Self expression or self repression : A cup of tea with the serpent

An interesting post was posted by Tiffany of Unfiltered From the Heart the other day (See the link the end of this post as WordPress is stumping me at present!!) And it got me to thinking about self expression and self repression because often when we are raised with a notion of self sacrifice it can rebound on us or be bad for our health and its something we need to understand was never really adopted by Christ or Jesus, at least not in those teachings which tell us we need to cleave from our parents to become who we really are and discover our purpose in life, or to become as little children innocent and awake to a sense of wonder and natural expression which just flows from the Self.

To my mind Jesus was really a bit of a rebel who came with the message that the way to God was to be found through each human heart and spirit rather than from adopting certain ‘teachings’ perpetrated in later writings whose true authorship is debatable. People kept trying to tell Jesus he was God but he never said as much and who knows if God sent his only son to ‘cleanse the sins of mankind’, to my mind the concept of original sin is debatable at best and downright toxic at worst.

Psychologist and writer on child abuse, sensitivity and parental narcissism Alice Miller has, in her extensive books and writings explored how the idea of an evil serpent who came to tempt us to seek knowledge of good and evil lead to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from the so called Garden of Eden is an interesting take on the idea that it may be bad, evil or wrong of us to search for our own answers or not subscribe to or disobey certain dogmas perpetrated by powers or institutions that may have some investment in us remaining deaf, dumb and blind.

The exile of feminine feeling and a sense of wonder and mystery in natural things and forms of expression (including sexual expression) that occurred around the time the concept of a pedagological God was projected out from immanence in matter and into the heavens where he ruled from on high, removed from suffering himself and laying down commandments led to a huge egoic split which is powerfully explored in the wonderful book Return of the Goddess written by Jungian therapist Edward Whitmont.

Whitmont explores how as the ego formed on a collective level in later evolutionary progression of humanity from the later middle ages onward it increasingly began to split being, expression and manifestation into opposites of good and evil, right and wrong, black and white. Females where thought to be responsible in some level for communing with the serpent and therefore became inferior, later in the Victorian Age and following in the early 19th Century, the womb became equated with hysteria and in Freuds time a veto was put in place about honestly opening up to and exploring the wide spread issue of child abuse that led to a great deal of human suffering and mental illness. And if you think about it priest now being the ones to carry the shadow when they abuse young ones out of being inculcated in such a toxic mythology really shows that its the system and our ways of perceiving and slicing apart reality that are at the basis of so much modern day neurosis and abuse.

In fact in certain circles it is actually believed that Jesus was not actually celibate. It is believed he married and had sex (shock horror!!!) with Mary Magdalene. If you read the gnostic gospels Jesus also said a lot about the necessity for truth in self expression and self knowledge. He said that if we did not bring out of us what is buried inside of us, has hurt us or twisted us away from authentic and genuine self expression it could destroy us.

The notion of self sacrifice, of being a good boy or girl is something Louise Hay and Robert Holden talk about in their book on life loving us. What if we came into this world being told we are inherently okay and good? What if we did not hear the words no, no, no, no all the time in childhood, telling us all the things we can not do? What if we were not slapped down, told to be seen and not heard, to keep our thoughts to ourselves, not told we need to beware getting too big for our boots? What if instead of being taught that we cannot trust ourselves and must look outside of ourselves for answers we were taught we come into this world with an inbuilt sense of ‘knowing’ (what Louise Hay calls an ‘inner ding’) which tells us what is good and bad for us? What if self sacrifice was not venerated as such a good thing?

This is a topic I have covered in other posts, where I shared Canadian doctor and oncologist, Gabor Mate’s idea that those who deny their own needs and feelings and cover over a childhood of repression with being nice and kind and caring and good are much more likely to end up with cancer, ALS, or other forms of auto immune disease.I am not saying that we need to become a bunch of unfeeling, uncaring so and sos. For many of this it would be a negation of our sensitivity, true nature and emotional intelligence, but we also need to know its okay to not always be the good, kind, nice caring one who bends over backwards and ends up getting trodden on. We can learn to find our own voice if it has been repressed. We can learn to discover our lion’s roar in order to say when enough is enough. We can learn to know its okay to feel as we do, think as we do and perceive as we do. And we can learn that the Garden of Eden can be a living reality if we only learn at times it might be perfectly fine to tenjoy a cup of tea with the serpent and not split ourselves off so much from joy, aliveness and authentic self expression.

Tiffany’s post :

2 thoughts on “Self expression or self repression : A cup of tea with the serpent

  1. Thank you for the share & additional thoughts to explore. It is unfortunate that religion has been used as a tool of suppression and control. I’ve recently listened to some of Alan Watts’ lectures about God and the portrayal of God as a monarchy. It might be of interest to you.

    1. Ive read a fair bit of Alan Watts. Goddess religions with their ways if viewing creation which encompass stages of destruction and regeneration appeal to me more. I love idea of God as a loving mother who has the capacity to embrace us in all our emotional states and contain and transform them. And the idea that God may be multiple and contain all polarities also seems more holistic and helpful to me.

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