The Death of Religion and the Rebirth of Spirit
A Return to the Intelligence of the Heart
By (author) Joseph Chilton Pearce
Social visionary Joseph Chilton Pearce’s indictment of cultural imprinting as the cause of humankind’s cruel and violent behavior
• Refutes the Neo-Darwinist assumption that violence is inherent in humanity
• Identifies religion as the sustaining force behind our negative cultural imprinting
• Shows how infant-adult interactions unconsciously block the creative spirit
We are all too aware of the endless variety of cruel and violent behavior reported to us in the media, reminded daily that in every corner of the world someone is suffering or dying at the hands of another. We have to ask: Is this violence and cruelty endemic to our nature? Are we, at our foundation, really so murderous? In The Death of Religion and the Rebirth of Spirit, Joseph Chilton Pearce, life-long advocate of human potential, sounds an emphatic and convincing no.
Pearce explains that, beneath our awareness, our culture imprints a negative force-field that blocks the natural rise of our spirit toward our true, innate nature of love and altruism. Further, he identifies religion as the primary cultural force behind this negative imprinting. Drawing from recent neuroscience, neurocardiology, cultural anthropology, and brain development research, Pearce explains that the key to reversing this trend can be found in the interaction between infants and adults. The adult mind-set effectively compromises the infant’s neural and hormonal interactions between the heart and the higher evolutionary structures of the developing brain, thus keeping us centered primarily in our most primitive and defensive neural foundations, generation after generation. Pearce shows us that if we allow the intelligence of the heart to take hold and flourish, we can reverse this unconscious loss of our true nature.
The Gospel of Mary Magdalene
By (author) Jean-Yves Leloup
Foreword by Jacob Needleman
....Restores to the forefront of the Christian tradition the importance of the divine feminine
• The first complete English-language translation of the original Coptic Gospel of Mary, with line-by-line commentary
• Reveals the eminence of the divine feminine in Christian thought
• Offers a new perspective on the life of one of the most controversial figures in the Western spiritual tradition
Perhaps no figure in biblical scholarship has been the subject of more controversy and debate than Mary Magdalene. Also known as Miriam of Magdala, Mary Magdalene was considered by the apostle John to be the founder of Christianity because she was the first witness to the Resurrection. In most theological studies she has been depicted as a reformed prostitute, the redeemed sinner who exemplifies Christ's mercy. Today's reader can ponder her role in the gospels of Philip, Thomas, Peter, and Bartholomew--the collection of what have come to be known as the Gnostic gospels rejected by the early Christian church. Mary's own gospel is among these, but until now it has remained unknown to the public at large.
Orthodox theologian Jean-Yves Leloup's translation of the Gospel of Mary from the Coptic and his thorough and profound commentary on this text are presented here for the first time in English. The gospel text and the spiritual exegesis of Leloup together reveal unique teachings that emphasize the eminence of the divine feminine and an abiding love of nature over the dualistic and ascetic interpretations of Christianity presented elsewhere. What emerges from this important source text and commentary is a renewal of the sacred feminine in the Western spiritual tradition and a new vision for Christian thought and faith throughout the world.
...."The Gospel of Mary, taken with the inspired commentary by Jean-Yves Leloup, can help toward making the teaching of Jesus once again alive."
Jacob Needleman, author of Lost Christianity and The American Soul
Mary Magdalene Saint or Sinner?
A new wave of literature is cleaning up her reputation. How a woman of substance was "harlotized"
the combination of catholic rethinking and Gnostic revelations have reanimated wilder Magdalene speculations, like that of a Jesus-Magdalene marriage. ("No other biblical figure," Schaberg notes, "has had such a vivid and bizarre postbiblical life.") The Gnostic Gospel of Philip describes Magdalene as "the one who was called [Jesus'] companion," claiming that he "used to kiss her on her [mouth]." Most scholars discount a Jesus-Magdalene match because it finds little echo in the canonical Gospels once the false Magdalenes are removed. But it fulfills a deep narrative expectation: for the alpha male to take a mate, for a yin to Jesus' yang or, as some neopagans have suggested, for a goddess to his god. Martin Luther believed that Jesus and Magdalene were married, as did Mormon patriarch Brigham Young.
.....The notion that Magdalene was pregnant by Jesus at his Crucifixion became especially entrenched in France, which already had a tradition of her immigration in a rudderless boat, bearing the Holy Grail, his chalice at the Last Supper into which his blood later fell. Several French kings promoted the legend that descendants of Magdalene's child founded the Merovingian line of European royalty, a story revived by Richard Wagner in his opera Parsifal and again in connection with Diana, Princess of Wales, who reportedly had some Merovingian blood.....
....She was also high priestess of the Temple of Ishtar at Magdala, and as such she would have been the keeper of the doves. She is linked with Benjamite, the tribe which was ostracized because they were of the line of Cain. So too was Hiram Abiff, architect of the Temple of Solomon.
As a Roman Catholic saint, Mary Magdalene's relics were venerated at Saint Maximin la Sainte Baume, Provence, and attracted such throngs of pilgrims that the great Basilica was erected there from the mid thirteenth century, one of the finest Gothic churches in the south of France. Though her bones were scattered at the French Revolution, her head is said to remain in her shrine in a cave at La Sainte-Baume near Marseille, although another medieval tradition holds that she died in Ephesus and was buried in Constantinople.
The Magdalene became a symbol of repentance for the vanities of the world, and Mary Magdalene was the patron of Magdalene College, Cambridge (pronounced "maudlin", as in weepy penitents). Unfortunately her name was also used for the infamous Magdalen Asylums in Ireland where supposedly fallen women were treated as slaves.
Issue Date: July 15, 2005
Resurrecting Mary Magdalene
Neither the new feminist scholarship based on the Gnostic gospels nor the arguments of Ms. Starbird, Mr. Prince or Ms. Picknett concerning Mary Magdalene impress Philip Jenkins, a professor of religious studies at Pennsylvania State University and author of Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost its Way.
“It’s tragic that modern attempts to recover that significance use absurd crank ‘theories’ that no reputable scholar will take seriously, such as ‘pagan priestess’ or ‘bride of Jesus,’ or else we have more serious works that are massively over-optimistic in what can be recovered from very late and tainted texts like the Gospel of Mary,” Dr. Jenkins said.
Jean Houston sees wider cultural issues at work in the newfound popularity of Mary Magdalene. Dr. Houston, a well-known author who earned two doctorates in psychology and religious studies, calls Mary Magdalene a patroness for the liberation of women throughout the world and an icon for the ideal of a society where equal partnership, not domination, prevails in human relationships.
“The rise of Mary Magdalene in our time is part of one the most significant happenings in human history,” Dr. Houston said. “Fifty-two percent of the human race is about to join in as full partners in the business of human affairs.”