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#31 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 08:30 AM
 
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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.
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#32 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 12:44 PM
 
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Geekmoma wrote:
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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.

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#33 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 01:12 PM
 
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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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#34 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 02:08 PM
 
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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.
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#35 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 03:04 PM
 
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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.

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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.

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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..
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#36 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 03:30 PM
 
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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.
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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).

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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.
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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.
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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
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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! :

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#37 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 04:23 PM
 
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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.

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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.

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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!
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#38 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 04:40 PM
 
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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?

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#39 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 06:17 PM
 
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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!


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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.
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#40 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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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!

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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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#41 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 07:17 PM
 
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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?
No, we are not better, we are just luckier. There are people who live through war, hunger, epidemic and I have ultimate respect for those people doing their best to provide for their family. None of this is their fault. I can't imagine, say, having to give my children away because I fear for my own life. I came from there, I'm still one of them, but because of a freak of nature I'm here with enough food and shelter for my family. I'm grateful.

So no downplaying at all. Sorry it was interpreted not quite as I intended.
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Though yes it is all corruption, IMO, on many different levels.
Well... on the one hand, when greed and power are subduing your voice, it's easy to see it for what it is and raise people up against it. When the attitude is more "this is the way it's always been, you will have your turn someday soon", I think it's harder to change.

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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?
Well, to the extent that some people view you in terms of age, gender, religion- yes, they can always be blocks. But in general our culture actively promotes the ideals of celebrating diversity and tolerance- I hear about these things all the time, in a positive light. The close knit communities I have been around (cultural, and relgious) do not look on others with a tolerant eye, but rather, with a focus on what is "not like" them- often with a tinge of suspicion or disapproval.

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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.
But what about the way members of the tribe view OUTSIDERS! I mean, Mexicans may be stereotyped by non-Mexicans, but the Mexicans aren't so much stereotyping each other. Here, poor people identify with each other; they don't stereotype each other (well I'm sure there are some exceptions). The obvious difficulty in dealing with a "melting pot" society is coming to terms with the various differences amongst us; some will do this in a healthy way, others will not... but within a tribe or very close knit community you often lack either the opportunity or the desire to encounter these differences and utterly "foreign" perspectives on living. And, from what I've heard/seen, while you may still be useful to your community, your personal weaknesses may still become the tokens or nickname by which people identify you; it is human nature to classify and stereotype, in the same way that perhaps your socio-economic status can be nowadays. I'd rather be known as a Puerto-Rican than as a finger-toed farter (just pulling this out of nowhere, to illustrate a point).

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Even on a small level- like forming a group of like minded mamas to interact with- it's something!
I agree this is a goal to pursue. Do you think a "natural mama tribe" would be very different in structure than a "tribe"? A tribe may share qualities associated with religious ideas and occupation and geography, but they would inevitably have very different interests... which would be important to their survival. Whereas the entire idea of likeminded communities would be to cull together people who had your same interests... I've had this idea, but then have been left wondering- if I really want to improve things, and I'm truly community minded, I will just go out and comingle with ALL mommas, even those who patronize McDonalds and left their kids CIO. Not that I will condone those things; but that I will meet them where they are at and let them meet me where I am at. ??
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#43 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 10:49 PM
 
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Well... on the one hand, when greed and power are subduing your voice, it's easy to see it for what it is and raise people up against it. When the attitude is more "this is the way it's always been, you will have your turn someday soon", I think it's harder to change.
Oh heck yes! I absolutely agree!
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Well, to the extent that some people view you in terms of age, gender, religion- yes, they can always be blocks. But in general our culture actively promotes the ideals of celebrating diversity and tolerance-
I am going to have to strongly disagree with this. It may be what we hear preached from the rooftops but it isn't what we practice, sadly. That's a whole other thread!
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But what about the way members of the tribe view OUTSIDERS! I mean, Mexicans may be stereotyped by non-Mexicans, but the Mexicans aren't so much stereotyping each other. Here, poor people identify with each other; they don't stereotype each other (well I'm sure there are some exceptions). The obvious difficulty in dealing with a "melting pot" society is coming to terms with the various differences amongst us; some will do this in a healthy way, others will not... but within a tribe or very close knit community you often lack either the opportunity or the desire to encounter these differences and utterly "foreign" perspectives on living. And, from what I've heard/seen, while you may still be useful to your community, your personal weaknesses may still become the tokens or nickname by which people identify you; it is human nature to classify and stereotype, in the same way that perhaps your socio-economic status can be nowadays. I'd rather be known as a Puerto-Rican than as a finger-toed farter (just pulling this out of nowhere, to illustrate a point).
I do agree with you here. But I am not too keen on becoming EXACTLY like these preindustrial tribes. Tribal life, yes, after a fashion but not to be taken literal. We have evolved and come into things that are great and I would like to be able to take that with us which is why I prefer community over tribe. Ok did that make any sense at all?

