Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Genital Hole
A Deficient and Empty State of the Self
Much of the defensive structure is an attempt to fill or repress the genital hole, which we mentioned in some of these case histories. This self-image of an empty dark hole occurs in both men and women. From one perspective it is a state of castration; from another, deeper perspective it is experienced as a deficient and empty state of the self. We will show later that both perspectives function as a unity, although the perspective of the genital castration surfaces first. The castration perspective is operative in the process of experiencing space through analyzing the sexual body-image, because understanding the genital hole leads directly and smoothly to the experience of space.
The Void, pg. 44
Allowing the Genital Hole
When the genital hole is allowed and understood, space arises. Space eliminates our defenses, our identification with personality. Then essence unfolds and flowers in its various beautiful manifestations. Filling and bathing our sexual area, this essence allows us to feel rooted and grounded in this beauty, this certainty, and this preciousness. Our sexuality is our relatedness, our grounding in Being. Essence is no more an idea, a concept, a feeling. It becomes our grounding in pleasure. We experience our nature as pure, unadulterated pleasure and preciousness. This rootedness and grounding occurs only when we accept completely and fully our genitals—the man his penis and the woman her vagina. Our sex becomes our rootedness in reality. Our physical reality is completely supported then, completely integrated with our true nature. Sexuality is not only for intercourse, is not only for reproduction. It is the grounding of our Beingness.
The Void, pg. 101
Column of Emptiness
We must also remember that the genital hole is only the lower part of a column of emptiness that goes through the body, as we have discussed. This column of emptiness is really nothing but the presence of space, seen in the presence of finite boundaries constituting the concept of the person. This means that the genital hole is the presence of space that is still obscured by the unconscious attachment to self-boundaries.
The Void, pg. 82
Correction of Distortion in Body Image
So we see that dealing with the superego will at some point expose the identifications that repress the castration complex. Dealing with this issue brings out the specific hole connected with castration, which is a distortion in the body image aspect of the self-image. The hole or deficiency is simply an unconscious body image of having no genitals or no sexuality. Accepting and understanding this feeling and belief of deficiency will bring forth its corresponding essential aspect, which turns out to be the void (space). This essential aspect is the correction of the distortion in the body image.
Deficient Emptiness Transforms Into Space
In fact, we have found that when the individual encounters the genital hole -- which expands into a deficient emptiness -- it transforms into space as soon as it is accepted and understood. There is usually fear of disintegration or disappearing as the hole approaches consciousness; a similar fear occurs in the reports of those who encounter the deficient emptiness of the schizoid or narcissistic personalities. When the individual understands that the deficient emptiness is the same as a feeling of the absence or loss of a certain facet of Being, it automatically and spontaneously leads to the experience of space with its lightness and expansiveness.
The Void, pg. 122
Experience of the Genital Hole
Sometimes a person comes to experience space by considering other kinds of self representations, but for most people it is confronting the "genital hole" that causes space initially to arise. This, as we have seen, is the experience of the genital area as a dark, empty hole, with no anatomical parts. The individual feels and sometimes envisions a lack, an absence between the thighs. The experience can be very definite and clear, with the boundaries of the hole clearly demarcated. It almost feels like a physical experience, even though the individual is always aware that the hole is not physical. The definiteness and clarity of the perception of the genital hole never fails to astound the person; it is always unexpected.
The Void, pg. 79
Genital Hole and The Absence of Essence
It is true in that the genital hole signifies not only the absence of space in the normal person's realm of experience, but it also signifies the absence of Essence in its various aspects. As we saw in the section on essential development, space is needed as a ground for the experience of Essence. Even when Essence is experienced before space is integrated, it does not become a permanent experience. It can become a permanent part of our experience only after space is integrated. This phenomenon is understood by most spiritual teachings. So the absence of space also signifies absence or lack of Essence in its various aspects -- such as Strength, Will, Value, Personal Essence, and so on. The genital hole is frequently experienced as associated with these lacks.
The Void, pg. 83
Precipitating the Experience of the Genital Hole
The superego, then, is seen to be the heir of the castration fear. So working on the superego, by analysis or otherwise, will ultimately bring to light the Oedipus complex, and with it the issue of castration. Dealing with this issue, and particularly allowing the sense of castration itself to surface into consciousness, will automatically precipitate the experience of the genital hole. However, it often happens that a person becomes aware of the presence of space before dealing with such deep aspects of body-image.
The Void, pg. 45
Psychological Lack of Will, Strength, Value etc
The approach of space is experienced as a sense of lack as it pushes the genital hole to consciousness. The genital hole is always reacted to as a castration. If the castration is related to physically, then the individual sees it as the absence of the penis; this is so for both men and women. If it is related to psychologically, then it is seen as the lack of will, strength, value, and so on.
The Void, pg. 84
Tensions of the Genital Hole
We recall that the genital hole is one end of a column of emptiness running through the body, so we see then that there are tensions which block the two ends of this column or tube. There are other tension patterns in the body relating to the column, but the pelvis and head are the major and most frequently encountered ones. Of course, these tension patterns and the psychodynamic defense mechanisms that go with them are generally unconscious. They surface to consciousness only when the individual is approaching awareness of the genital hole and the psychological material associated with it. The tension in the head manifests in extreme cases as headaches. The tension in the pelvis can lead to all kinds of sexual difficulties.
The Void, pg. 80
The Genital Hole is a Universal Phenomenon
The structuralization of self-image, as well as other childhood experience, leads to the loss of space as part of our experience. Along with space, and due to other factors, essence, in its various aspects is lost. Self-image ends up excluding emptiness and the fullness of essence as possible categories of experience. These losses are related to all kinds of lacks and deficiencies. The loss of space affects the self-image by creating an unconscious body-image with a genital hole. In fact, the genital hole is simply, as we have mentioned, the lower part of an empty tube. Sometimes the hole is felt at the top of the head. So space and essence are replaced by a personality, based on a constructed self-image, whose core is a deficient emptiness which is experienced as an empty tube at the core of the body. This emptiness is felt as the lack of such qualities as love, value, joy, strength, will, autonomy or sense of self. It manifests in the self-image as weakness, dependency, castration, worthlessness, inferiority, and so on. As we said earlier, this genital hole with its accompanying emotional associations is a universal phenomenon. Everybody develops a self-image. However, individuals differ in the way they relate to this hole depending on their personal history. The relationship to this lack determines to a great degree the character of the individual and his overall self-image and sense of identity.