THE GNOSTIC JESUS

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The Basic Gnostic Library

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Adam, Eve, and the Serpent
by Elaine Pagels
Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature
by Birger A. Pearson
The Allure of Gnosticism: The Gnostic Experience
by Robert A. Segal and June Singer
Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel of Thomas
by Elaine Pagels
The Fifth Gospel: The Gospel of Thomas Comes of Age
by Stephen J. Patterson and James M. Robinson
Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism
by Richard Smoley
Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions
by Dan Merkur
Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism
by Kurt Randolph
Gnosis on the Silk Road: Gnostic Texts from Central Asia
by Hans-Joachim Klimkeit
A Gnostic Book of Hours: Keys to Inner Wisdom
by June Singer
The Gnostic Bible
edited by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer
The Gnostic Discoveries: The Impact of the Nag Hammadi Library
by Marvin Meyer
The Gnostic Gospels
by Elaine Pagels
The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus
edited and translated by Marvin Meyer
The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters
by Elaine Pagels
The Gnostic Religion
by Hans Jonas
The Gnostic Scriptures
edited by Bentley Layton
Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing
by Stephan Hoeller
The Gnostics
by Jacques Lacarriere
The Gospel of Mary Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle
by Karen King
A History of Gnosticism
by Giovanni Filoramo
Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism
edited by Karen L. King
The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis: Heracleon’s Commentary on John
by Elaine Pagels
Jung and the Lost Gospels
by Stephan A. Hoeller
The Kephalaia of the Teacher: The Edited Coptic Manichaean Texts in Translation
with Commentary by Iain Gardner
Living Gnosis: A Practical Guide to Gnostic Christianity
by Tau Malachi
Mani, the Angel and the Column of Glory
by Andrew Welburn
Marcion and His Influence
by E.C. Blackman
The Mystic Christ
by Ethan Walker III
Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and Early Christianity
edited by Charles W. Hedrick and Robert Hodgson
The Nag Hammadi Scriptures
edited by Marvin Meyer, introduction by Elaine Pagels
Neoplatonism and Gnosticism (Studies in Neoplatonism)
by Richard Wallis
The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy
by Yuri Stoyanov
Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity
by Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King
A Separate God: The Christian Origins of Gnosticism
by Simone Petrement
The Tree of Gnosis: Gnostic Mythology from Early Christianity to Modern Nihilism
by Ioan P. Couliano
What Is Gnosticism
by Karen L. King

 
 

The Basic Gnostic Library

 
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 The Mystic Christ
   by Ethan Walker III
The Mystic Christ is an ancient tale of mystic union, salvation, and enlightenment. It is the careful uncovering of a lost treasure of immeasurable value, long buried in the suffocating darkness of conventional orthodoxy on one side, and blind fundamentalist extremism on the other. From the viewpoint of the world’s mystical religious traditions which includes Gnosticism, the brilliant light of the Master’s way is revealed as a penetrating radical non-duality unifying all people and all of life. His path to this all-embracing unity is the spiritual practice of pure selfless love. Love God intensely, love our neighbor as our own Self, bless those that curse us, and pray for those that mistreat us. Love has been lost, becoming nothing more than a word in the dictionary and, yet, it remains the foundation of Jesus’ message.

The Mystic Christ is also a compelling story of the ego, the personification of ignorance, and how it has distorted and subverted the sublime sayings of the Master, twisting reality into unreality and light into darkness. The ego is the Antichrist in this ancient drama that has gripped every culture for all time in its talons of self-centered perception. The ego is anti-love.

Adam and Eve were not the first people, the nature of man is good, scripture is not infallible, Jesus is one of the ways, all religions are paths to God, reincarnation is in the Bible, the resurrection as a personal spiritual awakening, and the error of eternal damnation are all carefully and lovingly revealed in the life and sayings of Jesus.

The Mystic Christ is thoroughly punctuated with quotes from Buddha, Krishna, Lao Tzu and other masters of the mystical traditions. But, most importantly, over 230 scriptural references from the Old and New Testament are used to illustrate the harmony that exists between the life and teachings of Jesus and the world’s great religions.

