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Khokhmah and Sophia

Max Dashu
Max Dash
"This book calls Eve "The Mother of the living," a title that goes back to the earliest Hebrew roots, and even further, to the Sumerian goddess Ninti. In this telling, it is Eve who gives life to Adam. The archons beheld Eve and compared her to Sophia, "The likeness which appeared to us in the light." They plotted to rape and "pollute" Eve, and to cast Adam into a sleep, teaching him that she came into being from his rib "so that the woman will serve and he will rule over her." But Life/Eve laughed at their scheming, darkened their eyes and left her likeness beside Adam. "She entered the tree of knowledge, and remained there. She revealed to them that she had entered the tree and become tree."The archons ran away in fear, but later came back and defiled Eve's likeness." And they were deceived, not knowing that they had defiled their own bodies."[Young, 54; Arthur, 207]

A Nag Hammadi scroll called the Testimony of Truth deifies the wise Serpent who counsels Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge: "On the day when you eat from the tree which is in the midst of Paradise, the eyes of your mind will be opened." The scroll's author points out that god's threat of immediate death didn't come true, but the Serpent's promise of knowledge did. He calls the god of Genesis "A malicious envier" who begrudged humans the power of knowing. This theme of an imperfect creator god recurs in other Gnostic texts. Sophia rebukes this god as a liar and fool when he, unaware of her role in creation, claims sole divinity."- Max Dahsu


Khokhmah and Sophia
Copyright 2000 Max Dashu.

This article was originally published as chapter III of Streams of Wisdom (Oakland CA: The Suppressed Histories Archives, 2000). An early serialized version appeared in Goddessing Regenerated, a journal edited by Willow LaMonte, Malta, 1998.

Independent scholar Max Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970. Since then, she has photographed over 14,000 slides and created ninety slideshows on international women's history, including Women's Power, Patriarchies, Female Rebels and Mavericks, Taming the Female Body, and Racism: History and Lies. She has presented hundreds of slide talks at universities, community centers, bookstores, schools, libraries, prisons, galleries, festivals and conferences around North America.

Dashu has guest-taught classes at John F. Kennedy University (Orinda, CA), California Institute of Integral Studies and New College (San Francisco), among others. She has acted as historical consultant for a variety of projects, including Donna Deitch's film, Woman to Woman (1973-4) and the San Francisco Women's Building mural project (1994).She has done extensive interdisciplinary research on the European witch hunts and folk traditions about witches. See the Articles page for excerpts from her forthcoming book Secret History of the Witches.



Wisdom goddesses are a primary survival of Goddess consciousness within patriarchal systems. In an intact Goddess cosmology, Wisdom is not sharply differentiated from other divine qualities. In that sense the separation is artificial, and typical of the divisions that arise when theologians erect their esoteric hegemonies. But I'm struck by the recurrence of Wisdom deities in the "major" religions, and how archaic streams of Goddess reverence continue to flow through them under the doctrinal surfaces. For seekers groping a way back to Origins, it can be illuminating to meditate on divine Wisdom in these forms.

Khokhmah and Sophia
Max Dash

Thou art a Wisdom. Thou are a Knowing. Thou art Truth.
Because of Thee, there is life. Life is from Thee.
Because of Thee, there is mind.

—The Three Stelas of Seth, an Egyptian Gnostic scripture

The ancient Hebrew name for Wisdom is Khokhmah, a feminine noun. In Jewish scripture, it was Khokhmah who personified the female Divine. She is understood as an emanation of God, yet she resonates with the Hebrew Goddess who is otherwise assailed in the Bible, especially Asherah, she of the sacred Tree. Proverbs 3:18 calls up an image of Khokhmah that originates in the oldest core of Jewish culture: "She is a Tree of Life to all who lay hold of her."

In the same book, Khokhmah sings, "The one who finds me, finds life." Like the goddess Asherah, regarded as the partner of Yahweh by the ancient Hebrews, Khokhmah is linked to the pillar. "My throne was in the pillar of cloud," she declares in Ben Sirach (24:4). In Proverbs 9:1 she builds a house of seven pillars.

Asphodel Long's book A Chariot Drawn by Lions offers profound insights into the survival of the Hebrew Goddess. She points out that Wisdom is another form of the Shekhinah, the divine Presence. Both are "expressed in light and glory," both involved in creation, enthroned in heaven, intermediaries between god and the world, ascending and descending, and winged.

