Heaven in London

Trans women don’t like each other very much, certainly not in real life. If there was a group of us we would all be staring at our shoes periodically hissing “Stop it, you’re embarrassing us”. In the tube the day before there had been a poster advertising “Photography on the Edge” with a picture of a trans woman or drag queen, looking not very happy. Then there was one on the Underground platform, at least 6’6″ tall, in a light summer dress, with a manly tattoo on her arm- rather gorgeous, actually, that unapologetic “I am here,” with a slight hardness, I thought, as sometimes people would notice her. I scuttled away, frightened that they would read her then notice me.

I turned the corner by the east end of St Paul’s, and the scent of the blossom hit me with insistent beauty. I paused to enjoy it, but even though I stood still in the place where I had first smelled it, the smell was still lessened. It had overpowered me for a moment, and then the sensation was gone though I tried to make it last. Just the way the air currents were, or the blossom, or even my own nerve cells.

It was a beautiful sunny day and I sat in the dappled half-shade of a tree in front of Tate Modern, listening to the saxophonist in a wheelchair. He’s good. The tide was out and I could go down on a sandy beach. Then I saw you and stood for a long close hug. I took in your style- necklace and two pendants on separate chains, flowers embroidered on net over skirt over sloppy jeans and trainers. Unique. We went to the abstract art and photography exhibition, and admired a Kandinsky, excitedly. We stimulated each other, seeing each part of it together, how it was made and how it showed movement and stillness in balance. The alarm sounded, insistent, and people wandered, compliant but unconcerned, to the exits. Outside, the man in the wheelchair had a harmonica and was joined by another saxophonist in a tight twelve-bar blues, improvising in dialogue within the structure of the form. We waited until the crowd had dissipated, then walked back in.

In The Last Battle, Jill Pole and the dwarves all go into the stable, which Jill finds is the gate of Heaven. She sees it, beautiful countryside, the foot-hills of something more wonderful, but the dwarves think they are in a smelly old stable. So she picks flowers for them to smell, and they say, Why are you pushing mouldy old straw in our faces?

We sat in the shade, in the warm air on the fifth floor balcony, looking over Thames to the cathedral. These shapes, the bridge, the river, could be a Kandinsky: looking at art and making it has taught you to see. I told you my poem, you said I should be remembered for it, and I was abashed, saying there is such an abundance of talent about.

I am starving. I need this friendship. This- this process, this creature, is Beautiful. I affirm that. I know it and I can say it, because it is true, yet I cannot say “I am beautiful”- though I can say “I am trussed up”. I am trussed by my fears and illusions. I need this friendship, not to be a momentary scent of blossom but growing the flowers, the work to know and be known, talking of the weather and politics as well as of such high-flown, real things.

We agree we are in Heaven. Seeing that trans woman, unapologetic, unashamed, is heavenly. How strong she is! Yet it could also be mouldy straw, the fear I felt of discovery. And the scent of the flowers, a moment of delight comes and goes and my efforts at rediscovery cannot lure it back. If I know this is a world of abundance, and such delights are quotidian, never the same and endless in succession, I am happy enough to move from one to the other; and if I feel tantalised by the aroma, teased and not satiated, it is hell. Even in this lovely day of the best of company in the beautiful places I am tantalised, and the next day, freakishly colder as I cycle, cold, in strong wind to see Richard the contrast depresses me.

The knack, or trick, might be Fear and Love. If I love the Earth it becomes Heaven, if I fear it it is Hell, but that cycle ride was difficult in the wind. I starve for beauty and connection.

I walked to the centre of Swanston from the Station, and Umar came up beside me and started talking. His job is making model aeroplanes, then putting them in wind tunnels to test their aerodynamics. Wind tunnels and computer models complement each other. I was happy enough to talk. I said I was going to the supermarket, he to the bank, and as he got there he asked if we could meet again- “Just as friends,” he said, plaintively. I thought about it. I decided against, in fear and mistrust, and am not sure I decided correctly.

What is the Tao?

if you don’t presume to lead
you can lead the high and mighty.

For me, the Tao is flowing like water, or action without effort: doing something according to instinct without consciously analysing, calculating or criticising it, without pride or fear or even intent, allowing action rather than taking it. One does this better after learning to do it, which makes me wonder how learning might “flow”- I do not know the Tao. Or my heart does.

