#138 This week, I am here with the amazing Dr. Gabor Maté and a conversation about trauma, childhood development, and Ayahuasca and its effects on the body and mind. As an added bonus, Gabor also breaks down Donald Trump which was absolutely enlightening to hear.
This episode is close to my heart as we discuss my effect on my new-born daughter Ava, and parents’ effects on their children’s development in general. Gabor beautifully explains how all the ideas we have as adults, were shaped as babies. To quote Gabor, “ideas are secondary, and an emotional stance is primary.”
So whether you are a parent yourself, or just wish to know the origins of your thoughts and beliefs, give this episode a listen and let us know what you think.
If you enjoyed this podcast, you may also like: Blending Science & The Mystical To Embody Change | Petra Brzovic
About Dr Gabor: Dr. Gabor Maté is a renowned speaker and bestselling author, highly sought after for his expertise on a range of topics including addiction, stress and childhood development. Rather than offering quick-fix solutions to these complex issues, Dr. Maté weaves together scientific research, case histories, and his own insights and experience to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing and that of those around them.
After 20 years of family practice and palliative care experience, Dr. Maté worked for over a decade in Vancouver’s Downtown East Side with patients challenged by drug addiction and mental illness. He is also the bestselling author of four books published in over twenty-five languages. His book on addiction received the Hubert Evans Prize for literary non-fiction. For his ground-breaking medical work and writing he has been awarded the Order of Canada, his country’s highest civilian distinction, and the Civic Merit Award from his hometown, Vancouver.
Key points with time stamp:
- Gabor’s work in his own words (5:16)
- When do we start influencing our children? (9:18)
- How has Donald Trump’s childhood affected him? (12:13)
- When are we threatened by the outside world? (14:22)
- Existing conspiracies in our society (18:30)
- How can we be more connected as a society? (22:06)
- Gabor’s advice to those who may be afraid of increased awareness (24:58)
- What does a child need from their parents? How can we be better parents? (30:02)
- Has the world gone mad? Gabor’s hopes for the future (42:44)
- Gabor’s daily practices (44:23)
- What would happen if politicians took part in an ayahuasca ceremony? (47:05)
- What Gabor leaves us with (52:08)
Mentioned in this episode:
- Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, Gabor’s first book
- When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, Gabor’s second book
- In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, Gabor’s third book
- Hold On to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers, Gabor Mate and Gordon Neufeld’s book
- The Myth of Normal Illness and Health in an Insane Culture. Gabor’s upcoming book
- The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma, Book by Bessel Van Der Kolk
- Touching the Jaguar: Transforming Fear Into Action to Change Your Life and the World, Book by John Perkins
- Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, Book by John Perkins
- Hillary Clinton
- Cortisol, the stress hormone
- The Continuum Concept, Book by Jean Liedloff
- Noam Chomsky
- Mary Trump
- Compassionate Enquiry
- Jeffrey Rediger
Dr. Gabor Mate’s Website:
Awesome people. How are we doing today? This is guy Of course, your host. Thanks for tuning in and listening to my podcast, where every week of course, I have conversations that go well beyond conventional health, wealth and wisdom to inspire change in our lives. And I’m very excited to say I have got Mr. Dr. Gabor Mate on the show. This man needs no introduction. And if you’ve pressed play, and you’re not familiar with his work, boy, you’re in for a treat. And if you are familiar with his work, I can still see you’re in for a treat. I had an amazing conversation with Gabor today, it was wonderful to spend an hour with him. We did have a few technical issues, but we finally got there and managed to get this recording together. And out to you guys. If you’re unfamiliar with Dr. Mate’s work, he is a renowned speaker and best selling author. He is also a highly sought after for experience on a range of topics including addiction, stress, and childhood development. He weaves together scientific research case histories, and his own insights and experiences to present a broad perspective that enlightens and empowers people to promote their own healing, and that of those around them. And we had a fabulous conversation today I really, really enjoyed it. And you know, being a new dad myself, you know, with baby Ava now, in our wings in our little family pod that we have, I was very wanted to basically speak to some of those experiences if you like of Gabor Mate with, with childhood and trauma and how much especially our first years of infancy affect us as adults as well. But we go into all sorts of wonderful topics in and we couldn’t resist it. But we ended up on the topic of Ayahuasca as well. And how that can help with trauma and the body. And also, he breaks down Donald Trump, which was very enlightening to hear as well, and on how his childhood would have affected him to be the man he is today. So it was all in there. It was a wonderful conversation. And yeah, I’m sure you’re gonna get a lot out of it. And it’s definitely one worth sharing with a friend, especially if you know somebody that is struggling a little bit or is even just curious around this work. Yeah, he’s a bloody legend. Basically, I want to give a quick shout out for another beautiful review. I said on iTunes, please keep them coming in guys. I’ve also had some wonderful emails over the last few weeks as well, from you guys, listeners, let me know how much the podcast has helped you in some way. So please keep them coming in. You can just drop me an email back my website guylawrence.com.au I read everything that comes through it is great. It’s great