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Just Released, March 2020. *Who to Be: Identity, Authenticity, and Crisis* (2020) by Michael Adzema

*Who To Be: Identity, Authenticity, & Crisis* by Michael Adzema has just been released at Amazon

What does one do in a postmodern, complex, multicultural world in which the options are so numerous and enticing as to paralyze one’s actions? How does one live a good life, a fulfilling life? What actions, commitments, careers, causes, service are most likely to return happiness?

These are questions we all need to address in our youth, yet throughout our lives as well. They come out again specifically during mid-life, and particularly in the mid-life crisis.

One can have access to the entire Universe; but while in Form, one not just *should* but has actually come here to do some aspect or part of that, only. One has one’s dharma, one’s duty arisen out of who one is, and not anyone else’s. This is called one’s *atmadharma*.

It is good, in fact imperative, to open oneself to all kinds of potentials. But if one does not express it, does not bring it out, positively, creatively — and in a fulfilling and socially satisfying way… like a tree does in taking the nutrients it pulls out of the soil to manifest in leaves and blossoms and limbs — one is like a drowned plant, underwater in a swamp … unfulfilled, depressed, unhappy.

At best, one is in an oar-less rowboat, directionless and drifting, in the middle of an infinite sea.This peek into immersion in the Cosmic Soup is instructive. It says something about the spiritual process, the primal process, and the Identity processes of life … especially in the places where they all overlap.

Sample chapters are currently available to read and download at these links:

* ”The Crisis of Humanity & the New Hero’s & Heroine’s Cycles” … Preface of *Who to Be: Identity, Authenticity, and Crisis* (2020) by Michael Adzema. Free. Downloadable chapter.*

Our Global Multiculturalism Directs Us to the Roots of Our Beings as Foundation for Answering the Primary Concern of Human Life, “Who to Be?”

and

*“Civilization and the Travesty of Morals” … Chapter 9 of *Who to Be: Identity, Authenticity, and Crisis* (2020) by Michael Adzema. Free. Downloadable chapter.*

Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Uncivilized “Civilized” Man

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For any of the 13 of Michael Adzema’s works currently in print go to Michael Adzema’s Author’s Page at Amazon

 

*“Civilization and the Travesty of Morals” … Chapter 9 of *Who to Be: Identity, Authenticity, and Crisis* (2020) by Michael Adzema. Free. Downloadable chapter.*

Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Uncivilized “Civilized” Man

“…in taking away all freedoms and rights from Nature and all its planetmates, eventually the rights of any being were no longer seen as of any concern. What another wished, intended, or wanted became increasingly unseen as a consideration, including, eventually, what a woman might want in terms of her body … and what a man might wish to do with his time … or his life. Power became the basis of morality.”

Civilization became about being controlling, narcissistic, baby-like in having insatiable desires and deeming it fine to satisfy them in any way one wished.

9

Civilization and the Travesty of Morals:

Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Uncivilized “Civilized” Man

We show our derelict nature, as hemmed in by civilization, in the major epic story emanating out of early history. It displays exactly how we changed in relation to Nature and how we beat our chests — brazen yet pathetic — about our downfall. Furthermore, it demonstrates how humans changed in their relation to planetmates, to their children, to the others in society, and in the way they thought of themselves and what they considered to be good and true ways to be in life. We see here how the more felicitous aims and the more pleasurable “duties” of life became corrupted so as to produce the sour end product of the modern human — someone who could exterminate millions of people as they were fallen leaves, commit to world wars with uncountable dead, ravage and desecrate their very nest the planet Earth, and ensure the death of all life by radiating the planet for a half million years … a radiation that only tardigrades, microscopic animals, and not even cockroaches have any chance of surviving.

Everything, including who to be, who we were, and what were the proper aims of life changed with civilization. It is something we need to understand in order to correct this major fall from grace, this abomi­nation that we became in Nature. This we must do so as to choose something different and to regain our proper role in relation to Nature and the Divine, in alignment with an actual, a real, not unreal, self, and our unique atmadharma, destiny, and mission in life.

Civilization in the Light of the Natural

The historical period this epic tale depicts is notably after that myth­ologically expressed in Genesis, after Cain and Abel. That story, and the others of Genesis, reflects some prehistoric happenings, occurring over the course of millions of years of evolution. The writer of the narrative in question is now describing, not just our beginnings as farmers and shepherds the way those biblical stories did. At this point we are in cities, we have hierarchy, and we have kings.

The story is The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is said to be the first great literary product, dating back to the time of Babylon. It is astonishing what it contains and how it has never never ever, right up to this day, been seen to be what it is — a depiction of the depraved values and unconsciousness that came about through our supposed “civilization” … perhaps even a hidden critique of civilization and its abominable elites, as we will see. We take that up in this chapter.

It also tells us what became of us in the course of our deeming the world to be non-alive; how we doomed ourselves as well to mortality; how in killing off the alive world we in essence reduced our aliveness. We no longer saw ourselves as the immortal beings we are but reduced our self-perception as well to being mortal beings … pathetic beings relative to who we were.

Nature Versus Civilization

How did this epic show the first point, the travesty of morals? With absolute clarity the story contrasts two humans — one representing civilization, Gilgamesh; the other representing ourselves in Nature, Enkidu.

Now, Gilgamesh is the king, which signifies he is the controlling one and represents the controlling function of the psyche, the Ego. He depicts who we became in becoming more egoistic, more controlling of everything around us, ourselves, other people, and Nature. We became “kings of the jungle,” each of us, dominators of Nature. So Gilgamesh is civilized man.

Enkidu is natural man. He is primal man, for he is said to be “wild.” He lived in the wilderness, actually. Astonishingly, he was discovered through the fact that he, being attuned to and sympathetic of the planetmates still, was on the sly releasing our furry relatives from the traps that the “civilized” humans had been setting for them.

So you see the huge contrast. Now, note also what is said about their behavior. First, there is a conflict between the two setting off a huge fight between them. What starts the brawl is that Gilgamesh is determined to rape this woman and Enkidu blocks his way. You heard that correctly, the “civilized” man is the one who rapes; the “wild” man is the one who protects innocents. Just as he had been protecting the planetmates by, among other things, releasing them from traps, Enkidu was set on protecting other innocent and vulnerable beings … in this instance, women. Here already, we see echoes of modern times in which the sensitive and compassionate are deemed unmanly and termed “bleeding hearts.” Meanwhile, the ruthless and grasping are consecrated as being “real-worldly” and practical, and the power that insensitivity brings to them is admired, even applauded.

Oh, sure, in the context of the story, the non-consensual sex Gilgamesh was after, and partook of heartily in general and on many other occasions, was not labeled “rape.” No, and this is what is so amazing: The rape is considered okay and to be in keeping with morals! Remember what I was saying earlier about the elite determining religious dictates to suit themselves, while christening their desires with the power of divine authority and intent? They say their narcissistic drives are the commandments of the gods. Well, sure enough, the rape was “okay” in the context of the story … not a crime! nope … because it had been … ahem … ordered by the gods. In particular it was the solar god, the patriarchal one, Shamash, who supposedly authorized kingly rape. That is significant, the solar part; keep it in mind, for later.

Civilization’s Overwhelming Onslaught Against Natural Values … and Normal Human Feelings

You see how the easy and natural morality of Nature gets complicated … not to mention confused … once hierarchy and men with desires and power to attain them are brought into the mix? No doubt it takes quite a bit of propaganda and enforcement to so distort entire societies’ views of the obvious … not to mention to get them to dismiss their natural feelings for empathy coming into play during the execution of these “divinely ordained” assaults and wrongs. Certainly, the cries and wishes of the raped woman are to be put out of one’s mind. Which is remi­niscent of the way the wishes of indigenous cultures are trampled as the industrial world exploits their land. Or how the weeping of the mothers for their obliterated children in countries bombed for oil and corporate power cannot be heard, let alone heeded.

Yet this kind of suppression of such a powerful natural part of humans … which we call “our humanity,” in fact — which is to be averse to pain, suffering, and the domination and death of innocent others and to wish to prevent these in others out of a unity of feeling with the suffering other — is achieved in civilized culture.

Apologetics

You think, perhaps, this is of no consequence. You think it an obscure point of little effect on people’s lives. I am here to tell you this travesty of feeling come of civilization — with power and authority the wellspring of right and wrong … with might making right and power making privilege — is embedded deeply in civilizational culture. It is at the core of family life and even the modern psychologies sprung of deliberation of its dynamics. Let me give one example

Of the Oedipal Kind

While Freud’s Oedipus complex is not as much a part of the modern dialogue as it once was, it remains largely unchallenged, hence prevailing in the area it seeks to explain. It has long been subject to criticism as being culturally variable; it is said of it that it is a product primarily of civilized cultures, especially Western cultures. Yet as pertains to such cultures, it is not disputed in intellectual circles.

Well, what if I were to tell you that we can now see, in the light of experiential psychotherapies such as primal therapy, that such a depic­tion of the family dynamic is a consequence of the patriarchal “ethic” itself. Itself it is a “travesty of morals.” In a way parallel to the way Gilgamesh’s brutality is condoned, lauded even, we to this day have been advancing the idea of Oedipal and Electra conflicts at the heart of the childhood narrative. Freudians claim that a young boy wants to mate with his mother and replace his father; this is the Oedipus complex. Young girls want to mate with their dads and replace their mothers; this is the Electra complex. Both are resolved — it is said, “successfully” — by the child “identifying with the aggressor.” And you would think that depiction — the parent as the “aggressor” — might have given them a clue. For is that any different from the complicity of the oppressed and ruled, during Gilgamesh’s time, in kingly rape?

You don’t see it yet? Okay, to continue.

Well, no, it did not; identification with “the aggressor” fell silently on unillumined minds. For in modern societies and mainstream counsel­ing and psychology it is thought that the successful resolution is had when the child surrenders her and his desires for closeness with the parent of the opposite gender and instead identifies with that parent. Stockholm syndrome, anyone?

But, no. Not understood. For this “resolution” assumes a superfi­cial understanding of the dynamic. When actually this “develop­ment” has two distinctly patriarchal components — a pander­ing and sycophancy regarding authority, along with a condemna­tion of the weak, vulnerable, and needy. That is to say, this explanation exonerates the parent’s role, and the parent’s behavior, in the drama, and places blame on the child. The child is not seen as innocent; the parent is. Self-congratulate much? Scapegoat much?

Whereas from the perspective of primal psychology this Oedipal-Electra dynamic is entirely different: The child, innocent, having natural and fundamental needs for love, attention, respect, and so on, wishes to receive them of both parents, including the one of the opposite gender. Meanwhile that parent, aloof, insensitive, and having been deprived and Oedipalized and Electra-lized him- or herself as a child, wants both to push the loving child away as well as sexualize the child, wishing to get a sexually symbolic substitute from their child of what they were deprived growing up. When this is acted out, and it often is, we have incest. To think that it is the child, innocent of such understandings of sexuality and not confusing sex with simple affection — as the parent does — that is the instigator of either the sexual use-abuse or the Oedipal-Electra desire for intimacy is just another aspect of the authoritarian, patriarchal schema we have had thrown upon our perspectives from the time of the birth of civilization.

Rather, the essence of these dynamics of childhood is best ex­plained in the dynamic of the primal scene, which, according to Janov, occurs around the age of four or five … not coincidentally the same time as these Freudian dynamics. To think that a child of four or five is sexually desiring the parent is not only child abuse, it is typical of the way ordinary and innocent love and feelings of closeness are sexualized in civilized and predominantly patriarchal societies, where such ordinary feelings …. as we see Enkidu had … is disparaged and repressed.

What is actually going on in these dynamics is that the child, in the case of the boy, sees the father’s distinctly patriarchal abuse and disre­spect of the mother — the mother from whom that child came, who nursed that child, who is in a way large or small bonded with that child. You see, the Oedipus complex, if we want to call it that, arises out of a child’s innocent reaction to the misogyny … to the pervasive misogyny displayed in all kinds of ways, subtle and not so, in the culture. So also in the child’s own father. The child, now, with innocent eyes, sees the disrespect … even if others do not … sees the abuse, and wants to come to the mother’s defense. The abuse is bad enough so that the boy imagines saving the mother from the assaults of the father … exactly the way Enkidu wished to block the way of Gilgamesh from raping the bride!

The son, from this perspective, is trying to protect the mother from a dangerous and violent husband. Then when patriarchal apologists, in the guise of psychoanalysts and mainstream counselors, see this dynamic they impugn the purity of the child’s love in sycophantic and society-sanctioning support of the father — both condoning the father’s brutality of the mother and the boy, as well as projecting onto the boy the father’s twisted feelings, himself jealous of the attention his wife gives his son. In this manner, scapegoating the boy, the father covers up the guilt that would otherwise come of acknowledging his own jealousy.

Of the Electra Kind

On the female side, the girl, naturally bonded with the mother as well, wants also to be loved by the father. Why would not a child, or anyone, want to be loved by both important figures in the young one’s life? Yet here again, the father’s twisted, perverted desires to have his daughter sexually is projected onto the child. “It’s not me! She’s the one who is seducing me!” As common as is this thinking in regard to sexual predators and incestual fathers, you would think that psychological theorists somewhere along the way would have seen through this paternal gambit and stopped blaming the daughter for the parent’s erotic leanings. But they did not…. And that is why I bring this up in this chapter on civilization and the travesty of morals. For the Electa and Oedipal complexes are a common, everyday example of how morality got turned on its head with civilization.

I will get into this again later, when I go in more detail into this area of the identification with the aggressor, a concept alone fertile with insight. But for now, do you see how the patriarchy, like the story of Gilgamesh, sanctions the abuse of others and slanders the intentions of those who would defend those innocents out of empathy and feeling for them? Notice here how the cultures of contemporary and patriarchal societies include the same processes of the family dynamic…. Elites, just like fathers, are to be protected and sanctioned in their brutality, whereas the opposition … rebels and sons … are to be slandered and their inten­tions distorted so as to discredit them.

Of the Patriarchal Kind

Though such repression and such a campaign of slander and propa­ganda has always required, and still does, an immense amount of power, military, police and security forces, control of media, clergy, and the professional service class to bring it about. You can see how, from the Oedipus-Electra projections, that would include its mental health professionals. However, this was all done during most of historic time through brute force. By contrast, contemporary societies have gotten ever subtler in the use of propaganda and coercive enforcement of unnatural, but elite-serving, dictums.

