MARY OF MAGDALA AS SEEN IN THE ANCIENT TEXTS

MARY OF MAGDALA
AS SEEN IN THE ANCIENT TEXTS

www.pathwaytoascension.com

Compilation & Comments
Nancy B. Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.

THE BIBLE

Quotes taken from Lamsa’s translation from the Aramaic of the Peshitta

Gospel of Matthew – written by an unknown Jewish Christian in Antioch, Syria around 90 C.E. (A.D.).

Gospel of Mark – Early church tradition attributes the authorship to Mark, a companion of the Apostle Paul in Rome around 70 C.E. (A.D.).

Gospel of Luke – Early church tradition attributes the authorship to Luke, a companion of the Apostle Paul most likely in southern Greece around 80-90 C.E. (A.D.).

Gospel of John – This gospel is very different from the synoptic gospels. The author of this gospel remains a mystery and is simply attributed to “the beloved disciple.” With the newly proclaimed evidence of Mary of Magdala’s role in the ministry of Jesus and her intimate relationship with him, she could easily be “the beloved disciple” who wrote the Gospel of John. An excellent article on this subject may be found at the following URL:  www.BelovedDisciple.org

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Mary of Magdala played a major role in the ministry of Jesus. She was accepted as the leader of a group of wealthy women who followed and served Jesus. Her name is listed first in every listing of the women who accompanied Jesus. These lists read as follows:

Following the crucifixion: “There were also many women there, who were looking from afar, those who had followed Jesus from Galilee, and who used to minister to him. One of them was Mary of Magdala; and the others were Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”

“So Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a shroud of fine linen, and laid it in his own new tomb which was hewn in a rock; and they rolled a large stone, and placed it against the door of the tomb and went away. And there were there Mary of Magdala and the other Mary, who were sitting opposite the tomb.”

“In the evening of the Sabbath, when the first day of the week began to dawn, there came Mary of Magdala and the other Mary to see the tomb.”

Matthew 27:55-56, 61; 28:1

Following the crucifixion: “There were also women who were looking from afar, Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother James, the young and of Joses, and Salome; who had followed him, when he was in Galilee and ministered to him; and many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.”

“But Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.”

“When the Sabbath had passed, Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.”

Mark 15:40-41, 47; 16:1

“And the women who were healed of diseases and unclean spirits, Mary who is called of Magdala, from whom seven demons went out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza the steward of Herod, and Suzanna, and many others, who ministered to them of their wealth.”

“And on the first day of the week, early in the morning, while it was yet dark, they came to the tomb and brought the spices which they had prepared; and there with them other women.

“They were Mary of Magdala, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and the rest who were with them.”

Luke 8:2-3; 24:1,10

According to all four New Testament gospels, Mary of Magdala is foremost in the narrative relating Jesus’ burial in Joseph of Arimathea’s new tomb:

Matthew’s Gospel – see above scripture.

Mark’s Gospel – see above scripture.

Luke’s Gospel – see above scripture.

“Now there were standing by the cross of Jesus his mother and his mother’s sister and Mary of Cleopas and Mary of Magdala.”

John 19:25

It is interesting to note that in the gospel of John, Mary of Magdala, is listed last. Did she, as the author of the Gospel of John, simply place her name last?

According to all four New Testament gospels, Mary of Magdala is foremost in the discovery of the empty tomb:

“In the evening of the Sabbath, when the first day of the week began to dawn, there came Mary of Magdala and the other Mary to see the tomb.. He is not here, for he has risen, just as he had said. Come, see the place where our Lord was laid.”

Matthew 28:1, 6

“When the Sabbath had passed, Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint him.. And they looked and saw that the stone was rolled away, for it was very large. And they entered the tomb, and saw a young man, sitting on the right, covered with a white robe; and they were astonished. But he said to them, Do not be afraid. You seek Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified; he has risen; he is not here; behold the place where he was laid.”

Mark 16:1-6

“And on the first day of the week, early in the morning, while it was yet dark, they came to the tomb.. They entered in, but they did not find the body of Jesus.. They were Mary of Magdala, and Joanna, and Mary, the mother of James, and the rest who were with them.”

Luke 24:1-3, 10

“On the first day of the week, early in the morning, while it was yet dark, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb; and she saw that the stone was removed from the tomb.”

John 20:1

Note the difference in the narrative in John’s gospel. Mary of Magdala comes to the tomb alone. Is she simply relating her story as the author of the 4th gospel?

