The desensualization of western culture


Our culture is being systematically desensualized. We are constantly made to feel guilty for experiencing pleasure. The very definition of the word sensual has been twisted to invoke images of excess, greed, depravity, immorality, or sexual deviance. Delicious food comes with comments and labels like “sinful”, “to die for”, “a moment on the lips, a lifetime on the hips”. Such language evokes feelings of guilt over the simple enjoyment of food. Our girls are becoming convinced that feeling beautiful or loving their bodies equates to being vain, narcissistic, or conceited. We are being pushed and pushed and pushed to work harder and harder at our jobs, so much so that being sleep deprived, stressed out and time hungry is the norm, and for the few of us who are not motivated. of exhaustion and heart disease are portrayed as lazy, indolent, or otherwise unworthy.

What does it mean?

My favorite dictionary, Webster’s Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, defines sensuality as: Pertaining to, inclined to, or concerned with the gratification of the senses or appetites… carnal, carnal… Devoid of moral restraints… lewd impudent gold…Arouse or excite the senses or appetites…Then he goes on to explainsensual means, often unfavorably, to the joys derived from the senses, esp. of the gratification or indulgence of physical appetites…

We must not accept this adulterated representation of sensuality. Sensuality is actually attention or focus on the senses and stimuli obtained from the senses. It does not specifically distinguish between negative and positive stimuli. It certainly has nothing to do with self-gratification, immorality, or wickedness. Quite simply, our senses provide the information on which we base our intuitive thoughts, feelings, and desires, or in other words, our common sense. We need our common sense to guide us in cases where strictly analytical or scientific calculations simply won’t do.

What has happened to our common sense, or clear and sound judgment that is independent of knowledge or specialized training that comes from within and is based on conventional wisdom, tradition, or personal philosophies or perspectives? It is under attack, with messages designed to make us let go of our inner wisdom, passions, and desires and allow others to decide for us what we need and want. What is all this? Whether intentionally or not, directly or indirectly, it is about the de-sensualization of our (American) culture.

The role of religion

The word sensual has evolved from a colloquialism rooted in Western puritanical traditions. Because organized religion requires some degree of conformity, albeit often with good intentions, religious authorities upheld certain norms of behavior among adherents through the use of fear, condemnation, and blame. Common sense had to be subdued to achieve a high level of control over followers’ beliefs and experiences. This rigid system of holding on to beliefs often leads to irrational and inflexible decision making. They put forth the idea that even the most innocent pleasures are somehow unholy, ungodly, and the source of misery. The denial of simple pleasure made it possible to dangle a carrot in front of the followers’ noses in the form of a promise of some post-death salvation. This is why organized religion is generally more attractive to the downtrodden and depressed. Keeping followers striving for the impossible, keeping comfort and contentment at bay, and perpetuating the concept of duality was the surest way to maintain order among the masses. As a result, many were afraid to feel and explore their individual truths, and sensual deprivation was seen as the only path to salvation.

The consumer trap

Although in its early days the advertising business may have been somewhat benign, over time it has turned into a hyper-aggressive subversive struggle to get our dollars, by any means necessary. In their relentless pursuit, advertisers hit the jackpot. They found that constantly making people feel inadequate, unattractive, and disconnected, no matter what new gadgets, foods, and cosmetics we consume, is the way to keep money flowing. They created the mad dash to keep up with the Joneses, the eternal rat race and general low self esteem. Temporarily, after each purchase, there may be short-lived satisfaction, but it quickly fades. Everything must be faster, tastier, stronger and more extreme because with each “hit” our senses become more and more muted and dull. In reality, material goods can never fulfill the hopes and fantasies fueled by myths of status, competition, and unlimited consumption as the norm. We become driven not by our own authentic desires, but by the delusional need to compare ourselves and compete against other people. The consumer trap takes us further and further away from our authentic fulfillment and happiness and sucks us into a cycle of perpetual dissatisfaction.

Gluttony and Hedonism

Obsessing over sensual stimulation isn’t healthy either. Some of us unknowingly become desensitized, which ultimately leads to problems like addiction and depression. This is because overindulgence is highly subject to the law of diminishing returns. The more and more we consume, the less and less satisfaction is obtained. For example, if you love pepperoni pizza, the first bite is incredibly enjoyable. But when you’ve almost devoured the entire cake, you no longer savor or appreciate the experience. You may have ruined the experience in such a way that you never want another slice of pepperoni pizza in your entire life.

The solution of sensuality

All this does not mean that we should give up organized religion or purge all material possessions. To experience a more authentic happiness, that is, a genuine happiness that is not tied to any external element or event, as well as to reconnect your senses with your common sense, the solution is terrifyingly simple. The solution is not to become gluttonous or hedonistic, feverishly seeking pleasure for pleasure’s sake.

Take time to recognize and explore your individual sensuality and the creativity and clarity it brings. Right now what do you see? What do you smell? what do you hear What do you taste? How you feel? Just watch, don’t judge. Take time every day to slow down and enjoy the simple things in life, even if it’s just for a few minutes. Being alone with your thoughts from time to time. Don’t be afraid, they won’t bite you. Enjoy sensual pleasure but enjoy with full awareness. Develop the ability to experience any sensation with your full attention and with appreciation and restraint. These first steps are nothing more than the minimum that can be done to recover sensuality and common sense. To explore more, check out LifeBliss Solutions.

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