Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"The Divine Feminine "by Matthew Fox


"The recovery (rather than discovery) of the Divine Feminine in our time
opens up multiple avenues for inspiring our God-talk.

To name and image God as Gaia, Goddess, Kuan Yin, Shechinah, Ochun, Tara,
the Black Madonna, or Kali
puts the Divine into a whole larger context
with tremendous implications for ourselves and the institutions we give birth to
whether of law, politics, education, economics or religion.

Consider for example the ecological implications
of what anthropologist Marija Gimbutas says of the Goddess:
She is “in all her manifestations a symbol of the unity of all life in Nature.
Her power was in water and stone, in tomb and cave, in animals and birds,
snakes and fish, hills, trees, and flowers.

Hence the holistic and mythopoeic perception of the sacredness and mystery
of all there is on Earth.”

The Goddess calls us back to the sacredness of creation all about us.

Consider the virtues that are extolled in this ancient Tibetan prayer to Tara:
“Homage to Tara our mother: great compassion!
Homage to Tara our mother: queen of physicians!
Homage to Tara our mother: conquering disease like medicine!
Homage to Tara our mother: knowing the means of compassion!
Homage to Tara our mother: Spreading like the wind! Homage to Tara our mother: pervading like space!”

Consider this commentary on the Tao who is called
“The Great Mother, Mother of the universe” who “gives birth to all beings,
/ nourishes them, maintains them, /
cares for them, comforts them, protects them, /
takes them back to herself.”

Medieval Christian mystics such as Hildegard of Bingen, Mechtild of Magdeburg
and Julian of Norwich
also explored the Divine Feminine in their writings.

According to Hildegard, we are “surrounded with the roundness of divine compassion” and we are “encircled by the arms of the mystery of God.”
For Mechtild, “God is not only fatherly.
God is also mother who lifts her beloved child from the ground to her knee”
and the Trinity is “like a mothers cloak
wherein the child finds a home and lays its head on the maternal breast.”
Julian says: “God is delighted to be our Mother.”

Naming of the feminine side of Divinity
gives inspiration and support to women struggling
with their womanhood and sisterhood
while simultaneously challenging men to get more in touch
with their maternal and compassionate capacities.

The Divine Feminine is not at all about softness or passivity
but about a passion with instead of a passion over.

Feminist theologian Dorothee Soelle has argued that
we need mysticism to access this Divine Feminine.
“Mysticism comes closest to overcoming the hierarchical masculine concept of God."

“In feminist theology therefore, the issue is not about exchanging pronouns,
but about another way of thinking of transcendence …
as being bound up in the web of life….
We move from God-above-us to God-within-us
and overcome false transcendence hierarchically conceived.”

The return of the Divine Feminine is a sign of our times.
It assists profoundly in renaming Divinity and in the process, ourselves."
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