| The inside-out point of view of human development is based on a faith in biology, whereas the outside-in point of view is based on a faith in technology. The reason my chapter is subtitled 'or (better) on not turning development outside-in in the first place' is that I believe industrialized societies have replaced faith in biology with faith in technology. We have much faith in biology for the first nine months of human development (most of us with the possible exception of first-time fathers accept the 'miracle' of birth with surprising equanimity). However, we then lose the faith, and assume that the child will not grow up right unless we poke and prod it around from the outside with our various inventions - machines and institutions.|
Joseph Pearce documents the damage done by our attempt to replace a faith in biology with a faith in technology with respect to child-rearing. Nature's plan for our children is that they evolve from the inside out through a series of known matrices which serves as secure bases for exploration of the unknown. Each transition from matrix to matrix - from womb to mother, from mother to world, from world to body, from body to mind - should be gentle, providing an optimal balance between the known-familiar and the unknown-unfamiliar.
The first transition from womb to mother - the process of birth - provides a dramatic illustration of the undermining of the predetermined inside-out plan by our outside-in technological interference. Mothers in traditional societies, without the dubious advantage of technology, provide their child with a gentle transition. Marcelle Gerber, with a research grant from the United Nations Children's Fund, discovered that children in Kenya and Uganda were calm, happy, alert and enormously intelligent. By contrast, birth in industrialized countries is a technological, profit-making event, with little respect for the integrity of the child and the participation of the mother, which lights the fuse of a psychic time bomb with untold subsequent damage.
This faith in biology extends beyond physical development to moral development. Most of us know, from our intimate sample of one, that we are basically good with superficial flaws and, through our capacity for empathy, that other people are basically good too. Kenneth Clark argues that most of our personal and social problems stem from the blocking of this natural empathy by culturally-acquired power drives.
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