I just came up with the story for my next entheotainment.
It’s a mashup of Jesus Christ Superstar, Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet, and the myths of Osiris and Orpheus. It was inspired by the fact that in the Christian myth Jesus’ mother and love interest share the same name, which suggests a degree of ambiguity in the differentiation of their characters, psychologically-speaking. It also draws on a motif found in various Goddess mythologies: the Goddess has a consort, the Horned God, who is both Her lover, and Her son. This lover is killed, and must be brought back to life.
The show starts with Jesus emerging from the desert. He is only eighteen years old. While being baptized in the river Jordan by his cousin John, Jesus had a vision of God telling him his destiny. It had so terrified him he’d fled into the desert, where he fasted and prayed and tried to come to grips with the experience.
In the New Testament stories, he manages to get into alignment with the Divine Will. He returns from the wilderness and begins his preaching. In this version of the story, he cannot bring himself to accept his divinely ordained mission. He comes back in town determined to not sacrifice his life for the good of the world.
To that end, he tells his friends he’s finally ready to join them on a trip to a brothel in the next town over. They’ve been going for several years now; but he’s always demurred. For reasons he himself couldn’t understand, he has kept himself pure, despite their teasing. Now though, pure is the last thing he wants to be. So he's going to fornicate. Jesus figures that with the stain of sin on him, God will no longer want him for His plans.
His pals are glad to take him. They select for him their favorite whore. When he meets her, Jesus is poleaxed. Mary is the most beautiful woman he has ever seen.
Mary was found to be with child at the age of 13. Nobody listened to her stories of an angelic visitation. She had brought deep shame on her family, and when an arranged marriage to a much older man fell through, she was sold to the brothel. When the baby was delivered, she never saw it again.
She has worked in the brothel now for almost twenty years, is now in fact the owner, and she has known thousands of men. But she’s never met one that affects her like this slim youth she is now leading to her bed chamber.
He is terribly nervous, and consequently impotent. She serves him wine and he, acting on impulse, pulls from his pockets a dried handful of a sacred plant he chewed to stave off hunger while wandering in the desert, and crumbles it into the goblet. They drink. The spiked wine is unearthly strong; it provokes them to spend hours dancing and singing. When she finally calms him to the point he can perform and takes him inside her, they have a mutual visionary experience that utterly outshines what Jesus saw while John was pouring river water over his head.
They are revealed as incarnations of the two penultimate aspects of the Divine, the Feminine and Masculine, the Goddess and Her Consort, the Dancing God. In the ecstasy of their sexual congress, they are One--the One, Being Its No-Self. The angelic Thrones shout with joy at this reunion. When They’ve had their climaxes and fall asleep in each others’ arms, this Self-revelation does not fully recede. They are human again, but remember just who They are. And more importantly, they remember that everyone in the brothel, and everyone in the town, and everyone in Palestine, and everyone in the world are all avatars of the Divine Couple as well--they’ve only forgotten. In their love for each other and all these aspects of Themselves wandering lost and lonely in the world, Jesus and Mary set out to remind them. Now that he is reunited with his Goddess, Jesus is no longer afraid of the task before him.
They begin throwing parties at the brothel, inviting all the customers to attend. They serve their special sacred wine, and dance and sing with the guests, until their spirits get so high they catch fire and the new friends know Spirit for themselves. All the stories in the Torah that had been just words, and the very Law itself, become illuminated for them; it’s not so much that they understand, they feel the Truth behind it all, and when the morning comes, they go home in the knowledge that they are immortal and everything is going to be alright.
Not surprisingly, these parties become very popular. Soon hundreds of people, thousands, are attending. They are held on Friday nights, and the next day people are sleeping off their exertions rather than attending services at the temple. The rabbis become agitated, and complain to the Sanhedrin, and the Sanhedrin become agitated, and complain to Romans, and the Romans arrest Jesus and crucify him.
