The Gospel of Mary Magdalene and Near-Death Experiences
A lot of media
attention is being given to the novel "The
Da Vinci Code" by Dan
Brown because of its radical claims
purporting to be historical truth. The
book may be riding the popular crest
of another recent religious story about
Jesus called "The Passion"
my review of Mel's snuff film).
Since the book was released, a primetime
television special was broadcast about
the book. Hollywood director Ron Howard
is said to be planning to make a movie
about it. Cable programs have been airing
debates about the book and the controversy
surrounding it. I haven't read the book
but I have been paying attention to
all the media buzz about it. Here is
Newsweek article about it.
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Historical Concepts About Mary Magdalene
heard about the book, I was already familiar with
the historical concepts the book is based on:
Jesus was not believed to be God by his followers,
but was viewed to be a man who was very close to
Jesus was married to
who was the "disciple whom Jesus loved."
That Mary Magdalene played a larger role in early
Christian history than previously thought. She was
considered an apostle of Christ and was the author
Gospel of John.
(She was also the author of the
Gospel of Mary
which was discovered in 1945 and describes the soul's
journey after death which resembles a near-death
experience. It also has concepts similar to those
found in Tibetan Buddhism's "Book
of the Dead."
More about this later.)
There was a covered-up, either intentionally or
ignorantly, by the Church centuries after Jesus'
death which attempted to hide these controversies.
These controversial claims
may be the only thing about The Da Vinci Code which
are actually true. The leading authority on
the women of ancient Christianity
is the Harvard professor Karen L. King who has commented
on the entire book by saying it is "good fiction."
In the 60s and 70s, there
were controversial books and movies about Jesus
such as "Jesus Christ Superstar" which
assumed that Jesus and Mary Magdalene had a sexual
relationship. Of recent date, Martin Scorsese's
1988 movie "The Last Temptation of Christ"
included a sex scene between Jesus and Mary Magdalene.
The idea of a married Jesus is a controversy thousands
of years old.
Da Vinci Code," I only want to mention the
importance of Leonardo Da Vinci's painting entitled "The
Last Supper" which you can see on the right.
If you look at the painting you will notice that
the disciple seated to
Jesus' right appears to be either a woman
or a very, very effeminate man. Historically, the
orthodox Church has assumed the identity of the "disciple
whom Jesus loved" to be the Apostle John. The
disciple whom Jesus loved is the disciple described
in the Bible as resting his head on the bosom of
Jesus during the Last Supper. If this "beloved
disciple" really is John, this raises an interesting
question: What kind of relationship did this "disciple
whom Jesus loved" actually have with Jesus?
If we assume that Jesus
loved everyone, then what made this special disciple
become more favored by Jesus? Such questions have
led some scholars (and movie producers) to speculate
Jesus may have been a
This theory is even more controversial. Besides
Jesus having a special male disciple to love, Jesus
is described in the Bible as kissing men, living
and sleeping with men, washing their bodies, and
teaching them to love other men. The Bible also
records Jesus "giving his body" to his
disciples to "eat." Jesus also preached
tolerance for so-called "sinners" such
as adulterers, prostitutes, and even homosexuals
He rejected the social norms of his day which considered
such outcasts as worthy of death. In those days,
women had the same status as cattle, slavery was
sanctioned, and so-called sexually immoral people
were stoned to death. Not only did Jesus not follow
the social norms of his day, he hung out with the
sinners, prostitutes, tax collectors and even made
some of them apostles. He even told the religious
the prostitutes were entering
heaven before they were.
Evidence Revealing Jesus was Married to Mary Magdalene
Despite all these things,
I am convinced that the evidence shows that Jesus
was not a homosexual (although I would not think
less of Jesus if he was) but that the "special
disciple" whom Jesus loved was none other than
Mary Magdalene. There are some very good reasons
to believe that Jesus was married. Here are the
Jesus was culturally obligated to be married. In
Jewish law required every
Rabbi to be married.
