This week on Spiritual Awakening Radio my guest was Professor Marvin Meyer. We had a great discussion about the Gnostic Gospels — the Nag Hammadi Library, Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and Gospel of Judas discoveries in Egypt. Meyers has translated most all the Gnostic scriptures in English and published numerous best-selling books on these lesser-known Jewish and Christian mystical movements of antiquity, their spirituality and history. This week’s program is Part One of a Three-Part Series on the lost Gnostic Tradition of the West.
A Note about the Gnostic Mystics
Before the Sufis were the Gnostics of antiquity. Some of those were Masters of Inner Light and Sound, vegetarians, and had a similar view of the cosmos, teaching the soul must be initiated by a living Master into the “Mysteries of the Kingdom of the Heavens”, repeat Names of God, see inner Lights and hear inner Sounds associated with the various heavenly regions. And their ultimate goal, like Sant Mat Mysticism, was to, via meditation practice, ascend through the heavens and reunite with the Nameless (Anami) God at the level of the Eighth Plane or Inner Region, the Ultimate Reality. Historically, there was some interaction and dialogue between the Gnostics and early Sufis, even as there has been some closeness and fellowship between the Sufis and the Sants of India.
The term “Gnostic” is used by the Sufis including Rumi and Shams of Tabriz, and is a word also found in the Adi Granth and bhajans of the Sants.
Russell Perkins wrote much about the Gnostic tradition from a Sant Mat perspective, and actually gave a number of Satsang talks based on the Gospel of Thomas at Sant Bani Ashram in New Hampshire a number of years ago. If those turn up online somewhere as MP3s I’ll gladly share the links.
This program is another instalment of my conversation with best-selling author, Professor Marvin Meyer, translator of numerous Gnostic Gospels: The Gnostic Bible, The Gospel of Thomas, Gospels of Mary Magdalene, The Secret Teachings of Jesus, The Unknown Sayings of Jesus, Ancient Christian Magic, Nag Hammadi Scriptures, The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth, Gospel of Judas, etc…. An insightful discussion about the spiritual goals of Jewish, Christian, and Hermetic Gnosticism. We even take some time to speculate about the “People of the Nag Hammadi Library”, those Egyptian monks that once copied and contemplated the texts, also what’s inside the caves near the discovery site of Nag Hammadi and descriptions of other nearby locations in the same region of Egypt.
Marvin Meyer is one of the foremost scholars on Gnosticism, the Nag Hammadi scriptures, and texts about Jesus outside the New Testament.
The word “Gnostic” comes from the Greek and means “One Who Knows”, someone who is acquainted with the divine realms, is someone who not only has faith or an intellectual belief-system, but also direct spiritual experiences of the divine. In other words, a Gnostic is a mystic, a contemplative soul devoted to a life of stillness, prayer, meditation practice, and inward journeys of ascension through various heavenly realms on the way back to God in the Eighth Plane, beyond the Seven Heavens.
A discussion about the lost spirituality of the West, the Gnostic tradition — the final installment of my conversation with best-selling author, Professor Marvin Meyer, translator of numerous Gnostic Gospels: The Gnostic Bible, The Gospel of Thomas, Gospels of Mary Magdalene, The Secret Teachings of Jesus, The Unknown Sayings of Jesus, Ancient Christian Magic, Nag Hammadi Scriptures, The Gnostic Gospels of Jesus: The Definitive Collection of Mystical Gospels and Secret Books about Jesus of Nazareth, Gospel of Judas, etc….
“I am inviting you into the exalted, perfect Light. Moreover as for this Light, when you enter it you will be glorified … you will become gloriously glorious, the way you first were when you were Light.” (Gnostic Book of Trimorphic Protennoia)
The Mandaean tradition represents a living stream of the Gnostic tradition surviving from classical times up to the present. According to the Haran Gawaitha, the Mandaeans have existed in the region centering around Iraq since the reign of Artabanus V of Parthia, dating to the third century C. E. There is some scholarly support for suggesting Mandaean origins predate formation of Christianity and perhaps even influenced the heterodox Jewish circles from which Christian tradition first emerged.
