Unrepression, in my theology, is a coined name for a religious process known as being born again. Unrepression (Don't look for it in the dictionary) is my term for what I think Paul referred to in the Bible as "working out your own salvation (Philippians 2:12)." Also, he properly warned, re-birth is to be tackled "with fear and trembling"-- as I have found unrepression to be in the lives of clients and parishioners I have known, and certainly in my own experience.
Unrepression is a reversal of the more familiar psychologically named process of human repression--that is, squelching personal capacities and attributes ("being oneself") in favor of assuming phoney modes of behavior and thought which I identify with sin and "falling short of the glory of God," our human birthright.
Cancer School taught me much. One of its courses was about the often missed beauties and delights of presence ("just being here"); another was about how consistently repression blocks the way to fully being here--anywhere and anytime, which led me to return to consider my own repressions more honestly.
I explored the subject academically five years ago, and eventually posted my observations under the title Being Conscious, which is a positive name for unrepression. But Cancer School invited me to face my own denials more forthrightly--which is what these pages from my journal from January through May are all about. Re-reading them I realize how often and speedily I revert to "objectivity" about topics which are personally threatening to me, as evidenced in some of the pages I have chosen to include in this collection of days in my pilgrimage back to myself in early 2005.
Any reader will easily see my falls to the temptation to escape into theories about what I see; but this path of quasi "objectivity" is also my way of carefully backing into myself when I can find the nerve to do so.
Typically I live primarily dictated by a host of habits, large and small, now so accepted and ingrained that I hardly ever see them as such. Cancer School has invited me to take a closer look at this prevailing gap between blind dictation and conscious presence, and to consider how I may more often move from reaction to response in my daily living--that is, show up as my natural self rather than "sending in the clowns."
First, as dimly explored since cancer called me to attention, I am coming to see some of my habits as such, that is, as programmed modes of behavior, easily resurrected in each life situation, acted out without faith, and assumed to be "just the way I am."
While existing under their dictates I am not thinking consciously and certainly not being present as my natural self, that is, aware and choosing in the relative freedoms actually open to me beyond my assorted habits.
My emerging insight is coming to recognize my personal responsibility in acquiring these habitual modes of reacting to life, rather than dimly seeing "my problems" in prevailing categories of religion and psychology--both of which largely place causes "out there." In religion, "original sin" and the devil get most of the blame, with Jesus and God responsible for saving me (if I can only meet their requirements). In psychology, the fault, still external, is seen to lie in various forms of mental illness which I may "have" and are seen to afflict "me" like diseases (things you "catch") or the devil (in religion), if not more directly--like bad parents, bad priests, bad environment, etc.
Consequently, seeing causes as essentially outside oneself (e.g., devils or diseases) both these prevailing perspectives lead to also seeking cures externally. In Christianity salvation is sought through Jesus and God; in psychology "mental health" (secular synonym for salvation in my theology) is sought through counseling and chemistry. Therapists replace priests, and drugs substitute for prayer, assorted rituals, and beliefs.
Both major modes of seeking good life largely evade personal responsibility for "what goes wrong" and "how to get right" again. Even when religion faults "my sins," there remains the excuse that "the devil (or someone else) made me do it"; but more significantly the irresponsible belief that only God (through Jesus, in Christianity) can save me--that is, salvation is via submission to "His will" rather than related to personal willing.
Psychology comes closer with theories of personal responsibility in "getting well"; but in practice, at least as viewed by most who seek healing through its various "therapies," gurus, and counselors replace God and Jesus as secular saviors, and assorted "plans of action (e.g., Alcoholics Anonymous, diets, counseling)," plus drugs, replace "plans of salvation."
In both modes, parishioners and patients, church members and clients, unwittingly look for magical solutions to personal problems, while largely evading personal responsibility for "what's wrong with them."
I am of course projecting. I say "they"--but in practice I've been both routes and am here observing myself in projected forms.
In largest perspective, my major insight is shifting the source of blame from sin and mental illness to personal habits--patterns of mind (not-thinking) and body, personally acquired as modes of adaptation to society and maintained by repression of natural selfing, but having the effect of limited presence in immediate life situations.
In this perspective, my healing (more literally seen as "wholing" rather than healing, as though I suffer from a disease instead of habits of "half living") comes in these ways:
1. Recognition of the paradigm shift in perspectives outlined above.
2. Seeing my own habits of blind reaction, versus simply acting them out (reacting) without conscious thought in immediate situations.
3. Unrepressing myself, including habits of non-thinking, and consequently withdrawing projections accompanying the repressions, e.g. seeing others as the cause of my reactions, getting upset at them for "making me mad (unhappy, etc.)" or mirroring my repressions.
4. As conscious thinking increases, choosing reasonably what I will say and/or do whenever I recognize a habit being blindly resurrected and about to be acted out devoid of my presence.
That is, becoming responsible for myself and responding as myself, ceasing to live on automatic pilot--all this, of course, whenever I can find the faith to do so.....
It would be hard to overestimate the powers which females often wield over males in American society. In a typical marriage, as best I can tell, caricatures of hen-pecked husbands are, if anything, under rather than over stated. Notions of husbands as King of our castles with Little wives "behind the throne" are largely male illusions, even as is our typical view of male lions as "king of the jungle." In the latter case, "servant of the pride" would be far more accurate, as would a picture of husbands existing mainly in service and at discretion of their wives, at least insofar as activation of natural maleness is concerned.
But here I want to examine the source of powers in this all too familiar picture. Where does the power which females typically wield over males, especially in most all aspects of our social and marital lives come from? Are women actually this much more innately powerful than men? Are males so subservient to female desires in many arenas of our typical relationships because of natural imbalances in genetic gifts?
I have explored "natural female superiority" in the past and do indeed see many genetic facts and reasons for this uncommon perspective on gender differences. Very few males, as best I can tell, share my views in this regard. In an overall sense, I conclude however, woman is actually a more genetically gifted creature, beginning with powers for "baby making" and extending to inherited abilities for "taking care of herself"--as reflected in better survival after divorce or death of husbands as well as greater longevity in general.
But a perhaps 4% genetic advantage noted, I am beginning to recognize more clearly just how much of the power that females typically wield in relational practices is rooted in male projections rather than actually being inherent in female capacities. In other words, I am seeing more clearly now how much power we males in effect blindly "give away" and then only recognize when it is exercised over us. In the past I think I have erroneously attributed more to limited genetic advantages than in fact Mother Nature is responsible for--that is, I have over-estimated "genetic superiority" while under recognizing male projections.
More blinded to my own repressions then, I have predictably missed seeing the extent of powers I have in effect "given to women"--that is, projected on them well beyond those granted by genetics alone.
If typical male repression/projection could somehow be measured, I suspect that perhaps 90% of the power which an average wife exercises over her husband is in effect blindly "handed to her"--that is, comes via male projection as the second half of his (my) own repressions, rather than actually existing in the wives who exercise and benefit from it. In plainer language, "they lord it over us" less from real female powers than from male-imagined forces "out there" rooted in our own self denials.
As I objectively explored the Attis myths in the past, I began to dimly see how some males have ritually "sacrificed their balls" in acts of goddess adoration. More clearly now I can easily imagine how such forms of worship may have arisen in history. While this seems gross and ludicrous when seen on the physical level only, on the psychic level the practice may be far more wide spread than these ancient myths could ever portray.
Metaphorically speaking, we males typically de-ball ourselves, beginning, I suspect, in the nursery with our mothers--that is, we learn early to suppress aspects of masculinity in quest of feminine approval during the time when She truly is a goddess insofar as survival resources are concerned. Then, what begins as sensible suppression in trying to "be good" with mother gradually becomes an ingrained habit--that is, psychic repression follows nursery suppression. Later, the mode of self-denial is simply taken outside the home and unwittingly activated with other females reminiscent of the first goddess. What must begin with one woman and is blindly absorbed into a habitual stance, is later resurrected with others of mother's gender.
Much later, after adolescence and further practice in systematic denial of natural masculinity, early goddess memories are resurrected and seen reflected in special females who we "fall in love with," and may eventually marry--quite blind to the extent of our dark adorations, not unlike those of Attis in ancient myths. Blindly we "want a girl just like the girl who married dear ole dad"--that is, below levels of conscious awareness, we are, as it were, drawn to return to the scene of our first worship, only now safely hidden in socially acceptable illusions of "love."
But as hidden to ourselves as are the early and continuing repressions which cannot but be accompanied by corresponding projections, we come to relate to our lovers and wives as though they truly have the powers our first goddess actually did. Though our "worship" is carefully cloaked--at least to ourselves, in righteous robes of "love" and single-minded "devotion" to our "one and only," the stage is set for modern idolatry--that is, for re-living a mode of living we learned in the nursery and carefully pushed out of personal awareness.
I grieve, following my recent insight about the unnatural nature of cross gender love. I have perseverated for 3 days on the song with the line: "They say that time heals a broken heart." I had no clue about why until today when it finally dawned on me about the massive investments I have made in my blind devotion to romantic love.
Only in the last week, with the realization about it having no natural basis did the true import of my lifelong magical wishes projected into the exciting phenomenon begin to come clear to me. Although I had long ago recognized "limerance" and the psychological nature of my various idolatries, only now has it soaked into my heart--hence my mental hang up on this song and the age old wish that time might indeed heal such glimpses at reality and reinstate dreamland once more.
But time hasn't "stood still" (as voiced in the song) since this parting, and I am just now realizing what I've long seen, but held in concept form only, namely, that if I am to truly love, I must move past dark repressions which left me both out of my naturalness and caught up in magical projections onto females, and find the nerve for choices only open in consciousness, beginning with seeing femininity realistically and my own previously denied capacities.
Still, I am sad to be moving from the dark wonders and powers of magical love dreamland.
I've confused my projections onto females with the way they in fact are, my dark images with real facts. I've seen what I wished for, imagined based on my repressions, versus what is actually present and visible. I have lived with ghosts, mostly in my mind. In turn, living in the midst of my projections, I have also missed much awareness of maleness which is repressed in order to maintain these projections.
I am attempting now to filter out my projected wishes from actual reality, to see woman as she is versus how I might wish her to be, and myself more clearly in the process.
When I say "how they are" I am thinking about pure genetic genderedness, about what X and Y chromosomes give rise to in females and males. I am not here dealing with personhood, wholeness, or what we are in the larger sense of individuals of whom gender is actually but a relatively minor part. Obviously none of us are just male or female; we all have many other capacities and qualities not rooted in gender itself. But here I am ignoring these aspects of ourselves in order to focus more clearly on genetic genderness--that is, womanliness in women and masculinity in men.
In true maturity, one's gender shadow is embraced, that is, the femaleness in men and the masculinity in women. But here I am trying to focus in on how we are before these shadowed parts of ourselves are embraced--in other words, what we are basically like when the influences of X and Y chromosomes are activated.
I am trying to see these gender qualities more clearly because I realize now how much I have ignored them in favor of only "seeing"--or at least looking for, wishing for, and blindly expecting the imaginary qualities I have blindly projected. If I can unrepress myself enough to see "straight" rather than with jaundiced eyes, what will I see?
Another reason is I now believe that agape is unnatural in the sense of not related to natural capacities, that is, it is unnatural, I think, for a man to actually love--in the fullest sense of the word, a woman as she is (as a natural female), and so with a woman loving a natural man. For agape to ever truly exist, one must, I now think, move past natural attractions rooted in genetic differences.
In practice this means that if I am to love Anita--as she is, I first of all must get past my blind projections and then dare to love her as natural woman, instead of as the images I have projected onto her. But what are these attributes of naturalness which I tend to deny in favor of my projected desires? What are her natural qualities? And what are the unnatural attributes I have looked for and blindly projected onto her?
Overall, I think the qualities I have most denied seeing are these: selfish, possessive, bitchy, mean, and well capable of killing in service of other needs. I have been faked off by cloaks supported by my own wishes, namely, nice, polite, unselfish, and capable of "taking care of me" via unqualified love--as must first have seemed to exist with one's mother.
Specific qualities of natural femininity seem to be focused in these dark urges:
1. To find and possess a "good man" for service in effective self replication.
2. To be "up and clean," couth rather than "down and dirty" and uncouth.
3. Concerned with reproductive sex, not simply for personal pleasure.
4. To think circularly, that is, in a right brain mode.
5. To function with "victim power" rather than overt dominance.
6. To naturally enjoy female companionship, as in connecting type conversation and in shopping.
7. Wants strength and dedication from a male for security of self and offspring; and in turn is threatened by signs of weakness in a male selected for support.
8. To be careful, concerned with safety, playing it safe, maintaining security as all costs.
9. To be focused on attractiveness, "looks," where most female power with males actually is rooted.
10. Moved by "romance," that is, signs of male adoration indicative of devotion to one woman's security.
This means in practice that it is unnatural, outside the urges of feminine genes, for a woman to:
1. Take care of a man--to baby or mother one, except as a ploy of power aimed at possession and control of him.
2. To get down and dirty, that is, be "uncouth" with him.
3. To be "interested in sex" or continually available for "doing it."
4. To think linearly in a left brain mode as is common with males; to "understand" male type thinking or to be personally interested in such.
5. To be like a goddess or savior rather than a needy woman.
6. To be a companion in male type endeavors, such as, hunting, sports, etc. rather than shopping.
7. To give emotional support, to love wimpism, to accept male weakness lovingly.
8. To enjoy adventure, risk taking, gambling, danger, as is naturally exciting to males.
9. To be focused on "pragmatics" and utility, as is appropriate in most male functioning.
10. Romance as tool for seduction, for "getting in a man's pants" rather than his possession.
In sharp contrast, natural masculinity is different (complementary) in most all arenas.
1. Promiscuity or "sperm spreading" as much as possible, versus faithful or totally devoted to one women, as idolized in monogamous marriage.
2. To take chances, risks, be a gambler, explorer rather than focused on safety and security.
3. No natural interest in female type concerns, such as, shopping, decorating, cleanliness, closing drawers, making up beds, and other activities related to nest-making. Male interest, symbolized in "down and dirty" versus "up and clean," is more concerned with uncrossed legs and open "drawers," with "messed up" beds available for love making, etc.
4. Threatened by circular, inclusive thinking, as is natural for females
5. Playboy Channel rather than HGTV, that is, pornography rather than "home making."
6. Playmates, that is, conceivable females, rather than "older women" past menopause.
7. Romance for seduction rather than platonic devotion.
TIME AND HEALING
I have now been perseverating on that song for well over a week, day and night; but my attention has shifted to the line "...but time has stood still, since we've been apart." At times I have been judgmental: what's wrong with me? Why can't I drop that idea?
But I now think its continual return to awareness is related to the depth of the repression it reflects, namely, the existential fact that in many ways time has indeed stood still since I left the physical presence of my mother. I have, I am beginning to see more clearly, been, as it were, frozen in time insofar as patterns of repression/projection remain in operation.
Modes of coping which I can see I must have acquired in the nursery with the goddess still exist with the world and other females far removed from those early times and certainly without the seemingly magical powers of my first lover. Even though my world and my circumstances and people have changed greatly, my early learned stances, that is, my repressions and projections have remained relatively intact. It is as though "time has stood still" since I parted with my mother. Obviously I know in my conscious mind that everywhere is not Saline, and all women are not my mother; but in practice, in spite of this head knowledge, I am beginning to recognize that in many ways, certainly at critical times, I still react as I did in my childhood.
What about the "broken heart" in the song? I now see that what appears as a "broken heart" in love affairs, when "things go wrong," is more clearly seen as recognition of cracks in an embraced illusion--what one is seeing is "out there" and what one feels is "in here." But the sight is related to projection and the feeling to repression. One is seeing, as though for the first time, the humanity of a goddess or god--that is, edges of the scope of one's personal idolatry, in particular, the unrealistic nature of blind worship resulting from repression/projection.
Actually the "broken heart" is not internal, as it feels and seems to be--but is external in the sense of a dream being broken when one wakes up from sleep; only in this case the "sleep" is like Rip Van Winkle's--that is, the many years hiatus from awareness after putting one's own heart to sleep in favor of its projection onto loved one/ones. What one has been blindly loving "out there" is the projection of repressed heartedness "in here." The god or goddess, the object of adoration and worship, has been the unwitting recipient of personal powers lost to awareness via equally unrecognized personal repression.
The metaphor, unrecognized as such, is indeed apt--that is, it truly is as though one's heart exists "out there" in the person of the loved one who is thereafter taken to possess magical powers to make one whole and happy, to exist as a "hearted" person within oneself. Then when the object of one's adoration either proves unworthy of such worship, or else personal unrepression brings enlarged insight, the predictable breaking of the previously accepted illusion does indeed feel like "she (or he) broke my heart."
Actually, however, it is the breakup of the blindly held notion of unreal powers "out there," in particular, projected onto the loved one, which one feels "in here." My illusions are what is breaking, not my actual heart which was long ago split, as it were, when I began the processes of repression. I "broke" my own heart when I repressed elements of my natural capacities and blindly projected their associated powers, first onto my mother (when time first began to "stand still") and later onto others I blindly "saw" as I had first seen her.
Unwittingly I stopped perceiving the actual changes which inevitably occur in time--that is, the rapid diminishing of mother's goddess powers as my own natural development took place, and instead only remained aware of the coping modes I had acquired with her (and would blindly project onto other females in my world following her). Much later, after such modes of repression/projection are ingrained and habitually acted out "without thinking," then it truly is as though (note metaphored state of existence) one's "heart (inner wholeness)" is in the hands and power of the object of one's blind adoration.
I say "blind" because the nature of a projection is such that once made, one no longer recognizes the inward nature of the forces which now seem to exist in the loved object (god or person).
But when sight begins, when Rip Van Winkle starts to wake up, awareness of the outside world, including the actual limitations of reality, including powers of goddesses, etc., starts to dawn. And it is a great pain, a huge "dis-appointment" when the facts of one's prior "appointments" which inevitably precede the break up, come into awareness. Then, further blinded by emotion, who can see that what feels like a "broken heart" is but a reflection of the broken dream--the blindly held illusion that began when one "gives his heart" into the keeping of another through the processes of repression/projection?
Certainly not I. At least at first. My continued perseveration has but reflected the difficulty I am having in facing the break up of my own illusions--blindly lived-out projections first begun with my mother (when "time" began, as it were, to "stand still") and continually acted out for some 74 years since.
Easier, as the song intones, to continue thinking that parting breaks one's heart, than to go the next step in insight and realize that heartedness, inherited wholeness, was in effect split long before those "happy hours" experienced when one is caught up in the illusion of happiness available from another.
BROKEN HEART ANALYSIS
A "broken heart" occurs after repression/projection--that is, when repressed personal capacities are projected "out there" onto magically empowered "its"--such as, gods, demons, lovers, etc. Then when they fail to produce desired results, based on expectations, wishes, hopes, trust placed in them, a "broken heart" may follow. Such a broken heart may be graduated, in degrees, over time, or sudden if obvious flaws appear in the object, such as an unfaithful lover.
Commonly, results are: disappointment, dis-heartedness, depression, and/or anger at "it."
Before a broken heart can occur one must in effect give heart away, usually unconsciously, in blind repression (as in my case, "being good," etc.). Key is dis-appointment following blind appointment; one must set up gods to bear weight of projected powers before they can "let you down." Size of projected powers of gods or lovers is proportional to extent of personal repression.
Instead of seeing and feeling a broken heart one can: 1) redouble worship efforts (be better and better; 2) deny that it is not working and fall into depression, etc.; 3) blame one's self for failures, e.g., lack of faith, sin, etc., and still keep the idol intact.
Repression rarely involves conscious thinking. If we "knew what we were doing" probably we wouldn't do it. Certainly not if we realized the long range consequences. Repression is best seen as compressing power or pressing power out of awareness. Consequently, repression is more physical than mental, that is, more a matter of body than mind alone. As best I can tell, everyone engages in the process, but no one consciously decides to do it.
Nor does one awarely choose to create a god, that is, to project inwardly repressed powers external, "out there," as onto a god, devil, or lover. When the object of such projection is a lover, we may accurately see the event as "falling in love." In a sense, we do literally "fall" without seeing what we do in the process. Such blind projections of personal power seem to "just happen" or more literally, insofar as consciousness is concerned, to "just be the way things are."
Only through unrepression may we sometimes become aware that the powers recognized externally in reflection were actually reflections rather than reality.
Still, personal choice is involved, even though not made in the fuller light of consciousness. No one "makes" or forces us to repress natural capacities. As in my favorite Denis The Minis cartoon, they may "make you sit down on the outside," but you can still "stand up inside" if you choose. We cannot properly blame our repressions on others, e.g., our mothers, even when we have no recollection or awareness of when we began. Insofar as repression is concerned, "the buck ends here," where it all begins.
Certainly circumstances, including other persons (especially our mothers who comprise the majority of early "circumstances") by nature of themselves invite us to opt for repression rather than face the challenges of remaining personally aware and responsible, containing powers generated within, and exercising them wisely without projection onto others.
But, and this is the critical issue: no one can make us repress ourselves; always that is an individual move, like sequencing sphincter muscles, feeling fear, tensing up, etc.
After the projections of power which inevitably accompany repression, it may indeed seem that "they made me do it" or caused it to happen; but this, as best I can tell, is never so. After a threatening urge, such as, an aggressive feeling, is repressed and its power projected, e.g., onto a devil or ghost, we act out the urge anyway, then we may indeed "think" (actually, not think) that "the devil made me do it (e.g., hit someone), but such an idea only exists in mind space after repression/projection.
Probably most all repression begins with our first real goddess, that is, mother. But all too soon her clay feet, as well as our own developing powers, begin to become apparent. Unfortunately, habits of repression may already be ingrained, so that we commonly keep them alive and simply look for similar or better goddesses or gods to project on after we "run away from home" etc.
The stage is then set for religious worship and/or secular "falling in love." Falling in love with a lover is but a secular version of falling in love with a god, or "giving your heart to Jesus."
With heart as a metaphor for one's fuller self, including repressed capacities, when we "give our heart" to God or Geraldine (as in religious conversion or secular falling in love) we have unwittingly projected inwardly repressed urges toward wholeness, plus powers to be so, out onto the idolized one, along with secret expectations, hopes, wishes, and trust, that they will in turn honor our commitments and "save us" (in religion) or "make me happy" (in love and marriage.)
Broken hearts only occur as the end result of projecting one's own potential for heartedness "out there," as onto a god or lover who turns out to be "only human" also. A fast break occurs when the adored one (projected-on one) obviously "let's you down" or is grossly unfaithful; or more commonly, a slow break takes place over time as one gradually comes to realize that the idolized one either can't or won't "make me whole and happy."--or else when, via unrepression, one becomes aware of his/her own denials and projections, that is, to acknowledge either the clay feet of the gods or previously unrecognized powers within oneself. Usually some combination of both.
