“Transgender Women have needs and desires just like any other person. However due to their unique position, they have a greater understanding of life and realize the essential fallibility of humans. . . . Transgender Women are also sexually very active and are much more nubile than the average cis-woman. Therefore men with a high sexual appetite (that is every man alive) will have a great time with them.”
–Transsingle Dating Site
While I prefer not to make sweeping philosophical statements of belief, there are aspects of the present subject matter that are too unexplored and unfamiliar to present them on a pure evidence-basis; at the same time, the subject is so fraught with strong emotional opinions that it may help if I make my own “position” as clear as possible–regarding why I consider the subject important enough to write about, even though I have no transsexual tendencies myself, nor any significant dealings with people who have these tendencies in my daily life.
I have arrived at the subject matter by an indirect route, through my researches into trauma, psychic fragmentation, organized sexual abuse, mind control, transhumanism, alien abduction, and other occult or spiritual systems of beliefs, social and cultural engineering, crowd control, and mimesis. Something that has become more and more apparent to me–albeit at a very intuitive level–concerns a largely unrecognized psychological (and frankly, metaphysical) reality, that of ancestral possession. At this point, I would probably say that ancestral possession is the primary motivating factor in history, and that without including it, no understanding of human behavior is going to be complete. This is particularly the case if we are looking at human pathologies, which are I think the sine qua non of human behavior, and hence history.
While not all ancestral patterns are pathological, all pathologies are to some degree ancestral. Our ancestry of course goes back a long way–prehistory–and the most easily observable ancestral influence is that of those family members we have had direct contact with, especially the ones we grew up with and were raised by. Of these, none has a greater influence on our psychological development than our mother. To an incalculable extent, our self-image, our preferences, desires, fear, obsessions, and choices are determined by her influence–especially if we understand that our mother and our father’s influence is itself a continuation and extension of that of the ancestors, those who have now passed on. Nonetheless, in a purely observable (though still somewhat mysterious) framework, I am confident in making these two statements: that psychic possession of men by their mothers is the most essential and unrecognized aspect of ancestral possession (and hence of human history); and that the primary cause for the multitude of desperate quests for identity that have manifested throughout history in all forms of violence is this same mother-possession.
I realize that this is a thesis statement and that it is not the thesis of the present piece. I present it now as rather the essential background that provides primary context for the author’s own history and hence interest in this subject.
After the first part of this series appeared, I received some criticism that it was lacking nuance and making the mistake of putting every transsexual in the same box together, when there was a very wide spectrum of individuals to consider. One thing that I hope has become clear, to anyone reading this series, is that the transgender/postgender agenda is quite distinct from transsexual individuals, at least to a large degree. In other words, a vast portion of the push behind trans/postgenderism is not coming from individuals who have or wish to transition (yet). Like the person who commented at my blog (Claire), there’s an unknown but significant percentage of transsexuals who are not supportive of the trans/postgender push. Nonetheless, for obvious reasons , the social and cultural movement and the individuals it points towards (and to some degree stems from), cannot be separated. Without the existence of transsexuals within our culture, no “Trans Agenda,” and without the Trans Agenda, there would be a lot less aspiring transsexuals than there currently are.
While the first statement will probably go uncontested, the second will no doubt stir the hackles on many a neoliberal neck. But human beings are imitative creatures and this goes double for heavily socialized human beings. Culture is a process by which certain behaviors “go viral” and become fashionable, i.e., inspire imitation. Naturally, the more prolific (and the more widely represented by the media) a given behavior becomes, the more people are going to imitate it. The manufactured transgender movement is really no different from any widespread marketing campaign that depends on both memetic and mimetic engineering, and central to its success is representing the idea of chemically and surgically induced sex changes as healthy, normal, and desirable (and sexy and hip).
