Posts Tagged medicine

The Bliss of Connection with Others … But There Is a Pain in Unexpressed Love: A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Six — Womb with a Review

581522_354619431309351_1973777048_n

A Review of Womb Life: I Was Experiencing Creation … and the Sensuous Wonderful Feeling of Being Alive and Growing….

womb-with-a-review2

(continued from The Sound of Creation and Cellular Template of Eternal Bliss: I Was This Pulsating One-Celled Animal … Each Reaching Out Was Joy of Being Alive [Footnote 1])

And then I seemed to tire of that, or the music changed. And after a while I went into a period where I felt like I didn’t want to be on my back, and I went to one corner of the mat. And I told myself it was because it was wet where I’d been, but I went to one corner and I lay on my side.

And all of a sudden that made sense. My hands were moving like little fetal hands; and I was still feeling blissful. In fact I was thinking: “I don’t want to become a big baby and have BPM II.” I just wanted to stay a blastocyst. But I noticed that even as a fetus I was still grocking and digging and having a great time; and the music was still wonderful and I was still floating around. I still had movement in my hands and in my body to go with the music, to just groove with the rhythms of existence. And I felt like I was getting bigger. It seemed like I was going through a stage where I was really fetal, on my side. But then I felt the need to get up on my knees. And there was this really strong compulsion to get, like, on my head, to have my head down, and to have all the weight in my neck.

And when I did that finally—and it took me a while to get into that position, because it felt like the confines of gravity were working against me—I just wanted to tumble! But I couldn’t do that because I wasn’t in a gravityless situation. But eventually when I did get into that position it felt very right. And that was pretty good, too, but it was kind of cramped. And so I eventually stopped—it was too painful to maintain very long.

So I turned over on my side and just listened to the music. And then I spent a lot of time just listening to the music and realizing how great it was to exist and how beautiful it all is and how beautiful people are. And I began to think that that’s why we come here, to have this wonderful experience of reaching out to people.

And I began to realize that the blastocyst knows somehow that it’s reaching out to everyone else in the universe, even when it’s just a blastocyst. It’s reaching out because it knows the bliss of connecting with others. And the mandala that I envisioned would just be these cells multiplying outward with these snakelike arms reaching out in several directions to spin oneself around, or to reach out for more, or to just reflect the sensuous wonderful feeling of being alive and growing.

166379_1564200141788_4132889_n

This is great. I’m real glad I’m doing this, and I hope I can continue to capture these feelings and to come from this space.

I want to say one other thing, and that’s that I realized at one point that I used to do things where—when I’d have a holotropic or a primal session—that I would go and do a review of all my past issues of pain. It was almost like doing a summary first, and then at the end I might get into something new. But I would often do the summary: Like I would sometimes be repeating the trauma of not having my mother after birth— and my lips would be sucking and there’d be nobody there; and going through the pain of getting out of the womb—being stuck in the womb; and just do that whole repeat. And then sometimes after doing all of that I’d go into sperm feelings.

But this time it was as if my body was doing a review, a summary of all that I’d learned: life from sperm to egg, fertilized egg, blastocyst, all the way to fetus, and then all the way to the second stage, all the way to BPM II—like the whole sequence of BPM I was being reviewed. And I thought this is a much better time to be doing a review of than of what happens later on, after the pain starts [from BPM II onwards, as mentioned in the previous paragraph].

So this is what I was experiencing, this wonderful being a creative process. I was experiencing creation. They say Om is the sound of creation, the creative sound; everything comes from that—the primordial sound, primordial symbol. So I kept wondering if my “ohing” sounds would turn into Om [it never exactly did].

One other thing: I was feeling one time how what I was expressing was the feeling of love, that I was feeling love and expressing that. And that there is a pain in unexpressed love; the pain [of life] is that we express all our pain [and suffer through all that], and we don’t get to feel the great love, which is kept in check.

pain-of-unexpressed-love

And the pain is that the love is not able to be fully felt or released unless we do this kind of work, of course.

Continue with Tribes and Wonder Versus Civilization and Suffering: More Nestling Up With the Implicate Order, Or Before and After the Western Fall (Split)

Return to The Sound of Creation and Cellular Template of Eternal Bliss: I Was This Pulsating One-Celled Animal … Each Reaching Out Was Joy of Being Alive

Footnote

1. Cellular/ Transpersonal Experiences

Having established the legitimacy of transpersonal aspects of prenatal, and especially cellular, re-experience, it remains to be seen what light this new perspective throws upon traditional formulations. I suggest to you that this perspective is a catalyst to a radical reformulation of traditional concepts of consciousness and development. My understanding is that it supports a view compatible with Eastern, Platonic, and “primitive” philosophical renderings—which can be characterized as Emanationist —and completely undermines the dominant Western evolutionary paradigm. I delineate such a perspective, which I call the Falls from Grace Theory, beginning in the next chapter.

246489_213601765436874_1705444143_n

However, let us first take a look at a sampling of the kinds of experiences and perspectives that are possible at this cellular and prenatal level of re-experience before attempting to see deeper into the structure of consciousness and development, presented immediately afterwards, which contains and makes sense of them. The current chapter—A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness—contains transcripts of cellular/transpersonal experiences I had through the modality of holotropic breathwork. In order to retain the flavor and potency of the raw experience itself, these transcripts are only slightly edited and are from the descriptions of my experiences I recorded immediately after having them.

269823_220951214701929_2125157710_n

Continue with Tribes and Wonder Versus Civilization and Suffering: More Nestling Up With the Implicate Order, Or Before and After the Western Fall (Split)

Return to The Sound of Creation and Cellular Template of Eternal Bliss: I Was This Pulsating One-Celled Animal … Each Reaching Out Was Joy of Being Alive

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Falls from Grace

To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

537077_126198100891349_1919363555_nKangaroo_Dingo thousand_hand_bodhisattva_1 2008-4932 adadf Tears_0 zorba-the-buddha-festival_01 dreamtime_sisters_137_photo_s1 passion-promotes-serenity tim-mietty-creation-myth_thumb1prenatal  18108_519324861411937_1438199268_n bliss-of-connection 150984_105276842983844_1366135514_n hires-sperm-egg Group-on-Porch

Advertisements

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Life Is a Sickness … for the Purpose of Getting Us Well: A Foray Into Cellular/ Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Three — There Is Always Grace

anything-is-possible

Love Is “Just a Membrane” Away: No Matter How Bad It Gets, There Is Always Something to Keep You Here … to Comfort You When You Really Need It

life-a-sickness-always-grace

chiron_by_summitstudios_thumb0017-chironachillesthetis(continued from We Are Always and Only “Just a Membrane Away” … from Understanding Everything: A Foray Into Cellular/ Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Two — “Juicy Caring” and the Answer to Pain [Footnote 1])

The Real Reasons for Being Alive

541404_132777083566784_1428132205_nAnother thing I was thinking about in the course of my session was what good work this holotropic breathwork is and how—regardless of what I had been thinking about it when I was doing it with Stan Grof a couple of weeks ago—that I feel like this is certainly taking me to all kinds of goddamn places. It’s certainly getting me past where I was in primal, getting me beyond that; so certainly it’s damn good stuff.

.

417070_223925697737814_1300312747_n

1345645KUAN YIN GODDESS OF COMPASSION,LOVE & MERCYI mean I just kept thinking that this is something that reminds people of the real reasons for being alive; and if that’s not important, nothing is. But, if nothing else, I sure as hell felt: it works! The music was great; it did all kinds of wonderful things to me, taking my mind into all kinds of incredible places; it was almost like being stoned or like being on acid.

temps-du-reve-aborigenes-CWNungari-DreamtimeSisters-543poperinatal-printouts-of-generations 522776_213228388807545_170571225_n

 427790_221004181363299_1753407168_n

Cosmic Frown

images (3)jesus20at20gethsemaneI remember thinking at one point about Mary Lynn and the cat and the dog that I had when I was a kid. I was thinking about how much pain there is in angry dadexistence, and how my life has been in pain. For example, there was one time when my face just angry-dad1went into this incredible frown, and I was crying and crying after the frown happened. I began to realize how that was my essence: this Frown, a big part of me—there’s just so much sadness in my life. I was thinking about what just happened recently with my father and all kinds of stuff. There was just so much sadness.

Tears_0

But There Is Always Grace

487085_405457372846821_2017737770_n199706_344732748948898_302708152_n_thumbI was grieving hugely for that, and then I was also thinking about how there were also things in my life that were good—like Mary Lynn and the cat. And I was thinking about our trailer, and about the kind of a life I have now, the cozy times we have. And then I was thinking about how there was that dog when I was younger, various cats, and so on. And I was thinking about that time in Puttaparthi when that cat came to me, and I realized how there had always been something—that no matter how much pain there was, there was never too much pain. That’s when I got into the feelings about the membrane, or maybe that wasn’t when I got into those feelings.

0041-moreau_the_dead_poet_borne_by_a_centaur2

Life Is a Sickness … to Get Us Well

occupydenver-2_thumbIt was as if your needs are taken care of in some way or other. Life really was a sickness. But the sickness was for the purpose of you getting eventually healthy, that you weren’t given more sickness than you could handle; there was always something to alleviate the pain, to enable you to continue on; that you would always be able to stay one step above the “pit” so to speak. You would be kept above it.

changing-our-human-natureadfdfafafasdfas296406_204005356396515_2093756942_n0035-sam-and-frodo-samwise-gamgee-10556837-1024-768-2

The Fact That You Only Get as Much as You Can Handle Is Evidence of the Divine in Life

Your purpose here was not to be “tortured” or irrevocably damaged by pain—it was to be able to learn from pain, but mercifully so, so there was always something to keep you here and to comfort you when you really needed it. And I was feeling like that was God’s evidence in our lives, that He’s always just a membrane away making sure it doesn’t get too extreme here.

always-some-grace

Joyful Compassion

kwanyin10034-chironwoundedOne last thing I should mention is that after this final crying during my breathing session—about all these people in my life and my connection with them and that juicy feeling I had when I was a kid caring for everybody, really wishing I could do something to help all my family, and not feeling that I was helpless, but really caring, really wanting to help—well there was this feeling of huge compassion, and it was a good feeling. I mean it was actually joyful—it’s hard to describe.

in-loves-image293242_2999899096901_860023520_n0025-chironsdeathcrpd530376_482980155054408_830134423_nguide-the-development-according-to-a-karmic-design

A Place on Which to Stand

p105606_2387765_308339679179024_203799022966424_1348799_1719099873_nBut anyway after that I was left with this huge, very deep feeling of relaxation like I have rarely experienced, if ever. And I didn’t want to come out of it. I lay there for a while after that feeling like I was an energy field, especially in my hands. I felt like a locked-in energy field just buzzing, and I didn’t want to come back. I was so calm, not in pain, so comfortable that I felt like I wanted to keep this feeling with me always; it would be a wonderful place to come from in the world, to have inside me, to stand on, from which to view the world …

0019-images-3

Continue with Past Lives, Other Lives, and The Vast Hole of the “Not the Tribal”: A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Four — Sidling Up to the Implicate Order

Return to We Are Always and Only “Just a Membrane Away” … from Understanding Everything: A Foray Into Cellular/ Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Two — “Juicy Caring” and the Answer to Pain

jupiter_thumb

Footnote

1. Cellular/ Transpersonal Experiences

Having established the legitimacy of transpersonal aspects of prenatal, and especially cellular, re-experience, it remains to be seen what light this new perspective throws upon traditional formulations. I suggest to you that this perspective is a catalyst to a radical reformulation of traditional concepts of consciousness and development. My understanding is that it supports a view compatible with Eastern, Platonic, and “primitive” philosophical renderings—which can be characterized as Emanationist —and completely undermines the dominant Western evolutionary paradigm. I delineate such a perspective, which I call the Falls from Grace Theory, beginning in the next chapter.