When only the fallibility of a god or goddess is recognized (in the absence of unrepression) then one may take the easy way out by switching religions or lovers, and looking for better models (other "true" gods or lovers). When so, the whole process of facing up may simply be stopped or delayed again.
My perseveration on the song has just about stopped since I made the connection between when "time has stood still" and "since we've been apart"--that is, in seeing how my pattern of looking for my "heart" out there began with my mother and has continued to be blindly acted out ever since.
In thinking further about the song, I realized that I never focused on the line "so I'll just live my life in memories..." I've not been willing to do so, at least awarely. My desire has been to unrepress myself rather than continuing to live in un-faced memories, that is, with my powers of being projected onto others.
An emerging result of seeing the extent of my projected "heart" is first of all increased power within myself in proportion to lessened power seen reflected in Anita--that is, a clearer recognition of myself as I actually am, along with a willingness to recognize the actual presence of Anita as herself, rather than only seeing a mirror for my dark expectations. I find myself more willing to see/hear her without "taking it all on myself," as in, "taking it personally" or immediately assuming I "have to do something about it"--whenever something seems to "need fixing."
Also I am becoming more able to hear her as a separate self, rather than blindly assuming that whatever she says/does is somehow "about me," and calling for some action on my part. Nor do I feel her "understanding" of what I think or do to be so crucial as previously. This seems so simple now, so obvious as I have long known in theory; but as I have also long noted, the move from conceptions to becoming, from knowing about to knowing, is indeed a difficult move which commonly takes time.
There is, however, a fine delight in feeling, not just thinking, of myself as a truly separate person, without necessity for getting my heartedness "out there," especially from Anita as a distant representative of my mother. And perhaps even more freeing, to be able to see her naturalness, including her limitations, as simply about her--the way she now is, rather than as a threat to my own being. I have, I have a hard time acknowledging clearly, long lived as though she actually held the same goddess powers which must have once been true long ago in my nursery days before I began the repressions and projections lasting till now.
Specifically, the attributes I was "academically" noting in the last few days about what I take to be the nature of gender givens, are becoming personal now--that is, I am more able to see how natural Anita is insofar as I understand genetic femininity, and how unlike the goddess projections I have darkly "viewed" her as being. This is another way of saying I am becoming clearer about the images I have projected onto her, such as, one who can/should "take care of me," one whose "understanding" I actually need before I can think clearly about what I see, one whose "permission"--as in okaying my life, I need to be my natural self; and, difficult to admit still, is how much I have unconsciously looked to her for "blessing" my very existence before I dare accept an aspect of myself.
I am still embarrassed to "admit" these facts to myself, which, I reason, is but a remaining part of the modes of repression--that is, feeling as though acknowledging a personal limitation (in this case, the distance between seeing and being) is some sort of crime or sin needing to be hidden. I doubt that this psychic phenomenon exists prior to repression; it is, I think, an unnatural reaction, a layer of false guilt cloaking the revelation of some natural attribute, in this case, an "imperfection."
One aspect of projected powers is the erroneous notion that any failure to measure up to an accepted ideal--in my case, "being good" as defined by my mother's values first, and continuing till now with Anita's values, is "bad" and therefore cause for shame or guilt. Long ago I came to recognize the phenomenon of "false guilt" and have preached and written extensively on it in the past; but only now am I coming to see how deeply the habit is ingrained in my modes of repression.
While this is operative, instead of delighting in insight, which I think is natural, I "feel guilty" whenever I discover some "flaw" in myself--which is the way I take any evidence of being short of perfection (as mother-defined). Then, energies which might reflect first in "Aha" and then in re-charting my directions (as I imagine animals and unrepressed children do), are sapped by "false guilt," thereby limiting the speed of my moving on "enlightened."
Ideally, whenever I discover some new insight, such as, this current emerging awareness of how totally I have projected early mother images onto Anita, and how blindly I have denied/ignored/tried to fix any signs of her actual humanity (natural femininity) which was in conflict with my projections, I will try instead to delight in each new "en-lightenment" and immediately begin to adapt wisely--taking into account each bit of new information, and wasting no time and energy in regret, disappointment, and either trying to fix her or change myself to fit her wishes for me.
Wise adaptation, I think, must be one of the finest of our natural capacities, and, unfortunately, the one first and most completely negated when we begin to repress/project as our way of surviving in the world. All the social virtues (memes) I have yet recognized, all the goods and bads, rights and wrongs, I find "out there" are essentially roadblocks or stopping off places in exercising this inherited capacity for wise adaptation.
Certainly such impersonal virtues, once accepted, eased the difficult process of fitting in with mother first, and society later; but each one becomes in effect a stoppage of conscious thinking about what-to-do in immediate situations, including the extent of one's possible wisdom in choices about adaptation, rather than falling into repression/projection as a mode of survival.
Ideally, I will move from this well established habit and come again to view memes as relevant information about the social world, but not as inherently virtuous or "right" regardless of other information, especially about naturalness (genetic inclinations)--that is, I will try to not stop thinking honestly, taking into account all my available data, and wisely adapting to each present situation (as I think animals and infants still do). Meme knowledge (e.g., What They Think) will be just one more bit of information to be considered along with gene knowledge and other acquired information, when I decide what to do in each circumstance and time.
When so, I will no longer waste time and energy in: "trying not to see," for example, Anita-as-she-is, or Bruce-as-perceived. Nor will I continue to indulge in false guilt and shame when I discover I have "not been perfect." I will try to look innocently at each aspect of the continually unfolding world, to carefully avoid slipping into judgments which dim or stop my conscious thinking, and to exercise my inherited choose-ability--however limited or expansive it may be.
My goal is to exist (be myself) beyond the dictates of judgments and blind habits, to look openly, with un-jaundiced eyes, at whatever presents itself to my inherited perceptions, and to wisely adapt to each emerging situation (the actual, continually emerging, never permanent world) as fully as my faith allows.
BEING GOOD VERSUS CREATIVE ADAPTATION
In hindsight I can see that my commonly unrecognized goal in life has been "being good," especially as defined first by my mother and then by those I have continued to project my first learning onto, most notably, Anita.
Later I came to espouse the goal of "being whole" as a new ideal, but in practice I can now see that I mainly continued to follow the first goal--that is, I tried to "be good" even about "being whole." Wholeness came to be just one more greater aspect of "being good."
Now, however, I am able to see beyond both and view creative adaptation as a more worthy and realistic goal--not as an advanced form of "being good," but as an entirely new ideal. Creative adaptation means artfully adapting to each new situation in the most creative way I can, without wasting energies in "trying to be good" or indulging in false guilt whenever I recognize some bit of imperfection (read that, natural humanity).
In creative adaptation I of course remain aware, even more so than in the past, of social structures (memes), what others judge to be right and wrong, good and evil; but here is the crucial difference: this knowledge about the social world is no longer the dictating principle I strive to live by. Instead it is simply additional information to add to my own perceptions and past learning about reality. Natural inclinations--that is, genetic wisdom, becomes equally important in choices I make.
The art or creativity of this ideal lies in my sensible weighing of all available information, both from without and within, and opting to say/do what adds up best--based on the wealth and limitations of all my knowledge.
Another critical part of such weighing will be my attention and awareness of remnants of past repressions and projections, that is, my ingrained tendency to focus on What They Think (memes), deny awareness of genetic inclinations, and to slip into judgment and false guilt whenever I fail to measure up. I want to be eagle-eyed to my old modes, so as not to blindly resurrect and engage in them whenever conflict arises. Probably the temptation/tendency to fall back into old habits, now well established and available for acting out by rote, will call for even more attention than alertness to memes and genes.
Summary: creative adaptation is essentially different, even disconnected, from "being good" as has been my ingrained mode since early life. In largest perspective, it bypasses dictation by all social/religious judgments of right/wrong, good/bad, and should/ought. In Nietzsche's term, it is "beyond good and evil." But "beyond" means more than "against" or "without"; rather it refers to being completely outside the limited confines of all such human judgments (including those projected onto a god, goddess, and/or lover).
In creative adaptation all such social judgments are seen as real parts of one's world, even as are all elements of the natural order as well as personal genetics and individual learning from the past; but, and this is the distinguishing point: these "facts of social life" are simply a part of other "facts of life" in the natural universe--not better or worse, certainly not the only guiding information in immediate choices.
Furthermore, all notions of permanence and perfection--as though there are any unchanging things, principles, or ethics, in the real world are abandoned in the challenging face of adapting creatively to each bit of new information in the ever-evolving universe. Even the illusion of inherent meaning in things (or universe), existing apart from human projection, is abandoned. Thereafter, meaning is created whenever I dare approach and live in a present moment by acts of my own courage. When so, I in effect, make meaning out of the substance of my own capacities and creative adaptation to the world as I find it.
Nor does this stance ignore apparent "facts of life" about finitude and limitations--that is, the willy nilly nature of the universe as well as the limited nature of all human capacities. We humans are indeed wonderfully endowed with capacities, as best we can tell, exceeding those of any other life form; but, even as fine as we are, we are equally obviously limited--that is, without the additional gifts of omnipotence, omniscience, and immortality. We are, that is, "only human."
Even our historical projections of repressed notions of personal godhood onto images "out there" and our subsequent adoration of our self-created gods (including secular versions, such as, mothers and lovers), do not change the fact of limitations--nor the glory inherent in embracing given capacities within these circumscribed boundaries.
In creative adaptations, whenever I can find the nerve to make them, I embrace these noted "facts of life," including the possibility that they too may be wrong and/or inaccurate (that is, the limitations of all human knowledge), and dare to confront the world as I find it in each immediate situation and circumstance, giving meaning to what I choose (without falling into the assumption that "it" exists externally, and certainly not the godly notion that it is sacred beyond my own creations), and adapting as artfully as I can, given my capacities and limitations, to each precious moment granted me on this exciting venture toward the "dust" from which I came.
SELFING, REPRESSION, AND IDOLATRY
--Idolatry is inversely proportional to repressed selfing. The more one represses him or herself, the greater the practice of idolatry predictably becomes. Conversely, reduced repression reflects in reduced idolatry. Without repression, or with complete unrepression, I theorize there would be no idolatry at all.
--Women on average live better and outlive men because they repress themselves less, remaining better at selfing than do men.
--Men repress ourselves more than women and hence idolize more.
--God worship begins with repression of goddess worship and hence reflects in greater degrees of idolatry because the second starts with a major denial to begin with.
--Powerful memes against selfishness are projections of repressed genes for selfing.
--The more selfing one is, the less idolatrous one is. Full selfing, that is, being oneself completely, would, I theorize, reflect in the absence of any idolatry.
--98% of what we perceive or take to be external powers, such as, gods, lovers, and "things which move us," like, objects, places, times, and events, is the result of repressed selfing. When inherent "move ability" is denied and inevitably projected, it is only recognized in assorted mirrors "out there." Certainly there are real powers "out there" beyond our skins, but I estimate that only about 2% of what we take to be outside forces is actually real, that is, inherent in the "its" where we imagine them to be.
--Memes against selfing are not inherently powerful; they don't "make us" deny ourselves. Rather we create and worship these social forces to escape the responsibility for being ourselves--that is, embracing rather than repressing natural urges for selfing.
--Selfing is a coined noun for the natural process of being oneself. That we only have the adjective selfish and the noun selfishness for self-expressions is reflective of the extent to which we commonly repress being our natural selves. In society (memeland) all genetic selfing is automatically seen and taken to be selfish, which, obviously, is "bad" and to be avoided whenever possible. Only unselfishness, an illusionary state of being, is seen as virtuous. Ironically then, self sacrifice, the suppression and/or negation of our genetic heritage becomes the highest memetic virtue.
--Unfortunately then, agape, the true essence of human love, is erroneously seen as only possible through successful negation of natural selfing--that is, as the height or culmination of unselfishness. In reality, however, agape or loving beyond one's self ("loving others") is but the natural culmination of fuller degrees of selfing. The more completely we become ourselves, that is, embrace our inherited capacities and urges for selfing, the more we naturally extend what begins within "out there" beyond our own skins.
--Although the term idolatry is commonly understood as a religious word only, that is, related to "worshiping a false god" rather than "the true God (as named and defined by each religion)," I use it here in its literal sense, namely, bowing to ("worshiping") any idol--that is, any imaged ("imagined") form. Technically speaking, the worship of any imaged god is literally idolatry.
In this sense idolatry is more clearly understood as a secular phenomenon which is practiced most openly in religions, but exists more subtly in all of secular society. Indeed idolatry (literally, a psycho/physical phenomenon) is far more rampant in the secular world where it commonly goes unrecognized as such, and is typically accepted, even honored, as though it were a virtuous activity.
For example, idolizing (making idols of) our mothers, country, leaders, and lovers, is accepted, supported, affirmed, and commonly rewarded in secular society. Such adorations, which might be clearly recognized as idolatry in all religions except one's own, are blindly accepted as virtuous practices outside of religions.
In either case, I understand idolatry, whether practiced openly in religions or secretly in secular society, to be the result of self repression and the projections which inevitably accompany this psycho/physical phenomenon. Whenever we suppress natural selfing we unwittingly repress the energies generated by genetic processes.
These inward forces are not, however, truly negated or erased by our personal denials; they are only ruled out of conscious awareness and unconsciously projected onto blindly selected "objects" or "its" outside ourselves. Forces which actually exist within us are then recognized in reflection only--as though they are inherent in the images (idols) onto which or whom we imagine them to be held.
Because self repression, as best I can tell, is never done awarely--that is, as a conscious choice, the projection of power which accompanies the process is also done with equal self blindness. We do not consciously realize--that is, "see" in mind's eye, that we are in effect "giving away" internal forces to "its (images)" out there. Once we do so, however, it does indeed seem that (note metaphor) the image onto which we blindly project our inward forces actually has these powers within itself.
When, for example, I blindly transfer repressed mother images onto a later lover, I live-as-though ("truly believe") she possesses these powers I imagine her to hold--for instance, to "take care of me," "turn me on," and even to "make me happy," as might indeed have been true in early days of life when my mother was in fact a goddess in my limited world. I may consciously deny (indeed I have regularly done so when most fully engaged in this form of idolatry) that I am idolizing "my" lover, cloaking my sin in socially acceptable terms like adoration or even love; but any outside observer may easily see through my blind denials and recognize the idolatrous nature of what I have "fallen into."
--Secular idolatry only differs from religious idolatry in the nature of the images onto which repressed personal powers are projected. In general, religious icons are mental, while secular idols are physical. Religious gods are "in the mind (or in 'the sky')"; secular gods (or goddesses) are "on the ground." In the first, we worship conceptions; with the second, we idolize objects or persons, such as, trophies or lovers. The psycho/physical process is essentially the same in both forms.
--Colloquial terms and expressions for secular idolatry include: adoration ("I adore her"); devotion ("I am devoted to her or it"); "I worship the ground she walks on"; "The sun rises and sets on her/his head." "Falling in love" almost always signifies secular idolatry, as aptly noted in the expression, "love is blind." Idolatrous adoration is indeed blind to the fact that it is based on personal repressions of power unwittingly projected onto the adored one.
What's with men and big boobs? What is the source of male fascination, even compulsive attraction, to female breasts?
I speculate that the roots of these typical interests are about 10% genetic and 90% psychological. Male genes, I theorize, reflect in a small percent of our common concerns with female breasts. They are evidence of mothering capacities which we are genetically moved to seek in quest of self-replication. Full breasts are indicative of good nursing capability, as needed in infant survival and growth, and in turn required if our male genes are to find immortality in our offspring.
But primarily, I speculate, we are drawn, as it were, to big boobs for entirely personal reasons, quite apart from all genetic inclinations. I theorize that typical male repression of selfing and masculinity begins early in life, even while we yet remain "at mother's breasts"--that is, during or soon after weaning from survival via mother's milk, protection, comfort, and love, all of which are experienced in association with her breasts.
At these times when we are indeed small in stature in comparison with the goddess's huge-to-us body, her breasts must seem immensely "large" to us, given both their real capacities for survival resources and seemingly magical powers for "making us feel good" via comfort and love. Memory capacities are also in their infancy just then, perhaps never again to exist in such an impressionable state.
If I am correct in speculating that male repression of selfingness begins at these early times, when the good graces of the goddess are crucial for personal well being, it follows that these glorious memories of the "fount of all blessings" may also fall victim to denial in awareness for a growing boy. When so, the seemingly huge-to-a-boy breasts easily and predictably become the images on which he begins to project repressed forces coming to exist within himself.
Thereafter, as with all repressions, the "object" of projections seems to take on magical powers, as may have been realistically perceived in the beginning. A boy is then "set up," as it were, for being drawn to return to this apparent source of powers, not only for survival, but for the sense of happiness and contentment which were originally experienced there.
Insofar as conscious memory is concerned, repression in effect erases awareness; it "makes us forget." Such experiences, however, do not in fact "go away," but only remain locked outside of awareness, existing as primal or "repressed memories," lying in wait for potential resurrection into consciousness later.
This, I hold, is the basis for perhaps 90% of male attraction to big boobs; they are the images, the icons, mirrors reflecting primal memories of "the good times" when large-to-us breasts were indeed the source of "good living" for an infant child. In seeing and touching such icons we are in some magical way re-connected with our primal memories of times before repression when we found "goodness" as well as survival in their presence.
Seemingly drawn to them by blind forces beyond ourselves, we are in fact seeking re-connection with memories-now-lost, or more literally, with aspects of our selves lost to present awareness due to extended repression of masculine selfingness.
MEMORY AND REPRESSION
Memory = storing perceptions, "learning," keeping knowledge, transforming a perception (sense experience) into an image which remains after the event of perceiving is past.
Memory is an inherited human capacity. Early examples: mother's face, smell, smile, frown. The capacity is obvious in the first few days, weeks, of life, but is scientifically confirmed by testing at 3 months and is extensive at 2 years. Yet most adults consciously recall little before 3 or 4 years. Why?
1. Memory precedes language.
2. Telling requires language.
3. Hence saying what I remember before I learned language would either: a) be impossible, or b) be a later translation (putting into words what is held in pre-verbal forms (images, body?).
4. Pre-language memory is therefore more bodily or physical than mental, that is, of: a) sense impressions--sights (mother's breasts, face), smells (mother's body, milk), sounds (mother's cooing, voice), plus learned actions, e.g., grasping, biting, pushing, pulling, and b) emotional events, e.g., feeling aggression, anger (like biting a dry tit), sensing mother's anger or pleasure (reading smiles, frowns, withdrawal), and certainly inflicted pain or stimulated pleasure.
5. Point: Memory is far more than ideas, conceptions, wordable recollections. Even if translation into language is required for telling or writing, the most powerful elements in memory, especially early memory) are more physical than mental, more in body than conscious mind.
6. Infant mind is most impressionable of all, that is, most likely to perceive and hold perceptions of immediate events as they are actually perceived (e.g., light/dark, hard/soft, feels good/bad)--uncontaminated, as it were, with vast amounts of prior perceptions, because of less "experience." Since an infant has little data (womb memories?) to compare with present perceptions, he reacts naturally versus "as he should," since shoulds are not yet known. Hence, primal memories are: totally personal, straight, deeper, stronger, and probably more lasting--like first impressions on malleable clay.
7. Early repression is consequently less related to mental ideas (conceptions) which require language to exist (names, places, etc.) than to bodily capacities associated with various perceptions (e.g., What happens if I bite mother's tit? How do I feel when mother pulls back from me, or leaves? What occurs if I am aggressive? If I smile, or cry? What happens when I wet my diapers?) These "learnings" are shaped into modes of behavior apart from (and long before) languageable conceptions which might be held and recalled later.
8. Point: unrepression is less about recalling facts (tellable events, e.g., mother frowned when I bit her breast; she spanked me when I cried; uncle touched my leg, etc.) than getting back in conscious touch with capacities activated or suppressed at the time. What did I begin learning to do when mother "got mad" or turned cold toward me? What did I feel when she spanked me? When uncle touched me?, etc. What matters in unrepression is less about recalling "what they did (a wordable description)" than "what I did (or didn't) feel, think, or do at the time," especially in repeated such events.
8. Consequently, repression is better seen in terms of bodily sequencing, squeezing, tensing, suppressing feelings, severing connections between urges and awareness, than in mental "forgetting." Conversely, unrepression is more about unsquencing, unsqueezing, relaxing, re-feeling, and re-connecting with natural capacities and inclinations, than about "remembering facts."
Perseveration is a psychic device, rooted, I think, in repression/projection, in which a thought, image, tune, or scene spontaneously and repeatedly returns uninvited to mind. The thought (I use thought to represent all forms of content) may be in the form an idea, song, a recurring dream, a face, event, or place.
In either case, the common denominator is the recurring nature of the thought, and the fact that "it" just keeps coming to mind without invitation. Even if one "tries not to think about it," a perseveration may periodically intrude, as it were, into awareness.
In my recent perseveration on the song about "broken hearts," various lines in the lyrics keep popping up at the strangest of times. I'd be eating breakfast, for example, and find myself humming "but time has stood still, since we've been apart."
Perseveration has been typically understood in three ways:
1. As messages from gods, guardian angels, devils, or other cosmic beings. For example, a religious person who has recurring dreams about being "on a slow boat to China" might conclude that God is calling him to be a missionary to China.
2. A sign of mental illness, varying from minor degrees when the thought is seemingly benign, casual, and without accompanying stress (e.g., my song), to extreme when the thought comes often with force (e.g., of "killing my boss," or committing suicide).
3. Irrelevant "trash thinking," simply a quirk of mind, irrelevant or wasted mental energy to be ignored or discontinued as soon as possible--in either case, not something to be taken seriously.
Although there may be merit in each of these (or other) approaches to understanding perseveration, depending on where one is coming from, I think perseveration is more clearly understood and functionally approached in a fourth, distinctly different, way.
4. A perseveration is an element of natural wisdom, an invitation to return to personal wholeness, beginning at the point where splitness (repression) began. A perseveration invites one to give up splitness which is inevitable when one opts for the psychic device of repression/projection as a mode of coping with reality.
The perseverating thought, the uninvited image or tune, is a clue, as it were, a slightly cloaked sign standing for the time/place where a particular repression began. At face value only, the uninvited thought may seem innocent, irrelevant, or simply bothersome; but recognized as a potential bit of "unconscious wisdom," such thoughts may be explored profitably as potential bridges back to one's larger self.
I use the term"natural (or unconscious) wisdom" to represent what I take to be inherited urges toward personal wholeness, to "being ourselves," "who we are created to be,"--that is, completed or whole within ourselves, rather than split, undeveloped, immature, or less than we are capable of being.
I posit further that the major culprit in our seemingly universal "sin," or "falling short of the glory of God (biblical language)," is self-repression, usually as a psychic device taken in service of social acceptance. Rather than continually daring to "be ourselves" we take the initially easy path of repressing various elements of our inherited capacities as a way of fitting in better with our social circumstances.
