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Dangling Above an Abyss and Everyday Rebirthing: The Perinatal Is Rising … The Doors of Perception—Stormed!

The 21st Century and Its Discontents … The View From Everyday: Profound Sculpting of Who We Are Occurs at a Time We Cannot See

Dangling Above the Abyss and Perinatal Aliens, Pretty Much

Dangling Above an Abyss and Pervasive Perinatal Aliens

Dangling Above an Abyss

imageBeyond the entertainment media, it seems perinatal themes and elements are showing up everywhere else in our surrounding environment and culture. The scenery of our everyday reality consists of pollution of our air, water, and food; threat of death “at any moment,” caused by the knowledge of the power of nuclear weapons; fantasies of apocalypse of all kinds, magnified, perhaps, by the ending of a millennium and the approach of 2012—including fundamentalist Christian imaginings of an end to human civilization in an apocalyptic “rapture”; New Age fantasies of ecological, spiritual, and social utopias; and so on.

First, let us consider a few of the most blatantly birth-related of the events around us.

The Primal Screen: Aliens … Ooooooooooo … Sca-ry….

Alien abduction stories, while a relatively recent addition to our cultural landscape, are unusual in the rapidity with which they have gained cultural currency and are telling in the extreme fascination the public has with them. They have catapulted more than one show—The X Files being the prime example, of course—to cult-like status. The photo here is a scene after the abduction of Fox Mulder, one of The X-Files main characters.

Fetal Aliens

Yet Alvin Lawson has pointed out how alien abduction stories are replete with perinatal elements: passing through walls, umbilical beams of connection to the “mother ship”—the placenta—either fetal-looking aliens or aliens whose eyes are most prominent and the lower parts of their faces undistinguished—similar to the way a newborn might see an obstetrician wearing a medical mask.

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Then of course there are the elements of being medically probed, measured, samples taken from one, and being swooshed from one place to another with no say on one’s part—all remarkably like the experience of a newborn, right out of the womb. [Footnote 1]

Pretty Much

While I do not think that the “alien abduction” phenomenon is just derivative of birth, as Lawson does, I do believe that we perceive these events through a veil of birth trauma, the likes of which the world has never known. My position is explained in the article, “Alien Abductors: Angelic Midwives or Hounds From Hell?

Mouth Suctioning…”Oh, What Pretty Teeth You Have, My Alien”

An interesting development in the alien face is the “shoved down the throat” thing going on. Similar to the “Jacob’s Ladder” kind of vegetable thrusting out, which was described in the last chapter, it was popularized greatly in the movie, “Alien.”

As a neonate we cannot see the mouths of the masked attendants at our birth. In a traumatic situation, whatever is hidden is more feared than what can be seen. As in anything else, onto the unknown we can project the most magnified versions of our fears. When these images arise in us, then, it makes sense that if the mouth is shown it might be even more frightening than that above the mouth.

So in modern times, for the first time in history, we see something going on where these feelings are symbolized as a ferocious mouth coming out of the mouth. The fact that it appears like something that would gag reveals that this image contains elements of the trauma around ungentle mouth suctioning or clearing as well as the reveal of what might be under the mask of the seeming attacker, the obstetrician. Add lots of teeth and you have the perinatal vagina dentate as well, symbolizing the trauma occurring at birth, when actually emerging from the mother.

Rock Concert Rebirthing, Mosh Wombs, and the Doors of Perception … Stormed

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Fleshy Mosh Wombs, Rock Rebirthing, Trolls, and the Doors of Perception … Stormed

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The Perinatal Veil: Rock Concerts (For some, ditto)

Lawson has also described perinatal elements in rock concerts. [Footnote 2]

Mosh Wombs

daltgfsdfrey5803094302_c794e4f672Keep in mind that rock music popularity and concert rituals are world-wide phenomena. Youth from nearly all NBL1045countries are involved in rock culture. Newborn-Baby-with-CordAmong other things, Lawson, in his article, refers to placental guitars, umbilical mikes, and youths jumping into mosh pits. Mosh pits suggest birth feelings in that they simulate the crushing in the womb.

rapture1 (2)imadddddgesAt birth our consciousness is filled with the feeling of flesh all around. The world is crushing, heaving, rollicking, bouncing flesh everywhere. During a non-cesarean birth one struggles and moves through this flesh to reach space, air, light…freedom. We re-create this pattern of struggle in order to reach the light, or freedom and space, throughout life. It is obvious that mosh pits are attractive, appealing places to re-create the danger of birth alongside the hope of being “held up,” uplifted, and reborn.

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The Doors of Perception … Stormed

doorsperceptioncleansed_crppdclose-encounters-of-the-third-kind-1980--645-75crppdWe could also mention the loud music, fireworks, and flashing and bright explosions of light at these concerts as perinatal in that they re-create the assault of sensation that occurs to the newly emerged fetus—an assault which in one’s mind is like unto a bomb exploding.

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The rock groups and their lyrics themselves are often blatantly perinatal. The most obvious example of this was the group, Nirvana, who came out with a CD titled “In Utero.” The fact that the leader of the group, Kurt Cobain, committed suicide is a strong indication of his closeness and access to his perinatal trauma…as I will soon explain.

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Pacifiers, Trolls, and Collective Rebirth

IMG_1248Turning from rock, we see perinatal BPM III elements in the scenery of our everyday lives evident in the rising incidence of violence by children at ever younger ages.

In Europe, as pointed out by Mayr and Boederl, it appears a collective regression to the perinatal is going on, especially among the youth. [Footnote 3]

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Collective Navel-Gazing

clip_image002clip_image004The forms this “regression” has taken include the surprising popularity of a pop song, sung by a very young child, expressing the difficulties of being a baby; the wearing of baby pacifiers as ornaments as a powerful fashion fad; and being enamored of troll-like dolls, which, according to the authors indicate a “regression to the womb.”

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I would say a progression to the womb, by the way….I will soon explain why.

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Crushing Populations and Its Relief — Perinatal Pulls of Public Life, Sky Diving, Dancing, Swimming, and “Birth”Day Parties

The Perinatal Pulls of Population Explosion, Sky Diving, Dancing, Swimming, and “Birth”Day Parties

Overpopulation Bring Up in Us Uncomfortable Claustrophobic Feelings From Our Births

We have no-exit, claustrophobic BPM II elements manifesting in the crushing populations in major cities throughout the world.

In the later stages of our womb lives, we are increasingly compressed with flesh all around. It is a time of ever more compression, constriction, restriction of movement, suppression of freedom, and suffering, which seems unending. However uncomfortable, we are compelled to manifest similar situations in our later adult lives, as in creating our crowded cities. We then find ourselves triggered into feelings like the ones we had back then.

Though it is irrational to draw suffering to oneself, it makes psychic sense in that consciousness seeks to integrate that which was overwhelming at the time. Think of this as a memory of a dire threat to one’s life that a part of ourselves remembers and tries to remove as a threat to our well-being by drawing it to ourselves repeatedly in life until we have managed to accept it—deal with it, perceive it differently than being a threat—so that we can go beyond it.

For the psyche’s main goal is to grow and heal itself. We see this intention of consciousness manifest in observing the body that Consciousness creates and which we see, which does exactly that growing and healing throughout life. Consciousness seeks, always, greater consciousness. Consciousness seeks unity.

Earlier we looked into how we do that seeking of psychological healing at rock concerts and with their mosh pits, in particular.

So we unconsciously create situations in life that make us feel like we once did but could not deal with at the time. And these feelings of course are uncomfortable…why else could we not deal with them originally? This does not mean that by bringing suffering to us we solve it and accept it. We would not be bringing it repeatedly to us if we successfully got beyond it.

No, we create suffering such as overpopulation because we are NOT dealing with, accepting, resolving, facing the memories that are making us continually manifest situations that should remind us…but don’t. What to do about this—and how this might be hopeful for solving the biggest problems of all on Earth—is what I deal with in time in this work. But I digress. Stay tuned, though.

Air Pollution, Fetal Suffocation, and Human Nature: Profound Sculpting of Who We Are Occurs at a Time We Cannot See

Pollution and The Greenhouse Effect Pushes Up Perinatal Pulls and Political Palpitations … and Vice Versa

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The Perinatal Pulls of Pollution: Air Pollution and Fetal Oxygen Starvation

Increased Carbon Dioxide, But Also Decreased Oxygen

SuffocationTotalRecallArnoldScream-thumb-500x273-55189One overlooked, but hugely pervasive perinatal element of these strange days is connected to the increasing carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere called “the greenhouse effect” which occurs alongside the curiously overlooked yet necessarily corresponding decreases in oxygen levels. There is increasingly less oxygen as we use it up burning carbon-based fossil fuels and making carbon dioxide. [Footnote 4]

We have more carbon dioxide for that reason and also because we are stupidly destroying the Earth’s mechanisms for turning that carbon dioxide back into oxygen…forests and ocean plankton, for example. This increased carbon dioxide is called “the greenhouse effect.” While this has been looked at from the perspective of it creating global warming and climate change, there are even stronger corporate (profit-motivated) as well as personal psychological reasons why we do not look at its most immediate effect on humans—the amount of oxygen we get from the air we breathe. We will steal at least a brief glance into some psychological reasons now and while we are at it uncover rich veins of understanding of and possible solutions for not only our current environmental problems but certain political and social dilemmas which we will find are operating dialectically with them. For there are provocative and profound influences from our experiences in the late stages of our womb life on the kaleidoscope of our current postmodern lives.

Air Pollution Bring Up in Us Uncomfortable Feelings From Our Births

For the increased carbon dioxide and reduced oxygen of the globe is analogous to the situation of “fetal malnutrition,” described by Briend and DeMause, that occurs prior to birth, and which is the basis for DeMause’s explanation of poisonous placenta symbolism. Keep in mind in particular that we experience this reduction in oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide in the form of air pollution, which is most pronounced in larger cities. [Footnote 5]

Raging to Reenter, Vampire Apocalypse, Drug Use, and Being Gratefully Dead – Perinatal Printouts Of Sixties, X, and Millennial Generations

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Perinatal Arising in Sixties and Generations Since as Seen in Drug Use, Fantasy of Fusion, Vampire Apocalypse, and Being Gratefully Dead

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Perinatal Arising in Sixties and Generations Since

Mia-Wasikowska-in-Alice-i-001Other evidence for closeness to the perinatal unconscious comes from Kenneth Keniston, who studied the youth of the Sixties. In Keniston’s widely read book of the time titled The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society, he described an increasingly prevalent, unusually influential, and relatively newly emerging personality type, which he discovered in his sociopsychological study of youthful college students.

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Raging to Reenter, Digging Under Ground, Fantasy of Fusion

tumblr_m2mup5pJCy1rqs9pco2_500Among other traits, he found these youth to be characterized by fantasies of a “rage to reenter” the womb; and a “fantasy of fusion” with the mother, which took perinatal forms of all kinds including stories of wishing to dig one’s way back into the earth; a fascination with and wish to return to the past, the long forgotten, and the under ground; and a desire to find oblivion in some enveloping medium…even at the price of self-destruction!

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Existential Angst, Death and Dying, Peter Pan

kumbaya8065543_origSome of the other noticeably perinatal elements of Sixties youth were existential angst, being enamored of death and dying, and a refusal of “normal” adulthood. (See BPM I, BPM II, and BPM II.) And think about it. Are these descriptions also not a lot like what we have heard of the generation that followed Sixties youth…the so-called Generation X?

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Vampire Apocalypse…It’s All So Black and White

For Generation X, black clothes, white painted faces, and black lipstick were the fashion statement of the Eighties and Nineties.

And what was this statement of that sector of Gen X youth—a statement that began in the tzun1034lSeventies among what was then called the “punk” movement, which includes now the fad of vampirism—except the same fascination with death as Sixties “alienated” youth…again. This mental set is an obvious reflection of the death/rebirth aspects of the perinatal I’ve been discussing. The “perinatal veil” through which they saw things was becoming more blatant.

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Being Gratefully Dead

tumblr_lksstreQNh1qjtn0ko1_500But this trend began with the Boomer Generation. Need I remind of this same theme of being dead and then reborn coming from the Sixties as in being “gratefully dead”? It seems that this trend toward easier access to and higher awareness of perinatal influences has been going on for a while now.

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A Perinatal Printout Is Indicated by Drug Use

new-moon-italy2_l6348266.binThere are other perinatal similarities between the youth of the Sixties and the generations to follow—this time specifically with the Millennial Generation, the one that followed Gen X and who are predominantly the sons and daughters of Boomer parents. Millennials were born after the mid-Seventies; they are a different cohort from those born 1960 till roughly 1974—Gen X; and those born 1945 to 1959—the Boomers.

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Drug Usage Rising Since the Nineties Shows Perinatal Attraction

thinkingattherootsofthings2Nine-Days-of-CreationIllegal drug use among youth, beginning in the Nineties, began going up again. This coincides with the coming into young adulthood of the Millennial Generation. Unlike drug usage of the legal and mind-debilitating kind (booze and tobacco), drug usage of the illegal and mind-facilitating kind (pot, LSD, speed, ecstacy) is an indication of an emerging confessions01148522632perinatal unconscious. Drugs are intimately woven with perinatal influences in a number of ways. Not only can some drugs bring up birth feelings, as Grof’s work has shown, but the mother being drugged while giving birth to her child can result in drug abuse by that child later in life.