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I agree this is a goal to pursue. Do you think a "natural mama tribe" would be very different in structure than a "tribe"? A tribe may share qualities associated with religious ideas and occupation and geography, but they would inevitably have very different interests... which would be important to their survival. Whereas the entire idea of likeminded communities would be to cull together people who had your same interests... I've had this idea, but then have been left wondering- if I really want to improve things, and I'm truly community minded, I will just go out and comingle with ALL mommas, even those who patronize McDonalds and left their kids CIO. Not that I will condone those things; but that I will meet them where they are at and let them meet me where I am at. ??
So basically what you said in the beginning here is what I meant up there. As for the last bit I absolutely agree which is why I would like to... straddle the divide? I am unwilling to give up on this culture I was raised in. I think it needs a dissenting voice or 2 or 500,000. Then again as people we need some sort of community closer than what is currently offered us. A place to recharge in a sense. So no though I would love to move off and be a part of some glorious community and never have to deal with this crap here again the truth is the harder I push the better our current society can become.

I hope that all made sense. I am exhausted today.

geekmoma~ sorry I didn't mean to imply you were looking down your nose at other cultures or anything!! I know you aren't it just was worded wrong.

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#44 of 57 Old 06-12-2009, 12:37 AM
 
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As for the last bit I absolutely agree which is why I would like to... straddle the divide? I am unwilling to give up on this culture I was raised in. I think it needs a dissenting voice or 2 or 500,000. Then again as people we need some sort of community closer than what is currently offered us. A place to recharge in a sense.
This is the tune my heart is beating along with right now. I have been rather isolated for a while, because I think it was a time in my life where I really needed to figure out who I am and gain some perspective on how I can be who I am and still get along with others who are not like me. At this point, rather than forming a natural mothering group (which I did attempt, but somehow it didn't end up "flowing"), I am signing up for state programs that offer mothering support and "playdates", as well as child development programs. I realize I may completely disagree with many of the ideas presented to me, but- I agree with the fundamental premise of "support" for mother and child, and perhaps in some small way I can connect and impact those I meet. It's my social experiment- we'll see how it goes!
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MAMAS!!! You DO make sense and your discussion is full of life and passion!!! It is a joy to read and participate with you. PLEASE stop downplaying your expressions. This is a discussion and not a comprehensive treatise on the subjects mentioned. I think we all know that we are not covering every detail of every aspect of what matters to us, so please, please, please, presume the value and sense in what you are sharing! IF something isn't coming through clearly, then we can ask questions and move forward in understanding together.

I am reading a book called Work Left Undone by Sally Morgan Reis, which is no doubt why I'm noticing this . In it, the author outlines the many and various ways that gifted and talented women diminish their expressions and the many and various reasons why they do it. So forgive my insistence, but it is rather clear to me that the mamas who've participated in this thread are all more than just capable of relating and discussing the topics here mentioned!

We are sensible and sensitive, instinctive, intuitive and intelligent mamas. Can we discuss this with personal and mutually understood confidence? :


*****************


I wanted to add to the discussion that my preference for how this would work as community living is not in the context of a tribe- which I really cannot have given the lack of familial bonding and such- is of family (nuclear or extended or whatever form chosen by its members) units living in a village setting, sharing and living together. I wouldn't want to emulate a group or commune-type setting wherein I am indentured or submitted.

From my present perspective, I think this is possible. I would have no desire to make decisions that directly affect another family without a complete mutual desire to do so, and voting and committees seldom achieve that.

Practically, I would like to buy a gigantic plot of land, parcel it and live next to, but not looking into the windows of, my friends' homes. I would still prefer some space between my home and that of others. I still want to explore and accomplish distinctly idiosyncratic pursuits. I imagine sharing possessions but retaining ownership, sharing and trading homegrown foods and wild caught game, learning new skills with others who are interested, building together, managing waste together, raising our own animals,. but sharing the benefits as mush as each desires to do so, and not more. I would not want anyone to feel or be coerced or compelled, but each giving and receiving according to his and her own desires and needs.

