The Feminine Face of GOD

Sacredstar

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Time Magazine interviews Deepak Chopra

Why do you believe GOD was a woman?

"I think GOD is more likely to have been a woman because women are nurturing, caring and loving. The human male has become the most predatory animal on our planet. It's time we embraced the feminine face of GOD."

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1018104-1,00.html

What do you think?

Love beyond measure

Sacredstar
 
Sacredstar said:
Time Magazine interviews Deepak Chopra


http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1018104-1,00.html

What do you think?

Love beyond measure

Sacredstar
It was good except God is a spirit and has no gender. It just uses HE to show his strength. I think some dads can be just as loving and caring for a child as a mom can.
That is one thing that makes us people different from just plain spirits.
But I see what she means and have to agree with what she is seeing too.
It was a good article;)
 
Hopefully, Deepak is just being provocative via use of poor generalisations. :)
 
This is interesting from the Dead Sea Scrolls

The Beatitudes (4Q525)

Blessed is ......with a pure heart
and does not slander with his tongue.
Blessed are those who hold to her (Wisdom's) precepts
and do not hold to the ways of inquiity.
Blessed are those who rejoice in her,
and do not burst forth in ways of folly.
Blessed are those who seek her with pure hands
and do not pursue her with a treacherous heart.

Blessed is the man who has attained Wisdom,
and walks in the Law of the Most High.
He directs his heart towards her ways,
and restrains himself by hre corrections,
and always takes delight in her chastisements.
He does not forsake her when he sees distress,
not abandon her in time of strain.

He will not forget her (on the day of ) fear,
and will not despise her when his soul is afflicted.
For always he will meditate on her,
and in his distress he will consider (her?)
(He will place her) before his eyes
so as not to walk in the ways of (folly).

(Do not) forsake your inheritance to the nations
nor your portions to the strangers
Those who fear GOD observe her wisdom's ways
and walk in all her precepts
and do not reject her corrections
 
I agree that "God" is something beyond our physical trappings and doesn't need a gender to define itself-we do that for our own purposes.
 
xandrew,

it's not generally considered polite (or advisable) to post Divine Names or transliterations which may cause Divine Names to be pronounced erroneously on an internet board. although the Shechinah is understood as being feminine in nature, this too is a concession to human perception. the Tetragrammaton transcends gender, or includes both, depending on which way you want to look at it - so, regardless of what you thought, you are mistaken.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Dear BB

What is your view of this statement?

"Sophia was also an important mythical figure for Jewish Gnostics, such as Philo.86 Although later rejected by Jewish Literalists, there had always been a Jewish Goddess tradition.87 At one time Israelites had worshipped the GODess Asherah as the consort of the Jewish GOD Jehovah. 88" Page 23 Book Jesus and the GODESS by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy

Blessings in abundance

Sacredstar
 
My Modern Orthodox (in practice) tanach profesor from last semester suggested that the Shechinah was a continuation of the worship of the divine feminine which before this was Asherah. He didn't go into this much as that wasn't the subject of the course, but it does seem like kavod was changed into a feminine term (shechinah) and certainly there are talmudic passages about this female aspect that may seem peculiar at first:

Talmud - Mas. Shabbat 119a

R. Hanina robed himself and stood at sunset of Sabbath eve [and] exclaimed, ‘Come and let us go forth to welcome the queen Sabbath.’(2) R. Jannai donned his robes, on Sabbath eve and exclaimed, ‘Come, O bride, Come, O bride!’


Talmud - Mas. Bava Kama 32b


‘Come, let us go forth to meet the bride, the queen!’ Some [explicitly] read:’. . . to meet Sabbath, the bride, the queen.’ R. Jannai, [however,] while dressed in his Sabbath attire used to remain standing and say: ‘Come thou, O queen, come thou, O queen!’

http://headcoverings-by-devorah.com/OrachChayim/LkhahDodi.html

The female aspect is here related to Shabbat. But there are tons of theories out there. YHWH was a hermaphrodite deity, YHWH merged with His concubine when the idols and images were all destroyed, and the list goes on.

Dauer
 
Dear Dauer

Thank you for your contribution, fascinating how the divine feminine appears to have been buried throughout East and West. In Islam the Sufi's appear to have kept it alive.

"Both the Shiites and mystical Sufi's maintained that the feminine powers of sacred divine love held the world together. One of the first Sufi poets Farid declared that true divinity was feminine. Can East and West resolve their differences and raise their vibration by embracing the ancient mystery teachings of the divine feminine and its values of unconditional love and compassion?" 'The Secret of Ascension and the Holy Grail' article by Kim.

