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Part 3a: Spiritual Academy
"Did I offend you, speaking of the circumcision?" says the woman to Jesus, as she and Jesus had reached the isolated world of the forest where no one can hear them, where it is safe to speak freely, where a wonderful world of colour and life unfolds with an exuberance and abundance that makes our trials and agonies appear rather small, pitiful, and unnatural in comparison, which in its myriad forms has the great love of Love so easily and naturally expressed, in this landscape of unfolding colours and shades of color.
"If I have offended you, please forgive me," says the woman. "I only brought the subject up, because it is true. The circumcision has ruined my world. It has ruined everyone's world. It is hardest on the men, though. Ironically, they are rarely aware of it. They come to me, crying Mary, Mary, give us what we have lost and cannot have anymore the normal way.
This coercion becomes a type of force that simply takes what only love can give. The Romans call it raptus. The call it a man's right to take when a woman is not someone's property, like after my husband was killed. It becomes a curse in this rotten world to be an attractive woman. All too often I have consented to their raptus out of pity, though often I have had no choice. When the raptor is a person of high status and lives above the law, who is the law, who wields the threat of adultery like a sword, against them a woman has no defence. The higher the status of the raptors is, the more rapacious they are, and the bigger the lies they spout to cover up their crimes. They take off their fancy robes before me as they must, and bare themselves. They lay aside their phylacteries, even their costumes and hats that they wear before the public to appear as holy and pious men. Before me, they stand naked, disgusting, rapacius, a bunch of holy liars that hide behind Rabbinical law that they use to cover up their filth at heart, and with murder when the lies are wearing thin. Some day they will murder me.
"Ironically, I don't blame the men. These men had 80% of their sexual feelings amputated and thrown away, or had been robbed of it by their parents who acted in their stead. The men come to me and want me to help them to get out of their narrow trap. Unfortunately there is little that I can do for them. I help as much as I can, and in return, as you have seen yourself, the same men that I have helped in the past, want to kill me for it."
"I should have learned my lesson much sooner and not have tried to help them. Most of them don't even say, thank you, because the men are rarely aware of what they have lost. They tie themselves into knots and do not know why. But I know why they are that way. I have experienced the difference. I had the great fortune to have been married once to a whole man. We had a beautiful rich life together. But my husband was murdered by the Romans. As you know, they love to kill people. They don't even call it murder."
"My defence of you has established a model for rebuilding that world that you say has been lost," says Jesus. "This insanity has to stop, Mary. It it isn't, it will devour the whole world. This has to stop here! Until it is stopped, nothing will really work in the world. But you already know this. You evidently tried to remarry, haven't you? It appears that you have. But this didn't go right, didn't it? So you know what I am saying, that it has to stop here. Besides, Mother wouldn't forgive me if I had let you be killed."
The woman nods. "I tried to remarry," she says softly. "That's when I began to discover the gold that I had, that I have lost. I have discovered the hard way that there are few normal men left in our world.
"At this point I said to myself, Mary, this doesn't matter, just try another man, and try again. But I found out that it does matter. With each failure I lost a bit of myself. The men, of course, have lost much more. They have become a walking tragedy. I have seen it with my own eyes, and experienced it in my own life. "
"A man who became circumcised later in life said to me that living with the circumcision is like living in a world without color," says Jesus.
"Can you imagine what it is like to live in a world that has lost its color? I think my compassion healed the man.
"I explained to the man that real color is not found in what the senses behold, but is found in the mind, as it reflects the color beheld in divine Mind. I explained to the man that what he lost is only the messenger that opens a portal and hints at what lies behind the open portal. And so, what the messenger had hinted at, not the message itself, is the real thing. I convinced the man that no form of circumcision can deprive him of what lies behind the open door.
"I explained that since the real color in life is spiritual, it cannot be lost or be blocked. How can something be lost that is anchored in God? What God is, cannot be lost. Sure, the reflection can be denied, and what is being denied can be restored.
"It wasn't hard to demonstrate to him that the function of the messenger that merely hints at something greater, can be bridged over by going directly to where the gold is found. The man protested, but he recovered and thanked me later. All mental disease, and even physical disease, can be healed that way."
