Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Searching for Absurdity in an Intelligible World

So, yesterday's post was just a roundabout way of saying that in order to take back control of one's film, one must first get back to Magnetic Center by eliminating the A influences and assimilating the B influences:

"The heart must therefore be pure, and if not already pure it must be purified. This is the sine qua non of success" (Mouravieff). You know, wise as serpents, innocent as doves. Or, unless you are coonverted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven (which is, of course, within).

And when we say innocent, one must especially be innocent of lying, in particular, to oneself. Just this morning Mrs. G. and I were talking about how (cautiously!) pleased we are with how Future Leader is turning out, in that he is completely unrepressed and full of life, and yet, polite, compassionate, and well-mannered. All along, we've been working with the idea of not allowing the "civilizing process" to succeed at the cost of having to repress and deny critical parts of himself. When that happens, it sets the stage for secret lives, unarticulated agendas, psychic envelopes, emotional blockages, barriers to thought, attacks on linking, etc. Mind parasites.

Mouravieff points out that the admonition to be as little children has often been taken "as a restriction of the intellectual life," which is obviously an error of the first magnitude. Indeed, it leads to nonsense such as this: an atheist group calling for a "national day of reason" -- as if there is anything reasonable in not knowing the limits of reason. When Jesus said to be as little children, he certainly didn't mean that we should all think like childish atheists.

Paul clarified the issue when he said that one should be mature in intelligence, understanding, and judgment, but be "babes" in terms of malice.

Skipping ahead a little, Mouravieff makes a provocative point that "Our lives often resemble a well-conceived theatre play in which the roles are upset by a person searching for an absurdity; each of us is this mischievous or comic being." Emphasis mine. But why the emphasis? I think because this goes to the issue of mind parasites, which can almost be defined as a "(sub)person in search of an absurdity."

For what is a mind parasite, ultimately? It is a semi-autonomous bit of consciousness that has split off from the central self, and has an agenda all its own. This agenda is never rational from our point of view, but is usually rational on its own plane.

Take, for example, the routine case a girl who is sexually abused or traumatized in some way, and then grows up to think she is a "lesbian." Unconsciously there is a fear and rejection of men, but it comes out as a pre-oedipal attraction to women (in the pre-oedipal stage we are still merged with Mother). In other words, it is a movement back in developmental time to before men -- and sexual differences -- even existed (and with it, a confusion of sex and mothering).

But in any event, mind parasites are always seeking an absurdity, whether it is the fantasy of complete safety, escape from death, omniscience or intellectual certainty on the plane of reason (like the above atheist group), freedom from sexual differences, suspension (or reversal) of time, etc. Freud focused on the denial of sexual differences, but modern psychoanalysis has revealed many more.

And this also goes to what I was saying above about Future Leader. When it comes right down to it, we are trying to raise a child who is free of mind parasites, but who is also, and most importantly, good. Think of an extreme case, say, Tiger Woods. He had very "hands on" parenting, but what did it result in? An absurd compulsion to spend 16 hours a day seeking a kind of meaningless perfection that is impossible anyway, while spending the rest of his time living out the secret lives of his sexual mind parasites. He's truly a miserable, pathetic human being, an utter failure. And if I had a child like that, I would never recover from the shame.

When mind parasites hijack the script, "Life then takes on the character of perpetual compromise with oneself," causing "changes in the intellectual center due to cheating and lying; heart disease if the emotional center is sensitive and still aspires to the truth," other diseases of "obscure origin," and a general "accelerated aging" and premature death. Living a lie takes its toll, as there can be no peace within the self, only temporary cessations of hostilities.

The works of Allan Shore -- and I'm not necessarily recommending them, as they are more for professionals; for a more popularized but still sound presentation, try this -- describe the cascade of neurobiological changes that take place in the child exposed to stress. If the stress is chronic, it leads to permanent changes in the brain. It is as if the mind parasites are etched into our nervous system.

What is so fascinating about Schore's work is that it actually documents the existence of mind parasites with hard science, and even pinpoints the main areas where they take root and affect in the brain. For example, the deepest mind parasites are contained in the preverbal right brain, since it develops ahead of the left brain during the first two years of life. But since this hemisphere is nonverbal, this helps to explain why these mind parasites are beyond the reach of language, and can live out their dramas in such puzzling and self-defeating ways.

