The Shame Virus
By Isaac George
April 14th, 2013
Since Easter weekend I have had an unexpected interest in investigating the sources and manifestations of one of the most debilitating of all human experiences - shame. All such queries usually start for me when I spot some news article online, or catch some behavior in another human being. However, this time the trigger was a book I was impelled to pick up and reread. The book in question is not important at the moment, but I will list the title and author’s name at the end of this blog. It was the power of how it agitated me to look deeply inside of myself which was quite amazing and cathartic.
There are many themes or ‘a-ha’s!’ cropping up within and around me these days, like the facts around heart-based awareness, and how a reawakened focus within the heart can reconnect us deeply into the Earth Consciousness and our Soul awareness, and through that portal we can access any point in ourselves and Creation. As the author Niamh Clune stated in her book ‘The Coming of the Feminine Christ’, “Only the awakened heart can avert the apocalypse.”
My personal revelations on this issue is the quality of personal courage (heart), and how it seems that most modern Western men are seemingly far removed from their warrior aspect. This results in an epidemic increase in the opposite quality – unquestioning compliance with external authorities or structures. When I mean ‘warrior’, I am not referring to soldiers or mercenaries. I am instead referring to an aspect of the Divine Masculine, which possesses the attributes of one who courageously confronts injustice. Part of this quality is includes the roles of protector and sustainer, as well as standing deeply within one’s own integrity in order to be fully responsible and responsive. With all the emphasis on the return of the Divine Feminine, it is becoming increasingly important to recognize that a balance must be struck between the two genders as our species and the planet transition out of the old order, an order that survives through the use of shame, guilt and worse to maintain power.
For there to be an authentic return to innocence, men will have to reclaim their true maleness, and embrace courage with compassion, strength with sensitivity, and protectiveness that doesn’t smother the feminine…but exalts it. Action combined with vision and heart can avert the apocalypse. Speaking truth to power that has been corrupted will not come from a monkish or emasculated consciousness. As Osho wrote in “Courage: The Joy of Living Dangerously” we may be the last generations of humanity that is able to rebel. The symbols of covert oppression are everywhere. Take the simple necktie for instance, that symbol of the business world that has become the almost universally identified with the corporate uniform. This simple piece of cloth is a symbol of slavery, or subjugation that has its origins in ancient times when conquering armies led captives back to their homelands. The iron or wood collar was the unmistakable brand of the slave, and was usually found at the end of a length of rope or chain. The shame of slavery, especially if the captive was a warrior, was a powerful and oppressive tool to keep the larger populations in line. The necktie simply says “we own you…don’t step out of line.”
The temptation of compliance is to relinquish self-autonomy, while being hypnotized into believing that you still have free choice. When you comply, you allow others to decide for you, to be responsible for your choices and experience. This is a conditioned pattern within the human psyche, and has lead to all manner of cruelty, violence, coercion, lack of empathy and compassion, and pure indifference to the suffering of others. Courage never looks for the easy way out of something. Compliance always ends up in the slippery slope to oblivion. “I was only following orders” has become the historical excuse for untold numbers of murders, massacres and injustice.
However, compliance is only one of the possible behaviors that arise from the deeper disease, which is shame. When we feel shame, it is one of the lowest emotional and vibratory states we can know while in human embodiment. Shame can be self-generated and self-directed, or arrive from outside of ourselves via parents, teachers, friends, political or military authorities. At the top of the pyramid is the strongest source of shame, which originates from religions. However, religion only relates the possible causes for shame, and then violently reinforces it. “You were born into sin!” they crow, and with each repetition the nails are driven deeper into the hands and feet of the faithful.
Upon closer examination, each religion or ordered faith has its own version of the source of this condition, the reason we all need to blush and then grovel in the dirt. This sets up a process that is only to simple to spot in the known history of our species. If you do not conform, you will be cast out, exiled, or made to feel as if you have no value and don’t even deserve to exist. The pain of this and its power to break the human heart is incalculable, and it was designed to be so.
I don’t feel that shame is a part of our natural persona. Guilt is it’s sister, despair and despondence it’s cousins. Shame runs through so much of the human personality disorder that it is difficult to detect most of the time. The Book of Genesis in the Old Testament of the Christian Bible (which is also in the Jewish Talmud) may offer some clues. I haven’t read the opening verses of The Koran to see if it has parallels to these books, but as Islam is also a descendent of the Abrahamic monotheism, I’d be surprised if it didn’t. I won’t reproduce the full text from Genesis, Chapter 3, but you can view it here.
Genesis, Chapter 3, verse 8:
Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”
10. He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
11. And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”
12. The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”
13. Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”
The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
14. So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, “Cursed are you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.”
