I guess I should be clear that even in my admiration for the insights of JL, I don't follow any prescribed method of parenting. Certainly my own thoughts and actions tend in ways that philosophers have already identified and incorporated into their systems, but I am not a system and don't rely on any one to fully inform my thoughts and actions. I am, myself, not a materialist (obviously). I default to my own consciousness (reeeally not materialist!!!) and if that aligns with the expressions and observations of others, fine, but unlike many mamas, I am not apt to take a set of rubrics from a system and use them to guide my life. Deep breath...
I also think that it is difficult to reconcile the notion of instinct with materialism, not impossible, but difficult and requires much stretching. If JL is a materialist, she would have to do a lot of fancy moves to reconcile her observation of instinct. My dh thinks that if anything, she may be materialist in her approach to science, but that otherwise he figures her conclusions could tend toward rationalism, but definitely not purist materialism.
I understand that most scientists are materialists, but not all, and certainly JL would not be able to be in agreement with most of them given her conclusions. I just don't see the possibility of raw materialism in her work.
|And this is the basis of her work - that human consciousness is a continuum and that modern babies carry their needs which were formulated in the dawn of human awakening with them. Anthroposophy, on the other hand, tells us that human beings, most importantly, human consciousness, has developed over the millennia and that our present modern consciousness is worlds away from that of previous eras or epochs.
This need not be a distinction at all though. It can be both, and I believe it is. Even in observing the natural world of which we are part, I can see a continuum that is not exclusively human. Raising baby animals really drives this home.
We raised our goslings with the same attention to care and meeting needs that we have in raising our boys because they are babies too and they had no mother, so we filled in as well as we could. That necessitated listening to them and learning their needs. While they seemed far less complex than those of our children, their expressions were distinct from the moment they arrived and they developed communication according to our nurturing as well as to their species' continuum (which I do think is far greater than materialism can account for).
The issue I have with making such a claim is that as far as makes sense to me, all babies, human or not, require specific care. Those beings who are classified as mammals have a tendency to nurture in ways that reptiles typically do not. I think that as human beings, whenever and however we came into being as such, our babies have always needed basically the same things. I don't believe based on my own observations that any human babies have ever not needed the basic care they do now- food, closeness, shelter, etc... and whatever other more specific needs they have as individual babies would have always occurred too. Even our two geese have distinct needs apart from their species-common ones.
I guess apart from asserting the inadequacy of materialism, the only true issue that merits further consideration imo is that mothers who 'follow' TCC become doormats to their children, which she admits is the opposite of what JL advocates. JL doesn't give much direction in her writing to a method
at all (which is why she called it a concept and not a method, I figure), let alone one that would tend toward this, so mothers who end up in that situation have missed the point, imo.
If they are not mothering according to the authentic basic and authentic specific needs of their children and families, then they might expect an imbalance, no? I really don't see how the author's experience with seeing mothers who claim to be 'following' TCC as being imbalanced expresses anything about the actual concepts involved in JL's research. Obviously the women she studied were not following any method. They were just being and she qualified their actions, and summed it all up as pertaining to a concept, in a book. Trying to reconcile it all in reverse, beginning with an imbalanced approach to mothering, is absurd imo.
|Liedloff says that what we need to do is to get in touch with our innate wisdom that has been programmed (sic) into us and which is wise. Anthroposophy tells us that we no longer hear the voices of the ancestors and that our task as modern free human beings is to develop heart-warmed thinking which will help us form the correct conclusions.
Okay, this is interesting, but without any explanation of 'heart-warmed' which I cannot see as being distinct from ancestral care of human babies (or even animals who are depressed upon losing a baby and birds who will not lay any more eggs if their eggs are taken, as very simplistic examples), I would call the author's treatment a false dichotomy
I find that my own mothering, upon reflecting on the 'sides' presented here, falls well within both
and not straddling or dipping into, but nearly fully within the parameters of both, as presented, minus the assertion that we have no innate wisdom, which is absurd to me as well (incidentally, the idea that children are born to reinvent the wheel cannot be proven in any theoretical or actual way with materialism, so if JL were a materialist, she would not advocate innate wisdom or instinct).
Further, the author presents a philosophical stance that advocates infants as tabula rasa upon birth- no innate wisdom- which is just as limiting a perspective as the one she claims JL has expressed in regard to human development. It is really a veiled presentation of the 'nature vs nurture' argument, which I also think is a false dichotomy.
I actually thought I understood better your position before this quotation. I think you have expressed your philosophy more clearly than the author of the article, personally. The article from which the above quotation derives is fraught with philosophical contradiction and logical fallacies, however well-intentioned.
I'm not meaning to seem harsh, but I honestly think your own explanations on this thread have been far more cohesively aligned and logically presented than in the article you linked.
Perhaps there is more to it that assumes previous agreement? Maybe you have another article I could read that explains in more detail? I can see how if you believe tabula rasa, instinct would mean something completely different and innate wisdom from ancestral influence impossible, but how would you reconcile that with collective human consciousness? I don't get it.