Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Lies, Lies and Damn Lies

There was a quote recently by an actress in a Sunday magazine, which was:

"We're only nervous, when we lie."

Are we?  Are we even aware that we lie?  Don't we lie about the fact that we've lied?  We lie to ourselves, we lie to others, we lie about what we are and we pass on those lies.

From the moment a baby is born we name it, give it a weight and a birthday and at that point an entity is created. And as soon as the birth and name is registered that baby has an identity, in society and in the eyes of the law. The categorisations start.

From then on the infant's life is controlled; its feeds are regulated and its growth progress is plotted on a graph, constant comparisons made between its progress in terms of mobility, motor skills, feeding habits, developmental milestones: crawling, walking, speech and sleep patterns.  The baby is constantly monitored, measured and when it reaches a milestone early or sleeps through the night or feeds well, we say it's 'a good baby'.  And when it doesn't we say 'oh, he/she is really playing me up today." and assume that the baby is willfully choosing to stay awake or dislike pureed carrots or fail to crawl by 6 months old.  You can watch this happening all the time.  Parents berating and shouting (and much worse) at babies and young children for being... well... babies and young children.  Can the parents help it anymore than the baby or child can help staying awake all night or spitting out its food?  No.  We're all products of our genes, upbringing, conditioning, culture; in fact, the entire environment.

Does it matter?  Oh, yes.  It matters because it's the most insiduous and damaging lie. This is when it is most ardently and forcefully emphasised.  It takes a lot of time and effort, sustained over many years to instill the belief in a human being that they are responsible for the way they are, for what they are.

Nobody has any choice about the parents they're born to or the upbringing and parenting they receive. They can't say "Stuff this, you uptight, dissatisfied, controlling old cow.  I'm going somewhere where the adults appreciate me for the delightful, spontaneous expression of life that I am.  I'm fed-up with being made to eat food I don't like when I'm not hungry, sleeping to your schedule and being a disappointment to you in front of your friends because I can't count up to 10 in French by the time I'm 5.  I'm off!".

The violence starts when we say to a child 'You'.  'YOU did that'.  'You slept through the night', 'You are a good boy to share your toys'. As though the child is in control of anything it does, feels, knows, learns or thinks.  But by foisting each natural action, thought, or feeling that happens as being the responsibility of the child, we begin an insidous and destructive programming. The belief that there is the ability to control what we are, who we are and how we are. That there is an isolated, causative agent that controls the mind, body and life.

From the moment we're born the lie is foisted upon us and harboured as it continues being reinforced layer upon layer; each layer strengthing and giving weight to the idea that what we are is something separate with its own free will.

The child goes to school and if it doesn't undertand maths or grammar it's told that it is stupid and isn't trying hard enough; that the way it processes information is wrong, out of the norm. And alongside all this is the parent's corroboration with the education system that categorises the ability of the child according to a national standard, which places emphasis and importance on achievement in exams on standardised subjects. Add to this peer pressure/behaviour; the politics and play of our childhood chums.

Feeling unsure of themselves they seek out easy targets to ridicule and taunt, to use as a comparison to make themselves feel better about the inadequacy that has been pointed out in themself.  They lash out in their confusion because.......because somehow they know that what they've been told and taught is off-kilter.  If it makes them feel so bad, ashamed and lacking, so wrong, how can it be right?

And this is just the beginning!  Things don't get any easier as we grow into puberty and young adulthood .  A whole heap of impossible conditions is heaped upon you;  the way you look, what you think, how you feel - and you can never fit the mold of what you're told you 'should' be: but by dint of your genes alone, the way you look is not decided or controlled by you, or anyone else.

How long does this go on for?  It's not that common that someone stops to look and ask "Is it me or is it possible that what I've been told all my life is a lie?"

I can't help being what or who I am, so how can I possibly help not being what everyone thinks I should be!? If I want to change, but can't, then does that mean that I'm in control at all?  And if I'm NOT in control, then what is?"

Perhaps at this point some people realise the truth that there is nothing in control or maybe they start looking for exactly what is. And there is a whole world of theories and solutions out there designed to try to correct the person's inability to be in control  There's the ego and the id and the sub-conscious, God, the Self, the no-self, the Divine, the devil, will-power, the inner child, .... oh, an endless list of concepts to explore and explain what we think we are.

But it rarely occurs to us that there is literally nothing in control.  Just a constant, moving, changing process.

So we can't really blame parents for the way they raise children.  Or the educational system for being the way it is.  Or society for operating as it does; since it's all the process doing itself.  But until the process/life moves to look at and realise the lie upon which we're founded then we're doomed... doomed I tell ya.

No comments:

Post a Comment