Monthly Archives: September 2013

Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call – book soon to be released. Feedback?

Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call – book soon to be released. Feedback?

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I am now working on the second book to come out in October. Here is what I have so far for back cover text and cover design. Any thoughts, feedback, suggestions?

“Apocalypse Emergency—Love’s Wake-Up Call is about a frightening global predicament that everyone seems to be aware of but which few people are giving the attention and seriousness it deserves. Why people would do that and why the media would be inclined to shy away is understandable.

We simply have no way of comprehending the magnitude of what is happening, nor how fast, since no living thing on this planet in its multibillion year history has had to face what we are.

The environmental collapse occurring can be compared to a trillion-alarm fire with everyone looking the other way. We need to respond to it with the urgency of being in a world war, marshaling all available national and world resources and not with the complacency of a boy-scout litter pick-up campaign.

“Love’s Wake-Up Call” goes back and forth between the horrors that are possible and this unique situation with the potential so strong to bring humans to raise themselves up and be led by their better angels more than any other time.

As the author, in jumping into these waters, I expected to be emotionally beat up. Instead I came to many understandings and saw the positions of many who aren’t helping right now somewhat through their eyes and found compassion, not blame.

Being a depth psychotherapist and a student of other cultures across all time periods informed my conclusions, shaped them, and took me to visions of possible futures that I did not expect. For all we have done it seems we have called down upon ourselves to be tested and to be found either worthy or else deserving of the grave we are digging.

However, facing dire challenges — and this being the most dire of all — brings out the best in humans. What it will mean could be exciting and triumphant beyond belief as humans come out of their puerile adolescent phase and become united and shaped for millennia by this great struggle. We could also die trying our mightiest, which has a nobility to it.

It will be scary and interesting, and you will be helped if you have a strong faith. Beyond that, it will be the biggest adventure that the entire globe ever faced together, and the outcome could be just about anything.

I finished this book feeling so much love and unity with all humans and living things. For I knew that at no other time in the history of the world was the truth of the saying “we’re all in this together” more patently true.”

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What Does the Natural Self Look Like? The State of Not Losing the Soul Is Emotional Openness and Joy, Being Equally Free in Tears and Laughter

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Integrated with The Way, One Becomes “Lighter” Through Life … Expansive Soul Energy Dances Through the Person: Return to Grace, Part Five — The Natural Self

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Return to Grace

What can be the result of making these kinds of changes? Once again I look cross-culturally to give examples. But looking at the extraordinary childhoods of particular people provides contrast and insight also.

The Natural Self

First, let us hear how Turnbull (1961) describes the results of the more trusting, more respectful childhood of the Mbuti. He describes the emotional openness and joy that characterizes the Pygmy adult:

When Pygmies laugh it is hard not to be affected; they hold onto one another as if for support, slap their sides, snap their fingers, and go through all manner of physical contortions. If something strikes them as particularly funny they will even roll on the ground. . . . (p. 44)

They clapped one another on the back and held onto one another for support as they laughed, inventing all sorts of things they would do and say to any girl who answered them in such a way. The Pygmy is not in the least self-conscious about showing his emotions; he likes to laugh until tears come to his eyes and he is too weak to stand. He then sits down or lies on the ground and laughs still louder. (p. 56)

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Equally Open to Grief and to Laughter

But this is not to mean that they do not feel sorrow. In fact, quite the opposite is the case. They seem to be equally as open to grief as to laughter, able to go into either deeply and fully. Considering all we are being taught by counseling psychologists on the need to fully have a period of grief when confronted by loss, it may be that we need to look to the Pygmy temperament as an example of that ideal. Turnbull (1961) relates,

But when someone really dies, for ever, there is among the Pygmies a burst of uncontrollable grief, not only from the relatives, but from friends. Even men will weep if they have been close to the dead person. It is a very different sound, and a terrible one. . . . (p. 42)

The Way

Raheem (1991) describes her understanding of the state of not losing the soul, which apparently happens in some unusual people.

On the other hand, the person who follows her own soul and uses the vehicle of personality to execute its purpose, will become “lighter” through life. There will be a sense of flowing easily from one moment to the next, as though she were in a beautifully choreographed dance which she had thoroughly mastered.

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The free, expansive soul energy can dance through the whole person, bringing creativity, spontaneity and vitality throughout mind, body and emotions. And since such a person is on course, integrated with her own Tao, she can experience strength, tranquility and certainty from within herself. (p. 31)

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Return to By Adolescence “Civilized” Children Are Programmed … Whereas in Primal Societies Inner Experience is Cultivated: Return to Grace, Part Four — Puberty, Becoming Adult

Notes

1. Related information about the Mbuti is brought out in this article by James R. Coffey. In The Mbuti of Central Africa: The Only Known Egalitarian Society (with Rare Video), he writes,

…the Mbuti have no rulers, no political structure, and except for a religion that essentially ties them functionally and ritually to the forest, they have no cohesive social structure. Most significantly, every man, woman, and child has equal access to resources–which is the very definition of egalitarian.