For CS Lewis, the Tao is Natural Law, the moral code inscribed by God in every conscience, which every man knows unless he is corrupted. Values are objective, and must be recognised. It is illegitimate to challenge them: The direct frontal attack- “Why?” – “What good does it do?” – “Who said so?” is never permissible; not because it is harsh or offensive but because no values at all can justify themselves on that level. You cannot think properly without valuing truth, cannot ask a justification without seeing that morals can justify: If you persist in that kind of trial you will destroy all values, and so destroy the bases of your own criticism as well as the thing criticised.

Whereas for me, values may be debated, and consequentialism requires evidence of likely consequences. What “peace” means, between individuals or states, may be addressed by philosophers. We can come to greater understanding. Dulce et decorum est is really an “old lie”. Lewis admits there may be criticism of Natural Law from people who accept it generally, but not from without, in the interests of commercial convenience or scientific accuracy.

Everything outside my skin is sublime- simply and only of itself, not subject to my laws or understanding, holy and magical. The dust beneath my feet is made of atoms created in supernovae and blasted across space, churned as magma and blasted from the Earth as lava. I imagine I might agree, still, with a great deal of Lewis’ concepts of natural law; but not with his understanding of how it might come about, or how it could be improved. We know so much more psychology than he did in 1942.

Lewis imagines a group of “Conditioners”, perhaps in the hundredth century AD., who had the ability to throw off the influence of previous generations, and to conclusively influence all generations after until the end of the human race. Therefore there is no “Man’s conquest of nature”, only a power possessed by some men which they may, or may not, allow other men to profit by. He spends several pages elucidating this nightmare, which fits Professor Weston, possessed by the Devil, in Perelandra. It has links to Presuppositionalism and the Christian idea that atheists cannot be moral. I feel that people will always be free who value nothing else, not even life, more than freedom, and that some people like that will always exist, and others will listen to them. Perfect totalitarianism cannot exist, and even though human beings can create monstrous hells which are difficult to escape it will always be possible eventually.

Lewis ends with illustrations of natural law from different civilisations. A lot comes from the Encyclopædia of Religion and Ethics. Whoso makes intercession for the weak, well pleasing is this to Shamash, said some Babylonian source. However his list makes no pretence of completeness, and you might find better sources for the content or evolution of ethics.

A memory of my father

I am so embarrassed about this memory that I do not want to tell you it. Therefore, it will be worthwhile telling you. Empowering or something.

I don’t know myself innately, I work things out from clues. I know I would not hit anyone, because I have been in particular situations. I am not sure I could say why- perhaps “Cowardice” (bad) or “Restraint” (good). Perhaps confusion: the rules aren’t working, and I don’t know what’s going on.

-Exactly so, she says, and I wonder whether she helps me find insight or influences, even manipulates, me into seeing things a certain way. Are our words random, or some kind of joint inspiration?

So much of me is unconscious. That memory of my father, I was sitting on his knee, crying- it is always there, and it pops into consciousness every once in a while, every now and then. I started telling her of it as an illustration of how the unconscious is always there, and the conscious seems random, not a particular “I” I could know; but she asks of the memory. It embarrasses me. The child I was was so ridiculously stupid!

It should not be embarrassing. The child knew no better, and might not be expected to, at that age. I remember a fragment of conversation. I wanted to listen to a record, and he asked what.

-Can you remember what it was?
-I am not sure, but I think it was that actress in Mary Poppins [Julie Andrews] singing
a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down
in the most delightful way

and he said, but we don’t have that record.

And I took from this that I was stupid, and should have known this (which is why the memory embarrasses me. Wanting something impossible! Ridiculous and divorced from reality!)

and that he was kind.

Now, I think, well- impossible? There are shops, and there are libraries, quite close by. There is also the vague idea that Julie Andrews represented the left-liberal camp which was wrong, as we were Conservatives: that is adult language for it, that such entertainment would be Improper in some way, not our thing.

Is the memory important? I still feel confused. What can I do that is Good?

 ♥♥♥

I was a big fan of CS Lewis, and have read a lot of his work, since I sat on my father’s knee to hear The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. My nephew sat on my knee to hear it. The foundation of my theodicy is his The Problem of Pain, and I read his space trilogy several times. I have been reading The Abolition of Man again, and find it appallingly bad. Either he has no conception of phenomenology, and attacks what he does not understand, or he has, and produces the crudest possible straw man, which he could not possibly see as in good faith unless he was convinced he could do no wrong.

