On magical childhood, tribe life, primitive planned parenthood: Planetmates reveal, “You had less children, but those you had … were much more wanted, “loved,” and seen than … after the agrarian revolution”
“…there was ambivalence in the desire for children. Your species swayed back and forth about what to do with them — between the poles of infanticide and abandonment, on one side, and acceptance, engagement, and nurture, on the other — for the longest period of your human existence.
“It follows that humans did not increase in numbers during this period, which included millions of years of proto-human, prehuman, and early human existence — during all of which time you lived as nomadic gatherers, and eventually nomadic hunter-gatherers. Children were not particularly wanted. In addition to all the ways their exorbitant needs made them a burden, they needed to be carried from camp to camp. You did things that staggered births. Breast feeding the most recent child for as long as four years, which inhibits the ability to become pregnant; refraining from sexual activity for a long time after the mother had given birth; and abortion (your ancestors had their crude ways) — all had the effect of spreading out over a long period of time the instances of pregnancy and childbirth. If the child came into the world deformed or unusually frail, you would usually remove it from its misery and then bury it.
“Having this long between births — an average of four years — meant that the children that were born, and that lived, received more attention, nurturing, and caring than is the case when children come more frequently. Having less children meant also that there was less burden in caring for the ones one had, so they were more likely to be wanted and to be attended to. Being free from the controlling-conformity pressures that came with sedentary-hierarchical societies, children were less afflicted with being scapegoated because of either father’s or mother’s societal subservience and unhappiness. Again, children benefitted from the fact that the lives of their parents were less onerous.
“So, during this period when you had less children and when primitive abortion and infanticide were used as means of birth control, you had less children, but those you had were exceedingly more cared for. They were much more wanted, “loved,” and seen than would be their human counterparts later on, after the agrarian revolution. They were, in fact, parented nearly as well as your nearest cousins in Nature — primates, apes, and mammals — despite their bringing with them so much extra helplessness and extra years of dependency. So although during this time you had less children, those you had were more cared for, more “loved,” and more seen.
“Your species survived, barely. The factor of excessive burdensomeness of children, which might have ended your line, was offset by a natural, an Authentic, desire for children. Your numbers were not large relative to other species. There was a balance in Nature, and you lived harmoniously within it.
“During this time, your species and its strange proclivities — its unusual birth, early infant deprivations, excess mentation, and distance from natural ways, compared to the rest of us planetmates — did not matter much in the grand scheme of things. You were no great harm and caused no widespread suffering to the many planetmates outside of yourselves.
“But as your species turned its back on its nomadic roots and, blinded by an unnatural fever, pursued a circumscribed and strenuous sedentary lifeway, this stasis in your numbers began to change. While your earliest forays into agrarian-sedentary ways occurred as long as twenty-five thousand years ago, they were not taken up by many of your species until around ten thousand years ago. At that time, increasingly, and especially at around four thousand years ago, there was a switch away from being nomadic to living in permanent settlements, based on an agricultural economic.
“And it is at this point that, though your motives were far from laudable and were selfish, you began to see some benefit in having offspring. You perceived survival advantages in family status and larger broods of children.
“By “family status” we mean that you became more inclined to identify yourself with a nuclear family unit. Prior to this, you saw yourself, primarily, as tribe members, and those human others who were included in your day-to-day world of social interactions included virtually all the members of that group.
“Indeed, the burden of children was shared by your group, which is another reason children were more cared for at that time. If a child felt so inclined, he or she could move over to another hut or fire ring for a while, hang out with a different group of fully growns and children (who would, effectively, represent additional “brothers and sisters”), and be welcomed and embraced there. In a very important way, children were viewed as being part of the entire tribe; their care was much more a tribe responsibility; their personalities were much more influenced by many tribe members other than the immediate caregivers; what they brought in terms of delight, adorability, fun, and love was much more shared by the entire group; and what they added in terms of additional hands and assistance benefitted, much more than later, the entire tribe, also. So here again, children received much more in the way of attention, nurturing, and need satisfaction. And there was much more happiness attendant upon the state of being a child — being free and open, not just to the awesomeness of the physical world and world of Nature, but to the love, pleasure, fun, and interactions of the social world, as well, with its fascinating array of human behavior and emotion, and the brilliance and marvel of its “magical” members….”
[Pt 4 of 24rd prasad — Family “Investment”. More coming….
To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also scheduled for print and e-book publication in late March, 2014 ]
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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Posted in Anthropology, authenticity, being yourself, Birth, Child Abuse, Consciousness, Environmentalism, Evolution, God, individualism, life, meaning, Metaphysics, Mystical, nonconform, Philosophy, Primal Spirit, Primal Spirituality, Psychology, Religion, Spirituality
Tags: apocalypse, Birth, caregiving, child abuse, child care, children, Consciousness, control, CULTURE, God, health, humans, life, Nature, pain, parents, perinatal, philosophy, psychology, religion, science, society, species, spirituality, trauma, truth, unconscious
Children a Burden … Unfit Parents: Children Became the Ultimate Repository for the Suffering Resulting from Social Conformity and Its Humiliation, Say Planetmates in the 21st Prasad (updated)
“You are Babies Raising Babies”: Consumed with Baseless Terrors and Caught up in Relentless Mental Machinations, Humans Are Hardly Fit Care-Givers, According to the Planetmates
The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, the Twenty-First Prasad: Children a Burden … Unfit Parents
Planetmates Release The Twenty-First Prasad
Fully Growns Hardly Fit Care Givers for Newborns
Tree Frog is First Consciousness at The Twenty-First Prasad. Alongside the increasing time of helplessness and dependence of newborns was the increasing reluctance of fully growns to jeopardize their survival for their own newborns.
