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


Essence of Archetype, Desymbolizing the World, and Removing the Mask of Mysticism: A Primal Perspective on Spirituality, Part Eleven — The “God Above God” castles_in_the_sky_by_raflames

Clean Mysticism

The “Monsters” Are not Real, A Pronoic Perspective … An Essentially Benign Universe Characterized by Grace and Love

75508_419570561463441_388329903_nThe contribution of a primal perspective, then, is twofold. First, it becomes obvious that the “demons,” the “monsters,” the resulting fear are not “real” (in terms of being rooted in transpersonal or “objective” reality). Rather, they are personal elements invading the perception of transpersonal reality. Behind the personal fear and pain we discover a more pervasive beauty and bliss, we sense an essentially benign universe characterized by grace and love.


Exotic Phenomena ~ Spiritual Cotton Candy

Second, the primal perspective allows us to see that much of the exotic phenomena as described in the spiritual literature is a consequence of personal pain and predilection and is not real in the transpersonal sense.


Desymbolizing the World

Making Exotic Phenomena Superfluous

0026-tumblr_lcz2t5kl5x1qag9hro1_400These two conclusions are sustained by the evidence that primalers are finding access to “cosmic life force” and “bliss” feelings often described in the spiritual literature, without having to contend with the monsters and demons, nor with the extravaganza of other-worldly description, which are concomitant to the life-force descriptions in the spiritual literature. Although one may reach deeper levels through various techniques, the deeper perceptions often are interpreted in terms of the highly symbolizing cortex. Bliss or life-force feelings are felt as immensely stronger and bigger than one’s self, in relation to a consciousness narrowed by personal pain and culture. And thus, they lend themselves readily to hyperbole and transpersonal descriptions.


Demythologizing Reality

angry dadPrimal therapy performs its desymbolizing function, making the exotic phenomena superfluous, by connecting the symbolic material pervading normal consciousness to real-life events. This dissipates the value of any such symbolic material as something in its own right. In primal this demythologizing process is apparent where many of the activities and fantasies of daily life are found to be “act outs,” that is, symbolizations of past pain: angry-dad1One reaches for a cigarette as symbolic of an unsatisfied need to nurse; or one becomes a writer because one was never listened to; or one travels the globe as symbolic of a need to be free of a constricting home environment in childhood.



Essence of Archetype

200278333-001But it seems that some of the deeper and more sensational experiences also are symbolic of primal pain. Even some of the “archetypal” experiences appear to be derivative of still deeper material. 7866082-newborn-baby-being-examined-in-delivery-room-by-doctorFor example, I have relived a postnatal experience that involved the cutting, scrubbing, and general abuse of my body (which was part of postnatal infant “care” in hospitals when I was born).


I can see where I could easily have imbued the experience with fantasy elements of an archetypal “Terrible Mother.”


witch_s640x427_thumb 43485149e141d96291000c76c297afb3_viewI did not choose to do so, because that would have meant turning what was obviously a personal reality into a fantasy and into something “transpersonal.” Yet I can also see where someone without access to the personal memory part of the experience would be left with only the fantasy.


Archetypal Universality ~ Biological Universality

The experiences evident in primal therapy strongly indicate that much of what has usually been termed “transpersonal” are, in fact, symbolically derived from personal life experiences in the “personal unconscious,” and that their seeming universality is related to our biological universality, especially as it concerns our gestation and birth.







253552_204561353007582_529440981_nGrof’s research also indicates that much of the exotic phenomena is symbolized preverbal pain. Concerning first-line or perinatal phenomena under LSD, he notes

[T]he encounter with death on the perinatal level takes the form of a profound firsthand experience of the terminal agony that is rather complex and has emotional, philosophical, and spiritual as well as distinctly physiological facets. (1976, p. 96)

Prenatal and Perinatal Roots of Spirituality

417002_520498194627937_1765380096_nBut then he also points out:

