C9 – Unraveled

Mary becomes unraveled

Later that night at the house,  Aggie said  to Mary “The talk was brilliant and  factual but somewhat controversial, some people may see it as a radical attack on Christianity, I felt uncomfortable when I saw the expressions of some of the people’s faces, especially the priest from Mandeville.     .

You were like an angry mother scolding  disobedient children, you were constantly in an attack mode.

Your eyes were so distant like you were living in another world besides the one in which your body resides.

I have never told you this, you scream in your sleep at nights, you are constantly talking to yourself, you are very restless, Mary I am very worried about you, maybe you should consider getting some professional help”

Mary was un-phased by what Aggie said, her response was “Aggie, when I was asked to speak I made it clear that I would not be speaking on behalf of any religion but from my conscience and my heart, in my introduction I told everyone that I was not speaking for any religious organization, I commented on religions in general and their influence on the lives of billions of people in the world.

I believe every word I said to be the truth, sometimes the truth is an inconvenient thing to hear but because the truth makes people uncomfortable that does not make it a lie.

Maybe Aggie, I have unrealistic expectations, maybe the world was designed to operate in confusion, lies and chaos, where morality, truth and justice are illusions we pursue in vain.

Why are people so reluctant to hear and accept the truth?

When a lie is more acceptable than the truth, where does that leave us?, I will tell you where it leaves us Aggie, it leaves us at the mercy of the people who created the lie and successfully fed it to us as the truth.

It transforms us into people who genuinely believe that they are inferior to others and therefore should be subservient to them.

It transforms people into the vassals of religious leaders who control and manipulate them in the name of God.

I know I touched some raw nerves when I spoke of the inherited  foundations upon which they are standing, I could have gone deeper but I did not.

Aggie I am not speaking out of ignorance, my degree is in Comparative Religion which took years of dedicated research with a primary focus on Christianity, the repository of history is closed to no one, anyone can challenge my claims if they choose to do so.

The Great Lao Tzu said “The truth is not always beautiful, nor beautiful words the truth.”

They will quote scriptures from Genesis to Revelation but how often do they speak about the days when church members were not allowed to read or own a bible.

They will repeatedly tell you about the creation of the world, the sins and disobedience of men, the punishment meted out to them by God thousands of years ago but how often do they speak of the so called “dark ages” in Europe the cradle of the Romanization of Christianity, where people were burned alive for owning a bible, how often do they speak of the torture and murder of  millions of people like the Waldenses, the Gnostics and the Cathars who were deemed to be heretics.

Why would men of God burn people alive for owning a bible which is supposed to contain the word of God, why would the standard bearers of Christianity murder millions of people because of what they believed when their savior Jesus Christ taught them to “love their enemies”

Until I am proven to be wrong, No Aggie, I have no apology for anything I said. They need to openly condemn and reject that legacy, then distance themselves from it.

“Mary”, Aggie said “it seems to me that you are now transferring your anger to religions you do not agree with, just like your father could not reverse the things he did to you, present day Christians cannot reverse the actions of their ancestors. As Baha’is  we believe that we are living in a new dispensation, Baha’u’llah is the Messenger of God for this age, He brought a new message which is relevant to the time in which we live now.

We celebrate World Religion Day because we want to stand in solidarity  with our Christian Brothers and Sisters, we do not want to attack and vilify them.

Baha’u’llah told us that “Man can never hope to attain unto the knowledge of the All-Glorious … unless and until he ceases to regard the words and deeds of mortal men as a standard for the true understanding and recognition of God and His Prophets”.   

“Hold on Aggie” said Mary “I am not  sure where you are coming from with that quotation from Baha’u’llah, let us be clear here, I am not passing judgement on anyone, Baha’ullah is on record in his writings proclaiming the equality of men and women, to me equality means equality across the board, quote to me from the writings of Baha’u’llah where he satisfactorily justifies the ineligibility of women to serve on the Universal House of Justice and I will apologize to you and the Baha’i Community.

I did not vilify Christianity, I spoke the truth, tell me where I lied or spoke falsely and I will go down on my knees and beg for their forgiveness.

Yes Baha’ullah has brought a new message which you have accepted and that is fine, I am happy for you.

I am not a Baha’i, though I respect the Baha’i Faith I do not have any bound allegiance to it, when I accepted the invitation to speak, it was my understanding that I would be speaking as Mary Dickson not as a Baha’i.

The Baha’i Faith is a relatively new religion, your ideals are noble and praiseworthy but as the new kids on the block, you still need to prove yourselves and the equality of men and women which you preach is going to cause you problems in the future.

