The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature


The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature
"The Mother challenges us to let Her work through us, or as Shapiro puts it: "You are the breath of God. You are the way God is aware of God in the immediacy of your life. You are the way God feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, frees the wrongly imprisoned. You are the way God brings justice, mercy and humility to life. But because you want to be more, you end up being less; the way God brings honor, hate, and holocaust to every corner of the globe.”This is an important aspect of the Sacred Feminine, and it is our assignment as sages. One of the most exciting messages of this paperback is that there is another high and holy calling for us to consider. Sages of the world unite, there is much justice work to be done!"- Rami Shapiro

Book Review
By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature
Rami Shapiro
Skylight Paths 09/05 Paperback


"You are intimate with Wisdom. She has known you from the beginning. You cannot hide from Her. On the contrary, you can take refuge in Her. This is what She offers you. You do not have to earn Her love or be other than you are. No pretense with Her; she knows you and loves you for who you are — Herself," writes Rabbi Rami Shapiro in this salutary and enlightening work. These teachings of Mother Wisdom are from the Psalms, Proverbs, Job, the Song of Songs, Ecclesiastes and the Greek texts, the Wisdom of Solomon and the Wisdom of Jesus Ben Sirach.

In both Hebrew and Greek, the original language of these texts, Chochma and Sophia are feminine nouns. She is Mother, God's consort and bride, the Divine Feminine through which God created the wild and wonderful world. Shapiro, as the Rev. Cynthia Bourgeault points out in the foreword, sees these teachings of the Hebrew Bible as taking their place"within the deeper Wisdom of humanity, adding their individual voices to the universal message since time immemorial: Only through the transformation of the heart can humankind arrive at a stable and enduring peace.”it's also a good thing that a man has taken it upon himself to trace the comings and goings of the Divine Feminine, given the long and dark period of male chauvinism that has desperately tried to silence Mother Wisdom's antiestablishment and nonhierarchical emphases. Of course, Andrew Harvey has for years done pioneer work in proclaiming the activities of Mother in all Her forms.

"Wisdom is not aloof. She is a player, a dancer, a celebrator of life, and the One who manifests it. She is a source of delight and delight itself. To be wise is to delight in creation," writes Shapiro. There is a playfulness to the Divine Feminine which is evident in these passages and in the author's commentaries. Here is just one line to illustrate what we mean: "Wisdom is the doing of God — a flower is not Wisdom but flowering is.”Don't get caught up in trying to figure out the attributes or the whys behind the actions of The Mother. Try to attune your life to her rhythms, and you will live all your days as an adventure.

Another example of playfulness: "The sage doesn't explain why things are; the sage simply engages what is. Why is beside the point. A stranger throws a stone at your head. You duck; you don't ask why. Later you may indulge in why, but the moment itself requires action. Why does God test you? Because it is God's nature to manifest moments of giving and moments of taking away and there is nothing that you or God can do about it.”Go with the flow and don't try to figure things out: that is for fools.

What devotion does Wisdom require? She wants us to put Her above having our way in everything — a hard nut to crack in and of itself. The Mother challenges us to let Her work through us, or as Shapiro puts it: "You are the breath of God. You are the way God is aware of God in the immediacy of your life. You are the way God feeds the hungry, clothes the naked, frees the wrongly imprisoned. You are the way God brings justice, mercy and humility to life. But because you want to be more, you end up being less; the way God brings honor, hate, and holocaust to every corner of the globe.”This is an important aspect of the Sacred Feminine, and it is our assignment as sages. One of the most exciting messages of this paperback is that there is another high and holy calling for us to consider. Sages of the world unite, there is much justice work to be done!

The Divine Feminine in Biblical Wisdom Literature
Rami Shapiro


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The fulfillment of eschatological instruction promised by Jesus
“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)
“An apocalypse (Ancient Greek: apokalypsis ... literally meaning "an uncovering") is a disclosure or revelation of great knowledge. In religious and occult concepts, an apocalypse usually discloses something very important that was hidden or provides what Bart Ehrman has termed, "A vision of heavenly secrets that can make sense of earthly realities". Historically, the term has a heavy religious connotation as commonly seen in the prophetic revelations of eschatology obtained through dreams or spiritual visions.” Wikipedia 2021-01-09

Shri Mataji
Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi (1923-2011) was Christian by birth, Hindu by marriage, and Paraclete by duty.
Total number of recorded talks 3058: Public Programs 1178, Pujas 651, and other (private conversations) 1249

“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)
The Holy Spirit as feminine: Early Christian testimonies and their interpretation,
Johannes van Oort, Radboud University, Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Department of Church History and Church Polity, Faculty of Theology, University of Pretoria, South Africa


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