We’ve compiled a list of our picks of spiritual texts from around the world. In our view these are much better than the products of modern commercialized spirituality, and are written by those who’ve clearly had personal experience of the process of enlightenment.
They reveal in essence, a spirituality, that was most clearly expressed in the religion of the sun, but which is universal and ultimately beyond religious forms. They are humanity’s written heritage of wisdom and inspiration. More may be listed as we find sources for them.
The Flight of the Feathered Serpent by Armando Cosani
This little known work is a treasure of esoteric teachings which was published in the 1950s. This true story explained the role Jesus gave Judas – decades before the ancient text the Gospel of Judas was discovered and revealed the same.
Download it as a free eBook here
Buy on Amazon.com
Buy on Amazon.co.uk
The Tao Te Ching
The teachings of the Chinese sage Lao Tzu dated to around 500 BC. It is an often misunderstood book that has given rise to countless do nothing or there is no path ideas. It relates to the divine source, the one, and the individual who attains it. If it’s read in that context, it can be better understood.
Translated by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English (pdf with illustrations)
Translated by Lionel Giles (html)
The Hua Hu Ching
Believed to be the oral teachings of Lao Tzu, author of the Tao Te Ching, passed down verbally over centuries until finally reaching paper. Because these teachings were passed down orally, their accuracy may not be exact, but the essence of the teaching is clear.
Translated by Brian Walker (first 20 verses free on iTunes, free preview on Google Apps)
* Unfortunately there is no complete public domain version of this translation available, but we highly recommend purchasing it.
The Secret of the Golden Flower
The True Transmission of the Golden Elixir
This little gem of alchemical literature survived a period of suppression in China. The author of this text worried about the secrets of alchemy falling into the wrong hands; unfortunately they did. Most of the known Taoist texts on the practice of alchemical transformation became horribly distorted; whereas at least this text, and the others recommended, retained truly spiritual principles.
Translated by Douglas Wile.
* There is no complete public domain version of this translation available.
About the struggles and the wars that have to be fought against darkness in the process of awakening. This is the most complete version available in the English Language. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/mahatxt.zip
The Bhagavad Gita
The Rig Veda
The oldest of the four Vedas, and one of the oldest known sacred texts in the world.
Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith (pdf)
Esoteric Christian Texts
These are the texts of those who practiced the esoteric knowledge of Jesus. These practitioners have been given various names as many of their ancient texts have been discovered in different places over the centuries – being labeled Gnostics, Essenes, Ebionites etc. However, these names have often been applied to large numbers of groups who had widely different beliefs. Some had the knowledge, while others didn’t. Those that did, carried on practicing and teaching the esoteric wisdom of Jesus until they were persecuted out of visible existence. Deemed as heresy by the orthodoxy, most of their texts were banned and buried for over a thousand years.
The Four Gospels
Matthew ~ American Standard version, King James version (html), King James version (pdf)
Mark ~ American Standard version, King James version (html), King James version (pdf)
Luke ~ American Standard version, King James version (html), King James version (pdf)
John ~ American Standard version, King James version (html), King James version (pdf)
The Book of Revelation
The Nag Hammadi Library
The Nag Hammadi Library was a cache of esoteric Christian texts discovered in 1945 in Egypt after they had laid buried for over 1,500 years. They include incredible never before seen teachings of Jesus and the disciples, as they were part of a large number of texts that were excluded from the Bible. Although there are many texts that make up the library, the following texts are those that recount events and insights from the lives and experiences of some of the apostles:
The scriptures below contain the sayings of Jesus, as well as further information about his life:
The Apocryphon of James ~ Williams translations (html), Cameron translation (html)
The Book of Thomas the Contender ~ pdf, html
The Gospel of Thomas ~ Patterson & Meyer translation (html), Lambdin translation (html), Patterson & Robinson translation (html)
The Apocryphon of John
The Gospel of Phillip
The Dialogue of the Savior
This is an extraordinary and highly esoteric work, whose title means ‘the faith of Sophia.’ It is possibly one of the few texts known to give detailed information on the final stages of enlightenment, which are rarely experienced let alone written down. It is an account of the conversations Jesus has for 11 years in secret with his disciples on the Mount of Olives following his resurrection. He speaks about the salvation of consciousness (the immortal divine spark within each person) through Christ, which is an account of the stages experienced in the spiritual work. He describes vast spiritual regions and dimensions full of other beings, the process of rebirth and reincarnation of the soul through its “circuit of lives,” and discourses at length with the female disciples Mary Magdalene, Salome, Martha and his mother Mary, who were kept out of the orthodox depiction of the disciples.
