(Re-post, modified with an attempt at clarity)
Salutations to All and to All on High,
There has happened another internal passage - a certain clarity - then taking a few days to settle in before sitting down to write. This is a dissertation on my current understanding of the esoteric meaning of man and woman and the polarities they represent in the sacred literature. This was not written exclusively for this group. Yet, this is offered that it may be of value to some, still some it may offend and others it may bore. I take full responsibility for that. Apologies that it is not simply written, yet written true to inspirations voice, which was clear in the hours it took.
Where Is I?
Where I IS!
Where is That?
Where THAT is! It's Oh so simple, said the courtly Fool ... I Am That!
Says the Zohar: The Holy One, Blessed be He ... is the inside within and The SHECHINAH is his exterior on the outside.... And since HE, Yud Hei Vav Hei is concealed from within, He is called only by the name of His Shechinah, Adonai.
The Shechinah is of course feminine in gender. Interesting (from the perspective of courtly love) is that the medieval troubadours called their lady "mi'dons" which means lord, just as Adonai means also "Lord" hinting perhaps that they knew of kabbala, which as an oral tradition predates it's principle text, the Zohar, by perhaps a millennia or more (if the scholars are correct). The lady was representative of the "Lady of Thought", an appellation which goes back to certain gnostic sects. She is an image so broad that the names and roles of other goddesses would limit her.
The Zohar says that Shechinah is sight and smell, head and hand, walk, mating, speech and hearing, faith and inspiration. Shechinah is the thought which is within all of these and more. Even the thought of the "Son" which is the secret of Yud Hei. And The final Hei of YHVH is the Shechinah. All of which means She is eternal and immanent in creation, even if her "name" disappears. Meaning, even if Her presence is unrecognized, goes unacknowledged.
So all objective phenomenon, all that we know and can experience with the senses and all that we can conceive, being based on our sensory experience is this Divine Female. The Shechinah too is the Holy Spirit, as evolved in earliest Christianity - as feminine -the Pnuma Hagion or Power from on High. The creative, changing energy which Eienstein codified in E=MC2 and which was witnessed in the splitting of the atom.
The Divine Male, as (metaphysically speaking) pure subject, is only intuited. It is the "eye that sees but can not see itself", it is "void and without form". "Knowing" (in a biblical sense as well) that void is called enlightenment. This is pure "gnosis" A realm unto the "hidden sphere" Da'ath on the kabbalistic Tree of Life, for those curious. It is that which is sought when following the directive to Â“Know ThyselfÂ”
Male and female then, as a metaphysical construct, are a seamless non dual realty. Seer and seen are inseparable. Quantum physics demonstrates this in the fact that the behavior of particles change when observed. Kabbala would interpret the Biblical verse Â“It is not good for man to be alone.Â” as an injunction to become aware of this reality - this unity.
The role of touch, fundamental to bodies terrestrial, is to connect us to the universe. We can "feel" out of touch, but we never can be disconnected from it unless we are comatose and still there is a question. Some have "cosmicÂ” experiences of this underlying unity and a few are reportedly able to remotely influence the course of physical laws. This is the sage (saint) or mage (magician) of a high order. The draw of Jesus was through these reported "miracles", not because he claimed to know divine realities. Everybody had an opinion about that. He also had a teaching. Teachings are most important. The teaching is that we can all know this, be this do this.
The temporal universe comes and goes like an erection. Thus is the male is considered the "ground of being" or pure beingness. And out of this no-thing-ness all arises to "seed" existence by the simple act of awareness paying attention to the Divine Female. this paying attention is meditation; watching the breath, or thoughts or contemplating the life force in sexual communion. The temporal universe is in a continual state of gestation and rebirth - energy can neither be created nor destroyed says the physicist. It does however change form. Thus is the Female is identified with all forms, even genetically male forms as the Saktisamgama Tantra relates.
Because the female is latent when universes recede into void-ness - just as the biological female has an infertile period - it is said that this world is a world of illusion in the same manner as thoughts which come and go. This is a bit deceiving even though on one level, profound. Nothing to worry about though unless you're a philosopher.
When the average person goes to sleep at night, they do not fear a loss of self or of reality, although both subjective awareness and objective perception cease in deep sleep. When they awake in the morning, they are not amazed that "I" is back and that "life" continues (however habitual and progressively unconscious it may become). Even though life never repeats, in exactly the same way. Therefore this has been used as a metaphor for the average person to understand life and death as being not two things but one. For the average person this also lends credence to the concept of being separate or having an "I". That is the great stumbling block to enlightenment but is workable as a yoga if you don't try to fix "I" anywhere in time and space (LOL).
So too is enlightenment and self realization one. But they are experienced differently. Enlightenment does not make the world go away. It just takes away the suffering. The issue of God or no God is also irrelevant - BEING just IS. The issue of God in self realization (pursuit of the absolute "I") is a matter of objectified fact because the realized being is still in an extremely rarified atmosphere of duality, identifying with the universe instead of body so to speak. Metaphysically symbolized, the realized one becomes the Phenomenal Female in relation to the Transcendent Male which isoutside of time and space. For this reason it is said all souls are female.
