Actualizado: 12 dic 2018
In this essay I propose a profound extension of the holistic vision of education and life, as opposed to the cultural-neuronal story of Separation, a story that permeates implicitly, unconsciously, innumerable aspects of our life. Crucially, the culture of separation has established the imperialism of logical and linear, separate, reasoning as the only legitimate way to reason. Fundamentally, in this culture of separation we conceive ourselves as individual, discrete, separate beings, and the experience of life as a linear experience in a Cartesian space-time of otherness. In other words, our separate logic has neutered (tried to neuter) the mystery of life by stripping it of its essence, reducing it to what can be explained by linear reason, and we live according to the cultural beliefs that fit into it. To build a genuinely holistic education, I invite to a cultural deconstruction, questioning cultural beliefs that we assume shape what we call reality. Notably, in separating life we have decided, whether we want it or not, to separate what is good (what we long for) from what is bad (what we want to avoid), we have separated between good and bad absurdly as in the movies, and we have accepted that we are condemned by original sin: we come in evil from factory. Consequently, every attempt to educate our children carries with it the implicit need to eradicate the innate evil in them. Cultural deconstruction, therefore, allows us to glimpse an education that believes in the innate and full goodness of the child, whenever it believes in the innate and full goodness of the teacher, as well as of every human being.
(Talk prepared for the XXXVIII Foro Nacional de Educación Pre-Escolar en Morelia, Michoacán)
“When we meet our children, we have to exercise some violence,because we don't know how to do it better”. Claudio Naranjo
I'm a father of two children, and right now I'm thinking of my oldest son, 5 years old. I would like to start by raising an unanswered question. The truth of not knowing exactly how to "educate" him. The sincere truth of an anguish, which is also an expression of my love for my son. I refer to the occasions when I judge his attitude as incorrect, bad, or even aggressive. Towards his little sister for example. I try to put a limit on it; I try to tell him that his attitude somehow hurts. For example, “give the toy back to your little sister that is hers, don't you see how she is suffering? You would want us to do the same if the toy were yours".
Sometimes it seems that for such an innocent and wonderful child as my son, it would be pleasant to make his little sister suffer... I say to myself, it is impossible to understand. At least I'm trying to be honest with my own emotion. But whatever the reasons that justify the limit I impose on him (sometimes by force: taking the little toy from his hand against his will), I cannot feel at peace with this imposition. In the depths of my heart I know very well that there is another deeper and more mysterious truth, unknown and in some sense impossible to know. Impossible to know from our cultural construction. That is why, in the most integral and holistic sense of the word, I am interested in cultural deconstruction.
What matters most to me, what touches me, is proposing the vision that every child is fully good, made of pure goodness. The only way this is possible is if the same is true of every human being. If we could give freedom and genuinely not judge a child for doing "something bad", then the conflict in Syria is automatically resolved, or climate change is structurally reversed. In the deepest and radical sense of holism that interests me, whatever is nearest, most immediate and smallest is a mirror of the global.
What is holism? Holism comes from the Greek ὅλος [hólos], which means "everything", "whole", "totality". The holistic vision of education invites us to see education as a whole. I'll postulate that this is much deeper than it looks. Consequently, for example, we cannot separate education from life itself; we cannot talk holistically about education without talking about ourselves. In our conventional culture, it is customary to reflect on a topic by separating oneself from the subject, separating it from all the other topics in life, and then dissecting the subject into a list of parts.
In a holistic understanding of life, there is no separation between good and bad. There is no right and wrong. This takes a deep and personal process to understand. Within the paradigm of separation that we inhabit, it is natural to feel threatened by the wrong. Or to understand that the absence of incorrectness would mean debauchery, for example to allow the whims of children, to accept their dictatorship. The approach I'm proposing deconstructs these beliefs, little by little.
Secondly, I will understand education in its essential meaning. The word educate is composed of the prefix ex-, 'out' and the verb ducere which means 'guide', 'lead'. In other words, to educate means to lead from the inside out. There is no need to inform the child so he or she can adapt to external society - an opposite process that goes from the outside inward. There is a need to provide a trusting environment for the child to sprout his or her own talents and develop his or her own interests. Even biologically, the child is like a seed that contains within him all the information he needs to relate to his environment and develop. In fully holistic words, the child already has everything within: the totality of the universe and the specificity of his or her unique soul.