In a way that is not quite clear at the present stage of research, the above experiences seem to be related to the circumstances of the biological birth. LSD subjects frequently refer to them quite explicitly as reliving of their own birth trauma. Those who do not make this link and conceptualize their encounter with death and the death-rebirth experience in a purely philosophical and spiritual framework quite regularly show the cluster of physical symptoms described earlier that can best be interpreted as a derivative of the biological birth. They also assume postures and move in complex sequences that bear a striking similarity to those of a child during various stages of delivery. In addition, these subjects frequently report visions of or identification with embryos, fetuses, and newborn children. Equally common are various authentic neonatal feelings as well as behavior, and visions of female genitals and breasts. (p. 96)

I am reminded of Muktananda describing one of his spiritual experiences in which he visits “hell” (1974, pp. 114-115), which is a world filled with excrement. His description has striking parallels to some LSD experiences noted by Grof (1976), wherein this is said to be associated with “the contact with such biological materials and the termination of the agonizing experience of birth” (pp. 130-131).


Biological Basis of Myth

159849849494_thumbThe fact that primalers relive these intrauterine and birth experiences without all of the accompanying symbolism, as exhibited in both the psychedelic and spiritual literatures, is evidence of a desymbolized cortex, less obscure in its perceptions. In fact, there is a pattern seen in the LSD research as well as, to a limited extent, in primal therapy:images Upon subsequent relivings of a traumatic experience, such as one’s birth, there is a tendency for initial, highly symbolized encounters with the material to be followed by sessions containing less symbolism. Typically, this occurs until the event finally is able to be accepted and relived in its real-life historical detail and, often, biological brutality (cf. Grof, 1976, pp. 68-69, 56, 58-60; 1977, p. 12).

The “God Above God”

But although the experiences of primalers and LSD subjects serve to dispel much of what is thought of as transpersonal phenomena, there still is much that cannot be explained away as derivative of primal pain. I’m not sure that I agree with Grof in the extent to which he attributes transpersonal status to certain elements that are intermingled with perinatal phenomena. He writes, for example: “Perinatal experiences represent a very important intersection between individual psychology and transpersonal psychology” (1976, p. 99).


Deeper, and Higher, Spiritual Realities

But even without the pain-tainted elements, many of which have been called archetypal, it becomes increasingly hard to disregard his evidence for transpersonal phenomena on what appears to be a deeper level of the unconscious than even the perinatal. Certainly the prenatal arena has transpersonal overtones. Sperm and egg experiences themselves, in that they transcend the normal space/time boundaries of the personal in implicating a mechanism of memory that is nonphysical, are categorized by Grof as transpersonal experiences. Furthermore, beyond even that, the evidence from LSD research and the current spiritual literature suggests that the transpersonal level may be more expansive and varied than even Jung had envisioned.



66063_226823157448068_1342750833_nJanov might dismiss these transpersonal experiences as “overload” phenomena, that is, as fantasies occurring out of released, painful energy that is too great to be dealt with. But because they occur when the perinatal phenomena have been thoroughly, not incompletely, worked through, and because they have such far-reaching and positive effects on personality and later behavior, I do not think they can be so easily discarded.


Proof of “God”

Some of these experiences, especially in the parapsychological realm (such as ESP, clairvoyance, and ancestral memories), have even found verification with an astonishing degree of accuracy in Grof’s follow-up research (1976, pp. 164-167, cf. p. 207). Even the primal perspective, which points to the existence of memory and consciousness at the fetal, single cell, and sperm and egg level, certainly would have to acknowledge such awareness to have more subtle underpinnings than the brain and spinal cord.


All of this points to the existence of something that is subtler than the physical body and undergirds the entire length of one’s physical life. The evidence also seems to suggest that this subtler self permeates much of matter and life in realms outside of the personal domain and therefore can be accurately termed transpersonal.


Continue with Enlightenment as an Attitude of Adventuring … Eventually It Is Simply About Staying Open to Experience/Process: A Primal Perspective, Part Twelve — Zorba the Buddha

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

Shamans, Sages, Tribal Kings, and Prophets

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


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

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


Ah, But Scapegoats As Well

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


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

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

Sacrifices — Animal and Cucumber

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

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

Experience Is Primary

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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