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Generations – Their Drugs and Politics. Gen Xers Are Fifty-ish, Millennials Are Sixty-ish

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An Aside on Drugs and Generations—Sixties, Gen X, Millennials and Their Parents

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Millennials Are Sixty-ish

Furthur.trpld (2)There is another overlooked factor or aspect of this rise in drug use in the Nineties by Millennials: These youngsters were the sons and daughters of the Sixties generation who, in their own youth, as we all know too well, engaged in drug experimentation. In fact, this younger generation of drug users has sometimes been called the baby-boomer “echo” generation.

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Gen Xers Are Fifty-ish

images (22)tb-racist-fiftiesMillennials are quite a bit different from the previous “echo” generation — Gen X. The generation that came to age during the Eighties—Yuppies and Xers—had parents who were father-knows-bestborn during the Great Depression and imagfghjhesWorld War Two, who had their young adult formative years during the Eisenhower — Joe McCarthy –Presley Fifties. So Gen X was influenced by their parents to conservatism, career-mindedness, and, for drug-of-choice, alcohol.

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But this “echo” generation of Millennials has parents whose young adulthood was forged in the rebellion, drug and sex experimentation, activism, liberal-radicalism, and idealism of the Sixties, not the Fifties. [Footnote 6]

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Forget What You’ve Heard About Generation Gap

bli_18_672-458_resize080226_recreate-68-1Generationally speaking, we know that children do not predominantly rebel to the opposite of their parents’ values. Kenneth Keniston, for one, has made it clear—referring to studies—that children are paramountly influenced by the values and attitudes…conscious and unconscious…of their parents. So this most recent cohort of youth was of course going to be more liberal in their attitude to drug use than Gen X, even if their parents, in their coming into adulthood, overtly decry or are against the use of drugs. Keep in mind also that many of the baby-boomers have retained, not reversed, their acceptance of drug experimentation, and many still believe in and use drugs; many still considering the occasional use of certain types—especially the psychedelics, and to some extent, pot—to be an aid to self-development and/or spiritual awareness.

Family Lies Not “Family Ties”

family-ties-kitchen-delish-xlFamilyTiesAlexKeatonBeingConservativeWasBSThe myth that youth rebel against their parents’ values was expressed and propagandized by the TV show “Family Ties.” happy-days-castThis was an oh-so-convenient portrayal, as it contributed to the pervasive scapegoating of the Sixties generation by the Fifties Generation—the Eisenhower–Joe McCarthy–Presley generation—who came into their Triumphant Phase, that is, took over the reins of society as mature adults in the Eighties.

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Rebellion in Youth Amounts to Being Uncompromising About Parents’ Values Not Defying Them

kent-state-tear-gasimagesdddThis “Family Ties” kind of rebellion, however inaccurate, seems to be credible largely as a result of the observation that youth do rebel against their parents. But it kent-state-solidarityignores the fact that when they do, and they don’t always, they revolt or rebel, as in the Sixties youth, most often in the direction of being more insistent of actually living the values of their parents, not simply voicing them. As Keniston found out, for example, as he described in his follow-up to The Uncommitted, in the book, Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth, radical youth had liberal (hardly conservative!) parents.

garry_winogrand_kent_state_demonstration_washington_dc_1970__printed_1970s_gwf_35_471x471_q80When Sixties youth were angry at their parents it was out of their perception of their parents as compromising and not living out their own expressed ideals, as laid out to their children in raising them. Therefore, Sixties rage against adults came out of their disgust at their parents for “not walking their talk.” As we may recollect, there was the oft-repeated charge of “hypocrite” directed by some of these youth toward their parental generation.

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Millennials and Their Sixties Parents

In this regard notice also that this latest crop of young—born mid-70s through roughly 2000 (Boomers had children over a longer expanse of time than generations previous and since, for reasons that I’ve dealt with in other places) Michelle_Obama08_1335and being now in their twenties and thirties…the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation—has also seen increases in voting for liberal or Democratic candidates. Their turnout for Clinton in 1992 was the first time since the Seventies that the youth vote went Democratic. Their support of Obama was widely given as the reason for his success.

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Occupy Wall Street … Sixties Gen Liberals, Millennial Revolutionaries?

3-1278469994-bg-make-love-not-waryuppieIn the Nineties we saw — despite the AIDS scare — an end to a fledgling “youth celibacy movement” — which had been a movement of Yuppie/Gen Xers encouraged by their Fifties Generation parents. The Millennials, s-OCCUPY-WALL-STREET-MARTIN-LUTHER-KING-large300echoing again their parents and this time the sexual revolution, were noted for early and/or increased sexual experimentation.317004_10150363071620658_572805657_8804589_667246355_n This latest cohort of youth also has seen increases in idealism, activism, and volunteerism. It is no coincidence that we have finally seen a rising up of activism again in the occupy wall street movement, with Millennials taking the lead and supported, taught, and inspired by their Sixties cohort parents. [Footnote 7]

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Tune Inward, Turn Back, Drop Down – Psychedelics, Depression, and Those Nasty Birth Feelings

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Perinatal Propensities in LSD Use … Lucy in the Sewer with Depression and No-Exit Wombs

The Epidemic of Depression Shows Pervasive BPM II Influence

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Lucy in the Sewer with Depression

Other connections between drug use and perinatal influence: Perinatal feelings are very often of the depressive, no-exit type, and some drugs are temporarily effective antidotes for that. Depression itself is epidemic nowadays, indicating the rise of BPM II feelings. There is widespread use of antidepressants in America currently.

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No-Exit Wombs

imageStanislav Grof has claimed, based upon the tens of thousands of sessions of exploration into the perinatal unconscious that he has personally facilitated and thus thirdmanobserved, that the roots of endogenous—that is to say, deep rooted and engrained, not just situational—depression lie in the no-exit BPM II experience in the womb prior to birth. Furthermore, my personal experience with depression earlier in my life and my primal re-experiencing of prenatal, womb feelings, as well as birth, confirms his statement.

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Psychedelics and Birth: Tune Inward, Turn Back, Drop Down

60s.lsd.mygeneration.breakthrough.peacockby05i kissesFinally, psychedelic drugs..LSD… “they’re ba-a-a-ack.” Though they are more discreetly used these days and so are less obviously evident. Various psychedelics and hallucinogens are used at postmodern raves, among many other places.

Their increased use also points to perinatal influences in that it is known that psychedelics—LSD in particular—can help people to access and to some extent resolve perinatal trauma, when taken for purposes of personal growth.

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Corrective on LSD Misinformation

art-image-by-joe-bergeron1 - CopylonelygirlFor those who have cynically adopted the line that either psychedelics are another drug that blots out one’s Pain or that they are only used for recreational or sensual/hedonistic purposes or that the kinds of birth experiences that Grof describes as occurring on LSD only occur in supervised and guided sessions, like the ones he offered…for those who have dismissed psychedelics and LSD in any of these ways, let me say,

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LSD is Hardly Escapist

imagfdhjfklgesFirst, psychedelics, especially LSD and to some extent, even marijuana, are known to act in the brain in a way almost exactly the opposite of the drugs used to escape from reality—such as, for example, alcohol, nicotine, or heroin—though this news flies in the face of the myth put out by the all-encompassing anti-drug propaganda machine, which puts all drugs in the same category. This Galaxy_Gardenis common knowledge among researchers and scientists who study these things. For elaboration, see Culture War, Class War Chapter Three: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Opposing Worlds—especially the part on “Drugs and Consciousness“—as well as subsequent chapters of that book/blog.

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Drugs—Not Just for Fun Anymore

wohpesiouxTuneInwardTurnBackDropDownSecond, that drugs are only used for recreational purposes is patently false. Though the vast majority of drug use is recreational, there are in print many examples, and the admissions of many authors, of the use of LSD by individuals and groups for purposes of personal 298009_1510005046893_1737376259_743931_1500214464_ngrowth. Accession480pxAnd, in my own limited exploration, personal growth was my motivation. In fact, many people are afraid to take the drug LSD, knowing full well that its effects are not always pleasurable or recreational. So why would they accept that risk if they did not have some other intent, like personal growth, for experimenting on themselves with it?

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LSD and Birth Reliving

sun-babyNine-Days-of-CreationFinally, before I had ever heard of such a possibility of reliving one’s birth, let alone heard of Grof, or Janov for that matter, I learned that at least one person at my university on LSD found himself feeling like a fetus and then going through a process of struggling through a birth canal, and so on.

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“Most Peculiar, Mama!”

In this book so far, we have considered the uniqueness of our times and the elements of the perinatal unconscious. happy_dancing_friday_19We have followed that with a look at the predominant underlying fantasies and myths of our times—our contemporary collective dreams as projected onto the silver screen, boob tube, and printed page, with a perinatal rock heartbeat of a soundtrack.

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Our Nightly News and Neighborhoods

imasgsgfgesFinally we have taken a look at the anomalous elements of our everyday reality — those confusing and bizarre, newly emerging woodstock1images that permeate our nightly news and neighborhoods, along with those totally unprecedented cultural, environmental, and social factors that weave the backdrops of our lives.

Going Forward, Explore Our Hells and Heavens

5va0imasdfgsgesLet us now go deeper. Let us make the connections. Let us explore the way we have reflected our innermost intimate hells and heavens into Images-of-Scotland---The-Innocent-Railway-Tunnel-Edinburghthe fabric of our times. And back again, let us uncover the way the warp and woof of vortex-matrix-500x333these strangest of days has affected each of us, in our most superficial of behaviors to the most intimate and deepest of our minds. The way forward is down.

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Continue with Apocalypse No! Chapter Ten:
Birth Wars, World Woes

Return to Apocalypse No! Chapter Eight: The Perinatal Media

Footnotes

1. Alvin H. Lawson, “UFO abductions or birth memories?” Fate, 38(3) March 1985, pp. 68-80; and Alvin H. Lawson, “Perinatal imagery in UFO abduction reports.” In T. Verny (ed.): Pre- and Perinatal Psychology: An Introduction. Human Sciences Press, New York, 1987.

2. Alvin H. Lawson, “Placental Guitars, Umbilical Mikes, and the Maternal Rock-Beat: Birth Fantasies and Rock Music Videos.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1994): 335-353.

3. Daniela F. Mayr & Artur R. Boelderl, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1993): 143-156.

4. This obvious though insistently overlooked fact has scientific support, of course:

According to a study conducted by scientists from the Scripps Institute there is less oxygen in the atmosphere today than there used to be. The ongoing study, which accumulated and interpreted data from NOAA monitoring stations all over the world, has been running from 1989 to the present. It monitored both the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decline in oxygen. The conclusion of that 20 year study is that, as carbon dioxide (produced primarily by burning fossil fuels) accumulates in the atmosphere, available oxygen is decreasing.

Carbon dioxide seems to be almost the total focus of attention in the climate change model as it exists today. After reviewing the results of this study and talking with Dr. Ralph Keeling (one of the lead scientists on the study), it seemed to me that the consequences of atmospheric oxygen depletion should be included in any discussion of atmospheric change….

Read more: “Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Fall as Carbon Dioxide Riseshttp://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-fall-as-carbon/#ixzz1ru2460V8

5. A. Briend, “Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?” British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319. [return to text]

6. See my blog/book Culture War, Class War, especially Chapter Two: Matrix Aroused, the Sixties and Chapter Four: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds and Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard.

7. These aspects and generational phenomena are spelled out in more detail in my work-in-progress, Regression, Mysticism, and “My Generation.” Right at hand, however, you can read an elaboration of some of these ideas in the chapters mentioned in Culture War, Class War—especially Chapters One through Seven and the post, Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution.

Continue with Apocalypse No! Chapter Ten:
Birth Wars, World Woes

Return to Apocalypse No! Chapter Eight: The Perinatal Media

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It’s a Trillion-Alarm Fire, Not a Boy-Scout Litter Campaign: You Didn’t Actually Believe You Could Un-Think Apocalypse, Did You?

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Apocalypse – No! Chapter One:
Eight Billion Neros Fiddling … It’s a Trillion-Alarm Fire, Not a Boy-Scout Litter Campaign

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A Trillion-Alarm Fire—You Don’t Stop at the Grocery on Your Way Home!

I compare what is happening right now to cause planetary death in the relatively near future to a trillion-alarm fire with everyone looking the other way. I say you need to respond to this with the urgency of being in a world war, marshaling all available national and world resources to bear on it, and not with the complacency of a boy-scout litter pick up campaign.

hell-lake-of-fire2When you get a call at work that your house is on fire, you rush home worrying about whether your family is alive or dead, what, if anything, remains of your precious keepsakes, and so on. And you don’t, this time, stop on the way home to have a short visit with your mother at the nursing home, grab a few things at the grocery store, or even fill up your tank at the gas station! YOU GO STRAIGHT HOME AND TRY TO SAVE YOUR FAMILY AND HOME!

OIL-SPILL/ANNIVERSARYWhat follows, from May of 2010, is an example of the attitude of dealing with global apocalyptic events as if, like in this case, they are of similar importance to a plane going down. My point, of course, is that we should be dealing with them will all the urgency of a “trillion-alarm fire” happening. For each of these are disasters contributing to an ongoing catastrophic ecocidal process, the tip of which, only, we see in the Fukushima reactor blowups and the Gulf Oil Spill:

Matthews: “four-alarm fire” in Gulf! Landrieu smirks. Matthews: There are ways to suck up oil…it is a US emergency not just a BP business problem

May 25, 2010. Today, Chris Matthews likened the Gulf Oil Spill to a four-alarm fire. While Senator Mary Landrieu smirked, Matthews said, “I don’t know what the legality of this is, but the President of the United States has got this challenge, not just BP. globe-in-hand-custom-150x150BP has got a business challenge; we have a national challenge. North America that we inherited and would like to pass on to our future generations is in big trouble.”

