Modern Poetry, Sophia, and the Rebirth of Christian Wisdom

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Part of "Spirituality in a Secular World: Poetry and Wisdom"

4. Modern Poetry, Sophia, and the Rebirth of Christian Wisdom

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#set-spirituality-in-a-secular-world-poetry-and-wisdom

#preached-retreat

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However, I would like to pick up one thing, to recapitulate one thing, the kind of general view of what we were talking about in the preceding talk. And what I would call it is a movement from a conventional Christianity to a wisdom Christianity. You could also call it a new creation Christianity, if you like, but there's a parallel to it in the New Testament, and that's what I want to get at. When Jesus comes into the Jewish religious structure, it seems to me that it's like entering into a temple or a shell, some kind of a building, a construction, and he breaks through it, he takes it apart, and he does it in two directions. One direction is to move towards the center of it, and the other one, one is to break into it, the other is to break out of it. One is to move to the center, and the other one is to move out towards the periphery. Two opposite movements, which are really one movement. Now, the first movement towards the center, what does Jesus do with respect to the law?

[01:07]

There's a structure of law there which is a kind of enclosure, a kind of cloister, a kind of shell, and Jesus comes as the living word. The word comes and takes the law, as it were, moves right through that shell, breaks it open, and reveals its center. The center is the living word, the center is the living wisdom of God, and the law is merely a kind of temporary, provisory imitation, or shell, or first draft of that word. But when the living word comes, he sort of dismantles that and moves to the center of it, but he says, I come not to abolish the law, but to fulfill it, and then he gives us a more difficult law, which is the law of divine life, which he calls the commandment of love. But Jesus comes and he presents the center in two ways, and the two ways are inseparable. The first way is by presenting himself as actually the law, as the principle of the law. He as the word is the law. So he gives us the center by his self-revelation, and then he gives us the center of living

[02:15]

in the one commandment of love, and there, of course, we have a parallel to the twin revelation through word and through spirit. Jesus as word comes in and plants himself at the center so that faith in Jesus somehow contains everything and is the root of everything else, and then he gives us the single commandment, two commandments in one, love of God and one love of your neighbor, love of your sister and brother, which are made one commandment in Jesus. A similar centering and unification on the level of living. Now those two express word and spirit, but at the same time he breaks through the shell in an outward direction by saying, love not only your friends, but love your enemy, love those who don't love you. That means love not only your family, love not only your blood brothers and sisters, but you've got to love everybody in some way. And I always feel shy about even saying these things because our life is so far from there,

[03:16]

at least mine is, but that's what it is, that's what he said in the Gospel. And notice the parallel to that, in that the cloister of Jewish revelation is broken down insofar as immediately the Gospel goes out to the Gentiles. As soon as Jesus dies, that wall is dismantled, and the revelation of God, the chosen people, is no longer the Jewish nation, it's all of humankind which believes, which connects itself to that center. And that's what Paul witnesses to, that's Paul's job, to dismantle that wall, and he does it very powerfully. He's the kind of bulldozer of the cosmic, or the movement of the Gospel to all of humanity. So you see, it's very clear and simple how that movement breaks the shell in both directions, moving inward to the center and moving outward to the extremes. The extremes which mean all humanity, but also which means in some way the whole cosmos, that is the rebirth of the whole creation. The connection between those two is interesting, and you find it like in the New Testament,

[04:20]

remember in Acts, where Peter has a vision, and the sheet is lowered down with all the animals on it, and the voice comes in first, Peter, take and eat, kill and eat, nice, archaic. So he says, well I can't, those are unclean animals, and it's repeated three times. Now that's Peter's education to the fact that nothing is unclean in itself any longer, that the cosmos has been in some way purified in Christ, so that all of creation comes into the power of this new creation, and all of creation becomes, as it were, the field for the children of God. But at the same time, what he's got to do is go to Cornelius' house, remember, and preach the gospel to the Gentiles. So it's the movement to the cosmos and the movement to humanity at the same moment. The two revelations are one. The outside people, the unacceptable people, the Gentiles, all the others, are symbolized by these animals, by these creatures and the eating of those creatures, the clean and the

[05:24]

unclean things. So there were clean and unclean animals. Cosmic beings. And there were clean and unclean people. And both of those shells are broken down now. And that's the movement out to the periphery. Now, what's the parallel with our contemporary situation, what I said about this movement from a conventional Christianity? Now, what a conventional Christianity is, is they call it a second-order religion in a sense. The revelation of the Word, which is kept on the level of the Word, it's kept on the cognitive level. It's kept on a level of teaching and understanding and ideas and words and the structures that go with words and ideas, the institutional structures that go along on that level and create a structure of order. Now, the movement that we're called upon to make, I think, simply expresses what Jesus has done on a different level after 2,000 years. And of course, this is going on all the time. And one movement is to the center, you see, as we realize the non-dualistic core, the

[06:28]

unitive core of Christianity, which is in Jesus. And this is the movement towards the Father. And this is the movement towards the East, as it were, you see, to the non-dual reality of the Eastern religions, but experienced in a Christian way and through a Christian mode of God. Not only in a context, but somehow transformed, somehow different because of this quality of what has been given, this quality of the Spirit. Now, what I'm pointing to is the baptismal experience, which is the experience of this center, okay, the illumination from within by which one suddenly has a non-dual awareness, a non-dual consciousness and recognizes somehow the non-dual reality of being all the way down, as it were, right down into the being of God. And all of this without words, but the kind of basic Christian experience which is a non-dual experience, the experience of the unity of being in the Father and in my own being, the I am that we were talking about, which is reflected in our own new sense of birth, sense

[07:32]

of new birth, sense of identity, the baptismal experience, which for most of us is not even a memory, but can be re-experienced. The other movement is the movement outwards through creativity, okay, the explosive movement of the Holy Spirit, which we see already on Pentecost Day, symbolically in the tongues, which are the tongues of flame on the heads of the disciples, of the apostles, and then immediately they're speaking in multiple tongues. They speak one language and it's heard in 30 languages. That's the creation all over again. It's the word moving outwards in this fire of the Holy Spirit, which is a creative spirit, which turns one thing into another, which multiplies, which sets the creation on fire with this light and with this energy, which is the new creation. So that's the outward movement. Now if we identify the first with ancient times and with the Eastern religion, the Eastern direction, whether you talk about non-Christian East or you talk about Christian East, it's

[08:35]

the same direction. It's the Orient. It's the unitive source, center, the beginning. But what's this other direction? Strangely, this other direction is the direction of the West. The West, which is sort of the, what do you call it, the engine of history in the world, which pulls everything, is a locomotive that pulls everything else after it in the history of the world for a couple of thousand years, chiefly through science and technology, through a whole bunch of things. But that's that creative movement that moves outward and somehow transforms the world insofar as we touch it. It may transform it in very ironic ways, as we've seen, you know, with pollution and with all of the awful things we've done to the world, but we're transforming it. It's the same. So that's the other movement, and that identifies somehow with a movement forward in time and with the modern West particularly, okay? The creative kind of luxuriance of the modern West, which begins to transform the world, and which also in the realm of imagination does a lot of things that have never been done before, has a kind of freedom about it.

