myth of normal

(sept 2022) by gabor maté and daniel maté @DanielBMate – gabor on myth of normal. . power of connection & myth of normal.. childhood lie that’s ruining all our lives..

one of gabor’s tweets while i’m reading:

Thank you @drvincentlam for this thorough and thoughtful review of our book in @globeandmail

Original Tweet:


two books


Thrilled to announce that my next book (co-written with my son @DanielBMate) will be released this September in the US, UK, and Canada. “The Myth Of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture” is available for pre-order now:

Original Tweet:

The book’s core thesis is that what passes for normal in our society is neither healthy nor natural. It is the result of ten years of research, nearly three years of writing, and a lifetime of accumulated experience and observation, personal and professional.

whales in sea world

We can only turn the tide of ill health we are witnessing if we begin to appreciate how health and illness are not random biological states in individual bodies or body parts, but rather dynamic expressions of the lives we have lived in interaction with the world around us.

need: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature .. as detox

We will have to see past our medical blind spots and take a *biopsychosocial* approach—a concept I explain and explore fully throughout this book. In doing so we align with both ancient wisdom & abundant cutting-edge science. I hope this book can contribute to that shift.

Pre-order “The Myth Of Normal” here:…

likewise.. 10+ yrs research..


1\ undisturbed ecosystem (common\ing) can happen

2\ if we create a way to ground the chaos of 8b legit free people

need to org around legit needs (maté basic needs)


notes/quotes from book (thanks library):


intro – why normal is a myth (and why that matters)


as a physician for over three decades, in work ranging from delivering infants to running a palliative care ward.. i was always struck by the links between the individual and the social and emotional contexts in which our lives unfold and health or illness ensue…

palliative care

i have come to believe that behind the entire epidemic of chronic afflictions, mental and physical, that beset our current moment, something is amiss in our culture itself, generating both the rash of ailments we are suffering and, crucially, the ideological blind spots that keep us from seeing our predicament clearly, the better to do something about it.. t.. keep us ignorant of the connections that bind our health to our social-emotional lives..

hari rat park law et al

another way of saying it: chronic illness – mental or physical – is to a large extent a function/feature of the way things are and not a glitch; a consequence of how we live, not a mysterious aberration..t


our concept of well-being must move from the individual to the global in every sense of that word.. t

thurman interconnectedness law et al


we could rightly call this a toxic culture.. unsuitable for the creatures it is meant to supports.. or worse: dangerous to their existence.. t

hari present in society law.. krishnamurti partial law.. all of us to date.. like whales in sea world


if we could begin to see much illness itself not as a cruel twist of fate or some nefarious mystery but rather as an expected and therefore normal consequence of abnormal, unnatural circumstances, it would have revolutionary implications for how we approach everything health related.. the ailing bodes/minds among us would no longer be regarded as expressions of individual pathology but as living alarms directing our attention toward where our society has gone askew, and where our prevailing certainties and assumptions around health are, in fact fictions.. seen clearly they might also give us clues as to what it would take to reverse course and build a healthier world..t

so we can org around legit needs

far more than a lack of tech acumen, sufficient funds, or new discoveries, our culture’s skewed idea of normality is the single biggest impediment to fostering a healthier world..t

all data to date is like from whales in sea world.. we have no idea what legit free people are like and what they need


part 1 – our interconnected nature


1 – the last place you want to be: facets of trauma


it is our woundedness or how we cope with it, that dictates much of our behavior, shapes our social habits, and informs our ways of thinking about the world. it can even determine whether or not we are capable of rational thought at all in matters of the greatest importance to our lives.. for many of us it rears its head in our closest partnerships, causing al kinds of relational mischief


early reactions (of detachment et al) become embedded in the nervous system, mind and body, playing havoc w future relationships.. they show up throughout the lifetime in response to any incident even vaguely resembling the original imprint..

psychic wounds often inflicted before brain is capable of formulating any kinds of verbal narrative.. even after language endowed.. some wounds are imprinted on regions of our nervous systems having nothing to do w language or concepts; this includes brain areas of course.. but rest of body too.. they are stored in parts of us that words/thoughts cannot directly access.. t but too.. there comes a point when ‘hitler made me do it’.. won’t fly

rumi words law et al.. lanier beyond words law et al.. idiosyncratic jargon ness et al


trauma is a psychic injury, lodged in our nervous system, mind, and body, lasting long past the origination incidents, triggerable at any moment


capital T trauma occurs when things happen to vulnerable people that should not have happened ie: abuse, bad divorce, death of parent.. small t trauma what long lasting marks seemingly ordinary events the ‘less memorable but hurtful and far more prevalent misfortunes of childhood’ .. bullying, repeated harsh comments of well meaning parent, lack of connection w nurturing adults.. esp high sensitive children.. experience of not being seen and accepted even by loving parents.. ‘nothing happening when something might profitably have happened’.. ‘traumas of everyday life can make us feel like a motherless child.. both on spectrum ongoingly.. kolk: ‘trauma is when we are not seen and known’..

2 missing pieces ness: #2: attachment – known by someone.. but that can’t happen unless legit you #1: authenticity

peter levine: trauma is ‘about a loss of connection.. to selves, families and world around us’.. t

need first/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self, others, nature

we each carry our wounds in our own way; there is neither sense nor value in gauging them against those of others.. t

‘Don’t be afraid to feel anything today. It’s all valid.’ @JimmyHaber

dear evan hansen‘s anonymous ones heavy law


i also absorbed the terrors and unrelenting emotional distress of my mother.. in the absence of relief, a young person’s natural response.. their only response, really.. is to repress and disconnect from the feeling-states associated w suffering.. one no longer knows one’s body.. oddly, this self-estrangement can show up later in life in the form of an apparent strength, such as my ability to perform at a high level when hungry or stressed or fatigued, pushing on w/o awareness of my need for pause, nutrition, or rest.. alternatively, some people’s disconnection from their bodies manifests as not knowing when to stop eating or drinking.. the ‘enough’ signal doesn’t get thru.. t

maté enough law

garden-enough.. enough ness


these coping mechs ride in on the wings of grace, as it were, to save our lives in the short term.. over time though, if untended to.. become stamped on the psyche and soma, indelibly so, as conditioned responses harden into fixed mechs..t

a sudden at-home-ness is emblematic of how healing works: when trauma’s shackles begin to loosen, we gladly reunite w the severed parts of ourselves.. t

need most/first: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature

brown belonging law et al


tara westover in educated recalls the impact of abuse at the hands of a sibling, willfully ignored by her parents: ‘i saw myself as unbreakable, tender as stone. at first i merely believed this, until one day it became the truth. then i was able to tell myself, w/o lying, that it didn’t affect me, that he didn’t affect me, because nothing affected me.. i didn’t understand how morbidly right i was.. how i had hollowed myself out. for all my obsessing over the consequences of that night, i had misunderstood the vital truth: that its not affecting me, that was its effect


response flexibility: the ability to choose how we address life’s inevitable ups/downs.. to pause between stimulus and response and choose.. trauma robs us of that freedom – rollo may

response flexibility is a function of the midfrontal portion of our cerebral cortex.. no infant is born w any such capacity: behavior governed by instinct/reflex.. not conscious selection.. freedom to choose develops as the brain develops.. the more severe and the earlier the trauma.. the less opp response flexibility has to become encoded in the appropriate brain circuits and the faster it becomes disabled.. one becomes stuck in predictable automatic defensive reactions, esp to stressful stimuli


trauma fosters a shame based view of the self.. (on one of saddest letters received).. stored away in deep freeze and finding no healthy outlet, the emotion had turned against him in the form of self hatred.. ‘i resist the opp to blame others.. i’m a piece of shit because of me’..

in frame of shame (gershen kaufman): ‘is a piercing awareness of ourselves as fundamentally deficient in some vital way as a human being’.. among most poisonous consequences o shame is the loss of compassion for oneself..

the negative view of self may not always penetrate conscious awareness and may even masquerade as its opp: high self regard.. some people encase selves in an armored coat of grandiosity and denial of any shortcomings so as not to feel that enervating shame.. that self puffery is as sure a manifestation of self-loathing as is abject self deprecation, albeit a much more normalized one.. it is a marker of our culture’s insanity that certain individuals who flee form shame into a shameless narcissism may even achieve great social, econ, and political status and success.. our culture grinds many of the most traumatized into the mud but may also.. raise a few to the highest positions of power..

yeah .. all that.. adichie single story law et al

shame ness et al


the most common form shame assumes in this culture is the belief that ‘i am not enough’..

need a means to get back/to garden-enough ness.. ie: mech to undo our hierarchical listening to legit self/others/nature

trauma distorts our view of the world

we have no idea what legit free people (including selves) are like.. only what whales in sea world are like


trauma alienates us from the present.. if trauma entails a disconnection from self, then it makes sense to say we are being collectively flooded w influences that both exploit/reinforce trauma.. work, multitasking, sm, news, entertainment.. these all induce us to become lost in thoughts.. frantic activities, gadgets, meaningless convos.. we are caught up in pursuits of all kinds that draw us on not because they are necessary or inspiring or uplifting or because they enrich.. but simply because the obliterate the present..

hari present in society law.. maté addiction law.. et al


awareness of the moment has become something to fear.. capitalism is expert in catering to this sense of present moment dread.. products designed to fill the gap

khan filling the gaps law et al

to relax enough so as to give oneself over to the rhythms of an episode/encounter.. to follow the thread of feeling.. w/o knowing where it leads.. ultimately what we are distracted from is living

yeah.. for sure.. but still in sea world.. so still reactionary rhythms.. not legit rhythms.. again .. need most/first: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature (aka: global detox; why leap ness for (blank)’s sake)

it didn’t start with you.. on traumatized parent ness unable to break the cycle


the act of blaming herself, its gravitational center planted permanently in the past, would only divert her from showing up for her loved one in the here and now.. blame becomes a meaningless concept the moment one understand show suffering in a family system or even in a community extends back thru the generations.. john bowlby: ‘recognition of this quickly dispels any disposition to see the parent as villain’.. no matter how far back we look in the chain of consequence.. great grandparents, pre modern ancestors, adam and eve, the first single celled amoeba.. the accusing finger can find no fixed target.. that should come as a relief

a relief and also a letting go of a ginormous time-suck/obsession


thurman interconnectedness law et al.. cast first stone et al..

get better: seeing trauma as an internal dynamic grants us much needed agency.. if we treat trauma as an external event..then it becomes a piece of history we can never dislodge.. if on other hand.. trauma is what took place inside us as a result of what happened.. wounding/disconnection.. then healing and reconnection become tangible possibilities.. trying to keep awareness of trauma at bay hobbles our capacity to know ourselves.. since by defn trauma reps a distortion and limitation of who we were born to be.. facing it directly w/o either denial or over identification becomes a doorway to health/balance..

again.. need: means to undo our hierarchical listening

socrates: an unexamined life is not worth living. as long as one doesn’t examine self, one is completely subject to whatever one is wired to do, but once you become aware that you have choices, you can exercise those choices’

yeah.. that.. mostly.. but too.. our choices today are like spinach or rock ness.. if we want to be legit free enough to be ourselves.. has to be all of us.. which begs a global re\set.. why leap.. for (blank)’s sake et al


notice he didn’t say ‘once you spend decades in therapy’.. we can access liberation via even modest self examination: a willingness to question ‘many of the truths we cling to’.. that makes them seem so real..

cling\ness et al

(last p on the collective ie’s of trauma.. ie: indigenous, slaves, racism, et al – more on that in part 4)


2 – living in an immaterial world: emotions, health and the body-mind unity

unless we can measure something, science won’t concede it exists, which is why science refuses to deal w such ‘non things’ as the emotions, the mind, the soul, or the spirit’ – candace pert, molecules of emotion..t

literacy and numeracy both elements of colonialism/control/enclosure.. we need to calculate differently and stop measuring things

ie: ubi as temp placebo.. (people thinking they have money when really just getting whatever they legit need.. till they forget about measuring)


all her life she had fit the profile of the nice person who avoids confrontation. ‘my way was always being the caretaker, being needed, always coming to somebody’s rescue, a lot of the time to my own detriment.. i never wanted to have conflict w anyone.. and i always had to be in charge, making sure everything was ok‘.. caroline had exhibited what has been called ‘superautonomous self sufficiency’.. which means .. an exaggerated and outside aversion to asking anything of anyone.. a quick note: nobody is born w such traits.. they invariably stem from coping reactions to developmental trauma, beginning w self abnegation in early childhood.. (more in ch 7)

oi.. yeah that


body and mind while not identical cannot be understood separately.. 1982 german study.. 56 women admitted to hospital for biopsy eval’d.. women w cancerous breast lumps characteristically exhibited ‘extreme suppression of anger and of other feelings’.. 2000 publication of cancer nursing.. cancer nurses themselves ‘somehow, nurses had an intuitive understand that this ‘niceness’ was deleterious (causing harm/damage).. another similar report on als.. predict w accuracy ‘if nice.. have it.. if not nice enough.. don’t have it’.. same w men and prostrate cancer and anger suppression

evans polite\ness law et al..


