| Carlo Suarès : On The Feminine
Tree 5 : Summer 1975
Centuries and centuries of words. Billions and billions of them dealing with the feminine, from the animal like female to the exalted lady, from the whore to the goddesses, from the charwoman to the fairy-tale princesses .. all along history, examining the condition of woman, and today, their awakening in search of their genuine self-expression.
But how many people have really cared to dgo to the root of the matter? Is the root biological? Physiological? Psychological? Individual or social? Are those aspects "roots" in the deepest sense of knowledge? ... What is sex? ... If we do not know what sex is, in the general ecology of the universe, we will never deal adequately with the question of femininity, because female and male are only two aspects of the One energy, and as intimately linked, that they happen at times to be interchangeable. Why does the The Sepher Yetsira (a textbook of the Qabala) say that from the Mothers are born the Fathers? (III, 2) Why is the plural fathers (avot) in Hebrew a feminine? Why is the deity of the Jews and Christians a He? Why does Jesus rebuke his Mother? Why is she a virgin, according to dogma? What does Jesus mean when he talks of his Father who is in Shamaim? What is the meaning of Shamaim? Are theologians justified in declaring that all flesh is female? And has their assertion that flesh must evntually become spirit any meaning at all? What do gnostics really assert when they mention the celestial nuptials of Christ, the bridegroom and the universe, the bride? What do nuns think they do when they "marry" Christ? The questions are innumerable ... Why is there a strong tendency in the church to elevate Jesus' mother to the status of a deity? ... Where we explore other myths, ancienct of modern, we find a host of goddesses, or a female Maya as an illusion, and are led to wonder what, in the economy of the universe, is the necessity for an illusion or a dream, or for goddessses or gods. What is the deeply rooted male-female unconscious problem in the psychological structures of differenct ethnical masses? Why are those masses led to believe, to behave, to dream, to fight, to suffer, to exploit, to being exploited, in relationship to that problem? Why is that problem un-solved everywhere, whether in highly industrialized countries as in the most primitive societies still lingering in different part of this planet? Why is it a problem at all?
It is felt that that issue mut be dealt with radically, now, today, on the threshold of the new Era that is dawning.
In the two last issues of Maitreya I tried to convey not only the idea but also the deep feeling that our human brain cannot understand how it is that anything at all exists, because our rational mind is in essence irrational: we can only think in terms of measurable time and meansurable space, yet knowing the reality of time-space will ever evade us. That is the candid truth that must be fully realized. We belong to a world of relativity and can only think in relative terms. When we consent to be dramatically honest about our capacity to think, we clearly see that all our "absolutes" (God, Eternity, the Infinite, the Being, etc ..) are mental projections of relative values. Then, knowing the limitations of our minds, we know its limits and we can trace its boundaries. The very fact of tracing those boundaries implies the experimental knowledge that there is something beyond. Then we do not "believe: : we know. This the devastating experience (when we fully live it) of knowing how it is that anything at all existed, is an act of knowledge.
We can now consider the fundamental postulate of Qabala and see if we can use it, within the limits of of our reasoning, as a basis of understanding, if not of knowledge. An orderly understanding of what should be an orderling functioning of "that that is" would certainly move us into the realm of its order, thereby introducing us inside its process as an integral part of it, and obliterating all such limited interrogrations as to how, why, whensce, where, and so on.
The fundamental postulate of Qabala is the far too famous Tetragram Yod-Hay-Waw-Hay: Yehowah translated, and pronounced, when met in the Bible: "The Lord", for the only reason that is is not understood. It is sometimes spelt simply Yod-Yod in the Hebrew canonical text. The most ancient and most profound ontological tradtion says that those three letters (four, with Hay repeated) for the equation of one single living energy, alive because in it are two lives (Hay and Hay). That one single reality (one single life) is all that has ever been in the wide universe. All that is, all that will ever be. Nothing is outside it, all is in it, and it is in all that is. Therefore, do not ask what or where it is, it is all and everywhere.
The question now arises: what are those two lives in the one all-inclusive life? Qabala says that the four last letters of the alphabet (Qof-Raysh-Sheen-Tav) give, when read according to the orginal code, a fairly good mental view of the process: Qof (100) as cosmic Aleph, is the explosive aspect of energy infinite in speed, hence timeless; Raysh (200) is the universal habitat aspect of energy: the universe as is exists, the "stepping down" of transformation of infinitness into finiteness; Sheen (300) is the organic movement conferred upon Raysh as it is brought to active life; Tav (400) is the counterpart, or natural complement of the explosive energy: its compressive aspect.
Qabala thus postulates that there is one single universal life that is brought about by the interplay between explosive Aleph and compressive Tav. In the biosphere, centrifual Aleph appers more or less as destructive and male, whereas centripital Tav appears more or less as conservative female.
