At the heart of Gnostic Christianity, as taught in the Sophian Tradition, is the view of Yeshua (Aramaic for Jesus) as a human being who embarked upon a spiritual or mystical journey and became Self-realized or Enlightened; hence attained Supernal or Messianic Consciousness. According to the Sophian Gospel he was not born Christ, but became Christed by the reception of teachings and initiations from his Spiritual Teachers and engaging in spiritual practice and spiritual living. It is said that Yeshua was, indeed, the incarnation of a Great Soul and that he had accomplished the divine labor of Self-realization or Enlightenment in previous lives. Nevertheless, incarnate in the world as a Light-bearer, he had to sojourn the Path to Enlightenment as any other human being. In so doing he became a living example of the Path to Self-realization or Enlightenment and was empowered to teach others how to attain Supernal or Messianic Consciousness. This teaching of Lord Yeshua as a human being who became Self-realized or Enlightened is most important, for it means that Yeshua is not separate or apart from ourselves but rather represents the Divine Potential that is within each and every one of us. Anyone who is willing to receive the Teachings of the Ageless Wisdom and to undergo Spiritual Initiation, and who is willing to apply him or herself to spiritual practice and spiritual living can attain Supernal or Messianic Consciousness, more or less. Essentially, what is revealed in Master Yeshua is the true purpose and meaning of human incarnation – the Enlightenment and Liberation of the soul, or what is called the Great Work in Western Tradition.
This is the meaning of Gnosis and Gnosticism from the Sophian perspective – True Gnosis is a state of Supernal or Messianic Consciousness and Gnosticism is a Path to True Gnosis. In the Path there are many gradations of Gnosis along the way and Supernal or Messianic Consciousness is not an end but rather a new beginning. Though the Wisdom Teachings speak of True Gnosis as a state of full Self-realization or Enlightenment, it is not a fixed or static state, but is, in fact, a dynamic state of Ever-Becoming into the One-Without-End (Ain Sof). Thus, according to Sophian Teachings there is no “point of arrival” but the Goal is the Path itself. This is reflected by the life of Yeshua in the Gospels who continues to undergo a constant process of Initiation and Self-transformation. In Sophian Gnosticism it is this Ever-Becoming founded upon the realization of Bornless Being which is called “Eternal Life.
The Tzaddik of the Messiah
In the oral tradition of Sophian Gnosticism it is said that Lord Yeshua had three Spiritual Teachers (Rabbis). One is said to have taught him the Law and the Prophets, and the Mystical Kabbalah. Another is said to have taught him the secrets of the Magical or Wonder-Working Kabbalah, and the other is said to have taught Yeshua the union of the Mystical and Magical Kabbalah and initiated him into the Way of the Baal Shem (the Master of the Name). According to this oral tradition John the Baptist was this final Teacher of Master Yeshua and his true Holy Tzaddik (Spiritual Master & Guide). This sacred relationship is reflected by a saying of Yeshua in the Gospels: “Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist…” (Gospel of St. Matthew 11:11; Logion 46 in the Gospel of St. Thomas makes the same proclamation.) This is a traditional form of praise a disciple would give to his or her Holy Tzaddik – Spiritual Teacher and Guide. The sacred relationship between John and Yeshua was not new but reflects a powerful spiritual connection of discipleship from previous incarnations. According to the Tradition, John the Baptist was the reincarnation of the Soul of Elijah the prophet and Yeshua was the reincarnation of the Soul of Elisha, the protégé of Elijah. In the Holy Scriptures we find that a promise was made to Elisha by the Prophet Elijah – that Elisha would receive twice the power of the Soul of Elijah. This promise was made by the banks of the River Jordan where Elijah parted the waters of the great river. (See Kings 2 2:1-12) This promise was fulfilled in the Rite of Baptism enacted by John and Yeshua – when these two Great Souls joined together in the Rite of Baptism a Gate was opened to the Light-Continuum and the Soul of the Messiah – Supernal Being – was brought into the world. John the Baptist embodied Ruach Ha-Elijah (the Spirit of the Prophets) and Yeshua embodied Ruach Ha-Enoch (the Spirit of the Initiates), the mystical union of which invoked Ruach Ha-Messiah (the Spirit of the Anointed). This Holy Spirit, which is threefold, is called Ruach Ha-Melchizedek – the Spirit of the Bornless Being or Primordial Enlightenment. It is this Light-Transmission that occurred between John and Yeshua that is the beginning of the Gospel of the Anointed, when Yeshua became “One Anointed with the Supernal Light of God” (Messiah). Likewise, it is this Primordial Enlightenment – the embodiment of Supernal or Messianic Consciousness – that constitutes the true Apostolic Succession: the succession of realized or enlightened individuals who serve as Light-bearers in the world (Tzaddikim – Righteous Ones). According to the Tradition the Continuum of the Light-Transmission initiated by John and Yeshua, and the Apostolic Succession founded upon it, continues on Earth to this very day, though much of the time hidden and in secret.