All sentient beings are inseparably subject and object "in the image of ... " not as two different "things", for that would only make an object out of the subject. Therein lies the subtlety and difficulty of understanding spiritual liberation. It is beyond the duality of language and requires a "quantum leap" of intuition.
There are many paths of spiritual endeavor. The simplest is that of love. Love is not ultimately an emotion per se, love is a state of communion. It is a natural form of meditation for the animal that is man. Love is the original "trickster" of shamanistic tradition. Love seduces us with sex. If we are not neurotic in sex we will emerge on the other side to love.
Eventually we seek liberation from the roller coaster of orgiastic sex. We may discover something more subtle. We discover that there is a difference between orgasm and what happens in procreative intercourse. This discovery doesn't take training necessarily, just time - it's quite natural in fact. We then seek these "valley orgasms" more and more often because they heal our emotions and release the knots of subtle energy within us. We become beings attuned to "energy" rather than mere "chemistry." As our emotions become more stable and the energy moves to the heart, we may experience what has been called "heartgasms". The effect is not only to bond us to our lover but open us to the world. As the "energy body" becomes harmonized through orgasmic releases. (In western terms the work of Wilhelm Reich is relevant, though he knew of only one kind of orgasm.)
Even these "valley orgasms" may subside as a requirement for "making love" in time. We waken to something else. Chastity, even in moderation is a natural devotional trigger (for both men and women) which seeks an outlet through the heart. We have passed through the body into the emotions and now move into the realm of mind where male and female are subtle energies and attitudes. We learn with our lover what communion is. With this in mind conjugal chastity may be entertained and practiced to great effect as a contemplative discipline. Our attraction to the opposite sex (or even the same sex) undergoes a subtle shift, becoming more a matter of subjective aesthetics than overt sensuality (When I say Aesthetic one could think of Plato and the dialogue between Socrates and Diotima - or even Poincaire's A Mathematicians Apology) Our desire - once all consuming - is now becoming appreciation and admiration involving a perceptual keenness and enthusiasm never uncovered before, almost like we are learning to see for the first time. Joy begins to bubble up and over flow because there is less and less the experience of need or lack. That which we once sought so desperately we now find within. We have made peace with the serpent one might say.
This shift takes place because desire is desire whether it be for sex or any object of our attention and affections. And through sex this desire has been addressed most directly, be assured. Psychologically, his shift is the beginning of the true androgyny within the body's mind. The Â“shadowÂ” aspects of our personality are integrated. There is still a fuller unitive movement which may awaken. Just as conventional orgasm is called "the little death" because of a loss of self as we surrender into the ecstacy of union - and love does require such erotic or devotional surrender to reach ecstacy, if only for moment (that is what any orgasm teaches) - just so, does our bliss dissolve ego tension of self awareness and teach us to just BE without ego tension and merge into the immanent and eternal.
Though the stages touched on herein, some will not linger on, yet is set forth here the elementals of the path of human love for mage and sage. Setting the stage for energetic overflow into the universal being, and/or arriving at a place from which to jump for an intuitive leap into the void. This path would make use of Â“magicalÂ” correspondences perhaps, but below the level of willful mind. This path makes use of "yogic" physiology but again without reasoned intent. This path makes use of an intuitive alchemy which leads from the mundane to th mystical Bridal Chamber to Sacred Marriage on all levels ... from a psychological balance of anima/animus to total congruence of action and thought and intent.
But what of those not blessed with a helpmate? The journey for most of us is then more arduous, but not impossible. The Shechinah will assume whatever shape a soul should need. She is the ultimate shape shifter. Some are natural eunuchs and a human mate would serve only to distract. Of love divine do many Sufi's sing, and their songs are like letters and the poetry of human lovers. The Troubadours, often held to "love at a distance", Like Dante and Beatrice, a love profoundly one sided, yet rich in the aesthetic sentiment. Ones so suited and drawn in like fashion are already in possession of an inner balance. Then too the troubadours question whether marriage is compatible with love, for in that day marriage was anything but a loving arrangement. Still I say, that for most today, the path of a solitary will be difficult. Not the least of which reasons include a tendency to self deception.
The Zohar says: And likewise, the Shechinah is the mating of the Holy One .... And this is why the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded the ministering angels: "Whosoever's inside does not correspond to his exterior in all his parts, both internal and external may not enter this temple."
But the Zohar and Kabbala also teach that the Shechinah (as power and wisdom) can not come to us where there is no joy. The courtly troubadours spoke of "jovens" (youthful joy) as the sought after fruit of chaste `fin'amor" (refined/pure love). It is a joy that renews body and mind and hint's of immortality as does the love Tao, correctly called the human Tao, the Tao of the embrace.
This esoteric path to wisdom is not hidden from those without the "proper" books or teachers, though they may inspire and help us stay on course. It is for us to read in the book of nature if we meditate long enough. It is hidden under the noses of the exoteric religious faiths. It is the holy path of the obvious for those who are sincere. It is the path of love both animal and divine. It is the one I abandoned as I moved beyond my youth, now much to my regret. It is the one I return to after many roads taken that lead to false ends. Love is not a sentimentality or affectation or romantic melodrama. Love is a royal way to the light.
NOTE: Zoharic references from the book of Pinchas of the Zohar
Bliss is blessed,
Arjay - 1 April, AD 2005, A perfect day for fools like me.