For if you walk on this road, it is impossible to go astray.
"The sage Valentinus gives the central Gnostic teaching, which is the same perennial wisdom taught by all Christian mystics and, indeed, all other mystical traditions: 'Knock on yourself as upon a door and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For if you walk on this road, it is impossible to go astray. Open the 'door for yourself that you may know.' For as Jesus himself says in the New Testament, 'the kingdom of Heaven is within you.'"
"For the Gnostics, Jesus is not the son of a partisan Jewish god, but
the son of the true God who is the oneness that underlies all. He
comes not to save people from offending against the rules laid down
by an autocratic creator, but directly to reveal the transcendent
truth. The true God of Jesus is beyond all ideas, and so can be
equally pictured as both father and mother. A Gnostic text has God
I am the Thought that dwells in the Light. She who exists above all, I move in every creature. I am the Invisible One within the All. I am perfection. I am knowledge. I cry out in everyone and they know a seed dwells within them. I am androgynous. I am both Mother and Father, since I make love with myself. I am the womb that gives shape to All. I am the Glorious Mother....
The Gnostic mystics believed that Jesus had come as a spiritual guide with the power to transform his followers into his equals. In the same way that after 'enlightenment' a Buddhist becomes a Buddha, when a mystic achieved gnosis he was 'no longer a Christian, but a 'Christ'. The purpose of spiritual authority is to outgrow it. The Gospel of Philip has Jesus teaching: "You saw the spirit, you become the spirit. You saw Christ, you become Christ. You saw the Father, you shall become the Father. You see your Self, and what you see you will become.' In the Apocalypse of Peter, the disciple relates how he was initiated by Jesus: 'the Saviour said to me," Put your hands over your eyes and tell me what you see."But when I had done it, I saw nothing. I said," No one see this way."He told me," Do it again", and there came into me fear with joy, for I saw a Light, greater than the light of day.'
Simon Magus, who knew Jesus, describes each human being as a place in which 'dwells an infinite power ... the root of the universe'. The Gnostic master Valentinus, echoing the teaching of the Mystery Schools, says that it is a person's guardian angel which conveys gnosis to him, but that this angelic being is actually the seeker's higher Self. He writes: "When the human self and the divine"I"Are interconnected they can achieve perfection and eternity.' The master Monoimus instructs:
Abandon the search for God and the creation and other similar matters. Look for Him by taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says, 'My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body.' Learn the source of sorrow, joy, love, hate.... If you carefully investigate these matters you will find God in your Self.
In the Dialogue of the Saviour, the disciple Matthew asks Jesus where the 'place of life, the pure light' is. Jesus replies, 'Every one of you who has known himself has seen it.' His disciples question: 'Who is the one who seeks, and who is the one who reveals?' Like a Zen master, Jesus answers that 'the one who seeks is also the one who reveals.' In the Testimony of Truth, Jesus advises a follower to become a disciple of his own mind because it is the 'Father of Truth'.
The sage Valentinus gives the central Gnostic teaching, which is the same perennial wisdom taught by all Christian mystics and, indeed, all other mystical traditions: 'Knock on yourself as upon a door and walk upon yourself as on a straight road. For if you walk on this road, it is impossible to go astray. Open the 'door for yourself that you may know.' For as Jesus himself says in the New Testament, 'the kingdom of Heaven is within you.'"
The Complete Guide to World Mysticism
by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, page 104-6
Publisher: Piatkus Books; New Ed edition (October 1998)
For the mystics, Jesus was a living embodiment of the possibility of union with God, who could lead them to the same spiritual realization
"Jesus was a Jewish heretic who was put to death by the religious status quo of his day. He preached a radical mysticism that emphasized a complete surrender of the self to God, through love, forgiveness and humility — a message that he embodied in his life and death. An extraordinary influential figure whose nature is shrouded in mystery and overlaid with myth, he is pictured in many different ways by the different Christian sects which claim him as their inspiration. Like the great yogis of India, he was not confined by the 'laws' of nature that so tightly bind the rest of us. He walked on water, turned water into wine and raised the dead. For most of his followers he is an incarnation of God, comparable to the avatars of India. Whatever else Jesus may or may not have been, his wisdom shows him to have been a remarkable sage who taught with the simple authority that comes from direct knowledge of God.
From its roots in the teachings of an enlightened Jewish carpenter from Galilee, Christianity expanded via St. Paul, who had previously been a prosecutor of the new heretical Jewish sect but was converted by a mystical vision of divine light. By the fourth century Christianity had become the official religion of the Roman empire, which focused on making it a dogmatic faith capable of holding an empire together rather than a personal path to knowledge of God. The Romans ruthlessly suppressed all the other forms of Christianity that still flourished at this time, such as the Gnostics, a highly mystical sect of mainly Jewish Christians largely based in Egypt...