Earlier, in answer to a question by Matthews as to whether there’s “anybody in the world that can come and collect petroleum…that’s out there in the Gulf right now…anybody that can collect it?” Landrieu responded saying, “Well, first of all, Chris, just let me say this: If Delta Airlines…plane goes down, I don’t think we necessarily call all the airlines to come in and help in this very specific way. Now, I will tell you, that all the oil companies have been helping since day one, informally….”

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Are you as concerned as I am hearing that kind of cavalier attitude about human life?

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Oil Spills and Reactor Blowups

“Where is the fierce urgency of Now?!!!”

bp-oil-spill-leaking-well-headjpg-61163ecf1c92e023_largeI can’t believe the nonchalance around the huge environmental catastrophes that have gone on in just the last two years alone—specifically, the Gulf Oil Spill and the Fukushima Japan nuclear disaster. When the BP disaster was ongoing and gushing devastating amounts of oil into the Gulf, Donna Brazille, frustrated with the Obama Administration’s response to the Spill, fumed aloud, “Where is the fierce urgency of Now?!!!

Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill_nasaBut these hugely unprecedented environmental catastrophes, daily spreading the damage to our planet, are just two canaries in a coal mine.

We are just beginning to understand the immensity of the damage to our planet the Fukushima disaster did. We will probably not be told the degree of radiation exposure from it we are receiving until long after people have been dying in droves from it.

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96089cca74e0a83f6f20c14326a5_grandeThe BP oil spill of 2010 is, similarly, presenting ongoing planetary damage, which, like the Japan nuclear disaster, is, as I speak, not being reported. At this moment, in fact, dolphin and whale carcasses in the hundreds are washing up on Gulf beaches, birds are dying and some are simply dropping dead out of the sky, and we know for sure of at least one dead zone caused by the BP oil spill—a dead zone being an area in the ocean where nothing can live for lack of oxygen—which is a hundred miles long and twelve miles wide. I have heard reports of other dead zones cropping up in the Gulf, and it has been said they are growing in size with time. Beyond these we have to wonder how many more there are, yet unknown, and how great is the ongoing damage.

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But none of these dire events are being mentioned much in the media. We hear the reports, but then the media directs our attention to something else. 144152-second-blast-at-fukushima-mar14When Fukushima was being actively monitored by the media not long ago, I heard reported on CNN some very apocalyptic developments occurring there. Immediately afterward, CNN directed our attention to some in-depth reporting on a snake that had gotten loose in New York City. Now that snake made me sooo scared, I don’t know why!? *sarcasm*

So we cover our eyes to what is going on. *sigh*

We dismiss these events assuming that someone higher up than us is surely attending to the problem (dream on!). Though we would never admit it, we take comfort in thinking that people more in the know and influential—people with more status, degrees, power—are on the front line and will certainly make better decisions than we ever could. So doing, we blind ourselves to the fact that these people in charge are blinded and made stupid by their greed and self-interest. 101619634They see dimly, if at all, through that screen at the dire prospects they are juggling with. With such tunnel vision, they are hardly capable of seeing the interests of humanity, let alone acting on them. Furthermore, they console themselves with the thought that someone else higher up—or not, often just someone other than them—is “certainly” taking care of “the big things.”

Ultimately, people are passing the buck ALL the way up…to God. Seriously, this theological cul-de-sac is the ultimate, most reliable, place of retreat for the theistic as well as most of the non-theistic, if people were to be honest about their thoughts. But this is the most comforting of cop-outs and the greatest excuse to carry on acting recklessly out of all-too-trivial motivations of unhinged greed and blind self-interest.

smogcitych10What is worse is these things are only the tiny beginnings of much more that is bound to happen. If we do not listen up, and wake up, we’ll be just as unprepared and helpless when the even more dire and apocalyptic events unfold. This is not a time to curl up under the covers.

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Jacob Wrestles the Angel Sussman, Sat Jan 10, 2009,  1:59:46 PM,  8C, 7698x10240,  (666+1047), 150%, Repro 2.2 v2,  1/10 s, R103.5, G48.5, B59.2<br />

What We Are Doing Makes the Nazis to Be Mother Theresas by Comparison

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Die-Off of 250 Million Species in Under Fifty Years…And You Really Think We’ll Be Here?

OR, Have You Heard the New Version of the 12 Days of Christmas? It Ends With “8 Billion Nero’s Fiddling.” But No One Lives Long Enough to Finish It… Ever.

Scientists are saying we will see a fifty percent die-off rate, extinction, of species within the next twenty to fifty years. That is to say, within that time half the species we see now—well actually about five years ago—will be gone forever. [Footnote 1]

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To think that we will be around after that, even to watch video games of the wildlife that once was, is the same as a doctor saying to someone: “Sorry, within twenty to fifty years, half of the organs in your body will be gone. BP-oil-spillccThey’ll die and ‘fall’ away, and you’ll be DISABLED” (! hardly just “disabled” tho).

OK, now you tell me how we’re going to be alive to even see what happens after that kind of extinction?! Does no one realize how much death that means? Does no one see any interconnections between us and planetmates? 647cd43e17eaa9d34bba930d21b5-grandeThe world will come to an end if bankers don’t get money, they tell us. And if they did away with roads, or trucks…it’s Mad Max time, right? Well, how about when the bees didn’t show up? One species out of a scientifically estimated five-hundred million species and our economy was going ape shit! What happens with two-hundred-fifty MILLION species gone forever?! [continued after video]


Tom Waits – “Earth Died Screaming”

Tom Waits sings, “The Earth died screaming, while I was dreaming… dreaming of you….” [Footnote 2]


Ecocide

Global, Universal Death/Extinction Isn’t Just Death, Suicide; It Is MURDER, Of a Kind So Evil, Nazis Look Like Mother Theresas by Comparison

Concerning extinction of species—ourselves and other species—which is going on, an idea was put forth to me that we are assuming death is evil. This person intended, considering the context, for this to be taken spiritually, philosophically.

Re: The Psychology of Extinction: Murder of Untold Billions Through Greed, Laziness, Egotism…Well, I say, EVIL!

My reply was: You make the point that needs to be considered as it sits deep down in the hidden center of this particular wordpool. It’s a mind-bender and mind-stretcher when you stray down your road for sure. But after having been down it a fair number of times, both on my own as well as with companions, I find one tangible, unshakable thing, only, to still and focus my vision and guide my stance, actions, and position with surety. It is this:

I, for one, am not assuming death is an evil. I do not believe death is evil at all, quite the contrary. Death has always been a part of life, and all the religions have it as a sublime culmination of a life well lived. But that is a spiritual perspective. And that is a perspective about death in its essence.

journeylifecanoeIt is a vision from a spiritual stance—rooted in science, philosophy, and Eastern mysticism—as well as from a traditional religious view, where it is held that one’s life in the body is only a try-out for a better, “real” life in “heaven.” [Footnote 3]

-However, you are mistaking, as analogy, the beautiful precise utility of a finely honed and balanced knife—metaphorically speaking—with what is really important and what is so hard to look at or fathom or even let into one’s thoughts: That is, the horrific, ghastly, unbelievably bloody and messy, grotesque, garish…infinitely hellacious and mind-drippingly insane scene that is right in front of all of us: 28372_10150200648570436_765260435_13037173_6511830_nthat of the angelic young girl and her vulnerable innocent and kind-hearted mother, burning skeletontheir bodies slashed, cut up, stabbed, gouged, even chopped and minced, and strewn widely and randomly in this ungodly lake of blood framed within this just recently homey, comforting surround of simple comfortable living room furniture and accouterments,nuclear_explosion_color_3 which now, however, are awash and stained and forever nightmarish as they record in blood, guts, and other of that ilk, DeepwaterHorizononfireafterBPoilspil[1]but of which we do not want even to know, the violence, wild aggression, horrible pain, fear, terror, and trauma of the event—the murder… the murder that was so precisely perfect in its nightmarishness as it was aided in its perfect horror by such a beautifully crafted, finely honed, exquisitely and marvelously sharp, perfectly balanced and joyous to feel, hold, and use KNIFE.

BP-oil-spill-pelican-2

What I am saying is, OK death is beautiful, in essence. And going back to God is, my belief, the highest accomplishment and culmination of a life lived well. But we are not talking about my death or your death. We are talking about you and I deciding, by refusing to fight back the apocalypse—which could be taken up merely by changing some of our greedy, wasteful, egoistic ways—the death of untold trillions of other living conscious beings, indeed, of conscious things that we are not evolved enough to even be aware of. We are deciding that THEIR death, because of our actions…well, that’s not so evil, eh?

Well, that’s easy for US to say. But how about them? Don’t you think they might be a tad upset that we would be deciding this FOR THEM…(Jonestown-style)?

nobilityswanAainaA_John_NybergSo, you bring up the point that needs to be addressed before we can really commit ourselves to the fight and the struggle to change that is being required of us. But I offer that I have never found anyone able to shake or even threaten the principle I have found to stand on: God’s creation, which includes death, in Her (His) time and in the way He (She) would have for each of us, is beauteous perfection. But, MURDER…that is, MY deciding…or ANYONE (but God) deciding for another that death is good, well… well… Is not that what Hitler did? What the Nazis did?

Death—not evil—may be beautiful.

Murder of untold multi-billion-trillions through greed, laziness, egotism, hubris, and extreme lack of empathy and feeling for the feelings/consciousness of those others…. well, I say,

EVIL!!!

Evil beyond all imagining. Evil beyond anything ever conceived or acted ever st-clouds-fjpg-fca3881ee93d5d4f_largebefore in the billions of years of existence of this planet.

EVIL! Even the killing of the planet—its systems so perfectly balanced, so far beyond our understanding—of a nature that is beyond our comprehension, which, for all we know, is akin to a higher consciousness, a deva, a god, goddess.

Yes, EVIL to murder. Incredibly evil to bring to an end such things so far handsholdingtreesabove and beyond our understanding that we cannot even comprehend the magnitude of that evil.

Now, that is my conclusion. I deem that murder on a scale so huge as to be inconceivable, of numbers of beings so great we have no way of knowing the hideous magnitude of the crime, not to mention eight billion alone of our own species, and laying to waste the dreams, efforts, and results of multibijillions of past lives on this planet of all species IS EVIL!

smogcitych10That is something I do not want to ever think I helped to happen…. Indeed it is EVIL so huge that I think I would not feel right, ever again, in the consciousness forever after this life and after my death, if I did not expend every ounce of my energy while I still can/could to try to prevent, to try to stop, to work against, to struggle to keep it from happening.

I think that consciousness cannot be destroyed—so death is not “evil.” But as we stand on the precipice of this planet murder and hugest crime of all time as far as we know before us and with us, as a species, being the cause of it… Well, I can only say the worst thing that I can imagine is having an eternity of consciousness knowing that I could have been part of the solution, but I trivialized it, I used a convenient spiritual belief/teaching/awareness to rationalize it so that I could continue asleep and unaware of the horror I participated in as I chose, through being afraid to look at the immense suffering involved, to blind myself with distractions—the perfect knife, the death that is not evil. hell-lake-of-fire2And so instead of an eternity of peace knowing that I stood against the greatest evil ever known and fought as hard as I could, although we failed… instead it could be an eternity of regret and loathing not being able to be unaware that I was a part of the horror, the monster, participated in the killing, and helped others to also, by participating in the feel-good cover-up, the blinding of eyes, the zombification of brains. As the deepest darkness ever known gradually but unmistakably arose on the horizon and came toward us, increasing in speed, becoming more fiercesome, detailed, clear, unmistakable, unavoidable, 166899_10150383077549679_650124678_8093125_721365237_n-the-beginning-is-near2and ever harder to be blind to, ever clearer in its brutality and the suffering, and unimaginable pain in its aftermath. And so I would spend an eternity knowing, not being able to not know that I WAS it, that I became it, helped it…that I was, er, Dead-Birds-Louisiana“part of the problem”… and I didn’t have to be.

And for everyone else I would ask: Care to choose what you’d like to have sitting around in that imperishable unending forever consciousness we’re “blessed” with?

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OrangeTide

Species-Suicide Bombers – How Dare We Sink to Becoming the Biggest Mass Murderers of All Time, by a Multi-Multi-Trillionfold?

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The End of the World

A correspondent of mine emailed me to recommend a book by John Leslie titled, The End of the World.

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More People Living Now Than the Grand Total of Humans Who Have Ever Lived!

ccotwShe said the book makes a disturbingly solid case for our extinction, saying that we are among the last generations of humans. Part of this reasoning involves a complex mathematical determination of our trajectory, which includes the interesting calculation that there are twice as many humans alive, right now, THAN THE GRAND TOTAL OF HUMANS THAT HAVE EVER LIVED. That last is a provocative finding, to say the least.

