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continuum concept - Page 2

post #21 of 57
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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
Ok Preggiemomma, I'll say it- Steiner's philosphy has really enriched my life. So, I believe in reincarnation; I believe I chose to be born into my present culture specifically because I had both something to contribute and something to gain from being born here and now, and while anthropology is inspirational and important, the expression of my true destiny is found in creatively, meaningfully integrating my existence within its present context, so feeling that I have to "recreate" an earlier cultural scenario is foreign to me (I am satisfied with the idea I have probably already lived through several tribal experiences), although I am comfortable combing through "tradition" and practicing those things which resonate with me. Perhaps your life and mine are not so different (I live out in the middle of nowhere with a humongous garden for a playground and my kiddos run naked a lot too), but the philosophy which shapes our worldview is?
Okay, that gives me a better understanding of your perspective. I hope you didn't feel coerced into sharing; I can see why it makes it much easier to discuss this topic, though, so I sincerely appreciate you taking that risk.

I suppose it may seem disingenuous to not also then share my perspective as well, then, also taking a risk and cringing a bit as I do...

I am not sure how to accurately convey what I believe without being comprehensive, which is not really appropriate for this forum or thread, so I'll shorten it to skeletal. This means using labels that I wouldn't normally apply to myself, but here goes anyway...

I am Christ-following, libertarian-ish anarchist-like (so the opposite side of the spectrum from mainline and fundamentalists) and I don't conclude on origin because it is something I don't know for sure and can only speculate. I am a non-camper (so the labels aren't really all that accurate, but they are approximate for this purpose), and it is fine with me if we arrived fully human or if we evolved or if it was something in between or something else all together.

Tradition definitely must mean something different to you than to me! Actually, it seems to mean something very different to nearly everyone who expresses it. I can see how in our present society, there is the possibility of adopting any suitable tradition without the same sort of difficulty that would exist in tribal culture. In that sense, there is much value in how we operate presently.

BUT, the traditions of each culture are formed and reformed by its people, so if I were a part of a tribal culture, I may affect it in a way that makes it beneficial to me in the ways that I need, and the ripple effect of that could be revolutionary. SO, it is really impossible to predict retrospectively a hypothetical influence and subsequent hypothetical responses and results...

From our differing perspectives, it is easier to see where we would not agree, but knowing that really helps me to formulate my responses and questions with, hopefully, more relevance.



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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I don't find it useful to think of my culture in that light; it's not that I disagree with you, but that I prefer to focus on humanity's potential, on how I can draw out the best in others... To think of everyone around me as diseased in some way makes *me* feel dirty. To think of myself as a light that radiates as brightly as possible so that those around me become bright as well, fills me with energy.
I know I was being harsh. On good days, I am like you describe yourself. I have actually lost friends for being this way- believing that their potential is enormous and desiring to see them fulfill it. At first people really enjoy the energy they receive from that, but there are few people that I've met who don't become hostile toward me as they see me acting accordingly in my own life (I don't tell my friends how to live or say r do anything that suggests that I think they're slacking off and could do so much better or anything like that... the internet is so limiting for expressing this sort of thing...). I don't find that many people really do want to exert effort in their lives. This is not my opinion; I've been told many times by others who truly think this way.

I do think that people's seeking after individuality (distinct from self-expression) has allowed for behaviours and perspectives that cater to a synthetic worldview rather than one that expresses the reality of the authentic universe. I personally don't see this as something I can knowingly emulate. I see this present culture as severely lacking in authenticity, which is why I seek an example of authentic living amongst human beings, and for that, it is simple to look to tribal life. There are still people living authentically, but they are not common. I can't and won't emulate tribal life either, but I can attempt to find local people and make a village.

I am curious about what you desire and enjoy about our present western culture that you embrace it or want to continue it or... (hoping you'll fill in the likely missing verb here). The things that I do are those things which have always been and are not at all a product of today, but having been carried on throughout human history still exist and perpetuate through necessity (and incidental or instinctual natural desire). I find these things to be decreasing in frequency and number, though, and the reasons for this are rather apparent to me, but perhaps your perspective is entirely different on this too.


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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
When I referred to instinct, I was referring to DIET- and I do believe people hav very different instincts here. For instance, my husband instinctively prefers meat and root veggies- and it does him well. I instinctively prefer raw dairy, whole grains, and leafy vegetables- and it does me well.
Okay. I thought the diet was just an example of your understanding of instinct, not a specific reference separate from the view you otherwise hold. I prepare and eat foods according to my family's recent ancestry because this is the food our bodies have adapted to utilise most efficaciously. I likely wouldn't have an instinct to eat coconut (I have tried and it tastes yummy, but my body rejects it in all forms. I am part of the first generation of my ancestry that would even have considered eating it). Even my food instincts are common with the traditions of my ancestry, so not individual at all. The amazing thing i that I didn't grow up on traditional food. I came to it two years ago and given the obvious correction it was to our life, I wouldn't change that back or forward or whatever it would be considered.

My personal food instincts are distinct from those of people with different backgrounds, of course,and some people think their instincts inform them to eat cheesies, so here again, it is necessary to examine the past until you come to a reasonable place of understanding. Our present culture has little to nothing to offer in this way either. Food has to be one of the biggest global issues there is, for a whole host of reasons.

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
In regards to mothering, I mentioned "intuition & conscience"- and this is more individual, I believe, than "instinct".
I agree.

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
To me, community has different scales; I just enjoyed my first small town festival and it was worlds away from any big city "neighborhood event". It seemed the whole town gathered in the main square, even being new I still saw many familiar faces and everyone felt safe and comfortable with small kids running around (not toddlers) unattended, and smiles for everyone. To me, that was a sense of community.
There is just no way I could define this as community. A 'sense' of it, I'm not sure, but a sense isn't enough for me to even bother to define it anyway. I need the whole thing and in all of its reality. This would qualify very loosely for the category of 'appearances minus substance,' for me, even if it was pleasant.

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
On a smaller scale, I know everyone on my road and as neighbors, we consistently take care of each other (share veggies, share milk, share advice, share farm equipment). That is a community to me. When one of us is going to town we ask "do you need anything while I'm there?"
This, I would describe as community. I also think that this is exceedingly rare amongst people in western culture. Maybe you have this and wonder why someone would prefer to live in grass huts in the jungle; that would make sense to me. This is really not what most people experience and in every way that this is a community to you, it is by the way it is still like people used to be, not how this culture prepares its young for life in general. It is at least a version of interdependence if the reliance on one another is real and not just polite or economical.

