Readers of the blog know I’ve studied world philosophies, particularly Vedic. If you study to higher degrees, you usually end up with a Doctor of Philosophy in your field.
The roots of “philosophy” are interesting. It comes from a Greek term with 2 parts: Philo and Sophia.
The first, Philo, means love. The Greeks described several kinds of love. Philo relates to the form called Philia, defined as social or brotherly love. We can say a loyalty or devotion to knowledge.
Sophia is the second meaning wisdom. Thus, philosophia was for lovers of wisdom.
Sophia (then called Sirach) was the source of Solomon’s wisdom in the Old Testament. Speaking of her in The Wisdom of Solomon, he said:
Wisdom reaches from one end of creation to another mightily, and sweetly does she order all things.
She is more beautiful than the sun and above all the order of the stars; being compared with the light, she is found before it.
For Gnostic Christians, Sophia was a feminine aspect of God, the bride of Christ, and the Holy Spirit in the Trinity (Father, Mother, Son).
In the Vedic canon, Sophia is Saraswati, the goddess of wisdom and the arts. As in the Gnostic approach, nature (Prakriti) is seen as born and thus of feminine origin.
However, in the Christian approach, coming down into the world came to be seen as fallen. She lost favour in most branches.
Today, Sophia lives on in philosophy, our worldview. Yet true wisdom comes from our inner intelligence recognizing itself in the world around us and in the nature of life itself. I am a devotee.