“…What came of such inner forces was that the nuclear family established borders around the land it cultivated and built walls of emotional avoidance between itself and the rest of the community.
“It was families against the world. Children were raised in the pressure-cooker environment of the nuclear family. Monogamy and sexual exclusivity became all important, diminishing one’s life experience. Women became owned as part of the economic resources of the family. Life experience was overall dampened in deference to survival and economic pursuits, and then this: The glorious and magical world of childhood disappeared and was replaced with one of economic utility.
“For with sedentary-accumulating lifeways there came a radical change in your perception of your children. While this change came gradually for some, the excess survival demands of agrarian ways put pressure on fully growns to begin seeing their young ones not as separate beings that one had a relationship with, however tainted and neurotic it might be. Rather, greed and fear led increasing numbers of you to lose focus on emotional bonds and to begin including your young in your calculations for sufficient or greater accumulation.
“Large Accumulators, as we have said, had all the resources necessary to enlist allies in their acquisitive pursuits, through bribes and payment. They could hire or coerce support for even greedier and more dominating ends, using their excessive stores. So, there was no great pressure on them to increase the size of their families with additional children. Small Accumulators, however, would see a chance here, with larger families, to balance the scales a little vis-à-vis the rich. Not able to purchase allies and helpers, like wealthy families did, Small Accumulators saw an advantage in and appreciation of the family burden — that is, extra children — for with it brought extra hands and cheap labor, once the children reached a certain age.
“So, with sedentary living there began an ever growing perception and determination of children as investments.
“It is at this point that you added another way that you influenced your children — an e, to add to influences a through d, as described previously. In this mode of parenting, children are seen even less. Caught up in your mental calculations and the corresponding fears for your survival, you saw children as a resource in your struggle. You began molding your children in infancy and childhood towards the end of their being useful, eventually, in your efforts. Consequently, no longer was the problem one of neglect. No, you gave attention to your offspring. But the attention you gave them involved your actively intruding upon their beingness and fashioning something of it for your ends alone. And this training was often severe, pushed as it was by your fear of want and free-floating desperation. But for another reason, too — that is, your ever diminishing ability to see, let alone respect, life outside of your Ego — this intrusive parenting was often brutal.
“And this changing view correlated predominantly with sedentary lifestyles and accumulating-conforming ways. In this intrusive mode, you do not notice the separate beingness of your children … and hardly their needs … for you are seeing them the same way you have begun seeing everything that has fallen under your purview to control. In the extreme, you give as little thought to your children’s feelings as you would to a shovel you use … or a duckling that you raise for table. Having retreated furthest from your reality, in order to manage and control it, you are aloof and insensitive to your children, noticing only in them what can be useful for your survival or to stave off your overwhelming fears of deprivation and death.
“A good example of this Ego — this complete self-obsessiveness allowing not even the awareness of cognizant, feeling others — is in the myth of Abraham and Isaac. This myth also demonstrates the differences between the modes of infanticide and the one of ambivalence, so it reflects those influences in your prehistory as well.
“Initially, in this story, Abraham is told by “God” — and for that you can read the unconscious and not acknowledged intentions of himself — to kill his son … to “sacrifice” him. Okay, for starters, you might ask yourself — if you have not had drilled into you otherwise by your pedagogy — why, in such a situation, it would be Abraham that would be thought to be making a sacrifice by killing his child. From an unbiased and innocent perspective, what seems clear as can be is that it is Isaac, hardly Abraham, who would really be losing something, “sacrificing” something — specifically, his life! That is what your children think when they hear the story, that is, until they are told otherwise. But we are tipping our hand.
“Instead, notice that the child, Isaac, has little part in this drama. He is a mere thing to be used for the parent’s ends. Abraham has a, supposed, link with God, a communication with God, and the existence of his son is of as little relevance as would be the cell phone one might use to call a friend. The fact that Abraham hesitates shows the change to an ambivalent mode. He still is not noticing Isaac or his son’s needs. It is still all about Abraham and his supposed relation to his god. So here you can see how your human inability to see and attend to your children’s needs, especially in infancy, result in adults who are totally unable to notice the existence of their own children when they become adult. Abraham is aware that his son is there, but it is Abraham’s needs — showing the self-centeredness and neediness of your adults — that are the important thing, not the child’s. His own concerns are all that Abraham can see, much as the wicked stepmother in Snow White sees only the reflection of herself when thinking of her child.
“So we see here the switch, the advance from child murder/child sacrifice to soul murder. It is the son, Isaac’s, soul, his existence and his feelingness, that is sacrificed on the altar of his parent’s preoccupations and concerns (needs). In the myth this is symbolized by the fact that a ram is used in Isaac’s stead as the sacrifice. A ram is an animal, a planetmate; and what this says is that people were ambivalent about actually killing their children. Instead of killing the child, the child’s animal nature — symbolized by the ram — is sacrificed. What is one’s “animal nature”? It is one’s feelingness, one’s connection with Nature, one’s real self, one’s sensitivity, one’s emotional self. With Abraham, it is no longer about infanticide, but it is still all about him, the parent. Children are being seen as mere instruments for use in the parent’s agendas, as in Abraham: So this is no longer child murder, but soul murder. This soul is symbolized by the ram that is killed.
“So, in this mode, children get to live, but only at the behest of their caregivers….”
[Pt 6 of 24rd prasad — Family “Investment”.
— excerpted from *Planetmates: The Great Reveal* by Michael Adzema … now available in print and e-book formats at Amazon
ABOUT THE AUTHOR, Michael Adzema. Video below … interviewed by Michael Harrell
— Related: See also other published versions of these ideas….
*Dance of the Seven Veils I* (2017).
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