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Men and women have equal power, decisions are made by group consensus, and minor disputes are usually dealt with by ridicule, gossip, or shunning….

…the fact that their social structure promotes gendered equality does not prevent individuals from attempting to promote hierarchy; they are simply ignored and considered insane.

…one point of particular distinction in Mbuti society is that children have what could be considered an irrational amount of power in ritual situations–believed to be most closely connected to the primal spirits of the forest.

…most Mbuti villages (which are usually comprised of only a few essential huts), are laid out to represent a human female womb in shape and design. This is so that when entering and exiting the village (and each hut), you are symbolically reborn–of your mother and of the forest.

…the village and physical use of space is thought of as male (in concept), while the exact layout, shape of the huts, and actual utilization of the space is thought of as female. Thus, it is a constant representation of sexual interaction, reflecting both human physical intercourse as well as symbolic birth by way of the forest….

2. Also see, on the site Peaceful Societies: Alternatives to Violence and War, the post titled “Encyclopedia of Selected Peaceful Societies: Mbuti.” Quoting from the article,

Beliefs that Foster Peacefulness. The Mbuti view their forest as a sacred, peaceful place to live—they constantly refer to it with not only reverence but adoration. They sing songs to it, in appreciation for the care and goodness they feel they get from it. If something goes wrong in their camp at night, such as an invasion of army ants, the problem is that the forest is sleeping, so they sing to awaken it. Their songs of rejoicing, devotion, and praise serve to make the forest happy. They do not believe in evil spirits or sorcery from the forest as the nearby villagers do–their forest world is kinder than that.

Avoiding and Resolving Conflict. Normally the Mbuti settle conflicts with quick actions. One of their major strategies is laughter, jokes, and ridicule. The camp clown, an individual who assumes the responsibility of trying to end conflicts through ridicule, uses mime and antics to re-focus the conflict on himself, to get everyone laughing and ridiculing, in order to divert attention from the issue of the moment. The Mbuti have no formal methods for resolving disputes or crimes, and no individual would pass a sentence on another. But if one person is clearly in the wrong, an entire camp can react by punishing, perhaps even thrashing, an offender. Sometimes parties to a dispute might settle it through arguments or mild fighting. Ostracism is always a possibility, but it is rare.

Gender Relations. Mbuti men who still live in the Ituri Forest organize and control the net hunting, though the women help them. The women gather vegetable foods in the forests, such as mushrooms (see photo), but the men will help out. The women freely join discussions with men, though tensions between the sexes do arise. One strategy they use to diffuse gender tensions is to have a “tug of war,” the men and boys opposite the women and girls. If the males begin to win, a man will leave his side and join the women, mockingly encouraging them in a falsetto voice. When that group begins to win, a woman drops off her side and joins the men, encouraging them in a deep bass voice to greater efforts. The fun and ridicule grow as the contest continues, until everyone dissolves into hysterical laughter. The effect is to ridicule aggression, competitiveness, and conflict itself. Both sexes will do whatever they can to survive and support their families in the refugee camps.

PF001E005Raising Children. A Mbuti mother develops a special lullaby that she starts singing to her baby while the infant is still in the womb. She reassures the child about the world into which he or she will soon be born, with descriptions of the goodness of the forest and the supportiveness of the human environment. As they grow older, children learn to play non-competitive games that emphasize cooperative activities. Sometimes children are spanked and slapped by their parents….

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Strategies for Avoiding Warfare and Violence. Different groups of Pygmies try to avoid warfare with one another. One incident that occurred during the honey-gathering season indicates this tendency. With everyone spread out through the forest in small groups to gather the honey, the Mbuti suddenly realized that a foreign Pygmy group had invaded their territory and were stealing honey from their trees. One man became excited and tried to summon everyone to make war on the invaders. But another man explained that they invade each other’s territories every year, and no harm is done as long as the different groups don’t encounter one another. If they do have a chance encounter, the invaders simply flee back to their own territory, leaving behind everything they have stolen.

PF001E0153. In other places the Mbuti have been put forth as a possible model for exemplary parenting and care of children.