246489_213601765436874_1705444143_n

However, let us first take a look at a sampling of the kinds of experiences and perspectives that are possible at this cellular and prenatal level of re-experience before attempting to see deeper into the structure of consciousness and development, presented immediately afterwards, which contains and makes sense of them. The current chapter—A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness—contains transcripts of cellular/transpersonal experiences I had through the modality of holotropic breathwork. In order to retain the flavor and potency of the raw experience itself, these transcripts are only slightly edited and are from the descriptions of my experiences I recorded immediately after having them.

269823_220951214701929_2125157710_n

Continue with Past Lives, Other Lives, and The Vast Hole of the “Not the Tribal”: A Foray Into Cellular/Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Four — Sidling Up to the Implicate Order

Return to We Are Always and Only “Just a Membrane Away” … from Understanding Everything: A Foray Into Cellular/ Transpersonal Consciousness, Part Two — “Juicy Caring” and the Answer to Pain

To Read the Entire Book … on-line, free at this time … of which this is an excerpt, Go to Falls from Grace

To purchase any of Michael Adzema’s books, available in print and e-book formats, go to Michael Adzema’s books at Amazon.

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Half-Borns: Humans Being Born Premature Relative to All Other Earth Citizens Is the Root Cause of the Apocalypse We Are Creating Today, Say Planetmates

lady_flood_thumb

Half-Borns: Being Not Ready for Life at Birth Makes Us Variable…and Reckless. Part Two of Elaboration of 3rd Prasad – “Humans Only Half Ready for Life at Birth”

00004Ladder of Prayerx

[W]hat has caused this separation of your understandings of life from all others occurs at the beginnings of each of your lives…. You, alone, come into the world prematurely, before you are ready to. You, alone, are half born, only half ready for life when you are born. ….

weak-and-powerless-ash-sivilscrppd_thumb

[Y]our fully growns, especially those who you call “parents,” are responsible for overseeing and assisting the successful development of your youngest ones at levels of development that for us would be taken care of by Reality Itself….

edenrebuffedJohn-William-('Uncle-Jack')-Dey-Adam-and-Eve-Leave-Eden-1973-painting-artwork-print

[T]his fact alone has caused you to fall…from the actual Truth of you…to construct an opposite and alien reality…. [T]his development alone…has led to the gravest of consequences for All, including yourselves.

Dragon-Devouring-The-Companions-Of-Cadmusseparationfromnature (2)

Part Two of Paraphrase/ Elaboration of “The Third Prasad”: Being Half-Borns Makes Humans Variable…and Reckless

Jacobs-Ladder-ArtThe reason for this total exclusion of truth from your understandings of yourself has to do with another defining characteristic of you.

What has caused this separation of your understandings of life from all others occurs at the beginnings of each of your lives. You have a vastly different understanding of life than we because you have a way of coming into the world that defines you, 10-emergence-440that you have in common, and yet separates you, makes you distinct from and unique in relation to, the many millions of other planetmates: You, alone, come into the world prematurely, before you are ready to. You, alone, are half born, only half ready for life when you are born.

broken_shell8_thumb

RootedInConservatismcrpdlrgrWe will be telling you, in the upcoming prasads, why and how you started being born prematurely as wells as what this being half born has led to for you.

163447461_cc79ba4091For now, just know that it means that your newborns are even more helpless than even the most helpless newborns of us. Being more helpless, you are more dependent on others for survival when you first emerge into the light of the physical world. There is an incredible amount of development we have prior to our coming into the world which is orchestrated by a rather precise Nature.unnaturalself.coil unnatural history.crpd A good deal of that comparative development for you is put at the discretion of the previously born of you. That is, your fully growns, especially those who you call “parents,” are responsible vlcsnap-2011-05-31-18h51m16s159for overseeing and assisting the successful development of your youngest ones at levels of development that for us would be taken care of by Reality Itself through a near perfect developmental process for each of us as refined over time for each of us by Nature.

vlcsnap-2011-05-29-22h33m23s45How this might be important is probably not occurring to you. But keep in mind that Nature does not vary; 03-610x457it is as precise as the laws you have discovered in your sciences of physics and biology. It will do for us what it has intended for us and has perfected itself in doing over billions of years.

zoonlander.self-absorbed.ben-stiller-zoolander1.crppedMeanwhile, your adults, for reasons we also will bring out in time, are even more varied—what you call differences in “personality”—than are your differences between groups and infinitely more varied than are our differences between each other within a species. osteenYou are vastly more different from each other than we in any species are from each other.

JacobsLadderThis difference means infinite differences in the ways your newborns will be attended to and nurtured. Being vastly more helpless than any of us, they are vastly more dependent on the good will of their care-givers at that early time. slideshow_05_lgAnd the differences in the good will or lack of that between your individual care-givers varies as much as the differences in your personalities. These differences in personality pepper-spray-cop-17 (2)affecting the differences in the ways your newborns will be cared for create the vast differences and myriad possibilities of personalities that each of you can have,watermarkcomp1 which determines the kind of care-giver you will become as an adult, hence it plays into how you will care for or not care for your own newborns, and so on around again.

P4220032You will see how this fact alone has caused you to fall irrevocably from the actual Truth of you and led you to construct an opposite and alien reality. This opposite construct you prop up with all kinds of twisted, bizarre “truths” to explain yourselves to you.

And this difference between yourselves and all other of your brother-sister species on this planet has consequences that have exploded the differences between us and mushroomed into the situation in which we find ourselves at this moment.

weathering-god-asperatus2_1

It is this development alone, you will find, that has led to the gravest of consequences for All, including yourselves.

Nebuchadnezzar

The Third Prasad – Humans Only Half Ready for Life at Birth

HALF-BORNS

Fawn Leads at The Third PrasadWith more time, and despite the myriad experiences and changes of the multitudinous and diverse (and mostly spread out and separated, never touching or knowing each other, on a massive planet) peoples and cultures, the Unapproved and Hidden are, because of a peculiarity of them, everywhere and always among all the many evolving and refining definitions of Human, Reality, Life — different as they could possibly be — never for a second, or even slightly, partially, or indirectly, included in that light of the obviously true, the common-sensical, by any culture. Part of this peculiarity — the relative upstart humans have another common defining characteristic: only half-ready for life at the time of birth (relative to all other brother-sister species comprising the citizens of Earth), they are, humans alone are, totally dependent for their survival upon the good will of the fully grown — often parents, but not of necessity and certainly not always.


Continue with The Great Reveal from the Planetmates: The Fourth Prasad – Origins of Ego

Return to The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, The Third Prasad: Humans Only Half Ready for Life at Birth

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Bad Karma Enters Us Through Our Birth and Womb Experiences … Meditation as a Defense: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Nine — Karmic Genetics

522776_213228388807545_170571225_n

“Pranic Lifetrons in the Spermatazoa and Ova … Guide … the Embryo According to a Karmic Design”: Defusing Mental Contortions … Aiding Meditation

28886_224628691000848_1490527373_n

“Humanity … Is Neurotic”.”

0023-vaultsecretdublinAlso there might be cultural differences. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) wrote that “humanity, itself, is neurotic” because society requires that each person be “conditioned” and “molded into a particular pattern” and not be “allowed to be just whatever he is” (1976, p. 26). Further, he said that this may have had something to do with the fact that the great spiritual masters, who themselves realized, could not help the greater portion of humanity to reach enlightenment (p. 27).

Westerners Might Be “Crazier” and Thus Find It More Difficult

Keep this in mind along with the evidence that Americans have traditionally ranked among the lowest in the world in the general indulgence we afford our infants (Whiting & Child, 1953). Additionally, we are, in cross-cultural perspective, “quite severe in the general socialization of [our] children,” especially in regards to such important events as weaning and toilet training where we have been judged to be “exceptionally early and exceptionally severe” and “in a hurry to start the training process” (p. 320). These things be truing, we may say that we are, in some ways, more “neurotic” than many other cultures.

images_thumb1

It May Be That the Real Benefits of Spiritual Practice Cannot Be Gained by Most Westerners

Considering all this we might question why we think we can just adopt, wholesale, the techniques that have been developed down through the centuries and, especially, for use in other cultures. For if, as Rajneesh says, the spiritual techniques don’t work because they do not address humanity as it is—that is to say, neurotic—then meditation and similar practices may be said to be even less applicable to a modern “severely conditioned” … and more traumatized … Westerner.

