Remaining single, we can devote our life full-time to personal evolution. It is no mistake that many priests, shamans and holy people of the past remained single, celibate, and married to something deeper than another human being. Now this can be described in psychological terms as being married to truth. Our human nature weds our higher nature. Our instincts wed our ideals. We are at one, singular of purpose, as we evolve in life.
There is great pressure within conventional society to be in a couple—and then to get married and have children. On the surface, being married with children seems so worthy. Family life creates a stable setting to raise children, to pass on property and wealth in an orderly manner, and also to pass on the traditions and values of the culture to the next generation. Family life gives meaning and identity to so many.
The darker, unacknowledged purpose of being married with children is to create a vehicle for passing on denied trauma. Non-reflective, socially sanctioned family life with all the rigors of childrearing is a convenient way to divert our energy from the healing path. Few who are married with children have but the merest time for introspection. Instead of resolving their psychic carnage from childhood, they unconsciously project it unto their spouses and children. Their spouses and children carry the burden of whatever wounds or unfulfilled wishes remain within. Eventually these buried hurts erupt in conflicts of various sorts between us and our spouses and also our children. Maybe they take a generation or two to claw their way to the surface—but they do erupt. Of course, people who deny their deep inner world never acknowledge the source of these conflicts—their own childhoods. Nor do they indict their parents for the wounds they now pass on. Instead they deny—what was done to them and the fact that they are doing the same.
Collectively, a married populace with children seek saviors and enemies of all sorts—externally. Onto these angels and devils the norm projects split-off dreams of fulfillment and rescue—and revenge. We can always formulate heroes and saints to rescue us and give us meaning and villains to hate if we remain unconscious of the harm roiling inside of us. Unconscious tribes and nations, filled with unacknowledged rage and unfulfilled love, are quick to go to battle and call it God’s war and will. Or perhaps they just destroy the psyches of their children. This is the cruel privilege of unconscious parenthood.