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21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 22: The Itch We Cannot Scratch … Imprinted to Tattoo, Body Pierce, and Sun-Bathe in Prenatal Irritation/ Revulsion

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Twenty-Two: Why Humans Are the Only Species That Burns, Inks, and Mortifies Their Skin … Prenatal Imprints for Tattooing, Sun Bathing, and Body Adornment

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How We Act Out Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion in Cultural Behaviors

sitin (2)More common ways we behave out of these early imprints from prenatal irritation and revulsion have to do with obsessions for sun-bathing and tattooing. Body ornamentation, in particular, is one of the cultural universals of humans, which is lacking in our planetmate societies. We’ll get to the other, more important, cultural manifestations of this early experience shortly, when we discuss intolerance, obsessive-compulsiveness, and scapegoating and persecution of minorities in societies and the horrid ways we act them out.

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Tattoos and Body Adornments

vasdffasfirritation-thumb17549753This complex of feelings includes irritation. Think of it as like an itch that one can’t scratch. Pretty unnerving, right? We are focused on our skin in this way, hand_talismanthough we are not aware of these feelings in a conscious way after a while. Imagine an itch that is there all the time, like from a mosquito bite. As they say, if you don’t scratch it it goes away. Well it is not that the feeling isn’t there, it is that virtually all feelings fade with time…one gets distracted from them…as it was said of Prometheus’s pain, everyone involved “wearies” of it.

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face_achefb82228ba433f987fcea64976b9bbad3_hBut that doesn’t mean it is not influencing our actions on a subconscious level. So, we get tattoos and do all kinds of strange things to the surface of our skins and to the outsides of our bodies which only make sense if you look at such people as acting out an ongoing itch that can’t be scratched. These rituals, though unknown in other species, are one of our unique human characteristics.

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Gen X and Millennial Generation

Tribal Tattoos For Men (1)9When you have sudden eruptions of this kind of behavior in a society, it would be illuminating to look at what changed in that culture’s practices around pregnancy and prenatal care when those adults were in their mothers’ wombs.

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A prominent example of this is the fascination and 6a00e54f912f5a883401116855fb37970c-320piaddictiveness that Gen X imasgsgfgesand the Millennial Generation have with tattooing. This is a distinct contrast with the previous generation, the Boomers, and with generations prior to that. I don’t think it is coincidence that these generations spent their womb-time during a period of a Western avalanche of prescription drug use of all types that was for a long time—and to some extent still is—thought to be inconsequential to the fetus.

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Fetal Drug Irritation…That Itch That Won’t Go Away

When the medical establishment did discuss pharmaceutical use and the fetus, it was talked about in terms of whether the particular compound passed through the “placental barrier.” Unfortunately, the “placental barrier” turned out to not be the major protection to fetuses that Western society wanted it to be in order to continue with this explosive intake of all kinds of medications. [Footnote 1]

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And all of this intake is quite a bit different than the moderate and minimal medication usage by mothers in all previous generations. These drugs simply did not exist in any earlier time in the abundance they do now.

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Extreme examples of this—pathologies rooted in such late gestation trauma—can manifest as a desire to cut oneself. People who are compulsive cutters say they are trying to feel something, that they feel dead or numb. Well, yes, this is how it feels when one scratches an itch…one has the sense that one doesn’t really feel it until one scratches it…and until then, like bug bites, one does a psychological numbing of the area until one can get to it.

Icarus Suspended #2 2009 Dario Puggioni

Sun-Bathing

katexena_s6_afin_dArc_806Another way this is felt is as a kind of a burning on the surface of the skin, what we might feel being immersed in mildly acidic water. As always, we re-create these discomforts in an unconscious way of trying to resolve them. So we have this curious ritual in some cultures of lying out in the open on sunny days and allowing our skin to be heated and burned. pandoras-badfaoxWe think this is all about cosmetics, personal appearance, or health, but it is not. Those ideas are rationalizations after the fact. For we even allow the feeling of sunburn, a painful experience, as if it is some kind of fortifying experience. vampirediesinsunlightcrpdMedically, we now know, these rituals are not healthy at all…contributing to skin cancers and such. A sidenote: One needs to ask if the skin trauma in the womb causes the skin cancer and the sun-bathing is just another act out, but not causative of skin cancer.

