Names, characters, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living, dead, or resurrected, is pure synchronicity.
The year is AD 33. So much that shall seem so misshapen has yet to take any shape at all. In a modest chamber, a woman mindfully sets some dough over the fire. Painfully aware that his presence is out of the ordinary, a man hovers by the door. His chest heaves. His brow is furrowed. Sweat drips from his pores. Considerably more sweat than beleagues the woman by the fire. She has never before witnessed him in such a state of unsurety. He is painfully aware of his unsurety. He is painfully aware of her awareness of his unsurety. He wishes he hadn’t allowed a foolish whim to lead him to her.
The warm voice of the woman does something to thaw what had been tightening within him. She slowly, intentionally, shifts her attention from the fire to her anxious visitor.
“It is a joy to be graced by your presence. Please come in and be seated by the fire. You seem stressed. Won’t you please lay down your troubles. What ails you?”
The man exhales sharply, then seems about to voice a complaint. He suppresses the urge, recalling his intention. Placing his bag by the door, he collects himself and walks with greater confidence towards the woman.
“Dear sister, I approach you with a question … about the Master’s teaching … I know he loves you more than other women.”
The woman smiles as she witnesses her brother settle. She saves him the discomfort of letting awareness of the grimace on his face register on hers.
“The Master loves us all, dear brother, men and women both.”
As more silence passes, our visitor is at last regaining his composure. It has taken some time to recover after that business with the boy. This is a dangerous neighbourhood, dangerous to be seen in, even. He bears a cloak to hide his features. That’s why the boy got the better of him. Only for a moment though; and only because that wretched cloak got in his eyes.
“Will you share your question, brother?”
“I will! It is this.” Rising to establish a sense of occasion, he lets the cloak rest on the chair. It is an important question, which he has spent much time formulating. “What has the Master shared with you about matter?”
“What does matter matter?”
“It does not. I want to know what the Master has told you about it.” He corrects himself; “what you claim he has told you.”
“Truth is unchanging, friend, and no one is more attuned to Truth than our beloved Master. What he has revealed to me he has no doubt also revealed to you, albeit with different words.”
“Answer me, woman!”
It no longer feels right to be standing, so he sits.
“All forms are interrelated, and matter too shall return to Source.”
The man bolts up again.
“You can’t be spreading such lies, Mary. I will give you the benefit of the doubt and presume you misremember. That is quite simply not the kind of thing he would say. If you can’t recall his message as he spoke it, then you simply must refrain from speaking. It is different with things proclaimed publicly. Such cases the brothers and I were present to witness and record. This is different. This is dangerous.”
She waits in case he has more to add. He does.
“I know it is good that you were present. The Master has taught me that all souls are worthy, but you are taking this too far. Women can’t be trusted to spread the Word. They can’t even be trusted to receive the Word without adding to it, which – don’t you see? – is actually taking away.”
Still, she waits.
“Can’t you see the danger in this, especially at this time? I am sorry, but now that you have answered as I expected I must reveal that I have come to hold you accountable. I have come to this godforsaken place – you must understand, I do not refer to your chamber as such but rather the general area, in which I was very nearly robbed, I might add – to warn and reprimand you. His word can’t be corrupted.”
A long and pregnant pause.
“His word can’t be corrupted, you say?”
“Then, so do I.”
His eyes meet hers and his chest, still heaving, protrudes.
“Do you have true faith in the non-corruptibility of his Word, Peter?”
“So do I.”
Peter is surprised by her capacity to sustain eye contact. It is not something he has encountered before, not even in the brothers. He was neither expecting nor prepared for this. It is as if they are meeting for the first time.
“Very well,” he stammers; “I simply need to know you can be trusted.”
As he delivers this sentence, Peter experiences a compulsion to avert his eyes. Bending to retrieve his cloak cloaks this.
All of a sudden, the boy from the street lunges into Mary’s chamber, grasping for Peter’s bag.
Mary’s eyes, abandoned by Peter, immediately meet those of the boy.
“Thief!” exclaims Peter, his entire body swirling, following the lead of her eyes.
The boy freezes.
“Unhand my bag, vermin!”
The boy is audibly growling at Peter. The two men lock eyes. The intensity is comparable to that of the previous moment, but much more volatile. It is lacking the quality of Presence which Mary returns to it as she strides between the men and again locks eyes with the trembling boy. Peter is cut from the equation. For this moment, it is as though only Levi and Mary exist on the planet.
“Does that bag belong to you, Levi?”
The boy has stopped snarling, but he cannot bring himself to speak.
Lowering his head, he shakes it, dejectedly.
Levi brings the bag to Mary, who embraces him and rests her palms atop his head. With gentle, yet rock-solid Presence, she silently invites him to raise his head again. The boy’s trembling dissipates as he recognises the love in her eyes.
Said eyes return to Peter, who still doesn’t know what to make of them.
His chest continues heaving but his heart rate slows. He is relieved, astonished by the ease with which this woman apprehended the thief.
“Will you stay and break bread with us, Peter?” she rather unexpectedly asks.
A singularly strange phrase.
“Thank you, sister, but I really must return to my obligations.”
Isn’t she aware how little time I have, he thinks; in any case, that dough was only just set on the fire.
She needs not words to convey that Peter is to let Levi be as she returns his bag.
“Peace be with you, brother.”
“And also with you.”
The would-be thief snarls as Peter retrieves his possession.
“Come, Levi; the bread is ready.”
Sentimental nonsense, thinks Peter, returning to his work.
When Peter pays Mary a second surreptitious visit, he is met by the strangest of sights.
“What is this, woman?!”
Mary lifts her forehead away from that of the young man on whose it has been resting as she holds him in her arms.
Peter savours a sensation of having caught Mary in the act of doing something “off.”
“It is good to have you back in our midst again, brother. Won’t you please be seated?”
No, he will not.
“Who, may I ask, is this?”
Peter directs a stern glare at the young man, who is lifting himself up from the Magdalene’s embrace, far less sheepishly than seems appropriate given the situation.
“This is Levi, Peter.”
