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Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church? • Because they portray Jesus and Mary Magdalene as mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and Goddess • Because they show that the gospel story is a spiritual allegory encapsulating a profound philosophy that leads to mythical enlightenment • Because they have the power to turn the wo Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church? • Because they portray Jesus and Mary Magdalene as mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and Goddess • Because they show that the gospel story is a spiritual allegory encapsulating a profound philosophy that leads to mythical enlightenment • Because they have the power to turn the world inside out and transform life into an exploration of consciousness Drawing on modern scholarship, the authors of the international bestseller The Jesus Mysteries decode the secret teachings of the original Christians for the first time in almost two millennia and theorize about who the original Christians really were and what they actually taught. In addition, the book explores the many myths of Jesus and the Goddess and unlocks the lost secret teachings of Christian mysticism, which promise happiness and immortality to those who attain the state of Gnosis, or enlightenment. This daring and controversial book recovers the ancient wisdom of the original Christians and demonstrates its relevance to us today.


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Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church? • Because they portray Jesus and Mary Magdalene as mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and Goddess • Because they show that the gospel story is a spiritual allegory encapsulating a profound philosophy that leads to mythical enlightenment • Because they have the power to turn the wo Why Were the Teachings of the Original Christians Brutally Suppressed by the Roman Church? • Because they portray Jesus and Mary Magdalene as mythic figures based on the Pagan Godman and Goddess • Because they show that the gospel story is a spiritual allegory encapsulating a profound philosophy that leads to mythical enlightenment • Because they have the power to turn the world inside out and transform life into an exploration of consciousness Drawing on modern scholarship, the authors of the international bestseller The Jesus Mysteries decode the secret teachings of the original Christians for the first time in almost two millennia and theorize about who the original Christians really were and what they actually taught. In addition, the book explores the many myths of Jesus and the Goddess and unlocks the lost secret teachings of Christian mysticism, which promise happiness and immortality to those who attain the state of Gnosis, or enlightenment. This daring and controversial book recovers the ancient wisdom of the original Christians and demonstrates its relevance to us today.

30 review for Jesus and the Lost Goddess: The Secret Teachings of the Original Christians

  1. 5 out of 5

    Tim

    I picked this book up on a whim at Half-Price Books. I didn't really know what I was getting into, but it ended up being a really great read. I thought it might be an interesting perspective on feminism in early Christianity, but within the first few chapters the author lays this bomb that was the foundation for the rest of the book...Jesus was never a real person. The gospels are part of a Christian myth cycle that is a strange union of ancient Pagan mythology and Jewish mystic traditions. Thes I picked this book up on a whim at Half-Price Books. I didn't really know what I was getting into, but it ended up being a really great read. I thought it might be an interesting perspective on feminism in early Christianity, but within the first few chapters the author lays this bomb that was the foundation for the rest of the book...Jesus was never a real person. The gospels are part of a Christian myth cycle that is a strange union of ancient Pagan mythology and Jewish mystic traditions. These Jesus myths are constructed to convey the knowledge we need to attain Gnosis...oh great, I got a Gnostic book. I figured the rest of the book would probably be full of more crazy ideas about aeons and archons and blah, blah, blah. I almost put the book down. No. I read a quote from Aristotle that day that changed my mind,"It is the mark of the enlightened man to be able to entertain an idea without believing it or rejecting it." I thought that it might be best to finish the book even though I thought the first few chapters were a bit whacky. I'm glad I did. This account of Gnosticism is unlike any other I've read. It actually explains and gives substance to what sound on the surface like crazy ideas. They're actually quite well-developed and rational. They explain that the Gnostic myths that usually turn people off (because they sound so foriegn) are actually just that, myths, meant to convey a deeper truth about the nature of God and the universe...God is the universe, the universe (and by extension ourselves) are God. They beleive that we are physical manifestations of the One consciousness of God. An interesting concept to be sure, and one that requires more thought than a simple dismissal because it comes from a fringe group. The thing that kept on bugging me was their talk of Jesus as a mythical person, like Hercules or Odysseus. I've always assumed that he was a real flesh and blood person and all my other assumptions about Christianity hinge upon this one other assumption. Unfortunately there is no way of knowing for sure if Jesus ever lived, but I did try to get a better idea from a more knowledgeable source. I contacted Bart D Erhman, biblical scholar, professor, and author of dozens of books on the history of the Bible. I asked him "What do our earliest and best sources tell us about 1st century Christian understandings of Jesus...did they think he was a real person?" To my surprise he responded within hours. He assured me that our earliest sources indicate that Christians from the begining had understood Jesus to have been a person, that his relationship to divinity was debated, but his physical presence was not. He explained that the Gnostic belief in Jesus as being purely mythical was not around until the 2nd century. Not that antiquity is the bedrock of truth, but it certainly adds something to the equation. What did I take away from this book? This book challenged my assumptions and actually raised more questions than it answered. It made me want to redouble my efforts to learn all I can about this topic and it offered a completely different perspective of God and God's relationship to creation. No small feat for an author to accomplish in a few hundred pages. I ordered the prequel to this work, another book by the same authors called "The Jesus Mysteries", to add to my stack. I'm not sold on their perspective, but I'm interested to hear what they have to say...it is, at the very least, provokative.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tahni

