The Descent of the Holy Sophia

This week is the start of the Sophianic season, which extends around the year overlapping with the festivals of Christ’s life and culminating in the Assumption of Sophia (which we celebrated a couple of weeks ago).

You can find several accounts of Sophia’s descent into the manifest world from the divine realm of the One in the Nag Hammadi texts: in the Secret Book of John and in the Pistis Sophia, for instance. I don’t believe that these accounts tell us what gnostics believed I think they tell us what they noticed as they delved deeper into intense spiritual practice.

From that point of view, it’s not necessary to fret about how Sophia comes to be in the world, but simply to note that she very much is in the world. This is the perspective exemplified in this week’s reading from the Wisdom of Solomon (one of the books in the Apocrypha – books written in the last couple of centuries before the birth of Jesus and accepted by Roman Catholics, though not by Protestants).

Wisdom reacheth from one end of the world to the other; mightily and sweetly doth she order all things.
The word for Wisdom in both Hebrew (chokhmah) and Greek (sophia) is feminine in gender and in this book is a personified aspect of God. God is present in the world in this view as Wisdom, present in the phenomena and experiences of the world and constantly inviting us into communion with the deep things of God.
The implication, I think, is that one path toward the Divine is found, not in withdrawing from the world and from the senses and from experience, but in simply coming to notice the presence of Wisdom in the moments of everyday life. This still takes practice and work and attention, but it stands in distinction to the more ascetic paths for which the Christian tradition is famous.
This week is a time to celebrate love, the everyday and the willingness of the Divine to throw herself directly into our lives just as they are.

May your journey be joyful.