Soaring upwards
Can be like reaching down

Pushing forward

Can be like pushing back

Going right

Can be like Going left

Within is within

All things begin

And end at the cross roads

–GraalBaum 2013



This world-mountain was Nizir to the Chaldeans, Olympus to the Greeks, Hara Berezaiti to the Persians of the Avesta, the later Alborz and Elburz; a transfer, as says Mme. Ragozin, of ‘mythical heavenly geography to the earth.’ This mountain—the solar hill of the Egyptians—we shall again refer to in the next two or three chapters. At its apex springs, the heaven tree on which the solar bird is perched. From its roots spring the waters of life—the celestial sea, which, rushing adown the firmament, supplies the ocean which circumscribes the earth or falls directly in rain. At their fountain these springs are guarded by a goddess. In Egypt Nut, the goddess of the oversea, leans from the branches of the heavenly persea and pours forth the celestial water. In the Vedas, Yama, lord of the waters, sits in the highest heaven in the midst of the heavenly ocean under the tree of life, which drops the nectar Soma, and here, on the ‘navel of the waters,’ matter first took form. In the Norse, the central tree Yggdrasil has at its roots the spring of knowledge guarded by the Norns, the northern Fates; two swans the parents of all those of earth, float there. In Chaldea the mighty tree of Eridu, centre of the world, springs by the waters. The Avesta gives a very complete picture—Iran is at the centre of the seven countries of the world; it was the first created, and so beautiful, that were it not that God has implanted in all men a love for their own land, all nations would crowd into this the loveliest land. To the east somewhere, but still at the centre of the world, rises the ‘Lofty Mountain,’ from which all the mountains of the earth have grown, ‘High Haraiti;’ at its

summit is the gathering place of waters, out of which spring the two trees, the heavenly Haoma (Soma), and another tree which bears all the seeds that germinate on earth. This heavenly mountain is called ‘Navel of Waters,’ for the fountain of all waters springs there, guarded by a majestic and beneficent goddess. In Buddhist accounts, the waters issue in four streams like the

Eden from this reservoir, and flow to the cardinal points, each making one complete circuit in its descent. In the Persian Bundahish there are two of these heavenly rivers flowing east and west. To the Hindus the Ganges is such a heavenly stream. ‘The stream of heaven was called by the Greeks Achelous.’ The Nile in Egypt, the Hoang-Ho in China, and the Jordan to the Jews, seem to have been celestial rivers. This mountain of heaven is often figured in Christian art with the four rivers issuing from under the Throne of God.

Sir John Maundeville gives an account of the earthly Paradise quite perfect in its detailed scheme. It is the highest place on earth, nearly reaching to the circle of the moon (as in Dante), and the flood did not reach it. ‘And in the highest place, exactly in the middle, is a well that casts out the four streams’—Ganges, Nile, Tigris, and Euphrates. ‘And men there beyond say that all the sweet waters of the world above and beneath take their beginning from the well of Paradise, and out of that well all water come and go.






“Prayer then means yearning for the simple presence of God, for a personal understanding of his word, for knowledge of his will and for capacity to hear and obey him.  It is thus something much more than uttering petitions for good things external to our own deepest

–Thomas Merton

Prayer too often just becomes asking the divine for “stuff.” Gimme, Gimme, God gimme this, God I want that. Obviously this is a childish act. If we liken the divine to a person we can see prayer in this form is merely like a child asking for candy, a new toy or some other unnecessary item. I am sure we all do this for a brief moment. But as Merton mentions, prayer can be so much more.

Many seekers of the divine embrace ritual. Ritual itself is great. However the seeker too often and easily becomes devoted to the ritual, instead of the divine. This “false” barrier between the divine and the seeker only serves to produce a false separation. Really there is no separation between the divine and us. So there is no need for ritual at all; all we need do is simply “open our mouths” or our eyes, our “hearts.” Ritual of course can help in this process, but should never be allowed to “replace” God.

