The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom

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Potter/TenSpeed/Harmony, Jul 12, 2005 - Religion - 272 pages
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Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy, authors of The Jesus Mysteries and Jesus and the Lost Goddess, return with a powerful indictment of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic fundamentalism and a passionate reinterpretation of Gnostic spirituality. According to Freke and Gandy, religiously inspired acts of violence, such as the attacks on 9/11, are nothing new. They are the continuation of a long and bloody history of brutality caused by mistaking bizarre old books for the Word of God. The time has come to end religious intolerance and wake up to oneness by rediscovering the Gnostic way of transforming oneself and the world.

Freke and Gandy's Incendiary New Book Is a Wake-Up Call to the World

What if the Old Testament is a work of fiction, Jesus never existed, and Muhammad was a mobster?

What if the Bible and the Qur’an are works of political propaganda created by Taliban-like fundamentalists to justify the sort of religious violence we are witnessing in the world today?

What if there is a big idea that could free us from the us-versus-them world created by religion and make it possible for us to truly love our neighbors—and even our enemies?

What if it is possible to awaken to a profound state of oneness and love, which the Gnostic Christians symbolized by the enigmatic figure of the laughing Jesus?

Discover for Yourself Why the Gnostic Jesus Laughs

From the Hardcover edition.

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The Laughing Jesus : Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom

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In their latest collaboration (after Jesus and the Lost Goddess ), Freke and Gandy announce a crusade to do away with the alleged "lies" of institutional religion based on inaccurate history and the ... Read full review

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For my birthday, a good friend gave me a book, "The Laughing Jesus: Religious Lies and Gnostic Wisdom." I had time on my hands yesterday, so I finally sat down to start reading it. I've only gotten through the first few chapters, but here's the basic gist: "Gnosticism," described by the authors as a sort of self-guided awakening toward spiritual reality, unencumbered by the oppressive shackles of religion, is good. "Literalism," a broad label the authors use to describe faithful adherence to a religion (particularly any of the major ones), is bad.
The book begins by presenting a visual illustration, a two-column chart, to make very clear to the reader the stark contrasts between Gnosticism and Literalism. I felt compelled to share a few examples with some brief commentary (inserted in brackets):
From the book:
"Gnostics want us to think for ourselves, so that we become more conscious and wake up.
Literalists want us to believe what they believe, so that we will join their cult."
[I'd have to ask the authors whether part of the reason they've written this book is to get others to believe what they believe.]
"Gnostics understand that life itself is a process of awakening.
Literalists believe their particular religion is the only way to the truth and condemn everyone else as lost in diabolical error."
[Yet the authors claim gnosticism to be the way to the truth, and all those literalists to be lost in diabolical error!]
"Gnosticism is about waking up from the illusion of separateness to oneness and love.
Literalism keeps us asleep in an 'us versus them' world of division and conflict..."
[Uh, hello, gnostic guys, what about this little 'us versus them' chart of yours I'm reading??]
"Gnosticism unites us.
Literalism divides us."
My conclusion: If Literalism is what these Gnostics say it is, then these Gnostics are Literalists.


Title Page Dedication Part I The Bathwater 1 Gnostic Spirituality and Literalist Religion
A Religious Detox
The Word of God?
The Most Famous Man Who Never Lived
From Mystic to Mobster
The Dream of Awakening
The Baby 7 HipGnosis
No Reality Without Polarity
The Laughing Jesus
The Way to Awaken
Spirituality Without Religion

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About the author (2005)

Timothy Freke has an honors degree in philosophy and is the author of more than twenty books on world spirituality. He lectures and runs experiential seminars throughout the world exploring gnosis.

Peter Gandy has an M.A. in classical civilization and is an internationally respected authority on the ancient Pagan Mysteries and early Christianity.

Both Freke and Gandy live in England and are the authors of five previous books, including The Jesus Mysteries and Jesus and the Lost Goddess.

From the Hardcover edition.

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