Toxic Culture: How Materialistic Society Makes us Ill!
Updated: Dec 29, 2022
Video from Empower the Mind
"Gabor Maté is a Hungarian-born Canadian physician who specializes in neurology, psychiatry, and psychology, as well as the study and treatment of addiction." from video introduction.
"Gabor Maté has dedicated much of his life to understanding the nature of addiction. The Hungarian-born Canadian physician and best-selling author worked for decades on Vancouver’s downtown eastside, providing compassionate care for people that society would rather discard. The Nazi genocide survivor maintains that early childhood trauma can shape our propensity to addiction. His latest work is interested in examining societal factors that contribute to a climate of toxicity, a culture that is inherently disconnected and vacuous. He aims to shine a light on these dark corners of human experience so that we can start to challenge our assumptions about how society can be, and how we ourselves can change our minds.
What is behind your latest focus – Toxic Culture: How Materialistic Society Makes us Ill?
All my work has been around understanding why human dysfunction happens. Not looking at causes – not at people’s pre-dispositions or genetic inheritance – but what actually happens in people’s lives. We know now that the determinants of health – whether we’re talking physical health, emotional — has a lot to do with people’s life experiences. So I’ve been exploring that a lot in all four of my books.
But people’s lives don’t happen in a vacuum. It occurs in the context of society. What makes people healthy or sick has a lot to do with the kind of lives they lead. And those lives are played out in the context of a society and a culture. The way that society is organized, its values, the pressures it generates on people, the expectations, how people treat each other, how they’re educated, what their values are — these all have a huge impact on people’s health.
If it was discovered that there was some toxin, some chemical in the Toronto water system, that caused illness -everybody would naturally want to see it removed. I’m saying that there are many things about our culture — from the way we live and how society is run – that actually contribute to people being sick.." from the article: Gabor Maté: Breaking Through A Toxic Climate
In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts: Close Encounters with Addiction by Gabor Mate (link)