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Birth, “Intelligence,” and Culture … Out of Eden, Part Three: Birth Pain Causes a Feverish Human Mind, Struggling Against Nature and the Divine, Which We Call “Intelligence”

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Bipedalism Caused Painful Births, Which Caused Bigger Brains, Which Caused “Intelligence,” Which Caused Culture: Birth Trauma Makes Us Humans … and Mistrustful of Everything

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The more civilized the people, the more the pain of labor appears to become intensified. – Grantly Dick-Read, M.D. Childbirth Without Fear.

Giving birth is like taking your lower lip and forcing it over your head. – Unknown

To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you will bring forth children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he will rule over you.” – Genesis 3:16

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Basic Trust, Basic Mistrust, and Birth

As I have said the worldview of our hominid and hunter-gatherer existences was trusting of Nature. The world is felt to be good, not antagonistic, so dependence on it is not seen as a problem and makes life overall easier than what we know beginning with the agrarian revolution and the rise of “civilization.” Our primal forebears had a “basic trust” in regards to Nature.

Mbuti Pygmies at a forest hunting camp.

But the agrarian revolution and all “advances” after that imply a “basic mistrust.” What happened to make us more fearful, more anxious about our human condition?

warriorgoddess

These differences of basic trust versus basic mistrust are fascinating considering their possible relation to birth trauma.

Our Experience of Birth Determines Ever Afterward Our View of the World

Erik Erikson proposes that the earliest relation of the infant with the mother sets the foundation of the later attitude toward the world. A caring, sensitive, and responsive environmental and caretaker response, in particular, the mother’s, can be the basis for an attitude of basic trust toward the world … a fundamental faith in its goodness. While a harsh and insensitive early experience — wherein the child begins to feel it cannot get its needs met — becomes the basis for a feeling of unshakeable mistrust toward the world.

faces-koren_-birth_

However, with our understanding of the influence of our first experiences of the world — that is, postnatally, usually in a delivery room and hospital nursery — on our basic attitudes toward it, we realize that these fundamental orientations are formed much earlier. Importantly, birth is a huge influence on that primary stance of trust or mistrust. First impressions are hard to overcome, as they say. Sure enough, if the first encounter with the world outside the womb … immediately after birth … is painful, and characterized by harshness, insensitivity, and unresponsiveness to one’s needs, then the infant comes to view the world mistrustfully and feels it to be a hostile place. [See Leboyer, Birth Without Violence, 1975].

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What also of the pain of birth itself in setting up an attitude of trust toward the world or mistrust of it? The cold, hard fact is that our experience of our birth — that is, the amount of pain and discomfort we experience in the process of delivery as well as those first crucial moments and hours of our “introductory” experience of the world outside the womb — determine ever afterward in our lives the degree of positivity or negativity with which we will view the world and other people. [See, also, Janov, Imprints: The Lifelong Effects of the Birth Experience , 1984]

human-birth-different-the-scar

And this is where it gets interesting in seeing how we became humans and different from all other species.

Skull Size, Pelvic Size, and Birth Pain

In this regard, it is interesting to note biological anthropologist Jim Moore’s (1987) comments in a talk given at the University of California, San Diego, concerning pelvic size, birth, and secondary altriciality. Jim Moore pointed out that the paleontological evidence from the bone records of our hominid line show several fascinating developments occurring simultaneously and over the course of millions of years. We are going back as long as six to seven millions here. One is an increase in skull size. Another is a decrease in the size of pelvic bones, which occurs alongside and is a consequence of our gradual evolution to bipedalism from being, like our primate relatives, quadrupeds. [Footnote 1]

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Most folks know about the increase of skull size that occurred over the course of our evolution. However, what is only rarely considered is what effect this increase has on the process of birth. Nor has this been laid alongside the other factor of reduced pelvic size. But doing so leads to some fascinating conclusions.

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To begin, it is reasonable to suppose that this increased skull, and brain, size in hominids contributed greatly to birth pain, for both mother and infant. This is so for the obvious reason that the size of the head is the determining factor in the size of the vaginal opening required for delivery. That is, because skull bone is mostly unyielding when pressured from outside, its diameter must be less than or equal to the maximum diameter of the vaginal opening through which it must pass at birth. If the skull is too big for the opening, the child simply cannot get out. And the factor that most determines the maximum diameter of the vaginal opening is the configuration of the bones, especially pelvic bones, that are involved.

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Keep in mind that this kind of birth pain would not have occurred when the skull was smaller. A smaller head would pass, in general, with considerably more ease for infant and mother. In support of this we note that this is exactly the case for all our primate relatives, all of whom have proportionately smaller skulls. Note they also have larger, wider pelvises, proportionally, than us, and thus pelvic openings at birth time. Correspondingly, they do show observably much less difficulty and pain in birth, for both mother and newborn. So, along with this trend to increasing skull size in humans and reduced pelvic size we can surmise a corresponding trend to increasing birth pain, birth difficulties, and, consequently, increasing birth trauma for hominid newborns. [See Footnote 2]

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The Vicious Cycle of Skull Size and Birth Pain

Brain Size and Primal Pain: Brain Size Related to Degree of Unconscious Pain Needing to Be Repressed

About this factor of birth trauma, keep in mind that it is demonstrated neurophysiologically (Janov, 1971) that much of the increased brain size in humans is tied up with processing unconscious pain. That is to say, that we require the expanded capabilities inherent in neocortical expansion and larger brains to keep traumatic experiences repressed. A bigger brain is needed to keep our primal pain from overwhelming us.

