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The Primary Mission Theory
Explaining Illness, Anxiety & Hatred as Manifestations of Love
Your Attitude Builds Your Child's Brain
By Don Joseph Gowey
If we understand and believe that children are sent by God
to bring Love, Healing & Forgiveness to their parents,
it clarifies the true reasons for illness and methods of healing.

More on the Primary Mission Theory:
The Roots of Spiritual Psychotherapy ~ Cancer as Unresolved Complaint ~ What Kids Really Want
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Summary Note:

(As children) we won’t manifest (our best) as long as there is something else on our minds. And what’s always on our minds? At the root of it is the dilemma of the need for self-justification, arising from an unwanted and unconscious compulsion to please our parents or to try to escape from pleasing our parents.

So to that I say this. This attempt to please our parents is the root of all neuroses. It is our search for unconditional love. But even after we’ve found unconditional love it’s hard for us to release our neurosis, our neurotic searching. Putting our neuroses back where they came from is integral to self healing.

Children can never please their parents, it’s impossible and they shouldn’t have to. Parents must be pleased with their children, which means they must first be pleased with themselves.

If they (the parents) are not (pleased with themselves)(and how many do you know that are?), they look to be pleased and project their need to be pleased onto their children. In effect, they put their children in the position of needing to please them - which can never be done because they cannot be pleased if they are not already.

But if children can negotiate the shift from pleasing their parents to healing them, they can set themselves free and gain the approval they’re looking for. And for this they need their parents help.

Illness is caused by a breakdown in communication. As children, we tend to forget what we are scheming for by getting so caught up in the scheme that we believe it ourselves. So what are we scheming for? Could it be as simple as an innocent expression of love?  It appears that in the final analysis, we are left with a simple, unexpressed and probably forgotten desire to communicate our love.

Underneath all our frustration, despair and hopelessness lies an unresolved desire to communicate the well being of our reality to our parents, and ultimately help them to find their own.

From this observation derives The Primary Mission Theory.

Preamble- The Secret Sister -
Understanding Bulimia as a Case in Point

"Yes, I admit that I have a split personality, and kinda insist that everyone does whether they know and admit it or not. Don't we all have "two (or more) sides" to ourselves? Why do we always refer to "a part of me" when we're undecided about something? But in the case of bulimia, I have to admit that there is clearly an insistent side and a persistent side.

"The more "I" insist that I want to be well from it and that it go away, the more "she" persists in hanging around. The more "I" resist, the more "she" persists. "She" seems to accept me pretty well and is patient and ok with my insistence, but "I" do not accept her at all, quite the contrary. I hate and vilify her with my every breath and waking thought. I'm totally obsessed and possessed by her, and want only to be rid of her. So who am I here, really?

"You'd think I'd "get the message" that she's not going to go away, and learn to live with and accept her, but what I think I'd have to go through to do that would be unbearable, I feel so much that I should be ashamed of her.  And what's more, I hate and am ashamed of my mom, too, and would rather die than be like her, but I am.

"It seems that my only chance is through understanding, since God knows nothing else (and I've tried literally everything) has worked. So if I'm going to understand this, I'm going to have to discover her secret. And if I'm going to discover her secret, I've got to somehow stop hating her long enough to listen even though I do not like (obviously) what she has to tell me.

"So - if I'm going to listen to her, first I've got to accept her. Hmmmm.

"So who is she, anyway? She's certainly me, but what is she trying to tell me? She's like my secret sister, so "she's" my secret! I know that much, but if she's got a message for me, I've got to get to the state of accepting her before I can hear it.

"But believe me, that's not easy, 'cause it's the one thing I've dedicated my life to not do.

"I'm determined!  I will not accept her and I will not accept my mom in her present condition, and I will not accept myself in my present condition - except that myself in my present condition is already a manifestation of my not accepting myself. So I'm certain of only one thing, and that is that I'm really confused. And why not? How could I not be? No one, and I mean absolutely no one, has ever made any sense of, or in, my life.

"So what is this deep secret love that I carry? And what is the secret of this deep secret love that I carry?"



