My rant

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As I was watching Diana Richardson's video today (see:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkwMB529Frw) she used a word that triggered me quite powerfully. So I thought I'd write about it and get it out of my system. Perhaps some of you will find my thoughts interesting.

As a quick preface, I'd like to say that I doubt very strongly that Diana used the word with the intentions that I am describing. I see her as someone who shares very strongly my interest in men's healing and most particularly healing our sexuality.

The word was "Impotence". She used it in reference to what happens to men as they age. I don't really like the word at all. It's too loaded with performance based insinuations. It's a word that seems permanent to me and basically pointing to something wrong in the man. It reinforces our idolatry of reproduction, health and youth. It protects the source of the distress and attacks the victim.

Are men who use Viagra impotent? Are men who are addicted to porn and no longer able to take an interest in real women impotent? Are men who are getting tired (physically or emotionally) of the exhausting "Get on, get in, blow yer load and get out" routine impotent? Are men who have been hurt (sexually or otherwise) at some point in their lives and need to fully heal before they can even attempt to occasionally meet the unrealistic expectations of their mates (lust after them non-stop as well as protecting them from their many insecurities, beating the competition, paying the bills and taking care of the kids) impotent? Are men who are chained against their will to their mates impotent?

I'd prefer that we draw attention to our sick culture, how it influences both men and women, how both have been hurt by men and women (often by adults in youth) and start to talk about healing together. I'd prefer that we talk about love, intimacy, relaxation, innocence, playfulness and healing rather than drag in any performance based language at all. I think it is part of the sickness. I'd use the word "hurt" rather than "impotent". How about you?

Thanks for reading my rant. I'm tired of tolerating the many ways in which men get hurt and fail to recognize it let alone stand up for themselves and our healing.

Comments

My rant continued!

PS: Maybe we could redefine the word. I looked it up in the dictionary. It's meaning: "Powerless, helpless, decrepit; (of males) wholly lacking in sexual power." It comes from the latin for "to be able".

It's interesting to me that there is no equivalent word for a man's inability to love, heal, cooperate, play, or serve Truth and Unity. "Sin" gets close, but unfortunately it usually applies to moral standards rather than something as intangible as Love. Perhaps we should simply apply "impotence" to this meaning rather than getting so excited about a man's inability to screw. To be able to what? Serve separation? Given that 99% of sexuality in this culture serves separation it would seem that impotence would be a step in the right direction. Perhaps it would give the man (and women) some time, distance and motivation to pursue something completely outside the box. I'm thinking of that most repulsive of four letter words: "heal". Food for thought? Shall we take on "frigidity" too? Smile

Heal

Hi Curious,

Good to hear from you!

It's not repulsive to me. It's what I see happening around me in the community and country where I live. This is particularly true at the level which is most important to me (the spiritual, psychological and emotional aspects of sexual health). I've had to leave three local healing touch groups and three local men's groups because the participants had no interest in supporting me at this level even though the social dynamics of these groups was triggering me powerfully. There is no local group for men healing from childhood incest trauma. So when I say that "heal" is a repulsive word, I'm referring to people who fail to see that the "battle of the sexes", although normal, isn't healthy and there are ways to transform it into much more harmonious ways of relating (i.e. "heal"). I might as well be speaking to a wall when it comes to the vast majority of people around here. It's a wound and it needs healing.

There is a healing circle forming here which interests me. I'm not sure it will accommodate my need for people who welcome open communication (at a minimum) at this level. Keep your fingers crossed for me please! I'm extremely sensitive to getting caught in triangles that are based in couples' (and my own) distress. I've found it very difficult to get out of since generally the men won't communicate, the women are desperate for warm-hearted connections with men, and I'm longing for the nurturing I never got in very early youth (its a survival issue for me and affects my body very strongly. In my blog about sexual healing, I mention an approach to my own healing that I'm currently exploring). I have managed to escape this pattern with a friend of mine very recently and I'm finding more and more ways to nurture and protect myself. The downside of that is that I'm also having trouble socializing at all. It's becoming abundantly clear that I'm dealing with collective trauma that very few people want to face at all. I have to face it if I want to stick around in this body much longer.

Does that make more sense to you? Thanks for writing. It's great to hear from you.

sort of makes sense

My guess is that people are not repulsed by the word or concept of healing, but rather they are uncomfortable with dealing with your psychological trauma from incest. It's similar to the discomfort some of us feel interacting with someone in a wheelchair.

I hope you can find a cuddle buddy someday soon. I think that would do you a lot of good.

I keep thinking you would have a better chance of getting the help you need in a large city, rather than the small community where you live now.

Thanks

Thanks Curious,

I suppose that's true to some extent. My understanding of the context in which the subtle form of incest which I endured in my youth goes a long way and is rooted in very normal things. Few people seem to understand how these deep rooted cultural norms hurt. Fewer people seem to want to heal from it.

I grew up in the military. It set the stage and supported an emotional climate that is very hard on mothers and kids. The military is the logical outcome of egoic ways of perceiving ourselves and the world. When conflict is unavoidable (as it is with separate egos who fail to see the importance of healing), then it makes sense that winning and "might makes right" are the logical way to go. It's an illness and has deep roots in even our most prized decision making system: democracy.

