Man-ChildProbably there has never been a passage written in God's book with as much confusion generated as this one. I've read, in no less than the prestigious Pulpit Commentary, where the commentator says: "It's clear that this man child is Christ." No it isn't clear at all, that the man child is Christ!
"Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a garland of twelve stars" (Revelation 12:1.)
Many different theories about the identities of the Woman and Man-Child appear in the multitudes of commentaries on Revelation. The correct identification of the Woman and the Man-Child are critical to our understanding of the prophecies of Apocalypse. This identification is so important that it forms a fundamental factor in our interpretation of the rest of John's visions. If you wish to understand at a glance the prophetic interpretation principles and theological position of a writer in a biblical commentary, simply examine his interpretation of Revelation 12. His interpretation of the identity of the Woman and the Man-Child will reveal his position on the rest of the prophecies." 1
The Christian Gnostics practiced a spirituality more similar to Eastern traditions than to the Western Christianity we know today. "Gnostic" is Greek for "knower" and it is "Gnosis" or "Knowledge" that they were seeking. Unlike the blind faith demanded by today's Churches, 'Gnosis' meant direct, mystical experience of the divine, which was to be found by individual spiritual evolution to Self-Realisation, and not within the confines of intellectual dogma. The experience of Gnosis was trans-rational and non-intellectual.
From the Nag Hammadi Library, the Book of Thomas, Christ tells us "For whoever does not know self, does not know anything, but whoever knows self, already has acquired knowledge about the depth of the universe". Compare this with a tract from the Upanishads, the Indian metaphysical treatise on Self Realisation: "It is not by argument that the self is known... Distinguish the self from the body and mind. The self, the atman, the highest refuge of all, pervades the Universe and dwells in the hearts of all. Those who are instructed in the self and who practice constant meditation attain that changeless and self effulgent atman ( spirit/ self). Do Thou Likewise, for bliss eternal lies before you..."
In another Gnostic text, the Secret Gospel of Thomas, Christ promises us spiritual fulfilment "I shall give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched and what has never arisen in the human mind." This description is not unlike the Upanishadic experience "the Self is devoid of birth and death, it neither grows old nor decays and the accidents of life do not affect it. The Self transcends space and time; what is great is not too great for it to comprehend and what is small is not too small to escape its attention. It is the Self of All".
Just as Christ warned us against sin and encourages moral perfection in the pursuit of spiritual fulfilment, so too do the Eastern texts "No intellectual acumen can help one realise it, it can be realised only by those who surrender to it and who make themselves worthy by grace, by desisting from all that is sinful, who engage in the practice of perfection by constant meditation"( Upanishads).
The most ancient Eastern spiritual texts, the Vedas,of India, tell us that the process of spiritual awakening by which one attains truth -awareness is called 'Self-Realisation'. The Self Realised person lives in direct experience of reality -- this is called "Jnana" ( a traditional Sanskrit word meaning 'knowledge' or 'Gnosis'). Such a person is called a "Jnani" ('knower ' or 'gnostic' ) or "dwijaha" ('twice born'; first from a human mother to the earthly plane then secondly as a child of the Goddess, or Divine Mother, who gives the seeker their second, spiritual birth, Self Realisation, into the plane of mystic awareness- gnosis! ). The traditional Indian texts extol the 'Divine Mother' as the Cosmic Matriarch, bestower of the highest treasure of Self Realisation upon Her deserving children. Many Indian mystic traditions say this same goddess is represented within the human being as the divine feminine power called Kundalini.