For that matter, and equally astounding, is that such propaganda, to this day, is not seen for the ruse it is. In a popular interpretation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, the author, Stephen Mitchell (2004), states that “we are told ‘Enkidu’s face went pale with anger,’ but we aren’t told why he is angry.”3 This he writes concerning Enkidu’s reaction to finding out that Gilgamesh will force himself upon the bride and have his way with her after the wedding ceremony. This is a lot like we see in the Abraham and Isaac story. With Abraham and Isaac, a natural response is to think that it is insane to think that a god would tell a person to kill his child. That is the child noticing the emperor has no clothes. It takes “culture” to tell us that there is something religious going on, something to do with God, in a story about a man having a “spiritual” message to kill someone. Similarly, that someone’s rage at someone else’s intention to rape is questionable, as it is for Mitchell, requires quite a bit of cultural propa­ganda to be able to think. Again, that innocent child, able to see an emperor with no clothes, sees nothing strange about a man being enraged by another man’s intention to rape a woman. But not this author, Stephen Mitchell. He writes, “This leaves us with the raw emotion of Enkidu’s anger … unexplained and uninterpretable….”

Yet, Enkidu is not confused, at all! Morality, for the natural person such as Enkidu, is simple: What a person or planetmate wants and chooses is important and to be respected. Taking away that right causes suffering and is wrong, especially if one trounces the other’s desires and wishes with one’s own. No confusion at all with a natural morality in mind. Substituting one’s own wants for another’s amounts to domi­nation … making oneself more important than the other. On a societal level, it is called oppression. Regardless, forcing sex on someone, as occurs in the story, is a clear no-no to an unassuming mind, a clear one … such as Enkidu’s.

Furthermore, that author of the Gilgamesh publication for our times offers a rather jolting apologetic for the patriarchy. He reminds that the rape is okay because it was sanctioned by the gods. Correspond­ingly, he expresses his confusion as to what the to-do about it is. Why is Enkidu enraged, he wonders. “Hasn’t he understood that this is a ritual act sanctioned by the gods?”

Let me stop laughing at that before I continue. Notice both the sanctioning-by-gods part, but also that Mitchell is glossing over the brutality of a rape with the euphemism that it is part of a “ritual.” Which is not part of the story, at all. This is an astounding reflection, however, of the way religion is brought in to sanction the desires of elites and to rule out any nods to common empathy and human feeling.

Okay, in so doing the author impresses his own inability to see the obvious onto his reader. He passes along the confusion about morals that adhere once elites begin inserting their desires into public morality. Mitchell writes, “One thing it [this supposedly “not knowing” of the reason for Enkidu’s rage] means is that we don’t take sides. Yes, Gilgamesh is a tyrant but he is also magnificent. Yes, he mates with the lawful wife, but this apparent sexual predation may be in the divine order of things, and to oppose it is not necessarily virtuous.” And, if he believes that, well, I have some fine and wonderful preemptive wars and soldierly massacres of civilians he can next explain to us … along with the lies and harmful decrees of an American president beholden only to his inner demons for council.

Am I the only one cringing at this author’s twisted words of syco­phancy? Not that this man is sycophantic to Gilgamesh, of course, but clearly the author, raised in a patriarchy and schooled in its elitist and traditionally patriarchal, hallowed halls has not a clue of the obvious in the story. The obvious which is that — rules of the elite and the privi­leges of the elite be damned — a rape is a rape and is a horror, to any innocent and honorable person. Clearly it is that way in the story itself, as we see in Enkidu’s reaction. This is the case however much you might have the law, or the supposed approval of the gods (the ones enlisted in support of the divine order of kings … and that should be a hint), to support it. As you will soon see, I do not believe even the ancient author (or authors) of The Epic of Gilgamesh are as confused … or sycophantically blind … as is this modern-day author.

How can I not simply hear Kellyanne Conway, Spencer Spicer, or Sarah Huckabee Sanders trying to explain Donald Trump’s many inconsistencies and lies in these remarks. Such are the perils of syco­phancy. Once one has given over one’s perception of the obvious to patriarchs and authorities, one is left having to spout inane rationaliza­tions … and to struggle to believe them oneself. One might even think that there are “alternative facts” to justify the inane pronounce­ments and behaviors of “kings” and tyrants … and unjustly installed American presidents.

The “Morality” of Power

This pattern in civilized and demented … devolved … societies of rewriting the obvious about existence to suit their elites is seen many other places. Indeed, as I said we see it in the Abraham and Isaac story. In both cases, the atrocity — the rape or the killing of a child — is rationalized. For the abomination is attributed to a patriarch — in partic­ular, one aligned with a patriarchal god. And readers and interpreters for millennia afterward, therefore and right up to today, fail to notice the obvious wrong and brutality involved. The masses of humanity having been programmed in alignment with patriarchal cultures to deny their feelings, along with their own perceptions and their own obvious interpretations of events, most folks are to this day utterly confused about the meaning of a natural morality that arises out of empathy and feelings.

Morality Explained, Confused

This is so prevalent that I came across it most recently in a meeting a few of us had on the issue of ethics. We were preparing for a panel discussion on ethics in an era of Trumpism, incidentally. This issue came up as to what might be a common ground of morality for all cultures and peoples of the world. In the ensuing discussion, I offered that a common denominator of all beings is a natural morality — in line with ordinary human feelings and empathy — which is that life is good, death is bad; that suffering and pain inflicted on others is bad; that help, kindness, love, and anything positive offered others is good. Simple, right? Christ summed it up, “love your neighbor as yourself.” There could not be a better, more concise expression of the unity with and empathy for other people being the basis of morality than that. Christ is saying, another’s suffering is as much to be avoided as one’s own, another’s happiness is as much to be desired as one’s own.

I also offered, as a corollary for it follows from the first, that this morality could be summed up in the non-directive directive, “You can do anything you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone.” Well, imme­diately, the reaction was, “Well, you’re going to have a hell of a lot of people having a problem with that!” Clearly, for most all of us, by this time in history, the idea of good and bad has gotten mixed up with dictums of do’s and don’ts of behavior — handed down and instilled in us from some outside authority or others — which are split from any feelings and in which empathy is irrelevant. Often these pronounce­ments are attributed to random inclinations of some transcendent god or other.

For example, that recreational drug use, including the kind that is overtly mind-expanding (psychedelic) or wholeness-directing (holo­tropic) or facing toward God (entheogenic); that any kind of consensual sex, including homosexuality, sodomy, masturbation, consen­sual non-monogamy; that “swearing” and “profanity” or “taking God’s name in vain”; and so on … many other examples could be given and they vary widely by culture and religion … are in themselves hurtful to anyone is clearly not true. On the other hand, that these are individualistic impulses which are contrary to having a uniformly alike mass of people, easily managed and manipulated to the ends and profits of an elite, is certainly true. The only things such free and uninhibited behavior hurt are the profits of the powerful and the desires of the elite for the populace to be constrained, obedient, unexpressive, and thereby manageable. And this, for their profits, but also as preemptive action against the rising up of the populace, which such expression if not smothered, naturally results in.

Despite this, the masses of folks, throughout civilizational history, have gotten it into their heads that there is a god or some gods somewhere who want us to abide by such kind of inane directives, regardless how little sense they contain or import they have on human happiness. And the masses are willing to kill, torture, and war … i.e., do all kinds of evil things … in allegiance to such nonsensical “command­ments” and directed against all others not abiding by them.

Again, just like in Eden and as we will see, in Abraham and Isaac, morality does not have to make sense. It can be random, capricious, nonsensical, even. The Abraham story in particular imposes that misper­ception: Obey, regardless! It does not have to make sense to one’s own sense of morality, one’s own feelings of right and wrong.

Follow the Money, Follow the Power, Follow the Ego

You can see how convenient having such a populace believing such a thing would be for the purposes of warring on others; but notice also how it works toward the masses obeying in all matters emanating in profit to the elite, or to their ego-aggrandizement (notice how often the truly nonsensical word “glory” is used in patriarchal tomes, including this one regarding Gilgamesh), or to the Controllers’ desire-satisfaction, regardless how perverted. It takes a truly repressed, non-individualistic, unexpressive, and unfree people to satisfy the predilections of the narcissistic elites of all civilized societies.

Yet a closer look reveals that such injunctions trace conveniently upon the predilections of the elites of society, then and now. Just as the patriarchal god Shamash’s permission of rape for the king could not be more self-serving to Gilgamesh. Despite this, the fact that people are hypnotized into believing that morality does not have to make sense, that obedience to nonsensicals is a good thing, shows how successful patriarchy has been in confusing morality for people in general in order to mask their desire to do whatever they want for themselves and to punish whatever they want, however ridiculous, in their subjects.

Conversely, patriarchy’s overwhelming success in deluding folks into adhering to the ridiculous in order to suit the elite’s desires is shown in how the idea that there is a good part of a person, an empathy or feelings, that would naturally, as in a natural morality, stand in the way of harming and causing suffering, is completely eliminated from the imagined possibilities of humans. And this depiction of human nature as inherently vile and deranged, therefore needing reining in, punishment, control, and so on … well, can you see how that plays directly into the hands of the patriarchal elite? For if humans are naturally “wild” and uncontrolled, then do not they require these elites and their self-serving dictums, authorized by their concocted and inherently capricious and not-understandable “gods,” to keep them in line, to “keep the peace,” to provide religion, police, psychiatrists, jails, pharmaceuticals, punishments — however self-serving to the elites, yet in this way justified to an oppressed and mind-controlled populace?

In any case, observing all this, I see how radical and necessary our generational injunction to “question authority” was, and still is, for the righting of our ethical boat. Clearly this contemporary author of the Gilgamesh interpretation did not get that memo.

The Travesty of Morals

Back to the story, Enkidu’s protecting the woman is not an incidental happening, either. We see it is part of a pattern where the values and ethics one would expect … where goodness is equated with life values such as life over death, and less suffering over more suffering, and more respect for other’s rights and feelings over less respect or brutality over other’s rights and feelings, and harmony with one’s environment over aggressive and destructive acts regarding one’s environment … are com­pletely overturned. They get reversed in each and every instance.

Civilization, Elites … Might, and Materialism, Makes Right

Somehow we see the wonders of the rising up of cities — and in these days the miraculous products of material civilization, such as our electronic devices and the other amazing products displayed in our markets — as more civilized than goodness or morality … or the reduction of anyone’s pain and suffering or the limitation of deaths. Regardless what we tell ourselves, we feel that being good at making “things” is more “good,” more moral, than simple things like kindness, respect for lives, or reducing the inevitable suffering of other living beings. Indeed, it is not coincidental that in “civilized” societies, material things — especially that produced by the hands and by their extensions in industry — are deemed “goods.”

Why do you suppose so many in modern times — conservative types — give such a wide berth to the actions of the titans of industry? Those who we deem to be creators of the material world around us we allow all kinds of atrocities — murders, wars, despoliation of the environ­ment. We say it is because they are job creators or “wealth” creators, when neither of those are true. See my Culture War, Class War (2013) on that, specifically.

In fact, all those rationalizations of the super-worthiness of the elite are evidence, merely, of our feelings that they are more powerful than us, they feel threatening to us, and we feel safer being sycophantic regarding them. Hence we will grant rich folks free rein in the moral sphere, along with forgiveness of their horrible crimes, rather than acknowledge the obvious. Notice, as a perfect example of this, how George W. Bush and his cadre of well-to-do war profiteers in modern times were allowed to walk away from their many crimes. Consider how the bulls of Wall Street were actually rewarded with payoffs for their actions that brought so much death and hardship to world citizens at the time of the global economic collapse of 2008. Meanwhile, ordinary folks — especially in America, African-American males — are prosecuted for petty infractions or attacked, even killed, for nothing at all.

For our purposes in this book, simply notice how we in modern civilization, in actual fact, are not much different from the slaves and subjects in ancient Egypt. For we glorify our “pharaohs” as well, and we allow all kinds of cruelties and atrocities of those who are good at making “things” … the bigger the better — skyscrapers, pyramids. Remember, the rich and powerful Donald Trump — sexual predator, liar, racist, cheater of workers, misogynist and user and disrespecter of women, and tax-dodger — was allowed to be installed as a president not long ago. Morality does not apply to the ones we deem so much higher above us in being able to wield power and to make and do things we could not imagine ourselves pulling off.

The point is that morals become a surreal travesty with civilization, and we see that represented in that Enkidu, the “wild” man, steps in to block the “civilized” man from attacking a woman. What of Gilgamesh and his intentions? Well, he deems it his right to rape any woman in his kingdom that he wishes. See in that how much civilization became about being controlling and being narcissistic and baby-like in having insatiable desires and deeming it fine to satisfy them in any way one wishes, irrespective of their effects on anyone else. Uh, Trump reference again, perhaps? Remember, as he himself put it, he’s a celebrity so he can get away with anything … and all manner of “pussy grabbing” and the like is within his purview, without consequence.

Beyond that, Gilgamesh considers it his right to dominate and control his male “subjects,” removing from them their free will, as well.  Yes, he is described as oppressing his “subjects,” along with raping at will, the women. After all, he is king, isn’t that his prerogative? You see how odd it is in all these millennia that it never occurred to anyone to question the “civility” of that? At least in relation to Enkidu’s “wildness” in setting planetmates free from traps? What does that say about us? About the human blinders, the blinders of civilization, that block our awareness of the obvious?

Not to mention, what it says about which stratum of societies determines what ideas will be promulgated therein; what will be pro­fessed, by scholars; who will be appointed to teach at institutions of higher learning; or whose books, up till only a few decades ago with the digital revolution, will see the light of day.

Civilization and the Rape of Nature and the Divine

In any case, raping women and oppressing his “subjects” as he goes, Gilgamesh adds additional crimes. He shows how our diminished awareness as humans separated from Nature gets acted out on Nature … and even the Divine!

Gilgamesh proceeds to a forest, the Cedar Forest, and he cuts down all its sacred wood. He kills, also, the “monster” protecting this arboreal stand from abuse, as easily as modern corporations roll over and kill off indigenous cultures also trying to save their environments. Throughout history this has happened, by the way. Regardless, we see how this attack on the Cedar Forest and its guardian is an aggression and controlling of the sacred Flora Kingdom.

