Male or Female – The Gender Struggle
I dreamt I was in a garden…
I dreamt I was in a garden with an old man, a young boy and a young man in his thirties. The plot of land had something of the feeling of an allotment. It was well tended, and I had the sense the young man had been doing most of the work on it. The soil was rich but at the moment dry. A few shoots were just breaking the ground from hundreds of bulbs which had just started shooting.
The old man was kneeling at the edge of one end of the oblong plot of land. He was digging up bulbs one at a time and looking at them, then putting them back in the soil again. As the soil was dry he had to dig the hole a bit bigger to get them back. The bulbs had good roots and the shoots were firm. I was agitated about the old man digging them up though, and felt he should let them be. This seemed to link with my own propensity to dig up seeds when I was younger, to see if they had germinated.
The young boy was simply watching and was quite shadowy. The younger man was simply getting on with whatever work he was doing. I spoke to him after leaving the old man.
Then I was walking along a wide pathway between the backs of well to do houses. I was alone and no other people were walking. It was daylight, quite bright. I wanted to stretch my arms wide as I walked but found that I could not straighten my arms. As I tried I felt pain and struggle, but could not straighten my arms. I looked at my right arm which was bare, and the strain to reach out sideways was so intense the veins gradually became more and more visible, even the fine ones. Then I walked to a fence, still with my arms bent, and held onto the top edge and leaned away from the fence. My arms straightened easily and relaxed. Now I could reach out, and it felt as if my arms were extending longer and longer. I reached up and touched trees and blossoms. I felt very happy and relaxed.
Taking the inner path of dreams…
I want to explore the dream about the old man and the garden. But something that had been on my mind for a while was to check my sexuality. I notice how much spontaneous fantasy I still experience about having sex with females other than my wife. So I want to check whether I am repressing my sexuality – or at least look to see the state of affairs in this area, as I hadn’t looked at it in any depth for a long time.
Another issue is one I am always looking at and constantly seek an update on – it is what have I learned from the years of my life?
I started exploring by considering the dream of the old man pulling up bulbs to see if they were growing. I had a strong feeling and image of the soil being deep and rich, really wonderful, although this puzzled me as in the dream it was dry and quite hard because of the dryness.
The strongest feeling realisations were connected with the bulbs. It felt as if they represented things I had done in my thirties – the younger man – which are now about to produce great changes in my life. I sensed that I had an enormous amount within myself which had never been known before, just like a seed which has never produced all the potential of its growth, so appears to be a small dried up insignificant piece of matter. This potential needs the right environment and conditions to express.
I feel the conditions are now right for it, and my potential is emerging. The part about the arms is to do with peoples boundaries, the fences, attitudes they separate themselves from others with. People use many different types of fences. I am becoming more aware of these and learning to approach people despite them.
I had a slight resistance to looking at the dream in any more depth. I was feeling a ‘what about me’ emotion, but thought that the dream was, is, me, so what is the problem?
I imagined myself in the role of the old man and hoped it would show me what is good in my life. That was why I was digging the bulbs up. As the old man I felt shrivelled up, ageing, old. (I am in fact 55).
From those feelings of ageing I wanted something to look forward to, something hopeful. Something of a resistance emerged to younger people as I was feeling this. I want to push them away because I cannot – or feel I cannot – partake of their pleasures and opportunities. I feel this is a young person’s world and I feel I cannot have it. This produces in me a feeling of vulnerability, rather as one might feel when ill, sensitive to the push and shove of things. So I want to see what is good in my life, what pleasure there is or might be in it. Is there something hopeful to live for. I feel as if I am shrivelling up. So I dig up the bulbs.
This led me to the knowledge that I am in an established marriage of this age group. I have lived through my twenties and thirties and feel I can no longer have anything from that period. Mostly I think this has to do with sexual relationship and the closeness this brings. At my present age and situation I feel isolated from all this. I have learned to live with this, I am not crippled by this isolation I experience or have created for myself, but I look back and occasionally miss the opportunity to try out different sexual contacts. It’s no good looking back as I have had it – missed the opportunity.