In the fifth century the Roman Church split into a more mystical Eastern Church based in Constantinople, and an authoritarian Western Church based in Rome — both of which proceeded to excommunicate each other. In the West, Christian mystics existed always on the edge of acceptability, often persecuted and excommunicated for their individualistic ways and heretical ideas. Despite this many great mystics still emerged, for instance the thirteen-century Italian ascetic St. Francis of Assisi. As the authoritarianism and corruption of the official Church became more and more unbearable, many groups of mystic Christians began breaking away from the suffocating power of religious dogma, to find their own direct relationship with Christ and God...
Later, however, when Protestantism itself became a religious orthodoxy, mystical ideas were once again seen as heretical and unacceptable. Protestant mystics such as the sixteenth-century German Jacob Boehm found the new religious establishment as intolerant as its precursor.
The mystics claim a direct relationship with God, which the leaders of the Christian religion have always feared as a threat to their position as the sole repositories of divine knowledge. Because of this, much of Christian mysticism has existed outside the mainstream of the Church. To find the real mystical riches of the Christian tradition we have to look to its hidden history, which has been deliberately obscured by the establishment. Some of its greatest mystics are hardly known. Meister Eckhart, for example, an extraordinarily clear spokesman for the perennial mystic philosophy, was generally unheard of until a few decades ago. Whether they existed within the official Church or in the many heretical groups, however, the great Christian mystics have all pointed to the same essential mystic truths. Today, despite an upsurge in Christian fundamentalism, the spirit of mysticism is re-emerging. Christians such as William Johnson, Thomas Merton and Bede Griffiths have sought to incorporate elements of Eastern mysticism into the Christian faith, both to enhance their own tradition, and to find a common, multicultural understanding of God.
The teaching of the Christian religion has generally been that Jesus was God made flesh, who suffered and died for the sins of the world, and that by believing in this a Christian is freed from sin and will go to heaven when he dies. Up until the Reformation in the sixteenth century, ordinary Christians were expected to accept such dogmas and the Inquisition even forbade them to read the Bible for themselves. For the mystics, however, Jesus' message was one of personal salvation through the direct experience of God. In the words of Angelus Silesius, a seventeenth-century Protestant poet who in four days of ecstatic illumination wrote the 302 verses of the mystic masterpiece The Cherubinic Wanderer:
Christ could be born a thousand times in Galilee —
But all in vain, until he is born in me.
For the mystics, Jesus was a living embodiment of the possibility of union with God, who could lead them to the same spiritual realization. In the Gnostic scripture called the Gospel of Thomas, Jesus tells his disciples: 'I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become drunk from the bubbling stream which I have measured out. He who will drink out of my mouth will become as I am; I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him.'"
The Complete Guide to World Mysticism
Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, page 86-90
Piatkus Books; New Ed edition (October 1998)
Jesus in Gnostic Gospels and Related Texts
“In the texts in this volume Jesus emerges as a teacher of wisdom and a revealer of knowledge. The figure of Jesus in gnostic gospels and related texts is developed from earlier materials about Jesus, and some of the features of Jesus in gnostic gospels may be linked to the historical Jesus. The historical Jesus, in my understanding, was a Jewish teacher and storyteller, in the tradition of Jewish wisdom, who used parables, aphorisms, and other utterances to tell of God’s presence and God’s reign. The earliest evidence for sayings of Jesus is to be found in Q, the New Testament gospels, and the Gospel of Thomas. Representative of Jewish wisdom, the sayings of Jesus relate well to themes in Jewish wisdom literature; and upon occasion, even in the earliest sources, Jesus is associated with wisdom.
In the Jewish world wisdom frequently refers to the personified wisdom of God: Hokhmah or Sophia. 23 Already in Q there are reflections upon Jesus and personified wisdom. According to the Lukan version of Q 11:49, the wisdom of God offers a saying about those sent forth; in the Matthean version it is Jesus who speaks. Again, according to the Lukan version of Q 7:35, Jesus refers to wisdom being vindicated by her children, John the baptizer and Jesus; in the Matthean version wisdom is vindicated by her deeds. And in Paul, in 1 Corinthians 2, wisdom and the rulers of this aeon are portrayed within the context of true wisdom, which Paul calls the wisdom of God.
