It is correct to say that souls are asexual. But they have sexual components, and this derives from their formation from the breath of the Divine, because this process of this breathing is sexuality itself.
To be brief, mythopoeic alchemy (borrowed from Issac Luria, mediated via Freud and Lacan) must suffice to make my point. To speak of breathing requires us to speak of the inner and the outer: breath flows from the inner to the outer. This distinction is sexual: for sexuality is nothing but distinction. So breathing is sexual. Let us call the inner the Father and the outer the Mother.
The Father breathes out Love to the Mother, who breathes in Love. But if the Divine is a unity, then the breath must be circular. And so the breath is a bijective dialectic: the Mother breathes back Love to the Father.
Similarly, the Father kisses the Mother actively and the Mother kisses the Father in receipt. Every kiss involves two simultaneous modes: of giving and receiving.
Finally, the Father speaks to the Mother, soothing words of Wisdom. In this case, the Mother listens in silence, because, while kissing and breathing is a two-way bijection, the distinction that underlies speech is one of active words and responsive silence. So the Mother is silence here.
Interestingly, the psychoanalysis of Freud and Lacan describe a similar grounding relationship, perhaps through the mechanism of some collective unconscious (Jung’s revenge on his former collaborator!), perhaps deliberately (Lacan did read Kabbalah, at least).
They call this relationship between the Father and Mother the “primal scene”. The psychonalytic framing of the relationship, at least in the language of its initial perception by the subject has a rather negative, nightmarish twist compared to Luria. The primal scene is one in which the we fantasize (or perhaps have actually seen, Freud is not clear) an earlier, childhood witnessing of the act of sexual intercourse between the mother and father. The subject initially interprets it as an act of violent aggression on the part of the father. Freud’s famous ‘Wolf Man’ case study is all about this scene and how its unsuccessful negotiation leads to neurosis.
Lacan posits the fantasy for the human subject — who fantasizes or perceives this scene — as leading to both fear of the perceived violence and a sexual arousal that form the basis for entry into the Oedipus complex, a three stage process that is essential for the subject to be “fully formed”.
Freud (and Freud read through Lacan) claims this is simultaneously a fantasy of our origin and exactly the source of all following fantasies. In fact, it is through the primal scene that our subjectivity — our entrance into this reality we inhabit — is born and, in some cases, might be encounter pathologies.
Clearly Freud and Lacan’s framing is pretty negative — at least, the imagery, in contrast to that of Issac Luria, is in stark contrast. Perhaps it is negative primarily because their language is taken from pathological cases: with its origins in pathologies where the subject is somehow has a “damaged” and the process of emergence from the scene has not been fully realised.
Nevertheless, the principle is the same, and we might rescue Lacan through Luria by saying this: the primal scene is the origin of our entry into the Symbolic. It is a “fantasy” in one sense, and a reality in another. But the relationship between the Father and the Mother takes the form of Love and Love alone, because God is Love.
Human souls — asexual souls — are born from this primal scene. But, while within a single subject, we might say the soul has no genitalia, the fact that its derivation from the primal scene means that its potential for ascent through interaction with other subjects’ souls is encoded within. Me to you and you to me. It is through this intersubjective negotiation — something that mirrors the Divine breathing in a necessarily indirect but deeply profound way — that our souls find repair.
How does this work? It’s complicated, and is essentially a process of being self-aware of our subjectivity in relation to the reception-provision dialectic that frames our relation to others and indicates a Loving God.
It begins with the first apprehension of the reception-provision dialectic, demanding a resolution of the implications of the first (imaginary) moment when we see ourselves as separated from the Other and attempt to (prematurely) join back to her. Again, Lacan gets it right, something very close to a reading of Lurianic Kabbalah. So let’s use his three stage process. He calls it the Oedipus complex, a structure whose negotiation will lead to fully formed subjectivity — a subjectivity that is freed from the ego, basically:
- The first moment. Through the agency of the primal scene, the subject understands that it is not identical with the object of the Mother’s desire. The subject does not face the Mother. There is another object of desire. The subject imagines this as an “imaginary phallus”, lacked by the Mother but possessed by the Father. The subject attempts to replace this imaginary phallus and thus be the object of desire, lacked by the Mother.
- The second moment is where the subject imagines the Father as imposing law onto the desire of the Mother, denying access to the (imaginary) phallic object and, as a corollary, denying access of the subject to the Mother. This results in a form of anxiety on the part of the subject.
- The third moment is where the subject becomes fully formed. At this moment, the Real Father intervenes, demonstrating that it is indeed he who owns the phallus and will always own the phallus. The subject effectively submits to this fact and is thus freed from the cosmic anxiety, can become complete through full identification with the Father.
A subject is not fully formed if this identification does not occur, and instead, they identify instead with the Mother or with the imaginary phallus of the previous stage: this is what Lacan calls “perversion”. A phobia is the result of the second stage not forming because the Real Father has failed to intervene in the subject’s journey: the phobia substitutes itself for the Real Father’s intervention.
