“Should you who possess everything not know yourself? If you do not know yourself, you will not enjoy what you own. But know yourself and what you have enjoy. The perfect human can neither be restrained nor seen. If they see him, they can stop him, so there is no way to grace but to put on the perfect light and become perfect. All who put on that garment will enter the kingdom. This is the perfect light. We must become perfect before leaving this world. Who is rich and has not thrown it off will not share in the kingdom but will go as imperfect into the middle. Only Jesus knows where that will end.
“There was a householder who had every possible thing, be it son or slave or cattle or dog or pig or wheat or barley or chaff or grass or castor oil or meat or acorn. He was sensible and knew what each one’s food was. He served children bread and meat. He served slaves castor oil and meal. He threw barley and chaff and grass to the cattle. He threw bones to the dogs, and to pigs he threw acorns and scraps of bread. Compare the student of god. If you are sensible, you understand the nature of learning. Bodily forms will not deceive you, since you will look at the condition of each person’s soul and speak with that form.
“There are many animals on earth in human form. When you identify them, then you throw acorns to swine, barley and chaff and grass to cattle, and bones to the dogs. To slaves you will give only what is preliminary, but to children you give what is complete.” ~Gospel of Philip
Knowing yourself is important. Most of us, naturally, will insist that we do know ourselves. But they truth is, almost none of us do.
What we think is our self is usually a combination of our own fantasies and the things our parents and friends tell us. Over many years, we build up a self-image that is not who we truly are. One of the purposes of a spiritual awakening is to learn who we truly are.
We can say that our true self is a spirit. The physical body and the brain-mind that runs it is temporary and therefore not our real self. So if what you know of yourself is purely on the physical and mental levels, you don’t know your true self at all.
The second part of the quote from the Gospel of Philip seems at first to be unrelated to the first part, but it isn’t. The first part is about knowing our self, the second is primarily about knowing others. Of course, if you don’t really know and understand yourself, it is impossible to truly know others.
The second part of the quote tells of a wealthy man who has everything. He is a smart man and knows how to care for the plants, animals, slaves, and everything else that he has. He gives bones to the dog, grass to the cattle, and so on. If he gave the bones to the cows and the grass to the dogs, they would all go hungry.
But this isn’t really about the care and feeding of animals and slaves. It’s an allegorical story. It’s about knowing yourself as much as it is about knowing others. You “feed” your body some things, your mind other things, and still different things are “fed” to the spirit and soul. If you confuse them, you will accomplish little.
Reading books is a good way to feed the mind. With rare exception, however, they won’t feed the body or soul. Bread will feed the body. It does little for either the mind or the soul. Spiritual Light feeds the spirit and soul. It doesn’t directly feed the body and mind. Indirectly, spiritual Light benefits the body and mind indirectly because a healthy spirit and soul sends nourishing energy to the body and mind. But that only happens when the spirit and soul are taking in that light from the Spiritual Sun. So know yourself and feed all parts of you.