to connect. Hey. So the reviewers must listen to interviews. Five stars are crooner phenomenal content in every interview, said it before and say it again, brilliant, so much wild content in these conversations, perfect for emerging new world and minds. Thank you Guy, and you are very welcome. I really appreciate it. What else was happening I wanted to mention as well we have been working on because I do appreciate that if you step in into this world and this work for the first time, you can certainly feel a little bit overwhelming at the start and, and even just taking action on our courses. And our coaching that we have can be a huge step. I do appreciate it, you know and of course I’ll take this work all the way to our retreats and and I do believe anyone is for anyone and everyone that just wants to discover themselves more somebody said to me the other day, it’s not just about recovery, it’s about discovery. And I love that and but we’ve been working out putting some free meditations together and putting together a little bit of a like a like a seven day intro completely free. That’s going to allow you to start getting your feet wet. So so you can start to get a feel for this work and what it’s about so that will be available it might be available now by the time this goes live. I’m not sure but you can come back to liveinflow.co and if you want to find more about that those free meditations and yeah, it’ll be on there. I’m trying to think I don’t have a name for it yet hence why I was hesitating but it’ll all be there for you. And check it out and that’d be a great place to refer a friend or something to start if this does all feel a little bit overwhelming. Anyway, much love for me enjoy the show with Dr. Gabor Mate. Awesome. And see you soon. Gabor. Welcome to the podcast.
Guy. It’s nice to be here with you.
I am I like to start the show Gabor just in case Nobody is familiar with your work, or your new listeners. But if you are at a dinner party right now around the table, you know, say eight to 10 people and you sat next to a complete stranger and they asked you what you did or what you do? What would you say?
Well, I would tell them that I’m a medical doctor, who was in practice for 32 years. And retired for medical practice. Now, I do a lot of international speaking. Now I’ve written four books on health related issues, beginning with my own diagnosis of attention deficit disorder. So I wrote a book about that called Scattered Minds, in which I say that it’s not a disease, but it begins as a compensation in response to childhood stress. And then I wrote a book called When the Body Says No, The Cost of Hidden Stress, which is really about how chronic illnesses like autoimmune diseases, multiple sclerosis, neurological diseases like Parkinson’s, ALS, cancer, are very often not always but the vast majority of cases, responses to life stress dealing with childhood trauma. And the body’s saying no, to dynamics that the person has not been able to say no to because of their childhood programming. So that disease can actually be then a Not that I recommend this way of learning, but disease can actually be a wake up call, about how you’ve been disconnected from yourself. And that the healing has path has to do with the connection. Then I wrote a book on addiction called In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, because in family practice what I did, I delivered babies I worked in palliative care, looking after turning to many old people and everything else in between. But I also did 12 years of work in North America’s most notorious area of drug use, which is Vancouver, British Columbia, the Downtown Eastside, or worked with a population highly addicted to stimulants to opiates, Cannabis, alcohol, and so on. And what I learned there is that these people are addictions, were not inherited diseases, but they were responses to childhood trauma, and addictions of all kinds, are basically desperate attempts to soothe people’s pain that they incurred during their development. And so those are three of the four books that I’ve written. I’ve written the fourth books on on parenting called Hold on to Your Kids. So to make a long story short, I’m a retired physician, with interests in mind, body health, with the connection between life experience and health. Yeah, I’m currently writing a new book, which will be published next year called The Myth of Normal Illness and Health in an Insane Culture. But ultimately, I’m saying that the illness in this society by this society, I mean, neoliberal capitalism is not an abnormality, but actually it’s a normal response to an abnormal culture. Yeah, normal culture in the sense of a culture that does not meet human needs. That’s in a nutshell, who I am and what I do know in the course of all that, I haven’t said that I have to do a lot of my own work because they also have to deal with my own childhood trauma has my own issues continue to have them and it’s an ongoing project.
Your ongoing project is incredible. This this this work and it just fascinates me because when I look out into the world, Gabor, I see we’re more connected than ever but more disconnected than ever. And and I truly wonder how much people are aware that this work exists and from our early childhood how much of that upbringing is affecting the way we are being on a day to day basis as an adult, you know, I’ve just had a baby daughter is my cell first she’s three months old.
Thank you. Thank you. And and I and I look at her and I see this, this incredible gift and teacher to myself every single day and it’s making me more and more aware of my own human conditioning, if you like. And but I do think about the things that is influencing her with it because I want to obviously want her to be her free. Discover herself and be her her spirit unique spirit identity when she comes to adulthood, you know, and I just wonder how far back do we do we go that is influencing her is ever thing that happening in her life right now with us actually influencing her personality and what will become over through time?
