Excerpt About Genitals
Other than the well-known Freudian theory of the castration complex, which is more a description of how the mind relates to the experience of a blocking or deficiency in the genital area than a causal explanation of the hole, there may be several factors which contribute to the importance of the phenomenon of the genital hole in the self-image. Both the genital pleasure of orgasm and the symbiotic pleasure of nursing that releases the orgastic reflex in the infant involve a “melting” of the boundaries of experience, and often a sense of merging with another person. This may be experienced as somehow a direct threat to the sense of the individual’s constructed self-image. The orgasm is often referred to as “le petit mort”—the little death. As we have seen many times, the dissolution of boundaries always involves the arising of space, and the functioning of sexuality involves a flow of being which tends to temporarily dissolve boundaries and would thus tend toward the experience of space. The causality could go any number of ways in this complex; for instance, blocking the flow of physical and subtle energies in the genitals could be motivated by the attachment to the sense of rigid self-boundaries, and so be seen as a defense against the dissolving effects of space which would arise if the flow were allowed. Both Freud and Wilhelm Reich wrote a great deal about the cultural factors and childrearing practices which lead to blocks in sexuality. In our work it is clear, both experientially and theoretically, that the blocking of both space and essence in the genitals is a critical issue in our work on the dissolution of the various levels of self-image.