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

Out-of-the-Garden unnatural-birth

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

Secondary Altriciality and Culture

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

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

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

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Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction

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

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

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Pelvic Size

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

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

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

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Human Nature

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

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

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The Result: Plato’s Cave

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

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

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

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

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Chapter One, Out of Eden, References

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and at Amazon at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Basic Trust, Basic Mistrust, and Birth

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

Mbuti Pygmies at a forest hunting camp.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Skull Size, Pelvic Size, and Birth Pain

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

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

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

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

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The Vicious Cycle of Skull Size and Birth Pain

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

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

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

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

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

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Birth Pain Makes Us Humans

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes

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

Bipedal Adaptations in the Hominid Pelvis

INTRODUCTION

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

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

PELVIC ADAPTATIONS FOR BIPEDALISM

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

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

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

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

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

3. On prolonged postnatal brain growth at Unique to Humans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and at Amazon at

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Paleolithic Consciousness … Out of Eden

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

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The Earliest Yuppies and The Agrarian Revolution

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

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Renaissance

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

The View from the Doorstep of Nuclear and Ecological Annihilation

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

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

Multiculturalism

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

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

Xenophobia Dissolving and “Ego”-Eroding Information

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

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

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

Shamans, Vision Quests, Sweat Lodges, and Drums

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

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

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A Flourishing of Culture?

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

The Brightest Light on Our Cultural Horizon

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

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

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Continue with Book 10 Primal Return: The Prodigal Awakening

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

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

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Continue with Book 10 Primal Return: The Prodigal Awakening

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

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

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

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

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

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

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The Primal Renaissance

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Primal Return

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

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

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

A Grand Synthesis of Which We Should Only Be Grateful

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

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

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

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

The Ego Fights to the End

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

Beware of Skinhead Spirituality

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

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THE END

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

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

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

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Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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“We are Divinity having the fun of playing within arbitrary limitations — of varied and fantastic scope — which you call different species”

Latest from the Planetmates … the purpose of life, forgetting Divinity, remembering Divinity, what we lost in becoming human, what it is like to be planetmate: “We are, as it were, ‘video games’ for the ‘gods.’” 

 

“…becoming planetmate again, of reconnecting with your soul, with Nature, with truth, with the Unapproved and Hidden, and with God and Reality will take a long time. It might even require more than this life. You did not become crazy overnight. While you cannot unthink your insanity, neither can you will sanity into existence and simply decide it. If you think you have awakened and it happened in a flash, then that is just the beginning. You are probably only becoming aware of the Abyss that exists. You have much further to go. It will take as long as it takes. And it does not matter how long it takes. The important thing is that you have given up trying to control it. You are allowing yourself to be taught by your inner guide, in its own way, and at its own pace. The practice of giving up trying to hurry anything along or direct it is part of what allows it to happen. The more you give up trying to determine who you are, the more you discover who you are.

 

“And, while becoming your real and natural self again takes years, and perhaps a lifetime or more, the end is not important for there are all the rewards on the way. Each reconnection, each re-membering of you, brings relief, awareness, clarity, and comfort at its time of occurrence; that is true. But your life, you discover, is continually transformed as well. You find rewards along the way, powers returned to you, and pleasures, poignancy, and expanding love and compassion arising in your life and abounding. You feel fulfilled; you are often happy. You feel free; you enjoy increasingly less fear. 

 

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“You do not need to become “enlightened” in order to have the life that is meant for you which gives you all you ever wanted. We planetmates are not “enlightened” in that way. Indeed, being in form is exactly that wandering from Unity and Bliss — for us, too — which allows a different game, a different and unique experience, than the one of full Awareness. We are, as it were, “video games” for the “gods.” We are Divinity having the fun of playing within arbitrary limitations — of varied and fantastic scope — which you call different species. It is through us, and you, too, that Divinity gets to interact with Itself. We are Divinity, as well as Its manifestation, its Creation, its play, its amusement, its “fun.” Think about it: All that you call “fun” in life involves concocting and then acting within arbitrary limitations, and teasing out the possibilities of pleasure that doing that allows. We are gods playing a sport, writing a “script,” playing out a “fantasy,” “goofing” on ourselves, having fun. 

