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Like reading a letter from a wise, old friend….

By M.E.W. on February 5, 2014

I’ve recently finished reading Experience Is Divinity, by Michael Adzema.

If you ever have one of those days (weeks, months?) where it just doesn’t want to fit together, you really can use this.

Find a quiet space, fix a nice big mug of tea, and grab “Experience Is Divinity”.

You almost don’t need to use your brain. You just sort of let it absorb. Every once in a while, you find yourself thinking, ” Why wasn’t that simple thing already in my brain?”

None of Adzema books will lecture you; no heavy handed persuasion. You simply get a sense of his quiet confidence that he has something meaningful and he wants to share it with you. You won’t find psychobabble or cult like preaching; just a sort of, “This is what I think makes a lot of sense”, attitude.

The books sort of distill the most profound realities. You lay the book down, having a sense of simplicity and clarity and the chaos just sort of begins to fit. Nothing is different; it’s more that it’s OK that things are as they are.

More info and to orderExperience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor. Return to Grace, Volume 8

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1492932213/ref=dra_a_rv_ff_fx_it_P2000_1000?tag=dradisplay-20

Final Exp Div

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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Planetmates reveal the truth about human communication, the “games people play,” human “intelligence,” the roots of war, domestic brutality, genocides, and enslavement in self-denial, and more

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“Of course, there had to be a combination of both expression of needs as well as non-communication of needs in order to survive. There has to be a combination of unfeelingness-numbness and effusive entertaining adorability. And every baby who survives develops this — it is the major practice of every day of its life — to an at least sufficient degree … sometimes to a masterful level. Amazingly, human babies must learn to both communicate directly as well as to dissemble, to be both responsive as well as repressed. Human babies must learn to direct, but not appear to. They must be charming, but not obtrusive; seen, but not heard. Through this charm and manipulation offensive, these little politicians must bring about the satisfaction of their deep desires and needs, yet appear to be “above” such concerns. Again we see the factors which pushed the twisted consciousness and behavior of humans. Humans have “hidden agendas.” They might say one thing, and the other human must figure out what that human is really meaning … which might be the opposite of that. 

“Some cultures would develop this to an insanely and mind-bendingly elaborate social ritual. “No, thank you, I don’t want any” might mean “Yes. I want. But ask again.” Or “Please, no. Don’t bother” could mean “I wish you would. But I want you to insist on doing it.” The actual meaning might need to be deduced through masterful and intricate discernment of the context of the statement and its tone and manner of inflection, and so much more.

“Indeed, much of the extra communication humans have developed, compared to other planetmates, has to do with this added dimension of confusion. A planetmate might meow or grunt its desire. It is not confusing. It says, “I want.” A human hearing a communication of need must often discern it through a maze of possibilities of what that expression mightmean … other than what is meant on the surface. And much more of language is elaborate convolutions of thought built around and upon such confusion.

“Indeed, much of the extra “intelligence” you humans credit yourselves with — accounting for the extra brain growth, size of head, birth pain, and then extra information processing involved in repression of that pain, in a vicious circle — has to do with this extra mentation involved in dealing with your confusing communications and relationships with each other. Your extra brain growth is because of the extra maze of neural pathways required to keep yourself buffered from remembering your painful past, required to keep you confused, and part of this … an example of this … is just this confusion around communication with each other and the excessive thought processing involved with handling it appropriately, which has its roots in early infantile need deprivation and the mental machinations around it.

“So humans have these, “games people play.” Planetmates sure as hell do not get it. We watch you engaged in all these rituals as if you are beings on opposite sides of a wall, unable to see each other, communicating elaborately and madly with movement and sound — all of which are severely constrained in some places and consequently overdone and dramatized in others. How hard you work. How tiring you seem to us. How complicated your life. How haphazard and inept your connections with each other.

“Meanwhile, Nature implies the idea of everything being interconnected. Needs and satisfaction are two sides of the same coin. By separating them — aching, urges, and wants, on the one hand, and satisfaction, relief, and pleasure, on the other — so far from each other, you widened your separation from all of Nature, made yourself more isolated, and contributed to your being the most suffering of all planetmates. You call this ability a delay of satisfaction, a delay of pleasure, and you tell yourself it makes you superior to Nature. Adorning yourself with this crown of extra control of yourself, you make your dissatisfaction and suffering an accomplishment. But you never notice how this power over is bought at the cost of interaction with — interaction with, your body … engagement with, Nature and reality … connection with, humans and other living beings in harmonious accord.

“This separation of you from satisfaction means you push the world away and retreat into a fortified circle, a command center of the mind, allowing survey and oversight of the experiences of the body, but not immersion in those experiences … not really feeling them. You tell yourself you are free from the urges and pushes of the body, this way; you say that you “are not an animal” or “beast” in having this seeming control of these needs. But you never see or acknowledge how this control is paid for with irrationality and uncontrollable acts afterward, often around other events and behaviors. By this we mean you may control your sexual urges only to end up beating your women and children and going to war. You might play the “heroic,” strong and silent type, or the suffering martyr, but, caught up in your inner suffering, you may not notice those around you needing your assistance … you might be insensitive to their cries of pain … you might run roughshod over their lives and forget that there is life force and divinity in them, as well. Your long history of war, torture, domestic brutality, religious atrocity, rape, enslavement, and genocides should be telling you something about yourself in these regards.

“You want us to be clearer on how you are different from other planetmates regarding the satisfaction of needs? Okay, take one example. In Nature, one of the dog planetmates might get hit or bit and would yelp. Whereas a human might get hit and not cry out. It might repress that need to express pain — and it is a need — because it has learned, in infancy, that to cry out when hurt brings even more hurt later. This failure to respond in the present to the urges … “instincts” … of the body leads to manic mental activity afterward. The repressed need drives extraneous thoughts which keep one enslaved in the mind and separated from experience in Reality. It should be clear how repression of any other biological needs — sex, food, water, freedom of movement, comfort — does the same thing.

“One is often blocked from the immediate satisfaction of needs, that is true; and that applies to all planetmates, including humans. Being frustrated from satisfaction is one of those exigencies of life and fate which teaches us. What makes you different is your self-denial when there is no need for it. Again you have taken over the determination of your spiritual path. Again you show how you defy the Divine by seeking to control It (just as you sought to control your caregivers as babies), instead of learn from It. Rooted in your infancy and the inadequate and capricious qualities of your care and need satisfaction then, you seek afterward to deny yourself, again, in an unconscious way of seeking divine reward. Your denial, suffering, praying, and self-flagellation — figurative and literal — are ways you seek to bring forth advantage later … they are sad and distant reflections of your baby attempts to influence the Great Mom….”

[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 mid-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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A Supremely Defended Ego Is the Aim of Modern “Sanitized” Spirituality: Ego Weak Mystics and Shamans … the “Holy Fools” of Mystical History Would Be Medicated Today

we-are-then-simple-awarenessHigh Self Esteem (Positive Thinking) Distorts Reality for Temporary Pleasantness … High Self Regard Involves Openness to the Unpleasant: Stormy Path to Self, Part Three

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Ego-Weak Mystics and Shamans

In a more recent work, John White (1990) continues Ken Wilber’s mistake in not realizing that the sharp distinction between the sacred and the profane that we observe today is a product of recent history.

The “Holy Fools” of Mystical History Would Not Fare Well in Front of a Psychiatrist

While White refers to early mystics in making his case for what a unitive state of consciousness entails, he does not seem to notice that these people, in terms of his proposition of developing a fully functioning ego as a necessary prerequisite to transpersonal realms, would not only fail in this regard but that by his criteria the kind of odd and extremely eccentric behavior of holy people in the past would be considered insane.

