Why is it we “know” so much but feel so little of what is happening around us? Why is it we can document in excruciating detail the depletions and pollutions of our life-giving and supporting planetary and social systems, but not be moved as individuals and as a collective to arrest and rehabilitate the life-degradations in our midst? Why are the better cognitive maps of our sociosphere detached from our cognitive understandings of the life-grounded biosphere, and what is missing to effect the change in ourselves that we want to see in the world?
I have come to discover that each of us is gifted at birth with an evolutionary designed toolkit, a guidance system, that helps position us to face and overcome all of life’s challenges. This has been optimized by Mother Nature over billions of years of research and development in our reptilian and mammalian ancestors and has guided our species during the 99% of our history when we foraged the earth as small-band gatherer hunters. For some reason, whether by accident or design, this internal guidance positional system has been neglected or “numbed down” during the “civilizing” phase of our ascent (or should I say descent), and has been outsourced to a privileged grouping of men over the millennia, who have put their own power and privilege over other peoples and planet.
At this point in the human trajectory, it has been revealed that there is a ruling class domination system which has gerrymandered our cognitive maps inclusive of the rules of our scriptures, constitutions and treaties in order to exploit and rape all potential life-forms on the planet.
As was written in one of their protocols:
“God has granted to us, His Chosen People, the gift of the dispersion, and in this which appears in all eyes to be our weakness, has come forth all our strength, which has now brought us to the threshold of sovereignty over all the world.”
How did we get to this position of closed mindedness and cold heartedness? What would it take to open our minds and warm our hearts so that we can “unfreeze our conscience” and begin to be guided in life-enabling ways? What would it take to help us see the light and feel the warmth that is so much missing in our daily deliberations and considerations in the private and public global spheres of our influence and concerns?
I am convinced that those in the minority at the rigid top of the pyramids of wealth, power and privilege are victims like us the majority at the chaotic bottom, as all unnatural dominating systems sustain themselves by secret dealings and by manufacturing fear. As a result, the inevitable outcome is a shadow government directing surveillance and intelligence services which engage in false flag criminal and terrorist activities, aided and abetted by puppet deep state legislative and armament-industrial actors, who further gerrymander the rules of engagement in order to maintain the power and profits of the pathogenic ruling class. In the mean time, our life-giving and life-supporting systems are incrementally depleted and polluted and all of us become losers in their life-depredating machinations.
If those at the top and the bottom have been sincerely misguided off course, how can we find our way back on course? Although Prof John McMurtry has provided us with a compass, anchor and steer to guide us back via his life-value onto-axiology cognitive map, it has failed to make inroads into the emotional lives of those at the top and those at the bottom.
What I have discovered is that we have an emotional guidance positional system inbuilt in each one of us, and somehow, due to cultural and historical contingencies, have for the most part been decoupled by under-care and underdevelopment, resulting in suboptimal emotional guidance systems that were not robust and fail-safe enough to calibrate the civilizing potential of our humanity. It is only by bringing to conscious awareness and “cognitivizing” our emotional GPS, and getting to better understand, relate to and be guided by its life-enabling potentials, would be able to awaken within ourselves and others, our full life capacities, to forgive, to heal, and to rebuild a more resilient and harmonious human enterprise on the face of the earth.
Interestingly, it is our emotional guidance systems that is represented by the proverbial warmness of heart, which becomes cold when dysfunctional. All of our physical, mental, social and environmental diseases are symptoms of this emotional dysfunction and hence man-made and are preventable. Unfortunately we have interpreted these maladies as due to our fallen human nature, and instead of calibrating our cognitive compasses to harmonise with a salutogenic well-cared for and optimal developed emotional GPS, we have normalized our pathogenic cognitive maps and have added more insults to injuries, by neglecting even more and preventing the recovery of those same life-enabling systems by continuing to traumatize them.
We have to come to the realization that we are all chosen ones, by virtue of the gift of life, and the potential of divinity within lies with the actualization of our humanity without. The felt presence of the omniscient, omnipotent and beneficent one lies within the operations of this emotional GPS when we pray and meditate and resonate in action-reaction with our children, our loved ones and when we stand in awe and wonder with all of creation. It is our emotions that motivate and move us, and enable us to move our hands and feet when the occasion arises. It is the aromas, tastes, touches, sights and sounds of water flowing, food growing, flora and fauna flourishing in nature, and of incense and rituals of story, song and dance in society that brings us to tears of laughter and joy. It is here that the ground of our being lies and the seat of our soul rests.
I very much suspect that the descent of humanity over the millennia have been the result of the erroneous projection of the felt sides of our emotional being onto outsourced agents, be they natural or supernatural, creating the depravity that have befallen all of humankind and our abodes. We failed to connect with the emotional life-supporting system within that, when optimally cared for and developed, would have helped us to become better socially engaged and to expand our communal imaginations as we capitalized on the better angels of our nature to steward and protect our planetary and social life supporting systems.