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To license this image contact:<br />Lonely Planet Images<br />email: lpi@lonelyplanet.com.au<br />phone: 61 3 8379 8181tattoo_02And you think this a minor thing? Well for many, yes. Remember, though, that many people revolve their lives around these experiences…George Hamilton comes to mind. OurLadyofNagasakiThey might build their lives around surfing…or being “beach bums.” I know of one person who Body_Adornment_2has made the major decisions of his life around such rituals and behaviors. He kept finding ways to live near the beach, the ocean, so he could sun-bathe…”take in the rays.” He had his marriage ceremony on the beach; skin_irritation_home_remediesthough he was not a beach bum. I also know this person has major skin trauma in his life: He had chicken pox as a baby and it was so itchy and he so wanted to scratch himself they actually tied him down so he could not. It makes perfect sense that such preeminent skin trauma has the kinds of deep roots I am talking about here. So this is how such early trauma can be no small matter.

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burning_witch_34Having looked briefly at the human cultural behaviors that arise from these imagesqtbnand9gcrdnlx6vm1g07iwsz7tsjhk5s4reb5gefvyzlzb5voef3s9y0_1early perceptions and feelings, let us now delve into some of the bigger and more dire act outs—ones that this book in particular is detailing. Let us see how c2u9we act these things out in society in our group behaviors—culture wars—and how we act them out in our interactions with the world of Nature and our environment.

chapapote-001We now turn to the issues of scapegoating, most-killing-centers-were-in-poland-the-country-with-the-largest-jewish-population-at-the-timeimmigration, intolerance, racism, culture wars, abortion and contraception, overpopulation, slavery and fascism and genocide; after which we will look at environmental contamination and the depletion of the ozone layer.

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Continue with “Don’t Bug Me!” … Culture Wars, Hating Hippies, and Having Obsessively Clean Homes, But Tolerating Pollution – Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion. 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 23

Return to Ewww! Prenatal Irritation, Revulsion … Toxic Environment, Touch, Sex, Preadolescent “Creepiness” and Early Roots of Rape and Sexual Abuse: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 21

Footnote

1. This makes an important part of the case, focusing on environmental pollutants, but the same thing goes for drugs, medications:

The Myth Of The Placental Barrier

Your baby’s first environment isn’t as toxin-free as you might think. Here’s how to shelter him from harm.

Tucked inside you like a walnut in its shell and cushioned by amniotic fluid, your baby seems safe and secure. Sure, the outside world is filled with environmental threats, but isn’t it the job of the placenta to filter out substances that can harm the fetus? Well, yes—but. While the placenta does a crackerjack job of screening most infectious agents—rubella and HIV are notable exceptions—it’s permeable to most pollutants, including pesticides, PCBs, perchlorate, bisphenol A (BPA), lead and mercury. Unfortunately, the placental barrier that protected a Pleistocene pregnancy from menace is no match for today’s man-made toxins.

When researchers examined the umbilical cord blood of 10 U.S. babies born in August and September 2004, they found a total of 287 industrial chemicals. Of those, 180 were carcinogens; 217 were toxic to the brain. “Numerous environmental contaminants can cross the placental barrier,” a National Institutes of Health report noted. “To a disturbing extent, babies are born pre-polluted.” Of course, just because a newborn has carcinogenic or neurotoxic chemicals in her cord blood doesn’t mean she’ll develop cancer or learning impairments. Still, most of us would prefer to err on the side of caution. That means pregnant women should avoid environmental toxins as conscientiously as they avoid cigarettes— except that it’s a lot easier to turn down a smoke than it is to say no to contaminants.

“Even people who pursue green lifestyles and organic diets have toxic chemicals in their blood,” says ecologist Sandra Steingraber, whose book Having Faith (Berkley Trade) chronicles the effects of pollution on fetal development. “When pregnant, our bodies become an interior ecosystem that exists in communion with the exterior ecosystem we inhabit. Whatever is in our food, air, water or house dust gets inside us.”