[09:37]

Even if it doesn't know where it's going, it's discovered a freedom which has rarely been known, and which really is something new. It's a new expression of this incarnation of the world. Okay, so I just wanted to give a rather simple pattern, which I think sums up a lot of what we've been talking about, without talking much about participation in the Barfield scheme, which we use so much. Yes? What would be an example of new creative creativity in the West? Well, modern poetry is a good example, okay? People doing crazy things with language that have never been done before, but of the same refining language to be a tool of expression which it's never been free enough to be before, okay? As if this is a quest for a pure poetry, a quest for poetry which would express simply imperial states without external reference, that kind of thing, as a symbolist for the 19th and modernist for the 19th and 20th centuries, that kind of thing. It may seem pointless, but it's an expression, a kind of refinement of language around a

[10:40]

particular point, this quest for pure poetry. For a poetry of psyche, let us say, which expresses psyche without the hindrance of the rational mind of the other poet. That's just one example. Another expression is simply the transformation of society, which begins to happen with the social consciousness of justice and of peace, okay, of the dignity and the, what would you say, of the negotiability of the human person, that kind of thing. And the way a global consciousness begins to develop about these things, so that if somebody is getting shot in Bosnia, you know it immediately and you're able to react. That may seem like kind of trivial and irrelevant, you may be powerless to do anything about it, but nevertheless it's a moment in this movement, you see, of the arrival of some kind of world consciousness. The planet begins to pulsate like one organism. I think that psychology is also on another level a modern happening that is awarding

[11:44]

and explaining so many things that were hidden. Psychology is the discovery of the psyche, which has been excluded for centuries in the West, practically speaking. We buried and excluded the psyche as we did the feminine, and psychology is the rediscovery of that psyche, the emergence of the psyche. It's incredible that we could do that, but we were talking about Descartes yesterday, but the idea that you are mind and body. If you're mind and body, what's missing? Psyche's missing, you know, the soul, the sensitive imaginal soul somehow has been forgotten, and we've got a rational thinking, or a scientific mind, and we've got a body, and never the twain shall meet. But we're psyche even more somehow than we are either of those, and psyche includes both of those. It is the connection between everything. Yeah, sure, yeah, psyche is participative, and it's very, very close to the feminine, you know, I think we tend to identify it with the feminine. Okay, the other, and that brings up the other direction in which Jesus, I think, breaks

[12:49]

through the shell of Judaism, but he does it insipidly, he does it seminally and not completely, and that is in the direction of the feminine. See, we're a kind of religion and revelation of the word, actually. Our, if this is word, and this is spirit, or sophia, and this is father, per se, and this is karma, our revelation in the Judeo-Christian tradition is over here. We start by being people of the word, of the law, of the book, of the revelation which is right there, and it's been made clear, and it's been made clear in a completely masculine, let's say, patriarchal, say, way, the revelation on this side is expressed in a masculine code of the Bible, which simply doesn't recognize, doesn't speak the feminine. The feminine is like the vowel between the consonants.

[13:50]

It's funny, because in Hebrew you just write the consonants, you don't write the vowels. That is, it's in between the words, in between the lines, and yet it's a continuum, like a continuum of breath, of life, that holds everything together, but it's not written, and that's over here. So, if the first movement we're talking about, when Jesus breaks the shell, is really towards the center of the case, because it's ultimately the center of the sentence, and it's a representative sentence. So, the first one is like this, and it's inwards, if we had another diagram in place, we'd put it this way, and then we'd put the other outwards that way, but let me tell you it's wrong this way, I have to do it this way. The second movement outwards is towards the world, towards the cosmos, and therefore it's in this direction. The third movement I'm talking about is in this direction, and that's towards the spirit, it's towards participation, and it's towards the sentence. And I would say it's a revelation for fear, and that we've just begun, in a sense, to

[14:54]

get some, to have some suspicion of. So we start, all the photos of this, as it were, over here on one side of reality, it's like the seed that has to fall into the ground, and then open itself up in the increased direction, move out into the cosmos, move down into the very depths of being, the center of being where the invisible present is, the center of everything, and then move also across, out this way, into psyche, into participation, into immanence, into that kind of fullness of being, where a knowledge is not a knowledge of something from outside, but it's knowledge by being that thing, the knowledge of what you are, that mysterious, ungraspable and inexpressible knowledge, which is indistinguishable, which is not face to face, or knowledge of this which I see, but knowledge by being one with participation in knowledge. Now that's over here, and that's what I want to talk about early this morning, that Sophia dimension, which is parallel to what we were talking about in using Barfield's scheme,

[15:56]

of moving from original participation, which is like an original feminine, you know, they talk about an imaginary matriarchal society, or feminine society, the society of the goddess, the culture of the goddess, before the patriarchal society, of which our biblical Old Testament society is one, which is conspicuously, emphatically patriarchal. But the movement from the feminine through some kind of a masculine process of dichotomy, and of putting off, and of separation, and purification, and also alienation. Then, the arrival at a new feminine, the arrival at a new feminine, in which somehow the masculine has done its work, and now we can have a new integration. It's a little like a lot of those threefold schemes, where you have pieces, antithesis, and then some kind of, even in music, you know, and then some kind of synthesis, some kind of reconciliation, some kind of closure after that space has been opened through the antithesis, through the development.

