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Alternate Perceptions Magazine, October 2022

ITSELF: From the Flow, Humanity Rising. Part Seven

by: James Edward Carlos

“We shall always remember him, I said, hastily.”
’No!”’ she cried. ‘It is impossible that all this should be lost—that such a life should be sacrificed to leave nothing-but sorrow. You know what vast plans he had. I knew of them, too—I could not perhaps understand—but others knew of them. Something must remain. His words, at last, have not died.’

“’His words will remain,’ I said.

“And His example,’ she whispered to herself. ‘Men looked up to him—his goodness shows in every act. His example—‘ …”The offering was barred by a black bank of clouds, and the tranquil waterway leading to the uttermost ends of the earth flowed somber under an overcast sky—seemed to lead into the heart of an immense darkness. (pp.143 -146. Heart of Darkness. Joseph Conrad).

I was shown a new vision by God, with a new name upon a renewed spirit. I saw a man coming from the west with a great army, the number of the warriors of his camp being twenty-two thousand men . . . . And when I saw his face in the sight, I was astonished, and my heart trembled within me, and I left my place and I longed for it to call upon the name of God to help me, but that thing evaded my spirit. And when the Man has seen my great fear and my strong awe, he opened his mouth and he spoke, and he opened my mouth to speak, and I answered him according to his words, and in my words I became another man.” (from Sefer ha-Ot, pp. 81-82, in: p. 69. “The Vision of the Human Form,” The Mystical Experience in Abraham Abulafia. Moshe Idel).

Although anthropomorphic semblances of the Divine Consciousness are given power through human personifications as referenced in the preceding quotes expounded as attempts to clarify through image-based language and metaphor; that which is beneath this range is the vast, impersonal, mysterious, and indefinable, ineffable, non-beingness of what becomes a personal sense of remembrance ultimately. As if tendering non-being is a processing of objectivity prior to the subjective orientations and consortiums of our living being once birthed. The birthing seems continual from one lifetime to another. Memory of these lives brings utterance and language develops as a continuum from which rises a sense of meaning, and meaning is by inherent nature of the crying out, expansive and engendering. Based upon the fashioning of image and form in this flux of consciousness, the perceiving mind creates a flowing river of concept and content (reflective of the galactic stream of the Milky Way in the greater cosmos): From the midst of thought a desire arose to expand—expanding from the site of concealed thought, unknown, expanding and settling in the larynx, a site continuously gushing the mystery of the spirit of life. When thought expanded and settled in this site, that thought was called (Elohim Hayyim), Living God: He is Living God (Jeremiah 10:10). It sought to expand and reveal Itself further, thence issued fire, air, and water, merging as one. Jacob emerged, Consummate Man, a single voice issuing audibly. Hence, thought, having been concealed in silence, was heard revealing itself.’ “‘Thought expanded further revealing itself, and this voice. It is perceived that all is concealed thought, having been within, and all is one.”
(p. 439, The Zohar-Prtizker Edition. Volume One. Daniel C. Matt, Translator and Commentator).

Upon Jacob, then, is conferred the status of Consummate Man, an archetypal and consummate being incorporate with a double, a brother Esau (configured as good and evil in Abel and Cain, and in Seth and Horus--sons of Osiris and Isis (AKA the constellation Sothis / Sirius). Mythically, such siblings bear the rounding of character, night for day, and darkness in opposition to..., but in congruence with, light. With status that implies both a formation of light and a manifestation of shadow; herein appears the doppleganger established through Jacob’s twin brother, Esau, and the myth is reenacted mystically in The Zohar. In the mystery of our darkness, we carry the twin other as a shadow, our perhaps narcissistic other half submerged in our reflection-making and as if renewing, i.e., making whole again what we have lost - a characterization of light and darkness as integrally bound. “739. Jacob emerged, Consummate Man Jacob, consummation of the patriarchs, symbolizes Tif’eret, who balances left and right, expressing the emanation from Binah. The phrase (gevar shelim), ‘Consummate Man,’ derives from Targum Onquelos, on Genesis 25:27, where Jacob, in contrast to Esau the hunter, is described as (ish tam), rendered variously: ‘a simple (or: innocent, plan, mild, quiet, sound, wholesome man.” (p. 439. Ibid.) (Note: with the transposition of Hebrew into English come various spellings; I adhere to the scholarship spelling as involved in the various books as per quote, momentarily, in my study, and use this spelling as given in the orientation of my study).

