Sexual Mysticism by Offa Whitesun
“A man and a woman are one. A man and a woman and a blackbird are one.” Carl Jung was apparently besotted with this stanza from Wallace Stevens’ poem ‘Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird’. This strange passage expressed, for Jung, something of the secret and intimate symbolism that exists within a relationship between a man and a woman. Within an erotic relationship between a man and a woman a sort of unity is achieved through the correct fusion of the complementary genders. And within this unity there is a secret, intimate language of symbolism, typified for Jung in Stevens’ symbol of the blackbird. The man and woman become reborn into a new world where they exist as a unified, and higher, personality which establishes a new symbolic language.
This way of viewing the sexual union between male and female may seem somewhat idiosyncratic, but it is not unique to Jung. It was expressed with perfect mystical understanding by D.H. Lawrence in ‘The Rainbow’. In the chapter ‘Anna Victrix’, Lawrence describes Anna and Will Brangwen spending the first few days of their honeymoon in their cottage, doing nothing much but lying in bed: “As they lay close together, complete and beyond the touch of time or change, it was as if they were at the very centre of all the slow wheeling of space and the rapid agitation of life, deep, deep inside them all, at the centre where there is utter radiance, and eternal being, and the silence absorbed in praise: the steady core of all movements, the unawakened sleep of all wakefulness. They found themselves there, and they lay still, in each other’s arms; for their moment they were at the heart of eternity, whilst time roared far off, for ever far off, towards the rim.” This brilliant piece of prose captures the feeling of the individual self-contained persona becoming dissolved in a sense of timelessness through its deep connection with another, so that both transcend to something higher.
In philosophic terms we might say that insofar as the individual remains a self-contained, discreet unit, then he is concealed; insofar as he participates in the universal, and transcends his individuality, he is revealed. In these terms, sex is one key to revealing the higher reality and participating in the universal. Precisely because it is able to achieve this powerful sense of liberation, sex can be subject to a high degree of control. In Traditional societies the sanctification of marriage through a religious ceremony was a way of directing the purpose of sexual union to a higher level than the merely aesthetic and procreative. Sex would then be a method of revealing the universal. Indeed, for most people, sex is the only experience of Magick that they will have in their lives.
Whilst Lawrence described the dissolution of the limited egotistical self, W.B. Yeats described a different sort of dissolution: the breaking down of all order that has become characteristic of the Kali Yuga.
“Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world”
The centre cannot hold. This is one of the great spiritual truths of the age. All of us have become less self sufficient, less autonomous, more contingent in modern times. We have all, at some level, become subject to the great, unconscious, centrifugal force that operates on the mass of humanity, and against which it is the duty of all of us to rebel. This centrifugal force pulls us away from our connection to higher, supernatural, forces and allows entropy to set in. It is a force that tends towards decay and disorder; it impels the dissolution of bonds, including the bond between man and woman. Whereas the movement described by Lawrence (and hinted at in Jung’s interpretation of Stevens) is one of dissolution of the lower, egotistic self prior to transcendence in a higher union, the movement of the Kali Yuga, as described by Yeats, is that of dissolution of all ordered structures and creations in subservience to entropy. In the Kali Yuga oaths and bonds become meaningless and we become more and more attached to our own appetites, and thus further concealed within our limited, lower selves. The power of the sexual union of male and female derives from the fact that it uses nature to transcend nature.
In the present age the spiritual union of man and woman, sanctified by sexual union, has become an anachronism, tolerated as a lifestyle choice, rather than compelled as the foundation of spiritual awakening. All sorts of sexual relations, all manner of perverse desires are encouraged. Men dressing as women, women dressing as men, both acting like children; children dressing like prostitutes, homosexuals adopting children, children having ‘gender realignments’: everything is permitted, nothing is forbidden. All of this is encouraged by the government; in fact, resistance is often illegal, due to ‘hate’ legislation. And, however much spokesmen for the establishment might bleat about ‘rights’ and ‘tolerance’, we should view this state of affairs for what it is: a direct attack on our ability to presence the numinous in our daily lives. Those who support the degradation of the modern world are severing us from our gods and selling our children for profit. This bleak state of affairs is necessary and inevitable, just as night follows day.
It might be objected that the specific sexual relationship being discussed here, that is, a relationship between a man and a woman, is in fact no more likely to achieve spiritual fulfillment than any other; that in the modern world of ‘gay marriages’ it should be perfectly possible for two men, or two women, to have a spiritually fulfilling sexual relationship. Why should a traditional heterosexual relationship be seen as (potentially) more spiritually fulfilling than any other? We must consider the fact that it is increasingly easy for homosexuals to pursue their activities nowadays, and that since its legalization homosexuality has been increasingly tolerated by society and has come to be accepted as a natural part of life. This will inevitably lead to an increased sense of contentment and a happier lifestyle for homosexuals. Discrimination is outlawed and tolerance is enforced. It is no wonder that more and more young people will be attracted to this way of life. But acceptance and happiness are not relevant to the matter at hand. We are discussing here the possibility of a higher expression of the Self. Any activity that strengthens the appetite of the lower self places an obstacle in the way of the higher Self’s expression. The homosexual way of life is similar to the heterosexual promiscuous lifestyle, in that the appetite of the individual self, the ego, is allowed to master the deeper, more resonant Being who dwells hidden within. The conquest of the ego is a step towards the appearance of the hidden god within.
The excesses of the present time are all beginning to come home to roost. As we fall deeper there will be further excesses and a greater sense of emptiness lying at the heart of it all. This feeling of emptiness will create a longing for meaning; a yearning for something more. When the time is right this yearning for the meaningful will outweigh the desire for sensory satisfaction, and the wheel will turn again. In such a context the Avatar is expected to appear.
These are the end times, the days of the Kali Yuga, foretold centuries ago. In the Voluspa, the Seeress foresees “mighty whoredom” in the days preceding Ragnorok. The older Vishnu Purana says of the Kali Yuga: “passion will be the sole bond of union between sexes…and women will be the objects merely of sensual gratification.” These are the times we are living through now. For many of those who do not live in Traditional societies (e.g. nearly all Westerners) sex has become a form of entertainment, divorced from the concepts of childbirth, fidelity and responsibility. We are encouraged by the media, advertising and peer pressure to see sex as a merely aesthetic pastime. Here, it is worth remembering that the word ‘aesthetic’ refers to sensory perceptions, which are shared by all animals. The higher, human, purpose of reaching toward the numinous, as described by Lawrence, is now forgotten. When this purpose is forgotten chaos ensues.