The Hymn of the Pearl

Discussion in 'Esoteric' started by Raksha, Jan 19, 2008.

  1. Raksha

    Raksha New Member

    Mar 22, 2006
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    I am posting the beginning of this poem as a partial answer to a question my friend Chris (China Cat Sunflower) asked on page 8 of the topic "The Sacred Feminine," which can be found on the Abrahamic Religions forum. It's a question that in my never-humble opinion isn't asked often enough in Esoteric/New Age circles, namely: What is the purpose of our soul's journey? Is it basically a matter of "coming full circle" and nothing more?

    If the ultimate goal of human evolution--both physical and spiritual--is to return to our Source, which like most people I understand to mean a primordial state of union with the Divine--what would be the point of leaving that Source to begin with? Whether you believe in reincarnation or not, why develop even the "seed" of a human ego to begin with, if it ALL it means is a state of alienation from God? We could have remained in the undifferentiated state--where we were and as we were--and saved ourselves and God a hell of lot of grief!

    But it seems there is something of inestimable value that can only be found in this realm of chaos (or whatever you want to call it) and not in the Pleroma. This beautiful Syriac poem sometimes titled "The Hymn of the Pearl" names it the One Pearl. Whatever it is, it is something absolutely necessary for God's own self-fulfillment or self-actualization. That's a paradox in itself, because how could God "need" anything whatsoever? I'm going to stay away from that one for now!

    I've been asking this question for a long time now: What is the One Pearl?

    I'm not pretending to have an answer, but every once in a while I have to ask the question all over again. I have a feeling the answer, whatever it might be, is also the answer to the question, Why are we here?

    Anyone want to take a crack at it?

    I'll post the beginning of the poem in the first reply, since I ran on with this introductory stuff longer than I thought I would. That's standard operating procedure for me!

    Love and Light,
  2. Raksha

    Raksha New Member

    Mar 22, 2006
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    This is a different translation and also a different title from the one I'm familiar with, but it's the version I found at the Gnosis Archive. The poem is rather long so I'm only going to post the beginning with a link to the rest of it.


    The Hymn of Judas Thomas the Apostle

    When I was a little child,
    and dwelling in my kingdom,

    in my father's house, and was content with the wealth and the
    luxuries of my nourishers,

    from the East, our home,
    my parents equipped me (and) sent me forth;

    and of the wealth of our treasury
    they took abundantly, (and) tied up for me a load

    large and (yet) light, which I myself could carry,

    gold of Beth-Ellaya,
    and silver of Gazak the great,

    and rubies of India,
    and agates from Beth-Kashan,

    and they furnished me with the adamant,
    which can crush iron.

    And they took off from me the glittering robe,
    which in their affection they made for me,

    and the purple toga,
    which was measured (and) woven to my stature.

    And they made a compact with me,
    and wrote it in my heart, that it might not be forgotten:

    "If thou goest down into Egypt,
    and bringest the one pearl,

    which is in the midst of the sea
    around the loud-breathing serpent,

    thou shalt put on thy glittering robe
    and thy toga, with which (thou art) contented,

    and with thy brother, who is next to us in authority,
    thou shalt be heir in our kingdom."


  3. Thomas

    Thomas Super Moderator Staff Member

    Sep 25, 2003
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    Hi Linda —

    Well, as this is the esoteric thread, i can wax lyrical here with a greater freedom, on the basis that what I offer is trhe fruit of my own speculations.

    Good question.

    Another good question.

    Like all good questions, the journey is often of more value than the answer, not that I have 'it', but I have 'an' answer ...

    The idea of a 'return to the source', along with such images as 'the golden age' etc., all lead one to assume that we're back where we started, and then the question is valid ... why start in the first place?

    Certainly, the source, being the Godhead, remains the same, it is we who have changed, and that's the all-important bit.

    (You'd have to get into quite technical Christian metaphysics here regarding the creation of the human soul ... the key being that souls are 'created', with all that the term implies.)

    It's notable that the aim of the Christian life is theosis, or deification, and this actually transcends or exceeds (and rather than or) the Primordial State, in which the Primordial Couple sought deification in their own right, and thus fell.

    Precisely ... that's why authentic Christian esoterism does not consider reincarnation. In the Christian tradition, the person is central to the whole affair — the Christian dialogue is between the Person of God and the person of man, the former being utterly Absolute, the latter being utterly contingent — yet cast in the likeness and image ...