Worth mentioning, how sick our society really is! Then why do we insist so much that children should adapt to our sick society? As Krishnamurti said, "it is not a measure of health to be well adjusted to a deeply ill society". Rather, we need to give them freedom so that someday the real solutions to our planetary crisis can emerge. These solutions will not emerge from our program of technological advancements or from becoming super smart and finding solutions intellectually. That is why it is necessary to deepen our understanding of our civilization's crisis by means of cultural deconstruction. Without this process of cultural deconstruction, our quest for solutions is limited to seeking culprits and declaring war on them. I think the story of "good and bad" is as absurd as Hollywood movies.
So, a key to a holistic vision of education is that to educate our children we have to educate ourselves. This is actually a process of transformation, precisely a very profound cultural deconstruction. Through which we can find something valuable and mysterious that we have inside and direct it outward. I hope that this essay (and subsequent workshop) will serve to motivate that process.
Education in Our Conventional Culture of Separation
How is education constructed in the story of separation that permeates our entire society? If each of us is a separate being in a space of otherness, where the universe of otherness is at most indifferent and potentially hostile, distrust in life is the natural response. Under this conception of the Self, there is nothing healthier than distrust in life, with its multiple manifestations: for example fear, obsession with control (on oneself and on the life around), loneliness, greed, obsession with security, and above all distrust in oneself. If from deep within you distrust life and therefore yourself, you will naturally distrust children. Not because of bad intentions or lack of love, but there is no alternative. That is the story of life transmitted by our educational system. And it is not a matter of improving intentions. We have been educated from the outside inwardly to distrust life, to distrust our own will, we have been tamed to the point of getting used to it, and we cannot do anything other than transmit the same thing. Unless we deconstruct ourselves. Unbelievable as it may seem, to deconstruct is to trust oneself again, in our inner freedom (which terrifies us), and not in the norms of society: the acceptable.
In our conventional, implicit cultural construct, the human being is at least potentially or partly evil. There is no guarantee of goodness. Therefore, of course, our educational system (which encompasses much more than schools as it includes the family, society, politics, etc.) invariably contains the imperative need to remedy innate evil in children. "Be a good boy," as the songs of "cri-cri, the little cricket singer" say, for example. Punishment and reward. Grades. Etc. It is the paradigm of improving the human being that I come to question with intense passion. The paradigm of improving the human being, improving oneself, improving our children, seems indisputable in our current cultural context. The dedication to self-improvement always has the mirror of seeing others as beings in need of self-improvement. Invariably, this violence towards oneself is at the same time violence towards others.
As Jordi Mateu says, in our conventional education children's playing has to have a goal. The intent is for the child to learn while playing. For example, to learn language. Is it not enough to play? The goal of learning kills the game; the playing is stressed and lost. Supposedly there is a dichotomy, a contradiction between learning and playing freely. Learning and work should cost, be painful. Otherwise there is neither work nor learning. This is the same dichotomy that assumes that one must overcome something bad in the child, such as laziness or selfishness. The autonomous play, however, naturally leads to the pursuit of pleasure, relaxation, and kindness towards oneself and therefore to discover by experience how pleasant it is to trust oneself. In a sense, why do we expect there should be learning? We fear that the child will not adapt to society (and in reality it is that fear that we teach). In another sense, free of expectations, learning happens lovingly. Or it doesn't even happen! Because it was already inside, you know what I'm saying?
According to Claudio Naranjo, education today creates mediocrity and idiots. It corresponds to a paternal (patriarchal) education, in which the severe father demands. This creates tension and guilt. There is no mothering. Educators are people with a maternal vocation who love children. But they are academized. Education is supposed to be "learning things about the outside world". The conditioned person no longer even knows that he has lost his freedom.
Naranjo adds that education is the most obsolete of our institutions; it has not changed at all in 2 centuries. (However, I personally do not believe that the solution is the evolution or progress of our institutions, but deconstruction). Naranjo calls it the "Mysterious Obsolescence of Education", because it is very difficult to explain. Is it because of bureaucratic inertia? Lack of wisdom? Seems like a secret thing that keeps it that way. Today's education is to conform, to adapt to a sick society.
We call ourselves "Homo Sapiens", as if knowing was the most important thing. Is it more important to know than to love? Without power, propaganda or money, there is no preaching or teaching, just inter-being. Whatever it is, it's allowed to be. Every creature has permission to be, in the absence of power structures.
