Monday, May 31, 2010

Reality in sexual morality

How do atheists deal with sexual moral dilemmas? - Beliefnet

A few important reality checks having to do with sexuality.

1. Modern medicine in developed nations, or developed areas of some nations insures that a conception can be reasonably assumed to generate a reproductively capable adult.

2. A financially and emotionally stable pair bonded couple is generally the preferred parenting paradigm.

3. Mammals have sex at every opportunity past sexual maturity.

4. Humans are mammals with concealed estrus and continual receptivity for sex of the female.

5. Sex is an effective and natural pair bonding activity.

6. Teens tend to pair bond at a relatively early age, but the pair bonding is tentative.

In the Our Whole Lives curriculum of the UU church there are a very few rules for sexuality but there are two that are basic. The first is that sexual activity must never be coerced. Respect for one's partner demands nothing else. The second is that conceiving a child is a 30 year commitment for both parents that should never be an accident.

The result which we see commonly acted out in high schools today is that pair bonding is common, generally taken quite seriously and is reinforced with contraceptive sex. Children in their early teens are earnestly discussing a life together considering educational aspirations, parenting aspirations and timing for same.

I find this to be a very encouraging trend. Kids will enjoy their "friend with benefits." They may or may not pair bond on the first try, although biology will help if they have been somewhat intelligent in their choice. If they do pair bond it is not just getting rocks of for either of the partners. If they do it makes it easy to wait until they are ready for parenting make an informed choice to do so, knowing that the pair bond has been tested and not found wanting. They have their replacement 2.2 children, when they are ready, and can see the maternity break window clearly.

I see this as a much better program than the quick trip to Vegas, then another in a week or so when the sex turns out to be not what they expected, or in a year or so when dad decides he doesn't really want to be one.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Santa Claus, God and other Myths

Santa Clause & Childhood - Beliefnet
Mature wisdom if you can count a six year old as mature assigns both Santa and God to the large category of myth. Entertaining fictions with some fun stuff and some scary stuff to help people learn about the important mores of their society. One needs to be aware of the myths dominant in society or one will be continually making mistakes without being aware of doing so. It is very important to know the laws and myths of a society so you know when you are choosing to ignore them. The myths probably more importantly than the laws.

I am frequently asked why I am so interested in religion since I am not an anti-theist and have my atheist philosophy and world view well thought out. Aside from the fact that the Christian God makes good music, I live in a Christian world, with a smattering of Jews and other religions thrown in for good measure. Christians assume things about me particularly in the sexuality arena that I better be aware of if I am going to live as a responsible adult. I have to know that abstinence is assumed until marriage at least in theory, so that I can behave appropriately. I have to know that while the religious woman is willing and enthusiastic about sex, it is still sin that will influence her later reactions to it. I must also realize that for a religious woman sex is a marriage proposal if it is not clear that it is just good clean fun.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Permission slip.

"Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus have a sword fight." Aussie humor. Absolutely hilarious. Permission to attend an Easter Pageant.

I was actually in a Bible based play once and played the role of 'Annoyed about having to do this.' My scene involved offering a potplant, as nobody knew what Myrrh was, to a plastic baby Jesus then standing between 'I forgot my costume so am wearing the teachers poncho' and 'I don't feel very well'. Highlights of the play included a nervous donkey with diarrhea causing 'I don't feel very well' to vomit onto the back of Mary's head,

Thanks KWinters at beliefnet for finding this.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Global warming: not a fraud

Global warming: not a fraud
The most disturbing thing to me about the recent climate change and evolution debates is how ignorance has been elevated to knowledge, and how scientists have been assaulted for holding generally accepted theories.

These issues have been demagogued to death, and the credulous or stupid people who believe the rhetoric have, in some places, turned into the majority. Science is inherently undemocratic - you don't get to vote on whether two plus two equals four, but some politicians, school boards and political parties have adopted the "wishing makes it so" protocols, and we as a nation are poorer for it.
Jon Carroll

This introduces a "petition" by 250 scientists that should be required reading for all Americans.