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Bipedalism –> Narrower Pelvic Opening –> Birth Pain –> Increased Brain Size –> Increased Skull Size –> Birth Pain

What I am saying is that increased brain size and painful birth become, then, phylogenetically linked in a vicious cycle — one producing the other. Said another way, over the course of millions of years skull size and birth pain increased each other: Greater pain in birth requires, later on, greater repression of pain in order to survive, which leads to the development of greater neocortical capacities for processing and keeping that pain repressed. This leads to actual physical neocortical expansion, which results in greater skull size. Then, that bigger head causes greater pain in childbirth for both mother and infant. This increased birth pain causes greater birth trauma in neonates. And finally, this birth trauma leads to greater repression of pain, then, to expanded brain size, then, increased birth pain, birth trauma, a need for more repression … round and round and round again. And this goes on imperceptibly over an extremely long time in the course of our evolution.

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But keep in mind, also, that this is a chicken-and-the-egg correlation. There is no way of knowing what came first. Whether changes in skull size and expanded neocortical capacity (as for example, in the development of tool use), or greater repression of feelings and pain (possible as a consequence of increased social behavior, requiring increased repression/ control of individual behaviors), or increased birth trauma (either on its own, for some unknown reason, or more likely because of skeletal changes occurring through increasing bipedal locomotion and upright posture) came first is irrelevant. These are mutually arising causative factors. It is enough that we notice their interrelationship.

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Birth Pain Makes Us Humans

Birth Pain Caused the Feverish Minds of Humans, Which We Call Intelligence

To continue, remember that what is universally acknowledged to distinguish humans from other species is our intelligence and the elaboration of culture that comes from that. But with the understanding of skull size, birth, and repression described above, we see these much-touted distinctions and claims to superiority to be merely the byproduct of our neocortical attempts to deal with unconscious pain, specifically, that of birth trauma.

pepper spray charles frith

Birth pain caused the feverish minds of humans, which we call our intelligence. “We ain’t born typical,” as The Kills phrased it. And those spinning excess wheels of mental fibrillation, driven by human birth trauma, are the gears in the machine of our manic material culture.

gears-manic-culture

Continue with Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction and What It Has to Do With Being Born Helpless: Out of Eden, Part Four — Secondary Altriciality and the Origins of Culture

Return to We Once Had the Run of the Forest and the “Original Affluent Society”: Early Human Savagery Is a Patriarchal Myth Rationalizing Our Descent Into Civilization

Footnotes

1. On bipedalism and pelvic bone changes, at “Wanna Be an Anthropologist“:

Bipedal Adaptations in the Hominid Pelvis

INTRODUCTION

Two major features are unique to humans among all the living primates: A very large brain, and moving about upright on two legs exclusively. One of these, bipedalism, appeared long before the other. Many anatomical features of Australopithecus afarensis anatomy demonstrate habitual bipedal locomotion, and the 3.6 million-year-old footprints discovered by Paul Abell at Laetoli in 1978 confirm it unequivocally (White, 1980). Not until the appearance of Homo erectus, some 1.7 million years later, could hominids be considered on their way to being large-brained (Stanford, et al., 2006).

While certain adaptations seen in the knee (e.g. the valgus angle), in the foot (such as a fully adducted hallux), and to a lesser extent in the cranium (a fully inferior foramen magnum) are all strong indicators for bipedalism (Lewin and Foley, 2004), the most interesting evolutionary changes necessary for upright posture occurred in the hominid pelvis. All of these adaptations are present not only in the pelves of modern humans, but also in all members of the Genus Homo, and in the earliest known hominids, the Australopithecines.

PELVIC ADAPTATIONS FOR BIPEDALISM

The hominid pelvis displays many unique features (when compared to that of quadrupedal primates) that support bipedalism. The major adaptations are seen in the sacrum and the ilia, as well as in the overall configuration and orientation of the pelvic bones….

2. On brain size and secondary altriciality in humans at Human Development:

Human babies enter the birth canal from the womb in the same way a chimp does but just before the actual birth the skull rotates 90 degrees in order to exit the rounded birth canal that humans have evolved. In Homo Sapiens, evolution reached a compromise that favored even bigger brains at a further cost to birthing and efficient walking. The Homo Erectus pelvis was very narrow. Humans are unique among mammals in the extent to which the brain keeps growing well after birth. The scientific terms for this is secondary altriciality. It involves accelerating the birthing process and arresting the development until after birth. Monkeys and apes are born with brains half as heavy as they will ever be. A chimpanzee brain, for example, will weigh perhaps 7 ounces at birth and about 14 ounces as an adult. Human brains are about a third of their final size in newborns; they more than double in size in the first year after birth. On average, human babies are born with a brain that weighs 14 ounces but reaches 35 ounces in one year. It will continue to grow until it reaches about 45 ounces in size (at age 6 or 7).

Gestation in humans should be about 21 months rather than the normal 9 we think in terms of. This is the process of accelerating the birthing process to enable the enlarged brain to escape the birth canal. Development of the brain then continues external to the womb for well over the first several years. What this intense development means is that a human infant is born relatively helpless. A baby can neither stand up or in any way fend for itself for a long time. Stephen Jay Gould has written our sexual maturation comes almost absurdly late in a Darwinian world supposedly regulated by a constant struggle to secure reproductive success and pass more genes along to future generations….slower development must provide some power advantage to evolve, in the face of its obvious drawbacks. In fact, must of what makes us human in the end may stem from this unnaturally long period of helplessness in the very early part of our lives.

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http://web.mesacc.edu/dept/d10/asb/origins/development.html

3. On prolonged postnatal brain growth at Unique to Humans

This is one of the most dramatic distinction between humans and other mammals (including primates). In all precocial mammals other than humans, at around the time of birth there is distinct slowing down in brain growth relative to body growth. In altricial mammals, the switch to diminished brain growth occurs at a developmental stage comparable to birth in precocial mammals. In humans, substantial brain growth relative to body growth continues for approximately a year after birth before a marked slow-down occurs. Because of this human neonates are unusually dependent on parental care in comparison with other primates for the first year of postnatal life, and sometimes labeled as “secondary altricial”.
Martin RD. The evolution of human reproduction: a primatological perspective.
Am J Phys Anthropol. 2007;Suppl 45:59-84.

And on postnatal brain growth at The Rise of Homo sapiens: The Evolution of Modern Thinking:

secondary-altriciality

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altricial

http://books.google.com/books?id=pZHtlD7Ife8C&pg=PA109&lpg=PA109&dq=secondary+altriciality&source=bl&ots=v9JqxVagV5&sig=lYR3itn84ezye8erarirpRRv5YA&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zFosUqnXEcn9iwLvsIDoCg&ved=0CGoQ6AEwBw#v=onepage&q=secondary%20altriciality&f=false

Continue with Why We Can’t Get No Satisfaction and What It Has to Do With Being Born Helpless: Out of Eden, Part Four — Secondary Altriciality and the Origins of Culture

Return to We Once Had the Run of the Forest and the “Original Affluent Society”: Early Human Savagery Is a Patriarchal Myth Rationalizing Our Descent Into Civilization

For an Overview and Links to Other Parts of This Work-in-Progress, Go to Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man

Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness Michael’s latest book – is now available in print and e-book formats.

at http://www.amazon.com/Falls-Grace-Devolution-Revolution-Consciousness/dp/1499297998/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1400787010&sr=1-3

Planetmates: The Great Reveal is also available in print and e-book format. at https://www.createspace.com/4691119

and at Amazon at

http://www.amazon.com/Planetmates-Great-Reveal-Return-Grace/dp/1496083326/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399084684&sr=1-1&keywords=michael+adzema

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

pain-of-unexpressed-love

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

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

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

Footnote

1. Cellular/ Transpersonal Experiences

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

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

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

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

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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537077_126198100891349_1919363555_n Kangaroo_Dingo thousand_hand_bodhisattva_1 2008-4932 adadf Tears_0 zorba-the-buddha-festival_01 dreamtime_sisters_137_photo_s1 passion-promotes-serenity tim-mietty-creation-myth_thumb1 prenatal 18108_519324861411937_1438199268_n bliss-of-connection 150984_105276842983844_1366135514_n hires-sperm-egg Group-on-Porch

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

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

life-a-sickness-always-grace

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

The Real Reasons for Being Alive

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

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

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Cosmic Frown

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

Tears_0

But There Is Always Grace

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

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Life Is a Sickness … to Get Us Well

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

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

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

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Joyful Compassion

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

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A Place on Which to Stand

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

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

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

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Footnote

1. Cellular/ Transpersonal Experiences

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

246489_213601765436874_1705444143_n

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

269823_220951214701929_2125157710_n

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

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

Invite you to join me on Twitter:
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Karmic Genetics and Meditation as a Defense: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Nine — Bad Karma Enters Us Through Our Birth and Womb Experiences

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

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“Humanity … Is Neurotic”.”

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

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

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

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

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

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Demons Lacking in the Liberated

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

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Bad Karma Enters Us Through Our Prenatal and Perinatal Traumas

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

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

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

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

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

Meditation Can Bring Up Unresolved Traumas from Early Life

One Can Hardly Remain Calm

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

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Defusing Mental Contortions … Aiding Meditation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Non-Conceptual Experience

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

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Meditation Tries to “Cut Through” the Pain

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

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

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Primal and Meditation Both Access Nonconceptual Experience

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

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

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

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The Importance of Connection

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

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

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Cerebral Distortion

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

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

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

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

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Differences in Pain

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

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

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

“Humanity … Is Neurotic”.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Real Meditative Experience May Not Be So Relaxing

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

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The Primal Serene

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

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

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

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

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The Detached Observer in Catharsis—The Eye of the Storm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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What Really Happens in Authentic, Deep Meditation

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

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Only Now Can It Be Told

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

Cathartic Meditation

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

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

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

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The Yogic Experiences No One Tells You About

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

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“Meditators Commonly Experienced Intense Feeling States….”

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

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The Goal Is Different from the Path

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

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

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

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

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Most of What Passes for Meditation Is Anything But Mystical

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

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

Real Meditative Experience May Not Be So Relaxing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Primal Therapy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Footnotes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Re-Experience and Reliving

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

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

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

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

My Relationship to the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pre- and Perinatal Re-Experience

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sigmund Freud — Birth as Prototype for All Anxiety

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David Chamberlain — Hypnosis, Confirmed Validity of Birth Memories

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later Theorists — Dream Analysis

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

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

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

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

Denial and Incest Taboo

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

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Devolutional Model of Consciousness Development

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

Later Theorists — Breathwork

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

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

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

Four Modes of Experiencing—the Basic Perinatal Matrices

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Later Theorists — Myth and Sacred Text/Mysticism

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

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

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

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

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

Lietaert Peerbolte — Conception and Cellular Memory, Soul, Spirituality

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elizabeth Noble — Cellular Consciousness and Spirituality, Empirical Underpinnings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Why We Tattoo, Sun-Bathe, Hate Hippies and Immigrants and Jews, and Obsessively Clean Our Homes: The Roots of the Tea Party and Nazi Narratives of Loss of a Golden Age in Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion

Prenatal Revulsion and Loss of the “Golden Age”: Creeped Out in the Womb, The Itches We Cannot Scratch, and the Deepest Roots of OCD, Bigotry, and Holocaust

Wounded Deer and Centaurs, Chapter Ten: Prenatal Irrituation-Revulsion … Creeped Out in the Womb

Ewww! Prenatal Irritation, Revulsion … Toxic Environment, Touch, Sex, Preadolescent “Creepiness” and Early Roots of Rape and Sexual Abuse

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Creeped Out in the Womb and Toxic Environment … Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion and Connections to Touch, Sexual Abuse, and Boys’ “Creepy” Behavior

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The fourth part of late gestation formative experiences and the third part of fetal malnutrition is what I’m calling Irritation…Revulsion. It is about a toxic environment in the womb. To review, back then inside our mothers,

1. It was tight—“crowded.”

2. We felt we weren’t getting enough air—deprivation.

3. We felt what we got was poisonous—“bad blood.”

Four, Prenatal Irritation, Toxic Environment

Season5_ModelsShopping_12spaderNow in this fourth part, we feel the environment around us is toxic. It is about ickiness, irritation, disgust, feeling dirty, burning, uncleanness, yuckiness, filthiness…as teens like to say, “creepy,” and “ewww!” It is all about the surface of the body in this complex, not about what we are taking inside us (bad blood, disgust) or not getting to take inside (deprivation).

