The Death of the Family by David Cooper

By David Cooper

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The world outside the family, he finds; tries to make itself as much like the family world he has known before as it can, just as the family world tried to make itself as much like the world outside as it could. ::: Grand and great grand-parents, mother, father, brothers, sisters, s~ns, daughters, grand- and great grand-sons and daughters and all the most cousinly and auntly and unclely extensions of this system J The 'World Outside' The 'Other People' who are enmeshed in the same patterning ~ ------~-~-~-r:: ____________ 'That's where we came in' but could not come unless Self, the person, can invent such a difference.

The way out of the situation seems to me to be the dawning realization that perhaps the most liberating thing one can do for other people is to do the thing that is most liberating for oneself. The 'most liberating thing' is always the most joyful, but we must understand joy here as clearly distinct from happiness (which always devolves on to security in some form, that is to say a deceptively comfortable restriction of one's possibilities). Joy comprehends despair running through an end-point of pain into joy again.

There may be a shifting system of dyads leading to a polycentric relationshipstructure even though there will probably be a degree of hierarchization in the emotional significance of the various two-person relationships that each person has. But for the present let us try to be clearer about the 'strong, central two-person relationship'. e. an exclusion by relationship of other significant relationships for each of the two people and the closely related claustration of the children within the small system of 'primary' relationships.

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