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
And on the even smaller level, La Leche League is a community. So is mothering.com; I have learned a lot more here from wiser women than I would with any gathering of people in my locality.
Right, but if you had this amongst your neighbours, your village, you would likely not have any need and therefore no desire to seek out these special interest groups. These groups make up for the lack of true community in our culture, imo, which is why they are so successful. In the presence of a richly cultured community, they wouldn't be of any use; everyone would be mothering.com and LLL- it wouldn't be a group distinct from the general groups since they address normal living.

There would still be distinctions in a tribe/village, but they wouldn't be to help people feel comfortable living like human beings. Groups of musicians and artists and culinary virtuosos would still exist because they enrich real living. A breastfeeding group really wouldn't make sense. It would be like a 'squatting to pee' group which makes sense in western culture, but not in one where this is normal.

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
As I said, I really embrace Steiner's philosphies and another mother and I are getting together once a week to do Waldorf inspired activities and seasonal festival celebration together; we are considering opening this up to other interested mothers. This too, would be "community" to me.
That seems like a wonderful idea! I am interested. : But I live north of 60- a bit far to make it on time.

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I'm just somewhere on another page, striving for self-sufficiency, zero waste, and supporting my local economy. In my experience, moving away from (read: having very little dependence on) my parents has been the best thing that ever happened for my personal growth, my marriage, my mothering... and the women in my family are not that many generations removed from a more tribal island life so I fail to see how the common thread of worry, superstition, and matriarchal authority would have improved my life had I been right along with them 4 generations ago. ???
I don't think we're on different pages. I just wouldn't use the same words to describe what likely looks similar in my life to what it does in yours. I used to want self-sufficiency, but now I want self-expression and community-sufficiency, which means supporting my neighbours' endeavours, zero waste, growing as much food as I can and bartering for the rest as often as possible.

I left home 17 yrs of age. I doubt I'd be alive to share any perspective at all if I hadn't- at least in this life. My parents gave me little to carry on and a lot of cycles to end and correct.

Four generations before mine, I would have been baking whole grain bread, rendering fat, making soap, hanging sausage, baby-wearing and nursing with 20 other mothers and the rest of our children in the heat of the afternoons. I would have been Roman Catholic though, which wouldn't suit me presently, and my husband would have expected dinner at 5pm.

BUT four generations isn't far enough because so much of how western culture has developed has been either in response to or reaction against the RCC and political forces. Communities were already becoming rare at that point. People were not developing traits that authentically benefitted them, but rather that benefitted the groups who had taken positions of power and to which they agreed to submit themselves or were demoralised adequately to believe that it was for the best.

Uh oh. I mentioned politics and religion...

Anyway, as I wrote above, I am not living anywhere near what I desire. Yet. I am working toward it and try to take a small step as often as I can truly manage to change.

I am so glad that you've agreed to discuss this. Thank you!
post #22 of 57
I know you aren't talking to me but thank you for your posts.

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Originally Posted by PreggieUBA2C View Post
I left home 17 yrs of age. I doubt I'd be alive to share any perspective at all if I hadn't- at least in this life. My parents gave me little to carry on and a lot of cycles to end and correct.

Four generations before mine, I would have been baking whole grain bread, rendering fat, making soap, hanging sausage, baby-wearing and nursing with 20 other mothers and the rest of our children in the heat of the afternoons. I would have been Roman Catholic though, which wouldn't suit me presently, and my husband would have expected dinner at 5pm.

BUT four generations isn't far enough because so much of how western culture has developed has been either in response to or reaction against the RCC and political forces. Communities were already becoming rare at that point. People were not developing traits that authentically benefitted them, but rather that benefitted the groups who had taken positions of power and to which they agreed to submit themselves or were demoralised adequately to believe that it was for the best.
Where I may not agree with everything you said here the gist of it rings true. I could go on and on about this but I am pretty sure it'd take the thread major OT
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Anyway, as I wrote above, I am not living anywhere near what I desire. Yet. I am working toward it and try to take a small step as often as I can truly manage to change.
Me neither. I don't think the point is the destination but striving to get there. The destination is unobtainable, really, as in a PERFECT life/community/family/etc.
post #23 of 57
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Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
Me neither. I don't think the point is the destination but striving to get there. The destination is unobtainable, really, as in a PERFECT life/community/family/etc.
I read somewhere that the way to live peacefully and within the right realm of one's existence is to be as water. It always follows the easiest path with the least resistance. I thought that was an interesting idea.

My consciousness didn't allow for that to take hold, however, because water is a great force within nature, chief of the eroders. Some of the hardest materials on this earth have been both formed by and shaped by water. Water can be the gentlest thing and the harshest. Water both conforms and forms; it goes with the flow and makes its path. It does so very quickly and very slowly and every way in between.

This is what I think of when I consider my striving. When the current is established and it's headed where I want to be, I go with it and the speed is fine regardless, but when it isn't headed where I want to be, I drip, drip, drip or trickle over the surface until the path I want is ready to travel.

I guess there's no rule to follow, but a lot of dynamic interaction with the universe involved in living.

Also, I'm pretty sure that it's difficult to be off-topic in a thread as wide as this one. Pretty much anything fits, imo.
post #24 of 57
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I am curious about what you desire and enjoy about our present western culture that you embrace it or want to continue it or... (hoping you'll fill in the likely missing verb here).
It really isn't about finding desirable things or enjoyable things, it's just that I appreciate the chance to experience life in whatever time or culture. Certainly there are good things about my culture; I don't have much fear of being sold into slavery, unable to escape life with a cruel and abusive husband, having my genitals mutilated, no one is forcing any religion down my throat, I have no concern that my neighborhood will be raided and destroyed, I have many options for avoiding inclement weather; I can travel far and wide and have quite a broad perspective how human beings live & think.... even if some of these things were also true in tribal life, they are just as true in my present life, and I would count them as things to embrace and want to continue.

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Right, but if you had this amongst your neighbours, your village, you would likely not have any need and therefore no desire to seek out these special interest groups. These groups make up for the lack of true community in our culture, imo, which is why they are so successful. In the presence of a richly cultured community, they wouldn't be of any use; everyone would be mothering.com and LLL- it wouldn't be a group distinct from the general groups since they address normal living.
But on the other hand, not everyone who breastfeeds attends LLL.