Just as mathematics are justified in using a symbol for the unconceivable infinite, so Qabala feels justified in the use of Aleph for such a symbol. Genesis, from its opening schemata, assures that Aleph is a creative life that can only be perceived through its impact, as oopposed to Yod (10) its degradation in terms of energy. That process is called Elohim (translated "God"). When it awakens to itself so as to become active, it projects the very Aleph copulatively, into the space-time continuum, thus giveing birth to Aur (Aleph-Taw-Raysh), Light (Gen. 1,3), i.e. the highest speed that Aleph can fertily produce in symbiosis (or symbolic wedlock) with its cosmic habitat.
Light as the progeny of the cosmic nuptials of explosive Aleph and inertia (or physical support, or existence in duration, or resistance, or sanctuary, or compressive energy, according to the different points of view) is the origin of innumerable symbols and myths concerning the holy Father and Mother, the human sons and wives and sisters.
Jesus, in many statements and using veried terms that have yet to be understood, has always proclaimed himself to tbe son of Aleph, whose kingdom is not of this spacio-temporal world. The clumsy roman dogma of his mother's virginity as a response to that statement evades the essntial issue. A virgin mother is a mistaken archetype of transcendency of womanhood. The sinner Mary of Magdalah, "exorcized of seven demons" seems, as an archetype, more to the point.
But we must revert to the fundamental conception of the whole wide universe being a modus vivendi between two living contrasting modalities of energy acting simultaneiously as One Being. Aleph, timeless, unthinkable, as such, is, in this compromise, alway immanent, always absent because it only exists in time-space as a degraded energy, indefinitely multiplying igtself as entropy. So only structures exist, and those fleeting, moving, everchanging aspects of energy, all belong not to Aleph, but to Tav. Hence the whole universe as can see it, sense it, think it, perceive it, is female. All structures are female. Let us, however not forget an important factor: energy is ONE, hense the nuptials of Aleph and Tav are hermaphroditic.
When we consider what that concept can mean for us psychologically and physiologically, we realize that all that has been said about the necessity for womanhood to transcend itself is equally true for manhood as it is in general conceived. In the minds of most people, the conqueror, the dictator, the great biuninessman, the high ecclesiastical dignitary, the most characteristic qualities of manhood. How can it be, when their action subjugates, crushes, reduces womanood to the status of inferior humanity? They are, those men, female in disguise. The proof of it is their constatnt attempt to establish the fixed order of a shaped, framed, constructed society. Such societies do exist, of course, but only in the world of insects. When the queen bee killls her mate in her nuptial flight she is indeed the conqueror. The female world of insects has from time immemorial established such rigid order as to overmatch in duration all the other species of this planet. In those societies, Aleph is murdered, the spirit is buried in a female mechanical functional wheel that has no purpose, hope or vision but in its perpetuation.
Obviously, the resurrection of Aleph in humans is the defeat of generic memories as driving energy of individuals and of society. Not that we must attempt to annihilate those memories: how could we? But we can learn to use them where knowledge, deep experimenting and creative action are concerned (and not only our ordinary everyday routinist existence) as necessary instruments -- as those of a mid-wife -- for the delivery of the ever-infant Aleph. And why, under such cosmic-human constraint, if ever it is one, should women be at disadvantage? It is a fact that history has not recorded any woman Buddha or Jesus; it is a fact that in the immense realm of art and generally speaking, of "expression" the material brought by women is on the whoe of little weight.
Let, however, alone the untold multitudes of men who have not, are not, will never be Buddhas or Jesuses, those who misunderstand and distort the most exalted teachings the moment they are proferred, turn them into ignorance, superstition, vain repetitions and exploitation; let alone the misuse of "explosive energy", its historical result as a "tale of sound and fury", of bloodshed, of cruelty, of destructions, let alone the fact that we still have to be persuaded that being a genius is being in communion with Aleph: what do we really know of femininity during all those centuries of a history producted by men and told by men, simply obliterating what the other half of humanity has been doing all that time? Can we not presume that a number of mute and suffereing women have preceived the reality of what was being constgatnly waged? That their very quality of women, kneading their beings into life lived and not dreamt, has allowed them to be more aware of their essential truth than the "female-males" -- as I declear them to be -- oblivious of and strongly denying their fundamental femininity, in the disguise of uniforms, flags, medals, solemn national anthems, heroic values or pompous eccleseastical paraphranalia? Aleph engending Tav and Tav engendering Aleph: that personal balancing of the One Energy, weighing, waving, osscillating in, against and for itself has been and is its own drive towards the self-realization of humankind. Hear in Exodus Vii,2/4 Yahweh saying to Moses: Thou shalt speak .. unto Pharaoh that he shall send away the children of Israel out of his land. And I will burden the heart of Pharaoh ... Pharaoh will not hearken unto you ..."
