Lesson 2 - The Learning Channel We Call Bonding
Exploring Optimum Learning Relationships
A virtual class based on
Magical Parent - Magical Child
by Michael Mendizza and Joseph Chilton Pearce
Lesson 2 - The Learning Channel We Call Bonding
No capacity can unfold without an appropriate model and proper nurturing... A child could imitate, or construct a model of his universe, around any model, and respond accordingly to his construction. He does model what he is given, and so does as we do. He is blocked not because of some innate lack, but from an outer lack of modes and nurturing... We do not model our lives according to theories or abstract functions, but according to live, visible, tangible models. We do not bond to universal processes but to persons. The power of the bond can come into our life only through the powers of the bonded person.
Bond of Power
In the first lesson we provided an overview and defined Optimum Learning Relationships. We suggested that optimum is nature’s design, her baseline for learning, performance and well being. Less than optimum implies some form of external or internal resistance. Our goal is to reveal and explore the nature and source of this resistance and eliminate it, as much as possible, in the adult model-environment. This change in the adult will resonate throughout the entire spectrum of the adult-child relationship, creating, we believe, a radically new “context” for development, for both the adult and the child.
In lesson two we will attempt to redefine bonding, not as glue or motor, but as a dynamic flow of information. The nature of the bond or metaphorically the pipeline defines the nature and quality of information that flows through it. At a deeper level, the nature or form of the bond or pipeline is the content. “Form is content.” To appreciate this simple but extremely important concept we will look at both stage and state specific learning and performance.
Stage Specific Learning
Researchers recognize that there are “stages,” or optimum periods for development of different skills and capacities. Life is a treasure hunt. We begin as little children uncovering and developing the physical, emotional, and mental treasures woven into our nature and this development unfolds in stages. The earliest stages - pregnancy, birth, and the first three years - are the most important. The neural networks for all later stages are created during these early years. Everything that follows is built on this foundation.
Developmental stages unfold in rough blocks. The three trimesters of pregnancy are followed by stages at one, two, four, seven, eleven, fifteen and eighteen years. Early stages focus primarily on physical, sensory motor development. Emotional capacities unfold next. Critical and creative thinking skills follow.
The newest region of the brain, the forebrain or prefrontal lobes that may hold the key to transpersonal or spiritual development, matures in the early twenties. Rich and complete development of one stage provides a strong foundation for the next. Compromised development at any stage limits those that follow.
Think of three areas, skills or capacities, which were compromised when you were growing up, and note how you compensated for these over the years.
The Model Imperative
The specific skills and capacities that emerge, from a wide spectrum of possibilities, do so in response to the states of relationship encountered at each stage. In Magical Child, and other works, this concept is referred to as the model imperative. Children develop only those capacities modeled by the adult culture. French-speaking mama, French-speaking child is the classic example. For the early child, parents and adult culture are the environment. The model-environment expressed by adults is perceived and interpreted by the child from within their unique stage of development. A child may be very musical, innately, but as with any potential capacity, music must be modeled before it can be developed. The model imperative holds throughout life. As any parent or educator can testify; children become who we are not what we tell them to be. To bring about a real change in development that change must be consistently modeled by the adult and the culture. Adults must become the change they wish to see in others, especially their own children. This is the model imperative and there is no exception.
If “children develop only those capacities modeled by the adult culture,” how is it possible for children to surpass their adult models? How is this done? Can you list a few examples?
Evolution - The Lower Into The Higher
Perception of self and other changes as we move from one developmental stage to another. Exploring and embodying the boundaries of each new stage brings about a fundamental change in our perception and interpretation of environmental signals. Each new stage draws up and transforms the previous into the service of the more complex and subtle realm now opening. Conception, pregnancy and childbirth, for example, represent a profound developmental experience. In this case the baby is the environmental signal that transforms development, physically, emotionally and often spiritually. Entirely new states of relationship and perception unfold, capacities which were unnecessary prior to conception. No baby, no need for the development of these stage specific capacities; the model imperative again.
