For many years I had an aversion to returning to the bible, not trusting that it had any kind of value, having been indoctrinated in it as a young man and breaking free of it at my first opportunity. I had spent many years seeing how the bible had been written and rewritten by different groups over time and had my doubts about any of what I was reading. When I heard about the findings of the Gospels of Mary Magdalene, Thomas and Phillip at Nag Hammadi, altogether excluded from the bible, they cast even more doubt for me. My twenties and most of my thirties were devoid of any exploration of the bible as a result.
The 63rd Gene Key however, has guided me to taking a different approach with it, to embrace that doubt and see what arises. Authors like Rudolf Steiner, Adyashanti, Cynthia Bourgeault, Paramhansa Yogananda and Andrew Harvey have also encouraged me to actually review the bible somewhat so that I could break the spell it had over my childhood. So as a child I felt it was shoved down my throat and certain interpretations were made available, but now as an adult I can begin to view them with a little intuitive guidance and can shatter the spells that were cast on me by others.
So my journey this week, also tying into the 63rd Gene Key (the 6th Sacred Seal), has been calling upon the guidance of the soul known as Thomas, drawing him deeper into my contemplations and here in this blog to share some of the wisdom of Thomas that never entered into the bible as we know it. Knowledge that would shake religion to its core.
24 Now Thomas (also known as Didymus[a]), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. 25 So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 27 Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
28 Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
29 Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
Now let's remember that the bible was highly controlled by authorities over the last 2000 years and that new documents are being revealed all the time. In Nag Hammadi in Egypt, in 1945, scrolls were recovered from the desert that predate most known versions of the bible. Amongst them was one titled "The Gospel of Thomas" and in this we begin to get the impression that Thomas is not one who doubted much at the end of the journey. His gospel is considered by many modern scholars and theologians to contain high truths of a gnostic nature.
There are, as always, debates as to whether Thomas himself wrote them, or if it someone passing off as him. The chronology of it appears to fit with Thomas' lifetime and so many are confident that it is in fact the same Thomas, previously known as Doubting Thomas.
It is said that, after the death of Jesus, Thomas travelled through Persia and India in his lifetime, spreading the teachings of Jesus far, and his writings have an Eastern feel to them. They are quite different in the nature of their revelations than the other gospels. The passages within, words said to come directly from Jesus, recognise a vision of wholeness which gives the physical dimension an important part to play in the unfolding of our evolution, not merely an illusion to be ignored or side stepped. In deepest truth it is an illusion but the physical world, as some of the teachings reveal, cannot simply be brushed aside. That only deepens the wound of separation as far as I can tell.
In the Seven Sacred Seals, the 6th Seal brings healing to the wound of separation. The following is just one sample of many passages.
"When you are able
to make two become one,
the inside like the outside,
and the outside like the inside,
the higher like the lower,
so that a man is no longer male,
and a woman, female,
but male and female,
become a single whole;
when you are able to fashion
an eye to replace an eye,
and form a hand in place of a hand,
or a foot for a foot,
making one image supersede another
- then you will enter in."
- Logion 22, The Gospel of Thomas
The end of this could be misinterpreted by transhumanists as a reason to create bionic feet but this is going into a much deeper messaging. It's the kind of message that we can sit with and contemplate, allow the truth to be revealed to us. I have heard interpretations of it, and yet would be interested to know what others come up with. For me it helps bring an end to separation and contemplate the many areas of life I still perceive it and am even attached to it.
For me something that stands out is that in our minds we often separate between 'in here' and 'out there' and yet this speaks to the awareness that there is no separation. In fact separation continues to exist because we look upon life as 'in here' and 'out there'. And so when I see suffering in another, but see them as the other, I keep separation alive. But when the siddhi of Truth descends there is no such separation.
I do believe that the Gospel of Thomas is one well worthy of contemplation. When I read it such a joy resonates in my soul. The words need to be explored, there are riddles and paradoxes throughout, but they are designed to penetrate the heart and not satisfy the mind. As we continue to work with the siddhis of our Gene Keys I find it helpful to remember that we are being asked to hold paradoxes. Truth is one of those paradoxes and I will continue to call upon Thomas as I contemplate the words he wrote down all those centuries ago. They feel to me as though they are yet one more gift to help shatter the illusion of religion that has been passed down the ages. There is a gift in the doubt.
This last week, in three group sessions, we cracked open the 7th Sacred Seal, the siddhi of divine Grace. This is the seal that unlocks all the other seals and it is of a divine feminine essence. Associated with each seal is a Buddhist bodhisattva and a Christian saint and I have been feeling their essence as I journey with the seals, synchronicities keeping me on track lest I forget.
For the 7th Seal we are working with the Boddhisattva Tara, a goddess who may show up in green, white or a myriad of other colours, all of slightly different symbolism. The other guide of the 7th Seal is who I have found myself drawn to through synchronicity, the Christian saint Mary, the mother of Jesus.
As with other saints she is someone that I have learned different stories about throughout the years. In my catholic upbringing the miracle of the virgin was espoused through all of the classes I received and in the prayers we oft repeated. I was under the impression, whether through teachings or my understanding of them, that Mary and Joseph were of lowly origins and it added to the miraculous nature of Jesus' life.
Over the years I began to have a different understanding of Mary and Joseph, learning from many sources that in fact they came from noble lineages. Throughout the bible it does mention that Joseph was of the lineage of David and in Luke's gospel we learn of Mary's lineage. But because the patriarchal lineage was deemed more important it just did not receive the same kind of attention in my school tuition.
And then there is the whole story of the virgin birth, something shared to draw attention to the divinity of Jesus. What we see is that the virgin birth is a myth that had its origins way before the birth of Jesus. In Egyptian myths we hear of the miracle conception of Horus by Isis. The sumerian myths speak of the divine birth of Marduk through the intervention of Ea. The humanity of Jesus is something that has been coming through eastern mystics and researchers alike in recent years. He was both human and divine.
But rather than the person and their history, when we work with seals we are looking to merge with the frequency, allow them to guide us and teach us. What are the teachings of Mother Mary in our lives today? That's what rings true and is important for me. And they have ways of reminding us of their presence in our lives. The other day I went out on the ocean with my wife's family and the first yacht that we passed was called Lady Mary. I immediately went into a contemplative space, sitting at the front of the boat, looking out upon the still waters and blue skies and allowed my contemplations to take me where they might.
"The Holy Ghost Cosmic Vibration, AUM, Maha-Prakriti is analogous to the Cosmic Virgin Mary because it is thus the mother of the immanent Universal Christ Intelligence, the Son of God, and of all created objects.”
- Paramhansa Yogananda
In the formless state Mother Mary is that which births the Christ consciousness within us all. She is the universal shakti spoken of in Hindu teachings. Prakriti is the origin of all in our physical world.
In the Gene Keys we speak of Involution and Evolution. Involution is the pouring through of consciousness from the higher realms into the material realms. Evolution is the movement from material to the higher realms. The 7th Seal opens this portal to grace to meet the suffering of the world.
"We bow deeply to the presence of this grace, this holy shakti that falls upon us from the celestial realms."
- from the 7th Seal Invocation
All of this work that I do helps me to open up to bearing witness to the suffering of others. The day after invoking this with two of my groups I found myself watching The Wisdom of Trauma which follows the work of Gabor Mate, someone who I have followed closely for a number of years. Although I knew much of what he was sharing in the movie, I was moved by the depth of vulnerability of the people he interviewed. I witnessed a woman who spends her days among the homeless, a living embodiment of the grace of the 7th seal. We heard the painful stories of those who had turned to drug addiction or prostitution, who longed for the love and affection of others in their hurt but never received it.
