This post is excerpted from Lightning Path Workbook Two: Healing.
Because Toxic Socialization!
If you have just started reading this workbook, or if you have stepped onto the Lightning Path looking for authentic spirituality, a first question that must arise when you pick up this book is, what does healing have to do with authentic spirituality, human development, and connection? The answer is, everything. As you learned in LP Workbook One, your physical body is a vessel for your higher consciousness. The simple truth is, for the vessel to be able to hold/handle your higher consciousness, it has to be healthy and whole—and by that we mean there should be no “holes” in the glass. If there are holes in the glass, if there is damage to the physical body (the physical unit as we like to call the combination of body/mind) it doesn’t matter how fast you pour Consciousness into the glass, the water simply pours out. If you got holes in the physical vessel, you got to fix the holes. It is as simple as that.
As a technical/physical process of “fixing the holes” and healing the vessel, healing is important. However, it is not just a spiritual question of getting “water” into the glass. It is also a question of personal happiness, well-being, psychological and emotional, physical health, and personal and familial satisfaction. As outlined in the paper Toxic Socialization,we all experience a toxic socialization process and this process does incredible damage to us. This damage, if not addressed, will prevent your ability to connect to your higher consciousness.
What is toxic socialization exactly? To understand that you have to understand what socialization is. For your information, socialization is the process whereby we are trained to fit into human society. Socialization is the process of learning how to fit into one’s family and culture. Socialization starts at birth when we are involuntarily assigned a binary gender category, and it continues through childhood, adolescence, and adulthood where we learn not only how to act and how to dress, but how to think and feel “properly.”
You would think that the socialization process we undergo would be designed to make us healthy, whole, well adapted, and happy, but it is not. For reasons too complex to get into here, our modern socialization process is a Toxic Socialization process. This toxic socialization process is characterized by (to one extent or another) a) violence, b) neglect, c) chaos, d) destruction of attachment, and e) ideological indoctrination and deception. Let us look briefly at each of these in turn.
As noted, toxic socialization is characterized by violence and abuse. Violence, in particular, is very damaging to the physical unit. If you read the article Toxic Socialization you’ll see the evidence is quite clear on this. Violence of any sort, and this includes the emotional damage of screaming, yelling, name-calling, etc., as well as the psychological violence of exclusion, condescension, manipulation, control, etc.,
- damages our physical unit and
- makes it harder to contain consciousness because of the holes it creates in the physical unit.
As for damage to the physical unit, a quick summary will have to suffice.  Violence reduces our ability to process and learn which leads to issues in our intellectual abilities e.g. school/work performance. Violence also causes cognitive deficits, depression, delinquency, drug and alcohol dependence, anxiety disorders, eating disorders, personality disorders, and so on. It is like getting punched in the arm over, and over, and over again. You might be able to recover from the first punch or two, but repeated assaults will bring permanent neuromuscular damage. The only difference is that in the case of emotional and psychological violence, the damage is emotional and psychological. The damage is to your emotional responses, like your ability to trust and connect with others, and your psychological structures and intellectual processing. Psychological and emotional violence undermines your ability to trust and damages your ego and self-esteem making you, in the long run, unhappy and depressed.
As for making it harder to connect and contain consciousness, violence causes all sorts of complex psychological and emotional difficulties for the connection process, none of which we can go into detail about here. Let us just say, it is extremely hard for somebody who has had their cognitive operations altered by violence and neglect, who is depressed, who struggles with a personality disorder, who is dealing with post-traumatic stress disorders (PTSD), or has some other maladaptive personality “disorder,” to connect and “handle” higher levels of Consciousness. Why? Simply because the psychological and emotional damage caused by the violence of toxic socialization distorts the “beam of Consciousness” that flows into the body, and makes it much harder to get a positive and uplifting flow.