The assumption is that we are evil but we are divine and do not realize it. One example is laws: the need to avoid the bad. "I have to do the good stuff." It represents a loss of freedom and self-love. In order to obey duty, one must disobey the inner feeling.
As adults we are carriers of a hardness: society is obligatory. And the function we have in front of children is to transmit culture. "When we meet our children, we must exercise a certain amount of violence, because we don't know how to do it better". The child is born free and is gradually conditioned through fear. Claudio believes that it is possible to punish in a loving way. However, I think the bottom line is that one (parent or teacher) has unmanaged, unprocessed anger, perhaps not allowed.
A great temptation is to say, "I command here". Repressing is a refuge, because it hurts us deeply that children suffer. We feel guilty. We somehow know that children suffer when they perceive the doubt within us, so we desperately seek the closest state to no-doubt that we know, which can be "here I command". But there comes a moment when our soul demands a deeper freedom, in which the patch is not enough to replace the real experience of absence of doubt.
Adults do not measure well how much children's lives are affected by a childhood of excessive seriousness and reprimand. We were all resented, wounded from our childhood of lack of love. In short, we are all victims of a sick society. Civilization is a response to human trauma.
The story of Separation - a cultural and neuronal story - is the very antagonist of holism. A story that is interesting because it is unconscious, profound, and contains a myriad of cultural beliefs that are worth questioning. It is a story that begins as I said before with conceiving the Self as a discreet and separate individual Being, surrounded by otherness. In this story, curiously through the centuries, we learned or were conditioned to perceive life through the lenses of Separation. We learned as great learners that we are (we love to learn) to use our mind, our intelligence and reasoning in a separate way. In this sense, we live the imperialism of logical and linear intelligence (patriarchal), certainly only one form of intelligence among many, but the only legitimate one in our modern culture.
The logical and linear intelligence is precisely the separate intelligence (to deepen in this subject see my essay Human Reason, among others). For example, the scientific method considers the observer and object under observation as two separate entities. In short, separate intelligence objectifies life and seems to limit human experience to a linear, Cartesian experience in a time and space of otherness.
According to Wikipedia, "holistic education is based on science". I believe that through this, a rejection of religious dogmas and adherence to a more rigorous search for truth is expressed in the holistic sphere. Also, it is probably a defense strategy against the establishment that quickly discards any alternative idea due to its supposed lack of seriousness. Of course we are interested in the seriousness and rigor of science as seekers of truth or as any human explorer of life. However, a truly holistic education cannot be based on conventional science if it is to be called holistic. Real holistic education requires real holistic science.
Conventional, western science is not holistic because it accepts the imperialism of logical reason, separate, as the only form of valid intelligence, ignoring its limitations. Conventional science is not holistic because it conceives the observer and the observed phenomenon as two separate entities, not as a whole. Conventional science is not holistic because it assumes that there is an external, descriptive, impartial, impersonal reality in a Cartesian space-time plane and subject to change only by Newtonian forces.
A holistic science, on the other hand, will understand reality as a non-linear phenomenon, never fully depictable (it is rather an absurd illusion to try hard to describe it), and entirely linked and intertwined with the inner reality of people, and of course the observer.
By the way, truth is an emotional phenomenon. And reality has to do, in a dance that is neither empirical nor verifiable, with the will of the being.
This will is not what we know culturally: it was broken and we are barely recovering it.
As a society, we are gradually becoming aware of the immense violence, damage and legacy of trauma that patriarchy is leaving in us. Many of our attempts to re-construct a new reality fail because we continue to carry the cultural-neuronal story of patriarchy within us. We continue to perceive ourselves as individual beings, separated. We continue, for example, to try to find a solution to the problem through the use of linear logic, through the force of reason or evidence. But that quest limits the search to places where the solution does not dwell: we have to free our mind, our neural habits beyond the linear logic and the limits of the possible. Limits that are plain cultural beliefs but that we have accepted as unquestionable truths, as hard as a rock.
Distrust and the need to control the space of Otherness are natural responses for the modern individual who sees himself as a discreet being separated from life. What guarantee can there be that life will not follow a hostile course towards me? Consequently, in this story it is necessary and normal to control children, just as we exercise control over ourselves, just as we exercise control over the forces of nature, for example in agriculture or medicine. Distrust in life is the same as distrust in oneself, and therefore distrust in the child. Mistrust of his or her innate goodness, mistrust of his or her capacity for autonomy, mistrust of his or her freedom.
