Metaphysical meaning of Mary (mbd)
Mary, ma'-ry (fr. Heb.)--contradiction; rebellious outcry; bitter complaint; bitterness; myrrh; bitter waters; aromatic spirits.
a Mother of Jesus (Matt. 1:18-22). b Mary Magdalene, out of whom Jesus cast seven demons, and who became one of His most devoted followers (Luke 8:2; John 20:1, 11-18). c Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus (Luke 10:39; John 11:1, 2). d Mother of John Mark (Acts 12:12). e Other Marys are also mentioned (John 19:25; Rom. 16:6).
Mary, the mother of Jesus, represents the soul that magnifies the Lord "daily in the temple" and through its devotions prepares itself for the higher life. She signifies the divine motherhood of love. She can also be said to be intuition.
Jesus, the perfected-man manifestation, is conceived in the intuitive or soul nature, and is molded in its substance. This coming of the Christ body into activity is the result of an exalted idea sown in the mind and matured by the soul (Mary). The soul is devout and expectant. It believes in the so-called miraculous as a possibility. Mary expected the birth of the Messiah, according to the promise of the Holy Spirit. She was overshadowed by that high idea; it formed in her mind the seed that quickened into the cell, and in due season there were aggregations of cells strong enough in their activity to attract the attention of the outer consciousness, and what is called the birth of Christ took place.
Mary, the soul, the mother of Jesus as mentioned in Luke 2:34, 35, refers to the conservative, conventional principle that suffers when the new order of life and law is set up. The soul has been bound by race tradition and custom until it is atrophied. Now it is coming to life, and in its travail it reveals the Lord's body.
Mary the mother of Jesus, Mary Magdalene, Mary of Bethany, Martha, and the other women who were with Jesus and His disciples so much during His ministry, "who ministered unto them of their substance," all represent phases of the individual soul.
A wonderful lesson of constancy, gratitude, love, faithful attachment, and service is set before us in the glimpses of Mary Magdalene that are given in the Gospels. Wherever she is mentioned the power of love, devotion, and service is revealed. Her whole life and all that she had were apparently dedicated to the Christ.
The soul consciousness in each individual is capable of the strongest, deepest, and fullest allegiance to Truth. It is constantly seeking something that will satisfy. It can never be happy or at peace until the feelings are redeemed and harmonized by the Holy Spirit, until God's presence is known, felt, and fully realized throughout the individual being.
Through Jesus seven demons were cast out of Mary Magdalene. This means that the I in man, the directive will or higher self raised to divine understanding and power, releases the soul from the emotional errors that have their existence in the unregenerated feelings, and establishes peace and poise in the consciousness. As the soul is purified and lifted day by day out of the bondage of the errors (demons), it pours out upon the whole body consciousness more and more of its wealth of substance, life, and love. More especially are this devotion and service directed to the I AM in the individual--represented by Jesus--thus greatly aiding it in its ministry of Truth throughout the organism.
We may have been inclined to belittle the value of the feminine side of our nature. The feelings and affections, which are the seat of the emotions in our unredeemed state, belong to the soul. The purification of the soul and the wealth of its devoted, sustaining qualities are needed in the regeneration of the body as much as is the quickening of the disciples, the twelve faculties of mind. Both soul and understanding (love and wisdom) must enter into our affirmations of Truth if those affirmations are really to become substance and life to us.
Without the depths of the "feeling" quality in soul consciousness, which Mary Magdalene seems especially to symbolize, we should be like one before whom a table is prepared as for a great feast: the table is laid with fine linen and silver, all the dishes and arrangements are perfect, but there is nothing to eat; or, if there should be something to eat, it would be as food without flavor or seasoning. A service rendered without depth of love and feeling, without the very substance of one's own being, is only a form, empty.
In Luke 8:1-3, John 19:25, and John 20:11-18 we find Mary Magdalene among those following Jesus from place to place, ministering to Him. We see her by the cross, and standing at the tomb weeping. Then the angels appear to her; next the risen Jesus reveals Himself to her, and she goes to tell the disciples the glad news. Thus the soul ever remains with the object of its devotion. When one's love is established in Truth, the soul stays closest to the Divine. When the human goes through crucifixion in dying to self the soul remains with it to befriend and help. When everything apparently is lost the purified soul is constant and true. When the resurrection light breaks in the consciousness the soul feels (perceives) the light first, and conveys the joyful tidings to the more outer faculties (the disciples).
