Archive for December, 2012

“Why Did He Do It? White Man.” It Is Only Now That His Own Demise Is at Hand That Rational Man Stops to Reflect — The Primal Return

“Most Men They Don’t Need It. White Man He Kills for It.” Primitive Philosophy, Part Two: Away from Manifest Destiny, The Primal Renaissance

Manifest Destiny

Glorifying himself with the regalia of “Reason,” Western Man ascended the throne in the castle of Nature and deigned to cast his eyes below him on all the rest of living things, nay, on the rest of all of Creation.

From such imperial heights Western man deduced the workings of the Universe — utilizing his purportedly powerful tool of Reason — and conceived how he should apportion and determine all that he surveyed. For surely his perception and apprehension of a thing was akin to possession . . . he reasoned conveniently.

Thus adorned and fortified, Rational Man went about subduing all that came before his view. Letting nothing as trivial as philosophies, traditions, cultures, and the peoples who embodied them stand in his way.

Nor even, in this century, has “Rational” Man allowed the complete elimination, for all of eternity, of millions of species of living things, evolving out of the mists of billions of years, obstruct him in the least from the attainment of desires, regardless how trivial. Thus he “succeeded” to such an extent that he threatens now even his own existence.

“Why Did He Do It? White Man.”

It is only now that his own demise is at hand that Rational Man stops to reflect, to look back upon what he’s wrought, to re-evaluate his goals, his trajectory, his path.

In so doing he discovers his scapegoating tendencies. He stands horrified at his reddened hands, bloodied by his extermination of entire cultures, entire races, entire species of life. “Why did he do it? White man.” asks the rock group Steeleye Span in their song, “White Man”:

Some sing of their glory,

You tell the true story,
Most men they don’t need it,
White man he kills for it.

They took to the seas,

Searching for a land
That they could call paradise,
Stealing the breeze that carried them toward the sun.

With lust in their eyes,

They found a land,
And said “We found paradise,
Think of the Lord, and look at the prize we’ve won.”

We know who they were,
They were the ones who killed their brothers to steal from others.
We know who they were,
They were the ones whose sons and daughters are doing it still. . . .

And in their hearts,
What did they feel?
Did they think they had the right to steal
Another man’s land
Who had no name
Oh, they didn’t think he’d feel the pain.

So they sailed away from their own country
To another man’s land far across the sea.
And they stole that land from the people there, And they called that land Australia.

Why did he do it, white man. . . .
They sailed away, one winter’s day,
To a sunlit land that was far away,
And they stole that land from the people there,
And they called that land America.

Why did he do it, white man. . . .

And in their hearts,
What did they feel?
Did they think they had the right to steal
Another man’s land
Who had no name.
Oh, they didn’t think he’d feel the pain. . . .

(from “Portfolio,” Steeleye Span, 1988)

This Radical Reversal, This Primal Return

In the wake of this new realization a new humility is necessarily born. Both of these are nurtured further by the Westerner’s own sciences — which have overturned his cherished premises, requiring visions of the truth quite at odds with what was used to get him to this pass, and, coincidentally enough, quite akin to that which had been thrown away, beat back, persecuted, and even killed in its embodiment earlier.

This radical reversal, this mushroom-like returning to our roots, reappraisal of our origins and foundations, may be the thing momentous enough and radical enough to save us, to abort our countdown to extermination. For surely a “Boy Scout” or “Civic League” approach to tackling the problems that beset us is perhaps worse than nothing in its deluding us into thinking we are accomplishing something, when it is major efforts and radical changes that are required.

Yet, as difficult as this reversal will be in the lifestyle changes, the efforts required in the domain of attitudes and conditioning — in terms of assailing the millenniums-strong fortifications of culturally conditioned ego — may verge on the near-miraculous. People do not change easily, if at all.

Still, we are aided, only fortuitously, by some of our own devices. We are goaded also by the specters of our own dissolution and by their lieutenants of epidemic disease who, sent ahead, are even now making their way among us — our sentinels too often sleeping, too infrequently and much too feebly signaling the alarm.

There is evidence that we are aided also by unacknowledged powers — seen and heralded only by the relatively few. All things considered, by the grace of God … and perhaps that solely … we might make it.

This Vision of a Primal Renaissance

Still, we must apply ourselves. We must make the effort to see clearly, to see fairly, to break through our cultural conditioning, to reach out to all those living/nonliving, to all that is threatened by our misproliferation of deeds.

So it is that this book seeks to be part of that great reversal, that primal return, indeed, that primal renaissance. In so doing it will unavoidably overturn many of our comfortable illusions. But it will attempt to do so on the basis of the evidence, and it will attempt to leave the Mystery where it properly belongs.

Still, considering this intention to lay to waste or to reverse so much that is part of Western conditioning, so much that is unquestioned as universally true, and common-sensically indisputable, for many people this may be a painful book to read. I have no solace for that, save that of the vision of the harmonious age, the primal renaissance emerging from all this current pain and confusion. That is a vision whose soothing silhouette will hopefully appear increasingly closer as we proceed — summoned by our yearning, self-inquiry, and effort — to hold our hand and guide us, even as we simultaneously observe our familiar cultural edifices crumbling about us.

But let us begin where it is necessary. Let us start by lowering our banner of being the pinnacle of cultural evolution. Getting a little humbler and peeking beneath the veil of pretentiousness, we may begin the journey downwards.

Continue with The First Retreat from the Natural Self Was Matriarchal Consciousness; It Should Hardly Be Our Goal: You Cannot “Balance” a Duality … You Can Only Transcend One.

Return to “Consciousness Is the Source of the Cosmos” … Physical Reality Is Metaphor: The Era of “Rational” Man Is Over, A Primal Return Has Begun


Chapter One References

Davies, Paul, and Gribbin, John. (1992). The Matter Myth: Dramatic Discoveries That Challenge Our Understanding of Physical Reality. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Eddington, Arthur Stanley. (1928). The Nature of the Physical World. London.

Ferris, Timothy. (1992). The Mind’s Sky: Human Intelligence in a Cosmic Context. New York: Bantam Books.

Kuhn, Thomas S. (1970). The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Labbe, Armand. (1991). “Consciousness versus awareness in the light of classical Eastern perspectives on the nature of transcendence.” Paper delivered at the 1991 Annual Conference of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, March 21, 1991.

Nerlich, G. C. (1967). Arthur Stanley Eddington (1882-1944). In Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 458-460.

Sheldrake, Rupert. (1991). The Rebirth of Nature: The Greening of Science and God. New York: Bantam.

Steeleye Span. (1988). White man. From the recording, Portfolio. Newton, NJ: Shanachie Records. Audio recording.

 


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“Consciousness Is the Source of the Cosmos” … Physical Reality Is Metaphor: The Era of “Rational” Man Is Over, A Primal Return Has Begun

Matter Is Metaphor and The Holographic Universe: “There Is No Such Thing as Matter. All There Is, Is Mind and Motion.”

“The Stuff of the World Is Mind-Stuff”

We are living in stimulating and revolutionary times. For, even as we watch, the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm is collapsing in the ocean of the new physics, “matter” is being swept away by “wavicles,” and scientists are beginning to acknowledge what the poet-seers have always known: that physical reality is metaphor, that the external world and all of its components are subtle yet elaborate webs thrown upon the formless, meaningful forms created from no-thing-ness . . . that matter is metaphor for Consciousness — which is the only real stuff knowable about existence, in fact is the only stuff of the Universe.

Physicist and astronomer, Arthur Stanley Eddington (1928) phrased it: “The stuff of the world is mind-stuff.” More recently, University of Minnesota physicist Roger S. Jones (1982) unveiled a position which he calls an “idealistic reevaluation of the physical world” (p. ix). He writes

I reject the myth of reality as external to the human mind, and I acknowledge consciousness as the source of the cosmos. It is mind that we see reflected in matter. Physical science is a metaphor with which the scientist, like the poet, creates and extends meaning and values in the quest for understanding and purpose. (1982, p. ix)

Even more recently, anthropologist Armand Labbe (1991) summed it up at a Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness conference saying, “Ultimately our physics . . . is going to demonstrate that essentially there is no such thing as matter. All there is, is mind and motion.”

Granted, this is an extreme position, a strict Idealist stance. But it is the only truly supportable one, in light of what we know from the new physics. That would be enough in itself to cause us to reflect on it. But this perspective is also supported, even demonstrated, by the discoveries of the “new psychology” as well. More about that later.

It is ironic that it would be the most “materialistic” and “hardest” of the sciences that would be leading the charge against the primacy-of-the-physical-world postulate (and, unfortunately, leaving the rest of the sciences — both social as well as natural sciences — behind). The discoveries from quantum physics, though some of them almost a hundred years old now, are, only with difficulty, being assimilated into the other sciences. For the most part, they are largely ignored; science going along ‘as if’ . . . that is, as if the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm were still viable, as if the physical world was really “objective” reality, as if the mind could validly be considered an epiphenomenon of brain activity. So the old paradigm holds sway despite its inadequacy.

This is understandable, however. For truly acknowledging these newer perspectives requires a reformulation of theoretical positions, a rethinking of the Universe in much the same way that astronomical theories needed to be reformulated after the Copernican revolution. What we do not need are theories that disfigure themselves in trying to incorporate some (not all) of the new information and new perspectives in the way of the convoluted theories of the pre-Copernican astronomers who refused to accept the newer paradigm postulations.

This book, to the contrary, will attempt to consistently present a new-paradigm perspective.

In doing so we will need to employ perspectives that traditionally have made their philosophical home, in Western philosophy, at the address of Idealism, and more specifically, the subcategories therein of Panpsychism and Pantheism. These viewpoints are the dominant ones in Eastern philosophy, however. And most recently they reemerge — in “modern science,” of all places — under rubrics such as holographic.

Primitive Philosophy

Nevertheless, it is interesting that in the Western traditions these viewpoints have often been denigrated by referring to them as “primitive philosophy.” It seems that when Western civilization broke from the trajectories of the other civilizations of the planet, it needed to establish its distinction and difference as radically as possible.

This is a common pattern in change. We notice this behavioral style in the upwardly mobile corporate executive or artist who feels the need to adopt a lavish lifestyle in order to hide her humble beginnings.

We notice also its relation to the behavior of scapegoating. We observe this aspect of it watching our executive become a Republican and begin to “bad mouth” the same social programs and social class that nurtured her earlier on. We might call it the “Clarence Thomas syndrome.”

Nevertheless, the importance of this tendency cannot be overstated in Western philosophy. We see it reaching its peak in the medieval Renaissance in Europe, especially in the rise of Rationalist philosophy. Glorifying himself with the regalia of “Reason,” Western man (the masculine is necessary here for it was characteristically a male phenomenon) ascended the throne in the castle of Nature and deigned to cast his eyes below him on all the rest of living things, nay, on the rest of all of Creation.

From such imperial heights Western man deduced the workings of the Universe — utilizing his purportedly powerful tool of Reason — and conceived how he should apportion and determine all that he surveyed. For surely his perception and apprehension of a thing was akin to possession . . . he reasoned conveniently.

Thus adorned and fortified, Rational Man went about subduing all that came before his view. Letting nothing as trivial as philosophies, traditions, cultures, and the peoples who embodied them stand in his way; nor even, in this century, allowing the complete elimination, for all of eternity, of millions of species of living things, evolving out of the mists of billions of years, obstruct him in the least from the attainment of desires, regardless how trivial. Thus he “succeeded” to such an extent that he threatens now even his own existence.

Continue with “Why Did He Do It? White Man.” It Is Only Now That His Own Demise Is at Hand That Rational Man Stops to Reflect — The Primal Return

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Occupy Science … A Call for a Scientific Awakening: In Tossing Away Our Species Blinders, We Approach a Truth Far Beyond Science

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Only by Leaving Can a Fish Know It Lives in Water: Biologically Constituted Realities Summary and A Call to End Science’s Culture War

What I’m saying in this part is that basically our sciences have shown they can not determine what is real,558008_447511325288521_2045342229_n let alone measure it, because they are extensions of our senses which are themselves imperfect. So we cannot really know what is real. Further, we find that just as culture creates our reality for us, that prior to that our biology creates the reality upon which culture can build. This means that we are able to understand what is human reality at least, though not ultimate reality, by looking at the only reality that all humans share—our biological one.

We will see shortly that means that the way we come into the world—our conception, womb life, and birth—create the foundations upon which all our other perceptions are built, and these being unique to humans mean that humans will be the only species seeing the world exactly the way we do.

bwv01aFurther, while focusing on our biology as a basis for understanding what is fundamental about humanness, we are able to compare cultures in relation to that biology, though not in any other way. What we will see this means is that while we cannot compare cultures for the most part—this is called cultural relativity—we can compare them in terms of certain things all cultures share which have to do with the fact that all humans have the same kind of body and biological history: an example of that would be the way cultures deal with birth, specifically the pain of it.

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“Ultimately our physics . . . is going to demonstrate that essentially there is no such thing as matter. All there is is mind and motion.” – Armand Labbe

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You cannot convince a fish it lives in water. You can only give the fish the experience of being in air; then it will understand.

Our combined efforts in psychology, physics, biology, and anthropology have led us to an impasse. We have been led to conclude that our view of reality is symbolic. We have learned, above all, not what to know, but that we know not . . . i.e., that we are incapable of truly knowing.

So, if we can’t know, why then bother to know anything? We seek to know because it is useful to our biological survival to know. That which we “know,” in our most refined science and in our daily lives, is that which is, or has been, in some way useful to the biological existence of our species.

Each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet

When this is reversed by various methods, and the brain is itself inhibited from its task of reducing awareness so that “Mind at Large seeps past the no longer watertight valve, all kinds of biologically useless things start to happen.”

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is … infinite.” – William Blake

Our sciences have led us to learn that what we call reality is what we have found to be useful for us as a species, but that it is not necessarily what is True and is certainly not all that is true or real. So we find that the Reality of It All or the All That Is gets reduced down from what it is to the snippet of it that we have found to be biologically useful.