 

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“We forget, somewhat, coming into form, too; it is just that we do not forget as totally as you … we know always that we are immersed in the Divine and cannot be otherwise. We are like you, playing a board game, knowing we are simultaneously the token operating within the rules of the game and a larger persona, the player, beyond that and not limited in any way. While your game of total forgetfulness has become an oh-so-serious and inescapable one of “dungeons and dragons,” ours is relatively pleasant, playful, child-like, and often comical, without the doom and gloom quality of yours. While you have managed to create a canvas of the greatest darkness in all of Nature, on which to paint your human drama, and while you come across as nonsensical and spurious in your pronouncements in the process, this Divine reality you forget in order to do that, we “breathe” It; it defines us; It is our unquestioned anchor while in physical form. 

 

 

“The Obvious Truth to us is perennial truth, eternal truth, by contrast to your fleeting and insubstantial conceptions. Rooted in and stabilized by Knowledge of our immutable nature, we can be reckless, we can be playful … we can be free. Rootless as you are, however, not knowing who you are, brings into your life a dire and ominous feeling, making you conservative in your actions and oppressively serious in your perspective on everything. For, never sure of what is, you cannot be sure what you are risking, ever. You do not know that ultimately, being immortal, there is nothing to lose; and that the Reality outside of your childhood fears is beneficent and understanding, giving you license to experiment and play….”

 

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[Pt 5 of 28th Prasad — Family. 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/ 

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is now available in print and e-book format.  at Amazon 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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“The potential for something gives rise to its actualization”: The Planetmates reveal instinct and “free will” … “You have ingress to the way we experience Reality”

“All planetmates come into the world with unique skills. Humans, as well. What you have so forgotten, astonishingly, is how life’s pleasure is involved, not just in sensory satisfactions, as in passing substances over the surface of your taste buds, but in using those skills latent in you. Athletes and artists know what we are talking about. But, look into Nature and you will see planetmates, from birth, reveling in the use of the skills and unique abilities—like the cat’s skills in going after prey—they are born with, which you say is attributable to “instinct”—as if it matters where it came from.

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“For what is instinct, after all? You say it is a knowing that is programmed into us, passed down through our genes, pushing us to do things at certain times and guiding our actions in how to do it. Any way you look at it, you see us as little different from machines or computer programs going through their processes, or like the inanimate forces of Nature interacting according to laws of physics. This is part of the way you have removed spirit and consciousness from the rest of Nature, so you could raise your own up higher. For, amazingly, you say that you do not have such “instinct,” you say you have “free will”!

“Because it does not fit with your constant need to pump up your Ego, you have not considered how we feel or what our experience is in going about these “instinctual” “tasks.” And yet you could. Despite your vanities, you are part of Nature, too. You are not much different from us, so you have overlap with the Reality we experience and ingress to the way we experience it.

“Assume that you are not so different from us, for a second, and see if you can understand what “instinct” really is. Okay, you eat, for example. But why? Well, you know you have certain urges within your experience, which become more noticeable and then even painful the longer you fail to respond to them. They are called hunger, or you might say you have a craving. You do not “choose” these events or experiences. Are they not something like instinct?

“Not quite getting it, I see. Okay, consider also what you do, then. You bring that urge or hunger to an end by satisfying it. You do this by eating something. And do you need to tell yourself how to eat? You have mouths, teeth, throats, and stomachs. Does your free will come up with the idea of how to use them, or are you “instinctual,” too? Was swallowing some invention one of you had at one point, which was then taught to generation after generation?

“Still is not completely clear? Alright, then think what is your experience when you eat. When you satisfy that urge, called hunger, you experience what you call pleasure. Put it all together and what do you have? You have an experience which directs you to do something, at particular times, and guides you in the exact ways of doing it, which you do until you achieve pleasure, or at least satisfaction. Sounds like “instinct,” does it not?

