"Simply feeling good about our sexuality will go along way toward
healing many of our social ills."
By Daniel D. Ziegler
If we listen to the news and look at the newspapers, we realize that we as a
society obviously have problems. We seem to be a society out of control.
Some say we have lost our morals. Others say we have forgotten God. Still
others say greed has taken over or that our lives are too complicated, we
need to simplify them. That we have a problem, we agree on. What we don't
seem to be able to agree upon is what the real problem or problems are.
Whatever the problem is, it shows up in many forms--anger, violence and
rage and all too often, in deadly shootings. And it shows up everywhere--in
our schools, in our businesses, in government, in our homes, in churches,
everywhere. There seems to be no group or situation that escapes its grip.
Deep inside, unconsciously, many of us know or sense what the problem
is--at least a big part of it. But by the very sensitive nature of the problem
itself, we are discouraged from admitting to it, from looking at it, and certainly
from talking about it or suggesting what it might be for fear of being branded
as being part of the problem itself. So we remain silent, and it remains an
unmentionable. We go about our daily lives either ignoring it or looking for
some other issue, or issues, to blame, kidding ourselves into thinking we can
solve it some other way--fewer guns, perhaps more guns, tighter gun controls,
and on and on and on. But we can't. These suggestions are simply
scapegoats skirting the issue, and we won't solve the problem it until we have
the courage to face it head on.
Perhaps it is in one of the ways that the problem shows up that is most telling
or most revealing of itself. It is in the form of perverted and abusive sex. While
this can be most revealing, it also can is the most distracting clue too, for in
these cases sex itself seems to be the culprit, or at least our handling, or
mishandling, of sex. Yet this idea is misleading and without careful
re-examination, we can be led down a path which can only make the problem
worse, not better. So the real problem continues to elude most of us.
A few brave souls in our past know and have known what the problem is--or at
least a major portion of it--and have been trying to do something about it for
years. These are brave souls indeed, pioneers, in a sense, going where no
man or woman in our society has gone before. But many of these individuals
are not well known to the general public, and if they are, they are branded as
being on the fringes of society, certainly not mainstream and certainly not
people we would want to be seen or identified with. So we won't see them at
a White House conference on crime, for example.
What is the problem? The problem is simply our negative attitude toward our
sexuality--not our sexuality, but our negative attitude toward it--and our
resulting ignorance. The problem reaches every aspect of our lives, and the
affects are far more reaching than any of us imagine.
Basically we are a sexually frustrated society. We are a society operating on
misdirected sexual energy. We are like a creative child whose creativity is
stifled and whose repressed creative energy displays itself in frustration, in
the form of anger, violence and destruction. With that child, the creative
energy shows its dark and shadowy side. And so it is with our society.
Another way of looking at it is to think of someone who has poor eating habits
and is not eating properly, and therefore not getting their nutritional needs
met. The body cries out trying to satisfy itself but because of the poor eating
habits, the person ends up "pigging out" on junk food, which can lead to all
kinds of problems--including behavioral. This is what is happening to us
because we are pigging out on "junk sex" because healthy sex is alludes us
because of repression. The anger, the violence, the road rage, drug use,
shootings, and all the rest that are so prevalent with us, is simply our
repressed creative sexual energy showing up as frustration. We are
experiencing our dark and ugly sides because our light and healthy sides
have been held down, repressed.
The most direct way this shows up, of course, is sexual. It shows up in the
form of perverted and abusive sex--and our fascination and obsession with it.
An example of this, an incident related to a former president, is still all too
fresh in our memories. But let us make no mistake about this, though, sexual
repression rears its ugly head in many, many ways, not just sexual. Another
example is our general attitude of shame toward our bodies. We cover our
bodies for concealment and adornment based on shame, and we have
become obsessed with fashion to the point where teenagers are shooting
each other over jackets and sneakers. The diet industry bombards us with
often dangerous products, and women have dangerous breast implants
inserted. All this because we don't like our bodies, we don't like
ourselves--which is ultimately based on our negative attitude toward our own
sexuality. The problem of sexual repression is far reaching.
