To see and understand ourselves we have to look at what we are up against.
We are limited by our own biology, psychology, sociology, and moral development.
We were prey long before we were predators. We are hard wired to survive being eaten.
It’s all about survival. It worked but we pay the price.
The price is that in times of stress and trauma we are confined to fight, flight, or freeze reactions. We are Primitive Us.
We are at the mercy of evolution only being able to build on what was already there. We are the only primate to stand up, have sophisticated tools for hands, and a large cerebral cortex. The gain is that we have brains of intelligence and can walk upright to dominate the earth.
The loss is that our birth is more traumatic. The human pelvis compared to apes has narrowed to allow us to walk upright and only just accommodates the baby’s head. Apes can literally pull out their young from their own bodies at birth. While our own birth is more traumatic. “Navigating the birth canal is probably the most gymnastic maneuver most of us will ever make in life”
The human brain at birth is 3x bigger than the ape but a year premature. The brain is so complex that it can ramp itself down by doing menial tasks automatically leaving the rest of the brain to do other complex tasks. The brain creates habits to allow us to do this. As humans we have to survive the longest period of helplessness & dependency. It is the ultimate loss of control. So we react by obsessing about control.
The way children interact with the world is through the critical interface of attachment particularly under stress or anxiety. Attachment is natural and essential for safety even if the attachment figures we attach to are unsafe.
This attachment through behaviour of Emotions, Sensation and Knowledge, develops our integrated functions of morality, cognitive, social & emotional development.
What does this mean? In a nut shell we are formed early on in our childhoods. Who we attach to shapes our personality, our life choices and who we choose for intimacy. We fool ourselves by acting human forgetting that this is built on a primitive platform. The Ace scores are a series of questions, which ask about trauma in your childhood. Parenting and childhood predicts your life. Obvious? Then why do we pay early development so little attention?
Copyright Adrian Scott North London Counsellor Blog 2016
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Disclaimer:This weblog is the view of the writer and for general information only.
This article is designed to provoke argument and critique