The Ten Heavenly Faces of Holy Sophia
The pages of the philosophical masterpieces
by Vladimir Solovyov on Sophia show a being who is far from straightforward.
Professor A.F. Losev, who has re-opened the works of V.Solovyov for
our generation, distinguishes the ten faces of the Holy Sophia.
THE FIRST FACE
The Perfectly Heavenly Sophia, or, as we understand it, the first and then the only Female Absolute of the Cosmos. She is both substantial, i.e. material (of the body) and ideal (of the mind) at the same time.
THE SECOND FACE
The Divine-Human Sophia, the embodiment of the Absolute Sophia in the material and substantive world, and consequently created (living) and uncreated (immortal) simultaneously.
THE THIRD FACE
The purely created Sophia in the image of and resembling the first two Sophias. She is the wise, spiritual ordering of our Material world and, as we understand it, a cohort of the professional philosophers who have enriched world culture by opening up fundamentally philosophical (abstract, theoretical) ways of meditating. This is the so-called anthropological aspect of Sophia.
THE FOURTH FACE
The Cosmic Sophia, a wise and spiritual ordering of the Cosmos, the hierarchy that exists in it of higher and lower divinities, the harmonious arrangement of the world in the image of man as a crown of natural development and more.
THE FIFTH FACE
Eternal Femininity. Sophia manifests herself as the universal womanly essence, Motherly Origin, producing humanity as a cosmic community. This is entirely a matter of the immaculate conception by Sophia of Children of God, i.e. representatives of future intelligence on earth. In this sense, Sophia, like the Blessed Virgin Mary, is a Mother of God.
THE SIXTH FACE
The intimate, romantic Sophia, who appeared before the poet as a VISION. She is simultaneously nature (heavenly azure), and the face of any woman. Sometimes it is only a smile or just a look. V. Solovyov dedicated to her the poems «Three encounters», «All in azure today», and «My queen has a high palace», among others.
THE SEVENTH FACE
Sophia as the eternal Masculine Origin. Since a real human being, in the entirety of his ideal self, cannot be only female or only male, but must be a higher entity of both, Sophia as a cosmic and all-human divinity is not only the Eternal Feminine but also the Eternal Masculine origin. In simple terms: Sophia is the Mother (Mother Absolute of Light), and Her Son is the Other Christos (who symbolises Cosmic Consciousness). As the Absolute Sophia enters the mythologem of Christianity as God the Father, Christos is also God the Father. Christ in Greek (Christos) means «all-engaging», while Jesus means «light». Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary, is simply the Light of God the Father, i.e. God the Son. Christos is born of Sophia, therefore the Other, that he, as the Mother, enters the mythologem as God the Father, and is therefore already Absolute, but an Absolute who was created by the First and Only, or the Forefather (the Forefather and Mother Absolute of Light are One). This explains the presence in numerous places of worship of an icon of Sophia in two forms: the Kiev version and the Novgorod version. On the Kievan icon, the Mother of God is depicted with the immortal babe at her breast, while in the Novgorod icon we see a young figure sitting solemnly on cushions. In one hand he holds a scroll, in the other an iron rod (Cosmic Christos).
THE EIGHTH FACE
The Eschatological Sophia. The Image of a Woman Bathed in Sunlight: this was Solovyov’s favourite image, which he took from the Book of Revelation. Here the Son of Sophia is mentioned, who will rule the people with an iron rod. This Sophia is summoned by God to discover the world of Truth, i.e. to pass on definitive knowledge about the Absolute, to save the whole world from the apocalypse (environmental and energy crises, for example), to lead the people to united places of worship and to determine the future path of the development of humanity.
THE NINTH FACE
The Magical Sophia. Vladimir Solovyov uses her name to invoke, gods, demons, people and all living creatures with a request to help him in various matters. He invokes Sophia like an instrument of war with inimical earthly forces.
THE TENTH FACE
The Russian Sophia. This is the national aspect. The philosopher believed that the all-human, cosmic divinity would be embodied in the “apocalyptical” situation in the form of a female Russian philosopher. It was, after all, the Russian people who distinguished Sophia from the Blessed Virgin Mary, and Christos from Jesus Christ. Sophia was for him an independent Heavenly Being, hidden beneath the facade of an underworld, the radiant aura of humanity re-born, Earth’s guardian angel, the ultimate forthcoming Phenomenon of a DEITY.