Monthly Archives: October 2012

“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

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“Sure It’s Hard! But Always Are We Here Helping You,” Part One: The Spiritual Quest, For Earth’s Sake!

For Earth’s Sake, Get Real Already: “Sure It’s Hard! But Always Are We Here Helping You,” Part One

Summary of “Sure It’s Hard But Always Are We Here Helping You”: This details the spiritual experience I had in 1980 which set me on this path to help the planet and the planetmates. I was shown by certain entities the path of our devolution as a species, thousands of years ago, and was told that we need to turn this around immediately. I was told that there were many others at work right now doing the same thing, so I need never despair, at the immensity of the task. Most importantly, I was told that we are receiving help… always…in our efforts. I was led to believe that these higher powers, of which we are yet to know, are fully engaged in our endeavor on this planet and assisting us at every turn.

The Spiritual Quest, For Earth’s Sake!

If ritual is a substitute for real spiritual experience, what does real spiritual experience look like? What follows is an example of a spontaneous, unritualized spiritual experience. But first let me put it in its context.

We Must Do What Has Never Been Done Before.

It is no surprise that the anti-nuclear and environmental movements have joined forces with the spiritual/human potential ones. For as Ken Keyes (1982) points out in The Hundredth Monkey, the threat of nuclear disaster (we need also mention global environmental destruction) is a challenge to all of us . . . a challenge to go beyond the “us vs. them” kind of consciousness which has led us to the brink of catastrophe. As many of us know, we must raise our consciousness in a way that has not been demanded of humankind, as near as we can determine, on this planet ever before.

But Many of Us ARE Now Working to Get Beyond “Eye for an Eye” Thinking.

Now, many people have been working hard to do just that. Many of us have been working on ourselves to break free from those patterns of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” or, what it comes down to eventually, those patterns of “kill and be killed.” We’ve been doing it in many different ways.

As for myself, I have been involved in spiritual pursuits since 1968, especially meditation. As well, I have been intensively working on unraveling my negative patterns through the powerful experiential modalities of primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork beginning back in 1972. These, especially primal therapy, have been my ways of dealing with the particular negative conditioning into which I was “raised” and which keeps me stuck in behaviors and feelings that too often undermine my efforts to live a fully spiritual and loving life.

However, we all have our ways of trying to grow beyond that kind of negative programming. It is important to recognize that each of us is working in that same direction however we go about it. What I would like to share is an experience that happened to me while I was in the midst of trying to root out some of my conditioning. I believe that it may be helpful to others in their own struggling “heavenward.”

Sure It’s Hard

As most of us have come to realize who have been on this path for a while . . . who have been working at changing ourselves for a while . . . it is no easy task to change those very deep grids or programs. Rather, we discover that it requires a lot of work, dedication, and time.

The Task Is Immense for Our Point of Departure Is a Psychotic Culture.

The psychiatrist Theodore Isaac Rubin (1983), in his book on relationships titled One to One, points out that the divisive competitiveness and us-versus-them striving that we see predominating around us in Western culture is learned. He writes, “We compete, we fight wars, we are compulsively concerned about our hierarchical position relative to the next person, because we learn to be so through a psychotic culture passed on from one generation to the next” (p. 184).

The point is that this is where we are coming from. Our point of departure is a psychotic culture or, as Erich Fromm (1955) put it, an “insane society.” Many of us are trying to reverse this violent and crazy trend, but it is understandable that it would be hard to make a 180-degree turn in orientation — from aggression to peace, from competition to cooperation, from fear to love. Therefore, our culture is gradually coming to the realization that we are involved in a difficult process, and understandably so. Our culture is starting to realize the immensity of the task we are undertaking in trying to change our inherited and deleterious patterns.

“To Think That It Is Easy Is Probably To Be an Impostor.”

For example, Herb Goldberg (1983), a psychologist, points out in his book, The New Male-Female Relationship, especially in his section on “Transitions,” that to think that it is easy is probably to be an impostor (p. 134). He asserts that the people who are really making the changes in male-female relationships and becoming fuller human beings, you can expect, are struggling to do so . . . that it is a difficult process and takes time. In fact, Goldberg discusses at length his contention that real growth takes a lot of time and struggle, whereas “pseudo-growth” is the only kind of growing that occurs “overnight” and easily. (pp. 134-141)

So not only does it take time, but we discover that it is hardly ever pleasurable. What most of us have discovered is that the path to bliss leads sometimes through despair and hopelessness. As Hesse (1965) described it in Demian: the bird, in pecking his way out of his shell, must destroy a world before discovering a new one. No, it is not often pleasant to confront some of the darkest things within ourselves, as we must do if we are not to continually project them onto others and onto the world around us.

Continue with A Cosmic Slap: I Was Told “Once There Lived “Noble” Beings” and Now Is the Time for a Regeneration of Peoples to Regain What We Lost.

Return to Wounded Healers, Heroes, and the Group Mind: The Universe Bears Up and Rewards with Renewed Life Those who Voluntarily Sacrifice Themselves for All

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Centaurs, Shamans, Sacrificial Lambs, and Scapegoats, Part Two: Shared Experience, the Earth Hologram, Volcano-Jumping, and UFOs … Is That Gaia Calling?

Centaurs, Shamans, Sacrificial Lambs, and Scapegoats, Part Two: Shared Experience, the Earth Hologram, Volcano-Jumping, and UFOs … Is That Gaia Calling?

I Am You, and You Are Me, and We Are We, and We Are All Together.

This is the second half of the Afterword of Apocalypse – No: Centaurs, Shamans, Sacrificial Lambs, and Scapegoats: Prospects on a Collective Pool of Pain. A description or synopsis of the entire chapter follows:

DESCRIPTION: The essence of Christianity is the idea that a person — Jesus Christ, of course, in Christianity – can suffer and die for the “sins” of others, so that those persons won’t have to bear the burden of their sins. This article addresses that theme in a larger, multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious context: Are there people who take on the the “sins” or “Pain” of others, who take on the karma— in an Eastern sense or the mistakes and evil of others who are not able to handle the consequences of their actions? clip_image002 Is the Divinity inherent in the Cosmos compassionately concerned enough to manifest or call forth individuals to take on the same kind of task that Christ, in a most extreme brutal form, demonstrated? This article is not about Christ but about that theme of extraordinary individuals with a divinely-inspired mission of suffering for the sake of others who cannot “help” themselves in raising themselves above the consequences of their ill deeds. For are not people of all times and cultures children of the same Divinity, some would say “sparks” of that same Divinity, which others, including this author, have theorized is commensurate, i.e., equal, to all of Nature, including humanity each and every one of us? Assuming this, in this article the author discusses this phenomenon of people taking on, willingly and unwillingly, the pain and sins of their society from the small tribe to that of all of humanity. And it puts forth the proposition that there is a collective “pool of pain.” In that ultimately the distinctions between people are illusory, that we are all One, all interconnected, then both the evil, as well as the good, of each of us is both the result of the collective actions of us all as well as being a part of the consciousness that we all share more correctly the One Consciousness that each of us is.

Experience Is Primary

60s.hippies.peace.dovenormal_ButterflyOfHealingFINAL_LG_Jpg2It is important to keep in mind that all of this idea of a group psyche is built upon a perspective, a paradigm, in which subjectivity is primary: Experience or Mind being the only reality. Such speculation as engaged in here is not even conceivable within the dominant materialistic paradigm. Nevertheless, these possibilities have long . . . far longer than this upstart of “objective materialism” has been around . . . have long been the common currency of our species, and have been so in the vast majority of human cultures that ever existed.

Shared Experience: Morphic Resonances and COEX Systems

But, getting back to the subject, people having rape fantasies, both men and women, where apparently there has been no sexual abuse, is becoming ever more common. Is it that in some way when we are violated as children, psychologically and emotionally, that it’s part of a gestalt or resonance—Stanislav Grof[1] would say a COEX system; Rupert Sheldrake[2] would say a morphogenetic field or morphic resonance—that includes actual physical violations from a collective pool of pain?

Also we should consider all the current stories of people being sexually abused; there seems to be an epidemic of people claiming to have been sexually molested as infants by their parents. No doubt much of this is true. The evidence is there to confirm it. But is it also possible that people in processing their stuff, or coming close to their repressed feelings, are at times tapping into transpersonal resonances that are only similar in quality to the corresponding real-life trauma? This is a possibility we should consider; for I know it to be the only plausible one in my own case, in the case of the panelist mentioned at the outset , and in the cases of several others whom I know personally or whose cases have appeared in print.[3]

UFOs: Is That Gaia Calling?

Another item related to this pattern is the current UFO abduction experiences—the incidence of which is also increasing.[4] One interesting explanation for such experiences of being abducted and then examined, probed, and sampled—which corresponds to this collective pool of pain theory—is derived from the idea that in fact the Earth herself (Gaia) has consciousness and is therefore part of a collective consciousness to which we also belong. This idea of an earth hologram is propounded by Goddess theorists and by others as well. Joseph Chilton Pearce claims we have primary access to such an Earth hologram as children and lose it later through our normative indoctrination into society.