Unmarried men were considered a curse to Jewish
society. Jesus said he fulfilled the law and the
prophets. The first positive commandment found in
the Bible deals with the propagation of the human
1:28). It was
therefore considered the duty of every male in Israel
to marry - usually at the age of eighteen. Anyone
who remained unmarried after age twenty was considered
cursed by God (source: Kid. 29b). So important was
marriage to the Jews of ancient Israel that men
were frequently compelled by the courts to take
a wife (source: M. Zvi Udley, Ph.D.). Given the
cultural conditions in which Jesus lived, the burden
of proof lies with those who do not believe Jesus
was married. They must show why Jesus and his parents
would have been derelict in their civic responsibilities
and not contracted a marriage for Jesus.
According to Josephus, the great Jewish historian,
the descendants of David felt a moral obligation
to perpetuate their royal heritage because they
never knew which one of their descendants would
be the chosen Messiah. The Bible shows that Jesus
was a direct descendant of David and this made him
morally obligated to be married.
Hippolytus and Origen, two earlier Church leaders,
wrote that the Song of Solomon was a prophecy of
a marital union between Christ and Mary Magdalene.
While the Bible "appears" to be silent
on the subject of Jesus' marital status, it was
not until late in the second century that any Christian
leader denied that Jesus was married. Justin Martyr
and Clement of Alexandria believed that a married
Jesus was inconsistent with his role as the Savior
of the world. Other Church fathers denied that Jesus
was married based upon the supposed silence in the
Bible about his marital status. They also believed
it conflicted with the Church's doctrine of a celibate
the Church's general view
of sex as sinful.
The evidence shows that
the Church eventually
denied the very humanity of Jesus
when the council declared him God.
Irenaeus, a second century Christian leader, wrote
about the so-called "Doctrine of Recapitulation"
which supports the idea of a married Jesus. Irenaeus
taught that Jesus symbolically entered every critical
stage of human existence and sanctified it. This
included a person's family and sexual life.
There was a second century tradition among certain
early Christian sects which held that Jesus and
Mary Magdalene were married. There is also Biblical
and extra-Biblical evidence of their special relationship
as man and wife.
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Who was Mary Magdalene?
Throughout history, Mary Magdalene has been a mysterious
figure for many Christians. She is the most prominent
woman in the Gospels and is mentioned first in seven
of the eight lists of women who walked with Jesus.
An orthodox tradition exists which claims that Mary
Magdalene was a repentant prostitute - even though
there is no Biblical evidence suggesting she was
a prostitute. She is mentioned in the Bible as being
among the women of Galilee who followed Jesus and
his disciples. She was present at Jesus' crucifixion
and burial. She was one of the women who went to
the tomb to anoint Jesus' body. She was the first
to see the risen Christ. By definition, this meant
she was the "first apostle." She was the
one who announced Jesus' resurrection to the apostles.
Because she was the first to announce his resurrection,
the Catholic Church honored her with the title "apostola
apostolorum" which means "the apostle
to the apostles."
The Bible never claims
that Mary Magdalene was the repentant prostitute
who washes the feet of Jesus with her hair in
But this incident of a woman anointing the feet
of Jesus is cited by some scholars as the most direct
witness to Jesus being married. This incident is
recorded in all four Gospels and was a story in
which Jesus himself gave express command that it
be preserved. This feet anointing ceremony was an
ancient ritual among royalty in the ancient world.
It was a ritual which sealed the marital union between
a king and his spouse. The ritual is even mentioned
briefly in the Song of Solomon.
The Bible never claims
that Mary Magdalene was the woman who was caught
in the act of adultery and saved from being stoned
to death by Jesus in
However, she is identified as having once been possessed
by seven demons in
This may be the source of the orthodox tradition
that Mary was a prostitute before she met Jesus.
The Bible records that
Mary met Jesus after his resurrection. The Bible
records a degree of intimacy between them during
this incident which one would expect between lovers,
not friends. When Mary is referred to as "woman"
by Jesus, it can just as easily be translated as "wife".
The Greek word for "woman" and "wife"
is the same and translators have to rely on the
context in determining how to translate it. Sometimes,
the translation between "woman" and "wife"
is completely arbitrary.
