*“Civilization and the Travesty of Morals” … Chapter 9 of *Who to Be: Identity, Authenticity, and Crisis* (2020) by Michael Adzema. Free. Downloadable chapter.*
Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Uncivilized “Civilized” Man
“…in taking away all freedoms and rights from Nature and all its planetmates, eventually the rights of any being were no longer seen as of any concern. What another wished, intended, or wanted became increasingly unseen as a consideration, including, eventually, what a woman might want in terms of her body … and what a man might wish to do with his time … or his life. Power became the basis of morality.”
Civilization became about being controlling, narcissistic, baby-like in having insatiable desires and deeming it fine to satisfy them in any way one wished.
Civilization and the Travesty of Morals:
Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Uncivilized “Civilized” Man
We show our derelict nature, as hemmed in by civilization, in the major epic story emanating out of early history. It displays exactly how we changed in relation to Nature and how we beat our chests — brazen yet pathetic — about our downfall. Furthermore, it demonstrates how humans changed in their relation to planetmates, to their children, to the others in society, and in the way they thought of themselves and what they considered to be good and true ways to be in life. We see here how the more felicitous aims and the more pleasurable “duties” of life became corrupted so as to produce the sour end product of the modern human — someone who could exterminate millions of people as they were fallen leaves, commit to world wars with uncountable dead, ravage and desecrate their very nest the planet Earth, and ensure the death of all life by radiating the planet for a half million years … a radiation that only tardigrades, microscopic animals, and not even cockroaches have any chance of surviving.
Everything, including who to be, who we were, and what were the proper aims of life changed with civilization. It is something we need to understand in order to correct this major fall from grace, this abomination that we became in Nature. This we must do so as to choose something different and to regain our proper role in relation to Nature and the Divine, in alignment with an actual, a real, not unreal, self, and our unique atmadharma, destiny, and mission in life.
Civilization in the Light of the Natural
The historical period this epic tale depicts is notably after that mythologically expressed in Genesis, after Cain and Abel. That story, and the others of Genesis, reflects some prehistoric happenings, occurring over the course of millions of years of evolution. The writer of the narrative in question is now describing, not just our beginnings as farmers and shepherds the way those biblical stories did. At this point we are in cities, we have hierarchy, and we have kings.
The story is The Epic of Gilgamesh. It is said to be the first great literary product, dating back to the time of Babylon. It is astonishing what it contains and how it has never never ever, right up to this day, been seen to be what it is — a depiction of the depraved values and unconsciousness that came about through our supposed “civilization” … perhaps even a hidden critique of civilization and its abominable elites, as we will see. We take that up in this chapter.
It also tells us what became of us in the course of our deeming the world to be non-alive; how we doomed ourselves as well to mortality; how in killing off the alive world we in essence reduced our aliveness. We no longer saw ourselves as the immortal beings we are but reduced our self-perception as well to being mortal beings … pathetic beings relative to who we were.
Nature Versus Civilization
How did this epic show the first point, the travesty of morals? With absolute clarity the story contrasts two humans — one representing civilization, Gilgamesh; the other representing ourselves in Nature, Enkidu.
Now, Gilgamesh is the king, which signifies he is the controlling one and represents the controlling function of the psyche, the Ego. He depicts who we became in becoming more egoistic, more controlling of everything around us, ourselves, other people, and Nature. We became “kings of the jungle,” each of us, dominators of Nature. So Gilgamesh is civilized man.
Enkidu is natural man. He is primal man, for he is said to be “wild.” He lived in the wilderness, actually. Astonishingly, he was discovered through the fact that he, being attuned to and sympathetic of the planetmates still, was on the sly releasing our furry relatives from the traps that the “civilized” humans had been setting for them.
So you see the huge contrast. Now, note also what is said about their behavior. First, there is a conflict between the two setting off a huge fight between them. What starts the brawl is that Gilgamesh is determined to rape this woman and Enkidu blocks his way. You heard that correctly, the “civilized” man is the one who rapes; the “wild” man is the one who protects innocents. Just as he had been protecting the planetmates by, among other things, releasing them from traps, Enkidu was set on protecting other innocent and vulnerable beings … in this instance, women. Here already, we see echoes of modern times in which the sensitive and compassionate are deemed unmanly and termed “bleeding hearts.” Meanwhile, the ruthless and grasping are consecrated as being “real-worldly” and practical, and the power that insensitivity brings to them is admired, even applauded.
Oh, sure, in the context of the story, the non-consensual sex Gilgamesh was after, and partook of heartily in general and on many other occasions, was not labeled “rape.” No, and this is what is so amazing: The rape is considered okay and to be in keeping with morals! Remember what I was saying earlier about the elite determining religious dictates to suit themselves, while christening their desires with the power of divine authority and intent? They say their narcissistic drives are the commandments of the gods. Well, sure enough, the rape was “okay” in the context of the story … not a crime! nope … because it had been … ahem … ordered by the gods. In particular it was the solar god, the patriarchal one, Shamash, who supposedly authorized kingly rape. That is significant, the solar part; keep it in mind, for later.
Civilization’s Overwhelming Onslaught Against Natural Values … and Normal Human Feelings
You see how the easy and natural morality of Nature gets complicated … not to mention confused … once hierarchy and men with desires and power to attain them are brought into the mix? No doubt it takes quite a bit of propaganda and enforcement to so distort entire societies’ views of the obvious … not to mention to get them to dismiss their natural feelings for empathy coming into play during the execution of these “divinely ordained” assaults and wrongs. Certainly, the cries and wishes of the raped woman are to be put out of one’s mind. Which is reminiscent of the way the wishes of indigenous cultures are trampled as the industrial world exploits their land. Or how the weeping of the mothers for their obliterated children in countries bombed for oil and corporate power cannot be heard, let alone heeded.
Yet this kind of suppression of such a powerful natural part of humans … which we call “our humanity,” in fact — which is to be averse to pain, suffering, and the domination and death of innocent others and to wish to prevent these in others out of a unity of feeling with the suffering other — is achieved in civilized culture.
You think, perhaps, this is of no consequence. You think it an obscure point of little effect on people’s lives. I am here to tell you this travesty of feeling come of civilization — with power and authority the wellspring of right and wrong … with might making right and power making privilege — is embedded deeply in civilizational culture. It is at the core of family life and even the modern psychologies sprung of deliberation of its dynamics. Let me give one example
Of the Oedipal Kind
While Freud’s Oedipus complex is not as much a part of the modern dialogue as it once was, it remains largely unchallenged, hence prevailing in the area it seeks to explain. It has long been subject to criticism as being culturally variable; it is said of it that it is a product primarily of civilized cultures, especially Western cultures. Yet as pertains to such cultures, it is not disputed in intellectual circles.
Well, what if I were to tell you that we can now see, in the light of experiential psychotherapies such as primal therapy, that such a depiction of the family dynamic is a consequence of the patriarchal “ethic” itself. Itself it is a “travesty of morals.” In a way parallel to the way Gilgamesh’s brutality is condoned, lauded even, we to this day have been advancing the idea of Oedipal and Electra conflicts at the heart of the childhood narrative. Freudians claim that a young boy wants to mate with his mother and replace his father; this is the Oedipus complex. Young girls want to mate with their dads and replace their mothers; this is the Electra complex. Both are resolved — it is said, “successfully” — by the child “identifying with the aggressor.” And you would think that depiction — the parent as the “aggressor” — might have given them a clue. For is that any different from the complicity of the oppressed and ruled, during Gilgamesh’s time, in kingly rape?
You don’t see it yet? Okay, to continue.
Well, no, it did not; identification with “the aggressor” fell silently on unillumined minds. For in modern societies and mainstream counseling and psychology it is thought that the successful resolution is had when the child surrenders her and his desires for closeness with the parent of the opposite gender and instead identifies with that parent. Stockholm syndrome, anyone?
But, no. Not understood. For this “resolution” assumes a superficial understanding of the dynamic. When actually this “development” has two distinctly patriarchal components — a pandering and sycophancy regarding authority, along with a condemnation of the weak, vulnerable, and needy. That is to say, this explanation exonerates the parent’s role, and the parent’s behavior, in the drama, and places blame on the child. The child is not seen as innocent; the parent is. Self-congratulate much? Scapegoat much?
Whereas from the perspective of primal psychology this Oedipal-Electra dynamic is entirely different: The child, innocent, having natural and fundamental needs for love, attention, respect, and so on, wishes to receive them of both parents, including the one of the opposite gender. Meanwhile that parent, aloof, insensitive, and having been deprived and Oedipalized and Electra-lized him- or herself as a child, wants both to push the loving child away as well as sexualize the child, wishing to get a sexually symbolic substitute from their child of what they were deprived growing up. When this is acted out, and it often is, we have incest. To think that it is the child, innocent of such understandings of sexuality and not confusing sex with simple affection — as the parent does — that is the instigator of either the sexual use-abuse or the Oedipal-Electra desire for intimacy is just another aspect of the authoritarian, patriarchal schema we have had thrown upon our perspectives from the time of the birth of civilization.
Rather, the essence of these dynamics of childhood is best explained in the dynamic of the primal scene, which, according to Janov, occurs around the age of four or five … not coincidentally the same time as these Freudian dynamics. To think that a child of four or five is sexually desiring the parent is not only child abuse, it is typical of the way ordinary and innocent love and feelings of closeness are sexualized in civilized and predominantly patriarchal societies, where such ordinary feelings …. as we see Enkidu had … is disparaged and repressed.
What is actually going on in these dynamics is that the child, in the case of the boy, sees the father’s distinctly patriarchal abuse and disrespect of the mother — the mother from whom that child came, who nursed that child, who is in a way large or small bonded with that child. You see, the Oedipus complex, if we want to call it that, arises out of a child’s innocent reaction to the misogyny … to the pervasive misogyny displayed in all kinds of ways, subtle and not so, in the culture. So also in the child’s own father. The child, now, with innocent eyes, sees the disrespect … even if others do not … sees the abuse, and wants to come to the mother’s defense. The abuse is bad enough so that the boy imagines saving the mother from the assaults of the father … exactly the way Enkidu wished to block the way of Gilgamesh from raping the bride!
The son, from this perspective, is trying to protect the mother from a dangerous and violent husband. Then when patriarchal apologists, in the guise of psychoanalysts and mainstream counselors, see this dynamic they impugn the purity of the child’s love in sycophantic and society-sanctioning support of the father — both condoning the father’s brutality of the mother and the boy, as well as projecting onto the boy the father’s twisted feelings, himself jealous of the attention his wife gives his son. In this manner, scapegoating the boy, the father covers up the guilt that would otherwise come of acknowledging his own jealousy.
Of the Electra Kind
On the female side, the girl, naturally bonded with the mother as well, wants also to be loved by the father. Why would not a child, or anyone, want to be loved by both important figures in the young one’s life? Yet here again, the father’s twisted, perverted desires to have his daughter sexually is projected onto the child. “It’s not me! She’s the one who is seducing me!” As common as is this thinking in regard to sexual predators and incestual fathers, you would think that psychological theorists somewhere along the way would have seen through this paternal gambit and stopped blaming the daughter for the parent’s erotic leanings. But they did not…. And that is why I bring this up in this chapter on civilization and the travesty of morals. For the Electa and Oedipal complexes are a common, everyday example of how morality got turned on its head with civilization.
I will get into this again later, when I go in more detail into this area of the identification with the aggressor, a concept alone fertile with insight. But for now, do you see how the patriarchy, like the story of Gilgamesh, sanctions the abuse of others and slanders the intentions of those who would defend those innocents out of empathy and feeling for them? Notice here how the cultures of contemporary and patriarchal societies include the same processes of the family dynamic…. Elites, just like fathers, are to be protected and sanctioned in their brutality, whereas the opposition … rebels and sons … are to be slandered and their intentions distorted so as to discredit them.
Of the Patriarchal Kind
Though such repression and such a campaign of slander and propaganda has always required, and still does, an immense amount of power, military, police and security forces, control of media, clergy, and the professional service class to bring it about. You can see how, from the Oedipus-Electra projections, that would include its mental health professionals. However, this was all done during most of historic time through brute force. By contrast, contemporary societies have gotten ever subtler in the use of propaganda and coercive enforcement of unnatural, but elite-serving, dictums.
