Power of Addiction & Addiction to Power TEDx Gabor Maté | We Can’t Wait for Those in Power to Make Changes

I’ve taken notes and paraphrased Gabor Maté’s speech. IThe Power of Addiction and The Addiction to Power: Gabor Maté at TEDxRio+20

Gabor Maté, an erudite doctor, describes in his TEDx talk in Rio the reasons for addiction.

Gabor Maté, speaks, Power of Addiction and Addiction fo Power, TEDx, Rio de Janeiro

Gabor Maté speaks about the Power of Addiction and Addiction fo Power at a TEDx in Rio de Janeiro

What are the addicts getting from their addictions? Calmness, soothing, a sense of control.

Many of these addictive substances are pain killers, taking away pain.

Why the pain?

He states that Keith Richard’s in his autobiography – a long time heroin addict – mentions the contortions that we go through just to avoid being ourselves for a few hours.

Gabor mentions that the psychiatrist R.D. Laing states:

There are three main things people are afraid of: death, other people and their own minds.

Both brilliant and unconventional, RD Laing pioneered the humane treatment of the mentally ill. But as a father, clinically depressed and alcoholic, Laing bequeathed his 10 children and his two wives a more chequered legacy.

Maté mentions his own previous addiction to shopping. Like any addict, he would lie about it.

His definition of addiction is any behavior that gives you temporary relief and temporary pleasure, yet in the long term causes negative consequences which one can’t give up.

There are many different types of addictions: the addictions to drugs, the addiction to consumerism, sex, the internet, shopping, food.

The Buddhists have the idea of the ‘hungry ghosts’; creatures with large empty bellies and small scrawny necks and tiny little mouths, so they can never get enough. They can never fill this emptiness inside of themselves.

We are all hungry ghosts. And so many of us are trying to fill that emptiness, from the outside.

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician

Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician

When you are looking at the emptiness of people, you can’t look at the genetics but you have to look at it from the outside.

It is very clear why many addicts are in pain. They’ve been abused all their lives. Hundreds of his patients had been physically or sexually abused, abandoned, emotionally hurt over and over again.

Don’t look for the people in power to change things, in terms of environmental degradation, global warming, the pollution of the oceans, rivers and skies. Don’t look to the people in power to change the immigration and social injustices. The people in power are very often the emptiest people in the world, suffering from their addiction to power. We have to do this ourselves. We have to find that light within ourselves. We have to find that light within communities. We have to begin being an active democracy of the commons; with our own wisdom and creativity. We can’t wait for the people in power to make things better for us because they are never going to. Not unless we make them. They say that human nature is competitive, aggressive and selfish. In fact it’s the opposite. Human nature is cooperative, generous and community minded. TED talks are examples of human nature, people committed to learning and contributing to a better world. If we find that light within, we will be kinder to ourselves, kinder to other people and kinder to nature.

The human brain develops an interaction with the environment. The kind of interaction a child has with the environment can shape the development of the brain. Dopamine is the incentive, motivation chemical. Dopamine flows whenever we are motivated, excited, curious, vital, vibrant. Without the dopamine, we have no motivation.

The addict gets a hit of dopamine in the brain. Drugs are not by themselves addictive? Drugs are not by themselves addictive. Some people become addictive to drugs, but many do not. Food is not addictive, but to some people it is. Shopping is not in itself addictive, but to some people it is. Television is not addictive, but to some people it is.

Why the susceptibility? Genetically the receptors, chemical binding sites in the brain for endorphins, morphine like substances, that make possible the feeling of love and attachment to the parent.

Heroine and morphine act on the endorphin system. For abused children, those circuits don’t develop. When you don’t have love and connection in your life when you are very young, you don’t develop those receptors.

As a baby of Jewish parents in an Eastern European country as Hitler was gaining power – the speaker Gabor Maté was picking up on the stresses and terrors of his mother, which were shaping the child’s brain. Children get the message that ‘my mother must not want me’ if she is not happy around the child.

So he becomes a workaholic because if his mother doesn’t want me, then he wants to be needed. Yet because he’s responding in this way by working so much and not being available for his own children, his children receive the same message, that the parent must not want him.

In this way humans pass on the trauma and unconscious patterns from one generation to the next.

Each person feels the emptiness in a different way, stemming back to when they are very small.

We may all point the finger to the ‘addicts’, yet look at what we’re doing to the earth? We are injecting all of these terrible things into the earth, the environment, the air, water.