He says any man, unless corrupted, would agree with him about morals, because the Natural Law is inscribed in every healthy boy. (He would not have valued inclusive language.) Education should enable the boy to recognise it in himself.

I read the book to see what in it I might agree with, but I reject it entire. I do not care if I am wrong, I believe THIS. All I could take from his morality is the value of the individual human- the value of Me.

I drift off into thinking of how I might be useful in the General Election.

 ♥♥♥

I am frightened by
the bigness and inexplicability of the World

and of myself

but that’s OK

The Abolition of Man

As spending too much time on social media, or worse, clicking back and forth between sites for an elusive dopamine hit- has anyone liked my comment in The Guardian?- makes presence, stillness or spiritual awareness less likely, yesterday I decided to put my computer away all afternoon, and almost succeeded. Hanging out my washing, I got chatting with the lad from upstairs. He has been at the Outdoor Centre for over six years. In the winter, they concentrate on personal development, and he went whitewater rafting in Scotland, but now the centre is getting busy, and the teenagers have a bit of fun on our river, which meanders through a broad valley of lakes and ponds. He has always analysed his options for pros and cons, he tells me. We talked of Heaven and Hell. He believes in both, and is strongly Evangelical: he has a literal belief in the Day of Judgment after Death. “We will all face judgment,” he said, earnestly. I find him quite non-judgmental of my trans status: though I was wigless, just to do housework, I did not feel judged, and so felt reassured and comfortable. We looked up at the red kites circling overhead.

I suggested he read “The Great Divorce”, CS Lewis’s account of people from Hell taking a day-trip to Heaven. Most of them prefer their illusions, and go back down. He thinks Divorce a strange word for Lewis to use, and I explain it is a reference to The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. I lend him my large single volume of several of Lewis’s works, which has sat unread on my bookshelves for years. He is not a great reader, he says, but his parents liked The Screwtape Letters. My spirituality has changed since I read a lot of Lewis. I decided to read The Abolition of Man, which I have in paperback, to re-evaluate him. I would read it to try and find something I valued in it.

It comes with strong recommendation. A quote on the back says if he were to suggest a book which everyone should read apart from the Bible, Walter Hooper would say The Abolition of Man. He writes, If any book is able to save us from future excesses of folly or evil, it is this book. I would read it to seek value in it.

I disagree with the first of three lectures, Men without Chests, in which Lewis criticises an English textbook. Coleridge heard two tourists at a waterfall, and endorsed the first’s judgment of it as “sublime” but rejected the second’s, “pretty”. The textbook says both are not a judgment about the waterfall, only the speaker’s feelings. I would agree. Everything is sublime, separate from me and the human world, simply and only of itself- a waterfall, a star, a pebble, Blake’s clod of clay. It is valuable to cultivate a sense of the sublime, though, and the most impressive things- such as the waterfall- are a good start. If something has the grandeur to remind me of sublimity, this concerns internal mental states, from cultural associations, my past experiences, my understanding and my emotional responses. And the waterfall is pretty: spray may create rainbows, or the water may glisten in the sun. It seems to me Lewis is attacking phenomenology, mocking what he does not understand; at least, he makes no attempt to explain it, merely attacking an attempt to explain some part of its insights to children.

Lewis quotes Aristotle: the aim of education is to make the youth like and dislike what he ought. Lewis’ example is Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, which in my own English class I learned to call that old lie. Lewis was writing 25 years after Owen’s poem. Sending men to die or kill is monstrous, especially in the first world war. He takes a conservative position that there might be some agreement on what men should value; I say that if we allow people to love what we love, society benefits. At least I agree that it is a good thing to see the waterfall as sublime, but Lewis and I praise and disparage different things, and I am tempted to say I know better than he, or at least that my concept of diverse systems of value better describes real life, and has more value, than his single, allegedly objective, system. Rather than a common understanding of what is good and valuable, I advocate a continuous ferment of discussion, learning better what to value. Lewis’ common understanding would justify colonialism, the White Man’s Burden of civilising lesser races.

So I was surprised that the book is still in print, and there is a book of essays about it, Contemporary Perspectives. I must not simply dismiss the book, but find value in it if I may- for then Lewis and I can communicate from our different positions, conservative or progressive. I claim to be the one who values understanding of other perspectives.