Bonding during pregnancy or with a newborn baby transforms our perception of ourselves and our relationship to life. A bonded mother will risk her life to nurture and protect her crying baby. An unbonded mother may abuse her crying baby or abandon it all together. These are radically different responses to the same environmental signal. The difference is the interpretation of a given signal from two different points of view; bonded and unbonded. Being concerned for the well-being of others, affection, love and compassion are higher order response, emanating from the forebrain. Concerned for one’s self, defensiveness and anger, are hindbrain responses. Development is transcendent. Bonding transforms the lower into the higher.
“Each new stage draws up and transforms the previous into the service of the more complex and subtle realm now opening.” Give an example of this process in your life.
Devolution - The Higher Into The Lower
Nature fine-tuned her developmental stages over billions of years. She assumes a stable environment and opens each stage according to a well-rehearsed biological schedule, regardless of geography or culture. A few hundred years ago technology began to radically alter the environment. Suddenly external signals failed to match nature’s expectation; her biological timetable. Signals appropriate for later stages began flooding earlier stages. Anticipated, age and stage specific experiences were pushed aside by inappropriate challenges, which compromised the current stage at every level. Incomplete development of any early stage provides a weak foundation for everything that follows. Development stumbled and never fully recovered.
Nature strives for completion, for transcendence. Trauma at any stage compromises development. Attention which would normally go into learning and growth is shunted into defense. Rather than transcendence, compromised development demands that resources, which open at later stages, be used to fill in the gaps. Attempting to correct the error development takes a u-turn. Rather than higher capacities using and transforming lower energies, the lower use and transform the higher. Our high creative capacities are drawn into the service of the lower incomplete stages. The result is an extremely cleaver and creative, defensive self-centered and aggressive population. Not a pretty sight. The solution is really quite simple however, prevent the trauma by creating a safe, nurturing environment and by taking our cues from the child’s innate intelligence rather than form corporate advertising on Saturday morning television.
Re-read the above paragraph and explain it in your own words.
The brain grows its structures in response to internal and external signals. The nature and quality of environmental signals determine the nature and quality of the capacities that are developed at each stage. Mother is the primary source of these signals for the early child. Her signals reflect her relationship to the environment, which includes her unborn or newborn baby.
For 2,000 years the traditional Japanese culture surrounded pregnant mothers with safe, nurturing environments, a tradition called Taikyo. They knew long ago that the psychological and emotional state of the mother affects the baby’s physical development.
New studies show that if a pregnant mother feels safe, her developing baby’s forebrain with its creative capacities will be enhanced. If mother feels threatened, nature gives greater attention to the development of the baby’s hindbrain, with its physical, survival, fight/flight, and sensory motor structures. When safe, nature puts her energy into creative growth. When threatened, nature defends herself.
List the five most important environmental signals young children experience each day and apply the above statement to their development. Now multiply this worldwide. What impact is this having on human development?
Feelings of safety or danger resonate throughout the entire body-mind as a state of being. In addition to stage-specific learning, researchers discovered that the emotional quality or state of an experience is recorded as part of the memory of that experience, a phenomenon known as “state-specific learning and performance.” If learning 2 + 2 = 4 was fun, for example, subtle feelings of play or joy will be experienced along with the next challenge to solve an equation. If learning to spell or trying out for Little League was humiliating, fear will be lurking in the background at the next spelling bee or athletic contest.
Jealously is a state. Wonder is a state. Anger, rage, compassion, lust, joy, sadness, worry, love, fear, all are states¾unique patterns of relationship. These states are changing all the time, and several may occupy us at the same time. We may be happy that our child is going off to college and sad that we will miss her company. As our outer and inner worlds change, so do our states. States have meaning. They contain information. Some states promote optimal learning and growth; others are more limiting. For the early child the information communicated in relationships is what he learns and what he remembers. The possibility of parenting in the Zone begins when adults discover they have a choice.
Research suggests that as much as 95 percent of all learning is state¾specific. Only 5 percent of what we learn, lifelong, is acquired through formal instruction, training, or schooling. Of the 5 percent of information we learn through instruction, only 3 to 5 percent is remembered for any length of time. State-specific learning, what we refer to as “primary learning,” is remembered for a lifetime. State-specific learning and performance means simply that the quality of the state or relationship, as learning takes place, is woven into the memory of that experience.
