Insofar as I have in this book woven words from the traditional text into my own, I have only used them when I was spiritually certain that they still corresponded to the sense of the original text. Where this was not the case, I have sought to be true to this original sense in my own words.
Since in this book I only speak of the ancient message which is regarded as the ‘Gospel of. John’, I have deliberately left out sayings of the Master which I know to be well-founded, present in the three earlier accounts of the Master’s life on earth, though they would often have confirmed what I had to say.
Those who follow my words will be able to find the authentic within the other accounts without much difficulty; likewise they will soon discover, from case to case, the reasons for the insertions and revisions both in the ancient message and in the earlier accounts.
We cannot deny that many sayings, once beloved and dear to those who grew up believing in the divine character of the ancient scriptures and who indeed still consider them as sacred today, are later inventions.
But as long as these sayings somehow convey truth, I see no reason to belittle or reject them.
Later editors of the ancient texts were – if one wishes to regard them as ‘poets’ – often far superior to the original authors. They found many images and legends for the introduction of beliefs they were serving into the old texts, that could truly have evoked the envy of the original authors. –
However, it is different matter if one would learn to recognise those things the original text once offered, or whether pious edification is sought in the poets’ words which would create a document for his passionately held beliefs.
In the ancient message, which had to be explained here, the original text has been overrun with fantasy. Thus a document providing the only confirmation of that pure teaching given by the exalted Master just to his closest pupils, which might have been passed on to later generations, was falsified, and so it was vital to recover the authentic content of the original, inasmuch as the text had to be considered.
Through a way of writing which makes every sentence to stand independently and gives it almost a self-contained meaning, even when found in a different passage than where it first appeared, made it easily possible, in the immediate aftermath, for every belief to tear out of context sentences which they found disruptive and to arbitrarily reintroduce them where they admirably served their purpose.
Where a word was located which they did not like to read, they expunged texts which bore the stamp of originality without further ado, calling them ‘heretical’ additions. Those things which seemed too weighty to expunge were given insertions or additions which turned the original meaning into its opposite.
And, all too willingly they took words which the Master had once spoken in a completely different context and placed them within the miraculous legends arising soon after his death so as to confirm pious belief in the tales of the miraculous.
Countless extracts were garbled, the meaning of as many reversed; and yet the trace of pure teaching has been preserved, – still the complete text is illuminated by that exalted love which, as the legacy of the Apostle, survived in the last of his pupils. It also shows the author as a man of love in the light of the pure teaching, which he sought to preserve for those pupils for whom his words were intended, – a teaching pure, as he had received it himself, – unadulterated by beliefs whose errors he clearly discerned. – – –
With regard to other texts which like this ancient message were ascribed to the disciple whom the Master ‘loved’ because he found him ‘within love’, nothing was ever written by that disciple and nothing has been composed with the feather of the author of this message.
The texts seen as the ‘Epistles’ of John the disciple certainly contain many magnificent words of wisdom and are truly a testimony to a human spirit living ‘within love’. But these epistles were only written after the message here under discussion had been adapted to serve the new cult, and their author was a believer in the new cult.
But the so-called book of ‘Revelation’ – the ‘Apocalypse’ – is the work of intellects of very variable value and gives witness to different times.
In it are found traces of ‘those with knowledge’ alongside the mysterious trimmings which the book acquired through believers in the new cult together with extended additions by later revisers.
The writer who once bestowed a grandiose poetic form on the content of this book only used fragmentary material which had been in existence long before him as evidence of mystical visions. –
The pure teaching, however, once imparted by the Master to his closest pupils and which only that one, the one he ‘loved’, completely understood, this pure teaching, to be communicated to those who stayed true to him, can only be recognised in this message, written by a later author, who lived completely within the spirit of this teaching.
May the wisdom contained in this message, despite all the transformations it had to suffer, not be lost to those who seek in the coming generations! –