I’ve traced this lack of compassion that I feel back to the crib. My arms were tied to the sides of the crib to stop me from scratching as a result of having excema. I was wheeled into the kitchen and left there all night no matter how much I cried. (1)
I concluded that people were bad and not to be trusted. I became sullen and my love driven deep underground.
I decided that I wasn’t going to care about anyone else. Ordinarily one would say “anyone else but myself,” but, no matter how hard I try, the “but myself ” is not there. Just “anyone else.”
And I don’t.
Isn’t that a difficult admission?
And yet I do.
Again there is this split in me, between the Mother who was generous, compassionate, and caring, not because she worked it up, but by her nature, and my Father, who was everything I’m describing about myself – callous, indifferent, going through the motions to get what he wanted in life.
I have a war going on inside me between a callous male and a caring female.
Let me take the discussion now from the simply-personal to the universal, if you’d allow me.
The segue is from becoming a low-compassion guy to living in an increasingly-low-compassion world. Perfect camouflage for me if that’s what I wanted…. But it turns out it’s not.
Let me start by reminding us to notice the culture we live in. And permit me, if you would, to work up to it.
From my observations riding the bus, I see it as a rarity in my culture that a person does not own a cellphone. And the cellphone encourages us to focus our attention on virtual reality in preference to actual.
It’s easy for a low-compassion guy like me to hide out in such a world. It suits me fine. I don’t need to camouflage. No one is paying me the slightest attention. Everyone is tied into their phone.
The downside is that the side of me shaped by imitating my Mother wants increasing transparency and intimacy rather than increasing camouflage and isolation, which my Dad’s side longed for. I’m trying to break free of the isolation I’ve created for myself.
If we as a society want what I want, then we’re on a slippery slope. There’s very little cheese – very little real transparency or intimacy – down the cellular, virtual-reality, technology tunnel.
Well, maybe some transparency and intimacy is conveyed in the case of a “live” phone or Skype call rather than a video but it doesn’t compare to face-to-face. As a society where cellphones have become a vogue, we’re losing contact with each other.
Gosh, in the late 1990s I was saying automation would decimate the workforce. (1) Now here I am saying there’s very little true intimacy in virtual reality, very little person-to-person connection, almost no exchange of love.
In the case of automation, people were so in love with the technology that no one wanted to hear the message. I hope that doesn’t prove to be the case with the cellphone and isolation.
Funny that I should even be saying this. It’d take a low-compassion/low-involvement type of guy like me to even notice it. (2) Otherwise it’d be water to the fish in most cases and a jealously-guarded secret in a few others.
The message? The secret? There’s very little real intimacy in virtual reality; by focusing on it, we’re becoming an increasingly-isolated world.
May I return to the personal?
When I opened the scrapbook that my Dad had put together for an est workshop, later in life, there was a short note that Stephen was born in 1946 and had excema. Good Lord, will we ever get some sleep? he added.
It did help to read my parents’ situation. The Adult in me doesn’t deny it.
I can’t say I’m quite in the place yet where I can fully appreciate it. I’m still too angry about my situation, seen from an infant or wounded child’s perspective.
I can forgive them. But I still need to fully experience this traumatizing time from the infant’s perspective (where it was recorded), let it go, and give any residue to Sanat Kumara by the Law of Elimination. I’m running it through an updated version of the upset clearing process. (3)
As I begin to do so, I see first of all that another aspect of simply being born was also traumatizing for me. I remember hearing Mom and Dad arguing while I was in the womb. I said to myself: I don’t want to go out there.
Now here I am in the dark kitchen, arms outstretched, tied to the crib, maximally vulnerable and all alone. I’m in the kitchen with lights flickering all over the walls (car lights fragmented by trees, all ghosts to me) and I’m frightened out of my skin.
Welcome to Planet Earth. Welcome to the Third Dimension.
(1) “If This is Your Job, Watch Out! (1998),” April 29, 2019, at https://goldenageofgaia.com/2019/04/29/if-this-is-your-job-watch-out-1998-2/.
(2) I probably shriek earlier and louder because I have less emotional distance to go before I hit rock bottom.
(3) See, for instance, “How to Handle Unwanted Feelings: The Upset Clearing Process” at https://goldenageofgaia.com/spiritual-essays/on-processing-vasanas/how-to-handle-unwanted-feelings-the-upset-clearing-process/.