The Book of Virtue; Chapter 72

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“When the people do not respect authority,
as they might a demon holding a rod,
Then a greater authority will soon arrive reminiscent of
the days when women ruled the household. 

The people should not make light of where they dwell; 
Nor should they feel their lives restricted,
Listen, if they don’t feel their lives to be restricted,
They will not be restricted.

Therefore the sage
Knows himself well, but does not display himself;
Loves himself, but does not make much of himself.
Thus, in each case he takes firm hold of the first and avoids
the last.”

Source:
Tzu, Lao. Tao Te Ching An All-New Translation by William Scott Wilson. New York. Kodansha International (2010)

 

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Eggless Tofu Scramble

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One of the things I like about this recipe is the variety of ways you can incorporate it in to your meal ideas. You can prepare this recipe for breakfast. You can prepare it as a healthy lunch or you can grab it as a quick light snack with some whole grain crackers. You can prepare this recipe on a quite Sunday evening in preparation for the week ahead or use it as a meatless meal substitute when you feel like eating a clean alternative to your regular diet. All you have to do is open your mind to possibilities. From breakfast to dinner or a light snack, it can be enjoyed almost anytime. It only needs five ingredients to make, making this recipe simple and affordable to prepare for almost anyone, AND it’s vegan.

Ingredients:image11
1 (16 oz) package medium firm tofu
1 small onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper or ½ large red bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2-3 tablespoons fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped

Press and drain your tofu:
Press and drain your tofu by placing it between two plates. Wrap your tofu in two paper towels and place between the plates. Place a heavy object on top of the top plate to help press out the excess liquid. Allow tofu to press while you prepare your veggies.

Preparing your veggies:
While the tofu is pressing prepare your veggies. Prepare your veggies by cleaning, peeling and chopping them into ½” diced squares.

Preparing your skillet:
Prepare a sauté pan for your Eggless Tofu Scramble. Spray your sautee pan with non-stick cooking spray. Place the pan over a burner and set burner to medium-high heat.

Preparing the tofu:
After your tofu has been pressed and drain, there should be a puddle of liquid on the plate, remove it from the liquid and the paper towels and place it in a large bowl. Using two forks shred the tofu into bit sized crumbles.

Preparing the eggless scramble:
Add your chopped veggies to the heated sauté pan and sauté until the onions turn translucent; about 5-6 minutes.

Add your tofu crumble and incorporate into the veggies stirring well. Add 1 teaspoon of turmeric and incorporate it into the scramble by mixing well. Turn off heat and remove pan to cold burner. Stir in your parsley. Season with salt and pepper.

COOK’S NOTE: For  breakfast idea, serve with fresh seasonal fruit and toast. For a lunchtime alternative, serve tofu scramble in a tortilla wrap lined with fresh green romaine lettuce or other salad greens of choice.

My Memorial Day Picnic Memoirs

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My behavior and communication style toward my family, and when I say family I mean my sister and my brother-in-law, may be considered avoidant. This is because they use electro-magnetic frequency on me. For those of you who don’t believe it is possible, I am just going to assume you must be one of those who believes the Nazi interlude never happened and narcissistic personality disorders don’t exist.

The latest occurrence of electro-magnetic frequency being “turned on” in me, was at my sister’s and brother-in-law’s Memorial Day picnic. I wasn’t drinking and even declined alcohol when offered at which point the electro-magnetic frequency was turned on a few moments later. When it was turned on I began to have difficulty thinking and even inter-acting with the children. My relatives whose picnic it was, obviously hold the upper hand in dishing out punitive punishment towards me and they can be abusive. It only holds to reason that they are also probably treating my son in the same manner. They are his in-house present care-giving system on which he leans and because my son is my 1st born they consider him “screwed,” as they feel the same way about another relative‘s 1st born son. But let me say, my son is 23 and has just graduated college. They have manipulated these two boys, and are still manipulating these two individuals through the control of monetary influences; gifts and toys. It is fair to say that their communication style is rather not collaborative in style, more contingent on their demands at being obeyed / rewarded. Their training technique is much like that of a canine or other animal. There is no democracy or diplomacy. It’s an absolute monarch rule.

