Explore the Meaning of Ancient Sacred Texts

Elements of the Religion of the Sun can be found in many ancient texts. The texts below are those we feel are the most relevant and accessible for modern day spiritual seekers.

Elements of the Religion of the Sun can be found contained within the sacred texts of all the traditions whose books are listed on this page. These books — while sometimes a little challenging to decipher and understand — can be sources of amazing wisdom, insight and spiritual inspiration that can provide direction and purpose for our everyday lives.

The sacred texts on this page are the most relevant and accessible for anyone wanting to delve more into the expression of the Religion of the Sun in texts from ancient times. Often containing spiritual practices and exercises, they emphasize gaining knowledge of ourselves, inner transformation, and developing a connection with spiritual forces in order to grow spiritually.

Wherever possible we have listed versions of the texts which are available to read or download freely online. In most cases this is possible, but there are some texts listed which are not freely available. Texts not available online can often be purchased quite inexpensively however as ebooks.

This list is a continual work in progress. As we research the foundation of more spiritual traditions and continue exploring texts from the traditions below the list will continue to grow.

If you would also like to learn about practising spiritual exercises from ancient sacred texts, please visit our page listing practices by spiritual tradition.

Descriptions of the following sacred texts coming soon…

The Flight of the Feathered Serpent by Armando Cosani

Published in the 1950s, the Flight of the Feathered Serpent portrays one of the world’s greatest dramas — the handing over of Jesus to the Pharisees by Judas — in a different light. Rather than being a betrayal, it shows how Judas — as Jesus’ most advanced disciple — was given the role of handing Jesus to the authorities so Jesus’ work on Earth could reach its conclusion. Interestingly, this same information was correlated much more recently in the discovery and translation of the Gospel of Judas. Written in three parts, the Flight of the Feathered Serpent explains how a journalist in South America met and befriended an enigmatic man who was the source of this information, provided a wealth of spiritual guidance, and just might have been Judas Iscariot himself.

Download the Flight of the Feathered Serpent as a free eBook here

Texts From Taoism

The Tao Te Ching

An image from the book the Secret of the Golden Flower

The Tao Te Ching contains the spiritual guidance of Lao Tzu, a Chinese sage who lived from 604 to 531 BC. It is said to contain explanations of the divine source, the source of all creation and the person who has attained it.

Translated by Gia Fu Feng and Jane English (pdf with illustrations)
Translated by Lionel Giles (html)

The Hua Hu Ching

The Hua Hu Ching is a collection of verses, widely attributed to Lao Tzu, the author of the Tao Te Ching. It is said to have been passed down through oral traditions, passed down by generations of Taoist priests. It contains lots of practical guidance on how to live in accordance with the Tao (the principle that is the basis of creation).

Translated by Brian Walker (first 20 verses free on iTunes). Unfortunately the full book is not available freely online.

The Secret of the Golden Flower

The Secret of the Golden Flower is an advanced ancient Taoist text that talks about inner alchemy.

Translated by Richard Wilhelm (pdf)

The True Transmission of the Golden Elixir

Despite many Taoist texts on sexual alchemy becoming very distorted and inaccurate over time, this book is one that has remained pure to its original spiritual principles, and which contains much alchemical wisdom.

Translated by Douglas Wile. There is no complete online version of this translation available in the public domain unfortunately.

Texts From Hinduism

The Bhagavad Gita

A depiction of Indra and the Gods giving boons to Krishna (with the halo) and Arjuna (with the bow)

The Bhagavad Gita is made up of 700 sanskrit verses which comprise a smaller part of the much longer Mahabarata. It is predominantly the counsel of Krishna to Arjuna, who explains the importance of living life well through right action, love and non-attachment to physical outcomes in the pursuit of liberation. The Gita does however mention celibacy as a way to reach enlightenment, which may be a distortion of the original text as it is as odds with the message contained in older Hindu texts and the texts of other spiritual traditions.

Translation by Shri Purohit Swami (pdf) – this is a more modern translation
Translation by Edwin Arnold (html) Translation by Swami Swarupananda (html) – these are older translations

The Mahabarata

The Mahabarata is a very famous Hindu text, which discusses the battles between light and darkness that form part of the process of reaching enlightenment. Because the Mahabarata is so long, you may get more value reading a larger number of shorter works than reading this book from cover to cover. For example, the Bhagavad Gita is a very accessible spiritual text which is a small part of the Mahabarata.

This is the most complete version available in the English Language. http://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/maha/mahatxt.zip

We are yet to read the entirety of this book — it contains almost two million words! — and so cannot vouch for all of its contents.

The Ramayana

The Ramayana is an ancient Hindu epic which explains allegorically what it is to be an ideal person and to walk a “righteous” path — the path to enlightenment — through the story of divine prince Rama (an avatar of the god Vishnu) and his struggles to rescue his wife Sita from a demon king who has kidnapped her.