Okay, that’s a potentially gruesome way of phrasing things.
So let us reconstitute the negotiation in terms of a primal scene of Love rather than of violence:
- The first moment. Through the agency of Luria’s loving primal scene — in fact, through the very mythpoeic process of annotating down this scene, the subject understands that it is separated from the Beloved (m)Other. The subject does not face the Mother: it exists in the space of difference, separated from that which we desire. This separation follows directly from our nature as the Breath: the Breath of the Receiving Mother implies that this loving Breath faces away from us. And so we construct a Demiurge, an Imaginary image of God in our heads: the subject imagines this as an “imaginary phallus”, lacked by that Absolute Alterity that we desire (the Mother) but possessed by the Father. He imagines the phallus to be God. The subject attempts to replace this imaginary phallus and thus be the object of desire, implied by the absolute lack that belies the Mother’s receptivity. This occurs in the case of, for example, progressive or revivalist Muslims who worship at the foot of a civilizing God, a God whose purpose is to dictate how we should function socially, worshipping — basically like Marxists — the idea of a God-as-ideal-city-state. God is the phallus of the skyscraper here, and the desire to build the city-state, to start factories and workers syndicates and so on, all derive from the desire to be that phallus.
- The second moment is where the subject imagines the Father as imposing law onto the desire of the Mother, denying access to the (imaginary) phallic object and, as a corollary, denying access of the subject to the Mother. This results in a form of anxiety on the part of the subject. Spiritually, this emergence of the law is an imposition of judgement on to the scene, with the extreme case being one in which judgement replaces any remnant of Love. See the Pharasees. See the sheikhs at the mosques who wear a ignorance like a badge of honour. Love is replaced by denial and the subject imagines there is in fact no breathing at all and, as a consequence, no possibility for the subject to even substitute itself for the phallus. See those religious movements that are essentially self-destructive and particularly aggressive when it comes to any kind of inner contemplation. There is no breathing allowed for them, the primal breathing is denied absolutely, love is denied absolutely: we must not approach the (m)Other, the Father is imagined here as the ultimate despot, a pure Law that constantly threatens to beat us down if we approach her. Totalitarian dictatorships (Maoism in full swing, Pol pot, as well as various visions of a new Caliphate bandied about) are a good case in point.
- The third moment is where the subject becomes fully formed. At this moment, the Real Father intervenes, demonstrating that it is indeed he who owns the phallus and will always own the phallus. The subject effectively submits to this fact and is thus freed from the cosmic anxiety, can become complete through full identification with the Father. This is the moment of entry into the symbolic. The subject accepts the nature of the primal scene, the Love between the Real Mother and Real Father, the nature of the Real’s Breathing from which the subject’s nature has emerged. The subject understands at this point that what is Real is Real, and not Imaginary. And, instead of creating Imaginary problems for himself by imagining a position for himself with respect to this triangle, instead accepts greatfully that an identification can occur within the space of the Symbolic, a middle plane between the Real and the Imaginary. The subject learns to live symbolically, amongst the signs regulated by this breathing.
A subject is not fully formed if this identification does not occur, and instead, they identify instead with the Receiving Mother — in Kabbalic terms this means they remain within their selfish “will to receive” and are not balanced. What Lacan calls “perversion” we might call selfishness. A phobia is the result of the second stage not forming because the Real Father has failed to intervene in the subject’s journey: the phobia substitutes itself for the Real Father’s intervention. This is where we have not had contact with the Light of God (the Real’s intervention is nothing but Prophecy) and instead we must use something else in its place to intervene in the agony of the imaginary Law. Richard Dawkins as a phobic.
Let us finally return to Luria and summarize this symbolic space now occupied by the subject. The subject identifies with the Real Father, but what is identification? It is the process of drawing together, restoring the components of the soul.
What are the components? The soul has a number of components, formed from the dialectic of breaths and of kisses. These components are feminized and masculinized, resembling the Father or Mother depending on who breathes or kisses first. And then, finally, a Feminization that governs our journey and, in fact, contains the whole system itself (including the cosmology of Father and Motherhood — that, self-reflexively bares the Father-Mother fantasy within its own inscription): this last Feminization is that of the Bride generated by words.
The Bride herself is separate from the breathing. We might call her many things, but at least she is the source of Human Creativity for this reason she is the precursory foundation for the soul and, again, in necessary indirection, the end game of the soul’s ultimate ascent. She is also a component of what most people commonly call a “soul”, and marriage to her is prescribed in the holy books.
Her nature is one of creativity, of dreaming and of speech, because she derives from the primal scene as well. But she emerges from the Father rather than the Mother: because she comes from the words of love whispered by the Father to the Mother in the primal scene.
So while it is correct to say the soul has no sex as such, it is formed from Unity’s self-differentiating breathing, which takes the form of nothing other than sexuality (Tengri-Ummai is what the Central Asian shamans knows this as) and, furthermore, is programmed to contain both external, intersubjective negotiation and internal, intra-subjective marriage as its means of ascent and perfection. And both these aspects of its design are profoundly sexual.