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The Emotional Life of Nations
by Lloyd deMause

Chapter 9----The Evolution of the Psyche and Society

"The search for meaning is the search for expression of one’s real self." "
---James F. Masterson

Since the further back in history one goes the lower the level of childrearing, it follows that children in the past grew up in houses of horrors that were like those of dissociated personalities of today. Psychiatric studies have shown that there is a direct correlation between elevated levels of dissociative symptoms—separate alters, depersonalization, derealization—and the amount of early physical, sexual and emotional abuse.1 That the average person before the modern period walked streets full of spirits, demons, gods and other alters is evidence of the dissociation that resulted from their routine abuse and neglect as children. Historical evolution of the psyche, therefore, is the slow, uneven process of integrating fragmented selves into the unified self that is the goal of modern upbringing.2

Biological evolution stores traits in genes that are passed down to subsequent generations with their modifications intact; a chimp has all the genes necessary to make another chimp. But the self of the human psyche must evolve anew each generation. Contemporary newborns begin with the same psyche as prehistoric newborns; it is only better childrearing that allows them to achieve a more unified self. That dissociated selves were an everyday part of life in antiquity and the Middle Ages is a much-denied fact of historians, just as anthropologists deny that their subjects are dissociated personalities who live in an animistic world full of alters inhabiting animals, objects and dead ancestors. Thus both personal history and human history are products of a search for a real self, a search for meaning in life, an integration of separate brain networks, a development of more adaptive real selves, with the unified self being a late historical achievement of only a few.

Most people even today have only achieved a partial integration of the "relatively independent subselves" that recent studies show they begin constructing as infants.3 The most thorough recent study of dissociation using a sophisticated interview technique finds that "14 percent of the general public experience ‘substantial’ dissociative symptoms"4 and most of the rest of us experience lesser dissociative symptoms when triggered by situations similar to the original abuse. This may seem excessive, until one remembers that perhaps half of the adults today were sexually abused as children, that most of us were physically and emotionally abused to some extent and that helping mode parenting which respects the growth and individuation of children is everywhere still rare. We may be surprised to discover that people in the past had their demon alters exorcised or had conversations with their various inner souls, but even today religious spirit possessions are not uncommon—a third of Americans say they have experienced other spirits in themselves and over 90 percent of us believe in and at times converse with (pray to) god alters of one sort or another.5 Even in our day-to-day personal reactions, we more often switch into alters than we like to admit: "’Mom, don’t we have any cornflakes?’ Shawn asked….Immediately the Mean alter sprang into action. ‘Screw you, Shawn! Why are you so helpless? Find something else if we don’t have any goddamn cornflakes. I’m not your fucking slave!’"6

Contemporary societies with overall lower level childrearing regularly switch into their alters in possession states. Bourguignon found 90 percent of 488 societies reported institutionalized altered states of consciousness and spirit possessions7, with the remaining 10 percent reporting other forms of overt dissociation. One of the best-studied is Bali, where people live in "a world filled with gods and spirits…at the core of many activities of daily life, including ceremonies, rituals, dances, plays, and possession [by] demons, witchcraft or black magic, and leak (spirits). Evil spirits are often present."8 The journal Transcultural Psychiatry regularly reports on possession and other dissociative states in other cultures, from the "belief in spirit possession fundamental to Chinese religious systems" to the possession rituals in Indonesia.9 Simpler cultures report more hallucinations, soul journeys and possessions by animal spirits, while the more complex cultures report a greater variety of possession trance roles.10 Like multiple personalities in our society, altered states in other societies follow periodic cycles,11 as people experience growth panic due to individuation, then, as memories of early traumas threaten to surface, they switch into alters and restage their anger, guilt and punishment in religious rituals. Even today people in most societies individuate for six days and spend the seventh worshiping a punishing spirit and asking for forgiveness for the hubris/chutzbah of the previous week.

The psychology of alter formation and the acting-out of alter rituals has been well studied recently by clinicians. Whether experienced as inside or outside oneself, alters are actually inner voices or hallucinations that are subnetworks of the brain, centering more in the amygdalan network than the hippocampal,12 with their own organized personalities and even unique brain-scan configurations as the person switches personalities.13 All spirits, gods, demons, shamans, priests and political leaders are alter containers, projections of these inner alters; they derive their traits from the early traumas, not merely from "cultural transmission of beliefs." Dissociative personalities usually sense at some level that their spirits derive from their parents. As Donne put it, a separate part of ourselves—what he terms an "invisible corner" of us—derives from our past (Father Adam and Mother Eve) and contains the "poison that corrupts us."14 People in the past used to switch into their alters regularly, hearing voices, having waking nightmares and flashbacks, experiencing loss of time, periods of unreality and deadness, hallucinating persecutors, feeling unalterably dirty, sinful and hopeless, and acting out self-injurious episodes. All of these are evidence of dissociative identity disorders that resulted from the routine abusive childrearing practices of the past. One can view daily encounters with alters in such studies as those of the anthropologists Richard and Eva Blum on rural Greek communities, where people today—as in ancient Greece—regularly switch into alternate states and either are possessed by or encounter outside themselves devouring demons and bloodthirsty maternal monsters as they go about their daily business.15

Alters always contain traces of the early abusive situation, so if one knows the typical kinds of traumatic childrearing practices of an age, one can use these to decode the shared alters of that age. Goodwin’s studies of demon possesions in the sixteenth century are particularly revealing, demonstrating how the demons of Jeanne Fery were both "internalized abusers" and "keepers of the secret" of her early sexual and physical abuse.16 Whether the dissociated personalities are Perpetrator or Victim Alters, the original family situation is usually decipherable. Demons particularly get into you, say religious authorities, when mothers are mad at you for enjoying yourself: "Say a child is taking a nice hot shower, he is relaxed, enjoying himself. Suppose his mother yells at him to hurry up and get out, that’s forbidden….The child can get scared and the demon will get hold of him."17 In Mesopotamia, each person was said to have a "personal god…the image of the parent—divine father or mother" inside them, with a relationship "of master and slave," and these contributed to making their worlds filled with "demons, evil gods and evil spirits."18 The gods of every land were recognized as acting just like parents, often punishing people like noisy children, as when Enlil sent the Babylonian flood to wipe out mankind because they were "making too much noise down there so she could not sleep"19 or as when the Aztec lords of the underworld sacrificed the Aztec ball players because they were "too noisy."20 Hell in Christian literature was often compared to living with "an angry and furious woman."21 Possession began early in life; in the Acts of Thomas, God himself advised Christians "to avoid having children [since] the majority of children [are] possessed by demons."22 Witches were often transparently grandmothers or other women of the gynarchy (riding the grandmother’s broomstick) or prone to murder children (like real mothers killing their newborn) or "dance stark naked in the night" and seduce children (like mothers who slept with their children while both were naked and while the mother masturbated them).23 Every witch, ghost and religious figure carried their family origin in each of their features.

God, says Julian of Eclanum, is "the persecutor of newborn children; he it is who sends tiny babies to eternal flames."24 The pictures of Hell regularly depict tormented souls as child-sized, and their tortures are the routine tortures infants endured in the past; being in Hell meant "unbearable thirst, the punishment of hunger, of stench, of horror, of fear, of want, of darkness, the cruelty of tortures, punishment without end…"25 The tight swaddling bands were represented in Hell as "cruel fetters" with "their arms stretched down to the feet," and the feces that the infants were left in was shown in Hell as "being in a sewer" and as being "covered in the feces of their own obscenity," with Hell having "a stench worse than anything in this world."26

One can find Terrifying Mommy alters behind every Devil; even the Greek word for devil, diabolos, means "accuser." God, says Gregory, is the "Avenger," and he compares God’s treatment of man with that of a mother who "beats her child one moment as if she never loved him and the next moment loves him as if she had never beaten him."27 Although gods are often male, this usually only represents a defensive clinging to a Father to avoid worse fears of maternal abandonment and torture.28 A cross-cultural study of The Parental Figures and the Representation of God found that religious people cling to their mothers far more and actually see God with more maternal attributes than paternal.29 Demons in the past were even portrayed as wetnurses; the Dragon of Delphi, for instance, was the wetnurse of Typhaon, Hera’s child.30 The victims of gods and demons alike are regularly depicted as "innocent," "like an innocent child." When Job complains to Yahweh, "I am innocent," he admits this makes no difference because Yahweh "destroys innocent and guilty alike." Sinners were born sinful and deserved punishment simply because they tried to be independent. The Devil, said Gerson, "sends happy thoughts" to you of "undertaking mighty works," you forget about God’s [Mommy’s] needs, you "relax," and you become a sinner.31 You must love God [Mommy], said Meister Eckart, "for nothing." You live, said Thomas à Kempis, only "to make yourself a more fit vessel for God’s [Mommy’s] purposes."32 All religions agreed on one thing: "To assert one’s self, to succeed, to enjoy, even to exist, is to dispossess the Father [Mother], to kill Him [Her]."33

Switching into alters began in early childhood. Children were often pictured as possessed, and historians of witchcraft often comment on "the sudden emergence, in a docile and amenable child, of a personality which raves, screams, roars with laughter, utters dreadful blasphemies [which] seems like the invasion of an alien being."34 Children, so close in time to their traumas, could remember what it felt like to be a fetus suffering because their Poisonous Placenta didn’t provide it with fresh, oxygenated blood, so they could identify with a suffering Christ on a placental cross and could understand priests when they said they deserved to be thrown into the "suffocations" of Hell [womb] and be tortured by "fire coursing swiftly through their veins, bubbling through their arteries, boiling like liquid lead."35 Common childrearing practices—like "roasting" infants in an oven to cure them of evil eye—were remembered in the many burning visions of Hell:

Let us always keep before our mind’s eye an overheated and glowing stove and inside a naked man supine, who will never be released from such pain. How lost he appears to us! Just imagine how he is writhing in the stove, how he screams, cries, lives, what dread he suffers, what sufferings pierce him, particularly when he realizes his unbearable pain will never end!36