0019-robocop06crppd

Demons Lacking in the Liberated

In this same vein, it is interesting how often yogis and spiritual masters speak of having had uneventful childhoods and loving parents. Paramahansa Yogananda mentions this in respect to his childhood. And it is not inconceivable that this may have had something to do with the seeming lack of “demons” with which he had to contend and with the exceptionally blissful, beautiful, and loving perception of the infinite that he presents in his autobiography.

guide-the-development-according-to-a-karmic-design

Bad Karma Enters Us Through Our Prenatal and Perinatal Traumas

images_gallery_05_14_thumbThe spiritual explanation for these differences in levels of primal pain has been that the yogi-to-be has worked through most of his or her karma in previous lifetimes, and that there is a link between karmic influences and the “life situation” to which one returns, which would include the amount of first- and second-line pain to which one is subjected. This notion of a link between karmic influences and one’s “life situation” is not found only in the spiritual literature. For example, Grof (1976) notes that LSD experiences of previous incarnations sometimes occur alongside experiences involving the reliving of disturbances of intrauterine life (pp. 108-109). In discussing the experiences of one such subject, he writes as follows:

[H]e was . . . experiencing episodes that appeared to be past-incarnation memories. It seemed as if elements of bad karma entered his present life in the form of disturbances of his embryonal existence and as negative experiences during the period he was nursed. He saw the experiences of the “bad womb” and “bad breast” as transformation points between the realm of the karmic law and the phenomenal world governed by natural laws as we know them. (pp. 109-110)

karma-enters-in-sperm-and-egg-experience

Similarly, Yogananda (1946) writes, “The pranic lifetrons in the spermatazoa and ova . . . guide the development of the embryo according to a karmic design” (p. 478n).

we

prometheusAt any rate, for many people the amount of personal pain they carry would certainly seem restrictive, if not downright prohibitive, of the spiritual path. In these cases meditation can become long and arduous. The effect of a lot of second-line, repressed pain can be that one’s meditation is continually plagued by disturbing thoughts and feelings rooted in various unconscious trauma.

An example of this sort of thing is give by Amodeo (1981). The method used to overcome this block is one that is a crucial feature of primal therapy.

Meditation Can Bring Up Unresolved Traumas from Early Life

One Can Hardly Remain Calm

In meditation it is true that one can open up to such completely forgotten experiences. Thus confronted, one could hardly remain calm and unaffected. In this way meditation can be disruptive and might even lead one into therapy. It is becoming increasingly known that this is not an uncommon result of meditation (cf. Epstein & Leiff, 1981; Walsh, 1979, p. 164). Consequently, some people enter primal therapy this way.

296406_204005356396515_2093756942_n

Defusing Mental Contortions … Aiding Meditation

For these people it seems that primal is helpful in allowing them to relive these repressed experiences, thereby revealing connections to their troublesome conscious derivatives. This defuses such mental contortions and allows meditation to be practiced with less of these distractions. Or, in terms of the mechanics of meditation as described by Rama et al. (1976, pp. 149-151), the disturbing thoughts are allowed to invade consciousness totally and have complete sway. But as in doing so they reveal their origins, they are sent back to the unconscious, “elaborated” and “weighted” though they may be, but bound to their historical roots. Thus, when they arise again, either spontaneously in meditation or triggered outside meditation, they do not produce further elaborations—as in worrying, trying to figure them out, or self-abasement. And, if all elements of the complex have been uncovered, they can be much more easily dismissed by consciousness. The effect is that of aiding meditation in its attempt at dissipating thoughts, which are now mere tracings rather than stopped-up cauldrons.

483106_226157574181293_1287006560_n

Otherwise, Meditation Can Become a Defense and Keep One Stuck in Struggling

305667_224628737667510_1169787820_nIt would seem that without a primal-type therapy, meditation could allow some gains in terms of glimpses of reality outside of one’s inner dialogue, and some in terms of helping to dissipate the causes of that dialogue. Yet as long as there are experiences that are completely cut off from consciousness, and that, continually charged as they are, produce troublesome and distracting thoughts that feed the inner dialogue and must forever be dissipated, then meditation would not seem to be as effective in eliciting the gains that are possible. Under these circumstances meditation can become a defense and a struggle and serve to prohibit further growth (cf. Amodeo, 1981, p. 152; Epstein & Leiff, 1981, p. 145).

Continue with A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Ten — Clean and Unclean Mysticism: The “Monsters” and Demons and Fear Do Not Exist Outside of You

Return to The Making of a Calmer Crazy Person … Why Meditation by Itself Is Often Not Enough: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Eight — Non-Conceptual Experience

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

The Making of a Calmer Crazy Person … Why Meditation by Itself Is Often Not Enough: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Eight — Non-Conceptual Experience

meditation-the-making-of-a-calmer-crazy-person

Cerebral Distortion and the Importance of Connection: It May Be That, Without Therapy, the Real Benefits of Spiritual Practice Are Not Attainable by Most Westerners

0020-533225_1976819996975_1737376259_944265_47690847_n

Non-Conceptual Experience

It would seem that some spiritual disciplines and religions are able to give some people a taste of more “alive” experiences than would ordinarily be possible by temporarily reducing the amount of pain-energized cortical activity or “noise.” In Huxley’s classic work, The Doors of Perception (1954), he makes a point that there are many “temporary by-passes” to “brain-as-reducing-valve,” some of which he directly relates to a slowdown of cortical activity through physiological means (pp. 23-24).

xnyh05_thumb2

Meditation Tries to “Cut Through” the Pain

Meditation, specifically, appears to be a method of attempting to still the pain-driven cortical ramblings to gain access to nonverbal experience. In primal terms it may be said to be an attempt to bypass second-line pain and go directly to nonconceptual first-line material. This is not to say that some second-line is not dealt with. In addition to the evidence presented by Kornfield (1979) and Kapleau (1980), we might also remember that Muktananda’s journey inward was characterized by smiles and tears. Apparently, some second-line connections were made. Yet the meditative technique seems structured, basically, to get “below” these “personal” levels as soon as possible.

0011-scream6g

In meditation one attempts to maintain a “calm, detached attitude while observing his mental processes,” and the goal is to attend to thoughts that will deepen meditation and allow other distracting or disturbing thoughts to arise and burst without becoming involved in them (Rama et al., 1976, pp. 149-150). In this way the body learns to associate the relaxed state with what had formerly been disturbing thoughts, ever productive of cerebral “noise.”

chaotic-meditation

Primal and Meditation Both Access Nonconceptual Experience

icarus-suspended-_2-2009-dario-puggioni_thumbThis meditation technique is vastly different from a primal one wherein all disturbing thoughts are allowed full sway in consciousness. Nevertheless, both do seem to provide access to underlying nonverbal levels. In fact, I have been told by one person who has experienced first-line pain in both meditation and primal that the phenomena encountered are identical: They are primarily body phenomena that the conceptual parts of the brain can interpret in a number of ways.

brazil21_thumb

Meditation and Primal Both Access Body Memories of Birth and the Perinatal

In this respect, we might recall the descriptions of death-rebirth that are so commonly found in the spiritual literature and in the ethnographies of nonliterate peoples. Though primalers will invariably relate their particular experiences of this sort to their own biological births, in the psychedelic literature we find many examples of people reliving their births and using spiritual concepts, such as death-rebirth, to explain their experiences … although it should be noted that often in subsequent relivings the biological elements become too obvious to ignore.

images-2

The Importance of Connection

Apparently, it is only in the ways that these experiences are interpreted that shows up as a difference between them. Whereas Muktananda felt the “hopping” his body did was like that of a frog, someone in primal might realize that the jerks and kicks were actually the eruption of unresolved tensions from her or his birth.

10-emergence-440_thumb

Janov would say, however, that this difference in interpretation is an important one. For if one is interpreting these nonverbal body feelings in spiritual or other terms, one is not linking them up with one’s personal reality or one’s own experiences. One is not “connecting”; one is not seeing how that particular pattern of pain has influenced one’s second-line pain, nor how it has influenced one’s life history and present patterns of behavior. Thus, Janov would say that no change in those patterns of behavior can occur.

pink_floyd_the_wall_still_thumb

Cerebral Distortion

It would seem that first-line access without connection to second-and third-line—that is to say, without connection to how those birth and prenatal events influenced one’s childhood experiences and current life feelings and circumstances—would keep the cortical programs intact. Neural energies would continue proceeding along familiar distorted pathways, and these pain-necessitated elements of the antiquated defense system would remain to influence and distort the perceptions of one’s deeper experiences.

31018_224910937639290_493738849_n

A Calmer State with a Disturbed Understanding May Result from Meditation on Its Own

On the other hand, one could make a case that very real, repressed energy is released during these first-line encounters no matter how they are interpreted. This energy, then, is no longer driving the excess cortical activity common to neurotics and characteristic of the beta state. The effect is that of less “noise,” calmer brain wave activity, and an increased capability to gain access to subtler energies.

access-to-subler-energies

Therefore, the fact that connections are not made and the original cerebral pathways are not altered seems to mark the difference between the primal and spiritual first-line encounters. I will discuss the effects of this further on.

464684684581661_thumb

Differences in Pain

It should be pointed out that for some this difference may not represent a real problem. Some people may simply not have much second-line pain, or even first-line pain blocking the perception of clear Reality.

People Differ in the Amount of Life Trauma Separating Them from Bliss

chiron_by_summitstudios_thumbApparently, there are vast differences in the amount of pain that people carry around, as Grof has demonstrated in reference to his LSD subjects. He found that there were some people who, after dealing with and reliving psychodynamic and perinatal material for a few sessions, would proceed to transpersonal experiences for the remainder of their sessions. This was especially true of professionals who were undergoing the treatment as part of their training. imluipopoiuoygages1This was in contrast to others with manifest neurotic and psychotic symptoms, many of whom had been hospitalized and often required scores of sessions dealing with their personal material before proceeding to transpersonal material (Grof, 1970, p. 2).

“Humanity … Is Neurotic”.”

0023-vaultsecretdublinAlso there might be cultural differences. Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (Osho) wrote that “humanity, itself, is neurotic” because society requires that each person be “conditioned” and “molded into a particular pattern” and not be “allowed to be just whatever he is” (1976, p. 26). Further, he said that this may have had something to do with the fact that the great spiritual masters, who themselves realized, could not help the greater portion of humanity to reach enlightenment (p. 27).

Westerners Might Be “Crazier” and Thus Find It More Difficult

Keep this in mind along with the evidence that Americans have traditionally ranked among the lowest in the world in the general indulgence we afford our infants (Whiting & Child, 1953). Additionally, we are, in cross-cultural perspective, “quite severe in the general socialization of [our] children,” especially in regards to such important events as weaning and toilet training where we have been judged to be “exceptionally early and exceptionally severe” and “in a hurry to start the training process” (p. 320). These things be truing, we may say that we are, in some ways, more “neurotic” than many other cultures.

images_thumb1

It May Be That the Real Benefits of Spiritual Practice Cannot Be Gained by Most Westerners

Considering all this we might question why we think we can just adopt, wholesale, the techniques that have been developed down through the centuries and, especially, for use in other cultures. For if, as Rajneesh says, the spiritual techniques don’t work because they do not address humanity as it is—that is to say, neurotic—then meditation and similar practices may be said to be even less applicable to a modern “severely conditioned” … and more traumatized … Westerner.

