Sunday, January 8, 2012
The Feminine Principle
The Feminine Principle of Creation is the revealed Presence of the Creator in the material world, while the Masculine Principle represents His concealed Presence. The mission of men and women as representatives of humanity is to fully reveal the Divine Presence in Creation, referred in the Hebrew Scriptures as the mission to create in this world a place where the Creator may dwell among us, in every dimension of consciousness. Let's start with Judaism's fundamental principle of the Oneness of the Creator that we perceive partially in our human reasoning. This partial comprehension makes us perceive material reality in terms of dualism, divisions or separations, and one reason for this is to exercise the free will that the Creator gave us. In this sense we also perceive the unknown to us as somehow "separate" from the wholeness encompassed by Divinity. In the process of understanding Oneness we are compelled to assimilate both revealed and unrevealed as part of the same.
Jewish mysticism explains Creation as the result of Divine emanations also partially revealed to human perception and understanding. Due to their Divine origin, these emanations are factually incomprehensible to us. Mystic Sages illustrate them as "spheres" (sfirot) self-contained concentrically and at the same time projections of the previous ones, since all are part of a single unit. We may also conceive them visually as planes in vertical sequence, and their base or lowest projection (malchut) corresponds to the material Creation that we know as physical realm or material reality. In our perception all that our senses and intellect can grasp is nothing but the perfection of Creation, which as we said we can conceive only partially, and this aspect of Creation is what we will try to define as Feminine Principle. All that the senses perceive is part of a Divine Plan in which life and the knowledge of the Creator are the main purpose. All the elements that comprise the material Creation exist in order to generate life and sustain life. Mineral, vegetable, animal and human exist and interact to give expression to the living, and that function is the material manifestation of the Principle we seek to define as Feminine. We call it feminine because, as we have realized through human history, it is the generating force of life.
In this context we can understand the Feminine Principle as the very Essence that creates, generates and sustains the material Creation as a result of God's Love. Our perception and discernment help us determine what generates life and what doesn't. We can say that all existing life is the Feminine Principle as the material expression of Divine Love, and the Woman is both the allegorical and specific manifestation of this Principle. Allegorical because she represents the potential of life and conception of life, in the same way that God's Love is for His Creation. Specific because she gestates life and gives birth to life. The Woman then is endowed to gestate the miracle of life, understanding life as the material effect of Love.
This verse refers to the Feminine Principle embodied in the Woman: "And the man called his wife Eve, because she was the mother of all the living" (Genesis 3:20) and the fact that she is all life is confirmed in the Hebrew Bible, which mentions for the first time the Feminine Principle in the verse: "(...) and God created man in His image, in the image of the Lord he was created; male [masculine] and female [feminine] He created them" (1:27) as essential elements for the revelation of the Divine Presence in Creation. "And the Lord God said, 'It is not good that man should be alone, I will make him [an] helper, [his] opposite to him.'" (2:18), "(...) but found no helper for Adam [his] opposite to him" (2:20) opposite in a complementary sense, since both were created initially as one (1:27) which is why Adam said, "This time [she] is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. For this shall be called woman, because from the man was taken" and the narrative goes on saying, "Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they become one flesh" (2:23-24) because one is part of the other. This is also an integral and cooperative unity because that's how they fulfill together their mission in the world. Here is remarked the word "helper" as essential to the Masculine Principle in our common destination to reveal the concealed Divine Presence in Creation. The overriding message of the Hebrew Bible is the cooperation and mutual aid among human beings, as the ethical and compelling Commandment to love one another.
Women in Jewish history make us understand the mission entrusted to the Jewish people by the Creator, and in particular to their men. Their mission as "helpers" is, as already mentioned, the vital expression of Love as what generates and sustains life. Hence women are the personification of the Feminine Principle: "The man [Adam] called the name of his woman [wife] Eve, because she was the mother of all living" (3:20) because life emanates from her, in the same way that all existence emanates from the Creator. Thus we understand that she is "a crown to her husband" and "a pearl of great price for his life" (Proverbs 12:4, 31:10). Our Sages say about her that "the wife [woman] is the house" and in a deeper meaning through her Man builds his consciousness to fulfill together their destiny to reveal the concealed Divine Presence.
The majority of women in Jewish history have faithfully personified the help and support required to reveal the Divine Presence in the material world. This support covers many and varied aspects that make up the attributes of Love as the material manifestation of Divine Love. We know that filial love is unconditional, and the way it directs us in shaping human character and personality for the sake of ethical values inherent to Love. Sarah and Rebecca are both archetypes of the same paradigm. Sarah was to Abraham and Isaac what Rebecca was for Isaac and Jacob. These archetypes become more complex with Leah and Rachel, along with Zilpah and Bilhah, because from them other traits and qualities derive to determine the identity of Israel as the Jewish people. Our oral tradition emphasizes on the physical beauty of the Jewish Matriarchs to teach us that such quality is a reflection of their spiritual beauty. Hence, they were coveted by kings and enemies of our Patriarchs as well. In this sense we must understand beauty as a spiritual quality rather than a physical trait, and not falling for exterior beauty devoid of spiritual substance. This defines the Jewish conception of beauty in contrast to the Hellenic definition.
Tamar and Ruth, converts to Judaism like all our Matriarchs, represent the same archetype mentioned before, both with the specific destiny of the total and final revelation of the Divine Presence. This is the proclamation of the sovereignty of the Creator and Ruler of His Creation. This proclamation is the mission and destiny of Israel as the Jewish people who mainly descended from Judah, seen as the quality of royalty required to enthrone the Kingdom of the Creator in the material world. We must conceive the Creator as Father and as King and it is essential to refer to Him and relate to Him with a Torah protocol that contains 613 clauses, 248 that we have to fulfill and 365 from which we must abstain.