Demons were sometimes experienced as "creeping things," like children, who "dance, laugh, whistle, caper, fart, and prance." More often demons were like parents, "leaping on his back, beating him and whipping him and leaving him unconscious on the ground."37 Demons and devils almost always contain traces of childhood rape, the Devil being, as one Colonial American woman who had intercourse with the Devil confessed, "a thing all over hairy, all the face hairy [pubic hair], and a long nose [penis]."38 As one study of medieval rape puts it: "The main thing medieval demons and monsters do is rape virgins."39 When hundreds of children at a time report being forced to copulate with the Devil,40 one need not believe in demons to see the earlier reality of the rape reports. Witnesses to rape confessions often report that the girls speak in "two voices, one her normal voice, the other ‘strange, coarse, unnatural, heavy, masculine.’"41 Obviously the deeper alter voice carries the memory of the original rapist, as it so often does in contemporary rape victims. Demons during the Middle Ages were always assaulting people as incubi and succubi that sexually assault people in their beds, restaging childhood family bed rapes.42 Some female mystics even hallucinated that Christ appeared before them and had intercourse with them.43 Even the Holy Ghost contains a trace of rape, since the Virgin Mary was impregnated by God with it (Yahweh in Hebrew deriving from the Sumerian word for "sperm.")44 Religious ritual often restages the rape scene openly:

The temple in the Near East was the womb. It was divided into three parts; the Porch, representing the lower end of the vagina up to the hymen, or Veil; the Hall, or vagina itself; and the inner sanctum, or Holy of Holies, the uterus. The priest, dressed as a penis, anointed with various saps and resins as representing the divine semen, enters through the doors of the Porch, the "labia" of the womb, past the Veil or "hymen" and so into the Hall.45

In religions and politics, people turn to idealized authorities to avoid the risk of depending on themselves and to restage the painful feelings of abandonment by parents that they had when they tried to individuate as children. Religions restage traumatic events encapsulated in dangerous alters. This is why the word "sacred" (sacer) everywhere designates "poison," "dangerous," "taboo,"46 because the sacred is where we store our most poisonous, dangerous early memories. Gods, demons and spirits are not just containers for haphazard projections; they are highly organized and endurable, and so must first exist as durable, organized subselves in individual brains. It is through religious questions about God that people in the past asked their most important questions about Mommy: Why does she hate me, why did she tie me up, leave me abandoned in my feces, let me starve, why did she beat me, why did she strangle my baby sister, what does she want from me, what did I do wrong to deserve such torture?

Because preverbal infants imagine they store their painful memories in various body parts, alters that carry early traumas are often pictured as inhabiting internal organs: hearts, brains, the gall bladder, even intestines. Jeffrey Dahmer used to dismember bodies, he said, because he "wanted to see what someone looked like inside," searching for alters in the organs of the corpses he decapitated, draped on altars and then—like Osiris—tried to reassemble, as though he were reassembling his own dissociated body part alters.47 He then ate some of the body parts, like Aztecs eating the heart of their sacrificed victims, reinternalizing the projected alters that were "full of vital force." Christian saints hallucinated both Christ and devils inhabiting their hearts, and even talked to them regularly.48 Egyptians said their double, their ka, inhabited their hearts, and had spells entreating the heart to "rise not up as a witness against me."49 Aztecs believed there were three animistic souls, one in the head, one in the liver and one in the heart, and they cut each of these organs out of victims in their sacrificial rituals.50 To this day, children’s hearts are reported cut out and thrown into the sea in Chile as sacrifices to spirits, as the child begs, "Just let me live, Grandfather."51

Tribal people had such primitive childrearing that they were constantly involved with the alters inhabiting their organs. "The first thing a shaman has to do when he has called up his helping spirits is to withdraw the soul from his pupil’s eyes, brain and entrails," purifying and liberating them.52 Shamans "cured" others of "soul loss" by sucking out their poisonous organ alters through their skin.53 Early religions are mainly concerned with purifying and acting out the feelings of organ alters, usually in rituals that use animal spirit alters, attacking, dismembering and rebirthing initiates. Animal alters reveal their infantile origins in that they are projected into beings that crawl and are not verbal, like infants. Thus all animal sacrifices are infantile alter sacrifices, even when we today go hunting. The infantile origin of animal alters is clearly revealed in the Ainu bear sacrifice, where a black bear cub is actually suckled by the mothers before being sacrificed.54 Shamans around the world hallucinate that they remove all their internal organs and replace them with "incorruptible" organs, often pressing quartz crystals into their body to accomplish this.55 Egyptians not only separately mummified their internal organs, addressing their ka as "my heart, my mother,"56 they also mummified animals, reptiles, birds and fishes that were their animal alters.57 As we saw in Chapter 3, they even mummified the Royal Placenta and worshiped it, like the Baganda did until recently, placing it on an actual throne and addressing it as "King."58 Christians, too, used to collect body parts as relics, worshiping the heart, pieces of skull, limb bones or fingers of saints dug up from their graves.59

Animal Perpetrator Alters were frequently the central gods of early religions, such as when Yahweh was represented with serpent legs or when Egyptian gods were shown as various devouring animals.60 That gods are usually perpetrators restaging early physical abuse is the answer to Freud’s question: "Why does religion seem to need violence?"61 When violence against children disappears, religious and political violence will disappear. Religions and politics as we know them will no doubt disappear also. Religions work by constructing sacred spaces that contain triggers for switching into trances in order to access people’s alters and obtain some relief from their tortures. Looking out a Rose Window of a cathedral triggers nothing so much as fetal memories of seeing light through your mother’s abdomen. The entrainment of personal alters into a shared personal experience can be seen today most clearly in groups like the Shakers, where adherents experience dissociation states; get together in churches full of pictures of Christ as a Victim Alter to trigger their childhood memories of being victimized; profess their total obedience to Elders in order to trigger the obedience demanded by their parents; and have a "mother matron" wash their hands or face, also to parallel the early childhood state. Then the church leader, the "Pointer," carries out the Perpetrator Alter role by punishing one of the Shakers: "With a temper that flares suddenly, he takes a wide leather strap and pounds the table, altar, or Bible with the edge of it…then wields it against a woman [who] became dissociated as he held her hands and swung her arms from side to side…remarking, ‘Satan, he wait for you!’ He proceeded to strike the woman’s open palms with his strap." The Pointer becomes the instrument of the Holy Ghost, saying: "It is the Holy Spirit who gives punishment to you," and, while the culprit is still in a possession trance, lashes her as she was lashed as a child, telling her she was now forgiven for being sinful.62

The neurobiology of "God experiences" is well understood. They are actually temporal lobe seizures, similar to the seizures of epileptics, explaining why so many mystics experienced clear epileptic seizures. These "kindling" seizures—which have been correlated with previous serious child abuse—begin in the hippocampus and spread to the amygdalan network, transforming previous painful anoxic depressive rage feelings into what Mandell calls "ecstatic joyful rage," with a disappearance of self boundaries so that the person is suddenly overcome with feelings of unity and love.63 The neurobiology of "God in the brain" is similar to the effects of drugs like cocaine and the hallucinagens, "inducing an acute loss of serotonergic regulation of temporal lobe limbic structures and releasing the affectual and cognitive processes characteristic of religious ecstasy and conversion."64 Persinger describes "the release of the brain’s own opiates that can cause a narcotic high" during these God-merger experiences, producing "with a single burst in the temporal lobe, a personal conviction of truth and a sense of self-selection [that] shames any known therapy."65 As Otto puts it, the mysterium tremendum of religious ecstasy "bursts in sudden eruption up from the depths of the soul with spasms and convulsions and leads to the strangest excitements, to intoxicated frenzy, to transport and to ecstasy…wild and demonic…and can sink to an almost grisly horror and shuddering."66 Saint Theresa tells how it felt to experience this painful ecstasy in her organ alters: "An angel pierced its spear several times through my heart, so that it penetrated to my bowels, which were extracted when the spear was withdrawn, leaving me all aflame with an immense love for God. The pain was so great that I had to groan, but the sweetness that came with this violent pain was such that I could not wish to be free of it."67

Religions devise rituals to exteriorize alters and collude with others in the delusion that internal alters really exist outside oneself, providing some group relief from feeling unlovable by sharing myths like "Christ died for your sins" and asking for forgiveness in hopes that God, the Omnipotent Mommy Alter, will finally love them. Each step of the shaman’s or priest’s ritual can be decoded to reveal its infantile origin: "In every ritual, we must do what the gods [parents] did in the beginning,"68 The most severely abused children today who become multiple personalities (Dissociated Identity Disorders) frequently join one of the many fundamentalist religious cults in order to decrease the pains of their dissociation. Religions provide alter fetishes—shaman’s rattles, Dionysian phallic replicas, suffering Christ statues—that contain the traumas of the alters and allow the worshiper to act out the guilt and punishment they demand. Most gods began as fetishes, "spirits embodied in material objects,"70 and demon fetish figurines were plentiful in antiquity, being made to be ritually destroyed or thrown into the river or buried in deserted places to punish the Victim Alters that were projected into them.71 These alter fetishes were believed to have "accumulated power so intense and dangerous" that they had to be "killed" in order to release their force.72 All the statues and standards worshiped by the Egyptian and Mesopotamians were so concretely alternate personalities that they were regularly fed and spoken to, "in order to sustain the power with which they were charged."73 Most early Sacred Kings only remained kings as long as they had possession of their fetish alters, the Royal Crown—symbol of the maternal vagina—and the throne—symbol of the maternal chair.74 As will be discussed below, the fantasy of the omnipotent Terrifying Mommy always lies behind even masculine gods and demons, both in religious and political group-fantasies.

According to James Masterson, personality disorders are results of "false selves" that defend against painful affects of early life and present-day experiences, designed to camouflage the real targets of emotional life—the infantile feelings and memories—and based not on reality but on organized fantasies involving part-selves. Contemporary personality disorders as described in Masterson’s revisions of DSM IV75 form a series of personality types from schizoid to narcissistic, borderline, depressive and neurotic which conform to the stages of evolution of historical personalities that result from the childrearing modes described in the previous two chapters.






