They shoot Gnostics don’t they! 2007

She arrived on our Australian shores before we did. Crawled out of the sea to dominate a scene, a landscape. She carried her secret within. She wasn’t the spotted native kind, that would take time. She was the stripey kind that teased, by sleeping at your feet. It’s taken a millennium to domesticate her and still you can’t be sure. She is a Goddess and I worship her. Her Egyptian eyes intrigue me, the moon opens when they are full, the sun shuts them like slits. She is wired to the heavens.

When she comes close to my face I know she loves me, I know we are meant to be together. Her dark eyes seem to hint at a secret deep in her soul. I make a study of her face so I can recognise her later. Long lashes whisp around her pointed ears. Pretty patterns frame her face. My callouses caress her soft fur. I brush her bib, she purrs. She uses her tongue like a dripping brush even though she is my muse for now. An M is stamped above her eyes as if Madonna’s song played there. I kiss her there, on her brow between her ears. She licks my fingers. I clean her under her chin. She purrs so loudly, shutting out other sounds. Her whiskers are like a stave to play her melody. I feel the lump at the end of her tail, it always surprises me. It’s like the twist in a tale that you didn’t expect, a flaw in the beauty to give it uniqueness. We could caress like this forever, mummified in Egyptian linen, shaving my brow to mourn the deity. Oh, pretty perfect puss, pour your soul into my purse, keep the secret safe.

It is a cold winter and she crawls under the sheet and blankets. She knows she has fled the heat of Egypt. We are safe for now. I curl my being around her. I’m amazed with how domestic she is. I’m blessed with this symbiotic relationship. We love and care for each other, we share a room together. I feed her and she comfort me. She stretches long under the covers to impress. I flirt with her tummy. Oh she hates that, she tells me, so I stop; I don’t want to get her back up. I need her close, she understands me like no other, I need her silent purring companionship. She is so beautiful, her sensuality so natural.

Her fur shines with one hundred strokes in the morning and a hundred at night. Time in meditation with her is never wasted. The curve of her tail entices me. I think of the Gnostics that felt God through supernatural, sensual pleasure.

We fell asleep together listening to each other’s breath. I became so still there was no need for food. I felt like both of Poe’s sisters who never ate and vanished in the ether. No thought of sustenance ever entered my head again. There was so much silence.

In that split atom of time, eternity reveals itself as a timeless dream. History dissolves with the moaning rhythm of the clap sticks and the purring. The dark hands threw the Churinga stone at the feet of David. He scoops, the hot stone and throws it to the Pharaoh Caesar, who passes it to the Queen, Cleo. She hugs it to her breast. The stone uncoils and slithers, the Churinga spirit rises through my spine and is caught by

Christ, who spins a halo around my brow. The Churinga turns to wood and gets cast off onto the ageless, decomposing pile.

I wake and hear a cacophony of sounds, bad sounds outside my bedroom door yet I cling to the harmonious purring still inside me. I surrender to my inner calling and trust my love.

My creature senses the Sadducees’ trick and decides to swallow me whole, to keep the secret like a devi sphinx. Her petite, pink nostrils and the forked, reptile tongue caress; they inhale the odours of the forgotten magic. I can smell sweet, Granny Smith apples blocking out the harsh stink of the hunters. The pointed fangs ignite the points in my toes, my legs, my groin. Working up the chakras like a Promethean flame touching the supreme spirit, my head explodes. My senses are on fire. Ohhh God, the orgasm licks its way like a candle into the eternal heart of God. The sacred thing is skipped to the Gnostic Goddess, to share the carnal blessing of our creation. The miracle manifests in this epiphany and can never be forgotten.

This releases the female deity to preach love to the world. A magic circle connects the dainty, white fingers enclosing the black, primeval hand that threw the original spirit-stone of heated, uncensored sexuality. Raising religion from sin and placing it among moist, mortal dominions where pure pleasure and fertility regains its rightful place of triumph.

She roars with pride and is devoured by the lioness spirit forever, to fly among the dreams of humans. Tempting them to feel the truth of nature’s gifts, given by devout hands and passions. Reconnected with the earth, she abolishes celibacy from the scriptures, giving relief to the confused child molesters, so they can give up their sins. To be embraced and saved by religious feminism.

They came for me with fire but I was not there, I was not there. The I as I knew it didn’t exist. The frenzy had digested me, the Ecstasy of Therese consummated. When the silence enveloped me for good; I could see her anguish but I wasn’t her protective mistress, any more. My spirit had escaped from the crimson egg, flying into the surreal landscape of unconscious dreams.

The ignorant puritanical Sadducees stalked into the bedroom with dirty minds. These Priests, after power and glory, compromised the early Greek- Egyptian Gnostics’ intuitive knowledge. They told the Romans that the sexuality of these early Christians who followed Mary M’s gospels were evil, that any female interpretation of Jesus’ words were blasphemy. They burnt the Gospel that Mary carried from Egypt, his own words. So different from what the Roman rule intended history to be. In the past, the Sadducee saved themselves by feeding the Gnostics to the lions and destroying their secrets. They were bewildered by the wet, bloody spot on the bed. In their minds, God had said that man was greater than the animals. Where is the mistress of this beast? How could this creature become so huge, so unruly? They realised the secret was already consumed by this lioness. They have to capture this demon and take it’s life.

Her native instincts returned. She spat and snarled, backed up and hissed. She swiped, the wounded Priests bled, she cowered and panted and was not going to surrender without a fight. She is very possessive of our fantasy world, keeping the crumpled sheets under her weight. It pains me to see her fretting and feral but we know, its only a fraction of time, before they put the Gnostic down. The gun is cocked and fired; she is gone.

We are united at last, away from responsibility, free floating in gentle nothingness. We fly, to end the war, by putting ecstasy in the waters of Jerusalem. It’s worth it, the gamble, the sacrifice.


The Ecstasy of St. Theresa Sculpture by Bernini

I first saw this image in an Art Text Book when I was a sixteen year old virgin at High School (Year 11). It had such an impact on me, it stirred something inside me, stilled my heart and took my breath. I hadn’t made the connection between sexual ecstasy and religion before. It perhaps planted the seeds for this short story, “They Shoot Gnostics Don’t They” C L West © 2007

Teresa of Avila in her autobiography, The Life of St. Teresa of Jesus (1515-1582), a mystical cloistered Discalced Carmelite reformer and nun. The chapter describes divine visions, including one where she saw a young, beautiful, and glowing angel standing aside her body:
Discalced:Bare footed or wearing only sandals.
Carmelite: Our Lady of Mount Carmel- Palestine founded 12thC
White Frair or nun. Rule of extreme asceticism (self-denying)

“I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.”

They shoot Gnostics don’t they! 2007

Cathie Brooker

Newcastle, Australia

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Short Story.

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