Such complexities -- and many others -- even as they forbid us to draw hasty and one-sided conclusions as to what femininity is (or can be, or should be) in relationship to the connubial opposition male-female, yet lay the foundations for the quest our epoch is so sorely in need of. Strangely enough those foundations, solidly built and clearly stated, exist in Genesis, have been there since the dawn of our cycle of civilizations, misunderstood, disregared and forgotten. Several texts have been published in an attempt to unearth them from the allusion of centuries of ignorance (1) and this present short essay can neither repeat what has been expounded, not a fortiori further develop the matter. The itineary of woanhood on her way towards the archetypes given as images of her exalted (transfigured) femininity will have to be, in our following lines, in the shape of a synopsis, with appropriate references to the corresponding verses in the Bible as they apppear when read according to the code.
(1) See particularly, The Cipher of Genesis (Shambala, 1970)
Gen. 1,26 The process of Aleph's infinite energy descended in the realm of existience (Elohim) rebounds with great strength towards Aleph (translated And God said). The consequence is a blending of life and existence whose energy originates an orrganic impulse throughout the universe, hence awakens Aleph and thrusts it in the resistance of "blood" (translated: let us make man). This "man", Adam (Aleph in blood) is therefore in the "likeness" of an asserte cosmic organic metabolism, and the schema Dam (blood) appears as the symbol of the cosmic vehicle of life. It is spelt Dallet (4), the archetype of resistance and Mem (40) the lowest grade of organic energy, practically nil, therefore capable of engendering organic existence.
The name Adam is -- as one can freely consider it -- a complex associatgion of two contrasting assumptions: an infinite unconceivable life and a resistance, conceptive both menatally and factually.
Gen. 1:27: Whereas in the preceding verse, the verb Assah (70.300.5) "makes" Adam, here, the verb . Beriah (18.104.22.168) "creates" it, and that act is repeated. The translation goes thus: And God created the man in his image in the image of God be created him male and female he created them.
As any reader can well imagine, the difference between the "making" and the "creating" and the thrice asserted last process have given birth to innumerable commentairies, all of them, it must be said, based on proliferous speculations on what a supposed deity could, in those circumstances, have in mind, to say, do or create.
Let us first establish the fact that Yahweh, although absent in Gen.1, is here, so to speak, behind the scene: Yahweh's number, Yod-Hay-Way-Hay = 10 + 5 + 6 + 5 = 26 is the number of the preceding verse, where Adam is "made." (This hidden appearance is a good example of the splendid disregard of Qabala for those who do not keep their eyes open). An analysis of the essntial meaning of the two verbs mentioned here could, perhaps, be somewhat difficult to follow by readers not familiar with the code, so we will simply accept the three "creations": one of the abstract Adam as described above, one for the male and one for the female (both in "the image" of the eloimic process, yet originated by the opposing explosive-compressive powers). But an extraordinary surprise is awaiting us here: a dramtic yet logical situation of the male and female Adam, considering that they both are the result of a degradation of the one double infinite energy, Aleph-Tav.
The cosmic energy, projected in manhood is Zakar (7.20.200) translated "male": an indefinite posssibility of acting in the universe. Projected in womanhood, it is Neqvah (22.214.171.124) translated "female": an existential life in direct contact with the cosmic Aleph and introducing that Aleph in a Living body. Those are the archetypes. They show that the cosmic explosive male energy is stunned by its tremendous fall into the world of existence, has lost contact with its very self, is, in truth, unaware of its essence because of its being reduced to being only Light. This will prove to be true all along. The Hebrew -Christian myth, up to the last words of Jesus on the Cross: "Father (Aleph) why hast thou forsaken me?. The archethpe of womanhood, quite on the contrary, is in direct contact with Aleph and must obviously be so, permeated, impregnated as "she" is by "him". The feminine, in that assertion (the impregnation) must be seen in toto, in all its modes, appearances and expressions pertaining to Tav and to humankind. The postulate of that impregnation in the general archetpe Adam is fundamential. It is the essential difference between humans -- where Aleph can resurrect -- and all the other lives that exist on this planet.
