The Right to Dream: Defying a Kafkaesque society

By Lynnea Urania Stuart

 

Transpeople are a people of dreams.  I’m convinced of that, even if many transpeople I know have shut themselves off from their dreams.  Doing so is a mistake.  Some of us awakened to our trans nature through dreams because, if we listen to them and understand them rightly, they don’t lie.  In fact a Jewish maxim says, “A dream is one-sixtieth part of prophecy.”1

More than that, dreams should be cherished and cultivated.  This may be difficult for some people to understand because most people think that a dream is something you have, not something you do.  But working with dreams can be richly rewarding, offering greater meaning to life as a whole.  As a result, they contribute to our overall health.

Society has long repressed our capacity to dream, delegating them to something laughable.  When Simon and Garfunkel sang, “The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls and tenement halls,” exactly who were the prophets?  Weren’t they the voices of the inner personae struggling to find expression in a Kafkaesque society that delegates those voices to the most banal and impoverished blight?2  When we ignore that voice, it may surface in a nightmare one may not successfully shake.  How then, should we make friends with this voice and tap into its creative energy?

 

THE DREAM GENERA

Years ago when I wrote The Téssara, I developed my philosophy within a theory of dreaming and priestly practices.  The Téssara was never released to the market in its full form, largely because its esoteric aspects were overly substantive.  But in that book I cataloged 40 species of dream mechanisms in 5 genera:

  1. Hypnagogia: dream phenomena occurring prior to entry into Stage I sleep
  2. REM: dream phenomena occurring during the final stage of sleep associated with Rapid Eye Movements
  3. Trance: dream phenomena when engaged in waking but altered states of awareness with eyes closed
  4. Eidetic: dream phenomena when awake and eyes open
  5. Comatose: a loosely defined genus mostly consisting of phenomena during comatose conditions and at sleep stages not normally associated with dreams.3

Some of these terms may be completely new to some people, especially if they have grown up with the belief that dreams only happen during REM sleep.  They clearly aren’t so restricted.  In fact, Sigmund Freud wrote about hypnagogic (sleep admitting) dreams in his monumental work The Interpretation of Dreams and quoted a series of experiments by F.M.A. Maury pertaining to the incubation of hypnagogic dreams.  Incubation is the practice of inducing a particular theme in a dream through some kind of stimulus.4

Trance states are most commonly encountered through transcendental meditation but also include such phenomena as guided imagery, psychometry, mediumistic and shamanic trance states, and certain forms of pathworking.5

Eidetic phenomena are more widely reported in children than adults, the latter of which only 12% report.  It consists of actually seeing images in the visual field when one thinks a certain way.  Skrying, hypnapompic (sleep dismissing) imagery, visions in ritual work, tulpas, and the “Sorcerer’s Dream” are all eidetic phenomena.6

Those of the Comatose group include night terrors, eroto-comatose lucidity, hyperventilative lucidity, and the near death experience.7

 

FACING THE DREAM

Two things prevent many transpeople from giving attention to their dream lives: (1) a general lack of motivation to dream due to obsession with daily affairs and (2) a basic fear of dreams that they would only be nightmares instead.  Of these, the second is the one less prone to remedy because fear can become the greatest of all obsessions that choke out natural innocence.  The dreamworker is an intrepid soul, one who has learned not to “crap out” when faced with the “shadows of the night.”

A shadow figure may appear for good reason and a dreamer would be amiss to ignore it.  Psychologist M.L. von Frantz described the shadow as representing, “little known attributes and qualities of the ego aspects” belonging to one’s own “personal sphere” that may take a life of sorts.  In other words, it could “just as well be conscious.”8

The shadow sounds like a demon and in a personal level that’s exactly what it is, though not a demon in the same way as one might encounter through a Goetic treatise like the Greater Key of Solomon.9 The shadow personifies one’s dark side that must be faced, at times fight, and at times embrace.  It is, after all, one’s dark side, and in its strange way is close to God.

 

GETTING IN TOUCH

Virtually everyone has dreams and those who think they don’t simply don’t remember them.  Dreams have an effervescent quality that could dissipate into forgetfulness as soon as someone looks for a claw hammer to smash the alarm clock to smithereens in the morning.  Remembering requires attention, even mindfulness.

