The rushing of hidden streams, bell-deep in resonance, echoes continually through the millennia; all the noisy day’s cacophony cannot conceal it from those who would hear it.
The ears of those who help make such a din are almost deaf so that they can only hear the shrill noises immediately around them. Yet in every age there are also people who keep their distance from the shrill markets and in the quiet midnight hour listen out for the sacred, solemn distant sounds which can be heard from the very depths of primeval being.
At times these few become many. Their ears become so acutely aware that they can perceive the distant primeval sounds, even in the wildest cacophony of the din-intoxicated world around them, more clearly than the brash noise which seeks to stand in their way.
We live in the dawn of such an age!
Everyday sees an increase in the number of those who have ears to hear!
They are no longer put off by the hoarse bawling of fairground sellers, nor by the roar of wild animals; the clacking castanets of frenzied dancers fail to distract them. With a smile they pay no heed to the jingle-jangle coming from the colourful caps of fools.
They have but ears for the single, sacred, sublime tolling of the bell – listen out only for the continuous profound surge of the streams of eternity – and seek their own kind in time and space, near and far, people who can testify also to hearing the same profound rushing everywhere.
The best today are weary of all wisdom coming merely from the human brain.
For a long time now, acrobatic thinking has attracted only young geriatrics or geriatric children.
The clever conclusions of peacock-proud know-alls are scarcely worth as much as token coins to the ever childish crowd; its favour is only rarely gained with this coinage, in the way seafarers won the favour of the natives through colourful trinkets and glittering strings of beads.
But those approaching their time of awakening, who seek value for their earthly lives in work and deed, call out for a different kind of knowledge: they want most secure certainty to become part of their inner selves; a certainty which will not tomorrow become uncertainty again – a certainty which cannot have its foundations undermined at some time in the near or distant future by the results of probing research conducted by others.
In all ages there have been people who have attained this certainty.
It is not a product of deduction or sophistry; no human mind can conceive it!
Wealth of external knowledge is not required to partake of it!
Whoever you may be, however highly your knowledge is prized: – you will not acquire certainty before you have learnt to renounce the glittering diversity of your thinking!
You have created for yourself a maze from the ‘tracks of your thoughts’ and have lost yourself within it.
You can only find yourself again if you find your way back to the entrance to this maze: – back to the place where your thinking was once as simple as that of a child! – – –
Even early man did not gain wisdom and knowledge any differently.
The same light shines today to which the ancient seers to our astonishment once bore witness: but if you stroll in the darkness of the ‘tracks of your thoughts’ you will be able to deny its existence with ease, for its rays have not poured forth into those places. –
The ancients were at times truly more ‘lords of the earth’ than later generations, who, through their inventions and concoctions proudly built up the walls of their own dungeon until they obstructed their view of infinity…
With sure instincts they knew how to sift and separate; full of reverence they took possession of what their forefathers had to bequeath to them in the form of intransient, certain knowledge. In this way the sacred could always be saved from the ruins of old temples. If in every later sanctuary a new cult image arose, it remained basically a symbol enshrouding the same godhead and was recognised as such by the initiated.
Men belonging to this now disappearing generation, however, – wading far more deeply than they suspected through many kinds of superstition and presumptuously proclaiming their imaginings, opinions and speculations to be knowledge – saw only the ‘idol’ in every ancient divine image, only familiar ‘superstition’ in its cult, and failed to notice that deep and mysterious wisdom walks side by side with every cult of the divine, which, needle’s to say, is only revealed to the mature. – –
In the same way the ancient message called the ‘Gospel of St. John’, has become as well for many, in past times and probably in current times too, not much more than a book of fairy-tales supplemented with poetical accounts of a dated superstition….
Having gradually rid themselves of the fear of testing the temporal and earthly form of the ‘Holy Scriptures’, once regarded as the work of the Spirit of God, they found within them the traces of ancient pagan teachings. Since they then further discovered that the wondrous picture of the divine man of this ancient book united the characteristics of many ancients gods within it, modern men – inasmuch as they do not profess themselves to be ‘Christians’ – saw the contents of the whole book as: pious delusion.
Largely contributing to this was probably the fact that the ancient message has only been preserved in a form which demonstrates all too clearly the foolish work of many editors which has given it its current shape.
A further ruinous element was provided in the past by the premise that saw this ‘message’ as a work by the disciple whom the Master ‘loved’; and so everything was done to bring it into line with the older accounts which gave legendary witness to the earthly life of the exalted Master – intermingling truth and fiction as their writers saw fit.