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And it is not about being pressed in from the outside…crowdedness…but about irritation and burning on the surface of the skin.

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lokiReturning to ancient mythology, we have a pretty good description of it in a Norse myth—the one about Loki—which is said to be one parallel to the Prometheus myth discussed at length earlier. In this one,

The god Loki (often associated with fire) was bound to a rock. Above him is a large serpent which drips toxic venom upon him. lokiasdadfHis wife collects the poison in a bowl, but must empty it every time it gets full. As she is in the process of doing this, the snake proceeds to cover Loki in poison. Just as Prometheus gets his liver eaten only to have it grow back again, Loki is temporarily saved from venom only to have it drip on him once more.

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Toxic-Holocaust-Conjure-and-535x535So in this aspect of late gestation experience, what you perceive around you is a poisonous environment that you feel wants to diminish your purity of self, your integrity, and ultimately would lead to your death. DSCN0176This threatening environment has a characteristic of filling up increasingly with toxins, bad blood. As in the Loki myth, the wife (the mother, placenta)vasaprevia collects the poison (waste matter not efficiently removed) in a bowl (womb, placental surround), but must empty it every time it gets full (waste material removed). We have around us something that is building up which is polluting (sinful) and will drag us down (put us in hell), take away our “morality,” our “purity,” our “innocence.”

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filesphpThe reason this happens is that the reduced blood flow in the womb means there is a buildup—slight, but noticeable to a fetus—of toxins. They are not taken away as efficiently through the veins.Grawp_and_Centaurs.sized There is also the factor of an aging placenta. There is a feeling of skin irritation and/or slight 324414burning. There is a sense, for the fetus, of its world not being as vibrant and alive as earlier. Systems are no longer accelerating or peaking, as was the case for the entirety of one’s life previous to that—earlier womb life—but are leveling off. And if one is a delayed birth, as I was, one can sense a breaking down of the systems…an entropy that is frightening.

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Skin Deprivation, Skin Irritation

lonelygirlThis sort of early experience focused on the skin surface should be compared with that which Ashley Montagu has written about in great detail.images (20) He would no doubt argue that skin trauma is related to a deprivation of contact after birth. He has shown how we have as much need for contact and touch as we do for any of our other biological needs, and it is certainly more fundamental than sex. Fractal-Art-WallpaperHowever, I would argue that the trauma I am talking about is very similar, but it is an earlier fractal. Fairy_Tree_by_NiroloAnd just as before we saw how there is trauma from not getting enough resources (oxygen deprivation, emotional deprivation) imstiloyiagesbut also from getting plenty but of the wrong kind (bad blood, child abuse), AmyPlacenta.363115112_stdso also the skin trauma Montagu is mostly talking about is deprivation of contact, whereas what I’m referring to is about trauma from stimulation of the skin in an unpleasant way.

Sugar and Spice … Snips and Snails

thordaddy-meme-generator-vagina-eww-gross-c59f8ceww-grossA later fractal of it would be the skin being touched, but in an unpleasant or revolting way…as they say, “Ewww … Don’t touch me with that … That’s gross! That’s creepy.” Pre-adolescent boys get a lot of amusement out of provoking and playing with these feelings in young girls…as at the same time they are revulsionworking out their own similar feelings but in a counterphobic way. 6a00d83452018569e200e54f7a5a348834-800wiThis common, perhaps universal, behavior is a way that societies have evolved of dealing with these feelings so as to 0125-science-of-gross_vgbe able to propagate the species. For, obviously, if we surgical erroracted out of these feelings as adults, no one would want to have sex or pretty much have anything but ungloved contact with the physicality or biology of others…we would have no doctors or biologists!

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Rape, Sexual Abuse

infernal-revulsion-devastate-under-hallucination-cover-art-48022Whetrtrtrtrn this fractal goes beyond unpleasant—creepy—contact to touch that is administered in an aggressive or assaultive way, we have rape and sexual abuse. These kinds of assaults and abuse have roots in this early experience of the prenate; they can occur out of the fact that an individual’s experience of this aspect of gestation was traumatic…along with other contributing factors, of course.

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Creeped Out in the Womb … Prenatal Revulsion and Loss of the “Golden Age”

617KqlWXxfL._SL500_AA300_Granted that this feeling constellation is not just about the surface of the skin. Irritation can be focused just there, but revulsion is more than that. It is just that the surface of the skin is the primary sense being stimulated to set off the entire feeling complex of being creeped out in the womb, revolted. In saying that, I don’t want to discount the sense of dis-ease or sickness the fetus 5016051yhyxbabyfairyexperiences in general, for there is the feeling awareness that this situation is different from, is a deterioration of, the “golden age” of well-being and exquisite functioning of systems that was experienced earlier in (womb) life.

Next—The Itches We Cannot Scratch

So we know what it is … this irritation, revulsion complex. Now let us look at the ways we act out these traumas and the kinds of thoughts and behaviors arising from these imprints in the womb. In the next sections, we look at some uniquely human cultural behaviors—tattooing, body piercing and adornments, and sun bathing. Following that we unravel how we act out these imprints in dire and major ways in our political and environmental attitudes and actions.