    When I was thirteen and ready to leave Christianity but didn’t yet have the guts to go balls to wall about it, I bought this book. I very quickly discovered that I did not have the vocabulary to read it but I kept it around and, somehow, it managed to stick around my various bookshelves for the next thirteen years. Today I am a practicing pagan and lover of scholarship. When I found this book in with a collection of books I’d packed up and marked as “to read” I knew it would no longer be pertinen When I was thirteen and ready to leave Christianity but didn’t yet have the guts to go balls to wall about it, I bought this book. I very quickly discovered that I did not have the vocabulary to read it but I kept it around and, somehow, it managed to stick around my various bookshelves for the next thirteen years. Today I am a practicing pagan and lover of scholarship. When I found this book in with a collection of books I’d packed up and marked as “to read” I knew it would no longer be pertinent to my spiritual experience but I figured I might learn something interesting. I’ve read a lot of scholarship about the gnostic gospels in the past and I’ve even read a few of the gospels themselves. I very quickly realized, however, that scholarship was not the priority in this book. What exactly the priority was is hard to discern, because the book doesn’t seem to have any idea as to what it wants to be. Therein lies the main problem with the book: it would seem to have a spiritual message and it wants to rely on scholarship to validate that message. However, because the vast majority of existing scholarship does not support a lot of the claims the authors make, their scholarship becomes very cherry picked and highly unreliable. The result is that their spiritual goals are undermined because they themselves become unreliable through the course of the little deceptions they make in their scholarship. The entire book ends up being caught up in this continuous wheel of the scholarship and spiritually undermining each other. One of the first red flags I saw was in the very first chapter: the authors spend some time talking about the estimated dates at which the canonical gospels were written, always leaning toward the latter end of the spectrum at which they were estimated to have been written. They focus on this in an attempt to undermine the canonical gospels, pointing out that they would been written some time after the supposed life and death of Jesus. And yet they never (not once—not a single time in the whole book—I watched for it) mention that the gnostic gospels are largely dated well into second century and beyond. By criticizing the dates of the canonical gospels as being “late” while neglecting to mention the dates of the much later gnostic gospels the authors would leave the reader with the impression that the gnostic gospels were written early in the first century and thus were somehow “more true.” This is not something which is done on accident—it deliberate and deceitful and I immediately realized there was no way I could take the book seriously. Such cherry picking continued throughout the book, including their assessment of the old pagan myths which they spoke about. They largely oversimplify these tales in order to overlook aspects which do not support their thesis. For example, early on in the book they vaguely paint pagan religions as being largely reverential of the feminine divine—something which a lot of people do and something which I myself bought into as a youthful thirteen year old looking for a religion which wouldn’t demonize me for my lady bits. However if we look at the myths in their entirety and in context then we see that’s just not true: the paganism which they refer to here is primarily Greek, so it arose out of a verifiably patriarchal society and that is reflected in the myths, which are decidedly full of the kidnapping, rape, and victim blaming of women. This, however, goes unacknowledged throughout the entirety of book and specific stories are later cherry picked as well: the myth of Persephone’s descent into the underworld is used here to try to mirror the story of the fall of Sophia, but certain elements of the story are left out, such as the fact that Zeus was complicit in Hades kidnap of Persephone. Zeus basically sold Persephone to Hades but acknowledging his role in this story would undermine the author’s earlier claims about Zeus mirroring the “father” aspect of the trinity. Acknowledging that he would sell Persephone to be kidnapped, raped, and held against her will would undermine their claim that the stories are basically the same because they represent the same truth. And speaking of Sophia, it really irked me that the authors never bothered to mention that Sophia is a figure out of the Jewish Kabbalah. I’m not surprised that they never even mentioned Kabbalah considering the generally scornful outlook they seem to take on the Old Testament—which is, again, not surprising, since the Gnostics believed the Old Testament god to be the deceitful and egotistical Demiurge, not the one true god. This then is another example of the ways in the author’s thesis that, essentially, “Gnostic Christianity is better than Literalist Christianity” undermines their scholarship. I can only imagine the neglecting to mention Sophia’s origin in Kabbalah allowed the authors to not have to rely on Judaism as the source of Christianity—especially their *version* of Christiany--which they did only begrudgingly. I could write essays on the ways in which this book fails to accomplish either of its goals and the ways in which it manipulates information to make gnostic Christianity look like something it never was. Everything was trying to paint gnostic Christianity as “the original Christianity” rather than one of the many weird offshoots of Christianity that it originally was (presumably because it being the “original” and suppressed Christianity is sexier and therefore sells better than “weird offshoot”) to trying to downplay the fact that Christianity itself was originally just a weird offshoot of Judaism; insisting on calling the Gospel of John “The Gospel of the Beloved Disciple” (referring of course to Mary Magdalene) despite having already spent time undermining said gospel based on the estimate date of its writing and in spite of a gnostic Gospel of Mary Magdalene already existing (it’s also in my “to read” box) to identifying Mary Magdalene as a prostitute even though there is no evidence in any text, canonical or otherwise, that she was the prostitute who washed Jesus’s feet with her hair and the identification of her with the prostitute originated with a preacher in a sermon somewhere (but identifying her with the prostitute regardless of there being no evidence of her being thus in the stories allows them to say she is allegorical for Sophia so why bother to stick to the facts?). And more. So much more. I think I’ve probably made my point, though. Obviously there are many, many issues I took with this book. Which is unfortunate because on occasion they do make a decent point or two. Their assessment of how a spiritual practice evolves into a dogmatic religion, for example, seemed pretty on point to me. These moments are few and far between, however, and themselves are undermined by the bad scholarship which defines the rest of the text. Super not worth the time, unless you’re also of a scholarly bent and you’re looking for a good laugh.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Duarte