Translated by G.R.S. Mead (html)
The Odes of Solomon
The Odes of Solomon are dated by most scholars to somewhere in the range of 70-125 AD and referred to by Jesus and the disciples in the text the Pistis Sophia above. Interestingly, the disciples refer to the odes as though they were written by King Solomon (believed to have reigned from 970-931 BC) in the form of a prophecy, and some scholars suggest that these odes may actually be a much older text that was modified by an early Christian. Its exact origin continues to remain a mystery. Although these odes seem like simple devotional hymns, they are written in first person and contain first-hand descriptions of what someone experiences in the process of enlightenment. It is clear that it was written by one who has merged with both the Son, the Mother and the Father—the three cosmic forces and higher parts of ones Being—and who had ascended internally, which is something incredibly rare, and yet is the latent potential within every person’s consciousness.
Historian Josephus Flavius Interviews Banus
The famous historian Josephus Flavius interviewed a wise man who lived a secluded life in the desert called Banus sometime in the first century AD. He recounts how there were numerous groups teaching there at that time. Banus is often referred to as an Essene today, but Josephus describes him as someone who was neither Pharisee, Sadducee, or Essene:
“When I was about sixteen years old I had a mind to make a trial of the several sects that were among us. There are three of these, that of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the third that of the Essenes, as we have frequently told you. I thought that being acquainted with them all I could choose the best.
So I consigned myself to hardship, and underwent great difficulties, and went through them all. Nor did I content myself with the trying of these three only, for when I was informed that one whose name was Banus lived in the desert, and used no other clothing than what grew upon trees, and had no other food than what grew of its own accord, and bathed himself in cold water frequently, both night and day, to purify himself, I imitated him in those things, and continued with him three years.”
~ Josephus Flavius
Banus gives a clear explanation of the properties of cosmic laws and principles, and how they relate to human behavior and daily interactions. If people understood what was written in this one little book, so much war, suffering, and social discord could be avoided.
The Essene Gospel of Peace
This text has been attributed to the Essenes by the translator in its title, but is largely an account of Jesus teaching.
It is a text that managed to find its way out of the Vatican Library (we can only wonder what else remains inside, locked away from humanity). It reveals a very different picture of femininity in spirituality than found in many of the texts of the Bible that were not part of what Jesus taught. In it, Jesus reveals that not only do we have a Heavenly Father, but also an Earthly Mother, and describes the role she has in creation and our lives. The texts are also full of profound and gentle spiritual practices that are based on the communion with the spiritual in nature and creation.
Ancient Egyptian Texts
The Pyramid Texts
Pyramid Texts Online (html with photos and translation)
The Egyptian Book of the Dead
The 42 Laws of Maat
These are a series of 42 laws taken from the Book of the Dead above. All of creation is governed by principles, which form the basis of divine cosmic law. These laws give some indication as to the standards of behavior one needs to meet to be able to become an initiate and progress in the work to awakening.
The 42 Laws of Maat (html)
These are the writings attributed to Hermes Trismegistus, who has not been identified as any historical individual, but whose name has been traced back to Egypt before Christianity and is associated with the Egyptian god Thoth.
The Vision of Hermes is the most famous of 17 separate texts that were compiled into a book called The Divine Pymander. The Divine Pymander itself is one the earliest known Hermetic writings, and is believed to have originated from Egypt and pre-date Christianity. In the Vision of Hermes, the process of creation and the mystery of how a human can become immortal is revealed to Hermes in an out-of-body experience/vision from the divine mind of the universe.
The Emerald Tablet is a very short text which is a symbolic description of the process of inner alchemical purification and transmutation known as alchemy.
The Vision of Hermes (html taken from The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall who offers a more modern and readable translation than the more common one dating from 1650 by Dr. Everard – scroll about halfway down the page to find it).
The Emerald Tablet (html)
The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
Dante’s journey through the different dimensions of hell and heaven out of the body, until his final arrival at the divine source of creation.
Symbolic of the esoteric works that the Son of our inner Being performs within us on the journey to awakening.