As with homosexuality, however (and being nonwhite, and being neurodivergent), it is not enough for transsexuals to aspire for equality. The previously marginalized subset aims to colonize the mainstream, and, like a cuckoo, this means ousting the previously dominant ideology, or at the very least forcing it to change its ways. In the present case, it is not merely ideology that has to be radically reconfigured but biology. Since the Trans Agenda advocates the use of technology to alter people’s biological gender, the very idea of biological gender must be recalibrated to match the technology. The “is” determines the “ought”: as soon as it becomes possible to alter gender, an inevitable shift in cultural values occurs–including moral ones–that is geared towards making gender alteration socially acceptable. Since social etiquette and ethics form a complex system, this means that the entire philosophical and ideological basis of society must undergo a corresponding shift to accommodate the new technology and the new fashion, and to make room for the newly manufactured identities rolling off the factory lines, complete with their particular (and equally manufactured) sets of desires.
Now, like being a woman or being homosexual once was (ironically, both of these social identities are receiving short thrift from the Trans Agenda), the trans identity is being subtly equated with higher social standing and a kind of moral superiority. In certain circles, it is even being touted as a spiritual calling, a veritable attainment of non-dual reality in which gender is as mutable and arbitrary as any other form of consumer preference. Presumably this is because transgenderism has the relatively novel ingredient of actual physical transformation. While it is still a “choice” (albeit one attributed to some mysterious and anomalous whim of human biology), it is a choice that requires the ultimate commitment imaginable, short of death anyway.
Speaking of removing body parts, this is probably an opportune moment to ask: how long before apotemnophiliacs replace transsexuals as the ultimate marginal group? Apotemnophilia is a neurological disorder characterized by an intense desire for the amputation of a specific limb or a need to become paralyzed, blind, or deaf. Apparently rational individuals are asking for the amputation of healthy limbs or the destruction of functioning senses, and seeking surgeons to oblige them (or in some cases purposefully injuring themselves to force emergency medical intervention). Apotemnophilia was first described in a 1977 article by psychologists Gregg Furth and John Money (that pioneer of transgenderism and pedophile rights; see “Apotemnophilia: two cases of self-demand amputation as paraphilia”). In 2008, the afore-cited V.S. Ramachandran, David Brang, and Paul D. McGeoch proposed that apotemnophilia is a neurological disorder caused by an incomplete body image map in the right parietal lobe. A separate definition of apotemnophilia is erotic interest in being or looking like an amputee. In a similar way, there are transsexuals whose primary drive to transition to the opposite sex is the erotic charge they get from imagining themselves in a different gender body. This is known (in the case of men) as autogynephilia: “a man’s paraphilic tendency to be sexually aroused by the thought or image of himself as a woman.”
The question of course is, why are apotemnophilia and autogynephilia considered paraphilias, while (the more “progressive” version of) transgender is not? The answer is that, through a combination of activism, media representation, and the growing numbers of advocates and defenders, it has been stricken from the list of paraphilias, and scientific research has gone full throttle to try and produce enough stupefying, generally pseudo-scientific evidence to keep it that way. But presumably all the arguments being made to defend transsexuals from the stigma of paraphiliacs (i.e., psychologically disturbed) could, if one wished, be equally well applied to cases of apotemnophilia (and autogynephilia)? And where would that end? A person might–like the author Paul Bowles–wish to do away with the body altogether, and opt for existence as a severed head floating in a jar. Who are we to say that this is an unhealthy life choice? But of course, the transhumanists are already working day and night to bring this grisly reality to fruition, and perhaps the ultimate social attainment will someday be recognized as having been achieved by those individuals who saw themselves as non-biological, non-human, and as “pure information,” people who chose to be removed from the physical realm altogether in lieu of an exclusive but eternal existence as Facebook accounts? But I fear I am in danger of becoming a pundit, so maybe I should stop there.
Except to add, in passing, that my brother Sebastian claimed to have had sex with a quadruple amputee prostitute in Amsterdam and wrote about it in his memoir, Dandy in the Underworld. Several years before he published the account, in late 2003, I received a photograph apparently of my brother inserting his erect penis into a dark-haired, legless, armless woman. Not only had he paid to have sex with her, apparently he’d arranged to have himself photographed in the act and then turned the photograph into a grisly greetings card, with the words “If you’re happy, clap your hands!” inscribed on the back. He then sent it to his family, friends, and who knows how many assorted others. I later found out that the photo was a fake: he had had someone Photoshop his head onto another man’s body, using a piece of apotemnophilia porn for his template. When I spoke to him at the time I received it however, he insisted it was authentic.