Lord Yeshua, Mary Magdalene & the First Circle
The Holy Shekinah (Divine Presence & Power) embodied by Master Yeshua was not isolate to him, for he revealed the Path to his disciples through which they also might attain Supernal or Messianic Consciousness and embody the Holy Shekinah that he embodied. While orthodox forms of Christianity teach that the Soul of the Messiah was exclusive to Lord Yeshua, Gnostic Christianity teaches that others also embodied Supernal or Messianic Consciousness. According to the Sophian Tradition it was realized and embodied by St. Mary Magdalene and other disciples of the First Circle, each according to her or his own capacity to receive and impart it. The Light-Presence of the Christos or Soul of the Messiah was not merely embodied by a single individual alone, but by a whole matrix of individuals – hence the Elder or Sacred Tau (Tzaddik) and the Sacred Circle of Disciples (Community of the Elect). In the Sophian Teachings the Christos is Supernal Being, the Light-Presence. Christ the Logos is the Intelligence or Consciousness of Supernal Being, and Christ the Sophia is the Energy or Force of Supernal Being. In the Sophian Gospel both Lord Yeshua and Lady Mary embody the Christos: he embodies Christ the Logos (the Bridegroom) and she embodies Christ the Sophia (the Holy Bride). Thus, in their mystical union, the Divine Fullness of the Christos is embodied, and a greater Light-Transmission is manifest. On the one hand, Lady Mary is the inmost secret disciple of Lord Yeshua, receiving all Teachings and Initiations from him. On the other hand, she is co-preacher and co-enlightened with him, his spiritual consort and wife. Ultimately, it is she who becomes the direct successor of Lord Yeshua, the First Apostle and Apostle of the Apostles. Essentially they complete and fulfill one another and in their mystical union the Divine Fullness of the Christos is revealed. It is the view of St. Mary Magdalene as the Female Incarnation of Christ and First Apostle from which Sophian Gnostics acquire their name – the dynamic interaction of the Male and Female aspects of the Christos being the cornerstone of the Sophian Gospel. According to the Tradition, St. Mary Magdalene acts like the Divine Muse of Lord Yeshua and it is through her that he is inspired and empowered to impart the Outer, Inner and Secret Teachings of the Gospel. Essentially, as disciples of Master Yeshua, we receive the three levels of the Wisdom Teachings on account of her. He is the Light-Presence and she is the Prism or Matrix of Light through which the Light-Transmission passes and becomes Rainbow Rays. These Rays of Rainbow Glory represent various gradations of the Wisdom Teachings and Light-Transmission made accessible to all of us, each according to his or her capacity to receive. Every disciple of the First Circle received the Transmission of the Teachings and Initiations according to his or her ability to receive and impart them – all received the Outer Teachings, some received the Inner Teachings and a few received the Inmost Secret Teachings. Orthodox forms of Christianity represent the Outer Teachings, though gravely distorted by religious dogma, doctrines and creeds. Gnostic forms of Christianity represent the Inner and Secret Teachings – hence Teachings of a Mystical or Esoteric Christianity. Sophian Gnosticism is among the Living Traditions of Gnostic Christianity that continue to impart the Inner and Secret Teachings, along with their corresponding Initiations.
The Gospel of the Anointed
The Holy Scriptures of the Judaic-Christian Tradition are primarily allegorical and yet, at the same time, they are historical. They are allegorical in the sense of a Living Myth that reveals the Divine Law and Plan in Creation, and the Path of a Conscious Evolution to Supernal or Christ Consciousness – the development and evolution of a Divine or Super Humanity. They are historical in the sense that we are living out the Divine Law and Plan in Creation, and are actually undergoing a Conscious Evolution to Supernal or Christed Being. It is in this light that Sophian Gnostics receive the Gospel of the Anointed and all of the myths and legends associated with it in the oral tradition: as the Divine Revelation of our True Being (Christos) and the Path of Conscious Evolution through which that True Being is recognized, realized and embodied. The Gospel of the Anointed is, thus, not so much an event of the past as an on-going Advent of Supernal or Christ Consciousness in the present. The First Coming, which transpired through Lord Yeshua and Lady Mary, and the Matrix of Souls that were with them, is a Seed of Light planted in human consciousness and the Second Coming is the fruition of that Holy Seed in a Supernal or Christed Humanity. In our own struggle for Conscious Evolution and efforts towards Self-realization in Supernal or Christ Consciousness we actively live and experience the Gospel of the Anointed and serve in the divine labor to co-create the conditions necessary for the Second Coming – the full Advent of Supernal or Messianic Consciousness on Earth. This is the foundation of Gnostic Circles that form in the Sophian Tradition, for it is not a work accomplished by one individual alone but by collectives of individuals laboring together with one Mind and Heart, as one Mystical Body of the Light-Presence, united in the bonds of Love and Knowledge (hence, True Spiritual Community.) Essentially, our Circles are formed based upon the pattern of the First Circle – an Elder (Adept) or Tau (Master) who embodies something of Supernal or Messianic Consciousness and the Sacred Circle of Spiritual Companions that naturally forms around the Elder or Tau as he or she imparts the Teachings and Initiations of the Light-Transmission. In this way each Sophian Circle reflects the First Circle and every Sophian Circle becomes a Center and Matrix of the Christ Presence or Light-Presence in the world. Thus, the Gospel of the Anointed remains a reality in our experience – a Living Myth of Enlightenment and Liberation.