The High Priestess-Mother Prajnaparamita

The Arcanum of the High Priestess discloses how Pure Wisdom builds her house which is referenced as “book” (MOTT). For our purposes this is revealed through the texts of the Prajnaparamita Sutras wherein Mother Prajnaparamita is revealed in all her sacred glory. Firstly, she is a mother born out of her own Womb of Wisdom. Her perfect Voidness signifies the bottomlessness of all phenomena.

Perfect Wisdom in the words of Sakyamuni himself means: “This unformulatability and unapproachability is a consequence of the fact, that all structures of relativity, on all levels of experience are inherently unformulatable and unapproachable. Even the most fundamental principles are totally empty of independent self-existence. Precisely this unthinkability of What is conventually designated by the term “Perfect Wisdom”. Isn’t there thus no any Reality Beyond? The key lies in the difference between “Buddhas” and “Buddha-Nature”. The Sutra talks about the “Mother of the Buddhas”, not of the “Mother of Buddhahood”. (Lex Hixon, Mother of the Buddhas)

She IS the womb from which all Buddhas emerge. The following translation by Lex Hixon is from his compilation of the Prajnaparamita or Perfect Wisdom Sutra:

SARIPUTRA: This Perfection of Wisdom, O radiant Lord, is none other than the total awakeness which is omniscience.

LORD BUDDHA: So it is, noble Shariputra, precisely as you say.

SARIPUTRA: The Perfection of Wisdom shines forth as a sublime light, 0 Buddha nature. I sing this spontaneous hymn of light to praise Mother Prajnaparamita. She is worthy of infinite praise. She is utterly unstained, because nothing in this insubstantial world can possibly stain her. She is an ever-flowing fountain of incomparable light, and from every conscious being on every plane, she removes the faintest trace of illusory darkness. She leads living beings into her clear light from the blindness and obscurity caused by moral and spiritual impurity as well as by partial or distorted views of Reality. In her alone can we find true refuge. Sublime and excellent are her revelations through all persons of wisdom. She inspires and guides us to seek the safety and certainty of the bright wings of enlightenment. She pours forth her nectar of healing light to those who have made themselves appear blind. She provides the illumination through which all fear and despair can be utterly renounced.

She manifests the five mystic eyes of wisdom, the vision and penetration of each one more exalted than the last. She clearly and constantly points out the path of wisdom to every conscious being with the direct pointing that is her transmission and empowerment. She is an infinite eye of wisdom. She dissipates entirely the mental gloom of delusion. She does not manipulate any structures of relativity. Simply by shining spontaneously, she guides to the spiritual path whatever beings have wandered into dangerous, negative, self-centered ways.

Mother Prajnaparamita is total awakeness. She never substantially creates any limited structure because she experiences none of the tendencies of living beings to grasp, project or conceptualize. Neither does she substantially dismantle or destroy any limited structure, for she encounters no solid limits. She is the Perfect Wisdom which never comes into being and therefore never goes out of being. She is known as the Great Mother by those spiritually mature beings who dedicate their mind streams to the liberation and full enlightenment of all that lives.

She is not marked by fundamental characteristics. This absence of characteristics is her transcendent, mystic motherhood, the radiant blackness of her womb.

She is the universal benefactress who presents, as a sublime offering to truth, the limitless jewel of all Buddha qualities, the miraculous gem which generates the ten inconceivable powers of a Buddha to elevate living beings into consciousness of their innate Buddha nature. She can never be defeated in any way, on any level. She lovingly protects vulnerable conscious beings who cannot protect themselves, gradually generating in them unshakable fearlessness and diamond confidence. She is the perfect antidote to the poisonous view which affirms the cycle of birth and death to be a substantial reality. She is the clear knowledge of the open and transparent mode of being shared by all relative structures and events. Her transcendent knowing never wavers. She is the Perfect Wisdom who gives birthless birth to all Buddhas. And through these sublimely Awakened Ones, it is Mother Prajnaparamita alone who turns the wheel of true teaching.

LORD BUDDHA: Precisely so, beloved Sariputra.

As MOTT teaches this High Priestess is the sacred guardian of the very Book of Wisdom (Prajnaparamita) itself. The practical teaching of the Arcanum of the High Priestess relates to the development of the gnostic sense.

It is the contemplative sense. Contemplation —which follows on from concentration and meditation —commences the very moment that discursive and logical thought is suspended. Discursive thought is satisfied when it arrives at a well-founded conclusion. Now, this conclusion is the point of departure for contemplation. It fathoms the profundity of this conclusion at which discursive thought arrives. Contemplation discovers a world within that which discursive thought simply verifies as “true”. The gnostic sense begins to operate when it is a matter of a new dimension in the act of knowledge, namely that of depth. It becomes active when it is a question of something deeper than the question: Is it true or false? It perceives more the significance of the truth discovered by discursive thought and also why this truth is true in itself, i.e. it reaches to the mystical or essential source of this truth. How does it arrive at this? By listening in silence. It is as if one wanted to recall something forgotten. Consciousness “listens” in silence, as one “listens” inwardly in order to call to mind from the night of forgetfulness something that one formerly knew. But there is an essential difference between the “listening silence” of contemplation and the silence arising from the effort to recall. In this second situation, it is the horizontal’—in time, past and present—which comes into play, whilst the “listening silence” of contemplation relates to the vertical—to that which is above and that which is below. In the act of recall, one establishes in oneself an inner mirror in order to reflect the past: when one “listens in silence” in the state of contemplation, one also makes consciousness into a mirror, but this mirror has the task of reflecting that which is above. It is the act of recall in the vertical. (MOTT)

This contemplative-vertical alignment is in keeping with the gnostic sense and teachings of the Prajnaparamita. Can you hear the sound of Mother Prajnaparamita mystically generating within? If so then you are in spiritual touch with the tenderness of the Unborn Itself.

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