The suffering of the world is something that the 7th Gene key allows us to meet. We receive it and we transmute it in our being through the gift of this grace. We need not turn our back on the suffering. We can look them in the eyes, feel their pain and allow for that grace to move through and between us. I felt that as I watched this movie, feeling deeply their pain and suffering, but not taking it on. The suffering is not without purpose, this is something this seal brings home hugely. "Suffering is Grace" is the contemplation of this key. Sit with that contemplation for a day and see what shows up.
I think of the many people who over the centuries who have had visions of Mary. The children of Fatima is a story that I have been recently re-acquainted with. When she showed up it was not simply to bless the children so they could be holy, they became vessels for her grace and it drew thousands who were suffering in their own lives in their own ways. Those children faced many challenges, including of course disbelievers. Many crave the apparitions of Mary but all those I have read about were being prepped for some deep and powerful work in their apparitions.
And so as I continue walking this path with the 7 Seals I will turn to Mary often. In the last few years she has found a new place in my heart, an emanation of that divine grace, a guide on the pathway to embodiment. May she continue to bless all with her shakti.
If you have been following my blogs in recent weeks you will be aware that it seems like I am being inundated with Christian saints. They have been showing up everywhere, not in form or apparition, but as clear guidance, things to consider as I enter into the Seven Sacred Seals sessions over the next 9 weeks. It is not a Christian teaching, it has tantric elements to it too, but as it has the deepest resonance in our western world it is where I am being guided.
This last week especially I have been feeling a pull to look into the lives of two saints, St Francis of Assisi and Theresa De Avila. Both I know a little of, but I was drawn to explore their lives a little more deeply. My wife had just been gifted a book about St Teresa, so I snapped it up from underneath her, the pull to read it very strong.
As it turned out I also received a copy of the book Seven Sacred Seals after a month long delay. It showed up between seals sessions on the day my groups began. Would you believe it the book fell open at the page about the 7 Saints associated with each seal, something I wasn't even aware was a thing. And then I saw that Teresa was the 5th Sacred Seal, the 4th Gene key, which happens to be my Purpose key. And St Francis is the 3rd Sacred seal, a seal I had been working with last weekend. To me this reveals that we truly can tap into the field of this work, it is a transmission. I had no idea they were the associated saints and to feel such a strong pull to them in recent weeks should then come as no surprise, but it was.
What stood out for me straight away from Teresa's story was that from a young age she wanted to be a martyr, an idea that many of us avoid in our modern world, seeing it connected to a sense of powerlessness and manipulation in many circles. But she wanted to 'suffer for Christ' as she called it, living a strict life in a nunnery, praying her guilt away daily. By today's standards she would still be considered a saint, but to her, in her mind, she was far from it, with many thoughts of her human failings. For her it was prayer that carried her through her life, as well as the odd visitation from an apparition.
And then when I started reading into the life of St Francis, one of the first things I read about him was also his desire to be a martyr, to suffer for Christ. And in those days that often meant being burned at the stake, or something worse inflicted upon them by the Inquisition authorities. But what Francis demonstrated through his martyrdom was a surrender of his lower self into the arms of the divine, a true sacrifice.
This took me back to childhood memories of staring at the cross at the back of my church, with the figure of Jesus surrendered on it. That symbol has carried such deep meaning in the western psyche, the crucifixion, and I do believe it is something that we are beginning to collectively come to right relationship around. But as a young boy staring at the cross I know I took on the opinion that I too would have to suffer in order to deserve heaven. And boy has that taken me on a journey, one that I now have a very different idea about today thankfully.
As we learn in the 7 Sacred Seals, 'Suffering is Grace'. Playing those words over in our minds can lead to some deep contemplation, I know it has every time I have facilitated a seals group. But it doesn't mean that we need to cause our own suffering, that we need to seek out unnecessary suffering. In my life I am certain that I did. I saw the life my grandfather lived as a POW in Poland in WW2 and his resilience spoke to me, but it also affirmed the idea that I must suffer. But suffering for the lower self and suffering to free others are quiet different acts altogether.
