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RE: [ufodiscussion] Jesus & Magdalene In The Pagan World

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  • Jahnets
    In the first place an enlightened human is no longer a human. A human has a soul and a spirit and a body. An enlightened being has a body and a merged soul and
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 6, 2006
      In the first place an enlightened human is no longer a human. A human has a
      soul and a spirit and a body. An enlightened being has a body and a merged
      soul and spirit. They have evolved and will never die. They are whole. I
      find it really fascinating that they can not see how the gods incarnate and
      are almost aggressive about the idea "they were human"ha ha.
      Even in the Emerald Tablets it is stated that the masters incarnate to help
      humanity evolve. What easier way to do it???
      How can he say she was not an incarnation of Sophi? Where is his proof... As
      to whether Sophi fell or not, I personally think that is a state of mind.
      She dove in to try something new. In merging your spirit and soul into one
      to be considered fallen because you no longer have three parts to your
      being??? For shame you only have two now... come on wake up... It's a state
      of mind

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      Subject: [ufodiscussion] Jesus & Magdalene In The Pagan World

      Dear Friends,

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      Love and Light.


      The Gnostic Avenger
      Jesus and Magdalene in the Pagan World

      The unique importance of Mary Magdalene for non-Christian Gnostics arose
      from her identification with the fallen Sophia, the holy harlot, the Whore
      of Wisdom. “The disciple whom Jesus loved” was probably not John the Divine,
      author of the Gospel of John and the Revelation, but a woman variously
      called Mary, Myriam, Mariamme. She is not the incarnation of the Aeon
      Sophia, but she is a good-enough human reflection of the divinity. In
      Gnostic terms, she exemplifies an accomplished Mystery School teacher, an
      initiate who knew the secrets of cosmos and psyche as deeply as any man.
      Magdalene’s male counterpart, Jesus, is not the human incarnation of the
      Aeon Christos, either. In Gnostic theology, there is no such incarnation.
      Jesus was, like Magdalene, a phoster or enlightened one, fully mortal and
      fully human. Together, these two people would have made an unmarried pair
      without children, for the Gnostic guardians of the Mysteries— who called
      themselves telestai, "those who are aimed" — rejected procreation as
      enslavement to social obligations based on blind biological drives. They
      would have viewed the shared consecration of their work in the Mysteries
      higher than the mundane institution of marriage. At least that is how this
      pair might be imagined if one were to reconstruct a scenario based on
      non-Christian elements in the Nag Hammadi materials.

      Genuine images of Gnostics and teachers from the Mysteries are
      non-existent, mainly due to the fact that initiates were vowed to anonymity.
      It was against their code of selfless consecration to allow themselves to be
      depicted in any way that would foster a cult of personality. Nevertheless,
      antique traditions preserve some recognition of the initiatic figure. Mary
      Magdalene is often pictured reading a book to indicate that the Gnostics
      were intellectuals and teachers who taught literacy and maintained the high
      culture of the pre-Christian world. (The Magdalen Reading by Roger van der
      Weyden, c. 1435. National Gallery, London, Plate 18 in Venus in Sackcloth by
      Marjorie M. Malvern.)

      Christos and the Christ

      As I have insisted elsewhere on site, the difference between the Christos
      of the Pagan Mysteries and “the Christ” requires careful elucidation,
      especially as it bears on the figure of Jesus' counterpart, Mary Magdalene.
      The Christ is an ideological icon invented by Saint Paul on the basis of the
      Zaddikite messiah of the Dead Sea. As such, the term denotes a superhuman
      being who, assuming the form of the mortal man Jesus, models the highest
      ideal of humanity. The hybrid Jesus/Christ is the central figure in the
      Roman cult of salvationism. Hence, the Christ represents the paradigm of
      salvation in human guise, but withy a superhuman element implied. (Few
      Christians understand that the superhuman element, the power behind Christ,
      is Melchizedek, the eerie, clone-like overseer of the Zaddikim; but this is
      exactly as Paul claims in Hebrews 6:20.) He is the focus of the Palestinian
      redeemer complex discussed at length in my book, Not in His Image. In the
      glossary I offer these
      contrasting definitions:
      Christ: (from christos, “anointed one,” Greek translation of the Hebrew
      mashiash, “messiah”) In Christian theology, the “only-begotten Son of God”
      who assumes human form to enter history and redeem humanity from sin.
      Central figure in the redeemer complex. Said to have been incarnated
      uniquely in the historical person called Jesus of Nazareth; hence, the
      human/divine hybrid, Jesus/Christ. Regarded by the faithful as the ultimate
      model of humanity, and the locus of human dignity. The divine scapegoat.

