We had exams yesterday and each person who finished retired to the kitchen for snacks and/or conversation before leaving. When it was over I took up my post bracing the water dispenser as there was no more room left at the table. I watched them eat ice cream, mocha chocolate cake, tortillas and sour cream dip, and drank water. All that sugar and salt makes you thirsty. Conversation was brief about exam. Relief that it was over. It then drifted to relationships, personal to some extent, but more about clients. I shared with them a recent experience. Went over to that high place to see a client who promised to call back after checking his schedule. After half hour and no call, I went to sleep. Awoke to find a voice message. I did a 400-yard dash to catch him before he went off to dinner. I sat in the lobby watching his approach. He was the proudest thing on two legs. He had to have come straight out of a military academy. We greeted and I felt he was standing too close. Seemed like he is accustomed to being in charge and was already asserting his presence. Or he could have been nearsighted. We got into the elevator (not before I saw the poster advertising $900 and $1200 massage treatments) and off to his room. There was some talk of him being a countryman of mine. Blah, bla. Nice to run into the highfalutin ones every now and then. He identified the areas requiring attention having been out of the gym for a few months and recently returned. Acknowledged. I went to wash my hands and he was ready when I returned. I asked if he need a towel since I’d prefer him out of his underpants. No. He took them off and tossed them. Massage begun. I do declare, had he gone back to the gym another day without a massage he would have ruptured something. The man was as tight as a drum.
Having labored to soften him up, and achieved some degree of such, I headed back to the washroom. And there he was, standing behind me, too close again, watching us in the mirror. His hand touched my waist. You’ve got to be kidding me. He was the boldest little Indian man I have ever met. Did we bond so well? He advised that he had two more hours before dinner. Really? After I played Usain and darted over there dinner was suddenly not urgent anymore? And, he would prefer that I stay the time with him. Doing what, pray tell? The massage was over. He felt we could both discover the what together. I was still processing that he was young, Indian, petite, over-confident, soft-toned, with a deliberate eloquence all in one. That was illegal. Laughter was the only response I could come up with. I moved out of his reach and headed over to my bag to put away my things, and put on my sandals. When I straightened up he stood in front of me. He inched closer. Intimidation tactic? I did not move. He moved closer still. It was not hesitation, but more like he was giving me time to process his presence. Toes touching, his head leaned forward. Okay, the man is serious. I stepped back. I said: You are very bold, you know that? Is that good or bad? He asked. It has obviously worked for you, so my opinion doesn’t matter. He remarked that I gave him the best butt massage he’s had in a long time. So this was all some reaction to a butt massage? Well, to his credit he did have a butt for touching, I mean massaging. He had a figure that would wear one of those binikis nicely while he paraded on stage flexing his muscles. No, he advised. It was not the butt massage entirely, it was me. Me? Okay, that’s a 2-hour story right there. I needed to leave. I wished him an enjoyable dinner and opened the door. No hugs? He inquired. Sure! And there I was, in the doorway embracing a naked man. The possibility of someone passing did not seem to trouble him.
From one frying pan into another. When I got into the taxi I slouched on the back seat. Home, a long shower, and food were on my mind. The driver turned around and looked at me. Good night, he said. Thought we greeted before. Okay. Good night, I responded. You know, every time I on de Stand and you show up I does jump. I raised my brows. I told him so long as he does not jump out of his clothes or his skin it’s fine, because that would be challenging on the eyes. He said I was kicksing and he’s talking serious thing. Okay. I’m listening. He related how something inside him moves when he sees me. That could be anything from his stomach to his bowels. He shook his head from side to side. Then we’d have to go higher…or lower. He smiled. I suggested that we pick a day when he will make love to whoever he usually does, and I will come walking up the street shortly after, and he will look out the window at me, then he will let me know if he felt the buzz. I suggested that he might not as the desire that he wishes to impose of me would have abated. He asked if I was God to know that his feelings would change. Yes, I am God-enough to know. The DNA on the hands that knead the dough is in the bread. If God made me then I get to be niscient. Still working on the om.