For that matter, and equally astounding, is that such propaganda, to this day, is not seen for the ruse it is. In a popular interpretation of The Epic of Gilgamesh, the author, Stephen Mitchell (2004), states that “we are told ‘Enkidu’s face went pale with anger,’ but we aren’t told why he is angry.”3 This he writes concerning Enkidu’s reaction to finding out that Gilgamesh will force himself upon the bride and have his way with her after the wedding ceremony. This is a lot like we see in the Abraham and Isaac story. With Abraham and Isaac, a natural response is to think that it is insane to think that a god would tell a person to kill his child. That is the child noticing the emperor has no clothes. It takes “culture” to tell us that there is something religious going on, something to do with God, in a story about a man having a “spiritual” message to kill someone. Similarly, that someone’s rage at someone else’s intention to rape is questionable, as it is for Mitchell, requires quite a bit of cultural propaganda to be able to think. Again, that innocent child, able to see an emperor with no clothes, sees nothing strange about a man being enraged by another man’s intention to rape a woman. But not this author, Stephen Mitchell. He writes, “This leaves us with the raw emotion of Enkidu’s anger … unexplained and uninterpretable….”
Yet, Enkidu is not confused, at all! Morality, for the natural person such as Enkidu, is simple: What a person or planetmate wants and chooses is important and to be respected. Taking away that right causes suffering and is wrong, especially if one trounces the other’s desires and wishes with one’s own. No confusion at all with a natural morality in mind. Substituting one’s own wants for another’s amounts to domination … making oneself more important than the other. On a societal level, it is called oppression. Regardless, forcing sex on someone, as occurs in the story, is a clear no-no to an unassuming mind, a clear one … such as Enkidu’s.
Furthermore, that author of the Gilgamesh publication for our times offers a rather jolting apologetic for the patriarchy. He reminds that the rape is okay because it was sanctioned by the gods. Correspondingly, he expresses his confusion as to what the to-do about it is. Why is Enkidu enraged, he wonders. “Hasn’t he understood that this is a ritual act sanctioned by the gods?”
Let me stop laughing at that before I continue. Notice both the sanctioning-by-gods part, but also that Mitchell is glossing over the brutality of a rape with the euphemism that it is part of a “ritual.” Which is not part of the story, at all. This is an astounding reflection, however, of the way religion is brought in to sanction the desires of elites and to rule out any nods to common empathy and human feeling.
Okay, in so doing the author impresses his own inability to see the obvious onto his reader. He passes along the confusion about morals that adhere once elites begin inserting their desires into public morality. Mitchell writes, “One thing it [this supposedly “not knowing” of the reason for Enkidu’s rage] means is that we don’t take sides. Yes, Gilgamesh is a tyrant but he is also magnificent. Yes, he mates with the lawful wife, but this apparent sexual predation may be in the divine order of things, and to oppose it is not necessarily virtuous.” And, if he believes that, well, I have some fine and wonderful preemptive wars and soldierly massacres of civilians he can next explain to us … along with the lies and harmful decrees of an American president beholden only to his inner demons for council.
Am I the only one cringing at this author’s twisted words of sycophancy? Not that this man is sycophantic to Gilgamesh, of course, but clearly the author, raised in a patriarchy and schooled in its elitist and traditionally patriarchal, hallowed halls has not a clue of the obvious in the story. The obvious which is that — rules of the elite and the privileges of the elite be damned — a rape is a rape and is a horror, to any innocent and honorable person. Clearly it is that way in the story itself, as we see in Enkidu’s reaction. This is the case however much you might have the law, or the supposed approval of the gods (the ones enlisted in support of the divine order of kings … and that should be a hint), to support it. As you will soon see, I do not believe even the ancient author (or authors) of The Epic of Gilgamesh are as confused … or sycophantically blind … as is this modern-day author.
How can I not simply hear Kellyanne Conway, Spencer Spicer, or Sarah Huckabee Sanders trying to explain Donald Trump’s many inconsistencies and lies in these remarks. Such are the perils of sycophancy. Once one has given over one’s perception of the obvious to patriarchs and authorities, one is left having to spout inane rationalizations … and to struggle to believe them oneself. One might even think that there are “alternative facts” to justify the inane pronouncements and behaviors of “kings” and tyrants … and unjustly installed American presidents.
The “Morality” of Power
This pattern in civilized and demented … devolved … societies of rewriting the obvious about existence to suit their elites is seen many other places. Indeed, as I said we see it in the Abraham and Isaac story. In both cases, the atrocity — the rape or the killing of a child — is rationalized. For the abomination is attributed to a patriarch — in particular, one aligned with a patriarchal god. And readers and interpreters for millennia afterward, therefore and right up to today, fail to notice the obvious wrong and brutality involved. The masses of humanity having been programmed in alignment with patriarchal cultures to deny their feelings, along with their own perceptions and their own obvious interpretations of events, most folks are to this day utterly confused about the meaning of a natural morality that arises out of empathy and feelings.
Morality Explained, Confused
This is so prevalent that I came across it most recently in a meeting a few of us had on the issue of ethics. We were preparing for a panel discussion on ethics in an era of Trumpism, incidentally. This issue came up as to what might be a common ground of morality for all cultures and peoples of the world. In the ensuing discussion, I offered that a common denominator of all beings is a natural morality — in line with ordinary human feelings and empathy — which is that life is good, death is bad; that suffering and pain inflicted on others is bad; that help, kindness, love, and anything positive offered others is good. Simple, right? Christ summed it up, “love your neighbor as yourself.” There could not be a better, more concise expression of the unity with and empathy for other people being the basis of morality than that. Christ is saying, another’s suffering is as much to be avoided as one’s own, another’s happiness is as much to be desired as one’s own.
I also offered, as a corollary for it follows from the first, that this morality could be summed up in the non-directive directive, “You can do anything you want, as long as you don’t hurt anyone.” Well, immediately, the reaction was, “Well, you’re going to have a hell of a lot of people having a problem with that!” Clearly, for most all of us, by this time in history, the idea of good and bad has gotten mixed up with dictums of do’s and don’ts of behavior — handed down and instilled in us from some outside authority or others — which are split from any feelings and in which empathy is irrelevant. Often these pronouncements are attributed to random inclinations of some transcendent god or other.
For example, that recreational drug use, including the kind that is overtly mind-expanding (psychedelic) or wholeness-directing (holotropic) or facing toward God (entheogenic); that any kind of consensual sex, including homosexuality, sodomy, masturbation, consensual non-monogamy; that “swearing” and “profanity” or “taking God’s name in vain”; and so on … many other examples could be given and they vary widely by culture and religion … are in themselves hurtful to anyone is clearly not true. On the other hand, that these are individualistic impulses which are contrary to having a uniformly alike mass of people, easily managed and manipulated to the ends and profits of an elite, is certainly true. The only things such free and uninhibited behavior hurt are the profits of the powerful and the desires of the elite for the populace to be constrained, obedient, unexpressive, and thereby manageable. And this, for their profits, but also as preemptive action against the rising up of the populace, which such expression if not smothered, naturally results in.
Despite this, the masses of folks, throughout civilizational history, have gotten it into their heads that there is a god or some gods somewhere who want us to abide by such kind of inane directives, regardless how little sense they contain or import they have on human happiness. And the masses are willing to kill, torture, and war … i.e., do all kinds of evil things … in allegiance to such nonsensical “commandments” and directed against all others not abiding by them.
Again, just like in Eden and as we will see, in Abraham and Isaac, morality does not have to make sense. It can be random, capricious, nonsensical, even. The Abraham story in particular imposes that misperception: Obey, regardless! It does not have to make sense to one’s own sense of morality, one’s own feelings of right and wrong.
Follow the Money, Follow the Power, Follow the Ego
You can see how convenient having such a populace believing such a thing would be for the purposes of warring on others; but notice also how it works toward the masses obeying in all matters emanating in profit to the elite, or to their ego-aggrandizement (notice how often the truly nonsensical word “glory” is used in patriarchal tomes, including this one regarding Gilgamesh), or to the Controllers’ desire-satisfaction, regardless how perverted. It takes a truly repressed, non-individualistic, unexpressive, and unfree people to satisfy the predilections of the narcissistic elites of all civilized societies.
Yet a closer look reveals that such injunctions trace conveniently upon the predilections of the elites of society, then and now. Just as the patriarchal god Shamash’s permission of rape for the king could not be more self-serving to Gilgamesh. Despite this, the fact that people are hypnotized into believing that morality does not have to make sense, that obedience to nonsensicals is a good thing, shows how successful patriarchy has been in confusing morality for people in general in order to mask their desire to do whatever they want for themselves and to punish whatever they want, however ridiculous, in their subjects.
Conversely, patriarchy’s overwhelming success in deluding folks into adhering to the ridiculous in order to suit the elite’s desires is shown in how the idea that there is a good part of a person, an empathy or feelings, that would naturally, as in a natural morality, stand in the way of harming and causing suffering, is completely eliminated from the imagined possibilities of humans. And this depiction of human nature as inherently vile and deranged, therefore needing reining in, punishment, control, and so on … well, can you see how that plays directly into the hands of the patriarchal elite? For if humans are naturally “wild” and uncontrolled, then do not they require these elites and their self-serving dictums, authorized by their concocted and inherently capricious and not-understandable “gods,” to keep them in line, to “keep the peace,” to provide religion, police, psychiatrists, jails, pharmaceuticals, punishments — however self-serving to the elites, yet in this way justified to an oppressed and mind-controlled populace?
In any case, observing all this, I see how radical and necessary our generational injunction to “question authority” was, and still is, for the righting of our ethical boat. Clearly this contemporary author of the Gilgamesh interpretation did not get that memo.
The Travesty of Morals
Back to the story, Enkidu’s protecting the woman is not an incidental happening, either. We see it is part of a pattern where the values and ethics one would expect … where goodness is equated with life values such as life over death, and less suffering over more suffering, and more respect for other’s rights and feelings over less respect or brutality over other’s rights and feelings, and harmony with one’s environment over aggressive and destructive acts regarding one’s environment … are completely overturned. They get reversed in each and every instance.
Civilization, Elites … Might, and Materialism, Makes Right
Somehow we see the wonders of the rising up of cities — and in these days the miraculous products of material civilization, such as our electronic devices and the other amazing products displayed in our markets — as more civilized than goodness or morality … or the reduction of anyone’s pain and suffering or the limitation of deaths. Regardless what we tell ourselves, we feel that being good at making “things” is more “good,” more moral, than simple things like kindness, respect for lives, or reducing the inevitable suffering of other living beings. Indeed, it is not coincidental that in “civilized” societies, material things — especially that produced by the hands and by their extensions in industry — are deemed “goods.”
Why do you suppose so many in modern times — conservative types — give such a wide berth to the actions of the titans of industry? Those who we deem to be creators of the material world around us we allow all kinds of atrocities — murders, wars, despoliation of the environment. We say it is because they are job creators or “wealth” creators, when neither of those are true. See my Culture War, Class War (2013) on that, specifically.
In fact, all those rationalizations of the super-worthiness of the elite are evidence, merely, of our feelings that they are more powerful than us, they feel threatening to us, and we feel safer being sycophantic regarding them. Hence we will grant rich folks free rein in the moral sphere, along with forgiveness of their horrible crimes, rather than acknowledge the obvious. Notice, as a perfect example of this, how George W. Bush and his cadre of well-to-do war profiteers in modern times were allowed to walk away from their many crimes. Consider how the bulls of Wall Street were actually rewarded with payoffs for their actions that brought so much death and hardship to world citizens at the time of the global economic collapse of 2008. Meanwhile, ordinary folks — especially in America, African-American males — are prosecuted for petty infractions or attacked, even killed, for nothing at all.
For our purposes in this book, simply notice how we in modern civilization, in actual fact, are not much different from the slaves and subjects in ancient Egypt. For we glorify our “pharaohs” as well, and we allow all kinds of cruelties and atrocities of those who are good at making “things” … the bigger the better — skyscrapers, pyramids. Remember, the rich and powerful Donald Trump — sexual predator, liar, racist, cheater of workers, misogynist and user and disrespecter of women, and tax-dodger — was allowed to be installed as a president not long ago. Morality does not apply to the ones we deem so much higher above us in being able to wield power and to make and do things we could not imagine ourselves pulling off.
The point is that morals become a surreal travesty with civilization, and we see that represented in that Enkidu, the “wild” man, steps in to block the “civilized” man from attacking a woman. What of Gilgamesh and his intentions? Well, he deems it his right to rape any woman in his kingdom that he wishes. See in that how much civilization became about being controlling and being narcissistic and baby-like in having insatiable desires and deeming it fine to satisfy them in any way one wishes, irrespective of their effects on anyone else. Uh, Trump reference again, perhaps? Remember, as he himself put it, he’s a celebrity so he can get away with anything … and all manner of “pussy grabbing” and the like is within his purview, without consequence.
Beyond that, Gilgamesh considers it his right to dominate and control his male “subjects,” removing from them their free will, as well. Yes, he is described as oppressing his “subjects,” along with raping at will, the women. After all, he is king, isn’t that his prerogative? You see how odd it is in all these millennia that it never occurred to anyone to question the “civility” of that? At least in relation to Enkidu’s “wildness” in setting planetmates free from traps? What does that say about us? About the human blinders, the blinders of civilization, that block our awareness of the obvious?