Prayer then can still be an act of asking, an act where one is conversing. Arguably the most powerful way to commune with the divine is to “talk” to it! Thus perhaps prayer can be asking, wanting and needing. Instead of simply asking like a child for candy, our asking can be one of sounding out our thoughts, our feelings. Then we are treating the divine as a friend, a confidant, a wise listener. Then we are treating the divine with respect, honesty and with an adult approach. We can then help ourselves by solidifying in our selves what we want. Of course whether we “get” what we want is another story. The divine will give what is best for us, not what we want, the two are not always the same, are they not?

Just some thoughts.


I bow down and render praise to Malala, the Word, Yeshu the Radiant, and all Mamitrans, teachers & initiators, and all Judges of the Light who weigh the hearts of the faithful.

* I bow down and render praise to Manda d-Hiya, the Gnosis of Life, Miryai-Noorah the Maiden of Light – the Gnosis of Life who healeth the elect and calleth the pure home, and to all who bring harmony & love.

* I bow down and render praise to Sam-Ziwa-Dakia, the Pure Shining Preserver, the Light Mind, and all enlightened Mamitrans and Apostles, and to the shining One, Mani our guide, source of Light and branch of the living, the great tree all of which gives healing.

(Blessed be all the Wisdoms of Light.)

–Manichaean Prayer

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us. (Three times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages. Amen.

O All-Holy Trinity, have mercy on us; O Lord, wash away our sins; O Master, forgive us our iniquities; O Holy One, visit and heal our infirmities, for thy Name’s sake.

Lord have mercy! (Three times)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, unto ages of ages. Amen.

–Orthodox Christian



“Lord of the loving heart, may mine be loving too,
Lord of the gentle heart, may mine be gentle too.
Lord of the willing feet, may mine be willing too,
So may I grow more like you
In all I say or do.  Amen”

{Note: In the following post some words I have capitalized, like Word.  This is to denote for the reader they are part of Monadic sets used in Gnostic Philosophy. Word, is part of a sacred tetrad, (quadrant) named by Valentinus, as the Sacred Tetrad, Word, Man, Life, Truth (Church).  Another familiar set is the Pentad of the Soul: Form, Perception, Consciousness, Action, Knowledge. These words are capitalized to emphasize their Gnostic connotations. The ancient Gnostics like Theodotus, Heracleon, Basilides, Valentinus, all knew the underlying philosophy of Knowledge.}

This is what the “Gospel of Mary” says about sin….

“25) Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?  (26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin. 27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.” (Gospel of Mary)
There is no doubt that the “Gospel of Thomas,” is beneficial for everyone, regardless of their level of understanding regarding the Gnostic origins of the text. What I mean by this is that there is an underlying philosophy to Gnostic documents that you must be taught or made aware of in order to understand the intended meaning. All Sethian Gnostic texts have an underlying philosophy based upon the principle of Wisdom as an ordering force of the universe. For the Gnostic God is Sophia, or Wisdom, and Jesus is the Monad.

The references in the Thomas gospel are directly related to the mindset of the Gnostic texts, like the other Gnostic Gospels, and works like “The Pistis Sophia.”  The Gnostic beliefs are probably totally alien to those that have not put a great deal of effort into understanding the Sethian Philosophy. Gnostics do not believe in “God” as extrinsic to their own Soul. Soul for the Gnostic is ‘Form, Perception, Consciousness, Action, and Knowledge.’  These are also features of the Word, or treasure of the Mind.

Mainstream Christians see God, according to a Baylor University study, below. These are the main types of Christians in regard to qualifying categories…

— Authoritarian God: Individuals who follow this model feel God is highly involved in their personal lives and world affairs, they give the Deity credit for their decision-making, and they feel God is angry and meting out punishment to the wicked.

— Benevolent God: These believers also think God is very active in their daily life, just not as wrathful. They believe Benevolent God is mostly a force for positive influence in the world, and reluctant to condemn individuals.

— Critical God: The faithful of this subset believe God is not meddling in world affairs but is nonetheless looking on in disapproval. These people tend to believe that God’s displeasure will be felt in another life, and that divine justice is not of this world.

— Distant God: Individuals in this group think that Distant God is not active in humanities affairs, and is not especially angry, either. Believers consider the Deity more of a cosmic force who sets the laws of nature into motion.