4. Also see, on the site, Peaceful Societies: Alternatives to Violence and War, the post of May 9, 2013 titled “Mbuti Cherish the Forest—Does Anyone Care?” Quoting,

This 5:44 minute video, just released to Vimeo last week, was clearly prepared as a way of celebrating with viewers the traditional skills and lives of the Mbuti, and, just as importantly, of raising awareness about the stresses and traumas those people are enduring….

“Everyone is important in the hunt,” he tells us, with a fetching image of a Mbuti woman and a baby on her back on the screen. He describes how the hunters stretch their nets through the forest, and how the women and children make enough noise to drive animals into the nets for the men to kill. Then, he says, “we divide the meat into small pieces so that everyone in the group can have some.” Their forest tradition clearly includes fond memories of the custom of sharing.

Another man, identified as Chief Mangubo, takes over and tells us about the importance of the ancestors, and of music, to the Mbuti. The people play, dance, and sing every day as a way of communicating with their ancestors, he says. They welcome a new baby into the community through the performance of a special dance. They sing to insure the success of the honey collection season, they sing to celebrate marriages, to accompany their initiation rituals, and sometimes just to show their happiness. If problems come up, they hope their songs will elicit assistance from the ancestors….

…the closing credits indicate that armed guerillas attacked the Okapi Wildlife Reserve headquarters in June 2012 in retaliation for the efforts of the park guards to cut down on the poaching, which is decimating the wildlife. The fighters raped dozens of women, killed six people, and took over 50 hostages. They looted and burned the buildings. People that could, fled into the forest. The Mbuti featured in the video, people who lived near the park headquarters, have disappeared, and their whereabouts are still unknown.

Mbuti: Children of the Forest from JH Wildlife Film Festival on Vimeo.

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By Adolescence, “Civilized” Children Are Programmed … Whereas in Primal Societies Inner Experience is Cultivated: Return to Grace, Part Four — Puberty, Becoming Adult

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“Civilization” Brings Brutal Rites of Passage and Fear of the Supernatural: The People of Nature Just Laugh at the Townsfolk Living in Such Terror and Valuing Cruelty

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Finally, let us investigate the fourth fall from grace, the time around puberty when the ego is consolidated around a specific identity, task, role that marks her or him for life. Can this be otherwise?

Forest and Village Worldviews are Directly at Odds

Once again, Turnbull’s (1961) report on the Mbuti provides a fitting example. This example is especially illuminating in that he was able to observe and note differences between the hunter-gatherer Mbuti and nearby villagers with whom they had occasional contact. Since the villagers have to be considered post-agrarian and definitely not hunter-gatherers, we are able to study any differences between these two lifestyles and possible differences in worldview, side-by-side.

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With “Civilization” Comes Brutal Rites of Adulthood and Excessive “Masculinity”

Indeed, Turnbull shows that these differences do exist, and we see one distinctly in connection to the rites of passage that are undergone respectively in each culture.

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The rite of passage is called the nkumbi and is conducted by the villagers. The Pygmies undergo it, at a certain age, in order to enjoy certain respect and privileges in their dealings with villagers, as they must often have for various reasons. Of their own, the Mbuti have no such rite of passage, certainly nothing severe and harsh like that of the villagers. Turnbull (1961) describes the villagers’ nkumbi:

The physical ordeals sometimes start out as games but develop into cruel tests of physical endurance. A crouching dance that might be fun for a few minutes becomes agony after half an hour. A mild switching on the underside of the arm with light sticks is of no concern until, after several days, the skin becomes raw. And then the villagers notch the sticks so that they fold over and pinch the skin sharply, often drawing blood. When the boys have become used to being beaten with leafy branches, thorny bushes are substituted. (p. 225)

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Dominant Societies Try to Instill Fear of the Supernatural to Control Their Underlings

He also explains the villagers beliefs concerning this rite of passage and its effect and purpose:

The villagers believed that the initiate, Pygmy or otherwise, is everlastingly bound thereafter by all the laws of the tribe, sacred and secular. He is put into direct relationship with the supernatural, whose representatives on earth are the villagers themselves. If any Pygmy initiate offends a villager, therefore, he is also offending the supernatural—the ancestors—and will be duly punished by them. The villagers live in such fear of the supernatural, with its power to bring down on an offender the curses of leprosy, yaws, dysentery and other diseases or to cause him to be injured by a falling tree, that they cannot conceive of any initiates daring to offend the ancestors. (p. 224)

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But Primal Folks Laugh at the Fears of “Domesticated” Humans and Delight in Flaunting Their Customs

But offend the ancestors they do, these Pygmies, and with apparent relish. They do not share the villagers fearful view of the world. They cannot imagine any good reason to inflict these tortures on each other and laugh, secretly, behind the villagers’ backs, at them. Turnbull (1961) writes,

