December Darkness: Do we have to be giddy for Christmas?

Lately, it has been kind of a layered darkness. I am doing physio on my fractured wrist and getting the use of my hand back is an uphill climb. For the first ten days the constant throbbing was interfering with my peace of mind. Then the flu hit. Everybody, apparently, has this flu so there is nothing particularly dreadful about it other than it is generally dreadful.

Christmas itself is always very difficult for me. A long holiday with my parents shut up in the house with us was like a prison. The fact that it was “normal” for adults to have a rainbow bar full of various types of booze did not help the situation. Learning the skill of being a frozen faced actress helped me. The rage was volcanic and just under the surface. Who would be screamed at and then thrown against a wall next? The cheerful Christmas music in the background ran as a counterpoint to the reality we all were experiencing.

My spunky grand daughter decorating the tree

So the pressure I put on myself to “get over it” wrestles with the triggered depression. This year combined with inhibiting hand pain and the trembling in the bathroom flu experience has left me at odds with my ideal self.

Every single Christmas commercial causes an outbreak in tears. God help me if somebody shows a kitten with a tiny hat on its fuzzy head. When I was phoning Green Shield today, I could barely get through reading my number. What I was hearing in my head is “This is all too much. What if they misunderstand me? Why is the number so mixed up and complicated? Why do I have to repeatedly untangle issues with institutions? Why am I such a wimp?”

the desire to glow

So I put the fireplace on the TV set and listen to the Cinnamon Bear radio show that was a bright spot in my childhood Christmases. As my little brother and I lay on the carpet in front of the towering console radio, it was an anticipated shared pleasure. The series ran every night from Thanksgiving until Christmas. My mother sat in a chair doing something… mending or sewing. And I cannot remember one time when my father raged during the program. I found the show on You Tube and sent it to my brother.

Cinnamon Bear

His reply, “Good times.”

And I know full well I have a lot of work to do on my hand to get its use back. The flu will eventually be defeated. And best of all, Christmas will be over.

Maybe then, I can stop forcing myself to live some lie of cheerfulness. It is a difficult time for me and may never get easier. Learning to be at peace with the struggle is what I am hoping for.

Christmas Contrast

Yesterday I went to the Mall to mingle. There are times when I just wish to “participate” in the socially constructed delusion of purpose. I still remain outside. Even in my dreams I stand outside of a scene in which I am reliving a past even.

So I encourage myself to walk as many steps as I can while checking in on my fit bit. I stop and visit with Rose at the Bay behind the jewellery counter. She has warm, soft and sweet energy. When I see her, I check to see if she is busy and then if she is free, I walk to her.
“Hi Rose,” I say with a big genuine smile on my face. “How are you?”

We talk and as we are exchanging words I think, “I just love you.”

In the submarine hallway of the dark winter shopping center, I stop at the kiosk packed full of young clerks in their black sales costumes. They are kind to one another and to customers. Even though there are four or five of them jammed into a small space there is no competitive striving for territory or sales.

I call them the “better in black” crew and always stop to throw out some trivial words and exchange smiles. They are working so hard to make a life for themselves. They take a bus home and are unlikely to own their own residences any time in the future. But they bend over helping confused people figure out their phones, their plans, their sense of not knowing how to proceed. It is a kindness in intention.

There are opportunities to see a father holding his kids’ hands; a young couple stopped in front of a window enjoying some new style programming experience. The tribes of teen girls have somehow lost their coats and parade in the eye catching attire that they believe gives them value. Groups of young males insult one another and walk in unpredictable lurching playful patterns. There are in jokes exchanged and sudden out breaks of laughter.

                          How to fit in

Crowds have shown up because there is a yearning for village in a place that sprawls out over the landscape. So many towns have a central street to walk upon once a week. Everyone comes to stroll. Everyone comes to see the new baby, or the new shoes or to hear about the child who is living somewhere else pursuing opportunities.

And now, we are apart. We live in enclaves without a central Malacon or Main Street. We spend hours a day looking at the blue/gray light of a screen. But at the mall at Christmas, people are buying presents to ship to those far away. And it brings us together.

We are a reflection.

I have happened upon people I once knew, I once worked with, I once served on a board with, I took a class with when I was in the mall and it provides a certain continuity in my life. It brings back my history and memories of who I once was. It brings the lie to the sense that I am an outsider and not connected.

Every action I have taken in life has in some way connected me to others in either a positive or a negative way. It is good to remember. Watching the village crowd into the mall is a way to remember that we all share an energy.

Going Under the Story: part two

What I am currently learning is that the sense of emptiness that is under my story cannot be disappeared through work, accomplishment, addictive entertainment binges or by achieving some illusive validation badge from society.