Tif’eret (whose multi-facets include: AKA Beauty, Rahamim--compassion, Blessed Holy One, Heaven/Sun, Harmony/King, the color associate--Green/Torso, the patriarchal associates--Jacob/Moses) is the very center of the vertical positioning of the sefirot, considering that the ladder grid has three supporting posts (or pillars, stems, columns). Tif’eret as central position in the middle, balances all, not just left and right, but up and down the given ladder. While centralizing the sefirotic activities, vertically and sequentially, as an inward spirituality the vibratory movement simultaneously radiates outwardly, plus the movement as zigzags back and forth from the extremities of the side pillars and up and down. Further, a lightning movement is inward and toward, through, and away from the innermost (mystical) core. The coherence in such is as one monumental inspiration, everything, everywhere, in the instance and at once. Thus derives the interpretation of the structure through the name, The Lightning Strike, lightning often harboring impetus for an approaching encounter whereby the electromagnetic fields are interactive in Creation ongoing. A mystical furtherance links the realization of beauty, as such centralizing value, with compassion, to surge inward and become the organizing principle inherent in conscience.

The mystical parable that is the Old Testament continues, with metaphors shifting and widening through use of associative myths, legends, tribal histories, plus earmarks of the country’s primacy of ascendancy through fighting and hunting (e.g., Orion as personified by the early Greek culture)—as such Might becomes the great hunt for supremacy, perhaps a misguided shifting from the supernal realm of heaven. Note the interpretation by the rabbinate discussing Nimrod, biblically the first mighty hunter or warrior: “He was a mighty hunter before YHVH hence the saying: Like Nimrod, a mighty hunter before YHVH (Genesis 10:9).723 Come and See: He was a mighty man, garbed in the garment of Adam, through which he discovered how to hunt creatures. Rabbi El’azar said, ‘Nimrod used to entice creations into worshipping idols. In those garments he prevailed, conquering the inhabitants of the world. He proclaimed himself Ruler of the World, and humanity worshiped him.’ “ (p. 437. The Zohar, Pritzker Edition. Volume One. Daniel Matt, commentator and translator).

The phrase, “garbed in the garment of Adam,” invites further speculation along the same line of “firsts” in the developing characteristics of the human male. A mystical interpretation of the mystery of humanity’s inception, may infer the garment, or raiment as is also said, worn by Adam (initially a being of light) to be human skin and ultimately the nude human male. A mythological context shifts the metaphor to legend. Human flesh, born of the flesh adopted when Adam and Eve leave Eden - The Garden of Paradise, constitutes a significant change in countenance. The augmentation occurs when they are made human (i.e., transformed into human) and in need of hunting and gardening skills for survival in their new environment (Earth), thus connoting the resemblance to the heavenly manifestation. Born of light, manifesting in a manner akin to the angels, with the necessity and incarnation, comes the human countenance and a history begins. The image shifts to humanity, and the initial parents are transformed into human flesh, i.e., the covering of skin--the Word made Flesh, and their appearance is changed, their abiding, ensuing, generations adhering.

As uttered, “Rabbi Shim’on said, ‘Concerning these garments, the Companions know a supernal mystery!’” (p. 438. The Zohar, Pritzker Edition, Volume One).” In this sense the sky god image of the constellation of Orion is a vast and luminous pre-figuration in the sky, which by image verification reflects might and potential power, the imagery so connoted with resemblance.

Whether confirmed on a usurping Nimrod, King of Assyria and Babylonia, whose empowerment, as stated, stemmed from a worshipping of idols or by a similar preordained conferring of power in the Osiris legend of Egypt, or because, perhaps, he is clothed in the raiment of Adam. From this archetypal and prototypical image, legends of meaning are spawned. In the respective male image of the Hebraic Adam Kadmon, who was likewise a mighty man (huge and constant in the night sky) born in the image and likeness of God qualifies the spiritual and archetypal empowerment of Adam, as first man of the human race on earth (Eres; inferred in the sefirot Malkuth). Adam and Eve are thus confirmed, covered now with the skin of human flesh, and they leave The Garden or Paradise to enter a world that insists on their accountability.

Note that, like-wise, such changes in countenance occur in spiritual encounters (as mystical consciousness confers this status) and advancements, of ten counts signifying a morality factor as in the cautionary tale of Lot whose wife turned into a pillar of salt {salt, a basic substance like bread, being a sacrificial symbol of the eternal covenant} when treading into new land).

The base of the grid for God’s Consciousness is made anthropomorphically manifest and thus reflected in the resemblance between the constellations and the human male being reflected in Orion with his paramour, Sirius, or his companion later noted as the Dog Star (i.e., Osiris and Isis (Sothis). With Moses, having a foot in both Hebraic and Egyptian traditions, as beloved by YHVH as well as being the lover of YHVH, such shifting of political powers is complete for his followers offering the premise (and the promise); therein Israel’s tribal assumption of being the chosen children of God is conveyed. The conveyance comes to be viewed as the initiation of being teleological through the mystery inherent in discovery and the making of associative connections thereafter.