Translated by Ralph T. H. Griffith (multiple formats) Translated by C. Rajagopalachari (pdf)

We are yet to read the entirety of this book and so cannot vouch for all of its contents.

Texts From Esoteric Christianity

The Four Gospels

Jesus and the Disciples at the last supper

Possibly surprising to many, the majority of the teachings of Jesus were actually not included in the bible. Many of the texts that do contain his words contain advanced spiritual guidance and were excluded and labelled blasphemous by the orthodoxy. The four gospels below are said to have been altered over time, and therefore are no longer in their original form. They have however retained an account of the Christic drama Jesus underwent in the events of his life, which are said to symbolically represent stages on the path to enlightenment.

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)

Gospels That Were Not Included in the Bible

The Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)

There are many gospels that did not get included in the bible. The Gospel of Mary was discovered in the Berlin Codex discovered in Akhmim in Egypt and dated to the late 4th or early 5th century AD. It explains the role Mary played as one of Jesus’ closest disciples.

The Gospel of Mary (Magdalene)

The Gospel of Judas

The Gospel of Judas was first translated in the early 2000s after being discovered in the 1970s in Egypt. It contains an alternate perspective to the four gospels of the Bible, depicting Judas not as a betrayer, but as Jesus’ most advanced disciple, who was given the most difficult role of giving Jesus over to the authorities. Interestingly, this perspective was explained in an almost identical way approximately 50 years earlier in the book The Flight of the Feathered Serpent, which is said to contain the direct teachings of Judas Iscariot.

The Gospel of Judas

The Gospels of Phillip and Thomas

The Gospel of Phillip and the Gospel of Thomas form part of the Nag Hammadi Library. The Gospel of Phillip discusses sexual alchemy from an esoteric Christian perspective, where it is known allegorically as the “bridal chamber”. The Gospel of Thomas is a compilation of 114 saying of Jesus. It begins “These are the hidden words that the living Jesus spoke”.

The Gospel of Phillip
The Gospel of Thomas ~ Patterson & Meyer translation (html), Lambdin translation (html), Patterson & Robinson translation (html)

Texts From The Nag Hammadi Library

Pages from the Gospel of Thomas in the Nag Hammadi Library

There are many other texts that form part of the Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of texts discovered in a buried earthenware jar by an Egyptian farmer in 1945. Below are what we consider to be the most important and useful texts, and those that relate most closely to aspects of the Religion of the Sun.

The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles is an allegorical story about Jesus and the Disciples. It talks about the importance of the importance of persistence and endurance in spiritual development, and explains how Jesus’ teachings are like a precious pearl more valuable than any worldly goods.

The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

The (First) Apocalypse of James

The Apocalypse of James is a short text that narrates a conversation between James and Jesus where they discuss the challenges and difficulties that can be faced when trying to develop spiritually.

The (First) Apocalypse of James

Teachings of Silvanus

The Teachings of Silvanus explores allegorically a number of different inner states that we are likely to experience in reaction to the events and relationships of life, such as anger or jealousy, and how they work within us.

Teachings of Silvanus

Authoritative Teaching

Authoritative Teaching explains how the spiritual part of us, the consciousness, is caught up in the things of the physical world. It also talks about how the consciousness can break free of matter and return to a heavenly state.

Authoritative Teaching

The Wisdom of Jesus Christ

This is quite an advanced text where Jesus explains to his disciples — women and men alike — the process of how a human soul comes into existence, and then how we can be saved from matter and return to a divine state.

The Wisdom of Jesus Christ

The Acts of Thomas

The Acts of Thomas is perhaps most well known for a story within it known as the Hymn of the Pearl which recounts the trials a person must go through in the physical world in order to learn, to extract consciousness from the egos and to return to a heavenly state. The descriptions of the Being in this text closely resemble those which can be found in some Hindu texts, and the book describes Thomas’ mission into India to spread Jesus’ message.

The Acts of Thomas

The Book of Thomas the Contender

The Book of Thomas the Contender contains Jesus’ words about lust and the human condition. It begins with the famous quote “For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of the all.”, very similar to that which was said to be inscribed on the Temple of Apollo in Delphi and which some attribute to Pythagoras: “Know thyself, and thou shalt know the universe and God.”

The Book of Thomas the Contender ~ pdf, html

The Dialogue of the Savior

This is quite an advanced text that portrays the guru-disciple type relationship the Disciples had with Jesus. It contains some really amazing spiritual guidance.