Think of it like this. Think of your body like a prism, the kind that breaks white light into its component colours. Think of your Consciousness as a white beam of light flowing into the prism and then out into the “real” world beyond. In a healthy situation, the beam enters the body/prism and is then refracted out into the seven beautiful colours (the ROY-G-BIV) of the visible spectrum. However, when the physical unit is damaged, when the prism is cracked by violence, neglect, and other aspects of toxic socialization, the light does not refract out in pure form. When the prism is damaged, cracked, or broken, the light that flows out is distorted, bent, and incomplete. To put it bluntly, violence cracks the prism (your physical unit) and diseases and distorts the light (the Consciousness) that flows through the body. When the damage is severe, the refracted light can be very distorted, ugly, and even sociopathic.
Obviously, if violence is as bad as we say it is, you want to reduce it in your life to near zero levels. We will talk more about violence in this Workbook in the next section on Environment. You can prepare for that section now, by assessing the violence of your own childhood, home, and work environments by using the LP “How Toxic is my world?” survey instrument, at the link provided below.
Violence is not the only thing that damages your body and undermines your ability to connect. Neglect of our human needs also causes damage and undermines the development of your full human potential. It is very easy to understand why neglect is bad. It is like growing a pretty flower in a pretty pot, but not giving it enough food and water so that it can grow and thrive. If you don’t feed and water the plant, it will grow up to be smaller. If you starve the plant, it will grow up stunted, or die. If you want to grow a healthy and strong plant, you give it just the right amount food and water, give it just enough support and love, so it can grow up fast and strong.
It is the same with humans, only obviously, humans are more complex, and have many more needs, than a plant. The Lightning Path lists the following as essential human needs.
LP List of Seven Essential Needs
- Physiological needs (food, water, sex).
- Safety needs (safe home, safe spaces to develop). Note, safety includes the absence of assault of any kind, including physical assault (e.g., spanking), and emotional and psychological assault.
- Love needs (unconditional support, acceptance, inclusion).
- Need for truth/understanding.
- Need for esteem/Power (need to feel good about one’s self).
- Need for alignment with Highest Self (in psychology, self-actualization).
- Need for connection with Highest Self (in Transpersonal Psychology, transcendence; in Christianity, Islamic, salvation; in Buddhism, enlightenment; yoga etc.).
To be clear, if a human child is going to grow into a healthy, strong, independent, free thinking, spiritually awakened and connected human adult, all the above needs must be simultaneously met, especially during early childhood, and especially in the so-called sensitive or critical periods of infancy, childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. It simply doesn’t matter what the “genetics” of the child is. If you do not meet all the needs, the child will not mature fully. It is just like when you’re growing a flower in a pot; if you do not meet all the needs for water, nutrients, and sunlight, the flower will be stunted. It is only when all the human needs are met that full and healthy development, and strong and clean connection, can occur.
Instability and Chaos
Both violence and neglect undermine the health, development, and well-being of the physical unit and make healthy and pure connection difficult. Unfortunately, violence and neglect are not the only things that impact the physical unit, however. Familial instability, crowding, and associated environmental chaos also have negative impacts.
Chaotic environments are characterized by crowding, noise, lack of routine, and instability. Chaos and crowding is associated with “poorer developmental outcomes for all children, regardless of socioeconomic status.” This includes reduced academic performance,  lethargy, delayed intellectual and psychomotor development,  and so on. Chaos and crowding can also impact and undermine child-parent attachment (see below) and lead to behavioural problems in school, aggression and conduct disorders. Chaos and instability in our environments is a particular problem when the chaos is intense and chronic (i.e., long term).
Why is chaos and instability associated with reduced developmental outcomes? Researchers are still working on that question, but it likely comes down to inability to engage in focussed exploratory play, and the toxic impact of stress on brain neurology. Children in chaotic environments are embedded in a sea of stimulation and distraction which makes it hard for them to stay focus and feel safe. Energy and attention which should normally be given over to focussed and safe exploration and play becomes diverted to paying attention to everything that’s happening in the environment. This “dispersion of consciousness” will be exacerbated when the chaos is combined with violence and neglect.