grief too.. (despite such compelling evidence, i do not believe the loss of a loved one, howsoever tragic, by itself necessarily poses a health risk.. i believe the latter depends on how people are able to process their loss.. support et al.. not only emotional events but emotional responses..)

grief et al


in other words.. stress may disable our immune systems’ capacity to control and eliminate malignancy

bush immune system law et al

sometimes ordinary stresses.. more ptsd symptoms than war and disaster


medical professionals often do little to encourage.. and may even resist.. people trusting in their own hunches.. which tend to synthesize signals form both mind and body.. t

when body says no et al.. on each heart et al

need first/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature


3 – you rattle my brain: our highly interpersonal biology

‘all my relations’.. i have often heard this greeting when visiting native communities in canada.. these are the places where my country, to its shame, sees the highest levels of physical and mental illness, addiction, and early death.. t – a tragic situation analogous w that of similarly colonized aboriginal populations int eh us and australia.. the phrase, as i understand it refers to the individual’s multidimensional bond w the entire world, including people – from close relatives to strangers, from the living .. to ancestors.. and also the rocks, plants, earth, sky and all creatures.. ancient cultures have long understood that we exist in relationship to all, are affected by all, and affect all..t

huge huge ginormous huge to:

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman 

‘they live in wisdom who see themselves in all and all in them’..t.. john donne ‘no man is an island, entire of itself’

maté wise suffer law

suffering the most because they still grok this.. ie: crazywise (doc) et al

no man is an island et al.. the it is me.. but i’m never just me.. et al.. because:

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

so.. be you .. for us..

but ..

this is why we need to leap to a legit global re\set.. ie: costello screen\service law et al

huge huge huge huge huge


the concept of interpersonal neurobiology was intro’d some years ago by dr daniel siegel.. like myself and many of our colleagues, dr siegel had become uncomfortable w the limitations of his ed.. ‘when i was in med school.. many of the fine teachers we had approached their patients, and their students, *as if they had no center of inner experience.. not subjective internal core we might call our mental life.. it was as if we were just bags of chemicals and bodily organs w/o a self, w/o a mind’.. he sensed that both research and practice lacked a consensus defn of ‘health’ and startlingly in the mental health field lacked even a shared agreement of what ‘mind’ is .. let alone a share view of the relationship of mind and brain.. he set out to explore what such a consensus might look like.. the teams’ findings confirmed that **our brains and minds are not independent operations.. functioning in isolation from other brains/minds.. in fact, nothing about us, mental or physical, can be comprehended apart form the many faceted milieu in which we exist.. ***we can perhaps treat human biology as strictly self contained in an artificial setting like a med lab or pathology theater, but not in real life..

dan siegel

*already on each heart ness.. kingdom is within you ness.. the it is me et al

**beyond the monastic self et al.. i’m never just me et al

***sea world ness


unsurprisingly, the closer we are to someone, the more our physiology interacts w theirs.. married people have lower raters of mortality than their age matched single contemporaries.. whether the latter were separated, divorced, widowed or had never married.. single people showed an elevated risk for heart disease and cancers.. et al.. (more in ch 23).. interestingly ‘unhappily married persons are worse off in well-being than unmarried persons’


given their vulnerability and dependence, children’s physiology is esp susceptible to the emotional states of their caregivers.. asthma is a well studied ie: the inflammation of the child’s lungs is directly affected by the mother’s or father’s emotions..

racism is another risk factor for asthma.. is the inflammation and airway constriction .. individual pathology or the manifestation of a social malaise..

krishnamurti measure law et al

the more we learn, the more we realize that our health is a complex consequence of ‘all our relations‘ .. and not just the ones close at hand.. social status.. employment et al.. greater risk

thurman interconnectedness law.. hari rat park law.. hari present in society law.. et al

none of us are free et al


bad job worse than no job

bs jobs from birth et al.. need: no jobs..

interpersonal biology also accounts for why loneliness can kill, especially in older people separated form pleasures, social connections or support.. studies show.. that the lethal effect of deficient interpersonal relationships is comparable to such risk factors as smoking and alcohol, and even exceeds the dangers posted by physical inactivity and obesity

loneliness et al..


4 – everything i’m surrounded by: dispatches from the new science


the dominant assumption in our culture is that genetic inheritance determines the better part of our destiny..who we are..what we suffer.. what we are capable of .. in 2000.. clinton proclaimed the findings of the human genome project ‘the most wondrous map ever produced by humankind.. today we are learning the language in which god created life.. will revolutionize the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of most if not all human disease’.. leading to cure for conditions like alzheimer’s, parkinson’s, and cancer ‘by attacking their genetic roots


2 decades later, we know that little of the sort has happened.. and for good reason: genes are not in fact life’s language.. like all building blocks.. genes help make up the language of existence.. but it is thru the working of epigenetics that they are activated, accented or quieted.. experience in other words.. determine how our genetic potential expresses itself in the end.. this is what the field of epigenetics.. meaning ‘on top of’ genes.. is all about.. ie: messages form the environ telling the genes what to do.. w/o altering the genes themselves.. epigenetics offers ‘a way of adapting to changing conditions w/o inflicting a more permanent shift in our genomes

it’s not that genes don’t matter.. they certainly do.. only that they cannot dictate even the simplest behaviors.. let alone account for most illnesses or address possible cures for them.. far from being the autonomous arbiters of our destinies, genes answer to their environ.. w/o environmental signals.. they could not function

m of care – oct 13 – signs/signals ness


stress, racism, et al.. makes people old.. ‘the neighborhood deprivation, the crime, the income of the zip code.. all of that is associated w aging of the cells that is to me one of the biggest demonstrations that our health is outside of our body’ – dr epel.. and the reverse – good = younger


5 – mutiny on the body: the mystery of the rebellious immune system


virtually all autoimmune diseases are characterized by inflammation..t of the afflicted tissues, organs, and body parts.. which explains why frontline medical measure often begin w anti inflam drugs.. when non steroidal anti inflam like ibuprofen or heavier artillery such as steroids themselves prove inadequate, physicians may prescribe meds to suppress the body’s immune activity

inflammation ness


1\ the first mystery is.. why are they becoming more frequent..t.. rules out genetic causes.. suggests environ factors at play.. something in environ is inflaming our bodies


2\ second mystery is .. skewed gender distribution.. 70-80% are women.. and (imbalance) increasing .. t .. in 1930s balance was about equal.. trend reflected internationally.. t

perhaps maté wise suffer law ness.. (p 52)


not only are such possible lines of inquiry (physical/emotional conditions preceding illness) not pursued but they seem to be verboten in mainstream (med) circles

forbidden cures.. forbidden research.. et al


(on not hearing ‘enough’ – as trauma cope) ‘i was really not myself.. i was always having to operate as a more highly functioning person than i really was‘.. t

wilde not-us law.. because maté trump law et al..

need most/first: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature


on personality traits.. they reflect much that is neither inherent nor immutable about a person.. nor are they character faults; though they may cause us difficulty now, they began as modes of survival.. t

cope\ing ness

many patients ‘usually tried very hard to please .. t.. both in professional and personal contact, and either concealed hostility or express it indirectly.. many of them were perfectionist..


‘i would have another attack every time i saw my mom’.. the emotional triggers of suppressed fear and anger instilled in her in childhood were activate around her family, and that, in turn, would inflame her nervous system


ms is this



on blame or guilt.. no person is their disease.. and no one did it to themselves.. not in any conscious, deliberate, or culpable sense..



6 – it ain’t a thing: disease as process


what if we saw illness as an imbalance in the entire organism, not just as a manifestation of molecular, cells, or organs invaded or denatured by pathology (v: as not a thing but as a process, not separate/external from us).. we can take our rightful place as active participants in the process, rather than remain its victims, helpless but for our reliance on medical miracle workers..

so in entire world.. et al


steven cole: ‘we now know that disease is a long term process.. a physiological process taking place in our bodies and how we live influences how quickly that’s going to get us at a clinical level.. the more we understand about disease, the less clear it becomes when you have it and when you don’t‘.. there are no clear dividing lines between illness and health.. nobody all of a sudden ‘gets’ an autoimmune disease or ‘gets’ cancer.. though it may perhaps make itself known suddenly and w tremendous impact


clue? hypothalamus is the hub of the body’s and brain’s stress apparatus.. a key modulator of immune activity and the apex of the autonomic nervous system.. it translates fear, loss, grief and stress into responses in our bloodstream, organs, cells nerves, lymph nodes, messenger chemicals and molecules throughout the entire organism.. even if untreatable by present day med techniques, it need not be beyond healing, esp if we bring in a wiser, science based appreciation of the interconnected complexity of the disease process and the body mind unity

huge to global re\set and thurman interconnectedness law.. has to be all of us to heal/reset

key point.. stress cannot ’cause’ cancer, for the simple reason that our bodies naturally harbor potentially malignant cells at a ll times.. w/o developing disease of cancer


the question is.. what keeps immune system from successfully confronting the internal menace?.. this is where stress plays it incendiary role.. t

bush immune system law et al

david smithers: cancer.. not a disease of individual cells gone rogue but a manifestation of an imbalanced environ..t


steve cole: ‘one of things many disease have in common is inflammation, acting as kind of a fertilizer for the development of illness..t. we’ve discovered that when people feel threatened, insecure, esp over an extended period of time.. our bodies are programmed to turn on inflammatory genes’

inflammation as fertlilizer

lissa rankin in anatomy of a calling ‘drs become masters at stuffing their emotions.. that was part of my wounding: i wasn’t allowed to ask for help, to be ‘needy’, to complain

dr v – and her surgery ness


her (rankin) key insight was to recognize her entire life as the ground for her several illnesses.. physical and mental; not separate entities.. ‘i had been a stereotypical good girl, overachiever, top of my class, always pushing to develop my talent and intellect, not to satisfy me but to be accepted by others’.. that relentless pressure manifested in her med conditions.. she had to let it go..


wound: can’t hear ‘enough’.. maté enough law.. and maté trump law

and brown belonging law

it (disease) may not be the guest we desire to see.. but a modicum of hospitality – welcoming the unwelcome so to speak – costs us nothing.. and may lead to opp..

ie of non hierarchical listening.. of unconditional listening.. via curiosity.. cure ios city


7 – a traumatic tension: attachment vs authenticity.. t

aka: maté trump law and brown belonging law

jános (hans) selye in the stress of life: ‘most of our tensions and frustrations stem from compulsive needs to act the role of someone we are not’.. t

huge huge huge chapter/key to global re\set..

to a nother way for 8bn people to live.. by org ing around legit needs (ie: maté 2 basic needsattachment and authenticity)


they were id’d ‘pleasers’..t: while anxious about their disease progression, their worries were focused in a special outward direction..

pleasers ness


time after time it was the ‘nice’ people, the ones who compulsively put other’s expectations and needs ahead of their own .. t.. and who repressed their so called negative emotions .. who showed up w chronic illness.. had higher likelihood of cancer and poorer prognoses


my own list of the personality features most often present in people w chronic illness.. in no particular order: automatic and compulsive concern for emotional needs of others, while ignoring one’s own; rigid id w social role, duty and responsibility; overdriven, hyper responsibility based on conviction that one must justify one’s existence b doing/giving; repression of healthy, self protective aggression and anger; harboring and compulsively acting out two beliefs: ‘i am responsible for how other people feel’ and ‘i must never disappoint anyone‘.. t

at the root they are coping patterns

why these features so often overlooked.. goes to heart of our them: they are among the most normalized ways of being in this culture..t.. largely being regarded as admirable strengths rather than potential liabilities.. fly under raider because easily conflated w their healthy analogues: compassion, honor, diligence, loving kindness, generosity, temperance, conscience and so forth.. **note that the qualities on the latter list, while perhaps superficially resembling those of the first, do not imply or require that a person overstep, ignore or suppress who they are and what they feel and need

they are the most normalized ways of being in this culture

*myth of normal

vs crazywise (doc) et al

**brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown


obituaries.. in which friends and relative pay homage to decease loved ones.. i frequently note in these a certain poignant paradox.. composed w affection and sorrow, these moving tributes often reveal and unwittingly celebrate their dearly departed’s self abnegating traits, w/o recognizing that these may have played a central role in the illness that ended the life..t being remembered.. ‘despite her metastatic cancer ‘did not give up any of her roles.. even took on new ones’.. ‘she never got in a fight w anyone.. she had no ego.. she just blended in with the environ in an unassuming manner’


where does such forsaking the self come from.. no one is born w such traits.. we can unlearn them


a recurring them.. maybe the core theme.. in every talk or workshop i give is the inescapable tension, and for most of us an eventual clash, between two essential needs: attachment and authenticity.. this clash is ground zero for the most widespread form of trauma in our society..t: namely, the ‘small t’ trauma expressed in a disconnection form the self even in the absence of abuse or overwhelming threat

core theme: tension/clash between two essential needs: attachment and authenticity..

