Monday, 17 October 2011

Limbic Imprint and The Emergence of Behaviour and Violent Societies

How Society Normalises Dysfunctional Behaviour.
An optimistic view.

Limbic Imprinting at Birth and The Emergence of Dysfunctional Behaviour

”We come into this world wide-open to receiving love. When we do receive it, as our first primal experience, our nervous system is limbically imprinted with an undeniable rightness of being.”  Elena Tonetti-Vladimirova 

Limbic Imprint is the term used to describe the processes of experience 'writing' the neural networks , the connections within our brain, heart and body during our time in the womb, and in particular during birth, and often in the immediate aftermath of birth.*
That is to say that our rapidly growing neural systems record whatever occurs, and that then becomes the base pattern from which we will evolve. In babies this growth is incredibly rapid, in the region of 200,000 connections per minute being created. Being held in our mother’s loving arms, feeding from her breast and other sensations provide us with a natural sense of bliss and security which forms the neural networks that will be the loving base from which we grow into loving adults.

If our first impressions are anything less than loving (for example, painful, frightening or lonely), then those impressions will imprint as our valid experience of love, and of life itself. It will be immediately coded into our nervous system as the norm, our comfort zone, acting as a surrogate for love and nurturing, regardless of how undesirable the experience actually was.

As adults, we unconsciously, automatically recreate the conditions that were imprinted at birth and through early childhood. Research conducted by the pioneers of prenatal psychology, such as doctors Thomas Verny, David Chamberlain and William Emerson, shows that an overwhelming amount of physical conditions and behavioural disorders are in reality symptomatic of unresolved traumatic gestational experiences during pregnancy and complications during delivery.

This is compounded by how the child is related to as he or she grows. If the child’s symptoms of distress are misunderstood, and treated as ‘bad behaviour’ and subject to sanction, this deepens the problem, the child becomes identified as the problem and will in turn internalise that identification.

Fortunately, not ALL children exposed to this dynamic will be overburdened by it, and many do 'escape' the worst affects, either through their own efforts of if they meet what Alice Miller calls an 'enlightened witness'. However enough do not survive intact, and may become as adults less than empathic, and will be absorbed by the Power structure where they will be 'successful'. Others are afflicted with the symptoms of thier distress, and are demonised by the Power structures and used as scapegoats. All of which, is of course avoidable....

Imposed Societal Values and How They Emerge.

The psychology of any given society is revealed in how that society treats their children. The adult world is created in the womb, the cradle and throughout childhood.

If a child, or adult for that matter, for whatever reason, is traumatised, and is unable to resolve that trauma, they remain in the 'coping strategy' stage, that is to say they will shut down awareness of aspects of their experience and feeling. As survival strategy; coping is a useful temporary strategy, but becomes adverse if extended, and it is this extension of the suppression of vital information (what is alive in the person) that leads to a growing loss of self-empathy, which undermines the development of empathy.

This compounds the fear inherent in traumatic experiences, and leads to an unconscious drive to exert adverse control over others (including the environment). Any adverse control imposed on a natural organism will meet resistance, and that resistance becomes the focus of violence, applied to overcome that natural resistance.

When any individual or group in this condition builds a societal structure, those structures will contain expressions of the unresolved fear and the drive to adverse control. This is how Hierarchically Violent Societies have emerged. Such societies codify their psychology over time, and thus behaviours such as war, concentration of wealth, racism etc become normalised and institutionalised. They are therefore more willing to inflict trauma than other more empathic societies, who are vulnerable because they are less likely to engage in whole sale violence to meet their perceived needs. To heal this dynamic is now the single most crucial work ahead of us. 

Fortunately Nature is With Us.

This dynamic does not affect every child in the same way, and therefore many people do recover to some degree. Were it not so, then we would not notice the costs. There would not be people like you, like me, like the many that are outraged with the harms associated with the current status quo. We would all of us be 100% normalised to the abuse. The urge to grow, to live as an empathic, connected, sensing member of our families, communities as a part of our Earthly environment is perhaps the deepest, most naturally embedded drive of all.

There is also ample evidence to suggest that people afflicted with dysfunctional behaviour can be nurtured in ways that enable them to recover. Thus it is also possible for entire societies. If the will is there. It is a question of making a choice.

The Current Situation

The current situation, of wealth and power disparity, of widespread institutional violence, of environmental degradation with all the costs to real peoples lives associated, is the result of the interplay of the limbic imprint and imposed societal values.

We know all to well what the dry facts and statistics tell us. To change how our Society behaves and operates, we must understand its roots, and learn again how to live without adverse controls on our natural growth. We must address how we treat our children, part of which is personal, resolving how we ourselves were treated as children, and part of which is societal which is where we must engage in peaceful, determined and well informed direct action, collectively, to confront the current situation. They are all of a piece.

 * a similar process also applies in the aftermath of any serious trauma....

Resources : a well researched and powerful documentary portal for the research of Thomas Verny, David Chamberlain and William Emerson– pre-eminent researcher and writer on the sociological influences on parenting and child 'rearing' and the processes of recovery– award winning teacher, author of the definitive history of Compulsory State Education

Kindest regards


Do what you love, it's Your Gift to Universe

Bookmark and Share

No comments: