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“Love is civilization’s miracle”, wrote Stendhal in his insightful essay on Love.[1]Stendhal, Love, Penguin Classics, 2000, p. 83. He was talking about the high ideal of love elaborated in Western Europe, from twelfth-century courtly love to nineteenth-century romanticism. That ideal is pretty much dead, buried under the heaps of obscenities produced industrially every day by our degenerate sub-culture. As the fish stinks by the head, so is the Jeffrey Epstein scandal a good indicator of the current state of rot of the Western Eros.

It is also emblematic of the role of Israel (I mean International Jewry) in the moral corruption of our once Christian civilization. Jews have always excelled as sex trafficking. As documented by Hervé Ryssen in “Israel and the White Slave Trade,” it was not a “Russian Mafia” that lured about 500,000 young women from Eastern Europe into worldwide prostitution networks during the 1990s, but ethnic Jews with Israeli citizenship. A 2000 Amnesty International report identified Israel as the central hub of this traffic, in which unsuspecting young girls were sequestrated, beaten, raped, enslaved and mentally destroyed.

Pornography, a specialization of prostitution, is almost a Jewish monopoly. Professor Nathan Abrams of the University of Aberdeen broke the taboo in 2004 with an article in the Jewish Quarterly (reprinted in a collection of essays titled Jews and Sex):

“there’s no getting away from the fact that secular Jews have played (and still continue to play) a disproportionate role throughout the adult film industry in America. Jewish involvement in pornography has a long history in the United States, as Jews have helped to transform a fringe subculture into what has become a primary constituent of Americana.”[2]“Triple exthnics: Nathan Abrams on Jews in the American Porn Industry,” Jewish Quarterly, vol 51, n°4 (2004), pp. 27-31.

The expression “secular Jews” is a convenient euphemism. Porn journalist Luke Ford, author of A History of X: 100 Years of Sex in Film, likewise insists that the business is run by “non-Jewish Jews,” by which he means “Jews alienated from Judaism.” He writes in his essay “Jews in Porn”:

“Jews participating in the sex trade are not behaving Jewishly. They’re acting in a manner contrary to everything Jewish—the Torah, Israel, God, synagogue and everything the Jewish tradition considers holy.”

We’ve heard that line before: Jewish Bolsheviks were not Jews either, because they didn’t behave Jewishly. In this article, I will try to show that, just like Jewish Bolsheviks, Jews who abduct, enslave, sell, torture, or even sacrifice ritually Gentile girls are behaving much in accordance with the Torah. I insist: with the Torah, not just with the Talmud.

32,000 shikses and other biblical stories

The Torah forbids the Israelites, under penalty of death, to “have intercourse with an animal” (Exodus 22:18)—although I’ve heard the Talmud is more lenient—but there is not a trace of a prohibition to exploit sexually young Gentile girls. On the contrary, there is Moses’ blessing upon it.

In Numbers 31, Moses ordered his men to slaughter all the Midianites, because they had persuaded the Israelites to intermarry with the Moabites. Moses’s soldiers killed all the men but took “the Midianite women and their little ones captive.” Moses “was enraged with the officers of the army” and rebuked them: “Why have you spared the life of all the women? They were the very ones who […] caused the Israelites to be unfaithful to Yahweh.” He compromised: “So kill all the male children and kill all the women who have ever slept with a man; but spare the lives of the young girls who have never slept with a man, and keep them for yourselves.” At the end of the day, the booty amounted to thousands of sheep, goats, cattle, donkeys, “and in persons, women who had never slept with a man, thirty-two thousand in all.” Since no age is specified, and since girls were married very young in nomadic societies, we can guess that the 32,000 girls taken as human booty were mostly children. Nothing is said of their fate, but the very criterion of their selection (having never slept with a man) leaves us in no doubt about their utility. They were certainly not taken as wives, since the whole story is about the prohibition of marrying non-Jews. So we have here, I think, an unmistakable biblical precedent for the sexual enslavement of Gentile girls on a massive scale.

Incidentally, such narrative informs us on the logic behind the rule of transmission of Jewishness by the mother. This rule, never explicit in the Torah, has nothing to do with any particular respect for women. It follows directly from the fact that sex with foreign girls is lawful, as long as any bastard thus conceived is kept outside of the community (Deuteronomy 23:3). The opposite situation needed not be considered: by biblical standards, a Jewish woman having sex with a Gentile would be stoned to death, before giving birth.

Unless, of course, she was acting for a higher purpose. Wealthy Jews such as the Rothschilds, although highly endogamous, have often married their daughters into aristocratic families.[3]According to Hilaire Belloc, “with the opening of the twentieth century those of the great territorial English families in which there was no Jewish blood were the exception” (The Jews, Constable & Co., 1922, archive.org, p. 223). The biblical prototype, in this case, is Mordecai’s niece Esther, who, by marrying the Persian king, saved the Jews from Haman’s evil scheme. The story—Netanyahu’s favorite—ends happily with the Jews slaughtering 75,000 Persians, men, women and children, after which “the various peoples were now all afraid of the Jews” (9:2), and “Mordecai the Jew was next in rank to King Ahasuerus” (10:3). Esther is the archetypal Jewish heroin who marries a Goy for the sake of the Jews.

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Some rabbinical tradition claims that Esther was not only Mordecai’s niece, but also his wife, whom he had sent into the bed of the king of kings. In that case, Mordecai was following the example of Abraham. Married to his half-sister Sarah (his father’s daughter), Abraham introduced her as his sister to Pharaoh who took her as a concubine, then compensated Abraham with “flocks, oxen, donkeys, men and women slaves, she-donkeys and camels” (Genesis 12:16). Abraham repeated the trick with the Philistine king Abimelech and got again “sheep, cattle, men and women slaves” (Genesis 20:14).

Such stories do not convey much reverence for women, but rather betray a utilitarian and mercantile view of women. The story of how Jacob married the two daughters of his uncle Laban (Genesis 29) is also representative. Jacob asks for Rachel as “wages” for seven years of work for Laban. But he is duped by Laban who slips Leah into his bed at night instead of Rachel. Jacob has to work seven more years to get Rachel too.

One story that shows an even more sinister view of women is found in Judges 19. A Levite from the highlands of Ephraim travels to Bethlehem in Judah with his concubine, and stops in the Benjaminite city of Gibeah, where he receives the hospitality of an old native from Ephraim.

“While they were enjoying themselves, some townsmen, scoundrels, came crowding round the house; they battered on the door and said to the old man, master of the house, ‘Send out the man who went into your house, we should like to have intercourse with him!’ The master of the house went out to them and said, ‘No, brothers, please, do not be so wicked. Since this man is now under my roof, do not commit such an infamy. Here is my daughter; she is a virgin; I shall bring her out to you. Ill-treat her, do what you please with her, but do not commit such an infamy against this man.’ But the men would not listen to him. So the Levite took hold of his concubine and brought her out to them. They had intercourse with her and ill-treated her all night till morning; when dawn was breaking they let her go. At daybreak the girl came and fell on the threshold of her husband’s host, and she stayed there until it was light. In the morning her husband got up and, opening the door of the house, was going out to continue his journey when he saw the woman, his concubine, lying at the door of the house with her hands on the threshold. ‘Get up,’ he said, ‘we must leave!’ There was no answer. He then loaded her on his donkey and began the journey home. Having reached his house, he took his knife, took hold of his concubine and cut her, limb by limb, into twelve pieces.” (19:22-29).

The Levite sent the pieces to different Israelite towns with a call for vengeance against Gibeah. The Israelites slaughtered everyone in Gibeah and set the city on fire, while six hundred Benjaminite warriors had escaped into the desert. Then, as a token of reconciliation, they decided to provide these Benjaminites with new wives. For this, they attacked the town of Jabesh in Gilead, where they killed “all males and all those women who have ever slept with a man,” but gathered four hundred virgins to offer the Benjaminites (21:10-24 ).

The way the Levite and his host offer their concubine and daughter for rape is reminiscent of the story of the two daughters of Lot (Abraham’s nephew), who are also proposed by their father (Genesis 19) to the Sodomites who wanted to “have intercourse” with the two “messengers of Yahweh” accommodated by Lot. “Look,” said Lot, “I have two daughters who are virgins. I am ready to send them out to you, for you to treat as you please, but do nothing to these men since they are now under the protection of my roof’” (Genesis 19:8). The Hebrew for “messengers” is malachim in Hebrew, translated as angeloi in Greek, and although these “messengers of Yahweh” are understood as “angels,” they might have been Levites in the original story. In this case, Lot’s daughters were saved by the “angels” miraculously blinding the Sodomites so that “they could not find the doorway” (double meaning?).

Later on, Lot’s daughters got their father drunk to conceive with him Moab and Ben-Ammi, ancestors of the Moabites and Ammonites (Genesis 19:31–38). That brings us to the main purpose of Israelite women: provide male heirs to their husbands. There are numerous examples in the Bible highlighting this absolute imperative. For instance, when Rachel found herself barren while her elder sister Leah had already given Jacob four sons, Rachel asked Jacob to unite with her servant Bilha, who gave him two sons as Rachel’s substitute. Then “Leah, seeing that she had ceased to bear children, took her slave-girl Zilpah and gave her to Jacob as concubine” (Genesis 30:9).

In biblical anthropology, there is no other immortality for a man than through his male offspring. From that derives a man’s duty to substitute for a brother who died without a son. In Genesis 38, after the death of his son Er, Judah asked his other son Onan to sleep with his sister-in-law Tamar “to maintain your brother’s line” (Genesis 38:8). Onan was reluctant to do so—he gave his name to “onanism”. Finally, Tamar dressed as a prostitute and slept with her father-in-law. Without her, there would have been no tribe of Judah. Tamar and Ruth exemplify the second type of Jewish heroin, who commits incest or adultery to save the clan or the tribe from extinction.

All these stories are pretty consistent in their representation of women and sexuality. Women have two functions: sex slaves if they are non-Jewish, and reproductive mates if they are Jewish. It would be hard to find any exception. The only biblical book that strikes a different note is the Song of Songs; but it is probably not of Israelite origin, and was only adopted in the Hebrew corpus in the first century of our era, due to an allegorical interpretation of Rabbi Akiva, who sees in it a symbolic declaration of the love between God and his people, although God is never mentioned. At any rate, its poetic eroticism does not rise above the comparison of love with drunkenness.

The Queen of Heaven

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Having outlined the “anthropology of Eros” implicit in the Tanakh, we can turn to its theology, with the understanding that theology and anthropology mirror each other. The general mentality and attitude to love, sex and women in any given civilization is reflected in—and influenced by—its mythology. India, for example, has a rich erotic mythology: the Kalika Purana tells how Brahma created Dawn, radiant of youth and vitality, and himself succumbed to her charms.[4]Heinrich Zimmer, The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul’s Conquest of Evil, 1948.

Nothing of that sort can be found in the Bible. Yahweh is a male god who abhors not only every other god, but goddesses as well. His feminine nemesis is Asherah. Her name appears forty times in the Tanakh, either to designate and curse the goddess, or to designate her symbol in the form of “sacred poles”. The Books of Kings report that Asherah was sometimes worshipped alongside Yahweh in Judea, and there is corroborating archeological evidence: inscriptions asking the blessing of “Yahweh and his Asherah,” dating from the eighth century BCE, were found in the ruins of Kuntillet Ajrud (the Sinai Peninsula).[5]Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, 3rd ed., Wayne State University Press, 1990, p. 34. But from the point of view adopted by the scribes, Asherah worship is an unbearable abomination. The Judean king Manasseh is loathed for having “set up altars to Baal and made an Asherah [sacred pole] … in the two courts of the Temple of Yahweh” (2 Kings 21:2–5), whereas his grandson Josiah is praised for having removed Asherah’s symbol from the temple and “burnt it, reducing it to ashes and throwing its ashes on the common burial-ground” (23:6).

