3. The memory e.g. realization of the Eternal Mother is most evident
in the sayings of Lao-tse, the "founder" of Taoism. He emphasizes the feminine
Dimension of the Tao by calling it the Great Mother.
These two (mystery and manifestations) spring
from the same source but differ in name;
this appears as darkness.
Darkness within darkness.
The gate to all mystery. (1)
The valley spirit never dies;
It is the woman, primal mother.
Her gateway is the root of heaven and earth.
It is like a veil barely seen.
Use it; it will never fail.(6)
Everyone else is busy.
But I alone am aimless and quiet.
I am different.
I am nourished by the great mother. (20)
Something mysteriously formed,
Born before heaven and earth.
In the silence and the void,
Standing alone and unchanging,
Ever present and in motion.
Perhaps it is the mother of the ten thousand things.
I do not know its name.
Call it Tao.
For lack of a better word, I call it great.(25)
The beginning of the universe
Is the mother of all things.
Knowing the mother, one also knows the sons.
Knowing the sons, yet remaining in touch with the mother
Brings freedom from the fear of death.(52)
4. Also known in Taoism are the Queen Mother of the West - Xi Wang
Mu - a deity who ruled over K'un-lun, the most important mountain in the world. (Kybele
the MotherGoddess of Phrygia also ruled over the mountains). In Chinese folklore it is
said that one day with Xi Wang Mu is equal to longvity on earth for 3000 years*. Almost
equal in popularity and closely related to the original Great Mother is
"Sheng-Mu" or Holy Mother. In many temples in China she is portrayed with eight
female deities around her. Her duty is to help women in pregnancy and birth-giving.
* It proves how far patriarchal Taoism has moves from its
Origin. Longvity is a Taoist obsession, however, they try to "reach it" through
self-effort. The original teaching emphasizes "unification with the Mother",
5. Like in every patriarchal religion the original notion of the
Great Mother as the the Ultimate Reality was diverted into some kind of deity or lower
goddess. Example is Tianhou or "Empress of Heaven", also called Mazu, which
means "grand, old mother". The goddess had a very humble beginning as a local
woman with spiritual powers, helping seamen to return to home safely (...). Later on her
divine status was recognized, being very popular with the Chinese in general. Moreover, in
Vietnam there are numerous temples dedicated to the Mother. Many of them practice healing
and divination. They are always crowded with people, indicative for Her huge popularity.
India is still imbued with the memory of
the Mother. Think of "Om" (Womb), the "Holy Cow" (symbol of the
Mother), the Lotus and "Mother India".
6. In Hinduism the Great Mother can still be recognized. First of
all She is knwon through Aditi. Aditi - Who existed from pre-Hindu e.g. Vedic times -
represents the Void, the Absolute Emptiness of Buddhism. She is the Mother of all the
Gods. Originally destruction, life and creation (Law of the Universe) were inseperable
aspects of Her One Nothingness. Later these aspects were claimed by three Gods: Brahma,
Vishnu and Shiva. The latter being Her Divine Sons, who, like everywhere, made themselves
independent from their Cosmic Origin.
7. In Vedic times Matri-Devi represents the Great Mother. However,
rather than the Gods originating from the Mother, the Mother became the
"consort" of the Gods ("Shakti"). At the same time the
"Maha-Devi" lost Her power to Her descendants Kali (destruction), Lakshmi
(preservation) and Parvati (rebirth). These goddesses each represented only one aspect of
the original Great Mother (later replaced by above mentioned Gods). Nowadays the Hindu
patheon is cluttered with hundreds of the Mother's "children". The existence of
countless goddesses and gods only show, how much unity has lost itself in diversity.
