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#1 of 57 Old 05-13-2009, 06:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would like to know what it is all about, but I can't find the book at my local library and don't have a car during the day to go further than that to find it. I also can't afford to buy the book this month so if anyone would spend a minute to give me their view of it that would be awesome!

I want to do a poll about it, too, but need to know more about it first.
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#2 of 57 Old 05-13-2009, 06:41 PM
 
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I would like to know what it is all about, but I can't find the book at my local library and don't have a car during the day to go further than that to find it. I also can't afford to buy the book this month so if anyone would spend a minute to give me their view of it that would be awesome!

I want to do a poll about it, too, but need to know more about it first.
Here you go: http://www.continuum-concept.org/cc_defined.html. Poke around that site, you'll get a ton of info about it.

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#3 of 57 Old 05-13-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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That's a nice intro link Laura

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#4 of 57 Old 05-13-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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I totally agree with the points listed on the above link. That part of the book I thought was good, although nothing you couldn't get in any pro-attachment parenting book.

It's been several years since I've read it, but I seem to remember two areas in which the book lost my respect: One was this idea that trying to keep kids safe is hindering their development. Now, I think I get the general point she is making, and we are parents who let our kids use matches and axes and the like while under parental supervision. However, I am not cool with the whole "let them burn their hand on the fire once and they learn that fire is hot." When using the axe, we have a rule that our son must have shoes on. I'm not willing to let him hack his foot off just so he learns that you should be wearing shoes when you use an axe.

Second, there was a bit of a snotty attitude in the book about how if you aren't allowing your child total freedom that you are screwing up your kid. There didn't seem to be any sort of allowance for the fact that most of us are not living in tribes in remote jungle areas. We are living in a fast paced, modern world, and as unfortunate as it is, many of the principles don't apply here. We don't have a tribe of elders to teach our kids survival skills, we don't have a tribe of other mothers to step in when we're sick or the kid has been up all night, and we don't have a tribe of other parents looking out for our kid when they wander off into the woods.

Anyhow, I wouldn't hurt yourself trying to get a copy. It's okay, but I think there are a lot better natural parenting/instinctual parenting/attachment parenting books out there.
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#5 of 57 Old 05-13-2009, 09:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So how do TCC, attachment parenting and consenual parenting mostly differ and where are they the same?

I don't know where to start with the continuum concept. I think I have been very child-focused, I guess it came from changing my life around for the baby? I was a very attached mommy from the start, she was always in arms or in a sling. I guess I just learned to drop everything for her needs and that has been fine and I thought it was working like it should. I get compliments from strangers about how well-behaved she is, how sweet and friendly she is and I guess I just thought that the demanding stuff was just toddler stuff. But if it's not then I want to do what I can to change my behavior for all of our best interest. I don't want to raise a me-me daughter and I don't want to be child-centered if there is a better way to be doing things.

Sorry if that was disjointed!
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#6 of 57 Old 05-13-2009, 09:43 PM
 
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FYI, Dr. Sears started his career with a 'guidebook' to the Continuum Concept. Apparently it sucks, but it was the start of his Attachment Parenting crusade. Basically, he stole JL's ideas (and screwed them up, IMO).

There is a TCC tribal thread in this forum as well. I'll see if I can find and bump it up for you.

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#7 of 57 Old 05-18-2009, 12:53 PM
 
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FWIW, my journey starts with TCC for the babies and moves on to Consensual Living as they get older and they become better able to express their needs and wants with words, if that makes sense.

In other words, as babies I wear them in the sling all the time, co-sleep, breastfeed, etc. As toddlers they work next to me, but as they start getting interests that are different from mine, I work on saying yes as much as I can and finding consensual solutions when I just can't say yes.

I see them as very compatible philosophies.

As far as attachment parenting goes, that started from TCC. I have the first Sears book, its title is "Creative Parenting: How to use the new continuum concept to raise children successfully from birth to adolescence." It is now out of print, but I bought it second hand b/c I wanted to see if he ever gives Liedloff any credit. He gives her none. It's like he just created the idea of "the new continuum concept" out of thin air.

Be that as it may, he certainly brought an idea that seemed far-fetched at the time and introduced it in a much more mainstream-friendly way. I owe The Baby Book and Mothering Magazine a huge debt of gratitude for giving me the only support I could find when my conditioning came up against my instincts

So TCC is where Attachment Parenting came from, and I see Consensual Living as an extension of those.

