YOGA

When unconscious became conscious this is Samadhi

Eema – God the Mother November 29, 2010


Who is Eema, and what is Her status in the Christian Church now? This is a question that haunts each one of us, and a question that often goes unanswered. Basically, Eema exists in mainstream Christianity in two forms: the sterilized image of the Virgin Mary, and the watered-down secular image of “Mother Nature.” These images do nothing to reflect Her full nature, but we as Esoteric Christians should be thankful for them nevertheless – after all, better that the pistics have watered-down images of Eema than none at all!

The other pistic faiths, Judaism and Islam, also have Eema in their faiths – once again, only to a degree. Jews speak of the Shekinah and the Sabbath Bride, and sometimes of Sophia (Chokmah in Hebrew), Goddess of wisdom. Muslims place considerable honor on the figure of Mary but the Muslim Maacry is an extremely sterilized, sanitized, de-sexualized puritan character.

Within the catholic denominations – Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism, and Lutheranism – Eema has continued in the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary. However, as stated, she has been sterilized. She is devoid of sexuality. The early church councils deprived her of all sexuality when they defined her as a perpetual virgin, denied the conception and birth of Yeshua’s siblings, and said the Blessed Virgin was above sexuality.

So while the catholic denominations do allow for some feminine presence, Her fertility is still very much denied. She is only allowed to give birth to the Son of God, who is also seen as celibate. Celibate God the Father, celibate Joseph, celibate Mary, and celibate Yeshua. It’s a wonder that humanity survived the wave of pistic Christian celibacy!

Within the Protestant denominations, there is little evidence of the Feminine Divine. Some Protestant denominations have feminist groups who honor Sophia and the Virgin Mary, but mainstream Protestantism does nothing to honor either of these images of Eema. A few Protestants know Eema as the watered-down, secularized “Mother Nature,” but still they recognize Her only as their masculine God’s creation and instrument. With only these few exceptions, Protestantism is basically devoid of Eema, Goddess the Mother.

There is one Christian denomination with the possibility of developing an egalitarian theology that includes Abba and Eema: the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, also known as the Mormon Church. Official LDS teaching states that human beings existed prior to their physical birth as spiritual beings, and that we as spiritual beings lived as the divine children of a Heavenly Father and a Heavenly Mother. The doctrine of a Heavenly Mother was taught to a few members by LDS founder Joseph Smith.

One of these members was his wife, Eliza R. Snow, who wrote the first public declaration of belief in the LDS Heavenly Mother with the poem, “Invocation – or the Eternal Father and Mother.” This is now the hymn, “O My Father.” Unfortunately, the LDS is primarily run by men, and those men refuse to go much further with a thealogy of the Heavenly Mother. They cite an absence of scriptural evidence for Her (even though there are numerous references in the Bible and in the Book of Mormon). Citing lack of scriptural evidence is illogical, because according to the LDS, revelation is still coming to their church. The LDS refuses to allow private revelation on the subject however, issuing an order that no LDS member should pray to or about Heavenly Mother to obtain revelation from or about Her. Like most of Christianity, the LDS leadership has rejected Eema. Fortunately, however, there are many members of the LDS who are unhappy with this. Perhaps there will be a revolution in the LDS, which will allow for an egalitarian theology at last.

So we have seen that Eema is struggling to maintain Her presence in the pistic (mainstream lopsided) Christian churches. But what about in Esoteric Christianity?

She need not struggle with us! She is found in many forms within Esoteric Christianity. We see her as Asherah, the great Canaanite Goddess worshiped early on in the Hebrew tribe. We see her as Shekinah, the Feminine Presence of Godhead and Great Mother. We see her as Mary, the incarnation of Shekinah and Mother of Yeshua, the Queen of Heaven and Earth and our Mediatrix. Sometimes we see Her in the images of Sophia and Mary Magdalene, though They are most often associated with the Daughter Goddess. We see Her in Eloah, feminine counterpart of El, present and active at creation. We see Her throughout all time in many forms, but through past, present, and future She will always be simply, Our Mother.

