First Interlude

See what I mean? – There's no doubt that the – original (unknown) - author of 'Awakening the Highest Dimension of Life' ('The Gospel of Truth') personally experienced the intense, fundamental widening of awareness he described, - and that he intends to inspire us to also tune into the same riveting, noble perception.

    The message is as captivating now as when the author set his words on papyrus 2000 years ago. And it is also crystal clear that he is not describing belief in a religious dogma, but that he was inspired by a deeply moving, direct experience.


The Left-out Passages

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Passage 15 - a 'Hymn to the Word' - was left out, because its dissimilar style and unrelated theme indicate that this was written by someone else and inserted at a later time. The 'hymn' interrupts the sweeping flow of the narrative, so I chose not to adopt it into 'Awakening the Highest Dimension of Life'.

    Twelve passages at the end of the original text repeat what was said before. Since my main aim is to convey the text's original fascination, I left them out not to bore the reader. These passages are readily available in the internet to research, if you are interested.


Tales Around Campfires

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A few simple facts shed light on how all these superb insights into an exquisite new dimension humankind is capable of experiencing got so heavily distorted in the course of the initial, early centuries.

    Few people are aware that the first and second century AD is highly undocumented. Only small fragments and single leaves have been found that relate to the events in Judea 2000 years ago. The first consistent 39 sheets – 'Papyrus 66', containing much of the gospel of John – were written around 200 AD only. -

    - That's 200 years of telling tales around campfires, - with little documentation, no printed materials and without the instant broadband internet information we take for granted now.

    Just relate these time-spans to our times: - How reliable would you deem stories of events that happened 200 years ago (at around 1810 AD) - related to you by word of mouth only, lacking all further documentation.

    Also quite unknown is that the very first version of The Bible as we know it today (Codex Sinaiticus and Codex Vaticanus), was only compiled in the first half of the 4th century - almost 300 years after the last eyewitnesses died.

    The passage of time alone affects the way the original ideas and events were told, - radical interventions like the eradication of the entire expansive, free, ecstatic fraction the orthodox organizers annihilated from 180 AD onwards caused major parts of the initial message to vanish into nothingness.

    Add the attempts of those frustrated and offended because they were unable or unwilling to experience the inner expansion their peers or even simple people deemed beneath their status enthusiastically described, - and who then tried everything to suppress, control or rationalize away such messages.

    And then there are the inevitable mistakes in copying, the misunderstandings, differing versions of the same event, intentional alterations of the original tale to promote personal agendas, - to force unwanted people out of positions, - to endorse particular ideas, – to requisition money etc.

    And then the fact that – until Gutenberg's invention of the printing press in mid 15th century - reading and writing was limited to a very thin strata of society, who up to this time monopolized the interpretation of ideas and selected and controlled their propagation with a hard hand.

    All things considered, a substantial number of influences had many chances to distort the original message.

    Had not the scriptures of Nag Hammadi been found, we would know only the official, highly deformed versions.



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One central insight that did not make it into our times was the initial meaning of 'resurrection'.

    The early Christians saw resurrection simply as the 'awakening' of the soul – similarly as Buddha talks of becoming 'awake' - not of becoming 'enlightened'.

    'Resurrection' is experienced by those waking up to their Oneness with the Exalted Awareness, to the realization that their awareness is eternal, even while living on earth, even while they experience their material body, - and also waking up to the assured certainty that after leaving their mortal frame, they will be free of being reborn in another confining body.

    Those not experiencing this awakening – 'resurrection', oneness with the Grand Awareness on earth, in their present body, - will keep on incarnating in further restrictive bodies and circumstances.

    Jesus the messenger clearly states in the 'Gospel of Philip' that resurrection is not a future event:

    'Those who say they will first die and then arise, are mistaken. If they do not first gain resurrection while they are alive, once they have died they will gain nothing.'

    In the Gospel of Thomas he is asked, 'When will the rest (resurrection) for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?'

    And he answers, 'What you look for has come, but you do not see it.' - Resurrection and the new world are right before our eyes, but the ones who asked fail to realize this.


Further Distortions

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Apart from 'resurrection' numerous other ideas got fundamentally distorted:

  • 'Salvation' - the concept that external higher powers or God 'save' mankind from 'eternal damnation' –
        - instead of man – in a self-initiated, inspired fashion - finding the Grand Awareness he never lost and always carries within.

  • 'The investiture of priests' versed in clever speak and formal ceremony -
        - instead of inspiration by those who personally experience the Grand Awareness, and thus are able to awaken similar perception in others.

  • 'The invention of sin' – which does not exist in nature; - nor do the counterparts of sin: repentance, confession, penitence, -
        - none of which make us expand, more noble, or perceive the Exalted Awareness. Sin forever makes us look backwards for imaginary past 'mistakes' invented by people with quite sinister agendas.

  • 'The focus on belief' – a poor substitute for directly experiencing the Fantastic, the Extraordinary, the Ecstasy of the Exalted Awareness.

  • 'The focus on prayer' to an external 'higher' agency - instead of rising to our own immense, noble power of creating within.

  • 'The idealizing of conformist "good" behaviour' -
        - instead of being guided by inspiration, expansion and one's inner nobility, - and challenging those who enforce docility, restriction and formalism because of their own petty personal interests, - and telling them to get lost.

    And these are only a few examples of distortions.


Gnosticism ?

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Some people might say that what the ancient text contains is Gnosticism. - But I utterly disagree with this opinion.

    Originally a 'Gnostic' ('knower' in Greek language) was someone in command of a very special knowledge, who directly perceived the Grand Awareness underlying all physical experience, and who knew such insight to be accessible to everyone at all times.

