Glossary of Spiritual Wisdom
Excerpts about Genitals
Blocking the Flow of Physical and Subtle Energies in the Genitals
Other than the well-known Freudian theory of the castration complex, which is more a description of how the mind relates to the experience of a blocking or deficiency in the genital area than a causal explanation of the hole, there may be several factors which contribute to the importance of the phenomenon of the genital hole in the self-image. Both the genital pleasure of orgasm and the symbiotic pleasure of nursing that releases the orgastic reflex in the infant involve a “melting” of the boundaries of experience, and often a sense of merging with another person. This may be experienced as somehow a direct threat to the sense of the individual’s constructed self-image. The orgasm is often referred to as “le petit mort”—the little death. As we have seen many times, the dissolution of boundaries always involves the arising of space, and the functioning of sexuality involves a flow of being which tends to temporarily dissolve boundaries and would thus tend toward the experience of space. The causality could go any number of ways in this complex; for instance, blocking the flow of physical and subtle energies in the genitals could be motivated by the attachment to the sense of rigid self-boundaries, and so be seen as a defense against the dissolving effects of space which would arise if the flow were allowed. Both Freud and Wilhelm Reich wrote a great deal about the cultural factors and childrearing practices which lead to blocks in sexuality. In our work it is clear, both experientially and theoretically, that the blocking of both space and essence in the genitals is a critical issue in our work on the dissolution of the various levels of self-image.
The Void, pg. 81
Defenses that Separate Our Parts
But when we are trying to defend ourselves internally, we are in some sense trying to run away. We are trying to hide. We are trying to isolate, to separate ourselves, to put a distance between us and the danger. And that happens in many ways. One strategy is to create a passive structure of defense. We can do this by erecting inner walls against our experience of fear, against our perception of danger, against feeling the possibility of threat or attack or pain. Those walls can be inside of us separating different parts of us—such as our heart and our genitals, our consciousness and our unconscious—or they can be between us and what we perceive as the outside.
The Unfolding Now, pg. 48
Loss of Contact with Essential Will Brings Feelings of Castration
One’s understanding of what will is changes as one’s work progresses. Initially, what we take to be will is the pushing and efforting of the ego in its attempt to make ourselves, others, and reality itself, conform to how we think it should be. We call this false will in our work, and when we inquire fully into it and begin to disidentify from it, a sense of deficiency is exposed that carries with it a feeling of castration. We feel that something is missing, that we are inadequate, that we have no inner support or capacity to persevere. This painful sense of deficiency often manifests as the actual sensation of an emptiness where we know our genitals to be, and they may feel devoid of feeling as we are working through this “hole” or sense of absence.* These are all indications that we have lost contact with the essential quality of Will, of which fake will is a facsimile, an attempt on the part of the personality to recreate that which it believes it has lost.
Facets of Unity, pg. 131
Partial Experience of the Genitals
It is not only bodily fluids and energy that are hindered in the genital region; essence itself, the true substance of our being, is blocked. This is so prevalent that the average person does not know what it means to have real sexuality. The average individual is not a complete man or woman. Almost no one completely and fully experiences his or her genitals, owns them, or values them. Because full experience of the genitals would bring to consciousness the genital hole, experience of the genitals is partial, incomplete, and superficial. The average individual does not know what it’s like to have integrated genitals, or to have essence flowing and filling them, so real sexuality is rarely experienced.
The Void, pg. 96
Soul’s Dynamism and Orgiastic Potential
We can also experience this dynamism directly, as a pure quality, independent of its ways of expressing itself. This experience of the soul indicates that we are experiencing the soul herself, not only one of her forms. We can experience ourselves not only as a field of consciousness, but as an organism of consciousness, with an organismic sense of presence. We feel ourselves as a writhing, moving, pulsating, convulsing organism. The presence is full of pulsating energy, exploding power, dynamic momentum. The sense of writhing movement and convulsing activity is similar to how a healthy muscle feels when contracting and flexing. It is like the feeling of our body when it is full of life and vigor, and is moving in a robust, powerful way, as during intense exercise. The soul also feels both organismic and orgiastic the way genitals can feel during lovemaking, especially the pulsating movement and flow at the peak of orgasm. In the experience of dynamism there is fullness, robustness, power, energy, aliveness, movement, flow, but all as one integrated movement or action. There is a complete flexibility and flow to the movement, like a jellyfish moving in water.
The Inner Journey Home, pg. 92
Space Experienced as the Loss of Genitals
For example, suppose someone begins to experience space. At first, you experience a kind of absence. As you know, the arising of each essential aspect usually manifests first as its absence, as a hole. In the case of the arising of space, the hole first manifests as an emptiness in the pelvis, the sensation of a hole. How do people see it? Do they experience, “Oh, I feel emptiness there. I am seeing the dimension of emptiness.” No, most people react, “Uh oh. I lost my genitals. I have no genitals.” That’s how people react to it. Why? Because you approach the experience from the physical perspective. If you perceive an emptiness there, it means to you that there are no genitals. You don’t think, “I’m just perceiving a different dimension. There is physical reality, but other dimensions of reality also exist.” If you saw that, there would be no fear, no issue. You have not lost anything. You are just seeing another dimension of yourself. But because you assume that the physical universe is the most fundamental reality, when an emptiness arises, you tend to think, “Uh oh. I lost my penis.”
Diamond Heart Book Four, pg. 309
The Unconscious Body Image of Having No Genitals
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. This distortion is really a distortion of space. The void is the experience of oneself, one's essence, as empty space. It is an experience of expansion, spaciousness, openness, and boundlessness. The mind is not bound by the rigid boundaries of the personality's self-image. Its effect on perception is to see things as they are, without distortion. The experience of the genital hole is a distortion of how things are because there is really no hole there. The emerging space erases this distortion.