Throughout Antiquity, most civilized peoples worshipped a great goddess, and generally agreed to identify her with the great goddesses worshipped under other names by other peoples. From the third millennium BCE, the Sumerians had worshipped the goddess Inanna, whose name may mean “Lady of Heaven”. She was associated to the planet Venus, the morning star, whom Greeks would call lightbearer, which, very significantly, was latinized as Lucifer. She became known to the Assyrians as Ishtar, who was herself known as Astarte in the Phoenician city states of Sidon, Tyre, and Byblos, and identified with the other Syrian goddess Asherah. No cult was more syncretic, and all these goddesses merged under the title of “Queen of Heaven”. It can be argued that the worship of the great motherly Goddess fostered the sense of the universal brotherhood of men, in a way that no male divinity could do. Perhaps that is why Yahweh hated Asherah so much.

The Birth of Venus, by Botticelli (1485)
The Birth of Venus, by Botticelli (1485)

Under King Josiah, Yahweh complains to his prophet Jeremiah that the Israelites continue to worship the “Queen of Heaven”: “The children collect the wood, the fathers light the fire, the women knead the dough, to make cakes for the Queen of Heaven; and, to spite me, they pour libations to alien gods” (Jeremiah 7,18). We read in Jeremiah 44 that, after the Babylonians took Jerusalem, Judeans who had fled to Egypt persisted in their abominable worship of the Queen of Heaven. Yahweh tells them that the destruction of Jerusalem was their punishment for these “wicked deeds … offering incense and serving other gods” (44:2-3). He threatens them with complete extermination if they persist: “Why bring complete disaster on yourselves … by provoking my wrath by your actions, … as though bent on your own destruction and on becoming a curse and a laughing-stock for all the nations of the earth?” (44:7-8). Unimpressed, the rebellious Jews respond to Jeremiah:

“We have no intention of listening to the word you have just spoken to us in Yahweh’s name, but intend to go on doing all we have vowed to do: offering incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring libations in her honour, as we used to do, we and our ancestors, our kings and our chief men, in the towns of Judah and the streets of Jerusalem: we had food in plenty then, we lived well, we suffered no disasters. But since we gave up offering incense to the Queen of Heaven and pouring libations in her honour, we have been destitute and have perished either by sword or by famine” (44:16-18).

True to the jealous god he is serving, Jeremiah claims that it is precisely for having sacrificed to the Queen of Heaven that the Judeans were punished with the Babylonian army. But history proves him wrong: Manasseh’s 55-year reign, when Asherah was worshipped inside the Jerusalem temple, was an exceptionally long period of peace and prosperity, while Josiah brought disaster to Judea by his policy of exclusivism and provocation toward Babylon.

In the Hellenistic period, most great goddesses were identified to the Egyptian Isis, whose cult radiated from Alexandria across the Mediterranean Basin. Isis became known as the “myrionyme” goddess (“of ten thousand names”). In Apuleius’s novel The Golden Ass, she calls herself “Queen of Heaven” and “the natural mother of all things,” and declares: “my divinity is adored throughout the world, in divers manners, in variable customs, and by many names.”

Isis is a nourishing mother, for she taught the cultivation of wheat and the making of bread to the Egyptians, who taught it to the Greeks.[6]George Foucart, Les Mystères d’Éleusis, Picard, 1914 (on archive.org). Joseph Campbell notes that the Goddess is specially dear to sedentary agrarian societies, but not so to pastoral nomads, probably because “life in the desert doesn’t leave you feeling terribly grateful toward the Mother Goddess.”[7]Joseph Campbell, Goddesses, “Chapter 1: Myth and the Feminine Divine”. As a matter of fact, Yahweh doesn’t like vegetal offerings, and rejected Cain’s offering for that very reason. He also finds the incense offered to the Queen of Heaven “repellent” (Jeremiah 44:21). What he liked was the “pleasing smell” of animal and human holocausts.

Isis is also the goddess of love. After her husband Osiris was murdered and dismembered by his jealous younger brother Seth, she gathered the pieces and, through her lamentations and prayers, brought Osiris back to life. She then conceived with the revived Osiris a son, Horus, who would return as an adult to complete the deliverance of Osiris by taking vengeance on Seth and reign over Egypt. This is the timeless story of love’s triumph over death—the only love story worth telling. It is akin to the tale type known to folklorists as “Beauty and the Beast”, in which the sacrificial love of a woman heals the heart of a dead man, or breaks the spell put upon him.[8]Laurent Guyénot, La Mort féerique. Anthropologie du merveilleux, Gallimard, 2011, p. 318. But it also incorporates the redemptive virtue of vengeance, found for instance in Shakespeare’s Hamlet, in which the king is murdered by his brother and avenged by his son.

The Virgin Mother Mary

In the early centuries CE, Artemis was the name of the universal goddess in Ephesus (now in Turkey), where her gigantic temple was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. She was referred to as “the Mother of the gods”, although Christians called her “mother of the demons”. We read in the Acts of the Apostles (19:23-28) of a “serious disturbance” in Ephesus, when “a silversmith called Demetrius, who provided work for a large number of craftsmen making silver shrines of Artemis,” complained about Paul’s preaching:

“‘This threatens not only to discredit our trade, but also to reduce the sanctuary of the great goddess Artemis to unimportance. It could end up by taking away the prestige of a goddess venerated all over Asia, and indeed all over the world.’ This speech roused them to fury, and they started to shout, ‘Great is Artemis of the Ephesians!’” (Acts 19:23-28)[9]As usual, I quote the New Jerusalem Bible, but here, I have restored the name of Artemis, whom the translators had replaced by Diana.

