It seems apparent that when a natural sense of well being is provided and even restored after loss the compulsive need to escape painful emotions of inadequacy and unworthiness begin to cease.
Response to ones environment co-relates to feelings of correct or incorrect treatment.
American writer Jean Leidloff left what would be considered by modern western standards, a promising career in the high fashion model world, to travel to the South American jungles of the Amazon. There she encountered the native tribes of that area that were to give rise to deep and profound insights as to how environment significantly influences behavioural responses, all correct in there own right by what inherently feels right or what does not feel right.
Her book “The Continuum Concept” In Search of Happiness Lost is a remarkable account of her experience living admidst the Yequana people.
At the top of the front cover of The Continuum Concept is a comment by John Holt, at the time considered one of America’s leading psychologists. It reads: “If the world could be saved by a book, this just might be the book.”
One could hardly reach for a more powerful statement to indicate the immense importance of knowledge the book contains about human nature and the basic things that nurture its development.
Jean Leidloff teaches how we can learn about continuun and non continuum infant life by observing people like the Yequana and looking more closely at members of our own cultures.
It seems the worlds of infants in arms in Stone Age and in civilized cultures are as different as night and day.
From birth continuum infants are taken everywhere. Before the imbilicus comes off the infants life is already full of action as she is immediately taken into arms, her expected place through tens of millions of generations. The experience while she is in arms is acceptable to her continuum, fulfills her current needs and contributes correctly to her development.
Even though the baby sleeps most of the time, she is becoming accustomed to the voices around her, the sounds of their activities and physical movements that accompany these activities.
She experiences the safe, right feel of being held to a living body. Any sense of urgency would only be noticeable to her if she were removed from that place.
Otherwise she is engaged learning what it is like to be. At night the mother sleeps with her and any signal of hunger is responded to, her well being reestablished, consistent with the lives lived by millions of her predecessors.
Leidloff writes: The feeling appropriate to an infant in arms is his feeling of rightness, or essential goodness. The only positive identity he can know, is based on the premise that he is right, good and welcome. Without that conviction, a human being of any age is crippled by a lack of confidence, of a full sense of self, of spontaneity, of grace. All babies are good, but can know it themselves only by reflection, by the way they are treated.
The state of consciousness of an infant changes enormously during the in arms phase. Step by step his central nervous system develops. The earliest established components of an infants psychobiological make-up are those most formative of his lifelong outlook. What he feels before he can think is a powerful determinant of what kind of things he thinks when thought becomes possible.
Having developed a sense of rightness the infant in arms enters the world with a confidence that he is a worthwhile contribution to the world around him.
This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know.
That the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.
Our family are the people who know who you are,
appreciate who you are, never want you to be anyone else
and love you regardless of where you end up or what false turns