[16:56]

There's also a Jungian parallel, of course, at least from a masculine point of view, of the movement from the mother to another relation to the feminine, okay, from the mother who is somehow larger than you are, and at a point from which you have to separate yourself and defend yourself, to a new relation to the feminine, which you're not anymore, what would you say, englobed, or somehow swallowed up, but relate in a free, participative way. As sister, as bride, and so on. All that business that men have to do with their anima, and moving from one position to another. Remember, Robert Johnson talks a lot about that, and that book he especially, where you have to put off the mother's garment, and go out and fight the red knight, or whatever, and then finally discover the grail caster and the bride. Okay, that as sort of introduction to this issue of Sophia, to a couple of images that

[18:07]

are in John's Gospel about this matter of breaking the shell in that particular direction towards the feminine revelation, which is really the feminine side of God. But the feminine side of God, I'm convinced, is the inside of God. We portray these things graphically, side by side, but we're talking in some sense about outside and inside. What we know of our revelation is largely the outside still, and that outside is 100% masculine, practically speaking. We only have glimpses, kind of furtive little glimmers of the inside, which is the feminine. But the inside is what is poured out and poured into. In other words, what the Christian mystery is about, is about the Christ mystery, is the revelation coming in and saying, here I am, and disappearing and flowing into you. Right? The mystery of revelation of word and spirit. Jesus comes into the world and says, I show you the Father. He who sees me sees the Father. And he speaks, and he walks among us, and he gives us an image, and he gives us a book, he gives us a Gospel.

[19:08]

But he disappears and says, now it's really going to begin. When I go away, that's when it really starts. Now when it really starts is when something gets poured into you. That's when participation begins. And it's very difficult for us to grasp that. In fact, it's a gift. It's a matter of being born again. But born again with a kind of unity, an invisible unity, with that which has been given to us, with the ultimate, and which is always getting away from us, which is always slipping through our fingers, which is always eluding us. And so the recovery of the fullness of Christianity would be somehow the recovery of the awareness of that, being able to live in communion with that, together with somehow keeping all that's going on in between, up to now. Two images in John's Gospel. One is Canaan, where you have a wedding, and you have the making of water into wine. And the wedding is like the wedding of humanity with divinity, for one thing.

[20:16]

I may return to this at the end. Or some of the wedding there is the wedding of everything. Everything comes together. And the wedding is participated in the wine. The wedding between bridegroom and bride is poured out then in the wine, which is given to all the guests. I just want to leave that with you, and maybe come back to it, rather than trying to explain it and develop it. The other image in John is the image of Jesus meeting the woman at the well, the Samaritan woman. And they talk about religion, and she says, well, you know, we worship here, and you worship in Jerusalem. And Jesus says, neither in Jerusalem nor here. Neither on this mountain or the other mountain will you worship God, but you will worship God in spirit and in truth. And what's in the middle of this scene is not a mountain or a burning bush. It's a well. It's a well. And he talks about this living water that's going to come up in your heart. So it's the movement from that kind of visible exteriority, the high places, the mountains,

[21:20]

the patriarchal model of religion, to an inferiority in which neither here nor there but everywhere, because it's inside you and you're one with it. That's participative religion. The worship in spirit and in truth, because only God knows how to worship in spirit and truth, and God is inside of you. That's what Jesus is promising. Now the woman there is the woman who somehow herself represents this. The woman at the well, the Samaritan woman who runs and tells her neighbors in town, can this be the Messiah? And so on. So she herself, he's telling her who she is, in a sense, and the woman in the well somehow are one, just as the woman in the wedding and the wine are one at Canaan. It's all about this one thing which is happening, which Jesus is bringing, which is the gift, actually, of being one with the divinity, but expressed in this pouring out and pouring in, like the water and the blood that comes out of Jesus' side on the cross.

[22:21]

Okay, now that meeting at the well is very interesting because it resonates with a number of similar meetings in the Old Testament of a man and a woman at the well. Remember Moses? He goes to the well and finds these shepherds are abusing the shepherdesses. They don't let him get to the well and order their flock, kind of elbowing them out of the way. And so he comes and he opens the well for them. There's a case with Jacob also somewhere, but the one I want to talk about is the one which the servant of Abraham, I think his name was Eliezer or something like that, who goes to seek a bride for Isaac. He goes to find, this is a beautiful, beautiful story. So he takes all this camel and all these camels and all these expensive gifts, and Abraham said, you go back to where we came from and you get a bride for my son Isaac, and then

[23:25]

bring her back here, but don't take my son back there. So he does, and he goes to the well and he asks the Lord what shall be the sign that this is the right one. And so he's given this idea that the woman who comes to the well, and when I ask her for a drink she says, not only will I give you a drink, but I'll water your camels as well. That's the one. So this girl comes, it's Rebecca, and he asks her for a drink, just like Jacob at the well where there's an ark. And she says, yes, but I'll also water your camels and so on. So she fills the trough and waters the camel. And then he loads her with another drink and earrings and bracelets and so on, and takes her off back to Isaac. Somehow that woman, who relates also with Isaac's mother, Sarah, that woman and that well and that water are what we're talking about.

[24:27]

So I want to get via that well scene, because the woman and the well and the betrothal and the wedding go together in all of these things. I want to get back to Isaac now. Isaac's name means laugh, and I think somehow he's accused of an image of Christ which is Sophia-related in this way. The story of Isaac starts with an annunciation. Remember the three men appear on the scene when Abraham is there under the oak at Mombray. And this is in Genesis chapter, I think it's 18. And the three men come and they say to Abraham, where's Sarah, where's your wife? And Abraham says, she's inside the tent. The woman is inside the tent. This is Sarah, this very beautiful woman that Abraham always has to hide when he goes anywhere. He'll say, she's my sister, so that somebody won't kill him in order to have Sarah. But she's old now. She's about 90 years old, and Abraham's 100 years old, and she hasn't had a child,

[25:30]

whereas the slave girl has had a child. So they say, where's Sarah? She's inside the tent. And Abraham knows that there's some kind of divine presence in these three men. So he runs to Sarah and he says, quick, take three measures of meal and knead it and make cakes for this man and kill something rather than him. And he always slaughters some beast when it happens. So she's got to prepare this quick meal. The three measures of meal. Do you remember the parable in Matthew 13, where he says, the kingdom of God is like a woman who puts leaven in three measures of meal until it's all leavened. Remember that? This is all Sophia in some way. So Sarah's inside the tent, and the three men tell Abraham, well, she's going to have a son. And Sarah laughs. She laughs behind the tent flap. She laughs inside the tent. And Abraham laughs, too, in another story. But Sarah laughs. And in Sarah's laugh, it's important, because that becomes somehow who Isaac is. That becomes the name of Isaac.

