If you want to be spiritual, ask uncomfortable questions,’ Goddess News, Spiritual Blog, Divine Feminine,
Dr Joanna Kujawa
It has been an intense time for many people on a personal
level and on the planetary level. Since I am living in Australia, at the moment
many energies here are magnified, resurfacing within us and around us. But wherever you live, I am certain you
experience the same energies. It seems
that even simple conversations between friends are not possible as we have
reached an extreme level of polarity. We
can think about this polarity as a negative energy (fires, wars, the apparent
impossibility to discuss anything without creating even more disagreement) or
we can see it as the caldron of transformation.
For this reason, I have delved into the exploration of understanding
and controlling these energies. To do so
I needed to plunge into the world of Esoteric Hinduism, which is my favourite
place for many spiritual investigations pertaining to spiritual practice. Since
I also love connecting concepts from different traditions, I have also referred
to Plato’s (Ancient Greek philosopher from the fifth to the fourth century BCE)
World of Ideas.
In all spiritual traditions, even those which have done their
best to destroy the Goddess Principle, there have always been two principles of
creation, understood as the masculine and feminine. Plato, in his most famous dialogue
The Republic, spoke of immutable Ideas and used the allegory of the cave. The
Ideas are eternal Forms or Archetypes (as Carl Jung would have said), according
to which the whole of existence has come to be. For example, there are the Ideas
of Love, of Beauty, the Idea of Goodness, etc. They are there, stored somewhere
in the Divine Mind. The best way of thinking about the Divine Mind is as the
Primal Consciousness, the Source. Consciously or not, we try to follow these Ideas
when we create our lives, often falling short of our own expectations and
And in most spiritual traditions Life begins with an Idea, a
Logos (word in action) and then moves
through a gradual descent to the lower levels of density, until it creates
matter. Matter is not bad. It is our physical life. It allows for our
experience of life as we as human beings know it. Matter enables our amazing
ride into nature – its beauty, its lessons and its limitations.
For example, Plotinus, a third-century Roman philosopher,
discussed the ‘descent’ of Ideas into matter.
In the ninth century, an Irish philosopher, John Scotus Eriugena, picked
up on this theme and described the
process of creation as a circular fountain flowing from the Divine Mind down
into matter, then from matter back to the Divine Mind.
I do not see this descent as anything negative but rather view
it as an ecstatic movement from the Source into the Joy of Creation, which is
the Goddess Herself, and then back to the Source. It is a movement of Creation.
It has no judgement, as all beings, equally, return to their Source.
I love this vision of the Universe for many reasons but
primarily because it allows for the plethora of beings existing between the Divine
Mind (or Source) and us. Among them are those we call angels, guides and other
such beings, as Consciousness can choose to express Itself in any form,
including in more ephemeral forms than physical bodies. So it is no surprise
that all spiritual traditions, even those bent on worshipping one masculine
creator, still can’t help but speak of angels and intermediaries between us and
the Source. This phenomenon also verifies for us our own spiritual experiences
and angelic encounters, or encounters that cannot be explained in terms of just
the physical world.
Okay, but what does this have to do with the Goddess Principle?
In Esoteric Hinduism, the First Thought is associated with
the Female Principle. If the Male Principle (Shiva) is the Divine Mind, which
is the field of all possibilities, then the Female Principle (Shakti) is the
activation of these possibilities. In the mythological sense, Shiva is the
Divine Mind in its meditative state while Shakti is the First Thought (very
much like the Gnostic Sophia) that pertains to creation. It is She who throws
herself with great abandon into the process of creation.
And how does She do this?
Through the power of the word.
You can imagine Shiva meditating, absorbed in himself as the
Divine Mind, while Shakti pokes him with her finger, forcing him to open his
eyes and say the first word, which could translate to something like ‘Let’s
One scholar of Esoteric Hinduism says that the Goddess
(Shakti) is always associated with language. Indeed, she is called the Matrika
or the ‘Unknown Mother’ and ‘refers to subtle inner speech’. She rules over the
powers of language and words, and therefore over the whole process of
Why is it important for us to know this?
It is important for us to know because it has a very
specific application in our lives.
Abhinavagupta, the 10th-century Indian
philosopher and Tantrika, speaks of different levels of speech. At the highest
level of speech we can virtually communicate with the Divine Mind. We can
access the Immutable Ideas of which Plato spoke: the ideal world, ideal
thoughts and ideal actions. It is through this form of language that we can
access the Divine Mind.