Even in a tribal culture, there may be some women who struggled with it more or who delighted in it more, and even in a tribal culture, you might have chosen to deepen your relationships based on interests that were "more special" to you...?? Just because we all have to cook doesn't mean we are all passionate about cooking; just because most of us try to keep our yard somewhat decent doesn't mean we all love gardening... special interests have probably always been. I don't think everyone would have been without distinction on these issues just because it was "normal". I'm positive there were still some people considered "masters" on the subject, and some people utlilized them and others didn't have enough interest to.

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Communities were already becoming rare at that point. People were not developing traits that authentically benefitted them, but rather that benefitted the groups who had taken positions of power and to which they agreed to submit themselves or were demoralised adequately to believe that it was for the best.
This kind of makes me think of the Tower of Babel. Early "globalization". It does seem that the larger a "community" becomes, the less it tends to function in the best interest of the individuals; was God trying to prevent this by creating division and smaller groups so no one central power would cause the submission and demoralization you speak of? And the Bible sort of ends on that note too- when humanity is at a point where so much central power has claimed control, a "new beginning" is needed. In that sense, I agree that smaller people groups are healthier, but I guess I still think individual families are my ideal people unit.

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Anyway, as I wrote above, I am not living anywhere near what I desire. Yet. I am working toward it and try to take a small step as often as I can truly manage to change.

I am so glad that you've agreed to discuss this. Thank you!
I'm glad there are women like you in the world- maybe we're part of the same spiritual tribe. I like to think that even without close vicinity, the boundlessness of the human consciousness allows for like intents to merge and become stonger in the world. Whatever semantics we use I think we have a lot of values in common.
post #25 of 57
I am wondering if anyone can explain to me the differences in AP, CL, and CC.

Thanks!
post #26 of 57
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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
It really isn't about finding desirable things or enjoyable things, it's just that I appreciate the chance to experience life in whatever time or culture.
This makes sense to me. I appreciate it too. I think I may appreciate it in a very different way though, from the perspective that current trends and lifestyle are not tenable and I want to make my life align with what is, rather than perpetuate (or condone through inaction in my own life) what I see and feel around me.


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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
Certainly there are good things about my culture; I don't have much fear of being sold into slavery, unable to escape life with a cruel and abusive husband, having my genitals mutilated, no one is forcing any religion down my throat, I have no concern that my neighborhood will be raided and destroyed, I have many options for avoiding inclement weather; I can travel far and wide and have quite a broad perspective how human beings live & think.... even if some of these things were also true in tribal life, they are just as true in my present life, and I would count them as things to embrace and want to continue.
I can see your perspective. We do live in different countries and some of what you don't deal with directly is assumed here, even if it's below the surface. For instance, in Canada, 'citizens' and 'residents' are human resources that belong to and can be commandeered by the government at any time. Our legislation is in place for this, although nobody is enforcing it presently. We have no inalienable rights such as you do and no 5th amendment. Our charter rights are enforceable only through the court system and on a case-by-case basis, and there are no precedent-setting cases relating to charter 'rights and freedoms.' Canadians live as bond slaves and most don't know it. I do though, and the best I can do with this is to live as quietly as possible and not arouse the indignation of those who are ignorant and do not desire to know their position in our country's hierarchy.

Our government guarantees nothing and 'allows' us to travel and meet together in whatever groups we like excepting hate and violent groups, but even that is slowly diminishing as a charter right as municipal legislation across the country incorporates bylaw against any meeting of like-minded people of whatever persuasion. Many years ago, I used to attend an illegal bible study group at a pastor's house.

Anyway, when I comment on western culture, it is with the assumption that U.S. media has a pretty wide influence, but each nation does have its own flavour and issues. Canada has some that are absolutely freedom-stealing (as do other countries, U.S. included) and while most are unaware of these issues, our language and way of life is already primed for acceptance of this, so when I find little in this culture to appreciate in its present state, it is because of a lack of consciousness and even worse, a virtuous view of apathy. I am not at all an activist, but I cannot live according to the dictates of a foreign and controlling group or groups.

The U.S. has around ten times the population of Canada, but Canada has 10 more government workers. This affects the daily life of nearly everyone who lives here. It may be different in the U.S. where choosing to live outside of major cities likely reduces the amount of interference of such power-seeking groups. Here, everyone is the police. I understand that the U.S. is headed that way too, which I find sad, and no matter how much I do love and have deep compassion for human beings, the system that we've allowed to rule who we are is still utterly lacking in humanity, which is how and why I make a distinction. Sadly, the systems here do inform the culture that people here just abide by without a thought or in purposeful ignorance.

Our culture is not an expression or result of individual input or family unit input or any such thing; it is definitely conjured and perpetuated by a small group who have successfully divided us from one another in the pursuit of individuality and thereby made us easy to conquer one at a time. It's an age-old military strategy gone global, imo, and with the same success it has always afforded the groups who employ it to their benefit.


Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
Even in a tribal culture, there may be some women who struggled with it more or who delighted in it more, and even in a tribal culture, you might have chosen to deepen your relationships based on interests that were "more special" to you...?? Just because we all have to cook doesn't mean we are all passionate about cooking; just because most of us try to keep our yard somewhat decent doesn't mean we all love gardening... special interests have probably always been. I don't think everyone would have been without distinction on these issues just because it was "normal". I'm positive there were still some people considered "masters" on the subject, and some people utlilized them and others didn't have enough interest to.
I agree, which is why I made a special point of pointing that out above:
"There would still be distinctions in a tribe/village, but they wouldn't be to help people feel comfortable living like human beings. Groups of musicians and artists and culinary virtuosos would still exist because they enrich real living. A breastfeeding group really wouldn't make sense. It would be like a 'squatting to pee' group which makes sense in western culture, but not in one where this is normal."

Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
This kind of makes me think of the Tower of Babel. Early "globalization". It does seem that the larger a "community" becomes, the less it tends to function in the best interest of the individuals; was God trying to prevent this by creating division and smaller groups so no one central power would cause the submission and demoralization you speak of? And the Bible sort of ends on that note too- when humanity is at a point where so much central power has claimed control, a "new beginning" is needed. In that sense, I agree that smaller people groups are healthier, but I guess I still think individual families are my ideal people unit.
This is a very astute observation and hypothesis, imo. Interesting too that you have a preferred number of people. I suppose then that we really do both have the same idea; my preferred number is more like 50. I'm on my way to making up a good portion of that number, too... YIKES! I hope there's enough room left for the rest of our village!


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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I'm glad there are women like you in the world- maybe we're part of the same spiritual tribe. I like to think that even without close vicinity, the boundlessness of the human consciousness allows for like intents to merge and become stonger in the world. Whatever semantics we use I think we have a lot of values in common.
I agree, and especially with, "the boundlessness of the human consciousness allows for like intents to merge and become stonger in the world."