What I do with these feelings is to erect a sense that younger people look at me and see me as a somewhat serious, miserable old bastard, someone who has no links with their life or way of life. So I close myself off from the opportunities that might be there.
As I write this I believe I must be an extraordinarily disciplined person to live in this isolation I have created. It is an isolation arising out of very powerful experiences in my life. Starting right from the age of three when I was put in a convalescent home and started trying to be independent of my connections with my mother and needs for other people. Then it strengthened when I cut off from my mother at six, and became a way of life in which I was and am very independent of others. The love of my children and my sexual drive kept me bridge building with others. Now though, without sex or children I think I have become in some ways more isolated.
There is something more than the anger and isolation going on in the dream though. It is about living the person that I am now. And I do find this confusing, living the me now. I want to clarify that.
I am more than a dried up old man….
For instance the person I am now, rather than the person I am from all the past experiences of pain, does not have the limitations usually imposed by the sense of ageing. The dream recently of a woman I worked with, W., shows my sexuality very alive and functioning. I had sex with her in the dream. I see this shows my female self as fully alive. I know that when we meet someone of the opposite sex we turn on a sequence of sensations, of feelings and sense of self we call love. There are ready-made images and hopes for reward that are released when we start a relationship. It is rather like conditioned responses that flow out automatically when the right button is pressed.
I know the sequence, I watch it in other people, Ann S. for instance, puts kisses on the bottom of her letters, and I wonder what she is doing. I can let myself get excited at that and get nice feelings going. I want to learn to deal with that contact well. I don’t want to exploit it, but I do want to make use of it, enjoy it, and get satisfaction from it in some way. Somehow I feel I am not used to this much control – being able to work with these feelings and turn them on or off.
Am I a man – or am I a woman …
At this point in exploring the dream and my responses I suddenly felt myself as a woman. I realised that I have become a woman. It was quite a shock to feel this so clearly, and I didn’t want to look at my wife who was with me. There was an impulse to cover it up. I said, to her “I am the object of my desire”. I can have my own orgasm as I did in the dream with W. This connects with the dream in which I held the young woman and felt her orgasm as my own.
This led on to feeling the powerful drive to guard my eggs. As the woman I feel strong animal urges to protect my unborn young, my eggs, with my life. I felt as if I were crouching over my eggs, guarding them, warding off anything and anybody. I then went through a fantasy, or action replay, that at first I only slightly identified with, but gradually really felt as my own. It was the feeling of conflict over who a baby belonged to. I could experience the deep connection in me with ‘my’ baby, and the struggle with some other person about whom the baby belonged to. I was saying, this is MY baby. It’s mine. Look, you can see the likeness, it even looks like me. It’s mine! I really felt as if someone had tried to take my child from me and I felt the torment of that.
This switched to feelings about my own children, particularly my sons. The odd thought arose in me that they desperately needed a mother. I said, what does it mean they desperately needed a mother? They had a mother. Yes but they wanted somebody they could suckle up to.
Here I experienced a clear sense of the physical closeness and body contact I wanted to give my children, and they needed from their mother. Then I went through real anger about my wife. I had let her be in the mother role, but in watching her with my son D. I saw how her intense anxiety had made her inadequate. I was desperately frustrated at seeing my woman fucking up my babies. Having been hurt as a baby and child I wanted to keep my children from that sort of harm, and here she was living out the sort of fears that had led my mother to cripple me emotionally and sexually. I was so angry that my rage led to the desperate act of me pushing between her and the children. I supplanted her, putting my body and soul in between the children and her. I was saying to them here is my body, you can eat me. I love you so much I give myself to you completely. Drink my blood, I am yours. I love you.
In this way I had deeply taken on the female, mother, role. I had done this not simply in a surface way, but deeply into my psyche. I had undertaken a coup d’etat with my wife, trying to take over her place to avert the harm I felt she was doing. And although I had become deeply feminine, this had been done as a strong male act out of anger and care. I felt it as beehive stuff where one queen usurps another.