8. In Tantra - once again a step in time - She was symbolized by the
"Cosmic Egg" from Which everything originates. Typical are triangle pictures,
where She resides on the earth both in her terrible (destructive) as well as Her
life-giving power. Practices like Tantra find their origin in pre-Aryan times, in which
the Great Mother was the center of the fertility cult. Later emphasis was laid on
Siva-Sakti - Cosmic Consciousness - to such an extent, that the link with the Great Mother
as birth-giver was lost. Siva-Sakti are representing two sides of the undivisible whole,
in which Siva is static and Sakti the creative power. The worshipper tries to identify
himself with this dual power in order to reach the non-dual.
9. The Great Mother (also called "Amman") can be found in
every Indian village with the local village-goddesses (Grama-Devi) as Her manifestations.
"The Grama-Devi embodies the village. Usually represented by a head and two hands,
Her body is said to be the fields, streets and houses of the village. Thus the villagers
effectively live "in" Her".* One of the many legends is that of Ammavaru,
the Original Great Mother.
10. "In the beginning nothing existed. Only Ammavaru sat on a
lotus that floated on the cosmic waters. To amuse Herself she laid three eggs on the lotus
leaf out of which emerged three gods: Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva."Let us marry and
create life", She told the gods. The gods refused. This made Ammavaru very angry. Her
third eye located in the middle of Her forehead burned with fury. In fear the gods acceded
to Her request. "But first you must give us your third eye", they said. Ammavaru
afire with desire plucked Her third eye and gave it to the three gods. As soon She did so,
She lost all Her divine powers, Her skin wrinkled, Her breasts withered and Her hair
turned grey. Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva then created the earth out of Ammavaru's body and
ruled over it".*
* D.Pattanaik "Devi, The Mother Goddess", 2000
Vakils, Feffer and Simons, p.46/47
11. Kali is the annihilation aspect of Sakti, which in fact is a
projection of the destructive aspect of the Great Mother. Through her the primordial
desire (sex) which gives rise to all creation is balanced. She takes care of everything
old, sick and dying. Kali is widely revered as the Divine Mother, possibly because her
symbolism is so close to Ultimate Reality.
The Divine Mother's magic
is ancient as life itself
She existed before gods and mortals
and she will still exist even after the great dissolution.
Elisabeth U.Harding "Kali, The Black Goddess of
Dakshineswar", 1993 Nicolas Hayes.
12. Sri Ramakrishna, the saint who worshipped the goddess Kali for
more than thirty years at her temple in Dakshineswar Temple on the bank of the Ganges
"The black basalt image of the Mother, dressed in gorgeous
scarlet brocade, stands on the prostrate white marble body of her divine consort,
Shiva...The majesty of her posture can hardly be described. It combines the terror of
destruction with the reassurance of motherly tenderness, for she is the cosmic power, the
totality of the universe, a glorious harmony of the pairs of opposites. She deals out
death, as she creates and preserves".
NB. Female guru's calling themselves "mother"
aren't a guarantee for being representatives of the Great Mother. On the contrary, many
have identified themselves with a strong hierarchical/patriarchal dualistic philosophy.
13. The ultimate triumph though is the victory of the Great Mother
(in Her manifestation of the goddess Durga) over the "bull-tyrant" Mahisha
representing the violent masculine principle. Devdutt Pattanaik* writes:
"The image of Durga standing astride on a lion (symbolizing Her
son/hero/lover: my addition) holding weapons in Her many arms, impaling the
buffalo-demon, makes a magnificent sight. The goddess looks serene even though She is
performing a violent act. There is blood on the floor, but the goddess is bedecked in
bridal finery, smiling benigly at Her devotees.
14. The buffalo-demon could be viewed as the personification of
man's desire to dominate the world. He is the demon of ambition, arrogance and audacity
who goes about trying to tame Nature. This demon believes he can dam rivers, cut trees,
burn forests and flatten mountains for his own confort and convenience. But then Durga,
the unconquerable one, shrugs. There are floods and fires. Proud kings and their vast
empires are swept away in a flash and man stands humble once more".
* ibid. p. 116
Durga slaying the buffalo-demon is probably
the only myth in the world in which the Mother-principle has gained (temporarily) victory
Jay Mata Di!
