cover image THE GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF ST. THOMAS: Meditations on the Mystical Teachings

THE GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF ST. THOMAS: Meditations on the Mystical Teachings

Tau Malachi, Malachi Eben Ha-Elijah, . . Llewellyn, $17.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-7387-0499-9

Best described as a devotional, this collection of letters offers 114 meditations corresponding to the verses of the Gospel of Thomas. Malachi, a California-based mystic who founded the Sophia Fellowship in 1983, writes from the perspective of the Christian Gnosticism of the Sophian Tradition, which he defines as "a weave of Gnosticism, Kabbalah and Rosicrucian philosophy." He sets out to provide a "source of contemplation" while simultaneously striving to transcribe an oral tradition not only for novices but also for those already practiced in Gnostic study. He accomplishes all of this admirably. Readers should heed the author's advice and, rather than read the book in a sitting, use one verse per day as a meditative source. This practice attunes the mind to the voice of the Holy Spirit and also promotes a better appreciation of the oral tradition, in which key elements and phrases often resurface. Read straight through, important messages may be lost rather than cherished if seen as repetitive. Malachi clearly (and respectfully) delineates the differences among Christian Gnosticism, Judaism and what he calls Orthodox Christianity. Throughout, he encourages readers to actualize their divine potential or, as he paraphrases the Master, "Get a life so that you have something to offer up to God." Malachi perfectly captures the oral tradition within the written word. (June)