This is a question and answer page where Robert shares his experience, strength, and hope by posting (anonymously) the questions he receives by e-mail and the responses which he sends back. If you have reached this page without coming through the web site, you might want to first explore the web sit by going to the Joy to You & Me Home Page so that you can understand the context within which these questions are asked and answered.
A question About Jesus
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert BurneyDear _____,
I am sorry that it has taken me awhile to respond to your e-mail. I have been very busy with an update to my web site and a trip out of town for a day and a half to see some clients. I also wanted to let your question percolate for some days because there are a variety of ways to answer your question and I wanted to do so with respect and honor for the nature and subject of the question.
I assume you are Robert Burney, the author of the book and excepts on this website.
While I was quite impressed by such deep insights
in spiritual realm, I couldn't resist asking a question on the "Christ
Conciousness" section. Would you be kind enough to reply where in the Bible
talks about Jesus having humanly desire with Mary Magdalene or even displayed
First of all I wish to make the point that I made in the Authors Foreword to my book and repeated in the middle of the book in the quote above - I am not trying to impose my Truth on anyone. I am offering an alternate perspective to help people to see things in a larger context. Too often we go through life reacting out of beliefs that we were taught in childhood without ever stopping to ask ourselves "Does this make sense?" "Is this what I believe?" In order to grow it is necessary to experience a paradigm shift, an enlarging of context, a growth of consciousness.
The second point I would like to make is that humans have for too long gotten caught up in the details of the message of Jesus, and lost the Spirit of it completely. Wars have been fought, individuals and groups tortured and murdered, over the definitions of words supposedly spoken by him. The inquisition was not about Love. Bombing abortion clinics is not about Love.
One of the most important tools in consciousness raising is discernment. To be able to pick the baby out of the bath water. In this case the baby is the Spirit of Love and Truth. When we find it - it is very important to know that we don't have to let some details/definitions/the dirty bath water keep us from embracing the nuggets of Truth - cause us to throw out the baby.
This quote is from the very beginning of my book:
"In this dance of life that we are doing there are different levels - even of Truth with a capital T. There are ultimate Truths, and there are relative Truths. The ultimate Truths have to do with the eternal, everlasting reality of the God-Force, the Great Spirit. The relative Truths have to do with each individual’s own intuitive guidance. These are the messages we receive individually to get us from point A to point B on our individual paths. The guidance we get from our Souls that tells us what the next thing in front of us is.
Our individual, relative Truths expand and grow as we expand and grow. We each have our own unique path to follow - our own individual inner guidance system. No one can tell you what your path is! Your Truth is a personal thing. Only you can know your Truth.
It is through following and being True to our individual Truths, as they relate to our path through this physical experience, that we reach balance and harmony with the ultimate Truths."
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney
Those points made, I am now going to be addressing different parts of your question in a long reply and I am also going to be giving you a very short answer that constitutes the bottom line for me and what I consider to be my Truth.
The long reply is going to focus on what I see are 4 different facets of your communication with me. These four are 1.The tone 2. The Bible 3. Indecency 4. Jesus & Mary Magdalene.
1. The Tone -I was severely Spiritually abused growing up in a very shame-based religion that taught me that I was born sinful and that there was a God who loved me but might send me to burn in hell forever for being human (ie getting angry, making mistakes, being sexual. etc.) I still have some very tender wounds about the effect those teaching have had on my life. As I write this my eyes filled with tears of sadness about that little boy being taught what I believe are such abusive and spirit-destroying concepts. I still have a great deal of anger that this abuse was perpetrated on me, and that so many other children were and are being abused by these types of teachings - which are in my belief the very opposite of the Truth of a Loving God-Force.
I have done a lot of healing around these wounds and they don't have nearly the power they used to have only a few years ago. In fact, the only thing which I might even consider changing in my book "The Dance of Wounded Souls" is the tone which I use on one page in talking about the abuse which has been perpetrated in the name of Jesus by people who were acting the very reversed of what I believe Jesus taught - I absolutely believe what I say in my book but now, with a few more years of healing of those wounds, I might say it a little less stridently, in a little softer manner
Because I still have buttons that can be pushed in relationship to my wounding I try to be careful to not react when I sense in someone else the kind of rigid shame based belief system that was so damaging to me. I don't know if you have that kind of belief system - if you have, it is of course your perfect right to believe whatever you wish - but my first reaction (and some subsequent ones) to your e-mail has been that it had a belligerent edge to it.
I am not sure though. If you were truly coming from a rigid belief system there is no way that you could say "I was quite impressed by such deep insights in spiritual realm" - so I have been confused about whether you sincerely wanted to hear my answer or were just baiting me.
