Category Archives: Art & Entertainment

“Described by shamans as being cut up into many pieces … this experience is only the collapse of the shell in which you existed”


Latest from the Planetmates … on the experience of leaving the “matrix,” a-mazing culture, Edenal existence, more: 

“…when one is reversing that trance state … indeed, right now, for you, this might be occurring … and this message is the equivalent of the red pill for you … one goes through a shock, as the crutch of culture is removed. 


“Leaving aside the fact that in this space, this liminal one, your early deprivations can be felt and healed, still in the beginning this is a horrifying vision of unreality, emptiness, and meaninglessness. One feels that one is seeing deeply into the nature of reality and following it down to its foundations and they are … nothing. One might have the sensation of dissolving, of becoming de-atomized, or of melting. One certainly feels like one has lost all bearings and supports and cannot “hold oneself together,” any more. One might have that oh-so-dreaded feeling that one might be losing control of oneself, be going “out of control.” One might feel one is going to soar off into space, that having completely lost gravity and one’s connection to Earth one will be thrown or sucked back into an endless, random Universe. One often feels like one is falling.


“One feels like one is falling, falling, seemingly endlessly and into a darkness, a Void, an abyss. One might say that one is looking into an abyss or Void, and one feels vulnerable. One often feels open to outside energies and conceives of these negatively as being devils and demons, or simply negative energy … all of which these most certainly are not. They are simply the repressed and unapproved aspects of one’s own experience arising to be integrated again in the Universe’s perpetual movement to become whole again … and this time through you.


“This experience has been described by shamans down through the millennia as being cut up into many pieces. It has been called depersonalization, by your modern psychiatrists. It has also been called identity loss, and the event has been termed an identity crisis, by psychologists, at times; at other times, a breakdown … the old fashioned-term being, anervous breakdown — which terms, by the way, misunderstand the break through quality of the event simply out of the fact that it is not experienced as pleasantness. Indeed, one will often fear one is “going insane,” or is going to “lose one’s mind.” Later in life it might be contained within the experiences of the mid-life crisis.


“What it is, however, is simply the vision of the emptiness behind all actions and events in one’s life. It is the apprehension — however clearly or not one understands it as emanating from infancy and birth — that all that one does is a product of truly inauthentic forces within oneself. It is a perception that everyone and oneself are like windup dolls, or robots, mechanically acting out directives from another place over which one has no control, regardless how insistently one had been previously that one had that control and “free will.” It is, however, only the collapse of the shell in which you existed; it is its disintegration and falling away as you become the greater self, beyond Ego, that you are capable of being.


“You see, your gradual changes from Natural Life involved two things, basically: A growing ability to survive biologically, physically at whatever cost to your happiness, along with a separation from your natural inclinations and felt Divine guidance. And your ever-widening separation from the Divine meant a constant hole in the felt meaning of your existence.


“Lacking roots in Nature or the Divine, you were like a weed without roots, growing madly above ground, reaching out vainly in all directions for sustenance because of the lack of direct connection to your deeper truth. This expanding outward desperately in all directions creates your culture — which is the artificial substitute and the dim empty reflection of existence.


“Culture — your “matrix” — is the “much ado about nothing” and the “strutting and fretting upon the stages of life” and “sound and fury signifying nothing” of which our mutual friend Shakespeare wrote, having learned much from us. Culture is your magnification of the overcomplexity of the obvious simplicity of existence, and it is the overblown array of your defenses to keep at bay your realization, your “enlightenment.” Culture brings meaning to your lives, but it is a false one. It provides you motives, and it supports and sustains your efforts; but they are vain and empty goals and futile and meaningless rituals, only.


“So, after the fall into sedentary-agrarian ways which multiplied the branches of culture a-mazingly, providing the opiate for your feelings of loss and the substitute for more natural ways, more of your newborns would live. As we have said, they would be given economic value — as a commodity — within that trance life or matrix you have erected. Your children would be allowed to live, but what was distributed among them was this watered-down offering, of a life drained of meaning and “juice” but mostly lacking the “colors” or “flavors” of experience we planetmates enjoy and containing instead the apprehension of the outlines of living not the immersion in its profound and lush plenitude.


“This tendency for your lives to be bleached of real appreciation but multiplied maniacally grew steadily over time coinciding with the aforementioned rise in the predominance of the traits of controlling, conforming, sycophantic and desperate striving to please and to be appealing, and nonexpression of needs become repression of personality and cobbling of ability to participate in existence’s Divine creative stream. You built increasingly a false matrix in which to dwell, substituting it for the richness of experience of our Edenal existences.