That was the case even before she was conceived. Because what happens to our grandparents is passed on both biologically. But also, most importantly emotionally through the grand- to the parents to the child. And already the mother’s emotional states during pregnancy program the child’s brain and program the child Stress, Stress responsiveness, which is not to scare people, I’m just saying how it scientifically is. And so no, that’s not a passive thing. What I mean by that is, you’ve already done a lot of work on yourself. When I became a parent I had not. So that means your child starts out with an advantage. So the more conscious the parents are, and they’re more emotionally attuned with themselves, and therefore with the child, the parents are, the less any past stuff has to influence the child in the present. So that depends very much on the situation, stress levels and consciousness of the parents. But yes, everything in an environment and particularly, you and your spouse, and your relationship, and the emotional atmosphere in the home, is programming your child right now. And, and, and goes a long way towards determining how she will feel about herself, how she experience the world, how she will see the world, how she will experience other people, what kind of relationship she’ll enter into, or confidence will be in herself, or connected to herself, she will be all this is being determined right now.
And that’s incredible. And and what you’re saying then is no words even need to be spoken. It’s about how she is feeling, essentially, because they haven’t informed an analytical mind yet, obviously, at this moment
and and and a lot of the parenting problem is that parents are told to train their kids with the right ideas. But long before kids have ideas, their emotional apparatus is being trained to understand the world in a certain nonverbal way. And that’s much more important. So if you take somebody like, I just been reading and writing in my new book, I’m writing about a politician. So if you think somebody like Donald Trump, he’s got all the all these ideas, that people are out to get him and there are enemies out there, and the world is a hostile place. Long before he had these ideas, he had those experiences emotionally. Because he grew up in a home with a sociopathic father, who demeaned and terrorized his kids and humiliated them. And that experience, on the emotional level, is what’s fueling Trump’s defensiveness, his need to be grandiose because he feels so small, he’s got to make himself huge. his fear that he has to be aggressive, because otherwise it would be eaten alive. And all these ideas that he’s God, and his denial of reality. Like right now, California, Washington State, and Oregon, the American states to myself here are on fire in Vancouver, we can’t see the sky because of the smoke that’s coming up from the States. And Trump is denying that it’s climate change. Well, he’s denying it because he learned as a child, that reality is so painful, he has to deny it. He just cannot admit it, he can acknowledge it. So what I’m saying is that these ideas that people have in adulthood, the kind of ideas that we accept and hold on to has to do with our emotional take on the world, which is being shaped right now with your baby, before she has any ideas. So the ideas are secondary, the emotional stance is primary.
Yeah, well, the way I look at it, then is that the feelings become familiar to us of that internal state. And, and once we go outside, that familiar state, then it becomes unfamiliar. And if it becomes unfamiliar, then it almost becomes an unknown and if it isn’t unknown, it feels like a threat. I mean, that’s how I kind of see it in my mind.
Well, that depends how comfortable you are within yourself. Like Like, like if you connected with yourself. And then trust that feelings. You’re not so afraid when you go out there. Because you know that you’ve got friends who will telling you what’s dangerous and what isn’t. So you don’t have to keep looking for danger. Because you’ll be warned when there’s danger. But when we’re disconnected, then the world becomes very unsafe. Because if not, we can protect ourselves. Like, if you look at you’re in Australia, right?
So if you look at the Aboriginals in Africa, sorry, in Australia. Do they feel perfectly comfortable out in the outdoors?
no. Do they? I mean, in
the natural state. Absolutely. But that’s not that’s not Yeah. But I’m thinking they could be sitting in an uncomfortable rock for hours on end, but be very comfortable with it.
That’s what I’m talking about. Right? Yeah. So comfortable. I mean, emotionally that, you know, because they’re connected to themselves, and they’re connected to the world in a way that we in our so called civilized society, or not. Yeah. So we can’t even imagine the degree of trust that they have in the world, in their natural state.
Yeah, it’s incredible. I, it just blows my mind. Because I grew up i’m not i never grown up in an academic background. I haven’t had, like I grew up in Wales gather, you know, I played rugby. And I started life as a plumber, I just didn’t have any kind of I had no religious teachings, or spiritual practices, or any, like, I had to go out and try and figure it all out for myself. And I’ve had some incredible healing moments in my life along the way, by creating that reconnection back to myself, like you, like you talk about, and I just, the more I’ve learned and leaned into this work, I just don’t understand why it isn’t being taught. From our age. It’s like, we know this information, it’s certainly out there. And the more I’ve looked at this work and realize how much the body can, like you say, I’m currently reading The Body Knows the Score, you know, there’s this holds so much information to be to be learned from, but yet we’re not given any practices or tools to work with it. just kind of left to figure out for ourselves after.
