|Attachment to the body of culture is the source of a sense of being oppressed. “Hegemony” means that one imagines that the omnipotent object is contained within the self.
Along with the pleasure of believing one is connected to something that will produce immortality—is the pain of a heavy, dead object within the self. One’s own potency is diminished by the weight of omnipotent objects weighing down upon the self. To carry one’s entire nation within one’s self is to feel oppressed.
Oppression derives from identification with the body politic. One feels crushed by the massive object inside the self. One is burdened by a “second body” superimposed upon one’s actual body. Thus, the “struggle against oppression” comes into being: revolution, or the wish to be free. One is struggling against the omnipotent object with which one is identified. One desires to throw off the body politic pressing down upon one’s own body; to be released from the weighty object imagined to be contained within the self.
One seems to have become so much more by identification with omnipotent objects. The self-imagines that it has expanded to become coextensive with an entire nation. However, identification with the third dimension pulls one away from concrete existence. Life energies are expended in the name of maintaining connection with objects in the third dimension. The fantasy of omnipotence becomes parasitic upon the self.
Contraction means lopping off the symbolic world of culture; letting go of objects with which the self has become identified; coming to know thy self in the absence of connection with the “Other.” As one lops off omnipotent identifications, one becomes smaller. One contracts into one’s frail body. One no longer is secure in the knowledge that one is united with omnipotent objects that seem to exist “out there.”
To free the self is to split from identification with the vast "culture" with which we equate our selves. Separation from the fantasy of an omnipotent culture is the "unkindest cut of all:" loss of the dream of immortality. Realizing that one is not bound to an omnipotent “system,” one’s life seems small and finite. To abandon identification with powerful symbolic objects generates a feeling that one’s self and body have become a shrunken version of what they once were.
To free the self for concrete existence requires "splitting” from the omnipotent body called culture. This is equivalent to coming back (down) to earth. It’s the deepest, most profound trauma: separation from the symbolic domain bringing recognition of one’s smallness and finiteness. When one realizes one is not bound to a body politic, one returns to one’s actual body: one’s frail self-living within the domain of concrete existence.
The physical fitness revolution (running and body building) represented disidentification with the symbolic world: abandoning or throwing off identification with projective symbols of the self; returning to the concreteness of physical existence.
Running and body building constituted substitutes for nationalism: seeking unity of the self within one’s own body instead of within a projected symbol of the self (the body politic); seeking to love one’s own body rather than the national body. Running and body building are undertaken to return libido back to the self. As the nation dies, so does one’s body come alive.
One begins to abandon the desire to fuse with omnipotent objects. The privatization of life (your own private enterprise) means separation from the “big world.” “Contraction” means lopping off objects into which one had projected one’s self and with which one had identified.
Cutting off that part of the self that had been identified with the world outside represents a form of castration or contraction: withdrawing libido from the body politic. As one embraces separation from culture—lopping off omnipotent identifications—one feels small, vulnerable and alone. However, one also becomes more compact, dense, and real.
Freedom or liberation involves splitting off—breaking away from—the omnipotent objects with which the self-had been fused. At first, separation is experienced as a tremendous loss or “shrinkage” of the self. The omnipotent extensions of the self with which the self-had identified no longer are felt to be part of the self.
One begins to lose one's “connection,” and feels small, frail, and vulnerable. One begins to experience one's actual body as an entity separate from the omnipotent body politic. One no longer links to symbolic objects. Shrinkage of the self brings one down to earth. One is no longer “up there,” out there with the “big boys.”
Loss of connection to the third dimension generates a feeling of smallness and vulnerability. As body and self-withdraw from the omnipotent object, one loses a sense of power and grandiosity. Separation of the self from attachment to omnipotent objects brings about a “return” to concrete experience. Liberation means coming back to earth, getting down.