Although the author of Acts belittles the Ephesians’ concern as purely economic, this was a religious conflict. It lasted several centuries, and in 401 the Temple of Artemis was burned by Christians. Thirty years later, the Eastern Roman emperor Theodosius II convened at Ephesus a council, at which the title Theotokos was officially bequeathed to the Virgin Mary. And so Artemis was given back to the Ephesians, only under a different identity. The pilgrims who had converged to Ephesus for centuries to pay homage to Artemis could now pray in front of the same statues and walk the same torchlight processions. Mary naturally became known as the Queen of Heaven, an attribute symbolized by her crown of twelve stars, recalling the zodiac which Artemis wore as a necklace.

Madonna del Granduca, by Raphael (1505)
Madonna del Granduca, by Raphael (1505)

In Egypt, Libya, Italy and Gaul, Mary merged perfectly with Isis, and the figure of Mary shedding tears at the foot of the cross echoed the lamentations of Isis. The crucified and resurrected Jesus made an excellent avatar of Osiris, who was used to absorbing other heroes and gods—for instance Antinous in the 2nd century CE. As for Horus, known to the Greeks as Harpocrates (from the Egyptian Har pa khrad, “Horus the child”), he was transformed into the figure of the Infant Jesus. In the Egyptian myth, Horus is conceived at the spring equinox, the time of harvest, and his birth is celebrated every year at the winter solstice. Isis hid Horus to protect him from the evil uncle whom he was destined to overthrow as king of Egypt, just as Mary hid Jesus—in Egypt precisely—to save him from King Herod who feared for his throne (Matthew 2). The representations of Isis with little Horus on her knees are believed to have influenced Christian art.

Isis lactans
Isis lactans

In a mostly illiterate society, it may seem fairly simple to convince a majority of people that the Mother of God and Queen of Heaven that their ancestors had worshipped was in fact the mother of a Jewish Messiah. Syncretism was, after all, in the very nature of the Goddess. But Christianization met strong resistance, among the aristocratic elite especially. The Christian version of the Goddess was frustratingly reductive: her exclusive human incarnation restricted her universal significance, and she lacked some aspects of femininity. Although Mary is “full of grace”, there is a limit to Marian mysticism: Eros is out of the question. Finally, the Virgin Mary is hardly a nurturing mother in the agrarian sense.

At any rate, it was not before the 12th century that the cult of Mary was firmly established in Western Europe. Bernard de Clairvaux (1090–1153) was the main promoter of this cult in France, and the first to call her “Our Lady” (“Notre Dame”). All the Gothic cathedrals from then on were consecrated to her. Yet in the South of France, many “Black Madonnas” produced as late as the 13th centuries are thought to have been made for Isis, rather than Mary. And even after the triumph of the Gregorian Reform in 1215 (Fourth Council of the Lateran), the ancient cult of Isis seems to have continued to irrigate secretly Western civilization, as an underground stream. We are now going to follow this stream until its resurgence in the romantic movement of the 19th century.

The courtly tradition of fin’amor

We should not imagine Western medieval society as immersed in a homogeneous Catholic faith, with only a few heretical groups at the fringe. As I have argued in a book based on my doctoral thesis, we get a more accurate idea of ​​medieval civilization if we consider that it has two distinct and antagonistic cultures: there is on one side the Latin culture of the clerics, with a near monopoly on the written word, and on the other, a rich culture in vernacular languages, mainly oral but leaving us enough written material from the 12th century. Unlike clerical culture, which is written in prose and concerned with doctrinal orthodoxy, lay culture is mostly narrative and poetic. It is of aristocratic origin, but permeates popular layers. In its highest expressions, such as Chrétien de Troyes’s masterpieces, it excels in polysemy and symbolism. Although we may call it “secular”, it possesses its own religiosity, which includes ideas about the world of the dead completely at odds with Christian doctrine.

Aristocratic non-clerical culture values love as the source of the greatest spiritual joy, and therefore cannot conceive of Paradise without it. Some poems sarcastically reject the loveless Christian Paradise: the male protagonist of the 12th century poem Aucassin et Nicolette, threatened with Hell by a cleric if he persists in loving Nicolette, answers that he prefers Hell, if that is where those who value love, chivalry and poetry are destined to go. In Guillaume de Lorris’s Roman de la Rose (1225-1230), the narrator dreams himself in a wonderful garden with a Fountain of Love and the most beautiful woman he has ever seen. According to specialist Jean Dufournet, we find in this work “the elements of a very strong spiritual current that make the protagonist an emulator of the mystics.” The god Amor who strikes the narrator’s heart may be a poetic hypostasis, but he poses as a competitor of the Catholic God of asceticism and virginity; incidentally, Amor is Roma in reverse.

These notions played a crucial role in the tradition known today as “courtly love”, first formalized in the troubadours’ poetry in Aquitaine, where the duchess Alienor (1122-1204), granddaughter of the first troubadour, introduced it to the court of her first husband, the King of France, then to that of her second husband, the King of England, where it combined harmoniously with the Celtic traditions of Wales and Britain, to produce for example the fairy lays of Marie de France or the Arthurian romances of Chrétien de Troyes.

As its name indicates, the fin’amor required the refinement or the crude sexual impulse. In the central episode of Chrétien de Troyes’s Erec and Enide, Erec meets a lovely damsel in a paradisiac garden magically protected, but must fight the terrible red knight who keeps her prisoner. Erec wins the fight, and learns that it is in fact the red knight who was prisoner of his lady, and is now free. Erec also learns that the lady was Enide’s cousin, and he can now celebrate with Enide the “Joy of the Court” (La Joie del Cort). When we know the cryptic codes of Chrétien de Troyes, and particularly his taste for puns and his habit of duplicating characters as brothers or cousins, we understand that, not only the two women are one, but the red knight is also the double of Erec himself, his dark, impulsive, side. It is therefore against himself that Erec must fight in order to experience the “Joy of the Heart” (La Joie del Cor in Old French) with his lady.