[26:31]

It comes up again in Genesis 21. So Isaac is named for the laugh of Sarah. Isaac is named for the laugh of Sarah. Isaac is very interesting. We don't pay enough attention to Isaac. He's a very important Christ figure. Because remember, Isaac gets sacrificed. There's an annunciation about his birth, like Jesus. Then there's a sacrifice. Abraham has to take him to the mountains. But Isaac somehow gets the last laugh, because he doesn't get killed. Remember? God provides another ram for the sacrifice. And so the sacrifice is a type of the sacrifice of Christ. But it's not carried through. Isaac is not slaughtered. Isaac's a mysterious figure. He disappears in between Abraham. There's a lot of action with Abraham, a lot of action with Jacob. But Isaac is just there as a type of Christ. He's a beautiful, beautiful figure, who is not tragic, and who is not furtive in the way of Jacob. He's a bridegroom. And he's the only son.

[27:31]

You know that language in the New Testament, you are my beloved son, you are my only son, and with whom I am well pleased. There's a baptism of Jesus, there's a transfiguration. That's Isaac language. That relationship of father to son, there's a relationship between Abraham and Isaac in the Old Testament. That tenderness of the father-son relationship, that's the big example of that in the Old Testament. And the very words, you are my beloved son, are related to those words of God to Abraham. Take your son, your son whom you love, Isaac, and go to the mountains and sacrifice him. So, Isaac somehow is Christ, but Isaac is also not word, not word, he's son, but he's not word, he's laugh. He's laugh. And Isaac is the one who is inseparable from his mother, Sarah, and from his bride, Rebecca. His life is very much defined by those two woman figures. So, Isaac in some way, I think, that laugh, Sarah's laugh,

[28:35]

is what opens up the whole of the Scripture in some way, the whole of the Bible to its other side. That laugh is inside the Scripture. You know, the women in the Old Testament are all, in some way, furtive. You know, they have to, even, who is it? It's Rebecca herself, tells Jacob how to cheat his brother out of his birthright, remember? By putting the skins of animals on his hands and so on, and fooling his blind father, Isaac. So, the women, in some way, are all furtive. They have to get their way somehow by some kind of deviousness. You know? And this begins even with Eve, somehow, in the Old Testament. Because the feminine is concealed there, and Sarah's laugh, when she's told she's going to have a child, and this child she calls Isaac, runs all the way down through the Scripture to the time of Jesus, and what Jesus brings into the world. When Jesus is born, he's encompassed by this, what would you call it? This sphere, as it were, this womb of tenderness. The infancy narrative, okay, which is feminine.

[29:37]

And when Jesus dies, his passion and death are surrounded by a feminine presence, and it's the women who surround the cross, and it's the women who go to the tomb, especially in John's Gospel. There's a mystery here. And that laugh, which is Isaac, is the Christ who is, in some way, corresponds to the Word, that corresponds to the Word in this interior, hidden, feminine way. And the last word, in a sense, is that laugh, in which this which is hidden within is released, is poured out, and turns out to be the ultimate revelation of the truth, a participatory truth, a unitary truth, the divinity which comes within you and is inseparable from you. So that all of the violence of the patriarchal history of the Old Testament, and all of the violence in the language of Jesus himself, somehow, has this laugh inside it, which is the real communication of God. The laugh, which is not just a laugh of, what would you call it, it's not a sharp kind of humor, it's pure joy.

[30:40]

The thing that reminds me most of that in the New Testament, actually, is in the Acts of the Apostles, where they're always throwing the apostles in jail, and the jail simply breaks open, remember? There's a huge laugh that happens after the death of Jesus, the resurrection of Jesus. These comic scenes, you know, where the high priest tells the police, the temple police, we'll go to the jail and take them out. He said, well, we went, and everything's okay, there's nobody inside. And instead, the disciples are back in the temple, the other jail, preaching, you know. It's a big laugh. But somehow, we're so serious about the Scriptures, we're so serious about our revelation of our religion, that we don't hear it. And there's a lot of that laughter in the New Testament. There's a very deep irony in the New Testament, these parables that we've been talking about. So, Thea, in a sense, makes fun of the whole masculine thing,

[31:48]

the high-profile, high-powered, maximum security, masculine progression of religion. Let me read a little of Stephen's poem. This is called, The Plot Against the Giant. The scene is, there's this giant coming down the road, and there are three girls who are going to try to do an end. Now, it's not in a batch, you'll just have to take it on faith. It's early, it's on page six in the collected poem. First girl, when this yoko comes wandering, wetting his hacker, you get the picture. I shall run before him, diffusing the civilest odors

[32:49]

out of uranium and unsmelled flowers. This was check-in. Second girl, I shall run before him, arching claws besprinkled with colors as small as fish eggs. The threads will abash him. Third girl, I shall run before him with a curious puffing. He will bend his ear then. I shall whisper heavenly labials in a world of guttural. It will undo him. That's like the voice of Sophia, that laugh. The way to undo the giant, somehow, is by that gentle contrast of humor. It's by that laugh, a gentle laugh. Let me take a look for just a second at Matthew 13. Because there are a bunch of parables in there, and I think a number of them respond to this approach that we're talking about.

[33:50]

There's the parable of the sword, and then the parable of the treasure hidden in the field. Notice this consistent pattern in the New Testament that something is hidden. The consistent pattern of an outside and an inside. Now, the parable is the outside, you see. The story, the scene, the image is the outside, and what you have to do is get to the inside of it. The fact that the presence of that woman who needs the revenants of the three measures of meal is the clue in Matthew 13. Gives us a clue, also, I think, about how to interpret the other parables in there, just as the parable of the sword does. We think of a revenant like treasure hidden in a field, which someone found and hid. And in his joy, he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. Remind us a little bit of Isaac 10. Isaac, that name, it sounds like a field of grain, doesn't it? A field of grain laughing under the sun, Isaac. Reminds you of Jesus walking through the grain fields, you know, and his disciples picking the grain. And he's saying, well, the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath. The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant

[34:54]

in search of fine pearls. I'm finding one pearl of great value. He went and sold all that he had and bought it. Well, the pearl comes from under the water. The pearl is a precious thing which lies in concealment and has to be brought up. The treasure is buried in the earth. The pearl is buried in the sea. This secret somehow, this hidden thing, is everywhere in the Gospel. Remember how the letter to the Hebrews talks about entering in? Says, well, there's a Sabbath that remains for the people of God. We have to enter into that promised land, which is a paradise. But the Sabbath, the time of Sabbath turns into a place in the letter to the Hebrews. And we still have to enter into it. What do we find when we enter in there? We find a unit of place. We find a center where everything is one. But we also find this participative, feminine divinity, I believe. That which has been poured out. That which, because it's liquid, must be contained in some way. But to contain something is to hide it, isn't it? And so we find this in the history of the Church. It's contained and it's hidden at the same time.