Imagine, for example, a five-year-old boy learning to kick a soccer ball. Dad begins patiently by offering instruction on running, foot placement, ball alignment, spin, and velocity. Being less interested in performance than his well-meaning dad, the boy fails to reach or maintain the “expected” skill levels.
The boy would rather just play. Dad’s state changes. He grows frustrated. His tone becomes focused, more intense. Sensing the tension, the boy’s attention splits. Part of his attention goes into “trying” to kick the ball, the other part is channeled into defense. Performance plummets when attention splits. Dad yells. The boy cries. On a good day perhaps 3 to 6 percent of dad’s verbal instructions will be remembered. The state-specific learning, the quality of the relationship, the disapproval and shame, may last a lifetime.
Every organism responds to threat. Cells are intelligent. When there’s poison in the womb, it’s filled with alcohol or cocaine, the baby responds on a physical level. Early threats are like a knot in the beginning of a ball of yarn. The distortions caused by the knot get larger and larger as you wind more yarn onto the ball. The original experience that caused the knot may be very tiny, just a grain of sand, but it eventually ends up being pearl. As it grows the distortion is acted out in more sophisticated ways, as defense mechanisms, in patterns that please other people, in attitudes people think, feel and believe. These defense patterns often begin very early with just a little dab of terror, pain, or threat. People are shocked when they discover how much these early impressions have affected their lives.
Barbara Findeisen, M.F.C.C.
President, Association of Pre-& Perinatal Psychology and Health
Apply the analogy of the boy kicking the ball to your childhood and describe the state you learned while a well meaning adult tried to teach you some important lesson. Close your eyes and relive the experience. Describe the state.
Reflexes - Mental, Emotional, Physical Pinball
We are unaware of most of the activity-taking place in our bodies and our minds each day. Much is governed by reflexes. Learning requires conscious awareness, attention, or intelligence. Reflexes don’t. They are predetermined responses. Tap your knee just right, and it jerks mechanically in response to a given stimulus. David Bohm suggests that much of what we think and feel each day happens in the same way.
We can understand thought as a conditioned reflex. Take, for example, Pavlov and his dog. The dog has a natural reflex; it salivates when it sees food. If you ring a bell every time it sees food, the dog will associate the bell with the memory of perceiving food. Eventually it will skip the stage of perceiving food and salivate when the bell rings. I suggest that thought works in a similar way. When you think something, or have thought about something, it leaves a trace in memory and that trace reacts, according to the situation by association.
We need repeated patterns clearly but the question is whether the repeated patterns dominate or whether something else comes in, something more intelligent. Perception has the ability to perceive something new, which is not contained in memory. The ability of repeated patterns to adapt to new circumstances is limited, they involve little or no intelligence. When thinking and thought become more and more automatic perception becomes less and less intelligent, less and less adapted to the particular situation. Very often people see so automatically that they hardly notice anything new. They tend to fall back into automatic reflexes.
David Bohm, Ph.D.
Theoretical Physicist, Author, Educator
Beliefs, especially those we have about others and ourselves, operate like reflexes. Underneath them are assumptions. Assumptions live beneath the surface of our awareness. They predispose us to respond in predictable ways. Blondes are dumb. Jews are smart. Blacks are good athletes. Discovering that we are defined by reflexes most of the time is challenging enough. What’s really embarrassing, if we still have a self-image to defend, is how very little intelligence there is in a reflex. Intelligence implies the attention and freedom to adapt appropriately to an ever-changing environment. Appropriate or intelligent means “a movement towards health and wholeness.” Predetermined responses lack this intelligence. Reflexes drive and determine a great deal of what we call parenting.
A human nurtured and not shamed and driven by fear develops a different brain and so mind, and will not act against the well-being of another, nor against his larger body, the living earth. As a child we know we are an integral part of the continuum of all things, as Jean Leidlofff explains and Jesus demonstrated. We can and must rediscover that knowing. Violent or repressive action against another is a projected form of suicide, and suicide is the solution to one denied love so completely as to lose all hope of ever attaining or knowing it. Three-year-olds commit suicide in the United States.
The Biology of Transcendence
List five beliefs that inhibit optimum learning and performance in your life. Describe how this happens.
