Father, Father... Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?
by Daniel Jacob
Just as I completed a series of articles for CNE called "Dealing With Spiritual Emergency," America sunk its teeth into another one and bit down hard. The Virginia Tech Massacre was a shock to us all. It contained all the "highlights" (or should I say "lowlights") that an injured nation requires, not only to build a host of compelling news stories, but also to awaken people once again to the crying need that moves all around us, a need that pretty much goes unnoticed and unaddressed.
The essence of Fatherhood is initiative, wisdom, and provision for daily need. The essence of Motherhood is sensitivity, hospitality, and nurturing for heart and soul. These are roles, not people. In a Oneness Economy, each person carries his own set of "parents" inside, without respect to gender. But in Separation, there always seems to be someone or something missing, some VOID we are seeking to fill.
Right now, humanity is vacillating back and forth between Oneness and Separation perspectives. The Reconnections refer to this as "Phase Shifting." We focus HERE, then we focus THERE…trying to decide who and what we are. Eventually, we find a middle ground, where a harmonization of qualities can take place. When that blend occurs, a new "here" and "there" develops, a spiraling, in and out, of various traits, abilities, and behaviors.
This guy who shot up Virginia Tech was reported to have been a "lone wolf." No matter how you approached him, it was very difficult to truly make contact. There are counselors who refer to this kind of situation as an "attachment disorder." Though it still seems a bit early to glean serious insights about the origin of this young man's actions, we do have his words, left behind in a video that was sent to the media during his killing siege. It was a tirade against class consciousness in America, concentrated wealth in small portions of society, and "spoiled rich kids"... who we can only assume were among his classmates.
I am focusing on Father stuff right now, but I want to follow that with something about Mom, too. She's been missing for ages, even though there are physical women in this world who carry her title. I am speaking, of course, about the Divine Feminine. We all miss that element, whether we are aware of it or not. But for now, I wish to talk about the dynamics existing between Man and Woman, Father-Mother, and Father-Child.
Lovers, Partners, Custodians
In spite of best intentions, something happens to two people when they shift their relationship from being lovers to being life partners. Something else happens when life partners become custodians - either for a business, or for the raising of children. I'll leave it to the individuals involved to determine whether that's a good thing or a not-so-good thing. Choices are made and priorities are set. If the "rules" are not agreed upon mutually or collectively - someone ends up angry and disappointed.
Helen Rowland was a prolific journalist in her day, famous for pithy sayings about marriage. Two of her most insightful quotes on the subject are:
"A husband is what's left of a lover once the nerve has been extracted."
"Failing to be there when a man wants her is woman's greatest sin, except for being there when he doesn't want her."
So the first "Why has thou forsaken me?" a man hears may just spring from the lips of his wife. Once upon a time, he couldn't wait to get home and put his arms around her. Then comes a day when he stumbles in the door, throws down his briefcase, pours a drink, and loses himself in the evening paper.
In over 20 years of dealing with people in stress - married people, parents, business owners - the one thing that surprises me most is how many still cling to the notion that this situation could or should be different. There is what’s IDEAL, and then there is what tends to be REAL.
Haven’t we ever heard of General Rule #471? “Familiarity Breeds Contempt”
Is it any wonder that five, six, seven years into a marriage people tend to realign their energies away from the “passion pit” of first love, and center their connection on other endeavors, whether that be business, hobbies, or family? Perhaps, in order to sidestep the “contempt” part, they simply learn (as Kahlil Gibran so aptly put it) “ to make spaces in their togetherness.”
When a lover becomes a husband, he has a trust to uphold. When children come along, that trust becomes even more pronounced. He is to initiate, gain insight, uphold the family and provide. In today's world, those tasks can be all-consuming. But even if they aren't, many husbands and fathers eventually back away. They remain aloof from more "personal" aspects of life because what once was done freely, out of choice, has become obligation. And obligation stretches some people’s love to the max. Many loves are just not that strong.
In my view, the underlying problem here is not merely generated by the lovers themselves. It is a product of the relationship format we have all created to hold society together. That format is primarily focused on our pocketbooks rather than our hearts. More about that in later articles.
Sins of the Father
As we move our relationship focus from Husband/Wife to the Father/Son Dynamic, I am reminded of a news story that was shown on CNN recently, called “The Sins of the Father.” It was centered around the life experience of one of CNN’s anchors, Thomas Roberts, who spoke out in a segment of “Anderson Cooper 360,” to openly discuss his childhood sexual molestation at the hands of a Roman Catholic Priest. Now 33, Roberts could remain silent no more.
I won’t go into all the details here, because the “priest-molester” dynamic is getting pretty familiar by now. What I found most interesting in this story was Roberts’ detailing of how it all began. Apparently, when he was in seventh grade, his parents divorced. It was a traumatic event, which left young Thomas feeling emotionally empty and alone. This emptiness was built upon the expectation that parents and families SHOULD remain together. And when things don't work out, there is a great sense of betrayal that is felt in many quarters of society.
From what I heard in the interview, Thomas’ natural Father left the scene and Mom took over control of the home. Feeling understaffed for such an endeavor, she jumped at the offer of having a beloved local priest step in, and conduct counseling sessions with her son. When he first entered their lives, the priest was a knight in shining armor. Before long, however, the "counseling" began to segue into other activities. Because "Father Foley" was so loved and trusted in the neighborhood, the young man was hesitant to accuse him. He was also quite overwhelmed and confused.
The producers of this story did well in creating a play on words: “The Sins of the Father.” A Catholic Priest misuses divine trust to satisfy his prurient needs. It only makes sense, right? But what about the “sins” of the Father who left the family in the first place? Having started a journey with this young boy, did Dad find something else more appealing than sticking around and seeing his son through the challenges that arise as a boy grows to manhood?