With the skill of a surgeon and the wisdom of Socrates, the author removes 2000 years of ego-centered bindings that have hidden the brilliant light of the Master from the world. The Mystic Christ is at once profoundly fascinating, deeply historic and electric with the vibration of the mystical experience.

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The Nag Hammadi Scriptures
   edited by Marvin Meyer, introduction by Elaine Pagels
Finally, a pivotal new translation of the Nag Hammadi Library – in its entirety – has arrived! Dr. Marvin Meyer has masterfully produced a volume that is certain to become a standard source for studying Gnosticism. Since the original publication of the Nag Hammadi Library in 1977, religious scholars have greatly matured their understanding of these Gnostic texts found at Nag Hammadi. This refinement is fully reflected in the “scholarly ear” of both the spiritual tradition that is preserved in these Gnostic Coptic texts and the ancient forgotten tongue. This publication of The Nag Hammadi Scriptures represents a landmark in the contemporary understanding of Gnostic tradition in every way possible. Elaine Pagels, the author and professor who has paved the way to understanding Gnostic Gospels for many, fittingly composes the introduction to this milestone book. This comprehensive and crucial translation proves a much better way for Gnostics and Gnostic scholars to enjoy and understand the Gnostic scriptures. While every scholar of Gnosticism will want a copy of this edition, we recommend studying the smaller introductory books listed below before delving into this large volume. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our website.

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 Beyond Belief: The Secret Gospel  of Thomas          
   by Elaine Pagels


With another book destined to become a classic, Pagels revisits the themes she initially introduced in her breakthrough study, The Gnostic Gospels. In Beyond Belief, Pagels blends ancient history with a subtle telling of her personal struggle in an effort to reveal the intimacy of spirituality. The novel is a journey, guiding the reader with meticulously argued steps to a remote spiritual Christian tradition that was regarded as heresy and later ostracized and forgotten by what would later become an orthodox creedal faith. Pagels reveals to her readers her compassion for this forgotten Christianity through her majestic
                                         book.

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 Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas
    and the Shaping of Christianity

    by Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King
Under the auspice of the National Geographic Society, the finding and subsequent publication of The Gospel of Judas has rightfully received a great deal of acknowledgment. This is an imperative addition to our library of early Gnostic Christian texts, despite the occasionally over-bearing “hype”. Jumping on the bandwagon, Elaine Pagels and Karen King (two foremost scholars of Gnostic texts) together offer their astute introduction to the Gospel of Judas that places it in the context of early Christianity. Pagels’ lucid and informative style of this short book will be easily recognizable to anyone who has enjoyed any of her other works. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our website.

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The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus
   edited and translated by Marvin Meyer
For those just beginning their Gnostic exploration, this is our top recommendation. An eminently talented Gnostic commentator and translator, Professor Marvin Meyer has distinguished himself over the last thirty years. Heralded as the best collection he has ever published, Meyer proffers twelve Gnostic “gospels” in a succinctly readable and accurate translation. While the subtitle claims that the book is “The definitive collection of mystical gospels and secret books about Jesus of Nazareth”, this text is not necessarily definitive in the function of being all-inclusive. However, it is readily agreed upon that this collection perhaps the most important of all introductory books regarding Gnostic exploration.

Meyer claims that his goal with this collection is to “be as accurate as possible” while still maintaining use of “felicitous English”. Meyer succeeds with this eloquent collection. The graceful and flowing translation of this collection will prove to be quite a change to readers who have previously struggled though the tortured translations and editor additions to the original Nag Hammadi Library (first published in 1977). An intelligible overview of Christian Gnosticism is presented by Meyer in addition to introductory essays that preface each selected text. Visit our bookstore for more information, including how to purchase it through our website.

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The Gnostic Discoveries: The Impact of the Nag Hammadi Library

by Marvin Meyer

Marvin Meyer, editor of the 2007 edition of the Nag Hammadi Library (now referred to as the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, above) and leading Gnostic scholar, as again presented another distinguished introductory work. Perhaps a degree of Meyer’s success is his interest in making his works both significant and graspable for a wide range of readers. This fantastic and short book teaches the history of the Nag Hammadi discovery and how these Gnostic texts (through their visions and themes) have shaped our understanding of Christianity’s origins. This book warrants attention from even the most experienced reader of Gnostic  texts. For those that are not the most learned in Gnostic                                          literature, this is a perfect starting point.