In all four gospels, Mary of Magdala is foremost in receiving the news of Jesus’ resurrection. She is to tell the disciples:

“.there came Mary of Magdala and the other Mary to see the tomb.. But the angel answered, saying to the women, ‘You need not be afraid; for I know that you are seeking Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, just as he had said. Come, see the place where our Lord was laid. And go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead and behold, he will go before you to Galilee; there you will see him; lo I have told you.’ And they went away hurriedly from the tomb with fear and with great joy, running to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said to them, ‘Peace be to you.’ And they came up and laid hold of his feet and worshipped him.”

Matthew 28:1, 5-9

“.Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James .. But he said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. You seek Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified; he has risen; he is not here; behold the place where he was laid. But go away and tell his disciples, and Peter, that he will be before you just as he has told you.'”

Mark 16:1, 6-7

“.They were Mary of Magdala, and Joanne, and Mary the mother of James, and the rest who were with them, who told these things to the apostles.”

Luke 24:4-10

“On the first day of the week, early in the morning, while it was yet dark, Mary of Magdala came to the tomb.. So the disciples went away again to their lodging place. But Mary was standing near the tomb weeping; and as she wept, she looked into the tomb; and she saw two angels in white sitting one at the head and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they said to her, ‘Woman, why do you weep?’ She said to them, ‘Because they have taken away my Lord, and I do not know where they have laid him.’ She said this and turned around and saw Jesus standing, but she did not know that it was Jesus. Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why do you weep? and whom do you want?’ She thought he was the gardener, so she said to him, ‘My lord, if you are the one who has taken him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will go and take him away.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Mary.’ She turned around and said to him in Hebrew, ‘Rabbuli!’ which means, My Teacher! Jesus said to her, ‘Do not come near me; for I have not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, and my God and your God. Then Mary of Magdala came and brought glad tidings to the disciples, that she had seen our Lord and that he had told her these things.”

John 20:1, 10-18

Note the difference in the narrative. Mary of Magdala is alone at the tomb. Jesus appears to her first, then later to the disciples. Is Mary of Magdala, as the author of John’s gospel, telling the story of her private encounter with Jesus?

In Mark 14:1-9, we find “There came a woman who had with her an alabaster vessel of perfume of pure nard, of good quality and very expensive; and she opened it and poured it upon the head of Jesus.. Jesus said, ‘Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has done a good deed for me.. But this one has done it with what she had; she anointed my body in advance as for the burial. And truly I say to you, wherever this my gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told as a memorial to her.'”

Although Mark’s gospel does not identify this woman, we can derive several clues from the narrative:

The woman is wealthy. She uses very expensive pure nard (spikenard), a perfume imported from the Himalayas in alabaster boxes and opened on special occasions. In biblical times, this nard cost approximately one year’s wages. (Harper’s Bible Dictionary).

Anointing on the head, during biblical times, was a means of investing someone with power, such as the anointing of Solomon as king by the priest Zadok and the prophet Nathan. (I Kings 1:39) Anointing could also signify the consecration of someone or something for a holy purpose. (Harper’s Bible Dictionary) Anointing on the head in the presence of a gathering was performed by priests and prophets—persons held in high esteem and possessing spiritual authority.

Jesus recognized the woman’s anointing as highly significant. In his words: “Wherever this my gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told as a memorial to her.”

The story of the woman anointing his head is to be told as a memorial to her, not to Jesus. Jesus knew her actions to be on par with his gospel. This eternal union instituted by Jesus signifies a pairing of male and female.

THE NON-CANONICAL GOSPELS

Non-canonical means not selected by the Church Fathers
to be contained within the New Testament.

Note that all the ancient texts quoted pre-date
the Ecumenical Councils in which church doctrine was determined.

The 1st Ecumenical Council met in Nicaea in 325 C.E. This Council defined the foundations of orthodoxy.

THE GOSPEL OF THOMAS

The gospel of Thomas is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus by the early Christians. The earliest of the Greek fragments found thus far dates from 200 C.E.; however its original composition most likely took place during the second half of the 1st century C.E. Thomas was revered in the early Syriac church as an apostle and brother of Jesus (some early traditions state “twin” brother of Jesus).

“His disciples said to Him, ‘When will the Kingdom come?’ [Jesus said], ‘It will not come by waiting for it. It will not be a matter of saying “Here it is” or “There it is.” Rather, the Kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.’ Simon Peter said to them, ‘Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of Life.’ Jesus said, ‘I myself shall lead her in order to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every woman who will make herself male will enter the Kingdom of Heaven.'”

Sayings 113-114, Gospel of Thomas

In this gospel, the mother of Jesus is referred to by the disciples as “your mother,” thus the Mary to whom Peter is referring would be Mary of Magdala. Ancient traditions reveal Peter’s jealousy of Mary of Magdala because Jesus taught her inner, subtle truths the disciples could not yet understand. Mary of Magdala was destined to become a revered teacher of the truths taught to her by Jesus.

