Adapted from a series of lectures on the historical basis and current resurgence of the sacred feminine, given by Andrew Harvey at the California Institute of Integral Studies in Spring 1994, The Return of the Mother is a profound journey into the heart of the Divine Mother.
In this comprehensive and groundbreaking work, mystical scholar Andrew Harvey unearths traces of the sacred feminine in major world religions—Hinduism, Islam (Sufism), Buddhism, Taoism, and Christianity—and in aboriginal and indigenous wisdom traditions. Harvey presents a scathing critique of the patriarchal distortions in religious history and doctrine that have obscured full knowledge of the Divine Mother, and shows how to reintegrate this vital aspect into the spiritual consciousness of humankind. The Return of the Mother offers a radical new perspective, balancing the historical overemphasis on transcendence by honoring the immanence of the divine in passionate engagement in the world. Only by cultivating a direct, respectful relationship with the transformative power of the sacred feminine can we alter our disastrous attitude of dissociation from nature, the body, sexuality, and the details of human life, and generate the energy and compassion needed to reverse the course of destruction we have set the planet—and all of life—hurtling toward. In lively question-and-answer sections, Harvey further illuminates these vital issues and takes a strong stand against our dependence on “gurus” and “masters,” proposing instead an egalitarian model of spiritual community based on intimate groups of mutually supportive guides and friends. The Return of the Mother is an eloquent and passionate call for all of us to rediscover and reclaim an authentic and empowering relationship to the divine, and recreate a sacred life-in-the-world.