If a parent comforts a child from a place of excess personal involvement ~ feels pity, anxiety, and such, because his or her own wounds are being stirred up ~ then this increases the enmeshment. Although the child is ostensibly being "comforted," what's really happening is that their own patterns are being confirmed and consolidated by the parents' patterns. When a child falls over, it looks to the parent for a cue as to how to react; when the parent shows fear and concern, the child then begins to cry. The parent has taken the child's feelings seriously, so now the child knows it is supposed to do the same (or that s/he can get away with it!).
Enmeshment, all down the line.
The alternative (stand back for the wisdom of a guy who never had a kid advising fathers!) is to hold a neutral, impersonal space for the child, one that is constant. This way, the child knows that, when it really needs protecting or soothing, the parent is there. The rest of the time, it is on its own. The space is always available to the child, but because there is no enmeshment, there's no pull for the child to go into the space simply for comfort, only for real nurture and support when needed.
That "pull" is the result of the parent wanting the child to need him or her, in order to feel especially loved themselves.
What it comes down to is that, as long as we raise our kids from a personal space, no matter how functioning and "happy" they may turn out, they are still going to be living from a place of personal sovereignty, hence, in a way of being that's untrue based on the way of being taught them by their parents. So they are basically in Hell.
Perhaps this is why sorcerers don't generally have kids. They know they'd be raising livestock, food for entities. Knowing that, but not having the ability to change it, could make for an insufferable tension.
As for the kids-in-bed thing, it's not true that children naturally grow out of wanting that sort of proximity and comfort from the parents. Again, this would depend on whether the parent is enmeshing, using the child for its own comfort. A close relative allowed her daughter to sleep in her bed until she was 12 (for all I know she still does), largely because the child was so insistent. She was unable to sleep alone and her mother didn't have the necessary ruthlessness, or neutrality, to be detached about her child suffering. De-enmeshment is always painful for both parties.
Clearly, a case can always be made for both sides of the argument, or any argument. Too much love and not enough discipline spoils the child; the reverse, and the child grows up damaged in other ways. No parent could ever get the balance right through conscious will alone; the only way is not to be personally involved with one's children. I would guess that even sorcerers find that nigh-impossible.
Spelled out very simply: when a child doesn't receive enough of a clean, loving physical connection to its mother, it is imprinted with that lack and seeks it elsewhere, into adulthood and sometimes unto death. This wound is further compounded if, during later infancy (from about 2), when the child begins to individuate and wants to bond with the father, the father is also lacking, absent, or physically distant or disconnected. Then the child grows up with a double wound that comes down to a sort of emotional hunger for touch, for "validation" (for an infant, physical touch can be necessary not just to well-being but to survival).
As adults, we are unlikely to find ways of bonding with men to meet this hunger (though lots of guys get into sports and join the army just to rough-house with guys); so then almost 100% of that emotionally-patterned neediness is going to be directed toward women. What guys consider horniness is usually nothing of the kind, because their physiological responses are hooked into those emotional/psychological patterns, and when they think they are looking to get laid, they are really looking for mommy's (or even daddy's!) love and attention.
If a child was really cut off from the father, and maybe overly smothered by the mother (as well as sometimes neglected by her ~ which was my case), they often wind up homosexual, or, as in my case, rather waif-like, ephemeral, romantic types with low libidos. (My Wife might disagree on the last point!)
Monday, June 21, 2010
Sunday, June 06, 2010
We inherit the unlived life of our parents. One way to ensure that we continue to carry that load is to make sure that we always fail, because then we’ll continue to be driven by that ambition passed down to us.
Because when we fail, we are left always wondering what we could have achieved if things had been different. That's a real curse. On the other hand, if we become successful at whatever our parents program us to want, we might eventually see it wasn’t our thing and move on to other goals: goals that aren’t installed in us by our parents. As it is, because we can't quite let go of that ambition, we continue to carry that load for them: the parents’ unlived lives become our unlived life.
It’s a similar situation with me and writing. My father wanted to write, but never got anywhere with it, and quickly gave up and became a businessman. I became a writer and to a degree succeeded (I got published); but by and large, I have failed as a writer, at least on my own terms (and those of my father), since I haven’t been able to make a living doing it.
If the son fails in realizing the father’s dreams, then the son is never a real threat to the father. Even if, at a conscious level, the father wants his son to succeed, at a deeper level, the father needs the son to fail, because that way, the son continues to carry the load of the father’s unlived life.
I know for myself that one of the reasons I kept on writing more books was because none of the ones I wrote had the kind of success I felt they deserved. Failure breeds ambition. Success tends to create a healthy indifference.