      Christos: (Greek, “anointed one”) In Mystery idiom, a divinity in the
      galactic matrix (Pleroma) who unites with Sophia to configure the
      singularity of human potential, and later intercedes to assist Sophia in the
      organization of animal life in the biosphere (the Christic intercession).
      Does not incarnate in human form, but may assume a humanoid guise in the

      These definitions indicate not merely a niggling contrast of terms, but a
      profound clash of paradigms. The Gnostic Christos is neither a divine savior
      nor, in his human guise, the supreme model of humanity. In the humanoid form
      of the Mesotes, this entity is a kind of inner guide, or inner spiritual
      compass. Paul preached that "the Christ in us" is a super-human presence
      that carries our sense of humanity, but Gnostics taught that our sense of
      humanity must be acquired by intellectual and empathic recognition of the
      Anthropos, the human species. In Not in His Image, I call this recognition
      the species-self connection (Ch. 23). The difference between the Gnostic
      Christos and the Christ signals a vast divergence of views concerning how we
      sense “a spiritual presence” in our personal lives, and how we identify that
      presence with our innate sense of humanity.
      Pagan Tolerance
      In Gnostic terms, the figure of Magdalene is indispensable to the inner
      sensing of our humanity. She is a haunting, elusive presence in the
      conventional Gospels, but in Gnostic writings she unambiguously attains her
      true stature. Magdalene figures in dialogues in half a dozen NHC treatises;
      she literally stars in the non-NHL Pistis Sophia; the Gospel of Mary is
      attributed to her. The latter is fragmentary material, with only eight of
      eighteen pages remaining. It is found in the Berlin Codex (BG 8502), hence
      it stands outside the NHC, but it is included in the canon and carried as
      the last text in the Nag Hammadi Library in English.
      Much has been made of the Gospel of Mary, but little of what’s currently
      written gets to the Gnostic core of her character. Regrettably, the words
      attributed to Magdalene in the Gospel of Mary provide yet another occasion
      for Gnostic scholars to indemnify Christianity and discount original Gnostic
      In her book The Gospel of Mary of Magdala, subtitled “Jesus and the First
      Woman Apostle,” Gnostic scholar Karen King argues that “the norm of
      Christianity was theological diversity” This statement is intended as praise
      for the early Christian community, meant to reflect positively upon
      Christians today. In King's view, modern believers can think well of
      themselves knowing that their belief-system arose from a rich diversity of
      views rather than as a totalitarian dogma. Her viewpoint encourages modern
      Christians to be open-minded and tolerant of different interpretations of
      the Faith.
      But the historical evidence King uses to support this point shows that
      well into the 4th century Christianity was so poorly defined, and so loosely
      understood even by those who embraced it, that it is patently misleading to
      call it by that name. Devotees were not even agreed on whether to call their
      savior figure Christos or Chrestos. King is explicit: “As we have repeatedly
      emphasized, at the time the Gospel of Mary was written, Christianity had no
      common creed, canon, or leadership structure.” Precisely so: there was no
      dogmatic Christianity in the diversity of the early sects, but Christianity
      as such is only meaningful in terms of the dogmas that define it.
      King implies that the formative diversity of the Faith, including Gnostic
      versions of the salvationist agenda, is a credit to the open and
      compassionate spirit of the first Christians, or proto-Christians. This is a
      clever spin, and utterly misleading. Professor King denies that the
      pluralism she finds so praiseworthy in the first centuries of the Common Era
      was entirely due to Pagan tolerance, soon to be eliminated when the
      self-styled Christians finally did define their canon, creed, and
      “The complexity and abundance of early Christian thought” (King again) was
      indeed impressive, but hold on a minute. If Jesus and Magdalene are to be
      imagined as two prominent teachers in that time and setting, it cannot have
      been the Christian message they were expounding, but Pagan theology of the
      kind in which Hypatia excelled.
      We are left to wonder, How might Jesus and Magdalene have appeared, and
      what might they have taught, had they been initiates from the Mysteries?