Thanks to Soror Amber Satterwhite for her essay, God the Mother in Mormonism, which gave me much of the information about the LDS and the Heavenly Mother.

 

Mother Mary – Shekinah’s incarnation November 28, 2010


Shekinah: The Presence of Divinity
by Rev. Mark Raines

Shekinah – also spelled Shekhina, Shekhinah, Shekina, and Shechina – is known in the Qabalah, an ancient form of Jewish mysticism, as one of the emanations of God and the actual Presence of God. The belief was that one could not see God in Its fullness, but could see the emanation of God, Shekinah. When Moses asked to see God, it was Shekinah that he saw. Shekinah is also the consort, or Bride, of God. As such, she is Mother to us all, just as God is our Father.

In earlier times, God was seen as either dwelling in the clouds or in high places like mountains or very high hills. With the construction of the Ark of the Covenant, and then the construction of the Temple, a part of the Godhead came to dwell in the Ark and then in the Temple. This could not be the male God, the God of the Sky and of High Places. So Shekinah, formerly known as Asherah, a Goddess of Earth and Sea, came to dwell in the Ark of the Covenant and then in the Temple.

Originally it was Asherah who dwelled in the Temple as the Bride of God, His representative there. But after the “reforms” of King Josiah, Asherah worship was forbidden in the Temple. Still, the Jews knew that their Lady was still living there as their Queen and the representative of El, their God. So Asherah evolved. She began to be seen as the presence of God, and less as a separate entity. She became Shekinah, which means something like She who dwells (from the Hebrew shakhan, which means the act of dwelling). However, Asherah did not really change. She was always the representative of Her Husband, just as He was always HER representative. She, an Earth Goddess, was also Queen of Heaven. He, as Sky God, was also Ruler of Earth. This occurred only through Their marriage. So, it was not really that Asherah worship ever changed much within Judaism, or that Asherah Herself changed; only, it was made to look like it had changed to fool the patriarchal priests.

Unfortunately, Shekinah has been all but lost to Christianity. Elements of Her remain in Mother Mary, who was perhaps Shekinah’s incarnation. Mary Theotokos, as She is called, actually held the presence of God (Yeshua) within Her. She is known as the Queen of Heaven, but she is the representative of God to us and delivers our prayers to Him, according to Catholic tradition. Her apparitions are much more frequent than the apparitions of Yeshua, and the Father never appears. It seems that She is truly His representative to us, because (as we know) She is His Bride.

The union of Shekinah and El was never more evident than in the Sabbath. She is known as the Sabbath Bride, or the Sabbath Queen. Each week on the Sabbath, God and Goddess, El and Shekinah, act out the Song of Songs. One rabbi called that holy book the “Holy of Holies” of the Bible! Now take a look at this passage from the Zohar (the holy book of the Qabalah), called the Secret of the Sabbath, which tells us all about the Sabbath Queen:

THE SECRET OF SABBATH

The Secret of Sabbath:
She is Sabbath!
United in the secret of One
to draw down upon Her
the secret of One.

The prayer for the entrance of Sabbath:

The holy Throne of Glory is united in the secret of One,
prepared for the High Holy King to rest upon Her.
When Sabbath enters She is alone,
separated from the Other Side,
all judgments removed from Her.
Basking in the oneness of holy light,
She is crowned over and over to face the Holy King.
All powers of wrath and masters of judgment flee from Her.
Her face shines with a light from beyond;
She is crowned below by the holy people,
and all of them are crowned with new souls.
Then the beginning of prayer to bless Her with joy and beaming faces:
Barekbu ET YHVH ha-Mevorakh,
“Bless ET YHVH, the-Blessed One,”
ET YHVH, blessing Her first.

(*ET-YHVH is another name for ‘Shekinah’ (the feminine Divine Presence). In the Kabbalah, ET stands for Aleph to Tav, like our Alpha to Omega, or A to Z. Here ET refers to the song itself as the ultimate speech, hymn or prayer. According to the notes of Daniel Chanan Matt’s translation, this passage from the ZOHAR is recited in the Sephardic liturgy on Sabbath Eve.)