The Dialogue of the Savior

The Odes of Solomon

The Odes of Solomon are a collection of 42 hymns written in first person that describe the experiences a person is said to go through on the journey to spiritual awakening and enlightenment. They may or may not actually have been written by King Solomon, although in the Pistis Sophia the Disciples of Jesus refer to them as such.

pdf, html

Pistis Sophia

The Pistis Sophia is an advanced text which contains guidance from the secret conversations that Jesus had with his Disciples — both male and female — after his resurrection. It narrates the story of the consciousness and its descent to matter, only to be saved again by the Christ and returned to its heavenly state. As part of this text Jesus describes what can be found in other dimensions of existence, and explains the process of reincarnation as a “circuit of lives” that one’s soul goes through.

Translated by G.R.S. Mead (html)

The Book of Revelation

The Book of Revelation is an advanced text that shares a series of visions had by John on the on the island of Patmos in the Aegean.

American standard version, King James version (html) King James version (pdf)

Texts From the Essenes

Historian Josephus Flavius Interviews Banus

A portrait of Josephus Flavius, the historian who interviewed Banus who was known as the Essene

Josephus Flavius was a famous historian who lived in the first century AD. In this text Josephus interviews a wise man known as Banus over a period of three years. Banus was a recluse who lived an ascetic life in the desert, which Josephus imitated in order to learn from him. This interview contains clear explanations of spiritual laws and principles and how they relate to every day life.

Translated by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely

The Essene Gospel of Peace

These texts appear to have been written by Essenes who converted to Jesus’ teachings, and were possibly referred to as Sampseans, who worshiped the sun. In the texts, Jesus speaks about not only our Heavenly Father as he does in the bible, but also of an Earthly Mother. The text contains a number of “communions”, spiritual practices which focus on a connection with divinity through natural principles.

Translated by Edmond Bordeaux Szekely:

Book One (html)
Book Two (html)
Book Three (html)
Book Four (html)

Please note, this text contains some dietary and health recommendations that may not be direct teachings from Jesus and which we do not necessarily agree with. Rather than being a complete teaching of Jesus his sayings may have been used to create these gospels, but other additions may have been included.

Hermetic Texts

The Vision of Hermes

A depiction of Hermes Trismegistus

In this text, the secrets of immortality and the process of creation are revealed to Hermes in a vision / out-of-body experience. Hermes Trismegistus is associated with the Egyptian god Thoth, and this text is believed to be of Egyptian origin and to have been written before Christianity.

The Vision of Hermes (The link here leads to a translation taken from The Secret Teachings of All Ages by Manly P. Hall. It is about half way down the page and is a more accessible translation than an earlier one by Dr. Everard, written in 1650).

The Emerald Tablet

The Emerald Tablet is a short hermetic alchemical text, which describes the process of inner transformation that takes place in the practice of alchemy.

The Emerald Tablet (html)

Texts From Ancient Egyptian

The Pyramid Texts

Inscriptions from the Egyptian Book of the Dead

The Pyramid Texts are advanced texts which refer to stages in the process of spiritual awakening. They may be the oldest known spiritual texts in the world, and are the oldest known texts in Egypt, and were carved into the walls and sarcophagi of the pyramids at Saqqara.

Pyramid Texts Online (html with photos and translation)

The Egyptian Book of the Dead

The Egyptian Book of the Dead is another advanced Egyptian text which describes the processes involved in death and the afterlife.

http://www.holybooks.com/wp-content/uploads/Egyptian-Book-of-the-Dead.pdf (pdf)

We are yet to read the entirety of this book and so cannot vouch for all of its contents.

11 Comments

  • Thank you so much for giving such wonderful access to this fantasic information very generous and helpful thanks again Carmel

  • Thankyou olga and all that have contributed to these wonderful resources.
    As mentioned, it is amazing how vast and powerful the teachings of the spiritual sun really are!

    I just like to add that reading these ancient texts seem timeless in their wisdom, especially when reading the more hidden teachings from the great master jesus.

  • What a fantastic resource! Thanks for putting it together.

    I was wondering if anybody had researched work by Eliphas Levi? or if it is relevant at all?

  • So much wisdom to discover, thanks Olga. I really appreciate all the hard work that you guys are doing.

    I love the Gospel of Peace, book 1, from the Essence.

  • Wow, I didn’t notice the section on the Ancient Egypt here before. Just a few months ago, I came across Robert Bauval’s site, and thought I definitely had to read some of his book someday. It seems to me like he must have a great intuition, discovering so many things with what seems to me like a guidance from above. He certainly has angered a lot of “traditional” egyptologists, some of whom can become very aggressive just when hearing his name. 😀

    • For now this may be only scratching the surface. We’ll be adding things to this page as research continues. There are really so many great thinkers and researchers out there and discoveries from the past that can be extremely useful to explore the spirituality of the sun throughout its many phases, ancient sites, cultures, myths and religions.

      Hopefully this resource can be a starting point for further research that shows just how vast and influential the spirituality of the sun really is.

  • Thanks for all of these reading suggestions. Many I’m familiar with, but many I am not so much. So really looking forward to expand my library 🙂

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