Casey, Mary E. & Shannon Murphy Robinson, Neuroscience of Inclusion: New Skills for New Times

Reviewed by Dr. George Simons at

You will best profit from this book if you read with careful attention to your own experiences and to what goes on in your mind and your feelings as you move from page to page. The objective here is to recognize how you function and take better charge of improving your ability to see how your use of the history and culture stored in your unconscious can be either an essential asset or a terminal liability.

Research into how we function neurologically and as a result, mentally, emotionally and behaviorally is a critical area that is and will be determining the nature of our human future both individually and socially. It is beyond question now that our relationships with each other are critical to either constructing or destroying the human and ecological environments in which we live and move.

Homo sapiens’ survival reflexes were not programmed for the present age, so we must take responsibility for rebuilding ourselves and our social context in this global world where plurality, industry and technology can bless or curse us, nourish us or poison us, serve us or control us. Today, abetted by communications technology previously unimagined, greed for power and political propaganda can seduce our own unconscious functions to encourage us to dismiss and destroy one another. However, these pages show how we are capable of turning us versus them into we. We can transform primordial fear into a habit of curiosity and a passion for discovery. It is up to us to decide who will control our stories and our story and thus control our world. This book offers both the why and a good dose of know-how enabling us do this on a day to day basis. Are we willing?

Sure, we automatically like those who are like us and even those who just look like us. On the other hand, when the unfamiliar pops up in our perception, it gets a nuisance if not a threat rating from our brain, automatically prompting flight or fight. We can either reinforce the automatic stories we have been and are being fed that blind us to empathy and solidarity, or we can mindfully put them into perspectives that allow us to safely undertake to know each other and enrich each other. This is what the Neuroscience of Inclusion is teaching us to do.

After a long siege of positivism, neuroscience, despite being its offspring, is even making us aware that a number of our “unscientific” spiritual disciplines, some of them age-old, intuited our natural integrity and empowered us to swim upstream against the currents of personal fears and social pressures. They built what the authors of this book call a “larger circle of we”, despite the cost inflicted by seemingly inescapable entrapment in narrow meta-narratives whose tapestry was spun so well that they posed as reality in so many areas of life. Now, the route to such enlightenment is openly mapped and made widely available in pages such as these. Spirit and matter are no longer at war but have discovered their inseparable identity in ourselves.

Brain science and artificial intelligence pose enormous opportunity as well as threaten total enslavement. Such works as this offer us the former in such a way that avoiding the latter becomes possible. We are called to manage our individual narrative and construct humane common narratives. There is no other viable future for our humankind.

Outskirts Press (2017), ISBN-10: 1432787225, ISBN-13: 978-1432787226

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