Withholding Our Gifts

I had an interesting interaction yesterday with an organization whose materials I have recommended to my students, specifically as supplemental resources (for purchase) in the What’s Your Magic course that is part of my Magdalene Priestess Training.  Apparently, they are no longer willing to share these resources with those outside their institutional membership – even when they stand to benefit financially for in sharing these resources.  When I inquired further and explained why I appreciate their resources, why I recommend them to my students, why my student’s would not be candidates for membership in their organization and why I would like to continue to share these resources (which would be a financial benefit to their organization), their response was “Best wishes to you.”

To say I was disappointed would be an understatement – not because my students would suffer for lack of these resources (which they won’t), but because the institution in question is unwilling to see past their self-imposed separation to the larger world that is in need of their gifts. This institution has been divinely gifted with a wisdom-filled and comprehensive tool for supporting people in discerning their gifts and how they might be called to share these gifts in the world.  These are tools that could benefit all of humanity, not just the few that belong to their membership.  Instead of being willing and open to find a way to share these gifts with all who might need them, they are hoarding them for themselves.  This makes me sad and I believe this was not what the Divine had intended when imparting these gifts on the creative leaders of this institution.

Buy it NOW!

After dwelling for a moment in righteous anger over the divine injustice of this situation, I was brought back to Authentic Freedom. The above perfectly describes several of the compulsions described in both my book and my course Authentic Freedom, but for our purposes here I will focus on just one:

GREED – withholding the gifts that God has given us, specifically the gifts that we have been given, not only for our own benefit or fulfillment, but gifts we’ve been given that we are meant to share for the sake of the betterment of the world.

Each and every one of us is uniquely gifted to be a vessel of Divine love, compassion, providence, wisdom, knowledge, mercy, and the gifts we have been given are meant to be shared. As Jesus said:

You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its taste, with what can it be seasoned?  It is no longer good for anything but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.  You are the light of the world.  A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden.  Nor do they light a lamp and then put it under a bushel basket; it is set on a lampstand, where it gives light to all in the house.  Just so, your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father.”  MT 5

The gifts we have been given are not meant to be withheld. Instead, they are meant to be generously shared with all who might be in need of these gifts and who might benefit from them.  Sometimes (often) those who might benefit from our gifts and those who are in need of our gifts do not fit into tight categories of membership.  If we are to truly be vessels of the Divine as we are so-called, we have to expand our view beyond what we currently know or beyond how we currently define ourselves.  We need to be open to stepping outside of our self-imposed boxes to seeing and hearing those who are in need of our gifts, and open to finding ways to make them available to those who need them.

When we generously share the gifts we’ve been given with others, these gifts come back to us a hundred-fold. This is the law of Divine nature and the results of sharing our gifts.

I am saddened by the institution who wants to keep themselves small in the withholding of their gifts, and I am grateful for the resources I have been given in the development of the Authentic Freedom protocol for supporting others in knowing the expansive freedom that God intended.

Click on the image above to learn more!

 

Enlightenment Means Being Fully Human

Our Western culture has done a great disservice to the idea of enlightenment. As is often the case in Western culture, that which is meant to invite us deeper into the human experience has become a vehicle for escape.

Enlightenment is not about transcending the human experience so that one might always know peace and happiness, rejecting anything that might disturb that peace – especially that which might be emerging from within us. Instead, enlightenment is about being, and learning to be, fully human.

Enlightened people experience anger. Enlightened people grieve in the face of loss.  Enlightened people become resentful, frustrated, impatient, worried, anxious and afraid.  The difference is the way in which these emotions and experiences are expressed.  Those who are moving along the path of enlightenment have learned to recognize these feelings when they arise, honor them, and give themselves time and space for processing (either alone or with another).  Those who are not on this journey either reject or suppress these feelings within themselves, or they project these feelings onto another, in this, making themselves or the other the enemy.  Those on the path of enlightenment respond with loving compassion and presence.  Those, not on the path, react – typically in some negative or violent way.

Let’s use Jesus as an example: Jesus became angry when temple practices were financially benefitting the rich while taking from the poor.  Jesus became frustrated and impatient when Peter wanted to make him a king.  Jesus wept when he learned his friend Lazarus had died.  Jesus grieved when betrayed and abandoned by his closest friends. Jesus was terrified in the face of certain death.  He bargained with God, hoping to be spared his fate. He suffered pain. Jesus doubted and felt abandoned by God as he hung on the cross.

If Jesus felt all these things, then why should we expect anything different from ourselves? Enlightenment is not about escaping the human condition.  It is learning how to be fully human – to be fully present with it all and allowing it move through us.  As Jesus came to show us, it is in being fully human that we are truly free.

(A little aside…..be very suspicious of anyone who tells you they are enlightened. Humility is the true mark of enlightenment, and an enlightened person would never claim this for themselves for they know that enlightenment is not something to be attained.)

