Wednesday, October 27, 2010

To Tattoo or Not To?

As someone who is interested in understanding the undercurrents of trends and how they connect to the evolution of consciousness and transformation, I have often wondered about the latest rage for tattooing the body. I have thought that it relates partly to the idea that many of the people born from the early 70s on have been largely involved in the mental realm before incarnating, and are not as familiar with the emotional and physical realms. In the mental realm, consciousness is related to group mind, to the collective, and is rapid, instantaneous, and telepathic. That's why so many who belong to these generations do things in groups, or even in gangs, and are drawn so strongly to video gaming, texting, and even sleeping with their cell phones and checking facebook in the middle of the night—it's too uncomfortable to feel "alone."

Tattooing is also a way to feel part of a tribe, to feel that one belongs to a "movement" that stands out and is different from the norm. To me, it fits with the psychology of those whose root is a strong group identity. But tattooing is also partly a way to feel psychologically strong and individualistic, to project an image of tough, "I-don't-care-what-came-before-me; I'm-breaking-with-tradition" sentiment. It can be a statement of rebellion and a desire for reinvented identity, perhaps. Sometimes I think that when people are not sure who they really are yet as souls, there is a tendency to make ego statements to fortify and to represent one's essence to others. So the symbols people choose to set indelibly into their very skin, are core ideas and feelings they want others to recognize in them, as though they don't believe other people are sensitive enough to perceive these things about them without the blatant advertising. Or perhaps the symbols they are choosing to literally merge with are things that represent protective forces and beings. Things that will bring good luck or even a higher vibration just by placing attention on the idea again and again. And it's hard not to look repeatedly at tattoos, especially beautiful ones.

Underneath, I sense tattoos are a sign of a desire for 1) a core sense of self (home frequency), and 2) transformation. I recently began reading Dan Brown's latest book, The Lost Symbol, and he has a nice section (beginning of Chapter 2) relating to this theme. I'll reproduce part of it here:

"The goal of tattooing was never beauty. The goal was change. . . humans have tattooed themselves as a way of offering up their bodies in partial sacrifice, enduring the physical pain of embellishment and emerging changed beings. . . .The act of tattooing one's skin was a transformative declaration of power, an announcement to the world: I am in control of my own flesh. The intoxicating feeling of control derived from physical transformation had addicted millions to flesh-altering practices. . .cosmetic surgery, body piercing, bodybuilding, and steroids. . .even bulemia and transgendering. The human spirit craves mastery over its carnal shell."

I think many tattoos are extremely beautiful, and the artform has its own special exquisiteness. What I find curious is that the forms are not evolutionary—typically—and by locking in concepts into one's very body, we may be limiting the later stages of transformation, where we need to become transparent, holding no fixed ideas, no limited concepts of identity, and be open to shapeshifting and being any and all things.

Your ideas on this topic are welcome! I'm curious what you think. And while we're at it, why does it seem that almost all African American actors today shave their heads? Does this trend toward hairlessness or hard-headedness have a basis in some sort of evolutionary consciousness I'm not yet aware of? I'd love to hear!!