Mary Magdalene, Jusepe Ribera, 1641
Mary of Magdala, I believe, has four messages to give us. First of all, she is a disciple of Jesus. It was unknown at that time for women to be disciples of rabbis, and yet all four evangelists mention her, while Luke and Matthew specifically state that she and some others looked after Jesus and his closest disciples.
Her message here is one of service, for she considered it an honour to minister to the Lord. This she did to the end, when she came with others to anoint his crucified body as it lay in the tomb.
You could say she was a fragile person, but what a beautiful lesson for us to know that Jesus can use us even when we are damaged and have known sin or distress or sickness.The world needs to hear that message. Maybe that’s the real reason why the figure of Mary Magdalene is so prominent today.
Finally, there is the role of Mary Magdalene as the ‘first announcer of the Resurrection’. Even when the other disciples doubt her word, she is faithful in proclaiming the message that he is risen. Did Jesus choose a woman for this role because of the inherent fidelity of a woman’s heart? Despite the apostles’ incredulity, she stuck to her guns. In Zeffirelli’s film, Jesus of Nazareth, Mary is given the line, ‘He told me to tell you, and I have done so!’ That about sums up her courage and fidelity. Mary Magdalene was the first to grasp this astonishing truth, and to proclaim it to the world.
The Higgs boson, photo credit: AP Photo/CERN
We speak at times of an expanding universe; what we really mean is an expanding consciousness, for this etheric body of the Entity, Space, is the recipient of many types of informing and penetrating energies, and it is also the field for the intelligent activity of the indwelling Lives of the Universe, of the many constellations, of the distant stars, of our solar system, of the planets within the system, and of all that constitutes the sumtotal of these separated living forms. The factor which relates them is consciousness and nothing else, and the field of conscious awareness is created through the interplay of all living intelligent forms within the area of the etheric body of that great Life which we call SPACE. In: Alice Bailey & Djwhal Khul, “Telepathy and the Etheric Vehicle”
The Sun sign. This sign indicates the present problem of the man; it sets the pace or the established tempo of his personality life; it is related to quality, temperament and the life tendencies which are seeking expression during this particular incarnation, and it is suggestive of the rajasic or the activity aspect of the innate man. Fundamentally, the forces here found are indicative of the line of least resistance.
That the Sun sign, as it is called, indicates the nature of the man, physical, mental and spiritual. It holds the secret of the personality ray and of the man’s responsiveness or lack of responsiveness to the Soul, the real man. It indicates also the integration already achieved and the present point of unfoldment of the soul qualities, of the present available equipment, of the present life quality and of the immediately possible group relations. It indicates, from the angle of the Ageless Wisdom, nothing more. This is a reversal of the usual astrological position. The reason that I proffer this is that humanity is enough evolved so that the astrology of the soul will become possible before long; it constitutes—from many points of view—a reversal of normal procedure. This is both wise and necessary, and also inevitable. Astrologers will eventually be divided into two classes: the exoteric astrologers who will be occupied with the horoscope of the personality, and the esoteric astrologers who will be occupied with the purposes of the soul.
In: ESOTERIC ASTROLOGY, ALICE A. BAILEY
Systematis Copernicani Astrological Chart, c.1543, devised by Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) from “The Celestial Atlas”
“Yes, in our body everything is concentrated. Only know how to use it, and how not to misuse it. Do you in the West know something about the Great Stone in which magic powers are concentrated? And do you know from which planet came this stone? And who possessed this treasure?”
“Lama, about the Great Stone we have as many legends as you have images of Chintamani. From the old Druidic times many nations remember these legends of truth about the natural energies concealed in this strange visitor to our planet. Very often in such fallen stones are hidden diamonds, but these are nothing in comparison with some other unknown metals and energies which are found every day in the stones and in the numerous currents and rays.
“Lapis Exilis, thus is named the stone, which is mentioned by the old Meistersingers. One sees that the West and East are working together on many principles. We do not need to go to the deserts to hear of the Stone. In our cities, in our scientific laboratories, we have other legends and proofs. Would any one have thought that the fairy tales regarding the flying man would ever be fulfilled? Yet now, each day’s mail, each day’s visitors, may come flying.”
IN: N. ROERICH, SHAMBHALA, THE RESPLENDENT
One must remark the style of Roerich—it has the unrepeatable quality and synthesis of life. He transmits to us the essentials and we discern that these fragments of seeming fantasy are weaving themselves into a pattern of essential truth and essential beauty.