What is the difference between a man and a woman….
I wondered though what was the difference between this and being a male. I had thought I had been a male. Now I see that I am a woman, and I deeply identify with it. As the woman I don’t have any desire to be a man, or want a man. All I want are my children. I have eternal life when I give myself completely to my children. I am deeply satisfied in this act of womanhood.
An insight arose about not wanting to ejaculate, one of my biggest pains in sex. As a woman I don’t want to lose my eggs. I want to keep them and nurture them to growth. This may explain why I have such an experience of depletion when I ejaculate. This feels right but it was not a conclusive insight. But it did make sense in regard to what is happening to my wife and myself, where I have no interest in sex. Or rather, I have interest in sex, but I don’t want to lose my eggs. Although, when I consider this situation I see it as more to do with personal feelings about my wife being so dry in the sex act. This makes it for me a rather mechanical thing. First of all there seems to me to be no passion in her to desire sex. So it is me who makes the approach and has the desire. As already said elsewhere, this after some years has led me to no longer reach out to her. The physical dryness means one has to artificially deal with the situation.
In looking at just what is the difference between being male and being female, I started by feeling that my love for the children led me to want to make myself available to them. If I had breasts I would have fed them when they needed it. But as I went deeper I felt that the male lays the eggs and leaves them. He can go to woman after woman and leave his eggs. There may be some connection, but not in the same way as with the woman. The woman doesn’t get rid of or leave her eggs. She holds them in her body and lets go with some measure of difficulty. But a difference of greater magnitude is that the woman gives herself deeply to her child, to the point of offering her body as sustenance. This seemed the major difference.
It was this last point that was important in something else that I realised. I had actually become a woman in that deep sense – to the point where I was willing to feed my children with my body. Therefore I didn’t want to give my body or its energy particularly to anyone else. So although I had a male body I had a female psyche. Conversely though, someone might give birth to a child through a female body, but they do not have a female psyche, so cannot or do not give themselves to their child in the way it instinctively wants or expects. This seemed to me an important factor in today’s world where the genders have become so muddled. Many people are claiming to be mothers who although they have a female body, are not actually women, and are no a real mother.
There was a very definite realisation that taking on the role of the woman for a male has a negative influence on their sexuality. I felt the same would happen for a woman who took on the male role. The woman would care less about children and parenting. She would, as a male, be inclined to establish easy relationships for sex, without the drive to nurture in the same way she would as a female. For the man, loss of interest in sex cuts down drive to have genital contact with a woman. There might be problems over ejaculation also.
I wondered what effect this has had on my children. I didn’t see any clear information, but I did feel it would be no problem if he children understood what had happened, i.e. if I explained what I had tried to do. But I had so deeply identified with being a woman, and found it so satisfying that it was difficult for me to want to get back into standing in the male role. I did think the children might be confused when approaching a woman though.
I also felt confused because of my identification. At one point I suddenly said THIS IS YOUR FATHER SPEAKING. It was a way of being able to find my male self, still capable and strong. Although I had become a woman, I had never lost sight of my maleness, or what I had done.
All I know is – I love my children….
I felt great love for my son S, and said, ‘You fucking wonderful person. I love you dearly as you came out of my body. I don’t know what is going to become of you, my little egg. I love you so much, but I must stop digging you up to see how you are growing.’ I saw the connection here with the dream again, where the old man is digging up the bulbs to see how they are doing. ‘S, you need to mourn the death of Mrs. P. She died a few days ago. I gave up that role a few days ago.’ This was an acknowledgment that I was letting go of the mother role in regard to my children.
Something else began to arise now. I saw that I had learned to be my own mother since an early age. This had arisen out of being put in the convalescent home, and had deepened when I purposely cut off from my mother. I had been my own mother, and it was here the beginnings of my femaleness had begun. I felt this strongly and quietly, but with anger cursed my mother for her part in my becoming a woman. ‘Fuck you mother. Why did you do it?’
