Unfettered (Part 2) – Chapter 10 – Thoughts on why I dress, the anima concept

So what’s the point of my story – there isn’t exactly an intricate plot here – or is there? I guess you may be wondering why all that pretentious claptrap at the beginning – that mystical mumbo jumbo? Well, strangely, it seems that that is the point of the story.

At first sight, and at first experience, this TV lark is just a strange fetish – and it may be just that for some. But I believe, having read a bit around the subject, that it there is more, or can be more to it. There certainly is for me. As I write now I am going through quite a transformation – some might call it an ‘energy shift’ and it seems to be inextricably linked into my feminine side.

Perhaps a little ham psychology may help here. Carl Jung, who I’m sure you’ve heard of, was one of the founding fathers of psychology early in the 20th Century. He studied under Sigmund Freud but then broke away to follow his own path. One of his pet theories was that our personalities are made up of a set of components that he called archetypes. These are aspects of our character that we can think of as different personalities. He suggested that many fairy tales, for example, are composed of these archetypal characters, such as the crone, the young beauty, the handsome prince, the wise old man, etc. A key one for each of us is the anima (for a man) and the animus (for a woman). This is a part of our personality representing the opposite sex and is normally ‘unconscious’ in other words we don’t realise it is there, it is hidden behind a screen in our mind. But it does have an important part to play in our lives. This theme is taken up in various esoteric literature, including within the so called ‘mystery schools’ which go back to ancient Greece. The Greek philosophers all belonged to these mystery schools. The essence of their teaching is spiritual self-development – which in modern terms could be seen as a combination of mental training, through exercises of discipline and revealing more of the unconscious mind so that we can make practical use of it in our daily lives.

Returning to our theme this revealing of our unconscious includes bringing out our anima or animus. Classically a man’s natural attitude is active, thinking, rational, exercising the will, making things happen, driving, whereas a woman’s is more passive, intuitive, empathising and collaborating with others to achieve harmony and going with the flow. Clearly these are stereotypes and more correctly indicate masculine and feminine ‘principles’ which broadly correlate with male and female individuals – but of course we are all different and there are many shades of grey.

In terms of self-development, then, a key stage for a man (assuming his nature is predominantly based on the masculine principle) is to uncover the anima or ‘get in touch with his feminine side’. In practice this probably means being able to access his intuition and use emotional intelligence (basically being able to judge a situation in terms of feelings as well as cold logic).

What I am talking about here is having alternative strategies for dealing with situations and bringing out more faculties than men typically have available to them.

To recap, then, if we choose to follow a path of self-development that follows the well-worn pathways of mystical religions and Jungian psychology (amongst others) then we should consider seriously this aspect of releasing the anima (or animus for a woman). This can be done in many ways but for me the transvestite route seems to have been the way to go. Whether this is typical or unusual I’m afraid I can’t say – it would be interesting to find out. Perhaps this book will open more of a discussion on these topics and reveal some useful statistics.

Once this revealing of the animus/anima has occurred, and it has developed sufficiently strongly, the next step is the re-integration of the two parts to achieve, what Jung called, ‘individuation’. In other words a fully rounded or balanced individual with access to a complete range of rational/intuitive, etc. capabilities and able to use them appropriately in any situation.

So back to me. No doubt I will have confused you at times with my mixed up use of I, he, us, M, etc. Hopefully it didn’t throw you too much – but it was a deliberate choice of words. You see I have only just, in the last couple of days, switched from having a male dominated personality to having a female dominated personality. You could say I’ve ‘turned into a girl’, at least mentally. I’ll leave you to decide how real this transformation is as I talk a bit more about it.

I wrote the early part of the story from the perspective of my anima, which was deeply unconscious for most of my life. I was happily being a man, very rational, good emotional control, no intuition, nothing by way of psychic experiences, very competitive. I think in my very early years I was more evenly balanced – and perhaps this is the natural way – but my education and social conditioning caused my feminine side to be more and more repressed. But there was a lot of energy inside which had to express itself in some way. This ‘feminine’ energy came out through my cross-dressing, resulting in some ecstatic experiences – almost spiritual in nature (although that may say more about what I expect of a spiritual experience than what it actually is).

In the context of a heterosexual man the only rational explanation for this dressing is in terms of creating a sex object of oneself in order to gratify one’s sexual desires (I guess the ultimate in narcissism). This would make it a fetish. But, as I have said, this doesn’t seem to be the whole story by a long chalk. TVs talk consistently about something more than just a fetishistic sexual experience when they dress. Outward expression of a repressed anima is, I would suggest, a possible, if not likely explanation.

Viewing my life from the perspective of my anima, and writing this down, was a cathartic experience for me, and quite poignant. As I have got older, had a family, failed to achieve the career successes I had hoped for, and generally found that there was something missing in my life I was ready to open up to something new. My dressing experiences became more profound, in parallel with my spiritual investigations leading to my recent transformation experience. It’s probably worth saying a bit about my spiritual ‘investigations’ as I put it.

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