The Book of Wisdom of Solomon, written by Alexandrian Jews in the Hellenistic era, renames Khokhmah as Sophia, the Greek word for Wisdom. In this text, as Long points out, Sophia "takes over the powers and function of God" and the creation story is told using the word "she." The ancient author is careful to qualify this audacity by describing Wisdom as God's breath and emanation, but still praises her at length in her own right as "holy"And"All-powerful":

For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle; mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible,
Beneficent, human, steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, all-powerful, overseeing all and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent and pure and most subtle.
For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things. [Long, 46-7]


Another beautiful passage likens Wisdom to "A flame of stars through the night."[Allegro, 171] The praise-names in the Book of Wisdom of Solomon resonate deeply with those in the goddess litanies of India. The most celebrated of these is the Sri Lalitaa Sahasranama, an invocation of Goddess under a thousand names, including Intelligence, Holy, Unique, Multiformed, Subtle, Pure, Beyond All Danger, Loving the Good, Beneficence, Steady, Without Anxiety, Great Power, and All- Pervasive.

Long's illuminating exegesis of the Alexandrian Wisdom litany brings forward the little-known fact that the Greek name monogones ("unique, singly born") began as a title of female divinities. It originates in a Kemetic title of Neit, Hathor and Isis: "self-born, self-produced," and later appears in Orphic hymns to Demeter, Persephone and Athena. Christians subsequently applied it to Yeshua of Nazareth who was cast as the "only-begotten son" of god. [Long, 49]

In late antiquity other titles arose in the Judaic tradition: Shekhinah (Divine Presence) and Matronit (The Mother). Kabbalists redefined Khokhmah as a masculine power, and assigned Binah (Understanding) to the feminine sphere. Torah became to some extent a personification of Wisdom, and Jews in many countries invited Shabbat to enter their homes as the bride of god and the essence of peace and joy.

There is not room here to enter the Egyptian Stream of Wisdom, but the Stream that follows can only be understood in the light of the veneration of Auset, known in Hellenistic culture as Isis. This goddess had come to be worshipped beyond the borders of Egypt, first in west Asia and north Africa, then in Europe. Isis aretalogies (praise-songs based on the affirmation "I am") emphasize creative Wisdom as one of her divine qualities:

I am Isis, mistress of every land
I laid down laws for humanity and ordained things that no one may change...
I divided the earth from the heavens
I made manifest the paths of the stars
I prescribed the course of the sun and moon
I found out the labors of the sea
I made justice mighty...
—Aretalogy of Isis from Cyme, circa 200 CE [Drinker, 114]


A syncretic ferment of Egyptian, Greek and Hebrew traditions occurred in Alexandria and the eastern Mediterranean during the Roman empire. Jewish writers appear to have initiated a Greek series of Oracula Sibillina which begin to appear around 150 BCE. Philo Judaeus of Alexandria identified Sophia as Mother of the divine Logos and as Isis, mother of Horus. But Philo followed Biblical tradition in according primacy to the father-god as creator, treating the divine mother—Sophia — as his attribute or emanation. Nevertheless, he described this god as the husband of Wisdom. [Long, 46, 162; Patai, 98]

The pagan priest Plutarch agreed that Isis was the same as Sophia, creator of all. [Allegro, 157] Pagan mystery religions equated Isis with Demeter, Kybele, Juno Caelestis, Bona Dea, Tyche and other Mediterranean goddesses, mixing their attributes and titles. Isis was sculptured wearing the mural crown of the Asian goddess Tyche and holding the cornucopia of the Italian Fortuna and Terra Mater. (These statuettes have been found in distant Kazakhstan and Pakistan.) Multitudes of molded figurines of Isis seated on the basket of the Eleusinian Mysteries were mass-produced for home altars within Egypt itself.

Most of these Hellenized terracotta statuettes shrink the horned solar crown of the ancient Kemetic goddess and flank it with ears of wheat, assimilating her to Demeter in a historical double rebound. The Knot of Isis that was for millennia tied around her belly moves up to her breast in a tied Grecian shawl. Other terracottas show Isis Baubo with skirts pulled up around her hips and legs opened wide. Still others look to the headwaters of the Nile, as the goddess Besit, linked to the BaTwa peoples, socalled "pygmies," or perhaps to other little people ("dwarves").

In the midst of this syncretism, many Isis terracottas retain the Egyptian convention showing her suckling her son (now represented as a sketchy afterthought). She also appears as Isis Bubastis — Ermouthis to the Greeks—with the lower part of her body in the form of a snake. This form of Isis has turned up as far east as Iraq.

