Michael Mendizza

Writer, Filmmaker

At The Crossroads


Parenting, Playful Advice

Walking with Carly to the park today, I realized that my anxiety had disappeared. The warm sun was bouncing off the freshly watered leaves after five years of drought in California. Emerald green grass rolled over the hills. My forehead, which usually is furled with cascading thoughts and imagined images was soft, still and expansive. I could almost hear Louis Armstrong singing What a Wonderful World. A deep feeling of sanity returned. Later I mused:

My Sanity-Survival Handbook

  1. Apply the principles of Aikido inwardly and outwardly to immobilize and neutralize the mad-assailant (without harm) until he, she, they or it realize the insanity of violence, because we are only harming ourselves.
  2. Remember that knowledge is not intelligence. Knowledge without intelligence breeds Dr. Frankenstein, Monsanto and militarized police. Expanding empathic, nurturing intelligence bringing appropriateness to our now disassociated and disembodied intellect.
  3. Understand that normal is really quite mad today, not sane and therefore cannot self-correct. Recall: a problem cannot be solved at the level of the problem. Something new, an action of completely different order is needed.
  4. If there is one globalization playbook-strategy it is to destabilize in order to restructure in ways that serve those in power, something rehearsed for decades around the world and is now being enacted in the United States individually and collectively. The anxiety we feel is by design. Refuse anxiety. Center with clear immediate presence and then act.
  5. What we call news has been fake since the Reagan-Clinton deregulation era that brought us Rush Limbaugh and later Fox-Not-News with its Orwellian doublespeak, fair and balanced slogan. What we see today is a natural and exponential interbreeding of this propaganda machine. Were it not for the implicit hate and rage this machine breeds the American public would laugh at what is being spoon-fed today.
  6. The first step is waking up from a bad dream called our toxic ego and its toxic shadow – culture.
    Understanding that we are not either – an ego or culture, brings the freedom to see and act in completely new ways, which is the solution to the problem we cannot solve while addicted to ego-culture. Politics, society and organized religions are all games that the ego plays.

With this in mind I invite you to consider: How to See Yourself as You Really Are,
by His Holiness the Dalai Lama, from the Foreword

His Holiness sets the stage for discovering the reality behind appearances. Our tacit acceptance of things as they seem is called ignorance, which is not just a lack of knowledge about how people and things actually exist but an active mistaking of their fundamental nature.

True self-knowledge involves exposing and facing misconceptions about ourselves. The aim here is to find out how we get ourselves into trouble, then learn how to intervene on the ground floor of our counterproductive ideas.

His central theme is that our skewed perceptions of body and mind lead to disastrous mistakes, ranging from lust at the one extreme to raging hatred at the other so that we are consistently being led into trouble as if pulled by a ring in our nose. By developing insight into this process, can free ourselves, and those around us, from these endless scenarios of pain.

His Holiness guides readers through a variety of practical exercises to help us break down the illusions we have superimposed over and beyond what actually exists, and learn how to act in the world from a more realistic framework. This calls for valuing the interdependence of all things and appreciating the latticework of our relationships for the meaningful contribution it makes to our lives.

The book’s third part describes how to harness the power of meditative concentration with insight to achieve immersion in our own ultimate nature…to develop in us a clear sense of what it means to exist without misconception… and the way this profound state of being enhances love by revealing how unnecessary destructive emotions and suffering actually are.

Jeffery Hopkins, PhD, translator

What was really happening in Washington last Saturday, and around the world? Something historic and powerful? What do we mean – a return to the feminine?

Intelligence is possessed by all living organisms, from the first mitochondria, ameba, right on down. Intelligence is the ability to respond to life for our own well-being and continuity to avoid that which is harmful. Intelligence is a movement towards that which is beneficial. [Nurturing being intelligence in action.] That is the basic intelligence upon which life rests and all creatures possess it. The more complex a creature the more complex that intelligence becomes. At the root, intelligence is always moving for appropriateness to our well-being and our continuity. We can say in mammals that intelligence is heart-centered. Intelligence is connected with the deepest intuitive roots of life, the matrix of our being. You might say it comes from our mysterious interior. Intelligence is essentially feminine, subjective.

On the other hand, intellect is objective. It’s exterior. It is outwardly driven. Intellect is brain centered. Intellect is analytical, logical, linear, analytical, constantly asking why, taking everything apart, and loving to put things together in new ways that have never existed before.  Intellect is inventive. This brain centered objective intellect is a highly specific form of intelligence and it is evolution’s latest achievement and comes about through the latest additions to our brain structure.

