This following study has some pretty big implications if it is an indication of how experiences which we are unaware of on a cognitive level so powerfully steer what we do and how we experience life.
Perinatal Origin of Adult Self-Destructive Behavior
Jacobson B, Eklund G, Hamberger L, Linnarsson D, Sedvall G, Valverius M.
The study was undertaken to test whether obstetric procedures are of importance for eventual adult behavior of the newborn, as ecological data from the United States seem to indicate. Birth record data were gathered for 412 forensic victims comprising suicides, alcoholics and drug addicts born in Stockholm after 1940, and who died there in 1978-1984. The births of the victims were unevenly distributed among six hospitals. Comparison with 2,901 controls, and mutual comparison of categories, showed that suicides involving asphyxiation were closely associated with asphyxia at birth, suicides by violent mechanical means were associated with mechanical birth trauma and drug addiction was associated with opiate and/or barbiturate administration to mothers during labor. Irrespective of the mechanism transferring the birth trauma to adulthood–which might be analogous to imprinting–the results show that obstetric procedures should be carefully evaluated and possibly modified to prevent eventual self-destructive behavior.
This research indicates it is important that we view humanity though a lens of “wounds and starvation” when we see such things as man’s inhumanity to man, crime and so on, rather than through a lens of “crimes and punishment”. This evidence about what steers our nature also brings clarity to those of us who behave in self-destructive ways while defending our actions with a frothy brew of defensive and self justifying words. In the poverty of ignorance about who we are and why we do the things we do it is too easy to villainize, not realizing that to do so is in itself self-destructive and perpetuates our own collective poverty. If it is possible that events that we have no cognitive knowledge of can so powerfully affect the course of our lives in ways we do not understand then it also says that much of what we do in terms of free will choice is actually driven by hidden experiential forces. There is evidence to support that these experiential factors that so powerfully steer what we experience can traverse multiple generations as well. In other words; what happened to our grandparents at certain times can greatly affect the experiential track of our lives. (Look up epigenetic imprinting)
This information has deep implications in terms of our cultural notions of justice and social activism etc. These studies indicate that much of what we currently do under the banner of such things as justice, government and morality is actually perpetuating the wounds and malnourishment of both physical and emotional natures. To return offense with offense breeds more offense. This research indicates that we need to put our ability to control environmental factors so that they are representative of the behaviors that nourish us as the only way we can ever realistically shift our real experience of life over time. Overeating and under eating, whether or not we are validated and develop a healthy sense of community are all factors that influence our experience and echo outward to the rest of society and across generations. When it comes to humanity, there is no such thing as “them”. In simple terms, we all swim in the same pond, so social awareness is not only an innate hunger we have as human beings that can be starved or wounded, but a necessity to heal and nourish if we are to overcome our existing cycles of behavioral and experiential toxicity.
If we have such a dark horizon on our own vision of ourselves, then we need to reassess the way we approach the needs of society as well as our view of ourselves and our fellow human beings. This is not an argument for inaction, but a case for understanding the real issue so that we have a better place with which to effectively shape our individual and collective experience of life. Colonel Robert G. Ingersoll rightly said “Labor is the only prayer that Nature answers”, so what we do is the most important thing, but if our notion of healing includes the equivalent of such things as punishing behavior rather than finding the real cause and effect and dealing with that, then we will never be able to see our way out of the vicious cycle.