Om Aham Mani Foundation
What Can We Learn From Our Families?
With a correct and intelligent approach, that which happens in the family situation may be used as a great learning experience for everybody concerned.
We must take it as granted that the parents will, often quite unconsciously, attempt to create replicas of themselves in the children - mentally, emotionally, and ethically. The child will receive a "conditioning" by first the parents, then the rest of the society, that will effect it's behavior - on a very deep level.
Basically, the authoritative figures of the society - parents, teachers, priests, politicians, and other social servants - will "impress" upon the child the type of behavior that the society deems as "right, fitting, and proper." If the society is an insane asylum, a corrupt and ignorant system, then these will be the "inherited values" passed onto the child. If the society is loving, kind, just, and good, then these will be the values passed on to the children.
Damage Of The Child's Gestalt.
Gestalt means wholeness. I believe that it is safe to say that every child will be internally split and divided against itself by the majority of family situations. This results in a person who is internally at war with themselves - suffering, unhappy - and thus with the world outside. "As within, so without." This situation does not need to remain like this for a person's lifetime. We have the methods of healing and understanding to put this damage right. It takes time and effort and is worth every minute spent performing the practices.
The Sins of the Fathers (and Mothers)
Sin means error. There is an old saying that "The sins of the Fathers will be passed on to their offspring, to the ninth generation." Which means that the conditioning of each generation of parents, will be unconsciously passed onto the children, because the parents did nothing to heal their own divisions and were in their own turn damaged by their upbringings. By understanding, healing, and Self-enquiry, these damaging conditionings can be dropped and the procession of error can be halted - forever.
For example, a boy of one family is damaged by been made to feel guilty about any sexual feelings. Later in life he meets a woman who had received a similar conditioning. Why did they meet? Because like will attract like. They marry, but because they know nothing of healing and self-mastery - for the benefit of all - they quite unconsciously condition their children to feel the same guilt. I say quite unconsciously because simply by being, we shape our environment and create the reality outside based upon that reality that resides within ourselves.
Of course, the children of this partnership will again pass on their "inherited conditioning" to their children, and so on down the ages. The result is that nobody is happy and everybody is simply reacting to their environment in a robotic manner based upon their deep conditioning and inner (conditioned) sense of wrong and right.
Understanding Our Conditioning.
If our parents are still alive, we should take the opportunity to watch their behavior, without personal judgement, simply to understand what we may have inherited. We need to be honest, non-judgmental (ie: oh that's good, but that's bad), and non-interactive. Just watch and note how they behave to themselves and to others, because this will empower us with a great insight into our deep conditioning - the way we unconsciously behave. At the same time, we must look to our own behavior and actively change that which is negative and harmful to ourselves and others. Let us not become judgmental watchers!
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