THE DIALOGUE OF THE SAVIOR

Jesus is teaching Miriam, Matthew, and Judas

“Miriam” = Greek for Mary

The Dialogue of the Savior is a question and answer session between Jesus and Miriam, Matthew, and Judas.

Miriam responds to Jesus: “Thus about ‘the wickedness of each day,’ and ‘the laborer being worthy of his food,’ and ‘the disciple resembling his teacher.’ This word she spoke as a woman who knew the All.”

Portion of #139 – The Dialogue of the Savior

“Miriam said, ‘Tell me, Lord, why I have come to this place, to benefit or to suffer loss?’ The Lord said, ‘Because you [singular] reveal the greatness of the revealer.'”

Portion of #140 – The Dialogue of the Savior

THE GOSPEL OF PETER

Peter, the disciple of Jesus, is generally accepted by scholars as the author of this gospel. It was likely written during the second half of the 1st century C.E. (A.D.) in Syria.

“Early in the morning of the Lord’s day Mary Magdalene, a woman disciple of the Lord—for fear of the Jews, since [they] were inflamed with wrath, she had not done at the sepulcher of the Lord what women are wont to do for those beloved of them who die—took with her women friends and came to the sepulcher where he was laid.” Portion # 12 – The Gospel of Peter

Peter assumes that it is Mary of Magdala who has the responsibility to come to the tomb and “do for those beloved of them who die.” The other women appear to have accompanied Mary of Magdala at her request, as a means of protection.

THE GOSPEL OF MARY MAGDALENE

The current edition of the gospel of Mary Magdalene makes up the first part of the so-called Berlin Papyrus. It is written in Sahidic Coptic. The 1st edition of this gospel dates approximately 150 C.E. (A.D.) and is accepted by scholars to have been inspired by Mary of Magdala, if not actually penned by her.

“Having said all this, he departed….  Then Mary arose, embraced them all, and began to speak to her brothers: ‘Do not remain in sorrow and doubt, for his Grace will guide you and comfort you. Instead, let us praise his greatness, for he has prepared us for this. He is calling upon us to become fully human.’ Thus Mary turned their hearts toward the Good, and they began to discuss the meaning of the Teacher’s words.”

Page 9, verses 5, 12-20 – The Gospel of Mary

Upon Jesus’ departure, Mary of Magdala becomes the teacher.

“Peter said to Mary: ‘Sister, we know that the Teacher loved you differently from other women. Tell us whatever you remember of any words he told you which we have not yet heard. Mary said to them: ‘I will now speak to you of that which has not been given to you to hear.'”

Page 10, verses 1-9 – The Gospel of Mary

Jesus taught Mary of Magdala about the “seven demons” from which the gospel of Luke (chapter 8) states Mary was healed by Jesus.

“Freed from this third climate, the soul continued its ascent, and found itself in the fourth climate. This has seven manifestations. The first manifestation is Darkness; the second, Craving; the third, Ignorance; the fourth, Lethal Jealousy; the fifth, Enslavement to the Body; the sixth, Intoxicated Wisdom; the seventh, Guileful Wisdom.”

Page 16, verses 1-10 – The Gospel of Mary

Note that these seven demons are characteristic of the temptations encountered by the soul during its initiatory process and reveal a soul that is journeying toward spiritual maturity. The soul can be healed from these seven demons.

“The soul answered: ‘That which oppressed me has been slain; that which encircled me has vanished; my craving has faded, and I am freed from my ignorance. I left the world with the aid of another world; a design was erased, by virtue of a higher design. Henceforth I travel toward Repose, where time rests in the Eternity of Time; I go now into Silence.’ Having said all this, Mary became silent, for it was in silence that the Teacher spoke to her.”

“Then Andrew began to speak, and said to his brothers: ‘Tell me, what do you think of these things she has been telling us? As for me, I do not believe that the Teacher would speak like this. These ideas are too different from those we have known.’ And Peter added: ‘How is it possible that the Teacher talked in this manner with a woman about secrets of which we ourselves are ignorant? Must we change our customs, and listen to this woman? Did he really choose her, and prefer her to us?'”

Jesus promised, as stated in the gospel of Thomas, to make Mary a “male.” Jesus is giving Mary the role of “male” by teaching his disciples through her.