The ”Gospel of Thomas,” is the means to the living resurrection, and the ‘Bridal Chamber,’ which is a Gnostic sacrament, (Contemplation) you don’t hear about in mainstream Christian circles. The Bridal Chamber is undertaking the task of achieving Gnosis through the adoption of Jesus Wisdom, or the Word. The Gnostic undergoes Mentennoia, and seeks to become aware or enlightened.

Enlightenment: Refers to a state of being; described in Chinese/Oriental classics that reflects the same kinds of mental changes, ‘awareness,’ or ‘Satroi’ as in Gnosis. ”The Enlightenment refers to a movement in philosophy that advocated the untrammeled use of reason to establish truth. The movement challenged traditional authority, doctrine, and values. Emphasis was placed on the empirical method employed by the sciences.” (”The Five Gospels,” by Funk, Hoover, Harrier-Collins, 1993, p. 544.) ”For scientific knowledge is necessary both for the training of the soul and for gravity of conduct; making the faithful more active and keen observers of things. For as there is no believing without elementary instruction, so neither is there comprehension without science.” (Quote from Theodotus, See; Kirby, Criddle collections.) Criddle.http://neonostalgia.com/xtian/Extracts_from_Theodotus.htm

I’m always glad to hear of people reading the “Gospel of Thomas,” and relating to its intrinsic power.  However, I might point out that what is there when your mindset is mainstream Christian, and what is there when you understand the Gnostic connotations is dramatic. For instance all Sethian Gnostic writings refer to certain words that belong to Monadic sets.  The study of the Monad in Gnosticism is essential because the Monad flows through everything the same way the Chinese regard the energy (Spirit) of Chi.  In Gnostic philosophy, Jesus is the Monad. The sacrament of the Bridal Chamber makes the Gnostic ‘One’ with this mindset.

Tom Saunders



May all be blessed, peaceful and happy,


May all be free of pain, resentment and fear.


May we have infinite gratitude, patience and compassion for all above, equal, and below us.


May we be the doctor, medicine and nurse, for all the confused, sick and sad. May all the virtue acquired by us, flow freely to all need.


 May everyone find the Path to Peace,


 May everyone become pure and perfect,


 May everyone find the Treasury of Life!


May Kushta bless you and keep you . . . Amin

 [All place palms together and Bow to all others]


Good is the Good to the good, and They set their nature upon those who love their name.


We will seek and find, and will pray and be heard.


We have sought and found, we prayed and were heard in thy presence,

my Lord Yeshu and Maryam d-Hiya, Lords of Healings.







Jesus said, “When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, ‘Mountain, move from here!’ it will move.”

–Gospel of Thomas


You are worthy of praise, beneficent Father, primeval Ancestor!
Blessed are you, beneficent God!

You, Lord, are the first alif and the last tau.
Through you yourself your pious wish has been fulfilled and

All gods and aeons, the deities of Light,
And the righteous bring praise to you,
singing “Holy”  repeatedly.

The spirits, the plants and all . . . . truly implore you
to blessing. And bring forth supplications with one voice.

Grant us our pious wish . . . .
They bear the form  that we have given up from afar.

Be merciful unto us in your mercy;
Show us your form, the noble epiphany, for which we yearn.

Let your brightness shine upon us, sweet source and breath of life!

Make, us, your children, strong.
In vain the dark foe boasts, together with the bellicose,
rebellious giants, In vain he wishes to cling to the Aeons.

–Hymn to Mani



But  woe to him who, after having reached the top of one of these secondary eminences, lingers there through letting himself imagine that he has accomplished something final; for then it immediately turns from an aid into a hindrance, from a stage into a barrier, from an open into a closed door, from a symbol into an idol.” This indeed is the essence of idolatry” against which all the traditions are continually inveighing; nothing can be called an idol itself, but any­thing, even down to good works” and service,” can become one if it is for a moment allowed to assert is own independence to the Principle and thus enter into rivalry with it…