The reflex system, as Bohm calls it, predisposes us to behave in predictable patterns. They block all of the childlike qualities Ashley Montagu refered to as “growing young.” Reflexes are great when driving freeways, but not so great when responding to children, who happen to be the most intelligent and dynamic learning systems in the known universe. Responding to their vast intelligence with predetermined, mechanical reflexes is not a good idea. How would you feel if a robot repeated over and over, “Take out the trash,” “Clean up your room”? It’s not the reflex that causes the trouble; it is the lack of attention and intelligence driving the reflex that does the damage.
When our attention is low the reflex system operates automatically. As attention increases our response to the world is more attuned to the present and potentially more intelligent, less reflexive. The greater the attention, the more potential intelligence we bring to the moment. The important factor is attention. Without attention, reflexes are the only response possible: they take over. With attention, reflexes becomes but one of many possibilities. Giving attention to our state implies a shift out of reflexive patterns. In Optimum Learning Relationships, thought, feeling, and action are all responding to the present moment without conflict. Reflexes may be involved but we are not limited to them. Attention transforms our experience.
How does attention, in the moment, impact the reflexive nature of beliefs? Give one or more examples.
The Magic of Memory
Our self-image is movement, like a flowing stream, Stop the flow and the image disappears. We often fail to see that the response that sustains our self-image is just that, a response. When the response becomes habituated, it creates the impression that there is a “thinker,” a “me,” some entity separate from the movement; from the response we call thought. The impression that there is a thinker causing all of our mental activity is part of the image-making nature of the brain/mind. The movement of thought, which is more often than not reflexive, creates the image of a thinker. Thought, our self-image, and what we experience as the thinker are all the same movement. The millions and billions of contacts and connections that occur every day and their response create the image. The movement creates the thinker and the self-image, not the other way around.
For example, an impression from the external environment flows in: a sign along the road, the smell of jasmine in the evening air, a song on the radio; each impression may trigger a flood of memories. One memory triggers another and another. Memories are loaded with physical, mental, and emotional images and these flood the body and mind automatically. This same logic applies to our five-year-old, his well-inted dad and the soccer ball. No child chooses to feel bad about himself or herself. No one sets out to create a poor self-image. It happens naturally, automatically, in the mirror of relationship, just like the tears in our eyes when that song plays on the radio. Songs and tears are interdependent processes. So are little boys and girls, mothers and fathers.
The magic of memory occurs when a new contact triggers an instant replay of a previously learned event. This remembering floods the body with the mental, physical and emotional patterns associated with the original experience. The trigger point for this instant replay may be physical, such as a soccer ball. It may be emotional, like dad’s frustration. It may be a word or phrase. Perhaps dad said something in his state of frustration. Any one of these associations can trigger an instant replay of the complete original pattern or learned state in the boy.
Every time our five-year-old kicks a soccer ball he may stutter or stumble over earlier feelings of disapproval and shame associated with soccer balls, or any ball for that matter. His stuttering and stumbling increase the probability of future stumbling. This reinforces and validates the original state in which the learning took place. The ball was just one link, or doorway, to a state-specific learning pattern. Once this door is opened, the feelings of disapproval or shame from the original learning experience come pouring in. All of this happens so quickly and so automatically that we seldom catch the true source of our feelings. They sneak in beneath our level of awareness. Each time the boy approaches a ball this painful association may be repeated. Each time he feels the need to defend himself. Each defensive response is experienced as a self-image under attack. Soccer balls don’t attack. There is in reality no threat, nothing to defend.
When watching a PGA tour player shake over a three-foot putt, Chuck Hogan, a sports performance specialist observed, “There’s no dinosaurs on the golf course.” The golfer’s fear¾and that the little boy¾are conditioned reflexes, shadows of some past experience being imagined in the present and projected into the future. Had that shameful memory not been recorded, all the energy and attention diverted to defense could have gone into learning and performance. Optimum is natural and easy when resistance to learning and performance is reduced or eliminated.
Two keys help to understanding and eliminate these performance- robbing phantoms: awareness of the reflex and complete attention. The reflex pattern holds its power only as a reflex. Having an “insight,” or seeing very clearly the nature of the pattern, breaks the pattern. Bringing greater attention to the moment also breaks the spell. When we give complete attention to the moment there is no energy remaining for defense. If attention is low, fear and defense can slip in. Attention is the critical and common factor. If both the child and adult are responding mechanically, reflexively, the old patterns will remain. The challenge rests with the adult. It is the adult who must see the nature of the reflex and bring increased attention to the state of their relationships. If the child had not been caught by the adult’s false fears, he or she would not have created the defensive-image-reflex in the first place. The child would just kick the ball, watch it spin, adjust, and kick it again. Adults call this amazing process the Zone. Kids call it play.
