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MP3 Messengers of the Light - Hymns of the Pearl

This music emanates from the ancient Gnostic scriptures. The band fuses world beat sounds with contemporary electric and acoustic instrumentation and beautiful vocal harmonies.

11 MP3 Songs in this album (49:17) !
Related styles: World: World Beat, New Age: Spiritual, Spiritual

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On behalf of the Gnostic church of the Pearl, I’d like to welcome you to our first-ever CD, Hymns of the Pearl. This is music with a heritage. It has a powerful link to ancient secrets concerning our human origins and destiny.

Sixty-four years ago in this month of December, 1945, two poor Egyptian brothers were digging for fertilizer near the limestone caves of Upper Egypt. It was a place called Nag Hammadi. The older brother, Mohammed Ali Samman, came upon a large earthenware vessel containing twelve leather-bound codices. He disregarded the find at first, being disappointed there was no gold in the jar. And later, his mother even used some of the documents to build a fire for tea! But eventually he gave the treasure to a priest who sent them off to Cairo to be examined.

Soon, the world was to learn that this treasure contained fifty-two ancient Gnostic scriptures dating back to the first century after Christ. It also contained three texts belonging to the spiritual cousins of the Gnostics, the Egyptian Hermeticists. And, it contained a portion of Plato’s Republic. But why were these manuscripts hidden in a jar and buried in the desert of Upper Egypt?

Scholars tell us that the Gnostics were considered to be heretics by the church authorities of the time. They had begun to methodically erase the Gnostic presence from the earth. In the year, 367 AD, when Bishop Athanasius condemned anyone who used a scripture that was not accepted as part of the official canon of holy scriptures authorized by the Roman Catholic church, the Gnostics realized that they and their writings were about to be destroyed.

And so they took their copies of these scriptures and wrapped them in leather and buried them in a large earthenware vessel near the limestone caves of Nag Hammadi, Egypt. That was 1,642 years ago!

Sixty-four years ago the sacred texts were rediscovered. And it’s only been since the mid-1970’s since scholars really began to translate and study these amazing books. Their presence is just beginning to be felt in our culture today. We now have many books like Elaine Pagel’s Gnostic Gospels that are making their way through our culture, informing us about who the Gnostics were and what they knew by their experience.

And so this CD is an extension of that fantastic discovery in Nag Hammadi. The Gnostic vision of reality has been rekindled and contemporary Gnostics are carrying on the traditions learned from the ancients. Out of our experience has come this new music that extends and celebrates the Gnostic vision.

The album is called Hymns of the Pearl; this title evokes the title of one of the most beautiful of all the Gnostic writings called The Hymn of the Pearl, a Syrian myth that tells the story of the descent of the spirit into a human body where it must awaken from the sleep into which it has fallen and remember its true home and origins, and its true purpose for being here in the material world.

The spirit, depicted as the son or daughter of the King and Queen of Heaven, having fallen into the darkness of the material world, must now leave the chummy surroundings of the tavern and search for the ancient dragon that guards the priceless pearl. The royal prodigy is to enchant the dragon and claim the pearl and take it back home to the heavenly realm.

Of course, this priceless pearl is a metaphor for the priceless attainment of enlightenment, and it is for this attainment that we have all been sent here, for we are all the children of the divine, and the knowledge and power of the divine is our true heritage and potential. We only have to put the dragon to sleep and claim that pearl. And that, of course, is the work of a lifetime.

And so these new Gnostic hymns are tools to aid you on your long journey back home to your true source. My hope is that they both inspire you and stimulate you to move forward in your path so that one day you can hold the priceless pearl in your hand and take it with you on your next adventure after this life ends.

So listen to the music and see for yourself. I''ll give a brief background to four of the songs on the album. Track 2 is called Aeon. The Greek word, Aeon was used by the Gnostics to mean the communities of ideal being outside of time and space. The Aeons were the first emanations of divine beings that came from the ineffable source of existence, the Great God beyond all Gods.