So long there yet exists a step to be taken there are alternatives and hence there are possibilities of comparison, but at the summit all alternative routes become one; every distinction between them, and therefore every opposition, is spontaneously reconciled. The summit itself not only occupies no space, although the whole mountain is virtually contained in it, but it is also outside time and all succession, and only the “eternal” present reigns there.  It is utterly inexpressible in its uniqueness; silent is the Knower of the Summit and the Whole Universe strains its ears to catch the accents of his speechless eloquence… [The summit] must be known immediately or not at all; ultimately all roundabout approaches must rejoin the direct route, of which they are but translations in the discursive mode, or they will not arrive


–Marco Pallis  from The way and the mountain



 And the Lord added and said: Let us go unto the mountain (and) pray.  And going with him, we the twelve disciples besought him that he would show us one of our righteous brethren that had departed out of the world, that we might see what manner of men they are in their form, and take courage, and encourage also the men that should hear us.

And as we prayed, suddenly there appeared two men standing before the Lord (perhaps add, to the east) upon whom we were not able to look.  For there issued from their countenance a ray as of the sun, and their raiment was shining so as the eye of man never saw the like: for no mouth is able to declare nor heart to conceive the glory wherewith they were clad and the beauty of their countenance.  Whom when we saw we were astonished, for their bodies were whiter than any snow and redder than any rose.  And the redness of them was mingled with the whiteness, and, in a word, I am not able to declare their beauty. For their hair was curling and flourishing (flowery), and fell comely about their countenance and their shoulders like a garland woven of nard and various flowers, or like a rainbow in the air: such was their comeliness.

We, then, seeing the beauty of them were astonished at them, for they appeared suddenly. And I drew near to the Lord and said: Who are these? He saith to me: These are your (our) righteous brethren whose appearance ye did desire to see. And I said unto him: And where are all the righteous? or of what sort is the world wherein they are, and possess this glory? And the Lord showed me a very great region outside this world exceeding bright with light, and the air of that place illuminated with the beams of the sun, and the earth of itself flowering with blossoms that fade not, and full of spices and plants, fair-flowering and incorruptible, and bearing blessed fruit. And so great was the blossom that the odor thereof was borne thence even unto us.

And the dwellers in that place were clad with the raiment of shining angels, and their raiment was like unto their land.

And angels ran round about them there.  And the glory of them that dwelt there was all equal, and with one voice they praised the Lord God, rejoicing in that place.

The Lord saith unto us: This is the place of your leaders (or, high priests), the righteous men.

–The Apocalypse of Peter




            In pleasure, human beings perceive their own essential nature, which is joy. All ecstasy, all pleasure, is an experience of the divine…But perfect love is that whose object is no longer limited. This is pure love, love of love itself, love of the voluptuous transcendence of being.


–Graf Durckheim (from the Lingopasana rahasya)



 It seems we know full well from childhood that everything is connected to everything else in certain ways, that this happens because that happened, that for this to happen, that has to happen. Just recall all those old folk tales, such as the one about the fox who drinks most of an old womans pail of milk which she neglected to watch as she was gathering wood for a fire. She cuts off his tail in a fit of anger. The fox asks for his tail back, and the old woman says she will sew his tail back on for him if he will give her back her milk. So he goes to the cow in the field and asks for some milk, and the cow says she will give the fox some milk if the fox brings her some grass. So the fox goes to the field and asks for some grass, and the field says, “Bring me some water.” So he goes to the stream and asks for water and the stream says, Bring me a jug. This goes on until a miller, out of kindness and sympathy, gives the fox some grain to give the hen to get the egg to give to the peddler to get the bead to give to the maiden to get the jug to fetch the water . and so the fox gets his tail back and goes away happy. This has to happen in order for that to happen. Nothing comes from nothing. Everything has antecedents. Even the millers kindness came from somewhere.

 Looking deeply into any process, we can see that the same applies. No sunlight, no life. No water, no life. No plants, no photosynthesis, no photosynthesis, no oxygen for animals to breathe. No parents, no you. No trucks, no food in the cities. No truck manufacturers, no trucks. No steel workers, no steel for the manufacturers. No mining, no steel for the steel workers. No food, no steel workers. No rain, no food. No sunlight, no rain. No conditions for star and planet formation in the forma­tive universe, no sunlight, no Earth. These relationships are not always simple and linear. Usually things are embedded in a complex web of finely balanced interconnections. Certainly what we call life, or health, or the biosphere, are all complex systems of interconnections, with no absolute starting point or end point.