Jon ends his column with
Let's do nothing, and watch the coastal areas get drowned. We'll all learn how to swim!

Mind research

The error of mind-body dualism - Beliefnet

If you have a better excellent summary [of mind research] to hand, grateful if you lay it on us.
"If I had one I would. The science is still barely in its infancy. It was almost aborted by the skeptic crowd and Randi who declared that anything but the standard five senses was by definition either supernatural or magic. Most of it was, but they intimidated research into neurosciences and consciousness research. Partly by setting standards for success waaaaay to high. And partly because it was infringing on the forbidden territory of God's duality.

Esp as an example is an intensely emotional phenomenon. The Rhine and PEAR studies have foundered on trying to produce results without the emotional content. But ask an early pair bonded couple how they know it is the right pair, and all you get is a shrug. We just know. Ask teilhard how he knows God, and all you get is E-X-P-E-R-I-E-N-C-E. Guess what? He is telling the truth. Science won't touch that with a double insulated 20 foot pole.

Science is still afraid of esp it is a grant killer big time. People on the periphery will earnestly try to find "rational" explanations for obvious esp phenomena like the dog knowing when master is getting off the bus a block away, or how a school of fish avoid a predator. Or how a quintet synchronizes everything they do including the emotional content of the music even if the pianist is blind. I was at a concert last night where a chamber choir performed an extremely difficult new music piece commissioned just last year. The choir was scattered around the stage in no apparent order with at least 6 ft. spacing between singers. How they held it together was either God, esp, or magic. I will bet on esp.

It is only recently that the kinesthetic senses are being investigated, although gymnasts, pianists, and dancers have known about them almost as long as they have been doing their thing. Ask a pianist how they play an Ab minor arpeggio and they look at you funny and say what do you mean how? You just play it. I recently found out I have a muscle memory disability. I have known about it since I took typing in high school, but everybody said I was just stupid. It is easier to say stupid, than research a tenuous phenomenon

If I sound bitter, it is because I had a very frustrating childhood, I could do anything physically as long as it was one thing at a time. 40 WPM no mistakes first week in typing class. But I still can't type my name without doing it one letter at a time. Stupid, lazy, careless, just some of the names used instead of disability. I finally figured it out for myself, after crashing routinely on a double back with a full twist. It was one too many things to do in the time I had to do it, and the muscle memory wasn't there to help. 30 years later science caught up. No esp there, that is a different subject. Just a different brain function. And science wouldn't touch it."

I have no doubt that infringing on the remaining gaps filled by God, as in "God helped me do it" is still intimidating to scientists. The right wingers have no problem with exposing "wasteful grants" for what they deem useless research.

BP oil spill: And a child shall lead them.

BP oil spill: And a child shall lead them - Carl Hiaasen -
In his winning essay, McNamara proposed several possible options for sealing the ruptured oil pipeline. He said the most promising plan would require ``a super-long straw'' and approximately 3,700 metric tons of Quaker oatmeal.

You ever let that goop sit in a cereal bowl for an hour or two? It turns to rock,'' the sixth-grader explained at his press conference. ``There's nothing that stuff won't clog up.''

Definitely Read more: This is the best laugh of the year.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Abstinance until marriage, cont

Theist responsible - Beliefnet

THEN I surely OUGHT to be RESPONSIBLE enough ALSO to Practice "Abstinence" and/or "Monogamy" properly, too ... ???


Sorry, the problem here is that I do not buy into Paul's idea of sexual responsibility from 1 Corinthians 7:8-9. Paraphrasing a bit: Since I am an ugly misanthrope who isn't getting any, nobody else is going to get any either, and if they take the marriage route they better not enjoy that.

