Mystical Qabalah

The Mystical Qabalah links the broad elements of Jewish traditional thought with both Eastern and Western philosophy.


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p. 245 – The subtler aspects of sex appear to be entirely lost to the Western world. It must suffice to point out that all the more important aspects of sex are etheric and magnetic. We might liken it to an iceberg, five-sixths of whose bulk is below the surface. The actual physical reactions of sex form a very small proportion, and by no means the most vital portion of its functioning. It is owing to our ignorance of this that so many marriages fail to fulfill the purpose of the welding of two halves into a perfect whole.

Chapter 17

23. Chokmah and Binah, then, represent essential maleness and femaleness in their creative aspects. They are not phallic images as such, but in them is the root of all life-force….[Phallicism] means that everything rests upon the principle of the stimulation of the inert yet all potential [female principle] by the dynamic principle which derives its energy direct from the source of all energy [male principle]. In this concept lie tremendous keys of knowledge; it is one of the most important points in the Mysteries. It is obvious that sex represents one aspect of this factor. [And] it is equally obvious that there are many other applications of it which are not sexual. We must not allow any preconceived concept of what constitutes sex, or a conventional attitude towards this great and vital subject, to frighten us away from the great principle of the stimulation or fecundation of the inert all-potential by the active principle….

24. Such knowledge does not lead to impurity, for impurity implies a loss of control that permits forces to override the bounds that Nature has set them. Who so has not control of his own instincts and passions is no more fitted for the Mysteries than he who inhibits and dissociates them. Let it be clearly realised, however, that the Mysteries do not teach asceticism or celibacy as a requirement of achievement, because they do not regard spirit and matter as an unreconcilable pair of antinomies, but rather as different levels of the same thing. Purity does not consist in emasculation, but in keeping the different forces to their proper levels and in their proper places, and not allowing one to invade another. It teaches that frigidity and impotence are just as much imperfections, and therefore pathologies of sex as is uncontrolled lust that destroys its object and debases itself….

26. Chokmah [male principle] explodes like petrol; Binah [female principle] is the combustion-chamber….

27. Now the expansive force given off by petrol is pure energy, but it will not drive a car. The constrictive organisation of Binah is potentially capable of driving a car, but it cannot do so unless set in motion by the expansion of the stored-up energy of petrol-vapour. Binah is all-potential, but inert. Chokmah is pure energy, limitless and tireless, but incapable of doing anything except radiate off into space if left to its own devices. But when Chokma acts upon Binah, its energy is gathered up and set to work. When Binah receives the impulse of Chokmah, all her latent capacities are energized. Briefly, Chokmah supplies the energy, and Binah supplies the machine….

33. For the most part, the relationship between a man and a woman is not entirely satisfactory to either party, and they have either to put up with incomplete satisfaction in their relationship under the compulsion of religious or economic pressure, or supplement elsewhere their incompleteness, with as a rule a recurrence of the previous conditions when once the novelty has worn off. It is to be observed that under such circumstances it is only in novelty that sexual satisfaction at its highest is to be found; and novelty is a thing which requires constantly to be renewed, with disastrous results to sexual economics.

34. The trouble is, that while the male gives the physical stimulus which leads to reproduction, he does not realise that on the inner planes he is by virtue of the law of reversed polarity, negative, and is dependent for his emotional completeness upon the stimulation given by the female. Hi is dependent upon her for emotional fertilization, as is clearly shown in the case of any highly creative mind, such as Wagner or Shelley….

38. While it is not possible to straighten out a tangled sexual life by operating upon life as a whole – for instance, no amount of wealth or fame is any adequate compensation if this fundamental instinct be thwarted – it is quite possible to straighten out the whole life-pattern by disentangling the sex life.

Chapter 22

18…The Greek hetaira [temple prostitute], or woman whose profession is love, was something very different to our modern prostitute. The Greek kept the simple physical relations of the sexes for his lawful wife, who was secluded in the gynaeceum from harm, and was kept simply for breeding purposes in order that he might have lawful heirs; and she was a woman without education though of good blood, and was not encouraged to render herself attractive or ply the arts of love. Still less was she encouraged to worship the goddess Aphrodite, who presides over the higher aspects of love….

19. The Aphrodite cult was something very much more than the simple performance of an animal function. It was concerned with the subtle interaction of the life-force between two factors; the curious flow and return, the stimulus and the reaction, which plays so important a part in the relations of the sexes, but extends far beyond the sphere of sex.

21. The function of the hetaira was to minister to the intellect of her clients as well as their appetites; she was a hostess as well as a mistress, and to her resorted the philosophers and poets to receive inspiration and sharpen their wits; for it was well realised that there is no greater inspiration to an intellectual man than the society of a vital and cultured woman.

22…This lifted the cult of Aphrodite out of the sphere of simple sexuality, and explains why the priestesses of the cult commanded respect and were by no means looked upon as common prostitutes, although they received all comers. They were engaged in ministering to certain of the subtler needs of the human soul by means of their skilled arts. We have brought to a higher pitch of development than was ever known to the Greeks the art of stimulating desire with film and revue and syncopation, but we have no knowledge of the far more important art of meeting the needs of the human soul for etheric and mental interchange of magnetism, and it is for this reason that our sex life, both physiologically and socially, is so unstable and unsatisfactory.

23 We cannot understand sex aright unless we realise that it is one aspect of what the esotericist calls polarity, and that this is a principle that runs through the whole of creation, and is, in fact, the basis of manifestation.

Fortune, Dion. The Mystical Qabalah. 1935.