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Illustration front cover: William Blake, The Pity (1795) Tate Gallery, London

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The printing and distribution of this book have been financed by the author. Copyright © 1997 Gwenaël Verez. All rights reserved. Printed by: Akademski pečat – Skopje, Macedonia

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Gwenaël VEREZ

THE SEARCH FOR THE DIVINE MOTHER

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“Most religions speak of God in the masculine. For me, God is as much Mother as Father. To reach the Motherly God, One must proceed with the Heart, with Love ...”

Khalil Gibran

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“Whatever exists, Wherever it is, Whether it be Being or Non-Being, All is in You! You, Energy of the Universe How could I sing Your praise?”

Devi Mahatmyam

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This book is respectfully dedicated to Her Holiness Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

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Contents
Introduction 13

PART 1: THE MOTHER WITHIN
1. Creation and the Great Goddess 2. Union 3. The Self 4. Kundalini and Self-Realisation

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PART 2: THE MOTHER GODDESS IN THE WEST
1. The Great Goddess, Supreme Deity of the West The Great Goddess in Early Times Aryans and Semites: Infiltration of the Male Principle The Assyro-Babylonian Rupture The God of the Prophets: Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster The Search for Balance: The Great Goddess of Antiquity 2. The Church’s Opposition to the Mother Goddess The Mother and the First Christians The Gnostics and the Mother Goddess Peter and Paul: Two Deformers of Sprituality Augustine and Original Sin The Church’s Fight against the Worship of the Goddess 3. Mary and the Resurgence of the Eternal Feminine Mary, Mother of God Saint Bernard and Our Lady The Templars and the Kundalini The Great Women Mystics of the Middle Ages The Lady of the Troubadours Dante and Beatrice

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54 55 69 81 91 97 128 131 137 147 167 173 181 183 186 190 192 194 196

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4. Freud Freudian Theory: Religion in the Twentieth Century Childhood Sexuality and the Oedipus Complex Freud: Hero or Demon? If it is all False, how was Freud a Success?

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PART 3: THE ADVENT OF THE MOTHER
1. She Who is to Come 2. The Breath of God The Three Channels The Chakras 3. The Sahasrara Vibratory Awareness Compassion and Joy Appendix: Appendix 1: Science and Religion Appendix 2: The Great Goddess and the Liberation of the Seekers Appendix 3: The Church down the Centuries (Part I) Appendix 4: The Church down the Centuries (Part II) Sources: The Catholic Church Appendix 5: Critical works on Freud and his doctrine Acknowledgements

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Introduction
The search for the Divine is an eternal quest. Man is constantly seeking. Today, perhaps more than ever before, millions search tirelessly in bookshops and libraries, and travel the pilgrim routes hoping to find the “Way”. This growth in the number of seekers of Truth coincides with a growing doubt about the fate of humankind. At the dawn of the third millennium, this planet of ours is at its lowest ebb. Economies are in irreversible decline, leaving millions of people, both in the developed countries and in those described as “developing”, without work or means of subsistence. The ecosystem is out of kilter, with global warming and pollution increasing at an incredible rate. Most countries have reached a political stalemate. The ageing and corrupt democracies are no longer viewed as models, their citizens being no happier than people elsewhere. The use of illicit substances, anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants and hypnotics bear witness to a deep and widespread distress in the “advanced” societies. The general disintegration of moral values is such that younger generations have little awareness of any such thing as morality. New diseases have appeared. The West is mainly responsible for these evils, since it is the unbridled desires of the West that have led to the unrestrained plundering of the planet's resources, resulting in terrible
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imbalances. Materialism, and a rationalism based entirely on money, have justified world-wide disasters of every ilk. Throughout history there have been, of course, high points and low points. Civilisations have declined into decadence, others have risen. But today the situation has changed, for now problems are suffered on a planetary scale: cultures have become worldwide. The chances of escape are slender, for there is no strong international authority. Selfishness and pressure groups of every complexion prevent collective solutions to problems. No worthwhile ideology has emerged to transform society. Democracies are incapable of producing men with the moral status of a Lincoln, a Martin Luther King or a Gandhi, men who could become models. The ideological and social changes taking place whenever elected political parties replace one another compound difficulties rather than solve them. We are caught up in a maelstrom of events which is carrying us out of our depth. But seekers of Truth see a different future. They mirror the heavenly light which restores balance, and establishes, at last, a Golden Age. Would the Divine allow Creation to founder? The only thing that matters is to change mankind, to bring about our inner transformation, so that we no longer fall back into our habitual failings. Everything suggests that we are on the threshold of a profound upheaval. The Age of Aquarius is at hand. It has been said that the 21st century will be spiritual or will not be, at all. It is obvious that only a spiritual power can bring about the transformation of those who seek progress. This spiritual power is not as it is generally imagined to be. It comes from no pope, or mullah, or rabbi, or brahmin. For centuries such figures have failed to improve human nature.

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If this power does exist, it must be available to everyone equally. It must be universal. Spiritual traditions, particularly those of the East, seek to demonstrate that this spiritual power is motherly by nature, and that it exists as an energy, present within each of us. In India it is known as the “Inner Goddess”. The word “Goddess” tends to take us back to the schoolroom, to evoke the ancient Graeco-Roman Goddesses: Venus, Minerva, Athena - those Divine figures who seem all too human. God is transcendent, the prophets tell us; He has no human form. And yet we are also told that God created man in His own image! The manifold representations of the Virgin Mary in churches around the world reflect a longing for the eternal feminine. The Mother of Jesus, on whom the devotion of millions is focused, was never, of course, officially considered to be a Goddess. The canons of the faith are categorical about this. And yet, She ascended into heaven, like Her Son, who was Divine. Where then was the distinction between them? Especially since the praises addressed to Her were to the Queen of Salvation, Regina Salutis, She who sets free. This idea of redemption, of spiritual liberation, is shared with the most ancient traditions of the East. In India, it is She, the Goddess, who grants this liberation. She is known as Moksha Dayini; “moksha” meaning liberation. The Guru, or spiritual master, is only the intermediary, the person who passes on this spiritual experience. In China, it is the Goddess of compassion, Kuan Yin, who grants salvation. Why, then, have people in our part of the planet attributed exclusively patriarchal characteristics to the Divine for the past three thousand years? Ten thousand years ago the sole form of

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Divinity, the sole object of veneration, here as elsewhere, was feminine and maternal. What has caused us to forget? Why was the original message of Christianity distorted, leaving us ignorant of the Divine Mother? Can we not detect in the Judaeo-Christian sacred texts - and in the countless works of art they inspire - the veiled and covert presence of the Universal Mother, hidden in symbols, but readily decoded? Did not the Gnostics and the early Christians, about whom so much has come to light through the recent discovery of the “apocryphal” texts, venerate the Goddess, and did they not also identify Her with an inner power able to grant liberation? Those who seek the Truth are rediscovering this hidden reality. Through it the West is once more “returning” to the way of the Goddess and, through Her, gaining access to the wonders of the New Age. Could this age of ours, following the Age of the Father (Yahweh) and the Age of the Son (Christ), be the Age of the Mother?

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Part 1:

The Mother Within

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“He who possesses the Mother of the world, Has gained Eternal Life.” Lao Tze
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“To the Goddess who abides in all beings as Mother, Salutations to You again and again!” Devi Mahatmayam
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“Yes, We have made a Koran in Arabic! Perhaps you will understand! It exists with Us, sublime and wise, The Mother of the Book”

The Holy Koran3 “The Mother is Eternal Truth and Knowledge is Union.” Gospel according to Philip 4

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1. Creation and the Great Goddess
“At the very beginning of the universe, The Goddess was alone. From Her was born all that is desirable And all that has energy. From Her also come all beings, Whether born from the egg, the seed, or the womb., From Her the plants, The animals, and humankind, She is the Supreme Energy.” Bahvricha Upanishad
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The sages6 of India, who for thousands of years have been amongst the heralds of spiritual progress7, perceived in their meditation that, in the beginning, God was ONE, supreme, beyond all attributes, beyond all description, neither male nor female. He was Parabrahman, the undifferentiated Brahman, the Original Unity. In Japan, the Shinto tradition also assigned Him a name: Ame-no-minaka-nushi, the Primordial God, both immanent and transcendent. The universe did not exist, it was nothing, a cosmic void. This state of potentiality was known as the Sleep of Brahma, the Sleep
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of God, and corresponds to the state which preceded the Big Bang described by modern astrophysicists.8 Then, the Indian scriptures9 tell us, God differentiated Himself into two, one female, Adi Shakti, the other male, Sadashiva. In Sanskrit, Adi Shakti means Primordial Energy, the Power of God. Adi Shakti is the Great Goddess, the Universal Mother. She is the Desire of God. Sadashiva is the Primordial Being, the Eternal Spirit, God the Father, the Supreme End of existence. They are symbolized in sculpture by the Lingam and Yoni, symbol of the Primordial Unity. More abstractly, the Hindu philosophical system refers to these two aspects of the Godhead as Prakriti and Purusha. They have their counterparts in all cosmogonies: Isis and Osiris in Egypt, Enlil and Ishtar in the Sumerian tradition, Dagda and Danu for the Celts, Pangu and Nuwa in China, Izanagi and Izanami in Japan, Ometecuhtli and Omecihualt in Aztec Mexico. After this differentiation of God, the next step was the separation of Adi Shakti from Sadashiva. This separation, born of God's desire to see His reflection in the universe, launched the process of Creation, the cosmologists’ Big Bang. The “primordial sound” which sprang from this separation was the OM of Hindu tradition, which became the AMEN of the Judaeo-Christian tradition. “In the beginning was the Word.”10
“Homage to You, O Great Goddess! You are the Eternal Energy Through which the entire universe 11 Arises, exists and disappears.”

From Adi Shakti, this female aspect of God, emanates the entire world, from the galaxies to the elementary particles. Lao Tze
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wrote: “the world has a beginning, which is the Mother of the world”.12 Current scientific theories identify energy as the source and power of all that exists, whether static or dynamic, an idea summarised in Einstein’s universal equation E = mc² and echoed in modern astrophysicists’ notion that at the start of the Big Bang only Energy existed. The most ancient concepts of Creation, found in works by the great seers of the East, have many points in common with the most up-to-date ideas of western science. When Adi Shakti became the creative force, Sadashiva, the male aspect of God, became the silent witness of the eternal game of Creation. We may understand their relation with a metaphor: if the sun is the Spirit, then the light emitted by the sun, the energy, is the Adi Shakti. The sun itself does not act. It is the light, the energy, which creates and sustains life on the planet. Spirit and Energy are the twin components which sustain all life, and they cannot be dissociated from life itself. The Primordial Energy is the source of life. It causes the seed to germinate, turns the blossom into fruit, and causes the embryo to develop into a coherent and harmonious being. It is the sole law of nature, for it gives rise to those most intimate processes which constitute the basis of life. Modern science has only limited knowledge of these processes, which are part of the Divine dimension of life. For, until Man discovers his true identity, which is of the Divine essence, these processes will elude him. Spirit and Energy are present in all forms and all beings, from the smallest subatomic particle to the highest accomplishment of the Creation: human beings.

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2. Union
“Through Her we know the Consciousness, Of Brahman without duality, Like a wave of Existence and of Joy. She has entered all beings, Within and without Of each of them, and on all She shines Her light!” Bahvricha Upanishad
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Mystics throughout the world have spoken of the inner experience of unity with the Self, a reality defined in our language by the Sanskrit term yoga, meaning union, and the word “religion”, which comes from the Latin religare, meaning to bind or link. The union of the individual with the All, with the cosmos, results from an inner process which allows human awareness to focus on the supreme and ultimate reality, the Self, God in us14 as Jung wrote. This process makes it possible for our attention to go beyond the Ego, the I, and beyond the conditionings nourished by our society, by our education, and by our past in general. It is an inner movement which, like every living thing in the universe, needs energy. This energy puts us in touch with the absolute of our being, our Spirit, hence we can properly call it a Spiritual
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Energy. Indian tradition, stretching back over thousands of years, has given it a name: Kundalini. This tradition teaches us that the awakening of Kundalini is what ultimately confers on the purified ascetic, as it did on the Buddha, the total realisation of God, Nirvana. And yet, Kundalini does not always wait until the seeker is entirely purified before stirring. Responding to the desire for inner growth and spiritual evolution, the Kundalini awakens to bestow Self-Realisation, which opens the way to awareness of the infinite. This experience has been described by many saints from all religious traditions, such as Meister Eckhart and Dante in the Christian tradition, Rumi and Attar for Islam, the early Zen patriarchs, Namdev and Tukaram from India, to name only a few. This experience of Self-Realisation has also been described by outstanding scientists such as Pascal, Einstein and Jung. In this experience the Kundalini spontaneously awakens, giving a spark of absolute reality to the seeker and initiating him into inner knowledge of his own Divine nature. It is then up to him to protect and nurture this light through introspection and meditation. The awakening of Kundalini is not the end, but the beginning. It is the gate which opens onto the way towards spiritual awareness, union, that is, yoga. Many masters - and, alas, many false teachers - have taught about Yoga without explaining that it involves the awakening of this spiritual Energy. This has led to confusion, particularly in the West, as mystical union, the ultimate aim of seeking, lost any connection with a living and tangible experience. The prophets of the past, who gave rise to the great religious movements, spoke in allegorical terms of the eternal feminine power which leads to the revelation of our Divine identity. In India it is the Kundalini,
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described in remarkable terms by Shankaracharya and Jnaneshwar. For Lao Tze it is the Tao, in Jewish mysticism it is the Shekinah, and in the New Testament we find it in the image of the Holy Spirit. The link between these allegories and the Mother Goddess is sometimes clearly stated, as in the Tao Te Ching, and sometimes obscure, as in the New Testament. In the Devi Bhagavata Purana, the Great Goddess proclaims: “There is no distinction between Me and the Kundalini”.15 The Kundalini is the Inner Mother, reflection of the Great Goddess within each being. In the Shri Lalita Sahasranama, a Sanskrit text which lists a thousand names or attributes of the Goddess, one of these is “Kundalini”.16And when the seeker aspires to attain the supreme reality, the spiritual union, it is only the Divine Mother, in Her guise of the supreme energy, the Kundalini, who can lead him. Indian tradition warns us it is difficult to awaken Kundalini, and that only the most dedicated seekers have succeeded, and then only after long years, perhaps lifetimes, of withdrawal from society, penance, and meditation. But, as we shall see, times have changed...

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3. The Self
The Spirit, the Self or the Atman, resides in the heart of Man. It is the source of joy, fulfilment, and universal love. If the Kundalini represents the Inner Mother, the Atman is the reflection, within, of the universal Spirit, God the Father. Shankaracharya, the great 8th century A.D. Indian philosopher, was most deeply aware of the state of union with the Divine. His descriptions of the Atman are famous:
“That which suffers no change, That which by its nature never ceases to be, That which has the serenity of the ocean Which is unruffled by any ripple, That which is ever free, That which in essence is the perfect uniformity, This is Shiva, and you are Shiva. Meditate therefore on Him in the Lotus of your heart! That beside which nothing else exists, That which is greater than the universe itself, itself creating the illusion, The Self which is hidden in the depths of each creature, The true Self: existence, intelligence, absolute bliss, The Self which is infinite and immutable, This is Shiva, and you are Shiva. 17 Meditate therefore on Him in the Lotus of your heart!”

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Until a man reaches the state of enlightenment - the Moksha - the Self remains inaccessible to him, for, as Shankaracharya adds, “it is the supreme Self which language cannot reach, but which the inner eye contemplates in a state of illumination.”18 For most of us, the Self - the Spirit - remains unknown and does not reach into our consciousness. The Gospel says: “He is the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive because it neither sees him nor knows him.”19 In order for the Spirit to enter into our consciousness, it is necessary to undergo the experience of SelfRealisation. Only for those who have experienced the SelfRealisation does the Gospel proclaim, “You know him, for he dwells with you, and will be in you”.20 Sufis, the mystics of Islam, sang the praises of the Eternal which they discovered within themselves:
“With the eye of my heart, I saw my Lord, And I asked him: who are you? You, he replied!”

Hallaj21
“You dwell within my heart and It holds Your mysteries.”

Hallaj22 The words “gnothi seauton”, “know thyself”, inscribed on the temple at Delphi and taken up by Socrates, in fact mean “know thy Self”. In all traditions, Spirit means breath or wind. Our word “Spirit” is derived from the Latin Spiritus, which means breath. For the Greeks, the Spirit is known as Pneuma, a term which also means breath. The Hebrew word Ruah is synonymous with wind. Yahweh is derived from the root HWY, which also means wind. The consistency in these different terms is not fortuitous. It results from the intuition of the Unconscious, which makes clear that to know the Spirit is to know the breath of God. This reminds
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one of the passage in the New Testament which describes the descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost: “Suddenly a sound came from heaven Like the rush of a mighty wind, And it filled the house where we were sitting.”23 In India, this breath is known as Brahmachaitanya, the Breath of God. In the tradition of the Vedanta, the Prashna Upanishad declares: “in the heart resides the Atman, the Self. It is the centre of a hundred and one little channels... In these moves... the breath.”24 Still in India, the Spirit is also associated with prana, a term which, in Sanskrit, means breath. The Mundaka Upanishad explains that this breath has its source in the Atman.25 The Kausitaki Upanishad tells us several times that the Atman (Brahman) is breath.26 The Taittiriya Upanishad adds that he who adores Brahman as breath, achieves eternal life.27 And one of the oldest sanskrit scriptures, the Atharva Veda, states that “whosoever be driven by the breath of life, he will be reborn”.28

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4. Kundalini and SelfRealisation
The Sanskrit word “Kundalini” means “coiled around itself”. She resides within the sacrum bone in three and a half coils. The Greeks were aware that the bone they called hieron osteon (sacred bone or sacrum) carried within it a sacred dimension which led to the Pneuma or Spirit. Jnaneshwar, the great Indian saint of the twelfth century, described this sacred power as follows:
“So lies the Kundalini, Very small and coiled three and a half times, Like a female serpent With her head turned downwards. She is like a ring of lightning. ”29

Figure 1: Representation of Kundalini coiled in the sacrum bone.

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Self-realisation is a subtle inner experience which manifests when the Kundalini rises from the sacrum along the spinal column to emerge from the crown of the head at the place known as the fontanelle. This term was not chosen by chance; fontanelle signifies “little fountain”, which, like the Kundalini, springs at this precise location on the head.
“She arises from the base centre to ascend straight to the opening of Brahman In Her is Energy, like a serpent coiled around itself, flamboyant like a thousand lightning flashes, delicate like a lotus petal.” Advaya-Taraka Upanishad
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Once awakened, the Kundalini bathes the attention of the seeker in a state of serenity characterised by the slowing, and the gradual cessation, of thoughts (Nirvichara Samadhi). The Kundalini goes on to confer a state of contemplation and bliss (Ananda). As she ascends, the Kundalini lifts the yogi's attention to the Self. When his consciousness is immersed in the Self, the one seeking truth knows that he is the Spirit, for the Spirit enters into his consciousness. There is no longer any dualism between knowing and being. These two states are merged in a single absolute, the sole reality of the Self. Ramana Maharshi said: “To know the Self is to be the Self, for there are not two Selves. To know is to be. Awareness is Being.”31 With a tranquil mind, like the ripple-free water of a lake, the seeker's attention is immersed in the silence of the present. Through his being flow the silent grace and joy of the Spirit. The sages of India call this state Sat Chit Ananda - Truth, Consciousness and Joy.

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The Kundalini is the vehicle which makes it possible to attain the Self. She is symbolised in the Islamic tradition by the mare with a woman's face, Al Buraq, which carried the Prophet to the throne of Allah (illustration 4). The Archangel Gabriel, who accompanied the Prophet, says of Al Buraq:
“I have no way other than Her to go to Him. 32 I have no sign of Him other than Her.”

Jnaneshwar used a similar image, calling the power which reveals the Spirit Shiva's vessel:
“She is the Mother of the worlds, The glory of the empire of the soul, Who gives shelter to the tender sprouts Of the seed of the universal. She is the linguam of the formless Absolute, The vessel of Shiva, the supreme Self”33

When the Kundalini (the Mother Goddess) awakens, she lifts the Spirit (Shiva, the reflection of God the Father in the heart) until they are united in the limbic region of the brain (called in the Indian spiritual tradition Sahasrara). This is just above the region known to physicians as the thalamus, a Greek word meaning Bridal Chamber. Thus, yoga is the point of union between the human Spirit and the Divine. But it is also the primordial Divine Union, which existed before the separation of the male principle (God the Father, the Spirit) and the female (Adi Shakti, Kundalini). It is the union between the Bridegroom and the Bride described in the Song of Songs, the hieros gamos of the neoPlatonists. The cup of Hygeia and the Serpent of Asclepios, Epidaura, which represent the Pharmacist's art, symbolise the ascent of the Kundalini, and her union with the Spirit. “In the Sahasrara, the Divine Power is united with Lord Shiva: This is the true liberation. By this we know the bliss.” Yoga Kundalini Upanishad34
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Figure 2: Before and After Self-Realisation 33

Self-Realisation is the most important step a seeker can take because it opens up a new dimension - the Divine nature of man. For the Christian, this corresponds to the “Second Birth” which Christ spoke of when he said: “Truly, truly I say unto you: unless one is born anew, one cannot see the Kingdom of God.”35 Lao Tze uses the same image: “He who grasps Life in its entirety is like a new-born infant”36 The image is also found in India where a fully aware being is known, in Sanskrit, as a Dvijaha, that is one who is twice-born. And if there is a birth, the maternal principle must be involved, and this principle is none other than the sacred Mother Kundalini. When the Kundalini surges forth from the Fontanelle, she brings the seeker into contact with Adi Shakti, the cosmic energy. This energy then flows through the seeker's whole being, like a stream of living water, filling him with peace and joy. This is the Nirvana of the Buddha, the Satori of Zen, the Fana of the Sufis. It is spiritual baptism, as described by the apostle John in his Apocalypse: “Then he showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God.”37 The same comparison was used by Christ when he said to the Samaritan woman: “Whoever drinks of the water that I shall give, shall never thirst; the water I shall give will become a spring of water within, welling up to eternal life.”38 The Kundalini is absolute purity, a Divine expression of virginity. She is Gauri, a name which in India means “the Virgin”. She brings forth the spiritual birth without any intervention of the Father, recalling the immaculate birth of Christ. The Kundalini is therefore a Virgin Mother, like Mary, whom throughout history so many people in the West have adored. The Kundalini is also a purifying fire. Being absolute purity, she does not absorb impurities, but destroys them. She is represented in the form of a flame emerging from the top of the head in Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam. (Illustrations 1,2,3,4)
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Illustration 2: El Greco, the Pentecost (17th Century), Prado Museum, Madrid

Illustration 1: Buddha (copy), Sukhothai, (XIV th century), Thailand

Illustration 4: Shiva, (XXth century), India

Illustration 3: The Prophet Mohammed riding Al Buraq, persian miniature (XV th century), Bibliothèque National, Paris. 35

It is said in the New Testament, that on the day of Pentecost, “there appeared to them tongues of fire distributed and resting on each of the apostles.”39 Countless Church mosaics and paintings represent columns of light springing from the fontanelle of the apostles and linking them to the Divinity, which is depicted as either Mary or Christ. One is in the famous basilica of St Mark in Venice. Another is in Istanbul, in the Basilica of the Savior (also called as Kariye Church). (Illustration 5)

Illustration 5: Kariye Church, Genealogy of Christ (13th century), Istanbul

Once awakened, the Kundalini purifies, washes and cleanses the human body as a mother bathes her infant child. She illuminates the chakras, the centres of energy described in Indian spirituality, in some branches of Taoism, in Jewish mysticism (the Sephirots) and by native American tribes such as the Hopi40. At the physical
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level each chakra corresponds to a nerve plexus. A chakra is described as being a lotus, with a given number of petals. The number of petals corresponds exactly to the number of sub-plexi which modern medicine has discovered each plexus to have. The chakras are closely linked to the elements. Mooladhara controls the earth element, Swadisthan the fire element, Nabhi water, Anahata the air, and Vishuddhi the ether. Agnya is above the five elements - it is the door which leads into the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom, the seventh chakra, or Sahasrara, is the lotus with the thousand petals; in the popular phrase, “seventh heaven”. Here the union of the Kundalini with the Spirit takes place.41 Shankaracharya has described these various elements in his Saundarya Lahari, his praises of the Kundalini: “In the thousand petalled lotus, Sahasrara, You sport with your Lord in secret, Having traversed the entire path of Kundalini, The element earth at Mooladhara, water at Nabhi, Fire at Swadisthan, air at Anahata, Ether above it at Vishuddhi, and the mind at Agnya.”42

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Figure 3: The Chakras
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Figure 4: The three subtle channels according to Indian tradition, and how they correspond to Yin and Yang. 39

The Kundalini also establishes harmony between the two rhythms of life, or aspects, which are most familiar to us in the West under the names given them by the Chinese: Yin and Yang. In India, the ancient scriptures describe them as twin energy channels (nadi) each with its quality (guna): Ida and Pingala Nadis, with respectively Tamo and Rajo Gunas. Rajo Guna, or Yang, represents the solar, male, futuristic aspect, which triggers action. Tamo Guna, or Yin, represents the lunar, female, subconscious side, which controls memories and emotions. Tamo Guna terminates in the right hemisphere of the brain, and Rajo Guna in the left. The neurologist Robert Ornstein has demonstrated the analogy between Yin and Yang and these same hemispheres.43 When the Kundalini rises up the central channel, known as the Sushumna Nadi, she brings about the synthesis, the harmony and equilibrium of these two aspects of life. Although the Kundalini is virtually unknown in the West, she has been represented by many symbols, such as the sacred spiral (illustration 6), the sceptre of Mary, or the caduceus. Mercury's wand, another name for this caduceus, represents the two channels (the serpents) and the central channel (the wand) up which the Kundalini is ascending. Great visionary artists have depicted it in their works, such as the English painter and poet William Blake in his Judgment of Adam (illustration 7) and the Romanian sculptor Brancusi in his Endless Column (illustration 8). The Kundalini and the two channels, Tamo and Rajo gunas, can also be found in France in the Church of Saint-Lazare at Avallon (illustration 9).

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Illustration 6: Mary holding the Sacred Spiral (14th century), Orvieto Cathedral, Italy

Illustration 7: William Blake: The Judgement of Adam (1795), Tate Gallery, London

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Illustration 8: Brancusi : The Endless Column (20th century), Tirgu Jiu, Romania

Illustration 9: Columns of the doorway of SaintLazare Church (12th century), Avallon, France

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With their knowledge of the Kundalini, the sages of India were able, in their meditation, to focus attention on the Inner Goddess, desiring her to awaken so that they might attain yoga. They guided their meditative asceticism through devotional hymns dedicated to the Great Goddess Adi Shakti - who alone awakens the spiritual principle which She has placed in each human being, and which is nothing less than a part of Herself.
“I will remove the duality and garland the Goddess, I will hold the flag of understanding, I will give up all my desires, I will also give up all the limitations of my mind, I will fill my container up with Ambrosia. O rise, Mother Kundalini!” “I have asked Mother for Yoga, Now I have become one with God, And I have risen above the cycle of birth and death.”

Eknath
“Pierce through the six chakras And ascend upwards, Listen to the melody Divine arising there. Through the melody The turbulent mind is quelled Realise that only thus is Thy practice made fruitful.”

Namdev44 This devotion and this knowledge were not limited to India. In most parts of the world men venerated the Mother Goddess, invoking Her for spiritual awakening. In China, the Goddess Quan Yin is shown pouring a stream of ambrosia over a dragon, another representation of the Kundalini. In the temple of the Goddess Matsu in Taiwan, the dragon holds the sacred spiral (illustration 10).

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Illustration 10: The Sacred Spiral, temple of the Goddess Matsu, Taiwan

In the West, however, attention became focused exclusively on a patriarchal God, with no female counterpart. The consequences to spirituality in our part of the world have been devastating. Even the cult of Mary failed to fill the gap, since, for reasons of theology and dogma, Mary was denied the status of a Goddess. The denial of the feminine Divine Energy amounts to an amputation of the means, a dismissal of the vehicle which, like the mare Al Buraq, can carry the seeker to the heavenly Kingdom. Nor should we forget the deep psychological and social impact of such a rejection or devaluation of the Yin aspect of God, of the world, and of mankind, in favour of the masculine aspect alone, giving rise to misogyny, both blatant and veiled. Yet veneration of the Mother Goddess did once predominate in Europe and the Mediterranean civilisations. The Kundalini was known and worshipped. Let us, then, go back to the sources of

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Western civilisation, to rediscover this universal treasure which alone can lead Man to his spiritual salvation.
Lao Tze, Tao Te Ching, 59. Devi Mahatmyam, op. cit., p. 45. 3 The Holy Koran, Surah 43. 4 J. Ménard, Evangile selon Philippe (Paris 1988) p. 99. 5 Sept Upanishads (Paris 1985) p.131. 6 Those who composed the sacred scriptures (the Puranas and Upanishads) in some cases thousands of years ago. Their names, like those of the Cathedral builders of the West, are unknown. 7 The Vedas, which were written more than four thousand years ago, are humanity's earliest spiritual writings. 8 cp. Hari Shankar Sharma, “The Big Bang”, in The Illustrated Weekly of India vol CXII, August 1 1992. 9 This differentiation is described by numerous scriptures, notably: - the Shakta Upanishads, quoted in L. Renou, Manual des études indiennes (Paris 1953) p. 1277-1280. - the Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, translated by Swami Vijnanananda (Delhi 1992). 10 John I, i. 11 Devi Mahatmyam, op. cit., p. 84. 12 Lao Tze, Tao Te Ching, op. cit., p. 52. 13 Sept Upanishads, op. cit., p. 132-133. 14 C.G. Jung, Dialectic of the Self and the Unconscious. 15 Srimad Devi Bhagavatam, Kalyan Editions (India 1960) p.412. 16 Shri Lalita Sahasranama Stotram, ed. C. Suryanarayanamurthy, Bharatiya Vidaya Bhavan (Bombay 1998). 17 Shankaracharya, Viveka Chudamani (The Crest Jewel of Discrimination) (Paris 1981) vv. 259, 263 p.75. 18 Ibid, p. 73. 19 John 14, 17. 20 Ibid
2 1

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Hussain Mansoor Hallaj, Poèmes Mystiques 9 (Paris 1985) p. 33 Ibid., p. 49 23 Acts 2: 2 24 Prashna Upanishad commented by Shankaracharya (Paris 1985) p. 33 25 P. Deussen, Sixty Upanishads of the Veda (Delhi 1990) vol. II, p. 577 26 Ibid., p. 30-32 27 Ibid. 28 Ibid. 29 Jnaneshwara’s Gita (New York 1989) p. 75 30 Sept Upanishads, ibid. p. 111 31 Ramana Maharshi, cited in L. Heart, L’Avènement (Paris 1985) p. 35 32 Ibn Arabi, l’Arbre du Monde (Paris 1982) p. 95 33 Jnaneshwara’s Gita, op. cit., p. 77 34 Upanishads du Yoga (Paris 1971) p. 104 35 John 3: 3. 36 Lao Tsu, Tao Te Ching 55 37 Revelation 22: 1 38 John 4: 14 39 Acts 2: 3 40 see Frank Waters, The Book of the Hopi (New York 1963). 41 For more information on the chakras according to Indian tradition, see P. T. Rajasekharan and R. Venkatesan, Divine Knowledge through Vibrations, (Singapore 1992). 42 Shankaracharya, Saundarya Lahari, v. 9 (New Delhi 1977) p. 5. 43 R. Ornstein, The Psychology of Consciousness (New York 1977) p. 37. 44 Namdev, His Life and Teachings (New Delhi 1978) p. 34.
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Part 2:

The Mother Goddess in the West

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“This “inside” which modern rationalism is so eager to derive from “outside”, has an a priori structure of its own that antedates all conscious experience. The psyche is part of the inmost mystery of life, and it has its own peculiar structure and form like every other organism. The structure is something given, the precondition that is found to be present in every case. And this is the mother, the matrix - the form into which all experience is poured.” C.G. Jung1

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Our Western civilisation, and in particular its intellectual elite, has for several centuries been lost in a limbo of rationalism and materialism, and has totally neglected the spiritual and sacred dimension of life, of nature, and of Man. And yet it is the spiritual quest which has carried Man to the pinnacle of dignity and creativity, and which is the driving force behind the development and progress of societies. What would the Arab world be without the potent catalyst of Islam? What would China and the Far East be without the precepts of Confucius and the mysticism of Lao Tze? Would our own society have emerged from the Middle Ages without the great movement dedicated to Mary, the Mother of Christ, which drew together the skills and manpower of the craft guilds to build the gothic cathedrals, such gigantic projects for their time? What would remain of the Italian Renaissance without the works of Michelangelo, Raphael and Botticelli, which are so imbued with religious fervour? It is the upward call of the soul towards the Almighty which results in great works of art capable of touching the heart of Man. Our own twentieth century has built the skyscrapers of Manhattan, Hong Kong and Frankfurt, the Grand Arch in Paris, and many other structures which soar proudly towards the heavens. These architectural works are not always ugly - indeed some of them are most impressive in terms of the challenge they present - but they will never be able to move the human heart, or lead it to the grace of the Eternal. And many contemporary painters and musicians touch only a tiny intellectual elite, people who find in today's art the mirror and justification of their own lack of inner balance. The same is true of contemporary philosophy, which only seems able to construct complex cerebral scaffoldings, of little interest to anyone except as glorification of their creators. Is there any place for the hearts of the simple in the tottering pyramid of the
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ego? How has this come to pass? It is because our society no longer recognises that it is spirituality which keeps all values in equilibrium. Without spirituality, without the quest for higher, greater, and more noble realities, Man is no longer interested in anything other than himself, and loses the humility necessary to maintain an harmonious equilibrium between society and the natural environment. If there is no equilibrium, nature teaches us that development and progress are impossible. There are several reasons for this disenchantment with spirituality and this failure even to recognise it. The first and main cause is clearly that the Church has fallen away from its original message. As we shall see further on in this book, the Church was rapidly compromised by battles for power, petrified by dogmatism, sapped to its foundations by a distorted vision of women and sexuality, and, over the centuries, emptied of its original spiritual substance. As a result, the religious scene has been darkened by a fog of hypocrisy and fear. The second reason is that our civilisation has been permeated by the ideas of Freud, which have subverted the highest human values by reducing the mind, or psyche, to a series of sexual responses. In addition to their destructive work, the Church and Freud, as a result of their common misogyny, have gone a long way towards expunging from human consciousness the image of the universal heavenly Mother, the basis of all spirituality. In some respects they took over the task from the Semitic and Aryan nomadic peoples who, from 4000 B.C., began to oppose the worship of the Mother Goddess. In particular, the Babylonians and the Assyrians caused enormous damage to the collective Unconscious by creating a myth in which the Goddess was “assassinated”. In spite of all the attempts to drive the Mother Goddess underground, or to eliminate her altogether, she still occupies an essential place in the collective mind. We should remember that our civilisation has arisen from the Neolithic culture, in which the
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Mother Goddess was the only deity. In this respect, our culture was not different from that which gave rise to the great civilisations of India, China and pre-Columbian America. We should not forget that, except for our own modern society, the Mother Goddess has been revered everywhere, and at all times. This is what led C.G. Jung to recognise in the Mother the primordial archetype of the collective mind. His disciple, Erich Neumann, in his study of the archetype of the Mother Goddess2 recognised that the West neglected the matriarchal aspect of the collective consciousness and developed only the patriarchal aspect. However, none of the attempts to banish the religion of the Mother from the human soul has ever been completely successful. The Eternal Feminine has always resurfaced in one form or another. For the Greeks she took the form of Sophia, for the Jews that of Shekinah, and for the Christians that of Mary.