For me sexual responsibility involves radical respect for one's partner. That means no sex until both partners think it is a good idea. It means preventing pregnancy until again both partners think they are ready for the responsibility of raising children financially, emotionally, and with the social support including medical that constitutes responsible parenting. Preventing the possible transmission of STD's is usually not an issue if both partners have the same ideas about responsible sexuality. But if one has had irresponsible sex in the past that may be a consideration until medical testing confirms freedom from STDs.

This normally results in monogamy long before the monogamy is blessed by some church, but if the bond fails, as occasionally happens in spite of sexual bonding, it will happen early and before children are involved. Then the result will be serial monogamy usually on the second try.

Will it work for everybody? Of course not, but it works a lot better than denying the pair bonding efficacy of long term sexuality. And it works a lot better than trying to deny the stiffie. It seems that not even priests can do that reliably. As my favorite T-shirt says: Got a stiffie wear a Jiffy (brand condom.) The stiffie will win every time particularly if she or in some cases he is interested. It is called being mammalian.

People who've never HEARD of "Paul" still have The DUTY of Personal Responsibility, with or without a "Condom" ...

And that personal responsibility may or may not include abstinence, monogamy, marriage, masturbation, porn, sex toys, prostitutes, homosexuality, and sundry other things the churches deplore for everybody but the preachers.

It does include radical respect for a partner, a partner capable of informed consent, and acceptance of responsibility for anything that is the result of the sex including STDs, psychological problems, and conception.

Abstinance until marriage

Theist responsible - Beliefnet
Such a dis-Connect is EXACTLY a LARGE Part of The Problem, isn't it ... ???
It is EXACTLY the WHOLE problem. Your program of abstinence until the first rape blessed by the Pope results in broken lives, broken families, and STDs when people fail because of their natural instincts which you call sin. I am sure at your age you know of the Florence Crittenton services where sinners rejected by their church could hide out until the baby was born, and prepared for the nunnery, as they were "used goods" and unacceptable to any good Catholic man as a wife.

And you wonder why I blame the Pope and his whole sexually dysfunctional religion? I don't. I am not anti-Catholic. In everything but sexuality I find the Catholic faith to be useful and beneficial to its parishioners. But the Catholics that benefit from it by and large as you note ignore that part of the sexuality dogma. Not just the no condom part, the whole no sexuality part.

Many Catholic young women in my high school many years ago were sexually active and were desirable partners because the tinge of sinfulness added excitement. But the Florence Crittenton home down the street made them early believers in teaching their partners the no condom no sex rule. They made sure it was used properly.

Sexuality Education in Schools, cont

Theist responsible - Beliefnet

I don't really believe that a "Papal Bull" would suddenly Solve-the-Problem-of-Irresponsible-Sexual-Behavior ...
I have no interest in solving your problem of irresponsible sexual behavior. All I am interested in solving is the problem of unplanned pregnancies and other STDs. It is quite clear that proper education in the advantages of contraception, monogamy or at least limited promiscuity, respect for ones sexual partner, and the importance of both partners being ready financially, emotionally, and socially for parenting, is effective in producing stable families, usually later in life. Teens will have sex. This is normal mammalian behavior. Giving them the information they need to have responsible sex is extremely effective in producing responsible sexual behavior.

This is why I mentioned the UU OWL curriculum. Our Whole Lives which has been around in earlier forms for over 30 years has been extremely effective in producing stable and loving families which produce planned children usually at an appropriate time in their lives. The pair bond is formed early, built on and stabilized with responsible sexuality. When the pair is ready for children they simply delete the chosen contraceptive. The stability of the pair bond is not an issue. It formed naturally at an appropriate age, survived the temptations of promiscuity, probably some tough times in the late stages of education when values and mores are tested, and survived. I can think of no stronger base for a family.

