The Elephant In The Room

The Elephant In The Room

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Where I live, in any given year 1 in 4 people suffer from a diagnosable mental health problem. 1 in 4!

Most disturbing is the stigma attached to the problem, making it a taboo subject. And as a result of this societal silence, the problem is getting bigger.

I like to flip this, to consider the number of people in society who are actually thriving. This figure is not so well researched, but it also turns out to be around 1 in 4 people.

So, 1 in 4 people are mentally unwell – and only 1 in 4 people actually lead happy and fulfilling lives.

With this going on silently in our midst, any leader of a country, community, company, school system – even family –  talking about any form of success is simply ignoring the greatest problem of our time.

I find the stigma associated with mental health quite odd, to be honest. It shows that there is a general lack of understanding out there of what is really behind the issue. Given the environment we all live in today, it is no surprise that we are having such significant problems.

Our brains are evolutionarily designed for a completely different environment to the one we live in today. The world is changing so much faster than our biology, and those changes in the world are seriously interfering with the way our brains work. Disturbingly, that gap between our evolutionary design and external environment is widening every day.

Our brains were not designed to cope with danger broadcast on a global scale through news and media distribution. They were designed to cope with locally based danger, to survive the threat of being eaten by predators.

Our brains were not designed to cope with having freely available food everywhere. They were designed to keep us alive in food-scarce environments.

Our brains were not designed to be constantly judged by marketing messages and widespread social conformism. They were designed to keep small-group social cohesion, to help protect individuals against predators.

Our brains were not designed to be constantly bombarded with information and messages at all hours of the day. They were designed to help us to communicate in small groups for parts of the day, to collectively provide for our daily needs.

Our brains were not designed for privacy and living in ever increasing isolation from each other. They were designed for living in transparent, open social groups.

There are many more examples, but I hope you see the real problem here.

The tragedy is that our prevalent approach to dealing with this global evolutionary assault on our minds is currently ‘coping in silence’. This is actually making the problem much worse than it needs to be. The world needs to wake up to the fact that it is OK to accept our biological fragility as a species – and talk about it.

If we do not accept and understand this, I am afraid we will end up like the dinosaurs. We will destroy ourselves.

The accumulation of wealth, inequality, consumerism and the consequential destruction of our planet is the result of a neurological bug. War, conflict and – dare I say – terrorism are the results of neurological bugs. Mental ill-health and obesity are also neurological bugs.

Unless we have the compassion to understand and accept that our behaviour is a survival instinct gone wrong, we will never truly deal with the problems we face as a human race.

This is serious, because we are fast moving into an era in which any one individual will be able to destroy us all. For instance, biotech is democratising, which means that by the end of the decade, killer diseases can be created in children’s bedrooms. Artificial intelligence is an emerging technology of far greater risk than nuclear weapons. Advances in this area are happening far faster than we realise. All it takes is one lone person, with a grudge against the world, to develop something that ends life for all of us.

Our global security systems will not be able to cope with the existential risks that lie ahead. We have to deal with the root cause. We have to collectively learn how to thrive as a human race. And to do this, we need to rewire the human brain itself and/or re-engineer the environment that surrounds us in order to address the brain’s many weaknesses.

The reason I would reimagine and replace the entire government, health, education, economic and societal system of a country is quite simple. There is no choice.

And the reason I spend so much time learning how to rewire my own brain and help those around me to do the same is also quite simple. There is no choice.

My family, friends and fellow human beings are not safe in this world until every man, woman and child is thriving. If one person in the world is not thriving, it poses a risk to us all. The more we acknowledge this, the more we can do something about it.

The survival of the species depends on us not ignoring the elephant in the room. The upside of facing and accepting this neurological turmoil is finding a way to create a new humanity. One based on joy, abundance, compassion, inclusiveness and simplicity.

Neurologically, you will want to ignore this post because of the revolutionary change it proposes. That is a normal response: a neurological feature that used to keep your ancestors alive, but now threatens your children and grandchildren’s survival in the future.

In my opinion, this is the single biggest challenge humanity has ever faced.

We can all be part of the solution by finding a way to collectively thrive.

It is time to open up, admit our humanity, share our pain and get on with the job of creating the world that we all deserve to live in.

To peace of mind and a mind for peace.

Marc

 

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  1. Good for you Marc

    When are you next in London?

  2. I agree with you a lot of the time but you have got it wrong here.

    Everything boils down to what we eat. The 1001 days at the start of a life is key.
    We thrive on information, I know my kids are are brighter than I was at the same age and possibly healthier.
    As my mum said what you eat is what you are.

    Problem. Chemicals, GMO, air pollution and stress = the topic of this post.
    Solution. “The biggest challenge for Human Kind is being able to grow, harvest and survive off all one can grow, don’t trust commercial food unless you know where it comes from, there is always an alternative interest.”

    • But each one of these issues there is a human decision that takes place beforehand either to propagate or solve the problem. Why are we not making the best decisions for ourselves? It is not just about having the right information. .

  3. I think the ‘stigma’ is last year, Marc. The elephant left the room a while ago, and talking about the problem doesn’t seem to do much good either. Better to look for solutions. Many people have now studied emotionally healthy people, and we know what it is that enables a human being to thrive – check out http://www.hgi.org.uk/archive/human-givens.htm#.VD-L8L69PL4 for a bit of a deeper understanding of thriving human beings. It offers greater insight as to what we need to do, and where the solutions may be found. Having said that, I greatly applaud your efforts to turn the world into a better place.

  4. Hello friends, pleasant post and fastidious urging commented here, I am really enjoying by
    these.

  5. Depression is difficult for doctors to treat and often issue anti depressants as a front line. I use ultrasound to check the thyroid and brain for inflammation and disease. I then sit with them and explain a treatment protocol. Most recover very well and under their doctors supervision are able to decrease or stop medication.

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