“Then Mary wept, and answered him: ‘My brother Peter, what can you be thinking? Do you believe that this is just my own imagination, that I invented this vision? Or do you believe that I would lie about our Teacher?’ At this, Levi spoke up: ‘Peter, you have always been hot-tempered, and now we see you repudiating a woman just as our adversaries do. Yet if the Teacher held her worthy, who are you to reject her? Surely the Teacher knew her very well, for he loved her more than us. Therefore let us atone, and become fully human so that the Teacher can take root is us. Let us grow as he demanded of us, and walk forth to spread the gospel, without trying to lay down any rules and laws other than those he witnessed.'”

Page 18, verses 1-21 – The Gospel of Mary

THE GOSPEL OF PHILIP

The gospel of Philip reads more like the orthodox catechisms of the 2nd thru the 4th centuries. The Greek text was written as late as the 2nd half of the 3rd century C. E. (A.D.)-around 250 C.E.-most likely in Syria.

“There were three who always walked with the lord: Mary his mother and her sister and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary.”

Section 59 – The Gospel of Philip

“And the companion of [.] Mary Magdalene. [.] loved her more than [all] the disciples [and used to] kiss her [often] on her [.]. The rest of the disciples .. They said to him, ‘Why do you love her more than all of us?’ The savior answered and said to them, ‘Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.'”

Section 64 – The Gospel of Philip

Jesus confirms that Mary of Magdala could see the light; the disciples remained in darkness. It is interesting to note that Section 59 states: “For it is by a kiss that the perfect conceive and give birth. For this reason we also kiss one another. We receive conception from the grace which is in one another.” Ancient traditions reveal Jesus and Mary of Magdala as having at least one child, named Sara.

“If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this Christ came to repair the separation which was from the beginning and again unite the two, and to give life to those who die as a result of the separation and unite them.”

Section 70 – The Gospel of Philip

Mary of Magdala/Nada

Jesus stated, in the gospel of Thomas, that he would himself make Mary of Magdala into a “male.”  Could he also mean the re-uniting of twin flames? Mary of Magdala (known in spirit as Nada) and Jesus (known in spirit as Sananda) are twin flames.

Jesus

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CHURCH HISTORY NOTE: “Mary of Magdala’s identity as a prostitute stems from Homily 33 of Pope Gregory I, delivered in the year 591, in which he declared that she and the unnamed woman in Luke 7 are, in fact, one and the same, and that the faithful should hold Mary as the penitent whore.”

Saint Augustine and the biblical apostles called Mary of Magdala the “apostle of apostles.”

In 1969, the Catholic Church officially repealed Pope Gregory’s designation of Mary Magdalene as a whore, thereby admitting their error. Even though the Catholic Church now calls her Saint Mary Magdalene, many Christians continue to think of her as the woman who sinned.

(Preface by David Tresemer, Ph.D. and Laura-Lea Cannon, The Gospel of Mary Magdalene)

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IF JESUS IS A WAYSHOWER, WHAT DID HE SHOW US? PART 10 – “The Power of Love”

                       IF JESUS IS A WAYSHOWER, WHAT DID HE SHOW US?                               

Part 10 of Series

“The Power of Love”

Scripture: Luke 10:25-37

During Jesus’ ministry, the religious leaders attempted frequently to trick him with their questions. In the above scripture reference, one of the scribes asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

Jesus turned the question back to the scribe, “What is written in the law? How do you read it?” The scribe answered, “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus responded, “You spoke the truth, do this and you shall live.”

God’s gift to each of us is eternal life based upon our capacity and willingness to live a life of Love. A Jewish scribe was required to know religious law, to interpret the scriptures, and to teach the people. Intellectually, a scribe was highly educated and could speak truth. Many of us know a portion of truth as it is taught in the surface words of the Bible. However, as we see in this biblical story, knowing truth is not sufficient. Jesus commanded the scribe: “Do this and you shall live.” We must DO LOVE.

Unity’s co-founder, Charles Fillmore, taught that each of Jesus’ 12 disciples signified one of the 12 powers possessed by humanity. Ascension involves the development and/or refinement of each of these powers: life, elimination, order, strength, wisdom, love, power, zeal, imagination, faith, understanding, and will. (Charles Fillmore, The Twelve Powers) Learning to integrate these 12 powers into our lifestyle requires dedication to spiritual growth. The intellect can study and talk about these powers; however, it is their integration that grants us eternal life. We must DO THE 12 POWERS. Part 10 of this series concentrates on the power of Love as Jesus, a Wayshower, revealed it to us.

The Greek word translated “to do” means “to make, to undertake, to bring about, to produce.” We often hear the comment: “I’m tired of doing; I just want to be.” This statement is often an expression of weariness due to our hectic lifestyles; however, it can lead to confusion. The Greek work translated “to be” means “to exist, to live, to be available, to be present with.” In effect, be Love, so you can do—or bring about—acts of love. Jesus’ words and life demonstrated the importance of being love and doing acts of love, being faith and undertaking acts of faith.