The Twenty-First Prasad – Children a Burden
But the fully growns are at the same time consumed by the controlling, conforming, backwards thinking, and the alien and crazed overstimulation of consciousness that we’ve been describing. In this state they are hardly fit to be good care givers to newborns. Remember that fear for your survival—of deprivation and uncertainty—drives your obsessive controlling and conforming. So there was an increasing tendency, as you became more “human,” as we’ve defined you, to not want to add the burden of caring for dependent young ones to your already uncertain state. Alongside the increasing time of helplessness and dependence of newborns was the increasing reluctance of fully growns to jeopardize their survival for their own newborns. These reluctant feelings did not fully manifest, however, until around the time of ultimate control and crazed beingness that occurred with the switch to sedentary and accumulating-conforming ways.
Paraphrase/Elaboration of the Twenty-First Prasad — by SillyMickel Adzema
For your adults are not passive actors in these developments. As we have been saying, this is the ultimate and easiest arena of control for humans.
Sure enough, your adults consciously and unconsciously foster and constrain the Ego creations of your young ones in the course of their care giving.
You know how you seek to do it consciously. You call it “raising” your children; again, you show how you objectivize the world and how its people look to you like things to be grown for your use and consumption, much like your crops or chickens. More kindly, you view it as “training” them; though you would never acknowledge, however true, that your aim is to mold and force upon them a shape that makes of them just another extension of you … a mini-me. Again, there is that Ego of you. And here you see how your effects on your children begin to become unconscious influences: You affect them in ways of which you are completely oblivious and always and everywhere have vehemently denied. Still, we must tell you, for those who, because of the pressing and intense nature of these times and their unusual sensitivity to the needs of those beyond just themselves, are able to hear it.
What you are always and everywhere ignorant of is your biological, species-determined inability to give adequate care to those dependent on you. You are, for all the reasons we have been listing, “not quite here,” virtually all of the time.
You are distracted and self-obsessed. While responsible for tending the young’s needs,
you are forever distracted by your controlling and conforming obsessions; you are continually derailed and led astray by your backward thinking. You are barely able to focus outside of yourselves, as you are constantly consumed by the alien and crazed, overstimulated consciousness that characterizes you.
You cannot help but be poor caregivers, with all these other things going on inside you. For children require attentiveness and focus on their needs, and you are ever self-obsessed, and your minds are busy building walls to buffer reality and bridges over unpleasant Nows to fantastical and ever receding futures of ease.
Looking back at the deepest origins of that feverish controlling and fearful conforming we remember that it is rooted in and driven by your underlying — exaggerated and foundationless — fears of death — the supposed end of your beingness.
This fear for your survival is made keen by your incessant paranoia of becoming deprived and of facing uncertainty, as you actually did, in most horrifying ways, as infants.
So, the very same deprivations and uncertainty we planetmates embrace as providing the spice and delightful play of life for you are the forces to drive your obsessive controlling. Furthermore, as you became more “human,” you became that much more, not less, fearful of death; you became ever more terrified of an imaginary future containing uncontainable levels of pain of not getting what you want. You became ever more deranged when confronting uncertainty in your present.
So, consumed with baseless terrors and caught up in your relentless mental machinations around them, you cannot bear the thought of adding the burden of children to all that.
Hardly able to focus outside yourselves and lost in a matrix of long-ago schemas of feelings (from infancy and birth)—pushing and pulling you all about regardless of what you are confronted with in the present—you are babies raising babies.
You would like to make up for your inability by having your newborns simply grow up faster and not be such babies for so long. For after all, it is only their neediness that offends you. It drags you down and requires that you leave off some of your activities and thoughts in the efforts of defense and come out of yourself to heed another’s needs. “If only they would cry less”; “If only they would sleep through the night”; “If only they would poop in the right place.”
Forever falling short of filling your needs in the present, as you go about doing that along with attempting to fill the ever present list of imaginary “needs” left over from your past, you cannot be good caregivers for needy others. Put another way, burdened as you are with imaginary struggles, it does not behoove you to attend to another’s real needs.
Bad enough, all this was when you were nomadic, gatherers and hunters, but all of this was made worse by the switch to sedentary living. For with fixed abodes, inequality of stores, and the resulting social hierarchy came all its requirements to conform increasingly to the demands of a social arena for the satisfaction of one’s needs. Remember that in Nature you enjoyed a relative independence of action in satisfying your basic needs. In Nature, you knew the relative self-assurance that one could always fend for oneself, if need be.
But hierarchy and increased specialization of function—which was a narrowing of the fullness of life experience down to a focus on the aspect of it which could be traded in society for survival—made one dependent on the good will of others for survival. It re-created the state of infantile dependence on one’s care-givers. You were thrust ever, triggered ever, into feelings of helplessness vis-à-vis the Other, which now would include the social matrix within which you were nurtured and fed.
We will leave for later how this, in itself alone, transformed your ideas of Divinity, again … this time it took on more of the qualities of the ones you were most dependent upon—strong men or a man, patriarchal elders, and chiefs—instead of the forces of Nature and its central experience of rebirth. For now it is more important to notice that the major effect this fundamental helplessness in relation to society had upon your feelings and thoughts was the requirement, always, that one’s actions be not just sufficient (for survival) but pleasing (to Other). So, to a consciousness caught up in pushes and pulls left over from early deprivations and trauma in interaction with an inattentive, sometimes harsh, Other (one’s caregiver/parent) was added the pushes and pulls to appeal to, and be approved by, similar unconcerned, careless, sometimes brutal Others in the present, which were one’s higher ups.
This could not help but make it even more difficult to attend to the needs of your young. In the drama of intrigue and chicanery, which erupted out of the necessary interaction for fulfillment of needs with increasingly larger numbers of similarly helpless and equally desperate others in society, you were engaging the majority of the attention and focus you did have. Caught up in the necessary wiles of life left you with little over. The persistent and undeniable needs of children, arising at any time of the day or night, was an unwanted addition to the increasing demands and complexities of daily life.