Sources:
1. Shekhina, from Encyclopedia Mythica
2. Wisdom of Shekinah, by WOW Institute (no longer on line)
3. The Secret of Sabbath From the Zohar, ancient Kabbalistic inspired writings — zohar.com. Daniel Chanan Matt also uses this verse in his book Zohar, the Book of Enlightenment

 

The Holy Spirit: The Feminine Aspect Of the Godhead July 10, 2008


The Holy Spirit:
The Feminine Aspect Of the Godhead

J. J. Hurtak, PhD, The Academy For Future Science

“There is currently much talk of “feminine issues,” particularly in
social and political contexts. This growing awareness of gender-
related matters was not something ignored by the early Church and the
writers of ancient religious texts. As we see in this article by Dr.
Hurtak, the notion of femininity played an extremely important and
significant role in the thinking and belief system of the
intertestamental authors. Far from being the overbearing patriarchal
advocates as they are often portrayed, more recent findings reveal an
innate sensitivity and appreciation for the feminine aspect of
Divinity than has been previously suspected. For this reason, this
particular article becomes a meaningful and insightful contribution
to the current discussion of the role of the female in modern times.
Once more we find a rich and profound history reshaping the future
even as it unfolds before our eyes.

A new response to the “image” of the Holy Spirit is taking shape
quietly in scholarly circles throughout the world, as the result of
new findings in the Dead Sea Scriptures, the Coptic Nag Hammadi and
intertestamental texts of Jewish mystics found side-by-side the
writings of the early Christian church. Scholars are recognizing the
Holy Spirit as the “female vehicle” for the outpouring of higher
teaching and spiritual rebirth. The Holy Spirit plays varied roles in
Judeo-Christian traditions: acting in Creation, imparting wisdom, and
inspiring Old Testament prophets. In the New Testament She is the
presence of God in the world and a power in the birth and life of
Jesus.

The Holy Spirit became well-established as part of a circumincession,
a partner in the Trinity with the Father and Son after doctrinal
controversies of the late 4th century AD solidified the position of
the Western Church. Although all Christian Churches accept the union
of three persons in one Godhead, the Eastern Church, particularly the
communities of the Greek, Ethiopian, Armenian, and Russian, do not
solidify a strong union of personalities, but see the figures
uniquely differentiated, but still in union. Moreover, the Eastern
Church places the Holy Spirit as the Second Person of the Trinity
with Christ as the Third, whereas the Western Church places the Son
before the Holy Spirit. In the Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls
the Holy Spirit was known as the Ruach or Ruach Ha Kodesh (Psalm
51:11). In the New Testament as Pneuma (Romans 8:9). The Holy Spirit
was not rendered as “Holy Ghost” until the appearance of the 1611
Protestant King James Version of the Bible. For the most part, Ruach
or Pneuma have been considered the spiritual force or presence of
God. The power of this force can be seen in the Christian church as
the “gifts of the Spirit” (especially in today’s tongues-speaking
Pentecostals) . The Holy Spirit was also a source for Divine guidance
and as the indwelling Comforter.

Likewise in Hebrew thought, Ruach Ha Kodesh was considered a voice
sent from on high to speak to the Prophet. Thus, in the Old Testament
language of the prophets, She is the Divine Spirit of indwelling
sanctification and creativity and is considered as having a feminine
power. “He” as a reference to Spirit has been used in theology to
match the pronoun for God, yet the Hebrew word ruach is a noun of
feminine gender. Thus, referring to the Holy Spirit as “she” has some
linguistic justification. Denoting Spirit as a feminine principle,
the creative principle of life, makes sense when considering the
Trinity aspect where Father plus Spirit leads to the Divine Extension
of Divine Sonship.

The Spirit is not called “it” despite the fact that pneuma in Greek
is a neuter noun. Church doctrine regards the Holy Spirit as a
person, not a force like magnetism. The writings of the Catholic
fathers, in fact, preserve the vision of the Spirit encapsulating
the “peoplehood of Christ” as the Bride or as the “Mother Church.”
Both are feminine aspects of the Divine. In the Eastern Church,
Spirit was always considered to have a feminine nature. She was the
life-bearer of the faith. Clement of Alexandria states that “she” is
an indwelling Bride. Amongst the Eastern Church communities there is
none more clear about the feminine aspect of the Holy Spirit as the
corpus of the Coptic-Gnostics. One such document records that Jesus
says, “Even so did my mother, the Holy Spirit, take me by one of my
hairs and carry me away to the great mountain Tabor [in Galilee].”

