Lloyd de Mause & the Killing MOther

In lieu of posting any of the Strieber opus –  which like a triffid (or Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors) is growing improbably large the more I tend it – here’s some material that I am incorporating into it, from Lloyd de Maus. It’s frankly quite shocking, so approach it with caution, especially if you are aware of any trauma in your own past. I am finishing up part one of “The Strieber Code” (just kidding, tho the title fits) with this material, and it struck me how well this bookends the start of this investigation, with mother-strangled and my and Whitley’s Pluto-Moon opposition/conjunction.

 
Your comments are invited.

 

“The closest thing I have been able to find to an unadorned image of these beings is not from some modern science-fiction movie, it is rather the age-old, glaring face of Ishtar. Paint her eyes entirely black, remove her hair, and there is my image as it hangs before me now in my mind’s eye, the ancient and terrible one, the bringer of wisdom, the ruthless questioner.: (Strieber, Communion)

Now over to de Maus:
 

I have found that media images of monstrous bloodthirsty women have preceded every war I have analyzed. Even the most popular movies prior to wars reflect this dangerous woman fantasy. The biggest movie preceding W.W.II was The Wizard ofOz, which is about a wicked witch and how to kill her; the second biggest was The Women, a movie featuring 135 dangerous women. All About Eve just before Korea and Cleopatra before Vietnam had similar dangerous women as leads, and the Persian Gulf War was preceded by a whole string of dangerous women movies, from Fatal Attraction to Thelma and Louise,28 including a popular TV series entitled Dangerous Women.

 

When war breaks out, all these terrifying women disappear from the media, and the dangerous woman image is projected into the enemy, so that the war is experienced as a battle with a mother-figure. For example, when the United States attacked Libya, the New York Post reported the rumor that American intelligence had discovered that Moammar Khadafy was actually a “transvestite dressed in women’s clothes and high heels,”29 even touching up a photo to show how he “might look…dressed in drag.” Similarly, in the Persian Gulf War, Saddam Hussein was depicted as a dangerous pregnant mommy with a nuclear bomb in his womb. Hallucinating dangerous feminine characteristics in one’s enemies in fact goes all the way back to antiquity, when the earliest battles were imagined to have been fought against female monsters, often the mother of the hero, whatever her name–Tiamat, Ishtar, Inanna, Isis, or Kali.30 Typical is the Aztec mother-goddess Huitzilopochtli, who had “mouths all over her body” that cried out to be fed the blood of soldiers.31 Early Indo-European warriors had to pass through initiatory rituals in order to attain full status in which they dressed up and attacked a monstrous dummy female poisonous serpent, complete with three heads.32 Although early warriors fought against men, not women, they often anally raped and castrated their enemies, turning them into symbolic women; from ancient Norse to ancient Egyptian societies, heaps of enemy penises on the battlefield are commonly portrayed.33

 

In addition, according to the world’s leading historian of war, “the opportunity to engage in wholesale rape was not just among the rewards of successful war but, from the soldier’s point of view, one of the cardinal objectives for which he fought.”34 In fact, more women have been raped and killed in most wars than enemy soldiers. The hero is therefore symbolically a mother-killer, inflicting our revenge for early traumatic experiences.35 At the same time, by restaging early traumas in wars the magical goal is achieved of merging with the mother in a defensive maneuver to deny her as a dangerous object. Giving one’s life for one’s Motherland means finally joining with her. The soldier who dies in war, says one patriot, “dies peacefully. He who has a Motherland dies in comfort…in her, like a baby falling asleep in its warm and soft cradle…”36

 

Yet even though we understand that both the Motherland and the enemy in wars are ultimately the early mother, the question remains: what could possibly be the infantile origin of fantasies of the enemy as a poisonous blood-sucking monster? Why did Americans before the Revolutionary War feel “poisoned by Mother England” and fight a war rather than pay a minor tax? Why did Hitler fear “blood-sucking Jews and foreigners” and why did Aztec soldiers go to war to feed blood to a mother-goddess? Closer to today, why did Americans for so long fear their “national life-blood” was being “poisoned” by Communists? Why do so many today feel the government and welfare recipients are “sucking their blood?” Images of blood-sucking, engulfing enemies are ubiquitous throughout history. Surely our blood was never really poisoned or sucked out of us by a maternal monster in our past. Or was it?

