Andrew Phillip Smith, trans. Stephen A. Hoeller, foreword.
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Just what is a soul, exactly? Where did the idea come from? How do we experience our souls? Two ancient Gnostic texts, The Exegesis on the Soul and The Hymn of the Pearl—both presented here in new translations—hold important clues to the development of the concept of the soul and reveal inspiring ways to return one's soul to its unique, divine purpose. The Exegesis on the Soul depicts the soul as a feminine figure who has fallen into the corrupted world and must find her way back to the Divine. The Hymn of the Pearl is an allegory about a prince sent to retrieve a precious pearl but who soon forgets his purpose and falls asleep. Facing-page commentary illuminates the Gnostic writings in the context of early Christian teaching.
"One of the clearest and most accessible entry-points to the wisdom of the ancient Gnostics that I have ever seen."—Richard Smoley