Later, as I reclined in the ambiance of my room I recounted the conversations and a part of me thought they were stupid. Then I remembered that what we call stupid is expression, and stupidity is actually repression. Okay, nice to know that I am having encounters with folks who feel free to express themselves. Psychologists tell us that stupidity starts around age seven. Age four would be a better shot, but it’s in your face by seven. This is because the child begins trading his/her individuality for imitation, and gains approval for perfecting such. Then we wonder at the lack of authenticity in relationships. How can I be my authentic self as an adult when the adult I am is a perfected act I’ve been working on since I was about seven? Had I stayed the two hours with my client it might have been perfect providing he acted like I was the only girl in the world. And if I had gone off the deep end with the taxi driver it might have been perfect providing I was able to continuously have him abuzz. And while I toy with the ideas, somewhere every moment promises of the sort are being made that cannot be kept because acts do not go on forever. Actors go offstage and remove their costumes, and promises get thrown to the wind for they were made during a certain act and scene. Yet we expect the infinite act. That’s some major repression going on there. But we don’t care, we challenge each other to keep up the act for our comfort, for the children, for the longevity of the relationship, etc.
When do we ever catch a break? When we are alone. The ego is a classic. It stands erect and asserts itself once another person is present. It reminds us what is expected of us and insists that we get into character. When we are alone, or with a pet (a non-person) it relaxes. When we are having massages and 5, 10 minutes into the session we realise that the Therapist is nurturing and poses no threat, it relaxes. Hence as Therapists we get a brief view of our clients in their sugar-coated costume, then the authentic self shows up. Being authentic for lengthy periods is easier said than done. But to imitate is to miss life, so we try. One of the ways we can be our own being is to rid ourselves of repressions. Ha! Who can say: I have cleansed myself of all my sins/repressions? Proverbs asks. Aspects of society dictate that we keep up the act, but with family and loved ones we need to be authentic. If we have practiced our way into the repressed bundles that we are today, we can practice our way out of it. Trying to be positive here. Otherwise we’d be anxiously looking over their shoulders saying: I rebuke you Satan! Get behind me! I rebuke you! The logic is if the Devil is a liar then we don’t have to acknowledge our repression. It was an old Christian lady who said: Omiguay, poor Satan. Deh blame Satan fuh everything. And my Pastor was keen enough to make that a sermon, repeatedly. And while we get right on with the business of concretizing repressions, someone somewhere is living expressively.
Sex is the strongest desire we have and it is undoubtedly the most repressed which is why we are so often drowning in our fantasies. What’s even better is we justify such with talk of God’s approval. God approves repression? I remember a song that says: God weeps along with man, take them by the hand, tears are a language God understands. Preposterous! That is if we consider that God is not a person, but an energy. The implication is that energy has no considerations for individuals. Whatever happens to a person occurs impartially. Think of the tree by a river. It grows and flourishes. If it falls, the strong current of the river carries it downstream for a bumpy ride. Do we attribute the experiences of the tree to the river? The river was there before and after the tree and never once concerned itself with the condition of the tree. It just flows. It was not specially nourishing the tree or taking time out to carry it along with its current. But, we believe what we believe, hence God gets pulled into the rights and wrongs of our sexual thoughts and activities and is purported to condone some depending on the who, where, how, when and what is done, and He disapproves others by the same criteria and specially takes timeout to label them: SIN. Poor man, what a repressed state he has found himself in through his avoidance of that label, yet he inevitable wears it well. If we believe the river deliberately nourished us, or caught us when we fell and embraced us on our journey downstream, so be it. But the river is not concerned about garbage or towering ships it carries. It neither prefers one experience nor the other, not labelling either good or bad. We label, we prefer. The flourishing tree is good and had God’s favour. The fallen tree is bad because to fall is synonymous with sin.
