Creating the New Earth Together

Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Kenosis: Self-Emptying Love 2, “The Gift of the Magi”

“Jesus said: Whoever has found the world and become rich should renounce the world . . . . The world is not worthy of one who finds himself.” — From The Gospel of Thomas

THE GIFT IS LOVE

Continuing with Cynthia Bourgeault’s insight into Jesus’s chosen kenotic path, I will forgo any introductory comments so as not to clutter the space with thoughts other than those presented in this excerpt from her book THE WISDOM JESUS:

A Pointless Sacrifice?

To flesh out a bit further what this path actually looks like, for­give me if I make a sudden leap into the world of modern litera­ture. Kenosis does not lend itself easily to spiritual theorizing. By far its most powerful and moving enactments have come in the form of story and drama.

One of the most precise descriptions of this path, believe it or not, is the familiar and well-loved story “The Gift of the Magi” by the American author O. Henry. You probably remember the tale. Della and James are newlyweds; they’re madly in love with each other. They are also poor as church mice, and their first Christmas together finds them without sufficient funds to buy each other gifts. But each of these lovers does have one prize possession. James owns a gold watch given to him by his grandfather; Della has stunning auburn hair falling all the way to her waist. Unbeknownst to Della, James pawns his gold watch in order to buy her beautiful silver combs for her hair. Unbe­knownst to James, Della cuts and sells her hair in order to buy him a gold watch chain. On Christmas eve the two of them stare bewilderedly at their completely useless gifts.  It has been a pointless sacrifice—pointless, that is, unless love itself is “the gift of the magi.”

And of course, this is exactly what O. Henry is getting at. In the voluntary relinquishing of their most cherished possessions, they make manifest what love really looks like; they give tangible shape to the bond that holds them together. That’s what kenosis is all about.

Another profoundly kenotic parable of our times is the tale that forms the 1987 movie Babette’s Feast, adapted from a short story by Isak Dinesen.  As the drama unfolds we discover that its heroine, Babette, had until recently been one of the most celebrated chefs in Paris, but during the political riots of 1871 she loses everything—restaurant, livelihood, and family. She flees for her life to rural Denmark and is taken in by two aging sisters who have given their lives to religious work, trying to hold together the spiritual community that their father founded. When Babette arrives, the remaining believers have grown old and weary, lost in petty bickering. Babette tries as best she can to lift their spirits, but nothing seems to be turning the situation around. Out of the blue a letter arrives informing her that she has won three million francs in a lottery back in Paris, and then and there she decides to treat these Danish peasants to a proper French dinner. She imports all the necessary ingredients: not only exotic gourmet delicacies for the seven-course meal itself (each with its appropriate wines, champagnes, and liqueurs) but the china dinnerware, silver cutlery, damask table cloths, and crystal glassware. The film zeroes in on the banquet table as the astonished Danish peasants are suddenly faced with this extrava­gant abundance. At first they are frightened and suspicious, but little by little the mood mellows as they slowly relax into gratitude and forgiveness. The last scene of that banquet night has them all stumbling, a bit drunk but very happy, out into the village square, where they form a circle around the fountain (a vivid image in its own right) and begin to sing and dance togeth­er. After all these years they have finally touched the wellspring, and their hearts are overflowing. Then someone says to Babette, “Well, I guess you’ll be leaving us soon, won’t you, now that you’re a rich woman?” She says, “Rich? I’m not rich. I spent every penny I had on that banquet, three million francs.”

Again we see the same leitmotif as in the O. Henry story. An extravagant sacrifice is in one sense wasted, because these poor peasants cannot really comprehend the magnitude of the gift, and by morning, when they’ve sobered up, they will probably have lost most of its beneficial effect. But no matter; the banquet table is set before them anyway. In her no-holds-barred generos­ity Babette offers these broken, dispirited souls a taste of reassur­ance that their long years of faithfulness have not been in vain. She mirrors to them what God is like, what love is like, what true humanness is like. And she does it precisely by throwing away her entire escape route in a single act of extravagant abundance, extravagant beyond the bounds of earth (and therefore invoking the presence of heaven). That’s the kenotic path.

Theologians have sometimes commented that if the goal of ascent mysticism is to bring about union through convergence at the point of origin, the effect of the kenotic path seems to be. self-disclosure and new manifestation. The act of self-giving brings new realms into being. It shows what God is like in new and different ways. Some of the most intuitive theologians of our times say that this is how the world was created in the first place—because, in the words of Karl Rahner, “God is the prodi­gal who squanders himself.” The act of self-giving is simulta­neously an act of self-communication; it allows something that was coiled and latent to manifest outwardly. “Letting go” (as in non-clinging, or self-emptying) is but a hair’s breadth away from letting be,” and our Judeo-Christian tradition remembers that it is through God’s original “Let there be . . . ” that our visible world tumbled into existence.

I love Cynthia’s authentic thinking and writing outside the box of conventional belief.  She presents a theology that I, as a former Catholic seminary student, can easily accept and understand at a heart level.  In my own published writings and blogging, I have ascribed to “ascent mysticism” as the path of ascension to the “point of origin” we think to be up in some Heaven, a point that Jesus himself taught is within.  When he reportedly ascended into Heaven, did he go up or within? 

There is a passage in my SACRED ANATOMY book where I contemplate this paradoxical dynamic.  The word “up” can be both dimensional and non-dimensional, or vibrational, as in moving up to a higher frequency.  The same is true of the word “down.” The biblical account of Jesus’s ascension indicates that he ascended into “the clouds of heaven.”

For example, I mentioned the “clouds of heaven.”  Jesus was seen by his disciples as ascending into the clouds above their heads. These clouds may have been the conditions in their own (transforming) collective consciousness through which the Lord of Love was making his royal exit from the earthly planes back into the higher planes of being from which he had come, and from which we all come—the “kingdom of heaven” which he had told them more than once “is within you.” This could also be the inference made by the two men in white apparel whom they reportedly saw standing with him and whom they heard say to them:  “Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven?  This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”  This may well be a classic case where the dimensional state simply did not comprehend the non-dimensional.  The darkness did not comprehend the light.  The lower planes simply cannot comprehend the higher.  But the one who stands in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks, the seven planes of being, in the fourth dimension has both physical and spiritual eyes and can see and comprehend the non-dimensional as clearly and easily as the dimensional.

I can appreciate Cynthia’s inference that Jesus descended down all the way—actually “into hell” according to the biblical text—in order to encompass and include all the dimensions of the vast spectrum of Creation in both heaven and earth, in the cycles of restoration, which he was very intentionally in the process of initiating.  In so doing he opened the gates to the Garden of Paradise here on Earth.  As Cynthia states so well in the next excerpt from this chapter, which I will publish in my next post:

It was not love stored up but love utterly poured out that opened the gates to the Kingdom of Heaven.

Until my next post, be love, be loved and be blessed.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

Kenosis: The Path of Self-Emptying Love

IN THIS SERIES, I will explore the path of “Kenotic Love” as seen through the passionate heart and Christened mind of one of my favorite authors, Episcopal prelate Cynthia Bourgeault, who has rekindled in my heart an ecstatic love for the Man whom Mary Magdalene called “Rabboni”— and who knew her as his Beloved Companion — the romantic story about which I wrote a post back in August, 2018,  The Gospel of the Beloved Companion, which would be a timely read in this day of the rising Divine Feminine. Also my October post Fifth Way Love, A Romantic Path to Transformation.

In this post I will share excerpts from Cynthia’s book THE Wisdom Jesus — Transforming Heart and Mind.  This passage speaks to Jesus’s character and his message to humankind.  Christianity does not teach the Kenotic path that Jesus literally went down.

JUSUS  

There has always been a strong tendency among Christians to turn him into a priest —“our great high priest,” in the powerful metaphor of the New Testament Letter to the Hebrews. The image of Christos Pantokrator (“Lord of All Creation”) dressed in splendid sacramental robes has dominated the iconography of both Eastern and Western Christendom. But Jesus was not a priest. He had nothing to do with the temple hierarchy in Jeru­salem, and he kept a respectful distance from most ritual obser­vances. Nor was he a prophet in the usual sense of the term: a messenger sent to the people of Israel to warn them of impend­ing political catastrophe in an attempt to redirect their hearts to God.

Jesus was not interested in the political fate of Israel, nor would he accept the role of Messiah continuously being thrust upon him. His message was not one of repentance and return to the covenant. Rather, he stayed close to the perennial ground of wisdom: the transformation of human consciousness. He asked those timeless and deeply personal questions: What does it mean to die before you die? How do you go about losing your little life to find the bigger one? Is it possible to live on this planet with a generosity, abundance, fearlessness, and beauty that mir­ror Divine Being itself? These are the wisdom questions, and they are the entire field of Jesus’s concern. If you look for a comparable category today, the closest analogy would probably be the Sufi sheik who wields the threefold functions of wisdom teacher, spiritual elder, and channel for the direct transmission of blessing (baraka), in a fashion closely parallel to Jesus’s himself. The sheik is a distinctly Near Eastern category, and it probably best preserves the mantle that Jesus himself once wore. . . .

In order to go up one must first go all the way down.  For flesh to rise, spirit must first descend.  To ascend, one must fully incarnate.  I love how deeply Cynthia understands the kenotic path Jesus took.  

THE PATH OF KENOTIC LOVE

SO FAR WE have been looking at Jesus as typical of the wisdom tradition from which he comes. An enlightened master recognized by his followers as the Ihidaya, or the Single One, he teaches the art of metanoia, or “going into the larger mind.” Underlying all his teaching is a clarion call to a radical shift in consciousness: away from the alienation and polarization of the egoic operating system and into the unified field of divine abundance that can be perceived only through the heart. But how does one make this shift in consciousness? It’s one thing to admire it from a distance, but quite another to create it within oneself.