This is an extreme case, but many years ago I evaluated a man with a shoe fetish. In fact, he even wore a pair of women's hi-heeled shoes during the evaluation -- which was quite a sight, since he was a bearded, grizzled elderly man otherwise attired in a pair of soiled overalls.

I don't have time to get into the details, but it turned out that his mother had died when he was three or four years old, and that in order to cope with his grief, he would snuggle with her shoes. Quite sad, but a vivid example of "searching for an absurdity."

46 Comments:

Blogger debass said...

I think many parents force their children to live their own unfulfilled fantasies, such as Tiger Woods. It can result in some super star athletes and achievers in many fields, but at what cost to the child. I often wonder if this is why so many superstars in their field are so screwed up in other aspects of their lives.

4/21/2010 09:07:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Bob, I laud your enlightened approach to parenting; your child is lucky to have you both.

Could you be putting subtle pressure on him by calling him "Future Leader?" What if he feels no propensity towards leadership? He may fear letting down his parents and so take his first foray into phoniness.

I've read it from Harville Hendrix and other thinkers that although parents may approach perfection, they never actually achieve it, so that some wounding/deficits are unavoidable.

Childhood is a burning house and nobody gets out completely unscathed.

4/21/2010 09:20:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Grant:

Just who will lead the cult when I am gone, and can you think of a better solution than primogeniture?

4/21/2010 09:37:00 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

So what does one do to overcome mind parasites? Or is that something that heals a little at a time as you grow spiritually?

4/21/2010 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Only four ways that I know of: healing relationships, therapy, medication, and/or grace.

4/21/2010 09:43:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And the therapy needn't necessarily be with a professional, as it's a matter of gaining insight by any means.

4/21/2010 09:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And a healthy relationship is one in which the inevitable mind parasites are revealed, but which both partners are committed to working through for the sake of the higher union.

4/21/2010 09:47:00 AM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Absolutely. The primacy of the marital union, I'm convinced, has a spiritual basis.

Although some advanced spiritual thinkers pan marriage as an impediment to spiritual growth, I suspect the opposite is true.

A functioning partnership such as GDB describes, wherein mind parasites of both partners are identified, isolated, and overcome or diminished, is the ultimate engine of vertical expansion.

It is also true marriage brings the inner poison out like nothing else, and if not handled correctly things go off the rails. That is wherein marriage probably earns its rep as a dangerous quagmire.

4/21/2010 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

Bob, your Mouravieff references have always struck me as some of the most interesting here; yet when I look at reviews at Amazon, he seems to balance precariously between heresy and sheer lunacy, possible with a bit of blasphemy thrown in. And that's by those who really like him. Not that I have not learned most of the truly useful things in my adult life from people maligned as crazies and heretics, present company not completely excepted. Still, is he recommended reading? Or have you just saved the silverware from a burning house?

4/21/2010 10:30:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

wv is downright spooky some days. Just now it says "child."

Grant, I'm curious: did people laugh good-naturedly in your house when you were growing up?

4/21/2010 10:32:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Magnus:

Agree about Mouravieff's combination of inspired lunacy and lunatic inspiration. I don't know that I would recommend him, especially not without the proper doctrinal safeguards to know when he has veered off course. You know how it is: sometimes it takes someone without a compass to discover things that are off the map.

4/21/2010 10:37:00 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

Just FYI when looking for a therapist - I saw a psychiatrist for a short while several years ago to try and get an objective point of view into my personality and weaknesses. I believe in God, but he was an atheist - so a lot of the most important things I wanted to explore, he thought was nuts. I could see him scribble "hyper-religious" into his little notebook - and from dealing with the psychiatrists at a mental hospital where I worked, I knew that was getting into dangerous territory. "She REALLY believes God exists - mentally unstable, Dangerous to self and others, needs psychotropic meds." So at the last session I attended, I pretended I had had a "breakthrough" and felt completely better and ran for my life.

