Posts Tagged hippie
Prenatal Revulsion and Loss of the “Golden Age”: Creeped Out in the Womb, The Itches We Cannot Scratch, and the Deepest Roots of OCD, Bigotry, and Holocaust
Why We Tattoo, Sun-Bathe, Hate Hippies and Immigrants and Jews, and Obsessively Clean Our Homes: The Roots of the Tea Party and Nazi Narratives of Loss of a Golden Age in Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion
Wounded Deer and Centaurs, Chapter Ten: Prenatal Irrituation-Revulsion … Creeped Out in the Womb
Ewww! Prenatal Irritation, Revulsion … Toxic Environment, Touch, Sex, Preadolescent “Creepiness” and Early Roots of Rape and Sexual Abuse
Creeped Out in the Womb and Toxic Environment … Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion and Connections to Touch, Sexual Abuse, and Boys’ “Creepy” Behavior
The fourth part of late gestation formative experiences and the third part of fetal malnutrition is what I’m calling Irritation…Revulsion. It is about a toxic environment in the womb. To review, back then inside our mothers,
Four, Prenatal Irritation, Toxic Environment
Now in this fourth part, we feel the environment around us is toxic. It is about ickiness, irritation, disgust, feeling dirty, burning, uncleanness, yuckiness, filthiness…as teens like to say, “creepy,” and “ewww!” It is all about the surface of the body in this complex, not about what we are taking inside us (bad blood, disgust) or not getting to take inside (deprivation).
And it is not about being pressed in from the outside…crowdedness…but about irritation and burning on the surface of the skin.
Returning to ancient mythology, we have a pretty good description of it in a Norse myth—the one about Loki—which is said to be one parallel to the Prometheus myth discussed at length earlier. In this one,
The god Loki (often associated with fire) was bound to a rock. Above him is a large serpent which drips toxic venom upon him. His wife collects the poison in a bowl, but must empty it every time it gets full. As she is in the process of doing this, the snake proceeds to cover Loki in poison. Just as Prometheus gets his liver eaten only to have it grow back again, Loki is temporarily saved from venom only to have it drip on him once more.
So in this aspect of late gestation experience, what you perceive around you is a poisonous environment that you feel wants to diminish your purity of self, your integrity, and ultimately would lead to your death. This threatening environment has a characteristic of filling up increasingly with toxins, bad blood. As in the Loki myth, the wife (the mother, placenta) collects the poison (waste matter not efficiently removed) in a bowl (womb, placental surround), but must empty it every time it gets full (waste material removed). We have around us something that is building up which is polluting (sinful) and will drag us down (put us in hell), take away our “morality,” our “purity,” our “innocence.”
The reason this happens is that the reduced blood flow in the womb means there is a buildup—slight, but noticeable to a fetus—of toxins. They are not taken away as efficiently through the veins. There is also the factor of an aging placenta. There is a feeling of skin irritation and/or slight burning. There is a sense, for the fetus, of its world not being as vibrant and alive as earlier. Systems are no longer accelerating or peaking, as was the case for the entirety of one’s life previous to that—earlier womb life—but are leveling off. And if one is a delayed birth, as I was, one can sense a breaking down of the systems…an entropy that is frightening.
Skin Deprivation, Skin Irritation
This sort of early experience focused on the skin surface should be compared with that which Ashley Montagu has written about in great detail. He would no doubt argue that skin trauma is related to a deprivation of contact after birth. He has shown how we have as much need for contact and touch as we do for any of our other biological needs, and it is certainly more fundamental than sex. However, I would argue that the trauma I am talking about is very similar, but it is an earlier fractal. And just as before we saw how there is trauma from not getting enough resources (oxygen deprivation, emotional deprivation) but also from getting plenty but of the wrong kind (bad blood, child abuse), so also the skin trauma Montagu is mostly talking about is deprivation of contact, whereas what I’m referring to is about trauma from stimulation of the skin in an unpleasant way.
Sugar and Spice … Snips and Snails
A later fractal of it would be the skin being touched, but in an unpleasant or revolting way…as they say, “Ewww … Don’t touch me with that … That’s gross! That’s creepy.” Pre-adolescent boys get a lot of amusement out of provoking and playing with these feelings in young girls…as at the same time they are working out their own similar feelings but in a counterphobic way. This common, perhaps universal, behavior is a way that societies have evolved of dealing with these feelings so as to be able to propagate the species. For, obviously, if we acted out of these feelings as adults, no one would want to have sex or pretty much have anything but ungloved contact with the physicality or biology of others…we would have no doctors or biologists!
Rape, Sexual Abuse
When this fractal goes beyond unpleasant—creepy—contact to touch that is administered in an aggressive or assaultive way, we have rape and sexual abuse. These kinds of assaults and abuse have roots in this early experience of the prenate; they can occur out of the fact that an individual’s experience of this aspect of gestation was traumatic…along with other contributing factors, of course.
Creeped Out in the Womb … Prenatal Revulsion and Loss of the “Golden Age”
Granted that this feeling constellation is not just about the surface of the skin. Irritation can be focused just there, but revulsion is more than that. It is just that the surface of the skin is the primary sense being stimulated to set off the entire feeling complex of being creeped out in the womb, revolted. In saying that, I don’t want to discount the sense of dis-ease or sickness the fetus experiences in general, for there is the feeling awareness that this situation is different from, is a deterioration of, the “golden age” of well-being and exquisite functioning of systems that was experienced earlier in (womb) life.
Next—The Itches We Cannot Scratch
So we know what it is … this irritation, revulsion complex. Now let us look at the ways we act out these traumas and the kinds of thoughts and behaviors arising from these imprints in the womb. In the next sections, we look at some uniquely human cultural behaviors—tattooing, body piercing and adornments, and sun bathing. Following that we unravel how we act out these imprints in dire and major ways in our political and environmental attitudes and actions.
The Itch We Cannot Scratch … Imprinted to Tattoo, Body Pierce, and Sun-Bathe in Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion
Why Humans Are the Only Species That Burns, Inks, and Mortifies Their Skin … Prenatal Imprints for Tattooing, Sun Bathing, and Body Adornment
How We Act Out Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion in Cultural Behaviors
More common ways we behave out of these early imprints from prenatal irritation and revulsion have to do with obsessions for sun-bathing and tattooing. Body ornamentation, in particular, is one of the cultural universals of humans, which is lacking in our planetmate societies. We’ll get to the other, more important, cultural manifestations of this early experience shortly, when we discuss intolerance, obsessive-compulsiveness, and scapegoating and persecution of minorities in societies and the horrid ways we act them out.
Tattoos and Body Adornments
This complex of feelings includes irritation. Think of it as like an itch that one can’t scratch. Pretty unnerving, right? We are focused on our skin in this way, though we are not aware of these feelings in a conscious way after a while. Imagine an itch that is there all the time, like from a mosquito bite. As they say, if you don’t scratch it it goes away. Well it is not that the feeling isn’t there, it is that virtually all feelings fade with time…one gets distracted from them…as it was said of Prometheus’s pain, everyone involved “wearies” of it.
But that doesn’t mean it is not influencing our actions on a subconscious level. So, we get tattoos and do all kinds of strange things to the surface of our skins and to the outsides of our bodies which only make sense if you look at such people as acting out an ongoing itch that can’t be scratched. These rituals, though unknown in other species, are one of our unique human characteristics.
Gen X and Millennial Generation
When you have sudden eruptions of this kind of behavior in a society, it would be illuminating to look at what changed in that culture’s practices around pregnancy and prenatal care when those adults were in their mothers’ wombs.