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The Orthodox Mary Magdalene Versus the Gnostic Mary
which yielded more information about Mary Magdalene and
the early Christians were discovered in Upper Egypt. Many
early Christian texts were found which included several
previously unknown gospels. These gospels reveal teachings
and events surrounding Jesus and the disciples which had
never been known before. For example, one gospel mentions
that Jesus kissed Mary Magdalene frequently and "on
the mouth." Another text shows that Jesus called Mary
Magdalene the "woman who knows all." These early
writings affirm that Mary was the "companion,"
even the consort, of Jesus. Mary is even the author of her
own gospel called the
Gospel of Mary.
All these facts begs the question:
Why would there be two different traditions of Mary Magdalene?
The most plausible explanation can be found in
the historical schism which developed
very early in the Christian community.
It is apparent that the early Christian community was split
by doctrinal disagreements. The majority of the community
were Christians who leaned toward so-called "heretical
doctrines" such as
Docetism, Montanism, and Gnosticism.
The rest of the community were incorporated into the emerging
institutional Church. They became known as "orthodox"
believers who conformed to the political and spiritual authority
of the Church. These orthodox believers labeled those outside
of their organization as "heretics" because they
did not conform to the authority of the priests.
the Christian Gnostics preserved the tradition of Mary Magdalene
as the beloved disciple and a leader in the Christian community,
the orthodox Christians, on the other hand, removed all
references to Mary Magdalene as being the founder of the
Johannine Community. They did this by turning the references
to "the disciple whom Jesus loved" into an anonymous
Grammatical flaws found by Bible
scholars within various Bible passages in the Gospel of
John support this transformation.
It is theorized that the emerging Church did this because
they could not accept the authenticity of a gospel written
by a woman. And not only did the Church suppress the prominent
role of Mary Magdalene, it suppressed the role of women
in general within the Church. It did this by denying the
historical role that women had in Judaism.
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Jesus' Elevation of the Role of Women
the historical treatment of women as having the
same status of cattle, the Bible records that a
woman once ruled ancient Israel: "Deborah,
a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, was leading
Israel at that time" (Judges
4:4). The Bible
even declares Rahab the prostitute to be "righteous"
for giving lodging to the spies and sending them
off in a different direction (James
Deborah, the Bible recognizes other female prophetesses
such as the four daughters of Philip, Mary (the
sister of Aaron), and Mary (the mother of God) whom
the Bible states: "Henceforth all women and
all generations shall call me blessed" (Luke
Bible also reports that many women became missionaries
and even martyrs for the Christian cause. While
women in general held a low status in society in
those days, Jesus is seen ignoring these social
norms concerning women. In one incident, the disciples
marvel that they find Jesus talking to a woman -
and not just any woman - a Samaritan woman. Jews
were forbidden to associate with Samaritans. Men
were also forbidden to even touch a woman because
they never knew if they would be breaking their
tradition of not touching a woman while she is in
her menstrual phase (Leviticus
Compared to the Synoptic gospels (Matthew, Luke,
and Mark) the Gospel of John shows women playing
a bigger role. In the Gospel of Mark, there are
instances where women are recorded as speaking.
In the Gospel of Matthew, there are
instances. In the Gospel of Luke, there are
instances. But the Gospel of John records
instances of women speaking. Of course,
the Christian Gnostics
maintained a tradition which started with Jesus
of having women perform equal functions with men
in the community.
More on this topic can be found at these websites
(02) (03). This suggests the author of this gospel,
the "disciple whom Jesus loved," viewed
women more favorably. And there is evidence that
the identity of
the author of the Gospel
of John and the "disciple whom Jesus loved"
is Mary Magdalene
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The Fall of the Role of Women by Orthodox Christianity
As the orthodox Church gained increasing political
power, the role of women in the Church decreased.