What appalled me about the image (and most of all his choice to use it that way) was how it exploited the woman’s suffering and misery. If I’d said as much, my brother would probably have countered that I had no business projecting my ideas about exploitation or human suffering onto the woman, and that (like all prostitutes, in my brother’s view) she was fully in charge of her choices. I can almost hear him saying it now. And in fact, in his memoir, he wrote just such a comment, one that seemed especially tailored for me: “She wasn’t a victim. She was a warrior.” But as it turned out, my brother never even knew the woman in the photo, so how could he possibly know what her perspective on her condition was?
What originally sparked this three-part series was ostensibly an email exchange between myself and two others, about a spiritual teacher who is currently undergoing a sex change. One of my correspondents—himself a spiritual teacher–made a quip about how the non-dual movement had always been moving in this direction. So what direction is this? Towards the equivalence of psychological trauma, infinitely expanding paraphilias, and a total rejection of our embodied human existence with enlightenment? The spiritual guru in question is named Francis Bennett, and he has been endorsed at his website by the well-known Advaita guru Adyashanti. Bennett made an announcement on Facebook on 16 November, 2016, to the effect that he was a woman in a man’s body:
“It has been a bit of a relief to find out that this is what I have been unknowingly dealing with my whole life. In a certain sense, it explains a lot in my psyche and even in my body which I have always wondered over. Many people that have these kinds of chromosomal anomalies do not struggle at all with gender identity and feel themselves to be very fully identified with the gender they were perceived to be at birth. But some of them, like me, have always felt a kind of ambiguity around their gender identity. . . . Some studies would indicate that this also has some basis in physiological changes that happen in the womb as the fetus develops and experiences certain effects in brain and hormonal development. To be honest, I have always felt somewhat ‘gender ambiguous’ and as a little child of 5 or 6, I had deeply questioned my gender identity already. Between the ages of around 5 and 11, I actually felt inwardly that I was a girl, even though I obviously had a boy body on the level of appearances.”
This “spiritually awakened” teacher ends by quoting the Hollywood movie Forest Gump: “I am reminded of what Forest Gump’s mom once said to him, “Life is like a box of chocolates Forest. . . . Once you open the box, you never really know what you are gonna get!”
In a later article, Maestro Bennett continues with his Gumpian vision:
God created humankind in the divine image … both male and female (Genesis 1:27). So God as Creator is both father and mother. God is both male and female. God is fully androgynous……God is therefore trans-gender if you will…
I believe that we LGBTQI persons can be considered to be special gifts of God not in spite of, but precisely BECAUSE we are different and don’t fit within normally accepted societal gender or sexual attraction categories. We have been rejected by the leaders of most organized religions. Simply to survive emotionally and spiritually, we have been often forced to look more deeply into the meaning of life than the average person who fits in more easily. Our rejection by mainstream religions causes many of us to question the basic tenets of these religions in order to determine what fits for us and what does not. Though not always, this in turn can sometimes result in a higher level of spiritual consciousness. . . . Because our very survival depends on it, we who are different must question all these things. As survivors of this painful process, we are perhaps better able to tap into the true nature of God/Source/Consciousness, and the intended relationship of humanity with this absolute Reality.
Bennett considers himself “fairly well out on the transsexual end of the transgender continuum” and therefore has opted to undergo a full sex change. “There is a deep peace in this decision.”
Maybe I am a stickler, but isn’t there something a bit “off” about someone who claims to be spiritually awakened, and who host satsangs for spiritual seekers to help them find their way, claiming they have found peace by having a sex change? Whatever happened to looking within?
Bennett consider himself to be on a mission, however:
I feel that I and all LGBTQI folks, are called, by our very existence in the world, to openly challenge the teachings and attitudes of spirituality that serve to enslave both men and women of whatever gender identity and sexual orientation, into rigid gender roles and categories that prevent them from fully embracing both the male and the female aspects of their souls, that prevent most from becoming whole and integrated in the true image and likeness of an androgynous, trans-gender God.
In other words, for these pioneers of transformation, spiritual freedom is only possible via corporate-backed sex change surgery and military-industrial chemicals.
Meanwhile, the meme is spreading via things like Paul Brandeis Raushenbush’s podcast at the Huffington Post: “God Is Trans: The Extraordinary Spirituality Of Transgender Lives.”
