Friday, April 8, 2011

An Essential Foundation: Understanding Sexual Repression…

The Final Installment of a continuing series. Please note that each article is a stand-alone entity, but all are precluded by a core preface:  An Essential Introduction:

A Quick Guide to Carl Jung & the Shadow Self…

Let’s be clear - when you see someone of the same sex who works out five or six times a week & you admire their physique in a generally intrinsic sense then you’re not gay...   You’re not even bisexual...   What you are is someone who is perfectly secure within themselves & their own sexuality. It is only ‘because of this’ that you are thus able to admire someone who has worked with great effort to achieve such a sense of worthy admiration & physical form. It’s God’s great art, & there’s nothing wrong with admiring art in any form…

There is however a big difference between admiring something & being turned on by it. If I’m a guy & I look at a gorgeous woman who completely turns me on then I’m sexually attracted to her. If I see a guy who is completely lean with a perfect physique then I can look at him with complete admiration. But such a response is not a sexual response, it’s a personal reaction. I see beauty within him & maybe reflect a sense of what "I" could be (or perhaps what I have also achieved within myself). What most admire is in a sense a reflection of their own inner beauty. This, however, is a world away from actually being turned on by it, & thus sexually attracted to it.

As to those who are unable to carry such a concept, then they’re witnessing one of two things. Either they're afraid of the response others would have to such a consideration (which may be an issue of personal insecurity), or they are in fact somewhat repressed within their own sexuality.

The end result is this…  Societal issues can be a valid concern. If you move through society in a certain manner (gay in the military for instance) then the Adult Alternative Culture can help to provide a validated outlet for such inner needs & can allow you to do so with discretion. But in the end, one way or another, you must live a life that is true to yourself. You don’t have to stand on the top of the closet & yodel. But you should at the very least be clear as to who & what you are as a person, then strive to live with a sense of integrity based on that understanding. Only then will you be able to find a level wholeness within yourself, fulfillment within the life you lead, & bring a sense of satisfaction to your personal & sexual desires.

Enter the name Carl Jung.

Jung was one of the founding fathers of modern psychology & stood in direct opposition to Sigmund Freud on several issues (& no, we’re not going to go there). Jung defined some of the most profound elements to understand the inner workings our mental processes: The Shadow Self, & the Mask & Mirror of our internal persona.

Found within this is the very engine that drives sexual repression. So for our purposes here, this will be the core consideration for our topic.

Understand that as we move through life & grow as an individual, we take various actions in the field of our experience. In return the world responds to such conduct, & ultimately it is from this response that we begin to see an overall impact, both on our character as well as the many attributes that create our personality make-up. Now some of these interactions cause a positive reinforcement, & as a result we begin to internalize such beliefs or behaviors allowing each to become an outward expression of our building persona. But often we face an effect that is not of a positive nature. We face fear & draw back. We face rejection & internalize such feelings as we struggle against a natural need to belong. Shame & moments of humiliation all have an impact on who & what we are. Indeed, for every action we make in the world there is a reaction within our existence. Attached to that there is also a lesson learned & an attitude that is soon internalized.

As a result, the ego (which carries a tendency of self-preservation) begins to soon play watchman & will keep from us any of those characteristics that do not meet with our own ego-ideal (that ideal as to what we feel we should be). The end result is that parts of our personality are essentially repressed & become hidden, both from the world around us & even more importantly from ourselves. What evolves is that many aspects to our character become pushed down, out & away from our conscious view, back into the dark recesses of our unconscious psyche. Over time these combine into sub-personalities & work to create an aspect of our character that is hidden from the light of our conscious awareness. It is in essence a “shadow self” if you will. In short, it is the face of our persona that we would rather not show to the world. So, as we try to then live out the life of our ego-ideal, this aspect to our persona tends to remain internally hidden, unconsciously removed from the open view of our own conscious self.