“So, driven by this inner abyss of unknowing, your outer behavior expanded in spurious and fanciful activity and productions of all kind. With time, your vapid nature would spin out unnecessary personality traits, hollow and unsatisfiable needs, fetid desires, furious but vain behaviors, insubstantial wants, blind obsessions, uncontrollable compulsions, fantastical beliefs, painfully burning visions, and tortured thoughts … of all kinds and all of it magnified, then multiplied, then repressed and fought, then struggled with … and all this in grandiose dramas that are further multiplied, exaggerated, over-dramatized, and so on round again.


“Such an overcomplication of life’s simple existence and beingness you create to keep from knowing the horror of you. Such a fury you unleash, so as to create the smoke and mirrors of distraction and to keep you from the otherwise insidious trickling knowing of your horrifying creations and the gnawing abyss of dissatisfaction and unknowing inside you.


“In all of these, you journeyed ever further from your roots in Nature and the Divine and made Edenal existence the most distant memory and the most certain component of everyone’s Unapproved and Hidden….”


“[Pt 5 of 27th prasad — Culture. More coming…  

“To see the entire book, to which this will be added eventually (book is two-thirds updated), go to …

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Apocalypse NO released. 2nd Book by Michael Adzema now available. Order Information

Apocalypse NO released. Book by Michael Adzema now available – Apocalypse NO, Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious. Order Information.

Apocalypse NO, the second book – of the four being published in the next four weeks – is now completed also.

This book can be ordered now and will be available, is available ….

Amazon: Immediately
Expanded Distribution channels: 6-8 Weeks
in Kindle it has been available already….

More information coming, as I have it.

Click below to order.

Final Cover Apoc No 4 Kindle

These are the strangest of days. We live in a time in which ending our species in our lifetime, even eliminating all life on this planet, are very real possibilities. The awareness of this acceleration toward an “end of days”—while so horrifying we hardly speak it—hangs over us and affects us in ways singular and fantastic.

Apocalypse NO, Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious awakens us to the unconscious influences erupting into our world which are changing the Earth and us in radical ways. Herein is revealed the underbelly of our modern life and the impetus behind our self-destruction. We see primal forces arising and exposed. Finally, we can direct our attention to the roots of our drive to apocalypse and reverse it.

More than that, this awakening provides a way of transformation. For in the heart of this darkness lies the most incredible opportunity for taking a leap beyond what we think of as human nature. This time calls for a new hero’s cycle—one that leaves behind the thuggishness of the old one. We are lifted beyond ourselves in a higher calling and a transcendent yet deeply rooted spirituality.

We realize that the necessary answer to the dilemma of apocalypse or Earth rebirth lies, not only in the resurrection of a new Earth, but in the dawning of a new self as well.

About the Author

Michael Adzema is a writer, activist, teacher, and psychotherapist. He was the editor of a professional journal of primal psychology and was the first person in the United States to teach prenatal and perinatal psychology at the university level. In the early Eighties, working as an anti-nuke activist, he was one those whose actions led to ending nuclear plant construction in the United States. In addition to Apocalypse NO, he has authored the books, Falls from Grace, which is a reference on prenatal and perinatal psychology; Primal Renaissance; Experience Is Divinity: Culture War, Class War; and the companion volume to this one, Apocalypse Emergency—Love’s Wake-Up Call.

Final Cover Apoc No

Feedback wanted: Apocalypse – No! Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious. cover and description. Comments?

Apocalypse – No! Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious … book soon to be released. Feedback?

Apocalypse No cover

It has been so helpful to me to get people’s feedback on the cover design and back cover text of the second book coming out (Apocalypse Emergency) that I thought I would do the same with the first book as well (Apocalypse – No!). Thanks to all who contributed, by the way.

This first book will be available in print about a week after I give the final go-ahead, which could be any time now, and I can make last-minute changes, still, if needed. (It is already available on Kindle at the link below.)

So before i give the final ok, what do you think of the cover and/or text? Feedback? Comments? Here is the back cover text I have for it:


These are the strangest of days. We live in a time in which ending our species in our lifetime, even eliminating all life on this planet, are very real possibilities. The awareness of this acceleration toward an “end of days” — while so horrifying that we are in denial of it and hardly speak it — hangs over us and affects us in ways singular and fantastic.