 Nothing cultivates this better than a simple dream diary assisted with a few pages on a clipboard with some key points of a dream jotted down immediately upon waking and reviewed the next day.  Those jottings jog the memory and aspects of the dream return.  Further details reveal themselves when the dreamer “fleshes out” the story in the dream diary.

The dreams most easily observed are hypnagogic dreams. Encountering hypnagogic dreams are easier than you might think.  This writer became aware of them in 1972 by accident when falling into slumber after returning home from school and noting the time on the clock.  Then, realizing a dream had taken place, I looked again at the clock and saw that only 2 minutes had passed.  If dreams happen only in REM sleep and it takes maybe 90 minutes to get to the point of REM sleep, why did that dream happen in those 2 minutes?

So after repeating the event several times, I compiled a list of 18 such dreams of short duration and brought them to school the next day.  An classmate in Biology class claimed dreams only happen in REM.  I disputed this and produced those 18 dreamlets as examples.  The instructor seized the opportunity and began to coach us in dream interpretation, something that would also assist me in literary interpretation.  After all, our literatures not only begin with experiences in waking and with philosophic perspectives but also begin with our dreams.

Once one learns to recognize a hypnagogic dream, one can go the next step: choosing a dream subject.  This is surprisingly easy to do.  Simply hold a thought about the subject one may choose to dream while entering that “fuzzy state” between waking and sleep and the dream will assimilate the subject the dreamer holds in his thoughts.  This is incubation of hypnagogic dreams and can lead to other methods of incubation as well.

Something else happens when one takes on such exercises.  As one works with hypnagogic dreams, dreams in REM also start to come alive.  Within a couple of weeks, a dream life can reveal its richness even after years of silencing through inattentiveness.

 

MOVING TOWARD LUCIDITY

Of course it’s pointless to simply see dreams happening.  We must also understand and transcend them.

Left to themselves, dreams recall memory traces and resort them based upon emotional tags via the hippocampus.10 This sorting and resorting of information helps to keep the cerebrum relatively compact.  In comparison, the echidna, an animal that does not dream, requires a proportionately much higher ratio than human brains in the size of its cerebrum in comparison with other brain structures.11

Those emotional tags imbue memory traces with energy that become a big factor in why certain memory traces get recalled as numinous dream elements at any stage of life.  If those energies resonate with an emotionally charged issue, even if immediately hidden, it could jar the dreamer into emotional shock.  This return, called “regression” (literally a reversal of synapses from the motor faculties to the perceptual to return memory traces to the Preconscious) forms the core of Freudian theory with respect to dreams.  When Freud described this in The Interpretation of Dreams, he achieved something monumental.  He established a workable theory that still resonates today, a theory that set him apart from the oneirocrits of antiquity.12

But apart from working through issues with a psychiatrist, what can the dreamer do to overcome the issues he faces?  Enter lucid dreaming.

Lucidity is a state in which a dreamer is no longer bound by the dream.  He realizes in a dream that he is, in fact, in a dream and is fully awake within the dream.  The dreamer realizes some starkly exciting changes in the dreamscape.  The dream becomes intensely lifelike, even luminous.  The dreamer is free to consciously explore the dreamscape and dream scenario, doing as he wishes.  He can rationally overcome shadowy elements in his dream.  The experience is like walking through a motion picture screen and living what’s on the other side in stark 3-dimensional clarity.13

Lucidity can be achieved in REM by declaring, “I’m dreaming!”  The dreamer may repeat this, with the clarity associated with lucidity responding accordingly.14

A dreamer can also achieve lucidity from hypnagogic episodes.  In one common technique, the dreamer must quickly find his dream hands.  One may encounter a surge of energy by doing so.  But the dream can also be sustained by taking quick glances to various objects in the dreamscape and back to the hands.  This has the effect of stabilizing the dream in full lucidity and, at the same time, extending the life of the dream to the duration of dreams in REM sleep.  But this happens directly from waking.15

 

BENEFITS OF CONNECTING WITH THE DREAM

For all their zaniness, few things inspire as much as a dream; and as many as embrace their dreams may awaken to the greater Dream.  Dreams not only offer immense creative potential and can promote health, they also raise philosophical questions of their own, questions which address life’s meaning.

One of those questions pertains to the soul.  The soul, beyond being a blend of body and breath as a link to consciousness, can hardly be demonstrated to one lacking experience.  It’s like trying to prove the existence of God with theorems or the blueness of the sky to a man blind from birth: a fruitless exercise.

