The eighth saying:
Jesus saw children who were being suckled. He said to his disciples: these children who are being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom.
They said to him:
Shall we then, being children, enter the kingdom?
Jesus said to them:
When you make the two one, and when you make the inner as the outer and the outer as the inner, and the above as the below, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male will not be male and the female not be female, then shall you enter the kingdom.
This is one of the deepest sayings of Jesus, and one of the most basic to be understood by a seeker. It is also one of the most difficult to achieve, because if this is achieved nothing more is left to achieve. First try to understand a few things and then we will enter into the saying.
Man, if he lives with the mind, can never be innocent; and only in innocence does the divine descend, or do you ascend to the divine. Innocence is the door. Mind is cunning, calculating, it is clever, and because of this cleverness you miss, you miss the kingdom of God. You may attain to the kingdom of this world through the mind, because here cunningness is needed. You have to be cunning: the more cunning, the more successful; the more calculating, the more efficient in the ways of the world.
But the door to the kingdom of God is exactly the opposite. There, no calculation is needed, no cleverness is needed. Mind is not needed at all, because mind is just a mechanism to calculate, a mechanism to be clever. If you don’t need any cleverness, any calculation, mind is useless. Then the heart becomes the source of your being, and heart is innocence.
Why do we go on being clever? Why does the mind go on thinking about how to deceive? – because that is the only way in this world to succeed. So those who want to succeed in this world will be failures in the kingdom of God. If you are ready to accept your failure in this world, then you are ready to enter the other world. The moment one is ready to recognize, “The success of this world is not for me, I am not for it,” immediately a conversion happens, a turning. Then the consciousness doesn’t move outward, it starts moving inward.
Jesus emphasizes innocence very much. Hence, he goes on talking about the beauty of children, or the innocence of the flowers, of lilies, or the innocence of the birds. But that type of innocence won’t help: you have already lost it. So don’t imitate him verbally, don’t try to understand literally, it is just symbolic.