The physical mother of Jesus was an external image of manifestation of the Virgin Sophia -- the word "Sophia" stemming from "Sophos," wisdom.
The Gnostics, whose language was Greek, identified the Holy Spirit with Sophia, Wisdom; and Wisdom was considered female. The Virgin was closely associated by the early church with Wisdom, of the cathedral church at Constantinople -- and the ascension of the Virgin Mary refers to the passing of Wisdom into Immortality. The litany of the Blessed Virgin contains the prayer, "Seat of Wisdom, pray for us." St. Peter Chrysologos presented the Virgin as the seven-pillared temple which Wisdom had built for herself.
The historical personality of Jesus of Nazareth was a highly developed human being who had passed through many incarnations and after a cycle of high development was again reincarnated, and because of this was attracted to a mother so pure that the writer of the Gospel of St. John emphasizes this spirituality.
The other evangelists were not as evolved, and emphasized more the sense world. They attempted to trace his ancestry through Joseph, as the father aspect had always been prevalent in Judaism, as transmitted down through the generations of Father Abraham or even from Adam, when humanity had just made the transition from a spiritual to a physical state.
They wished to trace his being back to the Divine Father- power. The physical father plays his significant part in the birth of a child when it is a question of an external imprint of the God- idea in the blood, whereas the virgin-birth is one of the deepest mysteries that exists, and can only be discussed in the most intimate circles.
The early representations of the Virgin sometimes show her bearing a flower or sheaf of wheat, symbolical of the highest spiritual attainment. Among the early Christians it was not the person of the holy Mary that was worshipped, glorious though she was, but the Feminine or Wisdom Attribute that she typified.
It is that universal emanation of the Cosmic Christ, that Word, or formative power, which became flesh and dwelt among men, which makes every human being potentially divine. Hence Mary was represented among the early esoteric Christian groups as being the complement, or the bride, of the Holy Spirit.
The feminine principle is formative in its nature, consequently the Virgin becomes, through an Immaculate Conception, the mother of a new and higher ideal called the Christ in the Christian world, and known by various names in other religions.
Christians of the Piscean Dispensation (the passing age) have revered the personalities of Jesus, Mary and Joseph as the principle characters of the Christian era.
The Christians of the Aquarian or New Age Dispensation, while reverencing them as the highest of earth's Initiates, and perfect patterns for man's emulation, also recognize that they represent the awakened feminine principle in man through which the new or spiritual Christ-man is born.
Other Thoughts of Jesus and the Mysteries of his Life:
Mary, as previously stated, was the greatest Initiate ever to be born upon the earth in a feminine body, born of an angelic annunciation and an immaculate conception. Not only had Jesus advanced to the point of needing such an extraordinary mother as the Virgin Mary, but when he was thirty years of age he had advanced to a still further stage, which is exceptional.
The Christ Being could not incarnate in an ordinary child's body, but only in one which had first been prepared by a highly developed ego, for the Christos had never before been in a physical body.
Therefore, from the thirtieth year we are dealing not only with Jesus but also with the Christ which was using his vehicle. At this time Jesus accomplished the exceptional act of with-drawing his ego, from the physical, etheric, and astral bodies, into the spiritual worlds.
The ego of Jesus thus left the other body intact and ascended into the heaven worlds when the Christ Being took over. The corporality of Jesus of Nazareth which he had left behind was so mature and perfect that the Lord of the Son, first-born of the Father, which we have described as the spiritual Being of the Sun, was able to penetrate into it.
It could incorporate for three years in this body and become part of this flesh. The Sun Logos Who can shine into human beings through Illumination, the Sun Logos Himself, and the Holy Spirit, entered. The Christ speaks through the body of Jesus throughout these three years. The Gospel of John starts with this Incarnation at the baptism of Jesus.
Regarding the mother of Jesus in her most prominent characteristics one seeks a name for her which will express most perfectly her real being. Mary had by means of her earlier incarnations reached those spiritual heights upon which she stood, and because she appeared in her external personality to be a counterpart, a revelation, of what was called in esoteric Christianity, the Virgin Sophia.
Exoterically St. John leaves her entirely unnamed in contrast to those others who have chosen for her the secular name, Mary. He could not use that name, for he had to express in her name the profound world-historic evolution.
St. John does this by indicating that she cannot be called Mary and what is more, he places by her side her sister Mary, and calls her simply the Mother of Jesus. He shows that he does not wish to mention her name, that it cannot be publicly revealed, in esoteric circles she is always called the "Virgin Sophia," which she represented as an external historical personality.
Concerning the more literal meaning of the name "Mary," speculations are too numerous to be conclusive. There is no recorded meaning given the name in ancient times; the only Hebrew word coming close was "Mara" which meant "bitter." Some think it came from Miriam, but that is also of indeterminate meaning, ranging from "rebellious" to "Star of the Sea," to "exalted of Jehovah."
Some esoteric writers call the Gnostic Sophia or "wisdom" the Holy Ghost and creator of all, as in the ancient systems, where the "father" was a much later concept. The earliest manifested Logos was female everywhere -- the Mother of the seven planetary powers. All the higher gods of antiquity were called "sons of the Mother" before they became those of the "Father." And many gods were considered bisexual.
The esoteric Christos in the Gnosis is sexless, but in exoteric theology it is male and female. The Immaculate Mother gives birth to the form that combines all forms.
In symbology this is represented by the circumference of the circle which gives birth to the point in the center, the whole combination then representing the Sun and giver of Life.
The archaeal Universal Soul was held to be the Mind of the Demiurgic Creator. The Mother Sophia, or the female Wisdom, was the primeval architecturess, and called the Holy Ghost as a female principle.
Later, at the foot of the cross, Jesus entrusted his mother to the disciple whom he loved, and to whom he gave the mission of describing truly and faithfully through his own illumination the events of Palestine, so men might be affected by them, and let the gospel work upon them that regeneration might come gradually as the Virgin Sophia manifest, receptive to the Holy Spirit.
Men of our evolutionary epoch can receive the Virgin Sophia, (the purified complete man), and the Holy Spirit through illumination, but only Christ Jesus could give to the earth what was necessary to accomplish this. He has implanted in the spiritual part of the earth those forces which make it possible for that to happen at all, which has been described in the Christian initiation.
Two concepts in their spiritual significance are the nature of the Virgin Sophia, or the purified astral body, and the nature of the Holy Spirit. At the moment of illumination this cleansed, purified, astral body retains none of the impure impressions of the physical world, but only the organs of perception of the spiritual world, and is then called in esoteric Christianity the "pure, chaste, wise Virgin Sophia." When the person thus illuminated has received the Holy Spirit unto himself, he speaks forthwith in a different manner, expressing not his own opinion, but permitting the voice of Spirit to speak through him. He lays aside personal views and opinions. The inner being is opened fully to the spiritual world of the Higher Self.