Can I ask whether or not you then concur with the theory of the continuum concept? I can guess that you would say yes, but that you would probably qualify that with something more immediate than the theory of evolutionary history. Reincarnation is a sort of continuum for sure, no? Would you argue that your continuum is your own throughout history, as opposed in a way to the way I view mine as ancestral (of course you have ancestors too- not denying them in this question or assuming you have disconnected; I realise that your ancestry is still pivotal to you in some ways)? This is sincerely interesting to me. If it's too invasive, please decline to answer. I don't want to seem or act in a way that causes disconnection. I'm just wondering about your 'continuum.'
post #27 of 57
I just ran across this article tonight: http://www.stevepavlina.com/blog/200...e-lightworker/

This afternoon, the word 'lightworker' popped into my head and I couldn't remember what it meant, and when I found this article, I was delighted to find that I resonate deeply with what the author wrote. To be fair, I looked it up on his site to begin with because I read there frequently and guessed that I probably read it there. It seemed Pavlina-like...

Anyway, he explains very well what I haven't articulated very well about myself and my passion for doing what I will now call light-work. And it set me at ease with not being able to shake the idea of the body of humanity being diseased, as upsetting as that may seem. My body is unwell too, but there is still a bright light inside that shines from within my whole self, so disease of the body doesn't negate its beauty or its potential in my worldview.



Btw, it might seem OT to be writing about this, but from a continuum perspective, life cannot be delineated so easily as the forums on MDC can. So unless it is upsetting to someone wanting to discuss specifics, I am happy to carry on wherever this discussion carries us.
post #28 of 57
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current trends and lifestyle are not tenable and I want to make my life align with what is, rather than perpetuate (or condone through inaction in my own life) what I see and feel around me.
I agree and aim for this too. But if anything, the fact that "current trends and lifestyles are not tenable" only enriches my experience because I feel I learn well from negative role models (what *not* to do), perhaps even better- because I truly engage in problem solving to come up with solutions, and the reasons why I do things the way I do them are well thought out and deliberate- meaningful. I *like* to question everything, it is in my nature; and society certainly gives me ample opportunity for this .

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It may be different in the U.S. where choosing to live outside of major cities likely reduces the amount of interference of such power-seeking groups. Here, everyone is the police. I understand that the U.S. is headed that way too, which I find sad, and no matter how much I do love and have deep compassion for human beings, the system that we've allowed to rule who we are is still utterly lacking in humanity, which is how and why I make a distinction. Sadly, the systems here do inform the culture that people here just abide by without a thought or in purposeful ignorance.

Our culture is not an expression or result of individual input or family unit input or any such thing; it is definitely conjured and perpetuated by a small group who have successfully divided us from one another in the pursuit of individuality and thereby made us easy to conquer one at a time. It's an age-old military strategy gone global, imo, and with the same success it has always afforded the groups who employ it to their benefit.
I would say that where I live, the prevalent attitude is mind your own business. That's why we live here =). However, I believe the reason people band together, ultimately, is just as much for the protection as it is for community; that is why people are willing to endure invasions of privacy or freedom, and even pursue apathy regarding the freedoms they do not have. My theory is that some of us are simply less fearful and more willing to take risks and live by inspiration instead of the desire for "safety"; we have a less-developed sense of fear and a more-developed desire for freedom. So yes, the people who want power know to play on fear & patriotism (sense of pride in your community)- the main reasons people band together.

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Can I ask whether or not you then concur with the theory of the continuum concept? I can guess that you would say yes, but that you would probably qualify that with something more immediate than the theory of evolutionary history. Reincarnation is a sort of continuum for sure, no? Would you argue that your continuum is your own throughout history, as opposed in a way to the way I view mine as ancestral
I certainly agree that we need to understand the needs of our infants and children, and meet them- basically they do not change (even when we fail to meet them, which is prevalent today). I don't think they remain the same because of time or history- "since we adapted to certain conditions and now cannot stray too far from them too quickly for fear of some sort of social destruction"; rather I think our needs are the same now as they were in tribal times because we were created to function that way for a specific reason for all eternity. I think of the needs of our babies and children as being a microcosm of our needs with God; I believe He created us with needs He Himself would meet so we would fit together like lock and key. I love the illustration of the Hebrew name for God being "El Shaddai: the Many-Breasted One". I love how a nursing mother contains within herself everything needed for a newborn's livelihood- baby needs no "thing", only HER. To me, this *is* because it is a sign to point us to the same spiritual dynamic which exists... and as we grow spiritually we become more independent, in the same way that a child does... Nevertheless anthropology, such as in TCC, puts us more in touch with our true needs because life had not become so synthetic as it is now. So what would my "continuum" be?

Enjoyed the lightworker article- I guess I still feel that while a lightworker cell may be functioning from a perspective of the greater good, the very act of accepting a destiny or mission to act for the greater good and placing it paramount in your life is a very... "individual" one? You are not going to go along with what everyone else is comfortable with, you are going to act in their best interest. Sometimes that doesn't do you any favors in a community, if you see a true threat others wish to ignore. That is the sense of individuality I am enamored with.
post #29 of 57
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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I agree and aim for this too. But if anything, the fact that "current trends and lifestyles are not tenable" only enriches my experience because I feel I learn well from negative role models (what *not* to do), perhaps even better- because I truly engage in problem solving to come up with solutions, and the reasons why I do things the way I do them are well thought out and deliberate- meaningful. I *like* to question everything, it is in my nature; and society certainly gives me ample opportunity for this .
Agreed. I guess that I figure I'd do the same no matter when or where I lived in time and place, too. That doesn't alleviate the urgency for me in this time and place though, so I press on.



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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I would say that where I live, the prevalent attitude is mind your own business. That's why we live here =).
We moved to a place with that attitude last September, but we have to stay away from the city if we don't want people informing us to save us from ourselves... (barefooting and being told that there might be glass... somewhere... WHAT???!!! Glass?!!! OMG, quick, put on your SHOES!!! I'd seriously never considered or addressed this before in my whole life, thank you for pointing that possibility out...). Out in the rural area, nobody says anything like that. Everyone out here assumes if you can live without water, no toilet and isolated in the woods, you probably know how to take care of yourself. :

In the city, it is very different- like the overall mentality of Canada-, but not with the local old-timers (generally laid back), just the transient government transfers and hard-core policy-followers.

