Consciousness and ‘Deadly Sin’.

We generally have the idea that communication is a matter of  first formulating our thoughts and then spitting them out. In fact its often the other way around.

‘I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.’  F. O’Connor.

We find out what what we think and feel once the words that carry them are abroad. This is the rationale behind word association tests. It is also the basis of ‘parapraxes’, or slips of the tounge.

When I was first in therapy I was telling my analyst about my father’s recent marriage to his third wife. He stopped me in mid sentance…

‘your father’s what?’

…marriage..

‘you said ‘funeral’,….’

a slip of the tounge that was the tail end of murdeous rage I was quite unaware of until it found its own way into our conversation. The ‘talking cure’ is rooted in this intimate relationship between self-expression and consciousness. This is true even more so for the expression of feelings… which is why personal breakthroughs are invariably associated with the catharsis of some forbidden emotion.

For consciousness to amount to anything it has to be shared.

‘I think I have told you, but if I have not, you must have understood, that a man who has a vision is not able to use the power of it until after he has performed the vision on earth for the people to see.’  Black Elk.

The best way to shut people up and prevent awareness is to make sharing a sin. Most obvious is sexual sharing. But the embargo on freedom of expression runs through Western Civilisation way deeper than who you can or cannot fuck.
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Sin is generally perceived as being about morality and being good but in fact its about daring to be conscious. Even God’s casting of Adam and Eve from Paradise, the land of blissful ignorance, is not for disobeying but for having the courage to be awake.
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‘Behold, man is become one of us, to know good and evil, and now, lest he put forth his hand and….eat, and live forever, therefore the Lord God sent him forth from the garden.’ Genesis 3;22
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Given that this is true, could it be that the so called Deadly Sins have to do with consciousness rather than morality? And if so, consciousness of what?
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When we look at these sins…
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Wrath; Greed; Gluttony; Sloth; Lust; Pride; Envy… they seem ‘bad’, and yet if you look at them with an unjaundiced eye, as symptoms of something, you can’t help but notice the similarity that these symptoms have with something all too familiar to the consulting room of psychotherapists everywhere.
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the post traumatic effect of Maternal Deprivation.
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and not of your personal mother but of the Great Mother, the Principle of Relatedness, the Divine Feminine…
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whose influence the church is a great deal more concerned about than any of your idiocyncratic shenanigins.
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Being good members of the flock means suppressing not just the memory of the Great Mother but more importantly the feelings of loss that accompany Her banishment.
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Its not enough to eradicate Her from memory..
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DON’T SPEAK HER NAME…
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… neither must we collectively name the emotional wounds we are left with millenia later, much as an individual child might make her vulnerability and loss at mother’s absence into ‘bad’ emotions and demonise her longing, acting out the wish to be filled up and held in-arms with a substitute paradise of drug addiction, materialism or narcissistic entitlement.
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To ensure that the feelings of abandonment and loss are not discussed and thereby bought more firmly into consciousness, they are made into taboos which entrench repression.
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 John Bowlby ( Attachment and Loss. 1950) observed that the first stage of maternal deprivation gives rise to protest..
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WRATH…
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and the assumption that someone else must have mummy…
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ENVY…
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prolonged absence creates terrible inner hungering…
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GREED…
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which the child tries to remedy itself..
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GLUTTONY…
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or symbolises the connection back to mother with sexuality..
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LUST..
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eventually the child begins to despair but tries to cover it over with a compensatory superiority…
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PRIDE…
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and finally falls into detachment and affectionless psychopathy..
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SLOTH….
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‘The mind is still haunted with its old unconscious ways; it broods on lost authorities; and the yearning, the deep and hollowing yearning for divine volition and service is with us still.’  J. Jaynes.
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The great irony of the age of communication is that we have stopped talking to one another. Collectively we are in the stage of maternal deprivation that Bowlby calls, ‘detachment’. We are detached from one another, from ourselves, from the world, from our dreams and inner life.
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”When we are cut off from the fulfillment of our basic needs we seek out substitutes to temporarily ease the longing. Bereft of connection to nature, connection to community, intimacy, meaningful self-expression, ensouled dwellings and built environment, spiritual connection, and the feeling of belonging, lots of us over-consume, overeat, over-shop, and over-accumulate.” Charles Eisenstein
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Even our vaunted sciences are rooted in separation and division.
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Newton saw the Universe as a machine… not a living organism, Darwin developed the notion of constant competition and Freud declared that we are without soul, as much a bundle of conflicts and strife on the inside as the natural world was assumed to be on the outside.
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What science ‘discovered’ was the underbelly of its own belief system projected into the world that then allowed us all to rest easy with our loss but at the price of being forever plagued by the spectre of ‘deadly sin’, a price that has left Western Civilisation apathetic and depressed.
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“Young children, who for whatever reason are deprived of the continuous care and attention of a mother or a substitute-mother, are not only temporarily disturbed by such deprivation, but may in some cases suffer long-term effects
J. Bowlby
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2,000 years worth of long term effects…..
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‘From the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.’ N. Chomsky.
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like orphans who assume they must have sinned terribly for mummy to have gone away without actually having to feel Her absence….
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and so we are compelled to take in Mother Earth by way of enactment, by the plunder and rape of the Planet, by the ravaging consumption of the Self, rather than by conscious acts of devotion known to those from whom we have descended in more ways than one.
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“Our Savior is our True Mother, in whom we are endlessly born and out of whom we shall never come.” Julian of Norwich

 

 

Published by

andywhite

Psychotherapist/writer/artist/ author of, ‘Going Mad to Stay Sane’, a psychology of self-destructiveness, about to come into its third edition.

Soon to be printed for the first time, ‘Abundant Delicious.. the Secret and the Mystery’, described by activist Satish Kumar as, ‘ A Tao of the Soul’. This book documents the archetypal country through which the process of individuation occurs and looks at the trials and tribulations we might expect on the way.

In the meantime…..
Narcissisim is the issue of our age.
This blog looks at how it operates, how it can damage and how we may still fruit despite it.

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