What of Western tradition? In the Secret Book of John Christ explains that human redemption before the Heavenly Father occurs by the mediation of a Divine Feminine principle, which he calls the Earthly Mother. It is the Earthly Mother who removes the sins of the children that they can become worthy of their divine heritage; "when all sins and all uncleanesses are gone from your body, your blood shall become as pure as our Earthly Mother's blood and as pure as the river's foam sporting in the sunlight. And your breath shall become as pure as the breath of odorous flowers; your flesh as pure as the flesh of fresh fruits reddening upon the leaves of trees; the light of your eye as clear and bright as the brightness of the sun shining upon the blue sky. And now shall all the angels of the Earthly Mother serve you and your breath, your blood, your flesh shall be one with the breath, the blood and the flesh of the Earthly Mother, that your spirit also become one with the Spirit of your Heavenly Father. For truly no-one can reach the Heavenly Father unless through the Heavenly Mother. Even as the newborn babe cannot understand the teaching of his father until his mother has suckled him, bathed him, nursed him, put him to sleep and nurtured him". The Earthly Mother is a divine mediator through which the seekers, the Sons of Man, are raised to the Heavenly Father. Another part of the same text says "Honour your Earthly Mother and keep her laws that your days may be long on this earth and honour your Heavenly Father, that eternal life may be yours in the Heavens. For the Heavenly Father is a hundred times greater than all the fathers by seed and by blood, and greater is the Earthly Mother than all mothers by the body". The Holy Trinity, then is God the Father, God the Son (ie. Christ) and, it seems, God the Mother. The Divine Mother particularly is the means and power of spiritual evolution.
The Secret Book of John relates Christ's description of the Divine Feminine as the power of God Almighty. "She is the first power. She preceded everything, and came forth from the Father's mind as forethought of all. Her light resembles the Father's light; as the perfect power She is the image of the perfect and invisible Virgin Spirit. She is the first power, the glory, Barbello, the perfect glory among the worlds, the emerging glory, She glorified and praised the Virgin Spirit for she had come forth through the Spirit. She is the first thought, image of the Spirit. She became the universal womb, for She precedes everything, the common parent, the first humanity, the Holy Spirit". The Holy Spirit is here described as the Divine Power of God Himself. This power is maternal in its character (universal womb, She, the common parent) and all powerful as the 'first emanation of God'. More so, She is pure (Virgin) and She glorifies purity. So ancient Christian tradition seems to tell us that the holy spirit is actually the Divine Mother!
One cannot overlook the Eastern parallels. God Almighty in Indian mythology is represented as Sada-Shiva. His state is eternal perfection (Sat Chit Ananda). His power is the Adi Shakti (primordial power) who is His feminine counterpart or spouse. It is She who does all things. She created the universe and the gods who attend over it (for example, the triune Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu). The Adi Shakti is the Mother of all things. She gave birth to the universe and is the feminine power of every deity and celestial being (usually represented as their spouse). The Secret Book of John parallels this "She became the universal womb, for She precedes everything, the common parent, the first humanity, the Holy Spirit, the triple male (Shiva, Brahma, Vishnu?) the triple power (Parvati, Saraswati, Lakshmi, who are spouses of the triple males-or the triple Goddess of Western mythological tradition?)". Thus the Christian mystics understood that the Holy Spirit is the Divine Feminine, the Goddess, the Universal Mother herself. The Syriac Christians worshiped the Holy Ghost as the Great Mother. Phillip suggests that Mary Herself is the Holy Spirit (for who else but God the Mother can give birth to God the Son?). Other Apocryphal Scriptures describe Mary as the focus of Temple activities. Her early life was punctuated by auspicious portents all implying her own Divinity.
Just as Mary and the Holy Ghost appear to parallel aspects of the Divine Mother described in the East, so too does Christ, the son of God reflect the Eastern principle of the Divine Child. The Divine Child in the Eastern mythological tradition is commonly worshiped as the dual child-gods Ganesha and Kartikeya. Ganesha represents the fabric of the cosmos, the primordial Aum or Logos from which the creation was constructed. Christ affirmed the same primordial nature of himself when he said "I am the first" and "I am the alpha". Ganesha is the primordial child who is the embodiment of purity and innocence. Similarly Christ venerated children and the innocence that they manifested. He even urged the apostles (and us) to cultivate our own childlike innocence " let the children come to me for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these" and "assuredly whoever does not receive the kingdom of god as a little child will by no means enter it" (Mark 10). Kartikeya is the same principle of innocence in dynamic action- the slayer of evil; as Christ did when he ejected the money lenders from the temple.
