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  • תמונת הסופר/תYoav Levin

Troubadours as the Cultural Assualt Teams of Gynocentrism and Feminism

Before, I will explain the pivotal point or position the Troubadours had on modern culture and gynocentrism, it crucial to have some basic overview of the background and the influences on the troubadours. Those roots are at least fivefold. First, It's the mainstream Rabbinical Judaism and mainstream Christianity. Second, it's the Celtic influence. Third, it's the heretic influence dating back to Mani in the East (Manichaeism), over Zorotostrianism. Bogomilism in the Balkan and lastly as especially expressed in the Cathar thought. Fourth, Jewish Gnosticism and Esotericism, especially the Kabbalah. And, fifth, Muslim Gynocentrism, that of the Indian Sufi tradition as well as the north African one. The cross pollination started in Al Andalus or Spain of the Iberian Pen Insula and from where it came to a peak in Langedot and Aquitaine. Those are the wide Brushes that I have explained in my research in details.

So, while conceptually as well as in many other aspects the troubadours have taken their origins and were influenced by the Muslim Sufi and Indian Gynocentric school of thought, in more practical terms as a wandering artist and singer the troubadours are almost direct derivative of the Jewish Talmudic BADHANIM; the merrymaker, rhymester who entertained guests, especially at weddings. The Talmud mentions professional jesters who cheered the melancholy or who amused the bride and groom. The interesting aspect is that while the Talmudic Badhanim has spread the gynocentric ideal within a closed and specific culture including its familial frame of the marriage, the Christian European troubadours have taken upon themselves and within the feudal Gynocentric society to spread those cultural values not only around Europe but also all over the world. As I've shown in my research, Troubadours weren't only Christian but especially in Spain there were many Jewish Troubadours.

This, however, led later to cross-cultural influence where Jewish itinerant singers, learning upon the Christian Troubadours have developed and merged into more professional and organized or institutionalized artists while still being traditionally called Badhanim or Leizanim (“jesters”) and later developed into the more actual version of the Kleyzmers. Those badhanim or leizanim are mentioned in medieval rabbinical literature; they seem to have appeared as professional entertainers at weddings and at Hanukkah and Purim celebrations, much after the pattern of the Christian troubadours and ballad singers. The merrymaking of these badhanim, who were also the forerunners of Jewish theatrical art as well as we have said the Kleyzmers consisted not only of folksongs and comic stories but also of skillful puns on scriptural verses and talmudical passages, which required a certain amount of Jewish learning.

The same way, as the Church has done, the rabbinical authorities protested as a result against the Badhanim who parodied the Kaddish at wedding festivities or who committed the near-blasphemy of “amusing the guests with jests on scriptural verses and holy words. Happy the man who abstains from such” was the common Rabbinical attitude to those. This did not help of course, and the opposition appeared to voice its concerns only at the beginning while in modern religious Jewish wedding there's no such a thing as a festivity without the Badhanim!

It is interesting to understand it has long been known that William IX maintained direct personal ties with the Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon in northern Spain during much if not all of his long reign of forty years (1086-1126). This came about not as an innovation on his part but as the continuation of a policy begun by his ancestors, the Dukes of Aquitaine, early in the Xlth century. The Spanish interest and journeys of his grandfather, William the Great (William V, 993- 1030) in turn formed part of a growing French involvement in trans-Pyrenean affairs related to the breakup of the great Ummayad Califate of Cordova early in the same century and its replacement by a series of smaller and less stable states called the Taifa or party kingdoms. The weakness and vulnerability of these Muslim states tempted the expansionist tendencies of rising Christian kingdoms in Castile, Navarre, and Aragon. In the second half of the Xlth century these latter began to launch campaigns of subjugation and conquest of their Muslim neighbors to the south in what gradually developed into the movement of the Reconquest. Through their acquisition of the Duchy of Gascony in the 1050's the Dukes of Aquitaine became the greatest territorial power on the northern side of the Pyrenees and began to participate in the Reconquest ever more regularly after that time.