Destruction of Attachments
Violence, neglect, and chaos/instability all undermine development and harm the physical unit, but toxic socialization does more than that. Toxic Socialization undermines child attachment. Attachment is the emotional bond between a child and a parent, primary teacher, or other caregiving agent (Agents of Care). Attachment is what causes a child to smile when they see a caregiver enter the room. “Attachment can be understood as… the enduring emotional closeness which binds families to prepare children for independence and parenthood…. Attachment allows children the ‘secure base’ necessary to explore, learn and relate, and the wellbeing, motivation, and opportunity to do so. It is important for safety, stress regulation, adaptability, and resilience.”
Weak, disordered, or absent child attachment have a profound impact on the health, well-being, and ability of the physical unit to connect. “Disturbed childhood attachment relates to adult physical and psychological ill-health, including major causes of mortality. It is a key factor in intergenerational parenting difficulties, and predisposes children to substance abuse, temper problems, homelessness, promiscuity, early pregnancy, and criminality.”
How does one develop healthy childhood attachments? Attachments are developed through care, attention, physical proximity, and appropriate physical contact (hugs, parental snuggling. To develop attachments, you have to be with your children and take care of their needs. Developing healthy attachments is difficult and time consuming. It requires more than just a few minutes every day. The responsibility for developing healthy attachments falls exclusively on a child’s primary caregivers, i.e., the parents (i.e., mothers and fathers), and to a lesser extent extended family and primary school teachers. We may call the child’s attachment to its parents is Primary Attachments and its attachment to teachers, coaches, cousins, and so on, its Secondary Attachments. It should be noted that weak and broken primary attachments are not fully compensated even by strong secondary attachments.
Why is childhood attachment so important? It is because attachment is necessary for survival and the satisfaction of human needs (recall the seven essential needs). Infants, children, adolescents, and even younger adults cannot meet their own needs. Human’s are completely dependent on adult caregivers for years, and partially dependent on them for decades. Because of this dependence, adult members of the species must meet the child’s need for food, water, safety, love, belonging, truth, understanding, esteem/power, and even, through truthful non-ideological education, alignment and connection. That kind of investment requires a titanium attachment and so, evolutionary speaking, neurological mechanisms that facilitate and encourage primary attachment to parental units, secondary attachments to teachers and others Agents of Care, and even Tertiary Attachments to employers and other members of the individual’s community, were designed into the physical unit.
Speaking of tertiary attachments, it is important to repeatedly note that full satisfaction of our seven essential needs requires more than just primary and secondary attachments. As noted earlier, meeting the full gamut of human needs requires a massive input of time and energy far greater than any single person or intimate duo (or trio, or whatever) could ever possibly achieve. It takes a family, community, and planet to properly raise a species. Primary, secondary, and tertiary attachments are thus required for full satisfaction and full development of individual and collective human potential.
What causes damaged attachments? Lots of different things. Primary and secondary attachments are destroyed by chaotic and disordered environments, absent parents, poorly managed break-ups, violence and assault against children (if you hit, call names, shame, or otherwise assault your kids, you undermine trust and attachment), mentally ill parents, poverty (parents having to work all the time, thereby being absent from the child’s life), physically ill parents, and simple lack of understanding and commitment to the child. Tertiary attachments to community and even the planet are destroyed by competition, war, and even ideologies of “good versus evil” that set groups (like Christians, Capitalists, etc.) against other groups (like Muslims, Communists, etc.).