    It's never good when a book makes you mumble out loud, "This is bullsh*t". The authors try to make the case that the Jesus story was inspired by pagan myths and influenced by gnostics. Are there similarities between the gnostic beliefs and the New Testament? Sure, just like any religions in the world have similarities, or stem from the same root. But the similarities are few and far between. It felt like the authors were trying to force their conclusions to prove the links, but the conclusions a It's never good when a book makes you mumble out loud, "This is bullsh*t". The authors try to make the case that the Jesus story was inspired by pagan myths and influenced by gnostics. Are there similarities between the gnostic beliefs and the New Testament? Sure, just like any religions in the world have similarities, or stem from the same root. But the similarities are few and far between. It felt like the authors were trying to force their conclusions to prove the links, but the conclusions are flawed and the sources (I did look them up) are only vaguely hinting at what the authors are trying to convey. You might as well try to draw links between the Sleeping Beauty fairytale (or even better, Shrek - it also has a donkey!) and pagan myths, you can find the links if you really try. I'm not Christian, but I've spent years researching Jesus and the New Testament, and basing your theory on the forged books written 50-400 years after Jesus died won't cut it. The star rating for this book is for the in depth exploration of gnosticism, which is interesting and valid. I understand you have to add Jesus to the title to sell books, but it just doesn't work as a theory.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kevin