      Da Vinci also followed the tradition that recognized the high literacy of
      Gnostics and Mystery initiates. In his Annunciation he pictured the Virgin
      poised elegantly at a table, reading a book. What might be taken for an urn
      can be seen on the table to her left. Whatever one makes of Da Vinci's
      connection to the Priory of Sion, as an artist he clearly observed the
      secret tradition that portrayed Madgalene as literate and red-headed. For
      all the attention given to Magdalene's possible presence in The Last Supper,
      it is equally, if not more shocking, that Da Vinci could have subversively
      portrayed her in the Annunciation. As the wife of a humble carpenter, it is
      unlikely that the mother of Jesus would have been either literate or
      Simon and Helen
      Gnostic teachings fostered the ultimate, long-range view of human
      potential. The goal of initiation in the Mysteries was not "human divinity"
      but the highest level of authenticity and novelty in religious experience,
      without authority, intermediaries, or fixed doctrines. Gnosis is a path of
      illuminism in which we acquire by our own powers the knowledge that
      recharges the life-force and reaffirms our connection to the life-source,
      Gaia-Sophia, but Salvationism is a “cross theology” (Karen King) that bonds
      us to the suffering of the Divine Victim. Rather arrestingly, King says “one
      issue at stake in cross theology was authority.” I reckon that a Gnostic
      would find that statement, at least, to be clear and without error. Gnostic
      spirituality was vividly and rigorously anti-authoritarian.

      To represent Magdalene as the “first woman apostle” freeze-frames her in
      the old paradigm of patriarchal authority and makes her subservient to the
      primary male agent of the Roman salvationist creed (divine or not, depending
      on your doctrinal criteria). This portrayal of Mary Magdalene is utterly
      wrong in Gnostic terms and does not even follow the prevailing grain of
      historical and textual evidence. She was the ultimate outsider in the
      evangelical scenario of Jesus as conventionally told.
      Jesus and Magdalene pictured in the time and setting of proto-Christianity
      cannot be made into evangelists. Given the intense spiritual ferment of the
      Piscean Age, and the unprecedented situation that compelled some Pagan
      initiates to come out in the open, they can at best be imagined as a pair of
      Gnostic teacher-healers. As such, they would have been agents and exemplars
      of Chrestos, the Benefactor awaited by so many at the dawn of the Piscean
      Age, and in that role they would have taken a stand against the
      authoritarian paternalism of “cross theology.” G. R. S. Mead advises:
      In studying the lives and teachings of these Gnostics, we should always
      bear in mind that our only sources of information have hitherto been the
      caricatures of the heresiologists, and remember that only the points which
      seemed fantastic to the refutators were selected, and then exaggerated by
      every art of hostile criticism; the ethical and general teachings which
      provided no such points, were almost invariably passed over. It is,
      therefore, impossible to obtain anything but a most distorted portrait of
      men whose greatest sin was that they were centuries before their time.
      In addition to projecting Magdalene into the collective imagination, the
      recent controversy around The Da Vinci Code has changed the way we picture
      her companion. Once Magdalene appears on the scene, we can never imagine
      Jesus in quite the same way again. How then do we re-imagine the Savior?
      Well, considered as a Gnostic revealer (phoster), Jesus can no longer be
      regarded as the Son of God, a divine being. Nor can he be identified with
      the Jewish rebel and messianic pretender of Eisenman’s sensational profile,
      based on the Dead Sea Scrolls. Jesus the Gnostic would have been totally
      human and non-political. Putting this figure beside Magdalene, we can
      picture a couple of Mystery School initiates who ventured into the public
      eye, challenged by the issues of the Piscean Age — especially the main
      issue, the quest for personal guidance, consistent with the massive shift
      toward narcissism and self-concern at the dawn of that Age (c. 120 BCE).
      Because the guidance sought by so
      many people at that time was personal, it could not be found within the
      program of the Mysteries where ego-death and transpersonal service to
      humanity were the criteria.
      In fact, such a couple did appear in that very time and setting: Simon
      Magus and Helen, the fallen women who was said to incarnate Ennoia, the
      “divine intention” of the Pleroma. Simon the Magian, who lived in Samaria
      around 50 CE, is often called the first Gnostic. (The title Magian alludes
      to the ancient order of Zoroastrian priest-shamans, the prehistoric taproot
      of the Gnostic movement. See the companion article, Gnostics or Illuminati?)
      Simon was the first Mystery School initiate known by name to have appeared
      in Palestine and argued in public against the redeemer complex. Christianity
      did not exist in 50 CE. The figure and mission of the Christian redeemer was
      not clear at that time. As Karen King notes, even three hundred years later
      there was no agreement on creed, doctrine, or practice. Simon would have
      argued against certain theological points in the Palestinian redeemer
      complex of the Jewish radicals, the Zaddikim. Some centuries later these
      points would have
      been consolidated into the rigid dogmas of Roman Christianity.
      Hellenistic fabulae (popular tales) recounted in the Clementine
      Recognitions (4th C. CE) represent Simon as an evil magician who debates
      theology with the apostle Paul and even engages him in a sorcerer’s battle
      in the air over Rome. You do not have to dig out the Recognitions to know
      who won.

