The Eye of Wisdom

The figure of Wisdom ‘at play’ in creation is given to us in Proverbs 8.
‘Does not wisdom call … Lord created me at the beginning of his work the first of his acts of long ago… Then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.’
Thomas Merton describes the figure of Wisdom most memorably in his work ‘Hagia Sophia’. ‘Sophia, the feminine child, is playing in the world, obvious and unseen, playing at all times before the Creator… Sophia is Gift is Spirit… She is God-given and God Himself as Gift.’ Here there is such a clear contrast with the ‘feminine’ and playful association with wisdom rather than the serious pragmatic, rational and more ‘masculine’ approach to life where everything has a point and purpose. I like to think rather than a gender divide this is about the child mind and about encouraging spontaneity and joy and freedom. It’s really the balance that we need between the two but at the moment the pragmatic and the rational seem to suggest that the other perspective has no relevance. This of course is the destruction of creation where knowledge has led to great power and creation is merely a means to an end. The effect of course is that we then become disorientated and spiritually restricted forced into a cul-de-sac.
Analysis can help here because we are reminded in therapeutic work that the child is ever present and that there needs to be a balance of the adult and the child part of ourselves within the psyche. We might think that we grow up and leave childhood behind but it becomes painfully clear that trauma can always return and that new sadnesses can potentially overwhelm and disturb us and remind us of past losses and fears. So rather than feel that we’ve sorted out the child part of ourselves once and for all it is salutary to remember that that can never be the case and that the child part of ourselves – the best part – can remind us of feelings of curiosity spontaneity and creativity.
Always there are the outer and the inner, the conscious and the unconscious. One of the great contributions of Carl Jung was his willingness to see both the darkest aspects of human nature and the possibility of redemption through self-knowledge so there are always these main currents and coexisting streams both of which can keep us in balance. Proper relationship of the two aspects – masculine and feminine – visible and invisible – adult and child is not that one triumphs over the other nor that one discredits the other but rather is a commitment to the process of bringing about an understanding between the two worlds. Because of course underneath it all and if only we could see it with a different perspective we would know there is only the one world and that we are all part of the single system. June Singer a Jungian analyst writes ‘In the Eye of Wisdom we are all equals, participants in one coherent cosmic system… All we need to set the world aright is here. We only have to see it.’