Early infanticidal



Devours, seduces, abandons child

To animal alter spirits

Late Infanticidal



Kills, punishes evil child

To human alter gods

Christian: Abandoning



Forgives hurt Self-child


Middle Ages: Ambivalent



Dominates, beats worshipful child

Subservient clinging

Renaissance: Intrusive


Holy Warrior

Disciplines obedient child





Manipulates child

Incomplete Separation

Post-Modern: Helping



Trusts, loves child

No sacrifice of real self

Illustration 9-1—Table of Historical Personalities

The schizoid personality cluster—including paranoid and psychopathic personalities—features magical, primary process thinking; periods of depersonalization, unreality and grandiosity; animistic fused subject/object experiences; an inability to experience intimacy; and extreme episodes of suspicion and rage. Because tribal mothering (see Chapter 6) is so primitive, so lacking in empathy for the child and so engulfing in overt maternal incest, the schizoid tribal personality has a fear of being taken over and a "profound inability to love himself."76 Schizoids therefore cannot stand close relationships and so cannot form higher levels of social organization based on trust. Tribal personalities since the Palaeolithic formed animal and organ alters containing dissociated Perpetrator and Victim Alters. Animal alters were depicted in the cave paintings of early times and were sacrificially stabbed over and over again in ecstatic rebirth rituals held deep in womb-caves covered with several inches of blood-red ochre. The depersonalization of schizoids—the result of severe separation stress—is so extreme that they regularly felt themselves breaking into fragmented pieces, switching into dissociated states and going into shamanistic trances to try to put themselves together. During shamanistic journeys, schizoids experience themselves as sliced up, their bones removed, their flesh devoured by female monsters, and as repeating the tortures of childhood by being starved, burned, beaten, raped and lacerated.77 Like schizoid personalities today, much of their lives were spent in fantasy worlds that repeated the childhood isolation that resulted from their feeling that there was simply no path to a real relationship with parents or others. Since alters are formed to contain and control memories of early terrors, when defenses threaten to break down the schizoid is flooded with agony.78 In tribal groups, there is no hope for forgiveness, there is no "sin," no chance of atonement, only "eat mommy or be eaten by her," only sadistic master-slave fears and detachment-alienation defenses, all restaged in endless rituals and cannibalistic feasts where organ alters are eaten. Bourguignon found spirit possession rituals (where an alter totally takes over the host personality) only in simple hunter-gatherer societies, while possession-trance rituals (where various demon alters appear as spirits during brief ritual trances) were found in agricultural or animal herding societies.79 Possession rituals today feature a "judgement of the soul by an old woman, the mother-animal, the mistress of the dead," and in the past featured "human victims offered in sacrifice to propitiate the Master of the Animals."80 The animal masks of the shaman are familiar from the various cave paintings that have survived this early period, with the shaman’s drum said to be "the voice of the primeval mother" and with Mistress of the Animal representations continuing as late as the Greek goddess Artemis.81 Yakut shamans still hallucinate self-sacrifice to "a Bird-of-Prey-Mother, which is like a great bird with an iron beak, hooked claws, and a long tail [who] cuts its body into bits and devours it."82

Animistic alter fetishes surrounded early humans. As one Chukchi put it: "All that exists lives. The lamp walks around. The walls of the house have voices of their own, while the deceased get up and visit the living."83 Every alter fetish contains traces of the original trauma from when it was formed—even the shaman’s rattle betraying the routine raping of children by having a "gourd representing the womb and a penis-handle that inseminates it."84 Indeed, it is likely that most of the misnamed "Venus figurines" found in early caves were in fact raping wands similar to those used in contemporary cults that rape virgins in rituals,85 with faceless heads shaped like the glans of the penis, bulbous breasts looking just like testicles, a vaginal triangle carefully indicated and covered with red ochre representing the bloody results of the childhood rape.86 It was no coincidence that the very first art in the Upper Palaeolithic was mainly representations of the vulva.87 "Sacred rape" is part of shamanistic beliefs today,88 and virgins are still cut and raped as sacrificial offerings to gods in some areas of the world, giving as the reason: "Only blood satisfies the tius [avenging spirits]."89 Girls in some African tribes are still made to sit on erect penis figurines as punishment.90 That tunnels and caves were the locations of these raping rituals fits well with the frequent use of tunnels and caves by contemporary cults that rape schoolchildren.91 That the caves of the Palaeolithic are cultic sanctuaries for trance hallucinations is further confirmed by their being covered with "entoptic" images identical to those experienced by contemporary shamans engaged in trance vision quests.92

Plunging into the terrifying, hallucinatory world of "Dreamtime" trances meant revisiting the terrifying world of childhood, where mommies suck infants’ penises and fathers have seven-year-olds fellate them. Initiates felt so polluted by their early seductions that they submitted themselves at adolescence to initiatory group-fantasies of disemboweling and washing of their entrails and other body parts, while endlessly cutting themselves to cleanse their blood of their badness. The !Kung bushmen of the Kalahari still switch into cleansing trances once a week to experience their alter memories in convulsion-like tremors, ending in the usual temporal lobe seizures of tribal personalities, "bursting open, like a ripe pod" when "God killed my every thought. He wiped me clean."93 Body parts containing projected alters collected by early headhunters and cannibals existed with hallucinatory reality: "The Dyaks were obsessed with the notion that severed heads continued to exist as living beings…[they were] treated for months with deep reverence and flattering speech. Choice morsels from the table would be thrust into its mouth, and at the end of the meal a cigar would be placed between its lips."94 Alters in enemy scalps collected by warriors in many tribes were so real the scalps used to be taken home, called "my child" and fed regularly.95 Since "enemies" were usually quite innocent of any wrongdoing until a warrior’s alters were projected into them, captured enemies were often tortured—to punish the projected childhood alters—and then eaten—to return the punished alter to the original owner.96 Thus what Sagan calls "aggressive cannibalism" and ascribes to "vengeance" is in fact a punishment of a part of the self, projected into another body, and then returned after punishment to one’s own body by eating it.

Apparently the cultural explosion at the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic some 35,000 years ago was the result of early language abilities affording the capacity to project alters into others and into shared cultural alter fetishes.97 Early humans were schizoid personalities who did not have unified real selves, only dozens of subselves which they projected into other people and objects. One archeologist suggests that the spectacular explosion of cultural developments 35,000 years ago came from "the appearance of a very simple additional cognitive affective mechanism—a disposition to engage in pretend play in childhood,"98 which in turn depends upon the ability to project parts of one’s self into others and into objects. Contemporary tribal children have alters they play with, far more real to them than the "imaginary playmates" children in more complex societies have. In New Guinea, small children have alternate personalities called finiik that "temporarily depart from the body to wander abroad…during trances and other forms of mystical experience."99 Anthropologists are often startled to be introduced by a little child to his finiik, projected into a certain stone or bird, or be told about how witch alters regularly possess children’s bodies both in dreams and waking life—all spontaneously experienced, long before being taught in ritual.

Wars, too, are fought to cleanse internal alters of badness, repair the fragmented self and restore potency. Tribal warfare against alter container "enemies" is accomplished mainly through ambush, with warriors spearing unarmed men, women and children for wholly imagined grievances. Tribes switch into Persecutory Alters mainly on occasions of extreme growth panic, when new tasks such as building houses or expanding gardens threaten too much growth and after initiations that center on adolescents growing up. Homicide rates reach the highest levels anywhere in the world—up to 60 percent—in schizoid tribal societies, since extreme distrust of others is common: "Both men and women are volatile, prone to quarreling and quick to take offense at a suspected slight,"100 restaging the distrust and rage of their infanticidal mothers. Women are routinely viewed as secretly being witches "who can kill simply by staring at a person" and are often killed because they are believed to poison people.101 Wife-beating is nearly universal, female suicide rates from mistreatment often reaches 10-25 percent of women’s deaths, and routine torture and execution of women suspected of poisoning men is common.102

Supreme gods in schizoids—unlike the more personal gods of borderlines—are totally unloving and distant, reflecting the uncaring nature of the parents. Eliade points out that even when thought of as "eternal, omniscient and all-powerful," creator gods in tribal cultures "withdraw to the sky," too remote and uncaring to be prayed to or addressed.103 What takes their place is merging with guardian spirits—empowerment by first torturing yourself to cleanse your alters and then hallucinating an animal alter that might protect you against being devoured by cannibalistic maternal giant alters like the Australian "Old Serpent Woman" or the Kwakiutl giantess Tsonoqua, who roams the forest searching for children to eat.104 Even when schizoids try to incorporate paternal features to avoid being devoured, they end up giving their gods maternal features—like the Rainbow Serpents of Australia, described as "gods who are male but have a womb or female breasts…who look like snakes but also like a woman…the ‘bad Mother’…who swallowed children left in her care."105

The main content, however, of tribal rituals is constructed from fetal fantasies, because schizoid disintegration produces deep regression to bad womb and rebirth memories. Psychotherapists like Stan Grof—who regress their patients to fetal states—reproduce their drawings in their books, and these look very much like shamanistic experiences.108 Possessed shamans often describe switching into trances during their dances in language that closely resembles the birth experience:

The loa dance suggests water [amniotic fluid]…when the drumbeat quickens [mother experiences contractions]…the whole structure crashes like a cosmic surf over one’s head [breaking of the amniotic waters]…the terror strikes and with a supreme effort I wrench my leg loose, I must keep moving {trapped in birth canal]…My skull is a drum, my veins will burst my skin [bloodstream anoxic because placenta no longer delivers oxygenated blood]…I am sucked down and exploded upward at once [birth]…Finally it is as if I lay at the far distant end of an infinitely deep-down, sunken well, then suddenly: surface; suddenly: air; suddenly:dazzling white [born].107

Róheim describes the initiation ritual of the Australian aborigines in which initiates were forced to drink blood as "throwing the novice into the Old Woman whose womb is symbolized by a semi-circular trench…The Rainbow Serpent [Poisonous Placenta] is represented engraved on the walls of the trench. A bull-roarer, called the ‘Mother’ and also representing her womb, her ‘shade,’ is buried in the trench, his spirit [alter] later leaving it to return to his spirit home."108 Both initiation rituals and shamanistic journeys usually include going through long birth tunnels with umbilical ropes attaching them to visit placental World Trees, feeling body dismemberments like those fetuses feel during birth, performing bloody birth rituals in medicine wheel circles shaped like placentas and restaging the "poison blood" memories of birth by being covered by "the menstrual blood that can cause you to die, called ‘dead womb blood.’"109 Only after going through poison-blood rebirth restagings could tribal men hope for a time to put their Devouring Mommy alters at rest and go about with the daily work of living.