“But you say we have more specific directions on things to do and when to do them. You say one of our bird planetmates knows “instinctually” how to build a nest, whereas you have to learn how to fashion your house. But consider that your desire to build a shelter does not have to be learned. You would say that it comes naturally out of the experience of existing in the open, encountering inclement weather, and wanting to be comfortable (to not be in pain because of it), and possibly as being proactive against the threat of predators. Have you not considered that our actions might also come from exactly the same kind of experiential pushes? Just because you, standing outside of us, do not see this does not mean it is not going on for us.

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“But more. You may be someone who is naturally strong. Where does the desire to use that strength come from? You may be someone with a sweet voice. Where does the urge to sing come from? You may be someone with a knack for understanding the workings of things. Where does the “instinct” to delve deeply into matters and “research” them come from? Where does that “curiosity” come from? Do you see that many of the things you do in life—from being able to eat and breathe to individual skills like singing—arise out the fact that you are born with the capacity or ability to do them? Do you see that the potential for something gives rise to its actualization? And that experientially this comes across, just like hunger and eating, as an urge (seemingly coming out of nowhere), containing within it exact conceptualizations or imaginings on the possible fruition or manifestation coming from that urge, leading to what you call a pleasure when you are following through on that forethinking or imagining and especially upon its completion? But, if we viewed things the way you do, why would not we, looking at you doing this, think you are acting “instinctually”?

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“So you and we are the same experientially. We do our lives carrying out actions that arise out of messages from our bodies (and from where they come, neither you nor we exactly know), which provide the satisfaction and pleasure of life in their manifestation.

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“How specific those messages are is not a huge dividing line between us, as the fact that we often are much more precise in the actions we carry out is easily explained by the fact that you are more split off from such sources of information. You also have many things you do out of unconscious knowledge, coming to you as feelings in your bodies, which you do not see and do not want to notice … preferring the self-congratulation of crowning yourselves with “free will,” instead. And there would be much more “instinctual” knowledge available to you—and is available to you—were you, for reasons of your birth and infancy and the way they have caused you to run away from the feelings in your bodies, not split off from them. Indeed, to the extent that you have not run away from such pain, or to the degree that one has turned and faced and integrated that pain and reconnected with one’s body, you do feel and receive such specific “instinctual” instruction….” 

[Pt 2 of 25rd prasad — Family Fortress. More coming…. 

To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ … 

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also scheduled for print and e-book publication in April, 2014 ]

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

Those who want signed copies of any of my books, email me directly … sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

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

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“In Nature, life is not difficult”: The Planetmates reveal the origins of work, what a Planetmate’s life is like, control, and the suffering humans brought to Nature

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“The more you added to your survival burden by controlling your food sources rather than accepting Nature’s bounty and providence, the more work you created for yourself. All the things Nature does automatically, effortlessly, and joyously in the creation of its cornucopia of bounty, you increasingly took upon yourselves. You no longer simply had to focus on moving yourself and a few belongings — in the company of dear friends and family members, your tribe — to follow the food supply. Instead, you stayed stubbornly put, and dug into, cut up, carved out, and prodded, as it were, your Mother, the Earth, to extract every item of sustenance you needed rather than allow it to simply fall into your lap, as when you were nomads. 

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“Beyond simple sustenance, your single-minded attention to filling your stores as a hedge against the incursion of the imagined darkening, all about, of Nature, with its unpredictability, added additional work to your lot in life. Difficult enough, it was, to supplant Nature Herself as the manager of all the minute details of turning dirt of the Earth into edible food, but you had to build storehouses for such acquisitions. You needed to fashion and acquire tools for such work, too.