Regarding imagery as figural idols not withstanding, the shift is from the figurative to the numerical values (the listing of ten commands via Moses in the eventual journey of humankind, clarify how wayward sons and daughters are to live harmonically together) as within the word, once again, from imagery. (Note, please, the implied concept of being magical confers that a seductive quality (again, “Come and See”) is altered to an impersonal secularization of implications. And yet again such a stance is repeated in the mystery and evolution of epochal declarations, “Come and See.” The movement is toward the expansion, carrying what becomes known, temporarily, moving and changing on into new metaphors, unpredictable while incarnating thereby adding additional meanings to the preexistent, and to the appearing and disappearing, and dying.

However, since Earth is listed as highest of the seven (within another framework of a recurring ten such significances), the reference would suggest another title for the sefirotic scheme--The Living Tree (our heritage—the family tree association and an expression of hunting and gardening in the past, confirming that past genetically). The tree shape is depicted as an image as with the bearing of fruit. (Note: excluded in the idea of idol worshipping that wrought the ten commandments): The Sefirot is indulged by presenting the tree upside down with its roots in heaven, and the fruit being physical earth, objective worlds, and human beings, all in keeping with the narrative and the metaphoric inclination of both numbers and words.

(p. 437. The Zohar-Pritzker Edition, Volume One. Matt, translator). Considering the tree as emblem of nourishment with root bearing in the upper celestial realm and fruit emerging in the “lower” foliage, the core is sustenance. Sustenance from the garden is associated with the bread from grain and wine from grape, communion substances, and the confirmation of holiness on planet Earth.

Anthropomorphic in semblance and in the transition from one substance to another in keeping with the shifting surfaces of mystical consciousness, flesh is the ingredient in religious rite. Wine - as blood, and bread - as flesh, as meat—i.e., the climax of hunting, are termed in ancient Greek Dionysian mysteries as sparagmos (the tearing apart of the flesh) and omophagia (the eating of the body of the god). Mythic semblances find additional means of expressing the basic concepts inhered with objective resurgence. The symbol of the vine represents the earth bearing fruit, a recurring motif in early phases of ages and eras, geometrically forming early in the spiraling epochs before the recurring shift into the next new archaic mentality (i.e., the next and initial archaic phase in the next period of succeeding time). Enduring in later rituals, such as in the Roman Catholic Mass and Greek Orthodox Mass, the sacramental acts of Consecration and the Blessing of Bread and Wine assume spiritual changes in the appearance of the substances through the word, transubstantiation (spirituality altering and changing the physical material substance of bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, of the New Testament), thus conferring spiritual status through significant nomenclature--the Mystical Body of Christ. The body of the church is prominent in the coming together as a communion of members, a union akin to the human body with its various “separate” members. Associatively, in Judaic terms, the temple is the house of God with its openings (gates), conferring the body and its members opening to spiritual growth, to enlightenment and, hence, freedom from captivity. When the garment, skin, clings to matter, flesh, substances indicative of nourishment are shared throughout the body.

Processes (movements) are equally processes of mystical changing as an archetypal rendering, not only in objective nature but in the variable stations by which ascendances are rendered. Archetypes are a somewhat hidden ordination to a wider, deeper, richer conference when the images are purported to be a manner of being and of countenance but conveyed as word, cohesively styled to the given age. This applies to the naming of the new god of the new age, a human reaction as an attempt at solidifying intuitively the conceived planetary intelligence expansion of awareness as if an objective necessity; at this point however, scientists who speak of such a collective type of information as developing in stages have not (yet) connected this to the so-called Akashic Records.

In religious writing such as The Zohar, and thereof The Old Testament, interplay of symbols occurs and reoccurs, a rhythmic substructure of the content. Depending on the viable referent necessary for explication, such interplay indicates a potential for understanding a multiply engendered sexuality (with its sustaining flow---processes within processes within forms within forms) regarding the concepts inferred, and the shaping of words, as such below, and herein I deliberately initialize the pronoun it: ’He said, ‘This is none other than the house of God‘ (ibid.) –this must not stagnate; this must not exist alone. Its fulfillment is none other than the house of God, performing with it, creating it within it, pouring blessings into it from all smooth members of the body; for this is the gate of the whole body, as is written: this is the gate of heaven! (Ibid.) - gate of the body, Indeed! Gate through which blessings pour below--fastened above, fastened below. Above, as written: this is the gate of heaven! Below, as written: This is none other than the house of God.
(p. 338, The Zohar, Pritzker Edition, Volume Two. Daniel C Matt, translator).

