Nature of the Psyche, Session 773
You have put sexual labels, then, on the intellect and the emotions, so that they seem like opposites to you.
You have tried to divide mental and emotional characteristics between the two sexes, forcing a stereotyped behavior. Again, the male who was intuitively or artistically gifted in certain ways often therefore considered himself homosexual, whether or not he was, because his emotional and mental characteristics seem to fit the female rather than the male sex.
The woman who had interests beyond those acceptable as feminine was often in the same position. Because the intellect and the emotions were considered so separately, however, attempts to express intuitive abilities often resulted in, and often do result in “unreasonable” behavior.
In certain circles now it is fashionable to deny the intellectual capacities in favor of feeling, sentiment, or intuitive actions. Intellectual concerns then become suspect, and recourse to reason is considered a failing. Instead, of course, intellectual and intuitive behavior should be beautifully blended. In the same way you have attempted to force the expression of love into a purely – or exclusively – sexual orientation. An affectionate caress or kiss between members of the same sex is generally not considered proper. The taboos include most aspects of the sense of touch in connection with the human body.
Touching is considered so basically sexual that the most innocuous touching of any portion of the body by another person is considered potentially dangerous. On the one hand you are too specific in your use of the term “sexuality”; yet in another way, and in that context, you feel that any kind of affection must naturally lead to sexual expression, if given its way. Your beliefs make this sexual eventually appear as a fact of experience.
This also forces you to guard your emotional life very closely. As a result, any show of love is to some extent inhibited unless it can legitimately find expression sexually. In many instances love itself seems wrong because it must imply sexual expression at times when such expression is not possible, or even desired. Some people have a great capacity for love, devotion, and loyalty, which would naturally seek expression in many diverse ways – through strong enduring friendships, devotion to causes in which they believe, through vocations in which they help others. They may not be particularly sexually oriented. This need not mean that they are inhibiting their sexuality. It is pathetic and ludicrous for them to believe that they must have intercourse frequently in their youth, or to set up standards of normality against which they must measure their sexual experience.
In fact, Western society has attempted to force all expression of love and devotion into sexual activity, or otherwise ban it entirely. Sexual performance is considered the one safe way of using the great potential of human emotions. When it seems to you that society is becoming licentious, in many ways it is most restrained and inhibited.
It means that all options except sexual freedom have been denied. The great force of love and devotion is withdrawn from personal areas of individual creativity through purposeful work. It is being withdrawn from expression through government or law. It is being denied expression through meaningful personal relationships, and forced into a narrow expression through a sexuality that then will indeed become meaningless.
It has been said by some women working toward “equal rights” that the species has only used half of its potential by suppressing the abilities of women. In larger terms, however, each individual suffers whenever identity is defined primarily as a matter of sexual orientation.
Generally speaking, there will be a specific overall sexual orientation of a biological nature, but the mental and emotional human characteristics are simply not meted out according to sex. Such identification cuts the individual in half, so that each person uses but half of his or her potential. This causes a schism in all of your cultural activities.
On the one hand many of you have been taught that sexual expression is wrong, evil, or debasing. You have also been told that if you do not express your sexuality, you are displaying unnatural repression, and furthermore you are led to think that you must above all force yourself to enjoy the ambiguous sexual nature. The old idea that good women do not enjoy sex has hardly disappeared. Yet women are taught that natural expressions of love, playful caresses, are inappropriate unless an immediate follow-through to a sexual climax is given. Men are taught to count their worth according to the strength of the sexual drive and its conquests. They are taught to inhibit the expression of love as a weakness, and yet to perform sexually as often as possible. In such a sexual climate there is little wonder that you become confused.
The sexual schism begins when the male child is taught to identify exclusively with the father image, and the female child with the mother image – for here you have a guilt insidiously incorporated into the growth process.
Children of either sex identify quite naturally with both parents, and any enforced method of exclusively directing the child to such a single identification is limiting. Under such conditions, feelings of guilt immediately begin to arise whenever such a child feels natural affiliations toward the other parent.
The stronger those natural inclinations are, the more the child is directed to ignore them in your society, since certain characteristics, again, are considered exclusively male or female. The child is coerced into ignoring or denying those portions of the personality that correspond with the sex it is being taught it cannot identify with. This squeezing of personality into a sexual mold begins early, then. Continuing guilt is generated because the child knows unerringly that its own reality transcends such simple orientation.
