Sunday, March 31, 2013


Birth, life, death and resurrection. These are the eternal themes which are reflected in the great myths. A hero is born miraculously – perhaps from the union of a god with a mortal woman. That hero lives his life, performs his heroic deeds, dies a noble and dramatic death, after which he is resurrected as an immortal constellation among the stars.

In nature as well these epic themes are played out in the cycle of the seasons, as we – and our remote ancestors who were crucially attuned to these things – witness each year with the awakening of new life in the spring after its seasonal death in the cold soil of winter. Even in those desert places which have no temperate seasons, the dried husks of seeds can lie dormant in the hard sun-baked ground, sometimes for years, before an infrequent downpour awakens them to sudden life, and the desert blooms like a garden.

The act of resurrection is like a truth that is encoded into the matrix of life, and we respond to that truth when we encounter it in stories. For the Christian Gnostics, the events of the Biblical resurrection were not so much intended to be read as simple history, but as events which mirrored these great truths, which provided a kind of teaching aid to remind them of these profound lessons of life. And these lessons carried a deeper meaning than mere rebirth. Resurrection involves redemption: redemption of the inner self, a shedding of those things which might hinder the process of true spiritual resurrection. These could be a breaking through the ego which tricks us into thinking that our mortal selves are the only reality, or even just the letting-go of those ideas that prevent us from seeing such things in a clearer light.

The letting-go of all these things, of all preconceptions of what make our ‘reality’, is the path of resurrection. But to tread that path involves a process of inner ‘dying’ – not physical dying, but the death of those things which might be holding us back from reaching our true fulfilment as beings intimately connected with, and part of, the greater Mystery.
It is no coincidence that the Christian Easter takes place at the time of the year that originally was reserved for the celebration of this process in pre-Christian times, for Christianity layered itself on top of these old festivals, just as churches were often built upon the demolished foundations of pagan temples and other pre-Christian sacred sites. This as well gives an added potency to the Christian story, and the events of the Christian Easter, which unfold upon the greater stage of mythic drama which lies beyond the stage of historical narrative. Easter is the time of resurrection, and a person who takes part in that resurrection during his life, has conquered death.

This is the crown of the Christian Initiation Mystery. He who resurrects in a gnostic sense, has it in his power to work through joy, and to take part in the divine plan of creation. It is a grand perspective, and one which we can let ourselves be inspired by – and not only at Easter!


  1. This is wonderfully insightful and refreshing treatise on the meaning of resurrection. Emma invites us to open our minds and expand our perspective to see resurrection in a wider sense that the traditional Christian paradigm. The idea of death and resurrection has been around for thousands of years and pre-dates Christianity. There seems to be a certain commonality between many of the so called pagan religions and Christianity. This is not surprising as Christianity often "layered" itself as Emma states on top of older customs and beliefs. I especially like the link she makes with redemption of the inner self. This redemption involves according to Emma,
    ".... a shedding of those things which might hinder the process of true spiritual resurrection. These could be a breaking through the ego which tricks us into thinking that our mortal selves are the only reality, or even just the letting-go of those ideas that prevent us from seeing such things in a clearer light."

    Thank you for your beautiful presentation on Resurrection and your deep and insightful wisdom!

  2. Thank you so much, Joseph, for your appreciative and insightful reaction.

  3. Fabulous insights Emma!! Quoting from one of my favourite books "Earth Mother Our Womb of Life" on resurrection/rebirth: "Christ is not unique in his resurrection; he is unique in that his resurrection is witnessed and offered to man as renewed proof that life goes on after death; that we, as part of God's plan in Nature, are progressing through many lifetimes toward Heaven. Thus there is no sting to death while we remain with our Earth. Death is a natural and necessary part of our progress toward the Fifth World-Heaven."

    Human consciousness remains elusive - we cannot quantify, qualify nor locate it, in fact if we didn't have personal experience of consciousness, I don't think science would recognise its existence. I believe we are looking in the wrong place. For example, it is easy to think a radio broadcast is contained within my radio because if I alter the wires I alter the broadcast, if I unplug my radio, the broadcast ceases. It is easy to think the internet is contained in my computer because I can only access the internet through my computer and if I unplug my computer I lose the internet. But we know this is not true, the radio broadcast and the internet exist separate from my devices, however to access them I need a physical device. I believe it is the same for our soul/ our consciousness - we exist separate (and more completely) from our bodies but to act in the universe we need a physical form. And just as I have upgraded my computers over the years to better and better models, so does Nature upgrade our bodies to better and better forms. I believe Heaven is when we finally receive our most perfect form Nature can give us.

  4. Hi Vanessa, thank you for your perceptive thoughts about my post 'Resurrection'. The last sentence triggered something in me, when you mention Heaven together with 'our most perfect form'.

    Perhaps what you call Heaven is closer than we tend to think (see Joseph's poem 'Closer than Our Breath').
    I like to believe that we already are perfect, and that it is simply our ever-awakening state of consciousness which helps us to realise this.