15. As we all know JHWH (or El) is the God of Israel. The early
beginnings of both can be traced in Canaan, where they were Mother-oriented vegetation
Gods. Having spoken to Moses from the Sinai mountain still refers to it, since the
(matriarchal) Gods almost exclusively lived on a mountain. Furthermore, both Abraham and
Moses seem to have been "husbands of their wives", e.g. part of female-oriented
society. Later, although inexpressible and nameless, JHWH very soon received male
connotations. Several things. The "tradition" makes us believe, that the Hebrews
were one people united by one God. This hypothesis - which had to support patriarchal
dominance - cannot be maintained anymore. New studies* have revealed, that originally
there were different tribes, worshipping different gods and...goddesses (Astorah,
Astarte). These gods(esses) were all linked to the primordial Great Mother. The Bible
appears to be an account of the struggle of emerging patriarchy against the old Mother
* See the summary of G.Weiler "Ich verwerfe im Lande
die Kriege", 1986 Frauenoffensive (In English and German)
the people said to Jeremiah:
"We will NOT listen to the message you have spoken to us in the name
of the "Lord"! We will certainly do everything we said we would: We will burn
incense to the Queen of Heaven and will pour out drink offerings to Her just as we and our
fathers, our kings and our officials did in the towns of Judah and in the streets of
Jerusalem. At that time we had plenty of food and were well off and suffered no harm. But
ever since we stopped burning incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring out drink
offerings to Her, we have lacked everything and have been perishing by sword and
Jeremiah: 44, 15-18
16. The lost Ark of the Covenant* symbolizes the
lost "Mother of Israel". The former is called the "House of God",
which points at the original Mother religion. In ancient tradition "house", like
vessel, tomb, cave, chalice etc. all represent the Great Mother. In Solomon's time the
Holiest of Holiest of the Temple was called "Womb of
Astarte"..."House/vessel of God" means the Mother containing her Divine
Son. It is emphasized by the fact, that the historic Ark contained a chalice as well as a
rod, the latter symbolizing the rule of the Son, JHWH. Still some memory of the motherly
matrix may have been there, because in Hebrew "In the beginning" (ruach) can be
translated with "womb". Also in Genesis the words "Void",
"Abyss" and "Darkness" (teohom) all refer to Tiamat ("Sea"),
the primordial Mother of Babylon. Thus "God created out of Nothingness
(Darkness)", is a patriarchal reversal of the Mother as Birthgiver of the world.
Things were twisted round. In later times Hokmah (Sophia) or wisdom appears as the
feminine aspect of God (Proverbs) (rather than the other way round). In 8:12-36 she still
speaks on her own account**, though.
* Not accidentally is the later Mary called....the Ark of the
Covenant (Litany of Loreto).
** The following text is
classical. It could have been (and has been...) directly copied from an ancient Sumerian
17. "I, wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of
witty inventions. The fear of the Lord is the fear evil; pride and arrogance, and the evil
way, and the froward mouth, do I hate. Counsel is mine, and sound wisdom; I am
understanding; I have strength. By me kings reign, and princes decree justice. By me
princes rule, and nobles, even all the judges of the earth. I love them that love me; and
those that seek me early shall find me. Riches and honor are with me; yea, durable riches
and righteousness. My fruit is better than gold, yea, than fine gold; and my revenue than
choice silver. I lead in the way of righteousness, in the midst of the paths of judgement.
That I may cause those that love me to inherit substance, and I will fill their
18. "The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before
his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth
was. When there were no depths, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains
abounding with water. Before the mountains were settled, before the hills I was brought
forth. While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the
dust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there; when he set up a compass
upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the
fountains of the deep: then he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass
his commandment: when he appointed the foundation of the earth: Then I was by him, as one
brought up with him; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him; Rejoicing
in the habitable part of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men".
