Saturday, 17 March 2018

Alan Alda, Mai Lai and Robert Sapolsky...

This lovely video of a walking chat between Alan Alda and Robert Zapolsky presents some very interesting insights, based on current proven research, that raise serious questions about behaviour, power, punishment and justice.. The Brain on Trial.

It's also about observing patterns across a population, and understanding that the patterns can never describe an individual with any degree of accuracy - that protocol must be capable of responding to each case, as it presents, and as the evidence provides.

One cannot say "all Americans...." or "all Russians'... or "all Muslims" .. or "all women".. or "all men" or "all psychopaths" etc etc with any degree of accuracy.

Such phrases always precede a caricature, which is a manipulative device...

I have read Robert Sapolksy's book "Behave : the biology of humans at our best and worst" which is a holistic review of all available evidence regarding the biological processes associated with behaviour, and in particular, with those where healthy self regulation is undeveloped, where sociality has few experiential neural networks to fire with, and instead the focus is on regulating others to meet one's perceived needs.
His assessment is that structure is largely genetic, and behaviour is lagely learned, and both are also affected by past generations experience, not least in epigenetic terms - our genetics are responsive to environment and experience.

Eskimos do not learn to carry fat, they learn to hunt and live, and heal and thrive...

That kind of core behavioural dynamic of hierarchies, using power over others, is learned.

As a behaviour, dominance over others is far from innate.

There are many bio-chemical and physiological dispositions that can underpin vulnerability to becoming more controlling, dispositions that start in pre birth conditions, or later on in any area where healthy development is undermined,  but invisible because it's a social norm, and that may well be partly a matter of how the inherited epigenetic changes  affected that particular child...  that and the  environment and the lives of long dead ancestors..

There is nothing innate about it. We are evolved to be social, connected, co-operative, creative... to thrive by living and working together..

We are not that well evolvoed for violence, because it undermines our health, even for the 'victors'.

The argument that  the Alpha Male is biologically mandated is a cultural construct, rather than a biological fact.

That kind of competitive predatory behaviour is learned largely through the sensory and the environmental experiential afforded the child, and as we know, that varys from family to family , as much as culture to culture...

If control and punishment are habitual, the child's body and mind can become automatic, unconscious, with a layer of justification and rationalisation crafted in the external world, as part of the controlling behavioiur set.

When a few people with these habituations gather and organise, and gain more power they will build an institution, a family, a hierarchy...  and seek to protect it, for the power, t

Experientially loving becomes automatic,  defenciveness and insecurity becomes automatic for the child exposed to love or insecurity.... that child will act out, and if that is misinterpreted, and the child is 'regulated' that deepens the child's alienation, anger and frustration.... if that child does not receive support to heal, then more regulation will deepen the wounds... add to that additional trauma potentials created by the systems of hierarchical violence and authority..

On a societal scale, this has huge implications, and it is by neccessity an exercise of compassion, informed by science, evidence, good health and common sense to deconstruct these processes, and disentangle our institutions from replicating or propogasting those patterns... as adults gifting the next generation of children, I see no finer work.

If the child does not learn loving self regulation, his or her brain will not create a neurology of loving self regulation - if then that child as an adult behaves in ways that cause harm we have to look at the past, to look at all the evidence, to then be able to decide how best to proceed, in terms of society and health and safety...

These are generalised outlines, and I would urge readers to go to Sapolksy's book, and his videos...

We dearly need some calm, evidence based assessments of behavioural issues, not least because the political ruling class are presenting that they are a behavioural problem, on all sides.... that fact that trolling is a standard politcial tactic in mainstream public discourse rather proves the point, elegantly. 
Understand this : Politics is the struggle for power, Healthy Civil Governance is the careful and diligent administration of a community's shared resource(s) for the equity of the entire community.....

The accepted norm, the fundamental concept of international relations as materially the struggle for primacy among militarised states, who utilise war fare in pursuit of policy objectives absolutely afflicts a nations domestic governance, with bills, costs and losses that are all wholly avoidable.

That is psychopathy. 

Institutionalised. Given a lick of paint, some gold plate and a few fancy bits of cloth and bling.

The obvious lies and caricatures of material reality that abound in various Governments justifications for wars, the talk of punishment, sanctions, 'humanitarian intervention' all speak to people whose ability to self regulate thjeir urge for power is undermined, aand whose goal is ever more power over a majority of people, at whatever cost, borne usually by the ordinary folk ..

It's nuts.

It must be diagnosed before there is any possibility of dealing with it..
. and the best way to deal with it is tio de-legitimise it wholly, and defund it within each social cultural institutional organisation unit at home - we in the UK deal with ours, those in Russia and anywhere else deal with theirs.