"The mutilated men have trouble comprehending goodness," says the woman. "I have seen a sense of helplessness in them. I have seen a jumbled kind of existence, intermixed with satanic behaviour, laced with a sense of impotence. The men that I have met lately, are in a mess in comparison with my former husband. I have experienced in the mutilated men that came to me for 'help,' a frightening loss of trust I saw. Some feared the very intimacy the were seeking. They definitely reject what stands behind and above sexual intimacies. They reject the gentle intimacy with rage. I have seen violence by them. I have been raped by them. Where there should have been love, there was rape. I have witnessed abuse of children. I was even called to help a family once to recover from a suicide that the victim had blamed on the circumcision before he killed himself, which he couldn't deal with. I have seen it all in full detail. I can't imagine that this sort of thing is easily healed. Still, what I have experienced shouldn't be what civilization is like. I have seen how beautiful the world is when God's blessing is not rejected. I have seen it in my former husband. That's how I discovered what I lost. That's how I know that what I encounter in most cases isn't normal."
"You have seen only fringe effects," interjects Jesus.
"The sexual sensitivity that the circumcision cuts away leaves behind deep-reaching effects on a wide range of respects. But in all respects the cause is one. The cause is the lack of the precious oneness in Soul. The cutting away of that inhibits what would normally unfold into deep social bonds, the kind of bonds that you have felt before. Everybody knows that the Romans like to kill when they are challenged, but the Pharisees do it better. They kill inwardly, and not just a few individuals, but society as a whole."
"I have tried to live with the tragedies that the men suffer, and this more times than I care to remember," says the woman. "It didn't work out. I simply gave up. But nothing is healed that way. As an attractive woman the mutilated men keep coming to me, crying for sex. I see it in their eyes. Some are so brash about it that they don't even have to say it: Mary, Mary, give me sex. They probably don't even know what it is that they seek."
"Would you say that there is something spiritually lacking?" Jesus interjects. "But where is the greater lack of it? Is it in Rome? Or is it here? The people in the East who persuaded me to come back to this place had no comprehension of the magnitude of the challenge I would face."
"That's putting it mildly," says the woman. "I am a victim of a tragedy that I have to live with every day. Of course you are right. Every tragedy is proof that there is something spiritually lacking in the wings. Rome is the least of my problems. My tragedy is that the circumcision has made it nearly impossible for a woman like me to have a normal relationship with a man. The God-bestowed foundation is gone. The foundation for the intimacy is gone that is designed to furnish the kind of deep bonds of love and caring that assures our children a future in a rich civilization. This doesn't exist anymore. We have become an empty people. Rome has nothing to fear from us. So, don't lecture me on lofty ideals that belong to a world that is gone. I am fed-up with lofty ideals., and for good reasons.
"I don't even blame the Romans anymore for my tragedy, though they killed my husband. The Romans are probably victims themselves. I blame Abraham. Abraham was the blackest sheep in the history of civilization. He invented the circumcision, didn't he?"
Jesus shakes his head. "You are wrong. Empire dehumanizes society, but the circumcisions preceded Abram and may be the root cause for the existence of the system of empire in our world. Some say that it may have been invented in Egypt in ancient times before Abraham, several thousand years ago. The ancient Egyptians appear to have recognized that the circumcision diminishes the human bonds and turns the victims into mental slaves that are more-easily manipulated. The circumcision may have been applied as a requirement for candidates seeking to enter the priesthood, in order to keep the priests subservient to Pharaoh. But the circumcision process itself wasn't likely invented in Egypt. It probably preceded Egypt by a long way in distant times, and may have given rise to Egypt as an empire.
Abraham is said to have traveled to Egypt. He may have seen it there, and seen it as an act of worship. The Egyptians have also applied a form of circumcision to women, which is especially brutal. Evidently, Abraham didn't know what the effects were of what he saw. Nevertheless, I cannot imagine that Abraham would have brought this scourge upon his people as the legends say he has done. Abraham was too sensitive for that. Neither was the tragedy decreed by God on society. That's for sure.
It was no more decreed by God," Jesus continues, "than Abraham's sacrifice of his own son Isaac had been decreed by God, which God has blocked in the last stages, according to the legend. Many ancient legends are tales spun by small-minded people who do not understand the nature of divine Love. Tragedies result in society when it mistakes the legends of small-minded writers as the word of God.
