Subject: The Inner-Self
Published: 15 February 2010
Revised: 4 October 2017
Adult Nursing: The Emotional Rationale
In our fast-paced world of cutting-edge technology, we have at our fingertips what kings of yesterday could have never imagined. From luxurious conveyances that whisk us to exotic locales; to instantaneous images of events unfolding half a world away; to creature comforts befitting of the Gods: our life is an unending cornucopia of opulence and wealth. Yet for many, as we push ever forward into an uncertain future, for every gain, there remains an enigmatic emptiness.
Never in the history of the human race have we been so connected. Whether near or far, with the slightest touch of a button, we connect instantly with our friends, coworkers and loved ones. Through gadgetry, we schedule relationships, interact with pastimes, and live out our most daring fantasies: what more in life could one possibly want — except perhaps — an emotionally fulfilling relationship with another human being!
In generations past, whether emotional or intellectual, relationships have always been based on face-to-face interaction between people. In all relationships, real-time, face-to-face intercommunication engenders trust, respect and acceptance: particularly in male/female relationships, face-to-face intercommunication creates emotional intimacy. Since the beginning of human civilization, so many thousands of years ago, our ability to connect on an intellectual and emotional level has been the key to finding security, fulfillment and happiness in relationships.
But in today's world, we connect through cold, unfeeling, soulless devices — cell phones, computer chips and internet modems have become the intimacy of today's relationships. Where once people interacted intellectually and emotionally through picnics in the park and social gatherings in the town center; today, we numb our intellectual senses with video games and televised events. Where once, sexual and emotional intimacy forged the empyreal bond of Soul-Mates: today, emotional intimacy is porn videos and pursuit of the ultimate orgasm.
The aphorism debated for centuries: "Does life imitate art, or does art imitate life?" In Truth, the aphorism is an interdependent philosophy: life imitates art, as art imitates life, as life imitates art". In today's world of electronic surrogacy, as art imitates life and life imitates art, our role-models have become the fantasy relationships of cinematics and beer commercials. As a result, by living vicariously through electronic surrogacy, we have become desensitized to the intellectual and emotional needs of others — indeed — we have become desensitized to our own intellectual and emotional needs!
As contemporary art forms began to imitate the fantasies of life, and life began imitating the fantasies of art, our traditional roles in male/female relationships became blurred. And as our roles in male/female relationships became less clear, social interaction for many has become a disillusionment of desolate promises, mercurial relationships and self-deprecating lifestyles. Never in the history of the human race have we been so emotionally disconnected!
Since the beginning of human existence, we have always been social creatures, and being so, whether it be social, business, intellectual or emotional, to find true happiness and fulfillment within any relationship, we must have real-time, face-to-face, intellectual and emotional interaction with other people.
In an anthropological context, men are hunters and women are gatherers. Men function intellectually and emotionally in groups as individual contributors, while women function in groups through intellectual and emotional cooperation. To succeed in group efforts, men compartmentalize their emotions, while women tend to collaborate with emotion. While men often do cope reasonably well as emotional islands in society, to maintain her emotional balance, a woman must be able to interact both intellectually and emotionally with the people in her personal sphere.
Unfortunately, as the cultural revolution progressed through the latter half of the twentieth century, women began to move away from the traditional roles of wife, mother and homemaker, and into more female atypical, male-archetypical roles in the workplace. To compete in a male dominated world, by necessity, women have too often adopted the male mind-set of emotional compartmentalization.
As a result, because of the uniqueness of the female emotional psyche, women have become more emotionally isolated than men. Even when bolstered by career and social success, a woman may still feel an underlying aloneness.
Through overt technological accretion and covert social engineering, any culture or social order can be transformed, even acutely, in a relatively short period of time; however, the emotional and intellectual requisites of the individual, having evolved over countless generations, are not so easily denatured. While men can cope as emotional islands in our ever changing world, a woman, regardless of her success, wealth or social status, still needs the intellectual security, and the reciprocal emotional consummation of real-time, one-on-one relationships.