Ultimately it really doesn't matter what your
intentions were - you have done me a service in asking the question.
It is always good for me to have something germinating in my mind - and
it was specifically interesting timing because of my very recent decision
to post some question and answer pages on my web site. Because of
the timing of your message I have been thinking of it in terms of an answer
that I am going to post for the world to see, instead of one that was going
to one person. So, rather you were baiting me or really
in search of some understanding of my point of view is not important -
I thank you for the challenge and hope that you can see the respect with
which I approach this subject.
2. The BibleYou said, " . . .but I wonder where the concept of Christ as human male is noted anywhere, if not in Bible."
About the bible. You mention the bible as if it were the ultimate authority in deciding Truth. The bible is not some sacrosanct document that presents an accurate account of events that happened 2000 years ago. It is a hodgepodge of writing (unknown individuals writing about what they had heard happened 50 to 100 years prior to their time) by different writers that were chosen to be "The Bible" because of political factors within the early church (up to 590 AD or CE is considered the early years.)
In fact the declaration that Jesus was God was made in 325 AD by the Council of Nicea. It was not a concept that was taught by his disciples after his death. It was the church founded by Paul (who never met Jesus) among the gentiles that started teaching that Jesus was Divine. This was a raging debate in the early church that led to riots (after Christianity was legalized in the Roman Empire in 311 AD) between different factions and led to Emperor Constantine calling the Council of Nicea to decide the matter.
This quote about the early history of the church is from a web site called Religious Tolerance at
"The church had evolved from a small, geographically
concentrated institution under the authority of the apostles, to a widespread
church under the authority of many bishops. There was no single individual
who spoke for the entire church and had the authority to decide matters
of belief and practice. Such matters could only be determined by councils
at which all of the bishops would debate and attempt to resolve points
Both Arius and Athanasius had large, closely matched followings among the bishops. The council, under pressure from Emperor Constantine, resolved its deadlock by a close vote in favor of Athanasius. They produced the Nicene Creed, which declared that Jesus Christ was "of one substance with the Father." This did not immediately settle the question of the divinity of Christ; many bishops and churches refused to accept the council's decision for decades."
So, a close vote decided the question of rather Jesus was Divine. The later councils refined this decision to stating that Jesus was both Divine and human, "that Christ had two natures which were without confusion, without change, without division, without separation." (The Council of Chalcedon - 451 CE) Anyone who differed with the official version was branded a heretic and punished.
Here is another quote from the same web site in regards to the recent Jesus Seminar in which a group of the worlds foremost theologians tried to figure out what Jesus actually said and did - (I want to note here that these were theologians who are considered liberal by fundamentalists):
(Some of the) Conclusions
of the Jesus Seminar:
These scholars concluded that 18% of the sayings attributed to Jesus were accurate. Jesus was declared divine by a close vote in a highly politically charged atmosphere. These don't sound like the types of information that would indicate that the Bible is a reliable source of information.
It is so important to realize that what is being taught in Christian Churches now is not what has always been taught there. That the bible has changed, been translated, modified to fit the needs (often political and economic) of the church at the time.
(In kind of a comical side note here - The Jesus Seminar concluded that the Gospel of John was so inaccurate as to be completely unreliable - in my few minutes of searching I found a web site that claims that Mary Magdalene was the true author of Gospel of John http://expage.com/page/marymagdalene2 )
(I also want to note that any “hodge podge,” any “chosen because of political factors,” any “unkown author writing down rumors,” any “accidents or coincidences” ultimately serve Divine Plan. The Bible is the inspired Word of God (so is Shakespeare for that matter) - but not taken literally. When translated in Metaphysical terms there is great Truth in the Bible.)
Here is an excerpt from my book about the bible.
"The teachings of all the Master Teachers, of all the world’s religions, contain some Truth along with a lot of distortions and lies. Discerning Truth is often like recovering treasure from shipwrecks that have been sitting on the ocean floor for hundreds of years - the grains of Truth, the nuggets of gold, have become encrusted with garbage over the years.
The Bible contains Truth, much of it symbolic
or in parable form because most of the audience at the time it was written
had very little sophistication or imagination. They did not have
the tools and the knowledge we have access to now.
I am going to share with you a short excerpt from a recently published book. I have not read this book and cannot tell you much about it. I have read a review of this book which appeared in California magazine in November of 1990. What I am sharing here is from that review.
I offer this to you: Not to say that this new translation of the Bible is right and the old one is wrong - it is for you to decide which one feels more like Truth to you. I offer this as I offer everything else that I am sharing here - as an alternate perspective for you to consider.