So, Christ seems to be telling us that the kingdom of Heaven, which is a state of God-like perfection and child-like innocence is attained by some inner phenomenon. In the Gnostic Scriptures Christ spoke directly of this as an inner transformation, self realisation. He also told us that the Holy Ghost or Divine Mother is the power by which this is accomplished, but by what mechanism?
Let's take lateral look at the Indian tradition of Kundalini of which many local saints have spoken. Shankaracharya (700AD) and Gyaneshwara (1200AD) are two well known mystic exponents of Kundalini. They both describe the actualisation of self-realisation in their classic poetry, such as the Saundarya-Lahari, Sivananda-Lahari and the Gyaneshwari (itself a commentary on the Kundalini Yoga described by Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita ). They describe a force of pure (virgin) spirituality, which lies dormant within the human being.
By constant purification and self perfection the seven vital energy centres (chakras) which govern all aspects of mind, body and soul, are prepared for the awakening of Kundalini. Once awakened by divine grace, the Kundalini passes through these centres, not unlike a string through beads, enlightening each as it passes through. Arriving at the seventh centre (Sahasrara) the seeker's awareness is united with the eternal-self-within. The experience is transrational, non causal, a tangible and real bliss of truth-awareness. Indian mystics called the Sahasrara "Paradise", "Heaven" or, as Christ has called it "The Kingdom of God Within". As the Kundalini passes through each of the vital centres, they are stimulated to produce a pure, nourishing energy. The Vedas (Ancient Scriptures of India) describe this energy as a sacred river emitted by each of the seven chakras. Shankaracharya called this energy "spun". He too described its nature as being like divine water showering down upon him as he meditated in the ecstacy of devotion. Other Indian scriptures call this energy "Paramchaitanya" (energy of supreme consciousness).The miracle of Whitsunday wherein the Apostles became empowered with their spirituality sounds similar to the experience of these chakras manifesting this same divine energy.
Shankaracharya said "All Glory unto the current of Divine Bliss which, brimming from the river of Thy Holy stories, flows into the lake of my mind, through the canals of intellect, subduing the dust of sin and cooling the heat of memory". Much of the gnostic texts repeat this ancient Eastern understanding.
Consider this tract from the Book of Hymns of the Dead Sea Scrolls: "I have reached the inner vision and through Thy Spirit in me I have heard Thy wondrous secret, through Thy mystic insight Thou hast caused a spring of knowledge to well up within me, a fountain of power, pouring forth living waters, a flood of love and of all embracing wisdom, like the splendour of eternal light". The "fountain of power", "spring of knowledge", "Living water", "flood of love", "eternal light" all directly describe the experience of Kundalini awakening! Consider this from the Nag Hammadi Library, the Apocryphal Gospel of Phillip "The Tree of Life is in the centre of Paradise, as is the oil tree from which the anointment Chrisma comes. The Chrism is the source of resurrection". Krishna, the divine being, c4000BC, also described the Kundalini as an inverted Tree of spirituality, whose roots lay in the brain. The 'Tree of Life' is a well recognised symbolic parallel of the Kundalini. So too is the Holy Grail, the cup from which Christ drank at the last supper its symbolic significance being that Christ's sustenance arose from a cup, that is, an object whose receptive qualities reflect the nature of the divine feminine -- yet another parallel of the Kundalini.
