Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis in Human Evolution


Book Contents

Introduction

The Natural Order (Thesis)

The Early Natural Order
The Pleasure Function

The Destruction of the Natural Order (Antithesis)

Reductionism and Moralism
Repression and Perversion
Love vs. Split-Love
The Disintegration of Sexual Paraphilias
Parent-Child Codependence and Emotional Child Abuse
The Oedipal Mold and Oedipal Culture
Mysticism and Atheism
Narcissism
Denial of Complexity
The Plague of Sadism
Conspiracy Thinking vs. Critical Thinking
Youth Fascism

The New Natural Order (Synthesis)

The Eight Dynamic Patterns of Living
The Twelve Branches of the Tree of Knowledge
The True Religio
Toward a Science of Life
Primary Power and Permissive Education

Research Bibliography

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Page Contents

Primary Power, Soul Power, Self Power
Live Your Love
Permissive Education
—Introduction
—The Failure of Moralistic Education
—Raising Humane Humans


Primary Power, Soul Power, Self Power

The new natural order can only be founded upon permissiveness and self-regulation, which is why it must abandon moralism and morality-based sex laws. This implies a return to the state of primary power, the power that is a natural part of autonomy. Contrary to worldly power, primary power, self power or soul power is not a pent-up power urge for debasing and dominating others, but a state of inner harmony that seeks harmony and good relationships with others.

Soul power, primary power or self power can be defined as the natural and non-abusive power of a basically sane human being. Primary power is the natural power that the sane child develops when allowed to grow into autonomy and self-reliance. This is namely the case when the postnatal primary symbiosis between mother and child during the first eighteen months of the newborn was a positive experience for both mother and child, and when the mother can allow the infant to gradually grow into autonomy as the child widens his or her grasp and perception of the environment and thus gradually leaves the condition of primary narcissism.

Soul Power, which I synonymously call Primary Power or Self Power is a concept I created to connote and describe our original power; this innate power is based upon innocence. It is distinct from the harmful secondary or worldly powers, which are based upon knowledge, that profoundly mark our current society, and which are clearly violence-inducing, and in the long run damaging the human potential and natural human spirituality.

Developing soul power is conceptually linked to developing awareness of our intrinsic soul values that typically, and in the regular case, do not coincide with our accepted social values. So there is at the starting point an inner conflict, or duality, between our soul values and our cherished and agreed-upon social values. This inner conflict must not be silenced, but met with passive (and peaceful) awareness for this inner conflict is actually creative and brings about soul power in a way completely different from what fashionable life coaches such as Anthony Robbins are teaching and practicing, and what they use to call personal power.

—See, for example, Anthony Robbins, Awaken the Giant Within (1991).

By contrast, I denote as secondary powers the largely abusive powers that result from the fragmented, schizoid and overtly narcissistic mainstream individual that incarnates the core personality of Oedipal Culture.

Different authors and scientists have given this dichotomy different names. Sigmund Freud and after him psychoanalysis as a whole speak of secondary drives, where I use the expression secondary power.

Gary Zukav, author of The Dancing Wu Li Masters (2001), speaks of authentic power vs. external power.

Live Your Love

Live Your Love is an empowerment concept I created back in 1998. It was the fruit of years of work on soul power, soul values, and on my selfhelp productions and awareness guides.

In a society that is highly judgmental and labeling as our postmodern international consumer culture, it is of paramount importance to define all the ingredients that identify you, that build your own personal and unique identity. The most important ingredients in this soup of yourself are your soul values, and your love.

Sex research has amply demonstrated that there is no single other human behavior than sex that is to that point diversified and different from one person to the next. You can say there are no two humans on the globe who have exactly the same sexual attraction and whose sexual appetite and table manners are even similar, let alone identical. That means when you are sexual you are you, when you refuse to be sexual (because of fear of being different), you are nobody.

Live Your Love means to incarnate your loving attraction in this dimension in the form of precise tastes and dishes to consume. My advice is that if big brother tells you that your taste is perverse, just grin and continue eating! And think of one important thing, conclusion of all criminological research: ‘All sexual monsters are virgins or very inexperienced lovers!’ In other words, when you live your love and love your life, you are on the good side of the river.

