Excerpt About Castration

Fear of Feeling Castrated Blocks Will

It has been assumed, for instance, that a person needs tremendous will and determination to be able to do the Work. The task does require tremendous will and determination, and in the past, the failure to use sufficient will was blamed on the student. The teacher said that the student was not committed enough, not determined enough, didn’t use his will enough. And this was true. It has always been and still is the case in the Work. So the teachers pushed the students, doing all kinds of things to get them through—tempting them, driving them—whatever might succeed in getting them to use their will and determination to continue working. Now we understand that a person cannot use his will if the will is blocked or repressed. We know that the will gets blocked and repressed for specific reasons. Our work in this group has shown us that one of the many causes of this repression is the fear of feeling castrated. This unconscious fear is well known and documented in the psychoanalytic literature, though its connection with the will is generally not seen. The moment a person tries to use his will, he begins to experience a terrible fear, the fear of castration. It may be sexual castration or the castration of one’s self, one’s energy, one’s will. The person doesn’t even know this fear is there. He only knows that his will is not available, that he cannot act with determination, cannot do difficult things.

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