For Whom the Bell Tolls: A Response to the Newtown, Conn. Massacre

We are again stunned by a shocking tragedy. How can such a thing happen? The roots of today’s violence were sewn long ago. At the beginning, when the seeds of pain and violence were created through neglect, comparison, not being seen, birth trauma and everyday abuse, constantly feeling compared, judged, told no, not being touched or touched violently, not being understood and responded to as we are, authentically – here is where the preventive response must be. Not gun control, not more prisons, not castrating the rapist – not more pain for an already tortured global body and psyche. We must respond but at the root, at the beginning by preventing these painful, violent neurons from forming.

James W. Prescott, PhD, has been researching and writing about the Origins of Love and Violence for fifty years: “You won’t find a violent individual in prison who has been breastfeed for 2.5 years or longer.” Years ago Joseph Chilton Pearce wrote a chapter in Magical ChildA Time Bomb in the Nursery. David B. Chamberlain, PhD, author of Babies Remember Birth and The Mind of Your Newborn Baby summed it up: “The way we treat babies is how those babies will treat the world.” Primal researcher and innovator of water birth Michel Odent, MD, uses the phrase; “A chronic and global diminished capacity to love.” “It is the environment not the genes,” says Bruce Lipton, PhD, author of The Biology of Belief and Spontaneous Evolution.

The environment is the family. It is a medical, social and educational system designed to separate mother and baby, to institutionalize children beginning at six months, daycare and compulsory schooling are government controlled institutions.

In four books; Scattered on the attachment root of ADD, When The Body Says No, on the attachment root of many chronic illnesses, In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, on the attachment root of addiction, and Hold On To Your Kids, on why parents are so important, Canadian physician Gabor Maté M.D. lays out the research. The failure of attachment creates gaps in development. These gaps demand coping patterns. Copping patterns mask the authentic needs of the developing child and become pathological ghosts in adults who then, doing the best they can, pass their pain on to the next.

Not gun control, rather a spreading failure of attachment, of bonding, a diminished capacity for empathy, an inability of adults to see and respond to the authentic needs of children, this is why those children were shot. This is why more prisons, fines and gun control are stupid. This is why more time poured into virtual-reality will only breed more of the same. This growing failure to see, feel and respond with non-judgmental, playful affection to the authentic needs of children, this is the twisted root that breeds the unthinkable and for whom the bell tolls. There is no one to blame. We are all in this together.

My gift of hope as we mourn our common loss, is a brilliant interview withGabor Maté M.D. author of Scattered on the attachment root of ADD, ofWhen The Body Says No, on the attachment root of many illnesses, of In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, on the attachment root of addiction, and Hold On To Your Kids, on why parents and attachment are so important.

This interview is part of Touch the Future’s new Media Center which is an exciting and powerful work in progress. 

Michael Mendizza

Dr. Gabor Mate on Children, Culture and Chaos

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