[35:56]

And we continually have to break through the shell, just as Jesus has broken through it, in order to find that. It's been poured out, but we still have to find it. We have to break through our own shell to find it at the center. In our heart. Have you understood all this? And the answer is yes. And he said to them, Therefore, every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven... Notice that the parables, especially in Matthew, are parables of the kingdom. And it's fascinating to look at them together, because they tend to interpret one another. They add different qualities, but you get the idea of a terrific consistency in all of the parables. Just look at the index of a book of commentary on the parables sometimes, and then think about how they relate. Very, very interesting to think about how they relate. What is this kingdom of God? Which is one, and which has these different facets to it, you know, which grows like a seed, and which is the one denarius that the master pays at the end of the day, and which demands somehow that if you take it,

[36:57]

you've got to be it, and all that. You gradually, through these parables, you look at them together, you get the feel of this kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is a thing that is hidden inside, and the kingdom of God somehow is this Sophia. Every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of God is like the master of a household who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old, draws out from within what is old. And that's what we're finding in the scriptures. But what is new? What is new? What is new is what is new right now. What is new is what is new right now. It's what is created right now. It's what appears right now. Now, two aspects of that. One is that fact of the creative gift given to us, given to the human person. If he draws out of his treasury what is new, he's making it new. He's speaking it right now, and it's something new. In other words, the scribe of the kingdom of heaven has to be a creator, has to make something new in the world, has to bring this new creation into the world. Just as the reality of, what would you call it, of non-revenge, the reality of forgiveness,

[37:59]

the reality of any kind of selfless love just startles the world because it's something absolutely new. It's that thing which is contained, which you can't put on a signboard. If you do, it turns into an absurdity. It's got to be brand new right now because it's nothing but life. So one side of it is that new creation side. The other side is this hidden inner fluid, this wine, this perfume, whatever it is, which is Sophia, which is new right now, which is newness itself, which is the Holy Spirit. So the outside and the inside. So I'm contending that Sophia, the feminine, is an interior participative knowledge. And that, of course, is completely parallel to what we were talking about with Barth here. If you think about the church and the soul and Mary, you know, in the patristic period, people used to write about them as if they were one thing. They'd hop from one to the other. They'd say Jerusalem, at a certain point,

[39:02]

represents the church, but it also represents the soul, and it also somehow represents Mary, or let's say the garden, the enclosed garden of the Son of God, whatever. What we do is, I think, we tend to consider those as separate things without asking what are they related to? Is there one thing behind and within them all in which they participate and which they express? The psyche, the soul, actually is a little different from that and understood in that time. The church and Mary, the Mother of Jesus, they're all expressions of that divine feminine, I believe, all expressions of Sophia, if you want to put it that way, which they participate. But when we move, and I think the Fathers knew that, but when we move from a participative understanding, the ancient understanding, to a non-participative, dualistic understanding,

[40:05]

we forget that, and we see them just in themselves as three separate entities with nothing behind. And I think that really impoverishes our understanding and our relationship to Mary as well as to the church. You've probably noticed that Catholics seem to pray more to Mary than they do to God, and I think, what to Jesus, with the rosary and the Hail Mary and all of the Marian devotions that go on in popular Catholicism. Is that, from a First Reformation point of view, you might say that's some terrible abuse, and it really looks like it from one point of view. What's happened to God? Is this screaming God from us? Are we no longer relating to God? Or is that actually the expression of God which cannot be expressed in a formal, clear way? In other words, is that really a relationship with the Divine Feminine, with Sophia, with, as it were, the interior of God, with the invisible of God?

[41:06]

I think it is. I think that represents the relationship which Catholicism knows in its bones, knows within itself, with that interior Feminine of God, but which is so difficult to express and, in a sense, so dangerous to teach, perhaps, that it's always been hidden, especially since the, what would you call it, the structures tend to be explicitly masculine. In the Old Testament, Sophia is a participated divinity. What I'm doing is giving you a few, as it were, arguments, a bit of evidence to shore up this idea of Sophia as God participated, as a participated gift of God, or poured out, if you like. This is from the Wisdom of Solomon, chapter 7. For wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. I learned both what is secret and what is manifest.

[42:08]

What is secret and what is manifest. For wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. There is in her, evidently identical with her, a spirit that is intelligent, holy, unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, irresistible, beneficent, humane, etc. Overseeing all and penetrating through all spirits that are intelligent, pure, and altogether subtle. It's something imminent. And what he's stressing is that it flows into everything. This is a different kind of revelation of God than the revelation of the Word, which comes and confronts you and says, who do you think I am? This is a different kind of revelation. It doesn't even ask that question. The question is not about who this is. It's about who Christ is, who Jesus is. But it is this spirit, it is this wisdom, which gives you the answer to it. And not just in a word, but in an experience. A participated knowledge of the Christ. For wisdom is more mobile than any motion, because of her pureness she pervades

[43:10]

and penetrates all things. For she is a breath of the power of God and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty. This has been applied to Jesus, remember, especially in Colossians. But it tends to have been frozen into a masculine mold in the New Testament. We could, of course, talk about why that is. Therefore, nothing defiles the entrance into it. For she is a reflection of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God and an image of his presence. That especially is applied to Jesus in Colossians. And also in Hebrews. Although she is but one, she can do all things. And while remaining in herself, she renews all things. In every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God and prophets. For God loves nothing so much as the person who lives with wisdom. So wisdom is the imminent presence of God, which makes you pleasing to God, as it were. Can't help but please God if you're full of God. And Sophia is the substance, as it were, of that fullness. There have been studies of feminine consciousness,

[44:12]

a risky area because of the whole gender business there, which have brought out that feminine consciousness is essentially participative instead of separative. Understanding through one's own being. Understanding something through unity with that something as mother and child are related. I won't go into that at this point for lack of time. Also, sometimes feminist models of society have been proposed, which I think are essentially participative. I've been reading about, in fact, the issue in feminism very often is non-participation, okay? You've got a structure which is closed in so that the people on top are running everything without participation. Somebody's riding this thing and not allowing the thing itself to participate in what's going on. The thing itself being the people, the thing itself being the Church as the people of God, and especially the women, especially the feminine component of the Church,

[45:13]

which doesn't participate actively in the whole structural life. He wrote a paper a long time ago called Neo-Feminism and Communion Consciousness. And probably some of you have heard this before about the Holy Thursday revolution. He said what Jesus essentially does is to break down the domination paradigm and institute the communion paradigm. It's a beautiful, simple, powerful thing that he does with that. And she says that's what he does on Holy Thursday when he washes the feet of his disciples and therefore undermines, smashes the top and bottom hierarchical pattern. And whenever Peter refuses, he says never, because that's the way Peter was thinking. That was his whole cast of mind was in those structures, the teacher and disciple of master and servant and so on.