In their book “Worldbridger”, Juliet and Jiva Carter describe the ‘Lord’ in this dialog as a genetic manipulator of alien origin, not the Source of Infinite Love and Grace that created us or the Earth. They postulate that since almost 97% of our genetic code is dormant it must have been altered or spliced at some distant point in our past that we’ve forgotten…or was it deliberately hidden? This take on the causes of shame goes a long way to explain the neurotic and schizophrenic tendencies in the human psyche. Our genetic software may be comprised by an alien code that is rooted in fear, survival, domination and enslavement of others. The best strategy in this case appears to be “give the slave race a complex surrounding its origins, and make the estrangement from it’s Divine Parentage seem to be real.” The curse at the end of Verse 14 is especially designed to evoke shame and guilt. After thousands of years of repetition and reinforcement, we have come to accept this insanity of a dual state of being as normal! The genius of it is, we have also swallowed the lie, cleverly implied in religious interpretation, that our identity as sexual beings is what caused the Lord’s wrath. This behavior is not representative of a loving Creator, but the ranting of a jealous and imperious overlord. It is now a well-recognised scientific fact that there is at least 6% of the human population that is missing a part of their genetic code that makes it possible to feel empathy. Could this be a clue to our genetic and behavioral distortion?
Other studies seem to indicate that of this 6%, most tend to gravitate towards attaining positions of power and authority in ruthless and subversive ways, while projecting an outward persona of normal, rational human behavior. This may be the face of the pyschopath that is ensconced in the 1% who are in running the planet. By relating this information I am not implying that everyone in positions of power in politics, business or religion are psychopaths. However, all one has to do is to observe the fruits of their actions when compared to their words and projected image to understand who is who. Since this branch of neuroscience is in its infancy, I would not necessarily preach it as gospel just yet.
[Sources: http://www.sott.net/article/246086-Is-the-Root-of-Evil-the-Psychopathic-Mind and http://human-nature.com/nibbs/01/psychopathy.html]
Shame, and the conformity and false humility that it engenders, may be one of the most important issues that we will have to deal with. Some might argue that shame is a necessary check that informs us when we have committed an offense against another. When we realize that we have done something that has harmed someone else, and we have even an ounce of empathy, we know that our words or actions have caused hurt or misunderstanding. In the movie “K-PAX” starring Kevin Spacey, the main character Prot said, “everyone in the Universe knows the difference between right and wrong.”
What is implied here is that we all know when we’ve crossed the line, and our internal nature informs us that we need to correct ourselves and utilize forgiveness as a tool to dissolve wounds between us and others. Regret for one’s unkind actions can open the heart and begin the healing process. When there is no healing process, or misunderstandings healed, then shame can turn into melancholy, rapidly followed by self-loathing and, in extreme cases, self-destruction. Sometimes people who have had terrible injustices happen to them, like rape or imprisonment and torture for their ethnicity, religion, gender, or political beliefs, can feel that somehow there must be something basically wrong with them to have had such experiences. Too often suicide seems to be the only way out of the pain of shame.
Recently, some societies have resorted to publicly naming and shaming individuals, like child molesters, hoping that this will correct unacceptable behaviors. Statistically, it does nothing to discourage other predators, and all that is accomplished is that a perpetrator is now turned into another victim, usually for the second time in their life. This is shame used as a weapon, with ‘good’ people standing in as the ultimate judge, jury and executioner. The person who was violated and also the person who committed the violation can only be healed through love, not be driving the traumas of both deeper into their psyches.
When a computer is infected with a virus, we employ a specialist or install a specially-designed program that hunts down and quarantines the troublesome bug, and then delete it later. When a human body contracts a virus, we ride it out while attempting to make our biology an inhospitable environment for the virus to exist in. We can eat chicken soup, or take vitamin C and other folk or traditional remedies to combat the invader that makes us feel so rotten. What do you do to remove a psychic and subconscious virus? Sometimes, the diagnosis is tricky, but the solutions can sometimes be quite simple. In the case of shame, however, it takes a bit more than what is typically offered through psychological methods, or with energy healing.
The realm of quantum mechanics can go quite deeply into how things work with consciousness and matter, but so far has been unable to explain the why of how it all works. Since there is a unified field, and since DNA is the common denominator within our biological makeup, then there very well may be a ‘virtual’ DNA as well, that exists in our subtle bodies and transcends any genetic damage done either through mutations from natural causes, or from deliberate manipulation. Accessing and reactivating our multidimensional codes may simply be down to the right combination of light, geometry and sound. The increasing interest in sound healing, especially non-specific forms like improvisational music created through toning and the use of crystal or metal singing bowls, can invoke specific resonances that help us remember our true natures beyond language. Music is a bridge between the Cosmos and the Earth, and the shamans have known it for millennia. Likewise there is a growing interest in sacred geometry, both as an art form and also as a map of creation and consciousness. Grounding into the Earth is also a route to re-orienting our biological electro-magnetic resonance.
