Spirit/Soul and the Divine Sophia

 

Jacqueline asks: One thing I have long been curious about I think is alluded to here- that the Celestial Mother manifested our individual spirits, and that the Daughter “covers our spirits with souls so that we are able to enter manifest existence.” What is the distinction here between souls and spirits? If we originally emanated from Dea, then what is the purpose of the Daughter’s sacrifice and our resulting souls? I hope this makes sense.

And, further,

I guess the quote itself states that the purpose of the Daughter giving us souls is so that we can “enter manifest existence,” but I think that is the piece that I am unclear on; I don’t really know what that means.

~~~

Dear Jacqueline,

Thank you for these important, fundamental questions.

I think it might help if I first explain why our teaching concerning the sacrifice of the Daughter is a bit different than that found in our scriptures. The Mythos of the Daughter bases the Passion and Death of the Holy Daughter on the myth of the goddess Inanna. In fact, in the Madrian edition of the scriptures, you will find that the Holy Daughter is actually named Inanna. It was later shortened to Anna.

When I first entered the Faith, I was troubled by the fact that the goddess Inanna was a married and promiscuous goddess of sex and war, and did not die for altruistic reasons. I was also bothered by the fact that the goddess Inanna is not a Living Stream goddess. So, for these reasons, it was hard for me to accept her as an appropriate Form or Image for the Most Pure Daughter.

My other area of concern was that I truly struggled with the idea that Daughter God could die if She had not incarnated into material manifestation.

While the myth of Inanna, in part, might be an illustration of the suffering the Holy Daughter endures as She descends down through the Seven Realms, the literal death of the Daughter did not make sense for me. If the Holy Daughter did not incarnate as an human being with a flesh and blood body, and where She is God, how could She actually die?

God cannot die, the soul cannot die and the spirit cannot die. God is eternal. Once God dies, God is no longer eternal and is therefore, not God. And so it follows that if the Holy Daughter had truly died, then She was not eternal. If She was not eternal, then, it stands to reason, that She was not God. I couldn’t find any way around this conundrum.

One explanation that was presented to me was that the Holy Daughter gave Her Essence to Her Mother before descending through the realms. Ok, well, again, the more I thought about it, the more it did not make sense to me. If the Daughter emptied Herself of Her Essence, which is Her God-Nature, Her God-Spirit, Her Spirit Energy, then, what was left of Her? Was it empty Form? Without Her Essence, was the Form still the Holy Daughter? This and many more questions arose in my mind.

Another area of confusion for me was exactly why the Daughter had to actually die in order to sustain Creation. Exactly how did the Daughter’s Death lead to the sustaining of all Creation? The explanations offered to me did not satisfy me on a thealogical level.

I’m not implying that the scriptures are wrong. The Mythos is not meant to be taken literally. The Mythos is a story that is meant to point us to an unknowable Reality. But I felt that it made more sense to me, that rather than modeling the Holy Daughter on the Goddess Inanna and her descent and death,  the Holy Daughter should be modeled on the True Divine Feminine of our Age and Her Descent as the Holy Soul.

In our Age, the ending of the Age of Pisces and the beginning of the Age of Aquarius, the Divine Feminine God would be the Hindu and Buddhist goddesses, the Shekinah, the Divine Sophia and many would include Isis. These are Living Stream Images/Forms of Dea. The Hindu Goddesses, The Shekinah and the Divine Sophia are considered to be God or having the Nature of God.

There are many valid reasons for the Deanic mandate that Images/Faces/Forms of Dea should be Living Stream Images. Living Stream Images are those Whose worship has never been broken.

So, for the Janite Order, the Holy Daughter, in keeping with the Living Stream mandate, is modeled on Shekinah (as in the True Sabbath Queen, She is not just the Presence of the Father) and Sophia. In other words, for the Janite Order, the Divine Sophia and the Holy Shekinah are the Images/Forms which we use for the Holy Daughter.  The Divine Sophia is not limited to Christianity. She is worshiped across a wide-range of spiritualities, Traditions and religious denominations.