 

Poisonous Placenta/Octopus-like monster

 

As I described in my Foundations of Psychohistory,37 when I first began collecting the emotional imagery surrounding the outbreak of war I was puzzled by recurring claims by aggressors that they were forced to go to war against their wishes because “a net had suddenly been thrown over their head” or a “ring of iron was closing about us more tightly every moment” or they had been “seized by the throat and strangled.” I piled up hundreds of these images of nations being choked and strangled, “unable to draw a breath,” “smothered, walled-in,” “unable to relieve the inexorable pressure” of a world “pregnant with events,” followed by feelings of being “picked up bodily” in “an inexorable slide” towards war, starting with a “rupture of diplomatic relations” and a “descent into the abyss,” being “unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel” as the nation takes its “final plunge over the brink,” and even that wars were “aborted” if ended too soon. Given the concreteness of all this birth imagery, I concluded that war was a rebirth fantasy of enormous power shared by nations undergoing deep regression to shared fetal traumas.
 

Now, the notion that war might be a battle against a dangerous mother is difficult enough to believe. That it in addition includes fantasies that you are hacking your way out of the engulfment of your own birth is infinitely harder to accept. But what followed then in my psychohistorical research into imagery prior to wars was a discovery that seemed to be a final step into the unbelievable, revealing a depth of regression prior to wars greater than anything yet contemplated in the psychological literature. Yet it was a discovery that for the first time seemed to explain the true origin of the poison blood imagery.

 
What I found was that the cartoons, past and present, of the enemy in war were dominated by an image that was even more widespread than that of the dangerous mommy: it was that of a seabeast, often with many heads or arms, a dragon or a hydra or a serpent or an octopus that threatened to poison the lifeblood of the nation. Most early cultures believed in this beast as a dragon that was associated with watery caves or lakes; modern wars show the beast as a blood-sucking, many-headed enemy. This serpentine, poisonous monster I soon began calling the Poisonous Plancenta, since it resembled what the actual placenta must have sometimes felt like to the growing fetus, particularly when the placenta fails in its primary tasks of cleansing the fetal blood of wastes and of replenishing its oxygen supply. When the blood coming to the fetus from the placenta is bright red and full of nutrients and oxygen, the fetus feels it is being fed by a Nurturant Placenta, but when the mother smokes, takes drugs or is hurt or frightened or otherwise stressed, the placenta does not remove the waste from fetal blood, which becomes polluted and depleted of oxygen. Under these stressful conditions, the helpless fetus experiences an asphyxiating Poisonous Placenta, the prototype for all later hate relationships, including the murderous mother, the castration father or the dangerous enemy. It is even likely that the fetus, like Oedipus, feels it is actually battling with the dangerous beast (Sphinx means “strangler” in Greek) in order to restore connections with the Nurturant Placenta.
 
This battle, what I have termed the fetal drama, is repeated in death-and-rebirth restagings of traumatic battles in all wars and other social violence. The cosmic battle with the Poisonous Placenta, where we repeat the fetal drama of a paradise lost, of being sucked into the whirlpool and crushing pressures of birth, and where we fight the placental dragon, is well depicted in a comic-book character, Conan the Barbarian, although I could just as easily have used pictures and texts from ancient myths of battles with seabeasts such as Tiamat, Rahab, Behemoth, Humbaba, Apophis, Hydra, Gorgon or Typhon.41 In this version, a baby is first shown abandoned, beginning his watery birth passage between headcrushing bones, going down the whirlpool of birth after the amniotic waters break, being choked by the Poisonous Placenta, a black seamonster that tries to asphyxiate it. The hero, an imaginary powerful version of the fetus, battles with the Poisonous Placenta and frees the fetus, who reaches the safety of land. The final panel shows that the goal, however, is not birth, the arrival on land, but the reuniting with the placenta. That it is the Nurturant not the Poisonous Placenta that holds the baby in its embrace is depicted by its being shown as a white sea beast. In most cultures, past and present, the actual placenta is considered very much alive after delivery; it is felt to be so dangerous to the community that unless it is buried somewhere deep the whole tribe will fall sick.
 