Not to mention, what it says about which stratum of societies determines what ideas will be promulgated therein; what will be professed, by scholars; who will be appointed to teach at institutions of higher learning; or whose books, up till only a few decades ago with the digital revolution, will see the light of day.
Civilization and the Rape of Nature and the Divine
In any case, raping women and oppressing his “subjects” as he goes, Gilgamesh adds additional crimes. He shows how our diminished awareness as humans separated from Nature gets acted out on Nature … and even the Divine!
Gilgamesh proceeds to a forest, the Cedar Forest, and he cuts down all its sacred wood. He kills, also, the “monster” protecting this arboreal stand from abuse, as easily as modern corporations roll over and kill off indigenous cultures also trying to save their environments. Throughout history this has happened, by the way. Regardless, we see how this attack on the Cedar Forest and its guardian is an aggression and controlling of the sacred Flora Kingdom.
Subsequently, Gilgamesh kills, also, the Bull of Heaven, which is clearly symbolic of taking the life and soul of the Fauna Kingdom. Significantly, it is a bull. After all, cattle — cows and the like — were among the first designs of humans for “domestication” and control. Notice also that it is “of heaven.” Indeed, in one of the more legitimate instances in the story of divine intent, the bull was sent from on high as punishment to Gilgamesh for his crime against Nature.
Furthermore, this killing of the Bull of Heaven indicates how we descended into patriarchal religion, from Earth religions … how we suppressed matriarchal, goddess, “lunar” religions in favor of “sky” or “solar” religions, patriarchal ones, when we “advanced” to increasing dependence on farming and “civilization” in the creation of urban centers and its increasing separation from Nature.
In any case, Gilgamesh takes the Bull of Heaven and kills it. In taking the lives of the forest and that of heaven, we see here a humanity, specifically a “man”kind, a civilized patriarchy, at war with both Earth and heaven … with both Nature and the Divine.
Civilization, its Seductions and Regrets
Gilgamesh enlists Enkidu’s help, by the way. You see how this is symbolic of how our “civilized” self, our unreal self, took over and suppressed the values of our natural self, our real self? Indeed, that is exactly what the epic portrays. It says that a harlot seduces Enkidu and then entices him into drinking alcohol and eating bread. Notice here how becoming civilized is being equated with the eating of food produced, not by Nature, but by farming. By grain … the bread.
It is also associated with another product of grains, beer, which significantly is intoxicating. So, the ecstatic ceremonies of the “wild” folks — the gatherer-hunters, in actual history — which often employed hallucinogenic and specifically entheogenic (entheogen means “toward God”) plants and substances, get supplanted by “recreational” pastimes in which are used drugs that do not open one to God but instead cover up the conscience that is in forever alarm at what civilized humanity does. Opiates that conceal the atrocities of the higher ups, along with one’s own, are desired by all concerned in a civilized, demented, degenerate, elite-controlled society, of course.
In fact, the story reveals that Enkidu, the first “wild” man seduced into civilization, has a burning conscience, causing him regret. He bemoans everything that has been wrought of his “descent” into civilization.
The Gods Do Not Approve
For one thing, remember that Enkidu was saving his fellow planetmates from their traps. Subsequently, the “gods” enlist Enkidu to “rein in” Gilgamesh. Notice that here in this epic, almost despite itself, it is giving note that the Divine does not approve of the behavior emanating from humans as a result of their “civilization.”
In fact nowhere did the “gods” in ancient times approve of our descents; whether it was the crimes of Prometheus, Adam and Eve, Cain, or Gilgamesh. It took more modern times, Christianity, and Western culture to begin having a God approving of our lives as abominations in Nature.
We see the epitome of that today where fundamentalist religion in the West — especially as depicted by Tea-Party-type folks in America — is equated with Western civilization and its materialism more than anything at all transcendent or sacred. Capitalism has become equated with Divinity in America in modern times. You can hear that equation in any religious pronouncements from Republicans today. It is civilization, and especially its modern material consumer-obsessed form, that is considered holy. And nationalism, which defends, with all manner of military methods, that material culture, is deemed as sacred, or more so, than God. Look for yourself at the worship around the American flag. Notice for yourself how in churches the American flag will be displayed upon the altars along with all the religious iconography.
Back to the Gilgamesh story, it is the wild man Enkidu who is moral. And whereas we presume civilization to have higher morality than humans in the wild, as does the epic on the face of it, it cannot help but reveal that the gods don’t think this at all! For Enkidu represents a “natural morality,” one that emanates from all humans at their base — before the priests and “theologies” come in to muck it up. A natural morality which is that what is good is what is related to life, not death; and is what is related to less suffering, not more suffering. And it is this “natural conscience” of humans, represented by Enkidu, that the gods seek to enlist to rein in “civilized” man, Gilgamesh.
Notice how at odds that is with the story, which has Gilgamesh, according to the laws and rules of “man,” with the right to rape women and oppress men. Gilgamesh in raping women did not do “wrong” according to the morality of the day. Indeed, in the epic, it is said that the gods have given Gilgamesh this lurid “right,” which all patriarchal religions have done — undergirding the power and privilege of the elites everywhere, as long as there have been hierarchical societies. Consider how in taking away all freedoms and rights from Nature and all its planetmates, eventually the rights of any being, even human, were no longer seen as of any concern. What another wished, intended, or wanted became increasingly invisible as a consideration, including, eventually, what a woman might want in terms of her body … and what a man might wish to do with his time … or his life. Power became the basis of morality. But the gods — and they knew Enkidu, the natural man, would feel the same — did not see it that way. The gods did not see morality according to “man’s” rules, regardless what men would claim regarding them.
We see this in Genesis where Yahweh, the God of the Jews, prefers the offering of Abel, the sheepherder, and not Cain, the farmer. Remember, as herders we still retained a bond with planetmates; we conscribed their wanderings, but we also cared for them. We killed them eventually, but we also allowed them to grow to full maturity. We did not allow them to roam freely, yet they were able to roam.
Whereas the farmer has no such connection or bond with the planetmates. The farmer exhibits a greater separation from Nature and the Divine and a more extreme objectification of the alive Universe around him, including its planetmates. He shows this in the way he enlists the efforts of planetmates toward the tilling of the soil; the way a farmer holds a cow in place, imprisons it, in order to steal from it daily its milk meant for its offspring. In the way the farmer does the same imprisoning of fowl for the purpose of daily removing their offspring to be eaten by humans. So the farmer, to do that, cannot have the same kind of sensitivities toward planetmates as herders; and earth-tillers must necessarily suppress their natural feelings — their “natural” morality — just like we did earlier in order to allow our ability to murder planetmates — in other words, to hunt.
The point here is that — despite the literature of man basically being construed in ways so as to bolster the elite and to orchestrate the “civilized” members of society along the lines of the powerful — our literary creations cannot but help reveal the Divine displeasure at said “civilization” and separation from Nature. The Unapproved and Hidden Freudian-slips out into the world through the doorway of the storytellers’ creative fervor.
In fact, in reading the epic one can justly consider the writer or writers might actually have been trying to express their own disapproval and complaint about such a status quo, however in the only way one could at such a time, with patriarchs everywhere in power and controlling everything, including any literary productions. Such a literary product might have been reproduced, promulgated, and eventually come to light, only because its criticism — clear as a bell to any with the sensitivity and sanity to see it — is so overlaid and hidden with the usual glorification of power and the powerful, which it also provides.
Perhaps even the author’s original writing was edited by the powers-that-be of the time prior to its inscription in stone — much as any of our media-produced books today must bow to the prevailing academic and political gods in order to see the light of day. Perhaps it was infused with all this glorification of kingship and the right and behavior of kings by the elite themselves, much as one might, as Donald Trump did recently, edit another’s tweet so as to make it fit with his prejudices and desires. Regardless, hidden inside a shell of the required sycophancy is why this pearl of insight and complaint into the injustices of early hierarchies was allowed to survive. Just as the spiritual aspects of alchemy, during the Middle Ages, are said to have been covered up in scientific metaphor to hide them from the light of an otherwise direly disapproving Catholic hegemony, so also we might see here during the time of ancient Mesopotamia such a ruse to safeguard the writer.
All that understood, next in this part let us look more closely at some of what amounts to the mythology around the primal scene and the Oedipal conflict. Naturally, we start with the ancient story of Oedipus.
— this is an excerpt from *Who to Be: Identity, Authenticity, & Crisis* by Michael Adzema. It has just been released for publication as of March, 20th, 2020. Click to order print or digital copies and go to Michael Adzema’s Author’s Page at Amazon for other books, info, and updates.
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“One could not enjoy the blessings of wandering into delightful glades if one did not travel twisted, darkened paths at other times.”
The Planetmates on pleasure, pain, hell, Satan, salvation, birth, mother: “You spoil even the experience of pleasure, while you amplify the misery of pain”:
“We know of life as being an alternation of pleasure and pain, happiness and misery. But this is no big problem for us,because overall this flux of darkness and light is what makes life that much more enjoyable. In a game one would not enjoy victory or making a good play if one did not also experience being scored against and losing occasionally. Life would have none of its exquisite sense of surprise and discovery if there were not twists and turns in it. One could not enjoy the blessings of wandering into delightful glades if one did not travel twisted, darkened paths at other times.Life would simply not be much of a story or worth playing if there were not drama in it.
“We see that you have, however,made this simple fact into the biggest dilemma for you. For you have magnified the pain of life to an amazing extent. Light requires a darkness for it even to be seen; one would not know pleasure except in contrast to pain. But you would wish to have only light, only pleasure, always. This is because, for reasons having to do with the twisted consciousness you carry from your abnormal beginnings — the pain you have in birth — you go through life terrified you will once again experience such pain as you had at your beginnings. You see all life through such a darkened filter. You live in trepidation of the ending of your happiness, when you could be enjoying it, and in terror that your pain,when it comes, will never be followed by happiness ever again. So you spoil even the experience of pleasure, while you amplify the misery of pain.
“You once experienced pain in such an assaultive way that you feared it would never end. At your beginnings, you have an abnormal amount of experience of feeling trapped and suffocated; and you, in your premature state yet still coming into the world, are not aware yet of the ending of pain, of the fact that it is not possible without pleasure.You experience such overwhelming pain in your coming into the world that ever afterward you believe it is possible that you could at any time experience pain greater than is possible for you to bear. And because you also at that early time mistakenly thought that it is possible that pain will never end, you believe that such a thing is possible in life … even in afterlife. So, unlike us planetmates, you amplify life’s pain with your fear that it can ever be more than you could bear and with this belief that, beyond that, it could be unending.
“To add to all that, because in your beginnings you experienced these things while in close proximity to a seemingly all-powerful Other — that is, they happened while inside your own mothers or while being born from her — you have the feelings that there can bean intention or an actor behind the events of your life — including its pain —like your mother to a small extent was around your birth events. The whole world for you being Mother, at that time, and experiencing her as the only other actor in that drama of your birth, you attribute some of the inordinate pain of that time to that fact: that it is related to this Other, who was also World to you, and who you sensed as Mother. So, experiencing these imagined magnifications of life’s pains in relation to her, throughout your life it is possible that you can even think there might be an intent or actor behind your experiences of pain and suffering then also. And since you have made such pain and suffering to be wrong, as well as horrifying, you of course can think of this actor as being malevolent, calling it devil or Satan.
“For these reasons you have made the darkness-pain of life that much darker. But in doing so, you have set up the possibility of experiencing a greater pleasure or brightness in contrast to it. You have made the darkness, darker; the light potentially brighter. For if you could imagine being freed from your self-imposed hell, for a second, can you not imagine what a relief and pleasure it would make of your life ever after that? This is a greater pleasure than we can have. So there is undoubtedly more to it than even we can know … it is probably “lighter” or more wonderful than we can imagine. You have made life into something horrible from which you need a “saving.” This “salvation” is therefore one experience you have created for yourself that we cannot have, and because of the way duality works in life, it cannot help but be that much more exquisite….”
[31st Prasad — Pain. More coming….
To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness — Michael’s latest book – is now available in print and e-book formats.
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“There Is No Coming to Consciousness Without Pain.” – Carl Jung: The “Patriarchal Mistake” Involves Struggling to Keep Out “Negative” Thoughts and Their Discomfort
Grof Versus Wilber and the Frantic Thinking Between Paradigms: The Stormy Path to Self, Part Five: “Healthy-Mindedness” and the “Sick Soul”
“There is no coming to consciousness without pain. People will do anything, no matter how absurd, in order to avoid facing their own soul. One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.” – Carl Jung
“Healthy-Mindedness” and the “Sick Soul”
These two spiritual paths—the controlling and the surrender—were rather distinctively delineated over a hundred years ago by William James (1899/1982) in terms of the spirituality of “healthy mindedness” and that of “the sick soul.” The point is that the one—the “healthy mindedness” or control spirituality—involves a kind of mental ego-actualization, ego-aggrandizement; and the other—the “sick soul” or surrender spirituality—involves an honest dealing with and processing of the unconscious and all that it is.