Subsequently, Gilgamesh kills, also, the Bull of Heaven, which is clearly symbolic of taking the life and soul of the Fauna Kingdom. Significantly, it is a bull. After all, cattle — cows and the like — were among the first designs of humans for “domestication” and control. Notice also that it is “of heaven.” Indeed, in one of the more legitimate instances in the story of divine intent, the bull was sent from on high as punishment to Gilgamesh for his crime against Nature.

Furthermore, this killing of the Bull of Heaven indicates how we descended into patriarchal religion, from Earth religions … how we suppressed matriarchal, goddess, “lunar” religions in favor of “sky” or “solar” religions, patriarchal ones, when we “advanced” to increasing dependence on farming and “civilization” in the creation of urban centers and its increasing separation from Nature.

In any case, Gilgamesh takes the Bull of Heaven and kills it. In taking the lives of the forest and that of heaven, we see here a humanity, specifically a “man”kind, a civilized patriarchy, at war with both Earth and heaven … with both Nature and the Divine.

Civilization, its Seductions and Regrets

Gilgamesh enlists Enkidu’s help, by the way. You see how this is symbolic of how our “civilized” self, our unreal self, took over and suppressed the values of our natural self, our real self? Indeed, that is exactly what the epic portrays. It says that a harlot seduces Enkidu and then entices him into drinking alcohol and eating bread. Notice here how becoming civilized is being equated with the eating of food produced, not by Nature, but by farming. By grain … the bread.

It is also associated with another product of grains, beer, which significantly is intoxicating. So, the ecstatic ceremonies of the “wild” folks — the gatherer-hunters, in actual history — which often employed hallucinogenic and specifically entheogenic (entheogen means “toward God”) plants and substances, get supplanted by “recreational” pastimes in which are used drugs that do not open one to God but instead cover up the conscience that is in forever alarm at what civilized humanity does. Opiates that conceal the atrocities of the higher ups, along with one’s own, are desired by all concerned in a civilized, demented, degenerate, elite-controlled society, of course.

In fact, the story reveals that Enkidu, the first “wild” man seduced into civilization, has a burning conscience, causing him regret. He bemoans everything that has been wrought of his “descent” into civilization.

The Gods Do Not Approve

For one thing, remember that Enkidu was saving his fellow planetmates from their traps. Subsequently, the “gods” enlist Enkidu to “rein in” Gilgamesh. Notice that here in this epic, almost despite itself, it is giving note that the Divine does not approve of the behavior emanating from humans as a result of their “civilization.”

In fact nowhere did the “gods” in ancient times approve of our descents; whether it was the crimes of Prometheus, Adam and Eve, Cain, or Gilgamesh. It took more modern times, Christianity, and Western culture to begin having a God approving of our lives as abominations in Nature.

We see the epitome of that today where fundamentalist religion in the West — especially as depicted by Tea-Party-type folks in America — is equated with Western civilization and its materialism more than anything at all transcendent or sacred. Capitalism has become equated with Divinity in America in modern times. You can hear that equation in any religious pronouncements from Republicans today. It is civilization, and especially its modern material consumer-obsessed form, that is considered holy. And nationalism, which defends, with all manner of military methods, that material culture, is deemed as sacred, or more so, than God. Look for yourself at the worship around the American flag. Notice for yourself how in churches the American flag will be displayed upon the altars along with all the religious iconography.

Back to the Gilgamesh story, it is the wild man Enkidu who is moral. And whereas we presume civilization to have higher morality than humans in the wild, as does the epic on the face of it, it cannot help but reveal that the gods don’t think this at all! For Enkidu represents a “natural morality,” one that emanates from all humans at their base — before the priests and “theologies” come in to muck it up. A natural morality which is that what is good is what is related to life, not death; and is what is related to less suffering, not more suffering. And it is this “natural conscience” of humans, represented by Enkidu, that the gods seek to enlist to rein in “civilized” man, Gilgamesh.

Notice how at odds that is with the story, which has Gilgamesh, according to the laws and rules of “man,” with the right to rape women and oppress men. Gilgamesh in raping women did not do “wrong” according to the morality of the day. Indeed, in the epic, it is said that the gods have given Gilgamesh this lurid “right,” which all patriarchal religions have done — undergirding the power and privilege of the elites everywhere, as long as there have been hierarchical societies. Consider how in taking away all freedoms and rights from Nature and all its planetmates, eventually the rights of any being, even human, were no longer seen as of any concern. What another wished, intended, or wanted became increasingly invisible as a consideration, including, eventually, what a woman might want in terms of her body … and what a man might wish to do with his time … or his life. Power became the basis of morality. But the gods — and they knew Enkidu, the natural man, would feel the same — did not see it that way. The gods did not see morality according to “man’s” rules, regardless what men would claim regarding them.

We see this in Genesis where Yahweh, the God of the Jews, prefers the offering of Abel, the sheepherder, and not Cain, the farmer. Remember, as herders we still retained a bond with planetmates; we conscribed their wanderings, but we also cared for them. We killed them eventually, but we also allowed them to grow to full maturity. We did not allow them to roam freely, yet they were able to roam.

Whereas the farmer has no such connection or bond with the planetmates. The farmer exhibits a greater separation from Nature and the Divine and a more extreme objectification of the alive Universe around him, including its planetmates. He shows this in the way he enlists the efforts of planetmates toward the tilling of the soil; the way a farmer holds a cow in place, imprisons it, in order to steal from it daily its milk meant for its offspring. In the way the farmer does the same imprisoning of fowl for the purpose of daily removing their offspring to be eaten by humans. So the farmer, to do that, cannot have the same kind of sensitivities toward planetmates as herders; and earth-tillers must necessarily suppress their natural feelings — their “natural” morality — just like we did earlier in order to allow our ability to murder planet­mates — in other words, to hunt.

The point here is that — despite the literature of man basically being construed in ways so as to bolster the elite and to orchestrate the “civilized” members of society along the lines of the powerful — our literary creations cannot but help reveal the Divine displeasure at said “civilization” and separation from Nature. The Unapproved and Hidden Freudian-slips out into the world through the doorway of the story­tellers’ creative fervor.

In fact, in reading the epic one can justly consider the writer or writers might actually have been trying to express their own disapproval and complaint about such a status quo, however in the only way one could at such a time, with patriarchs everywhere in power and control­ling everything, including any literary productions. Such a literary product might have been reproduced, promulgated, and eventually come to light, only because its criticism — clear as a bell to any with the sensitivity and sanity to see it — is so overlaid and hidden with the usual glorification of power and the powerful, which it also provides.

Perhaps even the author’s original writing was edited by the powers-that-be of the time prior to its inscription in stone — much as any of our media-produced books today must bow to the prevailing academic and political gods in order to see the light of day. Perhaps it was infused with all this glorification of kingship and the right and behavior of kings by the elite themselves, much as one might, as Donald Trump did recently, edit another’s tweet so as to make it fit with his prejudices and desires. Regardless, hidden inside a shell of the required sycophancy is why this pearl of insight and complaint into the injustices of early hierarchies was allowed to survive. Just as the spiritual aspects of alchemy, during the Middle Ages, are said to have been covered up in scientific metaphor to hide them from the light of an otherwise direly disapproving Catholic hegemony, so also we might see here during the time of ancient Mesopotamia such a ruse to safeguard the writer.

All that understood, next in this part let us look more closely at some of what amounts to the mythology around the primal scene and the Oedipal conflict. Naturally, we start with the ancient story of Oedipus.

— this is an excerpt from  *Who to Be: Identity, Authenticity, & Crisis* by Michael Adzema. It has just been released for publication as of March, 20th, 2020. Click to order print or digital copies and go to Michael Adzema’s Author’s Page at Amazon for other books, info, and updates.

This chapter is complete and downloadable at this link.

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For any of the 13 of Michael Adzema’s works currently in print go to Michael Adzema’s Author’s Page at Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

*How We Act Out Prenatal “Bad Blood” in Our Actions:  Bloody games—war; xenophobia, blood letting, smoking; racism, homophobia, intolerance, classism, elitism*

 

 

 

This brings us to the psychotic acting out of these thoughts and feelings — rooted in unconscious prenatal discomforts and repressed third trimester fetal memory patterns — by insane societies.

 

*Bloody Games — War*

In this aspect of fetal discomfort, a reduced blood flow to the placenta is experienced as a buildup of carbon dioxide and toxins, since they are not removed as efficiently as they were before. Lloyd deMause explains how this womb situation is universally expressed among humans as a fear of being “poisoned” by “bad blood.” He has found that feelings of being trapped and at the same time “infused” with bad blood or toxic energies of some sort precede the outbreak of all wars.

 

For these wars are the unconscious way humans try to “break free” from these uncomfortable feelings, which are for the most part just early unresolved memories from our beginnings in life. We see “bad blood” as coming from the enemy. We see the enemy as an attacking many-headed monster “encroaching” on the “home”land … a threatening multi-veined placenta, aging and filled with toxins, “filth.” So we wish to attack and destroy the enemy — this placental “monster” — so we can “breathe free” again and escape their “poisonous filth.” (See BPM IV.)

 

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*How We Act Out “Bad Blood” — Xenophobia, Blood Letting, Smoking*

The perfect example, however, is the xenophobia that resulted in the Nazis treatment of the Jews around the time of World War II. I have already pointed out how these walking psychotics injected poisonous gas into Jews in gas chambers out of these prenatal feelings, which they framed in adult thoughts of being themselves infected with tainted money from these Jews. Let us now look at other act outs of this.

 

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*Racism, Classism, Elitism, Homophobia, Intolerance*

This is the basis of racism … blacks are pollutants, as are Jews is what is thought. They want to take away our purity — our pure children … blood libel; our women’s pure virtue. And so we need to dress in white, indicating “pure” blood, to defend against these incursions (the Ku Klux Klan) of “bad blood.”

 

These feelings of being “sickened” at the end of our womb existence are the root of all xenophobia with its creation always of a toxic Other which cannot be allowed to infect the virtue and purity of people of “our blood.”

 

We see it in intolerance of others of all kinds. Several years ago, on May 21st, 2012, a Baptist preacher from the South made headlines everywhere by announcing from the pulpit that all gays and lesbians should be “rounded up,” placed in an “enclosure,” surrounded by an “electrified fence.” He imagined they could have food air-dropped to them until they died (obviously an insufficient … oxygen starvation … or poisoned … bad blood … amount.) At this point, I do not believe I need to unravel the prenatal qualities of the morass his mind was thinking in.

 

And why all this? His exact words are, because “It makes me pukin’ sick!” what homosexuals do. Need I say more?

 

 

But this thinking is found in classism as well, where royalty calls itself “bluebloods” and only allows marriage between others of its class — from one’s own nation or another, interestingly — and will not allow its “blood” to be mixed with the polluted blood of the masses and “riff raff.”

 

University intellectuals have a more “refined” take on this primal disgust: They set up barriers to academic entrance in order to “keep out the unwashed,” without a clue they are coming across like scared fetuses inside a virtual womb (academia) trying to protect their continuing flow of blood (money).

 

This fetal malnutrition gives rise to bigoted ideas of keeping racial lines “pure.” It insists upon no mixing of the races … or ethnicities … for fear of affecting the gene “pool” (pool of blood), but it is always described in terms of “blood” that will be mixed, tainted, polluted, made impure, or degraded. Can you see how these are all instances of fear of encroachment by another from which one senses a threat of pollution and in conjunction with which one feels suffocated, made helpless, unable to move freely?

 

 

 

More at…   “Pre & Perinatal Psychology & the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events” — 1st half of *Wounded Deer & Centaurs* (2016) by Michael Adzema. (complete book, with my compliments) 

— or *Wounded Deer & Centaurs: The Necessary Hero & the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events* (2016) by Michael Adzema. (complete book, with my compliments)

https://mladzema.wordpress.com/2019/08/02/wdc/

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Invite you to
join me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sillymickel
friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel
Connect with me on Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mickeladzema/

..

— this is an excerpt from *Wounded Deer and Centaurs: The Necessary Hero and the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events. * Return to Grace, Volume 5. (2016)  by Michael Adzema.

 

See also the related works by Michael Adzema, titled,

Psychology of Apocalypse: Ecopsychology, Activism, and the Prenatal Roots of Humanicide. Volume 11. (2018)

Prodigal Human: The Descents of Man. Volume 10. (2016)

Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call. Volume 3. (2013)

Apocalypse NO: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious. Volume 4. (2013)

Funny God: The Tao of Funny God and the Mind’s True Liberation. Volume 7. (2015)

Culture War, Class War: Occupy Generations and the Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths. Volume 1. (2013)

 Planetmates: The Great Reveal. Volume 6. (2014)

       

 

 

For any of the 12 of Michael Adzema’s works currently in print go to Amazon at…

https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Adzema/e/B00J7F0URC?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_5&qid=1550488744&sr=1-5

 

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#60s #activism #Anthropology #apocalypse #Apocalypse Emergency #book #consciousness #culture #death #ecocide #Environment #Health and wellness #History #humanicide #Michael Adzema author #parents #Philosophy #pre and perinatal psychology #primal #primal therapy #Psychology #science #Spirituality #therapy #transpersonal #transpersonal psychology #Wounded Deer and Centaurs

The Eighteenth Descent — Culture: The Matrix — “Wrong-Gettedness” and the A-mazing Cultural Maze … Strutting and Fretting, Signifying Nothing

 

The Eighteenth Descent — Culture:

The Matrix — “Wrong-Gettedness” and the A-mazing Cultural Maze … Strutting and Fretting, Signifying Nothing

 — which is Chapter 26 of *Prodigal Human: The Descents of Manby Michael Adzema

 

26

 

The Eighteenth Descent — Culture:

The Matrix — “Wrong-Gettedness” and the A-mazing Cultural Maze … Strutting and Fretting, Signifying Nothing

“Such a fury we unleash, so as to create the smoke and mirrors of distraction and to keep us from the otherwise insidious trickling knowing of our horrifying creations and the gnawing abyss of dissatisfaction and unknowing inside us.”

The expulsion from Paradise that came with sedentary ways demanded increasingly complex, however vapid, entrancements — ritual and mores — of culture as compensation, however empty, for the loss.

