When the Body Says "no" - Gabor Mate

Gandalf

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Maat said:
Krankheit als Weg. Deutung und Be-Deutung der Krankheitsbilder (1983)

Just as a sidenote, this book exists in French and seems to be easily available. The title is Un chemin vers la santé : Sens caché de la maladie et de ses différents symptômes

Thanks Maat.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Here is my 2 cents regarding shame.

The way Mate describes shame in the example of inducing it in an infant, it appears like an unlearned physiological and behavioral response. This points to shame being instinctive in nature. Instincts serve an evolutionary purpose. It is possible that the original biological significance of shame is about behaving in ways that preserves the rules of the community which are in turn formed to serve the ultimate goal of survival and thriving of the species. Behaving in irresponsible ways could be detrimental to the community as well as the individual concerned. So a corrective reaction is set up with "loss of social contact". The errant individual feels "shamed" and hopefully changes in ways so that the integrity of the community and culture are restored.

It is not shame that is the problem but the way it is misused in our culture. The difference between shame and guilt (I am wrong versus I did wrong) is the difference between the narratives that accompany the basic instinct of shame. So a way of dealing with shame would be to

- use awareness of body posture - do not let the head and neck hang down and the chest collapse and
- change the narrative so that it becomes "I did wrong and I can learn to fix it" rather than "I am wrong and I have no reason to live".

The latter is an example of "partial death instinct" which is described by Dabrowski.
 

Thor

Jedi Master
Cyndi said:
Thor said:
I remember trying to find the Kindle version of the book on www.amazon.co.uk but it wasn't available. I then checked www.amazon.com and purchased the Kindle version from here:http://www.amazon.com/When-Body-Says-Understanding-Stress-Disease-ebook/dp/B000YIUTQS.I live in Denmark and therefore normally buy books from amazon.co.uk. With printed books I've often seen books available in the US but not in Europe and I've not been allowed to buy from Amazon.com and have it sent to Denmark. However, with Kindle books there's never been a problem. FWIW.



Thanks, Thor, but when I click that link it says the title is unavailable. I have plenty to read until it arrives though.

Well, guess the suggestion wasn't that helpful, then :(. Wonder why?

Good to hear that you're not out of reading material - as if that's possible on this Forum... :)
 

Laura

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Paramoralisms are one example of how shaming is misused.
 

aragorn

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Thor said:
Cyndi said:
Thor said:
I remember trying to find the Kindle version of the book on www.amazon.co.uk but it wasn't available. I then checked www.amazon.com and purchased the Kindle version from here:http://www.amazon.com/When-Body-Says-Understanding-Stress-Disease-ebook/dp/B000YIUTQS.I live in Denmark and therefore normally buy books from amazon.co.uk. With printed books I've often seen books available in the US but not in Europe and I've not been allowed to buy from Amazon.com and have it sent to Denmark. However, with Kindle books there's never been a problem. FWIW.



Thanks, Thor, but when I click that link it says the title is unavailable. I have plenty to read until it arrives though.

Well, guess the suggestion wasn't that helpful, then :(. Wonder why?

Good to hear that you're not out of reading material - as if that's possible on this Forum... :)

Have you tried this?:

When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress by Gabor Md Mate
Link: http://amzn.com/B004HW6GOQ
 

EmeraldHope

The Living Force
Aragorn, that one says it is not available for purchase either. I am in the US if that makes any difference.


Also, Laura, thanks for the reiteration of paramoralsims and the relation to shame- revisiting that word and meaning now makes more sense. It connects a lot of dots for me - more so than when I first read Ponerology years ago.
 

Approaching Infinity

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obyvatel said:
Here is my 2 cents regarding shame.

The way Mate describes shame in the example of inducing it in an infant, it appears like an unlearned physiological and behavioral response. This points to shame being instinctive in nature. Instincts serve an evolutionary purpose. It is possible that the original biological significance of shame is about behaving in ways that preserves the rules of the community which are in turn formed to serve the ultimate goal of survival and thriving of the species. Behaving in irresponsible ways could be detrimental to the community as well as the individual concerned. So a corrective reaction is set up with "loss of social contact". The errant individual feels "shamed" and hopefully changes in ways so that the integrity of the community and culture are restored.