“During this week’s segment you will hear from a Christian, a Jew and a Buddhist about their lives as trans people, and the surprising and instructive ways religious figures acted with compassion as they transitioned to presenting as their authentic selves. Their journeys invite new understanding of spirituality by urgently presenting the deeply religious question: ‘Who Am I?’ Recently Bruce Jenner spoke on national television about life as a trans person, ushering in a new era of visibility of trans people. My hope is that the stories of Joy, Taj and Ellie will be cause for further celebration, and that their spiritual stories will offer all of us lessons for discovery about self, others and even God.”
Is there any way intelligent discerning people would buy this crap, I wonder, if they hadn’t already been so thoroughly worked over by the Identity Police, and so burdened by guilt, shame, and fear around transsexuality, as to be unable to even think clearly about it? Have we all been spiritually Gumpified into believing that life is a corporate conflation of sticky sweet comfort products that can all be lumped together into a single heart-shaped box?
And is it any wonder that the flip side of this cultural saccharinization program is the idolization of sociopathic killers?
At this point, the reader may well say, it’s easy to bitch and moan, but what am I actually proposing to do about any of this? Unfortunately, I am not in the business of offering solutions, not because I don’t want them but because I still think the best solution is found by fully taking on all the implications of a problem, and seeing it for what it is, without trying to fix it.
Imagine a very different sort of society in which confusion around one’s sexual identity was not seen as a problem to be fixed, in which suffering and identity crisis wasn’t seen as something to be avoided, or even alleviated, necessarily, but as a process to be observed and respected and allowed to happen. A society in which those individuals with especially fluid, anomalous, or unstable identities were given the necessary space and compassion (and attention) to be “liminal,” to remain essentially noncommittal about their sexual or gender orientation or anything else. Imagine a social environment where there was no pressure to fit in at all (provided one was not being actively hostile).
The point being: how many individuals are now jumping aboard the transgender bandwagon because of a combination of the pressure to conform in some way (the old world we are supposed to be evolving past via these new ideologies) with a more subtle pressure to early-adopt the non-conforming new identities being prepared for them, in tandem with a cynical marketing campaign–and/or a long-term, multi-national social engineering program (such as outlined in “Occult Yorkshire”)? How much is living in a society that sees social identity as the sine qua non of happiness, purpose, and meaning creating the very distortions, paraphilias, and biological “quirks” that are giving rise to growing numbers of alienated, dissociated children in search of a social identity that will match their anxiety and alienation? Do the vastly increasing numbers of transgender-oriented individuals have anything to do with a growing reality of transgenderism at a psychological or internal level, or do they relate to increased identity confusion and the ever-growing fear of being marginalized (because in liminal times, groups seek a scapegoat), combined with ready-made bogus identity-solutions that are generating vast profits for the ruling class and their corporations?
The idea of a “trans movement” suggests there is a new species emerging among us. While there may be a kernel of truth in this (there is definite overlap between transsexuals and autistics, which is a form of neurodiversity), I think that transgender is mostly a way for social (and possibly biological) anomalies to reduce and contain their feelings of alienation by over-literalizing them and converting them into sexual and cultural terms that relate to social identity. This requires ignoring the fact that social identity, whether it refers to “gender,” “race,” “class,” or all three, and regardless of how many bells and whistles are added to it, is the primary cause of human alienation. What might someone struggling with an interior experience that doesn’t fit the social molds tell us, if we gave them room to do so, rather than dictating the terms of their alienation to them? The same applies to autistics and to children in general: the social goal is always to socialize, to turn anomalies into productive members of society and good consumers of product, never to let them be and give them space to discover who and what they actually are.
The question of what to do with social anomalies is the same as what to do with any lost soul (i.e., human being): listen, connect, share as deeply as we are able, and only then consider the possibility (or need) for guidance. The one thing that any of us really needs, and the only thing that ever really helps, is a working connection to our own sense of reality. Call it psyche or soul or intuition or God, once we have it, nothing can take it away. But if we don’t have it, no amount of naming or identification, no matter how ideologically “advanced,” is ever going to secure it for us. Ideology is not a means to establish a sense of reality, but as a very poor surrogate for it, it’s most destructive when it manages to persuade us we have found reality–our new, improved, socially sanctified identity–and so we stop seeking.
