Justice and the Face of the Great Mother
Donna Marie Giancola
The purpose of this presentation is to examine the role of justice as it emerges in the early mythic and philosophical traditions of ancient Greece and India. Specifically, my paper will focus on the relationship of justice to the Great Mother as the Divine Creatrix and final judge of all Reality. It is my thesis that there were really two notions of justice which began to emerge in the ancient world. The older view (the one that we have almost forgotten) was rooted in the early Goddess religions where Justice was seen as the avenging/mediating force of the Great Mother. The other view developed later in the dominant patriarchal Aryan culture of norms and laws, and provides the basis for our modern day conception of justice as an abstract principle.
Before commenting on these various images of justice, it might be helpful to outline its emergence and subsequent transformations. The notion of justice as a dynamic, cosmic principle, alive and divine, and manifest in nature is part of the great mythical and historical heritage of both ancient Greece and India. The situation in the Aegean basin, the cradle of Greek thought, parallels in many ways that of early India which, in the late Neolithic Age saw a migration of semi-nomadic herding, androcratic-warrior Aryans into an area whose indigenous population was primarily agricultural and gynocentric. But, as the modern science of ethnology is revealing, indigenous cultures are not so easily obliterated: the world-view and ways of a subjugated people, as preserved in their art and religious rituals and especially their myths, is not so easily erased.
We know that one the very earliest appearances of justice in ancient Greek civilization was as a Goddess. Her function was to judge humans; either to punish or reward conduct in relation to the Divine Principle. This may be called the "religious face" of justice. We also know that quite a different notion of justice became explicit in Classical times. It was centered in human law and quite likely was first articulated by the mathematico-pragmatic (in contrast to the religeo-mystical) wing of the Pythagoreans; certainly most clearly articulated by Plato and Aristotle. This scientific-rational view of justice is culminating today in the conception of humans as isolated observers of an impersonal cosmos.
The earliest religion of the ancient Greeks was centered on the worship of a single "Triple-Goddess," so called because of her three phases of maiden, nymph and crone corresponding to the three seasons of spring, summer and winter. Since the reproductive cycles of plants and animals are governed by these seasons, she was also identified with Mother Earth. As W. K. C. Guthrie puts it: "The Mother-Goddess is the embodiment of the fruitful earth, giver of life and fertility to plants, animals and men." (1) While it is arguable whether or not the tribe was ruled by a matriarch, it is fairly certain that a moon-priestess, with her sister nymphs, presided over tribal worship. (2) This Neolithic civilization, centered on agriculture with a corresponding gylanic (emphasizing fertility) and peaceful culture, was subjected to a series of invasions, beginning about 3,500 B.C., by herding peoples whose culture was basically androcratic: patriarchal, patrilineal and militaristic. (3) Thus, from 3,500 B.C. on, the history of this region can be viewed as the struggle of an indigenous people to preserve their customs, religion, art and mythic lore in the face of successive waves of invaders. For example, in relation to the Goddess Athene, according to Robert Graves:
It would appear that the ancient cult of the Mother-Goddess (in her role as Maiden) in Athens was tolerated by the Greeks at this price: she must be born of Zeus alone, she must be "Zeus's obedient mouthpiece, and deliberately surpress her [true] antecedents. She employs priests, not priestesses." (5) Originally, all of the images of Athene were those of an unadorned woman whose peaceful character, wisdom and nurturing heart were symbolized by the olive branch and the owl. It was not until Phidias portrayed her as a warrior in the great cult-statue which he made for the Parthenon at Athens (c. 430) that the conventional image of Athene became that of a woman's head surmounted by a war helmet, and not as the protectress, as was her original role. Thus, we can see how the earliest Greek myths testify to the struggle of the Aryan patriarchal culture to subdue the matriarchal elements of the indigenous tradition. (6)
Justice, in its earliest religious-mythical origins was one the faces of the great Goddess. The oldest "recorded" appearance of justice in ancient Greece is found in the Iliad and Odyssey of Homer. Homer uses the Greek words ("dike ") and ("themis ") with which it is associated, to designate "custom" or "way of behavior" that accords with what is ordained by law, with emphasis on human decrees. (7) Thus, there is to be found in Homeric mythology the notion of justice as a regulative principle or law which encompasses the social and moral order of human affairs. At the same time, however, Homer preserves the tradition of the primal Mother-Goddess under the guise of "Fate." It is she who rules the universe and whose power binds both humans and gods. The primal Mother-Goddess is still preserved in Homer. Her power, if ignored or challenged, brings retribution. Thus, Themis/Dike represents a force higher than the law, and higher even than the decisions of the gods.