Psychoanalytically speaking, the symbolic representation of this hatred toward 1st born son goes back to the royal houses and royal dynasties where 1st born males were treasured. Thus, hurting, injuring, or killing anyone’s first born son was a direct attack against the family’s blood-line and a direct attack against the ruling authority whose son it was. Theories on matricide and the concept of “the dead mother” suggest a paranoid state as seen in the paranoid schizoid personality constellation. In addition, historically speaking, infanticide has been practiced through millennia. The biblical record of Herod killing all first born Jewish males after the birth of Christ is one account of which one can refer. This technique was used to protect the ruling authorities power, position, and wealth. This metaphor is important because control was of upmost importance when it came to lineage, who would be in direct line for inheriting the money and the political power of the family throne and still be in control of the political atmosphere of the times. Thus, the first born would have money and power transferred upon them in the event of the King’s death. I believe what these two individuals (my sister and her brother-in-law) are indirectly implying through their manipulative acts are, “WE ARE KING” “WE ARE #1” or maybe more to the point my brother-in-law is saying “I AM KING” or “I WANT TO BE KING AND DIRECT DECENTING HEIR TO ALL OF MOMMY’S AND DADDY‘S LOVE.” Thus, there flagrant use of power and control through abuse suggests a paranoid state like the paranoid schizoid personality.

Through my exploration of psychoanalysis I have learned that these unconscious fantasies are called primal scene fantasies and pathologies are born in individuals who suffered primal scene trauma during early childhood. Evidence supports that children who were avoidantly attached to their mothers are at high risk for psychopathology which can range from obsessional, narcissistic, and schizoid problems . These children are at high risk and are most likely to victimize others in their adult lives.

Avoidant Attachment – Child Doesn’t Cry

Secure Attachment – Child Cries When Left Alone

Ambivalent Attachment – Child Cries Inconsolably

The questions that arise in my psychoanalytic inquiry are these: What was my brother-in-law’s early dyadic representations like? What was his relationship with his parents like? What was his attachment to his mother like? Did he display avoidant attachment? What were the communication style of the parents? What was his relationship and attitude toward other siblings like in the family? Was there an older brother whom he must “bow” in honor to? Also, these enactments may be a representations of a dual-liason of pathogenic character traits representing unconscious wish fulfillment at being mommy and daddy’s number one and most beloved and treasured child. Thus it is my suspicion that this duo may harbor hatred toward each one of their individual family siblings, especially an older brother first born male or even female.

The relationship my sister has with my brother-in-law’s brother (let’s call him William I, as in William the first of England) influences and creates her aggressive unconscious wish fantasies. She does not like that her husband has to “bow” to William I in their business relationship. William I and his brother own their own company and work together and William I (“The Conqueror” remember him from history? He established the British ruling throne.) is clearly in charge. My sister wants her husband to be the dominant force in this relationship (in this two male sibling dyad between William “the Conqueror“ and his brother), but he isn’t the dominant power, he is the subordinate power and this drives my sister MAD! When pent-up hostility aggression has no avenue for discharge where does it go? It’s directed at other people. She clearly wants control. But does her husband really want it? Does he really want to be in control too? Does having to “bow” in subjugation to an older “conquering King” make him feel powerless or even worse, castrated?

In addition to these events, while my niece and her husband were in the pool with their children, my niece’s husband, let’s call him Lee Min-ho (the famous Korean actor), would make faces and expressions at me that would make me feel uncomfortable. His facial features would range from looking at me with a puzzled peculiar questioning look, to a expression of abhorrent sentiment (as if saying “Ewww!“). It was obvious my niece was directing Lee Min-ho’s behavior and I believe he was falling in subjection to her wish fulfillment, the conscious wish to hurt me.

I had gained a lot of weight and felt uncomfortable in my bathing suit. What they sought to do was promote and direct these very same emotional sentiments towards me, thereby amplifying my discomfort. My niece also had her sister-in-law, let‘s call her “Sparkplug“ because her comment ignited my fire, had made an innuendo a few years back when my niece’s twins were still infants. Sparkplug said to me (while one of the twins were crying and we were all around her trying to sooth her), “Whose that nasty girl?” It was a direct implication at me and my “overweight” body. What they didn’t know was I saw my niece direct Sparkplug to make the comment, thereby making Sparkplug accessory to anti-social behavior. What makes people engage in anti-social behavior, acts that defy normal social interaction? Are they that inept? I felt it was a retaliatory act because I had always felt my niece, due to her moody personality (and because she would display outright signs of rude, aggressive, nasty and vicious communication styles when dealing with me and others) had a “nasty“ personality. I had always considered my niece a nasty personality because of her tone of voice, body and facial expression, as well as her covert style of passive-aggressive behavior. I never told this to her directly, but I had mentioned it in passing to my mother, sister and brother-in-law. It must of got back to her because she has been acting out. I feel, and has always felt, that this behavior made her an “ugly” person.