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1. The Great Goddess, Supreme Deity of the West

“All transient things are but a parable; the inaccessible here becomes reality. Here the ineffable is achieved, the Eternal Feminine draws us onwards.”

Goethe3

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The Great Goddess in Early Times
The Palaeolithic Period
The earliest representation of the deity took the form of the universal Mother. From their excavations and studies, this has been the conclusion of most, if not all, archaeologists and historians. E. O. James expresses this clearly in his book, The Cult of the Mother Goddess: “In the first place, she seems to have become the dominant influence from India to the Mediterranean as the unmarried Goddess.”4 Thousands of figurines representing the Mother Goddess and dating back to at least 20,000 B.C. have been found in a vast area stretching from Western Europe to Siberia. These figurines display common features which indicate that they are not simply representations of women or girls, but true symbols of the Mother Goddess giving life and sustaining the universe. In 50,000 B.C., when the glaciers covering most of Asia and Europe began to thaw, Homo sapiens appeared. Grasslands emerged, and animals, such as bison and domestic cattle, made their appearance, while the mammoths and reindeer moved northward. Then the forests pushed their frontier northwards, and the herds of bison moved eastwards to the steppes, which provided them with abundant pasture. Men who were hunters followed them, adopting a nomadic life and wandering over the entire Eurasian continent. Others settled in Western Europe. These sedentary groups included the inhabitants of the valleys of the Dordogne, the Vézère, and the Ariège in southern France and
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the valleys of northern Spain. The people in these areas have left vibrant traces of their artistic abilities. With a remarkable sense of colour and an innate gasp of the balance between shape and perspective they decorated the great monuments of Prehistory, including the caves of Lascaux, Les Trois Frères, Niaux, and Vallon-Pont d'Arc recently discovered in France, and of Altamira and La Piasega in Spain, to mention only the best known. These wall paintings, artistic representations of the natural environment which was the setting for the lives of our ancestors, were to remain amongst the most amazing treasures of our heritage. But these caves do not seem to have been used simply to provide the people of those times with shelter and protection, as was long supposed. In 1994, at the time of the extraordinary discovery of Vallon-Pont d'Arc, H. de Lumley, of the Paris Natural History Museum, pointed out that the way the animals were depicted showed evidence of sacred art. These caves were primarily places of worship, religious centres, where people gathered to celebrate the greatness of life, and to praise the various aspects of nature which the Mother Goddess had chosen to place in Man's environment. Unconsciously, the cave itself symbolised the hidden place, the place of peace and safety, where the desire for the numinous, the first stirrings of the sacred, could express themselves. J. Cashford and A. Barring summarise it as follows in the Myth of the Goddess:
“The story of the Great Primeval Goddess is told in the caves of southwestern France through the art and rituals that took place inside them. For at least 20,000 years (from 30,000 to 10,000 B.C.) the Palaeolithic cave seems to be the most sacred place, the sanctuary of the Goddess and the source of her regenerative power.”5

A. Lerhoi-Gourhan, Director of the Sorbonne Centre of Studies in Prehistory and Protohistory, pointed out that female figurines
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representing the Goddess occupy a central place in the hundreds of caves which he studied. Carvings of the Goddess were often placed on the outer walls of caves. Many statuettes of the Goddess have been found amongst the bones and tools of Paleolithic man. In contrast, no male statue has ever been discovered: the male concept of the deity simply had not emerged at this time. The Goddess was venerated throughout a vast area, probably all the dry lands of the planet which had been colonised by humankind. Figurines of the Goddess have been found from the Pyrenees to Lake Baïkal in Siberia. This is clear evidence that men and women of the period shared a very uniform culture. In Malta, near Lake Baïkal, large numbers of such statuettes have been discovered, which suggests that they were produced on a huge scale. In these figurines, the Goddess has wide hips and heavy limbs, and the corpulence, occurring in all her representations, symbolises the role of the Mother as the source of nourishment.

Illustration 11: Goddess from Malta, Siberia (3,000 B.C.) British Museum, London.

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Illustration 12: Goddess from Çatal Hüyük (6,000 B.C.) Museum of Anatolian Civilisation, Ankara.

The Goddess of Brassempouy, found in the Atlantic coastal area of the Landes in France, is the oldest known (estimated 22,000 B.C.). And yet she seems very close to us, almost our contemporary, with her finely drawn features.

Illustration 13: Goddess from Brassempouy (22,000 B.C.), France

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The Moon, the Dove, and the Serpent
“Be ye wise like serpents, and innocent like doves.” Jesus Christ, in the Gospel of Thomas Specific symbols representing the Mother Goddess were developed during the Paleolithic period. These included the moon, the dove and the serpent, which were to remain adjuncts to the worship of the Mother throughout the ages. In all mythologies, until the Iron Age, the moon was considered to be the supreme image of the Goddess, the unifying symbol of the Mother.6 The moon obviously represents emotion, fertility, fullness, and all the various aspects of the feminine, the highest image of which is the Goddess. The moon is also the source of light during the night, and illuminating the “lunar” channel of the mind, the Yin of Chinese tradition. At a more subtle level, the moon symbolises the Spirit, for it is the mirror which reflects the light of the sun in the same way that the Spirit is the reflection of the Light of God within Man. It is the Goddess who leads Man to his own divinity, and to the contemplation of his Spirit. As an unconscious representation of the Kundalini, the serpent is the image of the Goddess power. All Goddesses were associated with the serpent. Athena is usually represented holding a serpent in her left hand. Isis in Egypt, and Inanna in Sumer, were sometimes depicted in serpent form. The serpent Goddess is also found in Asia (the Chinese Goddess Nuwa, creator of the human race) and in America (Cihuatcoatl, the pre-Columbian Mexican Goddess). The Gnostic Ophites also identified the Mother with the original serpent.

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Illustration 14: Neolithic Snake Goddess, 4,500 B.C., Crete

Illustration 15: Isis Thermoutis (Cairo Museum)

The Bible was to reverse the symbolism of the serpent. Those opposing the veneration of the Goddess transformed this image into the principal of evil, thus denigrating the worship of the Goddess, and hence, unconsciously, the Kundalini. The dove represents the power of the Mother's grace. The dove's ability to fly allows it to escape the earthly world, and soar into the eternal sphere. The dove, one of the most commonly recurring symbols associated with the Goddess, continued to be used even
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after the Goddess Herself had disappeared from religious life. It became the symbol used to represent the Holy Spirit when he or, as we shall see below, more accurately “she” - had become a mere abstract concept. During the 20th century, it is the dove which has once more been chosen as the symbol of peace. A. Baring and J. Cashford give some particularly striking examples of the dove's symbolism in their study of the myth of the Goddess.7

Illustration 16: Symbolism of the Dove since Paleolithic times

The dove symbolises two dimensions of the spiritual life. First, it is a bird, the Sanskrit word for which is dvija, meaning “twice born” (from dwi, two and ja, born): born the first time in the egg, and the second time when the egg hatches, beginning the bird's true life. The same is true of Man. Before Self Realisation, he is like a bird in its egg, deprived of contact with its spiritual environment. Self Realisation is the second birth, in which Man becomes aware of his higher being, and is able to take flight, uniting himself with the infinite and the eternal, like Jonathan Livingstone Seagull soaring in the ethereal skies. The dove, therefore, symbolises second birth.

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In addition, the dove is the only perfectly white bird, and it takes off vertically, qualities which symbolize virginity and ascent. The dove, then, is yet another symbolic representation of the Kundalini.

Illustration 17: Mercury's wand and the Dove.

The moon, the serpent and the dove are symbols which recur repeatedly, tracing the continuity of the cult of the Goddess. They are potent archetypes within the universal collective consciousness, and are found throughout the world (see the table opposite). They demonstrate the constant presence of the Primordial Mother in the religious quest, from the Mother Goddess of Paleolithic times 30,000 years ago, down to the Virgin Mary in our own age.

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Goddesses portrayed with the Dove:
ANAHITA (Persia) APHRODITE (Greece) ASTARTE (Mesopotamia, Phoenician empire) TANNIT (Carthage, Tunisia) TURAN (Etruscan empire)

Goddesses portrayed with the Moon:
ARTEMIS (Greece) CHIA (Colombia, Muisca Indians) DIANA (Greece, Rome) HENGO (China) HINA (Polynesia) ILAZKI (Basque country) IXCHEL (Peru, Maya Indians) JUNO CAELESTIS (Phoenicia, also known as: Astroarche) LUNA MARAMA (New Zealand, Maoris) MAWU (Togo, Fongs) NIKKAL (Syria) PASIPHAE (Greece) PERSIA (Greece, also known as: Neaira, the new moon) QUILLA (Mexico, Incas) SELENE (Greece) TANNIT (Carthage, Tunisia) XOCIUQUETZAL (Mexico)

Goddesses portrayed with the Serpent
APARAJITA (India, Buddhist tradition) ATHENA (Greece) BULAING (Australia, Karadjeri Aboriginal people) DEMETER (Greece) DJATA (Borneo) HATUIBWARI (Melanesia) HYGIA (Greece) KADESCH (Mesopotamia, Canaan) KALI (India) NEPIT (Egypt) NUE-KUA (China) RENENUTET (Egypt) SALUS (Rome) UTO (Egypt) ROSMERTA (Gaul)

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Illustration 18: Indian Snake Goddess (12th century), British Museum, London

The Sacred Spiral
The spiral is one of the most common symbols in sacred art. We find it on all the continents, in America (the great monument of Peebles, Ohio), in Taoist art in Asia, and in prehistoric and Roman art in Europe, to mention just a few examples. The great megalith of New Grange in Ireland (Illustration 19) stands at the entrance to a temple. Did its sculptors want to show that the way to the sacred dimension was through the knowledge of the spiral? Numerous authors have noticed that for many ancient peoples the spiral was the expression of absolute knowledge. This knowledge being the knowledge of the Self, it is not surprising that these artists intuitively reproduced the form of the Kundalini in the sacrum. Just like the serpent, often represented in its spiral form, the sacred spiral is largely associated with the worship of the Mother
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Goddess. In Taiwan, the goddess Matsu holds a spiral in her hand, as does the Virgin in the cathedral of Orvieto in Italy.

Illustration 19: The Great Stone of New Grange (3,200 B.C.) Ireland.

The Universal Goddess of the Neolithic Period
The Neolithic era began about 10,000 B.C. With the emergence of agricultural skills, it differed greatly from the preceding period. For two million years, human beings had been huntergatherers, feeding on wild animals and plants. Now they began to cultivate the land and domesticate livestock. This allowed mankind to take a giant step forward. For the first time people achieved independence from Nature. The tribes were no longer forced to follow herds of wild animals for their food. The weaving of cloth made it easier to cope with climates, and the discovery of pottery made it possible to store food. The Neolithic was the era of matriarchy. Women played a major role in its development, being responsible for agriculture, weaving, and pottery.

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Little was known of this period until recent discoveries by archeologists revealed great similarities between the various centres where Neolithic societies developed. Isolated Neolithic societies emerged from 7,000 B.C. in Western Europe, Southern Turkey, Egypt, Palestine, Mesopotamia, and the Indus Valley. Despite the great distances separating them, virtually identical figurines and sculptures of the Goddess have been discovered from Europe to the Indus Valley. At this stage of consciousness, there were no tribal gods. The Great Goddess alone was universally venerated. The Goddess was evoked in fertility rites to ensure the success of crops. These rituals were to be perpetuated until the beginning of the Christian era. At Jericho, excavations have uncovered the first town, dating from 8,000 to 7,000 B.C. It was built in the shape of the moon, and images of the Goddess were found in all the houses. The town of Çatal Hüyük in Anatolia, discovered in 1960, was an important centre of Neolithic culture between 6,000 and 5,000 B.C. The town was consecrated to the Goddess. Forty temples were dedicated to her. The Vinca culture, which flourished between 5,000 and 4,000 B.C. in the Balkans, has yielded more than two thousand figurines of the Goddess in the form of a serpent or a bird. It was during this epoch that the first male images of the deity began to appear. These depicted the son of the Goddess, personified as Isis and Horus. Neolithic cultures were also present in Africa. In 7,000 B.C., much of the Sahara was a vast fertile region where a major civilisation developed. Images of the Goddess have been found in the caves of the high, inaccessible plateaux of the present Sahara

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Desert. In Dahomey, the creator of the gods, Mawu-Lisa, who was both male and female, is portrayed as a serpent. Neolithic civilisation was in no way primitive. The discovery, in excavations, of decorated vases and precious ritual objects (fashioned in marble, copper and gold) are evidence of considerable sophistication. In her studies of numerous sites in the Balkans, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Poland and the Ukraine, M. Gimbutas notes the remarkable consistency of this civilisation, which she calls “Ancient Europe”. It would seem there were no conflicts or wars for a period of over 2,000 years. For mankind it was an era of peace and prosperity. No signs of fortifications or weapons are to be found prior to 4,500 B.C. Hills were generally used for temples, and not as sites for citadels or other strongholds. There are no representations depicting or celebrating war. On the contrary, the myriad images drawn from nature show that peoples of that time were interested in the beauty and sacredness of life.8 There does not seem to have been any particular hierarchy within the communities. Relationships between men and women also seem to have been on an equal footing. No archaeological evidence has been found to suggest social domination of women by men. Women also appear to have played an important part in sacred rituals. The men and women of the period no doubt lived in a harmony similar to that enjoyed by some Indian tribes in North America before European invasion. The sole religious image was that of the Mother Goddess. This harmony of life and this universal veneration of the Goddess were not shaken until the early IndoEuropean invasions (Kurgan) which, about 4,500 B.C., introduced the Bronze Age. We should probably challenge the picture of idealised harmony that many feminists have tried to portray in the Neolithic matriarchy. It is most likely that a life governed by matriarchal
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rules left little space for men. During the Palaeolithic era, tribal survival depended entirely on the success of the hunt, but during the Neolithic the agricultural pursuits of the women perhaps left the menfolk with insufficient scope for their energy and activity. Worse still, they probably experienced a progressive dwindling of their social status. Paintings in Catal Hüyük portray hunting scenes with men wearing leopard skins. These are clearly not contemporary scenes, but nostalgic commemorations of the past, when men were glorified as hunters. With progress in agriculture and the domestication of animals, hunting became of secondary importance. To make up for their lack of activities, men began to assist the womenfolk in the preparation of the ground for crops, clearing the scrub as men of the African and South American tribes do today. Only later did men take on the tasks of building dwellings, and animal husbandry. With the advent of the Iron Age, men were to find a physical activity more to their taste: warfare.

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Aryans and Semites: Infiltration of the Male Principle
After the Neolithic age, certain regions developed more sophisticated technologies and cultures. These were the regions of Sumer in Mesopotamia, Hittite Anatolia, and Egypt. Worship of the Goddess still constituted the centre of religious life. Inanna in Sumer, Cybele in Anatolia, and Isis in Egypt are all representations of the great and unique Mother Goddess, whose myths and descriptions were to give rise to Sophia in the Old Testament, to the Great Goddess of the Gnostics, and to the more recent cult of the Virgin Mary.

Inanna, the Glory of Sumer
The main centre was undoubtedly Sumer, which was to have a profound influence on Egypt and Anatolia. In attempting to understand the fate of the cult of the Goddess, Sumer is of outstanding interest, for here the first traces have been found of the influences which were to diminish the importance of the Goddess in religious consciousness. Sumer represents the first link in the chain of transition from the harmonious veneration of the Mother Goddess to the Iron Age, when the Patriarchal aspect of the deity emerged and become dominant. We do not know where the people of Sumer came from, but the Sumerians, who referred to themselves as the “black-headed people”, became established in southern Mesopotamia towards the second half of the fourth millennium B.C.. They adopted
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aspects of the culture of the local population, the Al Ubaid, whose pottery and craft work were already highly developed. The Al Ubaid civilisation flourished between the fourth and third millennium B.C., and was apparently outstanding. Excavations carried out during the last century revealed an extensive literature, including more than 30,000 verses of epic poetry, and hymns praising the deity. This certainly represents only a tiny portion of that which existed at the time, some of which probably remains buried in the desert of Iraq. The territory located around Bassora, between Iraq and Iran, was the centre of the prodigious civilisation of Sumer, whose influence extended to Anatolia, Egypt and the Indus Valley. Each city formed an autonomous unit, governed as an independent trading state. The Sumerians invented a system of writing which enabled them to develop literature and law. They compiled the first legal code, on which the celebrated Code of Hammurabi was based. With the emergence of astronomy, mathematics, pharmacy and the compilation of the earliest pharmacopoeias, the sciences gained a new impetus. Power resided in the king, who consulted an assembly of elders. Sumer played a very significant role in initiating and catalysing the transition from Neolithic culture to classical civilisation. For most of the period known as classical Antiquity, Sumerian was the universal language, as Greek and Latin were to be later. The influence of Sumer is seen in the development of Judaism and Christianity. Many myths, such as those of the Flood and Adam and Eve, have their origin in Sumer. A seal dating from 2,500 B.C., depicts two figures sitting at the foot of the Tree of Life, with a serpent rising just behind the woman. This image represents the sacred union. It anticipates the biblical scene of the Garden of Eden in Genesis, where, however, its significance is totally reversed. In biblical symbolism, the scene depicts the fall of Man, whereas, for the Sumerians, according to Joseph
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Campbell9, it expressed the sacred, evoking the fruit of immortality.

Illustration 20: God and Goddess with the Tree of Life and the Serpent (2,500 B.C.) British Museum, London.

The Sumerian civilisation gave a predominant place to the Mother Goddess under the names of Inanna and Ishtar. Inanna was the name given to the Goddess in southern Sumer, in the cities of Ur, Uruk and Lagash, Ishtar was the Goddess of the north, honoured in Babylon, Kish, Nippur and Akkad. “She assumed the form of a many sided Goddess, both mother and bride, destined to be known by many names and epithets such as Ninhursaga, the Mother of the land, Ninsikil-la, the pure lady, Nintuama Kalamma, the lady who gives birth.”10 She was also Nammu, the Goddess of the primordial ocean, who was to be worshipped for more than a thousand years. One of the last kings of Sumer, one who was renowned for his great wisdom, took the name of Ur Nammu, which means “Servant of the Goddess”. A representation of Nammu was discovered in the city of Ur, which shows her as a Goddess with a serpent's head, holding a child in her arms. This sculpture depicts the Mother Goddess in the form of the Kundalini.

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Illustration 21: Snake Goddess (4,000 B.C.) Baghdad Museum.

Inanna was perceived as the one from whom the universe emanated, and she was venerated as:

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“The Builder of that which has Breath, The Carpenter of Mankind, The Carpenter of the Heart.”11

Inanna was worshipped as both Virgin and Mother, the one who gave birth to all the gods. She was both Queen of the Earth and Queen of Heaven. In one poem, the Goddess descends into the underworld in order to save her son, Tammuz, and bring him back into a new life cycle. This journey by Inanna (so often identified with the serpent) symbolises the purifying work of the Kundalini, restoring Man to his own divinity. Considerable use was made of this myth in Jewish mysticism, which applied it to the Shekinah. Women occupied an important place in Sumerian society, carrying out sacred rituals on an equal footing with men. However, no civilisation lasts forever, and Sumer was gradually invaded by the Semitic people who settled in the north, in what was to become Babylon. The Semites were semi-nomadic tribes. With their herds of sheep and goats, they roamed throughout the “Fertile Crescent”. Their relationship with the sedentary populations they encountered alternated between compromise and war. Sumer was not the only civilisation to be infiltrated and overwhelmed by “patriarchal” peoples. All the sedentary societies of the Neolithic period were subject to upheavals caused by such movements of peoples. The Semitic migrations were restricted to Mesopotamia, but the Aryan invasions were on a much larger scale and extended throughout Europe, Iran and northern India. Both Aryans and Semites had a profound impact on the Neolithic societies they penetrated, changing both secular customs and religious life.

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The Bronze Age

Illustration 22: Semite and Aryan Invasions. 74

While the Neolithic communities were organised around the cultivation of their land, the Semitic and Aryan nomadic people, who displaced them, organised their societies around their herds. The Neolithic communities, tranquil and protective, offered the best conditions for the development of female qualities, the Yin. Life was dependent on the harvest, so fertility rites dedicated to the Earth Mother and the Great Goddess were regularly celebrated. In nomadic societies, however, it was the man, not the woman, who had the major economic and social role, since he was in charge of the livestock. Further, the unpredictable physical and moral challenges inherent in nomadic life called on individuals to mobilise their male attributes, i.e. the active, aggressive, solar side of their nature, the Yang. Nomads no longer prayed to Mother Earth, as the sedentary peoples of the fertile plains had, but turned to the skies begging favourable weather for their migrations. With the focus on the heavens, spirituality became patriarchal, leading to the veneration of powerful male deities, the sky gods, who appear in Mesopotamia from 4,000 B.C.. Had the two groups found a meeting place and developed together, civilisation could have prospered in great harmony, preserving the equilibrium between “Yin” and “Yang”. This happened in India, where the Aryans and the Dravidians of the Deccan successfully integrated their contrasting cultures. Unfortunately for the West, the nomadic peoples, when they encountered the sedentary civilisations, exploited their technical advantage (notably the wheel) to dominate. The universal cult of the Mother Goddess was confronted by the worship of a host of male deities, who had lost any sense of universality and degenerated into local tribal gods. These tribal gods were often used to justify the domination of the societies their adherents had conquered. Later Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster and Mohammed were to denounce them as “idols”. But there was
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a more subtle ramification to these changes in worship. In the Bible, Yahweh lost his universality when he became the God of the Jews, no longer the eternal and omnipresent Formless One of the Patriarchs. The nomadic peoples known as “Aryans” were warlike. They galloped across the steppes in armed groups, terrifying the populations they encountered. Their extraordinary migratory journeys led them, with their herds and flocks, from the steppes of Asia to the West, the South, and the East from 3,000 B.C.. These peoples, including the Celts (Gauls) and the Germanic tribes, made their way to the lands of the setting sun, which would later bear the name of the Greek Goddess “Europa”. To the east they spread into India, and to the south they settled in the regions adjacent to Mesopotamia and Persia. With their sophisticated weapons and their horse-drawn chariots they devastated all societies in their way. Their conquering progress did not stop at Sumer, but extended into all the regions of “Ancient Europe”, particularly Anatolia and Greece. The invaders introduced mythologies in which nature and human life ceased to be linked to the Divine, in contrast with the Neolithic world-view which was based on a non-dualist vision of the Divine and Nature. The harsh climate of the desert, home of the Semites, and the steppes of Central Asia, cradle of the Aryans, influenced the vision these peoples had of the world. They found themselves condemned to a perpetual struggle against a hostile environment. The Aryan and Semitic vision of life was based on conquest. They blotted out all memories of harmony between Man and Nature, all spiritual beliefs which had succoured the lives of the sedentary Neolithic societies, lives governed by the omniscience and omnipresence of the Mother Goddess. This meant that people lost any awareness of being part of the whole. Birth and death
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were no longer governed by the normal cycles of life, as violent death became a daily occurrence. Insecurity took hold. All the invading tribes brought with them their patriarchal and tribal gods, whose worship competed directly with the traditional worship of the Mother Goddess, handed down from the Palaeolithic Age. The gods were superimposed over the earlier traditions, and new civilisations appeared in Mesopotamia, Greece, Anatolia, Canaan and throughout Europe, in which the male aspect of the deity was supreme.

The Infiltration of the Male Principle
Let us return to Sumer to see an example of how the male tribal gods gradually replaced the Mother Goddess. The north of Sumer was inhabited by the Akkadians, one of the Semitic populations who were progressively leaving the desert to migrate into Mesopotamia with their flocks of sheep and goats, a people sharply distinct from the Sumerians. The Akkadians began by accepting the superiority of their neighbours, but after a struggle lasting several centuries they succeeded around 1,750 B.C. in wresting power from the Neolithic societies of southern Sumer. The Sumerian tongue was gradually replaced by Akkadian, although scribes continued to use Sumerian as the language of sacred ritual. Sumer was also increasingly infiltrated by other Semitic tribes coming from the west and the south, from the deserts of Arabia and Syria. The Akkadians kept some elements of Sumerian mythology and literature, and these they carried with them throughout the Near East - Anatolia, Canaan, Assyria - during the next two thousand years. But they introduced many new concepts, including a chief male god whose cult dominated and superseded the worship of the Mother Goddess.
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During this time the Sumerian civilisation was also subject to the influence of other Semitic groups which did not acknowledge the Mother Goddess as a sole, universal deity. Ishtar, the universal Goddess who had given birth to the gods, lost her supremacy and was demoted, becoming first the bride, then the sister, and finally the daughter of the god of heaven, Enlil, who now dominated the Sumerian pantheon. Enlil therefore rose from the position of the son of the Goddess to that of God the Father, dominating the entire mythology. The respect that countless generations had paid to the Goddess began to fade. Finally reference was made even to her rape. The poem below clearly describes this loss of status of the Mother Goddess in favour of the male God: “My father (Enlil) gave me earth, I, the Queen of Heaven am I, He has given me Lordship, He has given me Queenship, He has given me battle, he has given me combat, He has given me the Flood, he has given me the Tempest, He has placed heaven as a crown on my head, He has placed the holy sceptre on my head ...”12 The Mother Goddess, who had been the sole power from whom all energy emanated, became the one who received her powers from the paternal god, Enlil. Sumerian mythological poetry clearly describes the struggles between the partisans of the tribal gods and those of the Goddess, who resented seeing the universal Mother lose her status: “The Goddess cried: My father has changed his word to me! He has violated his pledge, broken his promise!”13 And again: “I, the holy Inanna - where are all my prerogatives?”14
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With the fall of Sumer, Mesopotamia entered a period which alternated between terrible confusion, conquest and defeat. As we have seen, the Akkadians were the first to occupy Sumer. They were followed, around 1,800 B.C., by Babylon as the leading power in the ancient world. It was at this time that the King Hammurabi had his famous legal code, which gave an important place to the Mother Goddess, drawn up. His writings appear to be the last texts expressing peace and harmony before the advent of the Iron Age:
“I have destroyed the enemies from the North and the South, I have extinguished the battles, I have bestowed happiness on the country, I have led the settlers to their rest In pastures green, I will allow no one to distress them. I am their saving shepherd, whose sceptre is undeviating, The blessing of my shadow lies over the town, I have taken the people of Sumer and Akkad to my bosom, Thanks to my protectress (Ishtar) they have prospered. I have not ceased from governing in peace. Thanks to my wisdom, I will shelter them.”

Hammurabi states clearly that he respects the rights of the sedentary peoples and that he forbids their conquest. He was an exception. Warfare continued in Sumer and throughout Europe. Battles, fought between the devotees of the Goddess and those who adored the male deities, resulted in the balance tipping in favour of the supporters of the tribal gods, although the Goddess was not completely banished from the various religious pantheons. She usually occupied a secondary place to God the Father. This order was maintained amongst most of the peoples of Antiquity, and even tended, as the Mother Goddess gradually regained some of her status, to bring about a sort of equilibrium.
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Things were different among the Assyrians and the Babylonians. They eliminated the Goddess entirely. In their mythology, they assassinated her. This was fatal for the West, for the JudeoChristian world was to base its vision of the world on this culture, a culture which, in religious life and symbolism, had forgotten the power of the Goddess.

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The Assyro-Babylonian Rupture
The Iron Age
With the Iron Age, which began around 1,250 B.C., Babylon became a great capital, and Marduk, “Babylon's God”, rose to become chief of the deities. The Mother Goddess was supplanted by Marduk, who stripped her of every attribute she had been given by the sages of the Ancient World. The Babylonian epic, Enuma Elish, recounts how Marduk, originally the grandson of Tiamat, the Great Goddess, waged a merciless battle against her, finally slaying her. During this struggle, the great Goddess assumed the form of a terrifying dragon who spawned a multitude of serpents with sharpened teeth, protruding jaws, and venomfilled bodies. In this myth the serpent, which had always been used to represent the Goddess's nurturing power, became an agent of terror, destruction and death. This new vision, totally divorced from the symbolism of the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods, contributed to the transformation of the serpent into the demoniac principle of Genesis, the tempter responsible for the fall of Adam and Eve. Marduk, the Father-God, occupied a position of total supremacy over the Goddess, and became a male god with no female counterpart. He was to become the inspiration of the three great monotheistic and patriarchal religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The female aspect of the deity disappeared, to be replaced by a unique Creator-Father. God became defined as the “creator”
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of the heavens and the earth, while the Goddess “was” the heavens and the earth. The concept of “creating” is radically different from that of “being”. It divorces the Creator from the created. It ruptures the unity between Man and the Deity. This concept, pushed to the extreme, led all three monotheistic religions to forget the bond between human beings and the Divine. The catholic is still kept from any direct communication with God. He must confess his sins and be instructed through the intermediary of a priest. The intimacy of the direct link with God was lost. This link is the Goddess herself in the form of Kundalini, so often represented symbolically by the serpent. In Babylon, Enuma Elish was recounted every year to celebrate the victory of Marduk over Tiamat. The epic tells how, after slaughtering Tiamat, Marduk used her lifeless body to manufacture the earth. The brutal images of Babylonian mythology nourished the cultural life of many generations, and greatly influenced the Assyrians after their defeat of Babylon. The Assyrians quickly integrated Marduk's victory over Tiamat into their own mythology, since it corresponded perfectly with their own religious and spiritual attitudes, based, as they were, on contempt of the feminine. The Babylonian myth has come down to us by way of the Assyrians, the Enuma Elish epic being reconstituted from tablets found in the library of Assurbanipal, the last king of Assyria. The seal shown below, dating from 800 B.C., shows the destruction of the Goddess - portrayed as a dragon - by the tribal god of the Assyrians, Assur.

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Illustration 23: Tiamat slain by Marduk. British Museum (900 B.C.)

The new order, governed by the male god, was one of conquest and war. Mesopotamia and the Near East were to enter into implacable wars and massacres culminating in the horror of the Assyrian Empire. In Assyria, the patriarchal picture of God assumed its definitive form with the god Assur, whose cult was modelled on that of Marduk. Mesopotamia had lived under the influence of two great imperial powers: the Egyptians to the south, and the Hittites and the Hurrites to the north. In the middle of the fourteenth century B.C., the Assyrians shook off the Hurrite domination and raised their kingdom to the rank of a great power. Their aggression was unlimited. To the east they invaded Persia, and waged a war of
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extreme ferocity against the Medes, defeating them after a struggle lasting several decades, and extending their empire to the Caspian Sea. The Assyrians believed that war proceeded from the will of the God Assur, and that peace was little more than a brief respite. To the west and the south, the Assyrians mounted campaigns against the Arab tribes and against Egypt. Thebes was destroyed, and was never to rise from its ruins. In the vanguard of military technology, the Assyrian armies were constantly mounting lightning strikes. People trembled, blood flowed, cities burned. The Assyrians imposed their rule, but did not build. Not only did they destroy the most flourishing urban societies, but they devastated the earth: wells were filled in, irrigation channels blocked, running water transformed into stagnant marshes. The few societies that were not massacred or enslaved were reduced to famine. Assyrians made unprecedented use of massive deportations of entire populations to avoid uprisings when their armies moved on to fresh conquests. The Assyrians left behind them a sinister catalogue of cities razed to the ground, peoples deported, the vanquished burned alive or punished with extreme cruelty. Each Assyrian conquest was the assassination of a civilisation. The cruelty of the Assyrian kings’ imperial rule knew no bounds, and the prophets of Israel were to perpetuate its memory in the Old Testament. An Assyrian king's hymn to war bears witness to his barbarism:
“Joyously, I sat astride my formidable chariot, I, the destroyer of foes, With my heart on fire with the desire for revenge. I took the powerful bow that Assur had given me And the destroying bow to life was within my grasp.”15

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The Assyrian empire reached its greatest territorial expansion during the reign of Assurbanipal in 630 B.C. It extended from Egypt to the Caspian Sea. But its power was overstretched. The Medes and Babylonians, in coalition, were able to mount mutinies which the Assyrians found difficult - and eventually impossible - to put down. In 614, the empire of Assur was defeated, and all the cities of Assyria destroyed, their inhabitants massacred. Throughout history, no other people has ever been so completely annihilated and obliterated from the map as the Assyrians. This merciless retribution, however, did not act as a lesson to the Babylonian conquerors. They continued the Assyrian cruelty. Their king Nebuchadnezzar, adopting Assyrian policy, waged wars of conquest. He defeated the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, which were then vassals of Egypt, perpetuating the miseries of the Jewish people. He laid siege to Jerusalem and captured it in 557 B.C. The city was laid waste and put to flames. The Temple of Solomon was destroyed. The entire population was deported to Babylon. It was here that the Hebrews immersed themselves in aspects of local mythology which were to have considerable impact on the Bible, and Genesis in particular.

The Assyrians and Asuras
The Assyrians and their god Assur have been compared to the Asuras, the demons who, in Indian mythology, personified the forces of evil. In the historical reality of Babylon and Assyria, one people dominate and massacre their neighbours, while in Indian mythology, the Asuras attack and defeat the heavenly beings, the Devas. Helpless, the Devas implore the Great Goddess to come and save them. In response, the Great Goddess engages in a cosmic struggle from which she emerges victorious. The scenario is an exact reversal of the Assyrian myth, in which
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the Goddess is slain by Assur. The Devi Mahatmyam forcefully describes the details of this titanic combat, which resulted in the destruction of the Asuras. Here are a few extracts.
“Whereupon, mightily enraged, Chandika, the Mother of the Worlds, Quaffed a Divine drink again and again. And the Asura also roared, Intoxicated with his strength and valour, And hurled mountains against Chandika with his horns.”16 “Enraged on seeing his great ally slaughtered, Nishumba17 then rushed forward to the Goddess With the chief forces of the Asuras. Shumba also, mighty in valour, went forward, Surrounded with his own troops, to slay Chandika in his rage.”18 “Yes, you protect the Universe, And reign over the world. Soul of all things, On you, indeed, all things rest! O Goddess, have pity! Keep us from fear of the enemy As you have done now In slaughtering the Asuras.”19

The similarities between these myths may arise from the contacts which existed during this period between the Indian subcontinent and Mesopotamia. They could also have arisen from the Collective Unconscious, events taking place in Mesopotamia during the Assyrian reign finding an unconscious echo in India.