And, relevant to the use of the pronouns, “it,” and “itself,” conferring status of essence via “this,” as well, the affective and stirring phrase - “the smooth members of the body” - plus, “house” and “gate,” inform of a range of connections to physical or corporal sensuality. As such in kabalistic speculation, hence, in the sefirotic grid, the profound inference is Yesod, the Divine Phallus (and this is balanced by the Divine Womb, Binah, reinforced with the animating presence of Shehkinah); each metaphor symbolizing herein the sefirotic scheme impresses the reader with the multiple applications and expansive as to tumescence and erection inferences intending to the source, the pronoun-inclusion and depersonalization and yet, personification of God, the Itself. Further explication in The Zohar suggests that human beings “remain unaware of the wondrous quality of Yesod and the profound significance of sexuality, through which one becomes fulfilled, linked with the divine.” (Footnote 153. p. 338, The Zohar-Pritzker Edition, Volume Two). Exemplifying the conditions and issues surrounding language in mystical exegesis, Howard Eilberg-Schwartz offers “this shifting of pronouns (you, her) is characteristic of prophetic discourse in general. But it obviously serves some very distinct purposes,” in speaking of the juxtaposition of (p. 100. God’s Phallus and Other Problems for Men and Monotheism. Howard Eilberg-Schwartz. 1994 Beacon Press, Boston)

images of various sexually inveighed personifications in the Old Testament, namely the addressing of God and Israel (“God is both Israel’s father and ‘her’ husband.” Ibid.). As to further associations as part of the particulars of symbolic functioning, Eilberg-Schwartz reminds us to … “…remember that these images were addressed at least in part to Israelite men, who were to imagine themselves both as lovers of God and as God’s children. God the father is also God the lover. The homoerotic resonances, however, unintentional, lie just beneath the surface and threaten to break into consciousness.” (p.101. Ibid. Eilberg-Swartz) (and:) ... “By exposing the conflicted image of masculinity in monotheism, I want to offer an alternative way of thinking about the nature of religious symbols and how gendered symbols work in religious systems. So what are the dilemmas evoked by the maleness of God in ancient Judaism? The first is homoeroticism: the love of a male human for a male God. The issue of homoeroticism arises in ancient Israel because the divine-human relationship is often described in erotic and sexual terms. Marriage and sexuality are frequent biblical metaphors for describing God’s relationship with Israel. God is imagined as the husband to Israel the wife; espousal and even sexual intercourse are metaphors for the covenant. Thus when Israel follows other gods, “she” is seen to be whoring.” (pp. 2-3. Ibid. Eilberg-Swartz).

The author gives us, further in terms of the associative factor in our theorizing, a relationship between symbols and a system that are inter-spiraling and hence intra-generational. The connections move us into confusions and dilemmas which in turn produce variances on established theories (and undermine them basically). The above is a reminder that images, movement, and time are symbolic concepts as gestures of consciousness, whether fashioned in a kind of tribal-and-national interest, in galactic semblances in considering the larger universe and that beyond that calls to us; all are an inclusive part of the associative factors (comparisons and contrasts) that are given to us for grasping the expansion (and contractions that instill balance. This balancing concurs at all levels of being). Having climbed the “secret ladder, disguised” the soul as lover (versed as feminine, like Wisdom similarly in the male aspect of the divine trinity of light – male (fire, evocative of fiery substance), and female (creation and forth-giving as understanding) is guided into the depths of the encounter for St. John of the Cross, after which all things of the world, including desire, must be transferred to the Lover beyond and man must thereafter conform to that religiously implied resistance to matter. Below is an example of this grasping of and after matter and how moral codes are spawned during the interpretations that follow each other.

He must purify himself from the impressions which the desires have made on the soul, in the obscure night of sense, denying them and doing penance for their past indulgence, and … he must change his garments. This God will do during the observance of the first two commandments; He will change them from old into new, by infusing into the soul a new understanding of God in God, the human understanding being set aside, and a new love of God in God, the will being detached from its old desires and human satisfactions, by bringing the soul into a state of new knowledge and of deep delight, all other knowledge and old imaginings being cast away; and, finally, by causing that which is of the old man to cease, which is our natural aptitudes, and investing us with a new supernatural aptitude corresponding with the powers of the soul, so that all that is human in the action of the soul may become divine.
(pp. 574. “The Ascent of Mount Carmel. “St. John of the Cross. The Wisdom of Catholicism. 1949: The Modern Library, Random House, NY). Edited by Anton C. Pegis).

Once sleep enters the house of man, dream visions carry one to the soul’s most erotic need for love. John thus enters, in his deepest dream sleep, the House of God, moving from the physical entrance at the level of sleep at the edge of the awakened state, moving through halls and rooms into the Inner Sanctum where stuff of resemblance and forgetting dwell. Why this nightly return; why in the guise of prophecy? Response: For spiritual nourishment night after night covalent with the body needing daily rest and sleep for health to be maintained. Love implicitly attains a commensurable status, an erotic love in the state of the soul of man for God, as indicated in these stanzas I), IV), V), and from St. John’s verse: “I). In an obscure night, with anxious love inflamed, --- O, happy lot! --- Forth unobserved I went, --- My house being now at rest. … IV). That light guided me -- More surely than the noonday sun --- To the place where He was waiting for me, ---Whom I knew well, --- And where none but He appeared. V). O, guiding night; O, night more lovely than the dawn, --- O, night that hast united --- The Lover with His beloved, and changed her into her Love,” thus, seemingly the mystic becomes both bride to the Bridegroom of the encounter and bridegroom to the Bride, and in this communion with the recipient, the affect of the mystical experience becomes poeticized as an exchange with Divine Consciousness.” (pp. 558-559. “The Ascent of Mount Carmel. St. John of the Cross. The Wisdom of Catholicism. 1949: The Modern Library, Random House, NY). Edited by Anton C. Pegis).