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#8 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 12:46 AM
 
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I totally agree with the points listed on the above link. That part of the book I thought was good, although nothing you couldn't get in any pro-attachment parenting book.
I have read many pro-attachment books, but none so far have expressed the benefit of not being child-centered to the child, family and community, which TCC does and very well from the perspective of what is normal human development rather than what is 'best' and so on down the list of 'options', imo.

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It's been several years since I've read it, but I seem to remember two areas in which the book lost my respect: One was this idea that trying to keep kids safe is hindering their development. Now, I think I get the general point she is making, and we are parents who let our kids use matches and axes and the like while under parental supervision. However, I am not cool with the whole "let them burn their hand on the fire once and they learn that fire is hot." When using the axe, we have a rule that our son must have shoes on. I'm not willing to let him hack his foot off just so he learns that you should be wearing shoes when you use an axe.

Second, there was a bit of a snotty attitude in the book about how if you aren't allowing your child total freedom that you are screwing up your kid. There didn't seem to be any sort of allowance for the fact that most of us are not living in tribes in remote jungle areas. We are living in a fast paced, modern world, and as unfortunate as it is, many of the principles don't apply here. We don't have a tribe of elders to teach our kids survival skills, we don't have a tribe of other mothers to step in when we're sick or the kid has been up all night, and we don't have a tribe of other parents looking out for our kid when they wander off into the woods.
Something that I've realised about my own response to books is that, given that they are well-written, well-researched and relevant, timing is everything because my life at that time is the context within which I understand what is being shared.

So saying, TCC came to my hands at precisely the right time for me to respond openly to the ideas and huge paradigm shifts that I've endeavoured to enact since reading it. My research had brought me to a place where I was primed for the information, so it was a seamless sort of incorporation into my mentality. Had I read it four years earlier, I'm not sure how it would have come across to me.

I honestly didn't find anything snotty at all in it, but I am also not very emotionally-driven (have no idea if you are or not) and enjoyed the academic treatment of the subjects she covered and the research she shared. Ironically, I am more intellectually-driven, but have been trimming that back as I allow my instinct to take it's proper place.

The other thing is that, like you, I won't be allowing my babies to hold large knives. In a tribal setting, babies receive an inordinate amount of information relating to the activities of their people. My children see me use a knife a few times each day. The older three are just now learning how to use bush knives, and have had blunt, dull butter knives for food since they were 18 months old. The lack of incidental information through passive learning means that I do have safeguards and limits to what my dc can handle.

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So how do TCC, attachment parenting and consenual parenting mostly differ and where are they the same?

I don't know where to start with the continuum concept. I think I have been very child-focused, I guess it came from changing my life around for the baby? I was a very attached mommy from the start, she was always in arms or in a sling. I guess I just learned to drop everything for her needs and that has been fine and I thought it was working like it should. I get compliments from strangers about how well-behaved she is, how sweet and friendly she is and I guess I just thought that the demanding stuff was just toddler stuff. But if it's not then I want to do what I can to change my behavior for all of our best interest. I don't want to raise a me-me daughter and I don't want to be child-centered if there is a better way to be doing things.
This was me and I am still in transition. I cannot figure out how to function without community, mothering four children in the ways that I believe are beneficial and natural to all of us. How can we do this alone?

Our life is so non-mainstream that even people who support our way of life consider us pioneers and trail-blazers (how odd since we just want to live like human beings and it seems the road is a long way back...). That's a lonely place to be. We are trying to find like-minded folk, which is how we've met supportive people, but it is hard to find truly willing people.

I enjoyed the book immensely and found that many missing pieces of my own puzzle were found and filled in.

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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#9 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 01:19 AM
 
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Has anyone read Connection Parenting? I just saw it was recommended on the TCC listserv.