We have to stop allowing the justifications and accepted norms of international war fare be taken at face value, and let the victimised, the survivors lead our concerns and let prevention be our concern, as citizens and humane patriots/matriots/fraternities/sisterhoods... it is our money they are using to fund these wars.

It is a behavioural issue.
And that means that it is ultimately a resolveable situation.


Mai Lai -
Mai Lai's happen in all wars. It's what happens when a military in theatre moves across a landscape.

People's homes become battle grounds.... Mai Lai's happen when artillery and missiles are launched at built up areas, no matter who is launching them.

For the majority of people, these wars are none of their business, they have no say, no power, no claim within these wars, they are wholly innocent.

The one's who make war must be made accountable by the innocent.

There is no other way.


Kindest regards


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

Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find,and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is easy.

Monday, 5 March 2018

Trauma informed, trauma altered, and healing...

Here's a few thoughts on healing.
Primarily that it is as much a collective response, as an individual response.... the whole matters.

Mindful body work, that is to say working with the body, understanding the mind-body emotional biology, the workings in the relationship between thought, feeling, body chemistry and adaptive experience, with the intent to support healing, through writing healthy, stable neurology and endocrine balance through direct experience, exercise, dance, movement, massage, herbs etc.... No drugs, no abstract mentalisation, no medicalisation, no pathologising needed. Just accurate understanding, and caring support. If drugs aree to be used, then at least let it be honest, informed consent, evidence based rather than as a management tool, one that tends to become long term. Such mindful body work processes are more more responsive to each unique case, and they can hand the power, share the respsonsibility to heal with the individual, trusting that self healing, as much as professional expertise.. working together... Using thought and action, movement, breathing, diet etc to rewrite traumatised nueral networks, to allow old hyper alert routes to fall into non-use... combining this with creating a safe environment, and other material support is a proven route towards recovery. Dealing with what's happened, and what is, and looking to the future, at the same time.

It's critical that as part of a future we also deal with societal power dynamics that induce chronic stress... war, poverty, famine, corruption, abuse of power and the power of institutions, and ruling networks are a symptom... it's what happens when nurture is removed from the center of human affairs.

A culture that listens to children, that hears and engages with the heart of the child, that affirms the child's experience of self as her or his own, distinct and yet bonded..

That has to be at the center of treatment and social policy...

The inter-generational situational epi-genetic thread of trauma altered (informed?) behaviour across entire populations is real...

A child can relax into true self, when she or he feels understood, received and cared for.

A child who is 'acting out' is not being heard, nor understood.

If that becomes a pattern, if the child's experience with adults maintains that trajectory, if it is also part of a cultural trauma behaviour pattern that becomes institutionalised, then of course, in that social environment it is clear that some will become bullies, kings, and others will break, many will survive, some will thrive, some will try to hack the system to create personal and familial security, others to give bullies the finger, and then there's the artist.... most will do their very best to live as decently as possible within those constraints.

So I look again at populations, and patterns, and I see that compassion informed by science - close observation, honesty - is merely common sense...

Judith Herman wrote that there were two things about the study of trauma that struck her, because they are so infrequently mentioned in mainstream discourse.

The first was that more study must be done of the vast numbers of people who have lived through trauma, and who have recovered, independent of any professional or institutional assistance. A missing statisitc, and a really critical database.

Natural healing needs to be understood, forensically.

The second was that the study of trauma is necessarily a political enterprise, in that it brings one's attention to the experience of the oppressed.....

I think she was correct, and it may be some time before that insight informs the grass roots - the status quo will seek to co-opt both these areas with whatever tools it has.... Standard practice.

That said the process of healing through understanding the roots of a given problem is underway, has always been and always will - I remember every day that I am really an aboriginal human being, and that my ancestors lived peaceably, and thrived for hundreds of thousands of years... we were a healthy species, and we have been subjected to an unhealthy culture of bullying, and it will pass, and we will return to healthy social behaviour.

When I say 'we' I do not expect myself to see this materialise, and I am happy to work towards it in my own small way, as a participant in life.
There has to be reliable ways to record and analyse mass anecdotal evidence of those who recover, even as it remains silent to the professional and institutional world.

The suggestion of the inaccuracy of self reporting is not enough on it's own to avoid the problem of how to 'measure' or assess that unspoken experience....

There are layers to how trauma 'informs' our biology, to how chronic stress alters our biochemistry and behaviour : the phrase 'trauma informed' reflects greater understanding in this area emerging into the clinical and practice level, and we need to see that understanding disseminated across the grass roots, at pace.

The 19th Century Ruling class, the persistent descendants of the Normans, antd their modern acolytes and rivals are also trauma informed, in that they represent a mass retraumatising institutional pattern that is deliberate, mediated and intentional... and we are trying to heal within the environment dominated by that mnass traumatisation, and that suggests to me that the issue of healing society is a valid exercise, a confrontation with the honest truth and neceesary to advocate for the healing of even he indivodual.