A prominent example of this is the fascination and addictiveness that Gen X and the Millennial Generation have with tattooing. This is a distinct contrast with the previous generation, the Boomers, and with generations prior to that. I don’t think it is coincidence that these generations spent their womb-time during a period of a Western avalanche of prescription drug use of all types that was for a long time—and to some extent still is—thought to be inconsequential to the fetus.
Fetal Drug Irritation…That Itch That Won’t Go Away
When the medical establishment did discuss pharmaceutical use and the fetus, it was talked about in terms of whether the particular compound passed through the “placental barrier.” Unfortunately, the “placental barrier” turned out to not be the major protection to fetuses that Western society wanted it to be in order to continue with this explosive intake of all kinds of medications. [Footnote 1]
And all of this intake is quite a bit different than the moderate and minimal medication usage by mothers in all previous generations. These drugs simply did not exist in any earlier time in the abundance they do now.
Extreme examples of this—pathologies rooted in such late gestation trauma—can manifest as a desire to cut oneself. People who are compulsive cutters say they are trying to feel something, that they feel dead or numb. Well, yes, this is how it feels when one scratches an itch…one has the sense that one doesn’t really feel it until one scratches it…and until then, like bug bites, one does a psychological numbing of the area until one can get to it.
Another way this is felt is as a kind of a burning on the surface of the skin, what we might feel being immersed in mildly acidic water. As always, we re-create these discomforts in an unconscious way of trying to resolve them. So we have this curious ritual in some cultures of lying out in the open on sunny days and allowing our skin to be heated and burned. We think this is all about cosmetics, personal appearance, or health, but it is not. Those ideas are rationalizations after the fact. For we even allow the feeling of sunburn, a painful experience, as if it is some kind of fortifying experience. Medically, we now know, these rituals are not healthy at all…contributing to skin cancers and such. A sidenote: One needs to ask if the skin trauma in the womb causes the skin cancer and the sun-bathing is just another act out, but not causative of skin cancer.
And you think this a minor thing? Well for many, yes. Remember, though, that many people revolve their lives around these experiences…George Hamilton comes to mind. They might build their lives around surfing…or being “beach bums.” I know of one person who has made the major decisions of his life around such rituals and behaviors. He kept finding ways to live near the beach, the ocean, so he could sun-bathe…”take in the rays.” He had his marriage ceremony on the beach; though he was not a beach bum. I also know this person has major skin trauma in his life: He had chicken pox as a baby and it was so itchy and he so wanted to scratch himself they actually tied him down so he could not. It makes perfect sense that such preeminent skin trauma has the kinds of deep roots I am talking about here. So this is how such early trauma can be no small matter.
Having looked briefly at the human cultural behaviors that arise from these early perceptions and feelings, let us now delve into some of the bigger and more dire act outs—ones that this book in particular is detailing. Let us see how we act these things out in society in our group behaviors — culture wars — and how we act them out in our interactions with the world of Nature and our environment.
We now turn to the issues of scapegoating, immigration, intolerance, racism, culture wars, abortion and contraception, overpopulation, slavery and fascism and genocide; after which we will look at environmental contamination and the depletion of the ozone layer.
“Don’t Bug Me!” … Culture Wars, Hating Hippies, and Having Obsessively Clean Homes, But Tolerating Pollution – Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion
Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion Imprints Us for Intolerance of Others, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, and Super-Tidy Homes … “Don’t Bug Me!”
How We Act This Out — Politically and Environmentally
To review, in the womb (1) we are surrounded by toxins—they threaten us…our lives, our “purity”..they irritate us. (2) We can’t get rid of poisons that build up in the environment around us…like a prenatal environmental pollution…we can’t eliminate wastes as efficiently.
The first aspect of this — surrounding and threatening — relates to how we act this out in our homes, communities, and social environments — that is, with other people; it has to do with intolerance. The second—buildup of waste—concerns how we act this out with our general, our planetary environment, with environmental pollution. Let us take them in turn.
We Are at War With Our Personal Environment
First, (1) we are surrounded by toxins—they threaten us in our homes and communities.
Obsessive-Compulsive Cleanliness…Severe Tidiness
The environment around us is always felt to be unclean, polluted. We can’t seem to ever get it clean enough. Any dirt or untidiness reminiscent of our time of built up toxins in the womb sends us into a flurry of activity to fight it off, lest we ever feel that way again.
We use chemical cleaners and anti-bacterial agents to fight off imaginary threats, which we call viral and bacterial, but in doing so insure we will actually live in a toxic chemical environment.
We will tolerate pollutants in the air we breathe and the water we drink—after all that merely re-creates the “bad blood” we once experienced—but we will not abide litter or dirty streets. In fact, we see these pollutants projected on the people in our cities, and so we want to “clean up the streets.”
“Don’t Bug Me, Man.”
We felt “bugged” in the womb, for we were irritated. We cannot abide any creepy crawly bug-like things around us for they remind us of those “itches we cannot scratch”—that prenatal skin irritation. We over-eliminate spiders and insects from our environments in a way so far beyond what is necessary. We are blind to how they are part of our essential ecosystem.
I don’t like mosquitoes any more than the next person, but I can see that alongside an all-out war on all creepy crawlies we have seen a disappearance of bees, essential for our food production…maybe related, probably not. (For a related perspective, See “Expect Less … and More … from Your Wasps.”)
We Will Not Be “Bugged”
My point is that the vast majority of insects are harmless to us and not even bothersome. Yet, let some tiny insect into a suburban home, and you would think that it had been invaded by a SWAT team. This is hilarious from the perspective of someone who has done some primal work and so is not so “bugged” by the appearance of an insect, or of being a part of its roadway to wherever, or by noticing how some have used our bar-b-que items for temporary landing places or short-lived insect airports. Notice the reaction of some people when an ant or some other insect is observed kiting across a picnic table if you think I’m exaggerating.
We are at war with anything that reminds us of those irritating times; we do not want to be “bugged.” And if we are, it can send some of us into a fury…or a terror. I have one friend who was once invaded by fleas. She is now terrified of them. I’ve had similar experiences with fleas—don’t get me wrong, I do bomb them, when they get to a certain point where they might get out of control. But I’ve been in the same environments with this person, as has my wife, and this person’s terror is extraordinary for the situation.
I believe these kinds of phobias—and there are many examples of this fear of insects that could be used—are rooted in this trauma of being irritated in the womb. For it is an uncomfortable situation that went on for an incredibly long time for an extremely young human (a fetus) who had little, if any, sense of time and so of the possible ending of discomfort.
We Are at Culture War With Elements in Society That Remind Us of This Time
To continue, (1) We are surrounded by toxins. They threaten us…our lives, our “purity”..they irritate us.
“Dirty” Hippies and Other “Irritating People”
But it is not just bugs that bug us. We project this primal irritation on others. They bug us, are irritating. Sometimes they are; but sometimes simply the sight of them stimulates our unconscious irritations. We see them sometimes as “unwashed” and thus irritating. Some folks say other folks are “scum” or “vermin”; or they use similar terms indicating a revolting dirtiness—vile, immoral.
We hate anyone and anything that seems to be on the other side of this war against ickiness. We create culture wars and put those other people on the other side—they are hippies, immigrants, minorities—always they are described as “filthy” and “dirty,” which indicates we are seeing them through a veil of perinatal revulsion.
Politically – These Poisons Surround Us
There are these poisonous elements — immigrants, communists, socialists, Hollywood ideas, teachers, educators, union organizers, activists, “hippies,” beatniks, unemployed, riff raff — who are destroying our “pure” way of life (way of life = blood stream with lots of bright oxygenated blood), and “these influences” are all about us and surrounding us. And we fight back against this toxic encroachment like little supermen fighting for some version of the pristine past…for “truth, justice…and the American way!”
