The Eighteenth Descent — Culture: The Matrix — “Wrong-Gettedness” and the A-mazing Cultural Maze … Strutting and Fretting, Signifying Nothing
The Eighteenth Descent — Culture:
The Matrix — “Wrong-Gettedness” and the A-mazing Cultural Maze … Strutting and Fretting, Signifying Nothing
— which is Chapter 26 of *Prodigal Human: The Descents of Man* by Michael Adzema
The Eighteenth Descent — Culture:
The Matrix — “Wrong-Gettedness” and the A-mazing Cultural Maze … Strutting and Fretting, Signifying Nothing
“Such a fury we unleash, so as to create the smoke and mirrors of distraction and to keep us from the otherwise insidious trickling knowing of our horrifying creations and the gnawing abyss of dissatisfaction and unknowing inside us.”
The expulsion from Paradise that came with sedentary ways demanded increasingly complex, however vapid, entrancements — ritual and mores — of culture as compensation, however empty, for the loss.
In becoming increasingly dominating, sycophantic, and emotionless, we created an emptiness within. To compensate, we created outside us in our social environment a maze-like, fantastical panorama — likened most recently to a matrix.
In this chapter I disclose the horror we do not want to know about ourselves and our beliefs.
Wrong-Gettedness … Culture
So the advantage to the survival of the individual newborn — however rooted, as it was, in the twisted motivations of the adults tending to them — of learning to be obsequious, inauthentically pleasing, and repressive of one’s needs and expression became also the backbone of what humans call culture. For the lack of direct inner knowledge — the lack of connection to instinct, for example — that characterizes humans and was increasingly selected for with the predominance of controlling-conforming-appealing-nonexpression traits in humans, led to the ever-expanding overcomplexity of the obvious simplicity of existence. Humankind grew ever more fanciful and unnecessary traits, needs, desires, behaviors, wants, obsessions, compulsions, beliefs, visions, and thoughts — all subsumed under Ego — out of this separation from natural ways, this split from Nature, this estrangement from the Divine, this “expulsion from Paradise.”
On the societal level, the cumulative result, or manifestation, of all individual egos — with all their infinite, however twisted, complexity — is what we term culture. Culture is the human substitute for the instinct we would otherwise have, just as Ego is the substitute for Self — Self meaning identity with Divinity. Being a separation from Divinity and Nature, culture is a separation from Truth as well. The Unapproved and Hidden — the Truth of humans not contained in any culture and whose essence is revealed in this book — is Truth that we do not know … cannot and will not know. Culture is what we erect in its stead: It is the overt representation of wrong-gettedness.
Is Culture Untrue?
“Is culture all untrue?” you are thinking. Well, no. It is true in a limited way. It is true in the same way the world is known to be flat. That is, within certain limitations it has its truth and hence its usefulness. Yet it is set in a context that is not true … not at all. And that context skews the results of all the contents of culture, making them of dubious worth.
At this point you should have a pretty clear understanding of what I mean by that, as I have given many examples. For instance, that life is hard and a struggle is true for virtually all civilized folk of all time. Yet it is given a different light when it is known that it does not have to be, is not in Nature, and was not even for us for most — in fact, for ninety-nine percent — of our existence as a species. That life is a struggle is not true in the larger context of what is possible and natural for humans and what is true for virtually all life of all times, except for humans in the few thousand years of civilization.
Language Helps and Hinders
Similarly, language is an aid in communication, yes. But from the larger perspective of the Unapproved and Hidden, it is a flawed substitute, a symbolic and roundabout way, of conveying messages: Not only does it confuse and obscure as much as it reveals and conveys, but the psychic, direct transmission of information that is its alternate in Nature is far easier and far more accurate.
Not only the mind-sharing of Nature is superior, but human mental confusion keeps us from another of our planetmates’ advantages. For planetmates do not need language for they know more clearly what is going on without it being needed to be communicated. They can pick up instantly from the body language, the scent, and the facial and muscular expressions of others, together with the positioning of every element in any scene, more than could ever be communicated, by one to another, in language about what is going on in that scene.
For one thing planetmates can deduce far more accurately what is going on, since it is not being skewed or spun through the personality or agendas of any other. Added to this, they have far more information being conveyed to their senses, other than what could come from language. We can see this in the way canines are able to discern many thousands of times — up to a million times! some researchers report — more information from scent. Still, that is only one sense of many used by planetmates. We say animals can “smell fear.” That is a trite example of the fact that planetmates are sensing far more of what is going on than humans are and they cannot be dissembled to … unlike humans with their language abilities who are so easily able to be fooled. So what would need to be communicated if it is already known? And known more accurately than one would get it as once removed, communicated to one through another?
Thus, human language is an aid in communication in the smaller context of human relationships and in that of being able to be written down and “stored” for use at a later time and to be disseminated to others, sometimes many others, without direct contact. However it is perhaps not an advantage, more likely it is a hindrance, in relation to the one-on-one communication that is possible otherwise for beings on Earth.
Culture Substitutes Itself for Natural Morality
Another instance: Remember I was saying, using the example of Abraham and Isaac, how if we had not been convinced otherwise by our pedagogy we would naturally see an example in that story of a murder being espoused by a supposed “god” and a sacrifice that would not be one for Abraham, predominantly, but for Isaac, who would lose his life? A grade-schooler hearing this story for the first time does not see in this any kind of interaction with a Divine being, rather one of murdering impulses within a person in a way that later the term psychotic could be applied. That is, until culture comes along to “teach” the child otherwise.
Like planetmates, children have a natural morality — where suffering, pain, and death are bad, and pleasure, freedom, and happiness are good — until forced to think otherwise … until “enculturated.” For, within the domains of culture, no one questions Abraham’s behavior as being holy or righteous; nor the interaction with the “supernatural” as being anything but with a “god.” However, in the larger context of feeling — the natural morality built upon innate empathy, love, and caring — which any planetmate or child would apply here, it is viewed as nothing less than insanity.
Similar things could be said for our understandings of love, our conceptualization of God, our feelings about extending kindness, and what it means to be a good person: All are what we think them to be, but only within a particular context. Beyond that, they are seen to be false, twisted, and corrupted.
The “Good” Person
Let us take one of those and using it as an example make it clearer what I mean. Let us look at what, in the context of culture, we proclaim to be a good person: The “good” people of our cultures put a lot of effort into doing the “right” actions and thinking the “right” thoughts. They engage in endless hours of religious nodding, bowing, and mumbling — what we call ritual and prayer — to “please” these Phantom gods of ours. Very few people would not attribute qualities of “holiness,” goodness, and even saintliness to such people. But are they good?
“Good” people will also work, uncomplainingly, at the tasks assigned to them by controlling others, whether that be higher ups in the society — the Large Accumulators, the Controllers — or in the family, where that role is taken by husband and father in his dealings with his “good” housewife and his “good” and obedient children. Very few people would consider such compliant people to be other than the “salt of the earth,” good housewives, well-behaved boys and girls, “hard-working, god-fearing, real” Americans … Germans … (insert your nationality here).
And Sycophancy, Thought Control, Obedience, and Self-Control
However, from what I have been telling you, it should be clear that the deferential and obedient of us, in the context I am presenting, can be seen as fearful sycophants who are confusing childhood admonitions — backed by terrorizing threats — to “be good little boys and girls and behave” with adult nobility and spirituality. Yet one might ask, what is wrong with that? Are they not “good little male and female adults”?
Well, yes and no. Here is where something is true within a certain limited area, within a narrow context, but is not true when viewed against the totality of Truth. For these people will seek to wrestle with their very thoughts so they will not have “bad” ones. They will repress any urges to complain, in adherence to a cultural value system that embodies obedience and control.
We say that their control of themselves — inside and out — their discipline, their conformity make them wholesome, “holy,” or “good citizens.” But, for starters, how can a person have only good thoughts and not bad ones? In actuality, we have no control over our thoughts at all. We have only some control over our actions; we can act or not act upon our thoughts. Hence anyone telling us they have control over their thoughts is really saying they are liars — to themselves, as well as the rest of the world — about what goes on inside them.
One cannot unthink a thought. What happens is, some thought occurs to us, which we, according to the morals instilled in us, deem “not good.” It has happened, the thought; one cannot unthink it. But these sorts of people will then have a fearfulness, however un-acknowledged and blocked from their awareness, that arises in them directly after that thought. That fearfulness comes from those forces I have been describing: It is a fear about pleasing more powerful others, and it has its roots in childhood, going all the way back to infancy, and even before. It is a fear of being punished or deprived of things for what one simply is … in this case, just having a thought that arises unintended — “naturally.” And one cannot help having this fear of the Other. It might even be said such fear is “natural” for humans, considering what all we have become as a result of our hellish womb experiences, traumatic births, and deprived infancies.
On Sewage and Flowers
So we have a random but natural “bad” thought and an unfortunate but natural fear arising in us. But what does this “holy” and “good” person do? This holy person tries to force the mind to go onto another thought that is not a “bad” one. It is like the first thought, using an analogy, would be “sewage.” The next thought would be “oh, no!” The next thought, the concocted or replacement thought, would then be “flowers.” But here is where the lie is. For the person keeps telling themselves they are thinking “flowers,” however they are lying about the fact that they are really thinking “flowers not sewage,” “flowers not sewage,” “flowers not sewage,” over and over again, trying to push the first thought out of their mind, and along with all that having a feeling of fear and trepidation.
Clearly, this upstanding citizen, this self-sacrificing mensch, this “good” father, this “good” mother, this “holy” thinker, this “positive thinker,” is really not whole or positive at all. This person is a fearful sycophant, acting fearfully out of early experiences which they will never, ever remember, spending so much time thinking, “I will not think sewage, I will think flowers,” that they will never, ever find out what the thought after “sewage” might have been, if they had not fought it so much. And, yes, on its own, it just might have actually been “flowers.” And I can tell you, sooner or later it would have been … and sooner than comes of fighting it.
This person is a narcissist, therefore, caught up in a focus only on themselves and how they might be coming across to others; is a sycophant trying to please imaginary others by conforming their behavior to them; and is a liar, not telling the truth about their experience inside of themselves to either themselves or anyone else. In the next chapter on soul murder, we will look at how this can even extend into sociopathy.
Oh, you think good people and sociopaths are on the opposite ends of a continuum? You have probably also been confused as to how sociopathic killers — the Ted Bundys, Jeffrey Dahmers, John Wayne Gacys, and their ilk — can come across as such well-behaved and “nice” citizens. You probably are not either seeing how some politicians and CEOs are getting their power by seeming to be so upstanding but are at the same time working behind the scenes to take all they can at anyone’s expense and regardless who or how many die of it. More in the next chapter.
For now, the saddest part of all this is that this person, in holding back “sewage,” becomes full of “sewage” … all the while she or he is thinking they smell like and are full of “flowers.” The people around them know they are full of sewage. But those others, being often sycophantic also, are busy telling themselves the swill they see is really flowers.
Here we have an example of how wrong-getted we are able to become and how it spreads. We can see how culture aids and reinforces our wrong-gettedness and separation from the Truth of us. By this I mean that cultural values — concurrent with civilization and not with nomadic and presedentary ones — have become construed along lines to honor and reward the sycophantic, inauthentic, lying, and manipulative; and to punish the noble, authentic, the honest, and the guileless.
“Good People” Games … “Good” Actions and Hypocrisy
However, not just thoughts are controlled by “good” people. The same is true for such a person’s “holy” and “upstanding” acts. Such a person might put out their hand to another, but on some level they are thinking, “I will be nice to you, so that I do not hit you.” Yes, these people are what we call hypocrites.
You might be thinking, they are holy and good people and are not having the thought, “I want to hit you.” Still, this is what happens when the “sewage” gets backed up. A stored-up reservoir of unapproved thoughts ever pushes for release by any means, for attention from consciousness at all costs, even if they have to come out in a distorted form — an impulse/thought to hit another. On the macro scale, this is what we as a species have done in creating and then acting out the Unapproved and Hidden, which belongs to us, collectively. This end result — the Unapproved and Hidden — is the product of the billions of unallowed thoughts, lies, and denials of all the “good” people of our culture.
The example of the hateful urge to hit, rather than lovingly help, is only a crude example, of course. It does have roots deep in our unconscious, though, and extending back thousands of years. We put out our hand to shake another’s, for example. What this is really saying is, “My hand is not a fist. I will not hit you.” “My hand is open to you — in giving and receiving mode, sharing mode — and not in a competitive or aggressive mode.” “In putting out my hand I will connect with you, and not use it to fight you.” Lastly, and most recently, “My hand does not contain a weapon.” Now, why, unless a part of us knows that deep inside we would as soon hit another as anything else, would we go through all this social ritual of hand-shaking and its variants? All of its variants say similar things.
On another note, why, unless a part of us knows deep inside that we are as likely to be attacked by Other as friended by it, do we feel such relief upon the offering of said gestures? This goes to the inherent defensiveness of “normal” and “good” people that other “good” people know they had better appease by offering their hand … for reasons not much different than a primate would offer its behind to an aggressor.
By the way, that unusual defensiveness of humans arises from those early human experiences of feeling attacked by Other through the traumas prenatally and perinatally, which are then reinforced in infancy, childhood, then again in cultural rites of passage. Note that this human defensiveness is unusual in its occurrence, happening much more frequently than in planetmates. For it arises in all social situations, all, even one-on-one interactions and not just in situations of actual potential aggression, as in primates.
In any case, it is that in real life those deeper messages of wanting to hit and fearing one will be hit are inaccessible to us. What we might be aware of that goes on in us — but rarely are — is less obviously hostile. It is more subtle, is most often unconscious, and becomes increasingly more unconscious over time, in the course of one’s life … hence more likely to direct our actions in spite of us. The “negative” thought — “I want to hit you” — might arise in the form of irritation, repulsion, or dislike … or a simmering anger. We can actually feel that, but we will rarely admit those feelings occur in us … forcing ourselves, instead, to “think flowers,” again. You know what I mean.
Meanwhile, the negative thought or feeling, “you are going to attack (are attacking) me!” is not felt either. Rather, it comes out elsewhere, too. It is channeled unconsciously into all kinds of behaviors of introversion as well as defensive communications and passive-aggressive behaviors. Essentially, folks retreat from others and society, holed up in themselves; and/or they get revenge sneakily — without their even being aware they are doing it; and/or they react to all kinds of things said to them, even communications that are quite matter-of-fact or innocuous and perhaps not even pertaining to, let alone directed at them, with responses that are variations of “Well, that doesn’t apply to me! I’ll tell you a thing or two. How dare you say that! Let me explain how you’re wrong. And I’m smart! (You’re not.)” And the like. Check out the tweets of Donald Trump, and you’ll have clarity and even better examples of this.