It is not shame that is the problem but the way it is misused in our culture. The difference between shame and guilt (I am wrong versus I did wrong) is the difference between the narratives that accompany the basic instinct of shame. So a way of dealing with shame would be to

- use awareness of body posture - do not let the head and neck hang down and the chest collapse and
- change the narrative so that it becomes "I did wrong and I can learn to fix it" rather than "I am wrong and I have no reason to live".

The latter is an example of "partial death instinct" which is described by Dabrowski.

In my experience, shame IS an emotion. In other words, it's a feeling one gets (accompanied by physiological markers just like other emotions) in certain social situations along the lines you wrote above. It serves a social function; it allows us to come to know certain things about living in connection with others. As Gurdjieff said, all emotions serve knowledge. In this case, it allows us viscerally FEEL the wrongness of our behavior, and thus motivate us to change. (But this is easily derailed by paramoralisms, as Laura pointed out.)

As a kid, I remember feeling shamed for certain things, but it was just a feeling. It wasn't accompanied by any explicit thoughts like, "I am worthless." The conclusion I came to AFTER was usually either "I shouldn't do that" or "I shouldn't get caught." Perhaps the narrative of "I am wrong and have no reason to live" isn't a part of basic shame; it's an association that gets tied to the feeling based on experience (conditioning).

But I think shame is a useful emotion, when not tied to bad narratives or paramoralistic causes. It helps me see myself in relation to the others around me: how my behaviors affect them, and how they affect my own development and character. And it motivates me to change. I might even see a part of myself and conclude "this part is WRONG" and want it eliminated, which can also be helpful, IMO.
 

gdpetti

Jedi Council Member
I think David Hawkin's Scale of Consciousness chart had shame at the very bottom in terms of energy, emotion etc. So that's bad for the the sheep as well as its master in terms of feeding. Generating civil war and strife through anger is much, much better, as long as pride doesn't enter the picture as its way too close to the neutral zone which carries the threat of going over to the positive side.

A lot of this sounds like the basic meditation exercise of utilizing the fullness of the negative emotion and then balancing it with its polar opposite positive emotion.

As for Mate looking 'spent', that is a common compliant towards most 'survivors' isn't it? 'No pain, no gain'? If you survive the challenge, especially early in life during the imprint and early development process, then you have perhaps built a bigger wire that can handle a bigger charge when life later makes it necessary to respond and not merely react, though the loss of that emotional stress charge with its accompanying biochemicals will make you feel 'weak' by comparison... kryptonite for tomorrow's supers? :lol:

Diet et al can only replace so much of the damage or loss and the energy flow will remain 'weak' in a wire built to stand a much larger charge... and might make you feel as if things are operating in slow motion as there's nothing like some emotional stress chemicals in creating a charged field.... add a little Resonance and the potential for chaos could be exponential.
 

Laura

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Maybe true shame is related to the awakening of conscience? Because it appears to me that paramoralistic efforts to induce shame on false premises are predicated on making a person feel bad because they have done or approved something vile; so that is an appeal to conscience.

If that is the case, then shame is something other than an emotion, though it can certainly trigger a cascade of emotions: fear, sadness, dread, horror, etc.
 

Approaching Infinity

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Laura said:
Maybe true shame is related to the awakening of conscience? Because it appears to me that paramoralistic efforts to induce shame on false premises are predicated on making a person feel bad because they have done or approved something vile; so that is an appeal to conscience.

If that is the case, then shame is something other than an emotion, though it can certainly trigger a cascade of emotions: fear, sadness, dread, horror, etc.

I think that's a great way of putting it. Shame is kind of like training wheels for true conscience.

I looked up what Dabrowski had to say about shame. He classifies guilt and shame as 'dynamisms' (i.e., 'theoretical constructs postulated to be the shapers of development and behavior'), rather than basic emotional or instinctive functions (i.e., the expression of emotions like fear, sadness, joy, etc.). There are different dynamisms at work depending on which level of emotional development one is at. E.g., at level III: dissatisfaction with oneself, a hierarchy of values, empathy, etc.

