outer heavenly angels image. For the novice it may take a while to learn how to exist in two states at once, but the results are well worth the effort.


(4) “Establish the male with the female as a single unity so that the man will not act masculine and the woman will not act feminine…

Step 4 is the key to oneness. It is not a warning to flirtatious men and women, as some scholars suggest. Making two people into a single being is, of course, not in context with the meaning of Thomas 22.

In Gospel of Thomas, joining the inner spirit to the worldly self is the central theme (Thomas 70). With the words, “Establish the male with the female,” Master asks us to bind the masculine (worldly self) to the feminine (spirit, or soul). In Hebrew symbolism, your right side is worldly. Your left side is spiritual. You may recall a few Scriptures that make reference to a person’s left and right hands, eyes, etc.

While still reclining, return to the inside/outside breathwork at Step 2. Imagine a pair of inner, loving hands gently stitching together the right and left (“male” and “female”) halves of your body. With routine practice, you might one day notice just how real those loving hands feel to you.


(5) “When you establish eyes in the place of an eye and a hand in the place of a hand and a foot in the place of a foot…

The goal draws nearer now. These three body parts relate directly to the aspects, or “personalities,” of God. So, from now on you will strive to see through God’s eyes and work with Christ’s hands. Feet symbolize the Holy Spirit. Think of how the disciples, who always traveled on foot, spread Christ’s word to every household.

Remain conscious of this ancient symbolism as you shift your focus downward, eyes to hands to feet.


(6) “And an image in the place of an image…

After practicing all of the steps, who or what have you become? That’s for you to discover. Your new image might arrive instantly, or two years from now. It may change several times during the process. Two tips: recall the little child, and reflect on humanity’s Divine Origin (Genesis 1:27). To the latter try replacing “male and female” with “feminine and masculine,” then see what image that evokes. The meaning of Thomas 22 might cause you to rethink your Bible!


(7) “Then shall you enter the Sovereignty.”

Do not dig too deeply into the meaning of Thomas 22. Just let your body teach it to you. Read Gospel of Thomas over and over, and practice Thomas 22 every day if possible. Study the Bible gospels, too. Master’s messages are much easier to decode when you compare all sources.


The meaning of Thomas 22  in daily life.

I use many forms of devotion and prayer, but Thomas 22 is my go-to thought elixir. It is the first thing I do during bedtime, before I talk to God about my day. Christ’s practical oneness lesson is also infinitely adaptable. I can substitute any thing or person on earth or in heaven. For example: “Christ is in me and I am in Christ,” or “My grouchy boss is in me and I am in him.” I also think of Adam and Eve, and how Eve was in Adam. Wherever I am, practical oneness can bring immediate self-healing to a negative situation.

— Andrew Michael. Revised 12 June, 2018.


Related Texts

Yeshua says: When you bring forth that which is within yourselves, this that you have shall save you. (Thomas 70)

Yeshua says: If two make peace with each other in this one house, they shall say to the mountain: Be moved!—and it shall be moved. (Thomas 48)

Yeshua says: Blest is he who shall stand at the origin—and he shall know the end, and he shall not taste death. (Thomas 18)

So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27)

What you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth will be  loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19)

Image Credit: © Haywire Media.

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