Murder on the Orient Express, an Agatha Christie mystery, is currently showing in movie theaters throughout the USA. It centers around Belgian super-detective Hercule Poirot, a man of extraordinary perception and insight. Poirot displays strong preference for “sameness” in everything, as opposed to “separateness.” The poached eggs he has for breakfast must be the exact same size. Once, when stepping into a pile of manure with his right foot, he then steps into the pile with his left foot just to even things out, restoring sameness. Describing himself he says: “I see things not as they are but as they should be.” Insight, as it turns out, is a by-product of the practice of sameness.
After cleverly solving a murder case while traveling on the Orient Express, Poirot arrives at a sameness verdict. Instead of applying the traditional guilty vs not-guilty guideline, he concludes that the murder was justified under the circumstances, admonishes the murderers who are on-board the train, then dismisses the case by saying the murderer escaped. Like the eggs and the manure experience, he applied sameness. Guilty vs not-guilty is not always black and white. The murder was somewhere in between.
Per the Gospel of Thomas, one can conclude that Poirot’s extraordinary investigative skills flow naturally from his sameness attitude about reality.Through sameness, Poirot was soundly anchored in the kingdom of God. Jesus, when asked by His disciples what they must do to enter God’s kingdom, tells them to eliminate separateness in their lives. He says: “…make the two into one, make the inner like the outer, the upper like the lower, the male the female, the female the male.” In this teaching Jesus tells usthat viewing reality from a perspective of separateness is a barrier to entry into the kingdom. In the kingdom, everything is of the same essence. There are no differences. In other words, while a knife and a fork appear separate, in reality they are atoms that are organized differently. In their very essence, they are the same.The kingdom is reserved for those who dismiss separateness.
Note that prayer, fasting and charity are not mentioned as requirements to enter the kingdom. All that is required is a world view of sameness. Prayer, fasting and charity are very much a part of the kingdom; however, they are not qualities one forces on one’s self. They are qualities that manifest in you once the kingdom is entered.
It would be a different world if sameness could participate in the debate between political left vs right, religious preferences, women’s rights, racial matters, the transgender issues and the like.
Jesus was a smart man. And, so was Hercule Poirot.