Both the boys and their fathers enjoyed the chance to make fun, in a friendly way, of the villagers, but that was not their sole reason for deliberately breaking all the taboos. They behaved as they did because to them the restrictions were not only meaningless but belonged to a hostile world. The villagers hoped that the nkumbi would place the Pygmies directly under the supernatural authority of the village tribal ancestors; the Pygmies naturally took good care that nothing of the sort should happen, proving it to themselves by this conscious flaunting of custom. (p. 224)

Ituri Forest Pygmies

Ituri Forest Pygmies

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Building the Better Human – Entry Into Adulthood

To the Pygmies this all seems harsh and unnecessary, and as far as their own children are concerned they keep a strict watch over them to see that the villagers do not go to the length that they sometimes do with village children, even if this brings them into some contempt. But to the villager this toughening-up process is essential and does not come naturally in the course of village life. The child has to be fitted for adult life, and this is what the nkumbi sets out to achieve. In a few months a boy becomes a man, tough and strong, physically and mentally. The process is not a pleasant one, but it is the only way in which, under tribal conditions, the goal can be achieved.

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The Pygmy can understand and appreciate this, but the very nature of his own nomadic hunting and gathering existence provides all the toughening up and education that are needed. Children begin climbing trees sometimes before they can walk. Their muscles develop, and they overcome fear in a number of daring tree games. Adult activities are learned from an early age by observation and imitation, for the Pygmies live an open life.

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Their life is as open inside their tiny one-room leaf huts as it is in the middle of a forest clearing, and so the children have no need of the sex instruction which forms so large a part of the teaching given to village boys during the nkumbi. (pp. 225-226)

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Far from illustrating the dependence of the Pygmies upon the villagers, the nkumbi illustrates better than anything else the complete opposition of the forest to the village. The Pygmies in the forest consciously and energetically reject all village values. When they are in the village they temporarily adopt its values and customs, not wanting to desecrate their sacred forest values by bringing them into the village. That is why they never sing their sacred songs in the village the way they do in the forest, and why they refuse to consecrate the nkumbi with special music, although every other event of importance in their lives is marked in this way. There is an unbridgeable gulf between the two worlds of the two peoples.

The Pygmies have their own way of growing naturally into adulthood. A boy proves himself capable of supporting a family when he kills his first real game, and proves himself a man when he participates in the elima. (p. 227)

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By Adolescence in “Civilized” Societies Most Children Have Had the “Still Small Voice” Programmed Out, Whereas in Primal Cultures It is Valued

Aminah Raheem (1991) gives a final example of how this stage can be different in other cultures:

By the onset of adolescence, most children are intricately programmed into the cultural complex of their time and place. The “still small voice” of the soul is rarely heard and, when it is, it is usually discarded as fantasy or nonsense. For example, when I worked with late adolescents, I found that they often received deep soul promptings through dreams of visionary experiences. These numinous events seemed to contain valuable guidance for direction in their lives, but usually they were discounted by the dreamers and their peers as fantasy. By contrast, in American Indian culture such experiences are valued as clear messages of life purpose, especially when they appear during puberty. (p. 29)

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Continue with What Does the Natural Self Look Like? The State of Not Losing the Soul Is Emotional Openness and Joy, Being Equally Free in Tears and Laughter

Return to Return to Grace, Part Three — The Primal Scene and the Divine Child: Hierarchical Societies Demand Conformity All the Way Down the Line

People of Programming … “Civilized” Ways

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People of Nature … “Primal” Ways

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Continue with What Does the Natural Self Look Like? The State of Not Losing the Soul Is Emotional Openness and Joy, Being Equally Free in Tears and Laughter

Return to Return to Grace, Part Three — The Primal Scene and the Divine Child: Hierarchical Societies Demand Conformity All the Way Down the Line

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Falls from Grace

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Apocalypse No, Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious finally released!

The electronic version of my first book will be available beginning tomorrow. “Apocalypse No, Apocalyse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious” is being listed on Kindle at that time.

The paperback version will be out in about three weeks.Thanks to everyone for their help in giving me feedback and support while it was in process.

much love, Michael Adzema

Return to Grace, Part Three — The Primal Scene and the Divine Child: Hierarchical Societies Demand Conformity All the Way Down the Line

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Becoming “as a Child” and Building the Better Human — Childhood: The Ego Is Sycophantic to Someone and “The Word” — What Those Voices You Hear Really Are

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Let us turn now to the third fall from grace, that time when the child’s potential is reduced to the acceptable spectrum, only, that reflects the socionormative constructs of the society. Can this be different?