This can be directly attributed to the influence
of the letters and teachings of Paul. Paul frequently
takes an anti-women stance in his letters. While
the so-called "heretical" believers allowed
women to serve as priests and gave them equal status,
the orthodox Church adopted Pauline Christianity
which rejected the role of women. Paul taught that
women are too poor of judgment to teach; that they
must remain silent in Church; that they are forbidden
to have authority over a man (1
In essence, Paul was saying that because women were
created second and sinned first, they should shut
up. Paul also demanded that women be submissive
to men (Ephesians
women are inferior to men (1
that women are "saved through childbearing"
and although God declares the institution of marriage
to be "good" (Genesis
declares marriage to be "not good" (1
Paul demanded that women should wear veils to indicate
their secondary status in the order of creation
Paul's anti-women stance may have come from the
fact that he himself was not married (although unmarried
Jewish men were considered cursed) or it may be
because his anti-Gnostic crusade caused him to reject
the Christian Gnostic idea of equality among the
sexes. Here is
a comprehensive article
on Paul as the source of misogyny, anti-Semitism,
and slavery in western civilization.
The Gospel of John was
written by someone who was an eyewitness to the
is a claim which the Synoptic gospels cannot make.
But for some reason, the writer of the Gospel of
John wanted to remain anonymous. The writer was
obviously an extremely important figure. It is clear
that "the disciple whom Jesus loved" was
highly favored by Jesus over the other disciples.
Most Biblical scholars today do not believe the
Gospel of John was written by the Apostle John.
The author is assumed to be the anonymous disciple
of Jesus referred to as "the beloved disciple"
and "the disciple whom Jesus loved." As
mentioned earlier, there is compelling evidence
suggesting that the identity of this beloved disciple
was Mary Magdalene. In fact, some scholars believe
she may have been the true founder of what has come
to be known as the
But at some point after the death of Jesus, the
emerging male leadership of that community simply
became embarrassed about having a female founder.
The theory goes that in the Gospel of John, the "beloved
disciple" was transformed into a male disciple
in the text because this beloved disciple was clearly
the founder and champion of the community that produced
this gospel. That disciple was Mary Magdalene.
The Gospel of John was
initially not accepted by orthodox authorities.
The oldest known commentary on the Gospel of John
is that of the Gnostic Heracleon (AD 180). Irenaeus
of Lyons (AD 202) refuted the Gnostic exegesis of
it. There is an abundant amount of correlation between
the ideas found in the Gospel of John and the early
Christian Gnostic writings discovered in 1945 which
strongly suggests that the Gospel of John was a
Gnostic gospel. It is the Gospel of John which shows
Jesus teaching doctrines considered to be heresies
to the Orthodox Church such as: (1)
John 9:34); reincarnation (John
Revelation 3:12); the Jewish leaders believing
in reincarnation (John
1:19-25); the mystery of God within human beings
John 17:20-23); and Jesus paying the
karmic debt for the sins of humanity (John
1 John 2:2;
1 John 3:5;
1 John 4:10). In the
Secret Revelation of John, a Gnostic gospel
written by 185 A.D. at the latest, reincarnation
is placed at the center of the discussion concerning
the salvation of souls. John's perspective of reincarnation
in his secret teachings is that everyone is born
into this world having drunk from the water of forgetfulness
and lives in a state of spiritual ignorance. People
are able to overcome this ignorance by having the
life-giving Spirit descend upon them. These souls
"will be saved and will become perfect," that is,
escape the cycle of birth and rebirth. John asks
Jesus what will happen to those who do not attain
salvation. Jesus answers that they are hurled down
"into forgetfulness" and thrown into "prison," the
Christian Gnostic symbol for a new body. The secret
teachings of Jesus reveal that the only way for
souls to escape the cycle of birth and rebirth is
to acquire knowledge ("gnosis") after coming from
forgetfulness by finding a teacher who can lead
the soul in the right direction:
Church gained political power, it not only denied women
their rightful place in the Church, it also denied the humanity
of Jesus by declaring him to be God. This made it even more
impossible to assert that Jesus was ever married. Deifying
Jesus also elevated him beyond humanity's ability to become
like him in attaining one-ness and son-ship with God as
Salvation through the example
of Jesus was replaced with salvation through Jesus-worship.
|"This soul needs
to follow another soul in whom the Spirit
of life dwells, because she is saved through
the Spirit. Then she will never be thrust
into flesh again." (Secret
Book of John 14:20)
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Mary Magdalene - The Beloved Disciple
orthodox view is that Peter was the leader of the
twelve disciples and head of the Church. But the
early Christian writings discovered in 1945 tell
a different story - that Mary Magdalene was the
beloved disciple who had more authority than Peter.