This is where spiritual praxis comes into play. “Praxis” means the path, the actual practice you follow to bring about the result that you’re yearning for. I think it’s fair to say that all of the great spiritual paths lead toward the same cen­ter—the emergence of this larger, non dual mind as the seat of personal consciousness—but they get there by different routes. While Jesus is typical of the wisdom tradition in his vision of what a whole and unified human being looks like, the route he lays out for getting there is very different from anything that had ever been seen on the planet up to that point. It is still radical in our own time and definitely the “road less taken” among the various schools of human transformation. I will fill in the pieces of this assertion as I go along, but my hunch is that a good many of the difficulties we sometimes run into trying to make our Christianity work stem from the fact that right from the start people missed how different Jesus’s approach really was. By trying to contain this new wine in old wineskins, they inadver­tently missed its own distinct flavor. In Jesus everything hangs together around a single center of gravity, and you need to know what this center is before you can sense the subtle but cohesive power of the path he is laying out.

What name might we give to this center? The apostle Paul suggests the word kenosis. In Greek the verb kenosein means “to let go,” or “to empty oneself,” and this is the word Paul chooses at the key moment in his celebrated teaching in Philippians 2:9-16 in order to describe what “the mind of Christ” is all about. Here is what he has to say:

Though his state was that of God, yet he did not deem equality with God something he should cling to.

Rather, he emptied himself, and assuming the state of a slave, he was born in human likeness.

He, being known as one of us,
humbled himself, obedient unto death,
even death on the cross.

For this, God raised him on high
and bestowed on him the name
which is above every other name.

So that at the name of Jesus,
every knee should bend in heaven and on earth and under the earth.

And so every tongue should proclaim
“Jesus Christ is Lord!” to God the Father’s glory.’

In this beautiful hymn, Paul recognizes that Jesus had only one “operational mode.” Everything he did, he did by self-emptying. He emptied himself and descended into human form.  And he emptied himself still further (“even unto death on the cross”) and fell through the bottom to return to the realms of dominion and glory. In whatever life circumstance, Jesus always responded with the same motion of self-emptying—or to put it another way, of the same motion of descent: going lower, taking the lower place, not the higher.

What makes this mode so interesting is that it’s almost com­pletely spiritually counterintuitive. For the vast majority of the world’s spiritual seekers, the way to God is “up.” Deeply embed­ded in our religious and spiritual traditions—and most likely in the human collective unconscious itself—is a kind of compass that tells us that the spiritual journey is an ascent, not a descent. Most students of the wisdom tradition consider this upward ori­entation to be one of the foundational attributes of sophia peren­nis itself, its origins no doubt archetypal.  While my own work with the wisdom Jesus has led me to disagree, it is hard to deny that the idea of spiritual ascent has been around for a long, long time. In biblical tradition, the image of the spiritual ladder goes all the way back to the headwaters of the Old Testament, with the story of Jacob’s dream of the ladder going up to heaven. It is probably five thousand years old. Christian monastic tra­dition returned to this image and developed it still further, as essentially the roadmap for the spiritual journey. The seventh century teacher John Climacus (“John of the Ladder”) even took his monastic name from this powerful image, and through his influential teachings it became the underlying philosophy of monastic practices such as lectio divina and psalmody.

Ascent mysticism was very much in the air in Jesus’s time as well. Earlier in this book I spoke of the Essene community, that apocalyptic Jewish sect whose visionary mysticism and ascetic practices were probably the most immediate formative influ­ence on Jesus. At the heart of the Essene understanding was a particular strain of spiritual yearning known as merkevah mysti­cism. Merkevah means “chariot,” an allusion to the Old Testa­ment story of the prophet Elijah being taken up to heaven in a chariot. This dramatic episode offered a vivid image of ascent to God, which the Essenes saw as applying both individually and for the entire people of Israel. “The end of the world was at hand,” and all eyes were gazing intently upward as Jesus took birth on
the earth.

To rise requires energy, in the spiritual realm as well as the physical one. And thus, the vast majority of the world’s spiritual technologies work on some variation of the principle of “conservation of energy.” Within each person there is seen to reside a sacred energy of being (sometimes known as the “chi,” or prana, the life force). This energy, in itself infinite, is measured out to each person in a finite amount and bestowed as our basic working capital when we arrive on this planet. The great spiritual tradi­tions have always taught that if we can contain this energy rather than letting it leach away—if we can concentrate it, develop it, make it more intentional and powerful—then this concentrated energy will allow us to climb that ladder of spiritual ascent. 

This ancient and universal strategy is really at the basis of all genuine asceticism (that is, asceticism in the service of conscious transformation, not as a means of penance or self-mortification). And there is good reason for this: the strategy works. Through the disciplines of prayer, meditation, fasting, and inner witness­ing the seeker learns how to purify and concentrate this inner reserve and to avoid squandering it in physical or emotional lust, petty reactions, and ego gratification. As self-mastery is gradu­ally attained, the spiritual energy concentrated within becomes strong enough and clear enough to sustain contact with those increasingly higher and more intense frequencies of the divine life, until at last one converges upon that unitive point. It’s a coherent and powerful path of inner transformation. But it’s not the only path.

There’s another route to center: a more reckless path and extravagant path, which is attained not through storing up that energy or concentrating the life force, but through throwing it all away-or giving it all away. The unitive point is reached not through the concentration of being but through the free squan­dering of it; not through acquisition or attainment but through self-emptying; not through “up” but through “down.” This is the way of kenosis, the revolutionary path that Jesus introduced into the consciousness of the West.
(to be continued)

THE PRAYER OF ST. FRANCIS

I will leave you to ponder this original prayer of St. Francis, believed to be written by a French Franciscan and based on a little known admonition Francis wrote to his friars, according to James Twyman. 

Where there is charity and wisdom, there is neither fear nor ignorance.

Where there is patience and humility, there is neither anger nor disturbance.

Where there is poverty (simplicity) with gladness, there is neither covetousness nor greed.

Where there is quiet and meditation, there is neither concern nor wandering.

Where there is love of God to guard the house (cf. Lk. 11:21), there the enemy cannot gain entry.

Where there is mercy and discernment, there is neither excess nor severity.

I am deeply thankful to God for life, for health, for serenity of mind and peace of heart.  I am particularly thankful at this time of harvest when we celebrate Thanksgiving for the abundance of Mother Nature as she clothes the trees with new leaves in the wake of devastating hurricanes.  I am profoundly thankful for my companion in life, Bonnie Lee, and for all our family on the West Coast.  Thank you, Lord, for the gift of their presence in our life and in our world.  To my readers and blog followers, a heartful appreciation for traveling with me these past several rich years of sharing the meditations of my heart.  I always enjoy your responses.  Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved. Be Thankful

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com

A Nuclear Community, Part 5: Defined by Love

 

ATLANTIS¹

“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not in fighting the old but in building the new.” —Socrates 

IN PREVIOUS POSTS of this series, I have used the design and dynamics of the atom as a model for true and coherent community, what I am calling “A Nuclear Community.” I will switch gears a bit and use the symbol of the wheel to demonstrate a viable design for a nuclear community.

As with the Atom, there are three parts to this wheel: the hub, the spokes and the rim. The hub is connected to the axle which is turned by an engine of some kind. (Except in the case of a hand-drawn cart or a horse-drawn wagon). The hub is connected to the rim by the spokes. With these three parts all in place and properly connected, the wheel turns on its axle properly.  In other words, there is a design that allows the wheel to function in a normal and serviceable manner so that the power that turns the axle, or shaft, is transferred to the hub, which in turn transfers power to the rim by way of the spokes so that movement along the road is possible. 

Let’s say the wheel represents the nuclear community model. The axle represents the stable Power Source of the Spirit of Love that manifests and drives all of Creation. The Hub represents the collective heart of the community—or of the body of humanity itself. The 12 spokes represent the collective consciousness out of which all the various aspects that make up a community manifest, such as housing, food supply, waste management, professional services, environmental care, education, religion, etc.  And the rim represents the community’s connection to and movement within its immediate environment—and, within the larger setting, upon the terrain of the planet, Mother Earth—to use a common metaphor, “where the rubber meets the road.”

NUMEROLOGY

There are twelve spokes in the diagram I’ve selected—however, although the number 12 is significant in numerology, as are the numbers 7, 13,17 and so on, any number of spokes can serve the purpose of the wheel, so long as they are supportive and balanced.  The critical factor lies in their connection to the hub and to the rim.  Each and every spoke must connect the axle-driven hub to the rim of the wheel in order for the wheel to move forward—and the hub must be connected to the power source of the axle. 

Now, everyone can see for themselves various implications to community in this model I’ve presented.  The one that stands out to me most relates to the necessity for a coherent transference of creative power, design and control through the various aspects of the community so that the purposes of the ONE and the good of ALL are served.  This requires that all the members of the community know and act out of their own authentic Self and connection with Source, and  that all of the various activities be connected to the Hub and to the nuclear Power of Love that emanates therefrom. There can be no individual self-activity on the part of any member of the community—and no competition between the various “spokes” that would disrupt the harmony and win-win atmosphere in the community.  There can be no profiteering off of another’s creativity.  In fact, money would not even be in the equation as nothing would be assigned a monetary value.  One can see a number of implications just in these few basic requirements.

THE MAGICAL POWER OF 12+1

Returning to the mathematics of numerology, single numbers have their meanings and value, and combinations of numbers have theirs as well. For example, the single digits that make up the number 12, when added together, equal 3, indicating there is a third dimension or reality created when 1 and 2 are added together.  In the example of the wheel, the twelve spokes all point to the hub where they are united in one point of origin creating a collective reality.  With the one point of orientation, a 13th dimension is created.  The number 13, then, represents a creative configuration.

We see this dynamic portrayed in the New Testament, for example, in the configuration of 12 Apostles with Jesus at the center.  We have 13 individuals making up the creative container which the Master drew together in order to accomplish His Heavenly mission and purpose on Earth.  This container also provided a hedge of protection for the Master from the opposing forces present in the religious structure of his day.  To remove any one of the 12 from the group would compromise the container.  As we learn from the Four Evangelists’ accounts, there were at least 2, Peter and Judas, who removed themselves vibrationally from the container by denying and betraying their Master.  Their breach proved fatal to the Master and to his mission and purpose. 