    What can I say about this book that won't be considered self incriminating by conservative Christians? Basically, this book brings back the Philosophical perceptions that I have for stories that I think is needed to evaluate truth, not only in Christianity, but in all religions. There is even an appendix on Gnostic Islam. Wow, I won't try to summarize this book. An individual really needs to read this for themselves. From my view, it changed my outlook on life for the better. This is no small ta What can I say about this book that won't be considered self incriminating by conservative Christians? Basically, this book brings back the Philosophical perceptions that I have for stories that I think is needed to evaluate truth, not only in Christianity, but in all religions. There is even an appendix on Gnostic Islam. Wow, I won't try to summarize this book. An individual really needs to read this for themselves. From my view, it changed my outlook on life for the better. This is no small task, because I tend to focus on the negative. This book hasn't exactly made me perceive the world through rose colored glasses, but it did make me perceive reality with more clarity. This book is not for everyone. The topics are very nebulous. It's not a math book. It is a book based on reason, and the interpretations that can be applied to organized "Literalist" religion. If you're looking for a book that discusses Consciousness/Spirit and the Soul/Psyche, because you aren't happy with the exposure you had with the religions of our day, then this book is for you. There are other Gnostic books that I will need to review, to verify what I've read. But Timothy Freke has a PhD in Psychology, and his analysis Spoke to me. A lot of religions say that belief is based on a feeling. That having been said, this book just Felt right. Some people will pick it up, and feel it. Others won't. For those who don't feel it, I'm sure you're path will lead you truth in a different way. Shalom. Namaste.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lianne

    This book, along with The Jesus Mysteries and The Book of One are the three books that changed my entire worldview. So profound and thought provoking. My sense of self and my sense of Self is forever changed and I'm so glad of it! The Jesus Mysteries is like the true history of Christianity and Jesus and the Lost Goddess is like the true meaning of Christianity. I'm not a Christian (except by name) but this is a Christianity I could believe in.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joan Porte

    This book needs to decide what it wants to be when he grows up. The title suggests that it is about the loss of the sacred feminine to Christianity, however, it is a retracing of Christianity taking Greek and other Pagan ideas and incorporating it into its practice. Well no kidding. Nothing new here and rather disjointed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    The message of the book is interesting, but the way it says it comes up short. Essentially, the book suggests that original Christianity was a gnostic religion. Gnostic is defined as 'experiential knowledge of truth', which sounded like a very Buddhist concept to me when I heard it. A chapter later, the authors confirmed my suspicion when they pointed out that a gnostic component runs through all the major world religions. Whereas Buddhism or Hinduism have largely maintained their gnostic focus, The message of the book is interesting, but the way it says it comes up short. Essentially, the book suggests that original Christianity was a gnostic religion. Gnostic is defined as 'experiential knowledge of truth', which sounded like a very Buddhist concept to me when I heard it. A chapter later, the authors confirmed my suspicion when they pointed out that a gnostic component runs through all the major world religions. Whereas Buddhism or Hinduism have largely maintained their gnostic focus, modern Christianity and Islam have shifted towards a literalist reading of their doctrine. One goal of this book was to explain how the shift from gnostic to literalist religion occurred in Christianity. The background and historical context gave their premise a solid foundation, and overall I found this section quite interesting. Where the book started to struggle was when the authors began to break down the components of what gnostic Christianity actually was (beliefs, etc). The authors state in their final chapter, "We have not written a dispassionate survey of a quirky period in the history of ideas." The trouble for me was that they had a hard time striking the right balance between academic rigor and religious zeal. By their own admission, the concepts of Gnostics many centuries ago are not very accessible to modern ears. The academic side of the authors collected the ideas like an anthropological survey, but their spiritual side presented them in a kind of half-hearted sermon. The result was a delivery that often felt confused. "All facts without the flavor" as the saying goes. At the very least, the book is great food for thought to challenge what we "know" to be true about Christianity. But if one wants a better sense of Gnostic ideas, in my opinion they would do better to listen to the words of a Buddhist or Hindu teacher, someone who is living their spirituality - not conducting an academic study of it.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lyndsey

