Grieving Life Lost
Journal — February 21, 2017 — lucidity, love
Today I realized, belatedly, that I’m in grief.
I’m not sure when it started. It entered my awareness a week ago, but luckily I thought to write down a dream that seemed important, so I know I was already working with it a month ago.
I couldn’t understand that dream, at the time. Now it makes sense to me.
It’s about letting life pass by, without living it.I’m conscious of the fact that I’m presently writing a post on a blog that I’ve scrupulously kept secret, minimizing my involvement in life.
On the 12th I finished reading The Continuum Concept, which is, at first glance, about the importance of being continuously in-arms during the first six months of life. I think Jean Liedloff focused on that, as the most important message that the book could deliver.
But, actually, the existence of the continuum – as it’s described – has staggeringly far-reaching implications, way beyond the right way to relate to human infants.This isn’t a secret. Liedloff writes about the other implications all throughout the book. Chapter six of seven is titled “Society”.
The continuum concept,Lower-case because I’m talking about the concept, not the book. in short, is a theory that says living beings are evolved accumulations of expectation-and-tendency. We have lungs: we expect to be in air, and we tend to breathe. If the expectations we embody aren’t met, which means we can’t live out our natural tendencies, we panic.
The same logic applies to very complex situations we lived through in our evolution, such as being a baby held in-arms, experiencing all the multitudes of crazy things that the baby of a hunter-gatherer mother goes through on a daily basis.
Babies don’t cryLike any other baby in the first 200 thousand years of human evolution, I very rarely cried. because of hunger; they cry, more than anything else, because of unmet evolutionary expectations.
The expectation of being held in arms all the time is so strong, for the first six months, that it can and does do enormous damage to the whole human organism if we’re left in cribs and cradles instead.
The experience is so unusual, so shocking, that something in us seems to decide we’ve landed in a hostile, alien universe, totally outsideActually, I think the continuum is smarter than this. More likely, after a few telltale traumatic post-birth experiences, it just shrugs and says, “Oh, we must be somewhere within ten thousand years after the invention of agriculture. That means everything’s shitty. Better be on guard.” the long experience of our continuum, and so we adopt a permanently fearful approach to the world.
My first six months on Earth went more or less as expected, which gives me a wide variety of incredible superpowers, compared to most people alive today.
But we live longer than six months.Hopefully.
I had to ask myself: what did my genetic makeup expect, which didn’t happen? Where did I get disconnected from my continuum?
At some point, around two years old, I must have expected to be surrounded by people doing ordinary day-to-day things that I can easily mimic: making things, cutting things, throwing things, moving things, and so on.
My continuum sense kept telling me to look for spellbooks so I can throw fireballs and fly around, as is typical for intellectual types in my culture. Hence I became sad. (source) That isn’t at all what I experienced. I mainly remember a lot of television and video games, full of characters doing things I cannot do.
I now think this specific missing experience is the reason why I was depressed, for nearly my whole childhood. Around age eight, I decided it’d be best to commit suicide at age eighteen. I changed my mind around age sixteen, but it took another eight years to fully come out of it, at age twenty-four.
It would’ve saved me some trouble if I’d lived in a continuum-correct village from the start. That was statistically very unlikely for me, though – and I wouldn’t have become adept with modern technology, which is something I need for my job on this planet. In retrospect, I chose my parents wisely.
Today, I’m twenty-seven years old. That’s a couple years after the usual beginning of the grihastha (“householder”)
Last month’s reading: Liedloff, Thoreau, Wikipedia binge on all things vedic. (source) stage, according to a concept of human life that’s at least a few thousand years old. That’s still almost no time at all, as far as the continuum is concerned, but it’s a better hint than looking at my contemporaries.
Grihastha-hood traditionally starts with marriage. In that light, it’s interesting to note what happened in my life a few years ago: I met someone I felt a huge attraction to – something more intense and comprehensive than the kind of sexual attraction I’d known up until then – and then was mostly celibateLast lifetime’s sexual encounters: seven. up until the present day, although I continued to see her around in daily life, as she lived in the same village as me.
I would be very surprised if that series of events was a common experience, for my evolutionary ancestors.
I don’t think that’s what my grief is about, though. Sex has never held great emotional importance for me. Rather, what hit me last week was the thought: maybe I want to have kids.I’m unwilling to take the “maybe” out of that sentence, or to replace “thought” with “realization”, for now.
It could be that I’m grieving my children who weren’t born. That’s very romantic sounding, and, even if only for that reason, probably untrue.
When I ask myself what I’m grieving for, it seems more like this:
The brahmacharya I was is already dying, and he barely lived.