Do you experience your self-image fixed or moving? List three ways your self-image impacts the self-image of the children you love. Have you ever not had a self-image? If so, describe the experience.
The Primacy of States
It’s not difficult to see that states are primary. They come first. New experiences are filtered through our current state. States have their own meaning, they contain their own information. They provide the context or reference needed to interpret our present experience. States affect what we see, what we remember, what we learn, and how we relate. How we relate translates into performance. How we perform is a reflection of our ease or dis-ease at this moment. If the challenge is mental, and the emotional experience is fearful, mental performance will be compromised. If the task is physical and the mental state is confused, physical performance will be impaired. States are primary.
In the right relationship, great performance flows naturally. Anxiety becomes a factor when we prejudge the outcome, the performance; when we focus on the score or grade instead of the challenge. Anxiety creates its own challenge in addition to kicking the ball. Trying to kick the ball is different from kicking the ball. Trying implies two things: attempting to kick the ball and compensating for being anxious. Compensating for anxiety reinforces anxiety. Trying harder makes things harder. The harder we try, the more we interfere and the greater our anxiety grows. It takes more and more energy to accomplish less and less. When challenged to save the Rebel Alliance, Luke Skywalker announced he would “try.” Master Yoda replied, “Don’t try. Do.” Trying interferes. Just kick the ball.
Describe in your own words what is meant by “the primacy of states.”
States Are Content
Each state is a unique set of physical, emotional, and mental patterns, and each pattern affects our behavior. States of relationship are primary¾they precede what we think of as content, learning, and performance. A broken leg or the flu, for example, are different physical states, yet each may cripple performance for an athlete or dancer. Anger, jealousy, and humiliation are different emotional states, and each affects differently how we think, feel, and behave. Listening or observing with great sensitivity, being confused, not knowing, or defending strong convictions are all states.
We are affected by and learn from the states of others. Sensing, responding to, and learning from the states of others occupy most of early childhood. That’s what young children do. They participate in and learn from the information or meaning implicit in the adult state and this participation defines the early child. The adult state provides a context that gives order and meaning to the child’s experience. The intimate learning that began before birth continues as children swim in and learn from the presence of their parents, caregivers, and teachers.
Of all the ideas we are exploring, the fact that “states are content” is one of the most important. Why?
Fields of Meaning
The meaning or information contained in a particular state may be compared to a field in quantum physics. Quantum fields are subtle, non local patterns of pure energy. Unlike many traditional or Newtonian physicists, David Bohm believed that the universe is, in some way, conscious, and that this conscious energy is not confined by the boundaries that govern physical matter.
The information, or meaning, implied in a field is everywhere, always, not limited by time or space. Bohm stated that it is not the intensity of a field but its form that gives it meaning. The meaning, form, or pattern of the field of subtle energy organizes physical matter. Bohm described how perception organizes matter¾in this case you and me.
The action depends only on the form of that field, not its intensity. Therefore it is not a mechanical action, like the wave pushing a cork or a ship around. It is more like a radar wave, which is guiding the ship on automatic pilot. The form (of the field) gives rise to the activity… In an ordinary state, for example, electrons are like a disorganized crowd of people. Electrons in a super-conduction state move in a regular, coordinated way, so they don’t scatter. Now if you compare this to the ballet, you could say that the super-conduction state, the wave function, is like the score¾it’s kind of information¾and the dance is the meaning of the score…To make this ballet dance analogy better, let’s say the wave function is not fixed. The score depends on the initial configuration of the particles. The dance would vary according to the initial configuration of the dancers.
David Bohm, Ph.D.