"Living for God is martyrdom." said Paramhansa Yogananda. Now isn't that a bit of a different idea to what martyrdom is than the one I learned? The belief that we need to sacrifice ourselves for the lower desires of others. We don't have to burn at the stake to be a martyr, we are martyrs when we sacrifice our base desires for higher desires, when we live for God.
There are those who may appear to play the role of martyr in the world, but if they were alive today they would probably tell us that they sacrificed only their lower nature. Throughout the history of Christianity we have heard of it, the Cathars who willingly walked on to the pyre to burn into the light, the Templars who burned at the stake, refusing to reveal the true nature of the treasure that others sought to take from them. In those times and those places it appears that it would have to play out that way. They chose God.
But today, to speak those truths, to hold them in our daily lives, does not usually bring us an automatic burning. We may be criticised by others who hold to different belief systems but thankfully in the part of the world where we live I can speak my truths without fear of this. If anything the memory is stored within our DNA, I have observed it in past life regressions in many over the years. The fear of it can immobilise even the most devoted.
For me it has often shown up in the form of people pleasing, something I can still catch in myself as I journey deeper into the work. We try to please others and we find ourselves sacrificing ourselves. When we serve God we find that we will release those who need us to please them and be surrounded by those who also serve God.
Caroline Myss actually speaks to the archetype of the martyr and references the martyrdom that the self help world wants to avoid at all costs, but also the martyrdom that is the higher frequency expression of that archetype.
"Within the self-help field, the shadow Martyr is viewed as a person who has learned to utilize a combination of service and suffering for others as the primary means of controlling and manipulating her environment. Ironically, in the social and political world, the martyr is often highly respected for having the courage to represent a cause, even if it requires dying for that cause for the sake of others. Suffering so that others might be redeemed, whether that redemption take a spiritual or political form, is among the most sacred of human acts. While people recognize this archetype in others, particularly when they are directly influenced by the individual sporting this pattern, they often cannot see it in themselves."
- Caroline Myss
My contemplation around this would lead me to look at dharma and the script that we are part of. For Gandhi (who incidentally shares a birthday with Caroline Myss) his dharma was to die for the cause, as it was for Martin Luther King. But for others who have fought for causes they have gone on to live longs lives. Can we trust the script? Can we stand in our truth even with that possibility hanging over us?
I don't think this contemplation is over. Saint Teresa and Francis has opened up a line of contemplation for me this week that I will continue to take into the work with the Seven Sacred Seals. I leave you with these words from Richard about both of these saints.
St Teresa of Avila
Teresa of Avila was a mediaeval mystic who attained very high States of ecstatic God-consciousness. She had a series of embodied visions in which Christ became visible to her. These experiences gave her a lifelong understanding of the nature of sin and the means to transcend it through a kind of four level 'Christian tantra'.
St Francis of Assisi
Saint Francis one of the best known and most fondly loved of all Christian saints. Saint Francis represents the vast humility of the love for all humans and creatures, no matter how insignificant they may seem. Saint Francis's life is also a representation of the complete surrender of the lower self into the arms of the divine."
- Richard Rudd, the Seven Sacred Seals
I was never someone who was into art, in fact was one of the only ones in my family who was not. My dad studied art history, as have some cousins. But over the years I have been pulled in the direction of certain renaissance artists especially, like Leonardo Da Vinci, Donatello, Michaelangelo and Raphael. And yes I loved the Ninja Turtles growing up so that is likely a reason these four stand out. But there are other reasons they have caught my attention and it is largely because of the mysteries that surround their works.
Last week in a healing journey I was presented with a face in my minds eyes that was clearly a painting, but not one that I recalled having seen before. I filed it away in my mind trusting that if it was to arise it would arrive with little effort, it would not require me sifting through thousands of paintings online.
