** Seeking

Chapter twenty nine 29

8-29-6

Seeking

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“Some aspects of the value system are inborn, and some are acquired through experience.  Some constitutional aspects of a value system include the motivational system of attachment and novelty seeking.  Within the brain are clusters of cells that are designed to fire in response to eye contact and facial expressions.  These clusters of social responders are located within the value centers of the brain, such as the amygdala and the orbitofrontal cortex.  For example, seeking proximity to a caregiver and attaining face-to-face communication with eye gaze contact is hard-wired into the brain from birth.  It is not learned.  Similarly, infants are “natural explorers,” seeking out new stimuli within their increasingly sophisticated ability to search the environment. (Tdm/138, my para break)

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It is very important to me that we begin to see that the patterns within our language directly link the concept of being forsaken directly to the concept of being powerless.  This is not an insignificant or trivial connection for us to reinforce in our own thoughts.  Parents who never received the parenting that they needed to “come into their own power” in regard to the proper formation of their own brain-mind-self connections, cannot, and are not able to, and do not have the power to adequately parent their own children.  They cannot lead them down a path they did not follow themselves.

I want to emphasize that I strongly suspect that the parents who have this “informal” attachment category of “earned secure” have NOT, for the most part, survived an entire infanthood of severe trauma and abuse — alone.  Nor did they probably endure years of constant abuse and trauma following.  You might, reasonably, question why I would say that I parented my children overall so that they would report to you that their childhood was “secure.”  This is not entirely true if I look at my own parenting and then look at my own grown children with a finely tuned eye.  They WERE damaged, even though I did my very best to raise them differently than my parents raised me.

I can say that this was due not to INTENT, but to my ignorance.  That is why I write this book.  There is, today, far too much information available for us to use.  It will allow us to be better parents, and better people if we learn it and use it.

There is no magic wand.  No fairy godmother or wise old wizard to fix the damage that was done to any of us.  It takes a lifetime of SEEKING.  Remember that word?  It is tied directly into the roots of the word “forsaken.”  We cannot find what we most desire, or what we most need if we don’t SEEK for it.  According to the four basic emotions that Temple Grandin describes in her book, SEEKING is one of them.  I used it to survive my own infanthood.  We are born with the ability to seek.  It is and was one of the primary tools the human race used and strengthened in order to endure and evolve as a species.  And because all humans are born a part of this species, we all have it.  We ARE able to seek.  It is what we seek for, the strength of our drive to seek, our level of endurance that keeps us able to seek – all these are tied into staying alive, and doing a better and better job at it no matter what our age.

I believe that even for the most severely abused infant, with the most severely damaged brain-mind-self, that seeking is always an option.  It is our sovereign right.  It is our human ability.  It is a tool that belongs to any animal.  We are born with it.

Think of the little animal Grandin talks about with its 300 brain cells.  It seeks out a “home” and latches on, then eats its own brain and tail to survive until it is big enough to eat something else.  It “knows” it won’t move again the rest of its life, so brain and tail are not needed.  Think of a newborn kangaroo that can use its tiny claws to seek out its mother’s pouch.  Or even a seahorse, which seeks out its father’s pouch (seahorses were always a favorite image for me when I was a child – does that say something?)

Think about a sperm seeking out an egg.  And about the tiny egg seeking to attach to its mother’s uterine wall.  And think about a newborn infant.  What does it seek for, and  how?  Just because we were not loved from birth by those who should have loved us but couldn’t, should have cared for us and taught us and lead us down the road of life but couldn’t and didn’t, but hurt also hurt us along the way.  If we are still alive, we sought out and FOUND a way to do that.

If we know what we are seeking for, and where to find it, we can not be lost sooner!  We can find what we are seeking for our LIFE!  Life seeks life, or at least it is supposed to.  Unless something is terribly wrong!  (war:  well…..?)