Spiritual healing is the approach to divinity and divine love well understood by Eastern masters and more recently by the leading edge psychological researchers and groups of western healers looking into all resources to understand reasons and cures for modern diseases. The most recently discovered foundation to this approach states that the whole of healing is in knowing the difference between conditional and unconditional love, and that it requires support from the people of unconditional love to help the people of conditional love make the transformation. Evidently, the whole of our self-limiting can be attributed to attempts to meet conditions for love. Yet love is divine, holy and endless and more and more people are coming to that realization daily. But if not, then the first step is getting their attention, getting them to believe and understand it, hence the point of suffering.

The Sufi poet Hafiz wrote:
"All your images of winter I see against your sky.
I understand the wounds that have not healed in you.
They exist because God and Love have yet to become real enough
to allow you to forgive the dream."

It's very clear that until the emotional entanglement around an anchoring issue is cleared, in most cases, attempts to clarify or eradicate that issue will fail. So what are 'anchoring' issues? Anchoring issues are those issues, traumatic or otherwise, that hold a physical incapacity in place.

Conscious Denial and Why People Refuse to Heal

Our conscious mind is in many stages of denial all at once. We deny remembering everything no matter what and for good reason - even what we ate yesterday. But the entirety of our experience is stored in our memory.

Healing definitely means revisiting - being able to make sense of our lives, rather than exist in a coma of traumatic shock - and people simply do not want to do that. So rather than heal themselves, they pass their illnesses and the responsibility for healing them on to their children who, understandably begrudged, necessarily shoulder that responsibility. Eventually, after hostility develops, these children want to cause pain back, they want their parents to show remorse and suffering, to feel something, so they increase the intensity of their illness or behavior. This becomes a vendetta in which one would rather die than forgive and forget. And even though this may not always be the case, there is still the possibility and it must be taken into consideration just so it will not be overlooked and missed.

Children are innocent, even if they create crime. It's the parents who are guilty. They know it and are hiding it. Yet among the wise it is known that confession of ignorance is the first step toward gaining wisdom. It's called repentance, or rethinking themselves. It's what we teach our children yet refuse to implement ourselves.

For many people anger and desire for revenge can be so strong that they will rebel against the idea of healing themselves before tasting it. For many people, sickness is their chosen means of expression for anger, futility, frustration and grief, and of course they do not want to admit that. So if your sickness is plaguing you and everything you do to help it go away seems to be failing, you might want to look into a well-known trick of the self called PR or Psychological Reversal. You know if you're doing it! It's quite possible that in spite of all your outward affirmations, you may not really want to get well. It's possible that your intention has actually degenerated to pure revenge or some other lesser form of drawing attention to the real unspoken problem, rather than to getting well. If that is the case then your illness is the self-accepted punishment you feel you must suffer for the pleasure you feel in advance for the cruelty you're enjoying afflicting.

It's OK! We understand this and you are not wrong! You feel you've been hurt beyond repair and only getting back looks like any payback at all for the suffering you've endured. But how would it be if we could show you a better way? So you could lighten up on your objects of revenge, and take some of the pressure and the pain off of yourself?


The Secret is this - In the perfection of God, there is nothing really wrong, it is only a progression towards understanding that. We need to know what's right, what is really happening underneath our illusions and opinions. So in God's perfect world, which is present in spite of appearances, everyone is healed (saved) already, but reaching to the understanding. We help others to reach this understanding by sending them love and healing from our hearts first - by seeing them first in the light of God, as already perfect, healed and progressing toward understanding that. That sending - of light, love, healing and compassionate understanding - is what heals us! I'm not saying that this is easy to comprehend, but it is the eventuality, if the course of healing is progressing in the right direction.

Healing is what reconnects us with that from which we felt separated. If we are not - never have been and never will be - separated from God, (by virtue of the impossibility) then the question is, where and when did we pick up the feeling or perception of separation? If there is in reality no separation, what then do we heal? We can only really heal the feeling of separation. And if we are not healing by increasingly feeling our divine connection, then something is getting in the way (often referred to as our 'self' or self-definition).

Most of us feel at least somewhat separated from love or from God. That might even be our primary feeling, and the motivation to feel love would be our primary motivation. But if it's not true that we are or ever have been separated from God or from love, then where did the feeling that we are come from? It came from where we by now no longer want to go or return. The feeling of separation is the result of the perception of rejection by our parents.

On the soul level, that, to us, is completely unacceptable. So according to the theory of our primary mission and in the final analysis, all of our so-called innate hostility can be attributed as a manifestation of our rejection of rejection. And the BIG Question is, "Are we willing to let go of that?"