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Primal Scene — We Give Up

Remember that at the primal scene, occurring around the age of four or five, we become “them.” We give up. We see our attempts to interact as ourselves with our parents and the world extending out from them as being utterly futile. We feel it is better to get at least something by being someone they want rather to get nothing and to seethe in loneliness and inattention being the unique person we were meant to be.

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The Unreal Self, the Ego, Is Sycophantic to Someone

So, we cater to others’ requirements and lose connection with our own wants and needs … their needs become our needs.

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We develop an unreal self which is concocted to please others and comprised of bargaining chips to procure approval from others. Our self is sycophantic to someone. Even if that self contains elements of “toughness” or independence, those traits came into being to placate another, usually the same-sex parent.

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“Child Sacrifice”

I say it is comparable to “child sacrifice” and is exemplified in Western culture in the Biblical story of Abraham being told by “God” to sacrifice his son, Isaac. For “God,” you may read the insane workings of the mind in adult life once one has lost a real and felt connection to the transpersonal by means of these falls from grace. You see here, over and again, that we do to others what has been done to us. Having been forced to give up ourselves we are compelled … by “God,” but actually by the end products of emotional pain … to slay that same thing in our children when it presents itself.

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I say it is the fall from grace that occurs as a result of relationship trauma. Indeed, it is that which develops at the time when the child is beginning to connect with the wider world beyond Mother. The earlier traumas and splittings from innate divinity come about in relation to the mother or other primary care-giver. They happen at and around birth and for a while afterward through the interaction of the infant with mother around gestation, actual birth, and then, bonding, nursing, feeding, toilet training, and so on.

While this pressure to split off from the body and its needs and the transpersonal and its directives and guidance continues into toddlerhood, more and more the child interacts with siblings, other children, the father, the other figures in the social unit.

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So, as with the mother, the natural child will seek to have its needs satisfied. Earlier this was for biological needs. Now this is for relational needs … connection with others, interaction, mutual recognition. So over time the biological and affectional needs develop and become related to ways of behaving and interacting around needs of belongingness and connection with loved ones in the immediate family. Ideally these needs are met through mutual recognition and appreciation between distinct human personalities.

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Hierarchical Societies Demand Conformity All the Way Down the Line

However, in complex, hierarchical societies and just like in the Abraham and Isaac myth, the parents will seek to have their children behave and appear to be like miniature versions of themselves … mini-me’s. Like Abraham, the adult is not really seeing the child and its needs as separate from his or her own. Rather the parent is caught up in the mental byproducts of unmet needs from his or her own childhood. Indeed, the child becomes a byproduct of the adult’s attempt to orchestrate the emotional pain within him or herself.

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“The Word”: Those Voices You Hear … What They Really Are

60606PCN_GarnerDorothy11-682x1024How that manifests is that the adult—all the while proclaiming to be doing this “for the child’s own good”—will seek to carve a reflection of him or herself into the precious sensitivity of the toddler and preschooler.

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Without a doubt, the adult thinks it is doing this in obedience to voices coming from outside. For they are the pushes and pulls of his or her own unmet needs in childhood, which—repressed because of the pain associated with them and existing in a portion of the consciousness … and brain … not accessible to consciousness—now have influence seemingly from the outside.

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The fact that the adult will feel that these unconscious forces have the force of a higher power … a deity in Abraham’s case … is because they indeed are the remnants of instructions, nonverbal messages, and admonitions given to that adult as a child from his or her own parents. Coming from outside oneself they seem to come from a supernatural source. Coming from one’s parents they seem to come from a higher source … one requiring strict obedience … one’s parents.

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The “Commandments” and the Culture’s Shared Neurosis

Beyond that, they appear to come from a higher authority since these “commandments” from the parents are reflective of the society as a whole. For the cookie cutter that is pressed upon the precocious personality of the young one and which is in the shape of the parent is somewhat like the cookie cutters of that culture in general. That is to say, the neurotic proclivities of an adult in any society are of course going to be similar to those of the others in that society, for indeed neurosis is all about conformity with others. Put bluntly, the way the parent’s soul has been disfigured is roughly in the manner of the way others in that society have been disfigured.

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“Doctrine” of Infallibility

So, being reflective of the larger society, again the patterns of this unreal self have that sense of being from “above”—from outside oneself and from higher up. Thus, these distorted orchestrations on the self from the outside carry with them all the weight and validity as from an infallible source … though of course that is anything but true.

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I should at least mention at this point that the reason this process of losing one’s self in conformity to supposedly higher others is more extreme in complex, “civilized,” societies is because the hierarchical nature of such societies imposes itself upon all elements of its corresponding culture. Specifically, in such societies virtually all adults are pressured into conformity with higher ups of some sort or other and are sycophantic in relation to them. Naturally this pattern of oppression in the greater society will be reflected in the patterns of relationship in the family as well.