Misogyny and Terror in the Bible
Out of the Assyrian and Babylonian myths a new order emerged, one no longer based on a universal Goddess, which they had destroyed, or a harmonious inter-relationship between all the
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elements of creation. Man divorced himself from nature, his purpose on earth now being to dominate the elements. The Old Testament was written late in the development of this new order, parts being composed during the deportation of the Hebrews to Babylon. It is not surprising, then, that the Hebrew myths are largely inspired by Assyrian and Babylonian myths. The antagonistic relationship between Man and Nature is clearly expressed in Genesis: “God blessed them (male and female) and God said to them: Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth.”20 Yet the earth, which, according to Assyro-Babylonian myth, was created out of the carcass of the Goddess Tiamat, and according to Genesis must be dominated by Man, was, in fact, the Mother Earth of the old order. Respect for Mother Earth had been lost. The Serpent, which had been the power of the Mother, became a force of evil, which God drove out of Paradise where the Tree of Life had been placed. This myth is yet another expression of the repression of Kundalini from the conscious mind. Knowing something of the Babylonian myth, which so influenced the Old Testament, helps us to understand the harmful effect it has had on our Western consciousness, which was, in turn, directly shaped by the Judeo-Christian tradition. The myth of the fall of Adam, central to Genesis, and basic to Augustine’s doctrine of original sin, has had enormous influence on Western philosophy, religion and even day-to-day living. It is represented in thousands of images in western art. Vasari's painting, The Immaculate Conception, which hangs in the Villa Giugini at Lucca in Tuscany, shows a serpent with a woman's face, curling round the Tree of Life to corrupt humanity. The symbolism of the
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Goddess and of the liberating power of the Kundalini has been fundamentally reversed. The brazen serpent held aloft by Moses was a symbol of Kundalini and the protective power of the Goddess. Later, King Hezekiah of Judea (727-698 B.C.) realising its association with the Goddess, smashed the brazen serpent Moses had made, and destroyed the sacred images of the Goddess Asherah (Asherove).21 We can see in the Old Testament, and particularly in the Book of Genesis, that two different versions have been overlaid. In the first version, God is portrayed as a partisan God siding with one clan, one tribe, thus losing His transcendence. The Jews, a Semitic people with a strong patriarchal tradition, were to see in Yahweh their male, tribal God, although this time no idol was to be made in his name. The world of the Jews was troubled, torn asunder by the chaos of the Assyrian and the Babylonian conquests. Men no longer focused their piety on nature, or on the quest for the gentle compassion and peace of the Goddess. The fields and orchards, so dependent on the nourishing, regenerative power of the earth, became battlegrounds. The quest for the absolute and the eternal, was now forgotten by all but a few outstanding individuals, such as David and Solomon. Yahweh became a tribal god who was used to legitimise conquests and wars. “Say to the people of Israel, when you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, and destroy all their figured stones, and destroy all their molten images, and demolish all their high places. You shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given the land to you to possess it.”22 One may wonder how the Hebrews could achieve this conquest of the land of Canaan without transgressing the Ten Commandments, the basis of the Law:
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“You shall not kill.”23 “You shall not covet your neighbour's house... nor any thing that is your neighbour's.”24

This contradiction within the “word of God” comes from the scribes of the Bible, attempting to justify acts of conquest and destruction. Yahweh is the representation of brutal force, devoid of all moral and spiritual value, that led Jung to say: “the absence of human morality in Yahweh is a stumbling block which cannot be overlooked. It is the image of a personified brutal force of an unethical and non-spiritual mind. It is the picture of a sort of nature demon and at the same time of a primitive chieftain aggrandized to colossal size, just the sort of conception one could expect of a more or less barbarous society.”25 Beyond this barbarous aspect, the Old Testament bears the imprint of a patriarchal society’s misogyny, with its neglect of the Eternal Feminine, and the degrading of women’s position in society. God no longer creates man and woman in His own image. He first creates Adam, then the animals, and, only then, Eve, from one of Adam's ribs: “and the rib which the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. Then the man said: this at last is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.”26 When Eve allowed herself to be tempted by the serpent, God said: “I will greatly multiply your pain in child bearing; in pain you shall bring forth citizen, yet your desire shall be for your husband and he shall rule over you.”27 Apart from the aberration which legitimises the domination of man over woman, God is shown ordering the suffering of His child, a very strange attitude for a father! Woman has lost all status, all dignity. Her wishes are entirely subordinated to the authority of man. Any vows or promises a married woman may make are subject to the tacit approval of her
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husband: “if her husband makes them null and void on the day that he hears them, then whatever proceeds out of her lips concerning her vows or concerning her pledge of herself shall not stand: her husband has made them void and the Lord will forgive her.”28 The Pentateuch mentions the reputation of woman several times, but never the reputation of man! Christ eventually put an end to this misogyny when the apostle asked him if a man could repudiate his wife. His answer was, “Husband and wife are one flesh. What God has united, man cannot separate.”29 In the Old Testament we are confronted by a highly misogynist religion which demeans the position of women, and consequently denies and rejects the Mother Goddess. In spite of the teaching of Moses, expressing the transcendence of God, the Semitic priests and scribes were to masculinise Yahweh, and this had important consequences for the collective consciousness of our JudeoChristian civilisation. The Mother Goddess was forgotten, while misogyny, loss of natural harmony, and Man's domination of his environment took over. In a second, or alternative version - a version inspired by the prophets - Yahweh is portrayed as eternal, omniscient and omnipresent. God is pure spirit and transcends all attributes of a physical order, such as the feminine and the masculine. God is good, he is compassion. God created Adam and Eve in his own image, which suggests that God is both male and female. This is the God of the Ten Commandments, who lays down laws to enable mankind to live in harmony and peace.

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The God of the Prophets: Abraham, Moses, Zoroaster
Amidst the chaos of the Iron Age, outstanding individuals divinely inspired - attempted to raise the consciousness of the Semitic and Aryan people. Abraham and Moses for the Semites, and Zoroaster for the Aryans, battled against the tribal gods who were venerated in idolatrous forms, and offered a vision of the Eternal Formless One under the names of Yahweh and Ahura Mazda. God, for these great prophets, was the supreme and perfect Being, the sole cause of all that is. There was one God not a multiplicity of patriarchal gods, each sending forth devotees to fight neighbouring peoples. God is One, He is the God of all.

Abraham and Moses
Abraham, around the twentieth century B.C., and Moses in the twelfth century B.C., both spoke of God in total, absolute terms. Etymologically, the name Yahweh is derived from the verb “to be”. During the Exodus, God said to Moses, “You will speak thus to the sons of Israel: I AM has sent Me to you.”30 The verb “to be” can also mean “breathe, blow”. Yahweh is derived from the Semitic root “Hwy”, which means “wind”. God is transcendent: “From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God.”31 “I AM the first and I AM the last.”32 God is universal, He does not restrict himself to any country or race. He is “the judge of all the earth.”33 At the Time of
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Salvation, God will gather into his eternal Kingdom, “all peoples, all nations and all languages”34 This universalist vision of God was to inspire a human search for holiness, a quest clearly defined: “You must be holy for I am holy”35. In the Old Testament, God remains a cosmic concept. The possibility of the internal presence of God is rarely mentioned. Human development at that time, particularly in the Middle East, was insufficient to allow the prophets to open the way of the “inner quest”, calling men to search for their own Divinity. In many parts of the “East”, however, humanity, through the teachings of the Upanishads, the illumination of the Buddha, and the mysticism of Lao Tze's Tao, had reached a higher level of awareness, a more subtle state of consciousness, making it possible to gain experience of the spirit within. The “Western” world only achieved this understanding later, in the light of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Before calling men to an inner life, the prophets had to struggle against religious distortions. Abraham, and above all Moses, had to fight all forms of idolatry. Religious rites celebrated before idols, in particular with the cult of Baal, involved human sacrifice, especially newborn infants. Veneration of the Goddess, losing its purity during the invasions of the patriarchal armies, turned into collective hysteria. In her name, women were subjected to sacred prostitution, and men to castration - actions the prophets denounced. These perversions, so destructive to spiritual progress, had to be stopped at all costs. As part of his campaign of purification, Moses forbade the veneration of idols, and raised human minds to the Almighty, the Eternal, the Supreme God, Yahweh, who is neither male nor female. Yet the scribes and translators of the Old Testament masculinised the name of God and phoneticised it as “Yahweh”. The Hebrew name for God is unpronounceable, for it consists of four
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consonants YHVH, the Sacred Tetragrammaton. This form indicates that God is beyond all names, all description, all classification. Victor Hugo described God as: “He to whom no name has yet been given”. The tradition of the Kabbala was later to give the three Hebrew letters YVH their full significance, embracing the female and male dimensions of the Deity. YOD (I or Y) a male letter, is the primordial Hebrew letter, the simplest letter in the alphabet, the one from which all the others can be formed. YOD is like the figure 1, the original number, the symbolic unity of the absolute, the primordial Lingam of Shiva. It means the Atman, the Self, the Universal Father, the Eternal Witness. HE (H) a female letter, corresponds to the eternal feminine, the heavenly Mother, she who created the Primordial Power. In Hebrew it signifies “breath”. It is also the first letter in the Hebrew word “Hokmah” meaning Wisdom, which has the attributes of the Mother in the Old Testament. VAH (V or W) a male letter, represents the son, the eternal Word, the basis and starting point of Creation. YHVH, then, represents the full manifestation of God, the Trinity, of which God the Father is only one constituent. The sacred Tetragrammaton in Hebrew offers an interesting analogy with OM in the sacred tradition in India. In both, the Father occupies the summit, as witness of the creation of the Goddess.

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God the Father, Witness of the Creation God the Mother, the Creation

Illustration 24: OM and Yahweh.

There is no trace of a diatribe against the Great Goddess in the words of Moses or Abraham. What was denounced were the rituals and the deviant worship surrounding Her. However, after the earthly sojourn of these two Patriarchs, many leaders of the Jewish community were to become fanatical opponents of the Goddess and persecutors of Her devotees. How could Moses - who chose the brazen serpent, the age-old traditional symbol of the power of the Eternal Feminine, as the tool of his miraculous powers - have been against the Goddess? We should also note that God revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush, yet another manifestation of the Mother Goddess. Even in the Bible itself, burning groves are associated with Asherah, the Queen of Heaven.36 The symbolism is obvious. Who but the Inner Mother, Kundalini, can reveal the Father? Illumination (the Burning Bush) is given by Kundalini, making it possible to become aware of the Spirit, i.e. the Eternal Father. In spite of the zeal of those who promoted the concept of an exclusive, abstract patriarchal God - sometimes known as “Yahwists” - the Hebrews did not readily abandon the cult of Astarte. Unlike the cult of Baal, Astarte was to continue to be venerated in Judea and in Israel. King Solomon put an end to the “Yahwists” and introduced tolerance and respect into religious practice. Solomon himself achieved illumination, and in his heart
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felt the stirrings of devotion to the Eternal Feminine. He introduced the Goddess Asherah - another name for Astarte - into the Temple in Jerusalem. The concept of a single abstract God had difficulty in establishing itself, and had to co-exist for many centuries with worship of the Mother Goddess. Eventually, however, this duality was condemned by biblical writings as idolatry. The people, however, continued to attribute their defeats and various trials to their falling away from the worship of the Goddess. The cult of Astarte disappeared with the return to power of fanaticism and intolerance. In 621 B.C., King Joshua forbade the worship of Astarte, and his reign was sufficiently long to ensure that his demands had a durable impact. However the cult of the Mother Goddess under the name of the Queen of Heaven reappeared locally in the Jewish colonies of Egypt during the fifth century B.C.. A Jewish temple dedicated to Anat has been found on Elephantine Island outside of Aswan. Anat was considered to be Yahweh's consort. Once the worship of Yahweh had been firmly implanted, orthodox Judaism was never again to stray from the idea of a single abstract, patriarchal God who judges and punishes those who fail to obey His Law. Only much later was Jewish mysticism to develop the idea of the “Divine Presence”, the Shekinah, to offset this narrow outlook.

Zoroaster
During the sixth century B.C. Zoroaster traveled throughout the Aryan territory of the high plateau of northern Iran, preaching justice and human liberation. He fulminated against war, and attacked demoniacal men who held human and animal life in contempt. Ahura Mazda is the Lord God, the God of Wisdom, the
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only and Almighty God, who calls men to good actions and good words. Ahura Mazda is the eternally good Father God, who provides laws so that Man can live in peace, and respect the natural environment.
“You are the first and the last, You are the Father of Good Thought, You are the true teacher of Order and Uprightness.”37

Zoroaster brought ideas of balance, justice and Divine supremacy to the undisciplined Aryans of Persia. He channeled their excessive solar activity (Yang, Rajo Guna) into the worship of a Supreme Authority which tolerated no deviation, and rendered justice for justice.

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The Search for Balance: The Great Goddess of Antiquity

Illustration 25: Spread of the cults of Astarte, Isis and Cybele. 97

In spite of Aryan and Semitic invasions, a balance was to be reached between the worship of the Goddess and that of the Father. The Goddess retained her devotees throughout Antiquity, being recognised and accepted by the vast majority of people. The Greeks, the Romans, the Egyptians and the Celts all honoured the Goddess. Her cult was to dominate all other forms of worship, even though God the Father henceforth occupied the pinnacle of the religious pantheon. Traces of this search for balance are found in the Bible. Sophia is given considerable importance, and in Jewish history, the devotion of King Solomon towards Asherah, the Great Goddess, has an important place. This search for balance was made possible by enlightened rulers, such as Cyrus, Alexander and Solomon, who rejected intolerance because they understood that the Goddess dwelt in the higher regions of the human heart, at the highest point of Divine devotion. In spite of the diversity of their representations, and the different names by which they were known, the Goddesses of Antiquity shared many common characteristics. Throughout Antiquity, the Goddess was Virgin and Mother, the one who brought the soul to rebirth. These three attributes were later all conferred on the Virgin Mary. The Goddesses of Antiquity, like Athena, were also warriors - destroyers like the Indian Goddesses Durga and Kali. Their strength, however, was not linked to wars and conquests, as is often assumed. It represented the power of the Goddess to defend her devotees from the forces of evil. The syllable which occurs most often in the names of the Goddess is “an”, a root which in Indo-European languages means “breath”. Anemos, the wind, animus the Spirit, and anima the soul, are derived from this root. Anahita in Persian, Anu for the Celts, Anat in Syria, Inanna in Sumer, all reflect how these
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peoples perceived the Goddess as the one conferring spiritual birth and sacred breath - a concept which resurfaced in the Christian era, applied to the Holy Spirit. The Goddesses of Antiquity - Ishtar, Cybele and the Celtic Goddess Cerridwen, for instance - were often shown holding a vessel in their hands. In our days, Quan Yin, in China, is depicted holding the sacred vase. This vase has important symbolic connotations, since it contains eternal waters, the Water of Eternal Youth. This image suggests that at the level of the Unconscious, the Goddess is able to bestow eternity and grace when she pours the contents of her vase upon her devotees. In India, the kumbha (a small water container used in religious ceremonies) symbolises the Kundalini, which suggests that this sacred vessel is, in fact, the sacrum bone in the human body.

Illustration 26: Ishtar holding the Holy Vase (1.200 B.C.), Baghdad.

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The Goddess in Persia
Babylon was to be wiped out by the Persian Cyrus, who, like Alexander the Great, was one of the most notable sovereigns of Antiquity. Cyrus was an enlightened and tolerant ruler who sought to impose peace through policies inspired by the concept of Justice as taught by Zoroaster. In Persia, the Great Goddess was honoured under the name of Anahita. A chapter of the Avestas, the Mazdean scriptures inspired by Zoroaster, was entirely dedicated to her. Her place in the Mazdean pantheon is between the Father, Ahura Mazda and the Son, Mithras. In the Azerbaijan district of Shiz, traditionally the birthplace of Zoroaster, the main temple was dedicated to Anahita, the Goddess venerated by the very ancient community of the Magi. In the Yashts, which are also sacred scriptures, Anahita personifies the mystical lifegiving river.38 She was adored as The Lady, and considered to be the Supreme Power, the Immaculate. Anahita was worshipped throughout a vast region which included Persia and Armenia, and she has been identified with the Syrian Goddess, Anat. On the boundaries of Caucasia, her name was Indola.

The Mother Goddess in the Old Testament
The Old Testament did not entirely forget the Goddess. Under the name of Hokhmah, or Sophia in Greek, i.e. Wisdom, the Eternal Feminine occupies an important place in the Book of Wisdom and the Proverbs. She is the origin of Creation:
“The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, The first of his acts of old Ages ago I was set up, At the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths, I was brought forth, When there were no springs abounding with water. 100

Before the mountains had been shaped, Before the hills, I was brought forth; Before he had made the earth with its fields, Or the first of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens I was there, When he drew a circle on the face of the deep, When he made firm the skies above, When he established the Mountains of the deep, When he assigned to the sea its limit, So that the waters might not transgress his command, When he marked out the foundations of the earth, Then I was beside him like a master workman; And I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, Rejoicing in his inhabited world And delighting in the sons of man.”39

She is the Great Goddess, who defeats the demoniac powers in order to protect the Good:
“For while gentle silence enveloped all things, And night in its swift course was half gone, Thy all-powerful word leaped down from heaven, From the royal throne, into the midst of a land that was doomed; A stern warrior carrying the sharp sword of thy authentic command, Stood and filled all things with death, And touched heaven while standing on earth.”40

Wisdom is eternal, omnipresent and the ultimate object of adoration:
“For in her there is a spirit that is intelligent, holy, Unique, manifold, subtle, mobile, clear, unpolluted, Distinct, invulnerable, loving the good, keen, Irresistible, beneficent, humane, Steadfast, sure, free from anxiety, All-powerful, overseeing all, and penetrating through all spirits That are intelligent and pure and most subtle. For wisdom is more mobile than any motion; 101

Because of her pureness she pervades and penetrates all things. For she is a breath of the power of God, And a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; Therefore nothing defiled gains entrance into her. For she is a reflection of eternal light, A spotless mirror of the working of God, And an image of his goodness. Though 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 man Who lives with wisdom. For she is more beautiful than the sun, And excels every constellation of the stars. Compared with the light she is found to be superior, For it is succeeded by the night, But against wisdom evil does not prevail. She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, And she orders all things well. I loved her and sought her from my youth, And I desired to take her for my bride, And I became enamoured of her beauty. She glorifies her noble birth by living with God, And the Lord of all loves her. For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God, And an associate in his works. If riches are a desirable possession in life, What is richer than wisdom who effects all things? And if understanding is effective, Who more than she is the fashioner of what exists?.... Therefore I determined to take her to live with me Knowing that she would give me good council.” 41

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Sophia gives eternal deliverance to the just man by freeing him from sin and making spirituality known to him.
“When a righteous man was sold, Wisdom did not desert him But delivered him from sin. She descended with him into the dungeon, And when he was in prison she did not leave him, Until she brought him to the sceptre of a kingdom... And she gave him everlasting honour.”42 “Wisdom rescued from troubles those who served her. When a righteous man fled from his brother's wrath, She guided him on the straight paths; She showed him the kingdom of God, And gave him knowledge of the angels.”43

This is the Wisdom which inspired Moses and performed his miracles:
“A holy people and blameless race Wisdom delivered from a nation of oppressors. She entered the soul of a servant of the Lord And withstood fearsome kings with wonders and signs. She gave to holy men the reward of their labours, She guided them along a marvelous way, And became a shelter to them by day, And a starry flame through the night. She brought them over the Red Sea, And led them through deep waters; But she drowned their enemies.”44

Philo of Alexandria, the great first century A.D. Hellenic Jewish mystic, was one of the first to identify Sophia with the female and maternal archetype of the deity: “We will therefore justly call the master who created our universe the father of creation, whilst the mother is knowledge...”45

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In spite of this very clear description of the Eternal Mother in the allegory of Wisdom, neither Judaism nor Christianity were to pay any particular attention or veneration to her. Michelangelo is almost alone, in showing Wisdom, in one of his Sixtine Chapel frescos, at the side of God the Father during the act of Creation.

Illustration 27: Michelangelo: God the Father and the Sophia, Sixtine Chapel.

Orthodox Judaism in biblical or talmudic times was to develop an entirely patriarchal image of God. This exclusive concept of a universal male and abstract Deity was gradually to take root in the popular consciousness, and it led to the construction of a society on a patriarchal model, in which religion stressed the moral and intellectual aspects, neglecting the active and emotional aspects. This explains why Judaism gave pride of place to study and observance of the Law (Torah) rather than to devotion.46
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The Mother in Jewish Mysticism
In response to this redefining of the Divine, Jewish mystics developed a feminine counterpart to Yahweh, the Shekinah, which occupies a notable place in Jewish mysticism. This first emerged in an Aramean paraphrase of the Bible, the Targum Omkelos, which dates from the early years of the Christian era, but which draws on sources which are certainly much older. The Targum Omkelos extends the biblical text by using the word Shekinah to denote any manifestation of the presence of God. Yahweh is no longer present, but the Father-God who sends His Presence, the Shekinah. For example: “I will dwell amongst the children of Israel” becomes “I will send my Presence to dwell amongst the children of Israel”. This interpretation is thought to derive from the oral tradition handed down from Moses. Jewish mysticism continued to develop this concept of the Shekinah until the sixteenth century A.D. (notably in the Kabbala) giving many descriptions which closely resemble the Eternal Feminine. The Shekinah was the authentic, eternally virgin, female deity. She was beyond all attributes such as goodness or wisdom. Judaism speaks of the wings of Shekinah, the protective shelter for devotees; the face of Shekinah, the object of adoration, and the feet of Shekinah, which trample evil and negative forces. The Shekinah has a specific personality, and a will which can influence the will of God the Father, even oppose it. Like Sophia, she is the primordial power at the beginning of creation:
“When the thought of creating the world emerged in God, He first created the Holy Spirit, Which is known as the glory of our God. It is a bright flash and a great light Which extends to all creatures... And the wise call this great light the Shekina.”47 105

The most important aspect of the Shekinah is its redemptive and liberating power. “It is the occult Shekinah which appears to the initiated in the supreme vision. The world of the merkaba (i.e. the heavenly world, paradise) is the place of the Shekinah, hidden from men in the supreme heights.”48 Like the Holy Spirit in the gnostic scheme (which we shall look at below) Shekinah is the essential feminine element of the hieros gamos. In the Zohar, when the Shekinah is enthroned in the state of union, she is called the Mother, and when she is placed in the state of separation, she is the Bride: “while she dwelt in the house of the King (the Father) she was called Mother, since she fed her children from on high by means of the free flow of the emanation; now she is in exile and is known only as the wife of the Father.”49 The third century Rabbi, Shemuel bar Nahman, wrote that the characteristic of the father towards his children is that of compassion, and that of the mother is support, encouragement and consolation. And he added, “God has said: I will make like a father and like a mother.” The Shekinah represents the maternal aspect of the Divine. Like Sophia in the Bible, or the Great Goddess in the Indian scriptures, she also represents the punitive power of God. This aspect took an increasing importance during the Middle Ages, when, with the emergence of the Kabbala, the Shekinah developed a central position in Jewish religious consciousness. In fact, Shekinah simply “recovered” the attributes of Astarte, the Mother Goddess of biblical times.

Astarte
In the Classical World, the Goddess was the object of intense devotion. Representations of Astarte are found throughout the Mediterranean Basin, for the Phoenicians carried her cult to all the countries where they set up trading colonies. Her worship was present in Tyre, Carthage, Malta, Sicily, Sardinia, and Spain. An
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inscription in Sardinia gives Astarte the title of “Mother”. In Carthage she is shown with a drum, and a dove, her favourite bird. In North Africa, from the dawn of Phoenician colonising until the Arab-Islamic conquest, she seems to have been the object of fervent devotion from all levels of society. Indeed, during the Arab conquest, Berber resistance crystallised around a Queen of Eurasian origin, the priestess of a female deity, who seems to have been an avatar of the Goddess Astarte.50 The spread of her cult does not seem to have encountered any ethnic or cultural barriers. Astarte is to be found in Greece and Egypt. At Delos, a Greek inscription is dedicated to Zeus and to Astarte. At Memphis, she had a temple, and occupied a prominent place in popular stories and legends. In North Africa, and particularly in the region corresponding to present-day Tunisia, she was given the name Tanit, the Great Lady of Carthage, who was succeeded by Cybele. In some places, Astarte is identified with Athena, Juno, and also Isis.

Illustration 28: Tanit (300 A.D.) Bardo Museum, Carthage, Tunis.

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Isis
In Egypt, the Goddess was honoured under the name of Isis for a period extending from the third millennium B.C. to the second century A.D., when her cult was replaced by that of the Virgin Mary. Isis is probably derived from the African Neolithic Goddess. Her worship had considerable influence, since it extended to Greece in the third century B.C., and later to the Roman Empire, where, as we shall see, it enjoyed unparalleled splendour. She is found on the banks of the Danube and the Rhine, and even as far as Gaul. Soissons, Metz, and, it is often forgotten, Paris, were among the many places where the Goddess Isis was worshipped. She was the origin of the black virgins found throughout Europe. Isis went by a variety of titles, being known, just like the Great Goddess of the Indian subcontinent, as the Goddess of a Thousand Names. She is the Goddess of the Serpents, the Cow with a mother's milk, the Goddess of the Tree of Life, the One who sustains and the Deity who gives the water of immortality. She was the Lady of Joy and Abundance, the Queen of Heaven and Earth, the Lady of Life and Love. Her son Horus is seated on her knees in a royal posture, an image later used to depict Mary and Jesus. Isis was the Protectress of the Universe, sheltering her children beneath her great wings. She was also the source of the spirit, and all spiritual values:
“I am the plant of life which comes forth from Osiris, which allows the people to live and makes the Gods Divine which spiritualizes the spirits.”51

Isis transcends death and restores life. From her emanates the breath which restores life to Osiris. As with other representations
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of the Goddess, Isis is shown in the form of the cosmic serpent. Isis is identified with Maat, another Egyptian goddess of laws and universal order. She is the throne of the Pharaohs and thus directs the course of history. As Maat, she is present from the Beginning, and in all respects recalls Sophia from the Old Testament, who is also the throne of God. Maat appears to be a universal principle, present in each deity, rather than a distinct deity. In his incantations to Osiris, the Pharaoh Seth the First describes the unbreakable bond between God the Father (Osiris) and the Goddess Maat:
“You rise with Maat You live with Maat You make Maat rest on your head52 In order that she may take her seat on your forehead. You become young again in the sight of your daughter Maat. You live from the perfume of her dew (...). The Divine entities reward you with Maat, For they know her wisdom (...) You exist because Maat exists And she exists because you exist.”53

She is Nut, the eternal heavenly Cow who feeds man and raises him to eternity:
“O, my Mother Nut, stretch your wings over me, Let me become like the imperishable stars. O Great Being, who is in the world of the Dead, At whose feet is Eternity, In whose hand is the Always. O Great Divine beloved Soul Who is the mysterious abyss, Come to me!”54

With the conquest of Egypt by Alexander the Great, the cult of Isis was to become hellenised. She was identified with Demeter and a temple was built in her honour on the slopes of the
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Acropolis. She also had a temple at Delos. Hymns in praise of her are found in the literature of Ancient Greece:
“I gave and ordained laws for men Which no one is able to change, I divided the earth from the heaven, I showed the paths of the stars, I ordered the course of the sun and the moon, I brought together woman and man, I devised marriage contracts, I ordained that the true should be thought good, I broke down the governments of tyrants, I made an end to murders, I made the right tobe stronger than gold and silver. I am the Queen of rivers and winds and sea.”55

Isis was of Egyptian origin, but her many attributes derived from the religious syncretism of the Mediterranean basin made her a universal Goddess. Her cult made its way north through Italy via Sicily and initially encountered hostility from the Roman authorities. The opposition eventually proved ineffective, and her cult was accepted in the third century B.C.. Isis combined the attributes of Cybele, Demeter and Athena, and her cult was purified of the orgiastic elements which threatened it. «Like the sublime Virgin Mother who eventually was to dethrone her, she was the “Goddess of many names”, the Queen of Heaven, Mother of the Stars, First Born of all Ages, Parent of nature, Patroness of sailors, Star of the sea and Mater Dolorosa (giving comfort and consolation to mourners and those in distress), and finally in the metamorphoses, “the Saviour of the human race”, the Redemptrix.”56 Her cult spread far and wide. In all the major centres of the Roman Empire, her faithful thronged to her temples. Having taken on the characteristics and functions of all the other Goddesses, she enjoyed great stability throughout the Empire.
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“She gained dominion not only over nature, but also over the hearts and lives of those who sacrificed her service. In these ways and capacities, she fulfilled the role of the Great Mother.”57 This devotion to the Mother Goddess reached the lower strata of society as well as the intellectual elite of the day, the Neoplatonist philosophers. The celebrated invocation of Apuleus, second century platonist of Madaure in his autobiographical novel Metamorphoses, is an eloquent example:
“Oh you who, by your feminine light illuminates all walls, by your damp rays nourishes all seeds, and who, replacing the sun, sheds an equal light, in whatever form, with whatever ritual that may be allowed to invoke You, help me in my extreme misfortune.”

The Goddess responds to this invocation by appearing adorned with the attributes of the various divinities under whose name she had been invoked:
“I come to you, Lucius, moved by your prayers. I am Nature, Mother of all things..., and Mistress of all elements, origin and principle of ages, supreme Divinity, Queen of the spirits, First of the inhabitants of Heaven, unchanging model of gods and goddesses. It is I whose will governs the sky's luminous vaults, the salutary breaths of the Ocean, the dismal silence of the underworld. Unique Power, I am adored by the entire Universe in several forms, with diverse ceremonies, with a thousand different names.”

After receiving her blessings, the worshipper replies:
“ Holy Goddess, perpetually active in the preservation of mankind, always lavish in your generosity and your care of mortals, You have the gentle affection of a mother for the unfortunate and the afflicted . There is not one day, nor night, nor moment quick enough to escape without being pointed out by one of your blessings, without you protecting man on land and on the ocean, without you brushing the storms of life aside from them, offering them a helping hand. By this hand, you further separate the threads that fate had made inextricable, you calm Fortune's storms, you neutralize the fatal influence of the 111

constellations. Worshipped by the Divinities of Olympus, you are also revered by those of Tartarus. It is you who gives the Universe its rotational motion, the sun its light, the world its laws. The celestial bodies' harmony, the changing of the seasons, the gods' rejoicing, the elements' docility, it is all your work. One sign of your bidding gives life to the wind, fills the clouds, makes the seeds sprout and the buds burst. Your majesty makes a saint shudder and the birds that cross the sky, and the wild animals that roam the mountains, and the snakes that hide under the ground, and the monsters that swim in the water. But alas, my genius is too slight to recount your praises.”58

This lovely invocation clearly demonstrates the important place occupied by the Mother Goddess in contemporary consciousness. She is the First and Universal Power, the final recourse and sole salvation, similar in all respects to the descriptions in Sanskrit literature:
“You are the Giver of all blessings. Auspicious One! Protectress! Everything comes about through You. Praise to You, O Great Goddess! You who devote Yourself to protecting The afflicted and those in distress, Who have sought refuge in You; You who takes away pain From the face of the earth: Praise to You, O Great Goddess!59

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Athena

Illustration 29: Athena (500 B.C.) Louvre Museum - Paris.

The history of Greece and its mythology demonstrate clearly the extent to which the original cult of the Goddess had been overlaid
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by that of the patriarchal god who occupied the pinnacle of the pyramid: Zeus. Robert Graves gave the explanation of this in The White Goddess: “The first Greeks to invade Greece were the Achaeans who broke into Thessaly about 1900 B.C.. They were Patriarchal herdsmen and worshipped an Indo-European male trinity of gods, originally perhaps Mithra, Varuna and Indra.... Little by little, they conquered the whole of Greece and tried to destroy the matriarchal Bronze Age civilisation they found there, but later compromised with it, accepted matrilinear succession and enrolled themselves as sons of the variously named Great Goddesses.... About the year 1250 B.C. ... the Achaeans from north-western Greece invaded the Peloponnese, founded a new patriarchal dynasty, and repudiated the sovereignty of the Great Goddess.”60 Hera, the Mother Goddess, whose name is derived from the Sanskrit svar, which means heaven, was the heavenly virgin, originally totally independent of Zeus. The myths recount their marriage - a marriage which was “arranged” - to account for the fusion of two previously distinct cults. Hera resisted Zeus in a way that recalled Inanna's resistance of Enlil, reflecting the resistance of the Goddess's devotees to the introduction of the cult of the alien, patriarchal god. It was doubtless as a result of her marriage to Zeus that Hera lost her cosmic dimension, retaining only her moral attributes. Athena is the female deity who replaced Hera in the cosmic dimension, assuming considerable importance in the religion of Ancient Greece. In Sanskrit her name means Primordial Mother. Having assumed the cosmic attributes of Hera, she became the Great Goddess of Ancient Greece, sharing the pinnacle of the Divine pantheon with Zeus.

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Athena was the daughter of Zeus, conceived solely by him. Her conception, which was as singular as it was extraordinary, shows that at one point in time, the Aryan people wanted to impose the total superiority of their male god over the Mother Goddess of the original inhabitants of the Hellenic peninsula. At the same time, from a spiritual point of view, the birth of Athena provided a unique and remarkably representative image of the Kundalini rising from the fontanelle: Athena was born from the head of Zeus.

Illustration 30: The birth of Athena (600 B.C.) British Museum.

Athena is distinguished from the other divinities in the Greek pantheon by her virginity. In this quality she once again resembles the absolute purity of the Kundalini. She defends her virtue with implacable ferocity, for she is also the Goddess of war. In her rites, the Greeks washed the feet of the Goddess Athena, recalling the Indian tradition of puja. The Goddess Athena has always been described as a beautiful and imposing virgin.61
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Athena is also a mother. It is as a mother she supervises wedding ceremonies. In addition to the sacred bond between the couple, marriage, as directed by Athena, is also in its subtle form spiritual, uniting the soul to God. Athena confers protection, justice and food. She is the protectress who preserves all from danger, maintaining life and health. Her grace takes care of all the children of men. She is the one who sustains harmony in nature, protecting crops and orchards. She is the dispenser of Justice, presiding over all decisions. She is given the name of the Most High Wisdom. As the provider of food, she guides men towards agricultural development, teaching them how to plough the land in order to cultivate the soil - thus demonstrating her relationship with the Neolithic Great Goddess. She teaches them to make ploughs, and gives them bridles so they can harness horses. Athena is also the Goddess of peace and the arts. She liberates all mankind. She is the Universal Mother of compassion, generosity and infinite benevolence.
“Pallas Athena, I shall sing the glorious Goddess whose eyes gleam, brilliantly inventive, her heart restless, formidable maiden, guardian of cities, the courageous Tritogenia. Wise Zeus gave birth to her himself out of his majestic head. Golden armour clothed her, warlike, glistening. All the gods who saw her were overcome with awe.”62

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In Rome, Athena was known as Minerva, a name which remained engraved in memories until the twelfth century, when many castles were named in her honour. Greek mythology includes many other Goddesses who were probably regional, derived from the ancient cult of Mother Earth. They include Gaia, Rhea, Hecate, Aphrodite, Artemis, Demeter, her daughter Kore, and many others, each of whom expresses one or more aspects of the Mother Goddess. Kore disappeared into the underworld, where she took the name of Persephone. This myth is often found in cults of the Goddess. It occurs in Sumer, with Inanna, in Jewish mysticism with the Shekinah, and amongst the Gnostics with Sophia. At the level of the Collective Unconscious, this reflects the presence of Kundalini, remaining enclosed in the world of humankind coiled in the sacrum bone - until the day of Resurrection. A basrelief from the fifth century B.C. represents Demeter and Persephone with Triptoleme. Persephone has her hand on the fontanelle of Triptoleme in order to awaken the Kundalini, and Demeter is holding out to her a sceptre, which also symbolises Kundalini.