The scribe quoted the greatest commandment: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” Who is this God? The God indwelling each of us—our I AM PRESENCE. To obey this commandment means to love God with all that we are.  Love of God is to consume our lives. Love of God, self, and our neighbors is to leave no room in our heart for hate, revenge, jealousy, or resentment. During this incarnation, our love for God, self, and others is to be the guiding light on our soul’s journey. There is to be no room for self-serving or harmful behavior. We are to saturate our minds with thoughts of love, leaving no room for clinging to victim-hood or negative thoughts. The greatest commandment leaves room for neither compromise nor exceptions. TO BE LOVE IS TO DO LOVE.

Why would being and doing love be the criteria for eternal life? A very helpful book, Twelve Powers In You, by Williamson and Knapp, gives a practical answer to this question. Each of the 12 powers are linked to specific parts of the physical body. The power of Love is centered in the heart, which means it is also related to blood circulation and to the organs that work to purify the blood—the liver and spleen. Our immune system is greatly impacted by our ability to express love. Blood pumping through the heart is the physical foundation of life. Love manifesting through our physical plane lives is the foundation for eternal life and good health. Medical studies are revealing a link between love and the immune system: those who are involved in a loving community tend to be healthier and to live longer, the benefits of loving a pet is now evident among the elderly, and the rewards of participating in a career that we love result in people working far beyond the normal retirement age. Love plays a major role in the healing of self and others. Researchers have found that persons—who feel loved and supported—have fewer blockages in the arteries. On the other hand, impediments to our release of the love energy within us can create clogging in our circulatory system. Dr. Knapp, a medical doctor and co-author of Twelve Powers In You, believes the key to healing any circulatory disorder is Love. As we love God with all of our heart and with all of our soul and with all of our strength and with all of our mind, we ensure good physical health and eternal life.

The scribe asked another question of Jesus: “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus answered with one of the most familiar of biblical parables, yet one of the least understood in terms of integrating that understanding into our lives. Think of those persons we are taught, by our society, to hate and fear. Consider the words of the Peace Song: “With God as our Father, family all are we.” Who is our neighbor? The answer is radical. Our neighbor includes those we are taught to hate and fear.

In the parable, an unidentified man is traveling, likely on foot, from Jerusalem to Jericho. On the way, he is beaten, robbed, and left by the roadside to die. The dilemma within the parable encourages us to assume that the man was Jewish. Traveling along the same road, three persons see the injured man. These three persons represent three possible responses to the question: Who is our neighbor? They denote our own conflicts as we debate within ourselves how to respond to a member of God’s family – our neighbor. I use Williamson’s interpretation, as found in Twelve Powers In You.

A priest is the first to arrive. As he passed by the dying man, the priest thinks to himself: “I will pray for him, but I don’t want to get involved. I choose to maintain my high consciousness and see everything as perfect, not look upon this man’s troubles.” In that moment, was the priest being love? Doing love? Or, was he creating a blockage in his arteries by hiding behind what sounds like a statement of truth: “I want to concentrate on the good and see everything as perfect, not focus on the negative and look upon this man’s injuries?”

A Levite follows close behind. In biblical times, the Levite was a priest in charge of administering religious law. He, too, ignores the dying man, thinking to himself: “If he got beaten and robbed, he must be reaping the result of his negative thinking or behavior. So, why should I help?” In that moment, was the Levite being love? Doing love? Or, was he clogging an artery to his heart? Restricting the flow of love from our spiritual heart (the etheric heart chakra) to others restricts the flow of blood to and from our physical heart.

Neither the priest nor the Levite disliked the injured man. He could have easily traveled to Jerusalem, from Jericho, in order to worship in the temple where they served. Possibly, they had seen him in the temple and recognized him. They passed by simply because they did not want to get involved with the problem at hand. They wanted to be love, but failed to do love.

The third person to come upon the dying man was a Samaritan. At that point in time, intense hatred existed between Jews and Samaritans. Jews considered Samaritans—who were also descendants from the 12 tribes of Israel—inferior and impure because they intermarried with persons of a different religion. Samaritans were not allowed to enter the temple in Jerusalem. Most Jewish travelers went around Samaria rather than be in the company of Samaritans. A Samaritan coming upon an injured Jew had reason to keep walking. If he had been the one lying by the roadside, the Jew who hated him would very likely allow him to die.

