From Jesus to Greta
It is highly significant that at each critical phase of our history a very young symbolic person appears to redirect the dominant preoccupations.
About two thousand years ago, one of the bases of our cultural conditioning was the power of the “Father”, be it the God Father or the “Pater familias”. Let us recall this high significant authoritative commandment: “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house, or your neighbour’s wife, or your neighbour’s male or female servant, or his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to him”. It is in such a context that the high priests in the temple attentively listened to the twelve-year-old Jesus who was redirecting their preoccupations by talking about the importance of love.
Today the most “serious” decision makers are still dominated by international economic and diplomatic issues, trade deals, trade wars, and armed conflicts, while powerful billionaires are dreaming of colonising space. In such a context, the voice of a teenager, speaking on behalf of the next generations, has been heard all over the world. Her message is simple: The health of Planet Earth is the priority.
What next? It is urgent to reach a new step and phrase the most crucial question about possible transformations of the members of our species: how to develop the respect for “Mother Earth” as a facet of love? In the current scientific context, we are in a position to understand that the period surrounding birth is critical. Furthermore, there is a sudden accumulation of reasons to consider the socialisation of childbirth as a component of the domination of nature that started about ten thousand years ago with the “Neolithic revolution”. We must be aware of the limits we have reached at a time when, at a global scale, for the first time in the history of mankind, love hormones have been made redundant in the period surrounding birth.
Any attempt to “desocialise” childbirth implies a real paradigm shift. This is why, to reach a new awareness, we need the voice of human beings in a special phase of their life or human beings with appropriate personality traits. As a general rule, until now, typical decision makers were male “normal” adults. A paradigm shift implies the need for individuals who are not dominated by a strong cultural conditioning.
It might be, for example, young mothers who challenged the advice of “serious” adults, isolated themselves to give birth, were transformed by this phase of their life and developed unusual ways of being and thinking. It might be individuals classified as insane, who dare to say what is unacceptable in the mouth of “normal” people: it is during the phase of his life when he was considered insane that Wilheim Reich, in his book “The Murder of Christ”, claimed that civilisation will start on the day when the well-being of newborn babies will prevail upon any other considerations. It might be authoritative people who are drunk: “In vino veritas”. Dying human beings usually go through a phase of reduced neocortical control and therefore weakened cultural conditioning. This is why we have lessons to learn from the last words of some of them. While dying, Karl Marx told his servant: “Go away!” The socialisation of death – like the socialisation of childbirth – is a facet of the domination of nature. A genuine poet, namely Francois Coppée, also had the capacity to subtly challenge a deep-rooted cultural conditioning by wondering if birds hide themselves to die: “Est ce que les oiseaux se cachent pour mourir?”