Today I concluded my eight week series of lectures on the sources of the great traditions throughout the Era of Enlightenment. These include but are not limited to the mystery of Freemasonry, Hermeticism, Gnosticism and the esoteric foundations of the United States of America. The knowledge I received was of tremendous proportion. One topic in particular stood out to me, the influence of the Puritans in the 1700’s regarding sexual repression upon our American culture, which I believe still exists today.
The more I studied, the more I became aware of a reoccurring pattern. Throughout history, mankind has continuously tried to conquer the duality of good and evil within himself. Each country, culture, and individual has their own approach to this dilemma.
Certain cultures choose to see duality as an illusion, and therefore naturally embrace all aspects of themselves, which leads to a unified, thriving, sexually balanced society. While others attempt to obtain righteousness by suppressing what they consider to be bad within themselves, which often includes their sexual desires.
The very act of sex is one of the most natural things known to mankind, yet America’s prudent, conservative approach seems somewhat unnatural and unbalanced. We either judge our sexuality as immoral behavior and keep it secretive or even worse, we deny our sexual impulses and unconsciously suppress them.
Instead of embracing our sexual desires and bringing them into wholeness, we perpetuate duality by demonizing the parts of ourselves that we call bad. This inevitably leads to feelings of guilt which ultimately creates a culture that lacks intimacy. The more we continue to place judgement upon our sexual nature, the more we will spiral into the illusion of separation and away from one another.
When we look at the countries who include sexual education in public schools, we see a decline in teen pregnancies and STD’s compared to Americas conservative approach on the same topic. The United Nations reported that in 2009, the Netherlands had a teen birth rate of 5.3 per 1,000, and the United States came in at 7x that number at 39.1 per 1,000. In 2015, there were roughly 12 cases of gonorrhea per 100,000 Netherlands residents in the 15–19 age group, and the number in the United States was a staggering 37x greater than in the Netherlands at 448 per 100,000 that same year.
Clearly, the statistics show that the prudent approach is not the answer. As we can see, self-repression inevitably leads to self-indulgence. America’s puritanical influence causes the pendulum to swing to the opposite pole, creating an unbalanced and insatiable sexual appetite. Ironically, this results in creating more sexual impropriety than if we would have just openly embraced our sexual nature to begin with.
Hugh Hefner, although a controversial figure, is unquestionably a true pioneer in the movement of sexual freedom within American culture. He was quoted as saying, “Sex is the driving force on the planet. We should embrace it, not see it as the enemy.”
I’d like to elaborate on what Hugh said by adding my own twist. Imagine for a moment if we substituted the word “sex” with the word “comfort.” Go ahead and take a minute to really think about it…I believe this small play on words would cause us to become much more affectionate and a lot less rigid as a society. I mean, come on now, who doesn’t want to be comforted?
So this begs us to ask the question, “Why do we repress our sexual nature?” The answer is because we have been conditioned to fear judgement, and therefore hide any natural sexual impulses that could be construed as inappropriate by the dualistic mentality of the masses. I believe this is the root of the problem. Judgement creates separation; acceptance creates wholeness.
The great Swiss psychologist C. G. Jung believed that human beings are essentially whole, but that we have divided ourselves into what we call good and bad by creating what he calls our “Shadow Self.” The shadow is our unconscious self which represses our undesirable conscious characteristics. However, the shadow is not entirely negative.
An individual who views themselves as someone with great integrity will have a shadow filled with lies and deceit. On the contrary, a deceitful individual will have a virtuous, genuine shadow. As you can see, the shadow may contain hidden positive influences. This is known as “the gold in the shadow.” This gold needs to be mined and brought to the surface. By mining the shadow’s gold, mankind’s objective can shift from being good to being whole.
Of course, there are certain negative attitudes that we must refrain from expressing as a society at large, such as hatred, cruelty, jealousy, etc. But the solution is not to demonize these negative human traits, but rather transcend them through whole awareness.
The word “transcend” simply means to go beyond, and that is exactly what wholeness allows us to do. Duality breeds conflict, where as wholeness gives birth to resolution. This awareness shatters the dualistic illusion of good and bad. No longer will we try to be good by suppressing the bad, but instead we will embrace wholeness, and simply transcend negative into positive.
I believe this is the ultimate goal, which must be achieved individually. By achieving this on an individual level, a paradigm shift begins to take place on a mass consciousness level. Collectively we shift our perspective from separation to wholeness, and in doing so we vibrationally align with higher consciousness, express love, kindness, compassion, and yes, sexual affection.
Temperature is a good example. Hot and cold are neither good or bad. Nor are they really different from each other as much as they are simply different degrees upon the same
vibrational scale of life. This applies to everything, soft and hard, black and white, right and wrong, good and bad, positive and negative, etc.
Perhaps, instead of looking through a fragmented lens which separates everything into categories of right, wrong, good and bad, we can simply choose to view life with all of its contrasting varieties as different vibrational degrees of sameness. In doing so we may find that contrast becomes an asset which can be used to help bring our heartfelt desires into greater focus.
When it comes to sexuality, look at it for what it is…natural. Therefore, approach it naturally, with balance. The choice is always ours to make.
As I conclude, allow me to share a friendly reminder… self-repression inevitably leads to self-indulgence, where as self-acceptance miraculously leads to wholeness. Now go forth and comfort someone and be comforted in return!
~ Daniel Pape
If this article resonates with you, then kindly comment and share.