Permissive Education

Building a new natural order is only possible if we can form collective agreement for drafting a truly humanistic, emotionally sane and permissive education that is focused upon catalyzing the natural gifts and talents of the child, and that may turn ultimately toward the creative child.

In the past, permissive education was felt to go against the stream of patriarchal society and monotheistic religion. However, despite the consensus for a repressive approach to education, authors of high distinction provided contributions to improving the lot of our children.

Some of these men and women were John Locke, Thomas Hobbes and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Wilhelm Reich, Alexander S. Neill, J. Krishnamurti, Alice Miller, and others. It has to be noted, however, that these honorable authors, except Reich, Neill and Miller, never talked about children’s emotional and sexual needs.

In the meantime, modern pediatrics and psychology have understood that permissive education is a must in a truly democratic society. Back in 1973, however, sexual permissiveness was still declared a myth in Western society.

—See John P. Alston, Francis Tucker, The Myth of Sexual Permissiveness (1973).

This is quite astonishing as this research was published at a time when social values were a lot more permissive compared to today.

Introduction

For anyone who wishes to know about permissive education in a culture that hates the child, there is no way other than reading literature. In the great literature of all times, I found individual parent-child relations described that did not fit in the normative scheme and where the parent was sensitive enough to give the child headroom for autonomy and non-regulated intimacy.

It is certainly good to read and study the above mentioned educational projects, but as Dr. Alexander Lowen once wrote to me as a reply to a letter I had sent to him about my own educational project, every school can only be as good as the educators who run them. There is no education on paper. All in this field needs to be humanized and made fit in the daily little critter of relationships. I have faced the worst educators in persons who are high-strung idealistic and have a lot of theory in their heads, and the best in those who are simple-minded, but attentive to detail, fresh, loving and spontaneous.

This brings me to talk about the character structure that fosters permissiveness. It goes without saying that it’s a character that is neither neurotic nor sadistic, but genital in the Freudian sense or orgasmic in Reichian terms. In my own terms, I would say it’s a person whose emonic flow is intact and where desire is conscious, or has been rendered conscious through building emonic awareness.

In our society, as long as things are emonically as they are, there is no hope to expect a change toward permissive education, as the character structure of those in power and those in power in education is sadistic because they have repressed their pedoemotions. And without an opening here prior to any change, there will be no change. This is how it is.

The Failure of Moralistic Education

Summerhill was founded in 1921 in a village near London, England. It was a free school which means that there was no moralistic education and no punishments.

What do I mean when I say moralistic education? While many people think that Montessori and Steiner schools practiced an education that is free of repression and moralistic concepts, I found by observation that this is not true. Montessori looks very pragmatic, very rational and focused upon the necessities of daily life. Children learn to iron shirts, to do gardening, to cook. They are put in sensitization classes to stimulate their sensorial perception. However, this rhetoric is deeply false. The child does not need to be stimulated sensually since it is naturally sensual.

But of course, the moralistic and in this case Catholic background of Montessori education does not permit the children to live out their emotions and primarily their sensual and tactile needs. So they are first emotionally starved and then artificially induced into fake-feelings in so-called sensitization classes — a ridiculous idea altogether.

With Steiner, it’s the stressing of the soul values of the child, as if the child by itself was not able to realize their soul values. Behind these different approaches are different basic philosophies regarding the role of the child in society.

Neill was against Montessori that he considered as a milder and more intellectual but nonetheless intrinsically authoritarian form of modern education. There is no doubt that Maria Montessori who was a believing and practicing Christian wanted to revolutionize education and her contribution for more humanity and respect for children was certainly authentic.

Her teachings brought about amazing change, not only in her own schools. One of her inventions was the child-oriented seating furniture that we now all know from modern day care centers. But was it really an approach that served children to be better able to realize their own intrinsic nature?

Montessori’s point of departure was the observation that the child’s brain, not unlike a sponge, absorbs the intrinsic atmosphere of his or her environment. In her book The Absorbent Mind (1973/1995), she cites psychological research that proves that children learn in the first three years of their life more than adults in sixty years of hard study. This is certainly true.