The result? From the preceding prasads it can easily be guessed what transpired: Children were the lowest in the hierarchy of importance in any society—they were often abandoned or even killed, oftentimes right at birth—for they were the least able to defend themselves and represented the biggest additional outlay of resources and effort of anything coming into an adult’s life. But they were under the most pressure and were the most scapegoated in the hierarchical societies which came with sedentary living.
In ways very similar to the change in the perceptions of women, with hierarchy—that is, with there being controlling and demanding persons ever above one—came incredible pressure to extract from others below oneself amounts of complicity and service equal to what was being demanded from above. It was the unconscious trade-off that men sought for the sacrifice of their energy, time, and self-esteem to those above.
By that we mean that men knew and secretly resented the fact that they needed to put time and effort into the needs and wants of those above them, rather than their own. They felt they could live with that as long as they could balance that suck of energy from them to above with acquisition of unworked for boons from those below. More simply, if you had to suck up to those above you, you could console yourself with the fact that others below you sucked up to you. This was all decided unconsciously, of course. So men used women and controlled them in an amount equal to that which they themselves felt controlled and dominated from above. Men knew they were humiliated and denigrated to an intolerable degree by those above, but they were able to live with that if at other times they also could dominate and bully.
And, of course, women were always targets for all this scapegoating and abuse. But even further down—and available to be scapegoated even by women—were the children. So, again, children were felt to be both the one excludable variable in life’s burdens as well as the ultimate repository for the suffering brought about by such burdens. They were not wanted and were killed or abandoned, being felt to be additional burdens on psychologically and economically distracted adults. But if they were allowed to live, their needs would be set aside in accordance with the pathetic needs of caregivers who desperately sought dependent underlings (of any kind, women or children, fringe group or subservient class) upon which to balance the injustices of one’s adult life.
It is no coincidence, either, that women, being the easiest ones to burden, the ultimate societal scapegoats, would have thrust upon them the burden of caregiving that men did not want. Being the child-bearers they were obvious candidates; but these societal pressures that came with sedentary living increased and reinforced that relation. And men were both more anxious as well as more able—more easily beginning with sedentary life—to cut themselves away from any such responsibilities regarding children. However, they heaped extra pressure on women. For the fact that women, being lowest on the totem pole, were the most supervised of all sectors of adults meant that although men would not want to help in child caregiving, they certainly did not want women to be so cavalier about it.
So, women were in the worst situation. Being the repository of the suffering of their men, who themselves were the repository of the misery of the strong men above them, women carried the heaviest burden yet were left with no one below them to pass along the burden of caregiving.
Further, this task of attentiveness to children is a complication that just adds to your considerable discomfort around not knowing things, not being able to control things … around uncertainty. For while you sought to control everything about you, your children would be the one major factor upsetting your carefully made plans and throwing the monkey wrench into any laboriously constructed ease you were able to carve out for yourself.
So while your newborns required more, you would prefer to give less. Your newborns required ever longer periods in the dependent and helpless state as you changed over time, while
with your increasing fears you felt it risky to focus on a helpless other and away from your attention to warding off present and future imaginary threats.
This reluctance to care for your newborns only became truly apparent and blatant after your transition from nomadic ways to sedentary ones, however.
For this switch allowed full rein to your mania to
accumulate and control and,
with this increased separation from the natural, a greater state of ordinary madness. You peaked, at this point, as far as your desires for controlling. So the unpredictability brought by newborn others was that much more unappealing.
Return to The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, the Twentieth Prasad: Obsessive Control — Controlling Your Young
To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … Go to The Great Reveal from The Planetmates
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In the Seventh Prasad, The Planetmates Reveal the Root of All Our Evils: Ego, Water Foraging, Standing, Narrow Pelvis, 20-Month Gestation, Pain (updated)
Bipedalism and Birth Pain: How Humans Managed to Become so Different … and Tragic — It All Began with Water-Foraging…
The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, The Seventh Prasad: Becoming Human, Bipedalism Caused Birth Pain
Planetmates Release The Seventh Prasad
Ego, Water Foraging, Standing, Bipedalism, Narrow Pelvis, 20-Month Gestation, Pain
The Seventh Prasad – Becoming Human, Bipedalism Caused Birth Pain
Instrumental in creating this Ego are the caretakers, the fully growns, often but not always the parents, especially the mother initially. The fully growns become both the models and the delivery systems for this diminishment and perfect wrongness of Consciousness.
Of course, humans were not humans for millions of years; your predecessors were Planetmates and Earth Citizens like us. There came a time when small groups of your forebears, living near swamps and oceans and gathering their food in the shallow waters, spent long periods of time in that water and found it easy and beneficial to lift themselves up on their hind legs, more and more. Over hundreds of thousands of years, this activity led to bipedalism on land as well.
Unfortunately, this supposed benefit over time created narrower pelvic bones and narrower pelvic/vaginal openings in your females. There was a time preceding this when your females had pelvic bones that were wide enough to give birth to twenty-month old newborns. These newborns were as ready as Earth Citizens for physical existence when they were born, and they were born without the difficulties and pain that characterizes human birth, for both mothers and fetuses.
Video Commentary by SillyMickel Adzema
What follows is a video of a reading of The Seventh Prasad, with commentary, elaboration, and context, by SillyMickel Adzema.
The link above takes you to the audio-only version of my commentary on The Seventh Prasad, exactly as is in the video. Click on the link to go the the audio site, or you can listen to it here using the audio player below.