This is also supported by Biblical facts. In
the beloved disciple is "resting on bosom of
Jesus" while Peter must petition the beloved
disciple to ask Jesus a question for him. In
the beloved disciple has access to the high priest's
palace while Peter does not. In
the beloved disciple immediately believes in Jesus'
resurrection while Peter and the rest of the disciples
do not understand what's going on. In
the beloved disciple is the only one who recognizes
the risen Christ while he speaks from the shore
to the disciples on their fishing boat. In
Peter jealously asks Jesus about the fate of the
beloved disciple. Even more struggles between Peter
and Mary are recorded in the newly discovered writings.
These writings portray
Peter as being jealous of the revelations that Mary
received from the risen Christ. For example, the
Gospel of Thomas
describes Peter as saying: "Let Mary leave
us, for women are not worthy of life." In the
Gospel of Philip,
the favorable relationship between Jesus and Mary
Magdalene is contrasted with Jesus' relationship
with the rest of the disciples. Similar examples
of Mary Magdalene being favored by Jesus over Peter
can be found in the
Gospel of the Egyptians
These texts also describe Peter rejecting the authority
of women to teach.
The Gospel of Mary describes
Mary Magdalene as Jesus' beloved disciple who possessed
and taught superior knowledge than the public orthodox
The Gospel of Thomas records
a very interesting promise made to Peter by Jesus.
He is promised that Jesus will lead Mary Magdalene
in order to "make her male so that she too
may become a living spirit resembling you males.
For every woman who will make herself male will
enter the Kingdom of Heaven." This seemingly
strange comment can only be understood in the context
of Jesus teaching the one-ness of all things which
can be found throughout these writings.
In the Acts of Philip,
Jesus praises Mary Magdalene for her manly character.
Because of this he gives her the task of joining
the weaker Philip on his mission journey - but not
as a woman. "As for you, Mary," Jesus
says, "change your clothing and your outward
appearance: reject everything which from the outside
suggests a woman." This shows how society in
those days generally rejected the authority of women.
In the Gospel of Thomas,
the Gospel of Mary, and the Pistis Sophia, Peter
is described as denying Mary Magdalene's closeness
to Jesus. These writings give Mary Magdalene a special
position. In the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel
of Mary, she is the only person to whom the other
disciples refer to as the one loved by Jesus more
than the others and as the one who has a greater
The Gospel of Philip states: "And
the companion of the [Savior is] Mary Magdalene.
[But Christ loved] her more than [all] the disciples
[and used to] kiss her [often] on her [mouth]. The
rest of [the disciples were offended] by it [and
expressed disapproval]. They said to him, "Why
do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior
answered and said to them, "Why do I not love
you like her? When a blind man and one who sees
are both together in darkness, they are no different
from one another. When the light comes, then he
who sees will see the light, and he who is blind
will remain in darkness."
The Gospel of Philip states: "There
were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary
his mother and her sister and Magdalene, the one
who was called his companion." His sister and
his mother and his companion were each named Mary.
These passages establish
the fact that Christian Gnostics believed Mary Magdalene
to be the "beloved disciple" and the companion
of the Lord. She is repeatedly singled out as the
disciple whom Jesus loved the most.
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Mary Magdalene's Near-Death Experience
Magdalene is seen in the Gospel of Mary as a disciple
who is singled out by Jesus for special teachings.
This gospel also shows Mary describing her vision
of the soul's journey after death and the challenges
it must overcome. These passages from the Gospel
of Mary contain concepts similar to concepts found
in near-death experiences and Tibetan Buddhism's
Book of the Dead.