In any case, such things in people are examples of the kinds of hidden hostility and aggression, and defensiveness, that are buried within “good” people and covered up assiduously by all kinds of cultural means. While you think this is far-fetched, perhaps, think honestly about and explain to me how our kind, at the hands of all our “good” people, have been able to participate in lynch mobs; the rounding up of Jews for genocide at the time of Nazi Germany; the piling up of Jews like firewood to be burned during medieval times with its pogroms; or during The Burning Times, the torture and immolating at the stake of women who had some “free” thoughts — in other words, not controlled and then lied about thoughts, as the “good” people setting fire to them have and do. This unacknowledged and hidden hostility explains all the horrific, yet otherwise unexplainable, actions of “normal” humans including bigotry and racism, child battering and sexual abuse, anti-immigration sentiments, genocides, police brutality and murder of people of color, wife-beating, and … (insert your “favorite” human abomination here).
So now, are these “holy” and wholesome people, these “good citizens” and “patriots” and “salt of the earth” — who are properly fearful and sycophantic, on the inside as well as the outside — really “good” and “wholly”?
For the more they tell themselves they think and feel one thing while actually thinking and feeling something else the more split down the middle they become. Till after a while, they have no clue who they are. They are liars to themselves and to all the world.
Self-Defeating Beliefs and Defenses
They cannot even become good people over time. Their disease, at all costs, fights against its cure. Indeed, it is like cancer, in that way. For to become a good person, one would have to know where one is being or has been a bad person and then change that. Such a person, however, is ever fighting to convince themselves they are full of “flowers,” so how can they possibly do anything about the “sewage” that is actually in them?
Of such “good” people, the religious of them say that such thoughts about where they are being “bad” in their seemingly “good” actions and thoughts are instances of “doubt” and “lack of faith.” So, rather than inform and do service towards becoming a greater “good,” these inconvenient thoughts are done battle with as being demons, devils, and even the product of a Satan. So, no, in battling ceaselessly against the “bad” within themselves, they cannot actually become good. For they truly do not understand the nature of their bad enough to change it. Battling it, they keep it ever at a distance, giving it a status of devil, demon, Satan, and never acknowledging that these are simply — mostly innocuous and often innocent — parts of oneself that have been made “bad” by culture, then later, oneself.
What has been said about the effort to control thoughts — “positive thinking” — can be applied analogously to the many ritualistic behaviors “good” people engage in — secular as well as religious. A part of them knows they have sewage within themselves, so they are led to ever “purify” themselves … and the world by extension.
Yes, they will participate in repetitive confessionals; sacrifices of themselves and others; ritual purifications; self-flagellation; self-destructive behaviors to unconsciously punish themselves; obsessive-compulsive grooming and bathing, maybe even hand-washing; obsessive neatness of person and surroundings; perfectness of dress, outfit, adornment, and perfume; obsessive cleaning of their homes and cars; the persnickety grooming of their lawns, intensive control of all the things and of the nature on their grounds, including the shaping of any foliage there; and the obsessive organizing and cataloging of their items and the recording of their actions and intentions, i.e., obsessive planning. Nothing of their lives can be out of their control lest they be reminded of their “inner sewage” or it be revealed to others. They will be mortified if a spot, a stain, or dirt appears on their clothing, unconsciously feeling they have been “found out.”
“Cleaning Up the Streets”
But yes, they will also see the world through this veil of “sewage” and so direct their efforts in ways to remove the “impurities” of others. Indeed, think again about those atrocities of humans, mentioned above, and you will see that almost always the people perpetrating the acts have rationalized to themselves their actions by claiming they are “cleaning up” or helping to “purify,” or “save,” the world.
If you think this only happened in previous times — Nazi Germany, The Burning Times in the Middle Ages, the times of slavery in America and elsewhere — consider how all of the “good” humans throughout the world today support the efforts to “clean up the streets,” to “keep out the riff raff,” and to “keep out the unwashed” without ever, in any instance, considering the people affected and how their efforts might be burdening and in some cases ending the lives of those poor souls — those ones simply more unlucky than oneself. These efforts are not far removed in quality — if not in quantity — from those of former times to maintain “purity” in the ranks, to suppress “heresy,” to “crack down” on some group or other of society, or to “eliminate” the “undesirables”; and even in current times, the term ethnic cleansing expresses it and demonstrates its ongoingness. Need I mention Donald Trump, his bigoted proposals, and the surprisingly large number of Americans subscribing to them? Probably not. Yet keep in mind from many quarters these sorts of citizens are deemed the “good people” of contemporary society.
Denial Activities — How “Good” People Keep Realization from Happening
Yet these good citizens — as deemed by our cultures — also spend a great amount of time involved with activities of denial: They might spend hours sitting quietly at meaningless church ceremonies … telling themselves it is really “flowers” they are seeing — you catching my drift? Or they might work themselves to death in a job.
They might fill up their time with chores around the house which are for the most part unnecessary and insignificant. Or they might immerse themselves in empty but culturally approved and applaudable activities such as repeating to themselves and others truly insignificant sports statistics; keeping up with the details of current fashion or the latest minutiae of celebrity lore; filling their minds and communications with the intricacies of auto mechanics, vehicle specifics and terminology; or showing they know what is new in financial and corporate trivia. These are all ways they can prove to themselves that they are okay and “regular” people — not the way they thought of themselves in infancy — and that others like and approve of them, not the way they felt others thought about them in infancy.
Whether they are trying to assure themselves they are “a regular guy,” “salt of the earth,” a loving and self-sacrificing mom, a “hard worker,” a patriot, good citizen, or “god-fearing” person, it is all the same: They are trying to beat back that nagging feeling that they are full of “sewage” and trying to keep others from knowing that about them. These cultural activities are the way we lie, essentially.
Pathos and “Civility”
“Good” people are to be pitied for the degree of fear and sycophancy within them; that is true. It is sad how much life they have wasted striving to abide by the unjust dictates of a culture geared to higher ups, only. Yet they are hardly to be thought of as examples of integrity, wholesomeness, wholeness, or saintliness. They only appear that way for being so afraid to be otherwise and for imposing an amount of control upon themselves equal to that fear.
Certainly, whatever wrong they do is not “obvious” wrong, most of the time. They distinguish themselves from out-and-out “bad” people, like criminals. Though, the line between the two is most often blurred and many actions are in fact criminal. They get away with them, however, occurring as they do within the context of an appearance of outward “civility,” which they take great pains to maintain. So compared to criminals, are they “good”? Or are they just better, slicker, in hiding or covering up their “bad”?
Indeed, these good and holy adults are actually pathetic — trying to be “good little boys and girls” in obedience to invisible others. They are narcissistic, being unable, like Abraham, to see the others around them and their needs, and only seeing their own “needs” … their sycophantic, fearful ones. They are liars and hypocrites; and they are anything but wholly or having integrity, they are split and deceptive.
“Good, God-fearing, Law-Abiding, Hard-Working”
Thus, within the definitions of culture, such folks are considered good people. That “good” is often followed by “law-abiding, God-fearing, hard-working” (people). However, along the measure of real Truth, this is only true in relation to other, more obvious, “bad” people. Hence, being a good person often just means being the best possible sycophant. We would be “good little boys and girls” and behave and do whatever we are told (whether it is actually good or bad), as adults, rather than be noble and authentic, and have integrity; real, empathetic love; true giving (without thought of reward); and be truly good adults.
Such “good” people of culture and society have been the good Nazis, in the past. They are the good soldiers mowing down villagers. Which is another great example of how “culture” operates to skew reality so as to cause you to do things you would not do if you were seeing reality directly, not through it. As well, they are the good citizens of society, imposing the most severe penalties upon all who stray over any lines, no matter how inconsequential, simply because people with wealth, and thus power, have drawn those lines. These are our, so-called, “good” people in our societies.
So culture proclaims, and it lies.
What Is Culture?
What is culture, then? Culture is the external manifestation of multitudes of egos; it is the accumulation of their actions. Culture substitutes for the “instinct” — the natural in us we have lost. In inserting itself into all aspects of our lives it pushes away the possibility we will ever feel that instinct arising in us, or find our body and mind becoming whole, natural, healed. Culture provides the opiate for the dis-ease of humanness, as well as it covers up the dis-ease and precludes any cure.
Culture is also the amalgamation of all that one has been told is real and true over against what one can see, discern, or would be obvious otherwise. Here’s a good way to see it. You know that in reading this book it has come up against practically everything you believed to be true. Yet if you are honest, you know this makes much more sense, and it probably even corresponds to what you sensed to be true, but could not let yourself believe, let alone assert to others … could not “say out loud.”
It’s simple, culture is that whole, that composite of all that has been put inside you for you to use in your understanding of all outside you, which is in complete contrast to what you are learning in this book or would see on your own without those inserted prejudices. That’s a good way to see it, right at hand. And that is why you have felt so uncomfortable hearing so much of this.
Essentially culture, like I said earlier, is the matrix. For it is all the ways we have been taught to see and interpret things, over against what we would on our own. And remember why and how there is such a disparity. Not only have we been separated from authentic apprehension of reality, but we have been encouraged and reinforced in that by outside interests with intentions to have us see and interpret things along ends to suit themselves … i.e., the wealthy, the elite.
Here is an example of that. Culture tells us the wealthy are wealth creators. If we saw clearly we would see that they are wealth takers, actually. It would be obvious to us, sans “culture,” that it is the small operator who is more motivated to maximize her or his investment and thus create jobs, and “wealth,” not someone who has so much that each dollar created is not seen as another addition in one’s efforts to be wealthy but simply one, along with so many others, which can sit there, for all one cares, and does not need to be reinvested. Culture, also, is what tells Trump supporters that a billionaire like him can be on the side of the “little guy,” and take on “the establishment,” and right the injustices set up by a society favoring the rich. Astonishing, eh? This power of culture?
It is that planetmates do not have culture, by the way, that is another reason they do not need language so much. For what is conveyed through language is filtered through the intentions and agendas of others, the composite of which is slanted, then, away from seeing reality as it is. With no culture, planetmates do not need language as much for they are not seeing reality so unclearly that they would need the communication of language to interpret it.
Furthermore why would any planetmate want the confusion of others’ interpretations about what one is able to see clearly? When that is offered to us humans, we say it is “bullshit,” you see. Yet if we do not see it as nonsense, it still contributes only to our endless confusion about reality and who we are. Theologies relentlessly have engaged in the actions that have caused folks such confusion about their feelings and perceptions, being as how they concoct interpretations that are only consonant within realities that are imaginary, often having psychotic roots. Similarly, endless reams of philosophy have emanated from this pattern of folks — and religions, and culture — telling other folks that what they are seeing and experiencing is other than what it obviously is.
Outside the Matrix –> The Unapproved and Hidden
By contrast to culture is The Unapproved and Hidden, which is the truth of reality outside the matrix. It is the way reality is seen with culture — all that accumulated product of slanted intentions and skewed agendas of others — removed. It is what is left when looking at all those same realities without such agendas or motives of others. Or oneself, for that matter — this is where the pre- and perinatal and infancy pain contributes its part, by the way, in skewing our interpretations and distorting our realities. Planetmates, remember, do not have that, either, further adding to their clarity about the reality they perceive.
So, yes, again, this book is an opening on The Unapproved and Hidden. I understand you do not know how lacking in agenda I am, how I get nothing for doing this, how I am not influenced by anyone higher up, or any of that; though I am unusual in being in a position in which that is all true. You do not know how my deepest rooted yet most accessible motivations are caring and love for others, concern and heartache over the unnecessary and self-imposed suffering I see; and with all that an irrepressible desire to step in, where no one else is doing it and so it is direly needed, and to do and say what only I, of all who I know, can say and do … and only that. You do not know that my only reward, now or expected, is the feeling of knowing I have helped, done the part that only I could do, and the hope it helps relieve someone’s suffering or misery now, in the future, or after I am dead. And that’s all.
You do not know all that about me, but at least notice this: That in contrast to this, to all I am writing, you can discern in what you have been by culture indoctrinated to believe quite a bit of agenda, self-serving beliefs, and “convenient” truths. If you want you can easily see that quality in all those commonly held assumptions — the superiority of man over other planetmates being the deepest but only one of them — that my writing in this book addresses and comes up against, conflicts with. If you cannot discern my lack of guile, at least notice the agendas of those who concocted and orchestrated your beliefs and your actions that came of them. Take at least that, for certain, from your own apprehensions and interpretations of your direct experience here.
Strutting and Fretting
In sum, the Divine is Ultimate Truth. Whereas, culture is the societal embodiment of the separation from the Divine. Hence, culture contains some pretty a-mazing untruths and empty rituals. They are amazing because they are fantastical — colorful psychotic fabrications, if you will. They are a-mazing also because they are manifestations of our confused and twisted consciousness and bring us ever back to the maze — in an endless trudge through labyrinthine passages of a journey that is ultimately futile, guaranteed for failure — which is our life.
Culture Is a Weed Without Roots, the Fury We Create to Block Out Our Emptiness
You see, our gradual changes from natural life involved two things, basically: A growing ability to survive biologically, physically at whatever cost to our happiness, along with a separation from our natural inclinations and felt Divine guidance. And our ever-widening separation from the Divine meant a constant hole in the felt meaning of our existence.
Lacking roots in Nature or the Divine, we were like a weed without roots, growing madly above ground, reaching out vainly in all directions for sustenance because of the lack of direct connection to our deeper truth. This expanding outward desperately in all directions creates our culture — which is the artificial substitute and the dim empty reflection of existence.
Culture — our “matrix” — is the “much ado about nothing” and the “strutting and fretting upon the stages of life” and “sound and fury signifying nothing” of which Shakespeare wrote. Culture is a magnification of our overcomplexity of the obvious simplicity of existence, and it is the overblown array of our defenses to keep at bay our realization, our “enlightenment.” Culture brings meaning to our lives, but it is a false one. It provides us motives, and it supports and sustains our efforts; but they are vain and empty goals and futile and meaningless rituals, only.
So, after the fall into sedentary-agrarian ways which multiplied the branches of culture a-mazingly, providing the opiate for our feelings of loss and the substitute for more natural ways, more of our newborns would live. As I have said, they would be given economic value — as a commodity — within that trance life or matrix we have erected. Our children would be allowed to live, but what was distributed among them was this watered-down offering, of a life drained of meaning and “juice” but mostly lacking the “colors” or “flavors” of experience we enjoyed as humans in Nature and containing instead the apprehension of the outlines of living not the immersion in its profound and lush plenitude.
This tendency for our lives to be bleached of real appreciation yet multiplied maniacally grew steadily over time coinciding with the aforementioned rise in the predominance of the traits of controlling, conforming, sycophantic and desperate striving to please and to be appealing, and nonexpression of needs become repression of personality and cobbling of ability to participate in existence’s Divine creative stream. We built increasingly a false matrix in which to dwell, substituting it for the richness of experience of our Edenal existences.