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Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing by Stephan A. Hoeller

The void for a much-needed comprehensive introductory guide to Gnostic tradition is finally filled in this work by Stephan Hoeller. This book proves to be an exemplary introduction to Gnosticism’s history and importance in the Western tradition. The essential message at the heart of Gnosticism is given a strong, clear voice that will resonate with readers just beginning their path of knowledge and understanding.





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The Gospel of Mary Magdala: Jesus and the First Woman Apostle
 by Karen King
Of all the newly discovered Gnostic texts, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is appraised by many to be one of the most extraordinary and delightful. Renowned author Karen King offers the most authoritative edition on The Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Two small Greek fragments found at Oxyrhynchus are incorporated with translations of the Coptic Gospel of Mary that was found in Cairo in 1896. The entire book includes extensive commentary by the author, the texts’ implications on modern Christianity, on Gnosticism, and a brilliant introduction that could only be offered from one of the most influential Gnostic scholars of our time. The                                     book comes highly  recommended. Visit our bookstore for more                                     information, including  how to purchase it through our website.

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The Gnostic Bible
edited by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer

This collection offers an extensive medley of original Gnostic texts combined into a single book. Barnstone and Meyer have compiled the most important texts from the Nag Hammadi Library with a comprehensive selection of early texts that have survived from medieval and ancient sources. In addition, the authors provide an informative introduction and overview for each text. Currently, this is regarded as the single best selection of traditional Gnostic texts available, and proves to be a better introduction for study than the Nag Hammadi Library. This book comes highly recommended. The Fool’s Pilgrimage: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot by Stephan A. Hoeller

After nearly thirty years, this classic has finally been republished! The first title of the book differed slightly: The Royal Road: A Manual of Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot. Few introductions to the Tarot or Kabbalah can be found today. Through guided meditations on the Kabbalah Tree of Life, the reader is provided with an excellent introduction to the Tarot or Kabbalah. Included with the book is a CD with Hoeller himself reading the meditations. This book comes highly recommended.

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The Gnostic Gospels
      by Elaine Pagels
This new edition provides the perfect starting point to any Gnostic reading program. Pagels produces a popular classic that has been celebrated by novices and scholars alike. While this book is now slightly dated (published in 2004), readers will be hard pressed to find a better introductory book that covers classical Gnosticism and the discovery of the Gnostic texts at Nag Hammadi. The combination of this book with Hoeller’s introductory work (Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing, listed above) provide a sound and thorough introduction to Gnosticism. Additionally, many readers follow this work with another one of Pagels’ groundbreaking books Beyond Belief. Visit our bookstore for                                           more information, including how to purchase it through our                                           website.

 

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Jung and the Lost Gospels
by Stephan A. Hoeller


In this introductory book, Hoeller offers the reader a new perspective on Gnosticism and its relationship to the spiritual quest of today’s age by drawing from the work of psychologist Carl Jung. Religious and psychological contexts are used by Hoeller to explore several fundamental motifs of Gnosticism.




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The Fifth Gospel: The Gospel of Thomas Comes of Age
 
by Stephen J. Patterson and James M. Robinson

Two recognized scholars make this readable edition of The Gospel of Thomas easily accessible to a large audience. In addition to being a coherent translation, the book is also accompanied by two outstanding introductions that place Thomas within the historical Gospel context. This book comes highly recommended as an introduction to the Gnostic Gospel.


 


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A Gnostic Book of Hours: Keys to Inner Wisdom
by June Singer

From a celebrated Jungian author and analyst, a delightful and helpful book arranges the cycle of an ancient monastic “book of hours” with sacred Gnostic texts. Supplementing each text in the book are psychological commentaries and Gnostic illuminations. Not only is this remarkable little book a wonderful introduction to the Nag Hammadi library, it also enables the reader to arrive at a deeper and more meaningful understanding of their Gnosis.