The Gospel of Mary describes
how, after the crucifixion of Jesus, the disciples
were gathered together and weeping. At Peter's request,
Mary tells the disciples about revelations given
to her that were hidden from them. The basis for
her knowledge is the vision of the Lord she had
and a private dialogue with him. What is incredibly
unfortunately is that four pages of the Gospel of
Mary are missing and only the beginning and end
of Mary's revelation exist. Nevertheless, judging
by what does exist of this gospel, Mary's vision
certainly resembles an NDE.
The revelation is in the
form of a dialogue. The first question Mary asks
the risen Christ is how one sees a vision. Jesus
replies that the soul sees through the mind which
is between the soul and the spirit. At this point
the text breaks off. When the text resumes at the
end of the gospel, Mary is in the midst of describing
her revelation concerning the rise of the soul past
the four afterlife "powers." The four
powers represent the four of the multi-dimensional
levels of the afterlife hierarchy. According to
Mary's vision, the enlightened soul becomes free
of their bonds, rises past the four powers, conquering
them with "gnosis" (spiritual knowledge),
and finally attain eternal life.
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The Gospel of Mary
The following is the Gospel
of Mary which describes this vision further:
The Gospel of Mary
...They wept greatly,
saying, "How shall we go to the Gentiles
and preach the gospel of the kingdom of
the Son of Man? If they did not spare him,
how will they spare us?"
Then Mary stood
up, greeted them all, and said to her brethren, "Do
not weep and do not grieve nor be irresolute,
for his grace will be entirely with you
and will protect you. But rather let us
praise his greatness, for he has prepared
us and made us into men."
When Mary said
this, she turned their hearts to the Good,
and they began to discuss the words of the
Peter said to
Mary, "Sister, we know that the Savior
loved you more than the rest of women. Tell
us the words of the Savior which you remember
- which you know (but) we do not, nor have
we heard them."
and said, "What is hidden from you
will proclaim to you."
And she began
to speak to them these words: "I,"
she said, " I saw the Lord in a vision
and I said to him, "Lord, I saw you
today in a vision."
He answered and
said to me, "Blessed are you, that
you did not waver at the sight of me. For
where the mind is, there is the treasure."
I said to him, "Lord,
now does he who sees the vision see it (through)
the soul (or) through the spirit?"
The Savior answered
and said, "He does not see through
the soul nor through the spirit, but the
mind which (is) between the two - that is
(what) sees the vision and it is ....'
"I did not
see you descending, but now I see you ascending.
Why do you lie, since you belong to me?"
The soul answered
and said, "I saw you. You did not see
me nor recognize me. I served you as a garment,
and you did not know me."
When it had said
this, it went away rejoicing greatly.
Again it came
to the third power, which is called ignorance.
It (the power) questioned the soul saying, "Where
are you going? In wickedness are you bound.
But you are bound; do not judge!"
And the soul said, "Why
do you judge me although I have not judged?
I was bound though I have not bound. I was
not recognized. But I have recognized that
the All is being dissolved, both the earthly
(things) and the heavenly."
When the soul
had overcome the third power, it went upwards
and saw the fourth power, (which) took seven
forms. The first form is darkness, the second
desire, the third ignorance, the fourth
is the excitement of death, the fifth is
the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the
foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is
the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven
(powers) of wrath.
They ask the soul, "Whence
do you come, slayer of men, or where are
you going, conqueror of space?"
The soul answered
and said, "What binds me has been slain,
and what surrounds me has been overcome,
and my desire has been ended, and ignorance
has died. In a (world) I was released from
a world, (and) in a type from a heavenly
type, and (from) the fetter of oblivion
which is transient. From this time on will
I attain to the rest of the time, of the
season, of the aeon, in silence."
When Mary had
said this, she fell silent, since it was
to this point that the Savior had spoken
But Andrew answered
and said to the brethren, "Say what
you (wish to) say I about what she has said.
I at least do not believe that the Savior
said this. For certainly these teachings
are strange ideas."
and spoke concerning these same things.
He questioned them about the Savior: "Did
he really speak with a woman without our
knowledge (and) not openly? Are we to turn
about and all listen to her? Did he prefer
her to us?"
Then Mary wept
and said to Peter, "My brother Peter,
what do you think? Do you think that I thought
this up myself in my heart, or that I am
lying about the Savior?"
and said to Peter, "Peter, you have
always been hot-tempered. Now I see you
contending against the woman like the adversaries.
