I mean it's not just parenting you're doing with an ineffective model, but your whole way of living.
Neale: Again, what do You mean?
You've moved away from each other. You've torn apart your families, disassembled your smaller communities in favor of huge cities. In these big cities there are more people, but fewer "tribes," groups, or clans whose members see their responsibility as including responsibility for the whole. So, in effect, you have no elders. None at arm's reach, in any event.
Worse than moving away from your elders, you've pushed them aside. Marginalized them. Taken their power away. And even resented them.
Yes, some members of your society are even resenting the seniors among you, claiming that they are somehow leeching on the system, demanding benefits that the young have to pay for with ever-increasing proportions of their income.
Neale: It's true. Some sociologists are now predicting a generation war, with older people being blamed for requiring more and more, while contributing less and less. There are so many more older citizens now, what with the "baby boomers" moving into their senior years, and people living longer in general.
Yet if your elders aren't contributing, it is because you have not allowed them to contribute. You have required them to retire from their jobs just when they could really do the company some good, and to retire from most active, meaningful participation in life, just when their participation could bring some sense to the proceedings.
Not just in parenting, but in politics, economics, and even in religion, where elders at least had a toehold, you have become a youth-worshipping, elder- dismissing society.
Yours has also become a singular society, rather than a plural one. That is, a society made up of individuals, rather than groups.
As you have both individualized and you then your society, you have lost much of its richness and resource. Now you are without both, with too many of you living in emotional and psychological poverty and depletion.
Neale: I'm going to ask you again, is there any way we can end this cycle?
First, recognize and acknowledge that it's real. So many of you are living in denial. So many of you are pretending that what's so is simply not so. You are lying to yourselves, and you do not want to hear the truth, much less tell it.
This, too, we'll talk about again later, when we take that look at the civilizations of highly evolved beings, because this denial, this failure to observe and acknowledge what's so, is not an insignificant thing. And if you truly want to change things, I hope you will just allow yourself to hear Me.
The time has come for truth telling, plain and simple. Are you ready?
Neale: I am. That's why I came to You. That's how this whole conversation began.
Truth is often uncomfortable. It is only comforting to those who do not wish to ignore it. Then, truth becomes not only comforting, but inspiring.
Neale: For me, this whole three-part dialogue has been inspiring. Please, go on.
There is some good reason to be upbeat, to feel optimistic. I observe that things have begun to change. There's more emphasis among your species on creating community, and building extended families, than ever in recent years. And, more and more, you are honoring your elders, producing meaning and value in, and from, their lives. This is a big step in a wonderfully useful direction.
So things are "turning around." Your culture seems to have taken that step. Now, it's onward from there.
You cannot make these changes in one day. You cannot, for instance, change your whole way of parenting, which is how this current train of thought began, in one fell swoop. Yet you can change your future, step by step. Reading this book is one of those steps.