The Patriarchal Mistake in Spirituality … Keeping Out Negative Thoughts: Whereas True Spirituality Entails Experiencing “Hell” Before Getting to “Heaven”
This second path, this true spirituality involves a going through hell on the way to heaven—which is a matter of surrender and letting go, as opposed to control and healthy-mindedness. The one is a matter of surrendering to All That Is; whereas the delusional path is a matter of defending the ego, continuing ego defenses to keep out negative thoughts, and so on.
It is interesting that the one can always be distinguished from the other in the false one’s emphasis on discipline, indicating it’s militaristic attitude of defending against unwanted negative thoughts, and so on. Elsewhere I have called this the “patriarchal mistake” (Adzema, 1972b).
Stanislav Grof Versus Ken Wilber in Transpersonal Psychology
John White Genuflects at the Altar of Ken Wilber
It might be pointed out that these two radically different views of spirituality are exemplified in the transpersonal psychology movement in that surrounding the ideas of Stanislav Grof and that surrounding the ideas of Ken Wilber. It is clear that rarely does the one movement ever refer to or revere the insights of the other. For example, in his book, The Meeting of Science and Spirit, John White (1990) does not mention Stanislav Grof at all. Yet he genuflects at the altar of Ken Wilber frequently.
To Repent Versus to Transcend … Tob and Metanoia
In this respect, also, we have White’s inconsistency in his analysis of the terms tob and metanoia (and repent). In pointing out that the original Aramaic term for “repent” was tob he says that it means “to return” or “to flow back to God.” This is fine so far. But then he states that the Greek translation of tob is metanoia which then means “to transcend.” He then forgets the original meaning, disregards it, and builds a theory upon the latter term—meaning that we are to strive, struggle, and travel upward. The entire meaning and significance of returning or flowing back—which would serve to undermine both Wilber’s and his theories in its espousal of the significance of the “pre-” state—is completely ignored.
To this move I say, you simply can’t have it both ways: You cannot ascribe some type of greater validity to an earlier term as being closer to the original meaning (metanoia over repent), while at the same time ignore or dispute the relevance of the even earlier term, in fact the original one (tob), just because to do so would undermine the argument you wish to present!
Dualistic View of Reality … Ghost in the Machine Spiritual Thinking
Inconsistency—Dualism—Matter and Spirit
Nonetheless, perhaps John White’s biggest theoretical inconsistency is his assertions of a dual nature to the universe—Matter and Spirit—(with them “interacting”), laid alongside of his assertion that “God is all.” He presents therefore a dualistic view of reality much reminiscent of ghost-in-the-machine thinking, with his supposed big advance being that the ghost is just as important as the machine.
Not a New-Paradigm View
In this respect then, White fails to make the transition to a new-paradigm view. He seems hopelessly caught between the views of competing worlds, trying to assert competing claims, trying to keep his old world from falling apart while still wanting to follow the light he sees ahead. Although he claims to, he doesn’t present a new-paradigm vision.
Spirit and Matter as Indistinguishable as Ocean and Waves
The point is—as opposed to the old paradigm which says that the world is basically matter and that consciousness is an epiphenomenon of matter—that the new paradigm says the world is basically consciousness or a subjectivity that encompasses All and that the material universe is an epiphenomenon of consciousness. In this world view one does no more need to assert a difference between spirit and matter any more than one can assert a primary distinction between ocean and waves. In this respect we have Sathya Sai Baba’s statement that: All there is is the “I” or the Atma and that this is the foundation for everything else; everything else is illusion. All that really exists is the “I.”
This is the same as saying in Western philosophy that subjectivity is the only true reality. This is in line with the philosophical position that the objective reality is indirect perception and is dependent upon subjective reality, and so subjective reality is the only true reality that can be known.
Unfortunately, White’s view is directly contradictory of this—he says that there is danger in “seeing one or the other (matter or spirit) as illusion or delusion” (p. xv). This he does despite the fact that this position of the ultimate phenomenal nature of mundane “common sense” reality is the major conclusion of most of the world’s religions, of much of traditional and Platonic philosophy, and more recently, even of the new, quantum, physics.
The Frantic Theorizing That Goes on in the Time Between Paradigms
In essence then, White’s volume presents an example of the kind of frantic hyper-kinetic convoluted theorizing that is known to characterize the transition phase between paradigms. Like the convoluted theories of pre-Copernican astronomers, who struggled fervidly in re-arranging and making room in obsolete theories and concepts for the ever new astronomical data that was pouring in, who were doomed to failure and obsolescence by their inability to grasp the central organizing principle or concept of an Earth that is both round and not the center of the universe; so also White’s book, lacking any valid new-paradigm integrating vision, finds itself twisted about itself trying to keep one foot in old-paradigm concepts and theories while stepping with the other into new-paradigm facts and data.
When it comes to paradigm change, you just cannot take both pills.
To Be Continued with It’s Pure Egoism to Think We’re Evolving to a New Consciousness. If We’re Lucky We’ll Regain the One We’ve Lost
Return to A Mystical Machismo Has Invaded Spiritual Thinking: Whereas Surrender Spiritualities, Believing in Ultimate Goodness, See Controlling as the Problem
To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Falls from Grace
To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.
Planetmates: The Great Reveal – Michael Adzema’s latest book – is being released in print and e-book format on April 25, 2014
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“Raising up walls of possessions, captive planetmates, and conforming underlings — including women and children —and retreating from the more magnificent and magical expanses of self, you sought to make a stand against real life”
Planetmates reveal the family fortress, conforming underlings, Commandments of society’s elite, the “family jewels,” more:
“…Humans would rather have the “Joneses” be impressed with the amount and quality of their possessions … than to actually be happy.
“Look again at that work you created in the care and feeding of kept planetmates—husbandry: The work has to be done, they need to be fed, or you lose your investment. If you were sick, tired, or simply disinclined, it did not matter and you had to forego an ease and pleasure in your body as you bullied it into submission, just as you do the Earth. You needed to make your body move and work, regardless of how you felt or how you suffered or how much ill health would be incumbent upon such stresses and strains and unhappiness in your physical selves.
“Similarly, at certain times of the year, such as harvest, you worked under extreme pressure. The demands of completing the harvest and storing what was wrought before weather might come in and, again, neutralize all the results of one’s efforts made for very long days of back-breaking work. In these ways, in addition to all the others we have mentioned, you split off from Nature, for your body is Nature, and you operated it in spite of and often in opposition to its cries and screams, its promptings and messages to you. Is it any wonder then that you lost your ability to feel the fainter urges of the “instinct” within your body?
“At any rate, it is supremely ironic how your insistence on taking over the reins of your sustenance through horticulture and farming, which was pushed by your desire to not be dependent on Nature and to be free, made you shackled to work loads and time constraints, and found you burdened under a multitude of demands and responsibilities and pressures. Good job getting that freedom you wanted!
“All in all, then, while the phenomenal dependency of your offspring was an added burden in your lives, in general, that effort, under certain kinds of conditions, these sedentary-accumulating ones, children could be seen as additional assistance in your tussle with your imagined threats and brought in to share with you all that additional suffering you created in Nature through trying to control everything..
“This was especially true if that dependent state, especially in infancy but in childhood as well, was used to mold these children into the ideal conforming underlings for you.
“And so you did to your children what you had done to the Earth and to your own bodies: You brutalized them into submission.
“Those who were Large Accumulators could “bribe” additional efforts from others to aid them in their dramas, of course, but even those with lesser means — virtually all of you — had the ability to gain obedient subordinates through procreation. Large families were thus selected for. The larger the family, the better, as long as each subsequent child could within a sufficiently short period come to add more resources to the collective family struggle than would be removed from the total by the (minimal) survival of that child.
“Thus, large accumulation was increasingly linked with large families. A brood of offspring could act like a small gang, or crew of employees in the gathering, processing, and accumulating of extra, hoarded resources, but they could also serve as a small army and aid in the defense and protection of such hoarded wealth against other accumulators with green eyes and needy, famished hearts. Raising humans to assist with accumulation began to be seen as a survival advantage, but also, children, after the agrarian revolution, were increasingly seen as another category of conforming underlings — the least costly and most manipulatable ones of all — who would be even greater allies in the fight against the ever expanding threats to your survival.
“This was so much your view of the way of things that your Ten Commandments — a rather good abstract of your fearful imaginings and your feverish, heavy-handed control — contains not only such reinforcement for the strong men of the society as “have no god before Him,” not only such protections for your authoritarian families as “honoring father and mother” and codification of the elements of resource management to benefit the ones who already have as “shalt not steal” and “shalt not bear false witness,” but even includes two entire commandments to cover jealousy. It is called “coveting” and has to do not only with protecting the hoarded wealth — “shalt not covet neighbor’s goods” — but defending the engines of that production as well — “shalt not covet neighbor’s wife.” So, it is understandable how all threats to the fantastical survival competition are fought in all such manners: Monogamy would be elevated to a divine status — “shalt not commit adultery” — as part of the accumulation ordeal.
“Further, it is no coincidence that your male reproductive capacity is referred to as “family jewels.” While humorous, it is starkly accurate in the way you humans think on a level of your unconscious mind inaccessible to you — again, that Unapproved and Hidden: A human’s reproductive capacity began to be seen as an avenue of potential wealth, insurance against want or insufficiency, and even a ticket to possible Controller status and inclusion in society’s elite.
“For children began increasingly to be thought of as mere extensions of you, of your Ego. And the family unit that came of such expansion of fear and self-congratulation (Ego) was no longer harmonious with Nature; it had ceased being, even, interconnected with the tribe. It was not about individuals in relation to community. No. This nuclear family represented another advance in mistrust and fear, a further retreat into an ever diminishing circle, a fortress. With the creation of the family citadel, it was you against the world.
“Altogether, with conforming underlings bought, bribed, or paid for to be allies in your war over resources, with children conceived and raised to be obedient soldiers in its battles, and with tenets and social codes enforced with extreme severity so as to wrangle extreme conformity to social ways benefiting the Large Accumulators and the petty tyrants heading families, you had created a full on assault against your imaginary fears of death, your strange abhorrence of more adventurous, uncontrolled life, which you felt as uncertainty and pain — which we see as guides in our living, but which you perceive as reminders of that death you fear so intensely.
“All in all, this added up to a wrong-gettedness in relation to life. Whereas we are ever reminded of our divine surround through the challenges, obstacles, and discomfort of life and are directed in this way in an ever-expanding, numinous path of divine return, you erected walls of fear-rooted control around your fleeting havens of ease, and you cut off your roots into the divine, unshakeable peace to which you are entitled. Raising up walls of possessions, captive planetmates, and conforming underlings — including women and children — and retreating from the more magnificent and magical expanses of self, you sought to make a stand against real life. A big part of this effort you called “family,” and you erected a shrine to it equal to your exaggerated terror of the uncontrolled….”
[Pt 6 of 25rd prasad — Family Fortress. More coming….
To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.
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“Surplus value is wrought of the misery of having to do, just about all the time, what one does not want to do”: The Planetmates reveal why civilization equals suffering, Marxism, free life and human misery, enslavement
The Planetmates reveal why civilization equals suffering, Marxism, free life and human misery, enslavement: “The huge structures of civilization are monuments to, and are equal in size to, the size of the freedom lost”:
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Tags: capitalism, civilization, creativity, economics, Ego, enslavement, free will, human misery, injustice, instinct, labor, life, Marxism, misery, monuments, Nature, Planetmate, pleasure, skylines, spirituality, suffering, surplus value, work, worker, wrong-gettedness
“Humans are the only planetmates coerced into activities in which they find no real pleasure or joy … You introduced ‘work’ into Nature”: The Planetmates on coerced labor, specialization and assembly lines, Marxism and surplus value, industrialization
“At any rate, in addition to all the extra work you brought into Nature through your controlling ways as it expressed itself in food production and storage, there is additional work involved in defending those stores. Unlike the “possessions” of those in Nature, which are easily acquired and just as easily discarded for they can be easily acquired again, this new classification of possessions that are your “stores” represent a dearly acquired (through “work”) collection of things. They are the physical manifestation of human suffering. Hence they are valued highly for the fact that they are not easily or quickly replaceable. Hence also, they represent quite a concentration of labor, wrought of suffering, which, if acquired, would reduce the amount of such suffering (labor or work) for someone else. So, they are viewed with extreme attraction by equally famished … and suffering … others. With these concentrations of labor-suffering — these stores — then, comes the need to defend them from those others.