Oh, yeah. And so that’s part of the new book that I’m reading. So why is that? Well, if people…let me ask you a question. Before you had your experiences of awakening and connection. I don’t know what your life was like. We don’t know each other. But did you find yourself in situations which did not serve your needs? But you put up with them?
Okay, but why do you suppose you did that? would you would you now would you in your present state of consciousness? Would you chronically put up with situations that did not serve your needs?
Okay. All right. Well, so if you want to organize a society where people will work in jobs that don’t serve them? Well, they’re pursue activities that destroyed the atmosphere. That changed the climate that has them running around for objects and possessions that they don’t need that don’t do them any good. Would you want to create people who are connected with themselves or were disconnected from themselves? or
That’s the society we’ve got. Yeah. And I’m not saying that it’s a plot on anybody’s part. It just just how it works. By the way, there’s lots of plots as you know, I mean, you know, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. There’s a guy I talked to, you might know of his work. His name is John Perkins. And he wrote a book with a book called his most recent book is something what the Jaguar it’s actually about ayahuasca.
You might check it out. JOHN Perkins, you might want to talk to him, actually. Guy. I can look up the title of his most recent book. It’s the Jaguar based on his ayahuasca experiences. But his big book, his first book was Confessions of an Economic Hitman, something like that. And used to work with big American corporations and American government, selling American corporate agenda to third world countries. And if they bought into it good, but he says if you can watch his YouTube lecture, you know, confessions. And he says, basically, he would say to these third world leaders, well, in my right hand, there’s a package that you can accept and we can work together. And the other hand, in case you don’t accept the package, there’s a gun. In other words, countries would be coerced into following along with the corporate American agenda, he did this for a living, you know, until he had his own big awakenings. And and john Perkins says to me, oh, he actually says in his TED Talk, I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I’m a conspiracy realist. You know, he knows there’s lots of conspiracies, you know, with the conspiracy to deny climate change. Yeah, the conspiracy to deny that opiates made by the drug companies are addictive, the conspiracies to make food addictive by adding just the right amount of sugar and salt and fat. I mean, these are conspiracies, active, not non controversially exposed. Conspiracy, it’s just plenty of conspiracies. But the system overall is not a conspiracy. It just works the way it works. And to keep itself going, it has to create people who are disconnected. And there’s a million ways in which that disconnected is it happens, but mostly, and in the home, it happens to the lack of consciousness of the parents. Because relatively few people go through the awakening experiences that, you know, you’ve had the good fortune to go through. So unconscious parents, bring up unconscious kids. And so it keeps going, and then everything in society, then reinforces the unconscious.
Yeah, and it, it just, it frustrates me because, because the interesting thing is, as well, and I know, you speak a lot about compassion. But after having those experiences, and start to really see my own love, connect to myself, and I’d love for myself and all the flaws and all the the human condition, and that still raises his head every day, you know, but be able to hold space for myself in that place and develop that relationship. It allows me to have more compassion for other people and, and actually look past their unconscious behaviors and flaws and see the human in someone you know, and then I think about what’s going on in the world. And I think, Wow, if we all actually came from more compassion, and we’re all able to have a little bit more of an insight to what our own potential is, we could really start to see everyone in this together, as opposed to this separation that’s constantly driven in us. And I’m, quite often I get frustrated, because I don’t know what to do about it either. Like, you know, and
well look, in terms of what to do. Like a first of all, let’s face it, what you and I are talking about is not exactly new, I mean, yeah, a couple of guys called Buddha and Laozi, or Jesus talked about it a few thousand years ago. And you might say that they’re total failures, because look at them, you know, as well known as the teachings are is the world practicing them and I kind of a large scale. So in a sense, the kind of tension that you’re talking about, that’s been going on forever. Now, under some conditions, it gets exacerbated. So when you have a system where the ethic is the individual profit and the individual experience and the individual ego, and when we’re told that the system is based on dog eat dog, and we’re all against each other, and we all have to get ahead at the expense of other people, this is what they actually they teach. Those dynamics are exacerbated and heightened. And we can see with what results in the world today, but I totally understand the frustration I share it but at the same time it’s not just the human condition and and in any generation isn’t all we can do is to do a bit to wake up and to help other people see something of a reality. You know, any frustration that we have is our own problem, you know,
of course Yeah. It’s fascinating because even though it was interesting, because intellectually I got it when I would read books and listen to audios and podcasts, but it wasn’t until I started to live it and experience it and be it, that I really understood it, there was a far greater difference. You know, what, what would you say to everyone listening to this today, right now that are probably on that CUSP, they might even be starting to reflect on themselves. They might be a parent thinking, you know, oh, my God, what have I been teaching my child or unconsciously or whatever I mean, and might be fearful of shining a light on themselves and retreat so they can continue on like or on that CUSP? What would your advice be to those listeners?