 So we see the futility and the danger of letting our thinking make any thing or circumstance into an absolutely separate existence without being mindful of interconnectedness and flux. Everything is related to everything else and, in a way, simulta­neously contains everything else and is contained by everything else. What is more, everything is in flux. Stars are born, go through stages, and die. Planets also have a rhythm of formation and ultimate demise. New cars are already on their way to the junk heap even before they leave the factory. This awareness might truly enhance our appreciation of impermanence and help us to take things and circumstances and relationships less for granted while they are around. We might appreciate life more, people more, food more, opinions more, moments more, if we perceive, by our own looking more deeply into them, that everything we are in contact with-connects us to the whole world in each moment, and that things and other people, and even places and circumstances, are only here temporarily. It makes now so much more interesting. In fact, it makes now everything.


 Mindfulness of breathing is one string on which the beads of our experience, our- thoughts, our feelings, our emotions, our perceptions, our impulses, our understanding, our very con­sciousness can be threaded. The necklace created is something new-not a thing really, but a new way of seeing, a new way of being, a new way of experiencing that permits a new way of acting in the world. This new way seems to connect what seems to be isolated. But actually, nothing is ever isolated and needs reconnecting. Its our way of seeing which creates and maintains separation.


 This new way of seeing and new way of being holds life fragments and gives them place. It honors each moment in its own fullness within a larger fullness. Mindfulness practice is simply the ongoing discovery of  the thread of interconnected­ness, At some point, we may even come to see that it is not quite correct to say that we are doing the threading. Its more like we become conscious of a connectedness which has been here all the time. We have climbed to a vantage point from which we can more readily, perceive wholeness, and can cradle the flow of present moments in awareness. The flow of the breath and the flow of present moments interpenetrate, beads and thread to­gether giving something larger.



–Jon Kabat-Zinn (from “Wherever you go there you are.”)




“The Holy of the Holies” is the bridal chamber. Baptism includes the resurrection and the redemption; the redemption (takes place) in the bridal chamber.


If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber. Indeed, those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated. Thus Eve separated from Adam because it was not in the bridal chamber that she united with him.

–Gospel of Philip

The mystery which unites two beings
is great; without it, the world would
not exist



Judaic tradition, especially in the Midrash,
maintains that a man that has not known
a woman cannot be called “human,” and
the same is true for a woman who has not
known a man. These Biblical commentators
point out that before meeting his Other, the
male is simply called Adam; after meeting
her he is referred to as ha-Adam, which
literally means “the Adam.”

Kabbalists count the numerical value
of these Hebrew letters with the
following results: the later ha-Adam gives:
hey 5 + aleph 1 + dalet 4 + mem 40 = 50;
this is the numerical equivalent of
mi: mem 40 +  yod  10 = 50,
which in Hebrew
means “who.” The earlier Adam alone gives:

aleph 1 + dalet 4 + mem 40 =45,
the numerical equivalent of the Hebrew word
mah: mem 40 + hey 5, which means “what.”

Hence we human beings pass from a What to a “Who,”
from object to subject, when we realize the man-woman
complimentarity in an encounter with the Other.
We become ourselves through this encounter.
We cannot be whole alone, but only through this
relation, which makes us a Who, a subject,
in the image and likeness of the subject that is
the first principle.

–Jean-Yves Leloup
(The sacred embrace of Jesus and Mary
  The sexual Mystery at the heart of the
  Christian tradition.)

Everthing which we do not distinguish falls
into the pleroma and is made void by its
opposite. If, therefore, we do not discern
God, then the effective fullness is cancelled
out for us. Moreover God is the pleroma itself,
as likewise each smallest point in the
created world  and uncreated world
is pleroma itself.

Basilides ( the seven sermons to the dead)


The companion of the Son is Miriam of Magdala,
The teacher loved her more than all the disciples;
he often kissed her on the mouth.

–Gospel of Philip

Beneath the apple tree:
there I took you for my own,
there I offered you my hand,
and restored you,
where your mother was corrupted.