Towards A Holistic Pre-School Education
The holistic, integral education that I would like to see born, is the education that is born of deconstructing our culture of separation. The founding principles of this education are as follows:
First of all, whenever we get ready to talk about it, it is inseparable to include our own feelings, our emotionality, our inner search intimately related to the opportunity to investigate and visualize a holistic education. If we are not holistic in our means we will never be holistic in our goals. (That's why I started by including my feelings about my son). We cannot reflect meaningfully, holistically, on education as if it were an external matter, entirely depictable on an impersonal, cold and logical blackboard.
Principle of unity, inter being of all life. Everything is united, "we are all one". That's why we're talking about holistic education.
Respect and trust in the divine center of every human being, of course every child. Education is about leading from the inside out.
As good and bad is one, then the One is full. There is no need to eradicate evil in the child. Nor in ourselves. The child and every human being is made of complete goodness, there is no need to improve it.
Life is fully wonderful; there is no need to improve it. If we do not embrace this vision in our hearts, our capacity to educate will invariably entail violence, the violence of transmitting to the child that life cannot be trusted.
Pre-school education is the education the child receives in his or her first years of life (0-6). This is not an education that prepares for the school stage, but rather has its own characteristics as it prepares the child for life. This is known to be a very important stage in a child's development for a variety of reasons. I'm going to propose something very radical. I would say that this stage is fundamental because it is the stage in which domestication occurs: the breaking down of the child's own will, or the inculcation to distrust oneself and rather to submit (in many cases) or trust (in the best of cases) in the authority of the adult. Coincidentally, it is at this stage where the greatest incidence of tantrums occurs, for me a pure manifestation of the human soul that refuses to accept an adult world without freedom.
As Humberto Maturana says, "the future of humanity is not the children, it is ourselves with whom children are transformed in cohabitation". We transform ourselves together in cohabitation. "To love educates" because to love is to let others appear, listening to them, without denying them. How can we recover our capacity to love if we ourselves were taught to obey (deny ourselves)? It has to be in a way that it is not violent against oneself.I sense that in order to build a holistic education we have to become one with the trauma that the education of separation left in us. This is something very personal to me; it's discovering how a traumatic childhood is both a gift and a blessing. Just one. Of the multiple manifestations and variants of childhood trauma, in my experience there is one key or central trauma which is the breaking of the child's will. Claudio Naranjo says that we need to recover our childhood pain and our childhood anger, to process them and be whole again.
The breaking of the child's will occurs with or without violence. When it is with violence, the child learns through fear. But you can also bend it without apparent violence. In both cases, the child is domesticated, learning that he or she must adapt to the world as adults propose it. Learn that you should trust adults more than your own inner guidance. This is an atrocious damage, of course, but at the same time I can anticipate that there is no damage.
The term "school" comes from ancient Greek σχολή (skholḗ). Curiously the original meaning in Greek was tranquility, free time, which later derived to what is done during free time. For young children, above all, school should be a place of tranquility, freedom, and play. There, without interference, their ways of relating to the world can emerge from the inside out. In this way, we do not even need to teach them to trust themselves, but we simply do not teach them otherwise.
Inside the cultural-neuronal story of Separation, the ideas that spring from a different cultural-neuronal story - the holistic story of Inter-being - are heard in the only possible way that they make sense within the story of Separation. (Unless a process of cultural deconstruction occurs). For example, the invitation to trust in life, or the invitation to consider that instead of being individuals, we 'inter-are', are evaluated as irrational invitations, or at best, invitations to be better people. That is why I insist that this is not about becoming a better person, and that the primary postulate of a holistic view of life and education is that the human being is fully good and does not need to improve himself. Of course, the rational mind will have very good reason to discuss this idea. Same that only makes sense once you deconstruct the neuronal and cultural story, a very deep process. In other words, this is an invitation to inter-reflect with the heart. What if we're inter-beings? What if there is a different story that explains in us what we now call evil, lies, laziness, etc.? What if all the harmful, sick, toxic or unpleasant manifestations of the human being arise, not from our innate evil or original sin, but from the lack of love for ourselves, arise from the trauma of ignoring fraternal love, from doubting that we are a legitimate creature of creation?