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#10 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 08:52 AM
 
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I certainly value TCC's anthropological presentation of parenting and feel that my ancestors certainly may have possessed more common sense and instinct about how they parented. I'm glad I read it, and I think it was a very important reminder of how we don't need all the materialistic baby things so prevalent today- but I also believe there is a reason why we have moved from tribal living to smaller family units (the ability to express individuality & have more personal autonomy, and not be stuck in superstitions or "this is the way its always been done", for starters). If I remember correctly the thing I disliked about TCC was a sense of "how can we recreate the conditions of our tribal counterparts", which left me feeling frustrated- I would prefer to integrate compassionate parenting practices in the society I am a part of- and a constant reference to the theory of evolution, often cited as a force behind why TCC was important (its part of our evolutionary makeup, if we stray from it we stray from the human blueprint kinda idea). I believe in a Creator and I would rather look to how God treats me as a guide for how to treat my children, rather than to how my ancestors treated them, although I certainly value their experience and obvious wisdom as presented in the book.
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#11 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 05:07 PM
 
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I certainly value TCC's anthropological presentation of parenting and feel that my ancestors certainly may have possessed more common sense and instinct about how they parented. I'm glad I read it, and I think it was a very important reminder of how we don't need all the materialistic baby things so prevalent today- but I also believe there is a reason why we have moved from tribal living to smaller family units (the ability to express individuality & have more personal autonomy, and not be stuck in superstitions or "this is the way its always been done", for starters). If I remember correctly the thing I disliked about TCC was a sense of "how can we recreate the conditions of our tribal counterparts", which left me feeling frustrated- I would prefer to integrate compassionate parenting practices in the society I am a part of- and a constant reference to the theory of evolution, often cited as a force behind why TCC was important (its part of our evolutionary makeup, if we stray from it we stray from the human blueprint kinda idea). I believe in a Creator and I would rather look to how God treats me as a guide for how to treat my children, rather than to how my ancestors treated them, although I certainly value their experience and obvious wisdom as presented in the book.
Mama, holy can of worms!

I agree that there is a reason why we have abandoned tribal life, but I am not even close to convinced that it is a beneficial reason. Throughout history, every society that prized individuality over community and independence over interdependence has fallen.

Before that happens, though, each individual has already lost so much of what it means to be human. It's interesting that many think the way to the expression of individuality is through independence, but I think that is a stage intended and best left for toddlerhood. IMO, true expression of individuality comes in community and not apart from it or at the cost of it. Community is hindered by and only superficially attained in massive groups of people. There was a study that showed that as the number of people increases in a group, the tendency toward assimilation and requirements through rule-making increases. I think the maximum number of people for retained self-expression and communal decision-making as opposed to rule-making and following was something like 60 people. I wish I could find that study...

It is argued that with more people, obviously rule-making and following is necessary or there'd be chaos, but this supports the need for people to live in small communities to retain self-expression and well-being! It's like a farmer saying that obviously if he's going to keep a million cows, they can't be humanely slaughtered, as a a defense for the way he treats his animals. The solution is fewer animals- only as many as he can treat with compassion and respect, and not one more, and certainly not nearly a million more!

I also think that in terms of how society actually functions in north america,
we are a far cry from eschewing superstitions and 'this is how it's done'. I can make a gigantic list of examples of commonly held and expected beliefs in superstition and its cousin, 'this is how it is done.' I typically call this 'mainstream' and it is not an expression of anything even resembling individuality and personal autonomy.

Being a dissenter from mainstream culture, I am very aware of just how limited this culture is in its acceptance of self-expression and even interdependence, which is the fruit of a maturation past independence.

In TCC, there is a reference to a young man who took his hand drum and went up to a hill. He then proceeded to howl and whoop like a maniac, in glee. His expression was allowed and accepted as human. From other references in the book, it is very clear that this particular tribe's life was not regulated in self-expression the way our so-called 'free' society is. Try doing that in your backyard in the city and see what happens!

Our self-expression and freedoms are severely limited by the threat of ostracisation and all of what that entails, which wasn't even an issue with the Yequana people and not for lack of acceptance, but for the acceptance of the whole person.

I am also curious about how you've concluded that this present north american culture and society is formed with family units. The divorce rate itself should indicate that the possibility of sustaining healthy family life in this culture is at least severely limited and at best a severe challenge.

Indeed we have so much independence that anyone who bands together can easily persuade individuals (ironically looking to one another for affirmation of that independence). I've never met a mainstreamer who doesn't believe that s/he is living freely, and yet from where I stand, the prison of these people has been easily erected in their own heads by groups of people banded together to promote their cause or intentions- not individuals. We do not have freedom when we are all islands, we just have a lot more borders- one around each individual instead of one around all of us together.

I don't know how to re-create tribal culture, but each step I've taken toward a more communal, more consciously human way of life, the greater my personal freedom has been, and the more opportunity there has been for self-expression, amongst a community, not amongst a bunch of individuality-seekers. What could I even offer or receive from such a person, if that person really and truly lives the ideals of individualism? Nothing. We have no basis for commonality that allows for any exchange at all.