In the inner wine cellar
I drank of my Beloved, and, when I went abroad
through all this valley,
I no longer knew anything,
and lost the herd that I was following.

The small white dove
has returned to the ark with an olive branch;
and now the turtledove
has found its longed-for mate
by the green river banks.

Now I occupy my soul
and all my energy in his service;
I no longer tend the herd,
nor have I any other work
now that my every act is love.

–St. John of the Cross

Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש; plural midrashim)
is a Hebrew word referring to a method of exegesis
of a Biblical text. The term “midrash” can also refer
to a compilation of Midrashic teachings, in the form
of legal, exegetical or homiletical commentaries on
the Tanakh (Jewish Bible)


Pleroma (Greek πλήρωμα) generally refers to the
totality of divine powers. The word means fullness
from πληρόω (“fills”) comparable to πλήρης which
means “full”,and is used in Christian theological
contexts: both in Gnosticism generally, and by
Paul of Tarsus in Colossians 2.9


Pleroma: The word means “fullness,” and
the ‘All.’ It refers to ”all existence beyond matter.
Refers to the world of the Aeons, the heavens or spiritual
universe, which represents being out of the state of matter.
According to the “Gospel of Truth”
“….all the emanations from the Father are Pleromas.”
see Tractates 3, 2, Codices, I, and XII, Nag Hammadi Lib.
Pleroma can have other connotations according to
the Gnostic school of thought, some differences in
Sethian and Valentinian (other) schools can be noted.
Pleroma, is different than Logos.
(See; Logos, See aslo; Gaffney, p. 246.)

(Saunders Gnostic Glossary)

(25) Jesus said,

“Love you brother like your soul,

guard him like the pupil of your eye.”


Matthew 5:44,47

“Love your enemies…

If you greet only your brothers,

what is there extraordinary about that?”


Contrast Saying (55)

“And whoever does not hate his brothers…

will not be worthy of me.”


In Saying (25), the “brothers” Jesus refers to are “brothers” in the Spirit, not necessarily biological siblings or “kinsfolk”. In Saying (55), however, “brothers” represent those we are to separate ourselves from. These are our biological siblings who try to bind us to the old ways. Although we are told to love even our enemies, we are to give extra protection to those who share our “vision”.


I believe Saying (25) is related to the rites

of  “redemption” and the “bridal chamber”. 

To “love you brother like your soul” is a

reminder to guard your soul from the thievery

of the evil archons of the false-god, Yaldabaoth.

The redemption ritual is the catechism recited

to declare your freedom from him.

To “guard him like the pupil of your eye” is a reminder to place top priority on the gift of “sight” as the medium through which you see God “eye to eye” in

the mirrored “bridal chamber”.


As Meister Eckhart (1260-1328) put it:

The eye with which I see God

is the same as that with which he sees me.

My eye and the eye of God are one…”


If your eye is one with the eye of God, and your “brother’s” eye is also the eye of God, then you should be able to see God in your brother’s eyes!


“I saw some piglets suckling their dead mother.
 After a short while they shuddered and went away.
 They had sensed that she could no longer see
 them and that she wasn’t like them anymore.
 What they loved in their mother wasn’t her body,
 but whatever it was that made her body live.”



See and hear and become instructed,
that you may ascend to the Light Land victorious.

The good sit in stillness and are found searching;
and all that have understanding let themselves be instructed

The good speak, take counsel together and say:
Who will come, Who will tell me,
who will set it forth for me, who will give me instructions?
Who will come and who will tell me whether there was originally
one king or two.

The good speak and let themselves be instructed.

Two kings were there, two natures were fashioned,
a king of this world and a king from outside of the worlds.

The king of this aeon girt on a sword and put on a crown
of darkness. A crown of darkness he put on his head,
and took a sword in his right hand.

A sword he took in his right hand; he stands there and
slaughters his sons, and his sons slaughter each other.

The king from outside of the worlds set a crown of Light
on his head. A crown of light he sat on his head, and took
Truth in his right hand. Truth in his right hand he took,
and stands there and instructs his sons.

