The Book of Mary

 

Sowing and harvesting

And Mary spoke to the disciples thus:

“You have become rich and now you must increase your wealth further. You must lend money at interest. You must seek profitable investments.”

And the disciples said, “What do you mean we are rich! We are poor. You told us to give away our possessions!”

And Mary said, “Those who are poor are those without the kingdom.  They live in poverty and they are poverty!  It is the kingdom, the spirit, the pearl that is real wealth. He who has become rich will rule and he who has power will renounce power. There was once a merchant. He had a load of goods to trade in a distant land.  Yet he found on his way a pearl.  He sold all his goods and bought the pearl.”

And she told them a story. “There was a man who owned a field.  In that field there was buried a treasure.  Yet he did not know that the treasure was there and he did not find it and he died. And his son also did not find the treasure and he sold the field to another. And that person who bought the field ploughed and found the treasure.  And he became rich and lent money at interest.”

And they asked her about this story. “Tell us what it means.  Yesterday you told us not to lend money at interest but to give it away. Now you are telling us to become usurers!”

“The treasure is that what must be sought for. It shall not be found by those who would be acknowledged as the guardians of the treasure, those who see themselves as the owners. It will not be found by the priests or the scribes, by the Pharisees or the spiritual authorities. It will not be found by many of the Jews to whom it belongs. Instead it is the outsider, the poor, the possessed, the sinner, the gentile who will find it.”

“You find it by ploughing. You must dig up the ground and prepare it for the seed.  Once you have found the treasure you will then be in a position to lend at interest.  You will help others to the kingdom and in this way you will become richer yourself.”

And she told them another story. This is it as it appears in the Gospel of Thomas.  “There was a rich man who had many possessions. He said: I will use my possessions that I may sow and reap and plant, and fill my barns with fruit, that I may have need of nothing. These were his thoughts in his heart. And in that night he died.”

Mary said to them, “Do not be like this man. Do not put off until tomorrow the use of your possessions. Instead you must sow and reap and plant today so that your barns will be full of fruit.

Years later when Luke was writing his gospel he misunderstood this saying. He thought it meant that the man had concentrated on his plans for his wealth rather than finding the kingdom. Because the idea of a rich man sowing and ploughing was not logical he changed the rich man into a farmer and he made the focus into the building of barns.  This is what he wrote:

And he spoke a parable to them, saying, The field of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: and he thought to himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits?  And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.  And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have much goods laid up for many years; take your ease, eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said to him, you fool, this night your soul shall be required of you: then whose shall those things be, which you have provided?  So is he that lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God. (Luke 12)

And the disciples asked “Mary, how should we sow and harvest?”

And Mary said to them, “You must sow with the word.” And she told them the parable of the sower. This is it as preserved in Thomas. “Behold, the sower went forth, he filled his hand, he cast. Some fell upon the road; the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on the rock, and sent no root down to the earth nor did they sprout any ear up to heaven. And others fell on the thorns; they choked the seed, and the worm ate them. And others fell on the good earth, and brought forth good fruit unto heaven, some sixty -fold and some an hundred and twenty -fold.”

And she explained the story to them thus.  “The road represent those who are too busy with the comings and goings of this world.  The birds are the devils and thieves who would steal from us the kingdom. The rocks represent those with a hard nature who have no depth.  The thorns and the worm represent those given to evil.  Those who are the good earth are few in number yet the yield from them is more than abundant.”

“Watch over those in whom the seed is developing.  But beware interfering. The seed must grow as it may.  Understand there is nothing you can do to make it grow quicker or surer.  And do not worry if it seems to you that many strange things are growing along with the good seed. Do not be concerned if the seed of the devil is in the person.”  And she gave them another story.  Here it is as in Thomas.

“The kingdom of the Father is like a man who had good seed. His enemy came by night, he sowed a weed among the good seed. The man did not allow them to pull up the weed. He said to them: Lest perhaps you go to pull up the weed, and pull up the wheat with it. For on the day of harvest the weeds will be manifest; they will be pulled up and burned.”

“Be patient. While the seed is growing demons will be strong in that person.  Do not drive them out, do not try to correct the person, do not try to tell them what to believe or what to do.  For even demons may be necessary, even demons may, unknown to themselves, do the will of the father.  And when the harvest comes the demons will be destroyed.”

And the disciples were troubled. Are they right, those who accuse this Mary of being a witch, those who say that Jesus is a devil? And they asked her “How can demons bring forth anything but evil?”

And Mary answered them thus. “There is one inside a man which takes female form, and one inside a woman that takes male form. This one is neither good nor evil, but can partake of both good and evil. This one is the counterfeit spirit.  Do not worship that one, but neither despise it.  For if you reject it then it will go down to the evil ones within and give them strength.”

And she said these words preserved in the gospel of Mark.  “And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand. And if Satan rise up against himself, and be divided, he cannot stand, but hath an end.”  (Mark 3)

“And so you must divide the realm of Satan.  You must secure the help of this counterfeit spirit.” And she added a saying from Thomas, “If two make peace with one another in this or house, they shall say to the mountain: Be moved, and it shall be moved.”

“When the true spirit comes then what is good within the counterfeit spirit will be absorbed into the true spirit and what is evil will be destroyed.  But one who worships the counterfeit sprint as the true sprint will be as the heathen.”

And she continued. “Do not ask yourself how the seed grows but be ready for the signs that it has matured and the grain is ready for harvest.  May there be among you a man of understanding! When the fruit was ripe, he came quickly, his sickle in his hand, and reaped it. 

And this also did Mark write in his gospel.

So is the kingdom of God, as if a man should cast seed into the ground; and should sleep, and rise night and day, and the seed should spring and grow up, he knows not how.  For the earth brings forth fruit of herself; first the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear.   But when the fruit is brought forth, immediately he sends forth the sickle, because the harvest is come. (Mark 4)

And the Gospel of the Twin talks about the need for harvesters:

 Jesus said: The harvest indeed is great, but the labourers are few; but pray the Lord, that he send forth labourers into the harvest.

And they asked Mary “Tell us about the harvest?”

“The harvest is the resurrection.  The harvest is death and rebirth. The harvest is the attainment of the kingdom of god.”

Thus it was recollected in later years that the harvest marked the coming of the kingdom of god. And it was known also that the kingdom would come while people were alive not after they had died.  As was written in Mark:

And he said to them, truly I say to you, that are some that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power. (Mark 9)

And it says in the gospel of Phillip:

Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing.

But the gospel writers misinterpreted these sayings as referring to the second coming of Jesus at the end of time. To them the harvest was the collecting in of the good souls and the burning of the bad souls. For they knew that a person attains the kingdom through the harvest. But they did not know the nature of that harvest.

A saying in the Gospel of the Twin refers to the fact that the harvest could only be experienced by a person who was spiritual in nature - 

Jesus said: He who has in his hand, to him shall be given; and he who has not, from him shall be taken even the little that he has.

What a person has in hand is seed as in the parable of the sower.  Seed is both the result of the harvest and a precondition for the harvest.  A person who has seed in hand is a person who has a spiritual nature.  They will be able to experience the harvest and as a result will be given far more seed than they started with for the yield of the harvest is super-abundant. A person who does not have ‘seed’ is an un-spiritual person.  Such a one will never be able to experience the harvest and, absorbed in worldly cares, will lose the little of the spiritual they initially possessed.

The disciples would have asked Mary more but she was tired and spoke no more that day.

 

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