Speaking of ideology, another element of toxic socialization that causes severe damage to the physical unit is ideology and indoctrination. On the LP we spend a lot of time exploring ideology, indoctrination, and the debilitating impact this has on the health of the physical unit and its ability to connect. We discuss the issue in some detail in this workbook in the unit “I” is for Indoctrination, and we also discuss it in-depth in the context of the archetypal work we do in LP Workbook Four: Archetypal Study, so here we will a) encourage you to read Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Money and The Economy (RSGME) and b) say only this:
On this planet, in order to preserve The System identified and explored in RSGME, we are told a lot of lies. From the day we are born to the day we die we are filled with the black tars of ideological manipulation and profound and systemic deception. The truth is, to preserve an ancient system of power and privilege, we are filled with epic levels of intellectual, moral, and spiritual crap. This systemic deception is not benign by any stretch of the imagination—the systematic deception causes serious damage. It causes damage to us directly because it teaches us Toxic Socialization and encourages us towards violence and neglect. It causes damage indirectly because it leads us to engage in actions and seek out experiences that undermine our development and cause us serious damage.
For example, we are told, for example, that violence (spanking, name calling) is good for us because it encourages discipline and builds character. But it does not. As we have seen, violence and neglect do profound damage, and not only to children and adolescents, but to adults too. There is no time in the course of your life where violence and neglect of your needs is good for you. If we believe the lies, we damage our selves and our children.
Or, consider the ideological encouragement to push our children and adolescents away from us because of their “need” for independence. Infants, children, adolescents, and even adults do not need independence, they need healthy and strong primary, secondary, and tertiary attachments. On healthy planets, independence can be encouraged early, but on this planet, filled as it is with violence, abuse, and sexual and economic predators, pushing adolescents and children to premature independence exposes them to levels of violence and toxicity they simply cannot handle. This exposure stunts them psychologically emotionally, and spiritually, and damages them further.
A question must arise in the reader’s mind at this point and that is why is there toxic socialization and why is there an ideological and indoctrination process that teaches and encourages it. The reason for indoctrination is simple: lying to us helps the uber-rich preserve their predatorial system. The reason for toxic socialization is also simple. Damaged human beings are easier to manipulate and control.
Accept and Realize the Damage
So, having arrived at this point of our introduction the question is, what are you going to do now? At this point, there are two things you can do. You can either dismiss what we have said so far and go back to your normal existence or you can accept what we have said and resolve that it is time to move forward and do something about it. If you do decide to go back to your normal life, we bid you fond adieux. If you do decide to move forward, there will be some immediate challenges you will need to address.
Challenge number one will be a challenge to acknowledge and accept how bad the toxicity and the damage really is. There’s no sense in sugar coating this. Unless you have a powerful, pure, and permanent connection to your Highest Self (HS), something which very few people have, you are damaged by the toxic socialization process we all endure, and you’ve got healing to do as a result. It is going to be hard to admit this. Few reading these words for the first time are going to want to admit they are psychically and emotionally ill, and completely disconnected from their Highest Self. Unfortunately, you are going to have to admit this. The truth is, we’ve all been damaged by toxic socialization to one extent or another, and we all have to admit that damage before we can even begin to move forward towards healing and connection.
If you do finally admit that there is damage to heal and connection work to be done, challenge number two will be dealing with the social resistance and push back that you will receive when you announce your intent to move forward. We suspect that until the mid to late 2020s, most people around you will be stuck in the delusions of normality, few people in your family or friend groups will support your recognition and admission, and many will try to push you back into silent acceptance of “normal” realities. They’ll say “it’s just you” or “don’t be such a baby” or “you are being too sensitive.” They may even, if they feel guilt and shame over the way they have treated you in the past, gaslight you into silence. Social and familial pressure will make it hard for you to come out and say “this is bad and I’ve been hurt as a result.” If this happens to you, don’t waste time and energy beating your head against their brick walls. Find some alternative friends and look for necessary support outside the family. There’s no sense in pushing against people who are a) not ready to move forward and b) likely to push against you to keep you down and suppressed.