Paraphrase/Elaboration of “The Seventh Prasad” — by SillyMickel Adzema
Now, the way that this actually happens is this: You not only are removed of your divine connection through these early experiences of pain and deprivation, you not only are left desperate and needing of something to cling to and prop you up lest you fall into a dire despair, but your fully growns — having helped, through inability to be as nurturing as Nature in satisfying your biological and emotional needs at and after birth — help in giving you that thing to which to cling. So, your adult caretakers contribute to your deprivation and loss of divine self — to your diminishment and perfect wrongness of consciousness — as well as are most influential in the construction of something to take its place. However unconsciously they help in the distancing of self from Divinity, they consciously aid in the crafting of its replacement. They wish to instill in your newborns and very young something along the lines of the artificial construction of self they were “helped” to create when they were the same age, however unconscious that memory is. So these fully growns are the delivery systems of the artificial construction of self.
Beyond that, who they are — their personalities, as you say — cannot help but be the starting place for the desperate new ego. In interaction with the caregiver, the new ego would have the only information from which to build, so the caregiver(s) would become the original template, if you will, for lack of anything else, in being that upon which the new ego will be fashioned. The newborn or very young one is left, after the pain and deprivations of birth and right after, with a huge hole or blank slate where there once had been (and there is for us) a divine pattern or construction of self. So, that hole will seek to be filled, that blank slate will pull to it to be written on. These severe lacks and incompletions of self will create intense needs and cravings to be filled and completed, however artificially. And the major focus of that early consciousness, the main item in its world, the caregiver — usually the mother — will become the model for what will be created to fill that lack or to imprint upon that emptiness. The other caregivers and the father, to the degree that they arise within the world of that newborn, will also contribute to the patterns the new consciousness will use to write upon itself a new “narrative” to replace the old one; they also will become part of the model the newborn will use to create its ego.
So these are the origins of the human ego and the manner of its construction. This has been a description of what is basically the difference between humans and all other beings in Nature and how it is created in an individual life.
But how did humans become this different to begin with? We have described how you are different and the way it is done, but why did it happen? Why did it need to happen in the first place? Why humans, of all beings? These are questions that might come to mind and will now be addressed.
For, naturally, you did not start out as humans. You were once planetmates like the rest of us. You enjoyed the benefits of connection with Nature and the All That Is, and you did not have this alien consciousness construct … like us, you did not need it. For millions of years your earliest forebears lived, like us, in harmony with Nature. But something happened.
What happened was that a climate change, a raising of the temperature of the environment in which your forebears lived, created increasing discomfort in living in the manner that you had been as well as it changed the vegetative and other surroundings in your environment in ways that were less conducive to your former ways. Your earliest progenitors moved themselves in accordance to where their lives would be best sustained. With rising temperatures and diminishing vegetative food sources in the continent’s interior and its dry lands, this would mean that they would find themselves increasingly drawn to water environments — shorelines, lakesides, and marshlands provided the most relief from the heat as well as they served up lush vegetation and new food sources from sea, stream, lake, and swamp.
So, in these environs your kind increasingly found themselves. It was only small groups of them making these changes at first, but they thrived in doing so and increased their numbers, whereas the others of their kind who had not made these changes would dwindle in numbers because of their increasingly inhospitable environs and eventually die out.
Your forebears were still planetmates and Earth citizens in the beginning and for a long time, while in that new environment. But in a water environment it of course would be advantageous, while foraging in the shallow waters, to raise oneself up on one’s hind legs more and more to go further out in the water and increase one’s success in acquiring food. Doing so added to the survivability of any who did that. Over time, over hundreds of thousands of years, your kind came more and more to be upright and standing on two legs not four, at all times — on land as well as in the water.
This in itself did not make you human, though being upright is extremely rare among Earth citizens for it is highly disadvantageous in a myriad of ways. But in a water environment, the advantages outweighed the disadvantages. Your earliest ancestors would spend more and more time in their water environment; they would become increasingly bipedal … and their bodies would change in a multitude of other ways to adapt. Again, that is not unusual, for other planetmates have made the transition over the course of eons of going from water to land as well as from land to water. Your mammals of the seas — your walruses, dolphins, seals, and whales — were originally land dwellers. But their bodies, over the course of eons, changed as they became increasingly aquatic until they became what they are today, suited for a fully aquatic life. Well, your earliest ancestors began having comparable changes in their bodies. They began to look less and less like their fully terrestrial brother and sister apes and more like aquatic beings. But again, those changes did not make you human.
What did was an outgrowth of your bipedalism. For your bone structure needed to change to accommodate increasing bipedalism. And a crucial aspect of that was the way your pelvic bones changed. When you were like other apes, you, like them, had wide pelvic bones which allowed for the females of your kind to have relatively easy births. But with bipedalism, births became more difficult with the changing pelvic structure. For with a different angle of connection between torso and legs, there would be a different angle of the plane of the pelvis. With an advantage to a thinner pelvis for the purposes of ambulation, there would be increasingly more narrow pelvic/vaginal openings through which to birth your babies. Your bodies changed in a number of ways to adapt to these factors.
For a while your pelvic bones became wider and more assistive in birth. But with birth even then still being more painful than the rest of us, your brains increased in size to accommodate that pain, to help in keeping it repressed and blocked from disrupting survivability.
That increasing brain size pushed two new developments: increasing birth pain along with a need for a longer gestation to accomplish the additional growth of the brain.
Well, for a long time these forces were at play and competing with and influencing each other. Your brain and skull size continued to grow with increasing birth pain to such an extent that it would have been necessary to stay in the womb for twenty-one months to be comparable to the development of your nearest relatives when they were born … in regard to the size of the brain, that is where you are at today. Of course the wideness of the pelvic bone would have had to increase substantially to make sure a large brained fetus to easily be born.
Indeed, at one point, your pelvic bones expanded to a size that they would be conducive to the birth of a twelve-month gestated newborn, with ease comparable to your brothers and sister species in Nature, or a twenty-month gestated birth — nearly the length of time that you and your brain would need to develop in the womb for you to be at the level of development we are when we are born — with the amount of difficulty you have currently. The length of your gestations and the time of your births and the amount of pain at birth for mother and newborn was in between that; relative to today, you had longer gestations, but not quite long enough for full development, and moderate, but increasing, birth pain.