At its highest level our speech, which Abhinavagupta calls
‘para’ and modern scholars of the tradition call ‘transcendental speech’, takes
us straight to the Divine Mind. And, I would like to add, it is the way we can communicate with the Divine Mind. There is
a great power in this communication through which we can change the world and
our own lives. This is the power of our internal and external language; that
is, the way we speak to ourselves in our minds and the way we speak to others
out loud. This is also where great works of art are created – through the
proper use of ‘para’ or our highest ‘speech’. At this level we are at one with
the Goddess, who is the Dance of the Divine Mind.
These are what I believe to be the great affirmations. Not
the ones inspirational speakers tell us so we can get what we want externally
(although there is nothing wrong with this), but the ones which enable us to
activate good in the world, to create
beauty – to materialise the great Ideas to which we humans aspire.
How can we do this?
First, we need to pause and discover just what exactly our
habitual internal speech is. For example, I noticed that although I am
naturally an enthusiastic and joyful person, my unconscious thought patterns
and inner language were fear based.
Why is it important to discover this?
Because such thought patterns are like malevolent energies
(some spiritual traditions would call them ‘demons’, others little matrikas) which can attach themselves to
our negative thinking processes and feed on them. They want us to be fearful
because when we are fearful we move away from our greatness, our best
possibilities, our best choices, our best lives. This is our movement away from
the Divine Mind.
How do we know which thoughts are positive and which are
By the energy they carry. Positive thoughts and words carry
uplifting energy (spanda in Sanskrit)
while negative thoughts and words bring us down.
Another way of knowing whether our thoughts come from the
Divine Mind is when they bring us towards the sense of Oneness. Any thought, act or word that creates a sense
of separation is not of divine origin.
Thus, in Esoteric Hinduism it is to our advantage to return
or, at least to get as close as possible, to our ‘transcendental speech’ or
‘para’ because it brings us closer to the Divine Mind and our highest possibilities.
When we do this we can see ourselves as we are formulated in the Divine Mind. At our absolute best. Only then we can
see our best choices and only then we can act on them. And only then can we
fulfill the promise and potential that we are.
This method of uncovering negative thought and speech patterns
within gives our power back to us. And
when we catch ourselves spiraling down in our thinking processes, we can change
this by moving our thoughts in the opposite direction.
This is when the ‘Unknown Mother’ becomes the ‘Known Mother’.
This is when you come out of Plato’s cave and connect with the Perfect Ideas
dwelling within the Divine Mind. You have full control of your thoughts and
speech. You are the perfect creator of your life. You create along with the
Goddess, who is the bridge between the Divine Mind and your life.
This is when we can also influence the direction of energies
and events in the world. Not by manipulation of these energies but by showing
them their subordinate place in the universe. They are not only subordinate to
the Divine Mind but also to us. They are like undisciplined children that need
proper structure. And we can accomplish this through the use of our minds and
language. Scholars of Esoteric Hinduism
call it Shaktopaya which basically means the Method of the Goddess.
There is a simple and beautiful exercise provided by
The First Word (the Goddess) is ‘AHAM!’ It is the creative
movement outward. Be careful as you practice saying this because it is the Word
of Creation. AHAM! creates with the thought through which it is articulated.
The reverse of AHAM is ‘MAHA’, which you can repeat when you
want to go inwards, as it the word of returning from the external world back to
the Divine Mind, the place where you can rest.
As an aside, it is interesting to note that Abhinavagupta in
his tantric work mentions that the most potent moment of creation is when
engaged in the act of love-making the ‘beloved woman’ says, ‘Aaah!’ because this
is exactly the same word that creates the whole of existence and when the
energy of the Goddess Principle in a woman is at its peak.
So, as the energies are very intense at the moment, I am beginning
to believe that we as species are being asked to evolve at maximum speed. Our choice is radical: evolve or perish.
The good news is that we are not left without spiritual
tools. And since we use our minds and language every moment of our lives,
imagine the evolution and positive change we could create if we can master the
use of our most familiar tools for good. There is a great power in the way we
think and speak – let’s use it for the good of all beings.
As always, I would love to hear from you through your
Dr Joanna Kujawa
Goddess News blog