The whore is an important symbol of a human consciousness archetype. It represents the lover energy; the relentless passion and creative force among human beings whether you are a man or a woman. It is not a sexist and masochist symbol for dehumanizing women and their sexuality.

The whore has been consciously dehumanized and stereotyped. The well celebrated authors from Indian subcontinent – Saadat Hasan Manto and Ismat Chughtai- perhaps are the most influential literati from twentieth century, who made effort in this way by penning real life stories in Urdu language. They tried to show that when the whore is not integrated it can bring on malaises on sociopolitical cultural and economic levels. The entire social structure is influenced. For instance, imagine the year 1942, the provocative short story ‘Lihaaf’ (“The Quilt”) by Ismat Chughtai surfaces for the first in the literary circles. The story weaves narrative of an underground bisexual relationship of a young married girl and her husband. They are attracted towards same gender but the context is strictly heterosexual and denounces any hint of bisexual tendencies. Both suffocated and powerless in the hands of their sexual orientations, ends up having painful transient sexual relationships.

The drum circle

I thought of this today, when I attended a conference on scholarship of teaching and learning in my university. I attended a very stimulating session on how to teach large classes in the morning. The tea break was fantastic. I was able to meet many old and new colleagues. I was patting myself from inside as my ability to connect with people flourished. Before the keynote address, there was an interesting session titled ‘drum circles’. Drum circles are all about listening and playing different rhythmic patterns using a drum. The facilitator was serving as a guide. He invited different people on stage to do it. I volunteered which is not my normal behavior. Generally, I avoid such things and stay on my own, despite the fact that a part of me always wants to join in. But today, I broke this barrier and jumped into it. It was totally healthy. I just committed to it.

Picture courtesy – Azra Naseem

While I was on stage and playing drums with other people, I was looking at the faces in the auditorium. All the different individuals were clapping as we were playing. I saw strange dichotomy in their experiences. As if a part of them wanted to enjoy, and another part was not allowing them to fully immerse in the experience. They were drudgingly smiling and clapping. This dichotomy was especially true for the people in leadership positions and higher ups. The younger audience was in flow and enjoying every moment. I myself could also feel resistance to performing, but I was taking this resistance with me during the performance. When I saw those people in the audience clapping and smiling and apparently enjoying the performance, it felt at the same time as a part of them was humiliating them for doing so; as if it was unwanted but since they were there, they had to deal with it. A sense of rigidity was displaying on their faces. I guess we all carry an internal evaluator that dominates our behavior. It’s the perfectionist Madonna side of us that corrects us and establishes mannerism in us in public settings.

The Madonna–Whore complex

The interaction I observed today reminds me of the Madonna–Whore complex in psychoanalytic literature, which is pretty well established and to me it is applicable in our day to day lives. The Madonna is very disciplined, pure, well-mannered and a cultured being. She is always on time; a go getter; achieves goals; carry herself properly in public; have public emotional balance; well articulate etc. We all carry this Madonna in us; every one of us whether we are men or women. This is the aspect of our personalities which is highly celebrated and sought after in our cultures. The Madonna helps us carry out our daily chores effectively and makes us functional.

https://www.blush.me/unwind/linga-and-yoni-represented-together

The other side of this polarity – the Whore – is too distant; and a side we are all afraid of and judgmental about. We think: this side shouldn’t be my public face otherwise; it would be too bad. The Whore-side is seductive and messy; it doesn’t comply to norms; rather it enjoys breaking it. But guess what, it cannot be avoided. We all carry this Whore inside us as well. The healthy confrontation you see; the art piece you encounter; the music you enjoy; the scientific discovery you rejoice in the newspaper; the hearty connection you see between friends; and the untiring commitment of social workers to serve communities. The Whore is everywhere if you see. But we seldom recognize it both externally and internally. The Madonna functions for others; but the Whore operates for the self. Symbolically, if the Madonna is the mind then the Whore is the heart.

When the whore is denounced malaises will appear

The way we are cultured, we are told to shame this Whore aspect and adore the Madonna. Push the darker side away and embrace the brighter one. Perhaps that’s what I experienced. Everyone in the audience, including me, were perhaps shaming their Whores inside who wanted to enjoy and have fun at least once in a while; but the Madonna was resisting: ‘you are not supposed to enjoy in public, you are a teacher, a manager, or a dean of a school or department. Enjoying oneself is a taboo. Enjoying oneself is allowed to students because of their age and context. But doesn’t look nice on teachers. The respect is at stake if we do it publically’.

