Monthly Archives: August 2013

Cellular Consciousness and The Chonyid Bardo: “Like a Prodigal Child, I Had Run Away from my Macrocosmic Home and Imprisoned Myself in a Narrow Microcosm.” (Paramahansa Yogananda)

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The Creation of Space, the Primary Dualism, and “the Appearance of Peaceful and Wrathful Deities”: The First Fall From Grace, Sperm/Egg and Conception, Part One



First Fall From Grace

According to Wilber (1977), the primary dualism is the separation that first creates self and Other. Based upon both personal experience and study of several experiential growth modalities, I submit that this first fall from grace, the primary dualism, correlates ontogenetically with the phase of biological conception, more specifically with the creation of sperm and egg. Earlier I called this the first shutdown, which is the first time we have narrowed our consciousness, and I quoted Yogananda (1946), “Like a prodigal child, I had run away from my macrocosmic home and imprisoned myself in a narrow microcosm” (p. 168).

Wilber (1977) describes the characteristics of the primary dualism: “[T]his separation of subject from object marks the creation of space: the Primary Dualism itself creates space” (p. 120).

At the level of Mind, or Void, there is no form:

The Absolute Subjectivity is sizeless or spaceless, and therefore infinite; but with the rise of the Primary Dualism, the subject is illusorily separated from the object, and that separation, that “gap” between seer and seen, is nothing more than space itself. Man, in identifying exclusively with his organism as separated from his environment, necessarily creates the vast and grand illusion of space, the gap between man and his world. (Wilber, 1977, p. 120)

At the time of conception—specifically, with the creation of sperm and ovum—we have the emergence of form out of no-thing-ness (so to speak). That is, that there is the awareness of a separate thingness where before there was none. This awareness is referred to as cellular consciousness (Buchheimer, 1987; Farrant, 1987; Larimore, 1990a, 1990b). The memory we have of it is the earliest one we have of form within the frame of this particular physical form.

Cellular consciousness also relates to the beginnings of the Chonyid bardo, which, as described in the Tibetan Book of the Dead and reported by Wilber (1980, pp. 165-172), is a “period of the appearance of peaceful and wrathful deities” (p. 165). These appearances are caused by a contraction against the Clear Light, which transforms that Reality into “primordial seed forms of the peaceful deities (cf., Grof’s BPM I level of experience in the womb) and these in turn, if resisted and denied, are transformed into the wrathful deities” (p. 165) (cf., Grof’s BPM II and III levels of pre- and perinatal experience—but more about these processes in the next sections). This is the time when—having missed the opportunity for mergence with the Clear Light during the Chikhai bardo, which occurs after death of the previous incarnation—one begins fleeing into form once again, attracted by the “impure lights” and “substitute gratifications” (p. 166).

That a separate consciousness exists here, at this cellular level, at least in the “reflections” that we call memory, is also evident in the research of psychedelics (Grof, 1976, 1980, 1985; Masters and Houston, 1967), in the re-experience that occurs in experiential psychotherapy and in the memory retrieval acquired through hypnosis (Gabriel (1992); Wambach, 1979). [Footnote 1].

The Breaking of the Vessels and the Scattering of the Divine Sparks

Shoham’s (1990) primary phase of separation is birth.

Nevertheless, with the additional perspective of pre- and perinatal psychology and of experiential psychotherapy we can add to and alter this formulation. Shoham writes, “In the first phase of separation, man is ejected from the comfortable womb and cruelly exposed to the elements in a manner that was recorded mytho-empirically in the Kabbalist catastrophe of the breaking of the vessels” (p. 35). Of course, I disagree with this. As stated at the beginning of this chapter, in the first phase of separation the individual leaves the godhead and generates form in the creation of sperm and ovum.

That the interpretation of the myth needs to placed farther back in time, into the womb, is indicated even in Shoham’s words, where he speaks of a “theurgic symbiosis and partnership between man and God” (p. 35). “Symbiosis” relates to the flow in <—> flow out feeling described as characterizing the BPM I or blissful womb state, i.e., before birth. It is indeed correct to describe this time also as a “partnership between man and God” in that the fetus feels that all its needs are immediately responded to as well as it partakes of the emotional-psychic field of its mother (the experiential analogue of whom is “God”).

