Esteemed viewers, welcome to the conclusion of our two-part program on American author and Gnostic Gospels expert Peter Canova, who, after an extraordinary career as an international businessman and luxury hotel developer, spent the next phase of his life studying the Gnostic mysteries.

In Judaism, you have the Kabala, which is the mystical core of Judaism. In Islam, you have Sufism, which is the mystical core of Islam, and Gnosticism was the mystical core of Christianity.

Mr. Canova is author of the “First Souls” novel trilogy. Book one is called “Pope Annalisa” and has won seven national book awards in the US including the prestigious Nautilus Gold Medal Award and the Independent Publishers Award. Peter Canova will now continue discussing the insights he’s gained from these ancient texts including the “lost women of the Bible” as well as provide perspective on the connection between consciousness and our perception of reality.

The Gnostics were the knowledge keepers of the West. And this little quote here by a great Gnostic scholar, Mead, says that, "Gnostic forms are found to preserve elements from the mystery traditions of antiquity in greater fullness than that that we find elsewhere." I have studied a lot of mystical texts, and the Gnostics were unique. You find information in there with precision and clarity that I haven’t found in many of the other texts.

In 1945, a great discovery was made in the deserts of Egypt. An Arab peasant found these earthenware jars. And inside the jars were these papyri, that's plural for papyrus, scrolls. And they were written mostly in Coptic, a little bit Greek but mostly in Coptic, which was the ancient language of Ethiopia written in Greek characters. And that discovery opened up a whole new vista.

That, and the Dead Sea Scrolls started to really open up a whole different lens on looking at the very early origins of Judeo-Christianity and what was really being said. The Gnostics predated Christianity. They were around way before the Christians, because this universal spiritual tradition came down from thousands and thousands of years ago. And they believed that (the) Revealers of the Light came in waves. And when they became familiar with the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, when he started his ministry in Palestine, they readily recognized what he was teaching. And they became among the first Christians, early Christians.

Peter Canova’s study of the Gnostic Gospels reveals that Mary Magdalene, a disciple of Jesus, was highly enlightened and made many spiritual contributions to the world.

Mary Magdalene understood these mystical teachings so much that in the Gospels, she is portrayed as actually framing the questions and making explanations. And Jesus would say, "You're most blessed among all people."

However Mr. Canova has found that as Christianity evolved over time, many significant changes occurred with regards to the position of women in the religion.

So, gradually over a period of time, they started to kind of push the females aside. They probably would have pushed their writings aside, pushed them aside from positions of authority, and re-written some of the texts. In fact, there's a very interesting essay on the Internet by a guy named Ramon Jusino. And he makes a very cogent case that the Gospel of John was originally the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, and that it was revised during this period of time when they were pushing females out of the (Orthodox) Church.

Now, this is a kind of really sad but poignant picture that illustrates what happened to women during this era. This was a wall mural was discovered in a cave above the ancient Greco-Roman city of Ephesus, which is now modern Turkey, on the coast of Asia Minor. Inside this cave mural they found these two figures. Now this is Saint Theoclia, who was a well-known female saint at that time. She was as famous as Saint Paul.

Now, in the old days, when you made certain physical depictions, it had meaning that it doesn't have today. The fact that Theoclia sits at a higher level than Paul meant something back then. Theoclia would have taken precedence in the eyes of the early Christian community over Paul. You see here Paul making this sign, which is called the sign of the bishop. They still make this in the Orthodox and Catholic churches today. It's the sign of an authoritative teacher, one who is able to teach the scriptures, and the sacraments, and the mysteries. And you see that they were both making the sign.

But over the ensuing centuries, somebody came in and chipped away Theoclia's fingers, and chipped away Theoclia's face, which is a literal depiction of what happened to the women of this era. They effaced the authority of the women. They wanted the women to vanish, leaving only the male as the authoritative figure. Now this is a Buddha statue making the exact same kind of hand signal. . These were called mudras in Buddhism. Mudra was actually a physical symbol that was made in order to help open up the chakras. This is evidence of how this wisdom was common to all these other cultures, as far away as India and so forth.

Another area of Mr. Canova’s study is the light of the Divine that is discussed in the Gnostic Gospels and many other sacred spiritual texts.

We had a beautiful spiritual tradition here in the Western world that was once part of our culture, and we're now in the process, hopefully, of rediscovering the systematic sources of spiritual light. Hippolytus, a church father, said, "Brahmans in Alexandria affirm that God is light but not such as one sees by. Deity is discourse." Brahmans are Hindus.