Some Egyptian Jews engaged in ecstatic forms of worship. Philo wrote that the Therapeutae ("healers") became "transported by divine enthusiasm." They danced and sang hymns in harmonies and antiphonies, women with women and men with men. Then, says Philo, they feasted and drank wine, and at last all joined together in one assembly:

Perfectly beautiful are their motions, perfectly beautiful their discourse; grave and solemn are these carollers; and the final aim of their motions, their discourse, and their choral dances is piety. [Drinker, 159-160]

The Therapeutae were among the Jewish sects in which women "conducted the Sabbath services and provided influential commentaries on the scriptures."[Long, 38] Philo described their practice as a form of spiritual healing, which in fact gave this community its name:

Inasmuch as they profess to the art of healing better than that current in towns, which cures only the bodies, they treat also souls oppressed by grievous and well-nigh intolerable diseases. [Contemplative Life, in Allegro, 109]

The biggest community of Therapeutae lived near the Mareotic lake in northern Egypt. Their huts had little prayer alcoves, and they gathered in a central building for communal meals. Like Philo, they seem to have syncretized Isis with Wisdom and called upon her for healing: "She was reckoned to cure the sick and to bring the dead to life, and she bore the title 'Mother of God.'"This was an ancient name of Neit, Isis, and other Kemetic goddesses.

The Gnostic Goddess

The syncretism of Judaic, Egyptian, Hellenistic and Persian traditions gave rise to Gnosticism, a name which arose directly from an emphasis on inner knowing. Until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi scrolls, what was known of the Gnostics came mostly from their sworn enemies, the institutional clergy. When church patriarchs selected the books that became the canonical christian bible, they rejected some of the earliest texts, Gnostic scriptures. Among these excluded scriptures were writings that pictured Wisdom as a divine, creative female presence.

The Goddess was still well-loved in Egypt, whose ancient religion exerted a tremendous influence on early Gnostic philosophy. The Gospel of Thomas retains an invocation from ancient litanies of Auset: "Come, lady revealing hidden secrets..." Aretalogies of Isis made their way into several Gnostic scriptures, as Great Isis continued to be syncretized with Judaic wisdom traditions of Khokhmah under Hellenistic names.

The Gnostic scripture Eugnostos the Blessed hails "The all-wise Sophia, Genetrix." It was she, says the Origin of the World, who "created great luminaries and all of the stars and placed them in the heaven so that they should shine upon the earth." This Gnostic passage echoes the Isis Aretalogy of Cyme: "I divided earth from heaven, I created the ways of the stars..."

Other Egyptian Gnostic texts name the Divine Female as Ennoia (Thought), Pronoia (Forethought) or Protennoia (Primal Thought), Pistis (Faith), Sige (Silence), Eidea (Image, Idea), or Charis (Grace). These titles are often used interchangeably with Sophia. Several texts address the goddess as Arche ("beginning"), following the Hebraic representation of Wisdom as Reshiit in the Palestinian Targum and the Samaritan Liturgy. [Arthur, 65, 55, 61; Long, 87ff]

The early Egyptian Gnostics embraced the Wisdom goddess as a power higher than the god who created the world. A Greek-Coptic text named Origin of the World reworks Genesis to show the Goddess taking part in creation, and restores Eve to her primordial sacred status as the Mother of All Living. In a section known as the "Eve intrusion," Sophia creates "The Living-Eva, that is, the Instructress of Life." This androgynous being takes form according to the image of the Mother, and proclaims her identity with her. She assumes titles of Isis, such as "consoler of the labor pains."[Arthur, 99, 117, 131]

This book calls Eve "The Mother of the living," a title that goes back to the earliest Hebrew roots, and even further, to the Sumerian goddess Ninti. In this telling, it is Eve who gives life to Adam. The archons beheld Eve and compared her to Sophia, "The likeness which appeared to us in the light." They plotted to rape and "pollute" Eve, and to cast Adam into a sleep, teaching him that she came into being from his rib "so that the woman will serve and he will rule over her." But Life/Eve laughed at their scheming, darkened their eyes and left her likeness beside Adam. "She entered the tree of knowledge, and remained there. She revealed to them that she had entered the tree and become tree." The archons ran away in fear, but later came back and defiled Eve's likeness. "And they were deceived, not knowing that they had defiled their own bodies."[Young, 54; Arthur, 207]

A Nag Hammadi scroll called the Testimony of Truth deifies the wise Serpent who counsels Eve to eat the fruit of knowledge: "On the day when you eat from the tree which is in the midst of Paradise, the eyes of your mind will be opened." The scroll's author points out that god's threat of immediate death didn't come true, but the Serpent's promise of knowledge did. He calls the god of Genesis "A malicious envier" who begrudged humans the power of knowing. This theme of an imperfect creator god recurs in other Gnostic texts. Sophia rebukes this god as a liar and fool when he, unaware of her role in creation, claims sole divinity.