The challenges of seeing and admitting to the true nature of toxic reality that surrounds you is captured in the Allegory of the Room. https://www.michaelsharp.org/allegory-of-the-blindfold/
If you manage to get past the challenge of accepting, and the challenge of standing up against social/familial push back, challenge number three is the challenge of doing the work to heal and connect. We won’t lie to you. The work of healing and connecting, we’ll just call it The Work from here on out, is difficult, challenging, and complicated. Fortunately, it is exactly at this point that the Lightning Path steps in. The LP offers guidance and instruction on both healing and connection.
As regards healing, the LP offers the LP HEALING Framework. The HEALING Framework, which we will discuss in the rest of this book, offers you a roadmap to help you understand and navigate your healing journey.
As regards connection, LP Workbook Three offers you the LP Connection Framework. The LP which can help you organize your thinking and your connection practice. We won’t talk more about connection in this workbook. After you have worked through this book, and when you are ready to explore connection, move on to LP Workbook Three: Connection.
With that said, at this point, the questions before us are, “What is the LP Healing Framework?” and “How can it help?” The answer to both questions is simple. The LP HEALING Framework is a set of seven “things” that you must pay attention to, consider, and work through in order to move forward with your healing process. The seven things you must pay attention to, consider, and work through are outlined by the acronym HEALING.
H = Help
E = Environment
A = Addictions
L = Lies
I = Ideologies
N = Needs
G = Growth
Each step in the LP HEALING framework is a guide to those issues that most of us have to work through on our healing journey. Each of these steps are interdependent, and are necessary, and will require action if you truly wish to heal. Most important to keep in mind, each step will mean something different, and will dive “deeper” into the core of things, depending on where you are at in your own healing process. As you read through each of the steps in the units that follow, consider where you are in the process. Are you at the beginning? Are you working near the middle? Or are you somewhere towards the end of the work. Keep your position in mind and expect to read each unit more than twice. It is up to you to get started with your process whenever you are ready by reading through the sections and applying what you read to your healing journey as appropriate. Before we get to that though, there are a few things about the LP HEALING Framework that you need to know, and that we need to say.
Number one, you need to know that the LP HEALING Framework is a framework, a roadmap, but not a therapy. The LP doesn’t tell you what strategies or healing modalities you should use to heal and connect (though it may recommend stuff at times). Instead, the LP HEALING Framework gives you advice on the things that you (and your therapist/healer) need to pay attention to as you travel along The Way.
Number two, you need to know that the LP HEALING Framework is not a linear roadmap. It can be if that if that is appropriate for you, but it can also be a “pick and choose” sort of affair. If you are new to all this, you might want to start with the “H” and the “E” by getting help and detoxifying your environments. On the other hand, if you have had some treatment, therapy or other kinds of support in the past, you might start where you feel makes the most sense, for e.g., addressing the abuse in your intimate partner relationship, or getting your addiction(s) under control. To decide where to start, read through the book at least once, and then follow your gut, intuitive feelings, or get guidance from a trusted healing professional.
If you feel you need guidance on where to start, the LP offers a Healing MAP (Mindful Action Plan). A Healing MAP is a questionnaire you fill out and a guided follow up session that gives you advice on what aspects of your life you need to focus/work on first, second, third, and so on. To purchase a Healing MAP, visit this link.
Number three, moving forward, you need to understand, the LP requires discipline and focus. In LP Workbook One, we spoke about the importance of “staying the course,” meaning if you want to successfully move forward and connect, you must stay committed to The Work even when you are tired, doubtful, and unsure. It is going to be a challenge. We said it in Book One, we’ll say it again here, and no doubt you’ll hear it again from us: healing and connection involve a lot more than a trip or two to the therapist, a singing bowl, and a glass of wine with some friends. Healing and re-connection are a lot of work. To get through it all, discipline is the key. To be sure, you do not have to saturate your life with “healing, healing, healing,” but you must do a little bit every day. The LP HEALING Framework is helpful in this regard because it helps you stay focused and disciplined on the tasks at hand. Work a little bit on some things in the framework every day in whatever stage of development you are in, and you’ll make consistent progress forward.