Interesting, looking at the words life and live:

LIFE (bef. 12c)

[ME lif, fr. OE lif; akin to OE libban to live – more at LIVE]

1 a: the quality that distinguishes a vital and functional being from a dead body b: a principle or force that is considered to underlie the distinctive quality of animate beings – compare VITALISM  c: an organismic state characterized by capacity for metabolism, growth, reaction to stimuli, and reproduction

2 a: the sequence of physical and mental experiences that make up the existence of an individual  b: one or more aspects of the process of living

3: BIOGRAPHY

4: spiritual existence transcending physical death

5 a: the period from birth to death  b: a specific phase of earthly existence

LIVE (bef. 12c)

[ME liven, fr. OE libban; akin to OHF leben to live, L caelebs unmarried]

1: to be alive:  have the life of an animal or plant

2: to continue alive

3: to maintain oneself:  SUBSIST

4: to occupy a home:  DWELL

5: to attain eternal life

6: to conduct or pass one’s life

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I find the connection between “live” and its roots in Latin to “unmarried.”  Looking at our English term “single” that we use for the unmarried, I find this:

SINGLE (14c)

[ME, fr. MF, fr. L sinulus one only; akin to L sem– one – more at SAME]

1 a:  not married  b: of or relating to celibacy

2:  unaccompanied by others:  LONE, SOLE

SAME (13c)

[ME, fr. ON samr; akin to OHG sama same, L simulis like, simul together, at the same time, similes like, sem– one, Gk homos same, hama together, hen-, heis one]

1 a: resembling in every relevant respect  b: conforming in every respect – used with as

2 a: being one without addition, change, or discontinuance:  IDENTICAL  b: being the one under discussion or already referred to

3: corresponding so closely as to be indistinguishable

4: equal in size, shape, value, or importance

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Very interesting connections here.  To be single comes from the word same.  To be identical with – as identical with and to our parents, to carry on exactly what they have given us.  We now know that this is not referring just to the homosapien part of the equation.  It also has to do with how the quality of organization that a parent has within their own brain-mind-self is also passed directly onto their offspring through the kinds of interactional experiences they have with them.

If the parent has had a secure, well ordered infanthood, they will possess a well ordered brain-mind-self, and through their interactions with their children they will pass this condition and quality on to them.  If the parent was raised in a chaotic and traumatic environment, their children will carry on these traits.  All in fair and equal proportion!  Children’s brain-mind-selves conform to their parents’ same, become identical to them, and continue this pattern right down the generations!

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But how do we become individuals?  And what does that mean?  None of us exist independently from the culture we are enmeshed within.  How do we reach that desired state of attachment called the “secure/autonomous?”  Keep in mind that an attachment measurement scale implies that the measurement has to do with relationship – the individual within and to themselves, and then that inner relationship as manifested in the external relations that person has with others around them.

When we looked at the word “overwhelm” we saw a problem there of TOO MUCH, of something or someone being, in effect, swallowed into someone or something else.  Of becoming indistinguishable from the other.  It brought to mind the question, “When does an infant truly become separate from its mother?”  And now, at what point and through what process does and infant-child-adult become a separate entity from its parents?

And if being an individual is the end and final “goal,” how do we seek that goal?  If the process means that somehow we come to separate from our mother’s womb, and then after we go through developmental stages dependent completely on the type and quality of the early nurturing that is provided to us, and then we become “separate” entities – what is that process and what does it entail?

SEPARATE (15c)

[ME, separaten, fr. L separatus, pp. of separare, fr. se– apart + parare to prepare, procure – more at SECEDE, PARE]

1 a: to set or keep apart:  DISCONNECT  b: to make a distinction between:  DISCRIMINATE, DISTINGUISH  c: SORT  d: to disperse in space of time:  SCATTER….

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Oh, now, this is interesting!

SECEDE (ca. 1755)

[L secedere, fr. sed-, se– apart (fr. sed, se without) + cedere to go – more at IDIOT, CEDE]

: to withdraw from an organization

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Let’s try this:

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PARE (14c)

[ME paren, fr. MF parer to prepare, trim, fr. L parare to prepare, acquiare; akin to OE faerr bull, ox, L parere to give birth to, produce]

1:  to trim off an outside, excess, or irregular part of

2:  to diminish or reduce by or as if by paring

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Now, in looking through these words in this fashion, by seeing how these words are connected in their origins and in their roots – can you guess where the connection goes from here?  No fair, you are cheating!  And, yes, you are correct!