 

Gratification

On Friday, during the partial eclipse I was tempted to look at the Sun.
I had heard the warnings.
I looked at it, and my eyes smarted.
I was still tempted to look at it.
What’s this deferring gratification thing? Weighing a glimpse of the sun as a crescent against the chance of permanent damage to eyes, I am still tempted!!

I then spent much of the day with the Three Guardians puzzle. Before I came up with the right questions, I spent hours with wrong questions and what various answers to them would mean. I am very pleased with having the right answer, and having thought of a fourth guardian which answered randomly, like a coin-toss, could answer that more complex problem with between five and eleven questions. Probably I should have done my washing, and in the beautiful sunshine a walk round the lakes might have been more relaxing, but working on that puzzle was the immediately gratifying thing.

A hug felt sexier than an ordinary friendly hug, and was followed up with an email addressed “Dearest Abigail”. She would be in touch, she said. Over a week later, I am on tenterhooks and wondering if she is messing with me, which feels cruel: that “dearest” touched my heart. I create theories of why she might deliberately hurt me, which feel possible but unlikely; but likelier the longer time goes on. Why would she would want to mess with me? Becoz I is trans, or because I had irritated her in some way I cannot imagine, or randomly without reason. The thought that she might not be in touch because of shyness or vulnerability in her came to me only later.

In The Last Battle, the dwarves go into the barn which is actually the gate of Heaven. The children see Heaven with its beautiful scenery getting more beautiful as you go further up and further in, but the dwarves see only a derelict barn with stinking old straw. So the children pick flowers for the dwarves, and the dwarves react angrily: Why are you shoving straw in our faces?

I came across “thetruthisstrangerthanfiction” on Violet’s blog. He is creationist. I find the complex, interlocking explanations of all the evidence of the age of the Earth fascinating and beautiful, and he finds them repellent: the desire to keep a meddling God with His meddling “morality” and call for “repentance” etc., is the real motivating factor at play behind the scientists’ rejection of young earth creationism, rather than the search for Truth which I perceive. Then again, his flowers- a literal interpretation of Genesis- are mouldy straw to me.

I want to persuade him. He is not persuadable, because he is immovably convinced that he has something better (as, mutatis mutandis, am I). I put long comments on his blog, rather than walking by the lakes or doing my washing. I wrote on facebook, to acclaim, I do not need you to be other than you are to validate who I am but one benighted stranger on another continent and a woman who may be hostile seem to indicate otherwise.

What I want may not be what is best for me.

Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Christian politics

https://i1.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c1/ParadiseLButts2.jpgFor “The Shrewd and salty dove“. There is no Christian politics.

CS Lewis in an essay called “Commandment” published in 1941 suggested three sincere Christians, one authoritarian, tempted to ally himself with fascism; one denouncing riches and speaking for the poor, tempted to ally himself with communism; and one conservative, for the status quo. It is hard to be charitable towards Lewis, as late as 1941, saying a Christian could work with fascists; those Spanish Catholics who supped with Franco besmirched their Christianity, and it is unChristian to vote BNP; perhaps he was exaggerating the width of Christian opinion about politics. Certainly a Christian can conscientiously vote Labour, Liberal or Conservative, or in the US Republican or Democrat.

What about individual issues, such as abortion or homosexuality? I think an abortion a dreadful thing. What made me pro-choice initially was the thought that as a sin it was not by itself, and without cause, but the end of a long chain of sin binding the woman, her partner, and her society. The Christian response is not to enforce a rule on the woman, that she cannot have an abortion, but to ameliorate her situation so she need not. That has to be done before the need arises.

I find it hard to imagine a woman who would have an abortion lightly or frivolously. If https://i0.wp.com/upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0c/ParadiseLButts8.jpgsomeone so broken exists, you do not make her a moral being by constraining her from without, but by teaching her. If the teaching merely consists of a lecture, then it is unlikely to get through to her.

Christians disagree about homosexuality. I find the Bible writing approvingly of gay relationships, and only condemning gay sex in contexts we would also condemn straight sex. Quakers in Britain lobbied to be able to celebrate equal marriages, and I am proud of that.

A woman wrote of her weeping on discovering her daughter is lesbian, and I offered sympathy. If she works through this, and accepts how her daughter is, sympathy is unnecessary, and if she works through it and reaches the wrong answer, believing her daughter is in sin, I feel horror, and sympathy is more complex and difficult. Yet for someone working through that, now, I feel sympathy. The rejection is the sin of her society, and not wholly hers.