Another form of the syncretic Egyptian Gnostic goddess is the mysterious Barbelo. Presented as an emanation of god, she resembles Khokhmah. But christian Egyptian texts refer to Mother Barbelo as part of a trinity, along with the Father and Son. The Barbelo literature's attempts to reconcile conflicting traditions result in contradictions. The Gospel of the Egyptians says that Barbelo originated from herself, as the ancients had said of Neit, Mother of the Gods. But the Three Stelas of Seth present her as "The first shadow of the holy Father," who had existed before her. It addresses her with feminine pronouns, but paradoxically praises her as "The male virginal Barbelo." [Arthur, 165-6] A later passage reverts to goddess imagery:

Thou art a Sophia. Thou art a Gnosis. Thou art truth. Because of thee, there is life. Life is from thee. Because of thee, there is mind... Thou art a cosmos of truth. Thou art a triple power... [Arthur, 166]

The Sethian Gnostics said that this trinity was made up of Light, Breath, and Darkness. The Peratae had it as Father, Son and Matter, with the Son mediating between the exalted Father and a passive female principle. [Philosophumena, in Doresse, 52, 50]

However, the Trimorphic Protennoia exalts "Barbelo, the perfect glory," from whose thought originated the trinity of Father, Mother, Son. This scroll contains an aretalogy that unambiguously praises the goddess Protennoia as the origin: "I am Primal Thought that dwells in the Light... she who exists before the All... I move in every creature... I am the Invisible One within the All." [Pagels, 55; Long, 92-3] Her divinity is immeasurable, ineffable and radiant. [Arthur, 168]

The Apochryphon of John contains another aretalogy of"The perfect Pronoia (forethought) of the universe, "Who was"The first." She wandered in the great darkness, "Into the midst of the prison," even into the depths of the underworld. She represents "The light which exists in light." But this christian text compared "sister Sophia" unfavorably to Barbelo. A splintering of Gnostic goddess images was underway. They were being subordinated to "The Father," and those not firmly partnered to a male god disparaged. The derivative Gnostic aretalogies reflect an emerging concept of the "fallen" goddess.

The longest Gnostic aretalogy appears in Thunder, Perfect Mind (originally titled The Divine Barbelo). It follows the form of the old Isis litanies: "I am the wisdom of the Greeks / And the knowledge of the barbarians / I am one whose image is great in Egypt..." Unlike the aretalogies, however, Thunder is marked by dualism, pairing negatives—"Ignorance... shame... fear"—with Barbelo's divine qualities. [Arthur, 164, 175] Still, it contains verse of remarkable beauty and profundity:

I am the first and the last
I am the honored one and the scorned one
I am the whore and the holy one
I am the wife and the virgin
I am The Mother and the daughter
I am the members of my mother
I am the barren one, and many are her sons....
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
And the idea whose remembrance is frequent
And the word whose appearance is multiple
I am the utterance of my name.

Though Sophia is prominent in the Gnostic creation accounts, she was being stripped of the radiant holiness the Egyptians attributed to Isis and the Hebrews to Khokhmah. In her ground-breaking and all-too- little-known study The Wisdom Goddess, Rose Arthur shows how the positive view of Sophia in the early, pre-christian scriptures was gradually broken down and degraded by a masculinizing, christianizing movement that emphasized a "fallen Sophia."

Arthur demonstrates that the older texts were consistently reedited to reduce and subordinate female divinity, while exalting the male god. The Hypostasis of the Archons is no more than"A christianized, patriarchalized and defeminized summary of On the Origin of the World."It blatantly substitutes the christian god for the Gnostic goddess. For example, the line"But all this came to pass according to the Pronoia of Pistis "Becomes" But all these things came to pass in the Will of the Father of the All."

The pre-christian scripture Eugnostos the Blessed was revamped as the Sophia Jesu Christi, in which Sophia rebels against the "Father of the Universe," repents of her fault, and is saved by her male partner, Jesus Christ. The revisionist text repeatedly refers to the "fault of the woman." The same process was at work in the Pistis Sophia, where the fallen Sophia is made to sing thirteen hymns of repentence before Jesus helps her to regain the spiritual heights.

These new patriarchal discourses still had to contend with a deep- rooted conviction in the Goddess as the ultimate source of life. Even hostile writers acknowledge that Sophia gives the breath of life to Adam, though they show this happening indirectly. But they view the material creation as evil, imprisoning the souls who live in it. Often Sophia herself is shown falling into bondage.

In one Gnostic myth, Sophia was made prisoner by the seven archons. The essence of Wisdom made flesh in female form was subjected to every indignity, including being forced into whoredom. In one version, Simon Magus rescues "Helena" from a brothel in Tyre. But in actuality she is the creator of the angels who made the world. She is called Kyria, Lady, a Greek term corresponding to the christian god's title Kyrios. [Allegro, 141-5] These stories don't refer to idealized notions of sacred harlots making love in freedom, but to female degradation in the prison-brothels of the Roman empire. While they may be taken as an affirmation of the presence of the sacred within the enslaved women, they also demark a clear demotion of the Wisdom goddess, who has lost her original sovereign power.