19. "Now therefore hearken unto me, O ye children: for blessed
are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction and be wise, and refuse it not. Blessed is
the man that heareth me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For
whose findeth me findeth life, and shall obtain favor of the lord. But he that sinneth
against me, wrongeth his own soul: all they that hate me love death".
20. Since the origins of dualism (India, Vedanta) two aspects, which
previously were part of a whole, were torn apart and set up against each other. Light and
darkness, good and evil, birth and death became two separate entities. Originally, they
were inalienable instruments of the Great Mother. They could not exist on their own. The
patriarchal fear of ego-loss isolated darkness, death and evil and started a crusade
against them. Thus in the Jewish Kabbala the goddess Lilith appears as the antipode of
Hokmah. She is the personification of evil and a caricature of the Mother. Isaak Luria a
Kaballist came very close to the reality of the Cosmic Mother as Vacuum. He said that God
as Nothingness continuously descends into his own Depth ("Zimzum") and emerges
from it, together with his creation. I think it's very worthwile to include this concept
into comparative mysticism.
See: Great Mother Buddhism
Bible confirms Mother
There many places in the Bible, where the existence of
the Mother can be traced. It starts with Genesis. It says: "In the beginning God
created Heaven and earth. And the earth was without form, and void, and darkness was
filling up the depth. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters".
21. Superficially looked "God created Heaven and
earth" only confirms the patriarchal claim, that God is the Origin of the All, the
primordial ground of existence. However, looking a little closer, we see in the second
verse "And the earth was without form". Generally this is considered as
self-evident. The earth has to be empty, how otherwise God could start creating? Few
realize, that there is a hidden meaning in it. It says that before God there was
formlessness. The verse leaves no doubt about this. In order to be totally clear,
"and void" is added, subsequently stating "and darkness was filling up the
The hidden meaning is that before God void,
darkness and depth existed. God didn't create them, the latter being pre-existent.
"Void, darkness and depth" were there before God appeared, the former thus preceding
God. It turns everything upside down. First there is Void, subsequently God appears. Or,
with other words "God is born out of Emptiness". What a surprise! It confirms my
insight about the Ultimate. The Bible wasn't able to wipe out the traces of the past. It
couldn't talk round the fact, that the Great Mother - Void, Darkness and Depth - is the
* Darkness, Void, the Deep, the Sea were all metaphors for
the Original Mother.
Once the hierarchy is established, the sequence poses no
problem. Once you accept that God is born out of the Mother, the opening verse of the
Bible "In the beginning God created Heaven and earth" is self-evident*. Isn't
God the Light Body ("Son") of the Mother? Yes, it is Her first emanation. As
such it is giving birth to Her second emanation: the visible world, the universe,
"Heaven and earth". Thus, God is born out of the Mother, while the world is born
out of God. It is emphasized by the last part of the verse "And the Spirit of God
moved upon the face of the waters". In the Old Mother Religion "the waters"
symbolized the Primordial Ground of the Mother. "God facing the waters" means
God being the emanation of the Mother.
* Obviously, referring the rest of the "creation
story" to the realm of fables.
Christians, heed the call, and go back
to your roots
22. Secondly, Adam, after being expelled from the Garden of
Eden, exclaims/protests, after God has had condemned Eve: "She is the Mother of all
living", emphasizing the Great Mother as the Ultimate Reality. Again proof of the
fact, that Her memory was still alive.
Moreover, isn't the Dark Shulamite from the Song of Songs
no one but the Original Mother?
And what to say of chapter 12 of the Book of Revelation?
There it is said: "And a great sign appeared in heaven: a Woman arranged with the
sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars".
For those who need "logic" to become convinced.
Mary is called the "Mother of God". Meant of course is Jesus (Christ). According
to Christian dogma Jesus is God. Moreover, Christ is One with the Father. This can only
mean that Mary (the Original Cosmic Mother) is the Mother of the Father. The Father is
born out of the Cosmic Womb! Hence he is the "Son" of the Mother. (The Eternal
Light born out of Darkness). Christ is not God but the One who had a God- Experience (just
like Buddha). The "Holy Ghost" is symbolic for the "Third Eye" or
Awareness that is inherent to every human being.