The result of always being subject to infanticidal, incestuous abandoning maternal memories is that schizoid tribal personalities cannot tolerate separation or rejection in their daily life. "Rejection is unendurable…families cluster together in an encampment ‘often touching against their neighbors’ [because] separation and loneliness are unendurable to them. [They] cannot bear the sense of rejection that even mild disapproval makes them feel."110 What is misnamed "egalitarianism" is really mistrust and fear of being called "selfish" for owning. Hoarding and self-aggrandizement are simply not tolerated—people were often killed for trying to keep more than their share of goods—ambition was stopped by overwhelming schizoid envy, change was feared and the surpluses and savings which were necessary for future innovation were nowhere to be found. As Murphy found, in tribal societies "the mother is an eternal threat to self-individuation, a frustrater of urges, and a swallower of emergent identity" of men.111 The early incest was particularly destructive of separation and individuation. As one Maori sage put it: "That which destroys man is the mana of the vagina." Men are forced to merge with their mothers in order to appropriate the power of their vagina: "Warriors became the symbolic equivalent of menstruating women…[both] bloody warriors and menstruating women…were charged with powerful destructive energy…warriors’ bodies and weapons were decorated with designs marked in red hematite [and] they expropriated the destructive power of menstruating women [by] ritual nosebleeding or subincision."112 Often the bond between men was obtained by their sharing the mommy-alter in their blood, cutting their veins and smearing their blood on each other to form "blood brotherhoods."113 But strong leaders are avoided because they might bring back memories of maternal domination: "Australian aborigines traditionally eliminated aggressive men who tried to dominate them [and] in New Guinea, they execute prominent individuals who overstep their prerogatives."114 Personal loyalty to leaders is tentative because of their overwhelming schizoid mistrust and envy, so the most social organization that can be achieved is "Big Men" who do not threaten to subject others too much to maternal engulfment and despair—better to stick to alter fetishes and constant gift-exchange to ward off the return of childhood memories of starvation and abandonment. Every step toward personal closeness or trust brings flashbacks to maternal distancing, since "schizoid states often lead to acute paranoid regressions because the patient’s aggression becomes more threatening to him as he allows himself to get closer to other individuals."115 Thus wars in tribal societies often follow disappointments in sexual affairs—as men fail in achieving intimacy, they become paranoid and go off to kill imagined "enemies." Only when childrearing achieved the next highest mode were men able to achieve complex societies that allowed dominant male leaders and trust in others sufficient to permit ownership and complex hierarchical organizations that could permit development of higher levels of economic production and trade.

Narcissistic personalities ward off their sense of an empty, inadequate self by fusing with the harsh attacking parent alter and forming a grandiose self that identifies with the omnipotent parent. Or they become a latent narcissist and cling to and admire a grandiose other, a narcissistic hero who can stand up to the destructive mother alter.116 Whereas schizoid tribal personalities tried to maintain a safe distance to avoid engulfment, the narcissistic personalities of antiquity tried to maintain some sense of self by arming themselves with grandiose exhibitionism. Thus they constantly live in the state of narcissistic display, as for instance early Greeks did when they spent their days displaying their bodies at gymnasiums and at night—rather than going home to risk intimacy with their wives —engaged in male-only drinking/raping parties. The narcissistic personalities of antiquity were exploitative, distrustful, ruthless and lacking in empathy,117 being preoccupied with fantasies of the power and brilliance of a world filled with arrogant, distant narcissistic heroes and gods and grandiose political leaders upon whom they depended to validate their weak sense of self. Their pedophilia was also a result of their only being able to have sex with a narcissistic double of themselves stemming from when they were beautiful youths and, like Narcissus, fell in love with themselves, avoiding women as "vultures" who were out to catch and devour them.

Early civilizations began with both gods and leaders who had maternal characteristics: devouring goddesses everywhere prevailed, and even chiefs seemed to be mommies—as the Anyi said: "When the king’s breasts are full of milk, it is his people who drink."118 Parin found the Anyi clung to their kings because "their fear of women was greater than their fear of men" and because of "their need to find a chief or master who enjoys prestige and power so that they can submit to him and introject power" and avoid maternal engulfment.119 As Galen put it: "Each man trembled forever on the brink of becoming ‘womanish’"120 —i.e., of switching permanently into his mommy alter and losing his self. The ever-present fear of turning into a woman found throughout early civilizations explains why religions and politics were defensive arenas filled with sadistic maternal alters and why periodic wars were desperately needed to attempt to restore men’s potency.

The daily life of the narcissistic personalities of antiquity was filled with projected alters, from the evil spirits, devils and dybbuks that Jews were constantly exorcising to the bloodthirsty female spirits, serpents and demons that Sumerians, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans tried to ward off with their various religious fetishes. "At every corner evil spirits were on the watch…there was also danger from the spells of numerous witches, in whom everyone believed implicitly."121 Even supposedly rational Greeks were, as Gouldner put it, "deeply concerned about their capacity to go murderously berserk."122 Egyptians regularly talked to their avenging alters, as the "world-weary man" talked to his "double," his Ba, about suicide, making "suicide so common that the crocodiles in the Nile could no longer cope with the corpses."123 Hippocrates confirmed that Greeks often experienced "convulsions, fears, terrors and delusions," and physicians in every country of antiquity were expected to treat possessions, hallucinations, frenzies, lycanthropies and other symptoms of dissociated personalities (melancholy in Greek meaning "furor.")124 The average Greek acknowledged that his emotional life was constantly controlled by his alters, which were given names like psyche, thumos, menos, kardia, kradie, etor, noos, ate, and so on. Dodds says that Homer describes ate, for instance, as "a temporary clouding or bewildering of the normal consciousness…a partial and temporary insanity…ascribed to an external ‘daemonic’ agency."125 Medea says she did not kill her children, her thumos forced her to kill them. One’s psyche looks and sounds like a living person, Odysseus says, but it flies off "like a shadow or a dream."126 Sometimes they were co-conscious with these alters, but often they were not, since they completely took over the self. Adkins wrote an entire book on how the Greeks of antiquity kept switching into their subpersonalities, describing their "low degree of unity and cohesion [as] one ‘little man’ (so to speak) within him after another addresses and prompts him…"127 Usually the spirits and demons of antiquity betrayed their maternal origin—not so surprising when one reads statements like that of Galen who said "my mother was so very prone to anger that sometimes she bit her handmaids"128 or that of Xenophon who said he would "rather bear a wild beast’s brutality than that of his mother."129

The earliest civilizations uniformly worshipped vampire goddesses who were devouring maternal alters. All were what Jungians term "Dragon Mothers"130 —from Lilith, Nin-Tu, Hecate and Ishtar to Moira, Shiva, Gorgon and Erinyes. They were usually called by their worshipers "Terrible Mothers," usually had serpentine features and were called terms like "cruel, jealous, unjust, her glance brings death, her will is supreme" by worshippers.131 Since contemporary multiple personalities also sometimes hallucinate gigantic serpents as alters,132 one must believe the witnesses in early civilizations when they insist they really saw these serpent-goddesses. The Dragon Mother Goddesses accurately embodied the infanticidal "infinitely needy mother who cannot let her children go because she needs them for her own psychic survival…giving her child the impossible task of filling her limitless void [and] engulfing them to prevent them from claiming a separate life for themselves."133 One of the earliest Vulture Goddesses can be seen on the shrine walls of the Neolithic town of Catal Hüyük, a bloodthirsty Goddess with wings of a vulture who is shown eating headless corpses. Corpses of people were actually thrown into the fields nearby so vultures could eat them in sacrificial rebirth rituals.134 That vultures were maternal was shown long ago in Freud’s paper showing that the Egyptian hieroglyph for "mother" clearly represents a vulture and that the Egyptians worshipped a vulture-headed mother-goddess.135 Even early Hebrews worshipped a mother-goddess, Asherah,136 who, along with Lilith, the other vampire goddess mentioned in the Bible, "ceaselessly devoured the blood" of her worshippers and "roamed the world in search of children to eat, rape and kill." Even the Sphinx (sphinx means "throttler") was a maternal monster who devoured youth.137 Most of the male animal gods of early civilizations were pictured as slaves of goddesses, like "the Bull of Heaven, the ferocious monster who killed three hundred men at each snort of his breath [whom] Ishtar in her rage sent down to devastate the land."138 But usually the Mother Goddesses accomplished their own slaughters: "Kali, the Black One, breasts big with milk, adorned with the blood-dripping hands and heads of her victims, devouring the entrails of a human victim or drinking blood from a human skull."139 Statues of these bloodthirsty goddesses were set up in ziggurats and temples all over the world, daily washed, dressed, fed, talked to, and heard to speak their commands,140 so hallucinatory was the power of the alters. The statues were such bloodthirsty maternal alter fetishes that often priests would take the blood of the sacrificial victim and anoint the face of the idol so She could drink of it.141 "Divinely-induced madness"—as in the Dionysian rituals of ancient Greece— would sometimes even cause women to become possessed by their Terrible Mother alters and act out the killing of the victim, especially when they were experiencing post-partum depressions. As Euripides describes them: "Breasts swollen with milk, new mothers who had left their babies behind at home…clawed calves to pieces with bare hands [and] snatched children from their homes."142

The fetal origins of early religions were everywhere evident. Actual human placentas were often hung on trees, worshipped and offered human sacrifices.143 Goddesses like Tiamat were referred to as "poisonous wombsnakes," Sumerians and Babylonians worshipped "placenta-ghosts," and even the Hebrew name for Eve (Khawwa) meant "the Serpent Lady."144 Peruvians used to place their actual placentas into the womb of their religious statues,145 just as most nagual worshipped in ancient Meso-American religions were real placentas.146 All the "Cosmic Trees" found in early religions—from the Tree of Eden to Jesus’ Cross—were placental in origin, and the priest was often portrayed as a fetus: "He has become a fetus. His head is veiled and he is made to clench his fists, for the embryo in its bag has its fists clenched. He walks around the hearth just as the fetus moves within the womb…he unclenches his fists, he unveils himself, he is born into divine existence, he is a god."147 Carthaginian and other child sacrifice religions used both fetuses and newborn in their rites,148 and cults even today often kill real fetuses in rebirth rituals.149 Even the Deluge myths—from Gilgamesh to that of the Hebrew Bible—contain many elements of the rush of amniotic waters prior to birth.

