The Greatest Show On Earth…

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Celebrating Fathers 2012

One becomes two. The teen suddenly looks at girls (in my case) and girls look at boys - differently. Needs and powerful longing for something deeper lead to becoming a father, like it or not.

It has been my joy and great honor to be a father. Through the experience one sees how the entire process of becoming a human being, or anything for that matter, unfolds.

Bonding is primal, not at all intellectual. Women, if they are paying attention, get IT much more directly, under their skin. The radiance of a new being pulsing and moving deep inside.

Themes: 
bonding
parenting

A Completely New Way

memorial

If there is a single force that generates inequality, violence and war throughout the world, and therefore this day of memorial, I vote for the self-image we create gazing up for assurance and approval as infants. At this early stage of development what emerges from that glance is not a fixed image, rather feelings of acceptance, of care, welcoming, understanding, empathy, encouragement or their opposites; rejection, anger, frustration, neglect and the various forms of abuse.

Over time the repetition of these feelings coalesce, merge, form predictable patterns and these in turn create the scaffolding upon which our social identity is formed. Belonging means survival. Rejection could mean death. So we began to judge our worth and value based on the emotional reactions we experience in the mirror of relationship.

Themes: 
culture
freedom
intelligence
self image
violence

Media Sanity Tool Kit

media sanity

A friend sent along a few political cartoons. More propaganda, I mused. A few days laterI came across a Bill Moyers interview with Marty Kaplan, director of USC's Norman Lear Center and an entertainment industry veteran.The Moyers interview vindicated, point by point, my rant below responding to the many ways propaganda continues to influence all our lives.

I replied…

moyers link
Themes: 
culture
democracy
freedom
media
television-computers

Standardized Skooling

lynn stodard education

Lynn has been working with a group of committed educators to get the standardized monkey off our kid's backs.

Also see https://ttfuture.org/whats-new/events/featured_interview

How to Increase Graduation Rates
Lynn Stoddard

If School District Superintendents want to increase graduation rates, they should not tighten the screws on teachers to standardize students. A recent study found that teacher’s job satisfaction is at an all-time low. Nearly a third of new teachers say they are very, or fairly likely, to leave the profession. This confirms my perception that teacher morale has never been lower than it is now. I lay the blame on federal government intrusion into education, which the 10th amendment says is a state responsibility. Ever since the “Nation at Risk Report” in 1983, the U.S. Office of Education has applied several “reforms” all based on the idea that it is possible to make students alike in knowledge and skills – and that teachers should try harder to do. Standardized achievement tests are used as a whip to make sure all students know and can do the same things at grade-level check points.

No wonder teachers are demoralized! They know they can’t standardize students like cars or washing machines! The Common Core State Standards are the latest attempt to sell the idea of standardization to teachers and the general public. It is setting teachers and students up for failure on a grand scale. There will be an increase in good teachers leaving the profession, more students dropping out and fewer students graduating than ever before, all because students refuse to be standardized.

Themes: 
education
freedom
learning

Transcending Self-Image-Culture

bonding and culture

We all know that nurturing cooperative, creative, egalitarian individuals and societies is essential. The key that establishes this is turned very early. Research physiologist James Prescott, surgeon-epidemiologist researcher Michel Odent, author Joseph Chilton Pearce and clinical psychologist and researcher David Chamberlain have been saying and writing for 50 years that the deep, living, “primal” channel of communication we call “bonding” or “attachment” sets the biological template for either peaceful, expansive personal and cultural development or for fear-based, defensive, selfish, aggressive or passive personal and collective stagnation.

The nature and quality of the mother-infant bond, or lack of it, physiologically shapes the primal wiring that determines our interpretation of personal and collective relationships. And it does so for a lifetime, resulting in children, adults and cultures that are fundamentally calm, cooperative, creative and peaceful, are able to form and sustain meaningful relationships, or not. 

When full bonding fails or is damaged, which can begin before conception, not only individuals but families and entire cultures can become anxious or depressed, addicted – whether to substances, activities or greed, chronically ill and/or unhappy, self-abusive or violent. Interfering with the intimate continuum of this process is a crime against children and the natural world.

We must again learn to uphold and respect human bonding as a critical life sustaining ecological process and priority.

The greatest obstacle to meeting this challenge is not the biological imperative and intelligence to care for and protect our children; rather it is socialization and cultural beliefs that impair or prevent full bonding from unfolding. Millions of years of innate intelligence are in conflict with cultural conditioning and the root of this conflict is embodied in our social identity, our self-image.

Themes: 
bonding
culture
freedom
parenting

Law As A Weapon

law as a weapon

Walking to the office I laughed at the myth that governments are by or for the people. Looking back to the days of the Vikings, the so called age of discovery, colonialism, imperialism, the BIG Lies that resulted in the rape for oil of Iraq and Libya, the planned turning of the ‘war on terror’ on the people, full body airport scanning, GPS tracking of every phone, every email, the militarization of local police – can anyone in their right mind believe all this is by and for the people? Totalitarian systems always begin by rewriting the law. CA Bill 2109, for example, masquerading as a vaccine safety issue. It is not.

“This bill, if passed, would require parents to obtain the signature of a “health care practitioner” for a personal beliefs/religious exemption. MDs, nurse practitioners, and physician’s assistants can sign. Naturopaths and chiropractors cannot.”

This is a constitutional issue - a de facto negation of the Bill of Rights, forcing parents to get PERMISSION to opt out of a voluntary medical procedure by asking a doctor if it's OK not to choose a controversial medical procedure like vaccines, which the manufacturers themselves admit is dangerous. And they are....