As wondrous and indispensible as today's electronic communication may be to the civilized world as a whole, as individuals, by preferentially interacting with others through electronic surrogacy, we have isolated ourselves both emotionally and intellectually. And because we have unwittingly isolated ourselves emotionally and intellectually, our social interrelationships with other people have come to suffer from distrust, emotional detachment, intolerance and self-indulgence.
For many, the ephemeral euphoria of today's societal profusion has come at the cost of asomatous contentment: in short, corporeal relationships have too often become emotionally barren. While we can change neither the world in which we live, nor the society which we have created, we can change ourselves. However, not just to find true happiness in life, but to realize the psychological element that completes her emotionally and intellectually, a woman must first come to accept what makes her subjectively not a man.
The Quintessence of Woman:
Women today stand on equal footing with men, and rightfully so; however, often for the individual woman, this newly gained cultural status has not come without cost. Whether intentional or unintentional, because of the profound effect avant-garde social engineering and cutting-edge technology inflicted upon our culture during the latter portion of the twentieth century, as a society today, we are well into the second, and perhaps the third generation of men and women who either never learned, or have forgotten the true quintessence of womanhood.
With that statement, the question begs: "If woman as she stands today is not the true quintessence of womanhood, then what is"? Certainly, the role of woman in society as it stands today is a true part of her self-identity; however, the true quintessence of the individual woman as an emotional and intellectual being is much more!
The true quintessence of woman is that identifiable virtue found only within the female psyche that brings complete and categorical, intellectual and emotional value to not only herself, but to her friends, family and community. The true quintessence of woman is that emotional and intellectual element that makes her complete as a sentient being: different from man, but indispensable to mankind!
Describing a virtue through words can be like trying to illustrate a cool summer breeze, or the warm sun on one's face: you can illustrate the physical experience, but you can never truly describe the emotions it enkindles.
As the aphorism declares: "Art imitates life as life imitates art"! While words are often no more than the opinion of the writer, art comes from the soul. Art created not only through the passion of the artist, but in response to the emotional and intellectual value it represented to those who protected it through the ages, is a reflection of the inner-self of a past culture.
Culturally, we are the social evolutionary culmination of our ancestors, and it is through the art left by our ancestors, created at a time when people interacted through face-to-face relationships without the mask of electronic surrogacy, that we can begin to understand the distinctive virtues that define the sometimes obscured inner-self of our own culture. Particularly in this case, the sometimes obscured inner-self of the contemporary woman.
Throughout history, there have been many women immortalized in art; however, since this discourse revolves around the emotions engendered by lactation and breast feeding, in this context historically, three women standout in art, artifact and literature.
A point to remember: Whether these women actually lived as physical human beings, or whether they were the manifestation of mythos is unimportant: what is important is what they represented in their respective cultures.
Isis and Osiris:
From a time before 3350 BC, when the migratory hunter/gatherer tribes of North Africa began to form into ordered villages and plant crops in the fertile Nile Valley, comes the mythos of Isis and Osiris. As mortal man and mortal woman, (born of the Earth God Geb and the Sky Goddess Nut), it was the belief of the ancient Egyptian that Isis and Osiris created art, literature and culture from the chaotic darkness of early man.
Having brought culture to the Nile Valley, Osiris began to spread civilization and order throughout the known world, and in the absence of Osiris, Isis, (created by the Gods, but not a God herself), would rule the Nile Valley as mortal woman in place of her husband Osiris.
Angered by the creation of civilization and order, Seth, (ruler of darkness and chaos), through trickery murdered his brother Osiris in a bid to return the Earth to darkness and chaos. Still fearing the power of Osiris even in death, Seth scattered the dismembered body of Osiris across the thirteen lands of Egypt to insure Osiris could never again rise from the dead. Yet, having suffered mortal death, this would not be the end of Osiris.