But if we wish to know not merely what is practical but what is actually True or Reality, we need to go way beyond the smattering of facts thrown up by our ordinary senses and the sciences that are extensions of them. There are levels of that diminution of Reality—from All That Is down through what the individual knows to be true. So to know what is True, we need to reverse those reductions in true understanding.

We find that in doing this reversal, some startling things are revealed. For example, from the perspective of each greater awareness, each more limited perspective becomes understandable and the different ones of those perspectives can be compared. For example, it is difficult for one individual to truly understand another. However, standing within a knowledge of psychology in general we have a better understanding of another and we can compare one individual’s reality with another and come up with meaningful and true conclusions, even comparisons and evaluations. That is, indeed, why we have the science of psychology in the first place.

But at the level of cultures, a similar thing happens. Anthropologists come necessarily to the conclusion that another culture cannot truly be understood by someone standing in a different culture. Just as one individual cannot exactly understand another’s reality, it is even more impossible for someone from one culture to be able to truly view the world through the lenses or worldview of those born into another culture.

However, here again, we can have a better understanding of each culture and can even compare cultures somewhat when coming from the perspective of our common human biology. For all cultures have to relate to the nature of our body and its abilities, senses, and capabilities. All cultures make constructions about, around, and from the particular biological frame that humans have, so cultures can be compared at least in relation to those commonalities of humans. This means more than just that cultures can be compared in relation to biological realities like birth and death, for it is even important and instructive to compare them to more basic realities of human biology such as pain, pleasure, happiness, liberty, and so on. All humans feel and have concepts about these things. However, we see how non-absolute these realities are as soon as we look at the realities or consciousness of life forms other than human. Can we truly say that a lizard has a concept about liberty or happiness? Can we say that an amoeba or bacteria feels freedom or the lack of it.

It follows that to understand truth beyond our biologically constituted realities … to be able to get an idea of what reality might be for entities and life in general and not just humans, we would need to stand inside a paradigm of understanding that would apply to all species—both known and unknown. We would need to take a stance on the foundation of a trans-species perspective—that is, what is true for all species, not just humans. This is what science says it is attempting to do, but it actually does not. Because we have found out that sciences can only look in areas that we as humans ahead of time have an idea that something might be. In other words, science is an extension of our senses. So to do more, we have to expand our imagination to include what might be the perspectives of other species … other planetmates. This is what we our doing with our planetmate consciousness … our Planetmate Views. It is what The Great Reveal is all about.

But, you say, how can we do that? How can we know the way another being or life form, other than human, might view Reality? We can’t. But the point is we are more likely to come up with something truer than what we already know when we at least try to do that. And trying to do that means starting with dropping the presupposition, the arrogance, that humans have a superior and more real understanding of Reality. And when we do that, simply that alone, we already find we have a much expanded understanding of what is really Real. For even what we are able to know about other species shows us some of the ways they see things differently than us. So simply by not assuming we are the pinnacle of creation and acknowledging that, for example, a dog really does have more accurate smelling ability and an eagle a greater ability to see, and imagining what that would mean for us or keeping that in mind, we come to an appreciation of ourselves as a part of Nature, not a ruler of Nature; just as in our understandings of the realities-subjectivities-feelings of other humans led us to know that we are not rulers of other people; just as our understanding of other cultures have led us to know that one culture is not better, superior to, or more dominant over another.

The conclusions from all this understanding is that our sciences are important in establishing facts and reality, but the ones they come up with are only relative to our species, not necessarily to any other species, and not necessarily do they give us a true idea of What Really Is.

You think this is irrelevant to know? Well, to give just one example, think of all our forays into space and our imaginings of other beings from other than this planet. If you take the perspective that I am encouraging here, you will notice how astoundingly naïve are our expectations and how crude the instruments we use to detect other life forms. For they all are built on an expectation of finding beings that are at least somewhat like ourselves. You say, no, our scientists aren’t assuming other beings of high consciousness would look like us. But you should know I mean that in our scientists saying what are the building blocks of life–water, and so on–they are showing a bias about “life” that it is something like what we know. Notice also that even the idea that a “higher” level of consciousness itself has its roots in this idea that a human consciousness is superior to other kinds we know of.

So these assumptions built into our science are laughable in their arrogance. Meanwhile, in understanding how limited and relative is our human perspective, we are able to imagine other possibilities for life and its variations. We begin to approach the perspectives of mystics. We begin to understand how it is not outside the realm of possibility that even what we consider non-life and inanimate to be somehow conscious or a form of consciousness, even if we cannot call it “life”—which is, we see now, itself part of our limited species interpretation.

So, in tossing away our species blinders, we approach a truth far beyond science, though not overturning science. What Is ends up not, as fundamentalists might think, opposed to science, rather inclusive of science … but including so, so much more. And in doing this we see that it is the mystics and the consciousness researchers who are likely to have the most accurate angle on Reality.

Ultimately this means that now that we know that common sense materialism is simply a biological construct of the species human, we can relearn that it is Consciousness that is our only knowable Reality, but also that it is Infinite, yes, but Fantastic as well.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.” Albert Einstein

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” Albert Einstein (1945)

It is the so called “anomalies” of science that hold the keys to the reality that lies beyond science. Looking at them we see a pattern upon which to stand in bringing together the different viewpoints or paradigms that are not reconcilable otherwise. These different viewpoints are the different scientific ones and the different cultural ones as well as the different biological ones—that is, the perspectives or views of different species… the different planetmate views.

The anomalies that we have found to have the most potential for aiding us in this venture to a greater paradigm or framework within which to comprehend all these smaller views are those that have come out of consciousness research. This comes from scientific as well as spiritual sources. It is often experientially based, though it is hardly just anecdotal since these reports are replicatable and verifiable and they are often and can easily be collected and collated scientifically.

These scientific approaches to what were once in the realm of just the spiritual or religious are going on more now than ever before in the history of the world. Whether from fields of the new physics, the new biology, or the consciousness branches of psychology and anthropology, they are uncovering more new formerly inexplicable data of events that have heretofore been beyond the views of our sciences and beyond our common sense materialism—our world of “brute facts,” which we have found are not incontestable at all but are only solidly true in relation to the fact that we are of the species of humans.

We have found that these new facts are not as biologically irrelevant as was assumed by us, however. In fact, the survival of our species and indeed of the life on our planet probably depend upon us incorporating this information into a newer and more comprehensive understanding of reality. Fortunately the construction of this new framework is being carried out. And it and its implications are astounding, revelatory, and revolutionary in all respects imaginable. This new revolutionary model is unveiled in more detail in this article.

The crises of our time, it becomes increasingly clear, are the necessary impetus for the revolution now under way. And once we understand nature’s transformative powers, we see that it is our powerful ally, not a force to feared our subdued. —Thomas Kuhn

The political and social revolutions, which we are seeing erupt around the world from Arab Springs to American Autumns and in global Occupy movements, have been going on more quietly and for a longer time in our sciences. Indeed, it may be said that to some extent this scientific Awakening preceded and precipitated the social one.

Still—although our very survival depends on a paradigm change, or shift—it is being resisted mightily by our communities of scientific researchers. This Scientific Awakening is as much a threat to the corporate hegemony over modern culture as is the social and political Awakenings. There has been as much a battle in science over the last fifty years—a scientific culture war, if you will—as there has been the one in our societies around the world … and for the same reasons. Paradigm shift threatens the status quo; it is seen to have the potential to upset the traditional and engrained financial structures and the social stratification built upon them. That is, this scientific culture war is also class war in disguise.

But scientists and intellectuals are as much a product of an old paradigm even when they propose to not be. So often they miscategorize new developments in their fields within old outdated dualistic frames. In particular they see the findings of consciousness research and misconstrue it as being within the old science-religion debates and struggles. So they are as unable to see old paradigm influences on themselves and are as clueless in moving beyond them as are their counterparts in the social and political arenas, where not just old paradigm right wing folks are blind to the messages of the Awakening but even many traditional liberals are unable to see past their traditional ways of categorizing to understand the message and import of the new paradigm social and political movements of Occupy and Arab Spring. So they misunderstand the Occupy movement’s multi-messages and calls for complete re-visioning as being no message. And they misconstrue the new paradigm uprisings for freedom and justice throughout the world and especially in the Arab world in the tired old terminologies of economics and imperialism. They misconstrue heartfelt aspirations for a global coming together and unity of humanity in old paradigm New World Order terms. They misunderstand new paradigm seekings for consciousness change and revolution using old-paradigm, medieval even, illuminati concepts.

This is a call for sciences to allow themselves to let go of old ways and embrace new visions. In the past, it has taken centuries, at times, for these paradigm shifts to happen. Societies have had to wait, and entire generations have needed to die off before people could enjoy the freedom of being released from old bindings of thought and could realize the benefits of new revelations. We do not have that kind of time right now. This new paradigm, gestating within the scientific community for fifty or so years previous, erupted into the global consciousness fifty years ago with the social and cultural revolutions of the Sixties. They have done battle within scientific communities as well as in the society at large, and in the same way have been beaten back to the peripheries by the overwhelming power of the entrenched interests.

But entire generations have left the scene by now. New generations seeded with the new paradigm visions rained upon them by elder veterans of the culture war and enjoying fruits of wisdom plucked from an ongoing though less visible counterculture born in those times have arisen. So, the time is ripe.

The change is necessary. We can no longer afford to hesitate. The time for the Scientific Awakening is now.

It is, I think, particularly in periods of acknowledged crisis that scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their field. Scientists have not generally needed or wanted to be philosophers. —Thomas Kuhn

The historian of science may be tempted to claim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. even more important, during revolutions, scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well. —Thomas Kuhn

‘Normal’ science, in Kuhn’s sense, exists. It is the activity of the non-revolutionary, or more precisely, the not-too-critical professional: of the science student who accepts the ruling dogma of the day… in my view the ‘normal’ scientist, as Kuhn describes him, is a person one ought to be sorry for… He has been taught in a dogmatic spirit: he is a victim of indoctrination… I can only say that I see a very great danger in it and in the possibility of its becoming normal… a danger to science and, indeed, to our civilization. And this shows why I regard Kuhn’s emphasis on the existence of this kind of science as so important. — Karl Raimund Popper

Well-established theories collapse under the weight of new facts and observations which cannot be explained, and then accumulate to the point where the once useful theory is clearly obsolete.
[Using Thomas S. Kuhn’s theories to frame his argument about the relationship between science and technology: as new facts continue to accumulate, a new, more accurate paradigm must replace the old one.] — Al Gore

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Why We Know Not and A Call to Know Instead: Beyond “Flat Earth” Materialism—Scientific Awakening Is as Crucial for Paradigm Shift as is the Social and Political Awakenings

A Call to Our Sciences to Embrace the Awakening, Which It, Too, Has Been Resisting: Biologically Constituted Realities, Part Seven

Although our very survival depends on a paradigm change, or shift, it is being resisted mightily by our communities of scientific researchers. This Scientific Awakening is as much a threat to the corporate hegemony over modern culture as is the social and political Awakenings. There has been as much a battle in science over the last fifty years—a scientific culture war, if you will—as there has been the one in our societies around the world … and for the same reasons. Paradigm shift threatens the status quo.

The crises of our time, it becomes increasingly clear, are the necessary impetus for the revolution now under way. And once we understand nature’s transformative powers, we see that it is our powerful ally, not a force to feared our subdued. —Thomas Kuhn

Summary and Preface: The political and social revolutions, which we are seeing erupt around the world from Arab Springs to American Autumns and in global Occupy movements, have been going on more quietly and for a longer time in our sciences. Indeed, it may be said that to some extent this scientific Awakening preceded and precipitated the social one.

Still—although our very survival depends on a paradigm change, or shift—it is being resisted mightily by our communities of scientific researchers. This Scientific Awakening is as much a threat to the corporate hegemony over modern culture as is the social and political Awakenings. There has been as much a battle in science over the last fifty years—a scientific culture war, if you will—as there has been the one in our societies around the world … and for the same reasons. Paradigm shift threatens the status quo; it is seen to have the potential to upset the traditional and engrained financial structures and the social stratification built upon them. That is, this scientific culture war is also class war in disguise.

But scientists and intellectuals are as much a product of an old paradigm even when they propose to not be. So often they miscategorize new developments in their fields within old outdated dualistic frames. In particular they see the findings of consciousness research and misconstrue it as being within the old science-religion debates and struggles. So they are as unable to see old paradigm influences on themselves and are as clueless in moving beyond them as are their counterparts in the social and political arenas, where not just old paradigm right wing folks are blind to the messages of the Awakening but even many traditional liberals are unable to see past their traditional ways of categorizing to understand the message and import of the new paradigm social and political movements of Occupy and Arab Spring. So they misunderstand the Occupy movement’s multi-messages and calls for complete re-visioning as being no message. And they misconstrue the new paradigm uprisings for freedom and justice throughout the world and especially in the Arab world in the tired old terminologies of economics and imperialism. They misconstrue heartfelt aspirations for a global coming together and unity of humanity in old paradigm New World Order terms. They misunderstand new paradigm seekings for consciousness change and revolution using old-paradigm, medieval even, illuminati concepts.

This is a call for sciences to allow themselves to let go of old ways and embrace new visions. In the past, it has taken centuries, at times, for these paradigm shifts to happen. Societies have had to wait, and entire generations have needed to die off before people could enjoy the freedom of being released from old bindings of thought and could realize the benefits of new revelations. We do not have that kind of time right now. This new paradigm, gestating within the scientific community for fifty or so years previous, erupted into the global consciousness fifty years ago with the social and cultural revolutions of the Sixties. They have done battle within scientific communities as well as in the society at large, and in the same way have been beaten back to the peripheries by the overwhelming power of the entrenched interests.

But entire generations have left the scene by now. New generations seeded with the new paradigm visions rained upon them by elder veterans of the culture war and enjoying fruits of wisdom plucked from an ongoing though less visible counterculture born in those times have arisen. So, the time is ripe.

The change is necessary. We can no longer afford to hesitate. The time for the Scientific Awakening is now.