Every detail of the worship of Mother Goddesses has its origins in actual traumatic childrearing experiences of antiquity. Most "Terrifying Mothers" had divine sons who were forced to commit incest with them,150 similar to the Japanese mothers and others described in the previous chapter,151 with "every mother goddess having their son-lovers, Inanna and Tammuz, Isis and Osiris, Cybele and Attis, Aphrodite and Adonis."152 The religious rituals restaged accurately the maternal seduction: "Not only does the Mother Goddess love her son simply for his phallus, she castrates him, taking possession of it to make herself fruitful."153 In India until recently, "visitors to many ancient shrines used to have symbolic intercourse with stone-cut female deities by thrusting their fingers into deep touchholes, worn by generations of finger-thrusters, at the deities’ sexual centers."154 Thus it is quite mistaken to call ancient sexual seduction rituals "Sacred Marriages." They are in fact "Sacred Maternal Incests." When the incest is complete and the "insatiable appetite" of the Goddess assuaged, the Mother Goddess then castrated her son155 and even, in the case of Ishtar, "wore a necklace of testicles in depictions of her. The Great Mother was gentler to women than to men, who had great reason to fear her dark side as Devouring-Mother. [She] existed not to be loved, but to be placated."156 Worshippers of the Magna Mater, called galli, castrated themselves for her, "wishing to be like a child, the better to serve the goddess,"157 "running through the city with severed organs and throwing them into any house."158

That sacrifices of all sorts are for "wiping out evil and guilt" of the community is well-established,159 but that sacrifice was usually equated with childbirth ("man’s childbearing") and sacrificers serve inner maternal alters and often pretend to be mothers ("the priests masqueraded as pregnant women during the sacrifice")160 is less well known. Astarte "massacred mankind, young and old, causing heads and hands to fly and tying heads to her back, hands to her girdle."161 Drawings of the goddess "show her perpetual hunger for human sacrificial victims."162 Visnu particularly favored devouring the victims’ genitals.163 The sacrificial rituals made a point of saying the victim must be innocent, like a child. Ancient religions used to blurt out alter beliefs that we today only tentatively suggest might be true.

Because these goddesses were also "The Mistresses of Battle," soldiers killed in battle were also seen as sacrifices to her bloodthirsty appetite. "The goddess brings destruction to enemies; she drinks the blood of the victims who were formerly her children…she could not be halted in her slaughter of the human race."164 Since these deaths originated in such memories as watching his mother strangle his little sister when she was born, war goddesses particularly needed the death of their own soldiers. As an early Ugaritic text says of the goddess Anat: "She is filled with joy as she plunges her knees in the blood of heroes."165 Often the sacrificer was actually female, as was the chief priestess of the Celtic moon goddess, who cut off the victims’ heads with her own hands, restaging the maternal infanticide.166

But rituals don’t just repeat early trauma: they restage them—rearrange them to include elements of both the violence of the Perpetrating Alters and the rage of the Victim Alters. Thus the murderous goddess Tiamat is killed by her son Marduk in a tremendous battle by an "arrow that tore through her belly and inner parts."167 Only by defeating the infanticidal mother could sons "overcome chaos." As Halpern says: "The hero is one who slays his mother [and] institutes a new order on earth…culture is the work of the hero, the mother-killer, and represents his attempt at self-generation."168 That the killing is the rage of the infantile victim alter against the mother is seen by the fact that the Mother Goddess, after being killed, is nevertheless identified with: for instance, the Aztecs beheaded women representing their Mother Goddesses and flayed them, donning their skins so that they can become them and acquire their dangerous powers, their mana.169

The acquisition of the powers of the Terrifying Mother by a male God was only slowly and partially accomplished in antiquity. Yahweh might conquer the primordial female monster, Leviathan, symbol of chaos, and He might demand complete obedience, "with all thy heart and all thy soul and all thy might." He might even take over sacrificial demands, as when He tells Abraham to sacrifice Isaac to found Israel in a blood-brotherhood convenant. But behind what Maccoby calls "The Sacred Executioner"170 lies the sacrificial mother alter; behind every adored Adonis lies the cruel Astarte. Greeks may have tried to defend against maternal engulfment by holding annual processions where they marched with giant phalli, but the vase illustrations of the phalli show women holding them up in the air. Even powerful kings, like Odin or Wodan, had to be periodically sacrificed to the Mother Goddess, the World Ash, to assuage her blood thirst and cleanse the people.171 Only by sacrificing together could men establish patrilineal kinship and political power. Even in Greece and Rome, patrilineal kin only knew they were kin because they sacrificed together: sacrifice was called "a remedy for having been born of woman." Even death in war strengthened the weak bonding between males—when an Aztec captured an enemy, he called him "my beloved son" and the captive answered, "my beloved father," then killed him.172 That the sacrificial victim contained the Bad Boy Alter can be seen at the beginning of the ritual, when the victim is "injected with the poison" of childhood sin, rubbed with dirt if the victim was an animal or given many sexual partners before the sacrifice if the victim was a human. That it was internal alters who demanded the sacrifice was indicated by the priest saying, "The gods have done this deed; I did not do it!" or, as in Athens, by holding a trial after the sacrifice in which the full blame for the slaying was attributed to the knife, which, "having been found guilty, was punished by being destroyed."173

The more wealthy and successful ancient societies became, the more guilty they felt, the more their growth panic led them to defend against their avenging maternal alters by clinging to a more and more powerful male leader. As Earle observes, "chiefdoms are states of mind [and] chiefs rule not because of their power but because of their place in a sacredly chartered world order"174 —the world order of alters and their containers. The more kings appropriated maternal alter power—her mana—the more they had to go through seasonal cleansing ceremonies, including ritual abasement and even "killing of the king," in order to punish themselves for their hubris.175 In these ceremonies, the king was ritually called "a turd [who] has come to save us,"176 hit in the face with a sword, and only then invested with Heil,177 his portion of maternal mana. But everyone in antiquity knew where his power really came from: the vaginal maternal crown, which was addressed by the king as "O Red Crown, Let there be fear of me like the fear of thee;" the throne, called the "mother" of the king; and the sceptre, "a branch from the placental Tree of Life."178

As mothers moved from infanticidal to abandoning mode childrearing (see Chapters 6 and 7), early Christians could internalize a mommy who doesn’t actually kill her children but only abandons them, both through emotional abandonment and through sending them to wetnurses, fosterage, monasteries, service with others, etc. Even profound neglect is less devastating than watching your baby sister be strangled, so early Christians could for the first time in history hope to get their mother’s/God’s love (redemption) if they show her their pain and get her pity. This display of pain to get the love of the mother is known as the masochistic personality, a lower level borderline condition,179 which for the first time in history enables people to imagine that if they debase and torture themselves, the mother/God will feel sorry for them and might provide salvation, eventual closeness, rather than just helplessness and unbearable loneliness.

The gods of antiquity were distant, impersonal gods: "The gods might often mingle with men and women, but they did not seem to spend their time cultivating reciprocal love."180 As Aristotle said, "When one party is removed to a great distance, as God is, the possibility of friendship ceases."181 But the Christian God "loves and can be loved in return."182 For abandoning mode children, if you worship and love your Mommy/God, if you take over yourself her beating and tortures of your body, if you give up all personal needs and starve yourself and avoid sex, you will through your masochistic display gain forgiveness and perhaps even be allowed eventually to merge with Her.183

Christ is, of course, the main Suffering Victim Alter who has been sent to earth by God to display his wounds and ask for pity on behalf of mankind. While the narcissistic personalities of antiquity generally agreed with Socrates that "no one is willfully evil,"184 the masochistic personalities of early Christians put sin at the center of life and built up a church of expiation and confession that for the first time allowed pardon for the sins. The musings of early theologians about Christ sounded like the ruminations of the child about his or her mother’s mistreatment:

God abandoned him, he treated him as the most abominable of men; and after an infinity of disgraces, of ignominies, and suffering, without any regard that he was His own Son, he caused him to die by the most shameful and cruel torture there ever was…He worked his vengeance on His Son, as if He had nothing to do with him.185

But the Christian, like the abandoning mode child, then totally absolved the Mother/God of all blame by a simple trick, saying: "I am all to blame. I deserve the torture. Mommy/God will pity me if I torture myself." The trick is one regularly used today by lower level borderline masochists, who show extremely high occurrences of reported childhood neglect (92 percent)186 and physical and sexual abuse (59 percent to 91 percent), who cut and burn and torture themselves endlessly in order to punish themselves and gain pity from their mommy alters. Earlier gods in antiquity killed and tortured children, of course, but they, like Jehovah, only "laughed at the slaughter of the damned."187 The Christian God loved you for torturing and sacrificing yourself.