The earlier view of Goddess as the supreme Source, or alternatively as a male god's perfect partner, now gave way to the idea that she was a lower being in need of pardon and salvation. New authors developed themes of a deluded and foolish Sophia (controvening the very meaning of her name, "Wisdom"). They accuse of her of breaking cosmic law by creating without a male partner and describe her creation as defective. [Couliano, 78-9]

While these writers blamed Sophia for conceiving alone, the male god is praised for creating without a partner. She is cast down and made to suffer and repent until a superior male god deigns to "correct her deficiency." As Sophia is mythically overthrown, other female figures pick up aspects of her power, but the force of the Gnostic Wisdom goddess is almost spent.

Under the oppressive climate of the Roman empire, with its heavy taxation, displaced populations, urban crowding, plagues, slave economy, and arena executions, to say nothing of pervasive violence against women, a profound negativity had seeped into religious consciousness. People felt like prisoners in the world, and a conviction arose that creation itself was flawed. The taint reached back to the Goddess herself, since she manifested herself in matter, in birth, in bodies.

This new doctrine identifying the female with bondage, weakness, inferiority and fault was the final means of overthrowing the Goddess Mysteries in the Mediterranean. The process was erratic. Judaic Wisdom mysticism, so influential in early Gnosticism, exalted the creative power of Khokhmah, and held that creation was good, even though the female is formally subordinated to the male throughout the Bible. But increasingly Gnostics gravitated toward an "value- inversion," not only revolting against the Biblical god, but rejecting all creation as well.

Although Gnostics were strongly influenced by Judaism, which features Wisdom as a co-creator, many of their writings evince a strong animus against it. Some emphasize the female creative principle, while others, especially the later texts, demote her. Much of Gnostic scripture reinterprets the biblical creation story, making Yahweh (cast as Ialdabaoth or Saklas or Authades) junior to the creating Wisdom goddess, unaware of her presence but working with her light. Possibly this theme originated as a reassertation of the Goddess (especially she of ten-thousand-names in Egypt) whose scattered signatures are visible in the Gnostic amalgam of Hellenistic, Judaic and Persian cosmologies. Some of these accounts can be read as a defense of her divinity and creative power as against the increasingly influential concept of a masculine god as sole creator.

But the syncretic Goddess of late antiquity was gradually subjected to heavy-handed reinterpretation as Gnostics embraced a heavily polarized doctrine of dualism. Thei rejection of the "lower" world ended up dragging down the Goddess in the midst of its attack on Judaism. It demanded rejection of the body, of lovemaking and the ancient birth mysteries: of Earth and Nature herself. New christian doctrines stripped Sophia of her divine qualities, dramatically subordinating her to the Father and to Christ as her male partner and savior. Later writers dropped the name Sophia altogether. Some introduce new names, but the visible trend is away from myths exalting a creatrix.

The variant picture of the Gnostic scriptures reflects an intense campaign to beat down goddess veneration and to split body and spirit. The tension is more open in the Gnostic gospels precisely because the female divinity is still powerful, in contrast to the christian canon. It was in Egypt and other centers of the Mysteries that the last stand for open Goddess worship was fought—and ultimately lost—on the battleground of Gnosticism.

Eradicating the Goddess proved to be an impossible task. She survived in myriads of forms in popular belief, veiled as Mary or christian saints. The Virgin Mary occupied a much less powerful position in church doctrine and scriptures than the old pagan Goddess. Folk tradition is another story; there devotion shifted to Mary from the old goddesses and persisted over centuries as new ethnicities entered christendom. Due to this popular pressure and the role it played in the clergy's conversion strategy, Mary escaped the degradation that Gnostic christians ended up heaping on Sophia, and the stigma that theologians cast over Eve. Catholicism ended up absorbing goddess traditions over the centuries, through progressive engorgements, while Gnosticism gradually shed them.

But the story of Sophia does not end there. Her Greek worshipers succeeded in assimilating her to Orthodox christianity, as Hagia Sophia. The greatest cathedral of the Byzantines was raised in honor of this "Holy Wisdom," supported by the great porphyry pillars taken from the Ephesian temple of Artemis. The early Orthodox Greeks regarded Hagia Sophia as a female member of the Trinity, the"Holy Spirit."This strand persisted in Orthodox Christian mysticism, and is still a force in Russian spirituality. Western Christian feminists have also reclaimed it in recent decades.