[46:14]

Jesus says, no, the master has become the servant. It's all turned upside down. It's not only turned upside down, it's replaced. And what it's replaced by is the institution of communion, which he does symbolically in the institution of the Eucharist. So the two fit perfectly together. And that becomes a model for the movement from a structure, a society with these structures of domination, patriarchal structures as they call them, to a society of communion. That is a society of participation. We've had a revolution, I think, largely in our Catholic understanding of the Church since Vatican II because the institutional model, which is a vertical model of authority and then people, and it tends to flow in one way, that is, everything tends to move down from the top. Alongside that has been put the model of communion, the model of koinonia, which is right there, smack in the middle of the New Testament, and especially in the first letter of John. To put that alongside,

[47:16]

and when you put it alongside the other one, gradually, somehow, it predominates over the other one. Whenever you put those two alongside one another, it gradually becomes obvious to you what the Church really is, and which has to be the basic reality of the Church, and which is the secondary reality. The reality we can't do without. We can't do without structure. But somehow structure has got to be absorbed within communion. It's got to be subservient to it. It's got to be the servant of communion, rather than the master and administrator of communion. Or it would be, I don't know, I think you get the idea. Okay, I've taken all the time talking about this, and I wanted to talk about modern poetry, but let me at least give you a few examples from Stevens, about a kind of, what I feel, is a kind of movement from Logos to Sophia. And here, let me draw another one of these. All right, so congratulations, I'm in the dark, I'm terrible.

[48:18]

This one. On top, I'd like to put, let's say, religion or Christianity, actually. Religious, okay, the religious world is the top half of this circle. The bottom half is called the secular world. And I've got fun for this one, by the way, because as we move towards the Father, we move into the spiritual world, as we move into the distinctly God influence. There's a movement down here, so it's hard not to move down into something that's so secular. This is the world. Religious and secular. Now, here I've got something like masculine and feminine. I'll put the, I don't know if you can hear this thing, because I've been using masculine. Okay, let's hear it now. Now, he talks about a revelation as being through Logos and to Sophia,

[49:24]

and putting it on a historical framework. The first revelation being through the incarnation of the Logos, and the, what is called, the propagation of the truth of Christianity, Logos. So it's like, it's like a sphere of light that comes into the world, and opens itself into the world, this munificent light, this revelation, as you feel it, which gradually becomes eclipsed under this, and gets turned into something which is more domesticated by humanity, and turned into something which I'll call Logos. There's a small, this is a big Logos, but it's not a Logos, it's a small Logos. Now, what is the small Logos? Its fine point, I think, is the positive science, let's say, of the 18th and 19th century. That is the sharp, rational truth. And, but before that, it's all of the human structures of thought,

[50:31]

and of society, of institutions, and so on, which somehow enclose and limit, and gradually eclipse the full splendor and spread, the comprehensiveness and depth and power of the Logos. If you look into the meaning of that Logos, in the Christian revelation, in the Gospel of John, and in early Christianity, it blows your mind, because it's something very, very profound. This center of meaning and of truth, out of which everything comes, and which comes into the middle of everything, and starts revealing everything to itself, and starts transforming everything from within itself. It's extremely powerful. But gradually, it's very hard to handle that. So as it gets transmitted, more and more, it gets reduced into something else, which I call Logos with a small l. I don't want to over-emphasize that. But at a certain point, you even get a split, so that what you're doing is living according to a purely human wisdom, which may be philosophy, or it may be science. But that's Logos with a small l.

[51:32]

And our Faustian society and culture, our Western culture, is dominated by this Logos with a small l. Science and technology have done kind of a spearhead for this in the modern age. But it was already there earlier on. But in the modern age, it turns secular. It's no longer a religious kind of structure or thought or consciousness. It's a secular consciousness. So this is a clock. And it runs as part of a pyramid, in this way. But then we have moved from the revelation, the great Logos, to the small Logos of modern secular life. But the small Logos is discontented. It's restless. It's isolated. We see it's kind of a desperate, convulsive movement in our own time, in some of the intellectual movements, in Europe, for example. One thing I mentioned, the deconstruction frenzy, the deconstruction frenzy, I think that comes in this way, where it seems to be, like, feeding on itself.

[52:35]

And it's no longer, it's operative and autonomous to such an extent that it no longer has any meaning at all of anything outside of itself. That isolation which results when this becomes your sole principle of life, of operation. So it begins to long for something else. And it's here that we move, let's say, from the rationalist, positive science of the 18th century to the romantic movement of the 19th century, okay? And we see something else, which I'll call Sophia with a small s. And that, I think, is like the soul of romanticism. It's also the soul of modernism, in some sense. And then finally, hopefully, there will be a reconnecting with the revelation, so as to arrive at the other side, and in some way, the fullness of the Christian revelation, which is the Sophianic revelation, which is a new wisdom, actually, new and old. But notice that it moves in history. It has something to do with the progression of history.

[53:37]

In fact, I think, in some way, it is the spin of history. If you look for something that drives history from within itself, I think it's the movement of society towards communion. And if you look for the central thread of that, it's probably the emergence of the feminine. And that's a rational, kind of crude way of putting things, but I think that's what it is, too. Now, in talking about Mother Teresa's poetry, what I wanted to do is use that as an example of this kind of movement, I guess, of Mother Teresa, in a completely secular framework, okay? Without a religious, distinct religious meaning at all. The religious meaning comes later on, when Stephen himself, I think, begins to glimpse that what we have up at the top of the circle there, Sophia. But he visibly moved away from Logos for the large L. Remember how he said, as I forget about the first idea,

[54:40]

when I say that all truths are not part of a single truth, that there's no single truth, there's no center of meaning, that's when the grapes grow fatter and the fox comes out of its hole, remember? That's when nature itself and reality has a chance to breathe, to be itself. So, moving away from that big Logos, and moving also away from small Logos. Now, it's just about time, Fox, and I'm going to have to sharply abbreviate this, but let me read, first of all, a couple of comic contrasts in Stevens. What you find in Stevens is two figures, a male figure with whom he identifies, and then a feminine figure, who is the other side. Now, the other side is the, what would you call it, intuitive side, whereas the male figure tends to be a philosopher, a rationalist. Here's the male figure. Rationalists wearing square hats think in square rooms, looking at the floor, looking at the ceiling. They confine themselves to right-angled triangles.

