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Issue: 

The far-reaching psychological implications of la condition humaine will be outlined in this contribution. Because of this “physiological prematurity,” human babies live simultaneously in the real, outside world, but also still experience the fetal emotional state as a dreamy “other world.” 

Publication Date: 
09/2015
Page Count: 
7
Starting Page: 
42
Price: $10.00
Abstract: 

One of the important differences between Homo sapiens and the other primates is the condition of pregnancy and birth. Because of the upright walk and the larger brain size of Homo sapiens, the birth channel became too narrow to accommodate birth after a long pregnancy. The evolutionary solution was the shortening of human pregnancy from about 21 months to only nine months. The consequence of this was the so-called “physiological prematurity” of human newborns. The far-reaching psychological implications of this bio-psychological situation of la condition humaine will be outlined in this contribution. Because of this “physiological prematurity,” human babies live simultaneously in the real, outside world and but also still experience the fetal emotional state as a dreamy “other world.” This other world is often projected onto the real world. And on the level of the collective psychology, humans in early tribal cultures lived in a similar way; simultaneously existing in the real world while also experiencing a magical world of projected fetal feelings. The process of individual human development is the slow growing out of this primal confusion between real world and the dreamy consciousness and an increasing differentiation between inside and outside. This same evolutionary process is found in the collective experience of humanity’s mental development.

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JOURNAL OF PRENATAL AND PERINATAL PSYCHOLOGY AND HEALTH publishes research and clinical articles from the cutting edge of the science of prenatal and perinatal psychology and health. The journal, published quarterly since 1986, is dedicated to the in-depth exploration human reproduction and pregnancy and the mental and emotional development of the unborn and newborn child.

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