0019-robocop06crppd

Continued with Bad Karma Enters Us Through Our Birth and Womb Experiences … Meditation as a Defense: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Nine — Karmic Genetics

Return to The Joy Beneath the Pain and Positive Possibilities of Experiential Process: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Seven — The Roots of Bliss

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

The Primal Serene — A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Four: How Passion Promotes Serenity and the Detached Observer in Catharsis — The Eye of the Storm

15129_227010137429370_522891380_n

Catharsis Makes Us Aware, by Contrast, of a Strong, Unaffected Self Within … Catharsis and Calmness: We Gain Insight Into the Illusion of Maya and Rootedness in a Deeper Self

Shiva

Real Meditative Experience May Not Be So Relaxing

Thus, it appears that the techniques of relaxation have to do with attempting to still the vagaries of pain-derived tension, the internal dialogue, so as to gain access to areas of consciousness that are “outside” and more fundamental than these vagaries. And contact with those areas may not be so relaxing!

484006_434131589990339_399158917_n

The Primal Serene

0011-scream6gThis technique is in some ways exactly opposite to primal ones. Primal involves the “tossing out” of all the vagaries—the manifesting in a verbal or physical way of the tensions existing in the body at the moment. But the results of each appear the same. Characteristically, following a primal one finds oneself sinking into a serene and markedly relaxed state. It appears that spiritual techniques differ from primal in attempting to reach that state directly by conscious control over the body/mind. Once that state is reached, it allows further abatement of physiological processes and, hence, access to even subtler realms of consciousness.

378454_226157477514636_541922685_n

A primaler also can be viewed as open to subtler energies after having reached a “cleared out” relaxed state via primaling, and could conceivably use a technique like meditation to increase that access.

passion-promotes-serenity

I was surprised to discover, after originally proposing this relation between catharsis and meditation in 1979 and approaching from the stance of psychotherapy, that Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh had already made the same kind of formulation coming at it from the spiritual perspective. It is described in his book, Meditation: The Art of Ecstasy (1976). See especially the chapter on “Chaotic Meditation.”

matrix-network

At any rate, Primal or a similar deep experiential psychotherapy then becomes a method of dealing with the grosser manifestations of psychobiological energy that keep the body in a tense and overdetermined state. Once these energies are dealt with and released, it becomes possible to employ a “mindfulness” type of meditation to deal with subtler energies, to connect with and dissipate those subtler energies, and thereby to gain access to subtler energies still.

548664_239016846228699_463805986_n

The Detached Observer in Catharsis—The Eye of the Storm

calm-before-storm-1Another way to look at the relation between catharsis and calmness, and the benefits that one can have for the other, is suggested by Heider (1974). He points out in his article, “Catharsis in Human Potential Encounter,” that “as a rule the person actually going through catharsis reports no feelings of fear even at times when he appeared most fearful; it is as if there is a detached observer who knows that the process is natural and even necessary” (p. 37). Indeed, one can let go into extreme emotional states time and time again and remain always aware of the “detached observer” part of oneself.

bp24

A major benefit of catharsis is that as this continually happens one becomes increasingly conscious of a part that is unaffected by the turmoil—the part that is there, observing at the onset of agitation, that “sits quietly by” watching in the midst of catharsis, and that is there to silently aid one, through “reentry” and into the calm state afterward.

silent-unaffected-self-within

Thus, catharsis makes us distinctly aware, through contrast, of a strong, silent, unaffected self within; it makes us aware of an “unchanging” that contrasts with all the violent changingness. In so doing it helps us to be more in contact with that self and its subtler pushes, pulls, and impulses—its subtler pattern. We become increasingly aware of a more fundamental self that is unmoved by all the chaos of consciousness.

artgallery-psion005-abstract-digital-art-fractal-psytrip_thumb

To that extent, it corresponds to those phases of meditation that entail the encounter with disruptive material with the admonition not to get caught up in them, to refuse them energy by believing in them.

forsale

Indeed this attitude can be the result of catharsis. We can release the explosive energy born of “attachment,” in the Buddhist sense, and hence gain insight into the illusion of “maya,” the fleeting changingness, and gain rootedness in a more inviolable self.

421773_204208433042874_2079949326_n

Continue with Approaching the “Source”: Right-Left Brain Integration, Theta Waves … Hypnogogic Experiences, and Delta Waves … A Nightly Return to Our Roots in the Infinite

Return to “At Times I Hopped Like a Frog … Between Smiles and Tears, I Continued my Inward Journey.” — Guru Muktananda: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Three — Cathartic Meditation

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

“At Times I Hopped Like a Frog … Between Smiles and Tears, I Continued my Inward Journey.” — Guru Muktananda: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Three — Cathartic Meditation

387765_308339679179024_203799022966424_1348799_1719099873_n

The Path Is Different from the Goal: The Truth About Meditation Can Only Now Be Told — Real Meditation Is About Letting Go and Experiencing Not About Controlling Oneself

604053_223925837737800_1686297406_n

What Really Happens in Authentic, Deep Meditation

Janov’s position that meditation is simply an attempt at inducing relaxation, which is then called bliss and couched in terms like “oneness with God” (1970, pp. 221-222), is an uninformed opinion that leaves out of consideration the variety of spiritual experiences that occur during meditation.

184846_223926804404370_27797559_n

Only Now Can It Be Told

Why Janov might think this is understandable, however. Explicit information on meditation experiences, especially during the earliest stages, has not always been easy to come by. For centuries there existed the belief that spiritual experiences were to be kept secret and not freely discussed. But the belief that emerges in our age is that the times are such as to make possible certain allowances that formerly were denied. In this vein several masters have in this century written personal accounts of their spiritual experiences; some even have allowed themselves to be tested by scientific methods. Adding to this are the findings of the ever increasing body of meditation research that, for the first time in history, has been taking place in the last half century.

Cathartic Meditation

“Between Smiles and Tears, I Continued my Inward Journey.” — Guru Muktananda

From the writings of Paramahansa Yogananda (1946) and Swami Baba Muktananda (1974), we are able to derive a conception of meditational experiences that is totally at variance with the notion that it is merely an attempt at relaxation or that it is, as Wilber claimed, distinct from “pre-” states. Muktananda writes, for example, “Various feelings emerged during meditation,” and “Sometimes I was happy, sometimes sad. Alternating between smiles and tears, I continued my inward journey” (p. 75).

259958_226823254114725_1442061891_n

He talks about innumerable movements that occur in the process of meditation (p. 77). Most interestingly, he notes that these movements are automatic and “continued for a prolonged period” (pp. 82-83). “At times I hopped like a frog. Occasionally my body moved violently as if possessed by a spirit” (p. 78).

dr-manhattan-movie_thumb

The Yogic Experiences No One Tells You About

Muktananda explains that “the practitioners of Siddha Yoga have a vast variety of experiences about which one neither hears nor reads” (p. 76); that because of this an aspirant might abandon the path out of sheer fright (p. 77). Unaware of the variety of emotions and experiences entailed in the spiritual process, expecting perhaps only “bliss” (or relaxation?), the aspirant may think he or she is going insane (p. 77). He himself, however, sees all these experiences as part of a natural process that is cleansing in nature and makes possible access to higher levels of consciousness.

calmness-and-catharsis600105_230999793697071_718873809_nmatrix-revolutions-45_thumb

“Meditators Commonly Experienced Intense Feeling States….”

Additional examples of these kinds of meditational experiences are given by Kapleau (l980) and Kornfield (1979). In fact, Kornfield reports that incidences of “spontaneous movement” were the most common experiences reported by beginning meditators (p. 45). He notes also that “Meditators commonly experienced intense feeling states and frequent dramatic changes of mood,” with examples of such including “screaming mind trips,” “violent crying,” “huge release of anger,” and “heavy sadness” (pp. 47-48).

icarus-falling-like-the-first-falling

The Goal Is Different from the Path

In these descriptions of emotional discharge/release we can see similarities to what is described as occurring in primal therapy.

Spontaneous, Automatic Movement in Meditation ~ First-Line Feelings in Primal Therapy

But the descriptions of spontaneous and automatic movement are especially interesting. In many respects they recall the experiences that primalers with access to their “first-line” pain (preverbal, usually surrounding birth) frequently encounter. In fact, it is exactly this kind of relation (between the physical and emotional experiences reported by Kapleau, Kornfield, and others and perinatal experiences occurring outside of the spiritual disciplines) that is noted by Bache (1981).

10-emergence-440_thumb

The bliss and equanimity described in the spiritual literature are thus associated most strongly with the advanced stages of meditation and should not be confused with the experiences entailed in the process of getting there.

0007-coleprometheusbound1847vassaraa-web1

Most of What Passes for Meditation Is Anything But Mystical

The point is that there is more to meditation than mere relaxation or undiluted “trans-” states. Although evidently, as Rowan (1983) put it, “Most of what passes for meditation has nothing much to do with mystical experiences at all—it is just the achievement of a very calm state” (p. 21). From what I have seen, most of meditation as understood today is about learning to become more repressed and neurotic … less alive. It is all about trying to push out of consciousness all the upsetting things of life–all the things which when faced, embraced, and integrated can be gone beyond and can enrich one.

we-seek-to-keep-out-these-filthy-others

Still, Rowan continues, “it is possible to get small or large peak experiences through meditation” (p. 21).

Real Meditative Experience May Not Be So Relaxing

Thus, it appears that the techniques of relaxation have to do with attempting to still the vagaries of pain-derived tension, the internal dialogue, so as to gain access to areas of consciousness that are “outside” and more fundamental than these vagaries. And contact with those areas may not be so relaxing!

484006_434131589990339_399158917_n

Continue with The Primal Serene — A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Four: How Passion Promotes Serenity and the Detached Observer in Catharsis — The Eye of the Storm

Return to Is God a Defense? Is Passion not Spiritual? A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Two — To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

How Valid Are Spiritual Experiences? Psychedelic Research and Deep Experiential Psychotherapy Have Intensified the Exploration of Spiritual Aspects of the Unconscious

184873_225070957623288_272523389_n

Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part One — Primal Therapy: In Resolving Buried Tensions, One Sees Clearly, Feels Freer, and Turns Cycles of Pain Into Cycles of Joy

292766_217737858356598_441894144_n

The debate about the status we should ascribe to spiritual experience has been going on for a long time in psychology. Disagreement on this was crucial to Jung’s break from Freud, with Jung postulating an unconscious containing transpersonal as well as purely personal elements.

expanded-exploration-of-spiritual-unconscious

More recently, LSD research and cathartic approaches to psychotherapy have extended the experiential exploration of spiritual aspects of the unconscious. Consequently, the legitimacy of spiritual experience has become an issue among some of us who primal.