It's important to find the right therapist before giving yourself over to someone. Just because they have a "practice" and a degree, doesn't necessarily make them experts. You have to look beyond the superficial.

4/21/2010 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jungians are generally much more receptive to, and educated about, religion -- although some of them veer into new-age territory, and have a kind of anti-orthodox bias.

4/21/2010 10:53:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

grant says:

"Absolutely. The primacy of the marital union, I'm convinced, has a spiritual basis.

Although some advanced spiritual thinkers pan marriage as an impediment to spiritual growth, I suspect the opposite is true.

A functioning partnership such as GDB describes, wherein mind parasites of both partners are identified, isolated, and overcome or diminished, is the ultimate engine of vertical expansion."

There's some guy (an engineerish type, I think) wandering around the Internet who is of the opinion that when you are romantically attracted to someone at a level of 10 on a scale of 1 to 10, then that means you are likelty to have similar personality problems, e.g. mind parasites, and that these problems will reveal themselves in the marriage and must be dealth with.

That sounds like a "mind parasite" feature.

4/21/2010 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Dianne said...

The adult men (and women) I come across who have never married or had the responsibility of raising children, seem to be missing a certain level of maturity in their personality and make-up.

4/21/2010 12:25:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

If the stress is chronic, it leads to permanent changes in the brain. It is as if the mind parasites are etched into our nervous system.

I have no doubt that this is literally true. I'd also like to emphasize that even people quite severely afflicted with mind parasites (I would put myself in the almost-severe category 15 years ago) can literally experience a miracle which will transform them. Sometimes grace assumes a lightning-bolt quality (happened to my cousin, a one-time junkie who is now a leading Christian philanthropist) or it can be much more gradual -- like a slow sunrise (closer to my own experience).

Grace never "works" if the recipient is not receptive. Period. Learning to become receptive is part of what we learn here, and everything you need to know on that front is in the Bible.

I've also done therapy over the years and it helped early on, however it is exquisitely difficult to find good therapists these days, at least in Boston or Canada, where I normally am. I honestly don't know how far therapy alone could take you without grace, but I suspect not too far.

4/21/2010 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Dianne,
I've observed something similar, but I don't know that I'd say it's universal. I've also directly observed a large number of people who have been married or had children (sometimes even both, at least for a while) who never managed to grow up.

4/21/2010 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

"Not growing up" is rapidly becoming the norm. Which makes the young men and women who do mature properly these days (e.g., US Marines) all the more admirable.

4/21/2010 12:54:00 PM  
Blogger Grant Maher said...

Julie:

Thank you for your interest in my childhood milieu. There was plenty of good-natured smiling and ribaldry, however displaying anger was not well-tolerated.

Both parents were prone to depression and were moody at times.

Our family has a culture of intellectualism and bookishness.

Father is parsimonious and mother is lavish, moneywise.

Mom had God, Father had politics.

There could be lots more unique features but I can't see them because I'm probably englobed by my nuclear family norms, now carried internally and renewed eternally.

I am rife with mind-parasites; some I've spotted, a few I've weakened, but as for the rest they are operant.

And yourself, my good lady?

4/21/2010 01:50:00 PM  
Blogger sehoy said...

Out of four therapists, I've had two good ones. #1 started the process. #2 was the longest and cleared out most of the initial garbage, or at least made me aware of it. #3 only lasted one session. #4 came to my house to see what my environment looked like and meet my family. She helped me get over my fear of a capricious, vindictive and tyrannical god, out to get me.

Her first question to me was: What will it take for you know that you have achieved your goal in this therapy?

I actually wrote out what it would take and what it would look and feel like. Within a few weeks we were done with therapy.

Only 5, 555 mind parasites more to go. :D

Killing them one at a time.

Boy, the lying is the problem, isn't it. I try so hard to always be honest, but I lie to myself all the time.

Thank God, there is confession and the Holy Spirit.

4/21/2010 02:14:00 PM  
Blogger Jason T. said...