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I love how a nursing mother contains within herself everything needed for a newborn's livelihood- baby needs no "thing", only HER. To me, this *is* because it is a sign to point us to the same spiritual dynamic which exists... and as we grow spiritually we become more independent, in the same way that a child does... Nevertheless anthropology, such as in TCC, puts us more in touch with our true needs because life had not become so synthetic as it is now.
I love, love, love this! I hold the same view. So much of life is bigger versions of the last same thing- cycles of maturation.


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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
So what would my "continuum" be?
If I can venture a serious over-simplification of what you've shared, I would say it's a continuum, and not qualify. It just is, no?

Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
Enjoyed the lightworker article- I guess I still feel that while a lightworker cell may be functioning from a perspective of the greater good, the very act of accepting a destiny or mission to act for the greater good and placing it paramount in your life is a very... "individual" one? You are not going to go along with what everyone else is comfortable with, you are going to act in their best interest. Sometimes that doesn't do you any favors in a community, if you see a true threat others wish to ignore. That is the sense of individuality I am enamored with.
This is a good point, imo. I suppose that my pursuit seems somewhat reluctantly individual to me, as in I think it's supposed to be communal, but because I can't find others to live with this way, I am incidentally alone. So saying, it isn't individuality the way that you've described or the incidental kind that I experience, but the seeking after gain and success for oneself alone that bothers me, immensely. From the article, I would simplify its description to darkworking; it is deplorable to me, but useful like the illustration of cancer cells aiding in strengthening the immune system even though they themselves offer nothing of intrinsic value.

I guess I am at a point (knowing this from my own introspection, not because it's universal) where I have to either accept and embrace that incidentally individual pursuit, or fight it, even if just with my mind. I am inclined to embrace, but the real consequences of this in my life are pretty definite and I need to take some time to evaluate and analyse how I might best continue.

I really desire fellows, but if they aren't here or I'm not there, and (some or many of) my present relationships and situation hinder the possibility of finding fellows (which I value, having really no experience irl with having any- so in honest ignorance), then I have some serious work to do.

I am really enjoying this discussion. Thank you so much!
post #30 of 57
It's been such an interesting read. Thank you ladies!

I would like to share a point of view that has not been touched. Grown up in Eastern Asia, I was raised in the non-child-centered way. As a child, I was rarely directly talked to or addressed to. When I spoke up I was often ignored. My role was to be non-intrusive to adults' life. In fact, my childhood experience resembles a lot to what was described about Yequana children. It is not negligence in any way: Asian parents put children's interests as top priority, mine included. It's really only the day-to-day interaction that's not child-centered.

I guess it would work seamlessly in a tribe context, where life happens according to what our body is capable of. I would guess a girl would be cooking meal for the family, caring for young siblings and attend home garden by 10 or 12, and soon after looking for a suitable husband. Same for boys. Adolescence is young adulthood in these society.

However, as per my experience, this mentality in a highly populated modern city is far from perfect. For example, like Yequana children, most of my learning was through observation. Before 5, I couldn't learn how to cook because the kitchen counter was to high for me to see. Fair enough. But then I attended school, which was very demanding in this part of the world. My learning about life ended abruptly at that point, because I couldn't observe anymore. This "non-child-centered" mentality goes beyond toddlerhood. Young people are supposed to learn by observing elders, and trying to do anything different is regarded as inappropriate. Generally speaking, it has tendency to attenuate the sparkle of creativity quite prematurely. The best example is Japan: it's utterly impressive to see so many people jammed together with such a discipline and diligence. I'm not going to say it's a society without creativity: the reality is more complex than that. But creativity and entrepreneurship is certainly NOT highly regarded and appreciated, or even appropriate in many settings.

I digress a little... but the ideal of a tribe environment cannot be without a tightly woven community. I have yet completely grasped the difference Preggie made about different types of "independence": for me all comes down to what you can and cannot do. I completely agree that each individual has immense potential and is capable of much, but the package also comes with known shortcomings such as jealousy, intolerance, and selfishness. These qualities would ideally not work in a community (tribe), but the reality is that everyone is imperfect and the community would tolerate up to a certain extend these non-perfect behavior. I'd say "interdependence" is such a delicate balance that it can either work wonderfully or degenerate fast because of some imperfect behavior, which none of us is immune to.

Another trait from community based society is losing the sense of self, kind of. Life is hard for independent-minded outliners. Look at this, the "mothering.com" community: almost every post is about what I think, what's MY point of view, what was MY experience, etc. When I moved to Canada, I found it shocking that everyone talks about themselves. This is not common in my native culture: everyone talks about what OTHERS do, what OTHERS think, what's said on TV, this is good because so on so did that... Sometimes when overhearing conversations (in Canada), I found it unbelievable how 2 people can have a conversation that sounds like 2 monologue. Absolutely no interchange of acknowledgment about what was said by the other. In my culture it's the complete opposite: you rarely hear personal opinions. People basically take other's life as theirs, and it can be providing help or controlling. I wouldn't say one is better than the other.

Coming from a "tightly woven community", as in my own definition, I found the western society tolerates more "basic" individual difference (for the lack of a better word) than my native culture. I do understand what Preggie said about Canada's institution, but what matters to most is not what's allow by law, but what is really in place. In our day-to-day life we DO have freedom to move around and have an opinion (unlike China). We ARE innocent until proven guilty (unlike France). We CAN marry a darker-skin person (unlike India) or not be pressured to abandon own career once married (unlike Japan). As someone who spent almost equally number of years in 2 sides of the globe, I much prefer here, where the similitude of freedom allows me to grow my garden in my own yard, as opposed to, say, being assigned to take care of the onions in a community garden (which is more efficient!). I'm not allowed a lot of space, and it can potentially be confiscated by law, but at least for the time being it's under my control.

I'm a optimist by choice, and I do find all these theories and thread of thoughts fascinating. There are times I'm deeply saddened by how short sighted and irresponsible we as a society (individuals, institutions, governments) is (I won't say "has become" because I'm really not convinced it was better back then), and how easily we abandon our innate ability such as empathy and reason. However we humans seem to be programmed to have outliners, exactly like many of you here. For me, this is hope. They are people who care to think and make a difference.

Thank you all.

(I'm in fact a long-time lurker... this is by far the longest post I've ever written!)
post #31 of 57
Geekmama, I think your post helped me crystallize the part of interdependence I am reluctant to experience; "expectations". I think these tend to develop in most tightly woven communities; not that any relationship is ever free of expectation completely (well, maybe for some very laid back people) but from what I've seen, the most "cohesive" communities have the most expectations. The Amish, for example, whom I am smack in the middle of; they are very tightly knit, great examples of "community sufficiency" and yet they resort to shunning their own members when expectations are disregarded.