He stands there and instructs his sons,
and his sons instruct one another.

–Secret Teachings of Angelic kings (ancient Aramaic text)


Glass decanters and earthenware jugs
are both made by means of fire.
But if glass decanters break,
they are done over, for they came into
being through a breath. If earthenware
jugs break, however, they are destroyed,
for they came into being without breath.

-Gospel of Philip

‘That which is not expressed by speech and by which speech is expressed, that alone know as Brahman, not that which people here adore.


–Kena Upanishad



Since the perfection of the All is in the Father, it is necessary for the All to ascend to him. Therefore, if one has knowledge, he gets what belongs to him and draws it to himself. For he who is ignorant, is deficient, and it is a great deficiency, since he lacks that which will make him perfect. Since the perfection of the All is in the Father, it is necessary for the All to ascend to him and for each one to get the things which are his. He registered them first, having prepared them to be given to those who came from him.


–the Gospel of truth



It all comes back, in a sense, to the term “esoteric,” which has been widely misrepresented and misunderstood. The concept is a keystone of Schuon’s thought (and appears in the title of one of his chief stud­ies, Esoterism as Principle and as Way)., Using the symbol of a circle and its center-a formulation that Schuon also employs in his writ­ings-another leading traditionalist author, Martin Lings, has described how esoterism is actually the link between world religions:

My intelligence had never been able to accept the exclu­sivist idea that there is only one valid religion. But now it had learned and most readily accepted the truth that the great religions of the world, all of them equally Heaven-sent in accordance with the various needs of different sectors of humanity, can be graphically represented by points on the circumference of a circle, each point being connected with the center, that is, with God, by a radius. The points stand for the outward aspects of the religions, whereas each radius is the esoteric path which the religion in question offers to those who seek a direct way to God in this life, and who are capable of compliance with the demands of that way of sanctification, demands far more rigorous and exacting than those of the exoteric way of salvation.

The secret (or inner) does not negate or deny the open (or outer), which can at times even be said to surround it, contain it, protect it, albeit perhaps unwittingly. In specifically Islamic terms, the tarigah (Arabic for path or Way) does not replace the shart’ah (the law, the highly developed code of rules and regulations that consti­tutes Islam); both start with the same foundational guidelines. But at the same time, since the esoteric path is one where movement takes place inside the circle, its progress may not always be dis­cernible to those on the circumference.

The secret is furthermore not clandestine out of paranoia or some perverse predilection for elitist exclusivism, but because exposure and publicity always crudely compromise the message being pre­served. As with the meaning of a fairy tale, any attempt to expose the esoteric to the light of rational analysis spoils it forever, robs it of all its magical meaning: truth vanishes in a puff of smoke under such circumstances. Ripping the veil off a hidden or sacred symbol reveals nothing of the inner clarity of the representation in ques­tion, but only the naked hollowness of the vision of the viewer.

The straight path-spoken of as “al-Sirat al-Mustaqfm” in the fati­hah, the all-embracing opening verses of the Qur’an-of true Sufism thus never really strays outside the circumference of the circle; nor does it meander in and out of it. It heads steadily (and usually with great difficulty) toward the center. As with a traditional craftsman, a painter, ,or a pianist, years of training in technique are required before the seeker is allowed the grace of improvisation-usually only when the center is within reach.

This demanding or rigorous path is never easy or comfortable, nor is it egalitarian or democratic, accessible to all. It is an initiatic way, the traditionalists insist, one of direct experience which cannot be spoken of to outsiders, not because the listener “should not” be told about it, but because they would and could not recognize the vocab­ulary, and the very attempt to verbalize it would do far more harm than good for the cause of understanding.

–Merton and Sufism the Untold story Pgs. 198-200


Jesus says:
“Come to know what is in front of you,
and that which is hidden from you will become clear to you.

For there is nothing hidden that will not become manifest.”


–Gospel of Thomas



He who knows both knowledge and ignorance together, crosses death through ignorance and attains immortality through knowledge.

–Isa Upanishad


When my Beloved appears,

With what eye do I see Him?

With His eye, not with mine,

For none sees Him except Himself.

— ibn al-`Arabi



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