Number four, you need to understand, you need to be accountable and you need to take responsibility. We cannot overemphasize how important responsibility and accountability are if you want to truly heal and connect. If you are sincere about healing, whether you are a clinician, or client, or both, healing will require you to be accountable and responsible for all the toxic things you’ve done in the past. This means no complacency, no projection of your issues onto others, no scapegoating of others for things you are responsible for, and no excuses whatsoever.
At this point, this notion that you should be accountable and responsible shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. If it helps you to put it all together, you can use the SAAR acronym to move forward.
See the toxicity that surrounds you.
Accept that it’s unhealthy and disconnecting.
Be Accountable for your part in the toxicity.
Take Responsibility for the things that are yours, and change what needs to be changed about yourself and your life. Be responsible for implementing healthy boundaries at all times.
Facing the ugly truths of ourselves, our world, our part in the problem, and our past actions, and being accountable and responsible, are necessary steps forward in the process of healing. It is the only way forward out of the morass of disconnection and toxicity that surrounds you, and within which you are embedded. It is the only way to pursue authentic healing.
If seeing, accepting, being accountable, and taking responsibility sounds like a big challenge, it is. But it is necessary. Don’t worry too much if you don’t understand the importance of it now, or if you feel a little overwhelmed at the thought of it. The reasons why accountability and responsibility are so important will become clear as you move forward through the materials. As you progress through the materials, it will be easier to acknowledge and accept. For now, put it in your mind and get to work on it. Take it easy and move slowly through the process. We will talk a lot more about it as we go through the LP materials. We shall talk about accountability and responsibility in the section on environment in this workbook, and we will talk even more in LP Workbook Three: Connection where we elaborate in the context of accountability, atonement, and alignment.
To be sure, seeing and accepting the truth, being accountable and taking responsibility, are big challenges. One of the things that will help you navigate this challenge is simple self-acceptance. Moving forward, simply accept who you are and what you have been through without judgment or shame.
Listen carefully now, because this is of critical importance. There is no shame in being damaged by toxic socialization. There is no shame in being hurt, angry, or sad. There is no shame in being angry and hateful. There is no shame in struggling with addictions. There is no shame in making mistakes. There is no shame in repeatedly falling down. There is no shame in harming others while you are comatose and damaged “at the wheel.” Understand, it is not a question of shame or guilt. It is a question of seeing the toxicity and damage so you can heal and reconnect. There’s no fuss “at the gate” and certainly no test that you must pass. All you must do is see the truth, accept that things are not perfect, be accountable for your part in the toxicity, take responsibility for the things that are yours, and commit to ending the toxicity, healing your physical unit, and reconnecting with your Highest Self.
This is the “narrow gate” through which you “enter into the Kingdom;” this is the way to the attainment of Nirvana, or whatever you want to call successful reconnection. That’s all there is to it. It all starts with simple self-acceptance.
As a final note, we’d like to reiterate, healing and connecting require time, effort, and copious personal reflection. You can’t just pick up a singing bowl or pray in a pew on Sunday and think you have done your healing and connection work. You must spend time thinking and processing in a mindful and consistent manner so that you can understand, process, transform, and dismiss. I, Michael S., do this reflection when I write. I do some grounding techniques, get myself comfortable, breathe, connect, and write. Some of you might do it by painting, writing songs and poems, or making videos and films. Pick whatever method you have an affinity for and use that to help you with your work.
Finally, if you are not the literary or music type, or even if you are, a personal journal, what we might want to call your Healing and Connection Journal (HC journal), one not attached to digital screen, will certainly help you process and reflect. Chronicling your thoughts and feelings in a personal HC journal will not only help you record, analyze, process, and take necessary action, it will also make it easier for you to get help when and if you need it because you will have a record of your mental/emotional processes that you can share with your therapist/healer.