The problem with “pathologizing” anomalous traits is that there is a cultural stigma attached to pathology in a way that there isn’t–to anything like the same degree–with physical ailments. The term “mental illness” is inherently derogatory, not because there is shame in being damaged, but because it misrepresents the reality of what causes self-destructive behaviors, both subtle and extreme. First off, what’s invariably being addressed when people talk about mental illness pertains to the psyche and not the mind. Secondly, how is a mind supposed to get ill anyway? Illness is a term that was coined to address physical symptoms, that superimposed a biological map onto a psychological one, as if there could be an exact fit. This is absurd. The way the body gets ill and why, and the way to treat physical illness, may have very little in common with psychological imbalances.
If someone called me mentally ill, I would find it offensive. If someone suggested my psyche was out of balance due to trauma, I might be a little more amenable to discussing it, if only to point out that we are all, to varying degrees, out of psychic balance due to past traumas. We are all broken–but none more than those who want to pretend they are whole, that brokenness is their true nature, a birthright, and their very own special snowflake-ness. If psychological trauma is universal in our current society, and if it has a direct effect on our experience of our bodies and our sexuality, to suggest that transgenderism relates to psychological trauma—at least some of the time—ought not to be terribly controversial, much less equated with transphobia. The fact that it is indicates that there is a massive program of denial at work.
Since no one wants to talk about trauma or psyche, it has become a toss-up between slapping a label of “mentally ill” on someone and prescribing the latest pharma-cure, or creating a new ideology and lifestyle choice–or a new biology–to be celebrated and championed. In either case, big bucks are being made, accountability and understanding is being avoided, and troubled souls are being cruelly exploited. The saddest part is that those exploited souls are being turned into advocates of the corporations, and pushing the very agendas that are exploiting them onto others.
One of the things that seems to prevent open dialogue about transgender is the assumption that one has no business talking about it unless one has experienced it. In principal I agree, but only if we are going to apply this across the board, and are willing to say, for example, that we have no business talking about the wrongness of the Jewish holocaust because we have no idea what it was like to be a Nazi. No one is likely to say this, however, because the assumption is that we know immoral behavior when we see it, and we don’t need to experience it from the inside to judge it as bad. When it comes to transgender, the assumption is that people know what they are experiencing and have the right to define it for themselves, so if they say they were born in the wrong body, we should take their word for it and try to help them. This line of reasoning is inherently problematic and even self-contradictory, however. Really, it comes down to indulging people’s whims regardless of whether we understand them or not, and provided their whims are sufficiently fashionable to have received some sort of ideological and institutional support. When non-conformity becomes the norm, then we will conform to it. And meanwhile, the true anomalies continue to get marginalized out of existence.
In 2008, during the same period I met my wife online and began to recognize the depths of my own psychic-mother-enmeshment, I was for a time in contact with a transgender person. This person called themselves the Dream Queen and did online dream interpretations. They were very intelligent and insightful and our correspondence was a rich one. I found them charming and likable (they were still biologically male but I didn’t find it difficult to think of them as a female at that time), even to a degree attractive to me. They described their self-transformation in a similar way to how Genesis P. Porrige talked about his, i.e., in alchemical terms, as a sort of coniunctio oppositorum by which they desired to enact the alchemical marriage through surgery. My feeling, then and now, was that they were over-literalizing a subtler psychological journey. But if I said as much, I was delicate about it and no conflict ensued.
At a certain point, this person began to suggest that I was like them, and that I would someday go through the same process and undergo surgical intervention in order to realize my true alchemical nature as a hermaphrodite. I began to feel mild panic: what if they were right? I knew deep down that such a path was not for me; and yet still, my identity at that time (I had just turned forty) was sufficiently shaky for me to have vague feelings of doubt. By that age, I’d come to accept that life was so unbelievably strange, so full of unexpected curves, that nothing could be ruled out completely. The Dream Queen was so convinced of it, I felt briefly afraid that this might really be my future!
I assured them they were mistaken and gave my reasons. It didn’t create a rift between us (though we did lose touch over time), but I suppose it made clear that there was already a gulf there: I was not willing to make the leap which they saw as our shared destiny; by the same token, I was not able to fully endorse their own choice, at least not if full endorsement meant imitation.