I know that may seem impossible, but I don't think it is. I think that if people have adequate privacy and adequate communal bonding activities, then boundaries can be known and respected, needs met, desires fulfilled (maybe not every one all the time, but they can be at the right times), friendhship, fellowship and community truly can happen. I think that it is possible to live peaceably with others.

If I stop believing that, I'm not sure how I could live- not as in a nihilistic way, but a completely lost way. I don't know how else to view the potential of human beings within the context of the universe and all it contains. To not believe this would literally wipe out every belief I have at my very core.

So, I'm going with it. Maybe alone in my locality, but I can't do anything else. It is too deeply ingrained in me and no less than every other aspect obvious to my identity.

How's that for passion?

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#46 of 57 Old 06-12-2009, 12:45 PM
 
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I wanted to add to the discussion that my preference for how this would work as community living is not in the context of a tribe- which I really cannot have given the lack of familial bonding and such- is of family (nuclear or extended or whatever form chosen by its members) units living in a village setting, sharing and living together. I wouldn't want to emulate a group or commune-type setting wherein I am indentured or submitted.

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#47 of 57 Old 06-12-2009, 11:09 PM
 
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Preggie, what you described is not what I'd call a tight knit community. It seems completely feasible in Canada (but not in densely populated Asia or other places... another privileged NA has), and I have seen small communities in remote regions that do live similar to this. The only "problem" they have is that there is always someone in the neighbourhood that doesn't fit in, and keep doing things like polluting, stealing, outright lying, despite being warned multiple times. But they are minority, of course.

Good luck pursuing your dream... that's what keeps us going, right? Once you succeed, I'll be moving next to you in no time! (I wish it is this easy...)

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Originally Posted by momma_unlimited View Post
I am signing up for state programs that offer mothering support and "playdates", as well as child development programs. I realize I may completely disagree with many of the ideas presented to me, but- I agree with the fundamental premise of "support" for mother and child, and perhaps in some small way I can connect and impact those I meet. It's my social experiment- we'll see how it goes!
It sounds like an excellent idea. My personal experience is that you may be surprised by the existence of mom like you in your neighbourhood... Yes they do exist, and probably have been hiding like you, but it's such a pleasure once you discover each other. There are still many that don't click with me... but that's life, right?
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#48 of 57 Old 06-13-2009, 05:41 AM
 
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Preggie, what you described is not what I'd call a tight knit community.
I couldn't knit others to me, but it's my hope and dream that in attaining this way of life, we would knit ourselves closely, voluntarily, compelled intrinsically, in recognition of our ultimate and universal connection. I'm not sure what's closer than that. I couldn't have retrospectively intimate relationships, but I can endeavour to build them now.

I do know that work and morals come up frequently amongst people who are sharing. It will take an enormous amount of trust and intuition to find one another in this, whoever is searching for me as I (and my family) search for her and him. I don't know how we'll find one another, but I hope that we do, and when we do, I am sure that these issues can be surmounted if necessary. I tend to think that given my own perspective, I would attract like people.

The difficulty is that the finding is seldom that simple. I am married and we have children and that necessitates a whole set of considerations. My dh and I have had opposite reactions to people in the past (which has led to me being the one we defer to...). I have very strong intuition about people. I've never been surprised (either when a person presents a high level of consciousness or when someone exposes his or her low one, and everything in between); this maybe the only beneficial result of growing up with addicts and in impoverished neighbourhoods (and shelters).

I have assumed that when the time comes, we'll act according to the present circumstances. I really can't do anything else. Living in the city in the suburbs really doesn't resolve these issues, and living isolated in the woods brings other issues.

What other consideration can I make?

So our continuum has to now include a lot of disjointed upbringings. If that has hindered me, how else can I move forward except by trying to reclaim what I missed? I never had a close-knit anything until I had my own children. My growing family is the first set of authentic and healthy (well, mostly- still growing and changing) relationships I've ever had, and it's the same for my dh.

Personally, I need to construct a family around mine to capture some or as much of as possible, what we don't presently have. We need a community of people who are adopters and adoptees alike. We live in a remote place where most people's relatives don't also live. It is hugely immigrant or migrant populated, us included, and it is also a very progressive and open-minded group overall, so this is promising to us.

The city we drive into for goods wins a breastfeeding challenge every year because we have the most women who do per capita in Canada. I see babies in slings every time we go into town. The last place we lived I was stopped in a store and when a young woman asked me what I did to put my baby on like that, she was 'informed' by the person a feet away that 'it's just like the negroes do in Africa when they work in the fields'.