23. In her excellent book "The Gnostic Gospels" Elaine
Pagels describes how "in the beginning" not God but the Mother was the Origin of
all. The former was a derivative, merely instrumental power whom the Mother had created to
administer the universe, but his own self-conception was far more grandiose. They say that
he believed that he had made everything by himself, but that, in reality, he had created
the world because of Wisdom, his Mother, "infused him with energy" and implanted
into him her own ideas. But he was foolish, and acted unconsciously, unaware that the
ideas he used came from her: "he was even ignorant of his own Mother"
E.Pagels "The Gnostic Gospels", 1989 Vintage Books.
According to The Secret Book of John:
"...he said..., I am a jealous God, and there is no other God
beside me. But by announcing this he indicated to the angels...that another God does
exist; for if there were no other one, of whom would he be jealous?...Then the Mother
began to be distressed".
At other places it is said:
"The creator, becoming arrogant in spirit, boasted himself over
all those things that were below him, and exclaimed, I am the father, and God, and above
me there is no one. But his Mother, hearing him speak thus, cried out against him: Do not
Another text (Thunder, Perfect Mind) says:
"I am the first and the last. I am the honored and the scorned
one. I am the whore and the holy one. I am the wife and the virgin. I am the mother and
the daughter. I am she whose wedding is great, and I have not taken a husband...I am
knowledge and ignorance...I am shameless: I am ashamed. I am strength, and I am fear...I
am foolish, and I am wise...I am godless, and I am one whose God is great".
Other texts take a mixed position, in which the Divine is both
masculine and feminine. E.g. the (Gnostic) Secret Book says:
"...(She is)...the image of the invisible, virginal, perfect
spirit...She became the Mother of everything, for she existed before them all, the
Gnostic teacher Simon Magus said:
"Grant Paradise to be the womb; for scripture teaches us that
this is a true assumption when it says, "I am he that formed thee in thy mother's
womb" (Isaiah 44:2)...Moses...using allegory had declared Paradise to be the
womb...and Eden, the placenta..."
Sethian Gnostics explain that:
"heaven and earth have a shape similar to the womb...and
if...anyone wants to investigate this, let him carefully examine the pregnant womb of any
living creature, and he will discover an image of heaven and earth".
Another text from Nag Hammadi (where Gnostic texts were found): the
Trimorphic Protennoia, the divine feminine declares:
"I am the Thought that dwells in Light...I existed before the
All...I move in every creature...I am the Invisible One within the All. I am androgynous.
I am both Mother and Father, since I copulate with myself. I am the Womb that gives shape
to the All. I am Meirothea, the glory of the Mother".
From the Gospel of Thomas:
Who doesn't hate his father and mother, like I do
cannot be my disciple
And who doesn't love his Father and Mother, like I do
can also not be my disciple
because my mother gave birth to me in order to die
while my true Mother
has granted me Life
Mother of God
26. This discussion which took place within the Gnostic communities
can also be recognized within the orthodox church. There the Mother is projected into
Mary, the "Mother of God". The church had a serious dilemma. On the one hand it
wanted to eradicate all memory of the powerful Primordial Mother; on the other hand it had
to give in to the demands of ordinary people who wanted to have "their Mother
back". Mary thus had to replace the Mother, while simultaneously neutralizing Her. A
compromise was found at the Concilium at Ephesus 431 CE (the sacred site of the Original
Mother, symbolized by Artemis....), in which Mary became the "Mother of God".
