Thursday, October 15, 2009

Explaining the "bigger things" feelings

Hi again, especially the young readers :-)

You know how some people will tell you that it doesn't really hurt the lobster to cook it live in boiling water? The reason that they give is that the water is heated so gradually that the cold water living lobster is kind of lulled into unconsciousness, which may be true. I mention this not to bum out animal lovers (though lobsters are pretty tough in turn on their prey, you might know, using those big claws to rip apart live something it wants to eat!) I want you to just think about the analogy of gradually warming up a cold water organism until it is lulled into being dead.

The lobster lives in cold water (except for the warm water ones, yeah, I know, just work with me on the analogy!) So the cold water lobster evolved to fit perfectly into that ecological niche.

Likewise, humans evolved over millions of years to fill their niche. Humans have a few great advantages over cold water lobsters. Humans live in hot, cold and in between climates. Humans are omnivores (can eat plant or animal material). So humans are flexible. And they have big brains so they have great capacity for learning. But when you think about how successful human beings have been, thriving even through natural disasters, disease, famines, poverty, until the one billion population mark was achieved, and then as humans are now at six billion, you have to think over the millions of years of history about a fundamental anti-survival change that humans have embraced... embraced just the way that cold water lobsters might think that a little warming up is just fine... until it's too late. That problem is the over-stimulation of the human brain by false information.

Humans are successful up to today because they were totally reality based. Babies, whether rich or poor, lived in a simpler reality based world, where reality was introduced to them exactly in pace to how their brains developed.

But with the invention of television, we have a tremendous problem with humans, where it is at that point that the cold water lobster is in the pot and getting the first lulling heat.

Babies and toddlers should not even see a television screen, let alone view it, at ALL. Why is that? I've blogged about this before but am giving it to you in context of the title of this blogging, which I'll explain in a minute. But the problem is that baby brain development, which has been very thoroughly studied and is well understood, is entirely focused on understanding that the baby is a "self," that mom and dad and other people are "others," and that the world is reliable, safe, ordered and logical. The classic crucial phase of an infant's brain development, for example, is when babies first understand that when mom or dad leave the room, it is not "forever," that they are not "gone" and they will be back. You can read wonderful psychology literature on this subject.

So here is the problem. Exactly when babies need to comprehend the crucial realities of themselves and the world around them, in modern times they view rapidity and falseness of images that they cannot possibly understand, no matter how "benign." So this is true of everything, from cartoons to "educational" material. Babies and small infants absolutely should not even face a TV set that is turned on, not even for a short time. Remembering what I explained that babies first sense of self and other comes from understanding that mom and dad leave the room, but still "exist" and will come back, think about how a baby is affected, how YOU all were affected, when you, as just about everyone of the past two generations have, saw TV images as an infant or toddler. All television IS is the representation of the rapid fire unreal of things that go away and don't come back. At exactly the time babies need quiet singular development, they get a multitude of false overstimulating images that undermine the development of the proportionality and confidence circuitry that they are supposed to be forming.

This is one huge reason why the past several generations are 1) over stimulated 2) lack confidence in relationships even though they are raised in the most secure circumstances that humans ever had 3) keep feeling "alienated" and "cut off" or "special" 4) mark my words, autism is part of this problem 5) obsess about having super hero powers, origins, aliens, a "greater purpose" and hence as I say in my title, the feelings of "bigger things."

Babies and toddlers have been inadvertently messed up in their circuitry by exposure to TV, no matter how short the exposure or how benign the presumed programming. It is NOT a survival trait and in fact it is an anti-survival trait to allow babies or toddlers to even observe the TV programming when it is on: I argue they should not even be in the room. People need to copy what millions of years of successful human beings thriving did right, no matter the culture, no matter the social class, which is to allow their infants and toddlers to grow up in reality of the natural, family and community world at their pace of brain development, and not be exposed to the artificial and hence confusing rapid fire of the unreality of television images.

The residue of having one's infant brain circuits interfered with by television during their natural development is that feeling that reality is unreal, and that there is a "something else out there," which is actually false. Read that again and think about it because it is really scary and I've watched it develop throughout my lifetime. Because of television and infants and toddlers being allowed to view ANY of it, children, young people, adults and some of the aging of this generation have a troubling partial swap in their brains. They have the feeling that genuine reality feels "unreal" often or some of the time, while they yearn in a creepy way for "reality" that is actually a false and inflated delusion, that comes from misunderstanding the ephemera of television when their brains were developing. This makes the argument about if TV violence causes violence in children (and it does) dwarfed in urgency, because I'm explaining that the foundation of infant and toddler brain development is distorted and skewed from the very beginning due to any exposure at all to TV. If I had an infant or toddler I would not allow him or her to be in a room with the TV on at ALL EVER.