By way of contrast, the Homeric notion of justice as law or judicial decree finds its philosophical expression in Plato and Aristotle as universal ideal and standard of virtue. Their world-view, however, stands in contrast with the earlier indigenous culture worship of the "Great Mother" and which, according to Guthrie, "was utterly different from the masculine, Homeric relationships between man and god and its shadowy, bloodless life and death." (8) Thus, along with "justice" as an abstract law or ideal there was another justice, very much alive, and so much part of the character of the Mother-Goddess that it was not until very late that she was separated-out and perceived as a distinct identity. Dike is seen later in the Orphic tradition (O.F. 23) as a great goddess who shared the throne of Zeus. In a series of third/fourth century B.C. South Italian vases believed to be affiliated with the Orphic mysteries, Dike is depicted with a sword in her right hand and seated among the divine judges. (9)
The first recorded appearance of Justice as a divine personage occurred in Hesiod's Theogony wherein, drawing not only on the socio-religious consciousness of his time, but also on many of the earlier cult-religions, he described the forces of the universe as cosmic divinities. Hesiod portrayed Dike as the daughter of Zeus and Themis (daughter of Uranus and Gaia). Dike executed the law of judgments and sentencing and, together with her mother Themis, carried out the final decisions of Moira. (10) For Hesiod, Justice is at the center of religious and moral life, who independently of Zeus, is the embodiment of divine will. (11) It is important to note that in Hesiod, Moira, Themis and Dike are the divine descendants of the Great Mother-Goddess. This personification of Dike will stand in contrast to justice viewed as custom or law, and as retribution or sentence.
It is evidently with Solon that the laws of the king/state first become codified and objective; justice, thereby, is no longer seen as aspect of the living earth Mother-Goddess, but as the superimposition of human law. Dike comes to be seen in the workings of human affairs within the context of law, as universally applied equality. (12) However, as Martin Heidegger has pointed out, if Dike is taken for the modern abstract term "justice," i.e., as moral or judicial, it misses the original metaphysical sense of that ancient Greek word. (13)
In the Presocratics, justice is seen as a cosmological and ontological necessity inherent not simply within human affairs, but within the structure of the universe itself, as nature. Parmenides, Anaximander and Heraclitus all speak in some way of the balance of forces, the harmony of opposites and, in at least one instance, the necessity of retribution. This notion or understanding of Nature can best be described in the Parmenidean notion of the All through which all things seemingly have Being. In Parmenides, we find not simply the idea of justice, but Justice Herself. For, Parmenides, Justice is seen as the divine face of the Great Mother Goddess and provides the necessary constraints for the realization of our inherent identity with the One. It is Justice who holds the keys to enlightenment.
In the first section of his poem, Parmenides refers to Justice as "much-avenging." This expression was originally an Orphic epithet indicating the reward and punishment of good and evil. (14) In Homer, it implied either a blood price or something paid in retribution. Accordingly, Justice holds the keys of retribution (reward and punishment) that open the gates of the House of Light. In Fragment VIII, verses 15-16, the Goddess proclaims: "Justice has not loosened the shackles [of Being] allowing it to be born nor to perish, but holds [it] fast." And, the Goddess continues: "her [Justice's] decision about these matters consists in this: [it] is or [it] is not." (15)
Dike is referred to three times in Parmenides' poem (I 14, I 28, VIII 14): once (I 14), as the judge of worthiness for entrance into the realm of light; once, as the motive force for undertaking the journey (I 28); once (VIII 14), as a powerful force maintaining the character of Being. In the traditional interpretation of Parmenides, justice is seen as metaphor for "cosmic situations" and understood as "regularity, as custom, as accepted order." However, in Fragment VII 3, the Goddess warns Parmenides against letting custom (ethos) force him down the path of the "much-used way" [of mortals]. We can see from the Goddess's warnings that whatever the role of Justice, Her's is not the way of convention. It is, therefore, the task of Justice to hold Being in its place "remaining the same and in the same, lies by itself and remains thus firmly in place; for strong Necessity holds it fast in the chains of limit" (VIII 30 31). Here, Parmenides is revealing a fundamental attribute, perhaps even an identification of Dike with Necessity. (16) For, it is by Necessity that Justice has not loosened the shackles of Being, that what-is is and must remain so. For Parmenides, Dike is Herself a divine face of Being.
