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Sin-CoverWebSpring 2015: Sin

The Spring 2015 issue of Parabola, explores the ancient root meaning of “sin”---“missing the mark.” And, as Jesus says in The Gospel of Mary Magdalene, “Sin as such does not exist. You only bring it into manifestation when you act in ways that are adulterous in nature.” We’ve come to see that it is our “tendency,” to act in those errant ways, to deviate from our spiritual aims and to succumb to passing thoughts, feelings, and desires, thus missing the mark time and again. In these pages, through encounters with the “mad monk” Rasputin and the pacifist saint Martin of Tours, through three new poems by Mary Oliver and comments, new to print, from spiritual sage John G. Bennett, through an array of art and essays and reviews, we explore the mystery of sin and expiation and forgiveness, of the journey from darkness into light. May this issue of Parabola serve you well. 

Cover Description: Detail, The Seven Deadly Sins and the Last Four Things, Hieronymous Bosch, ca. 1500–1525. The sins are, clockwise from the 12:00 position: Gluttony, Sloth, Lust, Pride, Anger, Envy, Avarice

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Articles from Spring 2015 Issue: 

Saturday in New York with Gitanjali PDF  | Print |

Sin-Cochran03-6by Tracy Cochran

Gitanjali Babbar wanted to walk to the Freedom Tower. This cold day in New York City marked the end of her first trip to the United States. She had visited in Washington, D.C.; Reno, Nevada; the Bay Area; and now for a few days, New York. For six weeks, Gitanjali had been a U.S. Department of State Professional Fellow, broadening her already deep knowledge of sex trafficking by observing how it manifests in this country. The night before she had visited a Manhattan strip club, hoping to talk with or at least observe the interactions of the women who worked there.

The Gospel of Mary Magdalene PDF  | Print |

Sin-Bourgeault03-2by Cynthia Bourgeault

It is amazing that something so tiny could pack such a punch. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene is tantalizingly brief—and frustratingly, two major sections are missing, reducing the original seventeen manuscript pages by more than half. Yet what remains is more than enough to radically overturn our traditional assumptions about the origins of Christianity. In four tightly written dialogues the gospel delivers powerful new revelations on the nature of Jesus’ teachings, the qualifications for apostleship, Mary Magdalene’s clear preeminence among the disciples, and the processes already at work in the early church that would eventually lead to her marginalization. Since it also contains a unique glimpse into the actual metaphysics on which Jesus based his teachings, this is a foundational text not only for devotees of Mary Magdalene but for all students of sacred wisdom.

Conscience PDF  | Print |

Sin-Bennett03-6by John G. Bennett

In the autumn of 1971, John G. Bennett inaugurated the International Academy for Continuous Education at Sherborne House, Gloucestershire, England. From that time until his death three and one-half years later, he worked with groups of up to ninety students at a time who enrolled for ten-month courses, in a residential school environment. The organization and the curriculum of the school were based on his experience with the spiritual teacher G.I. Gurdjieff at his school at the Prieuré in France, and researches at Bennett’s own earlier community at Coombe Springs near London. A fundamental technique was the use of a weekly theme. On Monday morning the entire community would meet and Bennett would introduce a theme for the week, which was described as something to ponder and think about when one’s attention was not needed elsewhere; a focus for self-observation. On the following Friday evening, the community would meet again and students would report on their observations from the week. The following article is a transcription of two sessions which occurred in late May of 1974, during the latter months of the Third Basic Course. It consists of the Monday presentation and the Friday discussion of students’ observations. —George Bennett

All Life is Sacred PDF  | Print |

Sin-Whittaker-Interview03-4A Conversation with John Malloy

John Malloy’s father was in Army Intelligence and assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Shanghai when Malloy was an infant. When Chiang Kai-shek fled China three years later, in 1949, Malloy’s family was the last one out of Shanghai on a plane. From there they went to the Philippines during the Huk rebellion. And then there was Java and Borneo and jungle living. By the time Malloy was seventeen, he had moved forty-four times. In his young life as a rolling stone, Malloy learned to rely on himself. Whatever allies and friends he might have begun to cultivate in one place were always torn away by his constant displacement. In schools in New York, Washington D.C., San Francisco, and Oakland, as the new kid, he learned to fight. Every day was a trial. While living in San Francisco he ended up in juvenile hall. Later, he did time for assaulting the perpetrators of a rape. Being unprotected from bullies in school wasn’t so different from how it was in jail. The big eat the little. But Malloy was a warrior. It was during his time in jail that something crystallized for him. “I knew that I was going to clean up my mess and spend the rest of my life working in institutions to help take care of the people who no one else was taking care of.”

Meeting Rasputin PDF  | Print |

Sin-de-Stjernvall05-6by Elizaveta Grigorievna de Stjernvall

This episode in my life took place during the second half of World War I, one year before the fall of the tsarist regime. I was very young when the chance came to be in the company of a truly astonishing person who, still today, is the object of many studies and legends. I speak of Rasputin.


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knights_hospitallerDesigned to provide educators access to primary sources from some of the world's most distinguished religious scholars and writers. Two new lessons have just been published...

Future Themes and Submission Deadlines

Summer 2015:
 Angels and Demons

Fall 2015: Intelligence

Winter 2015-2016:
 Free Will and Destiny

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