In my adventures reading Rudolf Steiner talking about the Templars I stumbled upon material about John the Baptist, much of which I raised in my last blog. One of the comments made by Steiner was that John reincarnated during the renaissance period as the artist Raphael. Something made me pause in that moment and reflect on the painting I had just seen days before in my vision. Perhaps there was a Raphael painting that I might recognise. And I didn't have to look far to find it, the painting jumped out right away. The face was what had been the clearest, even the hair colour. And it was to be found in a painting called "The Woman and The Unicorn." Only the woman's face had been in the vision, I would definitely have remembered a unicorn if I had seen it.
At this point of the quest my mind is not necessarily convinced that John the Baptist became Raphael, but I can recognise a good synchronicity when I see one. I trust the images I see in my meditations to look into them at a later date. In the 20th century this was a painting known as St Catherine of Alexandria (a name I had recognised in conjunction with the Templars), but upon x-ray imaging had revealed a unicorn, and then further testing revealed before that Raphael had originally sketched a dog. Raphael was responsible for the dog and the unicorn but it was an unknown painter in the 17th century who had painted the Catherine wheel symbolic of the martyrdom of St Catherine.
So, working backwards we could look at some possibilities that may provide clues in this ongoing adventure. St Catherine is another saint who has influenced Templar beliefs over the centuries, Henry Sinclair, the Templar who came to North America, having a particular affinity to her due to the well that was near his property in Rosslyn, Scotland. She was a patron saint of learning, but also for unmarried women. Churches dedicated to her were often built at the top of hills, with laterns lit to guide sailors safely. I wonder why the unnamed painter would be inclined to turn Raphael's art into the catherine wheel?
The next layer is the Unicorn, which has long been associated with Grail legends as a symbol of purity. She holds the unicorn in her lap, something that Margaret Starbird speaks to in her book, the Woman With The Alabaster Jar. A unicorn in the lap may seem innocuous to us but when we realise that many medieval paintings included it in reference to the Grail mysteries it changes somewhat, bringing heresy to the fore.
"The bridegroom/king with "lifted head" or "horn" inevitably seeks the lap of the Bride for the consummation of the Sacred Marriage" claims Margaret Starbird in reference to some tapestries "So does the mythical unicorn. Although the tapestries were woven at the dawn of the Renaissance period (1500 AD), the story of the unicorn with his head in the lap of the maiden originated in the classical world, where the imagery of the sacred king and his marriage to the love goddess was familiar." (page 138)
Although she is not referencing Raphael's work, the unicorn in the lap is hard to miss. The medieval painters had put their teachings in plain sight, for those who could understand them. Is it possible Raphael was up to the same? It is interesting also to see the pillars either side of the lady, a symbol often seen in templar and freemasonry in reference to the pillars of Joachim and Boaz.
Starbird also mentions that the unicorn is associated with anointing of the king with oil and is "an echo of the line from the twenty-third psalm, where the king addresses the feminine deity" (page 137).
If we are talking about anointing with oil then we can link back to St Catherine whose wheel once covered over the top of the unicorn. She is also associated with fertility. The Balm Well at Henry Sinclair's home in Rosslyn was said to be an "inexhaustible fountain of healing, for it possessed a black oil believed to be constantly renewed by St Catherine. When Prince Henry Sinclair was born his father immediately anointed him with oil from this well with the belief it would protect him from the plague." This comes from William F Mann in the book The Knights Templar in the New World.
And finally, as Starbird refers to throughout her book, the heretics such as the cathars and templars believed that it was the "horn of the unicorn that would purify the polluted doctrine of the church" (page 140). For those of us in Canada, as we witness the ongoing revelations about the Residential Schools, many of us are filled with emotions around what the Catholic church still does to others in the name of Christ today. As the emotions towards the church are purified perhaps there will be a greater chance of restoring long lost wisdom from the cradle of Christianity.
At this point I am not drawn to look deeper into the dog reference in the very first layer of the painting but I will stay open to any impressions and insights I receive. For now, the unicorn and St Catherine both leave us something to contemplate in reference to the hidden mysteries concealed within art throughout the centuries.
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