For years I have been meditating; keeping the house spotless; using self discipline to attend to the small, bothersome things first. The result has been a lack of passion. The result has been a deep moat of isolation around my being. No matter how hard I worked I could not drop the underlying sense of fear of making a mistake that would upon occasion arise like some horror movie violin screeching warning. I had to keep myself under control.

After eight years I am no closer to being in a loving relationship with a man. Art sits in my studio unseen, un-marketed and unsold. My books sit in a cupboard unheralded. The sense of loneliness becomes more and more pervasive.

I have grown in so many ways. I no longer awaken screaming from my nightmares. I have lost four sizes and made my body far more healthy. I have totally reconstructed the sense of power in my physical being. I have paid down a massive debt from my “reverse dowry” divorce.

The friends I do allow close to me are supportive, can be counted upon in illness and show me a model of compassionate growth. They are willing to accept all of me, all of my story.

Nevertheless, what lies underneath is The Upside Down World. And the flashlight I am using to go into that dark place is the word “naturally.” Who I am flows out “naturally” as a consequence of from what happened to me as a child.

Once, in a shamanic retreat, I saw myself as a child under the age of three laying in my bed with freshly broken bones and bruises. The room was dark and I wanted to cry. I was overtaken by the consuming pain of knowing that I could not cry out. He would come into my room. He who could hold a pillow over my head until I passed out; he would come in and this time he could kill me.

And since this memory came back to me as a woman in my sixties, I could allow myself to weep. I sat in a group of supportive people and once again came to the thought, “I didn’t do anything wrong. I am so scared. I am so scared.”

All of my energies as a child shifted as soon as my father arrived through the door. I was on hyper-alert and the assignment was to stay alive. Which of his six shifting personalities would arrive. Would he be the small boy who rocked and cried? Would he be the violent abuser? Everyone has seen movies like the Story of Eve, but I lived with it.

My entire life the survival tactic has been to say, “it was not that bad.” My self encouraging, warrior voice told me to just get on with it.

It was like being in a war zone and the buildings were collapsing, so you look for a path through the rubble. There is no point in sitting and grieving. Getting on with it is the only way to live another day. Keep moving.

But now, I am going under the story. What lies beneath in The Upside Down World is darkness. My bones are broken. My nose and cheek bone are broken. I was used as a sexual anesthetic for a sick man’s pain and my mother stood by and allowed anything at all. Anything at all.

And now I am connecting with “her”. I see “her”: the 18 month old; the three year old; the seven year old. For the first time in my life I am not afraid that feeling compassion for “her” will somehow kill me.

The big journey right now is to understand how absolutely terrified I have been most of my life. Because I am strong enough now, I can see how important it is for my future that I feel into the past.

And underneath it all is the chaos; the terror; the sense that if I did the wrong thing he would kill me this time.

The habit of mind of constant conflict that I hold at all times of my day is to ask the question,”What should I have done? Did I just make a mistake, a wrong choice?”

I can never be sure because I was dealing with an adult with multiple personality disorder. What would please one “being” would enrage another.

My patterns, my coping systems, my rigorous guarding of my boundaries make complete sense to me now. As I go down into the dark, underneath, I see how it has created a field of energy that has flowed out into my life.

compassion

My child; my little girl was left alone to deal with terror and there was no adult to comfort her. Until now. Until now. I am with her.

Going “under” the story.

Pema Chondra instructs those who attend her workshops the vital skill of going “under” the story. In her own inimitable way she chuckles as she reminds her students that anything they are feeling; anything they are doing will grow. If a person is practicing a skill it will become ingrained and more powerful.

Six weeks ago, I felt as if it was time to address some of the issues that I have just been pushing down in an exhausting attempt to ignore them. I began therapy again.
For me, going to therapy has a deep taint… I see it as a stain. To admit that I can’t do it alone is a sign of weakness and like some Classical Mythic being, I will have the vultures circle over head. It is a staggering weakness to admit weakness. It is an invitation to shame to admit shame. It is a uniform of the losing team to admit I have been playing injured.

So now, I am walking through the story with the guidance of a skilled therapist. I set myself the task of not being afraid of the fear. And it has been difficult.

For many years I have not cried except for others. A picture of children massacred in Syria will elicit the bleeding grief from my eyes. A television show about those who die alone will immediately trigger the flow of sadness.

But now is the time to go into my story and also to go under it. Once before in my life I connected to the brutality of my own past.

I attended a group session held in Telkwa, B.C. by a group of Catholic nuns who named their methodology Personal Human Relationship Study. We formed a circle and slowly build trust. Exercises helped us to open up the armour that each of us wore on a daily basis.

