Thursday, 15 February 2018

The Divine Androgyne


I received the following interesting question in a comment on the Same Sex Marriage post. (See here.) It strikes me as worth exploring in rather more detail than a comment at the end of a thread allows so I include my response with the question that prompted it here.

Q. Rabbinical literature contains a belief that Adam was first an androgyne made in God's image. Only later when God realised that Adam was lonely, did he split Adam in two; the 'rib' was in fact the female half of the androgyne Adam.


The phrase used to describe woman’s creation from man’s rib – mi-tzalotav – actually means an entire side of his body because the word “tsela`” in it is used in the book of Exodus to refer to one side of the holy Tabernacle.

Young's Literal Translation of Genesis 5:2 reads,

"a male and a female He hath prepared them, and He blesseth them, and calleth their name Man [or Adam - the word for the forename, and human being are the same] in the day of their being prepared."

If the first human was originally androgyne, and made in God's image, then God contains both male and female. That which was created first, is surely a higher expression of creation, nearer to God the creator, and something human beings are attempting to regain. Part of that might be the loss of separate maleness and femaleness in the post-mortal state - a return to the divine androgyne spiritually.

Young's Literal Translation of Matthew 22:30 says,

"for in the rising again they do not marry, nor are they given in marriage, but are as messengers of God in heaven."

There seems to be no need for sex in heaven.

Might it not be that homosexuals contain both male and female qualities within the one body, and that they may be spiritually advanced? This is not to say that therefore gay marriage is correct. It may be possible that gay people are ignoring their advanced spiritual natures when they turn to other gay people for sexual expression, and that their true role is to use their combined male/female soul (or even spirit) to teach others the way back to God.

In native American culture, there is the concept of the two-spirits people. These are individuals who we would recognise as gay. The two spirits refers to the belief that these people have a male and a female spirit within, and they often have a special spiritual role within the tribe, that we would call priest.

Perhaps the native American people are recognising what rabbinical literature recognises, and that I have outlined?

A. I have heard this theory before and can see the attraction of it.  There’s a similar story in Plato, though it’s not meant to be taken literally there. However it has several problems for me. If homosexuality reflected some state of divine perfection, as in the archetypal androgynous being, we would expect the majority of gay people to be strongly spiritual, and, though certainly some homosexuals are drawn to spirituality, that isn't the case for most.  We would also expect the divine ideal as manifested in Jesus to be like that, and there is no indication that he was. He may have had certain traditionally feminine characteristics, gentleness, compassion and such like, but these were spiritually expressed not physically or emotionally, and they were within the overall context of strong masculinity.  It's the same with all highly advanced spiritual people, saints and mystics.  They are not androgynous, which if this theory were correct they would be. They are definitely male or female.


To me homosexuality is best explained by the theory of reincarnation, though there may be psychological reasons in many cases as well. But I believe all souls are male or female, created in pairs, and if a feminine soul is born in a male body for whatever reason, karma, lessons to be learned etc, homosexuality may be the result. But this does not make them prototypes of androgyny nor does it legitimise the physical expression of homosexuality. The lesson might be to turn away from sexuality not embrace or explore it, just the opposite to what is happening nowadays. You suggest that yourself.

I see the divine androgyne theory as relating to uncreated spirit but not to the world of creation. It is a symbol expressing an inner spiritual truth in an outer materialised form. God created the two sexes so that love, one being fulfilled by the other, could be known and expressed. He contains everything within himself, of course, though as Creator He is masculine with the whole of creation as His Bride. That may even be a reason for him creating. Outwardly projecting a feminine, receptive side in order to get a wife!

So the two sexes can complete each other in love. That could not possibly be the case with two androgynous beings who would not need this completion and so could not know this love. It’s clear that marriage and sex only make sense in the context of two sexes. A true androgyne, by definition, would have no need of either. They would be meaningless, and so the love and creativity they provide could not be experienced.

So basically androgyny relates to inner consciousness not the expression of a being in form. Spirit not soul. It’s a confusion of levels to think it applies to created beings in their outer expression. We are spirit, soul and body. Spirit, which is our being, may well be androgynous. Soul and body which is our individuality and its outer expression have sexual qualities being either male or female, not both except when things have gone amiss which in a fallen world is always possible.

I believe that some people are born homosexual to push them into spirituality. That is why you find quite a few homosexuals at early and intermediate stages of developing spiritual awareness, but not so many at the latter stages in which all aspects of one's inner being have been brought into balance.

And from personal experience I can confirm that the beings I spoke to were all male except on one memorable occasion when the person who spoke was definitely female, even though this was through a male medium. These beings were fully developed spiritually but they were still men and women or the spiritual equivalents thereof.

So I have to say that I believe homosexuality to be the result of living in a fallen world and not an indicator of future evolutionary attainment. That is why it plays out primarily on a sexual level. If it indicated an advanced spiritual state, homosexuals would be completely self-sufficient sexually and not require any outer completion. But that is clearly not the case.

If you are born homosexual by all means seek a companion but know that love should be pure which means, hard as it may sound, its physical expression should be limited to male and female and the creation of a family. It should, at least, have this potential to be in line with spiritual truth and God’s will for humanity.