But There Was a “Golden Age” Before Them
Politically, we scapegoat minorities, gays, immigrants, Jews, Hispanics, hippies, gypsies, witches, as being pollutants to our purity of race, blood. We look out at others as being those “unwashed masses.” This implies we have a time of purity from the past (the Fifties in America, for example), when only our pure blood existed and life was easy. And we want to get back to it. In late gestation discomfort, most of us as prenates actually do have a memory of an earlier time of pristine perfection, harmony, and bliss—BPM I—early womb life.
But, now, these impure things insert themselves into our lives and disgust us…bad blood. But they also surround us…with their filth. In actuality, however, we are merely acting out a time of increasing carbon dioxide, chemical, and waste matter buildup in the late stages of gestation. It is this incursion we are endlessly and futilely fighting off.
“Get Away From Me, Bum!” … Replaying a Prenatal Narrative, We Create “Filthy” Others and Blame Them for Loss of Our “Golden Age.”
Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion Has Us Invent Scapegoats for Loss of “Golden Age” … Racism, Bigotry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Immigration
“Get Away from Me, Bum!” … Riff-Raff … Hippie … Scum
Immigration – They Are Dirty, Polluted and Keep Filling Up the Space Around Us
So, because of these prenatal formative experiences, we place some folks “outside our circle” and see them as irritating, even revolting. They are “disgusting” (poisonous) abominations of bloodlines …abominations … whether they’re Jews (not like the pure Aryans) or blacks (filthy, lazy, dirty, immoral), who want our fresh pure blood (blood libel), our resources.
By contrast, we’re the “real” Americans. They, on the other hand, want to take all that is good (about America, for example) and destroy it; they’re dragging us down. And they keep coming across our “borders” (placental barrier) and “overrunning” the country.
They are everywhere! We can’t get away from them. They surround us! And they are taking over. They are “poisoning” our way of life. So this is how these early imprints have us seeing others and our society in ways conducive to horrible intolerances and anti-immigration sentiments.
But We Keep Re-Creating This Situation in Our Actions/Decisions Insuring That We Will Continue to Feel This Way
These feelings are irrational and not based in fact, of course. We show this in that at the same time as we hate and fight off this incursion into our surroundings, we create overpopulation and a buildup of people who can’t be cared for…who will therefore be the “unwashed,” surrounding us. We fight abortion policies and contraception and so create overpopulation and thus increasing toxicity in our environment.
While we expend our energy fighting reflections of our pain, in the form of other people we create to hate, we create the conditions that will keep us feeling the way we do. We create pollution in our environment. We even wish to keep our scapegoats downtrodden and filthy, even though around us and “polluting” us. Our desire is to keep them “dirty,” to keep them as “slaves” and riff-raff. We act to keep them poor, to drive them into the “dirt,” and to keep them from being able to rise above the “squalor.”
We Create This Situation and Then Engage in the Drama of Acting Out Against Them By Wanting to Punish Them With How They Are Making Us Feel
The Nazi mind was riddled with this prenatal trauma. They rounded up Jews, ethnic others, and the “undesirables” of their society They stuffed them (crowded womb) into cattle cars where many were forced to stand uncomfortably, and where they could only defecate on themselves and wallow in their own waste matter (buildup of waste matter in the womb).
I recently saw the movie—Sarah’s Key, based on an actual event during World War II—where 13,152 Parisian Jews were rounded up and placed in the Vélodrome d’hiver, a sports stadium, for eight days without sanitary facilities until they were processed into even more dire “facilities” at Auschwitz … and murdered.
About the conditions at the stadium, it is written,
The dark glass roof, combined with windows screwed shut for security, raised the temperature inside the structure. The 13,152 people held there  had no lavatories; of the 10 available, five were sealed because their windows offered a way out, and the others were blocked. The arrested Jews were kept there for eight days with only water and food brought by Quakers, the Red Cross and the few doctors and nurses allowed to enter.
They had no recourse but to fill their own surroundings with waste matter; it was said the stench outside in the surrounding neighborhood was unbearable, quite foul. We see manifest here a pathological imposition of prenatal pushes about being crowded, given very little in the way of resources (oxygen deprivation), in a hot environment (prenatal stuffiness and irritation/burning), and forced to wallow in waste matter (toxic womb).
I’ve already mentioned how many Jews were eventually shunted into gas chambers where they were forced to inhale poisonous fumes as a re-creation of prenatal poisoning trauma. (See also bad blood.)
Ultimately, We Want to Eliminate Them, Seeing Them as the Obstacles to Returning to That “Golden Age
At any rate, we feel we need to eliminate them for they want our resources (oxygen). We feel they will use up everything and leave us wanting (deprivation), and left with nothing (oxygen starvation, death). Never mind that in going after them we are looking away from those in society who are actually causing us to struggle for the necessities and to feel deprived. But this has nothing to do with rationality.
This prenatal mind has us seeing everything through the fetal narrative: Once upon a time, there was harmony, bliss, perfection. Everyone was happy; we were strong (BPM I). But then came change in our lives. Our surroundings became increasingly filled with strange and alien others at the same time as we felt less free and more unhappy (BPM II crowdedness), our strength waning, and that times had gotten tough: There was less money and we felt unfairly deprived (BPM II oxygen deprivation).
We felt that these alien others were infecting our purity of life by imposing upon and inserting themselves into our lives (BPM II bad blood). Everything around us seemed dirtier and more foul and they were around us in increasing numbers (amounts), so it was their fault; and their continued presence would eventually kill us (BPM II poisonous placenta/ prenatal irritation, revulsion). It was they who were responsible for the loss of our pristine way of life. So to do anything about it, it was thought necessary to fight back against this incursion, defend our way of life, family, and the innocents from this “filth,” and shore up the goodness (good blood) and resources (oxygen) we still had.
In America this narrative is played out by the right wing and Tea Party folks: Essentially they see the world as having gone downhill since a 1950s-style “golden age” when everyone was serene, happy, and prosperous. Never mind that the wealthy at that time paid their fair share of taxes to contribute to a general prosperity, and these conservatives seek to return to it by having the wealthy pay little to no taxes now. Never mind either that it never really existed the way they think they remember it and that what they want to reinstate is a pasted together collage of childhood hurts and hopes, bad TV and movies, even worse advertisements and commercials conveying an image of the way Americans really had it (but did not), prenatal imprints, and wudda cudda shudda beens. They see liberals, bleeding hearts, hippies, immigrants, and minorities as responsible for preventing a return to that truly mythical golden age. So, these elements are scapegoated for the crimes of the 1%.
In Germany, the same narrative was played out, but their golden age was before World War I. Hitler got power by promising a return to that time of prosperity, and he scapegoated Jews and other minorities for their “fall from grace” by pointing to them as blocking a return to national strength and purity.
So sometimes how humans dealt with these threatening incursions of “poisonous” others was with all-out attack…and destruction. Those others were seen to be in the way, so it followed they would need to be eliminated. But in the process those “filthy” others would be made to feel the kinds of feelings that their presence was stimulating in the pure ones—the real Germans…nowadays the real Americans.
Remember, these others irritate us and just “burn” us (prenatal irritation/burning). Some say, “It just burns me to look at them!” And folks will act out horribly by killing these others by fire: by burning witches, Jews, enemies in general.
It continues to this day. In a previous section I mentioned the Baptist preacher—the one who got “pukin’ sick” at the thought of gays and lesbians—who wanted to surround them with an electrified fence! Not exactly like burning witches, but close enough.
And ultimately…the “Ultimate Solution”… we wish to remove them altogether by burning them up in fires or ovens (prenatal burning/ irritation). This we do either by concentration camps, pogroms, or by the highest tech means of raining fire down upon the undesirables in third world countries.