I don’t bring any of this up to shame the father. Nor would I even want to shame the priest. Lord knows, shame already plays a big enough role in that man's life. What “fatherly” needs went unaddressed for him that he might end up a molester? Such VOIDS have a way of moving through a person’s life, like a fog, bending and shaping human personality in deep and (sometimes) irretrievable ways.
My real focus here is upon the SOCIAL SYSTEMS which dictate ROLES and RESPONSIBILITIES for individuals, whether or not the people involved have the desire or ability to carry them out.
I speak about that, in detail, in my two series called "The Imagine Nation," and "A Child-Friendly Society." The insertion of religious dogma into these issues further complicates things. It takes what might be a helpful, loving relationship with God and turns it into a police state. "Do this or God will punish you," is the implication. And if God doesn't seem to back up the threat, then churches and governments try to step in. But let’s look at things from the side of the kids. How would it make a kid feel to know that God or the Law has to make his parents care for him? What does he conclude about himself?
Lives of Quiet Desperation
I recently encountered a movie that speaks to these questions in a big way. It’s called "The United States of Leland." It's the story of a young man with an amazingly clear mind and a hopelessly jaded heart. This is becoming a natural condition for many young people these days. They see, they hear, they carry no illusions. And they also possess little power to deal with how their lives are run. You either conform or fail. Those who refuse to move into “The Big Chill" that their Baby Boomer parents did, eventually harden into solemn, seething furnaces of resentment and despair.
Leland P. Fitzgerald (played by Ryan Gosling) is just such a kid, the son of a famous author (Kevin Spacey). His home, like that of Thomas Roberts, was also broken. His relationship to Dad was non-existent.
The movie begins with a murder. Leland takes a knife and kills a young Developmentally Disabled boy, the brother of his girlfriend. No one seems to understand why it happened, just as few people really understand what made Seung Hui-Cho shoot all those people at Virginia Tech. But Leland gets to be more articulate than Cho. And he has an ally in the movie, a counselor who tries to reach out to him while the boy awaits trial. Their primary interview goes like this:
Counselor: (pointing to a bookshelf in the counseling room) Do you like (Robert) Frost?
Leland: I know what you want from me.
C: I just thought you wanted somebody to talk to.
L: It's the same thing they want from the trial. You want a "why." Well...maybe there isn't one. Maybe this is just something that happened.
C: (Watching the boy pull a journal from his backpack) What are you writing about?
L: Just how I see the world. How do you see the world?
C: Full of possibilities. I think that good things abound… positive things. What about you?
L: Hmm... I think there's two ways to see it. The ones like what you say...where life's okay. Maybe stuff's wrong but you don't see it.
C: What's the other way?
L: When you see what's really there. It's always there, even when stuff looks good. When kids are playing, couples are kissing and junk,it's in all that stuff, but mostly people just look right through it.
C: What's the "it?" I mean, what don't they see?
L: Just how everything's always slipping away. How everyone's always kinda dying inside... how sad everybody really is...
C: And seeing things this way makes you feel sad?
L: It doesn't make me feel much of anything...
C: We're only human, man...
L: It's funny how people say that only when they do something bad. You never hear someone say 'I'm only human' after they rescue a kid from a burning building...
C: It's part of life.
L: When I said before that I didn't feel much of anything, I kinda lied. Mostly, I keep it out.
C: And when you can't?
L: It covers my eyes. It's just all I can see. When I look at a baseball game I see the kid over in the corner who they won't let play because he tells corny jokes. And no one thinks they're funny. Or, I see a boy and a girl in love, kissing, you know, and I just see that they're gonna be one of those sad old couples one day who just cheats on each other and can't look each other in the eye. And I feel it. I feel all of their sadness. Only I feel it far worse than that sad old couple or that corny kid will ever feel it.
The conversation continues....and Leland moves from personal disclosure to questioning his Counselor about conflicts going on in his own life. At first, the man balks at this, and then realizes that you just can't deal with alert kids like Leland and hide behind a shield of professional detachment or authority. And so, two souls open a bit to each other, by artistic design, of course, and we, the audience, get a chance to see inside something that rarely meets the light of day.
Leland P. Fitzgerald is not the first kid to murmur in his heart: “Father, Father, why hast thou forsaken me?” And he won’t be the last. I saw a bumper sticker the other day that said: “In a war economy, EVERY child gets left behind.” But Iraq is not the only war being fought in the world today. Fathers, Mothers, Kids…we all fight wars, everywhere we go. And who must be “responsible” for the outcomes, and who gets to slide?
Next segment, we’ll continue to explore reasons why Father hides, or backs away. Your comments and questions are welcome.
© 2007, Daniel Jacob
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Daniel Jacob is a conscious channel, writer, and a Bio-Energetic Body Worker who lives in the Greater Seattle area. He owns and operates Myo-Rehab Therapy Associates - a multi-therapy clinic - in Kirkland, Washington, which specializes in muscular rehabilitation, stress management, and personal transition work. He has been in practice for 22 years. On 11/11/91, he began working with a group of energies that called themselves "The Reconnections." Daniel has developed a complete archive of information that has come through them on a number of relevant topics. Daniel and his Associates have been doing research with people around the world, collating data and comparing notes on the topics of Physical Transmutation and Earth Changes. He has produced a 2-Part CD, on which he explains the story of "The Star Children" in depth. He calls it a "tonal infusion for the New Age." For more information about Daniel and his work visit www.thestarchildren.com,