The longer I live, the more I experience the world, the more discouraged I become with the present state of woman’s place in the world. On one hand, there have been gigantic strides but on the other, woman is still nowhere. I have come to believe that the biggest obstacle to the realization of woman as a fully human creation is belief in a male patriarchal God, the God of Christianity, of Judaism, of Islam. As long as God is a He, “she” will always be lower case. What can I do? The only thing I know is to talk about it, get it out there into outer space, into the cloud where it can float about. I want to be made in the image of God.
Goddess, where are you? Where did you go? You existed once and it is this relatively new myth about Eve coming from Adam’s rib and her seducing him to disobey God that gave woman a bad rep. My search for the Goddess is visceral. It is essential to eliminate the Adam and Eve myth from the minds of humanity. One of the places I’m looking for answers is Gnosticism. There are other creation stories in the Judo/Christian bible and I’ll talk about them soon. I’ve been reading several books about Gnosticism but I discovered that they are cherry picking text that meet a particular political criteria and that’s what went wrong in the first place, isn’t it? The priests wanted women to be subservient so they manipulated the myth to make women weak. I’m looking to the original Nag Hammadi text, available to all on the internet as well as in print.
The following poem is an excerpt from the Nag Hammadi text, The Thunder, Perfect Mind. It reads like a prayer and sounds wonderful when read aloud.
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin.
I am <the mother> and the daughter.
I am the members of my mother.
I am the barren one
and many are her sons.
I am she whose wedding is great,
and I have not taken a husband.
I am the midwife and she who does not bear.
I am the solace of my labor pains.
I am the bride and the bridegroom,
and it is my husband who begot me.
I am the mother of my father
and the sister of my husband
and he is my offspring.
I am the slave of him who prepared me.
I am the ruler of my offspring.
But he is the one who begot me before the time on a birthday.
And he is my offspring in (due) time,
and my power is from him.
I am the staff of his power in his youth,
and he is the rod of my old age.
And whatever he wills happens to me.
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
and the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
and the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name.
This is only a small sample of the poem but it is enough to show that contradiction is inherent. As it turns out contradiction is what the poem is illustrating. In Gnosticism, divinity cannot be reduced to a belief or a theory. It must be experienced to be understood. Knowledge of the divinity comes from within. “Those who remain trapped merely within the intellectual (theories, ideas) or sentimental (beliefs) are excluded from the experience of truth.” If we remain bottled up in these dualistic beliefs, we remain in darkness.
More later. I’m interested if I get any response on this. A writer friend of mine is a serious student of Kabala. She told me a wonderful creation myth that I want to share, maybe next time. The Adam and Eve story is a myth, right? If you think otherwise you shouldn’t be reading this.