In modern times, we have rained fire down upon them from aircraft. We have used napalm—liquid fire—and Agent Orange—one of the most toxic compounds created—on these others, who we’ve called “gooks” and other derisive terms.
Basically it comes down to the world being divided into filthy and disgusting things that want our resources (oxygen) and our pure white threatened selves (substitute corresponding contrasts for other cultures). This is bottom line our feelings of fetal malnutrition. It is unfortunately for us projected onto the outside world so strongly we can’t know what is really going on behind that perinatal veil.
Now let us turn to how this prenatal screen, twisting the reality we see, has us defiling our own homes and aiding our own self-destruction. For toxic womb has been re-created as toxic planet.
Continue with How We Re-Create Human Prenatal Irritation and Burning in a Polluted Planet: Diagnosis, Prognosis, and What to Do About Toxic Womb ~ Toxic Earth
Return to “Bad Blood” — Acting Out Prenatal Feelings of Sickening … Earliest Roots of War, Psychosis, Racism, Xenophobia, Elitism, Homophobia … and Medicine
1. This makes an important part of the case, focusing on environmental pollutants, but the same thing goes for drugs, medications:
Your baby’s first environment isn’t as toxin-free as you might think. Here’s how to shelter him from harm.
Tucked inside you like a walnut in its shell and cushioned by amniotic fluid, your baby seems safe and secure. Sure, the outside world is filled with environmental threats, but isn’t it the job of the placenta to filter out substances that can harm the fetus? Well, yes—but. While the placenta does a crackerjack job of screening most infectious agents—rubella and HIV are notable exceptions—it’s permeable to most pollutants, including pesticides, PCBs, perchlorate, bisphenol A (BPA), lead and mercury. Unfortunately, the placental barrier that protected a Pleistocene pregnancy from menace is no match for today’s man-made toxins.
When researchers examined the umbilical cord blood of 10 U.S. babies born in August and September 2004, they found a total of 287 industrial chemicals. Of those, 180 were carcinogens; 217 were toxic to the brain. “Numerous environmental contaminants can cross the placental barrier,” a National Institutes of Health report noted. “To a disturbing extent, babies are born pre-polluted.” Of course, just because a newborn has carcinogenic or neurotoxic chemicals in her cord blood doesn’t mean she’ll develop cancer or learning impairments. Still, most of us would prefer to err on the side of caution. That means pregnant women should avoid environmental toxins as conscientiously as they avoid cigarettes— except that it’s a lot easier to turn down a smoke than it is to say no to contaminants.
“Even people who pursue green lifestyles and organic diets have toxic chemicals in their blood,” says ecologist Sandra Steingraber, whose book Having Faith (Berkley Trade) chronicles the effects of pollution on fetal development. “When pregnant, our bodies become an interior ecosystem that exists in communion with the exterior ecosystem we inhabit. Whatever is in our food, air, water or house dust gets inside us.”
Continue with How We Re-Create Human Prenatal Irritation and Burning in a Polluted Planet: Diagnosis, Prognosis, and What to Do About Toxic Womb ~ Toxic Earth
Return to “Bad Blood” — Acting Out Prenatal Feelings of Sickening … Earliest Roots of War, Psychosis, Racism, Xenophobia, Elitism, Homophobia … and Medicine
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We Are the Centaurs, My Friends: We Are the Necessary Heroes for Deluded Promethean “Fathers,” Open the Jar, Pandora, and Why the Gods Are LOL
We’ve Fallen and We Can’t Get Up: Like Chiron, We Need to Take Inside Us the “Sins” of Promethean Fathers to Stop Millennial Cycles of Suffering
Wounded Deer and Centaurs, Chapter Seven: Return of the Centaur and How We Look to the Gods
Enter the Centaur: Wherein Lies Real Hope – Sixties and Millennial Generations Are Shamans for Deluded Promethean “Fathers”
Blind Hope vs. Real Hope … Chiron Is Martyr for The Sins of the Fathers
Prometheus Brought Us Blind Hopes
Another aspect of this is that Prometheus is said to have “caused blind hopes to live in the hearts of men.” Indeed, we are also now seeing how blind was our reliance on technology and the vaunted but vain “rational mind”—which has now been seen to be a rationalizing mind.
For we realize this self-congratulatory thinking has been keeping out uncomfortable truths and building illusory, manic Atman projects of escape from the consequences of our actions. None of which, we are now finding out, are capable of working.
Enter the Centaur: Real Hopes – Chiron
But to jump ahead. There is hope in the Prometheus myth as well. There is shown a way forward for humanity, which at this particular time in history appears to have been prophetic. For Prometheus is saved from his sufferings by the Centaur, Chiron. Chiron sacrifices himself—Christ-like—taking on Prometheus’s suffering and dying in his stead.
Return to The Centaur
Earthy, Sensual, Noble
The Centaur — half human, half animal — does not, like Icarus, paste on wings and try to separate from groundedness in the Earth. No. Centaur qualities are earthy, sensual, sexual. They embrace the noble qualities of the horse … reminding us that as primal beings, early humans, we were noble humans … as they say, a bit ethnocentrically, “noble savages.” We once stood, sure-footed and tall, and we walked confidently upon the Earth, knowing we belonged here.
Wounded Healers, Shamans, Gardeners of Consciousness, Poets … Brave and Foolhardy Journeyers Into the Unapproved and Hidden
Traditionally associated with intoxicants and with the bacchanalian, centaurs can see into other realities, nonordinary ones. They are open to altered states of consciousness. They are not averse to looking into their deeper natures, their “undersides,” their unconscious; that is how they came to be one with Nature in the first place.
Indeed, Chiron is also known as the wounded healer and is associated with the shamanic. Being, like Chiron, healers, centaurs are skilled in both physical and mental health. Thus they are wholistic and psychotherapeutical. They are philosophical. Plato was one. Walt Whitman was one. They are poetic.
Mystics, Scapegoats, Natural … A-mused and A-musing Not Deluded and A-mazed
They are scapegoated, like Chiron was, for the sins of society, and in modern times they have scornfully been referred to as “hippies” and “beatniks” — but they include the bohemian types of all times. Being rooted in a more fundamental nature or reality they are mystic. Jesus was one. Following a “different drummer,” as it were, they are the Wayseers.
Connected to the real source of truth in Nature and the Divine, they are in touch with their muse … and are both a-mused and a-musing…but they are not into the maze of culture, the matrix, they are not fooled or a-mazed.
The Centaur is completely in tune with her and his planetmate-nature, the Divine and Natural order—as in the Jungian and mystic understandings of individuation as being a re-uniting with a fundamental and earlier reality — returning home, humble and prodigal-son like.
The Opposite of Ordinary Folks…Who Build Stairways to Heaven and Towers to Their Vanity
This is the opposite of most folks who spend their lives seeking to vainly build stairways to heaven, Towers of Babel to the divine, to be muscular Nietzchian supermen, or to struggle up Wilberian ladder-style paths for imaginary achievements and to an understandably elusive “enlightenment.”
We Are the Centaurs, My Friends
This self-sacrificing tendency in humans I will be talking about at length at the end of this book where I point out how we need to stop acting out and begin taking back the projections we make onto the Unknown and thereby stop the Promethean cycles of suffering going on for millennia. We need to, like Chiron, take upon ourselves the “sins of the fathers.” As Tom Waits sang it, “I’m gonna take the sins of my father (mother, brother, sister), down to the pond…I’m gonna wash them.”
Exactly that. We must make the heroic sacrifice of taking inside ourselves those perennial urges to act out on others what was done to us. In environmental terms we must make the sacrifices of lowering our standard of living and cutting back on the lavish appetites and lazy indulgences fed by excessive technology, cultural trinkets, and superfluous commercialism, which other generations were allowed to take to the limits of their times. For if we do not, then there will be very little left for future generations—assuming there’ll be any.