Everything that I know about God tells me loud and clear that divine Love never decrees destructive sacrifices, nor does Love tempt man with insanity. The only sacrifice that Love demands is for humanity to let go of its small-minded thinking. Abraham was a civic leader who was discovering the dynamics of divine Life and developed a certain awareness of God that is aglow with a sense of purpose in Love that inspires trust in good. While his concept of God as universal good still required a lot of development in his time, the circumcision doesn't fit into the pattern. It couldn't have come from him. However, with him being a great civic leader who made his name in times of crisis, the circumcision-imposition that probably pre-existed, might have been attributed to him in later times for political purposes to give it the weight of authority, just as Moses name had been abused by the priests of old in their demand for the civil murdering that nearly got you killed, as a means for them to bolster their authority over the people.
"A society that doesn't discipline itself to get out of small-minded thinking gets trapped into accepting all kinds of treacheries of this sort."
"Healing on this front is highly important, then," says Mary.
"It is critically important, Mary. It is so important that we devoted an entire stanza to the subject of small-minded thinking in what we recognize to be the Prayer of God. God wants us to be keenly alert never to allow ourselves to be led into small-minded thinking, which is one of the greatest evils we can experience, and if we fail, then to spare no effort to get ourselves out of the consequences as fast as possible, by correcting the failure. We must never loose sight of the fact that God, divine Love, is not the author of small-minded thinking, and that it does not lead anyone into such a terrible trap. Instead divine Love gives humanity the power to step away from this trap and to heal the effects of it in whatever form they appear, whether it be sin, disease, or death. Our focus in prayer must include to alert ourselves to avoid small-minded thinking. This is so important that the focus on it is one of the great stanzas of the Prayer of God in which God inspires us to discern the vast dimension of our existing as one with all the good that God is.
"This includes the circumcision, specifically and symbolically. Every form of small-minded thinking is a form of circumcision of some type that amputates aspects of the good in which infinite wisdom comes to light. This means that we need to protect ourselves instantly from the consequences if we fail. Don't ever let a disease fester. Heal yourself instantly. Do it right away. Your power to heal is not dependent on time. Principle is ever-active."
"The tragedy then, in all cases, " says Mary, "is, that if one's perception of God is too small, one misses the mark. It doesn't really matter then by how much one misses the mark."
"If one is drifting somewhere in never-never land, one is off the mark," Jesus continues. "You are right, it doesn't really matter then how far one is off the mark. This relative concept doesn't apply in the divine realm.
I pity the circumcised who cannot see beyond the tip of their nose," says Mary.
"But those who can see further," says Jesus, "who can bridge the gap to God in their mind by knowing what is always true, find themselves enriched with spiritual compensation that out-shines every loss they may have incurred on the sensual plain. The important stuff, the real riches, can only be experienced past the tip of ones nose anyway. This is one of the lessons Leah had to learn in the Jacob story, which she learned with the birth of Asher. She was happy with what lays beyond the tip of one's nose. This is a lesson that the whole of humanity needs yet to learn."
"By what you are saying," Mary interjects, "the circumcision that the men suffer from, whom, I have encountered, who suffer without hardly being aware of it since they never had a normal life from birth on, has implications that go far beyond the sexual context. How much does humanity suffer altogether, without being aware of it?"
"If God had deemed the circumcision to be good, we would all have been born circumcised," answers Jesus. "If God had deemed small-minded thinking to be bliss, we would all have been so blessed. But neither bears the colors of infinite wisdom. We need to open our mind and our senses to the beautiful colours of spiritual being. Living in a world without color is a self-imposed tragedy. It's like riding a train to hell.
"Rome was probably built on a train to hell - it lived on this train," interjects Mary. "Rome is not a separate issue then, is it? When a society doesn't have spiritual link with God to give it stability, or this link is lost, is cut off, is thrown out of the window, chaos and fascism rules by default."
"On this train every disease that ever was becomes as much an un-opposed tyrant as Rome has become," says Jesus. "This includes society's self-created disease of the circumcision. If you have had a chance to study the Scriptures as I had, you would have encountered the story of Jacob that I referred to earlier in the context of Leah, one of his two wives. Jacob had one daughter in his dual marriage, and 11 sons. When his daughter fell in love with a normal man in a nearby village, her brothers tried to prevent the union by demanding that all the villagers should likewise be circumcised as they were, before such relationship would be allowed. Then, as the villagers were complying with the demand out of a sense of love, while the men were in pain from the circumcision, the brothers took up their sword and attacked the village. They killed all the men in it.
"While this is just a story, it was evidently written by a concerned writer to illustrate the effect that is created by the circumcision as one rejects the harmonizing qualities that are inherent in all aspects of the creation of infinite wisdom that God is. The villagers should have been alert. They should have recognized what the circumcision represents. They should have been scared of the circumcised and have protected themselves against the fascism that is inherent in a small-minded society."