My point is that in neither White’s nor Wilber’s limited Western viewpoint is there any allowance for that kind of “regressive” behavior on the spiritual path. I quote Feuerstein (1991) as an antidote to this omission:

It is true that when we look at crazy adepts like Drukpa Kunley or Nityananda, we see phenomenal feats of renunciation. But we also see behavior that, certainly in the eyes of a psychiatrist, at times borders on the neurotic, if not psychotic. Some of these holy fools have in fact wondered about their own sanity. The saintly Ramakrishna, teacher of the world-famous Vivekananda, is a case in point. For a period of time he ceremonially worshipped his own genitals, and on other occasions he installed himself on the altar of the temple where he served as head priest.

Such behavior is certainly not “normal.” Nor is sitting on garbage heaps or sexually fondling women and girls, as has been reported of several contemporary Hindu adepts. (p. 21)

The “Fully Functioning Ego”

Thus, I re-iterate, as White (1990) himself points out (p. xxiv, he says “I elaborate on this central point throughout the book”), central to White’s argument that we are evolving into a new species of human at this time in history is that the characteristic Western ego “development”—one could as easily say (and some have said)—”ego-dissociation”—is a necessary prerequisite to higher consciousness. Thus he marshals in, to support his proposal, the concept of the “fully functioning ego” which Wilber has unfortunately popularized.

A Supremely Defended Ego Is the Aim of Most “Sanitized” Modern Spiritual Pursuits

What these transpersonal theorists are claiming then, in deference to mainstream psychology which is dominated by ego psychologists, is that a fully functioning ego is necessary to develop before one can go on to transpersonal pursuits. My research and experience, confirmed by that of Stanislav Grof and supported by the theory of Michael Washburn (1988) and others, tells me they are wrong in this espousal and that in fact what they are talking about developing is merely a supremely defended ego. It seems that what they would wish to develop is high self-esteem as a prerequisite for higher consciousness.

But the Idea of Necessary Defenses Is a Relic of Antiquated Freudian Thinking

Yet my research indicates that this is a legacy from Freudian thought which claimed that defenses are necessary. To the contrary, what we have learned from primal therapy and the other experiential, feeling psychotherapies is that defenses are not necessary.

Self Esteem Versus Self Regard

Furthermore, research by Gergen and Marlowe (1968) points out that there’s a difference between high self-esteem and high self-regard.

High Self Esteem (Positive Thinking) Distorts Reality for Temporary Pleasantness … High Self Regard Involves Openness to the Unpleasant

Essentially, high self-esteem involves the use of defenses that deny and avoid aspects of reality, whereas high self-regard is based on an openness to and acceptance of those same kinds of unpleasant aspects of reality. Self-esteem and the fully functioning ego is based on distortion of reality and falseness relative to the Self; high self-regard is rooted in painful and not necessarily so functional acceptance of reality in its dark and light, pleasant and unpleasant facets.

Attunement with the Higher Self Involves a Diminution of the Ego, a Reduction of Ego Defenses

Similarly, there is a difference between what is often called ego strength and what is meant by the fully functioning ego. For ego strength, as Erikson (1968, 1985) uses it for example, is really a consequence of being in tune with the higher self, which is in fact not ego strength at all. On the contrary, this kind of attunement with the higher self (or Self) represents a diminution of the ego, a reduction of ego defenses.

Madness and Genius … Madness and Mysticism

Going back historically, what is noticeable about mystical adepts (not always their followers, interestingly—see Hesse [1930/1968], for example) is their lack of ego, often from a very early age, and how they are closer to their mystical promptings because of this. This pattern also relates to creative people and the process of creativity. For creative people from all times quite often exhibit this poorly functioning ego that has often been associated with mystics. Because of this, people are familiar with the connection between madness and genius as well as the one between madness and mysticism. (See Erikson, 1962.)

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“Fully Functioning Ego” Actually Precludes, Rather Than Precipitates, the Mystical

The point is that in neither of these cases is there the development of this recent prescription: “the fully functioning ego.” In fact, a fully functioning ego is the last thing a person with mystical promptings would want to develop.

An Anal-Compulsive Control of Inner Life

One begins to suspect that what these transpersonal theorists and their legions of followers are really saying is that they really do not want to surrender to mystical promptings or to surrender to the Divine.

Affirmations, Ritual, and the Like Are Capitulation to the Controlling Ego and a Flight from True Spiritual-Mystical Surrender

What this kind of thinking says about these erstwhile spiritual adepts is that they want to continue to do their controlling; they want to continue to do their affirmations; they want to control their inner life. Certainly there are fear reasons why one would want to avoid the path of spiritual surrender and would wish to carry one’s controlling and defensive ego over with one into the transpersonal realms. And the devolutional model helps us to see the very deep roots of that fear and makes this entire transpersonal gambit quite understandable.

Worst of All, These Beliefs Have Roots in Racism and Western Supremacism

Still, the dictates of truth, and of real spirituality, require that these fearful prescriptions and their illusion-weaving proselytizers be spotlighted for what they are. For it is bad enough when one is self-deluded. It is purely unacceptable when one seeks to foist one’s ego defensiveness onto the spiritual pursuits of others. It is worse still when institutions, such as the psychiatric and psychological, are reinforced in their antiquated and soul-destroying methods by such efforts and beliefs. And it is worst of all when these beliefs support the kind of unconscious racism and denigration of other-than-Western-cultures that has caused so much suffering historically.

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

Return to “Crazy” and Transcendent Are Not Opposite as Ego Psychologists Conveniently Proclaim: Have Western Puritanical Beliefs Infected Transpersonal Psychology?

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.

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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Have Western Puritanical Beliefs Infected Transpersonal Psychology? “Crazy” and Transcendent Are Not Opposite as Ego Psychologists Conveniently Proclaim

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The Linear Fallacy and Ken Wilber’s Fall from Grace: Spiritual Growth Is Hardly Linear … You Can’t Put “Enlightenment” on Your To-Do List

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The Linear Fallacy

Cybernetic Dreaming

asfadfa220px-Trappist_praying_2007-08-20_dtiEven in the field of transpersonal psychology, for example, there seems an inability to accept such a visceral, energetic, cathartic, “Dionysian,” spiritual path—a “surrendered” one … a shamanistic one. Instead we see a tendency to opt for “Appollonian” head trips, mere relaxation and visualizations, cybernetic ego programming and affirmations, and rational-intellectual metaphoristics—a “controlling” path (cf., Berman, 1986, “Cybernetic Dream”).

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We hear that one must have an ego before one can lose one … as if we all, from birth, don’t have some kind of ego! We hear that there are “healthy” ego defenses to have … as if all defenses are not in some way the avoidance or distortion of truth.

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Ken Wilber’s Mistake

Interestingly, Ken Wilber—who, along with Stanislav Grof, is considered a fountainhead of modern transpersonal psychology—has been, at different times, on both sides of this development. His change of position from The Spectrum of Consciousness (1977) to The Atman Project (1980) is, in my opinion, regrettable. Obviously, from the analysis presented in this book, Falls from Grace, it is clear that I believe that his stance at the outset, in The Spectrum of Consciousness, is closer to the truth.

