The Hymn of the Pearl is one of the greatest Gnostic scriptures ever composed, one of several hymns or mystic poems embedded in the Syriac Acts of Saint Thomas in India.
This hymn is commonly interpreted as a Gnostic understanding of the human condition, that we are spirits lost in a world of matter, and forgetful of our true origin. Our spiritual breakthrough arrives in the form of a revelatory message delivered by a Divine Messenger. The letter takes on a symbolic representation of Gnosis (spiritual, mystical, inner knowledge or knowing). Divine Grace busts into worlds of time and space to free souls from their captivity. The Great Life, the Supreme Being, calls out to souls, summoning them to awakening, guiding them back to their true home or point of origin.
The Song of the Pearl is a narrative poem about a prince's quest for the Divine Pearl. Presented in the Acts of Thomas as a hymn sung by the apostle Thomas, The Song of the Pearl is a moving Gnostic tale of salvation, of liberation, of sleeping in error but awakening to Light, a quest for gaining possession of the Pearl of the self or soul and a return to the Light.
"When the Pearl is cast down into the mud,
it becomes greatly despised,
nor if it is anointed with oil
will it become more precious.
But it always has value
in the eyes of its owner.
Compare the children of God:
wherever they may be,
they still have value
in the eyes of their Father."
-- Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library of Egypt)
"Love is like a deep sea. Only that lover of God who will dive into it fearlessly shall be able to get the Pearl of ultimate happiness in it. And one who will not be able to muster up enough courage to dive into it, shall remain sitting at the beach. He will remain without love in this world. How will he get the Pearls of ultimate happiness then?" (Kabir 1008 Vani)
"We are the Pearls of the shoreless ocean,
Sometimes the waves and sometimes the sea,
We came into the world for this purpose --
That we might reveal God to His creatures."
-- Kamal, son of Kabir
"In the Name of the Great Life (Hayyi Rabbi), may the exalted Light be honored. The Pearl came, which gave Light to dark hearts. Radiance sought to be. Light awoke and became." (Ginza Rabba, The Great Treasure -- Mandaean Gnostic Scriptures)
The Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl, A Mystical Poem About You -- All Souls -- Remember Who You Are? The Hymn of the Soul -- Today on the Spiritual Awakening Radio Podcast with James Bean.