"What else, but tragedy, can be the outcome then, when one rejects the creation of infinite wisdom, that God is?," says the woman Mary. "This can only result in evermore tragic situations. Has anyone ever seen a circumcision-type self-mutilation happening in the natural world. It doesn't exist there. And so it shouldn't exist in the human world either. Some day we will get to this point. But why not now? Can't we learn this simple thing from the flowers in the field?"
"Ah, I see you are beginning to recognize the challenge I am facing," says Jesus to Mary. "I am certain that this dangerous train of tragedy can be stopped. Society can be healed. Even Rome can be healed. But one cannot do this without annihilating the root cause, which means filling every void where a scene is spiritually lacking. Society cheats itself when divine healing is only sought for the healing of its personal illnesses, that is when the divine Spirit is sought only for the sake of the loaves and the fishes instead of for the development of universal divine Love where all human needs are met."
"Future civilizations will have to learn this lesson," Mary interjects.
"No all people in the present must learn this," says Jesus. "Sure, this is not as easily done as it sounds. Your own frustrating experience in trying to find a normal man in order to have a normal, caring, and enriching relationship in Love, is only a small aspect of that much larger problem that society will have to solve without fail for it to be able to survive. This has to begin now, because any delay makes it harder to get out of the trap. The efforts need to be made now. This is what I had meant to say, when I said to you, keep the gold precious. I assumed you might understand."
"Is this what your mother had done before you were born?" the Mary interjects. "Rumours have it that she had nine whole men. I can't imagine what miracle had brought this about in our circumcised desert landscape of a world. I can't attract a single one."
"It was a freer, richer, and cleaner world then," says Jesus. "Now Rome and the Pharisees are in competition. Where Rome disables society with the terror of the sword, the Pharisees get the same results with the circumcision. They want to have it as universally practiced as is physically possible. But you are wrong about the numbers of my family.
"My mother's circle had included only four men in those days, and three women, for a total of seven. There were times when the number increased and then diminished again, but it never dropped below seven. Maybe this was so by design. Most likely it was. Mother seemed to be always in control. She didn't leave critical aspects like this to chance. Nor was she timid. She was 'dynamic' as one person has put it. Some people have also said that her wide openness to life and love in all its dimensions was immoral. I was told that she just laughed at them and asked them to consider that man is not primarily physical, nor merely moral, but is divine where the freedom of humanity begins. She would say that in the divine universe Soul is the heart that draws everything together and opens it up into Love. She used to say that the moral ground is transitional. It opens up into a garden of discoveries, discoveries of what God is.
"Mother's name is Mary, too, as you may know, but we simply call her, Mother. People have been calling her by many different names in the past, and me too, according to the language of the country we were in. My name probably emerged by convention. Maybe Mother had Joshua in mind, before whom the walls of Jericho fell.
"The seven points of the stars, represent the seven colors of the rainbow," the woman interjects.
"No, they represent Mother's seven 'names' for God," Jesus corrects her. "One name is Love, another is Spirit, Truth, and Life. The other names are Principle, Mind, and Soul. Mother has embraced those names for God, and in her loving them she became one with them.
"Also the names didn't pop out of thin air. It took years to develop the recognition of them, with everyone contributing. I was told that she had a long table set up in the house with eight places at the table; seven for her circle, and one for herself. She called the table, the academy, and her place on it, Mother. She and the people of her circle were dedicated to one single project, and one alone, to discover what God really is; how God is expressed; and how we become one with God."
"There was no one teacher in this academy, but God," Jesus continues. "Mother's role at the table was that of a facilitator. The academy was designed for learning the science of God. Life was the teacher. Love was the teacher. Soul was the teacher. The members of this divine academy were enthusiastic discoverers of all the wonders that God, the great good, is. The were exuberant in their response to what they discovered as truth, even that God is knowable as Truth. And they shared what they discovered. In this sense everyone was a teacher. They came together to celebrate what they discovered. Everyone contributed to the process. Often one person would start an idea, then another would add to it, and still another, with each one raising the curtain a little by which the underlying concept was gradually becoming clear.