It was thereby no longer possible to recognise that the original author of this ancient book – written more than a lifetime after the Master’s death, – although using those legendary accounts narrating the life on earth of the exalted Master, truly strove for something different than just increasing the number of wondrous accounts.
Here must be explained that the ancient message, once attributed by early editors to ‘John’ whom the Master ‘loved’, is the work of one ‘with knowledge’ written for his own followers who had long since known ‘by word of mouth’ of a teaching truly bringing ‘tidings of joy’ to all those it reached.
We speak here from the same certain knowledge as when we say that the original author of this message still had in his possession ancient texts consisting of faithful copies of the exalted Master’s own message of which he had taken charge after the Master’s death and had his own disciples copy them.
It is also necessary to add that the disciple whom the Master ‘loved’ was the only one among the ‘Apostles’ who knew about the deepest things relating to his Master’s mission.
Following the Master’s death he gathered around him those few who had spiritually comprehended the teaching from the beginning.
When he himself then died, these few true disciples remained together as a small group, protecting their deep and secret knowledge which could never be reconciled to the external cult founded as the fruit of the preaching of those other disciples. John, the chosen one, had increasingly distanced himself from the other disciples as soon as his Master died, though the legend created by the external cult tries to show his close association with them. –
The concern of the author of the text I shall speak of here was directed at those who came after the Apostle’s own disciples, – who are to be kept quite separate from the followers of the Baptist who bore the same name: Jehoshanan. –
Truly they were not going to be taken in by those wondrous tales which are today found in the completely corrupted text handed down to posterity, though there is quite a lot which speaks from these wondrous tales that can illuminate the Master’s picture for later generations.
They knew of a spiritual miracle which put all the wondrous tales of the accounts into the shade, and they knew this spiritual miracle from their own experience. – – –
However much they protected as their most sacred legacy the exalted Master’s teaching, as it had once been understood through John, they certainly harboured no concerns, wherever they found threads of hidden truth in contemporary teaching, about weaving such truth into the temple curtain which concealed from profane eyes the secret in its sanctuaries.
Only if all this is duly considered can it still be possible today – despite all the outside hands which corrupted the first author’s text – to comprehend the fragmented remains by their inner value, inasmuch as they escaped the foolishly narrow corrections in their early days. This is also the sense of Goethe’s words when he placed this message above all other tidings of faith; modern research on the other hand,seeks to deploy all its acuity to cut a barely accessible path through the overgrown garden of knowledge which it is supposed to enlighten. – –
If I am now asked about the knowledge which gives me the certainty to stand by the interpretation given in this book, for all current and future generations, I must begin with eradicating the mistaken idea that what I here present is somehow the fruit of my own ‘research’.
The paths leading to certainty here are so narrow and steep that all your own baggage, even the most supreme and sublime treasure of earthly wisdom, must be left behind, lest your feet stumble on these high roads. –
There is ‘knowledge’ which alone can know with certainty of these things!
‘Proofs’ are here attainable only for those who have, since the beginning of time, cultivated this way of ‘knowing’. They pass on what they attained themselves in like manner to those, in every human age, who have been confirmed; – namely, the ability of knowing through self-transformation, whereby the knower becomes knowledge from the object of knowledge. – –
And I speak from this knowledge.
I want to give certainty and know that certainty cannot be attained in any other way. –
Far be it from me to want to persuade readers to believe in my words.
Whoever wishes to establish whether I give my word and voice to truth, let him seek confirmation in himself – in the innermost part of his being.
He will not spend his time in vain if he sees what I have to show him in the way I am obliged to show him…
At times it may appear as though I have moved far away from the subject of this book; it will also be difficult to avoid repetition. I have no intention of writing according to a system or rules.
The ancient message bearing the name of ‘John’ is not going to receive a kind of commentary here.
My only concern in this book is to show the pure teaching, with which the writer could assume his pupils to be familiar.
Furthermore, I want to steer clear of the error which has it that the ancient message gives witness to the same beliefs as the three older accounts of the life of the ‘Anointed One’. Already in ancient days it was placed alongside these three accounts, after it had been made ready for that purpose.
It will also be necessary to bring certain texts into a clearer light than if they were only mentioned in passing, by way of an example or for elucidation, in which case they would have suited the purposes of traditional readings and interpretations.
May now the exalted wisdom still emanating, despite all later attempts to obscure it, from the ancient text called the ‘Gospel of John’ be a guiding star to all who seek – a guiding star to lighten them the path to the spirit! –