He writes:

The brain as a hologram is representative of the Earth. So long as this is undifferentiated, the personality, or consciousness within that brain, receiving its perceptions from that brain, is literally an undifferentiated part of the hologram effect. It is part and parcel of the world system, which, because it radiates out from the child, places him at the center of thought, with the world a body extending from him. The clarification of the hologram (to use that model) is a period of breathless wonder and excitement for the child because he is discovering his larger self. . . . [5]

The primary process is the function through which we are conscious of the Earth as a thinking globe, the flow of life, the general field of awareness, and almost surely, even larger ecologies of thought. The primary process is also past, current, and potential possibility and experience. Other cultures have maintained a much greater openness to the primary process than Western culture has. . . . [6]

Nevertheless, the potential for access to this “primary process” always exists, since it is repressed but continues to exist in the unconscious.

With these things in mind, is it possible that UFO abductees may be inadvertently stumbling into primary Earth process and picking up on the feelings of Earth herself as she is being poked, violated, measured, and having things inserted into her in this modern, high-tech, resource-exploiting era.

If so, one has to wonder whether some of the feelings of the Earth herself might not be being expressed or be trying to be integrated by her through these people. Is it possible that these people have become unwitting channels for Mother Earth’s pain—to help to express and integrate it—as she is systematically being defoliated, polluted, violated, and destroyed?

This may sound farfetched, but then, considering our actions in the face of global disaster . . . well, so are the times! Furthermore, I helped facilitate at least one inner journeyer whose experience was exactly this. Her interpretation of the powerful experience my wife and I both witnessed was that she was feeling and releasing pain and distress of all women throughout history and then Mother Earth herself. What gave extra credibility to her experience for me was that I observed what looked like her experiencing the pain of women in birth. Yet, like the rape reliving that was not of this life, this woman had never given birth herself … not in this life, anyway.

Volcano-Jumping for Bliss and Profit

Anyway, I offer these speculations in the hope of stimulating renewed appreciation of the roles as journeyers and shamans — as they have reemerged in their modern form in the deep experiential growth modalities such as Holotropic Breathwork and Primal Therapy, both of which I have substantial experience with. It may just be that what we do on our “inner” forays into consciousness has significance in the “outer” world — in these incredibly delicate and precipitous times—far beyond what we normally think. Indeed we may be volunteering for an ancient role, and in these days, perhaps, a very much needed one. Like Joe in the Tom Hanks movie, “Joe Versus the Volcano,” we may find ourselves “jumping into the volcano to save the community.” But also like Joe, and my experience attests to this, I believe we will find that the Universe provides, not death, but rather bears up and rewards with renewed life those who voluntarily sacrifice themselves this way.

Continue with For Earth’s Sake, Get Real Already: “Sure It’s Hard! But Always Are We Here Helping You,” Part One

Return to Why We Scapegoat … Why We Insist on Saviors: Reflections on a Collective Shadow and Of Sacrifices—Human, Animal, and Cucumber

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

Related Article: Go to “Nature As Alive: Morphic Resonance and Collective Memory by Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.d.

Related Article: Go to “Sathya Sai Baba, Avatar“ by Mary Lynn Adzema.

Related Article: Go to “The UFO Abduction Phenomenon’s Challenge to Consensus Reality” by John E. Mack, M.D.

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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

“God Is So Merciful” … Let Go, Let God: An Example of Unritualized Primal Spirituality, A Primal Re-Experience after Birth

Part Two of a Primal Re-Experience after Birth: God’s Omnipresent Comforting Surround

In the first part—“Excerpt from Actual Primal Re-Experience after Birth“—the experiencer in this actual primal therapy session reconnected to and released primal pain related to her having her umbilical cord cut too early and then being swaddled tightly making her feel suffocated and unable to move. She felt this had contributed to lifelong feelings of being held back and unable to assert herself.

In this second part—another excerpt from the same much longer session, which takes up only moments after the first part ends—Mary Lynn Adzema, the experiencer, begins to feel a glowing light of protection enveloping her, which she senses as being, perhaps, a “guardian angel” then simply God, or God’s Love. She experiences the spiritual idea that God gives you only that much pain that you can bear, but no more, which is accompanied by tears of gratitude.

Primal Spirituality

The facilitator is Michael Adzema, the experiencer’s husband and the author of these words. I have forty years experience in deep experiential modalities, including primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, and rebirthing; and I have been trained in these three modalities. I have been facilitating others in these—especially primal therapy—since 1975. I wrote “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality” in 1979, which was published by the Journal of Humanistic Psychology in 1985. This article was the first to proclaim the occurrence of spiritual experiences occurring to long-term primallers, which take them further along in healing beyond what Arthur Janov contended could occur by just feeling through one’s primal pain.

The article presented a theory of primal pain, healing, and spirituality congruent with Janov’s theories but totally at odds with Janov’s early on proclamation and then continued insistence, based solely on speculation, that all spiritual experiences were derivative of underlying primal pain. That is a notion I believe has at this point been thoroughly disproved by my work, by the experiences of some other long-term primallers, and by the experiences common to Stanislav Grof‘s holotropic breathwork — a modality in which primal pain is accessed as well as a diverse array of transpersonal experiences and phenomena. In addition, they are confirmed by prenatal/perinatal researchers as I have explained elsewhere.

I have no doubt on this matter, personally, since I have had many primal-spiritual experiences through primalling and breathwork over the decades, some of which I was able to corroborate through outside sources. I began having these only after I had been doing deep experiential primal work for several years that did not involve transpersonal/ spiritual experiences. So I feel my primal work opened me up to being able to go beyond the strict designs of primal therapy in a way that would otherwise not have been possible if I had not gone through it.

At any rate, my wife’s primal experiences contain spiritual elements, though they were not sought and, like myself, they did not occur in the early years of her primal experiences. As her facilitator in primal therapy in the most recent years, I did not encourage them either … I simply did not discourage them or encourage her to reinterpret her experience in any other way than of her choosing, as was done in the early years of primal therapy and for those who undergo Janovian-style primal therapy.

In this video—the next part of her primal session—other aspects of her primal-spiritual experience unfold.

Part Three of a Primal Re-Experience After Birth: “Let Go, Let God”

The experiencer, Mary Lynn Adzema, had earlier (video 1) re-experienced the pain of being forcibly removed from the womb before she was ready—she was caesarean born. And she had felt a sudden assault of sensation upon removal from the protection of the womb without any transition time, which caused her to fear sensation and even wanting to feel or be in her body much throughout her life. She had re-experienced the cutting of the umbilical cord, which occurred too soon, and which made her feel, directly upon coming into the world, that the doctor was actually trying to kill her.

Incidentally, from sessions previous to this one, the experiencer had learned that this cesarean removal by surgical knife, the assault of sensations following it, and then the cutting of the umbilical cord too soon had caused her a lifetime of complications. She had made the connection that these events were the roots of a considerable amount of fear she had lived with.

She knows that these were the causes of a frequent recurrent dream of a life-and-death struggle with a man who would try to get into her house, who had a knife, and who she thought was trying to kill her. These dreams were so powerful, and I can attest to this, that she would have violent movements, would shout out loudly in a ferocious voice to “get away” “get out of here,” and so on, and she would clench her fists and pound them into the air. She would do all this while sleeping and without any remembrance afterward. These dreams stopped after she began re-experiencing the events in sessions such as the one shown.

The second video continues with her relating more about the assault of sensations but also depicts how after her cesarean birth she experienced being swaddled tightly making her feel suffocated, which she related to a lifelong feeling of being “held back.” But she also has experiences of being comforted by a light that envelops her and which she equates with God. She has realizations of the omnipresence of God throughout life’s trials.

The events here in part three follow directly after those of part two. In this video, the experiencer relates her exhausting struggle to keep fear at bay her whole life and how in the therapy she learned that she could let go, that she did not have to struggle, that instead she felt comforted instead of being overwhelmed with fear (Let Go, Let God).

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She makes the statement that “God is so merciful.” At the same time she is having feelings of love and gratitude for the blessings of the experience she has undergone, for what she has learned, for the help of the facilitator in coming through this harrowing experience, and for being able to end with such insight and glorious feelings of the beauty of it all behind the pain.

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

Return to Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Five: What Real and Unritualized Spiritual Experience Looks Like — An Example of Primal Spirituality

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The Group Mind and The Community’s Inner Dragon: Heroes, Shamans, and Gurus … Ah, But Scapegoats As Well

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Why We Scapegoat … Why We Insist on Saviors: Reflections on a Collective Shadow and Of Sacrifices—Human, Animal, and Cucumber

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The Community’s Inner Dragon

we.are.more.open.to.the.unconscious.nowShe’d experienced being raped was what she’d told us. This veteran consciousness explorer and trained facilitator had also done a lot of regression work on herself. Yet she related how, in one of her breathwork sessions, she’d definitely had those feelings of rape . . . despite the fact that she’d not been sexually abused in this life. And this last part she knew. It was not denial or repression.