maté basic needs et al.. let’s org org around those two legit needs

1\ attachment: drive for closeness .. physical and emotional.. t

attachment: be us.. being known by someone.. missing piece #2

2\ authenticity: being true to self.. knowing gut feelings and honoring them..t

authenticity: be you.. be true to self.. missing piece #1


the dilemma is this: what happens if our needs for attachment are imperiled by our authenticity.. (and vice versa).. not being seen for who you are is sufficient.. t

maté trump law

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown

although both needs are essential, there is a pecking order: in the first phase of life, attachment unfailingly tops the bill..t so when the two come into conflict in a child’s life, the outcome is well nigh predetermined.. if the choice is between ‘hiding my feelings ever form myself and getting the basic care i need’ and ‘being myself and going without’.. i’m going to pick that first option every single time.. thus our real selves are leveraged bit by bit in a tragic transaction where we secure our physical or emotional survival by relinquishing who we are and how we feel.. becomes our ‘new normal’

maté trump law


if we don’t receive the agenda free, unconditional attention we all require, one way to guard against that deprivation is to become concerned w physical attractiveness or other attention getting attributes or accomplishments..t if we are not made to feel important for just who we are, we may seek significance by becoming compulsive helpers..

pearson unconditional law et al.. no agenda.. usefully preoccupied et al


valuation or appreciation or approval or success cannot possibly resolve the ache in the soul.. t

any form of m\a\p


when a small child, i felt abandoned and unloved.. my response to this was to want to be very good’

pleasers ness et al

the imperative to survive overrides everything, and that survival depends on the maintenance of attachment, at whatever cost to authenticity..t

maté trump law

brown belonging law


part 2 – the distortion of human development


8 – who are we really? human nature, human needs

what is our nature?.. though it may not be obvious why a book about health in the 21st cent should concern itself w so broad and elusive a topic, i believe the question is central, w far ranging implications.. the relative health of any life form is a function of its essential needs being met or not met..t thus.. to know what kind of beings we are is to know what we need in order to be those beings to the fullest.. who we take ourselves to be dictates how we set up our live, individually and collective, and determines the extent to which a culture does or doesn’t meet the requirements for opitmal health and functioning

krishnamurti measure law

human nature et al not.. what is a whale like in sea world


alfie kohn: usually say ‘almost always unsavory’.. act of generosity rarely called human nature

alfie kohn

marshall sahlins: ‘for greater part of history, self interest as we know it is unnatural.. it is considered madness

marshall on culture

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman 

undisturbed ecosystem et al

i find discussions of a fixed human nature unhelpful and even misleading.. we are not one way..


robert sapolsky: ‘the nature of our nature is not to be particularly constrained by our nature’.. our miraculous talent for adaptation could also be a liability..

robert sapolsky

more than any other factor, it is the environ.. the conditions under which development takes place.. which either do or don’t meet our multiple needs

hari rat park law et al


in the continuum concept: in search of happiness lost, jean liedloff proposed that all life develops as ‘an expectation for its environment’ .. lungs can be seen as an expectation for oxygen.. ears for the vibration of sound waves.. ‘if one wants to know what is correct for any species, one must know the inherent expectation of that species‘.. an inherent expectation is a wired in need, something that if denied interferes w our physical and psychological equilibrium, leading to poorer health outcomes.. physically, mentally and socially.. t

huge.. this is the center of problem

ie: maté basic needs.. a problem deep enough.. that deep

let’s org around that

jean liedloff


liedloff described these forebears of ours as ‘people whose good relations are more important than their bargains’.. confirm with research on hunter gatherers via darcia narvaez.. held values emphasizing hospitality, sharing, generosity, and reciprocal exchange for purpose not of personal enrichment but of connections.. these values were intelligent time test guidelines for mutual survival..

ie (to me) that h g ‘s already in sea world.. red flags: reciprocity; exchange; intellect ness; guide ness; et al

darcia narvaez


in our present capitalist society, darcia narvaez suggested to me we have become ‘species atypical’.. a sobering idea when you think about it: no other species ever had the ability to be untrue to itself, to forsake its own needs, never mind to convince itself that such is the way things ought to be..t

huge.. (but again for all of time to date).. like whales in sea world.. we have no idea what legit free people are like


9 – a sturdy or fragile foundation: children’s irreducible needs

raffi caoukian woke suddenly at 6 one morning in 1997.. ‘i bolted upright in bed.. jaw dropped, eyes wide open and he words ‘child honoring’ were playing right in front of my eyes.. as a phrase and as the name of a philosophy’.. for the next decade, the internationally cherished children’s troubadour took time away form the concert state and recording studio to dedicate himself to envisioning, networking and advocating for world that honors children.. he has maintained that commitment.. ‘at its core, child honoring is respect for personhood.. children are here to learn their own song


kind of like vinay on rights of children.. kind of like your own song ness

but we all need this (as detox).. ie: 1 yr to be 5 ness



we discover who we are from the inside..what’s forming is no less than how it feels to be human.. and i’m using my words carefully here: how it feels to be human’.. our culture too often subordinates felt knowledge to the intellect.. this inverted ranking system upends how we raise our children.. which in turn serves to reinforce the error culturewide.. t

need: means to listen that deep everyday.. to the itch-in-8bn-souls.. not even about discovering who we are.. more like being who we are..

public consensus always oppresses someone(s)

brown belonging lawthe opposite of belonging.. is fitting in.. true belonging doesn’t require you to change who you are.. it requires you to be who you are.. and that’s vulnerable.. –Brené Brown


suffice it to say that the quality of early caregiving is heavily, even decisively, determined by the society context in which it takes place.. t

hari rat park law et al


to truly raise a child would be to bring that child to his/her full potential as a human being.. so why in our modern culture do we chronically miss that goal?.. the problem begins w the failure to grasp the needs of the developing child.. t

ie: maté basic needs.. we need to org around these 2 legit needs

‘children must feel an invitation to exist in our presence, exactly the way they are’ neufeld

again.. brown belonging law et al..

gordon neufeld.. hold on to kids

the child doesn’t have to do anything, or be any different, to win that love, in fact, cannot do anything, because this abiding embrace cannot be earned, or can it be revoked.. it doesn’t depend on the child’s behavior or personality.. it is just there.. whether the child is growing up good/bad/naughty /nice..

pearson unconditional lawwhat is it about loving each other unconditionally that scares us so much – come sunday (pearson)

and without it.. khan filling the gaps law


(the essence of those experiences can be expressed in one word: security) where does a sense of security come from.. again.. warm, attuned interactions w caregivers are the key ingredient

the lead researcher ventured that ‘maybe you can’t be too affectionate.. from the policy perspective it definitely adds to that body of research that we should be able to protect time for mothers and fathers to be affectionate to kids’..i consider it a sign of cultural lunacy that something so elemental .. so essential.. should be under such threat that we even have to exhort policymakers to ‘protect’ it

for a long time it was assumed that infants are impelled to bond w caregivers only out of their helpless dependency on food, warmth and shelter.. we no know that social/emotional needs are just as much encoded.. that optimal development requires they be met


(about his mom when breastfeeding in night et al) i see a young woman in whose brain the instinctual care system described by panksepp is at odds w the cultural mindset.. succumbing to the unnatural dictates of medical authority, her mother’s heart aches..

and what of the infant… some 3 decades later in 1975. jean liedloff warned her readers in the continuum concept about ‘the current fashion to let the baby cry until its heart is broken and it gives up, goes numb, and becomes a ‘good baby‘.. and indeed i became a very good baby..even as 4 yr old i would lie in my bed before dawn stoically enduring the stabbing pain of a middle ear infection, whimpering quietly to myself so as not to disturb my sleeping parents

jean liedloff

though it no doubt runs diametrically counter to most parents’ intentions, a child who se cries are not responded to..who is not fed.. not held close to a parent’s warm body when in distress.. learns a clear if wordless lesson: that his needs will not be met.. that he must constantly strive to find rest and peace, that he is not lovable as he is

‘when brains undercared for they become more stress reactive and subject to dominance by our survival systems.. fear.. panic.. rage.. ‘ darcia narvaez..

darcia narvaez

the question becomes.. what are the irreducible needs of the child’ – gordon neufueld said to me

huge.. need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be.. so we can..

org around legit needs


4 irreducible needs for human maturation in dr neufeld’s astute formulation..

to me.. 1 – missing piece #2.. 2&3&4 – missing piece #1.. so just 2.. maté basic needs.. let’s org around those two

1\ the attachment relationship: children’s deep sense of contact and connection w those responsible for them

2\ a sense of attachment security that allows the child to rest from the work of earning his right to be who he is and as he is


3\ permission to feel one’s emotions, especially grief, anger, sadness and pain.. in other words, the safety to remain vulnerable


4\ the experience of free play in order to mature


10 – trouble at the threshold: before we come into the world


robert sapolsky: ‘as soon as you’re a fetus, you are subject to whatever info is coming thru mom’s circulation, hormone levels, and nutrients’

we need to consider to what extent our culture, including employment and the health care and insurance systems, supports or undermines women’s capacity to hold their unborn infants’ needs as a high social priority


imagine hearing your own melody and lyrics, already familiar to you as you are ceremonially ushered into your new home.. the outside world

your own song ness


11 – what choice do i have? childbirth in a medicalized culture


michel odent: ‘we have to deindustrialize childbirth, t stop disturbing the first contact between mother and baby’.. suppression of innate knowledge is one of medicine’s unfortunate tendencies


12 – horticulture on the moon: parenting, undermined

by virtue of being human.. we all are endowed w a natural drive and talent for *child rearing.. the bad news is that our society’s guiding assumptions and prevailing prejudices serve to alienate us from that innate knowledge.. so in herent to our spiecies that it cannot be taught, only activated or disabled..

*actually.. more about just being ourselves.. than rearing anyone


(on breastfeeding et al) panksepp: ‘the enchanting ballet of emotions between a mother and her infant’.. ie: vasopressin, oxytocin, and endorphins.. the body’s natural opiates.. all of which awaken in parents nurturing habits that are essential to the survival of the young.. recall these are chemicals that, blended, form a ‘love cocktail’ released by natural labor.. skin to skin contact and suckling also elicit their flow in the mother.. the physiology of infant and parent is thus co regulated by their interactions, and the effect of these interaction – or their absence – can be imprinted in the young human for a lifetime.. likewise.. in the dearth of such interactions, parenting instincts may become muted, w long term consequences for the parent child relationship.. in this, as in other crucial ways, our culture has become contact starved


‘the common early experience of our ancestors (and cousins, the small band hunger gatherers) provided a social commons for the development of human nature – the essence of being human‘ writes darcia narvaez

i’d said.. almost..

the research she has surveyed id’d 7 early child rearing practices shared by h g groups..practices she calls the ‘evolved nest’ – 1\ soothing perinatal experience 2\ prompt response to needs 3\ extensive touch/holding 4\ frequent infant initiated breastfeeding for 2-5 yrs 5\ a community of responsive adult caregivers 6\ climate of positive social support (for mother and infant) 7\ creative free play with whoever


she said ‘in our culture we have pretty much unnested our children.. we are missing most of the components of what helps a baby grow into full potential.. that’s the unnestedness’


the word (dignified) i snot figurative.. even babies.. perhaps they especially – know when their physical and emotional integrity is being ignored or violated

maté not yet scrambled law et al.. when body says no et al

for jordan peterson.. steeped in behaviorist ideology, discipline is often a matter of intimidating children.. he proudly boasts.. ‘when my daughter was little i could paralyze her into immobility w an evil glance’

oi jordan peterson ness


more recently a harvard study showed that the damage wrought by spanking.. the child’s nervous system and psyche may be as severe as that caused by more intense violence

oi .. more intense? degrees of violence..? oi


horticulture on the moon would doubtless be a madding endeavor, but that tells u s nothing about gardening, only that certain conditions must be in place if we hope to succeed

black science of people/whales law et al.. ie: all history ness to date.. illegit.. only about whales in sea world.. we have no idea what legit free people are like

same goes (as breastfeeding shame et al) for some forms of ‘sleep training’.. the assumption that infants needs to be trained tto sleep is based on a culture view that the child should adjust to the parents; schedule and agenda..

i’d say all.. no train et al

shutting down our response to a baby’s distress may also weaken our own parenting instincts, w consequences that long outlast the child’ infancy



the message the child gets is ‘you are not worthy of my attention.. you must work to earn it’.. imprints survive in our unconscious and in our nervous systems..