It blows political struggles for power out of the water in terms of being a truly valid human exercise.

Only accurate information that can truly counter the ability of the mainstream to trigger reactions in known vulnerabilities as part of the manipulation of 'opinion' and 'public perception' - when across the grass roots we do understand the wound-trigger-reaction process, the conspiracy theorists, extremists, fundamentalists will all fade into obscurity....

Kindest regards


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

Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find,and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is easy.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Resolving the problem of School Shootings.

I am appalled at the slaughter of children by children.

It is utterly unspeakable.

War is utterly unspeakable.

What is clear is that the adult world is wholly responsible, in both cases.

Therefore the adult world must be made accountable for all that harm, trauma, blood and guts, maiming, terror. The adults must confront the nature of the power system, which is based on competing powers, and how that afflicts governance and people's lives.....

It has to stop.

It cannot stand as inevitable.

The children are innocent.

The only way to resolve the problem of school shootings is this.

You cannot solve a problem one has created, using the same consciousness that led to that problem in the first place. The radical goes to the verifiable evidence, is ruthlessly honest, and identifies the root of the problem.

Do with it what you will, it changes nothing in terms of the quality and accuracy of this observation of a social power dynamic.

This video articulates the truth. 'A voice in the wilderness', but really it is 'a voice of the wilderness, the natural child'

Kindest regards


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

Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find, and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is praxis.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Competing Powers, Violence and Taxation

"In a society that has institutionalised a hierarchy of lethal violence, a predator mixes in with the crowd, and in an egalitarian society, the predator sticks out like a sore thumb."

Families and communities lived and thrived in the city of Homs, before the war, which was escalated by the indirect support, materially and logistically, of violent militia... paid for by UK, US, Saudi and Qatari Tax payers...
1, We can see that the Ruling culture of Europe, before World War I, and II, was that of competing powers, all militarised, all seeking to enhance and expand their power and economic dominance through violence, intrigue and commercial exploitation of other countries, their peoples, and of each nations own people.. (take a look at the propaganda to support WWI in England and in the USA, where the majority of the working classes objected to war, but needed to be persuaded, manipulated into becoming cannon fodder ).. That culture of power that intentionally manipulates a population into mass violence was and remains a pathology, a disease, a sickness.... "In a society that has institutionalised a hierarchy of lethal violence, a predator mixes in with the crowd, and in an egalitarian society, they stick out like sore thumb."

Thus ultimate responsibility cannot be placed in any one countries, or on any single Rulers behaviour, but on all, equally. Hitler was not to blame, alone, for WWII. The responsibility lies with the system of competing militarised powers...

3. That so many died then, and are being murdered, maimed and displaced today by this dynamic of competing militarised powers is indicative of a pathology. The UK and US escalated the violence in Iraq, Afghanistan with direct military intervention, and indirectly in Libya and Syria..... what does that tell you about the prevailing culture of rulers, and the submission of their populations to that culture of violence that we, as tax payers, fund?

In England, income tax was introduced as a way to fund the Napoleonic Wars, as a temporary measure. We are still funding war. We are funding and enabling psychopathic behaviour, and people are being harmed... No one in the mainstream, few in Academia , none of the institutionalised state religions will acknowledge this truth. Why?

Kindest regards


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

Thank you for reading this blog. All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find,and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. The rest is easy.

Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Neoliberalism, Henry Spencer, Darwin misread, Nudge Theory and the UK's DWP as doctrinal extremists.

Let me get straight to the point here.

Survival of the Fittest is a caricature, one which when taken literally and applied to human social behavioiur voids the evidence base and replaces it with a violent mindset that runs counter to sociality as a ,marker of our species.

Human Rights are privileges granted to or negotiated for by the grass roots from Power within a violent hierarchy They can be withdrawn at a whim. As they frequently are. As the DWP in the UK are so ably demonstrating in their treatment of disabled and vulnerable people.

Our most natural expectations relate to life within a egalitarian setting, which is our innate biological mandate. More on that below.

Respect, love, kindness, connection, empathy.

Human Rights Law does not protect or nurture, it is a sop to the concept of Justice rather than a robust framework for justice.


NeoLiberalism, Henry Spencer, Nudge and the DWP

”One of the most famous proponents of individualism as a moral project was Herbert Spence.

His ideas on liberty were derived from natural science (he originated the term ‘survival of the fittest’ some time before Darwin published ‘On The Origin of Species’). Individuals and societies prospered alike according to competition, he argued. In nature those who worked and overcame the harsh natural environment flourished, whilst the weak lost out.

In the modern world economic competition took the place of nature. Pure liberty consisted in everyone exerting his or her energies for private selfish ends; the outcome of self interest would result in harmony, the free market naturally supplying all the needs and wants of a diverse population.