Continue with In the Beginning, the “Thin Pipe From Infinity” … “Emanated Light Into the World”: We Begin with “Contraction” … Biological and Spiritual … How We Tell Ourselves That in Myth

Return to Mythology Tells the Tale of Our Lives as Cells: “Whatever Happened to Us in the Amnestic Years … Is Projected Toward Cosmogony, Magic, and Other Human Beings.”

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


1. Evidence from experiential psychotherapy is from Graham Farrant’s work as reported by him at various PPPANA conferences, in Aesthema (January 1987) and in the International Primal Association Newsletters, winter and summer, 1990; in works such as Gabriel, 1992; Hannig, 1982; Lake, 1981, 1982; and Noble, 1993; and from personal experience in primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork, among many other sources.

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Continue with In the Beginning, the “Thin Pipe From Infinity” … “Emanated Light Into the World”: We Begin with “Contraction” … Biological and Spiritual … How We Tell Ourselves That in Myth

Return to Mythology Tells the Tale of Our Lives as Cells: “Whatever Happened to Us in the Amnestic Years … Is Projected Toward Cosmogony, Magic, and Other Human Beings.”

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

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“Whatever Happened to Us in the Amnestic Years … Is Projected Toward Cosmogony, Magic and Other Human Beings”: Mythology Tells the Tale of Our Lives as Cells


Our Myths Reveal Our Earliest Life, Going Back to Before Conception: Biology As Mythology, Part Four: Mytho-Empiricism and Our Devolution of Consciousness


Mytho-Empiricism and Biology As Mythology

Finally, mythology provides clues as to the events of these times. Shoham (1990) is one in particular who has made this case. Putting forth an approach at meaning which he calls “mytho-empiricism,” he writes, “Mytho-empiricism is the utilization of myths not as illustrations of our theoretical premises but as their actual empirical anchors” (p. 34). He goes on to point out that scholars of myths have always regarded myths as reliable and faithful revelations of patterns of events that occurred prior to recorded history. Acknowledging that they can reflect patterns of events that are not otherwise accessible, he makes his case that the events that these myths are most actually reflecting are those of the earliest times in one’s individual … as opposed to cultural or collective … life. Thus, he writes,

[O]ur methodological anchor . . . is the conception of myths as projections of personal history. Individuals are aware of their personalities as the sole existential entity in their cognition. Therefore, myths cannot be divorced from the human personality. This awareness of existence is the only epistemological reality. Whatever happened to us in the amnestic years and even later is projected toward cosmogony, magic, and other human beings. The events that happened in the highly receptive amnestic years have been recorded by the human brain. Events that happened after the amnestic years may be recalled cognitively, but whatever happened within these first years of life would be played back , inter alia, by myths of cosmogony. Myths as personal history may therefore be regarded as the account of some crucial developmental stages in the formative years. (1979, p. 21)

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Correlation Between the Ontogenetic and the Phylogenetic

He notes that there is a correlation, however, between the early individual and the early historical events:

Moreover, human development in the early formative years covers, in an accelerated manner, all the evolutionary phases of the species. Consequently, myths are also a projection of the development of the species as inherent in the development of the human individual. . . . That is, every human being experienced the Original Sin in his own development, so that the myth of the Fall is indeed a projection of an individual, yet universal, human developmental experience. (1990, p. 35)

I point this out because while in this part — Part Two — I will be using myths to indicate patterns of early individual events, in Part Three I will bring them to bear as additional perspective on some of the early events of our species.