Within gnostic gospels and related texts, especially in the Secret Book of John, Sophia plays a prominent role as the personified wisdom of God, but in gnostic texts she is radicalized. In these texts she creates, reveals, falls, and is restored. Divine wisdom saves and is saved, and with her human beings are saved and restored. Yet, whether personified or not, wisdom plays a central role in gnostic accounts of salvation.
In gnostic gospels and related texts, Jesus reveals wisdom and knowledge. What I have written in The Gospel of Thomas about Jesus is applicable to a number of gnostic gospels. In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus performs no physical miracles, he discloses no fulfilment of prophecy, he announces no apocalyptic kingdom that will disrupt the world order, and he dies for no one’s sins. Instead, he reveals wisdom and knowledge so that people may be enlightened. 24
The wisdom and knowledge revealed by Jesus in the gnostic gospels is a mystical knowledge, an insight into the connectedness of Jesus the revealer with those to whom revelation is given, and ultimately the connectedness of the light and life of God with the light and life within people. Because such knowledge is the flash of enlightenment that sheds light on one's own being, Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas can even be made to deny that he is, properly speaking, a teacher. Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas is “the living Jesus” who lives through his sayings, his words. Nevertheless, Jesus says, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended" (13:5). Jesus is not a teacher in the conventional sense, according to the Gospel of Thomas, because people must come to knowledge themselves. Jesus is more like a bartender, in that he serves the intoxicating drink of knowledge, but people must drink for themselves.25
Thus, the Gospel of Thomas and other gnostic texts often call upon readers to know themselves. In gnostic texts, unlike gospels of the cross, knowledge is more important than faith, and knowledge of oneself leads to salvation. In the Gospel of Thomas 3:4 Jesus says, "When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living father" in the Book of Thomas 138 Thomas himself is described as "one who knows oneself." The imperative gnothi sauton, "Know yourself," was among the Greek inscriptions at the oracular center dedicated to Apollo at Delphi, and this saying is discussed by Plato in Alcibiades I and by Plutarch in his essay On the E at Delphi. The Gospel of Philip also reflects upon this saying (76). In the Secret Book of James, Jesus tells the disciples to know themselves (12), and he adds that they should save themselves (11). For if knowledge in gnostic thought is salvation, then knowing oneself is coming to salvation through oneself. That is the gnosis of Jesus.
In these gnostic gospels and related texts, the human problem that is addressed is not sin but rather ignorance, and hence Jesus does not save people from their sins but rather communicates knowledge to address human ignorance and bring about enlightenment. People in this world of mortality—this underworld—are confused, and they have grown forgetful, have fallen asleep, have been seduced by the deceptive pleasures and pains of the world. People have become mixed up in this world of death, and they no longer remember who they are: they have forgotten that they are children of the divine, with the light of the divine within. As the Gospel of Mary has Jesus tell the disciples, "There is no such thing as sin, but you create sin when you mingle as in adultery, and this is called sin" (7). In this and other gnostic gospels, people are called upon to recall who they are, open their minds, and think, and in this way they can experience salvation.
This is the good news of the gnostic texts. These gospels are gospels of wisdom, not gospels of the cross; the Jesus of this good news is the source of wisdom and knowledge, not first and foremost the crucified savior; and people come to salvation through insight and creative thought, not primarily through faith.
Elaine Pagels, in Beyond Belief, emphasizes the centrality of such insight and creative thinking in gnostic texts by discussing the role of epinoia, which may be translated "insight," "afterthought," "creativity," or the like, in the Secret Book of John. In the Secret Book of John Jesus reveals the story of epinoia. Jesus describes epinoia personified as an aspect of the divine mind that comes to expression within humankind and enables people to engage in creative thinking, and he interprets the Genesis story of Eve coming out of Adam as the story of epinoia coming to aid humankind. The Secret Book of John reads,
So with its benevolent and most merciful spirit the mother-father sent a helper to Adam, an enlightened insight (epinoia) who is from the mother-father and who was called life. She helped the whole creature, labouring with it, restoring it to its fullness, teaching it about the descent of the seed, teaching it about the way of ascent, which is the way of descent. (II, 20)
Pagels responds to this story by suggesting, "The Secret Book intends this story to show that we have a latent capacity within our hearts and minds that links us to the divine—not in our ordinary state of mind but when this hidden capacity awakens."
This human—and divine—capacity for thought is what enables people to encounter the wisdom and knowledge of Jesus in an insightful and creative manner.