These cultural “achievements” — wrought of burning of fossil fuels, release of fiery energy from the atom, and despoiling of natural resources — all of them in some way rooted in the theft of fire long ago, which started it all, must be let go of. We must refrain from being driven by these addictions and substitutes for actual felt experience, take the “fire” within instead of burning it up without. So in physical terms we must bring those excessive urges home within ourselves and ground them in Nature, bring them back into our physical bodies, we must be Centaurs. And within our bodies experience the discomfort of such a monumental millennial turnabout.
So, no. This is not easy or comfortable.
No. Not easy or comfortable.
Real Hope Lies in Pandora’s Jar and Return of the Centaur … Since the Last Time Was 1961, It’s None Too Soon
Open the Jar, Pandora, and Return of The Centaur … Wherein Lies Real Hope
Open the Jar, Pandora
In psychological terms, real change lies in peering deep into the Pandora’s jar of the unconscious to recover the real hope that is there. Remember, Zeus punished humanity for Prometheus’s theft by sending Pandora. Pandora opened the jar she was told never to look into—another broken law of the Divine, like that of Eve and Prometheus—and out came all the ailments that now plague humankind. It is said Pandora tried to close it but “it was too late.” Still, the legend tells us what was left inside was hope.
I don’t think you have a better description of the way most folks, including most psychologists, handle the discomfort of early pain: They can’t help but be affected by it…some of it does “leak out.” But they expend all kinds of efforts toward bottling it up as much as possible, suppressing, repressing, using all kinds of defenses—including what mainstream psychotherapists call “healthy” ones.
Well, There’s No Sense Going Half Way!
Yet I can tell you as a primal therapist, breathworker, and primal person that is the exact wrong thing to do. From the perspective of deep experiential psychotherapy and Holotropic Breathwork one must open the “jar” all the way up. One must surrender to the discomfort within—not acting it out but acting it in…or rather, surrendering to the feelings that come up and expressing them (opening the jar wide).
The jar is the personal unconscious, and what we find is that the only answer to all these troubles is to look deeply into them; for when we do we find the real hope that lies beneath the pain. Or as I have phrased it, there comes a time when one feels through the “negative grids” (the “pain grids”) to the “positive grids” (the “joy grids”). Therein is the hope.
What we find is that when one has faced and integrated perinatal pain, then the blissful experiences from earlier in womb time opens up. In Grof’s terms referred to earlier in this book, when one allows oneself to experience the depression of BPM II (constricted womb) and the tribulations of BPM III (birth itself), then one is open to the euphoria of BPM I (early womb experience). Rather than seeing through a veil of perinatal negativity and illusion and acting out from the unreal self or ego, one is getting closer to one’s real self as a positive, truly creative being, .
This is not a fleeting experience, for it allows a completely new perception on one’s life, vastly different from what one normally thinks. One has access to positive patterns laid down at earlier and more fundamental times in one’s life. One can build a life that works, for once. One can make choices that trigger one into happiness, not ones that are self-destructive and conducive to unhappiness.
This is true in therapy and on the spiritual path but also in ordinary life. For any time one confronts or looks deeply into one’s discomforts there is a time when there is release from it, there is a time when one is in a better place for having faced it. As the Tao symbol indicates, there is a seed of light in the depths of darkness.
Additionally I can tell you that opening up even more to the reality of consciousness, as opposed to constructing egoic “castles in the sky,” leads to uncovering the “spiritual grids” beyond even the “positive grids.” That is when we go beyond even hope to actual redemption, re-union with estranged divinity, faith, empathy, love, and finally compassion. And that is when we as Centaurs go from being just wounded and suffering to being, like Chiron, healers…and caring teachers.
So, for centaurs, for those who take this path, it is more depressive than aggressive. And up to the euphoric culmination I described above, it is painful and ongoing as well, just as Chiron’s wound was incurable and tormenting. These become the shamans and wounded healers, like Chiron, throwing themselves into the fire, rather than shooting fire all about themselves at others. Centauric folks take on the suffering lest they end up being like all those before them who sheepishly and selfishly passed the burden down.
Return of the Centaur
In another part of this book I point out how there are, beginning with the Sixties, now generations who are doing just that—working out these pains, not acting them out.
I just recently delineated the way these primal pains are emerging and how they are being worked through, not acted out, in younger generations and in alternative, rock music, and therapeutic cultures for a number of decades now.
Finally, in a related work of mine, Culture War, Class War, I have written how the Sixties Generation is a centaur generation and how the millennial generation is continuing that tradition. I’ve pointed out Sixties folk are centauric in standing upon (sitting upon) the achievements of previous generations but also reversing the perverse Promethean human direction by reuniting with our rootedness in Nature.
Chiron Return…Every Fifty-One Years
This humble and correct primal returning has been done, is continuing to be done, and will keep on being done as the Sixties generation continues working out its power struggle at the top, but now aided by a Millennial generation—comprised mainly of their daughters and sons — who are rather centaur-like themselves … as this book and the related works continue to show.
And who, because of this, following different stars grounded in realities both deeper and higher, they boldly confront their societies, bringing about change, creating rapid evolution, revolution; and in doing this they have already created an Arab Spring and an Occupy Wall Street movement. They will bring about profound change in that they are opposed to the powers that be, just as their parents were opposed to the “establishment” of their day and created a “counter” culture.
The Chiron cycle is fifty-one years, meaning the last time we had energies like we do now in 2013 was in 1962. If you lived through or know about that decade, you know that 1962 through 1972 were among the most transformative, progressive, and revolutionary years in the history of the world…and it indeed was a worldwide phenomenon. Considering the dire developments and challenges being laid at our feet, as this book has been laying them out…and requiring as much social but personal change as well…the centaurs couldn’t have returned any too soon.
How We Look to the Gods and Prometheus Redux … Building More Nukes and Drilling More Holes – Icarus Keeps Flapping and the Gods Can’t Stop Laughing
View From the Heavens and Prometheus Redux … Icarus Is Flapping and the Gods Are Laughing as We Build Nukes and Drill Holes
Before leaving Prometheus for good, let us consider some other interesting aspects of its rendering that provide insight into this book’s exploration of the deepest psychological—perinatal—roots of our apocalypse now:
- According to the first, he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.
“Betraying the secrets of gods to men” includes the biggest divine prerogative—dominion over death. Also, this implies that humans were given the forbidden knowledge which humans are incapable of controlling, which I dealt with at length in a previous section, using as modern examples our stirring up the forces of the atom and the secrets of the DNA.
- According to the second, Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.
One of the results of Promethean hubris was control of Nature but therein also detachment from Nature. As I have been showing, our birth pain led us to the Promethean mistake of fire and meat. Both of these contribute to what I have called the thingification of humans, especially in modern/postmodern times. By that I mean our extraordinary pain coming into the world and then in general in life causes us to split off from the feelings in our bodies. We objectify all of Nature: We remove all its feeling and spiritual components and leave Things as the only reality, including ourselves and other humans. We “thingify” our babies; and as adults we embrace thingification (repression, detachment, estrangement, suppression, alienation) as a way of defending against this pain.
- According to the third, his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.
This separation from the pain creates the personal unconscious. But as a species, we have created a collective unconscious—what I have called the Unapproved and Hidden of all cultures. And as I have said, the truth became increasingly invisible over time…our real nature, what we did, and the true cost of our estrangement became ever more buried, obscure…eventually unknowable.
- According to the fourth, everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.
This refers to what happens when we face these uncomfortable truths and resolve them. Ultimately we leave behind these dramas when we have dealt with them so much they no longer have any charge for us… in other words, they become boring… we “weary.” The patterns are still there, but they contain no charge for us.