It is, I think, particularly in periods of acknowledged crisis that scientists have turned to philosophical analysis as a device for unlocking the riddles of their field. Scientists have not generally needed or wanted to be philosophers. —Thomas Kuhn

The historian of science may be tempted to claim that when paradigms change, the world itself changes with them. Led by a new paradigm, scientists adopt new instruments and look in new places. even more important, during revolutions, scientists see new and different things when looking with familiar instruments in places they have looked before. It is rather as if the professional community had been suddenly transported to another planet where familiar objects are seen in a different light and are joined by unfamiliar ones as well. —Thomas Kuhn

‘Normal’ science, in Kuhn’s sense, exists. It is the activity of the non-revolutionary, or more precisely, the not-too-critical professional: of the science student who accepts the ruling dogma of the day… in my view the ‘normal’ scientist, as Kuhn describes him, is a person one ought to be sorry for… He has been taught in a dogmatic spirit: he is a victim of indoctrination… I can only say that I see a very great danger in it and in the possibility of its becoming normal… a danger to science and, indeed, to our civilization. And this shows why I regard Kuhn’s emphasis on the existence of this kind of science as so important. — Karl Raimund Popper

Well-established theories collapse under the weight of new facts and observations which cannot be explained, and then accumulate to the point where the once useful theory is clearly obsolete.
[Using Thomas S. Kuhn’s theories to frame his argument about the relationship between science and technology: as new facts continue to accumulate, a new, more accurate paradigm must replace the old one.] — Al Gore

Why We Know Not

The mere existence of this new data—these keys to biological transcendence, these formerly inexplicable anomalies of science—trigger a certain insecurity in that they undermine a familiar, habitual, and thoroughly ego-invested commitment to a view of reality.

I have noticed a fear and hostility toward the new paradigm and its evidence, even among self-professedly open-minded and fieldwork-seasoned academicians and Ph.D.s. After observing and delving below this reaction for years,draft_lens1379674module111872551photo_1280668900ufo-london394340_485721344772182_353499239_n I have consistently detected a pattern of irrationality that associates, somehow, all this new stuff with things like having to go to Church as a child, hell-fiery father gods, and Jerry Falwell. Though nothing could be further from the truth, they confuse it with right wing, Tea Party-type politics and evangelical religions.Grof_AncientWisdonicon They think it is connected to Grof_LSDPsychotherapyiconthe attacks on the theory of evolution,Grof_HumanSurvivalicon the idea of Intelligent Design, and the drives to install Creationism in our schools.

So these people harbor the mistaken notion that spiritual or transpersonal realities have something to do with organized religion, when they are quite different and, indeed, often at odds with each other. [See Primal Spirituality: The Inner Authority.]

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The purposes of this chapter do not allow an elaboration of either the new evidence or the new paradigm that I have discussed.

1Grof_BeyondBrainiconIn Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death and Transcendence in Psychotherapy, Grof (1985) presents in the first chapter—which comprises ninety-one pages—an insightful analysis of paradigms and historical process along with an exhaustive sampling of the new evidence from the array of sciences, sociohistorical trends, 10-emergence-440_thumb417413_10151122750761195_1257359537_nand cultural processes that I have been mentioning. In addition, Grof (1985) constructs a thorough presentation, delineation, and analysis of the holographic model of a new paradigm. I recommend those pages highly.

Directly at hand I have included a video, titled “Holographic Universe“, which is an excellent overview of the model and makes the clear case that science has most definitely overturned the materialistic paradigm which birthed it hundreds of years ago.

All that being said, I wish to point out that the recent and rapid emergence of the field of transpersonal psychology itself is pushed by an inability to continually disregard the evidence of our own senses that does not fit with the mechanical paradigms we were taught.

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This new evidence, which is pouring forth on the cutting edges of our modern sciences, has made the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm as obsolete as the flat earth one.

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A Call to Know Instead

However, similar to the way in which the earth is flat in the particular environs of one’s daily life, and for a considerable distance surrounding, the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm likewise has its limited usefulness.483377_396568390391692_1865419850_n487454_10151033138147681_1383425000_nBut if we are to get moving on our species’s continuing adventure into discovering the nature of reality, we must acknowledge its limitations.

What bodes against this happening is an incredible, Jupiterian weight of egoic, economic, and time investment in the old (N-C) paradigm that pushes most people to insist upon its ultimate validity. Historically, this has been the unfortunate fate of every emergent paradigm facing the entrenched one. Decades and even centuries have often been required while the new worldview has been put “on hold” until entire, invested generations have left the scene . . . totally regardless of the quality, quantity, or indisputability of the new evidence (Kuhn, 1970). What a waste! 304848_223833517672370_357125859_n408309_1764639612598_1737376259_863778_1611513471_n_thumbEspecially in that when the new ideas are finally accepted and incorporated the effect is that of inspiring a renaissance of new frontiers of research and theoretical enterprise and thus a surging powerfully forth of the released creative tide. Let me state emphatically, in the face of such dire historical precedents, that there is no inherent insecurity involved in the new paradigm, or inherent danger, or inherent trigger for anxiety, or necessary economic disadvantage (if one has the capacity to change with new developments and thought). [Footnote 5]

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So why do we not, then, get on with the incorporation of this new, heretofore unexplainable, data and with the creation of new paradigm models (not, of necessity, Grof’s) for making sense of it?

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Grof_CosmicGameicon417246_3092898021816_1495969000_nWhy not rise and reach forth to new and inclusive thought that embraces the facts of existence, instead of a kind of thinking that requires either a psychic numbing to the avalanche of new evidence or a thick and sturdy guard against information from all but thoroughly sanctioned and sanitized, perfectly safe and riskless, or intractably bureaucratized sources? I must point out that by now many scientists, of diverse fields, 0018-astronomer2_iphave abandoned the old model long ago and, at this point, Murphet_ManMiraclesiconconsider its inadequacy to be well-nigh common Grof_ConsciousnessRevolutioniconknowledge. Having been over to the new paradigm a while, they feel it to be familiar territory; they find it useful (after all!), stable, workable, and even pleasurable terrain. They await the rest of us in the adventure of splicing or merging our insights about an explanatory framework that has room for the evidence of the new techniques and sciences; and thereby blowing away the door jammed, opening it wide to the next new phase of discovery of the nature of reality that is called the scientific enterprise.

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Footnote

5. Thomas Kuhn was an American science historian and science philosopher who held that science was not a steady, cumulative acquisition of knowledge, but it is “a series of peaceful interludes punctuated by intellectually violent revolutions.” Here are some especially prescient and relevant quotes from and about Thomas Kuhn:

Under normal conditions the research scientist is not an innovator but a solver of puzzles, and the puzzles upon which he concentrates are just those which he believes can be both stated and solved within the existing scientific tradition.

Normal science does not aim at novelties of fact or theory and, when successful, finds none.

In a sense that I am unable to explicate further, the proponents of competing paradigms practice their trades in different worlds.

Later scientific theories are better than earlier ones for solving puzzles in the often quite different environments to which they are applied. That is not a relativist’s position, and it displays the sense in which I am a convinced believer in scientific progress

Scientific development depends in part on a process of non-incremental or revolutionary change. Some revolutions are large, like those associated with the names of Copernicus, Newton, or Darwin, but most are much smaller, like the discovery of oxygen or the planet Uranus. The usual prelude to changes of this sort is, I believed, the awareness of anomaly, of an occurrence or set of occurrences that does not fit existing ways of ordering phenomena. The changes that result therefore require ‘putting on a different kind of thinking-cap’, one that renders the anomalous lawlike but that, in the process, also transforms the order exhibited by some other phenomena, previously unproblematic.

The success of the paradigm… is at the start largely a promise of success … Normal science consists in the actualization of that promise… Mopping up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. They constitute what I am here calling normal science… That enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies. No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others. – Thomas Kuhn

At the heart of science is an essential balance between two seemingly contradictory attitudes–an openness to new ideas, no matter how bizarre or counterintuitive they may be, and the most ruthless skeptical scrutiny of all ideas, old and new. This is how deep truths are winnowed from deep nonsense. — Carl Sagan

References

Adzema, Michael. (1981). Womb With a View: Spiritual Aspects of Intrauterine Experience. Sonoma Grove/ 44 Varda, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. (Unpublished manuscript)

Adzema, Michael. (1984). Cells With a View: Spiritual and Philosophical Aspects of Sperm and Egg Experience . Sonoma Grove/ 44 Varda, Rohnert Park, CA 94928. (Unpublished manuscript)

Adzema, Michael. (1985). A primal perspective on spirituality. Journal of Humanistic Psychology, 25(3), 83-116.

Adzema, Michael. (1991). Falls From Grace: Spiritual and Philosophical Perspectives of Prenatal and Primal Experience. Master’s thesis, Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, CA.

Anscombe, G. E. M. (1958). On brute facts. Analysis 18(2).

Bohm, David. (1980). Wholeness and the Implicate Order. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.

D’Andrade, Roy G. (1984). Cultural meaning systems. In Culture theory: Essays on mind, self, and emotion, R. Shweder and R. LeVine (eds.), pp. 88-119, New York: Cambridge University Press.

D’Andrade, Roy G. (1987). Anthropological theory: Where did it go? (How can we get it back?). University of California, San Diego. (Unpublished paper)

Grof, Stanislav. (1970). Beyond psychoanalysis I. Implications of LSD research for understanding dimensions of human personality. Darshana International 10 (55).

Grof, Stanislav. (1975). Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press.

Grof, Stanislav. (1980). LSD Psychotherapy . Pomona, CA: Hunter House.

Grof, Stanislav. (ed.) (1984). Ancient Wisdom and Modern Science. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Grof, Stanislav. (1985). Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Grof, Stanislav. (1988a). The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Grof, Stanislav. (ed.) (1988b). Human Survival and Consciousness Evolution. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Grof, Stanislav, and Grof, Christina. (1980). Beyond Death: The Gates of Consciousness. London: Thames & Hudson.

Grof, Stanislav, and Grof, Christina. (eds.) (1989). Spiritual Emergency: When Personal Transformation Becomes a Crisis . Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Grof, Stanislav, and Grof, Christina. (1990). The Stormy Search for the Self: A Guide to Personal Growth Through Transformational Crisis. Los Angeles: Jeremy P. Tarcher.

Grof, Stanislav, and Halifax, Joan. (1977). The Human Encounter with Death. New York: E.P. Dutton.

Huxley, Aldous. (1956). The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. New York: Harper & Row.

Kuhn, Thomas S. 1970. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Labbe, Armand. (1991). Consciousness versus awareness in the light of classical Eastern perspectives on the nature of transcendence. Paper delivered at the 1991 Annual Conference of the Society for the Anthropology of Consciousness, March 21, 1991.

Pribram, Karl. (1971). Languages of the Brain. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Pribram, Karl. (1976). Problems concerning the structure of consciousness. In Consciousness and the Brain, G. Globus (ed.) New York: Plenum.

Sahlins, Marshall. (1976). Culture and Practical Reason. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Searle, John R. (1969). Speech Acts: An Essay in the Philosophy of Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Wilber, Kenneth. (1977). The Spectrum of Consciousness. Wheaton, Il: Quest.

Wilber, Kenneth. (1980). The Atman Project. Wheaton, Il: Quest.

Wilber, Kenneth. (1981). Up from Eden. New York: Anchor Books.

Winkelman, Michael. (1990). The evolution of consciousness: An essay review of Up from Eden (Wilber 1981). Anthropology of Consciousness 1(3-4), 24-31.

Zukav, Gary. (1979). The Dancing Wu Li Masters. New York: W. Morrow.


Related Article: Go to “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality” by Mickel Adzema.

Related Book: Go to Primal Renaissance: The Emerging Millennial Return by Michael D. Adzema.

Related Book: Go to Apocalypse, or New Age?: The Emerging Perinatal Unconscious by Michael D. Adzema.

Related Article: Go to “Reunion With the Positive (Self): The Other Half of the ‘Cure'” by Michael D. Adzema.

Related Article: Go to “The Emerging Perinatal Unconscious: Consciousness Evolution or Apocalypse?” by Michael D. Adzema.

Related Article: Go to “The Scenery of Healing: Commentary on deMause’s ‘Restaging Prenatal and Birth Traumas in War and Social Violence'” by Michael D. Adzema.

 


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The Challenge to Know More: The New Evidence, Pouring Forth from Our Sciences, Has Made Our Common Sense Materialistic Assumptions About Our Reality as Obsolete as Our Flat Earth Ones

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A New Paradigm Emerging—Bridging the Barriers Between Species, Biological Transcendence: This Is the Place Where Even Hard Core “Realists” Learn How Little They Know 

Biologically Constituted Realities, Part Six

Wonder of wonders, finally in our evolution—in this very time of ours—there may be more people who are focusing on those keys to possible biological transcendence than ever before…. All of this despite the fact that within the “real rules” of the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm those anomalies have absolutely no possibility of existing or being able to happen . . . . Yet they do. Similarly, within the “real world” of “brute facts” related to biological survivability they seemingly find no place . . . . Yet we stumble over them.

Preface and Summary: It is the so called “anomalies” of science that hold the keys to the reality that lies beyond science. Looking at them we see a pattern upon which to stand in bringing together the different viewpoints or paradigms that are not reconcilable otherwise. These different viewpoints are the different scientific ones and the different cultural ones as well as the different biological ones—that is, the perspectives or views of different species… the different planetmate views.

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The anomalies that we have found to have the most potential for aiding us in this venture to a greater paradigm or framework within which to comprehend all these smaller views are those that have come out of consciousness research. This comes from scientific as well as spiritual sources. It is often experientially based, though it is hardly just anecdotal since these reports are replicatable and verifiable and they are often and can easily be collected and collated scientifically.

These scientific approaches to what were once in the realm of just the spiritual or religious are going on more now than ever before in the history of the world. Whether from fields of the new physics, the new biology, or the consciousness branches of psychology and anthropology, they are uncovering more new formerly inexplicable data of events that have heretofore been beyond the views of our sciences and beyond our common sense materialism—our world of “brute facts,” which we have found are not incontestable at all but are only solidly true in relation to the fact that we are of the species of humans.