It is likely that St Phillip's 'Chrisma' is the same 'spun' described by Shankaracharya, the 'Paramchaitanya' or in Christian terminology 'God's grace'. In the Gospel of Peace, Christ explains that the experience of spirituality is foremost. He says the Scriptures are merely conveying an intellectual knowledge, but we are to have the 'living knowledge', that is the experience of our own spirituality. He says "Seek not the law in your Scriptures for the law is life, whereas the Scripture is dead. I tell you truly Moses received not his laws from God as writing but through the living word. The law is living word for living God to living prophets for living men. In everything that is life to the law is the law written, for I tell you truly all living things are nearer to God than the Scripture which is without life. I tell you truly that the Scripture is the work of man, but life and all its hosts are the work of our God. Wherefore do you not listen to the words of God which are written in his works? And wherefore do you study the dead Scriptures which are from the hands of men?". That is, seek the divine experience which is beyond definition, do not settle for mundane human interpretations of the mystic's suprahuman experience. Thus Christ's law is a living, cosmic and experiential one, and is actuated by the awakening of the spiritual experience within the seeker, not by intellectual study or by following those who themselves have not truly had the experience. This directly parallels the eastern teachings; that self- realisation, the pure spiritual awakening, is attained by the righteous and itself gives greater righteousness. More so, self realisation is a process of genuine, inner spiritual transformation which must be experienced to be understood, since it lies beyond the domain of scriptural description or theological definition. Since it is gained by the grace of the Divine Mother( Holy Spirit) alone, it is most certainly not possible to organise or institutionalise this experience in human terms.
This contrasts with the way in which the Churches have pigeonholed and categorised Christianity in terms of 'blind faith', 'obedience to the church' and empty ritual. In the Gnostic Scriptures, untouched by the organised churches, Christ urges us to perceive and experience the cosmic order for ourselves and not to rely on so-called scriptural authorities -- such as the churches -- to prescribe it to us.
C.G. Jung recognised the link between the Divine Feminine and the Eastern principle of Kundalini. He understood that the Kundalini was the representation of the Goddess within each of us. Is the Holy Ghost the Kundalini? Was the Kundalini a central principle in early mystic Christianity? Such an assumption would help us reinterpret many parts of the mainstream bible, for example; In the Gospel of John, Christ explains to the Pharisee Nicodemus, " Verily I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and the spirit; he cannot enter the kingdom of God", this second birth far from being a licence for so many born again Christian fundamentalists is something much more mystical and subtle in nature. To be "born of the water and the spirit" describes the awakening of Kundalini. She is often described as a divine mother whose ascent within the spine of the seeker gives them rebirth into mystic/gnostic awareness, the 'divine water' is its nourishing energy. The Kundalini enters the Sahasrara and there unites the seeker's awareness with the self or spirit. This is described as a blissful, infinite experience of the kingdom of God within. Thus, Christ's 'born again' Christianity might actually refer to those Christians who have entered the realm of direct experience of divinity, in the state of self realisation.
Other Canon (mainstream) Scriptures can be more deeply understood in this light. In the Gospel of Matthew, Christ says "Be Ye Perfect, even as Your Father which is in Heaven is perfect". (Ch.5, v. 48). This is a clear exhortation by Christ to strive and achieve spiritual perfection, just as the Buddha and other Eastern sages taught their disciples. Christ tells us about our innately divine nature "Ye are Gods" (Psalm 82, v.6; John 10, v.34). Furthermore "Behold the Kingdom of God is within you" (Luke 17, v.21), that is the experience of Heaven is an internal phenomenon. This implies that the inner state of the seeker is the source of their spiritual fulfilment. We could well say that Christ's idea of Heavenly Salvation was an internal state of Godlike perfection.
When the seeker's awareness is completely united with the Eternal Spirit/Self/Atman the true self (not ego, mind, intellect, personality, body or memory) is experienced or realised. Since the spirit is no less than a reflection of God itself then in the state of complete Self Realisation the seeker experiences perfection" as our Father in Heaven is perfect". The Eastern term for this state of Self Realisation is God Realisation and it represents the final stage of our spiritual evolution.
There are deeper references to the chakras and kundalini in the Scriptures. For example, Revelations may also symbolically describe the chakras in St. John's spiritual vision;" I saw seven standing lamps of gold" (the chakras emitting the divine light?), John sees Christ as one of the seven lamps (you will see the significance of this later), Christ is holding the "seven stars" (demonstrating his command of the chakra system?) and speaks of the "seven churches" (the divine institution within each chakra?). In Genesis Jacob envisions a divine ladder directly connecting his earthly being with God in Heaven- this precisely describes the experience and purpose of the kundalini!