Teens and pre-teens who have used the curriculum have been followed and the results are noted above. It works. Abstinence is not part of the program but radical respect for sexual partners is. The result is monogamy and an incredibly stable pair bond. I know of a few families from the program or its equivalent who now have teenagers that they are encouraging to follow the same program. When it gets noisy in the bedroom, the parents get that "I remember that" look of great pleasure, and later there is frequently another noisy bedroom in the house. The teens are already discussing when the best time for children will be and planning their lives around that time. It is a given for them that the pair bond will last until then. It probably will.

Myths and Atheists.


Perhaps you should have been taught that it was an old story that meant something to a minor culture of people long ago, and far away.

Perhaps you should have been taught that myths that endure and speak of useful things to many generations of humans probably have values that should not be scoffed at.

I would suggest you take off your atheist blinders and read that myth for the allegorical truths it contains rather than for a Yahweh shooting gallery.

Probably the thing that makes atheists look the worst is their tendency to be as literalist about the myths and allegories of the Bible as any fundie Christian. Hey, lookie there! A sitting duck! With this buckshot it will never get up again!

Atheist Spirituality

Beliefnet - Article from Science Daily

I don't see how any idea that contradicts reality can be considered spiritual. To my mind spirituality MUST conform to reality, otherwise it creates inner and external conflict.

My spirituality, which is independent of any deity supernatural or otherwise, frequently contradicts reality. There is no conflict. A rainbow or a sunrise has no meaning in reality. Both are easily explainable expressions of optical phenomenon. But sunrises and rainbows are reasons for me to get out of bed to appreciate the challenges and rewards of living yet another day, to do what I can to make it as meaningful as a sunrise or a rainbow. Rainbows especially as it takes both sun and rain to make one. Although a great sunrise will have both sun and clouds. But then clouds are just a meteorological phenomenon with no meaning and the sun is just a large thermonuclear reaction with even less meaning. It takes spirituality not reality to give meaning to either.

Of course in reality I am just another animal getting up every morning to eat and avoid being eaten, perhaps to live long enough to breed, and insure that the resulting children also get up every morning to eat. Perhaps I can help them avoid being eaten, and maybe I can even give them a reason to get up every morning. But of course none of that has anything to do with reality.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tonehammer Demo

A teaser for our project can be found at "Requiem"

Six minutes out of maybe 24 hours of work by the singers. Good stuff.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Monogamy Genetic?

Theist responsible... - Discuss Atheism - Beliefnet #88

Isn't there enough evidence to suggest that some people are genetically hardwired for monogamy and some for infidelity? Among other variations in the middle of the road that are often overlooked by our Christianized society.

I don't see monogamy as genetic. I see it as a strongly reinforced social value. In other words nurture rather than nature. The fact that historically and prehistorically a two parent family seemed to be the only way most of the people could succeed in producing a replacement quota of adults strongly insured that the leaders who could afford to play around would preach monogamy, and believers would buy it, but as soon as the man can afford it he will play around in one way or another. They don't call prostitution the oldest profession for nothing. Or if you are rich enough you can hire massage therapists of one sex or another to accomplish the same purpose.

I am one of those preaching and practicing monogamy as long as dependent children are involved as I think that is still produces the best results as measured by high functioning adults. There are exceptions, but for every bootstrap street kid that makes it there are hundreds and maybe thousands that don't. If I were writing the laws marriage would be a commitment to any resulting children, natural or adopted, and in a divorce the only lawyer allowed would be an advocate for the children. Unfortunately the churches write the laws for both and the current disaster is the result.

Modern Villages.

Genetic Origins of Human Morality - Beliefnet #5

Still, it's more very good news for professional sport.

Modern humans haven't moved much beyond the village or parish. The only difference is that we now have the means and incentive to choose our own village or occasionally more than one. As churches have lost their village status, other groups take up the slack, and as you point out sport teams provide the same religious fervor (and bigotry and violence) that churches once provided. The pub crawl is another. Arts groups can be another. I notice that SF Symphony has its own web2.0 social networking site. Every University has its social site, with the line between alumni and students blurring drastically.