483074_225070970956620_1806881079_n

Some of us who have been through primal therapy have begun to have experiences that we find difficult to trace to biological roots.pandora__s_jar_by_xxdigipxx-d3100pj-png_thumb1_thumb But Janov, in his writings about primal, is consistent with the Freudian tradition in which he was tutored. He maintains a mechanistic interpretation of the primal process. He sees spiritual experiences as derivative of underlying primal pain and views meditation as “anti-Primal” (1970, p. 222).

For some who have continued primaling beyond Janov’s prescribed limits, it is becoming apparent that he is unaware of some of the potentials of the process he presented. As one who began “feeling his feelings” [Footnote 1] over four decades ago, I will present an explanation of the relationship between the primal and spiritual processes as an alternative to Janov’s mechanistic one. I rely on my own experiences, those I have observed in others in my role as facilitator and therapist, and the experiences of a number of other primalers as they have been related to me. I also rely on the important work with LSD and holotropic breathwork that Stanislav Grof (1970, 1976, 1980, 1985, 1988; Grof & Halifax, 1977; many more) has presented.

427790_221004181363299_1753407168_n

Primal Therapy

It may be important to bring us up to date on primal therapy. Arthur Janov introduced it in 1970 with his controversial book, The Primal Scream, subtitled, Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis. It had its time of ascendancy, with well-known personalities such as John Lennon espousing it. It also had a long period of malignment in print and the media, with much of the criticism apparently directed at Arthur Janov’s style in presenting it or the excessive quality of his claims concerning it. Relevant articles, which were published in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology, are those by Kelley (1972), Kaufmann (1974), and Lonsbury (1978). Despite the controversy, however, primal therapy seems to have struck a chord in many people with its statement that the vast majority of us carry around a reservoir of unfelt pain from past experiences that was repressed because it was too overwhelming to be dealt with at the time. Primal therapy survived many of its contemporaries in the human potential movement.

four-sculpted-in-womb

Primal theory, simply stated, is that the memories of unfelt pain from traumatic experiences in childhood, at birth, and in the womb, and the emotions that would have naturally occurred with them, are locked in the body as unresolved tension. This tension motivates all neurotic and psychotic symptoms in its grosser manifestations, and in its subtler manifestations influences and shapes one’s perceptions of and attitudes toward one’s self and world, and thus determines one’s behavior toward them. It does so in a manner that is symbolic of the unresolved need or trauma.

32317-bigthumbnail_thumb1

This pain/tension keeps us uncomfortable, keeps us from being able to see reality clearly and act positively, keeps us from being fully functioning, and keeps us forever viciously trapped in negative life situations that serve only to recreate the patterns of our past scars. In primal one opens up to these repressed memories and relives the traumatic events with all the emotion that should have been there, accompanying them, originally. In resolving the tensions, one sees more clearly and is able to act more positively and joyfully and to create more positive scenarios for one’s life.

vlcsnap-2011-05-29-11h47m39s55_thumb

Space limits a complete description of primal theory or therapy, and for that I refer the reader to Janov and to the articles mentioned. That is, with a few modifications. Outside of Janov’s own works, much of what has appeared in print has, as nearly as I can determine, been written by people who have neither been in nor been very close to primal therapy, the exception being Lonsbury (1978). In addition, little popular attention has been directed to it in recent years, and none to its development. I have been involved in a developing primal therapy and would like to amend the record accordingly.

http-inlinethumb12-webshots-com-42955-2998621800104237032s600x600q85

I agree with much of what Kelley had to say in 1972. In Denver, where I did the majority of my therapy, the medical model was abandoned and an educational one was adopted, as per his suggestion. More importantly, Kelley noted the fallacy of a “postprimal” state, “cured” and devoid of defenses. That this state is an extrapolation of tendencies, as Kelley says, and the mythical qualities of a “primal man” as well as a “genital character,” has become obvious to most of us who have been primaling for any extended period of time. To that extent, Kelley was well ahead of the rest of us in primal in seeing this. My major disagreement with his article is that it does not seem to take into account the deeper potentials of the primal process. He posits a need for an “education in purpose,” which is separate from or “antithetical” to (an education in) feeling, and does not acknowledge the possible emergence of a “felt purpose,” in the course of one’s “feeling,” that synthesizes the two.

561118_417771534949707_1862742195_n

But most of all, I feel it is important to respond to Kaufmann (1974). Much of his attitude and many of his assertions have been mirrored elsewhere in the media and have contributed to the prevailing distorted impression of primal that is at variance with what I will be describing. As other critics of primal have done, Kaufmann seems to have zeroed in on the excesses and inaccuracies of the early primal therapy as described in Janov’s earliest works. A good example is his criticism of the “postprimal” person. This indolent, sexless character has been the source of much confusion and disdain for primal therapy. And Kaufmann’s remarks clearly are admissible considering the date. But let me say emphatically that this particular notion of a “real person” was later abandoned both in the publications coming out of Janov’s Primal Institute (“A connected person achieves.” [Footnote 2]) and among us primalers. We just didn’t turn out that way.

Janov’s early characterization began to be seen as someone just on the verge of making a more precipitous descent into earlier, “first-line,” preverbal feelings.

1157996048

Other of the early inaccuracies eventually were cleared up in practice. 1345645The primal therapy I experienced in Denver in 1975 with Jules and Helen Roth and their staff was an evolved version of primal as originally described by Janov (1970), or as initially presented to me in Toronto by Thomas Verny in 1972. It was less directive, more supportive. We didn’t maintain the illusion (as much) that anyone could really know where someone else was “at” and so we didn’t pretend that we could “bust” each other. Similarly, we didn’t use “props” or attempt to interpret one another’s experiences. We let one another “be” more fully where we already were and helped one another to go “deeper.” I specify the discrepancies because they relate to what I say further on.

dolphin-in-womb

I might also add that while in Denver I was witness and participant in primal’s continued development. Initially, it did contain many elements of a “primal religion” as often criticized. Subsequently, we let go of illusions of that nature and were able to integrate this invaluable tool into a fuller life and into a broader framework of understanding. My impression from other primalers is that similar evolutions occurred elsewhere.

0034-chironwounded

The point I make is that the primal therapy to which I refer is quite unlike the popular notions of “primal scream therapy” and different in many ways from its earliest descriptions. My response to detractors of early primal therapy is just that many of their criticisms are no longer relevant.

mp_the-centaur_thumb1

Continue with Is God a Defense? Is Passion not Spiritual? A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Two — To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

Return to Everything You “Know” About Life You Learned as a Fetus: Foundations of Myth and Mind and my Personal Involvement with This Research into Our Actual “Human Nature”

Footnotes

1. fantasypic8-snake_thumbI will be using the terms primaling and feeling one’s feelings interchangeably. We began to use the term feeling feelings instead of primaling partly to counteract the impression fostered by Janov that all feeling outside of primaling is unreal, that there is a basic difference between primals and normal feelings. Although there is a great difference in quality and intensity, and to that extent a new term is justified, normal feelings are not separate from primal feelings. They are the tip of the iceberg, and are used to get to their roots in primal feelings.

2. The quote is from Spike (1974). See also the interviews in the Journal of Primal Therapy (1974) for other changes in the conceptions of early primal.

cosmic-mind

Continue with Is God a Defense? Is Passion not Spiritual? A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Two — To Travel Unafraid Through All the Rooms of One’s House

Return to Everything You “Know” About Life You Learned as a Fetus: Foundations of Myth and Mind and my Personal Involvement with This Research into Our Actual “Human Nature”

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

Everything You “Know” About Life You Learned as a Fetus: Foundations of Myth and Mind and my Personal Involvement with This Research into Our Actual “Human Nature”

Your Map of Reality Was Written in the Womb: Falls from Grace, Chapter One — Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

Prenatal and perinatal psychology is the field that deals with the effects of events occurring prior to (prenatal) and surrounding (perinatal) the time of birth upon later life and personality. An ever increasing amount though certainly not all of the information we have about these periods of our lives and their effects is derived through the later and vivid remembering of these events in a phenomenon known as re-experience. Correspondingly, the two most frequently asked questions about this relatively new field, put by those initially encountering it, are those concerning the specific meanings of the terms perinatal and re-experience.

At the outset, I wish to present an explanation of these two terms and of my unique personal relation to this topic as well as some of my background in exploring it. I will follow this with an historical overview of the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology, which will reveal the key concepts and understandings employed throughout this book.

Re-Experience and Reliving

For over forty years, beginning in 1972 when I was a senior undergraduate in college, I have been involved both personally and professionally in a comprehensive investigation into the phenomenon of re-experience. Also called reliving, this phenomenon is reported to consist of a full somato-cognitive remembering of previous events in a person’s life. Reliving involves experiential but also observable and measurable components, such as brain wave changes, characteristic physiological and neurological changes, and typical observable body movements.

This phenomenon can occur, to varying degrees, in many consciousness-altering modalities—including hypnosis, LSD psychotherapy, primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork; to a considerable degree in re-evaluation co-counseling and treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder; and, occasionally and spontaneously, even in mainstream forms of psychotherapy, counseling, and “growth seminars.”

Re-experience is a more vivid and more completely somatic catharsis than what has been described in psychotherapy in terms of abreaction. It is in such contrast to normal abreaction that when these seemingly bizarre yet healing events have spontaneously erupted in traditional or mainstream Western contexts they have usually been mistakenly labeled psychotic, been intervened upon, and then aborted—via drugs and other highly coercive measures—by the attending therapeutic authorities.

.

However, with an increasing appreciation for their therapeutic value, these events are gradually becoming understood and accepted in therapeutic contexts and thus allowed to complete themselves and to instruct the participants and observers in their meanings. Therefore, they appear to represent something new in our culture in terms of both a way of approaching knowledge and in terms of the kinds of information that are discovered (Grof 1976, 1985; Hannig 1982; Janov 1971; Lake 1966/1986; Noble, 1993; Stettbacher, 1992).

My Relationship to the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

My interest in the phenomenon of reliving began forty-four years ago at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate there I was most inspired by a course in religious studies titled “Religious and Psychological Approaches To Self-Understanding.” I was so inspired by the course that I constructed my major around its topic and initially even used the same title for my program’s name. This major in “self-understanding” would lead me, in a few years, to a profound interest in and exploration of primal therapy, as presented by Arthur Janov (1970) in his much-publicized book, The Primal Scream: Primal Therapy: The Cure for Neurosis.