More – http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/health/myth-placental-barrier

Continue with “Don’t Bug Me!” … Culture Wars, Hating Hippies, and Having Obsessively Clean Homes, But Tolerating Pollution – Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion. 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 23

Return to Ewww! Prenatal Irritation, Revulsion … Toxic Environment, Touch, Sex, Preadolescent “Creepiness” and Early Roots of Rape and Sexual Abuse: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 21

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Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life, Part Ten: Of Cigarettes, Lucifer, Prometheus, and Icarus—Why Humans Are Addicted to Burning Things … And Its Dire Prognosis

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Sorry, Billy Joel, But We Did Start the Fire: Why Humans Are So Big on Burning … And Its Apocalyptic Prognosis For Us Today: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 10

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Why Humans Are So Big on Burning

discovery_of_fireHumans did not always do things to adversely affect the air they breathe, however. We were not always fire burners or food cookers. Cro-MagnonIt is common knowledge that at a certain point in our evolution, we began harnessing fire for warmth, for cooking, and for other purposes, including entertainment. Consider that fact for a second…why are we the only species to do this? (And we are.) Now consider the aspect of our uniquely human fetal malnutrition as neonates and prenates we’ve been looking into.

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No other species needs to “burn” carbon-based fuels for survival; we only need a tiny amount of air to stoke our “inner fires” when converting food to energy. Yet we have added that incredible weight of setting things ablaze and burning fuels to our burden on the planetary resources and the environment ever since we began using fire.

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eh99_icarus9_11Consider if the fetal malnutrition/oxygen starvation we created for ourselves as unborns by standing upright might be manifesting itself as the need to burn stuff and thereby decrease the oxygen in our immediate environment, and increase the toxins there. Is it possible that fetal malnutrition, which is the result of bipedalism, contributed later to our use of fire? For, as I continually point out, we are triggered into our unfaced early pain, prometheussfgsgsgat the same time as we seek to run from it, while we unconsciously act to bring it about, so we might at some point face it and heal ourselves d5261960l(though we rarely do).

You think it a strange idea that we might be unconsciously wanting to re-create the “stuffiness” in the womb by burning stuff and creating air around us that mimics that state? Really? a-bit-longer-264529php_38Do you think it normal for someone to create tiny “fire sticks” and “suck” the bad air they produce?8 Do you not wonder why we are the only ones to burn tobacco and other vegetation so we might inhale the exhaust from it, the smoke from the fire we Fire-Rings2create? If we came across a culture where they built fires and stood around sticking their faces in the smoke to inhale it, how would we view that? How is cigarette smoking different? Yes, we are the only species that has that invention of cigarettes (cigars, pipes, hookahs….and so many more). And you think MY hypothesis odd?

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Yes, Billy Joel, We DID Start the Fire

454546465464Is it any wonder we portray hell as one of eternal fire? Not only does it coincide with the prenatal feelings of burning on the surface of the skin, which I’ll soon explore in more depth.dre2093l But in that human beings are the ones being referred to when we speak of the myth of Lucifer; it makes sense that Lucifer’s home after being cast from heaven would be one of fire. Satan is always pictured in a “cave”—another womb symbol—of sorts with fires all around him. Humans compulsively create environments in which they are surrounded by fire. Just look around you…automobiles, heaters, electrical energy created by combustion….

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Prometheus__The_Gift_Of_Fire_by_CarmacaoWe also have myths that tell us alternately that use of fire is the great break with Nature that makes us humans, as well as myths saying that our being too reckless and getting too close to fire is what causes our downfall. When you think of it, am I not saying both of those?

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oya2CherokeeCreationStoryMany ethnographies tell of Creation Myths that include a hero that brings fire, therein getting things started for those peoples as a distinct culture. [Footnote 1]

prometheusfgsgsgsgsIn Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire for humans from the gods and was punished by being tied Promethesfsgsgstusto a rock and forced to endure eagles picking away at his entrails for eternity… Maybe it is true that cooking food was not a great health step forward as many nutritionists schooled in naturopathy and wholistic health and enjoining about the benefits of raw foods have been pointing out. [Footnote 2]

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caveman-starting-fireAs I’ve said, meat was the apple in the Garden of Eden and killing of planetmates was the first step in our downward slide into savagery. Since the primary difference that the use of fire made to the life ways of humans was allowing the cooking of meat—which 2245362817_2cd6b263afhelped preserve it and made it more storable, perhaps this myth of Prometheus is also referring to that negative turn in our diet … and nutritionists will tell you that meat eating is the primary cause of all the gut ailments we have—colon cancer and the rest—and that a diet high in it correlates with a sharp reduction in the intake of roughage and fiber, with all their health benefits.