The conference attendees were shaken. It did not coincide with any common psychological, or even transpersonal, models concerning healing or experience they’d ever heard of. But in her response, the panelist offered the idea that there is a kind of storehouse of experience of collective pain that anyone can tap-in to, if one is sufficiently open . . . and ready.

depression

405920_270579809720489_470664386_n301374_287239871289656_1394192979_nSince this type of thing has come up, as well, in my own inner journeying, I would like to suggest that what we’re dealing with is a possibility, based on the evidence, of a sort of collective shadow unconscious, a collective pool of pain, if you will, which has been built up currently and in the past of distress that needs to be released.

I remember a Santa Barbara-based spiritual teacher expressed a similar idea. As she put it, after you clear out your own stuff, then you do it for the rest of the species, then for all living beings in this world, then for living things in other worlds, then for all entities, and then so on, and on, and . . .

Shamans, Sages, Tribal Kings, and Prophets

457156320685_287043257975984_1019571197_nSimilarly, from history, the spiritual literature, and anthropology we hear of certain people—shamans, tribal kings, prophets, saviors, sages, gurus—who, after dealing with their own inner dragons, can tap-in to this collective pool and thereby help other people. In resolving the negative material, releasing it and integrating it, they can have a positive effect on their community, and even the Universe as a whole.

metaphysics

6a00e551f08003883401538e720e70970bI am reminded of how certain African tribal “kings” (chieftains would be a better word), tribal leaders, and “clan kings” would be sacrificed for their tribes to the point of and including actual physical death. Similarly, shamans would take on psychic tasks that they would consider to be too dangerous or difficult for members of their tribe to do. In this way of looking at things, it is as if there is a group mind, and that the shaman’s duty is to resolve the collective issues, to work through the unfelt feelings, so that the rest of the tribe can function better.

It is as if everyone in a community does not have to, or is not able to, “work” all of their own stuff, but that a certain person can volunteer to face some of those inner demons for the entire group, or at least for those having difficulty.

frodo-grabs-for-the-ring

Ah, But Scapegoats As Well

john.lennon.sacraficial.lambGettingReal-WaitsNirvSkin-1In this respect I believe it is possible to make a fascinating, albeit disturbing, connection between this idea and scapegoats. In the case of scapegoating, particular individuals are selected to be this kind of lightning rod for the group’s pain and psychic distress.

hunger-games-live-stream

So there seems to be both this tendency for people to adopt this role for themselves and for societies to put people in these roles whether they want it or not. This indicates some kind of social, human need, or at least a fundamental human expediency, that is to say, ego defense.

image5295595xIt would seem, in any case, that there is a right way and wrong way to do this. And we can deduce that these attempts can have either beneficial or negative transpersonal and psychological effects depending on which way it’s done. Obviously there’s a huge difference between a guru or a savior taking the “sins” of their group upon themselves to release their people in that manner, versus a scapegoat being chosen to dump all the group’s unwanted feelings and shadow material on.

Sacrifices — Animal and Cucumber

Other fascinating perspectives on this arise from study of one of its variations: This is the widespread phenomenon of sacrifice, and in particular, animal sacrifice. The Nuer of Africa, for example, as well as the neighboring Dinka, created rituals for many of life’s events around the killing of sacrificial oxen. If no oxen were available, a cucumber was often used; in other cultures, lambs or other animals may be used. At any rate, when the ox was slain, the carcass was then split, with one half being consumed and the other half thrown away from them into the bush . . . reputedly taking with it the sins, indiscretions, and wayward elements of all those assembled. Higher forces were then called forth and entreated to remove the carcass/transgressions; indeed, at times they were directly invoked, then subsequently admonished to “go away” and “be gone!”

thinkingattherootsofthings2rings_doom1szd.half - Copy (3)Since the group or individual is said to be identified with the animal, it is interesting to consider the possible message here that one takes into oneself and incorporates (integrates) only half of that which is of oneself; but one seeks the Universe’s help in disposing of the other half, relegating it to “the bush.” It is fascinating to think of the common use of prayer in this respect, that is, prayer where one invokes the Divine to take away or to “handle” those things in life, or the parts of those things, that one is incapable of handling oneself. Apparently it is the rare individual who completely integrates her or his Shadow.

Experience Is Primary

60s.hippies.peace.dovenormal_ButterflyOfHealingFINAL_LG_Jpg2It is important to keep in mind that all of this idea of a group psyche is built upon a perspective, a paradigm, in which subjectivity is primary: Experience or Mind being the only reality. Such speculation as engaged in here is not even conceivable within the dominant materialistic paradigm. Nevertheless, these possibilities have long . . . far longer than this upstart of “objective materialism” has been around . . . have long been the common currency of our species, and have been so in the vast majority of human cultures that ever existed.

Continue with Wounded Healers, Heroes, and the Group Mind: The Universe Bears Up and Rewards with Renewed Life Those who Voluntarily Sacrifice Themselves for All

Return to Apocalypse? Or Earth Rebirth? A Smaller Number of Us — Standing in the Right Place and With a Lever Big Enough — Might Be All That Is Needed to Move the World

Footnote

This is the first half of the Afterword of Apocalypse – No: Gurus, Shamans, Sacrificial Lambs, and Scapegoats: Reflections on the Prospect of Collective Pain. A description or synopsis of the entire chapter follows:

DESCRIPTION: The essence of Christianity is the idea that a person — Jesus Christ, of course, in Christianity – can suffer and die for the “sins” of others, so that those persons won’t have to bear the burden of their sins. This article addresses that theme in a larger, multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious context: Are there people who take on the the “sins” or “Pain” of others, who take on the clip_image0023karma— in an Eastern sense or the mistakes and evil of others who are not able to handle the consequences of their actions? Is the Divinity inherent in the Cosmos compassionately concerned enough to manifest or call forth individuals to take on the same kind of task that Christ, in a most extreme brutal form, demonstrated? This article is not about Christ but about that theme of extraordinary individuals with a divinely-inspired mission of suffering for the sake of others who cannot “help” themselves in raising themselves above the consequences of their ill deeds. For are not people of all times and cultures children of the same Divinity, some would say “sparks” of that same Divinity, which others, including this author, have theorized is commensurate, i.e., equal, to all of Nature, including humanity each and every one of us? Assuming this, in this article the author discusses this phenomenon of people taking on, willingly and unwillingly, the pain and sins of their society from the small tribe to that of all of humanity. And it puts forth the proposition that there is a collective “pool of pain.” In that ultimately the distinctions between people are illusory, that we are all One, all interconnected, then both the evil, as well as the good, of each of us is both the result of the collective actions of us all as well as being a part of the consciousness that we all share more correctly the One Consciousness that each of us is.

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

Related Article: Go to “Nature As Alive: Morphic Resonance and Collective Memory by Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.d.

Related Article: Go to “Sathya Sai Baba, Avatar“ by Mary Lynn Adzema.

Related Article: Go to “The UFO Abduction Phenomenon’s Challenge to Consensus Reality” by John E. Mack, M.D.

Continue with Wounded Healers, Heroes, and the Group Mind: The Universe Bears Up and Rewards with Renewed Life Those who Voluntarily Sacrifice Themselves for All

Return to Apocalypse? Or Earth Rebirth? A Smaller Number of Us — Standing in the Right Place and With a Lever Big Enough — Might Be All That Is Needed to Move the World

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The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” 99% Rising, and Awakening in a Plundered Land: Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old

In the Wake of the Idiot King: Obama Rising and The Awakening—“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!”

Culture War, Class War, Chapter Sixteen: The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

Truth Will Out – Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One

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“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!” The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part One – Truth Will Out

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So, we have these Big Lies, these “obvious truths,” which are actually not true, and they are all pervasive. It makes it virtually impossible to know what is actually going on.

Lies Are Being Called for What They Are

Until just recently. For now the truth’s being told again. And the Republicans are on the run. They are being found out to be the liars they are. That term, lie, for the first time in my lifetime is being used for what they do. They are being discovered to be who they are and what they have been doing all those years is being told. All the things they like to do–the undermining of unions and the collective bargaining system, the ever increasing giveaways to the rich–are being brought into the light.

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The Republican Lie About JFK Being a Supply-Sider

America was prosperous in the Sixties under Kennedy. And Republicans like to refer to his cutting taxes on the wealthy as support for their policies. They like to point to the good economy then as being the sort of thing that happens with their voodoo economics of shoveling money into wealthy hands, and they dare to imply that he would be in agreement with them.

But Rich-publicans have been extracting far more from America than the modest gain they had under Kennedy. What they’re not telling you is JFK reduced taxes to percentages in the seventies. The tax cut was actually not implemented until Johnson took office, so the prosperity we remember from the JFK’s America happened with the marginal rate above ninety percent. They’re not pointing out that America boomed under Eisenhower, a Republican, when it was also in the nineties. They’re avoiding the fact that their hero, Reagan, took JFK’s levels to the twenties and caused a recession.