    I've read part two before reading part one (the Jesus Mysteries) however, understand that the two books aim to put the Jesus story in the context of ancient (western) philosophy and the psychology of (western) mythologists without undermining the ultimate message of chritianity this book. JATG stands on its own, and basically sets to prove the gnostic belief - if Jesus shows the way, the female principle (Magdalene) is the path. The authors seem a bit defensive which isn't necessay for the audie I've read part two before reading part one (the Jesus Mysteries) however, understand that the two books aim to put the Jesus story in the context of ancient (western) philosophy and the psychology of (western) mythologists without undermining the ultimate message of chritianity this book. JATG stands on its own, and basically sets to prove the gnostic belief - if Jesus shows the way, the female principle (Magdalene) is the path. The authors seem a bit defensive which isn't necessay for the audience this book will draw.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Charuga

    This one is a thought provoking. I read the gospel of the second coming first then went back to read the background research. Much of the information resonates for me. Many of the contradictory dogma that current Christianity teaches is explained here. I have a pencil with me when I read, for making comments in the margins. : ) A definite read for those who are disillusioned with the current Christian dogma.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Well, this book basically changed my religious beliefs, so it's certainly powerful. I hadn't read a book extrapolating the Gnostic gospels before, so I can't give the book itself all the credit. Also, some of the passages are slow-going, and it's definitely one you want to annotate. But ultimately a very satisfying and well-researched interpretation of ancient texts, and full of spiritual wisdom. It confirmed and fleshed-out a lot of my spiritual inklings, and gave them a historical basis.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Michele

    Though I certainly don't know if I agree 100% with what he states about who god is and what true spirituality is, what he says about the "Bible" and where it came from and why it was written, absolutely resonates as truth to me. It just makes so much sense. So, much more sense the than the confusion that I get from people trying to explain the "literalness" of the stories of the "Bible."

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mik Hamilton, D.C.

    I gave them two stars for the research that went into the book. I would have given them much higher because it was well organized and written but they left no room whatsoever for the possibility that Jesus was an actual person as if they had proven it when, in fact, they did not. With the exception of that, the history was fascinating.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Crawford

    The book starts out with saying there was no such person as Jesus. No one can prove scientifically that he did exist. All we have are various religious and non-religious writings which talk about him. A couple of these include Flavius Josephus, who wrote a history of Judaism around AD93, has two references to Jesus, one of them a reference to James, the brother of 'Jesus, the so-called Christ'.Tacitus in his writings of 116 or 117 C.E. mentions Jesus. There is disagreement over just whether or n The book starts out with saying there was no such person as Jesus. No one can prove scientifically that he did exist. All we have are various religious and non-religious writings which talk about him. A couple of these include Flavius Josephus, who wrote a history of Judaism around AD93, has two references to Jesus, one of them a reference to James, the brother of 'Jesus, the so-called Christ'.Tacitus in his writings of 116 or 117 C.E. mentions Jesus. There is disagreement over just whether or not he was holy but most writers say that at least there was such a person. Wikipedia says 'Virtually all scholars who write on the subject agree that Jesus existed.' Tacitus in his writings of 116 or 117 C.E. mentions Jesus. There is disagreement over just whether or not he was holy but most writers say that at least there was such a person. The difficulty is that all this happened over two thousand years ago so actual physical proof that is specific to Jesus doesn't exist. I think the authors are trying to get across the idea that Jesus was invented by later writers. They discuss the original Christians saying that men and women were considered equal. Here is where I have another problem with the writers. If there was no such person as Jesus then why were there 'early Christians?' Did some guys invent a myth and convince enough people that the myth was true in order to build an anti-Roman religious movement? Occam's razor applies here. This holds that, if there are two explanations for something, the simpler one is usually the correct one. So which is simpler; a man named Jesus existed (whether or not he was the 'son of God' is not important in this argument, just that a physical person existed) or was everything about him constructed by some guys who had their own reasons? That Jesus actually physically existed is the simpler solution. The book talks a great deal about Gnosticism, Consciousness, the Logos and numerous other topics. There is also a 'Cast List,' a bibliography and a list of related websites. I have two problems with the book. First is there saying that there was no such person as Jesus. I think that they are wrong. Just exactly what he was is debatable, of course, but I think the preponderance of evidence is that he did exist. The second, major, problem is how the book is written. It is massively boring. Really most sincerely boring. It is so academic that there is nothing there to really grab the interest of the reader and hold it. I had to struggle to get through it and I've studied Gnosticism and related topics for years. Very disappointing.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Katja Vartiainen