We have found that these new facts are not as biologically irrelevant as was assumed by us, however. In fact, the survival of our species and indeed of the life on our planet probably depend upon us incorporating this information into a newer and more comprehensive understanding of reality. Fortunately the construction of this new framework is being carried out. And it and its implications are astounding, revelatory, and revolutionary in all respects imaginable. This new revolutionary model is unveiled in more detail in this article.

A New Paradigm Emerging

562802_469139956443536_476154461_nFor unless we do this, unless we keep in mind the limitations of our reality constructions—including our “scientific” ones—we have absolutely no way of understanding certain incorrigible and “biologically useless” facts that intrude upon our “real world” and that are scared into the light of our biological parameters by our scientific rummaging through the bushes. 10-emergence-440_thumbThese “useless” side effects of our scientific enterprise may indeed contain the keys to our venturing forth, to at least some small degree, beyond the biological real-world confines of our predecessors. For just as we have seen that standing on a deeper, more encompassing paradigm than the cultural makes transcultural discourse and understanding possible, so also standing on one deeper than the biological may bring trans-biological understanding closer.

320685_287043257975984_1019571197_nFollowing the reasoning I have been presenting, one can speculate that the prospects for bridging the boundaries between species (of both the known and “unknown” variety) as well as between our physical reality and other possible “non-physical” ones are good if we can find a way to look at that physical/biological (Newtonian-Cartesian) level from a deeper grounding in spiritual (or transpersonal) reality. In fact, the evidence from LSD research, some spiritual literature, and various aspects of “new age” phenomena that are washing up on the shore of a variety of disciplines is exactly to that effect.

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Indeed, wonder of wonders, finally in our evolution—in this very time of ours—there may be more people who are focusing on those keys to possible biological transcendence than ever before. Additionally, these researchers and seekers are scientifically, empirically, and experientially researching, eliciting, and perceiving many such incorrigible and “useless” phenomena and events. Most importantly of all, they are finding that these events can be intersubjectively validated—can be intertemporally and, indeed, empirically confirmed, demonstrated, and/or significantly correlated so that they can be proven to have intersubjective and/or replicatable validity. All of this despite the fact that within the “real rules” of the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm they have absolutely no possibility of existing or being able to happen . . . . Yet they do. Similarly, within the “real world” of “brute facts” related to biological survivability they seemingly find no place . . . . Yet we stumble over them.

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404758_10151168816692300_1663001410_nIf all of this were not enough, we find that these incorrigible facts provide more than a pathway to a glimpse outside our biological blinders, more than a puncture in our epistemological seal, and more than a transcendence of our biological paradigm. 381068_2409354290062_410697896_nWe find that this information from “outside” the table of our biological board game is less biologically useless than was thought from within the borders of that board game. We find, indeed, that our species’s assessment through natural selection of that which exists beyond it was less than perfect. We find that we are on the verge of re-evaluating that assessment and—to the extent it is possible and driven (once again) by biological survivability—of expanding our biological-cultural constructions to admit and give meaning to some of them.

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561122_4590595203775_1542758755_nStanislav Grof (1970, 1975, 1980, 1984, 1985, 1988a, 1988b; Grof and Grof 1980, 1989, 1990; Grof and Halifax 1977) is one such pioneer in this sort of “useless” research. Though he is by no means alone, I mention him in that he has achieved far more than simply demonstrating the validity of particular incorrigible facts that turn our familiar, comfy, Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm on its ear. asdafasdfaAdditionally, Grof (1985) puts forth a model, a framework for a new paradigm. Bringing together the physicist Bohm’s (1980) model of the universe and the neurosurgeon Pribram’s (1971, 1976) model of the brain, he presents a holonomic “perspective” or “theory” based upon the idea of a hologram. The important aspect of this perspective is that it allows the inclusion and understanding of these new existential facts, yet does not contradict the Newtonian-Cartesian view of the world. The model includes the older paradigm, interpenetrating it thoroughly with something approaching a “field model” (my terms) of the universe.

imagesThe combined model explains the phenomena of everyday life, of “normal” science, and of a huge and increasingly accumulating body of unexplainable data and evidence that is continually erupting out of the “new” natural sciences 408309_1764639612598_1737376259_863778_1611513471_n_thumb(in physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, anthropology, and psychology, especially transpersonal psychology); out of the human potential phenomenon and new, experiential psychotherapeutic and growth techniques, such as Primal; out of psychedelic, consciousness, and brain (especially brain waves) research; out of a decades-long now Western fascination with and intense engagement with Eastern world-view, philosophy, and spiritual practice; and out of an equally long and parallel interest in the paranormal and the occult.

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378217_404734319589778_416746225_nThe holonomic (combined) model is explanatory and predictive. Yet it does so without having to exclude known, observable, empirically validated facts and evidence—without undeservedly casting upon them the light of nonexistence or, worse still, ignoring them, simply because their validity gives rise to a very human “uncomfortableness.” 561118_417771534949707_1862742195_nSuch data trigger a certain insecurity in that they undermine a familiar, habitual, and thoroughly ego-invested commitment to a view of reality.5 The purposes of this article do not here allow an elaboration of either the new evidence or the new paradigm that I have discussed.6 Suffice it to say that the recent and rapid emergence of the field of transpersonal psychology itself is pushed by an inability to continually disregard the evidence of our own senses that does not fit with the mechanical paradigms we were taught.

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This new evidence, which is pouring forth on the cutting edges of our modern sciences, has made the Newtonian-Cartesian paradigm as obsolete as the flat earth one.  

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Continue with Why We Know Not and A Call to Know Instead: Beyond “Flat Earth” Materialism—Scientific Awakening Is as Crucial for Paradigm Shift as is the Social and Political Awakenings

Return to How We Might Come to Know: In Tossing Away Our Species Blinders, We Relearn That Consciousness Is Infinite, Yes … but Fantastic as Well.

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Being Born … Playing Now, in Theaters Near You!

Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist: Everything You’ve Managed to Forget About Being Born

Wounded Deer and Centaurs, Chapter Two: Everything You’ve Forgotten About Birth … Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist

With these elements of birth experience in mind, let us look at some of the forces and elements, unprecedented and otherwise, that characterize twenty-first century life.

Baby and Fetal Projections on the Silver Screen

Fetus in the Sky with Diamonds … And Oh, the Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear…

clip_image003_thumbIn these strange days, movies, TV shows, and books are rife with perinatal themes: From the famous ending image of the movie “2001,” where the fetus is pictured against the blackness of space as a newborn star…to some of the most popular and lucrative movies of all time — ”Jaws,” for example, with its huge vagina dentata shark mouth lurking in the depths of the unconscious (the ocean), signifying the trauma we have around the mother’s vagina, the mouth ringed with teeth—the ferocious looking teeth symbolizing the pain and death elements of birth experience.

Other examples of perinatal imagery in the media include those in the movie Brazil”—the main character being haunted by hordes of infant/fetal faces in particular; “The Abyss”; “Jacob’s Ladder,” and “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”—large-headed fetal looking aliens again.

ET, Phone Mom!

Psychodynamic as well as perinatal sequences are displayed in “The Wall” and “Brainstorm.” There is the fascinating womb and fetal symbolism in UFO movies like “Cocoon”; “Cocoon: The Return!”; and “E.T.”—with the fetal-looking alien wanting to “phone home.” And of course, we have seen obvious perinatal symbolism in “Independence Day,” “Fire in the Sky,” “Jacob’s Ladder,” “Joe Vs. The Volcano,” “Nothing But Trouble”; and in a recurring way on weekly TV series The X Files, Star Trek, Heroes, and The 4400, among many others.

“Avatar” is a near perfect depiction of a BPM I state that is interrupted by the later stages of pregnancy and threatened by a mechanized-technological birth. Everything is there as in the womb state: a perfect harmony with Nature…a world tree symbolizing the life-giving placenta…harmony with the Mother, who is the World Mother, a Goddess.

In the Narnia series, the children find a “secret” doorway at the back of a wardrobe (womb symbol) and go from their normal realm into another magical realm. In thisas in many other depictions, such as “Alice in Wonderland,” “The Matrix,” and “The Wizard of Oz”we can see both a re-creation of the birth sequence but also the message (from our unconscious selves) that one needs to go back through and re-experience that sequence, as it was left incomplete. This magical realm is thus the womb. And in it lie many of the spiritual truths that we forgot when we came into the world and were overloaded with the pain of birth, which pushed our connection with Nature and the Universe into unconscious memory.

There is a plethora of more recent films rife with perinatal elements: Notable are the Matrix series, “Total Recall,” the Star War series, “Dark City,” “The Lathe of Heaven,” the Alien series, “The Tree of Life,” “Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls,” the Batman series, the Hannibal Lector series, “Suckerpunch,” and the Star Trek series. There are too many more to mention. [Footnote 1]

In addition to its prevalence in science fiction movies, it is replete in the symbolism of horror movies. When you understand this symbolism, you find it saturates the silver screen, popular television, music video and imagery, and the electronic media and arts

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Being a Baby

Other movies indicating the interest emerging around pre- and perinatal themes are “Look Who’s Talking” and “Look Who’s Talking Too,” which demonstrate a belief in sperm and egg, womb, and infantile consciousness far beyond what mainstream psychology wants to believe.

clip_image005_thumbAlso, there is the hilarious sperm sequence in Woody Allen’s “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex” in which he and a slew of others are dressed as individual sperm and dialogue about their upcoming great adventure.

This idea that sperm and ovum have consciousness can also be heard occasionally in comedic monologues on television and elsewhere.

Boob Tube With a View

clip_image007_thumbSpeaking of television, there was that very interesting and much heralded episode of the Moonlighting series in the late Eighties which—coincidentally employing an article and book title of mine, “A Womb With a View”—showed Bruce Willis in a womb-like enclosure as a fetus viewing, with the help of a higher spiritual ally, the upcoming events of his life. This plot idea was also an amazing, perhaps synchronistic, mirror image of a short story I wrote in 1979 titled “Birthing, Forgetting.” [Footnote 2]

A Hundred Monkeys and Counting

I point out the personal synchronicities because they speak of a “morphic resonance” phenomenon indicating ideas whose time has come. Be that as it may, the episode of Moonlighting is further proof of the growing belief in womb consciousness and interest in perinatal events.

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Perinatal Faces Poking Out Everywhere

Other perinatal elements that are currently manifesting include:

Satanic Cult Abuse

Reports of Satanic cult abuse graphically depict BPM II perinatal elements. We hear of children and others being immobilized, tied up, and otherwise disempowered. Oftentimes they relate being forced to spend extensive periods of time trapped in tight places and/or symbolically or literally buried under ground.

BPM III elements in cult abuse include the sexual excess/abuse and bloodletting or blood use as in its being poured or used in “anointing.”

Cult abuse in film, as well as in real life, especially depict BPM IV elements: Cutting, hurting, torturing, sexually and ritually abusing and “sacrificing” are all very much like an infant’s perception/feelings of its experience of its being “attended” to after birth.

The fact that cult rituals often involve a number of other people focusing on an individual who is strapped or held down—the immobilization prior to birth, as well as the helplessness after birth—on something raised, like an altar or table, and then “worked upon” in some way or other is a particularly graphic expression of a neonate’s experience of being on a medical table after birth, watched by a number of others and worked on.

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The ritualists’ use of robes and costumes, especially if they involve covering the face or the wearing of masks, is also not that much different from the way a baby in modern times perceives its welcoming into the world among masked and robed medical personnel.

Serial Rapists and Killers

One can hardly turn on the tube without finding some movie or TV show that is depicting a serial killer or rapist. I do not need to belabor the flooding of news programs with the same kind of material.

But the number of reports relative to victims and harm involved is far less than victims and suffering involved with other horrific events, such as hurricane, earthquake, nuclear radiation, ozone loss, or flood catastrophes, which have less or no perinatal charge about them. This preoccupation with serial violence, torture, and rape indicates BPM III elements of struggle, violence, sexual perversion and excess, as well as the death and torture aspects of being born.

Tube and Cinematic Violence Galore

Simply the amount of violence on television and in movies is a perinatal indicator. These depictions simulate, and stimulate, perinatal feelings in plot elements which are repeated to death.

Matters of Life and Death

We see clichéd regurgitations of being in life and death situations from which one is saved in the “nick of time.” This is exactly how it seemed when one was “miraculously” born, suddenly, after what seemed an endless time of suffering in which death was felt to be the only possible outcome.

It’s Not the Fourth of July, However….

You do not seem to be able to see a story that does not have explosions galore.

Such “fireworks” are examples of extreme compression suddenly becoming immense expansiveness and thus symbolize the sudden perinatal change of state from compression inside the womb to previously unknown expansiveness outside the womb as well as the sudden release of tension and compression upon being born.

Explosions also symbolize the immediate assault of sensation upon coming out of the sensorally “muffled” womb.

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There is lots of violence, and of course, sex. Such extreme degrees of sexual explicitness and especially sexual perversity point to strong BPM III influences.

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Monsters, Vaginas, and Hairs, Oh My!

4340imagghgfjjesRecurring themes of monsters that eat one, for example, The Alien movie series, indicate the feelings of fear of death in the mother’s womb. This is often portrayed as a huge, threatening mouth surrounded by teeth and, sometimes, hair. This is a symbol found throughout the world. Social scientists refer to it as a vagina dentata “mouth.”

clip_image00110511066-largeOne most obvious portrayal of this was Steven King’s 1995 miniseries, “The Longoliers.” The monsters, shown at the end, turned out to be flying, ball-shaped vagina dentatas, complete with hair covering, as in pubic hair. Though Steven King meant this to be frightening, from the perinatal perspective these flying, attacking vaginas are absolutely hilarious.

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Time Travel Equals Age Regression

Interestingly, the appearance of the Longoliers is caused by the characters going back in time. Though King has them going back only fifteen minutes, and not age regressing to birth, I thought the fact of time regression was telling in the extreme.

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Time travel in general is indicative of the need to go back and fix the trauma of these early events. The Back to the Future series is merely one example. We all know many others.

We have Ever Increasing Cesarean Births

imagdfhuesThe perinatal roots of these movies are indicated in other ways, e.g., the baby alien, in “Alien,” being “born” out of the abdomen.

