Natality: Personhood

The Paradigm of Natality opens possibilities for new beginnings.  In practising Natality, we midwife hope by bringing to light an alternative way of being.  Natality has eight cornerstones. In this section, we explore personhood.

Personhood refers to the process of becoming.  In this process, identity is formed.  Mothers give us the gift of language so that we can acquire a voice.  Colonization, racism and sexism silence many voices and impose an identity; however, the Paradigm of Natality empowers natals to recover their voice and identity.

The paradigm shift to Natality disrupts necrophilia’s colonialist strategy of silencing the ‘other’ in order to feed capitalism’s insatiable appetite.  The Renaissance benefited only european males. Millions of ‘others’ were silenced through the slave trade, witch hunts and colonization of indigenous lands.

Today, silenced voices are reclaiming subjectivity and agency and by decolonizing and by re-integrating with the subjectivity and agency of a world that is alive, communicative and intelligent.  As we re-emerge and differentiate ourselves from patriarchal capitalism, we deconstruct the methods of silencing and erasure.

Barad theorizes that all matter is always in the process of becoming and is perpetually engaged relationally in ways that create, unfold, transform, constrain and expand reality: “becoming is not an unfolding in time, but the inexhaustible dynamism of the enfolding of mattering” (Barad, Meeting 234).  She adds:

The past is never left behind, never finished once and for all, and the future is not what will come to be in an unfolding of the present moment; rather the past and the future are enfolded participants in matter’s iterative becoming. (234).

Emerging into personhood is not about finding an identity as though it were a static phenomenon; identity is “unstable, differentiated, dispersed, and yet strangely coherent” (Barad, Posthumanist 146).

Ecological interconnectedness or ‘oneness’ describes personhood that extends our embodied experience of self to unifying relationship with the self-realizing universe.  I turn to indigenous culture to understand inner space or “inwardness”:

…that universe of being within each person that is synonymous with the soul, the spirit, the self, or the being.  They call this a wholeness that permeates inwardness and extends into the outer space.  All existence is connected and that the whole intra-acts with the being in its inclusiveness.  Immanence gives meaning to existence and forms the starting point for indigenous epistemology.  It is a mysterious force that connects the totality of existence – the forms, energies, or concepts that constitute the outer and inner worlds (Ermine 103). 

The paradigm of Natality re-opens the door to transpersonal knowing and views it as an essential onto-epistemology in the process of reconnecting with land, with cosmos, and with the spirit of other beings.

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Cultura de Natalidad, a culture of Natality, celebrates imagination and creativity in the work of many artists and scholars. Just follow the links.

18ICON_kokopelliStories  Birthing and midwifery in ancient Rome

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