Now, I haven’t read the book, but just his premise got me to thinking. Of course, what I know confirms his conclusions in spades, but I couldn’t help feeling irked by his all-too-familiar perspective. For, to me, it is not just about our species. It is not just about our extinction. It is not just suicide, but murder. My correspondent, “Open Intelligence,” has used the term, “ecocide,” to make this kind of point.

Ok We’re Commiting Species-Suicide;
But How DARE We Become Species-Suicide-Bombers Killing All OTHER Life With Us

Recently, I checked on the actual number of species that currently are on our planet, and the number was estimated at five-hundred million SPECIES. smmn20lI think the whole problem IS that we only see “life” in terms of “our” life—our species. Indeed, some people think in terms of life being only for those of their religion, nation, social group, tribe, family, or even just oneself—all of which aid the murder of those who are “not life.”

So, Leslie is apparently thinking along the lines of many others who are not seeing the tragedy we are perpetrating to those other than our species, which is a milder form of the bigotry and prejudice we hold for one human against another type of human. I think that is a shame. [Footnote 4]

pike the earth 2But then we cannot seem to even wake people up to saving themselves or their children, so how can we get them to empathize with the trillions upon trillions of other lives and the multi-hundred-millions of other life forms we share this planet with?

101619634I guess that is my problem with his approach: It comes from my feeling that –Ok, we are committing suicide, but maybe we fucking deserve it. 9241173_3414_625x1000But how DARE we “blow up”—like a species suicide bomber—without a second thought for their pain or their lives—which we are only too dumb, and ego- species-centric, bigoted to see, let alone empathize with—as simple “collateral damage,”squirrel.friends.animals,cute,love,wild,life,animal,kiss-0234b807ffd68088bcbc8b2247324e1d_h innumerable multi-bijilliion-trillions of innocent souls/ life forms and hundreds of millions of other entire species of them with us. That is murder of the highest degree, and an evil that this planet has never imagined before this time.

But, again, I see the point of talking to people where they are coming from as a starting point, as Leslie is doing. But shouldn’t we try to raise as much awareness as possible of, to me, the much greater evil that we are committing, DeepwaterHorizononfireafterBPoilspil[1]for those who can hear it? I say, if we want to kill ourselves off, fine. But how dare we sink to becoming the biggest mass murderers of all time, by a multi-multi-trillionfold? We are currently making the Nazis look like Mother Theresas by comparison. If there will be a history of our species by an alien race after we are gone, I do not doubt that the words “Fukushima” and “Oil Spill dead zones,” will have the same kind of black potency that “Auschwitz” and “Dachau” currently have for us.

Fukushima_nuclear

Apocalypse Emergency: We’ll Either Be the Most Heroic Humans Ever or Be known Throughout the Universe as “Suicidal Ape”

Suicidal Apes and Our Future as Mars

If you care about your children, you’ll “man up,” “woman up,” “cowboy up,” whatever…anything but cover up…and face the horror, become the noble humans we are capable of being, and join with others to pull off the most heroic actions of all time…

Or else we’ll be deemed throughout the Universe as “suicidal ape,” and our portrait will be no different from Mars.

The better angels of our beings urge us to pay attention to what is being said in the audio clip and writing below.

Consider the Topic and then that By the Ending I Was Feeling Euphoric,
Having Just Stared Deeply Into the Most Horrible Likely Future Conceivable.

MEANING:

Either you really should be checking this out…
Or I Should Be Getting Checked Out… but seriously folks…

Now you’d THINK this would be a morose piece. I am the author and I fully expected this to be a wake-up call that only the brave or the Goths would listen to. But honestly, I have to confess that the writing that came out of me and that I then expanded upon further in the reading over of it afterward was beautiful and led to a conclusion that inspired me (that’s not supposed to happen!) and left me feeling calmer than I have been for a long time.


Apocalyptic Wake-Up Call – video presentation by SillyMickel Adzema

Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or, New Dawn? by SillyMickel  Adzema sound bite

You REALLY might want to listen to the video above. It is a loose reading of this “Apocalypse Emergency”; is more entertaining than simply reading the text; is more conversational; contains extra information; and is framed by the feelings of the author/ audio presenter. I think it is altogether more accessible than the text alone, and I think an easier and more fun way to take in this part. The text for it appears in Chapter Two of Apocalypse-No! the book, as well as some of the posts.


What’s in the Video?

Ok, Ok, so you want to know what’s in here, especially the video? I’m tempted to say “grab bag” and split, figuring to let Higher Power decide who gets to hear this. Sure this is in me; but there is more here in this video than I, well at least thought, was in me.

No, I’ll give you the poop: It’s about a frightening global predicament that everyone seems to be aware of, but which few people are giving the attention and seriousness it deserves. I liken it to a thousand-alarm fire going off right now, with everyone looking away. I talk about why people would do that, why the media would be inclined to shy away. Basically it’s understandable because we simply have no way of comprehending the magnitude of what is happening and how fast, since no living thing on this planet in its multibillion year history has had to face what we are. [Footnote 5]

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I Found Compassion, Not Blame.

I use spiritual fantasy and real world analogies to help us get a handle on what we’re facing. In jumping into these “waters,” I expected to be emotionally beat up. But instead I came to many understandings, and found I saw the positions of many who aren’t helping right now somewhat through their eyes, and found compassion, not blame.

Now that I think of it, I am having the realization that the reason for my serene, compassionate, and loving feelings while doing this parallels why I felt there was hope in the end.

I realize that facing dire challenges—and this being the most dire of all—brings out the best in Humans. It always has. Though this has been put off so long we might not do anything substantive till it’s too late, I realize that a political change away from the George W. Bush debacle in Washington may be having unknown but positive ripple effects around the world. In essence, it is only now that either Americans or those around the world can feel they can apply themselves to tackling this biggest of all challenges, for the previous US administration was disheartening and disillusioning to people of the globe who cared about the crisis, and of course to us in America, who felt that any efforts we could make would be quickly outswamped by the massive anti-environmental policies (sneakily disguised in environmentally positive sounding labels).

,

Not that everything has changed and corporations are back on their heels in their attempts at thwarting our wills to life; still, when Bush was US president, it was hopeless. It is very disheartening when your own government seems to consider your life completely expendable when it comes to short term gains for the Bushie’s—the corporate and “filthy rich” FOB’s.

The Ending Lifted Me.

As for the ending which lifted me up in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time on this matter, I can only say that my long term study of humans—as a depth psychotherapist and as a student of other cultures across all time periods, that is, anthropology—informed my conclusions, shaped them, and took me to visions of possible futures that I did not expect, but seem, if not as likely, then at least as worthy of the human spirit as we deserve.

We’ll Be Tested and Found Worthy…Or Deserving of Our Grave.

And for all we’ve done it seems we have called down upon ourselves to be tested and to be found either worthy, or deserving of the grave we’re digging.

I’ve said too much. The piece is complete in itself, and if you dare, you may find yourself strangely invigorated. At least I hope you get some, if not a lot, of the benefits and positive attitude adjustment that I received.

“We’re All in This Together.”

I left the piece feeling so much love and unity with all humans and living things, for I knew that at no other time in the history of the world was the truth of the saying “we’re all in this together” more patently true.


Apocalyptic Wake-Up Call” – video presentation by SillyMickel Adzema

Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or, New Dawn? by SillyMickel  Adzema sound bite



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Apocalypse–No! Intro:
Reversing Babel

clearing the debris

nuclear_explosion_color_3“Apocalypse Emergency”—the audio and text of it, as in the upcoming chapter—is the preface to my book, Apocalypse—No! which is completed and available here but is being revised and expanded at the present time.

The unrevised version of it is titled Apocalypse? Or Earth Rebirth? Some of it was published in 1999 in the book, Apocalypse, or New Age?

OuterWorldgodcommandsadamexpelledfromedenliveincaveoftreasures

Apocalypse—No!

ecocidechakrasinspaceanimationApocalypse—No! goes back and forth between the horrors that are possible and, well, let us say, this unique situation with the potential so strong to bring Humans to raise themselves up and be led by their better angels more than any other time. What it will mean could be exciting and triumphant beyond belief as humans come out of their puerile adolescent phase and become united and shaped for millennia by this great struggle. We could also die trying our mightiest, which has a nobility to it.

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Currently we are looking like the stupidest beings ever to dream the dream of thingness and duality.

OWS-protesters-01-200-150x150It’ll be scary and interesting, and you’ll be helped if you have a strong faith in a Higher Power.

Beyond that, it will be the biggest adventure that the entire globe ever faced together, and the outcome could be just about anything.

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Reversing Babel

tower-of-babel-19-jun-091twin_towers_1But don’t get the popcorn, you won’t be sitting for this one; no one will. Indeed, if we succeed, we will look back at such terms as “couch potato” and wonder at the lost, unfulfilled lives they describe, which will seem a strange thing in a future that will require all of us to come together in a way that we haven’t seen since before—metaphorically speaking of course—The Tower of Babel.

20111115_ZUCCOTTI-slide-MLKB-articleLargeSo success could be wondrous beyond all belief; at the same time the odds will be against us, and even certain segments of humanity will want to monkey wrench our positive efforts.

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Continue With Apocalypse – No! Chapter Two: Apocalyptic Wake-Up Call


Apocalyptic Wake-Up Call – video presentation by SillyMickel Adzema

Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or, New Dawn? by SillyMickel  Adzema sound bite

You REALLY might want to listen to the video above. It is a loose reading of this page, more entertaining than simply reading the text, is more conversational, contains extra information, and is framed by the feelings of the author/ audio presenter, so is altogether more accessible than the text alone, and I think an easier and more fun way to take in this upcoming chapter.


Footnotes

1. While the severity/seriousness of our predicament is considerably watered-down and glossed over for the sake of consumption in the following report, it is instructive nevertheless. It shows the extent to which our precarious situation is known—and even communicated among the educated—albeit in a manner as to not threaten or scare the audience (into action to stop it!):

Has Earth’s Sixth Mass Extinction Already Arrived?

ScienceDaily (Mar. 5, 2011)—With the steep decline in populations of many animal species, from frogs and fish to tigers, some scientists have warned that Earth is on the brink of a mass extinction like those that occurred only five times before during the past 540 million years.

Each of these ‘Big Five’ saw three-quarters or more of all animal species go extinct.

For more: ScienceDaily

2. Lyrics for “Earth Died Screaming” by Tom Waits:

Rudy’s on the midway
And Jacob’s in the hole
The monkey’s on the ladder
The devil shovels coal

With crows as big as airplanes
The lion has three heads
And someone will eat the skin that he sheds

And the earth died screaming
The earth died screaming
While I lay dreaming of you

Well hell doesn’t want you
And heaven is full
Bring me some water
Put it in this skull

I walk between the raindrops
Wait in Bug House Square
And the army ants
They leave nothin’ but the bones

And the earth died screaming
While I lay dreaming of you

There was thunder
There was lightning
Then the stars went out
And the moon fell from the sky

It rained mackerel
It rained trout
And the great day of wrath has come
And here’s mud in your big red eye

The poker’s in the fire
And the locusts take the sky

And the earth died screaming
While I lay dreaming of you

3. Last year I was sitting in a doctor’s waiting room and watching CNN reporting on the Fukushima reactor developments. I heard this sort of “religious” viewpoint from a stranger. We agreed on the magnitude and severity of this Fukushima event and that of the Gulf Spill, among others. We agreed even on the cause of such events and the way we are being misinformed on them—partly as patronizing misdirection, partly as cover-up. But where we disagreed was on whether it was important or not to do anything about them. As he put it, in his superior but cynical tone, “What can you do? We can’t do anything about it, besides it doesn’t matter anyway, it’s not THIS that is important…but only after death,” pointing heavenward at that. (*sigh*)

4. On the subject of not being able to handle such a huge concept as mass extinction, my correspondent phrased it this way:

The psychology of tragedy—Extinction? I’m afraid haven’t got time for it.

Mar 20, 2010 2:18pm by Open Intelligence. “The economy works by making people selfish. Mass extinction is merely collateral damage.”

The link shared—to an article by Simon Barnes writing for The Sunday Times, of London, on March 20, 2010—reads:

Dead-Birds-LouisianaSpecies are going extinct because humans can’t see it happening, and therefore we can’t believe it is happening. It is as simple as that.

Believing that the elephant will no longer be around is like believing that one day the sun will rise in the west and the stars will fall as rain.

We can only really get a handle on the short-term. A generation at most. Long-term planning means the next year or two. Our minds can’t cope with anything longer. colobusmokeys.shareamorningkiss.animal,portraits,animals,life,wild,animal,photos,of,the,year-50afae3b0ebecca2bb0ec44fd970426f_hThat’s why we choose to govern ourselves by means of a comfortable timescale.aral1997 Four years, five years: that’s Politician’s Time.

Extinction is a happening thing, as I have pointed out more than once before. But it is happening in slow motion: you don’t see a monkey turn into a man, and you don’t see an animal go extinct. It’s just that one day you notice that they haven’t been about for a few years. The current rate of extinction is one species an hour….

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5. The idea that there was no other time where any human lived knowing of the very real possibility of ending our species in its lifetime was criticized as follows:

No other time has been like this, but there have been plenty of times in the history of the human species where we have been met with the ability to and possibility of our ending—from when we were a few dozen leaving the mythological savanna of Eden to the discovery of the forging of Bronze to the hypothetical Event that led to the Dark Ages, the Apocalypse has been Nigh. It ain’t happened yet.