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Keep in mind a couple of things here.  First, if we are lost, we might want to try going back to the beginning to get found.  Back to our roots.  That is what I am doing through the words here.  Sometimes we go down a trail, and then find that we need to retrace our steps backwards to see what we may have missed that was essential and important.  Re-membering ourselves, even as a culture, through re-membering the words we use and take for granted every single day.

Secondly, notice here that the words are tracing through “parent.”  We have two of them.  Obviously.  But we are not just talking about an essential separation from our mothers.  Even though that might be the only exact point of demarcation that we have:  when we exited the womb and our umbilical cord to her was cut.  And/or we took our first breath.  But what about how and when we separate from our fathers?  We are BOTH our parents.

When we think we often use words.  So do we when we want to communicate something to somebody else.  We string them together like pearls on a string.  Hook them together like multicolored pop beads.  And from our sentences we try to communicate the bigger picture.  But each and every word we use came from somewhere.  Words have meaning and imagery and a sense to them.  And we “sense” these images and these senses through our own emotional component of thought – whether we know it consciously or not.  Every word connects down into the roots of our early implicit memories.  Because WE do.  And the words we use come from and interact with who we are.

PARENT (15c)

[ME, fr. MF, fr. L parent-, parens, fr. prp. of parere to give birth to]

1:  one that begets or brings forth offspring

2 a:  an animal or plant that is regarded in relation to its offspring  b:  the material or source from which something is derived

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We are derived from our parents both genetically and mentally through the quality of the interactions they have with us that directly build our growing brain-mind-selves.  I suppose that you might be tired of hearing this, but it is a new and vital concept for us to grasp.  It is some vague metaphorical process.  It is as absolutely literal as is our physical dependency on our mother while we are in her womb.

Our of curiosity, out of wanting to seek novelty, as it were, I want to know what the connection is between the words separate, pare, secede and idiot!

IDIOT (14c)

[ME, fr. L. idiota ignorant person, fr. Gk idiotes one in a private station, layman, ignorant person, fr. idios one’s own, private; akin to L sed, se without, sui of oneself]

1: a person affected with idiocy; especially:  a feebleminded person having a mental age not exceeding three years and requiring complete custodial care

2: a silly or foolish person

It is my suspicion that is chronic peritrauma is the perpetual state an infant is developing under until the age of two, then they do not develop a self.  If we follow our language literally, we can then call these people “idiots,” meaning that they are literally without their “own, private self.”  They are to remain ignorant of the “private station” their self is supposed to hold within themselves.

I know, this is a very strong word for us to apply.  It carries with it a mental stereotype and a bias that none of us would want to have applied to us.  But is this the reality of what we are creating when we turn our backs on our infants that are under the care of parents and caregivers who were so damaged in their own childhoods that they have no self to care for their tiny infants with?  Do we have generations of idiots raising generations of idiots?  Looking at this more closely:

-IDIO

combined form [Gk, fr. idios – more at IDIOT]

: one’s own: personal: separate: distinct

This is not only what we are supposed to BE, but what we are supposed to HAVE, our own personal, separate, distinct self.  Our parents in effect, pare a part of themselves away from themselves, creating a separate entity from them – and that is US.  And yet as we looked at with the word “overwhelm,” there can be instances when the entire developmental process that has to occur for this self to be born do not occur.  The process is impeded.  The self remains emerged in, subsumed by, combined with, indistinct from, the parent from whom the infant originated.  So when an infant is overwhelmed by the chaos of its own parent’s mind, it is without its self, and is forced to remain an idiot.