I really love this terminology, A influences and B influences. I travel a lot, and before I began ritualistically cultivating a relationship with my vertical B influences (particularly Schuon and Aurobindo) I felt as if I was lacking something, and was perpetually extending myself in the external world, seeking things and experiences that were ultimately unfulfilling. As the ascending relationships have solidified, however, I feel so much more complete in my worldly experience because I am sharing it with them, with my soul brothers whom have graced me with their insight, presence, and understanding.

Which leads me back to the point we were discussing the other day about soul resonance. It has been very important for me to follow my intuition regarding those I choose to interact with in both the worldly and spiritual realms. This intuition resounds within me as spontaneous joy, a recognition of myself in the other, but not so much as to completely lose myself in their presence; the Holy Mother does enjoy variety! Then, as I sit with them, She emerges within and between the two of us, reminding me of Christ's saying

"Where two or more are gathered in my name, I am."

Or something like that. The important thing is that noBODY becomes the absolute vessel because we are all children of God, drifting from soul interaction to soul interaction in celebration of the One.

Interestingly, I have been discovering how acutely soul interactions may be actualized with entities of the world. For instance, yesterday I had the most savory pear imaginable, and it was most certainly an expression of Soul. The Holy Mother was present during this interaction, and the pear and I were unified and comforted within the safety of Her Perfection. This was truly an energetic resonance, as evidenced by the fact that a grapefruit has never brought me to that place of ecstasy, much like reading most gurus or spiritual teachers does nothing for me. Although that is not to imply that a grapefruit can't bring one of my family members here on Earth to an ecstatic, transcendental state.

These experiences, I have found, are contextual, are time bound. That pear wouldn't have been perfect and spiritually uplifting if I hadn't been listening to my own inner rhythm. In other words, had I eaten it at eleven at night rather than two in the afternoon when my heart was calling for it it's likely that it wouldn't have had the same effect. I liken this to the informing spiritual teacher (or book) manifesting before the honest and authentic spiritual aspirant, but only when he/she is ready, willing, and able to dare, to will, to receive, and to know.

4/21/2010 02:46:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re:

"in the pre-oedipal stage we are still merged with Mother). In other words, it is a movement back in developmental time to before men -- and sexual differences -- even existed (and with it, a confusion of sex and mothering). "

After watching the male gay scene in DC through friends I speculated that the real attraction for male homosexuals was what I called the "Peter Pan" syndrome. By being gay, they could have countless sexual encounters yet make no real connections with their partners. With no real connections came no real responsibilities, thus they never had to grow up. With the homosexual females it just seemed they were terribly ugly, angry and they all liked flannel. Does this pre-oedipal stage apply to males as well as females, or do they get their own term?

I have met a very few gay males who are not promiscuous and are dedicated to one another. These guys I find comfortable to be around and talk to. The others, not so much. I guess I am what Nancy Pelosi would call a homophobe, but in reality I just find physical beings completely driven by their lust for the pneumatic off putting.

To Northern Bandit re:

"Which makes the young men and women who do mature properly these days (e.g., US Marines) all the more admirable."

Be careful in your estimate of Marines. While we can be extremely focused, professional and intense, there really is a reason that USMC stands for Uncle Sam's Misguided Children. We can be a lot of fun too. And we do it with guns.

4/21/2010 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tigtog:

"Does this pre-oedipal stage apply to males as well as females, or do they get their own term?"

In my experience, definitely. There is a failure of male identification, either due to trauma or an inadequate father (i.e., "male mothering"), thus a compulsive attempt to internalize the missing male essence through promiscuity. This is why homosexual literature has the hyper-masculine fantasies, e.g., bikers, construction workers, military, etc. It's not the sex they're after, but the Father. In the case of women, it's certainly not the sex, but the Mother.

Of course there are many variations, but those are the most common. Furthermore, the same conflicts can and do afflict heterosexuals, e.g., the compulsive need to conquer women in order to gain a spurious sense of masculinity, or a woman who marries a "phallic mother."

4/21/2010 03:16:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re:

I was following you until:

"or a woman who marries a "phallic mother." Can you describe this one for me?

4/21/2010 03:20:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tigtog:

A fair question! It's actually a term of art that is difficult to explain without sounding nuts...