And as others shared with brave openness, the epiphany struck me. I saw in my mind a picture of an 18 month old child. I was 18 months old when my mentally ill father returned from France with his PTSD and became a dark, explosive and dangerous presence in my life. He went to a psychiatrist and a lot of good that did.

Mere seconds after that image appeared in my mind, the words fell out of my mouth.
“I was so tiny. I didn’t do anything wrong. It wasn’t my fault.”

I drove an hour home on a Northern isolated highway stripped of the not knowing. When I arrived home, I immediately called my mother. I asked her, “Was I abused? Did my father abuse me?”

She saw the world through her own fractured filter. As a person with Borderline Personality Disorder, she was deeply investing in being the victim. There was no room in the nuclear family for another one.

She told me a story. “I didn’t know,” she said. “I came home and he told me you walked into a door,” she said. “You climbed the car and fell off onto your face is what your father told me,” she said. “I saw him when you were 12 come up behind you when you were doing the dishes and grab your breasts. But that was just playful,” she said.

After that I slid down the wall holding onto the phone and I began to sob. I can’t remember the rest of her words.

I was not yet forty years old but never, once had I connected with a compassionate love with the toddler who was beaten and lay alone in a bed with her bones broken.
How could I deny her empathy and connection? Because I was taught to. Because none of us knew anything. The will to survive comes from bonding with the caregivers. Numbing out; making myself wrong; dissociation worked.

But now the story I live is simply not rich enough in texture and depth to explain the deep well of sadness that I carry with me from the time I wake up until I sleep.
With a loving guide by my side, my intention is to go under the story of my daily narrative and connect to the reality of how I experience life. And as I drive my car, I have Pema Chondra’s lessons to listen to. There is a bigger truth to explore.

What is Cultural Capital?

Cultural capital is a term developed and popularized by late-twentieth century French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu. … Cultural capital is the accumulation of knowledge, behaviors and skills that one can tap into to demonstrate one’s cultural competence, and thus one’s social status or standing in society.

Cultural capital is the possession of tangible or intangible assets–be they institutionalized, objectified, or embodied–that promote social mobility but are distinct from financial capital. Cultural capital is measured by the value society places on an individual’s assets in a given situation. Financial capital is understood in terms of the economic power an individual can wield. The third fulcrum of power is social capital. Those who do not in and of themselves hold financial capital can through their connections access funding, publicity or vast network that creates power for themselves.

The movie star Cary Grant is an excellent example of an individual who understood cultural capital. He recreated “himself” by studying how connecting to cultural markers anointed other individuals that he admired. Hiring a speech coach, learning the manners and markers of elegance, dressing impeccably was undertaken to purposefully  transform his presence and power.

my parents who were the children of farmers and skilled laborers from the North of England and from Bosnia, Serbia went after Cultural Capital with a knowing vigilance. They knew and taught me so I could have the cultural knowledge I needed to move in a circle of more highly educated people.

And from that vantage point I read and attended plays. My father read books out loud to me from the public library such as H.G. Wells entire Outline of History. I was allowed to purchase the classical records series at the local grocery store and play the entire series repeatedly. Shakespearean plays were shown on a TV channel and my access to that program became more important than any other viewing plans that evening. My mother sewed clothing that was up to date so that I would fit in to the upper middle class high school I attended. I watched television to understand the world of dance and took dance lessons from the local parks program.

My grandparents were simple laboring people. On my father’s side they were illiterate. On my mother’s side they were barely literate. But I had access to learning in my environment.

A country can build into its structure the ability to enable its citizens to hold Cultural Capital. It begins with free day cares and pre-school programs. It extends to access to libraries, to art galleries, to public presentations of intellectual speakers. The conscious building in of culture as accessible is the way a country protects its future.

And why this is so very, very important is that those who are allowed to study and absorb ideas then go on to have self confidence in their own power. They then go on to become creative thinkers.They look at the future and see a problem and devise a solution. The society cannot ignore the intelligence and creativity that is on fire in citizens, or in new immigrants. The necessity for engineering a manner for these people to enter the gates of the leaders is foremost in the world today.

Norway has an entire generation of software designers and IT experts that have grown up from their farmer third world immigrants. The country provided free services to teach the immigrants how to navigate a new social landscape.

Canada needs to do this as well.

A person who is locked down into a lower class, who is unfamiliar with Western Civilization and cannot read can through design be systematically exposed to the vast world of ideas, history, art. It has been shown to be an effective way for them to utilize their passion and then go on to save that country.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/immigrant-businesses-study-1.3500813

They create small businesses that at a greater rate in Canada than Canadian born individual do. And in the future their creativity may go on to figure out how to protect water, how to prevent diseases.