However, the experience of lucidity and the explorations implied thereby raise the issue of the soul all over again.  When engaging in practices like pathworking, rising through the planes and entering levels beyond astral projection, one encounters states beyond those reminiscent of Alice Through the Looking Glass.16 Different levels seem to operate by different rules.  One also encounters the flow of energy from a higher unity to lower plurality.

It’s reminiscent of Schopenhauer’s unitary description of the noumenon.17 Ever since Parmenides filled the Greek world with the Eleatic idea of everything being an ultimate unity, philosophers have pondered the differences between things that are (noumenal) and things as they appear (phenomenal).18

It also addresses the state of the person whose consciousness penetrates to higher levels.  Kabbalists refer to this differing state in terms of the soul as an inductive realization in 3 basic levels.

The first, a nefesh, consists of the union of a body or a corpse (gūf) with breath or “spirit” (ruach).  At death the nefesh no longer exists.

The second, (ruach), pertains not only to breathing, but the faculties of thought and consciousness which may be expressed or continue in a neutralized state.  In lucidity, thought is cultivated in a fully conscious manner.  By exercising lucidity, the ruach strengthens.

But the ruach, when it faces the unity of the noumenon, must undergo a further change.  This is what Kabbalists call the “neshamah.”  Kabbalah addresses this neshamah in 3 ways:

  1. A lesser neshamah in which the greater neshamah builds understanding of the noumenon;
  2. A chiah in which life faculties become subjugated to a singularity;
  3. A yechidah which alone unites with that noumenal unity and is itself actually that unity because no “one and another” exists in a state of pure unity.19

The yechidah reaches a state that might be thought of as reaching the door of the cave in Plato’s Allegory of the Cave in Book VII of The Republic.20 When approaching the soul this way, the realization thereof isn’t deduced from another principle.  It’s an inductive approach based upon powerful experiences.  While experiences don’t prove anything to the next person, it’s a different matter when those powerful experiences are your own.

In the process, issues of ethics become important in ways one may not have previously considered.  Ethics become facilitating energies that enable one to reach higher.  In this context, things like charity, sacrifice, faith, and hope become ethical acts and virtues that do more than just keeping people out of jail.  They’re rewards not comprehended by those who fear their dreams.

For those who pray, those prayers can also become vehicles of transcendence.  The dream with a negative energy will burst when the dreamer prays.  But the dream with a positive energy will intensify instead.  The prayer becomes the teacher.21

 

THE BIRTHRIGHT

Like it or not, humans are dreamers.  It’s our right to dream, not by decree but by birthright.  It’s a birthright full of a sacred responsibility to defy a society that diminishes their import and delegates them to silence.  That’s no less true for transpeople whose dreams awakened us to our gender issues.  We can fear them.  We can cultivate them.  Only the latter yields benefits.

In understanding them we need to respect them as we would any teacher, knowing that the rewards are more favorable than consequences of resistance.  The fountain of creativity lies deep within us all and that fountain must be honored for it to flow freely as a blessed source of refreshment and life.

That also inspires us to honor others with respect.  When anyone dies, an inner universe literally dies with him.  How much could we preserve the enrichment of our people if we honor those who embody those worlds?

But if we should do that, we must first respect our own inner universe and listen to its messages those dreams teach.

 

Honor your dream,

And if you do,

Your dream will be waiting

There for you. 

It will.

It will.

It will.

It will.

_________________________

REFERENCES:

Featured Image:  Titania and Bottom in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, detail of a painting by Edwin Landseer (Wikimedia Commons) with a lucid dreamscape (Flickr).  The star points toward the white rabbit which has been a symbol of natural innocence since time immemorial and revived by Lewis Carroll in Alice in Wonderland.