Simply we can say intelligence is essentially heart-centered and therefor feminine, asking for appropriateness to life. Intellect is essentially brain centered, objective and masculine and asks only about life’s possibilities. Is it possible, and if it is possible intellect goes for it without regard to appropriateness.

Today, in the United States alone, we are producing annually about nine thousand new chemicals that never existed before in earth’s history by intellectual process. Unfortunately, 90 percent of these chemicals prove to be violently carcinogenic and in playing with them, we are producing 100 million tons of violently toxic waste, dumped on our own nest every year in, just the United States. This is because of the strange new historical phenomena of a total concentration on intellect devoid of what? Devoid of heart-centered [nurturing] intelligence, asking only is it possible; never stopping to ask; is it appropriate?

Joseph Chilton Pearce

How did we get where we are today?

Sensory deprivation during the very early development of the human brain results in a plethora pathologies; hypersensitivity to the denied stimulus, an inability to integrate stimuli, self-stimulation and compulsive-addictive seeking to generate the denied experience, later sexual dysfunction, aggressive and violent behaviors, to name a few. Being more vulnerable biologically the adverse consequences of denied nurturing affects males more severely. The result; males have a different core identity than females; boy brains and girl brains. See James W. Prescott. https://ttfuture.org/academy/introduction-james-w-prescott-phd

As Pearce describes; “we have the strange new historical phenomena of a total concentration on intellect devoid of what? Devoid of heart-centered [nurturing] intelligence.” And this expresses as culture, Patriarchy, and the evolution of theistic religions and social-political structures based in mal-nurtured male intellect devoid of appropriate [integrative-feminine] intelligence. When puberty strikes, the hypersensitive sensory-deprived male-brain converts the need for nurturing into addictions and compulsive sexuality, with aggression and violence towards women and children being a mal-adaptive norm. And this pattern has been played out, more or less, for centuries.

A return to the feminine is, as Joe described, bringing the heart-brain balance back to its natural order, with creative innovation being tempered by appropriateness, and this balance being the foundation upon which one’s individual self-world view is built. Whereas today one’s individual self-world view or core identity is built on a dysfunctional mal-adapted biological structure, both male and increasingly female.

What past and present feminist call ‘a return to the feminine’ is appropriate rage at the dominate male culture’s inability to perceive it fundamental dysfunction. Unfortunately, but so very true; this problem can’t be solved at the level of the problem. The early sensory deprivation and absence of basic female nurturing during the earliest periods of brain-body development, especially males, is something that his mal-adaptive body-brain can self-correct. A colorblind system cannot see color. So, here we are. Which comes first? The Chicken or the egg?

More on this from Joe Pearce:

This research began to appear back in the 60’s and 70’s. It was called the best-kept secret in biological history; the fact that the life process itself, just biology itself, is what would be called essentially feminine. It is a reproductive process, a self-reproductive process. Nature’s invention of the male was kind of a deviancy from this baseline and was a difficult feat to bring about, introducing the whole idea of sexual reproduction and so forth, introduced a variable in an otherwise very stable reproductive system and that variable we would call the male and the stable system is the female.

In-utero, from the moment of conception on, there are a number of basic abortion periods, natural abortion periods. One is within the first 8-10 days after birth in which if the heart cells don’t form, don’t start beginning to reproduce and so on nature will spontaneously abort. The next one is somewhere around the 8th to 10th week when the brain really begins its growth and formation. If the heart structure and everything isn’t just right nature will spontaneously abort. And the next one is around the 5th month when real brain activity is beginning. Language begins at six months in-utero and so on. And then the 7th month is another very critical period of development and you have a high percentage of abortions in the seventh month. And then finally at birth you have a certain number of aborted births; still births or highly dysfunctional children who are born missing all sorts of parts and so on.

Looking at that whole thing and taking what we’ve discovered from the eighth week on, looking at the very beginning, the first critical abortion period; eighty percent of all natural spontaneous abortions are of male fetuses, infants or children at birth, eighty percent. Eighty percent of all dysfunctional children at birth are males. Eighty percent of all your autistic children, your schizophrenic children, your children missing various eccentric parts and so on will be males which means essentially it’s much harder for nature to produce a male than it is a female.

In preliterate societies before modern processes move in women always nursed, breastfed, their male infants a full year longer than their female infants. Why, because the male infants were more fragile and were less able to cope with the world as soon as female infants.