I responded: I have no idea of what time in our evolution that, other than modern times, our species even knew that it was a limited species on a limited globe and had any idea that its actions could wipe out what it thought of as itself as a species when we did not conceive of ourselves as a limited species in any of those time you speak of. We, with our science and technology are able to know of those times and ourselves. But hell, only in the last five hundred years did we find out we lived on a globe or lived in a solar system! Before that how could anyone in any culture know where either their ability to roam ended or their species no longer existed!

So you miss the point, which is, “no other time” did humans live “KNOWING” that THEY could bring, not only themselves, their families, or their cultures to an end but THEIR ENTIRE “SPECIES,” to an end “in”…their “lifetime” (not to mention the other estimated 500 million species).

Continue With Apocalypse – No! Chapter Two: Apocalyptic Wake-Up Call

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Culture War Allegory … “The Awakening” in America’s Not-So “Pleasantville”: Evolved Parenting Results in Authenticity and Defeat of Body Snatchers

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Six: “Pleasantville” as Culture War Allegory

To Follow or Not Follow “the Script” in America’s Not-So “Pleasantville”

“Pleasantville” as Culture War Allegory: Thinking for Oneself Gets You “Colorized”

Not So “Pleasantville”

The film, “Pleasantville,” is a postmodern sociological allegory or fable released in 1998. It begins in then-current time against a backdrop of the usual violence, chaos, and turbulence that we are conditioned by the media to believe characterized the Nineties in America. Two high school teenagers, David and Jennifer, played by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon are planning their evening.

A Tale of Two Siblings

David is planning to watch the Pleasantville marathon on television and to participate in the trivia contest that will be part of it. Pleasantville is a an old sitcom from the 1950s in the Father Knows Best, Leave It to Beaver, My Three Sons style which has attained a cult-like following and is shown regularly on a cable channel similar to the “Nick at Nite” one that we know of which specialized in reruns of old sitcoms. It becomes clear that David is an ardent devotee of the show in part because it compensates for the lameness of his real life. Unlike his sister, who is portrayed as a real “firecracker” of a young woman, he doesn’t date or participate in the school scene. It is implied that he may be using the sitcom as an escape from not only a boring life but a threatening one and that he longs to live in the kind of ordered, safe, and unchallenging reality that the sitcom depicts. David is such an avid follower of the show that he is shown to be a master of “Pleasantville” trivia and is primed and eager for the contest on Pleasantville trivia.

But his sister, Jennifer, is planning for a hot date at home…their parents being away for the weekend providing an opportunity for her to be unchaperoned with her guy—which she eagerly anticipates. At odds over what will be played on the TV–Jennifer wanting to watch instead an MTV concert with her date—they wrestle over the TV remote and end up breaking it. However all is not lost as at just that moment and completely inexplicably a television repairman played by Don Knotts drives up in his truck, knocks on the door, and imposes his services on them in fixing the problem.

Don Knotts—perfectly cast, in a Jungian sense, for it is often the impish or normally overlooked and unnoticed element that initiates sweeping changes in people’s lives—indeed does introduce the magical element into the film. He produces a different kind of remote control, which he claims has special effects saying, “You want something to put you right in the show!” Sure enough, in checking out the remote they hit a mysterious button and are transported into the TV and thus into the sitcom and the town that is called Pleasantville.

To Follow Or Not to Follow “The Script”

After their initial confusion, they realize what has happened and try to return, but do not know how to. David–who it becomes apparent has been thrust into the role of Bud in the sitcom–advises his sister–Jennifer who has become Mary Sue in the TV series–to go along with events until they figure a way to get home. Since he knows all the plots of every show of the sitcom, his idea is that they act out the events as they are supposed to happen and that they do what the two characters–the teenage son and daughter of the parents in the sitcom, Betty and George Parker, played superbly by Joan Allen and William H. Macy–are known to do in the different episodes he has seen.

Essentially, then, David as Bud is advising his sister to “follow the script.” And of course it is not hard to discern at this point that we are beginning to see a metaphor for psychological realities and that “following the script” has a broader meaning for a choice that everyone must make in life in growing up, viz., to follow the script laid out for oneself by one’s parents and society in general or to follow one’s inner direction and inner guide in asserting one’s individuality and expressing one’s unique self.

The rest of the movie is the story of how these two characters–transported magically from the future as well as from the real world as opposed to a made-up TV world–introduce change into the town and thereby color. Mary Sue, formerly Jennifer, does it consciously. Rebelling against her brother’s admonishments to follow the script, she goes on a date with someone she is not supposed to according to the sitcom script and then–horror of horrors for a 1950s world – engages in sex with him at the local “lover’s lane”–where the farthest that anyone goes, according to “script,” is holding hands. We find later that her date describes this unheard of experience to his classmates, and, like ripples emanating from a pebble dropped in a pond, her action results in a number of the school youth engaging in sex and thereby becoming, to everyone’s amazement, colorized!

The brother also introduces change, and therefore color, but it is done unconsciously at first. As mentioned, he tries to get his sister to follow the script. Still, in a metaphorically powerful scene, when he is late for work at the local malt shop–this is unheard of as well because “Pleasantville” is a world where no one is ever late for work–he inadvertently introduces change himself. In fact, he introduces the most insidious element of change because he explicitly advises–without realizing what he has unleashed–that his boss think for himself!

In this scene Bud, formerly David, finds his boss and coworker, Mr. Johnson, played by Jeff Daniels, stuck at the end of the counter, cleaning away with a wash cloth, like a stuck record, at the same spot, even as the surface of the counter is rubbing away.

When the soda jerk, Mr. Johnson, explains confusedly that the normal regimen would have required Bud to arrive at work before he, Mr. Johnson, could go on to the rest of his chores, “Bud” simply suggests to Mr. Johnson that in the future he continue with his next chore even if Bud isn’t there.

So simply in being himself, coming from a future in which people react to change by thinking out new responses and thereby adapting to them, Bud, aka David, introduces a totally new element into the soda jerk’s script. This has far reaching consequences as the movie progresses and Mr. Johnson begins thinking for himself and having ideas about other things as well. In this way, the soda jerk, soon to be artist, too ends up “colored.”

“The Awakening” in a WWII Generation World of “Blue Meanies” and “Nowhere Men” … “Yellow Submarine” … “Pleasantville”

“Pleasantville” and “Yellow Submarine”: The WWII Generation World of “Blue Meanies” and “Nowhere Men” vs. “The Awakening”Blue Meanies


The 1998 movie, “Pleasantville,”thematically, is remarkably akin to the 1968-released movie “Yellow Submarine” put out by the Sixties Generation rock group The Beatles.

In “Yellow Submarine” there is a region ruled by the “Blue Meanies.” These Blue Meanies, especially their leader, are depicted as powerful and cruel, yet sniveling, insecure, weak, and selfish underneath. Their angry and oppressive personas are shown to reveal poor little whining babies behind them. Their actions are shown to be those of “big babies,” whose gruff exterior must remain intact at all costs, lest their hidden sniveling and hurt little selves be revealed. The analogy the Beatles are making to those of the WWII Generation—at that time the parental generation, those “over 30″—is impossible not to make.

“Nowhere Man”

The movies are so similar in theme that the only major thematic difference between “Pleasantville” and “Yellow Submarine” is that it is music that is not allowed in “Yellow Submarine” whereas in “Pleasantville” it is color. But the idea behind them both is the same: Music and color both represent deep feeling, aliveness, thinking for oneself, and change. In “Yellow Submarine,” the man without music is Nowhere Man, who “knows not where he’s going to, doesn’t have a point of view.” In Pleasantville, the men without color act in the same ways, performing the same actions, day in, day out, without change, zombie- or robot-like–like characters in a 1950s-style sitcom in which nothing unpleasant, different, new, or too emotional is allowed to occur.

And above all, the black-and-white men do not think for themselves. This is graphically portrayed in the scene mentioned where the owner of the town malt shop, Mr. Johnson, portrayed by Jeff Daniels, is left cleaning the same spot of the counter for hours so that its top is rubbed away because his coworker is late and the routine they use to close up cannot be completed in the way it is done, everyday, in exactly the same way. Confronted with this small change, he shows himself to be the “Nowhere Man” and like a needle stuck on a record, he is rigidly stuck repeating the same action, not having the power to think of an alternative action in response to a change in the usual routine.

“The Awakening” – No Longer a Distant Vision

The differences in the years of the release and the different artistic modes used to express the themes of these two movies have something to say as well. In 1968 the changes in culture of the New Age were a vision and a hope. It is appropriate and telling that “Yellow Submarine” was expressed in animated form. Like a dream that would take a long time to realize, it needed to be expressed in cartoon-like fashion, for the time of its emergence in reality was too far off.

By contrast, “Pleasantville” blends a fantasy world–appropriately it is a TV sitcom, which has more similarities with reality than an animation – with the actual reality of postmodern times. The advance toward reality is patent in the evolution from an animated form–indicating the change is far off, a fantasy, a wish, a hope–in the 1968 movie; to a black-and-white form involving real actors, real people; and then to a colorized version involving real people in what is supposed to be real time and real cultural reality, in the movie released thirty years later. One might say that what was a fantasy over forty years ago is, however unconsciously, being heralded as, hopefully, emerging and coming into being now–in actual, black-and-white or colored, real time and place.

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Preeminence of Inner Authority – Authenticity Rising

The Preeminence of Inner Authority – Authenticity Rising:
Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Reversing the Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Concerning the movie “Pleasantville,” noted movie critic Roger Ebert quite astutely pointed out that it was “like the defeat of the body snatchers” (from his excellent review, “Pleasantville” ). One might also say that it is one in which Holden Caulfield, the character in J. D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, wins out and children do not grow up to be adult “phonies.” Another analogy would be that it is a depiction in which Peter Pan stays young, when he succeeds in keeping the children from ever growing up and thereby losing their capacity to “fly”–representing the capacity to dream, to envision, to be open to new possibilities, to adventure.

What It Is That Makes One Alive

Against this backdrop of lack of real aliveness, the introduction of “color” into the town of Pleasantville through the introduction of sex is not seen as something bad at all. Similarly, in recent history, despite the increasing drum beating of the Religious Right in the last three decades, those of us who grew up in the Fifties know that the introduction of sex–in the Sixties, as in the “sexual revolution”–was a step forward from the hypocritical sameness and plodding repression of the Fifties.

Other elements introduced into Pleasantville that produce colorization in the participants include thinking for oneself (Jeff Daniels in his role as the soda jerk), intellectual passion (the sister), questioning the way things are supposed to be or, in Sixties terms, questioning authority (when the brother finally becomes colored), artistic and creative passion (Jeff Daniels again), and even the passion of honest rage (the chairman of the Chamber of Commerce). These elements arise in Pleasantville just as they arose into the collective consciousness of those of us living in the Fifties and Sixties.

Of course I am not naively saying that these elements never existed before the Sixties. The underlying factor that was introduced into the movie causing color and that was also introduced into our society causing all the sociocultural changes that we, usually, complain about is the factor of choosing something different than what is expected by society, than what is expected by the outside. What is introduced in the movie–as it was introduced in our culture–is the preeminence of inner authority in making decisions, as opposed to outer authority.

A New Psychohistorical Era!

In psychohistorical terms this difference is marked by Lloyd deMause as a difference in a mode of child-rearing. The black-and-white Fifties Pleasantville is a representation of a mode of child-rearing—which characterized the Fifties—wherein the role of the parents is to “mold,” model, and guide children along paths that the parents have deemed to be correct–called the socializing mode of child-rearing. The child is expected to be a clone of the parents, a mini-me, or at least to represent the parents’ ideas of proper behavior, ideals, and mode of living, irregardless of whether the parent models them or not. And when not, the phrase “Do as I say, not as I do” and the term hypocrite as applied to the parents are apropos. The basic nature of the child is considered to be sinful and evil or at least beastial; the classic novel Lord of the Flies depicts this view of human nature. Therefore the child needs to become other than itself and conform itself to something outside of itself in order for she or he to be considered “good” and to receive good responses in turn from parents and society.

By contrast, the colorized Pleasantville represents the mode of child-caring that came out, big time, beginning in the Sixties, wherein the parents’ role is that of “bringing out” from and supporting, encouraging, and helping the child to discover what the child’s talents and inherent abilities, feelings, and proclivities are, and then encouraging the child to “believe in him/herself” in the expression of those inherent and inborn good qualities and values–termed the helping mode of child-caring. [Footnote 1]

This mode contains a radically new view of basic human nature. Humans are seen to be essentially good (even “divine”). It is evil and painful events impinging upon the child from the outside—family and society—that are deemed causative in taking the child from its natural state of innocence and goodness and inherent unique talents to one wherein the child is corrupted and thus becomes beastial and lacking in inherent good qualities and talents.

Therefore the solution is to protect the child from traumas coming from the outside, especially the huge one of feeling unloved through not being seen or respected as a unique individual…as opposed to being seen as a mere outgrowth or mini-me of a parental entity. And in so doing the parents’ role includes helping the child to discover his or her uniqueness and dispensing unconditional love, that is, love that is given freely, without the requirement, as in the socializing mode, that the child do and be what the parents want before the child is accepted or shown approval or any emotional warmth.