The Itch We Cannot Scratch … Imprinted to Tattoo, Body Pierce, and Sun-Bathe in Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion

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Why Humans Are the Only Species That Burns, Inks, and Mortifies Their Skin … Prenatal Imprints for Tattooing, Sun Bathing, and Body Adornment

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How We Act Out Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion in Cultural Behaviors

sitin (2)More common ways we behave out of these early imprints from prenatal irritation and revulsion have to do with obsessions for sun-bathing and tattooing. Body ornamentation, in particular, is one of the cultural universals of humans, which is lacking in our planetmate societies. We’ll get to the other, more important, cultural manifestations of this early experience shortly, when we discuss intolerance, obsessive-compulsiveness, and scapegoating and persecution of minorities in societies and the horrid ways we act them out.

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Tattoos and Body Adornments

vasdffasfirritation-thumb17549753This complex of feelings includes irritation. Think of it as like an itch that one can’t scratch. Pretty unnerving, right? We are focused on our skin in this way, hand_talismanthough we are not aware of these feelings in a conscious way after a while. Imagine an itch that is there all the time, like from a mosquito bite. As they say, if you don’t scratch it it goes away. Well it is not that the feeling isn’t there, it is that virtually all feelings fade with time…one gets distracted from them…as it was said of Prometheus’s pain, everyone involved “wearies” of it.

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face_achefb82228ba433f987fcea64976b9bbad3_hBut that doesn’t mean it is not influencing our actions on a subconscious level. So, we get tattoos and do all kinds of strange things to the surface of our skins and to the outsides of our bodies which only make sense if you look at such people as acting out an ongoing itch that can’t be scratched. These rituals, though unknown in other species, are one of our unique human characteristics.

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Gen X and Millennial Generation

Tribal Tattoos For Men (1)9When you have sudden eruptions of this kind of behavior in a society, it would be illuminating to look at what changed in that culture’s practices around pregnancy and prenatal care when those adults were in their mothers’ wombs.

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A prominent example of this is the fascination and 6a00e54f912f5a883401116855fb37970c-320piaddictiveness that Gen X imasgsgfgesand the Millennial Generation have with tattooing. This is a distinct contrast with the previous generation, the Boomers, and with generations prior to that. I don’t think it is coincidence that these generations spent their womb-time during a period of a Western avalanche of prescription drug use of all types that was for a long time—and to some extent still is—thought to be inconsequential to the fetus.

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Fetal Drug Irritation…That Itch That Won’t Go Away

When the medical establishment did discuss pharmaceutical use and the fetus, it was talked about in terms of whether the particular compound passed through the “placental barrier.” Unfortunately, the “placental barrier” turned out to not be the major protection to fetuses that Western society wanted it to be in order to continue with this explosive intake of all kinds of medications. [Footnote 1]

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And all of this intake is quite a bit different than the moderate and minimal medication usage by mothers in all previous generations. These drugs simply did not exist in any earlier time in the abundance they do now.

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Extreme examples of this—pathologies rooted in such late gestation trauma—can manifest as a desire to cut oneself. People who are compulsive cutters say they are trying to feel something, that they feel dead or numb. Well, yes, this is how it feels when one scratches an itch…one has the sense that one doesn’t really feel it until one scratches it…and until then, like bug bites, one does a psychological numbing of the area until one can get to it.

Icarus Suspended #2 2009 Dario Puggioni

Sun-Bathing

katexena_s6_afin_dArc_806Another way this is felt is as a kind of a burning on the surface of the skin, what we might feel being immersed in mildly acidic water. As always, we re-create these discomforts in an unconscious way of trying to resolve them. So we have this curious ritual in some cultures of lying out in the open on sunny days and allowing our skin to be heated and burned. pandoras-badfaoxWe think this is all about cosmetics, personal appearance, or health, but it is not. Those ideas are rationalizations after the fact. For we even allow the feeling of sunburn, a painful experience, as if it is some kind of fortifying experience. vampirediesinsunlightcrpdMedically, we now know, these rituals are not healthy at all…contributing to skin cancers and such. A sidenote: One needs to ask if the skin trauma in the womb causes the skin cancer and the sun-bathing is just another act out, but not causative of skin cancer.

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To license this image contact:<br />Lonely Planet Images<br />email: lpi@lonelyplanet.com.au<br />phone: 61 3 8379 8181tattoo_02And you think this a minor thing? Well for many, yes. Remember, though, that many people revolve their lives around these experiences…George Hamilton comes to mind. OurLadyofNagasakiThey might build their lives around surfing…or being “beach bums.” I know of one person who Body_Adornment_2has made the major decisions of his life around such rituals and behaviors. He kept finding ways to live near the beach, the ocean, so he could sun-bathe…”take in the rays.” He had his marriage ceremony on the beach; skin_irritation_home_remediesthough he was not a beach bum. I also know this person has major skin trauma in his life: He had chicken pox as a baby and it was so itchy and he so wanted to scratch himself they actually tied him down so he could not. It makes perfect sense that such preeminent skin trauma has the kinds of deep roots I am talking about here. So this is how such early trauma can be no small matter.

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burning_witch_34Having looked briefly at the human cultural behaviors that arise from these imagesqtbnand9gcrdnlx6vm1g07iwsz7tsjhk5s4reb5gefvyzlzb5voef3s9y0_1early perceptions and feelings, let us now delve into some of the bigger and more dire act outs—ones that this book in particular is detailing. Let us see how c2u9we act these things out in society in our group behaviors — culture wars — and how we act them out in our interactions with the world of Nature and our environment.

chapapote-001We now turn to the issues of scapegoating, most-killing-centers-were-in-poland-the-country-with-the-largest-jewish-population-at-the-timeimmigration, intolerance, racism, culture wars, abortion and contraception, overpopulation, slavery and fascism and genocide; after which we will look at environmental contamination and the depletion of the ozone layer.

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“Don’t Bug Me!” … Culture Wars, Hating Hippies, and Having Obsessively Clean Homes, But Tolerating Pollution – Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion

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Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion Imprints Us for Intolerance of Others, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders, and Super-Tidy Homes … “Don’t Bug Me!”