I had a sense that my mother wanted always to be in control. She couldn’t dare to let me be a man. What with being an infant mother to myself, then bringing myself up from six, followed by being the mother to my children, my male life has been truly screwed up. ‘I feel sad about that. In fact I feel sad about all of us because of the injustice of life and the casualties we become. It’s called human life.’
I looked at what I felt was a male role. A woman comes along and she says ‘Stoke it away. Stoke it away.’ So the male goes, ‘Let me in – in out, in out, stoke it away’. Next woman, ‘Stoke it away, in out, in, out, stoke it away. 1 2 3 stoke it away. Yeah, yeah, I’m going to sleep, wake me up when something interesting happens’. That’s how I feel. How boring. I’m turned on when someone loves me, but don’t get thrilled at this ‘stoking away’.
Back to the male again, he’s saying, I’ve got the blossom – vagina – in my sights now. I’m focusing in. My god what a beautiful woman you are. You are a hugely desirable female – that is the message about being male. This works because you have the magic password. But I want to know what the alternatives are. I’m not into saying the magic passwords and bonking away. Nevertheless I have a male body and I have to deal with the drive to do just that – bonk a hugely desirable female.
Mother taught me hard – don’t trust a woman….
Added to this I learned not to trust a woman. My mother taught me hard and good that the person you loved could just give you away, that she could torture you to make you conform. It’s a fucking shit. When meeting a woman who professes love I tend to say inside myself, ‘Yeah, yeah, you love me. I’ve got it. Yes, sure you love me. Sure, I understand. Join the queue. I’ll believe it when I see the payments. I’ll look it up next month when the accounts come in. I’ll see what you paid in. Okay love? See you.’ Anyway this is the shape I am, part man, part woman, the love part of me twisted up. What about down there, the sex organs? Can we get a dollop of love going for this poor bugger?
So I’ve been sad. Finished. Have a laugh. Join the human race, the multi gendered, many shaped, distorted human race. ‘What is the name of this game?’ Being a human being is a new one on me.’ It’s not good enough being like that, with a slightly bitter feeling about the world. Even if I have to say so myself, it’s not right. You’ve got a woman who’s full of love, and you just don’t know how to get it out of her.
I went to the toilet at this point and felt confused about my role. I could feel the strong attachment to the female mother role. I didn’t want to give it up. I had enjoyed it so much and got so much out of it I didn’t want to lose it. But this left me feeling uncomfortable about living as a male and particularly living as a male with my wife. What sort of arrangement was it to live with a woman but prefer not to be a man – at least, not sexually? There was no way I wanted to lose my seed, my eggs. While in the toilet however, I realised I didn’t want to be stuck either in the male or female role, I wanted to be whole. The memory of my dream arose again and I said, ‘I want to be a man, I want to be a woman, I want to be the young boy, the old man. I want to be an animal and a spirit. I am all those things, and it is wonderful. I love it.
So am I genuinely a 100% male, or am I a fucked up version because of my experiences as a child? I asked this of myself and opened to my inner feelings to test the truth, to see if I was hiding something from myself.
When I did this I felt as if I were taken into the temple of life before the ageless ones and animals and they looked at me. In their presence I felt I was wholly male. They ‘said’ to me, ‘You are a man. You fight alongside the rest of us. You’re in there with the men. You’re in the men’s pack.’ So I got my colours from the man pack.
I want to find out whether I am truly a woman too. Have I got my colours from the women’s pack for caring for my kids? The ancients said, ‘You’ve got a vagina, there’s no doubt about it. You know exactly what it’s like to be a woman. You know what a woman longs for. You are a woman. You know all about the cycles and all the periods of growth through puberty, womanhood and old age. I can’t distinguish you from a woman. In fact you are a fucking fine woman. You trained for it.’
So have I got my badge? ‘Yes you’ve got your badge’.
So how about the animals? Am I an animal? What do I need to have done to be an animal? I need to have reproduced; I need to have succoured my mate; I need to have cared for my young; I need to have learned what it is to die.