The Poisonous Placenta is even present in most small groups we form. As one group analyst describes his conclusions from a lifetime of studying unconscious group images: One of the most active, or rather paralyzing, unconscious group representations is that of Hydra: the group is felt to be a single body with a dozen arms at the ends of which are heads and mouths, each functioning independently of the others…incessantly searching for prey to be squeezed and suffocated, and ready to devour one another if they are not satisfied.43 Obviously, full understanding of the placental source of “poison blood” and sea-beast imagery and of the fetal origins of war and social violence is going to have to wait until we investigate more fully the psychology of dangerous wombs, Poisonous Placentas and asphyxiating births–which is to say, until we understand more about both the psychology and neurobiology of fetal life.
 

 

….. War leaders know the Killer Motherland group-fantasy that moves men to war, and repeat it endlessly before and during wars. Hitler spoke of German devotion to their Mutterland thousands of times in his speeches, saying “I promise you the sacrifice of 10 million German youth” to Germania.

 

Jung—like most psychoanalysts since Melanie Klein—blames Terrible Mother fears on the child, who must “throw the burden upon her” since everyone knows most mothers are not in fact abusive (a recent poll of British doctors concluded that child abuse in England was less than one percent, while actual statistics for the U.K. and U.S. find over half the children are still being battered and used sexually.51) Childhood in early civilizations was far worse than today. Census figures from antiquity show boy/girl ratios as high as 400/100, meaning most girls and perhaps half of the boys were infanticided (Poseidippos admitted that “even a rich man always exposes a daughter.”52) No early society ever punished infanticide; everyone knew places where exposed children were dumped by their mothers to be eaten by beasts.53 “Killing wet-nurses” were given newborn and expected to do away with them promptly. Children were widely sacrificed in antiquity: decapitated infant sacrifices to the Goddess were found at Jericho, in Carthage, in the stone circles of Britain, in India, in Aztec cities.54 

 
The constant imagery of sacrifices and wars being conducted under the leadership of Killer Goddesses were repetitions of familiar everyday sights to children growing up in early societies, not to mention routine pederasty of young boys, widespread rape of girls, and universal beatings, burnings and mutilations. It is not a coincidence that there were female witches but no sorcerers in Greek folklore, that statues of Fear were always of a Mother, and that in the heart of battle it is a War Goddess, Ishtar, who boasts “I stand in the midst of the battle, I am the heart of the battle, the arm of the warriors.”55 Fused with the powerful Mother Goddess, the warrior becomes a Hero who saves his own brutal mother from his projected rage against her so she can finally be imagined to love him as her Savior. ..

 

Wars were the personal province of Mother Goddesses, as personal violence was the province of female witches, both representations of the Devouring Mother of infancy who “existed not to be loved but to be placated.”56 These goddesses were termed “mistresses of battle,” and her own soldiers killed in battle were also sacrifices to her bloodthirsty appetite: “She drinks the blood of the victims who were formerly her children.”57 Actual war leaders are usually male, of course (Queen Boadicea, Joan of Arc, Queen Elizabeth and Margaret Thatcher being macho exceptions), but the war leaders worshipped the Killer Mother: “As a goddess of war, Venus appeared in Caesar’s dreams inspiring him to conquer Gaul…on the eve of battle, Caesar offered sacrifices to Mars and to his grandmother….The next morning he led his troops into the fray with shouts of ‘Venus Victrix!’”58

 

Why men feel they must fuse with their Killer Motherland and go to war against their Bad Selves. FUSION WITH THE “KILLER MOTHER” ALTER AND SPLITTING OFF THE “BAD SELF” ALTER

 

Children who cannot depend upon their caretaker to work through their daily fears have to “swallow down whole” their deadly abusers and store their abusive personalities in their brains, in a dissociated part of the right hemisphere’s amygdalan network, a persecutory personality termed an alter.64 Its purpose is to hold the early terrors of abuse and abandonment in a split-off form that allows the child to not have to express his pain and humiliation to the parent (usually the mother) for fear of completely losing her and being killed. The alter allows the child to blame himself for the abuse, then splitting himself as victim into two additional internal alters: the Hero Self, who clings to his Killer Mother Alter and protects her, and the Bad Self, whom he must punish to avoid having the mother completely abandon and kill him.65