How We Act This Out — Politically and Environmentally

poisonedwombTo review, in the womb (1) we are surrounded by toxins—they threaten us…our lives, our “purity”..they irritate us. (2) We can’t get rid of poisons that build up in the environment around us…like a prenatal environmental pollution…we can’t eliminate wastes as efficiently.

oc_websterThe first aspect of this — surrounding and threatening — relates to how Drought Deadly Algaewe act this out in our homes, communities, and social environments — that is, with other people; it has to do with intolerance. The second—buildup of waste—concerns how we act this out with our general, our planetary environment, with environmental pollution. Let us take them in turn.

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We Are at War With Our Personal Environment

First, (1) we are surrounded by toxins—they threaten us in our homes and communities.

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Obsessive-Compulsive Cleanliness…Severe Tidiness

200340391-001obsessive-compulsive1The environment around us is always felt to be unclean, polluted. We can’t seem to ever get it clean enough. Any dirt or untidiness reminiscent of our time of built up toxins in the womb sends us into a flurry of activity to fight it off, lest we ever feel that way again.

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We use chemical cleaners and anti-bacterial agents to fight off imaginary threats, which we call viral and bacterial, but in doing so insure we will actually live in a toxic chemical environment.

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106305269-5788-7We will tolerate pollutants in the air we breathe and the water we drink—after all that merely re-creates the “bad blood” we once experienced—but we will not abide litter or dirty streets. In fact, we see these pollutants projected on the people in our cities, and so we want to “clean up the streets.”

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“Don’t Bug Me, Man.”

irritationbuggedinthewomb,yesbuggedWe felt “bugged” in the womb, for we were irritated. We cannot abide any creepy crawly bug-like things around us for they remind us of those “itches we cannot scratch”—that prenatal skin irritation. We over-eliminate spiders and insects from our environments in a way so far beyond what is necessary. We are blind to how they are part of our essential ecosystem.

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I don’t like mosquitoes any more than the next person, but I can see that alongside an all-out war on all creepy crawlies we have seen a disappearance of bees, essential for our food production…maybe related, probably not.  (For a related perspective, See “Expect Less … and More … from Your Wasps.”)

We Will Not Be “Bugged”

Picture-41-276x300bfrn309lMy point is that the vast majority of insects are harmless to us and not even bothersome. Yet, let some tiny insect into a suburban home, and you would think that it had been invaded by a SWAT team. This is hilarious from the perspective of someone who has done some primal work and so is not so “bugged” by the appearance of an insect, or of being a part of imagesits roadway to wherever, or by noticing how some imadasdfggeshave used our bar-b-que items for temporary landing places or short-lived insect airports. Notice the reaction of some people when an ant or some other insect is observed kiting across a picnic table if you think I’m exaggerating.

We are at war with anything that reminds us of those irritating times; we do not want to be “bugged.” And if we are, it can send some of us into a fury…or a terror. I have one friend who was once invaded by fleas. 3078578_f496She is now terrified of them. I’ve had similar experiences with fleas—don’t get me wrong, real kill1I do bomb them, when they get to a certain point where they might get out of control. But I’ve been in the same environments with this person, as has my wife, and this person’s terror is extraordinary for the situation.

I believe these kinds of phobias—and there are many examples of this fear of insects that could be used—are rooted in this trauma of being irritated in the womb. For it is an uncomfortable situation that went on for an incredibly long time for an extremely young human (a fetus) who had little, if any, sense of time and so of the possible ending of discomfort.

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We Are at Culture War With Elements in Society That Remind Us of This Time

To continue, (1) We are surrounded by toxins. They threaten us…our lives, our “purity”..they irritate us.

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“Dirty” Hippies and Other “Irritating People”

youth-protest (3)But it is not just bugs that bug us. We project this primal irritation on others. They bug us, are irritating. Sometimes they are; but sometimes simply the sight of them stimulates our unconscious irritations. We see them sometimes as “unwashed” and thus irritating. Some occupy-wall-street.hippies.crppdfolks say other folks are “scum” or “vermin”; or they use similar terms indicating a revolting dirtiness—vile, immoral.

We hate anyone and anything that seems to be on the other side of this war against ickiness. We create culture wars and put those other people on the other side—they are hippies, immigrants, minorities—always they are described as “filthy” and “dirty,” which indicates we are seeing them through a veil of perinatal revulsion.

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Politically – These Poisons Surround Us

woodstock1kent-state-solidarityThere are these poisonous elements — immigrants, communists, socialists, Hollywood ideas, teachers, educators, union organizers, article-1325221-0BD79853000005DC-848_634x428activists, “hippies,” beatniks, unemployed, riff raff — who sarah-palin-0908-01are destroying our “pure” way of life (way of life = blood stream with lots of bright oxygenated blood), and “these influences” are all about us and surrounding us. And we fight back against this toxic encroachment like little supermen fighting for some version of the pristine past…for “truth, justice…and the American way!”

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But There Was a “Golden Age” Before Them

Nazi Propaganda Poster-Hitler Youthalinaderzad.blogspot.Politically, we scapegoat minorities, gays, immigrants, Jews, Hispanics, hippies, gypsies, witches, as being pollutants to our purity of race, blood. We look out at others as being those “unwashed masses.” This implies we have a time of purity from the past (the Fifties in America, for example), when only our pure blood existed and life was easy. And we want to get back to it. In late gestation discomfort, most of us as prenates actually do have a memory of an earlier time of pristine perfection, harmony, and bliss—BPM I—early womb life.

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findspraycopDuomo-500x375But, now, these impure things insert themselves into our lives and disgust us…bad blood. But they also surround us…with their filth. In actuality, however, we are merely acting out a time of increasing carbon dioxide, chemical, and waste matter buildup in the late stages of gestation. It is this incursion we are endlessly and futilely fighting off.