It's not about getting 'back' to God. We're already there and never weren't. It's about healing our feeling of separation. And what is our first experience of that feeling if not our perception of rejection from our parents!? On a soul level, our first spiritual perception of frustration, anger and hostility arises from our perceived inability to connect, to complete our primary mission - that of being a source of love, joy and healing to our parents. We're simply not getting through.

We can only attribute this feeling of separation to rejection. In the infantile framework we have no other point of reference except to connection or rejection. The feeling of rejection can only cause us to get sick and eventually hostile. We will then spend the rest our lives in an attempt to heal ourselves - our expression of trying to find out and heal "what's wrong" - and discover that it all boils down to our own self imposed reactions to the perception of rejection. Frustration, sickness and hostility all arise from the perception of rejection. All of our "hostility" is in reality nothing more than a manifestation of our rejection of their rejection. How is it then, not a manifestation of our Love?

As parents learn to heal themselves, their children will respond accordingly!!!  Think about that!  Think how well it makes you feel to see your parents happy and healed (or does it?). So heal them and teach them this! Don't say it can't be done! It can be done! Here's how, but will you?

The Primary Mission Theory
Explaining Illness as a Manifestation of Love

First - A Working Hypothesis - What does it mean to have one?

A working hypothesis is a context into which we can place a series of events and from which we can make sense of them, which offers the possibility of an optimistic, positive outcome. I have found that by accepting this theory and presenting it to others as a working hypothesis, we seem to be able to reach with relative speed and understanding results hitherto unaccomplished in the field of enlightenment and spiritual healing.

Case in point

In the final analysis, the illness of Bulimia (see "The Secret Sister"), reportedly incurable in a vast majority of sufferers, is not just a cry for help. It's a social outrage, speaking out in anger, protest and self-suffering against a society that has no mercy for parental anxiety and suffering the whole world over. It is a cry for understanding, support, healing and forgiveness from these sufferers as children, but not so much for themselves as for their parents. But what we steadfastly refuse to do is take the focus off the kids and put it on the parents! And why is that?

Refusing to Accept Rejection

Looked at from the standpoint of spiritual healing, it will be found that the underlying statement of self-sick children is one of rejection of rejection. The peaceful self-aware soul voice of the sufferer is saying, "I'm really OK in spite of myself and all the things I've taken on to impress you with something. And don't think I couldn't stop this in a moment if you were ok, but I won't until you figure out why - that it is you that needs help, not me." How do we arrive at this very helpful understanding?

As we all know in one way or another, children are sent from God to be a blessing, a mercy and a healing for their parents. However, they are not always accepted as such. I am proposing that when as babies we are not allowed (for a variety of reasons later to be investigated) to perform this divine and holy function it literally makes us sick, which manifest as frustration, confusion and acquired anxiety. This is currently thought of as the children taking on the anxieties of the parents, and well understood as such, but I am taking it a step further and adding to it a yet deeper dimension by hypothesizing the possibility of an unwavering truth, which I call the Primary Mission Theory, that "Children are sent to bring love and healing to their parents". It is their primary mission, and that the illnesses they take on are a result of the spiritual frustration coming from an inability to fulfill that mission, coupled with an inability to understand why. So they set out on a quest to understand sickness, and the first they eventually understand, if they succeed, is their own. But it relates directly to the psychological predicament of their parents.

It is now proven, if not well known, that Unity heals. Psychological and emotional investigation shows that releasing emotional blocks increases our capacity to perceive Unity, which in turn brings peace of mind and further enables us to heal and to think well of ourselves. Since Unity is all that exists, can it not be said that feelings of separation are only feelings, but that it is these feelings themselves that are interfering with our perception of Unity? So if there is no real separation, but only the feelings of separation, where do these feelings come from and how can we prove it and eradicate them?

Experiments have proven to me that even having pleasant thoughts about our parents goes a long way toward increasing our perception of unity and we can actually feel it in the form of an increased feeling of well being. Reactions to, or varying degrees of acceptance of, the concept of sending love and healing to our parents will quickly show the depth and orientation of the problem.

Spiritual traditions state that children are the secrets of their parents. This is an assertion with profound and mostly unwanted implications.