A man was killed in Brazil for protecting the rain forest. As in Brazil, many of the indigenous people in Canada are the ones who are heavily addicted after suffering the trauma of losing their land, being side-lined and disregarded.

The people on the opposite side of this, who are crushing the Native American territories and destroying pristine nature, are those addicted to wealth and power.

Many of the historical figures who were extremely addicted to power, Stalin, Napoleon, were people of physically small stature. They were outsiders, coming from a population outside of the mainstream. Their sense of insecurity and inferiority came from emptiness they were trying to fill from the outside.

In each of the stories of Buddha and Jesus, both were tempted by the devil for power. Each said no, because they had the power within themselves. They wanted to teach people through soft words, wisdom and their actions.

Jesus: “The power is within. The kingdom of god is within.”

Buddha: “Don’t mourn me and don’t worship me. Find the lamp inside yourself. Find the light within.”

I’m bringing up his point twice, because it is so vital. “Don’t look for the people in power to change things, in terms of environmental degradation, global warming, the pollution of the oceans, rivers and skies. Don’t look to the people in power to change the immigration and social injustices. The people in power are very often the emptiest people in the world, suffering from their addiction to power. We have to do this ourselves. We have to find that light within ourselves. We have to find that light within communities. We have to begin being an active democracy of the commons; with our own wisdom and creativity. We can’t wait for the people in power to make things better for us because they are never going to. Not unless we make them. They say that human nature is competitive, aggressive and selfish. In fact it’s the opposite. Human nature is cooperative, generous and community minded. TED talks are examples of human nature, people committed to learning and contributing to a better world. If we find that light within, we will be kinder to ourselves, kinder to other people and kinder to nature.”

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Carol Keiter le_blogger, writer & illustrator, musician & composer

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WHAT CAN WE DO? | LET’S DO SOMETHING! | How can we Organize the Human Community?

Democracy is Dying and it's Startling, Few Worried, Paul Mason

Democracy is Dying and it’s Startling How Few are Worried Paul Mason

I have been in France just under a month. I found out not even two hours ago through a conversation on skype with my sister who lives in England and France, that during the time we were back in the United States of Apathy, that ICE (i hadn’t know what this was, i thought ICE was simply In Case of Emergency) However I learned from my sister today about the other version. (ICE) Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

I hadn’t known what ICE meant, I had to google it. http://www.newsweek.com/immigration-immigration-and-customs-enforcement-ice-donald-trump-628896

ICE had come into the town of Lebanon, PA into a catholic church on a Sunday, and rounded up dozens of people, probably mostly men, of darker skin, and packed them into a van to take to another town to sit in jail, awaiting trial, perhaps a 1 or 2 year wait.

Newsweek, ICE raid, Risk, Deportation

Newsweek ICE raid Who Is At Risk Deportation.

While visiting the USA just a month ago, my sister befriended a guy from El Salvador who stayed in the motel room next to her. He’s been in the USA for 25 years, has a green card and has several kids and a wife in Virginia. Presently he’s been in central Pennsylvania working in construction to support his family. He was one of the people rounded up and loaded into this van. My sister attempted to stay with him, holding his hand, went into the van, and the police officer warned her with a tone of reproach that she better get the hell out of there if she knows what’s good for her.

The El Salvadoran gave my sister his phone and the number of his wife to call in VA. My sister said that his wife was screaming when she heard the news. Her life support money-earner for herself and her kids, disposed of.

War Zone Desperate and Dead Mondediplio

War Zone Desperate and Dead Mondediplio

I knew nothing of this. I was just reading headlines last night about 500 people in Turkey under questioning or worse, for attempting to overthrow a dictator. I know nothing of this Turkey official and hadn’t read the story yet.

500 in court, Turkey Coup Attempt 2016, CNN

Nearly 500 in court Turkey Coup Attempt 2016 CNN

Yet I thought to myself, can not the world step in and change this situation? That was before I knew what was happening in the neighboring town while I was sleeping on a Sunday morning. WTF.

 

 

What can we do? Sit back, crack open a beer and hang out with friends, watch a TV show, get ready to arrange the schedule of picking up the kids from their practice…..when before our eyes a military dictatorship fascist embarrassment of a President is enforcing this sweep of people across the country who have been living and working here, taking jobs that Americans haven’t wanted, and who were brought here to do the dirty jobs that help our system to run efficiently, are suddenly afraid to leave their homes to go to the grocery store?