Our flow is interrupted when we are repressed. Having worked with many geriatrics I see that we cannot return to our Creator in this state. There is an involuntary welling up of deep-seated matters that are eschewed at some very inappropriate times and places. But they have to come out. They have many moments of self-hatred for they know themselves to be better than what they eschewed, yet for years they had embodied atrocities they publicly try to disown. And having arrived at this very humbling position, they expect to be judge and rejected. And they get that response too. Then they are back to their usual well-mannered self and would hope that all they did and said that was disagreeable are forgotten. If we pay attention we’d see that this disparity comes naturally several times a day. It is dictated by our biology with the mechanism of breathing being one aspect of its expression. The yogic perspective also confirms that our breathing changes every forty minutes, or thereabout. When we breathe from the right nostril, the attribute of the left side of the brain are activated, and when we breathe from the left the right side of the brain is activated. No part of us can deal with a prolonged act or tension, so Our Creator in His/Her wisdom devised a way for half of the brain to rest every forty minutes to allow the systems controlled by that side to experience rest. When we add old age to a relaxed brain there are things that cannot be held back, nice or nasty, expression is inevitable.
I believe that science acknowledges the effects breathing has on our behavior, but we are advised in subtle ways. For example, school. Isn’t there some science in class periods being 45 minutes long? Someone had to know that that was the limit. And Teachers would testify to how they struggle with keeping the students’ attention during double periods. And how are the subjects arranged? Mathematics, then Art or English B, or something similar. We get some logic and some artistic. Both sides of the brain are used. If the student is drawn to logic, then double period Maths is perfect. If that student is artistic, the second period of Maths would suffocate them. As we advance to higher institutions of learning we are expected to display more discipline and go against the natural rhythm by studying one particular subject for a prolonged period. Biology puts up a fight, but society tells the mind it is beyond childish practice of a short concentration span. And because we want to look good in the eyes of everyone we make great efforts to run with the horses. And we stumble, so we still look bad. As Therapists we have a 45-minute window to affect change. We are there when the client transitions from one side of brain to the other. What are we doing with this scope?
We can also consider the man who sits holding his spouse’s hand. He is in love. Totally in love. Sooner than he suspects he will ease his hand out of hers for his thoughts have changed. He is unaware that half of his brain has gone into rest mode and the next half has begun asserting its priorities. He is now processing the strange sound his car was making earlier and is prompted to investigate it. She wants to stay wrapped in the romantic moment and is disturbed by his withdrawal. A silent conflict is stirred. But she might have sooner or later released his hand and inquired whether she looked her best as she suddenly began analyzing herself. He withdrew first not necessarily because he had a change first, he just responded to his before she did. She probably did not want to spoil the moment which – they both realized – has passed. The whole of existence ebbs and flows while we try to cement moments. The education system needs to be redesigned to empower us to retain our childhood spontaneity until we die so that there is less making of a promise in one breath, and breaking it in the next. It is not immediately obvious that it is broken, but we can feel it and we struggle to hold it tightly together so that no one sees the breach widening for fear of criticize and/or ostracized. Then we tire and let it go, and brace ourselves for the consequences.
Our identification with biology and society makes us frustrated, so we need an alternative position. We need to somehow be outside of ourselves and watch ourselves participate in life, every now and then at least, to remain sane. Let’s take that same man and woman and keep them romantic. They are so in love that the only thing they can make with the ingredients they have is love. So they are making love. It is not a logical process. And the phenomenon of an orgasm occurs. Yoga says if you can see the brain you will notice that the two hemispheres are very close together during an orgasm. Id and ego dissolves for a moment and there is no him and her. This oneness is not seen as the separatelessness of the two, but one as in each being a whole person. He/she is now totally themselves. The orgasm is happening within each and is not related to the other. Sure, they each act as a trigger for the other’s orgasm, but it is an exclusive, private matter. Like breathing, no one can do it for you, so too while the reactions to the orgasm can be observed by one’s partner, it cannot be participated in by the other and is no greater or lesser than if the other was not there. Ouch! We surely do not want to accept or analyze this, for if we do we will have to agree that deep down, all orgasm is masturbatory. Our partner is just a prop, or excuse to get us into our total mode. And if we can see that then we might suddenly see the scores of persons who we can use as props too, but then that would interfere with our promises to love one and only one person. Thus we remain repressed until our one-and-only is willing to play prop again.