But repression, no matter how diligent we are in its pursuit, is never completely successful. Always there remain associated signs of clues to that from which we try to erase from awareness. Short of complete mental breakdown (total craziness) our best efforts given to repression remain limited in some regards. Natural wisdom cannot be completely negated, even if we temporarily succeed over long periods of time.
The urge to "return to the scene of the crime"--that is, the time/place where a particular repression began, remains alive-though-denied in awareness.
It is just here that perseveration often enters the scene of human consciousness, as an uninvited invitation to re-connect with previously repressed aspects of one's fuller self. When seen and approached as such, rather than falling into either of the three noted alternatives, a single perseveration may become an invaluable clue, a bridge, as it were, for getting back in touch with aspects of one's self as essential for fullness of life in the here and now.
In my case, my earlier perseverations on the song "...they say that time heals a broken heart," etc., have focused on various lines, while ignoring others. About a week ago, however, before I got the flu, I found these perseverations to begin again, only now focusing on another line in the lyrics, namely, "...those happy hours which we once knew..." In all the previous perseverations (over a month now?) My attention has been focused on "broken hearts," "time has stood still," and the fact that even time brings little true healing.
I was finally able to decode these perseverations and to realize (see more clearly) that my original "broken heart" was not with Imogene (at age 11), and certainly not with later lovers and wives, but was long before with my mother. All later dis-appointments were simply reflections and resurrections of the earlier, original one with my first "mother."
But until this recent perseveration I had only focused on who and when--that is, who was present at my original "broken heart" and when it must have occurred for the first time, only to be repeated in later relationships. But now a new and strange memory seems to be appearing for the first time, namely, "those happy hours which we once knew."
My conscious memories of my mother have, for as long as I can recall, been more negative than positive--that is, focused on unpleasant events, such as, her disciplines (switchings, medicine-as-punishment, enforced "regularity," curtailed freedoms, etc.). Even at her funeral I hardly cried because in fact I did not yet perceive any great loss, only relief from negative aspects of our relationship (e.g., her refusal to release usufruct of our inheritance from my father some 14 years earlier).
Whence then, this perseveration about "happy hours"? Did we indeed have "happy hours" which I have long repressed from awareness in favor of focusing on negative aspects of our relationship? Were there "forgotten" times when I did indeed exist happily (whole-hearted) within the circle of her good graces? Did I begin repression/projection of my heart back then while learning to court the lines which she called "being good"?
Knowing then the "happy hours" which I would likely have experienced in our private times when I was "good" in her eyes, did I become more focused on how to "be good" in order to re-achieve them, than on the good times themselves? Or on various private rebellions aimed at keeping some degree of personal integrity, even while openly striving to measure up or please the one who I had already come to view in magical proportions (bearer of my own projections)?
I now think so. Even though I have long remained more aware of unpleasant aspects of our relationship--focused, predictably on her actions, I suspect that even here I may have already begun repressing possible pleasantries, e.g., in being "cleaned," anal pleasures related to suppositories, "syringes," and enemas aimed at "keeping me regular." Certainly the elements of force involved, including minor discomforts, were easy to take as negative, as in, "blaming mother"; but even here I may have been repressing potential pleasure inherent in her "attentions" to me, not to mention the actual stimulation of nerve endings in the process of her "ministrations" to me.
Even though I cannot yet bring "happy hours" with my mother into present consciousness, I suspect that my perseveration on that line in the song is indication of emerging re-connection with aspects of my own natural happiness which I began to repress in those early years (well before age 4) when she would more normally be moved from goddess to human in my perspectives. My projection of supernatural powers to "make me happy"--when and if I was "good," later to be resurrected with other lovers, must have invited my attentive focus on "how to be good enough (pleasing)" as a distraction from my personal repressions required to keep the projections intact.
I suspect that getting the flu last week may have further set the stage for these perseverations in that being thrust back into rather total dependence on Anita for all care was also a resurrection of a situation with my mother when she was most likely to suspend her expectations of me "being good," in favor of "loving me as I am." Although I cannot quite remember this clearly, I have the feeling that when I was sick mother would become more tender, caring, and supportive, without judgment and expectations. Consequently I imagine that I may have been tempted to exaggerate signs of illness in order to evoke her "taking care of me." As I recall, I never liked "having to have a bib (of warm Vicks salve)," but surely I must have enjoyed the feeling of mother taking such close care of me at the time.
I suspect that I am yet inclined to look for the same extra attentiveness from Anita "when I am sick," the inclination being more about "loving me as I am" than the actual functions of physical care. I reason that I may therefore have connected on some deep level earlier memories of being cared for when sick with a magical mother, and so resurrected these same wishes with Anita now.
1. Importance: Although typically unconscious, following our common early repressions, I speculate that the male erection ("hard") is the single most significant representative element in typical masculine identification. Male identity seems to be more clearly focused here than in any other aspect of masculine equipment, expression, or activities. Other typical sources of male identity, such as, physical dominance, competition, trophies, possessions and resources valued by females, and possession of females, are all spin-offs, reflections, I think, of this more primal, genetic, source of masculine self-identification and hence, self-confidence, namely, erectile capacities, euphemistically known as the ability to "get (and keep) it up," and negatively experienced as "sexual impotence" or "erectile dysfunction."
2. History: Typically, male erections begin spontaneously in the womb, occur regularly and naturally in childhood, and beginning with puberty are sometimes accompanied by orgasms and "nocturnal emissions" (ejaculation).
Initially, before typical male repression begins, boys are naturally proud of our penises, including erections, associated pleasures, and even "how far we can pee." Sans repression, we would all, I imagine, begin to "play with ourselves" early in boyhood, proudly display our erections, and soon learn to masturbate often and freely as sperm production escalates in puberty.
But alas, there seems to never be any "sans repression" in actual experience. Repression of maleness, beginning with motherly denial and suppression, even punishment and rejection, is quickly expanded to support by society, including most other males as well as all authority figures.
The familiar result is male ambivalence about erections. Natural pleasure, pride and self identification tend to become quickly covered by layers of acquired guilt, shame, and suppressed awareness of just how significant erectile capacities are and remain, even when consciously denied.
Also, male delights and confidence, primally rooted in erectile capacities, tend, following repression, to be displaced onto other secondary male capacities, notably, aggression, competition (seeking trophies), getting wealth and women. Erections themselves are consciously forgotten in typical male compulsive focus on these secondary masculine-type pursuits.
3. Analysis: Although erections are so integral a part of male genetic or pre-conscious experience as to seem inevitable and automatic, they are, especially following early socialization and puberty, immensely complicated physiological, psychological, and personal events. On analysis, erection elements include at least four major components:
a. Libido--male hormone (primarily testosterone) based urges and energies focused in hard penises and accompanying dark desires (usually socially unacceptable), but physically aimed at orgasmic ejaculation only--"doing it," "fucking," anything (one's hand, animals, other males, any pussy)--that is, physical "relief" from massive quantities of naturally produced sperm and semen.
b. Mental desire--conscious sexual inclinations, passions reflected in "wanting to have sex," usually related to mental images ("pretty girls," female body parts, pornography, etc.), physical contact with attractive females, and/or, apparent female desires.
c. Intact and connected nerves and muscles physically required for penile stimulation plus directing and trapping blood in the penis, as is essential for having an erection ("getting it up").
Because these bodily capacities usually exist and operate below levels of consciousness, we are typically unaware of their necessity and in effect "take them for granted" as though unnecessary. Prostate surgery, however, where erectile nerves can be injured or severed, may bring us face to face with the essential nature of functioning physiology as perhaps finally more relevant then the first two elements in typical erections.
d. More refined and discriminate urges (and inherited wisdom) are focused on replication success, that is, sex with potentially conceive-able females, not on indiscriminate fucking and/or masturbation. I theorize that primal libido (unfocused urges to ejaculate) quickly matures into highly discriminating directives aimed not merely at "doing it," but at finding, seducing, and fucking those females most likely to conceive and thereby replicate half our genes.
Consciousness and repression notwithstanding, natural, healthy male erections typically involve an intricate harmony of coordinated associations between these four elements, especially the first three for ordinary sexual activity, and the fourth for more advanced male passions. Failure in either arena--hormonal direction, personal desire, or functioning nerves and muscles effectively prevent male erections. Furthermore, no exaggerated aspect of any one element can fully compensate for missing capacities in another. For example, with damaged or severed (non-functional) nerves, no amount of conscious desire (#2, as initiated by images and/or touch) can make an erection happen. Or, barring some measure of testosterone-initiated urges, even the healthiest of nerves and muscles are lacking in production of firm erections.
Before prostate surgery I intellectually knew about erectile nerves; but only when confronted with their dysfunction following prostate removal did the fuller import of this knowledge truly soak in. Even when my conscious desires are strong, testosterone is presumably active, and sexual stimuli (previously exciting images and/or physical touch) is present, still nerve limitations diminish and/or prevent firm erections.
I conclude that while #3 (functional nerves and muscles) are the least conscious of these 4 elements underlying erections, it is perhaps the most critical of all. Lessor degrees of the other 3 may result in partial though limited firmness; but without good nerves, no erections at all.
Till now (all my life so far) I have been seemingly automatic in response to sexually related stimuli and/or opportunities. I have never "had to think about" or "worried about" having an erection. Indeed, even when being overtly sexual was entirely inappropriate by social standards, still, given stimuli I have come to associate with sex (e.g., tits and ass), I often experienced erections which required concealment and ususally led to feelings of embarrassment and/or guilt.
But no more. Images and opportunities which I previously considered to be inherently exciting, as though I as a person were but an innocent bystander, prove now to be impotent within themselves; while my nerves are apparently dysfunctional, I can only conclude, reasonably, that in the past I have vastly overrated the stimulating power of even the most provocative of images and desirable of opportunities. The evidences of my long term repression and habitual projections are becoming abundantly clear to me. Erections are far more personal and internally generated that I have even imagined.
ERECTIONS AND REPRESSION
In that erections, both actual and symbolic, do indeed express and represent the most primal element in maleness, namely, capacity for replication (baby making), I conclude that pride and a large measure of self-identification is natural and predictable in all genetic males. That we universally "feel good about," as well as experience intense pleasure in, our regular erections and occasional ejaculations, and view sexual impotence with great threat, is, I conclude, but inherent in masculinity itself.
However, the equally near universal phenomenon of male repression commonly leads to various distortions of this natural order of maleness. Most notably, I think, is repressed awareness of the nature, scope, and extent of inherited male sexuality in its purest forms. Social requirements, encountered first with one's mother in the nursery, easily lead to significant male repression as a mode of coping with powerful external forces to the contrary.
The summary result of this typical childhood situation, in which repression is taken as the major mode of coping with social expectations is, predictably, equally major degrees of projection of internal sexual powers onto external images and objects (e.g., tits and ass)--as abundantly evident to me now in my own history.
Paradoxically, such internal denials may also reflect in blindly held exaggerated notions about the actual scope of male sexual powers. Just as fear or other emotions may achieve exaggerated proportions when denied in consciousness, so and more so with natural sexual passions. Repression may easily make these urges seem to be far greater than they actually are--or would be if faced openly. Pushing down on anything, it seems, makes it loom larger in the darkness than when allowed openly into the light of consciousness.
A second common result of typical male repression of natural sexuality is thwarted growth toward fuller personhood of which masculinity is, in reality, but a relatively minor part. With repression, it seems, we easily become "hung up (obsessed?)" with "manhood," blindly identifying our whole selves with male sexuality, as though "it" is literally "I."
Once we jump to this erroneous conclusion and drop out of the larger quest for fuller personhood, we typically make two other dangerous mistakes: 1) We try to find and become who we are in the limited arena of sexual activity (or its secondary spin-offs) alone. We try to prove ourselves through "doing it" and/or acquiring, even by force, female submission to our sexual dominance.
2) Unfortunately, the flip side of this same bogus coin is that sexual impotence, even "not getting any," becomes as self-devastating as is the hollow self-confidence we find in "doing it." Not being able to "get it (I) up," to "keep it up (maintain an erection indefinitely)," or to obviously "satisfy a woman," become devastating threats to such a male's sense of himself. Sexual dysfunction becomes far more than simply another human limitation. Once a man, following repression, comes to identify his entire self with his sexuality (personified in erections either spontaneous or by conscious choice) then even hints of sexual impotency seem to be matters of life and death. Castration, e.g., taken to mean "loss of manhood," may then be seen as a fate worse than death.
So seeing and saying, I turn to examine my own feelings and sense of myself during this time of "erectile dysfunction." My first recognition is to acknowledge that I haven't actually missed having sex as much as I imagined I would. I am seeing that a large measure of my prior urges have been fueled less by personal passion than by dedication to habits, such as, trying to please and "make Anita happy"--that is, doing what I now see more clearly as what I took to "be my duty" as a good husband, more than blindly following my own desires.
Acknowledging this older self-deception, I can also see more clearly how much these habits have blinded--or at least colored my views about Anita's actual, real sexual desires and interests--or lack of same. Past my own projected ideas, I am in relative darkness about her true sexuality (is she also?). What, if anything does she honestly desire from me in this arena?
I wonder too if I am yet more self-identified with "manhood"--symbolized in erections, than I consciously realize. Am I more deeply threatened by loss of erection capacity than I presently seem to be? Although I do not know if my erectile nerves are healing themselves (it's only been 2 months since surgery) or if they may in fact be permanently severed. I cannot but wonder what a sexless future might be like--in marriage, if not in mind. How much would I miss it? How would my marriage be affected? Would I actually be personally threatened as other men seem to be in the face of possible "impotence"?
Is this extended bout with the flu--plus oscillating temperature, rooted in (or influenced by) emerging unrepression related to sexual honesty and/or long denied memory of "those happy hours" in pre-sister times (4 years) with my mother, possibly including emerging sexuality in her presence? I can only speculate that this is possibly so.
In either case, I believe I am currently engaged in an extended process of unrepressing aspects of myself which I must have begun to repress in early childhood, especially in arenas of positive experience with my mother and consciously embracing my own pleasure capacities, including natural sexual passions.
Another awareness which I find embarrassing to admit is how deeply my prior motivations for being affectionate must have been rooted in dark seductive urges--that is, when I was least aware of the fact and thought of myself as being purely platonic, even virtuous in a chaste sense of the term. This is evidenced in my almost complete lack of inclinations to be affectionate now that erections are relatively impossible.
I am also finding it difficult to acknowledge my emerging observation that it is unnatural for a woman to want to "take care of a man" in many of the ways "good wives" seem to try to do--especially as summarized in the terms, "mothering" or "babying" a grown man. In contrast, I think mothering ("taking care of") babies and children is natural (genetically directed) and consequently that such natural females may do indeed find letting go of children (stopping mothering) difficult to do. Furthermore, simply extending the habit with surrogate children, neighbors, plants, animals, even houses and husbands, must be an abiding female temptation in evading maturity as a separate person.
Even so, however, I now think that my repressed wishes for mothering ("unqualified love"), while understandable following my own repressions, are in fact far an unnatural, even dangerous, female quality. More naturally, adult females (past puberty) are, I think, genetically drawn to virile, strong males capable of supplying good sperm during fertile periods and good security for marriage, especially during child rearing times. Conversely, barring their own immaturity and other psychological devices, I think "good women (those most in touch with their genetic heritage)" naturally resent and turn away from weak (wimpy) males (those less virile and limited in security potential)--or at least carefully avoid "taking care of a man" insofar as mothering/babying is concerned.
Guided by Sophia's Wisdom alone, I suspect that "natural women" are more likely to resist "taking care of a man," even to focus unsympathetically on signs of weakness, as an unconscious push toward exercising greater strength and personal responsibility (to be a "good man") as desired in supporting their own security needs.
Certainly there is room for true benevolence ("love") in a mature woman, even aimed at a weak man she would naturally prefer to be strong and independent in order to meet her own needs. But I suspect that the kind of mothering of husbands, as seems to be typical in so many marriages today, usually has other motivations--such as, a perverse form of wielding power, maintaining possession, or mis-using natural mothering capacities where they least belong, as an escape from the challenges of maturing as a female person, beyond all mothering.
In my dark wishes to be babied during this time of extended physical weakness and incapacitation, I think I am:
a) looking for an unnatural female trait, and
b) using the occasion to regress to earlier periods of my life when mothering was indeed natural--and probably far more likely to occur when I was "sick" than when feeling well.
c) Ideally, engaging in some measure of unrepression at the same time.
d) Unknowns: I have analyzed 4 basic requirements for healthy erections, but in my current limbo I do not know which are now deficient. Is my testosterone level low? Has my body reacted to these "invasions" by slowing production of male hormones, leaving me with essentially weak or lacking libido? Or, do psychological factors related to conscious passion--"wanting to have sex"--now bring limits. Does my secondary agenda of unrepressing early feelings, especially of pleasure with my mother, unwittingly interfere now with conscious desire?
Also, am I just now confronting repressed Oedipal threats, and/or natural male/male attractions, such as, warmth with my father, open closeness with male friends, and natural homosexual attractions? Have I long denied pleasure, warmth, closeness, and passion with those I "loved," out of psychological fears of "being close"--beginning with mother and daddy, but later extended to others I have truly cared for?
I have long recognized that a true and natural union between passion and love is immensely rare, being strongly mitigated against in society, beginning with incest taboos, Oedipal conflicts, and continuing in homophobia. Far easier to separate sex from love, as I believe to be naturally connected, by splitting oneself and then confronting each separately--if at all. Am I just now confronting this split within myself?
Am I nearing old incest tabooos and consequently finding passion nipped in the bud for these psychological reasons? Or, on the other hand, has surgery simply given me a good excuse to stop habitual sex not rooted in personal passion? Am I just being more sexually honest now that I have good reason to avoid it?
Or, can I "blame it all" on injured nerves? Am I dealing only with purely physical factors related to surgery, which may or may not heal in time?
Or, finally, is factor #4 kicking in for the first time--namely, limited (or no?) true genetic inclinations to simply fuck for itself alone, without replication motivations? Am I just being more honest about lack of interest in post-menopause "doing it"?
Spin-offs on Natural Femininity: Unnatural "taking care of a man" is commonly expressed in such activities as feeding, clothing, serving ("waiting on," as though a man is king in his castle), picking up after his fragile ego. Although these are commonly done, I consider them unnatural and therefore expended for psychological rather than genetic reasons.
Another spin-off is in the sexual arena. Whereas covert seduction ("being attractive") is natural, especially at times of ovulation, I think that all other overtly seductive activities (e.g., initiating sex, cunnilingus, taking charge of arousal, and "putting it in," etc.) by females are basically unnatural--against or beyond one's genetic grain. Certainly there are many other functional and proper reasons for females to act beyond these natural inclinations, such as, power, control, possession, experiencing their own natural passions when limited to sex with a weak male, and even love (rarely?).
But even so, all such forms of overt seduction and sexual initiatives are, I think, foreign to the nature of genetic femininity. Consequently, when men desire such overt sexual activity by females, we may only be revealing our own psychological hang-ups and, in effect, living out old repressions/projections reflected in magical wishes for salvation from females--that is, getting them to "grow up" for us or magically "make us whole" without our becoming personally responsible for ourselves, including "taking care of ourselves."
No natural (unrepressed) male would, I theorize, make these blind projections onto unsuspecting females, looking to them for yet unembraced parts of ourselves. Whenever I find myself wishing to be babied or such, I am better advised to look instead to my own repressions/projections which set the stage for these magical wishes, rather than wasting energies in trying to con a female into being what she is not, or resenting the fact that neither she or anyone else can truly be for me.
Growing up, it turns out, remains an immensely personal matter of great faith, as is required for unrepression, and is never properly looked for "out there," especially in natural females.
SEX AND LOVE
I think that sex and love naturally go together--that is, when we love we experience our natural sexual feelings with (in the presence of) loved ones, and that conversely, when we are naturally sexual with another, we also tend to love them.
Not so much that we want to "have sex" with them, as in fucking, but that we want to openly be this aspect of ourselves, in whatever form and degree it emerges within ourselves, just as with other parts of who we are (honest feelings, thoughts, etc.).
The issue is more existential than overtly sexual, that is, more about being this aspect of who we genetically are than about doing sexy activities. Just as we want to openly be other aspects of our natural selves, e.g., emotional, thoughtful, and creative, with those we love, so with our honest sexuality also.
Obviously, however, powerful social forces (memes) mitigate against this aspect of open presence, typically including denial, rejection, and punishment when these lines are transgressed. Familiar names for the arenas of these memes include "incest taboo," "Oedipal complex," plus innumerable judgments simply worded as "bad," "wrong," "dirty," "nasty," "perverse," and/or "evil."
Although these near universal rejections of what I see as natural connections between being sexual and being loving are commonly explained with theories about "genetic wisdom (in the case of incest taboos, as though avoiding perils of in-breeding is also genetic knowledge), psychological threats (e.g., Oedipal issues), or simply inherent good and evil. I think these popular explanations all miss the point and come with personally dangerous consequences in time (even when they seem to serve society).
The true culprit (real cause), I think, is the psychic device of repression/projection, almost universally taken as the mediating mode of achieving social acceptability in regard to powerful sexual instincts.
Grasping this theory requires understanding the basic distinction between being naturally sexual and doing sexy acts--that is, between consciously embracing natural desires and passions, and "doing it" or other overtly sexual deeds. Literally speaking, one can be consciously sexual--just as, being emotional or thinking honestly, and not "do anything about it"--that is, without "acting out" in dangerous and/or socially unacceptable ways.
Certainly the line between being and doing (feeling sexual and acting sexy) is not always distinct, and conscious thinking (being reasonable) is essential in making wise choices when impractical options appear--such as, incest (e.g., intercourse between mother and son). But, and this is the critical distinction in this theory: reality does not inherently require repression of sexually rooted urges ("feeling sexy") in order to be sensible about acting out passions in irrational and/or socially dangerous ways. We can, at least theoretically, both be sexual and sensible at the same time. Natural passions are not omnipotent, inherently beyond guidance and control by equally natural reason-abilities.
While it is true that repression/projection often results in assumptions of all-powerful, totally beyond reasonable direction, literally uncontrollable instincts, I think this conclusion is more attributable to repression than to actual human capacities. We are, I think, were it not for extended repression, fully capable of sensibly activating and reasonably expressing all that we are capable of "feeling"--both emotionally and sexually.
But repression, however, does indeed change all that, easily leading to familiar conclusions about omnipotent, uncontrollable, sexual instincts.
Repression, of course, does not make sexuality "go away"--only drives it "underground" and tries to eliminate its conscious presence in close relationships where it predictably arises, notably in family settings. Love is okay; sex is not.
The familiar result of this near universal dilemma is the ultimately unsuccessful effort to literally separate sex and love--that is, being consciously passionate with loved ones. Such enforced (by self-repression) platonic relationships, while inviting closeness, acceptance, support, and sharing in many other regards, cannot but be finally left relatively juiceless, devoid of our most primal genetic, creative energies and urges--beautiful in their arenas of acceptable intimacy, but finally starved by what they are required to exclude, namely, the primal roots of all creative passions (our second most powerful of inherited instincts), for self-replication.