Ignorance of the Divine Makes for Some Pretty A-Mazing Untruths and Empty Rituals
All in all, driven by this inner abyss of unknowing, our outer behavior expanded in spurious and fanciful activity and productions of all kind. With time, our vapid nature would spin out unnecessary personality traits, hollow and unsatisfiable needs, fetid desires, furious but vain behaviors, insubstantial wants, blind obsessions, uncontrollable compulsions, fantastical beliefs, painfully burning visions, and tortured thoughts … of all kinds and all of it magnified, then multiplied, then repressed and fought, then struggled with … and all this in grandiose dramas that are further multiplied, exaggerated, over-dramatized, and so on round again.
Such an overcomplication of life’s simple existence and beingness we create to keep from knowing the horror of us. Such a fury we unleash, so as to create the smoke and mirrors of distraction and to keep us from the otherwise insidious trickling knowing of our horrifying creations and the gnawing abyss of dissatisfaction and unknowing inside us.
In all of these, we journeyed ever further from our roots in Nature and the Divine and made Edenal existence the most distant memory and the most certain component of everyone’s Unapproved and Hidden.
Inevitably, all these ways came back to oneself. As we faded from natural and felt existence and — driven by pain, fear, and the resulting controlling mania — succumbed to ever more entrancing substitutes, we ourselves faded from existence, in a sense. This increasingly ghostly existence amounted to soul murder, then. It is to it, we now turn.
— of *Prodigal Human: The Descents of Man* by Michael Adzema, now available in print and e-book formats.
Click for a free downloadable copy of this excerpt from *Prodigal Human*, with my compliments.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michael Adzema. Video below … interviewed by Michael Harrell
— Related: See also other published versions of these ideas….
*Dance of the Seven Veils I* (2017).
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“Like you have done to all else in the Universe … these wannabe spiritual adepts have reduced the most alive thing in the Universe — Aliveness Itself, or God — into another thing, another accomplishment.”
The Planetmates reveal wannabe spiritual adepts, “new age” thoughts, technology of consciousness, children and human tool use, Tower of Babel: “Want to know how to make God laugh? Tell Her your plans”:
“…it brings to bear their good practice elsewhere in their “positive” thinking, which keeps learning and personal growth from happening and strives to be witless. Similarly, this concoction of “blessings” requires a skill in keeping out the contrary thoughts and doubts which are part of growing in wisdom in life. So these “miracles” are in no way the result of any kind of morality, kindness, compassion, or love.These folks think they can get what they want and perform miracles by the concentration of thought — the limiting of thoughts, again, not allowing any “bad” thought or “doubt” in — so, again, God has no say in it. It is another magical prescription, another hocus pocus not much different from black or white magic, voodoo, or science.
“There is also a version of, so-called, spirituality that applies here as well. Adherents of it often think of the Divine as being assimilable through various techniques of consciousness.They would “raise their vibration,” spike or jolt their pineal gland, use the correct crystals, say the correct magical words or mantras or prayers in exactly the correct manner…. In this way of thinking, whether one is kind, compassionate, loving, authentic, generous makes no difference, as long as one has the correct “recipe” for Divinity. Like in your mythology of a Tower called Babel, they think they can, through their own effort and using their own will and determination, reach God, or a “higher consciousness.”
“And, just like the people of Babel — as well as the evangelicals, scientists, and black magicians — they think God should have no say in it. God will “obey” and come to one if one uses the correct “technique,” stumbles across the magical password to open the gates of heaven. God is no different from the forces of Nature, like electricity. And It will “obey” and do what you want as long as you find the secret “trick” that“controls” It.
“So, like you have done to all else in the Universe outside of yourselves, these wannabe spiritual adepts have reduced the most alive thing in the Universe — the aliveness of the Universe Itself, which is God — into another thing, another accomplishment, another attainment — manageable with the correct magic strings. Like the rest of Nature, God also is given no intention, will, consciousness. How ironic that such folks, in expanding their Ego above all, can operate on an assumption that God, Itself, has no soul. But that they do. And that they will deign to raise Divinity up to where they, in their magnificence, are.
“Do they really think God might not have input into their plans? We know the answer to that. For even as some of you say, “Want to know how to make God laugh? Tell Him your plans.” That is an indication that some of them, having attempted it, are now laughing at their foolishness. So we see that even this mistake — like everything else — can lead one forward … but only if one is open to learning from it and not keeping that awareness from happening by labeling its appearance in consciousness as a“doubt” or a “bad” thought.
“We see that it is no coincidence that such evangelical and “new age” thoughts abound in your materialistic, scientistic, and supremely controlling modern world. For as much as science deals with only a material world — and ignores the spirituality and aliveness of the Universe to do so — it does so because it only deals with the things that can be controlled, whether for good or ill. That is why your science is interconnected with technology. Technology’s meaning is techniques for controlling. With science behind it and feeding it, your technology has expanded your Egoic, fear-based, drive to control into all corners of Earth and even beyond. But such, so-called, spiritual paths, as we are mentioning, would seek to bring the same thing into the realm of the non-material, the spirit, the soul, the Alive. Some speak of a “technology of consciousness.” This implies man as controller, again, even in the inner realms. Do you see that technologies only reveal that which they set out to? How can Awakening be confused with coming to know more of what one already believes? With no real change or transformation of the person?
“Finally, does it not seem odd that, if a God exists, It would want to deprive billions of people living over the course of all of history from contact with Him — in a sense, “waiting” all those hundreds of thousands and even millions of years — till humans had developed their technology enough and stumbled across the correct techniques required to meet Her?
“At any rate, in addiction to your ego and blinded that way, categorizing all of Nature as “wild,” including God, and denying any separate intention or will, or soul, to It — soul having become associated only with that which is controllable — and seeking to have It submit to you, you see your children as “wild,” as things without souls until you give it to them, and so needing to be controlled and “tamed.” And being as they are soulless and wild “things” only, you allowed yourself any means to bring this about … “for their own good,” you say. So, you proclaim, “Spare the rod, spoil the child.” Making of yourself a king or a god in your homes and classrooms you, not God, would be responsible for breathing soul, and morality, into the unformed clay, which you saw your children as. Conveniently, you would not notice that what you would consider morality and soul would coincide with what would please you — not God — and, additionally, would be of use to you.
“Thus, seeing your children as things, and soulless, and as “wild” — after your fall into sedentary-hierarchical ways — you would seek, under the guise of child-“raising” or “rearing,” but also, we see, of “morality,” to make of them things of utility to serve you. You would, essentially, fashion tools of them.You pride yourselves as humans as being above Nature in your tool use; you say that fashioning tools is one of the things that makes you human. From this perspective, however, perhaps now you can see the roots of that urge to fashion tools, for tools magnify your power in controlling things. They expand your abilities to act upon and rearrange Nature and its ways. Just like your “technologies” and your rituals and recipes for bringing Nature and the Divine to heel, as mentioned above, human tool use is a manifestation of your controlling obsession. And children got swept up into that singular mania….”
[Pt 2 of 29th Prasad — Tool Use. More coming….
To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirdsupdated), go to http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
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“You would have the Divine, like your children, kowtow to your wishes…. You are someone who thinks they can, and should, “domesticate” the gods.”
The Planetmates on evangelical religion as voodoo and humans seeking to “domesticate” God … on “animals,” Nature as “wild”: “To re-unite with the Divine, in this way, means you get the Divine to merge with you! With your Ego.”
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Tags: aliveness, angels in Nature, animals, beasts, black magic, blessings, control, criminals, Divine, divinity, domesticate, earth, Ego, evangelical religion, faith healing, God, grace of God, gypsies, hippies, miracle, morality, Nature, planetmates, poor people, positive thinking, prayer, religion, revolutionaries, ritual, science, sedentary living, sycophancy, THE DIVINE, thoughts, voodoo, wildlife, wildness, will
“Described by shamans as being cut up into many pieces … this experience is only the collapse of the shell in which you existed”
Latest from the Planetmates … on the experience of leaving the “matrix,” a-mazing culture, Edenal existence, more:
“…when one is reversing that trance state … indeed, right now, for you, this might be occurring … and this message is the equivalent of the red pill for you … one goes through a shock, as the crutch of culture is removed.
“Leaving aside the fact that in this space, this liminal one, your early deprivations can be felt and healed, still in the beginning this is a horrifying vision of unreality, emptiness, and meaninglessness. One feels that one is seeing deeply into the nature of reality and following it down to its foundations and they are … nothing. One might have the sensation of dissolving, of becoming de-atomized, or of melting. One certainly feels like one has lost all bearings and supports and cannot “hold oneself together,” any more. One might have that oh-so-dreaded feeling that one might be losing control of oneself, be going “out of control.” One might feel one is going to soar off into space, that having completely lost gravity and one’s connection to Earth one will be thrown or sucked back into an endless, random Universe. One often feels like one is falling.
“One feels like one is falling, falling, seemingly endlessly and into a darkness, a Void, an abyss. One might say that one is looking into an abyss or Void, and one feels vulnerable. One often feels open to outside energies and conceives of these negatively as being devils and demons, or simply negative energy … all of which these most certainly are not. They are simply the repressed and unapproved aspects of one’s own experience arising to be integrated again in the Universe’s perpetual movement to become whole again … and this time through you.
“This experience has been described by shamans down through the millennia as being cut up into many pieces. It has been called depersonalization, by your modern psychiatrists. It has also been called identity loss, and the event has been termed an identity crisis, by psychologists, at times; at other times, a breakdown … the old fashioned-term being, anervous breakdown — which terms, by the way, misunderstand the break through quality of the event simply out of the fact that it is not experienced as pleasantness. Indeed, one will often fear one is “going insane,” or is going to “lose one’s mind.” Later in life it might be contained within the experiences of the mid-life crisis.
“What it is, however, is simply the vision of the emptiness behind all actions and events in one’s life. It is the apprehension — however clearly or not one understands it as emanating from infancy and birth — that all that one does is a product of truly inauthentic forces within oneself. It is a perception that everyone and oneself are like windup dolls, or robots, mechanically acting out directives from another place over which one has no control, regardless how insistently one had been previously that one had that control and “free will.” It is, however, only the collapse of the shell in which you existed; it is its disintegration and falling away as you become the greater self, beyond Ego, that you are capable of being.
“You see, your gradual changes from Natural Life involved two things, basically: A growing ability to survive biologically, physically at whatever cost to your happiness, along with a separation from your natural inclinations and felt Divine guidance. And your ever-widening separation from the Divine meant a constant hole in the felt meaning of your existence.
“Lacking roots in Nature or the Divine, you were like a weed without roots, growing madly above ground, reaching out vainly in all directions for sustenance because of the lack of direct connection to your deeper truth. This expanding outward desperately in all directions creates your culture — which is the artificial substitute and the dim empty reflection of existence.
“Culture — your “matrix” — is the “much ado about nothing” and the “strutting and fretting upon the stages of life” and “sound and fury signifying nothing” of which our mutual friend Shakespeare wrote, having learned much from us. Culture is your magnification of the overcomplexity of the obvious simplicity of existence, and it is the overblown array of your defenses to keep at bay your realization, your “enlightenment.” Culture brings meaning to your lives, but it is a false one. It provides you motives, and it supports and sustains your efforts; but they are vain and empty goals and futile and meaningless rituals, only.
“So, after the fall into sedentary-agrarian ways which multiplied the branches of culture a-mazingly, providing the opiate for your feelings of loss and the substitute for more natural ways, more of your newborns would live. As we have said, they would be given economic value — as a commodity — within that trance life or matrix you have erected. Your children would be allowed to live, but what was distributed among them was this watered-down offering, of a life drained of meaning and “juice” but mostly lacking the “colors” or “flavors” of experience we planetmates enjoy and containing instead the apprehension of the outlines of living not the immersion in its profound and lush plenitude.
“This tendency for your lives to be bleached of real appreciation but multiplied maniacally grew steadily over time coinciding with the aforementioned rise in the predominance of the traits of controlling, conforming, sycophantic and desperate striving to please and to be appealing, and nonexpression of needs become repression of personality and cobbling of ability to participate in existence’s Divine creative stream. You built increasingly a false matrix in which to dwell, substituting it for the richness of experience of our Edenal existences.
“So, driven by this inner abyss of unknowing, your outer behavior expanded in spurious and fanciful activity and productions of all kind. With time, your vapid nature would spin out unnecessary personality traits, hollow and unsatisfiable needs, fetid desires, furious but vain behaviors, insubstantial wants, blind obsessions, uncontrollable compulsions, fantastical beliefs, painfully burning visions, and tortured thoughts … of all kinds and all of it magnified, then multiplied, then repressed and fought, then struggled with … and all this in grandiose dramas that are further multiplied, exaggerated, over-dramatized, and so on round again.
“Such an overcomplication of life’s simple existence and beingness you create to keep from knowing the horror of you. Such a fury you unleash, so as to create the smoke and mirrors of distraction and to keep you from the otherwise insidious trickling knowing of your horrifying creations and the gnawing abyss of dissatisfaction and unknowing inside you.
“In all of these, you journeyed ever further from your roots in Nature and the Divine and made Edenal existence the most distant memory and the most certain component of everyone’s Unapproved and Hidden….”
“[Pt 5 of 27th prasad — Culture. More coming…
“To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.
Planetmates: The Great Reveal – Michael’s latest book — is now available in print and e-book format. at https://www.createspace.com/4691119and at Amazon athttp://www.amazon.com/Planetmates-Great-Reveal-Return-Grace/dp/1496083326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399084684&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+adzema
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“One goes through a shock, as the crutch of culture is removed … this message is the equivalent of the red pill for you.”
“There is hope in the truth, by definition”: What the Planetmates say on the Unapproved and Hidden, the maze, the matrix, culture, more….
“Ignorance of the Divine Makes for Some Pretty A-Mazing Untruths and Empty Rituals
“The Divine is Ultimate Truth. Whereas, culture is the societal embodiment of the separation from the Divine. Hence, culture contains some pretty a-mazing untruths and empty rituals. They are amazing because they are fantastical — colorful psychotic fabrications, if you will. But they are a-mazing also because they are manifestations of your confused and twisted consciousness and bring you ever back to the maze — in an endless trudge through labyrinthine passages of a journey that is ultimately futile, guaranteed for failure — which is your life.
“Now, that is something you did not want to hear, isn’t it? Indeed, this understanding brought by awareness of the Unapproved and Hidden reveals the horror of your life. It is a peeling back upon that which you do not, under any circumstances, want to know. It is an opening of Pandora’s Jar, seemingly releasing all evils into the world. Is it any wonder the Unapproved and Hidden has never — in all of your history — been known by you? By any of you? Is it any wonder the maddening explosion of culture you have created to keep it at bay?
