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L. Castle


During the dialectical process, while language is being set into the rigid molds of philosophical discipline, there is a tempering medium present which is born of soul; in process it becomes an entity which is no longer soul but spirit, an active principle with a distinct form. This spirit in a woman's philosophy, although conversant with Sophia, need not be inspired by her. The woman's philosophical muse is not feminine, but masculine[1]. The reach is toward the man so that the medium will appeal to the male gender, albeit the art, the philosophy is produced for the woman.

Within the paradigms of the patriarchal Semitic creation myth Eve received her being from Adam, in this context the soul of Eve should be also masculine. There is room for the consideration of Adam's soul having a feminine influence since in the biblical act of creation the appearance of masculinity and femininity appears etymologically in the name Elohim, the masculine plural for the feminine substantive. Both genders exist in the denomination Ben Elohim, and they are present in both potential and act[2].

The difference, other than that which lies in inspirational source, between male and female philosophy is one of target audience. Men write for men within their long tradition. Women write for women, but there is hardly a tradition for this, and so women write with the love of man and the Son of man[3] as their inspiration. In art we hear women's voices in the classical tragedies written by men, and we hear the voices of the female saints sounding through the Renaissance and on into the Reformation. We hear the voices of the steam age poetesses and then after women's suffrage we begin to hear women philosophers.

But philosophy at its very root is a gender biased term. Women are not friends to Sophia as are men. Women are her her lovers, but are the lovers of her divinity, her maternal divinity. Men do not perceive the feminine in the same way as women, their love for the Sacred Virgin is different. In terms of the philosophy of mind, their neuronal storage content is distinct.

The origin of individuated intellectual perception, or the matrix from which this perception is drawn, is that of intuition, and its subtle fire may be manifest to the neuron or it may not, it may be received into the memory as a phenomenal event or remain as a potential. Given memory itself as a potential which is physically alterable by mesmeric suggestion, it is only a step away to talk about physical soul as distinct from metaphysical soul.

Physical soul is the potential to experience soul in the mind and to harbour a memory of this experience[4]. The metaphysical soul is ontological potential which is projected into time. Sophia is at the very heart of metaphysical potential. She stands for everything that wisdom was and all it may become. She is not a semiotic indication of potential, as John Locke and his nominalist forebears would have it, but rather she is the potential in act[5].

The very word in Greek is of female gender, as is the word and the names of all sciences. In this case gender in grammar points out to us the very ontology of being, where Logos, embracing Sophia in all love, moves as it were within her, giving logical form to her flowing presence in the world. The steps of their unity manifest themseles in the different forms which knowledge assumes.

Sexual polarization may be taken as a type of any polarization phenomena. As such it has a correspondence with both the physical and metaphysical categories of magnetism[6]. Monasticism or teleological celibacy is a method of sublimating gender energy. The physical attraction of one sex for the other is forced into an intellectual, and from thence into a spiritual, form. As the poles are separated the magnetic attraction between the two is felt strongly - but only to a certain point. When the separation is made completely the physical attraction is broken and the polarization becomes nonphysical, theoretically releasing this energy for the desired metaphysical end.

Classical Greek homosexuality, Christian monasticism, and Semitic sexual segregation are all varieties of attempts to harness sexual energy for idealistic purposes. Since world populations have everywhere exceeded optimum levels, sexual specialization has decreased and reproductive sexuality as a base for family and society has become less important. As a result there has been an increased interest in sublimated sexual energy generally. The role of gender in respect to social behaviour continues to alter and evolve as relations between genders take on different bases.

When philosophy enters the realms of metaphysics it has the option of becoming more akin to nature than to art. It may abandon language for image. It may then go further and abandon physical time sequence, the ordered sequences of the Father Zeus, for disordered random sequences which pertain to Grandfather Kronos, to the saturnine, and to Rhea who makes men melancholy and sere. Kronos has the same effect on women.

Of the many causes, from material to final, the formal cause includes Rhea herself, the senior wife of banished Kronos, who brings about change by means of time. That is to say that the efficient cause is a time mode in itself. As such, time tends to be cyclical, history tends to repeat, and the best augur of the future is the past, except that the cycle does not repeat istself in the same time mode. It takes the form of an erratic spiral like a galaxy or nebula so that although essences may be cyclical in manifestation their forms are not.

The modes of time are many since even physical time is relative to velocity. Mental time may perhaps be best metaphorized as music, as rhythmic themes which characterize cerebral modes, sprightly or forlorn, or as thematic modes based upon memories of time past. When these tempos based upon the past are taken as efficient causes they must be true to what the passage of time has made them. Thus traditional modes of time may have no consonance with present or with any future based upon this present, but be archetypal reiterations.