There were a few women along with his brother James and the Beloved Disciple John who provided a more stable and intimate hedge for Him so that he could go on to accomplish plan B, so-to-speak, by achieving His own personal victory over death and establishing a precedent for others to follow in the Way to eternal life.  This configuration of 5 opened the Way to salvation for all of mankind—(5 is the symbol for life). These four close and true friends are his mother Mary, his Beloved cohort Mary Magdalene, his brother James, and John the Beloved to whom He passed His mantle of authority while on the cross, and with whom he left the continuance and completion of His ministry on Earth.

But that was not allowed to happen as Peter and Paul set out to establish a religion out of His teachings, conceptualizing and organizing them into doctrines and dogmas. The collapse of that creative crucible had its destructive repercussions throughout the early bloody history of Christianity and even to this day of a divided global community, particularly the diverse Christian communities and the aggregate of divisive world religions.

THE ESSENES

There was a burgeoning community that had its beginnings several decades prior to Jesus’s arrival called the Essenes who formed a love-based spiritual community along the banks of the Dead Sea.  They were called “Children of the Light.”  I wrote about them in a past series. Their mission and purpose centered in the “Nous”—actually knowing what Jesus taught rather than only believing.  Here’s an excerpt from that series with some interesting history: 

The Essenes were a rather secretive people whose main endeavor was to preserve the “Essene Way” and the secrets and knowledge handed down to them by the “Kaloo,” a very ancient race that was then going extinct. Also called the “Ancient Ones and the Wise Ones,” the Kaloo’s origin appears to have been the ancient and lost island of Atlantis, which sank beneath the ocean waters. The Essenes called it the “Old Land in the West.” Knowing their land was sinking, the Kaloo migrated to Egypt first and then spread out northward toward the Mediterranean Sea.  They were known as the “wanderers” and carried with them many secrets, much knowledge of ancient technology from their ancient world, along with wonderful machines.  They didn’t have mechanical skills to operate and repair these machines, something the Essenes had plenty of and provided. . . .  there was much anticipation of and preparation for the coming of the “Teacher of Righteousness.”

Here was a nuclear community whose collective consciousness was singularly minded in a radiant and stable core with a singular and shared purpose. What became of it is a very sad story in a dark chapter of the early history of Christianity.

ATLANTIS

Whether an allegory conjured up by Plato or real, Atlantis’s design was that of a nuclear community, only externally polarized in possessions, with all activities orienting around a central hub surrounded by terraces and motes.  The story has it that its collapse came at the peak of its industrial growth which was founded upon a materialistic mindset and dictatorial governance over the people.  According to the legend, their exploration into harnessing the nuclear energy of the sun using pyramid technology ended their “advanced” civilization in a catastrophic submergence under the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. 

There’s a lingering question as to whether or not Atlantis even existed. The short answer, according to DISCOVER Newsletter, is “No. All available evidence indicates that the philosopher Plato, sometime around 360 BCE, invented the island nation in order to illustrate a point about the dangers of aggressive imperialism. In Plato’s telling, Atlantis was no utopia. Rather, it was a foil for an idealized version of Athens from long before Plato’s time.  Archaeologists claim it did indeed exist and some say they have found the sunken island off the coast of Spain. Mark Adams writes: “It gave this sort of template that people could start to follow in decades to come.”³ 

OUR COSMIC COMMUNITY 

Another example of a configuration comprised of 13 celestial bodies is our solar system, which originally had twelve planets orbiting our star, making thirteen components in a creative dynamic.  Over eons of time that number was reduced in cataclysmic events to nine, creating yet another configuration involving ten participants in the nuclear community of our solar system.  So here we have a wheel of sorts with 9 spokes connecting our star Sol and his planetary satellites with the greater nuclear community of the Milky Way Galaxy through which we travel in time-space.  This new configuration altered the original vibrational dynamic and made life in the “fallen state” possible on Earth.  In common parlance, things are not as they used to be on the planet and with the solar system as a whole. 

Then we have the 12 zodiac signs our planet’s axis travels through over a Mayan Long-Count Calendar period of 2160 years—plus a 13th sign (Ophiuchus)² recently added to the circle.  Our calendar and time measurements are also based on the number 12.  Twelve months make up one year (12+1=13).  Twelve hours make up half a day; added to the other half we have 24 hours in 1 day.  (24+1=25; 2+5=7, another creative number).  

INTENTIONAL COMMUNITIES

Finally, I want to revisit the excerpt from The Return of King Arthur in the previous post.  I was also engaged with the same Intentional Spiritual Community that Diana Durham wrote about for over thirty years, and I can attest to the sheer magic that manifested in its Attunement program.  I was part of a “World Blessing” team made up of an Attunement Master who provided a focal point at Sunrise Ranch, the program’s headquarters, and several other attunement servers located in various parts of the world, mostly in one or more of 12 Unit Centers located here and abroad.  Those times of “world blessing” were magical and powerfully uplifting.   

The “intention” of the Emissary communities was, and continues to be, to shine the light of divine being into the world by the expression of the many qualities of the Spirit of Love, such as thankfulness, patience and forgiveness.  “Never underestimate the power of spiritual expression” were words oft repeated in services. The full name of the ministry was Emissaries of Divine Light.

As Diana mentioned, after the passing of its spiritual focus, the program went through a transition from a developing spiritual organism to a transformational organization.  The majority of its membership dispersed into the larger world body to share their light and to receive and nurture the response from the field engendered by the ministry of its founder, Lloyd A. Meeker (Uranda) and his successor Lord Martin Exeter. All but a few of it’s Unit communities were disbanded. The remaining centers, including Sunrise Ranch, continue to provide a venue for conferences and retreats, as well as classes in true Self emergence and transformation,  both here and abroad. 

Coming into one’s own spiritual presence and authority, one’s authentic Self, is the gift of transformation, the Holy Grail of the knights’ quest.  When the individuals of a community lead forth in  the Spirit of Love, of Truth, and of Life, external leadership and authority are not necessary to maintain order, harmony, peace and safety.

In a word, a nuclear community is a community that is defined, not by its economy or diversity, but by Love.  Profound love for the Lord of Love, and unconditional love for one another.♥

This concludes the series on nuclear communities.  I open now to the Universe for guidance to the topic of my next blog.  Any thoughts you feel like sharing? I welcome them.  Just write me at my email address below.  Until my next post,

Be loving. Be loved.

Anthony

tpal70@gmail.com 

Credits:  Western Wood Wagon Wheel, taken from Amazon’s webpage. 

¹Artistic rendition of Atlantis taken off the WEB at medium.com. 

² Ophiuchus is one of the 13 major constellations in the zodiac, according to ancient Babylonians. The Babylonians left it out of the zodiac because they followed the 12-month calendar and assigned the other 12 constellations, or zodiac signs, to different months. . . .  “People born under this sign (which would be anywhere between November 29 and December 17) are said to be mysterious, ambitious, and tend to make good impressions on authority figures—but that doesn’t mean they are totally grounded. They’re also said to be very passionate and power-hungry with a jealous streak.” It’s a fire sign in astrology, which is all about passion, action, and spirit.  (Bustle.com)

³Mark Adams, 2015, Meet Me in Atlantis: Across Three Continents in Search of the Legendary Sunken City.

 

The Historical Reason for the Season

“For unto us a child is born. Unto us a son is given . . . .  And his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9;6)

(Click on Handle’s Messiah to enjoy the music)

A question that’s been around for some time now is: “Was Jesus born on December 25th?” The answer, according to Rabbi Jonathan Chan, is NO, Jesus was born in the Spring — “Nissan One”– in March or April, the only time of the year when shepherds would be out watching their flock at night when baby lambs are being born. It would also have been around the year 4 BC, the historical date when King Herod the Great died.  In case you are unfamiliar with the story, he was the king who ordered all the male infants two-years old and under killed after he learned from the Magi that a “king of the Jews” had been born.

(When you have 24 minutes to spare, click on the the Rabbi’s name above to view the entire compelling argument and historical, as well as astronomical and celestial evidence. He’s quite entertaining as well.)

I saw a post on Facebook a few days ago that the “Bethlehem Star” was seen back in June of 2015 for the first time in 2000 years—according to a CNN special report. The “star” is thought to be a brilliant phenomenon in the heavens created by a planetary conjunction involving Jupiter and Venus. There is also conjecture that the Star of Bethlehem could be a super nova, or a “gamma burst” as this clip demonstrates.

Well, there was such a “triple conjunction” on February 25 in the year 6 BC with the planets Jupiter, Saturn and Mars forming a triangle low in the western sky. This is when the “Three Kings” of the Magi saw “his star in the East” and proceeded to Bethlehem to see the newly-born child “King of the Jews” and to bring him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. It apparently took them two years to reach their destination. So, we can remove the three kings from our Nativity Scene as they were not there yet. They can be put there on January 6th, the Feast of Epiphany, which commemorates the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles, as represented by the Magi. 

The Real Reason for the Season

So, why do we celebrate Christmas on December 25th? And what’s the real reason for the Season? Here’s what I found at Space.com:

In ancient times, Dec.  25 was the date of the lavish Roman festival of Saturnalia. It was a time when gifts were exchanged; homes, streets and buildings were decorated; people came home for the holidays and everybody was in a happy, party mood. 

It has been said that early Christians chose the date of the Saturnalia in order to avoid attention and thus escape persecution. When the Roman emperor Constantine officially adopted Christianity in the 4th century, the date of Christmas remained Dec. 25.

The real “reason for the Season,” then, is gift-giving, and in the Christian world, in celebration of the birth of Jesus, celebrated by Handle as “Wonderful, Counselor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.”  (from Isaiah 9;6). It is said that after Handle finished composing this masterwork, he exclaimed “I have seen the face of God.” (Click on Handle to enjoy the music)

Thanks to the Romans, we can have a “White Christmas” in December, which we could not have in March or April.  How wonderfully perfect it all worked out!

LOVE IS BORN ANEW IN OUR HEARTS

Meister Eckhart saw the true meaning of Christmas when he penned these words:

Where is he who is born King of the Jews? Now concerning this birth, mark where it befalls. I say again, as I have often said before, that this birth befalls in the soul exactly as it does in eternity, neither more nor less, for it is the same birth: this birth befalls in the ground and essence of the soul. . . . God is in all things as being, as activity, as power.” 