As a result of this “strange situation” (of course making a reference to the social experiment conducted to determine attachment disorders in infants) I left the party very early.

Subnote: “Children with a history of secure attachment show substantially greater self-esteem, emotional health and ego resilience, positive affect, initiative, social competence, and concentration in play than do their insecure peers. In school, children secure in infancy are treated warmly and age appropriately by teachers, whereas the avoidant (often seen as sullen, arrogant, or oppositional) tend to elicit angrily controlling responses and the ambivalent (often seen as clingy and immature) tend to be indulged or infantilized. Avoidant children have frequently been shown to victimize others, while ambivalent children are often victimized; secure children are neither victims nor victimizers (Sroufe, 1993; Elicker, England, & Sroufe, 1992; Weinfeld, Sroufe, Egeland, & Carlson, 1999).”

Source:
Wallin, David J. Attachment in Psychotherapy. New York. Guilford Press. (2007)

Attachment Theory in Psychoanalysis

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The set goal of attachment must be seen as an ongoing human need rather than a childlike dependency that we outgrow as we grow up. As John Bowlby put it in 1980:

“Intimate attachments to other human beings are the hub around which a person’s life revolves, not only when he is an infant or a toddler, but throughout his adolescence and his years of maturity as well, and on into old age.” 

But what makes secure attachments possible in early childhood and, for that matter, across the entire lifespan? Our formative relationships determine and shape our behavior in a varieties of ways and human attachments can be dynamic and not static. For this reason they depend on the atmosphere and communication styles of the objects in our environment. Long-term abuse and fear can have profound effects on a child, and an otherwise securely attached adult individual can display symptoms of disorganized attachment, like those effected by war, from long-term abuse and trauma. In addition, individuals who are manipulated and severely abused by their spouses or care-givers can likewise display symptoms of dysfunctional attachment even after the early formative years are over. The four categories that psychoanalysis has uncovered to describe different types of attachment in psychoanalysis are:

Secure Attachment
Secure babies appear to have equal access to their impulses to explore when they feel safe and to seek solace in connection when they do not. Ainsworth had concluded that it was the infants’ responses to reunion, rather than separation, that revealed the most about attachment security or insecurity. Secure infants, however distressed by separation, were almost immediately reassured by reconnecting with their mother and readily resumed play. This kind of flexibility and resilience seemed to be the legacy of interaction with a sensitive mother who was responsive to her baby’s signals and communications. Generally, mothers of secure infants had been quick to pick them up when they cried and had held them with tenderness and care – but only for as long as the infants wised to be held. These mothers seemed to smoothly mesh their own rhythms with those of their babies, rather than imposing their own pace or agenda. In a fashion that was apparently “good enough” (in Winnicott’s idiom), the behavior of these mothers tended to reflect sensitivity rather than misstatement, acceptance rather than rejection, cooperation rather than control, and emotional availability rather than remoteness (Ainsworth et. Al. 1978).

Avoidant Attachment
Avoidant babies can seem to be peculiarly blasé given that the Strange Situation procedure exposes them to an intrinsically alarming environment. Incessantly exploring while remaining conspicuously unmoved by mother’s departure or return, their apparent lack of distress can easily be misconstrued as calm. In fact, their heart rates during the separation episodes are as elevated as those of their visibly distressed but secure peers, while the rise in their level of cortical (the body’s principal stress hormone) pre- to post-procedure is significantly greater than that of secure infants (Sroufe & Waters, 1977b; Spangler & Grossmann, 1993).

Ainsworth came to believe that the superficial indifference of the avoidant baby – as well as the virtual absence of attachment behavior – reflected a defensive accommodation akin to the detachment Bowlby had observed in two-and three-year-olds who had suffered protracted separation from their parents. It was as if these avoidant babies, like the older children traumatized by separation and loss, had concluded that their overtures for comfort and care would be of no use – and so, in a sense, they had given up.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Ainsworth discovered that the mothers of babies judged avoidant had actively rebuffed their bids for connection (Ainsworth et al. 1978), while other researchers would later observe mothers like these withdrawing when their infants appeared to be sad (Grossman & Grossman, 1991). Inhibition of emotional expression, aversion to physical contact and brusqueness when it occurred were all signature of the mothering that seemed to produce avoidant infants who regularly went limp, when held, rather than cuddling or clinging (Main & Weston, 1982).