Music is momentary in the mind, the fitful tracing of a portal, the causes of its being in the mind, other than direct physical perception, are many. A melody may be triggered from memory by the sound of falling water or leaves swept by the wind. Or a melody may be a mental construct which seeks to tell of a mood, or to construct a mood so as to invoke the deities who rule over these moods or modes. Apollo, and the Apollonian, or else Dionysus and the Dionysian are evokable modes. Inversely music may be a manifestation or indication of an existent mode, may hail the very presence of some divinity.

"Heard melodies are sweet But those unheard are sweeter".

As Keats put it. But the heroic is not sweet.

Leaving the metaphor of music as an alternative to verbal constructs for the inspiration of philosophy, it behoves us to review the relation between metaphysics as a verbal philosophy to metaphysics as a visionary or non- verbal intuitive experience.

The bridge, if we can again lapse into metaphor, from the verbal to the non-verbal imaginal, is two ways, not one way. However, in the masculine tradition, men usually start from their verbal tradition and move toward the imaginal, to intuition, creation, and new evolutionary combinations. It is a difficult bridge for most men, and many are the male thinkers who have never crossed.

Women usually go the other way. They start from the other side, from the stanchion of intuition, from creation, and yes, neoplatonic generation, and arrive at language. Women are more open than men, more receptive. Their intuition is more fertile. This is what traditional minded men who have come to know feminine prowess may well call, "the unfair advantage". Not to be silly, it is clear that access to male divine favor, whether soteriological or inspiratory, is a much to be desired aspect of the feminine.

However, the hot desert sun of accepted theses which awaits us when we have crossed the bridge from the imaginal and intuitive to the verbal, and the grueling comparisons constructed by means of sophisticated logical systems, are very apt to wilt the meadow flowers of intuition which thrive in the nonverbal realms.

For women philosophers to excercise their advantage, the time must be ripe: political time, the need of the masculine for the feminine, and most of all a consciousness of the receptive blending of the various time modes in intuitive meditative states, so that the feminine can create within the traditional male desert a nursery for their ideas and weave them into language or imaginal art.

Beyond the stanchion of intuitive metaphysics where the male wants to go and where the woman has already been, lies another bridge. Both sexes seek to cross this bridge, but now they are no longer sexual beings in that they are no longer gender specific[7]. Again this is a two way bridge and it is the way to religion, to the state of preparation for receiving the presence of entities which are divine or for the figures which lead us by relation to these entities. Once again the way toward the Isles of the Blessed, or the Isle of Avon, or the place of ancestors, or of heroes made sacred is more easily trodden than the way back. However, the way back to intuitive metaphysics from religion is easier than the way back to male verbal philosophy, especially at this time in history when the production of creative philosophy has been so staggered by science.

The perception of reality at the neuronal level is affected by the degree of gender which is brought to said perception. Insights into divine truth are revealed traditionally by the sibyline votaress - Pythia is a woman. Because her revelations flow from the psyche, they do not partake of the unity and equable processes of intellect which are typical of ordered light. The condition of prophecy is precisely the absence of logical mind. At the moment of vision it is not intellect, not ordered sequentially in time, but is indiscrete in time. However, the interpretation of the prophecy and its application to historical process is discrete because the received image must be penetrated and formed by logic if it is going to receive the assistance of coherent final cause.

It might be borne in mind that polarization of gender, where and when it occurs, cannot be understood as a phenomenon in its own right by taking an hysterisized point of view springing from a genderized source. Women cannot bring womanly ethics to the theater of intuitive appreciation, nor can men abandon half of all human kind in a successful quest for transcendence. The process of intuitive perception must be approached holistically and so cannot deviate into ethics.

Pythian reflections bounce as if from flexible mirrors, from wavy psychical waters which are charged with vital, zoonic being. The images move as if in a figure eight, infinitely, or like molecules in Crick and Watson's double helix. The universe is a throbbing, writhing being, perceived by a reflective creature which has propensities for storing the mimetic in time, it blends and copies its environment like a chameleon in order to survive[8]. It percepts the universe by resembling it. Pythia knows this, those who come to her to seek her wisdom to preserve the empire do not.

We know from human psychology that gender in the psyche is not stable, it is a mode shaped by the ethics of reproduction or of the societal role. Gender psychologically is an ever shifting numerical ratio perceivable in archetypal qualities. The old yin and the old yang move upward through time on the I Ching hexagram, exchange postions with their juniors. And although the psychon, which dwells in every cell as its actuating mind, takes on the physiological sex of its host, the psychon is a holonic unit within the sexed physiological being. The polarity of its sexual orientation varies depending upon its position in the body[9].