But if the Savior made her worthy, who are
you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior
knows her very well. That is why he loved
her more than us. Rather let us be ashamed
and put on the perfect man and acquire him
for ourselves as he commanded us, and preach
the gospel, not laying down any other rule
or other law beyond what the Savior said.
When [ ...] and they began to go forth (to)
proclaim and to preach.
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An Analysis of Mary Magdalene's NDE
description of her experience with "seven powers
of wrath" causes me to wonder if this incident is
somehow related to Luke's mentioning of Mary Magdalene
having seven demons cast out of her. Luke was the
companion of Paul who wrote the Gospel of Luke and
the Acts of the Apostles. If this vision by Mary
is the cause of her being smeared with the accusation
of being demon possessed, it may be merely a reflection
of the orthodox rejection of Christian Gnosticism
and the rejection of Mary Magdalene's traditional
authority among the disciples.
According to her vision,
the first afterlife state or "power" she
describes is said to be
This may correspond to the so-called "void"
experienced by NDErs immediately after death. The
second afterlife state that Mary describes is referred
to as "desire".
This may correspond to the
that people with strong physical desires are attracted
to after death. The third afterlife state that Mary
describes is referred to as
where judgment occurs. This may correspond to the
which NDErs often describe. The fourth afterlife
level that Mary describes is referred to as
excitement of death".
This may correspond to the
feeling of joy
that NDErs describe when they realize they have
escaped from these darker, lower realms and the
joy of entering the realm of light. The fifth afterlife
state that Mary describes is referred to as
kingdom of the flesh".
This may be a reference to how
has a similar appearance and environment as Earth
with mountains, cities, lakes, etc... The sixth
afterlife state that Mary describes is referred
to as "the
foolish wisdom of the flesh".
This may be a reference to how living in the higher
to living in the environment on Earth. The seventh
afterlife state that Mary describes is called the
Surprisingly, this is a good description of one
of the afterlife phases in the
Tibetan Buddhist afterlife
Wisdom is also another correlation to the NDE which
According to the Tibetan
Book of the Dead, on the seventh "day"
after death there appears the "knowledge-holding"
deities, who appear fierce and demonic-looking to
the unenlightened. To the enlightened, however,
they appear as "peaceful deities." But
because of ignorance, the unenlightened soul cannot
face these knowledge-holding deities who appear
to them as "wrathful". According to Buddhism,
this confusion causes the soul to descend back to
Earth to be reincarnated. On the other hand, the
enlightened soul recognizes that these deities are
really "peaceful" and only appear wrathful
to ignorant people. It is the soul's own negative
karma which perceives these deities as they perceive
them. But liberation from reincarnation is attained
when the soul recognizes their one-ness with the
deities. Those who do not recognize their one-ness
with them will ignorantly flee out of fear to lower
Although this may seems
very unusual to some people, a perfect example of
this concept can be found in the NDE of
Pastor Howard Pittman.
During his NDE, Pittman is brought before God but
perceives God to be the jealous and angry God of
wrath he preached about for 35 years and is often
incorrectly portrayed to be God in the Bible. Pittman
is chased away from God's "angry" presence
because of judgment he feels before God (which is
really self-judgment). But, amazingly, Pittman is
allowed a second chance to go before God. This second
time he is astonished to perceive God as a "God
of love." Pittman doesn't realize it but his
perception of God as a "God of wrath"
was a figment of his own religious mind-set and
an illusion created by his own ignorance. Pittman's
NDE is the epitome of how we create our own reality
on Earth, but infinitely more so in heaven. The
kingdom of heaven (or hell) is within us. Death
is merely a body problem. What lives within us will
become our environment after death. This is why
it is critically important what a person has
living within them.
Is it love, joy and peace? Or do you see the devil
natures, all formed things, all creatures exist
in and with one another and will again be resolved
into their own roots, because the nature of matter
is dissolved into the roots of its nature alone.
He who has ears to hear, let him hear."
- Jesus Christ, the Gospel of Mary