We, as a society, place too much emphasis on financial capital. There are other methods of bringing value to a society.

It is one of the reasons it is so very important for people to be taught the joy and power of reading. Reading is the most rapid way to improve language thought patterns.
So a society providing free, rich, varied cultural experiences results in citizens who are acculturated.

That doesn’t happen when the citizens are having limited cultural experiences.

We have seen through studies that the people who are struggling and sitting in a lower class can rise up with access to free libraries, to free art galleries, to free lectures.

The other part is to undertake to do as Cary Grant did and know what the markers are for the leaders.

And it is entwined in knowing creativity.

Many people have recreated themselves and garnered more power by studying what is expected by the culture.

But the “markers” for the acculturated are important to know.

I  just explained to you what my parents knew and taught me so I could have the cultural knowledge I needed to move in a circle of more highly educated people.
And from that vantage point I learn even more richness of the mind: about plays, or new books, or new theories. A habit of intellectual curiosity became the driving force of my life.

It is what Cary Grant did… a poor circus acrobat who assiduously studied the culture.
He learned how to walk, how to talk, what to wear, what the cultural history was in terms of art, music, intellectual history and then he spent the rest of his life not just “passing” but by becoming one of the icons of society.

The Fulcrum of Compliance

Today several things came together in my field of attention. First a very conventionally beautiful woman put a post up on facebook and I wondered about the idea of complying to the cultural concept of beauty.

When a woman chooses to have procedures, selects ultra feminine clothing, tilts her head seductively what motivates her? I wondered.

It is exactly what I am working through in my life right now. My mother conditioned me to “be pretty”. I had perms at 4 and 5 and back then the chemicals were beastial. My eyes stung. I could barely breathe. The curlers lifted up my scalp because they were so tight. The concern was that it “would take.”

As my mother made me dresses that restricted my muscular shoulders and shoved unforgiving mary jane plastic shoes on my feet, she reminded me of where my ultimate power lay. “Women must suffer for beauty,” she said to me during these ritual attempts to mold me into a feminine form.

mind prison

The idea of fitting in to a high school that was full of the richest people in my town was entrained in me. We lived on “the heights” where doctors’ houses perched, lawyers’ abodes were custom designed over-looking the lower levels of the town where chicken farmer, mechanics and factory workers lived. Their children went to the “other” high school.

I walked the hallways through groups of girls wearing cashmere sweaters with matching socks; with boys who got a TR3 for graduation. But I was a fraud.

My parents worked four jobs between them to build a house. I was a fraud. I was not interested in being pretty and remaining passive.

At home, I was beaten and molested. At school, I was mocked and strange.

The question of how one goes into the world as a woman is on the table right now. Posts in media are asking the question, “Why have women stayed silent.”

We have stayed silent for the same reason we had ribs removed in Victorian times: in order to fit in. We have stayed silent for the same reason we walk in shoes that destroy our feet. We have stayed silent for the same reason we refuse to speak up for equal pay.

We bleach our hair blonde. We look to our fellow captives to see how they accumulate attention and power and what we see is compliance.

A few woman break out and body build, or fight like hell for the dysenfranchised, or are brave enough to say #metoo.

It is a time of transition. Since the time of the Elysian Mysteries when women held the societal power, we have been ruled by men. Throughout the history since the Mysteries collapsed, we have looked around us to see how other women embrace their own slavery. What gives them attention from men? They move up the ladder because they are not a threat. They are available to be sexual presences in the work place because of the way they dress and present themselves.

We see through our own shadow.

Men do not have these restrictions on them. And it is time that women, each individual woman, sit down and have a conversation with herself. Who am I when I am not trying to fit into a persona? Who am I as a free spirited being moving through life?

From that point, things will change. It moves from being a fulcrum of compliance to a fulcrum of authenticity. I have faith that is where we are headed.

For me, I sit with the question… how was I conditioned? What choices are truly my own? I am curious. And not knowing is the beginning.

A failure of imagination

I have been puzzled when I see those who purport to be on the spiritual path post fear based responses to the “diseases” that immigrants carry. The dis ease comes from their fear of the unknown. The dis ease comes from the anxiety the individual carries about their place in the world. And the question is how do we get beyond Stranger Danger Mindset?

What people don’t understand, even good people, is that when you post a fearful response to refugees you are denying them their humanity. They did not ask for an invading army to come into their village and kill their parents. They did not ask for the drought that wiped out their supply of food. They did not ask for an earthquake to slide their village off of the face of the earth.

