a presentation by Officer Wes
as used here, a catch-all phrase to describe a mindset for how we approach and incorporate our personal kinks into our life and relationships. Wearing "leather" is not required in order to be a leatherperson, but it is fairly common. We acknowledge our heart's desires and unleash our spirit to explore and celebrate.
A young woman who loved and was loved by Eros (the Greek god of love and sexual desire) and was united with him after Aphrodite's (the goddess of love, beauty and sexual rapture) jealousy was overcome. She subsequently became the personification of the soul.
2 : the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality —compare ID (the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy derived from instinctual needs and drives), SUPEREGO (the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is only partly conscious, represents internalization of parental conscience and the rules of society, and functions to reward and punish through a system of moral attitudes, conscience, and a sense of guilt)
The human consciousness that originates in the brain and is manifested especially in thought, perception, emotion, will, memory, and imagination.
1. The state, quality, or fact of being spiritual.
1. Of, relating to, consisting of, or having the nature of spirit; not tangible or material. 2. Of, concerned with, or affecting the soul. 3. Of, from, or pertaining to God; deific. 4. Of or belonging to a church or religion; sacred. 5. Pertaining to or having the nature of spirits; supernatural.
1. The vital principle or animating force traditionally believed to be within living human beings. 2. The soul, considered as departing from the body of a person at death.
…the integrated pattern of human behavior that includes thought, speech, action, and artifacts and depends upon the human capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations
In America, the colonies and later United States arose from Pilgrims & Puritans, two groups that were both adventurers & non-conformists. Both groups wanted religious freedom.
n. One of the English Separatists who founded the colony of Plymouth in New England in 1620. (These folks wanted to break with the Anglican church.)
(More at The Puritan Tradition and American Memory http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/puritan/purmain.html and Pilgrims & Puritans http://xroads.virginia.edu/~CAP/puritan/purhist.html )
…the process of learning interpersonal and interactional skills that are in conformity with the values of one's society. Some examples:
…applying meaning through planetary relationships
“In 1949 Joseph Campbell (1904-1987) made a big splash in the field of mythology with his book The Hero With a Thousand Faces. This book built on the pioneering work of German anthropologist Adolph Bastian (1826-1905), who first proposed the idea that myths from all over the world seem to be built from the same "elementary ideas." Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961) named these elementary ideas "archetypes," which he believed to be the building blocks not only of the unconscious mind, but of a collective unconscious. In other words, Jung believed that everyone in the world is born with the same basic subconscious model of what a "hero" is, or a "mentor" or a "quest," and that's why people who don't even speak the same language can enjoy the same stories... Campbell's contribution was to take this idea of archetypes and use it to map out the common underlying structure behind religion and myth. He proposed this idea in The Hero With a Thousand Faces, which provides examples from cultures throughout history and all over the world. Campbell eloquently argues that all stories are fundamentally the same story, which he named the ‘Hero's Journey,’ or the ‘monomyth.’ This sounds like a simple idea, but it suggests an incredible ramification, which Campbell summed up with his adage ‘All religions are true, but none are literal.’ That is, he concluded that all religions are really containers for the same essential truth, and the trick is to avoid mistaking the wrappings for the diamond…” (Above was excerpted from www.spookybug.com/origins/myth.html , which also showed the Campbell structure in both Star Wars and The Matrix.)
The Shadow is the personification of that part of human, psychic possibility that we deny in ourselves and project onto others. The goal of personality integration is to integrate the rejected, inferior side of our life into our total experience and to take responsibility for it.
Males meet their Anima (feminine soul); females their Animus (masculine soul)
n. The intimately united and apparently fused condition of certain low organisms during conjugation.
For Jung this is the God image. Human self and divine self are incapable of distinction. All is Spirit.
"The attribution of one's own attitudes, feelings, or suppositions to others." Psychic wounds/baggage: By example, when I was 17 and would rage at my first partner he would respond with "I am not your mother." I didn’t understand it. But what he meant was my rage was not truly about the issue seemingly at hand, but rather that I was overreacting because I was projecting a traumatic past event onto the current moment.