In dialogue with Rupert Sheldrake
Dialogues with Scientists and Sages by Renee Weber
The principles that govern electrons apply equally to large aggregates of electrons: you and me. The field generated by our state implies meaning or information. According to Bohm, the meaning of a field is in multidimensional space and operates, like radar, to organize matter, our body, for example. The meaning of a field is experienced and expresses from within rather than coming in through our physical senses. Intuition and telepathy are field affects. Remote viewing, precognition, and the direct “knowing” of the idio-savants (described in the opening chapters of Evolution’s End), are all field effects. Particle patterns, what we call the physical universe, have meaning; they affect us. Wave or energy patterns also have meaning. They also affect us. We perceive, respond to, and learn from both energy and matter, though differently. State-specific learn ing and performance requires that we give attention to both dimensions, energy-mental and matter-physical, which we discover are, after all, two sides of the same coin.
Describe one or more non-local experiences in your life. How have these events impacted your relationship with children?
Children and adults participate in common fields. Changing states imply changing patterns or meaning of the field. States are reciprocal and dynamic. A change in one person’s state or field affects the other.
This dynamic and reciprocal exchange of meaning is occurring all the time, everywhere. The unborn child, the infant, and the early child are extremely sensitive to field affects. They learn from them. Their radar is finely tuned. Intellectual and conditioned interference is low. Field resonance guides them, as much if not more, than the information gathered from their physical senses.
As we grow older, attention shifts from these inner fields of meaning to the images created by memory, thought, and imagination. Fields and their meanings are subtle. The inner imagery unfolding in the newer brain centers is spectacular by comparison. As the image-making capacity of the brain unfolds it overshadows the shared meaning of these field affects. As language and imagination develop, attention becomes enchanted by the flood of thought-forms and imagery created by the new brain. As a result, many adults miss this subtle resonance with young children. The child, however, does not.
The adult’s local and nonlocalized states have meaning and represent vital information to the early child. The feeling or meaning of the adult’s changing states resonates in these subtle fields, which expresses in the child as intuition or other subtle feelings. This inner nonverbal knowing provides the context, or filter, that gives order to the child’s experience. When the inner state of the adult changes, so does the context for what the child learns. The quality of these first, primary relationships establishes patterns of perception and behavior in the early child that last a lifetime. The state of the adult-child-relationship is infinitely more important than the information or skills we adults so urgently wish to convey or teach. States are primary. They impact learning, performance, and wellness, at any age.
The Intelligence of the Heart
A clear and present example of this field affect is the energy or intelligence of the heart. Quantum biologists describe a crystalline fluid structure in which the whole body is floating. Every part of the organism is in communication and in perfect resonance with every other part, and this inner symphony is orchestrated by the heart. New research shows that the frequencies and coherency of this liquid crystalline structure flows between people. These frequencies have meaning. They imply intelligence and information.
Long before it forms into our four-chambered thumper, our rudimentary heart furnishes the electromagnetic field surrounding the embryo from its beginning. This EM field is, in turn, encompassed by the mother’s far more powerful heart field, as hers is nested in the earth and solar fields. One reason for the “in-arms” period it that the newborn infant requires this model, for the first months of life, just as with any other intelligent system. As was pointed out, close proximity with the mother’s heart field stabilizes the infant’s heart field.
The Biology of Transcendence
The emerging field of neurocardiology has discovered that up to 65 percent of the cells of the heart are neurons just like those found in the brain. (add reference) John and Beatrice Lacey found, after thirty years of research for the National Institutes of Health, a direct unmediated neuro-connection, a direct pipeline, between the heart and the brain. The brain informs the heart of its general emotional state and the heart encourages the brain to make an intelligent response. Poets and sages have been saying this about the heart down through the ages. Neurocardiology and research at the Institute of HeartMath lift the intelligence of the heart out of poetry and prose and into hardcore biology, where it belongs.
Each phase of the heartbeat creates its own part of the field affect that surrounds the body. The first is very short, close to the heart. The next radiates outward approximately three feet and is very powerful. The third field extends twelve to fifteen feet from the body. It is easy to see that one person’s field will often overlap another’s. When two fields overlap they interact. This resonant field affect is present in every relationship, but is particularly important for mothers and infants. The meaning of the fields shared by mother and infant contain a great deal of critical information for both.
The importance of the field created by the heart is profound. David Bohm and other physicists describe how fields have meaning, how they imply information and intelligence. Much of the new research suggests that the heart field determines the general environmental conditions under which the genetic system spells out its instructions for new life.