  1. Berachot 57b, Mishnah
  2. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel. “The Sound of Silence” YouTube (posted by Jack Lim July 20, 2013 with lyrics, accessed December 12, 2017) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=–DbgPXwLlM.
  3. Stuart, Lynnea Urania. Hiereika, Ch. 3, Téssara (2008,book not to be released before the death of the author) No ISBN. p. 121, 122.
  4. Freud, Sigmund. “The Interpretation of Dreams” com (Online English version, Chapter 1C accessed December 12, 2017) https://genius.com/Sigmund-freud-the-interpretation-of-dreams-chap-1c-annotated
  5. Op. cit, pp. 130-135.
  6. Ibid, pp. 135-138.
  7. Ibid, pp. 138-141.
  8. Jung, C.G. Man and His Symbols (Laurel Books, Dell Publishing, a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., NY, 1968) ISBN: 0-440-35183-9, p. 174.
  9. Mathers, S.L. Macgregor. The greater Key of Solomon (Digireads, 2007) ISBN-13: 978-1420928181.
  10. Erin J. Wamsley, Ph.D. and Robert Stickgold, Ph.D. “Memory, Sleep and Dreaming: Experiencing Consolidation” NCBI (March 6, 2011, accessed December 13, 2017) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3079906/.
  11. Robert Kanigel. “Understanding Dreams the Work We Do as We Sleep” Washington Post (February 8, 1987, accessed December 13, 2017) https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/opinions/1987/02/08/understanding-dreams-the-work-we-do-as-we-sleep/445125c2-77f2-49f2-9ca4-9812dc2eda68/?utm_term=.39a4df04f639.
  12. Michael, Michael T. Freud’s Theory of Dreams: A Philosophico-Scientific Perspective (Rowman & Littlefield, 2015) ISBN-13: 978-1442230453, p. 52
  13. Waggoner, Robert. Lucid Dreaming: Gateway to the Inner Self (Red Wheel/Weiser, 2008) ISBN 1609255399, p. 6.
  14. The author relies upon her own experience, but this is also recorded by various dreamworkers including Le Berge.
  15. A process LeBerge described as “Waking Induction of Lucid Dreams” but is also described in various publications by Carlos Castaneda. Rebecca Turner. “Mnemonic Induction of Lucid Dreams (The MILD Technique)” The World of Lucid Dreaming (n.d., accessed August 2, 2017) http://www.world-of-lucid-dreaming.com/mnemonic-induction-of-lucid-dreams.html.
  16. Carroll, Lewis. Alice Through the Looking Glass ( Lot 17 Media, 2017) ISBN-13: 978-1537859699.
  17. Beiser, Frederick C. Weltschmerz: Pessimism in German Philosophy, 1860-1900 (Oxford, 2016) ISBN-13: 978-0191081347, p.. 247.
  18. Parmenides 129, 130.
  19. The author relies upon her own interaction with Kabbalists concerning these aspects.
  20. Republic 514-517.
  21. The author relies upon her own experience here.
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A Message in an E-Mail: The Heart of the Struggle for the Transgender Soul

By Lynnea Urania Stuart

 

How did I survive all this?  When I look back on all the times I could have died in obscurity, I can’t help but think that some uncanny intelligence intervened.  Is it God?  Is it the universe?  Or does this intelligence even cater to individual understanding?  I don’t think so.

Throughout the ages, many other words have described this intelligence: Spirit, Being, Noumenon, Superconsciousness… but more accurately these terms probably speak of aspects, not the fullness of an essence.  None of us fully grasp that essence.  We barely grasp our own, provided we had a chance to allow ourselves that essence to unfold in the first place, an unfolding that might be compared to a plant that unfolds from darkness to light, like the sunflower that springs up from a seed.

It might be described as a soul, more than just the union of flesh and breath: that which discovers its capacity to commune with that which is greater than one’s self, yet realizing in that communion how it’s as it were the ripple in a pond.  Its rings fan outward from a mere drop as a seed and fades into the greater vibratory milieu.  Scarcely more than analogy can speak of it.  Parables continue to elude those who haven’t tasted.  But that something in the transgender heart desires desperately to dance like that exquisite ripple and, if obstructed, will find a way to rebuild that vibration.  The struggle for the transgender soul is like that.  It’s verily the struggle for liberty.

 

AWAKENING TO INNOCENCE

I didn’t realize what I had encountered when it knocked on the windows of my soul.  It took the form of an e-mail from a friend back in 2001, a dean of Religious Studies at an east coast university.  He sought to encourage me, signing his communiqués, “With thoughts of metta.”  “Metta”, of course, is a term for “compassion” in Japanese Buddhist terms.  He said in his e-mail, “You are beautiful, smart, and also innocent.”

I demurred, remembering how in the year following being victimized by rape I had engaged so many and had never forgiven myself for my promiscuity.  I said, “I am not innocent.”

He said, “You may not see yourself as innocent because of your past.  But no matter where you may have been or what you may have done, you are innocent because you never lost your capacity to wonder, even as a little child.”

