How do these 3 speak to each other – The Maid of Heaven, The Return of the Feminine & Mythos & Logos

How and in what ways do these three speak to each other;

1 Karen Armstrong’ writing and videos on ‘Mythos & Logos’

2 Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee’s – ‘The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul’

Chapter One of ‘The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul’ by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee is HERE –

There is also an excerpt from the final chapter of the book, “Working with Oneness” The Contribution of the Feminine by Llewellyn Vaughan-Lee – HERE –

3 Baha’i writings on The Divine Feminine and on ‘The Maid of Heaven’.

A whole list of resources is HERE –

You might like to make a first inroad with ‘Female Representations of the Holy Spirit in Bahá’í and Christian writings and their implications for gender roles’ – by Lil Abdo Osborn – HERE –

NB This post is presented as a question because it is quite a big project – you can make a start if you want by looking at the three sets of resources as listed above!


‘The Return of the Feminine and the World Soul’ on Amazon –


JUXTAPOSITIONS Hildegard of Bingen Baha’u’llah Benjamin Franklin Karen…

JUXTAPOSITIONS – Hildegard of Bingen, Baha’u’llah, Benjamin Franklin, Karen Armstrong,

“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a hope. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”― Hildegard of Bingen
The best beloved of all things in My sight is Justice; turn not away therefrom if thou desirest Me, and neglect it not that I may confide in thee. By its aid thou shalt see with thine own eyes and not through the eyes of others, and shalt know of thine own knowledge and not through the knowledge of thy neighbor. Ponder this in thy heart; how it behooveth thee to be. Verily justice is My gift to thee and the sign of My loving-kindness. Set it then before thine eyes. (2nd Arabic Hidden Word by Baha’u’llah)
Benjamin Franklin, “The way to see by faith is to close the eye of reason.”
As a friend says – “In religion, you have to do it to ‘get’ it.”
Karen Armstrong sums up mythos and logos in a book review on Creationism by Michael Ruse in the New Scientist.

“In the pre-modern world, it was generally understood that there were two ways of arriving at truth. Plato called them mythos and logos. Neither was superior to the other. Logos (reason; science) was exact, practical and essential to human life. To be effective, it had to correspond to external reality. Myth expressed the more elusive, puzzling aspects of human experience. It has often been called a primitive form of psychology, which helped people negotiate their inner world…

Myth could not help you create efficient technology or run your society. But logos had its limits too. If you became a refugee or witnessed a terrible natural catastrophe, you did not simply want a logical explanation; you also wanted myth to show you how to manage your grief. With the advent of our scientific modernity, however, logos achieved such spectacular results that myth was discredited, and now, in popular parlance a myth is something that did not happen, that is untrue. But some religious people also began to read religious myths as though they were logos.

The conflict between science and faith has thus been based on a misunderstanding of the nature of scriptural discourse. Many people, including those who are religious, find it difficult to think mythically, because our education and society is fuelled entirely by logos. This has made religion impossible for many people in the west, and it could be argued that much of the stridency of Christian fundamentalism is based on a buried fear of creeping unbelief.

In the pre-modern world, it was considered dangerous to mix mythos and logos, because each had a different sphere of competence. Much of the heat could be taken out of the evolution versus creation struggle if it were admitted that to read the first chapter of Genesis as though it were an exact account of the origins of life is not only bad science; it is also bad religion.”

My favourite Karen Armstrong quotes Fundamentalists are not…

My favourite Karen Armstrong quotes;

Fundamentalists are not friends of democracy. And that includes your fundamentalists in the United States.
Every fundamentalist movement I’ve studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion.
Compassion is not a popular virtue.
After I left the convent, for 15 years I was worn out with religion, I wanted nothing whatever to do with it. I felt disgusted with it. If I saw someone reading a religious book on a train, I’d think, how awful.
It’s a great event to get outside and enjoy nature. I find it very exciting no matter how many times I see bald eagles.
Islam is a religion of success. Unlike Christianity, which has as its main image, in the west at least, a man dying in a devastating, disgraceful, helpless death.
The values of Islam are expressed by Muslims clearly. September 11 changed the world, and put Muslims in the spotlight. –
At the beginning of the twentieth century, every single leading Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, and wanted their countries to look just like Britain and France.
Mohammed was not an apparent failure. He was a dazzling success, politically as well as spiritually, and Islam went from strength to strength to strength.
Now I think one of the reasons why religion developed in the way that it did over the centuries was precisely to curb this murderous bent that we have as human beings.
There are some forms of religion that are bad, just as there’s bad cooking or bad art or bad sex, you have bad religion too.
And sometimes it’s the very otherness of a stranger, someone who doesn’t belong to our ethnic or ideological or religious group, an otherness that can repel us initially, but which can jerk us out of our habitual selfishness, and give us intonations of that sacred otherness, which is God.
Every fundamentalist movement I’ve studied in Judaism, Christianity and Islam is convinced at some gut, visceral level that secular liberal society wants to wipe out religion.
Compassion is not a popular virtue.
It is, therefore, a mistake to regard myth as an inferior mode of thought, which can be cast aside when human beings have attained the age of reason. Mythology is not an early attempt at history, and does not claim that its tales are objective fact. Like a novel, an opera or a ballet, myth is make-believe; it is a game that transfigures our fragmented, tragic world, and helps us to glimpse new possibilities by asking ‘what if?’a question which has also provoked some of our most important discoveries in philosophy, science and technology.
I believe that what we have is now. The religions say you can experience eternity in this life, here and now, by getting those moments of ecstasy where time ceases to be a constraint. And you do it by the exercise of the Golden Rule and by compassion. And just endless speculation about the next world is depriving you of a great experience in this one.
Religion is a search for transcendence. But transcendence isn’t necessarily sited in an external god, which can be a very unspiritual, unreligious concept. The sages were all extremely concerned with transcendence, with going beyond the self and discovering a realm, a reality, that could not be defined in words. Buddhists talk about nirvana in very much the same terms as monotheists describe God.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, every single leading Muslim intellectual was in love with the west, and wanted their countries to look just like Britain and France.