      Behind the naive scripting of the Recognitions and those Hellenistic
      romances known as the Gospels, a battle for humanity was taking place.
      Although the Salvationist creed was not formalized until centuries later,
      the redeemer complex with its program of divine reward and retribution had
      been developing since the Babylonian Captivity in 586 BCE. The terrorist
      theology of Jewish apocalypticism came to a fever pitch in the Zaddikim, the
      extremist cult of the Dead Sea. From the days of the Macabbean revolt in 168
      BC, the dawn of the Piscean Age, Palestine was rife with messianic
      obsessions and rocked by social upheaval due to ferocious resistance to
      Roman occupation by the Zealots.The Dead Sea Scrolls present firsthand
      evidence of this volatile situation, but they are never cited by scholars
      like Karen King who wear specialist blinders. Yet the Scrolls represent the
      single most revealing evidence we have of the real setting of the historical
      Jesus and his infamous companion,
      Lacking realistic portraits of Pagan initiates and Gnostics from the
      Mysteries, artists and writers of later generations tended to depict them as
      fabulous figures in long robes, surrounded by magical and symbolic items.
      This manner of representation distanced them from humanity and shrouded them
      in an aura of mystification. A number of adepts were pictured in this way,
      but there is (as far as I know) no surviving image of a Gnostic couple such
      as Jesus and Magdalene or Simon and Helen. (Apollonius of Tyana, by Jean
      Jacques Boissard, c. 1615)
      By the time of Simon Magus, Palestine had become a significant threat to
      the destabilization of the Roman Empire. The entire region was racked with
      social and religious unrest, sectarian violence, and millenarian madness.
      Into this dangerous atmosphere stepped a pair of initiates, Simon and
      Helen — or Jesus and Magdalene, if you prefer. The substitution is fair,
      because the two couples are virtually identical. Either of them could have
      been Jewish, for they were a good many Jews in the Mysteries, which were
      multi-ethnic in membership. Like Helen, Magdalene was said to be a
      prostitute. (In the companion essay, She Who Anoints, which present a
      full-length review of King's book, I consider this controversial factor in
      Magdalene's profile in terms of her role as a sacred consort in Pagan rites
      of anointing.) The aim of the initiates in those troubled times would have
      been to render compassionate service to the many people struggling through a
      momentously difficult moment in
      human history. They would not have paraded as gods, as they are accused of
      doing in “the caricatures of the heresiologists.”

      A humanistic portrait of Pythagoras, Greek
      initiate and Mystery adept. From The History
      of Philosophy by Thomas Stanley (17th Cent).
      Teaching Humanity

      In that tumultuous time and setting, Jesus and Magdalene could quite
      possibly have been an initiated couple from the Mysteries, like Simon and
      Helen. The would even have been a Jewish couple who stood against the
      hateful fanaticism arising among their own people. It is essential to
      remember that the Zaddikite ideology, the foundation of Christian theology,
      was not the belief of mainstream Jews in antiquity, and was, in fact, a
      source of enormous grief and anguish among them. (The same situation
      persists today: Many sincere believers within the international Jewish
      community do not accept that Zionism represents the heartfelt convictions of
      Jews, nor that it truthfully serves the aims of their spiritual tradition.)
      As a Jewish couple, Jesus and Magdalene would have felt compelled to face
      the crisis within their own racial-cultural tradition, a crisis that
      shattered Hebrew tradition and caused the expulsion of all Jews from
      Jerusalem in 70 CE. As an initiated couple from the
      Mysteries, they would have acted differently, however. Their work in
      public life would have been dedicated more to the problems of personal
      guidance raised by the new Zeitgeist of the Age, and less to specific issues
      concerning the fate of the Jews.

