- Opening pages
- Chapter I
- Chapter XI


- Paperback
- 447 pages
- First edition
- Recluse Publishing 2007
- Size: 5.5" x 8" x 1"
- Shipping weight: 21 oz
- ISBN 10 - 0-9782637-0-7
- ISBN 13 - 978-0-9782637-0-6


      This is the tale of the Gnostic Christ, based on the ancient sources. In a compelling narrative, L. Caruana seamlessly weaves over 1500 sayings from the Nag Hammadi texts to recount The Hidden Passion of the Gnostic savior.
      Wandering round Galilee, increasingly hailed as the Messiah of the Five Seals, the Gnostic savior preaches divine awakening through compassion. But he must still contend with Judas, his dark twin, and Magdalene, his promised bride. At once earthly and spiritual, the Nazarene's love for these two is finally transfigured into a higher, hidden passion.
      Each page of this novel rings with the authentic message of the lost gospels. By combining numerous narrative fragments from the Nag Hammadi texts, The Hidden Passion makes the Gnostic Gospels come alive!
      Complete with a map, diagram and glossary, this novel elucidates the Gnostic worldview in an eloquent, engaging narrative...


      L. Caruana is an artist and writer living in Paris. He holds a Philosophy degree in Hermeneutics (the study of Biblical Interpretation) and is the author of Enter Through the Image: The Ancient Image-Language of Myth, Art and Dreams, also published by Recluse.
      From his studio in the Bastille quarter, he edits The Visionary Revue while exhibiting his works throughout Europe.
      See LCaruana.com and VisionaryRevue.com


      - Preface and Afterword by the author
      - Map of Palestine at the time of Christ
      - Diagram of the Gnostic Cosmos
      - Glossary of Gnostic Terms


       AEON BYTE, the weekly Gnostic radio show, conducted an in depth interview with author L. Caruana on his new novel, The Hidden Passion.
       Click directly on interview for a 10 minute excerpt.
       (To download the entire podcast, select Program 95 at The Digital Shop of TheGodAboveGod.com (Select What would the Ministry of the Gnostic Jesus look like? under 'Gnosticism Proper'.)

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       ...Read the Reviews from Amazon.com

(5 out of 5 stars)
- By Jesse H. Gross (Missoula, MT) - December 3, 2009

I have to say that this book is a work of genius. Mr. Caruana did an unbelievable amount of research to pull this story off in such a magnificent manner.

I am always suspect of authors who write on gnosticism, as it is often times merely a cover for their new age or feminist agenda. However, this book is none of that. It goes strait to the heart of gnosticism.

Mr. Caruana weaves a truly beautiful tale of Christ and the disciples around the texts of the Nag Hammadi Library. The character development and use of visionary sequences displays a true depth of understanding of the gnostic gospels and the communities from which they came.

This is a book which should be read at least twice by someone who is interested in the subject. Once before they read the Nag Hammadi Library as an introduction to the material, and at least once after so the reader may appreciate the material even more.

(5 out of 5 stars)
- Benjamin D. Steele (Iowa City, IA) - February 18, 2009

I've checked out other novels supposedly based on Gnosticism. They never seem worth reading. Many writers about Gnosticism have idiosyncratic agendas, trying to project their own ideas back onto an ancient religion.

I took a chance on this book and have been more than satisfied. He is a good writer and I feel he gets at the heart of Gnosticism. I really appreciate that he quotes so thoroughly from Gnostic texts and brings those quotes alive with his storytelling.

I've found it very difficult to get into many of the Gnostic scriptures. Much of the meaning has been lost to the past, but there is a core message to Gnosticism that can still be understood even now. I've been reading this book while referencing the texts he quotes. It gives a deeper experience to both the novel and the Gnostic texts.

I think even someone who hadn't read any Gnostic texts could still enjoy this book. I suspect this might even be a good introduction to Gnosticism. It's certainly more accessible than many of the scholarly books on the subject. Anyways, it's an entertaining story... as long as you don't mind thinking deeply about heretical ideas.

This book isn't the easiest to review. In certain ways, it has some similarities to other novels even though the technique of stringing direct quotes together with narrative is inventive. He writes about this technique in his Preface. He was forced to use short quotes because of copyright laws. I was shocked that one isn't allowed to freely quote ancient scripture. What has become of the world!?! With appropriate irony, the author says: "If Matthew and Luke were to publish their gospels today, Mark would surely sue them for copyright violation..."

Anywho, let me mention the similar novels that come to my mind.

The obvious comparison is the novel The Last Temptation of Christ by Nikos Kazantzakis. The similarity is that Jesus doesn't immediately realize the role he is to play. I like this way of portraying Jesus because it makes him more human and hence more real.

The other novel I'm reminded of is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. The relationship between Siddhartha and his friend Govinda is somewhat like that between Jesus and Judas in this novel. The relationship serves the purpose of showing divergent paths as alternative choices.