[55:42]

If they tried rhomboids, cones, waving lines, ellipses, as, for example, the ellipse of the half-moon, rationalists would wear sombreros. So, that rationalist is little L over there, okay? And that's, Stevens identifies with this guy with his comic character. Very often, the poet figure in Stevens is starting from here, like Crispin, you know, his philosopher figure in a long poem. And here's a comic. The night is of the color of a woman's arm. Night, the female, obscure, fragrant and supple, conceals herself. A pool of shines, like a bracelet shaken in a dance. Okay? The darkness with the light shining out of it, that which is ungraspable, that which you can't domesticate, which you can't control, and which remains somehow in mystery. But, an expressive mystery, out of which truth and meaning comes. Let's see what I have here. He's taking this from a male point of view,

[56:44]

so, it's not exactly balanced. Here's another one. This is called Homunculus et la Belle Etoile. In the sea of Biscayne, it begins, there prinks the young emerald, evening star, good light for drunkards, poets, widows, and ladies soon to be married. And then a little later, here's a marvelous thing. How pleasant it is, how pleasant an existence it is, that this emerald, this star, charms what will probably mean it. This light conducts the thoughts of drunkards, the feelings of widows and trembling ladies, the movements of fishes. How pleasant an existence it is that this emerald charms philosophers until they become thoughtlessly willing to bathe their hearts in later moonlight, knowing that they can bring back thought in the night that is still to be silent, reflecting this thing and that before they sleep. It is better that, as scholars, they should think hard in the dark cups of voluminous cloaks and

[57:46]

shave their heads and bodies. It might well be that their mistress is no gaunt, fugitive phantom. She might, after all, be a wanton, abundantly beautiful, eager, fecund, from whose being by starlight on seacoast, the innermost good of their seeking might come in the simplest of speech. There the feminine figure is beginning to be a kind of wisdom figure. And this grows in Stephen's poetry. I think I'd better stop at this point and then maybe afterwards, when we have some questions or comments, read another poem or two to wind up. I mustn't have to stop stuffing me with things at some point. What was the name of that last poem, sir? Homunculus et la belle ├ętoile. It's on page 25 in the Collected Poems of Stephen. There's a real progression in Stephen between

[59:02]

these two figures, so that there's a kind of engagement and a kind of marriage and even a kind of transcending of that relationship at a certain point, where he seems to become more conscious of something beyond the male-female duality, something that comes down from love. He calls it the Great Omnium. The Great Omnium descends upon us, he says in one of his late poems. And then he thinks of himself at that point as a child. What's the expression? A child asleep in its own life, at one point. Yes? I hate that we haven't had time to kind of go into this, but I'm wondering about that movement from the Sophia with the small as to the large as, and I'm thinking in terms of, as a model Dante, and that idea of romance and the romantic

[60:09]

that he was searching in the Sophia with the small, which seems to be completely true, and I'm thinking of how in La Vita Nuova, there's this whole longing for Beatrice and this whole romantic and sublimated kind of relationship, and the necessity that Beatrice dies, and so that's unfulfilled at that level, that romantic longing is unfulfilled. And then there's the, there's an Inferno 5, and there's a circle of lust, which is not exactly a circle of lust, it's a circle of romance, really, when you read it really carefully in all the figures taught. There's Palo and Francesca, who have consummated that romantic love and kind of been taken in by it, and now they're, now they're that whatever, that's their tell. In the meantime, Beatrice, that romantic unfulfillment, returns to the Pilgrim, and is the guide, and is of course the capital of

[61:10]

that as well. So I was wondering if you had any thoughts on the relationship of that erotic element, not just the text of that, but the erotic element, the kind of separation of that, and then, you know, the greater union. Okay, yeah, I'm glad you brought that up. It may relate a little bit to the Jungian parallel that I was talking about before, okay, the movement like from a, from a mother relationship for the, for the male, from a relationship with a feminine as mother to a relationship with a mother for the feminine as spouse or sister. But now, to think about it from the point of view of Barfield that we were using yesterday, and the image, okay, it seems to me that the romantic or purely erotic love is dominated by the image in some way, it's not free with respect to the image. So the essential maturing, the essential breakthrough, the liberation is to move from that image domination, as if the

[62:11]

image were connected with a drive, with an energy which masters us, to a freedom with respect to the image so that we can move beyond it and through it and relate to what is inside. Whether you're talking about an individual relationship between a man and a woman, or whether we're talking about relationship of both of them to God beyond, okay. So it's got something to do with the way that we relate to that image, I think. The image of the beloved? The image of the beloved particularly, yeah. We can, and then it may be more than one image. I think the image of the beloved probably has a development to it, doesn't it, the way we, the way we see a person. And it can, it can sort of build up, and then at a certain point it can, in a sense, descend and have to rise again, or we have to move through it again. There are these changes of the energy between the two people and so on, you know. I can't speak from the experience of a married life, so I'm a little bit, it's a little risky for

[63:12]

me to talk about these things. But I think it's got a lot, or at least we can monitor it somehow by the way that we relate to that image of the other person, and to the extent to which the person is not just an image but a reality. The image participates in that which is beyond it, and we move from, as it were, a grasping of the image, which can be a desperate grasping of the image and the feeling that goes with it, to a relation to the larger person in which it participates, and then beyond that person that which the person participates, and the relationship participates. So is something like letting the image go in the kind of dark hope of the art that's carrying beyond it somewhere? Yeah. Because the image in a sense is going to go anyway when we get older, isn't it? That is, the image of the beloved itself changes, and it itself betrays us in some way, doesn't it?

