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If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things through narrow chinks of his cavern.
An Esoteric Short Story by Armida Nagy Stickney
Have you ever been on a quest? I tried many—in my youth, I tried to understand truth, not God. I was told there was a God who knew me well, a God I couldn’t hide from, a God I could please with good conduct—actions and thoughts. I did quest for the feminine in God. I could not understand why there was a need to make someone second rate—women were made subservient in marriage, and the poor, and those who were different. Yesterday I fretted over Mary Magdalena. I wanted to paint my own version of her, but I needed to understand her. I sketched my heart out until I was completely exhausted, both mentally and physically. I had read all that I could put my hands on, but there was no crystal before me, no illuminated mind. I stopped everything and threw myself on the divan in my studio, but I kept my awareness for as long as I could as I fell asleep. Well, I didn’t fall asleep per se. After a period of complete darkness in my mind, I began to see a mist form before me. It started moving in a soft and rhythmic manner as if wanting to politely let me know of its presence. Shortly, a gentle voice spoke, “You’re wanting to know me, Sameedra?” At first I thought I heard “same dra”—a reference to an actor playing more than one part in the same drama. Strange algorithmic thought. Later it became clear that she had named me Sameera, “Evening Conversationalist,” for we had entered into an exchange of thoughts and wonderment. “Sameera, do not be afraid. I come to you as I come to any and all who attempt to portray me visually. It’s a mental quirk of mine.” “Magdala?! I cried out of joy. “Why do you appear before me as dancing lights?” “Ah, yes. I am light, Sameera. I do not incarnate as my dear Rabunni.” “You are you, aren’t you?” I inquired carefully. “Yes,” the voice said. “How may I be of service to you?” I quickly thought, “It is I who should be of service to you.” “All right,” she added. “But your painting which you are about to do will only tell a perspective as you perceive it. As you well know, I’ve been everything virtuous and vile throughout history. One must simplify the mind from all of its imagery of the material.” “Oh,” I responded feebly at first, “Tell me, O Illuminated One, the truth about your origins—physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I know that I could never do justice to your legacy much less to portray you—it would be wrong to think otherwise.” “Ask more specifically. You are not limited to three questions.”
We both laughed, and I wasted no time. I knew not if something from the external world would break my awareness and engagement to cause this precious moment to dissipate. “Illuminated One, did you come from Magdala?” “I was born in Magdala Nunayya during the end of the rule of Herod the Great. My father was an architect and pleased Herod with many projects to please Tiberius Julius Caesar. In fact, my father helped Herod build Tiberias. “Our ways were influenced not only by my Jewish culture, but by Roman and Greek teachings. I and my siblings, a sister and a brother, received a liberal education. Despite our education, both became followers of Rabunni as did I later.” “You were not a prostitute then?” “A prostitute!? Even if I were, my dear, it would be of no consequence to those who are in the know. I had no need to sell my body for goods. It sounds innocent--selling for goods. Why would a woman be put in such a position in the first place? It takes more than one player to cause anyone to sell for goods. The purchaser and the purchased entered into an agreement. Prostitution is a secondary cause, not the primary cause. It is the perceiver doing the action, not the perceived. Don’t be drawn into this schism at any level. It is a waste of time, not to mention harmful and malevolent.” “Then why is it so engrained to make women less than who they truly are, Illuminated One? Why has history played out that way?” “Sameera, one must remember that time-space is affected by cycles. In creating time, that which is inside becomes outside and vice versa. There is no escaping that cycle. The secret is to realize that one is both the outside and the inside. It is true that abuse factors in for no apparent reason.” I knew I had to ponder that one for awhile, so I had to keep my questions forward moving. How would I prioritize my questions so that there will be a chronology of events? “Illuminated One, I’ve read about the early Essenes. Some of their teachings have been traced into Rabunni’s teachings. They seem to appear in certain early Tibetan teachings. Where did Rabunni go for retreat for 40 days and 40 nights? I understand it is a traditional practice among the practitioners today to spend that period of time in retreat, meditating to gain certain powers over matter. “ “I cannot answer that question, Sameera. I did not know Rabunni then, nor did I ask, nor did he offer this information. But he did have us sit and do the practice—many practices, in fact. Many of them are lost because some of those who attempted to write down the oral history did not understand the symbolism and made decisions not to record them. Some that were written down were torn out so that others could not know them. I cannot tell you why or who did this disservice. “A lot of the practices had to be converted into symbolic language to protect it from misuse. But, know this, all things are perfect as they are.” I responded, “That is very sad. There was no God at play to preserve these teachings, was there?”