The dreams at night are consistent with the ongoing consistent flow of ideas that permeate human consciousness, attempting during those sleep stages to make some kind of sense at the great river of the mental processes. St. John states further the commensuration in loving, with complicit warning, that, “Love begets a likeness between lover and the object of his love … (that) love not only levels, but subjects also the lover to the object of his love.” (p. 568. Ibid.)

The soul enables the shifting of genders, the soul as feminine, whether the lover is male or female. This openness and receptivity of the soul engendering the realization of potentials and possibilities further enables expression of the love for the male by the male--a convenience of symmetry in expression. If one heeds the caution, realizing the confusion such literality in expression assumes, then use of the impersonal pronoun, “it,” over and above gender significance, which is a grasp of the nature of a wider circumference of sexuality, and in the range of sexual expression in the human brain (note: Robert Nadeau and Menas Kafatos’, The Non-Local Universe: The New Physics and Matters of the Mind, (pp. 121-123)).

The human male discovers love with a male God with the body-countenance of a male, and the sexual gendering of affection finds a neutrality of sorts. If not, love, insistently hard, sensually desirous of physical union commensurate with mystical soul-union, itself must heed where “the desires fatigue, torment, darken, defile and waken the soul” (Ibid. p. 577). Love, like St. John warns and suggests at a deeper level, carries one into the generalized field of slaughter, the dismembering arena of sparagmos, such as with Pentheus, attracted to the pansexual ecstasy, the eating of the beloved in the rite of omophagia, that Pentheus thinks is promised despite his denying Dionysus. And the ritual begins all over again. The Euripidean Bacchic religious ritual structure of attraction, revolution, and compensatory activities as rendered in the rite as performed. These depictions are in mystical expression, despite the attenuations of sequential time, reversions to (of) the Creation epic in the beginnings of Genesis, and like imagery presented in the tales of Noah, Enoch and Metaron, Lot, and Jacob and others in The Old Testament Bible. We note, too, inscribed in the Ezekiel narration, that tribal designations follow the transcription of Ezekiel’s visions to that which is rooted in patristic reverberations. Ezekiel notes the fire in supernal loins:

“I looked and saw something that looked like a man. Downward from what seemed to be his loins he was fire; and upward from his loins he seemed to shine like polished bronze. He stretched out what seemed to be a hand and took me by the hair; and the spirit lifted me into the air and, in visions from God, took me to Jerusalem.” (p. 1180. “The Book of Ezekiel, 8: 2-4, “The Old Testament, The Jerusalem Bible. 1968: NY. Darton, Longman, & Todd, Ltd. and Doubleday).

In Jerusalem, however, the visionary seems prescribed to teach the wayward. Spirit affirms flesh while altering the garment or raiment in chastising the populace, especially women (as pronounced in the male-dominant religions ensuing in the historical pulsation), for giving in to their sexual yearnings. The repetitive admonishment of the Israeli with emphasis shifting from pressing women for their sexuality, akin to the Egyptian and Canaanite women, seduced by viewing handsome young men on horseback, with whom they “whore” themselves; the admonition In the Book of Ezekiel is repeated over and over, with the vision shifting from the visionary, abruptly, into political, historical, and moral confabulations. Lots of knots (and “nots”) form in the interpretations and usages of metaphors and symbols: Israel’s relationship with God is thus conceptualized as a monogamous sexual relation, and idolatry as adultery. But the heterosexual metaphors in the ancient texts belie the nature of the relationship in question it is human males, not females, who are imagined to have the primary intimate relations with the deity. The Israel that is collectively imagined as a woman is actually constituted by men—men like Moses and the patriarchs. And these men love, in ways that are imagined erotically and sensually, a male deity.” (p. 3. Ibid. Eilberg-Swartz).

