self-knowledge

INSTITUTIONALIZED MINDS AND CONFLICTED LIVING — PART TWO

         

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After the Kinkul has lived in its Kinkul Motel (Remember, Mommies and Daddies don’t know Kinkul Motel is the name for baby), for about two years, baby starts to act differently than before.  It happens when Mommy or Daddy, or someone standing near, shouts “No” to baby and sometimes slaps baby’s hands or bottom, when the Kinkul is driving baby to something Kinkul wants and which is something Mommy and Daddy don’t want baby to have.  The Kinkul doesn’t feel anything, but baby feels a lot of pain and baby doesn’t like pain one bit.  When baby feels pain it lets out a caterwauling cry all by itself.  You don’t like pain either do you?


Remember; Kinkul does not have a memory but now baby starts to develop one,  Baby remembers when it gets smacked for reaching for one thing and not another.  When Kinkul wants baby to reach for something, baby remembers getting smacked for, baby starts to act independently from the Kinkuls desire.  In a  way, the baby is telling the Kinkul “not now” and for some reason, Kinkul doesn’t bite baby because it didn’t get what it wanted when it wanted it.


Mommy and Daddy think they are training their baby to “behave.”  Doing what your Mommy and Daddy tell you to do when they tell you to do it is behaving.  What baby really learns is if you are bigger and stronger  than the other person and can use force against that person, you can get what you want when you want it.


Something else start to happen to baby and proves the last point is true.  Baby starts saying words and seem to understand the words Mommy and Daddy are saying.  Of course, the Kinkul doesn’t understand words.  Understanding words requires memory and a Kinkul doesn’t have a memory. But words are a powerful force that baby quickly learns to use to get what it and the Kinkul wants when they want it.


We notice the baby begins to want things the Kinkul never thinks about.  When baby plays with other babies and it wants something the other baby has, baby uses force to take it away from the playmate.  Mommy or Daddy blames baby for being selfish and shame baby for being selfish.  But baby doesn’t understand selfish.  Baby is just getting what it wants when it wants it.  Who cares if the other  kid is crying because it doesn’t get what it wants when it wants it.  Besides, baby is bigger and stronger that the other kid so baby is supposed to get what baby wants.


By the time baby gets to be five or six years old, baby can’t tell the difference between what the Kinkul wants and what baby wants.   Its O.K. to talk at home but not O.K. to talk in a place Mommy and Daddy call church.  Or it’s O.K. to spill your drink on the grass but not on the carpet.  Baby has learned it is good if baby does what Mommy and Daddy tell baby to do and bad when baby doesn’t.  Baby doesn’t know what is good or what is bad, except baby gets spanked for one and praised for the other.  Are you confused about what is good and what is bad?


It is hard to learn how to control the Kinkul.  It is especially hard  when Mommy and Daddy are not there to tell you.  But I believe the Kinkul lives with you all of your life.  It seems to me, the secret to a happy life is to learn when the Kinkul is controlling your acts to get what it wants when it wants it or whether you are acting in control of yourself.  Now that you know about your Kinkul, it is easy to see the Kinkul acting in other kids and people of all ages.  When I learned to tell the difference between my wants and the Kinkul’s wants, it became easier and easier to keep Kinkul from biting me by telling it “Not now!”  


When I could tell my acts were to get something I wanted, I was able to think about it and make sure that what I wanted was good for me, helpful to others, considerate of others, and that this was the right time for me to have it.  I’ve never been able to make friends with my Kinkul, but now, maybe it will be easier for you and me to be friends.


I do not present the Kinkul as a fact.  Kinkul is just an allegory for the human condition that I have never heard described in any other term than Original Sin.  All of the grandchildren I’ve told these stories to identified completely with IWWIWWIWI.  Now when they are acting selfishly I tell them, “Looks like your Kinkul is biting you.”  They stop their behavior, they look at me and smile, and then we laugh with each other and they do not return to the selfish behavior-and I like that.


My Kinkul stories are presented here because I submit for your consideration that it is not the concept of Original Sin and the concomitant sin nature of humanity that causes people to have problems with social interaction; rather it is the unchallenged, initially rewarded, and culturally reinforced approval of IWWIWWIWI  and the presumption that is appropriate to use force to get it.


By eliminating the presumption that a child is evil because of the myth of Original Sin a child may be able to be raised without the parent’s righteously playing the blame and shame game. 


We know the blame and shame game produces guilt and low self-esteem in a child.  Maybe society could begin to help children transition from the selfish prompting force of wanting what they want when they want it which is as natural as its skin, to the controlling its compulsive body instincts in a mature manner without blame and shame.


This article was written by Lawrence McGrath.

Lawrence wrote the book: A Cry From The Heart: A Personal Essay

Click here to purchase his book on Amazon.

Mr. McGrath is an author, father and grandfather. A retired marine pilot, lawyer, college professor, college president, bank president, and consultant.

COMING HOME


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Carl Sagan once wrote, “We were wanderers from the beginning”. As far as we know, this is true: our ancestors were nomads, crossing savannahs and jungles and forests, ever restless, in search of the next meal or friendlier climes. From the beginning, we were never entirely satisfied with our lot. The relentless push to civilization seems motivated by a single-minded desire for an ever-better life; one where at last we have beaten back the caprice of life to know happiness, satiation, and safety.

 

It is more than this: beyond the callings of our basic animal appetites, a deeper yearning seizes our hearts and minds. We want to know the world and our place within it. We want to understand this mysterious life, an inchoate hunger far more difficult to feed than an empty stomach. Perhaps it is in part borne of our social nature: a basic instinct to feel safe and certain through connection with something larger than ourselves. Perhaps it lies even deeper; with the arising of the human mind, the cosmos is expressing a need to behold and understand itself — a brilliant flash of sentience that illumines Indra’s Net, bearing witness to its glory.


Whatever the origins, we long to belong, and to understand. The nomadic spirit runs deep within us, we are restlessly in search of a home that seems ever to recede over the horizon, an elsewhere whose very appeal is its unattainability, its mystery, its promise of salvation and peace. The irony for this restless, curious wanderer is that we have always been home, and we have always belonged. Throughout history, we have had moments of insight that this deepest hope is true: that we are profoundly at home in the universe. This truth has never changed, but our yearning imagination has wandered far and wide, leaving our hearts heavy with anxiety, a nameless dissatisfaction with life.


For centuries we have seen ourselves as separate from Nature and pitted against her in a titanic and desperate struggle to dominate and survive. We are struggling heroically to awaken from this nightmare.


Though it is true that life is tenuous, the world often dangerous, there is no adversary Out There, only an internal struggle to embrace this life just as it is — beauty and ugliness, miracle and horror. It would appear to be a basic truth of our human psychology that when we fully recognize our Oneness with the world, something in us lets go. It is somehow impossible for us to be at war with the world when we see that the world is us and that we are it. Peace fills our hearts and we come forth changed beings, manifesting the miracle without the distortions of struggle. Life may remain difficult, but it is enchanted with new meaning — it is, in the words of Sǿren Kierkegaard, no longer “a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be lived”.


Yet although a few of us in each age set down the struggle, most of us do not. It is a core purpose in my life to pursue an end to the delusion of separation and to convey what meager understanding I achieve to others in the hope, however vain, that this Great Peace can spread itself more broadly among us in the coming years. It is my belief that the science of today tells a powerful story about our kinship with the whole of the world, revealing quite clearly that this restless nomad has wandered far and may wander much farther still, but has never, not even for a moment, left home.


This article was written by Joshua Sandeman

Click HERE to Learn more about his work.

www.linkedin.com/in/joshua-sandeman