13 – forcing the brain in the wrong direction: the sabotage of childhood


if we don’t hold our children close to us, the ultimate cost is the loss of their ability to hold on to their own truest selves..


(on school.. oi).. ‘let children be children.. the work of a child is to play’.. and as far as outcomes go? finland consistently ranks at or near the top of ed test score results in the western world and has been ranked the most literate nation on earth

oi oi oi oi oi oi oi .. not play.. not free.. not letting children be children.. any form of m\a\p (test scores.. literacy ness.. oi oi oi)

need a legit other way .. if any form of m\a\p.. will just be same song (aka: structural violence et al)


14 – a template for distress: how culture builds our character

(on being like ants ‘in our lack of an independently self determined self’) in ant colony.. all same set of genes/equal.. which creature becomes what.. depends on needs of the clan.. the oncologist and author siddhartha mukherjee describe this phenom in a fascinating article in the new yorker: ‘ants have a powerful cast system.. a colony typically contains ants that carry out radically diff roles and have markedly diff body structures/behaviors’.. genetically identical siblings will become differentiated into biologically variable adults based purely on signals form the physical and social environ

siddhartha mukherjee.. and wild city of ants ness.. yeah .. not so sure if that would happen (or at least not the way it has) if all were legit free.. ie: if we org’d around legit needs

‘in undisturbed ecosystems ..the average individual, species, or population, left to its own devices, behaves in ways that serve and stabilize the whole..’ –Dana Meadows .. et al


for all our attachment to our individual self concept, we are rather antlike in this respect ‘there is far less autonomy for a *human being that we would like to think’ dr michael kerr told me in an interview.. ‘**how we function as indivduals cannot be understood outside of our relationship to the larger group‘.. in other words, our character and personalities reflect the needs of the milieu in which we develop.. the roles we are assigned or denied, how we fit into society or are excluded from it, and what the ***culture induces us to believe about ourselves, determine much about the health we enjoy or the diseases that plague us.. in this, and in many other ways, ****illness and health are manifestations of the social macrocosm

not going to argue that that is how it’s playing out.. but not sure that’s how it would happen if we were all legit free.. i’d say more about brown belonging law ness and undisturbed ecosystem ness..

ie: rather *whales; and **this seems legit but still whalespeak if still in sea world.. so.. hari rat park law et al; ***total whalespeak and supposed to ness; ****that’s true.. and why we need a legit global re\set.. for (blank)’s sake

humanity needs a leap.. to get back/to simultaneous spontaneity .. simultaneous fittingness.. everyone in sync..


(on being in context of hypermaterialist, consumerist capitalism).. we see here the *attachment/authenticity tug of war writ large.. just as we are conditioned to fit into the family, even if that means a departure form our true selves, so we are prepped.. on might even say groomed.. to fulfill our expected social roles and take on the characteristics necessary to do so .. no matter the cumulative cost to our well being.. t

yeah *that.. always will .. until we let go of all/any forms of m\a\p


thomas merton (monk) ‘the logic of worldly success rests on a fallacy: the strange error that our perfection depends on the thoughts and opinions and applause of other men.. a weird life it is, indeed, to be living always in somebody else’s imagination, as if that were the only place in which one could at last become real‘.. t

ulf: ‘the success i had was 100% external. based on a mental construct i built as a 5 yr old and a 15 yr old of what it takes to be accepted’.. in this sense, as erich fromm pointed out.. the family acts, unwittingly , as the ‘psychic agent’ for society to form what he called the social character

erich fromm.. fromm destructiveness law.. fromm saddened law.. fromm spontaneous law.. et al


the social character in fromm’s words ‘the core character common to most members of a culture .. diff from individual.. social defines/governs us.. assures that we will fit the ‘normal’ mold in our particular culture.. fromm’s concept strikes me as a potent rendering of how we function in society – antlike

whales in sea world like

all my life, no doubt spurred by the horrors that shaped my childhood, i have wondered how it is that so many good people can be hypnotized into compliance with indefensible (homelessness et al).. *there has to be some mechanism to acculturate us to accept as normal what is inimical to ourselves and to the world we inhabit.. it is certainly not an inborn inclination.. somehow the system’s values and expectation get under the skin to he point where we confuse them w ourselves..

*structural violence.. any form of m\a\p

as fromm put it.. often people’s behavior is not a matter of conscious decision to follow the social pattern, but of ‘wanting to act as they have to act’.. in this way a culture creates members who will serve its purposes.. thus .. what is considered normal and natural are established not by what is good for people but by what is expected of them which traits and attitudes serve the maintenance of the culture.. these are then enshrined as ‘human nature’ while deviations from them are seen as abnormal.. t

socrates supposed to law et al


[features of social character imbued in our culture]

1\ separation from self: i needed to be needed, wanted, and admired as a sub for love

our existing stresses in the parenting environ and socially sanctioned child rearing practices that negate the child’s needs

maté parenting law.. graeber parent/care law .. et al


on botox rendering face unnaturally less responsive.. ‘nursing mother taking botox.. not able to communicate emotions w babies or pick up babies’ emotions’ – peter levine – ‘what we have w the internet is sort of a botox for the masses.. we have just lost this capacity to be real, which is fundamentally what makes us human, and what makes us feel connected to each other

2\ consumption hunger: julia kristeva ‘desire are manufactured as surely as are the commodities meant to fulfill them.. we consume our needs, unaware that what we take to be a ‘need’ has been artificially produced

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be..

so we can org around legit needs


driven by a culturally fueled conviction of insufficiency, we become addicted to consumption.. to mute the pain

mute the pain of not enough ness.. maté enough law et al (the enough signal doesn’t get thru)

3\ hypnotic passivity: erich fromm – ‘the family has the function of transmitting the requirements of society to the growing child’.. it does so in all the ways we examined: deprived of breastfeeding; not being held; left alone to cry it out; compelled to repress feelings; programmed to fit in e expectations of others’ denied spontaneous free ply’ disciplined by punitive measure – time out – threatened w loss of unconditional positive acceptance; denied connection w nature.. these contribute to the inner emptiness.. the void that addiction and compulsions will later attempt to fill..

khan filling the gaps law et al


part 3 – rethinking abnormal: afflictions as adaptations


15 – just not to be you: debunking the myths about addiction


why do we engage in such destructive behavior.. that question confronted me almost daily throughout my career.. realm of hungry ghosts and vancouver’s downtown east side

realm of hungry ghosts et al


two misleading misconceptions.. addiction a product of 1\ bad choices or else a 2\ disease


on drugs having long lasting changes in brain that undermine voluntary control.. but further.. most addicted people had little choice even before their habits took hold.. their brains arrived on the scene already impaired by life experience.. the choice model ignores the question of what would drive a person toward addiction in the first place

disease paradigm is more compassionate.. thought it too misses the human element.. it separates mind form body.. brain form mind..


it does not take a substance addiction to bring about changes in brain chemistry ie: gaming, food

disease word also crops up in world of 12 step; recovery..


addictions not that abnormal.. rather.. coping mechs..

calling them diseases is to miss both the point and the opportunity to deal w them intelligently.. addiction represent the defenses of an organism against suffering it does not know how to endure.. aka: natural response to unnatural circumstances.. an attempt to soothe the pain..

2 essential questions – over my decades of med practice and 1000s of conversations.. i have learned that the first question to ask is not what is wrong w an addiction but what is right.. what benefit is the person deriving from it.. what are they getting that they otherwise can’t access


just as i have never met anyone who chose to become addicted.. neither have i met anyone whose addiction did not.. at onset at least. provide for some essential human need.. ie: social connection; easier to communicate; lost inhibitions; ‘high’ warmth; ..


russell brand: ‘first time i took heroin it felt so sacred/spiritual/warm/maternal.. felt like nothing mattered.. and i felt safe’.. his use of word maternal is more than metaphorical: it speaks directly to the neurobiology of opiate addiction

russell brand..


darrell hammond: ‘alcohol gives you 3-4 hrs of peace.. just peace.. the talk in the head stops, the negative thinking.. it’s precious’

who ever heard a disease makes you feel normal or function better than normally.. shall we do nancy reagan one better ‘just say no to pain relief.. to warm, nurturing feeling’.. to peace, calm, empowerment, sense of self worth, community and friendship, to unfettered self expression.. to love..?

dave navarro: ‘i did notice.. that whenever i started using substances again, i got a sense of what a human being is supposed to feel like’.. try saying no to that

oh my.. dear jd.. don’t know how to be a human


keith richards: ‘it was a search for oblivion, i suppose.. the convolutions you go thru just not to be you for a few hours’

pain then is the central them.. no wonder people so often speak about the benign numbing effect of their addictions: only a person in pain craves anesthesia

second cornerstorne (question): not why the addiction.. but why the pain

maté addiction law

bud osborn.. travis lupick.. fighting for space.. et al


(w/in ie’s of people’s reasons/pain) bud osborn.. via travis lupick’s fighting for space..


another myth.. there are ‘addicts’ and non addicts.. we’re all in it


16 – show of hands: a new view of addiction


3 main hallmarks of addiction: 1\ short term relief/pleasure 2\ long term suffering for self/others 3\ inability to stop


david sheff in beautiful boy ‘caught off guard’ because no big T trauma in this family.. no child abuse or dire adversity.. dysfunctional parental relationship.. ‘we shouldn’t have been together’.. believed i was doing this for nick’

david sheff.. beautiful boy.. marriage\ing.. et al


what the degree of injury, all addiction is a kind of refugee story: from intolerable feelings incurred thru adversity and never processed and into a state of temp freedom, even if illusory.. again.. try saying no to that

no drug is in itself addictive, not even the most notorious ‘high risk’ ones like crack o meth.. most people who do try drugs.. any drug.. even repeatedly, never become addicted.. the reason why throw further light on the nature of addictions


answer to ‘is _______ addictive’ depends on the degree of pain one needs to soothe.. t


no single addiction gene has ever been found.. nor ever will be.. any genetic risks for substance abuse can be offset by being reared in a nurturing environ.. experiences of stress in the womb can predispose to addiction.. by altering brain’s ability to respond to stress in functional ways.. bruce perry: ‘number and density of dopamine receptors in these brain areas is determined in utero’


all addictions, whether to drugs or behavior involve dopamine.. dopamine is the essential neurotransmitter in the motivation system.. every addict is a dopamine fiend.. addiction begins as an attempt to induce feelings we were biologically programmed to generate innately.. and would have.. if unhealthy development hadn’t got in the way

sex addiction for ie has nothing to do w a high sex drive and everything to do w dopamine.. w substance addiction you typically get one or a few spikes just before use.. with behavioral addictions dopamine itself is the substance.. the primary component.. esp in porn addiction.. the spikes happen over and over again (with each view)


the endorphin system too is dependent on supportive attuned relationships early in life for its development.. face to face interaction activate the child’s sympathetic nervous system..


robert palmer song ‘addicted to love’.. all of us.. except it’s not really love we get hooked on but our desperate attempts to cope w its lack.. by any means necessary..


