Sunday, July 22, 2012

Our Undivided Selves: Message from the Magdalene

Today is the saints day of Mary Magdalene. But which Mary Magdalene? Surely not the redeemed woman of ill repute, who is the version popularised and perpetuated by the church. Beyond this orthodox version is another, and it is this Mary - the Mary of our secret and spiritual selves, the wise Mary - whom I honour today.

This fresco shows Adam seeking his true source. Separated from this source in himself after the Fall, he will have to work hard to recover what has been lost. But there is hope! His garment of watery blue wavelets reminds him of the nature of the source, and the source itself, flowing forth from the feminine forms, is close beside him. Fresco from a monastery in Cantauque, Provence

In his article: "The woman in Gnosticism' , Gilles Quispel writes: "In the Nirvana of the original paradise the division of the human condition is transcended. The original human, Adam, was man and woman united in one before Eve was taken out of his side. When the sleep of unconsciousness overcame him - the actual Fall - the unity was lost, and the battle of the sexes became a fact. He, the Son of God, was himself an androgyne, both man and woman. Man must follow his example and also create from both man and woman a unity within himself." (G. Quispel, Bibliotheca Philosophica Hermetica).

The relationship of Mary Magdalene towards Jesus was often described in Gnosticism as a relationship of spiritual love. In the preserved text of the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Mary says: "He has printed his seal within me. I have become what I originally was. I was born. I was in conflict. But I am become as one."

When Mary says that through her birth she was 'in conflict', she means that her entry into the material world precipitated tension and struggle in conflict with her spiritual longing.
Gnosis recognises the idea that nothing is individual. Everything is in division. But individuals are in the true sense of the word 'in-dividual': undivided. They are restored in their completeness and are no longer in conflict.
Jesus guided Mary in these mysteries whereby she once more became one. Which is to say: fully reunited with her spiritual being.

So our own contemporary use of the term 'individual', and its even being described as the cult of the individual, with all its emphasis on individuality and the personal ego, is actually a far cry from the word's original intended meaning: that of the undivided self. The Magdalene's words point us back to the true meaning, to the 'mother city', and away from the Roman stance of Peter, with its emphasis on the unyielding masculine rocks of the mountains.


  1. From the ancient agnostics Emma has uncovered the hidden treasure of existence, the eternal truth of oneness, the ground of being before separation. Someone stated, "The greatest illusion is the illusion of Separation." We enter and work through this illusion, however, to rediscover and to remember our essential divine unity. Therefore it is apt to refer to Adam as androgynous, both male and female. With the descent into matter being was then seen as male and female. All dualities are part and parcel of creation itself. Through dissolution of forms and the unveiling of the illusion we become once again whole, and in a way more "whole" than before as the fire of living the illusion brought us deeper into oneness.

    This is a short article but what revelations Emma has brought to us! Thank you Emma.

  2. You are welcome Joseph, and I share your excited sense of revelation! With the rising of Sophia this millennia-old wisdom is emerging once more into the world, and it is worth remembering that, rather than being centered only on women's rights, the original teachings of these Sophic mystery schools are equally intended for the benefit of and for sharing with both sexes. As you yourself stated, the theme here is 'the ground of being before separation'.
    In Mary Magdalene time this was also not so evident. It was the apostle Peter who stated: "Let Mary depart from us, for women are not worthy of Life." Peter's evident insecurity in Mary's presence would have been unfounded had he himself been open to her wisdom.