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“Get Away From Me, Bum!” … Replaying a Prenatal Narrative, We Create “Filthy” Others and Blame Them for Loss of Our “Golden Age.”

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Prenatal Irritation/Revulsion Has Us Invent Scapegoats for Loss of “Golden Age” … Racism, Bigotry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Immigration

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“Get Away from Me, Bum!” … Riff-Raff … Hippie … Scum

Immigration – They Are Dirty, Polluted and Keep Filling Up the Space Around Us

article-0-0E43738500000578-234_634x421So, because of these prenatal formative experiences, we place some folks “outside hitler-andyouth-fullour circle” and see them as irritating, even revolting. They are “disgusting” (poisonous) abominations of bloodlines …abominations … whether they’re Jews (not like the pure Aryans) or bham12ablacks (filthy, lazy, dirty, immoral), who want our fresh pure blood 080829_obamapalin_brown(blood libel), our resources.

By contrast, we’re the “real” Americans. They, on the other hand, want to take all that is good (about America, for example) and destroy it; they’re dragging us down. And they keep coming across our “borders” (placental barrier) and “overrunning” the country.

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They are everywhere! We can’t get away from them. They surround us! And they are taking over. They are “poisoning” our way of life. So this is how these early imprints have us seeing others and our society in ways conducive to horrible intolerances and anti-immigration sentiments.

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But We Keep Re-Creating This Situation in Our Actions/Decisions Insuring That We Will Continue to Feel This Way

Greece_Turkey_fence-420x0These feelings are irrational and not based in fact, of course. We show this in that at the same time as we hate and fight off this incursion into our surroundings,LowerEastSide we create overpopulation and a buildup of people who can’t be cared for…who will therefore be the “unwashed,” surrounding us. We fight abortion policies and contraception and so create overpopulation immigration-camp_of_the_saintsand thus increasing toxicity in our environment.

While we expend our energy fighting reflections of our pain, in the form of other people we create to hate, moscow_smog_2010we create the conditions that will keep us feeling the way we do. We create pollution in our environment. We even wish to keep our scapegoats downtrodden and filthy, even though around us and “polluting” us. Our desire is to keep them “dirty,” to keep them as “slaves” and riff-raff. We act to keep them poor, to drive them into the “dirt,” and to keep them from being able to rise above the “squalor.”

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We Create This Situation and Then Engage in the Drama of Acting Out Against Them By Wanting to Punish Them With How They Are Making Us Feel

_46810523_tfc2u9 We experienced our environment as yucky and irritating back then in the womb. So some of us humans have concocted the idea of tarring and feathering these “unclean” others.

Jewishwomenchildrenat Auschwitz-Birkenau, walk to gas chambersThe Nazi mind was riddled with this prenatal trauma. They rounded up Jews, ethnic others, and the “undesirables” of their society They stuffed them (crowded womb) into cattle cars where many were forced to stand uncomfortably, and where they could only defecate on themselves and wallow in their own waste matter (buildup of waste matter in the womb).

udryddelseslejre07I recently saw the movie—Sarah’s Key, based on an actual event during World War II—where 13,152 Parisian Jews were rounded up and placed in the Vélodrome d’hiver, a sports stadium, for eight days without sanitary facilities until GasChamberChimneythey were processed into even more dire “facilities” at Auschwitz … and murdered.

About the conditions at the stadium, it is written,

The dark glass roof, combined with windows screwed shut for security, raised the temperature inside the structure. The 13,152 people held there [9] had no lavatories; of the 10 available, five were sealed because their windows offered a way out, and the others were blocked.[10] The arrested Jews were kept there for eight days with only water and food brought by Quakers, the Red Cross and the few doctors and nurses allowed to enter.

They had no recourse but to fill their own surroundings with waste matter; it was said the stench outside in the 15941667168737390139surrounding neighborhood was unbearable, quite foul. We see manifest here a pathological imposition of Jews-Gas-Chamberprenatal pushes about being crowded, given very little in the way of resources (oxygen deprivation), in a hot environment (prenatal stuffiness and irritation/burning), and forced to wallow in waste matter (toxic womb).

I’ve already mentioned how many Jews were eventually shunted into gas chambers where they were forced to inhale poisonous fumes as a re-creation of prenatal poisoning trauma. (See also bad blood.)

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Ultimately, We Want to Eliminate Them, Seeing Them as the Obstacles to Returning to That “Golden Age

01aaapalin_deerAt any rate, we feel we need to eliminate them for they want our resources (oxygen). We feel they will use up everything and leave us wanting humbugforthepoor(deprivation), and left with nothing (oxygen starvation, death). Never mind that in going after them we are looking away from those in society who are actually causing us to struggle for the necessities and to feel deprived. But this has nothing to do with rationality.

This prenatal mind has us seeing everything through the fetal narrative: Once upon a time, there was father-knows-bestharmony, bliss, perfection. Everyone was happy; we were strong (BPM I).national guard peoples park But then came change in our lives. Our surroundings became increasingly filled with strange and alien others at the same time as we felt less free and more unhappy (BPM II crowdedness), our strength waning, and that times had gotten tough: There was less money and we felt unfairly deprived (BPM II oxygen deprivation).

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2011-07-27-haroldhill76We felt that these alien others were infecting our purity of life by imposing upon and inserting themselves into our lives (BPM II bad blood). zombie_hordeEverything around us seemed dirtier and more foul and they were around us in increasing numbers immigrants(amounts), so it was their fault; and their continued presence would eventually kill us (BPM II poisonous placenta/ prenatal irritation, revulsion). It was they Dees-Exxon-Mobil-armed-forces-great-one-320x276who were responsible for the loss of our pristine way of life. 004-foodSo to do anything about it, it was thought necessary to fight back against this incursion, defend our way of life, family, and the innocents from this “filth,” and shore up the goodness (good blood) and resources (oxygen) we still had.