“Formerly, what you consumed was mostly fresh; it was recently acquired from Nature. You did not need refrigerators. In keeping with the way in which you thingify Nature, consider that, as hunters, the meat you would consume did not spoil beforehand, for Nature in her kindness had provided for it these mini-fridge units, which themselves gathered their own power to keep themselves running. They are called “animals” — specifically, the ones who keep themselves alive and their “meat” fresh until you “take it out of the fridge” (you hunt down and kill the animal) and cook it up for yourselves.

“However, you could not let it be that easy. After you took over control of all of the aspects of your food’s production, you needed to preserve what you were able to bully out of Nature, for those times, out-of-season, when nothing would be forthcoming. Endless hours of work were involved in this processing.

“You required the construction of domiciles now, not just shelters, to house yourself, your workers — usually your children — and all the excess implements needed for farming, food processing, and food storage. There is considerable work involved in “protecting one’s investments.”

“Husbandry — the corralling, enslavement of planetmates for your use — was also incredibly labor intensive. Not only did you need to build enclosing structures to bring this about, but you needed to feed your captives. Feeding was work, and it was taxing. For there was no personal leeway allowed in this chore. One could not be lax or casual about it, getting around to it when one felt the urge to. No, if your planetmates were not cared for on a daily basis, without fail, you would lose your investment. So their biological requirements were added, as extra responsibility, to your own.

“Where did this additional labor come from — this huge extra workload that humans brought to the lives of the living on planet Earth? Was it produced out of the air? Actually, the additional work manifested in Nature is exactly equal to the additional amount of control you brought to Nature. And that is control that is emanating from your pain. So the extra labor is equal in measure to the extra pain you have manifested in Nature, oh, suffering planetmate.

“Care of enslaved planetmates provides a good illustration of that. The planetmates you kidnapped needed to be housed, fed and watered, their sicknesses taken care of, and cleaned up after. That is a lot of work. Now, consider if that was needed to be done if they had not been corralled. Of course it was needed. Planetmates in Nature still have to eat.

“But is there work involved? Well, for humans, obviously not; the planetmates have to do it. But even for planetmates there is virtually none, for all these things that humans have taken on to do for kept planetmates are done by planetmates in Nature out of their own desire and joy.

“You say the life of those of us in Nature is brutish and tough, with a do-or-die quality to it. In fact, that is the opposite of the truth. But, in your wrong-gettedness, you need to keep telling yourself that, for, as always, you need to project your own flaws and depravities into Nature, both to not see them and to continue suffering in “blissful” ignorance, as well as to build up your superiority defense against the inferiority you feel in that part of you that knows the truth.

“But in Nature, life is not difficult, as you need to believe so as not to despair about the onerous quality of your own. Look at it this way. For humans it would be like the difference between doing something you call work — meaning you do not want to do it — versus your hobby or your creative work — things you do for the joy and satisfaction of them. Well, nobody is standing over planetmates insisting they take care of themselves. It is what we do! It is what we enjoy doing! It is all either pleasurable, or satisfying, or it is at least engaging … as one feels involved in a game or sport. It is interesting. Interacting with Nature and the rest of life is also awe-inspiring, beautiful, and often fantastical. We hardly want to stay home, sit on virtual couches, and not go “out” … or to stay home from “work.”

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“Many of you have cat planetmates. Do you suppose they consider it work to go after mice and small critters? You know the answer. But if not, consider how they continue to enjoy, whatever their age, engaging in play around those same activities — going after a string, for example. If it was not enjoyable for them to hunt for the purpose of feeding, why do you suppose they would want to do it when they did not have to? On the other hand, you don’t see human truck drivers driving their rigs around after work just for fun….”

[Pt 1 of 25rd prasad — Family Fortress. More coming…. 

To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ … 

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also scheduled for print and e-book publication in late March, 2014 ]

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

Those who want signed copies of any of my books, email me directly … sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

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With larger families, Small Accumulators would see a chance to balance the scales a little vis-à-vis the rich: Planetmates reveal childhood lost, the animal self, soul murder, the intrusive mode

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“…What came of such inner forces was that the nuclear family established borders around the land it cultivated and built walls of emotional avoidance between itself and the rest of the community.