Orthodox could interpret this as "Mother of Jesus" (who according to them is
also God), while the traditionalists could cherish the literal meaning of it. The
surprising thing is, that at least until the 15th century Mary is considered to be the
Mother of All, in the literal sense that she gave birth to God the Father, the Son and the
Holy Ghost together. It is known as the "Vierge Ouvrante" devotion which was
widespread in Europe (Poland, Germany, France, Spain) until the 15th century. Statues
reveal Mary with God the Father!, the Son and the Holy Ghost coming out of Her body.* It
is the most perfect illustration of the Truth ever made.
* The tradition of the Mother as the Source
out of which everyting - including God - is born, had its most prominent traces in
Christianity. See image above. See also our virtual Mother
27. The most powerful devotion to the "Mother of God"
included the Black Madonna though. Her devotion has always been some sort of embarrasment
to the church. The reason is clear. Her dark appearence is relating to the Original Dark
Essence of the Great Mother. In ancient times the Black Stone symbolized the Mother, as
Isis, Artemis, Cybele and other Mother Goddesses did. Black Madonna's thus directly
re-connect to the Source. (Notice that the African Black Mother preceded this all). That's
why during the centuries people always felt an enormous attraction to them. Here again the
church tried to find a way between recognition and suppression. Even in recent years Black
Madonna's still have "disappeared" or changed into white ones. Which sometimes
has led to energetic protests of the (local) population. Famous Black Madonna's are
Altötting, Einsiedeln*, Rocamadour, le Puy, Monserrat, Loreto and Tindari.
* See my extensive essay on the Black Madonna of Einsiedeln.
28. The history of marian dogma shows how the church tried to
"upgrade" the status of Mary. After "Mother of God", her
"perpetual virginity" was proclaimed (649 CE). Then it took a long time (1854)
before the next dogma came into being: that of "immaculate conception" followed
by her "bodily assumption" in 1950. Looking at these dogma's it is particularly
striking how forced these attempts are. Actually, they try to copy various aspects of the
Primordial Mother. The church pushes Mary's status to the limit though. They very well
understand, that increasingly the "popularity" of Jesus is on the decrease,
while that of Mary is on the increase. Pope John Paul II loved to call Mary the
"Queen of Heaven" - a hollow phrase (if not further substantiated). A group
"Vox Populi" is even lobbying for a fifth dogma, that of "Mary Mediatrix or
Coredemptrix". The irony is this. While the church had once "killed the Great
Mother", they now try to re-introduce Her through the backdoor. This attempt will
fail, unless the substitute (Mary) is replaced by the original: the Great Mother. Only
when She becomes disconnected from the church She will have a (great) future. In that case
She has to reclaim all old attributes. People have to start recognizing, that She
represents the Ultimate Reality, rather than being just "an appendix" to the
patriarchal God. It is something the church - because of its inner contradictions - will
never be able to achieve. Only the people themselves are.
Few people will know, that the religion considered to be most patriarchal actually has a
very deep rooted feminine core. It is one of the best hidden secrets. The reasons are
manifold. Obviously, ruling clerics have no interest to undermine their position by
revealing the feminine character of their religion. Nevertheless some brave hearts are
trying to do just that*. It all starts with the description of the Essence of Allah. As
you know the core Name of Allah is al-Rahman, al-Rahim. It is the most important Name
among the other 99 Names attributed to Allah. The common translation is "Allah the
Merciful e.g. the Mercy-Giver". Literally, however, "rahim" means
"womb". Here, a patriarchal reversion has taken place (just like Sophia, Shakti,
Womb of the Buddhas): Rahman is Allahs Spirit, while Rahim is the Receptive
Womb, the Vessel out of which Nature originates. Still, something of the Original Womb is
coming through, though. One may speculate, if there isnt a source in Islamic
tradition, that puts everything in the right perspective. Everybody agrees, that Allah
proves to be both the Source of Mercy as well as Mercy itself. The former is equal to the
unmanifest formless Essence, while the latter symbolizes His (Her!) Being, His active,
outgoing, creative outpouring. With a little goodwill, it is easily to
understand, that the Essence corresponds with the Eternal Feminine Aspect of Allah, while
His (Her!) creative "part" can be called Masculine. It is emphasized by the word
for Divine Essence: al-Dhat, which is also feminine. The similarity with our own position
is striking. The Essence as the Womb from which the Divine is evolving.