    Yet during the second century AD 'Gnosticism' became an artificial classification, became a label the orthodox fraction used to first categorize the expansive, ecstatic community of people inspired by the original message of Jesus – to then destroy it.

    Gnosticism – as it is defined today, - is merely a hazy image of what it originally was. This is because the only information about it – apart from the Nag Hammadi scrolls – stems exclusively from documentation written by those who actually eradicated it (Irenaeus, Tertullian etc.). How reliable would you consider information about the resistance movement against a dictator, if it relied only on documents written by the police that actually annihilated this rising.

    No, this text is not about lifeless, scholarly, footnote-ridden Gnosticism, this text carries a long forgotten, inspiring, original message that opens up untold, fantastic, noble dimensions to mankind.


Onto Further Shores

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Now - instead of trying to 'resurrect' information long so distorted as to be almost unrecognizable, let's turn to other cultures – let's see if they show similar messages, possibly clearer, less deteriorated, with more details how to purposely perceive and realize this higher part of ourselves.

    The story how I discovered such scripture – actually the very first text of this kind I ever found – is worth relating, because the way it came into my focus was bizarre, spans more than three decades and defies logical explanation.


An Ancient Treasure Hidden in a Book

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It was way back at a time where no more than fifteen serious 'spiritual' books were readily available in print; a time where only one local bookshop sported one single narrow shelf hidden in the back of the store, displaying Lao Tse's 'Tao Te King', Seneca, Yogananda's 'Autobiography of a Yogi', Govinda's 'Way of the White Clouds' etc. Once you were through reading these fifteen works, you were on your own.

    Oh yes, we knew that ancient Indian scriptures existed, but this was a huge complex of confusing archaic lore seemingly without discernible structure. And even if we knew a certain book existed, it usually was unobtainable, far too expensive, only available in original Sanskrit, Pali, or Prakrit language, or translated by scholars who made their contents even more confusing.

    Sure, nowadays a quarter-million 'spiritual' or 'New Age' books are on sale, - but to my personal experience they never went beyond what these initial fifteen 'spiritual' works described. – Or – more sarcastic – in the words of 18th century German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: 'Stepping on quark (twaddle) makes it flat, not strong'.

    At that time – my age was twenty-two - I came across one book whose title I don't recall after these many years, but which contained the reprint of an original scripture written more than a millennium ago – a text that mystified me though I was utterly unable to understand it then.

    Now, - instead of discarding it, as I had done with the works of Gurdijeff, Blavatsky, Rudolf Steiner and others, I did something I'd never done before: I copied the few pages of this scripture. Since copy-shops didn't exist yet, this took an elaborate journey to the company of a girlfriend's father to get it done.

    I then sealed the 12 copied sheets into an envelope which I placed inside a book I knew I'd never lend out or give away, because the – well-known - author had autographed it with an elaborate dedication.

    This book – including the envelope I soon forgot – accompanied me on many of my journeys of the next three decades. During these years the book got crammed into cardboard boxes, travelled to three continents, sat on improvised bookshelves of highly temporary accommodations, was stored in attics or cellars of friends – once barely escaping a flood, while all the time hiding that envelope.

    Then came the day when I was searching for information I – mistakenly - thought this book contained, drew it from its shelf, - and the envelope dropped out.

    Like receiving a birthday-gift out of time, I took the pages and read them in utter amazement. But where before I could see only a jumble of perplexing words, I now understood the extraordinary, intense message the text conveyed: - In great detail it described what far more illustrious ancient texts never even mentioned, - it described how to gain access to an awareness underlying the manifested world and the Unmanifested.

    This is how I discovered 'The Tibetan Book Of The Great Liberation'.


A 1200 Years Old Message Reaching Its Destination

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But reading and understanding the book intellectually was not the main event that made this whole process remarkable. All during the month following my 'discovery' something was working inside of me, - some vague notion, some hazy idea that seemed to sway just beyond conscious perception, just barely beyond my grasp. I felt as if I started seeing something where nothing seemed to be before.

    And then - almost exactly one month after finding the hidden envelope - my mind suddenly zoomed into what the author, Padma-Sambhava, described: - into direct perception of the Grand, Exalted Awareness.

    The rest you know, - it's the story told in the beginning of this book.

    So, - what I am presenting you now is the very text that triggered this perception, - 'The Tibetan Book Of The Great Liberation'.

    Yet again it was essential to adopt the ancient text to contemporary language, - and to change special terms into present-day words. Had I not done so, the text would open up only if you are versed in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist and Tibetan philosophy, know the respective history and have some insight into Sanskrit. For those who desire it, the original translation of Evans-Wentz can easily be downloaded from the internet.

    It was a joy transferring the book into present-day language. The spirited, almost staccato presentation of ideas, the inimitable way Padma-Sambhava sequences his statements to awaken insight sleeping deep within us, - all this rings out exhilarating fresh and modern.

    He uses irony and pointed humour to stir, to rouse the reader. He employs paradoxes to shake us from deeply rooted thought processes. He provokes by challenging time-honoured, but ineffective courses of actions and beliefs.

    So enjoy the ride. – See it as a letter from your future, - a letter your future awakened self sends into your very present to reach out to you.

    May it open your mind and heart, may it open your whole being to this superb expansion of your inner Self.

Next: - The Tibetan Book

Author:  Hermann Kuhn
Book-Title:  'Where NOTHING Seems To Be'

ISBN:  978-3-9811466-1-5
Copyright 2009 Crosswind Publishing, Wunstorf, Germany

Available in pdf-format at DOWNLOADS