Anyway, it was William of Aquitaine who was the first Troubadour to do such work at was him who spend a significant time and Spain and molded this everything together. Whereas Jewish musician were one of the main roots not only to spread Arab music but also the Jewish and especially the Muslim Arab gynocentric values associated with the troubadours, thus in historical terms, thus also based on the Jewish notion of music as being originated from the Leviim in the second temple in Jerusalem meaning that practicing music was also a profession that seemed to appears to be a characteristic of Jewish life in Christian Spain (as one of the services offered by Jewish vassals at the courts of their rulers) it is clear that William was also influenced via this channel. Thus, we want now to explore this connection of course in more details. As the joggler lacked the same social status and were considered inferior to the troubadours themselves the question that arises and needs further research is whether those jogglers or at least many of them were not of Jewish origin themselves.

The following dynamic and the later full re-adaptation and re-integration of Christian courtly love and the Gynocentric values spread by the Troubadours became possible partially through the monumental work of Jewish Kabbalists who have integrated the heretic teachings of the Cathar religion as was practiced by most troubadours and introduced it into the mainstream of the Rabbinical Judaism. The bottom line was that the Kabbalah was heavily influenced by the Cathar Manichean religion. Thus, troubadours who were Cathar widely share the same spiritual sources and ideals naturally influencing each other. Specifically, in the realm of female superiority, the Kabbalah applied these ideals through the concepts of God's name. While the church declared the Cathar religion as a heretic and thus eliminated it theologically, the Cathar religion survived over the secular realm as misandrist feminism hence it served the church in this aspect in spreading gynocentrism. On the other hand, the Cathar ideas of misandrist feminism survived and were brought back into mainstream Christianity over the Kabbalah and Agrippa who blended the Christian theology with Jewish Kabbalistic thought to later in history create the misandrist feminism as we know it today as well as the Pop Culture of Modern times

All those developments created the special social and cultural status of women obtained in the milieu of dualistic heresy of the Cathar Manichean religion of the Troubadours as a preliminary requirement and development both for the Gynocentric society's chivalric love as well as the Kabbalah and the emanating misandrist teachings of Agrippa's, Lucretia Marinella's and Christine de Pisan's misandrist proto feminism. In this historical context, the Bogomilism whose historical advent was at the Xth century in Bulgaria allowed women to preach in vernacular language, to read the Holy scriptures, esp. the New Testament. This enabled even wider access to the Word and creativeness, power and dominance.

One cannot underestimate enough this uniquely powerful acquisition of power given to women simply by the fact that in the Middle Ages in France and in all Western Europe it was forbidden to read, to preach and to teach in native language as the Church services and sermons were practiced only in Latin, a language not accessible for the wide masses of oppressed people. In England, for instance, such prohibitions were actual till the XVIth century. The result of such kind an innovative approach of the religiously heretic movements was the rise of a unique proto-renaissance culture in Provence /South France/ and in which women received special treatment and were put on the pedestal.

This was the historical frame in which the troubadours sang praise songs of women, based upon the Arab Muslim influence as well as forbidden love song of infidelity. This was also the time of the first poetesses / female troubadours who were in fact also active precursors of modern women poetry and art. In England, women were very active in the literary occupations of poetry. In my methodological inquiry I have used a sociological approach to this situation asserting not only the religious and cultural emancipation of women but in fact, elevating themselves to the status of Goddesses and men as their servants! Again, this is a possibility, in fact, not only to outline more clearly the phenomenon of female self-realization in medieval Europe in the forefront of the dualist heresy but in fact the development of the attainment of special female privileges carrying out many striking comparisons with the more obvious hallmarks of modern feminism and contemporary misandry.

The Troubadours are, in fact, secular expression of the Christian heretic Cathar movement by virtue of emanating religious ideas into the secular mindset through the realm of philosophical thought processing. The result thus not necessarily has to exhibit 100% similarity with the original beliefs, at times the views will be opposing, yet a wide range of striking similarities, analogies and resemblances will be found at least in the most profound areas. In human psychology, in the realm of evolving thoughts and the corpus of knowledge/wisdom it is similar in a way to how through cross-cultural - pollination thoughts and philosophical religious concepts, sometimes clearly opposing, are adopted, and integrated in our worldviews and mindsets.