“You cannot dismantle the master’s house using the master’s tools” said Afro-feminist Audre Lorde. The system cannot be dismantled using the same tools that were used to build it. To create something truly new is not enough to improve our ethical intentions and change our goals; it is necessary to change our methodology, that is, the underlying story we inhabit. For example, peace cannot be built through war. You cannot build holism from separation. Freedom cannot be educated if freedom is an external concept to the child, which responds to prejudices, conditions, theories or assumptions.
In the story of separation, every search for a solution to our problems limits us to an endless war against evil in others and in ourselves. In the holistic story of the inter being, new alternatives emerge. In education it is very simple: the message to tell the child "you are a legitimate creature, just as you are. Free. We want to hear you out". And to tell the child that message, we need to tell it to ourselves.
We don't really know where we're going as a civilization. It is urgent to have the courage, humility and sincerity to acknowledge this. Then there is no point in educating for what is already known, or pre-established. We need to give ourselves permission to educate our children and ourselves for the unknown in freedom. As Ken Robinson says, we face an uncertain and unpredictable future like never before. As long as we're afraid of being wrong, we can't do anything original. However, our innate nature is immense creativity. Maturana says that children don´t have intelligence problems, they have emotional problems. We are all intelligent, only that our intelligences are diverse and do not meet linear standards.
We do not really know where we are going, in any case we would have to accept that as a civilization we are destroying life, destroying beauty, self-destructing, stubbornly "progressing" towards the abyss. If we were sincere and rigorous with the truth we would have to accept this, and accept that in so far as possible there is no complete solution, only patches. If we were rigorous with the truth (at least this is my truth), we would have to conclude that there is no alternative but to trust life. Because trusting in life is a paradigm shift and this opens up new possibilities that were previously impossible. There is real hope. That is why the invitation to trust in life is not a call to become a better person, it is because there is no alternative. Do you realize that?
Similarly, the invitation to contemplate a holistic, inter being vision of life is not an invitation to become a better person. It's not that I have to accept responsibility or blame for being a bad person like Donald Trump, for example. There is no alternative but to acknowledge that we are all one. It is not a cliché or a call to goodness. Why is that? Because if we continue to perceive ourselves separated, we will necessarily continue in war against something or someone. And no matter how hard we try and however pure our intentions may be, we will never be able to create a different story. If we separate the good from the bad, invariably, whether we like it or not, we will separate our children between the good and the bad, separate each child part good and part bad. Invariably we will be judging, punishing and rewarding them, invariably we will be educating them to distrust themselves. In this way it will not be possible to educate for freedom and autonomy.
As long as there is a separation between the good and the bad, there is a duty. The duty to do good. The duty to obey the laws and authority. In order to obey the external duty, one must disobey the internal feeling, and this is how mistrust in oneself is cultivated. But evil is evil will tell the mind! How are we going to let someone hurt someone else? If the universe is one, it is and has always been impossible for the universe to harm itself. This is like learning to read again.
Or, from another point of view, it's not about putting yourself in hypothetical situations. No one is saying that if you accept inter-being or trust in life you necessarily have to be permissive of someone's abuse. Avoid it if you want, in the here and now that is all there is. Nor am I saying that it is necessary to abolish all control standards (based on good/bad distinction). If my slogan were to defeat the institution of norms, I would be at war again. I could not separate myself from separation if I separate myself from separation.
With or without norms, cohabitation educates and this just happens by itself. We all like to do things well. It gives us pleasure. No one likes to do things wrong, neither the teacher nor the child. Then there's no point in judging "bad behavior". If she does "bad" is because she doesn't know, and she needs to learn it in coexistence. Nobody likes to obey. We all like to collaborate. Obedience is the denial of self. If the learning comes from oneself, it takes place with a very deep satisfaction.
It is possible to tell this story. Being separated from the universe and from other beings, surrounded by otherness, the individual distrusted the goodness of life. Why could those around me be there in my favor? At best the medium will be indifferent, but perhaps hostile to me. When he distrusted the universe and all those around him as strange beings, he distrusted himself (obviously because all this is part of himself). Then the biblical version of this appeared: he came with original sin. With factory failures. And how that made him suffer. So he wanted to reject the violent imposition of religion, and he decided to believe in logical reason. "I think thus I exist," according to Descartes. And he became an intellectual. Without realizing it, he continued to carry in his DNA and neurons, in his way of perceiving life, the belief of the original sin, that there is something wrong with him. That there are good and bad and he must overcome evil in others or in himself.