17 – an inaccurate map of our pain: what we get wrong about mental illness


johann hari has explored addiction and depression from both the personal and journalistic points of view.. in lost connections.. he relates his own experience of devastatingly low moods, followed by his initial elation at the depression diagnosis that at last ‘explained’ his disturbing mind state.. like mine, hari’s first experience of meds was positive.. he is not entirely jaded about the bio approach .. but he also noted w sorrow that ‘it has crowded out the more common sense insights that people have about why they become distressed.. it’s given us an inaccurate map of our own pain’

johann hari.. lost connections.. chasing the scream.. et al


link between psych disorder and childhood misfortune.. as strong statistically as link between smoking and lung cancer


over maltreatment is not necessary to exert negative impacts on the neurobiology of the brain or functioning of the mind.. even w/o abuse/neglect

the most powerful predictor of your functioning in the present is your current relational connectedness and then second.. your history of connectedness..

missing piece #2

‘don’t be so sensitive’ people are often told.. in other words.. ‘don’t be so yourself

missing piece #1


rc lewontin: ‘genes affect how sensitive one is to environ, and environ affects how relevant one’s genetic differences may be.. when an environ changes.. all bets are off’..

the same ‘sensitivity’ genes that in a stressed enviro can help potentiate mental suffering may under positive circumstances help promote stronger mental resilience and therefore happiness. sensitive people have the potential to be more aware, insightful, inventive, artistic, and empathetic if their sensitivity is not crushed by maltreatment of disdain..

not yet scrambled ness et al


no one has ever id’d any gene that causes mental illness.. jehannine austin: ‘everybody has some genes that predispose to mental illness.. but these are a very very long way away form causing anything.. ‘


18 – the mind can do some amazing things: from madness to meaning

rather than seeing it (conditions under the ‘illness’ umbrella) as an intruder from the ouside, consider what it might be expressing about the life in which it arises..


what is pushed down (depression is a pushing down) when a person is depressed is easily id’d by its absence: emotion, the continual flow of feelings that remind us we’re alive.. only thing that remains.. a pain.. if we label this depression of feeling a disease.. we risk not recognizing its original adaptive function : to distance oneself form emotions that are unbearable at a time in life when to experience them is to court greater calamity.. recall.. what i called the tragic tension between authenticity and attachment.. when experiencing and expressing what we feel threatens our closest relationships.. we suppress.. more accurately, we don’t: our mind does that automatically and unconsciously on our behalf

ah almaas: ‘the child can feel the tension rigidity and pain in the body of the mother or of anyone else he is with.. if the mother is suffering the baby suffers to.. the pain never gets discharged’

a h almaas.. maté and almaas on trauma and spirit.. et al


in other words.. far from expressing inherited pathology, depression appears as a coping mechanism to alleviate grief and rage and to inhibit behaviors that would invite danger.. t

cope\ing ness .. depression


better to believe ‘it’s my fault; i’m bad (rather than people around you are malicious et al)’ which lets you believe there’s the chance that ‘if i work hard and be good, i will be lovable’.. thus.. the debilitating belief in one’s unworthiness.. nearly universal among people w mental health diagnoses and addictions.. begins as a coping mech..


darrell hammond ‘cutting afforded him ‘a crisis that’s more manageable that the terror inside you.. the one that’s going on in your head’


helen knott: ‘i didn’t want to die at that time.. that’s not what cutting was about.. i was doing it so i could put up with living

thus.. many action sand beliefs that look like pure insanity from one perspective make sense from another.. and always made sense at the start..

crazywise (doc) et al

same lessons from robin williams.. night before suicide.. effervescent people loving person (at a party) underneath that mask, he was in despair

robin williams.. suicide.. et al

he had a sweetness and vulnerability that touched many hearts.. a love that poured out into the world but that he could never extend to himself..


anne lamott (grew up near williams): ‘we were in the same boat.. scared, shy, w terrible self esteem and grandiosity’.. his lifelong dilemma she said would remain ‘how to stay one step ahead of the abyss.. ‘

‘my only companions/friends as a child were my imagination’ he once said .. an admission of profound loneliness.. distant mother and ‘frightening’ father.. ‘ his comic skills had the original function of gaining him some closeness w his mother ‘you get this weird desire to connect w her thru comedy and entertainment’ he told mar maron.. his wording was unkind to himself: there is nothing weird about a child seeking attachment w his parent.. what is abnormal is that any child should have to do so.. t hence.. the same coping mechs that potentiated his greatest gifts ended up becoming the bars of his prison.. the double bind of the hypersensitive child.. once again..


long before he developed a degenerative disorder.. he suffered from what he called ‘please love me syndrome‘.. a self diagnosis far more penetrating than anything a dsm toting psychiatrist could come up with..

no schizo gene.. at most only about 4% of risk can be attributed to wide variety of genes.. what is being transmitted if anything insensitivity and not disease.. greek schizo means split mind.. the question follows naturally: why would a mind need to split itself.. t

hari present in society law et al


self fragmentation is one of the defenses evoked when the experience of how things are cannot be endured.. instantaneous self defense.. from that perspective.. ti is a miraculous dynamic allowing vulnerable creature to survive the unendurable..

helen knott ‘.. i was scared that if i tried to lean into my feelings.. i would fall of the emotional edge and i didn’t know what i would do to myself’.. what we call a disorder is revealed to be an ingenious means for an assaulted psyche to absent itself from agony.. t


(on abuse of theoren fleury sexually assaulted by his hockey coach) horrific though the inciting circumstances were, i hear in fleury’s use of the word ‘amazing’ and appreciation for the parts of himself that mobilized way back when (‘the mind can do amazing things’) to protect him from pain.. an attitude i heartily recommend to anyone making similar discoveries..


good will hunting et al.. ‘it’s not your fault’.. from behavioral problems to full blown mental illness, ti’s not anyone’s fault.. not the fault of brains/genes.. it is an expression of untended wounds, and it is meaningful. it’s about our hurting world, manifesting the illusions and myths of a culture alienated from our essence..

grammatis broken law and essence – maté basic needs


part 4 – the toxicities of our culture


19 – from society to cell: uncertainty, conflict, and loss of control

we know that chronic stress, whatever its source, puts the nervous system on edge, distorts the hormonal apparatus, impairs immunity, promotes inflammation and undermines physical and mental well being.. janos selye, the father of stress research ‘for man the most important stressors are emotional’


i this culture many people are fated to be bearers of heavy allostatic loads, to the detriment of their mental/physical health.. bruce mcewen’s ‘allostatic load’: the wear/tear on body of having to maintain its internal equilib in face of changing/challenging circumstances

structure of society based on power/wealth.. with built in disparities along racial/gender lines.. leaves some people far more physiologically burdened than others.. and while the personal stresses of a *disconnect from self and loss of authenticity may cut across class lines.. the allostatic stain imposed by imbalances of power falls most onerously on the political disempowered and economically disenfranchised.. t

yeah huge

*this is why this is the deeper issue/need.. why a&a are the legit needs we need to org around.. if we want a legit global re\set.. where everything else will fix itself..

my own observations of self and others have led me to endorse fully what a review of the stress lit concluded, namely that ‘psychological factors such as uncertainty, conflict, lack of control and lack of info are considered the most stressful stimuli and strongly activate the hpa axis.. capitalism breeds these conditions

yeah.. but too.. uncertainty and lack of control are only stressful in capitalism/sea world et al.. wouldn’t be if all were legit free.. carhart-harris entropy law et al


noah harari: ‘capitalism is far more than just an econ doctrine.. it now encompasses an ethic a set o teachings about how people should behave.. educate their children and even think.. ‘

yuval noah harari


a refusal to recognize broad econ and political condition as relevant to individual health and happiness is a core feature of materialistic ideology.. no one inclined to connect those dots would ever be entrusted w the keys to the kingdom

so too.. no one grokking the legit needs that each one of us crave would be listened to.. ‘that’s ridiculous/impossible’.. which is the root of the problem.. we’re not listening to what we already grok.. what is already on each heart


wade davis: ‘nation celebrates as wealthiest in history.. though most american live on a high wire.. w no safety net to brace a fall’.. a better blueprint for allostatic overload could not be imagined

true.. but band aid ness.. have to go deeper or will never get out of same song mode

wade davis

no wonder then that insecurity about work or th eloss of it can instigate disease

yeah.. and that’s whalespeak.. not even the root of the problem.. band aid ness


a signature marker of stress is inflammation.. inflammation is implicated in an extensive range of pathologies.. from autoimmune conditions to vascular disease of heart and brain.. from cancer to depression .. steven cole: ‘the more stress or threat or *uncertainty your’e exposed to.. the more the body turns on this defensive program that involves more inflammation’


again.. *this is whalespeak.. i don’t think uncertainty would cause stress in a healthy/free person.. part of what makes/keeps them healthy/free


paul krugman: ‘america is less of a democracy and more of an oligarchy’

democracy.. any form of democratic admin.. any form of m\a\p.. is an oligarchy

jimmy reid (1972): ‘alienation is the precise and correctly applied world for describing he major social problem in britain today.. people feel alienated by society.. let me right at outset define what i mean by alienation.. the cry of men who feel selves victims of blind econ forces beyond their control.. the frustration of ordinary people excluded from the processes of decision making.. t the feeling of despair and hopelessness that pervades people who feel w justification that they have no real say in shaping/determining their own destinies’

oi.. to me.. *this is major whalespeak.. alienation is the major problem.. from self and others.. period.. nothing to do with econ/money.. decision making (it’s unmooring us).. determining destinies.. et al

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be


20 – robbing the human spirit: disconnection and its discontents


bruce alexander.. we both worked w the socially ostracized drug user community in vancouver’s downtown eastside in the early 2000s

just as i have named authenticity and attachment as two basic needs.. so bruce has identified people’s ‘vital need for social belonging w their equally vital needs for individual autonomy and achievement’ and calls the marriage of the two psychosocial integration.. a sane culture.. bruce and i agree.. would have psychosocial integration as both an aim and a norm.. authenticity and attachment would cease to be in conflict: there would be no fundament tension between belonging and being oneself.. t

ginormous ginormous ginormous

this this this

maté basic needs.. hari rat park law (via bruce alexander).. brown belonging law.. et al


karl marx recognized all these and added one more: disconnection form our labor as a meaningful activity over which we have agency and control.. in this marx was prescient.. work encompasses several of the core needs noted above, including competence, mastery and sense of purpose.. just 30% of employees in us feel engaged at work.. et al

oi.. no no no gabor.. work is a cancerous distraction.. as are competence mastery and sense of purpose.. oi.. that’s all whalespeak


like our other needs, meaning is an inherent expectation.. its denial has dire consequences..

i don’t think legit free people would care about meaning ness


naomi klein in her book no logo.. on how big business began in 80s to home in on people’s natural desire to belong to something larger than themselves.. ie: nike marketing more than products.. sell meaning, id and an almost religious sense of belonging thru association w their brand ‘that presupposes a kind of emptiness and yearning in people’ i suggested when i interviewed her.. ‘yes.. they tap in to a longing and a need for belonging and they do it be exploiting the insight that just selling running shoes isn’t enough.. *we humans want to be part of a transcendent project

yeah.. i think that reference is to whales in sea world.. not to legit free people.. ie: brown belonging law et al.. khan filling the gaps law et al..

naomi klein..

*i don’t think so.. i think we think that.. because we’re currently all whales.. but i think our heart/gut craves to just be ourselves.. perhaps as the transcendent project


social isolation inhibits the immune system, promotes inflammation, agitates the stress apparatus, and increase risk of death from heart disease and strokes.. i am referring to social isolation in pre covid sense.. though pandemic has exacerbated the problem..


the more insecure people feel.. the more they focus on material things.. as materialism promises satisfaction.. but instead.. yields hollow dissatisfaction .. it creates more craving.. this massive and self perpetuating addictive spiral is one of the mechs by which consumer society preserves itself by exploiting the very insecurities it generated


21 – they just don’t care if it kills you: sociopathy as strategy


steen reisner: ‘it’s flat out wrong ot think in 21st cent america that narcissism and sociopathy are illnesses.. in today’s america, narcissism and sociopathy are strategies.. and very successful strategies.. esp in business and politics and entertainment’.. call it myth of abnormal.. these antisocial traits (don’t) go against the grain.. they are the grain (ie: corp drug pushers – big pharma et al; climate denial for profit; et al)

greta thunberg..

greta thunberg


abnormal and malignant transformation is now besetting our world.. run by a system that seems rigged against itself.. the abnormal has become the norm; the unnatural has become the inescapable.. rob lustig: “it’s not that they want you t o die.. they only want your money.. they just don’t care if it kills you’


22 – the assaulted sense of self: how race and class get under the skin

helen knott: ‘my brother raised his hand when dad told us we were indians, and thru the tears in his eyes he asked our father ‘but we’re still part human right?”


ta nehisi coates quotes

ta-nehisi coates.. stamped from beginning et al


james baldwin quotes

james baldwin


robert sapolsky quote

robert sapolsky


23 – society’s shock absorbers: why women have it worse


julie holland: ‘women’s anger subdued to detriment of health.. depression, autoimmune diseases, cancer.. the ingrained abdication of the natural, spontaneous ‘no’ is not restrict to women.. but certainly impose don them more widely.. when we don’t even know we’re angry, we can’ converse w the person responsible.. we cry we eat we sooth ourselves a thousand diff ways..’