The 3rd century scroll of mystical Coptic Christianity, The Acts of
Thomas, gives a graphic account of the Apostle Thomas’ travels to
India, and contains prayers invoking the Holy Spirit as “the Mother
of all creation” and “compassionate mother,” among other titles. The
most profound Coptic Christian writings definitely link the “spirit
of Spirit” manifested by Christ to all believers as the “Spirit of
the Divine Mother.” Most significant are the new manuscript
discoveries of recent decades which have demonstrated that more early
Christians than previously thought regarded the Holy Spirit as the
Mother of Jesus.

One text is the Gospel of Thomas which is part of the newly
discovered Nag Hammadi texts (discovered 1945-1947). Most are
composed about the same time as the Biblical gospels in the 1st and
2nd century AD. In this gospel, Jesus declares that his disciples
must hate their earthly parents (as in Luke 14:26) but love the
Father and Mother as he does, “for my mother (gave me falsehood), but
(my) true Mother gave me life.” In another Nag Hammadi discovery, The
Secret Book of James, Jesus refers to himself as “the son of the Holy
Spirit.” These two sayings do not identify the Holy Spirit as the
mothering vehicle of Jesus, but more than one scholar has interpreted
them to mean that the maternal Holy Spirit is intended.

So far in Western traditional theology, the voices advocating a
feminine Holy Spirit are scattered and subtle. But for them, it is a
view theologically defensible and accompanied by psychological,
sociological, and scientific benefits of recognizing “the new
supernature” developing within vast consciousness changes happening
in the human evolution.

The German theologian Jürgen Moltmann, a well-known thinker in
mainline Protestantism, says “monotheism is monarchism.” He says a
traditional idea of God’s absolute power “generally provides the
justification for earthly domination”- – -from the emperors and
despots of history to 20th century dictators. Moltmann argues for a
new appreciation of the “persons” of the Trinity and the community or
family model it presents for human relations.

According to Professor Neil Q. Hamilton at Drew University School of
Theology, the Gospel of John shows us how “the Holy Spirit begins to
perform a mothering role for us that is unconditional acceptance,
love and caring.” God then begins to parent us in father and mother
modes.

A Catholic scholar, Franz Mayr, a philosophy professor at the
University of Portland, also favors the recognition of the Holy
Spirit as feminine. He contends that the traditional unity of God
would not have to be watered down in order for scholars to accept the
feminine side of God . Mayr, who studied under the renown German
theologian Karl Rahner, said he came to his view during his study of
the writings of St. Augustine (AD 354-430) who saw that a significant
number of early Christians must have accepted a feminine aspect of
the Holy Spirit such that the influential church father of North
Africa castigated this view. St. Augustine claimed that the
acceptance of the Holy Spirit as the “mother of the Son of God and
wife-consort of the Father” was merely a pagan outlook. But Mayr
contends that Augustine “skipped over the social and maternal aspect
of God,” which Mayr thinks is best seen in the Holy Spirit, the
Divine Ruach Ha Kodesh. St. Jerome, a contemporary of Augustine’s,
and two church fathers of an earlier period, Clement of Alexandria
and Origen, quoted from the pseudopigraphic Gospel of the Hebrews,
which depicted the Holy Spirit as a “mother figure.”

A 14th Century fresco in a small Catholic Church southeast of Munich,
Germany depicts a female Spirit as part of the Holy Trinity,
according to Leonard Swidler of Temple University. The woman and two
bearded figures flanking her appear to be wrapped in a single cloak
and joined in their lower halves showing a union of old and new
bodies of birth and rebirth.

