Anonymous asked: can you tell us about Mother Mary? I've gained a recent deep interest in her, there's a lot we're not told it seems. For instance I wasn't aware her typical face of agony was due to her knowing ahead of time that her son was to die. I feel like there's a lot to learn there but don't know where to look
Mary, Mariam in Islam, is a minor character in the New Testament. The Quran speaks far more about Mary than does the Bible. When Christianity first took over the pagan lands there was seen an imbalance. The male, the Father was alone. So, Mary the mother of Christ, took on the form of the divine feminine. She assumed the mantle of Isis and Hathor.
She became the embodiment of mother love i.e. that nurturing unconditional love that a mother has for a child. She became the chaste virgin but also the fertile mother. Two aspects of the divine feminine in one being. The church fathers at first sought to restrict her veneration but the common people demanded a Goddess and so the cult of Mary grew spontaneously within he church.
In every culture there is a goddess whose name is “Ma”. Ma is usually the first word uttered by a child. Ma is also the sacred word Om. We say say O ah ma. Sometimes Oma, sometimes Ama or just Ma. It is an interesting coincidence that peoples all over the world have mother goddesses with variations of this word. Christians have “Mother MAry”, Hindus have “Kali-MA”, Africans “YaMAya”, Incans “PachaMAma”, Hopis and Navaho “MAski”, Rome “Tellus MAter” and the Celts “Eorþan MAador” and literally hundreds more. The Indoeuropean linguistic root for “love” is also “ama”.Strangely universal this powerful syllable.
Mary is the universal mother.
Photorealistic pastels of the Maldives by Zaria Forman
"'An old zen monk who, after many years of peaceful meditation, realized he was not really enlightened. He went to the master and said, “Please, may I go find a hut at the top of the mountain and stay there until I finish this practice?” The master, knowing he was ripe, gave his permission. On the way up the mountain the monk met an old man walking down, carrying a big bundle. The old man asked, “Where are you going monk?” The monk answered, “I'm going to the top of the mountain to sit and either get enlightened or die.” Since the old man looked very wise, the monk was moved to ask him, “Say, old man, do you know anything of this enlightenment?” The old man, who was really the Bodhisattva Manjusri - said to appear to people when they are ready for enlightenment - let go of his bundle, and it dropped to the ground. As in all good Zen stories, in that moment the monk was enlightened. “You mean it is that simple; just to let go and not grasp anything!” Then the newly enlightened monk looked back at the old man and asked, “So now what?” In answer, the old man reached down and picked up the bundle again and walked off towards town.
This story shows both sides of spiritual practice. It teaches us to let go, to relinquish our grasping and identification with all things, and reminds us that we just rent this house for a while. Once we have realized that, it teaches us, we must re-enter the world with a caring heart. We must pick up our bundle and carry it back into the realm of human life. But now we can travel as a bodhisattva, as one who has traversed the terrain of life and death and is free in a new way. From this freedom we can bring a heart of understanding and compassion to a world that needs it so much.’
- Jack Kornfield, A Path With Heart, A Guide Through the Perils and Promises of Spiritual Life."
- Helpful Words: Let Go and Don’t Grasp Anything