‘early childhood mechs of self suppression are reinforced by persistent gendered social conditioning.. many some end up self silencing defined as ‘the tendency to silence one’s thoughts & feelings to maintain safe relationships, particularly intimate relationships’


‘i was denying myself as a person, denying my own desires/wants.. everyone else was far more important.. ‘ that not listening to self in order to prioritize others’ needs is a significant source of the health impairing roles women assume


on women and emotional labor

caring labor.. interpretive labor.. et al

the caretakers of alzheimer patients.. the vast majority of whom are women.. have significantly diminished immune function and poorer wound healing, suffer more respiratory illness and experience much higher rates of depression that well matched non caregiving peers..



the self stifling expectation of caregiving while ignoring womens’ own emotions and needs has only been reinforced by the covid pandemic.. ‘mothers are the shock absorbers of our society’.. ny times headline..

our society reinforces mens’ sense of being entitle to women’s care in away that almost escapes being p;ut into words..


some men are aware .. only it is absence.. and experience intense resentment

(rae to gabor) ‘it’s as if your tension is my responsibility, which i have neglected.. you see me thru a negative lens like it must be about me somehow.. i begin to question myself.. i get careful around you as if i’m walking on eggshells.. i start feeling depressed, alienated, lonely.. she has to keep him happy.. he does not differentiate his anger and frustration from her.. she becomes just an object to him

julie holland .. on women’s culturally directed responsibility for soothing men’s angst


male domination exacts a high price in both directions, and by all indicators, it costs more than it pays


24 – we feel their pain: out trauma infused politics

60% of americans according to one poll anticipate family holidays w dread.. ‘a large number believe their physical health has been harmed by their exposure to politics and even more that politics has resulted in emotional costs and lost friendships’


elissa epel (ch 4): could be making your body age faster too’.. ‘headline stress disorder’

in my view there is something going on beyond and beneath the oft lamented ‘hyperpartisanship.. polarization.. radicalization’ we’re witnessing.. i see the wounded electing the wounded.. the traumatized leading the traumatized.. and implementing policies that entrench traumatizing social conditions.. beneath all the posturing, punditry and politicking, the pulse of unseen emotional undercurrents thumps insistently.. i can’t prove it of course..


all i can do is point it out.. i do consider the issue of enormous importance.. and not just because trauma adds flammable emotional fuel 1\ political culture is among the many avenues by which toxic myths become normalized truths.. 2\ same for leaders.. society demands ‘political character’.. w/o which careers would never get off ground.. 3\ consequences are massive.. politicians make policy and policy creates/cements very cultural conditions we know are antithetical to our health

if disease is the individual body’s way of alerting us to something out of joint.. then surely social maladies like addiction and global catastrophes are signs of something amiss in the body politic.. so too is the mood of resignation and cynicism that surrounds politics in general.. levels of suspicion and venom that infuse everything

when body says no et al

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be


traumatic childhood experience has been shown to bear very directly on adult political orientations.. ie: the harsher the parenting people were exposed to as young children, the more prone they become to support authoritarian or aggressive policies.. ie: wars, punitive laws and death penalty


alice miller: ‘harsh child rearing practices long fashionable in germany helped prep the template for nazi authoritarianism.. also intense suffering/oppression in childhood of german fascist leaders.. played decisive role in shaping the mental/emotional/political inclinations

khan filling the gaps law et al


goes on to examine ie’s of political nemeses.. assumingly bad .. (no child is born w dead eyes: such a look bespeaks a recoiling form seeing what is dreadful to a young soul).. and assumingly good.. (there is also something inauthentic, even unctuous about trudeau’s nice guy persona.. i am speculating – his fraught upbringing likely primed him to make cloying sweetness and shallow ingratiation his metier)..


then to trump and hilary

he’s talked about them many times.. on under the skin et al.. so has deeyah khan.. khan filling the gaps law et al


ie: donald’s father treated children w contempt.. poster child for trauma.. lying is 2nd nature to him.. ‘lie their way out of reality when they have been hurt by reality’


ie: hilary’s father ‘don’t whine/complain.. do what you are supposed to do.. hurled biting sarcasm at his wife and daughter.. mother wanted me to be resilient/brave.. when bullied at 4 mom: ‘no room for cowards in this house


hilary blamed herself for her spouse’s infidelity.. he was under great stress.. she had not sufficiently tended to his emotional needs.. aligning w women’s assigned role in culture of patriarchy..

nika & silvia on divorce et al.. interpretive labor et al


their respective supporters would likely shudder at the thought of them being remotely similar, trump and clinton were a match made in childhood suffering

eisenstein i know you law.. kownacki hear\t law.. et al

on reading biographies of leaders from many countries across historical periods.. one sees how each of them.. in own ways.. had emotionally starved childhood.. each overcame these adversities by dint of the very personality qualities that would land them in the history books as icons and change makers.. no matter what great harms they perpetuated.. traits seen by many to this day as laudable and worthy of emulation.. that’s as normal as normal can get..

much of politics is a lot more coherent if we see how people, many millions of them at once, unconsciously look to their leaders to fulfill their own unmet childhood needs.. t

again.. khan filling the gaps law et al


daniel siegel ‘it’s like a child wanting to be w a parent that will proect them’

dan siegel

idealizing leaders as a kind, supportive caring.. can be another form of displace longing for attuned parents..

missing pieces.. need to org around those 2 legit needs

overlapping/adjacent to politics.. the vast expanse of entertainments, pro sports, fads, obsessions we call popular cultures.. to divert people’s attention form things that really do matter.. t

huge.. cancerous distraction via irrelevant s

imagine if all the energy now expended on analyzing private lives.. or detailed intricacies of sporting events.. were instead devotd to mobilizing population to collectively tackle the great issues of our age

still cancerous distraction.. ie: only bandaid ness.. only part\ial ness.. for (blank)’s sake

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people


ie of marilyn monroe, elvis, kurt cobain, amy winehouse.. their wounding ignored even when acted out on the public stage

amy winehouse.. suicide et al

aretha ‘a woman who suffer mightily but doesn’t’ like to show it’.. she did display it to anyone with eyes to notice.. we avert our gaze from the pain.. lest real life intrude on the magic

huge.. anonymous ones heavy law et al

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be


i am encouraged by celebrities who have opened up recently about their trauma and its impact on their lives/careers (alanis morissette, dave navarro, lena dunham, ashley judd, russell brand, jamie lee curtis.. all interveiwed for this book and other like oprah, jewel, sia and lady gaga..

gaga kindness/hatred law.. russell brand et al


all in all .. the system works w cyclic elegance: a culture founded on mistaken beliefs regarding who and what we are creates conditions that frustrate our basic needs, breeding a populace in pain, *disconnected from self, others and meaning.. a select few.. esp those w the sorts of early coping mechs that prime them to deny reality, blot out empathy, fear vulnerability , mute their own sense of right and wrong and abjure looking at themselves too closely.. will be elevated to power.. there they govern over a majority who so crave comfort and stability .. who are so ground down by cynicism and alienation.. that **they will trade authentic instincts and collective self assertion for the pseudo attachment of false promises and soothing charisma.. completing the cycle, our wounded leaders w their blinkered priorities enact social politics that ***keep conditions how they were or worse.. t

*i would replace meaning with nature

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature

ie: tech as it could be

**maté trump law et al.. brown belonging law

***aka: sea world..


part 5 – pathways to wholeness


25 – mind in the lead: the possibility of healing

nikos kazantzakis: ‘the mind cries out, explains, demonstrates, protest; but inside me a voice rises and shouts at it, ‘be quiet, mind, let us hear the heart”.. t

oh my.. huge huge huge.. this this this

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

on each heart ness.. and see with your heart ness.. and quiet enough ness

when i speak of healing i am referring to nothing more or less than a natural movement toward wholeness.. it’s a direction.. not a destination/enlightenment/cure..

healing (roots of) et al


nor is healing synonymous w self improvement.. closer to the mark would be to say it is self retrieval.. when we heal we are engaged in recovering our lost parts of self, not trying to change or ‘better’ them..t

huge.. missing pieces ness.. almaas holes law.. imagine a turtle ness et al


the truth i speak of is much more modest and down to earth.. a clear look at how it is.. to access it we will have to tap into something more resourceful than our smarts.. the intellect becomes a far more intelligent tool when it allows the heart to speak ‘and now here is my secret, a very simple secret’ the fox advises the little prince.. ‘it is only w the heart that one can see rightly’ what is essential is invisible to the eye‘.. t

the little prince – see with your heart et al.. quiet enough to see.. rumi words law et al


the kind of truth that heals is known by its felt sense.. t

if this strikes you as vague or unscientific, recall that the heart is a living, beating organ before it is an abstract concept.. has own nervous system.. et al

the verbal thinking cerebrum has arrogated to itself the honor of being the only brain, falsely so.. t.. actually it shares the distinction w the gut and the heart.. in other words, the heart knows things.. just as surely as a gut feeling is also a kind of knowing.. in fact, the gut’s neural plexus has been appropriately called a ‘second brain’ as has the heart.. healing begins w alignment (of all 3)

huge.. gut ness et al.. lanier beyond words law et al..


it is about the willingness to reconsider our entire view.. t

huge.. need global re\set


(on hannah’s bittersweet story of surviving w/one leg).. ‘i’ve not iced how it’s the connections that i make w people that are actually the thing worth living for .. it’s the connections that make me feel i am here and that also make me want to be here.. how i can reach out to other people to help them feel connected? that’s the only thing of any heartfelt importance to me’

yeah that.. imagine if we listened to the itch-in-8b-souls 1st thing everyday & used that data to connect us (tech as it could be.. ai as augmenting interconnectedness)

on connecting w veterans of very org whose bomb had mangled her.. ‘the idea was to hear the other sid of the story, to see each other’s struggles, and to put us in a diff environ where we would need to protect one another’

eisenstein i know you law.. kownacki hear\t law.. khan filling the gaps law.. et al


that meaning, the never ending story whose moral is ‘i am a damaged being, beyond all hope of healing’ has frequently colored my subjective experience of life, regardless of external factors and regardless of all i’ve witnessed and learned to the contrary, even in defiance of my core values and convictions about humanity.. i have always believe.. more powerful than belief..that w/in everyone there is the potential for development and growth, no matter what they have experienced, believed, or done..and then there was me.. the lone exception..


the only agency she had, which lay in her own pov and emotional attitude toward the unchangeable past..


edith to gabor: ‘you don’t need to get over it.. you just need to allow yourself to be with it’.. nothing needed to change.. only how i held my history in my mind

none of us need be perfect, nor exercise saintly compassion, nor reach any emotional or spiritual benchmark before we can say we’re on the healing path.. all we need is readiness to participate in whatever process wants to unfold w/in us so that healing can happen naturally..

anyone, no matter their history, can begin to hear wholeness beckoning, whether in a shout or whisper, and resolve to move inits direction.. with the heart as a guide and the mind as a willing and curious partner, we follow whatever page most resonates with that call

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature


26 – 4 a’s and 5 compassions: some healing principles

no one can plot somebody else’s course of healing because that’s not how healing works.. there are no read maps for something that must find its own individual arc.. t

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

we can however sketch out the territory, describe it, familiarize ourselves w it, prepare to meet its challenges.. we can learn what natural laws seem to govern healing,, specifically what attitudes and attributes it both awakens and responds to in us.. .. like natural childbirth, healing cannot be mandated or hastened.. but it can certainly be helped along..