In conclusion, we are living at a time of profound and revelatory
discoveries of archaeology and ancient spiritual texts that point the
way to the future. Christ, himself, was said to have female disciples
as disclosed in Gnostic literature and recent archeological findings
of early Christian tombs in Italy. A beginning has been made to
reclaim “the Spirit” of the Ruach found in the mountain of newly
discovered pre-Christian texts and Coptic-Egyptian texts of the early
Church . It is becoming clear in re-examining the first 100 years of
Christianity that an earlier Christianity was closer to the “Feminine
Spirit” of the Old Testament, the Ruach or the beloved Shekinah. The
Shekinah, distinct from the Ruach, was seen as the indwelling Divine
Presence that activated the “birth of miracles” or the anointed self.
Accordingly, the growth of traditional Christianity made alternative
adjustments of the original position of the “birth of gifts” as
Christendom compromised for the privilege of becoming an
establishment.

The new directions of spiritual and scientific studies are showing
that it is now possible that the Holy Spirit, Ruach Ha Kodesh, can be
portrayed as feminine as the indwelling presence of God, the
Shekinah, nurturing and bringing to birth souls for the kingdom.
Spiritual insights recorded in the Book of Knowledge: Keys of Enoch
carefully remind us that we are being prepared to understand that
just as the Old Testament was the Age of the Father, the New
Testament the Age of the Son, so this coming Age where gifts are
poured forth will be the Age of the Holy Spirit.”

J. J. Hurtak, PhD, The Academy For Future Science

 

The Christian Goddess July 1, 2008


“Many theologians and scholars believe the Holy Spirit written as,
Pneuma in Greek every time it appears in the New Testament, is a
feminine being. Note that Pneuma is a neuter word in Greek, but in
Hebrew the word Ruah (Spirit) and in Aramaic the word Shekinah
(Presence) are feminine words and imply a feminine divine presence.
The Holy Spirit is possibly a Christian Goddess, not a mysterious
invisible member of an all-male Trinity “club.” Or more
provocatively, maybe there is a Feminine Trinity of God-the-Mother
(Sophia and Mary?), God-the-Daughter (Mary Magdalene) and Goddess-the-
Spirit-Presence (Shekinah, Ruah). The Holy Spirit appears at Yeshua’s
baptism in the form of a dove. The dove has long been a symbol of the
Goddess in the Ancient Near East, and was never used to symbolize any
male Being or God.

We must also look in the Old Testament, the Hebrew Bible, and
consider the Goddess Sophia. Her name means “Wisdom.” She is the
Goddess of Wisdom referred to repeatedly in scripture as the wife of
God-the-Father. See Proverbs, Song of Songs, (also called Song of
Solomon) in the Hebrew Bible, and see the Book of Sirach and the Book
of Wisdom in the Apocrypha found in the center of any Catholic Bible.

Here is an excerpt from “The Decline of the Feminine and the Cult of
Mary In Greco-Roman Christianity” , probably because of the dangers of
Gnosticism, the biblical images of God as female were soon suppressed
within the doctrine of God. God as Wisdom, Hokmah in Hebrew, or
Sophia in Greek, a feminine form, was translated by Christianity into
the Logos concept of Philo, which is masculine and was defined as the
Son of God. The Shekinah, the theology of God’s mediating presence as
female, was de-emphasized; and God’s Spirit Ruah, a feminine noun in
Hebrew, took on a neuter form when translated into Greek as Pneuma.

The Vulgate translated Ruah into Latin as masculine, Spiritus. God’s
Spirit, Ruah, which at the beginning of creation brings forth
abundant life in the waters, makes the womb of Mary fruitful. In
spite of the reality of the caring, consoling, healing aspects of
divine activity, the dominant patriarchal tradition has prevailed,
resulting in seeing the female as the passive recipient of God’s
creation; and the female is expressed in nature, church, soul, and
finally Mary as the prototype of redeemed humanity. Because God as
father has become an over literalized metaphor, the symbol of God as
mother is eclipsed. The problem lies not in the fact that male
metaphors are used for God, but that they are used exclusively and
literally. Because images of God as female have been suppressed in
official formulations and teaching, they came to be embodied in the
figure of Mary who functioned to reveal the unfailing love of God.”

The Christian Goddess
http://www.northernway.org/goddess. html

 

 
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