So the first legend asserts that we are damaged and pained as karmic retribution for our defiance of Nature. And in these last three legends we have the ways we have reacted to the Promethean wound within us: ”We become unfeeling, detached, rock-like. We become one with our defenses, thingified.
The second says that we repress this information and it becomes increasingly hidden (“forgotten”) as our species has “evolved,” but also individually, as we get older in life. This is generally what is done with the Promethean wound of birth pain. The third says that some of us face and deal with the wounds. Eventually they are gone beyond, truly gone beyond, as eventually all the charge on them disappears, they have no more control over us or pull on us, as we just naturally weary of them…they dissipate.
- There remains the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.
Finally, inexplicable substratum of truth is a pretty damn good description of the Unapproved and Hidden … also known as the Collective Unconscious… But in my rendering of it—dealing with our species unconscious, not just personal, “racial,” societal, or cultural—it contains much more than Jung imagined and because of that reverses many of the interpretations and meanings arising from it from what the Jungians, Joseph Campbell, or Freud understood.
Finally – Futility… The Gods Are Laughing at Us
One final message can be taken from these ancient minings of unconscious Truth which is also a commentary on our current mainstream reactions to the dire developments which are now reaching an apocalyptic peak:
Icarus Flapping – LOL
In the Icarus myth, “Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms.” I don’t think there is a better image for the way we look in our actions in the face of apocalypse. The gods, aliens, Titans, angels, and the planetmates must be laughing their asses off at the sight of humans continued “flapping” about with ever more technology, pushing ever forward into the face of doom and apocalypse—the sun, the fire for Icarus—even as the Earth below us continues to fail, disintegrate, get polluted and poisoned, and no longer support our continued hubris.
We’re Falling and We Can’t Get Up
Oh, yes, we’ve started the Icarus fall…our wings of technology are “melting”—literally in the case of Fukushima—but ever faster we “flap”—seeking to build more nuclear plants, hiding from the populace the extinction level events that are happening RIGHT NOW at Fukushima, seeking to drill ever more even with the BP spill clear as can be in the rear view mirror, lining the Koch Brothers pockets in touting the benefits of coal as an energy source, melting the rocks around natural gas so that our tap water catches fire and poisons folks who drink it, and so much more. So, yes, even more furiously we flap, the harder for every increase in our fall.
We furiously pick up litter as our organs rot from radiation poisoning. Oh, yes, we’ll die. But where we fall it will be tidy. We register voters and sign petitions as our organs rot from radiation poisoning. Oh, yes, we’ll die. But we’ll all be able to vote. [Footnote 1]
View From the Edge
We’ve had a long journey through the world of ancient myths and prehistory in delving into the way our prenatal state of oxygen insufficiency has pushed us to make fire and polluted environments attractive to us. We’ve seen how these early pushes have set us apart from all other species and placed us on an inexorable slide—which we in good time embraced and claimed as a goal and achievement even—to the edge of an apocalyptic abyss.
Next we look at how this unconscious state of an Oliver Twist style of oxygen deprivation affects us politically and socially…no matter any conscious or moral rearranging of “furniture” on the decks of our individual Titanics.
Continue with Prenatal Hunger Games and “Blood Wars”: The Fetal Fight About “Pure Blood” We Act Out in Politics, War, and Oppression … Class War, Culture War, Revolution….
Return to Will “Progress of Man” Be Humanity’s Epitaph? Apocalyptic Foretellings Hidden in Myth and a Re-Visioning of “Civilization” in Light of Impending Ecocide
1. Every time I look at this, It looks worse than I thought. This one makes me think there’s no way any of us will survive this. And if we do, then our children won’t. It’s that bad. And what pisses me off is that progressives want to poo-poo this.
Continue with Prenatal Hunger Games and “Blood Wars”: The Fetal Fight About “Pure Blood” We Act Out in Politics, War, and Oppression … Class War, Culture War, Revolution….
Return to Will “Progress of Man” Be Humanity’s Epitaph? Apocalyptic Foretellings Hidden in Myth and a Re-Visioning of “Civilization” in Light of Impending Ecocide
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Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago? Foolin’ the People About America and The Rise of Obvious “Truths” … It’s About Creeping Corporate Insertion Into Every Aspect of Your Life.
Peaking in the Sixties, Starving for Prosperity, The Compassion Gap, Starving the “Beast,” Humbug for the Poor, Democratizing the Hate … Your Money or Your Life
Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fourteen: Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago?
Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago? Part One: Peaking in the Sixties
- Americans are innovators and problem-solvers.
- There’s nothing Americans can’t do, no problem we can’t solve, once we put our minds to it.
- Things just keep getting better in America
- Republicans are for small business.
So unfortunately, after Reagan instituted “voodoo economics,” with prices on health care and pharmaceuticals going through the roof along with the sudden unexpected increases of other necessities of life, you had that lowered standard of living we have now become accustomed to for the great majority of Americans. You had a population that was poorer, in relative terms, and got increasingly poorer.
Over time, over the course of my lifetime, though we might ostensibly have appeared to prosper we did not. The apparent rise in standard of living was a result of the glut of new consumer items produced in an increasingly technological and complex culture. You might be able to afford plenty of cheap trinkets and toys, but for things that pertained to your well-being and quality of life, such as health and medical care, good schools, wholesome food, higher educational opportunities, a clean environment, recreational opportunities, fuel and energy, leisure, family, and quality time, and so on we were ever more wanting.
Peaking in the Sixties
In retrospect I can see we prospered in the Fifties and Sixties. The records show that Americans achieved a peak of affluence in the Sixties and that since then, and rapidly accelerating since the Eighties, we have been on a downward slide.
Poor Mothers Could Afford to Stay Home and Take Care of the Kids.
I can see the ways we, living in the Fifties and Sixties, were as a culture fairly well off, though personally my circumstances were anything but that. My father made only fifty dollars a week for a time. But my mother never had to go to work. She actually did get a part-time job much later in life for the enjoyment of it. Can anyone today imagine that?
How Much for That House? Ok, Let Me Get My Wallet.
My father never made over a hundred dollars a week until later in his life he actually started his own small trucking outfit…that’s another story about who are the real job creators in America that I get into elsewhere. Yet he bought his home with cash he had saved up. Eight thousand dollars smack on the barrelhead in 1953. He never had to work three jobs to get by either, like some folks have to today. No mortgage on his house and he bought every car he owned—roughly once every five years—also with cash he had saved.
College Educations for Free in the Sixties and Seventies. #occupycollege today
No loans, never in debt and yet five of his six children attended at least some college and two attained at least Master’s degrees. I was talking with my older brother about his college education, which mirrored my own, and we both remember getting by with very little or no debt afterward. We both received enough to cover all college plus living expenses most years just on scholarships and grants—mostly state and federally funded—yet we both attended private, somewhat prestigious, colleges.
I know, millennial generation, but don’t blame us, we’re on your side. #occupycollege.
What’s Health Insurance?
My family didn’t have any health insurance, had never even heard of it. We were not well off, but we like most people could afford to go to the doctor. And similar to others we could even normally pay hospital bills, for maternity and so on. If anything very serious developed that required more money no one ever imagined that they would be turned away at a hospital. The Mercy Hospital in my city, run by a religious order of Catholic nuns and funded by contributions, was a place one could always go regardless of one’s means. Sounds unbelievably quaint, doesn’t it? I know. I can hardly believe it was once that way myself.
Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago? Part Two: Starving for Prosperity
Foolin’ the People About America
There is an abundance of food in America
There is a huge problem with obesity in America because folks actually have too much to eat.
People are overweight because they eat too much.
Starving for Prosperity
“Have Some More, There’s Plenty!”
