In middle school growing up in Alliance, Ohio I used to walk to school everyday. On my daily walk I usually crossed a large field and into a narrow patch of woods which stood as a buffer between the field and the College next to it. Sometimes when crossing through the woods I would discover items which a young person really has no business being in contact with such as used condoms, cigarettes, porn, and beer. These taboo objects were very attractive to me not because as a sixth grader I had any idea how and what they were good for but because of the cultural conditioning which deemed these things taboo particularly for a boy my age. Interestingly, anytime I came across fodder for adult good times I always felt a sense of sexual excitement. One day I found a few cans of beer which were no doubt stashed there by some college students who were most likely under the drinking age. Upon finding the beer I felt an immediate sexual arousal, and I of course did not recognize as sexual, which prompted me to open one of these tepid beers to have a taste. I of course thought the lukewarm beer was awful tasting, so I dumped the rest out and then I went on with my day. At the time of this experience I had no clue why it felt sexual, however later in life when I reflected on this experience it did trigger some confusion. How could something non sexual feel sexual?
In Astrology there are certain placements in one’s natal chart that point to particular tendencies, and in my case I have a couple different placements which scream “deviant” and by deviant I mean to deviate from cultural norms. These chart placements incline me towards attractions to the occult, the sexual, what’s hidden, and investigation… other words a desire to understand what’s taboo. I am capable of imagining and understanding almost anything sexually so in a away I’m kind of a sexual empath. My mind likes to go down some pretty uncomfortable rabbit holes and I am always drawn to go where society says no. One of the benefits of Mediation, which I have now been doing for 20 years, is that it allows me to objectively experience all types of sexual acts without the need to actually act out; however this reveals a reoccurring conflict I have with the moral compass of the culture I/we live in. The contractions I felt in the past were largely repressed which meant the taboo would once again rise into my mind seeking a resolution. In my early twenties I tended to act out my fantasies which generally led to lots of unfulfilling sexual exploits and more confusion as to why these scenes continued playing out in my psyche. My sexual mental contortions continued even after I decided acting out wasn’t for me, and unfortunately I developed shame about the thoughts which would pop into my head. As my meditation practice deepened I realized a very fundamental principle about the nature of preferences; in meditation we must accept all that rises, good or bad and simply be present with the objects of our perception no matter how disturbing because the repression of a thought or emotion simply feeds energy to the pattern being played out and any expression of the fantasy might lead to a regretful action.
Humans have the innate desire to fit in as we are social creatures. When we don’t feel like we fit in or we are looked upon as being a deviant, men in particular, have a tendency to isolate which can lead to bigger issues and depression. When a man is isolated he is missing out on the surge in hormones which make us feel good when we connect in even the most innocent of ways. When we are connected in social ways we experience increases in various chemicals such as dopamine, prolactin, oxytocin to name a few. These chemicals make us feel satisfied in some way which beckons us to repeat the behavior. When shaming occurs we want to curl up into a ball and withdraw from contact which works to our detriment.
It’s been said that men are ‘obsessed with sex’, ‘think with their little head’, ‘are blinded by their hormones’ etc… Much of these generalizations are at times very true, however the judgment connected to these beliefs are largely viewed in a negative light. Perceiving male sexual energy or fixation as a bad thing creates within the man a shame and that shame distorts how his life force flows. The Daoists say that men and women have very different strengths. A man’s strength is his sexual energy, or another way to look at it is his creative drive. Attacking what’s innate in males, our sex drive, as being toxic and the cause of social ruin is tantamount to cultures which attempt to “guide”or control the behavior of the adherents of a particular faith or religion through guilt or fear if there is a misstep or deviation from the core tenants of the faith. The power of shame and guilt to control individuals is known and has been measured by researcher Dr. David R. Hawkins in his book Power VS Force. In Power Vs Force Hawkins used Muscle Kinesiology or Muscle Testing as a way to measure the the amount of energy certain emotions make available for living life. He found that on a scale of 0 (dead) to 1000 (total enlightenment) that shame scored at 20 and was the emotion which scored closets to death with guilt being a close second scoring a 30. Anyone who has harbored these emotions consciously would concur there is a depression of one’s life force when we are in shame.
When looking through the perceptual lens of a cultural anthropologist at the current cultural hot button subject of “toxic masculinity” you might see the trappings of a pattern that has been repeated over and over again in many different cultures and in many different ways. The current version of culturally shaming fits right into the cultural anthologist’s understanding of the Shame-Guilt-Fear spectrum…
“In a guilt society, control is maintained by creating and continually reinforcing the feeling of guilt (and the expectation of punishment now or in the afterlife) for certain condemned behaviors. The guilt-innocence world view focuses on law and punishment. A person in this type of culture may ask, “Is my behavior fair or unfair?… “This type of culture also emphasizes individual conscience ” – Wikipedia
Much of the current cultural shame complex is being played out over social media and in the media in general. I feel that the current system of shaming is now very much part of the digital ecosystem we are all learning to deal with. The good thing about this system is that misdeeds are exposed more broadly and at a faster rate which in theory should lead to quicker transformations and reform. In my ideal world there is no reason to shame, but insulating ourselves from shaming does no good because anytime you censor or play the victim card you are essentially delaying the inevitable. Shame is an opportunity for spiritual growth if the individual can perceive the trap of identifying as the victim and can make honest attempts at forgiveness of the self and the other. An individual can repress certain memories and emotions in favor of being busy or for more positive vibes, however this does not erase the existence of the folly in our nervous system or magnetic field and it will drain the body of life force in some way unless acceptance and forgiveness are utilized to further personal evolution.
Since Shame is often used as a weapon I suspect that we will be seeing more of it in the near future, and because of this I feel it’s vitally important that we also learn how to transform shame into acceptance, otherwise it could spiral into rage. This is a simple practice, and one which I feel is worth repeating. Since this essay is largely about sexual shame the following instructions will be suitable for shifting and purifying sexual energy. Please be open to the idea that any sexual fixation or fantasy may actually have nothing to do with sex and that the sexual feeling is simply an indication the energy associated with thought is moving through the area of our energy body associated with sex; which is why it’s so vital to connect with the the feeling and to be aware of the inner dialog.
2. Now direct your awareness toward your body. Is there an area of the body which seems to have more sensations? Now go deep into feeling and simply allow the thoughts to rise without engaging… connect with this place or places for at least one minute.
3. Now continue to stay present with the body and its sensations. Now cup your genitals… left hand at the testicles and the right cupping the penis from above. Smile deeply into your testicles. 1min… Inhale then exhale
4. Left hand remains at testicles and the right goes to the heart center (the middle of the sternum). Inner smile into your body in general. 45 sec- 1 min. Inhale then exhale
5. Both hands back to testicles…. inner smile into testicles. 45 sec- 1 min. Inhale then exhale
6. Left hand testicles, right hand heart center. Inner smile generally. 45 sec- 1 min. Inhale then exhale
7. Both hands at heart center; Right over left… smile at the center of the sternum feeling the surface of the skin there. Repeat in your mind “I forgive myself or the other (if the shame is coming from another), and I accept my thoughts and past actions as part of my growth.” at least 5 times
8. Inhale and retain the breath for five-ten seconds, exhale retain out 5-10 seconds… two times. Inhale and clap your hands together over the head.
9. Now go about your day
– You may need to repeat this process in order for the effect to be long term. Keep in mind it takes 40 days for our nervous systems to take on a new pattern.
Thank you All,