While a “baby” emerging from a person’s midsection is obviously indicative of birth, clip_image003the fact that it comes bursting out of the belly, rather than the vagina, might also relate to the ever increasing use of cesarean section as a means of birthing in this century.

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“Noah, How Long Can You Tread Water?”

neo-wakes-upclip_image004Important perinatal influences are evident in the frequency of scenes of death by suffocation, in water or otherwise.

We are immersed in water before charybirdsbirth, placental fluid. Near the end of gestation, the mother, when nightmare.2989618237_1_3_5JdRXsNxstanding, constricts blood vessels to the fetus. This reduces the blood supply to the fetus and thus less oxygen is received. It is called fetal malnutrition. Prior to birth we humans experience suffocation and claustrophobic feelings—we “can’t get enough air”!—which seem deadly and unending.

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Aw, Hell

The timelessness of prenatal experience at this point—when not getting enough air—feels horrific, an unending nightmare. This part contributes to human ideas of places of forever, endless suffering, for example, hell.

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Death by Vegetable

“I Agree, But I don’t Like Having It Shoved Down my Throat!”

clip_image005428004336_a0275cf170Very interestingly, a more recent addition to this complex has something being forced aggressively down the throat of the victim.

I have noticed an increasing frequency of this version of suffocation in the visual media ever since I first remember seeing it in a scene from the movie Alien, where a rolled-up magazine is used as a murder weapon by being forced into the victim’s mouth. It seems to be becoming a writer/director’s fad, as increasingly creative ways are being imagined to play it out in scripts.

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Told You I Didn’t Like Vegetables!

Alien-mouth-e1288810712566Another common variation is when the suffocating item comes out of the person’s mouth.

In this frequent scenario, the victim is “infected” with some kind of alien spore which grows inside of him or her and comes thrusting up from inside of the person’s body and out of the mouth, lodging itself there. Often this alien extrusion looks something like a huge asparagus emerging. thestuff9The perverse sexual aspect of the image also has roots in perinatal, specifically, BPM III experience.

This “vegetable” eruption always happens suddenly and climactically, and almost always it results in death. Scenes like this I have observed in the movie “Jacob’s Ladder,” several times on the hit show The X Files, and in many, many other shows.

This sequence of pics from an episode of The Outer Limits is a rather good depiction of this. Notice that at the point the object emerging from the mouth is most visible it takes on the form of a vagina dentata. This links the images with birth and indicates the aggressive character of the feelings being depicted, that is, we have repressed anger feelings left over inside us from what was done to us. It is also more than just coincidence that the person to whom this is happening is in a hospital room and is dressed in a hospital gown; the plot is about this woman carrying a baby and this scene happens just after the birth. This is significant for the reason following, which states that this image has its roots in an event that indeed happened right after birth..

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Gag Me With a Toxin.

matrix-pod (2)This version of suffocation probably has its roots in the force-feeding of toxic elements to the fetus in the womb through the umbilical cord, and is more definitely related —the symbol is probably an amalgamation of both feelings—to the ungentle clearing of fluids clip_image007from the neonate’s mouth by the attendants immediately after birth.

This latter connection — the ungentle mouth cleaning of birth fluids — I can personally validate from my own primal experiences. Apparently I was not alone in being treated this way as a newborn in the 1940s and 1950s in America…hence the popularity of such images in the media of recent decades.

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Treated Like a “Piece of Meat”

clip_image0071This practice of ungentle mouth clearing—performed by hurried or insensitive, and uninformed, medical personnel, unaware of the consciousness and keen feeling awareness of the enchufesneonate—can leave one with lifelong feelings of being treated like a “thing.”

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The Wall Movie 1982 (7)

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The Wall Movie 1982 (18)

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b,w,brick,in,the,wall,movie,music,pink,floyd,the,wall-78ce4bddae7c105871bf6dba61dfc9ef_hbrainwouldntdieMany report having overwhelming feelings of being dealt with mechanically and without respect. It is common for folks to have feelings of “not being seen.” People can have lifelong body memories of having one’s mouth stretched wide.

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428004336_a0275cf170_thumb1images (2)These feelings, while they may be reinforced by later life events, oftentimes have roots that go back to a time immediately after birth. At this time, too frequently, the jaw is pulled down for the insertion of fingers and suction devices. It is done in a manner that is excruciatingly painful for a being that has spent his or her entire life—nine months—previous to that in a relatively placid environment with its mouth closed.

Jacobs-Ladder-Artcrpdimage_thumb22This ungentle procedure is also felt as an assault in that it occurs, usually, as the first event a baby is confronted with upon release from the womb.safe_image.php Its tiny mouth—never before fully opened—is often the first focus of attention, as large fingers (relatively) reach in, stretching the previously unopened and unstretched (virgin) mouth…breaking the metaphorical oral hymen of the neonate in a way that is felt to the infant to be comparable in pattern and violation to oral sexual assault.

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Did you ever wonder why so many folks have such terror of seeing a dentist? Did you ever wonder what is the fascination with water-boarding and torture in recent years?

Victims Du Jour

Fox_Mulder's_abductionMonica-Bellucci-Photoshoot-Matrix-Movie-9By the way, I might mention that while genuine sexual assault and child sexual abuse is a reality that has long been with us and is only now really coming to light (thankfully), the similarity of this early perinatal experience of ungentle mouth clearing to sexual assault may have something to do with the epidemic of reports of infant sexual abuse that are coming out of counselor’s therapy rooms.

MSDTORE EC0252886707crppdConfused interpretations of these reports can happen because most counselors and psychotherapists are ignorant of birth and perinatal trauma and yet more and more of them are allowing bits and pieces of regressive techniques into their standard professional arsenals.

In addition, they throw in these techniques, most often, without qualification or experience with these techniques, and oftentimes out of knowledge gained solely from books or second-handedly…not to mention rarely, robocop07because of professional arrogance, having experienced or undergone these regressions themselves.

Combine this inexperienced dredging up of perinatal material with the fact, as I will be continually reiterating throughout this book, that people these days are closer to their perinatal unconscious, medusa3to their birth trauma. One can see how it can easily happen that when feelings of being orally assaulted after birth begin arising within the counseling rooms,medium_wruef9ycqa0crppd they can be interpreted, by therapist or client or both, as early sexual assault—that being the interpretation du jour, so to speak, and because of coursethe-matrix-revolutions-give-me-a-chance-film-photo-u1crppd both are ignorant of the fact of birth trauma—its having systematically been resisted and purged from mainstream professional and lay common knowledge, beginning with Freud’s rejection of Otto Rank’s discovery of it, right down to the present. (But let’s not get into that just here.)

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Welcome to the World … Now f u

blog pic 2 (8-6-11)89615_v1Regardless, the ungentle mouth cleaning is felt not just as a physical assault, it is an outrage to the infant’s tender psyche as well—leaving a lifelong and fundamental imprint undergirding and helping to sculpt all later experience—in that it is the first “welcome” to this world. That is to say, the birth struggle ends, there is release… (finally!) … then, “Welcome, baby” — yank! stretch, robocop20feel manipulated and used, bush_borgtreated like an object and with no sense that one is a living aware being.

With this in mind—that this “Hello–fuck you!” experience can be the primal (first) experience of this world, of other -SGC- Unnatural eyes packCRPDpeople, of society — it may be easier to understand the profound fear and anxiety toward other people that resides inside many of us—for example, as in the book title: I’d Rather Die Than Give a Speech!

silence1This also sheds light on the seemingly “mindless” devils-advocate-560-thumb-560xauto-30306violence and rage that is directed back against anonymous people and society in general by certain types of criminals. They can be seen to be teacherteethMacting out edsullivancartoontheir “fuck you” welcome into the world by attacking back and outwardly, rather than this early rage energy being channeled into some of the other, more healing or at least not harmful, responses possible to early assault.

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Faces Coming Out of the Walls

TheWallFaceScreama-brazil-criterion-single-720-brazil-4crppdI would like to refer to one final perinatal indicator in the visual media, which has been capturing my attention of late…seeming to be coming out of the very walls at me! This is—what appears to me to be—a recent and new sort of perinatal symbolism, at least in Western culture.

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hopkinscrosbycrppdWe have had, over and over again, the image of the “evil fetus” erupting from the abdomen,AlienChestburster as in the classic scene from “Alien” as well as that of it emerging from the mouth—as examples, the “volcano-new-species” episode of The X Files and the dance hall scene in “Jacob’s Ladder”—indicating fetal emergence mixed with ungentle neonatal mouth clearing.

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Membrane Walls

But this new variation of “fetal emergence” has human faces pushing through membrane-like elastic walls!

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Ventura Out of the Womb

clip_image002A good example of this occurs in the movie, “Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, When Nature Calls.” In the Ace Ventura movie, Jim Carrey emerges from inside a mechanical rhino with virtually all birth elements evident.

He is holed up in a hot and suffocating “womb”—that is, he is inside the rhino.

ultrasound2019-apr-07He becomes engaged in a desperate need to get out. Interestingly, the fan—the source of comfort in the rhino (womb)—stops working Scream6gafter a while. This is exactly analogous to the way, when we are fetuses, the nurturing elements of the mother’s womb “turn off,” in the last stage of gestation, making the womb quite an uncomfortable place indeed.

We see him pushing his face against the elastic, membrane surface of the rhino’s posterior in a way graphically suggesting perinatal emergence. The tourists watching this explicitly state that they see it as the rhino giving birth.

Potter-Frontcrppdfacetotal_recall_stomach_creatureWe witness the actual “birth”: Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura) struggles to make the opening larger and to come out. Finally, he falls, naked wet and curled up fetal- or baby-like, to the ground. The hilarious—and outrageous to the tourists—part is this image of a rhino giving birth to a full-grown naked adult human “baby.”

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Couldn’t Fight Your Way Out of a Plastic Bag!

hoardnewspaper (2)TotalBitchStoleOurMilkCrippledOurNationOther examples of this element of human features pushing through membranes has individuals completely covered and suffocated in membrane-like elastic sheets from which they cannot escape and in which they appear agonized and struggling. A good example of this was in a scene from “Fire In the Sky” that was shown repeatedly on TV to hype the movie when it came out.

Scream7g (2)Even the invention and use of straight jackets shows our preoccupation with the perinatal, especially as concerns our mental health or well-being. For the message there is that if you “get out of control” you will be put back in a place where you will be forced to comply and will have to learn to deal,b,w,brick,in,the,wall,movie,music,pink,floyd,the,wall-78ce4bddae7c105871bf6dba61dfc9ef_h as all the rest of us do, with the “existential fact” of needing to conform to the dictates of an overwhelming, dominating, and pervasive other world.

headbangingExistential fact is in quotes to point out that this is not an essential fact of existence; rather they seem to be facts to humans because of the experience we share of being in constricting wombs Robbieabysswhich become uncomfortable and suffocating increasingly near the end. This is an example of what I have termed elsewhere, biologically constituted realities.

Of course a similar thing—forcible “re-education”—could be said for the use of jail cells,Open mask solitary confinement, and enclosures like “The Hole” during incarceration. Simply the fact that we have a much greater percentage of our population in prisons than any time previously points to our mania of trying to control this aspect of our feelings from our origins…and of an emerging perinatal unconscious triggering the reaction. In former times, torture devices often employed devices of compression, suffocation, constriction…of total-recallthe entire body or just the head…and often added the element of prenatal discomfort by adding torture while so enclosed. The Iron “Maiden” is such a device. Note the feminine being employed in the name itself. Could that be any more clear that it is meant to be a painful, tortuous re-creation of being inside one’s mother?

Modern movies showing such devices or procedures are indicative of these perinatal elements coming to the surface obviously. One example is “The Man in the Iron Mask.” In a similar respect, I have already mentioned our current preoccupation with water-boarding style torture. In employing suffocation, it is an effective and brutally inhuman way of stimulating people’s perinatal pain, just as straight jackets and jail cells are intended to.

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This House Will Eat You Alive!

I saw a most potent portrayal of this new perinatal element in the 1996 movie by Peter Jackson, with Michael J. Fox, “The Frighteners.”

1218885566_5__3ji-e1320373810749This movie’s plot involved a house being somewhat alive and gobbling people up into the walls. The ingested people would try to emerge from the house’s walls. The walls being like elastic when they would do this, the features of their faces could be seen pushing through to the point even of the individuals being identifiable.

hell_night_3These swallowed people could not get out of the walls. And they would be the next ones trying to lure their loved ones and friends into being gobbled up by the house, the same having been done to them, which had resulted in their being taken into the walls initially. Sounds like a modern, very perinatal variation on the Pied Piper theme.

Pink Floyd - The Wall - CoverBut the former victims who, once pulled into the walls, themselves become perpetrators also is a powerful metaphor of the way primal trauma and child abuse of all kinds—including genital mutilation—is passed from one generation to the next. Vampirism has this telling quality as well: Once you are “bitten,” you are compelled to do it to others. In the same way all child abusers were abused themselves as children, as any psychologist will tell you.

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House, Cave, Squids

Anyway, this portrayal of a house that gobbles up its victims, bizarre as it sounds and as it looked, can only be explained by looking into our perinatal imprints; and it is rife with such elements.

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To start with, a house — being an enclosure in which humans protect, nurture, and take care of themselves clip_image0043once born into the world—is perhaps the most prevalent womb symbol that exists. It is right up there in importance with caves, oceans, swallowing beasts—especially beasts of the ocean like whales (Jonah), sharks (Jaws), and octopi or giant squids.

There was a recent movie of this squid variation. Its plot development was of the “Jaws” genre. But in adding tentacles, it added elements of pubic hair and umbilical strangulation to the normal aspects of womb torture such as simple compression and suffocation.

image_thumb17_thumbHouse; cave; water; devouring dragon, as in Harry Potter; whale or shark; automobile, especially buses or motorhomes; boats, especially submarines; indeed all vehicles of transition, nonmechanical as well as mechanical as in trains and airplanes; the deep forest, as in Avatar—anything in fact with elements of being surrounding and engulfing of one and as nurturing or threatening one, or both, are womb symbols, as we have known for a long time.

