“We create the world that we perceive, not because there is no reality outside our heads, but because we select and edit the reality we see to conform to our beliefs about what sort of world we live in. …”
Gregory Bateson, Steps to an Ecology of Mind
Prosociality or the human tendency towards living a life that adds value to the society, benefiting all has always been a concept of high importance. However, today and in the midst of a global crisis on all levels acting according to the dictates of an ecological mind in alignment with the Hippocratic “do no harm” principle towards all forms of life sharing the planet is an issue that calls for immediate action. Measures of punishments from fines to death penalty seem to lead nowhere. Life sustainability and global peace depends on authentic empathy, altruism and pure love as core identity traits that start early in life.
Evidence suggests that pro sociality is central to the well-being of social groups including families, classrooms, workplaces, communities, countries, and the humanity as a whole. The debate over the last decades at least has brought up questions as to what is it that leads to prosocial behavior and what is it that leads to competition and destruction. Is it a genes issue? Is it the result of the environment-organism interaction? Does it connect with the kind of symbiosis experienced? Is it innate or cultivated later on? What is it at play behind antisocial strategies associated with self-focused, threat sensitive and aggressive tendencies that use fear-based tactics that may go as far as injuring/killing competitors? On the other hand, what is it that nourishes prosocial strategies that enable sharing, cooperative, mutually supportive and beneficial relationships?
More than 100 years of research, clinical observations and dedicated work of pioneer scholars in the field of prenatal sciences have revealed that the key to prosociality and the development of the ecological mind lies in the pre/ perinatal experience of each one of us. Starting from pre-conception, during gestation and birth and then during the early childhood years, the friendly, low/no threat maternal/ sociocultural signals emitted in friendly cooperative and affiliative relationships stimulate physiological systems (e.g., oxytocin, the vagus nerve of the parasympathetic system) that downregulate threat processing, enhance the immune system, and facilitate frontal cortical processes and general wellbeing. This impacts the quality of life lived, the quality of relationships created and the civilization handed down to the generations that follow.
This book is to focus on how we can learn from the prenatal sciences findings and adopt or promote choices that build coalitions and alliances, create secure low-level stress pre/perinatal environments that present a preparedness to care, support, and invest in others, unborn babies included, inspiring prosocial motivation and behavior and an ecological attitude.
Themes of interest include the following:
- The physiobiological foundation of prosocial relationships
- The psychosocial foundation of mutualism
- The epigenetics of prosocial behavior
- History lessons of antagonism or co-operation for mutual benefit
- From agriculture to artificial intelligence: Strategies, aims and goals. Prosocial lessons learned.
- What Nature teaches Humans about co-existence
- The prenatal origins of prosociality and ecological life attitudes
- Parents as agents of prosocial culture
- Integrating ancient knowledge & primal wisdom with modern science as a global strategy for prenates, mothers/ fathers/ families, babies and communities.
- New paradigms in parenting, pre/perinatal health, wellbeing and public health
- Passing down philosophies, principles, values and cultures of meaning and identity from generation to generation
- The conception, gestation and birth of prosocial leaders
- New visions of global altruism & empathy in the making
Submission guidelines: Use the submission button here. Important deadlines: Chapter proposal: abstract only by 20 Feb, 2023. Full chapter submission by 15 April 2023. For more information contact email@example.comRead more about Prenatal Psychology & the Emerging Prosocial & Ecological Mind: Call to Writers