The Valentinian Gnostics had a myth about fifteen original divine couples. Each couple was a masculine Aeon and a feminine Aeon. They harmonized their wills together and, out of their unity together, they made decisions or they created.
Sophia was the Aeon who, of all the Aeons, desired the most to also unite with the source of existence, the Great God Beyond all Gods. She passionately sought to comprehend this mystery. And so she set out to join with the Source, but wound up getting deceived and falling into the trap of the material universe where she suffers the limitations of time and space. The Aeon, Jesus, was sent to save Sophia from her trap and return her to her home in the Pleroma, the place of Fullness.

In this hymn, Aeon, Jesus’ disciples ask him to tell them about the Aeons and how we came from them, to be here in the material world. The lyrics and concept comes from the Nag Hammadi scripture called The Sophia of Jesus Christ written in the latter part of the first century.

Track 8 is called IAO. Here is another mysterious word used by the Gnostics and others that has many meanings. IAO was a divine name used in the region of southern Iraq during the six hundred years before Christ. You can find the name, IAO in the Chaldean Oracles of Zoroaster.

In that ancient text, IAO is a name for the divine, similar to the Hebrew’s Jehova. Later, in the tradition of western magic, IAO is a divine force whose role is to help people attain enlightenment. It is viewed as an acronym of the Egyptian deities, Isis, Apophis, and Osiris, who evoke the mysteries of life, death, and resurrection. The Gnostics also used IAO as a chant, similar to OHM.

The lyrics for IAO are inspired by the Nag Hammadi text, Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth, an Egyptian text written around 200 AD. This text describes the ancient process of a spiritual guide leading an initiate to a mystical experience. The guide and initiate enter into a heightened state of consciousness and experience a vision of divine reality during which they recognize their unity with the divine mind. They see and hear the angels of the upper spheres singing a hymn of praise to the divine name.

The next two hymns I''ll describe take us on a journey starting with our celestial origins in the Aeons, the birth of the galaxies and the birth of the psyche, all the way down into the shadows of the time-space world of illusion we live in.

Track 9 is The Song of the Witnesses. The Witnesses are the Aeons, the divine ones who are emanated out from the Eternal Sea and who become the creators and the witnesses of the birth of the cosmos. This hymn describes the love dance between the masculine and feminine forces that unite in ecstasy, causing the impregnation of the divine Mother who gives birth to the galaxies and the psyche. The hymn reminds us that all the wonders of the creation are taking place within us, in “our fathomless inner depths.” We are also reminded that we can taste of the fruit of the Tree of Life and swim in the waters of the Eternal Sea so that our life reaches its potential divine status, and we too, become the new witnesses of the dance of Light and darkness.

This hymn has a special meaning for us members of the Gnostic church of the Pearl because the lyrics emerged out of meditation on the incredible icon called The Tree of Life painted by Sarah Stead, our mother and sister in gnosis, who passed beyond the veil in February 2008.

The last hymn I''ll describe is Track 7 called Shadows. The lyrics for this hymn are taken from two sources: the first is a Nag Hammadi text called The Reality of the Rulers. The Gnostic concept of the rulers is similar to the agents in the Matrix program whose job it is to keep us asleep and trapped in the illusion of the Matrix. The rulers are forces in our minds that attempt to demoralize us, discourage us, and make us feel and act like prisoners. In this scripture, the seeker is reminded that the world beneath the Aeons is a shadow of the world beyond.

The second scripture source for Shadows comes from one of our own translations of Gnostic revelation. It is called Saga of Sophia and Christ. The lyrics to Shadows come from this text, almost verbatim.

Finally, I’d like to close my remarks with a metaphor of what these Gnostic hymns symbolize. In the apocryphal text, The Acts of John, Jesus is described as gathering his disciples in a circle of singing and dancing on the night before he died. They sang together about the healing of the soul and the return of the soul to her home with the Aeons. This is the true meaning of salvation, for to heal and to save come from the same root word. I envision these new hymns to be a direct link in our world of the ancient medicines for the soul. I hope that your listening to these hymns will be a medicine for you to heal from our constant exposure to the lower consciousness of the material world. Shalom-Agape.

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