Sophia and the Dragon

Sophia Speaks

Sophia was present with God at the creation of the world:

Yahweh created me when his purpose first unfolded,
Before the oldest of his works.
From everlasting I was firmly set,
From the beginning, before earth came into being.
. . . When he fixed the heavens firm, I was there,
when he drew a ring on the surface of the deep,
when he thickened the clouds above,
when he fixed fast the springs of the deep,
when he assigned the sea its boundaries
--and the waters will not invade the shore--
when he laid down the foundations of the earth,
I was by his side, a master architect/counselor/ builder,
delighting him day after day,
ever at play in his presence,
at play everywhere in his world. . .
--Sophia, Proverbs

With you is Wisdom,
she who knows your works,
she who was present when you made the world; . . .

Some of Sophia's speeches are nearly identical to those of earlier wisdom goddesses found in Egypt, India, Greece, and Syria.

Alone I encircled the vault of the sky,
And I walked on the bottom of the deeps.
Over the waves of the sea and over the whole earth,
And over every people and nation I have held sway.
--Sophia, Ecclesiasticus

In the beginning I bring forth the Father.
My source is in the waters' ocean deep.
From there I move out toward every creature.
And with my stature I reach the sky above.
--Vak, Rg Veda

I give and ordained laws for men, which no one is able to change. . .
I divided the earth from the heaven. . .
I order the course of the sun and the moon. . .
I made strong the right. . .
I assigned to Greeks and barbarians their language. . .
I established penalties for those who practice injustice.
--Isis, Praises of Isis

The Thunder Perfect Mind
For I am the first and the last.
I am the honored one and the scorned one.
I am the whore and the holy one.
I am the wife and the virgin
I am (the mother) and the daughter. . .
I am the silence that is incomprehensible
And the idea whose remembrance is frequent.
I am the voice whose sound is manifold
And the word whose appearance is multiple.
I am the utterance of my name. . . .
I am the hearing that is attainable to everything;
I am the speech that cannot be grasped.
I am the name of the sound
And the sound of the name.
I am the sign of the letter
and the designation of the division. . . .
--Gnostic Sophia, Nag Hammadi Library

The Biblical Sophia teaches men to seek wisdom instead of money. The wisdom that she personifies is not about facts and figures and concepts, but rather, refers to a standard of justice and use of power that lies outside the manipulations and agendas of men.

Take my instruction instead of silver,
and knowledge rather than choice gold;
For wisdom is better than jewels,
and all that you may desire cannot compare with her.
I, wisdom, dwell in prudence,
and I find knowledge and discretion.
. . . By me kings reign,
and rulers decree what is just,
by me princes rule,
and nobles govern the earth.
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me."
--Sophia, Proverbs

The wisdom literature does not threaten us with rules, dogma, and institutional agendas. The teachings encourage us to cultivate our own inner discernment, or clear perception; and we are guaranteed the ultimate security--Sophia's protection:

Listen my children, to a father's instruction:
Pay attention, and learn what clear perception is . . .
Acquire Sophia, acquire perception;
Never forget her, . . . do not desert her, she will keep you safe,
Love her, she will watch over you.

Sophia does not restrict her teaching to a temple, religious group, or to the intellectual or priestly/rabbinic class. Her teaching occurs in the street, at the city gate and marketplace, where politics and commerce take place, where integrity and wisdom are most needed to insure justice and the future well-being of the people:

Wisdom cries aloud in the street;
In the markets she raises her voice;
On the top of the walls she cries out;
At the entrance of the city gates she speaks.
"How long, O simple ones, will you love being simple?
How long will scoffers delight in their scoffing
And fools hate knowledge?"
--Sophia, Proverbs

Kathleen Damiani, Ph.D.
copyright © 2005


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