Stuart Shanker | March 23, 2022
Dear Global Self-Reggers,
Colleagues who we’ve come to know and admire through our “Hello Self-Reg Webinars” have asked if I could comment on what happens in the mind/brain of someone inflicting such terror on a neighbouring nation, and what happens in those who are subjected to mass levels of hysteria and fear.
Some pictures are worth a thousand words – and some, even more.
Nothing could speak more eloquently to the fact that this is a man who feels no sense of shared humanity. Any spark of empathy has been extinguished. Hyperaroused ancient neural systems have left him totally isolated, feeling nothing but rage and merciless aggression.
Empathy is an irreducible human need. We feel well-being at another’s well-being, distress at another’s distress. It takes a primitive neural storm to suppress this fundamental biological, and not just psychological need.
Like all mammals, social connectedness triggers oxytocin in us, which in turn potentiates endogenous opioids. These ancient neuropeptides fuel social engagement, enabling us to manage stress and feel calm; to nurture the feelings of safety, security, and trust on which social harmony depends.
The above photo conveys how it would be impossible to revive these feelings in Putin. But not in all those Russians who have been thrust into Red Brain by relentless propaganda and repression. To heal a nation, it must once again feel the stirrings of shared humanity. But How???
As I wrestled with this question, I thought of the moving Story of the Weeping Camel. What causes the camel mother to bond with her albino newborn is a haunting melody played by a Mongolian violinist and accompanied by Ogdoo, who croons the lullaby she sang to her children as she gently strokes the mother. The cow literally weeps as she nurses her colt: the result of triggering oxytocin and endogenous opioids.
It is not reason, no matter how impassioned, that will restore social harmony. It is soft eyes, soothing touch and vocalizations. It is the five steps of Self-Reg that will unleash the tears that must now be wept.
– Stuart Shanker
Looking for more learning with Stuart Shanker?
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