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The Republican Lie That Cutting Taxes Creates Prosperity

So Republicans are comparing a small reduction enacted during prosperous times—the early Sixties—with huge cuts in times that are precarious—currently. And they’re failing to point out how lower taxes in the Twenties before the Depression, in the Eighties before Reagan-Bush’s recession, and in the last decade under Bush all devastated the economy.

Despite these dire consequences they would opt for the highest bracket of taxes to be in the low thirties even now when they can hardly be afforded, and they pushed Obama into continuing their tax cut at the end of 2010 and are blaming him for the economy not responding since then. So Republicans firmly maintain that Matrix of misinformation and switching the blame whose purposes are to confuse the other-than-wealthy and thus keep them helpless.

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It Is Now Clear That Their Intentions Are No Less Than Those of the Nobles of Old

They would keep us helpless for lack of a clearer understanding , as well as to keep us disintegrated and disunited. No big union movements, no big antiwar movements, no big environmental movements, and no movements for the poor and economic justice.

The misinformation overlay has become so pervasive, the masses have lost the solidarity that they had enjoyed only a decade or so earlier when issues were clearer. Even Clinton’s America was a time when the truth was easier to make out through the concerted Republican campaign to enrich themselves and to keep the average American confused, poorer, poorer and poorer, helpless, and thus dumber and more controllable, easier to manipulate, and overworked because of crazy-making ways of doing things.

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“This Is Not the Way America Is Suppose to Be!” – OWS Protester

clip_image009[4]What does their consistent, daily, pervasive and unrelenting repetition and lies accomplish? What does all that amount to? Their intentions are no less than those nobles of old, to keep people in servitude and serfdom, essentially to bring people into compliance with their totalitarian will.

But I refuse to believe that is the only possible fate for workers and the masses of people. I still actually believe in those things we were all taught about America in our schools. I still think of what we are supposed to be.

We’ve Brought Down Soviet Oppression…Only to Raise It Ourselves.

clip_image010[4]But in our propaganda and lies we have become the the Soviets in many ways. But we’ve done it in a much slicker way that has got everybody confused.

Well, I did say this was about the rise and fall of the “obvious truths.” And I talked at length about those lies and those obvious “truths” that were never challenged. I hope I made my case.

But What Did It Take for Such Truth to Be Revealed?

It is our good fortune for these lies to become clearer in recent years and for the perpetrators to become more visible. But what did it take for those guys to be seen for what they are? clip_image012[4]It took a lot of suffering by the American people. For eight long years, it took a lot of being abused by the powerful. The Republicans got so cocky, they took so much money, they were so uncaring of the suffering, of the dying of Americans. They were so obviously not caring…not even putting up a pretense of being for the American people, who they were supposed to be representing and who they were claiming to be on the side of. They were obviously the wealthiest of us and those fighting for those interests of the filthy rich, but they were insinuating that they were all people, that what suited them was a benefit to us all.

Arrogance Comes Before the Fall

clip_image014[4]But you see you can get so cocky that you can lose your discipline and then you start to say things that people can see through. And then you have a war and people are dying. And then you finally have a collapse, an economic collapse that was based upon taking away regulations that people and good thinking Democrats and so on had instituted to protect people from having their life savings taken away from them…regulations that were also put into effect to level the playing field with the rich and anybody else playing the stock market.

We had such regulations, but then they go and take them away. We see that lapdog for the filthies, Alan Greenspan, saying we have come into some bright new era when corporations no longer need restraints for they are (magically) now self-regulating.

Their Thievery Blatant, Cocky

And we saw what happened. The rich people…they went crazy, they went amok. Even at the end they took 700 billion dollars out of the American Treasury, and got away scot free.

I was making the point earlier how that was extortion on such a grand scale. I brought to mind how extortion happens a lot more among the hundreds of million of Americans but when they do it on a tiny scale they go to jail, but when this elite does it on a large scale, well they just talk about it as if it is history. And It’s like, “That’s too bad. We gave all that money to them, and they didn’t do what they said they were going to do. Hmmm. Too bad. I mean there’s nothing we can do.”

The American Awakening – 99% Rising … in a Plundered Land: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two

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Awakening in the Wake of an Idiot King: The Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Two – 99% Rising

TheAwakening

However people did start to see through the “obvious truths,” finally, through all of the haze of omnipresent untruth. Maybe it was because so many people were out of work they had some time to think. I don’t know.

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99% Rising

And then Obama came along. He spoke plainly. He spoke like one of us because he was one of us. Like Bill Clinton, who incidentally was also raised by a single mother, Obama had a middle class background and humble origins. His mother was said to be a “hippie” of sorts; she was certainly internationalist in her perspective, not jingoistic. She died owing medical bills and, sadly, struggling with insurance companies. Obama’s origins have nothing in common with those of, say, a Romney…or a Bush. He wasn’t cradled in wealth, and his family had no ties with Nazis like the Bushes.

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You couldn’t say he wasn’t one of us; you couldn’t make Obama out to be an elitist. Of course, they tried to; they got so cocky there is nothing the filthy rich and their Republican lackeys would not speak to see if they could get away with it. Obama was called “elitist” when he was campaigning and when in office they changed that to “socialist” and un-American. He had the same kind of pejoratives thrown at him that the 1% have always drummed up against any of us radicals, “hippies,” activists, or any of us coming up from the 99%. He forgo taking up some lucrative position in the corporacracy after his university years and instead worked as a community organizer. I personally can appreciate that having done something similar at one point in my own life.

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But, no, he spoke like us. He made sense. He used rational arguments like his Democratic predecessors, but unlike them he could weave that logic with examples and words from our lives. Perhaps Clinton is the only president in recent memory who could really do that as well. And, being black, he obviously didn’t look like our usual American overlords.

Certainly, they tried to make him into some rich person. It is amazing how the filthy rich will paint their opponents with the brush that belongs to them. One of the big lies they always put out there is that “The Democrats are the ones who are rich.” And they’d say, “Well the Kennedys were…” 380729_3076139915978_245182058_nSeriously, they do this. It is so typical.

Nowadays they bring up the name, George Soros. They find the one billionaire on our side. They don’t tell you that he’s got one-tenth the wealth of the Koch Brothers who fund the Republicans and the extreme right. With Soros’s billions dwarfed and insect-like up against the mountains of gold behind Republicans, they still make him out to be some kind of source of all evil. Unbelievable.

But that’s what the Republicans and the right-wing-nuts to. They will find one example of anything. Always just one example will they be able to come up with, but they will use that to make their crazy “truth.”

Indeed, Obama chose a running mate, Joe Biden, who also had unprivileged beginnings. Biden grew up in the unassuming city of Scranton, in the center of the one-time Pennsylvania coal region, only ten miles from where I happened to have been raised. Biden was one of the least moneyed if not the actual poorest of any of those in the Senate. He ran his first campaign on a shoestring budget and was still taking the train to Washington at the time of his nomination to the vice-presidency. You can argue the policies of these Democrats all you want, but what you cannot do is include them in the ranks of the 1%.

The Awakening

So by the time of the 2008 election and after a sorry eight years of the reign of a foolish Bush, these “obvious truths”—such as that you give money to the rich and it’s gonna create prosperity—well, they were falling. They came out into the light and began being seen to be the lies that they are. Not all of them, of course. But some, at great cost to Americans during eight years and more of suffering, were swept like cobwebs from the minds of an awakening populace in America. The American Awakening began.

It began in reaction to an idiot “king” and on the shoulders of a new committed generation of Millennials. It swept the first African American ever into the office of the presidency of the United States. Within three years, and knowing Obama’s election was not enough to throw off the vines of tyranny that had grown over America during a full fifty years of “obvious truths,” it caught the headwind of an Arab Spring and sailed into a Wisconsin union movement and an American Autumn. Between the Occupy Wall Street and Wisconsin uprisings, America saw the largest outpouring of revolutionary fervor since the Sixties. Not only did the throngs of demonstrators mirror, perhaps surpass, the numbers that rose up in the Sixties, but the movement this time was world-wide; the cause was the same, world-wide. A Global Awakening had begun.

Their Legacy Remaining

But the fields upon which we arose had been burned and the earth in which we tried to take root had been salted. There had been that massive transfer of wealth upward to the coffers of the already stinking-with-it since the Eighties, over the course of some thirty years. It had been going on full throttle since the Republican coup that put Bush into power in 2000, which, without blinking an eye, swallowed up the Budget Surplus that had tediously been built over the eight years of the Democrat, Clinton.

All that money squandered on those not needing it could have paid for child care for everybody in America, could have given everybody in America solar power, so that we would be completely energy independent in that way, not worried about terrorism or anything.

No, but all that money was just thrown at the rich people. These very important life and death issues were tossed aside as irrelevant in the game. The players were intent on winning and it was like nobody really cared anymore if anybody got hurt.

clip_image002After all, once you start telling people that poor people deserve to be poor and that they are responsible for any misfortune that others heap on them…even if they get hurt or killed…you’ve opened the door for much more. It’s like “Oh, yea, it’s the gangs they’re in. They’re having gang wars, they can’t control themselves, they’re not like the rest of us, they’re always starting trouble, they can’t be helped, they’ll always be poor, the poor we always have with us….”

