Jan 16, 2022

Parenting

Parents fight each other or others fight with parents saying that they have ‘brought up’ their boy like a girl or a girl being ‘brought up’ like a boy. We experience this male-female identity along with the territorial sense

When life in its voyage from single-celled living beings to multi cellular living beings had developed some of these techniques in different stages of its evolution which are the mechanism of mating to make babies, the mechanism of parenting children and the mechanism of adults dying off when the children are grown. Different from the technique of single-celled living beings which perpetually divide to continue its existence, multi cellular living beings developed the technique of sex fusing the genetic information of two different cells to produce a third one quite similar yet different from the existing two.

This process has already started from the time of complex single-celled living beings. Even these complex single-celled living beings originated either by devouring each other or by starting to live together symbiotically in the beginning then resulting as a single unit. Going beyond this devouring process in the life’s evolution is the process of becoming male and female which is qualitatively more subtle and distinct. In the beginning even this process of being male and female started and remained inside a single living being itself. We could still find examples of these types of living beings. Most of the plants and trees use this mechanism. But when it comes to living beings that are mobile this distinction of being male or female become more individualised. Yet to change from a male to female or a female to male was quite easy. There are some species of fish living in groups from which a male is dead, caught or somehow missing, without much delay one of the female of the group will start showing signs of becoming a male, quite soon, astonishing all of us will turn into a male.We should understand that the male and female difference is like a rainbow. If one end is male the other end is female. But we will find many in between the two poles of being male and female, hence our consciousness of identity will also function like a rainbow. There will be males who are not ‘males enough’ and females who are not ‘females enough’; ‘real males’ in males and ‘real females’ in females and ‘females’ in the males and the ‘males’ in the females among us.

Most of the time people not understanding this mechanism of male-female consciousness create havoc in the society. Parents fight each other or others fight with parents saying that they have ‘brought up’ their boy like a girl or a girl being ‘brought up’ like a boy. We experience this male-female identity along with the territorial sense . Hence we should know that this male-female identity will always be an integral part of our territorial living consciousness.

To those turtles who go 2000 miles away to lay eggs and comeback to live on this side or to those butterflies laying eggs under the leaves to eat when they grow into caterpillars or to those snakes who lay eggs and incubate them to hatch or to those trees who entice someone to eat the fruits and making them to throw the seeds far away from the mother plant, none of them would need parenting, not even a bit. Here they use the method of the total transfer of all the information residing in the parents to the offspring through genetics. Different from this method, outside of all the genetic information the experiential knowledge of an individual in its own lifetime being transferred to the offspring is the method of parenting. During the stage of its inception in this parenting process, the fathers had no role while the mothers did everything.

The monopoly of parenting was completely vested with mothers. There is a reason for it; it is the difference between the role of male and female in the process of reproduction. Male are formed as a ‘machine’ to impregnate as many female, as fast as possible. From this machine the male individual evolved and transformed into a ‘long-time mate’ and then to a ‘caring’ father through different species over different time periods.

It is those species which first developed the technique of incubating eggs to hatch confronted the necessity of a long-time mate in its life. When the time it took for incubating eggs got extended causing the problem of finding food and to protect eggs from the ever alert predators turned the need of a mate into an absolute necessity. Those species who didn’t have a helping mate overcame the problem of starvation during incubation by drinking the content of its own eggs for nutrition and those species who gave birth to babies in the absence of a helping mate ate one or two babies of its own. Even our pet dogs and cats, though well fed, still show the trait of eating its own babies. People consider this ‘habit’ calling those poor animals as ‘cruel mothers’.
The female of the species mainly found this ‘male mate’ as a strategy to address the issue of finding food while incubating and as a protection against predators. Some species even developed the technique of sitting alternatively to incubate. Some other species developed the technique of making the male totally responsible to hatch and parent the offspring. Some fathers found the technique of taking the eggs laid by the female directly into their own belly. But this has nothing to do with any ‘love’ for the kids rather it is to make sure that they alone fertilise the eggs with their ‘own’ sperms.

In the species of fish the activity of fertilisation do not happen inside the body of a female instead it happens outside where she lays eggs over which the male will sow its sperms. That is where the fertilisation happens. Because of this method any other male in the vicinity can also fertilise the eggs, given a chance. Hence the species of seahorse receive the female’s eggs directly into male’s own belly where he can fertilise the eggs without any competition. As we mentioned before we need not confuse this activity as an ‘intense love’ for its offspring.

