BEHIND ALL THE POLITICAL TALK ABOUT GUN CONTROL lies something far more important to consider: The symbolic nature of guns and other weaponry. For underlying all the processes of division and conflict in human or transnational relationships is the huge tension caused by the sexually repressed unconscious (personal and collective) of the mass of people in this world. This is the real issue: The sexual dysfunctionality of vast swathes of humanity.
I am not merely referring to the widespread insufficient practice of sex or the withering prudishness which plagues certain sections of society or the illusion of sexual liberation in hedonistic behaviour; but to the way that sex itself is perceived, projected and performed. Most men, for example, have no idea that it is possible for them to have the equivalent of an orgasm beyond their wildest dreams without ejaculation. Neither do they seem to be aware that good sex (i.e. sexual practice which brings a transcendent, unifying experience for both parties) involves more than racing to ejaculation as if that was the centrepiece of a sexual relationship. Similarly, many women are unfulfilled sexually — partly because they experience sex with the abovementioned types of men and partly because of their own baggage which they bring with them into the bedroom (e.g. fears, stress, tensions, abuse experiences, attitudes, etc.).
The whole subject of sex in our dysfunctional culture, with our fragmented consciousness and maladjusted egos, has been horribly mangled into commercialism, “wink-wink-nudge-nudge” snigger-behind-the-hand situation comedies, pornography and a subject for the therapy couch with feelings of guilt and dirt. Sex addiction is also now a huge problem — using sex in order to satiate feelings of insecurity and alienation. But it was never meant to be this way. It is simply our failure to evolve away from our grasping, fearful imaginary selves to become those who realise that sexual activity involves vast energy which can connect us with who we really are — even connect us with the whole universe — behind all the dross and posturing. Making love should not only be a physical/emotional experience but also a deeply spiritual one, in which the two people meld into one another in something which is far more than any basic orgasm, whether clitoral, vaginal or ejaculatory. Failure to enjoy such beauty through sexual experience leaves us as incomplete and unfulfilled people. And this is precisely what contributes to war as our repressed, unfulfilled sexuality is channelled not only into conflict in relationships of all kinds but also into something as earthly as hardware — namely, weaponry.
The spear, knife and gun are classic phallic symbols which are readily recognised in the world of the arts. (For example, in Roman Polanski’s early film, “Knife in the Water”, during a seduction scene on a boat we see a knife in the woman’s hand fall into the water). Small wonder that we should find aggressive weapons represented as phallic symbols in a civilisation which is so screwed-up sexually. Why do you think there is a pandemic of knife crime in the UK these days? It’s spiralling out of control because there are so many fatherless families with boys suffering emotionally because there is no grown-up penis in the household to give them the missing masculine authority and security. Not only does that create an authority vacuum in the family but the very symbol of the father — his (comparatively with the child) big penis — is missing. Is it any wonder, therefore, that those lost, fatherless boys should carry the substitute penis of a knife to “big themselves up”? They have to tough it out and play the big man in the absence of their dads. Moreover, the act of stabbing is an aggressive simulation and caricature of the penetrative act of sex. Essentially, they inwardly and outwardly need a father to give them boundaries, authority and a role model. So the anger of those boys is channelled into wielding their knives as a simulated penis in a simulated sex-act in order to have some power and control in their chaotic, fatherless lives.
It is also no coincidence that the slang weaponistic phrase, “shooting your load”, refers to the ejaculation of semen. Every time one fires a gun, that is precisely what it is doing: Shooting one’s load. To be a gun-toter is to be a surrogate masturbator and ejaculator. The inspiration for the Beatles’ song, “Happiness is a Warm Gun” — a sexual reference, if ever there was one! — was apparently taken from a headline seen by John Lennon on the front cover of a gun magazine. Similarly, an explosion is a fitting symbol for an orgasm — especially the transcendent, unifying orgasm we never had. The sexual inadequacy and erotic disconnectedness of the mass of the human race is evidenced in every gun people fire and every bomb which they cause to explode. The desire for total penetration and total explosion in orgasmic oneness with another — thereby bridging the individuation of consciousness and overcoming the separation which leads to conflict and competition — is being simulated in the priming of explosions in bombs and shells (which are also fired from a phallic cannon). War is who we are because we are not the complete beings we are meant to be. The monsters who are the masters of war in this world are sexually dysfunctional people who destroy and massacre with their guns and bombs (not to mention the fact that many of those in positions of power are paedophiles and sexual perverts in many other ways, as often surfaces in the news media, though it is always quashed so that the real villains are never prosecuted). And it isn’t difficult for those villains to enlist the help of (mostly) young men (mostly) from the lower social classes — many of whom would be fighting on the streets in their towns — to carry through their dastardly plans in armies of war.
There is clearly an underlying relationship between sexual expression (repression) and war/weaponry. If one can visualise war as a volcano, we will see that the lava, steam, sulphur, ash and broken rock pieces which erupt into the world from its magma chamber are like the repressed sexual expression which explode from the collective unconscious of humanity into the obscenity of war with its guns, bombs, explosions and gore. It is as if there is a vast, hidden, suppressed wave of energy — the collective unexpressed total of beauty and love which should be intimated in sexual wonders, hideously transmuted into a tempest of darkness — waiting to oscillate and explode into a global manifestation of warfare through the weaponry of repressed sexual repression.
The Wild West has not changed much in the last couple of hundred years. It was full of screwed-up people then; and it’s still full of screwed-up people now. When people spend their time disputing about weaponry, it is as much of a sign of the deep sickness of society as is shooting a bunch of people with an assault rifle.
© Alan Morrison, 2018