    OK, I have not finished this book yet, and I don't know when it's going to happen. It's not about the book it is my reluctance. Tim Freke expresses himself very well when speaking and in writing. He is clear, precise, funny. This book delves into Christianity as a non-dual teaching- that the gnostics were all about that. The title hints to a more eqalitarian men-women worldview of the original Christians, but unfortunately It was already very patriarchal.I mean, the allegoric stories of the woma OK, I have not finished this book yet, and I don't know when it's going to happen. It's not about the book it is my reluctance. Tim Freke expresses himself very well when speaking and in writing. He is clear, precise, funny. This book delves into Christianity as a non-dual teaching- that the gnostics were all about that. The title hints to a more eqalitarian men-women worldview of the original Christians, but unfortunately It was already very patriarchal.I mean, the allegoric stories of the woman getting lost and starting to prostitute herself-why is it always women? But , so it was at that time, can't argue with the facts. The balancing part is the female companion of Jesus, but still compared to the book about Druids I read(by P.B.Ellis) it just brought me down. What I find really well done is the the generic explanation of non-duality along the Christian view. I will finish it, because I find these explanations make the most sense of Christianity instead of the mumbo jumbo(except Jesus's' love thy brother', which is clear and amazing of course) you get throughout your life. The facts behind Paul are also scrutinized. Quite interesting. AS I said still reading. will edit this review one day. I just wanted write this now, to give it the credit it is due.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Victor Smith

    Just completed a reread of this excellent work, having first read it back in 2004. Despite being quite literate in Gnosticism and having written a couple of novels that included of its concepts, this book by Freke and Gandy read like a brand new adventure. The best presentation of Gnosticism as a valid spiritual practice—what valid Christianity ought to be and perhaps was—that I’ve come across perhaps ever. The more background the reader has the better, and it requires focus, but very readable a Just completed a reread of this excellent work, having first read it back in 2004. Despite being quite literate in Gnosticism and having written a couple of novels that included of its concepts, this book by Freke and Gandy read like a brand new adventure. The best presentation of Gnosticism as a valid spiritual practice—what valid Christianity ought to be and perhaps was—that I’ve come across perhaps ever. The more background the reader has the better, and it requires focus, but very readable and comprehensible. It takes a firm stand against the Christian Literalists without tirades against them. Good, as one of the points in the book and in the Gnostic way is to end religious wars, not start new ones. I was mildly disappointed that there was not more material on the Lost Goddess proper, although the book provides insight into the deep philosophy/theology behind the need to acknowledge her role (the feminine) and the harmful effects of its deletion from western thought. However, there are now many good books on the Goddess role (Mary Magdalene especially) to supplement. I recommend that those interested in the Goddess role do look at further material. I come away from this reading feeling like I have a healthy and complete view of what Gnosticism was/is and seeing how this knowledge and its practice would quicken my emotional and spiritual evolution. I have an aversion to proselytizing but would not hesitate to recommend this book to any spiritual fellow traveler.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Hannah Mack