As an adolescent, my hero was David Bowie. I painted a portrait of him, dressed in gaudy clothes, and wore eye makeup at weekends. I was a late bloomer sexually, and although I was interested in girls at the normal age, I never went further than a kiss and a grope until I was in my twenties (I didn’t consummate until I was twenty-seven). As I wrote in Seen and Not Seen, I didn’t even use ordinary porn during my teen years, but opted for darker material. I was deeply confused about my sexuality and afraid of girls. My mother worried I was gay during this period (I overheard her talking on the telephone), and there were times when I wondered too–not because I was ever attracted to boys, but because I knew there was something fundamentally different about me, I just didn’t know what it was. According to my mother, the first thing she said after I was born was, “Oh, I wanted a girl,” and maybe this had something to do with my sexual confusion later in life. Beyond any doubt, the difficulty I had owning my sexuality, from adolescence to date, is directly connected to an unhealthy bond with my mother, and it was this very bond that I began to unravel in my forties, when I met my wife. Without having done so, I would never have been able to commit to her as I did.
My experience with the Dream Queen illustrates that, if anything, I’m flexible and open, maybe to a fault, when it comes to cultural anomalies and my affinity with them. My “problem” with the Dream Queen only began when they tried to impose their worldview onto me and recruit me into their alchemical trans-agenda. Even then, it was not actually a problem (unless it was for them), simply a clear boundary. I wonder if the more strident “cis” defenders of trans rights ever come as close to contemplating their own transgender potential as some of us who are rigorously questioning the narrative? My guess is, most of them don’t. It’s all theoretical to them, an ideological question and nothing more. This is why even those bold enough to question the trans narrative end up spouting latitudes like “Live and let live.” We are encouraged to approve of people’s choices, but not to empathize with them. Empathy is too scary.
It has been a lifetime struggle for me to find a way of being that fits my own internal experience of being a man, and it’s a struggle that continues to this day. In a sense, that struggle has been invaluable to me, because I have had to discover an authentic sense of my sexuality without relying on any kind of social signage to guide me. During my adolescence, when I was aware there was something anomalous about me but not what it was, there were no “programs” to “help” me find my sexual orientation, no boxes I could put myself into to feel more secure (at least not until I found the box of “sorcerer” and alien hybrid, which worked for a decade or so). Essentially, I had to carry that feeling of being a misfit, a freak–of being somehow broken–with me through my life, like a splinter in the brain.
Now I’m fifty, and I know that splinter was in many ways the truest thing about me, because I was broken, my sexuality was polluted, hijacked, co-opted, and stolen from me, through a combination of a toxic culture, horrendous parenting, sibling abuses, and unknown human predators–in other words, exposure to the world. That doesn’t give me a clear sense of my sexual identity–I don’t identify primarily as a trauma-victim–but it at least gives me a clear sense of why I was unable to fully experience, express, and embody my sexuality. It also lets me know that there is something still to discover, underneath all the trauma and the poisons, behind the social programs of abuse and the phony solutions designed to keep us inside them, there is that which I truly am, and always have been.
The older I get, the more integrated, the less preoccupied I am with my self-image, and the more ordinary I am able to be in my daily existence. I may feel anomalous–in some ways more than ever–but there is less of a need to make others recognize and affirm it, and more of an ability to go along with the social norms on a surface level. I have a mortgage, run a small business, and live a generally quiet life with a wife and a cat. My internet explorations notwithstanding, my rebellion is more and more directed inward. Creating a special category of identity is less and less important to me; identifying as human is enough.
My single biggest regret in life at this point is probably getting tattoos when I was thirty-five, when I believed I was a living avatar of Lucifer. I got the tattoos to mark that allegiance, to brand my body as property of Lucifer/the divine. It was a pointless exercise, and the only real effect it had was to brand me as a weirdo, to reinforce my sense of alienation by making it physical, tangible, and visible to others (what’s worse, the skin under one of the tattoos is irritable to this day). This stands alone as my only act of self-mutilation (not counting a pierced ear which has since closed up), and the only positive function of these tattoos now, in my view, is as a visceral reminder of my ego-inflated hubris and folly.