Think about orphanages in poor countries where kids are left alone, often with their cribs turned toward the TV, for "company." I know someone who was abandoned and left in her crib as a toddler facing a TV set in a developing country, and I watched the effects of that, and other abandonment trauma, play out in her life and it was painful, painful, painful. Babies and toddlers, whether in a terrible situation such as abandonment, or in a loving and well provided home, cannot comprehend the over stimulation and ephemera of TV images and it destroys the God given and natural biological phased development of the confident and well paced brain.

I could go into more of the biology and the psychological consequences, but to make one point that you all can think about, I really want to stick with the topic of the feelings of "bigger things."

Before these modern times, people simply did not wonder all the time "why they are there," and "don't I have a 'bigger purpose' or 'destiny' in life" or "we must be from aliens or goddesses," etc. Now before you jump on me, sure, there were religions where people believe they descended from gods, or from other worlds (though they did not know about planets at the time) etc. It is one thing for a society to have a religion that supposes a "bigger thing" type of destiny or origin. But it is entirely a new phenomenon for individuals to be obsessed, overcome by, troubled by, over stimulated by, elated by, or deluded by those feelings on a personal level. Being poor and living in a subsistence pre-TV economy, no matter where in the world, gave all humans a huge survival advantage, which was they were 1) reality based and 2) their children developed rapidly but apace with reality and genuinely beneficial brain development. All children had the advantage of being raised in a household that may be poor, impoverished, or even abusive and dire, but they were not further confused by over stimulation of false images, which is television.

Those of us who read the classics know about the almost stereotyped character of the "clever waif," the "street smart kid." Whether in England or India, the clever and resourceful waif is a recurring theme in literature because that was reality. You of course still see this today in developing countries, but much less so. Why? Well, so much of the clever waif's success, presented in literature but based on much reality, was due to being entirely reality based. Waifs were raised so their brains developed in accordance with reality. What is the street smart kid like today? The "clever waif" of today? Entirely a media creation, looking for his or her cues from the false world they have seen from the cradle, and they genuinely view that as reality. They have that swap I mentioned above, as do their parents and their teachers.

This is why, to bring it back to religion and faith, the "swap" I mentioned above can be observed as such. Reality is viewed as unreal ("I don't believe the Bible because it's just all made up stuff) while unreality is viewed as real ("I think that I was personally destined to save the world and be a superhero"). Young people and adults and their teachers are far more willing to believe (especially if their egos are stroked) the most unbelievable proof lacking stuff and garbage, while they will reject without even examining reality that boring but truthful old men carefully penned onto parchments so that their future generations will know what really happened. I mean, if you think about it, it's mindboggling. MUCH of this comes from babies and infants being exposed to seeing television screens with content, regardless of the supposed benefit or benign nature of the actual show.

A baby's brain cannot understand a cute puppy galloping off the TV screen and disappearing. A baby can understand a real puppy that gallops across the kitchen floor and disappears through the door to the living room... where either baby can follow or the actual puppy returns.

The exposure of babies and toddlers to TV has been suicidal and totally insane for that reason alone, say nothing of the other factors we all know about (violence, couch potato, no longer reads, watches too mature content, sees bad examples, etc). The damage is already done in a much more fundamental level. The past two generations watched cute puppies gallop across a TV screen and not understand what it is, instead of watching only the cute puppy, or cat, or chicken, or fish in the fish tank move across the room and out of view, but it is still real and alive, just like mom and dad. The brains of humans were not meant to be given crossed signals of artificial media while they are still under development as babies and toddlers.

Be horrified. I am and have been all my life, as I've known about this problem all along. People listen to me for all the wrong reasons (prior to this blog) but refuse to comprehend and heed me, as I've worried and warned about these problems. Even as a teenager I would not have the TV on while I was caring for an infant or toddler, even if parents urged or recommended it. All parents got brainwashed and selfish about the "baby sitter in a box," the nickname for television. TV interfered with natural brain development of infants and toddlers and that is a fact.

So this, to get back to the main point, is the reason so many of you, and I am saying this with great love, concern and compassion, have these feelings of inflation, alienation, goofy beliefs, hubris, "destiny," "unrecognized specialness," etc.... not because "everyone feels that way" (maybe they do now, but they didn't "back then")... but because when you were infants and toddlers and following the well known and highly successful process of brain development and individuality recognition, against a backdrop of constancy, with a well understood and logical ordered world, it was contaminated by the contrarian over stimulation of any exposure to TV.

Thus genuine "calling" in the real world is muffled, misheard, unheard, and dismissed as being "unreal," while false "calling" and "purpose" are inflated into grandiose but ultimately depressive longings that are viewed as "reality." It is a total swap of the real with the false, and it comes from, in large part, the inconstant development of infant and toddler brains when they should have been in reality based constancy and consistency. I hope this helps. Be strong and keep it really real, not falsely real. Do not let your babies or small children observe either TV or now the other obvious problems, video games and computer screens. Seriously. It's already too late for many. But if you understand what I am saying you can start to edit and comprehend some of your own unremembered experiences, and realize that you have been influenced yourselves in such a way.