PART 4 – THE MYSTERIES
The soul in Hades
And they asked Mary, “Tell us about the soul”. So she spoke to them thus.
“The soul is like a young girl dwelling in a house lost in the land of darkness. Long ago she and you would play as one, as little brother and sister, in the days of your innocence. But as you entered into manhood the dark ones grew strong within you and it was necessary to build a wall between you and the devils within. She was entombed on the other side of that wall.”
“She, your soul, is that within you which is eternal. For your mind does not end with what is material but extends into the reality that is god. In that place things are not as they seem and that which is really part of you is perceived as a separate being, for the reality of god is alien to one bound by the fetters of time. For you men she is the form of a young girl, a child who went asleep long ago.”
“The soul within is dead. Yet the secret is this, that she is not really dead but sleeping. She is a princess who must sleep for a hundred years under a curse. She is a beautiful girl child lying in a glass coffin apparently dead but really in a deep, deep sleep. She is a grail, the female receptacle of the blood of the spirit, long lost and much sought by men. She will be awakened by the good prince, the son of the most high one. In that awakening you will be both redeemer and redeemed.”
“That place where she dwells is called many names, but the Greeks call it Hades. It is within you and it is without. It is the opposite of the kingdom of heaven and a dark twin to the Kingdom. It is the abode of devils and the land of the dead. It is the pit within from which creep up dark forms that will attempt to rule you and destroy you.”
“That place, the land of the dead is called the middle, for it comes between you and god. Everything that comes from god must pass through the middle unless you are reborn. And in that middle many of the messages from god are lost and distorted, turned even so that good becomes evil. But if your soul is reborn then no longer do the messages pass through that place. Instead you are illuminated by god’s light, which is the spirit, and with that light you will see. Such a one has no need for rules, for the rule of god shines forth from their heart.”
“Yet if you are not reborn then your soul will continue to dwell in Hades for all eternity. And there it will be tortured by devils. And the torturing devils are these – greed, hatred, jealousy, lust, selfishness, pride, anger; the cruelty and fear that occupy the darkness in the heart of man. For your soul suffers in the middle place. It knows not the light of the world but is lost among your dark thoughts as in a nightmare. And being eternal your soul will suffer eternally.”
“But the soul can also be awakened little by little. For the soul that is the light buried deep within will respond to the good deeds that you do. And she will recognise the teachings or goodness, the parables and outer mysteries and will grow brighter in response to them, and convey to you a sense of their rightness. And most of all she will respond to the ultimate mystery of the crucifixion and resurrection. That is why we baptise those who are still dead, as even the dead shall be saved if they believe and act on that belief.”
Thus the did the Gnostics refer to those who had not been awakened as ‘the dead’ – for their soul dwells in Hades even as they go about their daily business as the puppets of their animal nature. Paul shared the same belief. In his first epistle to the Corinthians Paul addresses those who say there is no resurrection from the dead. In his defence he makes a reference to baptism for the dead:
Else what shall they do which are baptized for the dead, if the dead rise not at all? Why are they then baptized for the dead? (1 Corinthians 15)
This passage is inexplicable in terms of the church of belief. How can anyone be baptised for the dead? However it makes sense once it is understood that ‘the dead’ are the souls of the psychics. Paul is saying that if the dead are not resurrected at the end of time then it is useless to baptise psychic Christians. Paul’s whole mission is aimed at redeeming the psychics because he believes that at the end of time, psychics and pneumatics alike will enter into a new ‘spiritual’ body. How could such a fundamental Christian belief as the resurrection ever have been questioned within the church? The people questioning must be pneumatic Christians who understand the resurrection as something that happens within life. They are arguing that psychic Christians who never experience the resurrection within life will not experience it after death. Paul is addressing this belief in a passage largely couched in literalist terms for the benefit of psychic Christians but also containing elements that only the pneumatic will understand. He is telling these pneumatics not to disturb the faith and hope of the psychics. He is also giving his own theology that the pneumatic resurrection is just a forerunner of the real event - the resurrection at the end of time in which both pneumatics and psychics will share. This is tied in with Paul’s belief that Christ will return in his real, spiritual, body. For just as Christ first appeared as a spirit of a person, Mary, and will come again in a ‘spiritual’ body, so will the spirit of each pneumatic return in a similar way. At this time they will be joined by the psychics. As he writes:
Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Corinthians 15)
This is Paul’s interpretation but it is not Mary’s. As it says in the Gospel of the Twin:
His disciples said to him: On what day will the kingdom come? Jesus said: It comes not with observation. They will not say: Lo, here! or: Lo, there! But the kingdom of the Father is spread out upon the earth, and men do not see it.
For Mary there is no coming of Jesus in a spiritual body – for time is an illusion. In god there is no time, and in god all times are one. A person is eternal in their essence. The resurrection is bringing the eternal inner spirit to rule in the body and to consume in the white fire of the spirit what is mortal. It is not transforming the mortal body into the eternal realm.
And they said to Mary, “Tell us about the Pearl”.
“The pearl is what you must find. The pearl is the thing that is most precious to you yet it has been lost in the mud. The pearl is a bride. The pearl is your soul.”
And she told them a story thus.
“Once a person wished to hide a treasure in the form of a pearl. He wished to hide it well so that only those who were deserving of the pearl should find it. So he hid that pearl in the last place that anyone would think of looking for it.”
“He hid it inside so that none who knew only the things of this world should find it. He gave the keys of knowledge to one dwelling in the same house so that none who knew only ‘I’ should find it. He hid it in darkness so that none who would only look in the light should find it. He hid it among devils so that none who were ruled by devils should find it. He placed a serpent to guard the pearl, and the name of that serpent was fear, so that none who lacked courage should find it. He placed the pearl in the place which the sons and daughters of man most dread and he gave the pearl that form which they would least wish to look upon.”
“Then that pearl was well hid.”
“Tell us more!” they implored her. “Tell us how to find the pearl!”
But she was quiet. “I have already said more than enough” was all she would add.