This is part of a series of blogs reflecting on the program of Integral Europe Conference 2023,  whose theme was Planetary Awakening 2.0. This blog introduces a Keynote  from the conference – curated in an Action Research Format – summarizing What the speaker said, So What could we take as the meaning? and Now What are options for action.

What did Gabor Mate say about – It’s All One: Awakening to Reality Within and Without

Awakening assumes we are asleep – are we dreaming?

A story of the Buddha relates as he is walking and radiating clarity that a stranger asks: “Are you a god?”  The Buddha replies: “NO I am awake.”

Minds and thoughts create the world

Everything we think creates our world … But actual mind is unity of everything.

In the Western world we are in separation. We need to shift from seeing a satellite to seeing one organism.

Daniel Siegel says we live a lie of separation.

In an ant colony the worker and Queen have the same DNA but different functions. The physiology of the individual ant is determined by the colony.

Humans are not individual creatures but an interconnected co-arising organism.

Much current science is the same as abstract spirituality.

A leaf contains the sun, sky, earth.

Thich Nat Hanh calls this phenomenon interbeing.

Psychology thinks of individuals and organs as separate entities.

Allopathic medicine studies pathologies.

Genetics can cause disease…but is not the only cause (rare 1 in 10,000).

We say …we have disease … this implies I is separate from disease and disease is independent from me.

Rethink illness as processes occur in life of individual.

History of individual is inseparable from family …multigenerational history of family represents the world. Therefore the process of disease represents the world.

For treating disease most people visit some kind of “…ologist”.

In 1939 Dr. Somowys (sp?) at Harvard…said emotional and psychological factors as important as physical factors when considering disease.

Bur at Harvard if today you talk about mind body medicine  you jeopardise career 😰.

Dr Osler said disease is caused by stress.

Medical students are not educated re interbeing or stress.

Gives example of Valentina who has lupus symptoms – to treat her process we will represent her as a human being.

When she is not treated as a symptom but as a human being her disease went away.

Real people having real experiences

Spontaneous healing study of terminal illness diagnoses…This study was on people who don’t use doctor.

In Radical Remission Cases …i.e. people who didn’t die … they are usually not questioned. But what do these people do? What is the reason for remissions?  They change how they live and relate to themselves.

How do you feel re self as human being?

In 2008 during the Greece economic crisis, a study showed Greek youth were more fearful but stress hormones were lower – this crisis was affecting the biology of Greek people.

Sometimes traditional assumptions are obvious but not taken into consideration by science/medicine – like Grandmother’s good for grandkids! Closer they lived to one another the better !

We now have science research studies on epigenetics  and stress … we can see how it affects all organs.

Hans Selye showed animal adrenal glands impacted by stress.

Medical students don’t get lecture on stress or trauma. Trauma is the conduit through which all impacts affect the body.

Gabor relates a story that shows the more racism a black woman experiences the more this affects her asthma.

Racists see self as other.

The more stressed parents are the more stressed their children are.

Emotional states of children impact parents’ social conditions (and vice versa).

In Canada indigenous women have 6x incidence of asthma and autoimmune disease … this is an example of where cultural influence affects disease.

In the Vancouver downtown East Side (DES) which is the worst addiction site in Canada, 40% population are indigenous in DES Vancouver.

Western medicine defines addiction as brain disease, but social conditions impact addicts/addiction.

For example with covid, the worst factor for death was being American!

We are All One …who gets sick and who doesn’t…relationships to self to others to society [connects us all].

It turns out people with chronic illness:

  1.  suppress their own needs to serve others – they are most likely to suffer autoimmune disease. They identify duty with role responsibility.
  2.  as they self-Identify or self-make – the biggest stress is being who they are not. This is when internal locus is not recognised.
  3.  The 3rd characteristic of identities who get chronic disease is they are not able to express anger.

Neurologists live from neck up 😊. They don’t notice emotions.

People with ALS are too nice – this behaviour is noticed by professionals who diagnose them. Niceness is the repression of healthy aggression… it affects the nervous and immune and limbic system…all are one system.

Psychoneurilogicalummune studies show how all interconnected.

Telomeres – the end of chromosomes…shorten as we age …we fray … these become markers of cellular clocks.

Black people live shorter lives because of high stress.

4.  the 4th characteristic of people with chronic illness is they have a belief that you are responsible for how others feel and you must never disappoint anyone.

This is particularly true of women who are society’s shock absorbers for children and husbands.

Since the 30’s women also work outside home. USA women only have 2 weeks maternity leave … this impacts children and increases the stress of women.

Are we living in an isolated world of loneliness?

Does Capitalism influence people to be selfish and greedy?

But kindness –  is that human nature too?  … we evolved as small clans working together

We are experiencing an epidemic of loneliness… in the USA and UK loneliness is a risk factor for wellbeing.

Trauma means separation from self – a wound that is sustained.

Trauma is not disappointment … Trauma means a wound that you sustained as result of an event. The effect of Trauma is not controversial  – has high impact on social wellbeing. Trauma is what happens inside you.

Evolutionary humans …can’t live without emotional qualities…belonging…integration…safe attachment relationships…you can rest easy when relationship survives … we are born with certain emotional circuits in the brain …love, anger, fear, joy … a child needs to express these emotions.

Dr Jordan Peterson’s book re parenting says a parent (rightly) dominates the child and the child performs for acceptance 🤔😱😜😝.

We have Brain disease because of the depression of emotions… we get disconnected from self and this in turn disconnects us from self and body.

Myth of Normal – Maté book says parents are asleep with nightmare – this impacts children..

Tension between attachment and authenticity … We are all one …not separate  …within selves we are one.

People can wake up as a result of illness… they “suffer into truth”.

Your conflicts are yours specifically designed for you … they are the part of us that wants to wake up – so we design challenges to wake us up.

Our sufferings and illness are wakeup calls be authentic.

So what could this mean?

What Gabor Mate proposes is that trauma is alive and active in out cities. It is caused by our fundamental separation from oneness.

Our separation impacts families and children – toxifying the Living Intelligence that passes from one generation to another.

Mate proposes that our economic system – Capitalism – is at the root of our separation and all the anxieties that causes.

If trauma and illness are accepted as processes that offer us ways to heal, then we can develop strategies to “clean up” our lives individually, collectively and in cities.

Mate speaks directly to the need to clean up so that we can wake up, grow up, open up and show up.

Realizing our need to care for self (in all our roles), others (family, children, friends, associates), will enable us to care for our places and our planet.

Not only do the practices of wellbeing for individuals – especially women – need to be changed – but also the framing of dis-ease and addiction as arising from the whole bio-psycho-cultural-social system – therefore we need to treat people and their life conditions to achieve wellbeing.

But the studies of radical and spontaneous remissions show that it is possible.

Now what can we do?

Here are 3 possible actions/responses we can take to experience It’s All One: Awakening to Reality Within and Without:

  1. Consider that the Integral City Intelligences – revealed in the GPS – show humans as one system. The Living Intelligences should be particularly informed by Mate’s approaches.
  2. The Integral City GPS reveals the intelligences of reality in the city, both within and without – so checking in with the GPS and using the 5 Integral City Maps to locate our cosmic/city address can show us a direction and path to wellbeing.
  3. Women can help themselves and each other by recognizing the patterns of evolution that have lead to them becoming the Shock Absorbers of children and husbands. Women need to create life conditions that release them from the stress causing chronic disease. Consider the wisdom in this article of Where Are the Women? Saging the Invisible into the Visible.