Monday, June 18, 2012
“Inability to face up to the suffering undergone in childhood can be observed both in the form of religious obedience and in cynicism, irony, and other forms of self-alienation frequently masquerading as philosophy or literature. But ultimately the body will rebel. Even if it can be temporarily pacified with the help of drugs, nicotine, or medicine, it usually has the last word, because it is quicker to see through self-deception than the mind, particularly if the mind has been trained to function as an alienated self. We may ignore or deride the messages of the body, but its rebellion demands to be heeded because its language is the authentic expression of our true selves and of the strength of our vitality.” From the book the “The Body Never Lies: The Lingering Effects ofHurtful parenting” by Alice Miller
Monday, June 11, 2012
Alice Miller on "Poisonous Pdagogy"
Poisonous pedagogy is a phrase I use to refer to the kind of parenting and education aimed at breaking a child’s will and making that child into an obedient subject by means of overt or covert coercion, manipulation, and emotional blackmail.— Alice Miller, The Truth Will Set You Free
There is a good deal else that would not exist without “poisonous pedagogy.” It would be inconceivable, for example, for politicians mouthing empty cliches to attain the highest positions of power by democratic means. But since voters, who as children would normally have been capable of seeing through these cliches with the aid of their feelings, were specifically forbidden to do so in their early years, they lose this ability as adults. The capacity to experience the strong feelings of childhood and puberty (which are so often stifled by child-rearing methods, beatings, or even drugs) could provide the individual with an important means of orientation with which he or she could easily determine whether politicians are speaking from genuine experience or are merely parroting time-worn platitudes for the sake of manipulating voters. Our whole system of raising and educating children provides the power-hungry with a ready-made railway network they can use to reach the destination of their choice. They need only push the buttons that parents and educators have already installed.— Alice Miller, Thou Shalt Not Be Aware