Moment of Reflection: throughout this and subsequent LP workbooks you will find these “moments of reflection.” These moments are designed to get you to pause and think about important concepts and how they apply to your life. Right down the insights you receive during these moments in your HC Journal. You can post your moment of reflection on the LP HC Journal forums if you wish to share. If you wish, you can keep your posts private and “student only.”
And that’s all we have to say in this unit. To recap what we have learned so far on this LP, in LP Workbook One we learned that the body is a vessel for Consciousness and that proper human development involves filling the body with higher Consciousness. Also, in Workbook one, we learned that filling the vessel requires us to “make a connection.” We have learned that we make a connection via visualization and intent. When we make a connection, Consciousness begins to flow into the body.
In this workbook, we begin our reconnection process by beginning to heal damage to the physical unit. Here we learn that the body is damaged by a toxic socialization process and that this damage makes it hard for the body to contain higher Consciousness. To put it simply, neglect, violence, and toxic traditions create holes in the glass through which the water of higher Consciousness either flows out, or becomes twisted and corrupted, like a beam of light through a cracked and shattered prism. We have learned that toxic traditions create major obstacles that prevent us seeing and recognizing the problems and we have learned that when we finally do see and recognize the problem, there is still lots of work we (and by “we” we mean you the individual and society at large) have to do to heal the damage and reconnect. Finally, we have learned that the LP Healing Framework and the LP Connection Framework help with the healing and reconnection work.
At this moment we are done our introductory work and it is now time to begin the healing and reconnection process. We will start, in the next unit, with the first point in the LP HEALING Framework, getting help. Before we get to that, however, here are some study questions that you can look over to help you process and integrate what you have learned so far.
 Mike Sosteric, “Toxic Socialization,” Socjourn (2016). See https://www.academia.edu/25275338/Toxic_Socialization
 Sosteric, “Toxic Socialization.” See https://www.academia.edu/25275338/Toxic_Socialization
 For a relatively complete list, see Sosteric, “Toxic Socialization.” See https://www.academia.edu/25275338/Toxic_Socialization
 If at this point you are thinking that achieving this, i.e., meeting the full gamut of human needs, requires a massive input of time and energy far greater than any single person or intimate duo (or trio, or whatever) could every possibly achieve, you are correct. Thus the wisdom in the old-timey saying “It takes a village to raise a child…” is correctly, but only partially. In fact, it takes a family, community, village, and indeed the entire planet to properly raise a child.
If at this point you are also thinking that Earth civilizations are a long way away from full satisfaction of human needs, you are correct. Obviously, as a species, when it comes to meeting the needs of our global citizenry, we still got a lot of work left to do. Note however that it is not that we cannot do it. At this time we have the technical, political, social, and even economic capability to meet the full needs of all human beings on Earth. We have enough food to feed everybody, we have the technology to house and protect the entire planet, and we have the economic, political, and distributive prowess to make sure it all gets distributed fairly, and have had the capacity to do so for decades. Now, we are also approaching an “automation revolution” which will make it even easier. The problem is not the evolutionary development of the human species, the problem is that The System currently in place is designed not to meet human needs, but to enrich a “chosen” few. We can do it, we’re just going to have to replace The System.
You can find out more about our current economic systems and why they are incompatible with the satisfaction of our human needs, and even how to replace them, by reading Rocket Scientists’ Guide to Money and the Economy. .
 Anne Martin, Rachel Razza and Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, “Specifying the Links between Household Chaos and Preschool Children’s Development,” Early child development and care 182.10 (2012).
 Martin, Razza and Brooks-Gunn, “Specifying the Links between Household Chaos and Preschool Children’s Development.”
 Kim T. Ferguson, Rochelle C. Cassells, Jack W. MacAllister and Gary W. Evans, “The Physical Environment and Child Development: An International Review,” International Journal of Psychology 48.4 (2013).
 Gary W. Evans, Lorraine E. Maxwell and Betty Hart, “Parental Language and Verbal Responsiveness to Children in Crowded Homes,” Developmental Psychology.4 (1999).