I also noticed on a Jewish website how some of the teachings had been transposed from the divine feminine to the wife of the human husband and from experience (of being a Jewish descendent) of being involved with an Israeli boyfriend and his family in my younger years, the female is certainly honoured greatly within the home. In fact I cannot think of a man that spoiled me more then my Jewish boyfriend...ah....the good old days...

Blessings in abundance

Sacredstar
 
Sacredstar said:
Dear Dauer

Thank you for your contribution, fascinating how the divine feminine appears to have been buried throughout East and West.

I wouldn't say it was buried in Judaism, just kept from being buried. When Kavod became Shechinah, it would have allowed people to recognize the divine feminine even without God having a consort. But the divine feminine plays a passive role (like a woman in an earlier society) as the receiver, which corresponds to the role of the Jewish people in their relationship with God, the Giver. The shechinah as you probably know is God's indwelling presence.


I also noticed on a Jewish website how some of the teachings had been transposed from the divine feminine to the wife of the human husband

Well, yes and no. I think that has much more to do with the fact that laws were formed at a time when women were completely subservient, so the laws enabled them to have their needs met in spite of it. Today women continue to be treated well but now they are no longer subservient.

The other issue that I find is cultural. Responding to the patriarchal nature of a very traditional Judaism, there are many liberal Jewish feminists, and also some Orthodox feminists. And the stereotype of a strong Jewish woman running things is not always incorrect.

Dauer
 
"Sophia was also an important mythical figure for Jewish Gnostics, such as Philo. Although later rejected by Jewish Literalists, there had always been a Jewish Goddess tradition.
the thing to remember here is that philo is not really a religious authority in mainstream judaism. he's an interesting thinker but not to be relied upon to reflect normative jewish thought. he's too influenced by hellenism and ideas like gnosticism. the central gnostic idea, that separates between the "creator" and the "demiurge", is one to which judaism is absolutely and resolutely hostile. of course, the influence of "sophia", or "hokhmah" as she would be called in judaism, was quite widespread, particularly in mystically inclined circles, which dauer has already alluded to. what is a common misconception is that all "goddess traditions" are necessarily part of an ongoing shared stream of thought. this is by no means the case - if you want to look at the history of it, i suggest raphael patai's "the hebrew goddess" - but beware, either there's a lot of stuff he doesn't know about or his conclusions are completely wrong. i found it an excellent book for source material but completely disagreed with his interpretation - it is possible to draw entirely orthodox conclusions if you know the right interpretations from elsewhere. not that i expect most people to either understand them or agree with me as a result. far more likely for them to expect their own pre-judgements to be confirmed.

At one time Israelites had worshipped the goddess Asherah as the consort of the Jewish G!D." Page 23 Book Jesus and the Goddess by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy
i certainly wouldn't argue with that - it is in fact the central problem of NaKh (the rest of the OT apart from the Torah) that the israelites persisted in trying to split the Divine into two and make a "mrs god" like all the other nations in the area. you could very easily summarise the writings of the prophets into "WILL YOU IDIOTS JUST GET OVER IT? THERE IS NO MRS GOD! THE DIVINE TRANSCENDS, OR INCLUDES, OR EMBRACES ALL NOTIONS OF GENDER THAT YOUR MEAN LITTLE MINDS CAN COME UP WITH! ALL THE DIVINE ASKS OF US IS THAT WE OBSERVE THE BLOODY COMMANDMENTS! NOW GET RID OF THOSE GROVES, BULLS AND ALL THAT FERTILITY-CULT RUBBISH BEFORE YOU REALLY, REALLY REGRET IT... OH NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

but, of course, as we know, the israelites were too stupid, ignorant, pig-headed and bloody-minded to listen to the prophets. what has never been the case is that it was OK according to judaism to do anything with asherah other than throw her the hell out of dodge. it is of course possible to argue that the theology of the Shechinah was a concession to contemporary ideas about religion - in fact, no less an authority than maimonides suggests that even the Temple sacrificial system was a concession to this very human frailty. the point was and always has been that the central idea of judaism is that G!D Is One and any departure from this is going to cause the ignorant and the stupid to make some obvious but nonetheless serious mistakes about theology.

sacredstar, do you actually know any sufis? all the ones i know would actually agree with me that any idea of "feminine energy" is simply our perception - G!D remains Beyond our conception.