Species that remain with a single mate throughout their life is a rare phenomenon. Even though there are billions of different species on earth we could count the monogamous species on our hands. A single mate for one breeding season is what we mostly see around, meaning living together to bring up the offspring of one mating season. The role of the male is just an ‘assistant’ to the female who is involved totally in the act of parenting. That too, we have already mentioned that his role is limited to the acts of bringing food and scare away some weak sneaky predators.
When this parenting was happening the child’s brain development increased which is a new phenomena that lengthened the span of its childhood. Along with the genetic information, this parenting activity helped to increase the brain development which in turn became a predominant phenomenon outside the uterus. The development of the brain happens as a feedback system through the senses. When you are born early you have got more time to get your brain more developed; more complex brain means your ability to survive will increase more, this is the reason why the span of childhood had lengthened. But this increase in the span of childhood put more pressure on the parenting mother hence she has to rope in the male who usually performs the ‘vanishing act’ after mating. This pressure has reached its heights in the case of the female of the human species because her child reached maturity only after the age of eighteen.

In the beginning of the evolution of parenting the women partner didn’t need the help of the male because the offspring’s childhood was short. Hence there is no need of father’s role in parenting. Just look at the hens in our yard which does not need the help of the rooster. Later when complex living beings formed they needed long span of childhood for the development of their brain, hence the female needed the help of male partners in the act of parenting. That is why the partnership of males in parenting became a necessity for women and they developed all tactics and strategies to keep them around.

The strength of male’s body didn’t develop to ‘look after the family’; on the contrary it developed for the males to fight each other to gain the right to impregnate as many females as possible. Any child born to a woman is certainly hers; but for a male there is no certainty in this process till the invention of DNA test. Hence there are two aims to male’s life, which is to impregnate as many female as possible and try to keep away all other males from impregnating her. Meaning his own personal genetic information should survive after him as much as possible without any mixing. But knowing with certainty that all children are hers, the female’s main aim of life is to nurture her children.

Women knew that all men are eager to keep his genetics passed on to the next generation. All her activities to ensure the trust of the male in her formed the basis of the social value of chastity. Meaning she will behave or act in such a way to give confidence to the male mate that “the child in my belly is truly yours”. Complimentary to this attitude of ‘his female sexual partner’, the male consciousness will make sure that no other male have any sexual contact with ‘his’ female partner. “I will look after our kids but you must not sexually interact with any other males” will be the contract implicitly agreed upon. Wherever these attitudes become complimentary to each other the participation in the act of parenting can be assured which formed the basis of social value of chastity that human society has invented.

We have mentioned many times that the process of life is not single faceted. Through many specialities and abilities which could be complimentary and/or contradictory that developed to address myriad situations life faced in the course of evolution resulted in the existence of complex living beings. Hence the life of complex living beings will be a warring field of these opposing values and abilities. But when it comes to human life not only the species traits but also the values formed through different social evolutions resulted in more complexities. So it needs special attention to human life to unravel these entangled values. In this search we need to hold on to evolutionary traits of the human species as a general direction to understand life in its complexity.
Moving from the deathless simple single-celled living beings to complex single-celled living beings and then to complex multi-cellular living beings reaching to those living beings who have invented sex, mating and reproduction are the ones who developed the mechanism of death. Instead of the deathless incessant division to survive they developed the tactics of living through their progeny. This method of death has a strong connection with the mechanism of bringing together two separate spheres of individual experiences through sexual mating to create a third independent entity.
After being born, growing, mating and making copies of itself and vanishing from the scene is the process of death. It is not like what is depicted in movies where a character is shown suffocating without breath and falls to one side and goes still. When our youth reaches its upper limit or like ascending a mountain once we reach the top, every step to descend is the process of death. Grey hair and wrinkles all are the signs of death. Different times in different methods through different stages, this descending journey goes through... We have developed many medicines and mechanisms to slow down this process. But misunderstanding the process of death being a necessary strategy developed by complex living organisms as a ‘vanishing act’ from the stage of life, we carry the ‘wishful’ thought of immortality as a possibility.

We have already seen that how a beetle can’t grow to the size of a helicopter and fly around, for the same reason human beings or for that matter any complex living beings, can never avoid death in its life. When we say this we should know that a beetle can grow to the size of a helicopter only by leaving the existence of an insect, in the same way we could transcend death only by leaving the existence of a complex living being.


 

Maitreyan
Maitreyan


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