4/21/2010 03:30:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

It can also have multiple meanings, but in this instance I simply meant a hysterical-type woman who seeks out sexual relationships with men, but is not fulfilled by them because she's unconsciously looking for the breast-mother, i.e., nurturing. If she could internalize the nurturing from Mother, then she could move on to Father. But she's sort of stuck halfway between mother and father.

4/21/2010 03:33:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re:

"A fair question! It's actually a term of art that is difficult to explain without sounding nuts..."

Okay, I am still laughing.

May I ask a personal question - do psychologist ever get together over a couple of drinks and compare who has the best crazy stories or is this forbidden?

4/21/2010 03:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I don't like to hang out with psychologists, because they're generally a pretty PC crowd, and most don't have much of a sense of humor. The men are often earnestly feminized, and the women are kind of... rescuers and earth mothers.

4/21/2010 03:50:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re:

"The men are often earnestly feminized, and the women are kind of... rescuers and earth mothers."

That's too bad, I was imagining a great plot for a movie script; hysterically funny while poignantly sobering.

I followed your explanation of the most likely causes of homosexuality, but I have noticed through my sons classmates two circumstances where none of the classic tells are present in the family construct yet the youngsters are giving every sign that they are headed in a predictable homosexual direction. Both of these children are pre-pubescent, so there is no confirmation of their sexual destination, but their interests and mannerisms suggest strongly their outcome. Both children were born of multiple births; same sex twins and triplets with two girls and one son. Their family lives are complete with loving well developed parents. In the case of the son of the triplets he seems completely immersed in all things feminine, while one of the daughters of the twins is completely oriented to masculine things and manners. Given the stable two parent family construct, what could possibly be the cause of their development? Like I said, none of the conventional tells are present.

4/21/2010 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I think that's why a lot of conservatives who might otherwise benefit tend to avoid therapists like the plague...

Grant,
Um, thanks for answering honestly. My point in asking was simply an attempt to highlight the fact that there may be some actual humor in the whole "Future Leader" thing that has passed you by. Also, viewing childhood as a burning house may be true if you look at it from one type of lens, but I'm guessing that if you grew up in the West there was a lot more to it than that.

Even the most traumatized kids experience moments of goodness, in other words, though I am all too aware that there are varieties of mind parasites that make it impossible to focus on or remember the good. But if you can do so, it might help you remember where your humor button went.

As for me, I was blessed with an abundance of familial happiness and stability, which helped to offset the times when my family went completely off the rails. They all did the best they knew how with the circumstances they were given. Knowing that, I've always considered myself very fortunate.

4/21/2010 04:17:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tigtog:

Impossible to say, but some children are more vulnerable than others. I don't think that homosexuality is (or could be) genetic, but that there are certain traits that predispose one too it, in concert with an environment that enables or encourages it.

For example, where is the father in this scenario, letting his son know that feminine pursuits are for girls and sissies, and expressing pride in his masculine striving?

4/21/2010 04:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Like just now, my son was squabbling with a friend, so I walked in and said, "will you two shaddup? You sound like a couple of little girls. Man up!"

4/21/2010 04:45:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad re:

"For example, where is the father in this scenario, letting his son know that feminine pursuits are for girls and sissies, and expressing pride in his masculine striving?"

His Father is a masculine guy, Navy Capt, but at home I think he is somewhat passive in raising the kids. I also think he is a little afraid of the situation. He sees what we all see but does not know how to change things. I was wondering if the amount of hormones being released in the womb with two sisters might have something to do with it? Or growing up with two sisters with all their toys could have confused him. I like you agree there is no genetic marker for homosexuality so these two examples puzzle me.

Watching kids grow up is joyous and perplexing.

4/21/2010 04:51:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Tigtog, how often is he home? I know for a lot of military families, even when dad's not actually deployed he's often away for weeks or months at a time.

4/21/2010 05:03:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

The reason I ask (and please, forgive me for butting in; feel free to ignore me if you'd rather, as I'm certainly no professional anything) is that I was an Air Force brat. Also, I've known a lot of men who were standard family men but were completely disengaged from the process of parenting. They were present, but not present.