This book is called The Book of J. It was written by two men - one of whom is a former head of the Jewish Publication Society, the other is a professor of humanities at Yale University. What they have done in this book is to extract what they believe is one voice from the Old Testament. The Old Testament is a compilation of writings by many different writers. That is why there are two conflicting versions of the Creation in Genesis - because it was written by two different people.
They have taken the voice of one of those writers, gone back as far as they could to the original language, and translated it from a different perspective.
Here is a short excerpt from the Old Testament as an example of the difference between their translation and the traditional version. The traditional version is taken from the King James Bible, Genesis 3:16. It says: “And thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.”
Sounds like the normal patriarchal, sexist tone in which we have always accepted that the Bible was written.
Here is the new translation of the exact same phrase: “To your man’s body your belly will rise, for he shall be eager above you.”
Now to me, “rule over you” and “eager above you” mean two very different things - it actually seems pretty close to being a 180 degree swing in perspective. This new translation sounds as if there is nothing shameful about sex. As if maybe it is not bad to have a normal human sex drive, maybe it is not True that the flesh is weak and the spirit exists somewhere way out there.
The reviewer (Greil Marcus, California magazine,
November 1990, Vol. 15, No.11), without ever quite perceiving the shame
connection, says that this book “...is an act of violence...to what we
think we know.” He says that, “...it’s a great change, in the way
one sees the human condition.” He also states that, “The differences...are
many and profound...“ and include “... the replacement of ‘man became a
living soul’ with ‘man becomes a creature of flesh’ - without the distinction
between soul and flesh, Christianity, or, as Michael Ventura calls it,
What he could not quite put his finger on as the act of violence against the very core of Jewish, Christian, and Islamic civilization is that what this book seems to do is to take the shame out of being human - of being creatures of flesh. There is no shame in being human. We are not being punished by God. It just feels like it sometimes.
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney
3. IndecencyYou wrote: Would you be kind enough to reply where in the Bible talks about Jesus having humanly desire with Mary Magdalene or even displayed any indecency?
That your response to my saying "Jesus also had sensual and sexual desires and a mate and lover in Mary Magdalene." - is to equate this to indecency brings up feelings of sadness for me. That one of God's greatest gifts to us - the ability to Touch with Love - has been twisted in our culture into something shameful and indecent is one of the great tragedies of the human condition - in my view.
Here is a quote from my book about my beliefs:
"The gift of touch is an incredibly wonderful gift. One of the reasons we are here is to touch each other physically as well as Spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. Touch is not bad or shameful. Our creator did not give us sensual and sexual sensations that feel so wonderful just to set us up to fail some perverted, sadistic life test. Any concept of god that includes the belief that the flesh and the Spirit cannot be integrated, that we will be punished for honoring our powerful human desires and needs, is - in my belief - a sadly twisted, distorted, and false concept that is reversed to the Truth of a Loving God-Force.
We need to strive for balance and integration in our relationships. We need to touch in healthy, appropriate, emotionally honest ways - so that we can honor our human bodies and the gift that is physical touch.
Making Love is a celebration and a way of honoring the Masculine and Feminine Energy of the Universe (and the masculine and feminine energy within no matter what genders are involved), a way of honoring its perfect interaction and harmony. It is a blessed way of honoring the Creative Source.
One of the most blessed and beautiful gifts of being in body is the ability to feel on a sensual level. Because we have been doing human backwards, we have been deprived of the pleasure of enjoying our bodies in a guilt-free, shame-free, manner. By striving for integration and balance we can start to enjoy our human experience - on a sensual level as well as on the emotional, mental, and Spiritual levels.
As we learn the dance of Recovery, as we tune into the energy of Truth, we can reverse our emotional experience of being human so that most of the time it can feel more like a wonderful summer camp than a dreadful prison."
Codependence: The Dance of Wounded Souls by Robert Burney
"Women have been raped, not just physically by men, but also emotionally, mentally, and spiritually by the belief systems of “civilization” (both Western and Eastern) since the dawn of recorded history.
Men are supposed to have a strong sexual drive and be strongly attracted to womens bodies - it is part of the genetic programming to insure the survival of the species. It is the nature of the male animal of the human species to want to copulate with the female - that does not mean that I am in any way condoning the gross imbalance and Spiritual vacuum that has been manifested in human civilization around sex.
