Goddess Kali as the World Soul

World-soul Kali blessing the world A verse from the Devi Mahatmya, the classic text of India's Goddess vision...
By her, the Mahakali... all this cosmic sphere is pervaded.1
A later statement in the same tradition...
In water, on land, and in space the Mother dances before the eyes of the Sadhaka, to whom the world thus appears true. When the world becomes full of the Mother, then all the gunas cease to be enemies... It is no longer necessary to regard the world as stained, and to look upon another as stainless.2

Those are the words of Siva Chandra Vidyarnava, a nineteenth century exponent of Tantra and devotee of Kali. Compare the following passage by Marsilio Ficino, of fifteenth century Italy...
There is nothing so deformed in the whole living world that it has no soul, no gift of soul contained in it.3
That's from a chapter about the anima mundi, the
Drawing © Colin Robinson 2006

feminine soul of the world. Marsilio Ficino is a philosopher and astrologer, an exponent of natural magic, and a Catholic priest.

Renaissance engravings and woodcuts depict the anima mundi as a nude woman poised between earth and sky. 4

Like Kali of Tantra, she's a vision connecting heights and depths, the spirit and the flesh.

1Jagadiswarananda, Swami (ed, trans); Devi Mahatmyam [Sanskrit and English]; Sri Ramakrishna Math, Madras, 1953; chapter 12 verse 38.
2 Woodroffe, J. (ed); Principles of Tantra; sixth edition - Ganesh, Madras 1986; Part I, p178.
3 Ficino, Marsilio; The Book of Life; translation by Charles Boer; Spring Publications, University of Dallas, Irving, Texas, 1980; p 87.
4 see Jung, C.G.; Psychology and Alchemy (Vol 12 of Jung's Collected Works); RKP, London, 1968; pp 47 and 189.

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