The Most Precocious, Brilliant, and Advanced Children Were Treated Differently as Newborns: Changing the Human Condition Starts with Birth
Posted by sillymickel
Building the Better Human … We Do Not Need to Traumatize Our Babies: Return to Grace, Part Two — Doing Better About Birth
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.
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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