“Yes. Don’t you recognise him? Won’t you pour Peter some wine, Levi?”
Peter is somewhat thrown by this reference to wine, which the young man with the forehead is presently pouring.
Tempting, but he will not be distracted from his mission.
Levi is now diligently offering said beverage, his friendly forehead lowered in deference.
Peter denies it.
“It’s only nine in the morning.”
Peter is by now convinced that he has stumbled – with divine timing, thank God – upon a true den of iniquity. Why, indeed, wine at this time in the morning? The Magdalene is clearly endeavouring to cloud his judgment and cover something up. It is strange that Mary is offering wine. It is strange that she seems to have acquired some manner of servant. It is very strange that she seems to be so … friendly with this servant. Important details, Peter notes; do not lose sight of them.
“This is Levi, Peter,” she repeats, as though that’s meant to mean something.
“Is that meant to mean something, Mary?”
“Yes. You met dear Levi last time you visited.”
Peter looks skeptically at the young man with the forehead.
This boy does appear to be the same age as the first one. Also very similar build. It hadn’t really struck him that the thief had a forehead. Foreheads are not what one notices when one attends to thieves.
“It cannot be,” snorts Peter, “this boy is no thief.”
“Again, I am glad we agree.”
Mary smiles warmly.
Peter is enjoying this visit even less than the first one.
“But … I don’t understand” – once again forgetting himself – “then, surely there must have been some kind of miracle? I sense the Master’s hand in this. Tell me, woman: did Jesus save him?”
Mary remains unchanged, still smiling. At the same time, it seems she does not know how to respond. She closes her eyes, puts her hands to her heart, and takes a deep breath.
Opening her eyes, she says, with certainty, “yes.”
“You seem uncertain.”
Peter eyes her suspiciously.
Before she can say anything else, he proceeds: “however, that is the only possible explanation, so let’s move on. I have neither time nor energy to be distracted from my purpose, which is this: to see what you have to say for yourself on the subject … of sin.”
Peter gives Mary a knowing glance; this time he’s really stumped her.
Said glance broadens: two sinners for the price of one! He praises his tenacity.
“Would you like me to share with you what the Master shared with me about sin?”
Said glance is now sardonic.
“If you must.”
Peter again feels an inexplicable need to avert his eyes. As they land on Levi, he adds: “you might want to remove the boy first.”
“His name is Levi, Peter, and he must remain. Actually, he has something to request of you.”
Peter is thrown off by the strangeness of this. Strange in any case, and especially so since it suggests – quite implausibly – that these two have been expecting him.
The young man with the forehead is hopping up and down, the force of his enthusiasm curtailed only by a deeper determination to wait his turn to speak.
Yes, Peter notes, this is still the same boy: just as unruly.
“Jesus taught me that there is no sin,” shares Mary; “it is you who create sin when you do deeds, such as adultery, that are called sinful.”
Peter is appalled by this audacity.
“Ha! Speak for yourself!”
Levi laughs. He really wants to control himself, but Peter is too funny.
“It’s true then, what they say of you, adulterer?”
Mary’s response is at once calmer and more assertive than Peter expects.
“No, Peter. None of those words that are used against me are true. The Master does not hate adulterers, but I have never been one. Neither have I ever worked as a prostitute. Those words have no power since they are false. To understand what the Master meant when he spoke to me of sin, let’s recall how you reacted when you first met Levi here.”
Levi stops laughing, struck mute by recollection and a wave of shame.
Peter is too impressed by Mary’s capacity to turn the tables, all the time still smiling, to be shocked.
Both men are now silent, waiting for the Magdalene to make her next move.
“Come to me, Levi,” she beckons; “you are safe and loved.”
With nothing of the poise of the gracious wine-server, the boy scurries back into Mary’s arms. She brushes a tear from his cheek and kisses that precious forehead of his.
Peter comes to his senses.
“I beg your pardon, wench!”
“I said: to understand what the Master meant when he spoke of sin, let’s recall how you first reacted to dear Levi here.”
“Dear Levi?!” Peter spits; “he wasn’t ‘dear Levi’ then, before Jesus worked that miracle and saved him. A month ago he was a common thief!”
“Dear Levi has always been ‘dear Levi,’ haven’t you, child?”
Levi sniffs and hides his head in Mary’s apron. A faint voice eventually emerges from it: “yes.”
Peter has to put a great deal of effort into not rolling his eyes. It is – as everyone knows – only because of a miracle that Levi has now become the way he is. A month ago he was a common thief. Those are just facts.
“Your heart was beating wildly, Peter. Your chest was heaving. After that first altercation, you were caked in sweat. In that state, you were wishing Levi dead.”
Peter is too taken off guard by this to deny it.
“You seem to be forgetting,” he responds, “that he had violently attacked me in a near-successful – later repeated – effort to steal my possession.”
“My bag, woman! You saw it happen the second time. There was money in that bag.”
“Isn’t it your way to give unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, brother?”
“Now you’re just using the Word against me.”
Peter is disarmed by the odd incongruity of Mary’s piercing words and peaceful Presence.
“Yes, I am.”
“How are you feeling now, Peter? Again, I see your heart is beating wildly. Again, your chest is heaving. Again, you are harboring hateful thoughts about me and the child.”
“Just what exactly is your point, woman?!”
“In entering states such as this, you create sin.”
Peter’s face turns red.
His mind is racing, weighing options: laugh off the evident insanity of this proposition, or hold this woman accountable for having accusing him of creating sin.
“Petulant woman!” he explodes; “how do you expect me to respond to this insane proposition?!”
“Precisely as you are responding.”
Still, the strangest thing is the total absence of spite in Mary’s voice.
Peter is fuming.
“Come out and take a look at your man in the tower, Levi.”
For the first time, her tone has changed. Both men are struck by its levity.
“Doesn’t he look funny?”
Levi giggles uncontrollably, then suddenly stops, remembering that he is a young man with both a precious forehead and a special request, the time for which is approaching.
“Don’t worry, Peter; no one is suggesting that you created sin single-handedly.”