Here’s something I would like to share with my readers during this year’s Holiday Season. It’s from “Daily OM” and written by Madysin Taylor:

Holding the holidays in your heart throughout the year it can be wonderfully transformative. Holidays and joy are two elements of our lives that are naturally intertwined. Traditional celebrations awaken within us an ardent desire to reconnect with the people we care about and to share our abundance. During the holiday season, we feel more driven to actively practice compassion, tolerance, selflessness, and gratitude. When we feel stressed, we find peace in the company of loved ones. And, filled with warm thoughts, we endeavor to ensure that others can share in our celebrations. Yet while happiness and holidays go hand in hand, the serenity and optimism that blossom within as we act on our festive feelings need not be relegated to a few days or weeks each year. We can carry the holiday spirit within us all year long if we make an effort to embrace a celebratory frame of mind no matter what the date.

Holding the holidays in your heart can be wonderfully transformative. Changing your life can be as simple as thinking about the uplifting activities you engage in and the positive attitudes you adopt during the holiday season and then integrating them into your daily life. If you learn to always be as open to wonder as you are around the holidays, the world will seem like a more magical place, whether it is December, March, or August. While holidays represent a great opportunity to reconnect with family and friends, there is little preventing you from reaching out to the people you care about throughout the year. The patience, compassion, goodwill, and tolerance you feel while celebrating can easily become a part of your everyday experience. Likewise, you will soon discover that the generous charitable gifts you give once a year mean just as much during other months and are often needed even more.

To remind yourself of your decision to carry the holiday spirit in your heart, consider displaying some small part of your holiday décor to signify your commitment. Remember that giving, whether your gifts are tangible or of the soul, always feels good, whatever the occasion. However you prefer to celebrate the holidays, practicing the ideals of the season every day means experiencing the beauty of the holiday season all year long.

We just finished watching the Global Citizen Prize television extravaganza this Friday evening — celebrating the world’s most inspiring activists — hosted by the exuberant John Legend.  What a huge release of love and compassion for humanity and care for the planet! What a reprieve from the daily national news! This is truly the “eleventh hour” and there’s so much more to be done to save our species and the natural world. It was so good to see and to honor with gratitude those who are leading forth in this effort and the much they have already done. God’s blessings upon them each one.

I leave you to  enjoy the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s offering of an excerpt from Handle’s Messiah.

And with that, I wish you all and each one a very Happy Holiday Season, a Blessed Solstice, and a healthy New Year in 2020.

Merry Christmas and “May God bless us each one.”

Anthony

Email: tpal70@gmail.com

 

“The Hero’s Journey”. . . . part 3: Dark Night of the Soul

Every hero’s journey has a dark night of the soul, when all seems lost with no path forward in life. A sinking feeling of hopelessness fills one’s heart. The specter of ending one’s life may even loom large in one’s thoughts. Of course, that is an option. There’s light at the end of that tunnel. Suicide among war veterans, even youth, is on the increase.

Today is “Good Friday” in the Christian world when the crucifixion and death of the man Jesus is once again mourned in a most peculiarly celebratory way.  One cannot even imagine what his dark night of the soul was like. His prayer to his heavenly Father gives but a hint: “Father, let this cup pass from me. Yet, not my will, but thy will be done.” The Gospels — though highly redacted by the political factors at work under the hand of the Emperor Constantine at the Council of Nicea — tell how he sweated drops of blood during his passion.  Assuming this is an unredacted account, I don’t believe anyone in the depth of their darkest night of soul can relate to such a depth of dread and fear.  In that sense, I don’t see where there is any “good” to celebrate on this day, except perhaps in the fact that he didn’t end his own earthly journey by taking his life.  He rather faced his nemesis, his greatest fears: failure of his mission by rejection, and death by crucifixion . . . and won the battle to go on and claim the Elixir of Immortality.  He rose above death to find eternal life, setting a precedent for all of mankind to draw strength and courage from while in the depth of despair and hopelessness. If we’re honest about it, suicide is a royal cop-out from facing life’s challenges . . . and we all  have them. 

There’s a lesson to be learned from the proverbial bar of soap, which, when squeezed, will go up or down depending on which direction you point it.  When your circumstance caves in and the pressure of life seems to be pushing you down, if you look down, you’ll go down. Look up and you’ll go up. This is what the man Jesus did. He never stopped looking up to his Heavenly Father — which, according to his own words, was not up but within.  Look to your Father who is within you and go up into life, which is eternal.  Find courage and strength in these words: “You are loved more than you can ever imagine.”

DEPRESSION OF LIFE

I had an interesting dream last night.  I was giving a talk in a seminar about finding one’s path to a creative expression of life. The metaphor I used was that of a wall, of all things — but not a wall to keep undesirables out; rather a wall preventing one’s spirit from coming forth into expression of love and creativity. This, at a vibrational level, I believe is a root cause of mental and emotional depression, and there’s no drug for the dissolution of this wall. A vibrational, spiritual wall can only be dissolved vibrationally and spiritually. Love is the vibration and Life is the Spirit that, when expressed with joy and thankfulness, alone can dissolve the wall inside depressing one’s life energy.

There is a collective wall in the heart of the body of Humanity with many windows and doors created by individuals who are coming forth through it by expressing love and joy in their living. Because there are so many these days who are walking on through the illusory barriers in their lives and finding new life by dying to the old, this collective wall is crumbling and falling down, bringing the old world of deception we have known for eons down with it.

FIRE IN THE BELFRY TOWER

I feel certain that the fire that destroyed the ceiling, roof and the cross-bearing spire of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris this past week is a poignant symbol of this crumbling wall . . . a wall which exists only in the upper cranium of human beings as a mental concept and belief that heaven is “up there” somewhere, and one gets there by suffering through life’s “vale of tears” and dying a “good Christian death”– whatever that is.  Such nonsense and deception has prevailed on earth for too many centuries, even after the proclaimed “Messiah” spent his entire public ministry preaching that the Kingdom of Heaven is within us and all around us. He was crucified for proclaiming his divinity, and not by the Jews, as Christians believe and hold in prejudice against them, but by the people, the mob gathered in that public square on that fateful day who cried out “Crucify him! Crucify him!” To this day that cry is maintained by human beings who continue to crucify the expression of their own divine and authentic Self and adhere to the teachings of the Council of Nicea over those of the Master himself.  We continue to crucify our own expression of Divinity at Golgotha, the place of the skull. It’s ironic that the Cathedral fire started in the attic. 

With all that is coming to the surface and being exposed in the Catholic Church today, I believe the Church is headed into its dark night of the soul.  A billion dollars were raised in just a few days to rebuild Notre Dame Cathedral in France, a nation whose people are out in the streets in protest against economic inequality and social injustice.  Yet none of that can rebuild the social and economic collapse in France, nor stave off the dark night of the soul of Christianity. 

There’s a vibrational connection between the riots in the streets of Paris, as well as the scandalous pedofile activities in the Catholic Church, and the conflagration at Notre Dame Cathedral, the geophysical centerpiece of the city and the Mother of the French nation. Conditions in America and elsewhere are ripe for such a conflagration.  Only radical change in our beliefs and behavior toward one another can alter the course we have set for ourselves and our world. We will have our dark night of our nation’s soul. It will take that to wake us up and face our nemesis: ourselves.

Have a Happy Easter.  

Anthony 

 

 

 

“Fifth Way” Love: A Romantic Path to Transformation

I will open this post with the excerpt from Cynthia Bourgeault’s signature work, The Meaning of MARY MAGDALENE – Discovering The Woman at the Heart of Christianity – with which I closed my previous post, and will continue quoting her commentary in its entirety. She quotes here a passage from the Gospel of Philip:

“The one who creates objects works outwardly in the external world. The one who labors in secret, however, works within the icon, hidden inwardly from others. The one who creates make objects visible to the world. The one who conceives gives birth to children in the Realm of the Unseen.”

In this complex distinction . . . Philip insists that begetting must come “from above”. . . .  It requires a free and conscious regeneration in the Spirit. “Begotten” is an alchemy in which spirit actively participates, and its fruit is the anthropos, or completed human being. 

THE SPIRITUAL KISS THAT BEGETS

From Philip’s point of view, then, lineal descendents of Jesus, even if they existed, would not be “anointed ones,” unless this claim were to be validated by their own spiritual transformation. The kingdom over which the Anointed One reigns is beyond the space/time continuum and cannot be inherited lineally (that technicality consistently overlooked in the literal-mindedness of The Da Vinci Code); it can be entered only by becoming a new kind of human being–what Philip actually describes as “a new race of human be­ings . . . . Only true sons and daughters can gain immortality,” he writes in analogue 56, “and no one can gain it without becoming a true son and daughter.” Progeny cannot be fashioned out of flesh and blood; they are the fruit of an alchemy of consciousness.

Philip makes it clear that this is the kind of spiritual procreation that Mary Magdalene and Jesus were chiefly about. As we discussed in chapter 10, his symbol for this type of richly engendering spiritual love is the kiss, which (as is universally the case throughout the Near Eastern culture) is seen as a sign not of sexual attraction but of spiritual begetting. When he indicates in analogue 37 that “the Master loved her more than the other students and many times would kiss her on the mouth,” he is not describing an illicit romance but rather a sacred exchange of their deeply commingled beings. The spiritual kiss is the symbol par excellence of Fifth Way love.

From a Fifth Way standpoint, this kind of intense and trans­forming love, “which is really the birth-pangs of union at a higher plane,” will indeed bear fruit. But the fruit may not be human children so much as an energetic sphere of pure creativity, in which reality is touched at the core and love itself is the progeny.