Ambivalent Attachment
Ainsworth’s research identified two kinds of ambivalent infants: those who were angry and those who were passive. Both were too preoccupied with mother’s whereabouts to explore freely and both reacted to her departures with overwhelming distress – so much so that the separation episodes frequently had to be interrupted. Upon reunion, those infants categorized as angry oscillated between active overtures for connection to mother and expressions of rejection ranging from leaning away from mother’s embrace to full-blown tantrums. By contrast, the infants classified as passive appeared capable only of faint or even implicit bids for solace, as if too overcome by their helplessness and misery to approach mother directly. Unhappily, the reunions seemed neither to ameliorate the ambivalent infants’ distress nor to terminate their preoccupation with mother’s weherabouts. It was as if, even in her presence, these infants were seeking mother who wasn’t there.

Ainsworth found, in fact, that the ambivalent babies were the offspring of mothers who were, at best, unpredictably and occasionally available. And while these mothers were neither verbally nor physically rejecting, as the mothers of avoidant infants had been, their responsiveness to their infants’ signals was just as insensitive. Finally, the mothers of ambivalent babies seemed, subtly or not so subtly, to discourage their autonomy perhaps partly explaining the inhibitions of exploration that characterized these babies (Ainsworth et al., 1978).

Disorganized Attachment
Some of the infants displayed unsuspectingly surprise behavior. A portion of the infants displayed responses in the parent’s presence that were inexplicable, contradictory, or bizarre. Upon reunion, for example, they backed toward mother, froze in place, collapsed to the floor, or appeared to fall into a dazed, trance-like state. Sighting mother, one infant covered his mouth with his hand – a gesture Darwin saw in primates and interpreted as a stifled scream (Hesse, 1999). Disorganized attachment probably resisted detection for so long because behaviors like these (often lasting no more than 10 to 30 seconds) only punctuated, so to speak, the flow of the infants Strange Situation behavior as a whole (Main & Solomon, 1990). For the same reason each infant classified as disorganized was also given an alternative classification the best described his overall conduct in the Strange Situation as secure, avoidant, or ambivalent.

Main has hypothesized that disorganized attachment results when the attachment figure is simultaneously experienced not only as the safe haven but also as the source of danger, that is, when the child – pre-programmed to turn to the parent in moments of alarm – is caught between contradictory impulses to approach and avoid. It is an untenable position from which the child’s dependency on the parent affords no escape. Little wonder, then, that the result of such a terrifying “biological paradox” is disorganization and/or disorientation.

Main proposed that infant disorganization is the outcome not only of interactions with parents whose anger or abuse is self-evidently frightening, but also of interactions in which the child experiences the parent as frightened. In particular, disorganization may result when the parent’s fear seems to arise in response to the child and when the parent either reacts with physical withdrawal or retreats into a trance-like state. Summing up, Main suggests that disorganized attachment can be understood to emerge from the child’s interactions with parents who are frightening, frightened, or dissociated. In contrast to the organized strategies of secure, avoidant, and ambivalent infants, disorganized attachment should be seen to reflect a collapse of strategy on the part of an infant who experiences “fright without solutions” (Main & Hesse, 1992).

Measuring Attachment: The Strange Situation

In differentiating between security and the varieties of insecurity, Ainswoth discovered that in the attachment relationships it was the quality of communication between infant and caregiver that was of paramount importance. As Ainsworth came to understand that differing patterns of communication by the mothers’ in the Strange Situation only reflected the infants’ developed communication style to loss and separation. Infants, like adults, must adapt to the character of their caregivers. In the home the mothers of secure infants had been observed to be sensitive and responsive to their signals, their behavior strikingly contingent upon their baby’s – a finding that Mary Main would interpret as “early attunement” (Main, 1995, p. 417). Thus, it made sense that secure infants would communicate their feelings and needs directly -as if assuming that such communication would evoke an attuned response. Children who are abused and intimidated through fear and various other forms of maltreatment may not be as forth coming with feelings. These children may withdrawl when parents become angry or abusive. This response is an adaptive strategy to sidestep communication and to both keep from engaging mother’s anger and avoid further rejection.