To sum up, my feeling is that you should not project spiritual realities pertaining to the uncreated world onto the material plane of creation, which is one of the interaction between polarities. And even on the inner spiritual planes the same rules apply as long as you are talking about conditions in which any kind of expressed duality exists. 

A final point. You say human beings are attempting to regain the androgynous state, but surely the reason for creation was to introduce multiplicity into oneness so that love and beauty and goodness could all be positively expressed? To go back to a pre-creation state of oneness on all levels (though there could be no levels in such a state, of course) takes away the whole point and purpose of creation. We have to see the androgyne as a symbol of undifferentiated spiritual being and not an actually real thing once creation has occurred. Nor is it a suitable symbol for the end point. For the end is like the beginning in some respects, in that oneness is realized, but not like it in others in that differentiation is preserved. That’s why creation and evolution make things better than they were in the uncreated or pre-creation state. We are not aiming to go back to what we were but to advance to something new and higher. There is a purpose to creation, and that is to bring difference into undifferentiated being. Yes, we return to  inner oneness but a oneness which is expressed in multiple ways, through countless individual beings who manifest either masculinity or femininity (as even the Sun and the Moon do) which, in a universe based on polarity, they must. The androgynous state only exists in terms of unmanifested being, but in that state no actual qualities are expressed at all.



10 comments:

Bruce Charlton said...

@William - This is full of wisdom; the fruit of long reflection.

Father Seraphim Rose (born Eugene Rose), was (I believe) one of the most saintly of men in recent decades> He was apparently born with same sex attraction. As a young man he was sexually active. However, when he became Russian Orthodox he became celibate, and achieved great purity and holiness as a monk - later a priest-monk (Hieromonk).

He and another monk, Brother (later Father) Herman, were friends (both same sex attracted), became monks together, and set up a 'skete' - two man hermitage - in Platina, rural California - Herman became the Abbot.

However, sometime around the death of Fr Seraphim, Fr Herman became sexually active, and indeed apparently dishonestly manipulated others (eg inventing false theology to justify the kind of sex he wanted), apparently to gratify this. After persisting, he was stripped of his Holy Orders and expelled from the church.

Two different responses to the essentially same natural constitution and nearly identical circumstances.

It is deeply spiritually hazardous to organise one's life around sex - and the first step on this downward path may be to adopt a 'sexual identity' of the type so much encouraged, praised and rewarded nowadays.

William Wildblood said...

I'm not sure this reads as coherently as I might wish. I wrote it on my phone on the train going to work! But I think it contains everything I wanted to say. The fact is, as you point out, people use all sorts of things to justify their own desires, and as sex is the strongest desire, that is the one for which justification is most sought. Not that I think the questioner is doing that here at all. It's a valid and important question he asks which is why I did a post around it, but there are any number of gurus and spiritual teachers who are caught out in the way you describe with Father Herman.

By the way, I know that androgyny exists in nature in certain forms of life, but only I believe in the most primitive forms is it a viable (i.e. self-reproducing) thing, which backs up the point about it belonging to archaic existence. I mean can anyone really imagine Jesus as an androgyne? Putting the matter like that shows its error more clearly than anything. But my main point would be that God creates not to get back to where he was but to bring about something totally new. So there is no return to androgynous existence which does not mean that it does not exist on the level of pure unexpressed spirit, consciousness in itself you might say, but spirit expresses itself through the law of polarity.

Anonymous said...

"Not that I think the questioner is doing that here at all. It's a valid and important question he asks"

Yes, you are right. I am not messing around, or trying to be rude or destructive. I asked because I knew you would have a well thought out answer. But, of course it is particularly relevant to me.

“though certainly some homosexuals are drawn to spirituality, that isn't the case for most” – As much, or as little as heterosexuals do you think?

“He [Jesus] may have had certain traditionally feminine characteristics, gentleness, compassion and such like, but these were spiritually expressed not physically or emotionally, and they were within the overall context of strong masculinity.”

Perhaps the masculine and feminine uniting in one person is sometimes expressed in a celibate saint or prophet figure, and that it never manifests itself as same-sex attraction in these types. Perhaps the male-female union in one person expressed as same-sex attraction only occurs in people who are not well advanced on the spiritual journey.

“The lesson might be to turn away from sexuality not embrace or explore it, just the opposite to what is happening nowadays.”

Yes, it might well be.

“So the two sexes can complete each other in love. That could not possibly be the case with two androgynous beings who would not need this completion and so could not know this love.”

Continued ....

Anonymous said...

.... Continued from previous

Perhaps the celibate saint is the union of male-female, and the marriage is spiritually internal, freeing the celibate saint to project love towards God and neighbours alike.

“I believe that some people are born homosexual to push them into spirituality. That is why you find quite a few homosexuals at early and intermediate stages of developing spiritual awareness, but not so many at the latter stages in which all aspects of one's inner being have been brought into balance.”