I also think it's interesting how many people think they live freely but defer to the government and para-governmental agencies for their maintenance and well-being.

BTW, I also believe in a Creator and look to Him for how to love others. I cannot even fathom any of what was presented in TCC as being in opposition to the way He would have us behave and live, however we came to be as we are presently. If our needs are as JL presented, then they are, and whether or not she believes that came about through evolution or you believe it came about on one day, it is as it is, and we still must meet the needs of one another, which of course can only happen in community, which is why so many people are without their needs being met presently, imo.

Please take what I have written as coming with kindness. If it seems curt, it's because I am tending four boys while writing and I am very passionate about this aspect of human life, not angry or elitist or any such thing as has been assumed about me when expressing this in the past.

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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#12 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 06:44 PM
 
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I cannot even fathom any of what was presented in TCC as being in opposition to the way He would have us behave and live, however we came to be as we are presently. If our needs are as JL presented, then they are, and whether or not she believes that came about through evolution or you believe it came about on one day, it is as it is, and we still must meet the needs of one another, which of course can only happen in community, which is why so many people are without their needs being met presently, imo.
I am not saying I think TCC and "the way God would have us behave and live" are in fact in opposition; I just resented the recurring theme that our evolutionary history should be a primary factor in determining our parenting style... I guess I resent the idea that I should have to copy other people instead of having my intuition and conscience guide me. I kind of feel the same way about diet; I love the work of Weston Price, but I am not going to try to eat blood or crustaceans because its how healthy humans lived before; I feel that I can use some of that wisdom to complement my own instincts.

Nor do I disagree with the idea of "community", I just don't feel like returning to tribal living patterns as the only way to HAVE that community.

I don't believe independence and individuality cause the breakdown of society, I believe selfishness and greed do. There have been great humanitarians who were independent thinkers, visionaries motivated by compassion.
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#13 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 07:04 PM
 
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well, I really, really believe in "the continuum" of human instinct, and I believe that I have seen it over and over again with ds.
Of all his little pals (we finally created a semi-tribal enviroment after years of trying!), ds has the most physical skills, and has the most healthy attitude toward work, and I believe a lot of this is from our continuum-based parenting.
Of course we never let ds get seriously injured! However, we did trust to his instinct most of the time, and we were rewarded with a very sturdy, self-confident little fellow who has hardly ever had any "accidents", and no major injuries. By not instilling fear, we have allowed his natural skills to develop.
Just my 2 cents...
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#14 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 09:35 PM
 
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Boy am I glad about this thread being here! I was slogging through the tribe one, and it seemed to disintegrate a bit into "what's better, consensual living or TCC and are they the same or different"

Preggie, I could have posted just about everything you said. My only question is, how does TCC work after toddlerhood? I'm curious to know how you have been able to apply it to older children and what results you got.

I am also looking for a community to mimic at least some aspects of tribal living. I also realize that some adjustments have to be made in order to accommodate our more isolated existence... I keep telling DH we're going to move to the jungle and live naked in the trees. It's hard though! I feel like I have to find people who understand the concept enough so they don't bring 'negative' influence into my kid's life. How do you find people who are like-minded enough? People who aren't afraid to challenge the mainstream? I'm poking around at church, but I get discouraged sometimes as soon as I hear someone's birth story... Or their reaction to my birth plan

Anyone have good suggestions for forming a 'tribe'? I was thinking about dinner and babysitting co-ops to start out with, but I just don't know how to find the right people without shoving the book down their throats!
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#15 of 57 Old 06-07-2009, 11:43 PM
 
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I am not saying I think TCC and "the way God would have us behave and live" are in fact in opposition; I just resented the recurring theme that our evolutionary history should be a primary factor in determining our parenting style...
Understood. I think that regardless of what you believe about origins, though, of course it wouldn't make sense to have your parenting method determined. To me, a more cohesive perspective might be that from our origin, we have had this development and that need and this is how we've traditionally fulfilled that need. To figure out what traditional means, though, we'd have to go further than just to some western version of what has become common, to something more wholistic- like tribal or clan culture.

Keep in mind too that the idea of 'parenting style' is pretty modern. Previously it would have been part of life without the truncation and labeling. There would not a 'parenting style' when bearing children in the midst of life in a village just flowed smoothly from the womb to death.