In Parmenides, we find that the thoroughly feminine symbolism of his poem (especially the person of the Goddess) attests that he is a defender of the values of the Neolithic subculture which were in danger of being further eclipsed by the recent scientific outlook being propagated by the Pythagorean movement. (17) It is the oneness/unity of Being which Dike as the face of the Great Mother-Goddess must ensure. The ancient conception of justice as maternal measure, as the law of life, stands in contrast to our modern separation of society and nature. Dike , then, originally encompassed the whole order of living things and was the very measure of Being. As Heidegger points out, "Dike is the overpowering Order." (18)
It is this mystical notion of measure and harmony that we find in the Eastern tradition of the Vedas in the concept of Rta, as "what is adjusted, fitted together." (19) The Eastern Vedic notion of Rta emerges in the early hymns of the Rg Veda as the standard of justice, as cosmic order or eternal law, and helps to form the foundation of the ethical claim of dharma. Rta is not personified as one of the gods/goddess of Vedic mythology, but is repeatedly recognized in hymns to Agni and Varuna, (the dispenser of law), as righteousness or the unity of reality. Rta, literally understood as "the course of things," represents eternal law of the universe. Virtue, then is conformity to the cosmic law. (20)
It should be remembered that the gods/goddess of Vedic myths and hymns, like those in Homeric Greece represented a superhuman/cosmic order, and were the recipients of prayers, rituals, and sacrifices. (21) In India, however, the notion of the gods/goddess as separate and different deities representing the manifold aspects of the universe developed into an understanding of the one deity that subsumed the various aspects of polytheistic deities into a comprehensive unity. The personification of Justice as a separate deity does not exist in early Vedic mythology. Justice is seen as a function within the role and symbolism of the Great Mother traditions.
The early pre-history of India corresponds in many ways with that of ancient Greece, where, again, the Aryans ("the people of sky") invaded the early matriarchal gynocentric culture of the Dravidians which can be traced back as early as 3,000 B.C. Here we can see the similarities in terms of their matriarchal beliefs and rituals in their Paleolithic caves and mounds. The earliest Great Mother cults of Asia were earth-centered, focusing on fertility and life-giving energy. Their rituals included celebrations of nature and the offering of plants and herbs to the source of creation. With the conquest of the Aryans, the religious focus shifted from that which was immanent in nature to the transcendent sky gods with rituals involving fire and smoke. The early Goddess religions attempted to assimilate the patriarchal gods into their culture and, for some time after the initial invasion, the Goddess was worshipped as one of the primary deities. Yet, as was the situation in ancient Greece, this adaptation soon gave way to the superimposition of patriarchal gods and conception of Brahman as ultimate reality. With the conquest of the Aryans, Rta as the way of nature became subsumed under the law of karma.