Mary Magdalene can also be explained as representing the psychic realm of consciousness. This realm is demonized, and from it Jesus put forth seven devils (Luke 8:2). It is there that the emotions have their centers of action. It is the seat of desire. Its lower stratum is sensation, the serpent that tempted Eve to eat of the reserve life and substance of the generative nature, which is in the very center of the body--the fruit of the tree in the midst of the Garden of Eden. When the psyche tastes this animal sensation it becomes so infatuated with its new-found source of pleasure that it communicates its infatuation to the reason and Adam also eats. Then trouble for man begins. Instead of an ascending, refining process in the consciousness, we have a descending, coarsening process. This proceeds to a point where the higher faculties separate from the lower, and "man is a god in ruins." This sin leads to sickness and death. The fires of lust and remorse burn in mind and body--hell is made.
But this "god in ruins" must be rebuilt. God sends His Christ into the soul sick of its fleeting lusts, and the process of again connecting Adam and Eve with the Father is completed in Jesus. Jesus is Adam resurrected in understanding; Mary Magdalene is Eve purified in desire.
In the narrative of the resurrection of Jesus, an element of human sympathy is pictured in the loving Mary who stooped and looked into the tomb for the Lord. He had risen however, and she found Him walking in the garden. Beware the limitations of human love; look for your masterful I AM thought, Jesus, in the omnipresent living force and vitality of the one life that is penetrating and permeating every part of your body, which is the garden of God. Human sympathy holds us to material conditions when we think that we are free. Those who are spiritualizing the consciousness are very apt to be pulled back into sense ways through their personal loves, when about to succeed. When Jesus said to Mary, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended unto the Father," He represented the wisdom of the I AM, which does not allow personal love to bind it on its upward way.
"Why seek ye the living among the dead ? He is not here, but is risen." The weeping Mary and the sad disciples' stooping and looking into the tomb for their living Master suggest here the forgetfulness of sense consciousness. Jesus plainly taught that He would rise from the dead, yet His disciples forgot this and sought amongst the dead for the living. Christians who continue to think only about the crucified Jesus are looking into the tomb, trusting in death to save them, instead of looking up to the risen, glorified Christ who is life, wholeness, and Truth.
Mary of Bethany represents the devotional soul, and Martha represents the practical soul. Martha provides the material necessities and Mary the spiritual, while Lazarus sits at meat, or abides as the living substance of the subconsciousness.
Mary and Martha also represent two aspects of love: Martha the love that ministers to the physical, and Mary that which attends to the spiritual. Both are friends to Jesus, but He commends Mary above Martha (Luke 10:41, 42).
Martha does not consider that anything has been done unless there is external evidence, such as ministering to the body and its needs; but Mary sits at the feet of Jesus. John says that Mary poured the ointment upon Jesus' feet. Feet symbolize the understanding, and when Mary pours upon Jesus' feet the precious ointment she is symbolically bathing His understanding with the fragrance of love.
This lesson of John 12:1-8 and Matthew 26:6-13 is of great import to metaphysicians. The tendency is to concentrate on the understanding and to count its logic and cold reason as fulfillment of the law; but we learn by experience that the cold science of mind, without the warmth of the heart, is a very chilly doctrine. The floodgates of divine love must be opened in the soul and its precious, fragrant ointment must be poured out upon the understanding. This fills the whole house, or body, with a balm and an "odor" that heal and bless all.
Acquisitiveness (Judas) says that this precious substance should be sold, that the proceeds might be devoted to the poor; that is, the faculty of accumulation would not pour out so precious a thing as love without getting a money value in return, in order that the poor (thoughts of bodily need) might be supplied.
This Judas says to teachers of Truth: "It is better for people to pay promptly for all teaching and healing. You have temporal needs that have to be supplied. Don't be too liberal with this precious Truth; it is valuable and will bring money. Don't pour out your love and healing sympathy indiscriminately; make people pay a good round price, and they will appreciate what they get."
Remember, however, that this Judas is a thief, and a deceiver and betrayer of his own. He is deceiving the whole world today, and even metaphysicians who are free in all other ways are bound by his false reasoning.
The understanding has its days of darkness, but where love has been quickened and the whole consciousness has been flooded with its sympathy and compassion, there is always consolation. Jesus referred to this when He said, "Suffer her to keep it against the day of my burying."