So, we know that these mystery schools were in touch with one another, because here you have these guys in Alexandria (Egypt), which was a hotbed of learning. The second thing is God is light but not such as one sees by. And deity is discourse, meaning discourse is information. He's saying that there is information contained in light. The soul at the point of death has the same experience as those who are initiated into the mysteries.

Now, this was the real common phenomenon that all the mystics had. When they reached that mystical state, they would see, they would be bathed in this milky, pearl-like, opalescent white light. And information was coming from that light. So when the initiate reached that point, that's when they really started to make contact. And this experience of milky white light was a universal phenomenon.

In the ancient spiritualism, there was no separation. There only was separation in terms of perception, or in terms of first appearance. Behind each human consciousness was a chain of conscious being that was part of us, leading all the way back to ourselves as light beings. So we are multiple creatures. This is the lowest expression of our experience, but we are experiencing on other levels. Each of us is having an experience of successive levels of consciousness on other levels leading back to our own light source. The key to enlightenment is to make that which is unconscious, conscious again.

Mr. Canova and others have described our world as a “giant hologram” which is a scientific way of explaining creation by this spiritual light.

The primary teaching of the universal wisdom tradition was that there was one consciousness. They also said that this one consciousness expresses itself in the form of light. And the ancients really believed that everything that we experience in physical form derives from this light, going from a higher vibration to a lower vibration. The lower the vibration, the more it crystallizes into, like, a solid form. So, what they’re really saying is that everything that we know starts off as energy, starts off as light energy.

And through a process of this energy being stepped down, it assumes the appearance of physical form. That’s what the ancients would say. Now, the modern holographic universe theory, is basically saying the same thing, and it’s derived from the understanding in quantum physics. And it comes from, I should say, not just quantum physics.

There’re two main branches of physics. There’s relativistic physics, which would be Albert Einstein defining the laws that govern the large world, planetary scale. There’s also quantum physics that deals in the sub-atomic world, the world of the small. The two things that both those sources of physics were saying is, Einstein’s E=MC^2 says essentially that matter and light, or energy, are interchangeable forms of the same thing.

That matter derives from light energy, and it dissolves back into light energy. The quantum physics side was saying that when we go so far into the sub-atomic realm, there’s no such thing as particles. The particles that we think make up solid objects like this chair, do not exist at the very fundamental level of reality. What exists is light. And since light is the source of everything, according to both these branches of physics, what they’re starting to do is revise their notion of what this three dimensional world is about.

And it led them to the theory and the belief that there is a dimension where these things that we think are solid objects in the material world exist in a sort of blueprint form. Archetypes, archetypical forms. Think of them as kind of an energetic blueprint for you, for the camera, for the chair, for the things that we see in this room. These exist first in archetypal form, in another dimension, and they’re light images. And the light images are converted chemically and by other processes through our eyesight and our brains so that we actually picture what we think is three-dimensional reality in the back of our brains.

It’s almost like the brain is a fantastic TV set, and we’re getting these light images, a signal being sent, and we’re like the antennae, our brains are like the antennae, and they’re also the transmitters and the transceivers, so that they take the information in and they spit it out as three-dimensional objects, as the appearance of three-dimensional objects. So, what they’re saying is the same thing that the mystics were saying years ago, that everything starts off in the world of light. All the images and archetypes of things that we know, start off as light energy.

And through this process of the human consciousness, which is very important, the human consciousness is completely tied into the material world. Without individual human consciousness, there would be no materiality. The two go hand in hand, because that is the receiver and it is the transmitter that gives the appearance of 3D objects coming from this world of light. So, that’s what the holographic theory says. And that’s what the ancients were saying, the exact same thing two and three thousand years ago.

Once again, thank you Peter Canova for discussing the absorbing research you’ve done about the relation between consciousness and our perception of reality as well as for your illuminating discourse on the Gnostic mysteries. May your future studies in these fields continue to bring forth fruitful and enlightening information to the world.

For more information on Peter Canova, please visit

Mr. Canova’s book “Pope Annalisa” is available at the same website. Thank you, precious viewers, for watching this week’s episode of Science and Spirituality. Coming up next is Words of Wisdom, after Noteworthy News. May we all perceive the everlasting light of the Divine.