Nature of the Psyche, Session 770
Your identity is simply not dependent upon your psychological or biological sexuality.
Your sexual characteristics represent a portion of your personhood. They provide vital areas of expression, and focal points about which to group experience. Your sexual qualities are a part of your nature, but they do not define it.
Your beliefs so structure your experience individually and en masse, however, that evidential material contrary to those ideas shows itself but seldom, or in distorted or exaggerated form. It is quite natural, biologically and psychologically, to operate in certain fashions that are not acceptable in your society, and that seem to run counter to your picture of mankind’s history. In terms of your definitions, then, it is quite natural for some people to behave as males sexually and as females psychologically. It is quite “natural” for others to operate in a reverse fashion.
Again, this may seem difficult to understand, because you assign psychological characteristics to sexual affiliation, whichever it is. There will always be people who naturally seek the experience of parenthood. All of them will not necessarily be heterosexual at any given time.
The larger pattern of human personhood demands a bisexual affiliation that allows leeway in sexual encounters, a leeway that provides a framework in which individuals can express feelings, abilities, and characteristics that follow the natural inclines of the personal psyche rather than the sexual stereotypes. I am not speaking here of anything so simple as merely allowing women more freedom, or relieving men from the conventional breadwinner’s role. I am certainly not talking about “open marriage” as it is currently understood, but of far greater issues. Before we can consider these, however, there are several points I would like to make.
There are biological possibilities, seldom activated in your present circumstances, that have some bearing upon the subject at hand.
Puberty comes at a certain time, triggered by deep mechanisms that are related to the state of the natural world, the condition of the species, and those cultural beliefs that in a certain sense you transpose upon the natural world. In other respects, your cultural environment is of course natural. The time that puberty comes varies, then, and afterwards it is possible to parent a child. A time then comes when the period is over. During what is called the sexually active time; the larger dimensions of personhood become strictly narrowed into sexually stereotyped roles – and all aspects of identity that do not fit are ignored or denied. The fact is that few people fit those roles. They are largely the result of the interpretations of religion as conventionally understood. And the scientists, for all their seeming independence, often simply found new intellectually acceptable reasons for unconsciously held emotional beliefs.
Biologically there is a period very rarely experienced, as joking suggested in the “sick jokes” about senility and second childhood. This particular latent biological ability shows itself upon the rarest instances – because, for one thing, it represents a feat now scarcely desirable. Physically, however, the body is quite able to completely regenerate itself as it approaches old age. Indeed, a quite legitimate second puberty is possible, in which the male’s seed is youthfully strong and vital, and the woman’s womb is pliable and able to bear. There are, I believe, Biblical tales of such births resulting.
In times of overpopulation, this mechanism is hardly desirable, but it is a part of the species held in abeyance now, representing nature’s capabilities. In some areas of your world, isolated peoples live on past a hundred years, vital and strong, because they are untouched by your beliefs, and because they live in sympathy and accord with the world as they know and understand it. Occasionally such second puberties happen then, with resulting childbirth, as a small group attempts to maintain its own biological stance.
Usually the second puberty follows the same sexual orientation as the first, but not always – for it is quite possible for the new affiliation to be the opposite of the first. This is even rarer – but so does the species protect itself.
Through medical techniques some of your old people are kept alive long enough that this process begins, appearing in distorted form, sometimes psychologically apparent but biologically frustrated. The second puberty is dead-ended, then. It has nowhere to go. It is not now biologically pertinent or needed.
Left alone, some of these people would die with a feeling of satisfaction. Kept alive through medical techniques, the physical mechanism continues its struggles to revitalize the body and bring about this second puberty – that naturally would only come about under different conditions, with the mind far more alert and the will unimpaired. Now, to some extent, there is a connection between this innate, rarely observed second puberty and the development of cancer, in which growth is specifically apparent in an exaggerated manner.
In almost all such cases involving cancer, spiritual and psychic growth is being denied, or the individual feels that he or she can no longer grow properly in personal, psychic, terms. This attempt to grow then activates body mechanisms that result in the overgrowth of certain cells. The individual insists upon growing or upon death, and forces an artificial situation in which growth itself becomes physically disastrous.