To spread the rumour they are dangerous to us MEANS we are sentencing them to homelessness, to starvation, to watching their children die of unclean water. When people post fearful things about refugees, we are denying them their humanity and their right to live.

The way out of this mental trap is to be able to see yourself in others.

our wounding makes us fearful

People who read copiously, are shown to have greater empathy. They time travel, inhabit different countries with different customs and learn to identify with people unlike themselves. The other is just another form of me.

The way out of the Stranger Danger mindset which is allowing us to turn our backs on people who will die without our help is to use the imagination.

Please put yourself in their place. It is what the empathetic person does. Look at that child from another culture and ask the question, would I let a child die? Face your own fearful attitude about life, and open your heart.

DNA is Not Destiny Continued.

The author uses the acronym WEIRD to underline how marginal a group that runs North American society is in actuality. Western Educated, Industrialized, Rich and Democratic peoples see themselves as some how select and justifiably holding power.
Much of the mythology of this group’s beliefs are not upheld by actual scientific studies. There are more and more details emerging about the complexity of DNA. For instance, It is necessary to examine 500,000 SNPs on a gene chip to predict 1/2 of the individual’s variation in I.Q. (A single-nucleotide polymorphism, or SNP is a variation in a single nucleotide that occurs at a specific position in the genome, where each variation is present to some appreciable degree within a population ). The more research is done, the more incredibly vast the structure of DNA shows itself to be.

And what of environment? Americans from the Southern United States respond more aggressively to insults than do those who dwell in the Northern part of the country.

What about the issue of cultural conditioning? Why do Japanese people look more at the background of photographs than other nationalities? Why is it that Russians are less likely to get depressed?

One thing that has been clearly established is that I.Q. emerges from what we are able to learn about our environment. It is the result of intention and curiosity.

The focus on Eugenics is a recurrent theme in the history of attitude toward human kind. The extreme was the Nazi intention to “cleanse” certain undesirables from the breeding pool. However, the idea was already present in the world at large. It was not a new thought.

In 1924 at the Kansas Free Fair there were displays of desirable qualities that should exist in a human being. People were encourage to complete questionnaires. Fair attendees allowed measurements of their bodies; medical inspections, physical challenge tests and I.Q. tests. Were they and their family fit to reproduce?

In 1927 the state of Virginia systematically sterilized institutionalized individuals who were denied the right to procreate.

Many great writers and thinkers of the day touted Eugenics.

Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr:
It is better for all the world if, instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind. Three generations of imbecils is enough.”

At this time 60,000 Americans were sterilized and more minority races bore the brunt of this institutional selection. Similar mandatory sterilization regimes emerged in Canada, Sweden, Japan and Latin America well into the 1970’s.

Alexander Graham Bell was the chair of the board of scientific advisors to the Eugenics Record Office. H.G. Wells, George Bernard Shaw, the Rockefeller family, Carnegie, Guggenheim, Eastman, Kellog and Vanderbilt all touted the necessity for selective breeding which resulted in neutering individuals.
In the year 1928 it was possible to take a eugenics course to study the necessity for systematic sterilization on the campus of 376 universities.
Teddy Roosevelt said in his speeches, “The right kind of people need to have children for their country.”

W.E. Dubois spoke to the need that only “fit” blacks be allowed to reproduce.
In Canada. Tommy Douglas in 1933 wrote his master’s thesis about the necessity of addressing a country’s social ills with biological solutions.

Margaret Sanger, the Sierra Club and Save the Redwoods organizations spoke out for the necessity of selective breeding for a perfect race. The redwood became the symbol for a “great race of humans.”
Where is Western thinking at the current time? We have invented methodologies to check on the rightness of a child’s DNA before birth or in some cases before implantation.

Amniocentesis; cell free DNA fetal screening, PGD pre-implantation genetic diagnosis and cloning are the result. And now CRISP can tag DNA for the purpose of “swopping out” certain traits. The world has entered a genetic engineering arms race. The desirability of sperm has lead to California cryobanks wherein “mate value” is catalogued in files.
At the present time, 20% of Americans like the concept of genetically engineering a child. These people fit the profile of those who are “maximizers”. These individuals always want the very best deal they can find. Another group which are delineated as the “satisfiers” want only to achieve a level of satisfaction with their choice.
Heine asks the question, “Would our efforts to engineer our children leave society without the mental illnesses that have spurred some of humanities greatest creations?’

With the intense focus on the gene and genetic imprinting in decades of experimentation science has arrived at a point of knowing what we are not able to engineer with our biological customizations: intelligence, attractiveness, personality traits and height.