Prison, Jail Cell, Schoolroom = Womb

Open mask_thumbIn the category of womb symbols that are places that enclose or “house” one that are uncomfortable, constricting, limiting of one’s ability to move around and in which one is made to suffer, even be tortured, we need to add prisons, dungeons, jail cells, and schoolrooms. Breaking out of prisons, being rescued from tight, enclosing places or situations in which one is not free—that is, can not “move freely”—are specific portrayals of the birth process itself. Contemporary film is flooded with plots and scenes depicting such escapes and/or rescues. Any constricting surround is a womb symbol, including oppressive social and political conditions from which one cannot escape and under which one is not able to move freely, to enjoy “freedom”; especially regimented ones under which one is tortured, processed, and treated anonymously and in an unfeeling, insensitive manner.

Schools and schoolrooms are especially strong womb symbols for they are places in which a person is supposedly nurtured and helped along in one’s development, exactly as was the purpose and situation in the womb. Libraries are the benign version of womb-like “schooling” in that the element of volition or choice in the matter exists. When they depict being constricted or made to suffer, it becomes even more obvious, depicting as that does the later stages in the womb which are uncomfortable and often hellacious.

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The Wall

wall-poster_thumbIn the school sequences in the movie, “The Wall,” there are other perinatal elements potentiating some of the scenes. b,w,brick,in,the,wall,movie,music,pink,floyd,the,wall-78ce4bddae7c105871bf6dba61dfc9ef_h_thumbWe have anonymity, indicating not being seen in the womb; fetal faces; tortuous “development” and passage from one state to another especially as in being shoved through a wringer or meat grinder; and faces coming out of walls or having an appearance similar to that.

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Houses and Spaceships Are Real “Mothers”

One lengthy explanation of this kind of symbolism as it is connected with “the Mother” is the classic work by the Jungian, Erich Neumann, titled, The Origins and History of Consciousness, which he himself based on other even earlier analyses of mother symbolism and its association with enclosing and enveloping sorts of thing.

At any rate, among all these, the house is probably the most popular symbol today. It would seem to be used more in the visual media as a womb symbol than any other, currently. With the increased interest in science fiction, the spaceship is perhaps coming in second, but even that distantly.

Being spaceships, UFOs are obviously womb symbols. Carl Jung once speculated in writing that the upsurge of UFO sightings indicated a rising urge for psychic unity in humans. While this is true on one level, on a deeper level, they are symbols of reintegration with our repressed traumatic womb experiences. Space travel is transition from one world to another in general. And the vehicle of passage is a UFO or spaceship … in which one’s needs are taken care of and one is involved in passage or transition … It is not surprising that often in the course of this transition, space travel, the space voyagers of the silver screen encounter odd and horrifying developments.

Notice how we say “mother ship.” UFO type spaceships are so often depicted as round or spherical. Indeed, we have elaborate developments of these themes in the Death Star depiction of Star Wars–a round enclosed place and habitat associated with dread and death …

“You Will Be Assimilated.”

The variations on this are themselves telling. We have one instance of a cubical habitat in space…a square, not round, spaceship. What better way to show how terrifyingly different the inhabitants are from natural, biological beings. For womb equals round, flowing lines as in Nature, products of a physical or biological world, one of life and dealing with living and animate things. Whereas to indicate that these beings are mechanical, unnatural, robotic…products of a mental world only, one of death and dealing with inanimate, non-living things…machines…straight lines are employed, implying the worlds of engineering, mathematics, geometry…of the mind only, not of the physical or biological worlds or the worlds of feeling and experience. Implying a world of non-feeling and non-experience is horrifyingly akin to implying a death-like existence.

Star Trek aficionados will have picked up by now I am referring to the Borg and to their cubical spaceships/habitats. We have to make the connection that the appearance of symbols of machines, robots, androids, and such with womb symbols–increasingly prevalent in modern and postmodern times–is easily attributable to the fact of our ever increasing mechanization of birth…in which, as I was pointing out above, humans are “thingified” and turned into “human robots.” And, yes, these are horrifying and death-like experiences that we undergo at our beginnings and subject our incoming members to.


Worse Homes and Gardens. Is It Any Wonder It Is Haunted?

clip_image005_thumbclip_image007_thumbI remember watching an old movie from the “Amityville” series. As most people are aware, in any of these movies, it is the evil house that is the source of the horror. This goes back at least to Edgar Allen Poe’s “The House of Usher.”

Yet this plot idea of an evil house, which must, in the end, come crashing down in flames—indicating the explosive and fiery birth, BPM III, which signals the release from the evil forces—was boringly evident in films in the Twentieth Century.

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Related to this, taking this theme back in time, clip_image0023is the ideas of dungeons or castles … with mad scientists, no less — obstetricians, perhaps?

At any rate, in this idea of a house that “gobbles” one up, as in “The Frighteners,” we have the bringing together of two of the most predominant birth elements in film—an evil house and a devouring beast. That fact of a doubling of perinatal elements alone is indicative of a plot saturated with perinatal influence.

Origins of Parallel Universes

But this idea of something coming through the walls, membrane walls, is both fascinating and telling in the extreme. It speaks to other perinatal elements and feelings.

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I might start by pointing out the element of there being another realm small_portal pepper spray copinto which people go and from which people are rescued (with luck). There is a barrier between the two realms—a permeable, elastic barrier. Anytime you have this other realm you are talking about either birth or death or both. Oftentimes it is both, for it is felt that to go back to the time of being in the womb (“regression”) is akin to death.

Of course we get this idea that birth is death, for one thing, because of the fact that at that time—in the late stages of pregnancy with fetal malnutrition, lack of sufficient oxygen, suffocation, and so on—there was a sense of impending death, and oftentimes actual vital life threat to the fetus. jacobs-ladder-mccaulay-culkin-and-tim-robbins_thumbWe see our beginnings as dire, for another thing, because the actual time of being born is analogous to a dying to one state in order to be born into another. Actual birth, BPM III, has most often been related to feelings of death/rebirth.

So of course, for these reasons, anything having to do with going across or back into that other realm is going to be associated with death.

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“There’s No Place Like Home.”

clip_image004EnglishGrof_DifferentDoorwayiconBut death is not the only aspect of crossing some kind of barrier into another realm. Related to the house theme we see how going through a membrane into another realm can take one into another place where one has adventures and rediscovers important understandings or is transformed or matured in some way.

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Wizard_Oz_Pepper_Spray_PigIn this category we have Alice going through a looking glass to go into Wonderland; Dorothy and Toto in “The Wizard of Oz” being transported — in their house, naturally — to another realm; and the back of the wardrobe opening up into the other land of Narnia in the classic children’s series by C. S. Lewis titled, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. In Howl’s Moving Castle, a floating, traveling house takes the occupants to different places and into various adventures and scenes, like some kind of animated version of Sliders.

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Through the Looking Glass

Mia-Wasikowska-in-Alice-i-001Secret-Garden3And of course this is only the tip of the iceberg of works of literature, film, and TV that could be given: the magic mirror, often an antique one (of course),Close_Encounters_of_the_Third_Kind which opens up to another horrible or wonderful place or to a time in the past; or the secret passageway in a wall that opens, by means of some magical or technical maneuver and takes one into secret places—both wondrous and hideous.

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The hearth that spins around is particularly telling in that the hearth may be considered the “heart” or center of the maternal in the house, the prime source of heat and nourishment—as when in previous times it was the place in which the food was actually cooked. There are many other examples.

clip_image006The movie “Jumanji” with Robin Williams employed this idea laboriously and dramatically, with people going through walls into other times and places.

But the movie also included perinatal elements such as stampedes of gigantic jungle animals and even floods. Here again we see beasts that can devour or crush one, but also enveloping waters. In fact, when the flooding waters came through the wall, to accompany this element there was even the “mandatory” fight with a toothy beast!

This “Dark” Unknown

In this movie, “Jumanji,” as in too many others, the “other side” is depicted as a dangerous and often deathly place. This points to the vital life threat that we go through at the times of our birth, leaving an imprint of fear of it for a lifetime.

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Verny_SecretLifeiconLeboyer_BirthViolenceiconThis depiction of it and fear of it are both understandable and unfortunate. For, as I alluded to earlier, this idea of birth trauma has been vigorously resisted in our culture ever since it was first presented by Otto Rank. And we can attribute that resistance to accepting its reality to the fact that it triggers so much fear in people to even consider these perinatal influences.

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2001 Baby Earth

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Love, Fear Relationship

Escape-Alcatrazfrighteners05-thumbTo put it another way, considering, as we now are, how imbued with death, fear, and pain is this time of our life, we are capable of seeing that there are good reasons why otherwise logical people would at all costs resist the idea of birth trauma and perinatal influences, the evidence be damned. We are fascinated by this time of our life. We play it out endlessly in our imaginations and collective dreams and, as we shall see subsequent chapters, in our everyday lives. But we are utterly terrified of it. Indeed it is, as Janov once put it, the only time for most people that in life we come so close to death, other than our actual demise.

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To Hell With It…

clip_image001 13So to acknowledge birth is to face death and an inner memory of horror and a hell-like experience. These aspects of it are not going to lend to its being readily accepted among our intellectual currency.

Clients in the therapy rooms only face their perinatal memories when all other interpretations, memories, and early experiences have been made and integrated. The perinatal is the last and most gruesome of truths to face. It is faced only when all other options are gone and the truth alone will do.

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In the same way—since it is not easy truth—its acceptance into the arena of our common knowledge has awaited its necessity to be known and acknowledged. It has required our species survival being at stake for us to consider the deepest roots of our problems. [Footnote 3]

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Face Me, or You’re Mine!

t10001clip_image002Central to this book is the idea that we need to face the ultimate and horrible truths if we are to save ourselves. Wounded Deer are those people who suffer from closeness to these perinatal truths. Centaurs are those wounded ones who have accepted these facts of life; they have accepted the fact that fundamentally they, as all of us, are wounded. And in embracing it this way they become healers for those who cannot face their truth or who are struggling with doing so.

For not only are we closer terminator-2-1crppd2to our perinatal unconscious these days, we are—because of the precarious nature of our times, which our ignorance and denial of the perinatal heretofore has set up for us—required to face the perinatal “monster” or we are doomed. It is now the time to uncover the truth, to get to the root of the problem, or there will simply, eventually, be no problem, because there will be no people to have a problem or to recognize a truth or root of a problem.

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Fear and Freedom … Only a Membrane Away

clip_image004zyjbq2d56rkznqfucrrpd2Be that as it may, this recent development in perinatal imagery involving a membrane barrier between us and the perinatal realm is closer to our actual perinatal reality than any of the previous symbols put out in earlier times which showed a barrier between us and the perinatal. So this membrane depiction of the perinatal suggests an increasing closeness to the perinatal unconscious.

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Perinatal Spamming

T-1000We have progressed in our collective consciousness beyond hard walls or mirrors separating us from our perinatal memories (and horror), now they are just a membrane away. They are only a thin, elastic membrane away. And from the other side this part of ourselves calls out to us, pushing its face through—like the computer push technology, with all its annoying pop-up consoles and screens that won’t go away. Our births come spamming through to tell us what we need and to call us back to a realization of the truths we need to hear to save ourselves.

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terminator-2-1crppd1imadddgftggesGetting back to the membrane symbol itself, the perinatal elements of this new depiction are rife. Obviously the late stages of pregnancy have one in an enclosed elastic, membrane container—the womb—from which one cannot escape. Also, the fetus’s features in the latest stages are somewhat evident, can be seen and felt, on the surface of the mother’s belly, something like faces pushing out of elastic walls. And one struggles agonizingly during birth and endures intense suffocation through a great deal of it, just like those in movies who are surrounded by elastic sheets.

Skynet in the desert

All of this is then, in Western civilization, compounded after birth with tight swaddling. The newborn, curiously, is wrapped like a tamale in a way that he or she cannot move freely. So rather than remember the earlier womb experience of blissful freedom and euphoria, it has its most recent hellish experience of the late stages of gestation and birth reinforced. There is no doubt that we are letting our newest members know they will not be able to move freely in life, have freedom, or express themselves freely. It is no wonder that depression is a pandemic in modern society and antidepressants are sprinkled over the masses like holy water.

Baby Abductees and Masked Medical Aliens

Fox_Mulder's_abductionFinally, a later perinatal element is inserted in the “Fire In the Sky” scene in that the struggling abductee, covered in the elastic membrane sheet, is lying on an Jacobs-Ladder-Artcrpdthe_joker_straight_jacketalien’s medical table. In the same way a baby, right after birth, endures the struggle for breath, caused by premature umbilical cutting, as it lies on the medical table and receives “processing” by medical personnel who to the fetus are alien-looking—that is, they have prominent eyes and lower face not pronounced because covered with surgical mask.

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wyeuacsd2gb6bgsThe point of bringing out the occurrence of these media images is that the projective systems of our culture—our art—are reflecting our collective changes in consciousness: Specifically, the evolution of our consciousness as it is confronted by this unconscious pre- and perinatal material…or, as some psychohistorians would have it, the “collapsing” of our “ego strength” as we are “threatened” by these “dangerous” perinatal elements.

Birthing Into Everyday Life

clip_image006imadddddgesWhether these images are indicative of a healing crisis or are the opening of a Pandora’s box—that is to say, whether they will they lead to the armageddon that many are predicting or to a consciousness evolution and a new Earth—will be something for us to consider further on.

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Meanwhile, let us look at how these elements, not only show up in our collective media dreams, but fashion the very furniture of our everyday reality.

To Be Continued with Wounded Deer and Centaurs, Chapter Three: The Perinatal Furniture of Everyday Living

Return to Wounded Deer and Centaurs, Chapter One: We Are a Fever

Enjoy your own virtual emergence by following the pics below:

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Now add a blissful period and go back around again; that’s the way it works in life.

Continue with The Primal Screen: The Doors of Perception Stormed and The Perinatal Rising — A Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life

Return to We Are a Fever, Part Five, The Perinatal Unconscious: Why We Are Committing Ecocide and Seeking Species Suicide

Footnotes

1. For an analysis of the pre- and perinatal elements of “Independence Day,” see Anne Marquez’s article on the Primal Spiritwebsite:‘Independence Day’: Pre- and Perinatal Adventure in Film.”