Yes, I am a fully-fledged animal. I have met birth, struggle, mating, dying. I am a fully-fledged member in the lodge. If I go into the beaver lodge I am a beaver. I love you beaver. I am also a snake. If you come near my eggs I will kill you. I have so much venom here I could tear you apart! Even though I am old, at any moment I can switch into the fight mode, touch the animal fight or flight feelings.
What I don’t clearly see or understand is what are the possibilities in modern society for a person like me? I am a fully-fledged functioning female, male, animal, child – the universe. Now what do we do? Looking around on the edge of the jungle, what do I do? Do I follow my instincts? Do I grab a portion of territory? Dive into the females, what? I am trying to learn.
I went on to feelings and realisations about my marriage. I am married. It is a major achievement in my life. It cost a lot one way and another. I honour my wife. But I look at what happens in general relationships. When we use sexual flirtation in meeting the opposite sex, it is like I tickle your vagina, you tickle my balls as we pass. Then we go on as if nothing has happened. If you love me, or I you, I want to make it more permanent and public. But perhaps it is a token gesture and I need to grow up a bit in this area. But I need to learn more about this.
I am both a man and a woman…..
What I realised from the above is that the way to deal with sexuality and affairs is to make them public, let people know you love and admire the person, not hide it. The pain and difficulty mostly comes from hiding it and trying to make such relationships exclusive as if they are ‘wrong’ in some way.
At one point here I was wondering, because of my sense of varied roles, especially the male and female, what is really the difference. I wondered whether there was little difference. On exploring my insights and feelings though I felt there was a very real difference, but a person with a female body is not necessarily a woman; and a person with a male body is not necessarily a man. The male might have very full female characteristics in their personality or psyche, and the female might be a man in their psyche.
The difference I realised was this. It was deeply biological and instinctive as a pattern. But the pattern was one that did not depend upon the physical structure of the creature. Perhaps there is more survival value in the male sometimes being able to succour the young, and the female being able to take a less bonded role. In any case the male can lay his eggs and move away without feeling completely connected with the offspring. The woman feels completely connected with the eggs, so much so she cannot move away or leave them. When the young are born she will give her own body to sustain them. She will give her life for them, feed them her blood if necessary. She will guard them and stay with them, feeling that life has nothing to offer outside her offspring.
Many women do not have such a connection, so cannot really know what it is like to be a woman. But many men have this connection, and so are women. Many women have a male psyche, in that they can leave their eggs and offspring, so have a male psyche. To be a real mother one has to actually be female, and to be a father one has to be male.
The problem is to properly acknowledge my femaleness as a male I might get labelled gay or homosexual. For a woman to properly acknowledge her maleness she might get labelled butch or lesbian. Those labels do no apply. There is a vast difference between being a woman in ones psyche and being effeminate or gay. There is a vast difference between being male in ones psyche as a woman, and being lesbian or butch.
For myself I am a functioning dynamic male who took on the female role because, rightly or wrongly I felt my spouse was inadequate in that role as a mother. So I learned the role and really involved myself in it. This information about roles is vitally important in today’s world for many reasons. Many people do not find themselves in rigid gender roles as in the past, so need a clearer understanding of this side of themselves and what it means.
Such reversal of the role in the psyche can radically alter the way one presents oneself sexually and socially. If one has not acknowledged this it will lead to confusion about oneself, perhaps even a sense of failure in sexual heterosexual relationships. One might pull away from contact with the same sex – i.e. male psyche woman with a male/ male gender – female psyche man with a female/female gender.
Being male and female is not a sickness….
So one must recognise all the traps one might get into because of this, such as believing one is not adequate as the gender male or female; feeling one is injured, sick or traumatised to make one not functioning in the norm of the physical gender one is; that one is an outcast from ones gender, as can happen with the labels such as lesbian or gay. I feel there should be an acknowledgment of the fact we can have these different roles in society without the need to label one in a way that suggest being out of the norm.