This is not startling new information, though. Freud, and others have taught us
about sexual energy, and what happens with us when we repress it. Wilhelm
Reich, who wrote several books dealing with sexual repression including The
Mass Psychology of Fascism, was thrown in prison where he eventually died
for teaching that sexual energy is healing energy and could actually heal
cancer. Talk about repression.
But this type of repression is still going on today, such that any public figure
that dares to speak out on the issue is quickly and quietly shoved back into
the background and into the fringes. That's how deeply ingrained the problem
is. An example of this occurred a some ago when Dr. Joycelyn Elders was
fired from her post as Surgeon General of the United State for merely
suggesting that we talk about masturbation in our schools as a way of curbing
teenage pregnancies. Dr Elders saw the problem, and was sincere in her
desire to offer positive solutions. She was on to something, and most of us
know that at some level. But our shame, our embarrassment, our guilt, and in
general, our fear (or rather the fears of our elected politicians) all led us away
from what would be a simple and healthy solution--or at least part of the
solution--of a serious problem plaguing our society. Fortunately Dr. Elders is
still doing her brave work today she but she remains outside of the public
sector. Our loss.
We are making some progress, though, but we still have along ways to go.
Today we are learning that Reich was correct. Sexual energy IS creative
energy, IS life energy, IS life itself. It is the most powerful energy there is, and
if we try to smother it, it will show up some other way--and show up it will. And
that is what is happening in our society and that is what we need to learn.
Now, can we admit to that? And if we can, how do we have it not manifest
itself in negative ways? How do we let our sexuality play itself out in healthy
ways? Aren't we talking about a sexual revolution with such ideas? All good
and very important questions.
As a result of thousands of years of sexual repression through religious
restrictions, social taboos, moral codes, emotional conventions, etc., it is
difficult for of us to even know what healthy sexuality is, let alone how to let it
play out. We are simply ignorant. All we know or all we have been taught-- our
entire attitude toward sexuality--is based on shame, embarrassment, guilt and
fear. That cannot possibly be healthy, and so healthy sexuality, for the most
part, remains a mystery to us. We, as a society, probably don't yet have the
slightest clue as to the beauty of human sexuality and how it can help lead us
to spiritual enlightenment. But we need to start learning fast, and stop fearing
it, or it will destroy us.
The fear that we have of unleashing our sexuality is that, as a society, we
would totally lose control if we were allowed to experience and express all our
natural urges. What is happening, though, is that we have gone totally out of
control as a result of repressing these natural urges. The very thing that we
fear is now occurring as a result of our fear, only in a different way. We are out
of control with violence.
To correct the problem we must face our fear, that is stop being ashamed of
our sexuality, stop feeling embarrassed over feeling sexual, stop feeling guilty
over being sexual and stop fearing our sexuality all together. If we can begin
to feel good about our sexuality, we will begin feeling good about ourselves.
And why shouldn't we? After all, we were created as sexual beings, so to feel
good about that, is to feel good about who we are; and when we can feel
good about ourselves, we will feel better toward each other.
Simply feeling good about our sexuality will go a long way toward healing
many of our social ills. All we need to do is get in touch with ourselves, be
ourselves, let ourselves out, and be all that we are. We all are simply crying to
be let out. As creations of the Universe, all we want is to be seen and
recognized for who and what we are, and that includes sexual beings. This
won't require a sexual revolution, just an awakening. And, we would no more
get out of control than a creative child gets out of control when that child is
handed a set of paints and paper or is exposed to music and begins to
dance. A healthy expression and release of our sexual energy will remove the
frustration that we now live with. It will allow us to feel good about ourselves,
and it will allow us to re-channel much of that energy into many new forms of
creative social endeavors that will genuinely improve social conditions on the
planet. We will not lose control, as we have feared.