 

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The Gnostic Scriptures
  edited by Bentley Layton


Layton provides readers with superior translations of the more crucial scriptures from the Nag Hammadi collection complemented with quotations and references to other Gnostic sources and works. This work offers an effectual introduction to Gnostic scriptures with a scholarly approach.




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Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism
   by Kurt Randolph

Through an objective point of view, Randolph presents a well-researched and articulated exposition through the nature and history of Gnosticism. Although this book is equally of value for those who have only read a few introductory books on Gnosticism and for those who have dedicated their lives to it, this work is best suited for those who have had a complete introductory course of reading.


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The Gnostic Religion
   by Hans Jonas


Once a student of Heidegger, Jonas puts his existential lessons to proper use and channels them to study and analyze Gnosticism. Due to the fact that this work was published before the findings at Nag Hammadi (published in 1971), there are only a few references to what were then believed to be lost scriptures. This book also includes a good amount of useful quotations from Mandaean and Manichaean sources.


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Gnosis: An Esoteric Tradition of Mystical Visions and Unions
by Dan Merkur

Merkur presents an insightful work that sees the origins of Gnosticism as comparable to the “active imagination” as developed by psychologist Carl Jung. This is a very well-researched and clear study that touches upon material from Christian, Jewish and Islamic mysticism in an effort to augment his conclusions.


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The Gnostics
by Jacques Lacarriere

Lacarriere lends his poetic nature to this work to explore Gnosticism and its teachings. At times throughout the book his anti-establishment perspective is too overbearing, but this is trifling as the book consists of useful information incorporated into a sympathetic view of Gnosticism. Additionally, Lawrence Durrell lends a purposeful foreword.


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The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters
       by Elaine H. Pagels

Written before The Gnostic Gospels, Pagels investigates the Valentinian Gnostic reading of the Pauline letters which present a new perspective on Pauline studies. This exegesis of Paul is composed in a high scholarly fashion.





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 Adam, Eve, and the Serpent
         by Elaine H. Pagels

In her trademark intellectual style, Pagels examines the initial three chapters of Genesis and their impact on the political thought and development of Christendom. While each chapter of the book is important, the chapter titled “Gnostic Improvement on Genesis” is of particular importance to Gnostic readers.

 

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Mani, the Angel and the Column of Glory
by Andrew Welburn

With the revival of interest in Gnosticism, the interest in the world religion founded by the Prophet Mani (216-276 AD) has experienced a similar awakening. Although there have been entire libraries of Manichaean texts unearthed over the duration of the last century, Gnostic scholars are only now beginning to evaluate these writings and the religion about which they were written. This work is the most available collection of Manichaean texts to date, and Welburn presents them along with a remarkable introduction to the Gnosis of Mani, or “The Apostle of Jesus Christ”. Any reader that is interested in the history and nature of Gnosticism will greatly benefit from this book. This book is highly recommended.

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Marcion and His Influence
by E.C. Blackman


Considered by religious scholars to be the most comprehensive survey of Marcionís life, this book presents the reader with a thorough study of Marcionís teachings and their impact on religion. Readers should beware that many of the quoted passages are in Greek, Latin and other languages, and this may prove to be cumbersome to readers without a firm grasp of these tongues.

 


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The Tree of Gnosis: Gnostic Mythology from Early Christianity to Modern Nihilism
by Ioan P. Couliano

Despite its somewhat callow approach to the Gnostic tradition, Couliano lends his historical knowledge to this magical and transformative book.




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A History of Gnosticism
by Giovanni Filoramo


Regarded as one of the best Gnostic works available. Filoramo lends an expert hand at dissecting the ancient history of the Gnostic tradition. The reader is presented with fascinating accounts of Gnosticism blended with psychology, mythology and sociology. The author does not attempt to prove a singular origin for Gnosticism, but instead works with Sethian and Valentinian texts to portray the Gnostic tradition to an eager audience.



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The Kephalaia of the Teacher: The Edited Coptic Manichaean Texts in Translation
with Commentary by Iain Gardner



This book is essential to any individual that wishes to learn more about the Manichaean faith. Gardner also includes an excellent translation of the Kephalaia. This work is perhaps the most inclusive of any Manichaean scholarly reviews.






