Multi-generational Transmission Process

Dr. Murray Bowen’s research on the science of family interactions observed that humans have a non-genetic heritability as well as a genetic heritability in regards to their personhood; mentally, emotionally, and relationally. This is to say that over a human’s lifespan there is a process of evolution and adaptation transpiring, as opposed to merely a predestined and limitedly determined existence (stasis). Dr. Bowen’s research established conceptually a parallel theory to biology’s concepts of heritability (genetics) and epigenetics in his description of the multigenerational transmission process. This process encapsulates many of the core tenants of Bowen’s research and clinical observations. The multigenerational transmission process describes the reality that as humans in family systems we are reflexively (automatically and unconsciously) feeling, emulating, and responding with each other. There is an inherited nature to our personhood and ways of being that is passed down through the generations in our families. Bowen highlighted that the multigenerational transmission process involves first, the emotional system, which is felt and experienced, and then the relationship system wherein it is expressed.

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Collective Intelligence and Differentiation of Self

Why do humans dominate the planet?  Not, as often assumed, because of individual intelligence according to science writer, Matt Ridley.  Not because we have big brains.  Having smarter, cleverer people is not what makes societies work better.  He proposes that

“Human achievement is entirely a networking phenomenon.  It is by putting brains together through the division of labor — through trade and specialization — that human society stumbled upon a way to raise the living standards, carrying capacity, technological virtuosity and knowledge base of the species. …Human achievement is based on collective intelligence–the nodes in the human neural network are people themselves.  By each doing one thing and getting good at it, then sharing and combining the results through exchange, people become capable of doing things they do not even understand.” 

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