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Illustration 31: Eleusinian Divinities (440 B.C.) Athens Museum. 118

In Ancient Greece, the myth of the Great Goddess, in her multiple aspects, was to have a considerable influence on Mediterranean civilisation. Rome adopted the Goddesses: Artemis became Diana, Athena became Minerva, and Aphrodite became Venus. The Phoceans, who came from Greece and settled in the French region of Marseille during the sixth century B.C., spread the cult of the Goddess Artemis all along the Mediterranean coast from Barcelona to Antibes, and into the country of the Gauls as far as Auvergne.

Cybele
Cybele originated in Anatolia, and her cult spread under a variety of names throughout the Roman Empire and the Near East. Lyon, the capital of the Gauls, was dedicated to her, the name of the city being derived from the lions which surrounded representations of the Goddess. Statues of Cybele have been found in regions as distant from each other as the Crimea, Romania and the Ukraine. Her original name was Kumbaba. In Sanskrit, the word Kumbha is another name for Kundalini, meaning the sacred vessel which contains the primordial water. In addition, in the Hittite alphabet, the five ideograms of Kumbaba include a vessel. The dove can also be recognised, and is often shown beside the Mother Goddess.

Illustration 32: Hittite Ideograms of Kumbaba.

When Alexander invaded the Persian Empire, Anatolia became part of the Hellenic Empire. The great temple of Artemis at Ephesus was probably initially dedicated to Cybele, who was incorporated, later, into Greek mythology, arousing fervent devotion in both Greece and Rome. During the Trojan wars,
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Aeneas asked Cybele to help him in his battle to gain possession of Italy. In 363 A.D., during a campaign in Persia, the Emperor Julian wrote of Cybele:
“She is both the mother and the spouse of mighty Zeus. She is in control of every form of life, and the cause of all generation. She easily brings to perfection all things that are made.” 63

As the Roman Empire advanced into Western Europe, the cult of Cybele merged with that of the Celtic Goddesses.

The Celtic Goddess
In Western Europe, the Goddess had been venerated since Neolithic times as the sole deity. Although the Celts and Allemani (nomads of Aryan origin) added male gods to their Divine pantheon, throughout antiquity the Goddess continued to maintain a prominent position in the religious devotion of these peoples. The Celts occupied a vast region extending from Austria to the Atlantic coast. In the regions conquered by Rome (except along the western seaboard - Brittany, Wales, Scotland and Ireland) they were closely integrated with the Roman occupiers, being known as Gallo-Romans. The first of the many names of the Celtic Goddess was Danu. Daughter of Dagda, the universal Father, Danu can be compared to Athena. Robert Graves identifies Danu, the Goddess of the people of Danaan, with the pre-Achaean Goddess, Danae of Argos. In the middle of the second millenium, the Danaans appear to have fled to western Europe. They were escaping the Dorians who invaded Greece, killing, pillaging, burning and driving out the fugitives, who scattered in all directions.64 The Danaans seem to have landed in Ireland around the fifteenth
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century B.C. They appear to have mingled with the local people who had come from Spain and Great Britain some centuries earlier. Danu's name was one of those most frequently used for the Goddess. It is found from Central Europe to Russia. Rivers, including the Danube and the Don, were named after her. Her name is also found in the Dravidian traditions of Southern India. Danu, transformed during the christianisation of Europe, is the source of the amazing Breton devotion to Saint Anne. In addition to Danu, the Celts venerated Brigid (Brighde). Her name means Power. She survived the attempts of the Aryans to replace her with the (male) god Ogma, and was incorporated into Christianity, becoming “Saint Brigid”. The feast of fire, regularly celebrated by bishops, was dedicated to her each 2nd of February. With the emergence of Christianity, she who had been the “Mother of Dagda” became “Mother of Jesus” and “Mother of the Gaels”. Saint Brigid was the guardian of knowledge, of culture and of the arts. “Matres” was the Latin version of the Triple Goddess. This Goddess of three aspects was to be unconsciously depicted much later, during the Renaissance, in the numerous paintings and sculptures of the “Three Graces”. The cult of Matres was known throughout Gaul, Britanny, and most of Germany. She gave her name, Matronae, to the river Marne. The Goddess Sequanae, who was closely associated with her, gave her name to the Seine. After the Roman conquest of the Gauls, the Celtic gods were still venerated locally, and some were integrated into the Roman pantheon. This happened with the Goddess Epona, who became the Divine patroness of the Roman cavalry. She was the only Celtic Goddess to have an official Roman festival dedicated to her. For the Celts, the horse was a sacred animal, and the Goddess Epona was always shown on horseback. Her cult was
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widespread throughout northern Gaul, Burgundy and Germany. Fifty kilometres south west of Paris, the town of Epone recalls the importance of the worship of the Goddess. A white horse, about one hundred meters high, cut into the chalk of Uffington Down, Berkshire, England, also testifies to the importance of the veneration of Epona.

Illustration 33: Epona, Celtic Goddess, Saint Germain en Laye, Museum of Antiquity, France.

Belisama, meaning the “Most Brilliant”, was another of the Celtic Goddess's names. She presided over craft activity and weaving, and was associated with Minerva (Athena) by the Romans. She occupied an important place in popular worship: many places were dedicated to her. Traces of her name can still be recognised in such French place names as Belleme in the Orne region, Balesmes in Indre-et-Loire, Beleymas in the Dordogne, and so on.

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Cerridwen, the White Goddess, was highly venerated in England. Robert Graves echoed this in the title of his famous work. Cerridwen was distinguished by her cauldron, the vessel of knowledge, grace and regeneration. The Celtic Quest for the Cauldron of the Goddess aimed at achieving liberation. It corresponds to the sacred vessel always associated with the cult of the Goddess, symbolising the sacrum and the Kundalini. After the arrival of Christianity, the Quest for the Cauldron became the Quest for the Holy Graal. A statue of the church of the “Grande Madre” in Turin represents the Graal in the form of the Goddess holding the holy vessel.

Illustration 34: The Sacred Graal, Church of the Great Mother (17th century), Turin.

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The Goddess in Northern Europe
In Northern Europe, as elsewhere, the cult of the Goddess predates the worship of a patriarchal god. The Mother Goddess is found throughout a vast region extending from Scandinavia (where she was known as Frigg) to much of Germany (where her name was Freya) and even to Italy, where the Lombards worshipped Frea. She was the consort of Odin, or Woden, and had to suffer the same trials from her Divine husband as Hera in Greece, Ishtar in Mesopotamia, and Brigid in the Celtic lands. Freya has given her name to “Friday” in English and “Freitag” in German, showing how widely she was recognised and venerated. The name Freya means “the Beloved”. Like Athena in Greece, she was invoked at weddings. She held the destiny of men in her hands. Her multiple aspects gave rise to a multiplicity of names:
“Volla or Fulla, Goddess of abundance, Eir, the Healer, Sjofn is she who turns the thoughts of men and women to love, Vor, Goddess of wisdom, Syn, Goddess of justice, Hlyn, the protectress, Gna, Goddess of messages and knowledge, and many others, such as Lofn, Var, Rind, Idunn, Gefjun...”65

The Goddess of the East
The peoples of Eastern Europe also had their Goddesses. For the Hungarians she was Boldogasszony, Zemes Mate. The importance of the cult of the Virgin in the Russian Orthodox Church recalls an earlier culture in which the Goddess (under the names of Mokosh, Morena, Lada and Zarya) was highly venerated. Mokosh was associated with feminine skills, such as weaving and sewing. Lada, meaning harmony, was the Goddess of love, beauty and fertility. Like Athena, Zarya was armed, and
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gave her devotees courage and protection in battle. In the Ukraine, some representations show the Goddess with the sacred spiral. After the adoption of Orthodox Christianity by the Russians, the cults of the Ancient Mother Goddess were transposed, as they were everywhere else, into cults of saints. Thus Mokosh was replaced by Saint Paraskeva as the patron saint of weaving. Pyanitsa (who is also associated with Friday) took the archetypal principles of the Mother in the collective psyche, to become the protectress, the one who grants success to the harvest and fertility to the livestock. In popular speech, Pyanitsa is often called Matushka, the little mother. As the protectress of women, Saint Pyanitsa forbade weaving on Fridays to assure a weekly rest.
C.G. Jung, L’Ame et la Vie (Paris 1963) p. 17. Erich Neumann, The Great Mother, an Analyis of the Archetype (Princeton 1991). 3 Goethe, Selected Verses (London 1987) p. 355. 4 E. O. James, The Cult of the Mother Goddess (1989) p. 51. 5 A. Baring and J. Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess (London 1993) p. 16. 6 Ibid p. 21. 7 Ibid. 8 J. Campbell, Occidental Mythology (London 1991) p. 14. 9 Baring & Cashford, op. cit., p. 55. 10 E. O. James, op. cit., p. 52. 11 Baring & Cashford, op. cit., p. 189. 12 S. N. Kramer, From the Poetry of Sumer (Los Angeles 1979) p. 96. 13 D. Wolkstein & S. N. Kramer, Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth (London 1983) p. 21. 14 S. N. Kramer, The Sumerians (Chicago 1963) p. 174-83. 15 G. Israël, Cyrus (Paris 1987) p. 27. 16 Devi Mahatmyam (Paris 1975) p. 28.
2 1

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17 18

Names of the Asura leaders. Ibid, p. 71-72. 19 Ibid p. 88. 20 Genesis 2:28. 21 II Kings 18: 4. 22 Numbers 33: 51-53. 23 Exodus 20:13. 24 Exodus 20:15. 25 C. G. Jung, Letters (London 1973) vol. 2, p. 434. 26 Genesis 2:22-23. 27 Genesis 3:16. 28 Numbers 30:13. 29 Matthew 19:6. 30 Exodus 3:14. 31 Psalms 90:2. 32 Isaiah 48:12. 33 Genesis 18:25. 34 Daniel 7:14. 35 Leviticus 11:45. 36 see R. Eisler, le Calice et l’Epée (Paris 1989) p. 30. 37 P. Dubreuil, le Zoroastrisme (Paris 1982) p. 35. 38 E. O. James, op. cit., p. 104. 39 Proverbs 8: 22-31. 40 Wisdom of Solomon 18:14. 41 Wisdom 7:22 - 8:6. 42 Wisdom 10:13. 43 Wisdom 10:9. 44 Wisdom 10:15-21. 45 Gerschom Scholem, La Mystique Juive (Paris 1985) p. 154. 46 R. Patai, The Hebrew Goddess (USA 1967) p. 23.

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Scholem, op. cit., p. 164. Ibid, p. 162. 49 Ibid, p. 192. 50 M. H. Fantar, Carthage approche d’une civilisation, vol. 2 (Tunis) p.245. 51 R. T. Rundle Clark, Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt (London 1978) p. 18. 52 Like the Kundalini. 53 Baring & Cashford, op. cit., p. 262. 54 Ibid, p. 260. 55 J. C. Engelsmann, The Feminine Dimension of the Divine (Philadelphia 1979) p. 64-6. 56 E. O. James, op. cit., p. 196. 57 Ibid, p. 197-8. 58 Ibid, p. 72. 59 Devi Mahatmyam, op. cit., p. 84. 60 Robert Graves, Celtic Myths, The White Goddess (Monaco 1979) p. 68-70. 61 E. O. James, op. cit., p. 161. 62 W. Burkert, Greek Religion (Oxford 1979) p. 142. 63 M. J. Vermaseren, Cybele and Attis (London 1977) p. 86-7. 64 Robert Graves, op. cit., p. 70. 65 J. A. McCulloch, The Celtic and Scandinavian Religions (London 1993).
48

47

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2. The Church’s Opposition to the Mother Goddess

“Christianity... is a complex of juridical decisions made under political pressure in an ancient law-suit about religious rights between adherents of the Mother Goddess who was once supreme in the West, and those of the usurping Father God”

Robert Graves, the White Goddess1

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The place of the Mother Goddess within Christianity has been generally obscured, and no trace of her can now be found in any of the canonical scriptures, with the possible exception of the Revelation of Saint John. And yet, references to the Mother as the Holy Spirit are frequent in the apocryphal writings of the early Christian era. The Mother, as Goddess, occupied a prominent place amongst the early Christians. During the first and second centuries, the Christian faith was not monolithic. There were four main centres of Christianity: Alexandria and Syria (where Christianity resembled, and coexisted with, Gnosis), and Greece and Rome (which were closer to the teachings of Paul since he had evangelised them). Rome gained ascendancy over the other schools, and unified the church’s doctrine. Centralisation, which had existed in the Roman Empire, was now imposed on the Church. The canonical scriptures became an obligatory point of reference, something they had not been during earlier centuries. In addition to the four canonical Gospels, there were many others which were shared among the various Christian communities. It should be added that the gospels which have come down to us in the New Testament were not written during the lifetimes of the apostles, and are simply recordings of oral traditions which had been handed on, with varying degrees of distortion. None of the three so-called synoptic gospels was written before the year 70 A.D.. The earliest Church documents come to us from Paul, his letters or epistles being written some time between the death of Christ and the writing of the gospels. These letters, which make no reference to the life of Jesus, to his miracles, parables, trial or execution, seem to have been widely circulated. Many early Christian writers were familiar with them. Furthermore, Paul had asked for his letters to be read in public, and shared with neighbouring Churches.2 We know that parts of the Gospels were
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inspired by Paul, or by his followers, since a number of his expressions and his dialect can be identified in them. From 70 A.D., when the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed, the local Christian community was no longer tolerated in Palestine. This community, which derived its strength directly from the teachings of Christ, and which used the language of the Master Aramaic - disappeared. The authentic religion was supplanted by Hellenic Christianity, the product of Paul's evangelisation in areas of Greek culture. In fact, what is now known as “Christianity” is an artificial doctrine created by Paul. It should really be called “Paulinism”. The Christian historian, W. Nestle summarised it in these terms: “Christianity is a religion founded by Paul, which has replaced the Gospel of Christ with a gospel about Christ.”3 It was Paul who was responsible for banishing the Mother Goddess from spirituality. In contrast, the Christian Churches of Syria and Alexandria were to leave writings, some of which have been discovered recently, which give an important and even dominant - place to the Heavenly Queen. These were the branches of Christianity which were to nourish the Gnostic movement.

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The Mother and the First Christians
“The Spirit and the Bride say: COME!”

Revelation 22:17 With the advent of Christ, devotion to the Goddess, or the Eternal Feminine, became more subtle and more mystical. What was adored was a spiritual principle which was internal, and whose awakening was awaited. The Goddess was associated with the concept of inner grace and spiritual joy. The early Christians identified the Holy Spirit with the Mother Goddess.

The Acts of Thomas and other Apocryphal Writings
The Acts of Thomas retrace the life of the apostle Thomas, particularly his departure for India. Thomas is described in it as administering baptism and invoking the Holy Spirit, which he calls the “Mother of the seven houses” - an allegory for the seven chakras. After annointing his disciple, Thomas says:
“Come, holy name of the Messiah, Come power of grace, Come perfect mercy, Come exalted gift, Come revealer of hidden mysteries, Come Mother of the seven houses Whose rest is in the eighth house, Come Messenger of reconciliation.... Come Spirit of holiness And purify their reins and hearts.”4

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This prayer invokes an essentially maternal power, with terms like “Mother”, “mercy” and “power of grace”. It is a purifying power, which confers reconciliation, reminding us of John's Gospel, where Christ tells his apostles: “I shall send you the Comforter.”5 The translation of the corresponding passage in the Acts of Thomas into Greek, is even more enlightening. Here the Mother is invoked in her cosmic and universal dimension through the use of the expression “Power of the Most High”, which corresponds exactly to the description of Adi Shakti, the primordial, cosmic power of the Indian tradition:
“Come thou Power of the Most High And the compassion that is perfect, Come gift of the Most High, Come compassionate Mother, Come, you who revealeth the hidden mysteries, Come, Mother of the seven houses.”6

At another point in the text, the Holy Spirit is clearly identified as the hidden power of the Father, which is the Mother:
“Come Holy Spirit, Come thou that giveth joy. Power of the Father, Come hidden Mother.”7

For Aphrahat,8 the Persian sage of the fourth century A.D., these two aspects of God, the Father and the Holy Spirit as Mother, are venerated on equal terms: “Before a man takes a woman for his wife, he loves his Father and the Holy Spirit his Mother, and has no other love.”9 Baptism is described as the Mother opening the heavens and pouring water over the chosen. It is added that: “She (the Mother) places herself above those who are baptised,”10 an image which perfectly expresses the experience which is called the “awakening of Kundalini” when she settles above the head, i.e. above the last chakra known as the Sahasrara.

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In his homilies, Macarius the Egyptian also recognises the maternal aspect of the Divine: “After the Fall, men will not turn any more towards the truth, the heavenly Father and the Mother of goodness, the grace of the Spirit...” He calls the Christians, “those who are children of the Holy Spirit” and adds that for them, “the Grace of the Spirit, the Mother of the saints, rejoices.”11 In the Odes of Solomon - writings discovered at the beginning of the century which, like the Acts of Thomas, are written in Syriac - the Holy Spirit is also identified with the Mother. She reigns over the Pantheon, since it is she who gives the divine nourishing milk to the Father and to all generations. The milk symbolises the purifying energy, for it is said: “Those who have received it are in the perfection of the right hand.”12 Another Ode in the collection also refers to the feminine power of God, the Holy Spirit, who raises the soul to the Most High, God the Father:
“I rested in the Spirit of the Lord And She lifted me up to heaven And caused me to stand on my feet In the Lord's high place Before His perfection and His Glory.”13

The dove of baptism, symbolising the Holy Spirit, is a metaphorical image for the Mother, and, as we have seen, it goes back to the earliest symbols used in the worship of the Goddess, thirty thousand years ago. The following passage from the Odes shows the unity between Christ and the Holy Spirit:
“The dove fluttered over the head Of the Lord Messiah, Because he was her head And she sang over Him And her voice was heard.”14

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The dove is the Kundalini raised to the pinnacle of the last chakra, the Sahasrara. This ode depicts Christ as the instrument through which the Mother makes her voice heard.

The Gospel of the Hebrews
The Gospel of the Hebrews has now been lost, except for fragments transcribed by Origen and St. Jerome. St. Jerome discovered this Aramaic manuscript at Antioch and he considered it to be the primitive version of Matthew's Gospel. The fragments of this earlier gospel are very interesting since they identify the Holy Spirit with the Mother of Christ:
“It came to pass, when the Lord arose from the water, That the entire source of the Holy Spirit descended and, resting herself on him, She said to him: “My son after all the prophets, I have waited for your coming, you are my son, My first-born, who reigns for eternity.”15 “My Mother, who is the Holy Spirit, Lifted me by one of my hairs And she carried me onto the high mountain of Thabor.”16

The second passage is quoted twice by Origen and three times by St. Jerome, which eliminates any possibility of an erroneous interpretation of the text, or a transcription error. These apocryphal manuscripts, which experts do not consider to be of Gnostic inspiration, reveal that early Christians recognised the maternal power of God the Mother, alongside the Father, and that they associated this power with the Holy Spirit.

The Gospel of the Essenes
This Aramaic manuscript was discovered by Edward BordeauxSzekely in the Vatican archives at the beginning of the century.
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The preface to the French edition tells us that another version, written in Slavonic, is held in the Royal library of the Habsburgs. There is no proof of the authenticity of this document. But then there is no proof for any documents contemporary with Christ, including the canonical writings (which, as we shall see, are most inauthentic, having been reshaped according to the Pauline doctrine). Only the Vatican can either confirm or disprove authenticity by allowing specialists access to its archives. Continual refusal to do so merely confirms the suspicions of many that the Church has a lot to hide. The Mother is present in the Essene Gospel under the mysterious name “Earthly Mother”, which could suggest that this writing is dedicated to Mother Earth. The truth, however, is quite different, for Mother Earth is mentioned elsewhere in the text17 in another context. A more careful interpretation of the gospel shows that the “Earthly Mother” is within, having an “earthly” dwelling on an inner earth.
“I will place you in the Kingdom of Angels of your Earthly Mother, Where the power of Satan cannot penetrate.” Very surprised, they asked, “Where is our Mother and where are her angels? Where can we find her Kingdom?” “Your Mother is within you, and you are within her. It is She who has given you birth and given you life.”18

What then is this Mother and this earth which dwell within us? The spiritual traditions of India reveal that the chakra of mooladhara, (literally support, dhara, of the root, moola) is the base on which the sacrum rests, and is the guardian of the sacrum. It corresponds to the earth element. The Earthly Mother in the gospel, therefore, corresponds to the Kundalini of the Indian scriptures. This becomes clearer when the gospel goes on to specify the purifying power of the Earthly Mother, describing her

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as the sole way to the Father (that is the Spirit) and the sole way to achieving Union, Yoga:
“I tell you this in truth That he who lives in harmony with Her Will never know sickness, For the power of your Mother is infinite, It reigns over your body Like that of all living beings, And by it Satan and his kingdom are laid waste.”19 “Nobody can reach the Heavenly Father If he has not crossed by the Earthly Mother.” 20

The gospel reveals other aspects of the Mother, notably her creative powers, which are similar to those of Adi Shakti in India:
“Mother Earth, your love has filled us, Your beauty delighted us, We cannot live far from you Nor search the endlessly renewed mysteries Of your creation.”21

And Christ places the Mother at the summit of veneration.
“Observe also Her laws, For nobody can live long Or happily without honouring Her.”22

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The Gnostics and the Mother Goddess
“You have been clothed in a Great Power By the Father of All... so that you may Rise up to Him who is yours.”

Gnostic Gospel23
“At the summit there is a male element The Father, and a female element, Truth.”

Valentinius24

Gnosis
Gnosis comes from the indo-european root gna, which means “knowledge”, and the “Gnostic” (gnostikos in Greek) is “one who knows”. In the early centuries of the Christian era, the term “knowledge” had a wider meaning. Now it has been reduced to essentially intellectual or academic information, but then it meant the understanding of the supreme reality, that is, knowledge of the Self. Gnosis was a religious movement which experienced considerable growth during the first four centuries of the Christian era. The Gnostics believed themselves to possess knowledge which Christ had given only to a few chosen disciples. This knowledge, which they believed to be a gift of God, could be transmitted only from one believer to another, and
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was described as an illumination, an awakening, a marriage, a union; all terms familiar to the world's mystics who use them to describe Self-Realisation. The Gnostic knowledge of spiritual awakening closely parallels the mystical tradition of India. Rejecting all cerebral spirituality and all blind faith as the lot of lesser mortals, the Gnostics believed that knowledge was the privilege of higher beings. The Gnostics considered Christ to be the incarnation of God on earth, and denied that He could have suffered on the cross. Such beliefs attracted the ire of the early Church fathers, especially since gnostic masters tended to be gifted orators with large followings. Gnosticism spread throughout the Roman Empire, from Alexandria to Rome, and as far north as the Rhone Valley. The fathers of the Church, imbued with the same misogyny as their master Paul, concentrated their attack on the position of women amongst the Gnostics, assailing them with violent polemics and all types of slander. This is how Ireneus, Bishop of Lyon, in his most celebrated writing, Denunciation and Refutation of the Gnosis with the Deceitful Name, described a woman attracted by the Gnosticism of a Master from the Rhone Valley, Magus: “Stupidly made proud by his words, she felt her heart soaring and set about hurling forth all the stupidities which came to her head. From this moment, this woman took herself to be a Prophetess and she gave thanks to Mark, and applied herself to rewarding him.”25 And, Ireneus adds, she would have given him her body. Tertullian, another father of the Church, made his disrespect clear: “What of their women, what prostitution they are doing ! For they are so audacious as to teach, to participate in discussions, to exercise, to think themselves capable of healing, perhaps also performing baptism!”26
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The fathers of the Church waged a ferocious war against the Gnostic schools, and enlisted the Roman Empire, by then converted to Christianity, to persecute all their communities and destroy all their writings. Fortunately, some documents remained hidden. In 1945 many were discovered in Lower Egypt, at Nag Hammadi near Alexandria. They reflect the spiritual depth of the authors, and are of inestimable value to scholars today. They call dogmas into question, and recall many things which the Church would have us forget. The most important document amongst these discoveries is probably the Gospel according to Thomas, which, unlike the canonical gospels, concentrates on the message of Christ rather than on his life:
“Let him who seeks continue seeking until he finds. When he finds he will become troubled, He will be astonished, And he will rule over the All.”27

Other less well-known writings give an equally clear understanding of Self Realisation and the state of “thoughtless awareness” which results:
“Jesus Christ enlightened those who were in darkness through oblivion. He enlightened them and showed them the way, And the way is truth Through Him they discovered the Father in themselves.”28

Basilideus, the Gnostic Master of Alexandria, stated that:
“He who can be named only in Silence, Is adored only in silence.” “For the place where there is envy and strife is deficient, But the place where there is Unity is perfection. When the Father is known, from that moment on, The deficiency will vanish in the fusion of Unity.”29 139

The Gnostics had a highly dualistic outlook, based on the opposing forces of good and evil. They taught that only those in whom the “pneuma”, the divine breath, had been revealed could free themselves from evil. Their cosmogony was totally different from that of the Church. They acknowledged seven creating angels (the archontes) evoking the seven immortal saints of the cosmogony taught by Zoroaster and the seven chakras of the Indian traditions. Some Gnostics, particularly the Ophites and the Perates, considered the Serpent to have been the world's first gnostic. According to them, this Serpent possessed the primordial knowledge, recalling the Neolithic symbol associated with the Mother Goddess. Unlike the canons of the Church, the Gnostics recognised the presence of the Mother, as well as the Father, during the act of creation. They gave various names to the Mother, including Sophia (Wisdom, Pronoia), Protennoia (the first Being who confers the Holy Spirit), Epinoia (light), Sygee (Silence) and above all the Holy Spirit (which, in the Gospel according to Philip, is in feminine gender).

The Goddess
The Father is defined as the first principle, while the Mother engenders creation in the image of the Father. “The light revealed in the psychic and material realm is due to the power of the Mother. The masculine aspect of the Divine remains within the realm of the pleroma or heavenly world, thus remaining within the realm of perfection, escaping any defect or corruption.”30 This definition is very similar to that given in the Vedanta, where the Atma, the Principle of the Father who dwells in the heart, is the silent witness. The Gnostic version of the central prayer of Christianity, the Lord's Prayer, was very different from the one we know today. In the Gospel of the Perfect Life, an apocryphal document, Jesus
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Christ says to the apostles: “This is why it is necessary that you pray: our Father Mother who are above us and within us, holy be your name...”31 This version could be the original one. A form of Sophia, not the Mother Goddess herself, is held responsible for the differing interpretations of creation. This form, which could be called the “lower form”, differs greatly from the primordial Epinoia of Light, who comes to help restore balance and order. The lower form of Sophia is no doubt based on the interpretation of the Genesis story in which the eternal feminine is discountenanced along with Eve. Epinoia is the form of the Mother who permits emancipation and grants salvation. Every man and woman possesses the power of the Mother, which is also called the maternal spiritual principle: “The Epinoia of Light is sent to awaken the Spiritual Principle”.32 Other descriptions present Epinoia as the pure form of Sophia sent by the Father to reveal knowledge and correct the faults and imperfections of the lower beings. The Apocrypha of John explains that he who knows the Father and the Mother will be called, and he describes the Pronoia as the one who confers baptism and revelation.33 “She is the power which is the image of the invisible virginal Spirit, and is perfect. She became the womb of everything, for it is she who is prior to them all, the Mother-Father.”34 The Father-Mother is the gnostic equivalent of Parabrahma, the undifferentiated God, as we saw in Part One. Trimorphic Protennoia, the Goddess in three forms (recalling the Triple Goddess of the Celts, Trigunatmika in Sanskrit and Athena Tritogenoia of the Greeks) is one of the many names of the Gnostic Goddess. She is described in one of the most important

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documents discovered at Nag Hammadi. This is a true hymn to the Great Goddess, in many ways reminiscent of the Upanishads.
“I am the Voice that appeared through my Thought For I am the Spouse.35 I am called the Thought of the Invisible One; I am called the unchanged Speech, I am unique and undefiled,. I am the Mother and the Voice.36 Speaking in many ways, Completing the All, It is in me that knowledge dwells, The knowledge of things everlasting. It is I who speak in everything and I was known by the All.”37 “0 Sons of the Thought, listen to me, To the speech of the Mother of your mercy For you have become worthy of the Mystery38 Hidden from the beginning, so that you become perfect.39” “I am the image of the Invisible Spirit, And it is through me that the All took shape. I am the Mother as well as the Light Which she appointed as Virgin40 She who is called Meirothea, The unrestrainable and immeasurable Voice.”41 “I alone am the Word, ineffable, unpolluted, Immeasurable, inconceivable, Hidden Light, bearing a fruit of life, Pouring forth a living water from The invisible, immeasurable Spring42 That is the unreproducible Voice of the Glory of the Mother, The Glory of the offspring of God, The source of the All, The Root of the entire Aeon,43 The Foundation that supports every movement of the Aeons,

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The breath of the Powers, The Eye of the three dwellings.” 44

And the word of the Goddess ends with an almost prophetic message:
“And those who watch over their dwelling places45 Did not recognise me, For I am unrestrainable Together with my Seed, And my Seed which is mine I shall place into the Holy Light Within an incomprehensible Silence.”46

The Church fathers, Hippolytus and Ireneus, who were the main opponents of Gnosis, were particularly energetic in combating the veneration with which the Gnostics held the eternal Mother. In refuting these “heresies” they quoted from the prayers dedicated by the Gnostics to the Goddess, thus enabling us to know of writings that would otherwise have been lost:
“From Thee, Father, And through Thee, Mother, The two immortal names, Parents of the divine being, And Thou dweller in heaven, Humanity of the mighty name.”47

The Gnostic Marcus the Magician wrote:
“May She who is before all things, The incomprehensible Grace, Fill you within, And increase in you her own knowledge.”48 “From the power of Silence appeared a great power, the Mind of the Universe, who manages all things and is a male The other a great Intelligence is a female Who produces all things.”49 143

The Bridal Chamber and the Holy Spirit
The gnostic writings, notably the apocryphal Gospels of Philip and Thomas, grant a major place to the conjoining of two principles, male and female, to explain the state of union with the Divine. This union takes place in what the Gnostics often refer to as the bridal chamber, an allegory depicting the final spiritual centre, the Sahasrara. It is a union which opens up the awareness of the Kingdom of God, the Pleroma.
“When you make the two one, And when you make the inside like the outside And the above like the below, And when you make the male and the female one and the same Then you will enter the Kingdom.”50 “When you make the two one, You will become the sons of man, And when you say: “Mountain move away”, It will move away.”51

The most important part of the Gospel according to Philip concerns the unifying of the female and male aspects, recreating the Primordial Being. The bridal chamber is the place of spiritual birth. Original nature is restored, and immortality ensured.
“The Father of All united with the Virgin who came down, and a fire shone for him on that day. He appeared in the great bridal chamber.”52

This reflects the union in the Sahasrara between Atma (Shiva, the Father) and the immaculate energy, the Kundalini. The Gospel according to Philip also makes a very clear distinction between the Universal Spirit and the Holy Spirit, who is always given the feminine gender. The Holy Spirit is the governing power behind the cosmos.

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“She, the Holy Spirit, shepherds everyone And rules all the powers, both tame and wild.”53 “She, the Holy Spirit, blinded the evil powers Which are disconcerting the saints.”54

In his analysis of the Gospel according to Philip, K. Rodolph holds that the Holy Spirit is the Mother of the saints.
“The Holy Spirit is delivered through baptism In order to give rebirth.”55

This proclamation that the Holy Spirit is the primordial Mother is also found in other apocryphal writings which escaped the censure of Paul and the early Church fathers. The Gnostics had a highly developed system of knowledge, similar, in many respects, to the Indian spiritual tradition. The Mother Goddess was joyously celebrated and deeply venerated by these early Christians, whose only fault was to possess knowledge of truth which directly contradicted the doctrine of the Church. For the Gnostics, the Mother was the one who gives awakening, and this awakening results from the union of two forms; one of them male, the Atma, and the other female, the Kundalini. It is a union taking place in the bridal chamber, the chakra of Sahasrara. To conclude, here is another passage from the Trimorphic Protennoia. Once again the Goddess is portrayed in multiple aspects as the one who reveals the eternal secret, awakening the sacred energy hidden within each of us. It is the Mother who gives the Holy Spirit:
“I am the perfection of All, That is to say Meirothea, the Glory of the Mother, And I call you into the supreme and perfect light. If you enter inside her You shall be glorified by those who glorify, And they shall give you the throne, those that give the throne, 145

You shall receive the Robe, And they will baptise you, those who baptise, And you will become the glory of the glories.”56

The basic nature of the eternal feminine element who gives the Holy Spirit, the breath, has been effaced from the official version of Christianity.

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Peter and Paul: Two Deformers of Sprituality
The Problem of the Succession in the History of Religion
Throughout history, no message has been so grossly distorted as that of Christ. The practice and spirit of the Church, based on the doctrine of Paul, shares little or nothing with what Jesus expressed during his life on earth. Paul was not the only culprit in this felony; there was also Peter, an ambiguous character, designated, in certain biblical writings, as the successor to Christ. At their deaths, great prophets and spiritual masters have all had disciples who were ready to distort, or give only partial interpretation of, their master's teachings. One of the most celebrated of these figures is Abu Bakr, who succeeded the Prophet Mohammed in spite of the fact that the Prophet himself had expressly designated Hazrat Ali as his successor. Hazrat Ali was the son-in-law of the Prophet and the husband of his daughter, Fatima. At a very early stage, Mohammed appointed him as his successor: “Ali is my brother, my respresentative, my successor amongst you. Listen to him and obey him.”57 Hazrat Ali was not a simple disciple like the others. Islam calls him the Prophet's right hand. Mohammed revealed that Hazrat Ali was of the divine essence, like the Prophet himself: “Ali comes from me, and I come from him, that is to say that each of us is a part of the same unique Heavenly Light.”58
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The aim of the Buddha was simply to show that every man can achieve awakening, enlightenment. Mahakasyapa, however, one of the first and closest disciples of the Buddha, took over the direction of the Sangha when his Master died, and changed the simple message of the Enlightened One into a most complicated metaphysical system. The same can be said of Plato who followed, and misreported the teachings of Socrates. In India, Guru Nanak attempted to unite Muslims and Hindus in order to abolish sectarianism and found a single, universal religion. His successors, instead of following his road to unification and simplification, created yet another religion, that of the Sikhs, complicating the religious problems of the subcontinent still further. Kabir fought against the caste system. Yet after his death, his disciples created the caste of the successors of Kabir, the Kabir panthi. It should be noted that, with the exception of Hazrat Ali in Islam and the first six patriarchs of Tchan (Zen), few authentic spiritual masters have ever named their successors. Almost inevitably, at the death of the master some ambitious individual nominates himself, overcomes his fellow disciples (sometimes without being aware of it) and sets himself up as leader. The first six Patriarchs of Tchan succeeded each other in China during the sixth century A.D.. Because of the limited number of Tchan's disciples in the early days, no one undermined the authority of the Patriarch. To be Patriarch was never a comfortable position: Houei-Ko, who succeeded the founder Bodhidharma, was condemned and executed for having compromised one of the tenets of Buddhist orthodoxy. Others were forced into hiding in order to escape persecution. It was only from the time of Houei-Neng, when Tchan began to gain importance, that the succession ceased to be designated. HongJen explained the reasons for the succession when he designated Houei-Neng as the sixth Patriarch:
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“You are the sixth Patriarch. Take care of yourself and liberate as many seekers as possible. Preserve and propagate the teaching. In the beginning, when Boddhidharma came to China, most Chinese had no confidence in him. And for this reason, and as a mark of witness, this robe was passed down from one Patriarch to the next. But since the robe may give rise to disputes, you will be the last to wear it.”

