Today’s #StoryIn12 word prompt had me thinking on some old thoughts. The word was Faith.
The human psyche has a very definite religious need. Yes, modern western society tends to regard itself as increasingly secular with regard to the major religions, yet the same people decrying the ‘gullibility’ of the religiously inclined are often those most involved with pseudo secular religions. The movements behind ’causes’ have all the attributes of a religion. There are articles of faith not subject to scrutiny, there are prophets, martyrs and above all the moralising that leads to a mindset of such purity and certainty that ‘burn the heretics and unbelievers’ is an easy logical step for the faithful.
My own psyche can definitely view D/s in terms analogous to religious impulses. The way I view submission is itself very much an article of faith. It’s focused on one particular person who potentially has almost omnipotent control over me.
Submission to ‘God’ is an act of faith that he won’t take advantage of your submission and screw you over.
What’s so different when there’s a very deep submission to the domme ? An acceptance that you have faith that you won’t be hurt and destroyed when you abandon yourself to the fates. Although we don’t use the term, I don’t think that it’s a coincidence that a substantial portion of male sub fantasy calls a domme a goddess. For most, I think that’s trying to use the most superlative word rather than a deeply thought out context, nevertheless even unconsciously they see omnipotence ruling from a high altar.
Slightly more esoteric is the way one can view CP at the hands of a dominant. There’s very much an overtone of Opus Dei and the principle of scourging and suffering for keeping to the faith. The euphoria during and after being cleansed with pain can be a personal epiphany and faith affirming. It’s very much a place where doubts and uncertainty come to the fore, the principle of one’s faith being tested as close to destruction as you can bear. It’s a very direct and personal gnosis.
I look for other analogues with religion. One of the more prominent ones is when male subs want to be ‘forced’ into an activity. The forced activity is generally to be forced feminisation or forced homosexuality. I’ve written before that the concept is a huge oxymoron, wanting to be forced in to fantasy realisation. What the sub really has are socially ingrained blocks about the behaviour – he’s been conditioned to regard them as sin. In order to sin without guilt he needs the absolution of an authority figure. A domme in the role of priest/ess, or even goddess, provides the absolution and indulgence of encouragement for him to sin without damaging his soul.
Yes, quite of lot of the above is familiar to the workings of the Catholic church. The Catholic church has had 1700 years of understanding and manipulating the human psyche and it’s need for religious reassurance. It’s no surprise that even though we’re largely out of that strict box, the concepts and needs of faith transfer readily elsewhere in our lives.