    Spot on again.

    It's axiomatic that in the Christian idea of Divine Union, this does not involve the extinction or cessation of the individual person — as our metaphysicians have pointed out, a union that involves the extinction of one of the two parties is not a union at all. It's implicit by the term 'union' that two are joined, but not that the two become one in which the lesser is completely eclipsed or erased.

    A Christian metaphysic would argue that point. If such was the case, then God is contingent, not absolute; finite not infinite; subject to change and alteration, etc. Christian metaphysics does not allow of such.

    In Christian terms God is One, Simple, Absolute, Infinite, All-Possible, beyond all condition and determination ... the arche anarchos.

    We simply say it is an error rather than a paradox — it points to a fault in the logic of the thinker ... but that is from a strictly Christian perspective. God needs nothing ... what God allows, is another matter.

    If I were to take a crack at it, I would argue that the point of the Pearl is not to go anywhere, but to realise the Real here ... this is why Christianity stands against common gnosticism (of the 2nd century type) as opposed to what we perceive as an authentic Christian (and indeed Christic) gnosis, of which the Apostles preached. (For us the world is not evil ... it is a theophany ... )

    How can the Absolute change? How can the Infinity alter? How can the All-Possible aspire to anything other than Itself, if Itself is already all there is and all that there can be?

    This is the scandal of the Mystery of the Resurrection ... It is we who change, we who are the Pearl, the human soul is the pearl of great price ... it is not of rebirth in some higher realm, some mystical aeon ... the mystery of mysteries is that it is precisely here that the fullness of the Mystery will be realised ... the eschaton is in that sense simply a transient and intermediate state, a celestial waiting room/sleeping chamber (for some are awake, and some sleep), but the Resurrection is not into an angelic and incorporeal state, but a fully realised human corporeality, possessing a material body ... but on that day the material will become immortal and incorruptible ... it is the Mystery of the Transfiguration.

    1 Corinthians 15:52-54:
    "In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet: for the trumpet shall sound and the dead shall rise again incorruptible. And we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption: and this mortal must put on immortality."

    Just a shot in the dark ... take it or leave it ...

    Pax tecum,

  4. Nick the Pilot

    Nick the Pilot Well-Known Member

    Feb 19, 2007
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    Linda, you asked,
    "What is the purpose of our soul's journey? Is it basically a matter of "coming full circle" and nothing more? ...Why are we here?"

    --> I do not think anyone has the answer. All we can do is help other people achieve Enlightenment, who will help others achieve Enlightenment, who will then help even more people achieve Enlightenment. It seems to be an endless cycle. I suppose all we can do is understand our role in the cycle (and muse as to why the cycle exists, like what you are doing.)
    "...why develop even the "seed" of a human ego to begin with, if it ALL it means is a state of alienation from God?"

    --> It is not an alienation from "God." When a baby chick is ready to fly, the parent bird must let it go. When a teenager gets old enough for college, their human parents must let them go. It is the same with the emergence of the first baby "souls." We are allowed into a world of separateness (not forced) for our own good.
    "We could have remained in the undifferentiated state--where we were and as we were--and saved ourselves and God a hell of lot of grief!"
    --> That is one way to look at it. Another way to look at is, we need to learn and grow, and that cannot be done without a lot of grief. I do not like the system, but I do not see how it could have been set up any other way.

    Have you ever raised children, animals, or plants? Was it a strain on you at times? Was it worth it, in the long run?
    " could God "need" anything whatsoever?"

    --> I do not think "God" needs anything. Whatever is going on, it is for our needs, not for "God's" needs.
    "What is the One Pearl?"

    --> It is the one form of Reality, a reality that we were intentionally and artifically separated away from. This sense of separation allows us to have concrete experiences that shape our self-identity, experiences that help to form us in a way that no other experiences could.
    "...every once in a while I have to ask the question all over again."
    --> I think such questions are a good idea. Ask more questions!
  5. Thepasserby

    Thepasserby Thepasserby

    Sep 14, 2014
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    I believe it's to experience emotion. God is all knowing but not all experiencing. That's what we are. We're the experiencing side of God. Think about it. Anytime we go through any major drama in life we always
    come out better, stronger, and wiser. The pearl is the knowledge of emotion. Just my thoughts.

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