But these longer gestations (longer than today) had their own disadvantages. It meant that your females would be incapacitated or hindered in their ability to procure food for a relatively long period of time. The time would be between twelve and twenty months, but even at the minimum of twelve months, that is a long time for a female to be less able to care for herself. So, such a gestation longer than nine months was not as conducive to the survival of those females. Increasingly, then, mothers who had shorter gestations, and who could thus attend to their survival needs better, would become greater in number. There was a push for shorter gestations but the needs for longer gestations — the increasing brain size with its longer development time — still existed. Furthermore, the demands of bipedalism were not met as well with a wider, twelve-month, pelvis than a narrower one. So in that case there were survival advantages and hence an evolutionary push toward narrower pelvises, despite the increasing birth pain.
Over millions of years your forebears’ bodies developed the compromise between all these elements that you have today, where roughly half of the brain development occurs in the womb — under the direction of perfect Nature — and half outside the womb, with the disadvantage of it being under the direction of increasingly variable human adults. So this prematurity was part of the compromise, and it meant that your newborns require a longer time of dependency after birth to make up for the time in the womb that it had given up. It meant that you would be more helpless at birth than any of us and needing a longer time of and a greater expertise in nurturing after birth than us. But your mothers would get to return to full functioning sooner than if that extra growth of the brain happened in the womb and entailed a longer gestation.
But the other part of the compromise was the crucial one: Having so much brain development after birth at the mercy of the personal predilections and proclivities of human adults would mean there would be the kind of pain and deprivation we have been describing, which had led to the creation of human Ego. And since any additional pain means a need for a larger brain to deal with it, to defend against that pain to survive, there would still be pain at birth with such a skull size, with such a narrower pelvis, despite the adjustment of being born premature.
All in all, with more pain at birth; with more pain in early infancy after birth; with increasing brain size and more of it used for repression of pain; with increasing separation from divinity because of that increasing repression and thus the loss of and forgetting of divine self and the need for a substitute one and with the outer environment the only source of information upon which to build it; with increasing helplessness and longer periods of dependency and vulnerability after birth and under the direction of as well as at the mercy of greatly varied personalities and their predilections and with this period being the time during which the substitute self, the Ego, would be constructed; we have the elements of humanness. It explains how you are different, how you become different in the course of your individual lives, and with aquatic environs and bipedalism as factors unique to you and different from the factors of other species, why you as a species had to become different in the course of it all.
Continue with The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, The Eighth Prasad: Straying from Nature – Prosperity Won Out Over Happiness for Early Humans
To Read the Entire Book … online, free at this time … Go to The Great Reveal from The Planetmates
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Rebirthing Rituals, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and the Value of Popular Culture in Awakening: The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight … Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits
Where There Is Hope and What Did You Expect Awakening to Look Like? Look Hard Enough, You Just Might See the Seeds of Light Amidst the Darkness Surrounding.
Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing
Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows.
The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight: Societal Self-Analysis, an Internet Reformation, and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace
Culture War Replaced Cold War
We see the workings of these opposing tendencies to look away from problems or to embrace them by examining the reactions in America to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The disappearance of this huge object for distraction from inner unhappiness, about which one could rationalize the use of defensiveness and scapegoating, led to continued turning away through the emergence, in America, of a search for other societal scapegoats and therefore the “Republican revolution.” Culture War replaced the Cold War as the way one could be comfortably ignorant of one’s insides and self-assuredly distracted, self-righteously engaged.
This removal of a collective punching bag or scapegoat also resulted in a healthy turning toward the darkness within and a collective self-analysis in America. This reaction has brought to the fore many of our social and political shortcomings.
Talk Show Soul-Searching
For evidence of this latter response we notice beginning in the Nineties the rise of the talk show; the rituals of nationwide self-examination over issues of sexual harassment, spouse abuse, and race relations played out in the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings and the O. J. Simpson trial; the hashing out of controversial and formerly hidden personal issues around sex, lies, and marital fidelity, played out in the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal; the reevaluation of matters of faith precipitated by priestly sexual abuse; and many other such national psychodramas staged on cable news networks and the magazine-style, documentary-type TV shows like Frontline, Nightline and the like.
We also witnessed the rise of reality shows as part of this societal pull to see beneath the covers of what is thought to be real. Now, progressives and intellectuals have lots of fun vamping about how superior they themselves are to such interests, as exemplified in reality shows. This can only be the position of elitists out of touch with the ways ordinary folks live their lives.
To make my point, let me back up a bit. The swagger that the Left, and intellectuals in general, display around reality shows is the same superiority they have expressed for decades concerning sitcoms. First, let me say that I consider most sitcoms and reality shows to be rather boring and a bit inane with their laugh and soundtrack framing. Yet, when I was a child, growing up in a medium-sized city in the coal country of Pennsylvania and coming from a very traditional family, it was only through such sitcoms that I had a chance to find out what a different style of family and parenting would be. Today, I would laugh at a “Father Knows Best.” But it was a step up and into socialization from the “Father Knows Little” or “Father Not Around” of many in my social stratum when I was a kid. This exposure allowed me, and many of my generation, to seek for more in our life and for better interpersonal family relationships…and eventually better parenting.