Relative Universality of Myths Correlated With Importance in Ontogeny

Shoham (1990) qualifies his claims for the reliability of mythic projections by noting the obvious deduction that myths can vary in the degree to which they accurately project the common early experiences of the individual and that a good indicator of their reliability as regards universal patterns of early experience is the relative universality of the particular myth’s appearance:

Myths, however, become archetypal projections of human experience only when they are widespread. The more common a human developmental experience, the greater its chances of becoming a mythical projection. The inverse is also valid: the more widespread a myth, the greater the chances that it is a projection of a widespread or even universal phase of human development. The universality of the Fall myth, for instance, points to the fact that its corresponding developmental phase, the expulsion of the separate self from the pantheistic togetherness of early orality, is indeed experienced by every human being. (1990, p. 35)


Separant-Fusion Personality Dialectic

The personality theory derived from such a mytho-empirical base constructs the person as embodying two radically opposed tendencies—one the desire for fusion and the other for separation:

Our personality theory envisages two core vectors, participation and separation . By participation, we mean the identification of ego with a person(s), an object, or a symbolic construct outside itself and the striving of the ego to lose its separate identity by fusion with this other, object or symbol. Separation is the opposite vector. These two vectors of unification-fusion and separation-isolation form the main axis of our personality theory. (Shoham, 1990, p. 33)

Stagelike “Degression”

It also puts forth a stagelike progression (or “degression”), created by these various earliest instances of separation or splitting off. The creation of these phases through splitting is remarkably like the creation of the spectrum of consciousness by the various splittings, creating the various dualities, that Wilber (1977) describes. The major difference is that Wilber’s contention is the building up of these in the Sole Eternal Moment and Shoham’s in the course of one’s earliest existence … Wilber’s as creating the consciousness in the Moment and Shoham’s as creating the personality. Shoham (1990) describes the progression:

The first phase is the process of birth. The second phase is the crystallization of an individual ego by the molding of the “ego boundary.” The third phase of separation is a corollary of socialization, during which, according to Erikson, one’s “ego identity” is reached. (p. 33)

And to these Shoham later adds a fourth.


Stages Beginning at Conception, Not Birth

In the chapters to follow, I will be presenting just such a progression, rather devolution, following the phases of early biological experience and correlating it both with the psychological development of the ego and personality development in general in a manner akin to Shoham’s as well as to the building up of the spectrum of consciousness according to Wilber.

However, the major difference between my progression and Shoham’s is that I start at conception as the first phase of separation and he starts at birth. In fact, I take Shoham’s phases and place them one step back, so to speak. His birth scenario becomes what I see to be conception; his early orality phase, my phase of birth. At the third phase we begin to coincide in that both of our third phases coincide with the phase of socionormative indoctrination that reaches its peak at around the age of four. And finally our fourth stages are also identical in depicting the puberty or identity phase.

I make these differences from Shoham for compelling reasons. For one thing, what Shoham gives as an example of birth in mythology is actually much more like conception. It is so much more like conception that I feel he would also have placed it there if he had not, in following mainstream ego psychologists and outdated Freudian notions, been led to believe that neither consciousness or memory can exist from that far back. Therefore, I feel he makes this mistake only because he is operating on the basis of mainstream psychology and an outdated psychoanalysis that sees the beginnings of psychic life only at birth.

It is not surprising he makes this mistake as it is only in the more recent field of pre- and perinatal psychology that we see the beginnings of psychic life going back into the womb and, in some understandings (including my own), to before conception. But with this understanding of where the beginning truly lies, his framework, his mythically expressed ontology, becomes strikingly fitted with the biological events. In altering his framework in this way, then, the following chapters will incorporate, for additional elucidation and perspective, the mytho-empirical light he sheds.

Continue with Cellular Consciousness and The Chonyid Bardo: “Like a Prodigal Child, I Had Run Away from my Macrocosmic Home and Imprisoned Myself in a Narrow Microcosm.” (Paramahansa Yogananda)

Return to Morphogenetic Fields Theory Makes Genetics Obsolete and Unnecessary … and Cellular Memory Understandable: The Theories of Morphic Resonance and “Prior Conditions”

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

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Biology and Mythology in Pictures. Chronological Order

Egg Experience. Inside Mother



Sperm Experience: Inside Father






Sperm Experience: Ejaculation





Sperm Experience: Sperm Journey











Sperm-Egg Encounter Experience: Coming Together of Sperm and Egg.





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Conception Experience: Sperm Enters Egg




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Conception Experience. Sperm’s Head “Explodes” … Joining of Sperm and Egg DNA