 

The dissociated alters being in the right hemisphere explains why “left-handed males [right hemisphere dominant] are disproportionately represented in delinquent and criminal groups.”66 Alters are the time bombs embedded in the right brain during childhood that are the sources of all later violence. Because they are dissociated modules, the adult can seem to be any personality mode, even passive or withdrawn, but when they act out the earlier hurts and fears and rages against a Bad Self victim they can become a murderer or terrorist or soldier massacring thousands without guilt. It is the dissociated aspect of social violence and war that allows so many psychologists to conclude that men like Goering or Auschwitz guards or bin Laden are “perfectly normal,” since their left-brain personalities are well organized, not “psychotic,” while their right-brain dissociated alter modules periodically take over and commit their violence.68

 

All violent groups are formed by the fusion of the Heroic Self alter with the Killer Mother alter, just as all suicidal behavior has been found to contain a “oneness fantasy” where “the individual believes that part of the self will survive [death] in a fusional relationship with an idealized mother.”74 The power of this fusion fantasy can be seen in a simple experiment that has been repeated over and over again by Silverman and his group. They showed subliminal messages to hundreds of people, and found that only one—”MOMMY AND I ARE ONE”—had an enormous emotional effect, reducing their anxieties and pathologies and their smoking and drinking addictions measurably.75 “Daddy and I are one” had no effect. The power of this fantasy from earliest childhood on can be seen from the fact that the majority of three-year-old boys said when they grew up they wanted to be mothers.76 It is a fear of revealing this basic need to be fused with the mother that is responsible for boys playing separately from girls from the age of four and for their fears that they might “change into a girl” and so must dominate girls (and women and enemy nations) to avoid becoming a “sissy,” a “wimp.”77

 

Yet the fusion with the Killer Mother fantasy continues, since, as Masterson puts it: “The patient’s feelings of infantile deprivation are so fundamental, so deep, and the feelings of abandonment so painful that he is willing in therapy, as he was as a child, to sacrifice anything to fulfill the fantasy of reunion.”78 Furthermore, as the Masterson group is nearly alone in emphasizing, it is during actual “experiences of psychosocial growth, including moves toward separation-individuation” that the fear of being abandoned by the mother are most powerfully re-experienced, producing a renewed “wish for reunion that relieves the feelings of abandonment.”79 It is, observes Masterson, when patients make good progress in therapy and in their lives that they suddenly find themselves “engulfed in a feeling of freedom” and then panic. Patients say: “Going beyond what my mother wanted me to be makes me feel like I’m falling apart, disintegrating, and sets off a minefield of attack, destruction, and killing.”80

 

They are experiencing what I have termed “growth panic”—fears of success and independence and new freedoms and challenges. Growth panic is experienced periodically in historical periods of progress and new political freedoms, leading to renewed needs for fusion with their Killer Motherland and a creation of Bad Self enemies, and finally then wars against any out-group that is willing to fight and die for their Killer Motherland.81

 

Traumatized children often108 access their terrifying alters by “depersonalizing, going numb, day dreaming, and staring off into space with a glazed look.” Because alters are not modified by later experience, “it is not unusual for a childhood dream symbol to continue intermittently for years or even decades.”109 They often appear as imaginary companions during self-induced “hypnoid” trance states, even as fully conscious alternate personalities.110 I myself as a child used to split off from myself and float to the ceiling when my father beat me with his razor strap. I was so certain I could really fly I told a friend to watch me jump from a second story window and fly down (I of course broke my ankle doing so.) The majority of children even today have invisible companions or selves that are actually alters.111 Alters are “activated by strong emotional experiences, whether intensely pleasurable or intensely painful.”112

 