“It was families against the world. Children were raised in the pressure-cooker environment of the nuclear family. Monogamy and sexual exclusivity became all important, diminishing one’s life experience. Women became owned as part of the economic resources of the family. Life experience was overall dampened in deference to survival and economic pursuits, and then this: The glorious and magical world of childhood disappeared and was replaced with one of economic utility.

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“For with sedentary-accumulating lifeways there came a radical change in your perception of your children. While this change came gradually for some, the excess survival demands of agrarian ways put pressure on fully growns to begin seeing their young ones not as separate beings that one had a relationship with, however tainted and neurotic it might be. Rather, greed and fear led increasing numbers of you to lose focus on emotional bonds and to begin including your young in your calculations for sufficient or greater accumulation.

“Large Accumulators, as we have said, had all the resources necessary to enlist allies in their acquisitive pursuits, through bribes and payment. They could hire or coerce support for even greedier and more dominating ends, using their excessive stores. So, there was no great pressure on them to increase the size of their families with additional children. Small Accumulators, however, would see a chance here, with larger families, to balance the scales a little vis-à-vis the rich. Not able to purchase allies and helpers, like wealthy families did, Small Accumulators saw an advantage in and appreciation of the family burden — that is, extra children — for with it brought extra hands and cheap labor, once the children reached a certain age.

“So, with sedentary living there began an ever growing perception and determination of children as investments.

“It is at this point that you added another way that you influenced your children — an e, to add to influences a through d, as described previously. In this mode of parenting, children are seen even less. Caught up in your mental calculations and the corresponding fears for your survival, you saw children as a resource in your struggle. You began molding your children in infancy and childhood towards the end of their being useful, eventually, in your efforts. Consequently, no longer was the problem one of neglect. No, you gave attention to your offspring. But the attention you gave them involved your actively intruding upon their beingness and fashioning something of it for your ends alone. And this training was often severe, pushed as it was by your fear of want and free-floating desperation. But for another reason, too — that is, your ever diminishing ability to see, let alone respect, life outside of your Ego — this intrusive parenting was often brutal.

“And this changing view correlated predominantly with sedentary lifestyles and accumulating-conforming ways. In this intrusive mode, you do not notice the separate beingness of your children … and hardly their needs … for you are seeing them the same way you have begun seeing everything that has fallen under your purview to control. In the extreme, you give as little thought to your children’s feelings as you would to a shovel you use … or a duckling that you raise for table. Having retreated furthest from your reality, in order to manage and control it, you are aloof and insensitive to your children, noticing only in them what can be useful for your survival or to stave off your overwhelming fears of deprivation and death.

“A good example of this Ego — this complete self-obsessiveness allowing not even the awareness of cognizant, feeling others — is in the myth of Abraham and Isaac. This myth also demonstrates the differences between the modes of infanticide and the one of ambivalence, so it reflects those influences in your prehistory as well.

“Initially, in this story, Abraham is told by “God” — and for that you can read the unconscious and not acknowledged intentions of himself — to kill his son … to “sacrifice” him. Okay, for starters, you might ask yourself — if you have not had drilled into you otherwise by your pedagogy — why, in such a situation, it would be Abraham that would be thought to be making a sacrifice by killing his child. From an unbiased and innocent perspective, what seems clear as can be is that it is Isaac, hardly Abraham, who would really be losing something, “sacrificing” something — specifically, his life! That is what your children think when they hear the story, that is, until they are told otherwise. But we are tipping our hand.

“Instead, notice that the child, Isaac, has little part in this drama. He is a mere thing to be used for the parent’s ends. Abraham has a, supposed, link with God, a communication with God, and the existence of his son is of as little relevance as would be the cell phone one might use to call a friend. The fact that Abraham hesitates shows the change to an ambivalent mode. He still is not noticing Isaac or his son’s needs. It is still all about Abraham and his supposed relation to his god. So here you can see how your human inability to see and attend to your children’s needs, especially in infancy, result in adults who are totally unable to notice the existence of their own children when they become adult. Abraham is aware that his son is there, but it is Abraham’s needs — showing the self-centeredness and neediness of your adults — that are the important thing, not the child’s. His own concerns are all that Abraham can see, much as the wicked stepmother in Snow White sees only the reflection of herself when thinking of her child.