Indeed, everyone has within him something of the criminal, the genius, & the saint. For when our inner sense of reason discovers the irreconcilable nature of polar opposites, the consequence is most often repression. We want to be this & are taught that we must repress all which is that. Ultimately, such repression leads to the development of a ‘shadow self’. But it is in the same manner that we also begin to create an outward shell to then carry forth those aspects of our persona that we are willing to share with the world - a social mask if you will… - Carl Jung.

Our ‘social mask’ is the general persona we present to those around us & acts as kind of a protective barrier to keep us from rejection & emotional harm. But often (although not always), who we really are as a person is to some degree a direct counter to what we actually present. So if we are to truly find an avenue for self-discovery & would strive to understand just who we really are, then we must be willing to look past our social mask & see what really lies beneath (allowing perhaps for the first time a full & open disclosure of just what truly lay within us).

In this, one must understand that the mind has a natural function to strive for a sense of wholeness within its being, & those aspects of our persona that have been so deeply repressed are in fact a necessary fiber to the internal sense of our own true self. By design, whether they derive from a positive or negative attribute, such characteristics don’t exist within us to be destructive but are ultimately created for a purpose that is good (for indeed, it is our natural instinct to only carry those qualities that are complimentary to our survival). In that, even the most deeply negative attributes carry a positive aspect to their nature & may have their time & place. Each represents a part of what we are & even carries a talent of sorts that may in turn offer a level of positive aspect to give us strength & which would then work to make us personally whole as an individual.

However, if kept as only a repressed trait, or if the underlying issue remains unresolved then it will either work to offer its influence in a generally distorted fashion or will otherwise be manifest in only an inappropriate manner. Indeed, it is primarily through this mode of behavior that it works to again make itself known & is thus brought back into the light of our active awareness. Now if left unattended then obviously this would offer a very negative influence. But it also opens a window of insight. For although we unconsciously repress certain aspects to the shadow self, we also have a natural tendency to act them out (& even to unconsciously project them into the environment that surrounds us). So as our social mask then hides us from the world, it is through such acts of unconscious projection that this same world becomes a mirror to our own true personality.

You see, as a form of emotional self-defense, if we harbor deeply felt anxieties about any internally repressed feelings or character traits, & if these aspects are indeed felt within us but are deemed by the ego to be simply unacceptable, then rather than to face such a discord within ourselves (which is in direct conflict to the function of the ego), we will instead tend to unconsciously project those feelings &/or traits out onto the people & external circumstances which surround us. As we then move forward in a state of general denial, it will appear as if these qualities exist in those around us rather than within ourselves (usually disproportionately).

For example, if we carry a fair deal of greed within our heart but hold a great deal of disdain for this specific characteristic because of some past teaching, then it will generally be repressed deep in the unconscious aspects to our shadow self. Since it is so difficult for us to face the existence of such a trait within our character (much less to embrace it as a part of who we are), then the only way we can express it as a part of our personality is to project it outward to those around us. As a result, we begin to see the world not as it is, but rather as a mirrored reflection of how we are. In this, we will tend to thereby judge more harshly those around us as “greedy” & will almost always do so in a disproportionate manner than that which really exists. Now it's true that there must be a motivator of some type to have created such a transfer in the first place, but it's this latent quality within us that causes such a distorted judgment to essentially take place, & which then acts as the signal to allow such transference to then become so apparent.

But even more, in an unconscious act for self-justification, we will also to attract a degree of actual greed into our lives as a result! This aspect to our nature tends to create a type of vortex in our life to which such circumstances are then drawn. And it is here that we begin to create a mirrored reflection of our true inner self. For example, if an individual’s personal life or love life seems to exist in a recurring theme of absolute chaos, & if such a recurring cycle indeed does persist, then such a state will generally exist only because of a manifestation of some unresolved issue & because that person is attracting that element of chaos to his or her life in the first place!