Reconciliation between the brothers (Cain & Abel) is all about each brother owning the shadow. A big part of owning the shadow comes down to integrating the unlived life of the father, by recognizing it for what it is: a foreign element passed down to us, like some genetic disorder, that cannot define us or tell us who we are, but that nonetheless has to be fully assimilated in order to be overcome.
The male individuation process entails repeatedly separating from the female, to re-experience that key period in childhood, when we no longer "have access to the woman's body." This is a kind of "crossing of the abyss," because the father isn't quite there yet to provide an alternate physical connection, but the mother is already withdrawing.
The matching pattern for a woman is perhaps that a girl identifies with the mother, and only begins to experience herself as separate through a connection with the father. Hence women only experience themselves through men, where men only experience themselves by separating from the female.
In The Lovers card, woman is connecting to divine, while man is connecting to woman. This has to do with women being all the way in the nagual, with their wombs, so they don't exist in the same way men do, as individuated beings.
Is the reason why women tend to kill themselves over men more often than the reverse because a woman has no purpose outside of a man? My Wife agrees there is truth in this. But then the reverse is kind of true, in that I experience myself as having no purpose, and even no existence, with my Wife ~ except when my cock is doing its thing.
It is like the Moon: women reflect the light of the man and so they exist, but they also have a dark phase, when they turn away from that light, toward the mysteries, the nameless or nagual. This is when the man is "pushed out of the nest," denied access to the woman's body, and has to wander the wasteland, cross the abyss, in order to continue the endless journey of individuation. It happens time and again, in cycles, because the original trauma and disorientation is so great it takes repeat experiences to fully integrate it. And most relationships die because the winter phase is too hard on the persons, and leads to recrimination, bitterness, violence.
It is only when we allow death to become a part of love that it becomes alchemy. This is not even preparation for death, it is death. We die a little bit at a time, until there's nothing left.
Inhuman love: the scariest thing there is.
In the Gospel, Christ promises to send "the comforter" (the paraclete) in his absence. Women bring a different sort of comfort to men, not access to the female body but something finer, an awareness of our own innermost potential, or Christ consciousness.
The upright father = solar king = Christ.
Sexuality awakens in the male infant after mother-bonding and father-bonding have passed, and the child begins to experience his "uprightness" (individual physical existence) through erections and sexual sensations. This is another reason why we seek sexual connection when we are in the abyss, or in despair or a disconnected state, as a way to feel grounded, connected to our own bodies, present, alive.
My Wife pointed out yesterday that part of why a husband is unable/unwilling to see his wife, and therefore contain her, is that he doesn't have a support system of male allies to provide a space for him, a space in which he can be neutral and receptive enough to hold the space for the woman.
I couldn't be the husband I am to my Wife without the other men at Thessaly helping to create a matrix (morphic field) in which I can experience my own non-existence (connect to the nagual) ~ by some other means than access to the female. Without that nexus of connections to other men, we, as males, are too individuated, too self-aware, and at the same time, too desperately dependent on experiencing a loving connection to women.
Someone posted at SWEDA recently about how their parents had done all they could to prevent them from developing their self-awareness, but that they had failed. I had the thought that it was more than that they failed, because their efforts to suppress that side of the child actually made it stronger. That’s the way it always is, and we often even need that kind of parental or sibling adversity to strengthen our spirit for later in life. That sparked the thought that the worst thing a parent could do was provide a superficially “loving,” “healthy,” “functional” background, while not providing a deeper connection. I suspect that this cripples us far more than outright abuse does, because it is then almost impossible to identify and own those distortions. It is all under the surface. At least if we know we hate our parents, and why, we can begin to move past that.
Don Juan talks to Carlos about how all the men of knowledge he knows endured all kinds of adversity and suffering right from day one. When parents try to protect their children from suffering and create a bubble for them, they provide all the surface elements of a loving childhood only by concealing the stark reality from them. So not only is the child not protected from “harsh reality” (since it is being affected energetically anyway), but it is deprived of the opportunity of conscious growth and individuation, because it isn’t allowed to see and confront all those unpleasant truths about reality ~ starting with its parents. There is a dark complicity at work, a secret agreement to maintain the cover-up into adulthood; so then the wounds are passed onto the grandchildren, with no possibility of being owned and healed.
It makes me sick to the core. Presumably, this is how I felt growing up with a drunken, sex-addict of a dad, who was totally indifferent to what was happening with (and to) his children, while at the same time ostensibly providing everything we “needed”: a nice house, comfort, and all the surface luxuries of a happy childhood (he even took us swimming every week, presumably some sort of token gesture in order to make himself feel like a “real” dad).
The truth is, my father really had no business having children at all.
And yet here I am.