Violent criminals, according to Richard Rhodes, “consult ‘phantom communities’ [alters] in their heads who approve of their violent acts as revenges for past humiliations.”118 According to James Gilligan, a prison psychiatrist who has spent his life talking to violent criminals in prisons, reveals that they all were horribly abused as children: As children, these men were shot, axed, scalded, beaten, strangled, tortured, drugged, starved, suffocated, set on fire, thrown out of windows, raped, or prostituted by mothers who were their ‘pimps.’ . . . Some people think armed robbers commit their crimes in order to get money. But when you sit down and talk with people who repeatedly commit such crimes, what you hear is, ‘I never got so much respect before in my life as I did when I first pointed a gun at somebody.’”119

http://www.psychohistory.com/originsofwar/01_killermotherland.html
 http://www.psychohistory.com/originsofwar/02_whymalesaremoreviolent.html
 http://www.psychohistory.com/originsofwar/03_psychology_neurobiology.html

7 thoughts on “Lloyd de Mause & the Killing MOther

  1. Reading de Mause leaves a sour taste in my mouth. Who is he covering for and why?

    This paragraph (for example):

    “Yet even though we understand that both the Motherland and the enemy in wars are ultimately the early mother, the question remains: what could possibly be the infantile origin of fantasies of the enemy as a poisonous blood-sucking monster? Why did Americans before the Revolutionary War feel “poisoned by Mother England” and fight a war rather than pay a minor tax? Why did Hitler fear “blood-sucking Jews and foreigners” and why did Aztec soldiers go to war to feed blood to a mother-goddess? Closer to today, why did Americans for so long fear their “national life-blood” was being “poisoned” by Communists? Why do so many today feel the government and welfare recipients are “sucking their blood?” Images of blood-sucking, engulfing enemies are ubiquitous throughout history. Surely our blood was never really poisoned or sucked out of us by a maternal monster in our past. Or was it?”

    In all his writings on psychohistory , I have yet to find a mention of metzitzah b’peh, at least not anywhere online. Please direct me to it if anyone knows where he has written about metzitzah b’peh. This ancient ritual (over 3000 years old) is still practiced within the system of Judasim and it seems to get to the essence of what he is talking about in the above paragraph, yet he doesn’t mention it. Why? It is directly related to early childhood trauma and the traumitization of feminine beings ( male babies and mothers, for example)

    All ancient peoples who lived in (and made) healthy cultures and who had a healthy gender balance / balancing and a healthy attitude towards natural cosmic principles (and/or principalities), must have been mortified when they heard of the spreading practice of metzitzah b’peh, and must have prepared for war as the group of persons who were committed to the “blood-sucking” rite moved ever closer towards their homelands.

  2. My goodness…this post contains several dozen possible threads of discussion:-) I have not heard of deMause, nor read him, so I looked at his Wikipedia page to get a basic feeling for what he writes. His academic specialty is psychohistory with an emphasis on early childhood development and the effect of personal and societal trauma on the development of the individual. Okay so far. I like the discussion in the first section of this post that discusses the imagery in films of “dangerous” women prior to wars. The whole discussion reminds of me of Leonard Schlain’s theory of how woman are demonized after ever invention of mass media. So…I can see where deMause is coming from and that seems reasonable. It is a connection I have never made before, but it seems quite possible.

    Then, he develops a theory around female monsters as the a priori factor leading to aggression and war. This is where I start to feel less comfortable. To me, it seems that a huge oversimplification is going on, to attribute societal wars as a response to a devouring mother complex. Of course there are devouring goddesses in world mythology, but to cast them all as evil, trauma-inducing symbols is to skip a great deal of pretty complex symbology and religious tradition.

    One tiny example. Kali. Yes, she is depicted as covered in blood, open-mouthed, skulls banging against her breasts and a belt of bones at dancing at her hips. Every aspect of her imagery and symbols points to very ancient religious beliefs, that tell us she is the Creator/Destroyer. Her name means “black” or “time” and she devours time and souls in order to bring about a new universe. When she gives birth…is it to new worlds.

    And yes, some of the ancient myths do depict the battle and slaying of female monsters (Tiamat is a good example), but again, there is far more that is being expressed in the myth than the literal, or psychological, meaning. Out of the bodies of these ancient giantesses…earth and sky are formed, new ages brought into being, new souls brought forth.

    I may not know the right way of explaining, but perhaps I see his theory not as causative, but supportive to the idea that war has its origins in mother-trauma induced childhoods for male children.