This title of "Holy Spirit" also belonged to Ruha d'Qudsha, the goddess of the Iraqi Mandaeans. By the Christian era she had been demonized, but she is an Aramaean analog to the Hebrew Shekhinah: compare Biblical ruach, "spirit" and qadoshah, "holy," and remember, too, the ancient Canaanite-Egyptian goddess QDSU or Qudsha. The Aramaean goddess undergoes the same debasement in Syria and northern Iraq as Sophia had in the eastern Mediterranean. Ruha d'Qudsha, as mother of the "evil" planets and zodiac spirits, is another fallen, or rather toppled, goddess. She is called deficient and defective, and must be uplifted and guided by the Father.

The Torah uses the word "hovering," as with beating wings, to describe the divine Presence that Talmudic writers had begun to call the Shekhinah. Her image resonates with the ancient veneration of doves as sacred to Canaanite, Syrian, and Cypriot goddesses. Christians adopted this imagery, picturing the Holy Spirit as a winged radiance and a hovering dove. She flutters above Mary in innumerable scenes of the Annunciation, and above the consecrated chalice and bread.

As for Khokhmah, she remained a presence within the Hebrew Scriptures. Thousands of years after her praises were embedded in the Book of Proverbs, medieval christian mystics were attracted to this female image of Wisdom. Hildegarde of Bingen knew her as Sophia, Scientia Dei, and Sapientia of the seven pillars. One of her manuscripts even shows her wearing the mural crown of the ancient goddess of Asia Minor. Hildegarde's profoundly animistic poetry sings the praises of Life endowed with Wisdom, as a goddess in all but name:

I am that supreme and fiery force that sends forth all living sparks. Death hath no part in me, yet I bestow death, wherefore I am girt about with Wisdom as with wings. I am that living and fiery essence of the divine substance that glows in the beauty of the fields, and in the shining water, and in the burning sun and the moon and the stars, and in the force of the invisible wind, the breath of all living things, I breathe in the green grass and the flowers, and in the living waters... "

[Book of Divine Works, circa 1167, in Partnow, The Quotable Woman, 48]

Khokhmah and Sophia,
Max Dashu

SOURCES
Allegro, John, The Dead Sea Scrolls and the Christian Myth, Prometheus, Buffalo, 1984
Arthur, Rose, The Wisdom Goddess: Motifs in Eight Nag Hammadi Documents, University of America Press, New York, 1984
Buckley, Jorunn Jacobsen, Female Fault and Fulfilment in Gnosticism, University of North Carolina Press, Chapel, 1986
Couliano, Ioan, The Tree of Gnosis: Gnostic Mythology from Early Christianity to Modern Nihilism, Harper, San Francisco, 1992
Doresse, Jean, The Secret Books of the Egyptian Gnostics, Viking Press, NY, 1960
Drinker, Sophie, Music and Women, Coward-McCann, New York, about 1948
Long, Asphodel P, In a Chariot Drawn by Lions: The Search for the Female in Deity, Crossing Press, Freedom CA, 1993
Pagels, Elaine, The Gnostic Gospels, Weidenfield and Nicholson, London, 1979
Patai, Raphael, The Hebrew Goddess, Wayne State U Press, Detroit, 1990 (The third edition is updated and contains a new chapter on the Kabbalah.)
Young, Serinity, An Anthology of Sacred Texts by and about Women
http://www.suppressedhistories.net/articles/sophia.html