Although my dictionary traces the origin of this next tiny little word from its North Latin and Latin roots rather from Greek roots, I believe the meanings intertwine:

ID (1924)

[NL, fr. L, it]

: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is completely unconscious and is the source of psychic energy derived from instinctual needs and drives – compare EGO, SUPEREGO

We have Dr. Sigmund Freud to thank for the development of a theory that divides the human ”psyche” into these three parts:  Id, Ego, and Superego.  It would seem that the concept of “id” can be directly connected to what we would now call implicit memory, and the needs and drives that an infant’s new, still developing brain, contains.  The Id of Freud’s imagination would seem to be mostly clearly connected through a resonance with “idiot” to the absence of a governing self that is supposed to originate over time as an infant’s brain develops through its interactions with its environment and particularly with its early caregivers.

Implicit memory is with us forever from before the time of our birth, but will never be available for conscious recollection.  These memories are imbedded within our early developing brain and are a part of its construction and architecture, and remain there to “color” our entire lives.

The definitions of the other two concepts Freud devised his theories around are as follows:

EGO (1789)

[NL, fr. L. I – more at I;

1: the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world

2 a: EGOTISM  b:  SELF-ESTEEM

3: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality – compare ID, SUPEREGO

SUPEREGO (1919)

[NL, translation of G uber-ich, fr. uber over + ich I]

: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that is only partly conscious, represents internalization of parental conscience and the rules of society, and functions to reward and punish through a system of moral attitudes, conscience, and a sense of guilt – compare EGO, ID

We will leave a detailed discussion of this last definition for later.  First I want to explore two key words that are repeated in these definitions:  “I” and “psyche.”

PSYCH- or PSYCHO-

(Again, interesting that no origin date in the English language is given)

combined form [Gk, fr. psyche breath, principle of life, life, soul; akin to Gk psychein to breathe, blow, cool, Skt babhasti he blows]

1: mind:  mental processes and activities

2: psychological methods

3: brain

4: mental

PSYCHE

[L. fr. Gk psyche soul]

(It is interesting to note that these words are not given a date of origination in English)

1: capitalized:  a princess loved by Cupid

2 a: not capitalized:  [Greek psyche] SOUL, SELF  b: MIND

Ok.  So in the concept of the word “psyche” we can find all of the key aspects of a human being that we are considering:  brain, mind and self.  Because of the information we now have from neurobiology, we can correctly connect all three of these aspects into a ONE THING:  brain-mind-self.  If early infantile experiences with attachment figures that are the infant’s primary caregivers are chaotic and traumatic – because the caregiver’s brain-mind-self is chaotic from early trauma experiences — then those same qualities of chaos and trauma will be directly passed on to the offspring’s brain-mind-self.

We know this because we know that the tiny newborn’s brain continues to grow and develop after birth.  The mind develops from all of the input into this brain, and from the brain-mind growth comes the self.  This is meant to be an orderly developmental process, just like being able to develop skills to move the body around is.  First an infant inhales its first physical breath of its life after birth.  Then it continues to develop the “invisible” qualities of its brain-mind-self through its interactions with its caregivers that should allow it to take its first breath as a SELF – as an independent, separated, separate entity.  This is supposed to be the individual that has “seceded” its self, and pared its self away from, from the organization of its parents, a process that, occurs over time

Which leads us to an exploration of that other little word:  “I.”

I (bef. 12c)

[ME, fr. OE ic; akin to OHG ih I, L ego, Gk ego]

: the one who is speaking or writing – compare ME, MINE, MY, WE

ME

(no origin date given)

[ME, fr. OE me; akin to OHG mih me, L me, GK me, Skt ma]

objective case of I

usage “Me is used in many constructions where strict grammarians prescribe I.  This usage is not so much ungrammatical as indicative of the shrinking range of the nominative form:  me began to replace I sometime around the 16th century largely because of the pressure of word order.  I is now chiefly used as the subject of an immediately following verb.  Me occurs in every other position.”

I immediately notice that “me” is being traced back to the ancient Sanskrit language, while “I” is being traced back as far as Greek.  I am not in any way a “language specialist,” but I always wonder about language concepts that came into English through the Indic language of Sanskrit, which is the classical language of India and Hinduism and has very old roots with the older Vedic languages.  Languages always reflect the mind states and the worldviews of the people who developed them.  I am not a historian or a religious expert, either.  But I would suggest that the view of an individual in ancient India was different from the view of an individual that was held in ancient Greece.