And my family never starved back in the Fifties and Sixties. The dinner refrain was “Have some more, there’s plenty.” Though we were fairly poor by the standards of that time, I never, ever, ever imagined there being a lack of or limitation on food. There were big restrictions on sweet treats and goodies, but not on wholesome food. So it shocks me to see how much more concerned parents are today about how much their children will eat, as well as how precisely they mete out their gustatory offerings when entertaining.
“You’re Not Leaving This Table till You’ve Eaten All Your … Ketchup.”
When not long ago I worked in a group home for troubled boys I was shocked and distressed to see the controversies over the food portions given and the restrictions on when they could eat. This was a government-funded group home and had to abide by all kinds of minimal standards in nutrition. Still, ever since Reagan determined that ketchup qualified as a vegetable serving, I have noticed this public stinginess about food.
Where I worked, sugared-water drinks qualified as juice, and peanut butter consumption was limited to a thin layer like that of butter that’s spread on bread. Cheap sugar this and thats and nutrient-low, colon-clogging baked goods, noodle dishes, and pizza were the at-hand substitutes for wholesome, more substantial offerings. The resulting blood-sugar swings and erratic, aggressive behavior were handled with drugs and listed within their case histories.
“Please, Sir, Some More?”
There was much more like this but suffice it to say that I could hardly believe the happenings in this Oliver Twist world. My heart went out to those young boys who in this once wealthy land and still surrounded by plenty in this post-millennial, rich suburban California stood near the kitchen with plate in hand, their eyes pleading if they might “please have some more.”
This miserliness about food seems a prevalent thing throughout the culture as it is evident in school lunch programs also. Whereas at the grammar and secondary schools I attended while growing up I enjoyed complete wholesome meals on a par with and sometimes surpassing the enjoyable repasts at home and even seconds were allowed, what is considered a decent school lunch today is shocking. Corporations have taken over as suppliers. Can you believe we had a Joe the Cook in grade school who concocted home-style offerings, which were ladled out by those of our mothers, including my own, who had volunteered?
The Beloved School Cook–Pepsico
Today the school meals are akin to that in fast food restaurants and just as monotonous … pizza, chicken nuggets, spaghetti, greasy burgers, hot dogs, fries. They are not “cooked.” From what I understand, they are taken from freezers, popped in microwaves, and dealt out to pupils like one would cards. The epidemics of obesity and diabetes in our country attest to how much worse is the nutrition for young folks today.
Aren’t America’s “Extermination Policies” Just More Undetectable Than Nazi Germany’s? Starving the “Beast”—That Means You: Your Money or Your Life
Foolin’ the People About America. Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago? Part Three: Starving the “Beast”
Your Medical Payment or Your Life
What else is different now than fifty years ago? Well, there’s people who can’t pay for health care… can’t get health care? …. Now that’s something new for me too. Can’t get health care. Wow. You mean you’re sick, you’re gonna die, but you can’t get help in the medical system? Unbelievable. That used to be unheard of.
I know. You’re thinking, “But we passed universal health care in recent years.” Remember though, we passed universal health care “coverage” … not care. Everyone has to be insured does not mean everyone gets taken care of.
At any rate, none of this “universal health care” has “trickled down” to the very needy as far as I can tell. Now, I don’t know if folks are being turned away from hospitals like they were before it was passed. Folks got refused care for lack of coverage in recent decades. And sometimes they died. (I wonder how many others died while struggling to fill out the forms to apply for health care for the needy? *sarcasm*)
Regardless, health care that is delayed, rationed out, or cut back and denied for certain conditions can be just as much a death sentence as being turned away at a hospital door. Example? After we passed “universal” coverage Governor Jane Brewer of Arizona allowed a change in policy in their state-funded health care to deny organ transplants to those folks who could not afford it otherwise. These were organ transplants needed to save their lives. These people would have received them under some other coverage, but falling through the cracks and being poor—some of them born too disabled to be able to work at a job—they were essentially told, “We can’t afford to keep you alive (we’ve got tax cuts for the rich to pay for).” So they did. They died. Republicans clamored about “death panels” beforehand; then promptly implemented one as soon as they could.
Isn’t this the kind of health care the opponents of “socialized medicine” say we would get if we went to single-payer? Well, we’ve got it folks—delays, rationing, denials, complications … and stress!—without any of the benefits of “socialized medicine.” I’ve watched it take two weeks to get a prescription in Riverside County, California, when it should have taken 45 minutes or less. The folks there handling health care for people who include poor folks on Medi-Cal are so overworked and stretched thin that you need to stand in line, literally stand in line for sometimes four hours or more to get a prescription filled. Think I’m exaggerating? I’m aware of at least one elderly gentleman who collapsed while waiting and was removed on a stretcher. I felt like I was in a scene from the movie Soylent Green, wondering where they were taking this one who had fallen by the wayside.
And the answer is no. No to the other question in your mind: “Don’t they have places you can sit down?” I know of no other place where you have to stand to get your prescription, you’re REQUIRED to stand. But then this is a huge county hospital catering to the poor. It handles many poor people…and it does it poorly. The unwritten rule is, “You’re asking for health care at a discount!? Well, WE’LL MAKE YOU PAY…ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, DAMN YOU!”
You don’t think this attitude trickles down to the masses from policy on high? Well, you tell me what the policy makers of the 1% are thinking when they say they are going to “starve the beast” of government … continually cut back funds for government services…as a back door way of making government smaller. This is the exact wording they have used, since Reagan, for their policies of tax cuts for the rich that require massive spending cuts on services for poor and middle income folks.
But think now: Just who do they imagine is really that “beast”? And why use the word, “starve”? Yes, the “beast” of the masses, the riff-raff, is being “starved”—being made to suffer for lack of sufficient money for systems and workers so folks can be served faster. With money stretched thin for humane processing systems and employees to implement them, people are refuse…”beasts”…having to stand and suffer.
I wonder how this is not simply a more undetectable way of eliminating in America the handicapped, disabled, and/or mentally challenged than the way the Nazis did it to the same sort of “riff raff” when they got to power during the time of the Third Reich.
Universal Health Care in America? Don’t Make Me Laugh… You Get an “Assumed Doctor” and Like it or You Choose to Die.
Foolin’ the People About America. Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago? Part Four: But Do You Get a Doctor?
And Do You Get a Doctor?
Do you get a doctor, though? Not in this decade you don’t. When I was a child we went to the doctor’s office and paid $7 for a doctor’s visit. Even on my Dad’s $50 a week, that was affordable; and that was the least he made. When you now have doctor’s visits that cost a hundred to three hundred dollars if you pay out of pocket (or more), do you realize how much you’d have to make for it to be as affordable as it was for my Dad? Figure $700 to 2 to 3 thousand a week. Some people make that nowadays, but not the poor. Remember, my father was dirt poor, getting by on $50 a week with six kids.
House Calls in the Past; “Pretend” Doctors Today
But we got to see a real doctor. We even got a doctor who made house calls. Today? Well you get a pretend doctor who confers, along with a gaggle of other pretend doctors, with an actual physician, then gets back to you as you wait…and wait some more.
And You Wait
Recently, it took four hours for the visit and another four hours to get the prescriptions at the same hospital in another place…and the prescriptions didn’t all come through until after two weeks and a number of phone calls, as at one point they had to order a common prescription and then lost the order (had no record that it had ever been made; though on several phone calls they referred to it) and had to make it again. And this experience has been common. I’ve experienced it a number of times. I’m trying to acquire health care elsewhere, believe me.
You Get an “Assumed” Doctor
Did I get a doctor? No. Oh, they call themselves doctors. The last one was more honest and announced when he came in that he was so and so who was a “student doctor.” I didn’t hear him correctly. My mind scanned thousands of files in an instant and what it came up with I just had to ask. I said, “Did you say you are an ‘assumed doctor’”?