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rensberger02sAnd sure enough, we find that the nomadic, foraging early humans left waste material high in roughage—of indigestible cellulose and vegetative matter. Indigenous societies even today have strikingly different diets than more “civilized” ones. Medical anthropologists long ago determined they eat so much more non-meat foods that the average time it takes for food to pass completely through their body is 24 hours, whereas it takes the average Westerner 72 hours for food to be eliminated. rn-27f9They view this difference as the main reason indigenous cultures have so much less colonic ill health than modern societies in which gut ailments are rampant. Perhaps the Prometheus myth is detailing where we took that wrong turn and the health consequences we were punished with thereafter.

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465465467498468And then there are the myths of being reckless regarding fire. One example, in a Greek myth, Icarus was given wings to fly, pasted on with wax. He did fly. But in getting too close to the sun…that big fire in the sky…the wax that held his wings melted, he lost his wings, and plunged to Earth and to his end. Might this not be a metaphor for so-called human “evolution”? trag_icarusMight it not be Icarus6predicting the apocalyptic end we see before us, because of our misuse of fire of all kinds—the manic firing up of fossil fuels, the insane powering up of the atom for doomsday bombs and nuclear plants, and so on?

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Continue with Why Humans Are the Sorriest of Species … Apocalyptic Foretellings Hidden in Myths of Eden, Prometheus, Pandora, Icarus, Cain and Abel: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 11

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Return to People Are Already Dying Because of Oxygen Deprivation … Global Oxygen Loss Has Dire Significance Physically AND Psychologically: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 9

Footnotes

1. On the theft of fire and the beginnings of culture in world mythology:

  • According to the Rig Veda (3:9.5), the hero Mātariśvan recovered fire, which had been hidden from mankind.
  • In Cherokee myth, after Possum and Buzzard had failed to steal fire, Grandmother Spider used her web to sneak into the land of light. She stole fire, hiding it in a clay pot.[22]
  • Among various Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest and First Nations, fire was stolen and given to humans by Coyote, Beaver or Dog.[23]
  • According to some Yukon First Nations people, Crow stole fire from a volcano in the middle of the water.[24]
  • According to the Creek Native Americans, Rabbit stole fire from the Weasels.[25]
  • In Algonquin myth, Rabbit stole fire from an old man and his two daughters.[26]
  • In Ojibwa myth, Nanabozho the hare stole fire and gave it to humans.
  • In Polynesian myth, Māui stole fire from the Mudhens.[27]
  • In the Book of Enoch, the fallen angels and Azazel teach early mankind to use tools and fire.

From Prometheus in Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus

2. Promethean parallels in other mythologies include

  • In Georgian mythology Amirani challenged the chief god and for that was chained on Caucasian mountains where birds would eat his organs.
  • In Norse mythology, the god Loki (often associated with fire) was bound to a rock. Above him is a large serpent which drips toxic venom upon him. His wife collects the poison in a bowl, but must empty it every time it gets full. As she is in the process of doing this, the snake proceeds to cover Loki in poison. Just as Prometheus gets his liver eaten only to have it grow back again, Loki is temporarily saved from venom only to have it drip on him once more.

From Prometheus in Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prometheus

Regarding the the Norse myth, remember what was said in a previous post about one of the feeling complexes in late gestation being the discomfort of being in a toxic womb environment. I will discuss this feeling constellation in more detail in an upcoming post, where this myth will be even more illustrative.

Continue with Why Humans Are the Sorriest of Species … Apocalyptic Foretellings Hidden in Myths of Eden, Prometheus, Pandora, Icarus, Cain and Abel: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 11

Return to People Are Already Dying Because of Oxygen Deprivation … Global Oxygen Loss Has Dire Significance Physically AND Psychologically: 21st Century and Its Discontents, Part 9

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