According to the gnostic gospels and related texts, the knowledge communicated through the sayings of Jesus with his disciples is often explicitly mystical. In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus says, “Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to that person” (108). In the Gospel of Philip it is claimed that in the realm of truth “you have seen Christ and have become Christ, you have seen the [father] and will become father” (61), and the person who receives the name of God in the chrism is said no longer to be a Christian “but is Christ” (67). In the Second Discourse of Great Seth, Jesus himself announces, in a word from scripture, “I am in you and you are in me, just as the father is in me and in you, with no guile at all” (49-50).
At the same time, the knowledge Jesus communicates in the gnostic gospels and related texts is a knowledge both of what is outside and of what is inside. The more mythological texts included in this volume (for example, the Gospel of Mary, the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, and the Secret Book of John) provide cosmological speculations on the universe outside us and provocative interpretations of the creation stories of Genesis. These mythological and cosmological passages are reflective of ancient and late antique metaphysics and astronomy, and they describe the nature, origin, and extent of the cosmos in order to explain the place of human beings in the larger scheme of things. While these accounts may present challenges to modern readers, they are not fundamentally different from contemporary metaphysical and astronomical reflections upon the stars, the universe, and the ultimate limit—or limitlessness—of things.
These more mythological gnostic texts discuss cosmic realities outside us, but they may show, simultaneously, an interest in how what is outside may also be within. In the Gospel of Thomas Jesus says that the kingdom is inside and outside (3:3), and the inner may be like the outer and the outer like the inner (22:4). Mary of Magdala recounts her vision in the Gospel of Mary, and it is apparent that the cosmic powers through which the soul must pass on her  celestial journey are also the inner dispositions that a person must overcome: darkness, desire, ignorance, wrath. In the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit and the Secret Book of John, the emanations and expressions of the divine One are mental characteristics and capabilities, mind (nous), forethought (pronoia), thought (ennoia), insight (epinoia), wisdom (sophia), even mindlessness (aponoia). Hence, the story of the unfolding of the divine One is as much a story about psychology as it is about mythology and metaphysics. Additionally, in the Gospel of Truth, many of the technical terms commonly used to portray aeons and entities in the realm of divine fullness and characters involved in the story of the cosmic fall (fullness, depth, thought, grace, mind, truth, word, error) are incorporated into a sermon that proclaims salvation and life in the everyday world of Valentinian Christians.
Another Valentinian gospel, the Gospel of Philip, gives a meditation on the outer and the inner. Based on an utterance of Jesus very much like Gospel of Thomas 22:4, this meditation maintains it is actually more fitting to focus attention upon what is within, what is innermost. The world of the pleroma, the fullness of God, thought by many to be the divine realm above, truly is within. In the words of the Gospel of Philip, “What is innermost is the fullness, and there is nothing further within” (68). If the fullness is within, so, in the Gospel of Thomas, is the kingdom within, or spread out upon the earth, unseen by people (3:3; 113;4), and so also, in the Gospel of Mary, is the child of humankind (or son of man) within. As Jesus says to the disciples in the Gospel of Mary, "Follow that. Those who seek it will find it" (8). ”
The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth
Marvin W. Meyer, HarperCollins (2005) pp. xviii-xxxiv
The Paraclete Shri Mataji Question: What is God, for you, and is God a separate entity?
“Yeah, He is. He is, and God for me is the one who is witnessing everything. But He has His Power which is the Primordial Mother, which is the Holy Ghost, which is reflected within you as the kundalini, and God is reflected within you as the Spirit in your heart. At this point they meet, and that's how you get your Self-realization. But such a wide subject it is, so you have to have more patience for such a wider subject.”
The Divine Mother/Paraclete Shri Mataji
The Paraclete Shri Mataji “Today I wanted to tell you about the Agya chakra, about Jesus Christ who adorns this center of Agya chakra, where you see the red mark. Behind that, inside, in the brain on the crossing of the optic chiasma is this subtle center where this great Deity is placed. Through His crucifixion and through His Resurrection, he has created this space for us to enter into the Kingdom of God, which is placed within us. Is not in without, is the limbic area that surrounds your ego and superego.
In the Puranas, in the ancient scriptures of India, Christ is described so very clearly. Actually in the Bible what they saw of Him when He was on this Earth was written down. But nothing what created Him, how He came on this Earth what is the spirit of Christ, what is the seat of Christ and how He came and what is His purpose and where does He stand within us. All these things are not described in the Bible as I told you the people at that time were not at all aware of His greatness, of His special Incarnation.”
The Divine Mother/Paraclete Shri Mataji
Public Program Day 3, The New Age Has Started
Unity of Houston Church, Houston, United States—6 October 1981
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