This book — Apocalypse No, Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious — awakens us to the unique character of our times. There are powerful factors and unconscious influences erupting into our world now which are changing the Earth and us in radical ways … for good and ill. This unprecedented era in history is rife with the perinatal, that is, with repressed memories locked into us arising from our experiences of birth. We see that our impending apocalypse has to do with birth feelings, birth trauma — an emerging perinatal unconscious.

Herein is revealed the underbelly of our modern world and life and the impetus behind our self-destruction. We see primal forces arising and exposed. We begin to understand how and why this is happening now. Knowing this gives us the power to do something about our dire situation. Finally, we can direct our attention to the roots of our drive to apocalypse and reverse it.

More than that, this awakening provides a way of transformation for ourselves. For we see that in the heart of this darkness we are bringing down upon us lies the most incredible opportunity for taking a leap beyond what we think of as human nature. This time calls for a new hero’s cycle — one that leaves behind the thuggishness of the old one. We are lifted beyond ourselves in a higher calling and a transcendent yet deeply rooted spirituality.

We realize that the necessary answer to the dilemma of apocalypse or Earth rebirth lies, not only in the resurrection of a new Earth, but in the dawning of a new self as well.


By the way. This book is available right now on Kindle at the link above. The way it works is this: If you wait the week or two for the print edition, which is priced at 14.95, you will get the e-book free along with it. The Kindle e-book is 9.99 purchased on its own.

For those who don’t have or don’t want to spend the money for their own copy, this book can be read for free, on-line, by going to any of my blogs. My intent is not to make money on this, it is to be part of the solution in a time that needs all the help it can get.

I look forward to your comments, my friends.

The First Fall From Grace, Sperm/Egg and Conception, Part Three — “Theurgic Conception”: The Scattering of the Divine Sparks and Divine Symbiosis


Before Conception, We Experience Omnipresence and Omnipotence, Knowing We Are Particles of Divinity. In the Womb, We Sense a Euphoric Symbiosis with the Divine



Divinity “Contracted Himself”

This is the actual coming into form of sperm and egg from undifferentiated reality and infinite potentiality; experientially, the self has “contracted.”

It is also the first “split”—the first creation of something Other than One-Self.

So what I’m proposing about the experiences surrounding conception, I contend, is a better analogue to the mythological Kabbalist depiction of Tzimtzum, contraction, and the thin pipe from Infinity, than is Shoham’s interpretation of it as the umbilical cord and nourishment from the mother.



The Scattering of the Divine Sparks

Further support for this move in placing these interpretations farther back in time, to that of conception, is given by considering the Kabbalic mythical depiction of the breaking of the vessels and the scattering of the divine sparks. Shoham (1990) tells us,

The myth of the breaking of the vessels relates to the birth-giving mother and the ejection from the womb, whereas the myth of the scattering of the divine sparks, which in Lurianic Kabbala occurs as a result, relates more directly to the neonate himself. The newborn child feels himself to be a precious particle of Divinity, omnipresent and hence omnipotent, because at this stage of his life he cannot be aware of anything or anybody except himself. (p. 36)

In this way Shoham relates a myth of vessels breaking and a related myth of a scattering of divine sparks to the time of birth and the actual delivery. Contrary to what Shoham believes, I think the scattering of the divine sparks is a much more accurate depiction of what we might call “the scattering of the sperm.” For it is always sperm that need to get scattered, widely disseminated, because they do not all survive. Fish fertilization, for example, involves male sperm being scattered over the top of the eggs.

Furthermore, “The newborn child feels himself to be a precious particle of Divinity” (p. 36). Regardless of the truth of that, more obviously we re-create the universe coming into form in the spewing out into form in an ejaculation: There are these hundreds of millions of “sparks” that go out from the father and each one of them is a precious particle of divinity in that each one could create the child.



Shoham adds, “Omnipresent and hence omnipotent because at this stage of life he cannot be aware of anything or anybody except himself.” Once again, this does not fit with the later time of birth but with conception. For, as we see most clearly further on, at the time of birth and prior to it, the fetus is actually distinctly aware of an Other—distressingly and confrontationally so. Whereas around the time of conception there is that quality of omnipresence and omnipotence (more so at some times than others).

One has created form in the creation of sperm and egg, but one is only slightly removed from godhead; one still thinks oneself to be part of Everything.