Regardless of the racial hatred toward him, this Samaritan strives to be love, to do love. He responds from the heart with compassion; he sees the dying man as his brother, not his enemy. He chooses to be fully alive by expressing loving kindness. He touched the man with love, not repulsion, as he bound his wounds and lifted him to his own donkey. He was present with the man as he walked beside the donkey. The Samaritan was love. When they arrived at an inn, the Samaritan undertook the care of the injured man. He spent the night being present with him. The next morning, he gave the innkeeper enough money to pay for his continued care, even promising to stop by on his return trip and pay any additional expenses incurred. The Samaritan acted out love with no thought of return. Were the two men to meet again in Jerusalem, the Samaritan knew the man he had assisted would enter the temple and leave him standing outside—forbidden to enter. The Samaritan knew he would not be invited into the man’s home, nor would he be allowed to share a loaf of the Jewish man’s bread. To share bread with another was a sign of trust and friendship. Jews and Samaritans could not be friends. The Samaritan knew that even though he had loved, cared for, and befriended this Jewish man, he would be considered unfit to worship with him or to eat with him. Love knows no such limitations. The Samaritan chose to be love and to do love.

We have heard the saying: “Love is not love until you give it away.” If we fail to give away our love, we end up blocking the good in our own lives. Rather than cling to fear, resentment, and hatred; rather than accept society’s teaching that “they (those differing from us) are our enemies,” we are to BE love and to DO love. Love has the power to heal both self and others. Love, as the eternal life-giving force, must flow in a never-ending circle—from God > to us > and out to others. Love—flowing eternally—removes the blocks to perfect physical health, strengthens the immune system, reveals our Good, opens the passageways to communication with those who are different, and shows us the path to worldwide peace and familial love. Love is the greatest harmonizer in the universe.

During this time of planetary upheaval and transition into full consciousness, we have the opportunity to use our power of Love to calm the forces of destruction within nature and to stop the devastation of wars. How? By loving the instruments of destruction, we can neutralize their harmful potential. Love is the greatest power in the universe.

Jesus, as a Wayshower for the power of Love, neutralized the harmful potential of a storm on the Sea of Galilee (Luke 8:22-24). Every facet of nature possesses angelic overlords. Jesus knew this truth and spoke to the angels within the storm. He commanded them to be calm; they obeyed and stilled the turbulent waves. Jesus demonstrated the power of Love by speaking from his stance of Being and Doing Love.

Love is all that is. As we lift our consciousness to a higher plane, we can know that what appears to be destruction is, in reality, paving the way to a greater Good. That greater Good is that all of us come to know the tremendous power in which we live and move and have our being—the power of Love.

UNITY’S PRAYER OF PROTECTION
The Light of God surrounds me,
The Love of God enfolds me,
The Power of God protects me,
The Presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is.
And, all is well.

 BENEDICTION
Go in peace, knowing that the Kingdom of Love is within you.

“Love is my ability to know oneness with all and to desire that good comes to all. Love is my ability to share, to draw together. Love heals, harmonizes, renews, prospers, and unites.”Twelve Powers In You

IF JESUS IS A WAYSHOWER, WHAT DID HE SHOW US? – PART 9 – WHY REINCARNATION?

“If Jesus Is A Wayshower, What Did He Show Us?” Why Reincarnation?
Nancy Detweiler, M.Ed., M.Div.
www.pathwaytoascension.comBE SURE TO READ THE INTRODUCTION TO THIS SERIES FIRST.

Part 9 of Series
“Why Reincarnation?”

Throughout Old Testament times, God—channeled by the prophets—is depicted as pleading with the Israelites to remain faithful to Him. (Israelites, according to Fillmore’s metaphysical interpretation of the Bible, symbolize those who seek the Lord.) God promised repeatedly to lead the people into a “land filled with milk and honey,” if only they would follow Him. However, the world and its ways proved to be too much for the Israelites (Remember we are not talking about race here.) They had forgotten who they were and seemed unable to remain persistent in their search for God and their true identities.

Although the arrangement of the Hebrew Bible differs, the Christian Old Testament concludes with the book of Malachi. The prophet Malachi channeled God’s pledge to his unfaithful people. Before the end of time on 3rd dimensional planet Earth, God would send the prophet Elijah to transform their hearts. “Lo, I will send you the prophet Elijah before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes. He will turn the hearts of parents to their children and the hearts of children to their parents, so that I will not come and strike the land with a curse.” (Malachi 4:5) Malachi wrote this assurance, of the prophet’s return to Earth, hundreds of years after Elijah had ascended to heaven in a whirlwind of fire. (II Kings 2:11 – This whirlwind of fire is likely one of several biblical references to a space ship. This space ship beamed up Elijah. There is no death—only departure to another realm of existence.) Thus, the last of the Old Testament promises of God involved the physical re-incarnation of Elijah. This Old Testament theme of reincarnation set the stage for the events depicted in the New Testament.

