Thursday, September 20, 2012

Sophia - the Breath of Life

To approach Sophia is to approach that vital spark of the divine within ourselves, for Sophia is the essential spirit which infuses all things. She is the spark - the very life-force - without whom matter would remain inanimate. Her presence has been shrouded from view for some two millennia, hidden beneath an obscuring layer of doctrine, and treated as heresy. Her light endures, however, in texts, in symbols and secret teachings, and in our own most inner being. But who is Sophia?

The first condition of God permeates the cosmos. This first condition is unknowable, unfathomable, and unable to be experienced directly within human experience. This ultimate form of God is, as it were, removed from our vision for our own safety, for any direct perception or experience of God in this primal form would mean obliteration. The first manifestation of this ultimately unknowable God is the female manifestation, Sophia ('Wisdom'). Sophia is the spirit of grace which we feel when we allow ourselves to become open to it. All grace, all compassion which is beyond simple human compassion, emanates from Sophia. The third emanation, which is therefore twice removed from the original godhead, is the male creator God - 'God the father' - also known as the Demiurge. This is the God whom Christians think of as being the ultimate God, the male God who created the heavens and the earth. But the demiurge in his masculine ignorance forgets that he himself is an emanation from Sophia, and therefore imagines that his creative powers are his own, whereas these creative powers are derived from Sophia.

Before the manifested worlds came into existence, there was this source of oneness from which worlds of light, spirit and soul streamed. Humanity carries a primal image of these worlds of spirit and soul within itself. But Sophia is the primal force that, in union with the source, permeates - as female and life-giving principle - these unseen worlds. At the same time, she is the mother of the manifested world, the manifested cosmos.

Studying ancient books will not bring Sophia back into our consciousness and into our life. We have to search for her in our own inner self. Sophia reveals the knowledge of the heart, the primal knowledge which tells us that we own all the knowledge there is to know within the province of our own heart. Our heart of hearts knows that sacredness is not only outside of us, but also lives within us. But first we have to learn "inner silence".

The return of Sophia as the feminine aspect of creation is vital. Awareness needs to be raised of the importance of a male/female balance in every aspect of life, for if there really is a path towards peace both within ourselves and in our world, then the first step along that path is the realization of this Divine Oneness.

"The divine Sophia have I loved and sought from my youth,
I have desired her to be my spouse.
Ever have I loved her beauteous and radiant form.
Ever have I prayed that she might be sent to abide with me,
that she might work with me to the end
that I might know what I lacked
and what in me God would find acceptable.
And since she had ever known and understood,
had guided me in all my life's activity,
I am persuaded that even after death she
will ever keep me safe,
wrapped securely in her watchful, constant love."

- Giordano Bruno

image © David Bergen Studio


  1. Thank you, Emma, for such a clear exposition of Sophia and what she represents. And, yes - it does seem to be the time for such themes to re-emerge into our consciousness. It is truly as if certain themes are not meant to disappear, and endure in spite of all efforts to suppress them. They remain embedded within us, waiting for us to acknowledge them and for our awareness to allow them to lead us forward to where we need to be.

    1. Thank you, David, for your awareness and appreciation of the importance of these feminine values and their place in our consciousness.