I wonder, Preggiemama, do you think this is simply the case in post-Christ religious communities or do you feel tribal communities had just as much of a "religion"? Would you consider the Hebrew nation "tribal"- I would, and they even identify as being of 12 tribes- and they too, have a LOT of expectations. And yet, talk about cohesiveness! For hundreds of years they were able to maintain a national identity without a homeland- no military attempt to demoralize or control them fully succeeded in dissolving them as is usually the case with other people groups.

I guess I see a lot of "controls" in place to keep people in tightly knit communities and I just have this notion it would have been the same way in tribal life. The whole idea of "elders" making the decisions, while respectable in the sense that they are probably most experienced and full of wisdom, seems to me... potentially snobbish and exclusive? My four year old sometimes has great ideas for how to keep our family running smoothly, but from what Geekmama said, certain cultures (and I am assuming, cultural attitudes/perspectives quite possibly predate "civilization") may not necessarily give equal consideration to a 4 yr old- or a 4 yr old may be conditioned not to voice their opinion.

I guess I am very interested in hearing opinions on the role of religion, beliefs about divinity, "worldview"- whatever you call it in tribal life and how this may have "limited" personal expression in a close knit community.
post #32 of 57
Geekmoma wrote:
Quote:
But then I attended school, which was very demanding in this part of the world. My learning about life ended abruptly at that point, because I couldn't observe anymore.
Are you serious? Was there nothing to observe AT school? Was school really so intense that you never ever got to observe anything at home or in the community anymore?

I went to mediocre American schools where we spent a lot of time being lectured and doing rote work on paper and thinking in abstractions, but we also did occasional "real" things such as making food, sewing, growing plants from seeds, and wiring electrical circuits. We went on field trips where we would see "real" things being done such as running a printing press, shearing sheep, or building a brick wall. There wasn't ENOUGH of that, but it was there. During recess, although many kids did athletics following rules they'd been taught, there was plenty of opportunity for imaginative play, and my friends and I spent a lot of time doing things like pretending to live in a Mexican village and make tortillas out of dirt. School was only 6 hours a day, and then I went home, where I could learn about life by observing my parents and helping them do things, and I think I spent as much time doing that when I was in school as I did in the summer or when I was too young for school--the "extra" time on non-school days usually was spent reading, playing, or watching TV rather than with my parents.

Also, for me school provided an important opportunity to observe other children and their ways. That is how I spent at least half my recess time, when not playing imaginative games: watching and listening to the other kids and trying to figure out why they did what they did. I grew up to become a developmental psychologist. I can't say this was a particularly continuum experience; my school was highly age-stratified, and much of what I was trying to figure out was the different priorities and thought patterns of kids raised in a much less continuum environment than myself. It just strikes me as odd to say that school takes away all opportunities for observation.
post #33 of 57
Forgive me but I am and have been at a loss as to how a tight community squashes one's independence. I can see how that happens yes but to say it will happen or always does.... I really think it is so hard for us to comprehend because we come from a society that revolves around "the one" which I think is just as bad as those societies that do squash independence. I just think there is a happy medium to be reached. But why fear community? Maybe I am reading all of this wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_unlimited
The whole idea of "elders" making the decisions, while respectable in the sense that they are probably most experienced and full of wisdom, seems to me... potentially snobbish and exclusive?
<snip>
I guess I am very interested in hearing opinions on the role of religion, beliefs about divinity, "worldview"- whatever you call it in tribal life and how this may have "limited" personal expression in a close knit community.
But why just in a close knit community? All of the above is already happening here in our "every man for himself" society. Why is there more concern for it when we are talking on a tribal level?

I think for the most part our current sense of independence is an illusion. We're told we have it so we believe we have it. No doubt it could be worse and it has been but I do believe that the best way to independence is to have a good foundation- a good community. We can't be independent on our own. I know, it screams against everything we are but it's how I see it. When you push someone into total independence they are left with fewer options for themselves and find that they are shackled to xyz in order to maintain life. A classic example is motherhood nowadays- when we had a community Mom was allowed to put baby in someone else's arms so she could do whatever it was but in our current society it is somehow wrong for Mom to expect any help from the community so she is left with the duty of child rearing by herself which leaves her less independent all under the guise of more independence. Going more for the extremem has had the oppposite affect on us. Just my thoughts though. I doubt I am even making sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmoma
As a child, I was rarely directly talked to or addressed to. When I spoke up I was often ignored. My role was to be non-intrusive to adults' life
I have yet to read the book so be patient with me but this stood out to me- re: the bolded isn't that everyone's "role"? Well I wouldn't say "role" but I am saying isn't everyone supose to not intrude on other's lives? To me it seems that with these cultures children are simply being taught how to be adults from day one. That's what I like about what I have read thus far about not being child-led *or* parent-led but life-led. How better for our children to learn about life and how to naviagte it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmoma
Adolescence is young adulthood in these society.
I actually find this very refreshing. I do not believe what we have made our older children and teenagers into in this society is good for them. We tend to treat them more like babies then the growing adults they are. I could go on and on about this one but it distresses me that- namely with teenagers- these people are expected to stop themselves from growing up in order to "experience their childhood". IMO- and I am sure many people disagree- the key purpose of gorwing up is to grow up. Adolesense is to learn how to be an adult.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
Again I have not read the book. I am coming at this from what I have been reading on the website and on MDC and also my own thoughts on life and people. I could be way off here so please be patient!

Thanks for letting me ramble.
post #34 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by EnviroBecca View Post
Geekmoma wrote:Are you serious? Was there nothing to observe AT school? Was school really so intense that you never ever got to observe anything at home or in the community anymore?
I admit being a little harsh on the school system over there. The learning about life wasn't reduced to zero, but to a degree that's considerable lower, and absolutely insufficient. I was also only referring to family life: formal institution, such as language and math, replaces almost completely other forms of learning. Yes you can observe teachers at school: but very limited because there are 35+ students per class. Using your example: yes we had science lab about plants and electricity; but we didn't have sewing, cooking, building, or anything that was not "in the exam". Field trip is once a year. Phy-ed and art classes are often used to catch up reading or math class. You know the concept of helicopter parent: over there, that's the norm. Kids from grade 3 are sent to multiple after-school classes including language, math, art, music, and very few free time left. I'm not saying they NEVER just play: but it's not encouraged, and you have guilt trip when playing, and can never have total fun. Write a post about your 3-year-old can do math or read: on a North-American forum, you receive message like "leave the childhoold alone", "stop pushing him", and over there you get "what a great mom you are. I should start teaching mine so he won't be behind". I wouldn't say in practice the difference is this big: everyone does use a lot of common sense in parenting. but the mentality and attitude is strikingly different.