THE APOCALYPSE OF THE SPIRIT-PARACLETE
The fulfillment of the promised divine eschatological instruction
“The original meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’, derived from the Greek apokalypsis, is in fact not the cataclysmic end of the world, but an ‘unveiling’, or ‘revelation’, a means whereby one gains insight into the present.” (Kovacs, 2013, 2) An apocalypse (Greek: apokalypsis meaning “an uncovering”) is in religious contexts knowledge or revelation, a disclosure of something hidden, “a vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities.” (Ehrman 2014, 59)
Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
“The Paraclete will come (15:26; 16:7, 8, 13) as Jesus has come into the world (5:43; 16:28; 18:37)... The Paraclete will take the things of Christ (the things that are mine, ek tou emou) and declare them (16:14-15). Bishop Fison describes the humility of the Spirit, 'The true Holy Spirit of God does not advertise Herself: She effaces Herself and advertises Jesus.' ...
It is by the outgoing activity of the Spirit that the divine life communicates itself in and to the creation. The Spirit is God-in-relations. The Paraclete is the divine self-expression which will be and abide with you, and be in you (14:16-17). The Spirit's work is described in terms of utterance: teach you, didasko (14:26), remind you, hypomimnesko (14:26), testify, martyro (15:26), prove wrong, elencho (16:8), guide into truth, hodego (16:13), speak, laleo (16:13, twice), declare, anangello (16:13, 14, 15). The johannine terms describe verbal actions which intend a response in others who will receive (lambano), see (theoreo), or know (ginosko) the Spirit. Such speech-terms link the Spirit with the divine Word. The Spirit's initiatives imply God's personal engagement with humanity. The Spirit comes to be with others; the teaching Spirit implies a community of learners; forgetful persons need a prompter to remind them; one testifies expecting heed to be paid; one speaks and declares in order to be heard. The articulate Spirit is the correlative of the listening, Spirit-informed community.
The final Paraclete passage closes with a threefold repetition of the verb she will declare (anangello), 16:13-15. The Spirit will declare the things that are to come (v.13), and she will declare what is Christ's (vv. 14, 15). The things of Christ are a message that must be heralded...
The intention of the Spirit of truth is the restoration of an alienated, deceived humanity... The teaching role of the Paraclete tends to be remembered as a major emphasis of the Farewell Discourses, yet only 14:26 says She will teach you all things. (Teaching is, however, implied when 16:13-15 says that the Spirit will guide you into all truth, and will speak and declare.) Franz Mussner remarks that the word used in 14:26, didaskein, "means literally 'teach, instruct,' but in John it nearly always means to reveal.” (Stevick 2011, 292-7)
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity   
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost Robert Kysar, John, the Maverick Gospel 
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel: The World It Imagines Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology
George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament In Spirit and Truth, Benny Thettayil
Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17 Marianne Meye Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John
Eric Eve, The Jewish Context of Jesus' Miracles D. R. Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God: an exploration into the Johannine understanding of God
Michael Welker, God the Spirit Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament
Tricia Gates Brown, Spirit in the writings of John Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit: pneumatology and Pentecostalism
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John: Charting the Fourth Gospel John F. Moloney, The Gospel of John
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith Robert Kysar, John
Robert E. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary George Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament 
“The teaching of the Paraclete, as the continuation of Jesus' teaching, must also be understood as the fulfillment of the promise of eschatological divine instruction.”
Stephen E. Witmer, Divine instruction in Early Christianity

“Jesus therefore predicts that God will later send a human being to Earth to take up the role defined by John .i.e. to be a prophet who hears God's words and repeats his message to man.”
M. Bucaille, The Bible, the Qur'n, and Science

“And when Jesus foreannounced another Comforter, He must have intended a Person as distinct and helpful as He had been.”
F. B. Meyer, Love to the Utmost

“The Paraclete has a twofold function: to communicate Christ to believers and, to put the world on trial.”
Robert Kysar, John The Meverick Gospel

“But She—the Spirit, the Paraclete...—will teach you everything.”
Danny Mahar, Aramaic Made EZ)

“Grammatical nonsense but evidence of the theological desire to defeminize the Divine.”
Lucy Reid, She Changes Everything

“The functions of the Paraclete spelled out in verses 13-15... are all acts of open and bold speaking in the highest degree.”
David Fleer, Preaching John's Gospel

“The reaction of the world to the Paraclete will be much the same as the world's reaction was to Jesus.”
Berard L. Marthaler, The Creed: The Apostolic Faith in Contemporary Theology

Bultmann calls the “coming of the Redeemer an 'eschatological event,' 'the turning-point of the ages.”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament

“The Paraclete equated with the Holy Spirit, is the only mediator of the word of the exalted Christ.”
Benny Thettayil, In Spirit and Truth

“The divine Paraclete, and no lessor agency, must show the world how wrong it was about him who was in the right.”
Daniel B. Stevick , Jesus and His Own: A Commentary on John 13-17

Stephen Smalley asserts that “The Spirit-Paraclete ... in John's Gospel is understood as personal, indeed, as a person.”
Marianne Thompson, The God of the Gospel of John

“The Messiah will come and the great age of salvation will dawn (for the pious).”
Eric Eve, The Jewish context of Jesus' Miracles

“The remembrance is to relive and re-enact the Christ event, to bring about new eschatological decision in time and space.”
Daniel Rathnakara Sadananda, The Johannine Exegesis of God

“The Spirit acts in such an international situation as the revealer of 'judgment' on the powers that rule the world.”
Michael Welker, God the Spirit

The Paraclete's “Appearance means that sin, righteousness, and judgment will be revealed.”
Georg Strecker, Theology of the New Testament

“While the Spirit-Paraclete is the true broker, the brokers they rely on are impostors.”
T. G. Brown, Spirit in the writings of John

“The pneumatological activity ... of the Paraclete ... may most helpfully be considered in terms of the salvific working of the hidden Spirit.”
Michael Welker, The work of the Spirit

“The pneuma is the peculiar power by which the word becomes the words of eternal life.”
Robert Kysar, Voyages with John

“The gift of peace, therefore, is intimately associated with the gift of the Spirit-Paraclete.”
Francis J. Moloney, The Gospel of John

