Thursday, March 10, 2016.  Through the powerful explorations of the mind of a dear friend of mine I was altered to this book, have purchased it, and am most impressed with its contents:

Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) 2014 — by Darcia Narvaez (Author), Allan N. Schore Ph.D. (Foreword)

The book’s dedication:

To the indigenous peoples of the world who give us insights into our essence and what it means to be a human being.

The book’s blurb on Amazon.com:

A wide-ranging exploration of the role of childhood experiences in adult morality.

Moral development has traditionally been considered a matter of reasoning―of learning and acting in accordance with abstract rules. On this model, largely taken for granted in modern societies, acts of selfishness, aggression, and ecological mindlessness are failures of will, moral problems that can be solved by acting in accordance with a higher rationality. But both ancient philosophy and recent scientific scholarship emphasize implicit systems, such as action schemas and perceptual filters that guide behavior and shape human development. In this integrative book, Darcia Narvaez argues that morality goes “all the way down” into our neurobiological and emotional development, and that a person’s moral architecture is largely established early on in life. Moral rationality and virtue emerge “bottom up” from lived experience, so it matters what that experience is. Bringing together deep anthropological history, ethical philosophy, and contemporary neurobiological science, she demonstrates where modern industrialized societies have fallen away from the cultural practices that made us human in the first place.

Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality advances the field of developmental moral psychology in three key ways. First, it provides an evolutionary framework for early childhood experience grounded in developmental systems theory, encompassing not only genes but a wide array of environmental and epigenetic factors. Second, it proposes a neurobiological basis for the development of moral sensibilities and cognition, describing ethical functioning at multiple levels of complexity and context before turning to a theory of the emergence of wisdom. Finally, it embraces the sociocultural orientations of our ancestors and cousins in small-band hunter-gatherer societies―the norm for 99% of human history―for a re-envisioning of moral life, from the way we value and organize child raising to how we might frame a response to human-made global ecological collapse.

Integrating the latest scholarship in clinical sciences and positive psychology, Narvaez proposes a developmentally informed ecological and ethical sensibility as a way to self-author and revise the ways we think about parenting and sociality. The techniques she describes point towards an alternative vision of moral development and flourishing, one that synthesizes traditional models of executive, top-down wisdom with “primal” wisdom built by multiple systems of biological and cultural influence from the ground up.”

Search the inside of this book on Amazon.com .  Take a look at the Table of Contents.  Impressive.  Review its Index


Again I also mention this research and healing-focused blog – an EXCELLENT and most impressive resource for exploration of the consequences of exposure to toxic stress across the lifespan – and related topics.  This is a vital blog to subscribe to/follow!!


Today’s posting there — The current paradigm of child abuse limits pre-childhood causal research – reiterates a major concern of mine:

How likely is it that what is known as ELS – Early Life Stress – is NOT currently being reflected in the CDC ACEs research.  HUGE problem!


(SEE this article highlighted in “Real Self’s post):  Paradise Lost: The Neurobiological and Clinical Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect by Charles B. Nemeroff, full text by clicking on article title)

As important as the CDC ACEs research and resulting community healing work is that stems from this research, because of my personal history of severe early abuse from birth I recognize that what happens before the ACE measurements even can begin to be tracked is what affects us MOST.

My own image of the missing ELS facts in trauma research is that it’s like trying to create a universe of thinking that denies the existence of the range of negative numbers on the number line.

Neurobiology and the Development of Human Morality: Evolution, Culture, and Wisdom and

Paradise Lost: The Neurobiological and Clinical Consequences of Child Abuse and Neglect

are both examples of thinking in the REAL WORLD that recognizes that “ELS” and “ACE” are inseparable.  Even if we just expand our thinking into a model that contains a pattern  based on a fundament understanding that “Where there are high ACE scores (smoke) there are most likely also very high ELS scores (fire).”

We MUST find ways to track what happens to people conception to age 4, at a bare minimum, to get the ACE model right.  We cannot continue to use archaic thinking such as “What you can’t remember doesn’t matter.”

It DOES matter!  We now have science to prove this fact.  There is nothing in a human being’s lifespan that matters more than what our body was built to KNOW within itself — without any need for words — from the start of our life.

Conception to age one is the MOST critical developmental period, with development up to the age of five also being of extremely critical importance.  While ALL developmental stages of childhood are, of course, also important – it is that segment of human physiological formation prior to age five that I would place at the negative-number side of the line when early trauma is present.  And it is exactly THIS area that these references I am endorsing so highly today describe.  And it is THIS area that I fear the CDC ACE bandwagon is leaving behind.


Here is our first book out in ebook format.  Click here to view or purchase–

Story Without Words:  How Did Child Abuse Break My Mother?

It lists for $2.99 and can be read by Amazon Prime customers without charge.  A daring book – for daring readers – about a really tough subject.


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Tags: adult attachment disordersadult reactive attachment disorderanxiety disorders,borderline motherborderline personality disorderbrain developmentchild abuse,depression,derealizationdisorganized disoriented insecure attachment disorder,dissociation,dissociative identity disorderempathyinfant abusePosttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD),protective factorsPTSDresiliencyresiliency factorsrisk factorsshame


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