Armstrong concedes that Richard Dawkins has been right…

Armstrong concedes that;

Richard Dawkins has been right all along, of course—at least in one important respect. Evolution has indeed dealt a blow to the idea of a benign creator, literally conceived…. No wonder so many fundamentalist Christians find their faith shaken to the core.

But then she expands the topic:
Most cultures believed that there were two recognized ways of arriving at truth. The Greeks called them mythos and logos. Both were essential and neither was superior to the other; they were not in conflict but complementary, each with its own sphere of competence. Logos (“reason”) was the pragmatic mode of thought that enabled us to function effectively in the world and had, therefore, to correspond accurately to external reality. But it could not assuage human grief or find ultimate meaning in life’s struggle. For that people turned to mythos, stories that made no pretensions to historical accuracy but should rather be seen as an early form of psychology; if translated into ritual or ethical action, a good myth showed you how to cope with mortality, discover an inner source of strength, and endure pain and sorrow with serenity…

(Note 1: Logos is one of those Greek words that can be translated in several different ways. Viktor Frankl, as you recall, translated it as meaning, and named his approach logotherapy after it.)
(Note 2: The complementarity of mythos and logos

8th Century by the Chinese poet Li Po…

(8th Century) by the Chinese poet Li Po;
“The birds have vanished from the sky,
and now the last clouds slip away.
We sit alone, the mountain and I,
until only the mountain remains.”

Fundamentalism is lust for certainty – Karen Armstrong – (and fear of annihilation – Terry Eagleton in Beyond Theory)

Going beyond God – to read review in ‘S…

Going beyond God – to read review in ‘Salon’ go HERE

See also

Historian and former nun Karen Armstrong says the afterlife is a “red herring,” hating religion is a pathology and that many Westerners cling to infantile ideas of God.

By Steve Paulson

May. 30, 2006 | Karen Armstrong is a one-woman publishing industry, the author of nearly 20 books on religion. When her breakthrough book “A History of God” appeared in 1993, this British writer quickly became known as one of the world’s leading historians of spiritual matters. Her work displays a wide-ranging knowledge of religious traditions — from the monotheistic religions to Buddhism. What’s most remarkable is how she carved out this career for herself after rejecting a life in the church.

At 17, Armstrong became a Catholic nun. She left the convent after seven years of torment. “I had failed to make a gift of myself to God,” she wrote in her recent memoir, “The Spiral Staircase.” While she despaired over never managing to feel the presence of God, Armstrong also bristled at the restrictive life imposed by the convent, which she described in her first book, “Through the Narrow Gate.” When she left in 1969, she had never heard of the Beatles or the Vietnam War, and she’d lost her faith in God.

Armstrong went on to work in British television, where she became a well-known secular commentator on religion. Then something strange happened. After a TV project fell apart, she rediscovered religion while working on two books, “A History of God” and a biography of Mohammed. Her study of sacred texts finally gave her the appreciation of religion she had longed for — not religion as a system of belief, but as a gateway into a world of mystery and the ineffable. “Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet” also made her one of Europe’s most prominent defenders of Islam.

Armstrong now calls herself a “freelance monotheist.” It’s easy to understand her appeal in today’s world of spiritual seekers. As an ex-nun, she resonates with people who’ve fallen out with organized religion. Armstrong has little patience for literal readings of the Bible, but argues that sacred texts yield profound insights if we read them as myth and poetry. She’s especially drawn to the mystical tradition, which — in her view — has often been distorted by institutionalized religion. While her books have made her enormously popular, it isn’t surprising that she’s also managed to raise the ire of both Christian fundamentalists and atheists.

In her recent book, “The Great Transformation,” Armstrong writes about the religions that emerged during the “Axial Age,” a phrase coined by the German philosopher Karl Jaspers. This is the era when many great sages appeared, including the Buddha, Socrates, Confucius, Jeremiah and the mystics of the Upanishads. I interviewed Armstrong in the middle of her grueling American book tour. She dislikes flying in small airplanes, so her publisher hired a car service to drive her from Minnesota to Wisconsin, where I spoke with her before she met with a church group. When she got out of her car, I was greeted by a rather short and intense woman, somewhat frazzled by last-minute interview requests. But once settled, her passion for religion came pouring out. She was full of surprises. Armstrong dismissed the afterlife as insignificant, and drew some intriguing analogies: Just as there’s good and bad sex and art, there’s good and bad religion. Religion, she says, is hard work.