The Position of Peter
“Get thee behind me, Satan, thou art an offence unto me.”

Jesus to Peter59 Jesus Christ did not explicitly designate his successor. The only reference we have occurs in the Gospel of Thomas, where the apostles asked Jesus who was to be their leader, when he was no longer with them. He answered: “Wherever you are, you are to go to James the righteous, because anything that concerns earth and heaven concerns him.”60 Jesus did not appoint Peter as the missionary leader who was to build the Church. Jesus did not say that his disciples were to follow James, but rather that they were to go to him, thus giving him the role of advisor rather than leader. James was a measured and humble man, who posed no risk of becoming authoritarian or dominating. Because of the nature of the situation and the personalities involved, Paul was given a unique opportunity to seize leadership of the fledgling movement, whose future importance he foresaw. It is obvious that there were disagreements between James, the leader of the Christian community in Jerusalem, and Paul, the leader of Hellenic Christianity. The work of the Ecole Biblique of Jerusalem has made it possible to trace the origins of the four Gospels. It has also demonstrated how one of the chief concerns of the authors of much of the New Testament, was to justify and give importance to the place
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occupied by Peter.61 This is why experts believe that the famous phrase in the Gospel according to Matthew: “Thou art Peter, and upon this rock, I will build my church.”62 is not authentic, and was deliberately added to the original text. In fact, the statement stands in contradiction to the Gospel according to Thomas as we have seen, and to the attitude of Jesus towards this disciple. Throughout the four Gospels, Peter is always the one who is sent packing, sometimes in very harsh terms: “Get thee behind me, Satan: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but the things that be of men”.63 Matthew's version is scarcely more flattering: “Get thee behind me, Satan, thou art an offence unto me.”64 “Are ye also yet without understanding?”65 When Peter asked him how often he should forgive, Christ answered him: “I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven”.66 Christ is clearly trying to convey to Peter, with a certain irony, that what counts is how sincerely one forgives, not the number of times. Peter always tended to give the wrong answers to Christ's questions, revealing an crass lack of depth: “What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?” Peter said unto him, “Of strangers.”67 Peter again showed his weak faith in Christ when he attempted to follow his Master over the water. Jesus admonished him severely: “0 thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?”68 Peter’s weakness and lack of dedication showed again in his denial of his master. Less than twenty-four hours before the event, Christ had warned him: “Verily I say unto thee, that this night, before the cock crows, thou shalt deny me thrice.”69 John's account is even harsher. When Peter insisted that he would lay down his life for Christ's sake, Jesus answered him: “Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.”70 Later in St. John’s Gospel, Christ
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asks Peter three times whether he loves him, and predicts that at the end of his life Peter will be led where he does not wish to go, thus prophesying his terrible death. Far from trying to comfort Peter, Christ speaks curtly: “Feed my sheep.... Follow me”,71 and when Peter asks what will become of John “the disciple whom Jesus loved”72 - and of whom he is obviously jealous - “What is that to thee? Follow thou me!”73 The apocryphal gospels, discovered in Egypt, reveal other aspects of Peter's misogynist and domineering personality. As the Gospel according to Mary74 narrates, the disciples gathered together, lamenting the crucifixion. They turned to Mary Magdalen for consolation. She told them of her last sight of Christ when he came to speak to her. At the end of her account, Peter and Andrew were furious and rejected Mary Magdalen's story as pure invention. Andrew said: “I at least do not believe that the Saviour said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas.” And Peter said: “Did he really speak with a woman without our knowledge and not openly? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did he prefer her to us?” Grieved by their behaviour, Mary Magdalen answered them: “My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I thought this up myself in my heart, or that I am lying about the Saviour?” Levi stepped in to put Peter in his place: “Peter, you have always been hottempered. Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries. But if the Saviour made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Saviour knows her very well. That is why he loved her more than us.” And Levi concluded that one should be more humble and acquire the qualities of Christ in order to preach the gospels. In the Pistis Sophia, Peter once again stood up against Mary Magdalen and complained that she was monopolising the conversation with Jesus, having no regard for the supposed “legitimate precedence” of Peter and the apostles. He warned
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Jesus to silence her: “Lord, we cannot support what this lady tells us, and we wish to discuss what she is saying.”75 But Christ put him in his place, expressing surprise at this outburst. Later Mary Magdalen confided in Jesus that she hardly dared to speak to him because, she said: “Peter stops me, makes me afraid, because he detests all women.”76 At the end of the Gospel of Thomas, Peter asks Christ: “Let Mary (Magdalen) leave us, for women are not worthy of life.”77 And Jesus replied that he would lead her into the Kingdom of Heaven himself by making her male (a metaphor, or parable, which means he would give her Self-Realisation, that is the Spirit, the Eternal Father). Peter's thirst for power, and his authoritarian attitude towards the other apostles, emerge again in the tone of his Epistle to Philip: “Peter, the apostle of Jesus Christ, to Philip our beloved brother and our fellow apostle and to the brethren who are with you: greetings! Now I want you to know, our brother, that we received orders from our Lord and the Saviour of the whole world that we should come together to give instruction and preach in the salvation which was promised us by our Lord Jesus Christ. But as for you, you were separate from us, and you did not desire us to come together and to know how we should organise ourselves in order that we might tell the good news. Therefore would it be agreeable to you, our brother, to come according to the orders of our God Jesus?”78 We can sense here already inklings of the Inquisition, and the fanaticism of discipline and dogma that, throughout its history, the Church has constantly sought to impose in the name of Christ and of God. Peter's misogyny, his authoritarianism, and his cowardice show him in a light very different to that of the saint which the Church aims at presenting. In fact, Peter seems to have been one of
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Christ's most shallow disciples. And even had he been a good disciple, it is most improbable that Jesus would have placed the fate of spirituality into his hands, or indeed the hands of any single, vulnerable man. But somehow Peter did take over the leadership, and this allowed Paul to assume the role of defining Christianity. Peter was the first apostle Paul met when he reached Jerusalem. In the Acts of the Apostles, Paul says that he remained with Peter for fourteen days and saw no one else other than James. This meeting was certainly decisive in drawing Christianity into Pauline deviations. What did they do for two weeks? It is not hard to imagine Paul, the Roman bureaucrat, manipulating Peter, the fisherman. It was through Peter, who gave him entrance into the close-knit world of Christ's early disciples, that Paul was able to influence the entire New Testament, including the Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The Catholic Church and its doctrines have led a hundred generations to believe that Peter holds the keys to Paradise, and that he welcomes into Heaven those who pass from life to death. But perhaps the keys he holds are those to hell, for Jesus identified Peter with Satan?

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Paul
“This Paul is indeed a strange man. His soul is not the soul of a free man. At times he seems like an animal in the forest, hunted and wounded, seeking a cave wherein he can hide his pain from the world. He speaks not of Jesus, nor does he repeat His words. He preaches the Messiah whom the prophets of old had foretold. And though he himself is a learned Jew, he addresses his fellow Jews in Greek and his Greek is halting and he ill chooses his words. But he is a man of hidden powers and his presence is affirmed by those who gather around him. And at times he assures them of what he himself is not assured. We who knew Jesus and heard His discourses say that He taught man how to break the chains of his bondage that he might be free from his yesterdays. But Paul is forging chains for the man of tomorrow. He would strike with his own hammer upon the anvil in the name of one whom he does not know.”

Khalil Gibran79
“And I noticed that there was a man standing near, and looking with pleasure upon the stoning of Stephen. His name was Saul of Tarsus and it was he who had yielded Stephen to the priests and the Romans and the crowd, for stoning. Saul was bald of head and short of stature. His shoulders were crooked, his features ill-assorted, and I liked him not. I have been told that he is now preaching Jesus from the house-tops. It is hard to believe. Still I do not like that man of Tarsus, though I have been told that after Stephen's death he was tamed and conquered on the road to Damascus. But his head is too large for his heart to be that of a true disciple.”

Khalil Gibran80

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Paul is thought to have been of Jewish origin, and a member of an upper-class family, since he wrote of being related to Herod. His Roman citizenship, probably bought at a great price, allowed him to change his original forename “Saul” to “Paul”. He was probably brought up in the strict traditions of the Pharisees. He was obviously well educated, which means that he must have mastered Greek, the intellectual and international language of the time. He claimed to have received the most advanced theological training of the period from his teacher Gamaliel. Unfortunately, Paul did not follow the tolerance of his Jewish master, but became a fanatical opponent of the early Christian communities. The Conversion on the Road to Damascus In the early days of Christianity, Paul soon occupied an important place. His epistles were written even before the Gospels were compiled. And we know that even if Paul did not actually write the synoptic gospels, the canonical writings nonetheless all bear his mark. The Ecole Biblique de Jérusalem has shown that the Gospels were constructed from several sources, which they have named Q, A, B, C, D. (see Illustration 35). “Pauline phrases” have been identified in several places, notably in a document (Document B) which was used in the writing of the Gospel according to Marc. The final author of this document is also thought to be the person who wrote the final version of Matthew and Luke. The Gospel according to John was also constructed from these later versions, demonstrating distortions of the text which supported the doctrines of Paul.81 Even leaving aside the fact that half the New Testament was written by Paul, his impact on Christianity has been overwhelming. He was the first to define the doctrine of the Christian Church - a doctrine which has little or nothing in common, either in spirit or form, with the teachings of Christ.

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Illustration 35: The Influence of Paul on the Gospels

The conversion of Paul on the road to Damascus is one of the greatest impostures of history. While Christ was alive, Paul was nowhere to be seen. Later he busied himself having Christ's disciples put to death. His zeal in persecuting the new faith knew no bounds: “But Saul laid waste the Church, and entering house after house, he dragged off men and women and committed them to prison.”82 After Christ's ascension, Paul was supposedly called and chosen to perpetuate a teaching he had not even followed. And, conveniently for him, there were to be no witnesses to confirm or dispute his account of his conversion. The crime was nearly perfect. However a series of inconsistencies surrounding the event, and the personality of Saul himself, contradict his claims to be a witness and an apostle of Christ.

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Paul describes the event on four occasions, in four different ways. In the Acts of the Apostles83, he says that “they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid but they heard not the voice of him that spoke to me.” He states the great light fell on him alone. In another place84, the light is again said to have shone around Paul, but this time it also fell upon those who journeyed with him. Jesus said to him: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?... Arise, and go into Damascus; and there it shall be told thee of all things which are appointed for thee to do.”85 Elsewhere the Acts state that Jesus started by asking the same question, but went on to give a different and much longer speech: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. I am Jesus whom thou persecutest. But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in which I will appear unto thee. Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee. To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God, and that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me.”86 As we can see in this second speech, Jesus no longer told Paul to go to Damascus, although this had been the main point of the first speech, as Damascus was where he was to be told everything. But in the ultimate inconsistency, Paul states in his second Epistle to the Corinthians87 that he heard words that cannot be told, and which man may not utter. The words quoted in the Acts therefore, are, presumably, pure invention. It would be absurd to accept the conversion of Paul at face value. Why would Jesus Christ ask a man who is persecuting his
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disciples to propagate a message which he quite obviously does not know, having never met Christ? And why would Jesus ask him to do so in total secrecy, with no witnesses? Furthermore, Paul was an unbalanced individual, and this imbalance did not improve after Damascus. Could not Jesus Christ have found someone more suitable than a very disturbed Paul to spread His great message? Saul, a disturbed man Epilepsy: Paul was an epileptic. His fall from the horse on the road to Damascus and the three days of blindness which followed88 are typical of grand mal epilepsy - the “thorn in the flesh” he himself describes: “And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan, to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”89 Furthermore, Paul's own description earlier in the text: “whether in the body, or out of the body, I cannot tell”90 clearly reflects the psychological nature of his affliction. In addition to his epilepsy, Paul was disturbed in other ways. He himself admits to finding great satisfaction in the torture inflicted on Stephen, and we are told in the Acts that Paul consented to his death91. We are also told that he ravaged the community92. This obstinate persecution of Jesus’ disciples indicates a profound psychological imbalance. The theologians of the Church tell us that the conversion of Saul is an example par excellence of the redemptive power of God. The conversions of Francis of Assisi and Bernard of Clairvaux clearly demonstrate this humbling and joyous redemptive power, but Paul's conversion only gave him a greater thirst for

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domination over his fellow beings, and transformed him from a sadist into a sadomasochist. Sado-masochism: Paul's obsession with the flesh, as the seat of passion and sin, reflects the inner distress of the man. As Gillabert points out in his psychological study of Paul93, his sadomasochism is obvious: “Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake and I complete what is lacking in Christ's afflictions.”94 and: “Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”95 and further:“We are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things.”96 His rhetoric borders on blasphemy: “We are fools for Christ's sake!”97 The only thing that interests him about Christ is the crucifixion. He never mentions Rebirth, the fundamental message of Christ. This sadomasochism had a terrible impact on the beginnings of Christianity in its orthodox form. In their fanaticism, the early Christians, persecuted as they were by the Romans, rushed to become martyrs, hoping to share the suffering of Christ and attain eternal life. The beliefs of the second century Church fathers, notably Hippolytus, Ignatius, Irenaeus, Justin, Polycarp and Tertullian, were unanimous:
“Let there come upon the fire, and the cross, and struggle with wild beasts, cutting and tearing apart, racking of bones, mangling of limbs, crushing of my whole body... may I but attain to Jesus Christ.”98 “You must take up your cross and bear it after your Master... The sole key to unlock Paradise is your own life’s blood.”99 “Through suffering of one hour, they purchase for themselves eternal life.”100

The Gnostics considered that this attitude was pointless, so they suffered less persecution at the hands of the Romans. In contrast
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to the synoptic gospels, the gnostic writings place very little importance on the sufferings of Christ on the cross. The Gnostics believed the Messiah was pure spirit, his physical body being of secondary importance. In the Second Treaty of Great Seth, part of the Nag Hammadi writings, Christ talks of his cosmic dimension and denies that he suffered on the cross.101 The Gnostics believed Christ died that humanity might be spared. They thought it nonsense to believe that confessing one's faith and being martyred could confer salvation102. “They fall into their clutches because of the ignorance that is in them. For, if only words which bear testimony were affecting salvation, the whole world would endure this thing and would be saved. It is in this way that they drew error to themselves.”103 The fathers of the Church did not forgive the Gnostics for having escaped martyrdom. In his second Apology, Justin declared: “We ignore whether they abandon themselves to licence and cannibalism, but we do not ignore one of their sins: unlike the orthodox, they are neither persecuted nor put to death as martyrs.”104 When the Emperor Constantine chose the Catholic Church as state religion, his early acts included two edicts, published in 326 and 333 A.D., prohibiting gatherings of gnostics and ordering their gospels to be burned. The orthodox branch of Christianity gained ascendancy over the Gnostic branch by seeking - and gaining - the support of the Roman Empire’s political structure, which took over the work of eliminating the subversive heretics. Constantine’s own conversion was hardly an example of spiritual discernment on the part of the Church. He had several members of his family assassinated, including his own son. He had his wife boiled alive, although she had previously saved his life during a conspiracy. He further sullied his reign by extortion, and by the weakness of his government. Having promised to spare the life of
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his comrade Licinius, whom he had defeated in battle, he had him, and his son, put to death. He had prisoners of war thrown to the circus beasts. Naturally the Church has preferred to forget these facts, altough they are well known to secular historians. After gaining the Emperor's acceptance, the Catholic Church took over the centralised military power structures of the Roman Empire, then in the throes of disintegration, to extend its authority into distant lands. It was thus thanks to the Romans, the assassins of Christ, that the Church established its supremacy over the spirituality of the West. The history of Christianity could have been very different if the well-known Gnostic master, Valentinius, had been elected Bishop of Rome, instead of Pope Pius I. (After his defeat in the election, Valentinius was excommunicated.) Paul’s sadomasochism, which permeated the Catholic Church and distorted the basis of Christian mysticism, is equalled only by his misogyny. He despised women and neglected the Eternal Feminine. Contempt for Women: Luke gives considerable importance to the women in Christ's entourage. Successively he describes Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, overjoyed to be expecting a child, the widow of Naim whose tears moved Christ, Mary Magdalen who wiped the feet of Jesus with her hair before anointing them with oil, Joanna, Susannah, and the “daughters of Jerusalem”, who followed the Master to Calvary. Paul's relationships with women clearly reflect an inner disturbance: “As in all the churches of the saints, let the women keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate as the Law says.”105 Thus Paul, who had repudiated the Law, reintroduced it whenever it suited him. “Let a woman learn in all submissiveness. I permit no woman to
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teach or to have any authority over men; she is to keep silent.”106 In his megalomania, Paul held himself up as an ideal, and as the absolute authority. He laid down rules which Christ had never established: “I wish that all were as I myself am.... To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is well for them to remain single as I do.”107 He reinterpreted Genesis: “Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.”108 His disdain for women knew no limits: “...women should adorn themselves modestly and sensibly in seemly apparel, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly attire but by good deeds.”109 “For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil! For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.”110 Women interested him only when they were not really women. He also made women headless: “the head of a woman is her husband.”111 and he usurped the role of the Creator to reveal that: “Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.”112 On the subjects of marriage and sexuality, Paul tells us that those who marry will suffer the torments of the flesh and he recommends his readers not to marry: “Are you bound to a wife? Do not seek to be free. Are you free of a wife? Do not seek marriage. But if you marry, you do not sin, and if a girl marries she does not. Yet those who marry will have worldly troubles and I would spare you that”113. Luckily very few people followed his advice, otherwise we might not be here to read his epistles! On marriage: “If the husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my judgment, she is happier if she remains as she is.”114 With what incredible arrogance does Paul interfere in other's lives! His megalomania knows no limit. In his Epistles, he writes: “He who loves his wife loves himself.”115 He considers widows who think only of
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pleasure as dead.116 Women are of interest to him only if they become nuns. His female recruits are therefore mainly widows over sixty years old. “Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband.”117 Women interest Paul only when they have reached “canonical age”, i.e. once they can no longer become wives or mothers. At first he also accepted young widows, but he later abandoned this practice as the new members proved too much of a distraction from the celibate ideal118 and decided “I would have the younger widows remarry.”119 To unmarried or widowed women who could not control themselves, he grudgingly conceded marriage with the infamous remark: “For it is better to marry than to be aflame.”120 Apparently the lesser of two evils! As good disciples of Paul, the fathers of the Church were to display similar fury towards women, particularly in their assaults on the gnostics: “The audacity of these heretic women knows no limits! They have no reserve. They have no fear of teaching, of taking part in discussions, of practicing exorcisms, of healing or even of baptising!”121 In the same vein, Tertullian laid down, in his Precepts of Ecclesiastical Discipline with Regard to Women:“Women are strictly forbidden from speaking in the Church, and even more so from teaching, baptising, making offrands...”122 It is impossible to find any trace of this misogynous ranting in the words of Jesus. Many of his disciples were women, and some of them, including Mary Magdalen, Martha, Joanna and Susannah, occupied leading positions. He defended Mary Magdalen, saying: “He that is without sin among you, let him cast the first stone at her.”123 After the ascension of Jesus, women fulfilled key leadership roles within the Christian groups, teaching, prophesying and evangelising.

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Marriage, from which Paul tried to turn his disciples, is neither condemned or discouraged anywhere in the words of Christ. When Jesus himself attended the wedding at Cana, he expressed no judgement. On the contrary, he said that in marriage man and woman are united in God124. The Prophet Mohammed, wanting to restore the balance after the distortion of Christianity, was to say in the Koran: “Marry, those among you who are single.”125 What a contrast between Paul's words about marriage and those of Khalil Gibran, a great mystic poet of our own time:
“Marriage is the union of two divinities, that a third might be born on earth. It is a union of two souls in a strong love for the ending of separation. It is that higher unity which fuses the separate unities within the two spirits. It is the golden ring in a chain whose beginning is a glance and whose ending is Eternity.”126

These sublime words of Khalil Gibran elevate the soul towards the inner Divinity, whereas those of Paul drag the mind down into evil and sin. The Absence of the Mother: Paul's emotions are always near the surface, but he never mentions his mother. Worse still, he never speaks of Mary, the Mother of Jesus. And yet during his missionary journeys in the company of Luke, he must have learned about the childhood of Christ. Luke devotes a considerable part of his gospel to Mary and the young Jesus: “Blessed are you among women.”127 For Paul, Christ is simply “born of a woman”128 and not the result of immaculate conception as in Matthew. His omission of the virginity of Mary must have been deliberate. It demonstrates that, unlike the apostles, he did not accept the virgin birth, and showed no respect for Mary, dismissing her almost vulgarly as “woman”. The gospels, under the influence of Paul, show Jesus as a disrespectful son: “Woman, here is your son.”129 Did Jesus

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Christ, who was the very principle of virtue, address his mother in such a manner? One doubts it. The only aspect of Christ's life which seems to concern Paul is the crucifixion. From his analysis, Gillabert notes the gaping hole in Paul's writing, the absence of the mother of Christ, the Virgin Mary.130 He also notes that Paul never refers to nature, an expression of the Mother in the collective unconscious. The sea and the night are of similar significance in the collective psyche, but Paul evokes only their hostile aspects, night being identified with shadows, while the sea is considered only in the context of disasters. There is a striking contrast between Jesus, whom we see walking on the water, and Paul, who speaks of the sea as someone shipwrecked131. There is total opposition between the Gnostics, who venerated the Mother, and the Pauline Christians, who never refer to her. Paul's lack of success in Ephesus is revealing. There, in his evangelising sermons, he challenged the worship of the Mother Goddess. From ancient times Ephesus had been one of the main cult centres of the Mother Goddess, under the name of Artemis. When Paul attacked her cult, a riot broke out and he had to flee from a crowd chanting: “Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!”132 In fact Paul was an ardent detractor of the old religion in general, and the Great Goddess in particular. Paul continually attacked belief in and worship of the Goddess: “Not only in Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul persuaded and turned away a considerable company of people, saying that gods made with hands are not gods. And there is danger not only that this trade of ours may come into disrepute, but also that the temple of the Great Goddess Artemis may count for nothing, and that she may even be deposed from her magnificence, she whom all Asia and the world worship.”133

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Paul deliberately set aside anything remotely related to the Mother - whether in her pagan or Christian form - and thus cut himself off from any awareness of the intimate relationship that men and women had enjoyed with the Eternal Mother from the earliest times. With the exception of Clement of Alexandria, the fathers of the Church who succeeded him continued this misogyny, right down to Paul VI who declared in 1977 that no woman could be a priest “because our Lord was a man”134 and John Paul II who has maintained that policy. The Church which claims in its creed to be holy and Catholic (meaning universal) has put on a pedestal two men, Peter and Paul, who lack both sanctity and universality. Their hatred of women and their attacks on the divine feminine aspect, the Mother Goddess, make them largely responsible for Christianity’s drift towards male chauvinism and dogmatism.

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Augustine and Original Sin
“Today the Church continues to revere Augustine as a light, whereas he was merely a firebrand lighting the pyres.”

R. Girard135 Augustine and Paul are the main theological pillars of Christianity. Augustine’s doctrine of original sin lies at the base of Catholicism. His writings also had great influence on Calvin, and through him a profound impact on Protestantism. Augustine was particularly zealous in denigrating and condemning the worship of the Mother Goddess in the pagan world. Augustine had two things in common with Paul. At first, as a fervent devotee of Manicheism, he attacked Christianity, which he held in contempt. His position within Manicheism was similar to that which Paul had held with regard to the Hebrew Law three centuries earlier. And then, like Paul, his life was changed by a religious crisis. Augustine was a teacher of rhetoric in Rome and Milan. Later, following his meeting with Saint Ambrose, he was converted, and started writing and preaching about original sin - a spiritually empty doctrine - which had a devastating effect on the consciousness of the West. A highly emotional eccentric, Augustine launched violent polemics against the pagans in innumerable treatises, letters and sermons which recall Paul’s prolixity and sectarian energy. His City of God is an apologia for
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Christianity, and a model of dogmatism, fanaticism and intolerance. In it Augustine attacked the worship of the Goddess: “The Mother Goddess has surpassed all her sons, not in grandeur, but in crime. Even the monstrosity of Janus cannot be compared to this monster. This abomination is not surpassed even by the numerous and extremely grave licentious acts of Jupiter. She has soiled the earth and appalled the heavens.”136 Let there be no mistake. Augustine does not limit himself to attacking the worship itself of the Goddess, he launches a direct assault on the Mother Goddess herself. The virulence of his words reflects his contempt and intolerance of the simple and pure devotion of millions of men and women for the Eternal Mother. If, today, we were to criticise the repeated extortion practised by the Church (see Appendix 3) or were to use the same words as Augustine to attack Jesus Christ, Mary, or God the Father, we would be accused of blasphemy. Augustine was a true blasphemer, and not by chance has he become one of the main foundations of the Church. He belongs to a tradition of obscurantism, intolerance, and total disdain for the message of Christ. Christ spoke out against fanaticism and intolerance. He spoke of the Father and the Mother. He said nothing about the worship of the Goddess, but to say nothing does not imply disagreement. The Son of Man was so vast, his stature so great, that had he thought it important to denounce this cult, of which he certainly knew, he would have done so. As he did not chose to do so, why do his socalled followers? The doctrine of original sin, which has become central to Christianity, was invented by Augustine and developed from Pauline writings. And of course women were to carry the burden, since Eve was supposed to be the source of the sin which then condemned the whole of humanity since its creation.
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The theory of original sin was derived from the central story of Genesis, the temptation of Adam. Yet it was to develop largely outside Judaism, which does not recognise any comparable collective sin. On the contrary, within the Jewish religion, Israel is the chosen people, raised to the dignity of royal rank. This concept was shared by many Christians in the early centuries. For instance, Gregory of Nyssa believed mankind was the living image of the universal Sovereign137. Augustine, through his early years, led a dissolute life. As he recounted without shame in his Confessions, he was never able to control his libido. In later life, his attempts to find equilibrium were made all the more difficult by his determination to follow Paul in his condemnation of marriage. Like many people, when faced with major personal problems, Augustine made no attempt to overcome his own difficulties, preferring to transform them into the unavoidable forces of destiny. The myth of the fall of Adam was distorted by a purely sexual interpretation. Adam was tempted by Eve, and mankind is born of the misbegotten union. Their children, living in sin, are the fruit of this transgression, from which they cannot escape. Each individual is subject, from a certain age, to sexual temptation which he or she cannot control. Man is condemned by an “original” sin which goes back to the first parent, Adam and Eve. In his megalomania, Augustine attempted to reinvent what procreation might have been if Adam and Eve had not sinned. He calls his invention, “Procreation without passion, and controlled by the will.” He admits that “the hypothesis of passionless procreation controlled by the will has never been verified by experience,” but adds that the hypothesis failed to be verified by the only ones who could prove its validity, i.e. Adam and Eve. He concluded that they sinned too soon, and were, therefore, expelled from the Garden of Eden138.

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According to Augustine, only Christ escaped original sin since he was born of a virgin. He said, “the children who die without being baptised will be eternally punished after their death by the torture of fire, torture earned not by the sin which they themselves are guilty of, but by the original sin which they acquired at their birth.”139 In this original sin, it is naturally the woman who is to blame. She is the temptress, the one who lured Adam, and all humanity, to disaster. For this reason, Augustine declares that “the wife is the weaker part of the human couple,”140 and concludes, “a husband is meant to rule over his wife as the spirit rules over the flesh.”141 One can only assume that the Spirit was not very strong in him, for he constantly repeats, in his writings, that sexual passion cannot be defeated. The consequences of this doctrine, which has become a central plank of the Catholic Church, have been very serious. The transformation of sex, from a natural and normal part of life into something soiled and a curse, made it impossible for society to integrate sexual life into morality. Rather than being that part of spiritual progress where sexuality finds its fulfilment, marriage was simply seen as the lesser evil. The only recognised road to sanctity was celibacy and the exclusion of family life. Sexuality was morally discredited, buried in the shadowy realms of the subconscious, until that day when a new dogma dawned, the doctrine of Freud, which pushed society to another extreme, that of unbridled sexuality, and so-called “sexual liberation”. In addition, Augustine's negative assessment of man's ability to control himself extended the hold of the Church over the masses, and prepared the way for totalitarian distortion. Augustine was the first to approve the use of force in order to impose the doctrines of the Church.

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The Donatists, who clashed with Augustine, were attacked with an intolerance prefiguring the Inquisition. Augustine, who was Bishop of Carthage, plotted with the Roman authorities to pass laws restricting civil rights. The Donatists were tried and deprived of their administrative positions. Their bishops were driven into exile; Augustine justifying the use of force as the only way to overcome heretics142. Bishop Pelagius, who hailed from Ireland, was a defender of justice and truth. He taught the concepts of free will and the dignity of Man as they had been defined by Origen a hundred years earlier. In so doing, he opposed the Augustinian doctrine, and called the concept of original sin an absurdity. For Pelagius, Man was the masterpiece of creation. This attitude was anathema to Augustine. First he attacked Calestius, a disciple of Pelagius, as a heretic. When that succeeded, he obtained, in 417 A.D., Rome's condemnation of Pelagius himself. Augustine's theory was even more misogynous than Paul's. It was Augustine who claimed that woman was not made in the image of God143 and had no soul144. In the Judaeo-Christian tradition, Eve was represented as the Original Mother, but Augustine's radical reinterpretation of the Old Testament reduced Eve to the level of a stain on the whole of humanity. In his defence, one might argue that misogyny was a widely held attitude, and that Augustine was simply reflecting the spirit of his times, but this is far from the truth. His narrow view of women was not shared. Among the gnostics, women had social roles equivalent to that of men. Furthermore, the gnostics interpreted the myth of Adam and Eve in a way that was in total conflict with the Catholic Church. In the gnostic text The Hypostasis of the Archons, Adam recognised the spiritual power of the Universal Mother. “It is you who has given me life, it is you who is my mother.”145 This text recounts that the Goddess entered the
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serpent in order to teach Eve that mankind was to seek the Tree of Knowledge in order to be able to tell truth from falsehood, and become like gods. “The female spiritual principle came in the snake, the instructor, and said, ‘with death you shall not die; rather your eyes shall open and you shall come to be like gods, recognising evil and good’.”146 This interpretation of the myth of creation reveals the image of Kundalini (the Serpent, the eternal and spiritual Feminine Power) giving Self-Realisation, and therefore Divinity, and bringing the enlightened discernment of spiritual union. This gnostic version can be compared with the Gospel of Thomas, in which Jesus Christ perceives the serpent to be the principle of wisdom, and not the agent of the fall of humanity147.

Illustration 36: Michelangelo: Eve and the Serpent, Sixtine Chapel.