But you know, the Whore-side cannot be suppressed. It naturally flows towards where it wants to move through our bodies; it doesn’t care what social norms are and what religions think about it. It has got strength and potency of the will. It comes from back doors if we don’t give space to it consciously; it remains insatiate and can manifest itself in some ugly ways. This is where the problem begins as the famous eighteen century poet Mirza Ghalib from Indian subcontinent once said:

paate nahīñ jab raah to chaah jaate haiñ naale

When it doesn’t find a proper outfall, the stream overflows and inundates the fields

Mirza Ghalib (1797-1869)

A healthy expression of the Whore energy looks like this: emotionally safe and secure communes and neighborhoods; inventions, social and technological innovations, discoveries, artistic and scientific expressions that improves material and emotional life on earth; allows its expression in its entirety while embracing all its lighter and darker shades of life with compassion. When you play with your dog that moment is an expression of the whore energy. When you feel seen and heard by your friends or family members the whore energy gets satiated. When you have fun with your loved ones and go out for a long walk, the whore feels good too inside you. A stranger smile at you and greets you on street that’s where the Whore comes into play. She comes alive when you dance and play. It’s that simple. The Whore’s consciousness is consciousness of following one’s joy and one’s personal truth rather than what we learn from socializing.

By this definition the disintegrated Whore energy creates havoc in the world. It arises in sexual objectification of women and men when sensuality and erotic love is not given its due place in practicing healthy sexuality and is condemned for being in our bodies. When this happens, we tend to deny its existence and self-loath it to the core as if it doesn’t belong to our instinctual legacy. Marginalization of sexual minorities is another example that stems from this self-loathing energy. The expressions of this suppressed energy are not just limited to sexuality and sex, it pervades across all life situations. For example, a choice deprived child typically learns to fulfill its needs through manipulating other people’s actions and behaviors. He/she turns out to be an unhealthy codependent adult leaning towards addiction, crime, blaming or rejecting others in relationships as most codependents do. Because, he/she was not allowed to develop his/her sense of self initially. Sense of self from human consciousness perspective is energy. If you don’t allow energy to move. It takes its own course either good or bad, depending on what channels are available for it to flow.

In fact, many of sociopolitical crisis, man-made and natural disasters of our times are also culmination of this disintegrated energy. As the individual and relationships are affected by this disintegrated energy so does the collective. Because the disintegrated Whore is also our collective unconscious expressed in shadow ways. Imagine a society where isolation and loneliness is a major issue. Rate of suicides, depression and anxiety among people are high (though it is not that hypothetical a case and we all know these kinds of societies do exist on this planet earth). These societies are mostly competitive and deep human connections and intimacy are not a priority both at individual and collective level. In this psychological context it is probable that the energy of the people goes into defining how separate and distinct they are from other individuals, societies and civilizations; especially in a boasting way. And this can also be true for many developing countries of the world not all to quote as an example. Because having a separate sense of nation or civilization allows you to wage war and do atomic detonations on other who are not like you and in fact are ‘inferior’; the ‘culprits’ and the ‘problem-makers’. Then the cruel inhuman scientific experimentations are also justified in the name of human and scientific progress; knowledge development for the health and well-being of humanity. The entire history of colonization of the world (by any nation) is perhaps also the history of collective unconscious expressed through shadow side of the Whore. There is an African proverb posted by the BBC News Africa on twitter by Thomas Ayeni, from Calgary, Canada that says:

The ancient societies were and are aware of the nuances of human consciousness and its energetic expressions. The possible act of burning by a disconnected child from its village is the disintegrated energy of Whore. The recent American psychological thriller film Joker (2019) is an apt representation of shadow side of the Whore energy. But the point is what is causing the Whore to disintegrate?

The underlying problem at hand is that the counterpart of the Whore – the Madonna – is in resistance to the Whore. She hates the Whore; she wants to cut her off because the Whore brings her shame in the external world. She wants to get rid of her because the Whore brings disgrace. But the Madonna doesn’t know that the Whore is her indispensable part in the first place. It is inevitable for her. The existence of Madonna is reliant on healthy existence of the Whore and vice versa. She cannot cut her off; both are indivisible; in fact, they are one. Negative socialization has made Madonna her enemy and hence the battle; the resistance within us. Do we all feel it? Do we? Can you feel it now? Yes, we do. When we are born, it is not like that. They are part and parcel of each other’s existence. It is co-creative dance which we all enjoy. But as we grow older the ugliness creeps in.

