Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Now There is a Myth

I went to a wonderful lecture last night with the Portland Enneagram Society about brain science and the Enneagram.  The woman who gave the lecture was a One on the Enneagram so of course she did a good job with lots of detail.  I need to make very clear that the following is NOT about the quality of the lecture.  It was great.

But, when she started the lecture she got my ministerial juices going because she shared a quote about babies, about how they are born 'perfect' and then we screw them up!

Babies are born perfect and then we screw them up!  What a perfect myth for this society in the 21st century on Earth in the US of A.  It's got everything we value. 

Lets start with the baby.  It's young, so automatically that is good.  It has no experience and so it is more perfect than someone who has it. 

When it goes into relationship with its family and society it is automatically less perfect.  Think about that one.  Our relationships make us less perfect!  Would we be more perfect alone then -- growing up all by oneself or with other perfect companions who would somehow leave us without mark.  The whole vision seems somehow lonely and bionic -- a futuristic, spiritual utopia without suffering. Later in the lecture we learn, that no, actually, we need to attune with mother, or else we do not grow up recognizably human.

Well that is more like it. 

I am as individualistic as the next person but I find myself growning tired of it.  I do believe we have gone about as far as we can go down the road of being 'perfect'ly separate.  We drive around alone in our cars, live in large houses with lots of unused space, buy things to prove and improve our individual lives.  Carp about our families and the weird things they did to us.  I do all that and more.

 I am going to go visit my mother for lunch today.  My mother doesn't ask much of me.  I think I know some of the reasons; her mother could be pretty invasive.  I wish she asked more of me, but lately I have been just calling her up to talk. I want to stop fighting the individuation wars of my youth.  I am more perfect than a baby, lovely and intent as a baby can be.  My mother is more perfect too.


goodwolve said...

When I lived with nuns 20 years ago one of them, Sister Olivia, taught me to read eyes. I remember her talking about babies being born perfect and that the damage that happens is recorded the eye. Very interesting stuff.

Lizard Eater said...

You're right -- that contention is so ridiculous, it's baffling she said that. We know what happens with babies that are left alone -- just look at any of the psychological studies of victims of neglect. Look at the brain scans of the orphans from Romania with whole dark spaces because they had no one to hold them, croon to them.

I'm tired of irresponsible statements like these, such as the one I heard a psychotherapist say from the pulpit, "Everything that is wrong with you is because of your parents," she said with zero irony, completely serious.