I grew up at a time when women were going through massive changes. The 60s was a time when women were breaking out of many of their social constraints. Those who decided to stick with past roles faced huge inner turmoil. Children of these mothers tended to suffer more than those of the rebels according to Betty Friedan the author of "The Feminine Mystique". We are still working at giving the masculine and feminine aspects of ourselves equal value. It still is a huge part of the financial disparities in our communities. Healing the financial aspects of our communities is a bomb that few people, in my experience, have the courage to attempt.

I guess I'm saying this because the word "incest" conjures up nightmares of extreme physical violence and things which are far from "normal". My experience is quite the reverse. My family is a family of very nice people who were participating in a work environment that is highly celebrated. These people are all highly educated and relatively well off financially. We spent a great deal of time traveling together and being in nature together. We were and still are to a large degree the ideal of our culture and yet this shadow side is there and hurts immensely. It's not so far from us all.

Thanks for writing. I know that a cuddle buddy would do me a great deal of good. I too am thinking that once I'm able, travelling would be good. This town has helped me see the nightmare, but it isn't particularly good at helping me heal.

Sincerely,

"Arnold"

PS: It's funny that you mentioned people's reaction to a man in a wheelchair. I spent five months in a wheelchair when I first became physically ill. I experienced that reaction quite vividly from young men most strongly.

Books can't keep up these days

Looks interesting. The Amazon description says "It investigates the newly apparent fetal origins of allergic disease—that a mother’s inflammatory response imprints on her unborn child, tipping the scales toward allergy." Just this week I read about a study on nuts that apparently challenges the previous science about allergy development.

It's about way more than that

It's also about the influence of gut flora and fauna (parasites) on various auto-immune diseases, which have been rapidly on the rise in developed nations.

It's about multiple lines of research, maternal influence being only one. It's dense, but well written, such that you don't get totally lost.Wacko

I saw that. Does it consider

I saw that. Does it consider psychosomatic aspects? A problem with much current medical research is we can get blinded by the science we know so as not to consider other possible root causes.

Someone probably writes about the number of times science and perhaps especially medicine has changed its mind or evolved.

I think the author

might smile at that question. Most people with these kinds of illnesses have already been told they're psychosomatic...and explored that fully. For them, a physiological cause, which can be treated and the results assessed, is a welcome shift.

That said, any good doctor knows there's still a larger picture in which emotional beliefs and expectations are also at work.

Psychosomatic doesn't mean it

Psychosomatic doesn't mean it's all in one's head. The mindbody can easily cause physical disturbances. The problem is the more one focuses on the disturbance, the more the mindbody is satisfied that it can avoid whatever psychological unpleasantness it doesn't want to face. Medicine is reinforcing these diseases, helping them to flourish by focusing on the organic level processes with little regard for the possible psychosomatic root causes. In each generation since modern western medicine, there have been similar epidemics that seem to phase in and phase out, often limited to the developed world. While the organic processes might be observable, they might be in the asymptomatic range in someone without a psychosomatic root cause.

Sure, healthier guts can't hurt. And maybe a healthy enough gut can undo physical damage or even surmount the mindbody's ability to cause the organic symptoms in the first place. The problem with psychosomatic health is that without getting at the root cause, the manifestations will morph. That's is perhaps why the condition of the generation spreads like an epidemic and why many with these conditions have more than one physical manifestation. It's easier to share that one's condition is bothering them than to open up psychologically. Society as a whole needs to shift and that's not easily done.

For all we know, some level of psychosomatic disease is part of the human condition. If that's so, medicine is doing many a disservice with symptom-focused food for fodder it gives brains.

Psychosomatic aspects of illness

Hi Freedom,

I recently read a book that outlines a very vivid experience of a woman with the psychosomatic and spiritual effects on her severe case of Lymphoma. It was a fascinating read. She claims that she had a near death experience, learned some deeply rooted lessons about her identity and life purpose, and that her physical health recovered very rapidly afterwards. The book is called "Dying to be Me" by Anita Moorjani. She has a website too: http://anitamoorjani.com/.

She claims that doctors really don't have a clue what happened to her and were somewhat frightened by her confidence in recovery. Fortunately, in the book, a number of oncologists took an interest in her story.

Cheers,

"Arnold"

PS: Your comment about mediciine offering symptom relief rather than a deeper cure resonated strongly with my experience. I'm doing relatively well amongst Crohn's sufferers mostly because I've pursued alternative approaches to healing and gone after the psycho-emotional and social aspects very strongly. I also have sources of support that many don't. I know many people with Crohn's who've undergone multiple surgeries and been on some really toxic drugs (I've struggled with the drug routine too) simply because support for other approaches to healing are weak and underfunded.

Multiple causes

Hi Freedom,

Great to hear from you. Happy New Year!

