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.”
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.
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.
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.
Christian doctrine tells us that Jesus saved us through his dying and rising, transmuting the “sin” of humanity through his sacrifice, thereby eliminating the separation between humanity and God. Whether or not we literally believe this to be true (personally, I have another idea of how Jesus “saves”), it is a metaphor that has informed and formed the development of Western civilization and that of any other culture touched by its influence. As a culture that has embraced sacrifice and death as the way to salvation, we have entirely missed the point of the human experience – the point being the human experience itself. In focusing only on sacrifice and death, we have forgotten how to live.
If Jesus saved us through his sacrifice, death and resurrection,
Mary Magdalene saves us through her living.
Enter Mary Magdalene. If Jesus saved us through his sacrifice, death and resurrection, Mary Magdalene saves us through her living. She lived the fullness of the human experience and unlike Jesus, was not released from her suffering by death. She suffered the pain of abuse, rejection, condemnation, ridicule, trauma, loss, homelessness, expulsion, banishment, and every other form of human pain. Death did not relief her of her suffering. Instead, she had to find a path through the suffering and to the liberation that was waiting on the other side of the challenge. In finding her way through the suffering, Mary was healed and transformed, growing in strength and courage because of her ability to find her way through the suffering. Mary Magdalene provides for us an example of human resilience. We do not worship her for her martyrdom, for she did not die for anyone’s sin. Instead, we see in her the way to make it through the inherent challenges of the human experience while paving the way for others to do the same.
Saving the World through Our Living
This is the call of the Magdalene – especially for those called into her service. We are not here to save others through our death. We are here to save ourselves and provide an example for others while transmuting the very path itself. This is the “magic” of the Magdalene priesthood. When we allow ourselves to be fully present to the challenges that life will hand us and use the tools we have been given to find our way through those challenges, we are strengthened, we grow in courage, we are healed of our wounds and we are transformed. In this transformation, we are better able to enjoy the sublime moments of life – appreciating the beauty and wonder, finding joy in the simple things, embracing the ecstasy of love, reveling in the banquet of life. We learn how to love, how to find peace, contentment and joy. And we are changed. As we are changed, and so are all those around us – our friends and loved ones, our family, and every single person we meet along the way. Through the example of the Magdalene and the tools she left behind, we learn how to live and in learning how to live we are saved and the whole world with us.
Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, OPM, MATS, is the author of seven books, most of which were given to her by Mary Magdalene. Directly given to Lauri or inspired by the work and mission of Mary Magdalene, these books provide the foundation and practices she learned through and with Jesus and which she was empowered to continue to share in his stead. If Mary Magdalene and the journey toward self-actualization are topics of interest to you, consider adding these to your fall reading list:
Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene is a provocative retelling of the Jesus story from the perspective of Mary Magdalene. After fourteen years of suffering the debilitating effects of trauma, Mary is healed by Jesus. She then becomes his most enthusiastic and devoted disciple; later becoming his companion, co-minister, beloved and wife. Designated the Magdalene, Mary is appointed to carry on Jesus’ ministry after his death.
A great work of fiction, inspired by scripture, historical documents and ancient sacred texts, Song of the Beloved provides nourishment and inspiration for those in search of a relevant Christianity – with Jesus and Mary as two who lived the fullness of the human experience while teaching us how to love.
Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy transcends centuries of dogma to reveal the powerful and life-changing message at the heart of Jesus’ teachings and the universal truths at the core of every religion. The book’s unique approach offers an opportunity for the reader to heal the separation they feel within themselves, with God and with each other, ultimately revealing the truth of Oneness. Built upon the compelling integration of Eastern Energy Medicine and the 2000-year-old tradition of Christian, contemplative spiritual practices, Authentic Freedom reveals a Dynamic and unifying path of spiritual transformation that speaks to people of all traditions and beliefs.
Authentic Freedom is the process Mary Magdalene was led through and learned from Jesus. This is the process that empowered her to become co-equal with Jesus and which allowed her to assist him in rising from the dead and which made her worthy to continue Jesus’ work in his stead.
Only Love – the Secret Teaching of Mary Magdalene is a collection of writings received by Lauri Ann Lumby on behalf of Mary Magdalene. The ultimate purpose of these teachings is to support the world as it moves out of the fear that has held it imprisoned to the Love that is its original nature. Thank you for being a vessel through which you, and then the world, shall know that even in the human experience, there is Only Love.
“We are in an exciting time in the evolution of human consciousness. If you have found yourself drawn to these words, it is because you agreed to incarnate on the earth plane at this time to help usher in the age of Love. You have agreed to this on behalf of the Divine intention of Love and for the sake of all of humanity. As you know, this has been no easy task. In order to support humanity in its next stage of evolution you have first had to do it for yourself.”
Mary Magdalene is many things to many people, but to the initiated, she is the Beloved of Christ, his co-equal partner, and guardian of the mystical teachings and practices of the Western spiritual tradition. More than any other disciple, Mary understood the mystical, gnostic, and alchemical teachings of Jesus. Mary came to embody these teachings and was empowered by Christ to deliver these teachings to the Western world.
Union – a Year of Spiritual Lessons and Practices with Mary Magdalene is a collection of lessons which when diligently applied, empowers the reader to experience the truth of Oneness (Union) that Jesus taught and which Mary Magdalene came to embody. These lessons were revealed to Lauri Ann Lumby through her intimate partnership with the Magdalene/Christ and support the reader’s journey toward remembering their original nature as Love.