This presentation of better alternatives—middle-class, liberal, “hollywood” ones—to everyone in America has a lot to do with the fact that the Sixties were so explosive. It was the first decade after the introduction of a national culture through the medium of television. Much has been made of the fact that newscasts brought information into living rooms for the first time in that era—which is the thing that intellectual elitists will focus on, blinded by their quaint beliefs that humans are rational actors. It takes an experiential psychologist and social scientist like myself to notice that most folks act out of ideas and attitudes that are rooted in experiences and information that are hardly rational. So, the modeling of a more “advanced” way of family life—not perfect but for many better than the traditional ways they had known, which included things like spanking and attitudes like “children are better seen not heard” and “spare the rod, spoil the child”—through the TVs and cinemas of America was vastly more influential in changing society than newscasts, whose information could just as easily have been shared through the print media. The sitcoms brought liberal middle-class values to everyone in America who owned a tv set; and this was a huge step forward at the time.
A Modern “Priesthood”
This is where righties have it right when targeting “hollywood” for many of the changes in our culture over the last half century…though they see that as a negative influence. But intellectuals and lefties blow an opportunity and lose support among ordinary folks through an unconscious haughtiness and a cultural snobbery they are blind to but display in their turning up their noses at popular culture. Luckily, as an anthropological social scientist, I can study popular culture and get away with it, though not without some snide commentary coming my way from progressive and professional circles. They simply will never understand an intellectual who can speak to working folks because he’s one of them. They simply don’t get my attempts to package the crucial understandings of modern science and social sciences, on which the existence of our very world depends, in words that are not primarily directed to and meant to appease the gods of academia. They consider themselves important within their tiny professional circles, thinking they are changing the world when no one even knows what they are doing beyond that constrained perimeter.
Keeping the People Down
Indeed the attitude of academics and progressives about popular culture, especially talk and reality show tv programming and although they would be appalled to ever think it, is no different from the attitudes of the Catholic church and the clergy about matters of faith during medieval times. There, too, we had an elite wanting to “keep out the unwashed.” There, too, we had a distinction between people in the know and the rabble, with the anointed ones requiring ordinary folks to go through them for matters of truth and faith. We had then also this sharp distinction between the “high culture” of the Church and aristocracy—exemplified in the chamber music of the time—and the “low culture” of the masses—exemplified by the folk music of the troubadours of that day.
Nowadays this poo-pooing of tv culture by intellectuals is the same kind of attempt to funnel reality to the masses through the filters of a new “priesthood.” The cultural purists and intellectual elites would prefer that for truth you go through them in academia, where you ‘d have to pay a toll of course, just as the priests of the Middle Ages required you to pass their way on the road to the divine.
Therapy for the Masses
At any rate throwing off the snootiness of intellectualism, I contend, allows us to notice that sitcoms, reality shows, and talk shows serve functions in society that are, overall, beneficial in advancing our culture and catalyzing increased growth. They may not reflect, yet, where intellectuals and progressives think we should be, but for many they show something beyond where they are.
We should know that they are overall helpful in our cause from the fact that conservatives want to attack hollywood and limit freedom of expression on any airwave. The fact that many reactionaries want to keep their children out of schools, home-schooled, and away from tv sets should be telling progressives something about the value of popular culture.
My point is that the rise in reality and talk shows are coincident with a need for a kind of societal “therapy” that came about when we took back our projections from the Soviets and were forced to look at ourselves. I’m saying this was a healthy way of doing it, and this was helping us, though it was tumultuous and difficult, in the Nineties. It is unfortunate, but it suited the forces of war and fascism, for the 1% to bring forth in the millennium the bugaboo of terrorism…perfectly bringing about another endless feud with another concocted enemy to project our own darknesses onto so we can escape from having to notice them ourselves and bring about actual personal growth and cultural advance…let alone the cultural rebirth that has been trying to happen for decades.
Reality shows are like watching group therapy happening. It is not surprising that there was even one reality program that was about therapy—Celebrity Rehab. Reality shows also expose ordinary folks to what amounts to crude but informative sociological experiments. If academics could see beyond their pretensions they would applaud this sort of, however haphazard and imprecise, understanding of group processes and individual psychology arising in the masses.
If there weren’t reality shows, folks would have a harder time knowing appropriate ways for men and women to act with each other. The gains of feminism would not have spread so widely or as fast if they were not being modeled and reinforced repeatedly on talk and reality shows. They demonstrate parenting and social skills—“politically correct” ones, in the good sense—to folks who would otherwise not know any better than to behave crudely and abusively. They bring the world, geography, travel, and history to the masses.
Intellectuals quibble about the quality of that, which comes across as quite childish, for it arises as if out of a jealousy of others getting the attention they want and out of a fear of competition for informational matters around science, culture, and humanities. It strikes me as more than ironic that those on the Left who would wish people to wake up from their zombie slumber would want to push programs of literature or drama where truths are filtered through the consciousness, and unconscious, of the artist, while wishing to deprive folks of a direct look—however contrived, it is actual reality and not scripted—at the world around them and people’s actual unplanned behavior and spontaneous reactions to unusual events.
Seeing people’s behavior in some of these shows does often remind me of the dynamics I’ve seen in therapy groups, and some of the personal changes in the participants mirror some of the evolutions I’ve seen in folks undergoing deep experiential psychotherapy. The audience participation part often sounds like group therapy or an intervention. I’ve been struck by how some of the group processes in the show remind me of family day in rehab, with folks reflecting back what they see in each other and how others’ behavior has affected them. These are all things that conservatives cringe at…actually hate. Yet liberals, except for notable exceptions like Jerry Springer, are not seeing the opening they have here. Lefties are fighting rather than using these forces, which are in the direction of personal growth and, cumulatively, much needed societal change.
As a psychologist and simply someone who loves people, I am fascinated by some of the things I see in these shows. They can be heart-wrenchingly real at times. So it occurs to me that folks who disparage these shows, comparing them with literature and dramatic productions, is another thing where some are wanting to have their reality filtered, managed, and packaged for them, lest it be too “disruptive” to their prejudices of things.