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The Prepersonal and the Transpersonal Are Not Separate

hippiesFurther, I agree with Washburn (1990) that Wilber’s espousal of a prepersonal/transpersonal distinction (Wilber, 1982)—which predicates his change of position—”assumes a major point at issue,” specifically, that “‘pre’ and ‘trans’ states are totally unrelated, and are in fact opposites,” and that Wilber does not establish this position empirically (p. 94). lunch-21_thumbSimilarly, while I regret the use to which Schneider (1987) puts this information, I concur with him that “a careful reading of the case evidence does not—as Wilber . . . would have it—clearly differentiate (prepersonal) psychotics from truly (transpersonal) visionaries” (p. 202).

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Ken Wilber’s Pre/Trans Distinction—Does Not Fit with the Evidence

In sum, the operative factor in Wilber’s change of position, which is also a basic building block of all of his later theory—that is to say, the pre/trans distinction—does not fit with the evidence from the spiritual or psychiatric literatures. It certainly does not fit with the evidence of experiential psychotherapy and pre- and perinatal psychology. Finally, as Epstein and Leiff (1981, p. 140) pointed out, neither does his hypothesis appear to fit with the evidence of meditation research.

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One Returns to the Beginning, Again and Again

As Grof (1985) said concerning Wilber’s pre/trans distinction:

My own observations suggest that, as consciousness evolution proceeds from the centauric to the subtle realms and beyond, it does not follow a linear trajectory, but in a sense enfolds into itself.

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In this process, the individual returns to earlier stages of development, but evaluates them from the point of view of a mature adult. At the same time, he or she becomes consciously aware of certain aspects and qualities of these stages that were implicit, but unrecognized when confronted in the context of linear evolution.

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Thus, the distinction between pre- and trans- has a paradoxical nature; they are neither identical, nor are they completely different from each other. (p. 137)

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Ken Wilber’s Fall from Grace

Indeed why Wilber, while acknowledging Grof at least, would choose not to incorporate the findings of prenatal and perinatal psychology and would opt instead for a Piaget-based theory of development that begins (1) at birth (1980, p. 6) and (2) with the self identified with matter that is defined as lowest consciousness (1980, p. x and p. 7)—a Piaget-based theory that is radically altered by prenatal and perinatal psychology and consciousness research in general (see Grof; Pearce, 1980)—is a mystery in itself. emotionless_spock_by_elfqueen1969-d2yx7rp The Alpha and the Omega Meet By that I mean that (1) Wilber ignores the first nine months of an individual’s life, as if those experiences—which others, and myself in this book, have shown to be all-important—are not only not influential but non-existent!

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By that I also mean that (2) Wilber (1980) claims that at birth the self is identified with matter (p. x and p. 7), which he calls the pleroma and which he states is a gnostic term for the virgo mater or materia prima (p. 20). First of all, my reading of gnosticism does not tell me that the pleroma is a primal matter but rather a primal spiritual source from which all else—specifically, matter—devolves.

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Gnostic writings tell that, in fact, the creation of matter and the world occurs later, much later in the course of devolution than the “spiritual” pleroma. They tell also that the material universe comes in only with the creation of the inferior god, the Demiurge (the ego); and that it is a flawed creation—one might say it is one that no longer adequately reflects spirit and that it has fallen from grace. (See Robinson, 1988, The Nag Hammadi Library in English)

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“God Is All There Is.”

This may seem a minor point; however, its implications are huge for Wilber’s theory and it indicates exactly where we differ. What I am saying is that, from a particular perspective—one might say a gnostic one—matter is from spirit (or Consciousness), is of the same stuff as spirit (except that it is flawed). That really and truly what we see “out there” is spirit and is no different from what we experience “in here” save that our sensory experience is an imperfect—one might say, reflected or indirect—experience . . . but of the same thing! This is indeed the implication of the new physics and the new psychology. As one song sums it up: “God is all. God is all there is.”

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Now, Wilber knew this in The Spectrum of Consciousness; he espoused this perspective in that book. That he later turned from this radical spiritual perspective on matter; this mystical, Eastern, “new physics,” psychedelic, and Platonic perspective on the material world and sensory experience . . . well, one might say he “fell from grace.” imadgfhfjgjklges_thumb1_thumb75340_461952720518732_919352686_n0012-1468910684_21627a3681_o The Stormy Path to Self As Grof (1985) has exclaimed concerning Wilber:

It is . . . somewhat surprising that he has not taken into consideration a vast amount of data from both ancient and modern sources—data suggesting the paramount psychological significance of prenatal experiences and the trauma of birth. (pp. 135-136)

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Further, concerning Wilber’s theoretical system:

The complexity of embryonic development and of the consecutive stages of biological birth receives no attention in this sophisticated system, which is elaborated in meticulous detail in all other areas. (p. 136)

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You Can’t “Program” Your Way Into Transcendence

It seems that Wilber (1980, 1982), however—as one of the chief proponents of the ego-quest-as-precondition-to-spiritual-quest school of transpersonal thought—has made the mistake of constructing his transpersonal argument within the gravitational field of the Western ego psychologists. Thus it ends up helplessly skewed in that direction. He completely ignores the evidence cross-culturally for the ego weakness that most often characterizes mystical adherents and religious practitioners.

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Ken Wilber’s Cop-Out

Hence, Wilber’s overall position is muddied in contradiction. See, for example, A Sociable God. Here Wilber says adolescence includes previous structures:

As the adolescent mind emerges, it destroys the exclusive identity with the body but does not destroy the body itself; it subsumes the body in its own larger mental identity. (1983, p. 104)

homepageNow, compare that with The Spectrum of Consciousness (1977) in which he contends that each stage splits off from and represses previously “owned” realities making them unconscious. There are no two ways to interpret this: In the earlier work, he saw a reduction, or devolution, in consciousness with each subsequent stage in consciousness—exactly the position I espouse in this book. Whereas by the latter work, A Sociable God, he himself has become more conforming with societal beliefs, more “sociable,” and becomes an apologist for the status quo. He begins rationalizing—as people tend to do as they get older and more split off from their real feelings—that it was not “all that” repressed after all when one 0044-legiondefygod300full-2went from one stage to the other of the spectrum. This is the transpersonal psychology equivalent of the older person, tired of the emotional baggage carried from a traumatic childhood, resigning herself to saying that, well, Daddy (or Mommy) actually did love her “in his own way.” The point is this is not about truth anymore. It is about giving up the struggle for truth and conforming to whatever beliefs make life easier … or in Wilber’s case, facilitate one on the career “ladder.”

Transcendent States Require Pre-Egoic Integration

0003-imasgfsgsgsgfsgesAt any rate, I think the integration of Wilber’s work with that of Grof, primal psychology, Masters and Houston, and the new prenatal and perinatal information from various sources helps to clarify some of the confusion resulting from his change of position. [Note 1] My hope also is that my work in this book in integrating all of the above, including Wilber’s schema, goes at least some part of the way toward correcting the misunderstanding that arises from his omissions.

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Note

1. The new prenatal and perinatal information is referenced many times in this book—see especially Chapter One—as well as in publications and conferences of the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH); the writings of Thomas Verny (1981, 1987); the evidence from primal therapy, rebirthing, holotropic breathwork, and psychedelic research—published in places too numerous to mention; and so on.

Continue with Ego Weak Mystics and Shamans: A Supremely Defended Ego Is the Aim of Modern “Sanitized” Spirituality … the “Holy Fools” of Mystical History Would Be Medicated Today

Return to Is the Supernatural Terrifying? The Idea of a Shamanistic, Stormy Spiritual Path Is Too at Odds with Our Religious Anti-Body Culture to Be Easily Accepted

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.