Divine Symbiosis

It is not until one gets farther along in the gestation process that one feels oneself to be truly distinct or is truly aware of the separation that has occurred. This happens with the encounter with the uterine wall during the latter stages of pregnancy. And yet Shoham, in referring to this time of breaking of vessels and scattering of sparks, uses the terms the “theurgic conception” of the Kabbala. He means this in a way much different than biological conception, yet I feel he may unconsciously have revealed the more accurate interpretation. It is interesting how the unconscious will lead us along, manipulating us to reveal the hidden truths, even in the very words that come to mind and despite our conscious intention in their use.

Further support for this interpretation occurs in his use of words after “theurgic conception,” where he is overtly describing events occurring after birth. He writes, ” . . . sees every human act as having an immediate effect on Divinity. This makes for a symbiosis between God and man.” Once again, I believe he has covertly revealed the correct interpretation—in his use of the word symbiosis especially—that this is the time after conception, not after birth. During the intrauterine, post-conception time, there is exactly that quality of closeness to the Divinity. During this “BPM I” time, we have this dialectic going: this flow-in, flow-out between us and the universe, which is reflected physically (biologically) in the flow-in, flow-out between us and the mother through the umbilical cord.





Continue with Mythology Supports What We Have Learned Experientially — The Release of Sperm and Egg Is the First Removal from Divinity: The Breaking of the Vessels and the First Separation

Return to 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

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

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Sperm Journey: From Father to Womb

Inside Testes



Ejaculation: Phoenix Rises from “Ashes”



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Phoenix 8 x 10



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Sperm Journey: “Immortal” Dragon Deity.

Feeling of Omnipotence. And Carries Some Personality and “Skandhas” of Mostly Negative, Some Positive, Karma from Previous Life/Lives

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Sperm cell, SEM


Sperm Journey: “Scattering of Divine Sparks” … The “Brotherhood” of the Sperm

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The Egg’s Perspective of Sperm and the “Magical” Womb


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Sperm Journey End: Sperm Head Explodes and DNA “Package” Delivered



Early Womb Life


Continue with Mythology Supports What We Have Learned Experientially — The Release of Sperm and Egg Is the First Removal from Divinity: The Breaking of the Vessels and the First Separation

Return to 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

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


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After Conception Experience. Remaining Sperm Die Off




Fertilized Egg/Zygote and Blastocyst Experience. Cells Multiply Euphorically


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Biology as Metaphor, Biology as Mythology References

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

Adzema, Michael. (1993c). Womb With a View: Spiritual Aspects of Prenatal Experience. Unpublished manuscript. P.O. Box 1348, Guerneville, CA 95446.

Adzema, Michael. (1993d). Cells With a View: Spiritual and Philosophical Aspects of Sperm and Egg Experience. Unpublished manuscript. P.O. Box 1348, Guerneville, CA 95446.

Gardiner, Patrick. (1967). Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860). In Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Grof, Stanislav. (1976). Realms of the Human Unconscious. New York: Dutton.

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

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

Shoham, S. Giora. (1979). Salvation Through the Gutters. New York: Hemisphere Publications.

Shoham, S. Giora. (1990). The bridge to nothingness: Gnosis, Kabbala, Existentialism, and the transcendental predicament of man. ReVision, 13(1) [Summer 1990], 33-45.

Wilber, Ken. (1977). The Spectrum of Consciousness. Wheaton, IL: Theosophical Publishing House.

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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Zorba the Buddha: Enlightenment as an Attitude of Adventuring … Eventually It Is Simply About Staying Open to Experience/Process


Ecstasy Is Intensity … Catharsis and Calmness in Spirituality: Spock Should Hardly Have Been the Poster Child for Mysticism … What’s so “Alive” About Acting Like a Machine?  292766_217737858356598_441894144_n

images (1)eastwoodSpock is hardly a role model for spirituality … quite the opposite. Do you not think it awfully convenient that the role models for mysticism promulgated in the media—Unfeeling Machine Men—would be exactly what totalitarian societies want to create?