As Jews we have to relate to our women in full consciousness of our identity as a fundamental premise to fulfill our destiny as men and as a people. The same goes for Jewish women. We strengthen our Jewish identity with the attributes of the Creator that the Torah instructs us to follow and emulate, which also emanate from our own Love as the material manifestation of God's Love. Thus we understand the preeminence of Love derived from the Feminine Principle as a reference to express the Masculine Principle.
Men and women share in different proportions both Principles and women further reveal Love in the material world by their capacity to bear and create life. Many Aboriginal cultures equate the earth to Woman, and this equality is axiomatic. Therefore, in their traditions and rituals the Woman is the central figure as the tangible expression of life, as well as Love as the Essence that begets life. So it is understandable that the feminine in the arts has a prominent position. Emotional and sensual attraction and dependency to the feminine fill most of the language of popular music. This also confirms the strong presence of the Feminine Principle which we must address as a means and not as an end in the process to fully reveal the Divine Presence through the Masculine Principle. In this regard it is crucial that the Man receives the Woman's support as a bearer and giver of Love as life in order to integrate it into the male consciousness. Once man enthrones in his consciousness Love as the guide of all its traits, qualities, levels and dimensions, the Divine Presence will be fully revealed as the manifestation of our Final Redemption.
We must love as women do, and as men to lead our Love as the foundation of our relationship with the Creator, and likewise with our fellow human beings. Love, as our true Essence and identity, belongs to Man and Woman alike because both were created equal as the image and likeness of the Creator, and as a result of His Love. As complement and supplement for each other, Man and Woman are united by Love as their common Essence. In their union, Love revealed in the Woman encourages the Man to awaken and express his Love, and in that mutual correspondence Love as life is reproduced in its full capacity, power and strength. Thus we see Love as the constructive force upon which we build life to generate life as the material manifestation of Divine Love. It is imperative that men and women recognized each other in their common Essence.
Throughout our history, the Woman has maintained her identity as the epitome of Love, remaining faithful and loyal to it. Thus we understand her faithfulness and loyalty to the Creator amid all the vicissitudes that the Jewish people lived during their exile in Egypt, in their passage through the desert before and after the giving of the Torah, in their settlement in the Promised Land, in their wars and resistance to invaders, in exile in Persia and Babylon, and in the Diaspora. We must pay attention to our history since the Covenant with the Creator until now, studied and evaluated as men and women heirs of the Covenant. Thus we begin to truly know who we were and we are as men and women, as a people, and as a Nation. Clearly, in our tradition, women have maintained their Jewish female identity in greater proportion than Jewish men's identity. This makes us consider that the Feminine Principle has been prevalent and crucial to maintaining and sustaining life in the material world. It is about time to start making prevail in our male identity the Feminine Principle that for many centuries we have turned away and relegated as alien to men and peculiar to women, because it is the same Love that give us life, protects us, sustains us and seeks the best and most convenient for our survival under the darkness of the illusions created by the ego as the false conductor of our consciousness.
In this assessment we conclude that in greater proportion we as men have elevated ego with its fantasies and illusions as the individual god we each make of it. Fantasies and illusions inflated through ideologies, beliefs, ideas and fashion trends filled with negativity to generate wars, conflicts and suffering become the carriers of desolation and death. They are the opposites of what Love and its attributes can generate as life and plenitude. Men and women united must recognize and rediscover each other as complements to the same Principle which is the will of the Creator. Our Final Redemption comes when we rebuild what we destroyed with immorality, murder and idolatry, and baseless hatred to one another, by doing the opposite to these. This reconstruction happens by being and manifesting Love in order to replace immorality with integrity. We make murder disappear by protecting and nurturing life, and instead of believing and worshiping ego's fantasies and illusions we follow Love's ways and attributes. As a result of this we replace ego's uncalled for hatred by loving each other, emulating God's Love for us.
We have to forge this destination stored for us by the Creator, since the Redemption of His Love is a miracle that we must start in consonance with Him. Without His Love there is no Love. Hence women as well as men must reflect on their own identity, and in this awareness Man may embrace his own. Then both together may start rebuilding human consciousness after its destruction for such a long time. As we do it, we begin to experience the other part of the Divine Plan mentioned above, which is to know the Creator as we have never done it before. Once we dissipate the negative aspects of consciousness by enthroning Love in all its levels and dimensions, our only interest and desire will be the knowledge of God. We have to make Love our individual and collective consciousness with which together we can reveal the concealed Divine Presence in the material world, and proclaim that "the whole Earth is full of His Glory", "the Glory of God will be revealed and all flesh together will see it." (Isaiah 6:3, 40:5), "For the Earth will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of God, as the waters cover the sea." (Habakkuk 2:14), and His Glory is His Love.
From the Book's Foreword
Let's reexamine our ancestral memory, intellect, feelings, emotions and passions. Let's wake them up to our true Essence. Let us engage in the delightful awareness of Love as the Essence of G-d. The way this book is written is to reaffirm and reiterate its purpose, so it presents its message and content in a recurrent way. This is exactly its purpose, to restate the same Truth originally proclaimed by our Holy Scriptures, Prophets and Sages. Our purpose is to firmly enthrone G-d's Love in all dimensions of our consciousness, and by doing it we will fulfill His Promise that He may dwell with us on Earth forever. Let's discover together the hidden message of our ancient Scriptures and Sages. In that journey, let's realize Love as our Divine Essence, what we call in this book the revealed Light of Redemption in the Messianic era.