Consider this idea: The term 'Jesus of Nazareth', does not (say German theologians) relate to Christ's times in Nazareth. Proper understanding of the original language shows that such a term is not linguistically possible (despite the fact that Paul uses it). The original term is more likely, "Jesus the Nazareen." Nazareen is an Aramaic word meaning "one who has bound himself to the service of God" or "one who is anointed." Compare this to the meaning of Yoga, "Union with God" and 'Yogi' one who has union with god or to descriptions of the awakening of the Kundalini, "the mystical anointment". The Nazaria were a group of Gnostics contemporary to Christ. They taught a mystic spirituality similar to the Eastern ideas already described. It has been suggested by some authorities that this Gnostic word is ultimately derived from the Hindustani 'Nazar.' This is a yogic term for the point between the eyebrows and above the nose (the 'third eye') where sages of old performed meditation. 'Nazaren' means to envision or behold. Then a more accurate meaning of "Jesus the Nazareen" would be "Jesus who has Yoga or Self Realisation" or "Jesus who meditates". Considering Christ's status as the" Son of God" perhaps a more appropriate meaning would be "Jesus who is the object of meditation". Was Christ himself the object of meditation as are many deities in Eastern cultures? Christ himself might well be the Nazaren.
The Nazar physically corresponds to the location of the Agnya chakra, the sixth vital chakra through which the Kundalini must pass before She enters the Sahasrara. The Agnya manifests physically as the 'optic chiasm' whose shape itself is cruciform! Is the cosmic Christ represented within each of us in the Nazar, Agnya chakra, just as the cosmic Mother or Holy Ghost is represented within us as the Kundalini?
The position of the Agnya chakra is such that it is the final centre to be crossed before the Kundalini finishes its journey to the Sahasrara ( the 'Kingdom of God Within'). Entry of the Kundalini into the Sahasrara gives the blissful experience of divine awareness. This literally explains Christ's words, "None can enter Heaven except through me".
Ponder also on Christ's instruction 'to be as little children' or "look at the birds of the air for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly father feeds them....which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?" Matthew 6). The innocence of mind which he describes is that same Zen awareness obtained in the state of meditation, when the Agnya chakra is pierced by the Kundalini giving rise to a heightened awareness of the present moment, all thoughts of past and future neutralised. Consider also that Christ himself told us, "When your two eyes become one, your body will be filled with light." This implies that when we go beyond the physical sight ( the two eyes) to the subtle experience or perception which occurs by opening of the third eye and thus entry of the awareness into the Sahasrara our body is filled with light, purity, grace etc.
There is further symbolism eg. the twelve apostles represent six pairs which are symbolic of the lower six chakras from Mooladhara to Agnya. These six chakras are limited to dual awareness, ie. past and present, cause and effect. However, the final chakra, Sahasrara, represented here by Christ, who was the leader of the twelve apostles is non-dual, being derived from an awareness higher than the causal plane.
Here are some possible conclusions which are equally reasonable, though entirely contrary to modern dogma about Christ and Christianity. Christ's spirituality differed radically from our modern understanding. His teaching was dynamic and zen-like focusing on the experience of inner purification and transformation, the elevation of the seeker's awareness into the state (not concept or dogma) of self-realisation. He sought to overthrow the immoral culture of the Romans and to deliver to the dogmatic, letter-bound Jews the mystic fulfilment promised to them in the Mosaic covenant.
Central to his teaching was the understanding that the feminine aspect of God, God the Mother, was the means by which self-realisation and spiritual evolution to god-awareness occurred. Christ venerated the Divine Mother as the Holy Spirit. It is this power, described in the East as residing in the human being as the Kundalini, that is the last vestige of the Goddess-tradition in the Christian West.
Mary was in her own right a divine being. She was venerated as such by Christ and some of the suppressed scriptures describe her as the Holy Spirit incarnate.