This is because a blockage occurs. The individual wants to grow in terms of personhood, but is afraid of doing so. There are always individual variations that must be taken into consideration, but often such a person feels a martyr to his or her sex, imprisoned by it and unable to escape. This can obviously apply to cancers affecting sexual areas, but is often in the background of any such condition. Energy is being blocked because of problems that began – in your terms – with sexual questions in puberty. Energy is experienced as sexual.
Now, old people who are considered senile or unmanageable are sometimes experiencing new bursts of sexual activity for which no outlet is given. Beside this, they have lost their conventional sexual roles, in which they earlier expressed their energy.
There are often hormonal changes occurring that go unnoticed. Many express a nervous, erratic type of behavior as they are aroused – some not only sexually but intellectually. The new adolescence never comes. The new puberty dies a slow death, for your society has no framework in which to understand it. And indeed it shows itself in a distorted fashion that can appear most grotesque.
Love is a biological necessity, a force operating to one degree or another in all biological life. Without love there is no physical commitment to life – no psychic hold.
Love exists whether or not it is sexually expressed, though it is natural for love to seek expression. Love implies loyalty. It implies commitment. This applies to lesbian and homosexual relationships, as well as to heterosexual ones. In your society, however, identity is so related to sexual stereotypes that few people know themselves well enough to understand the nature of love, and to make any such commitments.
A transitory period is currently taking place, in which women seem to seek the promiscuous sexual freedom more generally granted to men. It is believed that males are naturally promiscuous, aroused by sexual stimuli almost completely divorced from any complementary “deeper” response. The male, then, is thought to want sex whether or not he has any love response to the woman in question – or sometimes to desire her precisely because he does not love her. In such cases, sex becomes not an expression of love, but an expression of derision or scorn.
So women, accepting these ideas often, seek for a situation in which they too can feel free to express their sexual desires openly, whether or not any love is involved. Yet loyalty is love’s partner, and the primates display such evidence in varying degrees. The male in particular has been taught to separate love and sex, so that a schizophrenic condition results that tears apart his psyche – in operational terms – as he lives his life.
The expression of sexuality is considered male, while the expression of love is not considered manly. To some extent or another, then, the male feels forced to divide the expression of his love from the expression of his sexuality. It would be disastrous for women to follow the same course.
This great division has led to your major wars. This does not mean that men were alone responsible for wars. It does mean that the male so divorced himself from the common fountain of love and sex that the repressed energy came forth in those aggressive acts of cultural rape and death, instead of birth.
When you look at the animal kingdom, you suppose that the male chooses blindly, led by “dumb” instinct, so that in overall terms one female will do as well as any other. When you discover that a certain chemical or scent will attract a certain male insect, for example, you take it for granted that that element is alone responsible for drawing the male to the female. You take it for granted, in other words, that individual differences do not apply in such cases so remote from your own reality.
You simply are not able to understand the nature of such consciousnesses, and so you interpret their behavior according to your beliefs. This would be sad enough if you did not often use such distorted data to further define the nature of male and female behavior.
In so distorting your ideas of sex, you further limit the great capacities of human loyalty, which is always connected with love and love’s expression. Lesbian and homosexual relationships then are at best tenuous, overwrought with confused emotions, very seldom able to maintain a stability that allows for individual growth. Heterosexual relationships also break down, for the identity of each partner becomes based upon sexual roles that may or may not apply to the individuals involved.
Since you feel that sex is the only proper method of love’s expression, and yet also believe that sex and love are divided, you are in a quandary. These sexual beliefs are also far more important in national relationships than you realize, for you attempt to take what you think of as a masculine stance as a nation. So, for example, does Russia. India takes a feminine stance – in terms of your beliefs now.
One small note: A male with growths of any kind – kidney stones or ulcers, for example – has tendencies he considers feminine, and therefore “dependent”, of which he is ashamed. In a mock biological ceremony, he gives birth to the extent that he produces within his body material that was not there before. In ulcers the stomach becomes the womb – bloodied, giving birth to sores – his interpretation of a male’s “grotesque” attempt to express feminine characteristics.