Few people today have heard of Gnostic Christians. Yet, they were the original Christians. "Gnostic" comes from the Greek word "gnosis" which means a direct experiential knowledge of the Right Brain that is now almost completely missing in Western religion and science.
When the Council of Nicea met in 325 AD, to standardize Christianity as the state region, Roman Emperor Constantine ruled out many texts and included only the 4 Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Those were canonized as "The Bible" and anyone who questioned that faced matyrdom and later the Inquisition.
However, the discovery of the Nag Hamaddi texts and other texts in the 20th century restored the wisdom of the early Gnostic Christians which was founded in the Egyptian Mysteries. Those long-hidden texts included the Gospel of Thomas, Mary Magdalene, and even Judas. The Gnostic Gospels are returning the mystical understanding of Christianity that leads to Enlightenment and supports life. So, people who want to search deeper now can explore much further. What they find is an ancient "perennial wisdom" that unites all of humanity.
The video below Gnosis: Jesus Beyond Belief explains that in the Gnostic Mystery System, you are not expected to "believe" anything anyone tells you or what any book says. You are expected (as with American Indian cultures) to discover the truth within yourself and have direct knowledge, "knowing" or "gnosis". This often happens for people who have a Near Death Experience.
Click the graphics to watch the video.