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Building the Better Human — Childhood

A Child Wants to Be of Service by Nature

Now, by contrast to Western attitudes to young children, Liedloff (1977) describes the kind of trust in the innate sociality of the child and the “respect” for the child and for his or her “inclinations” that characterized the Yequana:

Perhaps as essential as the assumption of innate sociality in children and adults is a respect for each individual as his own proprietor. The notion of ownership of other persons is absent among the Yequana. The idea that this is “my child” or “your child” does not exist. Deciding what another person should do, no matter what his age, is outside the Yequana vocabulary of behaviors. There is great interest in what everyone does, but no impulse to influence—let alone coerce—anyone. A child’s will is his motive force. There is no slavery—for how else can one describe imposing one’s will on another and coercion by threat and punishment? The Yequana do not feel that a child’s inferior physical strength and dependence upon them imply that they should treat him or her with less respect than an adult. No orders are given a child that run counter to his own inclinations as to how to play, how much to eat, when to sleep, and so on.

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But where his help is required, he is expected to comply instantly. Commands like “Bring some water!” “Chop some wood!” “Hand me that!” or “Give the baby a banana!” are given with the same assumption of innate sociality, in the firm knowledge that a child wants to be of service and to join in the work of his people. No one watches to see whether the child obeys—there is no doubt of his will to cooperate. As the social animal he is, he does as he is expected without hesitation and to the very best of his ability. (pp. 90-91)

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An Example of the Adult Role Containing Within It Also the Real Self, the Child

In a similar fashion, the Mbuti, as described by Turnbull (1961), hardly notice a difference from child roles and expectations and adult ones:

And one day they find that the games they have been playing are not games any longer, but the real thing, for they have become adults. Their hunting is now real hunting; their tree climbing is in earnest search of inaccessible honey; their acrobatics on the swings are repeated almost daily, in other forms, in the pursuit of elusive game, or in avoiding the malicious forest buffalo. It happens so gradually that they hardly notice the change at first, for even when they are proud and famous hunters their life is still full of fun and laughter. (p. 129)

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The Divine Child

The holy man from India, Sathya Sai Baba, echoes these perspectives of the child as presented by Pearce (1980) and demonstrated in nonliterate cultures. He says, “The human child sees itself as the center of the universe and the world as an extension of its being. This divine child knows that it is so” (1991, p. 295).

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Kasturi (1991), Baba’s editor and translator explains,

Children are most concerned with the Now; Baba reminds us the past is past; do not turn back and look wistfully or wailingly on the road you have traversed already. Children do not see the world as fragmented by walls: Chinese, Berlinese, or erected just to tease; they are involved in everything and with everyone; they represent true innocence, love, forgiveness and fraternity. The child has no conceit or contempt of gender; this divine child [referring to the avatar, Sai Baba] affirms: “Among men I am man; among women I am woman; among children I am a child.” (p. 295)

This child [meaning Sathya Sai Baba] inspires us to become children again so that we might be ever with Him, of Him, in Him. (p. 295)

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Continue with By Adolescence “Civilized” Children Are Programmed … Whereas in Primal Societies Inner Experience is Cultivated: Return to Grace, Part Four — Puberty, Becoming Adult

Return to Changing the Human Condition Starts with Birth: The Most Precocious, Brilliant, and Advanced Children Were Treated Differently as Newborns

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Falls from Grace

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Apocalypse No: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious … the book

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Apocalypse No:
Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious

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Complete Book Chapters with Links

This book is being offered in its entirety online, free of charge and with complete graphics and audio-visual media, at this time. This policy may need to change when it is published separately and offered for sale in the very near future.

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These are the strangest of days. We live in a time in which ending our species in our lifetime, even eliminating all life on this planet, are very real possibilities. The awareness of this acceleration toward an “end of days” — while so horrifying that we are in denial of it and hardly speak it — hangs over us and affects us in ways singular and fantastic.

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This book — Apocalypse No, Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious — awakens us to the unique character of our times. There are powerful factors and unconscious influences erupting into our world now which are changing the Earth and us in radical ways … for good and ill. This unprecedented era in history is rife with the perinatal, that is, with repressed memories locked into us arising from our experiences of birth. We see that our impending apocalypse has to do with birth feelings, birth trauma — an emerging perinatal unconscious.

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Herein is revealed the underbelly of our modern world and life and the impetus behind our self-destruction. We see primal forces arising and exposed. We begin to understand how and why this is happening now. Knowing this gives us the power to do something about our dire situation. Finally, we can direct our attention to the roots of our drive to apocalypse and reverse it.