“So we see here the switch, the advance from child murder/child sacrifice to soul murder. It is the son, Isaac’s, soul, his existence and his feelingness, that is sacrificed on the altar of his parent’s preoccupations and concerns (needs). In the myth this is symbolized by the fact that a ram is used in Isaac’s stead as the sacrifice. A ram is an animal, a planetmate; and what this says is that people were ambivalent about actually killing their children. Instead of killing the child, the child’s animal nature — symbolized by the ram — is sacrificed. What is one’s “animal nature”? It is one’s feelingness, one’s connection with Nature, one’s real self, one’s sensitivity, one’s emotional self. With Abraham, it is no longer about infanticide, but it is still all about him, the parent. Children are being seen as mere instruments for use in the parent’s agendas, as in Abraham: So this is no longer child murder, but soul murder. This soul is symbolized by the ram that is killed.

“So, in this mode, children get to live, but only at the behest of their caregivers….”

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[Pt 6 of 24rd prasad — Family “Investment”. More coming….

To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ … 

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

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

Those who want signed copies of any of my books, email me directly … sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

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

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

“For most of your existence … your experience was much more intense, alive, and interesting than it is for you now”: The Planetmates on sex, happiness, the tribe, the nuclear family, and the “intensity of experience” of life

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“…there was much more happiness attendant upon the state of being a child — being free and open, not just to the awesomeness of the physical world and world of Nature, but to the love, pleasure, fun, and interactions of the social world, as well, with its fascinating array of human behavior and emotion, and the brilliance and marvel of its “magical” members.

“Correspondingly, as nomadic humans, while there was marriage, you were less monogamous. You had various forms and varieties of sexual interactions and marital arrangements. Monogamy was most common, but even then it was less constrained. Sexuality was not the hoarded and jealously guarded commodity it became later for you. Marriage ties were more about the children — their care and the primary responsibilities for them. Additionally, it had to do with societal and cultural concerns, such as expanding kinship opportunities for the relatives of the married couple, and maximizing the circles of sharing and reciprocation. It had virtually nothing to do with establishing lines of heredity or kinship. For owning little (and needing little), you had no concerns about passing possessions or property along. And the mother being the child-bearer led most often to lines of descent being calculated primarily through her, and there was no need, or desire, to upset that natural configuration.

“At any rate, you had much freer ideas about sexuality. Not only did this contribute to the spice of life and the intensity of human experience in general — for women as well as men — but it contributed to the caring of children. Let us explain:

“By “intensity of experience,” we mean that with the excessive stipulations and pressures upon your personhood that came with hierarchical societies, including today’s, your experience — along with your needs, emotions, and aliveness — became muted, dampened. Repressed and numb, your experience lacks the color, the extra flavors and magnificence, and intensity of our lives in Nature. You have no idea what you are missing in your lives. You have not an inkling how you cuddle with your chains and contribute to your increasing numbification over the course of your lives.

“Yet for most of your existence, which preceded your controlling-conforming-sedentary times, your experience was much more intense, alive, and interesting than it is for you now. And what added to that intensity and color, that exquisiteness and pleasure of your experience, was a freer and less constrained sexuality … among many, many, many other things, by the way.

“And how it contributed to the care of children is that it allowed — in that there would be no deprived party — for those times of sexual abstinence after the child was born and during the pregnancy itself. This kind of sexual abstinence would be a product of the sexual disinterest the mother often had while engaged in devoted attention to a young child. The mother derives much sensual satisfaction and emotional fulfillment from nursing, which for one thing pushes other kinds of sensual desire to the side. Other aspects of motherhood and the caring and nurturing of children are also both pleasurable and desirable as well as completely engrossing. So sexual disinterest is much more likely to happen for the mother in the period after childbirth. And as we have said, this contributes to a longer interval between births, and therefore an exceedingly needed and beneficial attention to the most recent newborn.