I hope I didn't convey a very negative image of where I'm from. But it was the way most children are raised. We didn't turn out completely crazy or total genius: in most cases we turned out fine, just like people here. I guess what I tried to say is that no system is perfect: everything is a give or take. Some are better than others, but here's nothing absolute.
post #35 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
But why fear community? Maybe I am reading all of this wrong. But why just in a close knit community? All of the above is already happening here in our "every man for himself" society. Why is there more concern for it when we are talking on a tribal level?
Why fear community? Because the consequence of imperfect human behavior is amplified within a tight community. Because others take your life as theirs, and are ready, anytime, to provide help AND impose control. Because there's no room for privacy. Because the day you have a fight with your DP everyone knows and tries to help. Because you can't just make a choice alone: people give their opinion and get offended if you don't listen.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
I think for the most part our current sense of independence is an illusion. We're told we have it so we believe we have it. No doubt it could be worse and it has been but I do believe that the best way to independence is to have a good foundation- a good community.
I guess it's a question of definition and "levels" or degree of independence. In North America, we are definitely in better situation than 80%+ of world population, and personally I feel very privileged and grateful about what I have. I have nothing to envy about other part of the world or life in past generations. However I definitely agree that true independence can never be reached simply because of who we are. We are social animal after all, and a certain form of community and family structure is critical to our well being.

Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
I have yet to read the book so be patient with me but this stood out to me- re: the bolded isn't that everyone's "role"? Well I wouldn't say "role" but I am saying isn't everyone supose to not intrude on other's lives? To me it seems that with these cultures children are simply being taught how to be adults from day one.
I haven't read about the book either. I learned about this only yesterday You're right that being non-intrusive to other's life is what everyone is supposed to be. But the way I was raised, as a child, you are not given a voice. If 2 adults were talking and I wanted to add my opinion about the topic, I would simply be told "don't talk when adults are talking". As in the saying "a child is to be seen not to be heard". There's a profound, generalized condescending attitude toward little people. No, it's not negligence at all: our basic needs were meet. But we didn't really have a say in anything.

I guess I'm again trying to argue nothing is as rosy as it seems. In a non-child-centered culture, generally speaking, you don't take what they have to say seriously. Unless it's a conscience choice. And that's what I see the most important value in the Continuum Concept: it's a conscientious reflection the author made, coming from a child-centered culture, about an alternative way of parenting, which made it absolutely precious. It's only after understand about the pro/cons of both side that you truly grasp what your choice really implies, therefore take the best of the two world.

As I type here, I think the above also applies to community life. It's not the same thing to be just born in a tight community and feel trapped (I do, and I'm thinking momma-unlimited also feel the same way), compare to knowing what not having a community is like and seeking to actively to form one.

Hope i'm making sense..
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmoma View Post
Why fear community? Because the consequence of imperfect human behavior is amplified within a tight community. Because others take your life as theirs, and are ready, anytime, to provide help AND impose control. Because there's no room for privacy. Because the day you have a fight with your DP everyone knows and tries to help. Because you can't just make a choice alone: people give their opinion and get offended if you don't listen.
Yet this happens now in our current society of "independence". The only thing is what has become taboo is help where people actually need it. Does that make sense? My point is that the examples you gave are not exclusive to tight knit communities and they also don't have to be about tight knit communities. You can have a tight knit community with boundaries. In a tight knit family (which I believe to be the most important form of community in this world) you can choose to function on that level where everyone is butting into everyone's business or you could choose to function on a level of privacy.
Quote:
I guess it's a question of definition and "levels" or degree of independence. In North America, we are definitely in better situation than 80%+ of world population,
I would disagree with this in some things. No doubt we are better in a lot of areas but there are some things where we are lacking and can stand for some change. I am uncomfortable with saying we North Americans or even Westerners are better off. A lot of times that is gaged by the things we have (nice cars, big homes, etc) rather than the important things (community, an importance of the family, etc).

Quote:
However I definitely agree that true independence can never be reached simply because of who we are. We are social animal after all, and a certain form of community and family structure is critical to our well being.
This is very interesting to me as as I said in my PP I don't believe independence is what we think it is. And to me that form of independence where we are on our own is not appealing in the least.
Quote:
I haven't read about the book either. I learned about this only yesterday You're right that being non-intrusive to other's life is what everyone is supposed to be. But the way I was raised, as a child, you are not given a voice. If 2 adults were talking and I wanted to add my opinion about the topic, I would simply be told "don't talk when adults are talking". As in the saying "a child is to be seen not to be heard". There's a profound, generalized condescending attitude toward little people. No, it's not negligence at all: our basic needs were meet. But we didn't really have a say in anything.
Ok I totally see what you are saying now and I completely agree. I was raised the same way here in Southern California. I was literally told "children should be seen and not heard" and one of my biggest issues with our society is that children aren't valued- meaning their own view points. They should be! They have a lot to offer to all of us if we'd see them as human beings and not bothersome children. I was confused by your statement because I felt like TCC does allow for children to be viewed as a part of the comminuty (society, family, etc) and not a nuisance.
Quote:
I guess I'm again trying to argue nothing is as rosy as it seems.
This I agree with 120%
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In a non-child-centered culture, generally speaking, you don't take what they have to say seriously.
I don't think so. I mean in some cultures yes I would agree but not being child-led doesn't have to mean ignoring your child. In my mind when they say to be life-led not child or parent-led that means we go through life side by side. It seems like the way you were raised was similiar to the way I was in that it was parent-led or parent-centered. From what I have seen TCC doesn't recommend that. But I could be wrong and if I am and TCC does push for that then, well, it's wrong
Quote:
As I type here, I think the above also applies to community life. It's not the same thing to be just born in a tight community and feel trapped (I do, and I'm thinking momma-unlimited also feel the same way), compare to knowing what not having a community is like and seeking to actively to form one.
I can see where you are coming from here but my issue is that we are defining community too narrowly. There is more potential in a tight knit community then we are recognizing. It doesn't HAVE to be xyz- or like your expereince. The same with not being child-led. As I sais I came from a family definitly NOT child-led but I still feel that not being child-led is good for all involved. However not all un child-led philosophies are the same. I do not view what I have in my mind as meaning getting my kids out of the way but rather focusing on living life together instead of one's needs being over another's. Did that make any sense? I am just meaning community doesn't have to be what that person over there has made it into it can be what we make it into.