In becoming increasingly dominating, sycophantic, and emotionless, we created an emptiness within. To compensate, we created outside us in our social environment a maze-like, fantastical panorama — likened most recently to a matrix.

In this chapter I disclose the horror we do not want to know about ourselves and our beliefs.

Wrong-Gettedness … Culture

So the advantage to the survival of the individual newborn — however rooted, as it was, in the twisted motivations of the adults tending to them — of learning to be obsequious, inauthentically pleasing, and repressive of one’s needs and expression became also the backbone of what humans call culture. For the lack of direct inner knowledge — the lack of connection to instinct, for example — that characterizes humans and was increasingly selected for with the predominance of controlling-conforming-appealing-nonexpression traits in humans, led to the ever-expanding overcomplexity of the obvious simplicity of existence. Humankind grew ever more fanciful and unnecessary traits, needs, desires, behaviors, wants, obsessions, compulsions, beliefs, visions, and thoughts — all subsumed under Ego — out of this separation from natural ways, this split from Nature, this estrangement from the Divine, this “expulsion from Paradise.”

On the societal level, the cumulative result, or manifestation, of all individual egos — with all their infinite, however twisted, complexity — is what we term culture. Culture is the human substitute for the instinct we would otherwise have, just as Ego is the substitute for Self — Self meaning identity with Divinity. Being a separation from Divinity and Nature, culture is a separation from Truth as well. The Unapproved and Hidden — the Truth of humans not contained in any culture and whose essence is revealed in this book — is Truth that we do not know … cannot and will not know. Culture is what we erect in its stead: It is the overt representation of wrong-gettedness.

Is Culture Untrue?

“Is culture all untrue?” you are thinking. Well, no. It is true in a limited way. It is true in the same way the world is known to be flat. That is, within certain limitations it has its truth and hence its usefulness. Yet it is set in a context that is not true … not at all. And that context skews the results of all the contents of culture, making them of dubious worth.

At this point you should have a pretty clear understanding of what I mean by that, as I have given many examples. For instance, that life is hard and a struggle is true for virtually all civilized folk of all time. Yet it is given a different light when it is known that it does not have to be, is not in Nature, and was not even for us for most — in fact, for ninety-nine percent — of our existence as a species. That life is a struggle is not true in the larger context of what is possible and natural for humans and what is true for virtually all life of all times, except for humans in the few thousand years of civilization.

Language Helps and Hinders

Similarly, language is an aid in communication, yes. But from the larger perspective of the Unapproved and Hidden, it is a flawed substitute, a symbolic and roundabout way, of conveying messages: Not only does it confuse and obscure as much as it reveals and conveys, but the psychic, direct transmission of information that is its alternate in Nature is far easier and far more accurate.

Not only the mind-sharing of Nature is superior, but human mental confusion keeps us from another of our planetmates’ advantages. For planetmates do not need language for they know more clearly what is going on without it being needed to be communicated. They can pick up instantly from the body language, the scent, and the facial and muscular expressions of others, together with the positioning of every element in any scene, more than could ever be communicated, by one to another, in language about what is going on in that scene.

For one thing planetmates can deduce far more accurately what is going on, since it is not being skewed or spun through the personality or agendas of any other. Added to this, they have far more information being conveyed to their senses, other than what could come from language. We can see this in the way canines are able to discern many thousands of times — up to a million times! some researchers report — more information from scent. Still, that is only one sense of many used by planetmates. We say animals can “smell fear.” That is a trite example of the fact that planetmates are sensing far more of what is going on than humans are and they cannot be dissembled to … unlike humans with their language abilities who are so easily able to be fooled. So what would need to be communicated if it is already known? And known more accurately than one would get it as once removed, communicated to one through another?

Thus, human language is an aid in communication in the smaller context of human relationships and in that of being able to be written down and “stored” for use at a later time and to be disseminated to others, sometimes many others, without direct contact. However it is perhaps not an advantage, more likely it is a hindrance, in relation to the one-on-one communication that is possible otherwise for beings on Earth.

Culture Substitutes Itself for Natural Morality

Another instance: Remember I was saying, using the example of Abraham and Isaac, how if we had not been convinced otherwise by our pedagogy we would naturally see an example in that story of a murder being espoused by a supposed “god” and a sacrifice that would not be one for Abraham, predominantly, but for Isaac, who would lose his life? A grade-schooler hearing this story for the first time does not see in this any kind of interaction with a Divine being, rather one of murdering impulses within a person in a way that later the term psychotic could be applied. That is, until culture comes along to “teach” the child otherwise.

Like planetmates, children have a natural morality — where suffering, pain, and death are bad, and pleasure, freedom, and happiness are good — until forced to think otherwise … until “enculturated.” For, within the domains of culture, no one questions Abraham’s behavior as being holy or righteous; nor the interaction with the “supernatural” as being anything but with a “god.” However, in the larger context of feeling — the natural morality built upon innate empathy, love, and caring — which any planetmate or child would apply here, it is viewed as nothing less than insanity.

Similar things could be said for our understandings of love, our conceptualization of God, our feelings about extending kindness, and what it means to be a good person: All are what we think them to be, but only within a particular context. Beyond that, they are seen to be false, twisted, and corrupted.

The “Good” Person

Let us take one of those and using it as an example make it clearer what I mean. Let us look at what, in the context of culture, we proclaim to be a good person: The “good” people of our cultures put a lot of effort into doing the “right” actions and thinking the “right” thoughts. They engage in endless hours of religious nodding, bowing, and mumbling — what we call ritual and prayer — to “please” these Phantom gods of ours. Very few people would not attribute qualities of “holiness,” goodness, and even saintliness to such people. But are they good?

“Good” people will also work, uncomplainingly, at the tasks assigned to them by controlling others, whether that be higher ups in the society — the Large Accumulators, the Controllers — or in the family, where that role is taken by husband and father in his dealings with his “good” housewife and his “good” and obedient children. Very few people would consider such compliant people to be other than the “salt of the earth,” good housewives, well-behaved boys and girls, “hard-working, god-fearing, real” Americans … Germans … (insert your nationality here).

And Sycophancy, Thought Control, Obedience, and Self-Control

However, from what I have been telling you, it should be clear that the deferential and obedient of us, in the context I am presenting, can be seen as fearful sycophants who are confusing childhood admonitions — backed by terrorizing threats — to “be good little boys and girls and behave” with adult nobility and spirituality. Yet one might ask, what is wrong with that? Are they not “good little male and female adults”?

Well, yes and no. Here is where something is true within a certain limited area, within a narrow context, but is not true when viewed against the totality of Truth. For these people will seek to wrestle with their very thoughts so they will not have “bad” ones. They will repress any urges to complain, in adherence to a cultural value system that embodies obedience and control.

We say that their control of themselves — inside and out — their discipline, their conformity make them wholesome, “holy,” or “good citizens.” But, for starters, how can a person have only good thoughts and not bad ones? In actuality, we have no control over our thoughts at all. We have only some control over our actions; we can act or not act upon our thoughts. Hence anyone telling us they have control over their thoughts is really saying they are liars — to themselves, as well as the rest of the world — about what goes on inside them.

One cannot unthink a thought. What happens is, some thought occurs to us, which we, according to the morals instilled in us, deem “not good.” It has happened, the thought; one cannot unthink it. But these sorts of people will then have a fearfulness, however un-acknowledged and blocked from their awareness, that arises in them directly after that thought. That fearfulness comes from those forces I have been describing: It is a fear about pleasing more powerful others, and it has its roots in childhood, going all the way back to infancy, and even before. It is a fear of being punished or deprived of things for what one simply is … in this case, just having a thought that arises unintended — “naturally.” And one cannot help having this fear of the Other. It might even be said such fear is “natural” for humans, considering what all we have become as a result of our hellish womb experiences, traumatic births, and deprived infancies.

On Sewage and Flowers

So we have a random but natural “bad” thought and an unfortunate but natural fear arising in us. But what does this “holy” and “good” person do? This holy person tries to force the mind to go onto another thought that is not a “bad” one. It is like the first thought, using an analogy, would be “sewage.” The next thought would be “oh, no!” The next thought, the concocted or replacement thought, would then be “flowers.” But here is where the lie is. For the person keeps telling themselves they are thinking “flowers,” however they are lying about the fact that they are really thinking “flowers not sewage,” “flowers not sewage,” “flowers not sewage,” over and over again, trying to push the first thought out of their mind, and along with all that having a feeling of fear and trepidation.

Clearly, this upstanding citizen, this self-sacrificing mensch, this “good” father, this “good” mother, this “holy” thinker, this “positive thinker,” is really not whole or positive at all. This person is a fearful sycophant, acting fearfully out of early experiences which they will never, ever remember, spending so much time thinking, “I will not think sewage, I will think flowers,” that they will never, ever find out what the thought after “sewage” might have been, if they had not fought it so much. And, yes, on its own, it just might have actually been “flowers.” And I can tell you, sooner or later it would have been … and sooner than comes of fighting it.

This person is a narcissist, therefore, caught up in a focus only on themselves and how they might be coming across to others; is a sycophant trying to please imaginary others by conforming their behavior to them; and is a liar, not telling the truth about their experience inside of themselves to either themselves or anyone else. In the next chapter on soul murder, we will look at how this can even extend into sociopathy.

Oh, you think good people and sociopaths are on the opposite ends of a continuum? You have probably also been confused as to how sociopathic killers — the Ted Bundys, Jeffrey Dahmers, John Wayne Gacys, and their ilk — can come across as such well-behaved and “nice” citizens. You probably are not either seeing how some politicians and CEOs are getting their power by seeming to be so upstanding but are at the same time working behind the scenes to take all they can at anyone’s expense and regardless who or how many die of it. More in the next chapter.

For now, the saddest part of all this is that this person, in holding back “sewage,” becomes full of “sewage” … all the while she or he is thinking they smell like and are full of “flowers.” The people around them know they are full of sewage. But those others, being often sycophantic also, are busy telling themselves the swill they see is really flowers.

Here we have an example of how wrong-getted we are able to become and how it spreads. We can see how culture aids and reinforces our wrong-gettedness and separation from the Truth of us. By this I mean that cultural values — concurrent with civilization and not with nomadic and presedentary ones — have become construed along lines to honor and reward the sycophantic, inauthentic, lying, and manipulative; and to punish the noble, authentic, the honest, and the guileless.

“Good People” Games … “Good” Actions and Hypocrisy

However, not just thoughts are controlled by “good” people. The same is true for such a person’s “holy” and “upstanding” acts. Such a person might put out their hand to another, but on some level they are thinking, “I will be nice to you, so that I do not hit you.” Yes, these people are what we call hypocrites.

You might be thinking, they are holy and good people and are not having the thought, “I want to hit you.” Still, this is what happens when the “sewage” gets backed up. A stored-up reservoir of unapproved thoughts ever pushes for release by any means, for attention from consciousness at all costs, even if they have to come out in a distorted form — an impulse/thought to hit another. On the macro scale, this is what we as a species have done in creating and then acting out the Unapproved and Hidden, which belongs to us, collectively. This end result — the Unapproved and Hidden — is the product of the billions of unallowed thoughts, lies, and denials of all the “good” people of our culture.

The example of the hateful urge to hit, rather than lovingly help, is only a crude example, of course. It does have roots deep in our unconscious, though, and extending back thousands of years. We put out our hand to shake another’s, for example. What this is really saying is, “My hand is not a fist. I will not hit you.” “My hand is open to you — in giving and receiving mode, sharing mode — and not in a competitive or aggressive mode.” “In putting out my hand I will connect with you, and not use it to fight you.” Lastly, and most recently, “My hand does not contain a weapon.” Now, why, unless a part of us knows that deep inside we would as soon hit another as anything else, would we go through all this social ritual of hand-shaking and its variants? All of its variants say similar things.

On another note, why, unless a part of us knows deep inside that we are as likely to be attacked by Other as friended by it, do we feel such relief upon the offering of said gestures? This goes to the inherent defensiveness of “normal” and “good” people that other “good” people know they had better appease by offering their hand … for reasons not much different than a primate would offer its behind to an aggressor.

By the way, that unusual defensiveness of humans arises from those early human experiences of feeling attacked by Other through the traumas prenatally and perinatally, which are then reinforced in infancy, childhood, then again in cultural rites of passage. Note that this human defensiveness is unusual in its occurrence, happening much more frequently than in planetmates. For it arises in all social situations, all, even one-on-one interactions and not just in situations of actual potential aggression, as in primates.

In any case, it is that in real life those deeper messages of wanting to hit and fearing one will be hit are inaccessible to us. What we might be aware of that goes on in us — but rarely are — is less obviously hostile. It is more subtle, is most often unconscious, and becomes increasingly more unconscious over time, in the course of one’s life … hence more likely to direct our actions in spite of us. The “negative” thought — “I want to hit you” — might arise in the form of irritation, repulsion, or dislike … or a simmering anger. We can actually feel that, but we will rarely admit those feelings occur in us … forcing ourselves, instead, to “think flowers,” again. You know what I mean.

Meanwhile, the negative thought or feeling, “you are going to attack (are attacking) me!” is not felt either. Rather, it comes out elsewhere, too. It is channeled unconsciously into all kinds of behaviors of introversion as well as defensive communications and passive-aggressive behaviors. Essentially, folks retreat from others and society, holed up in themselves; and/or they get revenge sneakily — without their even being aware they are doing it; and/or they react to all kinds of things said to them, even communications that are quite matter-of-fact or innocuous and perhaps not even pertaining to, let alone directed at them, with responses that are variations of “Well, that doesn’t apply to me! I’ll tell you a thing or two. How dare you say that! Let me explain how you’re wrong. And I’m smart! (You’re not.)” And the like. Check out the tweets of Donald Trump, and you’ll have clarity and even better examples of this.

In any case, such things in people are examples of the kinds of hidden hostility and aggression, and defensiveness, that are buried within “good” people and covered up assiduously by all kinds of cultural means. While you think this is far-fetched, perhaps, think honestly about and explain to me how our kind, at the hands of all our “good” people, have been able to participate in lynch mobs; the rounding up of Jews for genocide at the time of Nazi Germany; the piling up of Jews like firewood to be burned during medieval times with its pogroms; or during The Burning Times, the torture and immolating at the stake of women who had some “free” thoughts — in other words, not controlled and then lied about thoughts, as the “good” people setting fire to them have and do. This unacknowledged and hidden hostility explains all the horrific, yet otherwise unexplainable, actions of “normal” humans including bigotry and racism, child battering and sexual abuse, anti-immigration sentiments, genocides, police brutality and murder of people of color, wife-beating, and …  (insert your “favorite” human abomination here).