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I guess I resent the idea that I should have to copy other people instead of having my intuition and conscience guide me. I kind of feel the same way about diet; I love the work of Weston Price, but I am not going to try to eat blood or crustaceans because its how healthy humans lived before; I feel that I can use some of that wisdom to complement my own instincts.
Right, but tribes differ quite significantly in their choices and ways of life too. The determinant factor in whether or not they are healthy is whether or not they are thriving and prospering in well-being. I think that contemporary western culture has the appearance of well-being but under the very thin facade is a black rot that goes deeper than mold. Just my opinion, of course.

I wonder if we have adequately similar definitions of the words we're using to actually discuss this...

For instance, you wrote that you want to follow your own instincts, but to my way of understanding, those instincts are common to every human being who has not suppressed and maybe subsequently lost them. That is what instinct is to me, at its core, the survival mechanisms and related strategies for meeting the need for survival. Each species seems to have a set that is common amongst fellows. I don't think human beings each come with individualised instincts, set apart from those of every other human being, maybe sharing some with others, but naturally occurring as a unique set. The very idea of this is absurd, actually, if you try to work out how we'd function if that were the case. This is why I wonder about our words; I cannot see how your use of the word 'instinct' could be the same as my understanding of what it is.

I guess the same is true for autonomy, individual, expression, community, conscience, wisdom, etc... It's hard to have a casual discussion about this topic- origins and anthropology without definitions at least agreed upon, even if our interpretations remain different.

Also 'tradition' isn't the same thing as copying; it is transmitting, through culturally enjoyed avenues, the experiences of those who have already lived a full life. If you were just copying in order to achieve the same outcome of tribal living, then I wouldn't expect you to be successful in attaining well-being for you and your family and community. It has to be much deeper than an appearance. It isn't 'eat shellfish because they ate shellfish, don't speak upon returning from an absence' etc... This is just form without substance.

In order to truly benefit from a return to tribal mentality, you would have to have that mentality intact, which means that approaching it from a place of intending to 'copy' isn't adequate, and it is highly doubtful that JL would think it could be, given her anthropological studies. I certainly don't think that makes any sense.

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Nor do I disagree with the idea of "community", I just don't feel like returning to tribal living patterns as the only way to HAVE that community.
What is a community to you?

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I don't believe independence and individuality cause the breakdown of society, I believe selfishness and greed do. There have been great humanitarians who were independent thinkers, visionaries motivated by compassion.
Those humanitarians are known to you only because they were not individuality-seekers. By definition, a humanitarian must work with others in interdependence. Otherwise, they'd just be 'successful', but not humanitarian. Maybe you have someone in particular in mind. It's difficult to generalise here.

Regarding independent thinkers, this is a different thing than someone who seeks independence as a highest virtue. The ultimate irony is that those who refuse to mature to interdependence or cannot, often prize independence while themselves being part of a large group all thinking and living the same way and gaining their approval for doing so from those others who do the same. It's sort of like highschool teenagers who all want to be unique and in doing so, all dress, speak, gesture, entertain themselves, and aspire to, the very same.

From my experience, an independent thinker is not at all the same person who is independent. All of the 'independent-thinkers' I've read and known understood and sought after like-minded interdependence.

Interdependence is the only real way to transmit anything of value to a society. Our present society is very appearance rich and substance-poor. When I work through any societal lack scenario from beginning to end, it always concludes on a lack of interdependence, which is key to survival, and no matter how it's figured, ultimately, regardless of how sweetly, purposefully, consciously we live, survival as human beings is at the core of everything. It doesn't seem as dire or immediate as the connotations of survival imply, but it really is just that.

BTW, selfishness and greed don't work in a tribal setting, so even attempting such behaviours as that indicate a selfish intention would be quickly ended. Private struggles with these would persist, no doubt, but they would remain constrained by the tolerance of the whole group, which would be little given the need for sharing and reliance. Only in a society that prizes independence can selfishness and greed even take hold and actually affect the whole population!

Again with the passion. Thank you for not taking offense.