Likewise, when an individual enters into an intimate relationship with a therapist, or even a lover, friend or boss, we attach to these objects. When we attach to these objects, we identify with them and develop intimate ways of communicating with them. This communication is usually a consistent flow of back and forth in the style and manner the individuals themselves are accustomed to. Thus, it is the psychopath or sociopath who, astutely aware of individual’s feelings, can manipulate individuals through overt or covert aggressive acts. Real life relationships and events, like the way a parent treats a child, are a key important factor in determining human development not just during early childhood but across the life span. Thus, how we are treated by those that matter to us most on a day-to-day basis will shape our behavior and our behavior holds clues to what has happened to us in our past.

Subnote: John Bowlby’s initial work began with children following separation after war; children whose parents had died or were lost. Both him and his colleague Mary Ainsworth made independent contributions that proved absolutely critical to the evolution of the attachment concept. Their work helped shaped what we know about attachment theory in psychoanalysis today. The “Strange Situation” was an experiment conducted in a structured laboratory which assessed 26 twelve month old babies. The assessment lasted roughly 20 minutes, mothers and their infants were introduced to a pleasant, toy-filled room. What followed in a series of three-minute episodes included opportunities for the infant to explore, in the mother’s presence, two separations from the mother, two reunions, and the infant’s exposure to a stranger (always a trained baby watcher). The expectation was that the disquieting combination of an unfamiliar setting, separation, and a stranger would trigger the predictable, biologically based manifestation of the attachment behavioral system. Mary Ainsworth predicted that using the mother as a secure base, the infants who had been judged secure in the home would play in her presence, experiences distress at her departure, and be sufficiently reassured by her return to make continued playful exploration possible. Ainsoworth also expected that infants judged insecure in the home, would be highly upset during the episodes of separation.

Sources:
Wallin, David J. Attachment in Psychotherapy. New York. Guilford Press (2007)

 

The Roots of Violence and Aggression

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Francisco Goya, Third of May, 1808, 1814
Francisco Goya’s revolutionary and unbearably frank depiction of political martyrdom, commissioned to celebrate Spanish resistance to napoleon’s army, echoes the tragic, ghastly etchings of his Disasters of War series. It marks a shift from celebratory, heroic military painting to a blunter and more modern idiom that continues to dominate our vision of war.

“Men are not gentle creatures who want to be loved, and who at the most can defend themselves if they are attacked; they are, on the contrary, creatures among whose instinctual endowments is to be reckoned a powerful share of aggressiveness. As a result, their neighbor is for them not only a potential helper or sexual object, but also someone who attempts them to satisfy their aggressiveness on him, to exploit his capacity for work without compensation, to use him sexually without his consent, to seize his possessions, to humiliate him, to cause him pain, to torture and to kill him. Homo homini lupus. Who, in the face of all this experience of life and of history, will have the courage to dispute this assertion?” ~Sigmund Freud, Civilization and Its Discontents

Throughout history and across cultures, the most common form of violence is that between family members and neighbors or kindred communities – in civil wars writ large and small. From assault to genocide, from assassination to massacre, violence usually emerges from inside the fold. You have more to fear from a spouse, an ex-spouse, or a coworker than you do from someone you don’t know.

Violence erupts most often, and most savagely, between those of us most closely related. An Indian nationalist assassinated Mohandas Gandhi, “the father” of India. An Egyptian Muslim assassinated Anwar Sadat, the president of Egypt and a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. An Israeli Jew assassinated Yitzhak Rabin, the Israeli prime minister and similarly a recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Genocide most often involves kindred groups. The German Christians of the 1930s were so closely intertwined with German Jews that a yellow star was required to tell the groups apart. Serbs and Muslims in Bosnia, like the Hutu and Tutsi in Rwanda, are often indistinguishable even to one another.

This idea contradicts both common sense and the collective wisdom of teachers and preachers, who declaim that we fear, and sometimes should fear, the “other,” the dangerous stranger. Citizens and scholars alike believe that enemies lurk in the street and beyond, where we confront a “clash of civilizations” with foreigners who challenge our way of life. Russell Jacoby in his book “Bloodlust” offers a more unsettling truth: it is not so much the unknown that threatens us, but the known. We attack our brothers, our kin, our acquaintances, our neighbors, with far greater regularity and venom than we attack outsiders. We know their faults, their beliefs, their desires, and we distrust them because of that.

One of the first supposed acts of genocide originated in the bible. The biblical story of Cain and Abel, where Cain raises up and takes the life of Abel and kills off half of the population. Half of mankind kills the other half. Freud’s “narcissism of minor differences” gives insights on anti-Semitism and misogyny, as well as the “civil” bloodbaths of St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in the sixteenth century to genocide and terrorism in our time today.