I'm not sure about the book. I have yet to read it. I do know from experience that my case of Crohn's responds to multiple factors. Diet is certainly one. Gut flora is definitely another. Compounds that support healing the gut/liver/kidney/hormonal pathways is a third. Stress from a variety of dietary, personal psycho-emotional trauma, lack of healthy social venues, challenges in embracing spirit and isolation is definitely a fourth. Jini Thompson (see: http://www.listentoyourgut.com/why-ltyg.html) talks about this multifaceted aspect of Inflammatory Bowel Disease and offers many solid approaches to healing. She also stresses the importance of listening to your own intuition and "Following your Gut". It's a very basic change in the normal way of thinking about who is in charge of healing.

I've seen very few medical doctors who fully embrace this way of thinking. Funding for scientific research often reflects their priorities. I think that as we move from a culture that values vertical power structures to one that values flat ones (a healthy change in my opinion), highly paid professionals are going to resist it.

Sincerely,

"Arnold"

Book

Hi Marnia,

I've started reading it. It's fascinating. I've heard of Helminth therapy before and have heard good things about it. As far as I know it is still very experimental. Working with bacteria, however, has a much more solid background. I'm currently working very hard on this aspect of healing and it's seems to be doing alot of good. Getting the right probiotics at the right dosage and combining them with antimicrobials (to shift gut ecology in a healthy direction) seems to be key.

Thanks again for referring the book to me . I'm enjoying it very much.

Sincerely,

"Arnold"

Positive Change

Hi Marnia,

I'm not so sure about the fixity of things. Jini has been having good results with her multi-faceted approach to healing IBD (see:http://www.listentoyourgut.com/why-ltyg.html). A key aspect of her approach is probiotics but its not the only one (She has 8 keys). From what Moises is saying so far (I'm half way through the book), it would seem to me that there is a mutualism between gut microbes and humans that has barely been explored. The concept itself is very novel. The keystone species concept is very important in ecological restoration (I was training at UVic in this field as I was first being diagnosed with Crohn's). It's clear that we can make some dramatic positive changes in outer ecology if we set our minds and energy to it and use what we know about keystone species among other things. New Zealand is full of examples of this. Yellowstone Park is another. My mind is definitely set on restoring as much of my inner (and outer) ecology as possible including my mindset. We seem to have identified some of the keystone species of gut microbes already. I've done lots of work identifying the hormonal, social, psychological, dietary, and mental keys to my health.

I often wonder about mental, spiritual, and emotional influences on gut microbial ecology. It's very clear to me that emotions affect digestion very strongly. Emotional releases can have powerful effects on other aspects of my physical health too.

I'm not completely convinced that you are stuck with what you get at birth. I've heard of too many full recoveries to suggest that this is true. My intuition is suggesting that the autoimmune illnesses are fundamentally diseases of the spirit. They are the result of our obsession with separation and fear of fully embracing Love in all its forms. The condition of our inner and outer ecologies is simply one expression of this dynamic. Human social ecology (at another level) either supports a healthy direction or hinders it. It seems to me that Reuniting is helping us find ways to keep our most intimate and powerful social relations healthy. It would be interesting for me to know the effect of Karezza on gut ecology.

Thanks again for putting me on to this book. It's a jewel!

Sincerely,

"Arnold"

I liked the book too

And it is very inspiring.

I certainly believe much can change in our lives. My whole life is devoted to that premise. I merely wanted to point out that adults may not have as much flexibility as kids when it comes to striving for ideal gut balance. (When I wrote the author to congratulate him he mentioned that to me himself.) That said, adults can get as close as possible!

Change

Yes,

It's clear that as we age there are things that just simply aren't possible any more. A seedling is far more flexible than an old oak. At the same time, young people haven't experienced their egos yet. As we age we begin to recognize its limitations. So perhaps rather than striving for the kind of body that we had as teens and 20 year olds, we might start to value more highly the inner qualities that come with experience, suffering, and age.

I had a really rewarding experience of this recently. I heard from my ex who got re-married this last year. It could have been an occasion to get really messed up and hurt each other again. But we didn't. I was finding the love that we had as friends before we ever decided to explore passion together (and get severely burned). It was a big relief for me. She complemented me on my ability to "own" my stuff. I would have never been able to do that prior to reading "Peace" and going through much of the suffering I have in recent years. I was heartening to hear her complement my inner maturity. Not all men my age have it.

And thanks for your help. "Peace" woke me up to things that had mystified me for many years.

Sincerely,

"Arnold"

So do I!

HI Marnia,

Thanks.

Yes, I'd like to do more than the three nights I've already done too. This particular event (reconnecting with my ex) has rather deep implications for me. My general habit is to repress my energy and most particularly my maleness or sex energy. Sensitivity (particularly towards women) is more my thing. When I pursued the woman I married, I briefly turned that habit around. So for the first time in my life I got to feel what it was like to pursue the woman I wanted with all my energy. The results were disturbing in ways that are clearly outlined in your book. So to reconnect with her (and offer to support her new relationship as I did) is to befriend the sexual me more strongly and start to realize that even though I did screw up with her, I didn't destroy the love we still share nor did she (and she's clearly free to pursue whomever she wants at whatever level). That's extremely important to me and very healing.

There's hope yet! Smile

Thanks for writing.

Sincerely,

"Arnold"