Posted in Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Monastic Living, Mystics

Today My Heart is Troubled

Today my heart is troubled.  I have dedicated my life to the work of Love, inspired by the life and teachings of Jesus and further embodied through Mary, the Magdalene. As I have studied scripture and brought these stories deep into my prayer, what has become increasingly clear is that Love is Jesus’ only message and that his life’s work was to help people free themselves from the inner and outer obstacles to living that Love.  Mary, given the honored title of “Magdalene” was ordained to continue this specific work in Jesus’ stead.

Being called into, accepting, and upholding the mission begun by Jesus and continued through Mary, has been no easy task. Oh yes, it has been a great joy and I am humbled to do this work.  Still, it is hard. To fulfill this work, I have been brought deep into the transformational tools that have, indeed, been “hidden in plain sight.”  I have resurrected these tools and reformulated them into something that can be understood by a modern audience.

Before sharing these tools, however, I had to master them myself – a mastering that continues.  These are the tools that invite us to look deep into our own souls to confront all within us that is serving as an obstacle to Love.  Love of self.  Love of (what some might call) God.  Love of others.  Love of creation.  While looking within, these tools also invite us to look outside of ourselves – at all those things in our lives, our actions, our behaviors, our choices, that are keeping us from living in the freedom and peace of Love.  In letting go of, and healing and transforming the wounds that cause these non-loving attachments in the first place, we are freed to not only know, but live and embody the Love about which Jesus and Mary Magdalene spoke and to which they dedicated and lost their lives.

No, this work is not easy, but I find I can do no other.  It is what I was made for and every single experience in my life has pointed me (or dragged me kicking and screaming) to this work. I do it gladly and am humbled and in awe of all those who have found their way to this work and who have had the courage to stick with it.  No one said the path of Love was easy!

And yet, what troubles my heart greatly, and frequently, are all the ways in which humanity continues to seek the easy path to Love.  The path that is lined with shiny objects and empty promises.  The path that is more about profit than prophet. The path that uses the names of Jesus or Mary Magdalene to further a political, divisive, or capitalistic agenda.

The most heartbreaking part of this is that these are the entities that garner the most attention and gather the largest audience.  Prosperity gospel churches filled to the brim, appealing to the privileged masses by justifying their privilege and condemning those who have less, preaching the falsehood against which Jesus himself spoke: “God favors His chosen ones.”   Alternatively, are those capitalizing on the Magdalene by harnessing her already mistaken history as “prostitute and whore,” and using it to further their own agenda.  I think more lies have been written about the Magdalene today than can ever be found in scripture.

The vulnerable and human part of me feels jealous over those who have become famous and rich in the pandering of their shiny objects, while I continue to be, “the world’s best kept secret” (as many of my friends, clients and students have called me). When I step beyond my jealousy, I know that like the Magdalene, I have chosen the simple life and that I much prefer invisibility.  There is (authentic) power in being unknown.  And sometimes the unhealed parts of my heart feel hurt over what sometimes feels like rejection.

The other piece that troubles my heart today is the same piece with which Jesus and Mary themselves struggled – a humanity unable and unwilling to hear, embrace, and live the truth of Love.  As I am certain Jesus and Mary came to understand, humanity will never change.  It will only and always be the few and the very brave who will hear the message and do the difficult work of living Love while the masses will continue on their merry way, ignorant to the harm they are doing to themselves, others and the world by living in ways contrary to Love.  Humanity will always find a way to justify their selfish and non-loving beliefs and actions because it is much easier to look the other way than to be a source of support for those who might be struggling.  It is also much easier to cast a finger of judgment on those who are suffering than to look into the mirror as to how our own actions or behaviors might be contributing to that suffering.  Like Jesus who was left with only a few who truly understood and went on to live out his message of Love, I know that my efforts will only reach the hearts of a few.  For these I will always continue, and on some days it is just really hard.

Original Art by Lauri Ann Lumby

Vulnerably yours,

Lauri

Posted in New World, Surrender

When Sh*t Gets Real

Hi.  I’m Lauri Ann Lumby, and I am “Everyperson.”  For 15 years I’ve been living in the trenches with the “working poor.”  This is what my reality looks like:

 

I am self-employed as a Spiritual Counselor, providing mental health support through spiritual counseling (I have an MA in Transpersonal Psychology and completed a 3 year training program as a Spiritual Director), and human development training through online education.  I am also a published author.

Sounds fancy, right?  Sure, but the above has not produced enough income to pay the bills. So, in the fall of 2017, I started a side-gig.  The side-gig has provided just enough supplemental income to pay my monthly rent.

 

Enter Covid-19.

 

No, wait, things started breaking apart long before Covid 19.  Awhile back, I received a DIRECT command:

Let it go.  Let it all go.

 

Because I’ve been down this path many-a-time.  I knew exactly why all the letting go.  When we let things go, we are creating room for something new (and better) to enter.  For the past several months, I’ve been watching my income stream slow almost to a halt……then ENTER COVID-19.  My side gig closed two weeks ago and while I’ve had enough to keep me busy up until the end of this week.  There’s not much coming after that. The “new office” I recently opened sits empty because no one is interested in receiving hands-on healing at this time.