In the English language, the word “I” is directly connected in its roots to the Greek word “ego,” which is defined as “the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world.”  Our word and concept “I” is then directly connected to the word “self.”

Now, in our spiraling around through our language, comes another very interesting elucidation.  Because my writing is particularly concerned with the concept of “self,” as I look for how it does or does not develop properly, the following connections through our language lead us much closer to the truth of what we are seeking.

Summon your patience for this task, because this is not so much an entertaining book as it is a book about elucidation.  I am reminded of a comment attributed to the artist, Matisse, who supposedly once said,  “What a shame it is that rarely does a person take as much time to study a work of art as he does to peel and eat an orange.”  As we sift through these words in our language, we are pursuing a precise sorting task similar to the one that Psyche accomplished in the story of the myth of Psyche and her love, Cupid.

SELF (bef. 12c)

[ME (intensive pronoun), fr. OE; akin to OHG selb, intensive pronoun, L sui (reflexive pronoun) of oneself – more at SUICIDE]

: MYSELF, HIMSELF, HERSELF

(adjective bef. 12c)

1: belonging to oneself:  OWN

2: IDENTICAL, SAME

3: a: having a single character or quality throughout  b: of the same kind as something with which it is used

(noun (13c)

1 a: the entire person of an individual  b: the realization or embodiment of an abstraction

2 a (1): an individual’s typical character or behavior  (2): an individual’s temporary behavior or character  b: a person in his best condition

3: the union of elements (as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person

SUICIDE (1651)

[L sui (general) of oneself + E –cide; akin to OE & OHG sin his, L suus one’s own, Skt sva oneself, one’s own]

1 a: the act or an instance of taking one’s own life voluntarily and intentionally especially by a person of years of discretion and of sound mind  b: ruin of one’s own interests

2: one that commits or attempts suicide

There is a resonance between the Latin, and therefore Western language roots of the word “me” and the Sanskrit, and therefore Eastern language roots of the word “suicide.”  Because I am looking for an accurate genealogy of the word and all-important concept of the “self,” I want to know if there is a connection between Western-Eastern worldviews and languages at this concept.  I found a crucial link between the words “self” and “suicide,” which is the act of “taking one’s own life,” at the point where the worldviews and languages of these two far different cultures seem to intersect and converge.  It happens at the word “OWN” which follows in its connection directly to the word “OWE.”

OWN (bef 12c)

[ME owen, fr. OE agen; akin to OHG eigan own, ON eiginn, OE agan to possess – more at OWE]

(adjective)

: belonging to oneself or itself – usually used following a possessive case or possessive adjective

(vt)

1 a: to have or hold as property:  POSSESS b: to have power over:  CONTROL

2: to acknowledge to be true, valid, or as claimed:  ADMIT

syn HAVE, ACKNOWLEDGE

OWE (bef 12c)

[ME owen to possess, own, owe, fr. OE agan; akin to OHG eigun possess, Skt ise he possesses]

1 a archaicPOSSESS, OWN b: to  have or bear (an emotion or attitude) to someone or something

2 a (1): to be under obligation to pay or repay in return for something received  (2): to be under obligation to render (as duty or service)  b: to be indebted to

3: to be indebted for; to be in debt

The concept and idea of “ownership” seems to be directly connected to the concept of “possessing,” or of “possessor-ship.”  The word “own” connects to the word “owe” which connects to the word “possess” through roots in Middle English, Old English, back to Old High German.  From these Western roots, the concept of “self” seems to make a significant and substantial connection in its origins to the Eastern concept of “possess” as it is found in Sanskrit.

Now, this is interesting!  Remember when we found connections to the word POTENT?  Here comes the concept again.