2.The text for “Birthing, Forgetting” can be found at “My Beginning, At Least the Part Anyone Could See: Birthing…Forgetting (a short story) on my site, SillyMickel Adzema’s Life – Autobiography. It was originally published in – Michael D. Adzema, “Birthing, Forgetting (a story).” Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, 2(1), Spring 1996, pp. 65-76

Birthing, Forgetting (a short story)

An audio reading by the author of Birthing, Forgetting, can be heard by following the link above to the audio site or by clicking the audio player below.

http://ecdn0.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=zgxsgyzhkm

For background and elaboration of “Birthing, Forgetting” listen to the audio,

Some Primal History and Prologue to “Birthing, Forgetting”

The audiocast of “Prologue to Birthing, Forgetting” can be heard by following the link above to the audio site or by clicking the audio player below.

http://cdn.hark.com/swfs/player_fb.swf?pid=hwvpxzhffh

3. See Stanislav Grof on this at “Planetary Survival and Consciousness Evolution: Psychological Roots of Human Violence and Greed

Continue with The Primal Screen: The Doors of Perception Stormed and The Perinatal Rising — A Kaleidoscope of Postmodern Life

Return to We Are a Fever, Part Five, The Perinatal Unconscious: Why We Are Committing Ecocide and Seeking Species Suicide

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How We Might Come to Know: In Tossing Away Our Species Blinders, We Relearn That Consciousness Is Infinite, Yes … but Fantastic as Well.

Understanding Our Limitations, We Approach the Mystical: Biologically Constituted Realities, Part Five: Paradigm Relativity and the Limitations of Science


In tossing away our species blinders, we approach a truth far beyond science, though not overturning science…. In doing this we see that it is the mystics and the consciousness researchers who are likely to have the most accurate angle on Reality.

Ultimately this means that now that we know that common sense materialism is simply a biological construct of the species human, we can relearn that it is Consciousness that is our only knowable Reality, but also that it is Infinite, yes, but Fantastic as well.

Summary: Our sciences have led us to learn that what we call reality is what we have found to be useful for us as a species, but that it is not necessarily what is True and is certainly not all that is true or real. So we find that the Reality of It All or the All That Is gets reduced down from what it is to the snippet of it that we have found to be biologically useful.

But if we wish to know not merely what is practical but what is actually True or Reality, we need to go way beyond the smattering of facts thrown up by our ordinary senses and the sciences that are extensions of them. There are levels of that diminution of Reality—from All That Is down through what the individual knows to be true. So to know what is True, we need to reverse those reductions in true understanding.

We find that in doing this reversal, some startling things are revealed. For example, from the perspective of each greater awareness, each more limited perspective becomes understandable and the different ones of those perspectives can be compared. For example, it is difficult for one individual to truly understand another. However, standing within a knowledge of psychology in general we have a better understanding of another and we can compare one individual’s reality with another and come up with meaningful and true conclusions, even comparisons and evaluations. That is, indeed, why we have the science of psychology in the first place.

But at the level of cultures, a similar thing happens. Anthropologists come necessarily to the conclusion that another culture cannot truly be understood by someone standing in a different culture. Just as one individual cannot exactly understand another’s reality, it is even more impossible for someone from one culture to be able to truly view the world through the lenses or worldview of those born into another culture.

However, here again, we can have a better understanding of each culture and can even compare cultures somewhat when coming from the perspective of our common human biology. For all cultures have to relate to the nature of our body and its abilities, senses, and capabilities. All cultures make constructions about, around, and from the particular biological frame that humans have, so cultures can be compared at least in relation to those commonalities of humans. This means more than just that cultures can be compared in relation to biological realities like birth and death, for it is even important and instructive to compare them to more basic realities of human biology such as pain, pleasure, happiness, liberty, and so on. All humans feel and have concepts about these things. However, we see how non-absolute these realities are as soon as we look at the realities or consciousness of life forms other than human. Can we truly say that a lizard has a concept about liberty or happiness? Can we say that an amoeba or bacteria feels freedom or the lack of it.

It follows that to understand truth beyond our biologically constituted realities … to be able to get an idea of what reality might be for entities and life in general and not just humans, we would need to stand inside a paradigm of understanding that would apply to all species—both known and unknown. We would need to take a stance on the foundation of a trans-species perspective—that is, what is true for all species, not just humans. This is what science says it is attempting to do, but it actually does not. Because we have found out that sciences can only look in areas that we as humans ahead of time have an idea that something might be. In other words, science is an extension of our senses. So to do more, we have to expand our imagination to include what might be the perspectives of other species … other planetmates. This is what we our doing with our planetmate consciousness … our Planetmate Views. It is what The Great Reveal is all about.

But, you say, how can we do that? How can we know the way another being or life form, other than human, might view Reality? We can’t. But the point is we are more likely to come up with something truer than what we already know when we at least try to do that. And trying to do that means starting with dropping the presupposition, the arrogance, that humans have a superior and more real understanding of Reality. And when we do that, simply that alone, we already find we have a much expanded understanding of what is really Real. For even what we are able to know about other species shows us some of the ways they see things differently than us. So simply by not assuming we are the pinnacle of creation and acknowledging that, for example, a dog really does have more accurate smelling ability and an eagle a greater ability to see, and imagining what that would mean for us or keeping that in mind, we come to an appreciation of ourselves as a part of Nature, not a ruler of Nature; just as in our understandings of the realities-subjectivities-feelings of other humans led us to know that we are not rulers of other people; just as our understanding of other cultures have led us to know that one culture is not better, superior to, or more dominant over another.

The conclusions from all this understanding is that our sciences are important in establishing facts and reality, but the ones they come up with are only relative to our species, not necessarily to any other species, and not necessarily do they give us a true idea of What Really Is.

You think this is irrelevant to know? Well, to give just one example, think of all our forays into space and our imaginings of other beings from other than this planet. If you take the perspective that I am encouraging here, you will notice how astoundingly naïve are our expectations and how crude the instruments we use to detect other life forms. For they all are built on an expectation of finding beings that are at least somewhat like ourselves. You say, no, our scientists aren’t assuming other beings of high consciousness would look like us. But you should know I mean that in our scientists saying what are the building blocks of life–water, and so on–they are showing a bias about “life” that it is something like what we know. Notice also that even the idea that a “higher” level of consciousness itself has its roots in this idea that a human consciousness is superior to other kinds we know of.

So these assumptions built into our science are laughable in their arrogance. Meanwhile, in understanding how limited and relative is our human perspective, we are able to imagine other possibilities for life and its variations. We begin to approach the perspectives of mystics. We begin to understand how it is not outside the realm of possibility that even what we consider non-life and inanimate to be somehow conscious or a form of consciousness, even if we cannot call it “life”—which is, we see now, itself part of our limited species interpretation.

So, in tossing away our species blinders, we approach a truth far beyond science, though not overturning science. What Is ends up not, as fundamentalists might think, opposed to science, rather inclusive of science … but including so, so much more. And in doing this we see that it is the mystics and the consciousness researchers who are likely to have the most accurate angle on Reality.

Ultimately this means that now that we know that common sense materialism is simply a biological construct of the species human, we can relearn that it is Consciousness that is our only knowable Reality, but also that it is Infinite, yes, but Fantastic as well.

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a persistent one.” Albert Einstein

“A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. The true value of a human being is determined by the measure and the sense in which they have obtained liberation from the self. We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if humanity is to survive.” Albert Einstein (1945)

How We Might Come to Know 

In light of what I said earlier concerning the underlying “biological” rationale for the “real-world” information that is the usual purview of our sciences, I emphasize this point of Huxley’s on the criterion of usefulness in determining what is normally regarded as real and true . . . and especially this usefulness as being relative to biological survival.

The Levels of Reality Construction

The point I am making is that we may profitably consider each level of reality construction—from the levels of biologically constituted realities down through the various levels of cultural constructions of reality—as levels in the diminution of reality (cf., Adzema, 1991). This focusing on the specifics to the exclusion of more wholistic perspectives may have more “biological” usefulness. But the point is that any scientific endeavor that would seek to be anything more than merely pragmatic (and actually venture after truth) must undo or reverse that diminution—must indeed be aware of the self-constructed nature of the creations with which it is normally concerned.

Paradigm Relativity

The upshot of all of this is that the elements (“particles”) operating within any particular paradigm are closed to each other, “sealed.” On the other hand, standing on the basis of a “deeper,” or more encompassing, paradigm; translation, discourse, and transfer of information can truly occur. As an example, looked at from the playing field of culture, we come to the conclusion of epistemological relativism—i.e., that cultures are sealed from one another; no genuine dialogue is possible across their boundaries. However, looking at these same cultures within the playing field of the physical or biological (i.e., standing on those “brute facts”), we see that discourse, transfer, and translation occur once again. [Footnote 4]

For this reason also, we can see why it seems that biological anthropologists and primatologists are so much less bothered by issues of epistemological relativism than are cultural anthropologists.

But then, standing on these “brute” (i.e., biological) facts, we are confronted with a new relativism—that regarding the worldviews of one species over against another. We see that species are epistemologically sealed from one another and that a trans-species reality is seen to be as impossible as a transcultural one was while standing within the playing field of culture.

Thus, though each culture is epistemologically sealed in relation to reality, it is not so in relation to other cultures (at least in a relative sense—that is, relative to our separation from Reality as Such). For all cultures of humans exist within a common biological paradigm that is concerned with all that is related to biological survivability (though not to Reality as Such). It means that cultural paradigms can be compared in relation to common species-specific factors.

Usefulness and Limitations of Science

In this way we see why investigation of this Newtonian-Cartesian universe that we perceive with our senses and that we have constructed with the aid of our sciences is important. For it can provide additional data that has the possibility of being biologically useful.

Contrary to the conclusion from the total-symbolic-heritage view, science can be seen as more than “mere ethnoscience”—that is, science as being merely one more part of a culture and with no more claim to validity than any other view.

Levels of Usefulness, Paradigm Comparisons

It seems to me that science has a greater, though not ultimate, claim to validity to the extent it includes and integrates more experiential “facts” in its reality constructions . . . the degree of scientific validity—from good ethnoscience to bad ethnoscience—being the number of experiential facts it includes and integrates. Cultural constructions can therefore be compared, although such comparisons do not render any one of them, including science, Ultimate Truth, only “righter” in relation to the others, i.e., more correct.

What follows is that whoever accepts the “larger,” more encompassing, more inclusive perspective is necessarily the one who has more “power” ultimately, in that this one’s view allows for more accurate predictive and remedial power. That is why, eventually if not immediately, more inclusive paradigms and their proponents attain dominance.

That is not to say, by the way, that new paradigms do always include all facts that old paradigms include . . . just that they often include “more” experiential—thus, “objectively” true—facts. As just one example, many Amerindians’ views included some “facts” that were excluded from the paradigms of those that superseded them.

Paradigm Clash, The Force Behind Evolution

But to continue, since persons holding more inclusive paradigms are more “powerful,” eventually if not immediately they are more likely to predominate in that they would be chosen by natural selection. If we would slide back our anthropocentric lenses for a minute and attempt to view all other species as simply other problem-solving beings who, as measured by their success, were employing either better or worse paradigms (i.e., including more or less experiential “facts”), we might say that this is one way of appreciating the force behind continual evolution for all species.

So science has a claim to validity in relation to our species’s biological survivability. But as emphasized earlier it has no claim in relation to anything other than that. Its truth is but a limited one. Its truth is relative to a biological context, a specific one, that of Homo sapiens.

A Challenge to Know More

Indeed, this fact of limitation needs to be emphasized more heartily in science today. Anthropological thinking has created a legacy where we have been made fully aware of the relativity of culture and the limitations of culturally constituted facts—those “institutional facts” referred to earlier. It seems an equal and parallel effort is warranted—from the ranks of ecosophists, consciousness researchers, tranpersonalists, and others in the know—to point out the limitations and relativity of our species’s biologically constituted facts—those (not so) “brute facts” of Anscombe and D’Andrade.

Footnote

4. It is much the same as saying that it is when we share our feelings and personal experience (no coincidence that these are to a greater extent physical and biological than “mental”) that we have the greatest chance of sharing across individual or cultural boundaries.

Continue with The Challenge to Know More: The New Evidence, Pouring Forth from Our Sciences, Has Made Our Common Sense Materialistic Assumptions About Our Reality as Obsolete as Our Flat Earth Ones

Return to The Doors of Perception: Each of Us Is Potentially Mind At Large… When Perception Is Cleansed, All Kinds of Nonordinary Things Happen

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We Are a Fever, Part Five, The Perinatal Unconscious: Why We Are Committing Ecocide and Seeking Species Suicide

Human Birth Is Unique in Nature in Its Trauma and Its Role in Creating Our “Human Nature”:  The Perinatal Unconscious Driving Our Humanicide

I believe that this prenatal area in particular is ripe for reaping what it can teach us about what is human, about “human nature.” While Stanislav Grof and Lloyd deMause have written on the implications and ramifications of birth on society, culture, history, and current events, not much has been said on the prenatal influences on our world, with the few exceptions mentioned in the overview in this chapter, especially David Wasdell. However, prenatal influences, especially those of the third trimester, are dealt with in considerable detail in this book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs. In upcoming works and one previous one, Falls from Grace, I discuss the influence of first trimester and sperm/egg and cellular events.

What I put forth in the current work is my understanding of how both these perinatal and prenatal events shed so much light on what that “human nature” is that is bringing about our environmental and global crises, which currently have a life and death urgency about them. I believe we need to understand these factors to survive. For I am convinced they are the forces that are strongest in shaping our present times and its events, creating an ever more discernible perinatal zeitgeist for postmodern times.

“Perinatal” = “Surrounding Birth”

“We Are a Fever”

Let us start with birth and its effects on shaping our current global crises. To do that we need to first look more deeply at what constitutes our perinatal influences.