The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight
The upshot of all this is to say that just as a lack of a Cold War caused both collective acting out—another war, a Culture War—and collective inner searching via television talk shows, documentaries, and such. So also the prevention of “hot” wars on an international, not just intercultural, scale and the cause of peace in general require such inner soul-searching and such confrontation with one’s darker sides. And if we must, it is better to endure the psychotic acting out of a culture war—with its battles played out on the airwaves—than an actual war.
For is there any doubt that either of these or any combinations of these alternatives, however uncomfortable and even violent…on a smaller scale…at times, is a small price to pay compared to the price of outright war and violence which, by any measurement, is a cost horrifyingly huge and unacceptable?
America Currently Refusing to Pay Such Price
The converse of this is also true: When the dramas wanting to be discussed are suppressed in the mainstream media, it is as stifling of the growth of a nation as an individual’s growth. Unfortunately we have seen this as well recently. There have been massive worldwide and nationwide Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, massive Wisconsin union outpourings, and events in Japan and about Fukushima that the American people really want to and need to know and discuss, but they are being blacklisted from being broadcasted on. There has been a change in government in Iceland, with banksters being jailed, that Americans are not hearing about; there have been demonstrations in Japan about their insane response to their tragedy, which Americans won’t be told about; there have been massive demonstrations in Israel against the colonial policies of their own government that curiously do not make it into the offerings of news programs. These are things that in the Nineties would have fed the talk on tv and stimulated the necessary societal hashing out for there to be a chance of going beyond them.
What Is the Cost of Denial? Of Complacency?
It is hard to know, though, what happens when the natural urges of a nation to grow and change are thwarted. While I discussed this abortion of cultural renewal and the abomination that results from it at length in Chapter Seven of a companion book to this one, Culture War, Class War, under the title Cultural Rebirth, Aborted, the question remains what happens when this societal “rebirthing” is more urgent than ever. What happens when—for the sake of the survival of the human race and of the planet—it is necessary that this growth happen and instead it is continuously derailed and snuffed out of the light of collective consciousness?
Internet Revolution Is Another Reformation
Luckily all this is changing as the internet and social networking have upended the academic elitists, swarming around and over their petty barriers of intellectual privilege. The blogsters and “rabble” of the net have taken over the cultural dialogue of the time as assuredly as Martin Luther and the Reformation changed religion forever and helped to bring to an end the cultural stagnation of the Middle Ages and to ignite an Age of Reason and of Enlightenment.
Moratorium … Let the Buck Stop Here! We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations
“Know Thyself” ~ “Narcissistic”?
Self-Discovery, Soul-Searching, Psychological-Mindedness, Self-Analysis – Sixties Generation
So, we have taken a look at the need for societies to “do therapy” on themselves, to hash out and process, however messy that might seem to be, the perinatal projections from the unconscious, as they manifest in the tribulations of the times—both profound and mundane. It must be kept in mind that it is the products of nearly the most “advanced” mode of child-caring—the delegated-release subclass of the socializing psychoclass — who have proved most willing to pay such prices for peace, as for example, in increased soul-searching. In fact they would be later stigmatized for just this quality of introspection, this supposed fault of looking into themselves, through the derogatory appellation, narcissistic.
Indeed, Keniston foresaw this when he studied the Sixties generation as college students. Observing the amount of inner exploration they engaged in during their quests for self-discovery, he would describe this attribute in a biased way as “the overexamined life,” and more fairly, for the activist youth, as a “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis.” [Footnote 1]
“Let It All Out? No, Leave Some of It In!” – Pat Buchanan, Fifties Generation
No doubt those who criticized these youth in the past are some of the same ones or their surrogates who, now older, are wrongly castigating the self-analyzing characteristics of contemporary society as the Sixties generation is now in its “triumphant” phase—the time when as adults a psychoclass takes over the reins of society and most strongly influences it. I have already taken note of the tendencies of the right to rile against the collective processing that is happening in their attacks on popular culture and in particular what they call “hollywood.” They express their desire that “such matters” not come to public light, for they deem them “offensive” or an affront to their (oh so delicate) sensibilities. They sense a threat to the precious untruths that prop up their self-destructive way of life, woven through as it is with war, fascism, planetary and planetmate annihilation, and the other horrors mushrooming about them in the postmodern era. [Footnote 2]
These highly defended and fear-minded conservatives, prone to projection, are incapable of appreciating the integrity of an inner-thinking generation like the Boomers are. These outer-minded authoritarians would not get, would outright hate those who “questioned authority” in the Sixties.
These defended entrenched egos would be secretly jealous of and overtly aggressive to a generational emergence that since the Sixties has been psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually working on themselves to be free of inner tyranny. As one of their exemplars, Pat Buchanan, long ago phrased it, “Let it all out? No, leave some of it in!”
Let the Buck Stop Here!
Nonetheless this cadre of kindred Sixties spirits would in their actions declare for the first time in history as a generation, “Let the buck stop here!” And they would seek to turn themselves, and by extension their children and society-at-large, into a more loving, wise, and less acting-out humanity…most importantly, one willing to cooperate rather than war with Nature, or other nations.
If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?
What virtually all the folks outside “my generation” never get is the unimpeachable vision we had of the complete and utter wrongness of the path and tendencies of modern times and the abyss toward which civilization was heading. We were proven right, of course, as especially in the last decade we have seen the disintegration wrought of those tendencies on all fronts—political, environmental, personal. The Sixties generation saw modern civilization as being unreformable and needing complete remaking, so that everything we did was an attempt to create reality and culture from scratch, sans tradition.
We had seen normal ways of doing things to be impotent and often dangerous and most importantly leading to apocalyptic endings in our near future. This understanding is what was responsible for all the “non-normal” behaviors my generation displayed—communes, confrontations, clothes, relationships, organics, alternative ways of everything…an entire counterculture. We have been laughed at for essentially being ahead of the curve on the messages of modern events. We have been called crazy for our inconvenient prophecies, virtually all of which are now coming to pass.