The Big Primal ~ Instant Satori

Buddha enlightenmentAnother perspective on this subject is suggested by Heider (1974). He says that an emphasis on catharsis is rooted in “a model of growth and transcendence based on the concept of the sudden satori” (p.41), which is considered unrealistic. It is true that this situation existed among many primalers. Many of us initially, and in line with Janov’s assertions, did assume this dependence on and/or expectation of the “big primal”: 297289_219836374813413_1020054870_nthe primal that would make it all different and change our lives forever. In fact, letting go of this expectation began to be seen as a mark distinguishing advanced from beginning primalers. More experienced primalers began to see primal as a tool, not an end in itself. We began to see ourselves as growing and living both inside and outside of our primaling, and to see feelings as going on all the time, not just when we were lying down and “catharting.”


…if we do not “be” with our illusions, we cannot know them…

The initial confusion, however, is understandable, considering the inaccurate impression engendered by the early primal that all feeling that is not primaling is somehow unreal. jesus20at20gethsemaneThis myth serves to negate all that passes through one and all that one feels between primal experiences. Janov was trying to make a point, and an important one at that: Much of what goes on inside one’s self is, in fact, elements of primal complexes and therefore is not accurate perceptions of self, others, and world. But an important facet to this is that it remains important to “be” with all that material, whether objectively valid or not, in order that one may link it all together and have the connections and insights that can occur during those catalyzing events called primals. For if we do not “be” with our illusions, we cannot know them. Hence, how can we discard them?


Certainly the awesomeness of some forms of catharsis, the energy release involved, helps one to downplay the significance of the in-between times. But subsequently such plateau or calm spots, preparation or postcathartic periods, even the activities of our daily life, took on an importance previously unacknowledged. We began to understand that it is not a matter of catharsis for catharsis’s sake, or just of emptying one’s “Primal Pool,” in Janov’s terms.


In that sense I am in agreement with Heider’s (1974, p. 41) direction in leaving an emphasis on catharsis and beginning “to rely heavily upon spiritual disciplines, both as preparation for the release of tension and as a maintenance program designed to enhance and prolong the desirable effects of the encounter experience.” For, using meditation in the sense that Rajneesh (1976) does, that of being with where one is in the here and now, it makes perfect sense to me that a spiritual regimen can and should be used during the in-between times to help us to stop and be aware of the continuing process within us, if that is what it takes.


Being Where One Is

An important sidelight, however, is that for many primalers this sort of structuring may be unnecessary. As mentioned, the results of primaling, in the postcathartic period, may be the same as the results of meditation. Consequently, for many advanced primalers access is only too apparent during the between times. Therefore, to “be” where one is often only requires that we leave off avoiding, through distracting ourselves in work, sex, alcohol, drugs, food, and various other ways, the primal/spiritual process that continues within us between sessions. At this point it becomes a matter of staying open to Experience/Process, allowing it to flow through and teach us.


Meditation Can Be Anti-Spiritual

In fact, there is the known danger in using a spiritual technique that it can be used to defend against “process.” As Epstein and Leiff (1981, p. 145) put it, “Meditation experiences may be used in both adaptive and defensive ways.” And a meditation that is used solely to force us into relaxation or into a concentration with a specific focus as a way to defend against “process” and the occasional peaks and valleys that are part of it would, in my opinion, be antiprimal, indeed would be antispiritual, antimystical, antigrowth.


Zorba the Buddha

The-Atonement-of-Jesus-Christ-Landing-2011-01-24Therefore, in general I agree with Heider’s shift in emphasis away from catharsis and to the postcathartic period, but not nearly to the extent to which he apparently has. For I do not see a need to “transcend” catharsis or go “beyond” it as he does. Certainly Grof, Muktananda, E23439Pic13374and others would concur that even the outer reaches of transpersonal experience do not entail a cessation of conflict, resolution, growing, and learning. Similarly, Epstein and Leiff (1981, p. 144) have pointed out that “meditation can be viewed as a developmental process which can produce side effects anywhere along the continuum,” and so one would wonder why we would leave off catharsis as a tool for dealing with such blocks.


Ecstasy Is Intensity … What is so Alive About Being Machine-Like?

asfadfa553096_245884038875313_518942495_nI should point out that the experience of nearly all primalers is that the need to cathart becomes less as time goes on. But additionally, I do not see a need to posit a point beyond catharsis, for I do not see anything wrong with catharsis, with enjoying the capacity to experience intensity of ecstasy, desolation, or insight. It seems to me that this capacity can add color and vitality to our lives. Indeed, it may be that which, at times, makes us feel we are alive!


