The Importance of Hugging

violence
Compassion? Wisdom?
Sorry, no one by that name lives here...

My son recently graduated from college. He could have been one of these UC Davis students. The well fed skin-head on the right is the riot clad officer hosing our children with pepper spray as they sit, Gandhi style, arm in arm, nonviolently. This act, not by students but by our friend the civil mercenary, and others like it around the world (see below), rips the thin skin of civility off our eyes. Serving and protecting, yes, but who and what? Watching his unaffected cruelty, like food poisoning, vomits up the question, How could he do such a thing?

In 1981 when a friend was nearly raped and murdered by a stalking stranger I asked the same question, Why would a man do such a thing? How can a man who supposedly loves his wife beat her so violently it caused brain damage? Or a coach, scream at an eight year old for dropping a ball? Violence is so easy, so natural. Or is it?

Themes: 
bonding
brain
culture
democracy
freedom
media
television-computers

The Weaver Becomes the Web

digital brain 2

Appropriate Use of Technology in Education

The overarching insight in neuroscience the past decade is:

‘Brain and environment are one, interdependent, reciprocal dynamic process. Change the environment and you change the brain.'

The human brain created Technology that changed the environment that is now changing the brain. In the mid 1800’s Emerson, cautious of the industrial revolution, noted; the weaver becomes the web.

Themes: 
brain
childhood
creativity
education

DNA Remembers and Expects

dna remembers

“The addict’s reliance on the drug to reawaken her dulled feelings is no adolescent caprice.
The dullness is itself the consequence of an emotional malfunction not of her making.”

Gabor Mate, MD, Author,
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Close Encounters with Addiction

More on Pleasure, Pain and the Developing Brain

The development of each new human being involves the complete evolutionary process of life on the planet. Native traditions recognize and honor this fact. Western civilization, driven by an anti-feminine passion for male intellect does not, thus the classic mind-body split. One self-world view nurtures the deep ecology that we are, the other attempts to dominate and control nature, including our own.

In each of us is the entire process of creation, what Joseph Chilton Pearce calls Evolution’s End. Each stage of development anticipates the past and creates the necessary foundation for the next unknowable leap forward to unfold. The developing fetus in the liquid world of the womb, for example, has no use for lungs and yet creates lungs anticipating an oxygenated environment it ‘knows’ nothing about. The entire spectrum of human development implies this unfolding anticipation and unknowable expectation.

Themes: 
birth
bonding
brain
breastfeeding
culture
environment
play
pleasure
pregnancy

Skin to Skin, Bonding and Brain Development

Rachel wrote:
I have a question around bonding/brain/skin-to-skin.  I have a 7 week old, that I am attachment parenting...carrying in arms, co sleeping etc.  I spent a lot of the first 4- days with skin to skin, however since then hardly any skin to skin (as it is winter and I have two other children so it's not convenient.)  Can you give me some information around whether the skin to skin I did for the majority of the first 4-5 days was sufficient for optimal brain development/bonding or whether I should still be doing this?  Thank you. LOVE the website and the work you are all doing - it's the best thing for the world!

Themes: 
bonding
brain
parenting
play
pleasure

It is done onto us as we perceive, believe, and do onto others.

Suzann Arms of Birthing the Future is planning an international symposium on birth and how it affects the way the brain and therefore how culture develops. She asked for feedback – Though you might be interested…

Suzann 
It is done onto us as we perceive – as we believe – as we do onto others.

The emphasis you placed on birth – being the foundation of human development – is of course critical. I suggest that there is another focus, one that is deeper and more nurturing. The core insight driving all of our activities at Touch the Future is summarized in the preface for a new book in development Kids are NOT the Problem.

There is a pervasive, near universal perception – parenting is about kids. Just about everything a parent does and often thinks about is about ‘the kid.’ An alternative point of view, a completely different paradigm, is that kids provide the necessary catalyst for evolutionary development in adults. The first, parenting is about kids, places children, their care, education and development in the spotlight. They are the goal and focus of attention and resources. The second, becoming a parent is about adult development with kids providing the stimulus for this continuing growth, places the adult center stage. Adult growth and development then becomes the goal, focus of attention and target for resource investments. It sounds selfish but it’s NOT.

Themes: 
birth
bonding
brain
culture

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