The conclusion that the book underlines is that science has become obsessed with finding a simple answer to the questions of human kind. The National Institute of Health has spent four times the money on genomics research than it ever has on the study of behavior and social science combined. We want simple stories. We want simple answers.

For all of our searching we have only found that “All humans on the face of the earth are related within 79 generations of each other.” We are the same race.

Our concepts of racial separation are no more than social constructs and do not exist in biology. We have over estimated the effect of a gene’s influence on an individual human being. And we have underestimated the dynamic of behavior and social conditioning.
The questions are just beginning. But when we see groups of people chanting hatred of another group that they wish to extinquish… we are back to uneducated and unaware thinking. We are all the same family. That is proven by DNA studies.

DNA is Not Destiny Steven Heine

New blog about Dr. Heine’s book on DNA. Really timely.
In a new book, DNA Is Not Destiny: The remarkable, completely misunderstood relationship between you and your genes, UBC Psychology Professor Steven Heine debunks the hype surrounding DNA testing and puts to rest our mistaken anxieties about our genes. He explores how our psychological biases make us fatalistic about genetics, and how these biases intersect with such hot-button topics as race, sexual orientation, crime, disease, eugenics, and genetic engineering.
While I was reading this book I felt as if somebody had removed my dark shadow glasses. How relevant is Heine’s study at this time in cultural history: Transformative.
I wish to share with you the information that he studied carefully and at length.
There have been shifts in attitude towards groups of people based on the science of genetics that have driven entire cultures in their choices.
The first stage of DNA study was to invest DNA with some sort of magical, fated imprint that individuals were confined within. Epigenetics became the following field of study. But basically the Nature or Nurture pendulum choices have driven hundreds of years of scientific study.
New experiments have demonstrated that mice who are trained to fear the smell of cherry blossoms will pass the phobia on to proceeding generations.

“A specific phobia learned by one generation was passed in the sperm to the next generations.”
Sir Francis Galton in 1869 became interested in the shared script of twins. He studied 35 sets of identical twins and 20 sets of fraternal twins. His discoveries created an opening in the structures of belief that were shocking to scientists of his day.
One set of twins developed identical tooth aches at the same time in the same tooth. Both needed to undergo extraction. Identical twins who lived apart reported the same dream at the same time. Identical twins selected the same jobs, bought each other the same gifts.
What Galton found in his studies and what more recent experiments have found is that the following things were inherited by individuals who share identical DNA even if they are apart.
belief in a God
belief in racism
love or hatred of jazz
amount and type of passive watching of entertainment.
belief in euthanasia
being a bully
being a hoarder
volunteering to give blood
how happy or content
love of science fiction
likelihood of being mugged (yep true story)
Eric Turkeheimer discovered the “First law of behavioral genetics” which is to assume by default that a trait is inherited until proven otherwise.
However, studies also indicated the environment can contribute to an individual growing to be 11 inches taller than relatives simply by living in a culture that offers more nutrition in childhood.
One definite proof is that contemporary Americans are no longer growing taller each generation simply because of the prevalence of fast food. Their eating is making them less healthy.
People who share the same inherited DNA also respond to the environment in terms of skin color. Descendents of the same family will have lighter skin in Seattle and following generations will have darker skin living in Los Angeles.
An additionally inherited trait is what has been labelled “Cognitive Misers.” These are families that have the trait that causes fear of making an effort. When an individual is caught up in this web he or she needs to work to consciously adopt heuristic methodology. Being aware of how a particular event or opportunity fits into our over existing belief about the nature of reality, allows an individual to move out of past patterning.
In ancient time Hippocrates in 5 BCE structured his belief pattern on the cosmology of the four elements: Phlegm; blood; yellow bile; black bile. This was in the school of thought of essence or essentialism: Things are as they are because of their underlying essence.
Essentialism lead to the craniometrists in the 19th century stating that criminal faces such as “jug ears” demonstrated without need for further evidence that the individual was not to be trusted.
The Japanese belief in blood types is another example of essentialism which reverberates through out our contemporary culture.
The following beliefs are or have been shared in cultures:
deep down and within the body are aspects that cannot be changed.
what a person is is entirely visible on the surface.
“You are what you eat,” belief lead to cannibalism of individuals that were admired in enemy tribes.
essence is perceived to be “natural” or correct in nature.
1/3 of heart transplant recipients felt that they had taken on an aspect of the donor… been transfused with the donor’s essence.
wealthy people, the uber rich and corporate heads belief more completely in essence based thinking. Some people have power essence. Some people have “slave” essence.
So throughout the cycles of exploration of the individual in society there have been shifts in focus from a complete belief in the imprint of nature. The questions of is it a life sentence, or of individual choice keep arising.
(essence) and nurture (environment). The four elements; the idea of soul personality; blood types are all space holders for the concept of essence.
Historically the gene has come to take the place of essence. James Watson declared that, “Our fate is in our genes.” And it has lead to what the author calls the “switched on theory.”
A gene is either switched on or switched off. Genes are “natural” and from God. This line of thinking is what has lead to recent socially held beliefs such as there is an infidelity gene; that divorce is heritable: that I.Q is attached to race.
The difficulty with essence thinking is that it becomes attached to social topics. Gender for instance is imbued with essence thinking.
To be male is inborn, clear, an action driven preordained path.
To be female is to lack power, to be internalized (as their sexual organs are internalized).
The countries in the world which are the most gender neutral and egalitarian are the Netherlands, Finland and Germany. Nigeria and Pakistan have an over arching essence based thinking. And in some of the most economically developed countries in the world, women are still restricted from access to power.
In today’s world 47% of those who are transgendered are fired. The commonly held belief is that they cannot be trusted because they do not accept their fate.
Many political analysts see that George Bush was re-elected primarily because of the same sex issue. The belief in the “un-naturalness” of some people. It was a stereotyped threat to the beliefs of a particular segment of society.
It was also discovered in test studies that those who were lead to believe that homo-sexuality was in the DNA were less likely to condemn individuals. Those who believed that the subjects were making an “un-natural” choice were condemnatory.
So social attitudes towards homo-sexuality depends on the concept of essence. The switch is on. Or the switch is off. It is simplistic thinking at best.
Men with a lot of older brothers are more like to be gay. Is there something in the environment of the mother’s womb that is at work? There are more questions than answers.
In the legal system in Tennessee in 1910 one drop of black blood made you and your off spring black. Classifying people as of higher essence than other people based on their DNA inheritance has lead to eugenetics.
Eugenetics means “good at birth. Certain individuals have been born with a more perfect essence than others. One of the belief systems in North America that is still in place is that intelligence is an inherited “essence.”
Other nations such as Japan believe that skill, intelligence are qualities that a person can build through hard work.
In fact, the intelligence indicators in young children is only 5 points variant different in the entire tested group. This grows to 17 points in adult hood depending on a number of factors. The evidence is that intelligence is not a genetic gift; it is not a sign from God; it is not an essence; it is not a life sentence.
“Intelligence emerges from what we learn about our environment, ” the author reminds us.
The information in this book is absolutely relevant in today’s world where the uber rich see themselves as somehow genetically superior. Those who believe that essence is the divide between people need to know that the switch is not “turned on” for white people, powerful people, successful people. The study of DNA and environment is much more complex. I will go on to present the studies about Eugenics and the horror of cruelty that was enacted in societies across the world based on simplistic construct. Next time!!

