Why are families breaking?

From a very long time, we have been lamenting that families are breaking, often blaming the “outside forces” for it. But let’s just step back and see what is happening, without evaluating it as right, wrong, happy or sad.

It is indeed true that the nature of communication has changed, loneliness has increased, traditional families are not sticking together, and this disruption is causing more and more people to become sad.

However, if one closely examines what is happening in relation to other forces at work, particularly, the evolution of Consciousness… one sees that more and more people are breaking conventions, realising their individuality, and seeking the Truth.. It is this larger force which is causing conventions to break, which the unit of family has protected for long. Again, nothing right or wrong about it.

But let’s understand.

The unit of family has and in fact continues to be a seat of maintaining status quo through inheritance and protection of customs. It preserves the caste, class, gender relations. The time, however, has come for discrimination on the basis of these superficial categories to stop… with individualisation, we are beginning to think and question for ourselves than rely on conventions.

Within this larger movement of the life force, the breaking of biological families is a seeming by product – of the larger move towards growing in consciousness. And indeed, it is making all of us sad. Because we feel disconnected. Because time to time we feel out of place amidst marriages full of pretensions and family dinners with soulless talks. Somewhere we have begun to feel that our loved ones are the first ones to curtail our freedom, that traditional conventions are infused with biases. And it’s making us sad, of course it will, because we deeply deeply seek connection. And if not from loved ones, whom will we seek connection with?

Well, it is only a matter of realisation that your family includes every one you know and you do not know. What seems sad is an opportunity to realise what a family actually is, how can we cultivate love, how can we realise human unity, how can we integrate the collectivism of East with the individualism of West, how can we see the larger purpose in this heartbreaking happening and make full use of it!

6 thoughts on “Why are families breaking?

  1. Thanks Divyanshi for this lovely, thought out piece.

  2. Very nice post, Divyanshi, much in line with the quote from the Mother posted by Sandeep.

    I don’t know how it is in India, but it’s been quite clear for at least the last half century that the old model of family is not working. I remember as a child in the 1950s and 60s, seeing the stark difference between families newly arriving in the US – Hispanic, East European and Italian, where I grew up – and those who had been here for generations.

    The newly arrived families had strong connections with grandparents, cousins, etc. The families of groups long settled here were tiny, nuclear families, 3, 4 or 5 members.

    By the 1970s, it seemed that even those nuclear families were coming apart, and now, it amazes me when, as a psychologist, I interview families and discover that sometimes people living under one roof actually have a hard time keeping track of the members of their families – one child goes to a step father a few days a week, the biological father (also separated from the biological mother) once a month, stays with the new wife of the biological father, who may be divorced from the child’s biological mother……see, you’re probably having trouble keeping up with this too.

    And with everyone moving so often, there is hardly a stable community to rely on, and the “friends” online hardly constitute a stable support system.

    Ultimately, this leads toward less attachment to blood and geographical ties and pushes us all toward the one relationship which is truly stable, our relationship with the Divine.

    • Don : Ultimately, this leads toward less attachment to blood and geographical ties and pushes us all toward the one relationship which is truly stable, our relationship with the Divine.

      I don’t think that is true in all cases in the USA. The broken family system in America can also lead to anomie. People turn to drugs, alcohol, porn, gangs, social media in order to survive. Some individuals get so disturbed that they pick up guns and shoot random people. Amidst all this, American politicians are constantly belting out on the hustings that their election is a ” fight for America’s families” 🙂

      Ultimately, it depends on the individual. Some are strong enough to rise above their troubles and individualize, while others break under the strain.

      Its good to have some family support in the formative years when your identity is not secure and you are hesitant about navigating the frontiers of life, but the same family can be a drag once you start on the spiritual path.

      • Oh, definitely, I agree. I put “ultimately” because I see this movement toward a different kind of community something that will happen in the long (very long) term.

        I’m in between psych evals at the Asheville, NC (USA) clinic where I work. Every day, I see the devastation wrought by the breakdown of family, community, etc and often the major recommendation I make is aimed at strengthening all kinds of interpersonal/community/family ties.

        In fact, it’s so important we made it the foundation of our website: http://www.remember-to-breathe.org/The-Most-Important-Page.html

        So thanks, Sandeep – important qualification!

  3. The Mother Mirra Alfassa on this subject

    Question : What does “choose one’s family” mean ?

    Mother: You have come into the world in a certain milieu, among certain people. When you are quite young, but for a few rare exceptions, what surrounds you seems altogether natural to you, because you are born in its midst and are quite used to it. But when, a little later, a spiritual aspiration wakes up in you, you may quite possibly feel yourself completely ill at ease in the environment where you have lived, if, for instance, the people who have brought you up don’t have the same aspiration or if their ideas are the very opposite of what is developing in you. Instead of saying, “You see, I belong to this family, what shall I do? I have a mother, a father, brothers, sisters…” , you can set out in search (I don’t mean necessarily travel), set out in search of spirits who have an affinity with yours, people who have a similar aspiration and, if you have the sincere aspiration to find those who like you are in quest of something, you will always have the occasion to meet them in one way or another, through quite unexpected circumstances; and when you have found one or more people who are in exactly the same state of mind and have the same aspiration, quite naturally there will be created bonds of closeness, intimacy, friendship and, among you, you will form a kind of brotherhood, that is to say, a true family. You are together because you are close to one another, you are together because you have the same aspiration, you are together because you want to create the same goal in life; you understand one another when you speak, you have no need to discuss anything which is said and you live in a kind of inner harmony. This is the true family, this is the family of aspiration, the family of spiritual inclinations. (Question and Answers, 29 March 1951)

  4. It is very important to realise the value of family in your life .. We should never forget that the time we spend with our family is the most important and valuable time of our life. We get our values / perceptions from them which helps us in the long run.

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