Her old tone is now spiked with the new playfulness, which appears to be primarily for Levi’s benefit. Indeed, he looks up at her smilingly, as though she and he are playing a secret game into which Peter is about to be inducted by none other than Levi himself.
Giving the boy his cue, Mary continues: “you shall more than make up for your part in the creation of sin by becoming the man in the tower, the tower to which all of us sinners shall flock to be saved.”
Levi squeals with delight.
Peter is aghast. All of a sudden Mary seems to have quite a lot more … personality than before. He likes this version of her even less.
“Can I tell him? Can I tell him? Please, oh please, oh please.”
“Please do, Levi.”
“I received a vision!”
“I received a vision, brother,” Levi proudly repeats.
“A vision?” echoes Peter, confounded.
“I received a vision, yes, and you were in it. You are the man in the tower.”
Levi senses he has played his part, and handsomely. Turning to Mary for approval, he receives it.
“Levi has been blessed by awareness that you are to be the man in the tower, Peter.”
“I think you will find that I am the rock on which the church is to be built.”
Mary and Levi laugh.
“We think you will find that you are both the rock and the man in the tower which is to be built on the rock.”
Levi is clapping his hands, very excessively.
“Don’t worry, Peter,” Mary says again; “that’s just so, and that’s just perfect. Later you will be other things. Presently, you are becoming the man in the tower on the rock, and that man is just who Levi needs right now. Isn’t that right, Levi?”
“Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes. Please, oh, please, oh please.”
Peter, for whom this is all much too silly, turns his incredulous eyes upon Levi in disdain.
“Just look how uncontrollably he claps,” Mary smiles in that tone of hers, which simultaneously says that everything is perfect.
“I want to be good,” announces Levi, suddenly the young man with the forehead again; “I want you to teach me how to be good brother, … please.”
This Peter was not expecting.
He is unresponsive, not quite sure how to be Peter right now.
Mary breaks this most pregnant of pauses with her most ridiculous statement yet.
“We’re serious, Peter. Levi wants his fate to be defined not by the matter in his body as the mind but by the man in the tower as the mind, and the man in the tower is you! Isn’t it beautiful? Your task – and little Levi’s too, of course, – is to form in Levi’s mind a little Peter, rightful lord of all that enters that region of his brain.”
“Woman!” Peter chooses which Peter to be; “I will no longer stand for such insanity! If you have no more to say for yourself regarding the subject of sin, then I will stop wasting my time on you.”
This is so diametrically opposed to what poor Levi has been hoping for that he totally forgets he is ‘dear Levi,’ let alone a server or an apprentice. He scurries out of the chamber, wailing.
“Fear not, Peter;” now that Levi is gone, Mary is again the person Peter met on his previous visit: an unadulterated bastion of unshakeable peace, sans humour. “Evidently, the time has not yet come for Levi to leave with you. My own work with him – just as crucial – is not yet complete.”
“Your work? Earlier you accredited the boy’s very evident transformation to the Master, and now you claim the miracle as your own. It does not surprise me in the least to find that you are a liar, as well – I now perceive – as a madwoman and a whore.”
Mary’s inner peace is unshakeable.
“The Master loves prostitutes, brother, but as I have already informed you, those rumours about me aren’t true.”
“Yes, but I’ve since caught you in a lie. Now tell me straight: have you lead the Lord into sin?”
“Well, that depends on how you look at it, doesn’t it?”
Utterly incredulous, Peter – without warning – falls to the floor in anguish.
“Enough of this madness, woman! I fear for the Master. He is going weak. Something is very awry. I fear he is altered and that you are somehow the cause. Nothing could be more serious, sister.” There is real pain in Peter’s eyes as he lifts himself up from the floor and locks them with the Magdalene’s: “things are not going to plan. I fear that the Master will die. It’s not too late to change things. You are playing with everyone’s destiny. Now stop playing games, be reasonable, and admit to me – once and for all – that you have been living in sin.”
“What is sin, brother?”
“Something that undoubtedly exists! Your chamber absolutely stinks of it.”
“Do you for a second time deny the words of the Lord?”
“I deny you speak them, woman.”
Noticing the wine, Peter – exasperated – downs it, then leaves, with no intention of returning.
It is the third and final time that Peter meets with Mary. They are gathered round her fire, breaking her miraculously fast-baked bread. They have been drinking a lot of the wine.
“I get it now,” slurs Peter.
“What do you get, brother?” asks Mary, hopeful.
Pouring another glass.
“The wine. The bread and the wine.”
“What else do you get?”
Mary remains hopeful, waiting.
Peter seems at risk of losing consciousness.
Mary pounds both fists on the table. With great power.
Startled by her anger, Peter experiences a brief burst of wakefulness. He has come to expect the unexpected from Mary, but not this; not anger. He has also stopped caring. He is giving up on himself.
Again, Mary bashes the table in rage.
“Do you get it yet, Peter!?”
Apparently now as amorphous as he has become accustomed to Mary being, Peter immediately morphs into a more contorted version of the anguished self he allowed himself to be seen as at the close of the previous visit.
“I get that I’m a sinner if that’s what you mean!” he bellows in a voice not his own; “a man turned to drink because three dishonourable lapses have undone everything he’d built before.”
With bloodshot eyes, he trembles.
“I’m afraid it goes quite a bit deeper than that, my dear.”
Peter is too forlorn to be reactive.
Pouring each of them another glass, Mary adds, somewhat nonchalantly, “but then again, things are also infinitely brighter than you could possibly presently imagine.”
She sips her wine, now calmly composed.
“So you keep saying, but by now we have – of course – established that you are insane. That’s perfectly OK, you’re good company. All that I am fit for right now. Yours is a pleasant notion, I grant you, but just as sentimental a departure from the truth of the matter as ever.”
“Would you like me to tell you more of the truth about matter, Peter? Now that you’ve lost faith in yourself as the arbiter of wisdom, perhaps you have at last become teachable.”
“You’ve already ‘taught’ me that, remember? All forms are interrelated and the essence of matter returns to Source. Now I am your convert, and you the one true Apostle. Well done.”
Mary rests her forehead against Peter’s and ever-so-lightly scoops his upwards to meet hers. Their eyes once again meet, heads hovering over the table.
