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Synopsis

The inspiration and insight of these Gnostic writings can become a companion on your own spiritual journey.

Just what is a soul, exactly? Where did the idea come from? How do we experience our souls? Two ancient Gnostic texts—The Exegesis on the Soul and The Hymn of the Pearl, both presented here in all-new translations—hold important clues to the development of the soul as a concept and reveal inspiring ways your own soul can remember and return to its unique, divine purpose.

The Exegesis on the Soul depicts the soul as a feminine figure who has fallen into the corrupted world and must find her way back to the Divine. It is the story of the soul’s struggle and redemption that will embolden your own spiritual pilgrimage. The Hymn of the Pearl is an allegorical story about a prince sent to retrieve a precious pearl but who soon forgets his purpose and falls asleep. It is a moving tale of the importance of remembering your soul’s identity and calling—and knowing that only you can fulfill your destiny.

Accessible facing-page commentary explains the Gnostic writings for you even if you have no previous knowledge of Gnosticism or early Christianity. Additional material draws on ancient religions, Platonism, Christianity, Judaism, Islam and modern philosophical and psychological notions of the soul to place the Gnostic teachings in a clear historical context. By following the development of this concept through time, you will more clearly perceive—and respond to—the divine spark found in your own soul.

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