      So imagined, this couple cannot have been Christian in any conventional
      sense of the term. Neither would they have been a married Jewish couple bent
      on having children at a biological extension of their faith. See my article
      in The Secrets of Mary Magdalene, edited by Dan Burstein and Arne de
      Keijzer.) The power of Magdalene is just this: when she enters the picture,
      Jesus sheds the aura of divine redeemer. This couple do not represent the
      familiar savior and the “first woman apostle,” no matter what kind of
      retrofit is put on them. Professor King claims that Mary of Magdala, in her
      “legitimate exercise of authority in instructing the other disciples,”
      preached the unique message of the Christianity to the world: “Christian
      community constituted a new humanity, in the image of the true Human
      within.” The notion that the first Christians discovered a new sense of
      humanity unknown to anyone before them is typical of the arrogance of
      Salvationist creed. The claim that
      Christians, then or now, represent the human species in some unique
      manner, better and more deeply than other people, is holier-than-thou and

      “The image of the true Human within” is not, and has never been,
      copyrighted to Christianity. In fact, term “true Human” (Coptic PITELEIOS
      RHOME) in King’s translation of the Gospel of Mary is an expression of the
      Anthropos doctrine of the Gnostics, the Mystery teaching on the
      pre-terrestrial origin of humanity, not the divine redeemer. Scholars who
      use Gnostic material to revisit and revalorize Christian doctrines rarely
      acknowledge the originality of their sources. Marvin Meyer fares a little
      better than King in attempting to put Gnostic writings “into language that
      is meant to be inclusive… [using] non-sexist terms and phrases.” Meyer uses
      “Child of Humanity” rather than the familiar “Son of Man.” The consequent
      shift of language can be startling. For instance, The Secret Book of James
      says, “Blessed are those who have spread abroad the good news of the Son
      before he descended to Earth.” Meyer renders it: “Blessed three times over
      are those who were proclaimed by the
      Child before they came into being.” This language comes close to denoting
      the Anthropos, the numinous genetic template of the human species projected
      from the galactic core of the Pleroma, thus giving some idea of what
      Magdalene would really have been teaching. (Meyer also incorporates Mystery
      jargon, “three times over,” referring to the status of hierophant, e.g.,
      Hermes Trismegistos; hence he implies that the identity of the Child or
      authentic humanity is a matter of initiated knowledge.)

      But Meyer almost loses the genuine non-Christian message he wants to
      capture. “The Son before he descended to Earth” is the Anthropos projected
      from the Pleroma before the Earth emerged, understood in Gnostic terms, but
      sounds dangerously like the Incarnation in Christian terms. The substitution
      of Child for Son humanizes the language of the text but verges away from the
      Mystery teaching on the Anthropos. Karen King’s allusion to “the image of
      the Human within” is actually closer to the Gnostic meaning, although she
      does not bother to acknowledge that the Anthropos doctrine, distinct from
      the redeemer complex, is the source of this language.

      By retrofitting Magdalene into the redeemer paradigm, the Gnostic message
      is co-opted and distorted, time and time again. In their own day Gnostics
      saw this happening and protested with vehemence and eloquence. The
      distortion continues, effectively obliterating from Magdalene’s character
      and teaching any traces of “the side that lost out,” as King characterizes
      them. With Jesus and Magdalene, it is one version or the other: either they
      represent Gnostic illuminism or they represent the salvationist platform of
      redeemer beliefs. It cannot be both. Any admixture of cross theology
      immediately destroys the authenticity of the Gnostic couple and their
      message to humanity about what it means to be human.