[64:12]

Because the beloved doesn't stay the same. So that's, it's going to happen through nature anyway, and our job is either to accept it as it happens through nature, and take the the cue of nature, be taught by nature to go beyond the fixed image, and to realize that the image is simply an expression of that which participates, which remains integral and even becomes more beautiful than the image seems to decline, seems to decay, you know. And then to see the person as an image of that which is beyond the person, not that we give up the person, you know, shove the person aside and head for God, but that somehow is participative, is participative in a deeper way than we had realized, and it becomes more and more transparent to that which it participates, which is the divinity, of course. Okay, and I think that probably man and woman reflect these corresponding aspects of the divinity. If you consider once again this pattern of God, the invisible God, the father, the

[65:15]

source expressing himself and differentiating himself over himself, because that's beyond him, through the male masculine word and through the feminine spirit, okay, the feminine imminence of fear. And then consider the interaction somehow of these two, which are bride and groom. In that sense, God is a wedding, okay? God is a wedding, and the human relationship between man and woman participates in that wedding which is God. So it's a revelation, it's a kind of sacramental, a kind of eucharist of the wedding which is God's own being, okay? Now this is happening in history too, but history has been so one-sided. We move through a zigzag, and one-sidedness and compensation and recovery and so on. It's happening in history too, and as we wake up to that, our image of God may change into that kind of feast, you know, which is the being of God. So somehow the romantic experience itself is a flash of that being which is inside us and which is

[66:15]

which is God. Notice that I've, what would you call it, I've wavered a little bit on whether the inside of God is the feminine, but the inside of God is beyond masculine and feminine, being that simple unitive which we call Father, you know, or Godhood. But I don't think we can help that. We don't know the boundary lines there. It's as if the feminine were that unitive that's poured out, you know, and then there's the unitive in itself, the Godhead of which we can say nothing. Which people like Edgar talked about especially. From a feminine perspective, like I'm not a woman poet, what part is, if you move, if you change that, what are the distinctions that would be different than the cabinets or whatever you would call them? Is it just a reversal? Is it just the negative or the positive of that?

[67:16]

No, I think it's complex because it's asymmetrical in a sense, because it seems to me that that the woman doesn't, I don't know if the woman needs the masculine image to relate to her own interior, the way that the man needs the anima in order to relate to his interior, even his spiritual interior in some way. I don't know if that's true for the woman. You would say so, I think, but that wouldn't add. You didn't say it. Now that's something I haven't reflected on much though. It really should, as a matter of fact, come from come from woman, that kind of that kind of truth. In a certain sense, there are stages of animist development, like there are anima development, and so the one that's at, I mean, these are very simply determined, like the lowest level would be the cause, the entity, and kind of get it,

[68:16]

and he would move up to a god, and then kind of, you know, which would be a kind of a male wisdom figure, really. Yeah, and the image there will change, and that I think the image is becomes more liberating as it moves up the scale. The image of Gandhi is not going to be a, what would you call it, compulsive image, the way the image of Tarzan, like that, and similarly on the other side. I think there are mistakes in the teaching of Karl, when he would seem to claim that the other will make the woman beautiful, and the daughter, and make her his pleasure, and she would be his glory, and all that, you know, the value of him. And him not taking anything from her, she's the object that, the sculpture that he was, she appears herself. I mean, we have been abiding by that much too much. Things have been asked to be corrected in this regard, and I think also

[69:18]

teachings from Thomas Aquinas and Augustine have been so derogatory to women, and so we have to knock all that with slaves before to be important. What is your word of encouragement for women who feel depressed, and feel unable to show what they are in the church? I think the encouragement is to say that the future belongs to them. In other words, this is what is, that this is what is happening. If you live in the time when this begins to emerge, when the earth begins to open, and this visibly begins to happen, you live in a time, you know, which which offers its own encouragement, yeah. I think the mistake might be to push too hard against the things that are not yet moving, rather than to live intensely in that which already has its space, okay? In other words, if, because I think the secret somehow of

[70:22]

the feminine wisdom is that interiority, that imminence, is that presence of what is, rather than the impatience about what is not yet. Do you see what I mean? The laughter. Yeah, the laughter. To make to make one's dinner in the present, okay, and to open that meal, that feast of the feminine wisdom in the present, whatever it is, even if it's on the tailgate of a pickup truck or something, you know, rather than waiting for everything to move into place and create the right area for it, the right dining room, you know, the right the right park for it, to do it on the tailgate of the truck, and that will change the world. Okay, well, let me read something that goes up ahead. You've got Merton's Hygieia Sophia, because it's not a year on that, but anyhow you've got it in the Xerox. Let's read just a bit of that, because

[71:26]

that for me is the best expression that I've ever seen of this reality of Sophia. It's something that Merton wrote, of course, late in his life, and in his biography you can find some of the steps that led up to this. The first paragraph is marvelous. There is in all visible things an invisible fecundity, a dimmed light, a meek namelessness, a hidden wholeness, this mysterious unity and integrity is wisdom, the mother of all, natura naturans. There is in all things an inexhaustible sweetness and purity, a silence that is a fount of action and joy. It rises up in wordless gentleness and flows out to me from the unseen roots of all created being, welcoming me tenderly, saluting me with indescribable humility. This is at once my own being, my own nature, and the gift of my creator's thought and heart within me. Speaking of Hagia Sophia, speaking of my sister wisdom, this is participation. This is

[72:30]

being where you can't define any longer, you can't draw a circle around. Continually this idea, this image, this experience of Sophia is going to be moving, as Merton is writing here, in an incredible way, so that the person can get impatient, throw it away and say, what is this? It was this and now it's this, because then somehow it's inside everything and is one with the being of everything, including the being of God. I'll find one more choice extract here. Yeah, page 369. 368 and 369. Sophia, the feminine child is playing in the world, obvious and unseen. Here's this kind of enlightenment that we have to undergo, this awakening. Playing at all times before the creator, her delights are to be with the children of men. She is their sister.

[73:30]

The core of life that exists in all things is tenderness, mercy, virginity, delight. Delight considered as passive, as received, as given, as taken, as inexhaustibly renewed by the gift of God. Sophia is gift, spirit, donum dei, that which is poured out, that which is participated. She is God-given and God himself is gift. God is all and God is just to nothing, inexhaustible nothingness, exinamibit senatipsum. Humility is the source of unfailing life. Hagia Sophia in all things is the divine light reflected in them, considered as a spontaneous participation, as their invitation to the wedding feast. And he says later that she is the wedding underwine. So it's the kind of thing you can't rush with, so I urge you to read it at your leisure. It's surprising to find something that resonates so closely with this and comes from such a distance

[74:32]

in time and space as the Tao Te Ching, but if you read that you'll find it's like the Gospel of Sophia in some way, coming from an Asian tradition of long ago. The spirit of the fountain dies not. It is called the mysterious feminine. The doorway of the mysterious feminine is called the root of heaven and earth. Lingering like gossamer, it has only a hint of existence, and yet when you draw upon it, it is inexhaustible. That's the, in some sense, the unspoken side of the Gospel. Well okay, that's plenty for this morning. Thank you very much. If anybody missed either the first or the second batch of phones, I have a couple more.

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