Gospel of Thomas with Doug and Noa: Logion 8

Logion 8:  And he said: Man is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea; he drew it up from the sea full of small fish; among them he found a large good fish, the wise fisherman; he threw all the small fish into the sea, he chose the large fish without difficulty. He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Noa – words that stick with me after a reading:

  • First off, this is a continuation of logion 7 with the same meaning of man, the centered person.
  • Fish – possibly lessons, teachings.  The man gathers tons of them but is able to tell which one is worth keeping/listening to.
    • That he throws back the little ones says something too.  He does not just keep them for himself, he rejects them and puts them back into the sea so they can also develop into complete ideas, or maybe just evolve into whatever they are meant to me.  But the fisherman does not try to keep them from others, that’s the point I see.
  • The ears to hear part probably says something too.  


Doug: This is a good one, of course.  Here is how I understand it. 

The Human who is awakening and becoming whole is wise because he or she can do really good inner work by “fishing” inside themselves, into their unconscious.  The “sea” is often used as an archetypal symbol of the unconscious. 

Now, here is where translation gets important. Notice the wording: “…among them [the small fish] he found a large good fish, the wise fisherman.” Jesus is saying that the large good fish IS the wise fisherman, himself/herself.  To put this into another wording, the fisherman was fishing at the level of their floating self and suddenly, he/she found their anchored self… their True Self. In their self-exploration, they discovered what really mattered and because of this, they were beginning to discern how the needs and nuances of the floating self weren’t all that important (the small fish). The anchored self is all that matters because it is eternal.

The “…who has ears to hear…” piece is a common phrase that means something like: He or she who has done enough inner work in their lives to really know that I’m saying, then you’ll get this wisdom clearly and without distortion.  Those who have not done their inner work enough to recognize the wisdom, don’t have the “ears” yet.

The Enneagram is one of the best spiritual/psychological tools out there to help us go fishing inside and get that big one!


big fish

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