yeah .. i see that as cancerous distraction.. to me.. ie: prep = red flag

following four a’s not how to steps.. they rep healing principles proved useful guideposts for many people.. i devised them while writing when body says no.. and have since amended them.. condensing them from 7 to 4.. each rep healthy quality corresponding to a human need.. often stunted or forced underground early in life in this confused and repressed culture of ours.. an essential aspect of healing in welcoming each back into our life and letting it teach us its ways

when body says no


1\ authenticity

i say just 2 a’s (via gabor) and this is 1 of 2: missing piece #1

authenticity is hard to pin down.. it eludes any precise defn that could fully capture its essence.. like its fellow natural state, love, authenticity is not a concept but something lived.. experienced.. basked in.. try explaining love

we have the paradox that authenticity can’t be pursued, only embodied.. by defn .. striving for some idealized self image is incompatible w being authentically who one is.. we have to begin w accepting ourselves fully.. anita moorjani ‘even the slightest little resistance form the opposite person.. like if i had displeased some even slightly.. i would be the one to back down.. today.. i’m not afraid of being disliked.. of disappointing someone.. i’m not afraid of what i used to think of as my negative qualities.. i realized that they are just the other side of being who i am’


one of the most direct approaches to authenticity is noticing when it isn’t there.. then applying some curiosity and gentle skepticism to the limiting self beliefs that stand in for it.. or just stand in its way.. the lack of authenticity makes itself known thru tension or anxiety.. irritability or regret, depression or fatigue.. ask.. is there inner guidance i am defying, resisting, ignoring or avoiding?.. are there truths i’m withholding form expression or even contemplation out of fear of losing security or belonging..? the emergence of new choices in place of old preprogrammed dynamics is a sure sign of our authentic selves coming back online


2\ agency

‘good’ patients.. vs ones that challenge dr’s orders.. latter ones.. do better in long run..

capitalism sells a bogus version of agency ‘be all you can be’ ‘have it your way’.. personal choice becomes a brand.. w no attention paid to the contexts in which those choices are made.. often the freedom being advertised is the dubious freedom to choose between this or that.. neither of which will satisfy

spinach or rock ness.. decision making is unmooring us law


there is no freedom in having to be ‘good’ or the most talented or accomplished or in the need to please or entertain or be ‘interesting’.. nor can we wield agency when we react w automatic opposition to other people’s demands..

freedom not in supposed to‘s and not in creative refusal ness.. aka: any form of m\a\p

3\ anger

both anger suppressed and anger amplified out of proportion are toxic

anger in its natural, healthy form is aa boundary defense, a dynamic activated when we perceive a threat to our lives or our physical or emotional integrity.. a self protective rage system

lewis anger law


the movement toward wholeness often involves a reintegration of this oft banished emotion into our repertoire of available feelings.. this is not the same as stoking resentment or nurturing grievance.. quite the opposite.. healthy anger is a response of the moment.. not a beast we keep in the basement.. feeding it w shame or self justifying narratives.. fends off threat then subsides.. it becomes neither an experience to fear and loathe nor a chronic irritant..

anger ini its pure form has not moral content, right or wrong.. it just is.. its only ‘desire’ a noble one: to maintain integrity and equilib.. we can also observe how our inability to say no fuels chronic resentment that leaves us prone to harmful combustions..

like authenticity, genuine anger is not a performance.. anger’s core message is a concise and potent no, said forcefully as the moment demands.. wherever we find ourselves tolerating or explaining away situation that persistently stress us insisting ‘it’s not so bad’ or ‘i can handle it’ or ‘i don’t want to make a fuss about it’.. there is likely an opp to practice giving anger some space to emerge.. even admission of ‘i don’t like this’ or ‘i don’t want this’ can be a step forward

from ch 2 – als patients are perceived as extraordinarily nice..


question not.. whether to be angry .. but how to relate in a wholesome way to feeling that naturally ebb and flow w life’s tide

haber afraid to feel law et al

4\ acceptance

allowing things to be as they are.. however they are.. it has nothing to do w complacency or resignation.. though sometimes these can pose as acceptance.. ie: ‘it is what it is’.. egotism moonlighting as authenticity.. acceptance is the recognition..ever accurate.. that in this moment things cannot be other than how they are.. endeavor to just be with it..


rejection of any part of our experience is an unnatural self rejection, one that nonetheless feels normal to many of us

a distinction must be made between accepting and tolerating.. being w something and putting up w something have precious little to do w each other.. tolerating the intolerable, is deadening.. ie: resigning oneself bleakly to conditions such as abuse or neglect involves rejecting crucial parts of one’s self, needs and values and integrity.. that needs to be safeguard.. that is far from true acceptance..


darlene.. based on her fundamentalist christian upbringing she had truly believe her god given duty was to ‘accept’.. read endure.. the miseries her husband’s own traumatic imprints visited upon her.. ‘as the connection between my stress and my illness dawned on me.. at one point i remember going ‘holy shit.. i’ve been in this kind of martyr-honoring-god position of staying in this abusive marriage.. and there’s just no way: this is going to kill me”

marriage\ing ness et al

james doty: ‘people believe compassion is soft and not worth of scientific study.. yet i assure you.. science we have today demos these practices of mindfulness, self compassion and compassion are some of the most powerful that exist to change physiology and to benefit you in your won health, mental and physical’..

james doty


in my work w clients and in training 1000s of therapists.. i have distinguished 5 levels of compassion that build on and reinforce on another nonhierarchically..

1\ ordinary human compassion

its absence in anyone, glaring in sociopaths and psychopaths, is always a marker of a wound to the soul or in ah almaas’s words ‘the suppression of hurt’.. goes for self.. self judgment et al

a h almaas


not same as pity.. pity casts us in unequal roles.. looking down on your misfortune.. from perch.. goes for self.. self pity

2\ compassion of curiosity and understanding

might also call this compassion of context.. w/o judgment.. why end up being/acting way they are


absent a clear view of the context, one is left at best harboring inert good wishes and engaged in well meant but ultimately ineffective interventions.. we see this limitation in the woefully inadequate addiction treatment approaches currently in vogue

maté addiction law et al

questing w clear eyes to find the systemic roots of why things are the way they are takes patience, curiosity and fortitude.. t

healing (roots of) via being quiet enough to see/hear(t)

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

3\ compassion of recognition


allows you to perceive and appreciate that we are all in the same boat..

i know you ness.. all whales in sea world

lesson is not that you shouldn’t judge since it’s not you that’s doing it but rather *your automatic mind.. to judge yourself for judging is itself to keep the wheel of shame spinning.. the opp is to inquire into your judgmental mind/body state w compassionate curiosity.. healing flows when we are able to view this hurting world as a mirror for our own pain .. t and to allow others to see themselves reflected in us as well. .recognition paving the way for reconnection

*need tech w/o judgment for detox.. ie: tech as it could be

4\ compassion of truth


whatever our intentions.. we do no one any favors by fearing their pain or colluding in the banishment of it..

the compassion of truth recognizes that pain is not the enemy.. in fact, pain is inherently compassionate, as it tries to alert us to what is amiss.. healing in a sense is about unlearning the notion that we need to protect ourselves from our own pain.. in this way, compassion is a gateway to another essential quality: courage

darlene (left dysfunctional marriage).. ‘my childhood community doesn’t understand me.. can’t see me.. doesn’t get it.. it breaks my heart because i want to be loved and connected, but i suspect they will never be able to see me or connect w me’.. that some attachments may not survive the choice of authenticity is one of the most agonizing realization one can com to; and yet, in that pain there is freedom.. it reverses and vindicates the tragic mandatory choices we had to make in the opposite direction as we started in life.. ‘it’s a journey of ditching people-pleasing and not caring what people think.. ‘

anonymous ones heavy law.. haber afraid to feel law .. et al


5\ compassion of possibility

possibility is connected to many of humanity’s greatest gifts: wonder, awe, mystery, and imagination.. the qualities that allow us to remain connected to that which we can’t necessarily prove.. this deepest aspect of compassion recognizes that the seemingly impossible only seems so.. and that whatever we most need and long for can actualize at any moment. . t

this is not ridiculous ness.. lessig impossible law et al


it means knowing there is more to all of us.. than meets the eye

the little prince – see with your heart et al.. kownacki hear\t law et al

saw universal potential for the humane self to emerge in a notorious criminal who accosted him w murderous intent.. the man became his humbles and most gentle *follower

none of us are free ness and thurman interconnectedness law.. and.. *khan filling the gaps law et al

if in each person we could sense the potential for wholeness that can never be lost.. that would be for us all a victory worth savoring..

devijver assume good law.. kownacki hear\t law.. eisenstein i know you law.. et al


27 – a dreadful gift: disease as teacher


julia had become a hyper responsible ‘nice’ person who repressed her feelings to protect everyone else’s.. so i listened.. i lay on my bed and breathed for an hour.. i did some mindful contemplation (what are you trying to tell me).. i didn’t get upset about it just stayed curious.. literally the next day it was gone.. ‘it was my body’s way of saying ‘wake up wake up.. your’e not helping yourself holding this much anger and rage deep down inside’.. anger and rage are not feeling i want to hold on to.. but i do see them as guides that leet me know that something in my life is out of balance..’


the nice over achieving hyper responsible persona reps protector parts, adapted to keep the love and approval of others coming her way.. ‘sense of self arising from one’s own unique and genuine essence’..

symptoms and illness are the body’s way of letting us know when we have strayed form that core.. when parts of us can’t get thru to us otherwise..


these people who get better really change their beliefs about themselves or their beliefs about the universe


in all cases. people voluntarily and w relentless courage underwent a painful but ultimately exhilarating shedding of a second skin, the blend of adaptive, self abnegating traits i cataloged in ch 7, on attachment vs authenticity, and grouped also under erich fromm’s term ‘social character’.. diseases’ role as teacher rests in how it leads people to question everything they had thought and felt about themselves, and to retain only what servers their wholeness..

erich fromm

the challenge we all face is: can we acquire that learning before life forces it upon us? do we have to wait to ‘suffer into truth’

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be


what we need to die well is also what we need to live well..


28 – before the body says no: first steps on the return to self

when body says no


on compassionate inquiry.. requires first and foremost humility: allowing w socrates.. that we do not already know the answer of .. better yet.. the very real possibility that we haven’t yet happened up on the right questions.. suspend whatever you believe you know about yourself..


in compassion there is no exhortation that we should be other than the way we are.. an attitude not a (warm) feeling.. the attitude is one of inexhaustible non judgment toward whatever one notices.. when self judgments arise.. as they inevitably do.. we can stay curious about their origin w/o believing their content


haber afraid to feel law and judge\ment ness


before the body says no.. a self inquiry exercise.. if committing even a few minutes a day for such self inquiry seems beyond the doable.. it’s worth noticing that too w/o judgment.. and asking whence the reluctance

3 min for self-talk as data for infra of a global re\set

most of us.. even the busy ones.. have more time than we know what to do with; what we lack is a strong sense of intention for its use.. default pursuits.. whether noble or frivolous quickly fill the void and suddenly there’s ‘no time’.. (but) whatever the case.. it will not help to coerce, cajole, or shame yourself into any practice, not even ones meant to help you

any form of m\a\p


on #4 of 6 questions about not saying no.. what must i believe about myself to deny my own needs this way.. saying no seen as a sign of ie: 1\ weakness.. i can’t handle something.. 2\ unlovable .. have to be good to deserve being loved.. 3\ disappointment to people.. am responsible for how people feel/experience.. 4\ unworthiness.. if not doing something useful.. 5\ unlikeable.. if people knew how i really felt.. 6\ guilty.. if turn people down .. 7\ selfish.. 8\ unloving.. because saying no shows anger


#6.. on the yes that wanted to be said..

this is itch-in-the-soul ness


a reason to get up in morning .. the creative force w/in.. whichever way it calls us.. is a powerful support to healing.. t

imagine if we just focused on listening to the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness.. we might just get to a more antifragile, healthy, thriving world.. the ecosystem we keep longing for..

what the world needs most is the energy of 8b alive people


29 – seeing is disbelieving: undoing self limiting beliefs

peter levine: ‘*i have done enough.. but am i enough‘.. there are many ways of working w the tall tale of unworthiness.. we were almost literally hypnotized into it.. bruce lipton: ‘delta waves.. the brain’s lowest frequency predominate in our first two years.. then theta waves ramp up til we are about six.. a child under seven is predominantly in theta.. theta is a hypnotic state.. just as under the spell of hypnotist you believe whatever messages you get.. we download our perceptions and beliefs about life years before we acquire the capacity for critical thinking (alpha and beta waves).. they become our truths’.. from such truths.. **we generate our concepts about ourself in the world.. more precisely.. from such untruths..