“All that you see around you in society are in some way an outgrowth of the lies you tell yourself. For they are all perverted, backwards, bizarro distractions from your true reality. They represent endless meaningless activities that fill up the time, within which otherwise the truth could rise up in you; or they are the opposite constructions — the certitudes — upon which you stand and which are erected in exact defiance of the truth and reality.
“That last would include the falsehoods involved in all the ego-congratulations you do — an example being that you are the pinnacle of evolution and so have been “given” dominion over all of Nature. Another would be your belief in the materialistic nature of Reality, with its concomitant that it does not contain consciousness but that you — all-important, superior and wonderful you — do. They are certitudes that are the opposite of the truth, standing upon which and operating within which you are not able to even entertain notions of the truth.
“In fact, we would not be telling you this, revealing to you the Unapproved and Hidden of your human existence, if it was not both necessary as well as accompanied by an incredible message of real hope. There is, you probably know, hope in the truth, by definition. You may perhaps have already been feeling that. Certainly, it is better to let go of futile and wrong endeavors. Just refraining from the hopeless is hopeful in itself. It is better to take a few small steps in the right direction than to traverse a mountain that takes you where you will not want to end up. Those tiny correct efforts are far more valuable than a mountain of struggle and effort that ends in failure and abject frustration.
“But beyond that … .
“We are revealing the emptiness below it all. For certainly, when you take all of your efforts and trace them to their roots, you find there is nothing there … like castles built in the sky is human accomplishment and culture.
“Some of you, in this most crucial of all times, have had revealed to you this mirage quality of your cultural constructions. It happens by various means — illness, tragedy, drug use, travel, and education, not the least of these — and only when you are ready. Chances are you are not reading this unless you have experienced it — this vision that ends your innocence, undermining your cherished illusions and false hopes.
“Some of you call this collective mirage a “matrix.” Indeed, that term does describe the way your cultures substitute for Reality, making you unable to realize Reality or Truth, as well as providing the opiate for the feeling of unreality that results. Certainly, when one is reversing that trance state … indeed, right now, for you, this might be occurring … and this message is the equivalent of the red pill for you … one goes through a shock, as the crutch of culture is removed.
“Leaving aside the fact that in this space, this liminal one, your early deprivations can be felt and healed, still in the beginning this is a horrifying vision of unreality, emptiness, and meaninglessness. One feels that one is seeing deeply into the nature of reality and following it down to its foundations and they are … nothing. One might have the sensation of dissolving, of becoming de-atomized, or of melting. One certainly feels like one has lost all bearings and supports and cannot “hold oneself together,” any more. One might have that oh-so-dreaded feeling that one might be losing control of oneself, be going “out of control.” One might feel one is going to soar off into space, that having completely lost gravity and one’s connection to Earth one will be thrown or sucked back into an endless, random Universe. One often feels like one is falling….”
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“The Great Reveal is meant to ennoble you … to free you to take your grand and fulfilling role in the exciting and profound Divine Play before us”
Give the Universe a chance; synchronicity; shamans and priests. The Planetmates reveal religion, mysticism, and spirituality; meaning of Prasad:
“…you think that you “please” this Phantom — which you mistakenly call “God” but who is not (for it is not Good) — by taking up arms against the Phantoms of others and their allies. You have projected your early family drama as a child onto the heavens. And you seek to use Conforming Underling behavior — sycophantic, mindlessly obedient, repetitive, most often nonsensical (to you), expressive of “love,” devotion … what you call “worship” … and alliance against all others … which you mistakenly link with faith, as in “keeping the faith” and “defending the faith” — to procure “boons” to alleviate the anxieties you have created for yourself about this life as well as to relieve your overblown fear of death and an afterlife. You seek relief from the misery you have created for yourselves — unique to all planetmates — from this Phantom in this life as well as afterward. This is the real meaning of your ritual and prayer.
“And by the way, if you ask then how we can disembowel ritual and prayer — the essence of religion — this way, yet still allude to an All That Is with a Benevolent Consciousness? If you wonder how we could even be communicating with you if such Phantoms are only projections of unmet need, you are not remembering what we have been telling you about your sense of a separated self. For while the essence of religion is appeasement and appeal, the essence of what you refer to as spirituality and mysticism is surrender and mergence … re-union.
“Religion is a product of the separation from unity with the All That Is or the Divine, and its individual observances of ritual and prayer only reinforce that separation. Whereas, the essence of mysticism and spirituality is to dissolve that barrier to the Divine — existing in your perturbed mind — and to re-acquire your true identity, which is at-one with that … to achieve at-one-ment (atonement).
“To this end you have priests and some of those you call shamans who encourage your separation — what you call religion; and you have another kind of shaman — as well as guides and helpers of all kind around you everywhere (as “provided” by that Divine) — whose conscious as well as unconscious intents and behaviors serve to aid you in removing that separation. You call this spirituality.
“If you should, finally, question the existence of the Divine Itself, thereby removing the separation artificially by removing, in one’s beliefs, that Other from which one has become separated — if you remove the separation by simply denying the existence of half of it — then “the proof is in the pudding,” as they say. For while religion depends on believing the unbelievable, which can’t help but be constantly under assault from Reality Itself in that it is erected against and in opposition to that Reality, which you mistakenly refer to as faith, spirituality requires no sycophantic obedience. Since the Truth is that Ultimate Reality cannot be anything but helpful in that It is you — and why wouldn’t you help yourself? — why would it withhold anything that would aid you in tossing off your enslavement?
“So it is that by simply trying out the idea that there is a benevolent Universe, one finds that one receives help, assistance, and experiences that reveal that Other and, although it does not need to at this point, proves it. This is what is meant by, “Seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened unto you … .” Reality does not require of you blind obedience and sycophantic worship. Now why would a Benevolent God — one you say correctly is all-merciful, all-compassionate — want that of you? No, the Divine — your denied Self — is as accessible to you as it is to us. And, as we have said, it is part of a felt knowing of our consciousness that we cannot doubt.
“As for evidence for this, how do you account for the very things you are hearing right now? This Great Reveal we bring to you is meant to relieve your unnecessary suffering and free you. Of course it is meant to have you turn to and face an actual discomforting problem. But even then it is only meant to ennoble you and free you from the diminished life and futile dramas you have created as substitutes for such a grand and fulfilling role and script — one that is part of a more exciting and profound Divine Play that is being offered you.
“Still, how do you account for hearing these words right now, so at odds with so much of what you have been taught and so promising to you … but most of all from a source that in your Reality would not even be possible? Consider the blessing of the prasads themselves, as evidence of this Benevolent Reality, this God. For indeed that is the meaning of prasad: it is a blessing from Divinity or a Divine Being. Why would you be receiving these helpful words — right at this moment especially, which you know is just perfect for you — if Reality is not Benevolent? Does it not feel like a blessing to you? A prasad? And how could you be receiving this message from this consciousness that is not you as you have defined yourself? Is that not proof that this Benevolent Thing is also “higher” than you — a higher power?
“But these are only the faintest glimmerings of the evidence in your experience, the blessings and guidance, the teachings and knowings that come — miraculously it seems — to you once you give the Universe a chance … once you give the Universe a chance to reveal it as it is … not as you want it to be, out of your fevered mania. Once you give the Universe a chance to actually be benevolent, not just as you are coerced into saying it is in your current unaccepting-of-actual-blessedness state, you find that It is, more so than you have ever imagined it could be….”
[Pt 2 of 26th prasad — Arrogance. More coming….
To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness — Michael’s latest book – is now available in print and e-book formats.
To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.
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Posted in Anthropology, authenticity, being yourself, Child Abuse, Consciousness, Environmentalism, Evolution, God, individualism, life, meaning, Metaphysics, Mystical, nonconform, Philosophy, Politics, Primal Spirit, Primal Spirituality, Psychology, Religion, Spirituality
Tags: atonement, benevolent, benevolent universe, blessing, denied Self, Divine, Divine Being, divinity, faith, guidance, higher power, mysticism, Phantoms, prasad, prayer, priests, religion, ritual, role, script, shamans, spirituality, synchronicity, The Great Reveal, unity, universe, worship
“We do not pray … for what reason would we wish to appeal to a higher order of knowing which already has our overall goodness in mind?”
The Planetmates reveal on obsession and the evolution of “man”; on ritual, prayer, worship, your Phantoms….
“You see that your so-called evolution in consciousness has been largely to do with an expanding obsession to bring everything under control of your Ego. You display an ever-increasing fever to dominate and determine all aspects of your reality.
“Previous prasads have dwelled, one-by-one, on these different spheres of your mania for management. We have also explained how this obsession brings with it an ever-increasing amount of effort. We have shown how you brought work into the experience of life for you — work being actions one does out of no inclination from inside oneself and only out of coercion from the outside. And we have discussed the ways these controlling obsessions have interacted with each other in terms of a push as well to bring other beings — adult and young — into the effort of the adult Ego to manage and manipulate all things that can be influenced.
“So, everything that was not seen as Ego was targeted for control. You changed your stature to upright and this led eventually to a change in the way you would be born that was more painful and a prematurity of birth that led to an extraordinarily long period of dependency in which you would be at the mercy of capricious caregivers and thus feel deprivation in infancy. Your abnormal life entry and infancy deprivation led to an apprehension of mind and a mistrust toward the All That Is. Out of such fear you chose to add planetmate flesh to your diet and so learned how to kill. You next sought to control your other food source, which was vegetation — the Flora Empire; and you instituted horticulture and farming. This led to your extending your net of control over the Fauna Empire — members of which you corralled, began using as a food source, and deemed yourself superior enough to, to make life and death decisions regarding; you began kidnapping planetmates, which you called “raising animals” or husbandry.
“Following this, you were able to bring yourself to making life-and-death determinations about even other humans of you. You developed a hierarchy of humans centered around strong men, with ever lower levels of rings of conforming, sycophantic underlings spreading out from that. For the men of you, your humiliation wrought of conformity to higher ups pushed you to seek a compensating domination, of the same sort as you experienced, over your women. From there, pushed both by cravings for control and accumulation as well as the burgeoning work load that came with that, you extended your reach of resource revaluation and control to include your young as well.
“Finally, you even attempted to control things that could not be influenced. We planetmates have a lived spirituality, in that we do not feel separate from the All or each other. So we do not pray. For what reason would we wish to control, cajole, or even appeal to a higher order of knowing, which already has our overall goodness in mind … is as you say, God, or good itself?
“But as a consequence of your separation from All, you began using ritual, instead of your felt experience, to attempt to connect with the Divine. At first it was simply to seek to discern the Divine Will, which you had made distant from you in all the other ways mentioned, so that you might act in accordance with it.
Later it was to seek to control — again that thing of you — the will of the Divine, including all of its manifestations as in the forces of Nature, the weather, fate, destiny, luck, and providence for oneself and the extension of one’s Ego — the family. Your prayer — the spoken or linguistic form of ritual — was employed for the same purpose: To sway the Divine to itself bend along the outlines of one’s (perverted) will … actually, one’s predilections.
“And what is the form of this ritual and prayer? As damaged and sycophantic adults — no one of you having received adequate nurturing and caring as infants and children and instead having been taught that some satisfaction of those needs could be had by pleasing and appeasing one’s adult caregivers — you would act out that training in seeking to gain boons from the Divine. Indeed, you would deem this Divine to be blown-up versions of your child and infant caregivers — mothers and fathers become Mother and Father. And you would seek to garner boons and satisfaction of desires from these early figures projected onto the Unknown in the same way you learned you could elicit them from the early entities: through meaningless or distantly removed (symbolic) behaviors, repeated maniacally.
“Your adult caregivers trained you as children to be conforming underlings, so you might be enlisted in their overblown schemes and phantom struggles; and now you would demonstrate to the creations you project onto the Universal screen that indeed you are a sycophantic underling — as sycophantic as can be.
You seek to receive “compensation” from the Unknown for demonstrating those things that worked as children with caregivers: You express undying devotion, love, and allegiance to this Universal Phantom Mother/Father. Just as you needed to ally with the caregivers — your actual mothers and fathers — in their schemes against all others, so also you think you can garner good will by demonstrating your alliance with this Phantom against the Phantoms of all others.
“So, you think that you “please” this Phantom — which you mistakenly call “God” but who is not (for it is not Good) — by taking up arms against the Phantoms of others and their allies. You have projected your early family drama as a child onto the heavens. And you seek to use Conforming Underling behavior — sycophantic, mindlessly obedient, repetitive, most often nonsensical (to you), expressive of “love,” devotion … what you call “worship” … and alliance against all others … which you mistakenly link with faith, as in “keeping the faith” and “defending the faith” — to procure “boons” to alleviate the anxieties you have created for yourself about this life as well as to relieve your overblown fear of death and an afterlife. You seek relief from the misery you have created for yourselves — unique to all planetmates — from this Phantom in this life as well as afterward. This is the real meaning of your ritual and prayer.
[Pt 1 of 26th prasad — Arrogance. 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/ …
To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.
Posted in Anthropology, authenticity, being yourself, Birth, Child Abuse, Consciousness, Environmentalism, Evolution, God, individualism, life, meaning, Metaphysics, Mystical, nonconform, Philosophy, Primal Spirit, Primal Spirituality, Psychology, Religion, Spirituality
Tags: adult caregivers, caregivers, children caregivers, Conforming Underling, Consciousness, control, death, devotion, Divine Will, Ego, evolution, experience, faith, God, misery, Nature, obsession, Phantom, planetmates, prasad, prayer, reality, relief, religion, ritual, spirituality, sycophancy, worship
Will We Survive? Putting Our Society “On the Couch”: Control vs. Surrender, Death vs. Life … The Path to Heaven Leads Through Hell
The Journey to Light Leads Through Perinatal Darkness: Correcting the Arrogant Modern Ego … Religions Are About Control … Spirituality, Surrender
Apocalypse – No! Chapter Eleven: Control Versus Surrender … Heaven Leads Through Hell
Does It Look Like We’ll Duck Armageddon? The Information Tsunami, Ego Erosion, and Movies Are Collective Dreaming
Are the Changes Needed to Avoid Apocalypse Occurring? The “Royal Road” to Our Collective Mind, Putting Our Society “on the Couch”
Is there any evidence that the changes that need to happen for us to stave off apocalypse and save our world are actually occurring?
The “Royal Road” to Our Collective Mind
I have mentioned there are studies of the psychology of generations, beginning with the Baby-Boomers or Sixties Generation, that show both an increased access to the perinatal as well as a tendency to act out perinatal influences in less harmful…though more blatant…ways than generations prior. We have seen that this tendency goes hand in hand with actual engagement in activities to counter the negative perinatal act-outs that exist in our environment, for example, campaigning against war, pollution, racism, violence, and so on.