Adelaide Claxton, Wonderland, 1870
John Singer Sargent, Detail Of Astarte, 1890-1895
The energies of the twelve constellations are blended with those of the twelve planets, but their power to evoke response, and to be consciously received, recognized and employed, is dependent entirely upon the type of response mechanism of the planetary Life and of the individual man. It has been rightly said that consciousness is dependent upon the vehicles of consciousness, upon their point of development and upon the ability of the individual to identify himself with the energies and impulses which are reaching him, and is not dependent only upon that which is already a recognized part or aspect of himself. It might be said that the higher response to the realities and qualities revealed and made possible by the impact of energy from the zodiacal signs is somewhat dependent upon the waning influence of the planets to hold down the consciousness aspect of the man. Ponder upon this, for it embodies a deep esoteric truth.
Thus, two potent streams of energy – cosmic and systemic – reach man via the conditioning planetary centers of force (the seven planetary schemes in the solar system and their corresponding seven centers in the planet on which we live) and pour into the symbolic “twelve houses” through their medium. It is for this reason that our solar system is spoken of as one of “intrinsic duality” (love-wisdom) and that the major task of man is the “regulation of the pairs of opposites.” The theme of duality, therefore, runs through the whole story of man’s development. Upon all the three planes (physical, astral and mental) of human unfoldment the reconciliation goes forward.
Alice Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 34
There was no abstraction in his Teaching. He never opposed the ideal of mystic and transcendental life to existing reality. He stressed the reality of all existing things and conditions for the current moment. And as his activities and thoughts were concerned mostly with the circumstances of life, he drew the contents of his speeches and parables out of daily life, using the simplest images and comparisons.
Starting from the concept of the parallel between nature and human life, Hindu thinkers believe that the manifestations of nature can explain many things to us in the manifestations of life. Using this method, Buddha, fortunately for his Doctrine, retained the experience of this old tradition. “I shall show thee by comparison, because many rational people understand by comparison”—such was the usual formula of Buddha. And this simple, vital approach lent to his Teaching vividness and conviction.
His influence upon people was proportionate to his faith in himself, in his power, and in his mission. He always adapted himself to the situation of each pupil and listener, giving to them the most needed, in accordance with their understanding. He did not burden the disciples and listeners, who were unprepared to absorb the highest knowledge, with intricate intellectual processes. Nor did he encourage those who sought abstract knowledge, without applying in life his highly ethical Teaching. Once, when one such questioner, named Māluñkya, asked the Blessed One about the origin of all things, the Blessed One remained silent, because he considered the most important task lay in affirmation of the reality of our surroundings; this meant to see things as they exist around us, and try first to perfect them, to prompt their evolution and not to waste time on intellectual speculation.
In: “Foundations of Buddhism”, Helena Roerich
Artist: Nikolay Rainov, Bulgarian writer, theosophist and painter
The individual etheric body is not an isolated and separated human vehicle but is, in a peculiar sense, an integral part of the etheric body of that entity which we have called the human family; this kingdom in nature, through its etheric body, is an integral part of the planetary etheric body; the planetary etheric body is not separated off from the etheric bodies of other planets but all of them in their totality, along with the etheric body of the sun constitute the etheric body of the solar system. This is related to the etheric bodies of the six solar systems which, with ours, form a cosmic unity and into these pour energies and forces from certain great constellations. The field of space is etheric in nature and its vital body is composed of the totality of etheric bodies of all constellations, solar systems and planets which are found therein. Throughout this cosmic golden web there is a constant circulation of energies and forces and this constitutes the scientific basis of the astrological theories. Just as the forces of the planet and of the inner spiritual man (to mention only one factor among many) pour through the etheric body of the individual man upon the physical plane, and condition his outer expression, activities, and qualities, so do the varying forces of the universe pour through every part of the etheric body of that entity we call space and condition and determine the outer expression, the activities and qualities of every form found within the cosmic periphery.
IN: ESOTERIC ASTROLOGY. A TREATISE ON THE SEVEN RAYS
VOLUME III, PAGE 6. ALICE A. BAILEY
Illuminated illustration of the Ptolemaic geocentric conception of the Universe. The outermost text reads “The heavenly empire, dwelling of God and all the selected”