I see this as an interim step to Appiah's Cosmopolitanism which I expect will be the next step in human moral evolution. I am not sure where the social village will be found, but I expect the university communities will end up as the choice for the well educated.

I don't see work as satisfying community social needs, with a few exceptions. Here in silicon valley Google and Apple seem to be viable communities, but that does not seem to be the norm. Most work experiences are devoid of moral value unless one views raping the world for personal gain as a moral value.

Sexuality Education in Schools

Theist responsible... - Beliefnet

I believe that your Assertion is not Fact-based, but instead reflects your Anti-Church Feelings ...

My assertion is fact based and is responsible for my anti-church feelings on this issue. Unplanned pregnancies and abortions are some of the most serious issues facing the US today. The “Just say No!” campaign and the prevention of meaningful sexuality education in the public schools which should be isolated from toxic religious influences has been led by a few religious organizations headed by the Catholic Church.

I say toxic purposely as these policies kill people and fetuses, and result in the tragedy of way too many single parent families. Sure most of the moms (it is always the mom) make the best of a bad situation, but an unplanned pregnancy is a preventable tragedy encouraged, and in fact mandated by church doctrine. The Pope could solve this problem simply by issuing a Bull that the UU OWL curriculum or the equivalent be taught in all schools Catholic and public. The Baptists can go to Hell in their own way by pulling their kids out of the public schools.

They are already doing so, dooming their children to non-competitiveness in the modern world. But evolution has never been kind to non-competitive species or subspecies in this case. I suspect that Homo Sapiens Religiosus will be extinct in my grandchildren's lifetime. I just hope it doesn't get too ugly. We already are seeing random killings by the losers, but so far it is other losers that are bearing the brunt of the damage. My hope is that fast food, soda pop and beer will keep them anchored on their couch, and Fox entertainment will be more interesting than getting their asses up even for sex. I will gladly contribute my share of the welfare checks to keep them there.

Religious Wishful Thinking on Sex.

Theist responsible... - Beliefnet

A Guy who keeps his "John Thomas" IN his own Pants ISN'T going become an un-intended DADDY ... It's called Self-Control ... It's called "Abstinence" and/or "Monogamy" ...

It is called religious wishful thinking. There may be a few around who keep their penises dry, but even those who claim to do so seem to find ways of succumbing to their natural instincts. Maybe even Ratzinger?

Abstinence absent masturbation is a joke. Abstinence with masturbation is unusual. Monogamy, while certainly a worthy ideal, is an unnatural aberration for males of most species, particularly the human species. Whores, rent-a-boys, and the new wife are so common as to be considered to be the norm. Throw porn into the mix and even regulators do it.

Probably the most disastrous legacy of Paul was his use of sexuality as the universal sin that all needed to be saved from. He knew that celibacy was a joke, and that sexual fun and games with pregnancy as a side effect were universal. So by making all sins he had his need for a Savior, but made sexuality a disaster for the rest of the world. It is time we held Paul and the Pope accountable for the damage they have done.

Behavior or Religion?

Theist responsible... - Beliefnet
The rates of unplanned pregnancy and abortion are the result of religious objections to informing all teens, including those whose parents object for religious reasons, of the options for family planning. The behavior of humans that are past puberty is definitely not the problem. All humans past puberty will engage in sexual activities that are normal and natural instinctive behaviors. The survival of the human species depends on it.

Technological solutions have insured that for practical purposes all pregnancies will result in a pubescent human. Historical fecundity limiters of maternal and child mortality have been eliminated by technology, so it is reasonable that technology should provide the solutions for fecundity limitation to sustainable limits. I know that the Bishop of Rome hopes that AIDS will do the job here as it did in Africa, but I am strongly in favor of more benign methods.