“With defense of stores, or “investment,” we have another reason children were more desired, after you became sedentary. Children are not just extra hands in the extra work you have created in your descent into ever more controlling, they are enlisted in keeping others from stealing it. They act like little soldiers.
“So, with humans we have this added labor, this added, actual, work. Your Marxists like to talk about the surplus value of worker’s labor and how the capitalist owners take that. They say it really belongs to the workers. But they have never looked deeply into its nature.
“They say there is an additional value that is created through collective endeavors over what would be created individually. What they are saying is that if one adds up the value of what people create, working individually and being self-determining, it is a certain amount — say, the total number of chairs that can be fashioned by that group in that amount of time acting on their own. However, if those workers are organized and working collectively, they produce that amount, plus more — say, the number of chairs produced by that same group acting on an assembly line.
“Anyone who has ever worked in a team knows this. Imagine you are clearing land for farming. You are leveling trees and pulling out stumps. Obviously, you can accomplish a lot more having workers collectively hauling heavy logs than if each worker is on his own straining away. Surplus value is, also, evident in Amish barn-raisings, where working together, structures can be thrown up in a day that would take weeks or months working on one’s own with one’s own strength and energy.
“This is, indeed, a benefit that accrues to humans living in groups of any kind, and it was a huge benefit of tribe life.
“But with sedentary-agrarian ways and hierarchical societies you have an additional surplus value, for humans can be organized around projects in greater numbers and working in tandem and cooperatively. Combining their strength they are able to do things that simply cannot be done, no matter how long one worked away at it, individually or in small groups.
“This is how the pyramids were built. It explains why such things were not done previous to hierarchical societies … they simply could not be.
“Further, with different units applying themselves to specific tasks within the project while other units focus on others, these units become more skilled, more efficient, and more productive in those tasks. This is the “benefit” of division of labor and, in the public sphere, of specialization in regards to task.
“These factors are realized most clearly in industrialized societies; they are the reason the assembly line and manufacturing are so much more productive than the cottage industry of previous times.
“No doubt, right now, you are thinking what a great idea this is. You see it as people having it easier because they are working together to accomplish more.
“Well, not only does that surplus value not come to the workers — this is the essence of the Marxists’ complaint — for it goes to the ones at the top, the ones doing the organizing, the ones doing the enslaving; but it is the product of effort that is onerous because it is coerced. You simply do not have people agreeing to link themselves together hour after hour — perhaps day after, day, perhaps month after month — pulling together against heavy loads. You do not have anyone, of their own volition, wanting to, over and over again, hour after hour, repeat the same simple actions, perhaps actions that are part of the creation of a product that they never see completed, so never getting even the satisfaction and pleasure of manifesting something in reality that was not there before.
“So not only are such workers deprived of the satisfaction of seeing something manifest out of nothingness through the efforts of one’s own hands, they are even ripped off of the pleasure of its completion. They are coerced into giving up their time, their life, in the carrying out of activities in which they find no real pleasure or joy. They hardly appreciate the product that results from their efforts. Not only was the actual decision to create what was created not theirs … it did not spring forth from their desires, their “instincts” … but they were allowed to participate in only a tiny part of its creation. It is about as pleasurable as chewing food that someone else has picked out for themselves, which one does not get to swallow, having to be turned over to the “employer” when one is done.
“So with hired, coerced labor, we have an example of work and free will versus “instinct.” The upshot is that for the worker, that pure pleasure involved in creating something out of relatively nothing, that feeling of awe and magic that one has for that moment identified with the creative principle of the Universe, bringing something from no-thingness into thingness, and had a sense of divinity that way, is denied them.
“There is no planetmate who is similarly deprived….”
[Pt 4 of 25rd prasad — Family Fortress. More coming…. To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
Posted in Anthropology, authenticity, being yourself, Child Abuse, Consciousness, Environmentalism, Evolution, God, individualism, life, meaning, Metaphysics, Mystical, nonconform, Philosophy, Politics, Primal Spirit, Primal Spirituality, Psychology, Religion, Spirituality
Tags: assembly line, assembly lines, child abuse, children, control, creativity, free will, hierarchical societies, industrialization, instinct, joy, labor, Marxism, Nature, planetmates, pleasure, possessions, specialization, stores, suffering, surplus value, work, workers
“Just because we have more access to Mind at Large … does not mean we are mindless, feelingless machines”: Planetmates on work versus instinct, happiness, joy, creativity being like instinctual knowledge, play, Divine inspiration, and fun. Planetmates say, “We are your angels in Nature”
“…there would be much more “instinctual” knowledge available to you — and is available to you — were you, for reasons of your birth and infancy and the way they have caused you to run away from the feelings in your bodies, not split off from them. Indeed, to the extent that you have not run away from such pain, or to the degree that one has turned and faced and integrated that pain and reconnected with one’s body, you do feel and receive such specific “instinctual” instruction.
“In fact, think of it, when we say we do not know where those messages come from, which we experience in the body, do you see that, to be more specific, we know them to come from the “divine”? For they are “instructions,” as it were, that guide us in the care of ourselves in life and the carrying out of our life’s actions along lines most beneficial and pleasurable. And other than a force that is comforting, beneficial, and wiser than our limited selves, what else is the Divine? For certainly that is enough for us. Keeping that in mind, do you not see that it is the same for you? And that to the extent that one is able to lower the barriers of early pain and the mental defenses that arose from it, you also can feel such Divine instruction … of an increasingly more specific quality … and become more “instinctual.” Or, in your words, divinely inspired or guided by God.
“Backing up, so you denigrate our experience as “instinctual,’ when it is no different from your own experience of life … and if there is any difference it has to do with the greater access we have, the stronger and clearer connection we have, with a wisdom and beneficence beyond our limited selves, which you have separated from, but which is still accessible deep inside you, below the levels of your early pain. Just because we have more access to Mind at Large, which contains all information and knowledge, does not mean we are mindless, feelingless machines. Does it not mean the opposite? Indeed, we are your angels in nature, as we said earlier.
“So, keep in mind, our “instinct” is what guides us in having the experiences of the joy, pleasure, and happiness of life … something you have lost so much of. And it hardly matters where it “came from.” Certainly, the fact that we are more divinely inspired is no reason to trivialize our experience, or our knowledge … any more than you should demean the brilliance of your Shakespeare or Einstein or Jesus just because they happened to have found a way to stay or become sensitive to the wisdom of the Universe and the Divine, which is everywhere around, but which you, most of you and for the most part, block yourself from feeling.
“And for us this pleasure and joy, this “instinctual” guidance, includes having offspring. It is another capacity that wants to be actualized, which, in doing so, planetmates feel pleasure. It also is not a chore, or work, which for you it has often become.
“But you also know what life is that is lived under the direction of the Divine instead of the direction of higher ups, extracting from you the suffering equivalent to the control of you, which is termed work.
For, you ask a child digging in the sand with a shovel if that is work. Ask the athlete if clearing the bar when pole vaulting is work. Ask if it is work to sidestep all tacklers and throw oneself over the goal line. Ask the sculptor if fashioning stone and watching her or his vision of it emerge from it is work.
“Lion cubs fight and wrestle with each other. You say they are just preparing themselves for an adult life of struggle and fighting off predators. Really? Do you really think they are taking it on like a class, or exercise regimen, and not just having fun?
“At any rate, creative people know what we are talking about. They know about the work that is not work, that is actually play and conducive to joy. And they know about that magical, “instinctual” knowledge that comes to one precisely and specifically. For they know that their “works” (their “plays”?) have to be just so. When it fits with their “instinct” — their unconscious knowing which only comes out in actions of following it or expressing it — they know it is done and it cannot be any different. As Amadeus, in an ironic tone, said in the movie when someone criticized his composition for having “too many notes,” “Just exactly which notes would you have me take out?”
“So for the artist in any medium, the creative product arises as if it was done somewhere else, by someone else, and one is just the channel for it. Upon its completion, it feels as if it had come forth perfect and precise in all its details … springing, as it were, “fully formed from the forehead of Zeus.” So this is instinctual knowledge, of a sort, which ultimately comes from a place beyond themselves and ourselves.
“But with sedentary ways you forgot all that and you created work, which is the non-divine actions emanating as urges, not from the inside and the body (ultimately the Divine), but from the outside, driven and pushed by coercion. Rather than the positive reinforcement one receives in following one’s “instinctual” guidance, which makes of one’s life a happy one, acting in response to the promptings of the outside is largely a product of negative reinforcement. One is not, as in Nature, just rewarded when one follows its promptings, one is punished when one does not. Overall, such a life is not a happy one….”
[Pt 3 of 25rd prasad — Family Fortress. More coming….
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Posted in Anthropology, authenticity, being yourself, Child Abuse, Consciousness, Environmentalism, Evolution, God, individualism, life, meaning, Metaphysics, Mystical, nonconform, Philosophy, Primal Spirit, Primal Spirituality, Psychology, Religion, Spirituality
Tags: angels in Nature, art, artist, body, channel, creativity, Divine, experience, feelings, fun, happiness, inspiration, instinct, joy, Nature, planetmates, play, pleasure, positive reinforcement, suffering, work
“In Nature, life is not difficult”: The Planetmates reveal the origins of work, what a Planetmate’s life is like, control, and the suffering humans brought to Nature
“The more you added to your survival burden by controlling your food sources rather than accepting Nature’s bounty and providence, the more work you created for yourself. All the things Nature does automatically, effortlessly, and joyously in the creation of its cornucopia of bounty, you increasingly took upon yourselves. You no longer simply had to focus on moving yourself and a few belongings — in the company of dear friends and family members, your tribe — to follow the food supply. Instead, you stayed stubbornly put, and dug into, cut up, carved out, and prodded, as it were, your Mother, the Earth, to extract every item of sustenance you needed rather than allow it to simply fall into your lap, as when you were nomads.
“Beyond simple sustenance, your single-minded attention to filling your stores as a hedge against the incursion of the imagined darkening, all about, of Nature, with its unpredictability, added additional work to your lot in life. Difficult enough, it was, to supplant Nature Herself as the manager of all the minute details of turning dirt of the Earth into edible food, but you had to build storehouses for such acquisitions. You needed to fashion and acquire tools for such work, too.
“Formerly, what you consumed was mostly fresh; it was recently acquired from Nature. You did not need refrigerators. In keeping with the way in which you thingify Nature, consider that, as hunters, the meat you would consume did not spoil beforehand, for Nature in her kindness had provided for it these mini-fridge units, which themselves gathered their own power to keep themselves running. They are called “animals” — specifically, the ones who keep themselves alive and their “meat” fresh until you “take it out of the fridge” (you hunt down and kill the animal) and cook it up for yourselves.
“However, you could not let it be that easy. After you took over control of all of the aspects of your food’s production, you needed to preserve what you were able to bully out of Nature, for those times, out-of-season, when nothing would be forthcoming. Endless hours of work were involved in this processing.
“You required the construction of domiciles now, not just shelters, to house yourself, your workers — usually your children — and all the excess implements needed for farming, food processing, and food storage. There is considerable work involved in “protecting one’s investments.”
“Husbandry — the corralling, enslavement of planetmates for your use — was also incredibly labor intensive. Not only did you need to build enclosing structures to bring this about, but you needed to feed your captives. Feeding was work, and it was taxing. For there was no personal leeway allowed in this chore. One could not be lax or casual about it, getting around to it when one felt the urge to. No, if your planetmates were not cared for on a daily basis, without fail, you would lose your investment. So their biological requirements were added, as extra responsibility, to your own.
“Where did this additional labor come from — this huge extra workload that humans brought to the lives of the living on planet Earth? Was it produced out of the air? Actually, the additional work manifested in Nature is exactly equal to the additional amount of control you brought to Nature. And that is control that is emanating from your pain. So the extra labor is equal in measure to the extra pain you have manifested in Nature, oh, suffering planetmate.
“Care of enslaved planetmates provides a good illustration of that. The planetmates you kidnapped needed to be housed, fed and watered, their sicknesses taken care of, and cleaned up after. That is a lot of work. Now, consider if that was needed to be done if they had not been corralled. Of course it was needed. Planetmates in Nature still have to eat.
“But is there work involved? Well, for humans, obviously not; the planetmates have to do it. But even for planetmates there is virtually none, for all these things that humans have taken on to do for kept planetmates are done by planetmates in Nature out of their own desire and joy.
“You say the life of those of us in Nature is brutish and tough, with a do-or-die quality to it. In fact, that is the opposite of the truth. But, in your wrong-gettedness, you need to keep telling yourself that, for, as always, you need to project your own flaws and depravities into Nature, both to not see them and to continue suffering in “blissful” ignorance, as well as to build up your superiority defense against the inferiority you feel in that part of you that knows the truth.