And once you start saying things like that you’re speaking their talk. You’re helping to keep the rich in control of you, because you’re helping them to cover up what they do. You’ve allowed them to distract you from their nefarious game to focus on some other group. You begin having it out for some easy scapegoat and begin to think of those unfortunates as not part of the “real” Americans.

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The wealthy have you thinking after a while about this scapegoated group the way they think of you. They do not think you are as human, as deserving of a nice life as them. They want you thinking that there is some group…Jews, blacks, hispanics, gays…who are responsible for your problems and are not as deserving, are not as American as you. So they create all kinds of lies so you’ve got someone to blame that is not them, that is not the actual perpetrators of these things.

The Fall of “Obvious Truths”

So this is what is meant by the rise and fall of “obvious truths.” We see through their bombardment of inanities and lies, yet they have desperately stepped up their assault…as frightened actors can be expected to do. This proves we are winning. Yet they increase their control of the dialogue in America with a virtual media monopoly, spinning their line, their narrative almost exclusively and leaving the internet the only unconquered land outside their broadcast hegemony.

And I can only hope that the truth will continue to come out, that it will really come out and continue to awaken people to their own interests instead of them working against themselves and each other. Obama is an intelligent person; he’s doing as good job as might be expected in the plundered land that’s been left him. And I hope it’s not forgotten what he is doing.

I saw what a good job Clinton did and I saw how that was covered up, how we were distracted to seeing only a scandal. Oh, yea, so he had sex. Our leader had sex, how horrible. So all of the people who died because of the Bushes and Reagan, all the suffering caused by rubbing people’s faces in the dirt of poverty are not to be mentioned. But Clinton had sex with some woman; that’s a cause for outrage. Wow.

But you hear that enough and you don’t have any real perspective any more. You cannot weigh the gravity of one wrong against the other, or in this case a supposed wrong against real ones.

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But Americans are starting to know again what is really important. Pushing against the media tides, they are connecting outside of the public limelight. They are using the internet to exchange views. They are learning and taking action, gathering by the hundreds of thousands in rallies for change and to speak out against what is continuing to be imposed on them to benefit the well off. They are doing this despite being ignored by the media, the media continuing its policy of trying to make some realities to go away while blowing up the ridiculous and the insignificant into matters of great and pressing portent.

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So in spite of it all I think Americans have started to get back their solidarity. I think they are starting to get back their ability to reason.

I just hope that we’re going to get back some jobs too…and some money …and be able someday to enjoy some of that prosperity I remember from the past.

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Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seventeen: Freedom of the Press Repealed

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fifteen: Money Madness


The Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths,” Part Threean Audio Reading by SillyMickel Adzema

Here is an audio of the author’s impassioned reading of this part. Though it is of the first, unedited and unpolished version, and it does not contain all the detail of its current form below, it does capture the flavor of it all. I offer it here for your listening pleasure. For the reading of this part, “The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths,’ Part Three,” click on the link to the audio site above or click the link to the audio player below.


“The Rise and Fall of ‘Obvious Truths’ Part 3”


Continue with Culture War, Class War, Chapter Seventeen: Freedom of the Press Repealed

Return to Culture War, Class War, Chapter Fifteen: Money Madness

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Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Five: What Real and Unritualized Spiritual Experience Looks Like — An Example of Primal Spirituality

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An Example of Primal Spirituality, The Moments After Birth: Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Five: So, What Is Real Unritualized Spiritual Experience?

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When people go through weddings and other kinds of rituals it’s like they are trying to fool their psyche into thinking they are dealing with their real experience and their underlying transformative needs, but they in actuality are not . . . because in fact ritual is nothing more than elaborate act-out…. And acting out of a feeling and not feeling the feeling is substituting a ritual for real experience.

Why societies have these reenactments is for the person to bring forward and bring to bear those memories of an important and traumatic time and associate it with coming more into alignment with society and its needs … that is, as if to die a little more to one’s real self and to create or birth a fake self in line with and to the liking of one’s culture. The most obvious example of that is the way men and women are turned into killers and pawns of society through the elaborate rituals of becoming soldiers, as in boot camp. This is exactly the opposite of real inner transformation which happens, in a non-ritual-like manner, and in which one “dies” to some elaborate act outs in society and culture—as they say, the giving up of “desires” or the relinquishing of false hopes and cherished dreams—and is reborn into one’s real self, rediscovering one’s real potentials and connection with Nature and the Divine.

From—Ritual As Shadow, Part Four: Ritual Is Hardly Transformation … In Actuality, We “Die” to Our Real Self and Are Remade Into Something Society Can Use

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So, if ritual is a substitute for real spiritual experience, what does real spiritual experience look like? What follows is an example of a spontaneous, unritualized spiritual experience. But first let me put it in its context.

An Example of Primal Spirituality — Unritualized Spiritual Experience 

These videos provide a rare peek into a phenomenon which for forty years has been overflowing with misunderstanding, misinformation, and a cloud of mystery — much of which could have been dispelled by videos such as the ones being offered for the first time here. These looks into primal experience have been verboten because the people involved have been well aware that most of the time they will be misperceived or misinterpreted. So it is no small thing that my wife, Mary Lynn, and I, the facilitator and the experiencer in these videos respectively, make these videos of very personal and private experience available to anyone in the world to watch.

We accept the misunderstanding and even ridicule that will come from some uninformed and deluded quarters for the greater good of providing for those who have eyes to see some understandings that the world can no longer afford not to know.

Don’t Try This at Home?

Something like this usually is preceded by “Don’t try this at home.” I don’t think that could apply here in any way that I can foresee. For the videos depict the experiences of a person who is not influenced by any drugs but simply through prior primal sessions has become more open to letting her body/spirit/soul heal itself … in allegiance to her “inner authority” and with commitment to the truth, and in Mary Lynn’s case, with faith in God. Also, I as the facilitator have forty years experience in this modality, and its nearest cousins, and what I do and say comes out of that accumulated experience: What I say is, every word, though it might not seem so, precise, intentional, and done in full consciousness of its possible effects on the experiencer.

This is exactly not to say that the words are directional or meant to bias or guide; but rather that I am highly trained in saying that which might open up, that which might support, that which might lead the person to discover their real inner self (which is not known to me). Indeed, I am trained in helping people to go into areas inside themselves where they will discover things that neither of us know in advance. The biggest part of this sort of training is about how to keep one’s ego completely out of the person’s’ inner journey, while at the same time being able to surf along empathetically with their experience. Therefore, based on my year’s of experience, I might at times have suggestions as to where an experiencer might want to look, what she might want to try, and so on, because of a developed intuitive sense. But the idea is to do this while being completely nonattached to any particular outcome … or even that there be an outcome … and never presuming to know what will work or not, in advance. Most of all, the facilitator learns to stay completely out of the process when the experiencer’s Inner Guide is fully in charge, and then just to be supportive and accepting of wherever that might lead the experiencer to go.

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So, “don’t try this at home”? Ok, read the above. Now you can see why there is hardly any danger of that.

Part One: Video of Actual Primal Re-Experience of the Moments after Birth

The experiencer, Mary Lynn Adzema, who was born caesarean and thus before she was ready, re-experiences the pain of the umbilical cord being cut too early and of being swaddled tightly so that she cannot move. She connects this to feelings of being held back throughout her life. This is only the first part from a much longer session; there are four more videos coming.

It was a spontaneously occurring experience. What is not caught is only how this primal was triggered and the very beginning of it, which was much like what is seen at the start of the video. How this event was triggered is brought out and explained shortly, together with the videos of the events that followed the ones seen here.

The events in this video many will see as being painful, perhaps strange, gruesome, excruciating, torturous, or worse. Over the years many extreme adjectives have been used to describe what primal experiences look like to an outsider who has never experienced a primal; including the very bizarre—for example, demonic, possession, Satanic. That is one of the reasons that only now, after nearly forty years, as far as I know this is the first time that a video is being published to the public at large—leaving it open to the projections of the extreme crazies in our world, who, full of their own Pain, are prone to seeing their own craziness in such an event as this and to attack upon what is different and scary to them.

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Yet, it is new and strange; and Westerners who are largely cut off from deep experiences compared to virtually all of the cultures of the world that ever existed, might be tempted to view this negatively, to miss the healing that is occurring; in general to be turned off and to turn away; perhaps scared; perhaps thinking that the experiencer is being tortured.

To those, and to those of those who are capable of hearing and learning something outside of their normal experience, grant me your trust—which I will prove to you is warranted very soon—that these negative feelings and/or perceptions of yours are easily, and will soon be, thoroughly dispelled. In fact, they will be replaced by a perception and understanding of great wonder, beauty, and Divine Love.

First: Trust me that the experiencer is undergoing no real “pain” as it is normally thought of. She is “in” her experience and is releasing Pain from a long time ago. And though that release might look painful, gruesome, or torturous, the experiencer is feeling great relief at releasing it from her system. The experiencer—and I have had thousands of these experiences myself over the course of 40 years—is actually feeling more alive than normal, very happy—on a level within—that true answers to life long questions are finally coming forth, and while expressing the Pain in a way that might seem very dramatic, the experiencer is actually not reliving the Pain of that earlier time in the exact painful way that it occurred and which was traumatic.