So, how are we to characterize these strangest of days and the current unprecedented global condition? As I have said, they are driven by what I call an emerging perinatal unconscious. As The Kills sing it, most aptly, “We ain’t born typical.” [Footnote 1]

Perinatal Unconscious

Why perinatal? First, let us remind ourselves that perinatal means, literally, “surrounding birth.” As a one-time university instructor of pre- and perinatal psychology and as an editor of a professional journal concerned with perinatal psychology— as well as a psychohistorian, let me explain what might be considered elements of a perinatal unconscious. [Footnote 2]

Unconscious Matrices = “Human Nature”

The elements I will describe are near universally accepted among perinatal psychologists as unconscious forces, factors, matrices that exist in us all as a result of a human birth that is unique, by comparison to all other species, in its degree of trauma and hence of its impact or imprint on what we might call—dare I say the word—our “human nature.”

These perinatal elements have come to our understanding through the efforts of both the inner explorations of experiential pioneers into the perinatal, as well as the hard empirical work of pre- and perinatal researchers. I might also point out that I, myself, have forty years of experiential exploration into these perinatal elements, in addition to my scholarly work and research in this field. My experiences confirm, in my own mind, their absolute validity, as well as validating for myself the theoretical constructs put forth by others to describe and explain them.

Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, Experiential Voyagers

Be that as it may, these perinatal elements of the unconscious have been described most thoroughly be three figures in particular: Stanislav Grof, Arthur Janov, and Lloyd deMause. It might help, also, to keep in mind that entire new fields of pre- and perinatal psychology, primal psychology, and to some extent, transpersonal psychology have grown up around the existence of these perinatal factors. Entire modalities of healing tap in to and are based on the existence of this perinatal unconscious, including primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, and rebirthing, to name just the few that I happen to be trained in. These unconscious perinatal elements have, at this point, been confirmed by thousands of researchers and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of experiential voyagers into the perinatal unconscious.

Elements of Birth Experience

Based upon all this, then, let us look at some of the elements, in general, that characterize this perinatal unconscious.

Perinatal Matrix ~ Societal Matrix

Stanislav Grof describes basic perinatal matrices (BPMs)—in other words, typical experiential constellations related to our births. These happen to be very much akin to deMause’s perinatal schema, with some slight differences in emphasis, and more elaboration on the part of Grof. So let us use Grof’s schema as a basis. [Footnote 3]

All Needs Met . . . With Luck – Matrix 1

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Grof’s Basic Perinatal Matrix I, or BPM I, involves the experiences and feelings related to the sometimes, or at least relatively, undisturbed prenatal period. The prenatal period is that time in the womb sometimes characterized by feelings of peace, complete relaxation, and a feeling of all needs met, or “oceanic bliss.”

BPM I corresponds to deMause’s societal periods of “prosperity and progress,” which he claims are accompanied by feelings and fears of being “soft” and “feminine” — understandably here, for in BPM I, that is, prenatally, the fetus is largely identified with his or her mother and is very much “soft,” i.e., undefended.

Since the time in the womb may also be disturbed by toxic substances that the mother ingests—drugs, chemical additives, and so on—as well as by disturbing emotions that the mother experiences, which release stress hormones into the mother’s bloodstream, which then cross the placental barrier and affect the fetus, BPM I is also sometimes characterized as feelings of being surrounded by a polluted environment and being forced to ingest noxious substances, toxins, and poisons, which sickens the fetus.

No-Exit Despair – Matrix 2

In Grof’s schema, BPM I is followed by BPM II—that is, Basic Perinatal Matrix II—which are experiences and feelings related to the time of “no exit” in the womb and claustrophobic -like feelings occurring to nearly all humans in the late stages of pregnancy and especially with the onset of labor, when the cervix is not yet dilated. Since there does not seem to be any “light at the end of the tunnel”—metaphorically speaking—it is characterized by feelings of depression, guilt, despair, and blame, and a characterization of oneself as being in the position of “the victim.”

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It is very much like DeMause’s period of collective feelings of entrapment, strangulation, suffocation, and poisonous placenta, which he has found to precede the actual outbreak of war or other violence. [Footnote 4]

Birth Wars – Matrix 3

imageThis of course is followed by BPM III (Basic Perinatal Matrix III), which involves feelings and experiences of all-encompassing struggle and is related to the time of one’s actual birth. Characterized also by intense feelings of aggression and sexual excess—in the position, now, of “the aggressor”—it is related directly, in deMause’s schema, to a time of actual war.

Hallelujah! . . (I think. . . . ) – Matrix 4

Basic Perinatal Matrix IV (BPM IV) follows this. It corresponds to the time of emergence from the womb during the birth process and is characterized by feelings of victory, release, exultation.

But sometimes, that initial relief is followed by depression. For too often, and especially in current Western culture, the struggle of birth does not bring the expected rewards of reuniting with the mother and the comfort of nursing. Instead, during modern obstetrical births, the neonate is harshly treated and then taken away from the mother, disallowing the bonding which should occur, naturally, immediately after birth.

In my own experience, the exultation and relief of release was replaced suddenly by feelings of being assaulted by the attendants at my birth … which of course they thought of as “attending” to me … imageas they went about roughly removing mucous from my mouth; prematurely cutting my umbilical cord to leave me struggling for breath; scrubbing, weighing, measuring, and otherwise probing me; and wrapping me like a tamale and taking me away from all I had previously known … that is to say, my mother. This felt like ritual abuse to me, and I have often likened it, after the intense period of compression and crushing before birth, to a situation of “going from the frying pan into the fire.”

At any rate, this experience of actual emergence or birth coincides, societally, with deMause’s period of the ending of a war.

Heaven and Hell

In summary, we have euphoric, oceanic, blissful feelings, sometimes feelings of being poisoned or being in a toxic or polluted environment; followed by crushing, no-exit, depression, claustrophobia, compression, strangulation, suffocation, and being force-fed by a poisonous placenta; followed by struggle, violence, war scenarios, birth/death fantasies, sexual excess; and finally release, triumph, feeling of renewal or rebirth and a new golden age, but also possibly of being abandoned, tortured, ritually sacrificed, probed medically, and assaulted by sensations. These are some of the elements that characterize the experience of the perinatal unconscious.

For Dreaming Out Loud! Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist

In the next chapter, we will take a look at how these elements have erupted into our collective dreams in recent history. By this I mean, we will see how our artists and creative people have projected them into the media, movies, and TV–in which we all participate–and how our fascination with them, because these artists are reflecting things that exist deep inside of ourselves as well, has caused them to grow, creating the dominant underlying zeitgeist of our time.

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Footnotes

1. Chapter titled with appreciation and admiration to The Kills for their recording, U R A Fever. The lyrics go, “I am a fever, you are a fever, we ain’t born typical….” and so on. The music video produced is similarly brilliant. Together, it is a production bordering on genius. The video contains levels of meaning that are only obvious on subsequent viewings. The video and its lyrics follow:

Lyrics – U.R.A. Fever – The Kills

Walk you to the counter
What do you got to offer

Pick you out a solder
Look at you forever

Walk you to the water
Your eyes like a casino
We ain’t born typical

Find a piece of silver
Pretty as a diagram
And go down to the Rio

Put it in my left hand
Put it in a fruit machine
Everyone’s a winner
Laughing like a seagull

You are a fever
You are a fever
You ain’t born typical

You are a fever
You are a fever
You ain’t born typical

Living in a suitcase
Meet a clown, fall in love
went down to have you over

Going ’round a break up
Take you to a jukebox
That’s the situation
Pick you out a number
And that’s our arrangement

Dancing on the legs of a new-born pony
Left right left right
Keep it up son

Go ahead and have her
Go ahead and leave her
You only ever had her
When you were a fever

I am a fever
I am a fever
I ain’t born typical

I am a fever
I am a fever
I ain’t born typical

We are a fever
We are a fever
We ain’t born typical

We are a fever
We are a fever
We ain’t born typical

We are a fever
We are a fever
We ain’t born typical

We are a fever
We are a fever
We ain’t born typical

2. In the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Newsletter I was applauded for being the first person in the United States to teach the subject of pre- and perinatal psychology at the university level and—as it was said, remarkably—for doing it while still a student. I did this at Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, California, in the years 1994 and 1995, beginning while I was a graduate student there and continuing afterward.

My graduate thesis became the book, Falls From Grace: Spiritual and Philosophical Perspectives of Prenatal and Primal Experience, which is listed in Wikipedia as a reference under the topic of prenatal and perinatal psychology.

Subsequently, I became the editor of the professional journal, Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, formerly published by the International Primal Association. Much of the contents of its issues were later posted to my website, Primal Spirit, where they can still be viewed.

I have had my writings published in The Journal of Psychohistory, including some that later became part of this book. In fact, I presented some of my original thinking on these matters at an Institute for Psychohistory Association convention, and those parts were also published in The Journal of Psychohistory under the title, “The Scenery of Healing: Commentary On DeMause’s ‘Restaging Prenatal and Birth Trauma’s in War and Social Violence’”” 23/4, 395-405.

These are among my many credentials in this field of pre- and perinatal psychology, where I have studied and trained from 1972 till this day.

3. Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1975; LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House, 1980; Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1985; The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1988; The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1993.

4. Lloyd deMause, “Restaging Early Traumas in War and Social Violence.” The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1995): 344-391. (Reprinted, with permission, on the Primal Spirit website as “Restaging Prenatal and Birth Traumas in War and Social Violence“)

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The Doors of Perception: Each of Us Is Potentially Mind At Large… When Perception Is Cleansed, All Kinds of Nonordinary Things Happen

 

Why Everything Appears Infinite when the Doors of Perception Are Cleansed: Biologically Constituted Realities, Part 4 — “Mind at Large” and The Awakening

Summary: Our combined efforts in psychology, physics, biology, and anthropology have led us to an impasse. We have been led to conclude that our view of reality is symbolic. We have learned, above all, not what to know, but that we know not . . . i.e., that we are incapable of truly knowing.

So, if we can’t know, why then bother to know anything? We seek to know because it is useful to our biological survival to know. That which we “know,” in our most refined science and in our daily lives, is that which is, or has been, in some way useful to the biological existence of our species.

Each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet

When this is reversed by various methods, and the brain is itself inhibited from its task of reducing awareness so that “Mind at Large seeps past the no longer watertight valve, all kinds of biologically useless things start to happen.”

“If the doors of perception were cleansed, everything would appear to man as it is … infinite.” – William Blake

 

Why We Seek to Know

Ordinary Reality is Useful

In view of all this, one might ask, if one cannot have any truly accurate conception or even “sense” of what is really real, why then bother to know anything? Well, we bother to know because it is a helpful part of our species-specific worldview to do so. We have evolved, as nearly as we can determine, through a process of natural selection based on survival. We are, consequently, the endproduct of a biological drive to exist, to live—in all that may biologically, or otherwise, connote. Hence, that which we “know,” in our most refined science and in our daily lives, is that which is, or has been, in some way useful to the biological existence of our species.

Ordinary Science is Useful

This so-called “real-world” information is important because, then, it relates to our very biological aliveness. It has worth and it has value in that. That which comprises our species-world (as opposed to the “World-In-Itself”), indeed, is extremely relevant to everything that we think of as living and existing . . . for our species. The point I make, however, is that our senses and our sciences (which are extensions of our senses) are not ultimately in any one-to-one relationship to That Which Is . . . that our refined as well as cruder perceptions of reality are bioculturally relative—even more biologically relative than they are culturally relative in Marshall Sahlins‘s allegedly extreme theory.

Though We Know Not

Neither Ordinary Reality or Science Is Necessarily Real

Let me put it this way. Our combined efforts in psychology, physics, biology, and anthropology (examples of which I have indicated in this article) have led us to an impasse. We have been led to conclude that our view of reality is symbolic. We have learned, above all, not what to know, but that we know not . . . i.e., that we are incapable of truly knowing.

In anthropology we see this in Sahlins’s (1976) thinking on culture. But D’Andrade makes the important point, as mentioned earlier, that in Sahlins’s theory the total cultural heritage is a symbolic structure. Thus, his theory is “epistemologically sealed.” My point is that since our total biological heritage is also a “symbolic structure”—in the sense at least that it is a species-relative created reality providing analogous representations, survival-oriented metaphors only of That Which Is—we are “epistemologically sealed” as regards That Which Is and specifically in terms of understanding other known or unknown species. Our reality is symbolic and “sealed” prior to the cultural symbolism that creates further obfuscation between people in different cultures.

Paradigm Relativity

We see that there are therefore levels of applicability of “knowledge.” We might think of these as paradigms. But as surely as there are cultural paradigms, there are biological paradigms. I am saying that every biological configuration of spirit represents a separate paradigm for interpreting reality. [Footnote 3]

The Awakening … A New Paradigm Perspective

It might be helpful to mention Huxley’s (1956) way of viewing this matter. In his classic work, The Doors of Perception, he quotes Dr. C. D. Broad on the importance of considering a view of memory and sense perception, originally proposed by Bergson, in which “the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative” (p. 22).

What Is Outside All Paradigms … Really Real

By way of explanation, Huxley (1956), still quoting Broad, writes

Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful. (pp. 22-23)

Mind at Large Is “Really Real”

Huxley (1956) adds

According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet. (p. 23)

When the Doors of Perception Are Cleansed, The Nonordinary Happens

Furthermore, Huxley (1956) points out, when this is reversed by various methods, and the brain is itself inhibited from its task of reducing awareness so that “Mind at Large seeps past the no longer watertight valve, all kinds of biologically useless things start to happen” (p. 26).

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Footnote

3. This perspective has much in common with Wilber’s (1977) “spectrum of consciousness” view of reality. Though, for reasons which will become clear as we proceed, I must stress that this position does not synchronize with Wilber’s later formulations (e.g., 1980, 1981), where he has conformed his view to the more traditional and presumptuous Western biases; biases that are distinctly at odds with an essential point I have emphasized in this article of making diligent our attempts at wiping away any ethnocentric as well as anthropocentric residue from our lenses if we are to have any chance at all for even minimal success in our venturing into Reality. (Cf. Winkelman 1990; Adzema 1991)

 

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