My point in weaving these theories is to form a mental stepping stone for hopefully easing the path of my own unrepression. I speculate that I, like, as best I can tell, most others who opt for repression over responsible honesty, came early to split my sense of myself--specifically, my natural passions from my love abilities. I have tried, that is, to be close and caring without also being sexual--as idealized in my first home as well as society at large.
Specific arenas of my projected splitness, I can now speculate, began with the suppression of pleasurable passions with my mother, emotional intimacy with my father, unlimited closeness with male friends (later with all others), and finally the inevitable conflicts inherent in socially acceptable platonic relations with female friends, and sexual relationships where socially permitted, but inevitably bearing the weight of my blindly projected powers for being my fuller self, including my natural sexuality.
Zest for life is naturally rooted in two interwoven instincts traditionally seen in their divided forms of inherited urges, drives, for survival and replication--living as well as possible as oneself, and making/having as many babies as possible.
The juices for lively existence are inherent in embracing and activating these intertwined genetic directives. Herein lie, as it were, the seeds for passionate, joyful, zesty life.
Although the second side of these co-instincts, namely, self-replication ("reproduction," it is more commonly called), is easier to see and understand, the first, generally recognized crudely as for "survival" or "staying alive (at all costs)," may more clearly be seen as a drive to maximize personal satisfactions (be "selfish")--not merely to "stay alive," but to enhance self pleasures as much as circumstances allow.
My summary term for "survival" urges is: creative adaptation--that is, a powerful, ingrained drive to: 1) creatively shape circumstances ("environment") to fit inherited structures for maximizing pleasure and minimizing pain, and 2) to creatively adapt ourselves to fit in with apparently unchangeable circumstances directed by these same goals (maximum self-satisfaction).
Natural motivations for "improving the world," for "doing good" in society, for "helping others (in contrast with self), are all rooted in this first part of the drive for maximizing satisfactions, that is, aimed at a more creative shaping of "things" to enhance self-satisfactions.
Unfortunately, however, in practice ("meanwhile back at the ranch"), creative world-shaping ("trying to make the world a better place") all too easily becomes idolized as a morally virtuous escape from the natural challenges of personal creativity, especially in regard to embracing our second most powerful drive, namely, for being sexual, responsibly in society.
What commonly happens, I think, especially for males in society, is that early exercising of these powerful, intertwined urges, familiarly summarized as "selfishness" and "sexiness," soon runs afoul in the presence of the first goddess who holds most of the keys to both survival and pleasure, including their budding sexual components.
Then, quite wisely at the time, boys typically begin first to suppress, then repress, our natural urges in favor of behavior modes more successful in keeping favor with the goddess--some, like myself, far more diligently than others.
Finding natural bodily delights threatening in quest of mother's favors, one common resolution--the one I found--is to magnify and effectively escape into the life of mind as theoretically separable from body--that is, into virtues of "thinking" rather than passions of "wanting."
Spin-offs in life devoted to mind over body, intellectual rather than passionate pursuits, include: striving to be "smart," making "good" grades, acquiring mental knowledge, academic understanding, plus all the virtue associated with an idolized mind being blindly used as an instrument of bodily suppression, such as, self-sacrifice (devotion to others versus self), personal "honor (esteem of others)," devotion to current socio/religious values (e.g., justice, chastity, morality, and in my circumstances, smoking, dancing, gambling, playing ball on Sunday, etc.), and in general, idolizing words, knowledge, logic, reason (tools of mind), while suppressing intuition, emotions, and all bodily inclinations.
Specifically, as in my case of idolized mentality, identifying self with words ("my word is my bond") rather than with "heart" or body.
My current agenda is trying to unrepress aspects of myself which I now believe to have begun occurring before the age of 3 or 4, when my conscious memories first begin to kick in. My path to these dark aspects of myself has been, in accord with my learned way of coping in the world, through intellectual speculations first--that is, explorations into "how things are" objectively, with the underlying agenda of "how they are for me" personally. I have, that is, tried to go through the back door of mind, or to back into finding myself by looking to safer "out theres" first.
Earlier I have erroneously conceived my intellectual quests to actually be objective, that I was only looking for "the truth" out there. I was, that is, somewhat blind to personal motivations in my diligent mental efforts to analyze "how things are." I thought I was mainly about "helping others" or at least looking more sharply and honestly into "reality" as I have found "it" to be. Now I know this has simply been my back door approach to myself, moving closer to me via the safer path of academic understanding.
In this path I have long recognized intellectually the significance of mothers in early development, especially of boys. I have seriously explored gender differences "objectively" for many years and focused mainly on what I see as the superior powers of femininity and the generally un-faced limitations of males.
But now as I try to become more personal about these speculations, in particular, trying to unrepress denials in myself as possibly reflected in my recent perseveration on the phrase "those happy hours," that is, to examine my own relations with mother and daddy before my first sister was born (age 4), I am impressed with two seemingly contradictory observations about femininity and my mother in particular.
First, the female powers which I explored in Sophia's Wisdom and elsewhere, that is, their natural advantages, beginning with genetics but amplified in many other arenas, such as, capacities with emotions and pragmatic use of words (versus sacred, as we males tend to view them), I am now coming to recognize as functionally awesome in my personal experience (projected, of course, onto "others" as well as myself) these female advantages.
Even now I hesitate to write as clearly as I think, because, I suspect, I still don't want to acknowledge the extent of my own bendings under female influence--that is, the true extent of my repressions and inevitable projections onto these already superior feminine elements.
Specifically, I am moving past supposedly "objective" observations about mythical Sophia to look more directly at the powers exercised by my mother and other females in my life encounters. I am seeing that even when males (I still hesitate with "I" only!) are at our best, following our typical repressions, female abilities (mother, Anita, etc.) in the realms of cunning, artful use of inherited and learned powers, and primal self-survival abilities, are far greater than our own.
Proverbial male wisdom about "never winning an argument with a woman" is, I am now recognizing in my own live, far truer than I have personally realized--and this only for openers in the larger aspects of our relationships beyond limited times of "arguing." When we come to true conflicts in self-representation in arenas of either gender or personal differences, it is becoming increasingly apparent to me that females typically "win hand's down," as it were. My own consistent failures in exercising my will with females, beginning with mother but no less regularly still, are nudging themselves into my awareness.
This is easier to see while focusing on female artistry in self-representation rather than on male (my own) limitations, either in natural abilities or in learned modes of submission (wimpism); but even acknowledged weaknesses of my own do not seem to diminish the accuracy of these observations about females in general.
Which leads me to the second element in my emerging awareness, namely, the seemingly contradictory observation that, as Mark Twain is reported to have said: "a woman is just a woman, but a good cigar is a smoke!"--that is, the actual limitations of females, commonly cloaked by the above generalizations. In spite of these obvious-to-me-now artful female advantages in our personal encounters with them, I am also recognizing how far current females generally exist from "Sophia's Wisdom," that is, how apparently unconscious they commonly are in effectively using their superior abilities.
As best I can tell, even while unconsciously wielding their powers for their own advantages, females often remain extremely vulnerable, limited, and lacking in self-confidence, which I think would theoretically come from these noted successes in immediate encounters. My visions of their powers in operation do not correlate well with their self-images as best I can discern them. Even beyond the smart usage of submission, self-sacrifice, and apparent "giving in" as means of exercising power, I do not see this as ever becoming clearly conscious in the females I have known. I, that is, have consistently seen them as far more powerful than they seem to have seen themselves.
I speculate that this situation is rooted in other dark factors well beyond the pragmatics of wisely keeping covert power covert. First, I am only now coming to see the extent of my own projections onto females--that is, the goddess-like powers I have blindly assumed them to hold insofar as my own well being (survival, wholeness, and happiness) is concerned. Surely these dark expectations (hopes?) must have begun when they had realistic basis--before my repression/projections began.
Reluctantly I acknowledge that when I am not consciously alert I still relate to female powers (real or imagined) as I must reasonably have done when mother was in fact like a goddess to me. I can only conclude that my habit of repression in this arena must have begun very early in order to remain so continually operative.
In either case, I think that a major element in my difficulty in seeing female limitations ("just a woman") is less about them than about me--that is, one reflection of my lifelong projections onto them. To see female limitations clearly would require me to cease my projections onto them, that is, to unrepress aspects of myself which were reflected in the projections to begin with.
Another possibly relevant element in this situation is the extent of current female repressions which play into our own male denials--that is, the nature of typical female unconscious living--well directed by inherited capacities and wisdom, but yet to be consciously embraced by many females today. I have long recognized this general observation about how non-sciously I believe females to typically live; but only now am I looking at it more openly--as I knew my mother and as I see Anita now.
While only open to recognize the effects of their powers (both real and as I have projected) I have, with understandable personal reasons, remained reticent to acknowledge just how unconsciously I imagine them to have actually existed in daily life. In my blind efforts, for example, to "make Anita see" and hopefully thereby to "understand me" better, I have ignored much of my data about just how non-scious she (and my mother, etc.) apparently is/was in regard to seeing themselves clearly. None of my "supportive" efforts to show her (or my mother) aspects of themselves which seem apparent to me have, as best I can tell, reflected in embraced insight. They seem to me to have been consistent in remaining relatively non-scious about themselves, especially in regard to powers they actually wield with others (myself, of course, most of all).
Summary: I think my wishes for (blind projections onto) female services, etc., have effectively blinded me to facts both about what they actually have to give and about their true limitations. On the one hand I think that female powers, both inherited and learned, are, even when operative unconsciously on their part, so formidable in comparison with male forces (especially in the face of our typical repressions) that it is relatively impractical to "try to win" in typical arenas of our encounters (house, children, sex, food, clothing, cleanliness, etc.).
Surely I have far to go in learning to effectively stand up for myself in relationships with female; but even with my weaknesses here I think smart adaptation on my part (and for other males?) is the better course of wisdom, in contrast with living as though "equal rights" or gender equality, let alone "trying to win," is in any way feasible--or even possible.
The nature of our evolved complementary roles, plus these noted differences in capacities and abilities (even if unconscious), is such that accepting what is apparent and self evident rather than "fighting city hall" is, I now think, the sensible way to go. But smart adaptation will obviously require continued progress in unrepression, in order to re-access personal powers I have long repressed/projected.
I must become "more myself" if I am to function well with females as I begin to see them more clearly through my less jaded glasses.
SCARS AND ORGASMS
PLEASURE AND PAIN
Scars are easier to recall than orgasms
because while pleasures are known in body
and absorbed into self
pains are held in mind as knowledge
to be used in enhancing future experience
naturally aimed at more of the first
and avoiding the second
We have small need to hold pleasures in consciousness
because, like good food eaten
and quickly digested in nourishing body
good pleasure is immediately absorbed in enhancing self
We naturally remember bad food
which causes stomach pain
and leaves us physically upset
but quickly forget good and tasty food
because, once digested, we are freed
to soon seek more--even better nourishment
And so with pleasure and pain,
feeling good and being hurt,
acceptance and rejection,
Mother's Smiles and Frowns
Why do we tend to remember painful experiences, like punishment and rejection, and forget about pleasures and events of acceptance and approval? Or, more personally, why have I for so long recalled and focused on negative experience with my mother--disciplines, punishment, rejection--her symbolic Frowns, and forgotten the delights of times when I must have found pleasures in the presence of her Smiles and approval?
Why have I recently perserverated on the line in the song about "those happy hours which we once knew..."? My conscious memory is relatively void of such times. I am far more aware of and inclined to recall "unhappy hours," especially in my relationship with her. And so with female encounters of those I have known and loved since existence with my first goddess.
First, I speculate that one element in this experience is genetically based, about a natural human response to reality, quite apart from me as an individual, and probably true for most others as well. As noted in the confession above, I theorize that pleasurable experience is essentially the "food" of a growing self, just as what we eat is nourishment for a growing body.
As with literal food which tastes good and is easily digested, soon to be forgotten as its nutrients are absorbed into the body, so, I think, with pleasurable experience which I see as "food" for developing and maintaining a healthy self. When food of either type is pleasurably taken in, as nourishment for body or self (soul), we have no good reason for holding the experience "in mind" because, once nourished by its ingestion, we are then fueled, as it were, for future seeking more of the same--or even better.
Conversely, when we get bad food--that which is indigestible and/or sickening to body, we have good genetic cause to remember, so we can "learn from experience" and avoid similar pains in the future. "I won't eat that again; it tasted bad and made me sick at my stomach."
I theorize that the same is true for bad "self food"--that is, human experiences which are not easily and pleasurably absorbed into oneself, but instead are held as knowledge in mind for their potential value in avoiding any such future painful events--such as, motherly rejection and/or punishment. In other words, we have good psychic reason for remembering "bad times" because they can be useful in avoiding such "hurt" in the future, and, ideally, are helpful in shaping our behaviors in ways more productive in enhancing "good times."
Conversely, pleasurable times, like good food (beginning with mother's milk), being easily taken in as nourishment for soul (good self), have little reason to be held in mind space. As with the energies generated by good food, so with the confidence engendered by positive experience. Rather than "wasting time" thinking about either, we simply and naturally go about seeking more of both.
Point: I can reasonably attribute some of the attention I have given to what I perceived as negative experiences at the time, as well as what I have "forgotten" about "those happy hours," to the pragmatic uses of each type of data. I conclude that in reality, as guided by genetics alone, we have a natural tendency to remember pain more than pleasure simply because knowledge of the first is more useful in "learning"--that is, shaping future experience so as to avoid the first and enhance the secondly. Hopefully, at least.
But beyond this perhaps natural tendency to "learn from painful experience"--for both body and soul, I speculate that I may have had other psychic reasons for remembering the bad more than the good. First, I think that social circumstances, quite apart from all natural inclinations, such as, seeking pleasure and avoiding pain, invite attention to pains and shun, even reject, awareness of pleasure, especially in their greater proportions.
We may, for example, show our scars and freely talk on and on about our assorted discomforts and pains; but comparable pleasures, such as orgasms, are obviously "obscene (off-scene)." "Bad news" is newsworthy because we share a common interest in painful events; but "good news" is hardly newsworthy--back page at best, and certainly not headlines.
Point: from society's standpoint, beginning with most mothers, I conclude that talking about "what feels good" is far less acceptable and encouraged than remaining focused on "what hurts." Certainly a part of this focus may be a mother's natural attention to threats to a child's physical health, such as, being more attentive to a stomach ache than a pleasurable bowel movement; but the deeper reasons, I speculate, are more related to control, power, and repression than to concern for physical health.
GENDER IN THE NURSERY
THOSE HAPPY HOURS
I am imagining what it/I may have been like in "those happy hours" before I began to repress myself. This is my way of trying to facilitate the process of my own unrepression, that is, returning to embrace awareness and aspects of myself which I must have started suppressing so long ago.
Two other relevant factors must be taken into account also: first, the gender difference which leads males to focus more on the sexy end of the sensual/sexual scale, while females tend to be more aware and attentive to the sensual end of the scale--this understandably, in service of our complementary roles in replication.
The second factor is about society (memes)--that is, social differences in how masculinity and femininity are approached and supported, namely, the general rejection of male inclinations and the favor granted natural feminine instincts in society.
Another assumption in these speculations is that while boys (myself) are not initially repressed, mothers cannot but be relatively repressed when we are together in the nursery. Of course there are varying degrees of motherly repression, so here I will imagine mostly about how my own mother's repressions may have effected our relationship.
1. Presence of sensual stimuli. The first major factor I can imagine is the wealth of sensual and "emotional" stimuli brought by a mother to a young son--specifically, the presence, exposure, and contact with female breasts and body, as source of nourishment for survival, warmth, comfort, and perhaps love also. I put "emotional" in quotes to indicate spiritual factors beyond mere biological emotions (warmth, comfort, and love).
A second significant issue is touch contact, both in the processes of nursing and cleaning. Here tongue and mouth nerves are regularly stimulated during feeding, and genital/anal nerves are also stimulated during cleaning. Consequently a boy is invited early to experience his primal sexuality even in earliest days. Also, the freedom/necessity of motherly contact and care invites her own sensuality into regular operation. She must, I theorize, feel warm and sensual in caring for her own creation.
Furthermore, I imagine that her freedom from overt sexual options--as regularly exist with her husband and all other males, may invite her to move closer to the sexual end of the scale in actual practice--that is, during potentially sensual experiences, e.g., in nursing and cleaning, given the social impossibility of her becoming overtly sexual, she may safely (with less threat to her own sexual repressions) feel sexy with a young son, a situation which may rarely exist with other males, even with her husband.
On a son's side of the relationship, natural, emerging, primal sexual instincts are likely to be stimulated by the abundance of factors which will later become extremely relevant when actual replication becomes possible, namely, sight and contact with female breasts, touching a female body, seeing bodily parts (for evaluation as clues to conceive-ability), discerning readiness for sex (as in observed sensuality in mother), and perhaps also, unconscious seductive activities on the part of a mother (as in, extending nursing, slow bodily stroking, breast and bodily exposures, and tender touching of penis and anus in cleaning processes).
All in all, I think that almost every aspect of "good mothering" is an invitation, if not outright encouragement, to a son's primal sexuality--in spite of what she may or may not consciously intend or feel at the time. Just as she is, I speculate, invited to greater degrees of her own experienced sensuality in caring for her creation, so a son is correspondingly invited to experience his infantile but emerging sexuality.
Here, I think, is where the noted gender difference (females to focus on sensuality, males on sexuality) comes into play. What to her is "just being tender" or "feeling affectionate" may be much more "sexy" to him.
I speculate that in my early days, before I opted for repression in dealing with my mother's modes, I must have felt and experienced the delights inherent in encountering her sensuality (including any unconscious seductiveness), with a corresponding awakening of my own budding sexuality at the time. Before she became negative about my behaviors and expressions, as in, "toilet training," erections, constipation, biting, aggression, etc., I must have had "happy hours" in experiencing my natural creative instincts, including the earliest roots of what would later be seen as "being sexual."
I imagine too that in earliest days, before her own repressions would likely kick in when anything remotely seen as "sexy" might appear, that she would have felt free from any learned shame and guilt to simply be her natural self with me--that is, not careful to cover her body or avoid sensual (to her) touch of me (while tending and cleaning), or perhaps to linger in nursing past sucking only when I might have taken further delight in her breasts. Maybe even stroking my uncircumcised penis (with cleaning in mind), which I would experience more in terms of "feeling good" than "necessary for sake of cleanliness" could have occurred.
I can only imagine--since I can't yet remember, what actually took place before I began to repress myself and project magical powers onto her, but I can easily speculate that there must indeed have been many "happy hours" (as recently perseverated on in the line from the song) in our early times of intimacy when I was openly enjoying being my rapidly emerging self in her presence, including the beginnings of overt sexuality.
2. Soon however, I imagine I would have begun to encounter the effects of her own repressions, along with the elements of her strong personality--specifically, her drives to be a good mother in accord with standards of her day, such as, in cleanliness, toilet training, good behavior (no anger, aggression, etc., plus "minding her," meaning obeying her desires), healthiness (regular bowel movements, e.g.), and perhaps most significant of all, her careful exclusion of anything sexual in practice and/or consciousness. I speculate, given data from later life, that her own sexual repressions were perhaps the greatest of her personal denials, which would have inevitably been projected onto me as well as enforced in my emerging self-expressions.
I can, for example, only imagine how she might have reacted to my natural erections and/or any attempts to observe or touch her body after any sexual connotations became evident. Or, if she were invited ("tempted") to become more overtly sensual herself with me--as in, while cleaning my genitals and anus, she must have been extremely ambivalent, to say the least--torn between enjoying herself and "correcting" me from any corresponding sexuality on my part.
Furthermore, when I began to discover the natural pleasure of "playing with myself," as in pre-masturbation delights, I can reasonably assume that strict suppressions, along with obvious rejections from her, must have been immediate and firm.
Then, as I grew and naturally became more and more overtly sexual, I have no doubt that her sexual repressions would have become more and more relevant, especially as projected onto me and my emerging pleasures--this along with her attempted shaping of my other behaviors in accord with her values, that is, training me to be a "good boy."
Certainly, as I recognized clearly in later life, she was a "good teacher"; but only now am I beginning to acknowledge more responsibly what a "good student" I must have been, even from earliest times, as I learned how to cope most effectively with her and the world as I found it.
It is in this latter regard--my focused attention on "being good" in accord with her values, that I must have come quickly to forget "those happy hours" and become increasingly attentive to striving for her good graces as the best avenue to the limited pleasures available. In this process of trying to expand my self-satisfactions which seemed largely dependent on her permissions, I reason that I must have become more and more attentive to her negative responses to me (her frowns, rejections, and disciplines), and less and less conscious of my own instinctual delights--especially as found in being selfing ("selfish") and sexual--at least in her presence.
In time, I theorize now, as I came to increasingly opt for repression over responsible expression as my mode of coping with mother, I moved more and more out of conscious contact with my natural creativity ("being myself"), especially as focused in arenas of direct selfing and overt sexuality. Conversely, I became increasingly attentive to the wider aspects of "being good," especially as clued first in Mother's Smile/Frown, and later in the all powerful meme, What They Think, both of these personified best and most clearly in those females I "fell in love with" after leaving my mother (physically).
I hope now that these speculations on what it/I may have been like before repression, and how I have more evidently moved on thereafter, may facilitate the process of un-repression and embracing aspects of myself lost-to-me in the long process.
BLAME AND RESPONSIBILITY
Since I grew up and left home I have never consciously blamed my mother for how I turned out, nor others for mistakes I have made. I have with much consistency acted responsible (as I viewed my duties) and seldom thought that errors I made were other people's fault.
But in hindsight I can now see that even though I did not consciously blame my mother, in many ways I have, without awareness, lived-as-though much of what I have become is a direct result of her training and influence. And even though I never think of others causing me to fail or succeed, I often live-like this is true. "If they had only..." Or, "If they hadn't done such and such...."
Also in writing this confession I pick up on the word acted. I can see that I have acted responsible, as contrasted with being responsible. I have taken responsibility to be an objective virtue, something one should strive to live-out; and, in consequence, wanting to be a "good person," I have learned to act out this virtue, even as others.
The opposite side of the blame coin is, of course, positive credit or power-to-save. If I blame someone (or thing) for negative results, then I must be assuming they also have positive powers to "make me right" just as to "make me wrong."
Together, blame/credit, whether done consciously, or, as in my case, non-consciously, are both rooted in repression/projection. If I live-as-though "they" have the power to effect me negatively ("blame them for my faults"), then I must also be living-as-though they also have the power to in effect save me or make me happy.
I now think that my learning to act responsible, which I also identified with "being good" in mother's value system, was but a cover for what I had already done in the process of repression in quest of her favors. I squelched my natural respond-ability (responding to reality in a natural or instinctive way) in seeking larger favors from my mother.