So now, are these “holy” and wholesome people, these “good citizens” and “patriots” and “salt of the earth” — who are properly fearful and sycophantic, on the inside as well as the outside — really “good” and “wholly”?

For the more they tell themselves they think and feel one thing while actually thinking and feeling something else the more split down the middle they become. Till after a while, they have no clue who they are. They are liars to themselves and to all the world.

Self-Defeating Beliefs and Defenses

They cannot even become good people over time. Their disease, at all costs, fights against its cure. Indeed, it is like cancer, in that way. For to become a good person, one would have to know where one is being or has been a bad person and then change that. Such a person, however, is ever fighting to convince themselves they are full of “flowers,” so how can they possibly do anything about the “sewage” that is actually in them?

Of such “good” people, the religious of them say that such thoughts about where they are being “bad” in their seemingly “good” actions and thoughts are instances of “doubt” and “lack of faith.” So, rather than inform and do service towards becoming a greater “good,” these inconvenient thoughts are done battle with as being demons, devils, and even the product of a Satan. So, no, in battling ceaselessly against the “bad” within themselves, they cannot actually become good. For they truly do not understand the nature of their bad enough to change it. Battling it, they keep it ever at a distance, giving it a status of devil, demon, Satan, and never acknowledging that these are simply — mostly innocuous and often innocent — parts of oneself that have been made “bad” by culture, then later, oneself.

Purification Rituals

What has been said about the effort to control thoughts — “positive thinking” — can be applied analogously to the many ritualistic behaviors “good” people engage in — secular as well as religious. A part of them knows they have sewage within themselves, so they are led to ever “purify” themselves … and the world by extension.

Yes, they will participate in repetitive confessionals; sacrifices of themselves and others; ritual purifications; self-flagellation; self-destructive behaviors to unconsciously punish themselves; obsessive-compulsive grooming and bathing, maybe even hand-washing; obsessive neatness of person and surroundings; perfectness of dress, outfit, adornment, and perfume; obsessive cleaning of their homes and cars; the persnickety grooming of their lawns, intensive control of all the things and of the nature on their grounds, including the shaping of any foliage there; and the obsessive organizing and cataloging of their items and the recording of their actions and intentions, i.e., obsessive planning. Nothing of their lives can be out of their control lest they be reminded of their “inner sewage” or it be revealed to others. They will be mortified if a spot, a stain, or dirt appears on their clothing, unconsciously feeling they have been “found out.”

“Cleaning Up the Streets”

But yes, they will also see the world through this veil of “sewage” and so direct their efforts in ways to remove the “impurities” of others. Indeed, think again about those atrocities of humans, mentioned above, and you will see that almost always the people perpetrating the acts have rationalized to themselves their actions by claiming they are “cleaning up” or helping to “purify,” or “save,” the world.

If you think this only happened in previous times — Nazi Germany, The Burning Times in the Middle Ages, the times of slavery in America and elsewhere — consider how all of the “good” humans throughout the world today support the efforts to “clean up the streets,” to “keep out the riff raff,” and to “keep out the unwashed” without ever, in any instance, considering the people affected and how their efforts might be burdening and in some cases ending the lives of those poor souls — those ones simply more unlucky than oneself. These efforts are not far removed in quality — if not in quantity — from those of former times to maintain “purity” in the ranks, to suppress “heresy,” to “crack down” on some group or other of society, or to “eliminate” the “undesirables”; and even in current times, the term ethnic cleansing expresses it and demonstrates its ongoingness. Need I mention Donald Trump, his bigoted proposals, and the surprisingly large number of Americans subscribing to them? Probably not. Yet keep in mind from many quarters these sorts of citizens are deemed the “good people” of contemporary society.

Denial Activities — How “Good” People Keep Realization from Happening

Yet these good citizens — as deemed by our cultures — also spend a great amount of time involved with activities of denial: They might spend hours sitting quietly at meaningless church ceremonies … telling themselves it is really “flowers” they are seeing — you catching my drift? Or they might work themselves to death in a job.

They might fill up their time with chores around the house which are for the most part unnecessary and insignificant. Or they might immerse themselves in empty but culturally approved and applaudable activities such as repeating to themselves and others truly insignificant sports statistics; keeping up with the details of current fashion or the latest minutiae of celebrity lore; filling their minds and communications with the intricacies of auto mechanics, vehicle specifics and terminology; or showing they know what is new in financial and corporate trivia. These are all ways they can prove to themselves that they are okay and “regular” people — not the way they thought of themselves in infancy — and that others like and approve of them, not the way they felt others thought about them in infancy.

Whether they are trying to assure themselves they are “a regular guy,” “salt of the earth,” a loving and self-sacrificing mom, a “hard worker,” a patriot, good citizen, or “god-fearing” person, it is all the same: They are trying to beat back that nagging feeling that they are full of “sewage” and trying to keep others from knowing that about them. These cultural activities are the way we lie, essentially.

Pathos and “Civility”

“Good” people are to be pitied for the degree of fear and sycophancy within them; that is true. It is sad how much life they have wasted striving to abide by the unjust dictates of a culture geared to higher ups, only. Yet they are hardly to be thought of as examples of integrity, wholesomeness, wholeness, or saintliness. They only appear that way for being so afraid to be otherwise and for imposing an amount of control upon themselves equal to that fear.

Certainly, whatever wrong they do is not “obvious” wrong, most of the time. They distinguish themselves from out-and-out “bad” people, like criminals. Though, the line between the two is most often blurred and many actions are in fact criminal. They get away with them, however, occurring as they do within the context of an appearance of outward “civility,” which they take great pains to maintain. So compared to criminals, are they “good”? Or are they just better, slicker, in hiding or covering up their “bad”?

Indeed, these good and holy adults are actually pathetic — trying to be “good little boys and girls” in obedience to invisible others. They are narcissistic, being unable, like Abraham, to see the others around them and their needs, and only seeing their own “needs” … their sycophantic, fearful ones. They are liars and hypocrites; and they are anything but wholly or having integrity, they are split and deceptive.

“Good, God-fearing, Law-Abiding, Hard-Working”

Thus, within the definitions of culture, such folks are considered good people. That “good” is often followed by “law-abiding, God-fearing, hard-working” (people). However, along the measure of real Truth, this is only true in relation to other, more obvious, “bad” people. Hence, being a good person often just means being the best possible sycophant. We would be “good little boys and girls” and behave and do whatever we are told (whether it is actually good or bad), as adults, rather than be noble and authentic, and have integrity; real, empathetic love; true giving (without thought of reward); and be truly good adults.

Such “good” people of culture and society have been the good Nazis, in the past. They are the good soldiers mowing down villagers. Which is another great example of how “culture” operates to skew reality so as to cause you to do things you would not do if you were seeing reality directly, not through it. As well, they are the good citizens of society, imposing the most severe penalties upon all who stray over any lines, no matter how inconsequential, simply because people with wealth, and thus power, have drawn those lines. These are our, so-called, “good” people in our societies.

So culture proclaims, and it lies.

What Is Culture?

What is culture, then? Culture is the external manifestation of multitudes of egos; it is the accumulation of their actions. Culture substitutes for the “instinct” — the natural in us we have lost. In inserting itself into all aspects of our lives it pushes away the possibility we will ever feel that instinct arising in us, or find our body and mind becoming whole, natural, healed. Culture provides the opiate for the dis-ease of humanness, as well as it covers up the dis-ease and precludes any cure.

An Amalgamation

Culture is also the amalgamation of all that one has been told is real and true over against what one can see, discern, or would be obvious otherwise. Here’s a good way to see it. You know that in reading this book it has come up against practically everything you believed to be true. Yet if you are honest, you know this makes much more sense, and it probably even corresponds to what you sensed to be true, but could not let yourself believe, let alone assert to others … could not “say out loud.”

It’s simple, culture is that whole, that composite of all that has been put inside you for you to use in your understanding of all outside you, which is in complete contrast to what you are learning in this book or would see on your own without those inserted prejudices. That’s a good way to see it, right at hand. And that is why you have felt so uncomfortable hearing so much of this.

A Matrix

Essentially culture, like I said earlier, is the matrix. For it is all the ways we have been taught to see and interpret things, over against what we would on our own. And remember why and how there is such a disparity. Not only have we been separated from authentic apprehension of reality, but we have been encouraged and reinforced in that by outside interests with intentions to have us see and interpret things along ends to suit themselves … i.e., the wealthy, the elite.

Here is an example of that. Culture tells us the wealthy are wealth creators. If we saw clearly we would see that they are wealth takers, actually. It would be obvious to us, sans “culture,” that it is the small operator who is more motivated to maximize her or his investment and thus create jobs, and “wealth,” not someone who has so much that each dollar created is not seen as another addition in one’s efforts to be wealthy but simply one, along with so many others, which can sit there, for all one cares, and does not need to be reinvested. Culture, also, is what tells Trump supporters that a billionaire like him can be on the side of the “little guy,” and take on “the establishment,” and right the injustices set up by a society favoring the rich. Astonishing, eh? This power of culture?

It is that planetmates do not have culture, by the way, that is another reason they do not need language so much. For what is conveyed through language is filtered through the intentions and agendas of others, the composite of which is slanted, then, away from seeing reality as it is. With no culture, planetmates do not need language as much for they are not seeing reality so unclearly that they would need the communication of language to interpret it.

Furthermore why would any planetmate want the confusion of others’ interpretations about what one is able to see clearly? When that is offered to us humans, we say it is “bullshit,” you see. Yet if we do not see it as nonsense, it still contributes only to our endless confusion about reality and who we are. Theologies relentlessly have engaged in the actions that have caused folks such confusion about their feelings and perceptions, being as how they concoct interpretations that are only consonant within realities that are imaginary, often having psychotic roots. Similarly, endless reams of philosophy have emanated from this pattern of folks — and religions, and culture — telling other folks that what they are seeing and experiencing is other than what it obviously is.

Outside the Matrix –> The Unapproved and Hidden

By contrast to culture is The Unapproved and Hidden, which is the truth of reality outside the matrix. It is the way reality is seen with culture — all that accumulated product of slanted intentions and skewed agendas of others — removed. It is what is left when looking at all those same realities without such agendas or motives of others. Or oneself, for that matter — this is where the pre- and perinatal and infancy pain contributes its part, by the way, in skewing our interpretations and distorting our realities. Planetmates, remember, do not have that, either, further adding to their clarity about the reality they perceive.

So, yes, again, this book is an opening on The Unapproved and Hidden. I understand you do not know how lacking in agenda I am, how I get nothing for doing this, how I am not influenced by anyone higher up, or any of that; though I am unusual in being in a position in which that is all true. You do not know how my deepest rooted yet most accessible motivations are caring and love for others, concern and heartache over the unnecessary and self-imposed suffering I see; and with all that an irrepressible desire to step in, where no one else is doing it and so it is direly needed, and to do and say what only I, of all who I know, can say and do … and only that. You do not know that my only reward, now or expected, is the feeling of knowing I have helped, done the part that only I could do, and the hope it helps relieve someone’s suffering or misery now, in the future, or after I am dead. And that’s all.

You do not know all that about me, but at least notice this: That in contrast to this, to all I am writing, you can discern in what you have been by culture indoctrinated to believe quite a bit of agenda, self-serving beliefs, and “convenient” truths. If you want you can easily see that quality in all those commonly held assumptions — the superiority of man over other planetmates being the deepest but only one of them — that my writing in this book addresses and comes up against, conflicts with. If you cannot discern my lack of guile, at least notice the agendas of those who concocted and orchestrated your beliefs and your actions that came of them. Take at least that, for certain, from your own apprehensions and interpretations of your direct experience here.

Strutting and Fretting

In sum, the Divine is Ultimate Truth. Whereas, culture is the societal embodiment of the separation from the Divine. Hence, culture contains some pretty a-mazing untruths and empty rituals. They are amazing because they are fantastical — colorful psychotic fabrications, if you will. They are a-mazing also because they are manifestations of our confused and twisted consciousness and bring us ever back to the maze — in an endless trudge through labyrinthine passages of a journey that is ultimately futile, guaranteed for failure — which is our life.

Culture Is a Weed Without Roots, the Fury We Create to Block Out Our Emptiness

You see, our gradual changes from natural life involved two things, basically: A growing ability to survive biologically, physically at whatever cost to our happiness, along with a separation from our natural inclinations and felt Divine guidance. And our ever-widening separation from the Divine meant a constant hole in the felt meaning of our existence.

Lacking roots in Nature or the Divine, we were like a weed without roots, growing madly above ground, reaching out vainly in all directions for sustenance because of the lack of direct connection to our deeper truth. This expanding outward desperately in all directions creates our culture — which is the artificial substitute and the dim empty reflection of existence.

Culture — our “matrix” — is the “much ado about nothing” and the “strutting and fretting upon the stages of life” and “sound and fury signifying nothing” of which Shakespeare wrote. Culture is a magnification of our overcomplexity of the obvious simplicity of existence, and it is the overblown array of our defenses to keep at bay our realization, our “enlightenment.” Culture brings meaning to our lives, but it is a false one. It provides us motives, and it supports and sustains our efforts; but they are vain and empty goals and futile and meaningless rituals, only.

So, after the fall into sedentary-agrarian ways which multiplied the branches of culture a-mazingly, providing the opiate for our feelings of loss and the substitute for more natural ways, more of our newborns would live. As I have said, they would be given economic value — as a commodity — within that trance life or matrix we have erected. Our children would be allowed to live, but what was distributed among them was this watered-down offering, of a life drained of meaning and “juice” but mostly lacking the “colors” or “flavors” of experience we enjoyed as humans in Nature and containing instead the apprehension of the outlines of living not the immersion in its profound and lush plenitude.

This tendency for our lives to be bleached of real appreciation yet multiplied maniacally grew steadily over time coinciding with the aforementioned rise in the predominance of the traits of controlling, conforming, sycophantic and desperate striving to please and to be appealing, and nonexpression of needs become repression of personality and cobbling of ability to participate in existence’s Divine creative stream. We built increasingly a false matrix in which to dwell, substituting it for the richness of experience of our Edenal existences.

