Let What You Have Said Be Done To Me

Author: J. Mikael Togneri ©

Used With Author's Permission


If the Holy Bible were a movie with a cast of thousands, the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress would undoubtedly have gone to the Virgin Mary. Throughout Christendom, and perhaps within the Roman Catholic Church in particular, Mary Mother of God stands head and shoulders above the rest, as a figure of inspiration worthy of our utmost and sincere admiration. There is ample justification for this, and the very same reasons quoted by the Church for her special role could be used to illustrate why she ought to be declared Patron Saint of the BDSM community.

Whether you insist that the Bible's contents are absolutely factual, or merely acknowledge their fundamental truth, the description of Mary makes fascinating reading. Consider for a moment what we are told about her, and what we know about the time and place in which she lived. Nazareth is an insignificant little backwater in a backward little province of the Roman Empire. In this community of perhaps a hundred individuals, we find a young girl no older than 12 or 13. Her family is poor, illiterate, and living in a particularly misogynic society whose moral values are based on equal parts Mosaic fundamentalism and age-old superstition. Not yet married, she is kept secluded from the male members of her community as much as the struggle for survival allows.

Then one night, according to Saint Luke, the archangel Gabriel visits her and informs her that she will bear a child, the human incarnation of God Almighty. Saint Luke passes over it diplomatically, but there can be no doubt that the poor girl must have been frightened out of her wits. Never mind the fact that she would conceive out of wedlock, a condition that could easily have got her stoned to death. Here was an apparition speaking to her of events whose consequences she couldn't begin to fathom, telling her that her son would grow up to save all humankind from sin and eventually take "the throne of His ancestor David". And yet with no demand for guarantees nor even an explanation, her simple response is: "I am the handmaid of the Lord. Let what you have said be done to me."

And it most certainly was. She had to give birth to her son in a stable, then flee the country on a donkey to save Him from slaughter. She had to raise what would now be termed a particularly gifted and precocious child without the benefit of our modern knowledge and support. She would see Him grow into puberty and beyond, different, ostracised, eventually persecuted simply for being who He was. She would watch from the sidelines as her Son gathered an adoring crowd around Him, earning the wrath of the authorities in the process, and watch as that very same crowd betrayed Him and turned against Him in vicious scorn, when the clamp-down finally occurred. And then she had to live through the worst tragedy that can befall any parent: the premature loss of her child, and that by particularly painful and barbaric means.

By and large a very different life to the one she must have had in mind when she got engaged to the local carpenter in her home town.

We are not told whether she complained in later years, but we may be certain that she suffered greatly and often. First and foremost, however, she endured. Beyond the Annunciation itself, there is nothing to support the notion that she would have known anything at all about her Son's future before it unfolded. She never even asked what there might be in this for her. She did what she did based on faith alone; her faith that God would never demand anything of her that she would not be able to give. Although she never spoke them again, throughout her life she persistently stood by her words to Gabriel that night in Nazareth.

In short she submitted, freely and totally. No pre-negotiated scening among equal partners, no safe-words, no limits and no opt-out clause. Nothing but pure, unadulterated submission, based on faith alone.

Now, it would be a mistake to read into this that Mary was the ultimate submissive in any BDSM interpretation of the term. She was not a kinky lady. But her example is worth noting nonetheless, in a community that prides itself of going farther, deeper and higher than "normal" people can. For all its lack of direct perv appeal, Mary's submission was far more genuine and total than what most of us in the lifestyle would consider adequate.

It is inconceivable that any submissive or slave could emulate that level of courage and commitment. Not that it matters of course, since there is obviously no dominant who could hope to come close to God by a long shot - although many of the wannabes don't seem to realise this. All of which does not mean, however, that there is no inspiration to be found here, no lessons to be learned; quite on the contrary.

You can have a great time with role-playing games, safe-words and other means by which to simulate a master/mistress-slave relationship for a period of time ranging from a few hours to life. If that is what you enjoy then no one has the right to criticise or belittle it. But it is just not submission. Establishing limits and expecting the dominant to abide by them reduces him or her to the role of assistant to the submissive's pleasure. It is conceptually impossible to submit and stay in control at the same time.

Nor can one switch it on or off as fancy or opportunity takes one. Submission is an on-going, permanent and irreversible process. It doesn't end with the words or the collar or the brand or whatever. In point of fact, it only just begins there and must be renewed hour after hour, day after day. The security, the caring, the love perhaps, even the turn-on; all these things are the results of, not the prerequisites for, all genuine submission. A slave is entirely and absolutely free to choose whether or not to submit, and to whom, but having chosen s/he relinquishes all control to his/her owner completely. S/he can only do so on faith, because there can be no guarantees.

Submission by its very nature dictates no terms and sets no limits. It is undertaken, not because one wants to, but because one cannot not do it, come what may. It goes far beyond the merely sexual, to the point where it isn't gender-specific at all. It goes far beyond reason or logic, since no one this writer knows who has ever submitted, has done so without their alarm klaxons hooting all over the place. And thus we come full circle to Mary again, who submitted despite logic, despite certain knowledge of the risks she was running, and certainly despite her personal fears and ambitions.

"Let what you have said be done to me."

Return to Essay 3: In His Interest

Forward to Essay 5: Seven Pillars Of Dominance


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