As an individual who has made a role shift, we may need to acknowledge the pain or anger that may have been the motivation for the role shift at its inception, along perhaps with the sense of injustice and pain that may have accompanied the shift within us away from our physical gender.
I personally feel, after the pain and hurt, and the anger and injustice had been felt, that my mother did me a favour. The reason being that I have stolen a march on a lot of people. I look around at the struggle a lot of people have about having a role other than their physical norm, and I wonder what the struggle is about. I have been a male and a female all the way along since childhood. What has fucked me up at times is that I had not fully acknowledged the development of my ‘female organs’ as it were. Having acknowledged them it is a wonderful feeling. I knew I had female organs. In many dreams I look down and see I have a vagina – but I had not acknowledged the struggle and anger that had gone into developing them – as a male. So I can honestly and lovingly say that I no longer need to completely identify with being a male or being a female. I do not need to identify with any one of those genders. I love both of the genders.
At this point I explored once more – one of my favourite themes – the honest relationship between the sexes. My main statement was that if we are honest, the main drive in sex is toward reproduction. As a person we relate to this in a number of ways. We may lie to ourselves and see our sex drive as something to do with our own self-esteem or importance, as is expressed in one of the meanings of virility. We may use sex drive as a means of manipulation or weapon or as a means of income. We may lie about our intentions suggesting we will support and care for our partner in their dealings with their own sex drive, but in fact not caring for them or the consequences of the sex act.
I suggest that if and when people are more direct about their basic drives and life, they will ask each other – who are you? This means are you married, do you have a lover? Are you fucking about with men/women without a supportive relationship? How many children do you have, what do you work at? Who are your family, and so on? Out of this we have a clearer view of who we are dealing with and can develop a working relationship. I feel that there is a huge dishonesty because these important factors are not revealed. They are considered to be personal and private. Not at all. They are the most important areas of information that are public domain. The reason people hide them is because they know fully just how important they are.
As near as your own heartbeat….
For a while I drew near the awareness of ‘God’. I wanted to be able to have a clear view of what this experience was and how to describe it. It seemed to me that there was no great astral, ethereal being we call God. In my awareness I sensed that there was something connected with the living bodies and minds of things. It was something like music in the sense that out of the many separate instruments an overall sound arises. Or it could be like the body that comes about from the unity of countless cells, yet is different than any single cell. A reality that does not have its base on any one thing, yet has existence nonetheless. So I saw God as a reality that is as ever shifting as music because of the changing face of physical events and mind arising from it. This thing ‘God’ is as near to us and as practical as our own heartbeat. If we feel our heartbeat and honestly ask ourselves what causes our existence, do we really know? We probably have some formulaic idea such as chemical or biological processes. But neither chemistry nor biology explain the full answer. What is at our base is a mystery, and it seems wise to me to stand before that mystery humbly and open to it in our dealings with everyday life.
My sense of God did not present itself as something that was an ultimate being causing all things, but as an intrinsic aspect of what exists, and that exists because of reality, and acts upon it. You can never grasp it because it always moves and evolves. I felt it to be like wind. Could I be the wind? It is featureless yet touching and influencing things.
Then a strong image of a snake arose. The influence of God, of the featureless power that can enter a human life and transform it was like a snake. The snake can bite you, and its venom may flow throughout your being and kill you. Most of us are very frightened of this. The reason being that the venom will take away your personal boundary of self. It melts the boundary of egoic self-interest, and personal connections with family and children, with choices in action. It replaces the personal interests and fears with a self that is part of the one great life. So the fear of the snake is not because its venom is deadly, but because it transforms. It turns you into a being who is part of the whole. It robs one of the artificial walls placed between self and the collective pool of life consciousness.
I realised I had thought about this a lot already and that losing ones identity meant in this case not being tied to ones family so rigidly, no longer relating to people as if from a single fixed gender, also there is the possibility of getting insight into the person you are meeting more fully, because the artificial barriers of gender, family ties, nationality and creed have been dropped. These barriers prevent us from actually knowing each other very fully in everyday life, and are operative in most of us without our realising it.