I strongly advocate deferring first pregnancies to the last few years of education, but I am enough of a realist to know that changing instinctive behaviors is not going to work. Every person over the age of 8 should know the benefits and possible risks of all forms of contraception singly and in combination, the Pope be damned. Teens will have sex. This is a given. Very few of them male or female want the responsibility of pregnancy or abortion and will take the necessary steps to prevent it until they are ready for the responsibility of parenting. None of them will "Just say no"

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A little bit 'o Neanderthal

A little bit Neanderthal

Did God make Herm Chosen People as sex toys for horny Neandertal hunters. I know God had little respect for human women but this is ridiculous.

No Neandertal mitochondrial DNA in Homo sapiens. Ergo no Neanderthal women bred with Homo Sapiens men. 1-4% Neanderthal DNA in Homo sapiens. This must be from male Neanderthals breeding with Homo sapiens females.

A bit of speculation: It is my understanding that the Neanderthals were a superior apex predator in every way to Homo sapiens, except for adaptability. Neanderthals had no need to adapt. Everything including Homo sapiens stayed out of their way if possible.

Now if a bunch of Neanderthal guys were on an extended hunt far from the caves, and happened upon a Homo sapiens female, a little fun and games involving bestiality (by their standards) might have been more useful than the quantity of food available. If she managed to escape some of those Neanderthal genes might have been advantageous and were conserved.

From the SciAm report:
Researchers sequencing Neandertal DNA have concluded that between 1 and 4 percent of the DNA of people today who live outside Africa came from Neandertals, the result of interbreeding between Neandertals and early modern humans.

The finding contrasts sharply with Pääbo's previous work. In 1997 he and his colleagues sequenced the first Neandertal mitochondrial DNA . Mitochondria are the cell’s energy-generating organelles, and they have their own DNA, which is distinct from the much longer DNA sequence that resides in the cell’s nucleus. Their analysis revealed that Neandertals had not made any contributions to modern mitochondrial DNA.

Color Survey Results « xkcd

Color Survey Results « xkcd

And really, if you’re reading this blog, odds are you probably—like me—spend more time looking at a monitor than at the outdoors anyway.

From a delightful color survey from xkcd. Who ever thought science could be so funny. A very witty write up of the results.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Truths of Physics and Psychology

The Moral Life of Babies -
The truths of physics and psychology are universal: objects obey the same physical laws everywhere; and people everywhere have minds, goals, desires and beliefs.
Paul Bloom

Thanks Paul, for the laugh of the day. One of these years psychology may find a universal truth, but it needs to find some reality and humility first.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Development of Morality.

The Moral Life of Babies -
We possess abstract moral notions of equality and freedom for all; we see racism and sexism as evil; we reject slavery and genocide; we try to love our enemies. Of course, our actions typically fall short, often far short, of our moral principles, but these principles do shape, in a substantial way, the world that we live in. It makes sense then to marvel at the extent of our moral insight and to reject the notion that it can be explained in the language of natural selection. If this higher morality or higher altruism were found in babies, the case for divine creation would get just a bit stronger.

But it is not present in babies. In fact, our initial moral sense appears to be biased toward our own kind. There’s plenty of research showing that babies have within-group preferences: 3-month-olds prefer the faces of the race that is most familiar to them to those of other races; 11-month-olds prefer individuals who share their own taste in food and expect these individuals to be nicer than those with different tastes; 12-month-olds prefer to learn from someone who speaks their own language over someone who speaks a foreign language. And studies with young children have found that once they are segregated into different groups — even under the most arbitrary of schemes, like wearing different colored T-shirts — they eagerly favor their own groups in their attitudes and their actions.
Paul Bloom

This for me is the crux of the article. And the Author ignores it. The within-group preferences are the basis of morality. Our school colors are good, yours are bad.

Adult morality is basically the ability to choose ones group and abide by the moral standards it sets up. Particularly the standards for role modeling. As we are seeing daily: If your group is sport you expect your sport heroes to be good role models and woe be to the used to be hero that falls short in the role model behavior. They might redeem their hero status by their talent, but it will always have the asterisk hesh is a great athlete* *but hesh is an asshole.