Invite you to join me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

What the planetmates really think of us, the latest: On human “evolution,” control, conformity, birth…”controlling your young”

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The Twentieth Prasad — Controlling Your Young

Humans are defined by the fact of your prematurity and the consequent long period of dependence on fully growns for survival. In the light of your continued descent into ever more controlling of all aspects of your surround — as we’ve seen, your ways of having your survival needs met, your lifeways (nomadic to sedentary), the Fauna Empire of planetmates around you, the Flora Empire of planetmates, others of your own species, and even your own selves, your own otherwise authentic beingness — all coming under control over time, and over time increasing control of all these — it is not surprising, however sad, that this obsessive control would be applied to your offspring in their dependent state as well. Remember, your newborns, prematurely born, helpless, and thrown out of Nature’s divine blueprint for perfect nurturing would die out of pure despair if not for the creation of the alien construct of Ego. And the delivery system of this Ego is predominantly the fully growns who are attendant upon the needs of the helpless prematures.

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Paraphrase/ Elaboration of Twentieth Prasad by Michael Adzema:

Keep in mind that it is the mania to control your lives excessively that separates you from Nature and makes of you a consciousness opposed to the natural. For you set yourselves apart and above Nature to control Her. The core of that drive to dominate and what distinguishes you as humans and separates you from the other planetmates, as we have been saying, is your aberration of premature births—relative to the rest of us planetmates—with its result that newborns are dependent on adult caretakers for, relatively, an exceedingly long time. It is how we define you, in fact: Humans are the planetmates who experience a brutal birth, far before they are ready, which sets off a crazed overcompensation of mental activity to defend against the pain of it. Additionally, humans are the planetmates who have an excessively long infancy, where their needs are only partially met, which results in extreme controlling behavior applied to every aspect of life and all other beings in their world afterwards, in adult life.

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Now, a special example of your increasing controlling-dominating behaviors involves the way you see your children. Controlling and dominating your young is special because, remember, it is because of the characteristics of your infancy and birth that this devolution of yours away from Nature began. Your prematurity and dependency as infants causes the feeling of lack, of insufficiency, that in life pushes you to mistrust and control:

Your earliest learning of this world was that you did not get what you needed when you needed it (as an infant) and that you were left all alone to stew in that misery. So you fear, forever after, that you will not get what you need, again, and that you will die of that. Without really deciding it, driven by fear, you focus nearly all your energy and thought upon making sure those terrorizing feelings of hunger and abandonment will never happen again, in any possible future, by controlling all you possibly can that is happening around you in the present. Your intent in dominating all aspects of your surround is to wage war against a feared scarcity or shortage of life-sustaining resources, which you once experienced and—rightfully so—felt to be the gravest inequity and deadliest injustice.

But that urge to control—having its roots in your infancies—you turn around and direct back at your own infants, in their turn. For all kinds of reasons arising from that early experience of intense craving and longing—which we will elaborate upon shortly—you further hinder your children’s satisfaction of their early needs from what it would be for them otherwise. Thus you increase their drive to control everything around them when they become adults … in a vicious circle.

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So, sure enough, in your “progress of man,” your own infants became the next category of beings to come under your maddened gaze as targets for your controlling. They were convenient candidates for domination, being, as they are, completely dependent upon your fully growns for survival for that long period in infancy; and being that, to a lesser extent, for their entire childhood, they are very little able to fend for themselves without the assistance of adults.

To backtrack, your “evolution” … actually your fall from Nature … amounts to an increasing controlling fetish. We have been detailing how it began—pushed by that overheated brain and feelings of inadequateness of needs met in infancy—with a drive to control your food resources as adults. Mistrusting Nature to provide for your sustenance—as it had done for you in the past and as it does for all other planetmates—you began expanding the area of your control over food gathering by including planetmate flesh in your diet. You began hunting fauna and killing the animate planetmates for your pleasure and to beat back those dreaded uncertainty feelings.

The next stage of your taking over the details of the ways in which you would sustain yourselves involved your dominating the Flora Empire. You invented horticulture, and through farming you were able to control the lives of plant beings and suit them to your increasingly unnatural tastes and to add to your food resources.

Your descent into ever more controlling of all aspects of your environment next involved corralling planetmates. With husbandry, you took away their freedom and saw them as little different from the plants you grew and consumed. Plucked from their habitats in Nature, Fauna planetmates were, as it were, “grown” in your circumscribed habitats to be used as slave labor and/or to be parted out as food and other objects for your use.

Notice how each of these steps involves an increasing inability to view other life as sentient and deserving of respect or consideration. Under the self-centeredness of Ego consciousness, you were seeing all about you as having their reason for existence as being you.

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These developments required a sedentary mode of living, for you could not continue your natural nomadic ways while seeking to grow in place planetmates of either the vegetative or the warm-blooded variety. And this switch to a fixed domicile allowed you to act out, through excessive storage and over-accumulation, your paranoid fears of excruciating want.

Sedentary living also allowed you full sway of your defensive mania of creating substitute projects for the real adventures of life, which, now being sedentary, you could say you owned … for you had a place to put them and they did not have to be carried. So, you could go wild in your frenzies to possess and to build edifices and contraptions, equal in magnitude to your fears, that could serve in staving off that feared future of insufficiency and the dreaded pain of want. You became big on creating implements to expand your powers of control and to aid you in your outer defensiveness against your inner fears. You built structures, furnishings, tools, and devices—while sedentary—in the hopes of avoiding that sense of extreme, life-or-death need while being totally helpless to do anything about it, which you experienced in infancy. You owned, built, controlled, invented, and dominated all about you out of your terror of an imagined helplessness in the face of possible death.

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Again, Ego’s demands were to fortify itself against any and all threats to survival—imagined or real. This time, excessive accumulation and manic struggle in the creation and possession of items that might serve as insurance against future discomfort was the manner of your waging war with uncertainty. Though this lifeway satisfied these irrational desires and lusts to have and to control, it was unnatural for you, relative to what you truly wanted and needed; and it required a further diminishment of your experience of life. Specifically, sedentary living took the joy of play and adventure out of your lives and substituted sameness and drudgery—all under the promise of avoiding a lack or insufficiency of resources that was almost entirely imaginary.

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So, with increasing accumulation—allowed through sedentary living and control and domination of food sources—your next “advance” of control could manifest: You began to seek power over and to determine the behavior of other humans. The hunger games gave way to controlling-conforming ones. Status and hierarchy became the symbolic representations of your unease and insecurity—your nagging sense of lacking something you needed. And women were the ultimate targets for domination in these games, for all men could put themselves above at least these, as their reward for conformity to others.

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The methods of your control over other humans extended into cruelty, torture, and killing, in order to extract obedience. Again, your conscience allowed this through your continued removal of the idea of aliveness to all in your environs but yourself … but your Ego. In seeing all life around you as unfeeling, as not conscious or not having a soul, you had no tether on your, now thoroughly, insane and twisted proclivities for manipulation, use, and abuse.

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All of this led, in time, to your seeing even those aspects of yourselves that were outside of your Ego as being a threat. You were at odds with the natural in you—that is, that which could not come easily under control or domination. Your natural self—your real self—includes everything involving your biology … sex, for example … and the parts of your mind that naturally rebel at your sycophancy and domination in relation to others … your errant or “negative” thoughts and your doubts, for example. You could not as easily deny consciousness or aliveness to parts of yourself in order to make them “deserving” of control, so you did the next best thing and saw them as being not you and as alien. If you had to acknowledge their status as conscious and intentional, you would put yourself above them by thinking of them as subhuman or bestial … and eventually you amplified that to their being evil and demonic entities … thus further increasing your imagined distance from them. So if you were to grant their existence as being real and as in you, you saw them to not be part of you, really; you labeled yourself “possessed” and gave these parts of you a separate identity of devil.