To give an example, in 1941 excellent relations between the Jews and the Poles had existed in Jedwabne, a small town in northeastern Poland. Everybody was on a first-name basis with each other. But then one day in the summer of 1941 half of the population killed the other half, the entire Jewish population of approximately 1,600 people; the Jews were mainly herded into a barn, which was set afire. A book that investigated and detailed this historical account was entitled “Neighbors” written by Jan T. Gross. Gross is a Polish-born professor of history at Princeton University, one of whose specialties has been the study of Polish anti-Semitism. He concluded in his book that it was local residents who rounded up the Jews under the encouragement of the German gendarmes and a mobile SS or Gestapo unit. Further evidence uncovered determined that only 340 Jews were killed and not half the population. Forty Poles actively participated in the killings and it was determined that related tortures were also carried out by the Poles, while the remainder of the non-Jewish population displayed utter passivity in the face of the crime. What made those forty individuals want to participate in the violence of Nazi killing and torture? They could of just as easily objected to the participation and forced the German SS Gestapo unit to commit the acts. What drives someone to act so callously against his or her neighbor?

Violence has confronted man over the centuries. Successful navigation of minor difference is rooted in empathy and tolerance. Negotiating difference requires kindness, wisdom, and mindfulness which can all be cultivated through practice. Even those who lack a gross deficient in social finesse can build upon what he has, if he wants to. When we understand human nature, we can begin to see that the real enemy may lie within each one of us when we fail to manage our own aggressive tendencies adequately.

heart-problem-billboardWe obsess about strangers piloting airplanes into our building, but in the United States in 2005 six times the number killed in the World Trade Center attacks were murdered on he streets or inside our own homes and offices. The majority of criminal violence takes place between people who know each other. Domestic violence speaks for itself. Cautious citizens my push for better street lighting, but they are much more likely to be assaulted, even killed, in the light of the kitchen by someone familiar to them than in the parking garage by a complete stranger. For rape and assault, the numbers tilt even more toward the familiar. Like subjects prompt violence from other like subjects. Not unlike subjects. Like subjectivity form our development of attachment and the recognition of difference between “I” and “Other.” This attachment is rooted in the early childhood developmental bonds of love.

References:
Benjamin, Jessica. Bonds of Love; Psychoanalysis, Feminism, and The Problem of Domination. New York, Pantheon Books (1988)

Benjamin, Jessica. Like Subjects, Love Objects; Essays on Recognition and Sexual Difference. New Haven, Yale University Press (1995)

Jacoby, Russell. Bloodlust: On the Roots of Violence from Cain and Abel to the Present. New York, Free Press (2011)

Green, David B., This Day in Jewish History//1941: Polish Neighbors Slaughter the Jews of Jedwabne. Polish Neighbors Slaughter the Jews in Jedwabne

Blood Is The Life; The Mark Of The Beast; And Evil Vampires

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“Vampire Children” aka The Beautiful People

The theme in Bram Stoker’s Dracula “the blood is the life” is nothing more than an extrapolation from 13th century Christian literature coming out of Italy and ancient Mosaic law. In Dante’s Divine Comedy and his second book, The Purgatorio, discussed how a remedial understanding in the transference of character and physical features were passed through semen and blood. Although DNA would not be discovered until more than 750 years later, it was understood that the man’s semen was a life giving force that contributed mental and physical characteristics to the life of offspring. In Dante’s Purgatorio, Canto XXV, verse 37-60, this idea was called formative virtue or “virtue informative.” The idea of virtue informative is explained by Statius, one of Dante’s guides as he moves through Purgatory on the Terrace of Lust:

“The perfect blood, which never is drunk up
into the thirsty veins, and which remained
Like food that from the table thou removest,
Takes in the heart for all the human members
Virtue informative, as being that
Which to be changed to them goes through the veins.
Again digest, descends it where ‘tis better
Silent to be than say; and then drops thence
Upon another’s blood in natural vase.
There one together with the other mingles,
One to be passive meant, the other active
By reason of the perfect place it springs from;
And being conjoined, begins to operate,
Coagulating first, then vivifying
What for its matter it had made consistent
The active virtue, being made a soul
As of a plant, (in so far different,
This on the way is, that arrived already,)
Then works so much, that now it moves and feels
Like a sea-fungus, and then undertakes
To organize the powers whose seed it is.
Now, Son, dilates and now distends itself
The virtue from the generator’s heart,
Where nature is intent on all the members.” 