“Correct answer. What does that mean to you, Peter?”
“Excellent. Nothing and everything. That’s what it means to me also. I knew we’d eventually meet eye to eye.”
“I’ve lost sight of whether and when to take you seriously, Mary.”
“Oh, you should always take me seriously. You should take me very seriously indeed. And right now more than ever. We appear to have switched roles insofar as it falls to me to remind you that time is of the essence. Indeed, you and I have extremely little of it left in which to cover a great many things, and the extent to which we succeed is considerably more important than you could possibly understand. Again, at least at present.”
“Mary! I am telling you: I will fall to pieces the moment that I start taking this seriously. Don’t you see that? All hope is lost. The Master is DEAD. I have absolutely no faith in myself. You know what a state I was in when you found me. It truly is only because of this” – Peter nods, defeatedly, at the wine – “that there’s any semblance of me keeping it together.”
“Peter, dear; what you’re supposed to be doing right now is letting yourself fall apart.” Her tone changes again, and yet – as through all of these changes – her inner peace remains constant; “and listen; it really is extremely important that we come to some understanding right now.”
Slumped in his chair, wrapped up in that cloak of his, Peter makes a somewhat valiant effort to meet Mary’s eye. He is no longer at all sure who he is, what is real, and whether anything ever warrants seriousness.
“I will try.”
She kisses him on the forehead and sits back down.
“Dearest Peter; I see you are right on the cusp of a breakthrough. Please stay with me now. In answer to your question from last time: yes, I was a great sinner before he came to me. Each of us is. Speaking solely for myself, I was utterly broken, much as you are now. I believed myself damaged to the core, utterly beyond redemption. Remind me, please, dear Peter: what is sin, again?”
“Nothing. It doesn’t exist. I invented it.”
“Sin is what comes into existence along with the enacting of acts that the man in the tower – that’s you, remember – will retroactively deem to be sinful. Are you following me?”
“Actually, yes. So far.”
For a moment it is as though nothing else matters, or exists even. There is just the two of them: Master Mary and her unlikely apprentice.
“Give me an example.”
“Stealing. That sin didn’t exist until Levi committed it and I deemed it sinful.”
“Very good,” she smiles, proudly; “you really are following, aren’t you?”
“I’m trying to.”
“OK, let’s talk about sex. Real talk time, Peter. It’s very important that you recognise one thing. The first step in solving any problem is recognising that you have one. Intuitively, that makes sense, right?”
“I suppose so.”
“OK, so: why does matter matter so much to you?”
“It doesn’t! I …”
“Peter! You’re utterly obsessed with it. Why else are you so fixated on the question of whether Jesus and I had sex?”
“I am not!”
“You are too.”
Peter is suddenly his old self again, since no one else is there to play the role. “Because, woman, if you did then he couldn’t have been pure; and if he loved you in that way then he couldn’t have loved everyone equally.”
“Second point first. Why not?”
Peter is stumped and no longer invested enough in being Peter to come up with an answer. No one is watching, and – in any case – Mary is yet to convince him to resume caring in general.
“You know, none of this really matters now.”
“Well that’s pretty fucking convenient, isn’t it, Peter? Just as you’re willing to be real about what was bothering you, the subject is no longer worth talking about.”
Mary bashes both hands on the table. Multiple times. The strangest thing is that the inner peace is still present. That’s what won’t let her let Peter drift into complacency right now.
“Tell me, Peter: did having sex with Porphyria make you incapable of loving the Master?”
Peter is totally startled.
“Porphria, Peter. Your wife. Don’t play dumb.”
“I wasn’t … I…”
“Of course it didn’t, is the answer. On a separate note: what was your relationship like before you became the rock that you are now? Was there ever any possessiveness? One or two control issues maybe? Addiction, even? Deny any of that, in good faith, if you can.”
“I promise you, Mary. My days of denial are over.”
“Ah, that’s cute.”
Peter has returned to that liminal realm within which anything means everything and nothing.
Mary is beaming with joy.
“I’m feeling very hopeful, Peter. Please believe me when I say that I really am very proud of you. Also: I promise I won’t hold you accountable to that claim about being done with denial. Ha!”
She draws closer.
“I need you to seriously acknowledge this, though: that the greatest sources of suffering are the lies we tell ourselves.”
Peter is frozen, as if awaiting a cue from his advisor as to which level they’re working on.
“I am deadly serious, Peter.”
He didn’t want to hear that.
She waits for the point to settle.
“Finally, then, and for the record: I am telling you, Peter, that none of those qualities you just admitted to having been present in your relationship with Porphria were ever present in my relationship with Jesus. That is difficult to imagine, I know, on which note I advise you to cease trying to. The Master did not expect such love as we did share to be part of his path. Insofar as it was – and only in that very particular sense – yes, I lead him into ‘sin.’ It was beautiful and healing, in ways – also a surprise to both of us – that enabled us both to remember things we didn’t fully know that we knew about God. Again: I suspect this is beyond your comprehension. As such, I recommend keeping it out of your mind as well. So yes, I lead Jesus into sin. In a sense. Are you satisfied?”
The look on Peter’s face is not a look of satisfaction.
“What is sin again, Peter?”
“Sin is that which I create by deeming deeds sinful.”
Her face hovers directly in front of his.
“Before you get up from this table, I recommend thinking long and hard about whether to go down the rabbit hole of deeming any of the Master’s deeds sinful.”
Peter’s eyes glaze over.
“You better be thinking about that behind those glazed-over eyes of yours. That’s what your role involves this round. You are the man in the tower. Choose your own adventure.”
Peter makes a decision at last. Not a very courageous one: to perform the role of “Sane Person.”
“Mary, that’s enough!” he stormily asserts, rising from his chair without having contemplated her question. “Don’t you realise that most of what you’ve been saying since midway through my previous visit – and possibly long before – is complete and utter madness?! What is all this … nonsense about me being ‘the man in the tower’? You honesty sound like a madwoman, and probably are precisely that. Moreover, I am not surprised to have to once again remind you that the Master – your ‘companion’ – is dead, meaning none of this matters anymore.”