As analogue 66 points out, “The one who creates objects [i.e., literal offspring] works outwardly in the external world. The one who labors in secret, however, works within the icon, hidden in­wardly from others.” In other words, the work goes on at the imaginal (or causal) level, and its potency is made manifest not by producing new people but by engendering transformed people­ giving birth to children “in the Realm of the Unseen,” in the words of the text. (Underscores mine)

“FIFTH WAY LOVE”:  AN EROTIC PATH TO TRANSFORMATION

The “Fifth Way” is a spiritual path based on relationship. Cynthia Bourgeault calls it “conscious love” rather than “tantric love” so as not to put a stumbling block before her parishioners. She is an Episcopal priest whose passion is to restore the romantic love affair between Jesus and Mary Magdalene as the center piece at the heart of Christianity. The term itself is a deliberate spin-off from George Gurdjieff’s “Fourth Way,” the “Way of the Conscious Man.” Boris Mouravieff (d.1966), a little known Russian esotericist who studied Gurdjieff’s system intimately, coined the phrase and used it in his three-volume Gnosis to represent “courtly love as a spiritual path and of the way of transformation through mystical union with one’s ‘polar being.'” Cynthia’s comment:

“While he [Mouravieff] stops short of saying that Jesus and Mary Magdalene practiced this path, he makes it clear that its headwaters lie deep within the marrow of Christianity itself, and he insists that it represents “The purest and most sublime realization of the Christian spiritual path.” 

THE “SONG OF SONGS”

More commonly known in Protestant circles as “The Song of Solomon, Bourgeault associates this erotic book of the Old Testament Bible with Mary Magdalene, seeing it as an ancient testament to the practice of “Fifth Way Love.” I will share my favorite passage from the Biblical texts and then offer a commentary on it. The song opens with the kiss that begets love:

The song of songs, which is Solomon’s. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth: for thy love is better than wine. 

Because of the savour of thy goof ointments thy name is as ointment poured forth, therefore do the virgins love thee.

Draw me, we will run after thee: the king hath brought me into his chambers: we will be glad and rejoice in thee, we will remember thy love more than wine: the upright love thee…. 

The voice of my beloved! Behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

My beloved spake, and said unto me: “Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone; the flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell.  Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

Our winter is currently at the door in mid October, not a time to be leaping and skipping. Perhaps, then, we could see this passage metaphorically as describing the nature and character of Life itself and of the Beloved who abides within us each one, peaking out through the windows of our eyes and showing himself through the lattice of our veiled and guarded hearts. The Beloved is always there, “standing behind our wall,” when our world gets dark and seemingly impossible to navigate.  Always there to turn to for assurance that all is well and as it should be. Always there to love in passionate embrace and simply say: “I love you with all of my heart, with all of my mind, and with all of my body. With Solomon I sing . . .

Place me as a seal on your heart, as a seal on your arm. Strong as Death is love; intense as Sheol is its ardor. Its shafts are shafts of fire, flames of Yah (Yahweh). Deep waters cannot quench love, nor rivers sweep it away.”

AN UNLIKELY BIBLICAL TEXT

Like Mary Magdalene herself, the Song of Songs has had a long his­tory of both admirers and detractors. It has been called, with some justification, “the most unbiblical book in the whole Bible,” and there are those who feel that its inclusion in among the wisdom writings of the Old Testament was a grand mistake. But others see it as nothing short of scripture’s mystical highpoint, an inexhaustible fountainhead of beauty and spiritual wisdom. Among this latter group was Rabbi Aqiba (d. 135), one of the most influential of the early rabbinic commentators, whose celebrated words eventually carried the day: “All the ages are not worth the day on which it was written for all the writings are holy, but the Song is the Holy of Holies.”

At the heart of all this consternation, as you might expect, is the fact that this text is a love song–and not just a mild-mannered, “spiritual” love song, but an unabashed celebration of erotic pleasure. From its opening salvo, “Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth,” to its parting affirmation, “Love is as strong as death,” it never breaks stride, In eight canticles of stunningly evocative imagery, it sings the glories of carnal desire in exquisite and scintillating detail. 

KENOTIC LOVE

Kenosis is the act of emptying oneself, a characteristic applied, by Paul specifically, to the path that Jesus took in his life of service. It was the path Mother Theresa took and other saintly souls.  Cynthia writes: 

As Paul so profoundly realizes, self-emptying is the touchstone, the core reality underlying every moment of Jesus’s human journey. Self-emptying is what  brings him into human form, and self-emptying is what leads him out, returning him to the mode of glory. The full realization of Jesus’s divine selfhood [our divine Selfhood] comes not through concentration of being, but through voluntary divestment of it. . . . Stripping oneself and standing naked: this is the essence of the kenotic path.

KENOSIS IN THE FIFTH WAY

We have already seen that kenosis is the tie-rod of Jesus’s entire teaching, connecting the inner and outer realms of our human experience in a single, unified gesture. “Greater love has no man than to lay down his life for his friend” (John 15:13) is one of his most celebrated dictums. But when that “friend” happens also to be one’s uniquely beloved, one’s romantic partner or spouse, kenotic practice takes on a particularly intense and even a sacra­mental character. This is because the root energy it works with is the transformative fire of eros, the energy of desiring. That messy, covetous, passion-ridden quicksilver of all creation is tamed and transformed into a substance of an entirely different order, and the force of the alchemy accounts for both the efficiency of this path and its terrifying intensity.

Vladimir Solovyov, that great nineteenth-century philosopher of love, was among the first to grasp the enormous implica­tion of this point, which defines both the modality of the Fifth Way and its ultimate destination:

The meaning and worth of love. .. is that it really forces us, with all our being, to acknowledge for another the same ab­solute central significance which, because of the power of our egoism, we are conscious of only in our own selves. Love is important not as one of our feelings, but … as the shifting of the very center of our personal lives. This is characteristic of every kind of love, but predominantly of sexual love [erotic love]; it is distinguished from other kinds of love by greater intensity, by a more engrossing character, and by the possibil­ity of a more complete overall reciprocity. Only this love can lead to the real and indissoluble union of two lives into one; only of it do the words of Holy Writ say: “They shall be one flesh,” that is, shall become one real being.

In the path of “Fifth Way Love,” as Cynthia Bourgeault presents it in her book, and as she portrays the intimate companionship of Mary Magdalene and Jesus, the eros is transformed and transmuted to a higher level so as to become an erotically ecstatic bridge between the physical and the spiritual worlds, making the oneness of heaven and earth an actual and tangible experience.  The ultimate transformation takes place between “polar beings” who become one blended substance, so that one cannot tell where the boundaries of one’s own body stops and the other’s begins. For there is no “other” and no boundaries. There is only the One I Am.  

We will shift gears in my next post, leaving the realm of the “Holy of Holies” to explore the mysteries of the Universe–as Walter Russell understands and explains them anyway. We are in for a profoundly intellectual roller coaster ride. So, sharpen your mental focus before you read my next post. The theme will remain in the domain of the masculine and feminine energies at work within us and throughout the illusory universe.  Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

 

Anthropos: Being Fully Human

This is huge. I will be challenged in these next two or three post to my utmost capacity to synthesize, as I have been studying various authors and each one of them sheds a different light on the subject — and I will lean heavily upon them all for excerpts. So, I’ll just dive right in and let Spirit guide me where it will.

I will launch this multi-post consideration with this passage from logion 114 of the Gospel of Thomas:

Simon Peter said to him: “Let Mary leave us, for women are not fit for the life.” Jesus answered: “See, I have been guiding her so as to make her into a human [Anthropos]. She, too, will become a living breath like you. For any woman who becomes a human will enter into the Kingdom of God.”

Another translation of the same passage says it differently and more to the point I’m aiming to make:

Simon Peter said to them: “Mary should leave us because women are not worthy of the life.” Jesus responded: “Look, I’ll lead her in order to make her male so that she can become a living spirit as you males are. For each woman who makes herself male wll enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.” 

In the first translation, the word “human” is used. In the second, the word “male” is used. I will call upon Jean-Yves Leloup for an interpretation of this poignant passage in her book The Gospel of Mary Magdalene:

The error of many translators is to render this as having something to do with being male. It is clear from the original Greek that the meaning
is that of anthropos (human being in the general sense), and not of andros (man in the masculine sense). It is true that in order to become whole, a human being must integrate in herself or himself the complementary gender. And this work or realization of wholeness is certainly not some­thing that only or especially women have to do–we each have our own work of becoming an Anthropos, a fully human being. . . .

The term anthropos is also richer than the term androgyne, which is sometimes used as the translation of the former, for sexual and psychic
polarities form only a part of what must be integrated in becoming fully human.

The other part is contained in the words “living breath” or “living spirit,” one’s true Self. And here I would introduce a consideration of the differences between male and masculine and between female and feminine. The first, male, relates to physical form, whereas masculine relates to spiritual or energetic essences. The same is applicable for female and feminine. I will address this difference after this clarifying explanation by the same author: 

This recalls a passage from the Gospel of Matthew:

But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but only those to whom it is given. For there are eunuchs who have been so from birth, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by men, and there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the sake of the Kingdom of Heaven. He who is able to receive this, let him receive it.”

Some scholars have detected here the hand of an editor who was influenced by some sort of dualistic or ascetic teaching, one that was to
influence Christianity’s monastic departure from Old Testament teach­ings. Indeed, it does seem implausible that Yeshua would advocate
destroying the work of the Creator. How could he who claimed to be One with the Father advocate such mutilation of his creatures?

Others explain this by an improper translation or transmission of Yeshua’s words. The word eunuch should be replaced by the word androg­yne. Unfortunately the latter word (like so many others) was and still is often misunderstood and reduced to a sexual meaning that evokes some
sort of freakish bisexual mixture that is neither male nor female–hardly an advantage for someone who is already having difficulties in finding his or her identity!

As in so many other domains, one can only transcend that which one has fully known and accepted. One must live one’s own sexuality in one’s
own body before speaking of a higher state of androgyny. As in psychotherapy, one must first have an ego that is as sane and stable as possi­ble before pretending to have access to what is often (perhaps too often) called the Self.

This is why the authors of the Gospel of Mary considered it so important that Yeshua really lived his masculine sexuality, perhaps with Miriam, perhaps with another woman. This was necessary in order for him to become the archetype of synthesis, the Anthropos that he was. I prefer the term anthropos to androgyne because the former word still leads to confusion today, in spite of a widespread contemporary appreciation of
the value of spiritual integration and balance of male and female polarities in us. Rather than defending the literal translation of the original
word used in certain early Christian texts, it is preferable here to defend, through the word we choose as its translation, the truth and richness of meaning in what the original word communicates.

What is important is to become whole. This is what makes us able to truly love, not from our sense of lack, but from our plenitude, as Yeshua
himself loved us.