The masochistic display of one’s wounds had already become a popular group-fantasy of antiquity by early Christian times. Gladiatorial combats "to appease the spirits of the dead" were widespread, where warriors volunteered to be killed in the arena in order to display their wounds and gain the applause of the people.188 Wholly gratuitous wars were fought mainly for masochistic purposes; it was said that "warriors glory in their wounds; they rejoice to display their flowing blood…The man who returns from battle unhurt may have fought as well, but he who returns wounded is held in higher esteem."189 Christian masochism ritualized the absolution/penance ritual to assure adherents that when they felt unloved they could go to a church, relive Christ’s agonies, confess their sins, carry out penances and assure their Mommy/God that they still worshipped Her and that it was really the child’s/worshipper’s fault that Mommy/God was so unhappy.

Confession, penance and absolution are, of course, endless alter propitiations: "Gregory frequently expressed his fear that, because of God’s unknown and unpredictable severity, man could never know if he inflicted enough suffering upon himself to propitiate God…punishment should take the form of a constant, unremitting anxiety and sorrow for one’s sins…as teeth tearing the flesh."190 Both Christians and Jews "engaged in a contest and reflection about the new-fangled practice of martyrdom,"191 even unto suicide. Jesus, too, says John, really committed suicide, and Augustine spoke of "the mania for self-destruction" of early Christians.192 Roman authorities tried hard to avoid Christians because they "goaded, chided, belittled and insulted the crowds until they demanded their death."193 One man shouted to the Roman officials: "I want to die! I am a Christian," leading the officials to respond: "If they wanted to kill themselves, there was plenty of cliffs they could jump off."194 But the Christians, following Tertullian’s dicta that "martyrdom is required by God," forced their own martyrdom so they could die in an ecstatic trance: "Although their tortures were gruesome, the martyrs did not suffer, enjoying their analgesic state."195 Even today, about 10 per cent of masochistic borderlines complete suicide,196 always with a maternal "Hidden Executioner" alter present to feel pity.

Short of suicide, martyrdom and asceticism was built into every element of Christian ritual and practice. Monasticism was an orgy of masochistic penance for the sins of individuation, with fasts, flagellations, continence and pilgrimages routine requirements—restaging the starvations, bindings, beatings and expulsions to wetnurse of childhood. Yet, unlike earlier religions, Christianity allowed their priests to forgive, console and reconcile the sinner/child with Mommy/God after the punishment. Whereas earlier religions punished animals or others as Victim Alters, Christianity encouraged the punishment of one’s own body as a cleansing "second birth." Mommy/God could be pacified by martyrdom and one could receive Her/His love at last. Octavius described the pleasure God had at seeing Christians suffering: "How fair a spectacle for God to see when a Christian stands face to face with pain."197 As Pope Urban told the knights in order to get them to go on the First Crusade: "We hold out to you a war which contains the glorious reward of martyrdom,"198 with its final reward, the love of God, since "only martyrs will attain to Paradise before the Second Coming."199

That priests were punishers leads one to wonder if they were not really concretizations of Perpetrator Alters, that is, remnants of abusers. Although one usually is used to identifying the "legions of demons and spirits" that made Christians gash themselves as the perpetrators, priests themselves are usually pictured as helpful figures. Yet priestly alters of masochists today often turn out to have the features of rapists,200 while psychotherapists who treat ritual abuse survivors find that "Satan usually turns out to be a traumatized child," raging over early sexual abuse.201 In fact, alters and religious fantasy figures usually contain remnants of both the perpetrators and victims of childhood traumas. The Devil might embody the rage of the raped child, but he also has attributes of the rapist: he is naked, he has a "long nose" (penis), he is red (flush of erect penis) and he is "hairy" (pubic hair). The precise details of the image of Christ on the Cross are all from childhood. Christ is shown as an infant (naked, except for swaddling-band loincloth), abandoned by Mommy (God), bound or nailed to a wooden Cross (the wooden board all infants were bound to during swaddling), with a crown of thorns (the painful head-shaping devices used on infants before swaddling) and with a bloody hole in his side (evidence of the childhood rape, vaginal or anal). Even the details of Christ’s life conform to routine childhood conditions. For instance, Christ got the bloody wound in his side, the subject of much theological concern, because his Father sent him down to be crucified—just as so many real fathers at the time sent their young children to their neighbors to be used as sexual objects—and the bad soldier stripped Christ and stuck his phallic lance into him—just as the bad neighbor stripped the child and stuck his erect penis into him. If sexuality meant memories of rape to most children growing up at that time, it is no wonder that Christianity preached sexuality was shameful, "a token of human bondage," and must be avoided at all costs. The ritual of the Mass, too—with "the Lord, sacrificed, and laid upon the altar, and the priest, standing, and all the people empurpled with his most precious blood" (Chrysostom)202 —is equally a "rite of penetration," a restaging of childhood rape, as the frightening priest in his black robe circles slowly around the helpless, naked Christ. The deepest feeling behind all these Christian rites was the loneliness and hunger of the worshipper—the abandonment depression—so it is not surprising that images of real hunger often broke through during the Christian ritual. Priests and worshippers often reported that during Holy Communion they would see in the host "a very young boy; and when the priest began to break the host, they thought they saw an angel coming down out of the sky who cut the boy up with a knife." Or else they would fear that the worshipper might not want to bite into "the Communion wafer if they could see that they were actually biting off the head, hands and feet of a little child."203 Even Christ himself, the Victim Alter, was thought to be terribly hungry: "Christ’s hunger is great beyond measure; he devours us…his hunger is insatiable."204 The abandoning mode child’s hunger—for love, food, care, support—is never forgotten, and it can be found at the heart of every Christian ritual throughout the Middle Ages.

It must be recalled that new parenting modes begin with just a few people at a time, which means that ambivalent mode parenting and the resulting higher level borderline personalities—which begin in the twelfth century—continued for some time to be minorities in European families, co-existing with earlier masochistic, narcissistic and schizoid personalities in their societies. By the twelfth century, when Western Europe began to move in new directions, the empires of antiquity had collapsed in a masochistic orgy of military self-destruction. The clinging needs of the new borderline psychoclass—a symptom of their feelings of isolation, emptiness and separation anxiety—were now defended against by constructing the profound personal bonds of feudalism. "The borderline," says Hartocollis, "is an angry individual. Characterized by oral demandingness, often with a paranoid flavour [and] a sense of emptiness or depression…making him feel chronically lonesome, frustrated, alienated."205 This emptiness was known to medieval psychoclasses as acidia, which one twelfth-century monk says is "a disgust of the heart, an enormous loathing of yourself…a great bitterness…Your soul is torn to pieces, confused and split up, sad and embittered."206 From the twelfth century on, acedia attracted much attention as a "turning away from God," again, the fault of the person/child, not of the God/Mommy. When people confessed to feelings of acedia and reported their feelings of despair and self-hatred, they were given severe penitentials by their priests to ward off their suicidal thoughts.

The clinging of the feudal bond is paralleled to the clinging tie to God and to Mother Mary and Jesus, who for the first time takes on overt maternal traits, even allowing worshippers to suck his breasts and wounds.207 Real ambivalent mode mothers were now nurturing enough so that one can even find descriptions of "God as a woman nursing the soul at her breasts, drying its tears and punishing its petty mischief-making…"208 Of course, in true borderline style, the price of some closeness with God is total devotion, the medieval Christian saying: "To my beloved, I will forever be His servant, His slave, All for God, and nothing for me."209 As contemporary borderlines say: "I know you will love and take care of me if I don’t self-activate. I’ll please you by clinging and complying with your wishes, so you will take care of me, and these bad (abandonment) feelings will go away."210

The advances of borderline personalities beyond lower-level masochistic psychoclasses were, however, profound, and soon began to carry Western Europe beyond the accomplishments of the rest of the world. Much has been written of "the invention of the self and individuality" beginning in the twelfth century. Prior to this period, there was not even a word for "self," and the word "personality" meant a mask held before an actor, i.e., a "false self."211 But "the practice of self-examination was deeper and more widespread in twelfth-century Europe than at any time before [and] medieval Europe changed from a ‘shame culture’ to a ‘guilt culture’" as inner motives and not just outer behavior became the focus of confessions and of literature.212 Autobiographies began to multiply, seals indicating personal identity began to be used more widely and writers began to wonder if God might allow a unique self for each person, a homo interior that was fashioned by one—"in the image of God," of course, but nevertheless made by one’s real self.213 The results in society from the twelfth through the fifteenth century of these advances in self were astonishing: a vast expansion in agriculture and early industries, the beginnings of both State formation and of capitalism, an upsurge in trade and exploration, a huge population growth as infanticide dropped, an enormous growth of cities and civil rights. Change became not only possible but preferable for the first time in history. Those people in these centuries who were still masochistic and narcissistic decompensated from all the change, became possessed by devils, imagined they might soon be thrown in Hell for their bold new aspirations, or flagellated themselves for wanting to be independent. Growth panic soon began to produce periodic fears of millenarian violence, leading directly to the apocalyptic expectations and witch-hunts of the Renaissance and Reformation.