The relationship between religious writing with the enormous impact of its symbolism offers a kinship to the use of language with its shifting and sliding metaphors, especially perhaps with regard to pronouns, and the interchange of pronouns (hu {Adam: hu-man}, he, she, it), with writing about mystical experiences. I suggest that a reason for this is the implicit transcendence, gender transcendence, promulgated in the mystical experience itself. Transformation is almost a constant internalizing experiencing in encounters with supernal beings and worlds. Having experienced the spiritual wealth of the all-in-all, such relatively “minor” codes of reference are no longer tenable in grasping with expressing the ineffable. The ambiguity of gender in the lower ranges of supernal beings, such as in angels and archangels although not always without gender and sometimes bearing sexual implications such as androgyny, at least metaphorically, although the male member is dominant in religious mythic traditions in age after age; all these are inferences that open the mystic to the wider condition of receptivity. However, Shekinah is and remains ultimately triumphant. If celestial music is heard, along with the static sounds of outer space, for example, earth music is less likely to invite camp-followers, those groupies of like ilk, to linger backstage after concerts, at least no longer with the same resonance as before the music of the spheres absorbs the mystic. An individual’s sensibilities are compounded by the various secretive implications, as well as to how depths are reached with shifting metaphors that encompass dynamics of sensuality or as juxtapositions, one creation story to another. The above passages connote in the Old Testament’s passages, the very nature of the ambiguities and confusions engendered in mystical writing and in the religious interpretations bound to whatever level of insights occur. How do we read the recurring scorn and outrage? Is the scourging and angry diatribe, as follow the vision of Ezekiel, to be somehow reconciled within the stated context, or is symbolism given opportunity? What of the duplicitous nature of moral efficacy? Is the quality of amorality, an ascendant compromise to moralistic codes of conduct? With the many words we use daily, what is the effect on such codes when stereotypes as with disinformation and misinformation appropriates so many affective connotations in our language usage? As to each age, words of verification rise up to strike us, and in our psyches where do the stereotypes drift as to our being persuaded?

ITSELF, Multiplicity Of Consciousness Expressed As
Divine Coupling And The Androgynous Whole.

In the crippled city
where time has lost its meaning
and violence is swift and sudden,
a nameless young man with no memory appears …
He shares his great strength
in a loving trinity with a young boy
and a haunted, beautiful woman
in that time before the end of time …
to wound the autumnal city.
So howled out for the world to give him a name.
The-indark answered with a wind.
All you know I know.

(Frontispiece, p. 1. Dhalgren. Samuel R. Delany).

The relationship between religious writing as in The Zohar, The Old Testament, the Koran, The Hindu Vedas, Upanshads, Bhagavad Gita, The Avesta in Zoraster’s followers, and in Buddhism the philosophical discourses on the nature of being, plus the religious Pyramid Texts, including the funerary Book of the Dead of ancient Egypt, and the Mayan Popol Vuh - and many other associated religiously related scriptures, and the enormous impact of symbolism as an approach to efficacy of meaning (or not) offers a kinship to the general wider use of human language. The range of such religious texts intensifies our knowledge as to the value sought and the needs being fulfilled, generation after generation.

How wide and how deep are the crippling admonitions via such supernal pronouncements? Given the abundance of shifting and sliding metaphors, with regard to pronouns including male and female genders and neutral-gendering, and the interchange of pronouns, writing about mystical and visionary experiences is complementary to the language process and offers a kind of authenticity to the awareness of spiritual expansiveness. Words convey several meanings simultaneously, and deep within the heart of the nature of language is the androgynous doubling acting as a metaphor for the multiplicity of being/s inherent in Being. Continuing, then, for verification confirming this implicit double entendre in words used in mystical writing especially with regard to gender, and the simultaneous inferences of erotic proliferation and genital intensity, we look to the explicating footnotes of sources mentioned in The Zohar, for example:

p. 145. Although these are two aspects, it is one Shekhinah and Yesod are intimately linked, so the expression this place alludes to both.” (p. 338, The Zohar, Volume Two).

Thus “this” (inferring it and inferring other as recourse to objectivities as noun-infected) is expanded to “this place” while linking together feminine and masculine sorties of divine coupling between Shekhinah (the female spirit of God, the spouse or other half of God-The Father) and Yesod (the Divine Phallus which infers the covenant of circumcision) in the supernal anthropomorphic body schema based on interpretations of Jacob’s Ladder; elsewhere (in other Judaic theological writing such as Isaiah Tishby’s clarifications) we are given to consider “this” schema as an archetypal configuration for man/God, i.e., the concept of Adam Kadmon mentioned previously. The manifesting symbol of an archetypal male configuration is inclusive of the physical lowest level of the sefirotic grid for God’s Consciousness (which is female: Malkuth) i.e., Earth, womb, and human beings as conditional to the formats of heaven and the celestial upper range, hence heaven and earth are reflective of each other as a form of mystical concurrence. “146. this must not stagnate; this must not exist alone The Hebrew pronoun (zeh), this, denotes Yesod, which must continually unite with Shekhinah, Similarly, the human male must seek his sexual partner.” (p. 338, The Zohar. Volume Two).

