I am indebted to Cynthia Bourgeault for her books, Wisdom Jesus, and The Meaning of Mary Magdalene: Discovering the Woman at the Heart of Christianity. In those two books, she offers provocative imagery of Jesus descending into “hell” and witnessing the brokenness there. The witnessing heals. Why?
Wounds belong to the separated realms, both in us and in the world, at large. A wound is an infliction, more like an energetic injection, that is meant to reinforce a feeling of being separate, apart from, cast out, broken off…
Wounded parts of us have their own reality inside out psyche and can create havoc in our relationships and outlooks on life because they are the energy undergirding any feeling or thought that reinforces separation.
Wounded entities and people, whether incarnated on Earth or existing in the lower realms, cannot perceive wholeness. Their vision only permits an “Us versus Them” paradigm. At the more depraved levels, their lived reality is in fact reduced to a “Me versus All” viewpoint as they constantly understand reality as a fight or flight scenario, a Darwinian hell, that never seems to end. These souls have forgotten their intrinsic, most sublime truth: that they are part of the whole; that they are God experiencing the most extreme manifestation of the created worlds of separation. They are, in fact, One-With-All.
In truth, whether the wounds are intrapersonal or interpersonal, they can be healed by witnessing them and overshadowing them with a higher frequency of energy. Witnessing that is free of judgment and full of compassion and lived truth, simply heals.
The archetypal journey for this kind of witnessing is described well by Bourgeault as she pulls from various non-canonical gospels including the Gospel of Mary Magdalene. Jesus’ spirit, freed from its earthly body, descends into the separated realms, and witnesses the energetics of each strata, as accusations and temptations abound. Instead of engaging in debates against the accusations or falling into the temptations, Jesus is shown to stand firmly in his truth and simply witness these realms of brokenness.
Energetically, he plummeted to the “bottom,” to the most separated icy realms and brought with him the enkindling fire of Love. Love witnessing the brokenness allows those entities to begin to thaw and see what they have forgotten: Wholeness is possible. Light exists. Reality can be different, more expansive, warmer.
We, too, can make this journey. We first must be able to compassionately and truthfully witness our own brokenness. Only then we are freer to witness the brokenness of others. At that point, we will be used by the Infinite Creator to be an instrument of healing and reconciling to the world, just like our model, Jesus.
The following is a most helpful prayer that captures very well the letting go that true witnessing demands. May this prayer be implanted in our hearts and a mantra on our lips.
The Welcoming Prayer (by Father Thomas Keating)
Welcome, welcome, welcome.
I welcome everything that comes to me today
because I know it’s for my healing.
I welcome all thoughts, feelings, emotions, persons,
situations, and conditions.
I let go of my desire for power and control.
I let go of my desire for affection, esteem,
approval and pleasure.
I let go of my desire for survival and security.
I let go of my desire to change any situation,
condition, person or myself.
I open to the love and presence of God and
God’s action within. Amen.