I like to say it this way: The experiencer is getting to experience the Pain for the first time because when it originally occurred, it was too overwhelming to be handled and was suffered through, not experienced or felt. If it had been felt and processed at the time, it would not have lingered on to affect the person from that time forward. No, what I like to tell clients is that “You couldn’t feel it back then, you were only a child (a baby, were prevented from feeling it by someone else, or whatever it was), but now you, as an adult can resolve it the way you wished you could have then.” And it is quite a relief to be able to fight back, to get angry, to cry, and so on—all the things adults do to cope—for the first time about an experience, never resolved, that has been sticking in one’s craw so long it is often forgotten. But when one remembers one remembers it has always been there in the background. It is quite a relief to—metaphorically speaking—get to scratch an itch that was layered so deep it just made one uncomfortable throughout one’s life without any recourse.

So, though this may look torturous, trust me that these are great discoveries for the experiencer and the chance to do something about them, though it might seem gruesome, is the release of a lifetime of wanting to do something about a thing that has until the moment you observe been unable to be reachable and only caused one misery.

Finally, if you get through this first video based on what I have told you. Go to the next ones, and you will see that I have not really adequately put in words how actually wonderful and beneficial these experiences are from the experiencer’s point of view.

Those few who are familiar with these types of deep experiences, please excuse the above explanations. Realize that the vast majority of Westerners do not live lives like we do, experience the things we do, and are for the most part very alienated from deep experiences—something that is not their fault—and so they need education, explanation, and understanding of where these events come from.

OK, enough on that. As I was starting to say at the outset, as for the four videos after this one of the events that come later, these experiences are part of process. In fact, in the very next video, part two, the experiencer reports spiritual experiences of a comforting nature occurring. I don’t want to say any more, because I don’t want to spoil it. Prepare to have your prejudices challenged and to come back a little changed (for the better) for watching what evolved in the course of this session.

Finally, lest this part not have been made clear, I, Michael Adzema, aka sillymickel, am the disembodied voice in the video. That means I am the facilitator.

First video: Mary Lynn’s attempt to look inside to answer a question as to why she lied about something, especially when it was completely inconsequential, leads to a spontaneous “regression” to a time right after she had been removed by c-section from her mother’s womb. You see her here only a few minutes after that question elicited a response from her that she thought it had to do with the fear of the obstetrician after being born. In a previous session, she had realized that she thought the doctor was going to murder her, after she came out of the womb. Meanwhile, in the present, noticing in her behavior the signs of something about to happen, I, her therapist and husband, encouraged her to lie down. No sooner did she do that  than she went into the kind of emotional release … I did not say another word; she needed and received no prompting … much like you observe at the outset of the video, which is about two or three minutes after her lying down.

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Needless to say neither this experience nor the recording of it were planned, let alone scripted. It is only by chance that a camera happened to be nearby when it happened. We had been recording Mary Lynn’s regularly scheduled sessions, with the idea they might be helpful in educational or training endeavors in the future, and so this struck me to record as part of adding to that record.

Continue with 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

Return to Ritual As Shadow, Part Four: Ritual Is Hardly Transformation … In Actuality, We “Die” to Our Real Self and Are Remade Into Something Society Can Use

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A Smaller Number of Us Can Make All the Difference in the World, Literally, by Tipping Our Course One Way as Opposed to Another: Moving the World – A Race Against Time

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Apocalypse? Or Earth Rebirth? A Smaller Number of Us — Standing in the Right Place and With a Lever Big Enough — Might Be All That Is Needed to Move the World

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Apocalypse? Or Earth Rebirth?

The Evidence for Change Occurring

Finally it is time to answer the question posed by this book: Apocalypse? Or Earth rebirth? Knowing apocalypse, we can now declare a hearty No! to apocalypse.

clip_image001Our answer begins by pointing out that we have discovered, in this book, that there are things that can be done to prevent our extinction and, on the contrary, bring in a new dawn of harmonious cooperation with the forces of Nature. In the last four chapters we have seen that there is evidence of a collective change in consciousness occurring. A radical change in our attitudes to war, racism, the environment, and even spirituality—and thus to the very way we live our lives—is manifesting in our culture, the youth of the world, our children, and is even popping up in our collective dreams.

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Natural Law

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In addition we are aided by some fundamental processes of natural and cosmic law. In preceding chapters I have pointed out how both our nature inside and Nature outside seem to be conspiring to force us into the changes necessary. From this perspective we are in the hands of natural law, and its homeostatic mechanisms may bring us into line in ways unimaginable, beyond even the speculations I put forth in our attempt to see “through Gaia’s’ eyes” in Chapter Twelve.

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Visible and Invisible Allies

clip_image004Furthermore we may be aided by unseen forces and entities of which we know not and may be incapable of knowing. Though I think it foolhardy to sit on our hands and hope that some intergalactic or spiritual cavalry will arrive to save the day at the last moment. Still it is eminently reasonable, considering the minuscule knowledge we have in relation to the immensity of All That Is, to put aside our familiar hubris and at least consider the possibility of aid from higher forces or entities.

Indeed, there are many people in this day and age who believe that particular forces have come together at just this juncture in time to aid us and to ensure our success. clip_image006Who knows why?

Perhaps it is because our interconnectedness with Everything requires that we not fail, for it would have detrimental effects on things of which we do not know. I must confess that I myself have received knowledge of such help being given us. [Footnote 1]

Similarly there are others who believe that God will not allow His/Her creation to be destroyed and did indeed come in the flesh to ensure its success. [Footnote 2]

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Cosmic Law

clip_image008And there may even be cosmic laws at work. “Truth has its own momentum,” said one of our workshop participants. My wife and I conducted workshops in what we call primal breathwork, which is based on the Holotropic Breathwork™ of Stanislav Grof. In these workshops, which involve access to all aspects of the unconscious, including the spiritual/transpersonal, the biographical-psychodynamic, and the sensory, as well as the perinatal, it is not unusual for us to witness people being motivated, because of their profound transformative experiences, to commit themselves with all their being, talents, and resources, to aid in the processes of renewal on this planet.

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But Is It Enough?

Don’t Expect to See It on Cable News

But some might argue that there are not enough people changing. You might easily get that impression if your prime source of information is the mainstream media of the cultures of the world. For it is in the interest of the dominant media of all lands to support the status quo—for economic, as well as political reasons. They are not likely to report the new and controversial.

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clip_image009In fact, the proof of this is that when truth is truly democratized and shared freely, as on the World Wide Web, the information that comes out is drastically different from the sanctioned news sources. Indeed, we have seen the internet leading in many areas, from Wikileaks to Mideast revolt, everywhere and anywhere. Like a tail wagging a dog, the internet has been the first to expose information that the controlled media, who knew of it but repressed the information, only afterwards were forced to present.

So don’t expect the paid-for media to give you an accurate portrayal of what is truly new and breaking or for them to accurately reflect cultural changes as they occur. And don’t either expect for them to present the news of positive developments occurring—especially when those positive developments threaten an entrenched status quo. No, the official information sources of the status quo are the last to report such changes, and they do so only when they absolutely have to.

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The Peace Symbol—Moratorium—Reversed

clip_image011Meanwhile, from my vantage point, I would answer the query that there are not enough people changing by reiterating that, in fact, there are many of us who are integrating this emergent material, who are regaining our truth and the truths of this Earth and the Universe, who are expanding our consciousness to include this information, and who are carrying that information forward into positive action to heal ourselves, the people around us, humanity at large, and the planet.

This response of constructive action is exquisitely expressed when the peace symbol is reversed and symbolizes a human figure with arms upstretched—meaning the expression into the external world of what was discovered within.

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Putting Out Our Hand By Creating Healthy Alternatives

world-peaceAn answer to the question of what will happen is that we can hope that the forces of integration are more successful than those of disintegration and reaction in the face of this influx of material, for one thing. In addition, those of us who are dealing positively with these emergent truths can help to build societal structures and processes that make it easier for others less fortunate to face and deal positively with their environmentally enforced psychological transitions.

Those of us who can should put out our hand to our struggling sisters and brothers. If we can set up and provide accessible alternatives to the ones of reaction and acting out that now exist, we’re going to make it more likely that those more prone to reaction and avoidance will instead also grow in response to these eco-apocalyptic, bio-noetic changes.

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Facing the Monster Is Always Better, Often Beautiful

For, contrary to what many believe, the evidence from the experiential modalities involving the perinatal, and my own experience, concludes that the dangers of not accessing the perinatal unconscious are much greater than the ones of attempting to access them. For our residual birth issues influence us one way or the other. If we deny them, we can be deluded into acting them out, completely unconsciously, without an insight or a clue, in a “fetal trance state,” in the form of war, social violence, spouse abuse, sexual promiscuity resulting in the contraction of AIDS, and a myriad of other destructive and self-destructive ways.

