The Gospel of Mary, Part 2

In this section, it’ll be a continuation of part 1.  The vision that Mary has in section 1 is recounted in this part. Then after Mary’s recollection, her word is doubted by Andrew & specifically Peter. This is enjoyable read. Happy reading.

Mary Recounts Her Vision of the Soul’s Ascent

“Desire said, ‘I didn’t see you descending, but now I see ascending. Why are you lying, since you belong to me?’  The soul answered & said, ‘I saw you, but you didn’t see or know me. To you I was only a garment, & you didn’t recognize me.’ After the soul said this, she left, rejoicing greatly. The soul approached the 3rd power, called ignorance. The power questioned to soul, saying, ‘Where are you going? You’re bound by wickedness, you’re bound, so don’t pass judgement.’ The souled said, ‘Why do you pass judgment on me, though I’ve not passed judgement? I was bound, but I’ve not bound. I wasn’t recognized, but I’ve recognized that all is to be dissolved, both what’s earthly & what’s heavenly.’ When the soul overcame the 3rd power, she ascended & saw the 4th power. It took 7 forms: The 1st form is darkness, the second is desire, the 3rd ignorance, the 4th death wish, the 5th the fleshly kingdom, the 6th foolish fleshly wisdom, the 7th angry person’s wisdom. These are the 7 powers of wrath. The powers asked the soul, ‘Where are you coming from, slayer of humans, & where are you going, destroyer of realms?’ (This makes me think of the Mahabharata (an ancient Indian (from India) religious text) that speaks of a destroyer of worlds.) The soul answered & said, “What binds me is slain, what surrounds me is destroyed, my desire is gone, ignorance is dead. In a world I was freed through another world, & in an image I was freed through a heavenly image. The fetter of forgetfulness is temporary. From now on I shall rest, through the course of the time of the age, in silence.'”

Pp. 11-14 are missing from the Coptic manuscript. The text resumes as Mary is recounting her vision of the ascent of the soul beyond the cosmic stages may have depicted the liberation of the soul from the 4 elements of this world. The name of the 1st power is missing from the text, but it may have been “darkness,” according to the list of the forms of the 4th power. The names of the other powers are ‘desire,’ ‘ignorance,’ & apparently, ‘wraith,’ & a deadly composite power. As in other texts relating to gnostic religion & the career of the soul, the soul ascends through the realm of the powers & is interrogated by them. The soul is successful in her ascent from this world of matter & body, & she’s set free at last. See the Gospel of Thomas 50.

The garment, which clothes the soul, is made up of all the features that characterize bodily existence in this world. The soul puts on this garment upon entering the world & takes it off when leaving the world. Compare the 7 heavenly spheres (often for the sun, moon, & 5 planets) described by ancient astronomers & astrologers, On the names of the 7 powers of wrath, compare the Secret Book of John.

Peter & Andrew Doubt Mary’s Word

When Mary said this, she became silent, since the savior had spoken this much to her. Andrew answered & said to the brothers (again probably the disciples/apostles.), “Say what you think about what she said, but I don’t believe the savior said this. These teachings certainly are strange ideas.” Peter voiced similar concerns. He asked the others about the savior: “Did he really speak with a woman in private, without our knowledge?  Should he prefer her to us?” (YES!!! It’s unclear of Jesus’ actual sexuality. Everyone assumes that, if Jesus had those thoughts, that he’d be straight. So yes, he’s gonna want hang out with girls then a sausage fest 24/7. However, there’s strong suggestion in the bible that Jesus could’ve been in the LBGTQ+ community. In Mark 14:51 & John 18:1-11 talks about a “young man” (how young this man is is unclear) was following Jesus wearing nothing but a linen garment. And when they seized Jesus, at the Kiss of Death moment, this “young man” fled naked, leaving his garment behind. So some guy wearing pretty much just a piece of cloth was following Jesus. And they made mention that he’s a he!!! Hmm. Or if you subscribe to Jesus being married, Jesus was at bare minimum bi-sexual. *Don’t mind me. I’m over here. In my corner. Sipping my tea. Please don’t send me hate mail.*

 

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