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Monday, April 20, 2015

Understanding The Biology Driving Insatiable Greed

Understanding The Biology Driving Insatiable Greed

By Sara Stalman MD
Reader Supported News
Monday, April 20, 2015

We are, as a country, caught in a stranglehold by those whose
wealth makes it hard for us to understand why they should keep
demanding more.

Robert Reich addressing the need to break up Big Banks,
Lawmaker outrage at AIG potentially joining a lawsuit
again the US, Joseph Stiglitz looking at climate change
and poverty, Bill Moyers addressing the Gun Lobby's
Firepower are just the most recent attempts to address
the issue of Insatiable Greed.

Stuck between moral outrage and intellectual argument we have,
to date, been unable to effectively challenge the scourge of
economic violence that continually threatens our country's ability
to move forward with just equity for all.

A neuro-biological argument might clarify what, exactly,
is going on in a way that avoids blame and criticism.

Taking the discussion to the level of Biological Science may
seem far-flung, but Science is where the rubber meets the
road in understanding human behavior.

The data I present is clear and statistically solid; the argument
makes sense and passes the "So What?" test.

Anyone with the patience to listen can understand.

The neuro-biological argument addresses the problem of Insatiable
Greed with compassion; the shift in dialogue, in itself, offers a
genuine solution to the problem.

In brief, we are talking about a mental illness: a profound
alienation from Life associated with such terrible suffering
that people afflicted are driven to do whatever it takes to
protect themselves from that suffering.

I practiced neuro-psychiatry for 18 years with the goal
of learning to understand human suffering.

The timing or my education was fortuitous: our knowledge of neuro-
receptors was at its height just prior to the Pharmaceutical
Industry's Take-Over of the scientific data.

Most importantly, I learned about human suffering from listening
to my Patients' Stories.

Over two thirds had been badly damaged by one of three specific
childhood experiences.

Two of those damaging childhood experiences would have
precluded survival to adulthood in primitive cultures.

Both are consequences, historically, of the Insatiable Greed at the
root of the conquest, rape, and pillage that has driven "Civilization"
forward.

Americans are, perhaps, lucky in that most of us have experienced
violence as only economic violence.

Native Americans, Black Americans, American children, and most
of our forebears knew/know of a more immediate, painful violence.

The third profoundly damaging childhood experience, profound
childhood neglect, can be found at the root of all human violence.

The profound alienation that drives Insatiable Greed is a cognitive
disorder of that neurocircuitry which defines our humanity.

The human newborn has the same brain capacity at birth as
our nearest pre-human ancestors, Homo erectus; by the age
of 3, our brain is the size of the Homo erectus adult.

Homo sapiens is the only species with 2 generations of caretakers.

During the 1.6 million years that separate us from our Homo erectus
forebears, parents and grandparents learned to teach children to
be human.

Our intellectual capacity evolved hand in hand with the evolution
of human families and of human culture.

Our long childhood defines us as a species.

We are the only species intellectually capable (and intellectually
designed) to face threat with calm confidence.

That calm confidence, however, demands that someone teach
us patience and trust in a higher Goodness than ourselves.

The data is solid: people suffering the profound alienation that
drives insatiable greed never had anyone help them learn what
it means to be human.

Insatiable Greed results when children (rich or poor) are
emotionally abandoned - left to raise themselves guided
only by their own (reptilian) fight-or-flight response to
perceived threat.

The terrible insecurity of feeling alone in the world, with only one's wits and false courage, drives the economic violence of those who will never have enough.

What they have learned from Life that it's a Game to be played
without respect for anything but winning an immediate sense of
security.

Karl Rove's childhood "Story," which can be read in his
New Yorker Profile, compels our compassion.

That said the demands, the threats, and even the violence of
those with Insatiable Greed require the answer a loving parent
gives a demanding child.

That answer is a firm, "No," spoken without anger and
with understanding.

Only on hearing, "No," do we turn inward to find real security - the
security of our human capacity to serve a Greater Goodness than
ourselves.

Saying, "No," to a bully requires real courage.

It is the right thing to do.

http://readersupportednews.org/pm-section/78-78/15483-
understanding-the-biology-driving-insatiable-greed

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