Unwittingly, as is the nature of all repression, I also projected powers inherent in true responding onto her. She, following my own repression/projection, was assumed to "make me unhappy," by, for example, stopping me from "doing what I wanted to," or punishing me for things I did (or didn't) do. In other words, she was, I thought, to blame for my negative experiences.
Conversely, I was also learning to live-as-though she had corresponding powers to "make me feel good," that is, exercise what I now see as magical forces to make me whole or happy, for example, in "letting me go out and play," or otherwise "do what I wanted to do."
In consort, I was coming to assume (not consciously think) she had both witchy powers to make me unhappy (be the fault or blame) and the fairy goddess powers to bless and make me happy (if only she would). Furthermore, I also figured out that my best way of influencing ("conning") these magical forces in my favor was primarily through "being good" or avoiding "being bad"--both of which meant acting in or outside of her value system.
I must have also recognized that she valued being independent and responsible, since I quickly learned to act accordingly, hiding the fact that this too was a part of my effort to bend her apparently magical powers positively rather than negatively, that is, in support of my desires rather than against what I wanted.
End result: I became blind to my projections of magical powers onto her, while at the same time consciously thinking of myself as independent and responsible (unaware that this was literally another act performed in quest of favors, rather than the true state of my being).
I interrupt this confession to ponder the nature of reality as it might have been experienced had I not chosen repression as my mode of coping with mother.
First, I think that response-ability is an inherited human capacity, innate in us all. We have no personal choice in this inheritance, any more than we do with inherited instincts for survival (reflected in breathing, hunger, digestion, healing, etc.). To be human is also to be response-able. I break this word down into its root forms to keep myself reminded of the distinction between "responsibility" and "duty" as popularly understood.
What we inherit, I think, is response-ability--not duty. Duty, as I distinguish the terms, is a social function, a mode of acting determined by memes rather than genes. With duty we do indeed have a choice. We can opt to either "do our duty" or "not do our duty." In common understanding, where "responsibility" and "duty" are synonyms, it is likewise sensible to say we also choose to "be responsible" or to "evade responsibility."
In our natural state, before repression, we simply are responsible. We do not choose to be so, or not to be. Response-able is "just the way we are." Small children, for example, are still response-able. Before repression they neither blame others for who they are nor see them as magical forces for making them be.
But once we come to understand what others expect of us, what we should do or not do--that is, our duties in life, then we may opt to act positively or negatively in regard to them. We may "be good" by choosing to do our duties (act dutifully), or "bad" by opting to evade such responsibilities or duties.
In our natural states, however--prior to repression, gifted with the capacity for responding to circumstances as we perceive them, we simply do so "without thinking." Still "being ourselves (as genetic creatures)," we are regularly and consistently respond-able; we "automatically," as it were, respond naturally (on the basis of inherited knowledge and prior experience) to whatever we perceive. We may or may not "do our duty" as defined by others, but we are responsible as ourselves.
Point: I see responsibility (literally, ability-to-respond) as an inherited capacity, not essentially different from, for example, ability-to-breathe. Both are simply gifts of evolution (or Mother Nature, etc.). We have no choice but to be response-able. We may choose to act dutifully (or not to); but irresponsibility is not a human option.
What does this theory mean in practice? How is the idea relevant to my subject under consideration? I theorize further that repression and projection are psychic phenomena--unnatural, not inherent in human nature. Obviously they are individual human options; we certainly can repress inherent powers and project them onto others (as least in mind's eye); but we cannot do so without losing awareness of inherited response-ability.
I conclude that response-ability and repression are inversely proportional to each other; to the degree that we remain response-able we avoid repression (higher response-ability = lower repression; the more we repress ourselves, the less response-able we perceive ourselves to be). We might also say they are mortal enemies: inherited response-ability fights repression as though it were a killing force (as it turns out to be!); and highly repressed persons fight inherited respond-ability as though it were a fatal plague.
In life, this means that when we opt for repression we inevitably negate response-ability--to whatever degree we "deny ourselves." The more we repress, the less response-able we become; and conversely, the less we repress, the more response-able we remain.
When or if we remained unrepressed, I think the nature of response-ability is such that no one outside ourselves can "make us" repress--or anything else which falls in the realm of inherited capacities. My mother, for example, is not to blame for my repression; she did not, and I think, could not, make me repressed.
And so with other ways I came to be--for example, feeling guilty or shameful about certain behaviors. She could not, I now think, "make me feel guilty" about what I naturally felt or did. I had to do that on my own. She could not "make me ashamed of myself" or "take away my self confidence." Although these and many other negative traits are often attributed to mothers, as though we are simply bits of malleable clay which they freely mold according to their will and/or wishes, or in spite of themselves, I now think this reflects an erroneous understanding of human capacities.
Whenever these, and other such, states of being come to exist, the assumption of "mother making me like this" or "causing me to feel guilty," for example, only occur following self-repression--which I do not think she can cause either. The possibility of blaming others for what seems to be wrong (or, on the positive side, crediting them for desirable ways of being) only begins, I now think, after repression, and as a result of projecting capacities inherent in being ourselves--in this case, response-ability.
Response-ability, for further clarification, is not the same as duty or "acting responsible" as a synonym for "doing what one should do." Rather it is, as the word implies, the ability to keep on responding to whatever appears. This includes the ability to adapt to circumstances in accord with genetic wisdom--that is, to respond awarely and translate this knowledge into some further action (or inaction) which best serves instinctual desires.
Certainly no mother, for example, is perfect in the sense of always acting in fullest harmony with an infant's wishes. Sometimes--in fact often, she may be a "bad mother" in the sense of not performing as a child might want her to, or even like a proverbial "good mother." But this is the nature of all outside reality, beginning with mother, but extending to other persons and nature as well. The beauty of inherited response-ability, including adapt-ability, is that no matter how good or bad a mother (or the world) may seem to a child, still this capacity equips us to make some feasible adaptation within the limits of human abilities.
In other words, we as response-able ones do not "have to" opt for repression/projection, even with the worst of mothers. So long as we remain naturally alert, we may indeed have to modify behavior in order to survive with her, but such adaptation does not require leaving our natural selves, as via repression.
My favorite Dennis The Menis cartoon has Dennis sitting on a stool in the corner with a dunce cap on, mumbling: "I'm sitting down on the outside, but I'm standing up inside." I think this graphically portrays the true human condition of inherited response-ability. The outside world, beginning with our mothers, may indeed "make us sit down outside"; but so long as we remain in contact with response-ability, no one or thing can "make us sit down inside," that is, negate our individual selves.
Another clarification: to note that we so commonly opt for repression over remaining response-able does not mean that this move necessarily involves a conscious decision--as in, reasonably taking all data into account and "making up my mind" to begin repressing myself. I choose the verb opt, or the phrase move into, to avoid the implication that repression (of, for example, fear, anger, shame or guilt, or falling into lowered self-esteem, etc.) require making a conscious decision (like, deciding to frown or strike someone). But the crucial issue here is that however the move is made, it is made in effect "by oneself" or "on one's own" rather than being forced, caused, or "made to happen" by one's mother, others, or nature itself.
In reality, before we opt for repression or otherwise move away from response-ability, there is no blaming or crediting "it"--whatever "it" may be. In other words, "we have no one to blame but ourselves" for who or what we become, no matter how bad or good our mothers and other circumstances may have been "during the formative years."
Now back to my confession: I now think that when I began to repress my natural self in favor of "being good," I unwittingly became irresponsible for myself at the same time. The more I repressed myself, and consequently the more I blindly projected onto her, the smaller my self-awareness became and the larger her powers loomed in my imagination. Although I never consciously saw them as "magical" or "existing in my fantasy only," I now recognize that I effectively came-to-live as though this were true.
And, more consequentially, after I left home I blindly continued to shift my dark projections onto other females I chose to replace her--especially those I "fell in love with." With each of them, I continued to harbor dark hopes I had first begun with my mother, and, with equal blindness, continued to resurrect the same patterns of coping--that is, seeking to influence their magical powers by "being good" and "trying hard to please them."
Because I was yet unseeing, both of my own repressions as well as the magical wishes I projected onto my lovers, I was equally blind to understanding my experiences when "being good" failed to work--that is, when my best efforts to please did not automatically bring the blessings I secretly wanted. Instead of learning-from-experience, as any naturally response-able person (even a child) would do, I simply became frustrated, angry, or depressed, and either blamed my lover or myself, as in, trying to figure out "how I had gone wrong" in pleasing my magical lover and how I might "do better" in the future.
I, in effect, kept on hitting my head against a stone wall, instead of responding naturally, as in, seeing what I was doing, seeing my lovers as human beings instead of goddesses, recognizing the errors of my ways, and, again as any unrepressed child would do, re-chart my courses in potentially more productive arenas.
In summary, keeping my projections intact, I carefully remained irresponsible (not responding-ably). Taking the easier out of blaming--either she or me, I was able to stay safely locked in the irrational coping mode I had first learned "at my mother's knee (read that, breasts)."
Now engaged in the process of unrepression, I can occasionally see in practice the connections I noted in theory above. The more I withdraw my projections, in this case, my magical views of woman, the more response-able I become, both for/with myself and in response to them as well.
Perhaps I may yet come to love--really....
This perspective is in sharp contrast with prevailing views which all come closer to the "malleable clay" image of childhood reality--that is, children as totally "innocent" and irresponsible, completely shaped (caused, made) by outside forces. In this popular view, children are "innocent victims of circumstances," ranging from bad parents (especially mothers) to poverty, from drugs and mental illness to peer pressure.
A current trial of a 12 year old who killed his grandparents, burned their house, and rode away in their car, attempts to place all the blame on Zoloft, a drug he was taking for depression. This, I observe, is typical of an overall stance which blames all that kids feel and do--all the way from feeling angry ("You make me mad"), feeling fearful and lacking confidence (caused by circumstances and lack of support), to being sexual (always seen as "molestation" caused by bad adults)--and endlessly on.
Bottom line: current views on self responsibility are almost all contradictory to my perspective which identifies "responsibility" with inherited response-ability, and places accountability fully within each individual self.
My view does not ignore or seek to erase the reality of environment (including harsh circumstances and possible abusive parents, etc.) but sees them more like "data"--that is, impotent information ("facts of life") than omnipotent forces insofar as human well-being is concerned. The powers for self-shaping and becoming, I hold, are innate in inherited response-ability.
Each person's destiny, as related to wholeness and well-being (happiness, salvation), is entirely within private grasp, depending on whether we embrace natural capacities or seek to escape into psychic repression.
The flip side of beliefs in negative influence (outside powers which "make us" act or turn out bad (angry, fearful, evil, depressed, or unhappy) is external positive powers, that is, other outside forces to "make us" good (confident, happy, or saved)--such as, gods, angels, good parents, supportive friends, or "unqualified love." The popular assumption of external causes for all bad personal results is even more exaggerated when good things happen. Here too personal responsibility is commonly viewed as a relatively minor, even non-existent force.
Typical notions give all credit (the opposite of blame) for "turning out well" to equally external sources--ranging all the way from fate and luck, to good mothers, lovers, and/or gods.
In my view this common perspective of empowering external sources as the cause of (or getting the credit for) favorable personal results is equally erroneous (and perhaps even more individually dangerous in the long run) as blaming assorted "its" for causing negative results within ourselves.
Summary point: Embraced response-abilities, in my view, are the source of all personal well-being (wholeness, confidence, "feeling good," happiness, joy, salvation), and rejection via repression is at the heart of all contrasting states of being. Finally, "nothing (no outside thing, circumstance, or person) makes us" happy or is properly to be blamed for the many states of lost individual well-being.
As has been said, though rarely taken as truth, "We have met the enemy, and he is us." And, if and when we meet the benefactor, he too, I think,"will be us."
All energies given to blaming and crediting external "causes" for misery and happiness cannot but be drawn from the vast-though-limited well springs of inherent, personal response-ability.
Global theories aside, what I am learning in personal experience is reflected in the above speculations. As I face my long term repressions and their inevitable projections, rather than living-as-though external powers can be blamed or credited for my favorable or unfavorable modes of living, I find that I do indeed become more respond-able and exist with more energies for shaping daily living in productive rather than negative ways.
As I become more respond-able, that is, consciously responsive to and adaptive with whatever and whomever I encounter, I also become more "responsible" in the traditional sense of the term. I both blame and credit less as I accept my own inherited powers for shaping my circumstances favorably when possible and accepting them "as they are" when I cannot.
For further clarification, I do not see embracing innate response-ability as either blaming myself for what has turned out negative, or crediting myself for positive results. Both blaming and crediting (commonly reflected in shame and pride) are, I conclude, related to repression/projection. Before expansive repression, small children, for example, neither blame or credit outside sources, nor do they feel shame or pride about what they do (or don't). As my granddaughter Andi told me at aged four, "It just is."
My experience tends to confirm this observation, leading me to the logical conclusion that both blaming and crediting--that is, attributing favorable and unfavorable moving powers to external sources, only follow and exist in psychic repression/projection. Response-ability, as an inherited capacity, has no traffic in these popular modes of reacting to immediate experience.
Surely we can think in terms of "cause and effect," often pragmatically when dealing with tangible things, but when analyzing human experience, I think that empowering external sources, as in, blaming when bad and crediting when good, is always an evasion of embraced response-ability. To the degree that I unrepress myself, I find that I have no reason to either place blame or to give credit for what I do and/or who I am.
And, as with the "out there," so with "in here." I conclude that "having a self" to either blame for causing bad results or credit for "being good," is also but another result of self repression. In reality, sans repression, we have no reason for either shame or pride, for "feeling bad about ourselves" when we err, or thinking "what a good boy am I (when we 'pull out a plum')". Responsively being ourselves, we have no possessed object to blame or credit.
WINDOW OF LANGUAGE
I think that psychic repression as the mode of coping with social realities is so universal and accepted that seeing the phenomenon, and certainly the reality of response-ability behind it (as I am exploring here) is almost impossible to do--except to the extent of one's unrepression. It is, to use an apt metaphor, like "the noses on our faces"--that is, always present, yet difficult to bring in visual (mental) focus.
Perhaps the window of language may be another way of glimpsing what I take to be the true human situation, prior to repression.
Consider three familiar words: existence, excitement, and ecstasy. Each is so commonly used and understood as to cloak a possible window for seeing through or beyond them. Specifically, why do these powerful and significant human experiences all begin with the prefix ex, meaning out or outside of...?--outside of "istence," outside of "citement," and outside of "stasy" or self? Why do we not focus on the root words and use them to voice ourselves? Why do they all begin with the implication that what is represented is outside or beyond oneself? Why, for example, do we think of the essence of self satisfaction--"ecstasy," as somehow being "beyond" or "beside" oneself, rather than "inside" or innate in "being oneself"?
I speculate that we typically have difficulty in mentally grasping (in conscious thought and hence language) the personal nature of individual experience because we commonly come to consider and "think about it" after repression has already occurred and we do then indeed ex-ist in a way which takes innate powers to be external.
Ex (outside) istence, for example, seems to make sense once we come to exist "outside," as it were, ourselves. And ex "citement" seems to be the way-things-are (we "get" citement from something which then seems to "do it" to us). Likewise with the highest degrees of personal experience; when we sometimes reach these seemingly ultimate states of being (as in sexual orgasm or peak sensual encounters), it does seem that we are "beside ourselves" or existing beyond personal capacities alone.
I speculate here that language for each of these perspectives of human being and experience begin with ex because in fact we do not commonly "ist" and be "cited" or bliss-full in simply being ourselves. Somehow, as the words imply (istence means standing firmly) each is from outside or beyond our inherited selves.
This is to say, I think our accepted language fits our common experience; the words imply the way we typically live and find ourselves to be (to ex-ist rather than "ist"). But I also believe this to be true only after repression of inherited human response-ability, after we in effect "abandon the premises" of our bodies, in favor of illusionary states of irresponsible ex-istence.
Prior to repression, if we had words to ex-press our inward conditions, I imagine that we would speak directly about "istence" or "being" rather than ex-istence; about being "cited" rather than ex-cited (as though the cause is "out there"), and being fully "stasied"--that is, in who we are, rather than "outside ourselves" when we experience "climaxes" of any sort.
A part of my evidence for this theory is my experience in unrepression. The more I come to withdraw my projections and allow inherited capacities to be operative, the less sensible these common terms seem to be. Being "excited," for example, or to use the colloquial term, "turned on," which is more literal insofar as the way things once seemed to be, comes to sound less and less accurate for what I am experiencing. The closer I sometimes come to what is commonly called ecstasy, the less I seem to be "outside" or "beside" myself. If I thought objectively at the time, or attempted to word such experiences, I would more likely think in terms of "being myself more completely," or "entering into fuller presence," or "going deeper into myself"--not about "getting outside" of me.
Or, when I feel "excited" or "turned on," if I want to think sharply, I might coin such a term as "cited"--as, "I feel cited (like, standing fully present)," but not "outside" of citement. And obvious passion is more clearly expressed in a coined word, on-ness, implying the opposite of off or "out of it-ness," rather than "turned-on"--implying that some "it" or person "does it" to me or "makes me feel" thusly.
Summary: I conclude that these 3 familiar words do accurately express degrees of human experience as it commonly seems-to-be--grading from "just surviving (existing)" to adding a bit more life in "getting excited," to truly "getting with it (beside oneself)" in ecstasy. But I also think the words are more descriptive after repression/projection, than before (while we are still being our inherited selves, including the capacity for response-ability), or later, should we risk the rigors and faith necessary for un-repressing our natural selves respons-ably in the world where we find ourselves.
Healthy erections in heterosexual males have, as best I can tell, 4 major components:
1. Functional pelvic nerves and muscles connected to the penis.
2. Unrepressed libido--instinctive replication urges associated with male hormones (primarily testosterone) production (initiated in testicles).
3. Conscious desire, usually initiated by dreams (night or day), subliminal thoughts, and/or stimuli associated with sex, such as,"pretty girls,"--that is, female bodies and/or various parts, female desire, pornography, etc.
4. Physical stimulation of nerve endings associated with sex, either physiologically or psychologically, such as, direct touch of penis, either by self, another person, or insertion into some engulfing media, preferably a female vagina; bodily touch--of a female body, or by a female; sounds and smells associated, even unconsciously, with sex, e.g., female laughter and moans, or bodily odors associated with ovulation.
A. Ideally, all four elements are present without repression, denial, fear, or guilt, either of which may seriously limit, even prevent healthy, firm erections. In practice, however, either or all these psychological factors are commonly present in varying degrees, thereby interfering with healthy erections.
B. Of the four, only the first is absolutely essential. With dysfunctional nerves and muscles, as may be damaged in prostate surgery, erection is literally impossible. No matter how abundant the latter three factors may be, functional "equipment" is necessary. For example, no amount of conscious desire and/or physical stimulation can cause an erection when erectile nerves are severed.
C. Number one, functional "equipment," is totally outside realms of conscious awareness. Like other internal nerves, muscles, organs, etc., it either exists or doesn't, no matter what one thinks or doesn't. Healthy bodily structures required for erections evolved eons before consciousness, and continue to exist (or not) completely apart from personal awareness.
D. Probably "self denial"--that is, widespread masculine repression, usually accompanied and supported by fear, shame, and guilt, is the greatest source of limited or absent erections, medically known as "E.D."--erectile dysfunction.
E. I suspect that drugs, such as, Viagra, work mainly by chemical stimulation of natural libido which has been repressed, usually in quest of social acceptance and/or avoiding fears or threat associated with inherited masculinity. I theorize that psychic un-repression is in effect, a "natural" form of Viagra.
F. The greater the degree of repressed libido (#2), the more the degrees of #3 and #4 become necessary for firm erections. Natural urges denied in awareness must be compensated for by, e.g., escalated amounts of mental and/or physical stimulation.
Without repression, I theorize (as with bulls, stallions, etc.), very little external stimuli, such as, consciously conceived sexy images, or, physical touch beyond that inherent in actual intercourse, would be sought or necessary for health male erections.
I suspect male interest in female sexual initiatives, such as, expressed or revealed sexual desires ("wanting it"), physical touch, cunnilingus, or "putting it in," are directly proportional to degrees of male repression. The more repressed a man is, the more he seeks/needs female sexual initiative in order to have erections; the less repressed one is, the freer he is to be moved by personal desires arising from natural libido, signs of female ovulation, and/or love in appropriate circumstances.
G. I speculate that about 90-95% of turn-on powers (#3 and 4), both mental and physical--e.g., sexy images and female stimulation, result from male repression/projection. When natural powers and energies generated by operative libido are repressed within oneself, they are predictably seen (if at all) reflected in various external "mirrors" (such as, proverbial tits and ass). Then, when natural "on-ness" is unrecognized, "turned-on-ness" is escalated--that is, unacknowledged projections are assumed to truly exist "out there" in various "turn-on" images, objects (bodily parts), and/or events associated with sexuality.
My pattern in facing repressed aspects of myself has long been to start "objectively," first by considering a topic academically--as though it were simply a subject; then to look at "it" in terms of other people. What is "it" like in those I see outside myself. Then, finally, to consider it personally.
And so with the topic of repression. I began by examining "it" as a psychic phenomenon, a subject for research; then I looked at "it" in terms of others. In this regard I have come to think that repression is the most common (universal?) human mode of dealing with the demands of socialization--a functional device, yet one with devastating consequences insofar as personal salvation is concerned.
Now I am beginning to look more closely at the phenomenon in myself. Predictably I am coming to recognize that what I have seen in others is equally, if not more so, true in myself--that is, that I am seriously repressed as a natural person in most all regards.
Beginning in private, when I am entirely alone, I can sometimes see how automatically, without awareness or "thinking," I simply react, predictably, as though I were an inhuman automaton, without choice, will, adaptability, or creativity. My habits are so ingrained as to largely go unrecognized, as though they are me.
But my habits of repression become even more recognizable when other people are present--or even may be. Then I so quickly lose self-awareness, attention to myself and my desires, that I seldom am aware of the fact. My "social self" is so ingrained that I can act it out, well, without self awareness. I just automatically fall, as it were, into these acquired modes of reacting.
What is true when I am with other people in general becomes even more pronounced with females, and those I care for in particular. I am even more inhibited with females than with males, and nowhere less so than with those who matter most to me. With them I shift so quickly and unawarely into my learned ways of reacting that only later do I occasionally glimpse how thoroughly I bend myself all out of personal shape, not only in their presence, but even when I imagine a female might show up.
Specifically, beginning in private, escalating with people-in-general, and reaching its greatest degrees with those I love, I recognize my major arenas of repression as: a) being selfing--my natural, inherited, unique self, and b) being sexual, especially insofar as masculinity is concerned. Overall, my blind reactions in both arenas can be summarized as "being good," that is, trying to act/appear in accord with external standards, impersonal virtues, as I learned them to be long ago, even at my mother's knee.