Note the furtherance of the multiple dimensions of such divine, spiritual, consciousness: “147. house of God Shekhinah, who contains all the other seifrot.” (p. 338. The Zohar. Volume Two). And, continuing with the same vein, the next footnote is “148. creating fruit within it. The union of Yesod and Shehkinah engenders souls” (p. 338. The Zohar. Volume Two), a phrase which is in turn followed by another suggestion and in my reading again conferring the body-genitalia although translator Daniel C. Matt’s footnotes the phrase as connecting with sefirotic limbs as another interpretation and extension.

Consider, too, the phallus as similarly a limb in keeping with the vein of symbolization consistently inferred with reference to Yesod: 149. smooth members… Rendering two senses of one term, (shaifei). Deriving from a root meaning “to smooth, rub, slip,” the word signifies “limbs” in the Zohar, perhaps based on the Talmudic expression… “each limb entered its socket’—‘slipping’ into place - or ‘…the chest’ ... (p. 338. The Zohar, Volume Two).

…Here the word refers to the sefirotic limbs, all of which emanate through Yesod into Shekhinah. The amplification of all of this section of The Zohar is that both Yesod and Shehkinah create sperm, an issuance symbolically stated using nouns-“water” and “well” (pp. 346-348, The Zohar, Volume Two), which we note, again, that “limbs” carries the connotation of tree, as in The Living Tree. Limbs penetrate the space of their surroundings, as through the expanding tumescence and the penetration of cosmic space by the divine and erect phallus, Yesod.

With reference to “it,” as in the above, and “its” and “itself,” the terms are indicative of a spreading sensibility (and often incisive sensuality and penetrating sexuality, consummate with a full range of male and female sexual idioms). In expressing the constancy of the Divine Presence, the word here is utilized, as interpreted by Rabbi Yehudah discussing in The Zohar, Volume 3, time, the conferring of status on human situations by angels, and significance within the concept of it, the sexuality via gender distinguishes Itself as intent:

“It is written: Here, I am sending an angel before you (Exodus: 23: 12). This is the angel who is Redeemer of the world, protection of human beings. ... This angel is sometimes called male and sometime female. When providing blessings, it is male and called Male—like a male providing blessings for a female, so He provides blessings for the world. And when it stands in judgment over the world, it is called Female—like a female who is pregnant, so She is filled with judgment and is then called Female. Thus sometimes is called Male and sometimes Female, all one mystery. Correspondingly it is written: flame of the whirling sword (Genesis 3:24)—there are angels is dispatched in the world who transform into various aspects; sometimes female, sometimes male, sometimes in judgment, sometimes in compassion, yet all in one aspect. (pp. 402-403. The Zohar, Volume 3).

The sexual presence in Itself as an androgyne, androgyne being a consummate wholeness, is present in the following, as well; the androgyny implied as to angels is sometime rendered as Chayyot or Hayyot – Living Beings.

Come and see: For You are our Father (Isaiah, ibid.) - for by this rung the world was formed and created; by it the human being was created, issuing into the world. … You are our Father… in the Zohar, the second-person pronoun (attah) sometimes refers to Shekhinah, who, being more revealed that the other sefirot, can be addressed directly. Although Shekhinah is usually depicted as feminine, here She is seen as Father and architect of Creation. This reference to Shekhinah is linked with the previous teaching about the letter (bet) because that letter also symbolizes Shekhinah, who is (bayit), “house” of the world, and source of (berakhah), “blessing.” (p. 259-260. The Zohar, Volume Three).

Thus, androgyny is tendered as an original being, neutral in terms of bearing, split in the evolving manifestation, externalizing through Adam and Eve. The couple again signifies the cosmic split and separation, becoming ... through leaving the Garden of Paradise as earth-bound physical subjects. We are destined, ready or not, to carry in our DNA both male and female awareness in our brains, and confusing desires, carrying forth our inherent supernal mother and father. It, as well, implying an ownership of the individual’s commitment and acceptance of, the volunteering pre-birth of, the venue of mystical consciousness and the ensuing hazards.

Generalizations, when given to stereotyping often, act as one such danger; shifting metaphors as avoidance, another risk. Mystical consciousness is suffused with menace, perils bearing commitment as antecedent to the encounter that engenders awareness of such provocations. Inferred is what becomes the conditions of acceptance and receptivity with regard to the receiver of a mystical exchange with those elements that represent that higher and expansive Other, the “Itself” inclusive of the givens, and/or the posits, such as symbolic and often poetic sexual eroticism and verbal components of sensuality. Associating human needs with those objects of the earth, the poet, hymnodist, and patriarch King David pleads his concerns including issues about the presumed enemy (let us remember Saul, and ponder the roles played by Jonathan and Bathsheba in David’s life). Consider in his prayer, references to the body as well as the body of the earth and the reflected instances of heaven, David’s plea is consummating by degree of strife; the degree of intercourse, suffused, accepted, celebrated, between the realms is encompassing and subtle but manifest:

“Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, though that leadest Joseph like a flock; thou that dwellest between the cherubims, shine forth. … 6 Thou makest us a strife unto our neighbours: and our enemies laugh among themselves. 7 Turn us again, O God of hosts, and cause thy face to shine, and we shall be saved.