Isis, having recovered and reconstituted the dismembered body of her husband and brother, beseeched the Gods to use their magick to bring Osiris back to life. In the divine wisdom of the Gods, Osiris was not brought back to life as mortal man, rather Osiris was brought back to life as immortal God of the Underworld and Ruler of the After-Life: as immortal God, Osiris could never again be slain by Seth.
It would not be Osiris who would restore civilization to the Earth, rather it would be his son Horus, (born of mortal woman Isis, and immortal God Osiris), who in adulthood would depose Seth, and restore order and culture to Earth. To protect Horus in his youth from a vengeful Seth, Isis became Intercessor to the Gods, and through their divine magick, nurtured and protected the first and future Pharaohs of ancient Egypt.
In the belief of the ancient Egyptian, each successive Pharaoh was the physical incarnate of the God Horus, and to each successive Pharaoh incarnate, a woman of high social stature was the physical incarnate of Isis, Intercessor to the Gods, and the first Mother Goddess and Protector of Egypt.
Through early Egyptian art and artifact, Isis is often portrayed breast feeding a child, (presumably the future Pharaoh); however, in a stone relief in the Temple of Isis on the island of Philae, (30th Dynasty), Isis is shown unmistakable breast feeding an adult Pharaoh.
Whether Isis ever lived as mortal woman, or whether she was simply a figure of mythos, she was in fact the eidetic symbol of womanhood for a civilization that lasted over three millennia. Ancient Egypt fell only when the soul of Cleopatra, (presumably the last physical incarnate of Isis), became corrupt and seized power for herself. It was never intended that woman seek power for herself, rather from the beginning, it was always intended that woman be the moral chaste of civilized man.
Pero and Cimon:
During the Roman Empire at a time between the year 14 AD and 37 AD, comes the story of Roman Charity. Having been convicted of a high crime, Roman citizen Cimon was condemned to death by starvation by a Roman court. Determined to sustain her father as best she could, Pero breast fed Cimon away from the ever-vigilant eyes of the prison guards. Inevitably, her crime of bringing food to a condemned prisoner was discovered, and both were brought before the court for judgment.
After having weighed the charge, in the words of the Roman judge, "This might be thought to be against nature, if to love parents were not nature's first law". As unusual as her method might have been, the Roman court judged Pero's effort to save her father as an act of piety, and therefore above the judgment of mortal man. Having been judged a moral act, both Pero and Cimon were freed.
This story, encompassing only three paragraphs of the nine books of "Memorable Doings and Sayings of Ancient Romans" might have been lost forever, had it not been included in the curriculum of schools teaching morality to young students in regions of France and Italy during the medieval and renaissance periods. This story, among others recorded by Roman historian Valerius Maximus, passed from generation to generation as text books for ethics and social morality.
Of all the moral acts that have occurred in recorded human history, the story of Cimon and Pero struck a particular chord with the people of renaissance Europe. From paintings to sculptures, from watch faces to hand carved bowls, hundreds, if not thousands of works of art have been created honoring this selfless act of a woman. Even today, artisans still immortalize this pious event in oil and canvas.
The Virgin Mother:
From the exact point of what we consider the beginning of modern history, we learn of another woman. Her name was simply Mary, a mortal woman who also bore the son of a God. In this essay, it is not her son from which we learn, but from the life of the woman herself. To understand how we may learn from the life of Mary, we must first come to understand who she was as a woman, and why she is referred to as "Virgin Mother".
The church would have us believe, Mary was an immortal entity, incarnated for the single purpose of giving birth to the Son of God, then destined to fade into obscurity. In truth, she was in many ways like every other woman. She would have sweltered in the summer's heat and shivered in the winter's cold, as would any mortal woman. Had she stepped on a sharp stone in the street, she would have suffered no less pain than you or I. She was mortal with all the strengths and frailties; hopes and fears of every woman — with one exception — within her being, she was incapable of even a single evil thought.