Ignorance of the Divine Makes for Some Pretty A-Mazing Untruths and Empty Rituals

All in all, driven by this inner abyss of unknowing, our outer behavior expanded in spurious and fanciful activity and productions of all kind. With time, our vapid nature would spin out unnecessary personality traits, hollow and unsatisfiable needs, fetid desires, furious but vain behaviors, insubstantial wants, blind obsessions, uncontrollable compulsions, fantastical beliefs, painfully burning visions, and tortured thoughts … of all kinds and all of it magnified, then multiplied, then repressed and fought, then struggled with … and all this in grandiose dramas that are further multiplied, exaggerated, over-dramatized, and so on round again.

Such an overcomplication of life’s simple existence and beingness we create to keep from knowing the horror of us. Such a fury we unleash, so as to create the smoke and mirrors of distraction and to keep us from the otherwise insidious trickling knowing of our horrifying creations and the gnawing abyss of dissatisfaction and unknowing inside us.

In all of these, we journeyed ever further from our roots in Nature and the Divine and made Edenal existence the most distant memory and the most certain component of everyone’s Unapproved and Hidden.

Inevitably, all these ways came back to oneself. As we faded from natural and felt existence and — driven by pain, fear, and the resulting controlling mania  —  succumbed to ever more entrancing substitutes, we ourselves faded from existence, in a sense. This increasingly ghostly existence amounted to soul murder, then. It is to it, we now turn.

— from Chapter 26, titled “The Eighteenth Descent — Culture: The Matrix — “Wrong-Gettedness” and the A-mazing Cultural Maze … Strutting and Fretting, Signifying Nothing”

— of *Prodigal Human: The Descents of Man* by Michael Adzema, now available in print and e-book formats.

Click for a free downloadable copy of this excerpt from *Prodigal Human*, with my compliments.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michael Adzema. Video below … interviewed by Michael Harrell

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 https://youtu.be/2mm9OBbYjRE 

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— Related: See also other published versions of these ideas….

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*Dance of the Seven Veils  I(2017). 

At Amazon at

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*Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness* (2014).

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At Amazon at
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See Michael Adzema at Amazon for any other of the eleven books currently in print.
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Out of Eden, Part Four — Secondary Altriciality and the Origins of Culture: Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction and What It Has to Do With Being Born Helpless

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Human Nature, Culture, Pelvic Size, and Plato’s Cave: Needs Which We as Newborns Ache to Fulfill Are Satisfied by Other Species Perfectly adam_and_eve

Secondary Altriciality and Culture

Let us now add another factor to this development of supposed intelligence and culture. Let us talk about the consequences of secondary altriciality.  As I said, altricial means humans are born helpless. We would die if not cared for. Secondary altriciality of humans, and only humans, means our brains and consequent functioning are even less advanced than other species at birth. We are, in essence, born premature relative to other species.

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So, the consequence of secondary altriciality is that the newborn requires a period after birth of getting its needs satisfied in the same complete way as it did prior to that in the womb. This is a characteristic of Homo sapiens. It is another one of those very few things that definitively distinguishes us from all other species known. That is, the human infant is in a more dependent state, when born, than any other species, when its young is born. The human infant at birth in terms of its degree of development, is at a level corresponding to that at which, in every other mammal, it would still be in the womb.  In other words, we are born, comparatively, “premature.”

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By comparison, all other mammals, when born, are more able to provide for themselves, are further along in their development toward independence when born, are more capable of bringing about or at least initiating the satisfaction of their needs . . . hence they are less dependent, and vulnerable, than are human infants.

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Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction

Secondary altriciality in human infants means that there is a greater need for care, for “mothering” — because of the newborn’s greater helplessness, greater dependence, greater vulnerability — than that of all other mammals postnatally. But even the best mothering cannot be as perfect in satisfying the infant’s biological needs as was the situation for it in the womb. Hence, there is going to be a gap between need and fulfillment inherent in this prematurity, an inherent frustration of need to at least some extent, and, hence, inherently an increase of at least some amount, in the degree of pain suffered by the newborn and infant in the nonsatisfaction or incomplete satisfaction of its biological needs.

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But secondary altriciality is important in another respect.  Since this phase represents a dependent phase that corresponds to phases that occur to other species en utero — this leaves Homo sapiens vulnerable to neurosis and mental illness (its roots in the pain of unmet biological need) to an extent unprecedented, in any other species . . . hence also contributing to increased brain size, increased secondary altriciality, and so forth in the way discussed above for birth. Thus, we have another vicious cycle, again with “fevered” brains and culture the byproduct.

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Pelvic Size

In this light it is interesting to point out that Moore (1987) presented evidence of the significantly larger pelvic size in our ancestral line of hominids which would have either (1) allowed for a gestation period of up to twelve months or (2) allowed for an exceptionally easy birth — the increased brain size being much more readily passed through a larger opening.  Either of these propositions, or a combination, is provocative in light of the above.

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In other words, we can speculate that either (1) increased pelvic size in females was naturally selected for as brain size became larger, so as to minimize the deleterious effects of painful birth (as in creating neurosis in the adult, hence reduced reproductive fitness) or (2) gestation period was prolonged, with increasing brain size, to minimize the deleterious effects of imperfectly met biological needs which are a consequence of secondary altriciality.

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In this second instance, the disadvantages of secondary altriciality are lack of precociousness in the infant, requiring an increase in maternal care after birth and reducing the economic potential of the female during that period.  But it logically follows that there is a limit to which gestation can be prolonged without itself becoming an economic disadvantage to the female — certainly the proposed gestation period of two years, twenty-one months to be exact, for full precociousness at the level we see in nonhuman primates would be a substantial economic hardship on the female. Thus it would be selected against, in evolutionary terms.

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Human Nature

Therefore, we may speculate that a combination of these factors resulted in a compensatory system where the fact of increasing brain size is eventually resolved, to date, by a comparatively reduced gestation period accompanied by increased need for child care after birth, increased need for economic dependency overall (both during and after gestation) by the female, increased need for male parental investment in providing for both female and child, and increased birth pain correlating with increased cultural development to offset or mitigate the effects of birth pain (See Fromm, 1955, on culture as providing the neurosis as well as the “opiates” to deal with such).

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The net effect is a species with prolonged child care, increased tendency toward single-family units, increased brain size, greater cultural elaboration, increased birth pain for the neonate, increased “intelligence,” and increased neurotic and psychotic behavior (thus idiosyncratic and variable behavior) which requires further cultural accommodation, hence cultural elaboration — all evolving simultaneously, interrelating and mutually reinforcing each other.  All in all, with these considerations, we have the basic factors which outline our distinctive human nature — that is, which constitute (for good or ill) our fundamental distinctions from other species.

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The Result: Plato’s Cave

At any rate, the point is that viewing it either psychologically or historically, it can be said that the Fall from Grace in Eden is such that ever afterwards humans are indirectly related to God and Nature. By this I mean they are indirectly related to the processes of reality of either the physical or metaphysical (including their own inner life, their subjectivity) sort.  They have turned their back on the beneficence of God, or Nature, and seek to go it on their own, to control Nature, to focus on survival. In that they are focused now on the world, they can see only a reflection of the Divine. They are confusing the map and the territory.

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And in that reflection they seek to discern God’s will. In those shadows they seek to understand Truth.

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To Be Continued with Primal Return, Chapter Two: Isaac’s Eyes

Return to Birth Pain Causes a Feverish Human Mind, Struggling Against Nature and the Divine, Which We Call “Intelligence”: Out of Eden, Part Three — Birth, “Intelligence,” and Culture

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Chapter One, Out of Eden, References

Adzema, Michael. (1985). A primal perspective on spirituality. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 25(3), 83-116.

Baba, Sathya Sai. (1984). Sathya Sai Speaks: Volume IV. Tustin, CA: Sathya Sai Book Center of America.

Baba, Sathya Sai. (1991). Sanatha Sarathi, November, 295.

Bird-David, Nurit. (1992). Beyond “the original affluent society”: A culturalist reformulation. Current Anthropology, 33(1), 25-47.

Buck, Sharon. (2011). The evolutionary history of the modern birth. Totem: The University of Western Ontario Journal of Anthropology, 19(Iss. 1, Art 7), 80-92. Available at: http://ir.lib.uwo.ca/totem/vol19/iss1/7

Chamberlain, David. (1988). Children Remember Birth. New York: Ballantine.

Farrant, Graham. (1987). Cellular consciousness. Aesthema: The Journal of the International Primal Association, No.7, 28-39.

French, Marilyn. (1985). Beyond Power: On Women, Men, and Morals. New York: Ballantine Books.

Fromm, Erich. (1955). The Sane Society. Greenwich, CN: Fawcett.

Grof, Stanislav. (1976). Realms of the Human Unconscious. New York: Dutton.

Grof, Stanislav. (1985). Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: SUNY.

Grof, Stanislav. (1988). The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and Mew Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: SUNY.

Hannig, Paul. (1982). Feeling People: A Revolutionary Concept in Therapy, Lifestyle and Human Contact. Winter Park, FL: Anna Publishing Inc.

Janov, Arthur. (1971). The Anatomy of Mental Illness. Berkeley: Medallion.

Janov, Arthur. (1983). Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience. New York: Coward-McCann.

ay_111268956

Kuhn, Thomas S. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Lake, Frank. (1981). Tight Corners in Pastoral Counseling. London: Darton, Longman and Todd.

Mahler, Margaret S.; Pine, Fred; & Bergman, Anni. (1975). The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant. New York: Basic Books.

Moore, James. (1987). Colloquium presentation, 16 November 1987. Department of Anthropology, University of California/ San Diego, La Jolla, CA.

Peoples, Karen M. and Parlee, Bert. (1991). The ego revisited: Understanding and transcending narcissism. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 31(4), 32-52.

Sahlins, Marshall. (1972). Stone Age Economics. London: Tavistock.

Skibbins, David W. (1991). Letter to the editor. The Quest, 4(3), 5.

Sroufe, L. Alan; Cooper Robert G.; & DeHart, Ganie B. (1992). Child Development: Its Nature and Course. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Turnbull, Colin M. (1961). The Forest People: A Study of the Pygmies of the Congo. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Verny, Thomas, and Kelly, John. (1981). The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. New York: Dell.

Yogananda, Paramahansa. (1946). Autobiography of a Yogi. Los Angeles: Self-Realization Fellowship.

To Be Continued with Primal Return, Chapter Two: Isaac’s Eyes

Return to Birth Pain Causes a Feverish Human Mind, Struggling Against Nature and the Divine, Which We Call “Intelligence”: Out of Eden, Part Three — Birth, “Intelligence,” and Culture

For an Overview and Links to Other Parts of This Work-in-Progress, Go to Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man

Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness – Michael’s latest book – is now available in print and e-book formats.

at http://www.amazon.com/Falls-Grace-Devolution-Revolution-Consciousness/dp/1499297998/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1400787010&sr=1-3

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also available in print and e-book format. at https://www.createspace.com/4691119

and at Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/Planetmates-Great-Reveal-Return-Grace/dp/1496083326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399084684&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+adzema

To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

To purchase a signed copy of any of my books, email me at sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

Birth, “Intelligence,” and Culture … Out of Eden, Part Three: Birth Pain Causes a Feverish Human Mind, Struggling Against Nature and the Divine, Which We Call “Intelligence”

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Bipedalism Caused Painful Births, Which Caused Bigger Brains, Which Caused “Intelligence,” Which Caused Culture: Birth Trauma Makes Us Humans … and Mistrustful of Everything

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The more civilized the people, the more the pain of labor appears to become intensified. – Grantly Dick-Read, M.D. Childbirth Without Fear.

Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head. – Unknown

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16

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Basic Trust, Basic Mistrust, and Birth

As I have said the worldview of our hominid and hunter-gatherer existences was trusting of Nature. The world is felt to be good, not antagonistic, so dependence on it is not seen as a problem and makes life overall easier than what we know beginning with the agrarian revolution and the rise of “civilization.” Our primal forebears had a “basic trust” in regards to Nature.

Mbuti Pygmies at a forest hunting camp.

But the agrarian revolution and all “advances” after that imply a “basic mistrust.” What happened to make us more fearful, more anxious about our human condition?

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These differences of basic trust versus basic mistrust are fascinating considering their possible relation to birth trauma.

Our Experience of Birth Determines Ever Afterward Our View of the World

Erik Erikson proposes that the earliest relation of the infant with the mother sets the foundation of the later attitude toward the world. A caring, sensitive, and responsive environmental and caretaker response, in particular, the mother’s, can be the basis for an attitude of basic trust toward the world … a fundamental faith in its goodness. While a harsh and insensitive early experience — wherein the child begins to feel it cannot get its needs met — becomes the basis for a feeling of unshakeable mistrust toward the world.

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However, with our understanding of the influence of our first experiences of the world — that is, postnatally, usually in a delivery room and hospital nursery — on our basic attitudes toward it, we realize that these fundamental orientations are formed much earlier. Importantly, birth is a huge influence on that primary stance of trust or mistrust. First impressions are hard to overcome, as they say. Sure enough, if the first encounter with the world outside the womb … immediately after birth … is painful, and characterized by harshness, insensitivity, and unresponsiveness to one’s needs, then the infant comes to view the world mistrustfully and feels it to be a hostile place. [See Leboyer, Birth Without Violence, 1975].

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What also of the pain of birth itself in setting up an attitude of trust toward the world or mistrust of it? The cold, hard fact is that our experience of our birth — that is, the amount of pain and discomfort we experience in the process of delivery as well as those first crucial moments and hours of our “introductory” experience of the world outside the womb — determine ever afterward in our lives the degree of positivity or negativity with which we will view the world and other people. [See, also, Janov, Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience , 1984]

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And this is where it gets interesting in seeing how we became humans and different from all other species.