Although Montessori was in the beginning against all educational programs, she designed a specific educational curriculum for her schools that focused primarily on the intellectual training of the child.

By means of a sophisticated system of different games, puzzles and assembler games (that are much more complicated than what usually can be bought in toy stores), the child’s mind is well prepared to handle all such equipment with competence and care, accidents being a rare exception.

My experience of this approach through visiting Montessori schools was rather negative. First it was extremely difficult to get a permission for visit at all. I had to justify my wish in a way as if I wanted to visit a secret terrain of the armed forces. The permission was conditioned upon my being very short and my restraining from any communication with the children. The children I saw seemed to be robots, pale, dull, insensitive, without life. But they worked, and how! Their way to work through the various tasks seemed obsessional, almost neurotic, while they were bombarded with a full-cry Beethoven symphony from a portable stereo.

These schools were places without soul and without humor. When the children had their pause, they sat down immediately on a bench, opened their lunch boxes and eat silently, without talking to each other. They seemed to have no contact to each other, isolated in their intellectual cages, without all what usually makes the somewhat noisy and happy society of natural carefree children. These children were little adults that had lost their souls and stared in the air with moody faces.

I felt highly irritated when I left those places. I found them even worse than the violent orphanages I had seen in some third-world countries. This was child dressage of its best, but one that was no circus because here not even clowns were allowed.

I never got a chance to visit Summerhill. I doubt that it is as permissive as it pretends to be, and this simply because it is located in England. Can one imagine a more repressive culture as to the expression of natural human emotions? Of course, it is much more humane than most traditional schools and, in particular, corporal punishment is absolutely taboo. The education is permissive regarding the healthy emotional and sexual development of the child. Masturbation is not repressed, sexual play only for the purpose to avoid procreation. That is what we learn from Neill’s books, but it must be doubted if in practice, in Puritan England, the free sexuality of children and youth is tolerated in a school.

Nonetheless, Summerhill has followed up to a great tradition. Neill’s educational approach can be seen on a line with famous historical educational methods, like Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s or John Locke’s, in that it was founded upon the view that nature is generally good.

—See Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Émile ou de l’éducation (1762/1964) and John Locke, Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1690/1823).

Summerhill is thus in flagrant contradiction with Christian, and in particular Calvinistic, child-rearing which uses harsh punishments and emotional frustrations ‘to better the human soul’ that it considers as basically bad and rotten. The goal of Summerhill is not to bring about conformists, but adults with high self-esteem, strong intuition and sensitivity, humor and respect for life in all its forms.

One of the main motivations Neill had for his school was to produce adults with a generally positive and constructive mindset, people who are free of hatred and the repressed anger that is part of traditional education; people also whose emotional life is intact and lively.

When Neill opened Summerhill, he was already fifty-one years old. He had spent years with studying human history and education and was deeply concerned that human history was marked by hate and violence, human destructiveness, intolerance, war and slavery. Neill got to see behind the veil of lies of modern civilization. He saw this pervading hatred again and again in the children who arrived from traditional institutions where they had been declared uneducable; he saw that the whole concept of the ‘difficult child’ was a myth in that these children were not more destructive than others, but unhappy, lonesome, emotionally blocked, and frustrated. Their destructivity and violence was but a symptom of the underlying reasons that were deeply rooted in the hypocrite, paranoid and violent societal system they were raised in.

In addition, most of them had been neglected or even abused by their parents or by educators in the homes they were coming from.

These children had lost trust in adults. They had been deceived and felt the cold pressure that comes from authoritarian ways of child-rearing. They did not know what love was about and being loved. In this sense, Neill acknowledged, all children who are raised in an authoritarian and repressive system will be ‘difficult’ once they are freed from the pressure they are subjected to. This difficult behavior, Neill found, actually was an inner healing process that established a new value system in their mindset. But first they explode, of course. With adults it is the same, as we all know. Violent crimes, war, slavery, torture and terrorism are the results of the hypocrite make-believe that we call civilization and that has in truth nothing to do with being civilized.