A basic Buddhist suggestion is that unhappiness is not caused by external people, places or things; but rather being attached to viewpoints and thoughts about them.
A great deal: When we’re raised in this culture we’re commonly conditioned to negative mind chatter around sexuality and pleasure. Our life experiences can create mind chatter. Thinking about the past or worrying about the future is a vexation of mind chatter. All of this chatter has one thing in common: It reduces our ability to be present and fully experience this moment. Some time-honored spiritual disciplines can help. Leather then potentially manifests even deeper power and connection; sometimes transcendent.
A variation common in America: When Catholics focus on saying the rosary as they work rosary beads they can groom the mind to a peaceful focused state. See also the Loving Kindness Meditation at www.how-to-meditate.org
The discipline of sitting and emptying the mind to groom it to chatter less. For an example on how, see www.shambhala.org/meditation
How we breathe (long, relaxed; shallow and quick) will impact the mind. A concise overview Link Your Attention to Breath is at www.mindpub.com/art476.htm
Chants have been used through millennia as a means of focusing the mind and creating a peaceful state. We can create our own chants, or listen to others. For the latter, a good starting CD might be Chant: The Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo de Silos.
When I allow my mind to move forward or backward in time it may fear the future or regret the past. Peace is available in the present. In this moment all is well.
Service is turning the self outward. As a practical matter, focusing the mind outward can reduce its inner chatter.
Nurturing a clear attention to what we are doing helps being present in this moment.
Strive to be consciously present in this moment with a loving heart.
Strive to be consciously present in this moment with a loving heart.
Stepping into nature and knowing that there is more than self can have deeply grounding effects. Tall trees and beaches are powerful examples, but so too are very small things like a sprout of grass or a blossom forming.
...to be more grounded. These physical and emotional states seem, for many, to distract the focus from being present with a loving heart.
Yoga is a collection of practices designed to unify the body, mind and spirit; grooming the mind to chatter less. Two forms I’ve found particularly helpful in that respect are Kundalini (which moves and rebalances energy in the body) and Vinyasa [“a steady dynamic flow of connected yoga asanas/poses linked with breathwork in a continuous movement”] Hatha Flow (a form of moving meditation). I suspect Tantra would help as well but haven’t been mentored in this tradition yet.
...with its repeated emphasis on NOW!
...which enforces that there is nowhere else to go and nothing else to do in this moment but be fully present. It also can reduce the distraction of the sense of sight through blindfolds and hoods.
Perhaps it’s the partners’ prolonged focus on coordinating breathing with movement, and tendency for eye contact, but fisting repeatedly gets mentioned for spiritual potential.
For example, when slave jeff’s spiritual path changed to one of slavery, I marked that transition by piercing him with a Prince Albert.
This bliss state can happen during any activity, but it is listed here separately to be addressed explicitly. When this Divine Union begins, avoiding engaging the mind seems to help this state continue. By example, when I am Topping and this happens to the bottom in my care, I shift to a state of bearing Witness. My duty at that point is to help the other person fully experience what is happening, to the extent I have any influence over it at all. Specifically, I strive to not ask questions or create other distractions, as these re-engage the mind. If required, a simple one-word "Okay?", which can be answered with a nod or shake of the head, may suffice.
When we view things through a spiritual framework, everything we do has the potential to be approached with spiritual intention.
People of Leather Among You (PLAY) was a social and educational group for Southern California leatherfolk interested in the integration of radical sexuality and spirituality. PLAY served as an educational forum for the spiritual aspects of BDSM, provided spiritual outreach to the leather /fetish community and fostered leather/fetish understanding within the larger spiritual community. PLAY met the second Thursday evening of each month at a local church. Some of the topics through the months and years covered:
It is my great hope that this may be helpful on your own journey of heart and spirit in leather - and out!
© 2003-2015 by Officer Wes