Part of the reason that there has been such an abusive and patriarchal structure to civilized society is because men have been baffled, confused, and scared of women since the dawn of recorded history. Women have the power to conceive life. There is no greater or more important power in the human species. A woman's ability to conceive and bring forth life gives women an opportunity and capacity to experience Love in a way no man ever can. Men have been jealous and terrified of the power of that Love - and of the power of their own desire to unite with and experience that Love - and reacted to their fear by attempting to subjugate, dominate, and diminish the inherent power of women.
Everything on the physical plane is a reflection of other levels. Ultimately, the strong sexual and sensual desires of human beings really have very little to do with the actual physical act of sex - the True compulsion to unite is about our wounded souls, about our endless, aching need to go home to the God/Goddess Energy. We want to reunite in ONENESS - in LOVE - because that is our True home.
Now, to come down from a metaphysical level to an individual personal level.
The abuse of my sexuality by the shaming religion I grew up in was compounded and magnified by the shame and fear of sexuality I saw in my role models and in society. I grew up in a society that reacted to a fundamental underlying belief that "the flesh is weak" and was incompatible with "decency" - at the same time it bowed to the power of the human sex drive by flaunting sex everywhere. In advertising, in fashion, in the media, books and music, etc. Talk about confusing and frustrating.
In addition to the shame about sexuality - I had shame about being a man because of my fathers role modeling of what a man was, and societal and historical role modeling of how dreadfully "man"kind had abused women, children, and men, the weak and poor, anyone who was different, the planet, etc., throughout civilized history.
I spent years in recovery working on healing my relationship with my
feminine energy and my inner children before it ever occurred to me that
I needed to heal my masculine. So now I have spent years also working
on healing my masculine. Part of that healing has been about accepting
my sexuality and the "male animal" in me. We need to embrace all
of the parts of ourselves in order to become whole. It is only by
owning and accepting our "dark" sides that we can start to have a balanced
relationship with ourselves. Just as I have to accept that I have
a "King Baby" (who wants immediate gratification now) or a "romantic child"
(who believes in fairy tales) or a fierce warrior (who wants to vaporize
stupid drivers) inside of me so that I can own them and set boundaries
It is not shameful to be human. It is not shameful to have a sex drive. It is not shameful to have emotional needs. Human beings need to be touched. Way too many of us are starving for touch and affection - and we have acted out sexually in dysfunctional ways to try to get those needs met which often causes us to be bitter and resentful (at the bottom of any resentment is the need to forgive ourselves.) In our codependent extremes we swing between picking the wrong people and isolating ourselves. We believe - because of our experience in reacting out of our disease - that the only choices are between an unhealthy relationship and being alone. It is tragic and sad.
It is tragic and sad that we live in a society where it is so hard for people to connect in a healthy way. It tragic and sad that we live in a society where so many people are touch deprived. But it is not shameful. We are human. We are wounded. We are products of the cultural environments we were raised in. We need to take the shame out of our relationship with our selves, and all the parts of our self, so that we can be healing our wounds enough to be able to make responsible choices. (re - sponse - able, as in ability to respond instead of just react our of old tapes and old wounds.)
I can't believe I got off into all that - the Spirit works in mysterious ways.
But to get back to your use of the word "indecent" and your usage of the term "human male" - it sounds like I pushed some buttons for you. I would guess that you have some very painful wounds around male - female relationships, that you have some painful wounds associated with your relationship with your father, that you have been sexually abused (I use the term here for conventional sexual abuse but also to include being degraded because of gender) in some way in either your childhood or adulthood - and probably both. I would speculate that you have had some experience with a shame based religion that taught/teaches that sexuality is sinful and shameful.
I am very sorry for your pain. I am sorry for your loneliness.
I am sorry for your deprivation. I know them well.
4. Jesus & Mary MagdaleneFirst of all I will offer a quote from the article referred to in the question:
By Robert Burney M.A.
"We all have available to us - within - a direct channel to the Highest Vibrational Frequency Range within The Illusion. That highest range involves consciousness of the Glory of ONENESS. It is called Cosmic Consciousness. It is called Christ Consciousness.
Jesus, in my opinion, was the most important Master Teacher in the history of humankind. The reason he was so important was that he taught Love. He carried the message of a Loving God-Force.
I am going to be doing extensive research and recieving more insight
and understanding about Jesus and his life when it is time for me to write
about him in Book 2 of my Trilogy. So for now I am going to give you the
short answer to your question and then share a few things I pulled off
the internet to demonstrate some of the different points of view.
I believe that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were
lovers and mates because it feels like the Truth to me.
