I have been writing about shame for a long time. About how patriarchy created societies where everyone was ashamed of the emotional and sexual aspects of their lives because these conflicted with other qualities—strength, intelligence, obedience—that were required to ensure survival.

This shame exists as layers of emotional toxins stored in both the emotional body—what is sometimes termed the ‘pain body’—and the physical body. As we release the emotional blocks around our shame, our body releases the physical debris and detoxifies.

Over time we feel lighter and less stressed. Our desire for meat and other anaesthetics like alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, noise, and mindless entertainment diminishes. So does our capacity to watch violent films. We are losing density. We are leaving the patriarchy.

Peeling the onion

But repealing shame is like peeling the layers of an onion. Each successive layer is more tightly packed into our core. Just when we think we’re reaching the end of the rabbit hole, it gets deeper. We hit a new level—along with the unexpressed pain associated with it. (See The mechanics of emotional pain, Parts I and II.)

Eventually we reach the end of our shame around our emotions and sexuality. Sexual shame is particularly difficult to release, for two reasons. The first is that inappropriate sexual expression is the great bugbear of patriarchy.

Genesis

It’s no coincidence that Genesis, the founding book of the Bible, is almost entirely about sex. I’ve written about the ancestral traumas associated with the birth of patriarchy, as well as the impact patriarchy has on our sexual behaviour.

The second reason is that issues must be resolved at their source. As Leonard Shlain documents in The Alphabet Versus the Goddess, patriarchy creates left-brain dominant, intellect-dominant individuals who wishfully believe that thinking can solve all their problems.

The healing journey teaches us otherwise. We must deal with issues at their source: we must think our way out of logic issues, feel our way out of emotional issues and fuck our way out of sexual ones. We must activate our sexual energy field—which means getting up close and personal with someone else—to truly reach the core of our buried sexual issues.

Vanishing point

Finally, we reach the vanishing point. The Ground Zero of shame: the shame of existence. A fundamental shame that we are alive, that air circulates through our lungs, that we consume resources, and that we take up space on the planet.

Finally, we reach the vanishing point. The Ground Zero of shame: the shame of existence. A fundamental shame that we are alive, that air circulates through our lungs, that we consume resources, and that we take up space on the planet.

The fundamental quality of patriarchy is division: good/bad, us/them, in/out. Those of us sensitive enough to be aware of how deeply our emotional and sexual selves transgress against patriarchal expectations fall foul of this.

We are born into a society whose standards of physical, emotional and sexual violence we are unable to maintain. We are ‘bad’, we are ‘them’, we are ‘out’. As R.D. Laing writes, “We are born into a world where alienation awaits us.” And so we make the journey to be truly out of the toxic hell of patriarchy. Ultimately that leads to the vanishing point: we are ashamed of even existing.

Like all the other shames, let it go. Breathe and release. Breathe and release. It’s just another waypoint on the journey to genuine freedom.

Photo by Ian Espinosa on Unsplash