Whereas if we turn to face this supposed “monster,” with only a tad of insight into these forces that direct our life, we are at least able to avoid the most horrific of the destructive acts that keeping it unconscious can cause us to participate in.

And then, on the more positive side, fully working through these seemingly hellish inner traumas can result in a transformation of the person and a lightness, peace, beauty, and fulfillment of life unlike anything that can be imagined beforehand.

A Race Against Time

Regardless of whether we succeed, we must try. As Stanislav Grof put it in his conclusion to an article on this global crisis: For our very survival,

We seem to be involved in a race for time that has no precedent in the entire history of humanity. What is at stake is nothing less than the future of life on this planet. If we continue the old strategies, which in their consequences are extremely destructive and self-destructive, it is unlikely that the human species will survive. However if a sufficient number of people undergoes a process of deep inner transformation; we might reach a level of consciousness evolution that will bring us to the point of deserving the name given to our species, Home sapiens, i.e., wise humans. [Footnote 3]

“The Leaven In the Dough”

Of course, I do not expect that the sort of application of experiential techniques Grof hopes for above can occur on the massive scale that would seem to be necessary to avoid apocalypse in the short period of time that we have left. Yet it might be that we would be lucky enough for that not to be necessary.

It is possible that simply a significant fraction of the world’s population—like the “leaven in the dough”—can make all the difference in the world, literally, by tipping our course one way as opposed to another, especially if these people—because of their healing and their awareness of the crisis—are motivated to place themselves in positions of influence and education, or to put their efforts toward healing, on individual and collective levels, in larger numbers than the average populace would. In other words, not just the leaven in the dough but as persons, standing in the right place and with the lever big enough, who can move the world.

Continue with Why We Scapegoat … Why We Insist on Saviors: Reflections on a Collective Shadow and Of Sacrifices—Human, Animal, and Cucumber

Return to Silly Heroes and Evolution in Attitudes to the Perinatal: The Necessary Hero Jives with the Monsters, Dances Above the Dissonance, and Is Ever Aware of Divinity Everywhere

Footnotes

1. See “Sure It’s Hard! But Always Are We Here Helping You” section in “Chapter Two: Culture As Moonview” of my book, Primal Renaissance: The Emerging Millennial Return, on the Primal Spirit site.

2. See “Sathya Sai Baba, Avatar” by Mary Lynn Adzema, on the Primal Spirit site.

3. Stanislav Grof, “Planetary Survival and Consciousness Evolution: Psychological Roots of Human Violence and Greed.” Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology 2(1): 3-26, p. 25. Article reprinted, with permission, on Primal Spirit site.

Continue with Why We Scapegoat … Why We Insist on Saviors: Reflections on a Collective Shadow and Of Sacrifices—Human, Animal, and Cucumber

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What the World Needs Now … Is Loving Warriors and Silly Heroes: Jiving with Your Monsters, Dancing Above the Dissonance, and The Universality of Divinity Remembered

Silly Heroes and Evolution in Attitudes to the Perinatal: The Necessary Hero Jives with the Monsters, Dances Above the Dissonance, and Is Ever Aware of Divinity Everywhere

Responses to the Perinatal

Returning now to “Nothing But Trouble,” an aspect of it that has significance for dealing with perinatal issues is the way different characters are shown responding to the embodiment of arbitrary justice, the judge. In the wonderfully Kafkaesque courtroom scenes, we see several different types of people—representing different responses to unconscious material—hauled before the judge. The musicians, signifying artists, creative people; the hedonistic criminals; and the main characters, representing average people, each present distinct attitudes, which are responded to differently by the representative of the unconscious, the judge.

Jiving With Your Monsters

clip_image002The musicians are able to create rhythm and flow. Therefore they are able to get through the experience unharmed. Indeed, they are even able to elicit a response from the judge—getting him to join in. In this way we see how creative people can actually use perinatal material and get it to cooperate for desired ends. We might consider how this relates to the writing of “Nothing but Trouble” itself.

Peter and Dan Aykroyd, in creating this movie, are, like the musicians in the movie, getting the unconscious to “play along,” to create something beyond what either the writer or the unconscious could accomplish separately. Much of what is interesting in art is done this way: The deeper fear-evoking material is allowed to come in and enrich, enliven, freshen with new ideas and perspectives, stimulate, and invigorate the creative production.

Beware the Tar Baby

clip_image004On the other hand, the arrogant banker contends with evil, and, like Brer Rabbit with tar baby, gets stuck.

Notice also that the really contentious ones—the alcoholic drug-using criminal hedonists—are completely lost. Thus the two extremes, as well as the average person are depicted.

Lighten Up!

But the truly striking element that indicates an advanced way of dealing with the perinatal material is shown in the genre of the movie itself. As a comedy, it shows a non-attached and transcendent approach. Chevy Chase and Demi Moore, especially Chevy Chase, show an aloofness and silly playfulness in the face of horror and death that has spiritual implications. Like a Tibetan mystic, Chase refuses to get sucked in to the involved drama confronting him. Like a Christian saint about to be martyred, he jokes, teases, and gets silly with the instruments of horror and evil. Similarly, Demi Moore humors and plays cards with her would-be monsters.

Silly Heroes

Standing within the Witness higher self, they are able to take the entire situation lightly—acting and reacting in the moment to each unique situation as it presents itself. One moment Chevy Chase is confronting his own demise, the next moment he is in a love scene. He alternates a frightful encounter with relaxing and smoking a cigar.

clip_image006If we want to know what real and transcended behavior is, we might do well to get our hints in the depictions of unattached playfulness — as presented by modern Western actors like Bill Murray, Demi Moore, Tom Hanks, Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, Bruce Willis, and Jim Carey—rather than in the repressively calmed not-with-it-ness—not-witness—that is sometimes mistaken for spiritual attainment.

Darkening Down

clip_image008Incidentally, this element of humor shows an entirely different way of dealing with the perinatal than most other movies that deal with this kind of material. The movie, “Brazil,” is a good example of this difference. Not only is “Brazil” cast in an eerie, somber, and tragically hopeless and futile clip_image010air — indicating that one’s response here is to “believe in” the reality of such material—but the only escape in this movie is in a purely conceptual, fantasy way.

The main character cannot face the horror ultimately. He flips out into a reassuring dream sequence brimming with BPM I and BPM IV imagery. Interestingly, reflecting the pattern of progression of our expressions in feeling therapies, the dream includes a BPM III scenario to get him to those later bucolic realms.

clip_image012But in “Brazil” these are only daydreams. This fact shows a refusal to face this perinatal material or to surrender to it. Rather, in fantasy, one overcomes the horror. It is as if one continues using familiar ego techniques—hero’s journey methods, dragon-slaying methods—for dealing with material on a deeper level where they no longer work—where they are in fact counterproductive.

Thus, these techniques can only succeed in dreaming. Terry Gilliam, the creator of “Brazil,” shows us that the hero, in reality, is doomed.

However, one might interpret the main character’s escape into fantasy as a victory over evil forces. That the ending lends itself so readily to such an interpretation is a telling indictment of the state of progress of some of us in dealing with perinatal material. Apparently, there are those so lost that the only success possible seems to be in insanity or death.

Evolution In Attitudes to the Perinatal?

clip_image013However, in “Nothing but Trouble,” the main characters do face and deal with all the material. Sometimes they fight it; sometimes run from it; sometimes play with it; sometimes joke, tease, spar, or get silly with it; sometimes are swallowed by it and carried along…but always they are creatively facing and dealing with it. This different air about and attitude towards the perinatal material can be said to be an advance from the earlier movie, “Brazil,” representing perhaps a progression of our collective consciousness in our attitudes and manner of dealing with the perinatal.

Dancing Above the Dissonance

Such a prospect is, indeed, the auspicious legacy of such a creative project. Though it is doubtful they did so consciously, the Aykroyd brothers and the producers of “Nothing But Trouble” deserve our gratitude for their efforts in lighting forward our collective reality endeavor.

clip_image015Beyond that, we can take hope in the possibility that Western culture may be rising itself, however minimally at first, above the dramas of light and darkness that have plagued it for so long. The Manichean tendency can lead only to ever-spiraling cycles of resistance and assault. Yet we are seeing currently, not only an erosion of defiantly uni-dimensional ego perspectives, not only a movement toward facing and dealing with our inner darkness, but an integration of opposing forces, a dancing above the leela—the play—of light and dark.

The Universality of Divinity Remembered

The perennial understanding of the universality of divinity, both within and without us, in the lowest as well as the highest of places, is the bright at the center of the perinatal bedlam about us. We are guided as well by this gleaming, a rising moon of promise and possibilities.

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Ritual As Shadow, Part Four: Ritual Is Hardly Transformation … In Actuality, We “Die” to Our Real Self and Are Remade Into Something Society Can Use

Ritual As Addiction to “Pretend Experience”: People Are Led to Believe They Are Having the Feelings Being Symbolized, When in Actuality They Are Not.