In the same way, we can say that it is because Miriam of Magdala fully lives her feminine sexuality, and because she fully accepts and integrates the masculine dimension of her being, that she is able to speak with authentic knowledge of the Word–though today, as during her time, there are still those who would deny her this. But it is only after the long and slow work of becoming fully human that she can legitimately speak, as an Anthropos, of the fullness of a humanity that, like Yeshua’s, is open to the Divine and transparent to its clear light–the most invisible and subtle of lights.

Of course one can take or leave Leloup’s interpretation of these passages. I personally resonate with his words of clarification.  For one thing, he has helped me come to terms with my own conflicted view of homosexuality, having been somewhat biased by my unsavory confrontation with pedofilia in my seminary years studying for the Roman Catholic priesthood, which left me with a deep aversion to anything the looked like men doing anything sexual to or with other men. But, that’s mine to work with and through. 

MAKE THE TWO ONE  

Masculine and feminine energies exist as two seemingly separate forces only in this “creating universe,” this illusory world of material forms, as Walter Russell expounds upon in his 1926 signature masterpiece THE UNIVERSAL ONE. The energy out of which these forces are born and in which they move and have their being in One, male and female bodies not withstanding. There is only One who occupies these capacities, and that One is what Jesus calls the “Living Spirit” and “Living Breath” in the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas. With this clarification–and with what I have written about in my previous post “The Imaginal Realm: As Above So Below”–see if you can “see” with the spiritual eyes of your heart what is being conveyed in the following passage from The Gospel of Thomas (22a & 22b):

Jesus saw infants being suckled. He said to his disciples: “These infants taking milk are like those who enter the Kingdom.”

His disciples asked him: “If we are infants will we enter the Kingdom?”

Jesus responded: ” When you make the two into one, and when you make the inside like the outside and the outside like the inside, and the upper like the lower and the lower like the upper, and thus make the male and the female the same, so that the male isn’t male and the female isn’t female. When you make an eye to replace an eye, and a hand to replace a hand, and a foot to replace a foot, and an image to replace an image, then you will enter the Kingdom.”

I could ponder this passage for days and still not comprehend with my intellect what the Teacher is saying. And what does it have to do with babies being suckled? He was obviously coming from a wisdom higher than that of the world. One can understand why he once told his disciples that he had much more to share with them, but they could not bear it. I wonder if we are able to bear it today with our highly educated intellects. It has been said that understanding if of the heart. This teaching has to be taken into the heart for understanding, something that the books I have been reading this past year have helped me to do.   

The Teacher in speaking here from the standpoint of creating in and from the imaginal realm, where images are sown as seeds from above into the soil of human consciousness. He is speaking of the alchemy of begetting as compared to the chemistry of making. “Begotten not made” is a phrase found in the Nicene Creed referring to the “only begotten Son of the Father.” This is historically known as “Fifth Way Love,” which I will consider in my next post. 

ATTUNEMENT WITH LOVE

From the standpoint of subtle energy healing through what has come to be called the “Attunement Process” in my field of service, the conscious focus of the practitioner is not on the analogue but on the image; not on the distorted physical form, perhaps fragmented and depleted, but on the perfection of the spiritual body which is whole and vital.  Our work is primarily done in the secret place of the Heaven, in Love’s domain, where we conceive images of wholeness and vitality. That wholeness and vitality is being transferred moment by moment to the physical body via this imaginal realm of spiritual substance — “pneumaplasm”– which bridges the two worlds that are one in reality.  Attunement is with the vibrational tone of Love.  

This is what the Teacher called the “Kingdom.” When we as healers, or as complete human beings, anthropos, access and enter into the imaginal realm — which we can only do as Beings coming from above — where the images of healthy form and function are available for transference to the physical body, then we can make an eye to replace an eye, and a hand to replace a hand, and a foot to replace a foot, and an image to replace an image. From the view in the Heaven, the inside is like the outside and the outside like the inside; the upper is like the lower and the lower like the upper; then the male isn’t male and the female isn’t female but they are the same. We are not male and female. We are Anthropos, fully Human and living spirits, with masculine and feminine energies blended together in our incarnating capacities. We are sons and daughters of God. “Ye are gods.”

As a segue to my next post, I will close with an excerpt from Cynthia Bourgeault’s signature work, The Meaning of MARY MAGDALENE – Discovering The Woman at the Heart of Christianity. She quotes here a passage from the Gospel of Philip:

“The one who creates objects works outwardly in the external world. The one who labors in secret, however, works within the icon, hidden inwardly from others. The one who creates make objects visible to the world. The one who conceives gives birth to children in the Realm of the Unseen.”

In this complex distinction . . . Philip insists that begetting must come “from above”. . . .  It requires a free and conscious regeneration in the Spirit. “Begotten” is an alchemy in which spirit actively participates, and its fruit is the anthropos, or completed human being. 

Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

I invite you to visit my website at HealingAndAttunement.com for information about my work and my books SACRED ANATOMY and ATTUNEMENT WITH SACRED SOUND. 

 

 

The Imaginal Realm: “As Above So Below”

I just finished listening to an interview with Dr. Becca Tarnas on the blog Rune Soup. She and George, the moderator, have a most interesting conversation on the topic of the “Imaginal Realm.”  If you have an hour or so to spare, have a listen. In the interview Dr. Tarnas focuses on Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy and Carl Jung’s “Red Book” as examples of  authors who cross over into the “imaginal realm” from which they tell stories that convey messages for our time and civilization.  I would like to delve into this topic a bit in this blog post.

In her evocative and controversial book The Meaning of Mary Magdalene – The Woman at the Heart of Christianity, author and Episcopal prelate Cynthia Bourgeault makes a distinction between the “imaginal realm” and imagination which I feel deserves in-depth consideration. The context of this consideration is the vision Mary Magdalene has of Jesus just after his resurrection when she reportedly mistakes him for the gardner.  In her gospel, Mary Magdalene tells the apostles of Jesus’ resurrection and goes on to describe her remarkable experience with him. 

I saw the Master in a vision and I said to him, “Lord I see you now in a vision.” And he answered me, “You are blessed, Mary, since the sight of me does not disturb you. For where is the nous [the heart] lies the treasure.” Then I said to him: “Lord, when someone meets you in a Moment of vision, is it through the soul [psyche] that they see, or is it through the Spirit [Pneuma] ?”

The Teacher answered: “It is neither through the soul nor the spirit , but the nous between the two that sees the vision….”

The “nous” is the heart, or the “eye of the heart.” It’s our capacity to discern spiritual or vibrational essences. It’s the space between the infinite and the finite, between pure spirit and gross matter – and it is said to belong to Spirit, generated as it is by Spirit for communicating with the physical world and for conveying “images” for the manifestation of “analogues”– the manifest forms.

From Cynthia’s book:

Most of us, reared in the scientific objectivism of our times, tend to think of visions as “subjective.” They belong to the realm of the personal and interior and, while perhaps illuminating the workings of an individual psyche, do not conform to anything in external reality. These, in fact, were precisely the criticisms that began to be raised during the third and fourth centuries, when visionary revelation was rejected as an authentic mode of knowing within the church. But in the original wisdom anthropologies . . . visionary knowledge is not an “experience,” let alone a private or subjective one; it is “of an ontological reality entirely superior to mere possibility” It emanates from an actual realm, a realm that is in fact more subtle and endowed with real Being than our own. In fact, in the reversal of our usual sense of things, it is the place of origin from which what we usually refer to as “reality” is merely the shadow projected into space and time.

Many centuries later, when this implicit anthropology came to maturity in the work of some remarkable Near Eastern Is­lamic mystics, this realm would be given the title “the imaginal realm.” Imaginal does not mean “imaginary”—that is, fictitious or subjective. It means the realm in which the images—the eternal prototypes—reveal themselves in their full authenticity. Remember how, in dialogue I, Jesus introduced the notion of “image” as a kind of primordial template? The imaginal is the realm from which these images emanate. . . . “that in-between zone where spirits become embodied and bod­ies become spiritualized.”

“Pneumaplasm”

The word “pneumaplasm” was coined by Lloyd Meeker (Uranda) eighty some years ago to represent this substance through which Spirit communicates with the material world.  Uranda was the founder of the Attunement service now being offered by attunement practitioners the world over.  I have incorporated sacred sound in my personal attunement service and have written a book about this sacred technology. I would like to share an excerpt from my book, Attunnement With Sacred Sound, from the section “Cellular Replication in a Musical Matrix of Light.”

“Image” and “Analogue” — “As Above so Below”

“From a mystical and metaphysical perspective, the Hermetic teaching ‘as above so below’ is restated by the great mystic Jesus who left a profound teaching himself with his disciples in a stream of dialogue that was recorded in both the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas, manuscripts that were discovered as early as 1896 (the Magdalene text) and as late as the mid twentieth century [1945] when Nag Hammadi material was discovered. In both of these Gospels, Jesus speaks about an ‘Image.’

“In her powerfully compelling and provocative book, The Meaning of MARY MAGADALENE—Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity, Episcopal priest and author Cynthia Bourgeault shares teachings of the Master Jesus from The Gospel of Mary Magdalene that transgress lines of traditional orthodoxy. I will excerpt several passages from the fourth chapter of her book that are pertinent to this discussion, starting with a dialogue around ‘image’ and ‘analogue.’

Within the particular metaphysical stream that Jesus seems to be working in, image corresponds to that primordial template mentioned earlier—“the origin” of each created form. Very cautiously, you might label it an archetype. At first glance you may be tempted to transpose this teaching into Platonic categories and assume that Jesus is talking about the “ideal form” of a thing. But be cautious in doing so, for there is a distinctly different dynamism at work here. For Jesus, the “image” is not merely a static blueprint, a preexistent prototype that its earthly analogue mechanically reflects. Between image and analogue there is a dynamic reciprocity as they simultaneously articulate the same reality in two different realms. Image and analogue are in continuously creative tension receiving and fulfilling each other, and it is in the energy exchange that their indivisible wholeness is made manifest.

Images do not arise in this realm, however (their origin is several cosmoses more subtle), and trouble begins when this fundamental cosmic law is forgotten. . . .

