Bill Totten's Weblog

Monday, July 27, 2009

Creation of the Unbonded Herd

Clearly the family isn't what it used to be. But what is family? Guardians? Protectors? The first and deepest teachers?

by Michael Mendizza

Culture Change (July 25 2009)

Very, very few adults are independent, true individuals. Very, very few march to the beat of their own heart, metered by deep insight and personally generated values and conviction.

Most are domesticated, deeply conditioned to stand in line, obey authority, do what they are told, work for others and pay the taxes demanded by those giving the orders, in other words - do what ever is necessary to be accepted by the group, the tribe, the club, faith or party.

Being born into a family, surrounded by at least one true individual is very different than being born into a domesticated family.

Being domesticated means that one naturally, mindlessly and therefore easily places one's children, one by one, on the conveyor belt that domesticates. Domesticated adults generally reap what they sow, domesticated children. To not do so, being dependent on party approval, is suicidal.

Deeply the issue is - where do my feelings of belonging and acceptance come from - intrinsic or extrinsic, inside or out? And this brings us back to the core construction of our identity - bonded or not, and if so - deeper still - bonded to what, acceptance or innate integrity?

By bonding I mean the free, safe, and playful interaction between self and the model-environment appropriate to one's age and stage of development. Very early that model-environment is mother's body. The nature and quality of that bonded-inquiry-play determines if and how we reach beyond the limitations and constraints, in a word transcend that matrix, explore and become the next model-environment, the family. And that determines the next, the neighborhood-culture, and that the next, the earth, universe and spirit. Once safe-bonded-inquiry and corresponding inner-self-world view becomes conditional - based on rewards-approval-acceptance and punishments-rejection-abandonment - the expansive and transcendent nature of our identity stumbles. We give our attention to acceptance-rejection rather than deepening inquiry through play. And this provides the hook culture needs to control our behavior and it does. At every stage the truly bonded person is free. The unsafe-unbonded is not.

The truly bonded person understands fundamentally that we are the world, that 'my father and I are, indeed, one'. The less or unbonded person builds a self-world view based more or less on approval of others and therefore becomes easily conditioned, controlled and domesticated by the manipulation of that approval, belonging or rejection, rewards and punishments.

Taking this simple principle from the personal to the transpersonal, its meta, global, universal level, is becomes ever so clear that it is beneficial from a cultural, social engendering perspective to breed a less bonded than a deeply bonded population and the key to this is the alter the basic experiences we call family.

Religious organizations, for example, being cultural counterfeits of true development, used the family to recruit, induct and indoctrinate the next generation of cadets or cease to exists as a dominate cultural force. As the grip of ideology weakened, and it has taken thousands of years to do so, the family lost its usefulness as a cultural surrogate and was marginalized around the turn off the century.

The domestication of children shifted from the family to the corporate-state (the true definition of fascism), via public schools. The less meaning young people found at home, the less bonded, more insecure they become. The deeper their need for extrinsic approval grows and the more secure and controlling the culture becomes.

Fifty years down the conveyor belt (the marginalizing of family, planned breaking of the family bond) came television and soon after women's liberation each representing one-two punches to the authentic feeling, experience and meaning of family, and therefore of one's self world view. And the belt continues to herd most of us today - true to its design. It is so simple.

With this in mind I would offer that the homeschool and deeper still the unschooling community are the true revolutionaries of our day. If there is any hope for the kind of insight and activism Culture Change imagines - it will come from this growing community of flowering individuals.

Michael Mendizza is an author, educator, documentary filmmaker and founder of Touch the Future , a nonprofit learning design center:

His book, Magical Parent-Magical Child, the Art of Joyful Parenting (2004), was co-authored with Joseph Chilton Pearce, author of Crack In The Cosmic Egg (2002), a national best seller. Michael is based in Solvang, California.

Bill Totten


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