"The purple piper plays his tune,
The choir softly sing;
Three lullabies in an ancient tongue,
For the court of the crimson king."
The three lullabies are the three psychological functions (Thinking, Feeling
and Sensation) dimly remembered (in an ancient tongue) as once working (being
sung) together (lullabies suggesting the womb and infancy).
"Childhood memories of being rocked to sleep with a mother singing lullabies
experiences of being at one with nature, people, and feeling closer to God."
"I observed that lullabies were relegated to the past: young mothers no longer
knew this folk song tradition. Michel Odent, M.D., believes that women have a
profound need to sing
to their babies but that the medicalization of birth has upset this process. In
the past, women all over
the world have sung lullabies to their babies. These were very important
because as we now know
the fetus is having first language lessons in the womb. The inflections of the
mother tongue are
conveyed not only through speech but most importantly through song."
"Fears can sometimes be soothed away with lullabies, although lullabies
often list many more dangers against which the child has to be protected
than the child may have previously imagined. However, 'Singing is a
charm against the dark.' I wholeheartedly agree with Warner when she
writes: 'And could it be that the power of music is linked to the nature of
language? Are they both systems that order disorder, that have a
calming, soothing and hopeful effect upon the listener, enabling him or
her to let go of fears and sorrows?' It is arguable that music originated
from the coos and hums with which mothers address their infants. Baby
talk is closer to the sounds of music than ordinary speech."
"The importance of ritual, as of art, music, literature and poetry, is that it
captures the magic communication of
the non-verbal and pre-verbal. Even more so because it is at the point of
symbolisation that the baby
responds to absence and separation by creating a fantasy or symbol. Winnicott
on transitional objects, Segal
on symbolisation, and Bion on thinking, amongst others, highlight the
importance of the first me/not me
objects and experiences. These (transitional processes) moderate the loss of
omnipotence, allowing some
control and power as the baby moves from the paranoid-schizoid to a depressive
position. So the ritual (helps by) encapsulating the
experience of helplessness and loss of control Projecting into the (ritual or)
symbol and then controlling it is a
way of accessing (otherwise) unspeakable feelings."
"Bion was instrumental in developing an appreciation of the constructive use of
projective and introjective identification, which serves as a bridge between
the inchoate mind of the infant and the receptive mind of the mother.
Projective identification enables the infant to transfer its nameless dread and
beta elements into the receptive mother where it can be contained detoxified,
alphabetized named and given back to the infant in a form that can be used for
the development of thinking and the experience of being able to suffer one's
own pain. The ability to suffer one's pain allows for the emergence of
depressive organization with its capacity for reparation, gratitude and love of
"A child wakes up in the night, perhaps from a bad dream, and finds himself
surrounded by darkness,
alone, beset by nameless threats. At such a moment the contours of trusted
reality are blurred or
invisible, and in the terror of incipient chaos the child cries out for his
mother. It is hardly
an exaggeration to say that, in this moment, the mother is being invoked as a
high priestess of
protective order. It is she (and, in many cases, she alone) who has the power
to banish the chaos
and to restore the benign shape of the world. And, of course, any good mother
will just do that.
She will take the child and cradle it in the timeless gesture of the Magna
Mater... She will
speak or sing to the child, and the content of this communication will
invariably be the same -
"Don't be afraid - everything is in order, everything is all right" If all goes
well, the child
will be reassured, his trust in reality recovered, and in this trust he will
return to sleep."
- Peter Berger, Rumor of Angels, 1970, p.61
"Alpha function refers to the ability to create meaning out of
raw, unprocessed sensory data which he called 'beta elements'. The mother's
'reverie' is her
alpha function, and represents the ability to modify her child's tensions and
mother and the child form a 'thinking couple' which is the prototype of the
thinking process that
continues developing throughout life."
"If we carry out a retrospection of that woman that rocked us in our cradle and
breastfed us when
we were babies, there we will find a poem lived very intimately, in a profound
manner, a poem of an extraordinary simplicity and a greatness that always goes
unnoticed by all
those "humanoids" that have their consciousness asleep."
"The Golden Fleece was guarded by a monstrous serpent with a
dragonís head that never slept, but Jason, guided by the witch Medea,
asked Orpheus to play a lullaby on his lyre. The monster slept, and Jason
absconded with the Fleece."
"Then old songs waken from enclouded tombs;
Old ditties sigh above their father's grave;
Ghosts of melodious prophecyings rave
Round every spot where trod Apollo's foot;
Bronze clarions awake, and faintly bruit,
Where long ago a giant battle was;
And, from the turf, a lullaby doth pass
In every place where infant Orpheus slept."