The Myth of “Races” is a social construct.

In a new book, DNA Is Not Destiny: The remarkable, completely misunderstood relationship between you and your genes, UBC Psychology Professor Steven Heine debunks the hype surrounding DNA testing and puts to rest our mistaken anxieties about our genes. He explores how our psychological biases make us fatalistic about genetics, and how these biases intersect with such hot-button topics as race, sexual orientation, crime, disease, eugenics, and genetic engineering.

While I was reading this book I felt as if somebody had removed my dark shadow glasses. How relevant is Heine’s study at this time in cultural history: Transformative.

I wish to share with you the information that he studied carefully and at length.

There have been shifts in attitude towards groups of people based on the science of genetics that have driven entire cultures in their choices.

The first stage of DNA study was to invest DNA with some sort of magical, fated imprint that individuals were confined within. Epigenetics became the following field of study. But basically the Nature or Nurture pendulum choices have drives hundreds of years of scientific study.

New experiments have demonstrated that mice who are trained to fear the smell of cherry blossoms will pass the phobia on to proceeding generations. “A specific phobia learned by one generation was passed in the sperm to the next generations.”

Sir Francis Galton in 1869 became interested in the shared script of twins. He studied 35 sets of identical twins and 20 sets of fraternal twins. His discoveries created an opening in the structures of belief that were shocking to scientists of his day.

One set of twins developed identical tooth aches at the same time in the same tooth. Both needed to under go extraction. Identical twins who lived apart reported the same dream at the same time. Identical twins selected the same jobs, bought each other the same gifts.

What Galton found in his studies that the following things were inherited by individuals who share identical DNA even if they are apart.