POSSESS (15c)

[ME possessen, fr. MF possesser to have possession of, take possession of, fr. L possessus, pp. of possidere, fr. potis able, in power + sedere to sit – more at POTENT, SIT]

1 a: to instate as owner b: to make the owner or holder

2 a: to have and hold as property:  OWN  b: to have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill

3 a: to take into one’s possession b: to enter into and control firmly:  DOMINATE  c: to bring or cause to fall under the influence, possession, or control of some emotional or intellectual reaction

syn see HAVE

“Have” is a synonym for both possess and own.

HAVE (bef. 12c)

[ME aven, fr. OE habban; akin to OHG haben to have, hevan to lift – more at HEAVE]

1 a: to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement b: to hold in one’s use, service, regard, or at one’s disposal  c: to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole

2: to feel obligation in regard to

3: to stand in a certain relationship to

4 a: to acquire or get possession of:  OBTAIN  b: RECEIVE  c: ACCEPT

HEAVE (bef. 12c)

[ME heven, fr. OE hebban; akin to OHG hevan to lift, L capere to take]

1: ELEVATE

2: to cause to be lifted upward or onward

3: THROW, CAST

I can’t help but notice that the word “throw” is repeated here in reference to “heave,” and was also connected directly to the word “throe” and the word “trauma.”  I am also fascinated with connection in Middle English roots between the word “heave” and the word “heaven.”  (Heave!  Ho!  Up we go!)

HEAVEN (bef. 12c)

[ME heven, fr. OE heofon; perhaps akin to OHG himil heaven]

1: the expanse of space that seems to be over the earth like a dome:  FIRMAMENT

2: the dwelling place of the Deity and the joyful abode of the blessed dead  b: a spiritual state of everlasting communion with God

3: GOD

4: a place or condition of utmost happiness

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Heaven aside, it is time to take a look at the impressive listing of significant words found in relation to the words own, possess, have and in their definitions as they pertain to that which we seek:  a more developed concept of the meaning of the concept of self.  As we mentalize the mental concept of self as we continue to look for patterns among words.

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OWN, to possess, OWE, belonging to oneself or itself, to have or hold as property:  POSSESS, to have power over, CONTROL, to acknowledge to be true, valid, or as claimed, ADMIT, HAVE, ACKNOWLEDGE

OWE, to possess, own, owe, possess, he possesses, POSSESS, OWN, to have or bear (an emotion or attitude) to someone or something, to be under obligation to pay or repay in return for something received, to be under obligation to render (as duty or service), to be indebted to, to be indebted for; to be in debt

POSSESS, to have possession of, take possession of, able, in power + to sit, POTENT, to instate as owner, to make the owner or holder, to have and hold as property, OWN, to have as an attribute, knowledge, or skill, to take into one’s possession, to enter into and control firmly, DOMINATE, to bring or cause to fall under the influence, possession, or control of some emotional or intellectual reaction, HAVE

HAVE to lift, HEAVE, to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement, to hold in one’s use, service, regard, or at one’s disposal, to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole, to feel obligation in regard to, to stand in a certain relationship to, to acquire or get possession of, OBTAIN, RECEIVE, ACCEPT

HEAVE to lift, to take, ELEVATE, to cause to be lifted upward or onward, THROW, CAST

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To differentiate between these words further:

OWN, OWE, belonging to oneself, to have or hold as property, POSSESS, to have power over, CONTROL, HAVE, ACKNOWLEDGE, to be under obligation to pay or repay in return for something received, to be indebted to, to be indebted for; to be in debt, able, in power + to sit, POTENT, to make the owner or holder, to enter into and control firmly, DOMINATE, to bring or cause to fall under the influence, possession, or control of some emotional or intellectual reaction, HAVE, to lift, HEAVE, to hold or maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement, to hold in one’s use, service, regard, or at one’s disposal, to hold, include, or contain as a part or whole, to feel obligation in regard to, to stand in a certain relationship to, to acquire, OBTAIN, RECEIVE, ACCEPT, HEAVE to lift, to take, ELEVATE, to cause to be lifted upward or onward, THROW, CAST

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It is a strange process to deconstruct and then reconstruct our thoughts regarding the self.  All of the words and concepts suggested by them as found above apply.  But how to create order out of the confusion?  This is always the job to which our brains apply themselves, so that our minds can run smoothly.  Our brains discern patterns and create order by assigning value to our experiences, and then makes connections and files things away.  It then responds to environmental cues so it can take out all it knows that seems to apply, to make further sense out of what happens next.