In his memorable essay Love in the Western World (originally published in French in 1938, revised in 1952, and followed in 1961 by Essays on the Myths of Love), French author Denis de Rougemont sought to understand the intricate relationship between the erotic and the religious in the tradition of the troubadours and their romantic heirs. He recognizes that this poetry is fundamentally religious, but foreign and opposed to Christianity. Because it developed at the same time (12th century) and in the same region (Occitania) as Catharism—sometimes even the same castles[10]Denis de Rougemont, Love in the Western World, Princeton UP, 1983, p. 84.—De Rougemont tried to link the two, but most historians have rejected his hypothesis of the troubadours’ secret Catharism. A simpler explanation for the proximity of the two traditions is the climate of religious tolerance that existed in the South of France before the Albigensian Crusades (1209-1229).

Whatever the case may be, De Rougemont has highlighted the fact that the Dame of the troubadours often appears an ideal, distant, almost intangible figure. Her name is generally kept secret, and when it is not, it suggests an allegorical fiction rather than a historical person: a good example is Geoffrey Rudel (12th century), who, “after long being in love with the image of a woman he has never seen, beholds her at last after a sea passage and dies in the arms of the Countess of Tripoli as soon as she has bestowed upon him a single kiss of peace and a greeting.” De Rougemont also notes that the stereotyped character of the troubadours’ poetry gives the impression that they all love the same Lady.[11]Denis de Rougemont, Love in the Western World, Princeton UP, 1983, pp. 91, 97.

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De Rougemont finds here an argument in support of his thesis that the Western experience of passionate love, “invented” by the troubadours, is an illusion, a lie: when the lover thinks he is loving a woman, he is, in fact, loving an ideal woman that doesn’t exist. But perhaps that ideal woman did exist, in the troubadours’ mind. Perhaps they believed that to love a woman perfectly is to perceive and worship the immaterial Goddess through her. From a Platonic perspective, the Idea is more real than its manifestations on earth, and for the medieval poet, as for the medieval philosopher, visible realities are always the symbol and the sign of more essential, invisible truths (Étienne Gilson, The Spirit of Mediaeval Philosophy, 1922). From that perspective, the psychological phenomenon that Stendhal called “crystallization”, which makes the beloved appear glowing with all perfections, takes on a very different meaning. Love does not lie; simply, its truth is not of this world.

Dante and the Fedeli d’Amore

Our fragmentary knowledge of the troubadours’ tradition does not allow any certainty about their underlying philosophy. There is no conclusive evidence of a religion of the Goddess encrypted in their art. But the love poetry of their immediate successors, namely Dante Alighiery (1265-1321), Petrarch (1304-1374) and Boccaccio (1313-1375), is much more illuminating. All are from Florence, a city where many Occitans took refuge after fleeing the Frankish crusaders and the Roman Inquisition.[12]Philippe Guiberteau, “Dante, Guido Cavalcanti et les Épicuriens de Florence,” Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé, n°3, octobre 1969, pp. 349-368, www.persee.fr/doc/bude_0004-5527_1969_num_1_3_3070 Literary critics have often wondered if the ladies to whom they addressed their most beautiful verses (respectively Beatrix, Laura and Fiametta) were real or archetypal women. Each of them was allegedly encountered during Holy Week, and died shortly after, so that the poet addresses her as a disembodied creature, living in Paradise where she transforms herself into Divine Light. Her lover then takes the title of pilgrim, and undertakes a spiritual journey to reach her.

What we think we know about Dante’s Beatrice comes exclusively from Boccaccio, who wrote fifty years later a commentary on the Divine Comedy. But Boccaccio had his own reason for claiming that Beatrice was a real woman. Dante’s poems are enigmatic, and the poet urges his readers to find the hidden meaning in his verses: “Men of sound intellect and probity, weigh with good understanding what lies hidden behind the veil of my strange allegory” (Inferno, IX, 61-63). Luigi Valli published in 1928 a book that made a great impression on thinkers like René Guénon, Julius Evola or Henri Corbin: Il linguaggio segreto di Dante e dei “Fedeli d’amore”.[13]Valli’s research was extended by Alfonso Ricolfi in Studi sui “Fedeli d’amore”, Soc. Anonima Dante Alighieri, 1933-1940. Formerly had appeared an article by Gabriele Rossetti (1832) discussed by Étienne-Jean Délécluze, in “Dante était-il hérétique ?” Revue des Deux Mondes, tome 1, 1834, pp. 370-405, on fr.wikisource.org. Also worth reading in French is Philippe Guiberteau, “Dante entre l’Église et l’hérésie,” Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé, n°21, déc. 1962, pp. 460-489, on www.persee.fr, and Eugène Aroux, Dante, hérétique, révolutionnaire et socialiste, 1854. The “faithful of love” mentioned by Dante may have been a circle of poets, artists and philosophers, mainly Florentines, sharing highly heterodox religious conceptions, and a hostility to the new world order imposed by the Roman Church. These poets, writes Valli, made their love feelings “a material for expressing mystical and initiatory thoughts […] in a symbolic love language.”

The key to Beatrice’s cryptic identity in the Divine Comedy is provided by Dante in an earlier book titled Vita Nuova (The New Life). Here Dante first introduces “my mind’s glorious lady, … she who was called by many Beatrice, by those who did not know what it meant to so name her” (the name Beatrice means “she who confers blessing”). Nine times in his life, Beatrice appeared to him, Dante says. The first time, Beatrice “greeted me so virtuously, so much so that I saw then to the very end of grace.” For Beatrice’s “greeting”, Dante uses the Italian word saluto, which is close to salute, “salvation”. Beatrice’s saluto, says Dante, fills men with repentance, humility, forgiveness, and charity—hardly the qualities of the ordinary lover.

