Thursday, March 26, 2009
The idea of the child is fairly constant throughout philosophy. Generally we speak of innocence, simplicity and spontaneity. Psychologically, childhood is a transpersonal rather than a personal state because the ego consciousness is not yet developed. Children are trainee adults. Ego consciousness gradually grows and this is why war can be so devastating to children. It is not merely the physical danger they experience. The sustained attrition of violence, uncertainty and loss experienced disturbs their psychological progression. During childhood, parents help their children's psychological growth and the child's ties to unconscious, instinctive and reactive modes of behaviour are broken. The child then develops an ego-centred reality. It becomes a person. The child adapts to the world and his or her psyche develops in accord with individual and collective principles. If all goes well. the child gradually gives up the parent archetype and the parent gives up the child archetype. In the process, the parents provide a holding environment for the child. Maybe that's why I very much like the fatherly way in which the father is securely holding the child in the picture.