Every citizen had a moral duty to better himself independent of of hindrance or help alike from the state. Any attempt by the state to help the poor might seem benevolent, but it would in fact have disastrous consequences…

To help the poor then would diminish liberty, and liberty of action in the economic field was the ‘vital’ condition of a progressive society driven forward by the unrestrained exertions of its members. Any theory of freedom should contain the freedom to fail, even if it was painful to members of society to witness the deprivation of their neighbours.

Relief of poverty would make the lowest members of society dependent and therefore less inspired to work hard.

’Society in its corporate capacity, cannot without immediate or remoter disaster interfere with the play of these opposed principles under which every species has reached such fitness for its mode of life as it possesses, and under which it maintains its fitness.

Written in the age of Darwin, these words had an immediate resonance. They were also familiar from the language of modern political economy and Protestantism: that of self-reliance and self-abnegation in the present for benefits in the future. It was the idea that the world was so ordered that the industrious enjoyed the fruits of their diligence while the slothful and immoral were visibly punished in this life by the rags of poverty.”

Page 152, What Price Liberty by Ben Wilson…

So there you have it, the core psycho-social justification for the impositions of the DWP, Nudge Theory; saving the tax payer money, ‘improving peoples behaviour’ are merely the device used to cover it.  

The poor are to be punished for being poor by removing any support provided by the State, the seriously wealthy to be rewarded with access to Power to impose their will which necessarily meets their needs above all others…. the fact that poverty is an outcome of unjust social systems, (unjust because they are rigged by powerful networks of established power, economic, military and religious/ideological to meet the needs of the powerful - their need to maintain dominance over the State and the people)  is ignored, and denied.

”Liberty was the space that modern man had to expend his energies and talents; the outcome was natural justice - survival of the fittest.”

This remains as the base of Neoliberalism, and is also a widely indoctrinated and internalised value - survival of the fittest, adversarial competition, alpha male, nationalism, flag waving, misogyny - across the grass roots of the dominant culture, and it is, of course, utterly false and deeply toxic. It is also a frequently applied post hoc justification for immense cruelty.


So what to do with all this?

Huge question, and here are a few rapidly written ideas to start working with...

The main thing is adult child relationships, and how we heal those traditional dynamics of parent as authority, and child as possession, or subject.

England still refuses to ban parents from slapping children.

That says a lot, to me, about the social and institutional psychology of England, and all that English power has influenced.

The healing is under way. It is slowly emerging, as accurate information, science and experience, is being shared across the grass roots, through a myriad of communication channels. Shared knowledge, shared insight helps with the recovery process.

On a personal level one has to focus on evidence, and be able to discern disinformation, deliberate or misled. That is key, learning how to think for one self, and how to question, check, confirm, debunk - that is for the education system and parents to deal with in the first instance... but it is also a best standard practice when using the net or a library...

Abuses are being confronted,all over the world, always by the Survivors in the first instance, and their advocates, and with some minimal support from Society and the grass roots, who tend not to get too involved - eg: the Vatican and other Institutions issues with protecting their status by covering up abuse - that should be a matter for ALL people, not just those directly involved... Iraq War Crimes, again a matter for ALL tax payers in the UK, whose taxes funded those War Crimes.

We need to shift away a little form single issues, and zone in on bullying behaviours in any institutional setting and confront them for what they are. and at work, at play.....

Racsim, Sexism, Genderism, Sectarianism, adversarial behaviour, it's all bullying.... each with it's own set of false assumptions and falsified rationalisations. An action rationalised by some text, that ignores or seeks to mitigate the value of the harms caused is falsified....

Indoctrination of children must be outlawed, it must be rejected as the intrusion into the mind of the child,  abrogating the rights of the child.

Change comes over generations, each must put their back into the oars and row that boat further on it's voyage...

There's more too; permaculture, ceasing intrusions into the lands of aboriginal peoples, acknowledging those cultures, and their land tenure as valid and sustainable human cultures. Learning more about the biology of egalitarian behaviour, of mutual nurture systems, our most basic mode of life…

I see this work, this healing, this struggle and effort in the historical context, going back to before writing, way back before Empires, Kings, further back to ancient aboriginal cultures world wide who lived sustainably, in good health, for hundreds of thousands of years and who, in spite of being called 'primitive', nurtured the world whey were part of... enhanced it.... they were gardener/gatherer/hunters ..... they sowed wild seeds of all available food plants as they roamed,. reseeding each patch, ensuring future food supplies.... obviously.... what matters is that their relationships were unsullied by oppression, and tended to be closer to the biological mandate for sustainable healthy human social behaviour....

It is those relationships we need to re-awaken, and they will then alter the existing culture, over time....

Kindest regards


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

Thank you for reading this blog. 

All we need to do is be really honest, responsive to the evidence we find, and ready to reassess when new evidence emerges. 

The rest is easy.