None of this made sense to me so I dismissed his words as flattery, setting the matter aside while pursuing my assessment for transition.  I wouldn’t revisit the matter for another 3 years when I faced another crisis.  For I had to choose between a life partner and the manipulations of a corporate cult that had sought to swallow up a large swath of the Southern California trans community.  This threatened me enough that I could have lost my home and even my life.  At that time I had begun to write a journal that should be found with my body perchance law enforcement would find it and needed information about me beyond just a statistic.

What I had begun to write became much more.  I revisited the issues of dreams and relationships, seeking what they all meant.  For while I might have resigned from my order of Magians only months before meeting my online friend, the issues generated by my own gnostic experiences resonate to this day.  I had to account for them and their continued relevance.

In most cases I speak of more than just having a dream.  I speak of dreaming as an intentional art.  I catalogued 40 dreaming mechanisms in 5 genera:

  • Hypnagogia: dreams occurring at the onset of sleep before Stage I.
  • REM: dreams during sleep characterized by rapid eye movements.
  • Trance: dreams during waking but with eyes closed.
  • Eidetics: dream phenomena during waking and with eyes open.
  • Coma: a loosely defined genus centered around comatose episodes and others not fitting the above categories.1

That’s when I remembered my friend’s words and for a moment it struck me how much of a gift he had unwittingly given me.  He regarded me as “innocent” in a different way from the vernacular.  I had been locked into the view in which innocence follows a legal declaration.  But suddenly I began to realize it was not so.

It eventually became a foundation for my philosophy.  I introduced the idea thus:

“There’s one trait specifically, the true innocence manifest in children, which is precious beyond all price; for by it we owe the continuance of the world.  It’s the capacity to wonder, to dream, to be in awe.  From such things we invent all that mankind has made: the affairs of state and education, the assemblies of worship, and the arts of love; for there’s nothing in our world that did not begin somewhere in a dream, including you who are also dreamers.”2

That realization set the theme of the first book I ever wrote: The Téssara.  I took the name from the Greek word for “4” (τέσσαρα), applying it to 4 sections.  That book would mean little to most people.  But that book began my philosophic journey through which I would begin to understand the stigma that had dogged me from childhood, into the university, a Bible college, and in every shop in which I would work over the decades.  It also enabled me to come to terms with my life’s meaning.  Instead of providing final information to police it affirmed my life’s purpose.  My living situation stabilized.  I built a career.

 

FACING THE IMPENETRABLE STIGMA

The stigma which so readily becomes attached to those of us who may eventually transition from male to female arises out of the judgments of others who say, “he isn’t a proper boy,” or “he’s queer,” or “he’s weird.”  Nothing I could say or do changed these perceptions.  Nothing I could imagine would be allowed any other interpreted than psychopathology.  Many religious people demand regimentation of action, speech, and even thought.  To do anything creative often invites some form of rejection or even violence.

A choice persists for all who face this stigma that hangs like a thick cloud through which light doesn’t penetrate:

  1. Does one escape violence and go with the herd?
  2. Does one embrace her/his/eir uniqueness though none would tolerate it?

The former leads into a world of games and gangs in which others always become the “king of the hill” and the religious typically sanction this.  The latter leads into a world of science and art that demands questioning through which one forever confronts dissatisfaction with dogmas and the inevitable human hypocrisies that arise concerning them.

That also confronts those phenomena that come naturally, like dreams.  My dreams awakened me at an early age to my gender identity:

“Growing up I preferred dolls to sports.  As boys attacked me I developed friendships with girls.  One night I had a dream where I looked in the bathroom mirror and a pretty girl looked back.  I felt my hair, my skin.  I was certain I had turned into a girl.  I was happier than I had ever known.  Then I awoke and saw it was a dream and wept bitterly.  I began 2 things: a lifelong study of dreams and cross-dressing.  In both cases I was desperate to bring back the girl in the mirror.”3

Many other transwomen to whom I have spoken had dreamed such a dream at an early age.  Dreams have a way of signaling life issues, often more loudly than any other activity.  Virtually all of us can recall having been zapped by a dream.  There’s a reason that happens.  The numinosity thereof screams at us through the limbic system’s emotional tags.  The hippocampus arranges and rearranges these memory traces in the dreams of the night, and if the issues represented thereby become important enough, they’re amplified even more in a surge of emotional energy that can jolt us awake with trembling.4