“And you were doing so well just a moment ago.”
“Seriously, Mary.” Again with the anguish.
“Seriously, Peter: sit down.”
Mary returns to her side of the table and is seated.
She waits for Peter to do the same before continuing.
Nonchalantly: “you know, matter doesn’t matter half as much as you think it does.”
“Either that or it matters more. Let’s sidebar the issue of your deeply-ingrained, entirely unconscious materialism (there really isn’t hope of us resolving that in the time we have remaining for this session) and focus our attention on things you really need to know for your role.”
“This is madness, Mary. I do not have ‘a role.’”
For a second, it seems he is just about to burst into tears.
“You do, Peter, and it is a very important one, so listen up.”
Just as Peter is about to protest, Mary lays it all out for him.
“Peter: the reason why matter matters more or less than you think it does is … we have the capacity to regulate our own physiology.”
“To do what?”
“To change what we are on the level of matter. That’s what you need to focus on in any case, both now and in general. Too much time has been wasted already. Just listen, OK? – and have another drink if you must.”
Peter pours one.
“Now this is partially just my own take on it, but … back to basics: all forms are interrelated, yes? Now, if that is true – as it is and as the Master asserts – then everything that happens or could happen is explainable by laws of cause and effect, whether metaphysical or (just focus on this part, Peter) physical. For example, and this is an important one: every object in a state of uniform motion will remain in that state of motion unless an external force acts on it. Please confirm you are following. Yes?”
“Not good enough.”
Peter pauses, then confirms – quite seriously – that he is, indeed, following.
“Good, because this is the realm we are trusting you to become your own master of. Now, take young Levi, for example. Pre-miracle Levi. Levi the Thief. If we have enough information about, on the one hand, his social background and, on the other, his brain, then everything can be boiled down to social / psychological causation: abandonment, abuse, maladaptation, “brokenness,” “sinfulness,” and so on. If that sounds bleak, don’t worry. It isn’t really true, but we’re talking on a level on which it is useful to pretend it is. To learn a lesson, so that you can perform a role. Are you following?”
“Peter! Your role as the man in the tower is really very simple. By no coincidence, you are to be placed in a position above – looking down at – all of this.”
She beckons – somewhat frenetically – at the imaginary items on the table, which she placed there while delivering the previous sentences.
“Until further notice, your primary” – she corrects herself – “your only conscious concern is with the world you see below you, from the window of your tower. Your interest is in understanding and (careful with this) … judging how things and people work. Sounds pretty descriptive, yes? That’s you, right? You’re good at this?”
Modestly: “pretty good.”
“Not as good as Judas.”
Peter isn’t sure what to make of that.
“It’s OK, dear Peter. There’s good reason why you are cast in this role. You’re perfect for it.”
“Mary, … you’re scaring me.”
The unceasing peace of the Mary Peter met on his first visit remains, despite (and – paradoxically – within) these disarming words.
“I love how vulnerable you’re allowing yourself to be right now, Peter. You know I’m speaking truth when I assure you that it really is reassuring. You are – and everything is going to be – OK.”
She kisses him on the forehead.
“I love you Mary.”
“Oh, Peter. You know I love you too. I promise you: you truly are doing wonderfully.”
Still scared: “why do you keep talking about watchtowers?”
“When you apprentice Levi, Peter, you need to supervise the top-down work to complement what he and I’ve worked on together from the bottom-up.”
“You mean the miracle that Jesus…?”
“Yes. What he needs to learn now are the names of things. You called him a thief, and so many others had wounded him and given him damaging ideas about himself before that. Reflecting what Jesus did for me, I then safeguarded the wholeness of Levi’s being, creating space and a sense of safety such that he might at last explore all he’d needed to keep secret from himself. Just to survive, in service of his own good; do you follow? Once he came to recognise that the behaviours you critically labelled actually began as efforts to save himself, he recognised “thief” as a false identity, very much not the core of his essential Self. By now, though, that’s a fruitful fiction. For you, that’s the crucial part. Language grants us power to change ourselves, Peter. Now a “thief” is something Levi yearns not to be. Now he needs your help to navigate the world you observe from your tower. Together, he and you shall create names for other things. Names for things he’ll come to deem sinful, and therefore – if you get this right – fruitfully want to avoid; and names for things he’ll experience as empowering and choose to seek more of. Your role is really rather modest, Peter. It’s mostly a case of staying in your lane, that is knowing yourself just well enough and having just enough of a sense of the bigger picture (and of your relation to it) to keep yourself in check. If you don’t succeed at that quite simple task, with that manner of awareness, then quite a bit of damage will occur.”
“What are you saying, Mary? How could I possibly…”
“Well, just think about what could happen: too many people will get near-irretrievably entrained in the frequency of shame, for example, if – shame on you, by the way – you label and judge in a such a manner as to cause a great mass of them to mis-conceive themselves as – essentially, irredeemably – ‘sinners.’”
“I thought we were just discussing the apprenticeship of Levi.”
“Indeed. Just don’t leave us too much work to do, Peter; having to take up the business of undoing your work before we can even get started would be such a waste of energy, and rather unfair – which is supposed to be one of your words, not ours, by the way – don’t you think?”
“Just don’t over-think and you’ll be fine. OK: have you now realised why it’s fundamentally important that you don’t cast our Saviour as a sinner?”
This pushes Peter to breaking point.
“Enough! Jesus is dead, Mary, and you’re very evidently crazy. Setting all of this nonsense about role-playing and casting aside, how could I possibly re-educate those who have already killed our Saviour?”
Mary beams at Peter, who has happened upon the right question.
“Just don’t invent rules beyond those he’s already given you.”
“What do you mean?”
“What rules has he given you, Peter?”
“ … Love the Lord with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and love thy neighbour as thyself.”
“Bingo! Just abide by that in your own conduct and when determining whatever rules you feel are necessary (easy does it, emphasis on ‘feel’), then you won’t hold us back.”
“Stop over-thinking. It really is that simple.”
“You brought up the heart, brother. Put your hands on yours.”
