Because You Life Is Worth It!
In life all of us use various methods to cope with the ups and downs, the yin and yang, the good and bad we face each day. One technique we commonly use is to transfer (transference) our responsibility onto someone or something else. From an argument with your spouse, to a problem you faced at work, how often do you find yourself throwing blame and guilt onto somebody else.
As a child growing up, like all children, I faced the challenges of adapting to my surroundings. If I remember right from my basic psychology courses some 40 years ago, I think it was Freud who talked about the development stages of oral and anal. For me, I was frustrated in oral being one of the first modern generations where baby's could be fed baby formula. Yes, I never got to enjoy suckling my mother's breast. (like my kids for fortunately able to do) And when it came time to move from the oral to anal phase of life, things went from bad to even worse. Now my battle for the bottle evolved into a struggle of control between me, my body and my mother.
It was at this time in my life that I faced the first paradox of man, being born as a conscious human being with seemingly infinite cosmic potential but existing in this biological body that had to conform to the culture of my parents and the norms of my village. It was here that the battle lines were drawn between what and when I would eat, and where and when I would piss and crap.
For me playing with friends was the ultimate childhood right and mandate. Whether it was Mom calling that lunch was ready, or my body saying I needed to take a dump, I would ignore and fight the interruptions with all my might. Although there are many stories I could tell, the most dramatic centered around my bowel movements or lack there of. I would hold it till I absolutely had to go. And when I went, the log I pushed out would plug the toilet. I'd watch and pray it would go down, but time after time it would plug the toilet and the water would run up and over the toilet bowl onto the bathroom floor. The real malady here is that the issue of anal control never resolved itself until the invention of super flush toilets at Junior High. It was only when I could rely on the log of crap going down the toilet that I finally got into a regular schedule of taking a crap when the natural urge came.
Erich Fromm wondered why most people did not become insane in the face of the existential contradiction between a symbolic self, that seems to give man infinite worth in a timeless scheme of things, and a body that is worth about 98 cents.
I use this story to introduce a topic of great importance in this book. One that bears the power of personal discovery like no other. The process is called "transference" and it is something we do at every stage and level of life experience. When I eventually realized that life was much easier in the long run if I ran home for lunch when Mom called and conformed to our family ritual of noon lunch together, I essentially relinquished my personal power of creative moments with my friends to the cultural norms of my family. I transferred my way of looking at the world over to that of my mother and father.
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