As the parents of self-sick, angry, violent, neurotic, depressed, destructive, suicidal, bulimic, anorexic, and even murderous children continue to hide their individual versions of dysfunction through the mutually accepted defensive facade of normalcy, these children, forced to accept it, see, feel or suffer the consequences of the fact that their parents do not know how to correctly accept personal responsibility; and in looking outside themselves for some reason for their personal, and in many cases, unrecognized difficulty, they are willing to cast the blame and responsibility on "being born" itself. They soon realize that they have no recourse but to quickly preemptively blame themselves and soon come to believe that there is actually something wrong with them, no matter how hard the parents may, in almost all cases, strive to convince them otherwise. These children will then, of course, go to great extremes to show and prove "their" (acquired) dysfunction by acting out and creating (almost mocking) manifestations of it. The false explanation that there is something wrong with the children is gladly accepted by all, and their condition is thereby exacerbated and magnified by being the focus of attention (which is a ruse).

These children, due to their inability or unwillingness to understand and accept that something is wrong with their parents - a difficult realization at best and impossible when you are young, (and which may come somewhat later in life if they are among the lucky ones who find support for this reasoned approach from among their peers) - find that they have no choice but to take on the responsibility, blame and sense of causation for parental dysfunction and therefore must act out the sickness in themselves that they perceive but cannot understand in their parents. Mind you, it does not have to be and rarely is the same form of illness, but for the purposes of this theory, we'll just say that sickness is sickness, regardless of the manifestation.

This acting out, as it were, in its simplest terms is simply the process of understanding. Naïve and innocent, they literally put themselves on the cross, in the same fire, in order to take on the responsibility of reaching its conclusion. They take the brunt of the parental illness or disregard and in doing so demonstrate and emphasize their parents' lack of real understanding and self-forgiveness.

Setting aside all reactions, defenses and facades, in every case we will find that there is truth to this hypothesis. Parents must and often do admit to the stark truth of the matter - that they are completely ignorant of what's really going on.

Children are the secrets of their parents. This has been stated in religious and spiritual tradition and the reality of it has been proven and exemplified time and time again. Societal support for the parental denial involved in the inflicting of children with diagnosable disease adds to the obscuration and mystery of this problem and many children (now become adults) would prefer to, and do, die of (their) dis-ease than give up their family secrets. Unfortunately, the parents of these children are the witting or unwitting accomplices in this tragedy.

The bottom line is simple and proven if not easy. As parents learn to heal themselves, the children will respond accordingly. Just thinking about it makes one feel better.

The sickness that a bulimic or anorexic child demonstrates is, in its reducible form, no more than a manifestation of her perception of the sickness in her family. Her sickness was, and is still, supported by her family and serves its purpose by taking the attention off of themselves, by placing it squarely upon the child. And in her mind and heart, because it is a constructive and purposeful manifestation of her dedication and determination to fulfill her primary mission, it cannot go away (be healed) until her primary mission of bringing love and healing to her parents is accepted. But in order to do that she must heal herself. And in order to do that she must be able to take the blame off herself, which is virtually impossible without this understanding.

Healing Parents - the need for paternal love - its purpose and why we have it

Look how many people there are in every profession and especially healing - studying, learning investigating, traveling, working. And what is the recognizable first and primary motivation of all children, which carries on into life should it not be fulfilled in childhood? It is simply to please - and to please our parents, specifically daddy.

We have, recognize and act upon our need for paternal love because in our minds the reality of it is simply not there. We've simply given up and accepted that we'll never really bring the love and healing to our parents. For many of us the possibility is no longer even on the horizon. The question in need of healing is - why is it not there? Why are so many, if not all, of us driven by our need or desire for paternal love? I might go so far as to propose that unconsciously we are driven into the fields of healing and psychotherapy by our need to understand its absence. We are driven by our desire to heal - but is it just ourselves, and can that ever be enough? I focus here on men because if the men in families are secure and healed, the women and children will more likely be also.

Is not security and the perceived lack of it the major paternal issue?  Why do men feel so all alone? Could it be because they are? Have men abandoned each other? Is not security in society the reason for guilds (which means welds or bonds of loyalty and brotherhood)? Is it not the reason for gangs? How different could it be if gangs were understood in this light and not made wrong and vilified by a society in need of enemies upon whom to wage the war at which they are so experienced and from which they make so much money? What if it were possible to see that the gangs are simply kids acting out a societal deficiency? Could they not be turned around? Will they be, or will they continue to manifest their insistence upon help for their parents?