In representing this advanced mode of being (and child-caring) the “colorized” people in Pleasantville open themselves to possibilities that were never before considered; they stray from the earlier mode requiring strict conformity to parental scripts. Robert Kennedy’s Sixties quote comes to mind as expressing this: “Some people look at things as they are and ask, why? I think of things that never were and ask, why not?” This means, then, a capacity to experiment and adventure in one’s life, which, at bottom, involve a belief in questioning authority and thinking for oneself in Sixties terms or, in Sathya Sai Baba’s words, a belief that we are, each of us, “experiments in truth” in our sojourns on Earth. And just as these elements and beliefs became more and more a part of America’s collective consciousness in the Sixties and Seventies and ever since then, they also gradually develop in “Pleasantville.”

Love Uncertainty – We Need to Stop Bemoaning the “Messiness” that Comes with Freedom

What It Is About Change… Revolution Is Not a Tea Party
(But It Can Be a Tweet Party)

The “Messy” Scenery of Healing

“Love My Uncertainty”

One reviewer described the ending of the movie as “not at all easy and tidy, but rather very, very messy” ( “Pleasantville” by Chris A. Bolton). Ebert–more astutely but not quite correctly—wrote that the determining factor in whether someone became “colored” was the factor of change. The first reviewer, like someone with one foot still in “Pleasantville” or one who is still not fully colored, does not understand that the ending, wherein the characters proclaim that they do not know what is going to happen next, contains exactly the essential message of the movie. The ending can only be “messy” if one expects a particular ending.

The reviewer is very much like the critics of Occupy Wall Street who claim the protesters do not have a message, or a leader…essentially don’t know where they are going. He is wrong for the same reasons those critics are.

The whole point of change is that it is always something one does not expect. Likewise, when people act out of inner rather than outer authority, one can only expect that what happens will be unique, like people are when they are not conforming to external expectations. So there could be no pat or predicted ending. The moviegoer could not leave knowing whether Betty Parker, the Stepford housewife turned liberated woman, returns to her husband, George, or takes off with the soda jerk turned artist, Mr. Johnson, because that would destroy the uncertainty inherent in change, growth, aliveness, and so on. So the ending is exactly what it has to be.

And this ending expresses the spiritual razor’s edge each of us must cross during our life’s sojourn. Whenever we try to put life, or love, into a box, package, or a gilded cage, it dies or stagnates—just like a boring black-and-white sitcom world. Real change and spiritual growth means letting go and opening oneself to the unexpected and the unknown. So it is in this vein that the spiritual teacher Sai Baba tells his followers, “Love my uncertainty,” in helping them to deal–after the usual “honeymoon phase” at the beginning of their spiritual path–with the trials, changes, tribulations, and suffering that his devotees experience later on, along their path to greater purity of heart and compassion, and eventually spiritual liberation.

The Scenery of Healing

One of the reasons the movie, “Pleasantville,” so appealed to me is that its view of current events is so akin to that which I have been expressing in other of my more recent writings–e.g., the articles The Sometimes Messy Scenery of Healing and The Emerging Perinatal Unconscious and the books Apocalypse – No!, Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or Earth Rebirth? and Apocalypse, or New Age? The Emerging Perinatal Unconscious–wherein I make the argument that recent events are not evidence of a downfall of civilization, as conservatives like Newt Gingrich and Pat Buchanan would have us believe, but are the necessary “birth pains” of a new age being born.


In Pleasantville, indeed, though everyone smiles and there is no crime or unpleasantness–which is supposed to reflect the view of reality presented in Fifties sitcoms like Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver–it is inherently flawed in that it is lacking in “color.” Those of us who lived through the Fifties know that the lack of color is an apt metaphor for exactly the way it was at that time. It was a back-and-white world–a world that covered up its underlying nastiness and evil by repression and denial–psychological defense mechanisms that characterize the World-War-Two Generation especially.

New Mantram: “Thinking for Oneself Is Good!”

The point in the movie, which is so appealing, is that it causes us to look again at the changes in our society that have occurred because of the various “revolutions” of postmodern times–civil rights, student antiwar, women’s rights, sexual, and so on–and to stop bemoaning the “messiness” that comes with freedom. We have more choice, more freedom now than ever. And this freedom allows us the opportunity for a higher spirituality—some would say the only true spirituality—which involves the harrowing path of deciding for oneself, based upon one’s ability to intuit or “feel” the correct path, and experiencing the consequences of one’s choices, as opposed to the preordained religiosity of following a script.

Though many would argue this, one has only to look, as this movie forces us to do, back at where we started. And from that perspective, with that stultifying, hypocritical, dishonest, and phony kind of supposed “living” in mind, we can easily see the changes and progress made in individual freedom and, dare I say, genuine spirituality, and accept the uncertainty, emotional pain, apparent evil, “messiness,” social and political turbulence, and all the rest that comes with it.

Footnote

1.See The History of Childhood As the History of Child Abuse by Lloyd deMause on the Primal Spirit site.

Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seven: Cultural Rebirth, Aborted

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Twenty-Nine: An Aside on Drugs and Generations—Sixties, Gen X, Millennials and Their Parents

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Generations – Their Drugs and Politics. Gen Xers Are Fifty-ish, Millennials Are Sixty-ish: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 29

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Millennials Are Sixty-ish

Furthur.trpld (2)There is another overlooked factor or aspect of this rise in drug use in the Nineties by Millennials: These youngsters were the sons and daughters of the Sixties generation who, in their own youth, as we all know too well, engaged in drug experimentation. In fact, this younger generation of drug users has sometimes been called the baby-boomer “echo” generation.

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Gen Xers Are Fifty-ish

images (22)tb-racist-fiftiesMillennials are quite a bit different from the previous “echo” generation — Gen X. The generation that came to age during the Eighties—Yuppies and Xers—had parents who were father-knows-bestborn during the Great Depression and imagfghjhesWorld War Two, who had their young adult formative years during the Eisenhower — Joe McCarthy –Presley Fifties. So Gen X was influenced by their parents to conservatism, career-mindedness, and, for drug-of-choice, alcohol.

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But this “echo” generation of Millennials has parents whose young adulthood was forged in the rebellion, drug and sex experimentation, activism, liberal-radicalism, and idealism of the Sixties, not the Fifties. [Footnote 1]

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Forget What You’ve Heard About Generation Gap

bli_18_672-458_resize080226_recreate-68-1Generationally speaking, we know that children do not predominantly rebel to the opposite of their parents’ values. Kenneth Keniston, for one, has made it clear—referring to studies—that children are paramountly influenced by the values and attitudes…conscious and unconscious…of their parents. So this most recent cohort of youth was of course going to be more liberal in their attitude to drug use than Gen X, even if their parents, in their coming into adulthood, overtly decry or are against the use of drugs. Keep in mind also that many of the baby-boomers have retained, not reversed, their acceptance of drug experimentation, and many still believe in and use drugs; many still considering the occasional use of certain types—especially the psychedelics, and to some extent, pot—to be an aid to self-development and/or spiritual awareness.

Family Lies Not “Family Ties”

family-ties-kitchen-delish-xlFamilyTiesAlexKeatonBeingConservativeWasBSThe myth that youth rebel against their parents’ values was happy-days-castexpressed and propagandized by the TV show “Family Ties.” This was an oh-so-convenient portrayal, as it contributed to the pervasive scapegoating of the Sixties generation by the Fifties Generation—the Eisenhower–Joe McCarthy–Presley generation—who came into their Triumphant Phase, that is, took over the reins of society as mature adults in the Eighties.

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Rebellion in Youth Amounts to Being Uncompromising About Parents’ Values Not Defying Them

kent-state-tear-gasimagesdddThis “Family Ties” kind of rebellion, however inaccurate, seems to be credible largely as a result of the observation that youth do rebel against their parents. But it kent-state-solidarityignores the fact that when they do, and they don’t always, they revolt or rebel, as in the Sixties youth, most often in the direction of being more insistent of actually living the values of their parents, not simply voicing them. As Keniston found out, for example, as he described in his follow-up to The Uncommitted, in the book, Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth, radical youth had liberal (hardly conservative!) parents.

garry_winogrand_kent_state_demonstration_washington_dc_1970__printed_1970s_gwf_35_471x471_q80When Sixties youth were angry at their parents it was out of their perception of their parents as compromising and not living out their own expressed ideals, as laid out to their children in raising them. Therefore, Sixties rage against adults came out of their disgust at their parents for “not walking their talk.” As we may recollect, there was the oft-repeated charge of “hypocrite” directed by some of these youth toward their parental generation.

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Millennials and Their Sixties Parents

In this regard notice also that this latest crop of young—born mid-70s through roughly 2000 (Boomers had children over a longer expanse of time than generations previous and since, for reasons that I’ve dealt with in other places) Michelle_Obama08_1335and being now in their twenties and thirties…the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation—has also seen increases in voting for liberal or Democratic candidates. Their turnout for Clinton in 1992 was the first time since the Seventies that the youth vote went Democratic. Their support of Obama was widely given as the reason for his success.

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Occupy Wall Street … Sixties Gen Liberals, Millennial Revolutionaries?

3-1278469994-bg-make-love-not-waryuppieIn the Nineties we saw — despite the AIDS scare — an end to a fledgling “youth celibacy movement” — which had been a movement of Yuppie/Gen Xers encouraged by their Fifties Generation parents. The Millennials, s-OCCUPY-WALL-STREET-MARTIN-LUTHER-KING-large300echoing again their parents and this time the sexual revolution, were noted for early and/or increased sexual experimentation.317004_10150363071620658_572805657_8804589_667246355_n This latest cohort of youth also has seen increases in idealism, activism, and volunteerism. It is no coincidence that we have finally seen a rising up of activism again in the occupy wall street movement, with Millennials taking the lead and supported, taught, and inspired by their Sixties cohort parents. [Footnote 2]

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Footnote

1. See my blog/book Culture War, Class War, especially Chapter Two: Matrix Aroused, the Sixties and Chapter Four: Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds and Chapter Five: The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard.

2. These aspects and generational phenomena are spelled out in more detail in my work-in-progress, Regression, Mysticism, and “My Generation.” Right at hand, however, you can read an elaboration of some of these ideas in the chapters mentioned in Culture War, Class War—especially Chapters One through Seven and the post, Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution.

Continue with Tune Inward, Turn Back, Drop Down – Psychedelics, Depression, and Those Nasty Birth Feelings: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 30

Return to Raging to Reenter, Vampire Apocalypse, Drug Use, and Being Gratefully Dead—Perinatal Printouts Of Sixties, X, and Millennial Generations. 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 28

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Sixteen: View From the Heavens and Prometheus Redux … Icarus Is Flapping and the Gods Are Laughing as We Build Nukes and Drill Holes

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How We Look to the Gods and Prometheus Redux … Building More Nukes and Drilling More Holes – Icarus Keeps Flapping and the Gods Can’t Stop Laughing: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 16

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Prometheus Redux

Before leaving Prometheus for good, let us consider some other interesting prometheussfgsgsgaspects of its rendering that provide insight into this book’s exploration of the deepest psychological—perinatal—roots of our apocalypse now:

There are four legends of the Prometheus myth—all of them are reflected, coincidentally, in themes in this and its related books, Culture War, Class War and The Great Reveal. They are

According to the first, he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.

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Smeagol (2)“Betraying the secrets of gods to men” includes the biggest divine prerogative—dominion over death. Also, this implies that humans were given the forbidden knowledge which humans are incapable of controlling, which I dealt with at length in a previous section, using as modern examples our stirring up the forces of the atom and the secrets of the DNA.

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According to the second, Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.

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robocop13crppdOne of the results of Promethean hubris IMG_0092was control of Nature but therein also detachment from Nature. As I have been showing, our birth pain led us to the Promethean mistake of fire and meat. Both of these contribute to what I have called the thingification of humans, especially in 1468910684_21627a3681_omodern/postmodern times. By that I mean our extraordinary pain coming into the world and then in general in life causes us to split off from the feelings in our bodies. We objectify all of Nature: We remove all its feeling and spiritual components and leave Things as the only reality, including ourselves and other humans. We “thingify” our babies; and as adults we embrace thingification (repression, detachment, estrangement, suppression, alienation) as a way of defending against this pain.

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According to the third, his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.

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This separation from the pain creates the personal unconscious. But as a species, we have created a collective unconscious—what I have called the Unapproved and Hidden of all cultures. And as I have said, the truth became increasingly invisible over time…our real nature, what we did, and the true cost of our estrangement became ever more buried, obscure…eventually unknowable.

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According to the fourth, everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.

vasdffasfhand_talismanThis refers to what happens when we face these uncomfortable truths and resolve them. Ultimately we leave behind these dramas when we have dealt with them so much they no longer have any charge for us… in other words, they become boring… we “weary.” The patterns are still there, but they contain no charge for us.

SmeagulPrometheusSo the first legend asserts that we are damaged and pained as karmic retribution robocop06crppdfor our defiance of Nature. And in these last three legends we have the ways we have reacted to the Promethean wound within us: ”We become unfeeling, detached, rock-like. We become one with our defenses, thingified.

The second says that we repress this information and it becomes increasingly hidden (“forgotten”) as our species has “evolved,” but also individually, as we get older in life. This is generally what is done with the Promethean wound of birth pain. The third says that some of us face and deal with the wounds. Eventually they are gone beyond, truly gone beyond, as eventually all the charge on them disappears, they have no more control over us or pull on us, as we just naturally weary of them…they dissipate.