The result is that you deemed aspects of your personhood to be targets for control and domination, too: You sought to control your sexuality, your biological functions, and your thoughts, as aspects of your controlling-conformity. Putting them outside of what you told yourself was you, they also could be put below you, as you had your women. Very similar to women also, you ascribed them a status as parts of the natural world, which you felt had ejected you (at one time) and now, as retribution, would come under your thumb. In seeking to control yourselves this way, you were rewarded also by the fact that the feeling of dominating and bullying your own body compensated for your submissive and humiliating behaviors toward those above you in status who dominated and controlled you.

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All told, you sought to align your minds, even, with “transcendent”—but actually unnatural, sterile, and unalive—principles beyond your body, which actually were unconscious alignments with controllers above you. Thus, you sought to control your thoughts, your sexuality, and your bodies—along now with your external behavior—in your excessive sycophancy and burgeoning inauthenticity.

Let us explain that last part in more detail: You had a tendency to conform to the wishes of those who had power over you, especially those who wielded that power through excessive accumulation—those who were “richer” than you. You controlled your external behavior to match what they wanted. But in doing so, you caused a split within you. Part of you did not want to be inauthentic—the part of you that was natural. So there was conflict within you; one part of you put out complaints at what you were doing. It wanted to rebel, and it sent out disturbances in your mind as its way of undermining your efforts at subservience and inauthenticity. Basically, being a suck up was disagreeable to the real part of you.

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So, to continue your conforming behavior and to have any semblance of peace with yourself you needed to find a way to deny that part of you that was real. You needed to repress its complaints. You did this by rationalizing your sycophancy as being a value and your rebellion as an evil. You created what you call “sin.”

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You see how the outer dynamic of controlling-conforming was being brought inside you and you were beginning to reflect inside you the hierarchical arrangement outside? Inside yourself, you created your own representation of a controller who demanded conformity and obedience of those below “it”—that is to say, the unacceptable, rebellious, and natural parts of you.

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But it did not stop there. For naturally the dictates you would give yourselves on the inside would be personal introjections of the demands of your superiors. What came under scrutiny were the parts of you that were unacceptable or simply not advantageous in your dealings with your higher ups. Importantly, however, these items of your personhood not advantageous to those you depended upon for survival began to include more than simply behaviors they did not like, but indeed, anything natural or biological. It was “inconvenient” to them that you might have needs; in their minds you were not quite alive, after all … you were relegated to the realm of “things” to be used as was your females and all planetmates. They would enslave you, like you were doing with planetmates, if they could. And they often did. They would provide for you and allow you to have only the bare minimum as was needed for physical survival … also as was done with kept planetmates … and all too often, kept women. Any more was too much a bother, and, after all, would reduce what they had. And their greed was as uncontainable as the fear that fueled it.

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So, your real needs were an inconvenience to those above you intent on satisfaction of their needs: You could not be loud, sexual, obtrusive, angry, too noticeable … you could not be too alive. You could not be emotional—becoming sad or tearful, after all, would be a way of saying you had needs, too … and they did not want to be reminded of that. To the contrary, only they would be allowed to feel life, you would be told to “control yourself,” “be a man (woman),” “be brave,” be strong,” “not be such a baby.” To such an extent was emotion beaten out of you that, amazingly, becoming a human adult became equal to the extent to which one could keep one’s face from moving. Having a “stone face” and being unemotional were considered by you, “mature.” Meanwhile laughter, frivolity, expressiveness, happiness, upset, and tears—all strongly evident in facial features—were to become considered childish and infantile. Indeed, those were considered bad things, which when you think of it, they need not necessarily be.

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But then, we are talking here about the way you added controlling your young, your children, to your list of domination “accomplishments.” So, being child-like—while we would see that as vivacious, fresh, and creative, in our young and not-so-young, and often, even, envied; or being creative, expressive, and/or emotion-full—while we would see that as indicating deep experience of life and passion—were instead, among you, put down severely. Being deemed childish was made as much to be mortifying for you as was being seen as feminine, for a man, was … and for exactly the same reasons: Child-like and feminine traits were both reminiscent of the Nature in you … the biological and “inconvenient.”

So, these predilections of the higher ups to wish for others to be less alive was for the purpose of making it so you could be more manageable (and usable) to them. Also, they did not want to see in you reminders that you were actually alive and feeling, for they wished to control you even to the extent of wanting you to act in a way as to not remind their consciences of their atrocious behavior. This would be reflected by you in your dealings with your young, when inflicting corporal punishment, as “Don’t you dare cry; I’ll give you something to cry about” … as “This hurts me more than it hurts you” … and simply “Don’t cry.” In essence, the parent as controller insists that child not be so inconvenient as to do anything that would trigger a conscience or awareness in the adult … a knowledge that one is, as you say, “being a dick.”

This wanting for you to not be “inconvenient” and for you to be more usable and manageable in this very day arises in the effort to make people more machine-like or robot-like. Certainly this was wanted of you in recent times for the purpose of you being usable cogs in the industrial machinery. But in this time, amazingly, you are so estranged and have become so complicit in your abject subservience that you are trying to link yourselves, your minds and your senses, to machines, computers and the like … you fantasize becoming computers, in a sense, even, calling it transhumanism and thinking you would have more power that way … again, more power meaning being even more controlling in your behavior. It is trans-human, yes, but only in the critical and disapproving way we have been describing you as humans. In yearning to be machines, and thus the ultimate in unalive and non-feeling, to such an extent have you forgotten your natural selves and succumbed to sycophancy in the service of your overlords.

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Your kin and family relations would also be seen as inconvenient … for what was wanted was that you satisfy the needs of someone else, not yourself … so any distractions from that were not wanted … were not allowed … and to the extent they could be … were stomped down and eliminated in you.

At any rate, transgressions of the overlord’s demands for you to be undemanding and unneedy … unalive … were handled by them with a degree of humiliation and, often, cruelty, equal in size to their fear of “losing control” of you.

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Tragedy enough, that was. But worse, the parts of you that were unacceptable to higher ups outside of you thus became unacceptable to you inside of you, too. You sought to align your inner reality with your outer one. Keep in mind that everyone else in Nature seeks to align their outer reality with their inner one. Quite simply, beings in Nature seek to manifest a world that is conducive to the fulfillment of their needs and the expression of their inspirations. You did the opposite: You sought to deny your needs and to stifle any expression of yourself … indeed, you sought to not be inspired and certainly to not appear to be inspired … for that also would be inconvenient to your higher ups.

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You evolved certain cultural mechanisms to help you in estrangement from yourself. Chief among these is what you call, “religion.” Through religion you could erect an edifice outside yourself to support your inner struggle to keep from being too real, too inconvenient.

With religion, you could create a transcendent ideal—that is, an ideal separate from your biology or your personhood … something detached from reality, actually. You could strive to achieve a separation of yourself from yourself, in particular the natural parts of you, and rationalize it as being better and superior. On the other side of this, you would diminish, repress, control, and subjugate all the “less transcendent” aspects of yourself. You would do to yourself on the inside what you were allowing to be done to you by higher ups on the outside, as well as what you were doing to those below you in status and, if you were a man, to the women in your life.

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But therein you see the illusion and wrong-gettedness of your thinking. For indeed this transcendent ideal—furiously upheld by your religions—was nothing other than the introjected desires and demands of the controllers above you. You were telling yourselves that you were obedient to God and “properly” fearful of God, but it was only your sycophancy and your conformity behavior in regards to the Large Accumulators that you were justifying.