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The Church’s Fight against the Worship of the Goddess
Irenaeus of Lyon and Hippolytus of Rome attacked the gnostics for their veneration of the Mother, as we have seen. And Augustine, carried away by fanatical zeal, dragged Christianity further towards intolerance, and justified the use of Roman force to evangelise the masses. Throughout the first eight centuries of its existence, the Church continued to battle, with devilish determination, against all forms of worship of the Goddess. All portrayals of the Goddess were to be destroyed. The writings of many Christians, notably those of Gregory, Bishop of Tours (538-594), describe the destruction of sacred images. He tells of a procession148, common in the pagan rural world, in which the Earth Mother was asked to bless the soil with fertility. The origins of this sacred ceremony, in which her statue was carried through the fields on a cart, dated back to Neolithic times. Gregory of Tours recounts how Bishop Simplicius opposed the procession and had the statue destroyed. Most of the statues of the Goddess found in Gaul and Germany were in a dismembered, decapitated, or disfigured state. Many were found shattered at the bottom of Roman wells. Others were used as stone for building. Medieval texts from the Carolingian period vividly describe the ferocity of the battles against the ancient Deity149. One of the main objectives of the early missionaries, such as Saint Martin, was the destruction of the sacred images. In the ninth century, the fathers of the Church
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mounted massive attacks on the veneration of the Mother Goddess, describing it as demonic ritual practice. Consequently, it became more and more dangerous, even suicidal, to venerate God in the feminine form. During the periods of conversion between the fourth and eighth centuries, the peasantry had to hide their statues, frequently burying them. The only way to escape this inquisition was to transform the Goddess into a Christian saint, and link her with Christ. This led to widespread veneration, by entire populations, of Mary, as a replacement for Cybele, Isis, Minerva and Astarte. The Goddess Brigid became Saint Bridget, while Danu became Saint Anne. Saint Geneviève, the patron saint of Paris, and Saint Odile of Alsace, both of whose stories consist largely of legends, are transformations of the Goddess. When major calamities befell Paris - such as the Great Plague of 1129 - a statue of Saint Geneviève was taken on a cart throughout the streets. The ending of the plague was then attributed to her. The parallel with pagan processions in honour of the Goddess is perfectly clear. It is therefore thanks to the Church that our Western world has forgotten the Divine Goddess as an integral part - with the Father and the Son - of the Holy Trinity. The Church was built by men, such as Peter, Paul, the Emperor Constantine, Augustine and other “Fathers” who had no true spiritual dimension, and who commandeered the message of Christ to gain power and domination over the masses. Since the Church was the only spiritual authority for over nineteen centuries, the psychopathological imbalance of the man from Tarsus, and the intolerance of his successors, greatly affected the spiritual development of the West. Happily, popular fervour, and the love of simple hearts for the Eternal Mother, were able to find an outlet in the veneration of Christ's Mother. The feminine archetype was preserved in
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religious and spiritual consciousness through the cult of Mary. Of course, Mary was never acknowledged to be divine. (Mechthild of Magdeburg, a 12th century German mystic, is almost alone in referring to Mary as “Goddess”.) The Mother Goddess-Holy Spirit relationship was totally ignored, until Jung rediscovered it in the twentieth century. Although Christian theology forbids the recognition of Mary as the Goddess, popular piety grants her all the attributes of the ancient Goddess. Mary holds the ranks of Sovereign, Empress of the Universe, and Queen of Heaven. As the redeemer of mankind, she occupies a unique position. She recovers her highest function which is to confer mystical grace, religious union or “yoga” on her devotees. In this, Mary resembles the Great Goddess as she is venerated in Asia: the Adi Shakti in India, and Quan Yin in China.
Robert Graves, Celtic Myths, The White Goddess, op. cit., p. 559. I Thessalonians 5:27 and Colossians 4:16. 3 W. Nestle: Krise des Christentums (Stuttgart 1947) p. 89. 4 A. F. J. Klijn, Acts of Thomas (Leiden 1968) p. 77. 5 John 18:26. 6 A. F. J. Klijn, op. cit., p. 211. 7 Ibid, p. 91-245. 8 Aphraats Sapientis Persae Demonstrationes, J. PS. I. II, I’ 489. (Paris 18941907). 9 R. Murray, Symbols of Church and Kingdom, A Study in Early Syriac Tradition (Cambridge 1975) p. 143. 10 Ibid, Note 3 Page 43. 11 Ibid, Note 3 Page 318. 12 Ibid, p. 315. 13 Ibid, p. 315. 14 Ibid, p. 314.
2 1

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F. Queré, Evangiles Apocryphes (Paris 1983) p. 57. Ibid, p. 55. 17 Edward Bordeaux-Szekely, L’Evangile Essenien (Geneva) p. 257. 18 Ibid, p. 22. 19 Ibid, p. 20-21. 20 Ibid, p. 35. 21 Ibid, p. 194-195. 22 Ibid, p. 22. 23 M. Scopello, Les Gnostiques (Paris 1991) p. 10. 24 Ibid, p. 46. 25 Ibid, p. 113. 26 Ibid, p. 110. 27 James M. Robinson, The Nag Hammadi Library (hereafter NHL) (Leiden 1988) Thomas 2, p. 126. 28 The Gospel of Truth 18:15-21, NHL p. 43. 29 The Gospel of Truth 24:25, 6, NHL p. 40-41. 30 NHL XI 3, p. 491. 31 Rev. G. Ouseley and R. Müller, Das Evangelium des vollkommenen Lebens (Bern 1974) 19, 2-3. 32 K. L. King, Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism (Philadelphia 1988) p. 174. 33 Apocryphon of John 6:29-31, NHL p. 108. 34 Ibid 4:34-37, NHL p. 107-108. 35 The Spouse of the Father, i.e. Adi Shakti. 36 The adjectives most commonly used in Sanskrit literature to describe the Goddess are “unique” (Ekakini) and “pure” (Nirmala). 37 The Trimorphic Protennoia 42:3-14, NHL p. 517. 38 It is the Mother who reveals the mystery, that is Self Realisation. 39 Ibid 44:30-34, NHL p. 518. The awakening of the Kundalini, who gives inner purification, is the only way of reaching perfection.
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15

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The Kundalini before she has been awakened and united to the Spirit is the Virgin (Gauri in Sanskrit). The Kundalini is the inner Virgin, and it is she who gives light to illuminate the subtle being. 41 Ibid 38:11-16, NHL p. 515. 42 Various allegories of the Kundalini. 43 The primordial Kundalini, that is Adi Shakti. 44 Ibid 46:11-29, NHL p. 520. 45 Those who have not sought spiritual awakening. 46 Ibid 50:15-20, NHL p. 521. The silence is thoughtless awareness, called in Sanskrit Nirvichara. 47 Elaine Pagels, The Secret Gospels (Paris 1982) p. 93. 48 Ibid, p. 93. 49 Ibid, p. 95. 50 Thomas 22, NHL p. 129 This refers to the union of the Spirit and the Kundalini within the Sahasrara. 51 Thomas 106, NHL p. 137. The two becoming one is an allusion to the Spirit and the Kundalini. 52 Philip 71:3-15, NHL p. 152. 53 Philip 60:15-33, NHL p. 146. 54 K. Rudolph, in Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism, op. cit., p. 234. 55 Ibid. 56 Ibid. 57 M. Lings, Le Prophète Mohammed (Paris 1987) p. 67. 58 S. S. Husayn, Histoire des Premiers Temps de l’Islam (Paris 1991) p. 125. 59 Matthew 17:23. 60 Thomas 12, NHL. 61 P. Benoit, M. E. Boismard, Synopses des quatre Evangiles (Paris 1972). 62 Matthew 16:17-19. 63 Marc 8:27-33. 64 Matthew 16:23. 65 Matthew 15:16.

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66 67

Matthew 18:21-22. Matthew 17:25-27. 68 Matthew 14:30-31. 69 Matthew 26:34. 70 John 13:38. 71 John 21:17-19. 72 John 21:20. 73 John 21:22. 74 Berlin Codex: Gospel of Mary, NHL p. 254. 75 Pistis Sophia 36. 76 Pistis Sophia 71. 77 Thomas 114, NHL p. 138. 78 Epistle of Peter to Philip, NHL p. 431. 79 Kahlil Gibran, Jesus, The Son of Man (London 1976) p. 64. 80 Ibid, p. 74. 81 Gillabert, Le Colosse aux pieds d’argile (Metanoia 1974) p. 197. 82 Acts 18:5. 83 Acts 22:9. 84 Acts 26:13. 85 Acts 22:7-10. 86 Acts 26:14-18. 87 II Corinthians 12:4. 88 Acts 9:3-9. 89 II Corinthians 12:2-9. 90 Acts 8:1. 91 Acts 8:3. 92 I Colossians 4:13. 93 Gillabert, op. cit., p. 100. 94 Colossians 1:24. 95 II Corinthians 12:10.

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96 97

I Corinthians 4:13. I Corinthians 4:10. 98 Ignatius: Romans 6:3. 99 Tertullian, De Anima 55. 100 Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, op. cit., p. 139. 101 The Second Treatise of the Great Seth 56:6-19, NHL p. 365. 102 The Witness of Truth 31:22 - 32:8, NHL p. 450. 103 Ibid, 32:22 - 34:26, NHL p. 450. 104 Justin, Apol. I, 26. 105 I Corinthians 2:6-10. 106 I Timothy 2:11,12. 107 I Corinthians 7:7-8. 108 I Timothy 2:14. 109 I Timothy 2:9. 110 I Corinthians 6:7. 111 I Corinthians 11:3. 112 I Corinthians 11:9. 113 I Corinthians 7:27-28. 114 I Corinthians 7:38. 115 Ephesians 5:25-28. 116 I Timothy 5:5. 117 I Timothy 5:9. 118 Gillabert, op. cit., p. 153. 119 I Timothy 5:14. 120 I Corinthians 7:9. 121 Pagels, op. cit., p. 104. 122 Ibid, p. 104. 123 John 8:7. 124 Matthew 19:6. 125 The Koran, Surah 24, 32.

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126 127

Kahlil Gibran, La Voix du Maître (Québec 1988) p. 56. Luke 1:42. 128 Galatians 4:5. 129 John 19:26. 130 Gillabert, op. cit., p. 47. 131 Ibid, p. 46. 132 Acts 19:28. 133 Acts 19:27. 134 Cited in Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels, op. cit., p. 115. 135 Rene Girard, Les trahisons de l’Eglise contre les peuples (1989) p. 49. 136 Augustine, The City of God, 7, 26. 137 Gregory of Nyssa, De Hominis Opificio, 2, 1. 138 Augustine, op. cit., 14, 26. 139 Augustine, quoted in Girard, op. cit., p. 143. 140 Elaine Pagels, Adam, Eve, and the Serpent (London 1990) p. 114. 141 Ibid. 142 Ibid, p. 124. 143 E. & G. Strachan, Freeing the Feminine (Dunbar 1985) p. 122. 144 E. C. Whitmont, The Return of the Goddess (London 1987) p. 124. 145 The Hypostasis of the Archons 89:13-17, NHL p. 164. 146 Ibid 31-90, 12, NHL p. 165. 147 Thomas 39, NHL p. 131. 148 P. Berger, The Goddess Obscured (Boston 1985) p. 34. 149 Ibid, p.31.

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3. Mary and the Resurgence of the Eternal Feminine
“Our Savior is indeed our Mother.” Julian of Norwich1

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Illustration 37: Velasquez: the Coronation of Mary, Prado, Madrid

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Mary, Mother of God
In spite of all the efforts of Paul, Augustine and the Fathers of the Church to eradicate the cult of the Goddess, the faith of the people in the Eternal Feminine survived, finding an outlet in the worship of the person of Mary. The cult of the Virgin became established in the fifth century, to develop with full splendour in the Middle Ages. This ground swell of Marial worship was not based on scripture. The gospels make little reference to Mary, and she is never spoken of in Paul's writings. The only texts in which the Virgin is mentioned are the early chapters of the gospels of Matthew and Luke, and even then their purpose is primarily to announce the miraculous birth, rather than glorify Mary. The cult of Mary was to develop mainly from two great cities, both of which had been major worshippers of the Mother Goddess - Alexandria and Ephesus. Alexandria was a particularly important gnostic centre. Here, Philo developed the mystical link between Wisdom in the Old Testament and the Eternal Mother. Great teachers, such as Clement and his disciple Origen, who were pioneers in the devotion to Mary, also flourished in Alexandria. Ephesus had been the home of Diana’s veneration throughout the classical period. Tradition has it that the Virgin's death occurred at Ephesus, and that her tomb is located near that of Saint John. The Ephesians showed an enthusiastic devotion for Mary, replacing their previous fervour for Artemis which had nearly cost Paul his life.
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A Council of the Church met in Ephesus in 431 A.D. to define the place of Mary in the fledgling religion. Cyril of Alexandria delivered a sermon in which he described Mary as “the Mother and Virgin through whom the Trinity is glorified and venerated, the heavens triumph, the angels rejoice, temptations are overcome, and fallen creatures raised to the heavens.” At this Council Mary was established in the eminent position of Theotokos, “Mother of God”. (This title goes back to Origen, but until the fifth century it does not seem to have been used outside Egypt.) In view of the distinctive environment of the city - the Bishop of Ephesus himself shared the devotion of his fellow citizens - any attempt to contest Mary's title as “Mother of God” would have been considered blasphemous. Bishops who disagreed with the conferring of this leading role on Mary found it difficult to express their point of view. Gradually, Mary was to assume all the attributes of the pagan goddesses. She replaced Athena as Protectress of cities, Isis as Queen of Heaven and Star of the Sea, and Cybele as Guardian of Rome. This assimilation made a remarkable impact on Christian art. The Byzantine image of the “Madonna and Child” is a replica of one showing Isis with her son Horus on her lap. The crown of Mary bears turrets like those of the goddess Cybele. Some representations are similar to those of Athena carrying the Gorgon on her breast. Churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary were built on, or near, the sites of pagan temples in Rome, in Greece and in Gaul. Santa Maria Antiqua, for example, stands in an area consecrated to Athena, while Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, near the Pantheon was, as its name suggests, a reconsecrated pagan sanctuary. In Athens, on the hill of Athena, the Erechtheion was rededicated to the Virgin Mary, and the Parthenon, according to an ancient epigraph which has since been lost, was dedicated to Sophia, Holy Wisdom. In the fifth century
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Soisson, the temple of Isis, was dedicated to the Mother of Jesus. In Autun, processions in honour of Cybele (the last of which took place in 410) were revived in honour of Mary. The newly converted masses spontaneously substituted the Virgin Mary for the pagan deities they had hitherto worshipped. The many black Virgins of the Merovingian period (500-750) reflect the link with the great African Goddess Isis, imported into Europe by the Romans. Similarly, the cults of the female saints, Saint Anne in Britanny, Saint Odile in Alsace, Saint Geneviève in Paris, and Saint Bridget in Ireland, were all directly linked to the earlier cults of the Goddess. For several centuries the worship of Mary caused major controversies among those in charge of the Church. These disputes animated several councils, all of which attempted to solve what appeared to be the prime problem - the Immaculate Conception. But the controversies were just intellectual games, irrelevant to popular devotion. Church dignitaries were unable, through their intellect, to penetrate the subtle reality of Mary, and the mystery of her presence in the hearts of the simple faithful. Saint Bernard (1090-1153) was among the first to join in debates concerning the Virginity of the Mother of Christ. The arguments, as to whether Mary was or was not subject to original sin, he denounced as sterile. What mattered to Saint Bernard was that the Eternal Feminine in Mary be glorified.

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Saint Bernard and Our Lady
Saint Bernard was an extraordinary character, the most important spiritual authority of his time, perhaps of the entire Middle Ages. He was the son of a noble Burgundian family. He had a happy childhood, and went on to gain a comprehensive classical education. His mother, reputedly a very virtuous woman, died during his adolescence. For some years he led the worldly life of a rich young aristocrat, but then, at the age of thirty, seeing the limitations of the life he was leading, and with a number of companions who were fired by the same ideals, he gained admission to the Abbey of Citeaux. A short time later, he founded the abbey of Clairvaux, and gained a reputation that spread throughout Europe. Although he was only a humble monk, vowed to a life of asceticism and poverty, he did not hesitate to admonish the powerful, including popes. He attacked abuses and stood up against bishops and abbeys - including the great abbey of Cluny whose attachment to wealth and power he denounced. For Bernard, the first step along the spiritual way to the inner essence was self knowledge, which he contrasted with what he called secondary and artificial knowledge. His teaching included interpretations of sections of the Old Testament and the writings of the Apostle John. In the Song of Songs he found a mystical allegory expressing the union of the soul with God, and he spoke at length of the Bride and Bridegroom. For Bernard, as for all mystics, the purpose of life and of spiritual growth was the union between the soul and God. He was torn between his contemplative vocation and the duties which fell to
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him. His contemplation of God was coloured by his intense devotion to Mary. He was the first to give her the title, “Our Lady”. Through his faith and his inner strength, Bernard was able to bring the West out of the shadows that had been since the fall of the Roman Empire. He travelled throughout Europe, undertook a lively correspondence with the rulers of the time, and nurtured his love for Mary. He revitalised the Cistercian order, turning it from a handful of ageing monks into a powerful religious congregation, with abbeys, all dedicated to the Virgin, from Spain to the frontiers of Russia. Throughout Europe, cathedrals rose to the glory of Our Lady, the Mother of God. Christ himself took second place to his Mother! The soaring vaults and gothic spires stretching up to the heavens, reached new heights, expressing a dizzy fervour of faith and love. For Bernard, Mary was the sole way to Salvation: She alone led humankind to grace and union with the Father. As with the gnostic spiritual tradition, Saint Bernard recognised in the Universal Mother the key to redemption and knowledge. His homilies reveal his boundless admiration for the Mother of Christ:
“The angel awaits the reply: It is time to return to Him who sent him. Poor miserable ones, Who writhe under a sentence of condemnation, We also wait from you, O Great Lady, The word of pity! Behold! Into your hands we place the ransom of our Salvation. If you accept, we shall be freed immediately! We were all created in the eternal word, Yet here we are present, perishing. A single word from you and we shall be cured, brought back to life. Virgin and tender heart, poor Adam and his pitiful posterity Beg you to say yes. 187

Abraham, David and all the patriarchs, Your ancestors who live in the shadows of darkness Beg you to say yes. The whole world, bowing at your feet, Begs you to say yes. Ah! How right they are, When one thinks that suspended from your lips by a single word Is the consolation of the miserable, The Redemption of the prisoners, The freedom of the condemned: Indeed the salvation of all the sons of Adam, Of all those of your race. Quickly, Oh Virgin, give the awaited reply! Oh Great Lady, say the word which The Earth, Hell, and those in the Heavens await. The King of the Universe, the Lord himself, He, Who was in such admiration of your Beauty, Now also awaits eagerly for your favorable reply: He has made it the requisite condition For the Salvation of the World.”2

Mary is invoked as the one who intercedes between God and humankind. She alone confers grace and freedom not only to Bernard's disciples, but to all humanity. Like the Gnostics, Saint Bernard based his spirituality on experience rather than on analysis and reflection. His contemplation allowed him to perceive the inner reality of Mary. The metaphors in one of his homilies, in which he speaks of the Tree of Jesse, are couched in terms which are strangely reminiscent of the Kundalini.
“Oh Virgin, slender stem, To what heights do you raise your head? To “Him who is seated on a Throne”, To the Lord of Majesty?

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In this, there is no surprise, For you push deep into the Earth The roots of humility. Oh truly heavenly plant, More precious and more holy than all others, Oh true Tree of life, Who alone was worthy of bearing the Fruit of Salvation!”3

It is no coincidence that Bernard of Clairvaux was also the founder of the Knights Templar. Established in Troyes in 1128, this order appears to have been the only western spiritual movement to have been aware of the presence of a holy entity within the sacrum.

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The Templars and the Kundalini
The Order of the Temple was founded, under the inspiration of Bernard of Clairvaux, by nine knights returning from Palestine. These knights had just spent ten years in Jerusalem, at the palace of Baldwin II, which stood on the site of Solomon’s Temple, hence the name, “Knights of the Temple”. Their mission in Palestine remains one of history's mysteries. Why did these important and responsible men suddenly become monk-soldiers, vowed to chastity and obedience? Hugh of Payns, a leading officer of the House of Champagne, was one of the Order's founders, and its first Grand Master. Hugh of Champagne, one of France's senior lords, was Great Suzerain. Another Knight of the Temple was Montbard, Saint Bernard’s uncle. Their Rule, composed by Bernard, was entirely dedicated to Our Lady. The initiation ceremony of the Templars included a novel ritual. The Master kissed the base of the spine of the future knight. This ritual gesture demonstrated that the Order was aware of the sacred energy located at this spot, an energy they aimed to awaken. The names of the places where the Templars established themselves share a common feature: many of them contain the French word “épine” or spine, referring to the dorsal spine along which the Holy Spirit rises. In France Lepinay (the fief of Hugh of Payns, which means “the place of the Spine”) Epinay, Epinac, L’Epinay, Bois l'Epine, Epinay sur Orge, Courbepine, Belle Epine are all examples. The area to the south of Paris contains particularly many place-names stemming from this root.
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For the Templars the most important Christian feast was not Christmas or Easter, but Pentecost, or Whitsunday, since it celebrated the day the apostles of Christ received the Holy Spirit with the awakening of the Kundalini. How did these first knights acquire such knowledge? This remains a mystery. But most likely they had contacts with holy men of other religions, notably the Sufis. The Middle East was at the time a cross-roads of communication between Europe and Asia, and it is known that the Naths, Indian mystics who knew about Kundalini, travelled abroad to further and share their knowledge. A temple has been discovered in Persia which was founded by one of the Naths. Or Sufis, realised souls having attained the knowledge, could well have handed it on to the first Templars. And possibly, during the decade the nine original Knights of the Temple spent in Jerusalem, they may have had access to ancient manuscripts containing knowledge lost since the early days of Christianity (Gnostic, Essene, or other texts). It was the faith of these men, and the financial might of the Temple, which brought about the budding, thoughout Europe, of the Gothic Cathedrals dedicated to Our Lady. Later the Church and the King of France, wishing to confiscate the Templars’ wealth, banned the order. The Inquisition construed the kiss of initiation, originally a simple act of devotion to awaken the Kundalini, as an obscene practice, and a convenient pretext to imprison and torture the knights. Before their death, the dignitaries of the Temple, imprisoned in Chinon, composed their last prayers, all dedicated to Mary.

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The Great Women Mystics of the Middle Ages
In addition to the Templars and the enlightenment of a saint such as Bernard of Clairvaux, the Middle Ages saw the blossoming of mysticism amongst woman saints. Although their spiritual greatness was marginalized in western culture, this movement grew to an extent unprecedented in western history. These saints, who came from monasteries and convents from all over Europe reawakened the flame of Eternal Love and abandoned the fruitless intellect of the church theologians. Amongst them were Clara of Assisi, Catherine of Siena, Mechthild of Magdeburg, Hildegard of Bingen, Hadewijch of Antwerp, Marguerite Porette, Julian of Norwich and many others. Through their piety and their contemplative meditations, some of them rediscovered the maternal aspect of the Divine. Hildegard of Bingen (1098-1179) had an unsettling vision of the Universal Mother, a cosmic energy of which the description recalls that of the Great Goddess Isis and triple potential of the Goddesses of Antiquity. It is She who gives spiritual enlightenment. The figure speaks to Hildegard in these terms:
“I am the Supreme Energy, the igneous Energy. It is I who breathed fire into each spark of life. All which comes from me is immortal. I decide all realities. My upper wings encircle the Earth; In wisdom, I am the giver of universal order.

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Indeed it is through me that all life awakens. Without origin, without end, I am this life which persists unchanging, eternal. This life is God. It is perpetual movement, perpetual operation And its unity manifests itself in a triple energy.”4

Julian of Norwich (1342-1416) made numerous mentions of the maternal aspects of God in her Revelations. The following words clearly show the redeeming power of the Mother and the inner union of the Mother and the Father, in other words of the Kundalini and the Spirit:
“So in our Father, God almighty, we have our being; in our merciful Mother in whom our two natures are united to make one perfect man, we have our healing and restoration.”5

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The Lady of the Troubadours
With the growing devotion to Mary, the position of women in society was changing. Women were no longer considered to be inferior creatures, devoid of soul, as defined by Augustinian Catholic doctrine. Poets began to sing their praises. Troubadours in southern France created lyric poetry with an accent on chivalry. It was one of the West's earliest literary forms, which reached its full flowering in the poetry of Dante. The Troubadours, capitalising on this new awareness in western civilisation, focused the early longings for a new world. This naturally challenged the decadent religious structure of the Church. The Troubadours were among the first to use the art of satire, defying the existing religious order. Here is one example:
“The clerics call themselves shepherds and seem to be holy, but they are killers! Clerics have gained power by stealing and deceiving, through hypocrisy, preaching, or force. I am speaking of the false priests, who have always been the greatest enemies of God. The greater they are, the less they are worth and the more foolish they are!”6

The Troubadours had an idealised vision of the beloved woman. The Lady who inspired such love had to have most precious qualities. She had to be a marvel of wisdom and virtue - Lady Perfection. In fact it was a search for the Eternal Feminine rather than a search for the beloved:
“My Lady is sought after in the highest of heavens. Now, I wish to share with you some of her qualities: when she meets someone worthy of beholding her, that person feels the full power of her virtues. And if she happens to honour him with her greeting, she transforms him into 194

one so modest, so honest and so good that he even loses memory of all trespasses committed against him.”7

The poetry of chivalry was transformed into religious poetry, with Mary occupying the pinnacle of adoration. In most cases, the language of the poets was already so pure and noble that there was little need to change it:
“Oh Virgin, in whom I have placed my love, If it pleases you to hear my fervent prayer, Never need I fear lacking in perfect joy. In praising you, no-one can deform the truth For you are the flower of true Knowledge, Flower of beauty, flower of true pity.”8

Devotion to the Eternal Feminine was to be the inspiration of great poets such as Dante and later, during the Renaissance, of great painters whose works remain loved and respected worldwide.

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Dante and Beatrice
Dante, hesitating at first between Italian and Provençal, wrote in the language of the Troubadours, and took poetry to new mystical heights. In his Divine Comedy, it is Beatrice who shows the Way to spiritual elevation. She crosses the heavens revealing such great merits that the Eternal Master himself is dazzled. Beatrice rises to the highest heaven, where souls enjoy peace. This elevation of Beatrice can be read as the unconscious symbolising, by Dante, of the ascension of the Kundalini through the various chakras. When Dante enters Paradise - Sahasrara - his ecstasy reaches its climax. Here he sees the greatness of the Cosmic Mother in the features of Mary, who reigns as Queen of Heaven, and who grants Grace, the Ambrosia of mystical experience:
“O Virgin Mother, daughter of thy Son, Created beings all in lowliness Surpassing, as in height above them all. Term by the eternal counsel preordained, Ennobler of thy nature, so advanced in thee, That its great Maker did not scorn To make Himself his own creation. For in thy womb rekindling shone the love reveal'd Whose genial influence makes now This flower to germinate in eternal peace: Here thou to us, in charity and love, Art, as the noon-day torch; and art, beneath, To mortal men, of hope a living spring So mighty thou art, Lady, and so great, That he, who grace desireth, And comes not to thee for aidance, 196

Fain would have desire Fly without wings. Not only him who asks, Thy bounty succours; but doth freely oft Forerun the asking. Whatsoe’er may be Of excellence in creature, pity, mild, Relenting mercy, large munificence Are all combined in thee. Here kneeleth one Who of all spirits hath review’d the state, From the world's lowest gap unto this height. Suppliant to thee he kneels, imploring grace For virtue yet more high, to lift his ken Towards the bliss supreme.”9 “O eternal beam! Yield me again some little particle Of what Thou then appeared'st; Give my tongue Power, but to leave one sparkle of Thy glory, Unto the race to come, that shall not lose Thy triumph wholly, if Thou waken aught Of memory in me, and endure to hear The record sound in this unequal strain. Such keenness from the living ray I met, That, if mine eyes had turn’d away, me thinks I had been lost; but so embolden’d on I pass’d, as I remember, till my view Hover'd the brink of dread infinitude.”10

This is one of the most lofty mystical texts of western civilisation, and in it, Beatrice and Mary combine the attributes of the Inner Mother (Kundalini) with those of the Cosmic Mother (Adi Shakti). The cult of Mary has developed from the Middle Ages to our own times. Often her veneration has eclipsed God the Father and Christ, the Son of God. The number of churches, cathedrals and pilgrimages dedicated to Mary is obvious evidence of this. Mary is the central figure in most of the great paintings of the Renaissance. The Assumption, the last dogma defined by the
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Church in 1950, was concerned with the Ascension of the Virgin, although it, like so much that surrounds the Marial cult, has no historical basis. This dogma does, however, reflect the change of the archetype in the Collective Unconscious. It is preparation, in the collective psyche, for the ascension of the inner Virgin - the Kundalini. The cult of Mary, basic to western culture, is a consequence of the need of the collective psyche for a representation of the Eternal Feminine, which allows each individual to pursue spiritual progress in equilibrium between yin and yang, devotion and reason. As Jung explained in his Reply to Job, Mary fully satisfies the need for an archetype of the Mother Goddess, even though she does not have this title. Mary is the one who makes it possible to attain eternal grace. One of her Latin titles is Regina Salutis. Mary is the Redeemer of humanity and, in virtue of this supreme function, is similar to the Great Goddess of India. The cult of Mary was born of popular and mystical piety, as was the Shekinah in Judaism, and Quan Yin in Buddhism. Inevitably, the cult of Mary was attacked by Protestantism on the grounds that it had no basis in history. Luther, however, had great respect for the Virgin, and kept her at a distance from his violent polemics against the papacy. His disciples however, who included Calvin, did not follow their Master in this respect, and discontinued the worship of Mary. Jung was to say: “Protestantism is reduced in a rather odious fashion to be only a religion of men who do not recognise the mystical representation of Woman.... We can only account for this incomprehension by observing that the dogmatic symbols and the hermeneutic allegories have lost their meaning for protestant rationalism”11. Even the rationalism of the Century of Enlightenment was unable to free itself entirely from the grip of the feminine archetype. In France after the Revolution, representations of the republican
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ideal, such as liberty, democracy, and the Republic itself were all representations of the Goddess which had welled up from the Collective Unconscious. The statue of the Republic in Paris (at the centre of the Place de la Republique) is surrounded by lions as was the Goddess Cybele before her. The Statue of Liberty carries a torch to illuminate mankind spiritually.
1 2

J. of Norwich, The book of Revelations (Paris 1992) p. 197. Ibid, p. 27. 3 Ibid, p. 30. 4 R. Pernoud, Hildegarde de Bingen, Paris, 1994, p. 99-100. 5 J. of Norwich, Id. p.198 6 J. Véran, De Dante à Mistral (Paris 192) p. 19. 7 Ibid, p. 21. 8 Ibid, p. 51. 9 Dante, Paradise 33, 1-27. 10 Ibid, 33, 67-88. 11 C. G. Jung, Answer to Job (Paris 1964) p. 231.

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4. Freud

“The first precept was never to accept anything for true which I did not clearly know to be such; that is to say, carefully to avoid precipitancy and prejudice, and to comprise nothing more in my judgment than what was presented to my mind so clearly and distinctly as to exclude all ground of doubt.”

Descartes1

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“It

is said of psychoanalysis that in 1909, Freud confided in Jung, as he disembarked in the United States to give a series of lectures: “They don't realise that we are bringing them the plague”. The epidemic spread rapidly across the Atlantic. America became the adopted homeland of psychoanalysis, at least until the 1960s.”2 From America, the plague raged back into Europe, local practitioners spreading the message of the Viennese “Master”. The Freudian vision of life rapidly infected all levels of society, except, perhaps, some conservative and catholic circles, opposed on grounds more of dogma than of reason. Freudian theory arrived precisely at a time when western society was being plunged into confusion, as the moral doctrine the Church had preached, if not practised, for two thousand years was being called into question. A new sexual liberation had just begun, and contraception was now readily available. The spread of free education was encouraging new generations to question everything: morality, history, tradition, social ideas, and above all religion. Why should the evil that had led Adam and all mankind to the Fall, and its consequent suffering, cause so much guilt and fear of sin? Freud, in his “all sexual” theory, swung western society from one extreme to the other. His theory denied that life had any spiritual or sacred dimension, and, with his notion of the Oedipus complex, he shattered the purest of all relationships, that of mother and child. At the subtle level, the relationship between mother and child is the same as that which exists between the Kundalini and the seeker of truth. By denigrating the maternal principle and the sacred principle, Freud, who was vainly attempting to resolve his own neuroses, confused the way to psychological liberation something, which, by nature, can only be spiritual.
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Freudian Theory: Religion in the Twentieth Century
“The idea gains ground that the doctrine and theory of psychoanalysis has been the greatest intellectual confidence trick of the twentieth century.”

P.B. Medawar, Nobel Prize in medicine3
“I believe that in future, man, in looking back on the past, will see in our time an era of superstition associated with the names of Karl Marx and Sigmund Freud.”

F.A. Hayek, Nobel Prize in economics.4 A century after its invention, psychoanalysis is being challenged on scientific grounds, and criticised with regard to its clinical efficacy. All scientific research conducted with any degree of rigour has shown Freudian theory to be fraudulent. The value of Freud's theory, which has never been possible to confirm scientifically, stands only on the faith of his disciples. Fundamental to this fraud is the attitude of Freud himself. His approach to the problems he studied was totally void of intellectual discipline. He described himself as a visionary, not a scientist. “I am not really a man of science, not an observer, not an experimenter, and not a thinker. I am, by temperament, nothing but a conquistador - an adventurer, if you want to use the word - with the curiosity, the boldness, and the tenacity that belong to that type of being.”5 Freud even mocked scientific
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discipline: “those critics who limit their studies to methodological investigations remind me of people who are always cleaning their glasses instead of putting them on and seeing with them.”6 Fuller Torrey relates how one psychologist wrote to Freud to tell him that he had found a scientific basis for his theory. Freud wrote back saying that his theory had no need of validation. Freud was opposed to the statistical comparison of groups of patients which is basic to credibility in modern medicine. He held that each patient was unique, and consequently that statistical studies would be misleading. For this reason he preferred to deal with his data case by case, the success of his treatment being, in his eyes, sufficient to demonstrate the validity of his theory. This fails for at least two reasons: • The “placebo effect”. A patient treated with a placebo (something the patient believes to be a medicament, but which in fact contains no medicinal component) usually shows some improvement, even in terms of purely physical parameters such as blood pressure in hypertensive subjects, or blood sugar levels in diabetics. This improvement is then attributed to the therapy received by the patient, who feels cared for and comforted. Clearly, if a placebo can improve physical problems, it can have an even greater effect on psychiatric disorders. In some cases an active drug may show no more effect in tests than a placebo, indicating that the drug is ineffective in treating the disorder it is intended to cure. The second reason is that psychiatric disorders are often cyclical, and therefore subject to constant attacks, improvements, and relapses. The analyst usually analyses patients when they are at their worst. So in the natural course of the disorder, the patient will tend to improve, and the analyst will tend to attribute this to his analysis.

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Why were people taken in by the case histories Freud advanced to demonstrate his theory? They contained many elements of deceit, the author doing everything he could to hide the failures of his psychoanalytical treatments. We will describe two of these, and then go on to a more detailed study of the case of “Little Hans” in the section about the Oedipus complex, and finally the case of “Dora”. According to Freud, one of his most outstanding cures was the one he claimed to have obtained in the case of the “Wolf man”, so-called because the neurosis had been triggered by a dream in which white wolves appeared. Freud jumped to the conclusion that these white wolves symbolised the under-garments of the Wolf man's father and mother. The patient was interviewed much later by a psychologist and an Austrian journalist, and was found still to be suffering recurrences of the dream sixty years after Freud had declared him “cured”. Another celebrated case was that of “Anna O”. This girl suffered neurological disorders after she stood at the bedside of her tubercular father, prior to his death. Freud diagnosed neurosis and claimed that he had cured her. Jung, who was familiar with the facts, was the first to denounce Freud's misunderstanding and deception. H. F. Ellenberger in The Discovery of the Unconscious and Thornton in his book Freud and Cocaine demonstrate how Freud deliberately gave a false and misleading account of the events. Far from being neurotic, the girl had simply caught her father's tuberculosis. H. J. Eysenck summarises the Freudian theory as follows: “case histories, though insufficient to prove a theory, can illustrate the application of a method of treatment. But when the author quite consciously deceives the reader about vital facts of the case, such as the outcome, how can one take these case histories seriously, and above all, how can we ever believe him again?”7 In any case
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Freud’s writings refer to only eight cases, of which only six were analysed by Freud in person. That really is a poor foundation for a complex theory. Freud's approach was dogmatic. He refused to apply any sort of validation process to his studies and speculations. In his memoirs, Jung recalls a discussion he had with Freud: “My dear Jung, promise me never to abandon the sexual theory. That is the most essential thing of all. You see, we must make a dogma out of it, an unshakeable bulwark.”8 Freud's disciples had the same attitude. Few studies were published purporting to validate Freudian theory. Kline declared that: “Freudian theory rests on totally inadequate data according to the criteria of scientific procedure.”9 Eysenck and Wilson add that their research uncovered “not one study which one could point to with confidence and say here is definitive support for this or that Freudian notion; a support which is not susceptible to alternative interpretation, which has been replicated, which is based on a proper experimental design, which has been submitted to proper statistical treatment, and which can be confidently generalised, being based on an appropriate sample of the population.” 10 Concluding comments on the ineffectiveness of psychoanalytical treatment, the Clinton administration’s projected major reform of the healthcare system did not intend to pay for psychoanalysis because, to quote Dr. F. Goodwin, President of the National Mental Health Institute of America: “it will not be reimbursed, as nothing proves that it works”11. The American Association for the Advancement of Sciences asked the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to carry out a study of Freudian psychoanalysis, which was performed by F.J. Sulloway and his team. Their conclusions, summarised by P. Debray Ritzen are instructive:
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“Psychoanalysis was born of erroneous and time-worn biological hypotheses, which led Freud to build his edifice upon quicksand. Which, from the start, condemned it. On the clinical level, the methodological flaws are flagrant. “The cultural and social influence of psychoanalysis attempted to hide these problems thanks to a near-religious fervour and discipline on the part of its followers. “The cases upon which Freud developed his system are based on observations for the most part fallacious, and in any case distorted to fit the theory. In particular, the alleged cures turn out not to have been cures at all.”12 Freud's doctrine rests not on scientific bases but, according to Freud himself, on “the unshakeable bulwark, the unshakeable dogma” which he considered his sexual theory to be. Freudian theory was like religious belief, and anyone who dared contest the validity of the dogma was scorned, accused of repression, rejected, and excommunicated in the name of the holy truth. As Arthur Koestler describes it: “If you object that, for one reason or another, you doubt the existence of the castration complex, the Freudian will tell you this betrays an unconscious resistance, indicating that you yourself have a castration complex. And if a lunatic tells you that the earth is a hollow sphere which martians have filed with aphrodisiac vapours to send humanity to sleep, and you object that this interesting theory is perhaps short of evidence, he will immediately denounce you as a member of the global conspiracy for the suppression of this grave truth.”13 The dogma not only masks a doubt, it also expresses a desire for power. Religion was always just below the surface of Freud's thought. He identified himself with Moses, and went as far as to create his own myth in Totem and Taboos. Jung confirms this:

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“Although I did not properly understand it then, I had observed in Freud the irruption of an unconscious religious factor.”14 Freud's disciples saw themselves as apostles of a new religion: “There was an atmosphere of the foundation of a religion in that room. Freud himself was its new prophet. Freud's pupils - all inspired and convinced - were his apostles. Freud - as head of the church - banished Adler; he ejected him from the official church. Within the space of a few years, I lived through the whole development of a church history.”15 “Some of us believed that the Victorian age, in which we then lived, would by way of a psychoanalytic revolution be followed by a golden age in which there would be no room for neurosis anymore. We felt like great men...”16 Freudian ideology has had a disastrous impact on western consciousness, causing a metaphysical, moral and social regression whose bitter harvest is still being reaped. The subtle and essential cause of this regression lies in the negation of the sacred principle of which the Mother is both the origin and the culmination.