“Freer sexuality and looser or nonexistent constraint on sexual partners contributed to human satisfaction and social/marital stability for another reason. For sexual disinterest leading to sexual abstinence also occurs for humans for many other reasons: It often occurs during the times of and in the course of spiritual pursuits — not as a result of intention, for as we have said, self-denial is counterproductive to spiritual progress, but because of the degree of engagement and immersion in other-than-bodily pursuits at those times. A person might feel a pull toward taking on something with the total engagement of self that occurs, for example, in a vision quest or walkabout. A looseness of constraints on sexual partners can only facilitate the ability of tribe members to take such things up, being as how it leaves no sexually deprived other, so there is no pressure from another to refrain from following one’s spiritual or creative inclinations.

“Similarly, sexual disinterest occurs, sometimes, during periods of personal transformation, which occur naturally and spontaneously to Authentic humans in the course of their lives. For these might require their full engagement and attention. Other times disinterest might occur is because of ritual or cultural involvement, during periods of grieving upon the death of loved ones, advancing age, sickness, and simply the changing feelings of the partners toward each other over the course of time.

“For all of these reasons and in all these instances, the loose constraints on the sexuality of your earliest forebears and the relative non-exclusivity of sexual partnership meant that the individuals involved were not pulled away from total immersion and focus on these experiences because of a sexually deprived and demanding spouse. In addition to the examples given, consider how, freed from sexual obligations, one could allow oneself to fully and thoroughly grieve, when needed, or allow complete immersion in any comparable emotional experience. This, in its own way, and being at the core of mental health and personal growth, contributed to greater overall happiness, life fulfillment, and expansive abilities to experience life.

“All things considered, more free flowing attitudes toward sex allowed for amplification of life experience, greater spiritual and personal transformation, overall greater happiness, less personal conflict and neurosis, and, importantly, benefit to children. Not only were children helped by the care and attention they wrought of mothers who were not having additional newborns requiring their attention until they, the older ones, were much less emotionally needy, but they were better off due to the fact that they lived in family and tribal groups which were composed of more loving, giving, happy, and affable human adults, because of their overall better fulfillment and experience of life.

“But then you became sedentary and lived in hierarchical societies and all of this changed. With agrarian economics, suddenly, there was more focus on the immediate family. Living permanently on land that one claimed ownership to and which one farmed separated your tribal human group of before into nuclear family units. You did not own the land in common and farm it in a communal style. No. For part of this war against uncertainty and increasing fear of deprivation, which manifested in your having become agrarian and sedentary, was mistrust and fear, not just of Nature, but of each other. You had increasing alienation from each other, greater possessiveness of all things, and increasing greed. What came of such inner forces was that the nuclear family established borders around the land it cultivated and built walls of emotional avoidance between itself and the rest of the community.

“It was families against the world….”

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[Pt 5 of 24rd prasad — Family “Investment”. More coming….

To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ … 

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also scheduled for print and e-book publication in April-May, 2014 ]

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

Those who want signed copies of any of my books, email me directly … sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

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

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

On magical childhood, tribe life, primitive planned parenthood: Planetmates reveal, “You had less children, but those you had … were much more wanted, “loved,” and seen than … after the agrarian revolution”

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“…there was ambivalence in the desire for children. Your species swayed back and forth about what to do with them — between the poles of infanticide and abandonment, on one side, and acceptance, engagement, and nurture, on the other — for the longest period of your human existence.