Though a dream may be forgotten, and in fact most are, traces may infect the course of our day or even our lives.  Knowing this, I’ve long believed that transpeople are a people of dreams, though most of them remain largely e asleep and unaware of their potency.  Many transpeople have shut out their dreams, dismissing them as entirely unreliable for any purpose.  But those dreams reveal their most basic desires, unconsciously amplified as the playback of tapes they might not understand, but are the stuff that impacts our thoughts and actions.5

 But if those dreams have been pondered and understood in terms of their emotive language, the same open to higher vistas.  Certain aspects of meditation address these things through its own lucidity as a vehicle of mindfulness.  Together they work to promote self awareness, and consequently, an awakening to a higher intelligence.

Of all spiritualities, none represent anything more fundamental or more primal than those formed about an oneiric muein.

 

ONEIRITY AND AWAKENING

Oneirity, or one’s propensity to dream, is more potent than we think.  Picture the mind as a field (agros).  Even a field at rest grows plants after the rain.  Thoughts develop much the same way, forming as they were, living networks.  Edmund Husserl described such networks of thought as noemata.  They’re more than amalgamations of sense perceptions.  Sometimes these networks touch what an individual cannot account for by any physical means and so must turn to the higher noesis whose conceptions are somewhat different, comparable to the actions of a bee as it carries pollen from one to the next.6

But if one questions thoughts to their sources, one must find them hidden in an early fixation or resonance.  It may begin with the joys of a family.  It may begin with recitation of verse.  It may begin with an insight through mathematics.  It may even begin with the imposition of a creed.  It may even begin with a dream.  These initial resonances I call a muein.  In the aforementioned list a muein may be familial, lyrical, mathematical, dogmatic, or oneiric respectively.  Others exist besides these.  But a muein (plural, muousi) acts with noemata much the same way as an executable file gives life to a program and is set in motion by some intelligence, human or otherwise.  Some may think of a muein as angelic or demonic.  But it’s neither.  It’s a resonance, a source of enchantment reflecting a mystery, in fact “muein” (μυεῖ = “he initiates” + moveable nu) comes from the same root as “mystērion” (μυστήριον = “mystery”) in Greek.

These construct through noemata the tapes, the stories we live by as narrative creatures.  Muousi are the seeds of those life-giving narratives of personal myth.  Nobody explores one’s own soul without also exploring those narratives.

Every muein carries with it inherent benefits and dangers.  Where a dogmatic muein may set forth a wild growth of noemata that stimulates a form of scholarship, but also judgmentalism, lack of tolerance, and reliance upon things preconceived.  This, more often than not, develops the form of spirituality most desired in and imposed by religious cults.  An oneiric muein stimulates a plethora of ideas, even philosophies, but also an ethereal and elusive quality that requires a lot of grounding.  This, more often than not, develops the kind of spirituality one may encounter in sage and sorcerer.  Both need the discipline of philosophy.

More than one muein may take hold upon a person.  But once planted they cannot be uprooted.  All that can happen is a decision to cultivate certain noemata over others or implantation of a new muein.  But the suppression of a muein can also be a dangerous thing.  If suppressed it could burst forth at a future time with a vengeance building new thought networks at a dizzying rate.  Those who transition late in life often experience this.

That breaking forth of the action of a suppressed muein translates into awakening.  In the case of transpeople, that awakening can translate into a twofold revolution of thought relating to gender identity as well as a spiritual revolution.  So often do questionings concerning the origin of this revolution reveal an oneiric muein taking hold, whether or not dreams are accepted as relevant, I believe that dreams are key to development of the transgender soul.

 

SPIRITUALITIES AND SEXUALITIES

Natural innocence is something much maligned by religionists.  It’s ridiculed and dismissed.  Worse yet, it isn’t even recognized as innocence.  They delegate innocence to what they declare as self-appointed judges, juries, and executioners to whatever extent they can.  By doing so, they inflict immense harm.

So pervasive is this harm scarcely anyone sees around it.  Consider this exchange at a radio station when I asked other announcers their thoughts on innocence:

 

One announcer declared that innocence is the same as ignorance because young children are innocent and don’t know anything.  A rabid Evangelical affirmed the same idea.

“Wait a minute!” I said, “If innocence is ignorance then an all-knowing god can’t be innocent.”

The Evangelical said that was true.