The new childrearing mode beginning around the sixteenth century—the intrusive mode—was a leap forward, when mothers stopped sending their children to wetnurse and stopped leaving them hungry in their cradles, faced the tasks of caring for them boldly if uncertainly, ended swaddling, beat them less and reduced their being sent out as servants. As it was described earlier, "parents shifted from trying to stop childrens’ growth to trying only to control it and make it ‘obedient.’ True empathy begins with intrusive mode parents, producing a general improvement in the level of care and reduced mortality, leading to more investment in each child." The difference between borderline and depressive personalities today has been documented to be a result of far less overt sexual and physical abuse during childhood, with far less impulsivity, low self-esteem and self-destructive acts in the depressive, despite the presence of sadness as a major emotion.214 This is because what the depressives are doing that borderlines cannot yet do is facing their abandonment depression. Psychotherapists find that after treating borderlines and confronting their defenses for some time, they then become more depressed, having finally to face the abandonment fears of their childhood rather than running away from them into clinging, self-destructive behavior, since "depression accompanies improvement…the beginnings of identity integration, the development of integrated self and object representations [and] conscious guilt and remorse."215

Ever since Huizinga analyzed the "sombre melancholy that weighed on people’s souls" after the close of the Middle Ages, the period has been well known for its deep despondency, when, says Donne, God "reserved for these times an extraordinary sadness, a predominant melancholy."216 From sixteenth-century diaries to Burton’s Anatomy of Melancholy, books on inner life were little more than records of the writer’s depressions and how he tried to overcome them. Humanists glorified melancholy as the heightened self-awareness of the intellectual, the cost of individualism, and they were right. Melancholy had to be faced for one to be what Pico called a man "restrained by no narrow bonds, according to thine own free will in thou, thine own maker and molder, fashioning thyself in whatever manner thou likest best."217 Both Jaques and Hamlet were proudly presented by Shakespeare as "melancholy philosophers," wearing black with pride, "condemning abuses, but never condemning earthly existence."218 Ficino speculated on "Why Melancholics Are Intelligent," noting that the most bold, learned people he knew were always melancholic,219 and philosophers gave the excellent advice that friendship was the best antidote to "melancholy, the malaise of the age."220 Elizabethans thought melancholy "both a very wretched state and a very happy state…[and] melancholy was often praised and sought after as a great felicity," a mark of an intellectual who had "risen superior to the petty concerns of ordinary men and occupied with thoughts of worth and dignity,"221 thoughts of personal meaning and self improvement.

Though Mommy’s/God’s grace might only come after "holy desperation" for the depressive personality of the Reformation, though Her forgiveness might still be "unpredictable, unknowable and incomprehensible," if one obeys Her dicta then She might be a forgiving God who cared for you.222 Luther could now hope that God would actually love him because He was sometimes kind! This hope suddenly allowed an expansion of the real self, and the world, and its activities suddenly became invested with new vigor. For the new depressive psychoclass, Mommy/God didn’t need you sexually, so celibacy was not necessary. She could forgive, so one could actually trust Her and cast oneself upon Her mercy. She paid attention to your need for food, so you didn’t have to fast your whole life. She actually listened to you, so you could individuate your self beyond clinging to religious and political authorities. Dissociation and splitting declined for these depressives—achieving for the first time what Melanie Klein calls "the depressive position" which allows merger of the good breast/bad breast split—so women were not split into virgins and whores (Mary and Eve) but were for the first time seen as human beings with both good and bad qualities, and marriage for the first time in history became a worthy goal rather than just a way to legitimate fornication.

By the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the new mode of intrusive childrearing had catapulted Western Europe far beyond the earlier psychoclasses of the rest of the world, giving their minority of depressives a new sense of self worth and the ideal of cumulative, necessary progress which led to the modern world we know today. The growth of knowledge, the invention of printing, the new questioning of authority, the exploration of new lands and ideas, all were evidence that "European people had altered in some fundamental way"223 —a change in their psyches, not in their environment. For the first time in history, Mommy/God "was relegated to a vague and impenetrable heaven, somewhere up in the skies. Man and man alone was the standard by which all things were measure."224 Science began its spectacular leap into the unknown. Political systems without divine sanctions and economics that were based on real trust became the goals of society. Joy in life need not be something sinful, hope was allowed and freedom for self exploration did not need to be disobedience to Mommy/God. These lessons—first learned in families at the feet of innovative mothers—soon produced new institutions to express these new freedoms, particularly in France and England, where childrearing was most advanced.

Unfortunately, while depressives could begin to try to live out their new freedoms, they were still a minority in these centuries, and the earlier psychoclasses experienced the new freedoms of the age as terribly dangerous and certain to call upon them the wrath of Mommy/God. These centuries of progress were therefore also centuries of apocalyptic fears and wars, when people were certain that so much change would unchain Satan and his swarms of demon alters and that the world was certain to end soon. Apocalyptic prophecies, cults and religious wars proliferated in Reformation Europe, particularly in areas like Germany where childrearing had changed the least.225 What Trevor-Roper calls "the general crisis of the seventeenth century"226 was in fact a psychoclass conflict, and the demons, witches and anti-Christs that roamed Europe at that time were all really the Persecutory Alters that inhabited the schizoid, narcissistic, masochistic and borderline psychoclasses that still represented the majority of Europe. These earlier psychoclasses responded with violence to all the progress of the period, "acting out with fierce energy a shared [millenarian] phantasy which, though delusional, yet brought them such intense emotional relief that they…were willing both to kill and to die for it."227 The new religious services of the Reformation were felt to be "full of wild liberty," and "beast-like carnal liberty" was reported seen at anabaptist prayer meetings, where services were said to be conducted in the nude.228 All the individuation would certainly bring punishment upon mankind, and pamphlets were circulated describing how clouds were raining blood and flocks of birds were holding cosmic battles in the sky "as auguries of some impending disaster."229 A placental "Many-Headed Monster" was hallucinated as savaging Europe, carrying out the Day of Judgement because "by now seven-year-old children demonstrated more wickedness than had previously been possible by evil old men…the world had become so wicked that things could hardly get worse."230 Religious wars broke out all over Europe, as "God was unable to bear it any longer and decided to cleanse his Church with a great scourge."231

Historians have long been puzzled by why the witchcraft epidemic took place in the centuries that were most progressive, but if the craze is seen as a reaction to growth panic it becomes explainable. Tens of thousands of women responded to their new freedoms by becoming possessed by their alters and falling into trances: "Observers spoke of the possessed as ‘choked,’ subjected to ‘thousands of cruel pinches,’ ‘stuck [with] innumerable pins,’ and ‘cut with knives and struck with blows that they could not bear,"232 as they restaged the memories of swaddling pins, parental blows and other childhood traumas. Those who persecuted witches were obviously taking vengeance upon their mommies; indeed, most witches were either mothers or wetnurses.233 A witch was transparently a mommy, since she rode on a maternal broom, had special teats where "imps" sucked on her body, smothered babies in their cradles and came into your bedroom uninvited and seduced you.234 As Roper puts it: "Relations between mothers, those occupying maternal roles and children, formed the stuff of most witchcraft accusations."235 "Over and over again in the trial records, the accused women are addressed as ‘Mother’…the witch is a monstrous mother…"236

The rape of children formed a central focus for witchcraft group-fantasies. Descriptions of the sexual orgies that went on at sabbats clearly reveal their origins in childhood rape attacks, and young girls who had "convulsive fits" in court "as the Devil entered them"237 restaged each detail of their earlier rapes before their startled audiences. Nuns in particular were afflicted with demonic possession, going into trances and accusing priests of seducing them, which they often had really done.238 The extreme youth of those raped can be seen in their complaint that "the genital organs of their Demons are so huge and so excessively rigid that they cannot be admitted without the greatest pain."239 Entire villages would sometimes periodically go into trances together, call themselves "Benandanti," and fight Devils together, all while fully dissociated, "as if I was both sleeping and not sleeping."240 By the time the witch-craze had disappeared by the beginning of the eighteenth century, a million innocent people had died in an orgy of alter persecution caused by too much progress during the Reformation—just as six million would later die in the alter persecution caused by too much progress in Weimar Germany.

The socializing mode of childrearing that began in the eighteenth century and that continues to be the ideal of most nations today replaced the absolute obedience of the intrusive psychoclass with parental manipulation and psychological punishments, in order to make the child "fit into the world" as a replica of the parent.241 Individuation was still limited, since the needs and goals of the parent superceded those of the child as it attempted to separate, but empathy was now available to parents to ensure that basic care was provided. It was the socializing psychoclass that built the modern world, with its ideal of the competent self and the quest for a real self as a life-long existential quest.242 As Masterson puts it: "The psychoneurotic personality…has the capacity for whole self- and whole object-relations, and repression has replaced splitting. From the perspective of the personality disorder, to be psychoneurotic is an achievement."243

Rather than switching into full possession trances and demon alters, the neurotic psychoclass of modern times switches into their social alters, their social roles (see Chapter 4), as organized by the group-fantasies of nations rather than by religious groups. Sacrifice for the Mommy-Nation—dying for the Motherland—replaces dying for Christ: "We are to die so that the motherland may live; for while we live the motherland is dying…A nation can only regenerate itself in a bath of blood."244 It was the nation as a master group-fantasy that organized and contained both the new faith in progress and its sacrificial wars, acted out in periodic cycles of innovative, depressive, manic and war stages (see Chapter 5). In each stage, nations follow a different psychoclass style. In the innovative stage, the neurotic psychoclass provides new social, political and economic progress; in the depressive stage, the depressive psychoclass is followed into economic depression; in the manic stage, narcissists take over with their grandiose projects; and in the war stage nations follow self-destructive masochists and paranoid schizoids into violence. Choosing earlier psychoclasses—psychological fossils—as leaders has become a constant practice in modern nations, only masked by the idealization of the public switched into their social alters. To realize that we willingly delegate to a handful of men sitting in a deep trance in the Oval Office the power to blow up much of the world depending upon whether they think they feel "humiliated"—as in the Cuban Missile Crisis—is to realize the bizarre extent of the dissociation between fantasy and reality that continues to pervade our modern psyches.

All the other aspects of modern industrial society are equally results of the new socializing psychoclass childrearing, causing a greater increase in material prosperity in the past two centuries than in all the rest of human history. The reason for this astonishing progress is that science, technology and economic development depend more on investments in parenting than investments in equipment, since they crucially require an "exploring self" constructed from childhood. A few economists realize that the wealth of nations lies in the development of psyches more than in the investment of capital. Everett Hagan and Lawrence Harrison, for instance, have demonstrated that those nations furthest behind today in economic development suffer from a severe underinvestment in families and children, not in capital equipment.245 The historical record is clear: early pioneers in science and technology first had to overcome their alter projections before they could discover how the world worked. As Keith Thomas puts it: "It was the abandonment of magic which made possible the upsurge of technology, not the other way round."246 Newton had to stop seeing falling objects "longing to return to Mother Earth" before he could posit a force of gravity. Chemists had to give up "alchemical visions of womb-battles between good and evil" inside their flasks before they could observe the real causes of chemical change.247 Farmers had to be able to empathize with their horses in order to invent the harness collar that moved the pressure down from their throats to their flanks so they wouldn’t be choked in order to increase the loads they could pull.248 Farmers also had to stop thinking of plowing as "tearing at the breast of Mother Earth" in order to invent the deep plow and change the face of European agriculture. Men had to begin to value their families in order to build wooden floors in their homes rather than leaving them clay as was the practice for millennia.249 Every invention had its origin in the evolution of the psyche; every exploration of nature was a dimension of the exploration of the self.

