As a new life begins, in the swirling chaos and excitement of birth, the immediate impact on the consciousness of the parents and extended families is profound, although we often don’t recognize the radiant waves that ripple across our immediate world of consciousness, since we are caught up in the web of newborn childcare and the immediate needs of the child. In some ways, when my son was born, I was equally distracted by all of the responsibilities as most parents must be, but I made a particular effort to stop periodically and allow these radiant waves to wash over me and to take notice. The photo above was one such moment.
Holding my son’s tiny little foot in my hand was a moment I will never forget. I spent a fair amount of time in those early days relishing the moments I was able to hold my son, and although I hadn’t progressed very far in my study of consciousness at that time, I knew that this was not just a moment for a new father with his newborn son. This was something much more.
The birth itself was extraordinary in several ways, but most notably, as he entered the world, his umbilical cord was not stable and when the last big push brought him into the doctors hands, the cord “burst” open, spraying all of us in the vicinity with cord blood. I remember thinking to myself, “So THIS is why they give birth in the hospital!” Everyone in the room turned immediately to look at me, I suppose, assuming I would be falling off my chair next to the obstetrician, but I just looked back at them with a puzzled expression, as if to say, “What are you looking at me for?” After what seemed like an eternity, the first cries issued from my son’s lungs and I began to breathe normally myself.
There was an immediate sense of bonding with my son that seemed to take everyone by surprise. I delved headfirst into the care of my newborn child with great enthusiasm, and spent every available moment with him. I watched carefully for all the signs and signals of development, and learned everything I could about how to provide him with the optimal benefits. All of my children were special to me in this way, but I had a special connection to my son that I only realized many years after his birth. It was the awakening of consciousness within him that sparked such an intense interest in studying the blossoming of consciousness in the world, and the intensity of that experience was unique amongst all the siblings.
All of my children are dear to me, and each of them contributed to my understanding of the world and of how we become who we are and how becoming “conscious” is different for each of us. As the only boy, among five sisters, the focus was a little different with my son, and as a consequence of being the only son, I had to spend time differently with him in some ways, but what amazed me as time progressed was how much he seemed to mirror my own childhood experiences and how often there seemed to be an echo of me in him.
As he grew, at nearly every notable stop along the way, while he was clearly a different person, I never lost the sense of connection to him, and on the contrary, seemed to be watching the echo I spoke of become more pronounced and all indications were that there was something more between us that went beyond genes and chromosomes and family resemblance.
The photo above shows my father, on the right, myself on the left, and my son in the middle. In each image, we are enlisted men in the Army, we are all age twenty, and all preparing to go overseas. My father was twenty in 1944. I was twenty in 1973, and my son was twenty in 2002–exactly twenty nine years apart in every case. My grandfather was also 29 when my Dad was born, and my great-grandfather died at age 28…but would have been 29 when my grandfather was born had he survived. Talk about echoes!
My son just turned thirty (no children as yet) so the twenty-nine rule has been broken finally, but breaking the rules is ALSO a family tradition, so there are still plenty of echoes to come. The photo above is one I took of myself on my thirtieth birthday, and having a “thirty-something son” makes the image all the more compelling. He was a year old when I took it, and the thought of HIM turning thirty seemed impossibly far ahead in the future on that day.
These echoes reverberate through the years and represent a formidable link to the consciousness in the world. Materialists may wish to attribute all of these reverberations to genes and human physiology, but even just this brief look at the phenomenal resonance over generations of fathers and sons, in my view, speaks to a manifestation of a much more complex symbiosis. I’ll be elaborating on this aspect of the story again in a later posting.
8 thoughts on “Consciousness in the World: A Thirty Something Son”
This is a very beautiful post, John. I like how you weave your ideas about life and consciousness into the events of your own experience; it’s very powerful.
Thank you so much for your visit and for commenting. It is my hope to present my ideas in a way that correlates all of the various levels of thinking and experience that produce them. I feel strongly that ideas with potential–which ultimately have the best chance to gain even a degree of acceptance– generally have the benefit of at least some kind of perspective derived from related experience.
I am most grateful for your thought to share your response……John
Beautiful! These pictures and thoughts are profound. I remember thinking when my first child was born, I love you, immediately, and forever. And what “echoes” will be a part of your life? The circle of human life will go on, because of today. Awesome.
You really hit the nail on the head! The world only continues to exist for us all while there are enough of us nurturing and caring for each other. I think people generally don’t understand that, as a SPECIES, we need to be concerned about our fellow inhabitants of the planet more, and how important it is that we leave behind “echoes” which lift us up as a planetary society. At some point, the success or failure of all humanity may depend on each of our efforts NOW.
Thanks for visiting!……..John H.
what a wonderful book of steps….
my son is 34, in the AirForce ( I and my family were all Army, so it did surprise us
that he chose the Blue over the Green….)
I have a special relationship with him, and also his sister….we were parent child growing up, now we add friends, though I have to say I think we were always friends, we just separated it when it was necessary….
I remember as if yesterday the reaction to their births, there has never been another connection like it for me…I have wonderful grandchildren, but I see their connection with their parents different from me as a grandmother…
this post took me back…..I read it a few times….
yes…what great steps you have painted onto the pages…
Your comments have given me much encouragement to suppose that I may actually be progressing on the path to understanding. Each of us must ultimately arrive at our destination in understanding by whatever means we can manage, but parenting children with love may be one of the most illuminating of the many we might choose.
Your description of your relationship with your children and grandchildren, while unique to you in important ways, has elements in common with parents and grandparents everywhere, and I can easily imagine how your recollections of their births might seem “as if yesterday.” Oddly enough, by virtue of some extraordinary circumstances, I have been engaged in raising several of my grandchildren in their formative years, and have been amazed at how powerfully my instincts as a “father” have come into play with them, even though, as you say, the connection is different.
Your kind words and special attention to my writing are gifts, which are gratefully received, and much appreciated……..John H.
Can there be any greater love? Isn’t that why ancients began describing the Great Loving Source (by whatever name you prefer) as “Father”. Everyone would surely grasp the depth and breadth…
Loved the photo of your son’s little leg in your hand.
Thank you so much for your visit and for commenting. I spent some time today browsing through your blog and see that we have many ideas in common, although your expressions of those ideas are far richer, and run much deeper into the inner realm. I continue to write and search in earnest for the direction of my own path, but your kindness in reaching out to share your thoughts with me is a wonderful affirmation of our mutual efforts to arrive at a destination in understanding.
The one urgent thought that occurred to me upon reading your comment was how much I love my children, and how I might readily answer your question, “Can there be any greater love?” It seems so unlikely that I could love them more, but it started me to wondering about how much I have loved all those others in my life, including parents, siblings, extended family, and a handful of dearly beloved friends and lovers, for whom my love also feels enormously “great.”
Perhaps, the question might be more broadly framed to include all forms and manifestations of love by asking, “Can love be any greater?” However we love, and to whatever degree we love, the connection between two spirits who share love can blossom and grow, but all love is great, in my view.
I still get tears in my eyes when I look at that photo. I hope to elaborate more on both the connections of love and the importance of nurturing children as a spiritual beings in the postings to come. Please visit again and often……John H.