She Was Always There: Sophia as a Story for Our Time
We should face that world not with our opinions but with our questions, indeed in a questioning mood and attitude. — Rudolf Steiner, The Fifth Gospel
“Who, or perhaps what, is she?” Signe Eklund Schaefer poses this question as she leads us into a heartfelt exploration of the great mystery that is Sophia. Her book does not take an academic or theological path but one that is personal and full of warmth and genuine interest in discovery that goes toward living reality, well beyond mere names and ﬁxed ideas. As Schaefer says, she decided to “forego the idea of a straightforward narrative and instead interweave musings, poems, saved quotations, and other assorted notes from my many years of living with questions about and to her.” The author tells us,
Questions of inner growth, of spiritual striving, of how to bear the suffering in the world without going under, and perhaps most of all, of how to love, often present themselves surrounded by veils. In acknowledging a question, the veil may begin to shift. Our questions matter; bringing them to consciousness, exploring them with others, waiting with an open heart for the spirit to speak—this is the ongoing work of unveiling.
Sophia is rightly seen as the living, moving being of universal wisdom and the archetypal feminine, but Schaefer helps us to see her as more—as an expression of what humanity must rightfully become.
Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing. — Arundhati Roy
C O N T E N T S:
1. Musings on Sophia
2. Divine Wisdom and Her Travails
3. Of Veils and Unveiling
Appendix: The Foundation Stone Meditation
About the Author
SIGNE EKLUND SCHAEFER was the founding director of a professional development program in Biography and Social Art, one of several activities of the Center for Biography and Social Art. A teacher of adults for many decades, she has been a student of life for as long as she can remember. Never having heeded what was told her as a child—not to ask so many questions—she continues to love learning. Her desire to know more about the multiple dimensions of human development led her as a young person to the work of Rudolf Steiner and to Waldorf education. She directed Foundation Studies at Sunbridge College for more than twenty years and was on the faculty of Emerson College in Sussex England before that. She continues to teach both nationally and internationally, including at several recent workshops in China. She coauthored Ariadne’s Awakening, a book on gender questions and coedited the parenting book More Lifeways. A mother and grandmother, she now lives in Great Barrington, Massachusetts, with her husband Christopher Schaefer.