“Are you for real?” I said.  “God judges our innocence when He can’t be innocent Himself?  I’m astonished that an Evangelical, eager to defend the character of God should make such a pronouncement.  But it has been suggested, children are innocent.  Does everyone agree?”

Everyone did.

“And do we all agree that innocence is something to be preserved?”

Everyone agreed.

“Then innocence can’t possibly be ignorance.  Why have schools?  Why be concerned with moral development?  By teaching we would lead children away from ignorance and therefore destroy innocence forever.”

Another said, “We know that innocence means one has done no wrong.”

“As in ‘sinlessness’?”

“Yes.”

“Then if children are our example of innocence, I couldn’t agree less.  If ever a human demonstrated wrongdoing, it’s a child.  That’s why a child needs instruction.  But since we all agreed that children are innocent, innocence can’t be sinlessness by a longshot.”

“But children aren’t accountable because they don’t know any better,” the Evangelical interrupted.

“Then we’re back to an issue of ignorance rather than wrongdoing and we already saw how ignorance isn’t innocence.  Wrongdoing likewise isn’t the issue of innocence.  Innocence is necessarily something else.”

“But what about the courts?” another said.  “They declare innocence and guilt every day.”

“The courts,” I said,” are a subterfuge.  Don’t take their words about innocence and guilt at face value.  Here’s a similar example regarding legal words, “several,” which though we commonly speak of many, in the courts refer to the responsibility of only one entity.  Courts can’t judge a heart. They only judge actions through what is evidence they can see.  But what other terms can we offer them by which to judge?  They make do with the language we offer and at times redefine words so as to estrange them from their deeper meaning so they could execute the duty assigned to them.  They work around natural limitations.  When a court declares innocence or guilt, it does so to establish and preserve a milieu where true innocence can flourish.  In so doing, a court is a blessing so long as it’s circumspect.”7

 

When questioning further to religious ideas about innocence as a declarative judgment, one sooner or later encounters the idea that the innocence of children amounts to ignorance concerning sex.8 If a child sees someone naked, accusations fly like, “He took away my child’s innocence!”  In recent cases in which a child encounters a transperson, similar claims fly, presuming, of course, that the claimant stigmatizes all transpeople as “sex perverts” much the same way as we were typically treated under Hitler and post-war American society before Stonewall.

This treatment of sex and innocence is nonsense, of course.  It has worked its way into a problematic intergenerational ethic built upon malapropism.  If the lover finds within the other the fulfillment of a dream and will even die to preserve the other, such is innocent whether or not a religionist chooses to accept it as such, tolerate it as a provision of religious dictum, or refuses to accept the innocence thereof, opposing like the stereotypical in-law.

Likewise, our own gender issues demand that we face and explore what these issues mean.  While religionists may summarily condemn such exploration, the only thing that detracts from the possibility of them being innocent is an issue of dogma concerning interpretations of religious tests as a matter of Divine Command.  But whether a presumed “command” may be accepted or not has little relevance to whether the exploration is innocent.  After all, if we should accept the religious idea that “every command is also a promise,”9 then the appropriation of that promise of negating gender issues should destroy them outright as a miracle.

But we typically don’t find this, despite the claims of certain “ex-transsexuals”.10 Once in a while a dream may awaken one who isn’t genuinely transgender to that person’s internal truth.11 Detransition is warranted for such an individual but this cannot be applied to all.  What typically happens in these cases is the acceptance of subjugation as a condition for desired cult acceptance.  Nobody who does not form his/her/eir own conclusions should be considered a proper candidate for transition in the first place.

The charge that a transperson “takes away a child’s innocence” also presumes that innocence, once lost, is irretrievable.  But not only is innocence recoverable, it’s something to be cultivated, a virtue between the vices of gullibility and gross cynicism.

This maligning of innocence and sexuality results in something much worse:  internalization of condemnation due to the simple fact that one naturally has sexual feelings.  This internalization has actually resulted in not a few people turning against anything that smacks of spirituality.  It has also resulted in not a few becoming so internally conflicted they’re set up for mental illness and this complex may be reinforced by incarceration.

 

THE HEART OF THE STRUGGLE

This is the heart of the struggle for the transgender soul:  those forces arising from dogmatic muousi demand subjugation and suppression of those with oneiric muousi.  Those with noemata and spiritualities developed from other muousi are forced to choose between them, and that may be determined upon convenience instead of conscience.  Factors endemic to the characteristics of each muein also appear.  The integrity of those with oneiric muousi encounter constant challenges from those determined to force others to give up their dreaming selves.  They also face challenges unaccepting members of their own community.