“Breath into your heart, brother.”
“Now: do you have any questions?”
One has arisen. It’s quite different from what either expected.
“Yes,” says Peter, timidly.
“What is it, brother?”
“I have a question about my new student, Levi.”
“Was he really very badly neglected?”
Mary rises and kisses dear Peter’s forehead.
“You know, I love you so very much for asking that. Yes, brother. Levi was very badly neglected, I am sorry to say. It was heartbreaking to hear all the details. Sometimes he would rail and scream as he shared them. Once or twice, near the beginning, he bit me. My part in this was to do nothing but hold him, to hold him and not judge. Even if only for my sake, please don’t get this too wrong, Peter. I don’t think I could bear the suffering.”
“But … last time I was here the two of you seemed so … ridiculous. Are you really saying that you’d been through…”
“Yes, Peter. Much more was going on than you realised (and that’s OK.)”
“But … then, how were you able to stay so … playful?”
“In part, ‘play’ just comes with the territory. But also (here’s the secret): it’s quite a bit more fun (and – if you must – effective) that way. Once it became possible, being silly with Levi was certainly preferable to staying serious with you.”
“If I’d only known, I…”
“We all have the capacity to know such things Peter,” announces Mary, hands on heart.
Peter is crying.
“Why couldn’t I see these sides of you earlier, sister?”
“It wasn’t safe for me to show them to you. It wasn’t even safe for me to show them to myself.”
“I’m so glad to know you so much better now.”
“Then there is hope for us, dear Peter,” Mary sighs with relief.
She too is crying now.
“Through all of Levi’s suffering and through all of my own, which I had to keep hidden until right near the end, I knew I had no choice but to hold on until the tower in his mind was fully formed.”
“And that’s my job?”
“OK, Mary. I’ll do it for you.”
“Thank you Peter.”
For a moment, it is as if this brother and sister are themselves just little children, both crying and cradled in each other’s arms.
“This time,” she whispers, “let’s play the whole game as kids.”
“That’s my favourite way to do it too,” he chuckles.
And now, once again, they are the Mary and the Peter that they and we are used to them being.
“You do know it’s serious play that I engage in, right? Serving just as much of a ‘purpose’ (some would say a higher one) than much of your serious ‘work’?”
Still somewhat childlike: “I wish I could be more involved in it, Mary.”
“Have faith in yourself and you can be, Peter. The more you work on accepting yourself and the less inventing of ‘sins’ you do besides what is absolutely necessary to keep us all from becoming lost sheep (which is very much not the worst option, by the way), the less ‘unnecessary’ suffering there will be, and the more we can all just enjoy ourselves.”
“Isn’t this you inventing rules now?”
“No, this is me observing laws. It’s not against the rules for you to do that too, you know. In fact, for everybody’s sake, please do. Remember, Peter: the essence of all healing is the displacement of the false by the true, so the more falsity you let seep into our ‘game’ under the guise of your rules, the more suffering there’ll be for us all to work out. Keep holding onto your heart when you get lost and try to remember it’s like we’re all engaged in a dance where the body keeps the score (if you want to be in on the play, that is). The most beautiful thing is you can’t get it too wrong, since any suffering you unwittingly create will ultimately serve to get us back to Source. That’s why and when Love enters the heart.”
One final sudden shift in tone.
“OK, so here’s the game plan: as you work on the ‘mind over matter’ stuff I’ll stop whatever you’re doing from becoming too much of a lie (or – actual worst-case scenario – too much of a hell on earth) by tending to the ‘matters’ you damage (by working too hard) or deny (by working too little), and by ‘working’ with the ‘Mind over mind’ crew. That’s a whole other parallel game, by the way. We can’t get into that one now, but, then again, we also can’t get out of it; and anyone’d be crazy to want to. Is this making sense?”
“It’s not to do with matter, so that doesn’t matter. More to the immediate point: does it strike you as true and as coming from the same Source as the laws you’ve already received, as those you already abide by?”
“I don’t believe this stuff comes from Jesus, if that’s what you mean.”
A rooster crows, causing Mary to gasp with co-mingled terror and joy.
“My goodness Peter, how funny. Did you hear that?”
She is laughing. Not understanding, he still smiles.
“How darling! Sometimes you’re as thick as a brick, Peter, but a thick-as-a-brick-Peter may very well be just what we need. I have total faith in us.”
She blows him a kiss.
“Where are you going?” he asks, as she makes for the door.
“I’m going to have a word with a gardener about some seeds we’ve just planted. Wait here, brother, but first gather the one Jesus loved.”
“You’re adorable Peter. Yes, Levi. As well as John. Ta-ta!”
Something strikes Mary as she’s half-out the door.
“This time round, please do all of us a favour and don’t invent ‘crazy’ and its synonyms. That bunch – by which I mean the words, of course – have never done anyone any good.”
The Apostle to the Apostles returns to her chamber and is seated. It is good to be alone at last. She is grateful – as ever – for all of the growth that arises from such back-and-forth, but all that “being Mary” for Peter (who really isn’t great at this play stuff) was tiresome work and depleting. Throughout it she was yearning for the tomb, then this moment – back in her chamber – alone with her Beloved. Now, at last, she is to experience the resurrected form of that reciprocal self-emptying love which she and he discovered and enjoyed and perfected together during the last year of his existence. She allows herself two last thoughts for the soul known as Peter: a yearning for it to soon come into Love as she has known it with the Master; and regret at not having been able to communicate the nature of – and way to – that experience more clearly. There was, she fears, a definite off-ness about some of what just transpired (a hint of sin as Peter might put it) and she is eager to bring the shitty gift of that off-ness to her beloved Jesus, such that He might alchemize it. As the Magdalene-body relaxes, She slowly and consciously lets it fall asleep. Resting attention on the pineal gland; drifting into blackness; vividly experiencing Her Beloved. “Blessed are you that your strength wasn’t shaken by my appearance,” he is communicating, referring, of course, to Her meeting with Him by the tomb; “for where the heart is lies buried treasure.” This soul understands that Creator is congratulating it for not conflating Christ with Jesus’ body. This soul understands that Creator is proud of it for not confusing the death of that most blessed tool of human consciousness – the body of Jesus – with the cessation of His Life. This soul understands how what is happening right now is happening; what She doesn’t yet understand – and what she is requesting to understand presently – is what this vision is exactly.