Gender, once beyond the mundane realm of biology is a mystery, it penetrates the universe, its resonances flow into the very depth of creation and it is a central principle in the becoming of the universe. In the Egyptian myth, the first step in the act of the creation reveals this principle in the form of the first divine couple, Nut and Geb, respectively Sky and Earth. But outside the myth, Earth has no fixed gender, nor does the moon, which mythically inscribes the first concentric orbit beyond the fallen soil on which we place our feet. The mountains of Sinai are the abode of Sin, the Semitic moon god, male. The essence of the chaste and ever renewed virginal, which shuns the male, and which indeed flees from him, finds form in Artemis.

The Egyptian couple construct the first two cosmic mirrors where sky and earth continue to keep the image of the unity of the universe prior to the act of creation by resembling each other, flowing into each other through the air, which after uniting them divides them again. Here the air becomes the medium, the aereal soul, the third element which comes under separate consideration. The visual image for us of this unity is the resemblance of skies in the smooth mirror surface of waters, another medium, another element which reflects the copulative dance of Eros and Psyche seeking their lost unity in the skies[10]. Again it is the reflective surface which we must gaze upon when we leave Plato's cave until such time as we are capable of sustaining energy which is unreflected.

The first dyad became the beginning of the multiplicity of other couples, double beings which inherited the mirror-like qualities of their progenitors[11]. But these mirrors are corrupted by chaotic forces which distort resemblances. When the angle of the mirrors is fixed by hysterisis either ethical or political, the medium which is the soul's intelligence between the two mirrors, ceases to provide a coherent image[12].

However, the generated pairs partake of the same energy as the first divine couple. Mythically among their tasks is that of facilitating the return: to find the way to lost unity, which takes on the conformation of a way, a pathway to the full knowledge of the laws of the universe. At certain moments the fixed image, when it is a compendium of psychic and intellectual powers rather than just a dialectical position, at a monadic point in time, provides a moment of enlightenment, a nirvana beyond Plato's puppet archetypes within the cave.

This is a moment of harmony and unity which banishes chaos so that a magnificent image of the divine cosmos arises. All energies are in unison receiving their proper flow. The two flows of speculation meet and a thousand lotus blossoms bloom above the waters.

This moment though, is short, the flow of Kronos dissolves the mirror images, as if there had never been a oneness. Only the still fixed resemblance remains as a potential in the skies, the last gift of the moment which cannot be erased even by time. There is no point in attempting to re- create or re-live these nirvanic moments except to refresh them in memory, because they in their turn must be created and perceived anew, composed of different elements in different configurations, united only by the sameness of essential harmony.

In this age traditional philosophy has not recovered from the Elightenment's rage against superstition and the exaltation of efficient systems. It has not recovered from 19[ Century Positivism and the insistence on continuing dialectic in which process, busy process, is more to be desired than the end itself.

Traditional positivists are not moved by the final cause as much as the material cause. Their philosophy is like a throw away camera, or a plastic razor, or a guided missile - disposable, with planned obsolescence innate to its design. Essentially Positivism is fashion conscious, doomed to the two dimensional perception of the shadow of the archetype in the cave.

The popularity of Positivist thought coincides with the increasing role of technology in consumer culture. In that Positivism lauds the scientific and abhors the ontic it is objective and masculine. In that the Gaia hypothesis promotes holistic thinking and sees the world as or as totally alive it is feminine. Gender then, may exist in the extended bionic nature of the world as it exists in a formative way in the senior gods. Kronos and his wife Rhea are genderized. They exist as an or as separate essences with varying degreees of harmony.

Incorporating the concept of yang and yin, gender can be understood as light or the absence of light, or in physical terms as the manifesting photon which glimmers phenomenally or the photon in process of exchange which is non- manifest or dark.

Again the feminine is Lethe, the bearer of all forgotten memory which flows in condition prior to any form, and the masculine is the privative of which is revealed truth.

With this understood, the intentions, sources, ends and causes of a feminine philosophy are oriented toward pre-formation, pre-entelechy and pre- geometry rather than to form itself[13].

In our model of the various areas of philosophic thought and the bridges between them we have delineated three areas which have different degrees of difficulty levels in respect to their access. At the apex and eye of this three level hierarchized pyramid we have the religious, below this the metaphysical, and at base the philosophical which includes the pragmatic and empirical theories of physics.

Religion then, whether it links the heavens with the earth or whether it relegates the unruly bodies of men so that society can evolve, whatever its etymological root, may be considered the end and final cause of feminine philosophy in the analagous sense of pre-formation, the dark spring or source of all consciousness. Gender here becomes an analogy and anagogic.

In the traditions of the initiatory mysteries from the Egyptian to the Greek, gender as reproductive sexuality is transcended in the hierosgamos, the sacred marriage, which carries the etymological sense of religion as that which is taboo, or that which is set apart from the norm. All classes of sexual aberration, including the most terrible are experienced beneath the aegis of this initiation. Often these acts are performed literally and are punished by society or by the gods.