It is understandable, then, how so much of your religious dictates … “commandments,” for example … were thinly veiled expressions of the desires of Large Accumulators. You were told “not to covet your neighbor’s goods,” and in this way the Large Accumulators would have their riches protected and have you feeling guilty about your desires to rebel at this inequality of ownership. We will tell you more about that later.

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The upshot of all this was that you sought absolute determination and control over your lives through an insular, defended Ego. You sought control over everything outside of it, whether that was in your environments and whether they were things or people, or whether they were inside of you and they were desires, inspirations, emotions, biological needs, or even just “negative thoughts — which is to say, thoughts that at their root where inconvenient to your higher ups and would work to your disadvantage with them if they were ever discovered. In doing all this, then, you obliterated the last of any possible authentic beingness for you.

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And with each fall from grace and over time you enlarged your capacity for and appetite to control.

Keeping these deleterious developments in mind—with all things coming under control over time, and over time there being increasing control of them—it was sadly inevitable that this obsession would reach into that dominion you have over your young ones in their dependent state at the beginnings of their lives. The repression, control, domination, and denigration that you brought to bear on all of Nature, on those below you in status, on women, you now brought to bear upon the most vulnerable of you … the easiest and most easily manipulated of targets … the weakest and most dependent of the beings so far being put “under management.”

So, however sad, it is not surprising that your obsessive controlling would be applied to your offspring in their dependent state. Keep in mind that your newborns, unlike any others of us—planetmates who have not split from Nature’s perfect ways—require careful nurturing by caregivers. Your newborns cannot cling to their mother’s fur after birth, as your nearest relative’s newborns can. Nor can they search for and acquire nourishment from their mothers’ breasts, as can other planetmates.

Yet your newborns’ requirements are even more excessive, since you are burdened, in infancy as well as throughout your life, with a residue of trauma from birth. You say some of you suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), because of traumatic and inordinately painful and psychologically unmanageable events that happen to some of you in adulthood. How little you realize that your entire species is exactly so traumatized at that very time of your life, birth, when you are least able to integrate a shock to your systems.

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Hence your newborns require even more of comfort and bonding with caregivers and mothers, and even more attention to their needs, and nurturing, than the rest of us; yet you receive less.

Being prematurely thrown out of the womb, your newborns are abjectly helpless. And then they have to confront a processing at birth that one of your fully growns would label torture, if they had to undergo it. Not only are they subjected, while still naked, to a much colder environment than the ninety-eight degrees they are used to in in the womb, they are sometimes hit or slapped. Many of your cultures have this idea of “toughening” the newborn by immersing it immediately after birth in freezing cold water or subjecting it to some other mind obliteratingly painful experience.

Newborns are almost always confronted with blazing lights and thunderous and assaultive sounds. Remember this is all comparative to what they experienced in the womb. Don’t your eyes smart and burn when coming into a bright sunlight from a dark place? A tiny example, that is, but try keeping that in mind and applying that in trying to understand your neonates’ first experiences of life in the world, after a full nine months of total darkness and relative quiet.

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Then, your neonates have fingers and instruments roughly inserted into their mouths, stretching the mouth wide as if to rip off the jaw, to remove mucus. To a neonate who had nothing in the womb even close to that experience, it is felt as an oral assault … as rape.

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The cord is cut early leaving them gasping for breath. They are separated ruthlessly from the entire world they had known for nine months and with no substitute connection yet in the world outside … an experience of sterile and cutting aloneness which wounds as deeply as the knife itself. Yet when they scream in horror, your fully growns laugh and smile and applaud themselves on having a healthy baby with “good lungs.” Do you have any idea, or memory, of how you feel when confronted with such insane human behavior—so insensitive, so unseeing of you—as your first experiences with humans and your future caregivers, your parents? Do you really think that you could maintain after that, if you even had it before, the trust that any of your other needs will be cared for by what seems to you to be residents of an insane asylum?

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You are taken from your mother—the whole world to you up till that very moment—and immersed into, often cold, water, to “bathe” you. You are prodded with needles and have things stuck up your bum. You are rubbed with harsh cloths or something similar right away, too. Do you think you might at this point be wondering what the hell is wrong with you the way you are? Do you suppose you might be getting a feeling that you are not acceptable in the world of the living unless you are cleaned up and careful of your appearance? Or that there is something different about you … and “inappropriate” … that you must hide or cover up?

You, as newborns, are often, at some point, placed on a cold metal scale and/or other hard surfaces for additional “processing.” Do you suppose that being handled like a thing, right at the beginning, might impress in you the idea that maybe you are of that little worth? And at a time when your natural self is aching, intensely, for bonding, for the feeling of warm and accepting flesh against your ravaged body, and for the comfort of suckling, so as to provide a connection to aliveness in this outside world to compensate for the one brutally taken away, you instead find yourself predominantly in contact with things and an inanimate world. Add to this the fact that your experiences so far with the “living” world has been seeming like a violent assault, and do you suppose you might be having stamped upon your tender psyche an imprint of bonding with things … the material world … a feeling that that is the place, the only place, of support and comfort in life?

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Eventually, you might be wrapped tightly in blankets or other cloths, which take away the one advantage you did manage to get in coming out of the womb—your feeling of free movement. Do you suppose you are really thinking that life and humans are at all on your side?

Very often you are then even taken away from your mother. You might be left somewhere, totally alone, tightly wrapped, with unfamiliar and loud noises and bright lights around you at all times, for a time that seems interminable. You moan and complain when you are separated from a loved one as an adult … even more so when you lose that loved one to another. How do you suppose you felt when everything in the world you knew—your mother—was taken from you … who was also your sole source of comfort and nourishment and connection to life and warmth for the entirety of your life, up to that point? Do you have any remembrance of the total abject terror you experienced? Can you at least imagine?

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Usually you numb yourself at this point, as a newborn, wanting to die. You begin, at the start of your life, to try to kill yourself to escape from this world of horror you have fallen into … this apparent hell. They think you are sleeping comfortably. They do not know you are trying to die.

And in subsequent days … days which seem an eternity … as they are interspersed with bright light/darkness; coldness/warmth; being tightly wrapped, then allowed to move; being fed, then starving; and moved roughly around and manipulated, then left totally alone … you come to know the terror that death, and even worse, torture, is at hand at any corner or with any change in life. Do you have an inkling of how that felt or how it might feel? Do you think you would be open to a life of change and adventure after that? Do you suppose you might, as we have been saying, be determined for the rest of your life to never, ever, ever let anything be out of your control again … not anything? And that to the extent you needed to control all and everything about you to insure that, you would? And would you not feel sure that you would need to insure everything? For do you really suppose, after all the above, you could expect anything good to happen without actually making it happen? Would you not cling fanatically to a determination that you will always and forevermore do whatever you need to do … collateral damage be damned … fully focused on your desperation to never fall again into that pit of excruciating darkness, pain, and aloneness … and not even noticing those around you that your self-obsessed mania might be hurting or stomping upon.

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So, all in all, with despair and misery at hand on a constant basis, in those earliest moments of your time on Earth, you forge a resolve, out of fear, that you will fight back whoever and whatever you need to, forever! … lest you are put “under the knife” once again. And this resolve is the beginnings of your Ego … this resolve to control, to have power over, to conquer, to push all and everyone else to the side … for your survival.

You do that. Or you do die. The pain is too overwhelming or for some reason you cannot muster the resolve, and you just succumb to death, out of your utter despair and misery. And they tally you up as a crib death.