But let’s take this concept just one step further…

Consider that we are drawn to others by that which we carry inside, & if we didn’t posses a certain quality at all then we literally wouldn’t be able to recognize it in those around us. This means that if you are inspired by someone’s greatness or sense of courage, then it is only because you carry such greatness within you. And even though such qualities may not be fully expressed in your life at the current moment, they are none the less present within you, & you do in fact have the ability to manifest any such quality to which you can then relate (be it good or bad). Just keep in mind that it is not the entire person we mirror, but rather the quality or trait that is being demonstrated at that moment - only this particular quality is what lies within you, not the whole persona.  - Debbie Ford, The Dark Side of the Light Chasers.

So just what does all this really mean? That the world as we see it, judge it, & project out into it is but a mirrored reflection of who we are & what we hold inside - this is where we find a true representation of our inner selves. And because that which is most important to us carries with it a high degree of emotional involvement, we must then look more specifically for those traits that, for some reason, really leave us emotionally charged - the degree by which we are emotionally involved is the key, for this will represent the degree of our personal attachment.

Also, as we then project these aspects of our nature out onto the world around us, we will continue to see a pattern or set of defining characteristics, & will continue to attract whoever or whatever into our existence as a continuous cycle until such lessons are learned & the underlying issues are resolved. So it's important to look at & recognize those scenarios that are of a recurring theme & which may thus offer an insight into some aspect of our underlying personality (that which may obviously need our attention). With such recognition, we may then look at what really affects us & use it as a catalyst to uncover the fundamental attributes to our ‘shadow self.’

Do keep in mind that not all is worthy of such analysis. If you carry an issue that really doesn’t hinder you or which quite simply is not worth such attention then pay it no regard. You need only to attend to those concerns that deter you from forward growth or which represent some issue of unrelenting paradox & cycle of unease.

Also, look to the real issue & don’t over analyze everything just for the sake of analysis. Sometimes bad things happen & occur for no real reason. Sometimes life gets really busy & things just get a little out of control. The resulting chaos is not some internally derived grand scheme of self-sabotage. So focus only on the deeper issues & that which has truly created an underlying theme of negative influence throughout your life.

Serving then as an identifiable bridge between the active thoughts of our conscious awareness & the internal issues of our unconscious mind, we find the elements of self-talk: that continual dialogue that we carry within ourselves. This is a key tool to the attitudes we keep & the ultimate guide to understanding the unconscious aspects to our internal persona. So listen to the attitudes you carry & the messages you reflect. Step outside of yourself & take an honest look at what is conveyed. Consider not just the words or messages that are carried, but also the attitudes & beliefs that belie them. See this dialogue & the spirit it carries for what it truly represents. Are you generally positive or negative? Where does your ongoing focus truly lie? Deep down inside, do you see yourself as capable & strong, or do you feel perhaps inadequate & allow yourself to be held in check by an eternal sense of fear? Do you see yourself as someone who is in control of your future & in charge of your destiny, or do you play the victim & hide behind circumstances while blaming others or the situation before you? Perhaps you find yourself constantly giving others the same advice that you yourself should be taking?

Found within such a dynamic we see the clear result of repression, sexual & otherwise... But as we then come to understand just how this affects our life, we may then work to achieve the personal breakthrough that will allow its release, & thus create a freedom to explore ourselves more fully as an individual - both sexually & personally.

- Richard A.D.


Also in our series, we offer the following articles for your consideration - each a subject onto its own, but all come together to comprise the full spectrum of the adult & alternative community:

The full body of work is here:

Brought to you by Richard A.D. & The Metro Underground...

Our intentions are simple: to serve as a fundamental gateway for the entire spectrum of the alternative, underground, & adult scene (for DC, Baltimore, & the Mid-Atlantic Region), to lift the fog for what's going on in & around the area, assist the promotion of the scene as a whole, & ultimately to provide a forum through which that bridges can be built - from one culture to another, & from one group to the next.

We hope you check it out,

Rick D~

The Metro Underground & DC Fetish Ball.


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