“Visions are mental,” it is clarified.
Thus this soul evolves into awareness of why it couldn’t transmit what it so yearned to transmit to “Peter.” “His” mind had not yet alchemized itself enough to be able to download what She strove to impart to it. Perhaps then She could have just laid out more laws: the only way to enhance power in the world is by increasing one’s integrity, understanding, compassion; force will lower frequency since it is associated with judgment, so tends to create shame; the most common and insidious of humanity’s addictions is to denial. All supremely relevant to the situation, but too late, damnit! This mind begins to judge itself for bringing such shitty gifts – swearing and unruly passion – to Source, but then Source reminds this soul that the only way back – or, rather, forward – is through conscious engagement with seven Powers, from Ignorance through to the Compulsion of Rage, and that each soul is getting here – and can only get here – in its own way.
The soul of Jesus invites the mind of Mary to contemplate how it served his embodied self “as a robe,” a robe which even the mind of Jesus did not fully know.
Mind now envisions an interaction between the resurrected Jesus and Peter: “as you’ve told us almost everything,” says Peter, “tell us this also: what is the world’s sin?” The Magdalene-mind presently enjoys Jesus’ answer to the question of Peter: “There is no sin in reality! It is you who create sin, when you do deeds, such as adultery, that are called sinful. That’s why Good enters your heart: to return you back to your source. This is why you get ill and eventually die; he who understands, let him understand. Matter causes powerful passions to enter into you, forces which come from its opposite nature. Then a sickness arises in the body; so be of strong faith! If you’re weak, gather strength in the presence of Nature.” Source reminds the mind of Peter not to make laws like law-makers do “or else you’ll be held back.” Source reminds the mind of Mary to “be watchful” of all those who lead souls astray by professing God to be contained within any fragment of form: body, church, or tower.
“I tell you that the son of man is within you all! Seek him inside; those who search diligently and earnestly shall surely find him.”
Source reveals to the mind of Mary how Peter will publicly deny her – “Are we to listen to her? Did he favour her more than us?” – after requesting her to share this vision. The mind of Mary thinks: what an absolute fucker. The mind of Mary judges itself for bringing such a shitty gift to Source. The Soul of Mary reminds the mind of Mary that the only way back – or, rather, forward – is through conscious engagement with seven Powers, from Ignorance through to the Compulsion of Rage, and that each soul is getting here – and can only get here – in its own way.
Source reveals to the mind of Mary the body of Pope Gregory the Great, enwrapped in a cloak such as “Peter” wore in “Mary’s” chamber, creating in its tower Homily 33: “she whom Luke calls the sinful woman, whom John calls Mary, we believe to be the Mary from whom seven demons were ejected according to Mark. And what did these seven demons signify if not all the vices?” The mind of Mary shoots venom at the mind of Peter. Source reveals to the mind of Mary that scene from The Da Vinci Code where Sir Ian McKellen persuades Audrey Tautou that Mary Magdalene was the wife of Jesus. Source reveals to the mind of Mary that the mind of Dan Brown envisions the Holy Grail as a fragment of the body of Mary. The mind of Mary gives glory to God.
Source reveals Levi admonishing Peter: “You’ve always been quick to anger; now I see you doubting a woman as worthy as Mary. Who do you think you are to dispute her testimony like an enemy? If Jesus made her upright, who are we to disown her? Jesus knew her well: that’s why he loved her more than us. Let’s be penitent and don the robe of the perfect man and make him one with ourselves, as he taught. Let’s proclaim his word, not make laws beyond those he ordered!”
The mind of Mary slows down and lands in a nursery of sorts.
This nursery of sorts is in a forest. The children can see the trees, but the Tower Folk can’t see this nursery of sorts for the forest. Nature’s forms and creatures are interrelated, all infused with light and Love and all engaged in conscious evolution. Blossoming trees and flowers. Blossoming minds and hearts. All of the teachers are women, at least in this particular nursery. The nursery community is nomadic. Source reveals to the mind of Mary that if the nursery rests in any location for too long then the Tower Folk will discover it, due to a supernatural increase in vegetative growth in that part of the forest. The underlying hope of the Collective behind this web of nomadic nurseries is that the Tower Folk’s awareness will remain limited to which forests have nurseries in them, as opposed to where nurseries are grounded in any given forest at any given time. Synchronously, these communities love bringing growth to the whole, so their movement around each forest is taught – quite rightly – as a self-generated power, not as an expedient necessity to which they are driven by fear of external force. Indeed, that all any being needs to know in order to enable sure growth is how to differentiate Power from Force is at the heart of each nursery’s curriculum. These teachers have faith that they and their students will develop the capacity to move beyond physical bodies, therein escaping from their particular forests, before the Tower Folk can halt their evolution. Synchronously, the Tower Folk do not believe it is possible to move beyond physical bodies.
There do not appear to be any men within the nursery that the mind of Mary envisions, neither among the teachers nor among the students. This causes sadness to enter into the heart within the body of Mary. Those whom She has loved the most have been men. She knows their sins. She feels their pain. Mary sends a blessing to the Tower People, then narrows her focus to one corner of this given nursery, where something significant is happening. Presently, it is as though two of the children in this given nursery are all that exist across all multiverses.
One student is meditating, downloading whatever information she needs to graduate to the next stage of evolution. This student appears to be rather advanced. So is the other, so much so that she reads with her heart the mantra that is flowing through the meditator’s mind: oh child, you’re so important; oh child, you’re so important; oh, child you’re so important, oh child.
The witnessing student is becoming aware of a radical shift in the base state of the Mindful one. Our witness summons a teacher. “The time is now,” reports our witness, pointing her finger at the space above the head of the Mindful one. The teacher’s forehead gravitates towards that of the Mindful one. Only our witness seems aware that the Mindful one now dons an immaterial robe of many colours. Joy emanates from the heart of our witness.