The more able the child is to force such an artificial identification, the greater its feelings of inner rebellion. The lack of a “suitable” father or mother image has “saved” more children than it has hurt. The psyche, with its great gifts, always feels thwarted and attempts to take countering measures. Your schools further continue the process, however, so that the areas of curiosity and learning become separated for males and females. The “she” within the male does indeed represent portions of his personality that are being unexpressed – not because of any natural predominance of mental or emotional characteristics over others, but because of artificial specializations. The same applies to the “male” within the female. You have accepted this version of personhood, again, in line with your ideas about the nature of consciousness. Those ideas are changing, and as they do the species must accept its true personhood. As this happens, your understanding will allow you to glimpse the nature of the reality of the gods you have recognized through the ages. You will no longer need to clothe them in limited sexual guises.
Your religious concepts will change considerably, and the images associated with them. Religion and government have had an uneasy alliance. Males ruled both (they still do), and yet those leading religious organizations at least recognized their intuitive base. They constantly tried to manipulate religion’s substructure in the same acceptable male ways that government leaders always use to inhibit and use the emotions.
Heresy was considered female and subversive because it could threaten to destroy the frameworks set about the acceptable expression of religious fervor. The female elements in the Church were always considered suspect, and in the early times of Christianity there was some concern lest the Virgin became a goddess. There were offshoots of Christianity that did not survive, in which this was the case. Parallel developments in religion and government always echo the state of consciousness and its purposes. “Pagan” practices, giving far more leeway to sexual identification and expression, continued well into the 16th century, and the so-called occult underground heretical teachings tried to encourage the development of personal intuition.
Any true psychic development of personality, however, is bound to lead to an understanding of the nature of the psyche that is far too large for any such confusion of basic identity with sexuality. The concept of reincarnation itself clearly shows the change of sexual orientation, and the existence of a self that is apart from its sexual orientation, even while it is also expressed through a given sexual stance. To a good extent, sexual beliefs are responsible for the blocking-out of reincarnational awareness. Such “memory” would necessarily acquaint you with experiences most difficult to correlate with your current sexual roles. Those other-sex existences are present to the psyche unconsciously. They are a portion of your personality. In so specifically identifying with your sex, therefore, you also inhibit memories that might limit or destroy that identification.
The Church did not restrain the sexuality of its priests or the expression of sexuality in previous centuries as much as it tried to divorce the expression of love and devotion from sexuality.
A high percentage of priests of the Middle Ages, for example, had illegitimate children. These considered products of the weak and lustful flesh – bad enough, but considering man’s fallen state, understandable lapses. Such situations were overlooked, if not condoned, as long as the priest’s love and devotion still belonged to the Church and were not “squandered” upon the mother of such offspring.
The nuns were kept in subservient positions. Yet the nunneries also served as refuges for many women, who managed to educate themselves even under those conditions.
A good number of nuns were of course carrying the seed of those priests, and bearing children who acted as servants in monasteries, sometimes, as well as in convents. There were numerous rebellions on the part of nuns in various convents, however, for these women found themselves operating rather efficiently though in segregated surroundings. They began to question the entire framework of the Church and their position within it. Some left in groups, particularly in France and Spain, forming their own communities.
The Church, however, never really found a suitable method of dealing with its women, or with the intuitive elements of its own beliefs. Its fear of a goddess emerging was renewed each time another apparition of the Virgin appeared on one corner or another of the world.
There were also some women who passed as monks, living lives of a solitary nature and carrying on for years. No works bear their feminine names, for they used male ones. It goes without saying that lesbian and homosexual relationships flourished in such surroundings. The Church closed its eyes as long as the relationships were sexual in nature. Only when love and devotion were diverted from the Church was there real concern. Intellect and emotions became further divided then. This resulted of course in an overemphasis upon dogma – rules and the ritualization that had to be colorful and rich because it would be the one outlet allowed in which creativity could be handled. The Church believed that sexual experience belonged to the so-called lower or animal instincts, and so did usual human love. On the other hand, spiritual love and devotion could not be muddied by sexual expression, and so any normal strong relationships became a threat to the expression of piety.