The Haran Gawaitha from The Haran Gawaita and the Baptism of Hibil-Ziwa: The Mandaic Text Reproduced Together with Translation, Notes, and Commentary by E. S. Drower (Citta del Vaticano, 1953). This important source book is long out of print and now very difficult to find. (This text version presented here lacks the many footnotes that helped clarify the text, therefore a pdf version of the original text is also provided.)http://gnosis.org/library/haran.htm
My radio guest is the Gnostic Bishop: Stephan Hoeller. Our conversation is about all things “Gnostic”, the lost spirituality of the West, Gnostic Gospels, lost books of the Bible, meditation practice, etc… Stephan Hoeller of Ecclesia Gnostica in Los Angeles and the Gnosis.org website is “an author and scholar of Gnosticism and Jungian psychology, Hoeller is Regionary Bishop of Ecclesia Gnostica, and the senior holder of the English Gnostic transmission in America.” “He has continued to serve as bishop of the Ecclesia Gnostica for over four decades.” “Stephan A. Hoeller (November 27, 1931) is an American author and scholar. He was born in Budapest, Hungary into a family of Austro-Hungarian nobility. Exiled from his native country as the result of the communist rule subsequent to World War II, he studied in various academic institutions in Austria, Belgium, and Italy. In 1952 he immigrated to the United States and has resided in Southern California ever since.” (Wikipedia) Books authored by Stephan Hoeller: Gnosticism: New Light on the Ancient Tradition of Inner Knowing; Jung and the Lost Gospels: The Gnostic Jung and the Seven Sermons to the Dead; The Fool’s Pilgrimage: Kabbalistic Meditations on the Tarot; The Fall of Sophia: A Gnostic Text on the Redemption of Universal Consciousness by Violet MacDermot with a commentary by Stephan A. Hoeller; and, Freedom: Alchemy for a Voluntary Society.
There are some examples of visionary literature in the Dead Sea Scrolls, various descriptions of things going on in the heavens. The Mandaean texts seem to be a continuation of that visionary tradition of Light-mysticism and Ascension-mysticism. In my view the Mandaean scriptures probably represent the most heavenly or otherworldly documents of the west, brimming with out-of-this-world visions of God, descriptions of the heavens, souls, angels, and life after death. They speak directly to both the heart and soul of the reader through hymns and prayers of incredible beauty. The Nag Hammadi Library represents the prose of the Gnostics, but the Mandaean scriptures are the poetry. (James Bean, Spiritual Awakening Radio)
Satsang (Spiritual Community) — Guru Nanak’s Conversation with the Yogis
Below is based on: Peace Lagoon – Sacred Songs of the Sikhs, the Collected Hymns of Guru Nanak, Guru Amar Das, Guru Ram Das, Guru Arjun Dev, and Guru Gobind Singh, translated by Sardarni Premka Kaur, published by the Sikh 3HO, a very nice anthology of the Sikh scriptures of India in clear contemporary English.
Opening Verse of the Book of Sidh Gosht: “The Siddha Yogis formed an assembly, and sitting in their yogic postures spoke to Guru Nanak: ’Make your obeisance to this gathering.’”
Answered Guru Nanak: “I bow only to Him who is true, infinite and beautiful beyond compare. My body and mind I surrender to Him and my head I place before Him. It is in keeping the company of the saints that one reaches the Truth, and by the Truth itself one is blessed. No goal is reached by wandering aimlessly. Purity is only achieved through the practice of the True Name [Sat Naam]. Without the True Name, liberation comes to none.”
The yogis asked Guru Nanak: “Who are you? What is your name? What is your sect? What is your goal? We pray that you give us your true answers, for we are a sacrifice to the truthful ones. Where is your seat? Where do you live? From where have you come? Where are you going? The non-attached Siddhas wait to hear your reply. 0 tell us, what is your path?”
Answered the Master: “The Lord is in every heart, and within Him is my seat and my home. I walk in the will of the Sat Guru [True Qualified Master-Teacher], and this is my only caste. I have come from God and I shall go wherever His will guides me. Nanak is my name, and I live to obey His command. My way is to sit in contemplation of the Imperishable Lord, and the attainment of such an all-encompassing Vision is my life’s goal. By the Guru’s grace I have come to know and recognize myself, and have merged with the truest of the true.”
My Commentary: Sidh Gosht is my favorite book of Guru Nanak. It’s question-and-answer format serves as a kind of catechism for souls learning about the path of mysticism. What a spiritual feast! It sheds light on the teachings of Guru Nanak, one of the greatest Masters in all of human history, born during the year 1469 in the village of Talwandi Rai Bhoi, around forty five miles from Lahore (now part of Pakistan).
The yogis were asking Guru Nanak some serious questions about life, living, and the path to enlightenment. Indeed, each soul rousing from the slumber of the ages may wonder: Where did I come from? Who am I? Why am I here? What is my path? Where is my spiritual community? What “tribe” or “caste” do I belong to? What IS my goal in life? Where am I going? What spiritual practice should I adopt? The earlier in life we ponder these big questions, the better. And blessed are those who have a Guru Nanak-like sage to call upon.
