Madonna by Raphael
VSF: May you all have an Enlightening 2018. This is an article I wrote around 2004. For the last two days I have been thinking about Mary, the Mother of the Master Jesus the Christ. Since Mary has been on my mind, I am re-posting this. Please understand that consider both men and women to be equal.
It is said that men must dominate in a Kali Yuga. Only the aggressive male energies could bring about the dissolution of the world at the end of the four yugas. No woman would allow such destruction. So for the past 6,000 years – all of written history – women for the most part have been suppressed.
In their need to survive, women pretend not to be strong. They lie as they feign weakness. These lies invade all relationships. Men are aware on some level that they are being lied to and that in fact women are strong. Thus their relationships are insidiously corrupted by the vapors of pretense. This miasmic soup of deception brings happiness to none, neither man nor woman.
In New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, there is a painting of the Virgin Mary by the Italian artist Caravaggio. The girl in the painting is depicted as being quite ordinary, almost like a street urchin with shadows of neglect in her face and dirty fingernails. Caravaggio’s Mary reflects the fact that she was painted in a time when women were demeaned, purposefully uneducated, and thus reduced to the illiterate property of men.
Surely the real Mary would have been a woman of sublime greatness with a highly evolved consciousness. She might not have worn gold and silk, but within her countenance, her eyes would have spoken worlds of wisdom, compassion, and understanding. Mary would have been a woman who Knew.
The woman chosen to bring a Christ consciousness into this world would have been trained all her life for such an event. Souls attract souls that are of a similar consciousness.
In order to magnetize the soul of such an enlightened being into her womb, Mary had to be of a resonant frequency. It is that simple. She may not have been a warrior princess, but Mary had to have great courage to flee into Egypt, running from the tyrants who wanted her and her Son dead. And she must have possessed a colossal inner strength to bear the sight of His crucifixion and to comprehend the Resurrection.
Why did so many artists insist on making her appear passive and sweet? Were men really so overwhelmed by women’s power that they would render even the Mother of Jesus timid?
Raphael’s Mary in the museum is perfectly painted, lovely beyond compare, a demure and pristine aristocrat any warlord would have found pleasing around the castle. The tyrant warriors who ruled Raphael’s world and paid for his artistry, his genius, were not so very different from its priests. In tandem with many other institutions, the church has played a part in the sordid history of the degradation of women.
There is no evidence in the New Testament that the Master Jesus, who taught the power of Love and forgiveness, ever regarded women as inferior. He did not fear women being vulnerable to the Devil, nor did he equate sex with sin. And yet, the prolific writings of St. Augustine, who some scholars suggest had but a mediocre education, declared that in order to punish Adam for his disobedience, God contaminated the semen of Adam who then transmitted the vile liquid to Eve, who in turn infected her children with sin.
St. Augustine therefore obliquely associated and branded women with original sin, effectively disconnecting them from God. The archetype of the creator as Goddess and the power of female energy – SHAKTI – vanished in the west. Women were no longer revered, respected, and honored. Women, who in the early days of Christianity had shared in administering religious rituals, lost all hope of any prominence in the church. In his New Testament Paul of Tarsus wrote that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a woman is her husband.
It seems that St. Augustine had quite a struggle with his own sexual urges, as did St. Jerome and many others, and consequently feared women. Like Eve, all women were to be seen as temptresses who deserved to be subjugated because they were morally weaker than men. Unlike Augustine in his confessions, Jesus apparently liked women. He loved his Mother and accepted Mary Magdalene, a well-known courtesan, into his company.
The Inquisition is another example of the church’s fear of women’s power. For many years, the church tortured and – alive at the stake – burned over 100,000 innocent souls. Some of these were men, but most were women. Women who were empathic, sensitives who perhaps had powerful dreams and visions, were declared ‘possessed by the Devil’! I have the memory of such a past life.
Women who might have been healers in their village, who understood herbs, or who were unlucky enough to be pretty arousing envy, were denounced as demonic witches. Women, even young children and the old, were tortured in unbelievably brutal and savage ways until they confessed to their sin. Women were considered to be more susceptible to the Devil.
The history of the church is filled with horrors, the martyrs, the Crusades, the Anabaptists, the peasant wars in Germany in the 1500’s, the Huguenots – the stories of endless murder, hangings, beheadings, burning, innocent people who were drawn and quartered, put on the rack, and a plenary of imaginative forms of inflicting pain on the soft sensitive nerve filled flesh of human beings.
Surely Jesus must recoil in horror at the twisted sick cruel acts that have been perpetrated in his name.
Written history is rife with the suppression, repression and subjugation of women. At some point in time women became property. Today, even in the USA and all around the planet, women are being trafficked in the millions to be used as prostitutes. The same people, who are running drugs throughout the world, buy and sell young women as sex slaves. These helpless women are beaten and drugged if they should refuse to perform sexual acts or if they dare to attempt escape. Even more grotesque, human rights advocates have also reported the trafficking of children, both little girls and boys.
Prostitution and pedophilia are running increasingly rampant in a world gone Kali Yuga mad.
In India it has been reported that there are 33 million widows who have become little more than beggars because they are not allowed to work or remarry. In rural China, women often chose to commit suicide in a world that offers them nothing but poverty, prostitution, destitution, and slavery.
If women around the world are once again beginning to realize their own strength, their SHAKTI Power, I believe this can been seen as a glimmer of hope on the horizon for the approach of the next cycle of time. It is time for the suppression of women to end. It will take some adjusting for everyone to rebalance their lives, but when we human beings begin to see each other as equal – and all are equal in the Eyes of Spirit – then even men will be happier.
V. Susan Ferguson
The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word & Image
by Leonard Shlain
Penguin Books ,1999 / ISBN: 0140196013
The Inquisition [Warning: gruesome, not for the faint of heart!]
Women In White: India’s Widows
China’s New Prosperity Leaves Rural Women Behind
Women living in China’s rural areas suffer highest suicide rate
Trafficking of children for Prostitution