I thought I was going to throw up, but instead I responded that African women in certain places do sling their babies, and those women who do have been my source and inspiration to do so myself. I received polite smiles, and it was obvious to me that they were well-meaning, but just ignorant. Btw, I have a european background and my skin is only slightly darker than my very English husband's skin. I'm clearly not one of the women they were referring to (so they assumed I would be fine with that explanation...?), and the point of this is that here, I cannot even imagine that sort of comment. Sling comments are like, "What a beautiful sling! Did you make it?/Who made it?"

Anyway, we came here on purpose and for this reason. It is a very different sort of people who come here to live, in general. People without work ethic don't live in the woods, so it's a selection method to do so (we do)- at least for that.

It's ridiculously late for me... sigh.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#49 of 57 Old 06-14-2009, 03:46 PM
 
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Sound like a great place to live where you are! I didn't know it is such a progressive, liberal and open-minded mentality. I would have never imagine this for a place like yours. My definition of tight-knit community was more, eh, traditional, whereas yours is on the ... metaphysical side?

: about the sling comment: I would be too shocked to say anything meaningful. Never someone has said something any remotely like that to me. But my appearance is as (insert Asian emo-icon here) as it gets, which probably played a role...

I think it takes a certain courage to be outspoken about one's non-mainstream dream or beliefs. I used to be quite forthright about my crunchy tendency, but recently have backed up a lot. I sense for some, my straightforward speech sounds patronizing, even though it was never my intention. I am guessing probably they are feeling uncomfortable about the bit of truth in what I say (for example, regarding AP), but don't want to change the easier way they have always been doing. I cannot know for sure since they never confront me, just move away... One sad episode was about a previously mainstream friend, to whom I did the whole speech about AP (bf, cd, baby-warining, etc) when she was pregnant, and completely sold about my approach and was eager to try it. When she had her baby, she had problems with BF for the first few weeks (nurses gave baby bottle . Her DH told me she cried often, saying why her friend (me) could do so much, and she couldn't even breastfeed her own daughter. It was heartbreaking for me to hear : . She lived 2000km away at the time, so I couldn't really provide any help besides phone calls and emails. BUT a good ending about this story is that she was able to "wean" her daughter from formula bottles at 1.5m and was exclusively breastfeeding her from 2-6m. I was so proud of her!

Since then I quieted down a lot. When I had to explain baby wearing or EC, I often (shamefully) say it's part of my culture to avoid skepticism and confrontation. It was completely untrue: I didn't get them from my family at all. I backed down into my cocoon and assuming that searching out for connection is useless. Until recently I showed up at mommy club, and out of 40+ moms, the connection I found with 1 mom was enough for me to feel delighted and not isolated anymore. :

It has been a fascinating thread. I think it was magstphil who said our society made it taboo to offer and accept help? You are absolutely right. Ideology debate put aside, this thread inspired me to call my friend/neighbor, whose son is sick, to offer some help. Of course she thanked me and politely refused my help but I am still glad I did it.
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#50 of 57 Old 06-14-2009, 04:07 PM
 
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It has been a fascinating thread. I think it was magstphil who said our society made it taboo to offer and accept help? You are absolutely right. Ideology debate put aside, this thread inspired me to call my friend/neighbor, whose son is sick, to offer some help. Of course she thanked me and politely refused my help but I am still glad I did it.
So funny you bring this up! I just had two family friends come over and help a bit here. I am on bedrest and not suppose to cook or clean but it's hard not having help and no matter how loudly I preach it I just have the hardest time asking for help. I find that I am humiliated by it. Not that I think I am any better than anyone else it's just that I have this feirce independence and needing help just kills me!! Anyway last night I swallowed my pride and instead of refusing the offer of help said "ok, that sounds good". Oh man that was sooooo hard!!! But I need to understand it is ok. And I know if anyone else needed the help I do I'd be there in a heart beat so why can't I be ok with needing help?

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#51 of 57 Old 06-16-2009, 04:41 AM
 
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Hey Ladies-

Had to add this in here- http://christopherushomeschool.typep...m-concept.html.

Insightful (to me anyways!) discussion... I thought this summed up what I was trying to say earlier in a more eloquent way...

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So one of my problems with Liedloff is the core upon which she sets out her work - as a materialist, her methods are based on what I would see as a very limited understanding of human development (if human beings are spiritual beings, then a way of understanding development which takes no notice of the spiritual element is of course going to be restricted). 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. 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.
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#52 of 57 Old 06-16-2009, 01:51 PM
 
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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.

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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.

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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.