In searching the internet one of the things I came across was this web
Now for an example of some of the type of debate that goes on about this issue, here is something I found after only a few moments of searching on the internet this afternoon. I found it at a web site called Qumrun, Essene, and The Dead Sea Schrolls. By going to this address http://www.qumran.com/qumran/index.htm#0000001e you can find an index of the postings on their bulletin board. This is some of the debate that took place in response to the following post. (The replies are numbered arbitrarily for my purposes - they are not the only replies. There are some calling the original person stupid and worse.)
Original Post: I hope that I am not intruding too much, but I recently was told that their is a belief that Jesus of Nazareth may have been a member of the Qumran/Essene sect and if so, would have been obligated to "be fruitful and multiply". It is said that possibly Jesus had three children with Mary Magdeline, who later became the lineage of many of the rulers of Europe, when she fled to what is now France. In this discussion, she is assuned to be the actual "Holy Grail" in that she was the receptical and carrier of the holy seed of Jesus. I am not a Biblical Scohlar but I would appreciate it if someone could direct me to some information regarding this particular theory, as i find it extremly interesting. I further understand that in some earlier versions of the Bible, it is said that Mary Magdeline was the favorite diciple of Jesus and that he considered her to be the most intelligent. Also that he often "kissed her full on the lips". I do know that there have been several versions of the Bible and that Priests and Secular rulers have disgarded many of the original books.
Reply 1: Actually, there are a few interesting references to the special relationship obviously in existence between Jesus and Mary. After all, it is to Mary that Jesus first appears following His resurrection - even though in ALL else, it was His Church that came first. Mary's reaction upon recognizing Jesus was to immediately attempt to embrace Him. Hardly the actions of a woman seeing a mere acquaintance (even a revered spiritual leader) risen from the dead.
There are many other interesting hints, however for a better analysis of them, and in particular the theory of Jesus and Mary's Lineage, please read "Holy Blood, Holy Grail" (Baigent, 1982).
As for the ultra pious christians out there who seem to feel that the notion of Christ being married is somehow "satanic" or "sinful", I would remind such that ALL Jewish men were not fully considered such if they were unmarried. In fact, according to Jewish tradition, a "rabbi" or "rabboni" (as Mary called Jesus) was, in addition to the schooling and training necessary, a MARRIED man. And finally, according to the Bible, the mother of Jesus was in charge of the servants at the Marriage at Cana. Interestingly, according to Jewish tradition, it is the mother of the Groom who is responsible for the preparation and serving of the food and beverages. Again, not proof, but still very telling.
Reply 2: The Gospel of Philip indeed describes Mary M. as the "one who was called his companion", i.e. the companion or wife of Jesus. Jesus "loved her more than all the disciples and used to kiss her often on the mouth....The rest of the disciples offended by it and expressed disapproval. They said to him, 'Why do you love her more than all of us?'..."
Reply 3-to this specific line: I further understand that in some earlier versions of the Bible, it is said that Mary Magdeline was the favorite diciple of Jesus and that he considered her to be the most intelligent.
It was not that there were earlier versions of the Bible, but that there are books/scrolls/manuscripts which are not contained in Athanasius' canon/catalog. The Gospel of Miryam haMigdali and another Gnostic text do seem to imply this, as does the New Testament.
Reply 4: Why does this theory trouble you so? What about the idea of Jesus having been married and having thus fulfilled our first commandment to "be fruitful and multiply" upsets you so? Was not Christ subject to all things whatsoever He was commanded to obey? Though Christ committed no sin, did He not submit to being baptized for the remission of sins? And why? So that He might "fulfill all righteousness." He was obedient to His Father. Did not Christ Himself state that "neither man is without the woman, nor woman without the man, in the Lord"?
You, and those like you, react as sharply to the notion that Christ might have been married as if he were being accused of committing fornication or adultery. It amazes and saddens me that such Christians have such a reprehensibly low opinion of marriage.
Reply 5: I am surprized at your support for such nonesence!!!!!!!!!!!! If Y'shua had been married and had children he would have been in violation of the Torah to leave them! Think about it. It would have been against Jewish Law as well.
Surely we would have had all that criticism recorded, that would have followed. He had enough powerfull enemies whom would have been more than happy to use such ammo against him and his followers if it were true. What are you thinking???????????
Reply 6: I think your arguement works both ways. If a Rabbi HADN'T been married at this time it would've been pointed out by the enemies of Yeshua as outrageous behavior. And it may not be that he left his children, maybe he was only seprated from them for periods of time.
As you can see I took some time and effort with this reply - because the question was an important one. I hope that I have brought some clarity or new perspective to you that can be a help in your healing process. I will be interested in your response.
Wishing you Joy, Love, and Peace,
Go to Q & A index - Index for Question & Answer pages