The Original Great Mother Tradition
Mother Worship

MatriTalks 70


Questions & Answers
Han Marie Stiekema Sermes

Q. You once said, that after a long journey, you re-discovered the treasures of your own Christian tradition. Could tell us more about that?

A. Christianity has been a tragedy. While it pretended to "guide you to God", it did exactly the opposite. You may therefore define Christianity, as a deliberate attempt to deprive you from true religiosity - direct contact with Heaven and earth -  with the aim of replacing it by a substitute: the church.

Q. That's why Christians often look a bit washed out.

A. They suffer from religious burn-out. The majority being totally disoriented, while "small" groups overstrain their inner insecurity by becoming fundamentalists.

Q. What ray of hope do you still see, then?

A. In order to keep the power, the church has refrained from distributing its treasures among its own flock, being afraid, that the latter would find their way to God themselves, making the church an unnecessary institution.

Q. Together with accumulation of worldly treasures.

A. In order to establish power, the church has excluded everything, that did not serve its purpose. It replaced Jesus by Pauline philosophy; it banned countless groups e.g. movements, like Donatists, Montanists, Arianism, Pelagianism and many more; it falsified the bible; it illegally acquired the Vatican; it persecuted mystics, gnostics, "heretics", women (witches), their own fellow believers, Jews, philosophers.....

Q. Destroying their own most precious sources.   

A. It has put Christians - especially the good ones - for an enormous dilemma: leaving or not leaving.  Many of them having the feeling, that "if I leave, nothing will be left". This fear for the wasteland is keeping many in the church.

Q. With a voice within saying the opposite.

A. My commitment to them, has lead to a "third way". It is a proposal, through which they may re-discover the heart of their own tradition. It includes leaving everything behind, that undermines spirit, soul and body, while simultaneously digging up their own treasures.

Q. What would you like to say to them, right now?

A. There are huge treasures, waiting for you in your own tradition. I myself was totally surprised, finding them. I can even say, that some aspects are totally unequalled. The drive should be "Restoring the Wholeness of Life", consisting of a deep longing for the Ultimate.

Q.  Which are the sources, people may re-connect to?

A. Because the sources have been excluded by the church itself, they cannot be found there. The heart of Christianity, on the other hand, includes four dimensions: mysticism, gnosticism, mariology and activism. The first is aimed at God-experience, the second at God-realization, the third at taking Refuge in the Mother, while the fourth represents the vehicle for compassionate action in the world.

Q. Quite impressive indeed.

A. Together, they could give rise to a complete renewal of the Christian faith. Take mysticism, for instance. The longing for Oneness, as expressed by Christian mystics, is absolutely unique. You won't find that in any other tradition. This longing is essential for religious inspiration. Read Hadewych for instance, or Beatrijs of Nazareth, or Teresa of Avila, or Catharina of Siena.

Q. I have read some of them, having had some difficulties with the language they use. It is very "church-oriented".

A. It is part of their tragedy. Unlike Buddhism, Christian mystics had every reason to fear persecution for "deviant thinking". Hence, while expressing themselves, they purposely did concessions to the authorities. Once you know this, reading becomes more easy. You simply see at which moments they compromised and why.

Q. A good guide would be very recommendable.

A. As I have said earlier the Mystical Way has been described by Evelyn Underhill in her book "Mysticism". It is the best guide you can find. She describes the stages of the Path: The Awakening of the Self, Purification, Illumination, Voices and Visions, Recollection and Quiet, Contemplation, Ecstasy and Rapture, The Dark Night of the Soul and The Unitive Life. Everything illustrated with examples of the lives of countless mystics.*

* Apart from the books of Teresa of Avila, obviously. 

Q. What about gnosticism?

A. As you know, they posed the greatest threat to the church, because of their emphasis on the Divine Spark within, e.g. God-realization. The difference with God-experience is, that the former is aiming at (temporary) unity with the Divine, while God-realization claims the Divine to be your True Identity. Not surprisingly thus, that the church did everything "to eradicate" them. This has lead to the situation, that even Giordano Bruno and other highlights in mysticism, have not been rehabilitated for this reason, until this very day.