"Being good," as a generalization, extends into every aspect of my behavior, both alone and with others. Even when no one is present, I have many ingrained notions--commonly unrecognized as such, about what is "good," such as, what I should think, feel, and do in most all situations. "Good," in my books, includes time ("being on time"), space ("being fast and efficient"), emotions (no fear or anger) and thoughts (being reasonable), as well as all behavior ("being helpful, and of course, accepted and approved by, others"). In largest perspective, "good," for me, boils down to being "unselfish" and "non-sexual."
Certainly I do not consciously think this; in fact, my major theological perspectives have involved working through these commonly accepted social virtues, to note their errors, limitations, and dangerous consequences when taken to extremes. Still, however, I have remained largely repressed insofar as personally embracing these aspects of myself--again, especially so in relation to those I care most for. Blindly, I still often live as though everyone were my mother--that is, habitually functioning with others as I did long ago with her.
Although my repressions become more evident to me in these two arenas--being selfing ("myself") and being overtly sexual, I can occasionally glimpse an even darker denial which must underlie these two specifics, namely, my inherited capacity for adaptability or "being creative."
I have been recently exploring, again, more academically and in terms of other people, the subject of response-ability. Now I see where it was leading me--back to me! Perhaps the most primal of all our inherited capacities is respond-ability. And this, I quickly see in mind's eye, is indeed the source of what may objectively be called adaptability or creativity.
Now I am back to beginnings: although my repressions began to appear in the arenas of "being myself"--which was only recognized in the negative sense of "being selfish," and "being sexy"--which included anything remotely related to replication, underlying both these natural instincts was the even more primal capacity for responding honestly to what I perceive, that is, being response-able--my unique self, beginning with translating personal perceptions into images and concepts which honestly and truthfully represented my sense experience.
I cannot but wax academic again--but, as noted first, this is my acquired path toward becoming personal. I can see "out there" that responding honestly to whatever one perceives, naturally reflects in images and ideas which, in the absence of repression, lead to adaptations (creative adjustments) most likely to be satisfying in terms of genetic directives. In other words, before repression we naturally adapt quickly to whatever we perceive, moved by primal instincts for pleasure over pain (self-satisfactions), and these most operative in the arenas of survival and replication (selfing and sexual pleasures).
Most primally then, to "be ourselves" as genetically directed begins with "being creative"--understood as "personally adaptive," not literally "making something out of nothing," but expressing the uniqueness inherent in each new combination of 23 chromosomes from two prior, opposite-gendered persons. In slight ways, each human is truly different; honest adaptation means bringing our unique selves to bear on whatever circumstances we encounter in our own most personal ways--that is, activating our common humanity with its unique flavors in continually creative ways.
Or, in terms of response-ability--the primal capacity for perceiving ("sensing the world"), translating perceptions into images and conceptions, and then behaving in ways aimed at maximizing satisfactions, "being creative" or adaptive means continually shaping and reshaping our modes of presenting ourselves as well as our efforts to achieve most possible satisfaction--that is, living with ever-active responses to whatever we perceive shaped into actions designed to please us in accord with instinctual values.
Now back to me: in my early acquired mode of automatically trying to "be good"--as defined first by my mother, but later by others and society in general, I first came to squelch natural creativity, my inherited abilities for adapting as well as I can to the ever-changing faces of reality (as perceived by my senses). I began to automatically substitute "being good" for being honest (response-able and adaptive). Instead of consciously feeling and thinking in response to what I perceived at the time, I repressed this knowledge in favor of acquired notions of "should and ought"--that is, external values--mother's morals, and social memes.
As noted, the major arenas for these self-denials in favor of social virtues, were--and yet are, selfing and sexuality, that is, pleasing, pleasuring, and satisfying my unique self in regard to personal desires and gender-related urges.
In practice, this leaves (finds) me as though I were a great mind-reader, automatically knowing what other people think, want, and will approve of from me. What They Think (or might if they did) exists, when I live with my repressions intact, as an almighty god; and what I think (feel, want, etc.), if not totally denied in awareness, exists as though it were irrelevant if not nothing.
My quest now is to continue with un-repressing my natural self, re-embracing whatever capacities I may have for creative adaptation. I hope to evade the easier path of simply rebelling against What They Think by idolizing What I Think instead. I want to retain all I have learned about other people and society in general, but at the same time to quit using this knowledge as a substitute or escape from the challenges of embracing my uniqueness.
I am, I know in mind's eye, one-with-others; I want to more fully become this knowledge, both alone and with others.
Back then, when I was more egotistical than present
I thought she was always disagreeing with anything I said
while I consistently accepted all her opinions and ideas
Less repressed now, I can see how personally I took her words
and self-righteously assumed mine to her to be loving
Probably what she says has as little to do with me
as my habit of automatic affirmation has to do with her
More into herself than I who was more concerned with acceptance than honesty
perhaps she was (and still is) simply sticking with her own mind
no matter what she hears
just as I was regularly leaving mine in order to appear tolerant
If I am able to continue with unrepression, moving from ego to self
probably I will learn from her
instead of resenting, regretting, or reacting negatively
to her "not hearing me"
and instead come to stay as carefully present
in my own mind, no matter what I hear
and perhaps, when faith allows,
move from acting tolerant to being loving
in my hearing and speaking
My long term mis-hearing of Anita's reactions to me, taking, as it were, everything personally as though I were the only one present, is one more for instance of my systematic repression of myself. Egotistically caught up in my habits of automatic acceptance, I could not see that her responses to me were more about herself than me--that is, more related to her careful attention to maintaining her own mental modes than about "hearing me."
Conversely, I was equally blind to how regularly I suppressed my own thinking in response to what I heard from her--and certainly to the self-righteous attitude I assumed in judging her for "not hearing me."
While I doubt that she is conscious of these predictable reactions, I can speculate (now that I am taking them less personal), that she is in fact far more attentive to staying with (protecting?) what may be a somewhat fragile "thinking function," than to any hearing of another person. Also, recognizing my typical reactions more clearly now, I can see how much I have had invested in "being understood," that is, looking for support and acceptance of my own thinking, as though I must have approval to stand openly with what I think. I have, that is, been blindly dependent on "other-affirmation," probably beginning with mother, for permission to express myself openly--as I honestly think.
I was tacitly granted this permission in my role as preacher and counselor, and was thereby freed to think more openly and honestly; but outside these roles, especially in the presence of those who bore my extended projections of mother, I have often lacked the nerve to remain thoughtfully present and honestly represent myself when I did not see obvious acceptance of me (not my ideas) in the process.
It was not so much that I "couldn't stand to be disagreed with," as some privately said of me, as it was that I needed to know I was accepted-while-thinking. Either agreement or disagreement with my ideas was far less relevant to me than the accepting presence of those who heard me--that is, I can see in retrospect, I lacked the nerve to stand openly, without support, with whatever I thought, and to deal with differences pragmatically.
Only in preaching and counseling, or writing in my journal, did I risk thinking openly and honestly; otherwise, when anyone else was present, I carefully withheld and screened my thoughts--if I dared them at all, through the appearance of their acceptance of me as a person. Instead of fearing disapproval (or being intolerant of any disagreement), I actually delight in contrary thinking in response to my own if I can see that the arena is thought, rather than rejection or separation from me as a person. My fear has not been of disagreement, but of rejection.
Actually, fear is an inaccurate term. Would that I were so present as to feel this emotion; unfortunately, however, this stance and reaction is now more like a habit, a blindly activated mode of behavior, devoid of any immediate emotion. I have for so long repressed my honest thinking in the presence of others, no doubt beginning with mother, that only the habit remains. I activate my mode of acting tolerant "without thinking" or even feeling.
I want now to continue moving away from this habit, to remaining thoughtfully present, both with what I am thinking as well as what I hear, without, as the habit dictated, "taking what I hear so personally" as to disregard possible confessions from a speaker--as I have systematically done with Anita. I do want to remain sensitive to the "hear-ability" of others--as I have habitually appeared to do, cloaking my own suppressed mind--but to take it simply as data about them, rather than personally, as though it were "to me."
I want to be alert to being offensive or threatening, and consequently to use discretion in what I say; but I also want to cease my habit of going "brain dead" in favor of phoney tolerance, and to let my responses be sensible rather than automatic. When silence, and/or deception, is called for, then I want to be appropriately expressive; but mostly I want to move past my habits of blind reaction and assuming that what I hear is "to" or "about me" rather than a speaker "speaking him/herself."
For many years I have explored gender differences, both academically and personally; now I am coming to a new perspective. I grew up in an era which viewed men as superior and stronger, women as inferior and weaker. But my personal experience since childhood contradicted these prevailing Adam and Eve type perspectives (ingrained in both religion and society). In my home it was obvious that greater powers lay with my mother.
Later, as I began to consciously focus on exploring gender differences (1970's) I started by trying to rectify these conflicting observations. At first, accepting the prevailing view, I was, in effect, a Woman's Lib advocate--concerned with increasing male respect (men getting over seeing women as inferior and weak) and improving women's rights in society.
In time, as I become more conscious of my own experience with a dominant mother and submissive father, I began to see the opposite, darker side of the accepted view. This involved an extended academic approach, exploring history, mythology, Gaia, genetics, and statistical data (e.g., about comparable life spans, etc.)--all at emotional distance from my direct experience.
Eventually I came to recognize the opposite side of the traditional man-as-superior coin--that is, to see how males may have arrived at this strange, irrational notion as a way of surviving by outward domination with the denied fact of woman-as-superior. I essentially switched my academic views more in accord with my personal experience--that is, not yet acknowledging this perspective in my personal life, either with Anita and/or my mother and others, I came to think of woman as actually superior and man as inherently weaker.
Then came an extended period (till now) of exploring these theories in my own life, looking, that is, less at "out there" issues and more at how I have actually lived. Which leads me to the present:
I now think the entire superior/inferior, strong/weak perspective, whether one views man or woman in either category, is but a broad generality cloaking but missing the more relevant "facts of daily life." It is, after all is said and done, but another judgment not unlike "good or evil," which avoids specific data in favor of a global notion.
What I am beginning to see more clearly, beyond my previous judgments (and/or global generalities) of woman as superior, in contrast with traditional opposite views, is more about observable data than any broad conceptual categories which easily become the basis for judgments.
In this ball park I note:
1. Females are far more diligent in representing their inherited and personal values both in society and especially in personal relationships with males. They are, that is, both more determined and successful in effecting what matters most to them ("getting what they want").
2. Males, in contrast--and, I think, as a way of coping with this fact, settle for occasional external dominance in less personal arenas, such as, religion, business, and politics, all the while the Queen "behind the proverbial throne" still reigns more supreme in matters of everyday life.
3. These private, commonly cloaked facts, are more subtly evident in most existing social structures--both in established civil laws and especially in unwritten mores, manners, and prevailing modes of acceptable gender relationships. In spite of, and in contrast with male conscious thinking, most all laws, and certainly all unwritten rules of acceptable social behavior, strongly favor and support female values and desires, while curtailing, condemning, and often punishing natural masculinity brought into daily society (outside of war zones).
4. What is true "out there" in legal and social worlds is far more true "in here" in the private worlds of family and personal cross-gender relationships. Women may or may not be genetically "superior," with man inheriting "inferiority"--or vice versa, but all judgments and generalities aside, I observe that in nearly all dimensions of daily living, including society, family, and one-to-one male/female encounters, women are far more successful in "having their ways" than are average men.
While men yet dominate in these noted objective arenas, in nearly all dimensions of daily living involving cross-gender encounters, female values as well as individual women's wants prevail most of the time over natural male desires.
Specific arenas include: behavior in public (other than hunting, sports, war, etc.), behavior and interests at home, family values and practices, and certainly most behavior in bed.
5. These facts are supported, I think, by two other commonly unrecognized psychic facts related to gender differences, namely, that males are typically far more repressed insofar as natural masculinity and basically human traits are concerned than are females, both in terms of inherited values and acquired personal wants. Instinctive masculinity is, I observe, far more likely to be pressed-out-of male awareness than is natural femininity in the awareness of females.
Even when female repression involves upper level consciousness (denials in conscious thinking), women in general remain far more in tune with and responsive to "Sophia's Wisdom"--that is, inherited female knowledge, than do males who commonly think of ourselves as "thinking more." Male repressions, I note, are, in general far deeper and more pervasive of inherited urges as well as present desires than are those in typical females.
6. Outside of war, sports, hunting, and certain aspects of religion, business and politics, I now see females as much more functionally dominant than males. Males are mainly able to maintain old, traditional views of superior males (Adam first, etc.) by escaping ourselves and coming to identify with self-created egos--that is, by ceasing to observe and think naturally and becoming blinded by egotistical views, which, paradoxically, women commonly see-through and utilize to their own further advantages.
Surely females too must be commonly tempted to create and identify to some extent with egos of their own; but as best I can tell, both female "vanity" and "shame" (signs of ego) are much more superficial and less deeply rooted than is typically so for males. When push comes to shove, females more easily revert to personal powers apart from vanity and shame.
7. I still think females have some natural, genetic advantages with 2 X chromosomes in each cell (and not one weasly Y), perhaps as much as 4%; but to go the next step, as I have done in the past, and conclude what women are "superior" to men who are genetically "inferior" is to beg the point. I now think that female advantages are far more attributable to psychological factors than genetic differences. These include the noted differences in degrees of gender repression (greater in men), but are much more rooted in personal attributes such as, will power, self-determination, endurance, "stick-ability," and sheer persistence in pursuit of "what I want."
Female "superiority," I now think, is more "in their heads" than in their bodies; and male "inferiority" is much more a matter of our own making than anything we inherit.
8. These observations become more commonly revealed in such everyday matters as: the nature of cross-gender conversations as well as physical encounters (within all legal structures), including in business and politics; nature of genetically and psychologically motivated efforts to "get" each other--as in, "seductions" for sex and/or marriage (most all forms of female "attractions" are legal and socially acceptable, while most complementary types of male response--taking good looks, touching, etc., are obscene, illegal, and "off limits"); in family relationships related to children and child rearing, as well as "family values" themselves, such as, monogamy, fidelity, and male financial responsibility; in sexual encounters and relationships, beginning at earliest ages between boys and girls and continuing into marriage and old age; in home arrangements apart from children, such as, house management, including degrees of cleanliness, order, and decoration; in most personal decisions about what-to-do, where-to-go, and how-to-be in cross-gender relationships; in tangible efforts to please each other in overt ways apart from "being attractive" on the part of females.
9. Although some of these differences in prevailing female values and desires may properly be attributed to social needs--where, for example, peace, cooperation, and helpfulness are obviously more functional in group structures, as well as basic genetic functions, such as, male pursuit of attractive and apparently conceivable females, male service to family needs, etc. But in the main, I conclude, most of these noted gender differences in which femininity tends to dominate over masculinity, the operative powers are more related to psychological than to biological factors, that is, attributable to stronger female "will power" and mental/emotional effectiveness in "getting what they want."
I conclude that while females do indeed hold a slight edge in creaturely superiority over males, given their extra X chromosome in each cell, their larger corpus callosum, and their capacity for creating babies, their advantages both in society and in personal relationships are far more attributable to individual diligence, determination, and will power than to any genetic edge. They are more successful insofar as personal advantages are concerned because they are more diligent in remaining their natural selves--that is, staying in functional touch with inherited wisdom rather than engaging in wholesale repression, as is more common with males.
They "get more of what they want," including structuring society in their favor, because they are more careful about "being themselves" and they "try harder" in relationships. They in effect "represent themselves better" and "hang in longer" in quest of personal satisfactions. Their repertoires of wiles exceed the limited and crude ploys commonly used by males. Their diligence, both in remaining themselves and seeking what they want with others, is greater than that usually found in us males.
JUST FOR FUN
I am beginning to realize how repressed I have been in regard to "having fun"--that is, experiencing my capacity for pleasure in its light-hearted arenas. I have been far more "serious" than "frivolous."
I think that pleasure/pain instincts must be among our deepest, most primal drives. Beyond most all else we seem to be blindly moved to seek pleasure and avoid pain. I theorize that these generalized urges have evolved as servants, as it were, of our two most powerful, interwoven instincts, namely, for survival and replication.
Fight/flight reflexes, for example, so functional for survival, are triggered by perceptions, even suspicions, of pain. We are blindly moved to fight or run from anything perceived or imagined as hurting us. And ingrained pleasures associated with replication are even more obvious. Orgasm, for example, primal thrusting and climax which maximizes the expulsion and reception of sperm essential for conception is perhaps the apex of physical pleasures in service in replication instincts.
Pleasure, the positive side of this reflexive coin, is, as I understand it, like other human capacities, perceived in degrees--from smaller to greater. We are all capable of a range of pleasures (and pains) gradable from mild to extreme, limited to intense, brief to lasting, etc.
Fun, as I analyze it, is a general term for pleasure at the initial end of the scale--that is, "feeling good" is "nice" but less than ecstatic. Fun, we might say, is an early step on the path to joy or bliss. What begins with "just having fun" may, if continued and expanded, eventually lead to full-fledged pleasure, even overall delight and happiness.
Although fun may lead to greater, more self-engulfing states of pleasure, such as, orgasm or joy, within itself fun seems at the time to be aimed at nothing beyond immediate "feeling good"--that is, pointless or, as we may say, "just for the fun of it."
From the perspective of "responsible adults," for example, fun may be seen as "frivolous," "irresponsible," and "a waste of time." But not so to naturally fun-loving children, who I see as less repressed and more in touch with our inherited urges to seek pleasure and avoid pain.
Which leads me back to myself: What I am beginning to recognize in my overall process of unrepression, is how devoted I have been to my abiding quest for "being good"--with its spin-offs in virtues of self-control, "using your head (coping via mind versus body--"thinking," getting knowledge, information, and "being reasonable," rather then determined by emotions, intuition, and "carnal desires"), plus being efficient, responsible, "right," on time, etc. etc.
All this in contrast with "wasting time" or "just having fun."
I conclude that in my acquired mode of survival and seeking salvation via paths of socio/religious versions of "righteousness," I came early to repress my capacity for "frivolous" fun in favor of dedication to virtues of "responsibility" and self-denial, if not sacrifice.
Overall, I now think I learned early to squelch my inherited capacity for "just having fun," especially if I became aware of doing so. The pleasures I have consciously allowed are mostly related to success in endeavors I associated with "being good"--such as, acting "unselfish," "helping others," acquiring knowledge, "making sense of things," collecting things (objects, images, or ideas, as in, hobbies, photography, or theology), ordering (organizing) things I had collected, pleasing other people (as in, teaching or serving), being efficient, saving time, and finishing any project.
In contrast, I have systematically avoided what I came to see as "wasting time"--that is, doing "fun things" which seemed pointless in terms of "getting somewhere" or "accomplishing something"--such as, listening to music, playing games, responding to nature, consciously experiencing sensations and emotions ("just looking, smelling, touching, tasting, etc.," plus "feeling good"). Whenever "tempted" to be idle, play, or "just have fun," I have generally opted for "doing something useful" at best, or at least "staying busy" in accord with social virtues.
Although I later rejected the idea as irrational (another virtue), my early learning that "idle hands are the devil's workshop" has generally remained operative in my living. I still find "doing nothing" almost as difficult as consciously choosing to "just have fun."
My greatest pleasures, times when I came closer to "letting go," "forgetting myself," "having fun," and "getting excited" have, I can now see in hindsight, been when I came closer to acknowledging and experiencing instincts related to replication--such as, reacting to female beauty, trying to see, touch, please (seduce) girls, "playing with myself," and, of course, in "having sex," that is, reaching orgasm.
These, plus rare times when I briefly allowed myself to experience other instinctive delights which I understand to be spin-offs from urges for direct replication itself ("fucking")--such as, competing, winning, acquiring wealth, and otherwise "being Number One." When, for example, I have occasionally allowed myself to openly compete with all my actual skills, and resisted my habits of "pulling my punches" and "putting others first," I have become fiercely competitive and taken deep pleasure in overcoming opposition and striving to win whatever.
And, in regard to wealth, when not caught up in habits of avoiding "filthy lucre," saving money (being stingy), and giving (social virtues), and the lesser satisfactions of being "financially responsible," I have occasionally "indulged myself" in the pure fun, sheer joy of "making money"--that is, in the natural male delight in acquiring wealth, which I understand as an instinctive desire related to "impressing females" for acceptance in quest of self replication.
In summary, insofar as pleasure is concerned, I have largely limited myself to lessor satisfactions related to conformity or success with accepted socio/religious virtues. Occasionally, and with greater satisfactions, I have sometimes "let myself go" mainly in arenas related to sex (replication urges) and associated male endeavors related to winning and overcoming other males.
Conversely, I have generally repressed my capacity for "just having fun" apart from these limited arenas.
The challenge of unrepressing myself in these regards, that is, in facing, recapturing, embracing, and experiencing what I take to be this natural human heritage, will involve, perhaps begin with, becoming more conscious and responsive to the common signs of and clues to potential fun, namely, "likes," "wants," desires, and "feels good," all of which have been systematically suppressed or avoided while I was caught up in "being good" with its many facets. Indeed, I have irrationally (I now see) come to associate the best indications or guidelines toward fun as being irrelevant, dangerous, signs of "bad," and generally to be denied in quest of virtue.
Now, if I am to re-embrace this aspect of myself which I have generally avoided, I will first of all have to let go of my habitual judgments of these signs and synonyms of fun--that is, attention to "what I like," "what I want to do," and "what feels good," instead of focusing on devotion to "shoulds and oughts." Intellectually accepted values, such as, periodically "doing no-thing" or "just being" without any doing, often preached but seldom practiced, will need to be absorbed into myself.
Then I will face the challenges of "just having fun," as clued by desires and good feelings, without at the same time becoming socially irresponsible, that is, simply rebelling against "being good" by switching to "being bad," without truly embracing this primal capacity, and learning to responsibly mix it with other social needs and necessities.
I want, that is, to become myself more completely by embracing what I believe to be a universal human capacity for "just having fun," without at the same time losing my acquired abilities in functioning responsibly in the social world. I do not think that "having fun" and "being responsible" are inherently opposed to each other. Rather I reason that the first is simply the basis and beginning phase of moving more fully toward the second. And both, I believe, are essential for love, the apex of all.
FUCKING VERSUS FUN
SEX AND SOCIETY
The deeper problem with sex in society is not related to reproduction itself, including protected fucking, or social structures, or even power, but rather to the challenges inherent in mixing pleasure and responsibility--that is, having fun or feeling good as oneself and being reasonable and respectful with others at the same time.
At the lowest level, this major social problem boils down to how to be oneself, especially one's pleasured self, in community, or, both as individuals alone and together at the same time.
The historical answer in the evolution of civilization has been to suppress natural sexuality itself, as though overt sex is the real social problem--that is, how to manage urges related to replication, especially male instincts, in a social context.
History's verdict so far, focused on sex itself (What to do about sex?), has been twofold:
1) to control and suppress its natural outward expressions, especially in males, and 2) to do so on the personal level via psychic repression. Together, outward suppression and inward repression of sexual activities and feelings ("lust") have been the major modes of answering the question: What are we to do with sex in society?