“In her eyes my lady bears Love,
by which she makes noble what she gazes on:
where she passes, all men turn their look on her,
and she makes the heart tremble in him she greets,
so that, all pale, he lowers his eyes,
and sighs, then, over all his failings:
anger and pride fleeing before her.
All sweetness, all humble thought
are born in the heart of him who hears her speak,
and he who first saw her is blessed.”

Beatrice is the essence of feminine grace and virtues, manifested in all women: “my lady came into such grace that not only was she honoured and praised, but through her many were also honoured and praised.” In several passages, Dante indicates that when he is sensitive to the charm of real women (Beatrice’s friends, for example), it is Beatrice that he sees through them: “They have seen perfection of all welcome / who see my lady among the other ladies.”

Dante seeing Beatrice through other women, as painted by Marcel Rieder in 1895
Dante seeing Beatrice through other women, as painted by Marcel Rieder in 1895

We need not take the cryptic nature of Dante’s message as a form of “esotericism”, as did René Guénon (The Esoterism of Dante, 1925). In those times, crypsis was necessary for any non-suicidal heterodox thinker. A close friend of Dante, Cecco d’Ascoli (1269-1327), was accused by the Inquisition of “speaking badly” of the Catholic faith and burnt at the stake, and Dante himself came under suspicion.

With some exaggeration perhaps, Robert Graves wrote that, “The purpose of poetry is religious invocation of the Muse,” whom he also called the White Goddess and the Mother of All Living.[14]Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (1948), Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1966 , pp. 4, 24. Painters and sculptors have also devoted much effort to capturing and communicating the essence of feminine grace. The aesthetic experience, according to Schopenhauer, means getting lost in the contemplation of the Platonic Idea behind the phenomenon, thus escaping the cycle of unfulfilled desires. Surely Yahweh’s second commandment not to make “any image of anything” (Exodus 20:4) has much to do with the absence in Hebrew culture of any reverence for woman.

Two centuries after Dante, another Florentine genius, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), would give us a portrait of the Goddess under the name Mona Lisa. Just like for Dante’s Beatrice, scholars say they know her identity. Lady Lisa (Mona is a diminutive of Madonna, or Ma Donna) is said to have been the wife of a rich merchant who commissioned her portrait to the painter, who was then at the height of his glory. But the painting respects none of the codes of the portrait of the time (lack of jewelry, for example). And Leonardo worked on it uninterruptedly for ten years, with extraordinary devotion, religiously superimposing thousands of layers of paints and varnish of extreme thinness. He never parted from it until his death at the court of François 1st. Many have suspected, correctly I believe, that this painting is not the portrait of a lady, but the icon of the Lady, Donna l’Isa (Isa being a variant of Isis). The black veil that can be seen rejected on her left shoulder is a reference to the famous veil of Isis that “no mortal ever raised,” mentioned by Plutarch.

Romanticism and the Divine Sophia

According to Julius Evola (Metaphysics of Sex, 1934), Dante’s Beatrice, Petrarch’s Laura and Boccaccio’s Fiametta all symbolize Wisdom or Gnosis, the divine source of enlightenment. This is consistent with Dante’s admiration for Boethius, whom he places in Paradise. In his Consolation of Philosophy (524), Boethius told how, while awaiting death in the jails of King Theodoric, he had been visited by Philosophia in the form of a majestic woman, and entrusted his soul to her, without a hint of Christian faith.

Technically, philosophia is the love of Sophia, Wisdom. The divinization of Sophia is a very ancient tradition. It survived in Christian Byzantium, as the very name of the basilica Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) bears witness. The tradition has even persisted in the fringe of Russian Orthodoxy. Philosopher and poet Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900) experienced mystically the divine Sophia in the form of a celestial female being who made him feel that “All was one, a single image of womanly beauty” (Three meetings). Unfortunately, Solovyov’s attempt to reconcile the Trinitarian doctrine with the platonic notion of Divine Wisdom met with opposition in the Orthodox hierarchy.

Why would Wisdom be a woman? From a theological viewpoint, if God is seen as masculine, it makes sense that Wisdom, the intermediary principle that brings the world into being, be viewed as feminine. But from a psychological viewpoint, the question is: why would the Goddess, as the idealization of femininity, be associated to Wisdom? Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard has an answer: he saw a connection between the birth of nascent love in the heart of the adolescent and the blossoming of what he calls “Ideality”. This is one of Kierkegaard’s central insights, and it could be formulated in the following way: Sophia touches a man’s soul at the same time as Eros touches his heart. Both are complementary aspects of the same divine grace. If one is not sown, the other cannot blossom to its full potential. It follows that to defile the image of woman in the mind of adolescents through mass pornography, is to raise generations of men devoid of ideality.

Kierkegaard, who renounced marrying the woman he loved in order to cultivate his genius, wrote in In Vino Veritas (1845):

“It is through woman that ideality is born into the world and—what were man without her! There is many a man who has become a genius through a woman, many a one a hero, many a one a poet, many a one even a saint; but he did not become a genius through the woman he married, for through her he only became a privy councilor; he did not become a hero through the woman he married, for through her he only became a general; he did not become a poet through the woman he married, for through her he only became a father; he did not become a saint through the woman he married, for he did not marry, and would have married but one—the one whom he did not marry; just as the others became a genius, became a hero, became a poet through the help of the woman they did not marry.”