Everyone knows that Aikido is the supreme and perfected martial art based on knowing that there is no enemy, only fear, and turning fear, and enemies, into friends. And fear is just the basic survival instinct. Is it really needed? Or do we, as lonesome, isolated people, only still think that it s? But if we are still operating from that adrenaline rush of having just survived, then even if there is no longer any enemy in sight, we will look to create one out of need to justify our un-calmed war mode. We are coming out of the lesser battle for survival and into the greater battle of calming and clearing the excited, still fighting self. This is the art of peace - of bringing peace, love and security into ourselves and our world. It's what children, and innocent, secure and unafraid adults, are all about.

With athletes, the warming down is longer in them who took a long time warming up. Whereas athletes who go into battle with a calm heart already established have little or no difficulty returning to it after the event, or even keeping it during.

As parents learn to heal themselves, their children will respond accordingly.  Just think about it.

A Passionate Demand for Help

Until her parents can recognize their part in the creation of this sickness, they will not cease to be plagued by it, and the child will not be vindicated and satisfied - released from the self-imposed responsibility to manifest it. In this case the persistence of the bulimic activity is completely clear of emotional confusion and accepted for exactly what it is, a life saving, self and soul preserving habit acquired as a needed tactic for self preservation. But the habit is hard to kick until it can be heard and understood for what it is - a manifestation and reminder of deep seated resentment, anger and hostility. Then it will simply not be needed any longer.

Clearing the underbrush, the emotional confusion around the acquisition of the habit, requires time and a consistent, properly oriented therapeutic support. But until the habit itself is deeply understood, it persists in its need to deliver a message. The message is simple, but not easily heard: "Help my parents, not me!"

The illness serves also another function, that of causing the child to investigate herself and the nature and causes of her condition - where it came from, what it is, how and why she took it on, what it is demanding (recognizing its symbolization, what it stands for) - all of which will lead to the inevitable conclusion of hearing a passionate demand for help for her parents.

This line of reasoning does not apply only to this set of symptoms. As we know, we have a whole generation of societies of quietly or actively rebellious children bound and determined to scream on their parents in one way or another, while the parents dutifully seek support in a medically oriented society willing to accept their money in exchange for absolution. Only the few and the brave among them seek to apply radical techniques of personal responsibility and psycho-spiritual techniques of self investigation to come to proper and satisfying conclusions.

But as the evidence to this line of reasoning increases, more and more successful cases will emerge to convince the society at large that radical reform is both necessary and immanent, and it does not involve blame, but necessitates the taking of personal responsibility. As larger support groups develop even more speedy and radical means towards psychological and emotional clearing, it may pave the way toward a new understanding of the cause and cure of theses illnesses, which will set free a great number of grateful people to increase the universal success of this work.

How to Heal our Parents and Heal Ourseves in the Process
How to Heal Ourselves and Our Parents Too.
(But do we really want to?)

In the meantime, what can we do about it? The gist of this article points to the necessity of healing parents and taking the focus off of the children instead of intensifying the attempts to treat children as separate from their parents, feeding the misconception that started the problem in the first place.

Given that the parents are unwilling, unavailable or dead, what's a poor child to do? The whole of the frustrastion and the better part of the healing industry to date is predicated on the hopelessness of this problem. "Get used to it", they say, "adjust".

Adjusting to loss is a huge part of the problem and the focus of much of the industry. And it's all based on recognizing a problem but not knowing what to do, how to heal it. So it is relegated to the realm of the impossible and then we set about the almost impossible task of adjusting (to the impossible). But that's hugely frustrating in its own right, and becomes another part of what seems to be an increasing and endless problem, and all this from the absence of the genuine spiritual Insight that nothing is in reality lost.

No one seems to give any energy to the possibility that it is not impossible. We do not see that doing the work of healing the parents is integral to our own mental and spiritual health. Doesn't matter whether it 'succeeds' or not, whether we see the 'results' or not (we will, but more on that later). What matters is that we cannot truly heal without doing the work, regardless of manifest outcome, it is integral to our health to bring love and healing to our parents - to OUR health - not necessarily to theirs.
But since we do not see that, we simply give up on the project and surrender to the adjustment process that is so prevalent in psychotherapy today.

But it IS Possible! And as stated before, not only possible but necessary. And we WILL see results, and most immedialtely in ourselves and in our parents, and it does not at all matter whether they are "alive" or "dead".