Looking quickly at the suicide rate in American children at present, male suicides far outweigh female suicides. Females attempts at suicide might outnumber males but the males have succeeded in suicide far outweigh females. One final thing on that is more males are born into the world than females by a surprising percentage and yet far more females achieve maturity than males. That is, males simply don’t survive the maturity as well as females. This gives rise to Ashley Montague’s, one of his great book “The Natural Superiority of Women,” which means simply that the female process, the self-reproduction system is the baseline of life and easier for nature to establish and the male is more difficult.

Bearing that in mind, we realize the male need more nurturing than the female. Whereas our cultural attitude is exactly the opposite. We feel the male has got to be toughened up. He’s got to get out there and slug it out in the jungle and you can’t nurture the male like you do a female or he’ll be a softy and we won’t survive. What we’re not surviving is the production of males who are brought up just that way. They’re not nurtured and so they grow up angry, feeling betrayed, hostile and angry particularly towards women themselves because they were not nurtured earlier. So our approach is absolutely counter-productive. It works against us.

We find this exemplified in two ancient fairy tales. What happens to the male if he isn’t nurtured? He reverts back to his animal status. He goes back into that reflexive hindbrain defending itself. And this is represented by the King who just pulled some wrong things and he ends up in a beast’s body. He can’t extricate himself from the body of the beast. The only thing that will do that is the nurturing kiss of the beauty. So we have the great tale The Beauty and the Beast. She’s the only one who can bail the King out of his sentence, his terrifying sentence, driven back into his animal nature.

And the other aspect of this is the Frog Prince who has the same thing happen. He finds himself in a reptilian amphibian body, a frog’s body, and he can’t extricate himself from that. Only the beautiful princess can extricate him. Both the princess and the beauty extricate the King or the Prince by their nurturing kiss, not a sexual kiss, it is a nurturing kiss that lifts them out of their banishment back into their animal nature. And we’d better think about that when we’re looking at what’s happening in our world today. The male can’t extricate himself out of the mess he’s in right now, the violence, the anger, the misogynism, the terrorism that he’s creating. Only she can do that at the critical beginning.

What is it about our makeup that would rather have revenge than anything else? Why is it that the whole nation, the whole United States went into an almost euphoria of good feeling, of camaraderie, each supporting and loving the other following the Twin Towers disaster in New York?? Simply because, all of the sudden our National rage had a single target against which it could focus. It could project its rage, take the rage out of self and project it on someone else. We finally had an individual we could demonize, hold him up as the Satan of the world and organize all of their energies against that satanic force. It brought about this tremendous brotherhood that had begun to seriously erode in America. Before that we were taking that violence and turning it against each other; all the children taking guns to school, suicide being the third highest cause of death in American children, all the other, the parade of atrocities against ourselves and suddenly we have an enemy out there that we can vent all that rage and hostility against.

Anthropologists claim that culture has its foundations in survival intelligence. Culture is based on survival techniques we develop as parents and pass on to our children with the assumption that they would not be able to survive without our training in survival processes. If you look at this, you will find that every facet of culture is based on survival and backed up with reciprocity, with recrimination, not revenge but justice if you don’t follow our cultural survival practices. And culture is inculcated into an infant-child and then a person, an adult, through guilt and shame and fear.

Guilt, shame and fear are the three processes by which culture enculturates each new member born into it. Do this or else you will suffer the consequences and that’s what the infant hears practically from the beginning of life.

Alan Shore and that remarkable study of his, he spent twelve years on his book, on just this enculturation process and how only through shame we can make the child respond culturally, not socially, we’re really talking about culturally. And all cultures have various ways of inflicting shame on the developing child to make him obey the cultural morays, rules and regulations and so on. So we find that culture then responds to anyone who will not follow the enculturated rules and regulations, always with revenge. The culture takes revenge against them. We always cloak revenge as being justice. The culture must achieve justice and justice always means blood revenge against someone who transgresses our cultural safety zone, you might say.

So the idea of justice, judgment against each other, law to back it up and so on, all of these cultural functions growing out of survival reflexes and all survival reflexes generate through or around the ancient reptilian reflexive brain, our sensory motor brain that starts in the very beginning. So we find that through enculturation we end up essentially identified as people with our ancient survival brain and not identified with the highest human cortices, the human brain. No, we’re not identified with that, we’re identified culturally, means we’re identifying with our survival instincts and reflexes in the two reflexive, not reflective, animal brain structures. JCP

Michael Mendizza and Carly