Dr. Dean Ornish answered:
James H. Billings, Ph.D., M.P.H., says, "I'm fifty-four years old. And my genes are -- let's just say for easy math -- one million years old. If I think about it, all I needed was one relative to get eaten before they procreated somewhere along the forty millionth combination and permutation of those genes, and I wouldn't have been born. So, everything had to go right, for a long time, for me to be here.
For centuries, one of the things that a child had to learn to do to survive was to understand the expectations, the norm, of the clan or the tribe and, with relatively little conflict, to obey them. Because if they did the wrong thing at the wrong time, if they made a noise at the wrong time, if they decided to act out at the wrong time, it's not just that the child might die, but also the larger group might not survive, either. So part of what children were born with was a capacity to inhibit themselves in order to meet the expectations of the normative group or the clan that they belonged to.
The picture is then complicated by the advent of participatory democracies, which is only about four thousand year s ago. At that point, the relative role and the nature of man began to get redefined, so that the individual became more and more important. This movement was relatively small in the beginning and gained momentum in the early 1600s. It was the beginning of a change in the definition of a person as a member of a tribe or group to a unique individual with specific social responsibilities, including an individual relationship with God. This is part of what the Reformation was about: the belief that an individual no longer needed the intercession of the church to have a relationship with God.Western psychology, which is a little more than one hundred years old, really redefined man by developing a new paradigm of what is normal and what is abnormal. The focus shifted almost completely to the individual. The very idea that someone was dependent on another person was diagnostic of any number of pathologies. These people were usually the ones who were often depressed, who were feeling isolated, abandoned, and they were having a hard time getting someone to respond to their condition."Find out more about this book: Love and Survival: 8 Pathways to Intimacy and HealthJames H. Billings, Ph.D., M.P.H., says, "I'm fifty-four years old. And my genes are -- let's just say for easy math -- one million years old. If I think about it, all I needed was one relative to get eaten before they procreated somewhere along the... More