Well, St. Paul said something about the light dispels the darkness, you know. So why should we be afraid of the light? Whatever we learn can only help us. It may not be comfortable. I mean, I think a lot excuse me, a lot of the reasons people don’t do this work is because there’s Well, we’re back to President Trump. He says, I don’t like to analyze my my stuff too much. Because I don’t I might not like what I find. That’s what he actually said. But you know what, who else did the same thing, Hillary Clinton said the same thing. And a lot of politicians are like that. They don’t really want to look at themselves, they might not like they want to just act it out in the world. You know, so. So it might not be emotionally comfortable. When people look at themselves, you know, if I’ve talked to a lot of people who thought they come from happy families, they had maybe depression or anxiety or addiction, but they came from happy families. And then I asked them a few questions. And it turns out, no, their experience wasn’t so happy. Well, that’s painful to realize. But this whole society is based on helping people or at least inducing people to run away from their pain, or the TV programs and the apps and the busy ness and the addictive behaviors and the digital media. And it’s all about getting getting us away from ourselves because it’s so uncomfortable with alone with our own mind. Because there’s pain in there. But as I think you found at some point, you had to find out that Yeah, you had some pain there. But was that liberating for you? Or was that limiting for you? How did you experience it?
It was the most liberating thing in my life.
Yeah, so what people are afraid of is liberation, because to get to that liberation, that might need to experience some pain. There’s nothing wrong with pain if it serves a noble cause. Otherwise, we end up creating pain that doesn’t serve any noble cause. Just ending the best thing of passing it up to our kids. And so the biggest favor you can do your children, any parent is to actually work on themselves not to work on the kid. Not hard, I bring up my kid, how do I make them the best person? Know? How do I connect? Because when I do, I’ll be able to connect with my child in a way the child needs me to. So if that’s painful, that’s pain. That’s normal pain is pain that’s worth accepting.
Yeah, the the pain that drove me to take action to really start to flip the lens if you like to go on myself instead of the external world all the time. Even though at the time like I I look back now, and I’m so grateful. I don’t want to change anything. But at the time, it was suffocating, slow and steady. You know?
And and in my book, When the Body Says No, that’s the point I make is that is that when people are suffocating themselves like that, at some point, you might develop a disease, which is the body’s way of saying no, don’t do this anymore. So when you don’t know how to say, No, the body will say it. Now of course, as a child, we have no option if the environment is in any way suffocating. And by that I don’t mean to blame the parents because they’re doing their best. Yes. But if they’re unconscious, that to some degree is suffocating for the child. The child hell can only accept it they can’t do anything about it.
What does a child need from us? Like if because I think about my baby, Ava, you know, and when she cries or there’s something, all I want to do is just give her my love and hope and hold space for her, you know, and try and be with a and, and quite often I find myself I might be in a position like I remember thinking yesterday, I’m exhausted, I’m absolutely exhausted. I said and, and, but my daughter Ava is like not having any of that, like, you know, she she was demanding she was crying at this point. And my human condition wanted to just figure out how to shut it up somehow and then put impose my stuff on her. But at the same time, you know, there’s a deeper part of me when I connect to my heart and myself that just like this, this baby, just need needs to be held in my love right now. But we hear so many different conflicting paradin things like you say about imposing things on the baby, you know, if they cry and make themselves cry for hours and,
and I think what happens when the baby’s crying, the baby’s crying for a number of reasons. There could be physical discomfort, but they need to change the might be wet and cold, it might be hungry. Yeah. But also they could be physically quite comfortable. But emotionally, they need contact. If you and I became friends, we could hold each other emotionally in our thoughts and our hearts without having any physical contact. But the baby is not that sophisticated, yet. There’s only one, there’s only one way a baby can connect emotionally. And that’s physically to the senses. Okay? So they need to be held. Now, when you’re not holding a baby, when they need to be held, you’re doing a number of things. First of all, they need to be held and then the needs are not met, they get stressed. So you’re releasing cortisol, the stress hormone in their brain, which interferes with brain development. Number one, yeah, but to your giving a message, the message is, your emotions don’t matter to me, you don’t matter to me. Now, you don’t mean to deliver that message, you just think that it’s better for the baby to cram themselves to sleep. But that’s the message the baby gets. And you’re teaching them about the world, which is that they’re alone in the world? Because when they needed somebody, there was nobody there. So at the very least you’re giving them a mixed message. I love you and I don’t care about you. Yeah. You know, a lot. Yeah, just very confusing. A lot of kids get over that confused message. So that’s what you’re doing. So all this advice, and the parents will leave that No. Do you know any mother cat that ignores their kittens crying? Does a mother ape ever ignore the baby’s cries for help? In Aboriginal societies, you know what they do? They never even put the babies down.