This dilemma is at the heart of the romantic or heroic conception of love. Love aspires to fusion and permanence, but only survives through separation and instability, and sometimes reaches perfection and immortality through death. This is best illustrated by the German poet Novalis (1772-1801), who first coined the term “romanticism.” In his Hymns to the Night, Novalis evokes his young fiancée Sophie von Kühn, whose death triggered his poetic gift, exactly as Beatrice did for Dante. As he was shedding tears on Sophie’s tomb, she appeared to him:

“through the cloud I saw the glorified face of my beloved. In her eyes eternity reposed. I laid hold of her hands, and the tears became a sparkling bond that could not be broken. Into the distance swept by, like a tempest, thousands of years. On her neck I welcomed the new life with ecstatic tears. It was the first, the only dream, and just since then I have held fast an eternal, unchangeable faith in the heaven of the Night, and its Light, the Beloved.”

Scene from Romeo and Juliet, by Lucy Madox Brown (c. 1880)
Scene from Romeo and Juliet, by Lucy Madox Brown (c. 1880)

“I have for Sophie religion, not love,” commented Novalis. Sophie became for him the Goddess. Gérard de Nerval (1808-1855), the emblematic French romantic poet, gave another beautiful expression of this theme in his last novel Aurélia (he was found dead soon after finishing it). As the narrator gets convinced by some sign that his death is near, he falls sick and, in his delirium, sees a woman of supernatural beauty, whose body grows until embracing the whole cosmos. She bears the features of Aurelia, the love of his youth, whom he had lost by some tragic misunderstanding and who, he will learn later, had just died. In another dream, she tells him she has been with him all the time: “I am the same as Mary, the same as your mother, the same as all the forms you have always loved.” And so the narrator concludes:

“I set my thoughts on the eternal Isis, the mother and the sacred wife; all my aspirations, all my prayers were confounded in this magical name, I felt reviving in her, and sometimes she appeared to me under the figure of the ancient Venus, sometimes also in the features of the Virgin of the Christians.”

Conclusion

The romantic ideal of love as a mystical encounter with the eternal feminine, or the Goddess, has had a very profound influence on European culture. Naturally, an ideal is never fully attained. Perhaps it is only approached by a blessed few, an aristocracy of love. Yet it glitters in the sky for all to see, and it attracts like a magnet the collective soul. Certainly, the ideal is the source of much disillusion and suffering, as De Rougemont insisted and as the romantic poets knew. But, as Byron said, “sorrow is knowledge.”

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Conversely, the absence of ideality in relationship to love in the Hebrew tradition has had a profound influence on the Jewish mind. The main reason why romanticism is foreign to Jewish culture is that there can be no truly romantic conception of love without faith in the immortality of the soul, and Jewish anthropology is fundamentally materialistic (read my article “Israel as One Man”). It is therefore no surprise that romanticism has been regarded with contempt by most Jewish intellectuals. Moses Hess judged it “decadent,” preferring Jewish novels, since “the Jews alone had the good sense to subordinate sexual to maternal love.”[15]Moses Hess, Rome and Jerusalem: A Study in Jewish Nationalism, 1918 (archive.org), pp. 82, 86. He admits, however, that Jewish writers are perfectly capable of imitating romanticism, like anything else.

The enthusiasm of the Jewish cultural elites for Freud’s theory may be seen in the light of this “clash of cultures”. Kevin MacDonald (A Culture of Critique, ch. 4) explains it by an inherited Jewish culture where love was seen “as an invention of the alien gentile culture and thus morally suspect.”[16]Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, Praeger, 1998, p. 125. Otto Rank’s idea that Jews had a more primitive, and therefore healthier sexuality (“The Essence of Judaism,” 1905) was widely shared among Freud’s disciples. Which makes John Murray Cuddihy argue, in his very insightful essay The Ordeal of Civility, that Freud’s theory of sublimation resulting from repression came straight from the shtetl Jews’ inner struggle over integration: “In psychoanalysis, the ‘id’ is the functional equivalent of the ‘Yid’ in social intercourse.”[17]John Murray Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and the Jewish Struggle with Modernity, Delta Book, 1974 (on archive.org), p. 23. Sexual liberation became a new version of the messianic ideal of universal redemption by the Jews, the “light of the nations.” And as we know, in practice, the Jewish way to save the nations is to defile their most sacred values—their gods, and, above all, the Goddess.

From the 1930s, American Jewish authors found in the theories of Freud and his Jewish disciples the justification for assaulting the romantic ideal and challenging the obscenity laws, as Josh Lambert shows in Unclean Lips: Obscenity, Jews, and American Culture (I quote from the free pdf of his doctoral dissertation, of which the book is a rewriting). Ludwig Lewisohn, “the most prominent Jewish writer in interwar America,” is a case in point. He had been analyzed briefly by Freud, and was a close friend of Otto Rank. Like Rank, Lewisohn liked to “portray traditional, unassimilated Jewish sexuality as uniquely healthy.” He also shared Wilhelm Reich’s ideas (The Mass Psychology of Fascism, 1934), that anti-Semitism is a symptom of sexual frustration and can be cured by liberating the Gentiles’ libido (a message echoed in Herbert Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization, 1955 , as well as in Theodor Adorno’s The Authoritarian Personality, 1950). So did Isaac Rosenfeld, who said: “I regard anti-Semitism as a symptom of a serious, underlying psycho-sexual disease of epidemic proportion in our society.” According to Josh Lambert,

“Much of the sexual utopianism and amateur sexology that appeared in the fiction and essays of Norman Mailer, Saul Bellow, Allen Ginsberg, and Isaac Rosenfeld in the 1940s and 1950s elaborated upon Reich’s attempt to cure the sexual ills of all of Western civilization, and, in so doing, to relieve Jews of their role as scapegoats.”

In their endeavor to elevate obscenity to the status of art, Jewish authors received the active support of Jewish lawyers and judges. “Jews participated in these obscenity trials not only as defendants, but also in key juridical roles,” writes Lambert, citing Jewish Supreme Court justices Benjamin Cardozo, Louis Brandeis, Felix Frankfurter, Arthur Goldberg, and Abe Fortas.[18]Joshua Lambert, Unclean Lips: Obscenity and Jews in American Literature, University of Michigan,
2009, pp. viii, 67-68, 166, 20.

