a cache of usenet and other text files pertaining
to occult, mystical, and spiritual subjects.


Agape/Love Feasts/Passion

To: Thelema93-l
From: (Hsi Wang Mu)
Subject: Re: Agape/Love Feasts/Passion (Excerpts)
Date: 49950126

Quoting: |anonymous

Do as you please, for that is my Law.


|Agape, according to the Greeks who used this term, is a "brotherly" or 
|"platonic" love, i.e., totally devoid of any sexual/sensual, or should 
|I say, "earthly" connotation. 

Let me quote you something:

"One of the best documented of the sensual heresies was that preached by
Carpocrates, an Alexandrian neo-Platonist (familiar with the *Symposium*,
of course), and his son Epiphanes.  Mosaic law, Carpocrates & Son
contended, was the invention of some rather dubious angels who had created
the world -- the physical world, that is, which is to be escaped by the
initiates in favor of a spiritual realm.  Jesus, as they told it, was
-- despite his Jewish upbringing -- one of a select crowd of notables who
had caught on to how things *really* stood.  He occupied a place in a
distinguished pantheon that included Pythagoras, Plato (of course), and
Aristotle, among others.

"The route to salvation of the Carpocrations was, predictably, 
'experience.'  The believer had to experience *everything* before he could
make the break from the world of the flesh and, if he didn't manage to
get it all in one lifetime, he'd go on being reincarnated until he did.
Now, *everything*, if we discard the limitations imposed by Moses' decalogue,
can be construed to encompass literally a multitude of sins, and Carpocrates
wasn't one to blink this fact aside.  The logical extension of his doctrine,
as reported by his orthodox watchdog, was Carpocrates' claim that 'he would
combat lust by enjoyment of lust.'  Shades of *sakti*!

"After that, the egalitarianism preached by the Carpocrations only accents
the correspondences between Christ's teachings and those of the matriarchal
cults.  All things under the sun were equal: man and woman, rich and poor,
even man and animal.  And -- a recurrent theme in Christianity, as we'll
see -- communism was to be practiced, not only the sharing of property but
of mates as well.  Clement of Alexandria, the Church's resident agent, was
particularly incensed that their love feasts included both sexes.  He knew
what *that* was bound to lead to -- and he was quite right.

"The best description of a Gnostic variant on the Christian Agape comes
from another Church father, describing the rites of a sect called the

	They serve up lavish helpings of meat and wine, even if they
	are poor.  Then, when they have had their drinking-party and
	so to speak filled their veins to satiety, they give them-
	selves over to passion.... The husband withdraws from his
	wife, and says {to her}: 'Rise up, make love with the brother.'
	... When they have had intercourse out of the passion of
	fornication, then, holding up their own blasphemy before
	heaven, the woman and the man take the man's emission into
	their own hands, and stand there looking up toward heaven.
	And while they have uncleanliness in their hands they pray
	... offering the natural Father of the Universe that which is
	in their hands, and saying 'We offer thee this gift, the body
	of Christ.'  And so they eat it, partaking of their own shame
	and saying: 'This is the body of Christ, and this is the
	Passover; hence our bodies are given over to passion and
	compelled to confess the passion of Christ.'  Similarly with
	the woman's emission at her period, they collect the menstrual
	blood which is unclean, take it and eat it together, and say,
	'This is the blood of Christ.'
	...And while they have intercourse with each other they 
	forbid the bearing of children.  For this shameful conduct is
	pursued by them not for the bearing of children but for the
	sake of pleasure....

"Fifteen hundred years before Abbe Dubois!  And Christians, not benighted
Eastern heathens.  There were, quite obviously, those who saw in Christ's
words meanings startlingly different from what has been passed down to
us.  This vein in Christianity by no means ends here."

_Tantric Sex_, by Robert K. Moffett, 
	Berkeley Medallion Books, 1974; pp. 63-4.

|As we survey the Greek terms for love, we find a similar lack of 
|imagination in many of the "love" equivalent words:  "cupitas" (sp?) 
|is the love-lust of sexual obsession or the "crush" or "romantic love" 
|as taught by the trobadours of France in the 14th century (courtly 
|love being the most extreme expression thereof).  

My impression is that this must be compared with the Bhakti yogins
and placed within a very specific context of devotional ekstasis.
The object of the courtly love was quite specifically someone OTHER
than to whom one was married, for example.  I.e. it was never
'consummated' in a physical sense, and yet it was driven to the
heights of madness.

|In order to find the "love" that I feel is appropriate as an expression 
|of Thelema, one needs to go beyond these limiting ideas that are an 
|expression of Platonic thought, idealized forms, etc.  

I cannot now remember where it was, but I was recently reading a rather
informed opinion that what we take today as 'platonic love' or the
'platonic relationship' is not properly considered to be asexual.
Neither, in this light, is the feeling of agape exclusive of sexuality,
though it may sublimate it to deeper connection.