“It follows that humans did not increase in numbers during this period, which included millions of years of proto-human, prehuman, and early human existence — during all of which time you lived as nomadic gatherers, and eventually nomadic hunter-gatherers. Children were not particularly wanted. In addition to all the ways their exorbitant needs made them a burden, they needed to be carried from camp to camp. You did things that staggered births. Breast feeding the most recent child for as long as four years, which inhibits the ability to become pregnant; refraining from sexual activity for a long time after the mother had given birth; and abortion (your ancestors had their crude ways) — all had the effect of spreading out over a long period of time the instances of pregnancy and childbirth. If the child came into the world deformed or unusually frail, you would usually remove it from its misery and then bury it.

“Having this long between births — an average of four years — meant that the children that were born, and that lived, received more attention, nurturing, and caring than is the case when children come more frequently. Having less children meant also that there was less burden in caring for the ones one had, so they were more likely to be wanted and to be attended to. Being free from the controlling-conformity pressures that came with sedentary-hierarchical societies, children were less afflicted with being scapegoated because of either father’s or mother’s societal subservience and unhappiness. Again, children benefitted from the fact that the lives of their parents were less onerous.

“So, during this period when you had less children and when primitive abortion and infanticide were used as means of birth control, you had less children, but those you had were exceedingly more cared for. They were much more wanted, “loved,” and seen than would be their human counterparts later on, after the agrarian revolution. They were, in fact, parented nearly as well as your nearest cousins in Nature — primates, apes, and mammals — despite their bringing with them so much extra helplessness and extra years of dependency. So although during this time you had less children, those you had were more cared for, more “loved,” and more seen.

“Your species survived, barely. The factor of excessive burdensomeness of children, which might have ended your line, was offset by a natural, an Authentic, desire for children. Your numbers were not large relative to other species. There was a balance in Nature, and you lived harmoniously within it. 

“During this time, your species and its strange proclivities — its unusual birth, early infant deprivations, excess mentation, and distance from natural ways, compared to the rest of us planetmates — did not matter much in the grand scheme of things. You were no great harm and caused no widespread suffering to the many planetmates outside of yourselves.

“But as your species turned its back on its nomadic roots and, blinded by an unnatural fever, pursued a circumscribed and strenuous sedentary lifeway, this stasis in your numbers began to change. While your earliest forays into agrarian-sedentary ways occurred as long as twenty-five thousand years ago, they were not taken up by many of your species until around ten thousand years ago. At that time, increasingly, and especially at around four thousand years ago, there was a switch away from being nomadic to living in permanent settlements, based on an agricultural economic.

“And it is at this point that, though your motives were far from laudable and were selfish, you began to see some benefit in having offspring. You perceived survival advantages in family status and larger broods of children.

“By “family status” we mean that you became more inclined to identify yourself with a nuclear family unit. Prior to this, you saw yourself, primarily, as tribe members, and those human others who were included in your day-to-day world of social interactions included virtually all the members of that group.

“Indeed, the burden of children was shared by your group, which is another reason children were more cared for at that time. If a child felt so inclined, he or she could move over to another hut or fire ring for a while, hang out with a different group of fully growns and children (who would, effectively, represent additional “brothers and sisters”), and be welcomed and embraced there. In a very important way, children were viewed as being part of the entire tribe; their care was much more a tribe responsibility; their personalities were much more influenced by many tribe members other than the immediate caregivers; what they brought in terms of delight, adorability, fun, and love was much more shared by the entire group; and what they added in terms of additional hands and assistance benefitted, much more than later, the entire tribe, also. So here again, children received much more in the way of attention, nurturing, and need satisfaction. And there was much more happiness attendant upon the state of being a child — being free and open, not just to the awesomeness of the physical world and world of Nature, but to the love, pleasure, fun, and interactions of the social world, as well, with its fascinating array of human behavior and emotion, and the brilliance and marvel of its “magical” members….”

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[Pt 4 of 24rd prasad — Family “Investment”. More coming….

To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ … 

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also scheduled for print and e-book publication in late March, 2014 ]

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

Those who want signed copies of any of my books, email me directly … sillymickel@gmail.com … Discount for blog subscribers.

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

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

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