Here's what he said, fwiw:

Feelings of shame. The feelings of self-conscious distress and embarrassment with usually a little more of external than internal sensitivity. Shame is often combined with a strong somatic component, some anxiety, need to withdraw, hide away. In its less conscious and more externally occasioned form shame may appear already in unilevel disintegration. Shame is usually associated with a feeling of inferiority toward others. However, a strong feeling of shame may arise out of inner moral conflict, and then, it would be more closely associated with disquietude with oneself. ["The feeling of uneasiness with oneself when realizing within oneself primitive behaviors, lack of control, compulsions; also serious worries about one’s sanity."]

Feelings of guilt. A sense of guilt is particularly significant if it is combined with a need for reparation and self-correction. Guilt, as meant here, arises on the basis of a relationship with another person or persons, and one’s relationship with them. Feeling of guilt is the forerunner of the higher dynamism of responsibility.

He also relates how shame and guilt manifest in relation to various emotional and instinctive functions, e.g., fear/terror, sexuality, laughter, sense of reality.

So as a dynamism, shame informs us about ourselves in relation to others, e.g., by prompting feelings like fear and embarrassment. At a higher level, it can be prompted by seeing our own flaws and being uneasy with them. This can be material for change: being more empathic, behaving more in line with our ideal self, having an objective hierarchy of values.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
I also feel like shame is somehow connected to conscience and I had thought about the possibility that shame can be a mere shadow of remorse of conscience or a shallow version of it for some people in some circumstances.

As a child, I've been shamed, not for doing a particular thing, but for the very fact that I exist. In a child, it's not hard to induce that, even unintentionally, because they don't know any better yet. All you need do is address what you say to his or her person instead of addressing a behavior and a negative self-image is automatically generated in their mind accompanied with the "realization" or "reminder" that they are not worthy to be alive or, said differently, shouldn't even be alive for some reason. The depth of that pain is indescribable and distinctly different from all other felt senses.

Further, I think that when people get older and their conscience has been waylaid, shame and the act of inducing it in others results in pain that's mostly guilt or sorrow, or if shame, probably a much diluted version.

To summarize my thoughts, I seem to believe that full shame, fully felt, may really be remorse of conscience. But of course I don't know for sure.
 

obyvatel

The Living Force
Laura said:
Maybe true shame is related to the awakening of conscience?

Approaching Infinity said:
So as a dynamism, shame informs us about ourselves in relation to others, e.g., by prompting feelings like fear and embarrassment. At a higher level, it can be prompted by seeing our own flaws and being uneasy with them. This can be material for change: being more empathic, behaving more in line with our ideal self, having an objective hierarchy of values.

Buddy said:
I also feel like shame is somehow connected to conscience and I had thought about the possibility that shame can be a mere shadow of remorse of conscience or a shallow version of it for some people in some circumstances.
.....................................
To summarize my thoughts, I seem to believe that full shame, fully felt, may really be remorse of conscience.

It seems like shame cannot take one towards development of remorse of conscience by itself alone. When shame is accompanied by other features - like astonishment and dissatisfaction with oneself, feelings of inferiority towards oneself and other factors of development ( Level 3 dynamisms of Dabrowski ), then its effect is to bring into focus the difference between the "lower I" or "what one is" and the "higher I" or "what one ought to be" into sharp relief. This can fuel development towards remorse of conscience which is at a developmentally higher level.

In other words, it looks like
shame + emergence of other factors --> path towards remorse of conscience.

Shame by itself at a lower level of development leads to depression and psychosomatic/physiological problems and can also fuel the development of negative characteristics especially at a societal level. Since it is painful to bear or "contain" within oneself (as the very right to exist is negated), one can project it on others and then fight it in an exteriorized form seeing it readily in others. This is the classic shadow projection in Jungian psychology. The recipient of the projection will have some hook on which the coat of projection can be hung - i.e would have some qualities and display some questionable behavior - and this becomes the rallying point for reactive persecutory behavior. Thus the program at the societal level goes something like

- induce shame through paramoralisms (like religious or ideological indoctrination)
- painful unprocessed feelings are repressed and sink down into the unconscious
- call up the repressed contents which come up in a hysterical form (hystericization of society) and project them onto some convenient scapegoat
-
This is one of the ways that pathological leaders can excite mass movements of persecution and hatred against others. Inducing shame through paramoralisms and indoctrination is an effective way of creating authoritarian followers, set up to be useful idiots later on. Those who reject (even passively) such societal level programming and refuse to become outright followers to a degree but cannot develop the functions needed to bring the repressed unbearable contents of shame up to consciousness and process them adequately often fall prey to the diseases that Mate highlights and suffer from psychological neuroses in their varied forms. OSIT.
 

