Sunday, October 01, 2006

On the effects of oestrogen

i was talking with a friend about my experience of the effects of oestrogen on my behavior and perception. There were a number of practical points
  • a completely different understanding and perception of the meaning of appearance and gesture in the social context -- everything from maintenance of social relations to sexual communication to base level survival is all bound up in the way you hold your body or tilt your head or walk;
  • a shift from "push as hard as possible" to the possibility of yielding -- in exercise, in profession, in life;
  • verbal modes of thought being pushed to the fore more often -- in my life i have an experience of four or five basic modes of thought
    • geometric
    • algebraic
    • musical
    • verbal
    • ...
    different ones come to the fore at different times of the day, different times of the week, different seasons, and are influenced by things like whether i have had caffeine or chocolate, fruit or grains or protein. On oestrogen the verbal ideation is noticeably more active. i'm internally and externally more talkative; and the talking is linked to other functions; it's used for other purposes.

  • The wiring between sexual arousal and ideation is different. Before i ever took oestrogen and after i have cleaned out from it i can say without reservation that there was no arousal without ideation. i couldn't say that arousal originated in ideation, but that all signals that could result in arousal had to be looped through ideation; it was a kind of governer. On oestrogen, physical stimulation of my nipples can cause my body to be wriggling in a completely aroused state many, many seconds before there is any ideation-based recognition of the aroused state. In other words, i'm aroused long before i 'know' it.

But, apart from these definite and specific experiences, other qualitative understandings have arisen. These understandings have shown up in my whole being, rooted in my body but connected equally to heart and head. They show up at specific times. i can remember where i was when the understanding happened. i'm there when they happen and can articulate aspects of them afterward. But, they are often taking place in a kind of expanded present moment
to which i do not always have access. Here is an account of one such.

Oestrogen is one of the ways Venus, an Aspect of Love, presents herself to life in this world. It is like the chalice from which we may taste this Taste. Because in this world we become numb to things that are ever present, it is necessary for the cup to be taken from our lips, regularly, so that when we drink again we have, however fleeting, a Glimpse of Love. The Presence available to us* during our emmersion in oestrogen is so holy -- such an essential part of what it is to be Whole -- that progesterone must be there to keep us from falling asleep and losing this contact with Love. This is one of the primary Reasons for the oestrogen/progesterone cycle. Yes, there is natural selection and all the mechanisms of evolution that gave rise to sexual reproduction and all of the biological science. But, all that mechanism can be seen as rising up out of the chaos to provide a means through which Venus can show herself to us and we can be available to see her. This is one of the Qualities that the mechanism of the oestrogen/progesterone cycle is meant to manifest.

As i write this i see that there is the coming of Saturn, another Aspect of the Creative Impulse, when this chalice is taken away for the remainder of our lives -- i.e. when the menses cease. And, on the other end, i see echoes in the regular feedings of the child at the breast, another source from which we drink Love, until she grows enough that the creative engine inside her allows her to feed from a deeper source. Perhaps, then, just as we grow to the point where feeding at the breast is replaced by a deeper, more self-sufficient feeding, when we grow to the point where the menses pause, there is yet a deeper Self-connected feeding to discover.

* i say 'us' and 'we' because men are bathed in the oestrogen/progesterone cycle, too. i know from personal experience that men who are regularly partnering with a woman also get a Taste.

P.S. What about a posting within a period of nine day intervals?

P.P.S. About two years ago, in a 4th way meeting, i tried to talk about my experience. The leader of the group told me of a story about Bennett asking a woman what she really wanted. The woman replied, in a moment of candor, 'i want to be great!' Bennett then asked her whether she wanted to be great or to look great. i was so frightened and worried, my heart was pounding, my hands shaking, at discussing this experience in a semi-public situation, that i couldn't think clearly about my own internal response to this question. And so, i have held the question.

Last week, 2 years after the event, sitting in the comfort of my car, a response that felt like me, like who i wish to be came to me: are those my only options? My feminine nature sees no conflict between being great and looking great.


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