In truth, I love you is I love how you make me feel. I am bursting with anticipation of engaging your help. I love how good you are at helping me get to that place where I am oblivious to you. All the good things I am doing are geared to sweeten you up so that you will agree to get me there again. I love you means I am committing to doing whatever it takes to keep you in a happy/orgasmic state so that you can do the same for me. If you have to worry about money, that makes you unhappy, so I will give you money. If you need a listening ear, I’ll lend both of mine so that you can talk to your heart’s content. It is most impractical to consistently live up to the demands of such commitments. Some of you might have heard of Delgado who used electrodes on the brain operated by remote control to solicit certain responses from lab cats/rats. Well boy oh boy, when the rat realized which button on the remote to press to get an orgasm, it did nothing else. It did not eat or drink. It pressed it over and over and got so high it died. Sounds like human behavour to me. If you give us a chance we will wind our way to glory. But there is need for mixed moods if we are to stay here and fulfil our purposes, though rushing off to heaven after our hundredth orgasm has much appeal. Switch the breathing, switch the brain functions, keep them busy. It’s a divine plan.
One of the things Delgado’s experiments taught us was that orgasms have nothing to do with our genitals. It’s all in the brain. The mystic knows more, but we will go with that theory. It was found that if the connection from the genitals to the brain is blocked, we would still have an orgasm, but there will be no joy attached to it. When we add the brain, the joy of the experience will return. And here I remember a client who spoke of having orgasms during meditation. A technocrat who dated sparingly. Every now and then a woman tickles his fancy and he invites her out to lunch. If she bores him over lunch, she never sees his door. If she makes it to his door, then he has to devise means of keeping her away from it because there is always an encore being sung of his performance. What she is unaware of is that he brings that disciplined witness of himself to the session so that he has greater control over his physical body and can get through all the tricks in the book before the curtains come down. And while her praises strokes his ego, he finds the combination of peace and pleasure that his meditation brings more rewarding. Who said the pious is void of orgasms? I think I wrote of him a few years ago, the guy who ejaculates during meditation. An occurrence that is more common than we realise.
If we could have linked up with Delgado now, we could have him tap our brain, collect our remote control and return home smiling. When we arrive home we can press that button and it would trigger certain centers in the brain that are directly stimulated by sexual energy, and ta-da!, there goes our orgasm. No need for the making up and breaking up of relationships. So before we voice those words I Love You again, let’s think about what we really mean. Because if those words are about the pleasure we hope to achieve, then love has nothing to do with it. It has nothing to do with anyone outside our head. Another area in which this can be seen is the realm of pornography, it directly stimulates the brain. It has nothing to do with whether the participants are ugly or pretty. The brain is more interested in the perceived beauty of their forms. Body shapes and movements are the engaging factors.
Now I return to that third party. The mystic knows that despite all this, the joy of an orgasm is not exactly experienced by the brain or genitals, but by the part of us looking at us. That witness standing behind both sides of the brain and views the whole operation. (It is no light matter that we are encompassed about by a great cloud of witnesses. No chance of privacy in this universe). If the witness has a male bias, then the orgasm will not be so great. If it has a female bias, it will be a little better. But it is the balanced view that allows for the wow! experience. Oh the bliss! Anand, according to the Hindus. So maybe, if you are attending yoga classes at places with names that include Anand (hello my dear!) and you are not coming out of there totally high, ask for a refund. When clients request a happy ending, we should start referring them to yoga studios – yoga was designed to get us into that blissful state.
So perhaps my naked client was so bold because he was witnessing our interaction and was already high, and just waiting for me to recognize that he was a most willing prop. On a…more…serious note, if witnessing ourselves (whether during sex or other activities) becomes a natural, spontaneous orgasmic activity, what is the need for sex? Hmmm. But on this journey of our lives which is likened to a ladder, sex has been deliberately placed as the first round. The attitude should not be to get past it as if it is some kind of an inconvenience, but to use it to get to where we are going. So let’s step up. If we are still standing on the first round, good for us. If we have been there and are now at the round above, good for us. Either way, we’re on…our way.
Watching the world from our window of life
Can we see all there is that is real, that is right?