And You Like It
And being “processed” like a piece of meat this way, you get a different “assumed doctor” every time. There is no continuity. You don’t bother to keep track of their names, for it doesn’t matter. You start all over on every visit. The only thing they know of you is what has been electronically recorded from previous visits; nothing human or relational is carried forward. They will tell you it is because all the “assumed doctors” are equally competent and qualified, so it doesn’t matter. Of course that is a rationalization for a system so “starved” of funding the personal touch has long ago been squeezed out in favor of assembly-line efficiency.
Or You Choose to Die
So what is the upshot of all this. It is that many folks have to weigh getting health care in America—which is claimed to be “available”—against the complications and time of getting it. I don’t have a job, so I was able to persevere. What of folks who have to work full time or more? I was well enough to stand around and coherent enough to make notes and make phone calls. What of folks who are sicker than that?
The Unspoken Costs of Health Care
The upshot is that many folks are weighing THESE costs of health care when choosing whether or not to seek help. And their decision is leaving many of these folks dead. I know of a number of people who have made such a decision; many of you also do.
Some Are Choosing a “Soylent Green” Escape
I know of one instance where it was even done consciously, for the person did not want to spend what might be her last time on Earth struggling with an insensitive and mean-spirited medical system, so she just opted to let her cancer take her in the serenity of her home and surrounded by loved ones. (Why am I thinking of that movie Soylent Green again? Well, maybe you remember that scene as well.)
Others Are Risking It
I know I myself weigh these costs in time and suffering and inconvenience whenever I feel I might need to be looked at for something. And very often…most of the time actually…I put off being looked at. I postpone doing tests that are made more time consuming and painful for poor folks (don’t get me started on that); and I often give up in pursuing the treatments and medications that I am prescribed…figuring that putting up with the suffering of the ailment is better than the suffering incurred in its cure. And I am not alone. Will it cost me my life? Perhaps.
Universal health care in America? Don’t make me laugh..
America—Best Health Care in the World
Now, compare all this with the way it was fifty years ago. A friend of mine on Facebook shared how her brother was treated when he had a life threatening injury. This was that long ago and she relates they were poor. She says, they flew in a specialist from Australia to perform the delicate operation. I repeat, they were poor. But then this was all before Reagan…and Nixon. I’m getting to that.
With the Excuse of “The Game,” Small-Hearted Folks Can Now Flaunt Their Mean-Spiritedness – The Compassion Gap
“Stop War? Now, Don’t Go Gettin’ All Kumbaya on Me!” … Foolin’ the People About America. Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago? Part Five: The Compassion Gap
The Word’s More Important Than The Life
So the word has become more important than the person, and better that people sleep in the gutters or lie out in the park than to lend them a hand. And god forbid when you have children, that one of them get sick, someone have an accident, or someone get killed….
Rules (Made Up to Benefit the Wealthy) Are Now More Important Than Life
Goddamn it. Y’know, here you’ve got Rick Santelli saying, well they must have put in a kitchen or else they wouldn’t have gotten foreclosed on. Where does he get that? That’s not a fact. That’s a made up thing, just to get people angry.
And that’s the game. A game that’s not founded on any facts, only played to be won, and it’s won by making the best argument to arouse the most passions, the most negative passions in people, and to find scapegoats.
Stop War? Don’t Be Silly.
And this is the kind of thing that was brought up year after year over the decades to the point where it became that the things that I heard being valued growing up were laughable: compassion, if you were caring about people, or not wanting people to die.
Say, there was a war or something and there was agony over the loss of life. And all these people would gather together out of their concern. I’m sure you’ve heard about it. People anguished and horrified by other people’s deaths and sufferings…reaching out to help them, help each other, comfort each other, pray together…hope…weep.
Oh My Lord, Kumbaya.
Yea, a great big kumbaya moment! Wow. And I’m sure that’s what you heard, too. So I get it. Ok, so you shouldn’t have any feelings toward your fellow suffering brother or sister. Is it, what, silly? Uncool? Weak? Wussy? Sappy? What?
What is it you’re hiding about yourself?
… What would Jesus have said to that…
It seems more than the standard of living was lowered since those days. And I’m sure they are in many ways connected…. I’ll get into that later.
Health Not-Care: Democratizing the Hate, Humbug for the Poor, and The Middle Class Is the Last Bastion of Who You Can Give a Damn About
Foolin’ the People About America…The Middle Class Is the Last Bastion of Who You Can Give a Damn About. Better Off Than Fifty Years Ago? Part Six: Health Not-Care
Getting back to the change in the physical standard of living that Reagan wrought, though, let’s take for example the increase in health care costs. This is one of the necessities of life, and it’s been climbing out of reach, putting a burden on people, ok? …
Humbug for the Poor
As I explained in Part Two of “Obvious Truths,” Nixon addressed that problem in the Seventies. He was supposedly helping out the people, the poor…. Uh. But, no, he would never say that. He would never say he wanted to help the poor! Previous to him, in Johnson’s time…The Great Society and all that, yes. That was surely a time when you would hear talk like that. There was actually a War on Poverty then.
But by the time of Nixon….
So, I guess that’s when it started happening.
You couldn’t say you were actually going to help out the poor anymore. Because the truism, which I’m sure you all agree with, whether you admit it to yourself or not, is that the poor people deserve to be punished because obviously they’re lazy. Think about that; isn’t that the same stuff that, back in the day, they were saying about African Americans? …
Democratizing the Hate
So isn’t it kind of like that racism has become classism? It’s kind of like a hatred that’s not been eliminated because they’re still saying that about people of color, but it’s been expanded. It includes more people–whites and blacks…and all other kinds of colors. All the poor, they’re all now lazy, deserving what they get.
The Middle Class–The Last Bastion of Who You Can Give a Damn About
So instead what you hear today is like the “middle class”! Well, supposedly the middle class are ok people. They’re not deadbeats; they didn’t put in that kitchen they can’t afford…. Actually they’re the ones who are owning homes so some of them actually are the ones getting those new kitchens.
Nixon Cared About Health…Healthy Profits.
So Nixon’s answer to health care, to help the middle class, he started the move toward HMOs. And remember how it came about. There were actual White House tapes, an actual taped phone conversation of it. You hear Nixon talking to Ehrlichmann. And they are discussing the matter, health care. Nixon is told that Kaiser, and this is the guy who started Kaiser Permanente, one of the top HMOs. He is told that Edgar Kaiser is proposing a “for profit” system of health care.
Now here we have people who can’t afford health care and now you want to have a system that’s going to add to the costs of it. How’s that you say?
Some People Just Wanting to Get Sick Again and Again!
Also, Kaiser pointed out it would discourage “overuse” of medical treatment. Wow! So, here we go again.
So now we see that people who need medical treatment are just like those deadbeats, they’re like poor people, they’re overusing medical care. My god! They’re getting sick too much. And if you had a for-profit system, well, they could deny people coverage. And they could deny people medical treatment, no doubt, because they would naturally want to increase their profits.
GOP-Think. GOP, Think! GOP…Think?
Well not long afterwards, Nixon gives a speech to present his sweeping new health care proposal. What does he say?
Remember, there is this obvious disdain for certain groups of people who might be getting too much health care. On the other hand, Nixon is wanting to see that certain other groups of people will make out big time from profits that will be involved.
But his speech doesn’t go like that. Nixon is recorded giving a speech, proposing a big solution, purportedly to answer the problem of the rising health care costs that are beginning to be felt at that time. He will emphasize that his proposal would be a great benefit to the middle class. [Footnote 1]
Make It to the Middle Base and You Score.
Keep in mind as I was saying in Part Two, there was a time in which influential groups would consider they “had a home run” when they could make a case that their proposal was going to benefit the