By Yoav Levin
& Men rights activist.
ON THE ORIGINS OF EUROPEAN GYNOCENTRISM AND ITS SYMBOLISM
The Mystic Heritage of Christian Cathar Heresy and the Sufi Kabbalistic Esotericism as the Theosophical Foundation of Modern Feminism -
THE INDIAN AND ARABIC ROOTS OF THE TROUBADOURS COURTLY LOVE: THE MIGRATION OF GYNOCENTRIC IDEALS FROM INDIAN FABLES AND THE NEAR-EAST FOLK-TALES AS THE ORIGIN OF MEDIEVAL GYNOCENTRIC CULTURE
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 as elaborated in chapter one, in more practical terms as a wandering artist and singer the troubadours are almost direct derivative of the Jewish Talmudic BADHANIM (Heb. בַּדְחָן ; “entertainer”); the merrymaker, rhymester who entertained guests, especially at weddings. The Talmud mentions professional jesters who cheered the melancholy (Ta’an. 22a) or who amused the bride and groom (Ket. 17a; Ber. 30b–31a). 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. 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 (e.g., R. Elijah b. Isaac of Carcassonne’s Asufot); they seem to have appeared as professional entertainers at weddings and at Hanukkah and Purim celebrations, much after the pattern of the 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.
As a result, the rabbinical authorities protested 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 Badhanim (R. David ha-Levi, in Turei Zahav). 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! 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. As we will learn through our long discourse and dissertation here, the bottom line was that the Kabbalah was heavily influenced by the Catharian Manichean religion. Thus Troubadours who were Catharian 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 catharian religion as a heretic and thus eliminated it theologically, the Catharian religion survived over the secular realm as misandric feminism hence it served the church in this aspect in spreading gynocentrism. On the other hand, the Catharian 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.
Furthermore, one of the subject conducted here in this study in the second chapter will be the acknowledgment of the special social and cultural status of women obtained in the milieu of dualistic heresy of the Catharian 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 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 our methodological inquiry we will use 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.
Our study will also affirm the thesis that the Troubadour is the secular expression of the Christian heretical 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 - Manaechaen 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. As a result, our thesis also offers an account of the dualist heresy in medieval Aquitaine. It asserts, as stated above, 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 Maneacheaism and Zoroastrianism.
In the end, when we weave and interlace our inquiry, it finds that the accounts also 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 Maneachean – 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. The thesis also makes contributions to the history of Catharism in the above context especially during the time of queen Eleanor of Aquitaine – the queen of the Troubadours and the founder of modern gynocentrism and misandry in Europe.