We all know that nurturing cooperative, creative, egalitarian individuals and societies is essential. The key that establishes this is turned very early. Research physiologist James Prescott, surgeon-epidemiologist researcher Michel Odent, author Joseph Chilton Pearce and clinical psychologist and researcher David Chamberlain have been saying and writing for 50 years that the deep, living, “primal” channel of communication we call “bonding” or “attachment” sets the biological template for either peaceful, expansive personal and cultural development or for fear-based, defensive, selfish, aggressive or passive personal and collective stagnation.
The nature and quality of the mother-infant bond, or lack of it, physiologically shapes the primal wiring that determines our interpretation of personal and collective relationships. And it does so for a lifetime, resulting in children, adults and cultures that are fundamentally calm, cooperative, creative and peaceful, are able to form and sustain meaningful relationships, or not.
When full bonding fails or is damaged, which can begin before conception, not only individuals but families and entire cultures can become anxious or depressed, addicted – whether to substances, activities or greed, chronically ill and/or unhappy, self-abusive or violent. Interfering with the intimate continuum of this process is a crime against children and the natural world.
We must again learn to uphold and respect human bonding as a critical life sustaining ecological process and priority.
The greatest obstacle to meeting this challenge is not the biological imperative and intelligence to care for and protect our children; rather it is socialization and cultural beliefs that impair or prevent full bonding from unfolding. Millions of years of innate intelligence are in conflict with cultural conditioning and the root of this conflict is embodied in our social identity, our self-image.