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hulahoophappy-days-castIn America this narrative is played out by the right wing and Tea Party folks: Essentially they see the world as having gone downhill since a 1950s-style “golden age” when everyone was serene, happy, and prosperous. Never mind that the wealthy at that time paid their fair share of taxes to contribute to a don-knotts-ron-howard-and-andy-griffith-of-the-andy-griffith-showgeneral prosperity, 0783555008and these conservatives seek to return to it by having the wealthy pay little to no taxes now. Never mind either that it never really existed the way they think they remember it and that what they want to reinstate is a pasted together collage of childhood frosty_recordhurts and hopes, bad TV and movies, even worse advertisements and commercials conveying an image of the way Americans really had it (but did not),imagesdfgsgss prenatal imprints, and wudda cudda shudda beens. They see liberals, bleeding hearts, hippies, immigrants, and minorities as responsible for preventing a return to that truly mythical golden age. So, these elements are scapegoated for the crimes of the 1%.

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WAFFENBRÜDER - This Time The World - Adolf Hitler, Saviour of the Aryan RaceauschwitzIn Germany, the same narrative was played out, but their golden age was before World War I. Hitler got power by promising a return to that time of prosperity, and he scapegoated Jews and other minorities for their “fall from grace” by pointing to them as blocking a return to national strength and purity.

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So sometimes how humans dealt with these threatening incursions of “poisonous” others was with all-out attack…Witch-burning-witchcraft-985998_636_600and destruction. pain7Those others were seen to be in the way, so it followed they would need to be eliminated. But in the process those “filthy” others would be made to feel the kinds of feelings that their presence was stimulating in the pure ones—the real Germans…nowadays the real Americans.

Remember, these others irritate us and just “burn” us (prenatal irritation/burning). Some say, “It just burns me to look at them!” And folks will act out horribly by killing these others by fire: by burning witches, Jews, enemies in general.

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burning_witch_34It continues to this day. In a previous section I mentioned the Baptist preacher—the one who surroundingandattackingagayyouthgot “pukin’ sick” at the thought of gays and lesbians—who wanted to surround them with an electrified fence! Not exactly like burning witches, but close enough.

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holocaust burning outsideAnd ultimately…the “Ultimate Solution”… we wish to remove them altogether by burning them up in fires orcrematorium ovens (prenatal burning/ irritation). This we do either by concentration camps, pogroms, or by the highest tech means of raining fire down upon the undesirables in third world countries.

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bombing_iraq1_mar2003lIAgent-Orange-dioxin-skin-damage-Vietnamn modern times, we have rained fire down upon them from aircraft. We have used napalm—liquid fire—and Agent Orange—one of the most toxic compounds created—on these others, who we’ve called “gooks” and other derisive terms.

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To Summarize

Basically it comes down to the world being divided into filthy and disgusting things that want our resources (oxygen) and our pure white threatened selves (substitute corresponding contrasts for other cultures). This is bottom line our feelings of fetal malnutrition. It is unfortunately for us projected onto the outside world so strongly we can’t know what is really going on behind that perinatal veil.

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Now let us turn to how this prenatal screen, twisting the reality we see, has us defiling our own homes and aiding our own self-destruction. For toxic womb has been re-created as toxic planet.

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Continue with How We Re-Create Human Prenatal Irritation and Burning in a Polluted Planet: Diagnosis, Prognosis, and What to Do About Toxic Womb ~ Toxic Earth

Return to “Bad Blood” — Acting Out Prenatal Feelings of Sickening … Earliest Roots of War, Psychosis, Racism, Xenophobia, Elitism, Homophobia … and Medicine

Footnote

1. This makes an important part of the case, focusing on environmental pollutants, but the same thing goes for drugs, medications:

The Myth Of The Placental Barrier

Your baby’s first environment isn’t as toxin-free as you might think. Here’s how to shelter him from harm.

Tucked inside you like a walnut in its shell and cushioned by amniotic fluid, your baby seems safe and secure. Sure, the outside world is filled with environmental threats, but isn’t it the job of the placenta to filter out substances that can harm the fetus? Well, yes—but. While the placenta does a crackerjack job of screening most infectious agents—rubella and HIV are notable exceptions—it’s permeable to most pollutants, including pesticides, PCBs, perchlorate, bisphenol A (BPA), lead and mercury. Unfortunately, the placental barrier that protected a Pleistocene pregnancy from menace is no match for today’s man-made toxins.

When researchers examined the umbilical cord blood of 10 U.S. babies born in August and September 2004, they found a total of 287 industrial chemicals. Of those, 180 were carcinogens; 217 were toxic to the brain. “Numerous environmental contaminants can cross the placental barrier,” a National Institutes of Health report noted. “To a disturbing extent, babies are born pre-polluted.” Of course, just because a newborn has carcinogenic or neurotoxic chemicals in her cord blood doesn’t mean she’ll develop cancer or learning impairments. Still, most of us would prefer to err on the side of caution. That means pregnant women should avoid environmental toxins as conscientiously as they avoid cigarettes— except that it’s a lot easier to turn down a smoke than it is to say no to contaminants.

“Even people who pursue green lifestyles and organic diets have toxic chemicals in their blood,” says ecologist Sandra Steingraber, whose book Having Faith (Berkley Trade) chronicles the effects of pollution on fetal development. “When pregnant, our bodies become an interior ecosystem that exists in communion with the exterior ecosystem we inhabit. Whatever is in our food, air, water or house dust gets inside us.”

More – http://www.fitpregnancy.com/pregnancy/health/myth-placental-barrier

Continue with How We Re-Create Human Prenatal Irritation and Burning in a Polluted Planet: Diagnosis, Prognosis, and What to Do About Toxic Womb ~ Toxic Earth

Return to “Bad Blood” — Acting Out Prenatal Feelings of Sickening … Earliest Roots of War, Psychosis, Racism, Xenophobia, Elitism, Homophobia … and Medicine

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