It Wouldn’t Be “Up” if You Never Came “Down” from It

475px-rembrandt_christ_in_the_storm_on_the_sea_of_galilee-web_thumbBut Heider certainly does find something wrong with catharsis, and our differences bring up an important point. He points out that he left off inducing catharsis because of post cathartic depression that would ensue. it is my opinion that occasional catharsis can have just that sort of effectGrofChristStan_StormySearchicon if we acknowledge the depths of primal and perinatal phenomena extending all the way back through birth and womb material. Therefore, anything short of a thorough working through of these deeper levels always will leave one susceptible to relapses, postcathartic depressions, and return of symptoms in that these catharses represent further access as well as resolution.


Enlightenment as an Attitude of Adventuring

To that extent, I believe that Heider has not gone far enough with catharsis to those areas where the most substantial gains can be made … although even then we can expect”relapses”happiness if we employ the model that Grof, among others, presents of “enlightenment” being an attitude toward the process of becoming, of adventuring deeper into the cosmos, rather than a static serene state of inaction. Grof has shown us how deep one often must go before one can expect real resolution; or, in other words, just how deep within us, and how far into our past, the roots of our present concerns extend.


Spock is Hardly a Role Model for Spirituality

we-seek-to-keep-out-these-filthy-others448 Saint Spock webA passage from the I Ching may help to clarify this point. It is possible that because of our Appolonian Western heritage we have a tendency to view an unaffected, somehow undisturbable state … as in our common conceptions of the results of meditation … as a goal. But not all cultures and spiritual disciplines posit it as such. In the Wilhelm/Baynes classic translation of the ancient work it is written,

While Buddhism strives for rest through an ebbing away of all movement in nirvana, the Book of Changes holds that rest is merely a state of polarity that always posits movement as its complement” (p.201).


Apparently, an unmovable state is seen as neither desirable nor possible; it is indicative of death rather than greater life.


It continues further on:

True quiet means keeping still when the time has come to keep still, and going forward when the time has come to go forward.


In this way rest and movement are in agreement with the demands of the time, and thus there is light in life.

ShivaShaktiWhen a man has thus become calm, he may turn to the outside world. He no longer sees in it the struggle and tumult of individual beings, and therefore he has that true peace of mind which is needed for understanding the great laws of the universe and for acting in harmony with them.

Whoever acts from these deep levels makes no mistakes.


Such it is that we can be in the midst of life, fully experiencing it, and yet be aware of its illusionary quality, hence be unattached to it and more able to flow with it. Let us say “Zorba the Buddha.”


Continue with The Agonies and Ecstasies of Exquisiteness: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Thirteen — The Psyche Heals Itself … If Only Allowed to Do So

Return to Science Has Uncovered Something Subtler Than the Physical, Undergirding One’s Life, and Interconnected with All and Everyone: Deeper, and Higher, Spiritual Realities

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Play Cards with Your Dragons: The New Hero’s Cycle Involves Surrender Not Struggle, Sacrifice Not Slaying, Compassion Not “Toughness,” and Silliness Not Stoicism

541997_280034735430484_673206244_n 0038-82a59_screen_shot_2011-09-17_at_11-24-16_am_0-img_assist_customcrppd Loving Warriors and Silly Heroes: The Necessary Hero Dances Above Dissonance, Lightens Up in the Face of Stress, and Sees Divinity Not Demons Behind It All


Apocalypse – No! Chapter Thirteen: Peaceful Warriors and Silly Heroes

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You Just Can’t Slay a Volcano: The Necessary Hero Uses Surrender, not Struggle … For Why Would You Not Be Borne Up by a Universe That Is You


We Need Compassionate Warriors, Not Fighters: It’s Not Enough Just to Slay Dragons, We Need to Jump Into Volcanoes


Volcano-Jumping: A Different Heroic Response

clip_image003This different kind of heroic response—which characterizes the perinatal arena and is sorely needed at this time in history—is exemplified in another contemporary movie of cult status. We will deal with it in some detail to bring out the elements of the kind of hero that is now required to stop the cycles of destruction that have currently driven us to the abyss…to the very edge of a “volcano.”

In “Joe Versus the Volcano,” the main character, played by Tom Hanks, is given a heroic task. But unlike a typical hero’s cycle task which stereotypically involves the slaying of a fire-spewing dragon, Joe is asked to give up his life by jumping into a fire-erupting volcano.

