Marnia's picture
Submitted by Marnia on

Thank You

"a number of priests and bishops had themselves been well known troubadours"

There it is, the link between Agapetism and courtly love and the "lost" secret of the Bridal Chamber. The priests were as a group, the educated elite, and not all sympathetic to Rome.

Courtly love was codified in a treatise written by a cleric named Andreas Capellanus at the request of Countess Marie of Champagne (daughter of Eleanor of Aquitaine, to whom Chréétien de Troyes dedicates The Knight of the Cart, the romance in which the love of Lancelot for Guenevere is first introduced).

It was entitled De Arte Honeste Amandi (The Art of Honest Love, commonly called the Art of Courtly Love). Modern scholarship debates whether this book was written as a serious guide to lovers, or if it was a satire of the movement that was erroneously taken at face value. Certainly it would be a case of history repeating itself. Ovid's three satirical works on love, Ars amatoria (Art of Love), Remedia amoris (The Cure for Love), and Amores (Amours), were used as a source of much of the thought on human love during the Middle Ages. Never the less it was as popular as the great Romances. And the jester like the poet knows that many threatening truths may we expounded by one who plays the fool.

According to Andreas, enlisting in the ranks of Cupid's army and serving in his court of Love is to be praised. In fulfilling the dictates of love, Andreas gives us the twelve laws that Cupid, King of Love, would have every lover obey. These are (with commentary):

I. Thou shalt avoid avarice like the deadly pestilence and shalt embrace its opposite.
The chief chivalric virtues were piety, honor, valor, courtesy, chastity, and loyalty. Andreas provides detailed criteria for choosing a good lover. A virtuous character is of vital importance: lovers must be loyal, faithful, moderate, honest, and generous, not prone avarice nor excess of passion [loss of control]
II. Thou shalt keep thyself chaste for the sake of her whom thou lovest.
“He who wishes to fully posses his lady, knows nothing of donnoi [the lovers bond]”
III. Thou shalt not knowingly strive to break up a correct love affair that someone else is engaged in.
IV. Thou shalt not choose for thy love anyone whom a natural sense of shame forbids thee to marry.
V. Be mindful completely to avoid falsehood.
Love can not exist with lies.
VI. Thou shalt not have many who know of thy love affair.
Rumor mongers abound and the church was watching.
VII. Being obedient in all things to the commands of ladies, thou shalt ever strive to ally thyself to the service of Love.
The knight's loyalty was owed to the spiritual master, God; to the temporal master, the suzerain; and to the mistress of the heart, his sworn love.
VIII. In giving and receiving love's solaces let modesty be ever present.
IX. Thou shalt speak no evil.
X. Thou shalt not be a revealer of love affairs.
Of course the church regarded these notions to be heretical. One's passionate love was to be reserved for Christ and to practice the secular religion of love was sure damnation.
XI. Thou shalt be in all things polite and courteous.
Among the chief rules of love.
XII. In practicing the solaces of love thou shalt not exceed the desires of thy lover.
The woman is empowered when loved properly.

"Love in the Western World"

Have you read "Love in the Western World" by the late Denis De Rougemont? Apparently he's the one who first noticed the link between the Cathars and the troubdours. I just borrowed it from the library. It's the second edition, published in 1956. He was a Swiss scholar who lived in France most of his life.

I'll let you know what I think when I've read it.

Marnia

Troubadours

Yes itÂ’s the book that got me started. That, and A Natural History of Love by Morton M Hunt, 1959. I would value your opinion on either.

The Cathar angle has many twists and turns which also lead to the sympathetically secretive knightly religious orders, such as the Templars, drawing from Christian (especially Cistercian - where lay my roots of initiation) and kabbalistic wisdom as well. It is from them that we get the magical societies which resulted in Rosicrucian and Masonic fraternities in which over time the mystical was striped of Eros and became spiritually mechanistic and political (a recurring human pattern). These outer trappings are explored in The popular Davinci Code related titles based on the earlier Holy Blood Holy Grail. It always surprises me that most people are easily appeased by an intellectual philosophy and do not thirst with true love of wisdom. For fun you might want to explore:

http://www.pulpless.com/holygrail.html.
.
Just remember that the art of the stage magician, like the politician is the redirection of attention. As Machiavelli advised; foster religion so that you may control the people.

Now, to be appropriately cryptic in putting forth my opinion (like a good gnostic) ...
It is not the Grail vessel, but it’s contents which heal. “Peace” is a piece of that true alchemy, the culmination of which is hidden in the “Catholic” (meaning universal) doctrine of transubstantiation (transmutation fo the element). Among the gnostics, the Holy Spirit was invoked to transform the wine into the Holy Blood during the "Mass". The Spirit became doctrine rather than experiential presence and was replaced by static religious formulae. Yet not by words and ritual but by selfless love-desire alone does Sophia-Wisdom (as “power from on high”) animate Her works in the communion of the faithful. If one dares; see the Chalice as soul-cup and the blood-wine as Eros-energy and Interpret communion as befitting the occasion. For the troubadours and the early church the interpretation of the sacrament was perhaps not one of symbol alone. The Force of Life essence - Eros - is the potential energy of life-joy in theory. It’s mystic symbol is the anagram r-o-s-e. “I dream of nothing but the rose,”said a troubadour.

Troubadours

It's so great having you at this board, Arjay. I must have been a Cathar, because this all rings so true to me. I just wonder whether they fully understood the need for chaste UNION between male and female. I know they understood that lust and procreation were backward steps as well as the importance of the Divine Feminine and transcendence.
 
I know there are those who say the Holy Grail was the sacred union of male and female.
 
Anyway, I'm 100 pages into Rougemont and finding it all very interesting.
 
M

Troubadours

OK, I listened to the recordings. I didn't find the guy convincing. I also don't believe in the Jesus bloodline idea. I think that is completely counter to the idea of transcendence, and shows a fundamental misunderstanding of Gnostic principles. Thanks for clearing up that the Cathars were part of that whole bloodline idea. That makes sense.