Archive for August 2012

The Stories of the Courtesan Across Cultures and Times   Leave a comment

Chapter 2:  Part A.    Sacred Sexuality and the Three Monotheistic Religions.

Part B.     Zoroastrianism’s influences, Hinduism’s Sacred Sexuality/Sacred feminine

Part C.   Prostitutes.

The first chapter looked, in summary at the beginnings, philosophies and some practices connected with Sacred Sexuality. Obviously times and practices, concepts and outlooks on lives have s#changed considerably, to the point that the idea of sexuality been seen as sacred in parts of mainstream societies, across the world, seems very alien. It also has been  often widely and traditionally reported that at the ouset, believers  in a masculine/monotheistic god Judaism, Christianity and Islam, tried to suppress cultures, thoughts, rituals and practices associated with sacred sexuality and Mother/Female Goddess worship ( http://www.lorrainehutchins.com/newholyerotics discussed how Augustine, an African  Christian theologian in the 4th century CE influenced the dichotomy between mind and body, where the physical body becomes inferior and degraded compared to the spiritual mind. Augustine may have been influenced by some of the Ancient Greek philosophies, which overemphasised the importance of the mind and intellect, rather than seeing a balance between mind and body. In turn this leads to the notion of men being the ‘rational’ norm, with women considered the opposite of this, and so on. With these opposites, we get then the notion of sexuality and sex being inferior to spirituality, thus breaking the link between spiritual and sexuality/mind and body and sacred sexuality with its reverence for the female divine impulse, disaappears. Sex and the philosophy of sex, at least, within the Christian churches becomes degraded.)

But let’s play devils’ advocate- have these three  religions done this: supressed or repressed  or is there actually more to it than meets the eye…..?

Hinduism, for a start,  a religion, with ancients roots,  appears to be the only current major world religion that has the sacred feminine/sacred sexuality practice, still existing   in a  very strong form, now lost to the other spiritual paths.  What happened?   .

There is a religion, slightly,  older than Judaism, known as Zoroastrianism, a religion  of the ancient Iranians,  now practised in parts of India, Europe, North America, New Zealand, parts of East Africa, where many of their descendants, forming a diaspora, have settled (  many , originally coming from India arenow known as Parsis/Parsees, perhaps a corruption of the name Persia name ? )  Zoroastrianism , is said to have had a significant impact on Jewish religious thought, writing, even the alphabet, at a time,   Jewish  people had contacts with the Persians, at a point in  ancient time.  In terms of  a”monotheistic” -leaning religion, Zoroastrianism is certainly one of  the oldest one, of its type. We will explore that later,  as well as looking at Hindusim’s  sacred feminine, as a way to find pieces in the sacred sexuality jigsaw. Also, we should bear in mind  that  these  three religions ( Judaism  , Zoroastriansm and Hinduism, are significant old enough, to be traced from the very edges of pre-history to conscious history ( human history, with oral and written traditions, indicating consciousness and will have much to say about some of the earliest human societies and thought ).

We will start firstly with Judaism, which is slightly younger than Zoroastrianism; Judaism,(using its calendar  ) dates  back to  around 3760 BCE .( National Geographic : Concise  History of World Religions, An Illustrated Timeline). We are currently , at the time of writing (2011) in the Jewish  year of   5772  (www.chabag,org/) .

Judaism is influential in the development of two  other very closely related religions, Christianity and Islam, where adherents from all three faiths are known as “People of the Book”  or”  ‘Ahl Al- Kitab”  in Arabic, and referenced in the Qu’ran , indicating believers whose faith, were considered revealed .( In Judaic tradition, “People of the Book,” (Hebrew: “Am HaSefer ” only refers to Jewish believers and followers of the Torah) .  It can also mean , here, where  these three  religions are classified as “Abrahamic” religions, since the source of the religions can be traced back to/revealed to  Abraham /Ibrahim, whose roots and family  were originally from  ancient Iraqi and were   nomadic -Sumer in Iraq,  considered to be one of the first/oldest  human establishments, in the world, c. 3200, BCE   ( National Geographic ).

Monotheistic religion, at the outset, was a very revolutionary concept, since it was breaking away from the notion that the main inspiration of the Divine was a female energy, and also it focused on one deity, not several deities ,female or male, within a pantheon.

Judaism, as a monotheistic religion, actually forms a bridge between the times when  the ethos of sacred sexuality was extant and that of the  development of monotheistic worship.  Judaism, thus,  at the start was, not surprisingly,  surrounded by sacred sexuality-identified cultures, of fertility rites/cults/goddesses. As a religion, she records early struggles her believers had , between  those fertility cults and “monotheistic impulse, which used a patriarchal vehicle.

Posted August 4, 2012 by zoraidagitana1965 in Uncategorized