Economic life, too, only evolved as childrearing and the psyche evolved. Tribal societies both in the past and in the present could not trust, because parents were untrustworthy, so they could not allow much wealth or surplus out of which they could create economic progress. Ownership was felt to be dangerous selfishness, envy ran rampant and ambition was feared: "The anthropologist may see people behaving with generosity, but this is the result of fear."250 Those who acquired too much were expected to either engage in gift-exchange251 and other redistributive rituals252 or else to periodically destroy their surplus in cleansing sacrificial ceremonies.253 Even the invention of money came from the sacred objects used for sacrifice to deities.254 "Money is condensed wealth; condensed wealth is condensed guilt…money is filthy because it remains guilt."255

What held back economic development for so many millennia was that early civilizations were so abusively brought up that they spent most of their energies chasing "ghosts from the nursery"—religious, political and economic domination group-fantasies—rather than joining in together to solve the real tasks of life. The appalling poverty of most people throughout history has been simply an extension of the emotional poverty of the historical family, making real cooperation in society impossible. For instance, slavery was one of the most wasteful, uneconomical systems ever invented, since denying autonomy to one’s fellow workers simply wasted both the slaves’ and the owners’ productivity and inventiveness. Running the world like a prison, with one half occupied with guarding the other half, has always been extremely unproductive. That unfree labor is always unproductive labor has long been acknowledged by economists.256 Slaves were kept "as expressions of their owners’ status and prestige"257 even when they could barely manage to pick grapes because of their shackles. Owning slaves may have been very dangerous to you and to your family, and they may have often run away. But everyone still wanted to have them so they could be used to restage the tortures of one’s childhood: "Galen remarked how common it was for slaves to be punched with the fists, to be kicked, to have their eyes put out, and how his own mother had had the habit of biting her maidservants."258 Equipment for torturing slaves was widespread, including special whips and racks for beatings, special knives for facial mutilation and castration and metal plates and flaming torches for burnings. "There was even a torture and execution service operated by a company of undertakers…Flogging and crucifixion were standard options at a flat rate to the user…"259

With a third or more of ancient societies being slaves, an unending supply of bodies to flog was assured, even though this meant remaining mired in low-productivity economies.260 Throughout the Roman classical period, Finley says, improvements in economic techniques were "marginal [because] patterns of land use and methods of tillage remained unchanged."261 It was more important to restage early trumatic beatings and domination fantasies than to improve the abysmal squalor in which nearly everyone lived. Even with the disappearance of slavery during the Middle Ages—which Marc Bloch called "one of the most profound transformations mankind has known"262 —the serfdom and other kinds of bondage that replaced it kept Europe for centuries in a rate of per capita product of only a tiny fraction of a percent per year.263 It was only by the early modern period when the need to restage family slavery began to decline that trust began to replace domination and the "take-off" phase in economics could begin. "The ultimate explanation of economic development lies not in purely economic factors, such as land, labor and capital…these will [occur] when people learn that it is good business to be just and considerate toward one’s neighbors; to solve quarrels peacefully; [and] to be held accountable for the efficient use of resources." Purely economic theories that cannot concieve of psychogenic causes are reduced to statements such as: "No one planned Progress as a whole. It simply erupted."265

In addition to a take-off in economic progress, the modern psychoneurotic personality began to achieve levels of intimacy between men and women that were simply unknown to previous psychoclasses. When mothers were incestuous, it was not surprising that women were feared as sexually insatiable by men, and pederasty and rape were preferred to intimate, married love. All women were in danger of turning into dominating mothers and therefore had to be beaten; Homer’s word for ‘wife,’ damar, means "broken into submission." In addition, that women throughout so much of history were accused of being unable to restrain their sexual appetites was not just a patriarchal myth—it was more the result of the widespread rape of young girls being restaged later in life, just as so many raped girls today grow up to repeat their sexual assaults later on in prostitution or adultery. That human sexuality through antiquity was conflated with violence and domination and that Christianity was the most anti-sexual religion known to mankind are only understandable as normal reactions to severe childhood seductions, not as inexplicable religious teachings.

That "conjugal love between husband and wife was considered ridiculous and impossible"266 in antiquity is better understood as a consequence of the narcissistic personality’s need to have perfection in their partner, fearing to risk attaching themselves to someone who was imperfect and whom they might lose like they lost their mothers and fathers earlier. Only through effective polygamy—either formal or through having concubines and slaves as alternatives to wives—could depending upon one woman be avoided. Indeed, the jealous mothers of the gynarchies of the past would often step in between their sons and their wives in order to keep them tied to themselves—as, for instance, Augustine’s mother did when she made him dismiss his concubine, who had lived faithfully with him for years. Even Christian marriages were supposed to be passionless between the spouses. God stood in for the grandmother and demanded that all love and passion be reserved for Himself. It was not really until the depressive psychoclass began to face their abandonment depression in the sixteenth century that Erasmus could startle his readers with the view that marriage was superior to virginity and Puritan wives could be able to write passionate love poems to their husbands.267 And it was only by the eighteenth century’s socializing psychoclass that "husbands and wives who cherished each other were begun to be held in the greatest esteem [as] conjugal love attracted not sarcasm, but the most fervent admiration, thus giving rise to a sort of contest to see who could love his or her beloved spouse the most, who could best prove to the world the unshakable fidelity felt toward one’s life partner."268

It is difficult to describe what kind of world might be made by individuated personalities, as the first helping mode parents—where both mother and father unconditionally love their children and help them achieve their own goals and own real selves from birth—have only been around for a few decades in the most advanced societies. As I watch my own children and some of their helping psychoclass friends grow up and establish their productive lives, I see them as very different from my own socializing psychoclass peers. They are far more empathic and therefore more concerned about others than we ever were, and this has made them far more activist in their lives in trying to make a difference and change the world for the better, mostly involving themselves in local activities rather than global political changes. They lack all need for nationalism, wars and other grandiose projects, and in the organizations they start are genuinely non-authoritarian. There is no question that if the world could treat children with helping mode parenting, wars and all the other self-destructive social conditions we still suffer from in the twenty-first century will be cured, simply because the world will be filled with individuated personalities who are empathic toward others and who are not self-destructive. A world that loves and trusts its children and encourages them to develop their unique selves will be a world of very different institutions, a world without wars, jails and other domination group-fantasies.

The main problem is that the evolution of childrearing has so far been a slow, uneven historical process, depending greatly upon increasing the support given innovative mothers and their hopeful daughters. Unfortunately, in a world where our destructive technology has far outrun our childrearing progress—where a single submarine can now carry a sufficient number nuclear warheads to destroy most of the world with the push of a button—we do not have the luxury of just waiting for childrearing to evolve. If we do, we will certainly blow ourselves up long before child abuse disappears enough to make us want to disarm. What we need now is some way for the more advanced psychoclasses to teach childrearing to the less evolved parents, a way to end child abuse and neglect quickly enough to avoid the global holocaust that is awaiting us.

Ever since the earliest psychohistorical studies were published linking child abuse to war and social violence, one physician-psychohistorian, Robert McFarland, concluded that it must be possible to end child abuse in his community by starting a new institution, Community Parenting Centers, and with every means possible teach good parenting to every new baby born in his city, Boulder, Colorado. It seemed ridiculous to McFarland that the entire world depends upon good parenting, while parenting was the only subject never taught in schools or anywhere else in the world. For the past two decades, therefore, McFarland has run The Parenting Place in several counties of Boulder, reaching out to visit every baby born in the areas and giving substantial support to all mothers and fathers—holding parenting discussion groups, baby massage courses, single mothers assistance, showing them how to bring up children without hitting them, how to foster their independence, etc. The wide range of activities of The Parenting Place can be seen in two articles in The Journal of Psychohistory.269 Over half the families choose to be visited weekly in their homes for parenting instructions. Since no new mother or father wants to reject and abuse their babies, what McFarland found was that providing this help and hope for parents allowed their underlying affection to replace the abuse and neglect that comes from fear and despair—so that his statistics from local police and hospital records now show a real decrease in child abuse reports.

What is most astonishing is that McFarland found that Parenting Centers costs are far lower than what is saved in the later costs of abuse to the community. That the small budget for the Centers is offset many times over by the costs to the communities of later social services and criminal behavior is a not unexpected finding, given that sociologists have calculated that "the costs to society of career criminal behavior, drug use, and high-school dropouts for a single youth is $1.7 to $2.3 million."270 With the world spending trillions of dollars a year preparing for war and additional trillions for jails, establishing Parenting Centers in every community on earth for just a small part of this cost would soon provide an enormous saving to mankind—an immediate saving, even before the actual savings from the huge destructiveness of wars is realized. McFarland calculates that every community on earth (he is even starting a Parenting Center in Tajikistan in a sister city to Boulder) can be supported by a small "children’s tax" of one-tenth of one percent increase in the sales tax.

Only by starting now on a vast world-wide program to end child neglect and abuse and raise all of our precious children with respect can we avoid the likely coming global holocaust. Only by reducing dissociation to a minimum through empathic parenting can we avoid inflicting the self-destructive power we now have available to us. This is the single most important finding of the new science of psychohistory. Free universal training centers for parents may be a radical new notion, but so once was the idea of free universal schools for children. Our task is clear and our resources sufficient to make our world safe for the first time in our long, violent history. All it takes now is the will to begin.

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