      According to their own account of their origins, Gnostics traced their
      sacred tradition back to Seth, one of the sons of Adam. Sethian teachings
      emphasize the power of the Divine Sophia and even downplay the Christos in
      the mythic scenario of Sophia's fall. One of the essential claims of the
      Sethians was to preserve the teaching of True Humanity, the Anthropos, not
      to be confounded with the image of perfect humanity in Jesus Christ. (Adam
      and Seth, miniature from the Royal Chronicles of Cologne, 1238 CE. National
      Library, Brussels.)
      She Who Anoints

      The first step in a genuine, enduring revival of Gnosis in our time would
      be to recognize what is original to Gnostic teachings in the Mysteries and
      refrain from co-optation intended to produce a “new, improved” version of
      Christian beliefs. Magdalene could be the key factor in the revival, but so
      far she is contributing to a lot of distortion. The problem with the pop
      occultism of Baigent and others, including Dan Brown, is that it makes Mary
      Magdalene accessory to an altered patriarchal scenario rather to an
      anti-patriarchal scenario. The Priory of Sion, the alleged secret society
      that is said to have preserved the truth about Magdalene’s role in Jesus’
      life, is the instrument of a monarchist cabal intent upon restoring the
      blood-line of Jesus in Europe. True or not, real or not, this scam is about
      as patriarchal as you can get.
      Even if the Priory does not exist, the message is clear: Magdalene is
      valued for her biological role as a vessel of the “holy blood” of Jesus, the
      sangraal. Behind this fantasy lurks the crypto-fascist mentality that
      pervades almost all forms of modern esotericism. If Jesus was divine, the
      bloodline originating from him is unique on earth. If he was a mortal man,
      the bloodline still has paramount claim to regal status, for the “King of
      Kings” ought rightly to be the progenitor of the kings who rule the world.
      In such ways as this are we once again delivered into the insidious game of
      the theocrats.
      Nevertheless, The Da Vinci Code has deeply affected many people by the way
      it reintroduces the Divine Feminine into religious life. This angle of the
      novel comes closer to the Gnostic profile of Mary Magdalene as a teacher of
      True Humanity, PITELEIOUS RHOME, and the intimate companion of Jesus, whom
      she anoints. At best, it points far beyond the Gospel setting to the unique
      power of Magdalene as a numinous figure in human imagination.

      As noted above, Christos, Greek equivalent to the Hebrew mashiash, means
      “the anointed.” Originally this was an honorific title given to sacred kings
      in Mesopotamia. It had no divine connotation and still does not for devout
      Jews. As a title of affiliation rather than divinization, it designates a
      man who carries the authority of the Father God. Theocracy is an all-male
      domination system, the crux of the patriarchal agenda. Patriarchy is about
      men anointing men, or, in bureaucratic terms, men appointing men.
      Zoroastrian Magi who anointed ancient kings in the Near East were in a
      position of authority and control over the men they empowered. Clever
      priests pandered to the egos of the theocrats, treating them as if they were
      divine, descended from gods. The pretence of divinity fits the
      crypto-fascist agenda like it was custom made for it: Constantine recognized
      this clearly when he insisted on the divinity of Christ so that he could
      claim superhuman authority for the Roman
      Empire. The fact that he stopped short of declaring himself divine, as
      some late Roman emperors did, is a measure of his political savvy. As a
      human claiming divinity, he could be questioned. But he mad is so that no
      one could question the divinity of the superhuman figure, Jesus Christ,
      under penalty of death.

      In pre-patriarchal times, anointing was a sexual-hedonic rite, the heiros
      gamos (sacred wedding) of the Goddess, who was represented by a priestess,
      with the man who would be king. Like a powerful magnet, the figure of
      Magdalene draws our attention to this forgotten rite and the empowering
      woman who performed it.

      For Gnostics of the Mysteries, the human figure of Mary Magdalene had a
      mythic counterpart: the Goddess Sophia, the consort of the Christos in the
      Pleroma. The Gospel of Philip describes the erotic sacrament in the nymphion
      (“bridal chamber”) where initiates ritually reenacted the divine coupling
      that produced the Anthropos, the luminous template for humanity. Myth is
      repeated in the sexual ritual, the two genders are reconciled in the
      nymphion, and the celebrants emerge with their sense of humanity renewed and
      sharpened. The Gospel of Philip (73.5) affirms, “Those who do not receive
      the resurrection while they yet life, when they die will receive nothing.”