The concept of Rta as the unity of nature/order was instrumental in providing the early Vedic thinkers with a regulative principle of cosmic order and righteousness that later would merge into a comprehensive morality. The role of Rta as regulative moral principle came to be symbolized in the recurrent activities of man and nature, where "the river flows Rta," "the year is the path of Rta," "the gods themselves are born of Rta," and "the sun is called the wheel of Rta." The wheel best symbolizes the regular reoccurrence of the order and right of Rta. (22) Thus, we can see the importance of Rta for the ethical formulation of the dharma, as "what holds together." (23)
In Indian philosophy, the Vedic and early Buddhist schools have much the same notion of as that of the ancient Greeks where justice, as dharma/karma, is a living-ethical force inherent in the structure and creation of the universe. In the Eastern schools of Non-dualism, Maya is traditionally understood as illusion, as unreality. However, Maya is identical to Brahman, understood as manifesting (as well as partially revealing) various "levels" of Being. Maya also has the connotation of discrimination or measure. As Zimmer explains "Maya from the root ma, 'to measure, to form, to build." (24) In Maya, we find the image of the World-Mother as the cosmic "second" which conceals and reveals all divine experience. As the "Mother of all Life energy," she is the discerner and judge as to whether the one seeking enlightenment is deserving of the full truth. There are innumerable manifestations of this play of Maya as the World Mother. She is the "second" and, as such, expresses "the mode of divine dualistic experience." (25) She is the triple goddess Shakti-Maya-Devi, mythically recognized and understood as the "mother of all Life Energy." (26) Our present state of ignorance and bondage is due to the illusion of Maya's creative energy, and yet, as Zimmer rightly points, "were this not the case we would not be individuals at all." (27) Accordingly, it is through Maya-Shakti that we realize our essential identity. Swami Muktananda, in his book Play of Consciousness, pays homage to the goddess Shakti as the discerner and sustainer of the whole universe. Shakti Kundalini is beyond dualistic distinctions. She is both the perceiver and that which is perceived, identical with all life energy. As he states "the perceivable universe is the outer expression of Her inner pulsation. (28) Ultimately, good and evil belong to Shakti-Maya-Devi. Maya, then, like Dike both reveals and conceals the divine One, but She is also that same One. (29)
In Tibetan Buddhism we find the notion of the "Mother of the Buddhas" (Prajna Paramita) "Womb of the Tathagata." One of the more meaningful points that has arisen from the feminist analysis of Buddhism has been the emphasis on the interconnectedness and dynamic of all reality. Here, the Earth-Mother is seen as essential emptiness which is the basis for all identity and relation. While the Buddhists would readily recognize that the basic ground is neither male nor female, the symbolism is meant to refer to the feminine principle of creativity and birth, or perhaps more specifically as pure potentiality or empty space. As Tsultrim Allione claims:
The essential emptiness is the primary matrix of existence and is therefore called the 'Mother of Creation.' It is the basic space that permeates everything and undermines the ego. Voidness is an expression of space. The Great Mother principle is the space that gives birth to the phenomenal world. (30)
In Meeting the Great Bliss Queen, Anne Klein describes Yeshey Tsogyel as a dakini or "sky women."
The Tibetan term that can either mean "space" or "sky" figures significantly in the discussion of Tsogyel's symbolism, where it also means "womb," by implication a spacelike womb. Her spatial expanse is thus emptied and occupies, simultaneously vacant and fruitful. She has discovered her skylike nature . . . The spacious realm she inhabits unites compassion and wisdom, conventional and ultimate, subject and object, conditioned things and unconditioned emptiness. (31)
It should be noted that, as Maya is not mere illusion, the primordial mother of Tantra Buddhism is not mere emptiness. As Anne Klein states: "here the ultimate empty nature itself is filled with positive potential." (32) Emptiness is the ground of all possibilities, of enlightenment, of life, of interdependence. All things are the "active play of the female creative principle." (33)
The Womb of the Tathagata, or as Anne Klein asserts, "the womb that is reality," (34) is the measure of all life. In Tantric thought, she continues, "creation is time- the Goddess in her function of 'measurer' (maya: mens: moon) weaves the substance of events." (35) One may recall the Hindu goddess Kali who rules death and "all devouring time." The Great Mother principle is considered through her symbolism (the downward pointing triangle) and her creative powers to be the source of all dharmas. (36) As such, she not only creates good and evil, but is their very manifestation. Her's is not only the "gate of birth," but also the dharma gate of enlightenment itself, the perfection of "profound cognition." (37) The principle of judgment based on primordial emptiness/fullness of Being is present within the essence of the great-mother. In the Great Cosmic Mother, Monica Sjöö states that "this form of the Goddess is always the law giver, the order of time, the judge of dead, the eternal source of wisdom and ecstasy." (38) As the primordial mother of all life energy, her justice, like that of the ancient Greeks, is organic and alive.