“No, my dear. God is not God according to the world’s view. God is one cosmic diaphragm— omniscient but not omnipotent.” Gasping for the next question, realizing that a discussion on God would be a waste of time, I asked, “How did you come to meet Rabunni?” “My father and I had just arrived from Massillia in Karboenses (France now) where he had checked on some materials for the new city when we had heard from my sister, Martha, that Jesus from Nazareth had just fed 4,000 people at Lake Gennesareth. “I went to Martha’s house to learn about this event only to find that Jesus, to my surprise, was in the main chamber of the house, imparting words of wisdom. When I entered into the chamber, I saw not him but an Illuminated Mind that was his only. And I wanted its radiance. I was deeply drawn to his presence when I heard his response to someone’s question, “when in meditation, how should we pray?” Magdala’s colors were taking a beautiful form—her dark long hair and eyes shined brightly in the darkness of emptiness. Her attire was so white it almost hurt my eyes to look at it. I shut my eyes as she spoke poetic words in Aramaic and as I would understand them as she did— “Abwoon d’bwashmaya / Radiant One: You shine within us, outside us—even darkness shines—when we remember. “Nethqadash shmakh / We all look elsewhere for this light—it draws us out of ourselves— but the Light-Sound-Vibration always lives within. “Teytey malkuthakh / Come into the bedroom of our hearts, prepare us for the marriage of power and beauty and from this divine union, let us birth new images for a new world of peace. “Nehwey tzevyanach aykana d’bwashmaya aph b’arha / Your one desire then acts with our, as in all light, so in all forms. “Hawvlan lachma d’sunqanan yaomana / Animate the earth within us: we then feel the Wisdom underneath supporting all. “Washboqlan khaubayn aykanna daph khnan shbwogan l’khayyabayn /Absorb our frustrated hopes and dreams, as we embrace those of others with emptiness “Wela tahlan l’nesyuna Ela patzan min bisha / Do not let us enter forgetfulness, the temptation of false appearances “Metol dilakhie malkutha wahayla wateshbukhta l’ahlam almin. /Again and again, from each universal gathering—of creatures, nations, planets, time, and space—to the next. Truly— power to these statements-may they be the ground from which all my actions grow: Sealed in trust and faith.”
Having said all this, she convinced me of the richness of the Aramaic language, how much of it was lost in translation, how different from what had survived; but more importantly, I learned that I should not clinging to any gospel or dogma. Just wait, be open, and listen without judgment.
There was silence, followed by a passionate movement of the cosmos in my heart center that no words can describe. “You are referenced many times as Mary Magdalene. Was there another meaning to your name instead of a place name?” She sensed at what I was getting at. She knew I knew that she was tagged, not because she lived in Magdala before she met Rabunni but because it was a term of endearment used by Rabunni. “The city had many towers, thus it was named Magdalam. Towers implied strength or greatness. Rabunni was clear about how he was applying it to me for several reasons. “On our first meeting, Rabunni and I had a marriage of the mind. It was direct, pure, and fully aware. It came from nowhere, but it was there—not between us, but us itself. “This is what all disciples were to experience. He said he had to send the Holy Spirit so that they could experience this gift of oneness. Not everyone gained this oneness, yet they proceeded to teach what they knew not.” “My word!” I exclaimed. “Is this why you were moved to visit the sepulcher that night that Rabunni appeared before you? I mean to say, is this why you were the first to see him appear?” “Sameera, I went to see if I could witness his body transform into a rainbow body, or his body light attainment; but I was late,” she said softly. “A rainbow body?” I asked. “Yes, he was already transforming from the unreal to the real, from the darkness to the light, from death to immortality.” “The accounts say you saw angels. Did you?” “No. That was residual light from the attainment of the body light. His tangible light particles had become waves of light. But he did let me see his form so that I could recognize him and his voice. I did witness this event, and I was instructed to tell the others that it did happen.” “And he left no relics—no hair, no fingernails?” Are you such a Body of Light attainment?” Silence once more. I did waste a question. “Illuminated One, is there one true faith? I finally asked. “No, not on earth. There is only confusion and ignorance. There is clinging to a few knowns, but there are many unknowns because of lack of experience and initiation. For this reason, the teaching that survives is do not cling to anything and not to reject anything, but do examine—that is the true witness of reality.” “Did you and Rabunni engage in any tantric practice? There are accounts of such practices among the Essenes, wasn’t there?
“Even among the Essense, Sufism, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism, there are many predilections among practitioners of gnosis. The precepts that Jesus taught—that got lost by the teachings of Peter and Luke—was to help humans to become more human—to achieve enlightenment for themselves—to bring in one’s guide and one’s teacher. This is to say, the mind is the guide, and reason is the teacher. One was to acquire strength from a strong mind, a light that is the lamp within you.” “What convinced you of anything then, aside from the meeting of the minds?’ “Ah, there is a story I will tell you; but it is true just as is this moment. “My sister was party to this experience. As instructed by Rabunni, he told me to tell my sister to go to Cana for a wedding. I stayed with him while she went. When she came back, she told me of how he had turned water into wine. “That is why I called him Master from that day forward.” “I do want to know about the tantric practices,” I insisted. In a soft and well-paced utterance, she said, “Yeshu and Miriam in Eternal embrace simply means the Mind and Truth are One.” It is Sammadhic union. “Sameera, it’s all about what makes the material elements and the properties of space-- that space has physical manipulative properties as well as energetic properties in emptiness.” “I think I understand why Jesus told you not to touch him. He wasn’t rejecting you. He was still in the process of charging the energetic properties of light-space. He was not completely transformed.” “Yes. Anything else, Sameera?” “Shall I paint you with uncut hair in a white robe, burn under the constellation of Pisces, with Moon and Sun discs as background, in meditation, holding a haoma plant in your right hand, and a mandala in your heart center?” “And how would the mandala look like ?” “I would use an inverted triangle and a serpent wrapped around it, moving upward, to imply all that is the essence of the feminine—just as your name implies—Miriam Magdalam. Is this okay?” “Sameera, you are the artist. Remember this: space and mind contain everything.” “Thank you, Illuminated One.” “You are welcome, Sameera.”
Cover / Painting of Mary Magdalene by Goshka Datzov (Bulgaria, 1914), Sunyat na Maria Magdalena Aramaic transliteration of “The Lord’s Prayer from Prayers of the Cosmos, Meditations on the Aramaic Words of Jesus by Neil Douglas-Klotz
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