I also noticed on a Jewish website how some of the teachings had been transposed from the divine feminine to the wife of the human husband
well, the classical response to this tendency is of course to refract all fertility-cult tendencies through the conjugal relation - that's why the "song of songs" is so important (rabbi akiba called it the "holy of holies") - in other words "you want a fertility cult? start in your own bedroom by treating your wife properly." it certainly works as a strategy.

But the divine feminine plays a passive role (like a woman in an earlier society) as the receiver, which corresponds to the role of the Jewish people in their relationship with G!D, the Giver.
what people misunderstand in this is that it seems to equate to a modern idea of how women were in these earlier societies, which is very far from the truth. the idea of the Divine Feminine as "passive receiver" is simply a reflection of the *mechanical* truth of womb-as-receiver-of-active-sperm. it is an appeal to biology, not sociology. the sociological aspects are better reflected by the mystical terminology which refers to the necessity of "arousing the female waters (mayim de'nuqvin)". but this is not really an appropriate place to discuss such matters, if you don't mind me saying so.

b'shalom

bananabrain
 
Dear Dauer and BB

Thank you once again for your considered responses its interesting to hear your views in respect of Judaism and BB thank for the humour too! Life can get too serious sometimes.

I do not know a Sufi personally but there is a great Sufi scholar who converted on another forum that I used to visit and my muslim friends have sufi friends so one could say extended family.

Love beyond measure

Sacredstar
 
PS Here is one of Alexius comments on my thread about Sufism.

"Defining Sufism: here is one definition. There is a hadith (the Jibrail Hadith) that has the religion consist of three elements: 'Islam' (acceptence of God's will), 'Iman' (faith) and 'Ihsan'. Ihsan is defined as acting as if you can see God, as God can certainly see you. It is said that the aim of Sufism is to attain perfect Ihsan - a constant awareness of God's presense in one's life, and confirmation of the articles of Faith through personal experience. In which case Sufism is Gnostic, rather than Existential."

So the term Gnostic comes up again GOD being the living experience, hand in hand, side by side, certainly not beyond our conception. In many ways the sufi mystics are like mystics of any other tradition that promotes oneness with GOD.

Blessings in abundance

Sacredstar
 
The idea of God having a gender is problematic for three reasons:

First, the English language does not have a genderless pronoun, as many other languages do.

Second, God has become human.

God has a face, features. Yet God (even in Christianity, where God is all but human, Greek myth, where the Gods *were/are* human), it was not possible to look upon a deity directly.

One percieves (a) God throught activities, or through a third or fourth party, never directly.

Modern industrial societies creates the idea of gender, of there being an 'either/or' option.

In a reasonably recent work 'In Search of Gender', the Introduction pointed out that a major stumbling block when organising the conference was to manage to define gender. It's hard enough when someone asks 'what is gender'; you can say 'male' and 'femal'; when they start asking 'what is male' and 'what is female', the whole European notion of gender breaks down.

I have had problems clearlly defining gender-based roles in ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian texts, less so within Greek and Roman

Has anyone done some work on the use of gender in the Hebrew and Christian texts - where the cleaarly defined idea of gender comes into play and if its origins were Greco-Roman or elsewhere?
 
I was reading this one again and very interesting. BB, your post especially was exceptional to me and had me laughing.

So then, why cannot the one God simply be the male (leave it at that) and we the people be the feminine side of God, in eternity?
The very reflection/image of God we see from the beginning through Adam and Eve. First of the earth, Last of the spirit.
 
Because the Holy Spirit is the divine feminine, the spirit of Sophia. The wisdom of GOD that comes through the intelligence of the heart.

Which is why down the ages it has always been symbolised by a bird and usually a white dove of peace.

When we deny the divine feminine we are denying a part of ourselves and GOD for we are one.

Blessings in abundance

Sacredstar
 
Sacredstar said:
Time Magazine interviews Deepak Chopra

Why do you believe GOD was a woman?

"I think GOD is more likely to have been a woman because women are nurturing, caring and loving. The human male has become the most predatory animal on our planet. It's time we embraced the feminine face of GOD."


Sacredstar
i love these comments if god is a woman she is one nasty chick. war, famine, disease, mutation, it all sounds like a loving mother to me.
 
darkness is created by man not GOD

but people are learning to BE human beings

and BE humans that are kind.

Sacredstar
 
I've just been reading some Psalms from the Hebrew text and they were speaking of a kind, forgiving God. Admittedly, a few pages earlier, I had read a prophet who was speaking of death and destuction to the whole world and the enemies of God - or more precisely, those of the faith who transgressed.

I supose it depends which bits you read....

If we give God a gender, we are humanising and by doing that, we place God under a pedastle, rather than ourselves on one.
 
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