As I think about this I wonder whether this is part of the way we create identity. It appears to be made from many sources. For instance the family physical inheritance plays a very great part, as does the information of behaviour repertoire handed to us when young. The cultural patterning given with language shapes our mind, and the chemical importance is also being seen lately. All of these produce the person we call I. Yet the ‘I’ is capable of being radically shifted, simply by taking a drug or medicine, or being in a very different environment. This often reshapes the way we see ourselves, so an evolution in the process of identity building has occurred. Identity in the end is not a set of beliefs or behaviours. The I is not limited to these.
What does letting the mystery of Life in mean…
So as I faced this part of the exploration I wondered what I would be saying goodbye to if I allowed myself to be bitten by the serpent and its poison transform me. I felt that although I would lose my old connection with my family I would bring them a lot more than in the past because my being would itself be much larger and connected. I saw this as if I were living in a courtyard, and that courtyard was my family life, my work life, and was made up of my sympathetic connections with my children and the powerful bonds that led me to favour them over others. If these bonds dissolved they would no longer be favoured above others out of the same powerful ties. The ties would dissolve, but of course they would still be people I had a lot of connections with because of friendship and common goals, etc. So I would relate to them out of something other than family feelings. We would be drawn together or pushed apart out of the same influences that attracted or repulsed in general.
I felt then that I wanted to be bitten by the snake. I trusted the larger life. I want my life to have connections with it and my actions to flow out of these wider connections.
At one point it was like being shown something. On my computer I have a small program to do my accounts on. I take a lot of time putting information into this program to keep my accounts straight. It was as if the wider life said to me – ‘You don’t need to look after your own affairs all the time in this individual way. There is a wider life in which the ‘accounts’ program is built-in. Every action you do, every interaction is recorded automatically, and so you no longer need a personal piece of software.’
Something that came over very strongly in this – although I have met this before – is that one has to become a harmless person to have access to the wider life. Either that or one is made into a harmless person. I don’t think one could accept the wider life if one still wanted personal power, domination over others or to remain uninfluenced by things outside of ones limited personal interest. In my own case I felt or experienced that this harmlessness was also linked with loving, or having a strong sympathetic link with a very wide variety of human types. This also meant being able to love the various aspects of oneself. For instance could I accept the female aspect of myself? Could I accept the potently sexual male I am?
Caring and honesty are a part of this acceptance into and by the wider life. One needs to be honest in ones dealing with other people and oneself. This is obvious in that the wider life IS made up of other people. Unless one has achieved a trustworthy place in the hearts of friends and those near you, then you are obviously not let into the deeper aspects of their life because they cannot trust you with little things, let alone their soul or affections. This led on to seeing that there were various levels of marriage arising from this trust. There was a form of marriage that spanned time and different personalities one might assume. In this form of marriage you had learned to trust someone so well you had agreed deep within self to unite your life with them for ones entire existence. This was not a conscious decision and ritual. It happened because there was nothing between yourself and the other person that could interfere with continued sympathetic contact no matter what the life situation. It didn’t matter what the gender situation was between people who married in this way. The link was one of care and trust, and I felt it spanned many physical existences.
I had a slight sense of a new body forming in me, of my old self dying, fading away, and I am looking for the signs of a new birth. But this alliance with life needs a conscious agreement. One needs to come before life and say I want to love and live honestly like life does. I trust life. I give it myself. It is a decision about being for life/society or against it. One cannot be both. This means that whatever is mine also belongs to life. My money, whatever I own is not totally mine because I have given my-self.
As a person however I still find it difficult to completely believe this. In the terms of the automatic and built in program instead of my own personal software, I can see my own software working, but I cannot yet see the automatic program working to tally all my actions and transactions. I do see however that if it is to work you must let other people know what you are doing, as a friend did when we tried to sell our home. He simply let as many people know as possible, and what we wanted came about. This happens not because others want to give you what you want, but because they trust you, and they want the reverse of what you want. i.e. B and F wanted to buy our house. and we wanted to sell it.