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Childhood Sexuality and the Oedipus Complex
According to Freud, children begin to enjoy sexual pleasures in early infancy. The first stage of childhood sexuality is oral, during which pleasures come from the mouth. Nursing at the mother's breast is said to induce sexual pleasure. The fatuity of such statements is breathtaking. After the oral stage, the child is described as passing through the anal stage and, at the age of 4 years, reaching the Oedipal phase. The young boy allegedly “falls in love” with his mother, and wants to sleep with her. He therefore views his father as a rival and an enemy who would like to castrate him. Let us go over the case of “little Hans” which provided the basis of this theory. When “little Hans” was four years old, he witnessed a serious road accident during which horses collapsed to the ground. Later the child developed a phobia. Whenever he found himself in the presence of horses, fear made him run to his mother, which one would think a normal reaction for a frightened child. Initially he was diagnosed as an insecure child. Hans's father, a firm believer in Freudian theory, knew nothing about the accident when he asked Freud to consider the child’s rather commonplace phobia. It is important to note that Freud never analysed the child himself. He based his analysis on information provided by the father, a very strange way of caring for a patient, and an even odder way of constructing the basics of a new theory, intended to

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revolutionise the way future generations would interpret child psychology! Freud said that Hans was “a paragon of all the vices”. The limbs of the horses the child described in his phobia were the unconscious symbols of his father's penis. Freud added that the child hated his father's penis, and saw it as a rival in his affection for his mother! This is how Freud, who knew nothing of the facts - a serious accident which had traumatised the child - constructed his Oedipus theory. In fact, incestuous emotions, such as these, exist only in the mentally ill, people like Freud himself. We know that he experienced incestuous desires for his step-mother. When she died, he failed to attend her funeral, even though he was on holiday at the time and only two hours away from the place where she was buried. Freud constantly denigrated the role of the mother. As the height of absurdity, he believed that a woman's desire to have a child was a way of compensating for her lack of a penis! For him, all the problems of childhood stemmed from the mother, and the mothers’ methods of bringing up children. This claim was developed and amplified by many adherents of Freud's theory. Watson in the USA, went so far as to write, in 1928, that maternal love was most dangerous, and could have irreversible consequences on children. His book Psychological Care of Infant and Child enjoyed great success, with sales of over 100,000, and greatly influenced generations of American mothers.17 An analysis of 125 papers published in psychiatric journals between 1970 and 1982, reported that mothers were held responsible for 72 types of psychological disorders in their children. Unlike the father, the mother was not considered to be emotionally healthy, and no mother/child relationship was considered normal.18

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The first consequence of this denigrating attitude towards motherhood was to make mothers feel guilty, leaving them with little confidence in themselves, or in the natural and traditional ways of educating their children. The resulting undisciplined youngsters, on reaching puberty, had, therefore, ample opportunity to make their parents feel even more guilty by blaming them for all their problems, The appalling state of family life and education today is doubtless Freud's greatest “gift” to our society.

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Freud: Hero or Demon?
“After all, much of his theory is derived from his attempts to psychoanalyse himself and cure his own neurosis. Freud himself, so it has been said, is the only man who has been able to impress his own neurosis on the world and remould humanity in his own image.”

H. J. Eysenck, Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire Freud was far from an integrated person, and he was never the apostle of the scientific ideal which his biographers (with Ernest Jones in the forefront) have tried to depict. He was an unbalanced neurotic, who took cocaine for much of his life. He falsified facts in order to have his theory accepted. He was dictatorial. He lacked humanity. He was profoundly misogynous. All too often Freud is described as the originator of concepts such as free association and interpretation of dreams which are basic to psychotherapy. More significantly, it is claimed that he was the originator of the concept of the Unconscious. This is far from the truth. In spite of what he wanted people to believe, Freud was not responsible for these discoveries. Free association was used by Galton long before Freud. As Ellenberger pointed out19, Freud made ample use of articles published by the French psychiatrist, Pierre Janet, without ever acknowledging him. The psychoanalytic interpretation of dreams began long before Freud. As early as 1861, the German psychiatrist W. Griesinger described dreams as imaginary responses to desires20. In his work The Unconscious before Freud, White listed more than one
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hundred predecessors who postulated its existence. In fact, according to Sulloway: “Freud was continually preoccupied with the hope of making an important scientific discovery - one that could bring him early fame, and the promise of a large private practice.”21 Regularly he appropriated the discoveries of others for himself and he had a particular energy and personality that made it all too easy for him to propagate and - a significant term “vulgarise” these stolen ideas. His repeated and continual use of cocaine is an important aspect of Sigmund Freud's life over which his biographers have tended to suffer amnesia. Freud was taking cocaine while he was spelling out the basics of the theory. The deliberate attempts of Ernest Jones, Freud's official biographer, to hide the facts, has been unmasked by the information coming to light in some of his unpublished letters. These are eloquent about Jones’ intellectual dishonesty: “I am afraid Freud took more than he should though I am not mentioning that”, and he added: “before he knew about its (cocaine's) dangers he must have been a public menace, the way he thrust it on every one he met!”22 Although it is true that the dangers of dependence on this drug were not fully understood when Freud began to use it, his imprudent abuse aroused severe criticism amongst the medical profession. He actually turned many of his patients into addicts. Freud believed that cocaine offered him the help he needed in his struggle against attacks of depression and nervousness. In 1886, he claimed that he braced himself with a dose of cocaine before going to dine with Charcot. Another important advantage of cocaine, in the eyes of Freud, was the fact that he believed it to have aphrodisiac “virtues”. Still more serious, Freud continued to use the drug after 1886, the year in which cocaine was publicly denounced as one of the three plagues of mankind, along with opium and alcohol. His letters to
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W. Fliess prove that he continued to take the drug regularly until 1895, and even after that, to judge from his health problems. Freud suffered heart problems, headaches and nosebleeds, three symptoms common in cocaine addicts. These symptoms disappeared when he stopped taking the drug, probably after 1900, when he was 44 years of age. In 1899 he published The Interpretation of Dreams. One can imagine the validity of these interpretations from a man subjected, even intermittently, to the hold of an addictive drug. Another little-known aspect of Freud's personality was his extreme contempt for women. He admitted that he never managed to understand the female mind, which he referred to as a “dark continent”. Freud claims that women were more narcissistic than men, and that they had limited ideas of justice. He referred to girls as “little creatures with no penis”23 and considered women to be defective men, of lower status, because of this shortcoming. He added that women were incapable of fighting against their chronic feelings of inferiority. For him this inferiority was not limited to the anatomical sphere, but extended to the intellect: “I think that the intellectual inferiority of so many women, which is beyond question, must be attributed to the inhibition of thought, inhibition required for sexual repression.”24 He added: “Women have come into the world for something other than to become wise”25, and, according to Jones, “he said of women that their main function is to be ministering angels to the needs and comforts of men.”26 According to Freud, “Women have made but a tiny contribution to the discoveries and the inventions of the History of Civilisation.” With just one concession: “Nevertheless they have perhaps discovered one technique; that of weaving and braiding.”27 This misogynist attitude led him to denigrate motherhood, a point to which we will return at the end of this section.

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The case of Dora, one of the few cases Freud handled himself, clearly demonstrated his misogyny, and even his sadism. Dora, whose real name was Ida Brauer, was an intelligent girl of 18 who suffered losses of consciousness, convulsions, and occasional loss of voice. Her father had contracted syphilis before her conception, and they both suffered from the same asthmatic disorders. The family background was totally chaotic. Her father had a mistress, and he encouraged his mistress's husband to make advances to his daughter. The girl begged Freud to consider the possibility of syphilis, but he told her that all neurosis had a somatic component, and a syphilitic father was a common feature in the etiology of neuropathy. Freud was determined to demonstrate that the poor girl's problems were purely psychiatric. For three months he wore her out with questions, harassing her to the point of mental torture. When Dora explained that she had recently had an attack of appendicitis, Freud decided that this was in fact a nervous “pregnancy”, reflecting unconscious sexual fantasies. Accepting that her asthmatic symptoms were the same as those of her father, he deduced that she must have heard his wheezing while he was engaged in sexual intercourse! Oedipus again! The poor girl's coughing was therefore nothing but a timid love song. When Dora told him that she felt disgusted when she had been sexually attacked a few years earlier by the husband of her father's mistress, Freud concluded: “In this scene.... the behaviour of this child of fourteen was already entirely and completely hysterical, I should without question consider a person hysterical in whom an occasion for sexual excitement elicited feelings that were preponderantly or exclusively unpleasurable; and I should do so whether or not the person were capable of producing somatic symptoms.” Freud went even further in his delusions, but we will stop there, for his interpretations are as disgusting as they are unedifying. Eysenck concludes: “He clearly forces on Dora
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interpretations that lead back to his own complexes, rather than to hers. The reader can imagine how such behaviour on the part of the analyst would affect an enormously unstable girl of eighteen, growing up in a bizarre family circle, without assistance from her father, and lusted after by a lecherous and aggressive man who was her father's friend. Instead of finding the promised help and sympathy, she encountered a hostile, determined adversary whose only aim seemed to be to humiliate her, and attribute to her motives and behaviours which were quite alien to her. If that indeed is a prototype of Freudian therapy, then no wonder if it often makes a patient worse, rather than better!”28 Like Augustine fifteen centuries earlier, Freud is characterised by his obsession with sex. He admitted that his incestuous desires for his mother, from his earliest years, had led him to imagine the Oedipus complex. He had a long-term relationship with Minna, his wife's sister. We know that his marriage was dominated by prolonged sexual frustration which he was never able to overcome. During the first nine years of their marriage, Martha Freud was usually either pregnant or unwell. Subsequently, after her sixth pregnancy, the couple decided that abstinence was the only way of avoiding more children. This has led to the suggestion that Freud's growing interest in sexual sublimation, Oedipus, and so-called “female penis envy”, was to a large extent stimulated by his own frustrations, which he was unable to overcome. To cope with this problem, he had to construct a theory which would justify his own unease, a clever - and doubtless unconscious - way of avoiding having to face himself. Jung has summarised this attitude well: “Freud never asked himself why he was compelled to talk continually of sex, why this idea had taken such a possession of him. He remained unaware that his “monotony of interpretation” expressed a flight from himself or from that other side of him which might perhaps be
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called mystical. So long as he refused to acknowledge that side, he could never be reconciled with himself.”29 There was obviously a fully conscious aspect to the “flight” Jung speaks of. Freud had failed to validate his theory by rigorous scientific research - and must have been well aware of this because he had received a scientific education to an advanced university level. He had to banish his own inner doubts by dogmatic and fanatical attitudes, even excommunicating from his circle anyone who expressed reservations about his theory. The splits with Adler and Jung were famous examples of Freud's dictatorial attitude. Jung tells us that during their visit to the United States in 1909, he started to interpret one of Freud's dreams: “I interpreted it as best I could, but added that a great deal more could be said about it if he would supply me with some additional details from his private life. Freud’s response to these words was a curious look - a look of utmost suspicion. Then he said, “But I cannot risk my authority!” At that moment, he lost it altogether. That sentence burned itself into my memory; and in it the end of our relationship was already foreshadowed. Freud was placing personal authority above truth.”30 Freud's dictatorial attitude, which his “disciples” have never shaken off, made Freudian theory a sect with its dogmas and precepts, its clergy of psychologists and psychoanalysts, and its “pseudo-therapist’s”couch replacing the confessional. More than a sect, Freudian theory became the religion of the twentieth century, filling the void left by the fall of Christianity.

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If it is all False, how was Freud a Success?
In order to combat the numerous publications which provide serious and rigorous arguments against Freud's doctrine (see Appendix 5) the latest defence of the Freudians is to ask, how was Freudian doctrine so readily accepted if it was not true? There are many facts which account for this: • Firstly, the historical context. The twentieth century is characterised by sexual liberation following two millennia of religious taboos, and half a century of extreme puritanism. The works of Freud were publicly burned in Berlin by the Nazis. And since “my enemy's enemy is my friend”, Freud appears as a victim of oppression who should be defended by anyone who considers himself a democrat. Anyone opposing Freud is written off as a dreadful conservative, out of date, even a Nazi. Propaganda was well orchestrated by Freud himself, and his disciples. It took years to show that what had never been proved was, in fact, false. Freud's theory was a new ideology which attracted thousands of people who, not realising it was false, threw themselves into it heart and soul. Generations of psychoanalysts have been trained. It is a profitable trade. If a therapist gives it up, how will he/she earn a living?

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Freudian dogma is easy to master because it reduces every explanation to sex. It is therefore accessible to almost anyone, unlike Jungian analysis, which is complex and all-embracing, and, consequently, less popular. In addition, adhesion to an ideology does not depend on objective criteria. It involves a process of identification with a master or a movement. The more innovative the ideology, and the more it contrasts with the existing order, the more the individual will stand out as different, and feel enhanced by his new identity. Freud appeals to the basest instincts and the shadowy regions of the mind. He draws downwards. And it is so much easier to descend than ascend. Freud is perverse. Any desire that is not fulfilled leads to repression and neurosis. This negates the principle of self control, for what is implied is “control yourself and you will be repressed”. The opposite is actually true. The Church, the only institution in the West representing the Sacred, had degenerated so far, and had found itself so often compromised in the shadowy zones of history (see Appendices 3 and 4) that it no longer had the spiritual authority to contest the new doctrine.

Finally the work of the papal clique, and the forces of Protestantism, in denigrating women and obscuring the Eternal Mother - as well as the general lack of respect for the maternal principle - left the field clear for unrestricted misinterpretations of the role of the Mother. In this regard, it should be noted that Freudian theory has been unable to establish itself in countries where the maternal principle is recognised and respected by society, such as India and China. In Europe, countries with strong attachments to Mary, the Mother of Christ, such as Italy and
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Spain, have resisted Freudianism more than the Anglo-Saxon and Scandinavian countries. The latter, with their Protestant cultures, and little maternal symbolism, wholeheartedly embraced Freudian dogma. Freud's theory was the final act of the vast drama of misogyny which, over the past few thousand years, has tarnished the image of motherhood, and of women, in human awareness. However, this patriarchal phase of human history is today ending with the dawn of a new era, that of the Mother.
Descartes, Discourse on Method. J. V. Rillaer, Les Illusions de la Psychanalyse (Brussels 1980) p. 17. 3 Cited in P. Debray-Ritzen, Le Psychanalyse, cette Imposture (Paris 1991) p. 241. 4 Ibid, p. 19. 5 Cited in E. Fuller Torrey, Freudian Fraud (New York 1992) p. 216. 6 Cited in R. Jacoby, The Repression of Psychoanalysis (New York 1983) p. 238. 7 H. J. Eysenck, Decline and Fall of the Freudian Empire (London 1991) p. 57. 8 C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections (London 1967) p. 177. 9 P. Kline, Fact and Fantasy in Freudian Theory (London 1972) p. 93. 10 H. J. Eysenck and G. Wilson, The Experimental Study of Freudian Theories, p. 392. 11 Cited in Time magazine, no. 48 of November 1993, Is Freud Dead? 12 P. Debray-Ritzen, op. cit., p. 298. 13 Cited in Debray-Ritzen, op. cit., p. 162. 14 C. G. Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections, op. cit., p. 178. 15 Cited in Fuller Torrey, op. cit., p. 254. 16 Ibid, p. 255. 17 J. B. Watson, Psychological Care of Mother and Child (New York 1928) p. 87.
2 1

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Fuller Torrey, op. cit., p. 250. H. F. Ellenberger, The Discovery of the Unconscious. The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry, 1970. 20 cited in Fuller Torrey, op. cit., p. 6. 21 F. J. Sulloway, Freud, Biologist of the Mind. Beyond the Psychoanalytic Legend (London 1979) p. 25. 22 Fuller Torrey, op. cit., p. 12. 23 Ibid, p. 250. 24 Freud, La Vie Sexuelle (Paris) p. 42. 25 cited in Fuller Torrey, op. cit., p. 250. 26 Ibid, p. 250. 27 cited in P. Raikovic, Le Sommeil Dogmatique de Freud (Paris 1994) p. 204. 28 Eysenck, op. cit., p. 65. 29 Jung, op. cit., p. 179. 30 Ibid, p. 85.
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Part 3:

The Advent of the Mother

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“Beholding your passions, your fury, your loves, I told God: “Lord, consider the state we are in. See the earth and behold human beings. They break all the bonds which were destined to unite them. And God replied: “Indeed, I shall come!”

Victor Hugo1
“In Her they became themselves. And now, the abundance of life She has in Christ, from the Father, Flows over them all. Yes, it is like when you throw a stone into a pool And the concentric waves Spread out further and further. Who knows where it will end. Redeemed humanity is still young, It has hardly come to its full strength. But already there is joy enough In the little finger of a great saint Such as yonder Lady To waken all the dead thing of the universe into life.”

C.S. Lewis2

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1. She Who is to Come3
Once more I say, you are but roots Betwixt the dark sod and the moving heavens. And oftentimes have I seen you rising to dance with the light, But I have also seen you shy. All roots are shy. They have hidden their hearts so long That they know not what to do with their hearts. But May shall come and May is a restless virgin And she shall mother the hills and plains.

Khalil Gibran4 All religions are based on a promise: the Coming of the Golden Age. In various scriptures this Golden Age, which always follows a period of darkness, is marked by the advent of a Divine Being, a prophet, who will restore lost values, and grant to all the spiritual dimension of life that is Self-Realisation. In this New Age, spiritual life will cease to be the privilege of a few exceptional ascetic recluses on Himalayan peaks or in isolated monasteries, but will be available as part of a collective process of emancipation. The state of awakening, illumination, or union, will be within reach of all seekers of truth. Traditional texts (Buddhist scriptures, Hindu Puranas, the Koran, the Bible) all proclaim that, at a time when the morality of humankind has sunk to unsuspected depths, a Divine incarnation
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will come to restore the laws of God on earth. They describe how, during this dark period, religious doctrines become progressively distorted until they are unrecognisable. Not only do individuals turn away from dharma (virtue) but even the memory of righteousness is lost. The worst vices spread across the earth. Authority is corrupt, laws are flouted, justice is unable to uphold right. Lies and violence dictate the actions of those who govern. Material riches are considered the only value. The earth, full of the impurities described in the Kalki Purana and the Book of Revelation, becomes devastated by war. We need look no further; we have already entered this period of decadence! But, hence, the promised Golden Age, the Advent of Paradise on Earth, the Satya Yuga or Age of Truth of Indian tradition, the Aquarian Age is imminent. It is written that the Golden Age will be inaugurated by a prophet who is able to transform people from within, and lead them into the holiness of Paradise. This prophet has been announced by all the great religions. This is the Maitreya5 whose coming was predicted by Lord Buddha, 2500 years ago. Maitreya will restore dharma and give illumination to mankind collectively. It is said that Maitreya's pacifying smile will awaken in Man the consciousness of Nirvana which is hidden in the depths of his being. In Hindu spirituality, the prophet is known as Kalki6. As the last incarnation of the god Vishnu, one of the great Hindu trinity, he will bring about the culmination of humankind's evolutionary process. He will fight against disorder, destroy all demonic beings and restore justice. But, above all, he will confer Second Birth, the spiritual baptism which opens the Satya Yuga, the era of Truth. This incarnation is also the Mahdi7 who, the Prophet Mohammed said, would banish all religions from the earth, leaving only the
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Pure Religion. The Mahdi will come at the time of the Last Judgement, an event foretold in the Koran as in the Bible. This is also the Holy Spirit announced by Christ: “But the Counsellor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you”8. “It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Counsellor will not come to you, but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he comes he will convince the world of sin and of righteousness and judgement.”9 In the apocryphal Gospel of the Perfect Life, Christ identifies the Counsellor with the Universal Mother: “The Counsellor, who is my Mother, the Holy Sophia, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.”10 In the XIIth century, the Cistercian monk Joachim of Flora predicted the coming of the Age of the Holy Spirit after that of the Father (Yahweh) and that of the Son (Christ). These are very similar visions of Redemption. “Maitreya” and the “Mahdi” begin with the syllable Ma, which means Mother. “Treya” in Sanskrit means triple. Maitreya therefore corresponds to the Triple Goddess of the Celts, the Trimorphic Protennoia of the Gnostics, and Athena Tritogenoia. In Pahlavi, the ancient language of Iran, “Mahdi” means the primordial Mother. It has exactly the same meaning in Sanskrit: Ma-Adi is, again, the Primordial Mother, Adi Ma, or Adi Shakti. The name Kalki is the diminutive of Nishkalanka, the 153rd name of the Mother Goddess, according to the Shri Lalita Sahasranama, the traditional Indian list of the thousand names of the Goddess. Early Christian sources, both gnostic and orthodox, refer to the Holy Spirit as the Eternal Mother. Jung rediscovered this knowledge in the twentieth century, and wrote that «the Mother

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is simply veiled by the Holy Spirit (Sophia) who is the bond between the Father and the Son.”11 Evidence also suggests that only the Eternal Mother can confer Second Birth, since the father does not play any part in the birth process itself. In addition, the cosmic Mother alone has the ability to awaken “Her” own power hidden in each of us, the Kundalini, the Mother within. The patriarchal religious tradition, of course, saw the promised messianic figure as a male. The same was true in Asia, where spiritual authority is held by men (the Brahmins, guardians of Hindu orthodoxy, for instance, and the Buddhist monks). Zoroaster and the tradition of Mazda in ancient Iran announced the coming of Saoshyant, the holy warrior who is the Divine Redeemer sent to restore the Golden Age. The Old Testament also refers to the Resurrection of the dead and that Salvation in which God will gather into the eternal Kingdom “people of every race and every nation”12. Nordic and Germanic mythology show the same picture with the return of Balder, the sun god of the ancient Scandinavian religion. This figure of the hero is also portrayed in the Revelation of John. Yet in his vision, John also sees a woman of cosmic dimensions who gives birth. Like all the images of the Book of Revelation, John's vision of Spiritual Rebirth is highly symbolic:
“And a great portent appeared in heaven, A woman clothed with the sun, With the moon under her feet And on her head a crown of twelve stars; She was with child and she cried out in her pangs of birth In anguish for delivery.”13

The Russian philosopher Nicolas Roerich predicted the coming on earth of the one he calls the Mother of the World, whose mission was to transform men from within. In his Foundation in
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Moscow there is a painting (illustration 38) of the veiled face of the Mother of the World. Speaking of her he said: “the Mother of the World has not yet unveiled herself.”14

Illustration 38: Roerich, The Mother of the World, Moscow.

His wife, who was also a writer, composed many poems on the theme of the Mother:
“O Mistress, I proclaim that you are the great collaborator of the Cosmic Reason. You, who draw from the cosmic powers of the Beyond, Carry within yourself the sacred seed, generator of all luminous lives.”15 229

A Russian proverb prophesies: “At the dawn of the Son, comes the Age of the Mother”. In the Cathedral of Orvieto in Italy, a fresco shows Christ as the Savior killing the demon. Above him, stands the Mother with the seven candlesticks of the Revelation. Kahlil Gibran, a great seer of our time, concludes his book The Forerunner with a picture of the Heavenly Mother, as though he was the forerunner of the New Age where the Mother will play a major role. After Jung's discovery of the psychological and spiritual role of the archetype of the Mother Goddess, many researchers of the Jungian School have reached the conclusion that humanity must rediscover the Mother Goddess. Many works devoted to this topic have been published in English recently. E. Begg thinks that the feminine principle is not a theory but a reality, with a will of its own, and which we ignore at our peril16. He adds that: “the Goddess now requires to be worshipped in spirit and in truth through the law written in our hearts, rather than in temples built with hands.” E. Whitmont, who was the President of the C. G. Jung Training Centre of New York, believes that: “the Goddess is now returning. Denied and suppressed for thousands of years of masculine domination, she comes out at a time of dire need. For we walk the valley of the shadow of nuclear annihilation, and we do fear evil. We long for love, security and protection, but there is little to comfort us. Violence within our own society threatens to overwhelm us. Mother Earth herself has been pressed to the limits of her endurance. How much longer can she withstand the assaults of our rapacious industrial and economic policies? The patriarchy's time is running out. What new cultural pattern will secure for humanity a new lease of life on earth? In the depths of the unconscious psyche, the ancient Goddess is arising. She demands recognition and homage. If we refine to
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acknowledge her, she may unleash forces of destruction. If we grant the Goddess her due, she may compassionately guide us toward transformation.”17 Finally, is the Aquarian Age not the time when the Goddess will pour the waters of eternal youth over mankind - the waters which, according to mythology, are kept in her sacred vessel, the Holy Vase?

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2. The Breath of God
“And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’.”

John 20:22 In the early 1970s, a man considered in India to be one of the greatest holy men, Shri Jagannath Baba, emerged from his solitary retreat in the Himalayas to attend a yoga programme. A guru far advanced in his perception of the Self and the quest for the absolute, he had lived as a recluse for about ten years, having transcended earthly desires, and no longer seeking master or disciple. Shri Jagannath had an important reason for leaving the isolated slopes at the roof of the world. His disciple, who had followed him for several years, had heard that Self-Realisation was now within the reach of any seeker meeting an outstanding person - Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi. Shri Jagannath, who was sceptical about this, decided he would investigate by attending a Self-Realisation programme in a Delhi suburb. He was waiting with several thousand people when suddenly a breeze blew through the hall, refreshing the humid heat of the summer evening. At the same instant he saw the Kundalinis of the seekers rise through their fontanelles. Shri Mataji had just entered the hall and was preparing to give her lecture. Shri Jagannath prostrated himself at her feet, calling her “Adi Maya! Adi Maya!”18 Never,
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to his knowledge, had such an event occurred before. The awakening of Kundalini was limited to exceptional people, and raising the Kundalini was a difficult task, requiring years of asceticism and purification. With Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi, this exceptional process had become almost commonplace. SelfRealisation was now a spontaneous and collective event. A new age was dawning for humanity. Shri Mataji was born on March 21, 1923, exactly at midday, at Chindwara, a town in central India, on the Tropic of Cancer. She belonged to a Christian family, and was the daughter of an eminent member of the Indian Congress Party, Shri Prasad Rao Salve. While she was still a child, she visited Gandhi's ashram several times. Like the Mahatma, her father was very active in the independence movement, often being on the run from the British authorities. Gandhi used to call her Nepali, and would ask her to compose prayers for recital during morning meditation. After India’s independence, Shri Mataji studied medicine, and married a brilliant senior civil servant in the Indian administration. They had two daughters. Her husband became Secretary General of the International Maritime Organisation of the United Nations in the 1970s. By then, with her daughters grown up and married, she decided to devote herself to propagating a simple technique by which Kundalini could be awakened collectively. From that time, Shri Mataji has constantly travelled throughout the world, awakening the Kundalini and inaugurating the age of spirituality. During 1994 alone, when she was already over 70 years of age, Shri Mataji gave public lectures in several major cities in India, the Far East, Australia and New Zealand, Europe, North and South America. On each occasion, hundreds and thousands of seekers attained their Self-Realisation. Such a punishing schedule bears simple witness to her extraordinary vitality and strength.

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Her public lectures, often continuing after midnight, end always with the awakening of the Kundalini. But along with the spiritual awakening conferred by Self-Realisation, Shri Mataji frequently offers fascinating information which allows seekers to progress in Self Knowledge. This teaching is of great importance, since it opens the door to spiritual growth at both the individual and the collective levels. The teaching is summarised by the Sanskrit term “Sahaja Yoga”. Sahaja means “born within” and Yoga means “union”. When the Kundalini rises beyond the fontanelle, the first experience is usually of a cool breeze arising from the top of the head and flowing over the hands. For some it flows over the face as well, or even the entire body. This process is a sign that the Kundalini has been awakened, that genuine realisation has been attained. This experience was known in the early days of Christianity and Islam. Mohammed instructed his disciples to pray facing the Kaaba (which of its nature emits the Divine breath) with their palms turned towards the heavens, so they could receive the breath and attain spiritual awakening. Orthodox Christians pray in a similar manner, as can be seen in frescos and icons found over a large area extending from Turkey to Russia. The icons of Theophanos the Greek, and Rublev, are significant in this regard (illustration 40). The Gospel of the Egyptians, part of the gnostic writings discovered at Nag Hammadi, relates the experience of spiritual awakening, and suggests the importance of the position of the hands:
“The Mother was at that place because of the splendid beauty of grace, therefore, I have stretched out my hands which were folded.”19

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Illustration 39: Theophanus the Greek, Mary in prayer, Cathedral of the Annunciation, Moscow

This breath felt on the hands is that promised by Jesus Christ under the name of the Holy Spirit or Spiritus sanctus, which Chouraki translated as “Holy Breath”.
“When the Holy Breath comes he will guide you into all the truth.”20

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In Moscow's Cathedral of the Annunciation, the Holy Spirit is shown as a breath emanating from the mouth of God the Father to illuminate Mary. The same breath was perceived by the old prophets of Israel; its description can be found in several places in the Old Testament:
There was a strong and powerful wind before the Lord, which wore down the mountains and split the rocks asunder; but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind, the earth trembled, A fire raged; but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire, the rustling of a gentle breeze... And when Elias heard it, he covered his face with his cloak.21

It is the breath, promised in the Old Testament, for Spiritual Rebirth on the Day of Resurrection:
“I will cause breath to enter you and you shall live.”22 “I will put breath in you and you shall live; and you will know that I am the Lord.”23

It is the Holy Breath of the Aquarian Gospel which is associated, and even identified with the Mother Goddess:
“God the Mother is the Holy Breath.”24

The Gospel according to Philip is similarly inspired: “When the Holy Spirit breathes, summer comes. The Mother is eternal truth.”25 In the Prashna Upanishad, we are told that the breath is the power of the universe which protects as a Mother protects her children26. The Chandogya Upanishad adds that the breath is higher than hope. One of the names given to the Great Goddess in Sanskrit writings is Prana rupini, which means, she who manifests as the Breath. In the Saundarya Lahari, Shankaracharya mentions the cool breath which emanates from the Goddess.

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In the presence of Shri Mataji, the cool breath can be clearly felt coming from her. During her public lectures, when she awakens the Kundalini, Shri Mataji sometimes breathes over the audience as Christ did when he breathed life into the spirit of each apostle. Once one has been awakened, focusing one’s attention on Christ, Buddha, Mohammed or Moses, produces a breath similar to that which emanates from Shri Mataji. As well as feeling the Divine breath, Self-Realisation is characterised by thoughtless awareness and a state of calm inner well-being. This state results from the purifying work of the Kundalini on a subtle system which consists of chakras and channels of energy. In this respect Shri Mataji has brought knowledge of the human subtle system (which is the heritage of the Indian spiritual tradition) to its completion. She has defined both the physiological and spiritual role of each chakra and each energy channel.

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The Three Channels
We have already referred to the two main rhythms governing all life - the solar rhythm (the basis of activity and growth) and the lunar rhythm (the basis of fertility and germination). These two vital rhythms were defined over four thousand years ago in China as Yin and Yang, and in India as Tamas and Rajas. Human beings cannot avoid these two influences. Indeed, they constantly alternate between them. Each person carries two channels of energy, which reproduce the two great biological rhythms on the individual level. These are the Rajo guna or Yang, and the Tamo guna or Yin, which, together, correspond, in medical terms, to the sympathetic nervous system.