Buddy

The Living Force
Makes sense to me and is worth bookmarking for further contemplation. Thanks, obyvatel.
 

Arwenn

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shellycheval said:
Laura quoting Mate
To minimize the stress from threatened relationships, a person may give up some part of his autonomy.... the loss of autonomy is itself a cause of stress. The surrender of autonomy raises the stress level, even if on the surface it appears to be necessary for the sake of 'security" in a relationship, and even if we subjectively feel relief when we gain "security" in this manner. If I chronically repress my emotional needs in order to make myself "acceptable" to other people, I increase my risks of having to pay the price in the form of illness.

The other way of protecting oneself from the stress of threatened relationships is emotional shutdown. To feel safe, the vulnerable person withdraws from others and closes against intimacy. This coping style may avoid anxiety and block the subjective experience of stress but not the physiology of it. Emotional intimacy is a psychological and biological necessity. Those who build walls against intimacy are not self-regulated, just emotionally frozen. Their stress from having unmet needs will be high.

Wow! Mate is knitting together so many important threads regarding the mind-body-emotion connection.
Already in these few excerpts, I see myself and my family and the dysfunctional emotional bondage and physical results we all experienced.

Laura
You can look at the history of your own family and make some predictions about your own future if you do not find ways to "work on the self" and make changes.
<snip>



Wow, I've just caught up on this thread, and I've yet to watch his other videos posted. So many inter-connections with other things I've come across! It reminded me of the Transmitting Stress Response Across Generations thread, where shock and trauma can be passed down from our ancestors. So it seems to me, stress can occur not only from conception and through our lives, but also across generations. And I think we have totally undervalued the impact this can have on our well being (thanks to science and medicine divorcing mind/emotions from health/physiology).

The story is a follow-up to Olga's first book "Entering the Circle" and it begins in Siberia where she works as a psychiatrist. It is written as an auto-biographical story and we get an insight on how she feels, her thoughts, her fears and stories of some of her patients are shared as well.

The story gets more interesting after she attends a lecture, "Healing the Spirits of Trauma" given by an emissary from a healing brotherhood in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. The purpose of the lecture, is to introduce the healing methods of the brotherhood to "outsiders" and invite them to go to Uzbekistan so they can learn in first hand what the brotherhood is all about.

The following is taken from the lecture:

"Can you tell me what, from your judgment and experience, you consider to be the source of suffering and unhappiness in the world?" ...

"Is it evil?" ...

"In reality, it is vice versa. When you distance yourself from the source of suffering, when you name it as opposite to what you want to be (I assume that you all want to be good, don't you?), you lose a chance to change it. Because it continues to live inside you, as part of you, making you make many of your choices, but you refuse to recognize it, so you remain in ignorant bliss and you continue to suffer.

"We call the source of unhappiness and disease `trauma.' And we believe that there are live representations
of trauma in all of us. In our tradition, we call them `spirits of trauma.' Whenever something hurts you and you don't accept it fully as a complete part of your history, you create a gap in your memory; a gap which, when the hurt is strong or repeated many times, becomes occupied by a spirit of trauma.
You don't have to imagine some fashioned freaky monster sitting on your back and sucking out your blood." A ripple of soft laughter went through the audience as an expression of relief.

"You can think about this in terms of neurocognitive science, if you like the term 'neurotransmitters' better than 'creatures of the night.' You may call them additional subjects; you may define them as unintegrated representations; you may choose whatever language and metaphors you prefer. It doesn't matter. What matters is the process. The internal psychic process, often extended throughout generations by the inheritance of patterns of trauma formed, perhaps long, long ago, when one of your ancestors went through an unbearable hurt.

"Human genes are much more flexible than we think. They perceive as much as they act. When a hurt reaches
the level of genes, it makes them behave differently and distort the memory, preventing the memory from becoming complete. The gap in memory is created, and a spirit of trauma houses itself in this gap, hidden from our awareness. ...