Why did the Churches suppress these true Christian traditions? Partly because they are patriarchal institutions based on the questionable dogma of Paul who perceived women (and therefore the feminine principle) as inferior entities. Partly also because spirituality which focused on the Divine Feminine would also focus on the redemptive power of God the Mother and on Her role as the grantor and matriarch of mystical experience. This kind of understanding, like all mystics and mysticism, defies organisation, dogmatic hierarchies and institutions preferring the role of individual experience, revelation and progressive growth toward divine awareness.
The Holy Ghost, then, threatened to neutralise the fear-oriented dogma which the Churches have used, in the name of Christ and Spiritual Truth, to maintain their secular power and wealth.
Christ's promise of a comforter, the "second coming", implies another divine incarnation to bring about the redemption of humanity. As we have seen it is the Divine Mother who has the power to redeem her children, the Sons of Man (as the gnostics put it), in the eyes of God the Father. Who better to comfort the children who suffer, as does the West and much of the world from a culture whose ethic of materialism and immediate gratification is characterised by terms such as "the lost generation", "eco-disaster", "terrorism", "future shock" and "psycho-social alienation", than the Divine Mother?
C.G. Jung, in his critique of the Western psyche keynoted the absence of the Feminine Principle as a major cause of much of the West's psycho-cultural imbalance. The return of the Divine Feminine would indeed facilitate the spiritual redemption of Western Culture.
With this perspective we may be able to understand a key image from Revelations;
"A great Portent in Heaven, a Woman robed with the Sun, beneath her Feet the Moon, and on her Head a Crown of twelve Stars. She was pregnant, and in the anguish of Her labour She cried out to be Delivered. Then a second Portent appeared in Heaven: a great red Dragon with seven Heads and ten Horns; on his Heads were seven Diadems, and with his Tail he swung down a third of the Stars in the Sky and flung them to Earth. The Dragon stood in front of the Woman who was about to give birth, so that when Her Child was born He might devour It. She gave birth to a male child, who is destined to rule all the Nations with an Iron Rod....."
The Divine Woman, a central figure of Revelations, is the Comforter Herself. The crown of stars indicates that Her authority and heritage is of the Divine Father, the moon, upon which She resides is another symbol of the feminine.
As the Divine Mother She is giving birth, ie. self-realisation, and succeeds in producing a man-child. A man indicating spiritual maturity and dynamic action and yet a child symbolising purity of heart and that quality of innocence which Christ taught was essential to enter into the state of Heavenly Experience. The child, having the mystic awareness of self-realisation, rules over the nations indicating command of the earthly plane as well as over the inner country, the chakra system. The child of the Divine mother is a Gnostic adept!
He rules with an iron rod, the kundalini, which mercilessly slays the forces of evil, the obstacles which obstruct her flow through the chakra system.
The dragon who stands over the Woman as She labours waiting to devour the child could well be the Churches. Their 2000 year vigil against the Divine Feminine lest she produce a race of Gnostics is evident in their manipulation and suppression of the scriptures. Revelations tells us that the Divine Children are destined to overcome the beast and establish a New Age of divine awareness. 2
QUOTES OF SHRI MATAJI
In the Bible, if you read John's revelation, that a Woman will come and She will give rebirth, She will be protecting the Child, all these things are there.
And now when the Mother comes, you say, "Why are you the Mother?" . . . So what to do with you people?
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, March 22, 1977
ADDITIONAL QUOTES"There appeared a great wonder-again, this is a symbol/sign-in heaven. A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: and she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered.
And there appeared another wonder - sign/symbol - in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven head and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads. - it's Satan being symbolized here, who really was the ruler over all the seven kingdoms that had oppressed Israel. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them down to earth; and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born.
And she brought froth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and his throne.
Probably there has never been a passage written in God's book with as much confusion generated as this one. I've read, in no less than the prestigious Pulpit Commentary, where the commentator says: "It's clear that this man child is Christ." No it isn't clear at all, that the man child is Christ!
Woman and the Man Child, www.chn-net.com"
REFERENCES1. Grant R. Jeffry, Apocalypse, Bantam Books, 1994 p. 189-90
2. Christ and the Kundalini (www.sol.com.au/kor/8_01.htm)