“This utopian hope, even when modestly expressed, links Jesus and the prophets to a much wider history of human longing.”
Harvey Cox, The Future of Faith

“Because of the presence of the Paraclete in the life of the believer, the blessings of the end-times—the eschaton—are already present.”
Robert Kysar, John

“They are going, by the Holy Spirit's power, to be part of the greatest miracle of all, bringing men to salvation.”
R. Picirilli, The Randall House Bible Commentary

“The Kingdom of God stands as a comprehensive term for all that the messianic salvation included... is something to be sought here and now (Mt. 6:33) and to be received as children receive a gift (Mk. 10:15 = Lk. 18:16-17).”
G. Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament


“But today is the day I declare that I am the one who has to save the humanity. I declare I am the one who is Adishakti, who is the Mother of all the Mothers, who is the Primordial Mother, the Shakti, the desire of God, who has incarnated on this Earth to give its meaning to itself; to this creation, to human beings and I am sure through My Love and patience and My powers I am going to achieve it.

I was the one who was born again and again. But now in my complete form and complete powers I have come on this Earth not only for salvation of human beings, not only for their emancipation, but for granting them the Kingdom of Heaven, the joy, the bliss that your Father wants to bestow upon you.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
December 2, 1979—London, UK


“I am the one about which Christ has talked... I am the Holy Spirit who has incarnated on this Earth for your realization.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
New York, USA—September 30, 1981


“Tell all the nations and tell all the people all over the Great Message that the Time of Resurrection is here. Now, at this time, and that you are capable of doing it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh
Cowley Manor Seminar, UK—July 31, 1982


“This is the transformation that has worked, of which Christ has talked, Mohammed Sahib has talked, everybody has talked about this particular time when people will get transformed.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Chistmas Puja, Ganapatipule, India—25 December 1997


“The Resurrection of Christ has to now be collective Resurrection. This is what is Mahayoga. Has to be the collective Resurrection.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Easter Puja, London, UK—11 April 1982


“Today, Sahaja Yaga has reached the state of Mahayoga, which is en-masse evolution manifested through it. It is this day’s Yuga Dharma. It is the way the Last Judgement is taking place. Announce it to all the seekers of truth, to all the nations of the world, so that nobody misses the blessings of the divine to achieve their meaning, their absolute, their Spirit.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
MAHA AVATAR, ISSUE 1, JUL-SEP 1980 (Date and place unknown)


“The main thing that one has to understand is that the time has come for you to get all that is promised in the scriptures, not only in the Bible but all all the scriptures of the world. The time has come today that you have to become a Christian, a Brahmin, a Pir, through your Kundalini awakening only. There is no other way. And that your Last Judgment is also now.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“You see, the Holy Ghost is the Mother. When they say about the Holy Ghost, She is the Mother... Now, the principle of Mother is in every, every scripture — has to be there. Now, the Mother's character is that She is the one who is the Womb, She is the one who is the Mother Earth, and She is the one who nourishes you. She nourishes us. You know that. And this Feminine thing in every human being resides as this Kundalini.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Radio Interview Oct 01 1983—Santa Cruz, USA


“It is the Mother who can awaken the Kundalini, and that the Kundalini is your own Mother. She is the Holy Ghost within you, the Adi Shakti, and She Herself achieves your transformation. By any talk, by any rationality, by anything, it cannot be done.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi


“She is your pure Mother. She is the Mother who is individually with you. Forget your concepts, and forget your identifications. Please try to understand She is your Mother, waiting for ages to give you your real birth. She is the Holy Ghost within you. She has to give you your realization, and She's just waiting and waiting to do it.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Public Program Mar 22 1981—Sydney, Australia


“The Kundalini is your own mother; your individual mother. And She has tape-recorded all your past and your aspirations. Everything! And She rises because She wants to give you your second birth. But She is your individual mother. You don't share Her with anybody else. Yours is a different, somebody else's is different because the tape-recording is different. We say She is the reflection of the Adi Shakti who is called as Holy Ghost in the Bible.”

THE MOTHER: Messiah-Paraclete-Ruh-Devi
Press Conference July 08 1999—London, UK

The Great Goddess is both wholly transcendent and fully immanent: beyond space and time, she is yet embodied within all existent beings; without form as pure, infinite consciousness (cit) ... She is the universal, cosmic energy known as Sakti, and the psychophysical, guiding force designated as the Kundalini (Serpent Power) resident within each individual. She is eternal, without origin or birth, yet she is born in this world in age after age, to support those who seek her assistance. Precisely to provide comfort and guidance to her devotees, she presents herself in the Devi Gita to reveal the truths leading both to worldly happiness and to the supreme spiritual goals: dwelling in her Jeweled Island and mergence into her own perfect being.” (Brown, 1998, 2)





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