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There remains the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.[28]

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secretvaultlikeagravevaultsecretdublinFinally, inexplicable substratum of truth is a pretty damn good description of the Unapproved and Hidden … also known as the Collective Unconscious… But in my rendering of it—dealing with our species unconscious, not just personal, “racial,” societal, or cultural—it contains much more than Jung imagined and because of that reverses many of the interpretations and meanings arising from it from what the Jungians, Joseph Campbell, or Freud understood.

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Finally – Futility… The Gods Are Laughing at Us

One final message can be taken from these ancient minings of unconscious Truth which is also a commentary on our current mainstream reactions to the dire developments which are now reaching an apocalyptic peak:

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Icarus Flapping – LOL

8498664629643546845464684684581661In the Icarus myth, “Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms.” I don’t icarus4think there is a better image for the way we look in our actions in the face of apocalypse. The gods, GlobalWarmingaliens, Titans, angels, and the planetmates must be laughing their asses off at the sight of fukushima-no-1-meltdown-confirmed-japan_thumbhumans continued “flapping” about with ever more technology, pushing ever forward into the face of doom and apocalypse—the sun, the fire for Icarus—even as the Earth below us continues to fail, disintegrate, get polluted and poisoned, and no longer support our continued hubris.

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We’re Falling and We Can’t Get Up

Oh, yes, we’ve started the Icarus fall…our wings of technology are “melting”lrg-icarus—literally in the case of Fukushima—but ever faster we “flap”—seeking to build more nuclear plants, hiding from the populace the extinction level events that are happening RIGHT NOW at Fukushima, seeking to drill ever more even with the BP spill clear as can be in the rear view mirror, Icarus6lining the Koch Brothers pockets in touting the benefits of coal as an energy source, melting the rocks around natural gas so that our tap water catches fire and poisons folks who drink it, and so much more. So, yes, even more furiously we flap, the harder for every increase in our fall.

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We furiously pick up litter as our organs rot from radiation poisoning. Oh, yes, we’ll die. But where we fall it will be tidy. We register voters and sign petitions as our organs rot from radiation poisoning. Oh, yes, we’ll die. But we’ll all be able to vote. [Footnote 1]

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View From the Edge

pwen95lWe’ve had a long journey through the world of ancient myths and prehistory in delving into the way our prenatal state of 166899_10150383077549679_650124678_8093125_721365237_n-the-beginning-is-near2oxygen insufficiency has pushed us to make fire and polluted environments attractive to us. We’ve seen how these early pushes have set us apart from all other species and placed us on an inexorable slide—which we in good time embraced and claimed as a goal and achievement even—to the edge of an apocalyptic abyss.

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Next we look at how this unconscious state of an Oliver Twist style of oxygen deprivation affects us politically and socially…no matter any conscious or moral rearranging of “furniture” on the decks of our individual Titanics.

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Continue with Hunger Games: Prenatal Oxygen Hunger and Its Political Imprints – Greed, Oppression, Sycophancy, Class War, Revolution: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 17

Return to Real Hope Lies in Pandora’s Jar and Return of the Centaur … Since the Last Time Was 1961, It’s None Too Soon: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 15

Footnote

1. Every time I look at this, It looks worse than I thought. This one makes me think there’s no way any of us will survive this. And if we do, then our children won’t. It’s that bad. And what pisses me off is that progressives want to poo-poo this.

Continue with Hunger Games: Prenatal Oxygen Hunger and Its Political Imprints – Greed, Oppression, Sycophancy, Class War, Revolution: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 17

Return to Real Hope Lies in Pandora’s Jar and Return of the Centaur … Since the Last Time Was 1961, It’s None Too Soon: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 15

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Fifteen: Open the Jar, Pandora, and Return of The Centaur … Wherein Lies Real Hope

Achilles-and-Chiron

Real Hope Lies in Pandora’s Jar and Return of the Centaur … Since the Last Time Was 1961, It’s None Too Soon: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 15

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Open the Jar, Pandora

imasgfsgsgsgfsgesIn psychological terms, real change lies in peering deep into the Pandora’s jar of the Hopeunconscious to recover the real hope that is there. Remember, Zeus punished humanity for Prometheus’s theft by sending Pandora. Pandora opened the jar she was told never to look into—another broken law of the Divine, like that of Eve and Prometheus—and out came all the ailments that now plague humankind. It is said Pandora tried to close it but “it was too late.” Still, the legend tells us what was left inside was hope.

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pandora-boxcubeengravedgoldcrppdI don’t think you have a better description of the way most folks, including most psychologists, handle the discomfort of early pain: monster-under-the-bed.crpdThey can’t help but be affected by it…some of it does “leak out.” But they expend all kinds of efforts toward bottling it up as much as possible, suppressing, repressing, using all kinds of defenses—including what mainstream psychotherapists call “healthy” ones.

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Well, There’s No Sense Going Half Way!

487505594_68909d3e97_mYet I can tell you as a primal therapist, breathworker, and primal person that is the exact wrong thing to do. pandora_largeFrom the perspective of deep experiential psychotherapy and Holotropic Breathwork one must open the “jar” all the way up. One must surrender to the discomfort within—not acting it out but acting it in…or rather, surrendering to the feelings that come up and expressing them (opening the jar wide).

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298009_1510005046893_1737376259_743931_1500214464_nThe jar is the personal unconscious, and what we find is that the only answer to all these troubles is to look deeply into them; for when we do we find the real hope that lies beneath the pain. Or as I have phrased it, there comes a time when one feels through the “negative grids” (the “pain grids”) to the “positive grids” (the “joy grids”). Therein is the hope.

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What we find is that when one has faced and integrated perinatal pain, then the blissful experiences from earlier in womb time opens up. In Grof’s terms referred to earlier in this book, when one allows oneself to experience the depression of BPM II (constricted womb) and the tribulations of BPM III (birth itself), then one is open to the euphoria of BPM I (early womb experience). Rather than seeing through a veil of perinatal negativity and illusion and acting out from the unreal self or ego, one is getting closer to one’s real self as a positive, truly creative being, .

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This is not a fleeting experience, for it allows a completely new perception on one’s life, vastly different from what one normally thinks. One has access to positive patterns laid down at earlier and more fundamental times in one’s life. One can build a life that works, for once. One can make choices that trigger one into happiness, not ones that are self-destructive and conducive to unhappiness.

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This is true in therapy and on the spiritual path but also in ordinary life. For any time one confronts or looks deeply into one’s discomforts there is a time when there is release from it, there is a time when one is in a better place for having faced it. As the Tao symbol indicates, there is a seed of light in the depths of darkness.

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ChironAchillesThetisspirit-of-the-nightAdditionally I can tell you that opening up even more to the reality of consciousness, as opposed to constructing egoic “castles in the sky,” leads to uncovering the “spiritual grids” beyond even the “positive grids.” That is images (3)when we go beyond even hope chironto actual redemption, re-union with estranged divinity, faith, empathy, love, and finally compassion. And that is when we as Centaurs go from being just wounded and suffering to being, like Chiron, healers…and caring teachers.

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imadgfhfjgjkl;'gesrings_doom1szd.half - Copy (3)So, for centaurs, for those who take this path, it is more depressive than aggressive. And up to the euphoric culmination I described above, it is painful and ongoing as well, just as Nine-Days-of-CreationChiron’s wound was incurable and tormenting. These become the shamans and wounded healers, like Chiron, throwing oc_websterthemselves into the fire, rather than shooting fire all about themselves at others. Centauric folks take on the suffering lest they end up being like all those before them who sheepishly and selfishly passed the burden down.

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Return of the Centaur

In another part of this book I point out how there are, beginning with the Sixties, now generations who are doing just that—working out these pains, not acting them out.

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concert11 TDPOPP05  HINDASHI just recently delineated the way these primal pains are emerging and how they are being worked through, not acted out, in younger generations and in alternative, rock music, and therapeutic cultures for a number ShlomiNissim2of decades now.

the-centaurs-c2a9-winsor-mccayFinally, in a related work of mine, Culture War, Class War, I have written how the Sixties Generation is a centaur generation and how the millennial generation is continuing that tradition. I’ve pointed out Sixties folk are centauric in standing upon (sitting upon) the achievements of previous generations but also reversing the perverse Promethean human direction by reuniting with our rootedness in Nature.

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Chiron Return…Every Fifty-One Years

220px-Mitt_Romney_by_Gage_Skidmore_38065543_origThis humble and correct primal returning has been done, is continuing to be done, and will keep on being done as the Sixties generation continues working out its power struggle at the top, but now aided by a Millennial Hrcfamilygeneration—comprised mainly of their OccupyEarth (2)daughters and sons — who are rather centaur-like themselves … as this book and the related works continue to show.

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82a59_Screen_shot_2011-09-17_at_11.24.16_AM_0.img_assist_customcrppdegyptAnd who, because of this, following different stars grounded in realities both deeper and higher, they boldly confront their societies, bringing about change, creating rapid evolution, revolution; and in doing this they have already created an youth-protest (3)Arab Spring and an Occupy Wall Street movement. They will bring about profound change in that they are opposed to the powers 40f01_OccupyWallstreet_TStarr5that be, just as their parents were opposed to the “establishment” of their day and created a “counter” culture.

The Chiron cycle is fifty-one years, meaning the last time we had energies like we do now in 2012 was in 1961. SixtiesMarwickIf you lived through or know about that decade, you know that 1961 through 1971 were SixtiesCollageamong the most transformative, progressive, and revolutionary years in the history of the world…and it indeed was a worldwide phenomenon. Considering the dire developments and challenges being laid at our feet, as this book has been laying them out…and requiring as much social but personal change as well…the centaurs couldn’t have returned any too soon.

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Continue with How We Look to the Gods and Prometheus Redux … Building More Nukes and Drilling More Holes – Icarus Keeps Flapping and the Gods Can’t Stop Laughing: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 16

Return to Enter the Centaur: Wherein Lies Real Hope – Sixties and Millennial Generations Are Shamans for Deluded Promethean “Fathers”: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 14

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Spirituality vs. Religion: Reality doesn’t require blind obedience or sycophantic worship. From 26th Prasad of Planetmates – “Ego Above All”

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Seek and You Shall Find…Spirituality vs. Religion. From 26th Prasad of Planetmates – “Ego Above All”

[W]hile 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….

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[S]imply 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 doesn’t need to at this point, proves it. This is what is meant by, “Seek and you shall find….

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[T]hese 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…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….

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Seek and You Shall Find: Reality doesn’t require blind obedience and sycophantic worship. From Paraphrase/ Elaboration of “The Twenty-Sixth Prasad”

jupiterYou 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, truth-awareness-bliss-phranicenergythe 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 shamans and priests who encourage your separation—what you call religion—and you have shamans, 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.

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slideshow_05_lgIf 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.animals,cute,cat,happiness,joy,kiss-78a3ce53d1d4f155b6c0b24a896c2ea1_h (2) 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?

work.4426357.2.flat,550x550,075,f.god-walking-in-the-garden (2)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 doesn’t 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.

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As for evidence for this, how do you account for the very things you are hearing right now? They are meant to relieve your unnecessary suffering and free you. vlcsnap-2011-07-06-00h17m18s188Of course it is meant to have you turn to an actual discomforting problem. But even that 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.

But 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? Schwartz1Consider 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?

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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.

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The Twenty-Sixth Prasad: Ego Above All

ego.spawn-angelAll these controlling tendencies of all-seen-as-not-ego were alike in their estimation and implementation: control of life ways; all Earth Citizens—Fauna and Flora; other humans; and dependent newborns. They were all seen increasingly as “things” to be manipulated and used for Ego survival. squirrel.friends.animals,cute,love,wild,life,animal,kiss-0234b807ffd68088bcbc8b2247324e1d_hThey were all gradually deprived of their status as being conscious, of having consciousness, as being akin to self and one’s consciousness. So separation from the Divine meant separation from all else, all others, even one’s own offspring; and increasing isolation, increasing reinforcement of the alien, backwards, consciousness construct, Ego. Newborns were seen in exactly the same way as other beings being controlled: That is, they were viewed as just as worthy an investment, and little more, as the raising of kidnapped Earth citizens and their forced enlistment in the survival schemes of the rootless, directionless Humans. (26th prasad)

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Continue with The Great Reveal, Chapter Thirty-Four: The Twenty-Sixth Prasad. Ego Towers Over Everything

Return to Ritual and Prayer: In your controlling mania, you sought also to coerce the Divine. From 26th Prasad of Planetmates – “Ego Above All”

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Apocalypse Emergency: The Most Heroic Humans Ever! Or Suicidal Apes and Our Future as Mars

Apocalypse Emergency: We’ll either be the most heroic humans ever or be know throughout the Universe as “Suicidal Ape”

Suicidal Apes and Our Future as Mars

If you care about your children, you’ll “man up,” “woman up,” “cowboy up,” whatever…anything but cover up…and face the horror, become the noble humans we are capable of being, and join with others to pull off the most heroic actions of all time…

Or else we’ll be deemed throughout the Universe as “suicidal ape,” and our portrait will be no different from Mars.

The better angels of our beings urge us to pay attention to what is being said in the audio clip and writing below.

Consider the Topic and then that By the Ending I Was Feeling Euphoric,
Having Just Stared Deeply Into the Most Horrible Likely Future Conceivable.

