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Who Is Mary?

David Cowles

Aug 9, 2022

The relationship between Jesus and Mary is the relationship between God and the World, and the relationship between God and the World is the paradigm of all external relatedness.

Most Christians have high regard for Mary, the mother of Jesus, but she plays a particularly important role in Orthodox, Anglican, and Roman Catholic cosmology:

Gate of Heaven,

Queen of the Angles,

Mirror of Justice,

Seat of Wisdom,

Theotokos (God Bearer)

Mater Dei (Mother of God)

4th century poet and theologian Ephrem the Syrian uses verse to explore further Mary’s role in the ‘economy of salvation’. Take a listen:

(Jesus’) Mother, Sister, Bride,

Daughter of Man,

Thirsty Earth

Fountain of Milk,

Royal Palace,

Holy of Holies.

Mary’s epithets are not just terms of endearment. They are also a kind of code, and what they encode is what I call ‘The Marian Topology of the Cosmos’ or just ‘Marian Topology.’

Notice how Ephrem uses familiar kinship terms to describe Mary’s relationship with Jesus. No surprise there; she is his mother after all. But I think Ephrem is going for something more here.

Mary is the Daughter of Man, not just the daughter of a man, but the daughter of all men (sic), i.e., the daughter of humanity and, by extension, the daughter of the entire Cosmos. Everything that is now, ever was, or is still to come, climaxes with Mary and her son, Jesus.

I am reminded of the last scene in Act One of hit musical Les Misérables. Everything comes together at a point in a moment of time (Paris, June 5th 1832 in the musical), and that point is in Mary’s womb, late in the first century B.C.

Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world…

I mean, who’da thunk it? 15 billion years old, 93 billion light years wide (and who knows what to come), all of it converged at a single point (or in a single infinitesimal region) in spacetime!

Sounds more “out there” than it is! According to ‘Marian Topology,’ all events involve the Cosmos converging at or near a point. That’s what an event is! The universal realized in the incidental.

Would you be surprised if I told you that that view is shared by many modern scientists and philosophers: Alfred North Whitehead, John Bell (I think) and David Bohm, to name just a few?

What makes the Marian event so special is not the way it is structured (a structure it shares with all events), but the fact that this point of convergence is also the point of tangency between spacetime and eternity, between the immanent and the transcendent, between the profane and the sacred, between the mundane and the divine.

Mary is the fulcrum of the Cosmos (Jesus is its lever); hers is the hidden chamber (womb) where God and Man become one.

She is the mother of Jesus the Christ, but she is also his Sister and his Bride. Read one way, this is the paradigm of incent; read it another way, it is Cosmology 101.

“To see the World in a Grain of Sand” (Blake) - easy-peasy! Even I can do it (and we do it together twice each week in Thoughts While Shaving and 8 times each year in Aletheia Today Magazine). On the other hand, to see the Creator and his Creation in a single cell, well, that’s why God gets the big bucks.

The relationship between Jesus and Mary is the relationship between God and the World, and the relationship between God and the World is the paradigm of all external relatedness. (Trinity is the paradigm of all internal relatedness.)

Mary is Jesus’ progenitrix (mother), fellow-traveler (sister) and lover (bride); in fulfilling that role, she becomes the parent, the sibling and the soulmate of every event in the Cosmos.

She is the Earth’s thirst (need, lack) but she is also instrumental in the quenching of that thirst (like Elijah and the other Prophets). She is the Royal Palace where the King of the Universe dwells, and she is the Holy Holies into which only the eternal high Priest, Jesus the Christ, can enter.

Marian Topology is non-linear, non-orientable, teleological, and recursive; we need to push awareness out of the theological faculties, into physical science, social science, biology and philosophy, and ultimately into the streets. Only there, in my view, can it Save our Planet.


Image: Pieta, 1876 is a painting by William-Adolphe Bouguereau which was uploaded on May 10th, 2019. Public domain.


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