Those mindsets and views are never homogenous in its nature but are built by many varying and often opposing philosophical and theological cornerstones. This, for example, explains how through philosophical processes by being emanated from the religiously heretical beliefs misandry was the driving force through which the abstinence from sex and marriage in the original teaching was transformed in the secular realm where sex is accepted into subjugation to women and being a slave and servant. Yet, the essential concept, as well as the profound dynamic here, is misandry that no matter the realm, secular or religious, it is always preserved in both teachings. That's also why when the basic idea is the same, the opposing views are only an outwardly superficial appearance while essentially those views are complementary. It is why, when for instance, the same root idea of misandry has been preserved through the process of emanation, the one and the same person depending on changing external circumstances can accept sex as subjugation while on the other hand embracing a totally different approach of abstinence from sex in another position.

Again, the driving force in our example is misandry and the seemingly opposing views are actually an alleged superficial appearance while in nature they are complementary. In our example, as the study suggests, this was the historical dynamic in which the religiously Gnostic - Manichean and Bogomil - Cathar theology emanated by virtue of philosophical thought processes into the secular realm of the Cathar Troubadour culture by preserving the most basic and almost primordial concept of misandry. This asserts that the Troubadour - Cathar heresy, referred to and represented as an early eleventh-century European cultural and societal phenomenon, was in fact a dualist heretical doctrine which originated in the Balkan Bogomilism having its ancient roots in the Eastern Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism.

To sum it up, one can identify modern and primitive forms of feminism and feminist misandry prior to the proto-feminism of Agrippa, Lucretia Marinella, and Christine de Pisan. It makes in fact reference to much older dualist cosmology, tradition and esoteric practices. As we have seen and will see in the detailed discussion to be followed next, based on Gnostic Manichean – Zorotostrian heritage, Bogomil dualists in the Balkans were intent on spreading their heretical teachings world-wide, and this period saw increased contacts with the west including Italy, France and Germany. The spread of Bogomilism to Aquitaine was thus both likely and possible and appears to have had great success as it has created the ideals of courtly love, the phenomenon of the Troubadours, the tenets of Gynocentrism spread by Troubadours under the royal protection of queen Eleanor and subsequently the modern-day feminism and its misandry.

This was the historical context in which the Cathar-Troubadour counter-culture (“the feminine culture of the South”) of Occitan, whose people thought of themselves as fiercely independent of the King and the Pope, was attacking the social order of the medieval period on two fronts: the Cathars were subverting religion—the heretical Church of AMOR undermining the Church of ROMA—and the Troubadours were undermining feudalism. Seen this way, the Cathar-Troubadour phenomenon was a rebellion against the prevailing social mores, the same way as feminism does today at aims at destroying family, men, and society. Thus, the Cathar-Troubadour movement may have represented an underground mood of profound dissatisfaction with the Church and its entire theocratic social order. Other scholars have noted the connection of certain Cathar rites reflected in the Troubadour conception of their “Lady.” One scholar puts this in the context of the Cathar’s and Troubadour’s shared sense of freedom from the Church of Rome (a sense that seemed to pervade the region of Occitan) and also brings in a reference to the Arab Muslim influence as demonstrated by Rumi that saw the woman as not being created, as God. In here, the Cathar parfaite (a woman who had passed through the Cathar “baptism of fire” or spiritual baptism, the Consolamentum) may have been a romantic subject for the enamored troubadour. The parfaite was chaste, was good, was spiritually pure and her heart was fixed on the divine world. This was exactly the depiction of the woman in the Sufi tradition, especially that of Rumi.

This is also the time, that in the castles of the Languedoc could be heard music from the Arab world with delicately woven words, loosening the bonds of the body and leading a fortunate nobility to love. There was a “liberal” spirit in the air. At a time when it was forbidden to write in old Provençal when it was forbidden to think in any way other than that of the Church of Rome, “things were written, they were sung, they were said and it was said that the people needed to be free. They needed to free themselves from the tutelage of the Church, they needed to free themselves from the constraint of writing in Latin, and that was important.” Dante was to write in thirteenth-century Florence that, “It is in the Occitan language (la langue d’oc) that the exponents of the living language have made themselves the firsts (or masters) of Poesy (De vulgari Eloquentia). It is highly significant that the Cathar perfecti made the gospels available in Occitan. This was the world in which the Cathars emerged with a message of simple spirituality. They were welcomed by many into a world that longed for purity and independence. And that was the gynocentric, misandrist, liberal and progressive D.N.A that was passed through the troubadours and spread around the world in what would have been born as modern day Pop Culture


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