The integrity of those with dogmatic muousi also faces challenge in like manner but with an additional stressor:  the need for their respective egos to see their judgments enforced.  If those judgments suffer damage as a result of non-acceptance, so do their egos.  It may end in bitterness, or may simply demand rest till such can fight another day.  It’s a conflict that ends only with the end of religious institutions and even then their adherents typically realign with new entities.

For those of us who are transgender, the issue amounts to a desire for liberty; and if not liberty, then at least tolerance.  Liberty and tolerance aren’t the same.  Tolerance presumes the right to impose judgment against another, but makes some degree of allowance.  Human consistency in judgment doesn’t exist and neither does human tolerance.  Germany was one of the most tolerant nations on Earth till after the Weimar Republic.  Then Hitler imposed his death camps.  Liberty, however, permits no presumption of a right to judge.  Wherever entities seek political power in order to enforce what they regard as Divine Command, liberty dies and tolerance runs thin.

But those of us with oneiric muousi can take comfort on other levels for the transgender soul, even in the face of the threat of extermination.  Because we dream, we can always repair to the higher, beyond the reach of the intolerant.  Our paths may be hidden and we may be driven back into the shadows as they have for centuries.  Our paths can lead us into places of repair where perchance we might also encounter that higher intelligence: in quiet abodes set apart, in temples unknown in the heart.

_______________________

REFERENCES:

Featured Image:  portions of the ‘Etz Chayim consisting of the sephirot Malkhut, Y’sod, and Netzach with their associated paths depicted in Universal Kabbalah superimposed over a path along Santiago Creek, Santa Ana CA.  Images are by the author.

  1. Stuart, Lynnea Urania. “Hiereika”, Ch. 3, The Téssara. (Unpublished, 2005) pp. 121, 122.  It’s stated in Lynnea’s will that The Téssara must not be released in its full form till her death.
  2. Stuart, Lynnea Urania. “Enthumesia”, Ch. 1, The Téssara, p. 207.  This view is followed by a discussion of concepts of truth, the nature of which distinguish innocence from selfish ambition, the latter of which also dreams and wonders but does so destructively.  Lynnea refers to ambition as the “counterfeit of innocence” and different from the essential trait of drive.
  3. Girschick, Lori B. Transgender Voices (2008, quoting Lynnea Urania Stuart from a 2002 statement) University Press of New England, Lebanon NH, ISBN-13: 978-1-58465-645-6, p. 51.
  4. James R. Phelps, M.D. Memory, Learning, and Emotion” org (updated December, 2014, accessed September 13, 2017) http://psycheducation.org/brain-tours/memory-learning-and-emotion-the-hippocampus/.
  5. Dan P. McAdams “The Stories We Live By” Kirkus Review (May 20, 2010, accessed September 13, 2017, summarizes the author’s thesis) https://www.kirkusreviews.com/book-reviews/dan-p-mcadams/the-stories-we-live-by/.
  6. William Large. “The Noesis and Noema” Arasite (accessed September 13, 2017) http://www.arasite.org/noesis.html. This summary article should be read carefully and critically.
  7. Stuart, “Enthumesia”, Ch. 1, The Téssara, pp. 205, 206.
  8. Marie Winn. “The Loss of Childhood” New York Times (May 8, 1983, repost n.d. accessed September 13, 2017) http://www.nytimes.com/1983/05/08/magazine/the-loss-of-childhood.html?pagewanted=all&mcubz=3.
  9. As generally taught, all promises come with prerequisites of obedience as defined by clergy. See Graham Pockett.  “The Bible is an ‘iffy’ book” Anointed Links (accessed September 13, 2017) http://www.anointedlinks.com/iffy.html . It’s a reverse view of the classical position that no obedience can possibly take place without taking promises on faith.
  10. M. “My Turning Around” Transgender Christians (accessed September 13, 2017) http://www.transchristians.org/archive/brooke-my-turning-around.
  11. Matt Sorger. “I was Transsexual.  Then Jesus came into my life” MSM  (accessed September 13, 2017) http://www.mattsorger.com/miracles/article/i-was-transsexual-.then-jesus-came-into-my-life.
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