Outward tools have gradually come to focus on chastity before marriage plus strict monogamy and sexual "faithfulness," using this mode of family structuring as a way of suppressing mainly male instincts, while favoring femininity and controlled reproduction, plus fierce religious and civil commandments and laws aimed at both institutional support (of monogamous marriage, "family values," etc.), plus suppression of natural male and female sexuality in its genetic forms (with males, for maximum number of partners; with females for best sperm and maximum support).
Inward tools have majored on personal repression, supported by religious commandments and civil laws, and especially public morality with its near infinite number of unwritten rules majoring on keeping overt sexuality obscene. In practice, adult repression is supported by projecting onto children, as though they too must "be protected" from being consciously sexual themselves.
My premise here is that the real social problem is not with sex itself, but rather with its associated pleasures evolved by Mother Nature in support of essential replication, or, more particularly, how to mix pleasure, especially at upper levels of excitement, and equally necessary communal connections. How do we "have fun" ourselves and "be responsible" with our social groups at the same time? Or, how do we be our pleasure-capable selves, beginning with regular fun and periodic ecstasy, and love others in the process?
In summary, sex gets the bad name and focused negative attention, but pleasure itself is the true social challenge--that is, mixing "having fun" oneself and "acting responsibly" with others at the same time. The deeper problem is less about how to be functionally sexual in society than about how to be excited with others, respecting both oneself and them and damaging neither. Or, finally, how to love pleasure capacities of self, and love other people also.
We focus on controlling lust and fucking, but, I postulate, the deeper and grander challenge is: what shall we do with fun in civilization? Or more particularly, our inherited urges to "always be having fun," beginning at earliest ages, and later to be consciously and overtly sexual following puberty. With fucking itself, the true problem lies in dealing with the expanded powers generated by the pleasure function in service of replication--much more than with problems related to making and raising babies.
If the problem were only fucking itself, and managing the powers generated by its various aspects, that would be great enough; but because pleasure is less focused, beginning with fun capacities in children and expanding to include specifically sexual delights after puberty, the challenges of dealing with this extended continuum of power-producing activities are even greater.
Long ago Solomon wisely advised us: Give not your power to women... (Proverbs 31:3). Unfortunately many of us have been extremely slow learners; me in particular.
Having long known this intellectually and sometimes preached it to others, I am beginning now to confront the issue more personally. As is typical of my mode of trying to move from Stage 3 of the Creative Process to Stage 4, that is, from Conception to Absorption, from knowing-about to knowing, I first try to understand what is involved. How do we/I "give our power to women"? Obviously it occurs, but what are the ways in which it happens?
Empowering women is functioning or relating to them in ways which give powers (can-do abilities) they would not otherwise have. Forces which actually exist, if at all, in males are seen as though reflected in females. I say "if at all" because often these powers are entirely imagined by males--that is, only exist as magical or supernatural, not truly real, either in males who repress and project, or in the females assumed to possess them.
Situation: Insofar as personal powers (not externally given) are concerned, the balance is with femininity to begin with--all em-powering aside--due to a genetic edge, biased legal structures and social mores, and generally greater degrees of embraced natural capacities.
Men, for any real equality to exist, need all the power we can get just to reach a level playing field; certainly we do not need to give any away, especially to those who are already at an advantage.
Also, empowering females is apt to backfire in time, further undermining an already unstable situation. This is likely because of genetic reasons, even when the forces are socially as well as personally useful to those so empowered. From the standpoint of genes, women need strong and virile males they can count on for good sperm and long term protection and support--not wimps who need the strength of women to exist with power themselves.
Consequently, even when females work to make males stronger (as in, ego-boosting or letting us think we are), feel temporarily good about their gifted forces, and use them for pragmatic purposes (e.g., supporting family and structuring home arrangements), on deeper levels they are apt to resent such males, even unconsciously reject both the men and their granted powers, because of these genetic facts.
All the advantages associated with male empowering, though socially functional and personally useful, finally run counter-current to biological female needs related to conception and successful child rearing.
Generally speaking, women meed a man "with balls"--both literally and figuratively speaking, for increased odds of success in their inherited mothering agendas. When a man is otherwise (is weak, hen-pecked, wimpy, a pushover, or ball-less), he may be useful (better than none at all), and even loved as such; but--and this is the point here, a woman's genetic heritage is apt to cry out negatively, no matter what she consciously thinks/feels as an individual person.
I speculate that widespread, though often denied, female resentment, private disappointment, even anger and outward put downs of men, is a reflection of this familiar situation today. On deep levels, I think, women are silently--if not verbally, crying out for "men to be men," not wimps they can easily manage but who do not live up to what their genes call for, that is, so "women can be women."
Now to the practical question: How do we males so often empower women beyond those forces they naturally and socially possess?
Among those I now see are these:
1. Falling in love. Perhaps more clearly and completely than in any other way, I see in hindsight that we males typically empower females when we fall in love with them. On analysis this immensely popular and socially acceptable event turns out to be more clearly and accurately seen as but another form of worship.
In spite of its seemingly unconscious beginnings ("it just happens"), social acceptability, female promotion, and temporarily exciting nature, finally falling in love boils down to blind worship, unrealistic devotion with hidden expectations rooted in male repression and projected magical wishes--in other words, a psychic event with predictably disastrous consequences in time.
In religious language, falling in love is a form of secular idolatry--that is, "having a god (in this case a goddess) before God." Socially acceptable, personally enjoyed, and oft exploited male "adoration" and "faithful devotion" are but reflections of thinly veiled worship, which, in Christian theology is supposed to be reserved for God alone. According to the Bible, any such idolatry is breaking the first commandment ("Thou shalt have no other gods before me") and is done so with dire spiritual consequences--which also soon become evident in the secular world, even as religion predicts.
Relevant here, however, are only the elements of false empowering of local women (which, though similar in effect, is, according to popular religions, supposed to be reserved for a universal male God only). Bottom line: falling in love ("limerance") with a female is perhaps the most common and greatest form of female empowerment operative in present society.
Spin-offs from this familiar psychic event include:
2. Automatic deference--blind, "unthinking (and often unreasonable)" obsequiousness, systematic "giving in" regardless of the situation or consequences. Although "pleasing females" does indeed have healthy genetic roots (in quest of acceptance essential for male replication), this familiar "whatever you say, dear" male stance goes far beyond any genetic realities and grandly empowers a female with unreal-but-operative forces not inherent either in her genes or herself and a person.
This male mode of relating to females in general, lovers in particular, and wives as well, is like self-castration, handing a woman a man's balls on a silver platter.
3. Systematic agreement (A spin-off from #2)--that is, accepting a female's thoughts or opinions (ideas, beliefs, etc.) as though they are inherently true, as if spoken by an infallible god.
Systematic agreement is a stance of mental and verbal acceptance which takes whatever a woman says and/or thinks as "gospel truth." Even if a man inwardly disagrees completely, in this mode he functions or acts like the woman is "always right."
Again, though consciously aimed at pleasing or "avoiding an argument" or "just trying to keep the little woman happy," such a mode of relating unrealistically empowers a women's mind. When treated as though she is omniscient (mentally infallible) she is left with no legitimate, and often needed, feedback, especially so when her own "thinking function" is not her main suit in comparison with a powerful "feeling function." If, for example, she is not confident in her own reasoning abilities and actually needs/wants sensible feedback, then a male's automatic agreement may be more threatening than pleasing.
4. Looking for help--slightly cloaked desires to "be taken care of," that is, supported, "mothered," or "babied," e.g., to be fed, clothed, comforted, seduced, blessed, and given permission to be, especially his masculine self.
This common male situation is especially dangerous when cloaked with machoism (false independence, "I don't need you or anybody else") or phoney "love." Females, I suspect, easily see through male egotism and/or false "love," and recognize the hidden expectations rooted therein. Even when they accept and use the associated empowerment, the temptation to resent obvious male weakness, however cloaked, must be great.
5. Running from anger. Although a man may have good and solid reasons for avoiding female anger (e.g., keeping her favors), any refusal to stand up to it easily gives the appearance of male weakness (thereby, empowering the female) and makes female anger seem even more powerful than it actually is.
If a woman is already fearful of her own emotional powers, especially those seen as negative (of "exploding" or "acting out" in unloving ways), a man's "running away from her anger" cannot but amplify its inherent threat. Unwittingly, whatever his intentions, when a man runs from (does not stand up to or with) a woman's negative emotions, he falsely empowers her unrealistically.
6. Excessive compliments. When a man is automatically complimentary of everything a woman says, does, or how she appears, he unwittingly empowers her.
7. Looking for affirmation. This is another spin-off from #4. No matter how much self-affirmation is truly needed by a male, or how sincere his attempts to "get complimented" by a woman, all such efforts unwittingly empower the female so approached. Even when she chooses to act affirmingly, as in, giving desired compliments, she is further empowered beyond reality because at the same time she is handed the power to refuse them. Placed by such a male in a position to be freely able to give or withhold something he deeply desires, she obviously holds powers not inherent within herself.
8. Hiding masculinity. Paradoxically, when a male cloaks his masculinity from a female, even when she seems to wish it so, he unwittingly empowers her by placing options in her hands which do not truly exist there. While he is hiding signs of masculinity, she in effect has the power to allow or disallow these elements of himself into the open with her. Consequently, she is unrealistically in charge of his gender revelations in her presence.
A secondary unfortunate side effect of this male stance of granting power to a female is that she too is required to be conscious of her own desires before she can signal his masculine response. So long as his masculinity is hidden (with revelation power in her hands), she cannot simply become female (get "turned-on") in response to his "going first," since he is in effect waiting on her to give permission to begin the whole gender-encounter process.
9. Explaining oneself--automatic justification of behavior, emotions, ideas, is another way in which males may falsely empower females. Regardless of intent, this stance in effect sets a woman up as having authority over a man's thinking. This is most dangerous in regard to his motives, reasons for what he does as well as feels.
Living thusly, as though she must understand him before he (his actions, motives, etc.) are acceptable and legitimate, unwittingly grants unrealistic powers to her. Imagine having the tacit authority to judge another as right or wrong, okay or not! This is what blindly happens whenever a man falls into the habit of automatically explaining himself to a woman.
10. Magical good graces. When a man lives-as-though a female's revealed favor--her smiles, approval, etc., as contrasted with her frowns, disapproval, negative judgment, are essential to his well being, his remaining openly himself in her presence, then he has placed extra-ordinary power in her hands.
At the same time, he has, paradoxically, invited severe restraint on her personal freedom to be honestly present with him. Once she realizes the magical power he has assigned to her good graces, she cannot but also see the effects of her frowns or other signs of disapproval. Even though she may enjoy and benefit from her granted powers on the positive side, once she also sees that all her negative feelings, regardless of how personal they may be, are inevitably taken as "against him (what did I do wrong?)," she must restrict her honest negative feelings with him, lest he take it personally when in fact her feelings have nothing to do with him.
11. Falling for female wiles. Although they are often unconscious (as best I can tell), and perhaps even genetic (inherited as Sophia's Wisdom), every female seems to have a number of personal "wiles (male managerial skills)." Perhaps, e.g., she has learned that "being apologetic" or verbally blaming herself for whatever goes wrong ("I know it's my fault"), works in bringing automatic forgiveness plus changed behavior on a male's part. Whenever a man reacts automatically to this or any other form of female behavior ("wile"), then he has unwittingly empowered and invited her to use it repeatedly.
12. Raising ass. This graphic metaphor for inviting being kicked in the behind portrays another common way in which males may empower females. By automatically taking the blame for any of her displeasure, such as, being immediately defensive or apologetic for any apparent offense (regardless of any part she may have played), a man unwittingly projects power for her to use with him. "Raising ass" in any of countless available ways, a man, unfortunately for him, invites and empowers female domination, even emotional if not physical abuse.
13. Catering to every whim. With full respect for potentially positive values in choosing to go to great lengths to please a female (as in, romantic endeavors), when this male mode becomes a habit of automatically catering to every whim--complaint or wish, revealed by a female, then he has passed reason and gone on to grant unrealistic powers, even if under cover of "love."
14. Looking for heart. Perhaps deeper than in any other way, males often empower females by "giving them our hearts"--that is, placing our hearts in their hands, giving them the responsibility (and magical power) for making us hearted or whole as individual persons. Instead of remaining openly responsible for our own spiritual ("emotional") development and well-being--as is the nature of human reality ("every tub has to sit on its own bottom"), males all too commonly cop out on this natural human quest in favor of projecting magical wishes onto females--that is, living-as-though females, at least one of them, can actually "give us heart (make us feel hearted and whole)" if only she will.
What actually happens, I analyze in retrospect, is that we males begin early to repress elements of our own human capacity for becoming/being whole ("hearted") within ourselves, especially parts of our inherited masculinity and other capacities falsely identified with femininity only (e.g., being emotional or "sissy").
Unwittingly, we split ourselves through these partial denials and repressions. We in effect "divide our hearts." Then, in the second phase of repression, namely, projection, we come to "see"--or so we imagine, the powers denied within ourselves reflected in female "eyes (and bodies, etc.)." Caught up in this illusion, we begin to seek the other half of our hearts (the rest of ourselves) from those in whom we glimpse its reflections. We live-as-though we are half persons needing a woman to "make us whole."
Bottom line: In this, perhaps greatest, form of male empowerment of females, we erroneously "look for our hearts (potential wholeness)" from females who in reality don't have them to give. But once this familiar male mode is put in operation, such empowered female "lovers" are granted immense forces for managing us projecting males in countless other real ways, often more useful to them than to us.
I have noted these ways of empowering women in a semi-objective form as my mode of backing in, as it were, to difficult insights about myself--that is, to seeing more clearly the forms of my own repressions. Whether or not other males "give their powers to women" by these modes, certainly I have at one time or another participated, even blindly at the time, in all of them.
It may be that females have more emotional capacity than males. Appearances indicate so. Perhaps male roles in eons past also evolved out feeling capacities which interfered with success, for example, with hunting wild animals and protecting families.
But I think not. I theorize that in terms of genetics alone emotionality is a human capacity, not a gender difference, that is, males and females are much closer, if not equal, in feeling abilities than current appearances indicate. Obvious differences today are, I think, mostly attributable to social structures which support current male roles ("Don't be sissy," "Control your feelings," "Big boys don't cry," etc.) and, most of all, to typical degrees of male repression--not genetics or social circumstances.
In other words, we do it to ourselves. Beginning in childhood, we boys opt for repressing emotions, just as we commonly do with masculine sexuality, in quest of social approval--starting with our mothers.
Although focused mainly on specific feelings which are indeed difficult to assimilate into family and social structures, such as, overt aggression, what we males typically do--given the challenges of controlling some emotions and not others, is simply repress them all. "It is safer," I suspect we privately figure, "not to feel" than to risk dangers associated with selected emotions.
We come to approve and major on "thinking" instead, even to identify ourselves with our mental capacities, not because we have better minds and limited hearts, but because we cop out on the challenges of embracing male emotions responsibly with others, especially with females. We take, that is, the easy out of repression over the more difficult path of remaining both emotional and sensible.
Or so I now figure it has been with me.
I may be wrong in projecting this theory onto males in general, but I am more confident it is accurate for me. As I explore un-repression of myself more, that is, become more honest with myself about denials begun long ago, I discover that when not caught up in dishonesty, I feel far more deeply and expansively than I ever realized before.
Tearing up, for example, in the dark safety of movies--stories of other peoples lives, is only the beginning--a clue, that it, to how I actually am in life outside the theater--or would be were I not so consistently repressed in my feeling capacities.
Emotional clarity is also more difficult for males, I think, because so many of our feelings are intimately connected with our sexuality--which, as noted before, is our major repression #1. Typical female emotions, evolved more for nurturing babies and keeping family intact than for killing wild animals, are by nature of themselves, far more compatible with social as well as family needs.
Consequently, I theorize that emotional honesty for females who are naturally less concerned with sex and aggression, is likewise easier since it is also socially supported. But male emotions naturally arising with powerful sexual instincts which are themselves both dangerous in society and typically repressed in service of conformity, suffer by connection--that is, become in effect "guilty by association." Then another metaphor, "throwing out the baby with the bath water," becomes apt. Feelings which are in fact "innocent" and socially acceptable end up being repressed because of the difficulty of separating them out from more obviously dangerous sexually related feelings.
For example, I theorize that feelings of affection ("tenderness") and aggression are not inherently at odds with one another. Killing game for food, for instance, is obviously an aggressive activity; but hunters are not necessarily "mad at" animals, and without affectionate, even tender feelings for those they kill. And so with aggression in sports. Extreme aggression during a game does not necessarily mean that opponents are "enemies" to be hated. We may even, as recommended in religion, "love our enemies"--that is, feel kindly toward those opposed to us.
What commonly happens however, is the creation of a psychological "feeling" such as hatred, which removes a man from the challenges of wholeness--as in, feeling both affectionate (caring, loving) while at the same time feeling pragmatically aggressive as he is trying to prevail over an opponent. It is easier, that is, to heartlessly kill a hated enemy than to remain hearted with a "worthy opponent." At least in the short run.
But I think what commonly happens with males who opt for emotional repression is that we deny warmer feelings of tenderness in order to more easily remain "cool under fire" and destroy "enemies" without feeling anything. We "kill," as it were, our capacity for sensitive affection so we can be cold-heartedly effective in killing itself, unaware at the time of the long range costs of emotional repression in general.
The same emotional dilemma is evident in cross-gender sexual encounters. As Mother Nature has evolved our complementary roles, males aggressively pursue females who passively resist--at first; then, for mutual success, he must get hard to press in, while she gets soft to take him in. But while literal force is a part of his role, just as tender reception is more overt in hers, harsh, angry, hostility is not, I hold, innate in overt male aggression. Male animals may in fact be as sensitively affectionate in their aggressive female pursuit as are females tender in their passive resistances prior to reception (and, hopefully, conception).
Unfortunately, however, this is not what we commonly find today in hostilely aggressive males who are "only interested in one thing," that is, are devoid of affectionate "fore play" and only focused on forceful fucking. But, I theorize, this familiar situation is less about truly "unemotional," "insensitive," and "uncaring" men who have no "tender feelings" as it is the result of emotional repression as noted above--that is, men who have come to deny all emotions in order to succeed more easily in any aggressive activity, in this case, sexual intercourse.
As with tenderness and aggression, so I think it is with other emotions, such as, fear and anger. Although males seem to repress anger less than any other feeling, the counterpart of this fight/flight instinct, namely, fear, is far more likely to fall victim to our common emotional repressions.
Point: although we often find males devoid of so-called "softer" emotions in all of our endeavors (hunting, business, sports, sex, war), I conclude that this situation is the result of systematic repression of emotionality itself rather than testimony of an inherited deficiency in feeling capacities.
Personally speaking, most of these observations are yet academic for me. I catch glimpses more and more often of my various emotional capacities, but by and large my systematic repression of feelings in favor of focus on thinking remains intact. My aim in continuing un-repression is to pay more attention to assorted emotional denials and see if I can openly embrace them, without at the same time losing my abilities to think reasonably while doing so.
MALE SEXUAL MATURITY
I speculate here on what I imagine a truly mature male would be like sexually. What is the nature of masculine sexuality when fully embraced and developed? Without repression, what would a "good man" be like in this aspect of his life? If I had no sexual hang-ups, no "arrested development" at early stages of natural maturing, no repressions, how might I be in relationship to my opposite gender?
Obviously this is educated guessing, not personal testimony. Quite evident to me, I have a long way to go before, of if, I "grow up" in this aspect of my life. But I do have clues about the process. I know where I have been and am coming to see more clearly changes occurring as I unrepress myself more and more. Then too, I have a great deal of information about men-in-general, from years of reading, study, private counseling with males, and observations.
From this expansive data about myself and others, I want now to speculate on what I may become if I should ever truly embrace this part of my larger self in the context of the worlds in which I live.
First, I think that sexual powers inevitably projected "out there" as the flip side of the coin of repression will be embraced within myself. Most "turn-ons," that is, outside "objects (e.g., female bodies and various parts of female anatomy, private fantasies, pornography, or sexually related things)" or situations which have seemed to hold innate powers causing automatic arousal will, I think, be largely returned to being "just perceptions" like any other natural object.
I say "most"--not "all," because I suspect that male reactions to a slight few kinds of perceptions most closely identified with replication possibilities are so ancient as to have now become relatively "hard wired"--that is, so genetically ingrained that male excitement, if not sexual arousal, is indeed almost automatic.
But by and large, I conclude that the vast majority of so-called "turn-ons," as in, "She turns me on," are the result of repression/projection--this psychic device useful for coping with society at the expense of oneself. The majority of powers females easily wield over males in the sexual arenas today are fictitious--not innately present in, for example, their bodies, its various parts, or even their wiles. They result instead from forces we males blindly give them in the process of our own repressions.
Once given--that is, after repression/projection is in process or in place, then it truly "seems like" these powers are "out there," as in the sight of female breasts, et al. But "seems like" is a metaphor which, while descriptive, is not a literal fact.
Without male repression, I conclude, most metaphored "turn-ons" would in large measure cease to exist. The same powers which have appeared to be external and innately capable of causing excitement, would, in proportion to our degrees of un-repression, be withdrawn, as it were, and returned to exist within/as ourselves.
"Withdrawing projected powers" is of course metaphorical, because projection accompanying repression is only in mind's eye, not in the outside world. Whereas repression is real, projection is only imaginary. Literally we blindly empower our gods and goddesses and other objects which seem to move us (e.g., "turn us on"--or "off"). They (or it) don't actually do what it "seems like (metaphor)" they do. Actually powers generated by instincts, in this case sexual urges, remain repressed within ourselves and are only glimpsed in certain "mirrors" out there (e.g., tits and ass). What we "see as (metaphor)" a moving object with inherent forces over us, is only so after we have blinded ourselves (via repression) to the same powers within us.
Consequently, "withdrawing projected powers," a major part of the process of un-repression, is more clearly recognized as resurrecting and/or rediscovering long lost internal energies and forces. We don't actually "get them back" because they never were "out there." We only, as it were, open our eyes to see what we have previously not seen, namely, natural masculine powers inherent in being sexual as we are (without repression). Power sources don't change; only our recognition of them does.
Furthermore, "de-magicalizing" previously magical objects, such as, woman's body as "just a body," does not mean that the forces previously seen "out there" cease to be; only that their place of origin changes. Metaphored "turn-ons," for example, become realistic "ons"--minus the "turn" forces outside oneself.
Passions, for example, which were previously "caused"--or so it seemed, by empowered objects, now begin to arise naturally within one's expanded self, perhaps in the presence of previously magical objects (e.g., tits and ass), but are no longer "made to happen" by them.
Such an imagined un-repressed male may still "get excited" or "feel sexy (passionate)," but the previously descriptive term becomes inaccurate. He doesn't so much "get" excitement as he does "becomes" excited. Furthermore, the existential state is not so much ex-cited--as though the initiating force is external, but more like simply "cited" without the ex.