“But in Nature, life is not difficult, as you need to believe so as not to despair about the onerous quality of your own. Look at it this way. For humans it would be like the difference between doing something you call work — meaning you do not want to do it — versus your hobby or your creative work — things you do for the joy and satisfaction of them. Well, nobody is standing over planetmates insisting they take care of themselves. It is what we do! It is what we enjoy doing! It is all either pleasurable, or satisfying, or it is at least engaging … as one feels involved in a game or sport. It is interesting. Interacting with Nature and the rest of life is also awe-inspiring, beautiful, and often fantastical. We hardly want to stay home, sit on virtual couches, and not go “out” … or to stay home from “work.”
“Many of you have cat planetmates. Do you suppose they consider it work to go after mice and small critters? You know the answer. But if not, consider how they continue to enjoy, whatever their age, engaging in play around those same activities — going after a string, for example. If it was not enjoyable for them to hunt for the purpose of feeding, why do you suppose they would want to do it when they did not have to? On the other hand, you don’t see human truck drivers driving their rigs around after work just for fun….”
[Pt 1 of 25rd prasad — Family Fortress. More coming….
To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to the blog page at http://mladzema.wordpress.com/the-great-reveal-book-6/ …
Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also scheduled for print and e-book publication in late March, 2014 ]
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Posted in Anthropology, authenticity, being yourself, Child Abuse, Consciousness, Evolution, God, life, meaning, Metaphysics, Mystical, nonconform, Philosophy, Primal Spirit, Primal Spirituality, Psychology, Religion, Spirituality
Angels in Nature, Eden Scorned: In “Scorning Eden” Humans Suffered So Greatly, Planetmates Even Chose Lives Where They Could Comfort and Help
Eden Scorned … Planetmates’ Compassion, Planetmates’ Pity: “Your Decisions to Separate from the Divine and to Control Fate Created Unmitigated Suffering” Say Planetmates in The 15th Prasad
The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, The Fifteenth Prasad: Eden Scorned and the Angels in Nature
Planetmates Release The Fifteenth Prasad
Your decisions to separate from Divine Providence and to seek to control your fates created lives of unmitigated suffering.
Credit the Planetmates. They’re kicking our ass into shape, it seems to me. My suggestion, stop trying to figure them out. More will become clear. I’m thinking of the hit TV series, “Lost” and how it was mysterious and incomprehensible until the end. I realize the Prasads are a lot like that. There’s much more coming than anyone realizes, just like in “Lost.” And just like in “Lost,” I think the mind’s going to go crazy trying to figure it out or pigeon-hole it ahead of time. Of what I know of what’s coming, it is different from and unlike anything I have ever read, heard, or known before.
Dog is First Consciousness at The 15th Prasad.
"To us, you were the suffering Planetmate.... In fact, some Planetmates even chose lives as species where they could help and comfort you."
The Fifteenth Prasad – Planetmates’ Compassion, Planetmates’ Pity
Adding to your creation of new diseases for yourself was, of course, the constant ill-at-ease state that characterizes you because of your early trauma. So the result of your decisions to separate from Divine Providence and seek to control your fates was the creation of lives of near unmitigated suffering. To us, you were the suffering Planetmate.
In fact, some Planetmates even chose lives as species where they could help and comfort you—your pets and, so called, domesticated animals, being prime examples of that—solely out of pure, simple compassion for the unfortunate lots you had created for yourselves.
Video Commentary by SillyMickel Adzema
This video is a reading of The Fifteenth Prasad, as received from The Planetmates—what I’m calling “Planetmates’ Compassion, Planetmates’ Pity”—with additional explanation, context, and some commentary by SillyMickel Adzema.
The issues highlighted in the commentary concern the surprising compassion that the planetmates relate as being their primary response to our species, even as we capture, enslave, use, and kill them. They express that they feel more pity for us, seeing us as living lives of unmitigated suffering, driven by early pain and crazed, feverish brains…insane, actually, compared to them…and therefore warranting understanding and forgiveness and even support and help. This last they say many of their kind have extended to us by choosing lives as pets or “domesticated animals,” even at the cost of those lives at our hands. This surprising, almost saintly, response to our cruel ways toward them is conveyed, but with little elaboration on my part for how can a human such as I presume to understand such high altruism among those that we denigrate and dismiss with terms such as “beast” and “animal.”
“The Fifteenth Prasad” From The Great Reveal by The Planetmates – the audiocast
The link above takes you to the audio-only version of my commentary on The Fifteenth Prasad, exactly as is in the video. Click on the link to go to the the audio site, or you can listen to it here using the audio player below.
Paraphrase/Elaboration of The Fifteenth Prasad — by SillyMickel Adzema
Your tendency to come down with disease and illness was added to the burden you already carried because of your state of ongoing unhappiness carried over from your unnatural beginnings. Thus, you not only created new diseases — by which you would perhaps unconsciously seek to bring to an end your denied state of unmitigated suffering — these diseases were added to your constant uncomfortable, miserable state, poisoned with your early birth and deprivational trauma, as it was. Essentially, then, in acting out your fears in a mania of attempting to control everything around you, you created lives of fundamental suffering. Your attempt to better your fates beyond what had been set for you by Divine Providence, which at one time had you living ebullient lives within the flows of a divinely-ordained Nature, was beginning to have disastrous results in terms of your overall well-being beyond your mere physical survival.
All these things combined, you presented yourselves a sorry figure on Nature’s stage. For these so called “improvements” to your physical circumstances came at great cost. You were able to greatly expand your numbers, but your flourishing was like that of a cancer upon the Earth, for it did not bring with it increased vitality. You grew, yes, but you did not thrive. All your increases of population numbers was paid for with a diminished and watered down existence for those brought into this world.
For your lives were drudgery and work. By the sweat of your brow, you now would sustain your meager physical existence. This was in contrast to your lives in Nature, and ours, wherein our lives spent in sustaining ourselves is part of our play in Nature. We have no distinction of work and play, as you do. For most of your existence, you saw every day as adventure and fun, as well. But you descended from those lives of Pleasure into an ongoing working nightmare.
All in all, in seeking to avoid death at any and all costs to present happiness, you created lives which it was clear indicated that you actually wished for death … that you were seeking it out. You not only killed each other, you not only killed us, it was supremely evident that you wanted to die. So you extended your lives in all these unnatural ways, at the expense of actually wanting to live that existence.
So it is that you introduced tragedy to Nature. To us, you were the suffering planetmate. We watched as you elevated Nature’s game of life and death on high to where your numbers would increase wildly and uncontrollably, then be beaten back in mass outbreaks of disease, wars, or natural calamities — which your ever more concentrated population centers made far more severe than for us or would have been for you previously. You were the planetmate to introduce mass dying, and killing, to Earthly existence.
We saw you huddling together like frightened children in your homes and villages, bowing down to the products of your hands, and cowering before Nature and its ways. Your fear had you invent phantom helpers — gods, deities — that were equal, in stature, to your pain. Obviously they had their roots in your deprivational trauma; they were a manifestation of a denial of the way events had actually occurred to you in infancy, for they held out the promise that such satisfaction would someday come. But they revealed their true origins through the fact that they were often cruel and contrary in their beneficence, just as your caregivers had been experienced as being. Thus your images of God are deformed; true and real Beneficence is filtered through your fear and early pain.
You are unlike us, for we experience a perfect nurturing in our beginnings, under Divine orchestration of biological events, creating a perfect trust in Reality as benevolent, perfect, and generous. Whereas you experience a variable quality of nurturing in your early infancies — always less than perfect and sometimes harsh and cruel — which creates for you a sense of mistrust toward existence and its designs. This inner turmoil resulted — throughout your post-agrarian history — in your projecting that upon the screen of heaven and Nature as ambivalent gods, insensitive and wrathful deities, and perverse and contrary Nature. And the measure of your submission to these forces was equal to the measure of your suffering and pain. Feeling beaten down by the forces outside yourselves, from birth, had you begging, pitifully, from such forces throughout your lives. You sacrificed your nobility of soul upon the altars of unappreciative and vain, capricious and punishing gods.
We saw your suffering and pitied you. This was in spite of the cruelty that you perpetrated increasingly upon both the Flora and Fauna Empires of Consciousness — your fellow planetmates. Indeed, rather than anger, your planetmates felt more feelings of pity and compassion toward your species than any other feeling.
Your unhappy lots were of your own choosing, it is true; but we understood your crazed brains could not discern easily the way we could. Indeed, though you acted for all the world as if you were in control and dominant, you appeared to us to be enslaved to drives and passions. Again taking your shortcomings and spinning them as accomplishments, you awarded yourself, out of all Nature, with “free will,” though you were about as free as addicts are in choosing their fix. You lost the sense of having the potential for unlimited variety of experiences of life, as presented through the exigencies of the Divine, which actually gives us the sense of being free. We saw you as sick or emotionally-intellectually deficient, so we did not judge or condemn your actions.
In fact, in our compassion, many sought increased spiritual redemption through devoting their lives to aiding you, at least in the relief of your suffering; even though at the cost of many a planetmate’s life. Their desire was to alleviate your suffering and even to comfort you. Forgoing exuberant lives of Bliss and Pleasure in Nature, they joined you in your darkened existences. They submitted to your wiles and cruelties. They carried you, pulled your plows and vehicles, were companions to and helped to raise your children. They presented examples to you of nobility and service to others, which you had totally forgotten.
So some planetmates chose lives as species where they would be close to and able to help you — “pets” you would call them or “domesticated animals.” And this was done solely out of pure, simple compassion for the unfortunate lots you had created for yourselves.
We were the actual angels in nature you sought in the heavens. You imagined the actual ideal satisfaction of your needs, their completion, the way they should have been satisfied, and symbolized that as the existence of angels and allies in the heavens, descending to Earth for you. You never noticed that your actual angels were directly before you, in Nature. Though you had waged continuous war on us, we reacted in accordance with the Divine benevolence we knew existed for us. We were your unheralded angels in Nature. We came to you at the cost of our lives and sought to assist and comfort you.
And to that, right now, we are adding that we are seeking to remind you and guide you as well. We would be your psychotherapists, as it were, dispensing the brutal truth and tough love you need right now in order to live. For your addiction can go on no longer.
Continue with The Great Reveal from the Planetmates: The Sixteenth Prasad. The Rich Begin Calling the Tune, 25,000 B.C. … Eden Owned – Accumulating Things, Controlling Others
Return to The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, The Fourteenth Prasad: Eating the “Apple,” Defying Divine Assistance
To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … Go to The Great Reveal from The Planetmates
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The Cycle of All Events, the Evolution of Parenting, and Auspicious Collective Regressions: Being Crazy in an Insane World Might Mean You’re the Sane One
What’s Involved in Stopping War and Ecocide and the Necessary Mess of Transformation: Hard to Believe, But We’re Getting Saner
Chapter Nine: Regressions in the Service of Society — Messy Healing
There Is a Cycle to All Events … The Spiral Dance, Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction, and Where There Is Real Hope
The Spiral Dance – The Cycle of All Events: Wedded to Rebirthing Rituals, the Inevitability of Disappointment, and Where There is Real Hope
Wedded to Rebirthing Rituals
In turning toward these feelings we embrace, feel, and if we go deeply enough into that, we relive the roots of them and resolve them finally.
If we face these inner forces—we call that feeling them…in this instance, feeling through or reliving one’s birth—we integrate them and heal the underlying trauma, the perinatal trauma.
Or the individual and society can avoid this going within—as depicted in the peace symbol—and can choose instead to act them out, which is the peace symbol upside down—the Satan symbol, the pentagram.
In acting them out, one distracts oneself from the uncomfortable feelings, which though not focused on, are still there. One tries to be “strong” in the face of feelings but one is actually driven and directed by them—they “take over one’s mind.” This is the source of the idea of spirit possession and in general of the idea that a devil or Satan can take over one’s soul.
So in running from our feelings we are captured and enslaved by them, we are forced to act them out in ways we would not otherwise choose which are negative to horrible but in all cases self-sabotaging. Of course war is the most horrible, most self-sabotaging, greatest, and most all-consuming form of such acting-out…the greatest struggle.
Humans are characterized by a particular kind of birth process. It is a coming into being that is traumatic and which is related to our distinction of standing upright and thereby decreasing the pelvic opening as well as suffocating the fetus prior to birth. The fact is that because of this “distinction” we are destined to go through periods of rebirthing purificatory rituals, whether for good or ill. [Footnote 1]
For we are psychologically wedded to reliving that which we could not fully experience at the time because of the overwhelming quality of pain associated with it.
A “Spiral Dance”
These rebirthing rituals we are doomed to repeat, one way or the other. We are going to act out this primal pain—this birth trauma—in an unending cycle of feelings having these components
- Periods of feelings of expansion
- Closedness or entrapment, guilt, and depression
In winning the “war” or having the success or achievement, there begins the same cycle of expansion followed by entrapment. Losing the war…the struggle, the battle…is akin to death, even if there is no death. There is numbness and repression…akin to a kind of “limbo”…before life can begin anew. A reconception is necessary.