Gen. II, 5/6: The 2nd chapter of Genesis apparently contradicts the first, but it is not so: it describes the inner process of Aleph buried in its habitat (Aretz : Aleph-Raysh-Tsadde is translated "earth", but earth is only the alchemical smbol of that schema) and its springing forth out of endogenous capacity of the female substance, now hermaphrodite. Thus these verses say that nothing had grown, the Yod-Yod-Elohim had not made it to rain, and there was no Adam to confer all its posssibilites to Adamah. (This feminine of Adam is obviously more than is conveyed by its translation "the ground"). Then Ad (Aleph-Dallet) goes up from Aretz (why is it said to be a mist?) and waters all the face of Adamah so Yod-Yod-Elohim "forms" ( Yotser , a third verb) the Adam-Aafer (not the man of of dust: the words "out of" are not in the text). Aafar (70.80.200) is the archetype of all that flies in every direction with the winds, all that is unsettled everywhere, shapeless and unstructured. In the realm of the psyche it is the unconscious. That is the Adam in whom now Yod-Yod-Elohim breathes the breath of life. And Adam becomes a living "unconscious" which emanates the universal organic movement. Those last words, in substitution of the canonical and the man became a lving soul are the the correct transciption of the text read with the code. The symboliism is clear enough: whereas in the animal kingdom the "unconscious" is fixed in accumulated memoires strictly operating as "instinct", and perpetuating prototyples, the breath of life breathed into Adam is a living motion commmiunicated to the uncoonscious. In the circumstances of the verses quoted here, Adam is male, his feminine counterpart being, as is stated Adamah, a purely earthen "she". The unknown authors of this text were, as is already seen, far too intelligent to state that a living man has been thus "formed". The feminine Adamah is ample proof of the aymbolical intention of this tale.
Gen. II,8: The garden in Eden far from being the peaceful womb of "the first man" (as it has so oftern been thought to be, literally with its geographical location so absurdly "discovered" in two or three different Continents) is, symbolically, the most uncertain, problematic, unserttled, conflicting condition in which, with his solid background of animal instincts undermined (as such an Adam is here described) could be cast. However, he, existing only in the abstract, is not placed there as would the canonical interpretation, simply his name is named there, obviously, in search of a better name for his mate than the gound (Adamah in so called translations). And there, in that dangerous container, this precioius extract of infinite speed must be protected as is protected in his diving apparatus the explorer of the sea-depths.
Gen. II, 16/16 Slo in no case must this Adam be in contact with its opposite pole of energy: it would instantaneously disintegrate.
Gen. II, 18: It must receive its counterpart in flesh.
Gen. II, 19/20: Before that can be done, Yod-Yod-Elohim must test its adamic product: it is confronted with all the animal species and recognizes them as being what it does not longer want to be.
Gen. II, 21: This it (Adam) is no longer supported by the framework of instinct of accumulated memories, and, as was to be expected, falls asleep. What he is left with is a range of manners by which the blueprint, so to speak, of its organism is set in motion towards the unknown, described by the schema Tsale (Tsade-Lammed-Ayn: 90.70.7) which in no case can be thought to be a rib!
Gen. II, 22: Out of one of those possibilities, Yod-Yod-Elohim builds (Yod-Vayt-Noun final: 10.2.700) a body factually existant, in direct communication with the cosmic principle of indetermination. This body is Yshh (Aleph-Sheen-Hay: 1.300.5): Woman, the feminine of cosmic fire alive! Aleph alive through its tremendous "breath": Sheen.
This, we feel, in enough to show what, in this myth, is the archetype of womanhood. We can however, reapidly quote a few more verses, showing the direct communication of woman with Yahweh.
Gen. IV, 1: Hheva (as the woman has become), when giving birth to Cain states, when the text is correctly read: "I have created a man-God Yahweh."
We cannot narrate here the strange contention of Abraham and Abimelekh regarding Sarah in her attempt to overcome her social states as "wife", and to achieve her status of sisterhood. A reference to our Midrasch of The Song of Songs is relevant (VIII, 1: Woman to poet: Who will teach you to be for me like a newborn brother and yet depraved by time? I would quench your thirst in the realms of Space and moreover do so as a free woman.)
Gen. XX, 12: Unexpectedly, Abraham declares: And also truly she is my sister, the daughter of my father but not of my mother. But this father is certainly not his father by the flesh old Terah, because (Gen. XI, 26,) the posterity of Terah is only 3 sons. And we mut note here again with #26 of this verse, the invisible presence of Yahweh. Undoubtedly Abraham acknowledges Sarah as Daughter of Yahweh.
Gen. XX,I: And Yahweh visited Sarah ... and she conceived.
Gen. XXV, 22: Rebekah consults Yahweh as to the meaning her struggling twins.
Gen. XXI, 34: When leaving her father Rachel steals his idodls, and hides them under the saddle of her camel.
Many more things can be said about femininity and it is hoped that they will be told by women. But words are not, will never be enough. On the threshold of our new Era, women will have to understand that there is better to do for them than being prime-ministers, heads of State or what not, under the mental projections of men who have led us into conflicts without reason or end.