Q. Gnosticism being comparable to Buddhism.

A. Absolutely. Its representatives aiming at experience ("realization"), rather than dogma's and rules. Their source of inspiration being the "Hermetic Code", a collection of Gnostic treatises from the third century BCE. Subsequently, the famous Nag Hammadi Codex has revealed a lot about their underlying philosophy. For instance, to them, Jesus was a spiritual teacher, rather than a reformer. In the Gospel of Thomas he is saying "Become like Me", emphasizing the possibility of God-realization for everyone*.

* One of the best books about Gnosticism is E.Pagels "The Gnostic Gospels", 1989 Vintage Books.

Q. You are emphasizing the unity of your four Realms of the New Christianity. Why?

A. That's right. The separate parts are nothing new, in fact. Mysticism and gnosticism even have had their peaks "in the book market" already. The novelty is, that mysticism, gnosticism, mariology and activism are intimately linked to each other. They are an integrated Whole. It is this Whole, not the parts, that may replace the existing church altogether.

Q. Could you explain?

A. As I have explained before, the tide of the time is directing toward internalization, to finding your True Self, from Which you were separated for more than two millennia. That means, that outer belief is not able to satisfy the deeper needs of the people. The latter yearning for inner guidance. Hence, a cohesive, comprehensive alternative, that covers the entire spiritual Path being the most promising one.

Q. What exactly is the inner coherence of God-experience, God-realization, Mariology and Activism?

A. Step one is often characterized by a spontaneous Moment of Oneness: "Suddenly, everything dropped of, making everything new". If not, it is often existential suffering, e.g. being alienated from the Source, that gives the first incentive. In this stage, the tools are "longing for Wholeness" and "Inner Prayer". Step two consists of seriously committing yourself to the inner Path. That means, you recognize your awareness (which is your Divine Spark within) as your New Identity, your True Self. It is here that Eastern Religion, especially "Zen" and "Vipassana" have to fill in the gap. This whole area used to be taboo, after all. Meditation helps you expanding your awareness, eventually leading to Enlightenment.

Q. You once said, that Enlightenment should be the outcome of surrender, rather than the fruit of self-effort.

A. That's right. For Christians an exception is made, though. They have been deprived of this kind of practice for so long. Hence, for them the way of exercise being very beneficial.

Q. Realization eventually culminating in Surrender?

A. After having reached the top, the only way open is to descend into the valley. With other words, after Full Realization, there is nothing to realize anymore. You may then come to the conclusion, that "something, that can be realized, cannot be the Ultimate". There must be Something Beyond. Surprisingly enough, you will find this ultimate wisdom in your own tradition.

Q. That will be good news.

A. Christianity is very unique in postulating (under heavy pressure from the people), that the Virgin Mary represents the "Mother of God" e.g. the "Queen of Heaven". While the church only tries to compromise between people's demand and its own power position, these statements should be taken seriously. It means, that there is something beyond God, which even the church is calling "the Mother". The Mother cannot be attained though. She can only be worshipped. The countless Mary Shrines are witness of Her popularity.

Q. The last step is that of activism.

A. Compassion being the outcome of the spiritual Path. By being One with the Ultimate, you become all-embracing. The entire universe proves to be the content of your "inner Space". Hence, you love everything like yourself.

Q. Are there examples, that may inspire us?

A. Ironically, because of being cut off from the Source, Christians had no choice but becoming the forerunners in areas like social change, justice, human rights and charity. This has become a unique ability, that should not be given up. Under the new circumstances - in which they may re-connect themselves to the Source - their power may even increase considerably. There are countless inspiring examples: from Thomas Münster to Gandhi (who was strongly inspired by Christianity); from Dante to Mother Teresa and from Johannes Althusius to Martin Luther King.

You are beautiful.         

I love you.

Back            Next

| HOME | Autobiography | Personal Reactions | Picture Gallery | Poetry | Q & A online | MatriTalks |

 © 2000 Copyright Han Marie Stiekema
Last revising: 02/07/10