Spoiled Child

The Spoiled Child

Jean-Baptiste Greuze – Spoiled Child – 1760’s


MASTER DA: The situation you had adapted to emotionally, sexually all your life was the one of getting attention, being fed by attention and kept alive by attention, not having it demanded of you in the full sense, but just casually in the ordinary pleasurable way, not fully. You were never obliged to bring more feeling attention than was essentially brought to you. You weren’t required to bring it, to love in the absence of love and so you became very dependent on that. And as a child, that supportive feeding kind of attention from others has a function. But if that becomes your position in the world, your self-image, your way of existing, then when you’re an adult, it becomes un-love, the inability to love, the inability, fundamentally, to exceed the amount of attention you require.

You have to be a center of the feeling attention of others. Your ability to be that sacrifice yourself is crippled because you weren’t able to deal with the kind of thing that’s subtly present in your relationship with your father, where there isn’t a high level of energy that you can depend on. You can assume that it’s somehow secretly here, but it’s not here to be depended on and even what is there can be withdrawn. You never really adapted to your father. You had romantic others, romantic men, illusory men, who were full of that energy that was more like your mother’s energy.

So the lesson is that that is simply your childish pattern to be the worshipped one, the fed center of the universe because it leaves you only casually related to everyone else, it doesn’t make you responsible as love. It makes you the center of the love of others. It doesn’t permit you to adapt responsibly as a human being. Being fed is perhaps good in many ways during the early stage of life, the early phases of one’s growth, but you must be made to realize your responsibility emotionally and functionally in the world long before you start arbitrarily becoming active in those functions. You were still infantile, dependent when you became sexually active. You were still parented while you were having all kinds of boyfriends. It was an unreal situation. You’re still a dependent person but you’re in the situation of a woman. The realities to you are all books and subject matter and poetry and romantic illusions because as a center of consciousness and energy you were never required to be responsible. You were always kept in the dependent situation.

You didn’t come out of the dependent situation until the day you got married. Then you were dependent on somebody else. And you maintained essentially the same psychological connection with your parents. So the demand that comes out of infinity for You to be the center of love, to bring attention and energy outward was never fully felt by you because the consolation, the support of the energy and attention of others, human beings was always there. When it’s withdrawn, withheld, or minimized that’s when you get anxious. When you came here, the game on which you depended was interrupted, transformed in various ways to create a space in which to put you in the natural anxiety that is appropriate when you are falsely made an immortal by the attention of others. You were not required to recognize your own mortality, your own position and the real position of the others who you thought were full of love. You watch, they’ll start getting sick and dying. You never were required to make your connection with the Infinite. You were made infantile, depending on what can not last, like parents.

So you never moved into the third stage of life where you had to be responsible as a center of feeling-attention for all of your functions. You remained irresponsible for all of your functions because you were kept in the parental bond, but you exploited your various functions, your possibilities in the world. You lived in the world like everybody else does, but always supported by this parental thing, supported by the qualities the game you learned that kept you the center of attention.

You have got to come to the point where you are strong enough as yourself to be love without all the supportive baloney, the illusions. You must be able to Love at Infinity without anything making you comfortable enough to be that way from outside. In other words, do not love because you are the center of attention from outside, but because of your Communion, your intuition of the condition in which you are not dependent on parents and other consoling beings that keep you infantile, self-directed, and in which the world remains unreal to you. You see, that is what makes you “peculiar.” You are active in the world, but it’s basically unreal because it’s not something to which you have adapted. It’s adapted to you.

So I’ve given you obligations that keep your attention in your own physical reality, the reality of your relations and the needs of other people. And the proof of your having gotten this lesson will be when you are fully responsible for your own feeling, energy, attention, love. When it’s not interrupted by the relative presence or absence of attention from me or from others in this moment.

So everyone winds up being dependent in exactly the way you characterized yourself by experience. You became it on the basis of continuous feeding, essentially unbroken attention, and feel ing and caring, nurturing, protecting, psychologically and even in the worldly ways. In other words, you developed the same disposition that everyone else did who described a negative incident as being fundamental to their adaptation.

So. as I’ve been saying, it happens in every case; if there weren’t an incident of betrayal, it would have been invented. In other words, every individual is determined to be an individual. Every individual becomes Narcissus regardless of the circumstances. Everybody’s worried about providing positive circumstances for their children so they won’t become degraded personalities and so forth, but it doesn’t make any difference which way you play it, ultimately. The same strength is required of everyone when they come to that third stage of life. It’s just as difficult for everyone because what there is to be overcome is not negative incidents, positive incidents are just as much an obstacle when you must mature. What there is to be overcome is your own lovelessness, your own recoil upon yourself, the contraction of feeling attention in your own case.

You develop the typical ego position by being essentially worshipped by the feeling attention of others. Others here have described coming to that exact same position based on apparent rejection, the withdrawal of feeling attention from others, but it wound up being the same dilemma, the same ego, the same Narcissistic suffering.

Essentially, then, each of you will describe, or does describe a different history, though yours in particular is not characterized by betrayal in any heavy sense. As a matter of fact your parents are very interested in maintaining the same feeding relationship to you. But, it doesn’t make any difference if the child receives a lot or receives nothing, he’s going to develop the same characteristic egoic disposition by the end of the second stage of life. You see, the development of responsibility for the egoic contraction is simply part of our evolution through the stages of life e. It’s not a metaphysically negative event. It happens in every case. It must happen in every case. It’s part of your adaptation to being a born individual. And having been integrated, incarnated, physically and emotionally, you must come to the point of responsibility for that. And that’s what the third stage of life is leading to the fourth stage when you are stably present as love or feeling attention regardless of the conditions in which you are present in the moment.

So, whether deprived children or upper middle class dandy punks, all wind up the same way in their fourteenth year or so. In other words, when you’ve been familiarized with the physical and emotional context of life. and you’ve incarnated as an individual, you are Narcissus. You are bound to feed upon the conditions of existence and be frustrated by the absence of that feeding. You’re already in isolation. You have already differentiated yourself. You’re already committed to the avoidance of relationship as the technique of existence regardless of your history.

Now there are, clearly, positive and negative factors in one’s history even though everyone winds up being the ego, Narcissus, in the third stage of life; there are still better ways for a child or an individual to adapt to this world and there are less optimum ways, clearly. But relative to the primal matter, all are equally deprived or fulfilled because all wind up being Narcissus. It’s the turn about from that that the third stage of life is really all about and the transition to the fourth stage.

In the third stage you realize your individuation completely and at the same time submit it through feeling-attention to Communion with the Real.

In the third stage you realize your individuation completely and at the same time submit it through feeling-attention to Communion with the Real.

So, it is in this third stage of life wherein this sexual consideration and education occurs that we are involved in at the present time here, responsibility for the ego, the contraction of the whole body-being, the avoidance of relationship, essential lovelessness.