* See a very important and inspiring website: http://www.crescentlife.com/spirituality/divine_feminine.htm
30 Islam considers the Ka'aba to be the "House of
Allah". Since pre-historic times "House" always represents
"Mother". The Black Stone inside, just like the Black Madonna's in the West or
Kali in India is a symbol of the Great Mother (Kybele)* too. The Ka'aba is thus
emphasizing the Maternal Dimension of Allah. Surprisingly, the priests serving the Ka'aba
are still called "Beni Shaybah" or "Sons of the Old Woman!".
* In the main square of "Han", a village in
Phrygia, Central Turkey, there is a huge statue of a black Kybele......
31. So the unique thing about Islam is, that Allah includes both
aspects simulataneously. In Him (Her!) the Unmanifest Essence and Being prove to be
"two sides of the same coin". It makes the understanding of God a very truthful
and complete one. That the femininity of Allah is deeply rooted in Islamic faith is also
becoming clear, through the fact that Allah is never called "father". It is
something Westerners may surprise as well. Rather Allah may be addressed as
"Mother". For instance, Rumi in a passage of his Masnavi says: "Mother,
return us to Your breast".
32. Apart from the Qur'an in which Allah's 99 Names are recited, the
experiences of Islamic mystics- the Sufi's - also bear witness of the Divine as feminine.
Obviously this is a very reliable source, since the Sufi's speak directly from the Source,
(as Mohammed did). Rumi has already been named. Ibn al-Arabi, an equally important master
wrote that "I sometimes employ the feminine pronoun in addressing Allah, keeping in
view the Essence".* Moreover, he repeatedly talks about the
"abysmal Darkness" and "The ultimate ground of everything is the Mother
(umm)". Therefore he says that Allah can be referred to as both
"huwa" (He) and "hiya" (She).* The ultimate Divine Reality as
essentially Feminine was and is the Source of inspiration for Sufism in general. The
famous poet Umar Ibn-al-Farid repeatedly used the feminine connotation when talking about
Allah. Generally in Islam and in contrast to Christianity, the Sufi mystic defines the
Divine as feminine Beauty, the subject of his quest*. The love story of Layla and Majnun
illustrates this. Every year in Egypt there is the festival of the "Great Night"
(originally attributed to the Great Mother), dedicated to al-Sayyida Zaynab, the
granddaughter of the Prophet Mohammed. It is a week of celebration in which women come out
to the open, nay are the centre of it all, the play of Layla and Majnun is being
performed, while the segregation between men and women is (temporarily) lifted.
33. The next source of information about the feminine aspect of
Islam is the shari'ah or teaching, a compilation of the life of the Prophet Mohammed,
including all kinds of wise lessons for life. First he was employed by
Hadiga, a rich widow. Later Hadiga made it possible for him to exclusively dedicate
himself to the spreading the word of Allah. His whole life remained woman-centered. It
is said that the Prophet's soul was feminine, a striking similarity with all great
spiritual teachers of all times, like Lao Tze, Buddha, Jesus and countless others.
Confronted with the necessity to fight, Mohammed said to his followers: ""I see
that I cannot stop this, so if you have to fight, fight. But dont forget that from
now on the burden of your deeds will be upon you, and your religion will not be pure
unless you become responsible for the burden of your deeds." Actually, the Prophet
wasn't very secretive about his love for women, especially his wife A'ishah. More than
once he used examples from the real world in which he compared the Mercy of Allah with the
love of a woman for her child. Indirectly he underlined the motherly aspect of Allah.
Moreover, lacking sons Allah gave him instead "al-Kawthar", which symbolizes the
promise of the abundance of Divine Feminine.