These consequences of the authoritarian educational system show that this approach is based upon wrong premises, and that it is not human and not made for humans since it disregards human dignity in the most flagrant way. Neill knew that only an education that is based upon love can finally overcome the violence inherent in a society that is full of hatred. For the only way out of violence is fighting its roots: lack of love and respect, lack of positive encouragement, dehumanizing treatments and a belief system that is based on the idiotic and arrogant idea that nature is fundamentally bad and has to be improved.

Referring to Wilhelm Reich’s research, Neill found that a moralistic education does not only negatively impact upon the mindset of children, but also infringes upon the soma, especially the emotional and muscular balance in the body of the child.

Also in accordance with Wilhelm Reich, Neill applied in his school the principle of self-regulation. Every attempt to impact upon the children in an intellectual or moralistic way was leading to failure and was soon abandoned. Instead, Neill believed that children comply with what they really subscribe to and understand so that they do it because they believe that it has to be done.

This attitude of course requires that the educator knows and believes that children are beings born with reason and that they will use this reason whatever their age is. That is exactly the point where moralistically oriented educators have their deepest doubts. They dig a ravine between adults and children, as if children lived in another world with different natural laws. While they acknowledge the necessity of reason, they deny that children possess reason and rather put children on one level with animals. There are passages in Calvinist writings that are very explicit in this regard.

Raising Humane Humans

Free child-rearing is unthinkable without conceding children their natural erotic and sexual feelings and, even more importantly, the freedom of speech regarding these feelings.

The latter is as important as the former because children who are allowed to do it without being allowed to talk about what they have done will never really believe that this freedom has been given to them. Instead they will experience guilt and shame.

Only a child who is sexually free and erotically satiated will develop his full potential of interest and work energy. It is further necessary that children really feel accepted as persons in their own right, in their natural wholeness that encompasses a virgin emonic setup that wants to be developed and experienced. All life asks for growth, and it is therefore total nonsense when mainstream psychologists pretend the child had to grow with a sleeping sexuality that would suddenly awaken at the end of puberty. Fairy tales.

We are facing this challenge for a more truthful education also on a collective and global level in that we gradually develop more tolerance, understanding and compassion for others. This global change is brought about through changing the basic foundation of our educational and pedagogical values, and here I am talking about public sanity.

The Summerhill concept realized a first step toward more humanity here on earth, by raising more humane humans. Interestingly, the overwhelming majority of Summerhill graduates were later seen to score very well on the social ladder while leading healthy and balanced lives and experiencing positive and highly rewarding relationships. Neill stated that his own measure of success was the capability to work with joy and to live positively.

After forty years of experience with Summerhill, Neill was able to conclude that, applying this definition of success, ‘most of the Summerhill graduates became successful people.’

When we see that Summerhill started out in the 1920s, we should think that now, almost a century later, we should be with two feet in the new age — but are we? It seems to me we rather retrograded far behind the 20th century in all the basic areas of social policy making.

Only to look at the international ‘sex offender’ witchhunts, I feel we are right back in the dark ages, with the difference only that the church was replaced by the modern police state and the priest by the psychiatrist.

In other words, I would localize us right now at the end of the phase of antithesis. This end phase can extend over the next twenty or so years, but it may also be half a century until the synthesis is reached.

Of course, this varies from one society to another. Some progressive European societies such as Norway or nowadays, Spain, are already implementing social policies that clearly indicate they are ‘thought’ from the synthesis perspective.

For a nation such as the United States, however, where things look particularly dim in this respect, a social philosopher needs to be mentioned who clearly prepared the ground for the synthesis perspective. It was Joel Feinberg.

—See, for example, Joel Feinberg, Harmless Wrongdoing: The Moral Limits of the Criminal Law, Vol. 4 (1990).

It seems that his appeal for the government to avoid criminalizing natural and harmless human behavior was not really influential for the very contrary is being done over the last two decades or so.

I have worked out a comprehensive new agenda for social policy making in my monograph Love or Morality: Social Policy for the 21st Century (2010/2015), which is ‘thought’ exclusively from the synthesis perspective and which goes beyond Feinstein’s suggestions in that it attacks the recent exorbitant getting-tough policies regarding ‘sex offenders.’

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