The Kingdom of Light from the Book of Sophia
“Preach to the whole world: fight yourselves and receive the mysteries of the Light in this afflicted time, and go into the kingdom of the Light. Do not add day to day or cycle to cycle, hoping to come to receive the mysteries when we come to the world in another cycle. Now such people do not know when the number of the Perfect Souls will be complete, and I shall shut the Gates of Light, and from that time no one shall go in, because the mystery of the first mystery has been accomplished, for whose sake the universe has come into being.”
Following the resurrection, Christ gave the following admonition to his followers: “[Go] and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” This admonition, known by many as the Great Commission, is one of the primary tenants of Christianity. Among those of us in the spiritual Church, there is some hesitancy to follow this teaching having possibly experienced for ourselves the efforts of those in the external Church to make us conform to the limitations of a literalist interpretation of scripture and has made proselytization is something of a dirty word in our communities – for good reason.
As spiritual Christians, or Gnostics, we are encouraged equally to abide by the teachings of the Jesus as well as the higher laws of the living words of the Christ within. It is our duty to embody the Word of God and to go forth into the world to share with others the good news of the immanence of the Kingdom of God which is here and now, within and without. For us to follow the Great Commission, we are enjoined to be examples of the Sacred Flame and to encourage others in their knowledge of God, by whatever way they know Him.
We are not to presuppose that by our knowledge we are somehow superior to others or that by virtue of our knowledge we are guaranteed a place in Heaven – that knowledge is known only to God alone. Our commission is to do God’s work for God’s sake, not for ours; exemplifying the same humility that Jesus exhibited when incarnate in the world. We will fail and fall along the way, that is understood, but the importance is to continue on as Paul speaks in 1 Corinthians 9:23 to, “do all this for the sake of the gospel, that [we] may share in its blessings.”
Parable of the Pearl in the Mud from the Gospel of Philip
“If a pearl is cast down into the mud it loses no value, if it is rubbed with balsam oil, it gains no value. It always is precious in its owner’s eyes. Wherever they are, the children of god are precious in the eyes of the father.”
The parable of the Pearl in the Mud follows a common theme in the various narratives Jesus shared with his disciples. In the outer Church, the most famous of these is in Matthew 7:6, “Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast your pearls before the swine, lest haply they trample them under their feet, and turn and rend you”; from which we get the well-worn admonition to not cast pearls before swine. Yet, in this parable we are informed that even if thrown in the mud the pearl does not lose its value any more so than it would if it were to be anointed with precious oils.
In the Gospels the Pearl most commonly represents the teachings of Scripture as in Matthew or in the Gospel of Thomas: “Don’t give what is holy to dogs, for they might throw them upon the manure pile. Don’t throw pearls [to] pigs…”; yet in this case the Pearl is the embodied message of the seeker of gnosis which, being internalized, does not lose nor gain any value since it is itself priceless, as affirmed in the narrative in Matthew 13:45-46 and contains within itself the very essence of Kingdom of Heaven.
This parable also fits in nicely with the lesson taken from the Book of the Sophia, who herself descended into the lowest emanations and remained unchanged in essence. Those who have obtained the wisdom of God are simultaneously the bearers of a great and vast store of treasure as well as embodiments of that treasure itself by virtue of their ability to disperse that wisdom. Being undefiled by the knowledge (gnosis) of God, the sharing of wisdom is no longer something about which we need to remain cautious but, instead, it is incumbent upon us to share in our own individual ways that others may likewise be saved.