But in “Chapter Three: The Perinatal Media,” I introduced the common anthropological tenet that the projective systems of a culture—that is, its art and artifacts—can be analyzed to get a glimpse into the worldview of a particular society. For our purposes, I pointed out how our movies are especially potent glimpses into our collective consciousness as well as our collective unconscious. You might say that our cinema is the “royal road” to our collective unconscious.
Movies As Collective Dreaming
Our flicks perform admirably well as collective dreams in that, unlike the other products of our collective consciousness such as other art and artifacts, they are multimedia stories, much like dreams are. But more than that, they are shared by more of the populace than any other art form. I am not including TV separately as an art form, since I put it in the same category as films, especially when many films are broadcast on TV and much else on TV also has the same character of being multimedia stories.
Finally, the strength of a particular element of the collective consciousness can be easily determined by the popularity of a particular movie that represents it or by that element’s increasing inclusion in a number of films. For example, in “The Perinatal Media,” I discussed the emerging new elements of faces coming out of walls and forceful oral insertion.
Putting Our Society “on the Couch”
All together, these mean that, just as a psychotherapist might analyze a client’s dreams to get an idea of his or her unconscious workings and contents, one can interpret mainstream movies to get an idea of the workings and contents of our society’s “collective mind”—both conscious and unconscious.
This is no more complex than saying that when we see things in movies that people rush to see, they are drawn to it because those things are also in their own minds. And the more they flock—the greater the success of a movie—the more pervasive in a society are those themes, elements, and contents. Certain aspects—themes or elements in films—are said to really “resonate” with people and therefore people make the movies that contain them popular and successful.
When this is said, it only means that people are consciously or unconsciously drawn to things that exist within themselves. Conversely, no existence inside? No interest.
So in this and upcoming chapters I will use films as the dreaming out loud of our collective mind. Put less esoterically, I will be analyzing a few examples of mainstream movies for their content, and I will be assuming the content I find there exists as well in the society that has watched it…has dreamt it.
I will also be assuming that movies that are mainstream, by which I mean can be found readily for sale as DVDs on-line or in retail stores and have become part of the popular conversation are indicative of pervasive elements in our collective consciousness and unconscious. They can be looked at for the unacknowledged workings of our society as a whole.
I will not deal with the actual numbers of people who have attended particular movies. For I will assume out of the tens of thousands of movies that are produced each year—by small and large producers—those that have made it into the theaters of virtually all the communities of our society, and from there onto the DVD lists and the shelves of stores of all those communities, have by those facts alone demonstrated their resonance with the collective social mind. Otherwise, we would get into the maelstrom of analyzing critic’s opinions of these movies; and with that, to modify a saying, opinions are like asses: everyone has a different one.
Something’s Happening Here … Again
One final point about the heuristic value of the analysis of films for the workings of the collective mind: Elements and themes in movies change over time. I have shown how new elements may be evidence of new elements of our collective unconscious minds coming into consciousness in detailing how the faces-in-the-wall element has developed. (See “All in All It’s Just Another Face in the Wall.”)
But when old, familiar plots have different outcomes, this is important as well. When elements change or evolve over time, this speaks of something going on. This points to changes or evolutions in our collective consciousness. And when elements and themes and plots change or evolve rapidly, we can accurately say that the changes in consciousness are equally swift.
These are some of the tools we will be using in this and upcoming chapters as we take a look at a few examples of mainstream films and what they might be reflecting back to us about our own society’s changes in consciousness. But first let me say something about what may turn out to be the most important of the thematic evolutions or changes in film elements that we have been seeing.
Information Avalanche and Pre- and Perinatal Themes
In the last half century we have been hearing a great deal about the need to expand consciousness to balance the negative effects of the extremes of technological advance. Fortunately this change of consciousness is to some extent inevitable—or at least greatly aided—by certain side effects of the technological explosion…specifically in the area of telecommunications.
Ego-Eroding Information Deluge
As cultural boundaries are eroded by a multicultural information avalanche, people are forced to lower their inner defenses and ego boundaries. Confronted by such incoming information people will either take some of it in, learn, and thereby grow beyond their former selves or they will need to expend themselves in an all-out effort to shore them up.
A potent example of the first, currently, is the way people worldwide are opening to and learning from each other using social media via the internet; the revolutionary potential of this creation of an open global consciousness is already showing itself in uprising for democracies and economic justice virtually everywhere on Earth. A clear example of the second—where folks are putting everything into blocking out information and beating back the personal growth that would result—is in the backlashes to these liberal forces, which are also occurring throughout the world—as a Tea Party in the United States and as the fortification of authoritarian regimes from China to Syria and Turkey, from Iran to Israel.
We have seen that the first response—where folks allow the discomfort inherent in personal growth—is typical of a more advanced form of child-caring that is centered on the needs of the child. We know also that the latter reaction goes with child-caring centered on the needs of the care-givers, or parents…and not the child. In this latter instance of parenting, it is understandably called child-rearing or raising a child as opposed to child-caring. We have noticed that the first response goes along with increased self-analysis and introspection and the latter one with acting out, aggression, and culture war.
Information Tsunami Pushes Consciousness Revolution
So, this tsunami of information in all areas, where previously we could smugly hold forth ego-satisfying views, pushes both toward an overthrow of those narrower perspectives and the establishment of broader, more encompassing ones as well as toward an ever increasing irrationality in fending off this information, at any and all costs.
“Consciousness Raising” As “Shoveling It”
For the most part, this growth or expansion of consciousness, when it happens, is seen as a linear increase and correspondingly is labeled a “raising” of consciousness. This is true whether we are talking about societal or individual progress.
Ken Wilber’s transpersonal theory is the most popular version of such a ladder-style path. In it the process of growth is analogous to that of climbing a mountain or shoveling compost into a pickup truck—one simply moves upward or piles it on. [Footnote 1]
But there are those who think otherwise.
Yes, Tina Turner, We Do Need Another Hero … a Different Kind: The Path to Heaven Leads Through Hell
Religions Are About Control; Spirituality, Surrender. Let Go, Let God to Correct an Arrogant Modern Ego
The Path to Heaven Leads Through Hell
Those in the know about the pervasive pre- and perinatal influence on personality and behavior, and especially those of us actively engaged in working through the effects of such early traumas, are fully aware, like Dante, that the path to heaven leads through hell. We have found that the path to the transpersonal light leads through the psychodynamic and perinatal darkness, that the path up and the path down are parts of the same path outward. [Footnote 2]
A Dark and Hideous Shadow World
Our experience has been that the information avalanche and multicultural onslaught have eroded our personal boundaries to an influx, not only of transpersonal bliss-love-compassion, but equally—and very often, initially—to a dark and hideous shadow world, a backwards bizarro world, of pernicious and insidious disorganized feelings comprised of elements ancient, infantile, pathological, biological, scatological, and perinatal. These are some of the forms spiritual emergence can take, especially initially. And they are the ones most likely to be seen as spiritual emergencies.
Pre- and Perinatal Themes in Cinema
Therefore, it is interesting to see these views confirmed by the bubbling up of psychodynamic and perinatal themes in our collective consciousness as evidenced by current films, books, and music. I have mentioned the pre- and perinatal themes and symbolism in films and explained why, along with other elements of postmodern times, they are evidence of something significant occurring in the consciousness of our age—an emerging perinatal unconscious.
But there is another element evolving in current films which has to do with a changing or evolving collective attitude toward these perinatal elements. And along with a changing attitude, there is evidence pointing to an evolving collective response to it.
Control vs. Surrender, Death vs. Life
“Control Spiritualities” and Patriarchal Cultures
Specifically, a different kind of heroic response, which characterizes the perinatal arena, can be said to characterize the postmodern movies replete with perinatal symbolism. Most striking of all, this different kind of heroic response corresponds to a different kind of spirituality than what is commonly portrayed in this society, or at least has been the norm up until now.
For basically there are “control” spiritualities and “surrender” spiritualities, with rarely the twain meeting. “Control spiritualities” are adapted to patriarchal cultures and involve the use of the ego to “control” and be in charge of even the realms of the supernatural. This is so because an ultimate evil—a devil or Satan—is postulated, which is given equal weight along with God in determining one’s ultimate fate. This type of spirituality is normally what is called religion.
“Surrender Spiritualities” and God As Being Good
But there is another brand of spirituality that is based on a belief in the ultimate goodness and rightness of All That Is. God’s goodness being essentially the dominant force in the Universe, herein it is considered safe to “surrender” in one’s relation to Reality, to expect that one will be guided correctly, in fact perfectly, in the act of letting go. Thus letting go is not to be feared—as in the control spirituality—but is to be practiced and fostered. In this perspective, which we might call surrender spirituality, control is seen as the problem, not the solution.
“Control” and “Surrender” Psychotherapies
Of course these two approaches to spirituality represent two approaches to psychotherapy as well. The control attitude is the dominant mode of psychoanalytically-based approaches—those in which the “demon” of the id is postulated.
The attitude of “letting go” and “surrender,” on the other hand, is the dominant mode of the experiential psychotherapies, which are themselves rooted in the tradition of humanistic psychology with its belief in the ultimate goodness of the human organism and which thus allows a faith in the ultimate rightness of human processes.
“Hero’s Journey” As “Control” Psychotherapy
Since the control attitude, in any of its manifestations, requires the postulation of an ultimate evil against which one must remain vigilant and must fight, the common “hero’s journey” myth—with its typical fighting and slaying of supposedly evil parts of the personality and reality symbolized as dragons and other monsters—is a prevalent focal myth to this attitude. Corresponding to this myth are the emphasis on disciplines and practices seeking to develop the ego and the will…over against the dangers that are postulated to exist in the Universe requiring these disciplines and, so-called, ego developments.
A Different Heroic Response in “Surrender” Paths
Since the “feeling” therapies and the other spiritual and experiential psychotherapeutic modalities with which they are allied are so different in attitude to the traditional “control” attitude, should there not be corresponding differences in myths to exemplify them? Indeed, there are.
In history, the surrender spiritualities have had correspondences in myth in which the dragon is not fought, conquered, and slain, but rather is either tamed and becomes one’s ally or pet—Saint Margaret is the prime example in the West, but this is a depiction prevalent in the East—or else one is swallowed by the “dragon” or monster and, after a while, is reborn.
Jonah is the prime example in the West for this latter depiction. But again this reaction to the fearful dissociated aspects of the personality, or the Shadow, is not a common one in the Western patriarchy, and it is much more common in traditional cultures and in the East.
A Shift to “Surrender” As a Corrective to a Western Overweening Ego?
All of this may be changing in recent times in the West, as once again the humanistic attitude and the new spiritual perspectives, as well as the experiential psychotherapies such as primal therapy, make us increasingly aware of the ultimate beneficence of the body, and of the Universe beyond even that, and of the importance of surrender and letting go as a corrective to the overweening control and defensiveness of the diminutive Western ego.
1. See especially Ken Wilber, The Atman Project. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980.
2. See, for example, Michael Adzema, “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality,” Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 25(3), 83-116. Reprinted online at the Primal Spirit site at “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality.”
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Posted in Anthropology, authenticity, being yourself, Birth, Child Abuse, Consciousness, Environmentalism, Evolution, God, individualism, life, meaning, Metaphysics, Mystical, nonconform, Philosophy, Politics, Primal Spirit, Primal Spirituality, Psychology, Religion
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Rebirthing Rituals, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and the Value of Popular Culture in Awakening: The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight … Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits
Where There Is Hope and What Did You Expect Awakening to Look Like? Look Hard Enough, You Just Might See the Seeds of Light Amidst the Darkness Surrounding.
Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing
Societal Self-Analysis and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace … Sorry, I Know You Wanted to Hate Reality Shows.
The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight: Societal Self-Analysis, an Internet Reformation, and Talk Show Soul-Searching for Peace
Culture War Replaced Cold War
We see the workings of these opposing tendencies to look away from problems or to embrace them by examining the reactions in America to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The disappearance of this huge object for distraction from inner unhappiness, about which one could rationalize the use of defensiveness and scapegoating, led to continued turning away through the emergence, in America, of a search for other societal scapegoats and therefore the “Republican revolution.” Culture War replaced the Cold War as the way one could be comfortably ignorant of one’s insides and self-assuredly distracted, self-righteously engaged.
This removal of a collective punching bag or scapegoat also resulted in a healthy turning toward the darkness within and a collective self-analysis in America. This reaction has brought to the fore many of our social and political shortcomings.
Talk Show Soul-Searching
For evidence of this latter response we notice beginning in the Nineties the rise of the talk show; the rituals of nationwide self-examination over issues of sexual harassment, spouse abuse, and race relations played out in the Anita Hill–Clarence Thomas hearings and the O. J. Simpson trial; the hashing out of controversial and formerly hidden personal issues around sex, lies, and marital fidelity, played out in the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal; the reevaluation of matters of faith precipitated by priestly sexual abuse; and many other such national psychodramas staged on cable news networks and the magazine-style, documentary-type TV shows like Frontline, Nightline and the like.
We also witnessed the rise of reality shows as part of this societal pull to see beneath the covers of what is thought to be real. Now, progressives and intellectuals have lots of fun vamping about how superior they themselves are to such interests, as exemplified in reality shows. This can only be the position of elitists out of touch with the ways ordinary folks live their lives.
To make my point, let me back up a bit. The swagger that the Left, and intellectuals in general, display around reality shows is the same superiority they have expressed for decades concerning sitcoms. First, let me say that I consider most sitcoms and reality shows to be rather boring and a bit inane with their laugh and soundtrack framing. Yet, when I was a child, growing up in a medium-sized city in the coal country of Pennsylvania and coming from a very traditional family, it was only through such sitcoms that I had a chance to find out what a different style of family and parenting would be. Today, I would laugh at a “Father Knows Best.” But it was a step up and into socialization from the “Father Knows Little” or “Father Not Around” of many in my social stratum when I was a kid. This exposure allowed me, and many of my generation, to seek for more in our life and for better interpersonal family relationships…and eventually better parenting.
This presentation of better alternatives—middle-class, liberal, “hollywood” ones—to everyone in America has a lot to do with the fact that the Sixties were so explosive. It was the first decade after the introduction of a national culture through the medium of television. Much has been made of the fact that newscasts brought information into living rooms for the first time in that era—which is the thing that intellectual elitists will focus on, blinded by their quaint beliefs that humans are rational actors. It takes an experiential psychologist and social scientist like myself to notice that most folks act out of ideas and attitudes that are rooted in experiences and information that are hardly rational. So, the modeling of a more “advanced” way of family life—not perfect but for many better than the traditional ways they had known, which included things like spanking and attitudes like “children are better seen not heard” and “spare the rod, spoil the child”—through the TVs and cinemas of America was vastly more influential in changing society than newscasts, whose information could just as easily have been shared through the print media. The sitcoms brought liberal middle-class values to everyone in America who owned a tv set; and this was a huge step forward at the time.