“I like her use of the word ‘analogue’ here, which means similar in function but not in origin and structure, as it represents accurately the relationship between Man and his Creator, in whose image and likeness we are made in order to function as creators ourselves. In our energy and attunement work you might say that we seek to facilitate a clarifying, balancing and intensification of this ‘energy exchange’ between image and analogue with the intention that the oneness between them may be made manifest in the person’s experience of life, as well as in our own. . . .

“In ‘Dialogue One,’ a disciple asks Jesus about matter and whether it will ‘survive.'”[This inquisitiveness on the part of the disciple, taking place as this dialogue does in the wake of Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, makes perfect sense. “Are you really here in the flesh or simply in a vision?” Or, more to the point, “Did the matter of your body live on after death?” the student asks.] 

“Jesus answered: ‘All of nature with its forms and creatures exist together and are interwoven with each other. They will be resolved back, however, to their own proper origin, for the compositions of matter return to the original roots of their nature. Those who have ears, let them hear this.’

“Cynthia Bourgeault expands on this:

But by this . . . he does not mean they dissolve into their component atoms, quarks and/or humors. Instead, they return to an original template—or ‘image’— whose place of arising is in another realm.

“The dialogue suddenly turns into an inquiry about sin and its origin, into which Jesus offers a remarkably clarifying perspective.

Sin as such does not exist. You only bring it into manifestation when you act in ways that are adulterous in nature. It is for this reason that the Good has come among you pursuing its own essence within nature in order to reunite everything to its origin. This is also the reason for sickness and death, because you embrace what deceives you. Consider these matters, then, with your spiritual intellect. Attachment to matter gives birth to passion without an Image of itself because it is drawn from that which is contrary to its higher nature. The result is that confusion and disturbance resonates throughout one’s whole being. It is for this reason that I told you to find contentment at the level of the heart, and if you are discouraged, take heart in the presence of the Image of your true nature. Those with ears, let them hear this.

“A ‘Vertical Axis’

“Cynthia Bourgeault offers that ‘within his particular frame of reference, acting in ways that are ‘adulterous in nature’ will prove to have very specific meaning. It signifies a failure to stay aligned with origin; with that mysterious ‘root’ (or template) of one’s nature he has already alluded to, which, while arising beyond this realm, seeks its full expression here.” . . . [Jesus] quickly assures his students that this world is valuable and precious; indeed, this is the very reason the Good has come among them in the first place—“pursuing its own essence within nature . . . in order to reunite everything to its origin.’ There is important integrative work to be done here. But it all depends upon keeping a right alignment along what wisdom tradition typically refers to as the ‘vertical axis’: the invisible spiritual continuum that joins the realms together. Nearly sixteen centuries later, the German mystic Jacob Boehme would express this cosmological insight with poetic precision and beauty:

‘For you must realize that earth unfolds its properties and powers in union with Heaven aloft above us, and there is one Heart, one Being, one Will, one God, all in all.’

“The author then offers these words of truth and wisdom derived from Jesus’ teaching: 

When the realms are in spontaneous resonance—’One Heart, one Being, one Will, one God, all in all’—the music of the spheres bursts forth. When they are not, disease and disharmony inevitably ensue. As he quickly points out (again, with a contemporary feeling to the teaching), ‘Confusion and disturbance resonate throughout one’s whole being,’ and sickness and death are the inevitable result.

“The heart realm is the ‘secret place’ in which we commune with God; the capacity for spiritual discernment and understanding. It is precisely this ‘vertical axis’ around which we must wrap our hearts in order to attune to the vibration of the Lord of Love, from whence all power to heal and uplift derives. I bring these excerpts into this writing for the profoundly clear light they shine on the core essence and purpose of attunement and energy work, as well as for the perspective and insight they offer into the dynamism at work between inner Reality and outer form—continually giving to and receiving from each other the spiritual energies that generate the pneumaplasmic substance that connects spirit with form and makes possible their manifest wholeness and oneness. I was deeply moved when I first read this chapter, as I was profoundly uplifted—and continue to be—reading and re-reading Cynthia’s book.”

The imaginal realm is precisely the realm that we, as healers and co-creators, must become intimate with in bringing down into the earth the true patterns of life which alone can restore order and harmony to our world. As we make visible the invisible Reality imaged for us in this heaven, our Earth is restored.  

I will leave this consideration at that and continue the discussion in my next post, in which I will open up a consideration of the masculine and feminine energies at work in our human capacities and throughout the “creating universe,” as Walter Russell describes the world in which we live and have our being. Until then, 

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

I invite you to read my Health Light Newsletter at LiftingTones.com.

 

 

 

Gnosis: A Return to Our Roots

(Preface: As much as I’ve tried to shorten this post, no part of it could be omitted without a loss to its impact and meaning, as well as the spirit of the authors of the excerpts. I think you will agree after reading it.)

GNOSIS is the experience and knowledge of spiritual truths. In essence and in practice during the Early Christian era, it was the experience of knowing God within.  The experience of Spirit. Of Divinity. 

According to the Gnostic Gospels, which included the gospels of Thomas and Philip, Jesus had given “secret knowledge” to some of his apostles of the way to ascend the “Tree of Life” and come to know Spirit as one’s Self.  The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, in which she describes her personal ascension up to the “crown” of this tree that Jesus said had its roots in her body, does not belong to the collection of thirteen Gnostic Gospels that were discovered at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945. The Gospel of Mary was discovered earlier in 1896, also in upper Egypt. It stands alone as a testament to the true experience of Gnosis. 

The Son of Humanity

I will conclude this series with a passage from The Gospel of Mary Magdalene by Jean-Yves Leloup, followed by the author’s commentary. It begins with a question posed by the apostle Peter about the nature of matter:

[ . . . ]What is matter? Will it last forever? 

The Teacher answered: “All that is born, all that is created, all the elements of nature are interwoven and united with each other. All that is composed shall be decomposed; everything returns to its roots; matter returns to the origins of matter. Those who have ears, let them hear.”

Peter said to him: “Since you have become the interpreter of the elements and the events of the world, tell us: What is the sin of the world?”

 The Teacher answered: “There is no sin. It is you who make sin exist, when you act according to the habits of your corrupted nature; this is where sin lies. This is why the Good has come into your midst. It acts together with the elements of your nature so as to reunite it with its roots.”

 Then he continued: “This is why you become sick, and why you die: it is the result of your actions; what you do takes you further away. Those who have ears, let them hear.

I will let the author give his commentary on this passage first, because he offers such profound insight into the dishonest human condition and into the path the “Son of Humanity”set before us for our return to our “roots” in Source. 

Lack calls for fullness. Thirst calls for the Source. The Good has come into our midst because the nature of matter involves lack. Humans as we know them are beings who feel a lack of Being. The process of corruption begins with their own identification with this lack. They then confuse themselves with the matter of which their bodies are composed, which ultimately leads to an experience of their own vanity and emptiness. Thus they may finally become open to that which can fill them.

The Original Sin of Adam was a fall from identity with Spirit to identity with form that left us with a feeling of profound lack which gave rise to a deep desire and longing for redemption, ironically creating a void for a Savior to fill. “Blessed fault of Adam, that gave us such a Redeemer,” the traditional chant for the Easter Vigil says. “What is it that transforms matter, adama, a lump of clay, into Adam, the true human being capable of this essence of desire,” the author asks. What can we do now to make room in our hearts for Spirit to come and fill the emptiness there?

Meister Eckhart, a Christian whose metaphysics was very close to the Gospel of Mary, said it more simply: “If you do nothing, truly nothing, God cannot help but come into you.” Unfortunately, in those who are full of themselves, there is no place for the Other. This is why he added, “If you leave, God can enter.”

This means that we must leave the illusion of taking ourselves to be something, some thing, an object that exists in time. We must return to our true being as Subject, living in wonder at its manifestation in those transient objects that it calls its world, its body, its emotions, its personality.

When we leave behind the illusion of belief in a permanent thing, the Good can then come into our midst. In the heart of this finally accepted impermanence shines the presence of this unborn, unmade, uncreated “Nothing that can be found in the All of which It is the cause.” This is the clear light unimpeded by the opacity of all the things with which we are identified. In the midst of the heavy, the light is revealed.

According to the Gospel of Mary, the Teacher came in order to help free us from the ignorance that is identification (corruption). For he is the very countenance, the incarnation, and the practice of this Good.

The Good is the manifestation of the famous triad of the ancient philosophers: goodness, truth, and beauty. The Good in this sense does not have evil as its opposite, for it means the unity of these three, the One that embraces the multiplicity of all qualities through which it is expressed.

What does goodness become when separated from light, consciousness, and truth? A softness that is the gateway to hypocrisy and compromise.

What does truth become when separated from goodness, love, and beauty? A hardness that is the gateway to fanaticism and persecution.

What does beauty become when separated from truth and goodness? Art for art’s sake, an aestheticism that is the gateway to a brilliance that clarifies nothing.

Beyond the realm of opposites, the Good is the One, the doorway to Being. This Being can only manifest in a heart, body, and mind that have been emptied of all illusion, meaning all inflation and presumption; for it cannot fit into the straitjacket that they offer.

“This is why the Good has come into your midst. It acts together with the elements of your nature so as to reunite it with its roots. “

The radiance of Presence has come to us, and “we have seen its glory,” or its kavod, as the Hebrews called it — the glory of the Son, “full of grace and truth,” which is also that of the Father, or Source.” [The author’s footnote: “The Metaphor of Mother could just as well be used for the Source.”]

By planting the seeds of his knowledge (the sperma Theou, in Greek) in the elements of our nature, the Teacher restores us to our own true heritage and ushers us back to endless resonance with our uncreated Source, the “Father whom none has ever seen, and none can know,” but who is revealed to us through the monogenetic Son, the Good that unites the ancient philosopher’s triad. This invites us to live a life of glory, a life of love and consciousness, just as he did.