In politics and religion the role model issues are even more important.

I learned the importance of role modeling early, as one of my favorite musicians was an asshole, and people in my group would judge his music by his behavior. The implicit message was that my society expected every member to be an exemplary role model, and achievements would be judged as much by the role modeling as by the achievement itself. This drastically changes the importance of moral behavior, at least in my society which is self selected to be intelligent, rational, well educated, and achievement oriented. And damn few of us get our moral behavior from God.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Owning Your Own Shadow - Beliefnet

It is because I have studied the Bible and understand what is going on in it that I do not accept the Good News of Salvation. It would probably be easier not to work on righteousness and nail my shadow to the cross, but that doesn't work for me. Christ has nothing to do with my behavior or my relationships with other people. He is not responsible for any injury I might inflict on them and neither is Adam. The arrow of responsibility is very short and it points right at me. I think all this work makes me a better member of my chosen society both as an actor and as a role model. It is my effect on my society today, in this life that is important to me. No more, and no less.

Idealism and Atheism

Owning Your Own Shadow - Beliefnet
You seem to have an idealistic streak - that is surprising to me.

Idealism and optimism seem to me to be necessary for a life without God. There is no salvation that I don't make for myself. This life is all I can expect, so I can't waste it on worthless that is non-ideal activities. And the legacy that I leave for others had better be beautiful, interesting and useful. I can't think of a way to do that without an idealistic outlook on life. I think humans are evolving into a better more idealistic species, not all of us, but I want to insure that those who are important to me are part of that evolution.

UU Youth

Owning Your Own Shadow - Beliefnet

What did the UU youth group contribute to your righteousness / no shadow?

There were no rules, no belief systems, and yet we had to function as a coherent group in spite of radically different views on everything from God to sexuality. I learned to respect the rules and limits of others without internalizing them. I learned to communicate my rules and limits without projecting them on others. This was fairly easy with respect to God, in spite of my unusual for the time overt atheism, but the sexuality issues as you might expect in a group of horny teens with no rules except respect for your partner made for some interesting times. Further, deponent sayeth not.


Owning Your Own Shadow - Beliefnet

Your parents must have had a very good, loving relationship. You must have really valued your mother, also.

My parents' relationship lasted more than half a century, the usual bumps and frictions, but in general I would agree with your assessment.

My mother was an intelligent, independent, and strong woman, and the iconic ancestor was similar. Not domineering as many such women can be, but not submissive either. She knew she was equal to anybody else. Not better, but no worse. My older sisters who were important in my early life inherited these traits. One might say I had no experience with other types of women or at least didn't notice other types. My father was an equal partner in my parenting and in his marriage, but traditional gender role models were basically ignored.

How No Shadow?

Owning Your Own Shadow - Beliefnet

You grew up in a very polite home, then. Were you the one stealing, or a sibling, or a play mate? Were you encouraged to continually share, or were there toys which were yours, alone, and you, alone could choose whether or not to share them? Were you groomed for an elite society?

I am sure siblings and playmates were caught out and instructed on stealing, but as usual my own burning ears were what made me learn. But relevant to the shadow topic, it was always behavior correction. "We" don't do that kind of thing. Never "That is bad," and absolutely never "You are bad." I don't remember "bad" as part of my parents' vocabulary.

As I remember it sharing was a part of playing with toys. Even my teddy bear which for a while was a constant companion was shared. I vaguely remember a kind of a round dance game where the teddy bear danced with everybody.

The "We" in all of it was what "We" considered to be an elite society. One in which each person was expected to be knowledgeable, thoughtful, responsible, mannerly, fun to be with, and to do their chores diligently and without direction or complaint. There were "Others" some of whom were part of a different elite, and some who were definitely less than elite.