Some of us became anti-capitalists and our enemies, formerly the devil, sins and hell, became neoliberal capitalism, greedy and unscrupulous transnationals, and corrupt governments (on this subject see the complete look in The Space for a New Way of Thinking Economics). We didn't realize that in those battles we've always been fighting ourselves. Others became spiritual and our war simply changed enemies, which became our own ego. Always at war, and always the main violence has been against oneself. Believing, whether we like it or not, there is something wrong with ourselves.
As we ease that violence, the original violence of all (and we have to do it together otherwise it would not be holistic), we can finally stop emitting violence, restriction, repression, doubt, mistrust towards our children. From our own trust in life it naturally follows trusting our children. What a beauty to imagine. All the creativity of our precious, divine children, finally liberated, just as our own has waited for centuries.
I have thought that we really take our children to school not so much because of the education they receive, but because we can't be with them at the same time as we dedicate ourselves to our life, or to our work. I think the sincere truth may be that we feel overwhelmed by them when we want to dedicate ourselves to a task that does not include them. I think that in reality we are sometimes hindered from carrying out a specific task, in which we care about effectiveness, the time it takes, the concrete or measurable results of our task. A task that of course we envision as separate from the task of accompanying our children (with good reasons!). Our need for concrete and measurable results, our need for control, easily becomes obsession or neurosis. It has to do with the same mistrust of life. But well, the honest truth is, we need whatever we need. I do not propose to overcome our need for control, let alone repress it, only to conceive that there are other inconceivable possibilities.
How to care for children when one child is excluded or abused by another? (Not only the excluded child needs to be cared for. Support them to discover and trust their own inner guidance, through their feelings, which will always lead them in the right direction. But this is an ideal that does not include the adult's emotionality and his own need for expression and deconstruction. Perhaps our anger and the powerlessness of not conceiving why a child can act so meanly as to exclude or abuse another child. Our terrible fear that the excluded child will be harmed, that he will truly believe it in his soul when another child calls him "stupid"... It is both absurd and interesting that we always want to know "what we have to do". We want someone to tell us, or some theory to establish it. That's what we've learned, that's what we know how to do: follow an external guide. In reality, any education is good if it takes care of the child's joie de vivre. Relevant changes in life happen when there is an important feeling that occurs through an experience. The truth is emotional. There is very little that happens through intellectual conviction. More important than knowing what to do, it is that we transform ourselves by cohabitation, children and adults. And I believe that in this coexistence the key is to recognize, remember and recover our inner child.
Let's say the girl doesn't want to put on a coat when it's very cold. We are forced (after exhausting all dialogue) to bend her will. Sometimes patiently (we won't go out until you put on your coat). Sometimes by physical force (simply putting the coat against her will). We may not even be angry at all (at best), but we still break down her own will, and the child suffers immensely. Sometimes it seems that the child really wants to attack us, with all his will. We are forced, with good reason, to restrict-break down his will.
What's to be done about tantrums? Again, the deeper answer is that the question be allowed to deconstruct. We transform ourselves by cohabitation. There is no solution, so there can be. The tantrums of children hurt. The child who walks into a "constant scream that when I want to talk to him or ask him what he needs, he screams louder at me and hides my voice. And when I don't interfere and let him unload so that he can speak more calmly, he searches for me with a scream all over the house. Just for that, so I can hear his scream. After a while I have the feeling that he no longer remembers why he is angry. Until the time comes when we can put it into words... but for that moment we are all exhausted and anguished..." (Account of a mother). There is no solution, so there can be.
Does a child think he is the most important thing in the universe and loses all empathy for others? I feel that in the macro cultural context, our children have every right, absolutely EVERY right to make tantrums, which are the deepest expression of pain of the human soul. The saddest thing is when the child stops having tantrums because it means that he has settled in, that he is satisfied with the half-hearted reality offered by the adult world... although in his soul he will always know that this is not the case.
Tantrums are said to be normal in a child's growth. They might be normal, but they're not natural! They wouldn't be necessary if our adult world were healthy. Something tells me in my guts that it shouldn't be like this. At the same time, it is fine that this is the case in this world in transition.
When we imagine a healthy life I feel that we are satisfied with little. The trauma of having had our will broken is very great. The happiness that awaits us, our divine right, is plentiful.  It can be said that way, if "there is a reality". In other words, it is our inner decision to want to love. Whether the child is made of goodness or not, we can look at him unconditionally in pure goodness.