Totem Figures Interview with Dr. Gabor Mate

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Dr. Gabor MateGabor Mate is a Vancouver based doctor and the author of the books In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction, When the Body Says No: The Cost of Hidden Stress, Scattered Minds, A New Look at the Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder, and Hold on to Your Kids: Why Parents Need to Matter More Than Peers (co-written with Gordon Neufeld, PhD). His totem figuresare, in his words, Gautama and the Four Jews - Buddha, Jesus, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud and Albert Einstein. We also talked about classical music - Beethoven, specifically.

To listen to the podcast, click here. It's about twenty-five minutes. 

The Beethoven composition played is his String Quartet No. 12, Op. 127.

Dr. Mate's work has been very influential on me personally, and I'm soon to debut a new monologue about a retreat of his I attended involving the ingestion of the Peruvian shamanic plant medicine ayahuasca. For a look at the neuroscience of ayahuasca experiences, click here.

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  • Comment Link marn aesch Wednesday, 18 April 2012 13:44 posted by marn aesch

    always lovely to hear your wisdom Gabor. thank you. I could not help but notice an absence of female figures on your "mt rushmore", and my question is why do you think that no women have reached this level of..what...consciousness, that they might take their place alongside Buddha and Einstein etc. Patriachy seems too simple an answer. Do you think it is something to do with the nature of women...are we too earth-bound or????

  • Comment Link TJ Dawe Tuesday, 01 May 2012 14:32 posted by TJ Dawe

    Marn - I passed your question on to Gabor, and this was his response:

    The facetious answer is that women have been kept too busy looking after the really important things in life: emotional balance, social connections, food preparation, child care. But, as the feminist writer Dorothy Dinnerstein points out in her seminal work, The Mermaid And The Minotaur, women have been kept out of history, for the most part, because the patriarchy has created a system in which they are (virtually) solely responsible for the nurturing of children. This dynamic makes both men and women sub-human, in that women don't reach their human potential in terms of creativity, self-expression and social engagement, whereas men are cut off from their own "feminine" aspect of self-contained nurturance and emotional connection with others.

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