Aggie interrupted Mary by saying “Mary you seemed to be at war with religions and anything you do not agree with, the tolerance you seek to find in others where is it in yourself”

“Come on Aggie” said Mary “I am not at war with religions, I am at war with hypocrisy and exploitation, I feel the way Martin Luther probably felt when he started what became the Reformation which led to the birth of what we now know as Protestantism. Of all the prophets and messengers of God, I identify more with Jesus Christ because he was a revolutionary, his heart was with the poor and downtrodden not the sanctimonious Sanhedrin.

I lived in a Kibbutz in Nahariya, I traveled all over the Holy Land, I walked where Jesus walked, I walked the via dolorosa, I tried to feel his pain.

I walked from Jericho with a Palestinian man to the mountain where Jesus was supposedly tempted by the devil.

I lived on Falafel and water for months, I bathed in the Jordan River, I visited what is supposed to be his birthplace in Bethlehem, I visited  Capernaum and Nazareth, I sat on the banks of the Sea of Galilee in Tiberius and prayed for enlightenment .

Luke 10:30-37, tells a story of a Jewish man who was robbed and beaten while walking on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho, he was left to die by the roadside but he was helped  by Samaritan, I walked on that road from Jericho to Jerusalem.

I had the pleasure of a Jewish Archeologist explain to me the significance of the Psalm 23:4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me”  this was so special to me because I have always remembered when I was a little girl, Ethel my nanny used to recite Psalms 23 to me and when I was afraid I would say that verse aloud.

I have seen the Bahai Gardens in Haifa Aggie, I have seen the Shrine of The Bab, I stood on Mount Carmel and gazed down upon the Bay of Haifa, I prayed at the wailing wall in Jerusalem, I visited the Al-Aqsa Mosque.

I sat on the ground and ate berries with the Drews in the Golan Heights, I visited Masada and bathed in the Dead Sea, I stood at the border between Israel and Lebanon and listened to the explosion of bombs as they fell  from Israeli planes upon Lebanon. I did all that Aggie because I wanted to experience living in the Land of Jesus Christ.         

No Aggie, I am not at war with religion, I am a Christian a Hindu and a Buddhist all rolled up in one, yet I am aligned to neither one, I hear them all as different tones of the same voice and melodies from the same song”

“Oh my God” exclaimed Aggie., “Mary you just indirectly said that you are a Baha’i”

“No Aggie” answered Mary. “I am not a Baha’i, I am only Mary your friend, I am taking baby steps, not many days ago I would have killed my father if he was still alive, thanks to you and Amarte, I have transcended that state of mind, the war with my father is over but the war against sexual abuse, religious bigotry, racism and social injustices has just began”.

“Well Mary” said Aggie, “listening to your talk sounded to me like you are taking giant steps, you certainly unleashed the university graduate which was trapped inside you all these years but as your friend, I would like to caution you that aggressive speeches more often than not generate anger which blocks the function of reason and sends the rational mind to hide behind a curtain of self defense.

In simple terms Mary, people become defensive if they feel they are being lectured to and blamed for something they did wrong.

Baha’u’llah said “ Be fair in thy judgment, and guarded in thy speech. Be unjust to no man, and show all meekness to all men. Be as a lamp unto them that walk in darkness, a joy to the sorrowful, a sea for the thirsty, a haven for the distressed, an upholder and defender of the victim of oppression. Let integrity and uprightness distinguish all thine acts. Be a home for the stranger”

Everything you said in your talk was true but when the truth comes across as accusations people are less likely to respond positively to what they hear.

Baha’u’llah says “A kindly tongue is the lodestone of the hearts of men. It is the bread of the spirit, it clotheth the words with meaning, it is the fountain of the light of wisdom and understanding.”

I am not defending the things that happened during those two thousand years you spoke about or what is happening now, before I became a Baha’i, I struggled with understanding the scriptures in the Bible, particularly the scriptures from Genesis to Malichai where everything is so esoteric.

I did not study religions as extensively as you did, I am still learning every day. In your talk you mentioned that the various branches of Christianity read the same bible, believe in the same God but they behave like the seven blind men explaining what they perceive an elephant to be like.

The writings in the bible are very esoteric and it is unlikely that there will ever be total uniformity in the understanding of what is read.

In our young years in St.Mary, maybe you can remember Jack Wallace who was considered to be a “bad man” he converted to a branch of Christianity called Bow Bow, I cannot remember the correct name.