And I’ve heard this from Canadian indigenous people. And in the Latin American jungle, I’ve seen this. And if you actually, and the problem for modern parents is that parenting was never meant to be done in a nuclear family. With the family, like human beings have been on the earth for I’m talking about our species. Human beings have been in the earth for in some form for millions of years. But our species, Homo sapiens, has been around for 150,000 20,000 years, something like that. Until about 12,000 years ago, so like 99% or 90% of existence, we lived in a hunter gatherer band, small groups. repenting was done by the group. Where if the parent was too tired to pick the kid up, the uncle would pick the kid up, or the aunt wouldor the cousin would or the neighborhood, you know, like, this just happens spontaneously. So there’s too many demands, on modern parents. So it’s really a stressful Plus, the parent has to go to work in the morning, maybe, you know. So we’re parenting in a very unnatural environment. But the worst thing we can do is to impose our frustration and our fatigue on the baby. You know, so that the dilemma is that we’re not parenting in the natural way. And this question of putting the baby down there A book you might want to read is called the Continuum Concept. The continuum concept by Jean Lied hoff, I think, or Liedloff continuum concept. She visits this Aboriginal tribe in the jungles of Latin America. It’s an eye opening book. She did this in the 70s. With a lot of research on the same thing as well, by the way, if I can push my own, please, if I can read my own drum for a minute, I really hope you will read the book I called called Hold on to Your Kids. It’s a parenting book, written to the who I think is the world’s most astute development psychologist, Gordon Neufeld. And it’s about how in a society precisely because we don’t meet our kids needs, and we’re not… And our kids don’t grow up around us like they used to do in Aboriginal societies, kids have to attach to somebody. And for the most part in our society, kids end up attaching to the peer group, and one that wants to attach to the peer group, we lose them. Because the peer group values are very different from our values. And if a kid can’t hold both of them, so once the child is heavily into the peer group via the internet, or in person, because we haven’t been around for them, and we didn’t meet the needs, it’s so difficult to parent them.
And so there’s a natural way of parenting, which is, which is based on meeting the child’s attachment needs. And that’s what people do naturally in and in Aboriginal societies, or societies that are still attachment based. And impertinent, which in our society, normally don’t, we don’t do it. We even get parenting advice against it. Like we’re told to practice timeout against our kids, which means you say to a two year old, if you don’t please me, I’m gonna deprive you of my presence, which is the main thing that child needs? Is your presence. So what are you telling the kid? Yeah, on the kid that you have to shape yourself to please me Otherwise, I don’t accept you. So suppress yourself to please me, is that the message you want to give your kid? But this is the advice that parents are given.
Within a system that’s not supporting us,
within a system isn’t supporting us. That’s right. Yeah.
Yeah. Boy, it’s, it’s a lot of take on board. I just, I’m just when I when I look at these things, and I’m just very grateful that I guess I’m having a child in my time of life. Right now, you know, because I don’t know, the parent, I would have been 10,15 years ago, if I had had her, then you know, and
I can tell you, the parent that I was, and if there’s anything in my life that I wish I could walk back again. That would be it. I’ve learned a lot and grown a lot, and I have many, many things to be grateful for, and I am. But that’s the one big issue. If I knew then a bit of what I know now.
I think, um, you know, for all the parents listening to this Gabor, then it’s better to know that this exists so we can begin to make the change now with what we have.
Absolutely, absolutely. And, you know, you know, I keep talking about Aboriginal societies, but there’s a lot of modern science behind it. I mean, we now know that the human brain develops based on the emotional interactions with the environment. I’m talking about the circuits in the brain, which neuro chemicals, chemical transmitters will be present in the brain and what quantities which circuits will connect which systems will develop and how well how much a child will be able to regulate their emotions. These are not subjects of surmise anymore, these are scientifically worked out. realities and probabilities we meet in a million books have been written on a subject and the problem is, parents are not taught them. physicians are not taught then. And teachers are not taught then least let alone courts or judges. Look at Australia, where I visited a few years ago, and I’ve had to since for lack of time, refuse invitations to return, at least up to now. Isn’t it accident that an Aboriginal child teenager has got 20 or 30 times of being jailed than a Caucasian. Why is that? Because those happen to be the people in your society, just indigenous people, indigenous people in our society, who used to know how to parent beautifully, much better than we do. But his culture has been completely destroyed and distorted and suppressed. And as a result, they engage in behaviors that are destructive and self destructive. And then we punish them for it. And so in Canada, 30% of the people in jail are First Nations origin, they make a 5% of the population. Check out in Australia, what percentage of people in jail are Aboriginal people? Probably a way beyond their actual proportions in the population, because of what we’ve done to them and continue to do them. I see we I mean, mainstream society, yeah. Instead of learning from what they could have taught us about parenting. We’ve suppressed that knowledge. And we suppress that knowledge. And then, because we can’t stand to see the reality in ourselves. So all this knowledge is not. Again, it’s not just an emotional, intuitive thing. It’s it’s also scientifically worked out if it has to be. You know, let me tell you an amazing study two years ago, you know, what they prove, scientifically proved that grandparents are good for grandkids. Imagine that. How many PhDs did it take to figure that one out? I’ve got the study. And you know what else they showed? That the closer the grandmother lives to the grandchild, the better. Wow. Imagine they could prove that scientifically. Now, which grandmother couldn’t have told you that? 2000 years ago? Of course, here we have the science. We know it now.