The shame virus can be temporarily negated through the power of deliberate language. Affirmations consciously directed are quite powerful in a variety of situations. It is important to recognize that the power of the spoken word also may awaken the subconscious conditioned pattern of ‘not good enough’. Simply saying ‘I deserve this or that…’ may evoke a counter-response of through the ‘voice in my head’ of “No, you don’t.” This can set up an inner conflict that has no clear winner. Affirmations alone are usually not very effective in the long run.
Here are a few suggestions to identify, reduce, and in some cases eliminate, the ‘shame virus’ -
This is a very broad topic with many paths and systems. Shamanic traditions are much stronger in this regard, and perhaps explains the increasing interest in plant pharmacology and indigenous ceremonial methods to release false personas, embrace and integrate shadow aspects, and recall projections of the psyche, otherwise known as ‘soul retrieval.’ One excellent book on the subject is “Embrace of the Daimon” by Sandra Lee Dennis.
I’ve just begun to explore this as a method for getting in touch with those parts of ourselves that we consider to be unacceptable, and how and why we judge those parts so. Try thinking back to when someone said ‘shame on you’ for touching yourself (and enjoying it), or for doing what you wanted to do with your life, rather than pleasing someone else. If you decide to dump the shame stigma you’ve ‘eaten’ and made a part of yourself, then you might feel pretty angry. This requires creative approaches, but punching a pillow while screaming, or using a plastic baseball bat on a dead tree stump might just be your cup of tea. Gestalt therapy and primal screaming might be something to explore. Drumming circles?
Dancing is one way to move and express trapped energy. Explore experimental dance styles, like 5 Rhythms Dance by Gabriele Roth.
Loads of choices here. Deep breathing will usually bring up many repressed feelings. Choose from Holotropic, Shamanic, or yogic techniques like the Cobra or Fire Breath. Please do these with proper supervision and support.
Connecting your biological self to the earth, to Gaia, is a revolutionary act against the technologically-based dominator culture. Get your feet onto wet grassy or sandy soil. Walk barefoot on the beach. Get an Earthing pad or wristband, so you can remain connected to the natural magnetic and telluric earth envelope while working on computers. Investigate and acquire some simple protection for shielding your body from cell phones, mobile and digital phones, WIFI, computers and routers and microwave stations. Click here for more information on Earthing, and here for information on Earthing devices. To learn more about effective protection against electrosmog and EMF radiation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, as I am still in the process of setting up the products on the Store page at www.isaacgeorge.com.
One thing that I strongly recommend is to drop all perceptions of the experience of shame, or any other negative emotional state, as being part of another body or psychic state, thereby placing it outside of yourself. Even though shame is a form of false humility, and is by its very nature an illusion that is incompatible with your true and original innocence, it is not something you are carting around like a piece of luggage that you are trying to get rid of. In order to take full responsibility for your being, and your experience, it will be more helpful to abandon the notions of separateness and cultivate wholeness in yourself. Cultivating sovereignty is an on-going process and discipline, not a switch that the Universe flips on or off for you. Allowing yourself to take risks with the full knowledge that you will also make mistakes removes a tremendous amount of self-induced pressure on you to be perfect so that you can avoid the experience of shame.
Which brings this sharing to the ultimate shame bubble…the programmed belief in almost all human beings that we wouldn’t be here, would not be ‘trapped’ in matter and physicality, if we had only behaved right and not upset God, Creator, or whomever. In spite of all the spiritual books and workshops that illumine us to the possibility that Source Consciousness is benevolent and has created infinite beings out of Itself in order to experience Itself, the power of the old lie to occasionally set us back into the old fears and subconscious language of ‘just not good enough’, or ‘there isn’t enough…love, light, abundance, or Life ‘ is still there in the human condition. We no longer have to kneel in shame any longer. We are children of the Benevolent Heart of Creation, and innocence is our natural state of consciousness. Love is who you are. There is only one Love, one Truth, and it is your Love, your Truth.
When you extend your love, your truth to others, and employ forgiveness and understanding, their shame is converted into healing, and even the blind will be able to see again, and the lame will rise up and walk.
When we stand up from the impulse of love and take action on the behalf of a better world, we truly announce who we are without shame. We return to our authenticity, and we are sane again.
“The brave may not live forever, but the cautious don’t live at all.” – Courtney Allison Moulton
Spiritual Teacher/Mentor, Evolutionary Astrologer, Author and Musician.
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