So Ego saves your life … but at great cost. For to erect the construct of Ego you need to split off from all that is good, natural, and easy in you, and loving; and instead focus around a drive to live at whatever cost. For at your youngest you are closest to Nature, your real self, and the Divine. Except for harsh experience and the trainings and teachings of those in your societies who in later life reinforce the split, you would, like us, know it, be it … you would be the Divine, you would be one with Nature. Indeed, to the extent that you can refrain from losing that child-likeness of soul and spirit, you will be closer to Divinity throughout your life.

But as a newborn even you will contribute to your ejection from that Edenal realm. It is you who will place the angels of death at the gates to Paradise. Forever after, the knowledge of that blessed experience before birth and the Divine Awareness you had of the Larger Reality of Beauty, Bliss, and pure Love, will lie on the other side of the deathly terror, the mind-numbing fright, of your experiences of birth and the time immediately afterward. So you will never look in that direction again. You will block out of your memory, even, that such a thing ever existed, having had imprinted in your flesh though not allowed into your conscious mind that that time is associated with the most excruciating and hellacious events you have ever experienced—your time in birth and as a newborn.

Your newborns would, thus, out of despair even die off if not for splitting off from their misery through your construct of Ego.

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And how will you construct such an Ego? The only thing you know of in your world at this point are your attendants—your caregivers and parents, in particular your mother. So what you learn from them is the only thing you even have available from which to build your new and unreal self. So, at the beginning only just from example, they and their behavior are your guides. Indeed, since you are so dependent upon them for life, the first thing you learn is who to be in order to get your needs at least met enough to keep you alive.

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This is the beginning of that controlling-conformity behavior that follows you throughout your life: Your resolve is to control; your deepest drive and motivation is to dominate and have power over all the factors that influence your life so that you will live and never experience that terrifying helplessness and fear ever again. But in order to live, to just simply live, to get the basic minimum for survival—of food, warmth, comfort, rest … and all the rest of that—you need to conform. You need to carefully observe and monitor what it is that will result in your receiving something life supporting and what it is that you do that results in something harsh and painful. Like a pigeon pushing a lever to get a pellet, you learn quickly and well. And you build your entire modus operandi for life out of these early lessons.

Thus, in your early lives, dependent on adult caretakers, it is those fully growns attending you that guide you. They, with all their insanity and their inability to truly take in or really notice much in the world outside of their Egos, must now attend to you. And, being as they are the sole models for the Ego of the child at that time, they also will be the delivery systems for that unusual human construction of Ego. Your adults, in particular the parents, will be the major instruments in creating this strange and abominable thing of consciousness, this Ego.

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***

You may have wondered how we could be so forgiving of you after all you humans do to us planetmates. Maybe now, with your seeing how much we see of you and how much we realize the unusual and horrific things you go through, you might begin to understand. For none of us would wish your lot on any of us. We get it; we get exactly why you have become the savage species you are. Indeed, we have a feeling in looking upon you very much the same as the way you view some of the most unfortunate of your own: “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

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The Idea of a Shamanistic, Stormy Spiritual Path Is Too at Odds with Our Religious Anti-Body Culture to Be Easily Accepted: Is the Supernatural Terrifying?

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Correcting the “Civilized” Ego … The Stormy Path to Self, Part One — The Way Forward Is Down: The Divine Is Mistaken for “the Devil” Until One Is Surrendered Enough

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Implications of Falls from Grace, The Devolutional Model of Development

From looking at the possibility of a more benign, less tragic human trajectory, as we did in the last chapter, I would now like to delve into the implications of this devolutional model of development—these Falls from Grace—as concerns psychotherapy, human growth, or “healing.” For, once the falls have happened to a person, once the patriarchal pathology has occurred, we need to look at what to do about it. We need to turn from prevention, as in the previous chapter, to correction or remediation.

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The Way Forward Is Down

I said at the outset of Part Two that a metaphorical analysis such as this one can uncover underlying meanings: It can provide understanding of inner and outer behavior as well as guidance for such. At this point it can be stated that the implications of an analysis such as I have been presenting are for no less than the direction of growth, the direction of mystical experience, the concept of regression, and the evaluation of current ego psychotherapies, among others.

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Is a “Fully Functioning Ego” a Prerequisite to Higher Consciousness?

Specifically, this perspective puts in question the psychotherapeutic maxim that ego strength precedes higher consciousness. I confess that many years ago I myself made exactly that claim in a work titled The Dangers of Mysticism for Modern Youth (Adzema, 1970). As I concluded, “Cosmic consciousness is dependent upon self-actualization.” By this I meant, following a Jungian line, that ego-actualization leading to a solidified ego and ego strength was necessary before one could hope to face the overwhelming and terrifying Unconscious Self—the repressed inner Divinity. And again following Jung, I proposed that this usually could not occur until the second half of life, or after the mid-life crisis.

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Is the Supernatural Terrifying?

Subsequently, however, I encountered the new experiential psychotherapeutic techniques which — it has been my own experience — allow one to deal with and integrate the repressed “negative” energies that lie along the path (as this book’s analysis demonstrates) to mystical experience of Energy, Mind, Absolute Subjectivity, and God. Thus, I declined to publish that earlier work.

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Ego Does Not Precede Illumination, It Prohibits It

Schneider (1987), to give an example, claims that the kind of mystical consciousness of which Wilber speaks is not possible because, for one thing, it would be terrifying and overwhelming.

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Indeed, that was a good part of my position in The Dangers of Mysticism for Modern Youth (Adzema, 1970). But as I say, I eventually came to understand there to be a big difference between access to and integration of these realities. For, as both Jung and Campbell have pointed out, a God is often seen as a devil until one is wholly enough … I would say surrendered enough … to approach him.

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Some People Are Sick for Healthy Reasons

At any rate, those subsequent experiences of mine with the experiential psychotherapies led to a reformulation of my understanding which led to works titled, descriptively enough, “The Way Forward Is Down” and The Centered Path Through Hell. The proposition arising from this later work is that low self-esteem, low ego strength, is a precondition for “higher” (“lower”) growth in a mystical direction.

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As Maslow (1968) put it (and contrary to Wilber [1970]), some people are sick for sick reasons and some people are sick for healthy reasons. Therefore, especially in an avowed “insane” (see Fromm, 1955) culture, we might want to think twice about doing people the big favor of “helping” them in the direction of increased ego defenses … and societal adjustment and social functioning.

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In fact, those people with inadequate defenses against what is in essence more real are not only closer to being truly sane than the majority of folks but also might be better helped by leading them in the direction of dismantling what remains of the barriers between themselves and pure Energy, pure Consciousness, and helping them instead to integrate with and grow to encompass the expanded awareness that results.

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The Stormy Path to Self

Now, I realize that this proposition is not absolutely new. For one thing it seems to make sense of some of the extreme and bizarre behavior, the seemingly manifest neurotic behavior, of some of the saints and mystics on their way to expanded awareness (see for example James, 1899/1982, especially Henry Suso, pp. 306-310; and Saint John of the Cross, 1959).

But in this secular age, it seems such allowance for “aberrant” behavior is rare. Keep in mind that in many cultures there are institutions—like medieval monasteries—or roles, like shamans, through and in which such distortions of personality can be worked out in socially sanctioned ways.GrofChristStan_StormySearchicon Contrast this with the modern attitude which seems to be that if they can’t be talked into picking themselves up and/or behaving themselves like everyone else they are to be drugged or electroshocked into compliance.

Nevertheless, there are those in this day also who do speak out in favor of the direction of growth that this book is presenting. R. D. Laing, Arthur Janov, and Stanislav Grof are not the least of these. Indeed, Stanislav and Christina Grof’s (1990) book, The Stormy Search for the Self, is a near-exact affirmation of the proposition I have just stated.