 

Time to start freaking out?

 

For a moment maybe.  But I know better than to stay there and I have the tools for finding peace in the midst of the complete unknown.

 

I have no idea how I will pay my bills. (I KNOW I’m not alone in this!)

 

But, what I do know is that I WAS BORN FOR THIS.  I was born for this time and I have known it was coming.  I’ve been training and preparing for this my whole life.  I absolutely 100% know that there is something NEW and HUGE coming out of this for our world AND FOR ME!

 

For me, this is where the rubber meets the road and where shit gets real.  Instead of chasing after shiny objects, or hustling to find a way to fill the gap,

 

I GET QUIET.

 

I turn inward.  I go into the silence.  I enter the VOID.

I use the practices I have been teaching others to use for the past 15+ years.

I resist the temptation to “thinking it through,” or throwing noodles against the wall hoping something will stick.  Instead, I look for what emerges out of the silence.  Not the rambling of my “let’s do something” mind, but the pure silence of THE VOID out of which everything true and real comes into form.

 

I have known that the dwindling cash flow was the herald of something new trying to be born in and through me, and now I take a deep breath as another HUGE chuck falls away.  This is it.  This is Lauri Ann Lumby’s day of reckoning.  Do I run away in panic or find meaningless activities to fill the void so I can avoid the TERROR of facing into the VOID?  No, I dive deeply into the VOID and see what She has to show me.

 

As Mother Mary said to the Angel Gabriel,

“Let it be done according to your word.”

 

Or as Jesus said as he was hanging from the cross,

“Into your hands I commend my Spirit.”

 

 

Posted in Authentic Freedom, God, Oneness with God, Spiritual Formation, The Divine

How “God” Isn’t God.

An excerpt from the Authentic Freedom Weekly Lesson.  Full content available for Basic – Premium Members.  Learn more HERE. 

“He is not God of the dead, but of the living,
for to him all are alive.”

Lk 20:38

God:  The big “G” word.  So much evil has been done in the name of an “on behalf” of “God” that I am hesitant to even use this word.  At the same time, we don’t have another word in our English language that describes that which cannot be described.

When we look beyond the patriarchal interpretation and manipulation of “God” to the mystical Jewish tradition of which Jesus was most certainly a part, God is understood as this:

  • Ain-Sof: Ain-Sof is the Hebrew word meaning “No-Thing.” Ain-Sof is the limitless Nothing out of which all of creation was brought forth.  Ain-Sof is empty, nothing, void; but at the same time, it holds infinite possibility.  Every possible thing, idea, creation, image, etc. etc. etc. is present within the void.  This is the Source of all that is, and is what existed (or didn’t exist) before the BIG BANG ignited the unfolding creation of the universe.  Ain-Sof would be the highest understanding of that which we might now call “God.”
  • Emanations: Because this Ain-Sof cannot truly be grasped by the human mind, “God” distilled/constricted itself so that it could come into material form.  In the Kabbalistic tradition of Jewish mysticism, these progressively distilled emanations of the Divine are represented on the Tree of Life as the Sefirot.  These are the various aspects of the Divine that are involved in the bringing forth of all that is:  Keter (Light), Chokmah (Wisdom), Da’at (Knowing), Binah (Understanding), Chesed (Mercy/Compassion), Gevurah (Severity), Tiferet (Beauty), Netzach (Victory), Hod (Splendor), Yesod (Creativity), Malchut (Creation/The Word). 
  • Formless, Faceless, Nameless: The ultimate Divine cannot be named, has no form and no face or image can capture its infinite nature.  While human beings continue to create God in our own image, God cannot be contained by our limited perceptions or experiences.  In the Hebrew tradition, this truth is lived out in the titles that are used when referring to God, never daring to utter God’s only name which has been described in four Hebrew letters which illustrate the power and majesty of the Divine.  Titles like “Adonai” or El-Shaddai are used out of respect (and fear/awe) of the nameless, faceless Source.
  • Masculine, Feminine and Everything in Between: In the articulation of the Divine Emanations as described in the Kabbalah, the actions of the Divine are defined in terms of “active” or “receptive.”  These Emanations have been given masculine (active) and feminine (receptive) names to distinguish their active or receptive principles.  Those along the middle column (Keter, Da’at, Tiferet, Malkuth) are neutral as they are that which comes forth out of the balance between the active and receptive principles of life.

In short, never in the Hebrew tradition has God been exclusively male – this interpretation is simply a distortion of the patriarchal culture out of which Christianity emerged.  Therefore, Jesus’ understanding of God was not exclusively male.  He is quoted as having called God “Abba/Father,” though it is just as likely he also called God “Amma/Mother.”  While this cannot be proven through scripture, we do know that Jesus found himself to be ONE (John 17: 6-26) with God and in that Oneness, found great peace, contentment and joy.  This “Oneness” Jesus called “Malkut,” inaccurately translated as “Kingdom of God.”  From the perspective of Jewish mysticism, Jesus fulfilled the emanation of the Divine within him by attaining “Malkut” – Oneness with God and the fulfillment of the purpose of the human journey.  This is what Jesus tried to teach his disciples.