The connection between volcano and dragon is that at the second-line or psychodynamic level the fire-spewing aspects of the perinatal, which might be compared to a volcano, can be seen as “embodied” or reduced in the form of a dragon. In the same way, the volcanic energy of perinatal feelings is initially embodied in easier-to-face and “dragonized” psychodynamic, second-line, or childhood traumas and feelings.

You Just Can’t Slay a Volcano

clip_image004But what may seem to work at the second-line or psychodynamic level—the conquering or slaying of negative feelings…and notice that I said “seem”—has no place at all at the perinatal. For here the pain energy is overwhelming and pervasive. Thus the difference is analogous to that between facing the energy of a dragon and facing that of a volcano.


The Heroes We Need – The New Hero’s Cycle

First Anima, Then Community

clip_image007Keep in mind that this movie shows Joe, earlier on, going through all the major stages of the hero’s cycle—the retreat from mundane reality, the sailing off into a new and exotic realm of existence and adventure.

It even depicts a typical “dragon slaying”—the hero’s conquering of inner fears and risking of one’s life for another that results in the uniting with anima energy–the saving of the damsel. So earlier on there is a dealing with psychodynamic energy, just as in “Nothing but Trouble” Chevy Chase deals with psychodynamic material and enacts a dragon slaying by risking his life to rescue Demi Moore from a giant chopping machine. But, also similarly, this results in the opening up of another level, requiring a completely different—indeed, opposite—response. Thus, in “Joe Vs. the Volcano,” Joe is asked to give up his life to save an entire community, not merely to risk his life to rescue his anima, his feeling self.

Wall Street Protest Denver

Risking It All

The ensuing plot has interesting elements as it shows Joe having to decide whether to sacrifice his newly won relationship with his anima ally for the benefit of an entire—but anonymous—community. This demonstrates that at a progressed level of the spiritual process—that having to do with one’s inter-connection with the larger community of living things, not just one’s personal unconscious—one must risk even one’s newly regained creativity, inner child playfulness, and personal feelings, i.e., one’s anima.

But in telling fashion, in order to make the higher “community” sacrifice the anima elements that have been let go of, symbolized by Meg Ryan as the anima damsel, end up going with Joe to his chosen fate and are borne up, renewed, along with him.

Borne Up by a Beneficent Universe

clip_image008On Joe’s part, the climax shows the same quality of a beneficent Universe aiding a true and dharmic heart. Joe (with his anima) face what they think is death. Instead they find themselves “borne up” by the volcano, not consumed; and they are deposited (reborn) in a typical perinatal watery surround—the ocean, symbolizing therefore a spiritual birth. This is a perfect depiction of how surrender, not “heroic” resistance, is done and why it needs to be done currently, as I have been pointing out.

“Away From the Things of Man”

In the end, the main characters are floating in the middle of a wide open sea—signifying the immensity of potentiality that is now open, and facing a gigantic moon on the horizon—symbolizing the beneficent nature of the Universe to which they are opening, that is, it is beautiful and lit with clip_image010possibilities.

They are seen sitting on only their luggage—symbolizing the “stripped down” nature of the self, that is, stripped of ego trappings of status, vainglory, defenses, and so on. Their final comment at the very end of the film is that they do not know where they’ll end up but only that it will be “away from the things of man”—indicating their desire to never go back to the drama of ego and its puerile catacomb pathways of darkened experience.

The Universe Is You

We see then that in this movie, like “Nothing but Trouble,” the heroic response required is surrender, not resistance or control, and that the response from the Universe is cooperative and helpful, and hardly antagonistic as was feared, especially at earlier levels.

This is in keeping with the discovery at the perinatal, which borders it on the transpersonal, that in fact the Universe, not only is not antagonistic, not only is beneficent and helpful, but in fact is no different from oneself, indeed is oneself…and one begins to wonder why one would ever expect not to be borne up by a Universe that is now seen as inextricably united with one’s Self.


While the interpretation of Joe Versus the Volcano presented in the video below – Joe vs. the Volcano: Losing my Soul, Part One – is annoyingly suffused with theological terminology – hell, devil – and suffers from the paranoia that happens lacking a perinatal or even a Jungian understanding, it does succeed on a more superficial level of basic insight. It does get the highly metaphorical and philosophical import of the film and picks up on major themes of the movie. It strikes me as having the problem of just understanding religion while knowing nothing about psychology. And it suffers, as I’ve put it elsewhere, from the problem of projecting one’s perinatal underbelly onto the Universe or of funneling revelation through the filter of personal pain.

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


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

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!