The Pattern of Our First Nine Months Imprints Us For Our Entire Human Lives
The reemergence of hope in individuals and societies is biologically equivalent to conception. And following this reconceiving, there is a similar cycle of reemerging strength—akin to the expansion that follows winning. Then there is continuing depression or overarching gloom and helplessness feelings coupled with revenge feelings and blame as individuals and societies stew in the vessel of indecision, inaction, and doubt. This is quite like the closedness and guilt which follows achievement-success-victory. Note, however, that the revenge and blame feelings here are aspects of the BPM II matrix, just as is closedness and guilt.
Can’t Get No Satisfaction
And then the cycle is the same again. Specifically, there is aggression against the oppressor (War and revolution both see the foe as an oppressor, even if one is actually the one who is the aggressor.) What follows upon fighting is release or “death”; and so on around. The “happily ever after” that inspires such battle truly only exists in fantasies and fairy tales. Prosperity and feelings of success are unfortunately doomed, on this physical plane of existence, to be short-lived.
Where There Is Real Hope
It would seem we are fated to never be happy, for long. But progress is possible; herein lies our only real choice in the entire scenario. For we either work through these cycles in some deep psychologically transformative way that helps us deal with and pass beyond the difficult and painful parts of the cycle as well as helps to fade the imprints’ potency in determining our behavior or we are doomed to act them out in the external world in ways that we are blindly unaware are not congruent with the actual facts of our circumstances and are harmful to ourselves and others around us.
We are fated to experience these cycles of birth, and we will either act them out disastrously or we find ways of dealing with them inside of ourselves in some way—and some ways are better than others for doing this—so that we can have some inner distance from these patterns and therefore some conscious ability or choice around our actions when these pushes and pulls arise.
Railing Against the Darkness: The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of Reason, Progress Requires Regress, and Healing Is Nothing if Not Messy
Railing Against the Darkness, The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of Reason, and Social Progress Requires Regression
The Vanity of Will, The Impotence of “Reason”
What we absolutely don’t have, yet arrogantly think we do, is the ability—through will or reason alone—to choose light over darkness, to replace these inner veils of distortion with clarity of thought and perception and hence of positive behavior and actions while in the midst of them. Trying to reason with and to obtain truly desired outcomes is about as possible as trying to reason with a lizard and convince it to conform to one’s wishes for its behavior. For good reason: Indeed our rational mind is as split off from the “reptilian brain” inside us within which these imprints circulate and from which they arise as are we from the consciousness of a gila monster.
What We Call “Reason” Is Largely Just Rationalization
This impotence of intellectual understanding in the face of these patterns of self-destruction occurs because these schemas are rooted in memories existing in an emotional and entirely dissociated part of the brain, which is hardly touched by neocortical admonishing of any kind. As deMause correctly points out,
[The fetus’s] “early experiences have been found to be recorded in a separate early neural network—a dissociated emotional memory system centering in the amygdala, quite distinct from the declarative memory system centering in the hippocampus that is established in later childhood.” [Footnote 2]
Disclaiming these cycles, which inevitably pass through darkness, and reliance on “will-power” to change one’s patterns, which includes self-sabotage, has been exposed in its impotence in modern times. We see as evidence the growing acknowledgment of the ineffectiveness and, indeed, counter-effectiveness of psychoanalysis. [Footnote 3]
Railing Against the Darkness
So the question begging to be asked is “What do we do about it?” What do we do about these pernicious cycles?
And when these elements erupt in society in harmless, possibly healing ways, how do we view them? Do we, as Mayr and Boelderl do in their article, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe,” decry the regression…as if by disclaiming it we could somehow keep the cycle from happening? [Footnote 4]
Mayr and Boelderl write, for example, that the situation of collective regression in Europe “strikes us as being high-explosive [sic] and bitter enough.” [Footnote 5]
In another place they exclaim, “What is horrible about this insight [about the increasing collective regression in Europe] is the additional observation that regression is becoming still more radical.” [Footnote 6]
This response of railing against the “Darkness” is a Freudian response. Yet it is not even a neo-Freudian one, since regression in the service of the ego—which began to be seen as ever more important by neo-Freudians—is not acknowledged, let alone considered.
Social Progress Requires Regression
That regression in the service of the ego is not considered is confirmed by Mayr and Boelderl in their statement that “[R]egression by definition is a process of repression and a defense mechanism.” [Footnote 7]
These are surprising words, in light of the concept of regression in the service of the ego and awareness of the clinically based evolution of psychotherapeutic theory since Freud’s original postulations, over a half-century ago.
They are even more awry if one considers the universal, cross-cultural, implementation by societies of rebirthing rituals to handle the same kinds of forces we are confronted with. The anthropological literature is rife with these accounts.
Further, Grof has meticulously shown that regularly going into altered states of consciousness where one confronts this material is a prime function of cultures, and it occurs nearly universally although it is woefully lacking in Western culture for the most part.
Moreover, these words by Mayr and Boelderl indicate a conflict with or ignorance of the fact that deMause’s theory of evolution of historical change requires regression on the part of parents, while parenting their children, as the primary “engine” of sociopsychological progress.
For deMause writes,
“[T]he ultimate source of all historical change is psychogenesis, the lawful change in childrearing modes occurring through generational pressure…. Psychogenesis depends upon the ability of parents and surrogates to regress to the psychic age of their children and work through the anxieties of that age better the second time than in their own childhood.” (op. cit., 1982, p. 135, emphasis mine.)
But this mistake by these two social scientists would not be all that important if it was not the perfect example of the kind of uninformed attitude we have, generally speaking, in Western societies about these forces. This attitude is reinforced by a Judeo-Christian tradition of specialness and scapegoating in the West. It is a pervasive feeling about these things; specifically it, itself, is the actual defense. While this is a widespread reaction to our inner realities it is far from science, and even further from the truth or reality about these things.
“Stop It!” … Yeah, That’s Gonna Work
At any rate, if we adopt this Western, Judeo-Christian, Freudian tactic of decrying the darkness, we are as effective in derailing the cycle of violence and war as Freudians are in what amounts to admonishing their clients to “stop it!” when it comes to their neurotic self-sabotaging.
For people cannot will themselves to merely stop their cycles of neurotic self-sabotage and self-destruction, which are the individual manifestations/ acting out of their birth traumas. As mentioned these directors of action operate out of a different part of the psyche, and brain, than one’s conscious willing part. They are simply not accessible, so hardly amenable, to rational or willful input. And changing one’s thoughts to affect them is about as helpful as rearranging the furniture on the deck of the Titanic.
People Who Have It All Figured Out Are the Ones to Watch Out For … Emotional “Sickness” Might Indicate More “Wellness”
Regression in the Service of the Ego
With the exposure of the ineffectiveness of the Freudian tactic of intellectual understanding has come the Freudian movement’s disintegration into schools advocating various other strategies for change.
These schools/strategies include the psychiatric—the use of drugs; the neo-Freudians who acknowledge and use regression in the service of the ego and abreaction; the humanistic-existential approaches, stressing the “experiential”; and the Jungians and neo-Jungians, who would seek the resolution of these cycles in their inner archetypal acting out, resulting in an eventual rootedness of the ego in a higher Self (a spiritual center) beyond or transcending the cycles. [Footnote 8]
Other approaches include the bulk of the spiritual, new-age, or transpersonal means that are flourishing these days. These alternative paths basically differ from all others in their belief that one can simply bypass these perinatal pulls and pushes and go directly to the Light or the Self by dismissing the birth cycles, or the Darkness or Shadow, through affirming the Light, meditating the Darkness out or the Light in, changing one’s thoughts, creating one’s reality, and various combinations of these.
Finally, these newer schools and strategies for healing include those of what might be called experiential psychotherapy, which includes primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, some forms of (experiential) meditation (Vipassana meditation, for example), Reichian and bioenergetic approaches, some forms of hypnotherapy—experiential ones—ones that involve reliving traumas—and virtually all the techniques, treatments, and correctives that are espoused in the field of pre- and perinatal psychology.
The point is that from a good number of these other-than-Freudian perspectives—and all of those that acknowledge the importance of regression in the service of the ego—and from the perspective of the entire field of experiential psychotherapy, the answer to the cycles of violence, war, and death-rebirth is to stop the acting out, not by simply intellectually decrying it—as if one can actually talk oneself out of one’s inner fears and one’s Darkness/Shadow—but by reliving those cycles of violence at their origins…their primal roots. In the case of perinatal forces, those forces from “the dark side,” this is accomplished by reliving the violence of birth, a perinatal trauma that is thoroughly and masterfully delineated by Grof and deMause. [Footnote 9]
Auspicious Collective Regressions
But from this perspective of experiential psychotherapy—one completely congruent with and grateful of deMause’s contributions in psychohistory as well—regression, in Europe, or elsewhere, is not seen as something to decry, disclaim, be horrified of, or be seen as dangerous but is seen as an opportunity. Regression is certainly not seen as a form of defense but as the opposite of that. Regression is part of a process of diminishing one’s defenses against one’s internal reality of pain and trauma.
Thus, examples of blatant collective regression as in Europe—more so to the extent they are relived, released, and integrated—are entirely auspicious for the eventual elimination of war as a collective device of acting out—defending against—the painful feelings coming from one’s personal history which one carries around, all unknowingly, and which pervade, in one way or another, in forms subtle and not so subtle, every moment of one’s consciousness in the present.
From this experiential psychotherapeutic perspective, we have a different feeling about developments like those that Mayr and Boelderl describe as collective regression in Europe and Lawson describes as occurring at rock concerts. [Footnote 10]
From a more enlightened viewpoint these cultural phenomena should have us, if not dancing in the streets, at least hopeful of a gradual decrease in the use of war and violence. Why? It is because the youth who display this “regression” so blatantly were brought up by an “advanced” form of child-rearing than that of previous generations, that they have fewer defenses, fewer layers of obfuscation covering up their unconscious psychodynamics; consequently the regression is seen more clearly in their behavior. [Footnote 11]
Unflinching Belief Related to Total Dissociation
Why is this important? DeMause points out that people do go to war, and that prior to it their perinatal dynamics come to the fore, as evidenced by perinatal-laden words and images in the media and in leaders’ speeches used to describe the situation and its dynamics. Thus, our leaders take us into war, they act out their perinatal dynamics…and we in following them act out ours…in such gruesomely overt ways because these dynamics are so hidden, repressed, and overlaid with defenses that the conscious mind has absolutely no access to, and hence insight into, them as being part of one’s unconscious dynamics.
Consequently the conscious mind is completely able to convince itself that those dynamics are actual, real, and doubtless parts of the situation and therefore require an actual, real, and extreme response. The amount of resolve required to act out war can only be wrought of an unflinching belief in the rightness, the absolute correctness of one’s perspective of the situation and therefore of that extreme course of response. And that can only be brought about by a total dissociation from one’s perinatal traumas, and a complete and utter projection of it on the outside—the enemy, to be specific.
Blatant “Sickness” Related to Being Real
The contrary is also true: When there does not exist that total and complete dissociation of the perinatal trauma—when it is, as in Europe and rock concerts currently, closer to the surface, less defended against, less repressed and, hence, more blatant—it is more accessible to consciousness and less likely to be acted out in the extreme as in war. Instead it is more likely to be acted out in less extreme forms, such as jumping into mosh pits, carrying pacifiers, listening to baby tunes about the, very real, difficulties of being a baby, and so on.
Finally, it is more likely to be actually allowed to emerge in consciousness and be relived, and thereby “healed”…and gone beyond, to be replaced by something more benign and more socially constructive, and thus to be removed forever as a motivation to war or violence. This is the auspicious view of the developments described by Mayr and Boelderl. [Footnote 12]
Janov was the first to point out that a permanent resolution of underlying trauma initially entailed an aggravation of symptoms and symbolic acting out. That is to say, the underlying dynamics become more blatant and apparent in behavior. [Footnote 13]
Janov was also the first to note that the acting-out and overt neurotic was closer to being “real,” and therefore really sane, than his or her highly functioning and “normal,” but repressed, rigidly defended, and unfeeling neighbor. [Footnote 14]
The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History: I Know It’s Hard to Believe But We’ve Been Getting Saner
Thanks to You We’re Getting Saner: The Most Evolved Parenting … Boomers and Millennials … and The Cyclical Nature of History
Evolution of Parenting – We’ve Been Getting Saner
Finally, the correctness of the view that being “crazy” in an insane world might be more sane has been borne out in recent history. DeMause describes an evolution of parenting from ancient times to the present which involved ever decreasing psychosis and violence and increasing caring and consciousness of the needs of children. He connects this decrease in violent child caring to ever decreasing violence and psychotic acting out in societies.