8 Thou hast brought a vine out of Egypt; thou hast cast out the heathen, and planted it. 9 Though preparedst room, before it, and did cause it to take deep root, and it filled the land. 10 The hills were covered with the shadow of it, and the boughs thereof were like the goodly cedars. 11 She sent out her boughs unto the sea, and her branches unto the river. 12 Why hast thou then broken down her hedges, so that all they which pass by the way do pluck her? 13 The boar out of the wood doth waste it, and the wild beast of the field doth devour it. 14 Return, we beseech thee, O God of Hosts: look down from heaven, and behold, and visit this vine. 15 And the vineyard which thy right hand hath planted, and the branch that thou madest strong for thyself. 16 It is burned with a fire, it is cut down: they perish at the rebuke of thy countenance. 17 Let thy hand be upon the man of thy right hand, upon the son of many whom thou madest strong for thyself. 18 So will not we go back from thee: quicken us and we will call upon thy name. 19 Turn us again, O Lord God of hosts, cause thy face to shine; and we shall be saved.”
(pp 557-558. Holy Bible: Gideon Psalm 80:To the chief Musician upon Shoshannim-Eduh, A Psalm of Asaph).

In The Song of Songs, “it” is a reminder, a memory of the hidden that is continually revealed to the lover given voice (through song metaphorically) through the descriptions of the Beloved that define the deep sumptuous pleasures and spiritual implications of the erotic flesh, the body landscape as garden, of moisture of fruits to be tasted, felt, entering and receiving in turn:

She is garden enclosed, my sister, my promised bride; a garden enclosed, a sealed fountain” (4:12-13) and “Let my beloved come into his garden, let him taste its rarest fruits.” (4:16), including caressing wind arousing the body: ”Awake, north wind, come, wind of the south! Breathe over my garden, to spread its sweet smell around.” (4:16), animals, wild and domesticated: “My beloved is like a gazelle, like a young stag” (4:8), and “To my mare harnessed to Pharaoh’s chariot, I compare you, my love.” (1:9), a taste of the indwelling:

The Bride:
My Beloved is fresh and ruddy,
to be known among ten thousand.
his head is golden, purest gold,
his locks are palm fronds
and black as the raven.
his eyes are doves
at a pool of water,
bathed in milk,
at rest on a pool.
His cheeks are beds of spices,
banks sweetly scented.
His lips are lilies,
distilling pure myrrh.
his hands are golden, rounded
set with jewels of Tarshish.
His belly a block of ivory
covered with sapphires.
His legs are alabaster columns
set in sockets of pure gold.
His appearance is that of Lebanon,
unrivaled as the cedars.
His conversation is sweetness itself,
he is altogether lovable.
(from the Fourth Poem, the Song of Songs. p. 871. verse 10 through 16,
The Song of Songs. The Jerusalem Bible).

In consideration of the corporeal secreting of divine love, the lover yearns for such correspondent infiltration, indeed for penetration. Urges need release. Promise is implicit in the flirtation and arousal. The very body insistence and sexual persistence reaches for an extravagance of embrace and the subsequent exiting. Once the mystical transport is likewise born in the soul, one is bound to accept and receive and enter into spiritual encounter and accept the multiple sensibilities of one’s own arousal. The mystical encounter, at one with its cosmic resonance, is nurtured, ultimately, with the deep hushing breath of the universe contracting and intensifying; the breathing of the universe is felt as an intense and all consuming orgasm. Caught in that breath, the yearning continues to be extensive. One is invited to climb the ladder; one is spiritually seduced, aroused by the extravagant multidimensional variable correspondences, and one accepts. One enters, as if by will while, obdurately, unyielding while yielding. One is drawn within, into the expanse, drawn as an image, understanding that one is a metaphor in the arena of participation. One is brought into a beyond, to something outside of personal history and cultural history, although such images are sometimes given as a semblance for consoling. One is reassured by the familiar imagery, although a mirage. A transcendent finds itself, thus, in the consummate Itself, and in the midst of a fluctuating language with the inconstancy of the words, and the surreal characteristic of being hidden and revealed within shifting metaphors.


James Edward Carlos
Herein concludes SEGMENT #7 – OCTOBER, 2022. Alternate Perceptions Magazine.
October 2022 Next issue of APM, Editor Brent Raynes will be Segment #9 NOVEMBER. Part Eight Of IT: Itself: The Hidden Unknown – Space in Expansion: Language and Mystical Consciousness.

Saturday, April 13, 2024