Come to Mommy, Mummy
Over in Ibiza am I to plug in and meet with various people before the season kicks off and it gets too noisy to talk.
Here where pretension is the social currency, sitting in a favorite restaurant in Santa Gertrudis, watching an international neo-hippy Notting Hill type young mother saying to her toddler in posh tones, “Come to mummy, now you know mummy doesn’t like you behaving like that”, and the child looking confused as he computes this mummy abstracted into the third person is in fact his mother and that two levels of reality are running simultaneously – the psycho-biological child-mother dynamic, and the pretentious fiction of mummy as institution.
This then leads my mind onto the whole issue of the fiction of adulthood.
That mummy/mommy I posit, though ostensibly far more adult than I, is just faking it, as are all those who seem eminently adult, hence why she abstracts herself using the third person – she’s playing mummies and daddies, or at least the mummy part in it.
Because no one ever really leaves the inner toddler behind – we are always that, no matter how well we disguise it in a cloak of adult behavior. In fact, the more adult someone seems the more driven by the inner toddler they tend to be.
But the happiest, most fulfilled people I know are also the most childlike – the ones who are least prone to playing mummies and daddies, or trying to look like adults, and who are most given to expressing the spirit of playfulness.
They also happen to be the most materially successful. And that’s because when you’re playing and therefore having fun with whatever you’re doing, you tend to do it far better than if doing it under sufferance.
The more you eschew the veneer of adulthood along with all self-and life-limiting adult agendas, and give yourself over to the spirit of playfulness, the more responsive, hence genuinely responsible rather than reactive you become.
And everyone, no matter how adult they pretend to themselves and others they are, wants to let go and play like a child. That’s why people drink and take drugs in social situations, to help numb the pain of self-imposed mummy-and-daddy style adulthood, enough for them to let go and play a bit.
But in fact, playing starts with a simple choice: to regard your whole life as play, including even the most serious aspects.
Be like a 4-year-old child before societal conditioning has had a chance to mess too much with your natural instincts.
Be innocent of agenda, be guileless, be without contrivance, and play. All the time, no matter what you’re doing. And watch how much more powerfully and smoothly the magic works for you.
Try it as an experiment this weekend – let go of the assumed importance of achieving things, or of how others regard you, play with innocence with whatever life presents you, and watch how events shape up as a result.
Meanwhile one of the celebrated benefits of Taoist practice is the way it develops your psychic power to attune to the actuality of what’s going on around you and between you and others, as opposed to the appearance of what’s going on.
Now come to mummy…