Just as "on-ness" is initiated within rather than resulting from getting "turned," so with "citement." Even ecstasy, as in sexual climax previously seen as sourced "out there," such as, in pussy itself or "getting some," ceases to be accurately described as ec-stasy, like ex-stasy, which literally means "beside oneself." In orgasm an unrepressed man experiences "stacy," not ex-tasy. He does not leave, or as the word implies, move "beyond" or "outside" himself; actually he only becomes his real sexual self more completely than when his passions are at a lower tide.
Paradoxically, de-magicalizing an object does not necessarily mean "de-preciating" it. That I cease "looking up to"--admiring, adoring, worshiping objects, such as, breasts, persons, or gods), does not require reversing the process and "looking down on" them. In spacial terms, after de-magicalizing any object, one is freed to "look out at it"--"eye ball to eye ball," we might say, that is, to see it realistically rather than as holding unrealistic powers.
Ideally this process opens the door to potential love. Although we commonly say we "love" our magical objects--gods, tits, pussy, etc., so long as we remain caught up in magical projections, real love is impossible. What appears, and is named as such, is more literally seen as a blindly selfish con job. We only "love" adored objects so long as they seem to be "giving us what we want" or "performing in ways which please us."
With un-repression and de-magicalizing, real love, that is, care for one as he/she/it is, rather than for what they have to give, becomes possible for the first time.
After un-repression, seemingly magical, e.g., body parts, are seen with new eyes, more like body parts than magic wands. Proverbial "tits and ass," for example, are then seen more clearly as "breasts and butt," or even "mammary glands and gluteus maximus"--that is, simply named, but denied of inherent turn-on powers, as implied in "tits and ass."
CHOICE AND REPRESSION
For all its social rewards and temporary personal advantages, repression comes with a major price tag. It gives much, but takes away what is perhaps the grandest of all Mother Nature's gifts to us humans--our birthright of choice.
Although we are born with grand potential, especially with Her added bonus of expanded consciousness, for choosing--for deciding, "thinking for ourselves," "making up our own minds," charting our unique paths in the world, we unwittingly barter it away whenever we opt for repression as our mode of coping with society.
To the degree that we repress our natural selves, to that same extent we throw away, as it were, these gifts of choose-ability. Certainly our inherited options for personal choice are limited; we are not omnipotent or omniscient. But still the freedom granted us for choosing our own unique ways is immense. We are all born with a huge measure of what used to be called "will power"--as is still evidenced in small children yet to succumb to our common temptation to opt instead for repression.
It works, I think, like this: repression is not simply of mind or conscious thinking only. We don't "just forget," deny, or "block out" memories. That too, but more critically we repress the powers generated by activated instincts, thinking included. This is where projection, the second side of repression, kicks in. Whenever we cut ourselves off, as it were, from these internal forces, we inevitably come to imagine they exist "out there"--in gods, devils, mothers, lovers, and countless other blindly empowered objects.
Thereafter, choose-ability which was previously our inherited birthright is unwittingly handed over to whatever sources we have opted to project on. Then, they, it, he, or she, are empowered to choose for us--to tell us what to do, feel, think, even who to be.
The good news is most often they, representing the social world beyond ourselves, do indeed already know more about the best ways to survive in the world. And to the degree that "they" hold literal power over us, as parents do in early years, we are well advised to submit to their views. It is just here, I speculate, that the universal temptation to opt for self-repression first rears its tempting head. If we just hand-over, as it were, our minds and inherent choose-abilities, then things are likely to get a little easier--at least temporarily.
But the bad news is not far behind. As initial suppression phases into repression and becomes ingrained beyond immediate choices to bend and deceive for practical reasons, as consciousness becomes more and more seared, gradually personal choose-ability itself is projected onto the "powers that be"--whom or whatever they actually are.
End result: we are transformed, perhaps into "good children" and later into "good Christians," and/or good citizens," but our inherited capacity to think for ourselves and make wise choices in line with personal perceptions gets lost in the process. Unwittingly we trade in choice for acceptance (or its counterpart, rejection, when we opt to rebel rather than conform), abandoning, as it were, this wonderful birthright.
We may, especially if we opt for rebellion versus conformity, still appear to be "strong willed"; but closer analysis reveals that rebels are almost as devoid of personal choices as are conformists. Their "wills" are as blindly determined by what they are against as are their counterparts for what they appear to be for--itself decided from without, by those on whom these projected powers have been blindly given.
Although these facts about projection and loss of choice are across the board--operative in all aspects of life, they become particularly relevant in the arena of male sexuality for two major reasons: First, males lose powers of choice in one of the most significant aspects of our lives, both socially and personally. Secondly, females who already hold genetic and social power advantages are further empowered, increasing the operative inequities in the proverbial "battle of the sexes."
Consequently, when males repress ourselves we unwittingly curtail, even prevent, our options for full living, both as individuals and as co-participants in the reproductive drama. More than all else, personal well being hinges on embraced capacity for making sensible choices, and nowhere is this more true than in the sexual arena. When "men are not men" in cross-gender relationships, especially in the bed room, and women are blindly handed excessive powers of dictation, then a functional balance of interacting forces is thrown seriously out of kilter.
Who suffers most--over-empowered females or self-limited males, would be hard to determine.
But with un-repression, choose-ability returns, along with ownership of previously projected powers needed to execute any personal choice. While this resurrected birthright is invaluable in all aspects of daily living, choose-ability is particularly relevant in regard to masculine sexuality for three major reasons: First, primary instincts for survival, the source of greatest personal power, are focused, especially in males, in the sexual arena. Although genetic energies begin with urges to "stay alive," they are quickly directed toward "making more of ourselves"--that is, creating new bodies for, as it were, genetic immortality. Both genders, I think, share similar directives; but they are more focused on sexuality itself in males. In females, comparable urges include minor concern with sex, and major attention to the demands of motherhood, family, and raising offspring--as is easily observed in practice.
A major problem with loss of choice resulting from repression is that blind instincts are left operative without the guiding lights afforded by consciousness. Urges evolved for maximum replication only, far more powerful than later evolved inclinations for social membership, must move by their own engened directives which are more like: "Me Tarzan, you Jane; let's fuck," than, "Lets get married, raise a family, and be good citizens."
Without conscious awareness of "on-ness," as distinguished from "turned-on-ness"--that is, of replication urges as our own creations existing in consort with choose-abilities, we males are left with only pre-conscious, automatic, "unthinking," urges to find and fuck, to mindlessly seek replication. Then, as observant females have long noted, men do indeed seem to "only be interested in one thing," to care more about pussy than people, to "have their brains in their jeans," to be "preoccupied with sex," only interested in "making love" but not in love itself. Our "stiff pricks" devoid of choose-abilities, indeed "have no conscience."
But with un-repression and resurrection of personal choose-ability, as blind and automatic "turned-on-ness" phases into conscious, self-contained "on-ness," conscience, as it were, moves up from jeans to head. Instead of being at the mercy of powerful urges whose direction and control has been handed to blindly empowered females, we return to being "captains of our ships" if not "masters of our fate." Powerful replication instincts along with volumes of knowledge about how to wisely exercise them, emerge in consciousness, no longer initiated and largely controlled from without.
Embraced consciousness also allows greater awareness and clarity about powerful social forces (memes) evolved to control if not negate uncivilized masculine impulses, especially natural replication urges.
Furthermore, withdrawing powers projected onto females allows the removal of goddess-colored glasses--that is, recognition of prior adorations and assorted expectations. With clearer vision, unrepressed men are freer to see women-as-they-are, "warts and all," including any inherited Sophia's Wisdom (natural wiles), and consequently to relate more wisely to them.
Removing unrealistic hopes/expectations may at first seem disappointing as goddess-like females are returned to the level plane of all humanity; but with such returns to reality also comes the possibility of love, for the first time, really.
But even without movement toward the culmination of making love in being loving, males liberated from blind dictation by projection are freed both to use greater wisdom in exercising overt sexuality in the midst of oppressive social circumstances and overly empowered females, and to consciously sublimate these same lust-generated energies into less dangerous and more socially acceptable arenas when primal seduction and fucking are not feasible.
When such choices are consciously made, rather than dictated by impersonal memes and blindly empowered females, energies can be smoothly redirected into new arenas without loss in destructive outward rebellion or inward frustration, anger, resentment or depression.
For example, with full awareness that lust-generated energies would be more naturally expressed in overt seduction and animal-like fucking, such an unrepressed man might wisely choose to exercise these same forces in a non-sexual activity, such as, sports competition, when reason calls for sublimation. No longer required to divert such energies into costly repression, such a liberated man might freely "use his head" without denying or losing his "on-ness."
Furthermore, social deceptions essential for wisely executing such practical sublimations (when overt sex is impossible or unreasonable) may be smartly made without shame or false guilt--that is, after un-repression.
Perhaps more relevantly in the wider dimensions of life beyond the bedroom, freeing natural lust from the restraints of replication not only allows for wiser conscious sublimation when sex is not feasible, it also opens the door to the deeper well springs of lust itself, namely, primal urges for optimal survival which are only secondarily directed toward replication beyond oneself.
Although most male awareness seems to be focused on making more of ourselves (genetic immortality) than on being ourselves, I think that our more elemental instincts (and their associated powers) guide us toward enhanced personal well being, once survival is secured. Surely we are moved toward re-production, but I theorize that without repression we may be even more moved toward "production" itself--that is, maximizing ourselves before, and perhaps even more, than we are moved to re-produce ourselves.
Once unrepression allows resurrection of choice, along with forces focused on sexuality, males may surprisingly discover that we have even stronger instincts for being and becoming our human selves than for the masculine aspects of ourselves only.
At least I am finding this so for me. In accord with my earlier theories that selfing instincts are even more primal than sexual urges, the freer I become to acknowledge repression in this second arena, the more I discover wider dimensions of denied personhood. I have previously theorized that in fact we humans are far more evolved for personhood, rooted perhaps in our 44 chromosomes apart from X and Y only, than for just baby making, and that in practice common repression of natural selfing may be even greater than more obvious sexual repression. My own experience in unrepression is tending to confirm this theory.
Selfing instincts (innate urges to "be ourselves" and maximize self-becoming) may more clearly be recognized in terms of creativity than in language related to sex and replication--that is, "production ('making things')" as distinguished from "re-production ('making babies')."
Although ideas about creativity have been largely limited to gods ("God the Creator") and those specialized craftsmen society sees as "artists," I think that in fact, sans repression, creativity is perhaps the most primary and universal of all human capacities. When not focused on and limited to specific arenas and materials, like painting with oils or sculpting with clay, I think natural creative urges are directed outward toward all the world in what might be called "creative living" or exercising natural creativity in all the moments of everyday life.
This might be seen as creating satisfying "times and spaces," similar to the ways recognized artists create canvasses and sculptures--that is, artfully shaping current circumstances in pleasing ways and continually planning for even more satisfying events in the future.
Since we are in fact limited to creating new forms from pre-existing materials (to creating "nihlo," not ex-nihlo--out of nothing, as we imagine gods to do), human creativity always involves "making things" out of "things already made." Literally speaking, human "creativity" is more like re-fashioning or re-shaping what is available--not "making something out of nothing."
Perhaps "artful adaptation" would be an even more descriptive term for what I see as this primal, universal trait, since "creativity" has so long been attributed to gods and artists only. Before repression, I see small children as immensely creative in their unique ways of "artfully adapting" to given circumstances, using whatever resources are available for maximizing comforts and satisfactions--that is, getting, making, and doing things which please them most, or, as adults may see it "wanting what they want when they want it."
Although such child-like creations (artful adaptation) are also limited to children's smaller arenas of acquired skills, knowledge, and available resources, I think they can be seen as prototypes of what adult creativity would be like with our vastly expanded skills, knowledge, and freedom--if, that is, we did not opt for repression beginning in early childhood.
Before natural creativity is repressed and projected onto gods and/or a "specially gifted" few humans who themselves only create in limited arenas, I think its energies, drawn from operative instincts, are directed toward any form or activity which inner urges find pleasurable and satisfying, much like seeking food to satisfy hunger. Chosen and requested materials are likewise drawn from whatever is available and are shaped in accord with personal desires.
With natural creativity activated, one is in effect living creatively, continually adapting in artful ways, not simply making isolated creative things. In reality, I think, sans repression, being alive and being creative are essentially synonymous.
Summary: Powers generated from instincts for survival and replication, for "producing" and "re-producing," are, when not repressed and projected, internal and operative in personal, creative choices in one's immediate world. Such natural individuals, before or after repression, live creatively, continually adapting to encountered circumstances in ways aimed at fullest self-being and becoming.
Initially, in earliest life, choices are rooted in inherited desires only; but as personal knowledge is gained from individual experience in each one's unique circumstances, basis for decisions is quickly expanded to include self-garnered "facts of life" in one continual process of creative adaptation to an ever-changing world.
Relevant here in regard to masculine sexuality is the fact that beyond repression, with regained options for limited choose-ability, powers initiated by natural replication urges may be easily sublimated into any other arena when feasible. When directly related sexual activity is impossible, impractical, illegal, or otherwise unwise, an unrepressed man may exercise sexually-generated energies indirectly in other socially accepted ways without frustration or loss of personal integrity.
Although "sublimation" in a Freudian sense of the word is about unconscious redirection of sexual energies, resulting from repression, I use it here in its literal sense only--that is, a re-direction of forces with full awareness.
Since overt sexual activity is obviously limited if not entirely unfeasible in most social circumstances, the bulk of masculine sexual energies are consequently consciously re-directed ("sublimated") much of the time. Still, with choose-ability operative, there are many occasions when overt sexuality is both desirable and feasible. After projected "turn-on" powers are regained as one's own, times of "on-ness" may even be increased and sexually generated energies expanded.
But post repression, these internal forces are in a context of choice--that is, they may be sublimated when feasible or consciously activated in directly sexual ways.
POST REPRESSION MALE SEX
As projected sexual powers are withdrawn, what happens in the bedroom? When projections are intact and females are empowered with magical turn-on abilities, then male sex is largely determined externally by: 1) the presence (either real or in mind's eye) of empowered objects, such as tits and ass, and 2) permission of object holders (e.g., "attractive" females).
Commonly, repressed males get most turned-on when, for example, they see (or think about) a "sexy" female who gives or implies permission to be sexual with her. Although such a male may be turned on (get sexually excited) at just the sight (presence) of objects he has blindly empowered, the second element, namely, permission, is usually the icing on the cake, calling for greater degrees of excitement and automatic response.
While element #1 (presence) is fairly easy to define (each male tends to have specific, recognizable--at least to himself, turn-ons), element #2 (permission) is trickier to pin down. Obvious permission (signs indicating that overt sex, as least "advances," is acceptable), is typically the grandest of turn-ons, even exceeding the power of visual turn-ons, especially when carefully meted out, as in escalated "may-bes."
Even when implied permission is phoney (a power play only), repressed males are often blindly reactive to it--that is, they lose conscious sense and become overtly aroused in open sexual pursuit. The power of permission is further attested to in rapists who typically imagine its presence even in the face of obvious resistance and expressed "nos." "She really wanted it," they are apt to imagine, and later use in defense of their blind aggression.
But because the actual power of repressed males is mostly "out there (in the turn-ons)--that is, their bravado is a show cloaking relative internal impotence, the element of female permission is tricky in practice. No permission (obvious rejection) is easily recognized as a turn-off ("She is a cold fish"), but too much permission may be an even greater turn-off to sexual arousal in repressed males--that is, given the fragile nature of sexual potency in repressed males, turned-on-ness may be easily threatened if the growing edge of female permission moves beyond the degree of emerging male arousal. If she appears to "want to" sooner or more openly than he does, a repressed male may tend to "get turned-off"--or more literally, scared off.
The success of Victoria's Secret is based, I think, on this situation. Skimpy coverings invite, but with an element of safety, whereas total nudity is often too much, at least until just before actual intercourse.
After unrepression, overt male sexuality has three primary motivations: fucking for impregnation, for fun, and for love. As turn-ons phase into ons--that is, as projected sexual powers are re-embraced within oneself, fucking is never for such psychological purposes as: proving oneself, wielding power over another, automatic "because I can," getting permission to be sexual, or for blessing or any type of reward (such as, bragging material with other males).
While repressions are intact, males are largely out of control of our own sexual instincts. Their powers are projected onto outside "objects," most often, gods, devils, and females, who thereafter dictate the nature and expressions of our sexuality. To the degree that we repress, to that same degree we give up choice in how, when, and if our urges are to be revealed and acted out.
But with un-repression, both sexually generated powers and personal choice are returned to their sources within ourselves. To the extent of a man's unrepression, so the extent of his choices in exercising replication powers.
The question here is: given these powers of choice within oneself, rather than "out there," e.g., in tits, ass, and female permissions, how are they to be wisely executed? In practice, what might an unrepressed male's sexuality be like in the world?
These, I think, would become such a male's modes of sexual activity. They represent my best advice to myself just now:
1. Affirm natural inclinations which are primarily focused on replication--that is, 1) attractions to young, virginic, potentially conceive-able females; and 2) resistance to social and religious structures which seek to suppress or negate maximum sperm-spreading, e.g., monogamous marriage.
2. Recognize the immense and dangerous social powers (memes) evolved to contain and suppress natural masculinity.
3. Wisely choose behaviors which affirm #1 in the context of #2--as they always exist together. Carefully avoiding repression as a mode of social conformity and acceptance, remain consciously alert to self-survival instincts which are even deeper than urges to replicate oneself.
Be sexual as instincts incline, but don't be dumb by revealing socially unacceptable urges or interests, or acting-out in socially dangerous ways.
4. Be overtly sexual in the context of #3--that is, reveal, express, and act sexy when passions arise, but always be careful to avoid dangerous memes. Never let natural sexual urges subvert survival instincts--that is, lead to social rejection and/or punishments.
When safe from social dangers overtly sexual behavior may arise from 3 major motivations: a) possible conception; b) fun of fucking; and c) love.
Obviously sex for conception is relatively rare, given present social structures. Fucking for fun may offer more opportunities, but pleasure motives must be carefully expressed in repressive society, and even in marriage where fun sex is legally permitted.
Sex for love is the highest and most complex motivation. When one loves another person, overt sexual expressions are made in the larger context of affirming a partner as she is, especially in regard to her own levels of sexual consciousness. Love respects repressions of a partner, yet acts in ways which invite her own natural passions into the light of consciousness and overt expression.
Certainly love-motivated sex will be pleasurable to both partners; but when love matters more than personal fun, the pleasures of the partner take precedence over one's own satisfactions.
CHALLENGES OF UNREPRESSION
Unrepression, as best I can tell, is always an act of courage requiring great faith. In years of counseling with clients and parishioners engaged in the process of unrepressing (being "born again") I never saw it come easy, even in the smallest of degrees. Certainly my own experience confirms this observation of others. First of all, just bringing any dark repression into the light of consciousness may be a challenge in itself. Far easier to "keep the ills we have than fly to those we know not of"--that is, to remain repressed in ways we have learned to live with, rather than face the challenges of moving into the dark realms of our deeper selves which have long been banished from awareness.
Perhaps the admonition of the Apostle Paul in the bible may be a testimony to these perceived dangers. He both advised and warned his followers to "work out your own salvation, with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12)." Certainly I do not know what Paul meant by these words of advice (nor, I think, does any other person living today.) Surely in this pre-dawn of psychology, the psychic process of repression could hardly be known as such. Still, his words from long ago resonate clearly with the challenges of unrepression, which I have identified with what is known as salvation in Christian theology.
If we are to "be saved" and experience good life in the here and now, I know of no other way than facing the difficult process of unrepression, or "being born again," as Jesus described the way to Nicodemus (John 3:1-7). When this Jewish ruler can to Jesus inquiring about the way of salvation, Jesus told him clearly: "Except a man be born of water and (italics mine) of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God."
Explaining further, Jesus clarified what he meant by distinguishing physical birth ("of water") from spiritual birth, concluding with this admonition: "Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again."
Were these biblical terms, salvation and being born again, not so commonly identified today with a kind of magical transformation which Jesus, we are told, actually does for us if we only "believe in him," I would prefer using biblical rather psychological language for this challenging spiritual process.
Whereas "unrepression" is a coined name devoid of colorful metaphors, the biblical terms are rich with easily understood familiar pictures. Everyone knows something about work, fear and trembling, and "watery" physical birth. Paul aptly noted that one is to "work out your own salvation," and that the process can be expected to be accompanied by "fear and trembling." Jesus compared the labors of physical birth with the demands of spiritual re-birth and yet affirmed that the event of spirit is essential for entering the kingdom of God.
These descriptions and metaphors fit well with the challenges of unrepression as I have found it to be. First of all, one can expect to work out his own salvation--in contrast with playing at being saved or having it all done for him with no effort, only belief, required. Unrepression, if it ever occurs, is by "hard, personal, work." Furthermore, daring to face lifelong repressions, rather than settling for mere existence on top of them, always seems to me to "be scary"--that is, so seemingly dangerous and exciting that one may literally "shake" or tremble in the process.
And Jesus' comparison of labored physical birth with spiritual re-birth is to me even more apt. Nicodemus's response asking for clarification with this logical question: "Can a man enter the second time into his mother's womb and be born again?," may at first reading seem ridiculous, even absurd; but when I have faced the challenges of re-birth from the darkness of my own repressions, coming out of mother's womb again might actually seem easier than risking resurrection of my own spirit.
Of course I realize that traditional theology as proclaimed in popular religion either ignores Paul's admonition to work out your own salvation, substituting promises of great ease in having it all done for you by Jesus, et al, and that potential resurrection can only be anticipated after physical death rather than through a labored re-birth of spirit in the here and now.
I am, so far as I know, the only theologian who identifies the processes of psychic unrepression with spiritual salvation, present tense, and also gives testimony to the difficult work it requires, along with noting how personally scary the whole matter may seem to be. Furthermore the unreasonable picture of a grown man getting back into his mother's womb and some-labored-how coming out again, is not un-apropos to the challenges one may face in daring his own spiritual re-birth from the darkness of repression.
Consequently, recognizing that resurrecting these metaphored descriptions of the way and demands of potential re-birth of spirit today is perhaps impossible, given the weight of traditional interpretations, I have chosen to coin a new term less burdened with historical assumptions. Still, if one were able to remove the mental accretions of traditional religious explanations, I think the older terms might more clearly represent the actual facts about salvation in the here and now than the psychological words I have chosen.
Bottom line: In observing others who have attempted to find a better life via facing their own repressions and daring to seek wholeness of spirit in this life time, I note that hard work is indeed required, and that one may properly anticipate times of great fear, even to the point of trembling in one's own boots. My experience bears out my observations of others in private counseling. Also, modern terms, such as, seeking "mental health," psychological "maturity," or even the secular name "growing up," all fall short of truer implications of a phrase like spiritual "re-birth" for describing the challenges of unrepression.
Back To Home Page