Gospel of Thomas: Saying Eight - The Fisher of Men

8. And he said, "The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

In the conical Bible, Jesus tells the parable of the fisherman.  This saying is slightly different, but has the same esoteric connotation.  It's a simple, be elegant metaphor for the spiritual journey.

The Yogic sage Paramahansa Yogananda likened the search for spiritual truths to an ant trying to find sugar in a pile of sand.  The pile appears to be one object, but each grain is a different piece of smaller rock.  The ant has the ability to seek out the sugar from the sand.  So, we learn to be like the ant, developing our skills of discernment to find the grains of sugar in life.

Discernment is a central tenant of Gnosticism.  Every day we are bombarded by outside influences that scatter the mind with different thoughts, impressions and ideas.  Out intuition is the compass that leads us in the right direction.  At first, that compass spins erratically, pulled by the magnetism of different sense impressions.  After many years of sifting through our thoughts, our intuitive needle will point us in the right direction.

Jesus is telling us to cast our nets of discernment into the bottomless sea of consciousness.  We do this through meditation.  When our net of attention grabs on to thoughts that are not useful, we throw them out, like releasing an unwanted fish back into the sea.