DeMause labels the most common modern parenting mode the socializing mode. Short of the quite recent helping mode—which only really rose to prominence in the last three decades—the socializing mode is the most advanced and most humane.
Lest there be any confusion, I wish to point out that my own theoretical understanding differs from deMause’s in one important respect. While I agree with his evolution of child-rearing over the course of civilization and within recorded time, I believe he is wrong about prehistory and what primal peoples were like and the kind of child-caring they engaged in. He depicts prehistoric societies as psychotically oblivious of the needs of children, engaging in, first, infanticidal; then, second, abandoning; then, third, ambivalent modes of child-rearing. Whereas it seems to me the overwhelming evidence and increasing numbers of anthropologists point to a natural “organic” child-caring being employed in the the mists of the past quite a bit more “advanced” than even many modes employed today.
I believe the change from the loving parenting we see in many primal peoples and in Nature among many of our planetmates to the infanticidal, abandoning, and ambivalent modes he has described for early historic cultures is a product of that ever increasing control of Nature that went into full gear with the agrarian revolution, some ten to twenty-five thousand years ago. So, I am saying that brutal parenting was a consequence of “civilization” and was at its worst at the beginnings of recorded time.
But I agree we have been gradually evolving to better modes of child-caring over the history of civilization to the most sane and psychologically beneficial modes employed in recent decades, which, you might want to note, are very much like the modes of the earliest humans. I describe why and how we lost our connection with Nature and loving ways of parenting—how we left “Eden”—in my book and blog “The Great Reveal.”
The Cycles of Time
I believe my understanding shows once again how much of what modern folks thought of “development”—including it being linear and increasing from “darkness” to “light” with ourselves always at the top (conveniently)—is wrong and merely part of an anthropocentric bias and an ethnocentric heritage. For more and more, as we lay down those blinders to reality, we notice the evidence of the cyclical nature of everything—from our lives (ashes to ashes) to the physical Universe’s expansion and contraction, to the vibrations at the subatomic level, the waves in the sea, the turning of the Earth and the revolutions of the solar systems, and I contend now also, the so-called “history” of our species on Earth. This is the thoroughly postmodern idea that human time is also cyclical, with over and again peoples returning to earlier halcyon times only to “fall” away from them.
The Worst of Times Quality of Current Events
This idea of time as cyclical not linear is in keeping with Eastern philosophies, as well as indigenous ones. Hindu thinking currently has us at the depths of the Kali Yuga, the worst part of the cycle right now, with matters to be reversed very soon and the best of times just ahead. And, as I have been describing in my books Falls from Grace and Primal Renaissance and will be directly pointing out in my upcoming book, Primal Return, we are currently seeing a most necessary return to a more harmonious way of being and a more natural self. And with it, requiring it, to some extent preceding it, we are evolving to the most advanced mode of loving parenting.
The “Best of Times” Nature of Our Parenting
Psychohistorian Glenn Davis, following deMause, analyzed the most advanced form of child-caring short of the most recent helping mode—the psychogenic parenting mode deMause termed socializing—and found that it comprised four submodes. In order, beginning in the mid-nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century and each one a more “evolved” and humane one than the previous one, they are the submodes of psychic control, aggressive training, vigorous guidance, and delegated release. [Footnote 15]
Oh, Be-HAVE. WWII Generation … Received Aggressive-Training and Vigorous-Guidance Parenting
Davis concluded that in America the Vietnam War was perpetrated by individuals belonging almost entirely to the aggressive-training and vigorous-guidance psychoclasses. [Footnote 16]
Questioning Authority and Oneself Is Good. Boomers … Received Delegated Release Parenting
Yet the Vietnam War was brought to an end largely as a result of the efforts of an antiwar movement whose largest component was a Sixties youth brought up under a more advanced delegated-release child-caring mode. [Footnote 17]
The delegated release mode, which resulted in the phenomenon of Sixties youth and the counterculture, is the most “advanced” mode short of the helping mode.
“Let’s Collaborate” – Millennials. Received the Most Advanced Parenting – Helping … “We Just Want You to Be Happy.”
The helping mode is the child-caring mode employed widely by the Sixties generation for their children, the Millennial Generation, also known as Generation Y. So, a helping mode of parenting was enjoyed by the children of a delegated-release psychoclass, the Boomers. Sixties youth are seen, psychologically, to have the most the most “advanced” ego structures short of their children taught within a helping mode. [Footnote 18]
Ending War and Humanicide—Peace Is Worth its Price of Suffering: Better “Emotionally Disturbed” Than “Healthily” Fighting in War
Walking In Another’s Moccasins
It is obvious that these Sixties youth did not have the same unflinching and unqualified belief in the absolute rightness of their country’s position in Vietnam as did many of their parents. This is obviously the case in a psychoclass of youth chanting a generational mantra, “Question authority!” and whose more extreme members would at times even go over to the perspective of seeing the war from the eyes of the “enemy,” the Other.
As I mentioned earlier, among the Sixties Generation we saw Jane Fonda’s journey to Hanoi, the waving of North Vietnamese flags by protesters, and the carrying of little red books on the sayings of Chairman Mao. These are obvious indicators that the generation as a whole was open to seeing the war from the North Vietnamese perspective: That is, as a conflict perpetrated by a foreign nation that was hypocritical in its espousal of democracy in that it prevented democratic elections that would have without doubt elected Ho Chi Minh and instead it installed a puppet-ruler in the South, making Vietnam a virtual colony of the United States. From this perspective, the Vietnam War was for the Vietnamese as much a war for independence as the American Revolution was for the U.S.
This is just an example of how there are two sides to every issue and how an attempt at empathy or “walking in The Other’s moccasins”—made possible by a closeness to a perinatal unconscious that is also an opposite perspective than that of the conscious mind—can lead, at the minimum, to the reluctance necessary to prevent engaging in at least the most blatant and horrific forms of violence…against others, but consider also, against Nature.
The Perinatal Generation
At any rate, is there evidence that this undermining of the self-righteous position necessary for the instigation and carrying out of war and ecocide—this ability to see at least somewhat from The Other’s perspective and not just one’s own—is in truth correlated with a closeness to perinatal dynamics, a closeness to the unconscious for that generation of youth, those of the Sixties? The answer: Absolutely yes!
As mentioned in a previous part, sociologist Kenneth Keniston did psychological studies of members of the Sixties Generation.
He was inspired to do so through his noticing that he was seeing something really unusual and radically different in these youth than what he had ever seen. This led to his fascination with discovering what made them so different. And he documented his findings in two books—The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society and Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth. Roughly speaking he chose to study the unconscious dynamics of both the “alienated-hippie” and the “activist” sectors, respectively, of that generation. [Footnote 19]
At the risk of repeating myself, I wish to remind the reader that a reading of his books—keeping in mind that Keniston knew nothing of perinatal dynamics at that time, and few people did, for that matter—reveals a degree of perinatal imagery, fantasy, and acting out—especially among “the uncommitted”—enough to make a troll-handling, pacifier-wearing, mosh-pit jumping youth of today to blush! [Footnote 20]
Self-Analysis and Psychological-Mindedness
Because of this peculiar perinatal access, I don’t believe it is any coincidence that Keniston also found an unusual amount of inner reflection—questioning oneself—alongside the more well known questioning authority. This he labeled “overexamined life” for the alienated sector and “psychological mindedness” for the activists.
Better Emotionally Disturbed Than “Healthily” Engaging in War
So, being close to one’s perinatal imprints, being less defended against one’s inner unconscious painful memories, leads to one being able to question not just oneself—and therefore to be a catalyst to personal growth and a quest for truth—but also the actions of one’s society. It is a counterbalance to our tendency to act out in violence to others as in war and to Nature as in ecocide. It means people will suffer more inner turmoil and pain, will feel more psychologically “disturbed,” and will be less likely to take it out on others, will be less likely to make others or the environment “pay” for what happened to them.
Let us contrast that with its opposite. DeMause writes,
Hitler’s projection of his fears…into Jews and foreigners helped him avoid a psychotic breakdown and enabled him to function during his later life, as long as others shared his delusion of poisonous enemies.
Therefore acting out collectively, as in war, can prevent a psychotic breakdown in certain individuals.
Better Psychotic Than Waging War
But when the consequences of acting out one’s birth trauma, collectively, is millions of people—including oneself—dead, not to mention the uncountably large loss of material and personal resources, it is clear that by comparison a psychotic breakdown is a more benign alternative for either the individual or the society in which that or those individuals act.
Similarly, not providing the outlet of war as a collective birth ritual…oftentimes, for the soldier involved, euphemistically called a “rite of passage”…would allow the genuine neurotic breakdowns, the collapse of people’s defenses, and their opening up to their underlying perinatal dynamics. Thus accessed, they can be healed, or in the least they would prevent the kind of unflinching belief or self-righteousness required for war and violence.
Some folks might even be motivationally paralyzed—receiving information from the unconscious that contradicts and undermines the stance and beliefs of their conscious ego. But when that egoistic stance is slanted, commonly, towards war, violence, selfishness and greed and corresponding environmental apathy, then better one would be indecisive, overwhelmed, and doing nothing.
The Price of Emotional Pain Is Minuscule Compared to That of War
Yet it is true that this neurotic breakdown, of at least a small amount, on the scale of society would result in the kind of collective regressions that Mayr and Boelderl, and Lawson describe. That is, the cause of peace, of the saving of human lives, requires that people pay the price of encountering their primal pain.
By all measures, this peace price is minuscule. It is even more worth it when you take into account the fact that many people, after initially “breaking down” for lack of a collective…and highly destructive…act-out like war/aggression, will actually succeed in reconstructing a self more in line with reality, through the dynamics and means categorized under the term regression in the service of the ego, desccribed above. Regardless of professional help…which would be nice but is not always available or practical…some people just find a way.
Continue with Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing
1. A. Briend, “Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?” British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319.
2. DeMause, op. cit., 1995, p. 12, emphasis in original.
3. See, for example, Alice Miller, For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence, trans. by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, especially “Vantage Point 1990,” pp. vii-ix.
4. Daniela F. Mayr & Artur R. Boelderl, “The Pacifier Craze: Collective Regression in Europe.” The Journal of Psychohistory 21 (1993): 143-156.
5. Ibid., p. 144.
6. Ibid., p. 148, emphasis mine.
7. Ibid., pp. 149-150.
8. Regarding the “experiential,” I should make clear that this approach is, from the perspective of the experiential psychotherapeutic approach I will be describing shortly, actually the superficial symbolic acting out of these underlying and powerful cycles in a way that is only a little less impotent than the Freudians.
9. DeMause, op. cit., 1995.
11. Mayr and Boelderl claim quite wrongly and quite strangely—as if to make the facts not conflict with DeMause’s psychogenic theory, or as if to cover up some hole in their analysis—that those caught up in the pacifier craze were raised under the intrusive and socializing parenting modes (op. cit., 1993, p. 145) and yet, in 1992, were between the ages of 15 and 30 (Ibid., p. 143). This is hard to understand because these youth would have been born between the years 1962 and 1977 in advanced Western countries of mostly Western Europe—Italy, Germany, Austria, all of Europe, and even the U.S. (Ibid.).
However, the intrusive and socializing modes are associated, by DeMause, with the eighteenth century and the nineteenth to mid-twentieth centuries, respectively, in the Western world (DeMause, op. cit., 1982, p. 62). On the other hand, the helping mode begins mid-twentieth century in the Western world (Ibid., p. 63).
The conclusion from this is that these youth, described by Mayr and Boelderl, would have been greatly influenced by the helping mode. They would be expected, at least, to have received the most advanced methods of child-caring overall in the world at this time—considering DeMause’s theory—since they are the most recent progeny of the Western world!
Indeed, if these cannot be considered products of the helping mode, who can be? In order for Mayr and Boelderl to dispute this and claim they were exceptions to the rule and were raised under intrusive and socializing modes, they would have had to do a study demonstrating this, or at least cite one done. And this they do not do.
12. Michael D. Adzema, “Reunion With the Positive (Self), Part 1: The Other Half of ‘The Cure.’” Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology 1(2): 72-85. Reprinted on the Primal Spirit site.
15. Glenn Davis, Childhood and History in America. New York: The Psychohistory Press, 1976.
19. Kenneth Keniston, The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society. New York: Dell, 1965; Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth. New York: Harcourt, Brace & World, Inc., 1968.
20.While these aspects of youth are laid out by Keniston, a fuller delineation of these dynamics are to be seen in my work-in-progress, tentatively titled The Once and Current Generation: “Regression,” Mysticism, and “My Generation.” [Stay tuned.]
Continue with Chapter Ten: Where There Is Hope, Cultural Rebirthing
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