Jesus’ body is washed and anointed and laid in a cave. Mary sits beside the corpse, refusing to leave. She insists that their friends leave her there and roll the stone to block the entrance. She promises they can come get her in the morning. When they are gone, she fills a goblet with wine, and then adds a lethal dose of the plant they use at their sacred parties. But this isn’t a suicide--not exactly. She is going to find Jesus in the underworld and bring him home. They haven’t saved enough people yet--it’s all too likely that the Great Secret will be forgotten again if they don’t complete their work together. She closes her eyes, lays down on the stone slab beside his body, and dies.
Weakened by his brutal murder at the hands of the Romans, Jesus was unrecognizable to the legions of demons who greeted him when the Boatman had delivered him to their shore of the River, and by order of their king, the Enemy of All, they tore his spirit body to shreds and scattered the pieces across the underworld.
But Mary passes from this world to the next with her full faculties. When she opens her eyes, she is the Great Goddess. She walks across the water, from the Shores of Life to the Shores of Death, and the demons cry with love and joy at her presence among them. They follow as She harrows hell in search of the remains of her Beloved.
Finally, when she has gathered all the pieces but one, she summons the Enemy himself to stand before her. Where, she demands, is Jesus’ penis? The Enemy opens a jeweled box and there it is, laying on a bed of velvet. When she reaches for it, though, the Enemy pops it into his mouth to chew noisily, insolently grinning the whole time.
“Your boyfriend is incomplete,” he says, and swallows. “As long as part of Him is here with Me, He cannot return to the Land of the Living.”
“Is that so?” Mary asks, and reaching out, snaps one of the huge horns off the Enemy’s head. She affixes it between Jesus’ legs. Looking pleased, She says, “There, better than new.”
She places Jesus’s complete, but still dead body on the Throne of Hell. She kneels before Him. Then, filling Her lungs with the essence of Death, She takes His horn into Her mouth and blows with all Her might to fill the body of Her consort, the Dancing God, with Her own Spirit.
His eyes open. He blinks and smiles at Her. He says, “What took you so long?”
By way of reply, She starts to sing one of Their favorite songs. Jesus stands up off the throne and begins to dance. His footsteps shake the bedrock beneath them and the abyssal void above them. The Enemy begins to laugh, and the demons about them begin to roar, and then all the souls in Hell join in too. The Enemy sloughs off his skin to reveal His true Self--he is Lucifer, the eldest of the Divine Couples’ children. It's all been a game they've been playing. The demons shake off their costumes, spread their angel wings, and raise their voices to join the rest of the Thrones in thunderous praise.
The tragicomedy is over. Now it’s time for the cast party.
Mary and Jesus sing and dance Their way back across the River from the Shores of Death to the Shores of life. Raising hell in Their train are Their First-Born Child and all the inhabitants of the underworld.
The great stone laid before the grave of Jesus shatters and explodes. Out of the cave and through the smoke come the Great Goddess and the Dancing God, followed by the Child who provided the Resistance necessary to create drama, and all the angels who’d been disguised as demons, and souls of every human being who had ever lived, each an aspect of the One, and yet each unique, with a destiny bequeathed at their creation by She Who Gives Birth to All.
Today the Divine Family celebrates; tonight They sleep. Tomorrow, They’ll begin another tale of agony and ecstasy and exultation and despair and damnation and salvation. And we, those of us who have forgotten our true natures, will suffer greatly as characters in that story.
And you might fairly ask, Why? We must we go through this? It's because the Great Goddess is, in a sense, a young girl sitting alone on the floor of her room. Her toys are arranged around her, and she's using them to tell herself stories, because they help pass the long afternoons, and because playing is what children do. We are nothing more, or less, than instances of Her imagination at work. We only really suffer to the extent we forget that.
The Great Goddess is also, in a sense, the audience for these stories; she is the Ultimate aesthete, and to Her, all emotions are beautiful (no matter how painful they are to us), and contemplation of beauty throughout eternity is the function of Being.