The New Testament opens with the announcement of Jesus’ forthcoming birth. According to the Cayce readings, the soul of Jesus had been present throughout Old Testament times, as the personalities named Adam, Melchizedek, Enoch, Joseph, Joshua, Asaph, and Jeshua. Within the divine plan, the ministry of Jesus was to play a major role in our planetary evolution. During times of great planetary transition, an entire group of advanced souls enter together. Thus, we see Jesus accompanied by: his earthly father, Joseph (now the Ascended Master St. Germain), his earthly mother, Mary (now the Ascended Lady Master Mary), his earthly cousin, John the Baptist (now the Ascended Master Elijah), and his twin flame, Mary of Magdala (now the Ascended Lady Master Nada).

We see this same pattern occur during the 19th and 20th centuries as the New Thought Movement emerged. Charles Fillmore, the founder of Unity, knew himself to be the reincarnation of the Apostle Paul. Paul wrote several books in the New Testament. Edgar Cayce knew himself to be the reincarnation of Lucas, the writer of the gospel of Luke and the book of Acts. Fillmore and Cayce were contemporaries and knew of each other. In prior lifetimes, the two of them had been contemporaries and wrote much of the New Testament. They reincarnated to unveil the deeper levels symbolically embedded within their writings—Fillmore, through his metaphysical interpretation of the Bible and Cayce, through his intuitive readings.

As we view these patterns, we learn much about the unfolding of the divine Plan, both for our planet and for each member of the human family. Life on this planet is never static. Life builds upon itself. Life moves ever forward, regardless of how many times we stumble, even when we destroy huge chucks of what humanity has accomplished. On the other hand, Ecclesiastes 3:15 reminds us, “That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is.” Underlying all the hustle and bustle of earth plane life is the ultimate reality of unity, tranquility, and love in which all things are already present. So even though, from a cosmic point of view, our comparatively short physical plane lives are much ado about nothing, the goal of reincarnation on this plane is to continue the work we began eons ago.

From the allegorical Garden of Eden, we set out to experience life on the plane of duality. We experimented and gained knowledge of good and evil (evil meaning living with our backs to God). We tested universal laws and discovered that “we reap what we sow.” In the process, we accumulated karmic debts stemming from the mistakes we made. We also created mansions in heaven filled with the treasures of good we have done. Reincarnation takes on significance when we view the unfolding of our lives as a continuous process in which we transmute the karmic debts and fill our heavenly storehouses with Good. At some point in time, we succeed in transmuting 51% of our negative karma. Light supersedes the darkness within our lower bodies and our karmic obligations are dissolved. Like Jesus, and the other Ascended Masters, we can then step off the wheel of physical rebirth and ascend to higher dimensions of existence, as an Ascended Master. Meanwhile, we need to take advantage of all the opportunities for learning that physical plane living gives to us. Growth is accelerated on the physical plane; that’s why our souls yearn to incarnate here.

Life on the physical plane is for our own soul’s growth. With our gift of freewill, we make the choices as to how quickly we will progress. We can choose to meander through life. Or, we can choose to embark—with clarity of intention—on the narrow Path that Jesus walked. Walking the narrow Path entails concentrated efforts toward spiritual growth. It means taking responsibility for our lives and for our spiritual progress. Because our planet is in the midst of ascending into higher dimensions of consciousness, all of us have the chance to ascend with it. In order to ascend at the end of this lifetime, we must achieve three major accomplishments: transmute 51% of our negative karma, fulfill our soul’s mission for this incarnation, and reunite with our Christ Self.

To merge with our Christ Self means to live from the soul-centered level with the mind that was in Jesus the Christ. We acquire the Christed Mind by integrating Jesus’ teachings into our lifestyle. Remember, human beings categorize Jesus as belonging only to the Christian religion. Jesus, as one Son of God, came to show all of humanity the way back home. From God’s point of view, religion has nothing to do with Jesus. Religion belongs to earth plane, not the spiritual realms. So, when metaphysicians speak of achieving the Mind that was in Jesus the Christ, we are referring to a qualification that applies to all human beings. The Christ is a cosmic energy. We develop the Christed Mind via the intentional choice to live our lives in accordance with the universal laws and in full awareness of our true identity as a Daughter or Son of God. Reincarnation allows us ample time in which to achieve this goal.

