Syneisaktism (from Greek συνεισάκ “to add or bring together”): the practice of a chaste man and woman living together in a spiritual marriage. The term is most closely associated with early and medieval Christianity. Several related terms are used to label such communities, for example, the virgins subintroductae, the agapetae, and the gynaikes syneisaktoi.
The practice was widely adopted in early Christianity:
“Of one thing we can be sure: there was hardly a church province in ancient Christianity in which spiritual marriages were unknown.” —Seboldt, Roland H. A. Spiritual Marriage In the Early Church: A Suggested Interpretation of 1 Cor. 7:36-38, part 2, Concordia Theological Monthly Volume: 30 Number: 3 in 1959, p. 176-189
“Nor was syneisaktism a phenomenon peculiar to one locality; it can be found in Ireland, Syria, North Africa, and many other centers of Christianity.” —Clark, Elizabeth A., John Chrysostom and the Subintroductae, Church History, 46(1977), p. 173
Chaste cohabitation was repeatedly denounced as immoral by several Church authorities, believing that it was too tempting, and moreover, useless. This is because the esoteric Christian doctrine was unknown to them. The true understanding of syneisaktism (and likewise 1 Corinthians 7:25 - 29) is for the married couple to unite sexually for spiritual development, with total renunciation of orgasm and ejaculation of both husband and wife. This is an undefiled act of sexuality in accord with Leviticus 15. Thus, the base water of sexuality (symbolized as the Well of Jacob) is transmuted into the wine of Christ (symbolized at the Wedding of Cana, and referred to in the instruction of Nicodemus).
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