A Way Back to the Garden of Eden
As I am busy writing my practice novel, I am finding myself flooded with ideas, scenes, and plots and characters. It became a headache as I tried to sort through all of this knowing that there was so much there that was important. It was only after I realised that what was coming forward was really material for a number of different stories that it all began to make sense. I wondered why all of this was coming out now rather than over a longer period of time. After all, how was I to actually remember all of this between now and some hopeful future time. Well, it took a session of meditation for some sense to emerge – this wasn’t really about the writing, but about the unconscious trying to find its expression.
It dawned on me that with my work on bringing anima to life in my practice novel, I was touching on something deeper, something that was as much a collective experience as it was a personal experience. Then, last night while taking a break, I picked up the small book by Alan Watts, called Nature, Man and Woman, a book I am reading slowly, very slowly, I came across the following words:
“when sexuality is set apart as a specially good or specially evil component of life, it no longer works in full relation to everything else.” [Watts, p. 134]
In my novel I have given anima two faces, two characters. Enid, a name that means soul is the white face of anima. Tricia, a name that means passionate desire, is the dark face of anima, the character which haunts the protagonist’s nights. Unconsciously, I have portrayed the good wife with the evil harlot, two different faces of sexuality, projected contents of my conflicted soul that is bound up in the collective unconscious’ conception of sexuality. Watts goes on to say:
“the problem . . . the fruitlessly alternating dualism . . . is now good and now bad, now lustful and now prudish, now compellingly grasped and now guiltily inhibited” [Watts, p. 135]
For me, these are powerful words; they lend credence to the work I am engaged in as a writer and my wrestling with the idea and practice of naturism. I begin to sense that there just might be a purpose in all of this madness. My first thought was that this was exactly what C.G. Jung was talking about and living – the problem of the masculine and feminine within and without and how the only way out of the turmoil was through the holy marriage of both masculine and feminine within. Yet, by keeping that vision of holy union to be an inner process, one is torn apart and left hurting. The body must share in this union in its own manner. Humans are built this way – naturally. All beings from insects to the highest level of mammals live this truth. It has only been the human who has adopted a belief system that denies the body.
Maybe there is a way back to the Garden of Eden where we were comfortable with our bodies, our sexual nature, while fully aware. There, something for me to chew on for another twenty or so years.