Both the Holy Shekinah and the Divine Sophia are known as the World Soul or the Holy Soul. {The Title, Divine Sophia, is here used to differentiate the non-Fallen Sophia, the Primordial Sophia from the Gnostic fallen Sophia who was in need of a saviour. (Typical demotion of a goddess.)}

Before we get into the Holy Shekinah and Sophia as the World Soul/Holy Soul and what that means, first we need to answer the question as to what is the distinction between souls and spirits:

We can say that we emanated from Dea, yes, but it is probably more accurate to say that She created our spirits from the Breathe of Her own Spirit. And, there is a difference between soul and spirit.

   The spirit is our essence, our essential selves. It is our light energy selves. I like this definition: The spirit is that part of you which is the direct creation of God. Your spirit is the highest aspect of who and what you are. It is a direct fragment of the Divine Life of God.

In studies of life between lives undertaken by certain psychologists  and as reported by those who have had NDE’s, after we die, we often appear as pure light energy, almost like brilliant balls of light energy. If true, this is what I think of when I think of our spirits, our energy selves. We can also take soul-form.

But, what about the soul? For human beings on this planet, in this realm, our souls are that part of us which has human character and which links with the human experience. And so, because it links with the human experience, it is necessary to have a soul in order to enter manifest creation. And so our spirit and our rarefied soul forms are our True Selves or Higher Selves.

The soul is a rarefied or ethereal or energy body. Many believe that the soul is where our personality and our emotions reside.

I like the following Kabbalistic definition of soul: People are really made in the image of God, which means that each of us are essentially divine beings. Each soul is a miniature version of God, like a fragmented holographic image. (Remember, Sophia’s Soul was ‘shattered’ so to speak into myriad ‘fragments’.)

    We are not victims of original sin, but rather are covered up with ‘shells’ that need to be removed so that the original spark may be uncovered. Salvation comes when we are enlightened, when we remember the truth of what and who we really are. (Gnosis.) The Fall of Man is really a metaphor of our pre-existent soul to descend in order to re-ascend. (Which is what the long version of our Creed essentially teaches.) (1)

We live in a state of ignorance and limitation. When we clear out the obstructions which cloud and obscure the Divine Spark within us, when we continuously choose to move towards Dea rather than away from Her (as our scriptures teach), then our souls evolve, the obscurity melts away and the Divine Spark within shines, again. It’s like our souls, which are the temple of spirit, are diamonds in the rough that must be refined and polished in order for the True Light to shine from within.

Plato taught that our souls pre-existed in the ideal Realm of Forms before we entered manifest creation and forgot from whence we truly originate. Plato’s Allegory of the Cave, which is echoed in our scriptures as the story of the of the race of maids who lived in the cave as told in, The Light, (Madrian edition title), along with  the Gnostic Hymn of the Pearl, aka, the Robe of Glory, illustrate that we must attain Gnosis, we must awaken to our True Selves, in order to return Home.

Our Lady guides us to this awakening. Some Gnostics teach that the Divine Sophia is the Divine Spark who resides within a secret chamber of our hearts (similar to the scriptural teaching of Dea residing in the Temple of our Hearts). She continuously strives to uncover the Divine Spark hidden within us.

A final note: The Deanic Faith is based, in part, on Platonic and Gnostic concepts, especially in the areas of Divine Forms, Primordial Ideas and the Pleroma. There are many forms of Gnosticism. Some older than others. We must remember when we are researching or referring to Gnostic Christianity, a latter form of Gnosticism, that Sophia was by then, demoted and in need of a male savior. Again, I refer you to the articles by Max Dashu which are found in our links section.

Tomorrow, we will continue with Our Lady as the Holy Soul and Her connection with our souls.

For now, I leave you with this lovely painting and prayer to Our Lady of the Divine Spark: http://www.shilohsophiashop.com/f/Our_Lady_of_the_Divine_Spark_E-Book_8_112.pdf

May Our Lady bless you,

Blessed is She.

~

ArchMadria Pamela Lanides

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Articles/kabbalah/The_Soul/the_soul.html (Please note, this is a Jewish site and this article explains the Jewish perspective of salvation