A Modern “Priesthood”
This is where righties have it right when targeting “hollywood” for many of the changes in our culture over the last half century…though they see that as a negative influence. But intellectuals and lefties blow an opportunity and lose support among ordinary folks through an unconscious haughtiness and a cultural snobbery they are blind to but display in their turning up their noses at popular culture. Luckily, as an anthropological social scientist, I can study popular culture and get away with it, though not without some snide commentary coming my way from progressive and professional circles. They simply will never understand an intellectual who can speak to working folks because he’s one of them. They simply don’t get my attempts to package the crucial understandings of modern science and social sciences, on which the existence of our very world depends, in words that are not primarily directed to and meant to appease the gods of academia. They consider themselves important within their tiny professional circles, thinking they are changing the world when no one even knows what they are doing beyond that constrained perimeter.
Keeping the People Down
Indeed the attitude of academics and progressives about popular culture, especially talk and reality show tv programming and although they would be appalled to ever think it, is no different from the attitudes of the Catholic church and the clergy about matters of faith during medieval times. There, too, we had an elite wanting to “keep out the unwashed.” There, too, we had a distinction between people in the know and the rabble, with the anointed ones requiring ordinary folks to go through them for matters of truth and faith. We had then also this sharp distinction between the “high culture” of the Church and aristocracy—exemplified in the chamber music of the time—and the “low culture” of the masses—exemplified by the folk music of the troubadours of that day.
Nowadays this poo-pooing of tv culture by intellectuals is the same kind of attempt to funnel reality to the masses through the filters of a new “priesthood.” The cultural purists and intellectual elites would prefer that for truth you go through them in academia, where you ‘d have to pay a toll of course, just as the priests of the Middle Ages required you to pass their way on the road to the divine.
Therapy for the Masses
At any rate throwing off the snootiness of intellectualism, I contend, allows us to notice that sitcoms, reality shows, and talk shows serve functions in society that are, overall, beneficial in advancing our culture and catalyzing increased growth. They may not reflect, yet, where intellectuals and progressives think we should be, but for many they show something beyond where they are.
We should know that they are overall helpful in our cause from the fact that conservatives want to attack hollywood and limit freedom of expression on any airwave. The fact that many reactionaries want to keep their children out of schools, home-schooled, and away from tv sets should be telling progressives something about the value of popular culture.
My point is that the rise in reality and talk shows are coincident with a need for a kind of societal “therapy” that came about when we took back our projections from the Soviets and were forced to look at ourselves. I’m saying this was a healthy way of doing it, and this was helping us, though it was tumultuous and difficult, in the Nineties. It is unfortunate, but it suited the forces of war and fascism, for the 1% to bring forth in the millennium the bugaboo of terrorism…perfectly bringing about another endless feud with another concocted enemy to project our own darknesses onto so we can escape from having to notice them ourselves and bring about actual personal growth and cultural advance…let alone the cultural rebirth that has been trying to happen for decades.
Reality shows are like watching group therapy happening. It is not surprising that there was even one reality program that was about therapy—Celebrity Rehab. Reality shows also expose ordinary folks to what amounts to crude but informative sociological experiments. If academics could see beyond their pretensions they would applaud this sort of, however haphazard and imprecise, understanding of group processes and individual psychology arising in the masses.
If there weren’t reality shows, folks would have a harder time knowing appropriate ways for men and women to act with each other. The gains of feminism would not have spread so widely or as fast if they were not being modeled and reinforced repeatedly on talk and reality shows. They demonstrate parenting and social skills—“politically correct” ones, in the good sense—to folks who would otherwise not know any better than to behave crudely and abusively. They bring the world, geography, travel, and history to the masses.
Intellectuals quibble about the quality of that, which comes across as quite childish, for it arises as if out of a jealousy of others getting the attention they want and out of a fear of competition for informational matters around science, culture, and humanities. It strikes me as more than ironic that those on the Left who would wish people to wake up from their zombie slumber would want to push programs of literature or drama where truths are filtered through the consciousness, and unconscious, of the artist, while wishing to deprive folks of a direct look—however contrived, it is actual reality and not scripted—at the world around them and people’s actual unplanned behavior and spontaneous reactions to unusual events.
Seeing people’s behavior in some of these shows does often remind me of the dynamics I’ve seen in therapy groups, and some of the personal changes in the participants mirror some of the evolutions I’ve seen in folks undergoing deep experiential psychotherapy. The audience participation part often sounds like group therapy or an intervention. I’ve been struck by how some of the group processes in the show remind me of family day in rehab, with folks reflecting back what they see in each other and how others’ behavior has affected them. These are all things that conservatives cringe at…actually hate. Yet liberals, except for notable exceptions like Jerry Springer, are not seeing the opening they have here. Lefties are fighting rather than using these forces, which are in the direction of personal growth and, cumulatively, much needed societal change.
As a psychologist and simply someone who loves people, I am fascinated by some of the things I see in these shows. They can be heart-wrenchingly real at times. So it occurs to me that folks who disparage these shows, comparing them with literature and dramatic productions, is another thing where some are wanting to have their reality filtered, managed, and packaged for them, lest it be too “disruptive” to their prejudices of things.
The Price of Peace Is Inner Sight
The upshot of all this is to say that just as a lack of a Cold War caused both collective acting out—another war, a Culture War—and collective inner searching via television talk shows, documentaries, and such. So also the prevention of “hot” wars on an international, not just intercultural, scale and the cause of peace in general require such inner soul-searching and such confrontation with one’s darker sides. And if we must, it is better to endure the psychotic acting out of a culture war—with its battles played out on the airwaves—than an actual war.
For is there any doubt that either of these or any combinations of these alternatives, however uncomfortable and even violent…on a smaller scale…at times, is a small price to pay compared to the price of outright war and violence which, by any measurement, is a cost horrifyingly huge and unacceptable?
America Currently Refusing to Pay Such Price
The converse of this is also true: When the dramas wanting to be discussed are suppressed in the mainstream media, it is as stifling of the growth of a nation as an individual’s growth. Unfortunately we have seen this as well recently. There have been massive worldwide and nationwide Occupy Wall Street demonstrations, massive Wisconsin union outpourings, and events in Japan and about Fukushima that the American people really want to and need to know and discuss, but they are being blacklisted from being broadcasted on. There has been a change in government in Iceland, with banksters being jailed, that Americans are not hearing about; there have been demonstrations in Japan about their insane response to their tragedy, which Americans won’t be told about; there have been massive demonstrations in Israel against the colonial policies of their own government that curiously do not make it into the offerings of news programs. These are things that in the Nineties would have fed the talk on tv and stimulated the necessary societal hashing out for there to be a chance of going beyond them.
What Is the Cost of Denial? Of Complacency?
It is hard to know, though, what happens when the natural urges of a nation to grow and change are thwarted. While I discussed this abortion of cultural renewal and the abomination that results from it at length in Chapter Seven of a companion book to this one, Culture War, Class War, under the title Cultural Rebirth, Aborted, the question remains what happens when this societal “rebirthing” is more urgent than ever. What happens when—for the sake of the survival of the human race and of the planet—it is necessary that this growth happen and instead it is continuously derailed and snuffed out of the light of collective consciousness?
Internet Revolution Is Another Reformation
Luckily all this is changing as the internet and social networking have upended the academic elitists, swarming around and over their petty barriers of intellectual privilege. The blogsters and “rabble” of the net have taken over the cultural dialogue of the time as assuredly as Martin Luther and the Reformation changed religion forever and helped to bring to an end the cultural stagnation of the Middle Ages and to ignite an Age of Reason and of Enlightenment.
Moratorium … Let the Buck Stop Here! We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations
“Know Thyself” ~ “Narcissistic”?
Self-Discovery, Soul-Searching, Psychological-Mindedness, Self-Analysis – Sixties Generation
So, we have taken a look at the need for societies to “do therapy” on themselves, to hash out and process, however messy that might seem to be, the perinatal projections from the unconscious, as they manifest in the tribulations of the times—both profound and mundane. It must be kept in mind that it is the products of nearly the most “advanced” mode of child-caring—the delegated-release subclass of the socializing psychoclass — who have proved most willing to pay such prices for peace, as for example, in increased soul-searching. In fact they would be later stigmatized for just this quality of introspection, this supposed fault of looking into themselves, through the derogatory appellation, narcissistic.
Indeed, Keniston foresaw this when he studied the Sixties generation as college students. Observing the amount of inner exploration they engaged in during their quests for self-discovery, he would describe this attribute in a biased way as “the overexamined life,” and more fairly, for the activist youth, as a “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis.” [Footnote 1]
“Let It All Out? No, Leave Some of It In!” – Pat Buchanan, Fifties Generation
No doubt those who criticized these youth in the past are some of the same ones or their surrogates who, now older, are wrongly castigating the self-analyzing characteristics of contemporary society as the Sixties generation is now in its “triumphant” phase—the time when as adults a psychoclass takes over the reins of society and most strongly influences it. I have already taken note of the tendencies of the right to rile against the collective processing that is happening in their attacks on popular culture and in particular what they call “hollywood.” They express their desire that “such matters” not come to public light, for they deem them “offensive” or an affront to their (oh so delicate) sensibilities. They sense a threat to the precious untruths that prop up their self-destructive way of life, woven through as it is with war, fascism, planetary and planetmate annihilation, and the other horrors mushrooming about them in the postmodern era. [Footnote 2]
These highly defended and fear-minded conservatives, prone to projection, are incapable of appreciating the integrity of an inner-thinking generation like the Boomers are. These outer-minded authoritarians would not get, would outright hate those who “questioned authority” in the Sixties.
These defended entrenched egos would be secretly jealous of and overtly aggressive to a generational emergence that since the Sixties has been psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually working on themselves to be free of inner tyranny. As one of their exemplars, Pat Buchanan, long ago phrased it, “Let it all out? No, leave some of it in!”
Let the Buck Stop Here!
Nonetheless this cadre of kindred Sixties spirits would in their actions declare for the first time in history as a generation, “Let the buck stop here!” And they would seek to turn themselves, and by extension their children and society-at-large, into a more loving, wise, and less acting-out humanity…most importantly, one willing to cooperate rather than war with Nature, or other nations.
If Not Us, Who? If Not Now, When?
What virtually all the folks outside “my generation” never get is the unimpeachable vision we had of the complete and utter wrongness of the path and tendencies of modern times and the abyss toward which civilization was heading. We were proven right, of course, as especially in the last decade we have seen the disintegration wrought of those tendencies on all fronts—political, environmental, personal. The Sixties generation saw modern civilization as being unreformable and needing complete remaking, so that everything we did was an attempt to create reality and culture from scratch, sans tradition.
We had seen normal ways of doing things to be impotent and often dangerous and most importantly leading to apocalyptic endings in our near future. This understanding is what was responsible for all the “non-normal” behaviors my generation displayed—communes, confrontations, clothes, relationships, organics, alternative ways of everything…an entire counterculture. We have been laughed at for essentially being ahead of the curve on the messages of modern events. We have been called crazy for our inconvenient prophecies, virtually all of which are now coming to pass.
While I and my cohorts, to use just one example, spoke out on the dangers of nuclear energy and in particular the insanity of building plants on fault lines, the professional pundits scoffed and boasted they lived near nuclear plants. This was thirty years and more before the world ever heard the word, Fukushima. The examples like this are endless. We saw all these unworkable endings and asked ourselves, “What would be a real way of doing that?” “What would be a workable, sustainable way?” “What would be a sane and happy life, ethic, and lifestyle.” “What would be a loving, peaceful mode of being?”
While we sought to redo culture from scratch, building it on perennial and unimpeachable principles, the threatened elders and the jealous youngers, who would soon enough come behind, poked fun from within the confines of their assured and comfortable wrongness. They called us narcissistic for thinking we could look at ourselves and the world and dare to think we could change it from ancient ways. They thought we were making ourselves important that way, putting on airs, even. Actually we were shouldering responsibility we did not want—yearning for a simpler, less serious time—but which we accepted for the sake of all those who would come after, knowing their very existence depended on our actions. We took faith in the touchstone of love itself—the only thing that did not crumble under examination—and sought to bend all emerging along its outlines.
So our seeming impertinence was born of an inconvenient prompting, an unwanted vision now proving prophetic. It was hardly selfish, as many of the best of my generation paid the ultimate price and are no longer with us or they are imprisoned. It was hardly narcissistic as it was done out of love…for each other, for the peoples of all the world and of all the religions, for our children, for the planetmates and for the Nature of which we learned we were a part, and for the generations unborn.
What others will never get is that our “overexamined life,” our “psychological-mindedness,” our perinatal propensities, and our soul-searching and self-analysis were not about being narcissistic. It was about needing to start everything anew as a rational response to the horrors we saw about us in our culture and in the world… horrors which we were correct in trying to address at the time. For their existence today, because of our inability to be completely successful in remedying them, are bringing about all the political, economic, and environmental armageddons I’ve been discussing in this, and its related, books. And we knew, and still know, that only some change huge and radical will help us, and for that we need to find and stand upon the deepest and firmest of ground within us. That is what we’ve been looking for, are still looking for…only now we have lots of company .
Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits: A Drive to Healing, the Hard Rain Fallin’, and Millennial Promise
A Drive to Healing and What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like? Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits
A Drive to Healing
We cannot expect that everyone will heal their birth traumas when they arise into consciousness during periods of peace. However, we can expect—especially now that there is understanding of these dynamics and there are techniques and modalities available for healing them—that some people will!
Furthermore, even the more ritualistic and superficial yet blatant regressions to infancy, birth, prenatal, or even prior to that—for example, as Mayr and Boelderl describe in Europe—are not the indication of a “death drive” or “death instinct” as these researchers claimed. [Footnote 3]
These highly symbolic collective rituals are instead the manifestations of a drive to healing—a drive to regressing to early traumas and to reexperiencing the events that occurred then and thus recapturing an integrity of self that existed prior to the dissociation that happened as a result of those traumas. This drive to regression is no more a “death wish” than the mystical or spiritual quest is a “death wish,” and for the same reasons, as Jung correctly admonished Freud a long time ago. And we can expect that more good than bad can come, eventually, from engaging in them.
What Did You Expect Peace to Look Like?
Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits
In conclusion, when we see blatant collective regressions, by the sorts of people mentioned, to these perinatal dynamics in undisguised, and relatively harmless, social rituals—as described by Mayr and Boelderl, and Lawson—we can expect that, because of their closeness to their unconscious pain, they are likely—even if only a little more likely because of their more advanced mode of child-caring—to have insight into these dynamics and to resist acting them out in a more extreme form, like war, global pollution, and overpopulation.