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Our Religious, Anti-Body Culture Makes Folks Terrified of the Shamanistic, Stormy Path

Still, this idea of a “stormy” spiritual path—despite the fact that it was distinctively presented and described over a century ago in William James’s classic (1899/1982) work, The Varieties of Religious Experience, (1899/1982)—in my opinion, goes too much against our hard won “rationality” … which we see is essentially our cultural rationalization. This notion is too much an affront to our culturally embedded “pragmatism” … which it is clear now is our cop-out to consensual constructs, especially fear-rooted economic ones. And it is in direct opposition to our pervasive Judeo-Christian anti-body cultural bias. So this idea of a stormy spiritual path, a path in which progress involves regress … in which the way forward is down, is anything but easily accepted.

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Continue with “Crazy” and Transcendent Are Not Opposite as Ego Psychologists Conveniently Proclaim: Have Western Puritanical Beliefs Infected Transpersonal Psychology?

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

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

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Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man

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Excerpt from Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man … a work-in-progress

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So here again is something that makes us distinct from those beings still in Nature, those not prodigal, not “fallen.” We are, as I have been saying, different from those in Nature in our having created a birth that is more painful than any other in Nature and that leaves us born more premature than any others. We have seen how this prematurity leads to even more pain likely in our lives because in our earliest time of development we are not assisted by a near-perfect Nature, but must rely on damaged adults—who because of these things are even more damaged than if they had been adult planetmates in Nature. I have detailed how this has led to a split from Nature, the development of unnecessary spoken and thought symbols of Nature—language—which actually hide Nature more than it reveals it; so therefore also we have this overcomplication of Existence. It became clear how this separation has led to a fear that has caused us to forego Natural blessings and to believe that we are independent actors capable of creating our own blessings.

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But we saw how in attempting to do this, we needed to control everything and everyone around us. We saw how this perversion—something we do about all other of the flaws which distinguish us humans from Nature—we spin as being some honor, achievement, or proof of superiority. It became clear how we call that perversion to control, “free will”; thus making of ourselves separate gods to make up for the loss of the knowledge that we are God, yes, but inseparable from Nature or each other—One God. It is clear then how and why we rationalize this delusion of “free will” into a “crown” proving our superiority, thus enabling us in even greater and more harmful controlling. I described how this greater controlling leads us to ever more complications of existence and separation from it … and then around again, in a vicious cycle. And finally, we see how, all in all, this has resulted in our creating the most miserable lives among all planetmates on Earth.

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So this is another thing that distinguishes us as humans. We can be said to be those planetmates who have created the most painful lives. We have blown up the acceptable and necessary “darkness” of life into something that can often be horrifying in the degree of its pain….

Why would beings want to do this? For what reason would any being desire such darkness as humans have managed to manifest in reality out of their tortured mentality?

But we humans have done this. And in keeping with the Divine perfection in which we exist but which we deny and mentally separate ourselves from, this seeming flaw in our perception, this magnification of pain into horror, making darkness darker, is that which, perfectly so, through Divine Providence, provides our actual salvation from all we have wrought. Our very survival … indeed our redemption … lies in this unique and strange capacity of ours to make darkness darker, but then also it makes possible that light can be brighter, that the experience of life can be even more wonderful than it is, in essence….

Redemption

It should be clear we need redemption. For we have created horror here in Reality, to match our imaginings, that is of a nearly perfect wrongness. This is the blackest of nights that we have brought down upon ourselves, but it is made that much worse in that we would, in our insanity, pull all of Creation, all living things, as well into this hell we have created … this utter darkness.

So we need to redeem ourselves by reconciling with that Creation, which we so arrogantly threaten. It is arrogant, because we give nary a thought to that which we do. We have this claim of high morality—another vanity we have blessed upon ourselves in rationalizing our inferiority and wrong-gettedness. Yet where is our morality as concerns the most basic fundamental thing about life: whether it goes on or ceases? We have laws that say, “Though shalt not kill.”

Once again, it is clear we tell ourselves these things and put them on high to rein ourselves in from doing that which we in particular are inclined to do. For, in our fallenness from Nature, we have become not just suffering ape, but also killing ape. We would bring down our entire species—committing a most unprecedented humanicide—but participate in the ending of all other species as well—commit an ecocide.

So, how exactly does such a killing species reconcile with a Creation in which everything in it has become its enemy, including itself?…”

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Welcome Home

So, do you not see the Divine Providence you have turned your back on, resisted, even defied appearing here and now to welcome you home? Do you not see that, like the Prodigal Son, you are being invited back into Eden in all this? If Reality were of a malevolent character, would it not spite you rather than enlighten you? Would it not strike you down for defiance instead of lift you up into illumination? Would it not let you stew in confusion and misery rather than raise you above the trials and travails you continually create for yourself?

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It is for you alone to decide, then. Not we as a species, for we are only many you’s and I’s acting individually out of the inspiration we each receive from within, sometimes stimulated and risen to awareness, only, by our interactions and communications with each other. It is for you to decide whether you, yourself, in this very moment, will allow yourself to be welcomed back into the Divine fold: Will you continue your delusion—your human separation from Nature and All That Is—to an ungodly end for you and us all? Or will you accept the warm embrace of Benevolence that is being offered you? You must choose….

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If a sufficient number of us do not choose to take up alliance once again, like we did long ago and for much of our time as a species on Earth, with all of Nature and act to nurture and defend the exquisite Creation on this planet, that indecision, that refusal to become transformed, will become known to all of us very soon in the events that will come increasingly into our lives, disturbing us, inconveniencing us, making us suffer, and causing for us a miserable, agonized end. With global climate change, worldwide pollution of air, water, and land, and the likely detonation of our nuclear arsenals at some point, we may well look on the days of Katrina, the BP Oil Spill, and Fukushima as the glory days … the halcyon days of yore.

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However, what we can do instead is to stop running away and start “standing” and “facing” what we are manifesting—having the faith that not only will we be able to do this, but that it will teach us, lift us up, inspire us into right action as regards these unprecedented unfoldings, ennoble us, guide us, and, greatest of all, sanctify and fulfill our lives bringing them once again into perfect resonance with the Good of All, the All That Is….

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[excerpts from “Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man” … a work in progress]

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

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

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

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

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Primal Scene — We Give Up

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

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The Unreal Self, the Ego, Is Sycophantic to Someone

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

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

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“Child Sacrifice”

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

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

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

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

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Hierarchical Societies Demand Conformity All the Way Down the Line

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

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

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

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

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

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The “Commandments” and the Culture’s Shared Neurosis

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

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“Doctrine” of Infallibility

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

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

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Building the Better Human — Childhood

A Child Wants to Be of Service by Nature

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Divine Child

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Complete Book Chapters with Links

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Chapter One: Strange Days

Chapter Two: “We Ain’t Born Typical””

Chapter Three: The Perinatal Media

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

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Chapter Five: Birth Wars, World Woes

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

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

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Chapter Eight: Derailing the Cycles of War and Violence

Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society

Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing

Chapter Eleven: Control Versus Surrender … Heaven Leads Through Hell

Chapter Twelve: Atman Projects Versus Surrender Solutions

Chapter Thirteen: Peaceful Warriors and Silly Heroes

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

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

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Continue with Book Five: Wounded Deer and Centaurs

Return to Apocalypse Emergency – Book 3

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

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

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

So Much About Smiling

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

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

Our Arrogant Inability to Impute Consciousness to Beings Other Than Us

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t We Have a Say in How We Feel?

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

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

Building the Better Human — Birth and Infancy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

 

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