Yes, perhaps, and it is something I have felt for a long time. I also feel that I am male-female in my consciousness, but outwardly and fleshly male. I’ve always identified with men as ‘my group’, and also with women as ‘my group’. I’ve always found I could talk to, and identify with both sexes, whereas I noticed early on that most boys could not do this easily with girls, nor girls with boys. This carries on into adulthood. And it is nothing to do with the current gender changing thing. I suspect that is wrong, and that the gender changers are examples of the male-female-union-in-one-person that I am trying to explain. They are confused, and believe that the answer is to change their bodies, so they can function sexually as the opposite sex. But it is not the body which needs changing, but their spiritual development and full union of the male-female in themselves to be expressed as love for God and neighbour. But, if the gender confused is not advanced on the spiritual path, the male-female union will not be complete, nor expressed properly.

I suppose I am suggesting that the person who is male-female is one who has learned earthly lessons, and is returning to androgyne spirituality, but not as in the first androgyne - Adam, but as in the dead and resurrected androgyne - new Adam, or Jesus.

What I am not saying is that Jesus was gay, but that he might have achieved a true union of male-female spiritually, not felt or expressed as same-sex attraction.

This might have been why he said celibacy was the best way, but marry if you must. Perhaps he knew that only the properly unified male-female person could be a real celibate, because their desire for sex was nil, and their love was an advanced agape, not Eros, which could be turned to God's true work on earth, precisely because there was no same-sex attraction, or opposite-sex attraction.

If I had to place myself somewhere as a male-female-in-one-person spiritually (celibate saint, no same-sex attraction), or materially (same-sex attraction, not a spiritual clue) I would say that I am somewhere between.

As you can see, I am trying to feel my way to self-understanding and a reason for being, a place in the world, and why I might be included in God's plan, instead of just a bad mistake.

William Wildblood said...

I'm on a train(again!) at the moment so I can't respond properly but I just wanted to say thank you for your very interesting comments and also that you are definitely not a mistake. You are clearly searching for the truth in the context of your experience of what you are and that is the most anyone of us can do. What you are is tied up with the particular lessons you are supposed to learn just like everyone else. Mistakes only arise in how you respond to what you are and you seem to be responding in just the right way, thoughtfully and with no attempts at trying to fit truth to what your lower self, for want of a better phrase, might desire.

William Wildblood said...

To address your comments, would it be offensive to suggest that you might be a feminine soul in a masculine body, placed there for reasons of your own evolution? To a believer in reincarnation like myself (and I think you too?), this would be a possibility. It might explain your feelings about being both male and female.

You see, I think your suggestion that the saint, celibate or otherwise, may have united the masculine and feminine within him or herself is only true up to a point. These people would have developed and united masculine and feminine aspects of consciousness within themselves but within the context of their masculinity or femininity so it would not be a question of the whole person being a union of m and f characteristics but only the consciousness aspects of will, compassion, creativity, intuition etc, and ultimately spirit and matter. There would be no question of the individuality being a mix of m and f, the cosmic marriage would've taken place on purely spiritual levels. From my own perspective I can identify feminine psychological traits within myself but I feel completely masculine and have no homosexual tendencies.

Do i think more homosexuals than heterosexuals are drawn to spirituality? Well this would have to be relative to their total numbers of course but I would say more should be so drawn and if they're not it is because modern attitudes have inadvertently actually made it more difficult for gay people to fulfil their spiritual purpose by making it easier for them to manifest their tendencies in society. Not that I am suggesting a return to past bigotry and miscomprehension but a more enlightened view would see homosexuals as called to try to channel their sexual energies into a spiritual expression. I think I am entitled to say this as having done it myself for over 20 years.

William Wildblood said...

When I say more homosexuals should be so drawn I am not saying that heterosexuals should not explore spirituality. Of course everyone should. But some people may be born homosexual to push them away from a normal family life into exploring spirituality more deeply than might otherwise have been the case.

Anonymous said...

"To address your comments, would it be offensive to suggest that you might be a feminine soul in a masculine body, placed there for reasons of your own evolution?"

Not offensive to me, not one bit. But I think many gay men would object. But there again, I have always found that there are distinctly different gay types, and taking your feminine/masculine soul distinction, it may be that the 'butch' types are male souls in male bodies, but the not-butch to feminine types may be female souls in male bodies. I just don't know. But I asked my partner last night whether he ever thought I had female traits. He said yes, not to look at, and not in a camp way, but in my thought processes, and behaviours towards other people. He's right of course.

One other thought. You said you thought that souls were created in pairs. I wondered if it is possible for a pair to inhabit one body. I just can't quite say there is nothing in the Native American two-spirit belief. I think that they may be on to something, but I'm not sure quite what.

And thank you for saying, "that you are definitely not a mistake". You are a good and kind man.

William Wildblood said...

From the gay people I have met I would say there are different reasons for their same sex attraction so what you say above makes sense. The butch types might have some kind of psychological maladjustment (politically incorrect as it may be to say so but then show me someone who isn't psychologically maladjusted in some way, great or small) while the more feminine types might just be in a body of the opposite sex, a very difficult situation for anyone to have to deal with.

No, I don't think you can have two souls in one body except perhaps in cases of possession.

Eric - said...
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