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#53 of 57 Old 06-16-2009, 04:27 PM
 
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Hey, about helping: We have a friend who doesn't have a car and often calls us to ask for a ride when he wants to buy something big. He called on Sunday, and we said we were too busy. By yesterday evening, I had thought of something I wanted to buy in the same neighborhood, so I called to see if he still needed a ride, even though I felt so busy and stressed that it seemed silly to take on extra time and complication. Well, I'm so glad I did it! : Even though I spent a lot more time waiting for him than doing my own errand, it was fun being involved in helping him choose things and seeing him so happy with what he got. Stocking up on clothes was a big deal for him because he's so thrifty, these were the first new clothes he'd bought in 14 years, and he'd managed to pick just the right time for clothes he liked at good prices. I love clothes-shopping but don't need any clothes right now, so this gave me a "fix" while helping my friend and getting to spend time with him (good conversation in the car) even though my week is "too busy for socializing." Oh, and I took his cash and used my credit card to earn extra Target Points. So it was a pleasant evening of connecting with one person in my "village", despite all the 21st-century big-corporation experiences involved. Kind of cool.

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#54 of 57 Old 06-16-2009, 09:22 PM
 
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Geekmoma, a treasure from Marianne Williamson in response to your last heart-felt and vulnerable post:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us.

We ask, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you.

We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

I do love this quotation. I might use some different words, but I can't imagine a person who couldn't interpret this to her or his own benefit. As I understand it, I believe it is true, and true freedom awaits our recognition of its reality, not a striving after freedom as though it didn't already exist in abundance.

Let your light shine, mamas (including you, geekmoma)!

Well, I've been absent for 8 months, and during that time, it turns out that I have completely transformed. You are all precious. Thank you for being here and sharing your lives. You are truly a gift. namaste.gif Jan. 23, 2012

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#55 of 57 Old 06-16-2009, 11:39 PM
 
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Wow we took away such different things from this- so interesting to read your take.

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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.
Hmm, I guess within the context of this blog I took this to mean that JL studied only what she saw in the material world to form her conclusions, whereas an anthroposophical approach would involve spiritual science- utilizing faculties of the soul which a more scientific approach would ignore- for both observation and drawing conclusions. Probably your husband is right about the exact classification...

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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.
I don't think the author meant to suggest that our babies' physical needs differ presently from earlier times, but their rather, their metaphysical needs do. At least, that was what I took away from the post. Re-reading it, she says "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".

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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.
I thought it was a very specific correlation made about taking the "concept" of "the innate wisdom of children" and translating it, in practice, to allowing children to dictate everyday matters... I also think after reading the book it can be tempting to doubt your own ability to distinguish your children's needs, as beings so "immersed" in our non-authentic culture, and to believe that since they have not been so tainted by modern life, they (our children)would be a guide in telling us what they need. To some extent this is true; from infancy our children give us cues and we "read" their behaviour to detect their needs. But, I believe we are to be more to them than physical protectors who simply allow them to grow however they so should please so long as no bodily harm or property damage occurs. I believe they have much more complex needs in the arena of soul/spirit and seek guidance and correction which we intuitively, as their mothers, can offer which they do not know how to ask for (verbally or non), or even know their need for it exists.

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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 doubt anyone with anthroposphic leanings would advocate tabula rasa; my guess would be that the author believes we carry MUCH within our consciousness that is "sleeping" from previous lives, and we can help awaken these things... in fact it would be our mission to do so.
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#56 of 57 Old 06-17-2009, 01:05 AM
 
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EnviroBecca- great story! Sounds like you did use your time wisely. This isn't nearly as interesting but today I picked up my neighbor's favorite brand of tp while out grocery shopping and she picked up my raw milk for me at a local farm in the opposite direction... =) Always satisfying to meet the needs of others and in turn have needs we may not have known existed get met.
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#57 of 57 Old 06-18-2009, 12:38 AM
 
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This is a completely off-topic personal note, but I guess a "thank you" note is never redundant

Thank you Preggie for the quote, and everyone who have contributed to this thread. I'm going through a low moment of my life (depression, stress, anxiety) and have done more introspect reflection and soul searching in the past month than during the past 10 years. I have spent most of my life as (and to become) a trained scientist (ie a ultimate materialist ), and have seriously neglected the spirituality side of me which has shrunk into some unrecognizable form... By a pure chance I stumble across this thread, and it has provided a much needed terrain for thoughts and personal reflection.

I am definitely going to read up on Anthroposophy: I was beyond shocked to find how its underlying philosophy corresponds with my own personal belief.
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