Stop Swooning over Justin Trudeau, Climate Disaster, Bill McKibben

Stop Swooning over Justin Trudeau Climate Disaster Bill McKibben

McKibben writes for the Guardian, “Yes, 173bn barrels is indeed the estimate for recoverable oil in the tar sands. So let’s do some math. If Canada digs up that oil and sells it to people to burn, it will produce, according to the math whizzes at Oil Change International, 30% of the carbon necessary to take us past the 1.5C target that Canada helped set in Paris.

That is to say, Canada, which represents one half of 1% of the planet’s population, is claiming the right to sell the oil that will use up a third of the earth’s remaining carbon budget. Trump is a creep and a danger and unpleasant to look at, but at least he’s not a stunning hypocrite.”

Out of Wreckage, A New Politics, Age of Crisis, George Monbiot

Out of the Wreckage A New Politics for an Age of Crisis George Monbiot

Monbiot writes, “A toxic ideology rules the world – of extreme competition and individualism. It misrepresents human nature, destroying hope and common purpose. Only a positive vision can replace it, a new story that re-engages people in politics and lights a path to a better world.”

What are we going to do?

Immigrants from Syria and other parts of the world, war/climate immigrants are escaping deplorable situations to come to the West, which has been living amply, to be treated with hostility and turned away with barbwire. Black market money to stuff people on rickety over-loaded boats, taking peoples’ life savings, to flee situations, only to find that the rest of the world is not helping to organize their safe transport.

This is very, very wrong. We can use the money from the enormous profits from banks, international corporations who make millions and billions in profit, to set up communities, and renewable energy enterprises to re-esatablish safe havens.

This is not right. We can’t read news and do nothing like it isn’t our problem. In some countries people are having 12 to 16 babies. A large part of the problem of GLOBAL WARMING/CLIMATE CHANGE IS due to over-population. We are sucking up the soil, destroying habitats of other animals who have a right to life.

Humans need to be accountable.

We need to be accountable for what is happening ALL OVER THE WORLD.

We Are Humanity Film, Jarawa documentary

We Are Humanity Film Jarawa documentary

We need to intercept. I’m sorry, but we need to educate and infiltrate, not remain passive, saying it’s not my problem. Not my problem if some people are cruel to other humans or animals or their actions are knowingly or unknowingly destroying the habitat and polluting some creatures’ environment.

I don’t think any living being can just sit back and let all this happen without having a conscience and wanting to help.

I don’t know where to begin, except for expressing this. I think the world needs leaders who will actually step in and shut Trump and other dictators down. People can divest – take their money out of banks and institutions that support dirty energy and dirty politics. There are numerous ways that people working together could SHUT DOWN OPERATIONS AS THEY ARE through organized actions like; those working in public transportation or truck drivers to not work for a day, or three…We can all work together, educate one another, demand new structures and create them together, IMMEDIATELY.

There are plenty of people with the wisdom and insights and contacts to know how to lead and guide a worldwide REVOLUTION. Not a violent one, a movement with people stepping out of their routines and giving a little time and effort and action to make their voice heard. We can’t let more dictators destroy peoples lives. We can’t let peoples religious beliefs just allow people to pop out 13 babies and pretend that it’s okay. We live in one world, one with limited resources. I refuse to just take on business as usual, and pretend that it’s okay for Mr. Orangehead Chump to push his grey suits around and whimsical notions of what he thinks needs to happen. It’s time for the fucking world intelligence, artists, teachers, scientists and leaders to step in. I still have to read about what’s happening in Turkey, or Venezuela, because I can’t keep up with all of it, but it just IS NOT OKAY ANYMORE, to think that “It’s not here next to me in my community, so it’s not my problem.” IT IS ALL OF OUR PROBLEM. WE NEED LEADERS WHO CAN STEP IN AND INTERCEPT, AGENCIES TO EDUCATE, GUIDE.

I thank all of the environmental, social, ecological groups who serve as watch dogs and educate the rest of us, but somehow, i think something much more brilliant has to take place to begin lighting up the whole world to working together. If we are the people – in a Democracy – choosing our leaders, then we should have the military industrial complex working with us, not in militarized suits, against us.

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Carol Keiter the blogger on return hitch from Taos to Santa Fe, New Mexico

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