But how do we begin? Again, by first being willing to look at ourselves,
recognizing that our attitude toward our sexuality might just be a major
problem, that it just may be the cause of what is going on in our society. This
will probably be a most difficult step to take, however, because we are in such
denial over the whole issue of our sexuality. The ingraining runs very deep and
like all denials, covers its own tracks. But if we are to save ourselves from our
own self-destruction, we must begin, and that is where--admit our mistake.
Then, we need to actually get in touch with our sexuality. This may not be easy
either, again because we have never truly done that. We have never truly
accepted our sexuality as something healthy and beautiful. And, we may not
be able to overcome all the shame, embarrassment, guilt and fear in our
lifetime, but we can at least begin, thus leaving the door open for our children
to break the cycle we have been trapped in.
To get in touch with our sexuality, we need to step out of our comfort zone and
learn of sexuality anew. We can begin by reading books on sexuality--even
erotica. There are many good books in our bookstores, and now many books
on spirituality even include discussions of positive sexuality. One of the
pioneers I refer to is Betty Dodson PhD sex educator and author of SEX FOR
ONE and ORGASMS FOR TWO. I highly recommend these. The Internet, in
spite of its reputation for containing pornography, contains a wealth of good
information. There are many excellent web sites dedicated to positive human
sexuality, and there are many excellent books and videos available through
these sites. A good site is the Society for Human Sexuality. Much of this
information is provided by those whom I mentioned earlier--the pioneers--who
work on the fringes of our society doing the ground work in human sexuality.
They are the ones who recognize that we have serious problems in the area
of our sexuality, and they are the real experts on the subject.
Then, attend lectures and seminars. Start discussion groups--even in our
churches--where there may be the most opposition but where they most
needed. Share with others the material that we have. Talk openly with others,
and share what we've learned--and what we're feeling.And, learn about
ourselves. This is so important. Learn to like ourselves, learn to love
ourselves, and most importantly, learn to make love to ourselves, and to be
totally in touch with how that feels. And, feel good about doing that. That is an
important step because self-love is the beginning of all love.
And the last thing we need to do, but certainly not the least important, is to
teach our children to love themselves and their sexuality--no shame, no
embarrassment, no guilt, and no fear--just to love themselves, as Dr. Elders
was suggesting. Our teenage children need a healthy and safe release of
their sexual energy, and they need and deserve our support and
encouragement in doing so, after all, they are sexual beings too. Again, this
may not be an easy step for us, especially since we have pushed the job of
sex education off on to our schools because we were afraid to talk about it
ourselves--or didn't know enough about it. Again, the shame and
embarrassment runs deep, but let's not pass as much of it on to our children
as was passed on to us. Rather, let us teach them love, beginning with
self-love. An excellent book in thie area is HARMFUL TO MINORS: The
Perils of Protecting Children from Sex by Judith Levine.
These steps will all serve as a beginning. Since we are products of sexual
repression, we have no clear guidelines to go by, so much of what we will
learn will be discovered as we go along. But if we can constantly remind
ourselves to always come from love and never from fear, we will be guided
through this uncharted territory to our destination.
In conclusion, it would serve us well to be honest with ourselves over this
whole issue and admit we know what the problem is. If we can, we will have
made great strides into healing the human psyche--and the planet. We may,
indeed, even be saving ourselves. To look at ourselves honestly is perhaps
the most difficult part but also the most rewarding. We must then trust this
process, and if we can trust the process, the rest will follow. The next
generation can live more peaceful lives and can enjoy what we most
feared--our own God-given sexuality. Let us be the ones who discover that our
sexuality can indeed lead us to enlightenment. And, let's not forget to have fun.
My Vision of the World:
I see a world in which we are neither burdened by shame of our bodies nor
fear of our sexuality and we are thus free to seek the highest expression of
our human experience. ddz
Copyright 2008 Daniel D. Ziegler
LESS-ONS FOR TRUTH
Reclaiming Acceptance of our Original State