Posted in Jesus, Magic, Mary Magdalene, self-actualization

Mary Magdalene and the Kabbalah

Beyond the trappings of pop-culture commercialization, the Kabbalah is an ancient and sacred system of mysticism firmly rooted in Judaism, whose origins may truly precede the culture which embraced and then formalized it.  Like the mystical beliefs and contemplative practices of Christianity, the Kabbalah has been guarded for centuries by those who could comprehend and responsibly employ her teachings and practices.  The Kabbalah is at once a theology (a study of and discussion about the Divine), a cosmology (an articulation of how the universe is ordered), and a developmental psychology (the study of human nature and how to support its development). The purpose of the Kabbalah is to support us in coming to know ourselves through our intimate understanding of and relationship with the Divine and to support us in becoming our most authentic selves. In this, the Kabbalah is at once a guide and a tool.

Unfortunately, human beings have twisted the meaning of the Kabbalah as something to use for their own personal gain – to get what they want by using the Kabbalah as a tool of magic.  This was and has never been the intention of the Kabbalah. While the Kabbalah can be thought of as a system of and for the purpose of magic, this is true only when we understand how magic is defined in the authentic Kabbalistic system.  The magic brought about through the proper study of and engagement with the Kabbalah is Union – Union with the Divine, Union with ourselves, Union with each other and Union with all of creation.  In this, our true Divine nature becomes fully embodied and fully engaged in our human form.  The earthly goal of the Kabbalah is Malkuth – what Jesus referred to as “the Kingdom of God.”

Kingdom of God, however, is an error in translation.  Being feminine in form, Malkuth can more accurately be described as the Queendom of God – or more accurately, The Bride.  The fulfillment of the Kabbalah is the revelation of the ineffable Source (Keter) through The Bride (Malkuth).  It is only in knowing and embodying The Bride that the Source can be known and fulfilled.  In the passion play lived out through Jesus and Mary Magdalene, Jesus was the Son (Tiferet) and Mary Magdalene was the Bride.

Mary Magdalene and her beloved Jesus provide the archetypal examples of the fulfillment of the Kabbalah.  Through diligent study of the Kabbalah and applying its principles in their lives, they ascended beyond the ignorance of the human condition to discover their true, Divine nature. They then brought that Divine nature into their human experience through the process of descent.  Through the process of descent, they faced their demons, unhealed wounds, past traumas, unacknowledged fears and societal conditioning so that they could fully embody LOVE, thereby fulfilling the mission and purpose of their Soul.  Mary Magdalene and Jesus both became fully Divine and fully Human which is the goal of the Kabbalistic process.

 

To learn more about the Kabbalah and it’s connect with the Magdalene/Christ story, check out The Order of Melchizedek Alchemist Training created and facilitated by Lauri Ann Lumby.

 

Posted in Mary Magdalene

Did Mary Magdalene Write the Scriptures Attributed to John?

An interesting and provocative question was posed to me awhile back during my guest appearance on the Healing Fountain Blogtalk Radio show with host Cindy Bentley. The question was:

“Tell me what you think about the possibility that Mary Magdalene was the actual author of the Gospel attributed to John (and thereby the other writings attributed to John)?”

I love this question because it is quite possible that the writings that made it into canonical scripture were in fact written by Mary Magdalene, or at the very least were penned by one of the members of her community. Of course there is no possible way of researching, let alone proving, this theory. And yet, there is circumstantial evidence to support its possibility:

The gospel attributed to John:

Is unique among the gospels in the way it presents the Jesus story, offering stories and teachings that are not present within any of the other canonical scriptures. Rather than a semi-historical narration of the life and teachings of Jesus, John represents a reflective history, one clearly based in a deeply intimate and mystical experience of Jesus and the Christ.

John is the sole gospel to include the stories of: The Wedding Feast at Cana, the Samaritan Woman at the Well, the Last Supper Discourses, Jesus’ teachings on Oneness, The Resurrection of Lazarus, Mary Anointing Jesus, all of which figure prominently in the archetypal images related to Mary Magdalene “the Bride.”

The Book of Revelation, also attributed to John, is a genre unto itself, presenting an allegorical story of humanity’s journey toward liberation and the key to that inner liberation. Again, Mary Magdalene, (as The Whore of Babylon, The Woman with the crown of 12 stars with the moon under her feet and clothed in the sun, The Bride) plays a symbolic and starring role.

The Letters attributed to John are perhaps the most beautiful exhortations on the profound love of God and the relationship we are invited into the Love of God with Christ as our guide.

Finally, it is John who places Mary Magdalene is the singular, starring role of not only facilitating but also being witness to Jesus’ resurrection, and then being commissioned and ordained by Jesus to carry the good news of the resurrection to the other disciples, and to continue his ministry of love in his stead.

If Mary Magdalene did not pen the writings attributed to John, it is highly likely that their author was very close to Mary and to the ministry she continued after Jesus’ death, for according to the non-canonical Gospel of Mary, she was the one who understood the fullness of Jesus’ teachings, especially his teachings on Oneness.

Don’t take my word for it, however. I invite you to read the writings attributed to John and decide for yourself.