In military families, this can come about simply because the father feels like something of a stranger or a guest in his own home. The wife has everything under control with or without him, so even if he really wants to do so he might be at a loss to step in and be the Head of the household. Rather than upset the balance, he takes a background role.

4/21/2010 05:24:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Tigtog:

It's true that homosexuals often have older sisters with whom they identify, but I don't think that that's a sufficient condition.

What is really required is not just a masculine role model, but real intimacy between father and son, so that the "male logos" is passed along. It also helps if mother and father have a passionate and loving relationship, so the child can internalize that as well. For example, a lot of male homosexuals come from families in which the mother and father are distant, so the mother looks for emotional intimacy with the son. This naturally freaks out the boy, who is forever afraid of the devouring mother and the castrating father.

4/21/2010 05:51:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

And what Julie said is correct. The father can be masculine, but if there's no real intimacy with his son, he can become a kind of impossible ideal.

4/21/2010 05:53:00 PM  
Blogger Magnus Itland said...

One would believe the fact that people already expect a kid to become homosexual would also encourage the trait. If you think this consciously, there are probably dozens who do so unconsciously. Once he's started down that road, expectations will mount. I believe this is because we as a society need someone to live out certain roles that most of us are not willing to play, but that reside in the collective subconscious. Obviously it is not random who gets to do this, but someone has to, or desperation will mount in finding someone and pressuring them to fit the role.

This is not limited to that trait, of course. Here in Norway, I notice that Norwegians are committing less of certain crimes now that we have Muslim immigrants to do them. As long as someone does the things we hate, we are good.

Once you start down the road of being the shadow of people around you, only an immense light can break you out of it.

4/21/2010 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

Magnus,
That reminds of Gil Bailie's (Girard's) scapegoat. Once the tribe has their scapegoat selected, and then sacrificed, "peace" returns. For a time. But the whole tribe must take it in. Or know it. Or believe it.

4/22/2010 06:05:00 AM  
Blogger JP said...

Bob says:

"For example, where is the father in this scenario, letting his son know that feminine pursuits are for girls and sissies, and expressing pride in his masculine striving?"

and

"Like just now, my son was squabbling with a friend, so I walked in and said, "will you two shaddup? You sound like a couple of little girls. Man up!"

Well, I must say that it never occurred to me that such actions would be involved in the parenting process.

And I have a young son.

I don't think I have a very good idea how this entire "parent" thing is supposed to work.

4/22/2010 07:53:00 AM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Gagdad, Julie, and Magnus

Sorry I did not respond last night, but got caught up in dinner, Stanley Cups and baseball (go Caps and Nats). Both fathers are or were military officers. Julie, I like you was a service brat so I understand the archetype you describe completely. Yes there may be some of what you describe going on, I don't really know. The odd thing with the situation is the normalcy of the siblings. If there were a problem in identifying with the father or mother would not the other siblings reflect the situation as well? This is what has me confused. Needless to say, our job as "biguns" is to love them up equally and model correct behavior.

Magnus, I found your comment deeply thoughtful.

"Once you start down the road of being the shadow of people around you, only an immense light can break you out of it."

This statement really condenses the hell people can find themselves in. The funny thing is when you find yourself in a shadow, is figuring out how you got there, much less how to get out of it. It really helps to have a brilliant, loving, hot wife now and again. Thanks for sharing that.

Again guys, sorry to ignore you last night, but the Caps hammered the Habs and the Nats did yoeman's work on the Rockies. BTW, Redskins 1st round draft at around 8:00PM. Go Skins.

4/22/2010 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

Tigtog,
If there were a problem in identifying with the father or mother would not the other siblings reflect the situation as well?

Just going from what I've seen over the years, I'd have to say not necessarily. Partly because every kid is different, and will respond to their circumstances differently, with some being more resilient than others. Partly because of what Magnus already said. And partly because sometimes it's impossible to know what individual experiences each child has.

Going by my own family, I can safely say that my experiences growing up are completely alien to those of my siblings, even though we lived through most of the same circumstances together. Not one of us views our childhood in the same way. Perception, temperament, parental favoritism (it shouldn't happen, but it does), the ability to process experiences, external influences, etc., all this and more play a role. I think it's not at all uncommon for most of the kids in a family to be normal and well-adjusted, while one kid is something of a black sheep, a baffling enigma that has his or her parents wondering just where in the heck they came from.