One evening a group of people were in front of Lee Marsh’s shop arguing about religion and the bible when Jack Wallace declared that “the bible was a dead book”,  everyone went into full attack mode against Jack Wallace, pronouncing his swift passage to hell for calling God’s bible “a dead book”  when they calmed down, Jack Wallace said what I meant was “the bible cannot open or read itself, it does not interpret what is read from it, someone has to open it, read it, then interpret what he or she reads, look at the number of churches and they all read from the same bible”. That explanation did not satisfy them as far as they were concerned, Jack Wallace was going to hell because he called God’s bible a “dead book”.

When I read from the book of Job Chapter 41:1-2 “Canst thou draw out Leviathan with an hook? , or his tongue with a cord which thou letest down, canst thou put an hook into his nose? Or bore his jaw with a thorn”  

I really wanted to know what was the significance of  those verses and what was Leviathan, I came across it again in Psalms 74:14 “Thou breakest the heads of Leviathan in pieces and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness “  Then in Psalms 104:26 “There go the ships: there is that leviathan whom thou hast made to play therein” in Isaiah 27:1 “In that day the Lord with his sore great and strong shall punish Leviathan, the piercing serpent, even Leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea”

Obviously Leviathan was an allegorical creature used to depict events of either the past or the future.

Science or history has no irrefutable evidence of  a creature called a Leviathan other than a supposed extinct sperm whale which was largely based on the biblical reference of Leviathan.

The point I am making Mary is that the dispensation of esoteric has passed; we are now in the age of Exoterics, the message of Baha’u’llah is clear and written by his own hand not by someone else many years after his ascension”.

“Thanks for sharing that Aggie ” said Mary, I do remember Jack Wallace, his nickname was “Bap” he used to call me “pretty Mary” my father hated him because he was one of the few people who would stand up to him.

I also read about Leviathan in the bible, a Leviathan like creature is also in Mesopotamian and Sumerian mythology. I do agree that some biblical references are symbolic and a literal interpretation of them would not make sense, for example the reference of Leviathan in Job 41:1-2.

I delve into esoterics sometimes Aggie, it fascinates me, many things I write can be considered as esoteric.

“Again Aggie, you have missed my point, what I have said and will continue to say has nothing to do with Esoteric Leviathans, mythical dragons, sea creatures, or past and present dispensations.

I do not mean to be disrespectful of your belief  that the dispensation of Baha’u’llah abrogates all other dispensations but at this point in history, there are less than 10 million Bahais in the world, focusing on Christianity alone, there are at least 2.5 billion Christians which means that Christianity directly influences the lives of 2.5 billion people, I am sure we can agree that is a significant aggregation of human beings.

At the expense of repeating myself, let me say this to you Aggie and hope that it will bring some clarity to your opinions of me.

Before World Religion Day can have any significant meaning, other than an annual gathering, to talk about religious unity, unity from within must first be realized, Jesus said “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand”

My talk highlighted the segregation and fragmentation of the whole structure of Christendom, that is the reality and there is nothing esoteric about it. 

I spoke of some things which religious protagonists have been doing for over two thousand years, which are in clear violation of the scriptures they teach others from.

How can you “love your enemies” when you hate others who have done you no wrong, other than they dare to believe differently than you do.

By whose authority did they declare people to be heretics, hunt them down and burn them to death?, by whose authority did they sell the forgiveness of sins?.

If you say to me, they are not doing those things today, you would be right, they are not burning heretics today or selling salvation but they have not denounced or distanced themselves from the loathsome inheritance handed down to them.

They are quite comfortable with waiting for those painful memories to be buried under the passage of time, the same way today they cover up the sexual abuse of children and wait for it to disappear with the passing of time.

Where in the bible is it written that pastors should on behalf of God, tell their congregation how much money they need to give them to buy multi million dollar airplanes, build luxurious mansions and for them to have millions of dollars in their bank accounts.  

Who appointed the Neo prophets who are now directly interceding between God and their followers for a fee of course.

Good to see that the Mormon God has finally shown some mercy to black people and is allowing them to be accepted to the priesthood. I wonder how Joseph Smith and Brigham Young would have felt about that.

I take into consideration your admonition on how I spoke the truth during my talk for World Religion day, to me the truth is whatever the truth is, I am not angry Aggie because I know you love me and you want to protect me but I will never compromise the truth as a palliative to ease the conscience of the guilty.

Would my truth be more satisfactory if I said that church members voluntarily give money to their leaders to buy jet planes, build mansions and amass millions of dollars for themselves while those who give cannot pay their mortgages.