They learn to hide them from themselves and their children. They play hide-and-seek with spirits of trauma, and guess what? Most often they lose, because even when they don't remember, their genes—those unfailing memory units—do, and the hurt stays there until you heal it. ...

"The same mechanism works with smaller things. We start to gather up more personal hurts in the basket of our memory soon after coming into this world.

Every creature tries to survive. It is true for the spirits of trauma as well. They need to 'eat.' They are always hungry. They create 'food' for themselves by generating more hurt. Why does the 'Paradox exist, that victims of abuse become the worst abusers themselves? It is not logical, but it is perfectly reasonable for the spirits of trauma to grow in abuse victims through their hurts and feed themselves by re-creating those hurts. You may know this from your own experiences.

{snip}

There are three main points I or why it is vitally important for everyone to win in their battle with the spirits of trauma. First, because when you conquer them, it brings profound healing, reverses unhappiness, and treats disease. Diseases are the means by which (in organism tries to fight the traumas on its own. So many Times, I've seen people get sick and look for help at very particular points in their life, moments when the spirit of trauma becomes activated in a person with incomplete psychic memory. That is why many healing changes follow when you are able to eradicate the root of trauma.

"Second, we believe in our tradition that whatever we do directly touches generations before and after us. When you free yourself from trauma, you heal your ancestors and protect generations after you. I saw many people who would act out their traumas, essentially looking for help, when their children reach the age when they themselves experienced the hurt. ...

"It is not a 'concept.' It is a way of living your life, feeling its boundaries and borders. It relates to what you ultimately understand as 'self.' All knowledge comes to that understanding. But with any knowledge, the truth is that you can't obtain it just by making the decision to do so. You have to exchange your personal experience for it. "All of you in this room have created the wealth of your experiences in your own unique ways. Yet it brought you here tonight so you will receive this knowledge. I believe that without those experiences that prepared you, you wouldn't have come tonight. Your car would have broken, your friend would have called, and so on. It is true for those who didn't plan to come but who happened to be here seemingly by accident. Believe me, it was not an accident, but your experiences which strive to become knowledge, that brought you here tonight." ...

And this all ties in with Laura's Knowledge and basing videos, and the work of Patrick Rodriguez to heal and re-absorb those aspects of yourself that have split, thought loops, stress responses etc.

And then the thought occurred to me- if trans-generational stress has the power to affect us now, if we think in quantum terms, then what effects (if any) do our other 'selves' in infinite dimensions in parallel realities have on the 'us' that is in this reality here and now? And if we heal our selves, does that mean we heal our ancestors and ease their pain/stress? Just some of my mental ruminations FWIW :)

Edit: Spelling & grammar
 

awakener

The Force is Strong With This One
Laura said:
Maybe true shame is related to the awakening of conscience? Because it appears to me that paramoralistic efforts to induce shame on false premises are predicated on making a person feel bad because they have done or approved something vile; so that is an appeal to conscience.

If that is the case, then shame is something other than an emotion, though it can certainly trigger a cascade of emotions: fear, sadness, dread, horror, etc.

It seems shame might be an internal way of "negative" scoring each decision YES/NO made in each particular situation with the input of the person's own network. Cumulatively, this then steers people to a particular way of decision making to avoid shame in future.

I guess in a functional group, shame and stigma are probably good things, like having a proper discipline structure for your children. In a dysfunctional group / family / sect / relationship, it can be a tool for control/manipulation/abuse of one person by others (but necessarily only in a STS situation). It's quite a powerful motivator because it seems to "fade" much more slowly than direct emotions.

I think one of the biggest problems is where a person has been subjected to paramoralistic programming and then through some set of circumstances comes to realise that they can leave the dysfunctional situation - often they'll be aware of false shame as a tool that was used to manipulate them, and then "switch off" or relegate the ability to feel shame **at all** - they see shame itself as a problem, rather than the doctrine that was being foisted on them.

The problem then being that although they've escaped a bad situation, they're now in the wild without a compass.

Would be interesting to know if any of the hypnotherapists have seen this - where shame as a faculty gets relegated to some dissociated part of the personality: where it's still festering in the subconscious but doesn't gain any relief from being fed into the future decision making process. Maybe it's not the death of conscience, but more like incarceration.
 
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