Yeah, I know. And it breaks my heart at the moment because my grandmother who my mother was Ava’s grandmother is in Wales, and the only connection with they can have at the moment is on zoom.
And thank God for Zoom In that sense, right?
100%? Oh, yeah. Yeah, it’s still helps for sure.
Sorry. Go ahead. I
was gonna say like, the world, if when you when you break it down like this, it feels like it has gone mad, the world’s gone mad. And we don’t see it within ourselves. Are you? Are you hopeful for the future? Or do you think that?
Well, look, let me put it this way? If I didn’t have some hope. Hope is an interesting thing. If I didn’t have a sense of some possibility, okay. Why Why are you not even talking? Like no matter how much dysfunction we see out there, surely you must have a conviction that there be people interested in this stuff, that that what you’re saying is worth saying that the people that you’re talking to are worth introducing to your audience. Why? Because you believe in human possibility. So yes, I believe in human possibility. Noam Chomsky, was once asked if he was a pessimist or an optimist, and he said, strategically, I’m an optimist. And tactically I’m a pessimist. Which means that in the long term, yes, in the short term, it’s pretty bad. But if we didn’t believe in that human possibility, and if we didn’t ourselves, have that call to speak to that possibility. I wouldn’t be doing the work that I do. I wouldn’t be doing the speaking that I do. I’m doing the writing that I do. And you wouldn’t be doing the work that you do. So yeah, I believe in human possibility.
Yeah, beautful.I am. I just got a couple of quick questions for you before we wrap it off Gabor. And one question that occurred to me then, are there any like daily practices that you have or you’ve incorporated over your life into your life over the years that you found have really helped you support the work you teach yourself? Yeah.
I’m not the world’s most disciplined person. Yeah. But there’s two things were three things actually for me. One is I’m married to an incredible woman, married 50, 51 years coming up, wow. And we could only stay married, because we’ve continued to do the work together. So doing the emotional work, and continue to do it is essential. I’ve learned the yoga practice a few years ago, that when I don’t do it, I noticed my level of tension and disconnect goes up. So I have to say that right now, knock on wood. I’ve been quite disciplined about doing it regularly. Having an ADD mind, it’s hard for me to meditate My mind goes all over the place. But with the yoga with the with the with the with the mindfulness combined with the physical practice, are we to find that helpful?
And then number three, looking after my body, I don’t do well when I don’t exercise regularly, which I do. So I swear my bicycle, I have my elliptical machine at home, my exercise bike, you know, all that. So work on emotions, in the spiritual work, and then and then work on the body level. And like you every once in a while I have participated in and sometimes led experiences with psychedelics I’ve never had, I have to tell you the kind of transformative experience that you describe.
But I’ve certainly seen many people have them. And I’ve gained some insights that way, for sure for myself. I don’t, it’s not for me or anybody else to prescribe to anybody else. What kind of work that should do. But you got to look up to mind, body and spirit. If you don’t, you’re gonna pay the price. Absolutely.
Have you? Have you ever wondered if a few politicians were to do a ayahuasca ceremony? what might happen?
Well, it’s a complicated question. Because something in you has to be guiding you to do it. So so if I could just slip ayahuasca into Donald Trump’s, or for that matter, your Australian Prime Ministers? But I’ve heard him say some pretty Ranga, Tang things about climate and so on, you know,
yeah, of course. Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.
So if I could slip up, substitute ayahuasca for the cup of coffee, it would not do them any good. They just be terrorized. Because that’s it, there has to be some guidance in them that wants to have that experience. That opening. So what I’m saying, but if they had that guidance, they would not be the politicians that they are. Yeah. So it’s kind of a moot question in that sense.