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More than that, this awakening provides a way of transformation for ourselves. For we see that in the heart of this darkness we are bringing down upon us lies the most incredible opportunity for taking a leap beyond what we think of as human nature. This time calls for a new hero’s cycle — one that leaves behind the thuggishness of the old one. We are lifted beyond ourselves in a higher calling and a transcendent yet deeply rooted spirituality.

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We realize that the necessary answer to the dilemma of apocalypse or Earth rebirth lies, not only in the resurrection of a new Earth, but in the dawning of a new self as well.

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We will either heroically, somehow, save our species and our planet, which will require a change of our human nature unlike anything that has been asked of our species ever before, or we will be witnesses to the elimination of life on this planet in some way that we cannot imagine but can only be horrific in the extreme. This book is about facing, not denying, the uniquely dire character of our times and finding out what it says about us and requires of us.

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There is much here to see, and so much of it the mainstream would never touch for fear of creating a panic. Still, to survive our species must face our problems, not look away. And there is a nobility in doing that, which is unlike any kind of nobility or heroism that has been asked of our species before.

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However, this time brings with it an advantage and opportunity also unprecedented: Never before has it been more clear what is right and what is wrong, what is worthwhile and what is not, what is life … what, death, and what is noble and what evil. At no other time has a higher calling or a path of true nobility of soul been more visible. To align oneself with this cause lifts one out of oneself and one’s petty concerns into a heady and invigorating life purpose. We might die in our efforts. There is every likelihood that we will be unable to reverse our dire trajectory. Still, should that occur, those who face and take up this challenge will not suffer the agony of regretting that one could have done something but did not.

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On the other hand, though we will need many noble souls to reverse our current downslide into oblivion, it is possible that simply a significant fraction of the world’s population—like the “leaven in the dough”—can make all the difference in the world, literally, by tipping our course one way as opposed to another, especially if these people—because of their healing and their awareness of the crisis—are motivated to place themselves in positions of influence and education, or to put their efforts toward healing, on individual and collective levels, in larger numbers than the average populace would. In other words, not just the leaven in the dough but as persons, standing in the right place and with the lever big enough, who can move the world. I hope, for the sake of us all, that you are one of those heroes.

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Chapter One: Strange Days

Chapter Two: “We Ain’t Born Typical””

Chapter Three: The Perinatal Media

Chapter Four: Twenty-First Century Life – Table of DisContents

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Chapter Five: Birth Wars, World Woes

Chapter Six: Healing Crisis – Getting “Sick” To Be Well

Chapter Seven: Through Gaia’s Eyes – Nature Balances HerSelf

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Chapter Eight: Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence

Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society

Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing

Chapter Eleven: Control Versus Surrender … Heaven Leads Through Hell

Chapter Twelve: Atman Projects Versus Surrender Solutions

Chapter Thirteen: Peaceful Warriors and Silly Heroes

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Chapter Fourteen: To Move the World – A Race Against Time

Afterword: Centaurs, Shamans, Sacrificial Lambs, and Scapegoats: Reflections on a Collective Shadow and Experience as Primary

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Continue with Book Five: Wounded Deer and Centaurs

Return to Apocalypse Emergency – Book 3

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The Most Precocious, Brilliant, and Advanced Children Were Treated Differently as Newborns: Changing the Human Condition Starts with Birth

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Building the Better Human … We Do Not Need to Traumatize Our Babies: Return to Grace, Part Two — Doing Better About Birth

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Let us look at some of the evidence for a more fortunate and favorable human condition and some of the factors correlated with it.

So Much About Smiling

We can start with the example of “social smiling.” Mainstream psychology and child development claim that “social smiling” does not occur in the infant until about four or five months, that even “true” pleasure smiling does not develop until around ten weeks, attributing any smiling that occurs before that either to “spontaneous discharge in lower brain regions” or “to gas.” (Sroufe et al, 1992, especially pp. 196-201).

Yet, Leboyer (1975) reported that babies who had entered the world in the humane manner of delivery he developed smile frequently and often from the day of birth. These babies also show physical and emotional advantages way above average. At any rate, it is hard to believe that newborns with the physical and emotional advantages of such a loving and beautiful welcome as is described and attested to for Leboyer babies are having all that much more gas than babies given the normal, harsh hospital welcome.

Our Arrogant Inability to Impute Consciousness to Beings Other Than Us

In addition, the research used to support this idea that infant smiling is not indicative of pleasure has to do with the fact that this smiling occurs regularly for the infant upon going to sleep and that “If their smiles are a sign of pleasure, why don’t they occur when infants are wide awake as well?” (Sroufe et al, 1992, p. 197).