Skull Size, Pelvic Size, and Birth Pain

In this regard, it is interesting to note biological anthropologist Jim Moore’s (1987) comments in a talk given at the University of California, San Diego, concerning pelvic size, birth, and secondary altriciality. Jim Moore pointed out that the paleontological evidence from the bone records of our hominid line show several fascinating developments occurring simultaneously and over the course of millions of years. We are going back as long as six to seven millions here. One is an increase in skull size. Another is a decrease in the size of pelvic bones, which occurs alongside and is a consequence of our gradual evolution to bipedalism from being, like our primate relatives, quadrupeds. [Footnote 1]

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Most folks know about the increase of skull size that occurred over the course of our evolution. However, what is only rarely considered is what effect this increase has on the process of birth. Nor has this been laid alongside the other factor of reduced pelvic size. But doing so leads to some fascinating conclusions.

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To begin, it is reasonable to suppose that this increased skull, and brain, size in hominids contributed greatly to birth pain, for both mother and infant. This is so for the obvious reason that the size of the head is the determining factor in the size of the vaginal opening required for delivery. That is, because skull bone is mostly unyielding when pressured from outside, its diameter must be less than or equal to the maximum diameter of the vaginal opening through which it must pass at birth. If the skull is too big for the opening, the child simply cannot get out. And the factor that most determines the maximum diameter of the vaginal opening is the configuration of the bones, especially pelvic bones, that are involved.

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Keep in mind that this kind of birth pain would not have occurred when the skull was smaller. A smaller head would pass, in general, with considerably more ease for infant and mother. In support of this we note that this is exactly the case for all our primate relatives, all of whom have proportionately smaller skulls. Note they also have larger, wider pelvises, proportionally, than us, and thus pelvic openings at birth time. Correspondingly, they do show observably much less difficulty and pain in birth, for both mother and newborn. So, along with this trend to increasing skull size in humans and reduced pelvic size we can surmise a corresponding trend to increasing birth pain, birth difficulties, and, consequently, increasing birth trauma for hominid newborns. [See Footnote 2]

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The Vicious Cycle of Skull Size and Birth Pain

Brain Size and Primal Pain: Brain Size Related to Degree of Unconscious Pain Needing to Be Repressed

About this factor of birth trauma, keep in mind that it is demonstrated neurophysiologically (Janov, 1971) that much of the increased brain size in humans is tied up with processing unconscious pain. That is to say, that we require the expanded capabilities inherent in neocortical expansion and larger brains to keep traumatic experiences repressed. A bigger brain is needed to keep our primal pain from overwhelming us.

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Bipedalism –> Narrower Pelvic Opening –> Birth Pain –> Increased Brain Size –> Increased Skull Size –> Birth Pain

What I am saying is that increased brain size and painful birth become, then, phylogenetically linked in a vicious cycle — one producing the other. Said another way, over the course of millions of years skull size and birth pain increased each other: Greater pain in birth requires, later on, greater repression of pain in order to survive, which leads to the development of greater neocortical capacities for processing and keeping that pain repressed. This leads to actual physical neocortical expansion, which results in greater skull size. Then, that bigger head causes greater pain in childbirth for both mother and infant. This increased birth pain causes greater birth trauma in neonates. And finally, this birth trauma leads to greater repression of pain, then, to expanded brain size, then, increased birth pain, birth trauma, a need for more repression … round and round and round again. And this goes on imperceptibly over an extremely long time in the course of our evolution.

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But keep in mind, also, that this is a chicken-and-the-egg correlation. There is no way of knowing what came first. Whether changes in skull size and expanded neocortical capacity (as for example, in the development of tool use), or greater repression of feelings and pain (possible as a consequence of increased social behavior, requiring increased repression/ control of individual behaviors), or increased birth trauma (either on its own, for some unknown reason, or more likely because of skeletal changes occurring through increasing bipedal locomotion and upright posture) came first is irrelevant. These are mutually arising causative factors. It is enough that we notice their interrelationship.

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Birth Pain Makes Us Humans

Birth Pain Caused the Feverish Minds of Humans, Which We Call Intelligence

To continue, remember that what is universally acknowledged to distinguish humans from other species is our intelligence and the elaboration of culture that comes from that. But with the understanding of skull size, birth, and repression described above, we see these much-touted distinctions and claims to superiority to be merely the byproduct of our neocortical attempts to deal with unconscious pain, specifically, that of birth trauma.

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Birth pain caused the feverish minds of humans, which we call our intelligence. “We ain’t born typical,” as The Kills phrased it. And those spinning excess wheels of mental fibrillation, driven by human birth trauma, are the gears in the machine of our manic material culture.

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Continue with Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction and What It Has to Do With Being Born Helpless: Out of Eden, Part Four — Secondary Altriciality and the Origins of Culture

Return to We Once Had the Run of the Forest and the “Original Affluent Society”: Early Human Savagery Is a Patriarchal Myth Rationalizing Our Descent Into Civilization

Footnotes

1. On bipedalism and pelvic bone changes, at “Wanna Be an Anthropologist“:

Bipedal Adaptations in the Hominid Pelvis

INTRODUCTION

Two major features are unique to humans among all the living primates: A very large brain, and moving about upright on two legs exclusively. One of these, bipedalism, appeared long before the other. Many anatomical features of Australopithecus afarensis anatomy demonstrate habitual bipedal locomotion, and the 3.6 million-year-old footprints discovered by Paul Abell at Laetoli in 1978 confirm it unequivocally (White, 1980). Not until the appearance of Homo erectus, some 1.7 million years later, could hominids be considered on their way to being large-brained (Stanford, et al., 2006).

While certain adaptations seen in the knee (e.g. the valgus angle), in the foot (such as a fully adducted hallux), and to a lesser extent in the cranium (a fully inferior foramen magnum) are all strong indicators for bipedalism (Lewin and Foley, 2004), the most interesting evolutionary changes necessary for upright posture occurred in the hominid pelvis. All of these adaptations are present not only in the pelves of modern humans, but also in all members of the Genus Homo, and in the earliest known hominids, the Australopithecines.

PELVIC ADAPTATIONS FOR BIPEDALISM

The hominid pelvis displays many unique features (when compared to that of quadrupedal primates) that support bipedalism. The major adaptations are seen in the sacrum and the ilia, as well as in the overall configuration and orientation of the pelvic bones….

2. On brain size and secondary altriciality in humans at Human Development:

Human babies enter the birth canal from the womb in the same way a chimp does but just before the actual birth the skull rotates 90 degrees in order to exit the rounded birth canal that humans have evolved. In Homo Sapiens, evolution reached a compromise that favored even bigger brains at a further cost to birthing and efficient walking. The Homo Erectus pelvis was very narrow. Humans are unique among mammals in the extent to which the brain keeps growing well after birth. The scientific terms for this is secondary altriciality. It involves accelerating the birthing process and arresting the development until after birth. Monkeys and apes are born with brains half as heavy as they will ever be. A chimpanzee brain, for example, will weigh perhaps 7 ounces at birth and about 14 ounces as an adult. Human brains are about a third of their final size in newborns; they more than double in size in the first year after birth. On average, human babies are born with a brain that weighs 14 ounces but reaches 35 ounces in one year. It will continue to grow until it reaches about 45 ounces in size (at age 6 or 7).

Gestation in humans should be about 21 months rather than the normal 9 we think in terms of. This is the process of accelerating the birthing process to enable the enlarged brain to escape the birth canal. Development of the brain then continues external to the womb for well over the first several years. What this intense development means is that a human infant is born relatively helpless. A baby can neither stand up or in any way fend for itself for a long time. Stephen Jay Gould has written our sexual maturation comes almost absurdly late in a Darwinian world supposedly regulated by a constant struggle to secure reproductive success and pass more genes along to future generations….slower development must provide some power advantage to evolve, in the face of its obvious drawbacks. In fact, must of what makes us human in the end may stem from this unnaturally long period of helplessness in the very early part of our lives.

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http://web.mesacc.edu/dept/d10/asb/origins/development.html

3. On prolonged postnatal brain growth at Unique to Humans

This is one of the most dramatic distinction between humans and other mammals (including primates). In all precocial mammals other than humans, at around the time of birth there is distinct slowing down in brain growth relative to body growth. In altricial mammals, the switch to diminished brain growth occurs at a developmental stage comparable to birth in precocial mammals. In humans, substantial brain growth relative to body growth continues for approximately a year after birth before a marked slow-down occurs. Because of this human neonates are unusually dependent on parental care in comparison with other primates for the first year of postnatal life, and sometimes labeled as “secondary altricial”.
Martin RD. The evolution of human reproduction: a primatological perspective.
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007;Suppl 45:59-84.

And on postnatal brain growth at The Rise of Homo sapiens: The Evolution of Modern Thinking:

secondary-altriciality

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altricial

http://books.google.com/books?id=pZHtlD7Ife8C&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=secondary+altriciality&source=bl&ots=v9JqxVagV5&sig=lYR3itn84ezye8erarirpRRv5YA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zFosUqnXEcn9iwLvsIDoCg&ved=0CGoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=secondary%20altriciality&f=false

Continue with Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction and What It Has to Do With Being Born Helpless: Out of Eden, Part Four — Secondary Altriciality and the Origins of Culture

Return to We Once Had the Run of the Forest and the “Original Affluent Society”: Early Human Savagery Is a Patriarchal Myth Rationalizing Our Descent Into Civilization

For an Overview and Links to Other Parts of This Work-in-Progress, Go to Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man

Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness Michael’s latest book – is now available in print and e-book formats.

at http://www.amazon.com/Falls-Grace-Devolution-Revolution-Consciousness/dp/1499297998/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1400787010&sr=1-3

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also available in print and e-book format. at https://www.createspace.com/4691119

and at Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/Planetmates-Great-Reveal-Return-Grace/dp/1496083326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399084684&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+adzema

To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

To purchase a signed copy of any of my books, email me at sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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Out of Eden—Agrarian Revolution … Return to Eden—Primal Renaissance: The Earliest Yuppies, 25,000 Years Ago, Cast Us Out of the Garden. We Are Returning … Now

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Primal Renaissance: Our Greatest Hope May Be the Flourishing of Culture as We Reintegrate Long-Lost Knowledge and Worldview, Formerly Ridiculed as “Primitive”

happy Nautilus World

Falls from Grace, Epilogue: Are We Entering a Primal Renaissance?

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We live in exciting times.  Information hams it up before us at every turn.  This unparalleled info-glut brings fascination, paralysis, agony, insight, change, renewal, and inspiration.  In some ways it looks like a renaissance — take the incredible proliferation of technology, for example . . . the mind-boggling advances in computers.  But a renaissance of the “primitive,” the “uncivilized” . . . a primal renaissance?  How can that possibly be?

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Paleolithic Consciousness … Out of Eden

For weeks I had been working on several articles, my ardor suspending me above the landscape of a natural consciousness, a hunter-gatherer one.  Called “paleolithic consciousness” by one contemporary theorist, this mindstyle is reputed to exist among our hunter-gatherer progenitors and among some current “primal cultures.”  It is characterized by greater attunement with body and nature, greater relaxation and well-beingness, more loving child-caring, greater sensory and aesthetic appreciation, more expanded psychic openness, fuller emotional and relational capacity, and greater “with-it-ness” (Witness) with reality in general.

Vision_Quest__99529_zoomMbuti Pygmies at a forest hunting camp.caveman-starting-fire_thumb

The Earliest Yuppies and The Agrarian Revolution

I was also focusing on how our civilization came to lose that primal expansiveness of soul — a la “ejection from the Garden of Eden.”  An increasing mistrust of nature — and an inexplicable rebellion against an eternally old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy — led to attempts to control Nature, and consequently body as well.  The supposed big “advance” of these earliest yuppies was the domestication of plants and animals.  In history, this first major “upwardly mobile” turning is known as the “agrarian revolution,” and it occurred variously between 10 and 30 thousand years ago.

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Renaissance

All of a piece it came to me that what was going on now, in Western culture, was exactly parallel to what had occurred during the Renaissance of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  At that time, you may recall, the Catholic Church’s intellectual hegemony was loosening, which allowed ancient Roman and Greek texts preserved in the monasteries to be released into the collective culture.  There, our formerly repressed and forgotten “classical” heritage combined and cross-fertilized with views prevailing at that time to create the incredible flowering of culture and human potential that the word renaissance now conveys.

The View from the Doorstep of Nuclear and Ecological Annihilation

It occurred to me that night how we, in the consciousness and ecology movements, are becoming ever more aware, once again, in diverse and various ways, of the vast legacy of feeling, perception, human fulfillment, and spiritual awareness and viewpoint that current “child-rearing” practices cause us “normally” to leave behind.  Similarly we come to realize how much our species lost in coming into its much-vaunted “civilization” in its evolutionary history.  The view from the doorstep of nuclear and ecological annihilation allows such perspectives. 

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Yet, through our different ways of healing ourselves, and to extents greater and lesser, we retrieve that lost and repressed legacy.

Multiculturalism

And we are, happily, not alone in that retrieval.  Increasingly it appears that our age is characterized, on a global scale, by an unprecedented multiculturalism wrought of technological advances in telecommunications and transportation.  Consequently, we are pushed to enjoying an ever growing awareness of the legacies of primal cultures, both current and historical.

Drum-circle-painting photo-newage_thumbdrums-620x430Receiving Rites Peru 2009

Xenophobia Dissolving and “Ego”-Eroding Information

At the same time and not coincidentally we observe our own religious, scientific, and Western-cultural hegemonies collapsing under that same weight of contrary and both xenophobia- and “ego”-eroding information.  Moreover, this collapse is aided by momentous and far-reaching occurrences as diverse as our mistaken engagements in third-world countries — our misadventures in Iraq and Vietnam, for example; the technological crisis of credibility wrought of the global ecological crisis; and the discoveries of the new physics with their concurrent death-blow to the pretensions of common-sense materialism.

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Re-Integration of the Primitive and Primal … Return to Eden

It became clear to me that just as centuries ago we came out from under the thumb of a brand of cultural repression that scapegoated and repressed former cultures — specifically, the Greek and the Roman legacies, calling them “pagan” — we were now coming out from under the thumb of a cultural repression and consequent scapegoating of even longer duration — one extending back ten to thirty-thousand years!  Along with this we were seeing not only the limitations and inadequacies of the Western civilization and technology which so many had sacrificed for, and killed for; we were seeing also the re-integration of long-lost knowledge and worldview — which formerly had been obscured and hidden beneath such pejoratives as “primitive,” “savage,” and “uncivilized.”