While I do not intend to imply that the philosophical categories can be neatly collapsed or superimposed on each other, there are strong resemblances in both traditions regarding her symbolism and function. She is, as Nietzsche would say, the "least veiled." If we trace the roots of Justice to its early mythical Indo-European sources, we find the face of the Triple-Goddess in both traditions. The pre-historical sources confer that one of the functions of the great Cosmic-Mother is as the guardian/manifestation/mediator of Being. This is where I believe the concept of measure occurs in both traditions. It has been suggested, although I doubt that it has been taken very seriously, that women were the first to deal with numbers and astronomy by counting menstrual cycles and charting the path of the moon in correspondence with their biological calendar. The body of the Great Mother is not separate from the universe. She is the very measure of Being. As the judge and discerner of reality, one of her functions is to balance the polarity of opposites, being and non-being, reality and illusion, good and evil. Hence the symbolism in both traditions of the sword of discrimination which she wields in many of her iconagraphies.
As we have also seen, the great Mother Goddess is portrayed in both cultures as the "gate keeper," to truth, enlightenment, being and non-being. She is the giver of life, and as such the law-giver. Her law is the law of creation and cannot be superimposed as an objective standard, indeed, her law is beyond convention, whereDike is the avenging force of Fate, and Kali wears a necklace of human skulls to remind us of the didactic power of creation. In ancient Greece, the ordinance of the Goddess superseded even Zeus, and in India, it was Earth Mother herself who sanctioned the Buddha's enlightenment.
In both traditions, Justice has its philosophical source in the embodiment of the Divine Mother. The principles derived from such a manifestation are based on the ancient monist/ non-dualistic understanding of the interconnection and relation of all reality, the oneness of what is. Accordingly, She is the judge of All and, in both traditions, Her decrees are seen as necessarily inviolate.
It should go without saying that, traditionally understood, the origin of law has been patriarchy. Cosmic law codes are firmly established in all of the meta-cosmic religions and their cultures. They are, by authority, eternal, immutable, and not subject to human will. Their violation results in moral/karmic consequences. They are said to be based on a sense of cosmic harmony. Justice thereby becomes a set of standard universalized abstract rational principles. They are, in fact, androcentric principles. As Rita Gross states: "to a greater of lesser degree, most religions include a complex code of behavior considered to be divinely revealed or cosmically given that regulates daily life, including gender relationships." (39) In India, for example, the laws of Manu form the basis of personal and social behavior where women are property and purposely kept unfree. One can cite too many examples of the injustices done to women and others on behalf of cosmic harmony. As Rita Gross states in work Buddhism after Patriarchy, "that a behavioral code with all these traits will be difficult to reconstruct in accord with feminist values is an understatement." (40)
The feminist objection to patriarchal conceptions of law is based on the androcentric insistence of universality of the male, the disregard of emotions and the supremacy of abstract principles over notions of relations and interconnections. The face of the Earth Mother in both traditions stands prior to such patriarchal articulations. The pre-patriarchal nature of justice, we find in the Great Mother (Triple Goddess), is not androcentric, not universal, not abstract. Her judgment is not so much about principle, but about concrete relations, relations of humans to each other, to animals, to plants to the reality of nature. Today, feminist philosophers are attempting to reconstruct a new vision of global community, global ethics and eco-justice. But, as many are discovering, this is problematic within the present paradigm. Rosemary Radford Ruether in her work on Gaia and God, calls for a new vision for understanding human relations and nature, for eco-justice. She states:
"If dominating and destructive relations to the earth are interrelated with gender, class and racial domination, then a healed relation to the earth cannot come about simply through technological "fixes." . . . In short it means that we must speak of eco-justice, and not simply of domination of the earth as though that happened unrelated to social domination." (41)
With all the work being done in the ancient Goddess religions and feminist spirituality, the idea of the angry, the energetic, the avenging aspect of the goddess is still a taboo. In reconstruction of the role and symbols of the Great Mother, modern day literature has tended to focus more on her positive nature, wisdom/compassion, creation and interconnection, Hence, to a certain extent they have perpetuated the false dichotomy of opposites. Again to quote Ruether; "ecofemminist theology and spirituality has tended to assume that the goddess we need for ecological well-being is the reverse of the God we have in Semitic monotheistic traditions. . ." (42) The Great Mother is not the polar-opposite of the patriarchal god. She is, in principle, beyond all opposites, containing them with herself. Her justice demands that we take the duality of nature as primordial emptiness or unity. Part of her triple function is as the avenging force of creation and destruction, and good and evil, life and death. Her function as Justice is severe and horrific. This is the "dark side" of the Mother. This dark side of the Great Mother is veiled, hidden, concealed she is not referred to as dark to indicate color or evil, but rather to stress the primal nature of her being, that which is unmanifested. She is the force which adjusts internal relations to the external world. In the Indo-European origins of both ancient Greece and India we find this notion of the "dark side of the Mother." Today, Justice no longer stands as an autonomous figure as a divine face of the Great Mother. In India one may still finds traces of her avenging nature. For example, according to the Hindu tradition of time, we are in cycle of Kali Yuga or age of destruction.