It’s my view now that the body is the base reality of human (and organic) existence, and that all existential questions begin and end with the body. I think that unconscious (and often conscious) fear, shame, resentment, and loathing of the body is so common in our “civilized” human society now as to be almost universal. Unconscious hostility towards our bodies is often directed outward at other bodies; but it is also directed inward, and on a daily basis, in the form of alcohol and drug abuse, unhealthy sexual promiscuity and abusive relationships, poor diet, and surgical “solutions.”
I consider that, for myself, love, respect, and enjoyment of my body is the only solid basis for a healthy relationship to others and with life. To start out from the premise that the body is “wrong” and in need of adjustment or improvement (unless it actually lacks functionality in some sense), then, is to establish the supremacy of mind/preference/desire over the reality of the body. I think that all other pathologies (destructive behaviors) stem from this basic misunderstanding, and that it is a misunderstanding that is rooted in unconscious hostility towards our own bodies.
“Pro·crus·te·an: (especially of a framework or system) enforcing uniformity or conformity without regard to natural variation or individuality.”
It is an irony that the transgender movement, which may well have begun as reaction against a Procrustean social view of gender, has become itself Procrustean.
Every individual has within them both sexes, both biologically and psychologically speaking, as mother-father imagos–which combined relate to the energetic ancestral line. Bringing those polar-forces into balance within the psyche is essential to a full and healthy life; and yet, due to social factors that seem designed to prevent a natural development of sexuality, it is also extremely rare.
To see transgender as an expression of this lack of balance is not to reduce it to a symptom or to a pathology. It is potentially to understand it, like all symptoms, as a process by which balance or wholeness can eventually be restored to the collective.
What troubles me is that it is perfectly natural, even inevitable, to experience confusion over our sexuality, and that reconciling male and female within ourselves is central to the “alchemical” work of individuation. Literalizing this as a biological problem that can be fixed by mechanistic means, whether by dressing up, chemical intervention, invasive surgery, or a combination of all three, is a means not to embrace difference but to banish it. It is a drive towards homogeneity and in-humanity, disguised as the exact reverse, as a humane approach to diversity.
The aim of this series has been simply to ask this question: What might be on the other side of that threshold of sexual identity confusion, if the movement was directed inward rather than outward?
there’s a new career path available … this person is a ‘trans influencer’.
Trans Influencer Jackson Bird ….
“Gender Pronouns” Student Writing Lesson
Society is shifting from a binary “he-she” world to a more fluid spectrum of gender identities. As the story’s author Cole points out, pronouns can be the basis from which all of us learn to see and respect each other’s identity. Some people feel awkward or uncomfortable with this transition, asking questions like, “What’s with this ‘they’ thing?” Others find it freeing.
Students, please respond to the writing prompt below with an up-to-700-word letter to the author:
Is there anyone in your life—you included—who is not comfortable being referred to as “he” or “she”? Write a letter to Cole on how you feel about this expansion of gender pronoun language. How do you deal with this cultural change?
Your brief mention of ancestral possession, especially psychic possession by the mother, has resonated with me and seems to explain some things. I will search your site for additional info on ancestral possession, especially psychic possesion by the mother.
I have written very little about this topic, but it comes up quite frequently in podcast conversations. Try a search for liminalist “ancestral possession”
When I encountered the author’s mention of ancestral possession, I was struck by the same feeling the Seinfeld character Elaine Benes must have experienced after finding out that Kramer, having inspired her to take the helm of her boss Peterman’s abandoned company by relating that challenge to the ethos of karate, was actually competing in his class against small children.
i have more respect for you after finishing this series now… i do not apologise for being blunt but i think i could have been more polite in my other comments. i was annoyed. i still am somewhat
there is no doubt that transgender is trending and i think it’s courageous in some ways to speak openly about an identity that you are not, it’s something that i think girard has opened up, being able to remain critical by understanding wider societal trends, even when the group gods tell you that you must not be.
