Sophia, the Wisdom of God, has always been acknowledged in sacred writings. In the Septuagint Old Testament, the oldest translation of the Hebrew Bible, she is a central figure in six of the seven wisdom books: The Wisdom of Solomon, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes, and Ecclesiasticus. Although Sophia’s mystical path to inner knowing has not been preached to the multitudes for the past 2,000 years, today it is returning to our awareness.
In 1987 Jean Houston wrote in The Search for the Beloved, “Denied and repressed for thousands of years, the goddess archetype returns at a time when the breakdown of the old story leaves us desperate for love, for security for protection, for meaning. It leaves us yearning for a nurturing and cultivation of our whole being, that we might be adequate stewards of the planetary culture.”
As people who are finding Sophia for themselves can tell you, her Way is riddled with mystery and paradox. For example, each seeker, whether supported by a group or not, travels alone, yet increasingly experiences not separation, but reconciliation: between conscious and unconscious, self and other, mind and body, masculine and feminine, God the Father and God the Mother. Ultimately Sophia’s Way leads to union with everyone and everything, including the Mystery. Why? Because the essence of the sacred feminine is connection and relationship.
Here’s another paradox: As you move into your own unknown territory, the more lost you get the more found you feel. The inner path leads to a joyful reunion with the lovely sense of wonder, mystery, and meaning most of us had as children and lost as adults. This is a most extraordinary gift, especially during the second half of life, for against all expectations we find that while we were gradually losing our youth and physical power we were gaining something far more precious and lasting: the ability to live from our authentic Self. Why? Because to discover the sacred feminine is to discover the neglected and forgotten half of the Self.
A third paradox: As you grow more introspective on the inward spiritual journey, your perspective on life grows more expansive. This speaks to the common misconception that taking oneself seriously through self-study is somehow selfish, self-indulgent, or self-centered. In fact, the contrary is true: The better you know and love yourself, the more you feel and express love for others. Why? Because the sacred feminine’s form of love is not a mental ideal but a physical and emotional reality.
My latest discovery is that the more reverence you acquire for your internal, metaphysical universe, the more you experience the sacredness of the external, physical one. Why? Because Sophia is the sacred essence of life, both within and without.
The final paradox is that while we have to discover these truths for ourselves, we can claim absolutely no credit for them. As the Right Reverend Larry Maze says in Issue 17 of The Rose, in an article titled “Jung and the Inner Mystic,” “…Wisdom that is truly Wisdom has always been Wisdom and will always be Wisdom…Wisdom is the stuff of being consciously alive in the world. Indeed, Wisdom is the universe being alive with meaning.”
I’ll have more to say about meaning soon. Meanwhile, you might want to ask yourself what gives your life meaning. I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts.
In the first century Near East the concepts of femininity being as worthy as masculinity and humanity containing divinity were incomprehensible to most people and documents promoting these ideas had to be hidden away to prevent their destruction. Thus, much of the wisdom of the early “Jesus Movement” was lost to the masses for two thousand years.