An Emphasis of: “God, God, God, Guru, God”, and Not: “Guru, Guru, Guru, God, Guru”
These particular yogis said to Nanak: “Make your obeisance to this gathering”, but Nanak’s reply seemed to beg to differ: “I bow only to Him who is true, infinite and beautiful beyond compare. My body and mind I surrender to Him and my head I place before Him.” For Guru Nanak, the genuine spiritual teacher does not seek to eclipse or undermine our direct relationship with God. Rather, Nanak presents the role of a genuine living Master as being that of someone who serves as a catalyst, that guides us into our own personal experience of God within. The hymns of Guru Nanak do include devotion for Masters – spiritual teachers play a vital role, but God is the goal, the primary focus of attention. To quantify this bhakti or devotion mathematically in the teachings of Guru Nanak and other lovers of the Beloved: a ratio of around ninety percent God-bhakti to ten percent Guru-bhakti. God is the destination, the Object of Contemplation. Thus, it is wise for spiritual seekers to be aware of such sacred texts as Sidh Gosht when evaluating contemporary spiritual organisations and teachers that claim to represent a continuation of the path of the masters and great saints of the past. Caveat emptor.
Satsang, An Association with Lovers of Eternal Truth
Guru Nanak said: “It is in keeping the company of the saints that one reaches the Truth, and by the Truth itself one is blessed. No goal is reached by wandering aimlessly.” In the Gurmuki language, “sant” is a word with several meanings. It can refer to an advanced soul who has gone far in his or her spiritual practice. Spiritual movements over time may produce many such sants or saints, many mystic-souls or disciples who have made progress in their journey back to the Beloved. The term “sant” can also refer to those who have been chosen to be Sant Sat Gurus, the qualified teachers and guides, the leaders of whole spiritual communities. There is another usage of the word “sant”: a general term for devotees, disciples, satsangis, or initiates, one’s fellow-travelers and companions along the path, in other words a spiritual community or congregation of students who are, affiliated with and studying the teachings of, a certain Master, and meet together in his or her name. In this passage from Sidh Gosht, the word “saints” or “sants” can refer to all of the above, in the varied circumstances of satsang attendance one may encounter over the years.
Satsang is a word used in India for spiritual gatherings. According to the teachings of Guru Nanak however, a satsang is not just a meeting, but a fellowship of those that seek to associate with the Eternal Truth or God. Satsang is a very special time when all the distractions and illusions of “maya’s place” are to be put aside. It is an auspicious occasion when the Secrets, Mysteries, the Hidden Gnosis or Esoteric Teachings are freely shared out in the open. Satsang is a place of learning, of serious spiritual discourses being given by competent teachers. One may sing hymns known as banis, kirtans, or bhajans during satsangs. Group meditation is also part of the format of satsang. It is considered to be a great blessing for souls to meditate together, and an even greater blessing to meditate with those who are more advanced on the way. The New Testament passage: “Where two or three are gathered in My Name, I Am in their midst”, is a wonderful description of the group-energy that can be present when people come together to sing, meditate, and focus on the Eternal Truths of the spiritual journey as revealed by the great Masters of the past and the living present. In a similar passage from the Gospel of Saint Thomas found in Egypt, Yeshua said, “Whoever drinks what flows from My mouth will come to be as I Am and I also will come to be as they are, so that which is Hidden can become manifest.” (Logion 108, Lynn Bauman translation, White Cloud Press)
Fortunate also are those who have a soul-mate that they share the journey with, who they can also converse with about the things they care about most in life.
In the book of Sidh Gosht, Guru Nanak taught that: “No goal is reached by wandering aimlessly.” We human beings are social creatures. As the saying goes, “Spirituality is not only taught, but caught.” Even with a solitary practice such as meditation, done alone at home, we sometimes need the inspiration of others to stay motivated. Mystic paths or schools of spirituality which advocate meditation, also practice some degree of spiritual community, providing opportunities for social interaction, meaningful instruction, and they encourage one to remain committed to following certain ethical values and specific methods of spiritual practice. “Joining the satsang, my intellect is enlightened.” (Guru Ram Das) “Joining the satsang, I meditate on the Lord’s Name.” (Guru Arjun Dev in the Sikh scriptures) “Chanting, meditating on You in the satsang, You are revealed.” (Guru Arjan Dev) “There, sitting in the satsang the Glorious Praises of the Lord are sung [kirtans, hymns].” (Guru Arjan Dev) “In the satsang, the Society of the Saints, the State of Supreme Awareness is attained. The Merciful Lord carries us across the ocean of life”. (Guru Ram Das) “They realize the essence of Reality, and know the state of their inner being. This is the true glorious greatness of those who join the satsang.” (Guru Nanak Dev)
(James Bean explores the world of spirituality, comparative religion, meditation, and books for HealthyLife.net — The Positive Talk Radio Network and other stations via a syndicated program called Spiritual Awakening Radio.)