"I was told that this went on for hours at times, with each one often contributing only a sentence, or just a thought, or a scripture. The names for God were developed that way. They all imparted and walked away with rich expartations. My famous prayer was essentially developed that way. It started small, and gradually, bit by bit, it became bigger and bigger. Society has attributed the prayer to me, but since it came to light through the academy, it was really God's prayer. It should be called the Lord's Prayer. Some day it will be called that. It is essentially a statement of how we, in the academy, perceived that God wants to be recognized by us, and consequently how wee need to recognize God. Both are the same. We worked on this prayer for years. Some of this work was done when we lived in Persia, and some in India."
Another exciting project was to discover specific attributes in which the seven names for God come to life. How would God see himself? Would he not see himself as: The great I AM; the all-knowing; all-seeing; all-acting; all-wise; all-loving; and eternal? We worked on this one, patiently and consistently, all the way through our stay in India. Patience always has its perfect outcome. Wherever we went, the academy went with us. The people in different places called it differently, of course. Some liked to call it a salon. Great care was required so that it wouldn't conflict with established institutions. At times high ranking gurus would attend the academy, or the salon as some referred to it, as it was never regarded as a holy place. May contributed to the academy, and many found it refreshing. We didn't bow to God in the academy. we never did. We lived God as much as we were able. We made everything holy that was true, and good, and uplifting, and productive. We gave all that we did, a holy dimension that reflects God as Life itself, and Love, and Mind reflected in perfect wisdom.
"I think you were not the first to have a salon established," interjects Mary. "Didn't the famous pioneer, Aspasia, develop the concept in Athens, 400 years before your time? I belief Aspasia opened an academy for young women of good families in Athens. Her relationship with Pericles, and her thereby political influence may have shaped the history on an entire country. I hear that her name was so famous that it appears in some of the great philosophical writings of Plato and Socraticus. She is even credited to have invented the Socratic method, whatever that is."
"Oh yes, she was a clever woman with regards to words," says Jesus. "She was a clever sophist. She may have taught rhetoric. She may have also helped Pericles to become the great master in sophistry that he became, which enabled him to start the Peloponnesian War, in which Pericles himself perished and Athens was utterly defeated. Yes, she was in the limelight, but for what end? Yes, I hear that Plato was impressed by her intelligence and wit, so much so that he modeled one of his characters, the Diotima in the Symposium, after her. She may have been intelligent enough to impress Socrates too.
As for the Socratic Method; it is a form of teaching by means of asking guiding questions instead of conveying what a teacher wants to get across. While Socrates is hailed for it, my experience has been that this is dangerous stuff. The method is easily abused. If the guiding questions are formulated in such a manner that they are not easily answerable, the self-esteem of the learner can become destroyed in minutes. This leaves me to wonder what her sexual motives were that she was also famous for. I see the potential for great dishonesty in them. The purpose can become dangerous if it is for the thing itself, instead for glorifying God by experiencing God's reflection coming to light in all things real. Sex without God is like a mind without God. The result is often dangerous. Mother would have never allowed this.
"Aspasia was admired by many women," says Mary. "Many still want to be like her, and probably will continue so for a long time to come."
"Many were persuaded that way," says Jesus. "Aspasia was accused of corrupting the women of Athens with her wit, in order to satisfy Pericles' perversions. She was subsequently put on trial for impiety, which didn't go anywhere. I have even heard her salon activities to be referred to as a brothel, which it may have been. Mother's academy is so infinitely distant from Aspasia's salon in this regard. Nothing of it is comparable. There has never been a single case that I can remember where anything was pursued for the thing itself. The key criterion was always, does it reflect God?
"Plato and Socrates would have gained a lot by coming to Mother's academy, if the academy had existed in their time. It might have saved Socrates' life. It may well be that Socrates never really lived, before he was killed by the democratic system of Athens. Socrates had questioned the collective notion that 'might makes right.' His focus was on the thing itself, not on God. Socrates was executed as a 'disturber of the peace,' - corrupting the minds of the youth of Athens and for the crime of impiety, the crime of not believing in the gods of the state. He never lifted up his eyes. He built a mental platform without God at the center.
"Mother's academy would have prevented all that. Socrates would have learned, life, in the academy. Where God is at the center, there is life expressed abundantly, expressing divine Life. His work would have taken a different direction then."
"Wow, that must have been some academy," says Maria, "so that the greatest would have benefitted from it, like Socrates and Plato."
"Did Plato ever heal a blind person, or a leper, or a deaf man, a lame, or an insane?" says Jesus. "It never happened in any of their academies. But in Mother's academy, it happens so routinely that it has become common place. That's where you find the difference between Mother's academy and the Socratic, the Platonic, or any other academy.