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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#16 of 57 Old 06-08-2009, 02:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by mormontreehugger View Post
My only question is, how does TCC work after toddlerhood? I'm curious to know how you have been able to apply it to older children and what results you got.
A few weeks ago we were having lunch with friends. One of them is an organic (non-industrial- just local and just what she and her dh can do on their own) farmer and the other comes from a farming family, having grown up on a farm. I was talking to my farmer friend about my garden. After about twenty minutes, my other friend said, "Boy, after hearing you two talking about growing a garden, I wouldn't even guess that I grew up on one!" I asked her what she meant. She was under the impression that I had lots of experience, and already knew that our farmer friend does, obviously. I laughed and told her that this is my very first garden ever and that the only things I ever saw my mother grow were rhubarb, cauliflower and hot peppers. She was stunned and said, "But you know so much about it. How's that possible? Books?" I told her that I don't have book knowledge about it but that since we moved here 8 months ago, I have been watching the forest around us. As the season turned to spring, I observed everything changing and learned how things grow in the wild and then when I planted my garden, I tried to emulate what I saw happening naturally. So far, my garden is doing very well.

All this to say that whatever I seem to know, I might only know in hypothesis or philosophy or might be just in the midst of learning, like trying to live like a human being.

My eldest will be six years old next week. The three who are not toddlers are slowly being incorporated into our daily chores and we are trying to make our chores more relevant to real life. We have few people who are interested in village life, but where we live presently, there is a large group of who have come here to return to nature, so there is some hope that we'll find some others who would like to do this together.

One of the most obvious changes that I've seen has been in not talking as much. I've stopped intellectualizing things that ought to be instinctual as often as I am aware of it, that is. For my dc, this has meant that they have become more observant and more aware of their environment. I don't look at them to see where they are and they have become like the Yequana children are described. They follow me and don't fall behind. I slow down if they fall, and I don't go to them if they are hurt. I thought that would cause insecurity, but the opposite has happened. They come when they can't manage their own reactions and sometimes they don't come at all. If they do, I am ready to help them, but overall, they have begun to even help one another and cheerfully join me with a story about what just happened and who did what.

It has been unnerving to feel so negligent in their care. I am used to tending them completely and this past half year has been a strange inconsistency of over-tending, under-tending and balance. The fruit is so obvious though, that I have to also learn to deal with my own emotional reaction to feeling negligent, because my boys are doing very well- thriving actually.

My greatest challenges have been dealing with an underlying health condition that causes low energy while trying to do meaningful work that our boys can do too, and trying to make friendships with people who don't constantly insult our children (albeit unknowingly or unintentionally, but our boys pick up the condescension and it's hard to explain to them why people treat them this way) and who want to live in our natural habitat.

Oh, and we do live naked in the trees some days! : Well, just the boys. I still wear clothing consistently.

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Anyone have good suggestions for forming a 'tribe'? I was thinking about dinner and babysitting co-ops to start out with, but I just don't know how to find the right people without shoving the book down their throats!
I don't know either. We want to start buying our food at farm gate and local farmer's market exclusively. There are lots of people who homestead at these places selling their extras and their artworks and crafts. We figure this might be a place to start. We live in a very friendly place, and it is easy to just start conversations here with people we don't know. Next week we're going to just drive to the area we want to live in- where we hope to buy land- and we hope to just see people outside so we can talk to them. We figure this is a good selection method. People who are doing outside work in the woodsy rural areas who are friendly and willing to share what they know; a good start, we think.

I'm interested in what others do too.

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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#17 of 57 Old 06-08-2009, 08:22 AM
 
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Very well said, Preggie!

Mormontreehugger, I see that you're in CA. I would guess that would be a good place to find other TCC'ers. If you join the listserv, you can access the database and find anyone who might be close to you, or know of other families who might live close to you.

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I am also looking for a community to mimic at least some aspects of tribal living. I also realize that some adjustments have to be made in order to accommodate our more isolated existence... I keep telling DH we're going to move to the jungle and live naked in the trees. It's hard though! I feel like I have to find people who understand the concept enough so they don't bring 'negative' influence into my kid's life. How do you find people who are like-minded enough? People who aren't afraid to challenge the mainstream? I'm poking around at church, but I get discouraged sometimes as soon as I hear someone's birth story... Or their reaction to my birth plan

Anyone have good suggestions for forming a 'tribe'? I was thinking about dinner and babysitting co-ops to start out with, but I just don't know how to find the right people without shoving the book down their throats!
Although admittedly I am not necessarily trying to form a "tribe", I *do* want a mutual support system of likeminded individuals- and the only way I have found that has been by meditating, praying, asking for the individuals I need and who need me to be introduced into my life. It has worked... I don't have very many "friends", but those I do have I feel so close to, we would drop anything for each other and we give to each other generously and selflessly. And there is never any sense of inferiority or superiority about our mothering practices or our children's behaviour.