      For Gnostics, resurrection was vital-sexual regeneration experienced here
      and now in the living flesh. Magdalene is traditionally pictured with an
      urn, the vessel of anointing. All the evidence indicates that this woman
      would have been seen by her Gnostic peers as a courtesan charged with ritual
      anointing and instruction in the mysteries of the nymphion – a “sacred
      prostitute,” to apply the unfortunate term that often turns up in the
      current flood of books about her. No one lately seems to have gotten her
      tawdry image as right as Marjorie M. Malvern, whose Venus in Sackcloth was
      published in 1975, almost thirty years before the present furor over
      Magdalene. Malvern shows that “the connection of the Magdalen with a goddess
      of love… is unbroken and unmistakable” in European art and literature from
      classical times. “Transcendence of the fear of death through the celebration
      of the ‘mystery’ of sexual love and of life on the earth” is the signature
      of the consort, she who now
      re-ignites the image of the Great Goddess in the collective imagination.

      The Gnostic Avenger

      In the perspective of the Pagan Mysteries, Magdalene’s role in the life of
      Jesus was to anoint the anointed, but the mortal man was not made divine by
      this ritual. Rather, it showed that he was acknowledged by a representative
      of the Goddess Sophia to be a teacher of “the Human within.” Consider this
      notion against the proclamation of Paul in Hebrews 6:20, that “even Jesus,
      [was] made a high priest after the order of Melchizedek.” This astounding
      disclosure alarmed the Zaddikim, who saw Paul spouting their secret
      doctrines to the public. It also would have alerted Gnostic observers to the
      ultimate pretensions of the Zaddikite sect on the Dead Sea, a group whose
      sexist and genophobic views were diametrically opposed to the sexual
      balanced humanitarianism of Gnosis.

      Gnostics like Jesus and Magdalene did not normally do religion in the
      public eye. They did not enter politics to change the world or accomplish
      social reform, but in their work in the Mysteries they did everything they
      could to nurture people who would build a society that did not need to be
      reformed, because it was good enough on the basis of the moral integrity of
      its members. As telestai, Jesus and Magdalene would have consecrated their
      lives to harmonize culture and nature, and, most certainly, to keep
      theocratic politics (the only kind that matter on this planet) at a safe
      distance from schooling their fellow humans in co-evolution. Like many other
      guardians of the Mysteries, they managed to do all this in the Near East and
      in Europa for about six thousand years, the last four thousand after
      patriarchy had got a good head of steam rolling.
      Such is not the achievement of individuals head over heels in love with
      their own divinity.

      Allowing for the presence of Mary Magdalene in the story of Jesus shatters
      the pretences around deification, and blows patriarchal presumptions about
      God out the window. It also weakens, rather than strengthens, the
      crypto-fascist agenda attached to the “holy blood, holy grail” fantasia.
      Magdalene is the flesh-and-blood defiance of the patriarchal overthrow that
      shunted sacred mating into oblivion, in favor of the all-male messiah club
      and the begetting or royal heirs. She is the one who anoints virginally,
      without conception.

      She is the Gnostic Avenger.
      * * * * *

      Those on the scene in Jerusalem at the time, around 35 CE, did not know if
      the women at the gates wept for Jesus crucified or for Dumuzi, the Sumerian
      tender of flocks whose lover was the sensuous goddess, Inanna. Today, facing
      the prospect of a Gnostic revival, we know that Inanna and Dumuzi, the
      goddess and the shepherd king, are mirrored in Magdalene and Jesus, and
      their relationship has nothing to do with self-deification, or concocting a
      better form of Christianity, or reinstating the Merovingian dynasty in
      Europe. This couple is about Pagan eroticism, the hedonic rites of human
      passion, and Gnostic sacramentalism. In their union and in their teaching
      alike, they celebrate the divine body of Gaia-Sophia in whom humankind has
      its pleasure and its atonement.
      (Like many other images thought to be of the Virgin Mary, "The Madonna of
      the Sacred Coat" by C. B. Chambers (ca. 1890), presents a Magdalene-like
      figure in a gentle, welcoming attitude, thus allowing a glimpse of how a
      female Pagan initiate might actually have looked.)

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