Kabir Radio Series — Satsang Podcasts:
7/9/2013 KABIR: One of India’s Greatest Poets and Spiritual Masters, Part 5
7/2/2013 KABIR: One of India’s Greatest Poets and Spiritual Masters, Part 4
6/25/2013 KABIR: One of India’s Greatest Poets and Spiritual Masters, Part 3
6/18/2013 KABIR: One of India’s Greatest Poets and Spiritual Masters, Part 2
6/11/2013 KABIR: One of India’s Greatest Poets and Spiritual Masters, Part 1
6/4/2013 The Reality and Not the Illusion of Having A Guru
5/21/2013 Light And Sound Are Within You — Meditation For Beginners
5/14/2013 The Five Precepts and Ethical Foundation of the Masters: About
Vegetarian, Peace and Ahimsa Ethics According to Jainism and the Sant Tradition of India:
5/7/2013 The Case for the Book of Enoch, One of the Lost Books of the Bible
Bahai Radio Series: Global Vision of Peace, Social Justice and Spirituality:
4/30/2013 John F. Medina — America’s Sacred Calling
4/23/2013 Brian D. Lepard — Hope For A Global Ethic
4/16/2013 Harold Rosen — Founders of Faith
4/9/2013 Jane Harper — The Universe Within
4/2/2013 Robert Atkinson — Mystic Journey
Listen to any of these podcasts for free, anytime/24/7. Note: podcasts from HealthyLifeNet Positive Talk Radio are available online for three months after the date of broadcast.
Spiritual Awakening Program Info For Tuesday, June 11th: KABIR: One of India’s Greatest Poets and Spiritual Masters, Part One (Program #363) — Today at 3 PM Eastern (2 PM Central, 1 PM Mountain, NOON Pacific Time — 8 PM in the UK — 12:30 AM in India).
Sant Mat Satsang Podcast: Dadu the Compassionate Mystic, Part 1: An Introduction — Some Background on Sant Dadu Dayal, His Teachings and Mystic Poetry.
Dadu is one of my all-time favorite classic Sants of India. He was a great poet-mystic and spiritual Master of Divine Light, Sound, and Nirguna Bhakti (devotion to the Formless God) from Rajasthan in the tradition of Kabir. Anyone who studies his teachings will encounter a very genuine, pure version of Sant Mat with the perfect balance of God and guru bhakti, love and mysticism.
One does not have to be “bookish” to follow this Path of the Masters, but it is a great blessing to be informed by the classic Sants of India and their spiritual classics. Kabir, Nanak, Ravidas, Namdev, Dariya Sahib of Bihar, Tulsi Sahib of Hathras, Sant Radhasoami Sahib, Maharshi Mehi, and Sant Dadu Dayal are all major figures in this Way of the Lover and the Beloved. They are the founders of the living Guru-lineages that have made initiation into Inner Light and Sound Meditation possible for countless souls during this Kali Yuga, this vast epoch of time. All have composed from-the-heart mystic poetry that help one to better understand the teachings of the Masters from a more holistic, traditional Indian perspective. If you enjoy Rumi, make room for these great souls who, like Rumi, have also helped to uplift the destiny of humanity.
Sant Mat Spirituality and Meditation @ Tumblr: Bhakti (Love) of the Inner Light and Sound of God – This Living School of Spirituality (Mysticism and Gnosticism) from INDIA called Sant Mat is also known as the Way of the Saints, Radhasoami (Ra-dha-Swam-i), and, the Path of the Masters.
The meditation practice is Surat Shabd Yoga, meaning: Union (Yoga) of the Attention of the Soul (Surat) with the Inner Light and Sound of God (Shabd). This practice is also very "out-of-body" as in soul travel. – James
Welcome! Wherever I am on the web I share podcasts and information, and post numerous spiritual quotes from a wide variety of sources. I often share about Inner Light and Sound Meditation: the Path of the Masters, featuring Words of Light and Love for the Spiritual Journey.