By 1972, I had completed all but the one final semester for a B.A. That semester was to include the cumulative project—required of such a Special Studies (individually structured) major. However, since my project would focus on primal therapy and one of primal therapy’s basic premises is that knowledge cannot really be known except through experience, I could not in good conscience turn in a project describing primal therapy without first experiencing it. Consequently I withdrew from college, for what was supposed to be only a semester, with the intention of “going through” primal therapy and then returning to school to write my cumulative project on it. In those days, the entire process of primal therapy was reputed to take only three to six months.

But a lot was unknown about that modality in those early days. As it turned out, I would not return to school to complete that final project until 1978—at which point I had five years’ experience of primal therapy behind me and was living in Denver, Colorado.

In addition to these experiences, I have amassed a broad array of other experience and training over the years that have contributed to my understanding of re-experience and of this field in general. Besides my two decades and more of primal therapy … both formally and in “the buddy system” … I have received training as a primal therapist. I am also a trained rebirther, having explored that modality since 1986. I have been experientially exploring the modality of holotropic breathwork since 1987 and did training with Stanislav and Christina Grof in that technique.

Finally, I have been facilitating people in their journeys into deep inner primal and holotropic states since 1975. I’ve given individual sessions in all three modalities of primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork. And with my wife, Mary Lynn Adzema, I conducted three day workshops in something we called primal breathwork. I’ve conducted two-day group workshops in this modality at conferences, which were attended by as many as sixty experiencers at a time.

Thus, I have experience in my own process in these modalities; but in addition I have facilitated for others on many occasions, and at times, it was my main profession—though most of my life I have spent in writing, teaching, and research.

Pre- and Perinatal Re-Experience

Re-experience of birth and of the events immediately prior to and after birth are termed perinatal—from the Greek, literally “surrounding birth.” It has been widely described at this point by a number of authors but is most closely associated with the work of Stanislav Grof, Arthur Janov, and Frank Lake.

However, one significant and as yet little explored or understood phenomenon, arising also from the modalities mentioned, is that of prenatal re-experience. In this case, the experiencer reports … and observationally appears to be … experiencing events that happened en utero, sometimes going back as far as sperm, egg, and zygote states (Buchheimer 1987; Farrant 1987; Grof 1976, 1985; Hannig 1982; Janov 1983; Lake 1981, 1982; Larimore 1990a, 1990b; Larimore & Farrant, 1995).

These reports of remembering experiences that occurred before birth are at such variance with Western professional and popular paradigms that they are met with near-universal incredulity and, too often, premature dismissal. Yet the evidence from the mounting numbers of experiential reports and empirical studies attests that something which is at least unique and interesting is going on here.

images-2

Nevertheless, much of this prenatal information is thus far unformulated, untheorized, and unintegrated into a coherent structure for making sense of these experiences. This book will go a long way toward doing just that—making sense of prenatal experiences and exploring the implications and prospects of the knowledge gleaned from this fascinating new area of research and which arises from the vision that an exposure to this material induces.

The present work represents an attempt to bring this new information concerning our origins and our earliest experiences into such a coherent structure. After the initial overview of the field to be presented in this chapter, I deepen that review of the current understanding and findings in this area in making a case, in Chapter Two, for the legitimacy of prenatal spirituality.

First, let us take a closer look at what we know about the time before and around birth and what it means for us throughout our lives.

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field—Early Theorists: Psychoanalysis and Birth

Sigmund Freud — Birth as Prototype for All Anxiety

While Freud (1927) disregarded major effects of birth on personality, he still saw the birth experience as the prototype of all later anxiety. His overall disregard of birth, however, was largely influenced by the belief—although discredited (see Chamberlain, 1988), still common in mainstream psychology and medicine today—that a newborn does not possess the neurological capacity for consciousness at birth.

Otto Rank — Psychoanalysis, Birth Trauma, Foundations of Personality and Some Myth, Separation Anxiety

Other early psychoanalysts disagreed with Freud on this. Otto Rank is the most notable of these. Following Freud’s basic psychoanalytic reasoning for personality patterns in early infancy, he asserted basic patterns of experience and ideas that are rooted in even earlier experience. Rank (1929) claimed the deepest, most fundamental patterns of these personality constructs originated at the time of birth, which Freud thought was not possible. Based upon the dream, fantasy, and other patterns of associations arising in his patients in psychoanalysis, Rank postulated a birth trauma, which he saw as a critical event in laying down in each of us particular patterns of thinking, motivation, and emotion for the rest of our lives. Notable among these prototypes was a feeling of a paradise once known but somehow lost, a separation anxiety caused by the separation at birth, and a resulting futile and lifelong struggle to re-unite with that golden age and that early beloved because of a desire to return to the womb.

Nandor Fodor — Dreamwork, Birth and Prenatal Processing and Relivings, Prenatal Origins of Consciousness and Trauma

Also a psychoanalyst, Nandor Fodor (1949) focused on the reflections of birth and prenatal material in dreams. He also designed interventions in therapy to release the negative effects of birth and to process prenatal memories. He was the first to mention actual relivings of birth, in which veridical memories were recovered. He agreed with Rank on many points, but he stressed the origins of consciousness and of trauma being in the prenatal period.

Donald W. Winnicott — First Primal Therapist? Birth Relivings, Importance of Birth—Negative Imprints but Positive Effects, Too

Another psychoanalyst, and pediatrician as well, Winnicott (1958) also held that birth is remembered and is important. He insisted that the birth trauma is real, but he disagreed with Rank and Fodor that it is always traumatic. He suggested that a normal, nontraumatic, birth has many positive benefits, particularly for ego development. Still, he contended that traumatic birth is permanently etched in memory and leaves a lifetime psychological scar. Winnicott (1958) also suggested the possibility of prenatal trauma.

He has been called the first primal therapist in that he described the first birth primals—actual observable relivings of birth—spontaneously occurring by some of his patients during their sessions with him. Thus he was beginning the trend beyond mere talking association or dream analysis as ways of accessing and integrating this material.

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field — Later Research and Theorists: Hypnosis, Primal Therapy, and Birth

David Cheek and Leslie LeCron — Hypnosis, Birth Memories and Imprints on Personality and Relation to Psychiatric Disorders

Cheek and LeCron (1968) used hypnosis to retrieve early memories in their patients. They discovered that memories earlier than what they expected, going back to birth, were possible. Importantly, a relief of symptoms seemed to follow from the re-experience of these birth memories. They came to the conclusion that a birth imprint occurs, which is induced by the extreme stress of that time and is resistant to fading from later experience. Further they asserted that this imprint could be the cause of a wide spectrum of psychiatric and psychosomatic disorders.

i-researched-in-depth

Leslie Feher — Psychoanalysis, Birth, Cutting of Umbilical Cord, Separation Trauma

Leslie Feher (1980) sought to extend the Freudian tradition farther back into areas that, she asserts, were until only recently unknowable. Thus, she describes a natal theory and therapy that includes experiences of cutting the umbilical cord, birth, and even prebirth. In fact, she considers the cutting of the umbilical cord to be central in her theory of trauma, calling it the “crisis umbilicus,” and echoes Fodor in claiming that it is the true origin of the castration fears made so much of in psychoanalysis. This is so because, according to Feher, the cord and placenta is an object of security and is considered by the fetus to be part of him- or herself. Thus, this cutting represents a supreme threat in being a separation from a total life support system, a major organ, a part of oneself. In these ways, she also brings forward for renewed appreciation Rank’s speculations on the element of separation trauma as a crucial element of the birth trauma.

Arthur Janov — Primal Therapy, Traumas of Birth and Early Life and Healing Them, Empirical Foundations and Neurophysiology of Early Events and Healing

Perhaps the major theorist and popularizer of the phenomenon of re-experience (which he termed primaling), Janov was reluctant to acknowledge the pervasiveness of pre- and perinatal re-experience and trauma. Yet when he did, it was in a major work on birth trauma, which remains as a touchstone in the field in its depth and detail. Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience, published in 1983, among other things places birth as the determining factor in creating basic personality constructs, called sympathetic and parasympathetic, which roughly coincide with the more common terms introversion and extroversion.

This work is more empirical and neurophysiologically rooted than most in the field. While the book is recognized in the field, Janov and his work have not gotten anywhere near the respect and attention that they deserve. He remains the unfortunate kicking-boy of a movement that is itself scapegoated by the academy and the larger scientific community.

Thomas Verny — Primal Therapy, Birth, Especially Womb Life and Relation to Personality … Prenatal Mother-Infant Bonding

The actual stimulus for a new field of pre- and perinatal psychology and the Association for Pre- and Perinatal Psychology and Health—APPPAH was Thomas Verny’s (1981) The Secret Life of the Unborn Child. His work brought together a good deal of the new empirical research that had opened the doors to us on the events in the womb. While himself a practitioner of “holistic primal therapy,” he integrated the accumulating data from the phenomenon of re-experience with the new information from the more traditional, “objective,” scientific research into the prenatal—made possible by the latest advances in technology.

One of his conclusions from this combination of lines of inquiry was that “birth and prenatal experiences form the foundations of human personality” (1981, p. 118). His other conclusions center around the importance of intrauterine bonding in that his research strongly suggests that the prenate, via pathways hormonal and unknown, picks up on the thoughts, feelings, and attitudes of the mother. More importantly, he asserted, the imprint of these factors on the fetus predetermines the later mother-child relationship. He emphasized that positive thoughts and feelings toward the fetus—”maternal love”—acts to cushion the new individual against the normal stresses and unavoidable harshness inherent in birth and early infancy. Yet all of this cannot be completely avoided. “Birth is like death to the newborn,” writes Verny (1984, p. 48).

David Chamberlain — Hypnosis, Confirmed Validity of Birth Memories

David Chamberlain (1988), for many years the president of APPPAH (the Association for Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health), has further substantiated the claim of consciousness at birth and the accuracy of pre- and perinatal memory in the phenomenon of re-experience. He reported one study he did in which he compared hypnotically retrieved memories of birth from mother and child and found an astonishing degree of conformity in their responses. Of note was the degree of inner consistency and originality in these memories as reported by the former neonate. They often contained technical details of the delivery and labor unlike what would be expected of the medically unsophisticated, a perceptive critique of the way the birth was handled, and other details of the event that could not have been known through normal conscious channels.

.

Overview of the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Field — Later Theorists: Societal Implications, Psychohistory, Birth and Prenatal

Lloyd deMause Psychohistory, Prenatal and Poisonous Placenta, Sociohistorical Implications of Gestational and Birth Events

Lloyd deMause (1982, 1987) was instrumental in establishing the new interdisciplinary field of psychohistory. In his study of historical happenings he discovered that stages in the progression of events related to stages in the progression of gestation and birth … which stages happened to correspond, by the way, remarkably well with Stanislav Grof‘s four stages of birth, his Basic Perinatal Matrices.