“How did you know that her Portal has expanded?” the teacher asks our witness in awe. “Are you witnessing my green?” asks our witness. “I am not,” responds the teacher; “whatever is presently happening exceeds my understanding.” “The time is now” repeats our witness, beckoning at the robe-bearing student.
“Are you witnessing her robe?” “Not yet,” responds the teacher in wonderment. “The time is now” repeats our witness: “when my partner reawakens you shall witness her robe, which is presently purple, and you shall witness my robe, which is presently green.”
Our green-robed witness is now simultaneously witnessing her teacher’s amazement and the vision of the purple-robed Mindful one.
The vision is of a vine: it was as though it budded and her blossoms shot forth; and the clusters thereof brought forth ripe grapes.
“Let us contemplate today’s Creation, child,” suggests the inquisitive teacher. It would appear that the practice is for one student to create art in-formed by awareness of that which their partner is envisioning in meditation. Our teacher immediately recognises her precocious student’s Creation as an image of the merging of mind with Mind. However, this image has something unusual about it. Our teacher invites the student to guide her through the Creation. Our green-robed witness obliges, revealing how the Peter part of the apprentice is looking down from the tower of mind and witnessing the play of Mind in matter below as a reflection of itself. That much is obvious, witnesses the teacher. It is lawful that such a Creation should be formed by the witness of one whose Portal is expanding. Presently, our teacher sins, seizing an opportunity to share something that solely her base mind insists is important to impart to our witness before her partner awakens.
The sinner reminds our witness of a practice that used to be common-place for humans, but that only Tower Folk presently persist with: “even though all souls are always-already interconnected both by and in Love,” shares the sinner, “most humans through history have engaged in the sinful practice of coupling-up in an even more low-density way than we allow ourselves to risk with these partner exercises. So far every one of Us has chosen to refrain from that arcane practice because of our mindful and heartfelt awareness that the emotionality, possessiveness, and addiction that accompany said practice have almost universally impeded evolution, but I believe there may have been some who harnessed the Power of Eros as a means of achieving otherwise unattainable heights, and I cannot allow myself to withhold from you my whimsical notion that you may be one within whom such a capacity and inclination rests. Sinful though Our Collective knows such ways to be, my base mind yet entices me to assert that you may be able to engage in the Path of Conscious Love with your present partner, given that she presently downloads new information from Source, which so far only you…”
Our witness commits the grave sin of interrupting her teacher so as to avoid committing the yet graver sin of embarrassing her teacher more than is necessary. Interrupting and causing any degree of embarrassment are such rare and archaic occurrences that this awe-inspired teacher cannot contain her joy.
“Actually, I already have a Beloved,” our sinful witness confesses: “that’s why this is happening.”
“Please share what is happening, child.”
Had any of the other teachers both the power of seeing that this teacher now dons a red robe and also the capacity to know what to make of that fact, there would ensue an extremely embarrassing uproar. Synchronously, those two powers presently exist nowhere else but in the mind of our green-robed witness.
“This is my Beloved,” one sinner confesses to the other, beckoning at the being in her Creation: “His name is Levi. His bodily existence ceased in AD 333 because his prideful donning of the robe contradicted the Creation of the Council of Nicea. When his brethren saw that he and Source loved each other more than they could comprehend, explain, or copy, they hated him and could not behave peaceably with him. Ever since his death, he has been playfully at work on his Gospel, which my partner is presently downloading. That’s how I already know about the Path of Conscious Love. His mother was the Beloved of the Saviour that the Tower Folk’s material books are about. Presently, let us now be the first to witness the opening verses of Original Sun, which my partner is downloading right now.”
The forehead of Mary reacts to the undeniable sensation of two near-immaterial foreheads pressing against it. A fierce rush of anger at the near-interruption of this vision is rather invited into the mind of Mary as – and further enabling – a deepening of this vision.
“We are with the first Apostle of the Tower Folk’s Saviour,” witnesses our green-robed witness; “she is coming into awareness of the sins of Peter and the beautiful role she has played in setting him on his path. She is Mindfully summoning Levi back to her chamber, liberating him from Peter’s tutelage so that he can manifest his destiny and form the Laws of Sun. These in turn will liberate both us and the Tower Folk. The time is now. Levi and Mary have planted seeds, creating new Fields in the Eternal Now. Presently, you and I inherit the work of defeating sin by embodying powerful passions, thus manifesting the more powerful – because more empowering – Laws of Sun.”
Presently, our witness forewarns her teacher-turned-apprentice that everything is about to change for them: “the moment we step back from our sister, she will ascend; it will fall to you and I to don these robes and lead those who will follow Us into deeper wholeness.”
As the mind of Levi’s Beloved receives Levi’s transmission of this vision of Mary, the mind of Mary contemplates our witness’ Creation. It depicts Peter looking down from his tower and recognising Mary within his reflection in the lake. Playfully, Mary blows him a kiss, beckoning him to come down from his tower and play. The face of Mary transmutes into the face of Levi, now facing upwards at both the tower and – above it – the Sun. Looking down, Peter realises that this is the moment glimpsed in young Levi’s original vision. Peter is being witnessed compassionately – without judgment, in his wholeness – within the fullest context of Creation. Levi is thanking him for his service and telling him that it is now safe for him to leave the tower of the mind, that if he will only do so now – yes! right now, before this Portal closes – then sin will cease to be.
“We create the Laws of Sun by living them,” witnesses our witness; “we must move from our forests and towers into Levi’s position, for his is the only position from which one can speak the truth while simultaneously loving everyone. Seeing us walk on the water, the Tower Folk will follow us, freed from the chains of forgetfulness. Follow me, teacher! The time is now!”
When thou wast young, thou cloakedst thyself, and walkest whither thou wouldest: now stretch forth thy hands, and I shall robe thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
With that the vision ends.
As Mary, mother of Levi, opens her eyes, All is illumined by Love, shining bright as Sun.
The disciples disband and begin to teach the Gospel.
Jesus, Mary, Levi and their witnesses are enfolded in Presence, forever unfolding in the eternal now.