- The Day of MercuryThe god of living movement, healing, merchants and thieves.Eightfold Path:“The ordering of life. To live accordance with Nature and Spirit. Not to be swamped by the external trivialities of life. To avoid all that brings unrest and haste into life. To hurry over nothing, but also not to be indolent. To look on life as a means for working towards higher development and behave accordingly. One speaks in this connection of RIGHT STANDPOINT.”Gospel accounts: nothing much happens on this day compared with the violent activity of Tuesday. During a meal, Christ’s head is annointed with expensive perfume by a woman who is not named here, but is named in John’s Gospel as being Mary Magdalene. Judas decides to betray the Christ to the jewish authorities.Extemporisation:The encounter with the Lesser Guardian of the Threshold, if the courage to transform is not found, can give rise to a state of anxiety. The encounter with the Greater Guardian, if Faith and Hope are not found, can give rise to a state of dissatisfaction. Man longs for wholeness and unification with his higher self and yet finds himself unworthy (this is an inner state, not an external judgement). Both of these, usually combined, produce a state of restlessness.We are probably all familiar, in our daily lives, with times when we should be doing something important but put it off. The reasons and methods found to put this off can be creative, even worthy, to some extent in their own right. Nonetheless, because they are done to avoid what needs to be done, they are excuses. It is possible to flit from one avoidance activity to another. This activity is done in a state of restlessness and anxiety.We can blame “the external trivialities of life”, but actually it is ourselves who are to blame for not focusing our energies. When we say “I do not have time,” it really means “I do not make time.”One of Covey’s 7 habits is to “Begin with the end in mind,” to know what we want to achieve by doing something before we start. In other words, “to look on life as a means for working towards higher development and behave accordingly”. Without this sense of what is important, of priorities, it is easy to get drawn along into the restless, Mercurial flow of life.To me (and others!) Mary and Judas appear as two of a quaternity of restless people. The four, of course, represent the 4 temperaments.Lazarus, who became John the Beloved (the Evangelist) after his initiation by Christ. (Melancholic)Martha, who was the woman with an issue of blood who was healed. (Phlegmatic)Mary Magdalene, who was the woman accused of adultary whom Christ forgave. (Sanguine)Judas the Iscariot who betrayed Jesus. (Choleric)Restlessness can produce a thirst for knowledge for its own sake. This may be expressed in a certain satisfaction felt by becoming an expert in one field. Perhpas expressed today as travel for its own sake. A restless movement from one place to another. A gathering of experiences which are never allowed to mature into understanding.Lazarus, a man who sought knowledge and experience of past mysteries: his restless desire for knowledge brought him to an inner state of despair and ultimately death. However, he was transformed by Christ’s initiation awakening. During the Last Supper, although he leans of Christ’s bosom, he has to be prompted by Peter to ask who it is who will betray him. He no longer seeks knowledge of this world, but is given sublime knowledge of higher worlds. Given depth, direction and purpose the wisdom he received allowed him to write John’s Gospel and ultimately the Apocalypse: a vision, not of the past, but of the future. He is capable of seeing and interpreting the geometric language of light that weaves the connections that form the wholeness of the universe.Martha was born with a weakness in her etheric organisation which caused an issue of blood. After Christ healed her of this, her restlessness and desperate need to “hold things together” is expressed in physical activity. Elsewhere she berates Mary for sitting and listening to Christ and not doing her share of the housework.In any area of life, but especially the domestic one, there are always plenty of immediate jobs that “need” to be done. So much so, that it is perfectly possible to avoid ever thinking about what is important in life. These things are important and urgent. Covey says that we should spend the majority of our time doing things that are important but not urgent. Prioritising and looking at things in the terms of long term aims usually fall into this category. It is perfectly possible in life to spend so much time doing that we never have time to think about why we are doing those things.Martha’s restlessness is such that she cannot trust the processes of life. For such as her is the message “Consider the lillies of the field.” When our purpose is a true one, one that meets the demands of our destiny, the universe will conspire to provide what is needed, provided we have trust; a pure heart, free from doubt.Mary Magdalene’s restlessness sought her to seek a sense of approval in sexual promiscuity. Like a lot of young people today, she sought a feeling of wholeness and unification in the sexual act.The account of her accusation by the elders is a sublime picture of true forgiveness. When we are judged and criticised by other people it gives us the opportunity to avoid self-reflection. We can either accept the judgement and expend our energies living up to the expectation, or we can turn our focus on blaming our accusers for their short-sightedness. Judgement in itself creates restlessness and dissatisfaction.Christ shows Mary’s accusers why it is not possible for them to judge her: “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.” When her accusers leave her, Mary await’s Christ’s judgement and punishment. “Neither do I judge you,” is