  1. belief in a God
  2. belief in racism
  3. love or hatred of jazz
  4. amount and type of TV watched
  5. belief in euthenasia
  6. being a bully
  7. being a hoarder
  8. volunteering to give blood
  9. how happy or content
  10. love of science fiction
  11. likelihood of being mugged

Eric Turkeheimer discovered the “First law of behavioral genetics” which is to assume by default that a trait is inherited until proven otherwise.

However, studies also indicated the environment can contribute to an individual growing to be 11 inches taller than relatives simply by living in a culture that offers more nutrition in childhood.

One example of this is that contemporary Americans are no longer growing taller each generation simply because of the prevalence of fast food.

People who share the same inherited DNA also respond to the environment in terms of skin color. Descendents of the same family will have lighter skin in Seattle and following generations will have darker skin living in Los Angeles.

An additionally inherited trait is what has been labelled “Cognitive Misers.” These are families that have the trait that causes fear of making an effort. When an individual is caught up in this web he or she needs to work to consciously adopt heuristic methodology. Being aware of how a particular event or opportunity fits into our over existing belief about the nature of reality, allows an individual to move out of past patterning.

In ancient time Hippocrates in the 5 BCE structured his belief pattern on the cosmology of the four elements: Phlegm; blood; yellow bile; black bile. This was in the school of thought of essence or essentialism: Things are as they are because of their underlying essence.

Essentialism lead to the craniometrists in the 19th century stating that criminal faces such as “jug ears” demonstrated without need for further evidence that the individual was not to be trusted.

The Japanese belief in blood types is another example of essentialism which reverberates through out our contemporary culture.

  1. deep down and within the body are aspects that cannot be changed.
  2. what a person is entirely visible on the surface.
  3. “You are what you eat,” belief lead to cannibalism of individuals that were admired in enemy tribes.
  4. essence is perceived to be “natural” or correct in nature.
  5. 1/3 of heart transplant5 recipients felt that they had taken on an aspect of the donor… been transfused with the donor’s essence.
  6. wealthy people, the uber rich and corporate heads belief more completely in essence based thinking. Some people have power essence. Some people have “slave” essence.

So throughout the cycles of exploration if the individual in society there have been shifts in focus from nature (essence) and nurture (environment). The four elements; the idea of soul personality; blood types are all space holders for the concept of essence.

Historically the gene has come to take the place of essence. James Watson declared that, “Our fate is in our genes.” And it has lead to what the author calls the “switched on theory.”

A gene is either switched on or switched off. Genes are “natural” and from God. This line of thinking is what has lead to recent socially held beliefs such as there is an infidelity gene; that divorce is heritable.

The difficulty with essence thinking is that it becomes attached to social topics. Gender for instance is imbued with essence thinking.

To be male is inborn, clear, an action driven preordained path.

To be female is to lack power, to be internalized (as their sexual organs are internalized). The countries in the world which are the most gender neutral and egalitarian are the Netherlands, Finland and Germany. Nigeria and Pakistan have an over arching essence based thinking.

In today’s world 47% of those who are transgendered are fired. They cannot be trusted because the do not accept their fate.

Many political analysts see that George Bush was re-elected primarily because of the same sex issue. The belief in the “un-naturalness” of some people. It was a stereotyped threat to the beliefs of a particular segment of society.

It was also discovered in test studies that those who were lead to believe that homo-sexuality was in the DNA were less likely to condemn individuals. Those who believed that the subjects were making an “un-natural” choice were condemnatory.

So social attitudes towards homo-sexuality depends on the concept of essence. The switch is on. Or the switch is off. It is simplistic thinking at best.

Men with a lot of older brothers are more like to be gay. Is there something in the environment of the mother’s womb that is at work?

In the legal system in Tennessee in 1910 one drop of black blood made you and your off spring black. Classifying people as of higher essence than other people based on their DNA inheritance has lead to eugenetics.

Eugenetics means “good at birth. Certain individuals have been born with a more perfect essence than others. One of the belief systems in North America that is still in place is that intelligence is an inherited “essence.”

Other nations such as Japan believe that skill, intelligence are qualities that a person can build through hard work.

In fact, the intelligence indicators in young children is only 5 points different in the entire tested group. This grows to 17 points in adult hood depending on a number of factors. The evidence is that intelligence is not a genetic gift; it is not a sign from God; it is not an essence; it is not a life sentence.

“Intelligence emerges from what we learn about our environment, ” the author reminds us.

The information in this book is absolutely relevant in today’s world where the uber rich see themselves as somehow genetically superior. Those who believe that essence is the divide between people need to know that the switch is not “turned on” for white people, powerful people, successful people. The study of DNA and environment is much more complex. I will go on to present the studies about Eugenics and the horror of cruelty that was enacted in societies across the world based on simplistic construct. Next time!!