Stretching beyond old boundaries….
I then thought of the dream again. I entered into the part where I was trying to stretch my arms out and found it incredibly difficult and painful. This I could feel was to do with feeling I can’t do it. I’m too old to extend myself any more than I have already. I need to turn to my fellow human beings and ask for help. I went off on a line of thought about people in the village. For instance I thought of the woman Sam, who to my mind is living from her emotions and sexual drive. She has huge breasts and behind, and physically, hormonally, is under completely different urges than myself. I couldn’t see what connection I could make with someone like Sam. I didn’t even feel a sexual desire so there wasn’t even that connection. I thought perhaps it could be my head and her arse that formed some sort of wholeness. That’s how some newspapers present themselves. Women with huge tits on the covers appealing to people at a certain level or response.
So how do I feel about making a tenuous connection with my neighbours? In the dream I manage eventually to get past my own pain and inability to stretch out by taking hold of someone’s fence and leaning back. Then my arms stretched out easily and I could reach up and extend my arms as if they were elastic. I could touch the blossom on the trees. This suggests that I can reach out much further than I thought or felt. I can do it by first making some contact with the boundaries between myself and other people.
I thought back to an earlier part of the session in which I had realised my feelings about my wife and how I had taken on the female, mother role. I questioned myself as to whether I was backing my woman, or whether I injected something into the situation that wasn’t there. I immediately felt very angry again about what had happened, and what I felt she had done to the children. I felt I couldn’t just stand by and let her do what she was doing to the children. I didn’t have a substitute mother to give them, so I stepped in and tried to become the mother myself. I had made a mistake of trusting my eggs with this woman and I didn’t like her after-care, so I stepped in and tried to supplant her.
Looking at this situation and realising how much I had tried to be a good parent brought about a reaction from within myself. I felt cynical about myself and put it into words as – What a hero you are. Always being the big man. Let’s wave the flags for being so good. Shout hurrah because he’s such a hero.
No need to put myself down – or raise myself up….
This led me to realise how I put myself down such lot. It wasn’t good to do that. I didn’t need to put myself on a pedestal, but I didn’t need to bash myself and make myself look stupid either. I had actually fought hard to attempt to give my children more in the way of love and care than I had received from my own parents. Certainly I had dealt them a terrible blow in leaving them, but I had also given a great deal of myself and been creative in enriching their lives as fully as I could. I needed to acknowledge that about myself.
I see my life as a flowering. I have taken the values and ideas of the past and re-evaluated them. I have found meaning and reason in areas of superstition. The ‘flowers’ will produce seeds for future growth. I am not alone in this. I am one of many people restructuring, understanding a true sense of religion, one that works, with a view of the naked reality under all the shapes. And I want the reality under the shapes to fill my life. I want the honesty and goodness of it to flow through me.
I have to acknowledge the desire for the women in my life. This acknowledgment is a part of the honesty and the connection with the wider life. I do honour the connection and the love. I look at some of the connections, like G, and I am sorry I wasn’t of greater good to her. I was lonely at the time and didn’t know what I was looking for. Nevertheless I made the connection. They are all a part of my wider life and I have disqualified myself from the connection through my judgements and defensiveness.
The people we have loved are what have given each of us the wideness of our life. If our love has been narrow and restricted, then that is the nature of our wider life. I remember the crippled men in hospital I learned to love. I thought it was normal to love. I learned to love dogs. I still feel the hurt of stifling the little mouse we put in the box with too tight a lid. I feel sorrow about that.
Every person and creature we acknowledge and love becomes a part of our wider life. Sometimes I am a bit clumsy but I want to learn. I want to foster the openness of my heart. People like T down the road who flirt with me – all of that goes toward the bigness of our being. T. has been an important part of my life, as has been J. and AC and my other friends.
In the end, such friendships and what one does in and with them, is the very essence of a wider and fuller life.