To put it another way, I would have preferred that Hitler had acted out his craziness by jumping into mosh pits, humming baby tunes, wearing a pacifier…or even engaging in sexual orgies…than the way he did.
So these current signs of blatant regression by youth and others in Europe or the US, or in fact anywhere in the world as in rock concerts, are not signs of an impending war. What did you expect peace to look like? You might call it messy, but it is the scenery of human healing, we should expect to be seeing, on the pathway to an Earth rebirth.
What Might We Expect?
What might we expect from the future? Well if ecological/environmental consciousness and refusal to use projection onto others is accepted as evidence of perinatal access, as I have been asserting, then the current generation of youth and young adults—the Baby-Boomer Echo Generation, also called the Millennial Generation, whose two main concerns, as I have mentioned, have been polled as being the environment and racism—may also be expected to be more open to their perinatal trauma, and hence more likely to resolve it and further the gains of their parents against war and global apocalypse.
“A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall”
From the roads and TV screens of America the scenery can often appear bleak. Sure, heavy changes are coming down…but what should we expect? “A hard rain’s gonna fall,” sang Bob Dylan. And that’s what it takes to blossom the spring. Look hard enough, you just might see the seeds of Light amidst the darkness surrounding.
Evidence in Our Collective Dreaming
Next we will take a look at one of the projective systems of our society, specifically, our cinema, to see if it shows evidence of the change of consciousness that we have here been describing as necessary to derail the cycles of war and violence that have plagued our species for millennia uncountable and have led us to the brink of extinction.
Films are both the collective dreams of our society as well as the only truly widely shared method of collectively experiencing a nonordinary state of consciousness. Thus they are telling, in the messages they contain, as well as powerful in their impact on the audience, who in this mild nonordinary state of consciousness are more open to suggestion and to receiving mental impressions and information.
We will look to examples from films of the last few decades for indications that our collective consciousness is actually changing and that there are grounds for hoping that we will be able to stave off apocalypse…creating instead the quantum leap to an Earth rebirth.
1. For “overexamined life”see Keniston, op. cit., 1965; for “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis” see Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81.
2. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and The Youth Revolt.”
3. Mayr and Boelderl, op. cit., p. 149.
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The Cycle of All Events, the Evolution of Parenting, and Auspicious Collective Regressions: Being Crazy in an Insane World Might Mean You’re the Sane One
What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide and the Necessary Mess of Transformation: Hard to Believe, But We’re Getting Saner
Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing
There Is a Cycle to All Events … The Spiral Dance, Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction, and Where There Is Real Hope
The Spiral Dance – The Cycle of All Events: Wedded to Rebirthing Rituals, the Inevitability of Disappointment, and Where There is Real Hope
Wedded to Rebirthing Rituals
In turning toward these feelings we embrace, feel, and if we go deeply enough into that, we relive the roots of them and resolve them finally.
If we face these inner forces—we call that feeling them…in this instance, feeling through or reliving one’s birth—we integrate them and heal the underlying trauma, the perinatal trauma.
Or the individual and society can avoid this going within—as depicted in the peace symbol—and can choose instead to act them out, which is the peace symbol upside down—the Satan symbol, the pentagram.
In acting them out, one distracts oneself from the uncomfortable feelings, which though not focused on, are still there. One tries to be “strong” in the face of feelings but one is actually driven and directed by them—they “take over one’s mind.” This is the source of the idea of spirit possession and in general of the idea that a devil or Satan can take over one’s soul.
So in running from our feelings we are captured and enslaved by them, we are forced to act them out in ways we would not otherwise choose which are negative to horrible but in all cases self-sabotaging. Of course war is the most horrible, most self-sabotaging, greatest, and most all-consuming form of such acting-out…the greatest struggle.
Humans are characterized by a particular kind of birth process. It is a coming into being that is traumatic and which is related to our distinction of standing upright and thereby decreasing the pelvic opening as well as suffocating the fetus prior to birth. The fact is that because of this “distinction” we are destined to go through periods of rebirthing purificatory rituals, whether for good or ill. [Footnote 1]
For we are psychologically wedded to reliving that which we could not fully experience at the time because of the overwhelming quality of pain associated with it.
A “Spiral Dance”
These rebirthing rituals we are doomed to repeat, one way or the other. We are going to act out this primal pain—this birth trauma—in an unending cycle of feelings having these components
- Periods of feelings of expansion
- Closedness or entrapment, guilt, and depression
In winning the “war” or having the success or achievement, there begins the same cycle of expansion followed by entrapment. Losing the war…the struggle, the battle…is akin to death, even if there is no death. There is numbness and repression…akin to a kind of “limbo”…before life can begin anew. A reconception is necessary.
The Pattern of Our First Nine Months Imprints Us For Our Entire Human Lives
The reemergence of hope in individuals and societies is biologically equivalent to conception. And following this reconceiving, there is a similar cycle of reemerging strength—akin to the expansion that follows winning. Then there is continuing depression or overarching gloom and helplessness feelings coupled with revenge feelings and blame as individuals and societies stew in the vessel of indecision, inaction, and doubt. This is quite like the closedness and guilt which follows achievement-success-victory. Note, however, that the revenge and blame feelings here are aspects of the BPM II matrix, just as is closedness and guilt.
Can’t Get No Satisfaction
And then the cycle is the same again. Specifically, there is aggression against the oppressor (War and revolution both see the foe as an oppressor, even if one is actually the one who is the aggressor.) What follows upon fighting is release or “death”; and so on around. The “happily ever after” that inspires such battle truly only exists in fantasies and fairy tales. Prosperity and feelings of success are unfortunately doomed, on this physical plane of existence, to be short-lived.
Where There Is Real Hope
It would seem we are fated to never be happy, for long. But progress is possible; herein lies our only real choice in the entire scenario. For we either work through these cycles in some deep psychologically transformative way that helps us deal with and pass beyond the difficult and painful parts of the cycle as well as helps to fade the imprints’ potency in determining our behavior or we are doomed to act them out in the external world in ways that we are blindly unaware are not congruent with the actual facts of our circumstances and are harmful to ourselves and others around us.
We are fated to experience these cycles of birth, and we will either act them out disastrously or we find ways of dealing with them inside of ourselves in some way—and some ways are better than others for doing this—so that we can have some inner distance from these patterns and therefore some conscious ability or choice around our actions when these pushes and pulls arise.
Railing Against the Darkness: The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of Reason, Progress Requires Regress, and Healing Is Nothing if Not Messy
Railing Against the Darkness, The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of Reason, and Social Progress Requires Regression
The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of “Reason”
What we absolutely don’t have, yet arrogantly think we do, is the ability—through will or reason alone—to choose light over darkness, to replace these inner veils of distortion with clarity of thought and perception and hence of positive behavior and actions while in the midst of them. Trying to reason with and to obtain truly desired outcomes is about as possible as trying to reason with a lizard and convince it to conform to one’s wishes for its behavior. For good reason: Indeed our rational mind is as split off from the “reptilian brain” inside us within which these imprints circulate and from which they arise as are we from the consciousness of a gila monster.
What We Call “Reason” Is Largely Just Rationalization
This impotence of intellectual understanding in the face of these patterns of self-destruction occurs because these schemas are rooted in memories existing in an emotional and entirely dissociated part of the brain, which is hardly touched by neocortical admonishing of any kind. As deMause correctly points out,
[The fetus’s] “early experiences have been found to be recorded in a separate early neural network—a dissociated emotional memory system centering in the amygdala, quite distinct from the declarative memory system centering in the hippocampus that is established in later childhood.” [Footnote 2]
Disclaiming these cycles, which inevitably pass through darkness, and reliance on “will-power” to change one’s patterns, which includes self-sabotage, has been exposed in its impotence in modern times. We see as evidence the growing acknowledgment of the ineffectiveness and, indeed, counter-effectiveness of psychoanalysis. [Footnote 3]
Railing Against the Darkness
So the question begging to be asked is “What do we do about it?” What do we do about these pernicious cycles?
And when these elements erupt in society in harmless, possibly healing ways, how do we view them? Do we, as Mayr and Boelderl do in their article, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe,” decry the regression…as if by disclaiming it we could somehow keep the cycle from happening? [Footnote 4]
Mayr and Boelderl write, for example, that the situation of collective regression in Europe “strikes us as being high-explosive [sic] and bitter enough.” [Footnote 5]
In another place they exclaim, “What is horrible about this insight [about the increasing collective regression in Europe] is the additional observation that regression is becoming still more radical.” [Footnote 6]
This response of railing against the “Darkness” is a Freudian response. Yet it is not even a neo-Freudian one, since regression in the service of the ego—which began to be seen as ever more important by neo-Freudians—is not acknowledged, let alone considered.
Social Progress Requires Regression
That regression in the service of the ego is not considered is confirmed by Mayr and Boelderl in their statement that “[R]egression by definition is a process of repression and a defense mechanism.” [Footnote 7]
These are surprising words, in light of the concept of regression in the service of the ego and awareness of the clinically based evolution of psychotherapeutic theory since Freud’s original postulations, over a half-century ago.
They are even more awry if one considers the universal, cross-cultural, implementation by societies of rebirthing rituals to handle the same kinds of forces we are confronted with. The anthropological literature is rife with these accounts.
Further, Grof has meticulously shown that regularly going into altered states of consciousness where one confronts this material is a prime function of cultures, and it occurs nearly universally although it is woefully lacking in Western culture for the most part.
Moreover, these words by Mayr and Boelderl indicate a conflict with or ignorance of the fact that deMause’s theory of evolution of historical change requires regression on the part of parents, while parenting their children, as the primary “engine” of sociopsychological progress.
For deMause writes,
“[T]he ultimate source of all historical change is psychogenesis, the lawful change in childrearing modes occurring through generational pressure…. Psychogenesis depends upon the ability of parents and surrogates to regress to the psychic age of their children and work through the anxieties of that age better the second time than in their own childhood.” (op. cit., 1982, p. 135, emphasis mine.)
But this mistake by these two social scientists would not be all that important if it was not the perfect example of the kind of uninformed attitude we have, generally speaking, in Western societies about these forces. This attitude is reinforced by a Judeo-Christian tradition of specialness and scapegoating in the West. It is a pervasive feeling about these things; specifically it, itself, is the actual defense. While this is a widespread reaction to our inner realities it is far from science, and even further from the truth or reality about these things.
“Stop It!” … Yeah, That’s Gonna Work
At any rate, if we adopt this Western, Judeo-Christian, Freudian tactic of decrying the darkness, we are as effective in derailing the cycle of violence and war as Freudians are in what amounts to admonishing their clients to “stop it!” when it comes to their neurotic self-sabotaging.
For people cannot will themselves to merely stop their cycles of neurotic self-sabotage and self-destruction, which are the individual manifestations/ acting out of their birth traumas. As mentioned these directors of action operate out of a different part of the psyche, and brain, than one’s conscious willing part. They are simply not accessible, so hardly amenable, to rational or willful input. And changing one’s thoughts to affect them is about as helpful as rearranging the furniture on the deck of the Titanic.
People Who Have It All Figured Out Are the Ones to Watch Out For … Emotional “Sickness” Might Indicate More “Wellness”
Regression in the Service of the Ego
With the exposure of the ineffectiveness of the Freudian tactic of intellectual understanding has come the Freudian movement’s disintegration into schools advocating various other strategies for change.
These schools/strategies include the psychiatric—the use of drugs; the neo-Freudians who acknowledge and use regression in the service of the ego and abreaction; the humanistic-existential approaches, stressing the “experiential”; and the Jungians and neo-Jungians, who would seek the resolution of these cycles in their inner archetypal acting out, resulting in an eventual rootedness of the ego in a higher Self (a spiritual center) beyond or transcending the cycles. [Footnote 8]
Other approaches include the bulk of the spiritual, new-age, or transpersonal means that are flourishing these days. These alternative paths basically differ from all others in their belief that one can simply bypass these perinatal pulls and pushes and go directly to the Light or the Self by dismissing the birth cycles, or the Darkness or Shadow, through affirming the Light, meditating the Darkness out or the Light in, changing one’s thoughts, creating one’s reality, and various combinations of these.
Finally, these newer schools and strategies for healing include those of what might be called experiential psychotherapy, which includes primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, some forms of (experiential) meditation (Vipassana meditation, for example), Reichian and bioenergetic approaches, some forms of hypnotherapy—experiential ones—ones that involve reliving traumas—and virtually all the techniques, treatments, and correctives that are espoused in the field of pre- and perinatal psychology.
The point is that from a good number of these other-than-Freudian perspectives—and all of those that acknowledge the importance of regression in the service of the ego—and from the perspective of the entire field of experiential psychotherapy, the answer to the cycles of violence, war, and death-rebirth is to stop the acting out, not by simply intellectually decrying it—as if one can actually talk oneself out of one’s inner fears and one’s Darkness/Shadow—but by reliving those cycles of violence at their origins…their primal roots. In the case of perinatal forces, those forces from “the dark side,” this is accomplished by reliving the violence of birth, a perinatal trauma that is thoroughly and masterfully delineated by Grof and deMause. [Footnote 9]
Auspicious Collective Regressions
But from this perspective of experiential psychotherapy—one completely congruent with and grateful of deMause’s contributions in psychohistory as well—regression, in Europe, or elsewhere, is not seen as something to decry, disclaim, be horrified of, or be seen as dangerous but is seen as an opportunity. Regression is certainly not seen as a form of defense but as the opposite of that. Regression is part of a process of diminishing one’s defenses against one’s internal reality of pain and trauma.
Thus, examples of blatant collective regression as in Europe—more so to the extent they are relived, released, and integrated—are entirely auspicious for the eventual elimination of war as a collective device of acting out—defending against—the painful feelings coming from one’s personal history which one carries around, all unknowingly, and which pervade, in one way or another, in forms subtle and not so subtle, every moment of one’s consciousness in the present.
From this experiential psychotherapeutic perspective, we have a different feeling about developments like those that Mayr and Boelderl describe as collective regression in Europe and Lawson describes as occurring at rock concerts. [Footnote 10]
From a more enlightened viewpoint these cultural phenomena should have us, if not dancing in the streets, at least hopeful of a gradual decrease in the use of war and violence. Why? It is because the youth who display this “regression” so blatantly were brought up by an “advanced” form of child-rearing than that of previous generations, that they have fewer defenses, fewer layers of obfuscation covering up their unconscious psychodynamics; consequently the regression is seen more clearly in their behavior. [Footnote 11]
Unflinching Belief Related to Total Dissociation
Why is this important? DeMause points out that people do go to war, and that prior to it their perinatal dynamics come to the fore, as evidenced by perinatal-laden words and images in the media and in leaders’ speeches used to describe the situation and its dynamics. Thus, our leaders take us into war, they act out their perinatal dynamics…and we in following them act out ours…in such gruesomely overt ways because these dynamics are so hidden, repressed, and overlaid with defenses that the conscious mind has absolutely no access to, and hence insight into, them as being part of one’s unconscious dynamics.
