Allostasis and Allostatic Load under the section on well being and the information found at https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/degrees-of-well-being/ integrally apply to the topic of these current pages on Our Human Continuum, as does this section on genetics https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/genetic-considerations/
Not a single one of us can escape the fact that we are members of a predatory species. Predators. That’s what we are. I personally discovered what the predatory state felt like one spring when I was about 9 years old.
Victim that I had always been, the predator within me found her ancient memory of the chase and of the hope for the kill, though I certainly was not conscious of the latter. I accidentally startled a wild rabbit near a soft dark damp earth pathway that followed the uneven banks of an Alaskan creek named Meadow Creek. The split second that the rabbit startled and began to run along the path, I chased it.
I felt I could run like the wind when I was a child, but this time my running had intent and purpose. Some ancient part of me was in catch and kill mode, and I ran so fast the rabbit began to scream.
Rabbits had always been my favorite animals. I had them for pets and I loved them. But this time something was different. Psychologically I could say that I had shifted into a different state than the one I was forced to inhabit in the presence of my insanely abusive mother and I became the perpetrator instead of the prey. But this ‘switch’ was not most important as a psychological experience of altered relationships. It was important because I felt the power of the chase and it motivated me to run even faster. In fact, I felt the DRIVE behind the running.
So as we consider the human continuum we must always remember that all of life happens within the context of ourselves in relationship with our environment. We all have untapped potential to react and behave in all kinds of manners that might surprise us if our circumstances should ever instantaneously change. That meek and battered little skinny Linda could shift in this way into an empowered and competent huntress proves to me that all kinds of things are possible. Fortunately for both of us, I did not catch that rabbit.
Follow the link above to the information on allostasis and allostatic load and consider it thoughtfully. McEwen makes a point and then, to my satisfaction, proves a point that I believe is not only logically correct but is also intuitively useful. Each of us belongs primarily to one of two groups of humans. I see it that we come from ancestral heritage that is remembered in our DNA that defined then and mostly defines now how we are in relationship to the world around us.
The hunters among us, as McEwen describes, have a different nervous system and brain (the brain simply being part of the nervous system), as well as an entirely different immune response system. They are geared in all ways to things that LOOM.
The gatherers among us are geared to things that FLUTTER. Believe it or not. (I smile when I think that in today’s world we have people who like to twitter more than blog. Cute parallel here?)
Our DNA allows us to adapt to our environment from the instant of our conception. In fact, there are circumstances that indicate a hostile environment that can prevent conception from happening at all. And even if conception does occur, there are circumstances that can prevent implantation within the womb as well as those that can cause spontaneous abortions (more on this in Our Earliest Start under the section https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/brain-development/).
Until I began my own research I did not realize that DNA is useless without its stage managers and directors that tell it what to do, where, when, and ‘who’ to do it with. Our bodies have been created with the ability to adapt our DNA continually as we move through the environments of our lives. This fact becomes especially important, in my opinion, when we consider the effects of epigenetics, covered here in Epigenetics under the section https://stopthestorm.wordpress.com/genetic-considerations/.
You will be amazed at the discoveries being made in this field. Take for example that researchers are finding in rat studies that the damage caused by fungicides used on grape vineyards can cause adult onset terrible diseases, primarily in male offspring, down five or more generations.
We might all rather hide under the blanket of oblivious ignorance than face the fact that all kinds of things we are exposed to continually in our environment might be changing how we are even genetically. Early child abuse and neglect can cause all kinds of manifesting genetic changes. In fact, all stress can do that. More on this later.
For now it is important for us to realize that vast amounts of new information is available to us that can expand and change the way we understand our species in this world. Conditions in utero and infancy can cause a person who has genetic memory for being mostly a flutter person into more of a loom person. This involves things like changing the amount of vasopressin and oxytocin a body will have and process, for example. These two chemicals alone are related to all kinds of continuum activities related to social behavior, bonding, aggression and attachments.
More information on all of this later!!