Shamans, Vision Quests, Sweat Lodges, and Drums

Some of us were learning this only too well, as it seemed necessary to search out the earliest or least “civilized” cultures possible for the only pertinent tips we could find on sane and healthy child-caring techniques. 

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But the rest of our culture is catching on too, and in a big way!  Shamanistic practices, rites of passage, and indigenous rituals are enjoying great popularity.  Workshops on everything from vision quests, fire-walking, and Native American sweat lodges . . . to nature treks, drumming, and “sacred arrow” ceremonies have begun popping up.  And currently we are even recognizing our Western patriarchal culture’s evil hand in the extermination of society upon society of indigenous peoples; we are re-writing the history books on the legacy of Columbus even as we passed the five-hundredth anniversary of his landing in America.

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A Flourishing of Culture?

What’s more, in a manner analogous to the cross-fertilization of ideas that led to the medieval Renaissance, our culture is expanding and becoming richer through the inclusion of these alternate perspectives.  Those of us on the healing edge are uniquely able to sense the potential of this inclusion as we experience the effects that this kind of appreciation of the feeling, the affectionate, the intuitive, the natural, the body, and the senses has had upon our individual lives.  Why would we not think that this kind of cross-fertilization of repressed heritage would lead to a flourishing of our culture in the same way that it is has led to a blossoming in our lives?

The Brightest Light on Our Cultural Horizon

Indeed, many of us do feel that a “primal renaissance” is occurring on our planet.  Furthermore, many of us believe that this occurrence may be, in truth, the brightest hope on what otherwise can appear globally to be a rather bleak social and cultural horizon.

So let us not lose this opportunity to midwife the emergence of this primal renaissance, and, germinal as it may appear at this time, to nurture it to its fullest flowering.  We cannot change the past, of course.  But our efforts will work — one small measure at least — for righting the many wrongs of those who have come before us toward those earlier primal societies, and the deeply felt ideas and cultural ways they held dear.

slider-SWEATPablo_Amaringo-Beings_of_the_Vegetation1pyADFAFDAFAgmyvision-quest-iii-patricia-allingham-carlsonHope Rwanda, Village of Hope Project,

Continue with Book 10 Primal Return: The Prodigal Awakening

Return to Planet of the Apes? Thunderdome? No. But Only If We Are Lucky: Our Primal Return May Indeed Be a Primal Renaissance

To Access the Entire Book, of which this is an excerpt, Go To Falls from Grace

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 81711-drumcircle_c1-1024x682 128027833_640 Divine Secrets Of The Ya-Ya Sisterhood ??????????????????????????????????  2012-04-06-Full-moon-Drum-Circle_0300 11 TDPOPP05  HINDASH Mbuti Pygmy women working together.  81711-drumcircle_c1-1024x682Drum-event 156362_477370192308949_1641637267_n  drum circle   pf026110 Spirit 171286_1867851413990_7825587_o 4512064099_57e2580ffe hippies1 sweat_lodge_2 sweat-lodge-native

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Continue with Book 10 Primal Return: The Prodigal Awakening

Return to Planet of the Apes? Thunderdome? No. But Only If We Are Lucky: Our Primal Return May Indeed Be a Primal Renaissance

To Access the Entire Book, of which this is an excerpt, Go To Falls from Grace

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

To purchase a signed copy of any of Michael’s books, email the author at sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

Planet of the Apes? Thunderdome? No. But Only If We Are Lucky: Our Primal Return May Indeed Be a Primal Renaissance

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A Grand Synthesis of Natural and Technological Consciousness Is Possible … But the Ego Fights to the End: Beware of Skinhead Spirituality

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The Primal Renaissance

So what I am saying is that our advanced technology, itself a product of an unhealthy dissociated ego state that is called Western consciousness, seems, simply fortuitously … or through the grace of God … to be having the effect of intense consciousness change—yes! . . . but essentially back in the direction of what has been normal for our species for at least sixty thousand and possibly millions of years but, this time, while retaining … if we are lucky … the boons of technology.

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Planet of the Apes? Thunderdome? No. But Only If We Are Lucky

Some people think that the only way our consciousness will return to normal is with the loss of technology and the re-creation of the primal state. Thus they picture “Planet of the Apes” and post-nuclear “Thunderdome” scenarios.

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But I believe that we may just be lucky enough … God may be merciful enough … to allow us to keep the fruits of the extended Western aberration of consciousness; we may just be allowed to keep some of the toys we acquired from our prodigal days.

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There is nothing written in stone, after all, that says that people cannot enjoy the benefits of things produced from “unholy” vessels. Indeed, in the perfect universe that we are beginning to finally re-apprehend, it is clear that all things are useful and to some good end in God’s universe.

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For example, the legacy and benefits of democracy that we enjoy are not lost or neutralized by our realization that our founding American fathers were chauvinists and slave-owners.

So basically I am saying that I disagree that we are evolving into a new, advanced species, a Homo noeticus. For one thing, it has been pointed out that brain size has actually declined slightly over the past 100,000 years (Winkelman, 1990, p. 28).

The Primal Return

No. What I believe is that in fact consciousness change is happening … especially in Western culture … but in the direction of a return to a more truly human and natural state—one that characterized our species for millions of years.

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I am asserting that our Western mental illness, our cultural aberration of consciousness is reversing and healing. However we may be keeping with us, along with our natural self, some fruits of that extended aberration. And these boons we may only fortuitously or through God’s grace … and not through any particular heroics or “super”man virtue … be allowed to keep.

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Now, that combination of a healthy consciousness and advanced technology may be truly new on this planet. And even of that we cannot be sure. For certainly—and White would agree—likely it has occurred in other places of the universe many times—so that there is no need for species-ego-aggrandizement here, by any means.

A Grand Synthesis of Which We Should Only Be Grateful

Still certainly this possibility of a grand synthesis of natural consciousness and scientific-technological acumen is reason for excitement and rejoicing. It is without doubt something we should seek. But there is no need to march in the streets or “we’re number 1!” about it. If this is our fortuitous outcome, we have just been lucky. We can only be grateful to the Universe for conspiring to correct our transgressions before we, indeed, “killed us all off”!

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In Light of the Pre- and Perinatal, Spirituality Re-Visioned

In closing, I wish to say I hope I have conveyed why I believe that the exclusion of the prenatal and perinatal information from Wilber’s otherwise comprehensive and laudable schema of transpersonal development leaves it lacking and flawed. I feel that this entire area of integration between the two—the prenatal/perinatal and the transpersonal/spiritual—is considerably more complex and important than has been assumed … certainly that it should not be dismissed, or ignored. Indeed, I feel that the inclusion of pre- and perinatal evidence is crucial for any map of consciousness that purports to be a guide to spiritual evolution.

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Cosmic consciousness is not aided by a “fully functioning ego” or by ego-actualization. The age-old admonitions against the lures and enticements, the devices and strategies of ego are as apt in this day as they’ve always been.

The Ego Fights to the End

220px-Ken_Wilber_10The ego does not surrender easily. It sends out its emissaries of diversion and disruption, of fear and insecurity, to trip up the gullible and the arrogant. Yet surrender is what is required. The tendency to try to control and to ritualize our native experience is what is to be resisted. Banners such as “Homo noeticus” and “fully functioning ego” may bring temporary relief from the difficult task of ego resistance, dismantling of ego defenses, and confrontation with the painful aspects of the unconscious, the Shadow, in the ego-inflation inherent in such standards.

Beware of Skinhead Spirituality

skinhead-spiritualitySaint-Spock-2But it is as wise to align oneself with these tokens to fend off one’s necessary insecurity (see Watts, 1951) as it is a good idea to join up with the KKK or the skinheads as a way of dealing with the same kind of insecurities of changing … and growing … sociopolitical, cultural, and economic events. In fact the responses are much alike. And they should be equally resisted.

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THE END

Continue with The Earliest Yuppies, 25,000 Years Ago, Cast Us Out of the Garden. We Are Returning … Now: Out of Eden—Agrarian Revolution … Return to Eden—Primal Renaissance

Return to It’s Pure Egoism to Think We’re Evolving to a New Consciousness. If We’re Lucky We’ll Regain the One We’ve Lost

To Access the Entire Book, of which this is an excerpt, Go To Falls from Grace
Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness, by Michael Adzema, will be published and available in print and e-book format in May, 2014

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To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

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“There Is No Coming to Consciousness Without Pain.” – Carl Jung: The “Patriarchal Mistake” Involves Struggling to Keep Out “Negative” Thoughts and Their Discomfort

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Grof Versus Wilber and the Frantic Thinking Between Paradigms: The Stormy Path to Self, Part Five: “Healthy-Mindedness” and the “Sick Soul”

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“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung

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“Healthy-Mindedness” and the “Sick Soul”

These two spiritual paths—the controlling and the surrender—were rather distinctively delineated over a hundred years ago by William James (1899/1982) in terms of the spirituality of “healthy mindedness” and that of “the sick soul.” The point is that the one—the “healthy mindedness” or control spirituality—involves a kind of mental ego-actualization, ego-aggrandizement; and the other—the “sick soul” or surrender spirituality—involves an honest dealing with and processing of the unconscious and all that it is.

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The Patriarchal Mistake in Spirituality … Keeping Out Negative Thoughts: Whereas True Spirituality Entails Experiencing “Hell” Before Getting to “Heaven”

This second path, this true spirituality involves a going through hell on the way to heaven—which is a matter of surrender and letting go, as opposed to control and healthy-mindedness. The one is a matter of surrendering to All That Is; whereas the delusional path is a matter of defending the ego, continuing ego defenses to keep out negative thoughts, and so on.

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It is interesting that the one can always be distinguished from the other in the false one’s emphasis on discipline, indicating it’s militaristic attitude of defending against unwanted negative thoughts, and so on. Elsewhere I have called this the “patriarchal mistake” (Adzema, 1972b).

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Stanislav Grof  Versus Ken Wilber in Transpersonal Psychology

John White Genuflects at the Altar of Ken Wilber

It might be pointed out that these two radically different views of spirituality are exemplified in the transpersonal psychology movement in that surrounding the ideas of Stanislav Grof and that surrounding the ideas of Ken Wilber. It is clear that rarely does the one movement ever refer to or revere the insights of the other. For example, in his book, The Meeting of Science and Spirit, John White (1990) does not mention Stanislav Grof at all. Yet he genuflects at the altar of Ken Wilber frequently.

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To Repent Versus to Transcend … Tob and Metanoia

In this respect, also, we have White’s inconsistency in his analysis of the terms tob and metanoia (and repent). In pointing out that the original Aramaic term for “repent” was tob he says that it means “to return” or “to flow back to God.” This is fine so far. But then he states that the Greek translation of tob is metanoia which then means “to transcend.” He then forgets the original meaning, disregards it, and builds a theory upon the latter term—meaning that we are to strive, struggle, and travel upward. The entire meaning and significance of returning or flowing back—which would serve to undermine both Wilber’s and his theories in its espousal of the significance of the “pre-” state—is completely ignored.

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To this move I say, you simply can’t have it both ways: You cannot ascribe some type of greater validity to an earlier term as being closer to the original meaning (metanoia over repent), while at the same time ignore or dispute the relevance of the even earlier term, in fact the original one (tob), just because to do so would undermine the argument you wish to present!

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Dualistic View of Reality … Ghost in the Machine Spiritual Thinking

Inconsistency—Dualism—Matter and Spirit

Nonetheless, perhaps John White’s biggest theoretical inconsistency is his assertions of a dual nature to the universe—Matter and Spirit—(with them “interacting”), laid alongside of his assertion that “God is all.” He presents therefore a dualistic view of reality much reminiscent of ghost-in-the-machine thinking, with his supposed big advance being that the ghost is just as important as the machine.

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Not a New-Paradigm View

In this respect then, White fails to make the transition to a new-paradigm view. He seems hopelessly caught between the views of competing worlds, trying to assert competing claims, trying to keep his old world from falling apart while still wanting to follow the light he sees ahead. Although he claims to, he doesn’t present a new-paradigm vision.

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Spirit and Matter as Indistinguishable as Ocean and Waves

The point is—as opposed to the old paradigm which says that the world is basically matter and that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter—that the new paradigm says the world is basically consciousness or a subjectivity that encompasses All and that the material universe is an epiphenomenon of consciousness. In this world view one does no more need to assert a difference between spirit and matter any more than one can assert a primary distinction between ocean and waves. In this respect we have Sathya Sai Baba’s statement that: All there is is the “I” or the Atma and that this is the foundation for everything else; everything else is illusion. All that really exists is the “I.”

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This is the same as saying in Western philosophy that subjectivity is the only true reality. This is in line with the philosophical position that the objective reality is indirect perception and is dependent upon subjective reality, and so subjective reality is the only true reality that can be known.

Unfortunately, White’s view is directly contradictory of this—he says that there is danger in “seeing one or the other (matter or spirit) as illusion or delusion” (p. xv). This he does despite the fact that this position of the ultimate phenomenal nature of mundane “common sense” reality is the major conclusion of most of the world’s religions, of much of traditional and Platonic philosophy, and more recently, even of the new, quantum, physics.

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The Frantic Theorizing That Goes on in the Time Between Paradigms

In essence then, White’s volume presents an example of the kind of frantic hyper-kinetic convoluted theorizing that is known to characterize the transition phase between paradigms. Like the convoluted theories of pre-Copernican astronomers, who struggled fervidly in re-arranging and making room in obsolete theories and concepts for the ever new astronomical data that was pouring in, who were doomed to failure and obsolescence by their inability to grasp the central organizing principle or concept of an Earth that is both round and not the center of the universe; so also White’s book, lacking any valid new-paradigm integrating vision, finds itself twisted about itself trying to keep one foot in old-paradigm concepts and theories while stepping with the other into new-paradigm facts and data.

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When it comes to paradigm change, you just cannot take both pills.

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To Be Continued with It’s Pure Egoism to Think We’re Evolving to a New Consciousness. If We’re Lucky We’ll Regain the One We’ve Lost

Return to A Mystical Machismo Has Invaded Spiritual Thinking: Whereas Surrender Spiritualities, Believing in Ultimate Goodness, See Controlling as the Problem

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

To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

Planetmates: The Great Reveal – Michael Adzema’s latest book – is being released in print and e-book format on April 25, 2014

Those who want signed copies of any of my books, email me directly … sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.
Invite you to join me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sillymickel 
 
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