Consequently the conscious mind is completely able to convince itself that those dynamics are actual, real, and doubtless parts of the situation and therefore require an actual, real, and extreme response. The amount of resolve required to act out war can only be wrought of an unflinching belief in the rightness, the absolute correctness of one’s perspective of the situation and therefore of that extreme course of response. And that can only be brought about by a total dissociation from one’s perinatal traumas, and a complete and utter projection of it on the outside—the enemy, to be specific.
Blatant “Sickness” Related to Being Real
The contrary is also true: When there does not exist that total and complete dissociation of the perinatal trauma—when it is, as in Europe and rock concerts currently, closer to the surface, less defended against, less repressed and, hence, more blatant—it is more accessible to consciousness and less likely to be acted out in the extreme as in war. Instead it is more likely to be acted out in less extreme forms, such as jumping into mosh pits, carrying pacifiers, listening to baby tunes about the, very real, difficulties of being a baby, and so on.
Finally, it is more likely to be actually allowed to emerge in consciousness and be relived, and thereby “healed”…and gone beyond, to be replaced by something more benign and more socially constructive, and thus to be removed forever as a motivation to war or violence. This is the auspicious view of the developments described by Mayr and Boelderl. [Footnote 12]
Janov was the first to point out that a permanent resolution of underlying trauma initially entailed an aggravation of symptoms and symbolic acting out. That is to say, the underlying dynamics become more blatant and apparent in behavior. [Footnote 13]
Janov was also the first to note that the acting-out and overt neurotic was closer to being “real,” and therefore really sane, than his or her highly functioning and “normal,” but repressed, rigidly defended, and unfeeling neighbor. [Footnote 14]
The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History: I Know It’s Hard to Believe But We’ve Been Getting Saner
Thanks to You We’re Getting Saner: The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History
Evolution of Parenting – We’ve Been Getting Saner
Finally, the correctness of the view that being “crazy” in an insane world might be more sane has been borne out in recent history. DeMause describes an evolution of parenting from ancient times to the present which involved ever decreasing psychosis and violence and increasing caring and consciousness of the needs of children. He connects this decrease in violent child caring to ever decreasing violence and psychotic acting out in societies.
DeMause labels the most common modern parenting mode the socializing mode. Short of the quite recent helping mode—which only really rose to prominence in the last three decades—the socializing mode is the most advanced and most humane.
Lest there be any confusion, I wish to point out that my own theoretical understanding differs from deMause’s in one important respect. While I agree with his evolution of child-rearing over the course of civilization and within recorded time, I believe he is wrong about prehistory and what primal peoples were like and the kind of child-caring they engaged in. He depicts prehistoric societies as psychotically oblivious of the needs of children, engaging in, first, infanticidal; then, second, abandoning; then, third, ambivalent modes of child-rearing. Whereas it seems to me the overwhelming evidence and increasing numbers of anthropologists point to a natural “organic” child-caring being employed in the the mists of the past quite a bit more “advanced” than even many modes employed today.
I believe the change from the loving parenting we see in many primal peoples and in Nature among many of our planetmates to the infanticidal, abandoning, and ambivalent modes he has described for early historic cultures is a product of that ever increasing control of Nature that went into full gear with the agrarian revolution, some ten to twenty-five thousand years ago. So, I am saying that brutal parenting was a consequence of “civilization” and was at its worst at the beginnings of recorded time.
But I agree we have been gradually evolving to better modes of child-caring over the history of civilization to the most sane and psychologically beneficial modes employed in recent decades, which, you might want to note, are very much like the modes of the earliest humans. I describe why and how we lost our connection with Nature and loving ways of parenting—how we left “Eden”—in my book and blog “The Great Reveal.”
The Cycles of Time
I believe my understanding shows once again how much of what modern folks thought of “development”—including it being linear and increasing from “darkness” to “light” with ourselves always at the top (conveniently)—is wrong and merely part of an anthropocentric bias and an ethnocentric heritage. For more and more, as we lay down those blinders to reality, we notice the evidence of the cyclical nature of everything—from our lives (ashes to ashes) to the physical Universe’s expansion and contraction, to the vibrations at the subatomic level, the waves in the sea, the turning of the Earth and the revolutions of the solar systems, and I contend now also, the so-called “history” of our species on Earth. This is the thoroughly postmodern idea that human time is also cyclical, with over and again peoples returning to earlier halcyon times only to “fall” away from them.
The Worst of Times Quality of Current Events
This idea of time as cyclical not linear is in keeping with Eastern philosophies, as well as indigenous ones. Hindu thinking currently has us at the depths of the Kali Yuga, the worst part of the cycle right now, with matters to be reversed very soon and the best of times just ahead. And, as I have been describing in my books Falls from Grace and Primal Renaissance and will be directly pointing out in my upcoming book, Primal Return, we are currently seeing a most necessary return to a more harmonious way of being and a more natural self. And with it, requiring it, to some extent preceding it, we are evolving to the most advanced mode of loving parenting.
The “Best of Times” Nature of Our Parenting
Psychohistorian Glenn Davis, following deMause, analyzed the most advanced form of child-caring short of the most recent helping mode—the psychogenic parenting mode deMause termed socializing—and found that it comprised four submodes. In order, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century and each one a more “evolved” and humane one than the previous one, they are the submodes of psychic control, aggressive training, vigorous guidance, and delegated release. [Footnote 15]
Oh, Be-HAVE. WWII Generation … Received Aggressive-Training and Vigorous-Guidance Parenting
Davis concluded that in America the Vietnam War was perpetrated by individuals belonging almost entirely to the aggressive-training and vigorous-guidance psychoclasses. [Footnote 16]
Questioning Authority and Oneself Is Good. Boomers … Received Delegated Release Parenting
Yet the Vietnam War was brought to an end largely as a result of the efforts of an antiwar movement whose largest component was a Sixties youth brought up under a more advanced delegated-release child-caring mode. [Footnote 17]
The delegated release mode, which resulted in the phenomenon of Sixties youth and the counterculture, is the most “advanced” mode short of the helping mode.
“Let’s Collaborate” – Millennials. Received the Most Advanced Parenting – Helping … “We Just Want You to Be Happy.”
The helping mode is the child-caring mode employed widely by the Sixties generation for their children, the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y. So, a helping mode of parenting was enjoyed by the children of a delegated-release psychoclass, the Boomers. Sixties youth are seen, psychologically, to have the most the most “advanced” ego structures short of their children taught within a helping mode. [Footnote 18]
Ending War and Humanicide—Peace Is Worth its Price of Suffering: Better “Emotionally Disturbed” Than “Healthily” Fighting in War
Walking In Another’s Moccasins
It is obvious that these Sixties youth did not have the same unflinching and unqualified belief in the absolute rightness of their country’s position in Vietnam as did many of their parents. This is obviously the case in a psychoclass of youth chanting a generational mantra, “Question authority!” and whose more extreme members would at times even go over to the perspective of seeing the war from the eyes of the “enemy,” the Other.
As I mentioned earlier, among the Sixties Generation we saw Jane Fonda’s journey to Hanoi, the waving of North Vietnamese flags by protesters, and the carrying of little red books on the sayings of Chairman Mao. These are obvious indicators that the generation as a whole was open to seeing the war from the North Vietnamese perspective: That is, as a conflict perpetrated by a foreign nation that was hypocritical in its espousal of democracy in that it prevented democratic elections that would have without doubt elected Ho Chi Minh and instead it installed a puppet-ruler in the South, making Vietnam a virtual colony of the United States. From this perspective, the Vietnam War was for the Vietnamese as much a war for independence as the American Revolution was for the U.S.
This is just an example of how there are two sides to every issue and how an attempt at empathy or “walking in The Other’s moccasins”—made possible by a closeness to a perinatal unconscious that is also an opposite perspective than that of the conscious mind—can lead, at the minimum, to the reluctance necessary to prevent engaging in at least the most blatant and horrific forms of violence…against others, but consider also, against Nature.
The Perinatal Generation
At any rate, is there evidence that this undermining of the self-righteous position necessary for the instigation and carrying out of war and ecocide—this ability to see at least somewhat from The Other’s perspective and not just one’s own—is in truth correlated with a closeness to perinatal dynamics, a closeness to the unconscious for that generation of youth, those of the Sixties? The answer: Absolutely yes!
As mentioned in a previous part, sociologist Kenneth Keniston did psychological studies of members of the Sixties Generation.
He was inspired to do so through his noticing that he was seeing something really unusual and radically different in these youth than what he had ever seen. This led to his fascination with discovering what made them so different. And he documented his findings in two books—The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society and Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth. Roughly speaking he chose to study the unconscious dynamics of both the “alienated-hippie” and the “activist” sectors, respectively, of that generation. [Footnote 19]
At the risk of repeating myself, I wish to remind the reader that a reading of his books—keeping in mind that Keniston knew nothing of perinatal dynamics at that time, and few people did, for that matter—reveals a degree of perinatal imagery, fantasy, and acting out—especially among “the uncommitted”—enough to make a troll-handling, pacifier-wearing, mosh-pit jumping youth of today to blush! [Footnote 20]
Self-Analysis and Psychological-Mindedness
Because of this peculiar perinatal access, I don’t believe it is any coincidence that Keniston also found an unusual amount of inner reflection—questioning oneself—alongside the more well known questioning authority. This he labeled “overexamined life” for the alienated sector and “psychological mindedness” for the activists.
Better Emotionally Disturbed Than “Healthily” Engaging in War
So, being close to one’s perinatal imprints, being less defended against one’s inner unconscious painful memories, leads to one being able to question not just oneself—and therefore to be a catalyst to personal growth and a quest for truth—but also the actions of one’s society. It is a counterbalance to our tendency to act out in violence to others as in war and to Nature as in ecocide. It means people will suffer more inner turmoil and pain, will feel more psychologically “disturbed,” and will be less likely to take it out on others, will be less likely to make others or the environment “pay” for what happened to them.
Let us contrast that with its opposite. DeMause writes,
Hitler’s projection of his fears…into Jews and foreigners helped him avoid a psychotic breakdown and enabled him to function during his later life, as long as others shared his delusion of poisonous enemies.
Therefore acting out collectively, as in war, can prevent a psychotic breakdown in certain individuals.
Better Psychotic Than Waging War
But when the consequences of acting out one’s birth trauma, collectively, is millions of people—including oneself—dead, not to mention the uncountably large loss of material and personal resources, it is clear that by comparison a psychotic breakdown is a more benign alternative for either the individual or the society in which that or those individuals act.
Similarly, not providing the outlet of war as a collective birth ritual…oftentimes, for the soldier involved, euphemistically called a “rite of passage”…would allow the genuine neurotic breakdowns, the collapse of people’s defenses, and their opening up to their underlying perinatal dynamics. Thus accessed, they can be healed, or in the least they would prevent the kind of unflinching belief or self-righteousness required for war and violence.
Some folks might even be motivationally paralyzed—receiving information from the unconscious that contradicts and undermines the stance and beliefs of their conscious ego. But when that egoistic stance is slanted, commonly, towards war, violence, selfishness and greed and corresponding environmental apathy, then better one would be indecisive, overwhelmed, and doing nothing.
The Price of Emotional Pain Is Minuscule Compared to That of War
Yet it is true that this neurotic breakdown, of at least a small amount, on the scale of society would result in the kind of collective regressions that Mayr and Boelderl, and Lawson describe. That is, the cause of peace, of the saving of human lives, requires that people pay the price of encountering their primal pain.
By all measures, this peace price is minuscule. It is even more worth it when you take into account the fact that many people, after initially “breaking down” for lack of a collective…and highly destructive…act-out like war/aggression, will actually succeed in reconstructing a self more in line with reality, through the dynamics and means categorized under the term regression in the service of the ego, desccribed above. Regardless of professional help…which would be nice but is not always available or practical…some people just find a way.
Continue with Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing
1. A. Briend, “Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?” British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319.
2. DeMause, op. cit., 1995, p. 12, emphasis in original.
3. See, for example, Alice Miller, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, trans. by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, especially “Vantage Point 1990,” pp. vii-ix.
4. Daniela F. Mayr & Artur R. Boelderl, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1993): 143-156.
5. Ibid., p. 144.
6. Ibid., p. 148, emphasis mine.
7. Ibid., pp. 149-150.
8. Regarding the “experiential,” I should make clear that this approach is, from the perspective of the experiential psychotherapeutic approach I will be describing shortly, actually the superficial symbolic acting out of these underlying and powerful cycles in a way that is only a little less impotent than the Freudians.
9. DeMause, op. cit., 1995.
11. Mayr and Boelderl claim quite wrongly and quite strangely—as if to make the facts not conflict with DeMause’s psychogenic theory, or as if to cover up some hole in their analysis—that those caught up in the pacifier craze were raised under the intrusive and socializing parenting modes (op. cit., 1993, p. 145) and yet, in 1992, were between the ages of 15 and 30 (Ibid., p. 143). This is hard to understand because these youth would have been born between the years 1962 and 1977 in advanced Western countries of mostly Western Europe—Italy, Germany, Austria, all of Europe, and even the U.S. (Ibid.).
However, the intrusive and socializing modes are associated, by DeMause, with the eighteenth century and the nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, respectively, in the Western world (DeMause, op. cit., 1982, p. 62). On the other hand, the helping mode begins mid-twentieth century in the Western world (Ibid., p. 63).
The conclusion from this is that these youth, described by Mayr and Boelderl, would have been greatly influenced by the helping mode. They would be expected, at least, to have received the most advanced methods of child-caring overall in the world at this time—considering DeMause’s theory—since they are the most recent progeny of the Western world!
Indeed, if these cannot be considered products of the helping mode, who can be? In order for Mayr and Boelderl to dispute this and claim they were exceptions to the rule and were raised under intrusive and socializing modes, they would have had to do a study demonstrating this, or at least cite one done. And this they do not do.
12. Michael D. Adzema, “Reunion With the Positive (Self), Part 1: The Other Half of ‘The Cure.’” Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology 1(2): 72-85. Reprinted on the Primal Spirit site.
15. Glenn Davis, Childhood and History in America. New York: The Psychohistory Press, 1976.
19. Kenneth Keniston, The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society. New York: Dell, 1965; Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968.
20.While these aspects of youth are laid out by Keniston, a fuller delineation of these dynamics are to be seen in my work-in-progress, tentatively titled The Once and Current Generation: “Regression,” Mysticism, and “My Generation.” [Stay tuned.]
Continue with Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing
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