    I couldn't finish it, but I don't want to give it a horrible review. I felt very shocked by the data, and that's probably what kept me reading for so long. I fear however, that shock was one of the only things the authors had to keep the readers reading the controversial book. I feel the title is misleading, most of the book is about Gnosticism, we do't even get to the goddess until much later. Growing up Christian the book was a huge mind F***. I was doing mental gymnastics and then putting the I couldn't finish it, but I don't want to give it a horrible review. I felt very shocked by the data, and that's probably what kept me reading for so long. I fear however, that shock was one of the only things the authors had to keep the readers reading the controversial book. I feel the title is misleading, most of the book is about Gnosticism, we do't even get to the goddess until much later. Growing up Christian the book was a huge mind F***. I was doing mental gymnastics and then putting the book down, getting angry, then going back to read more. It was very emotionally confusing. Christians will hate it, atheists might love it. I felt the tone of the book was a giant academic temper tantrum. I don't want to say don't read it. Read it if it sounds interesting. It's just a LOT to take in.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Bimo Pratama

    This book want to tell us about the basic knowledge of gnosticism... It smells like a conspiracy book, so in the some lines it was very convinced and at the other lines was very stupid and doubtful.. But i like the concept about the gnostic in this book

  18. 4 out of 5

    Stefan Paul

    Thought provoking and insightful This was a great read,it carefully takes you through the teachings of Gnosticism and inspires deep contemplation. I really enjoyed this book.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Graham

    A lovely book . Amazing insights and deep intellectual enquiry.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Genoa

    Fantastic book. Once you get past Jesus not being a real person, its a great read. 10/10 would recommend.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Anna Rohleder

    Both an eye-opening account of early Christianity as well as one of the clearest explanations of mysticism I have ever read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Leon Erkelens

    The majority of christianity nowadays is a historical sideway from the quest for spiritual life. For me a revelation to help me get rid of church and belief.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christopher Miller

    Page 57: Was there an 'historical' Jesus? The evidence suggests there was not. But to us this emotive issue is really not important. What is important is to realize that the Jesus we relate to in our imagination is a mythical 'archetype' through which we can reach the 'Christ Consciousness' within ourslves, because if we are unable to get enough distance from our own fantasies and opinions to see that our picture of Jesus is an imaginative construct, we will never have the self-knowledge necessa Page 57: Was there an 'historical' Jesus? The evidence suggests there was not. But to us this emotive issue is really not important. What is important is to realize that the Jesus we relate to in our imagination is a mythical 'archetype' through which we can reach the 'Christ Consciousness' within ourslves, because if we are unable to get enough distance from our own fantasies and opinions to see that our picture of Jesus is an imaginative construct, we will never have the self-knowledge necessary to grasp the Gnosis. However, we have to be spiritually ready before we can hear this message as positive rather than negative, as giving us what we have been really looking for rather than taking something away. The teachings of 'the Christ within' are an open secret that only someone who is ripe can really hear. Many people desperately want to believe in a miraculous saviour who has literally incarnated to rescue them. There is nothing wrong with this. The miracle worker is a stock character of ancient myths, used to inspire hope of something more than the mundane in those unable to see that the whole of life is a staggering miracle. The image of the divine Godman was deliberately designed to appeal to spiritual beginners who have yet to discover that this mythical figure represents their own true identity. Those who are not ready cling to their 'real' Jesus like a life-buoy in the tempestuous sea of existence. To suggest they let go sounds like madness. But the secret teachings of the original Christians were not designed to maliciously deny comfort to simple believers. They are actually offering something infinitely more reassuring than blind belief in historical events. They are offering Gnosis -- immediate experiential knowledge of the Truth. The message is not 'Look out, you are clinging to an illusion.' The message is: 'Relax. You are not drowning. You can let go, because life is actually completely safe. Just experience Gnosis and all your ignorance will be dispelled. Just know who you really are and you will have absolutely no fear ever again. Discover the Christ within yourself and you will be always One with God.' Doesn't that sound exactly like A Course in Miracles?