In both ancient Greece and India the message is clearly articulated that Justice is the way of Being. As an original manifestation of the Great Mother her role was to stress the non-duality of what is. Her presence indicates that Justice is not seen as separate from reality, nor as imposition but indeed as the necessary limit/measure of creativity, not fragmented as part of a social construction, but as the whole embodiment of energy. This idea runs through all the earliest manifestations of Indo-European pre-history and indigenous religions. Further, as we have seen her role as the avenging Goddess is to ensure the dynamic of Being, as the initiator of judgment. Her pronouncements ensure not just cosmic order but meta-cosmic relations, indeed in the unity which encompasses all opposites. Justice itself is beyond the duality of good and evil, beyond that which is manifested and concealed. As the embodiment of the creative of principle it is not only centered on existence, but mediates that which is beyond existence and non-existence, including pure potentiality. She covers the expanse of discriminating and non-discriminating awareness, as something which we can barely recollect, what one might call, Non-dualistic Justice.
(1) W.K.C. Guthrie, The Greeks and their Gods (Boston: Beacon Press, 1955), p. 31.
(2) While this is the position of a number of authorities such as Marija Gimbutas The Gods and Goddesses of Old Europe (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974), and Robert Graves, The Greek Myths (New York: Penguin Books, 1960), the majority opinion is expressed by Walter Burket: "Matriarchy in the true sense has not been shown to have existed anywhere in the Aegean or Near Eastern prehistory. . . " Greek Religion, trans. John Raffan, (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1989), p. 351, n. 22.
(3) Marija Gimbutas, The Language of the Goddess (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1989), p. xx.
(4) Ibid. p. 46.
(5) Ibid. p. 47.
(6) According to Guthrie, The Greeks and their Gods, p. 30, "the two main types of religion which appear among the classical Greeks, and so often give an air of paradox to their expressed beliefs, are represented by the Olympians of Homer on the one hand, and on the other, by the kind of cult of which we have an example. . . in the Eleusian mysteries. These were celebrated in honor of Demeter, the Mother of life, whose worship in the lands of the Eastern Mediterranean goes (to quote Sir John Myres) 'as far back as either records or monuments carry us.' "Wherever that culture penetrates," he writes, "speaking of the ancient, pre-Indo-European culture of Anatolia, [it expresses] the kind of nature-worship which finds classical expression in the cults of the Great Mother of Asia, in completest contrast with the father-gods who are central in all unsophisticated forms of the Indo-European religion."
(7) Di/kh is used five times in the Illiad and eleven times in the Odyssey, and with the exception of one instance, is always used in regards to some accepted norm. qe/mij is referred to thirty-five times, and is more consistently seen as righteousness or judgment. For exact reference in the Illiad and Odyssey, cf. Richard John Cunliffe, A Lexicon of Homeric Dialect (Norman and London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1988). For further discussion of the origins of Themis and Dike, cf. Rudolf Hirzel, Themis, Dike und Verwandtes, (Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlags Buchhandlung, 1966).
(8) W.K.C. Guthrie, The Birth of Western Civilization (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), p. 1086.