While I and my cohorts, to use just one example, spoke out on the dangers of nuclear energy and in particular the insanity of building plants on fault lines, the professional pundits scoffed and boasted they lived near nuclear plants. This was thirty years and more before the world ever heard the word, Fukushima. The examples like this are endless. We saw all these unworkable endings and asked ourselves, “What would be a real way of doing that?” “What would be a workable, sustainable way?” “What would be a sane and happy life, ethic, and lifestyle.” “What would be a loving, peaceful mode of being?”
While we sought to redo culture from scratch, building it on perennial and unimpeachable principles, the threatened elders and the jealous youngers, who would soon enough come behind, poked fun from within the confines of their assured and comfortable wrongness. They called us narcissistic for thinking we could look at ourselves and the world and dare to think we could change it from ancient ways. They thought we were making ourselves important that way, putting on airs, even. Actually we were shouldering responsibility we did not want—yearning for a simpler, less serious time—but which we accepted for the sake of all those who would come after, knowing their very existence depended on our actions. We took faith in the touchstone of love itself—the only thing that did not crumble under examination—and sought to bend all emerging along its outlines.
So our seeming impertinence was born of an inconvenient prompting, an unwanted vision now proving prophetic. It was hardly selfish, as many of the best of my generation paid the ultimate price and are no longer with us or they are imprisoned. It was hardly narcissistic as it was done out of love…for each other, for the peoples of all the world and of all the religions, for our children, for the planetmates and for the Nature of which we learned we were a part, and for the generations unborn.
What others will never get is that our “overexamined life,” our “psychological-mindedness,” our perinatal propensities, and our soul-searching and self-analysis were not about being narcissistic. It was about needing to start everything anew as a rational response to the horrors we saw about us in our culture and in the world… horrors which we were correct in trying to address at the time. For their existence today, because of our inability to be completely successful in remedying them, are bringing about all the political, economic, and environmental armageddons I’ve been discussing in this, and its related, books. And we knew, and still know, that only some change huge and radical will help us, and for that we need to find and stand upon the deepest and firmest of ground within us. That is what we’ve been looking for, are still looking for…only now we have lots of company .
Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits: A Drive to Healing, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and Millennial Promise
A Drive to Healing and What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like? Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits
A Drive to Healing
We cannot expect that everyone will heal their birth traumas when they arise into consciousness during periods of peace. However, we can expect—especially now that there is understanding of these dynamics and there are techniques and modalities available for healing them—that some people will!
Furthermore, even the more ritualistic and superficial yet blatant regressions to infancy, birth, prenatal, or even prior to that—for example, as Mayr and Boelderl describe in Europe—are not the indication of a “death drive” or “death instinct” as these researchers claimed. [Footnote 3]
These highly symbolic collective rituals are instead the manifestations of a drive to healing—a drive to regressing to early traumas and to reexperiencing the events that occurred then and thus recapturing an integrity of self that existed prior to the dissociation that happened as a result of those traumas. This drive to regression is no more a “death wish” than the mystical or spiritual quest is a “death wish,” and for the same reasons, as Jung correctly admonished Freud a long time ago. And we can expect that more good than bad can come, eventually, from engaging in them.
What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like?
Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits
In conclusion, when we see blatant collective regressions, by the sorts of people mentioned, to these perinatal dynamics in undisguised, and relatively harmless, social rituals—as described by Mayr and Boelderl, and Lawson—we can expect that, because of their closeness to their unconscious pain, they are likely—even if only a little more likely because of their more advanced mode of child-caring—to have insight into these dynamics and to resist acting them out in a more extreme form, like war, global pollution, and overpopulation.
To put it another way, I would have preferred that Hitler had acted out his craziness by jumping into mosh pits, humming baby tunes, wearing a pacifier…or even engaging in sexual orgies…than the way he did.
So these current signs of blatant regression by youth and others in Europe or the US, or in fact anywhere in the world as in rock concerts, are not signs of an impending war. What did you expect peace to look like? You might call it messy, but it is the scenery of human healing, we should expect to be seeing, on the pathway to an Earth rebirth.
What Might We Expect?
What might we expect from the future? Well if ecological/environmental consciousness and refusal to use projection onto others is accepted as evidence of perinatal access, as I have been asserting, then the current generation of youth and young adults—the Baby-Boomer Echo Generation, also called the Millennial Generation, whose two main concerns, as I have mentioned, have been polled as being the environment and racism—may also be expected to be more open to their perinatal trauma, and hence more likely to resolve it and further the gains of their parents against war and global apocalypse.
“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”
From the roads and TV screens of America the scenery can often appear bleak. Sure, heavy changes are coming down…but what should we expect? “A hard rain’s gonna fall,” sang Bob Dylan. And that’s what it takes to blossom the spring. Look hard enough, you just might see the seeds of Light amidst the darkness surrounding.
Evidence in Our Collective Dreaming
Next we will take a look at one of the projective systems of our society, specifically, our cinema, to see if it shows evidence of the change of consciousness that we have here been describing as necessary to derail the cycles of war and violence that have plagued our species for millennia uncountable and have led us to the brink of extinction.
Films are both the collective dreams of our society as well as the only truly widely shared method of collectively experiencing a nonordinary state of consciousness. Thus they are telling, in the messages they contain, as well as powerful in their impact on the audience, who in this mild nonordinary state of consciousness are more open to suggestion and to receiving mental impressions and information.
We will look to examples from films of the last few decades for indications that our collective consciousness is actually changing and that there are grounds for hoping that we will be able to stave off apocalypse…creating instead the quantum leap to an Earth rebirth.
1. For “overexamined life”see Keniston, op. cit., 1965; for “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis” see Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81.
2. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and The Youth Revolt.”
3. Mayr and Boelderl, op. cit., p. 149.
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