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  waying a high play
gary e. davis
April / September 2016 / May 2020

Classical Greeks had a notion of hieros gamos or hierogamy: “holy marriage” (holy + -gamy, as with monogamy, bigamy) through divine wedding. Though divine potential for marital individuation belonged to the gods and goddesses, It could be mirrored by embodied life through potentials of—as they put it—the marital bed. Thus, mere mortals could allegorize (sacredly ritualize) their interfamily contracts as eternally special.

According to those in the know, fertility of the gods and goddesses “caused” fertility of the land; so, divination of the marriage “caused” fertility of the woman—which was not only a discreet public account of profoundly mysterious sex, but also expressed sacred importance of commitment for the sake of stressless pregnancy and being reliable parents for children who were needed for agrarian labor and inheritance.

Divination was archetropal value theory. “In light of reiterated beauty, let us sanctify our commitment to staying true to each other, for all that matters, lastingly,” let’s say. Through enspiriting themselves with divinity, they engendered.

Cultural evolution led to greater individuation of the partnership: royal exemplarity, folklores of romance. Binding one’s sense of engagement to divinity was not only normatively good; it also allowed for idealization of self and interpsychal relations.

First century CE gnosticism emancipated the marital bed into possibly a “bridal chamber” (there arose a “bridal theology” in Valentinian gnosticism) such that there might be marriage to one's heavenly counterpart.

Sophiana brought the gods to Earth: The word made flesh could become the sacred made erotic. Divine radiance of gravity was not just appeal to which one may give oneself, but an incarnation of one’s soul with ecstasis—being to oneself highly more than oneself: SelfS draws self into potentially high individuation that enowns the divine. Not only is “the kingdom of heaven within/among younormatively; it can be awingly generative for soul, spirit, mind, creativity...

Outer marriage was distinguished from an Inner Marriage (romanticism) that is wholly “ours”—no mere participation in gods’ observing graces (theologized normativity), nor warranted by “God”’s endowment of grace through a priest whose concealed, private self-confidence originates from a frenzy of awe in the face of cosmic mystery that “we” are not allowed to understand.

I’m oversimplifying, of course: Erotic romance is as old as human desire, because Psyche was always Eros—self was always Self/soul—for as long as there has been
“the mating mind” of humanity (which, by the way, is a matter of intelligent selection; we outgrew natural selection—in principle at least—as creative minds made life cult-ural). But inevitable soul (psychal marginalization by sociocentric centrifugality) is
less than deliberate pursuit of soulful heights (centripetal individuality). There arose “...‘world love,’ a profound and vital erotic investment by a human being in the cosmic surround,” writes feminist literary analyst Kaja Silverman.

An ethos of Sophiana expresses a primordial psychal desire for gynandry, allegorized in the romance of essential belonging together that echoes having been wedded in a previous life. Thus, folklore is deeply affected by incest myths, expressing intimacies of divine singularity, longing for gynandry as belonging to our primordial nature:
Isis and Osiris (Egypt); grandchildren of Adam and Eve whose incestuous marriage led to Noah—and what about Adam and Eve themselves? The Greek gods are awash with incestuous lineage. Zeus got it right, maybe: We’re all born from Khaos, the abyss of dark night’s great mystery, so belonging to The Night is like a goddess owning intelligibility unstolen by the god of The Light.

This evolves beyond the gods as modern romance—commonly tragic, because living, embodied psychal evolution has no godly exemplars except literary minds—which have been archetropally pessimistic about human ingenuity: Orpheus and Eurydice are doomed by his distrust. Tristan and Iseult are compelled to live in secret transgression, and True Love is forced to weather too much. Abelard and Heloise— professor and student—succumb to accident and diabolical friends (which is echoed, perhaps, in the 20th century’s Heidegger and young Arendt, undone by his marriage and European anti-Semitism). Romeo and Juliet: mixed messages under crossed stars. Troilus and Cressida: awash in irony (self-undermining fate of too much tragedy).

Yes, True Love without transgression crashing into normality or ideality turned into irony is a steep learning curve that requires escaping death to master the liminal game of Protean Marginality Meets Ordinary Need To Survive. Wisdom of audacious Sophiana includes staying alive to keep wholly flourishive life possible.

An aspiration of all loves belongs to Her: high self formation, great romances, high intimacy, long sojourning of partners, and literary philosophical mind. (What else is there? Well, yes: love of the days, deep friendship, sacredness, parenting, and
of course, academic loves).

May there be a “meeting of minds”—exhilaration!—in gynandrous synergy of protean flourishing: all sensibility (receptive) with all intuitability (responsive); wholly feeling (receptive) with wholly thinking (responsive); fully perceiving (receptive) with fully valuing (responsive), enjoying introversion with extraversion, being Anima and Animus. (All of these pairs are the empirically-validated Myers-Briggs tropology inspired by C. G. Jung (Jung and M-B use ‘typology’) —though the receptive/ responsive mix is mine: receptiveness of sensing, feeling, perceiving, and being extraversional; responsiveness of intuiting, thinking, valuing, and being introversional—a tenable genderal phenomenology?).

Have you ever seen two master musicians—cellists, say: Yo Yo Ma with friend—in “conversation” through only their instruments?—beyond words through exchanges
of riffs between two cellos: “This way,” the phrase goes better, truer to the voice of
the composer, the author being re-embodied. Or two dancers improvising together.
Two intimate partners in a social group invisibly in conversation with each other through what’s said by each to others (social life as private dramaturgy, improvis-ational theater).

Cellists, dancers, performance artists can become a singular liminality—inner virtuality, outer actuality; auratic hybrid of composing and performing, authoring and reading their surround—a phenomenogeny (interSelf formativity) of neither-and-both, showing (one might venture) a phenomenography of identity and difference (interpersonal), together becoming improvised phenomenology of interself-differentiality? (Well, it’s a long way to making that cogent).

The meaning of life (any very elderly persons will affirm): Fun.

May there be presence of us wholly—you, appealing as a part of me apart of me:
no terrifying angel ever again, just there being, metonymy and mirrorplay, trOpics
we en-joy.



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