  24. 5 out of 5

    Simon Watson

    This book is brilliantly written about the sacred group of individuals known as the Gnostics. Gnosticism started as something small and grew throughout the ancient world. The book talks about a Feminine Goddess like figure in the original teachings of Christianity, it also goes deeper into true roots of Christianity, esoteric teachings that are so far from today's current teachings. This book talks about the level of understandings through the Christian Myth, The Hylic Initiate beginner, The Sou This book is brilliantly written about the sacred group of individuals known as the Gnostics. Gnosticism started as something small and grew throughout the ancient world. The book talks about a Feminine Goddess like figure in the original teachings of Christianity, it also goes deeper into true roots of Christianity, esoteric teachings that are so far from today's current teachings. This book talks about the level of understandings through the Christian Myth, The Hylic Initiate beginner, The Soul Initiate, and The Spiritual Initiate, it talks in-depth about each initiate having a certain level of knowledge and that the higher ones known as the Soul and Spiritual Initiate, have esoteric knowledge (Inner konwledge) and that the Hylic has the lower (outer knowledge) known as exoteric knowledge. There also follows in this order of acts the archetypal drama/the cosmic drama/ the human drama, the creation cycles of how this Universe or World came into being. A very interesting and thorough read, I'd definitely recommend it for those wanting to know in greater depth the true Inner Teachings of Christianity.

  25. 5 out of 5

    jcg

    Textbook approach to spirituality. It talks about spiritual concepts without leading to spritual experience. Basically, the outlook is neo-platonist, God is The Good, or the One. The authors don't take a critical approach to neo-platonism; they seem blind to the flaws and limitations of neo-platonist philosophy. While Sophia or Wisdom - and the female in general - plays an important part in Gnostic Christian thought, the authors do not make a convincing case that the feminine was the "lost goddes Textbook approach to spirituality. It talks about spiritual concepts without leading to spritual experience. Basically, the outlook is neo-platonist, God is The Good, or the One. The authors don't take a critical approach to neo-platonism; they seem blind to the flaws and limitations of neo-platonist philosophy. While Sophia or Wisdom - and the female in general - plays an important part in Gnostic Christian thought, the authors do not make a convincing case that the feminine was the "lost goddess" consort of Christ. Basically, they assume that Christian Wisdom was a goddess because there was a goddess in other ancient mythologies that bear striking similarities to the story of Jesus. The incorporation of the feminine into Christianity is an important process, but these authors fail in their quest. Let's hope there are others who are more successful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nancyandralphknudkin

    Extends "the Jesus Mysteries" discussion. What ever happened to Christianity? How did we get the form of it we are now all dealing with? What was the real story of human thought about "Jesus" during the times he was suppossedly alive and afterwards? Why does it make a difference? This book is a wonderfully radical exploration of how the original ideas got selected, simplified, co-opted and used for purposes of governance, control and social control; while original and alternative ideas were prog Extends "the Jesus Mysteries" discussion. What ever happened to Christianity? How did we get the form of it we are now all dealing with? What was the real story of human thought about "Jesus" during the times he was suppossedly alive and afterwards? Why does it make a difference? This book is a wonderfully radical exploration of how the original ideas got selected, simplified, co-opted and used for purposes of governance, control and social control; while original and alternative ideas were progressively suppressed and distorted for the same reasons. The impact of all this resonates well into our lives millenia later. Well researched and documented; yet not afraid to make strong statements about the implications of it all as well.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Leigh Hinton-Ridling

    Dense. Wouldn’t read again or recommend to others.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Fantastic book! My wife and I have wondered what went wrong with Christianity, and if it would ever be possible to read a bible that had not been changed. We knew the original story had to be good enough to change the world. This book fills in the gaps with the exposition of the gnostic basis and the subsequent literalist assimilation. And the exposition of the gnostic pagan, Jew, and Islamic cults really added some much needed history for me. This made the top ten in my book list!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I know 'Freke' is an unfortunate last name for a writer...but aside from that, this is a certain remedy for me, as I grew up within the most literal brand of Protestantism...this book got me in touch with the universality of the Jesus story and its connections with almost every ancient mystical tradition.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mike

    This book puts a Gnostic spin on the events portrayed in the New Testament as well as other early Christian literature. So repetivite, abstract, and full of conjecture that I almost gave up on it, but the premise, that Christ is a symbol of universal consciousness and that each individual is a fragment of that consciousness, was just provocative enough to get me through the tediousness.

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