Nu comme le jour où je suis né

Month: January 2013

Dawn Meditation Along the Caribbean

Dawn meditation along the Caribbean

We only have a few days left in our colourful casa near Puerto Morelos before we head off to Belize. It took my wife’s encouragement for me to go out to the end of a pier to meditate for the sunrise. She took this photo while I meditated. I am surprised at how little time I spent nude. Our casa is about three kilometres from the centre of the town via the beach. When we walk to town for a few groceries, we pass by a nudist resort called Desires. There are nude bodies on the beach and in the water by the resort, but nowhere else.

Both of us are enjoying this location where we get to do some incredible snorkelling. Though we are excited to go to a new country, we are going to miss this place.

Images as Symbols

As you likely have noticed, I always seem to be using images in my posts here on SkyClad  Therapist. As a therapist, images play an important role in my work with those coming for some kind of assistance. Images often are able to unlock those spaces within which we have all buried things, things that don’t really go way in spite of being locked away. The images I choose come from both a conscious and unconscious place from within me. And, this is the same thing that happens to each of us when we get caught up, even momentarily, in an image. If an image brings a strong positive or negative reaction, then something deep within us has been activated. For therapy purposes, these are the images that demand more attention as they provide a key to the hidden contents.

“Symbolic images are not stored in the psyche somewhere to be released when the need arises. They occur on the interface between individual and environment, through the interaction of archetypes with perceptions and experiences.” (Van Eenwyk, Archetypes and Strange Attractors, p. 89)

Madonna and Child

Archetypes – think of the shadow, think of the saint, think of mother earth or holy mother, think of the harlot or the evil witch – these are words as well as images that evoke powerful responses from us, positive and negative responses. And the heat of those responses tell more about our inner selves than they do of the images or words themselves.

Our responses to nudity, the unclothed human is worth noting. For some the response is simple curiousity. For others it might be a scene that somehow doesn’t evoke any response as though the nudity is not significant enough to warrant a response. For a large group, perhaps the majority, it elicits a sense of discomfort and unease, one wonders where to put one’s eyes and how to respond. And for another significant group, nudity evokes over-the-top anger and rage.  The same image, just an image, reveals so much of the viewer through the viewer’s response.

Maggie Gyllenhaal breastfeeding

So what does it say when a significant and loud portion of humanity reacts with anger in seeing a mother breast-feeding her child? What does it say when a large portion of humanity reacts with lust to another woman’s breast, especially barely covered, when used for advertising purposes? Our responses are anything but rational.

A group of young men skinny dipping is viewed as simply “boys being boys” while the image of a man in midlife seen skinny dipping is viewed as a “sexual offender” who has no regard for the sensibilities of others. The images are simply images, even if those images are breathing scenes from life. The responses to those scenes, those images are the food for thought.

What is a Real Man?

A male in the human species bears XY sex chromosomes, The male is also known as the heterogametic sex. If a human has an XX pattern of sex chromosomes, that person is a female, or as the homogametic sex. Now, one would think that the science of genetics would solve the issue of what it is to be a man (an adult male) or a woman (an adult female), but such is not the case. Even in the world of science, the issue is muddied almost to the point of being nonsensical. There are a number of ways that the patterns get disrupted producing a variety of beings that are still male or female or sterile or hermaphrodites.

The image of the circle with the protruding arrow represents the male. This symbol also represent the Roman god Mars as well as representing the planet Mars. This symbol is also the alchemical symbol for iron. One could even say that it arrow represents an erect penis, the state from which an adult male could enter an adult female to produce a child.

So, what is a real man anyway? Is manliness determined by facial and or body hair, the musculature, size of one’s penis, the number of woman with whom one has engaged in sex (or with men), the amount of money or power he has in society, the type of car he drives, the presence or absence of body piercings or tattoos, or the possession and use of a gun (or other weapon of choice)? If one was to use the evidence of popular magazines in our western culture, any and perhaps all of these would qualify a man to be considered as a real man. Can the absence of all of these allow one to still be a real man?

Now, questions such as I have posed above are not really about poking fun at the issue. There are serious things that need to be discussed. Men deserve real answers that seem to be hidden. But to begin, we need to ask these questions with seriousness.

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