In 1969 Philip Roth unleashed his novel, Portnoy’s Complaint, the confession of a sex-obsessed American Jew, who lusted after the shikses as a teenager (“My circumcised little dong is simply shriveled up with veneration. . . . How do they get so gorgeous, so healthy, so blond?”), before securing a blond shiksa for himself, whom he nicknamed The Monkey. “Hating Your Goy and Eating One Too,” is how the narrator describes the experience, making the following confession to his psychiatrist:

“What I’m saying, Doctor, is that I don’t seem to stick my dick up these girls, as much as I stick it up their backgrounds — as though through fucking I will discover America. Conquer American — maybe that’s more like it.”

For Roth/Portnoy, “America is a shiksa nestling under your arm whispering love love love love love!”[19]Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint, Random House, 1969, p. 235, 146, quoted in Lambert, Unclean Lips, op. cit., pp. 190-192. Roth is not the only American-Jewish novelist sharing this vision of American society as the shiksa, in other words, a sexual object to be screwed .[20]Leslie Fiedler, “The Jew in the American Novel,” in The Collected Essays of Leslie Fiedler, vol. 2, Stein and Day, 1971, pp. 76, 83, quoted in John Murray Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility, op. cit., p. 62.

And this should not be mistaken as the traditional Jewish resentment against Christianity. It is not “Christian values” that are attacked with extreme violence by hollywoodism, pornography, psychoanalysis, feminism, homosexualism and anti-LGBTQphobia, not forgetting modern art; it is the Western tradition of love, the miracle of our civilization. This cultural assault is the enduring manifestation of Yahweh’s ancient rage against the Queen of Heaven. Blessed are those Jews who turned their back on Jeremiah’s sociopathic god and found comfort in the Goddess instead. We need them more than ever.

Modern art in Place Vendôme, Paris, 2014
Modern art in Place Vendôme, Paris, 2014

Laurent Guyénot, Ph.D., is the author of From Yahweh to Zion: Jealous God, Chosen People, Promised Land … Clash of Civilizations, 2018, and JFK-9/11: 50 years of Deep State, Progressive Press, 2014.

Notes

[1] Stendhal, Love, Penguin Classics, 2000, p. 83.

[2] “Triple exthnics: Nathan Abrams on Jews in the American Porn Industry,” Jewish Quarterly, vol 51, n°4 (2004), pp. 27-31.

[3] According to Hilaire Belloc, “with the opening of the twentieth century those of the great territorial English families in which there was no Jewish blood were the exception” (The Jews, Constable & Co., 1922, archive.org, p. 223).

[4] Heinrich Zimmer, The King and the Corpse: Tales of the Soul’s Conquest of Evil, 1948.

[5] Raphael Patai, The Hebrew Goddess, 3rd ed., Wayne State University Press, 1990, p. 34.

[6] George Foucart, Les Mystères d’Éleusis, Picard, 1914 (on archive.org).

[7] Joseph Campbell, Goddesses, “Chapter 1: Myth and the Feminine Divine”.

[8] Laurent Guyénot, La Mort féerique. Anthropologie du merveilleux, Gallimard, 2011, p. 318.

[9] As usual, I quote the New Jerusalem Bible, but here, I have restored the name of Artemis, whom the translators had replaced by Diana.

[10] Denis de Rougemont, Love in the Western World, Princeton UP, 1983, p. 84.

[11] Denis de Rougemont, Love in the Western World, Princeton UP, 1983, pp. 91, 97.

[12] Philippe Guiberteau, “Dante, Guido Cavalcanti et les Épicuriens de Florence,” Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé, n°3, octobre 1969, pp. 349-368, www.persee.fr/doc/bude_0004-5527_1969_num_1_3_3070

[13] Valli’s research was extended by Alfonso Ricolfi in Studi sui “Fedeli d’amore”, Soc. Anonima Dante Alighieri, 1933-1940. Formerly had appeared an article by Gabriele Rossetti (1832) discussed by Étienne-Jean Délécluze, in “Dante était-il hérétique ?” Revue des Deux Mondes, tome 1, 1834, pp. 370-405, on fr.wikisource.org. Also worth reading in French is Philippe Guiberteau, “Dante entre l’Église et l’hérésie,” Bulletin de l’Association Guillaume Budé, n°21, déc. 1962, pp. 460-489, on www.persee.fr, and Eugène Aroux, Dante, hérétique, révolutionnaire et socialiste, 1854.

[14] Robert Graves, The White Goddess: A Historical Grammar of Poetic Myth (1948), Farrar Strauss Giroux, 1966 , pp. 4, 24.

[15] Moses Hess, Rome and Jerusalem: A Study in Jewish Nationalism, 1918 (archive.org), pp. 82, 86.

[16] Kevin MacDonald, The Culture of Critique: Toward an Evolutionary Theory of Jewish Involvement in Twentieth-Century Intellectual and Political Movements, Praeger, 1998, p. 125.

[17] John Murray Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility: Freud, Marx, Lévi-Strauss, and the Jewish Struggle with Modernity, Delta Book, 1974 (on archive.org), p. 23.

[18] Joshua Lambert, Unclean Lips: Obscenity and Jews in American Literature, University of Michigan,
2009, pp. viii, 67-68, 166, 20.

[19] Philip Roth, Portnoy’s Complaint, Random House, 1969, p. 235, 146, quoted in Lambert, Unclean Lips, op. cit., pp. 190-192.

[20] Leslie Fiedler, “The Jew in the American Novel,” in The Collected Essays of Leslie Fiedler, vol. 2, Stein and Day, 1971, pp. 76, 83, quoted in John Murray Cuddihy, The Ordeal of Civility, op. cit., p. 62.

 
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