MEANING:

Either you really should be checking this out…
Or I Should Be Getting Checked Out… but seriously folks…

Now you’d THINK this would be a morose piece. I am the author and I fully expected this to be a wake-up call that only the brave or the Goths would listen to. But honestly, I have to confess that the writing that came out of me and that I then expanded upon further in the reading over of it afterward was beautiful and led to a conclusion that inspired me (that’s not supposed to happen!) and left me feeling calmer than I have been for a long time.


Apocalypse Emergency: The Apocalypse Will Kill Your Child, How Can You Turn Your Head?” – audio presentation by SillyMickel Adzema

Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or, New Dawn? by SillyMickel  Adzema sound bitehttp://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=rmcffzyvrk
Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or, New Dawn? by SillyMickel Adzema

You REALLY might want to listen to the audio above. It is a loose reading of this “Apocalypse Emergency”; is more entertaining than simply reading the text; is more conversational; contains extra information; and is framed by the feelings of the author/ audio presenter. I think it is altogether more accessible than the text alone, and I think an easier and more fun way to take in this part. The text for it appears in Chapter Two of Apocalypse-No! the book, and it will appear in upcoming posts as well.

Click for audiocast by clicking player above or the link to the audio site below:

Apocalypse Emergency. The Apocalypse Will Kill Your Child, How Can You Turn Your Head?

– audio presentation by SillyMickel Adzema


What’s in the Audio?

Ok, Ok, so you want to know what’s in here, especially the audio? I’m tempted to say “grab bag” and split, figuring to let Higher Power decide who gets to hear this. Sure this is in me; but there is more here in this audio than I, well at least thought, was in me.

No, I’ll give you the poop: It’s about a frightening global predicament that everyone seems to be aware of, but which few people are giving the attention and seriousness it deserves. I liken it to a thousand-alarm fire going off right now, with everyone looking away. I talk about why people would do that, why the media would be inclined to shy away. Basically it’s understandable because we simply have no way of comprehending the magnitude of what is happening and how fast, since no living thing on this planet in its multibillion year history has had to face what we are. [Footnote]

I found compassion, not blame.

I use spiritual fantasy and real world analogies to help us get a handle on what we’re facing. In jumping into these “waters,” I expected to be emotionally beat up. But instead I came to many understandings, and found I saw the positions of many who aren’t helping right now somewhat through their eyes, and found compassion, not blame.

Now that I think of it, I am having the realization that the reason for my serene, compassionate, and loving feelings while doing this parallels why I felt there was hope in the end.

I realize that facing dire challenges—and this being the most dire of all—brings out the best in Humans. It always has. Though this has been put off so long we might not do anything substantive till it’s too late, I realize that a political change away from the George W. Bush debacle in Washington may be having unknown but positive ripple effects around the world. In essence, it is only now that either Americans or those around the world can feel they can apply themselves to tackling this biggest of all challenges, for the previous US administration was disheartening and disillusioning to people of the globe who cared about the crisis, and of course to us in America, who felt that any efforts we could make would be quickly outswamped by the massive anti-environmental policies (sneakily disguised in environmentally positive sounding labels).

Not that everything has changed and corporations are back on their heels in their attempts at thwarting our wills to life; still, when Bush was US president, it was hopeless. It is very disheartening when your own government seems to consider your life completely expendable when it comes to short term gains for the Bushie’s—the corporate and “filthy rich” FOB’s.

The ending lifted me.

As for the ending which lifted me up in a way that I haven’t felt in a long time on this matter, I can only say that my long term study of humans—as a depth psychotherapist and as a student of other cultures across all time periods, that is, anthropology—informed my conclusions, shaped them, and took me to visions of possible futures that I did not expect, but seem, if not as likely, then at least as worthy of the human spirit as we deserve.

We’ll be tested and found worthy…or deserving of our grave.

And for all we’ve done it seems we have called down upon ourselves to be tested and to be found either worthy, or deserving of the grave we’re digging.

I’ve said too much. The piece is complete in itself, and if you dare, you may find yourself strangely invigorated. At least I hope you get some, if not a lot, of the benefits and positive attitude adjustment that I received.

“We’re all in this together.”

I left the piece feeling so much love and unity with all humans and living things, for I knew that at no other time in the history of the world was the truth of the saying “we’re all in this together” more patently true.


Apocalypse Emergency: The Apocalypse Will Kill Your Child, How Can You Turn Your Head?” – audio presentation by SillyMickel Adzema

Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or, New Dawn? by SillyMickel  Adzema sound bitehttp://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=rmcffzyvrk
Apocalypse Emergency: Apocalypse? Or, New Dawn? by SillyMickel Adzema

Click for audiocast by clicking player above or the link to the audio site below:

Apocalypse Emergency. The Apocalypse Will Kill Your Child, How Can You Turn Your Head?

– audio presentation by SillyMickel Adzema



Continue with
Apocalypse – No! Chapter Two:
Apocalyptic Wake-Up Call

Footnote

1. The idea that there was no other time where any human lived knowing of the very real possibility of ending our species in its lifetime was criticized as follows:

No other time has been like this, but there have been plenty of times in the history of the human species where we have been met with the ability to and possibility of our ending—from when we were a few dozen leaving the mythological savanna of Eden to the discovery of the forging of Bronze to the hypothetical Event that led to the Dark Ages, the Apocalypse has been Nigh. It ain’t happened yet.

I responded: I have no idea of what time in our evolution that, other than modern times, our species even knew that it was a limited species on a limited globe and had any idea that its actions could wipe out what it thought of as itself as a species when we did not conceive of ourselves as a limited species in any of those time you speak of. We, with our science and technology are able to know of those times and ourselves. But hell, only in the last five hundred years did we find out we lived on a globe or lived in a solar system! Before that how could anyone in any culture know where either their ability to roam ended or their species no longer existed!

So you miss the point, which is, “no other time” did humans live “KNOWING” that THEY could bring, not only themselves, their families, or their cultures to an end but THEIR ENTIRE “SPECIES,” to an end “in”…their “lifetime” (not to mention the other estimated 500 million species). From “No other time was like this. We live knowing of the very real possibility of ending our species in our lifetime.”

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Apocalypse – No! Chapter Two:

Apocalyptic Wake-Up Call

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Spirituality and God as Good vies with Religion and Belief in a Satan – The road to the transpersonal light leads through the perinatal darkness.

Apocalypse – No! Chapter Fifteen:
Dreaming Out Loud – Heaven Leads Through Hell, Control vs. Surrender

The “Royal Road” to Our Collective Mind

Is there any evidence that the changes that need to happen for us to stave off apocalypse and save our world are actually occurring?

I have mentioned that 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 Eight: 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 in video rental stores, 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 into the stacks of the video rental 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.

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

Ego-Eroding Information Deluge

In the last few decades 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.

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.

We have seen that the first response is typical of a more advanced form of child-caring that is centered on the needs of the child and that the latter reaction goes with child-caring centered on the needs of the care-givers, or parents…in this latter instance 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.

So, the tsunami of information in all areas, where previously we could smugly hold forth ego-satisfying views, pushes toward an overthrow of those narrower perspectives and the establishment of broader, more encompassing ones as well as for 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.

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.

Continue on this site with
Apocalypse – No! Chapter Sixteen:
Dreaming Out Loud, Atman Projects vs. Surrender Solutions


Footnotes

1. See especially Ken Wilber, The Atman Project. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House, 1980. [return to text]

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.” [return to text]

Copyright © 1999, 2011 by Michael Derzak Adzema

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Apocalypse – No! Chapter Sixteen:
Dreaming Out Loud, Atman Projects vs. Surrender Solutions

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Auspicious Collective Regressions – Better Hitler Had Jumped Into Mosh Pits

Apocalypse No! Chapter Fourteen:
Rebirthing Rituals – The Sometimes Messy Scenery of Healing


Wedded to Rebirthing Rituals

At the point when the perinatal unconscious arises, individuals—and collectively, society—have the choice to turn toward the emergence of these feelings or to turn away from them.

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.

In turning away from them we shun them, act them out, and are enslaved by them…thus we act unconsciously, trance-like, zombie-like.

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 choose instead to can act them out, which is the peace symbol upside downthe 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
    • Aggression
    • Release or submission, depending upon whether one wins or loses the “war”

Then back around again beginning with relative peacefulness, or extreme repression and depression—depending again on winning or losing.

This then is followed by either—in winning the “war”—the same cycle of expansion then entrapment or—in losing the war…struggle, battle—a similar cycle of reemerging strength, akin to the expansion, then continuing depression or overarching gloom and helplessness feelings coupled with revenge feelings and blame, akin to the closedness and guilt. Note, however, that the revenge and blame feelings here are also aspects of the BPM II matrix. And then the cycle is the same again—viz., aggression, release or submission, and so on around.

Railing Against the Darkness

So the question begging to be asked is “What do we do about it?” 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 2]

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 3]

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 4]

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 5]

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. [Footnote 6]

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 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.

This disclaiming of the cycle and the reliance on “will-power” to change one’s patterns has been exposed in its impotence, as evidenced by the growing acknowledgment of the ineffectiveness and, indeed, counter-effectiveness of psychoanalysis. [Footnote 7]

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 8]

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 9]

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 DeMause. [Footnote 10]

Auspicious Collective Regressions

But from this perspective of experiential psychotherapy—one completely congruent with and grateful of DeMause’s contribution in his article—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 11]

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 previously, 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 12]

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 lesser 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 13]

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 14]

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 15]

Questioning Authority and Oneself Is Good

The Most Advanced Child-Caring

Finally, the correctness of this view has been borne out in recent history. Glenn Davis analyzed the socializing psychoclass of child-caring 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 16]

Davis concluded that in America the Vietnam War was perpetrated by individuals belonging almost entirely to the aggressive-training and vigorous-guidance psychoclasses. [Footnote 17]

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 18]

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.

The helping mode is the child-caring mode employed widely by the Sixties generation for their children, being then the mode enjoyed by the children of a delegated-release psychoclass. So Sixties youth are seen, psychologically, to have the most the most “advanced” ego structures short of their children taught within a helping mode. [Footnote 19]

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 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—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 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—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 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 before. This led to his fascination with discovering what made them so different. And he documented his findings in two booksThe 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 20]

Blushing Troll-Handlers

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! These dynamics can be readily seen by looking to Keniston’s original works. [Footnote 21]

Better Psychotic Than Waging War

To summarize, 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.

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 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 towards war, violence, selfishness and greed and corresponding environmental apathy, then better one would be paralyzed and doing nothing .

The Price of Pain Is Minuscule

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. Regardless of professional help…which would be nice but is not always available or practical…some people just find a way.

Societal Self-Analysis

Talk Show Soul-Searching

We see the workings of these tendencies to look away from problems or 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.

But this removal of a collective punching bag or scapegoat also resulted in a 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.

For evidence of this latter response we notice 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.

So 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 dark side. And if we must, it is better to endure the psychotic acting out of a culture war 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?

We Could Use More “Narcissistic” Generations

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 22]

Let the Buck Stop Here!

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 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. [Footnote 24]

These highly defended and fear-minded conservatives, prone to projection, are incapable of appreciating the integrity of an inner-thinking generation. 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!”

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.

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 25]

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 Might We Expect?

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.

“A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall”

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.

For, as Janov has pointed out, closer to one’s Pain—one’s unconscious—is closer to being real. And this closeness holds out the possibility both of healing…and of self-destruction.

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 a gonna fall,” sang the Zimmerman man. And that’s often just what it takes to bring on a blossoming 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.

Continue on this site with
Apocalypse – No! Chapter Fifteen:
Dreaming Out Loud – Heaven Leads Through Hell, Control vs. Surrender


Footnotes

1. A. Briend, “Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?” British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319. [return to text]

2. Daniela F. Mayr & Artur R. Boelderl, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1993): 143-156. [return to text]

3. Ibid., p. 144. [return to text]

4. Ibid., p. 148, emphasis mine. [return to text]

5. Ibid., pp. 149-150. [return to text]

6. 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.) [return to text]

7. 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. [return to text]

8. DeMause, op. cit., 1995, p. 12, emphasis in original. [return to text]

9. 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. [return to text]

10. DeMause, op. cit., 1995. [return to text]

11. Alvin H. Lawson, “Placental Guitars, Umbilical Mikes, and the Maternal Rock-Beat: Birth Fantasies and Rock Music Videos.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1994): 335-353. [return to text]

12. 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. [return to text]

13. 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. [return to text]

14. Arthur Janov, The Primal Scream: Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. New York: Dell, 1970. [return to text]

15. Ibid. [return to text]

16. Glenn Davis, Childhood and History in America. New York: The Psychohistory Press, 1976. [return to text]

17. Ibid., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and the Youth Revolt,” and p. 240. [return to text]

18. Ibid. [return to text]

19. Ibid., p. 241. [return to text]

20. 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. [return to text]

21. 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.]

22. For “overexamined life”see Keniston, op. cit., 1965; for “psychological-mindedness” and “self-analysis” see Keniston, op. cit., 1968, especially p. 81. [return to text]

23. Davis, op. cit., especially Ch. 7, “The Great Society and The Youth Revolt.” [return to text]

24. Mayr and Boelderl, op. cit., p. 149. [return to text]

Copyright © 1999, 2011 by Michael Derzak Adzema

Continue on this site with
Apocalypse – No! Chapter Fifteen:
Dreaming Out Loud – Heaven Leads Through Hell, Control vs. Surrender

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