Consider the possibility that what we see of 'Platonic thought' is but
a crude reflection of the original.  I suggest that if we have taken
for our own a conservative translation and interpretation of the
classics then we are perhaps deserving of our cages.

...lust is the seed, the shadow of a passion which may extend into all 
areas of life.  It is at times fostered within the contemplative Christian 
tradition, within the poetic traditions of the sufis (from whom the 
Troubadors got their start) and in the devotional cults of Hindu Bhaktics.

|I am not talking about "free love" or sexual orgies here, though I don't 
|imagine that AC would object.  

Too bad.  My understanding is that such experiences, especially when
engaged diligently, intentionally, and, largely, in a ritual context,
are conducive to just the sort of loving experience of which you seem
to speak below:

|I am talking about a "love" that looks at 
|the beauty, in "body and soul" in others, the love that sees all others
|TRULY as "stars," the love that is not bound to one particular individual 
|but may be bound to many in an ever widening circle, the love that is 
|without limit in depth and expression and yet does not bind to the other 
|as an "object" of love.  This has been called "agape" by some, but I feel 
|that "agape" as a word to express this is an artificial limitation, so
|as to make it more "acceptable" to Old Aeon thinkers.  It removes the 
|"passion" of love to make it viewable on prime time, so to speak.  

I think that the cultural filters of time and circumspection may have
made the view of agape passionless.  I don't think it has always been so,
and to the extent that Crowley and others like him associate with the
tradition of Gnosticism, surely it is not the case when we begin to
speak of the Gnostic 'Agape' or 'Love Feast'.

Free love, right now!

Hsi Wang Mu

The Arcane Archive is copyright by the authors cited.
Send comments to the Arcane Archivist:

Did you like what you read here? Find it useful?
Then please click on the Paypal Secure Server logo and make a small
donation to the site maintainer for the creation and upkeep of this site.

The ARCANE ARCHIVE is a large domain,
organized into a number of sub-directories,
each dealing with a different branch of
religion, mysticism, occultism, or esoteric knowledge.
Here are the major ARCANE ARCHIVE directories you can visit:
interdisciplinary: geometry, natural proportion, ratio, archaeoastronomy
mysticism: enlightenment, self-realization, trance, meditation, consciousness
occultism: divination, hermeticism, amulets, sigils, magick, witchcraft, spells
religion: buddhism, christianity, hinduism, islam, judaism, taoism, wicca, voodoo
societies and fraternal orders: freemasonry, golden dawn, rosicrucians, etc.


There are thousands of web pages at the ARCANE ARCHIVE. You can use ATOMZ.COM
to search for a single word (like witchcraft, hoodoo, pagan, or magic) or an
exact phrase (like Kwan Yin, golden ratio, or book of shadows):

Search For:
Match:  Any word All words Exact phrase


Southern Spirits: 19th and 20th century accounts of hoodoo, including slave narratives & interviews
Hoodoo in Theory and Practice by cat yronwode: an introduction to African-American rootwork
Lucky W Amulet Archive by cat yronwode: an online museum of worldwide talismans and charms
Sacred Sex: essays and articles on tantra yoga, neo-tantra, karezza, sex magic, and sex worship
Sacred Landscape: essays and articles on archaeoastronomy, sacred architecture, and sacred geometry
Lucky Mojo Forum: practitioners answer queries on conjure; sponsored by the Lucky Mojo Curio Co.
Herb Magic: illustrated descriptions of magic herbs with free spells, recipes, and an ordering option
Association of Independent Readers and Rootworkers: ethical diviners and hoodoo spell-casters
Freemasonry for Women by cat yronwode: a history of mixed-gender Freemasonic lodges
Missionary Independent Spiritual Church: spirit-led, inter-faith, the Smallest Church in the World
Satan Service Org: an archive presenting the theory, practice, and history of Satanism and Satanists
Gospel of Satan: the story of Jesus and the angels, from the perspective of the God of this World
Lucky Mojo Usenet FAQ Archive: FAQs and REFs for occult and magical usenet newsgroups
Candles and Curios: essays and articles on traditional African American conjure and folk magic
Aleister Crowley Text Archive: a multitude of texts by an early 20th century ceremonial occultist
Spiritual Spells: lessons in folk magic and spell casting from an eclectic Wiccan perspective
The Mystic Tea Room: divination by reading tea-leaves, with a museum of antique fortune telling cups
Yronwode Institution for the Preservation and Popularization of Indigenous Ethnomagicology
Yronwode Home: personal pages of catherine yronwode and nagasiva yronwode, magical archivists
Lucky Mojo Magic Spells Archives: love spells, money spells, luck spells, protection spells, etc.
      Free Love Spell Archive: love spells, attraction spells, sex magick, romance spells, and lust spells
      Free Money Spell Archive: money spells, prosperity spells, and wealth spells for job and business
      Free Protection Spell Archive: protection spells against witchcraft, jinxes, hexes, and the evil eye
      Free Gambling Luck Spell Archive: lucky gambling spells for the lottery, casinos, and races