A Message from our Editor, Issue #49 - Liminal Consciousness
In this issue, there are several articles on a parenting style called the Continuum Concept. It is based on Jean Leidloff’s experiences with the Yekuana natives in the Amazon. She noted a peculiar behavior among the parents there: They appeared to be neglecting their children, and seemed to be attending only to their adult-centered activities. However, upon closer observation, visual anthropologists discovered that there were many subtle yet definitive interactions between Yekuana mothers and their children that the Western eye easily fails to see. What looks like neglect from our perspective is actually a completely different mode of consciousness, called by anthropologists “liminal consciousness.”
I found this discovery fascinating. It begged the question: What happens in our Western, Cartesian experience that deprives us of this deeper communication with our children, and what would life be like if we experienced liminal consciousness? I invite you to explore this possibility….
Imagine that in pregnancy, instead of relying on ultrasound to “see” our babies, we learn to be still and feel our babies’ presence as they communicate with us. Imagine gently talking with them, conscious that they hear our words and feel our attention. Now imagine this quiet communication evolving into a powerful trust so strong that ordinary “hunches” emerge as vivid signals pointing us directly to our best course of action in birth.
Then picture a moment of rest, just after birth, looking into our baby’s eyes and renewing what was felt for nine months in the womb—the subtle connection between mother and baby. With no rush to whisk them away, to check them or to weigh them, we take a birth pause and in that moment silently celebrate a new beginning.
Then, when we are both ready, following each other’s cues, we bring our little treasure to our breast and together from inside ourselves, with ease and assurance, we relax into the most comfortable placement and continue the nurturing of our babies which happened so effortlessly in the womb.
Are these some of the experiences that form “liminal consciousness” in the Yekuana natives? Is this what allows them to connect to their toddlers without a glance of the eye? In this issue, we invite you to explore that possibility. Imagine, from conception to birth and throughout childhood, an inherent trust in the process of life.
For the raising of the consciousness,
Jeanne Ohm, D.C.
This article appeared in Pathways to Family Wellness magazine, Issue #49.
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