Despite the general confusion of these emblematic unconscious stirrings which surface so often to our terror, gender within the hierosgamos, the merging of the sexes, is experienced in the context of a relationship with the divine. All the responsibilites of the matrimonial situation are entailed: loyalty, chastity, constancy-are among the resultant virtues, and each virtue as it is exercised or mediated within a sphere of conscious action becomes a power, inasmuch as power is median and a base.

The tragedy of both Positivism and the exclusion of one gender by another is that the efficient cause of generation is nullified. In the neoplatonic sense of generation as corruptive, the annihilation of that which is generated is to be desired so that a holistic union can be experienced. However, the very nature of holistic union, whether it is that of the pre-geometric formation of being, or of the cessation of time in eternity is dyadic. We are always perceiving that which is other, or being perceived by the other. Being is perception, as Berkeley pointed out, and all perception whether it be participatory, or as a means of worship may, and often must, be genderized.

Lilia Castle - Director of Center of Global Affairs Ass. professor of history and philosohy Chaminade University (Honolulu)


[1] In respect to inspiration, the male's poetic muse is traditionally feminine. She haunts and harries him as in Keat's Belle Dame Sans Merci, she tests him as does Sophia. Poetesses, much to their particular grief, are inspired by men. See the works of Christina Rossetti and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The female philosophical muse is male, inclining toward the soteriological.

[2] See Fortune, Dion (nom de plume of Violet Firth), The Mystical Qabalah, Ibis. New York, 1979. P. 153 (First published in England 1935). "If we want equilibrium instead of our present condition of unequal stresses, we must worship Elohim, not Jehovah"". This of course within the context of Christianity. It will be recalled that in the mythical version of the creation there is a feminine spirit who exists prior to the events in Eden. She is called Lillith, she is characterized vulgarly as a witch.

[3] Son of man is the Judaeo-Christian term for the human being who has evolved from being just man, i. e., the old Adam, the man of the flesh, or a man of the world, into a higher mode of being. The male emphasis is Semitic rather than Greek or ancient Egyptian. "And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee. And the spirit entered into me when he spake unto me, and set me upon my feet, that I heard him that spake unto me". Ezekiel 2, 1-2 (King James translation).

[4] The most common perception of soul is that of falling in love. When the love is over we have a feeling of heartbreak. We feel our soul shattered, and perhaps for the first time we feel what soul is within us. Ben Jonson's to God the Father makes the point: "A broken heart is my best part/Use it to prove therein Thy love".

[5]"We make a distinction between metaphor and intelligible entity, for all is not metaphor. See, Jung, C. G., Mysterium Coniunctionis, Bollingen, Princeton, 1963. P. 258. Psycholgism aside, the concept of the concrete universal as set forth in the work of the British Idealist, Frances Bradley is a combination of the universal in whatever form it takes concurrently with its manfestation. Seen as such there is no distinction between metaphor and act. But here again soul is composed of both potential and act. See: F. H. Ethical Studies. Oxford, 1962 (first published 1876). P. 162.

[6] After Newton theoretically, and Faraday empirically, had shown that electricity and magnetism are varieties of the same class of energy, Mesmer showed that these same principles could be applied to psychology and to healing. The role of the magnetic monopole which is the nonpolarized particle is set out by Beattie and Spavieri in The Magnetic Monopole, http://www.athenapolis.com/ GS MonopoleEntity.htm ...

[7] The hermaphroditic is not polarized by sexuality, it is free to take a median path between the sexes or to bifurcate as part of its progress.

[8] The Australian aboriginal myth of the Great Dreamer who dreams us all and permits us to take part in his dream when we prove ourselves worthy is an excellent illustration of the reflective universe.

[9] R. The Sixth Sense. Harmondsworth. Penguin, 1959 - gives some elucidation of the psychon in the work of Sir. A. Hardy with the British Insititute for Psychic Research.

[10] It is not accidentally that in ancient days people built churches and monasteries by water: the resemblance of a future City of God seen in water coincides with the resemblance in the skies, the way symbolically and visually being through God rather than in any metaphorical agent. Divinity in this sense is prior to any image and dwells traditionally in uncreated light.

[11] "For in a certain respect, the universe is said to be a statue galma from divinity being delighted with it..." The Commentaries of Proclus on the Timaeus of Plato. Trans. Thomas Taylor, Kessinger, South Dakota, Vol. 2. P. 179.

[12] The ontology of gender, its definition, and an approach to its role in religious vision may be found aesthetically set out in the works of V. V. Rozanov. The People of the Moonlight and The Fallen Leaves.

[13] For an aesthetic discussion of essence as pre-geometry see: Frank. The Work of Creation. Coventure Ltd., London, 1985. P. 11.

©СМУ, 2003 г.