This reunion with our roots is not a mere event in time, but an ever-renewed relation with the Source engendering us in every instant. It is our ignorance that creates our distance from it, and this distance involves all sorts of sickness and suffering. By an ever-new act of knowledge that is both metanoia (in Greek, passing beyond the known, beyond the mind and memories of which we are composed) and teshuva (Hebrew for the act of return, a turning about of our consciousness from our externalized, objectified being toward our inner Being), [the literal meaning of the word “repent”] we act from the deepest heart of our lack, from the intimate space of our desire of desires. This is the space where we receive the inspiration of the Teacher and his teaching.

 Then he continued:

 “This is why you become sick, and why you die: it is the result of your actions;  what you do takes you further away.  Those who have ears, let them hear.”

Having spoken of matter and its impermanence, and of attachment and identification with this impermanence, the Teacher now shows the consequences of ignorance and attachment.

Sickness, suffering, and death are the consequences of our acts. There is no one to blame for this, and it is vain to complain and expostulate about the evil nature of matter, the world, and humanity. There is no room here for hatred of the world, for it has been clearly stated that there is no sin, no evil. Evil and sin arise from the blamer in ourselves.

(The “blamer” in Hebrew is the shatan, which means “obstacle.” In Greek the word is diabolos, which means “divider.”  I find this most interesting and revealing of what is actually happening in ourselves as we point a finger of blame away from ourselves.  

Attunement with Source

In a word, the Teacher came to offer attunement to the Body of Humanity through the open hearts and resonant substance of his disciples in order to reunite the flesh Body of Humanity with its roots in Source by drawing forth the Spirit of Love, the Father, from within them.  His own incarnation as the “Son of Humanity” set a precedent for the whole of Mankind. 

But he didn’t do it alone. Mary Magdalene, who brought the Divine Feminine into their shared mission of redemption, was his companion. Together they restored the sacred union between Man and Woman and their union with the Father.  They shared the ultimate Attunement with Love.

The revelation of Love, the Father within, through Humanity was his expressed purpose for incarnating. He was on fire with this purpose, as was his companion. It is our purpose as well.  This excerpt from a talk given by Lord Martin Exeter, who was my spiritual mentor for twenty years, speaks passionately to this purpose: 

Until God’s Love comes into the individual and sets the individual on fire, the physical substance of his body, the substance of his whole outer being, remains subject to the destructive burning of the fire. It is only as he is actually set on fire, while he is living here on earth, that there may be a purification and transmutation into a state of being in attunement with the core of Being – which is God’s Love – so that the form is not destroyed. We can recognize these basic principles. Only as there is lust, so that the individual lets himself be set on fire by God’s Love, can he be consumed by God’s Love instead of destroyed by God’s Love. Being consumed by God’s Love there is no loss, because every level of Being is supposed to be the means by which there may be a manifest revelation of God’s Love, and this level where we are was so designed by God not to be destroyed by God’s Love but, being consumed by God’s Love, to reveal it….

…The body of Truth is lust, that all-consuming hunger and thirst, that depth of feeling, that longing, that which springs from the intensity of aloneness, an opening of the heart to God without reservation, without holding back anything, in a surge, a constant surge of passionate lust. And until we do open ourselves so, we cannot know the reality of God’s Love as it is; we can only know it as a painful fire, whereas in fact God’s Love, received into the true body, is the resurrection and the life of the body.

I think this well encapsulates who Mary Magdalene was and the pivotal role she played with her Beloved Lord that made Jesus’ mission on earth at all possible. She gave him her all, an open heart through which he could enter and plant the seed of Love in the Body of Humanity.  She was the true founder of Christianity — “The Woman at the Heart of Christianity,” as Cynthia Bourgeault identifies her in the subtitle of her profound book, The Meaning of Mary Magdalene.  

There is much more that I could share from the pages of these three books However, I feel complete in this series. If you feel inspired, and in the least bit inclined, to obtain copies of these thought-provoking books, I certainly encourage you to do so. Until my next post,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

All of the books and many more are available at Amazon.com/books 

Who and What Was Mary Magdalene?

Catholic theologian Saint Augustine called Mary Magdalene the “Apostle of apostles.” His basis for such an esteemed title was St. John’s Gospel text (19:25) in which Mary is said to be the first one to see Jesus resurrected from the tomb and the one appointed by Jesus to bring the good news of his resurrection to the other apostles. She was, in truth, the Beloved Companion of Yeshua/Jesus, whom he had named the “Migdalah”(which means tower of courage and strength).

In 591 AD, however, the Beloved Companion of Jesus was reduced in status and dignity to that of a prostitute by Pope Gregory I in Homily 33, according to Jean-Yves Leloup, author of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene.  In his homily, Gregory “declared that she and the unnamed woman in Luke 7 are, in fact, one and the same , and that the faithful should hold Mary as the penitent whore.” To the faithful of the Christian world, this is who Mary Magdalene was: the woman out of whom Jesus cast “seven demons”– and whom he rescued from being stoned to death as a “sinner,” saying to those who would stone her, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”

About this word “sinner” Leloup writes:

“It is interesting to note that the Greek word interpreted as ‘sinner’ in the verse of Luke to which Pope Gregory referred was barmartolos, which can be translated several ways. From the Jewish perspective, it could mean one who has transgressed Jewish law. It might also mean someone who, perhaps, did not pay his or her taxes. [This is more likely the case in this incident with Mary Magdalene, who is often painted by artists with red or golden hair, suggesting a fiery woman with a passion for truth and a disdain for the laws of men.] The word itself does not imply a streetwalker or a prostitute. The Greek word for harlot, porin, which is used elsewhere in Luke, is not the word used for the sinful woman who weeps at Jesus’ feet. In fact, there is no direct reference to her – or to Mary – as a prostitute anywhere in the Gospels.” 

It was not until 1969 that the Catholic Church admitted its error and officially repealed Pope Gregory’s labeling of Mary as a whore. This retraction did nothing, however, to alter the public teachings of all Christian denominations that Mary Magdalene was a penitent sinner.  Jean Yves writes:

“Unfortunately, the fact that Mary Magdalene is freed from the possession of seven demons has resulted in greater focus on the perceived stigma of her past as interpreted in Homily 33 than on her cleansed state after this healing. . . . Like a small erratum buried in the back pages of a newspaper, the Church’s correction goes unnoticed while the initial and incorrect article continues to influence readers.”   

The Woman with the Alabaster Jar

Mary Magdalene, often depicted by artists holding an alabaster jar in one hand and a skull in the other, is the same as Mary of Bethany who is said to have anointed the head of Jesus with expensive oils during the Last Supper. The author of The Gospel of Mary Magdalene compares her to a priestess of Isis:

In addition, the presence of Mary at the Crucifixion and at the tomb, beyond illustrating her love for Jesus, also indicates her comfort and famil­iarity with death. The many artistic depictions of Magdalene with a skull may suggest that this has long been seen as part of her identity. In fact, Gol­gotha, the hill where Jesus was crucified, means “place of the skull.” Perhaps visionary artists of the past, in their representations, were implying that Magdalene understands the thresholds of death. Her appearances with special oils to use in anointing Jesus Christ place her in the tradition of priests and priestesses of Isis, whose unguents were used to achieve the transition over the threshold of death while retaining consciousness. 

Jesus accepts and encourages this anointing, explaining to the other disciples that she “helps prepare me for my burial.” This statement implies Jesus’ knowledge that Mary is aware of what is happening at a deeper level than the other disciples. We can ask ourselves, “By what authority does she anoint him?” But we cannot ignore the fact that the very word christ means “anointed one.” How can it be that Christians have pushed into a dark corner the female minister of the rite of anointing?

After one anointing of Christ by Mary, in Mark 14: 9, Jesus remarks, “Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, what she has done here will be told in remembrance of her.” How is it, then, that all Christians do not remember and revere this memorial, so clearly marked by their teacher? Why do most people know her as the reformed prostitute, rather than as what seems more likely-a ministering priestess with a deep understanding of the thresh­olds of the spirit world?

In the legends and stories told about Mary Magdalene there can be found some hint of what she may represent to us today: As one who was cleansed from sin; who remains with Christ throughout his death on the cross; and who first witnesses, understands, and believes Christ’s resur­rection, she represents a human being who is open and available to true “inner knowing,” who can “see” in deeper, clearer ways through a unique spiritual connection to both earthly death and the Divine. 

Honored in Southern France

In Southern France Mary Magdalene is honored and celebrated as the Madonna in what historically is known as the “Magdalene tradition.” There is evidence that Mary Magdalene traveled to and settled in Southern France after the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus – and after her ordeal with Peter and the apostles who rejected her as the Apostle of apostles, the one and only one, other than John the Beloved, who knew oneness with her Lord and Master and who moved closely with him into the experience of gnosis, “the priceless wisdom of ‘direct knowing.'”

This is the true and original meaning of Gnosticism before it devolved into a cultish community: the direct knowing of Spirit within and as one’s Self without the mediation of an ordained priesthood – which is why the early Christian Church founded by Constantine and a group of bishops condemned them and sought to eradicate them altogether.  Those bishops who disagreed with Constantine about what gospel texts were to be included in, and excluded from, the New Testament Bible were exiled “on the spot.” Thankfully, some of these excluded gospel texts were preserved from the book burnings, later to be found and brought to light, notably in our time.  The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and the Gospel of Thomas are two of the most noted gospels that were discovered and became the sources of contemporary authors’ books, such as Jean-Yves Leloup, Jehanne De Quillan (author of The Gospel of the Beloved Companion), and several others.

I particularly like the way in which this sentence is phrased by the authors of the Preface of her book, acknowledging the vibrational significance of Mary Magdalene’s return to consciousness and awareness at this time:

We consider her reemergence and renewed awareness of her importance as an essential remembering of the Feminine.” 

As surely as Jesus’ spirit is considered to be present with us today, so is that of his Beloved Companion present and actively guiding the rise of the Feminine.  It’s what seems powerfully evident anyway.

I will conclude this consideration of Mary Magdalene in my next post – which will be an in depth look at the true meaning of Gnosis and the obscured message inherent in the companionship of Jesus and Mary Magdalene – the core mission and purpose for the incarnation of the Divine in the Son of Humanity.  Until then,

Be love. Be loved.

Anthony

I invite you to read my HealthLight Newsletter online at LitingTones.com.

 

 

 

 

Tag Cloud