As far as your friend goes, I wonder if it wouldn't be helpful for dad to spend some extra time just with the boy doing man things. It sounds like there's probably an abundance or even overabundance of girly stuff going on, maybe something as simple as father-son camping trips (or whatever they like to do) would help.

We have a nephew whose dad died when he was a toddler. Whenever we head out that way to visit, DH makes it a point to spend time specifically being a male role model - not just being fun, but also at times as a disciplinary assist. To be honest, I don't think we're there enough, but I know it makes a huge difference in the kid's life. Ours, too.

4/22/2010 03:04:00 PM  
Blogger Tigtog said...

To Julie re:

"Perception, temperament, parental favoritism (it shouldn't happen, but it does), the ability to process experiences, external influences, etc., all this and more play a role."

I know you are right, we are each similar yet unique (see snowflakes). I guess my concern is to see the little ones grow up to be happy and healthy. While the gay lifestyle is all edgy and fashionable, it really is a horrible life to lead. Hopefully my intuition regarding the situation is wrong and they emerge fully formed.

4/22/2010 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger Susannah said...

A boy really needs a father figure, both to mentor him and for a good strong brick wall to run up against. Judging from what I've seen, any man of integrity can fill that role in the life of a fatherless boy, if he just takes the time every so often to give a little input.

I've discovered that boys are a whole different world from girls. :) Dad knows what's going through their heads and how to respond. I really appreciate having him there to enforce "Obey your mother." 1. They get the picture that dad looks after and esteems mom. 2. They have a deeper respect for his authority than for mom's.

Re: the mystery of supposed "homosexual" traits in a child...I'm not sure what they look like in this case (mannerisms?), but veering toward interests that are considered more feminine by society is not necessarily an indicator of future sexual perversion. Nothing wrong with interests. Lots of real men quilt, sew, knit, whatever... I knew a muscular, backwoods-raised builder who sewed his own jackets.

Re: mannerisms that seem effeminate, I hate to say this, but never underestimate the influence of peers or other authority figures away from home, and media influence as well. There's no way a parent can ever really know everything that happens in school or extracurricular activities they have not supervised, who the peer influences are, what the child may have picked up on with television or movies... I've noticed that kids don't ever verbalize a good portion of what they take in.

4/22/2010 03:57:00 PM  
Blogger julie said...

I guess my concern is to see the little ones grow up to be happy and healthy.

Yep, absolutely agreed.

We have another nephew who has shown some, er, interesting traits as well. But honestly, I think it's just that's he's more bookish and introverted than the brother and cousin he spends most of his time with. These kids have a good, strong family and extended family, and barring trauma beyond the parents' control I think they'll all turn out fine. Hopefully, the same is true of your friend's boy.

4/22/2010 04:11:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Fascinating post, especially,

"All along, we've been working with the idea of not allowing the "civilizing process" to succeed at the cost of having to repress and deny critical parts of himself. When that happens, it sets the stage for secret lives, unarticulated agendas, psychic envelopes, emotional blockages, barriers to thought, attacks on linking, etc. Mind parasites."

, and,

"Living a lie takes its toll, as there can be no peace within the self, only temporary cessations of hostilities. "

The lie, and living the lie, really does put you at war with yourself and with reality - and there is no peace in war.

"For example, the deepest mind parasites are contained in the preverbal right brain, since it develops ahead of the left brain during the first two years of life. But since this hemisphere is nonverbal, this helps to explain why these mind parasites are beyond the reach of language, and can live out their dramas in such puzzling and self-defeating ways."


Looking purely at the mechanics, not the spiritual level (yes, I know, but in just a flatish analysis...) ‌I wonder if that is one of the elemental powers of Religion - good or bad - that they have so many intense associations with nonverbal symbols, that they are able to encounter, and counter, the parasite on it's own turf?

Excellent comments to... this day also... can't wait till I get back on rhythm... that inner magnetic field is a touchy thing to keep aligned with only one sided adjustments.

4/22/2010 05:15:00 PM  

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