    He does not equate this type of female-monster imagery, and its affect with heightened aggression in female children, but perhaps in his book he goes into that.

    Personally, I am more inclined to believe that war has roots that begin with the Neolithic Revolution and the rise of civilizations, with its dominant cultural enforcer – patriarchy. There is no dispute that the ancient mother Goddess religions were widespread and violent. Blood sacrifice of males, genital mutilation of males (Cybele a good example), and a lesser status of men were commonplace. But I simply cannot make the leap that deMause makes that it is a foundational psychological structure for men causing their need for war. Something within the nature of patriarchy and/or *civilization* itself, to me, seems a more plausable basis for aggression.

    Back to the beginning, I can see how Streiber might say that about Ishtar. Icke has gone into great detail about comparing aliens to ancient artifacts that resemble insect-like heads. (Please don’t misunderstand…I take Icke with a huge pinch of salt. His research is good…up to a point).

    I did like his comparison of blood and strangulation imagery across myths and histories. Language always, always betrays us, so there must be something here.

    I am forgetful of Greek tragedy…but isn’t there a Greek play about a son killing a mother? Was it Oedipus? What conclusions did the Greeks have? I would love to hear other comments! And thank you for posting this today!

    PS. I am slowing making my way through two of Rene Girard’s books. Excellent, excellent recommendation Jasun, and his theories would also have points to bring to this post. But I haven’t read enough to have digested his thoughts.

  3. This thought-provoking excerpt seems to overlap conceptually with some of the observations made by Dr. Stanislav Grof in his book, “Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychotherapy.”

  4. The LdM material is too new to me to comment with confidence on its validity, except to say that it strikes a chord with me. My first response when I heard about some of his theories was to object to them. However, if anything, that’s a reason to take them seriously since paradigm-busting ideas usually stir up resistance in us.

    My sense is that dM is getting close to something that’s central to our culture: “What is the matrix?” The mother’s psyche may be the dominant reality-principal (the laws of Nature) which so many men in the Western world are unconsciously trying to escape from. It could be that the whole of human history bears the mark of that unconscious drive – from Jehovah’s blood-lust to the modern drive to conquer space and escape the earth (the mother’s body). At least my own experience is that I was unconsciously trying to get free of my mother’s hidden influence up until her death, and I have met, and worked with, many guys who have been unable to see past their idealized view of their mothers until I pointed out something, some form of abusive behavior, say, that would have been obvious to anyone else.

    So you could say that, in a sense, the mother’s psyche is the veil that has been pulled over our eyes to keep us from seeing the truth.

    I think that when we try to see this, the picture is skewed because of mass denial of the underlying (& undeniable) reality of mothers’ responsibility for male violence. As with all cases of denial this creates an adverse reaction which can lead to an exaggeration of the other side of the argument (the degree of that responsibility). I could be misreading, but Debbie’s response (and Pueky’s) seems to me to betray a desire to bring up the male figure once more as the correct one to blame, rather than look at the evidence which LdM is presenting, see how it may be exaggerated or over-simplified, but also consider what may be true about it.

    Patrick T: can you describe which Grof material in particular you think overlaps with LdM?

  5. That is an excellent way of looking at what deMause is suggesting. I must say, I didn’t see that when I read the excerpts above. There are plenty of writers who have suggested that the dominant male culture developed aggressively as a response to the subjection they experienced in mother goddess cultures (Eisler, Stone, Sjoo, et al). But I cannot recall anyone theorizing that underneath that lies a matrix (mat-er) of birth trauma.

    It may very well explain male violence, both in giving blood to feed the blood need of the goddess, *and* to sever ties to her.

    But this would seem to me to give an answer to the male experience of mother-induced birth trauma, not the female experience of the same. If this was a species-wide response, why are not women more violent? (I am not suggesting they aren’t, of course women are, but not historically at the level of organized war that male-dominated societies produce). Or perhaps, it is not species-wide. Maybe it truly is a male reponse to mother-induced trauma.