However my point is wider. Jesus told us to go out and make disciples of all nations. He did not tell us to construct a moral code from Scripture, either already written or to come, and enforce it on people whether they are Christian or not. Murder and theft are clearly harmful to the victim, and to the wider society, and there is a civil need to make these illegal, even in an atheist society. The lovemaking of consenting adults, except adultery, is not, and alleged harm to the participants is no ground for making it illegal, or treating gay unions differently from straight unions: such laws make Christianity a hated oppressor.

God is Love, and Love is the way to win people to God.

Harm. Mmm. My moral judgment is mainly based on results, whether an act is creative or destructive, and I believe adults should be able to learn by harming ourselves, for constraint does not make us good.

Five rhythms

Flowing

Staccato

Chaos

Lyrical

Stillness

Jack explained them like this: Flowing is “feminine”, in the moment, following feelings, going with the flow- beautiful, but if I stay there I get nothing done. Staccato is masculine, taking action in the world, and Chaos is the union of the two. Perhaps I should read the book, deepen my understanding.

I reached, last night, a state of rage and hatred at myself. Stupid, useless, worthless, nursing unacted desires, without motivation, weeping constantly, incapable of self-care. Now (Wednesday) I feel the same, with added incomprehension and terror. What am I going to Do?

I went to the dancing in part because I wanted to go to Jack’s party. U would be there. When I entered the house, she was in the corridor. I stood a yard away, and she took me by the shoulders and pulled me in for a hug. Actually, as far as I am concerned, it is U&D, one item. We had another hug when she left, and barely talked. “We have hardly talked.” “If you came over [yeah, right]- Oh, come to our New Year’s party.” I may do, actually, though I loathe my obsession. That ridiculous command- in April!- “Go and play the piano”. Her Control. And my loathesome, vile, ridiculous, disgusting, false, self-destructive desire to be controlled. Why with all this can I not just “snap out of it”?

In À la recherche du temps perdu I have reached “The Captive”, and even the titles are a lie. “La Prisonnière”, La Fugitive“, when the narrator has no control at all. Albertine is living with the Narrator, who seeks to control her. He is an invalid, so he uses Andrée, who may be Albertine’s lover, as his proxy policeman. He asserts clearly that he and Albertine do not copulate, but they cuddle: they are terrified of the servant Françoise seeing her in his room at night, though she lives there, apparently without his parents. So young Marcel, or whatever his name is, does not understand, but possibly the older writer does not understand either. He understands more, but has not learned that he can only see part of the picture, even though he realises that he saw less of it before while thinking he had a complete understanding.

The anger is with myself, always with myself. I should be better than this. I have to be better than this.

Memory is a strange thing. I think of a student I knew at University, from Aberdeen, and when I remember him I remember him with a Newcastle accent. Geordie, not Doric, wrong north-east. I remember a satire I wrote for the student newspaper, which pleased a hundred Dip.LP students: our delicate young consciences had not had all the love sucked out, yet, and the lectures on legal ethics offended us. I still have a copy, I put a cutting in my diary, and I clearly remember that someone put it up in the Law corridor at Kings, and another congratulated me on it- can’t remember the accent, though.

I want to be rescued. No-one will rescue me. How fucking useless is that?

Or, I am an elf in the world of men. Like in the Silver Chair, the Queen has convinced me there is no fresh air, only the caves where the money is and the work is.

I have not gone into the CAB again today.
Angry and bewildered, I hear my

NO

but cannot hear any Yes.

I took some wonderful pictures at the party, though they were wiped from the chip when downloaded on Will’s computer. A bit like this one- in a portrait, the face is the interesting thing, why take extraneous matter? It is comparatively rare that the body-language of a single person is worth capturing. I am seeking to take pictures of the face without relating to the person, in order to capture a different aspect, perhaps relating to someone else.

Tolerating intolerance

Judge not, that ye be not judged…

“I suppose there are two views about everything,” said Mark.

“Eh? Two views? There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there’s never more than one.”

That Hideous Strength, CS Lewis.

A rather lovely comment from Mindy, here:

I disagree that love requires judgment. (And from everything I’ve experienced — both inner and outer — pointing out another’s sin, evangelizing, requires judgment.)