This statement is laughable considering only what I have said so far. For we know that babies do smile when awake, in fact a lot of the time, viz, Leboyer babies. But beyond that, the reasoning involved in it clearly displays some of the problems with the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm I mentioned previously. It seems we find it extremely hard to impute consciousness and awareness to beings other than ourselves . . . and that the furthest from our normal state another conscious state is, the more likely we are to deny its existence.

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Feeling That We Have Been Forced to Give Up Our Awareness, We Want to Deny Awareness in Others.

The reasons for this refusal to acknowledge awareness should be apparent from the devolutional model, where we see, for example, that with each additional splitting of consciousness, at each, so called, “stage of development,” the individual is further reduced in awareness until, as Huxley (1954) put it, “all that remains is the measly trickle of awareness necessary for survival on this planet.” So it makes sense, feeling that we’ve been forced to give up our awareness, we will want to deny awareness to others. And, of course, we can get away with this all the more with those most unlike us, where we can expect community support in this kind of mutual illusory neurosis and scapegoating.

But keep in mind that we are attempting here to maintain the new-paradigm insistence on the prior reality of consciousness. So let us not stray from that and let us see just what is implied by this statement from the mainstream that babies don’t feel pleasure because it happens regularly when they are falling off to sleep. To put it bluntly, if I smile every time I have an orgasm, with strict conformity to certain specific neurophysiological characteristics each and every time, does that mean my orgasms are not pleasurable?

Don’t We Have a Say in How We Feel?

Well, if I were a mainstream psychologist I might have to say, yes, it means that they are not pleasurable. Looking at me from the outside, and not including the factor of my subjectivity—which would cause them to ask me whether or not it was pleasure, to grant me that much respect—they would have to conclude in the negative. However, I would have to disagree with them. And I feel the newborn would probably disagree with them also, if she or he could but speak.

Since he or she cannot, I submit that we should at least leave the question open, rather, that we should assume it is not all that much different from our own experience of smiling and pleasure rather than to err in the direction of concocting bizarre explanations whose main benefit can only be to prop up crumbling and outdated paradigms.

Building the Better Human — Birth and Infancy

But to continue, on this same issue of smiling, we get support cross-culturally that the human condition, as I have described it above, mostly for Westerners, can be different. Pearce (1980) writes concerning the supposed lack of intelligence and lack of social smiling in the Western newborn:

No less than Jerome Bruner of Harvard’s Center for Cognitive Studies, surely one of our more brilliant researchers developed this idea. The assumption is terribly wrong, but the academic rationale growing around it began to include more contradictions blithely ignored because once an idea is accepted into the body of knowledge, everyone “knows” and no one questions it. Everyone “knew” that no smiling occurs for some ten to twelve weeks because infants are born prematurely and have no intelligence during that time. If a mother reported smiling before that acceptable date, the cryptic diagnosis was “gas pains.” (p. 42)

Can it be otherwise? Looking cross-culturally, it appears to be so. Pearce (1980) writes further,

[I]n 1956, Marcelle Geber . . . made a momentous discovery. She found the most precocious, brilliant, and advanced infants and children observed anywhere. These infants had smiled, continuously and rapturously, from, at the latest, their fourth day of life. Blood analyses showed that all the adrenal steroids connected with birth stress were totally absent by that fourth day after birth. Sensorimotor learning and general development were phenomenal, indeed miraculous. These Ugandan infants were months ahead of American or European children. A superior intellectual development held for the first four years of life. . . .

These infants were born in the home, generally delivered by the mother herself. The child was never separated from the mother, who massaged, caressed, sang to, and fondled her infant continually. She slept with her infant. The infant fed continuously, according to its own schedule. These infants were awake a surprising amount of time—alert, watchful, happy, calm. They virtually never cried. Their mothers were bonded to them . . . and sensed their every need before that need had to be expressed by crying. The mother responded to the infant’s every gesture and assisted the child in any and every move that was undertaken, so that every move initiated by the child ended in immediate success. At two days of age (forty-eight hours) these infants sat bolt upright, held only by the forearms, with a beautifully straight back and perfect head balance, their finely focused eyes staring intently, intelligently at their mothers. And they smiled and smiled. (pp. 42-43)

Continue with Return to Grace, Part Three — The Primal Scene and the Divine Child: Hierarchical Societies Demand Conformity All the Way Down the Line

Return to Civilization, Culture, and the History of Our Falls from Grace in Nature … Primal Peoples Had a Nobleness We Don’t Know: Return to Grace, Part One — Can It Be Otherwise?

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