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Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and Early Christianity: Fourteen Leading Scholars Discuss the Current Issues in Gnostic Studies
edited by Charles W. Hedrick and Robert Hodgson


An excellent and thorough proffering of several valuable studies by the most prominent Gnostic scholars, this book provides the reader with a sound introduction to the Gnostic tradition. Most importantly, this book constructs a durable bridge that connects ancient Gnostic traditions and scriptures with modern-day Gnostic studies.




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Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism
edited by Karen L. King



Quickly regarded as one of the most eminent Gnostic scholars, Karen King lends her editing skills to collect and publish transactions recorded from a 1985 conference. While there are many essays found within this work that are of special relevance to current Gnostic studies, others m
ay be found less valuable to todayís modern Gnostic reader.





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Gnosis on the Silk Road: Gnostic Texts from Central Asia
by Hans-Joachim Klimkeit


Klimkeit combines studies of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam and Zoroastrianism to investigate the ancient sacred writings of the Manichaean religion. This book provides a useful and easily intelligible introduction to Manichaeism.



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The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis: Heracleonís Commentary on John
by Elaine Pagels


Elaine Pagels lends her scholarly intelligence in one of her earlier works that provides an analytical approach to understanding the Valentinian interpretations of the Gospel of John. Not for the faint of faith or those accustomed to reading solely colloquial works, Pagels provides an intensely researched avenue to Gnostic Christianity.




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A Separate God: The Christian Origins of Gnosticism
by Simone Petrement

Petrement provides Gnostic enthusiasts with a highly intelligent approach to Gnosticism and its roots in early Christianity. Interestingly, Petrement places heavy emphasis on the interwoven relations between the Gnostic tradition and the development of the Christian Orthodox Church. Readers not familiar with Gnostic traditions or other Gnostic gospels should make sure they read a few introductory books first, as this work can be difficult to digest for the novice reader.


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Neoplatonism and Gnosticism (Studies in Neoplatonism)
by Richard Wallis

This work offers a technical approach that carefully reveals the early influences of Neoplatonism on Gnosticism. This work will be of particular interest to those eager to learn more about the philosophy of the Gnostic tradition.



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The Other God: Dualist Religions from Antiquity to the Cathar Heresy
by Yuri Stoyanov

Cataloging a good portion of history, Stoyanov pays particular attention to the Cathars. The information about the medieval Cathar sect is especially well researched and presented.



 

 

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Forbidden Faith: The Secret History of Gnosticism
by Richard Smoley


Once the editor of Gnosis magazine, Richard Smoley traces the Gnostic tradition from ancient times to its 21-century influences. Smoley provides the reader with an acute survey of Gnosticism and presents it in a way that anyone (no matter how unfamiliar with Gnosticism) may comprehend.


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What Is Gnosticism?
by Karen L. King


While some Gnostic scholars have based thousands of hours of research on the Gnostic faith, only to have gone astray, Karen King presents within this work an attempt to answer why Gnostic studies have strayed. Not only does King attempt to answer what exactly Gnosticism has come to mean today, but also she attempts to transform societyís views of Christianity.





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Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature
by Birger A. Pearson

Pearson lends his expert and scholarly hand to analyze various aspects of the Gnostic faith. By providing an eloquent and well-researched introduction to each writing, Pearson makes each topic approachable by even the lay reader. Pearson also covers a vast number of areas of interest, including Mandaeism, Manichaeism, Hermetic Gnosis and Gnostic Christianity.



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The Allure of Gnosticism: The Gnostic Experience

by Robert A. Segal and June Singer


In a collection of sixteen essays, the authors present the relevance of Gnosticism to Jungian thought, the nature of evil, the feminine divine and other issues. Provides a good background and introduction to Gnosticism.




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Living Gnosis: A Practical Guide to Gnostic Christianity
by Tau Malachi

Tau Malachi introduces Gnosticism and allows the reader to discover the necessary tools to begin his or her own journey down the esoteric path. Readers will learn how to apply Gnostic traditions to everyday life through affirmations, positive thought and creative visualization. An excellent beginnerís guide to gnosis.  



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