I can absolutely share my opinion with a beloved friend about what’s right for them, and doing so can be a very loving thing. But I do not believe that it is love to insist that they agree. For one thing, it’s entirely too possible that I am wrong about what’s right for them. For another, I am not their keeper. (My kid being somewhat an exception of course, heheh… altho a diminishing one as she gets older…)

To frame it in a Christian theological context: is not the idea of free will birthed from great love? Personally, I think the immensity of God is limited by binding that idea into a box of sorts that says “you humans must behave a certain way in order to be worthy of salvation. And, by the way, you are charged with telling each other about that certain way.”

I know there are scripture quotes that can be used to refute what I’m saying.

And I also know that I would much rather that those people who are righteously judging (judging me as a gay person, judging non-Christians, judging universalist Christians, etc.) would change their behavior… which means I am judging them. I get it. /sigh…

I am a firm believer that following the words of Jesus does me good, and that the evil consequences in the Bible are descriptive- just what happens- rather than prescriptive- God rubbing his hands and Punishing. What do I lose by judging?

I lose the fellowship, input and response from the homophobic Evangelical. Possibly I know what they would tell me, possibly they would not want to associate with me, possibly our approaching each other and “Not Judging” would be so artificial and hypocritical that the falseness of the situation would be unbearable- and the more I can hear another person, the better it is for me.

Is it enough, when Not Judging, to say, That is how the person is, and that is not a bad thing. Quite certain about his beliefs, but that does not harm me. Still doing his best under difficult circumstances, like human beings do. Or, should I surrender my belief- “he is quite certain about his beliefs”- in order to perceive better?

File:Byron Katie 2.jpg

In the Quaker meeting, I went to the bookshelves, where I do not normally look, and found Byron Katie’s Who would you be without your story? It contains her Judge your Neighbour worksheet:

1. Who angers, frustrates or confuses you, and why?
2. How do you want them to change? What do you want them to do?
3. What is it that they should or shouldn’t do, be, think or feel? What advice could you offer?
4. What do they need to do in order for you to be happy?
5. What do you think of them? Make a list.
6. What is it that you don’t want to experience with that person again?

Judge your neighbour, write it down, ask four questions, turn it around.

The four questions are,

1. Is it true?
2. Can you absolutely know that it’s true?
3. How do you react when you believe that thought?
4. Who would you be without the thought?
Turn it around. Find three genuine examples of how each turnaround is true in your life.

T drove me home after the Quaker meeting, and asked me what I thought of “faith is believing in impossible things.” That could be bad, or it could be good. It could be fitting in with a social group defined by its demonstrably false beliefs- gay people are damned, or whatever- or it could be stretching my own false beliefs of which I have convinced myself, in order to see reality more clearly. Faith in something better allows me to question my limiting belief.

In associating with Evangelicals, not all of whom believe that gay people are damned, it might be harder for me to cope with their belief in the basic depravity of humanity, or their terrible need that others Must believe the same as they do. Oops. Judging again. Even if a person does believe these things, how could it possibly hurt me?

Tantrum-power

The child wants a Milky Way. He has it in his hand, and will not put it down. Mum does not want him to have it, perhaps because he should not pick it off the display, but is happy to buy him another. She has one in her hand, and no, she will not put hers down either. The child is shouting inarticulately, and crying, and stamping his feet. The silent father looks at his son with an expression of utter perplexity. And I think, oh, that child has such wonderful spontaneous energy! How I wish I could let rip like that!

In Perelandra by CS Lewis, the main character feels rage at the Devil, who has taken over a human being and is tempting a new Eve on Venus. And he has the sense that this is what anger is for, that this anger is pure and right and this energy invigorates him.

I wonder if we stop shouting and screaming like that, in some cases, because we see how it hurts and upsets our parents, and we no longer wish to hurt them in that way. This could be out of Love for them. The child thinks, well, I like my parents actually, and there is this gift I can give them. It could also be out of trust that the parents do actually always seek my good. Developing such self control, aged 3, that one could pull back from the rage out of love and trust would be a powerful blessing. Woe awaits the child who has to develop that control out of fear of the consequences. Then the expression of energy becomes a thing to fear, he fears it could mean his own death and suppresses it. It takes a long time in adulthood to realise that such energy no longer is such a threat, and longer to take the realisation into ones heart.