Should I have praised the Baha’is for promoting the equality of men and women but be silent about women not being allowed to serve on the Universal House of Justice, no Aggie the truth needs to be told  The Great Bob Marley said “who the cap fits let them wear it”

The truth does not send wrong doers “to hide behind a curtain of self defence” Aggie, it sends them to hide behind a curtain of guilt, Gibran so appropriately said “you cannot lay remorse upon the innocent or lift it from the heart of the guilty”

Do you think my father would be less guilty, if I said he had intercourse with me instead of saying he raped me, would he be less guilty if I said he made his friends have sex with my mother instead of he made his friends gang banged my mother, I want to make sexual abuse sound to be as horrible as it really is.

My father gave me the most vulgar description of why he was raping me”.

Aggie noticed that for the first time Mary said that “her father raped her” previously she said he “tried to rape her” but Aggie did not interrupt her.

Mary continued what could now be described as ranting  “Before you jump to conclusions, my father is no longer an issue to me but what he did to me and my mother will always be an issue, I still have nightmares of my father shoving his penis down my throat, I don’t  know if I will ever get over that, I have been trying to block it out of my mind all my life but it never goes away.

I will be “fair in my judgement” but if “guarded in my speech” means that I must compromise the truth I will not be guarded in my speech.

My mission is the fight against all forms of injustices, racial, religious, economic, gender and most of all sexual abuse and rape. 

“Aggie I feel like an innocent person who was mentally incarcerated for many years, serving time for being the victim while the perpetrator went free.

I am still the victim but no longer mentally incarcerated, I no longer feel ashamed to tell my story. I can stand behind a pulpit in a church, in the marketplace or anywhere I can find an audience  and tell everyone my story.

My story is no longer just about Mary Dickson, it is about all abused women and children, it is about removing the chains of mental captivity which keep women shackled by fear, preventing them from speaking out against their abusers.

It is about protecting children from their abusers and empowering them to speak out when they are molested. I never told anyone about what my father was doing to me because I was ashamed and afraid.

It is about educating parents on the importance of listening to the complaints of their children and taking them seriously, making them feel comfortable to talk about being touched inappropriately or sexually molested .

It is about creating an awareness to society of the long term effects sexual abuse has on women and children.

There must be a way to deter sexual predators from taking advantage of defenseless women and children.

The two institutions which have the greatest influence on people are religion and politics, they have the capacity and the means to educate and create awareness in the minds of millions of people all over the world.

 I need to find a way to shake up the established routine and bring to bear enough influence which will galvanize the protagonists of politics and religion to lend their voices in an urgent manner to expose those fucking sexual predators and stop them from ruining the lives of innocent women and children”.

That was the first time Aggie heard Mary curse except when she was quoting someone else, she was a little alarmed.

She had been worried about Mary for some days now and since the talk on World Religion Day she realized that something was happening to Mary she seemed to be losing control of herself.

Aggie decided to use a more tactful approach to divert Mary from her anger.

Aggie said to Mary “who are you Mary, you need to look deep into yourself and ask yourself some questions, one important question you need to ask is who are you, what have you become, you have always been different from everyone else around, I know that your home life had a lot to do with the way you were but there is more to what you were and especially to what you have become”

“before you left Jamaica, I was your closest friend, as a matter of fact I was your only friend, you left and went to America, you graduated from university with honours, you lived with the man you love, you left him and traveled all over the world, you became a Buddhist, a Hindu and a Yogini whatever that is, you came back to America, again you lived with the man you love, you left him again and now you are back in Jamaica and I am still your only friend, besides myself and Amarte you have no other friends, am I ringing a bell here yet”.

“Besides myself and Amarte who else can you talk to about transcendental states of consciousness, alternative realities and separating your mind from the self to experience visions and whatever else you call what you claim to experience, you see Mary, I am just a simple minded woman and those things are way over my head, reading some of the things you write in your journal scares me and I worry about you, you are educated and rich, you have a man who loves you and you claim to love him, yet you are unhappy, not only should you ask yourself why, you need to find out why”.

“No other man would have endured what Amarte endured for you, what he desires most is you, yet that is what you always take away from him, do you know why you came back to Jamaica, when you learnt about the death of your parents, two years had already past, so you did not come back for them, did you come back for the money, did you come back to be haunted by the memories of your past, if your did, are you haunted enough yet

And lastly Mary, you need to find out from yourself, what is it that you are hiding from or running away from, I am not the Psychologist, you are but I know that you are hiding from something you are afraid to face up to or admit to yourself.”

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