Statius explains, the part of the body’s blood that is responsible for sperm production is never used by the body except to create life. Thus they had an understanding of how life giving blood was part of family lineage, although the idea lacks scientific clarity. Virtue informative is the meiosis process in reproduction and takes place when this blood enters the “natural vase” or a woman’s womb. It is in this vaginal vase where the two bloods intermingle to create one life. Dante describes the female as “passive” and the male as “active.” And by this active virtue the soul is created. That is, the male is responsible for passing the virtues of his heart to his offspring. Statius explains further, much like a sea-fungus, when the reorganization process takes place in the womb, this power comes from “the powers whose seed it is.” That is, a sea-fungus will regenerate in to another sea-fungus, likewise a heart full of evil virtues will regenerate in to another full of evil virtues. Like begets like. “Nature is intent on all its members.” This idea is expressed in Luke 6:45 which states, “A good man brings forth good out of the good treasures of his heart, but a wicked man brings forth what is wicked out of his wicked treasure; for out of the heart’s abundance his mouth speaks.” Thus, the primal Motor, God, brings life into the soul by breathing intellectual life into it. For without God, nothing is possible which can be restated to mean that without Lady Philosophy nothing is possible. As a result, the three aspects of soul are created; 1) memory, 2) intelligence, and 3) will. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula, this story was an attempt to educate men by warning them to learn higher moral codes of conduct and curb their lustful, insatiable, sinful desires of the flesh. These human errors could be overcome with a vigilant attitude towards right behavior and diligence in sexual matters. All these are derived from Christian religious doctrines and philosophies.

Equally, Sigmund Freud, Otto Weininger, and virtually everyone else growing up during the later nineteenth century had been bombarded with speculations concerning the link between semen and blood, and most had unquestioningly accepted these as scientific truths. Once we strip Freud’s postulate of the “death instinct” of the technical jargon with which he surrounded his discovery, we realize that the notion is, frankly, no more than a complex restatement and justification of the long-standing medical declaration that every time a man ejaculated he died a little, and that therefore eros (love) and thanatos (death) were two sides of the same coin.

We can begin to understand how and why it became necessary to view mens’ semen as the blood and how this very priceless commodity must be protected. We can also see how Freud first received his philosophical notions that men are the “active” members and women are the “passive” members among the species. The metaphor in Bram Stoker’s Dracula was nothing more than a warning to all men that these phallic, blood sucking, active, strong women of degenerate class could potentially do them in and take away their very lives by sentencing them to the same degenerate conditions. After a man was once “bitten” by one of these so called vampires, women who surely carried the mark of the beast, he surely would then become a degenerate life form himself and there would be no telling as to what type of children these degenerate life forms could produce. Thus evolved the cautionary tales directing Aryan men against sexual incontinence. Mind your penis boys, else it will get you in to trouble.

“Guard your blood, for it is your capital – your genetic inheritance – as well as your life, was the message of Stoker’s Dracula. Dr Seward, the thoroughly modern alienist who is one of the heroes of the book, reports that Renfield, the madman in Dracula’s thrall, sees blood as a unique source of renewal. “He was lying on his belly on the floor licking up, like a dog, the blood which had fallen from my wounded wrist.” As if hypnotized, Renfield repeats “over and over again: ‘The blood is the life! The blood is the life!’”

Interesting ancient Jewish mythology found in the Old Testament known as Mosaic Law, discusses this semen-blood equation:

“The semen-blood equation science had clearly helped illuminate the bible and the Mosaic laws against the ingestion of blood: “Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. The bible held that to ingest blood was to ingest life, and science had now shown that semen was blood. The man‘s part in the reproductive process, ejaculation, must therefore be an actual “bloodletting,” truly a step toward death – a petit mort, a “little death,” as the French insisted. ” La petit mort is interestingly also referred to by the French to describe sexual orgasm.”