The common belief is the term "Virgin Mother" refers to the sexual virginity of Mary's physical body. It does not! The term "Virgin Mother" refers to the purity of her Soul, her incorporeal inner-self. Although she was mortal, only a woman with purity of heart and purity of character is capable of bearing the Son of God. Mary is immortal as we are all immortal: the body is ephemeral, the Soul, (the inner-self), is eternal.
After the death of her son, Mary did fade into obscurity until the year 1149 AD, when in Speyer Cathedral, (Speyer Germany), Mary suddenly appeared incarnate before a prostrate, ascetic monk, Bernard of Clairvaux. After hours of fervent prayer, Mary appeared incarnate before Bernard, and with milk from her breast, wet his parched lips. One version of the event tells that Mary with milk from her breast, gave proof that she was in truth the Mother of God. In another version, through milk from her breast, Mary imparted the wisdom of God to Bernard.
One might think this vision simply the hallucination of an overtired, overzealous ascetic, too long from the carnal touch of a woman, if Bernard of Clairvaux were any other monk.
After his death in 1153, Bernard of Clairvaux would be canonized in 1174 by Pope Alexander III, becoming Saint Bernard. In 1830, Saint Bernard would be elevated to the status of "Doctor of the Church". Also, Saint Bernard is recognized as the "Last Father of the Church", those historical figures who wrote the Doctrines of the Church as it exists today. Because of Saint Bernard's credibility, we can be assured this vision did occur.
While the late medieval and renaissance periods were a time of cultural rebirth, it was also a time of religious intolerance and Inquisition. Had this vision not been accepted as a true event by both the public and the church, it would have been deemed heresy, and punished accordingly. However, because both the public and the church did deem this vision a true event, dozens of paintings immortalizing the "Vision of Saint Bernard" still exist today.
Through art, artifact and literature, Mary is recognized as the eidetic symbol of selflessness and piety more than any other woman in modern history. And while Jesus is the Son of God to Christians, Mary is more often the incarnated object of visions. To more than one billion Christians today, Mary is the Intercessor to God.
While the personality and cultural circumstance of each of these women would have been markedly different, they shared a common virtue: the innate virtue of selflessness. The inherent emotional need to give of themselves selflessly, without expectation of corporeal recompense.
The virtue of selflessness has evolved over countless millennia, and is core to the inner-self of every woman: when denied, leaves an enigmatic feeling of lacking. The inherent emotional need of a woman to give of herself selflessly, to nurture, is what makes her subjectively not a man, yet indispensible to mankind. While man can be compassionate, the virtue of true selflessness exists only within the female psyche.
From an early age, women today have been inculcated with the belief they should be equal to men, compete with men; to put aside their personal emotional and intellectual needs, and be more like men. They have been taught to be less is degrading to all womankind. While this social value of "me first" does work for some women in our avant-garde culture of feminism and political correctness, it does not bring emotional and intellectual fulfillment to every woman.
The atonement of selflessness is emotional and intellectual tranquility within the female psyche: an accolade not often found in a culture of feminism and political correctness.
To find true emotional and intellectual happiness in life, a woman must embrace her inner-self; however, in a culture that takes much from women and gives little, unrestrained selflessness may not be the wisest choice. In a society that has little respect for the traditional values, a woman must protect her vulnerable inner-self; however, to find the serenity she seeks, she must also embrace her inner-self.
Intellectual and emotional serenity lies in the unconscious or subconscious mind, or the spiritual consciousness if you will. Unconscious, or spiritual intellectual and emotional serenity is created in the conscious mind. Emotions in the conscious mind are the result of hormonal balance and chemical neurotransmitters. The same hormones and chemical neurotransmitters that creates milk in the breasts also creates emotional and intellectual serenity in the conscious mind. It is not the milk, but the mental state created by the milk.
Induced lactation and adult breast feeding is not the solution, but a path to the solution: while you cannot change the world, you can change yourself.
Essay/Commentary by Hudson