For us to gain sanity, it is important to integrate the Whore in ourselves. Without the Whore, the Madonna is incomplete and shallow; and vice versa is also true. The Whore is creative and energetic force in us that must be integrated in our social lives. The Whore is a must, otherwise every social interaction is a mundane job; a task on the checklist; a ritual to be performed. The Whore brings passion and excitement in mundane activities. It brings vigor and enticement. It brings love energy if combined with Madonna. We need both dancing together as they were initially in our childhoods.

https://images.app.goo.gl/SbyjhgZXRHtxjJUT6

Humanizing the whore

The idea of resisting the Whore is not new, it is an ancient mythohistoical theme if one goes back to the Hindu legend of the Shiva (the great god and protector from darker and evil spirits) and his lingam – the phallus. The legend has it that Shiva was wandering through his sanctuary while displaying his phallus publicly. The sages around the sanctuary were so frantic that they bound Shiva and castrated him completely. Shiva’s penis as the legend describes turned into a blistering missile and warned to destroy all the three worlds (haven, hell, and earth). Gauging the situation, the sages quickly wanted to strike rapport with Shiva but they were failed to do so and approached Brahma (the creator god) to intervene. Brahma sharply rebuked the act of sages and said now there is no use of reconnecting the penis with Shiva’s body; unless it is put to rest somewhere it is bound to destroy the entire universe. The sage asked for forgiveness and invoked the energy of Shakti (the divine goddess). Finally, as a resolve, the goddess offered her womb to engulf Shiva’s lingam and eventually to rest. The power of all-encompassing womb was such that the lignum’s energy got counterbalanced. It is said that the mystical union between Shiva and Shakti saved the universe from destruction.

 

Shive Bhagwan
Shiva lingam
https://images.app.goo.gl/NCoL1sNC6yPM7EmU9

Metaphorically speaking, this legend tells us that the whore-consciousness (attempt of the sages to emasculate the penis) has deliberately been obliterated and consciously whipped out from universal consciousness. This is common in other examples as well. Sometimes through Adam’s mistake of eating the forbidden fruit (the Bible and the Quran) and sometimes out casting the poet from the affairs of the state (Plato’s the Republic). The lesson to learn from the end is to reclaim the essence of the whore in our conscious awareness. The way to save the earth from destruction is the divine union of Madonna and Whore; and not just sublimation of one over the other.

The energy of Whore is universal not just limited to human world. It is also present in the consciousness of plant and fungi kingdom. A recent paper published by an ecologist in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences mentioned that “for a plant to thrive, it needs the help of a friendly fungus – preferably the one that will dig its way deep into the cells of the plant’s roots.” To common human perception, fungus is a living organism considered harmful and causes infection. But for plants a colony of fungi is an important link between plant, soil and nutrients uptake. The network of fungi transmutes helpful nutrients from soil for plant consumption. Although they do not belong to the plant species but plant’s vitality, strength, color of its leaves, and health of the fruit etc. depends on how well these living organisms are organized around its roots. The point to ponder in this example is that the plant doesn’t rejects fungi as separate living being but it embraces and capitalizes on its strength.

Some fungi trade https://images.app.goo.gl/L2UuutbxVuMnc1DT7

The whore – being an energy outside of awareness – has done devastations and brought destruction on earth. It doesn’t do us any good coming through the back doors. It hasn’t served us in a good way that society has once thought it would do. The social logic of society has run through us many dangers than protecting us from dangers.

We are told that the whore is bad; it is evil and it is an epitome of vulgarity and moral debasement. By doing so, it has turned to be counter-productive. Disintegrating and mocking the whore has brought us at a stage where morality and values are just institutions of social prostitutions. You spend some bucks and here you go. Books will give evidences of your piety and chastity. This is vulgar and nude for me.

The whore is the primary vibration that the current state of human consciousness need to balance itself and it is the sole marker of expansion and growth of the same (as I am typing whore on cell phone, the auto-type turns it into white, this is the degree of separation and disintegration it has in our conscious awareness). We are avoiding this quintessence so much that we have tuned against it within and outside. We condemn it whenever it emerges in its true form.

We negate the whore when we focus outcome only and forget the process; we hate the whore when we embrace the physical form of the ritual and negate the essence of it; we turn against it when we reduce a public health intervention into a mere research trial; we go against it when we pull out humanity from anything. We push away the whore when the manager separates emotions from the task to be done; we push away the whore when we demarcate God from Satan.

The lesson we are to learn from this is that we must embrace the darkness to come into light! Love is a natural manifestation when both Madonna and Whore dance together in our internal and external realities.

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