Vampires, then, were the resentful fallen angels of Darwinian species degeneration – erotic, and hence racial and economic inferiors – who circled the globe, eager to bring death to the men of steel, the evolutionary elite of the age of imperialism. These “Supermen” of our civilized world. They came to epitomize nothing more than male and female perversion whose sexual exploits described the antithetical side of religious virtue. In our own day, the “scientific” specificity of these cultural commonplaces has been lost. Now the apparent “symbolism” of the period’s vampire narratives has come to be seen as reflective of an “archetypal” pattern embedded in the “collective unconscious.” Thus the underlying political motives of the sexual superstitions of a hundred years ago continue to influence our own time on an even more insidious level: as natural and “instinctual” impulses. Propaganda that disguises itself as “scientific truth” is hard to counter. The ultimate irony of this train of events is that entirely different medical realities are making it easy for today’s media to exploit even the early-twentieth-century vampire tale’s underlying contention that sex “diseases” the blood. A generation which was terrorized by the thought of AIDS was being guided to think of sex as a “disease” of the blood in a far more literal sense than early-twentieth-century moralists such as Bram Stoker could have imagined.

The Roman Catholic sacramental communion ceremony is a logical transference, for the phrase calls attention to the religious origins of the vampire’s depredation of the blood of ordinary people. Through the faithful flows “the blood of Christ,” offered to them during the ceremony of the Eucharist to maintain the spiritual bond between God and His worshipers. This symbolic bond of blood, this gift of God’s blood-sacrifice, the essence of God ingested by the faithful, holds the promise of eternal life. Among those given to blasphemy, this holy ritual (which undoubtedly can be traced to an origin in analogue pre-Christian ceremonies) could easily be mistaken for a form of “energy vampirism” through which the communicants would gain immortality by ingesting the “blood” of the Son of God.

Thus these resentful fallen degenerates would turn the radiant cells of the living God into the viral pestilence of the undead Devil. Still, it’s hard for me to determine if we are talking about erotic, racially inferior and economically deficient prostitutes and homosexuals (vampires and trans people) or Donald Trump.

Unfortunately, there is no way to surely know how two distinct lines of DNA will intermingle, and to even know what traits from the lengthy lineages of both will express themselves in offspring. In addition, there is no way to know what intervening factors will contribute to help shape the lives of our young children. Individual’s lives are shaped by more than just DNA. School teachers, coaches, ministers, nuns, friends, political leaders and the political atmosphere at the time, all contribute to impact the life of the child. The notion of “degenerates” and “deplorable,” as Donald Trumps so likes to call them, are nothing more than a delusion based on one’s “trumped up” status as “something better than someone else,” of having truly “evolved” above others in the order of the social classes. But having truly evolved takes more than mere money and social connections. It takes the intelligence of enlightenment in knowing that we are all born equal in the endowment of the human spirit. That there are certain aspects to the human condition deserving of all people, one of them being dignity, and that there are certain inalienable rights all men should be entitled to, and of these liberty, equality, and tranquility.

Sources:
Alighieri, Dante. The Purgatorio. New York. Barnes & Noble Classics (2005)
New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures. New York. Watchtower Bible and Tract Society (1984)
Dijkstra, Bram. Evil Sisters; The Threat of Female Sexuality and the Cult of Manhood. New York. Alfred A. Knopf (1996)

Vegan Black Bean Brownies

brownies

After learning how to cook vegan, I discovered there are a few perfect dishes that should only be prepared vegan. One of them is vegan pumpkin pie and the other is vegan chocolate brownies, and if you have insatiable brownie cravings, this recipe will satisfy your urges. It is a great recipe to make for someone who is allergy prone to certain foods like eggs, wheat, dairy, and nuts. This recipe contains none of them. If the brownies finish too soft and chewy, you can place them in the refrigerator to harden up a bit.

Makes 12 to 14 Chocolate Brownies

2 cups cooked black beans
2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
6 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoons canola oil
¾ cup Hershey’s special dark coco powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
4 blocks Hershey special dark chocolate (from a large 6.8 oz sized bar), chopped fine (optional)

Preheat oven to 350F.

Lightly grease 12-14 slots of a standard size cupcake pan.   Screen-Shot-2018-04-05-at-6.39.04-AM

Prepare flaxseed egg by combining 2 tablespoons of flaxseed meal with 6 tablespoons of water. Add to the bowl of a food processor.

Add remaining ingredients except for the 4 blocks of Hershey chocolate candy. Pureé the ingredients for 3 minutes; scraping down the sides of the bowl.

If using chopped chocolate chunks, pour batter into a mixing bowl and mix in the chopped chocolate.

Evenly distribute the batter among the cupcake slots.

Bake for 20-26 minutes. Let cool 30 minutes before removing.

COOK’S NOTE: You can individually wrap the brownies and place in a Ziploc baggie and store in the freezer for future use.