*quiet enough to grok your enough ness.. maté enough law

**whalespeak perpetuating our stay in sea world


adaptations from jeffrey m schwartz’ steps for healing.. any repetitively self deprecating thought pattern can be worked w in this way.. jeffrey: ‘conscious attention must be paid.. physical changes in brain depend for their creation on a mental state in the mind.. the sate called attention.. paying attention matters’.. only when attention is present can the mind rewire the brain

attention.. non hierarchical listening.. quiet enough to see

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be for global re\set/detox

1\ relabel.. ie: this is not the truth.. (but) not to make it disappear.. brain will resist (strengthen with) eviction.. not trying to debunk the story or make it wrong.. nor do you try to replace it w some cheerful opposite.. rather.. you are divesting from the certainty that the implicit belief is true.. in doing so you put the story in its place.. gently taking it off the nonfiction shelf.. no longer an ironclad law to be resisted or an accusation to be refuted.. just a though, painful or dysfunctional though it may be..

ie of why i see david on creative refusal et al as red flag


2\ reattribute.. rather than blame self or anyone else.. ascribe cause to proper place: neural circuits programmed into your brain when you were a child.. .. not pushing the thought away but also making clear you didn’t ask for it, nor have you ever deserved it


3\ refocus.. if catch negative self belief.. find something else to do..

gershenfeld something else law et al

must be something you enjoy doing..

the thing(s) you can’t not do ness.. from the itch-in-the-soul


4\ revalue.. what have negative (and positive) thoughts costed/benefitted you.. but w/o judging self..


5\ re create.. imagine a different life.. in your heart there is love and you want to connect that w love in the universe.. in place of life blighted by your compulsive obsession .. et al.. what is the life you really want?

*write down your **values and intentions

*rather.. imagine if we

**cancerous distractions.. need to let go of values and intentions.. and just listen for the itch-in-8b-souls.. first thing.. everyday.. and used that data to augment our interconnectedness


30 – foes to friends: working w the obstacles to healing


the question shifts from ‘how can i get rid of this’ to ‘ what is this for’

(if) we fear, avoid, reject, suppress these ‘undesirables’.. we merely delay our emancipation from them.. it isn’t them but rather our desperate efforts to keep them at bay that levy the heaviest toll on our mental/physical well being..


nan goldin ‘literally addiction save my life.. w/o that solace.. might have been driven to suicidal desperation.. who only wishes.. as all do.. that the consequences could have been less harsh..


to make peace w our inner tormentors, we have to first understand them against the backdrop of their origin stories

not so sure..


question i regularly pose to clients and participants.. anyone whose conscious recall is of a happy childhood.. and yet is confronting chronic illness, emotional distress, addiction or struggles to be authentic.. ‘when i felt sad, unhappy, angry, confused, bewildered, lonely, bullied.. who did i speak to? who did i tell? who could i confide in‘.. if no one.. or anything other than the presence of a consistently available adult ‘someone’.. an early disconnect was surely at play


i’ve never treated/interviewed anyone w chronic physical illness or mental affliction who could recall sharing unhappy feelings openly/freely w/o restraint w their caregivers or any trusted adult.. filtered out.. we have an easier time recalling what happened than what did not happen. but should have

missing piece #2


31 – jesus in the tipi: psychedelics and healing


shamans to gabor .. wanted him to leave retreat he was facil-ing.. ‘your energy would have disturbing effect on the others.. you have done that or so long.. working w trouble people.. and you have done nothing to clear that out of ourself.. that’s why your energy is so dense’.. something in me.. it seems.. is relieved to be relieve of duty.. next 10 days i am socially distance from the retreat


5th day.. finally.. blessedly not in control..


then say vision of hungarian word for happy.. the vision and inner peace evoked.. beyond me and deeply a part of me.. others at retreat.. appreciated that i was modeling for them a willingness to care for myself..


shaman said i was communing w god

section on ayahuasca.. after inquiries from readers of realm of hungry ghosts

realm of hungry ghosts


michael pollan’s how to change your mind.. has opened many eyes to the healing possibilities of psychedelics michael: ‘people are hungry for something.. certainly looking for spiritual dimension to their lives.. people are suffering in all sorts of ways.. mental health treatments available are completely inadequate..’

michael pollan.. how to change

carhart-harris entropy law et al


we often equate the word ‘psychedelic’ w terms like ‘mind altering’ but a glance at it etymology gets us closer to the mark.. ‘to reveal, to make visible’.. in other words.. not altering or even ‘expanding’ the mind.. but revealing consciousness to itself..

on each heart ness


wade davis: ‘i always tel young people that our parents were so frightened of these substances, you know, that they’d scream at us, ‘don’t take this.. you’ll never come back the same’.. but that was the whole blessed point’

wade davis


we tend to believe that we are center of the universe.. psychedelics displace that and we see we are part of something enormously bigger.. can take us out of our habitual patterns


all that said.. i am no psychedelic evangelist.. contrary to fond imaginings .. neither plant based nor manufacture psychedelic meds will on their own transform health care of human consciousness at large.. that will have to await vast scale social change..

ie: a nother way


comanche chief quanah parker: ‘the white man goes into hus church and talks about jesus.. but the indian goes into his tipi and talks to jesus’..


32 – my life as a genuine thing: touching spirit

a h almaas: ‘ultimately your greatest gift to the world is being who you are.. both our gift and your fulfillment’ t from being and the meaning of life

brown belonging law.. undisturbed ecosystem.. et al

a h almaas ness


looking back i see that the experience did not so much instill new beliefs in mea a sit did relax and unfasten my personality’s militant unbelief.. which can be every bit as fundamentalist at the theistic certainties of ultra religious sectors..


the emptiness dogging us emanates from the places we have lost contact w our deepest selfs.. a h almaas calls these broken connections ‘holes’.. ‘allowing ourselves to tolerate the holes and go thru them on the other side is more difficult now, because everything in society is against this.. society is against essence.. everybody around you wherever you go is trying to fill holes.. and people feel very threatened if you don’t try to fill yours the same way.. i don’t see society as an enemy.. it’s more like society is asleep .. i just doesn’t know.. spiritual drive or curiosity wakes us up

almaas holes law.. imagine if we ness..


my colleague will cooke.. who in his work w addicted people in the appalachian adjacent region of s indiana has seen his share of spiritual openings.. ‘this spark inside of everyone.. waiting to be revealed that’s just cluttered/stacked w all this stuff life has stuck to them.. ‘

to 475 – on the wisdom of indigenous

holmgren indigenous law et al


wilhelm reich: ‘there is only one common rule valid in finding your special truth.. it is to learn to listen patiently to yourself.. to give yourself a chance to find your own way which is yours and nobody else’s..’ listening for our ‘special truth’ is among the most daunting of challenges amid the clamor of our increasingly noisy world.. a world that isolates even as it discourages healthy solitude.. t

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature ie: tech as it could be

quiet enough ness


that ‘still small voice’

aka: itch-in-the-soul

ancient and modern practices of mindfulness encourage an allow space for that voice to emerge.. t

deeper than mindfulness.. but yea..

oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space

when we observe ourselves w compassionate curiosity instead of judgment.. perhaps we can also learn to drop our prejudgements against others

curiosity over decision making and over judge\ment


micahel meade has phrase for the collective knowing that dates back as long as we’v been around: ‘thought in the heart’.. my own heart resonates w the thought that.. despite all apparent evidence to the contrary.. there is in all of us an essential aspect that cannot be extinguished..t the society in its spiritually dormant state.. blocks our awareness of it.. supplanting it instead w qualities, activities, goods and beliefs that cannot possible satisfy.. ‘

yes that.. let’s listen to that


allow us to trust imagine if we ness and undisturbed ecosystem ness


33 – unmaking a myth: visioning a saner society

what will it take to unmake the myth of normal.. how can we possibly hope to disassemble such a vast agglomeration of culturally manufactured misperceptions, prejudices, blind spots and health killing fictions.. t

need 1st/most: means to undo our hierarchical listening to self/others/nature

ie: tech as it could be

the truth is i don’t know.. even to the extent i have strong beliefs about how things out to look.. it seems less than fitting to use the final chapter of this book on trauma and healing to get on a soapbox.. and yet as we bring this inquiry to its conclusions i do feel a responsibility to offer some sort of alt vision to the toxic culture i’ve been depicting..

costello screen\service law et al

what i can say w confidence.. certain conditions will have to be met

hari rat park law.. via missing pieces.. aka: org around legit needs


will take key changes or shifts to create those conditions.. they all derive from core principles of this book: biopsychosocial medicine, disease as teacher, the primacy of both *attachment and authenticity and above all, **fearless self inquiry, here on a ***social scale.. none of these shift is sufficient in itself but as far as i can tell.. they are ****all necessary

****not sure .. thinking just *as infra and **via curiosity (itch-in-the-soul).. ***has to be all of us.. for (blank)’s sake


james baldwin: ‘we live in a country in which words are mostly used to cover the sleeper not to wake him’.. t

baldwin pessimist law .. james baldwin.. language as control/enclosure.. need ai/tech for listening.. tech w/o judgment

mufleh humanity lawwe have seen advances in every aspect of our lives except our humanity– Luma Mufleh


in for long/frustrating wait (for capitalism to face truth & transform) nor will its academic institutions or media be eager to give up their role as its ideological enablers..t

sinclair perpetuation law

that leaves it up to each of us.. to seek out and support alt sources of knowledge.. t

ie: itch-in-8bn-souls.. 1st thing.. everyday

this would rep a new kind of citizenship, one arising form the needs and demands of the moment

aka: org around legit needs

sans citizenship ness et al

a trauma conscious society.. the implication of a society being trauma literate could be immense..

no need for literate ness.. just focus on and org around missing pieces


wisdom of trauma.. seen by 4 million people in over 220 countries w/in two weeks of its release in jun 2021

wisdom of trauma (doc) – super.. but not enough (actually too much) for a legit global re\set

trauma awareness: medicine.. a trauma filled med system for starters.. revamp how health care is delivered.. none being taught about mind body unity.. or relationship between trauma and mental illness or addictions.. let alone links between adversity and physical disease.. we doctors pride ourselves on what we call evidence based practice while ignoring vast swaths of evidence that call into question central tenets of our dogma.. then too.. med students traumatized

even deeper.. ie: if free art\ists.. first.. need dr ness? et al ie: indigenous that we speak highly of.. educated drs? can’t we trust that we can heal if legit free?


trauma awareness: the law.. a trauma informed legal that could earn its title of ‘correctional system’.. actually correcting things in a humane way

oi.. fix vs not hidden et al


it’s not just people that need the healing.. it’s the system that has to be indicted and transformed’

rather.. let go of.. seen as irrelevant distraction/cancer

trauma awareness: education.. a trauma informed ed system would train teachers to be well versed in the science of development.. ed would encourage an atmosphere where emotional intelligence is valued as highly as intellectual achievement

oh my.. need to get out.. not try to fix.. sea world/cage

oi to all 3.. med, law, ed.. all part of the poison.. any form of m\a\p

beyond schooling.. potential of raffi’s vision of entire society that honors irreducible end of children (ch 9).. i leave it to you to imagine what our wold would look like if we place young people’ well being in the forefront.. what would it mean for parenting.. *childcare, ed, econ, products we buy/sell..”

yeah.. it would mean letting go of all of those

imagine if we listened to the itch-in-8b-souls 1st thing everyday & used that data to connect us (tech as it could be.. ai as augmenting interconnectedness).. for all of us


reclaim responsibility for creating and maintaining the container for their growth

get out of sea world..

ie: oikos (the economy our souls crave).. ‘i should say: the house shelters day-dreaming, the house protects the dreamer, the house allows one to dream in peace.’ – gaston bachelard, the poetics of space


on greta thurnberg and adding 2 more a’s (to authenticity, agency, anger and acceptance): activism and advocacy .. required for the pursuit of broad transformational change..

yeah.. i think that is again.. a distraction.. to me.. need to go with just two missing pieces

greta thunberg

part of advocacy is to use whatever privilege we may have to amplify the voices of those to whom society denies a voice.. part of activism is organizing groups of people to demand necessary change

yeah.. (to me) definitely cancerous distractions.. 1\ need means to undo hierarchical listening not for some to advocate for other.. and 2\ need to org around legit needs.. ie: imagine if we ness.. not groups to demand anything


on leaders seeming to be epitome of normal.. then ie: killing et al.. victor huge: ‘barbarians of civilization’

as it turns out, ti is often individuals who defy conventional normality who are the healthy ones..

crazywise (doc) et al







(not) normal ness et al

discrimination as equity et al

brown belonging law et al





myth of normalrealm of hungry ghostswhen body says noscattered; ..