"satisfying the appetites"
"nursing instincts which we think are our own"
"paying the debts" - Thanks for "nothing", ancestors.
I disagree with ("hate") Richard Dawkins on many things, but this topic just reminds me of his book "The Selfish Gene". My ancestors were driving most of the time on autopilot. The fact that we are alive and conscious (I am writing this comment that you are about to read) and that our bodies and minds are a result of bodies and minds of our ancestors falling in love with each other is fascinating. But, that autopilot caused a lot of stupidity and chaos. There are many, many skeletons in our collective family closet.
My ancestors are a very important reason why I think and behave in a specific way. They have set what new I can experience. I can open a door of perception and understanding only if a new situation resonates with something existent in my inherited brain. My ancestors have both set opportunities and limits.
I don't know where the comment comes from in Jung, but I've recently reread all his work that's been translated into English, and he does emphasize the demands of the ancestors, especially in his seminars. He even goes so far as to suggest that, just as our bodies are bits and pieces of ancestral tissue, so are our minds. It seems to me (on a less literal level) that the debts he mentions are unconscious family legacies we must face so we don't act them out uncritically.
"Without thinking of good or evil, show me your original face before your mother and father were born." Zen koan
Since this topic is going all over the place, but mostly in an “I don’t care about my roots” direction, I’ll add something. It seems there is a pattern that the members of this Alliance have liberal political tendencies. Conservatives on the other hand show more respect to their dead than to living family members. I am here thinking and writing in English (I hope it’s a better English than Tarzan’s) and definitely belong to those who don’t care too much about history, tradition, and belonging. On the other hand, I actually do respect my nation, family, and ancestors much more than mentioned in my previous comment, but don’t (at least I can try) let them reduce my perception and understanding of right and wrong.
The crisis we are all facing way or another is an outcome of accumulated history and events. There will be a lot of movements in our sense of belonging to the family, community, nation, and world. Perhaps we can recombine our attitude in a way functional to new circumstances.
I wonder what my ancestors "gave" me? Did they just give me the genetics I am made up of? I dont know about that any more. An example I offer is that my daughter sleeps with her hand in the same position I do when she sleeps. It is awkward and looks painful. I have seen pictures of me doing the same thing.
What are we doing here? I know, I know, what kind of question is that.
But arent we here to try and make it a better place? Why would we do that? What is the premise of that question? Is it the future or is it the past?
We are the only thing that is left of our ancestors through which they have a chance of cleaning up the mess they left behind, but I believe it is quite important that we go inside first to find out from within how we are contributing to that mess and what inner resources we have at our disposal and start the clean-up from there. To Aleksander Malecic I would like to point out that there are many things we have to thank our ancestors for, including the need to develop our resources as well as the chance to celebrate life as it is, a truly awesome and wonderful event.
Hello and Happy Holidays to everyone,
I would like to share a new , more holistic way of seeing things here,
Again Carl Gustav Jung is inspired. Because of his knowledge of Ancient Traditions which are holistic, he felt that there is something even more important than genetic and epigenetic: I call it antagenetic (ante means prior to). As we know, genes don't dictate behavior. We are the expression of a biosystem, fractal aspect of our mothers'. We are influenced physically, emotionally, mentally and socially by our ancestors this way. Genetically the influence lays strongly on our fathers side, antegenetically by our mothers side. The way our personal system (which I named the LIFE biosystem in my book Isis Code) on all these levels "rolls" is influenced by how theirs were rolling. The physical brain will express this influence. Resiliency is very much associated with the quality of this system.
I think we are conditioned by family experiences with some of these being set patterns that span generations back. They operate from the implicit emotional memory. This can make it difficult to come to the real reasons behind our life circumstances, they can easily be seen as out of our control.
I think you have to read Vine Deloria first to understand the context of this quote. Vine Deloria wrote several books, one bring Custer died for your Sins. Vine Deloria's is a must read if you study Native American studies. His work examines many influences Native American people endured thus having to overcome many of the problems that Native families continue to face in our communities. The work of the Ancestors is paramount in that as a Native person, I can not know my self fully unless I know what gifts and wounds my ancestor's faced. It is part of the path of individuation and the shadow work. I haven't read Vine Deloria for years but it is the work of all our Dreams to teach. I was happy to see this quote. I could say more but I am just now joining the Depth Psychology Alliance and am not fully aware of this process.
Interesting subject. Hillman and Sonu lamented well on this. I've never felt an obligation, especially to the many ancestors I have known whom I have disliked. I have felt icky when I've suspected they may be trying too break out, and through the tributaries of my personal style. I do have a few that I thank constantly for without them I would no doubt not be here, or at least I might be here in pretty terrible shape psychologically. I often curse my maternal grandmother, who spent most of her life boiling my grandfather's hat in order to cast a spell that would make him return from his philandering back to her. NOT! Guess what? It didn't work....Can't say I've ever boiled hats, but yes, I confess, I've tried some odd emotional and interpersonal gyrations in my time in order to have what/who at the time I thought I wanted! I know little of my ancestors, but must say I often suspect I carry the interpersonal curse of my maternal aunts and occasionally feel I would like to kick it loose from that shared piece of the genetic pool. I see Craig Chalquist has added his brilliant, as usual, 2 cents to this discussion. Thank you Craig. Wonderful musings. Next time around, forget the ancestors, I want some of Craig's DNA! Most enlivening topic....
A very interesting discussion. The western world lacks rituals to honour ancestors and my sense is that we are all the poorer for this. I remember hearing a talk by Thich Nhat Hanh in which he explained that ancestors are honoured in Vietnamese homes, with an altar, and their graves are visited and food left for the deceased. Also the pioneering work of Malidoma Some in this field is fascinating (especially his 'Talking With the Ancestors').
In the UK, in recent years, there's been a boom in TV programmes, websites and magazines related to family ancestry and tracing one's family tree. I feel this is symptomatic of people living in a wasteland - lack of connection to ancestors, to lineage, to blood line, to soul.
Bert Hellinger's Family Constellations work is very interesting in this respect. If one person in a family 'wakes up' and does the inner work, there seems to be a knock-on effect of healing for the family system as a whole, according to his theories. Imagine that: by doing our inner work, we contribute to the healing of a whole bloodline. What better way to commemorate and honour our ancestors than that?
Finally - in case you skipped the earlier link! - here is Thich Nhat Hanh's beautiful quote on ancestry:
"If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people."
Therefore, by honouring ourselves we honour them - and vice versa!