Yeah, fair enough. Yeah. You sort of have to be like…
why should Why? So why are they so desperate of power? Mostly because they feel very powerless within themselves. Like a Hitler. You know, the Fuhrer you know, everybody adulated, he was just an empty, scared little man who totally fell to pieces, when the world that he tried to create turn into shambles. And all these powerful leaders, not all of them. But many of these powerful, powerful leaders. They have a lot of fear inside them. And that’s what drives their need to be so grandiose. So when you say what would happen if they had these experiences? Well, if they’re open to those experiences, they would not be who they are. True. Yeah. But what if Donald Trump at some point, you know, you know her, you know, her, his niece just published a book. Maybe you’ve heard about that? No, I haven’t. Oh, Donald Trump’s niece is a psychologist. And she just published a book about her uncle.
And it’s about how traumatized he was as a child by the sociopathic father. Mary trump the psychologist, her father drank himself to death. So Tom touched he was, this is Trump’s brother. And Mary Trump talks about how scared and alone and frightened Donald Trump actually is. But it’s still functioning like a three year old, scared little boy. It’s a new book, it came out about a month ago.
Yeah. And I’ve been saying about him for years that he’s a traumatized person, but it’s evident. But now here’s the book by a psychologist niece, saying the same thing in great detail. So if Trump did open to that experience, he would grow a lot, he would learn a lot. He would need that is not it does not need to be Donald Trump. He does not need to be fabulously wealthy, he does not need to be the world’s most powerful person. He doesn’t need to that does not need to fear the universe that the way he does, he will not need to deny reality because he could accept this pain rather than deny it. That actually, it’s possible for him to be loved, none of which he believes right now. So he could learn those things. But he’d have to be open to the experience of learning.
Yeah. Even even for you and I who might say we’re open to those experiences, how difficult it is to practice what we already know, even if we know, just as you said, right.
I remember when I did my first day of my ayahuasca journey, I was terrified. And it was the first time I’ve fully felt myself having to fully surrender and accept before I went into that journey in my entire life, like I’d never been pushed to that place before. In that way. Yeah. And, and that that was the lesson. That’s the huge lesson that came out of it.
Right? Yes. That’s the hardest lesson. And I’m really not sure that I fully learned it yet. In fact, I can tell you, I have not fully learned it.
Yeah, it’s incredible. Incredible. One, one last question for you Gabor, before we wrap it up, and that is with everything we’ve covered today. Is there anything you’d like to leave the listeners to ponder on?
Well, the method that I teach is called compassionate inquiry. which simply means that everything that arises for you, you could deny or suppress or resent? or want to get rid of or you could be curious about it. What does this mean? What are? How did that acquire this belief? How do they develop this reaction? You could be curious about it. And you could be curious about compassionately. So that it’s not that I’m a bad person, or that there’s bad things about me is that something happened and I developed a certain kind of adaptation. And so why did I do that? And I did it. Because I did have no other way of surviving or managing my situation. So be compassionate towards yourself and towards your parents. If again, as much as they screwed up, and they did. They were doing their best. And even if they treated you horribly, they’re still doing their best. Which doesn’t mean you don’t have the right to be angry with them. But be angry with them and judging them are two totally different things. So they have this compassion to be curious about why did they do that? Why did I do it, and so on. And so compassionate curiosity is my message is my message to the world to the extent that I can deliver it. And if I may say, people can check out that program and all my other stuff at my website, which you can list for your listeners if you want to. I have a YouTube channel, you know, this is, you know, there’s no fee to subscribe to it. But apparently, you can go to my website and subscribe to my YouTube channel. So there’s dozens of my thoughts on YouTube. So you can check out all this stuff. There’s my books, which I won’t list again, but they’re available, including in Australia. So there’s lots of ways to check out my work and those that are inspired to do so I hope they will.
I have no doubt they will. And for everyone listening if they pause right now and scroll down. There’ll be show notes listed of all the people referenced all the things that Gabor speaks of as well. So it’ll all be there for everyone as a resource.
It’s like, you know, what if I made one measurement you mentioned, you mentioned talking to Jeff Rediger. Yeah. So what did Jeff find out? Jeff found out that the people who recover or people reconnect with themselves. So it’s a connection. That’s what really matters.
Totally Gabor, I just want to thank you, thank you for giving me your time and coming on on the show. And, and for everything you do, and your work honestly has been an influence in my life too. And it’s been my pleasure to just be able to hold space to you and have a conversation for an hour. And I hope the listeners, I hope I’ve done it justice, and I hope the listeners gain something from it too. And
pleasure to speak with you. Yeah,
thank you. I appreciate it. Outstanding, guys. I hope you enjoyed that conversation as much as I did with myself on Gabor today, and be sure to share these with a buddy or a friend. Let them know that these conversations exist. As we said, as I said, this, this work is for anyone to continue to discover themselves and not just recover from themselves. Yeah, anyway, much love for me. I have an amazing week and I will see you soon.