The Hebrew word for Sophia is chochma. In the tradition of Kabbalah, the word chochma describes the very first glimmer of insight. In the erotic imagery popular among classical Kabbalistic writers, chochma is the sperm that gets enfolded in the womb of consciousness, and nourished into a fuller understanding.
Teens from Sophia Street, Vancouver, study a modern biology curriculum. They learn that sperm meets egg and the two become a zygote with a unique DNA signature. The zygote differentiates into all different kinds of cells – cells that think, cells that feel, cells that secrete, and more. Every specialized cell in the human body brings forward the information from the original zygote in a unique way.
You might say: The very same first glimmer is expressed differently at different levels of body-consciousness.
You might say: What a nice physical metaphor for the way great ideas develop, webbing out from a center, leading to different thoughts in the minds of different thinkers.
You might say: Wow! What a nice metaphor for metaphor itself! A single idea, expressing itself across different fields of knowledge, helping us represent and understand so many different things at once.
If you understand chochma, you have entered the Kabbalistic universe. Here, we wear special refractive glasses, revealing the multiple layers of reality. Here, everything is a metaphor for everything else. Here, ordinary consciousness accomplishes its daily work – and at the same time becomes a treasure hunt for hints that gently tease open other layers of consciousness.
Is my own Sophia Street neighborhood a gateway into this consciousness? Read God Lives on Main Street.