He found that natal imagery especially predominates in societies during times of crisis and war, when national purpose and state of affairs are construed as a need to escape or break free from an enclosing and constricting force. He also noted the suffering fetus and the poisonous placenta as sources of these later metaphors and imagery. In fact, in studying the imagery in the national media of various countries he has been able to predict political, social, and economic events such as wars and invasions, recessions, and political downfalls.

His work begins to look at the prenatal influences and imprints and how they related to macrocosmic issues of politics, history, social movements, and issues of war and peace.

Later Theorists — Dream Analysis

Francis Mott — Conception and Gestational Basis of Myth, Archetype, all Patterns of Macrocosmic and Microcosmic Realities and the Nature of Reality, Devolutional Model of Development

Francis Mott’s work is less well known even by this field’s standards, yet it is undeniably impressive. Mott’s (1960, 1964) major contribution lies in his focusing on basic patterns of mind and cosmos that correlate with prenatal feelings and states. He traced consciousness back to events around conception and saw these events as instituting patterns affecting all later experience and conceptual constructions. Through dream analysis he elicited these “configurations,” and he demonstrated their manifestation as seemingly universal archetypes in myths and universal human assumptions about the nature of reality.

541997_280034735430484_673206244_n1

In fact, through his study of womb and conception patterns he claimed to have discovered patterns that underlie and unite all of reality at all levels of manifestation—astronomical, social, personal, cellular, and even nuclear. While this may seem rather grandiose, his work was highly regarded and admired by Carl Jung.

Mott also carried forward the intimations of earlier prenatal theoreticians, notably Rank and Fodor, on the gestational basis of archetypes. While he does not address or seek to discredit the range of, supposedly genetic, archetypes postulated by Jung, his work is highly suggestive of an experiential, specifically, pre- and perinatal, as opposed to genetic basis for many of these.

Denial and Incest Taboo

Mott (1960) also helped us to understand why if these prenatal memories are possible they are not more prevalent by suggesting denial is necessary in order to protect against incestuous feelings that might arise around feelings remembered from being inside one’s mother.

entheogeniceden1

Devolutional Model of Consciousness Development

Finally, he made the postulation—hugely relevant to the theme of this work—that our original expanded capacity to feel is diminished, as he says, “divided,” by experience not increased by it. The idea is that there is a reduction in awareness as a result of early traumatic events, beginning around conception and then on, and not the buildup of consciousness and feeling that we assume from the mechanistic paradigm that sees consciousness as a byproduct of increasing physical, specifically brain, activity during our early years. (See, for example, The Doors of Perception: Each of Us Is Potentially Mind At Large… When Perception Is Cleansed, All Kinds of Nonordinary Things Happen and Occupy Science … A Call for a Scientific Awakening: In Tossing Away Our Species Blinders, We Approach a Truth Far Beyond Science.)

Later Theorists — Breathwork

Stanislav GrofBreathwork, LSD, Birth and Prenatal, Myth and Archetype, Spiritual and Consciousness

A pioneer in this prenatal area is Stanislav Grof (1976, 1980, 1985, 1990, to name a few). His many works, providing a framework for conceptualizing perinatal and transpersonal experiences, are a profound and useful starting point for an investigation into this area.

In his use of LSD beginning in 1956 for psychotherapy, called psycholytic therapy, he discovered four levels of experience of the unconscious: the sensory, the biographical, the perinatal, and the transpersonal. He noted a tendency for growth and healing to occur in a progressive way through these levels. The sensory band is the level of expanded sensory awareness and is usually initially encountered by participants. The biographical band is the realm of the personal unconscious wherein unintegrated and traumatic memories and material from childhood and one’s personal history are retrieved, often relived, and integrated. The perinatal level of experience usually follows after dealing with the biographical material and involves the remembering, re-experiencing, and integrating of material that is related to the time prior to and surrounding birth. The transpersonal band, the level of spiritual experience, is usually reached after dealing with the other three levels.

Four Modes of Experiencing—the Basic Perinatal Matrices

Grof has also delineated four matrices of experience, four general experiential constructs, which he called basic perinatal matrices (BPMs). He discovered that experiences at all levels of the unconscious often group themselves in four general ways that are roughly related to the four stages of birth. Thus, Basic Perinatal Matrix I (BPM I) is related to the generally blissful or “oceanic” feelings that often characterize the fetus’s state in the womb in early and middle pregnancy. BPM II is characterized by “no exit,” hellish feelings that are related to the situation of the fetus in late pregnancy when the confines of the womb become ever more apparent but there is as yet no indication of any possibility of relief. BPM III relates to the birth process itself, the birth struggle, which is still characterized by feelings of compression and suffering but in which there is movement and change and thus hope of relief through struggle. If BPM II can be compared to hell, where there is no hope, BPM III is more like purgatory. Finally, BPM IV relates to the actual entry into the world, the termination of the birthing process, and is characterized by feelings of triumph, relief, and high, even manic, elation.

In his descriptions of the levels of experience and the matrices of perinatal experience, Grof has provided useful maps of the unconscious and experience in nonordinary states, which have incredible heuristic value in our understanding of cross-cultural religious and spiritual experience, psychopathology, personal growth, and consciousness and personality in general. And they have been utilized successfully in providing a context and guide for many tens of thousands of participants in his psycholytic and holotropic therapies.

However, while Grof is exhaustive in his descriptions of fetal and perinatal experience, he says less about the earlier experiences in the womb—the first trimester—and even less about conception and the experiences of sperm and egg—what is known as cellular consciousness. Still, this area is beginning to be discussed among his followers. And through his current nondrug modality, called holotropic breathwork, people are accessing these areas and beginning to give word to them (e.g., Carter, 1993).

Frank Lake—Breathwork, First Trimester, Early Experience as Foundation for Myths

Frank Lake, though less well-known again, has probably been the premier theoretician on the topic of prenatal events during the first three months of gestation. Just prior to his death in the early eighties, he wrote a culmination of his thirty-year investigation into pre- and perinatal influence in two works titled Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling and The First Trimester. In these works he goes beyond his other works (for example, 1966) in placing the roots of all later experience, and in particular, distress, at the first three months of physical existence.

Lake began his investigation of re-experience in 1954. Like Stanislav Grof, he did this using LSD, initially, in the psycholytic therapy that was being developed at that time to facilitate therapeutic abreaction. Later he, again like Grof, developed a nondrug modality to accomplish the same thing. His method of “primal therapy” employed a type of fast breathing—again, like Grof’s later technique—to access theta-wave brain levels, which are levels of consciousness that he saw as crucial to accessing and integrating these memories.

His thirty-year research led him to the realization of the importance of ever earlier experience. Thus his earlier stress on the importance of birth gave way to his later emphasis on the first trimester in 1981 (Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling) and in 1982 (The First Trimester).

He stressed the maternal-fetal distress syndrome, beginning at around implantation, as a major time of trauma. He also described a blastocystic stage of relative bliss just prior to that.

His one other major disagreement with Grof was his belief that the mythological and symbolical elements described by Grof were a product of LSD and that the first trimester events were the actual roots of much of such symbolism and supposed transpersonal/mythological scenarios (1981, p. 35).

universeandyouboingboing

Later Theorists — Myth and Sacred Text/Mysticism

S. Giora Shoham — Devolutional Model of Development, Falls from Grace

While not strictly a pre- and perinatal psychologist, I include this too little-known theoretician and criminologist because of the close relationship and influence his work has had upon my own work regarding these Falls from Grace. Falls from Grace and other devolutional models of consciousness postulate that during life and over time, beginning at conception, we actually are reduced in consciousness and awareness, not increased in it, and it corresponds to a “brain as reducing valve” theory of consciousness. (Again, See The Doors of Perception and Occupy Science.)

While I initially constructed and wrote down my devolutional theory of consciousness—Falls from Grace—without the benefit of Shoham’s work, upon discovering it I could not help but be both confirmed and reinspired by the astounding resonance his understanding has with my own.

Shoham (1979, 1990) starts his devolutional model in the womb and carries it through birth, weaning, and the oedipal periods of development. Though, as I delineate in Part Two, I disagree with his model by beginning mine at the creation of sperm and egg—as does other devolutional theorists like Francis Mott and David Wasdell—in virtually all other major instances his model corresponds to my own if one simply … in keeping with a normal trend in child development in general as it begins to integrate the new pre- and perinatal evidence … places everything back a little farther in time—in this case, specifically, one stage back.

oh-maya-goda

Later Prenatal Psychology Theorists — Cellular Memory and Conception, Foundations of Myth and Personality, Spirituality and Soul

Lietaert Peerbolte — Conception and Cellular Memory, Soul, Spirituality

Peerbolte (1954) was one of the earliest theorists to relate spirituality to conception and sperm/egg dynamics. In addition to claiming that a regression to conception is the inevitable result of all prenatal states, he traced the sense of “I” — the “I-function” — back to the egg, existing even in the mother’s ovaries. He further postulated that the spiritual self was invisibly present within the field of attraction between the egg and the sperm. Correspondingly, he was the first to point out that the existence of conception, preconception, and even ovulation symbolism in dreams indicates the existence of a soul. For, he asked, what mind records these events otherwise?

538875_3864556421861_1547964178_n

I wrote the article, “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality,” which later became the next chapter in this book before I knew about Peerbolte’s work. Yet, once again the conclusions I came to, especially about the existence of soul being established by the fact of these memories and especially those at the cellular levels of sperm and egg existence, are very much in line with his.

Michael C. Irving — Primal Therapy, Birth, Sperm, Egg, Myth, Dragon Symbolism, Prehistoric Cult and Ritual

Michael C. Irving is a primal therapist whose contributions include his relation of these earliest events from sperm and egg through the birth experience to fundamental mythological motifs and images across cultures. The originator of a way of interpretation that he calls natalism, he has brought together a host of artistic and artifactual images from a wide range of time periods and cultures which relate, with an astonishing degree of accuracy, to actual pre- and perinatal events.

In particular, he has traced the universal serpent/dragon motifs and mythology to birth and sperm experience, noting, among other things, that the serpent/dragon shape represents the birth canal or tunnel, that the fire-spewing characteristics of dragons relate to consuming pain, and that the constricting characteristics of snakes correspond to the constriction of the birth canal. Of great interest is his deduction that the widely prevalent snake and dragon cults, which were especially popular in prehistory, indicate an attempt to deal with such unfinished birth trauma material as we are only now, in modern times, rediscovering the importance of doing.

