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#196830 - 10/24/05 11:09 AM Androgeny
Foolsgold Offline
Veteran

Registered: 09/02/04
Posts: 1635
Loc: South Lyon, MI, USA
Before you read this, I'd like to point out that my intent is not to start a flame war about the differences in the sexes, gay marriage, or any superiority or inferiority of any kind. I have no doubt that you guys will understand my wishes on this.

I've been thinking about something lately. Zen (as I understand it) is the path of coming to one-ness, simplifying everything to its pure form. If it were to be summed up in a phrase, I would call it "returning to one".

In pagan culture, the peak of one's spiritual life could be found in the act of sexual intercourse. The key behind this was the return to androgeny. The dualism of nature is seen throughout many cultures (the yin and yang symbol reflect this best), usually in a positive light. (The only other mentionable case is when it differentiates between good and evil.) The two parts are complementary; they complete the other, being incomplete themselves.

This brought me to the subject of marriage, union, whatever you would call it . This is another constant seen throughout history (not exactly hindered by the genetic need to reproduce either). Through the union of two fundamentally different yet complementary creatures, the progeny is created. Harmony ensues (just kidding! ).

How much does zen have to do with this return to the state of androgeny? (Read: The union of the male and female halves.) Is it impossible to come to terms with oneself without entering a complementary relationship with the opposite sex? Are we, as individuals, complete?
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#196831 - 10/24/05 11:22 AM Re: Androgeny [Re: Foolsgold]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:

In pagan culture, the peak of one's spiritual life could be found in the act of sexual intercourse.



you may be confusing this with Hedonism....either way, sign me up!

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#196832 - 10/24/05 11:35 AM Re: Androgeny [Re: Foolsgold]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
Whew. Big questions.

The marriage of halves, external and internal. Seeing the world in duality, replete with symbols and institutions that mirror this perception, then the logical idea would be to try to reunite these halves. So, we get religions and institutions that reflect this...such as the institution of marriage (never mind the economic and social benefits) and religions that acknowledge the female principle. So, trying to come to 'oneness' via union (on different levels).

There is a concept of the individual acknowledging themself as a whole, and again, by dealing with their own internal archetypes (sp?) there is the visualizing of an internal Divine Lover.

Here is a practice for you. Sit on a hilltop and look at the sky. Do you experience oneness...no division between awareness and all of nature surrounding you? It is a pretty common experience available to anyone at anytime. Is that experience for you 'androgeny'? The point is, by subscribing to a paradigm of duality, in effect you limit yourself. Starting at the point that there is no duality, then everything is whole and 'just is', and there is no need to subscribe to any path...at all.


Edited by harlan (10/24/05 02:05 PM)

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#196833 - 10/24/05 03:02 PM Re: Androgeny [Re: Kintama]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
Quote:

Quote:

In pagan culture, the peak of one's spiritual life could be found in the act of sexual intercourse.




The witches sabbath did indeed culminate with a union with nature to show the understanding that humans are no different to other animals, and still accountable to mother earth.

It often involved the symbolic dressing as animals, but was not an escape from gender, more an escape from the idea of man as a superior creature.

The old idea of a 'witches broom' being used as transport is incorrect. Originaly they were phallic symbols, and used as some modern ladies may use a discreet item they may keep in a bedroom drawer (they were even carved with detail.

Sex and feasting were a big part of pagan culture, and subsequently became some of the biggest sins in the conquering christian religion. The Devil with horns and a tail? only because the leader of the Sabbath would dress as a stag and be the physical human embodiement of Mother Nature's husband.

Pagan ceremonies happened around yew trees. Go to the oldest christian churches in Britain, they will have an old yew tree in their grounds. Easter, Christmas, All Hallows eve- all matched to the times of pagan festivals.

The systematic destruction of a culture through clever manipulation and desecration of its rituals and culture.

Nothing to do with zen, but interesting, and strangely sad IMO
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#196834 - 10/24/05 04:01 PM Re: Androgeny [Re: Cord]
Kintama Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 04/17/05
Posts: 2724
Loc: Massachusetts
ah. that does sound a bit different from Hedonism. I had no idea how cool Pagans were.

sorry for the duality of topics....

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#196835 - 10/24/05 04:11 PM Re: Androgeny [Re: Kintama]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
I am just sorry I couldnt actually relate it to the question asked, but I still dont quite get what zen actualy is, even after all the time I spend posting on this forum . Just nice to pass a bit of usefull info on instead of sitting scratching my head at the profundities before me


Edited by Cord (10/24/05 04:13 PM)
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#196836 - 10/24/05 04:13 PM Re: Androgeny [Re: Kintama]
harlan Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 07/31/04
Posts: 6664
Loc: Amherst, MA
You mean...Are? Many self-proclaimed 'pagans', 'neo-pagans', etc. these days. Frankly, every college town is rife with them...and it is pretty tiring to hear some dumby talk about 'goddess' this and 'goddess' that, spouting 'New Age' philosophy...and all the while it is really just about 'getting lucky'. I seriously doubt that many modern pagans are becoming 'enlightened'...more likely 'getting lightened' from their cash via hucksters and sexual opportunists.

Zen, even with the few scammers out there, seems a whole lot clearer.


Edited by harlan (10/24/05 04:14 PM)

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#196837 - 10/24/05 04:18 PM Re: Androgeny [Re: harlan]
Cord Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/13/05
Posts: 11399
Loc: Cambridge UK.
I agree Harlan. Many who claim to be 'pagans' merely cherry pick bits of an ancient culture that appeal to them. There is good information out there, and their are genuine followers of pagan beliefs. They are seldom the dreadlocked students spouting Environmental issues around universities however.
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Don't let the door hit ya' where the good lord split ya'
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#196838 - 10/24/05 11:22 PM Re: Androgeny [Re: Cord]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia


This reminds me of a book I read a long time ago; can't remember title, about test-tube babies.

The premise was because test-tube babies (if at all possible) will have no soul because it is not a product of a 'true & natural' sexual union. It is just a 'being' not a human being.

In Zen terms perhaps, it may have Yang (matter) but no Yin (spirit)

If you take away any one side of the Yin/Yang symbol, the single half remaining seems lost and incomplete and appears to be swimming around 'searching' for the other half.
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#196839 - 10/25/05 01:23 AM Re: Androgeny [Re: Foolsgold]
Alicia Offline
Member

Registered: 03/19/05
Posts: 222
Loc: BC, Canada
"In pagan culture, the peak of one's spiritual life could be found in the act of sexual intercourse."
-Foolsgold.

This is true in age old religions such as Hinduism. It's interesting that this notion is completely opposite in newer religions, such as Christianity.
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"If someone asked me what a human being ought to devote the maximum of his life to, I would answer: training. Train more than you sleep."
~Mas Oyama~

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