 Sara R. Jaffee, Ken B. Hanscombe, Claire M. A. Haworth, Oliver S. P. Davis and Robert Plomin, “Chaotic Homes and Children’s Disruptive Behavior: A Longitudinal Cross-Lagged Twin Study,” Psychological science 23.6 (2012).
 Gary W. Evans, “Child Development and the Physical Environment,” Annual Review of Psychology (2006).
 Rebekah Levine Coley, Alicia Doyle Lynch and Melissa Kull, “Early Exposure to Environmental Chaos and Children’s Physical and Mental Health,” Early Childhood Research Quarterly 32 (2015).
 Corinne Rees, “Childhood Attachment,” The British journal of general practice: the journal of the Royal College of General Practitioners 57.544 (2007).
 V. J. Felitti, “[the Relationship of Adverse Childhood Experiences to Adult Health: Turning Gold into Lead],” Z Psychosom Med Psychother 48.4 (2002).
 Rees, “Childhood Attachment.”
 Early researchers working on attachment, i.e., Bowlby, suggested that infants are “predisposed” to attach to a single primary person only. This absurdly sexist view leaves fathers disconnected and unattached, and, when the father is present, damages the child. A father that fails to attach to their child contributes to the mental and emotional burden of a child growing up. Children need to have strong attachments to both parents. A child who is attached to only one parent always worries and wonders what is wrong with it that the other parent will not attach. Lopsided family attachments thus lead to self-esteem and self-love issues.
 Gina and I recently watched a mediocre documentary on Lindsey Lohan, Hollywood child star. The film documents the toxic socialization Lindsey experienced as a consequence of being exposed, through her fame, to toxic environments filled with predators and adult sickness. The experience literally destroyed her; it will likely take her a decade or more to recover. What struck me most about the film was a comment by an individual who said there is a saying in Hollywood that goes “You are forever the emotional age that you were on the day that you become famous.” This is almost certainly true. Exposure to the toxicity of adult Hollywood no doubts stunts emotional, psychological, and spiritual development. However, as should be clear to you by now, it is worse than that. It is not only that exposure to toxicity stunts development; exposure does ongoing damage.
 A note to the successful, rich, and famous. Understand, even you are going to admit you are sick and disconnected. Be aware, worldly success, riches, and fame have absolutely nothing to do with mental/emotional health and healthy and pure spiritual connection. You cannot point to your “successes” and say “I’m a good person,” or “I’m a healthy person,” or “I’m a connected person.” As “successful” people like Donald Trump, the diva actors in Hollywood, and the toxic and predatorial CEOs of this world amply attest, you can be a disconnected psychopath and still have worldly success. In fact, as Jon Ronson argues, psychopathy may even be a requirement of worldly success, as currently defined. As many A-list Hollywood actors, top-flight CEOs, and filthy rich people the world over will surely attest, you got to step on a lot of toes while you’re clawing your way to the top. The uncomfortable truth for you is, only sick and disconnected people are prepared to “do what it takes” in their scramble up to the top.
For the argument of Ronson, see Jon Ronson, The Psychopath Test: A Journey through the Madness Industry (United States: Picador, 2011).
 The phrase “The Way” or “The Path” is simply a shorthand reference to any authentic system of human development/human spirituality that leads to authentic healing and connection.
 Note, if you are a therapist, no shame and no judgment applies to you and your practice as well. Do not shame and judge a person damaged by toxic socialization. Instead, accept that it has been a struggle for them and help them on their healing journey. If you’re a therapist that judges and shames those who come for your help, stop. If you can’t stop, find another profession.
Also note, acceptance and no-judgment should not be used as an excuse to enable. You do not judge/shame a person who has self-medicated themselves into addiction, but neither do you enable toxicity or accept the addiction as is. You help them clean up their environment. You help them heal. You help them free themselves of addiction.