It is very easy today to look back upon human history as a separate event, something that happened long before our time, in a make believe world. It is even easier to look down upon the actions of our ancestors, as we sit upon our high horse marvelling at this technological age. It is not easy to realise how close history is to our lives, how we are still living it and just how directly the modern age, modern people, you and me are still completely often devastatingly the same people we humans have always been.
Today you hear speak of a utopian world by many a millennial in skinny jeans, a world where unfairness and discrimination vanishes, to be replaced by a completely accepting and enlightened society. It almost seems possible, when we open our minds to those possibilities and yet for so much of what we have gained outwardly in recent times, it seems to me we have progressed only small amounts where it actually matters, inwardly, where the root of the problems we wish to sweep under carpet still linger strong as ever
That is not to undermine the great work that has been done, not so long ago children in the UK were considered a nuisance, to be seen and not heard. Today there is much more attention given to their inner needs and room allowed for creative freedoms yet many institutions and schools are relics of the Victorian age and slow to change. That is where people as a whole are evolving, seeing the value in family, in liberating young generations and slowly letting go of what has held us back, but this is not an easy process.
This is then where the notion of our own rehabilitation must arise, as pure life when we are first born there is little within us that resembles the insanity taught to us as we grow. It is the world that raises us, that shows us we are small and insignificant, that shushes us, puts us down, dismisses our ideas for the accepted normality, it is ‘this world’, from which insanity is drilled into memory and mind. We are and have been throughout the ages, the blind leading the blind and each new person is given a name and a place while being taught how to lead the next generations into the unseeing.
An example of my own seen insanity is when adventuring with my nephews how quickly I found myself snapping at them if they ‘misbehaved’, just as I remember being snapped at when I was young, like it was a voice speaking through me from my ancestors. Afterwards I wondered if it had been actually necessary, they were only being children but no doubt those who snapped at me as a child, had themselves been snapped at for generations in an endless cycle yet to be broken.
It seemed like the thing to do, it came so naturally and I suppose it achieved the result I wanted, they stopped messing around (for a while) and we got on with our wanderings. Yet afterwards I couldn’t shake the feeling of guilt, I remember seeing their faces, put down and reluctantly accepting of their scorn and I remembered from my own youth, wearing that look myself. It was a defeated expression with a hint of disappointment, as it they saw something I didn’t see, but they knew well that I couldn’t see it.
Disempowering the next generations because the previous generations disempowered us. Is there not a great difference between teaching a child the dangers of the world out of compassion and scaring them into being afraid the world out of fear passed down to us. Every time we take a decision out of the hands of a child, we scorn them for silliness which is simply a purer form of behaviour we are often too proud to allow in ourselves, we teach them that they are helpless. Do we lack the wisdom to see that we have more to learn from the new generations than we have to teach, that they represent all the best of humanity before it is hardened and chiselled by a modern society built upon ancient madness?
Can we return to the picture of sanity, as we no doubt had in our animalistic days, when we lived in a state of being that didn’t require a lifetime of being told you are ‘this’, with ‘that name’ and should do ‘the following’. Is there room within our growing compassion, for ourselves? For the poor little maddened mind that is you and me, that is deformed and scarred from years of being put down and put it our place. If there is then perhaps there is hope but we mustn’t allow denial of this insanity to continue, it isolated us, makes us afraid and guarded, for humanities great insanity to be cured it must be first accept that it is still there.
It is a hard world we come from, one with slavery, one with conquest, greed, corruption and many horrors. Perhaps we were much closer to our younger selves when we lived of the land and close the natural state we evolved from but our leap from that to this took its toll in every coner of the world. With an open mind we can see this and it goes some way to explain why there still exists attrocoties, why discrimination lingers and why change is considered scary and unsafe.
So instead of swapping our ancestors strict and stern madness for a new different coloured hipster madness, maybe we can accept that we are all in fact imperfect. We can, will and must continue to rehabilitate from what wounded us in childhood but a lot of it is very deeply rooted and it may take many generations to come before we are fully healed of it. After all part of us is most definitely mad, accepting that of yourself and others may help towards diffusing the destructive effects, condemning it will only isolate people further.
A good example could be a bitter argument between two parties, it is more than likely that it is the crazed part of two individuals arguing because it is that part of us that takes it all personally, that struggles to see the bigger picture and let go. So long as we identify with that part of ourselves, we choose the institutionalised insanity. If, however I can see that it is not truly who I am, I may not always prevent its acting, I can at least inwardly choose to lessen its importance to me. Why would I want to be an avatar of all the times I felt hurt, shunned or put down as a child, why would I want to be the very cause of me problems and why would I pass that onto others?
So we as humanity must rehabilitate but gluten free yoghurt doesn’t mask the inner scars that we try so hard to hide, nor does condemnation of those that are different. It starts instead with the man in the mirror, forgiveness and what is most simple, it starts with how we saw things as a child.