When you know yourselves, then you will be known (Thomas 3)
Whoever has felt more in the words and life of Yeshua than the church allowed or preached is right. While there is a place in kind and loving traditional, church communities for souls’ faith to take root in Messiah, some need more. With time and maturity as some souls grow, so also grows a need for a subtler vocabulary to describe deeper, spiritual experiences. In early Christianity, gnosticism served this need, presenting advanced teachings of the gospel of Yeshua. Unlike the canonized gospels framed with stories, gnostic gospels are often sayings or visionary teachings to apostles from the Risen Savior. To hear the subtlety of gnostic gospels is to look within oneself. Instead of doctrinal beliefs, gnostic gospels require self-knowledge. Only by knowing oneself can one come to fully know and embody Messiah.
Our Gnostic Tradition
The discovery in 1946 of rolls of papyri hidden in jars at Nag Hammadi proved with many more gospels, prayers, and writings, that Christianity was once a broader, vibrant spectrum of sects and cosmologies. As Nag Hammadi translations improved, lineage-holders taught from the Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Truth, Gospel of Phillip, and Thunder Perfect Mind but rejected en masse any of the dualistic schools' writings, particularly those that described YHVH as a manipulative, lesser diety, or Demiurge. Such a dualistic view perverts everything integral of the Kabbalah. For lineage-holders, among the most exhilarating of the Nag Hammadi find are the fragments of a gospel attributed to Mary Magdalene. Consistent with other gnostic discourses preserved between the Savior and Mary, such as we read throughout Pistis Sophia, is the role of Mary as the most beloved companion of Yeshua asking him the most astute questions. The fragments themselves of the Gospel of Mary are evidence of the deepest intuition of our lineage: Mary Magdalene was the most advanced disciple of Yeshua. She perceived him as no other apostle, as evidenced even in canonized gospel accounts of the resurrection. We see as we are. Two men saw an empty tomb. She saw the Risen Savior.
Gnosis of Sophia
Had esoteric communities in early Christianity been allowed to grow and evolve alongside exoteric traditions, as we see in many periods of Hindu and Buddhist history, the course of Christianity could have preserved the vital dynamism of the Divine as masculine and feminine. The West might have gone a different path with science, globalization, gender, and the environment than where it is today. But enough first-hand evidence of gnostic communities, plus the critiques of orthodox bishops against them, prove that an esoteric gospel once practiced by many gnostics was egalitarian, open, and centered in self-knowledge. This is the ideal of a vibrant lineage and its deepest sense of the way of the first circle. When we speak of the first circle, we mean the original circle of Yeshua, Mirya, and all who came into being as apostles. From the apostles' teaching of Messiah as Logos and Sophia, and the gnostic evidence of Magdalene's role and leadership, our lineage models something ancient and new of the way of the first circle today.