The Echoes of the Mind (115) Upbringing


As altricial creatures, nurture plays a definitive role in fortifying or degrading natural mental health. The parenting process is essentially an intense, sustained transmission that is received as a signal of self-worth.

Mom and pop will fuck you up for sure. ~ Scottish musician David Byrne in the song “Sax and Violins” (1991)

As a generational psychic ripple through time, parental upbringing typically seats within the psyche of offspring a sense of inadequacy in some facet of being.

To be human means to feel inferior. ~ Alfred Adler

Peer influences may reinforce the feeling. When social interactions make inferiority itch, that sense is scratched by compensating in some way: typically, by some bluster of imagined superiority, even if only in an internal bucking-up.

The problem is grasping at a self-identity in the first place. Mental illness comes with self-objectification: regarding oneself as an entity as opposed to an ongoing learning process.

Beyond physical needs, what infants and children require foremost to become healthy adults are affection and the feeling of being safe. Those needs are biological and are an essential aspect of nurturing. Pathetic parenting begins by not lavishing affection. To feel unwanted is to feel unworthy.

The value of education about the cultural milieu cannot be understated in learning to navigate the shoals of society. But the most important lessons are those that shape the inner shell, especially cultivating reserve: to control impulse and suspend the urge for instant gratification. Self-discipline is a key element for a satisfying life.

The ability to regulate impulses and desires is indispensable to success in living and working with others. ~ American social psychologist Roy Baumeister


The epitome of mental health is spontaneity in an appropriate, positive, constructive manner. This comes via awareness attuned to instant actuality: a state of consciousness in which nattermind has no role.

Mental health necessarily involves inner silence. Quieting the mind is a discipline involving meditation and resolute living in the immediate moment.

Prolonged meditation practice has significant effects on brain functioning. Meditators show both short-term and long-lasting changes in brain activity. ~ German neurobiologist Sebastian Philipp et al