(9) W.K.C. Guthrie, Orpheus and Greek Religion (New York: W.W. Norton and Company Inc., 1964), pp. 223-233.
(10) Julius Stone, Human Law and Human Justice (Standford: Standford University Press, 1965), p. 10.
(11) Werner Jaeger, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, trans. Gilbert Highet (New York: Oxford University Press, 1962), pp. 59-71.
(12) Ibid. p. 62, 104.
(13) Martin Heidegger, An Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. Ralph Manheim (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1959), p. 160.
(14) Werner Jaeger, Paideia: The Ideals of Greek Culture, p.108. This, of course, further contributes another indication of Parmenides' relationship to the archaic age of the old goddess religions.
(15) Parmenides, Fragment VIII 15-16.
(16) Alexander Mourelatos, The Route of Parmenides (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1970), p. 119. "Its confinement by constraint is the very paradigm of the traditional Greek concept of justice as keeping one's own place."
(17) Francis MacDonald Cornford, Plato and Parmenides (London, Routeledge and Kegan, 1939), p. 28) refers to Parmenides as a "dissident Pythagorean." It is commonly accepted that the Pythagorean school had both a scientific/mathematical perspective as well as a religious orientation. Although Parmenides was certainly influenced by some of their teachings, I contend that their cosmology, which is essentially a doctrine of the union of opposites and as such fundamentally dualistic, is incompatible with Parmenides' monism. For Parmenides, the One is not somehow dual. Further in the poem itself, the Goddess admonishes him to heed her "multiple attack" (polu/dhrin) against the proponents of dualism: "they have established the naming of two forms, one of which ought not to be mentioned, that is where they have gone astray." ( VIII 53-54) It seems to me that the most plausible target for such an attack would be the Pythagoreans.
(18) Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, p. 165.
(19) Charles Kahn, Anaxminander and the Origins of Greek Cosmology (Philadelphia: New Centrum Press, 1982), p. 192.
(20) Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan and Charles Moorse, A Source Book in Indian Philosophy (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1973), p. 25. Rta also "serves as the origin of the basic ethical concept of the dharma in later Indian Philosophy."
(21) Heinrich Zimmer, Philosophies of India (New York: Meridian Books 1957), p. 184.
(22) Francis MacDonald Cornford, From Religion to Philosophy (London: Edward Arnold, 1912), p. 175.
(23) M. Hiriyana, The Essentials of Indian Philosophy (London: George Allen and Unwin LTD, 1969), p. 37.
(24) Heinrich Zimmer, Philosophies of India, p. 19.
(25) Ibid. p. 460.
(26) Heinrich Zimmer, Myths and Symbols in Indian Art and Civilization (New York, Pantheon Books, 1963), pp. 183-221. According to Zimmer, the Goddess is referred to as "The Fairest Maiden of Three Towns." This is a symbolic representation of the Vedic conception of the universe and its three worlds; earth, middle space, and sky. She is also described in the Markandeya Purana in "The Text of the Wonderous Essence of the Goddess."
(27) Ibid., p. 195.
(28) Swami Muktananda, Play of Consciousness (New York: Syda Foundation, 1978), pp. xxi-xxvi.
(29) Ibid., p. 208. "Maya screening the true divine reality, screening the self. . . . and under the display of the universe is somehow that self, that very Absolute . . . Maya is simply the dynamic aspect of the Absolute."
(30) Tsultrim Allione, Women of Wisdom (London: Penguin Group, 1984), p. 23.
(31) Anne Klein , Meeting the Great Bliss Queen (Boston: Beacon Press, 1995), p. 159.
(32) Ibid., p. 160.
(33) Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1991), p. 221.
(34) Anne Klein, Meeting the Great Bliss Queen , p. 156
(35) Monica Sjöö and Barbara Mor, The Great Cosmic Mother, p. 222.
(37) Ibid. , p. 130.
(38) Ibid., p.155.
(39) Rita Gross, Buddhism after Patriarchy (Albany: State University of New York Press, 1993), p. 141.
(41) Rosemary Radford Ruether, Gaia and God (New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992), pp. 3-4.
(42) Ibid., p. 247.