314137_3898857839375_24317078_n

Graham Farrant — Primal Therapy; Sperm, Egg, Cellular Consciousness; Soul and Spirituality

Graham Farrant (1987; Buchheimer 1987), a psychiatrist and primal therapist from Australia, is probably the most influential and well-known of those discussing the phenomena that occur at the earliest times of our lives. In addition to echoing Frank Lake in describing fetal, implantation, and blastocyst feelings, he has been able to elicit and describe sperm and egg imprints. He has found trauma from these earliest events to influence lifelong patterns of personality and behavior. He produced a notable video in which segments from the widely acclaimed movie “The Miracle of Life,” which shows actual footage of gamete and zygote events, are juxtaposed via a split-screen with actual footage of a person reliving the exact same events in primal therapy, which occurred before such cellular events were ever able to be seen and recorded. The effect is astounding in the detail in which the relivings replicate the actual cellular happenings.

In addition to his emphasis on cellular consciousness, Farrant has stressed the spiritual aspects of these earliest events. He relates incidents of spiritual trauma at the cellular level in which the individual splits off from Divinity—thus setting up a lifelong feeling of loss and yearning and a desire to return to Unity and the Divine.

582705_3864556181855_1764467847_n

Paul Brenner — Sperm, Egg, Cellular Consciousness and Biological Foundations of Myths

Paul Brenner (1991), a biologist and obstetrician, has been presenting at conferences and in workshops on the idea of the biological foundations of myth. For example, he relates basic biological, cellular events to biblical events described in Genesis.

He also relates male and female adult behavior to basic patterns of sperm and egg behavior and to events prior to and surrounding conception. He has said that male and female behavior are just sperm and egg activity grown up!

Elizabeth Noble — Cellular Consciousness and Spirituality, Empirical Underpinnings

Elizabeth Noble (1993) is an educator in the field of pregnancy and childbirth and is a student of Farrant’s. She published a comprehensive overview of this new field, titled Primal Connections, in which she doesn’t hesitate to stress the issues of cellular consciousness and the spirituality that appears to coincide with the re-experience of these earliest events. She provides empirical and theoretical avenues for understanding how memory can occur at such early times. Some of these are consistent with mainstream physicalist science while others coincide with the cutting-edge, new-paradigm discoveries in fields such as biology, physics, and neuroscience.

David Wasdell — Sperm/Egg and First Trimester Imprints, Devolutional Model of Development, Social and Historical Implications

One of the more recent theoreticians in this area is David Wasdell. Wasdell’s (1979, 1985a, 1985b, 1990) major contribution lies in his relating these earliest events to social and cultural patterns. He describes a process of devolution of consciousness beginning at around conception and proceeding through other reductions caused by traumas at implantation, in the womb, and at birth.

3834_2452001036204_1538013388_n

Most importantly, he delineates how the result of this diminution of potentiality is projected outwards into the problems and crises of violence, wars, and the mediocrity of modern personality on the scale of the masses and the macrocosms of the group, society, and global events.

In describing the problems of “normality” as rooted in a deprivational and deformational series of traumas from our earliest biological history, Wasdell emphasizes that this gives us the possibility to change that tragic social and personality outcome by focusing on the prevention and healing of such traumas. Thus, he holds out the vision of a new person and new society as an outcome of the efforts directed at the earliest laying down of human experience.

changing-our-human-nature

The Importance of the Intrauterine for Understanding Our Times and the Goal of This Book

Despite this long legacy of work and thought in this pre- and perinatal area, much of it, especially the prenatal, remains ignored by mainstream psychology and is largely unavailable to the public. Within the field itself, in addition, the prenatal information, in relation to the more widely accepted and circulated perinatal evidence, seems to be analogous to Otto Rank’s (1929) ideas of birth trauma were to Sigmund Freud’s concerning early infancy in that they are cast under an extra cloud of suspicion and disbelief and disregarded accordingly. Yet, like Rank’s findings also, their main problem may lie with unfamiliarity and prejudice rather than validity or scientific viability; and these findings, like his were, may end up harkening the outlines of future endeavors and being confirmed by subsequent research.

Thus, I believe that this prenatal area in particular is ripe for reaping what it can teach us about what is human, about “human nature.”

Therefore, this book will put forth the possible relationship between our earliest ontogenetic experiences as humans and the structure of human consciousness and stages of human “development.”

we-find-possibilities-more-promising

I build a model that seeks an initial formulation of this information, teasing out its implications, and integrating it with relevant thinking and theoretical perspectives in anthropology, philosophy, psychology, and others.

However, before proceeding, it seems important to establish this pursuit within the logical-empirical framework that validates it. To do this, let us now turn to the re-experience movement I am most familiar with and feel to be the most important, primal therapy, and discuss its relation to the phenomenon of prenatal re-experience and spirituality.

Continue with How Valid Are Spiritual Experiences? Psychedelic Research and Deep Experiential Psychotherapy Have Intensified the Exploration of Spiritual Aspects of the Unconscious

Return to Falls from Grace, Introduction — The Radical Rational View of Us and It: “Normal” Truth Is Convenient Truth … and Is Anything But True

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

“You Shall Know the Truth and the Truth Shall Make You Free” … What Real and Unritualized Spiritual Experience Looks Like

“Each One of Us Is an Experiment in Truth.” Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Seven: Love – Over and Around Us Lies

Part Four of a Primal Re-Experience: “Love – Over and Around Us Lies”

After a short period of quiet and apparent inner reflection, the experiencer, Mary Lynn Adzema, continues expressing the positive feelings and insights as they unfold in the aftermath of the earlier dramatic re-experience of pains endured after her caesarean birth. In “Primal Spirituality – Part Three of Excerpt from a Primal Re-Experience: ‘Let Go, Let God,'” the experiencer related an awareness welling up in her of the degree to which she had been running away from fear in her life—which earlier she had seen was connected to the experience after birth of having the umbilical cord cut prematurely which as a newborn she interpreted as the man with the knife (the doctor) wanting to murder her. She expressed a growing awareness how that running away had kept her feeling exhausted throughout her life, and how it was unnecessary because the thing she was running away from happened a long time ago and wasn’t true even then. Though the umbilical cord cutting was a painful assault it was not the attempt at murder that the newborn’s mind interpreted it to be and, never altered, became part of the foundation of her personality and her feelings about life, all unconsciously and without her knowing their origins previous to her primal experiences.

In this experience, the calmness spreads, the experiencer relates other positive feelings as they rise within her and the insights that come along with them. The facilitator, her husband, Michael Adzema (me) shares some of his own experiences that reinforce the new perceptions of truth, her life, life itself, and God, which have just dawned in Mary Lynn’s mind, releasing her from a lifetime prison of needless struggle.

The Tragedy of Faux Primal Therapy Is The Reason for These Videos

These excerpts show events that—while having many things in common with other experiences in primal therapy—are unique, just as every experience in primal therapy is unique, unexpected, and totally spontaneous, and occurring always as a complete surprise to both the experiencer and the facilitator. Indeed, over the decades since Janov shared the gift of primal therapy with the world—partly because Janov, for some good reasons, would not say exactly what would happen in primal sessions, let alone provide video—as is being done here—of what primal sessions can look like—thousands of people have undergone fake primal sessions under the guidance of faux primal therapists, who got their understanding of Primal from the words in Janov’s books, not from direct experience, and without ever having even observed an actual primal or a primal session. That is the main reason these videos are being shared. For more on this, go to the site, “Primal Spirituality: The Inner Authority.”

For Janov’s decision, while it made sense as he foresaw a future of earnest therapists lining up to learn from him, thus assuring a kind of quality control, indeed had the opposite effect in the real world where (1) people are arrogant and assume they already know, and don’t need to be trained; or they feel they are way past that; (2) many people who would want to be trained were dissuaded because of the financial, geographical, and the family and life disruptions that Janov’s way entailed.

Thus, Janov’s refusal to “share the keys to the kingdom”—as the outsiders would call it—actally led them to concoct pretty wild and pretty far off the mark faux primal therapies. This led to the denigration of primal therapy … it’s being called “primal scream” therapy … and sure enough, there were quite a few variations of faux primal therapy that were really just scream practice … and it led (my main point here) into two major prevalent trends among the faux therapists: (1) the tendency to think that the therapy has something to do with yelling out as loud as possible every thought that crossed one’s mind; (2) the tendency for faux therapists to plan or schedule some of the events that would occur in a client’s session—totally anti-primal in that it continues to make the therapist the doer and initiator and thus eliminates the possibility of the experiencer discovering for him- or herself what he or she really is by keeping the session completely unstructured, and only coming into form moment-by-moment, following the inner events of the client, the experiencer.

One of the main reasons I have taken on the burden of publishing these videos and my wife, the experiencer, has bravely agreed to let the world in on her private life is to do something to stop this trade in faux primal—with neither the clients nor the therapists aware of the harm and waste of money and time and life entailed. I personally learned of the death of a dear friend who dedicated her life to a faux primal therapy, which did nothing to alter the pattern of self-abuse for which she came to therapy (overeating). For with decades of faux primals and even becoming a faux therapist herself, her obesity remained. She died much earlier than she would have had she had a clue as to what real primal therapy is.

Incidentally, about myself as the facilitator in these videos: While I was not trained directly by Janov, I received my therapy and primal awareness under the direction of Janov’s head of therapist training, the late Jules Roth, after Jules and his wife Helen left Janov to start their own Center in Denver, which was called the Certified Primal Therapists’ Center. That is to say, I learned from the man who Janov appointed to train therapists for him and who wrote the first article on training for Janov, which Janov had published in one of his early primal publications.

Part Five of a Primal Re-Experience: “The Truth Sets You Free”

Part Five of Mary Lynn’s session shows the completion of the process for this particular primal re-experience. Elaborations and revelations unfold as the experiencer feels free, unburdened for the time being, and experiences gratitude and wonder of the power of what she has experienced which could so drastically change how she was feeling and even her view of life and herself a little bit in such a short time. The talk is more conversational and more like a sharing, with the experiencer leading in terms of the topic, and the facilitator reflecting back from his own experience to validate and support the new perceptions of things the experiencer is still in the process of just glimpsing.

Continue with “Don’t Despair. There Are Others Doing It With You, and We’re Here, Too”: Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Eight — Always Are We Helping You

Return to Love’s Comforting Surround and the Beauty of It All Behind the Pain: Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Six, and What Real Spiritual Experience Looks Like

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/sillymickel

friend me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: