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TOTD 22 Jun 2001

And God spake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God, which have brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

-Holy Bible: King James Version, Exodus 20:1-4

The First Commandment declares that Yahweh will not tolerate mention of a Goddess. Given that the Hebrews and Moses emerged from Egypt, the most goddess-worshiping culture in the ancient world, the First Commandment represented a sharp rupture with the past. And given that all people acknowledge that life is a conjoining of masculine and feminine principles, the exclusion of any feminine presence from the First Commandment makes it the most radical sentence ever written.

-Leonard Shlain, author of The Alphabet Versus the Goddess: The Conflict Between Word and Image

If we live in a religious era that does not honor the mother-hood of God and the goddess along with the fatherhood of God, then we have impoverished souls. We are the losers. Because the point of these metaphors is to give us permission to be our fullest selves, to fill that field with something delightful and energizing and re-creating and powerful in terms of healing and creativity.

-Matthew Fox, co-author of Natural Grace: Dialogues on Creation, Darkness, and the Soul in Spirituality and Science

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
vyoma
Jun. 22nd, 2001 01:24 pm (UTC)
Interesting thoughts. I've heard and read that the more mystical strains of old Judaism also referred to a sort of demi-goddes called Shekina, but of course this is part of days long gone by now.

Interesting, too, in that we have in modern times a reaction to the paternalistic ideas of Judeo-christianity in the form of Neo-Paganism and/or Wicca, which tends to be heavily maternalistic (I realize that there is said to be a god and goddess combination, but it seems to me that the vast majority hold the goddess in far higher esteem than the god).

In many schools of Tantra, of course, goddess and god (Shiva and Shakti) are held to be of equal importance. Shiva represents the potential for creation, Shakti the power to create (and thus manifestation itself). One cannot exist without the other, and in fact they are just two sides of the same coin. Hence we end up with either a bi-gendered deity (such as Ardhaneshvara) when 'god' is though of as possessing attributes (saguna) and a genderless one when thought of as transcending attributes (nirguna).

Personally, I find the idea than an omnipotent and omnipresent deity to be possessed of one gender or the other self-contradictory. All such limitations are just our own hyperactive human imaginings imposed upon the face of the infinite. Its like saying the whole universe is a man or a woman. Utterly preposterous and, really, rather vain.

We humans can be such silly monkeys.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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