Pistis Sophia, A Gnostic Gospel - “A Gnostic Miscellany being for the most part extracts from the books of the Savior to which are added excerpts from a cognate literature”, George R.S. Meade - Spiritual Science Library
The “Pistis Sophia”, a work translated into English by G.R.S. Mead, (commented upon by HPB as noted in the new publications of “Lucifer”) is verily a multidimensional treasure that can provide an approach to wisdom for the serious student. It consists of 6 books, two of which pertain to the repentance of Sophia, and the other four to doctrines of the wisdom Religion. For H.P.B. The Pistis Sophia, and the Gnostic Tradition might well be called the western version of the “Gupta Vidya”.
The writings in the Pistis clearly point to, if not reveal in degrees, the occult and possibly esoteric mysteries which await a true disciple of the Path. In the terminology of the Pistis, this can be considered one who has transformed themselves into the Path. Being one with and as the path, they awaken in degrees to the increasing radiances, illuminations, and lights, with their treasures. Not settling for phenomenon, they persistently, with unrelenting exercise and dispassion, make their way to the “Mystery of the Ineffable”.
The journey of Pistis Sophia is one of repentance. Yet Jesus, as the teacher initiate, the commands of the 1st Mystery looking without, the explanatory points of view of the disciples, and the scriptures they cite, may all be representative of the various principles and faculties, used by the inner manasic light. For Pistis is representative of this manasic light in its many aspects of involution, and evolutionary experience, as it enters the planes of incarnation, seeking to understand, according to each plane and degree, the mystery sayings of Jesus as they pertain to the Inner worlds of Light and Sound.
Once the terminology and ways of expression of this text are grasped, and the framework of its presentation is internalized, it not only provides us with the outline of Involution, evolution, life and death, Initiation and Mastery, but in some of its later books (3-6), it provides hints worthy of reflection, study, and meditation. These concern, the planes and forces of existence, the principles, karma and its operations, the after-death states both high and low, the equivalents of the Dhyani Chohans overseeing them, stages of initiation, the mystery of the Robes, with their “5” powers, time cycles related to sins and their retributions in the after-death states, the loss of the soul, how initiates engage in the forgiveness of other persons sins and more.
To be certain, this book, although delightful, is not an easy, once through read, but rather, a study, worthy of the attention that one would give the Light on the Path, The Voice of the Silence, Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorisms, and many other spiritual texts. In its own way, one might consider this a mini Secret Doctrine, as “Pistis Sophia” pertains to the Science of the inner and outer Life, inclusive of the Mysteries of the Spiritual Buddhi-Manasic Soul.
The book is a definite winner in the realm of the esoteric and occult written works, and should be deeply studied, correlated with Theosophical works, and in degrees, understood by all serious students of Theosophical faith based on experience.
The Lankavatara Sutra, An Epitomized Version, Translated by D.T. Suzuki, Compiled and Edited by Dwight Goddard Foreword by John Daido Loori - Monkfish Book Publishing Company; Rhinebeck, New York. 1932 edition.
The Lankavatara Sutra, an epitomized version, consist of only 125 pages. Nonetheless, it provides a detailed roadmap of sorts through the maze of spiritual paths. It shares clarifying insights as to what and how one is to examine things while traversing the path, which path, can be seen as one and many.
Its journey begins with a view of discrimination and relativity, examining the senses, mind, states of mind, meditations and realizations.
This book, subtle in its expressions, yet pointing to deepening levels and depths of insight, is profoundly helpful for personal, deep yet broad appreciations of spiritual awareness’s that grow with study and practice. It presents an increasingly illuminated path to the state of Being referenced as Tathagatahood. All the while sharing approaches in thought that are helpful to reach that goal. Examining Mind as instrument, intelligence approaching its transcendental aspect, exploring the different paths, stages and degrees of disciplined discipleship through Arhatship, referencing the lineage of Arhats, Bodhisattva stages, up to and inclusive of “Nirvana and Noble Wisdom”. As such, it is a good introductory and epitomized guide to keep amongst other short ,yet deeply profound works, that can be studied and restudied, such as the Bhagavad Gita, Light on the path, and Patanjali’s Yoga Aphorism’s.
In brief, the Lankavatara Sutra, shows that through right discrimination, morality, and overcoming false knowledge, it is possible to elevate the character and function of the mind system. Using this elevated and purified instrument as a foundation for right practice and service, one is able to overcome the false influences of the Dhyana’s, samadhi’s, Samapatti’s, and eventually reach a correct “cessation”, enabling one to recognize “Perfect Emancipation.” In this system, such freedom is a journey through the 10 stages, which pertain to that consummate state of the Tathagata. It is the state of “Dharmamegha”, perfect virtue, compassion, wisdom, action, and oneness used by such a one. Yet it not for self, but for others, or Humanity, that one arrives at the heights, and like the “Watcher” in the Secret Doctrine, does not cross the threshold, but waits for all others, all the time serving the Great Cause of Life..
Wishing great reading, and greater Realization!
Notable Books is a series compiled by Eugene Jennings