Please don't miss this important interview with Dr. Blaylock
This is important information. mm
Dr Blaylock - Why Vaccines Are Not Safe

Having realized in the past 2 years that they are losing the debate on vaccine safety, organized medicine has taken a completely different tack: outlaw the debate itself. Don't debate: Legislate.

Themes: 
culture
democracy
freedom
media

A Brief Very Incomplete History of Parenting

playful parenting

Male and female roles in pre-agricultural societies were egalitarian. God was nature. Assumed male superiority with its implicit violence against women and children emerged with monotheism, the old-testament, a single male-dominate King laying down the law. Can you believe we still believe this fairy tale?

Down through the ages children were livestock, bred as a buffer for survival. Abuses of all kinds were harsh and systemic. Women nurtured when they could and men disciplined. The extended family was communal. Children more or less belonged to the tribe. Personal identity was not individual rather communal. One was a Cooper, a barrel maker or a Smith, blacksmith. Allegiance and values were set by family, village or community and these were controlled by the iron fists of magician-priests.

Children have always lost their fathers to wars and there have always been wars. With the industrial revolution we disposable males were herded into factories, with a corresponding loss of influence in the lives of our children. A century later, in the mid 20th century, the 50’s and 60’s to be more precise, children lost their mothers to women’s liberation and the work place, by design. Women’s Liberation meant the Rockefellers and other old-money social engineers would ‘profit’ from the missing 50% of the labor pool and children would be forced into government certified conditioning factories with nice doublespeak names like ‘day care,’ earlier and earlier.

Themes: 
bonding
childhood
parenting

Mistaken Identity

mistaken identity

We are not what we think we are, of that I am sure. And yet, what we think we are shapes our behavior, the quality of our relationships, our values, feelings of right and wrong, justice, and compassion. The key to personal and social transformation, which as we will see, are the same thing, is ‘identity.’

A breathtaking scientist, author and friend, Howard Bloom, writes about social biology, how independent particles, molecules, simple organisms team up to form super-organisms, how they share information, act in unison, form even bigger networks or gangs called species, on and on. Zooming back these appear as continents, oceans, planets, solar systems and galaxies, all moving, changing, forever.

Where do we draw the line that separates ‘me’ from everything else? The sieve-like membrane we call skin is so full of holes it forms no boundary at all. 30% to 40% of our body weight is bacteria and other parasite-guests hitching a ride. Without these micro-beasts we would not be. Is the bacteria living inside each of us – us? If not, we are a little more than half of what we think we are.

Perhaps we are defined by our thoughts which seem to emanate from nowhere between our ears, in the black hole just behind eyes. But thoughts just don’t happen, nor do feelings. Thoughts and feelings are shadows first cast by sensations coming from out there and then bouncing around like pinballs inside, triggering feeling and thinking bells along the way. Take away out there and in here disappears too. Inner and outer give rise to each other, and I am both.

Every now and then something new appears, a fresh perception. Musing about the reciprocal nature of what we are – suddenly, after reading a particularly explosive paragraph Howard had written, there it was. What I call me, my social-cultural identity, my personal ego or image of self-inside and the outer images that make up the culture-outside are the same. Looking through different ends of a toy telescope the inner and outer appear completely different – but they are, in fact, the same process, both are images.

Right, wrong, do this, not this, good boy, bad girl, language, the names we give things are all embodied reflections of the collective super-ego we call culture. Growing up, needing to belong, we personify these collective images as a self-image, and that’s what I think I am, but am not.

Themes: 
brain
culture
freedom
imagination

Not Broken Don't Bond It

not broken

The point is maintaining relationship – not connecting something that is broken.

The terms bonding and attachment imply separation, to bond, connect, glue together separate parts. Life is relationship. We are never separate, except in our minds.

We are the light, the air, the water, the nutrients, the heat, the vibration, gravity, ever-changing movement and much more. The human body and brain is defined by the environment. Each mirrors the other. But we forget. The deeper reality and challenge is to prevent this ongoing, dynamic and reciprocal connection from being broken.

Joseph Chilton Pearce and I were exploring the root cause of our social and political calamity. Joe lamented that nature’s agenda during pregnancy, birth and the sensitive postnatal period – doesn’t happen. What could be fails to unfold. ‘Houston, we have a problem.’ See: https://ttfuture.org/files/2/members/esa_jcp_biology_culture.pdf

Themes: 
birth
bonding
childhood
play
pleasure
pregnancy

The Importance of Hugging

violence
Compassion? Wisdom?
Sorry, no one by that name lives here...

My son recently graduated from college. He could have been one of these UC Davis students. The well fed skin-head on the right is the riot clad officer hosing our children with pepper spray as they sit, Gandhi style, arm in arm, nonviolently. This act, not by students but by our friend the civil mercenary, and others like it around the world (see below), rips the thin skin of civility off our eyes. Serving and protecting, yes, but who and what? Watching his unaffected cruelty, like food poisoning, vomits up the question, How could he do such a thing?

In 1981 when a friend was nearly raped and murdered by a stalking stranger I asked the same question, Why would a man do such a thing? How can a man who supposedly loves his wife beat her so violently it caused brain damage? Or a coach, scream at an eight year old for dropping a ball? Violence is so easy, so natural. Or is it?

Themes: 
bonding
brain
culture
democracy
freedom
media
television-computers

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