 

We Are Our Own Saviors

Mary Magdalene is the one apostle to most fully understood and integrated Jesus’ deepest teachings, especially Jesus’ teachings on Oneness.  In this week’s blogs, Lauri Ann Lumby, OM, MATS, shares her own experience of coming to know this Oneness even more fully. 

artwork by Sophia Christine Icons
artwork by Sophia Christine Icons

Read Part II Here (and then follow the link in Part II to Part I)

Mary Magdalene and Alchemy

For the past year I have been immersed in deep research for the follow-up to my first novel, Song of the Beloved – the Gospel According to Mary Magdalene. Book two will find Mary, called Magdalene in Alexandria, Egypt where she will experience a whole new life in a whole new culture and will be led to further training and initiation in her journey toward fulfilling the entirety of her Soul’s purpose….after Jesus.  This research has brought me to many interesting resources.  The most interesting have been the texts on the “magical” traditions of ancient Egypt, especially those on ancient alchemy.

Previous to this research, my exposure to alchemy has been minimal at best. Jay Ramsay in this book, Crucible of Love used the alchemical process as the metaphor for an enduring love relationship.  Deborah Harkness in her All Soul’s Trilogy describes alchemy against the backdrop of Medieval culture and the scientists and philosophers who worked to further the cause of alchemy.  At best, I was confused by the topic of alchemy and thought of it only as a fairytale science in which magicians hoped to turn base metals into gold.

Emerald-Tablet1 (1)

That was then, this is now. In researching the initiatory practices and “magic” of ancient Egypt, I came upon a text that has blown my mind. The Emerald Tablet of Thoth. The first version of this text which fell into my awareness was the mystical reflection on the Emerald Tablet by Doreal.  I was then led (through a voracious researcher friend) to a text which provides a variety of translations to the original text.  Finally, the book of all books, The Emerald Tablet – Alchemy for Personal Transformation by Dennis William Hauck has shown me that I have indeed always known what alchemy was.  Not only did I know what it was, I WAS LIVING IT.  My entire lifetime, especially the past 25 years, has been an experiment in alchemy.  Through this “experiment” I discovered the alchemical “formula” that works for me.  I then created a curriculum, and published a book ( Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy), which teaches others how to transform the base experiences of the human condition into their own, personal gold.  But I did not do this alone.

AuthenticFreedomcover

The alchemical process that I created, Authentic Freedom, is really less of a creation and more of a remembering. Specifically, I believe that Authentic Freedom is the process Jesus used to initiate his followers and that Mary, called Magdalene, (who was said to be “healed of seven demons”) was the one disciple who brought this process to completion within herself and then went on to share this process with others.  I also believe that this alchemical process is what was written on the pages that were missing from the Gospel of Mary fragments that were discovered in the late 1800’s near Akhmim in Upper Egypt. Whether these pages were included in the original discovery and then destroyed, are now locked up in the basement of the Vatican, or were never included in the jars in which the gospel was preserved, we may never know.  But thanks to the process of alchemy itself, (through the “magic” of our creative imagination which connects us with “The One Mind”) we can now reclaim the original alchemical process and teachings of Jesus along with the woman he appointed to carry out these teachings – Mary, called Magdalene.

MaryMagdalene

Mary, called Magdalene, was said in scripture to be “healed of seven demons.” While tradition has equated this with “sin” and that she was formerly a sinful woman who Jesus converted to faith, there is no scriptural support for this traditional interpretation (for more on this, read my blog, How the Church Maligned the Magdalene).  Gnostic scripture scholars suggest that “healed of seven demons” describes an initiatory process that Mary, called Magdalene, completed under Jesus’ tutelage (see the work of Jean Yves-LeLoup for more on this).  Through this process, Mary achieved the goal of alchemy which is to become anthropos – to fully integrate the divine and human within her and to fully integrate the Divine Feminine and the Divine Masculine within her.  In short, Mary, called Magdalene, became self-actualized – she came to understand her own unique giftedness and how she was called to share these gifts in the world for the sake of her own fulfillment and in service to the betterment of the world.  Not only did Mary discover her purpose in this life, she moved through the inner obstacles that might have prevented her from living that life to its fullest.  Alchemy, then, from a Christian perspective, is allowing ourselves to be vessels through which God is made flesh in the human world, and in becoming flesh, turning our own lives and the world around us from fear into love.  Mary, called Magdalene, completed this process and then went on to facilitate others in this same process.  Through the process of alchemy, we now have in our possession, the very process that Mary underwent and then went on to teach and that process is Authentic Freedom.

I am forever indebted to Mary, called Magdalene and with her the Christ (for in truth, the two are one) for revealing this process of Christian Alchemy to me so that I can in turn share it with others.

To learn the alchemical process created by Jesus and then fulfilled through Mary Magdalene, check out my book Authentic Freedom – Claiming a Life of Contentment and Joy. Learn more HERE.