anyway, you keep bringing up this idea of “being born in the wrong body” and this is a distinctly western narrative. much of your writing i find accurate, beautiful and interesting, i enjoyed learning about ideas about the body, i enjoyed the connection between ideas and so i do think you should keep it up. perhaps my criticism may be that you may be using “transgender issues” as a scapegoat for an overall apocalyptic lack of control (which girard identifies) that seems to be coming over the world. we are living in really dangerous times, but i don’t think it’s just because of trans folks at all
Jasun I want to tell you about my dad and his surgical trauma. These are my thoughts that tie in to what you have touched on in this post. I found you somehow reading Miles Mathis. So before 1987 babies who needed surgery were not put under anesthesia or given painkillers. Babies were given curare to induce temporary paralysis and a little nitride oxide (laughing gas) the pain was mostly ignored. My dad was born in 1926. He was born with a cleft pallet, a tooth growing out of the roof of his mouth and a split(rabbit)lip. He could not suck a nipple or bottle, I’m not clear how he was fed in the first days. He had three surgeries before the age of one. Its amazing he lived thru them. He was not circumcised the doctors decided not to because of what he had already been thru. He was a sickly kid with lifelong allergies and asthma.
Growing up with my dad and mom was confusing. He was warmer than my mom but l felt like l was living with a tiger that l never knew when he would find or see something that l was doing to verbally attack or ground me for. Also the disgusted looks and the not knowing what would set him off was such a felt sense of threat that still lives in my body today. He did not spank hit drink or do drugs. He was a collage English professor who lived to listen and record opera. Wagner was his favorite. My bedtime stories were told by him as Poe on the table with the pendulum swinging ever closer, closer to cut him in half. Also greek myths as bedtime stories.
I knew my dad was gay long before I knew what that meant. My best friend in grade school l later learned was gay, My best friend in my teens turns out he was gay too. When I was in my late 20s I asked my dad if he loved himself. He said no as he was such a burden to his parents with him being so sick as a kid. Another time when he changed his major from science to English, his dad said to him, only fancy men are English professors and he was not happy with my dad. When l was 36 l asked my dad if he was gay he said no but l do have homo erotic fantasies. I asked him if mom knew and he said I don’t know why don’t you ask her. I said ok. it was late and as l lay in bed I thought to myself no I’m not going to ask mom. That is not my job to be your emotional regulator. My mom told me the next day that dad talked to her about his fantasies and she said it was no big deal for her.
I have more to tell and I am tired so will stop for now.
PS I have spent my life avoiding the need to wright as my dad was not a good teacher for us kids when it came to the hell of writing thank you letters and the check marks in the margins of things that needed to be corrected of said letters.
thank you for sharing this Laura. I presume the context for it is the possible parallels between your father’s trauma and his sexual orientation?
Thank you for responding Jason yes I believe his surgical trauma create his life long health problems his sexual preference and his covert narcissist personality traits. I’m also guessing there was mother stuff even though he said they had a great relationship. He wrote to her every week for the rest of her life and named me after her. Sigh, I only saw her two or three times as a young child so I don’t know much about her. Grandad died when I was 5. I have always had a live and let live attitude especially when it comes to people on the fringes. I like men yet I feel like I’ve been a fringe dweller my whole life. (In A good and interesting way) I’ve always asked why and still do. To understand how my childhood affected me and how their childhoods have affected my friends and the people I love. My dad died at 92 quickly within a week of becoming ill the way he wanted to . I grieved the loss of my father years before he died, he was not wired to be the father I needed as a child. It wasn’t because of his gayness that I struggled so much in my relationships It did not help me.
In 2013 I dated a Bob for a year and a half and after I told him to leave. I googled the behaviors I was doing in the relationship that were not me . And Up came stories about covert narcissism . In all my years of searching self-help and counseling, narcissist personality never came up. I thought I knew what a narcissist was as in the Greek myth of Narcissis .
What a revelation, Bob, i’ll just call him Bob was a covert narcissist. As I learned more and understood their behaviors and traits, I went back through past relationships friends and romantic all the way back dad. My autonomic nervous system was wired to draw in or me too gay and bi men and one transgendered m to f covert narcissistic roommate. Also at least one covert narc female friend, or more. I prefer my own company or the company of men not too many female friends sadly. Thought I had mom issues, could be.
I must say wrighting is very hard for me. I appreciate how well you write Jasun. I have a few more paragraphs to go before l finish. But will stop for tonight.