Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, authors of The Jesus Mysteries and Jesus and the Lost Goddess, return with a powerful indictment of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic fundamentalism and a passionate reinterpretation of Gnostic spirituality. According to Freke and Gandy, religiously inspired acts of violence, such as the attacks on 9/11, are nothing new. They are the continuation of a long and bloody history of brutality caused by mistaking bizarre old books for the Word of God. The time has come to end religious intolerance and wake up to oneness by rediscovering the Gnostic way of transforming oneself and the world. Freke and Gandy's Incendiary New Book Is a Wake-Up Call to the World What if the Old Testament is a work of fiction, Jesus never existed, and Muhammad was a mobster What if the Bible and the Qur'an are works of political propaganda created by Taliban-like fundamentalists to justify the sort of religious violence we are witnessing in the world today What if there is a big idea that could free us from the us-versus-them world created by religion and make it possible for us to truly love our neighbors-and even our enemies What if it is possible to awaken to a profound state of oneness and love, which the Gnostic Christians symbolized by the enigmatic figure of the laughing Jesus Discover for Yourself Why the Gnostic Jesus Laughs From the Hardcover edition.
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June 27, 2006
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Excerpt from The Laughing Jesus by Timothy Freke
The letter kills but the spirit brings to life. ' Paul, Letter to the Ephesians
Wake up! Rouse yourself from the collective coma you mistake for ' real life ' . See through the illusion of separateness and recognize that we are all essentially one. Although we appear to be isolated individuals, in reality there is one awareness dreaming itself to be everyone and everything. This is our shared essential nature. The simple secret to enjoying this dream we call ' life ' is to wake up to oneness. Because, knowing you are one with all, you will find yourself in love with all. You will fall in love with living. This is the message of the original Christians, who symbolised this awakened state with the enigmatic figure of ' the laughing Jesus ' .
Have you ever seen a picture of Jesus laughing Probably not, because we have inherited a distorted form of Christianity created by the Roman Church in the fourth century, which focuses exclusively on Jesus the ' man of sorrows ' . The image that has dominated our culture is that of a man being tortured to death on a cross. But the original Christians didn ' t see Jesus as an historical man who ' suffered for our sins ' . They viewed Jesus as the mythical hero of a symbolic teaching story, which represents the spiritual journey leading to the experience of awakening they called ' gnosis ' , or ' knowing ' .
The original Christians were inspired men and women who saw how good life could be if we would just wake up and live in love. They imagined a new world that would no longer be divided into slaves or citizens, men or women, Gentiles or Jews. But inadvertently, this band of non-conformists gave birth to a totalitarian regime that would rule Europe with an iron fist for over a thousand years. The result was not Heaven on Earth, but the Holy Roman Empire. The dream became a nightmare.
The Roman Church did all it could to suppress the teachings of gnosis and the image of the laughing Jesus. It succeeded so well that it now seems strange to even suggest that Christianity was originally about awakening. But in the middle of the twentieth century some of the texts of the original Christians were found in a cave near Nag Hammadi in Egypt. In these texts the message of awakening is proclaimed loud and clear.