No doubt: "There is only One
God" reflects the universal
Truth and Mohammed as an Enlightened One is
certainly His prophet
34. The conclusion from the previous is breath-taking. All
great religions are of common descent, they are all sons of the same Eternal Mother. She
has been suppressed during many millennia, which now has an unexpected advantage. Both
with regard to the past as with Her True Nature - the Vacuum, the Womb - She cannot be
defined. There are no or very few cultural or religious concepts about Her, so nobody can
claim Her. The Mother is truly beyond all existence, while at the same time embracing it.
By not deriving their identity from themselves, but rather from the Mother, the Sons may
put their own positions into perspective. If every religion recognizes its descent from
Her, they can take refuge in Her without being threatened in their own identity. For the
first time in history they truly may become brothers.
35. It will be certainly helpful, nay essential to stating,
that the Mystery of the Divine can be approached from two sides. First of all, one may
emphasize the Essence or Orgin as the Great Mother as described above. However, The
Essence and Her Lightbody - Being - prove to be two sides of the same coin. Take the
example of Islam. Here Allah has two aspects - His (Her!) Unmanifested Part that is Beyond
Being and Being as His (Her!) manifestation to the world. Here the unity of these two
aspects is stressed, while in the above mentioned section the inner-dynamics are
emphasized: Being as being born out of the Essence, the Womb. The advantage of this
situation is, that both "models" may be applied to different audiences. Those
who would like to stress the Mother as the Ultimate and those who prefer to emphasize the
Maternal Aspect of God.
36. The former will stress, that being Nothingness - the
Vacuum - the Mother is neither another God nor a competitor to anyone. She is beyond God
(beyond the Being-Aspect of God). Nobody has to give in anything, even patriarchal claims
remain fully upright, e.g. "There is only one God and Mohammed is his prophet".
The Mother is Empty, It is the Void which gives birth to everything by emptying Herself.
While giving birth - doing out of non-doing - to the Divine, the Divine is giving birth to
the universe. Hence, religions can even still claim God as the Creator. It is the
beginning of a new era in which the Great Mother appears to be the Unity in Diversity.
Considering Her aspects of "death and rebirth", Her "appearence on
earth" couldn't be at a better moment. In a time in which dying to the old -
ignorance and self-centeredness, greed, addiction and accumulation - is crucial, both
individually and collectively, she shows us how to "die" voluntary, in order to
Rejoice, we have no choice
37. Subsequently, Her sons and daughters - us - may become
totally transformed. The point of reference has shifted to something universal, which can
be shared with everybody on earth, regardless religion, culture, gender or race. Women may
find in Her a shortcut to the Ultimate, by which they don't have to fight for a place
under the patriarchal sun anymore. Through identification with the Mother women will
empower themselves to such an extent, that they may transform the "sons" by
revealing and emphasizing the feminine aspects of their religions: the Essence of God as
being the Eternal Feminine*. Or they may chose not to involve themselves with any of the
great religions, but rather identify themselves with aspects of spirituality their own
* In Christianity the "Mother of God"; in Islam
"the Essence of Allah"; in Taoism "Mother Tao"; in Buddhism
"Emptiness beyond Emptiness"; in Judaism "Hokhmah" and in Hinduism
"Matri Devi". Eventually, everyone may start recognizing the "Maternal
Dimension of God" or "Great Mother" as the Source of all life.
38. Men are also establishing a direct relationship with
the Mother. They do it not through identification, but through service. Their mission is
to abandon all life-threatening activities - the rat race - in order to serve the whole.
Every day is one of celebration. Their inner Path may include: Awakening, dying to the
old, restoring the unity with "Heaven" and earth, longing for deepest
Realization and taking refuge in the Mother.* It may indeed totally transform your life.
See: "The Universal
Ark of the Covenant
Emptiness beyond Emptiness
Mother of God
Allah the Merciful
TALKS ABOUT "THE MATERNAL
OF GOD" ARE HELD WORLDWIDE