We, as a planetary society, stand at a crossroads. Do we choose to take advantage of this opportunity for accelerated growth? Or, do we choose to remain asleep to the true nature of our being? If we choose to move forward, we need to view the events in our lives through the lens of reincarnation. Mistakes, made during our sojourn on Earth, must be resolved on the physical plane. We can speed up the process by consciously resolving the issues that present themselves to us. Those persons who play major roles in our lives are the souls with whom we contracted to incarnate as a group. Within our group, each individual agreed to play a particular role as it relates to the resolution of our individual karma and mission. Consider your own family unit. Each member of our family-of-origin and the family we create, as adults, incarnated as our teacher, our companion, or both teacher and companion.

We may experience our teachers within compatible or difficult relationships. As we observe the dynamics within each of our major relationships, we can discern the lesson each agreed to teach us. Some lessons may be painful. Know that each lesson remains in our lives only as long as it takes us to successfully learn it. Forgiveness for the difficult situations comes easier when we remember that every person involved agreed to be our teacher. The lesson may be one of learning to stand alone, to be whole within Self. The teacher for this lesson may be a parent who dies or deserts us, or a spouse who abuses us. Either way, we are forced to cope with life on our own. To do so constructively is to learn intentionally the lesson. Example: Jane’s parents were both abusive alcoholics. Jane’s sister chose to engage in similar behavior and ended up dropping out of high school. Jane chose to stand apart, to be active in a church youth group, and to complete her education. Eventually, Jane was invited to move in with a caring family, where she lived until she married a ministerial student. Jane, by her intentional choices, stood alone and moved herself from an abusive home, to a caring home, then into her own home with a loving husband, with whom she had incarnated for the purpose of companionship. She and her husband have spent decades ministering to others through the church setting. Her sister wandered through life, from one trauma to another. Both made their freewill choices: one with a sense of positive direction, the other by allowing life to happen to her.

The more consciously we intend spiritual growth, the more quickly we achieve union with our Christ Self. Regular use of the Purple Transmuting Flame assists greatly in dissolving 51% of our karma. Release to the flame all negative emotions, such as anger, resentment, jealousy, envy, and failure to forgive self and others. Then ask to be filled with the love of God. Viewing life through the lens of reincarnation reminds us to respond to the major events in our lives with a sense of purpose and to use them as stepping stones to a closer relationship with our Christ Self and I AM PRESENCE. All of creation moves naturally toward resolution, toward healing, toward wholeness. Know that “all things work together for good for those who love the Lord”—in other words, those who love and abide by universal law—the Hebrew word for Lord also translates as Law. (Romans 8:28)

Service to others is another marvelous way to balance our karmic debts. Often, the situations in our lives requiring us to serve—while asking nothing in return—indicate our soul’s choice for balancing karmic debts. The universal law of giving & receiving is exact. We can spend entire lifetimes learning to balance the two energies. It is important to our soul’s growth that we learn to give and to receive. Both ends of the equation—“give and you shall receive”—must be experienced with equal ease. “Give and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.” (Luke 6:38)

Reincarnation offers us the chance to fulfill our soul’s mission. This mission is selected very carefully. Our soul plans a mission for each incarnation that will enhance its own growth into wholeness. We can attune to this mission via listening closely to ourselves and to the dreams that have been with us for a lifetime. Each zodiac sun sign possesses a basic mission. The numerical vibrations of our names reveal a mission. “A mission” means whatever it takes to lead our souls into a sense of wholeness. To fulfill our mission, we must learn to live a soul-centered life. A soul-centered life leads to the mind that was in Jesus the Christ. It means surrendering our personal will to Divine Will and adhering to universal laws in such a way as to live life as Jesus lived it.

Reincarnation is God’s grace giving us repeated opportunities to awaken and to return to the “land filled with milk and honey”—The Promised Land of full consciousness. Our true home is to be found on the 5th dimension where Truth, in its entirety, can be known, where we know we are truly Sons & Daughters of God—thus, gods in the making.

May you be blessed as you journey on your Path to the Promised Land of full consciousness.

UNITY’S PRAYER OF PROTECTION
The Light of God surrounds me,
The Love of God enfolds me,
The Power of God protects me,
The Presence of God watches over me.
Wherever I am, God is.
And, all is well.

BENEDICTION
“As they were coming down the mountain [of Transfiguration], … the disciples asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say that Elijah must come first?’ He replied, ‘Elijah is indeed coming and will restore all things; but I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but they did to him whatever they pleased.’ … Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them about John the Baptist.”
(Matthew 17:9-13)

You can learn to interpret your own “Soul Map” (astrological natal chart) at:  http://www.pathwaytoascension.com/astrology/index.htm

Your  “Soul Map” reveals life patterns formed in prior lifetimes, lessons your soul desires to learn this incarnation, your talents and purpose, and much more.  It is an invaluable tool for self-knowledge and spiritual growth.