...And another review from Tau Christian-Thomas' Blogspot

The Hidden Passion

by Tau Christian-Thomas - July 17th, 2009
Not since Nathaniel Merritt published his seminal work Jehovah Unmasked have I encountered a book that so eloquently explicates the ofttimes abstract, obtuse and sometimes phantasmagorical religio-philosophy found in the Nag Hammadi Library and related Gnostic literature as The Hidden Passion by L. Caruana (2007, Recluse Publishing). I know from personal experience as from the experiences of others that making any coherent sense out of the fifty-two documents that comprise the NHL is no mean task, and is not meant for any but the most stubbornly diligent of seekers after the Epignosis.

I remember when I first read the first edition of
The Nag Hammadi Library In English, edited by James Robinson, in the late 1970’s, I underwent a series of psychological and personal transitional states that can be aptly summarised in Logion 2 of the Gospel of Thomas: "Jesus said, 'Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all…'". When first reading this collection (over and over again), I most definitely confess to feeling very disturbed, even fearful. This disturbance on my part led to an epiphany of understanding the core truths of this literature. (I don’t think I’ll reign over all until I shed my earthly garment!) For a period of over two weeks I literally trembled visibly on account of a surge of Divine Power that coursed through my body-brain. And while I had more or less adopted a Gnostic worldview years before after having read The Gnostic Religion: The Message of the Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity, it was mostly an intellectual gnosis and therefore, incomplete.

To put it simply, I had practically the same experiences when I read
The Hidden Passion. The format that the author used to produce this opus is that of a mystical romance novel. Woven seamlessly into the body of this book are over 1500 passages from the NHL and related Gnostic literature. To give a thumbnail of the story line, I would describe it as a Gnostic reformulation of the canonical Gospels of the New Testament, especially The Gospel of John. But this Gospel (and I believe it worthy to be called as such) reads like a Gnostic biography of the man who came to be known in the Western world as Jesus Christ. The important characters that we have come to know through our Sunday School lessons are all present: Jesus, Mary of Magdala, the Virgin Mary, Joseph, all of the disciples, including the most controversial and paradoxical of all – St. Jude Thomas, Jesus’ other siblings, Herod, the mysterious Chuza (whom I believe might be Sha’ul), Pontius Pilate and his wife, John the Baptist, etc., etc.

In this book, its soteriology reads in much the same way as the classic Christian guide to salvation
The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan. It tells a take of everyman’s innate yearning for God/Source as well as the paths that must be trod, the temptations that must be resisted, and the works that must be done for one to attain to salvation. In The Hidden Passion, the everyman is not only Jesus but also Mary Magdalene, several of the disciples, and countless others who must tread the One Way to Epignosis and Spiritual Regeneration as being true salvation.

[...] The notion of "the holy twins" plays out eloquently in The Hidden Passion in the complex and moving relationship that Jesus has with his well-known “twin,” Eyodah Tauma, Jude Thomas. But this beautiful everyman idea elaborates into a surprising divine mystery of the Passion of Jesus Christ that I did not see coming, nor will most other readers see it until the profundity of their mystical relationship is fully explicated and processed by our wee human brains. This mystery also touches upon the teaching that everyperson comes equipped as it were with a dual Spirit. The Essenes spoke of the Spirit of Truth and the Spirit of Perversity. In modern day terms we might say The Light Spirit and the Dark Spirit. No, the Dark Spirit is not equivalent to the Jungian concept of the Shadow. The real-life conflict within all humans between their Light and Dark Natures is much more intricate and convoluted than the idea of the Self’s reconciliation with the Shadow by bringing the latter into full awareness. Apples and oranges.

The author graphically and masterfully depicts the appearances and malevolence in the world of the “Archigenitor” (the demiurge Ialdabaoth, spelled in the book Yaltabaoth and clearly equated with the ancient Israelite worship of  YHVH, who is Ialdabaoth pretending to be True God). The son of Yaltabaoth becomes, when incarnate, the anti-Messiah, i.e., the antichrist who imaginatively is identified by the author as none other than Barabbas, the murderer whom Pilate released instead of Jesus. Bar – abbas means, as most people know, “son of the father”. The character of Salome is carefully and meticulously recreated by L. Caruana in such a way that her passion for John the Baptist is turned to rage when the former’s attempts to seduce him fail, and how she plays on the lust her stepfather Herod bears towards her to accomplish her egregious slaughter of the Baptist.

Indeed, all of the heroes and villains of this eternal Cosmic Passion Play are skillfully crafted by the author and made real and yet superhuman when they are made to utter the solemn pronouncements of the NHL literature. Through the medium of this extraordinary book, the author has succeeded in creating a Gnostic Gospel masterpiece that, at least in my mind, is likewise Holy Writ, inspired and shaped by God. This is consistent with the sacred teachings we hold to be true – that any piece of literature, or even other media being the arts, film are accepted into our “expanded canon” of scripture if they can be demonstrably shown to bear the “fingerprints of the Holy Ineffable” and reveal Eternal Truths and the Way of Divine Epignosis.

This book is the perfect antidote to the horrific Mel Gibson movie,
The Passion of The Christ, itself based primarily upon a novel and less upon the canonical Gospels, a film that can only possibly appeal to hylics and semi-psychics.

Oh, and as a mischievous postscript, I would like to reveal a truth that this world forever finds itself at odds with is to be found in
The Hidden Passion which is, in fact, the real Hidden Passion. It is only one or two sentences in this voluminous tome.

Happy seeking!