Thank you for your reply! You have given me lots of food for thought! :
post #37 of 57
Quote:
Forgive me but I am and have been at a loss as to how a tight community squashes one's independence. I can see how that happens yes but to say it will happen or always does.... I really think it is so hard for us to comprehend because we come from a society that revolves around "the one" which I think is just as bad as those societies that do squash independence.
I don't think anyone said it *always* does- I said I am reluctant because that has been my experience and I have seen it occur; I think geekmama has experienced it and is enjoying the lack thereof.

Quote:
But why just in a close knit community? All of the above is already happening here in our "every man for himself" society. Why is there more concern for it when we are talking on a tribal level?
I guess, within our current society, I don't feel like age, gender, or religious views hinder our ability to have the same voice as our peers; rather, greed and power do. This, to me, is different; I guess I would prefer to acknowledge my voice isn't heard due to corruption, than due to the conscious choice to simply ignore it do to who *I* am, in the context of a caring & supportive community.

Quote:
When you push someone into total independence they are left with fewer options for themselves and find that they are shackled to xyz in order to maintain life. A classic example is motherhood nowadays- when we had a community Mom was allowed to put baby in someone else's arms so she could do whatever it was but in our current society it is somehow wrong for Mom to expect any help from the community so she is left with the duty of child rearing by herself which leaves her less independent all under the guise of more independence.
I agree with you here. And I am not so concerned with "independence" as the word Preggiemama used- "self-expression". I feel like I am more likely to have sufficient opportunity for true self-expression and to develop into who I am uniquely created to be when our family is fairly autonomous and the support community we create for ourselves is always subject to our free choice of being a part of it. Not that we'll make an exit just because people or relationships are hard; but that we have an opportunity to change our community when the enemies of healthy community arise- as they often do!
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
II guess, within our current society, I don't feel like age, gender, or religious views hinder our ability to have the same voice as our peers; rather, greed and power do. This, to me, is different; I guess I would prefer to acknowledge my voice isn't heard due to corruption, than due to the conscious choice to simply ignore it do to who *I* am, in the context of a caring & supportive community.
I think I understand what you are saying here and I still have to disagree. Though yes it is all corruption, IMO, on many different levels. I do see these things as being blocks in our society, though (age, gender, religion, etc etc).

Do you believe these things to be more of an issue in a close knit community? Why?
post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
I do see these things as being blocks in our society, though (age, gender, religion, etc etc).
Do you believe these things to be more of an issue in a close knit community? Why?
I do believe, and supported by personal experience, that the same vise will have its effect amplified in a close knit community simply because of the multiplied number of interaction. For me it's a simple probability problem: the closer we are, the more interaction, the more possibility for conflict.

Of course such an issue will not exist in an ideal community, which I think is yet to exist. If it does, it is probably formed by wise people who know how to avoid slippery roads. Exactly like you said: a tight knit community with boundaries. I would embrace such a community anytime. But I have yet to find it!


Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
No doubt we are better in a lot of areas but there are some things where we are lacking and can stand for some change. I am uncomfortable with saying we North Americans or even Westerners are better off. A lot of times that is gaged by the things we have (nice cars, big homes, etc) rather than the important things (community, an importance of the family, etc).
I completely agree that in NA, our society is far from perfect and we can gain so much learning from the past and from others; it would be regretful and dangerous not to do so. However I do believe having a sense of gratitude toward the things we DO have, is essential to our inner happiness, and it is a conscious choice I do. Objectively speaking, regarding basic needs such as food, water, shelter, security and so on, we are more fortunate than most of the world population (sadly). And I'm grateful. BUT it is not to be confused with inner peace and happiness, which is seriously lacking and often considered equal to material possession, unfortunately.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by geekmoma View Post
I do believe, and supported by personal experience, that the same vise will have its effect amplified in a close knit community simply because of the multiplied number of interaction. For me it's a simple probability problem: the closer we are, the more interaction, the more possibility for conflict.
Conflict yes but segregation by race, age, religion, etc? I don't think so. When we have a broad society it is easier to be placed into different categories that then define who we are to society as a whole. You're black so you are here, you are poor so you are here, you are Muslim so you are here, etc etc. However in a tight knit community there isn't really the possibility to segregate on such a scale (depending on the function of said community). Age, race, gender, etc become irrelevant because the community needs us all to function as a whole. These things become a non-issue when we are together and know each other vs when we are encouraged to separate ourselves from our neighbor and assume things about him/her based on the stereotypes we have formed from our limited encounters. And BTW I don't mean a literal segregation (like AAs to the back of the bus) but rather an underlying truth that is prevalent in our society- some of us grouped into certain categories are viewed and treated differently as a whole in our society. Why? Because we have that luxury to be able to pick and choose who we will associate with and who we won't. Yes, that is nice on an individual level but what that has become for our society is the belief that all poor folk are this all imigrants from Mexico are that, etc. Basically we have stopped looking at the worth of the individual and their possible contribution to our society and instead have lumped groups of people together to dismiss or accept as a whole. People have become dispossible to us. In a tight knit community we couldn't afford to dispose of people like that (not a person or a few people but whole groups of people).

I am sure that made like no sense!
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Of course such an issue will not exist in an ideal community, which I think is yet to exist. If it does, it is probably formed by wise people who know how to avoid slippery roads. Exactly like you said: a tight knit community with boundaries. I would embrace such a community anytime. But I have yet to find it!
Issues will always exist in every socital structure. The point is that we work through them and not expect perfection. There is no utopia and there may well never be but why not try to work towards it? IMO we are doing no better now how things are and we are going down a very destructive path as a society built for the one and not the whole. Might as well attempt to fix things, right? Even on a small level- like forming a group of like minded mamas to interact with- it's something!

Quote:
I completely agree that in NA, our society is far from perfect and we can gain so much learning from the past and from others; it would be regretful and dangerous not to do so. However I do believe having a sense of gratitude toward the things we DO have, is essential to our inner happiness, and it is a conscious choice I do. Objectively speaking, regarding basic needs such as food, water, shelter, security and so on, we are more fortunate than most of the world population (sadly). And I'm grateful. BUT it is not to be confused with inner peace and happiness, which is seriously lacking and often considered equal to material possession, unfortunately.
I can see this but I don't see the benefit in saying we are better than aother country or x% of other countries. I can be greatful without downplaying the worth of my neighbors, ykwim?
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