Not wishing to detract at all from the discussion of women’s issues, I don’t think I could agree that the Holy Spirit is somehow feminine. I know how that misapprehension comes about but it is still a misapprehension.
There is no gender at the level of the Holy Spirit. To call the Holy Spirit “the Feminine Aspect of the Godhead” is to perpetuate an error so fundamental that I’m not sure how knowledge based on it could yield useful knowledge of the nature of God or the Trinity.
It leads to rather humorous discussions of whether the Holy Spirit should go first in the Trinity or the Son, that are a projection of our own issues onto God, just as much as viewing God as an old man with a beard is.
Yet in saying that, I’m probably taking my life in my hands with all manner of scholars. Oh well. We have a measure of religious freedom today and I can console myself that we no longer burn heretics at the stake.
What I reproduce here are a few paragraphs from the original article and my own discussion of it below that. Please don’t misunderstand me: I know full well that my own view will be overtaken probably within a year or two of its being at all considered.
We stand on the verge of an explosion of spiritual knowledge and my view will yield before that wave of new knowledge, just as anyone else’s will. It will have, as Sri Ramakrishna was fond of saying, a “three days’ existence.”
The Holy Spirit:
The Feminine Aspect Of the Godhead
Abstract: There is currently much talk of “feminine issues,” particularly in social and political contexts. This growing awareness of gender-related matters was not something ignored by the early Church and the writers of ancient religious texts. As we see in this article by Dr. Hurtak, the notion of femininity played an extremely important and significant role in the thinking and belief system of the intertestamental authors. Far from being the overbearing patriarchal advocates as they are often portrayed, more recent findings reveal an innate sensitivity and appreciation for the feminine aspect of Divinity than has been previously suspected. For this reason, this particular article becomes a meaningful and insightful contribution to the current discussion of the role of the female in modern times. Once more we find a rich and profound history reshaping the future even as it unfolds before our eyes.
A new response to the “image” of the Holy Spirit is taking shape quietly in scholarly circles throughout the world, as the result of new findings in the Dead Sea Scriptures, the Coptic Nag Hammadi and intertestamental texts of Jewish mystics found side-by-side the writings of the early Christian church. Scholars are recognizing the Holy Spirit as the “female vehicle” for the outpouring of higher teaching and spiritual rebirth. The Holy Spirit plays varied roles in Judeo-Christian traditions: acting in Creation, imparting wisdom, and inspiring Old Testament prophets. In the New Testament She is the presence of God in the world and a power in the birth and life of Jesus.
The Holy Spirit became well-established as part of a circumincession, a partner in the Trinity with the Father and Son after doctrinal controversies of the late 4th century AD solidified the position of the Western Church. Although all Christian Churches accept the union of three persons in one Godhead, the Eastern Church, particularly the communities of the Greek, Ethiopian, Armenian, and Russian, do not solidify a strong union of personalities, but see the figures uniquely differentiated, but still in union. Moreover, the Eastern Church places the Holy Spirit as the Second Person of the Trinity with Christ as the Third, whereas the Western Church places the Son before the Holy Spirit.
In the Old Testament and the Dead Sea Scrolls the Holy Spirit was known as the Ruach or Ruach Ha Kodesh (Psalm 51:11). In the New Testament as Pneuma (Romans 8:9). The Holy Spirit was not rendered as “Holy Ghost” until the appearance of the 1611 Protestant King James Version of the Bible. For the most part, Ruach or Pneuma have been considered the spiritual force or presence of God. The power of this force can be seen in the Christian church as the “gifts of the Spirit” (especially in today’s tongues- speaking Pentecostals). The Holy Spirit was also a source for Divine guidance and as the indwelling Comforter.
Perhaps I can offer an alternative view to this article on the Holy Ghost. It seems to focus on characterizing the Holy Ghost as the “divine feminine” but the nature of the “divine feminine” is in my opinion misconstrued.
Christianity posits a Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost. If you were to research the question, you’d find that this Christian Trinity is the same as the Hindu Trinity of Brahman, Atman, and Shakti. Interestingly Christians speak of a “Heavenly Father” while Hindus speak of Shakti as the “Divine Mother.”
Leaving the Son or Atman (or Self) aside for the moment and concentrating on this Father and Mother instead, what is the “difference” between them?
The difference is between them is the same that between what Jesus, in the Gospel According to Thomas, called “a movement and a rest.” (p. 29.) The Holy Father is the formless reality and is devoid of sound and activity. The Divine Mother is the realm of form, the phenomenal realm, this world that we see around us, and is characterized by sound and activity.
The Father is silent and still; the Mother is all sound and action. When the Father creates, “He” creates through the Mother or Holy Spirit. “Spiritus” means breath and signifies movement or activity.
The ancient sages used a conventional distinction between male and female to distinguish between these two realms – the Transcendental and the Phenomenal. There is in fact no divine masculine or feminine, no cosmic male or female, Neither the Transcendental nor the Phenomenal have gender. Both are beyond gender. The distinction is between formlessness and form, no sound and sound, no movement and movement.
In Sanskrit, “Shakti” means “energy.” The Holy Spirit is in its purest form energy or, to be more specific, a universal, primal creative vibration called the “Word” or “Logos,” and given the name in Hinduism of Aum and in Christianity of the Amen.
It is this foundational power that calls all existence into being, maintains it for a while, and then transforms it.
The purpose of life is enlightenment. Life was created so that God could meet God by raising up fragments of the divine to full Self-Knowledge through an ongoing process of spiritual evolution. The Mother’s physical realm is like the school for all her Children – what Jesus called “the Son” and what Hindus call “the Atman” or “Self.” We could simply use the word “souls.”
All souls learn in the Mother’s school the lessons of life until one day, in an experience of enlightenment of the highest possible nature, they learn their true identity as God and return to the Father. Jesus spoke of this journey when he said: “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (John 16:28.)
Now I realize that the point of view that I put out here is not assented to practically anywhere else in the world, where the view of a cosmic male and female is more often put forward, but I think you’ll find that it nevertheless conforms to the findings of the world’s great masters from Lao Tzu to Sri Ramakrishna. And it is certainly consistent with what Jesus taught.
If you’d like to read more about the nature of the “Divine Mother” or “Holy Spirit,” please go here: “On the Nature of the Divine Mother or Holy Spirit,” at http://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/on-the-nature-of-the-divine-mother-or-holy-spirit-2/.
If you’d like to read a discussion of the Trinity, please go here: “Christianity and Hinduism are One” at http://www.angelfire.com/space2/light11/hinduism1.html.