his reply.Mary had the advantage of seeing the Christ, the sublime embodiment of what human beings should become, in the flesh. She could experience directly that the purpose of this embodiment of perfection was not to accuse her, or to point out her own imperfections, but to encourage her to rise above her lower nature and move on to better things. Christ’s forgiveness gives her the space to be able to do this for herself. “Go, and sin no more.” The words of the gospel do not fully express the experience of trust that must have been there.When we know that we are trusted to do something we are far more likely to be focussed and successful than if we are admonsihed by those who fear and judge our failure. Feelings of “I am not worthy” are replaced with the astounding realisation of “I am worthy.” This is metanoia, true repentance, a true change of heart. Crippling fear, restlessness and avoidance are replaced by a bliss-filled peace of acceptance and love.Even though we do not yet meet up to the perfection of the sublime image of humanity, as seen in Christ or in the Greater Guardian, a mystical union takes place when we fully embrace this destiny: we enter the realm of becoming and our powers of creativity are fully activated. In accepting the possibility we create the possibility.Mary undergoes this transformation in the Gospel. Her outpouring of expensive perfume is perhaps an outpouring of the new creative forces of her soul: she has found her fate, she has found her star, she has found her goals in life.It is interesting that in The Da Vinci Code and other popular works, people turn the realtionship between Christ and Mary back into sex: a reversal of this process of metanoia. A transformation of gold into base metal. Our society is good at that.Judas is a fascinating figure who at the moment raises more questions than answers for me.It is very easy to see him as the bad guy. But I remember having a conversation last Easter with someone who was convinced that Judas performed a great sacrifice on behalf of humanity. And it is true that when you consider the cosmic significance of The Mystery of Golgotha – it wasn’t a thing that would be avoided if only one person had kept their mouth shut!I also wonder why it was that Jesus needed to be betrayed. The Jewish authorities must have been able to recognise him. Surely they can’t have said “Well all these guys with beards and white robes look the same to me!” Judas was one of the 12 disciples and I wonder whether the betrayal had something to do with the breaking of the protective circle of 12?Judas is elsewhere described as a thief. Mercury is the god of thieves. Yet would there have been a thief amongst the intimate circle of 12? What does it say about his character? A thief is someone who wants something that doesn’t belong to them. They believe they have a right to something that they have not earnt honestly through hard work. They are egotistical, not caring about others in their desire to get what they want. They shun any respect or reverence for the greater good.Judas is a restless, impatient person who wants something that doesn’t belong to him and wants to achieve it quickly without having to work for it.There is a form of restlessness or dissatisfaction which is based on covetousness. The feeling that eveything would be alright if only… Something is lacking, and this might be a material something. Life would be perfect if only I had an electric juicer. But then of course everything is not alright and the sense of dissatisfaction is projected onto another material possession. On a larger scale this could be a feeling that something needs to be changed about the environment or the political sphere. Whatever it is, something needs to be changed about the material world and then everything will be alright. In achieving this the ends justify the means.When Mary pours out the sweet perfume of her soul in reverence of the Christ, Judas cannot stand this. He sees it as a futile gesture. He complains that this money may have been more usefully spent on the poor. He cannot bear to see material resources squandered on what he would see as mere sentimentality. It seems to be as a response to this act that he decides to betray Jesus. Somehow this act of Mary’s is the last straw for him.Or is it because Christ mentions that she is preparing him for his burial? One theory about Judas is that he is expecting Jesus to use his God given powers to overthrow the Romans and establish an earthly kingdom. Talk of burial could trigger desperate activity on his part.There is another destructive form of restlessness which pitches itself headlong at the forces of destiny. Challenges or blockages are not seen as something to learn from, but something to be destroyed. Ultimately, such a restless person may rather destroy the thing they love rather than have things turn out differently from how they wanted them to. Like the child who knocks over the board game rather than lose. Like the lover who kills their beloved rather than lose them.Or perhaps Judas is compelled to undertake a course of action which is necessary to the path of destiny but which he is unable to comprehend? Ultimately his sense of remorse drives him to suicide.The sign of Scorpio is the sign of the scorpion-eagle. John is the eagle who soars to the heights of spiritual understanding. Judas is the scorpion who shuns the light of the sun and would rather sting himself to death than dwell in the light. The karmic destiny of Christian Rosencreutz is to redeem the scorpion and transform it into the eagle. (Prokofieff “The Twelve Holy Nights and the spiritual Hierarchies”)Whether egotistical schemer or the performer of an incomprehensible sacrifice, it is clear that the redemption and transformation of Judas lies still in the future of humanity’s evolution.Any more thoughts on Judas?