Figure 5: The Three Channels 238

Yin and Yang
Tamo guna, which is also known as the Ida nadi, or simply the “left channel”, begins below the sacrum bone and ends in the right hemisphere of the brain. This corresponds to the left sympathetic nervous system, which Shri Mataji calls the “superego”. It constitutes the feminine, lunar side of the personality. The Anima, as defined by Jung, is its reflection at the psychological level. This left channel controls our desire and emotions, and integrates all our previous experiences. It is responsible for remembering all the information acquired by education, information which is stored in the various strata of consciousness. This channel ensures, for instance, that a child who has suffered burning will not go too close to the flame of a candle again. It acts as a sort of “brake” on the personality. It is this channel which prevents action which does not comply with the canons of morality, or with the conditioning acquired during life, particularly childhood. When an individual bends too much towards this side of the personality, inhibitions to action will outweigh the capacity to act. He or she will become lethargic, introverted, listless and even fearful. The main effect of alcohol and narcotic drugs is to swing the psyche towards this side of our nature. If a correction is not applied, the imbalance intensifies and can culminate in psychiatric disorders such as depression or schizophrenia. Selfdestructive tendencies can increase and somatic diseases such as angina pectoris or cancer develop. On the other hand, if this channel functions in a normal and balanced way, the individual avoids depressive states and is joyful in all circumstances. This is usually true of children, who have not had time for the normal functions of the left side to be disturbed. In an attempt to free people from their inhibitions, Freud put a great deal of attention to this side of the personality. He
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condemned conditioning, home life and moral codes as barriers to the psychological liberation of the individual. His reasoning was incomplete, because while some moral codes are indeed artificial and create harmful conditioning, others are innate and necessary for the equilibrium of the personality, particularly at the emotional level. Rajo guna or Pingala nadi controls the masculine side of the personality. It begins at the level of the Swadisthan chakra, situated in the region of the right kidney, and ends in the left cerebral hemisphere, which Shri Mataji calls the “ego”. It corresponds to the right-side sympathetic nervous system, and, for simplicity, we will refer to it as the “right channel”. This is the channel of action and creativity on both the actual and the intellectual levels. This is Jung's Animus. The right channel made it possible for humankind to free itself from the constraints of nature and climate. It allowed mankind to organise societies, and, by developing technical abilities, to found the first civilisations. It is this channel that allows Man to project himself into the future, and to invent. Where the left channel is the brake on human nature, the right channel is its accelerator. The right channel is essential because it allows humankind to take individual responsibility. In a way it is the “steering wheel” of the personality which makes it possible to undertake a course towards a destination. However we can only use this steering wheel if the learning and experience acquired through the left channel continue to give the information we need, to avoid dangers, and about the changes of direction the weather conditions demand. An overactive right channel leads to excessive development of the ego, causing domination and the misuse of power. Aggression, destruction, wars and conquests all stem directly from the right channel activity. An unbalanced left side leads to self-destruction, while imbalances on the right, with their ego
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consequences, lead to the destruction of others. Adler based his psychology on this aspect of mankind's nature. The contemporary caricature of the right-sided personality is the company director who has reached the top of the ladder by crushing others and working like a maniac, having neglected his family and emotional life for the sake of social advancement. Because the relationships of the heart are completely ignored, the logical outcome of rightsided over-activity is a heart attack. The right and left channels are the dual poles of the personality which, when in balance, allow the individual to lead a life of harmony. On the collective level, the East has tended to develop the left side while the West has “specialised” in the right. The great countries of Asia, such as India and China, have never been aggressors, even though their wealth, and their early development, would have allowed them to embark on paths of conquest. In contrast, the West has constantly invaded and dominated through colonial rule. Today the domination is through their liberal market economy. The drift of the West towards the right channel began very early. It goes back to those times when the Semitic and Aryan tribes invaded those sedentary societies who worshipped the Mother Goddess. Being on the “right”, they venerated the male principle of the Divine. With the development of the ego, this male principle lost its universality and became the idol of a group, or clan; a deity used to justify the destruction of others. In opposing the Mother Goddess of the sedentary societies, they rejected the feminine principle of life, the left channel, the Yin. Women, feelings and respect for nature were down-graded in favour of the desire for power and domination. Rationality overcame intuition. The Church joined this swing towards the right side. From its earliest days it proclaimed that God's creation must concur with
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reason. The domination of nature became the modus vivendi of this patriarchal era. The outer nature was brought under control by the unbridled exploitation of natural resources, while the inner nature was controlled by repressing emotions, passion and sexuality. Spirituality became synonymous with asceticism, gradually turning away from joy. With the exception of Saint Francis of Assisi, Fra Angelico and a few others, monks seem to have no sense of joy or fulfilment. In fact we find quite the opposite. For the Church, the spiritual quest became austere, dry and repelling. Spontaneity was forcefully rejected. Beauty became frivolity. In his poem The Voice of Evil, William Blake comments on this suppression of the spontaneous by the patriarchal religious powers:
“All bibles or sacred codes have been the causes of the following errors: 1 - That man has two real existing principles: a Body and a Soul, 2 - That Energy, call'd Evil is alone from the Body; And that Reason, call'd Good, is alone from the soul. 3 - That God will torment Man in Eternity for following his Energies. But the following contraries to these are true: 1 - Man has no Body distinct from his Soul,. for that call'd Body is a portion of Soul discerned by the five senses, the chief inlets of Soul in this age. 2 - Energy is the only life, and is from the Body; And Reason is the bound or outward circumference of Energy. 3 - Energy is Eternal Delight.”27

After the long phase of domination by the Church, a stage of mental consciousness began. Man forgot the myths and the questions touching the soul, and projected himself into the future and the material. The world lost its essence, its substance. It became a “thing”, a three-dimensional space, perceived only through the senses. Anything immaterial, anything which could not be apprehended by the senses, became non-existent, unreal. The general attitude became, “I believe the evidence of my eyes”.
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The inner identity of each thing, perceived so clearly by the ancients, was denied. The ego dominated, divided, ruled. The great empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians, Romans, and the Christians, succeeded each other in endless clashes of aggression. The rational mind was elevated; intuition was diminished. Strength became measured by the ability to impose one's will on others, and on nature. Life became a limited span, ending in death. Man lost his awareness of the inner space, of reincarnation and resurrection (concepts common to all ancient societies, and still universally understood in the East). Awareness of the soul, the eternal Spirit, which quite obviously transcends temporal and spatial limits, was lost. Inner knowledge, or “gnosis”, was neglected in favour of information about the artificial and external. As E. Whitmont says: “we no longer see with the inner eye but entertain abstract ideas about things, which replace the living Spirit behind or within things. Animals, trees and flowers speak only to poets and children. For the rest of the world, they are dumb and soulless, mere objects conceived of as the work of an anthropomorphic god.”28 By perpetuating this imbalance towards the right side, man develops abstract concepts which replace the objects they are supposed to represent. Creativity becomes a purely mental exercise. Things are identified on the basis of thought rather than feelings: “Cogito ergo sum”. Whitmont adds that the “myths, poetical aspirations, fable or fantasy become rationalised into today's space-visible historical fact.”(28) The virginal birth of Christ, and his Resurrection, are believed, or more often denied, as simple historical facts and not the expression of a spiritual reality. The French, who were the leading proponents of rationalism and intellectualism, are now suffering from this swing to the right channel, making it impossible for them to recognise the Mother. Let us consider a few examples:

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• • •

The Tao, which Lao Tze identifies with the Mother, takes the masculine gender in French! When Goethe refers to the Goddess in his poetry, the French translation replaces Goddess with God.29 Jung's article The Archetype of the Mother, which was a seminal work of the celebrated Zurich psychoanalyst, has still to be translated into French. The Aquarian Gospel, which speaks forcefully of the Eternal Mother, refers to the Holy Spirit in the feminine. The French translation “corrects” this, using the masculine gender30. The same is true of the Odes of Solomon which are quoted in this book.

But it would be wrong to single out one country. The West as a whole must be made aware of this imbalance, this tilt to the right channel which blinds, and leads to decadence and selfdestruction. But today, how can we solve this imbalance on both individual and collective levels? More than thirty years ago, C.G. Jung imagined the solution: “There exists one way, one possibility to reach above the psychological level, the mental and human levels.... it is the way of Individuation. The way of Individuation means: to strive to become truly individual, and if we consider individuality as the form of our most intimate unicity, our last and irrevocable oneness, i. e. the realisation of one's self, we could thus translate Individuation as Self-Realisation.”31

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Figure 6: The three channels before and after Self-realisation 245

Sushumna, the Middle Way
Through Self-Realisation, the balance between the right and the left channels is restored and inner harmony re-established. This is the first purifying work of the Kundalini. The Kundalini rises along the central channel, known in Sanskrit as the Sushumna Nadi. “In Sushumna, the breath leads the pure man into a pure world,” says the Prashna Upanishad32. The Yogatattwa Upanishad confirms that: “The Breath rises in the Sushumna up to the crown of the head.”33 Sushumna is the Middle Way the Buddha spoke of. It is the way of balance between the right and the left channels, the way of evolution. Human beings are normally slaves to their mental activity. Thoughts arise from two sources: the right hemisphere of the brain, the superego (an extension of the left channel) which recalls past events, or the left hemisphere of the brain, the ego (the prolongation of the right channel) which projects into the future. During realisation, the Kundalini absorbs the ego and the superego. Thoughts fade away. There is no past, no future. All that remains is reality, that is, the present. And in the present the Spirit, shining in the heart, penetrates into the consciousness of the individual. The Spirit alone IS. Kundalini and the Self are One. The left and the right channels are the two uprights of the ladder which have permitted mankind to progress - so long as extremes were avoided. The steps of this ladder are the chakras.

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The Chakras
Throughout the world one of the most common symbols is the Tree of Life. It corresponds symbolically to the subtle system of the human being, consisting of the three energy channels and the seven chakras. For example, the Tree of Jesse, one of the most popular subjects in mediaeval art, is an artistic vision of this Tree of Life. One of the finest examples is the 12th century west window in Chartres Cathedral. At the level of the Unconscious, there is a close correlation between the tree and the human body. This is obvious in many languages. Arm and branch are inter-related. Our body is said to have a trunk. In anatomical terminology, the veins and arteries have branches. Jung noticed that his patients, when asked to express theselves in a drawing, often portrayed themselves as trees.

Figure 7: The seven chakras in the subtle body
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Jung believed the Tree of Life to be the symbol of the Self, depicted in a perspective of growth. According to Indian tradition, the chakras have developed successively in the rhythm of the evolutionary process, each of them marking a major step in human development. This evolution is said to be controlled by Vishnu, the Divine principle who incarnates to advance human progress. In the Book of Genesis, the chakras correspond of course to the seven days of Creation, which symbolically track the stages of our evolution. The distribution and development of the chakras within the evolutionary process correspond precisely to the steps of human evolution. The Nabhi chakra (number 3 on the diagram) governs the home, family life, and creates material well-being, the feeling of contentment. This chakra developed when human society emerged from the primitive stage of the struggle against the elements, and gained talents to control these elements. The Vishuddhi chakra (number 5) governs communication. It developed as mankind gained an ability to communicate verbally. This process began when man lifted up his head so that his gaze rose from the ground to straight ahead. The Agnya chakra (number 6) evolved when mankind began to use its intellectual faculties, and to elaborate abstract concepts. The development of science and philosophy resulted from this process. Shri Mataji explains that certain prophets, or avatars, “divine incarnations” in the Indian tradition, came to earth to open each chakra on the collective level, so that humanity could progress and evolve. Medical science has been able to determine the physiological role governed by each plexus. But what medicine has not been able to detect is the spiritual role the chakras play within the individual.
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The chakras are like prisms, each reflecting one aspect of the celestial light which illuminates the individual's personality. The first chakra, Mooladhara chakra, which lies beneath the sacrum, confers the quality of innocence, innate in children. From this quality flows humility and wisdom. A Mooladhara chakra which is working properly gives a sense of direction. This chakra, for instance, allows migratory animals to plot their course accurately, and reach their destinations. In mankind, this sense of direction corresponds to common sense, discernment. On the physical level, the Mooladhara chakra governs sexual activity. Some people confused the Mooladhara chakra with the sacrum and attempted to awaken the Kundalini through sex. A whole misguided school of so-called tantric yoga was based on this premise. But this failed, since the Mooladhara chakra has, in fact, no contact with the Kundalini. Because the Mooladhara chakra lies below the Kundalini, it is the only chakra which is not pierced by the Kundalini during her ascent. Sexual tantrism is not only ineffective but actually harmful. It insults the immaculate purity of the Kundalini, thus weakening the underlying principle of the Mooladhara chakra, which is innocence34. The Mooladhara chakra, lying at the base of the left channel, has an effect on our entire emotional life. It can be damaged both by unbridled sexual activity and by sexual repression. However, a balanced sex life, particularly within the bonds of marriage, does not disturb its equilibrium. Physiologically the Mooladhara chakra also governs the excretory functions. It is responsible for the earth elements of the body, particularly minerals. The second chakra, the Swadisthan, lies at the base of the right channel. It corresponds to creativity, dynamism, and to the senses. Great creators such as Leonardo da Vinci, Mozart, and Shakespeare had a highly developed Swadisthan. At the physiological level, it controls the kidneys, the liver and the
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intestines. The Swadisthan is the fire element of the body. It is this “fire” in the liver which burns our food to supply energy to the rest of the body. The third chakra, the Nabhi, corresponds to the solar plexus. It is the centre which seeks well-being and contentment. At its highest level, this search for happiness leads to the spiritual quest, the search for the Self. The primary qualities of this centre are harmony, tranquillity, satisfaction and inner peace. Asceticism, austerity pushed to the extreme, can damage the Nabhi centre, impairing the individual's feeling of well-being. Stress also damages the Nabhi, as it creates inner tension. At the physiological level, the Nabhi controls the stomach, the pancreas, the spleen and part of the liver. Its element is water, like the gastric and pancreatic secretions which dissolve the food before it is absorbed by the intestine. It is not surprising that stress, which contributes to an inner imbalance, arises in the Nabhi, and can develop into somatic disorders, such as stomach ulcers. The Nabhi chakra flourishes when a feeling of contentment leads to detachment from material goods, and to generosity. The Nabhi is surrounded by a zone known as the Void, which governs the principle of mastery and just behaviour with respect to oneself and to others. The chakra of the heart, known as the Anahata in Sanskrit, governs emotional relationships. The gentleness and safety a mother gives her child stem from the heart. It is also the source of a father's authority, which allows a man to assume his responsibilities. At the physical level it corresponds to the cardiac plexus, which controls the cardiac muscles and the lungs. The element of the Anahata is air. This chakra is very important because it is controlled by the principle of the Eternal Mother. Shri Mataji explains that the Goddess incarnated in ancient times, probably in the Neolithic
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era, to establish in humankind the feeling of security, and to open the heart chakra on the collective level. The fact that at the time people venerated a single, universal Divine principle, the Mother Goddess, must have contributed to this development. When universal worship of the Mother Goddess was rejected, at the end of the Neolithic period, the Anahatha was damaged, leading, inevitably, to insecurity and conflict. The Vishuddhi chakra is located within the cervical plexus at the base of the neck. As we have seen, it controls communication. Its qualities are sweetness, respect for others, diplomacy and collectivity. It deals with fraternal relationships, and makes a person capable of becoming a witness to the game of life. It permits the harmonious integration of the individual into society. This chakra is damaged by behaviour which interferes with good communications between people - abuse, irony, sarcasm, verbal aggression. It is also affected by feelings of guilt, by which people debase themselves, and which interfere with their integration into society. The Vishuddhi was opened on the collective level by Krishna, the eighth incarnation of Vishnu, around six thousand years ago. Krishna was the first prophet, or Divine incarnation, to turn mankind's attention towards the Spirit. He was the expression on earth of the qualities of God the Father, the Eternal Spirit. In the celebrated Bhagavad Gita35 Krishna proclaims to his disciple Arjuna: “Know that with one small fraction of my Being I pervade and support the Universe, and know that I AM.”36 This message echoes the old Testament, where YHVH says to Moses, “Say this to the people of Israel, I AM has sent me to you.”37 Krishna opened the era of the Father to humankind. He added to the collective veneration of the Mother Goddess the worship of the Eternal Spirit, God the Father. However, as we have seen, with the over-development of the right channel, nomadic

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societies were to focus on the patriarchal aspects of the Divine, attempting to eradicate the maternal aspects of God. The Agnya chakra, located at the crossing of the optic chiasma, controls the activity of the brain in its functions of memory and projection. It controls the ego and superego. Its primary qualities are forgiveness and non-violence. Buddha and Mahavira played a very important role in opening this chakra on the collective level, showing by their lives that mankind can attain the Divine, that the Son can reach the Father. They showed that mankind is not flesh, but spirit, and must be born again of the Spirit. And then Jesus Christ taught men to forgive. Before his coming, forgiveness was a virtually unknown concept, human consciousness being aware only of the laws of retribution and revenge. Through forgiveness, which relaxes the mind, the Agnya chakra opens. Christ also enjoined the avoiding of adulterous eyes in order to maintain purity, even to the point of tearing out the eyes that offend38. Strong words, but such behaviour is inimical to the well-being of the Agnya chakra. Christ spoke of the Father, but also of the Holy Spirit (whom he referred to as the Mother39). As we have seen, the patriarchal and misogynous Church has done everything in its power to hide this from us. The seventh chakra is known as the Sahasrara (from saha, meaning “thousand” in Sanskrit, since it has one thousand petals). It is the chakra of resurrection and liberation. The thousand petals symbolise the thousands of nervous connections which it calls into play. This ultimate chakra opens up the field of pure spirituality, situated, as it is, above the mind, intellect and emotions. It is the point of direct connection with the Divine. If the qualities of this seventh chakra, joy, integration, vibratory awareness and compassion, have not yet penetrated the collective consciousness, this is because the opening of this Sahasrara chakra is actually happening now. It involves the collective

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awakening of the Kundalini, which is nothing else but the Mother Goddess. As we have seen in this brief overview, each chakra has its own specific qualities. The working of a chakra is adversely affected by any behaviour which conflicts with those qualities. For example, someone who fails to assume his or her family responsibilities will damage his or her heart chakra. One who refuses to respect his neighbours will impair the Vishuddhi. The chakras can also be harmed by toxic agents: alcohol damages the Nabhi, smoking harms the Vishuddhi. A chakra may also be disturbed at the collective level. For example, the inhabitants of large cities are subjected to permanent stress. People who move from the country to the town, and start modelling their conduct on that of the new collective, will suffer stress. This is because the individual Nabhi is vulnerable to a collective blockage of the chakra. There are many similar examples.40 Awakening the Kundalini will gradually dissolve any blockage of the chakras and restore its virtues, bringing about balance, peace and inner joy. This is the primary role of the Kundalini who, as the Mother within, cleanses and purifies her child with pure love. It is the real meaning of baptism: “Be baptised and wash away your sins.”41 This understanding of the subtle system within human beings has been revealed by Shri Mataji. It is not an abstract knowledge which one must believe blindly. On the contrary, it is knowledge which is confirmed daily by the experiences of those who practise Sahaja Yoga, experiences resulting from the opening, on a collective level, of the seventh chakra, the Sahasrara.

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Table 1: The Chakras and the Advance of Mankind 254

3. The Sahasrara
“Listen to the Speech of the Mother For you have become worthy of the mystery Hidden from the beginning So that you become perfect.”42

The opening of the Sahasrara, which is initiated by the awakening of the Kundalini, activates a new - and large - area of consciousness. Human beings are receiving a new understanding never previously described; messages which can be decoded in the light of the teachings of Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi.

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Vibratory Awareness
The Kundalini performs a real action of purification on the subtle system – composed of the seven chakras and three energy channels. This purifying is felt clearly on the body, at the exact position of the chakra itself or on the hands. Each chakra has a corresponding point on a finger or an area of the hand. The Nabhi corresponds to the middle finger, the Swadisthan to the thumb, the Anahata to the little finger, the Vishuddhi to the forefinger, and the Agnya to the ring finger. The Mooladhara is situated at the base of the wrist and the Void around the palm, as shown below:

Figure 8: The corresponding chakras on the hands 256

When the Kundalini is awakened, not only the cool breath, but also a tingling, warmth or inner vibration may be experienced on some of the fingers or certain areas of the hand. This indicates that the Kundalini is purifying the corresponding chakra. It also indicates where attitudes should be changed, or particular qualities acquired. This new perception recalls the prophecy in the Koran: “On the Day of Resurrection, your hands will speak.”43 For example, someone who prefers solitude, who tends to turn inward, avoiding the company of others, may feel a tingling on the left index finger, corresponding to Vishuddhi chakra, the chakra of our communication. In this way the Kundalini makes the seeker aware of the need to open up to others. Similarly, anyone who is lacking inner peace, who is incapable of staying put for two minutes at a time, may feel a heated Nabhi chakra on the middle finger. This process is repeated as often as there are qualities needed by a person to become an all-round, integrated and virtuous personality. Generally the Kundalini is at work on several chakras at once. When these have been cleansed, after a few weeks or months, the Kundalini moves on to other problems, which she sets about correcting with patience and compassion. In the same way the Kundalini balances the energy channels, a process that can also be felt on the hands. For a “right-sided” temperament, one which tends to overwork, the sensation will be heaviness or heat on the right hand. In contrast, a lethargic temperament will create a similar sensation, but on the left hand. The Kundalini teaches the realised seeker self knowledge so that progress can be made in spiritual ascent. This is a new form of awareness. Awareness of inner “cleanliness” is vibratory in nature. A person who has moved into this new state of consciousness can no longer allow himself to have chakras in poor condition. He will face himself so that he can grow spiritually.
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This awareness is not limited to the individual sphere. It is also a collective awareness. By putting his attention on another person, a place, or a work of art, he can discern its vibratory nature. If a cool breeze flows over the hands, it is because the person is realised, the place is holy, or the work of art was created by an enlightened artist. For example the music of Mozart, the works of Michelangelo, the plays of Molière and the poetry of Goethe emit this Divine breath. Some types of art, in contrast, emit negative vibrations, which can be identified by heat and tingling sensations in the hands. This consciousness, which is the consciousness of Sahasrara, is a remarkable means of evaluating ourselves and the world around us. Is this a good choice? Will this master’s teachings be good for my progress? Does a particular politician have the right vibrations to control the destiny of the country? Or is he ineffective or corrupt? It should be understood that this is not, even subtly, a phenomena involving psychological or mental activity. As for the theory of auto suggestion, it is proven by experience to be baseless. This new awareness is nothing more than the recording, by our subtle “antennae” of the vibratory reality of someone, a work, a place, or an event. These observations, or recordings, are identical for all those whose vibratory awareness is awakened. We are here within the region of absolute objectivity, which transcends the mental categories of ego and superego. It is this vibratory awareness from the Most High - not from human concepts - that is the prelude to the New Age. Shri Mataji often explains that nowadays people must not blindly follow religion, but must attain faith through the awareness and certainty one experiences as Truth. Shri Mataji does not attempt to persuade people. She leaves the seekers to discover for themselves the inner dimension and the new consciousness which they are offered.

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The results have not been slow in coming. Thousands of men and women from all continents have experienced Self-Realisation, and have been able to discover for themselves the hidden treasure of their own Selves. And they have also been able to transmit this experience to other seekers who desire it. Anyone in whom the Kundalini has been awakened, can awaken the Kundalini of another, if the other so desires. Shri Mataji uses the image of a candle which, once lit, can also enlighten another candle.

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Compassion and Joy
During her public lectures, Shri Mataji often does not leave the hall until late into the night in order to meet each seeker who has just attained Self-Realisation. She takes the opportunity to correct one or another chakra, and to give greater meaning to the experience of realisation. Devoted to the emancipation of as many people as possible, Shri Mataji expresses a universal motherly love which makes her much more than just a «Spiritual Master”. She often says that the “blossom time” has come, and that many seekers have taken birth at this time just to get their Self-Realisation. The compassion that emanates from Shri Mataji is the power of the Sahasrara chakra itself. It is love which has become active, taking full possession of its transforming power. The Kundalini is this power. She takes care of us and brings about our evolution. Shri Mataji tells us that the Kundalini knows us better than we know ourselves, because she has been within us since the beginning of our creation. The Kundalini cures, improves, and pours on each of us her blessings. As we discover how the Kundalini operates, independently of our own will, a feeling of surrender to the Mother develops. We become aware that it is she, and she alone, who allows us to progress. It is therefore necessary to surrender entirely to her in order to grow in the way that leads to absolute liberation, the Realisation of God. This surrender does not involve any loss of freedom or free will. These remain intact throughout spiritual ascent. This surrender, which is what the word Islam means, grows as one witnesses
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one's own progress through many inner changes, eventually realising the infinite material power of the Kundalini. The only desire that remains is that of being linked to her at all times. Individual desires melt into the desire of God, whose name is Kundalini, or Adi Shakti. This communion between our desire and the Kundalini gives birth to a great love between the children, which we are, and the Mother. Recognition, a mixture of knowledge and gratitude, wells up from the heart as a spring of joy, of fullness and of devotion. This beatitude is the joy of Sahasrara, the joy of God, the absolute and unconditional joy.
Victor Hugo, Les Contemplations. Au bord de l’Infini IV (Paris 1990) p. 304. C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (New York) p. 108-9. 3 The Koran, Surah 69. 4 Kahlil Gibran, Le Jardin du Prophète (Casterman 1979) p. 50. 5 S. Lévi, Études d’Orientalisme à la mémoire de R. Linossier (Paris 1931) p. 355-402. See also P. Harvey, Introduction to Buddhism (Cambridge 1990) p. 15. 6 Louis Renou, Manuel des Etudes Indiennes (Paris 1953) p. 1052. 7 C. Glassé, Dictionnaire encyclopédique de l’Islam (Paris 1991) p. 238. 8 John 14:26. 9 John 16:7-8. Although the reference to the Counsellor as “him” and “he” appears in almost all translations, this is not justified by the original Aramaic. 10 Ouseley & Muller, op. cit., 72:10. 11 C. G. Jung, Selected Letters (Princeton 1984) p. 15. 12 Deuteronomy 7:14. 13 Revelation 12:1-2. 14 J. Saint Hilaire (Helen Roerich), Enseignment de l’Agni Yoga (Paris 1970). 15 E. Begg, The Cult of the Black Virgin (London 1985) p.134. 16 Ibid, p. 134. 17 E. C. Whitmont, The Return of the Goddess (London 1987) p. viii. 18 i.e. the Primordial Illusion.
2 1

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Gospel of the Egyptians 67:4-8, NHL p. 218. John 16:13. Again the pronoun “he”, from the Gr original Aramaic. 21 II Kings 19:11-13. 22 Ezekiel 37:5. 23 Ezekiel 37:6. 24 The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ by Levi p. 230. 25 Evangile selon Philippe (Paris 1988) p. 99. 26 P. Deussen, Sixty Upanishads vol, II, op. cit., p. 5 27 i.e. the primordial energy, the Kundalini, who gr William Blake, Complete Writings (Oxford 1985) p 28 Whitmont, op. cit., p. 72. 29 Goethe, Poésies (Aubier Montaigne 1982) p. 368 French version: “... attendre les regards du Roi du f Correct version: “... attendre les regards de la Rein (Himmelfürstin) French version: “Mais voici que Dieu reparaît!” Correct version: “Mais voici que la Déesse (Göttin 30 The English original states that God the Mother i Holy Breath is always referred to deliberately as “s pronoun in English would be “it”). The French tran feminine for the masculine without comment, and m Breath” by “Saint-Esprit”, meaning “Holy Spirit” w thing. Sources: Levi H. Dowling, The Aquarian Go cit., and its translation l’Evangile du Verseau (Pari 31 C. G. Jung, Dialectic of the Self and the Unconsc 32 Prashna Upanishad et son commentaire par Sha 33 Upanishads du Yoga (Paris 1971) p. 67. 34 For more information on tantrism, see Lotus Hea 35 See Yogi Mahajan, Geeta Enlightened (Delhi 19 36 The Bhagavad Gita translated by Juan Mascaro (
20

19

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37 38

Exodus 3:14. Matthew 5:29. 39 For instance in the Gospel of Thomas. 40 See L. Heart, op. cit., p. 165-169. 41 Acts 22:16. 42 The Trimorphous Protenoia 44:30-34, NHL p. 5 43 The Holy Koran, Sura 36:65.

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“To the One who is both The Difficult River and the Far Shore, The Unchanging Essence And the Creator, Salutations to Her again and again.”

Devi Mahatmyam

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Appendix 1: Science and Religion
“Saha” means “with”, “Ja” means “born”, “Yoga” means union with the all pervading power of Divine Love. This is a very subtle subject, absolutely valid and can be proved, of our ascent into higher awareness. At the very outset, one has to be a seeker of truth and with scientific attitude one should approach the subject. It should be treated respectfully like a hypothesis, and if found by experiments as truth should be accepted by sincere people in the spirit of honesty.

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi The aim of Sahaja Yoga is to give Self-Realisation to those who desire it by the awakening of the Kundalini. Sahaja Yoga is free. Shri Mataji often says that one cannot pay for something which is within everyone and which is waiting to be awakened. In every country Sahaja Yoga exists as an association whose only resources are the voluntary contributions of enthusiasts. These resources are destined to finance public conferences. No one in the world receives the slightest remuneration for their activity concerning Sahaja Yoga. In France Sahaja Yoga officially exists as a religious association, just as the established religions. In the USA, Brazil, Colombia, and other countries Sahaja Yoga is officially recognised as a religion.

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In 2004, Sahaja Yoga is flourishing in more than 108 countries and on every continent. For more information, see the Sahaja Yoga web pages on the Internet: http://www.sahajayoga.org Some books on Sahaja Yoga include: I. Publications by H.H. Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi Sahaja Yoga, Vishwa Nirmala Dharma, New Delhi, 1995 Metamodern Era, Vishwa Nirmala Dharma, New Delhi, 1998 II. Publications by Sahaja Yogis (non exhaustive) D. Costian, Bible enlightened, Vishwa Nirmala Dharma, New Delhi, 1995 F. Descieux, The Light of the Koran, Ritana Books, New Delhi, 1998 G. de Kalbermatten, The Advent, The Life Eternal Trust, New Delhi, 1983 G. de Kalbermatten, The Third Advent, daisyamerica, New York, 2003 Prof. U. Rai, Medical Science Enlightened, The Life Eternal Trust, New Delhi, 1993 For more details please consult website.

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Appendix 2: The Great Goddess and the Liberation of the Seekers of Truth
I. 21 sanskrit names taken from the “Shri Lalita Sahasranama”: Dipta She enlightens the obscure paths taken by the seekers. Vijaya She sets the triumph over the forces of evil. Tara The Redemptrix. Bhayapaha She releases the seekers from doubts and fears. Sadhaka-dhivinashini The Love Incarnate to destroy the sufferings of the seekers. Sadhaka-rivinadhini She grants Eternal Joy to the Seekers. Sumukti-da She grants Spiritual Emancipation. Papahantri She destroys sins. Rakshasagni She destroys forces of evil.

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Sharma-dayini She gives Divine Bliss. Sukhaprada She gives Joy and Bliss of Liberation. Rakshakari She grants Salvation. Yogada She grants Yoga, Union. Sat-Chit-Ananda-rupini She is Truth, Consciousness and Bliss. Prana-rupini She is the Divine Breath. Vishva-garbha Mother of the Universe. Sahaja-yoga-dayini She grants spontaneous Self-Realisation. Kundalini She is the Mother Within. Naga-Kanya The Virgin Serpent (i.e. the Kundalini). Bhakta-nandamayi Source of Eternal Joy for Her disciples. Bhakta-vatsala She cherishes Her disciples.

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II. 21 Latin names of the Virgin Mary: Mater Divinae Gratiae Mother of DivineGrace. Speculum Divinae Contemplationis Mirror of Divine Contemplation. Porta Paradisi Gate of Paradise. Regina Salutis Queen of Salvation. Nostra Spes Vera Our true Hope. Omnium Exultatio Exultation of all beings. Per Quam Venitur Through Her, Joy is given. Nostra Lux Vera Our true Light. Regina Sanctorum Omnium Queen of all the saints. Mater Veri Gaudi Mother of true Joy. Coelorum Regina Queen of Heaven. Generans Acternum Lumen She produces the Eternal Light. Mater Intemerata Immaculate Mother.

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Iter Nostrum Ad Dominum Our Way to the Lord. Resurrectio Nostra Our Resurrection. Templum Spiritus Sanctus Temple of the Holy Breath. Foederis Arca Arch of the Union. Virgo Potens All powerful Virgin. Mater Gratia Plena Mother full of Grace. Causa Nostra Laetitia She brings Joy. Regina Beatitudinis Queen of Bliss.

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Appendix 3: The Church down the Centuries (part I)
1st Century: Paul declares: “those who marry will have torments of the flesh.” “Are not you tied to a wife? Do not look for a wife.” 4th Century: The Council of Nicaea (325) decrees that man must not marry after his ordination as a priest. Pope Syrius (385) adds that after ordination, no man is permitted to sleep with his wife. 5th Century: Augustine declares “Frigidity is spirituality.” “Sex during marriage is only for those who cannot control themselves.” “The ideal would be no sex, at any moment and for eternity.” 6th Century: Pope Gregory the Great decrees that sexual desire is a sin.

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9th Century: Marozia, the mistress of Pope Sergius III, gives birth to the child that will become Pope John XI. John XI also had a son who succeeded him at the head of Papacy (John XII). 10th Century: Pope Sixtus IV is infamous for his mistresses. 16th Century: Saint Peter’s Cathedral of Rome can be rebuilt thanks to the papal trade in “indulgences”. Likewise Roman brothels are to finance the reconstruction of the dome. The Council of Trent declares celibacy superior to marriage. 20th Century: In the 70’s Archbishop Daniélou from France dies in the arms of a prostitute. John Paul II freezes the dispensation from celibacy introduced by his predecessor Paul VI. In Europe and America, thousands of catholic priests are suspected of child sexual abuse. In 1990, in the United States, 600 priests are charged with child sexual abuse. The pope is compelled to give his apologies. The

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Appendix 4: The Church down the Centuries (part II)
1st century: Paul devastated Christ's community of disciples and was delighted at Stephen's martyrdom. 4th and 5th centuries: The Church bans the gnostic movements, which are wiped out by Roman legions. Augustine resorts to bloodshed to destroy the Donatist movement. He condemns the bishop Pelagius, who does not share his views on original sin. 6th century: The first anti-semitic documents are published by the Church. 13th century: The Cathars are wiped out during the Albigensian crusade. « Saint » Dominic declares : "Kill them all, God will sort out his own!" 14th century: Eckhart is condemned for heresy. Without his prestige and his responsibilities, he would have suffered the same fate as the
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mystic lay sister Marguerite Potier, who was burnt at the stake on 1st June 1310. 15th century: The Church gives its blessing for the Templars to be sent to the stake. Joan of Arc is burnt alive in Rouen. 16th century: Huguenots were massacred on St. Bartholomew's day in Paris. Paul IV 's papal bull against the Jews: they must be treated as slaves, their possessions are confiscated, and they are confined to ghettos. 17th century: The Inquisition burns hundreds of thousands of alleged witches throughout Europe. The bishop of Geneva sends 500 women to the stake in less than three months. Amongst them were found young girls of less than six years old. Galileo is convicted for having said that the earth was round. The American Indians do not have a soul : they can be wiped out. 19th century: The popes declare themselves to be infallible. Torture chambers are discovered by Napoleon's troops in Madrid's Dominican monastery. 20th century: The Church disregards the gas chambers. Hitler and Mussolini reward the Vatican by giving it a percentage of taxes levied.

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The Opus Dei, the strong striking elite the Church, is founded in 1928. Its founder will be honoured by the dictator Franco and ... beatified by John-Paul II. The Vatican banks are involved in laundering money from the Mafia and drug dealing. The Vatican supports the Latin American dictatorships. John-Paul Ist, who wants to reform the Church, dies in a most mysterious way...

AND IN 2004 THE POPE IS STILL CALLED HIS HOLINESS!...

Sources on the Catholic Church:
Peter de Rosa : Vicars of Christ. The Dark Side of the Papacy. (Bantam Press, 1988) David Yallop : In God's Name. An Investigation into the Murder of John Paul I. (Corgi Books, 1992) E. Burkett & F. Bruni : A Gospel of Shame. Children sexual abuse and the Catholic Church. (New York, 1993)

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Appendix 5: Critical works on Freud and his doctrine
C. W. Valentine : The Psychology of Early Childhood. (London, Methuen 1942) C. S. Hall : The Meaning of Dreams. (New York, Harper 1953) R. La Piere : The Freudian Ethic. (New York, Duell, Sloan and Perce 1961) L. L. Whyte : The Unconscious before Freud. (London, Tavistock Publications 1962) E. R. Pinckney and C. Pinckney : The Fallacy of Freud and Psychoanalysis. (Englewood Cliffs, Prentice-Hall 1965) C. York : If Hopes Were Dupes. (London, Hutchinson 1966) H. F. Ellenberger : The discovery of the Unconscious: The History and Evolution of Dynamic Psychiatry. (London, Burnett 1970) R. M. Jones : The New Psychology of Dreaming. (London, Penguin Books 1970) P. Kline : Fact and Fantasy in Freudian Theory. (London, Methuen 1972) H. J. Eysenck, G. D. Wilson : The Experimental Study of Freudian Theories. (London, Methuen 1973)

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Acknowledgements
to Doris, to Beatrice and Rebecca,

To my friends Phil Ward and Brian Bell who have been so devoted to the English translation. All my gratitude to Adi Lorenz, Hubert Neuwirth and Gojčo Stevkovski

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