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To me, a more cohesive perspective might be that from our origin, we have had this development and that need and this is how we've traditionally fulfilled that need. To figure out what traditional means, though, we'd have to go further than just to some western version of what has become common, to something more wholistic- like tribal or clan culture.
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?

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I think that contemporary western culture has the appearance of well-being but under the very thin facade is a black rot that goes deeper than mold. Just my opinion, of course.
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.

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For instance, you wrote that you want to follow your own instincts, but to my way of understanding, those instincts are common to every human being who has not suppressed and maybe subsequently lost them. That is what instinct is to me, at its core, the survival mechanisms and related strategies for meeting the need for survival. Each species seems to have a set that is common amongst fellows. I don't think human beings each come with individualised instincts, set apart from those of every other human being, maybe sharing some with others, but naturally occurring as a unique set. The very idea of this is absurd, actually, if you try to work out how we'd function if that were the case. This is why I wonder about our words; I cannot see how your use of the word 'instinct' could be the same as my understanding of what it is.
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.

In regards to mothering, I mentioned "intuition & conscience"- and this is more individual, I believe, than "instinct".

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In order to truly benefit from a return to tribal mentality, you would have to have that mentality intact, which means that approaching it from a place of intending to 'copy' isn't adequate, and it is highly doubtful that JL would think it could be, given her anthropological studies. I certainly don't think that makes any sense.
Good point.

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. 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?" 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.

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.

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Interdependence is the only real way to transmit anything of value to a society. Our present society is very appearance rich and substance-poor. When I work through any societal lack scenario from beginning to end, it always concludes on a lack of interdependence, which is key to survival, and no matter how it's figured, ultimately, regardless of how sweetly, purposefully, consciously we live, survival as human beings is at the core of everything. It doesn't seem as dire or immediate as the connotations of survival imply, but it really is just that.
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. ???
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Loving this and want to hear more!

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I just want to tell about a recent "continuum moment" in my life: Last night, after soothing the 4-year-old who was bitterly disappointed when he awakened from a late nap to discover that it was almost dark outside and therefore too late to go to the playground, my whole family decided to go into our back yard and enjoy the fragrance of the honeysuckle. Our back yard has a flat portion and then drops off at a steeper-than-45-degree slope with trees and rocks. The yellow-and-white honeysuckle is abundant on the side fence, but the orange honeysuckle we just planted last year is a small cluster about 5 feet down the slope. My son wanted to smell both kinds up close to see if they smell different. It was quite dark under the trees; my partner had illuminated our walk into the yard with his keychain LED light, which goes out after 20 seconds to save the batteries and takes a couple seconds to reset.

So it was alarming when our 4-year-old started climbing down the very steep slope with this lighting that made him periodically unable to see anything. I, who have fallen down the slope before, was tempted to yell, "Stop! That's too dangerous!" But he looked so sure of what he was doing that the only thing I said was, "Don't lean on THAT bush because it's dead and will break." He got down to the orange honeysuckle, leaned over to sniff it, and came back up, without a single slip or stumble.

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#21 of 57 Old 06-08-2009, 09:25 PM
 
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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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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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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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In regards to mothering, I mentioned "intuition & conscience"- and this is more individual, I believe, than "instinct".
I agree.

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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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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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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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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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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!

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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#22 of 57 Old 06-08-2009, 10:36 PM
 
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I know you aren't talking to me but thank you for your posts.

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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.

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#23 of 57 Old 06-09-2009, 12:51 AM
 
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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.

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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#24 of 57 Old 06-09-2009, 11:47 AM
 
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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.
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I am wondering if anyone can explain to me the differences in AP, CL, and CC.

Thanks!

Maggie, blissfully married mama of 5 little ladies on my own little path. homeschool.gif gd.gifRainbow.gif
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#26 of 57 Old 06-09-2009, 08:33 PM
 
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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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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.


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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."

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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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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.'

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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#27 of 57 Old 06-10-2009, 12:52 AM
 
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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.

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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#28 of 57 Old 06-10-2009, 07:13 PM
 
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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.
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#29 of 57 Old 06-10-2009, 09:33 PM
 
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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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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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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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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?

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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!

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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#30 of 57 Old 06-11-2009, 02:04 AM
 
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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!)
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