Michael Laitman, On Quora: “Can you lose your maternal instinct?“
Recent research shows that mothers’ engagements with smartphones and magazines are harmful to mother-child communication, which in turn harms the child’s development. In the research, mothers using their phones to engage with social media, and also mothers reading magazines, spent up to four times less time talking with their toddlers (aged two to three) than when they were not on their phones or magazines. Moreover, the mothers with phones and magazines responded less to their childrens’ calls, had a lower quality response than when not on their media, and sometimes even ignored their children altogether.
What does it mean when we see mothers—symbols of devotion, love and care—pay increasing attention to their phones and magazines than to their toddlers?
It is a present-day example of how the maternal instinct lessens and the natural connection between mother and child weakens the more that the human ego grows. The phones and magazines add to the situation, but also emerge together with our natural development, which is a continual growth of the human ego that increasingly detaches us from each other, up to a point of detaching mothers from their children.
As a result of our egoistic development, less and less people today want to have children or grandchildren, and more and more people are becoming concerned solely with their individual lives. Such development needs to unfold until we reach a state of helplessness and desperation, where we will feel no livelihood or fulfillment in a life of growing detachment to one another.
However, together with the growing helplessness comes the opportunity to correctly diagnose the root cause of our growing detachment to each other—the overblown human ego that resides in each and every one of us—and to stop identifying our egoistic drives as being our “self” or our “I.” In other words, by realizing the ego behind our growing detachment from each other, up to a point of mothers losing their maternal instincts, we should accordingly stop listening to its demands, and stop relating to it as being a part of us. We would then be able to start correcting it.
At every moment, the ego prioritizes the fulfillment of our own desires over everybody else’s. The more the ego grows, the more it leads us to thinking of ourselves more and more over even our own families. In other words, the ego is self-love, and it directs us to love only ourselves more than we love our own children, spouses and parents, up to a point where we feel no love at all for anyone else.
After diagnosing the growing ego as the root cause of increasing detachment, which causes an array of problems in our lives, we should then organize our relationships so that we relate to everyone with loving and caring attitudes. In other words, by raising awareness of the need to enrich our connections with more love, consideration, support and encouragement, then the wider net of positive connection we cast over society will serve to positively influence us to reignite love at the family level. Mothers would then experience a revival of their maternal instincts, albeit on a whole new level: they will not be mere “instincts” but the mothers’ new drive to draw closer to their children, families and relatives would emerge from acquiring a higher level of consciousness, i.e. connection with the positive force of love and bestowal that dwells in nature.
Based on the video “How Mothers Have Become Detached from Their Babies” with Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman and Oren Levi. Written/edited by students of Kabbalist Dr. Michael Laitman.