Indeed, it is in this partnership between our ancient emotional guidance system and our abilities to create better cognitive maps that should serve all and not just a select few, so that peaceful prosperity for people and planet can arise and thrive. The domination life-blinded mindless systems of the past must give way to fully life-coherent heartfulness of the present and the future. And it is from this vantage point the spiritual and physical become one, where the infinite coherent heartfelt potential within harmonizes and calibrates the infinite vistas of the mind without. And in so doing, we would all be one!!
The Archaeology of Mind: Neuroevolutionary Origins of Human Emotions (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) by Jaak Panksepp (Author), Lucy Biven (Author)
A look at the seven emotional systems of the brain by the researcher who discovered them.
What makes us happy? What makes us sad? How do we come to feel a sense of enthusiasm? What fills us with lust, anger, fear, or tenderness? Traditional behavioral and cognitive neuroscience have yet to provide satisfactory answers. The Archaeology of Mind presents an affective neuroscience approach—which takes into consideration basic mental processes, brain functions, and emotional behaviors that all mammals share—to locate the neural mechanisms of emotional expression. It reveals—for the first time—the deep neural sources of our values and basic emotional feelings.
This book elaborates on the seven emotional systems that explain how we live and behave. These systems originate in deep areas of the brain that are remarkably similar across all mammalian species. When they are disrupted, we find the origins of emotional disorders:
– SEEKING: how the brain generates a euphoric and expectant response
– FEAR: how the brain responds to the threat of physical danger and death
– RAGE: sources of irritation and fury in the brain
– LUST: how sexual desire and attachments are elaborated in the brain
– CARE: sources of maternal nurturance
– GRIEF: sources of non-sexual attachments
– PLAY: how the brain generates joyous, rough-and-tumble interactions
– SELF: a hypothesis explaining how affects might be elaborated in the brain
The book offers an evidence-based evolutionary taxonomy of emotions and affects and, as such, a brand-new clinical paradigm for treating psychiatric disorders in clinical practice.
The Neurobiology of the Gods: How Brain Physiology Shapes the Recurrent Imagery of Myth and Dreams by Erik D. Goodwyn
Where does science end and religion begin? Can “spiritual” images and feelings be understood on a neurobiological level without dismissing their power and mystery?
In this book, psychiatrist Erik Goodwyn addresses these questions by reviewing decades of research, putting together a compelling argument that the emotional imagery of myth and dreams can be traced to our deep brain physiology, and importantly, how a sensitive look at this data reveals why mythic or religious symbols are indeed more “godlike” than we might have imagined.
The Neurobiology of the Gods weaves together Jungian depth psychology with research in evolutionary psychology, neuroanatomy, cognitive science, neuroscience, anthropology, mental imagery, dream research, and metaphor theory into a comprehensive model of how our brains contribute to the recurrent images of dreams, myth, religion and even hallucinations. Divided into three sections, this book provides:
- definitions and foundations
- an examination of individual symbols
- conclusive thoughts on how brain physiology shapes the recurring images that we experience.
Goodwyn shows how common dream, myth and religious experiences can be meaningful and purposeful without discarding scientific rigor. The Neurobiology of the Gods will therefore be essential reading for Jungian analysts and psychologists as well as those with an interest in philosophy, anthropology and the interface between science and religion.
Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) by Darcia Narvaez (Author), Allan N. Schore Ph.D. (Foreword)
A wide-ranging exploration of the role of childhood experiences in adult morality.
Moral development has traditionally been considered a matter of reasoning―of learning and acting in accordance with abstract rules. On this model, largely taken for granted in modern societies, acts of selfishness, aggression, and ecological mindlessness are failures of will, moral problems that can be solved by acting in accordance with a higher rationality. But both ancient philosophy and recent scientific scholarship emphasize implicit systems, such as action schemas and perceptual filters that guide behavior and shape human development. In this integrative book, Darcia Narvaez argues that morality goes “all the way down” into our neurobiological and emotional development, and that a person’s moral architecture is largely established early on in life. Moral rationality and virtue emerge “bottom up” from lived experience, so it matters what that experience is. Bringing together deep anthropological history, ethical philosophy, and contemporary neurobiological science, she demonstrates where modern industrialized societies have fallen away from the cultural practices that made us human in the first place.
Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality advances the field of developmental moral psychology in three key ways. First, it provides an evolutionary framework for early childhood experience grounded in developmental systems theory, encompassing not only genes but a wide array of environmental and epigenetic factors. Second, it proposes a neurobiological basis for the development of moral sensibilities and cognition, describing ethical functioning at multiple levels of complexity and context before turning to a theory of the emergence of wisdom. Finally, it embraces the sociocultural orientations of our ancestors and cousins in small-band hunter-gatherer societies―the norm for 99% of human history―for a re-envisioning of moral life, from the way we value and organize child raising to how we might frame a response to human-made global ecological collapse.
Integrating the latest scholarship in clinical sciences and positive psychology, Narvaez proposes a developmentally informed ecological and ethical sensibility as a way to self-author and revise the ways we think about parenting and sociality. The techniques she describes point towards an alternative vision of moral development and flourishing, one that synthesizes traditional models of executive, top-down wisdom with “primal” wisdom built by multiple systems of biological and cultural influence from the ground up.
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