But when we enter the world of paradox, the mind has to struggle to discern order and patterns.  How can we both own something, and owe for it at the same time?  I struggle with the concept of owning something that isn’t completely paid for.  I hate the idea of owing anyone anything for anything.

But here we are, considering the nature of the self, and finding these paradoxes.

We both own and owe for our self.  It belongs to us, we have it, hold it as property, possess it, have power over it, control it, and acknowledge it.  Yet we are under obligation to pay or repay in return for it.  We are in debt for it.  At the same time it makes us able, puts us in a position to sit in power.  It makes us potent.  We have entered into it and control it firmly (or, does this happen the other way around?).  We dominate it, and bring or cause it to fall under our influence (or, does this happen the other way around?).  We lift it and heave it.  We hold it, maintain it as a possession, yet as a privilege, and we are entitled to it (or, does this happen the other way around?).  We hold it in our use, our service, and our regard.  It is at our disposal.  We include it, and contain it as a part or as a whole of who we are (or, does this happen the other way around?).  We feel an obligation in regard to it and because of it.  Through it we stand in a certain relationship to it, to ourselves, to others, to the world.  We acquired it, yet at the same time we received it.  We obtained it.  We accepted it.  Yet we heave and lift and take it, elevate it, cause it to be lifted upward or onward (or, does this happen the other way around?).  And in the end, we throw and cast it (or, in the end, is it still and always has been the other way around?).

If we end this chapter where we began it, with a consideration of the words “life” and “life,” we cannot separate the end from the beginning.  We do not know which was the beginning, nor where the end will be.  We are in the middle of it all.  Our SELF is in the middle of it all.  Or at least it is supposed to.

So how can a human being endure and be alive without being in possession of a self?  Or without a self being in possession of a human being?  Is such a state possible?  I will return again to the word patterns contained within these three words as they pertain to the essence of SELF:  own, possess, have.

OWN, OWE, belonging to oneself, to have or hold as property, power over, CONTROL, ACKNOWLEDGE, to feel obligation in regard to  under obligation to pay or repay in return received, to be indebted to, to be indebted for, able, in power + to sit, POTENT, to make the owner or holder, to enter into and control firmly, DOMINATE, to bring or cause to fall under the influence, emotional or intellectual reaction, maintain as a possession, privilege, or entitlement, to hold in one’s use, service, regard, or at one’s disposal, include, or contain as a part or whole, to feel obligation in regard to, to stand in a certain relationship to, to acquire, OBTAIN, RECEIVE, ACCEPT, HEAVE to lift, to take, ELEVATE, to cause to be lifted upward or onward, THROW, CAST

Yet what of these words indicates is that we NEED our self.  That we depend on our self.  We count on adults having selves.  We take them for granted.  It is our self that stands in relationship to our self, and to the self of others.  It is our self that stands in relation to the world and to our lives.

Through the essential process of bearing offspring, we are spreading our seed.  And with that comes the responsibility to pass on more than just our genes.  We pass on the state of our mind, the condition of our self, through the organization of our own brain.  If we lose our connection with our self from birth, through terror and abuse, through chronic peritrauma that does not allow the passage of time to form itself into our being, then we are lost without a self.  We are destroyed.

++++

notes from Siegel’s emotion chapter….HAS to have something to do with the earned attachment finding of more depressive symptoms in those parents:

“In parent-child relationships in which the parent is depressed, vitality affects may reveal a “depressed” state, with low energy and a global negative hedonic tone.  Research also suggests that depression is associated with a decreased capacity to perceive the emotional expressions of others.  The impaired ability to perceive facial expressions has been correlated with alterations in the activity of the parts of the brain responsible for such perceptual capacities.  Studies of dyads with a depressed parent reveal significant effects on the emotional development of the child.”  (siegle/tdm/129

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