    In my personal (female) experience of the effect of birth trauma, and early childhood neglect and abuse, it left me with plenty of fear of others, confusion of why I am here on this planet at all and a deep, deep distrust of all women. For many years, I had what seemed random panic attacks, and bouts of hyperventilation (mother-strangled?) My response has never been violent, but inward isolation and a decades-long search for answers. Perhaps the need to find the answers has allowed me to also see others unconscious responses to trauma more easily. I moved away from home as early as I could and no amount of physical distance seemed enough.

    Many of Grof’s books are about using either holotropic breathwork (a “technique” that he and his wife developed), or, medically administered psychedelics (primarily LSD) to induce a re-lived experience of a person’s birth in order to bring it into the conscious awareness. As fully conscious, then it can be transmuted into something that heals and allows a person to no longer make choices that are of unconscious origin. Traditional hypnosis can do the same thing. I have never taken ibogaine, but I have read that it also seems to have a similar effect, although not with birth, but with meeting ancestors and talking with them to work out problems.

    I hope Patrick can fill in more details, and correct me if I am wrong:-)

    I do like deMause’s observation of an image of violent, dangerous women becoming prominant in mainstream culture prior to a major conflict. We seem to be on a strange and slippery slope right now with North Korea. Have there been any recent films depicting women this way?

  6. de Mause is not the only one to have skipped over the crux of the problem, at least as far as I see it. Indeed, almost everyone has skipped over it, seeing as how metzitzah b’peh is hardly discussed anywhere as the possible root of human conflict for over three thousand years. It is my theory that the matrix became a problem for men with the rise of Judaism, and specifically with the rise of metzitzah b’peh. Before that, the matrix was not a problem for men because women, on a collective level, were not suppressing their rage. Under the new religion of Judaism, women began to suppress their rage and began to feel helpless as male babies were being made subservient to man (for life) through the rite of metzitzah b’peh (the mixing of saliva of man with blood of baby boy — the man sucking the freshly cut bloody penis of the week old boy).

    My theory is that it is a ritual (a disgusting one, says me) that is used to make males energetically subservient, for life, to other males (and to a solo Father God), thusly disrupting natural order here in earth, and turning man into a physical threat to woman and child ( due to her suppressed rage over the taboo against speaking / acting against metzitzah b’peh). When woman started suppressing her rage at the rite of metzitzah b’peh, man became a threat, because he was made to suppress his violence during crucial early years, which leads to a violence that goes against natural order. Men go to war due to lack of real violence in our life. Boys and teenage boys need to learn how to do violence well, and there are very few men who are teaching them by example , probably because there are very few “actualized” men around. And men commit unnatural acts of violence due to an exposure to simulated (fake) violence — the kind that is performed on a stage or a set as a part of a drama , during which the man or teenage boy is to be a mere spectator.

    I do think that it is important for a community to know who the autists are because they are not persons who should be made to do physical violence as the other boys should be made to do by the (real) men of the community. Perhaps the autist is always going to be a part of the mother’s psyche by his nature ? and therefore shouldn’t be taught to do violence like the other boys. But it is unnatural for a non-autist person beyond his early teenage years to be using his mother’s psyche to make decisions, lest he becomes a physical threat to her and other women and to children, and a contributer to the disruption of natural order.

    As a man who knows how to do violence well matures, the inner work becomes a replacement for his usual ways of doing violence. The inner work, after all, is a form of doing violence, so indeed the violence never ends for man.

  7. DebbieF summarized Grof’s work nicely.

    After rereading Grof, I realized that I spoke too soon — Grof directly cites and discusses de Mause’s work in the Epilogue of “Beyond the Brain.”

    Grof explores, at length, the archetypal imagery of birth trauma re-experienced during high-dose LSD therapy, some of which (Kali, the “Terrible Mother,” etc.) has been discussed above. He also addresses the imagery of the “Witches’ Sabbath” (the orgiastic blasphemy of old woodcuts and popular superstition, rather than the historical reality of European Paganism) and the combination of birth, sexuality, violence, and scatology in the paintings of H.R. Giger as manifestations of birth trauma memory.

    Reading de Mause and Grof, I felt the slight electrical sensation of synchronity-gnosis. Without wishing to disclose too much, I am going through a transitional period involving issues of rebirth and separation from my mother, and the concepts explored here resonate with me in a very timely manner.

    Keep up the great work, Jasun!

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