Am from Maine, vegetarian (vegan), and practice Inner Light and Sound Meditation in a spirit of Bhakti (Love for the Supreme Being). Am conspiring to make the world more peaceful, vegan, and spiritually awake. "Be Vegan. Make Peace."
Have been involved with Radio For Peace International, the community radio movement, Wisdom Radio, satellite radio and television, am an independent producer currently creating programs for several stations, including HealthyLife.Net – Positive Talk Radio. Am an author, teacher, public speaker, broadcaster.
Am a follower of Inner Light and Sound Meditation (traditional Sant Mat from an Indian perspective).
All for the Love of Wisdom and Radio, In the Love, Light, and Sound of the Beloved, Jai Sat Naam, Jai Guru, RadhaSoami, SatyaRaam, Peace Be To You,
In addition to making new friends, my focus is spirituality: using the radio airwaves, podcasts, the spoken word, writing, and online social networking-blogging to promote spiritual exploration, meditation, religious literacy, inter-faith studies and dialogue, comparative religion, also education for a more peaceful planet. This includes communicating about AHIMSA principles of non-violence in thought, word, and deed, raising awareness about certain civilization-busting issues including climate change, promoting the vegetarian vegan diet, also promoting inner Light and Sound Meditation. Am always interested in networking with those that desire the constructive use of media to advance health, well being, and positive change.
This profile and the Sant Mat Satsang Radio PODcasts are non-sectarian in spirit and inter-faith in tone, inclusive of the wisdom of all the great world religions, Masters (Sant Satgurus), and schools of mystics.
In a spirit of ahimsa/peace, through the written and spoken word, you will find spiritual quotes based upon the Teachings the Masters of the East, giving everyone access to rare books from India, some of which are only now appearing in English for the very first time. You will hear or read satsang talks, which are spiritual discourses representing a Living School of Spirituality known as Sant Mat.
'Spiritual Awakening Radio' Explores the World of Spirituality, Comparative Religion, Sacred Texts, Ahimsa Ethics: Peace, Being Veg, Going Green to Save the Planet – Education for a More Peaceful World – A Format of Inter-Faith Essays and Interviews.
Here you can access podcasts of Spiritual Awakening Radio, also the Sant Mat Satsang PODcast, along with a daily stream of spiritual quotes (Sant Mat, Radha Soami, Surat Shabd Yoga, Inner Light and Sound Meditation, the Path of the Masters, Buddhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Bahai Faith, Kabbalah, The Essenes, Ebionites, Mandaeans, Christian Mysticism, Lost Books of the Bible, Sufism, Gnostics, and Mystics), links to blogs, news, announcements, and other updates. SCROLL DOWN BELOW!
Seven Things I Believe (and Experience)
*1) God is Real.
*2) God is Love, the Ocean of Love and Compassion.
*3) All of the world scriptures teach about the same manifestation of God as inner mystical Light and Sound.
*4) Our true identity is soul, the Self. Soul is part of God and therefore is, like God, pure love.
*5) During this human existence we have an opportunity to experience God.
*6) As we experience communing with God’s love during meditation – Surat Shabd Yoga, we can rise above body-consciousness and explore Inner Space, the “Kingdom of the Heavens” that are within us. “We travel back from the realm of Darkness to the realm of Light, from the Light to divine Sound, and from the realm of Sound to the Soundless State.” (Swami Sant Sevi Ji Maharaj) The drop merges back into the Ocean of Love.
*7) As we get initiated into the Mysteries of the Spirit by a Living Teacher (Sant Satguru), the purpose of our life is fulfilled. Reuniting with God is our reason to be here: “It was for the sake of the God-conscious beings that our True Lord created this earth, and began this play of death and birth.” (Adi Granth) Kabir said, “For millions of years you have slept. This morning, will you not wake?”
"All beautiful forms and tones of this world are mere reflections of some aspect of that ultimate Love-Music of the Great Creative Word. Within the vast complex of creation, each individual spirit is himself/herself a spark of that Eternal Song of Love."
"There are those who have wandered among the darting comets and the shimmering orbs of sounding fire. The soul-explorer is not alone, for there are those who have traveled the highways of the inner cosmos; far more than one may at first realize."
"...The planes of heaven are about us everywhere. One has only to know this simple truth consciously, and then we will be free." (George Arnsby Jones)
LINKS TO PODCASTS, E BOOKS/FREE SPIRITUAL BOOKS ONLINE, BLOGS, YAHOO GROUPS, BLOGGER, WORDPRESS, MEDIUM