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By Erwin R. Goodenough

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Additional info for By Light, Light: The Mystic Gospel of Hellenistic Judaism

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XXIX. 15. 17. 19. 21. Hymn XXVII. Hymn XLI. Hymn XLIV. Hymn L . T H E GOD OF THE MYSTERY 19 23 Magna Mater of Phrygia, with Aphrodite (Cytheria), and with Isis. H e r e the Female Principle has indeed swallowed up all mystic mythology, which has been dissolved in a conception of Deity that combines the notion of the universal genetrix with the power of impregnation. It is highly likely that this power of impregnation would be applied to the mystic impregnation of the initiate. It is notable for what is to come that this deity is also the 0£O|jo$opoc, the source of legislation.

T h e six wings are themselves interpreted in cosmic significance, for the two lower are the two lower elements, earth and water; the two wings that cover the face are the two elements that are higher, air a n d fire (heaven). These lower and higher sets of wings, like the lower and higher elements, the Physicist Commentators explain as being in opposition to each other, while the wings that fly are the reconciling principles between them in that they bring the contraries together in the dux princeps.

T h e Stream is evidently the impor­ tant thing, the fact that there flows from God the effluence of His power and nature, and that in that Stream men may hope to find God. H o w elaborately Sophia is used in allegorizing the stories of the Patriarchs will appear below. Their experiences with their wives are the Mystic Marriage of man with the divine force and life. But not any specific mythology of Sophia is it worth Philo's while to make consistent. Important as is the female sexual figure for the Light-Stream in Philo, the formulation in terms of a pleroma is still more important.

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By Light, Light: The Mystic Gospel of Hellenistic Judaism by Erwin R. Goodenough


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