It has been well known for many years that the mother’s heartbeat has a profound affect on the growth of the fetus in the womb. Dr. Riddleston at Adelaide University in Australia was the first to claim that cellular imprinting of the mother’s heartbeat began at conception and continued throughout the whole of development. Current research shows that the influence or intelligence of the heart covers many areas; hormonal, sound, electromagnetic and even more subtle field affects. The effect on the infant is wide-spread. Separating the infant from the mother breaks the resonant field affect they share. Separation causes the state of the infant’s entire heart system to become unstable, incoherent, because it looses the stabilizing influence of the mother’s heart field. Entrainment of the mother and infant’s heart field is lost.
That heart fields entrain is a very precise, measurable, scientific fact. The amplitude and the Hertz value of the two heart frequencies become coherent. The waveforms match. When waveforms don’t match we speak of dissonance. With entrainment there is no dissonance, no conflict. There is a state of harmony, wholeness and health. When the infant’s heart and the mother’s heart are entrained, their brain structures also become synchronized. This entrained state keeps everything in balance and we refer to this entrained, balanced state as bonding between mother and infant. Later on this bonded state extends outward to include family, community and all of nature.
Failing the initial bond with the mother, all subsequent bonding is not only put at risk but is very difficult to bring about. The failure of a child to bond socially and become an active member of the society is not the child’s moral or ethical failure. It is the failure to establish, in the beginning, that bond upon which the later social bonds must be built. Studies at Harvard University show clearly that the nature of our early bonds are reflected throughout life, both in ones health and ability to interact socially. Allan Schore describes how the first eighteen months of life determine the subsequent moves of the intelligence and capacities to relate for the rest of one’s life. Why? Because the emotional experience the child is given during the first eighteen months of life determines the nature and quality of the neural structures that develop in that period. Schore traces all the pathologies in teenagers and adults back to the failure of appropriate emotional nurturing during the first eighteen months of life. Emotional nurturing translates directly into the field affect¾shared or not shared¾with the immediate environment. During those first eighteen months that environment is mother, father, and other primary caregivers.
Our intellectual creative brain is critically dependent on the emotional system. Cognition is limited by the nature and development of our emotional system. If we want to develop higher levels of intelligence, in ourselves and in our children, we must first develop our emotional intelligence, or we have no foundation to move on into the higher levels of human intelligence. It’s on this very basis that our educational and family systems are falling apart. We are not furnishing the fundamental foundation of emotional security, the safe space, and the bonding early in life. And this emotional nurturing again is determined by the coherency or the incoherency of the heart fields we all share, but especially between mother and infant. This entrained emotional bond provides the necessary foundation for the higher intelligence to unfold. If we want brilliant children, we must honor and follow the intelligence of the heart right from the beginning.
The “content” of our experience, what we are focused on and give our attention, is one thing. Our “relationship” to this experience is quite another. We may have trouble figuring out a mathematical equation and simultaneously feel humiliated in front of the class for not knowing the right answer. The meaning of the “content,” in this case the math challenge, and the meaning of our relationship to this content, being in front of the class, are completely different experiences. Each “order of experience” has its own language, its own way of expressing its unique meaning, each and every moment. The language of abstraction, 2x2=6, I mean 4, is completely different than the literacy of feelings and needs, humiliation, lack of acceptance, wanting to feel safe, belonging. We could say that intellect communicates its meaning with symbols, words, and the heart communicates it meaning with feelings, what we call emotions. Emotions and words serve very similar functions. Feelings are like words expressing the intelligence of the heart. Feelings are not however the deeper intelligence of the heart. The word/emotion is not the thing. Words and emotions point to something deeper. What lies behind the word, behind the feeling?
There is certainly an intelligence of the heart, though this calls for a new definition of intelligence itself, differentiating it from cerebral intellect. Heart’s intelligence is not verbal or linear-digital, but a holistic movement that responds for well-being and continuity, sending to the brain’s emotional system an intuitive prompt for appropriate behavior. Intellect is verbal, linear-digital, the way we think in our heads and the way we can function independently of the heart, that is, without intelligence. Intellect can [and often does] take over the circuitry and block our heart’s more subtle signals.
Biology of Transcendence