When people go through weddings and other kinds of rituals it’s like they are trying to fool their psyche into thinking they are dealing with their real experience and their underlying transformative needs, but they in actuality are not . . . because in fact ritual is nothing more than elaborate act-out…. And acting out of a feeling and not feeling the feeling is substituting a ritual for real experience.

Why societies have these reenactments is for the person to bring forward and bring to bear those memories of an important and traumatic time and associate it with coming more into alignment with society and its needs … that is, as if to die a little more to one’s real self and to create or birth a fake self in line with and to the liking of one’s culture. The most obvious example of that is the way men and women are turned into killers and pawns of society through the elaborate rituals of becoming soldiers, as in boot camp.

This is exactly the opposite of real inner transformation which happens, in a non-ritual-like manner, and in which one “dies” to some elaborate act outs in society and culture—as they say, the giving up of “desires” or the relinquishing of “cherished illusions and false hopes”—and is reborn into one’s real self, rediscovering one’s real potentials and connection with Nature and the Divine.

The patriarchal person is fearful of the spiritual forces within him- or herself. Hence she or he disidentifies with them and projects them outside of him- or herself where they must be related to symbolically. The matriarchal person mistrusts the Natural world and disidentifies with It, and with the physical body which is a part of It, in an attempt to control It. In doing so, these natural forces are projected outside of oneself where they can then only be related to symbolically.

In either case, it is this attempt to control something symbolically, indirectly that is the basis of ritual. In both cases ritual is a poor substitute for the real potential of identifying with and acting in accord with that reality. And in each instance, the tragedy is that the indirect attempt pre-empts and thus makes impossible the true relationship and true accord, the at-one-ment, that could otherwise be.

Ritual As Addiction to “Pretend Experience”

Dream of 14 November 1991:

In this dream I was with a large group of people. There were all kinds of complicated goings on and much vivid detail in the dream prior to the most important part of the dream, which had to do with a ritual. At a certain point I was required to go to this church, and I had to stand in a particular place. It was like standing at the entrance to the church but just inside. There were quite a few of us, and we were all in lines, like two lines; and we had to go down the aisle toward the front of the church.

Many things happened then. There was superb richness of detail, a baroque-like texture to everything—scenes, sets, items, and events. I don’t remember all that transpired. It was very interesting, fascinating. There was color, art, multiple goings on, lots of special effects.

One part of it stood out, however. I was alternately involved in the events as well as watching it all, as I had been at the beginning when I was watching from the back of the church. In this part I was involved and was going back down the aisle from the altar at the front of the church, where a lot of the events had happened. There were a few of us, and we had flowing robes on. I could almost sense artificial wings on me, attached to my back. The powers-that-be were also suspending each of us in mid-air so that we were almost floating down the aisle! We were held up by wires, which were also attached to us—much like a Peter-Pan in a stage production — and we were floating, slowly, down the aisle.

And I was thinking: “I get it. This is supposed to be a wedding. But since becoming married is a transition in one’s life, one needs to die to one state and be reborn in another. So, what was being enacted here was something approaching BPM IV, like where Michael C. Irving talks about the symbolism of angels coming in — because BPM IV represents feeling free again, being released. So you have the halo because of the birth experience and all those feelings.”

By that I mean that in Stanislav Grof’s matrices of the birth experience, which we re-create throughout our lives, Basic Perinatal Matrix IV (BPM IV) has to do with actually being born, coming out of the womb. And since it involves becoming free, moving freely like as in flying, and happens miraculously and as a blessing, it is the basis for our ideas of coming out into the light and of angels—the wings representing being able to move freely. Halos are symbols of the pressure on our head as it moves through the birth canal and is the first sensation we have of becoming free … being “blessed.”

So what they were doing in this wedding was re-creating, symbolically, all the aspects of birth from BPM I through IV. BPM I is that state of oceanic ecstasy and bliss in the early months of being in the womb when one can move freely and senses a loving connection (ideally) with one’s mother. This feeling is akin to that of romance and the feelings of lovers, which in the dream would be the ones about to be married. And this feeling of bliss is continued in the acts of coming into the church—a womb symbol—and going down the aisle, basking in the approving smiles of loved ones.

BPM II is the time in the womb when things have become cramped, and one cannot move freely, so one has feelings of compression and depression—a kind of stuffiness as well due to getting less oxygen because the arteries are constricted and so bringing less blood, hence oxygen, to you. In the dream this would be the part of the wedding where the couple to be wedded is at the front of church, now, and they are constricted in their every act and movement. They must behave—another BPM II feeling, for to move too much in the womb only further disturbs the blood-oxygen flow. It is stuffy in the church—isn’t that one of the main complaints people have of churches and of having to sit through ceremonies there? This feeling is shared by everyone in the church, including the bride and groom. So this indicates how all the participants in the church are to some extent being put through an enactment of the birth ritual, too. Other BPM II elements for the ones to be wedded include waiting in discomfort and anticipation… nervousness…for release.

BPM III in our birth process is the time of actual struggle to be born, when there is, symbolically, a “light at the end of the tunnel.” In this wedding ritual, that would be the actual becoming wedded, the saying of the vows. For release is near, and there is now active participation. And when the ring is put on the finger, it is akin to the baby coming through the ring of the birth canal. The ritual kiss immediately after becoming wedded is even a symbolic re-creation of the way, in an ideal birth, there is a bonding between baby and mother immediately after birth, involving, no less! a baby’s first attempts at suckling … the kissing, you see?

So, by the time of walking back down the aisle to go out into the world the bride and groom are re-creating BPM IV—that is, actually being out of the womb and having those feelings of elation that come with being released and having survived what seemed to be a threat of death. I remembered us floating down the aisle between those two lines of people and saw it as a re-creation of a baby coming out between two legs of the mother.

So, the entire wedding experience is a symbolic re-creation of the birth experience. And we know we re-create these same death-rebirth patterns in all kinds of rituals involving transitions in one’s life. We do this because we are driven to re-create that which we could not complete at the time. So wedding rituals like this evolve out of those drives and feelings in people, and all the detail and ritual is an unconscious attempt to give people a feeling of going through a death-rebirth experience. The actual yearning in people is to go deep inside and have this intense experience and reliving of the trauma of birth and then to come out again and have the feeling of being freed; and societies manifest cultural forms that either do that—as in the case of the shamanic and other practices of many indigenous cultures—or they fashion symbolic affairs that fake it by putting on a show of doing it … for reasons we get to in a minute.

Anyway, when it was all over and I arrived back at the entrance to the church, having floated down the aisle, there were so many people there—family, friends, and such. But there wasn’t one person there I could share it with; and that was really depressing. It was distressing not to have anyone to share it with because I had had this incredible insight about it all, and I was so excited because I really understood now. I realize, now, this was a memory of my own birth experience, in which I was not allowed to connect with my mother after birth but was taken away and left to be alone for a long time.

And what I understood was what I had said at the beginning of this: That rituals are substitute experiences. By that I meant that I realized that: “When people were trying to enact a ritual, did this mean that those people are getting in touch with those feelings and that that’s helping them in any way?” And then it immediately came to my mind: “No, this does not mean that people get in touch with those feelings. Rather, it means that people are led to believe they are having those feelings, when in actuality they are not.”

And we know that people are not really feeling the feelings symbolized because that is the major thing of all act-outs of those early experiences: One can repeat the act out forever and it does not change the feeling or stop one from having it. Whereas if one relives the feeling in a conscious way in a therapeutic setting, which can occur in any of the modalities or by any of the means I have been mentioning (for example, primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, psychedelics), those feelings do change, go away completely at times, and the person is transformed, becoming a different person…as a death-rebirth experience should bring about.

But when people go through weddings and other kinds of rituals it’s like they are trying to fool their psyche into thinking that they are dealing with their real experience and their underlying transformative needs, but they in actuality are not . . . because in fact ritual is nothing more than elaborate act-out, that’s all it is. And acting out of a feeling and not feeling the feeling is substituting a ritual for real experience.

And why societies have these reenactments is for the person to bring forward and bring to bear those memories of an important and traumatic time and associate it with coming more into alignment with society and its needs … that is, as if to die a little more to one’s real self and to create or birth a fake self in line with and to the liking of one’s culture. The most obvious example of that is the way men and women are turned into killers and pawns of society through the elaborate rituals of becoming soldiers, as in boot camp. This is exactly the opposite of real inner transformation which happens, in a non-ritual-like manner, and in which one “dies” to some elaborate act outs in society and culture—as they say, the giving up of “desires” or the relinquishing of false hopes and cherished dreams—and is reborn into one’s real self, rediscovering one’s real potentials and connection with Nature and the Divine. I will have a lot more to say about this further on.

At any rate, in rituals we pretend we are dealing with our feelings and our real experience; but rituals are no more spiritual experiences or dealing with feelings than alcoholism is a spiritual quest or getting drunk is dealing with feelings. Ritual is a substitute for “spiritual” (or real) experience just as addiction is a substitute for spiritual experience.

Continue with Ritual As Shadow Experience, Part Five: What Real and Unritualized Spiritual Experience Looks Like — An Example of Primal Spirituality

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