*Wounded Deer & Centaurs: The Necessary Hero & the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events* (2016) by Michael Adzema. (complete book, with my compliments)

WOUNDED DEER AND CENTAURS

Complete and Downloadable, with my compliments. *Wounded Deer and Centaurs: The Necessary Hero and the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events* (2016)  by Michael Adzema, Book 5 in the Return to Grace Series.

 

For this book, *Wounded Deer and Centaurs*, confronts a situation in current times where we are on the brink of an apocalypse of unimaginable dimensions. We are bringing about both a suicidal-style ending of humans on Earth, a *humanicide*, as well as are taking down with us all other life on this planet … we are committing an *ecocide*.

This impending eco-humanicide requires of those currently alive to sacrifice on a scale previously uncalled for to forestall the consequences of the actions of generations of ancestors. This book deals with these elements of sacrifice; it shows where we have gone wrong; and it reveals where we could finally, after thousands of years of failure in righting the wrongs of evil, greed, injustice, war, and barbarity, finally, finally get it right.

We can finally understand the roots of the evil that lies within humanity. We can see how and why they come into being within humanity … and within humanity, alone, of all species. And we find those discoveries of the causes of evil in humanity lie alongside the happy revelation that that evil within humanity is not part of our deepest humanity, so it is not inevitable that we act it out! Humanity can do better. And we need to!

Luckily, there is a movement afoot in global humanity giving rise to individuals uniquely qualified, able, and willing to be the self-sacrificing ones required right now. This book introduces these personalities — these ones who, rather than act out the traumas and pain handed down for thousands of years, instead say “Let it end with me.” These *wounded deer and centaurs* are spotlighted in this book.

Generation after generation of humans have passed down their personal pain and trauma, in some form or other, onto their offspring. Back into unrecorded history this vicious cycle has perpetuated itself. But many of us in these extraordinary times, and goaded on by the specter of global catastrophe, are saying, “Let us not continue this madness any further!” Attempting to break the cycle of hurting and then inflicting hurt, attempting to halt the prevailing insanity, we make the Gandhian effort to take the energy into ourselves, to change ourselves lest we, also, be like the generation before — forever passing on the insane legacy.

This book reveals the deepest roots of that human insanity that would end our species. They are found in the experiences in the womb and at birth. We see here how they have led to the atrocities and wars of all time, and how they can be finally gone beyond.

We discover, in these chapters, how these earliest of human experiences set humans up to be the species separate from Nature. We can understand through these pages how and why exactly we as humans are insisting on self-annihilation. We can grok why we do not heed the warnings and continue depleting the Nature upon which we depend, even though it guarantees the end of humanity and the likely death of our children before their times.

Revealed here are the origins of the rapacious greed infecting hierarchical societies, from the beginnings of civilization, which today has created a two-tiered global society of haves and have-nots, with 1% shoring up their wealth at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of the remaining ones.

In these pages we can behold what needs to be done, how we can save our children, our planet, and even ourselves. Herein we receive the encouragement and spiritual conviction to take up our roles as the necessary heroes of our times — to right all these wrongs, to protect our precious Earth and its inhabitants, to save the lives of our children.

This book focuses specifically on the roots of evil in the perinatal, but especially the prenatal experiences we all have. What I add was stimulated by deMause’s work on the *poisonous placenta*, as he calls it. This refers to the experiences in the late stages of pregnancy when the blood supply to the fetus is less and is not as nutrient rich and has an increasing buildup of toxins. DeMause followed Briend’s theory of *fetal malnutrition*, which has it that late in gestation, because of the fetus weighing heavily upon the mother’s arteries as the fetus is getting larger, the blood supply to the prenate is reduced and is lacking in the optimal amount of oxygen the prenate would wish. Thus, oxygen insufficiency, or oxygen “malnutrition,” for the prenate, or “fetus” is what Briend was bringing to our awareness. Elsewhere, I have pointed out, bringing in research from anthropology and related fields, how this fetal malnutrition is a product of our standing upright, becoming bipedal. I have explained how this is the major difference between humans and all other planetmates. Humans are the ones who suffer. *Homo sapiens* is the traumatized species … the one with birth pain. Thus, it is the neurotic one.

At birth and before, we experience pain unparalleled in the world of Nature and other species. This vast difference is metaphorically represented by the story in *Genesis*, wherein we are cast out of the Garden … no longer to enjoy and benefit from the harmonious synergy that exists in Nature. Yes, we are different.

We are different; and what we find out in this book is that that difference is what creates all our “advances” of “civilization” … but also is resulting in an ecocidal, humanicidal plunge at the moment that will end all life on this planet within decades.

In this book, I go deeply into the specific experiences that commonly occur in the late stages of gestation. I detail them and show how they have created the “matrix of human events.” I make clear just exactly why we have engaged in holocausts; wars; witch burnings; bigotry; greed and the creation of a dominant, moneyed elite; and environmental destruction. While congruent with and inspired by Stanislav Grof’s and Lloyd deMause’s work, this book presents entirely new material. These are discoveries and insights that are rooted in my research of many decades in the prenatal and perinatal, and all its related fields, and my own experiences in deep re-experience of birth and before, and the observations I have had of my clients in the various experiential modalities.

The earliest indications are that the implications from including the prenatal and primal perspective are vast — one might even say revolutionary, in the true sense of the word. For this new perspective, this new information seems to call for an overthrow, or at least a reversal, of many of the aspects of the dominant paradigms in child-caring, child development, psychotherapy, and spiritual growth. Not the least important, these findings and insights have direct bearing on our current ecocidal and humanicidal plunge to oblivion. So, this vision is the most important one for understanding why we are doing what we are doing and then how we might do something to actually reverse our course.

My research and experience have convinced me that the perspective that this kind of deep understanding of our earliest experiences in life, from the single cell, through womb experience, to birth and the earliest days and weeks of life brings to social, political, and environmental problems and events, not to mention to personal growth and spirituality, are nothing short of revolutionary … in the most profound, zeitgeist shattering, new-paradigm revealing, and hope-inspiring visionary way.

Let me be clear. My fifty years of research in this field have convinced me that the time before birth is the unknown puzzle piece in the old paradigm and the key to the new one. It brings it all together in a new zeitgeist, a new comprehension and vision, as sweeping as the one that changed with the discovery of the Earth’s true shape. It is the next frontier in evolution … and the only one separating us from liberation … and from saving the planet and stopping war and greed. The perspective and the findings of this book, are, I believe, the missing element and the key to understanding the ills of the world and the human condition and to finally doing something about it.

 

 

 

 

Also by Michael Adzema

From the Return to Grace Series:

Culture War, Class War: Occupy Generations and the Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths.Volume 1. (2013)

Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call. Volume 3. (2013)

Apocalypse NO: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious. Volume 4. (2013)

Wounded Deer and Centaurs: The Necessary Hero and the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events. Volume 5. (2016)

Planetmates: The Great Reveal. Volume 6. (2014)

Funny God: The Tao of Funny God and the Mind’s True Liberation. Volume 7. (2015)

Experience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor. Volume 8. (2013)

Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness.
Volume 9. (2014)

Prodigal Human: The Descents of Man. Volume 10. (2016)

Psychology of Apocalypse: Ecopsychology, Activism, and the Prenatal Roots of Humanicide. Volume 11. (2018)

Back to the Garden: The Psychology and Spirituality of Humanicide and the Necessary Future. Volume 12. forthcoming

The Necessary Revolution. Volume 2. (forthcoming)

Primal Return: Renaissance and Grace. Volume 12. (forthcoming)

Primal Renaissance. Volume 13. (forthcoming)

 

 

From The Path of Ecstasy Series:

The Secret Life of Stones: Matter, Divinity, and the Path of Ecstasy. Volume 1. (2016)

Dance of the Seven Veils I … Primal/Identity Psychology, Mythology, and Your Real Self … Adult to Toddler. Volume 2. (2017)

Dance of the Seven Veils II … Prenatal/Perinatal Psychology, Mythology, and Your Divine Self … Infant to Prenate. Volume 3. (scheduled 2018)

Dance of the Seven Veils III…Periconceptional/Transpersonal Psychology, Mythology, and Your Original Face…Cellular to Soulular. Volume 4. (scheduled 2019)

 

 


WOUNDED DEER AND CENTAURS

THE NECESSARY HERO AND THE PRENATAL MATRIX OF HUMAN EVENTS

Return to Grace, Volume 5

MICHAEL ADZEMA


Gonzo Sage Media: Eugene, Oregon: sillymickel@gmail.com

Copyright © 2016 Michael Adzema

All rights reserved.

ISBN-13: 978-1499653991

This book is dedicated to “My Generation” — the Sixties Generation — as well as to the Millennial Generation, and to all those activists and idealists everywhere and from all generations who see a better world and sacrifice themselves for it.

 

CONTENTS

PART ONE:  WOMB WITH A VIEW — THE PRENATAL AND PERINATAL UNCONSCIOUS 1
1 Necessary Heroes, Humanicide, and the Prenatal Matrix:  Wounded Deer and Healers, Sacrifice, and Centaurs 3
2 The Next Frontier in Evolution and About the Author 13
3 The Making of One Centaur and All About a Generation:  How Do We Change? 25
4 Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and the Phenomenon of Re-Experience:  The Key to Our Survival as a Species 39
5 “We Ain’t Born Typical”:  “Human Nature” Is Fashioned at Birth and Before … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part One 48
6 Womb with a View:  Everything You Believe, You Learned as a Fetus … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part Two 57
7 Cells with a View:  Everything You “Know” About Reality, You Learned as a Cell … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part Three 68
8 Return to Grace:  The Farther Reaches of Experience of Nonordinary States of Consciousness … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part Four — the Author  73
9 “We Are a Fever”:  The Perinatal Unconscious Driving Our Humanicide 89
10 Everything You’ve Forgotten About Birth:  Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist 96
PART TWO:  THE PRENATAL MATRIX OF HUMAN EVENTS 123
11 Twenty-First Century and Its Discontents:  The Primal Screen 125
12 Prenatal Imprints of Our Unnatural Self:  Four Earliest Roots of War, Bigotry, Capitalism, and Pollution 135
13 Oxygen, Fire, and Fetal Malnutrition:  Why We Suffocate Ourselves … Why We’re Big on Burning 154
14 Promethean Hubris and Re-Visioning Civilization:  Deep Thoughts on the Fall … Civilization and Apocalypse 166
15 How We Look to the Gods and Return of the Centaur:  We Are the Centaurs, My Friends 177
16 Prenatal Hunger Games:  Oxygen Starvation and Class War 189
17 “Bad Blood” Craziness – Poisoned, Infected:  Acting Out Prenatal Feelings of Sickening in War, Psychosis, Racism, Xenophobia, Elitism, Homophobia … and Medicine 200
18 Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion:  Creeped Out in the Womb 211
PART THREE:  GLOBAL HEALING CRISIS 229
19 Toxic Womb ~ Toxic Earth:  Gaia Is Calling 231
20 Perinatal Printouts of Generations:  Regression in the Service of Society … Prospects of Collective Regression 242
21 Birth Wars ~ World Woes:  Our Global Crises Are Manifesting Our Unfaced Painful Experiences 251
22 Wounded Deer and Centaurs:  The Changing of the Generational Guard 258
23 Healing Crisis and Consciousness Revolution:  The Psychology of Generations 273
24 Eden Arise:  A Message to All Wounded Deer and Centaurs … Aided by Gaia We Rediscover Our Natural Self 287
PART FOUR:  THE NECESSARY HERO 299
25 Activist Imperative of Prenatal/Perinatal Understanding:  How Crazy Is Insanity … How Deadly is Dead 301
26 Crisis and Opportunity:   The Better Angels of Our Nature Are Being Summoned 313
27 The Necessary Hero — Wounded Deer and Centaurs:  The Opportunity — The Solution to Misery and the Way to Happiness 329
28 For Earth’s Sake, Get Real!  “Sure It’s Hard but Always Are We Here Helping You”  336
29 Hopeful Things … Psychedelics and the Worldwide Mind … Things to Foster:  The Profound Significance of Knowing and Experiencing Alternatives … for the First Time in History 353
30 Helpful Things and Catalysts … Sitcom Socialization and Talk-Show Soul-Searching:  Television and a “Quantum Leap” in Parenting … the Cultural Evolution Curmudgeons Cannot See 370
31 Resources … Things to Put in Motion:  How Do We Pull Off the Necessary Change in Human Nature Within a Matter of Mere Decades? 383
32 Centaurs, Shamans, Sacrificial Lambs, and Scapegoats:  Reflections on a Collective Shadow and Experience as Primary 400
33 Funny God … the Cosmic Overstanding:  Our Deepest, Compassionate Human Nature Abhors the Murder Implicit in Ecocide … It’s All in You and Up to You 413
AFTERWORD:  Continue with Book Six, Planetmates, The Great Reveal, and About the Return to Grace Series 430
Acknowledgments 441
Notes 454
References 479
About the Author 491

PART ONE

WOMB WITH A VIEW — 

THE PRENATAL AND PERINATAL UNCONSCIOUS

 

 

CHAPTER 1

Necessary Heroes, Humanicide,
and the Prenatal Matrix:

Wounded Deer and Healers, Sacrifice,
and Centaurs

 

Apocalypse … Sacrifice … the Roots of Evil … Wounded Deer and Centaurs

This book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs, confronts a situation in current times where we are on the brink of an apocalypse of unimaginable dimensions. It is both ecocide and humanicide, this apocalypse. By that I mean we are bringing about both a suicidal-style ending of humans on Earth, a humanicide, as well as are taking down with us all other life on this planet … we are committing an ecocide. Apocalypse might not even be the correct technical term for such an unimaginable atrocity as this eco-humanicide, but in truth there is no good word for what we are doing. For in labeling this eco-humanicide we would have to at least acknowledge it, and it is so beyond horrifying we cannot even come up with a term for it. But in this book we will not shrink from looking directly at it. But more. 

For this impending apocalypse — this eco-humanicide — requires of those currently alive to sacrifice on a scale previously uncalled for to forestall the consequences of the actions of generations of ancestors. So, in addressing this most pressing concern of all time, this book brings mythological, ethical, and moral dimensions of sacrifice into currency in a way that has never been. This book deals with these elements of sacrifice; it shows where we have gone wrong; and it reveals where we could finally, after thousands of years of failure in righting the wrongs of evil, greed, injustice, war, and barbarity, finally, finally get it right. 

For one thing we can now see the roots of the evil that lies within humanity. This book reveals that. We can finally understand those origins, finally see how and why they come into being within humanity … and within humanity, alone, of all species. And we find those discoveries of the causes of evil in humanity lie alongside the happy revelation that that evil within humanity is not part of our deepest humanity, so it is not inevitable that we act it out! Humanity can do better. And we need to! 

Lastly this book unveils, also fortuitously, that there is a movement afoot in global humanity giving rise to individuals uniquely qualified, able, and willing to be the self-sacrificing ones — the self-sacrificing generations and “heroes” — which are required right now. So this book introduces these self-sacrificing personalities — these self-sacrificing chirons and centaurs, as I call them — these ones who, rather than act out the traumas and pain handed down for thousands of years of generations, instead say “Let it end with me.” These wounded deer and centaurs are spotlighted, as well, in this book.

Suffering for the Sake of Others … Chiron … the Necessary Hero

The essence of Christianity is the idea that a person can suffer and die for the “sins” of others, so that those persons will not have to bear the burden of their sins. It is such a curious notion, when one thinks about it. But when one considers that it is a grand variation of one of the most basic of human qualities, self-sacrifice, sacrificing oneself out of love for another; and one thinks how familiar we are with such feelings when we consider the feelings parents often have for their children, such an idea is put into an understandable context. 

The self-sacrifice of parents for their children is one thing; but sacrificing for the sins or mistakes or omissions of another or others, well, yes, that too, we see examples of in mythology outside of Christianity. As a reminder, in ancient Greek mythology, Chiron, the centaur, after a long life as a healer and teacher and having done many good works and been teacher to Achilles, is the epitome of the Christ-like figure who sacrifices himself for another. For Prometheus — the titan who stole fire from the gods for humanity, in an act of rebellion against Divine order — had been sentenced to eternal life of suffering, being chained to a rock and having his liver eaten daily by an eagle. 

For the purposes of this book, it is highly important to notice that Prometheus is the representative of “advanced” or “civilized” humanity. For with fire comes, in due course, all the sedentary living, agriculture, cities, hierarchical societies and power structures, arts, exploitation of Nature, sciences, and so forth, that we associate with civilization. The “stealing” of fire results in the apocalyptic situation, wrought of “civilization,” which we have today, as I have shown in others of my works and will continue to reveal in this work.1

Yet Chiron — that “wounded healer” and teacher — willingly gives up his immortality and allows himself to die (see the cover) to free Prometheus from his suffering. A hint: For that, read the necessary heroes of our times — the centaurs, the chirons — sacrificing their comfort, their time, and perhaps even the length of their lives to rectify the apocalyptic results of hundreds of generations of promethean forefathers and foremothers who unthinkingly used and laid waste to this planet. Understand it also to exemplify these self-sacrificing chirons committing their lives — not to material attainment and comfort and simple pleasures of hearth and home and family — but to actions to save a suffering Promethean world, choking on smoke of its many “fires,” which is currently doomed for eternal desolation unless something is done. We will return to this, again and again. Do not worry.

Throughout the book we will address the evils of humanity and their roots and this idea of the necessary hero for our times who will be responsible to save, by sacrificing her or himself for the good of all, the life on this planet. 

I should probably mention that evil, as I mean it, is not of a theological or religious origin or intent. Quite simply, evil is the opposite of live. It is live spelled backward. That is to say that there are many things we do on both large and small scales that are anti-life. They lead to death, to unhappiness, to unnecessary suffering, and to all the other things we have attributed to evil. Thus, evil is an empirical category; it is one closely associated with self-destructive, destructive, and self-sabotaging tendencies in humans. In no way is my definition a derivative of any “revealed” or authoritarian laws or commandments. No. Evil is what causes unnecessary suffering and death. And great evil is what leads to unnecessary suffering and to death on a massive scale. There is no way to quibble about the suitability of my using the term evil for the events and occurrences I am indicating in this book.

Wounded Healers, Wounded Activists … “If not me, who? If not now, when?”

Beyond this, I believe Chiron has relevance to the notion of the necessary hero. For the necessary heroes are wounded healers. They are also the wounded activists. Getting back to the myth of Chiron, the preeminent centaur, he was hit by an arrow that created in him a wound that gave him pain daily and could not be ameliorated. This did not deter Chiron, however, from his life of good works and teaching and healing. Indeed, in that he himself experienced pain, it might be said that Chiron had more compassion for the pain of others. That is the origin of the idea of Chiron as the penultimate “wounded healer.” 

The wounded healer in modern culture is the healer — often the psychotherapist, counselor, or spiritual advisor — who, having experienced the problems and issues she or he deals with in helping others, can best help those others. It is the addict turned addiction counselor. It is the psychotherapist who herself has gone through the therapy and so knows the way. It is the counselor who was once the suffering counselee, in need of advice and support. We might place alongside this the notion of the wounded activist, for the only difference is that the activist seeks to right those wrongs, experienced directly or vicariously by her or himself, in the society and culture, not just or not predominantly only in themselves and individual others. The wounded healer works to ease the suffering in individuals, the result of an insensitive, unjust, and woefully unfeeling world. The wounded activist seeks to change the society and culture so that such traumas and atrocities and injustices do not arise in the first place, in the future. The aim of the activist is not remedial, but preventive. But healers and activists are so much alike in addressing problems beyond themselves, being self-sacrificing.

In either case, they are those who have suffered as much as anyone else in our society, and often more so; and instead of being beaten down by pain or turned selfish and self-obsessed by it, they are motivated by it to help others who might incur a similar fate. They have been immersed in those aspects of modern societies that are counter to our essential nature and in the course of it have become “wounded” — whether in the way they were parented, in the way their inherent and unabashed sensitivity and unusually evolved conscience clashed with the insensitivities and brutalities of their societies, or in the choices they made, or as a result of some “unfortunate” randomness of genes or biology, or due to some combination of the above. 

Being different and able to view their cultures and societies somewhat “outside” of it — again like Chiron who was different from other centaurs in both his lineage and his physical appearance — they are susceptible to actual change or evolution and to leading — to teaching, healing, encouraging, guiding, inspiring — others in the same direction. They are those who rather than turning from the “wound,” repressing any knowledge, memory of the pain of it, and/or access to it, instead turn and face it. They keep it ever in their consciousness, like Chiron did. For they respond to the call, “If not me, who? If not now, when?” And they refuse to slough off responsibility for the happenings in the society and culture around them, regardless of the fact that they are not responsible for them occurring. 

They do not, like Billy Joel and many of those from Generation X, say that “we didn’t start the fire,” as if it matters whose fault it was. For, like many of those of the Sixties Generation — a chironic, as well as centauric (we’ll get to that) generation if there ever was one — they are aware that the thing is to make it end, not to assess blame. And they are aware that the important thing is not to judge, for who would administer the punishment anyway? For that matter, would that do anything to relieve or prevent the suffering of anyone else, of any innocent one, even one younger person, child, or planetmate? No.

These chironic souls instead are aware that generation after generation of civilization has engaged, with little awareness of the consequences, in passing down their personal pain and trauma, in some form or other, onto their offspring. And they in turn dump it on their own children.

On and on and back through into hazy unrecorded history this situation has existed; this vicious cycle has perpetuated itself.

But many of us in these extraordinary times, and goaded on by the specter of global catastrophe, for one thing are saying, “Let it end with me!”; “Let us not continue this madness any further!”

Attempting to break the cycle of kill-and-be-killed, of hurting and then inflicting hurt … attempting to halt the prevailing insanity … we make the Gandhian effort to take the energy into ourselves, to change ourselves lest we, also, be like the generation before — forever passing on the insane legacy.

The Insane Legacy … The Prenatal Matrix of Human Events

Indeed, this book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs, reveals the deepest roots of that human insanity. They are found in our common human experiences in the womb and at birth. This book shows how the manifestation of these earliest of all wounds and the unconscious acting out of them today, as it has been done for over ten thousand years, is no longer possible, for it would end our species. We are committing humanicide. We see in this book also how these earliest and most common of all wounds have led to the atrocities and wars of all time, and how they can be finally gone beyond … and need to be gone beyond. 

We discover, in these chapters, how these earliest of human experiences set humans up to be the species separate from Nature, destined to turn its back on her; to actually wage a kind of war on her; to reap, reroute, redirect, control, exploit, and rape the natural order of things. We see how we were “programmed,” as it were, by our experiences in the womb to be the one species to use fire, to lay waste to Nature — leveling huge swaths of it only to rebuild on that same ground something more reflective of the human visage, the egoic and separate one, not the Divine countenance, the harmonious and integrated one. We can understand through these pages, how and why exactly we as humans are insisting on self-annihilation, with ecocide and humanicide approaching rapidly from the horizon and within our lifetimes. We can grok why we do not heed the warnings and continue depleting the Nature upon which we depend, even though it guarantees the end of humanity and the likely death of our children before their times, if not our own lives.  

Revealed here are the origins of the rapacious greed that infects hierarchical societies, from the beginnings of civilization, and which today has created a two-tiered global society of haves and have-nots, with the one percent — and especially the wealthiest one-hundredth of that one percent — shoring up their wealth at the expense of the lives and livelihoods of the remaining ninety-nine and ninety-nine hundredths percent of the population. We understand why injustice, why bigotry, why gay and hippie bashing and the war on the poor in developed Western societies. We get insight into anti-Semitism, racism, and the unfeeling brutalization we inflict on planetmates — those nonhuman beings, those species, with whom we share this planet and who through no fault of their own are forced into slavery and unthinkable lives in preparation to be used as mere resources, adornments, and entertainments for the benefit and glorification of humans. 

And in these pages we can behold what needs to be done, how we can save our children, our planet, and even ourselves, and receive the encouragement and spiritual conviction to take up our roles as the necessary heroes of our times — to right all these wrongs, to protect our precious Earth and its inhabitants, to save the lives of our children.

The Wound … The Dedication … Wounded Deer Turned Centaurs Who Do Not Turn Away

So this book is about those who do not turn away — people like yourself; folks who are daring to read these words, driven by conscience, though convenience and personal and material comfort would have you look away. It is about those, not just wounded healers and activists, as mentioned, but those experiential pioneers, those shamans, those teachers, “wounded” artists, poets, gardeners of consciousness, mystics, and self-sacrificing “chirons” … who are the opposite of ordinary folks — all the normal people, building stairways to elusive heavens and Towers of Babel to their vanity, material comfort, and expedient pleasures. This book is directed and dedicated to any who are not turning away, especially activists, and who instead are seeking to end it within themselves and to make it better. 

It is a burden to carry the wounds of one’s childhood and one’s society and culture forward into later life. It gives rise to what I call the wounded deer — those who suffer depression and despair for being unable to look away, to forget, or to repress. Whether this inability to numb themselves to reality is because of conscience, sensitivity, or simply some kind of “ornery” defiance to becoming less than their whole selves — as dictated and forced by their cultures and societies — it is a cause of suffering. It is a pain, for the most part, that is taken on willingly and which regularly, like Chiron’s wound, is felt and endured. 

But it is a “smarting” of body and soul that clarifies and smartens the mind in its being congruent with actual reality, not the pseudo-reality of normality. It thus leads to an authenticity of spirit and purpose that motivates the best and most helpful of actions in regard to others, to society, and to the planet. Thus, it is only folks like these — these wounded deer turned centaurs and chirons who do not turn away — who have any chance of changing society or culture in any way to make it less likely such injustices and abominations and sufferings, of which they are aware, will not happen to others, specifically, to other generations coming after.

So, whether one’s path is inner, as a healer, an experiential pioneer or gardener of consciousness; or outer, as an activist, community builder, speaker of truth to power, “foot soldier” in defense of our Mother, the Earth, or consciousness raiser; or a combination of these, this book is directed to and dedicated to these self-sacrificing sorts, these chirons, without whom this world has not a chance to make it to another century … and perhaps not even another decade.

Achieving the Impossible … Expanding the Potentials of Humanity

Keeping in mind the morphic resonance that emanates out into our species from any and all learnings and actions, those learnings and actions that are truly new and truly counter to the pulls of the centuries are the most powerfully transmitted. Novel but valid thoughts and effective, original acts are most influential in expanding the morphogenetic fields of what it means to be human and what is possible for humanity.2

Hence, by whatever means they are transmitted — that is, by providing actual example for others coming after, through intentional communication (this book is one, for example), or via some effect on the shape and content of the morphogenetic fields of what constitutes humanity, and what determines the potentials of human activity, and what predisposes and makes more likely its acts — these actions on behalf of us all might, like the leaven in the dough, have effects far beyond and far afield from what one would normally expect of such. 

Indeed, it just might be that what we do in our outer actions to change the world, as well as on our inner forays into consciousness to change ourselves, has significance in the world and toward the revolution to the necessary new paradigm and the creation of the future necessary heroes — in these incredibly delicate and precipitous times — of such a multiplied proportion as to bring about the impossible. They just might save us and our loved ones … and the innocents of all manner of beings. These wounded deer and centaurs might, as bonus, even redeem and fulfill themselves, in ways they would never expect or ask for.

Whatever the particular thrust or direction of our efforts toward change, I believe that those of us who take on this challenge might be volunteering for an ancient role and, in these days, a very much needed one. Like Joe in the Tom Hanks/ Meg Ryan movie, Joe Versus the Volcano, we just might find ourselves “jumping into the volcano to save the community.” But also like Joe, and my experience attests to this, I believe we will find that the Universe provides, not death, but rather bears up and rewards with renewed life those who voluntarily sacrifice themselves this way.

.

CHAPTER 2

The Next Frontier in Evolution and About the Author

 “…the time before birth is the unknown puzzle piece in the old paradigm and the key to the new one. It brings it all together in a new zeitgeist … as sweeping as the one that changed with the discovery of the Earth’s true shape.”

“It is the next frontier in evolution … and the only one separating us from liberation … and from saving the planet and stopping war and greed.”

 

Who Am I?

I am a prenatal/perinatal psychologist, a long-time environmental-political activist, a primal therapist, a breathwork facilitator, a speaker, and an author, with nine books in print, to date, and many more in the works. 

My websites, blogs, and social media pages include the writings from my nine published and numerous upcoming books and nearly one thousand different articles and many more thousands of different posts.1 While, in these, I address and present my research around the topics of our apocalyptic environmental emergency; our current political and societal crises from a progressive, an Occupy perspective; and forty-five years of research and experience in spirituality and consciousness-related topics from a shamanistic viewpoint … and they deal wholistically with personal growth … my writings and insights are unique in that they also present a perspective gleaned from my parallel forty-five-year involvement with and comprehensive research into very deep experiential psychotherapy. 

I have experienced, taught, trained, and facilitated in the fields of primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, rebirthing, and prenatal and perinatal psychology. I am one of the pioneers in the field of prenatal/perinatal psychology (prenatal — before birth; perinatal surrounding birth). 

I have one of the small number of advanced degrees in this robust new field of discovery in psychology … with a program of study that, because of the field still being in its infancy, I personally had to trail blaze at the graduate level. My curriculum and its work resulted in a publication that is listed professionally, in a number of places, academically and otherwise, including Wikipedia, as a reference work in this new field. Incidentally, while it was published academically in 1994 as a Master’s Thesis from Sonoma State University, in California, and it is referred to in that context, I have quite recently published it independently as my book, Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness (2014).

Additionally, I was the editor of one of the few professional journals in this new field for several years. Under the auspices of the International Primal Association, in 1991 through 1996, I created, designed, edited, produced, administered, promoted, and wrote extensively for the new publication, Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Prmal Psychology. Concurrently, I served on that organization’s Board of Directors, while also serving on the Board of Editors of several other professional journals in the fields of pre- and perinatal psychology, and anthropology, which is a field in which I also did graduate work, at the University of California, San Diego.

All in all, I have contributed, significantly, to the theoretical evolution of this new field — pre- and perinatal psychology and primal psychology — via my writings in professional journals in psychology, anthropology, and psychohistory; via my writings in magazines; through my positions on Boards in it and related fields; through presentations at conferences; through convention workshops and speaker panels; and by teaching at the university level. I was, in fact, the first person in the United States to teach prenatal and perinatal psychology at the university level, at Sonoma State University, Rohnert Park, California, in the early Nineties — a fact that was announced in the newsletter of this new field’s major association, The Association for Pre- and Prenatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH). 

Why Am I Telling You This?

The reason for detailing this comprehensive background of mine in this field is to establish the solid grounding, standing upon which I can make the following astounding claims:

My research and experience have convinced me that the perspective that this kind of deep understanding of our earliest experiences in life, from the single cell, through womb experience, to birth and the earliest days and weeks of life brings to social, political, and environmental problems and events, not to mention to personal growth and spirituality, are nothing short of revolutionary … in the most profound, zeitgeist shattering, new-paradigm revealing, and hope-inspiring visionary way.

Let me be clear. My forty-five years of research in this field have convinced me that the time before birth is the unknown puzzle piece in the old paradigm and the key to the new one. It brings it all together in a new zeitgeist, a new comprehension and vision, as sweeping as the one that changed with the discovery of the Earth’s true shape. It is the next frontier in evolution … and the only one separating us from liberation … and from saving the planet and stopping war and greed.

Yes, I mean it.

Elephants in the Science Room

This time at birth, in the womb, and as cells … this prenatal period … is similar to quantum physics in the way it is viewed. Physics goes on, in its ordinary pursuits, as if the discoveries of quantum physics never happened … piling up observations framed within an obsolete understanding, a traditional physics understanding … going on with research “as if” such-and-such were true … though they are not.

Whereas medicine, biology, and all the social sciences go on, in their ordinary pursuits, as if there is no consciousness at or before birth and no memory of that time … though this is patently untrue and that notion has been debunked thoroughly over the course of the last fifty years. So these sciences pile up observations framed within an obsolete understanding … spinning theory upon theory leaving out the most important formative experiences/memories of our lives … going on with research “as if” consciousness erupted miraculously only at the time of birth … which is not only not true….

It is not only absurd and seemingly stupid….

The idea that consciousness and memory and the formative experiences of personality and lifelong behavior begin only when those on the outside of the infant … the observers, theoreticians, psychologists, and observers … can see the infant … and not when the experiencer, the fetus, the prenate, the baby actually has the experiences … reveals itself to be astoundingly hard to believe that notion was actually embraced by all psychology and social sciences for the entire hundreds-year’s history of all those disciplines. Hard to believe that notion was ever entertained. Let alone that entire theoretical systems in all relevant social and behavioral and psychological science were built up and constructed upon, and deeply rooted within such ludicrous presuppositions.

You might very well right now, in fact, be questioning that science actually did (does) hold that presupposition that only the behavior and learning occurring from birth on contribute to personality and later thinking and behavior. Now that I have exposed the feeble underpinnings of vast arrays of understanding in behavioral, psychological, and social sciences, the resulting cognitive dissonance might be so acute that you have “jumped the gap” to the new understanding and are questioning yourself that it was ever really assumed that it all began at birth. But be honest, dear reader. Or at least check for yourself.

Our Feared and Hidden Beginnings 

The fact is that, even at this very moment, the great majority of social and psychological science … not to mention common, lay belief … is built upon and permeated with the belief that it is only the events after birth, sometimes not even at birth itself, that contribute to the person and personality that the infant will become in later life. Look and you will see that it is virtually always held forth that any child or adult behavior that is not attributable to events occurring after birth are … genetic! 

The very existence of the nature versus nurture categories for explaining the possible roots of human personality itself assumes the mistake. For nature as a cause, it is accurately understood that it comes from genes. Nurture is clearly what is gotten from child-care, child-rearing, and child development after the child is born. But what is the category for experiential events in the womb that are causes of later personality? For they are events that would seem to be biological, they have been assumed to be biological (genetic), but they are most definitely varied and are affected by the personality and behavior of the mother and the natal family. 

The better of those two categories for this type of influence would have to be nurture, for these personality and behavior results are clearly affected by the interaction, such as it is, between the mother and preborn. Yet, who at this time thinks of nurture as including these prebirth factors? Who includes in the facets of nurture such things as the attitude and feelings of the mother, toward the child and others, while carrying the child? You see how lacking we are in terminology to even reveal this fact of prebirth consciousness and learning.

So, we have it. In normal social-behavioral science, events that an outside observer can see are rightfully included in causes of what happens later in life. But anything that cannot be seen — any “behavior” or events or “experiences” that are not seeable, that is, that occur in the womb — are not considered causes. What is assumed is that anything in the person that cannot be linked to postnatal events, requiring causes prior to birth, are considered genetic, are considered to be “built into” the genes.

Well, that is so outright ridiculous that, if we were not so conditioned to be in lockstep with that thinking around us, right now we would be laughing. For that is like saying that in this area alone, when it happens with humans, with babies, unviewable events simply do not occur. That is like saying that chemical reactions occurring on the molecular level do not occur, in chemistry, because we do not usually view them. Not to mention on the subatomic level. Or that events that we cannot observe happening in outer space do not occur, though we have all this accumulated scientific evidence that they do.

A simple scan of relevant scientific literature will reveal that in the nurture-versus-nature catalog of causes of personality and later behavior it is quite rigid: Events occurring after birth are nurture. That is, they are affected by culture, by people, and by decisions and actions … and they are variable. But that any causes coming from before birth are genetic. They are nature, not nurture. Which means they are not affected by culture, by people, and by decisions and actions. … and they are not variable.

Prenatal Experience … The Next Frontier in Evolution

Well, now consider that all those assumptions are wrong. And the consequences of that change in thought changes everything. It means that there are events and experiences that occur to individuals prior to birth that affect them for life, which are caused by all kinds of things that are variable, in the mother, in the culture that the mother is in, and in the events that happen to the mother. So they are changeable. We know this for things like toxins that the mother absorbs into her system affecting the fetus biologically … the effects of smoking and alcohol, for example. 

But now we know that the fetus is directly affected and imprinted by the emotions of the mother; and the day to day events that happen to the mother, which affect her mood, thoughts, and physiology; as well as the feelings and attitudes the mother has toward the prenate; the feelings she has toward her spouse and significant others in her life; and the events that occur to her stomach and womb with the fetus inside … bumps, falls, sexual intercourse in the late stages of pregnancy, for example; and much more. 

We have learned that these all affect the unborn child and become part of that individual’s life history, learning, and experience upon which all later thoughts, attitudes, ideas, and even bodily feelings and sensations are built or emanate from. These things varying so much  from one mother to the other, the effects on the fetus are greatly different from one prenate to the next. They contribute immensely to the infinite variety of human personality. These events are as different as the different events that happen in later life. And it has been said an “entire life,” in a sense, is lived by the prenate prior to being born. 

The traits and characteristics an individual is born with, we now know, are most likely to have their causes in events happening to the fetus in the womb.  They are caused by experiences the prenate has, just as a person after birth experiences events that affect her or him later. And we now know that there is memory from that far back, even though it is most often unconscious memory — memory that is not easily retrievable. Though this normally unconscious memory can be and indeed, has been demonstrated to be retrievable … and verifiable. 

Indeed, this is one of those discoveries that gave birth to the field itself and revealed it to be the rich new vein of understanding — worth mining for fresh new insights into humanity — that it is. It is these seemingly miraculous findings — of verifiably true and retrievable memory from our experiences inside our mothers — that has demanded the new theories, models, and constructs of thoughts in our sciences, which has been going on in this and its related fields for over fifty years. These new facts demand explanation; these discoveries require new understandings; and, I assert, they call out for a new paradigm to explain them. But, happily, they indicate what that paradigm looks like and they conscribe its outlines. 

These discoveries of verifiably accurate memory, which we carry, have shown that they emanate from so far back in our individual lives that I dare not reveal how far back that has been demonstrated to be the case … not yet…. Quite frankly, you’re not yet ready to accept that. And I will satisfy myself that what I have said so far is already a big enough bite, needing to be digested, for now. Or, see my book, Falls from Grace (2014).

Factors in Why We Ignore the Unborn Child

At any rate, it is now so obvious that this is true … it is so obvious that events happen before birth and they are causes for behaviors and events and traits and psychological characteristics in the later individual … that the fact that it was not believed to be true up till now jumps out as calling for an explanation. And a ready one answers the call. For if everything that happens to the baby prior to birth is not affected by anything happening to the mother or in her surroundings, then there is simply no responsibility carried by the parents, or the culture or society surrounding. Thus, nature is the easy scapegoat. We can say, for anything we do not like that happened that is hard to understand as having any cause after birth that, “Oh, that’s genetic.” And we do not have to look any deeper. No harm. No foul.

Beyond that, it is almost a biological prerequisite for survival to ignore those new community members, those new family members, who have not yet seen the light of day. Consider that with what we know now of how much our unborns are involved with and affected by our lives as adults, especially the life of the mother carrying her or him, it can be concluded that these fully grown folks have an active relationship with the prenate, whether they know it or not; and it is a relationship requiring attention. The fetus is already a family member with needs, far more than the mere biological ones we have acknowledged so far. The unborn has social needs. One should in fact interact and attempt to communicate with him or her. 

However, consider how much strain on emotional and physical resources come with each additional child into a family. Now think about the fact that the prenate — if it was known to be as conscious, responsive, and engaged with us as we have found it to be — would in all good and maternal conscience need far more time and attention than it currently gets from its adult significant others. With all the difficulties of survival put upon us, it would seem that to ignore the needs and consciousness of the new life within would have survival advantages that natural selection would foster in the personalities of humans.

Primal Versus “Civilized” Societies in Noticing the Unborn

Certainly that hypothesis bears up in looking at our evolution. For it is societies with the least amount of demands for survival who are the most considerate and attentive to the needs of the prenate and to her or his mother during her pregnancy. These “primal” societies and indigenous cultures — who have been found on average to have required only three to four hours a day to acquire the basic necessities for survival — are much more likely to acknowledge the consciousness and aliveness of the unborn and to have beliefs, rituals, and behaviors geared toward interacting with it. 

Whereas with civilization comes an extraordinary increase in time demands for simple survival and coincident with that is a strong tendency to deny the needs or consciousness of prenates. Do you think the medieval serf, obligated to slave the day away, has time to coo to its child in the womb? Can we see how convenient it is for modern families, requiring two incomes to keep themselves in house and school and health insurance, to ignore that there are extra duties attendant upon the mother-to-be? 

On the other hand, have we noticed how much more likely it is for middle-class mothers and families in comfortable circumstances to acknowledge these new discoveries in prenatal and perinatal psychology and to be searching out humane, gentle birthing procedures; and to be eagerly buying up CDs to play to their prenate; attending classes of meditational communication with their unborn; to be singing and talking to their new family member in the womb while gently holding and caressing their bellies; and to be involved in all other kinds of new-fangled activities of pregnancy which are, thought-provokingly enough, reflective of the practices of societies from tens and hundreds of thousands of years ago?

We see that while there are survival pressures and evolutionary pushes to ignore the consciousness of the new humans in their wombs, there is an innate human tendency for maternal care and tenderness (love) that also exists; and “love” has a tendency to come out when the circumstances in the culture allow for the kind of attention to prenates that acknowledgement of their full aliveness and awareness would in good conscience call out. The point is that this truth about the consciousness of the fetus and before should not, scientifically speaking, be a cultural product. Scientific facts are facts, findings are findings, truth is truth. None of this should be dependent on convenience, belief, or culture. 

 The conclusion is that there are reasons why it has taken so long to acknowledge what should have been so obvious about ourselves in our earliest months. These reasons are economic ones, and they are ones having to do with parents avoiding responsibility, and guilt, for the kinds of children they have parented. 

The Costs of Ignoring the Unborn Child

Still, this easy getting off from any blame has a cost. For we do not, in so doing, realize that there are things that the mother, the society, the family, and the culture can do to help, ease, and facilitate the individual to have a better experience in the womb and a better life afterwards. And we cannot benefit from the kind of families, communities, societies, cultures, and physical and social environments that such loved, cared for — and, we are now finding out, loving, “advanced,” compassionate, and intelligent individuals that such pre- and perinatal child-caring brings into our worlds — are capable of giving rise to, nor the peaceful worlds and harmonious events that so much more naturally come forth from them. Our convenient denial of the consciousness of the unborn has had huge costs, as we shall see, over and over again, in this book. We could have had a better world. We can still have a better world.  

A Paradigm Crashes, New Visions Abound

Consider that. But consider also that such denial of the obvious, such discrimination against prenates, is interwoven with all of our understandings in the biological, sociological, and behavioral sciences. This change in thinking toward acknowledging the consciousness of the unborn child would, as mentioned, change our world if we acted on it. 

But one thing for sure in the short run: In the sciences, the resulting upheaval in systems of thoughts compelled by these discoveries is truly revolutionary. An entire paradigm comes crashing down; and the theoretical surface area laid so much to waste that entire new systems of thoughts and new visions, insights, and revelations spring instantly to life, lusty and fresh, wet and alive and hopeful … as inspiring and hopeful as the full-throated cries of newly arrived, freshly revealed babies.

.

CHAPTER 3

The Making of One Centaur and All About a Generation:

How Do We Change?

How do we go about changing the patterns of millennia? How do we change, and change radically … and soon? How do we bring about the consciousness transformation that will allow us to avert the humanicidal, indeed ecocidal, scenario we are currently bringing about at breakneck speed? 

Well, it is pretty clear that it is ignorance pushing these trends, along with unconscionable doses of denial and ignore-ance. So, reversing this means learning why it is humans can be so self-destructive. Ignorance must be replaced with awareness and understanding. Looking at our problems must be happening more than our current denial is. We must trace our current ecocidal tendencies to their roots, and we must do something about them there.

This is something I have been doing for over forty years. I sought the answers to our most important questions. I did not know that someday these questions would be as pressing as they are currently. I thought we would have turned the corner on these problems a long time ago, as indeed we should have done if we were to give ourselves any real chance.

The Sixties Was the First Postmodern Era

As I said, I am a pre- and perinatal psychologist. That is my major area of expertise, though I have several others.  I have been involved in deep feeling therapy, specifically primal therapy, and have been facilitating folks in primal therapy, rebirthing-vivation, and holotropic-primal breathwork for forty years now. I have been writing for forty-five years. And what my deep feeling experiences took me and other people into is a realization of the truth about ourselves but also about the world. 

What Truly Characterized the Sixties — At the Doorway of Discovery

I have been on a long journey to find out what the truth is. I am a child of the Sixties, born in 1950. The Sixties and early Seventies was a very troubled time, but also a euphoric one. As one author described it in a title for his book about that period, “years of hope, days of rage.”1 There was that, but there is one defining characteristic of those times and my generation that was obvious as hell at the time and which truly defined it and gives it its saliency, yet it is rarely, if ever, mentioned.2 There are reasons why it would be judiciously kept from collective consciousness, which we will not go into at this time. For that, see my work, Culture War, Class War: Occupy Generations and the Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths” (2013)

What is never pointed out has to do with the quality of discovery that permeated that period of time, along with the eruption of the search for truth, which characterized just about everything important that defined the Sixties–early Seventies. As I have pointed out elsewhere, the Sixties Generation was “the last educated generation.”3 Liberalism, as personified by the Kennedys and LBJ, dominated. And on campuses, liberal arts was the most common route for a generation who had been taught that education and knowledge was an end in itself, not just, as it became later, as I detail in the book mentioned, a means to employment in a corporate world. 

Modernity, Postmodernity

It was the first postmodern era. By that I mean, modernity is defined as the belief in the value of the singular advance of technology and social evolution in a straight line proceeding from and extending the trajectory of the premodern era into recent times, the present, and then into the future. If modernity had not given way to postmodernity, picture a future like The Jetsons,4 or even Star Trek. For now, I will put to the side a discussion that modernity could not continue because it relied on an aggressive exploitation of the environment, which has its limits and so would not be possible. 

However, if you do not see the importance of these distinctions and think, perhaps, this is just a matter of semantics, consider the following: As we approach the ecocidal plunge mentioned, which will do in all life on this planet in mere decades, the battle to save the planet is basically between two camps, one whose views are distinctively modern and the other characteristically postmodern. 

We have those of the modern paradigm advancing projects involving the continued exploitation of the environment as if it is limitless; encouraging continued unimpeded population growth, as if there is not a carrying limit to the planet that we have long ago exceeded; proceeding with the burning of fossil fuels and the creation of pollution, as if there is no climate change going on or greenhouse effect (specifically, this is the position of many of the Republicans in America who are now, 2016, in office); unconsciously going about their business as if the air, water, and soil of the planet are unlimited nether regions into which one can dump one’s unwanted material with no repercussions on oneself; and fervidly believing that continued innovation, invention, and technological advance will steadily improve the lives of the living (and provide healthy profits) and will miraculously save the planet, as in some hollywood apocalyptic disaster movie. 

Countering these benighted folks — who can be seen are still living in a pre-Sixties world, a characteristically Fifties-style world — are those operating within a postmodern paradigm who realize the times have changed requiring new solutions to our biggest problems and demanding a change in consciousness of the people to coincide with those changes and to be able to adapt to them. These more observant people act within an understanding that in order to do this one must look far and afield into different cultures and engage the imagination to come up with completely unique, out-of-the-box conceptualizations and rearrangements of those newly-come-to-light elements in re-creating society, culture, and material culture … if we are to survive, I might add.  

What Truly Characterized the Sixties — Euphoria, Imminent Utopia

At any rate, the Sixties began the postmodern era, for there was an unprecedented conflux of a number of elements that determined it. These included technological advances in telecommunications and transportation; a value on higher education and its consequent explosion of information into all the sciences, and most importantly, the social sciences; and the most prosperous America that has ever been, fueled by the ongoing success of New Deal legislation, with taxes in the ninety-percent range throughout the Fifties and the early Sixties at the highest bracket for the “filthy rich.” 

This prosperity, fostered by a more equitable tax system than in current decades, stimulated the funding for a higher education that was affordable; a sturdy safety net in welfare and social programs, allowing a little more risk in one’s life decisions for the adventurous, the creative, and the foolhardy5; and a comfortable middle class who would raise children instilled with ideals of progress, education, and a better tomorrow in all areas. 

With all these factors in play, there was an explosion of information on the campuses in all respects. What was being learned about humanities; history; other cultures and peoples through anthropology; understandings of the real causes of actions not the theologically infused explanations that had formerly been the understandings of the common person, heretofore, through knowledge that was coming out of the behavioral sciences; and similar discoveries were fueling a new understanding of the self, the society, the relation between the two, and the possibilities of humanness and life.

It can be understood how this would lead to movements for civil rights, for women’s rights, and for rights of indigenous peoples. What was being learned in the behavioral sciences was helping us to reverse notions of a superiority and dominion over Nature that had led to a cruelty to all of Nature and to all planetmates who were not human. Through LSD and explorations and research in psychology, there were breakthroughs in consciousness research and understandings of the nature of reality which were congruent with earlier-in-the-century discoveries in quantum physics. 

All in all, things were changing; everything was changing. The world was being remade anew. Everything was possible. And my generation saw the possibility to understand everything and to do things right that had never been done right before and to create societal structures and human relations that had never before existed but which would be workable and might even lead to a utopian future … not a Jetson technological future … but a future that brought together the best of everything that was true from all over the world and from every area of knowledge into a grand amalgam of utopian results. 

All About a Generation

It is not hard to understand why there would be a generation gap at the time as one generation, the young, were being exposed to and were creating worlds vastly different from their parents.

Our Search for Solutions

Everything was changing. Still, with the collapse of the modern era and its certainties about the values of continued technological advance within a framework of understandings of family and community that were traditional and stable and theologically supported and maintained (the overthrow of certainty about religion was another huge but neglected factor in the changes and the promise of something new), we did not know what the truth was … yet. Though with the confidence we had and the euphoria of new discovery everywhere around and the relatively comfortable financial circumstances of our lives, we felt that, at any time, and just around the corner, we would discover that holy grail of truth.

Meanwhile the Vietnam War, pervasive racism and sexism, and many other injustices that abounded were telling us that a lot of the things that we were told about our country were false. In America, but in most countries in the world and in all the developed nations, this was going on. So there was a great awakening for a lot of us and we found out a lot of things about our culture was just not right. It was just off. 

You see, we had a generation that wanted to find out what the truth was, and I was one of those. I set off in that direction. I pursued the truth through many things, both academically and experientially; and I ended up going deeper into myself. After activism and anti-war activity and things of that sort, I wanted to go deeper into myself to find the real roots of the intractable problems we were facing in our world — we wanted to find out how to really change things. 

For it did not take long, after our initial high hopes in stopping a war were crushed, dismissed, ignored (see my Culture War, Class War, 2013), and finally attacked with military, guns, and murder at Kent State and Jackson State, for us to realize that the huge problems would not be easily solved, no matter how sincere the intentions we held. Later our efforts to bring attention to the environmental crisis also were stymied, leading many of us to wonder why people would not take action when the lives of their children were at stake. 

Caused Us to Look Within

So the movements in the Sixties led many of us to go inward to seek the answers. For, clearly, outward action was not effective and we saw that we were encountering, not just the problems and issues of a country, or an age, let alone just of a generation; but we were coming up against the roots of all evils of all times. And my generation, seeing that, coming up against that kind of intransigence of society, realized we were encountering the blocks to progress in all ages. We looked deeper into that, and we saw economic problems; we saw cultural problems; we saw problems of race and ethnicity, of prejudice, bigotry, misogyny, and so on. But the most astute of us realized that all of these had deeper roots …

they had roots inside ourselves …

they had psychological roots …

they had spiritual roots…. 

And the rest of the world saw that we were doing that. They witnessed the Beatles getting involved in transcendental meditation. We saw entire movements around EST and many other personal growth movements. Folks were taking seminars at Esalen. People were returning to the country to get close to Nature. Of course we were taking LSD, psilocybin, ‘shrooms, peyote, and other drugs — both the psychedelic (mind-expanding) and the not so mind-expanding (we learned) — to try to snatch those bits of truth about ourselves that might be applicable to all. 

We worked on our relationships and our communications, knowing full well how gender inequality had been a keystone of the insanity of all “civilized” times. Alongside that we had a sexual revolution to once and for all rid ourselves of the crazy thoughts and jealousy that arose around the circumstances of folks sharing pleasure and their bodies with each other. 

We knew those feelings made no fucking sense at all! Though we felt that insanity within us and wanted no part of it in our world or in any world we would help to create. We saw such sexual dysfunction as actually the root of the domination of women, rape, sexual abuse, pedophilia, and the like, and we understood how it tied into misogyny and gender inequality … and to generally unhappy people living unhappy lives, generation after generation. We read Freud. But many of us graduated to and saw the light reading Wilhelm Reich.

The point is that my generation and the society as a whole, around the entire world, were looking inward to find the roots of the troubles of all time that we saw manifesting all around us in the outside world.6

 We wanted to make a better world, and we were willing to go where we needed and to do what it took to find out how to do that. So, many of us went searching inside. The Beatles did not lead us so much as they reflected us. When The Beatles went to India and became involved in meditation, the whole world knew it … but they were only doing what many others of my generation were doing at that same time. The same with their psychedelic drug use. They hardly started that. They were just visible and “typical” … if there can be such a thing for a generation so exploding with variety, with creativity … they were “typical” members of an ongoing worldwide movement. 

Along those same lines, I did not go into primal therapy because John Lennon and Yoko Ono did that. Hardly. For I was already on that path and had been for a full four years before I read the famous interviews with John and Yoko in Rolling Stone, in which they described their experiences in and views on primal therapy.7

The Making of One Centaur

That was 1971, but my quest began in my first semester at college, in the Fall of 1968, where I learned, not in classrooms, but from fellow students, the “hidden” knowledge of the ages. We passed around, “secretively,” books on Gandhi, Fromm, Plato, and other philosophers. We shared The Harrad Experiment (1966) and began to understand just how really sexually screwed up our societies and cultures have been for hundreds and thousands of years. 

Carl Jung and The Dangers of Mysticism for Modern Youth

An older mentor of mine — strangely enough, he was my wrestling coach in high school and was a former Marine — showed me his “hidden stash” one day. 

He had also been the guidance counselor, and he was a good friend. I was visiting him in that first year of college, back at the old high school in his counselor’s office, and the conversation moved to my excitement about the things I was learning. 

Yes, I told him about Gandhi and Edgar Cayce and Fromm and The Art of Loving and Kahlil Gibran and The Prophet.8 I told him about Zen and Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave” and Alan Watts and The Wisdom of Insecurity and all this heady and “exotic” stuff.9 He listened, almost waiting until he was sure.

Then he opened the top drawer of his desk and pulled out what he had secreted away there. Hell, I had known him well for six years, had gone on trips with him, had visited his family, and I was beginning a regular correspondence with him. But I never saw this part of him.

Man and His Symbols by Carl G. Jung (1964). He said, here, take and read this. Look into this man. This is the real deal, here.

Wow. Former marine. High school wrestling coach. Closet mystic. That’s a resume I never imagined.

Oddly, he was right. It is amazing what even Marines can know. And I headed off on a three-year study of Jung, became a Jungian in my views and my writings. By the end of the first semester of my third year of college, December, 1970, I wrote my first book, from a Jungian viewpoint, The Dangers of Mysticism for Modern Youth.10 I turned it in as a term paper to two of my professors. They were astounded. The one professor stopped grading me for my work after that, in other courses I had with him, and just gave me the automatic A+. He would send that grade to be recorded, even before I turned anything in, telling me I had “gone off the charts.”

But that first book was important for other reasons; it set me off on the life of writing that I have had ever since. That book came as a revelation, my first major one. And it had served as an antidote, writing that book, at the time, to the psychological turmoil that had been unleashed in me by all the openings I had been doing in spiritual, intellectual, and personal ways. 

Wither Leads, the Burning Curiosity 

I mean, I didn’t do this Sixties thing half way. I had hitchhiked from Pennsylvania to California and back in the summer of 1969 and had hitchhiked all over the Northeast United States and Quebec and Ontario provinces in Canada the following summer. I had done my share of drug experimentation; I had been meditating; I had a coupla OBEs, had been at the million-people largest demonstration in history in Washington D.C. on Moratorium Day, November 15, 1969. Had participated in demonstrations, and teach-ins, and anti-war pamphleting and dialoging with folks about the war in the downtown of my college’s city, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. I held my share of “candles in the rain.” I did my dues heckling Nixon when he flew in to the Lancaster airport and gave a speech there. I carted people there in my VW bus, with chaotic multi-colored spray paint covering every square foot of it. As for my sexual revolution, none of your business! Seriously, though, it was nowhere near as colorful as I wished or heard stories about. But I did some personal growth, yeah.

I was no armchair hippie OR radical … or academic for that matter. 

Oh, and yeah yeah yeah. I know what you’re wanting to ask. In 1969, after having seen Hendrix and Joplin and all the other biggies at the three-day Newport Rock Festival, in Newport Beach, California, in the summer of 1969, and had the interesting experience of being chased, with a crowd of others, down the street alongside the festival by a cadre of CHP in riot gear, and weeks later gotten back to Pennsylvania, only a few hundred miles from Woodstock, and the air was abuzz with this festival in easy distance of my home town, my girlfriend’s mother wouldn’t let her go. So, yeah, I missed Woodstock. I really fucking did. My only regret of the time. Ah, women. My downfall.

Academically? Well, after originally following what had been my forte in high school, in physics and mathematics, I switched and studied humanistic psychology on the undergraduate level, beginning in 1969. As I have pointed out elsewhere, I received a “degree in me” … that is, I originally titled my undergraduate curriculum “Religious and Psychological Approaches to Self-Understanding.” I wanted to find out why I was the way I was, and as I put it into my curriculum proposal in 1969, at the age of nineteen: By looking deeply into the roots of me, and why I am the way I am … in all ways of understanding, scholastic, experiential … by experiencing life in all of its variety and ways of being … I hope to better understand why other people are the way they are, why society and culture and nations are the way they are, and so ultimately to be better able to help and understand another. As I put it to them, a little disingenuously as my major motivation was simply to learn these things for which I had a burning curiosity, this study would be applicable in any kind of counseling or psychotherapeutic endeavor. 

I point this out as an indication of the times, as, since my generation, it seems the only reason to experience higher education is for the purpose of finding a job. I need to stress that it was not that way in my generation, and I am a typical example of that.11

So what I did not point out to that committee, but it was always there, was I hoped to understand why the world, society, cultures, and Reality was the way it was … and I hoped to contribute to helping to make a better world by bringing more awareness into it.

So you might say that at the age of nineteen, I knew what I would do in life. And this book is one I have been getting to all my life. For this book contains exactly the answers to the questions I have just postulated

“Physician, Heal Thyself” … We Demanded Authenticity

Getting back to my narrative, well, John Lennon went off into primal therapy. Well, so did I. Not to follow him but because, as I have been pointing out, in many ways, academically and experientially, I was already on that path. And it was all about trying to make ourselves better because we knew and took to heart the admonition, “Physician, heal thyself.” We were not about to do anything in any way less than what had the potential to be successful. We did everything grand … but also, mindful of the wisdom of and standing upon the shoulders of all those who had come before.12

We knew we had to take care of ourselves, first; we had to fix ourselves before we could hope to successfully fix anyone or anything else. We demanded authenticity in everything and in ourselves. So what started me on my path, importantly, were these things — my curriculum and my primal therapy and my full engagement in the experiences and euphoria of a singular age. I have related a lot about what happened in my beginnings, but I do so because it led to the rest of my life, which was all about adding to that academically and experientially. I became a primal therapist; I became a holotropic breathwork facilitator. I taught in the universities; I pursued things academically.

And all along, I have researched and studied in this area. I have undergone many years of deep experiential psychotherapy to trace the roots of these human tendencies within my own mind and psyche.13

And I have studied humanity — its mind and its culture — in depth.

“First, Have Something to Say.”

And I was writing this whole time. I wanted to share what I was knowing but I was waiting … waiting, waiting … because I learned early on … something I learned early on when I was studying philosophy … somebody said, “First thing, before you go teaching or writing books or whatever, is, have something to say.”

I want to stress, I am not a writer because I like to write … though after a long time, I felt I did. I became a writer because I have something to say. I have something to say and no one else is saying it. And that creates a responsibility. A burden, yes. But I would wish this burden on everyone, for it fulfills my life and has made it magical.

Anyway, you see why I was not about to just put things out there … my writings. I wasn’t in it for any money or fame or anything or any ego reasons. My major motivation in life is I want to help. There are reasons why I would feel that way. I guess I grew up having a lot of compassion for the people around me because of the things I saw. And I grieved a lot in my life for the people who were close to me. In a lot of ways, I had it better than them. And I wanted to help. So I spent my life in those feelings and with those driving motivations and earnest passions. 

You see, for me it wasn’t about any money or anything material. Like many of my generation I was very idealistic. I wanted to find out what the problems were and then I wanted to do something about them.

I spent my life doing that and then when it came to the books, when I had something to say, I wanted to make sure that it was right. So I spent a lifetime looking into these things. Now, in the last two years I have put out seven books … this will be my eighth.14

Because I’m finally putting out what I’ve learned over all these years … and it is in so many areas. 

At any rate, this book might be considered the end result of at least one person’s efforts of that generation and of that centaur’s motivation to find the earliest beginnings of evil in humanity and the place we need to address in order to be successful.

What follows is what I found out.

 

CHAPTER 4

Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and the Phenomenon of Re-Experience:

The Key to Our Survival as a Species

 

Birth

What I discovered is that our current humanicidal tendencies are rooted in a particular birth that characterizes humans. Elsewhere I delineated how we humans, among all species, have come to be unique in this manner. That was in Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014). In another book — Apocalypse NO (2013), which is the book preceding this one and is number four in the Return to Grace SeriesI have laid out how and why these unconscious traumas from our birth — our perinatal unconscious — are rising more than ever before, whether to our detriment or in some uncanny method of healing. As the subtitle states it: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious.

In this book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs: The Necessary Hero and the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events, we look deeper. We trace those tendencies further, to even deeper roots. We find patterns even more profound; we see possibilities even more promising.

But before going deeper even than birth, in teasing out our patterns and predilections, we need to understand birth. We must review the perinatal imprints on our personality and remember how we are affected, indeed, pushed and pulled by forces those early events have set in motion.

Prenatal 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 the time of birth (perinatal) 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, in Chapters Five through Eight, 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 (PTSD); 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 — which is a catchall term for emotional release in a therapeutic setting. Re-experience is in such contrast to normal abreaction that when these seemingly bizarre yet healing events of re-experience or primaling 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.

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.1

My Relationship to the Phenomenon of Re-Experience

My interest in the phenomenon of reliving began forty-six years ago at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As an undergraduate there I was most inspired by a course offered in the religious studies department 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. 

So it was that after hitchhiking around the Northeast United States and Canada (again), in the spring and summer of 1972, interviewing reputed primal therapists from a list I had received from William Swartley — a founder of the International Primal Association — I began primal therapy with Thomas Verny in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in October, 1972; and I was his third client in the new modality. I began primaling spontaneously in the summer leading up to my “tutorial” in primal with Thomas Verny; and when there, within my first two weeks with Doctor Verny, I was beginning to have birth primals … just surface stuff, but it was definitely happening. Also, I experienced feeling my mind and body reconnecting. When you consider that what the centaur represents is a consciousness that is connected to its body, just as the human is connected to a horse in a centaur, you can see I was becoming a “centaur.” The centaur is both an integration of body-mind, but, I later learned, represents a “coming together of heaven and earth.” More coming on that.

Subsequently, in 1973, I began a search on the West Coast for a certified primal therapist — one, that is, certified by Arthur Janov — and by 1975, I had discovered the Certified Primal Therapists’ Center in Denver, Colorado, a facility with approximately twenty therapists, headed and trained by Arthur Janov’s former head of training, Jules Roth, and his wife, Helen Roth. Beginning in July, 1975, there it was that we all learned that the actual course of primal therapy took years and that Janov’s initial postulation of three to six months was an observation of his patients who had completed the integration of only the second-line repressed memories — memories of those events that occurred in childhood, adolescence, and previous adulthood — and not the perinatal, what Janov termed the first-line pain. That for the perinatal and, we discovered, the prenatal … and beyond, as you will soon see … it took years, perhaps a lifetime for some. 

Further speculation followed from this. That is, that since primal process is an aspect of spiritual process … about which I will explain more shortly … the same spiritual process that has goals such as liberation, enlightenment, release from the “karmic wheel,” the physical cycle of birth and death, actions and consequences … many of us pondered if such a process as we embarked on might be part of a many-lifetime quest. But, if so, there was no doubt in any of our minds that primal therapy sped up the process to an astonishing degree … for it worked, healed, cured, and progressed one’s self far faster and when no other modality worked. Perhaps we were in our last lifetimes? Perhaps the therapy was making that possible? 

At any rate, the result of my extended therapy was that I would not return to school to complete that final project for a B.A. until 1978 — at which point I had over five years’ experience of primal therapy in 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 have 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 have also 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.

Prenatal 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.2

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.

Nevertheless, much of this prenatal information had for a long time been unformulated, untheorized, and unintegrated into a coherent structure for making sense of these experiences. However, my book, Falls from Grace (2014) went 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. 

Indeed, the earliest indications are that the implications from including the prenatal and primal perspective are vast — one might even say revolutionary, in the true sense of the word. For this new perspective, this new information seems to call for an overthrow, or at least a reversal, of many of the aspects of the dominant paradigms in child-caring, child development, psychotherapy, and spiritual growth. Not the least important, these findings and insights have direct bearing on our current ecocidal and humanicidal plunge to oblivion. So, this vision is the most important one for understanding why we are doing what we are doing and then how we might do something to actually reverse our course.

This Book Reveals the Missing Element in Our Understanding, and the Key to Our Survival

This book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs, deals not with the theoretical structure of prenatal and perinatal experience or in its relation to other paradigms of personal growth. No, this one focuses specifically on the roots of evil in the perinatal, but especially the prenatal experiences we all have. For the effects of perinatal experience on life, history, and personality and behavior … as well as the creation of evil, a great deal of insight and knowledge has been advanced by two researchers in particular — Stanislav Grof and Lloyd deMause. I refer to them quite a bit in this work and I bring their insights into a larger framework of understanding of the deep roots of neurosis, psychosis, and group insanity. 

What I add was stimulated by deMause’s work on the poisonous placenta, as he calls it.3 This refers to the experiences in the late stages of pregnancy when the blood supply to the fetus is less and is not as nutrient rich and has an increasing buildup of toxins. In constructing his theory, deMause followed Briend’s (1979) theory of fetal malnutrition, which has it that late in gestation, because of the fetus weighing heavily upon the mother’s arteries as the fetus is getting larger, the blood supply to the prenate is reduced and is lacking in the optimal amount of oxygen the prenate would wish.4 Thus, oxygen insufficiency, or oxygen “malnutrition,” for the prenate, or “fetus” is what Briend was bringing to our awareness. Elsewhere, I have pointed out, bringing in research from anthropology and related fields, how this fetal malnutrition is a product of our standing upright, becoming bipedal.5 I have explained how this is the major difference between humans and all other planetmates. Humans are the ones who suffer. Homo sapiens is the traumatized species … the one with birth pain. Thus, it is the neurotic one.

At birth and before, we experience pain unparalleled in the world of Nature and other species. This vast difference is metaphorically represented by the story in Genesis, wherein we are cast out of the Garden … no longer to enjoy and benefit from the harmonious synergy that exists in Nature. Yes, we are different.

We are different; and what we find out in this book is that that difference is what creates all our “advances” of “civilization” … but also is resulting in an ecocidal, humanicidal plunge at the moment that will end all life on this planet within decades.6

In this book, I go deeply into the specific experiences that commonly occur in the late stages of gestation. I detail them and show how they have created the “matrix of human events.” I make clear just exactly why we have engaged in holocausts; wars; witch burnings; bigotry; greed and the creation of a dominant, moneyed elite; and environmental destruction. While congruent with and inspired by Grof’s and deMause’s work, this book presents entirely new material. These are discoveries and insights that are rooted in my research of many decades in the prenatal and perinatal, and all its related fields, and my own experiences in deep re-experience of birth and before, and the observations I have had of my clients in the various experiential modalities.

The perspective and the findings of this book, are, I believe, the missing element and the key to understanding the ills of the world and the human condition and to finally doing something about it.

But as in all things, I, like the rest of my generation, stand upon the shoulders of the greats who have come before and the research already done. 

So that is where we need to start. Next, in Chapter 5, focusing specifically on birth, I begin the review for you of what has so far been conceived in relation to our life and our worldview in the arena of prenatal and perinatal psychology.

Let us begin.

 

CHAPTER 5

“We Ain’t Born Typical”:

“Human Nature” Is Fashioned at Birth and Before … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part One

 

 

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, and below), still common in mainstream psychology and medicine today — that a newborn does not possess the neurological capacity for consciousness at birth. Remember that in Chapter 2, “The Next Frontier in Evolution and About the Author,” this amazing mistake is explained and I put forward several explanations — one psychological and one evolutional — for the persistence of this obvious faux pas in science. 

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. Essentially, these things together, according to Rank, amounted to an underlying — disguised but prevalent — desire of humans to return to the womb.

Rank also incurred Freud’s disapproval in that he went beyond the mere “talking cure” of psychoanalysis and encouraged the “acting out” of the birth trauma during his clients’ sessions. Rank pushed for his patients to complete their therapy-psychoanalysis, which was similarly at odds with Freud’s insistence on an ongoing and unending psychoanalysis. In these two ways, he presaged therapeutic directives of primal and similar therapies half a century later.

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 to some of his patients during their sessions with him. Thus he was contributing to the trend beyond mere talking association or dream analysis as ways of accessing and integrating this material.

True Self and False Self

Winnicott presaged Arthur Janov’s assertion of the real self and the unreal self with his postulation of the true self and the false self. According to Janov, the real self is the healthy self that one would have been if one did not have painful traumas requiring the establishment of defenses, which block clear perception of reality; and the real self is recoverable through deep experiential psychotherapy, specifically, Janov would say, that of primal therapy. The unreal self, Janov contends, is the unhealthy self we all develop in order to get our needs met, which involves a denial of our real needs and compliance with outside others in order to receive safety and the hope of getting one’s needs met or, put another way, in order to hold out hope for being loved. 

Winnicott’s true self and false self are pretty much the same, with qualifications I will mention. Winnicott saw the true self as the source of creativity, self-confidence, and contented satisfaction in one’s life and the false self as the one we develop to please others, which focuses on compliance and is essentially unreal and “phoney” — focused as it is on satisfying the needs of others in a roundabout, but thoroughly unconscious, way of trying to get one’s own needs filled. 

These aspects of personhood might also be related to Freud’s earlier postulation of an ego and an id, but they present a thorough reconceptualization of them, with the id emerging as a true self and a source of great value and the ego revealing its unreal roots and its nature as comprised of defenses. This is hugely significant. 

Furthermore, and slightly different from Janov, the significance of the true and false self for the purposes of the perinatal is that Winnicott saw the origins of the true and false selves as being in early infancy, related to the acquiring of satisfaction of needs in that early state. While Janov traces the beginnings of the split that far back, he stresses the consolidation of the unreal self and the near total split with the real self as occurring at a singular event occurring at the around age of four or five — the primal scene. The primal scene is the significant precipitating event causing one to give up one’s struggle to stay real and to surrender to the unreal. Aside from this difference in emphasis, the two are very much in agreement.

 However, the qualification I need to make regarding his conceptualizations versus Janov’s is that Winnicott saw value in the false self as somehow retaining the interests of the true self. In this way, he saw the false self — as Freud thought as well for his ego, only even more so — as having a function. This is completely unlike Janov who saw the unreal self as being something completely inauthentic which blocks the expression of the real self and needs to be overthrown, “violently,” as Janov put it. Thus Winnicott, in terms of the valuation and view of the ego/unreal self/false self holds a midway point between the positions of Freud and Janov.

Play Therapy and Reevaluations of Ego and Id

Descending as he did from the Freudian tradition — Winnicott was a student of psychoanalyst, Melanie Klein — still, Winnicott, like some others being mentioned here, differed with Freud, not just in his interpretations of selves, or components of the psyche, but in the way to do therapy. He saw the psychoanalytic framework involving an authoritarian analyst and a compliant client as fostering the false self. Instead he used play, in his therapies, as a way to bring out and foster connection with the true self, which he saw as having components of creativity, wholeness, and well-being. 

Indeed, in seeing this component of personality, the true self —  what Freud might interpret as the id — as being a source of healing, creativity, and growth, as opposed to the healing force emanating from the “rational” ego, his therapy was a turnabout on Freud’s. Similarly, his interpretation of what Freud would undoubtedly have called the ego as being a false self — one which blocks real aliveness, connection to others, and creativity, and is comprised of defenses seen as much less useful and necessary as Freud’s defenses were seen to be — is a similar significant revisioning of psychoanalytic understanding.

Concessions to the Status Quo

Still, a product of his times, he could not break completely with his culture and society, and he rationalized all kinds of child-care (child-rearing) as being “good enough,” in that they did not result in overt psychopathology. Although there are almost always covert psychopathologies, we later discovered, in even the most “normal” of us which can erupt at any time. 

There is no doubt in my mind that this concession to the norms of the child-caring of his time and to the truisms about child development and “rearing” embedded in the psychology of it accounts for the much greater regard accorded Winnicott, of all in the prenatal and perinatal field. Despite this, interestingly, his prenatal and perinatal understandings are hidden from child development texts. Not coincidentally, it is his “good enough” rationalization of the majority of child-rearing, non-confrontational as it is and sanctioning as it does the status quo, requiring no change (but allowing for no improvement, either), that is repeated endlessly. Put another way, Winnicott is touted as an important figure in the history of child development because he went along with what parents and professionals wanted to believe about child-rearing/parenting (including their own of both) and did not make waves. Since this book asserts that we need radical changes in prenatal, birth, and child-caring/parenting to bring about the access to the deeper human nature required for the survival of Earth’s life, his concession is important and represents a stumbling block, to the extent that it is still bandied about by child development professionals. 

Further, he rationalized that birth was a good thing, if done correctly, in contributing to ego strength. And he rationalized that the true self could be helped by the false self. People who want to “make nice” like this in the midst of contrasting theories and views are often highly regarded. In his defense, he could only be the product of his times; indeed, in the ways mentioned above, for example, the true and false selves and his views on therapy, he challenged some prevailing notions. Still, professionals and theorists who sanction the practices and beliefs of an era or paradigm will always be lifted up for acclaim. That is, they are until the next paradigm becomes dominant, at which point they are seen as conciliatory, even as apologists for the matrix/paradigm in effect at the time. Truly, the radical formulations to be advanced by Janov, Grof, deMause, and myself later, among many who could be named from the 1970s on, were not to be had in 1958.

Later Research and Theorists: Hypnosis, Primal Therapy, and Birth

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

David Cheek and Leslie 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.

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), Arthur 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. Janov’s work is more empirical and neurophysiologically rooted than most in the field, and this was especially true of this work. 

Nevertheless, while the book is recognized in the field, Janov and his work have not gotten anywhere near the respect and attention they deserve. His therapy involving having deep feeling experiences, primaling, of all kinds — his primal therapy, involving the re-experience of anger, sadness, grief, childhood, early life, birth, and painful events from all other times in life and involving the re-experience and release of all possible feelings — is reduced to and ridiculed as “primal scream therapy,” from the provocative title of his first book. 

Thus, both lay and professional folk have participated in a slander of his therapy, giving the inaccurate impression — purposely, for some, no doubt — that his therapy involves merely eliciting screams in his clients. Since some imitators have actually used his ideas to create ludicrous “therapies” of that sort — for example, Daniel Casriel’s “scream therapy” — this charge is particularly damning, insulting.1 In any case, Janov remains the unfortunate kicking-boy of a movement that is itself scapegoated by the academy and the larger scientific community.

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.

Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Overview — Next, the Womb Experience

We see that a substantial body of literature and research — anecdotal, observational, experimental, and empirical — demonstrating the reality of and the importance of birth and its trauma has been going on for almost one-hundred years. But others, in time, went beyond birth and began to uncover prenatal influences and memories. This look into events in the womb and their significance for personality, behavior, and thought is what we deal with next, in Chapter 6, “Womb with a View.”

 

.

CHAPTER 6

Womb with a View:

Everything You Believe, You Learned as a Fetus … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part Two

 

 

Later Theorists: Societal Implications, Psychohistory, Birth and Prenatal, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child

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

Also a psychoanalyst, as well as being an associate of Sigmund Freud, Nandor Fodor (1949) focused on the reflections of birth and prenatal material in dreams. While Winnicott and some others referred to the prenatal as being significant in development, it is with Fodor, and his follower, Francis Mott, that it is most developed. 

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 verifiably accurate memories of birth were recovered. He agreed with Rank on many points, but he stressed the origins of consciousness and of trauma being in the prenatal period. He likened birth to death, as he explained that is the way the prenate experiences the drastic change involved in birth; and he claimed that our memory of that death-birth experience is what accounts for our fear of death as adults.

A related interest of his is the one for which he is most remembered. He researched paranormal phenomena, including ghosts and poltergeists, and his conclusions are significant. You will see how his views presaged my own, when I discuss my work around “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality” (1985), in a little bit.

While he himself experienced and believed in the validity of certain transpersonal phenomena — he believed in contact with the dead and it is said he had a moving experience interacting with his late father at a séance — and he had a post at the International Institute for Psychical Research, in several of his works he showed how some paranormal phenomena were rooted in psychological issues and were outward projections of them. He said ghosts were repressed components of the personality and that poltergeists were bundles of projected psychic energy from early trauma. Hence, they were not real as being paranormal … or “spiritual”/transpersonal. His conclusion that some spiritual experiences are valid, but that others are rooted in traumas and are merely psychological is exactly the position I came to, independently. 

At any rate, his controversial stand, which had him discrediting certain phenomena that his paranormal associates favored, got him in trouble in their associations and related publications, and he was dismissed from the Institute for Psychical Research and slandered in one of the newspapers put out by his associates. 

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

Lloyd deMause (1982, 1987, 2002) was instrumental in establishing the new interdisciplinary field of psychohistory. In his study of historical happenings, he discovered that stages in the progression of public events of national, international scope and of historical importance — including invasions, elections, wars, programs and policies, uprisings, depressions and recessions, and much more — 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, as we shall see.

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. His work is extremely relevant to the issues of this book, in some ways it has inspired my work here; and we will be returning to him again and again in this work.

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 for its major association, 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.”1 Consider how that statement alone is a frontal assault on the prevailing paradigm of personality theory, with its nature-versus-nurture category, which ignores the birth and prenatal life of humans as causes, as explained in Chapter 2. 

Verny’s other conclusions center on 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.2

Later Theorists:  Dream Analysis, Archetypes, Philosophy, and the Devolutional Theory of Consciousness and Spiritual Awareness

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

A follower of Nandor Fodor, 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. 

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. That, in itself, is surprising in that his work would provide, in many cases, for experiential explanations for the archetypes that Jung has attributed to “instinct,” or as it is considered more appropriate to say nowadays, to “genes.” 

Thus, the universality of Jung’s archetypes can be attributed to universal patterns of experience humans undergo from conception to birth, not to genetics. It is a tribute to Jung that he would acknowledge such work, threatening as it is to his own work, simply on its own merits. As we have been seeing, this ability to be objective about ideas and findings that conflict with one’s own is not a common trait in this or, really, very many other fields of scientific or intellectual inquiry.

At any rate, Mott 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 archetypes. 

In this he lines up exactly with my own work, as put forth in Falls from Grace (1994, 2014), and A Primal Perspective on Spirituality,(1985), and especially under the titles of Womb with a View and Cells with a View — which are scheduled for publication in 2017. In these later works I make exactly that claim for the gestational origins of not only all mythology, religion, and archetypes, but even fundamental assumptions about physical reality, such as duality and separation, and about life, such as the creation and perception of time. More later.

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. 

If you remember, I addressed a question similar to this in Chapter 2, where I took aim at why this whole idea of consciousness of the prenate and of the neonate at birth are denied so nearly universally by “civilized” cultures and why the idea is so resisted even in modern scientific understandings. I explained how there were evolutionary pushes to overlook the consciousness of the unborn as to do so would place an extra relational burden on the mother and family. Also, I pointed out the most obvious reason, which is that to deny the conscious life of the fetus waives, for the mother and the natal family, all responsibility for the kind of adult personality the prenate becomes. We should lay these factors for the pervasive disregard of what should be easily understandable — the consciousness of the child in the womb and the effects of prebirth experience on life and personality — alongside Mott’s explanation. 

Devolutional Model of Consciousness Development

Finally, Francis Mott made the postulation 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. 

This, incidentally, is almost exactly the position I came up with, independently of and unaware of Mott’s work, and which I published in my book Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness (2014).

I wish also to point out that this idea of reductions of consciousness over time, in early human development, and not the buildup due to cell growth normally assumed, has remarkable consistency with Bergson’s theory of “brain as reducing valve.”3 The reducing valve theory of brain function was supported by experiences in psychedelic states, and, specifically, it was proposed by Aldous Huxley (1954) in his famous work (famous because the Sixties rock phenomenon, The Doors, used its title as inspiration in naming themselves), The Doors of Perception, as a way of understanding how psychedelics can open one up to consciousness and awareness quite beyond what one could possibly know through normal channels.

According to Huxley, expansion of mind beyond the normal can be a result of consciousness-altering methods, psychedelic drugs being one of them, due to the fact that the “reducing valve,” the brain, is inhibited from performing its reducing function.4 I continued along those lines, elaborating and speculating on the idea, in my articles, titled, “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.”5

Stanislav Grof — Breathwork, LSD, Birth and Prenatal, Myth and Archetype, Spiritual Experience and Consciousness

A pioneer in this prenatal and perinatal area is Stanislav Grof. His many works, providing a framework for conceptualizing pre- and perinatal and transpersonal experiences, are a profound and useful starting point for an investigation into this area.6

In his use of LSD beginning in 1956 for psychotherapy, called psycholytic therapy, Grof 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 only 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 to the prenate (they become “pressing” concerns) 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 very little 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 — the early prenatal and cellular — is being experienced and is beginning to be discussed among his followers. I am one and am not the only one. And through his current nondrug modality, called holotropic breathwork, people are accessing these areas and beginning to give word to them.7

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

Michael C. Irving (1988) 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 the consuming pain experienced at birth, and that the constricting characteristics of certain 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 and prenatal trauma material as we are only now, in postmodern times, rediscovering the importance of doing.

Later Theorists:  Myth and Sacred Text/ Mysticism

  1. 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, specifically Falls from Grace (1994, 2014). 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, as I was detailing above.

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

Shoham (1979a, 1979b, 1990) starts his devolutional model in the womb and carries it through birth, weaning, and the oedipal periods of development. Though 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, to conception and the formation of the sperm and the egg.

Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Overview — Next, Cell Experience

Which is a nice lead in to what is coming next. For in Chapter 7, “Cells with a View,” we take our first real look at the deepest reaches of human experience and the fundamental patterns of our human nature. They occur at the cellular level of consciousness and our earliest womb experience. 

 

 

CHAPTER 7

Cells with a View:

Everything You “Know” About Reality, You Learned as a Cell … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part Three

 

Later Theorists:  Cellular Memory and Conception, Foundations of Myth and Metaphysics, 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? 

As an aside, I think it is interesting that is the same conclusion I came to in my first published article in a peer-reviewed journal, again without benefit of my predecessor’s work. For that, see my article “A Primal Perspective on Spirituality,” which was published in The Journal of Humanistic Psychology (1985). 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, and I will elaborate further on this, shortly.

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 (1981) and The First Trimester (1982). In these works, he goes beyond his other works, in particular Clinical Theology (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, like Grof, developed a nondrug modality to accomplish the same thing. His method of “primal therapy,” also called primal integration, 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, with Tight Corners in Pastoral Counselling, and in 1982, with 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 archetypal 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 and mythological scenarios.1

Others have speculated on the origins of myth and archetype in womb experience; beginning with Lake we have the idea that such might have some origins even earlier, and even at the cellular level of experience. Indeed, this is something I advanced myself in my Falls from Grace, and is what I will focus on in my upcoming work, Cells with a View, which I will introduce to you, shortly.

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.2 In addition to echoing Frank Lake in describing fetal, implantation, and blastocyst feelings, he has been able to elicit in his clients and to 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 — primal events 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.

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

Paul Brenner (1991), a biologist and obstetrician, has presented 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 links 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 does not 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 exciting theoreticians in this already provocative field is David Wasdell.3 Wasdell’s major contribution lies in his relating these earliest events to social and cultural patterns.3 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. 

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.

 

 

CHAPTER 8

Return to Grace:

The Farther Reaches of Experience of Nonordinary States of Consciousness … Overview of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology, Part Four — the Author 

 

 

Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology Overview — Later Theorists:  The Author

Michael Adzema — Primal Therapy, Spirituality, Primal Process as Spiritual Process, Soul, Proof of “God”

A Primal Perspective on Spirituality

As a theorist and pioneer in this field as well, I need to give an overview of my work. 

Having completed primal therapy in Denver, I presented the cumulative project for the B.A., in 1978, that I had years previously left behind, in 1972. In my bachelor’s thesis I sought to discover whether spirituality and God were real or were results of primal pain, as Arthur Janov contended. While approaching the project from Janov’s perspective and not entertaining spiritual interpretations in the least, I was shocked to both begin experiencing spiritual experiences in my primaling, which could not have roots in my primal pain, and to come across other primalers who were having spiritual, transpersonal experiences in their inner work as well. 

Validity of Some Spiritual/Transpersonal Experiences

Furthermore, research into the literature and findings of this new field and into corresponding spiritual literature led me to discover, not only that such spiritual experiences were being encountered in deep experiential psychotherapy … Grof’s work was significant here … but also that some primal experiences of the not so spiritual kind were remarkably like experiences that had been described as being encountered on their spiritual path by enlightened souls both currently and in previous times … Guru Swami Muktananda’s autobiography (1974) was significant in this respect. Had liberated souls gone through a kind of primal therapy on their way to enlightenment? It seemed to be so.

Also, I found that scientific measurements of brain wave and other aspects of brain function coincided at advanced levels of both the primal and spiritual processes: Both kinds of practitioners — primalers and meditators — had extraordinarily easy access to theta and delta wave patterns, for example. Lastly, I was able to show that the terminology, with, at the most, slight adjustments in the perspective, in both spiritual and primal processes corresponded in nearly every case. 

Proof of Soul … God?

In the article that resulted from this project and was published, six years later, in the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (1985), I broke from Janov in asserting a valid spirituality and the possible existence of a God or Spirit beyond our physical confines. Remember that Peerbolte pointed out that existence of memory from before conception and at conception indicated the existence of a soul. For what mind records these memories otherwise, he said. As I put it, in words remarkably like his, as quoted from Falls from Grace (2014), where this article ended up being published as Section Two, Chapters 6 through 18 of that book of mine:

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. 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.1

Subsequently, primalers had the support they needed to go into the early prenatal, the cellular, and the transpersonal regions that their primal process was taking them, but which, in Janov’s limited paradigm, were being overlooked or misinterpreted because they had prematurely been misclassified as impossible and non-existent, or as having roots in primal pain. 

Indeed, having believed Janov’s paradigm for years and for the great bulk of the primal work I would do, and having complied with Janov’s dictum in my own primal work and that of others who I had facilitated, by tracing any seemingly transpersonal experiences to primal pain and clearing it out there, I had a special perspective on this point. 

Primal Process as Spiritual Process

While I would agree with Janov, as wells as Fodor2 who earlier had made the case for paranormal phenomena having psychological roots, that the majority of what are thought to be religious, spiritual, occult, or transpersonal experiences are, indeed, mere products of psychological events, especially those that are traumatic, still, I was one of those who were enabled in going beyond Janov’s paradigm into actual transpersonal states and experiences by the work and the new paradigm I had asserted in my article. So, since I had and after I had carried Janov’s contention to their limits and had actual spiritual experiences beyond the ones rooted in primal pain and had experienced healing and growth, as a result of these transpersonal experiences, beyond what Janov knew was possible for his therapy, you can see that I was unusually qualified to assert this correction of Janov’s paradigm, which gave validation to some forms of spiritual experience, though by no means all.

Michael Adzema — The Second Half of the Cure; Pain, Joy, and Spiritual Grids; Unconditional Acceptance and the Primal Process

The Second Half of the Cure … Pain and Joy Grids

This research and understanding led directly into my understanding of the “second half of the cure” and to my subsequent postulations of pain grids, joy grids, and spiritual grids, as being three fundamental matrices of human personality and behavior, which are accessible through deep primal and experiential work.3

I called them grids, for they were the filters, windows, “frames,” or “grids,” through which we viewed our reality, other people, and in line with which we interpreted our experience. They were grids, because they were both the frameworks upon which we built our life and experience and all other knowledge that came afterwards, and which undergirded our entire lives, but they were also the screens we looked through and the framework or grids or matrices through which we interpreted our experience, our lives, and others.

These grids could not be more distinct, in the primal process, for in a session, after accessing and releasing-integrating material rooted in one’s pain grids, one would sometimes find joy grids rising up. Put another way, one would begin a primal session looking at everything in a negative light that fit into overall negative matrices that one carried within oneself for most of one’s life. But upon accessing deeper experiences, prenatal ones, in which one experienced euphoric, blissful, or contented events, one would, almost magically, view those exact same seemingly negative elements in a different configuration, one which was positive and life affirming. This joy-grid configuration beyond the pain-grid viewpoint gave one hints of different, more positive and workable, strategies for living and for arranging and following through on the details of one’s life. 

The switch in the way one viewed the world would be drastic … and wonderful. It was far more healing and growthful than merely accessing one’s pain grids, as in traditional primal therapy. Thus, “the second half of the cure.”4

At any rate, along with these grids I proposed an addendum to the primal therapy as advanced by Janov; which involved only the experiencing of painful events from one’s past — the pain grids; that included discovering and re-experiencing aspects of one’s life that were blissful and happy and workable — the joy grids — and which could be brought forward as workable alternatives to the client’s previous self-destructive and maladaptive strategies emanating out of the pain grids. 

Janov would not know of these for his paradigm did not include the possibility of these experiences; and it did not allow for the deep experiences required or the time needed to access them. For one thing, to access these kinds of experiences one typically had to continue the primal process past the integration of childhood and birth traumas and to begin opening up to experiences that occurred before one’s birth and to the relatively contented state of early womb experience, to euphoric blastocyst re-experience even further back, and sometimes, even, to events and experiences before sperm experience, sometimes to egg (ovum) experiences going all the way back to when one was a cell within the ovarian sac within one’s mother, to access this.

Spiritual Grids

Beyond these joy grids I postulated spiritual grids, which were spiritual and philosophical ways of living and perceiving reality and looking at the world, which were beyond the joy grids in both quality of beneficence and scope and in their access. What I discovered was that living the joy grids led to earlier primal experiences at the cellular level — specifically, sperm, egg, zygote, and blastocyst — that had characteristically spiritual components and that this coincided with life experience which brought those spiritual perspectives into practice and use and expanded and deepened them. 

Unconditional Acceptance and the Primal Process

As for how one accessed these deeper levels of the primal process, I found and proposed that a radical unconditional acceptance, beyond even that advanced by Janov, be employed.4

Certainly Janov employed a radical “client-centered” therapy, using the words of Carl Rogers. Primal states cannot be accessed without a radical acceptance by the therapist of all possible feelings and feelings states that can occur to the client. The facilitator had to be more than just “okay” with the emergence of this widely varied material; that acceptance had to be authentically embodied in the facilitator. Still, Janov retained a small bit of an authoritarian model in that his version of therapy used “busts” — interpretations inserted by the therapist that are meant to stimulate the therapeutic process and possibly precipitate breakthroughs.  Often useful, they come with a caveat: For the therapist must always be correct in such interpretations; wrong input into the therapeutic process can do significant damage to the healing-growth primal process.

Furthermore, such direction by the therapist-facilitator can lead the client away from where they need to and are able to go — possibly into areas that fit more with the therapists’ paradigm, that fit more with the facilitator’s preconceptions of what is possible and how the client’s process is “meant” to unfold, and not where the client needed or could go. This would not be helpful at all in allowing a therapeutic endeavor that could discover anything new, anything beyond what had been conceived beforehand by Janov. As mentioned above, this would lead clients away from the interpretation of valid spiritual states or the joy grids. They would not happen with Janov’s clients because they would not be thought to be able to happen.

What I saw that allowed access to these deeper states — access to the joy and spiritual grids — was more along the lines of what was proposed by Janov’s one-time head of training, Jules Roth, and his wife, Helen Roth, and their followers and trainees at the Certified Primal Therapists’ Center in Denver, Colorado. 

This is where I experienced the bulk of my primal work and training. And there, instead of directing ourselves to an elusive primal “moment” with the aid of the therapist, we were allowed to simply “be” more fully where we were already “at.” In doing so we found that feeling states deepened. As was said at the Center, “a feeling, is a feeling, is a feeling.” Meaning that whatever the client was feeling was the correct process, there was no “big primal” to get to, and that the present state, in every Now, was the correct one and was where one needed to be. 

We understood that all feelings were equally important and that, as for that dramatic “primal,” what happened is that when one allowed whatever was going on to happen, those experiences deepened in intensity, in meaning, in insight and connections made, and in healing power. So those deepest, most intense experiences were primals, but all of it was “feeling one’s feelings.” And that — feeling whatever feelings came up — was the crucial and important thing. This tao of therapy (my term, not Denver’s) was expressed in Denver as, “the best way to get to where you are going is to be most fully exactly where you are.”

Alongside this radical acceptance and honoring of the “Now,” was a radical acceptance and empathy, from the facilitator, of whatever came up in the client in the course of a session and in whatever form. Certainly we directed clients to go “deeper,” with whatever was going on, but we did not “bust” — thus we retained a certain degree of humility regarding our supposed therapeutic powers and wisdom, in that respect — and we required of ourselves to have gone far and deep in our own process so that we would not, even unconsciously, seek to direct or derail or channel any feelings of the client’s onto routes more intellectually or more emotionally satisfying to us.

If you think about this kind of radical unconditional acceptance, and you compare it with some of the techniques used on spiritual paths, and you bring to mind the kind of euphoric, all-encompassing acceptance and contentment many of us have experienced in our early womb states, what Grof calls BPM I experience, you might see why our way in Denver might be more conducive than Janov’s in making possible access to earlier states — specifically those states related to joy and to spiritual grids.

Michael Adzema — Devolutional Model of Development — “Falls from Grace”; Innate Divinity; Processes of Forgetting and Re-Membering … as Individuation and Liberation

Falls from Grace and the Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness

Following upon these discoveries I realized that there were definite stages in the buildup of these grids and they corresponded to significant events in one’s life: The events are conception, birth, the primal scene, and the identity stage of life. I called these the four falls from grace. Each event represented a diminution of spirituality and a retreat from an innate spirituality and patterns of bliss and expanded perception, which characterizes us all at our beginnings and can actually be called Divine.5

Without being aware of the theories of Mott, Shoham, or Wasdell, and based only on personal experience of deep primal states and observing and facilitating others in these states, along with relevant real life experience of my self and others and pertinent, salient research, I realized that life was a process of reduction of awareness from an original omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent state — a Divinity, a Divine state, a Godhead, a Source — which sets up the process of ego construction and human experience. 

But that this process of forgetting, as I called it — this “descent” through the four falls from grace, which created the human ego — was essentially a neurotic one. It was neurotic, because it was essentially maladaptive and self-destructive and created an unreal self (using Janov’s term) — which was inauthentic and which ultimately desired its own revolution or destruction in a spiritual process of re-membering and which inevitably, whether in one lifetime or many, brought that about. 

As I put it, the end result of the neurotic process of diminishment of consciousness through the four falls from grace which created the ego and was responsible for the much talked about “ego strength” proposed by ego psychologists … the end result of all this was an insensitive sort — the kitty-drowners and butterfly-mashers of the world. I feel pretty sure I do not need to define that sort of personality for you.

Processes of Forgetting and Re-Membering (as Individuation and Liberation)

Thus, the purpose of life was to experience what one would as ego — as seemingly imperfect, muddled, and often out and out seemingly wrong, as that necessarily would be — in order to, by pain and unhappiness, be prodded into a path of return, spiritual return, primal spiritual return, back to Divinity, wholeness, and Grace.

 

You’re born, you become less, you create an ego, separate from the All, you have experiences. 

These experiences enrich you, though they seem to be mistakes at the time. 

You seek your own destruction through them, as well, 

so that in this lifetime or many, you return to the All.

 

Experience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor

Subsequent to these discoveries and their eventual postulations as theories, frameworks for understanding, and paradigms, came a further elaboration that involved a description of Reality as essentially Experience, with matter being metaphor for true existence — which was coincident with the findings of quantum physics and Idealistic and panentheistic perspectives of all times. This I did in Experience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor (2013). In it, I addressed the metaphysical basis of reality. As I put it, the data from consciousness research calls for an existential metaphysical, one that takes as the basic unit of Reality to be one’s immediate Experience in any moment, with all its components of Experience — cognitive, emotional, sensations, feelings, and experiences even subtler, for which there might as yet be no words.

Innate Divinity, Funny God, the No-Form State

I also put forth an understanding of spiritual or metaphysical reality and the corresponding life program and goals that come from it in Funny God: The Tao of Funny God and the Mind’s True Liberation (2015). Additionally, I introduced the notion of the No-Form State — as being the state outside of all falls from grace, both prior to form (before the creation of sperm and egg) and after form, that is to say, after death. 

Based on empirical data of several kinds, I speculated that such a state was an “alive” state, and it was one into which we transitioned after death and is where we exist prior to being reborn.

Michael Adzema — Cellular Consciousness; Cells with A View, Womb with a View; Mythology and Metaphysics with Roots in Cellular and Womb Experience

Womb with a View and Cells with a View

Eventually what is coming, though I have been sharing these ideas widely for decades in both professional and nonprofessional circles is an understanding of the bases of our understandings of reality as formed by our experiences in the womb and as cells, which points to a provocative inquiry into the nature of Reality beyond the confines of physical life, beyond the templates laid down in us of early, prenatal, human experience.

In Womb with a View, I will describe how our basic mythologies, theologies, and beliefs are laid down in us through our womb experiences. In Cells with a View, I will detail how our basic metaphysical assumptions about Reality, especially in its physical aspect, for example, duality, space and time, being and becoming, and so on, are imprinted upon us through our cellular experiences in coming into the world.

In looking at these matrices embedded in us through our cellular and womb and birth experiences, it will be possible to have our best chance to get a look at existence outside of these matrices — the No-Form State. Just as in primal, each connection allows us the freedom to look at the world differently, and not, for a change, have to see it through the lenses of our primal pains; so also I hope to show you how the most profound understandings of reality can come out of removing all matrices of prenatal and perinatal life. What is left is what really Is.

Michael Adzema — Human Birth as an Evolutionary Event and as the Critical Event in Human Separation from Nature; Social, Environmental, and Cultural Consequences of Birth Trauma in Human Evolution; Apocalypse and Humanicide as Consequences of Human Birth

Planetmates: The Great Reveal

In Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014), I brought perinatal understandings of the origins of human consciousness, human separation from Nature, and human neurosis — as being a result of a fetal malnutrition which was the result of the bipedalism we uniquely experienced in our evolution — to bear upon our current environmental crisis. And I used the voices of our planetmates — those beings comprising the nonhuman life on this planet — to make the case.

I relate the process of evolution from our pre-primate forebears through prehistory to civilization and then to current days, through the lens of perinatal trauma and the current apocalypse. With “planetmate assistance,” I detail how we lived initially in a state of Nature; but then, as a result of an “aquatic ape” phenomenon, we gained an evolutionary advantage by becoming bipedal while foraging in water, which eventually and gradually led to being bipedal on land.6 I describe how this resulted in pelvic bone changes; widely varying terms of gestation; secondary altriciality, which is that half of the brain’s growth is accomplished outside of the womb, as compared to other species for whom that development occurs en utero; and a birth trauma that is unparalleled in Nature. 

I showed how this birth trauma has led to humans being the crazed and overly intellectual species, capable of incredible achievements of creation of civilization as well as destruction of life and self. Along the line I accounted for many of our common understandings, which differ from the world of Nature and the rest of our planetmates, of work, play, life, death, faith, trust, truth, religion, emotion, feeling, sexuality, and so on, as being an outgrowth of this primary trauma. I showed how what we call our “human nature” is almost invariably traits that are rooted in our birth trauma, and that it is not our primary human nature, which is rooted in our pre-birth templates.

Apocalypse NO and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious

In another work, in which I addressed our environmental crisis directly, titled Apocalypse NO: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious (2013), I brought perinatal psychology to bear on current times. I discovered and then detailed how our times were unique in the degree of perinatal unconscious material that was coming up in people and being expressed and acted out in modern/postmodern societies. I was able to lay out how that was the case, why that might be the case, and both the dire threat and rare opportunity this phenomenon represented for both a leap in human consciousness or the extinction of the human race. In fact this work, Wounded Deer in Centaurs, takes up from where Apocalypse NO, left off, taking the investigations deeper and further and showing a broader scope for their applicability.

Michael Adzema — Social, Environmental, and Cultural Consequences of Prenatal and Perinatal Events … Apocalypse and Humanicide; Activist Imperative of Prenatal, Perinatal Insight

Wounded Deer and Centaurs

In this book in front of you, I focus specifically on two areas — the roots of evil in the late prenatal experiences of humans and the resulting impending apocalypse. I focus on these prenatal influences, especially the imprint of the time just before birth, in the late stages of pregnancy and before the onset of birth events, on consciousness, society, historical events, and the evil and atrocities of humans, and on a deeper and more positive human nature. 

Alongside this I stress the requirement — emanating from this conjunction of an impending apocalypse and the discovery of a more positive, more cooperative, wiser, and more environmentally protective human nature — that people re-discover that more primal human nature (akin to the real self of Janov and the true self of Winnicott), the one emanating from our joy grids and spiritual grids. For, as I am pointing out, if we do not regain our truer and underlying humanity, and instead coming, as we normally do, we continue acting out of our pain grids, we are not going to have a “human” experience or even an Earthly life experience to be detailing and exploring, in the future, let alone people to hear about them.

Activist Imperative of Prenatal, Perinatal Insight

Let me state this emphatically as being the activist imperative involved in prenatal/perinatal insight. In revealing the roots of evil, at a time when life on Earth hangs in the balance, the prenatal-perinatal perspective shows what we need to truly address in order to really change … but also it places a deadline on doing it.

The activist slant I am employing in this book I consider a natural and necessary outgrowth of the prenatal material and insights. For if this knowledge is not used, is not understood in the context of the field and is not brought into the culture, then the knowledge in the field is irrelevant, as we will not have a society in which to share it or people who would benefit from it.

The Return to Grace Series

In the Return to Grace Series of ten, possibly eleven, books of mine being published in 2013 through 2017, of which this is one, I show where we are, how we got to where we are, why we are here, why we need to change from being here, and where to go from here … and how to do that. For specifics of the series and its volumes, see this book’s Afterword.

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

Despite this long legacy of work and thought by myself and many others 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.” While Stanislav Grof and Lloyd deMause have written on the implications and ramifications of birth on society, culture, history, and current events, not much has been said on the prenatal influences on our world, with the few exceptions mentioned in the overview in these last four chapters, especially David Wasdell. However, prenatal influences, especially those of the third trimester, are dealt with in considerable detail in this book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs. In another current work, Falls from Grace (2014); and in upcoming ones, I discuss the influence of first trimester and sperm/egg and cellular events. In particular those works include, Womb with a View and Cells with a View.

What I put forth in the current work is my understanding of how these prenatal events shed so much light on what that “human nature” is that is bringing about our environmental and global crises, which currently have a life and death urgency about them. I believe we need to understand these factors to survive.

For I am convinced that they, along with the perinatal, are the forces that are strongest in shaping our present times and its events, creating an ever more discernible pre- and perinatal zeitgeist for postmodern times.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 9

“We Are a Fever”:

The Perinatal Unconscious Driving Our Humanicide

 

 

The Perinatal Matrices

Before diving deep into the details of the late-gestation (BPM II) prenatal influences on our times, we need to bring into view the pervasive overall prenatal and perinatal gestalt of postmodern times. For that we need to have a better understanding of the perinatal matrices put forth by Stanislav Grof. This is what we look at next, and it will be followed by a few chapters showing the way the perinatal elements currently are erupting in our collective consciousness in a way never before seen. 

Those chapters, on the perinatal influences and elements of our current era, will be followed by our deepest journey of all in this book — that is, into the late gestation “hell” that virtually all of us endure in the womb, and out of which and in reaction to which we, as adults, have created the atrocities of all times … as well as the unparalleled apocalypse emergency of our current moment. 

First, though, we are enlightened by the thoroughly researched findings brought into form via the mind of Stanislav Grof.  

“We Are a Fever”1

We start with birth and its effects on shaping our current global crises. To do that we need to first look more deeply at what constitutes our perinatal influences. For this there is no better guide than Grof, and there is no better framework in which to understand our current times than his perinatal matrices … yet. This book will be, when it is completed.

So, how are we to characterize these strangest of days and the current unprecedented global condition? What I have found is that they are driven by what I call an emerging perinatal unconscious. As The Kills sing it, most aptly, “We ain’t born typical.”1

Perinatal Unconscious

Why perinatal? First, let us remind ourselves that perinatal means, literally, “surrounding birth.” As a one-time university instructor of pre- and perinatal psychology and as an editor of a professional journal concerned with perinatal psychology —  as well as a psychohistorian, let me explain what might be considered elements of a perinatal unconscious.2

Unconscious Matrices = “Human Nature”

The elements I will describe are near universally accepted among perinatal psychologists as unconscious forces, factors, matrices that exist in us all as a result of a human birth that is unique, by comparison to all other species, in its degree of trauma and hence of its impact or imprint on what we might call — dare I say the word — our “human nature.”

These perinatal elements have come to our understanding through the efforts of both the inner explorations of experiential pioneers into the perinatal, as well as the hard empirical work of pre- and perinatal researchers. I might also point out that I, myself, have over forty years of experiential exploration into these perinatal elements, in addition to my scholarly work and research in this field. My experiences confirm, in my own mind, their absolute validity, as well as validating for myself the theoretical constructs put forth by others to describe and explain them.

Pre- and Perinatal Psychology, Experiential Voyagers

Be that as it may, these perinatal elements of the unconscious have been described most thoroughly be three figures in particular: Stanislav Grof, Arthur Janov, and Lloyd deMause. It might help, also, to keep in mind that entire new fields of prenatal and perinatal psychology, primal psychology, and to some extent, transpersonal psychology have grown up around the existence of these perinatal factors. Entire modalities of healing tap into and are based on the existence of this perinatal unconscious, including primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, and rebirthing, to name just the few that I happen to be trained in. These unconscious perinatal elements have, at this point, been confirmed by thousands of researchers and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of experiential voyagers into the perinatal unconscious.

Elements of Birth Experience

Based upon all this, then, let us look at some of the elements, in general, that characterize this perinatal unconscious.

Perinatal Matrix ~ Societal Matrix

Stanislav Grof describes basic perinatal matrices (BPMs) — in other words, typical experiential constellations related to our births. These happen to be very much akin to deMause’s perinatal schema, which he uses to describe configurations of societal and historical events and the sequence in which they unfold. There are some slight differences in emphasis between the two frameworks for understanding, and there is more elaboration on the part of Grof. So let us use Grof’s schema as a basis.3

All Needs Met . . . With Luck Matrix 1

Grof’s Basic Perinatal Matrix I, or BPM I, involves the experiences and feelings related to the sometimes, or at least relatively, undisturbed prenatal period. The prenatal period is that time in the womb sometimes characterized by feelings of peace, complete relaxation, and a feeling of all needs met, or “oceanic bliss.”

BPM I corresponds to deMause’s societal periods of “prosperity and progress,” which he claims are accompanied by feelings and fears of being “soft” and “feminine” — understandably here, for in BPM I, that is, prenatally, the fetus is largely identified with his or her mother and is very much “soft,” that is to say, undefended.

The time in the womb may also be disturbed by toxic substances that the mother ingests — drugs, chemical additives, and so on — as well as by disturbing emotions that the mother experiences, which release stress hormones into the mother’s bloodstream, which then cross the placental barrier and affect the fetus. For these reasons, BPM I is also sometimes characterized as feelings of being surrounded by a polluted environment and being forced to ingest noxious substances, toxins, and poisons, which sickens the fetus.

No-Exit Despair Matrix 2

In Grof’s schema, BPM I is followed by BPM II — that is, Basic Perinatal Matrix II — which are experiences and feelings related to the time of “no exit” in the womb and claustrophobic-like feelings occurring to nearly all humans in the late stages of pregnancy and especially with the onset of labor, when the cervix is not yet dilated. Since there does not seem to be any “light at the end of the tunnel” — metaphorically speaking — it is characterized by feelings of depression, guilt, despair, and blame, and a characterization of oneself as being in the position of “the victim.”

This is very much like deMause’s period of collective feelings of entrapment, strangulation, suffocation, and poisonous placenta, which he has found to precede the actual outbreak of war or other violence.4

This is the matrix — from late gestation — that we will be unveiling in great and revelatory detail in this book. This is a view — a complex and intricate one — never explored the way it is here. In doing so, we see the reflection of virtually all human evils and atrocities. We look into the face of horror here, but in doing this we remove its power over us.

Birth Wars Matrix 3

BPM II is, of course, is followed by BPM III (Basic Perinatal Matrix III), which involves feelings and experiences of all-encompassing struggle and is related to the time of one’s actual birth. Characterized also by intense feelings of aggression and sexual excess — in the position, now, of “the aggressor” — it is related directly, in deMause’s schema, to a time of actual war.

Hallelujah!… (I think….) Matrix 4

Basic Perinatal Matrix IV (BPM IV) follows this. It corresponds to the time of emergence from the womb during the birth process and is characterized by feelings of victory, release, exultation.

But sometimes, that initial relief is followed by depression. For too often, and especially in current Western culture, the struggle of birth does not bring the expected rewards of reuniting with the mother and the comfort of nursing. Instead, during modern obstetrical births, the neonate is harshly treated and then taken away from the mother, disallowing the bonding which should occur, naturally, immediately after birth.

In my own experience, the exultation and relief of release was replaced suddenly by feelings of being assaulted by the attendants at my birth … which of course they thought of as “attending” to me  … as they went about roughly removing mucous from my mouth; prematurely cutting my umbilical cord to leave me struggling for breath; scrubbing, weighing, measuring, and otherwise probing me; and wrapping me like a burrito and taking me away from all I had previously known … that is to say, my mother. This felt like ritual abuse to me, and I have often likened it, after the intense period of compression and crushing before birth, to a situation of “going from the frying pan into the fire.”

At any rate, this experience of actual emergence or birth coincides, societally, with deMause’s period of the ending of a war.

Heaven and Hell

In summary, we have euphoric, oceanic, blissful feelings, sometimes feelings of being poisoned or being in a toxic or polluted environment; followed by crushing, no-exit, depression, claustrophobia, compression, strangulation, suffocation, and being force-fed by a poisonous placenta; followed by struggle, violence, war scenarios, birth/death fantasies, sexual excess; and finally release, triumph, feeling of renewal or rebirth and a new golden age, but also possibly of being abandoned, tortured, ritually sacrificed, probed medically, and assaulted by sensations. These are some of the elements that characterize the experience of the perinatal unconscious.

For Dreaming Out Loud!  Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist

In the next chapter, “Everything You’ve Forgotten About Birth: Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist,” we will take a look at how these elements have erupted into our collective dreams in recent history. By this I mean, we will see how our artists and creative people have projected them into the media, movies, and TV — in which we all participate — and how our fascination with them, because these artists are reflecting things that exist deep inside of ourselves as well, has caused them to grow, creating the dominant underlying zeitgeist of our time.

 

 

CHAPTER 10

Everything You’ve Forgotten About Birth:

Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist

 

 

With these elements of birth experience in mind, let us look at some of the forces and elements, unprecedented and otherwise, that characterize Twenty-First Century life. We begin with this chapter looking at what our art, especially our cinema, which are the way we as societies get to dream together, are telling us about ourselves and some of the feelings that are actually in us, these days, whether we are aware of them or not.

Baby and Fetal Projections on the Silver Screen 

Fetus in the Sky with Diamonds … and Oh, the Shark Has Pretty Teeth, Dear.… 

In these strange days, movies, TV shows, and books are rife with perinatal themes: From the famous ending image of the movie 2001, where the fetus is pictured against the blackness of space as a newborn star … to some of the most popular and lucrative movies of all time — Jaws, for example, with its huge vagina dentata shark mouth lurking in the depths of the unconscious (the ocean), signifying the trauma we have around the mother’s vagina, the mouth ringed with teeth — the ferocious looking teeth symbolizing the pain and death elements of birth experience.

Other examples of perinatal imagery in the media include those in the movie, Brazil — the main character being haunted by hordes of infant/fetal faces in particular; The Abyss; Jacob’s Ladder; and Close Encounters of the Third Kind — large-headed fetal looking aliens again.

ET, Phone Mom!

Psychodynamic as well as perinatal sequences are displayed in The Wall and Brainstorm. There is the fascinating womb and fetal symbolism in UFO movies like Cocoon; Cocoon: The Return!; and E.T. — with the fetal-looking alien wanting to “phone home.” And of course, we have seen obvious perinatal symbolism in Independence Day, Fire in the Sky, Joe Versus the Volcano, Nothing But Trouble; and in a recurring way on weekly TV series The X Files, Star Trek, Heroes, and The 4400, among many others.1

Avatar is a near perfect depiction of a BPM I state — remember, that is the state one experiences earlier in womb life of uninterrupted and oceanic bliss, contentment, harmony — which is interrupted by the later stages of pregnancy and threatened by a mechanized-technological birth. Everything is there as in the womb state: a perfect harmony with Nature … a world tree symbolizing the life-giving placenta … harmony with the Mother, who is the World Mother, a Goddess.

In the Narnia series, the children find a “secret” doorway at the back of a wardrobe (womb symbol) and go from their normal realm into another magical realm. In this — as in many other depictions, such as Alice in Wonderland, The Matrix, and The Wizard of Oz — we can see both a re-creation of the birth sequence but also the message, from our unconscious selves, that one needs to go back through and re-experience that sequence, as it was left incomplete. This magical realm is thus the womb. And in it lie many of the spiritual truths that we forgot when we came into the world and were overloaded with the pain of birth, which pushed our connection with Nature and the Universe into unconscious memory.

There is a plethora of more recent films rife with perinatal elements: Notable are The Matrix series, Total Recall, the Star Wars series, Dark City, The Lathe of Heaven, the Alien series, The Tree of Life, Ace Ventura: When Nature Calls, the Batman series, the Hannibal Lecter series, Suckerpunch, and the Star Trek series. There are too many more to mention.

In addition to its prevalence in science fiction movies, birth elements are replete in the symbolism of horror movies. When you understand this symbolism, you find it saturates the silver screen, popular television, music video and imagery, and the electronic media and arts.

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Being a Baby

Other movies indicating the interest emerging around pre- and perinatal themes are Look Who’s Talking and Look Who’s Talking, Too, which demonstrate a belief in sperm and egg, womb, and infantile consciousness far beyond what mainstream psychology wants to believe. 

Also, there is the hilarious sperm sequence in Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex in which he and a gaggle of others are dressed as individual sperm and dialogue about their upcoming great adventure. 

This idea that sperm and ovum have consciousness can also be heard occasionally in comedic monologues on television and elsewhere.

Boob Tube With a View

Speaking of television, there was that very interesting and much heralded episode of the Moonlighting series in the late Eighties which — coincidentally employing an article and book title of mine, “A Womb With a View” — showed Bruce Willis in a womb-like enclosure as a fetus viewing, with the help of a higher spiritual ally, the upcoming events of his life. This plot idea was also an amazing, perhaps synchronistic, mirror image of a short story I wrote in 1979 titled “Birthing, Forgetting.”2

A Hundred Monkeys and Counting

I point out the personal synchronicities because they speak of a “morphic resonance” phenomenon indicating ideas whose time has come. Be that as it may, the episode of Moonlighting is further proof of the growing belief in womb consciousness and interest in perinatal events.

Perinatal Faces Poking Out Everywhere

Other perinatal elements that are currently manifesting include:

Satanic Cult Abuse

Reports of Satanic cult abuse graphically depict BPM II perinatal elements. We hear of children and others being immobilized, tied up, and otherwise disempowered. Oftentimes they relate being forced to spend extensive periods of time trapped in tight places and/or symbolically or literally buried under ground.

BPM III elements in cult abuse include the sexual excess/abuse and bloodletting or blood use as in its being poured or used in “anointing.”

Cult abuse in film, as well as in real life, especially depict BPM IV elements: Cutting, hurting, torturing, sexually and ritually abusing and “sacrificing” are all very much like an infant’s perception, feelings of its experience of its being “attended” to after birth.

The fact that cult rituals often involve a number of other people focusing on an individual who is strapped or held down — the immobilization prior to birth, as well as the helplessness after birth — on something raised, like an altar or table, and then “worked upon” in some way or other is a particularly graphic depiction of a neonate’s experience of being on a medical table after birth, watched by a number of others and worked on.

The ritualists’ use of robes and costumes, especially if they involve covering the face or the wearing of masks, is also not that much different from the way a baby in modern times perceives its welcoming into the world among masked and robed medical personnel.

Serial Rapists and Killers

One can hardly turn on the tube without finding some movie or TV show that is depicting a serial killer or rapist. I do not need to belabor the flooding of news programs with the same kind of material.

But the number of reports relative to victims and harm involved is far less than victims and suffering involved with other horrific events, such as hurricane, earthquake, nuclear radiation, ozone loss, or flood catastrophes, which have less or no perinatal charge about them. This preoccupation with serial violence, torture, and rape indicates BPM III elements of struggle, violence, sexual perversion and excess, as well as the death and torture aspects of being born.

Tube and Cinematic Violence Galore

Simply the amount of violence on television and in movies is a perinatal indicator. These depictions simulate, and stimulate, perinatal feelings in plot elements which are repeated to death.

Matters of Life and Death

We see clichéd regurgitations of being in life and death situations from which one is saved in the “nick of time.” This is exactly how it seemed when one was “miraculously” born, suddenly, after what seemed an endless time of suffering in which death was felt to be the only possible outcome.

It’s Not the Fourth of July, However ….

You do not seem to be able to see a story that does not have explosions galore.

Such “fireworks” are examples of extreme compression suddenly becoming immense expansiveness and thus symbolize the sudden perinatal change of state from compression inside the womb to previously unknown expansiveness outside the womb, as well as the sudden release of tension and compression upon being born.

Explosions also symbolize the immediate assault of sensation upon coming out of the sensorally “muffled” womb.

XXX

In films there is plenty of violence, and of course, sex. Such extreme degrees of sexual explicitness and especially sexual perversity point to strong BPM III influences. 

Monsters, Vaginas, and Hairs, Oh My!

Recurring themes of monsters that eat one, for example, the Alien movie series, indicate the feelings of fear of death in the mother’s womb. This is often portrayed as a huge, threatening mouth surrounded by teeth and, sometimes, hair. This is a symbol found throughout the world. Social scientists refer to it as a vagina dentata “mouth.”

One most obvious portrayal of this was Steven King’s 1995 miniseries, The Longoliers. The monsters, shown at the end, turned out to be flying, ball-shaped vagina dentatas, complete with hair covering, as in pubic hair. Though Steven King meant this to be frightening, from the perinatal perspective these flying, attacking vaginas are absolutely hilarious.

Time Travel Equals Age Regression

Interestingly, the appearance of the Longoliers is caused by the characters going back in time. Though King has them going back only fifteen minutes, and not age regressing to birth, I thought the fact of time regression was telling in the extreme.

Time travel in general is indicative of the need to go back and fix the trauma of these early events. The Back to the Future series is merely one example. We all know many others.

We Have Ever Increasing Cesarean Births

The perinatal roots of these movies are indicated in other ways, for example, the baby alien, in Alien, being “born” out of the abdomen. 

While a “baby” emerging from a person’s midsection is obviously indicative of birth, the fact that it comes bursting out of the belly, rather than the vagina, might also relate to the ever increasing use of cesarean section as a means of birthing in this century.

“Noah, How Long Can You Tread Water?”

Important perinatal influences are evident in the frequency of scenes of death by suffocation, in water or otherwise.

We are immersed in water before birth, placental fluid. Near the end of gestation, the mother, when standing, constricts blood vessels to the fetus. This reduces the blood supply to the fetus and thus less oxygen is received. It is called fetal malnutrition. Prior to birth we humans experience suffocation and claustrophobic feelings — we “can’t get enough air”! — which seem deadly and unending.

Aw, Hell

The timelessness of prenatal experience at this point — when not getting enough air — feels horrific, an unending nightmare. This part contributes to human ideas of places of forever, endless suffering, for example, hell.

Death by Vegetable

“I Agree, But I Don’t Like Having It Shoved Down my Throat!”

Very interestingly, a more recent addition to this complex has something being forced aggressively down the throat of the victim.

I have noticed an increasing frequency of this version of suffocation in the visual media ever since I first remember seeing it in a scene from the movie, Alien, where a rolled-up magazine is used as a murder weapon by being forced into the victim’s mouth. It seems to be becoming a writer/director’s fad, as increasingly creative ways are being imagined to play it out in scripts.

Told You I Didn’t Like Vegetables!

Another common variation is when the suffocating item comes out of the person’s mouth.

In this frequent scenario, the victim is “infected” with some kind of alien spore which grows inside of him or her and comes thrusting up from inside of the person’s body and out of the mouth, lodging itself there. Often this alien extrusion looks something like a huge asparagus emerging. The perverse sexual aspect of the image also has roots in perinatal, specifically, BPM III experience.

This “vegetable” eruption always happens suddenly and climactically, and almost always it results in death. Scenes like this I have observed in the movie, Jacob’s Ladder, several times on the show, The X Files, and in many, many other shows.

I have online in one of my blogs a sequence of pics showing exactly this kind of mouth extrusion, which I got from an episode of The Outer Limits.3 These pics are a rather good depiction of this phenomenon. Notice that at the point the object emerging from the mouth is most visible it takes on the form of a vagina dentata. This links the images with birth and indicates the aggressive character of the feelings being depicted, that is, we have repressed anger feelings left over inside us from what was done to us. 

It is also more than just coincidence that the person to whom this is happening is in a hospital room and is dressed in a hospital gown; the plot is about this woman carrying a baby and this scene happens just after the birth. This is significant for the reason following, which states that this image has its roots in an event that indeed happened right after birth.

Gag Me with a Toxin

This version of suffocation probably has its roots in the force-feeding of toxic elements to the fetus in the womb through the umbilical cord, and is more definitely related — the symbol is probably an amalgamation of both feelings — to the ungentle clearing of fluids from the neonate’s mouth by the attendants immediately after birth.

This latter connection — the ungentle mouth cleaning of birth fluids — I can personally validate from my own primal experiences. Apparently I was not alone in being treated this way as a newborn in the 1940s and 1950s in America … hence the popularity of such images in the media of recent decades.

Treated Like a “Piece of Meat”

This practice of ungentle mouth clearing — performed by hurried or insensitive, and uninformed, medical personnel, unaware of the consciousness and keen feeling awareness of the neonate — can leave one with lifelong feelings of being treated like a “thing.”

Many report having overwhelming feelings of being dealt with mechanically and without respect. It is common for folks to have feelings of “not being seen.” People can have lifelong body memories of having one’s mouth stretched wide.

These feelings, while they may be reinforced by later life events, oftentimes have roots that go back to a time immediately after birth. At this time, too frequently, the jaw is pulled down for the insertion of fingers and suction devices. It is done in a manner that is excruciatingly painful for a being that has spent his or her entire life — nine months — previous to that in a relatively placid environment with its mouth closed for the great majority of that time.

This ungentle procedure is also felt as an assault in that it occurs, usually, as the first event a baby is confronted with upon release from the womb. Its tiny mouth — never before fully opened — is often the first focus of attention, as large fingers (relatively) reach in, stretching the previously unopened and unstretched (virgin) mouth … breaking the metaphorical oral hymen of the neonate in a way that is felt to the infant to be comparable in pattern and violation to oral sexual assault.

Did you ever wonder why so many folks have such terror of seeing a dentist? Did you ever wonder what is the fascination with water-boarding and torture in recent years? Is it possible that some popular oral sexual practices, which might be particularly rough, as well as oral rape of some kinds might have at least some of their origins in this way we treat the mouths of our neonates at birth?

Victims du Jour

By the way, I might mention that while genuine sexual assault and child sexual abuse is a reality that has long been with us and is only now really being brought to light (thankfully), the similarity of this early perinatal experience of ungentle mouth clearing to sexual assault may have something to do with the epidemic of reports of infant sexual abuse that are coming out of counselors’ therapy rooms.

Confused interpretations of these reports can happen because most counselors and psychotherapists are ignorant of birth and perinatal trauma and yet more and more of them are allowing bits and pieces of regressive techniques into their standard professional arsenals.

In addition, they throw in these techniques, most often, without qualifications or experience with these techniques, and oftentimes out of knowledge gained solely from books or second-handedly … not to mention rarely, because of professional arrogance, having experienced or undergone these regressions themselves.

Combine this inexperienced dredging up of perinatal material with the fact, as I will be continually reiterating throughout this book, that people these days are closer to their perinatal unconscious, to their birth trauma. One can see how it can easily happen that when feelings of being orally assaulted after birth begin arising within the counseling rooms, they can be interpreted, by therapist or client or both, as early sexual assault — that being the interpretation du jour, so to speak, and because, of course, both are ignorant of the fact of birth trauma — its having systematically been resisted and purged from mainstream professional and lay common knowledge, beginning with Freud’s rejection of Otto Rank’s discovery of it, right down to the present. 

Welcome to the World … Now f u

Regardless, the ungentle mouth cleaning is felt not just as a physical assault, it is an outrage to the infant’s tender psyche as well — leaving a lifelong and fundamental imprint undergirding and helping to sculpt all later experience — in that it is the first “welcome” to this world. That is to say, the birth struggle ends, there is release … (finally!) … then, “Welcome, baby” — yank! stretch, feel manipulated and used, treated like an object and with no sense that one is a living aware being.

With this in mind — that this “Hello–fuck you!” experience can be the primal (first) experience of this world, of other people, of society — it may be easier to understand the profound fear and anxiety toward other people that resides inside many of us — for example, as in the book title: I’d Rather Die Than Give a Speech!

This also sheds light on the seemingly “mindless” violence and rage that is directed back against anonymous people and society in general by certain types of criminals. They can be seen to be acting out their “fuck you” welcome into the world by attacking back and outwardly, rather than this early rage energy being channeled into some of the other, more healing or at least not harmful, responses possible to early assault.

Of course, all kinds of antisocial and belligerent behavior displayed by adults and children of all kinds might very well have at least some input from the leftover stored energy from this kind of early assault.

Faces Coming Out of the Walls

I would like to refer to one final perinatal indicator in the visual media, which has been capturing my attention of late … seeming to be coming out of the very walls at me! This is — what appears to me to be — a recent and new sort of perinatal symbolism, at least in Western culture.

We have had, over and over again, the image of the “evil fetus” erupting from the abdomen, as in the classic scene from Alien as well as that of it emerging from the mouth — as examples, the “Firewalker,” 1994, episode of The X Files, and the dance hall scene in Jacob’s Ladder — indicating fetal emergence mixed with ungentle neonatal mouth clearing, as mentioned above.

Membrane Walls

But this new variation of “fetal emergence” has human faces pushing through membrane-like elastic walls!

Ventura Out of the Womb

A good example of this occurs in the movie, Ace Ventura, Pet Detective, When Nature Calls. In the Ace Ventura movie, Jim Carrey emerges from inside a mechanical rhino with virtually all birth elements evident. 

He is holed up in a hot and suffocating “womb” — that is, he is inside the rhino.

He becomes engaged in a desperate need to get out. Interestingly, the fan — the source of comfort in the rhino (womb) — stops working after a while. This is exactly analogous to the way, when we are fetuses, the nurturing elements of the mother’s womb “turn off,” in the last stage of gestation, making the womb quite an uncomfortable place indeed.

We see Carrey pushing his face against the elastic, membrane surface of the rhino’s posterior in a way graphically suggesting perinatal emergence. The tourists watching this explicitly state that they see it as the rhino giving birth.

We witness the actual “birth”: Jim Carrey (Ace Ventura) struggles to make the opening larger and to come out. Finally, he falls, naked wet and curled up fetal- or baby-like, to the ground. The hilarious — and outrageous to the tourists — part is this image of a rhino giving birth to a full-grown naked adult human “baby.”

I saw a most potent portrayal of this new perinatal element of faces and body parts pushing through walls in the 1996 movie by Peter Jackson, with Michael J. Fox, The Frighteners.

Couldn’t Fight Your Way Out of a Plastic Bag!

Other examples of this element of human features pushing through membranes has individuals completely covered and suffocated in membrane-like elastic sheets from which they cannot escape and in which they appear agonized and struggling. A good example of this was in a scene from Fire In the Sky that was shown repeatedly on TV to hype the movie when it came out.

Even the invention and use of straitjackets shows our preoccupation with the perinatal, especially as concerns our mental health or well-being. For the message there is that if you “get out of control” you will be put back in a place where you will be forced to comply and will have to learn to deal, as all the rest of us do, with the “existential fact” of needing to conform to the dictates of an overwhelming, dominating, and pervasive other world.

Existential fact is in quotes to point out that this is not an essential fact of existence; rather they seem to be facts to humans because of the experience we share of being in constricting wombs which become uncomfortable and suffocating increasingly near the end. This is an example of what I have termed elsewhere, biologically constituted realities.4

Of course a similar thing — forcible “re-education” — could be said for the use of jail cells, solitary confinement, and enclosures like “The Hole” during incarceration. Simply the fact that we have a much greater percentage of our population in prisons than any time previously points to our mania of trying to control this aspect of our feelings from our origins … and of an emerging perinatal unconscious triggering the reaction. 

In former times, torture apparati often employed devices of compression, suffocation, constriction … of the entire body or just the head … and often added the element of prenatal discomfort by adding torture while so enclosed. The Iron “Maiden” is such a device. Note the feminine being employed in the name itself. Could that be any clearer that it is meant to be a painful, tortuous re-creation of being inside one’s mother?

Modern movies showing such devices or procedures are indicative of these perinatal elements coming to the surface, obviously. One example is The Man in the Iron Mask. In a similar respect, I have already mentioned our current preoccupation with water-boarding style torture. In employing suffocation, it is an effective and brutally inhuman way of stimulating people’s pre- and perinatal pain, just as straitjackets and jail cells are intended to.

This House Will Eat You Alive!

The plot of another movie involved a house being somewhat alive and gobbling people up into the walls. The ingested people would try to emerge from the house’s walls. The walls being like elastic when they would do this, the features of their faces could be seen pushing through to the point even of the individuals being identifiable.5

These swallowed people could not get out of the walls. And they would be the next ones trying to lure their loved ones and friends into being gobbled up by the house, the same having been done to them, which had resulted in their being taken into the walls initially. Sounds like a modern, very perinatal variation on the Pied Piper theme. 

But the former victims who, once pulled into the walls, themselves become perpetrators also is a powerful metaphor of the way primal trauma and child abuse of all kinds — including genital mutilation — is passed from one generation to the next. Vampirism has this telling quality as well: Once you are “bitten,” you are compelled to do it to others. In the same way, all child abusers were abused themselves as children, as any psychologist will tell you.

At any rate, in this idea of a house that “gobbles” one up, we have the bringing together of two of the most predominant birth elements in film — an evil house and a devouring beast. That fact of a doubling of perinatal elements alone is indicative of a plot saturated with perinatal influence.

Womb Symbols

House, Cave, Squids

Anyway, this portrayal of a house that gobbles up its victims, bizarre as it sounds and as it looked, can only be explained by looking into our perinatal imprints; and it is rife with such elements.

To start with, a house — being an enclosure in which humans protect, nurture, and take care of themselves once born into the world — is perhaps the most prevalent womb symbol that exists. It is right up there in importance with caves, oceans, swallowing beasts — especially beasts of the ocean like whales (Jonah), sharks (Jaws), and octopi or giant squids.

There was a movie of this squid variation, which I saw, not long ago. Its plot development was of the Jaws genre. But in adding tentacles, it added elements of pubic hair and umbilical strangulation to the normal aspects of womb torture such as simple compression and suffocation.

House; cave; water; devouring dragon, as in Harry Potter; whale or shark; automobile, especially buses or motorhomes; boats, especially submarines; indeed, all vehicles of transition, nonmechanical as well as mechanical as in trains and airplanes; the deep forest, as in Avatar — anything in fact with elements of being surrounding and engulfing of one and as nurturing or threatening one, or both, are womb symbols, as we have known for a long time.

Prison, Jail Cell, Schoolroom = Womb

In the category of womb symbols that are places that enclose or “house” one that are uncomfortable, constricting, limiting of one’s ability to move around and in which one is made to suffer, even be tortured, we need to add prisons, dungeons, jail cells, and schoolrooms. Breaking out of prisons, being rescued from tight, enclosing places or situations in which one is not free — that is, cannot “move freely” — are specific portrayals of the birth process itself. Contemporary film is flooded with plots and scenes depicting such escapes and/or rescues. Any constricting surround is a womb symbol, including oppressive social and political conditions from which one cannot escape and under which one is not able to move freely, to enjoy “freedom”; especially regimented ones under which one is tortured, processed, and treated anonymously and in an unfeeling, insensitive manner.

Schools and schoolrooms are especially strong womb symbols for they are places in which a person is supposedly nurtured and helped along in one’s development, exactly as was the purpose and situation in the womb. Libraries are the benign version of womb-like “schooling” in that the element of volition or choice in the matter exists. When they depict being constricted or made to suffer, it becomes even more obvious, depicting as that does the later stages in the womb which are uncomfortable and often hellacious.

The Wall

In the school sequences in the movie, The Wall, there are other perinatal elements potentiating some of the scenes. We have anonymity, indicating not being seen in the womb; fetal faces; tortuous “development” and passage from one state to another especially as in being shoved through a wringer or meat grinder; and faces coming out of walls or having an appearance similar to that.

Houses and Spaceships Are Real “Mothers”

One lengthy explanation of this kind of symbolism as it is connected with “the Mother” is the classic work by the Jungian, Erich Neumann, titled The Origins and History of Consciousness (1954), which he himself based on other even earlier analyses of mother symbolism and its association with enclosing and enveloping sorts of thing.

At any rate, among all these, the house is probably the most popular symbol today. It would seem to be used more in the visual media as a womb symbol than any other, currently. With the increased interest in science fiction, the spaceship is perhaps coming in second, but even that distantly.

Being spaceships, UFOs are obviously womb symbols. Carl Jung once speculated in writing that the upsurge of UFO sightings, because of their circular shape, indicated a rising urge for psychic unity in humans. While this might be true on one level, on a deeper level, they are symbols of reintegration with our repressed traumatic womb experiences. Space travel is transition from one world to another, in general. And the vehicle of passage is a UFO or spaceship … in which one’s needs are taken care of and one is involved in passage or transition. It is not surprising that often in the course of this transition, space travel, the space voyagers of the silver screen encounter odd and horrifying developments, just like we did when going from our world in the womb to the one outside.

Notice how we say “mother ship.” UFO-type spaceships are so often depicted as round or spherical. Indeed, we have elaborate developments of these themes in the Death Star depiction of Star Wars — a round enclosed place and habitat associated with dread and death. 

 “You Will Be Assimilated”

The variations on this are themselves telling. We have one instance of a cubical habitat in space … a square, not round, spaceship. What better way to show how terrifyingly different the inhabitants are from natural, biological beings. For womb equals round, flowing lines as in Nature, products of a physical or biological world, one of life and dealing with living and animate things. Whereas to indicate that these beings are mechanical, unnatural, robotic … products of a mental world only, one of death and dealing with inanimate, non-living things … machines … straight lines are employed, implying the worlds of engineering, mathematics, geometry … of the mind only, not of the physical or biological worlds or the worlds of feeling and experience. Implying a world of non-feeling and non-experience is horrifyingly akin to implying a death-like existence.

Star Trek aficionados will have picked up by now I am referring to the Borg and to their cubical spaceships/habitats. We have to make the connection that the appearance of symbols of machines, robots, androids, and such with womb symbols — increasingly prevalent in modern and postmodern times — is easily attributable to the fact of our ever increasing mechanization of birth … in which, as I was pointing out above, humans are “thingified” and turned into “human robots.” And, yes, these are horrifying and death-like experiences that we undergo at our beginnings and subject our incoming members to.

Worse Homes and Gardens. Is It Any Wonder It Is Haunted?

I remember watching an old movie from the Amityville series. As most people are aware, in any of these movies, it is the evil house that is the source of the horror. This goes back at least to the movie of Edgar Allen Poe’s The House of Usher

Yet this plot idea of an evil house, which must, in the end, come crashing down in flames — indicating the explosive and fiery birth, BPM III, which signals the release from the evil forces — was boringly evident in films in the Twentieth Century.

Mad Doctor Frankenstein, the Obstetrician

Related to this theme of house-like enclosures that are womb symbols and taking it back in time is the ideas of dungeons or castles … with mad scientists, no less — obstetricians, perhaps?

Origins of Parallel Universes

But this idea of something coming through the walls, membrane walls, is both fascinating and telling in the extreme. It speaks to other perinatal elements and feelings.

I might start by pointing out the element of there being another realm into which people go and from which people are rescued (with luck). There is a barrier between the two realms — a permeable, elastic barrier. Anytime you have this other realm you are talking about either birth or death or both. Oftentimes it is both, for it is felt that to go back to the time of being in the womb (“regression”) is akin to death.

Of course we get this idea that birth is death, for one thing, because of the fact that at that time — in the late stages of pregnancy with fetal malnutrition, lack of sufficient oxygen, suffocation, and so on — there was a sense of impending death, and oftentimes actual vital life threat to the fetus. We see our beginnings as dire, for another thing, because the actual time of being born is analogous to a dying to one state in order to be born into another. Actual birth, BPM III, has most often been related to feelings of death/rebirth.

So of course, for these reasons, anything having to do with going across or back into that other realm is going to be associated with death.

“There’s No Place Like Home”

But death is not the only aspect of crossing some kind of barrier into another realm. Related to the house theme we see how going through a membrane into another realm can take one into another place where one has adventures and rediscovers important understandings or is transformed or matured in some way.

In this category we have Alice going through a looking glass to go into Wonderland; Dorothy and Toto in The Wizard of Oz being transported — in their house, naturally — to another realm; and the back of the wardrobe opening up into the other land of Narnia in the classic children’s series by C. S. Lewis titled, The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. In Howl’s Moving Castle, a floating, traveling house takes the occupants to different places and into various adventures and scenes, like some kind of animated version of Sliders.

Through the Looking Glass

And of course this is only the tip of the iceberg of works of literature, film, and TV that could be given: the magic mirror, often an antique one (of course), which opens up to another horrible or wonderful place or to a time in the past; or the secret passageway in a wall that opens, by means of some magical or technical maneuver and takes one into secret places — both wondrous and hideous.

The hearth that spins around is particularly telling in that the hearth may be considered the “heart” or center of the maternal in the house, the prime source of heat and nourishment — as when in previous times it was the place in which the food was actually cooked. There are many other examples.

The movie, Jumanji, with Robin Williams, employed this idea laboriously and dramatically, with people going through walls into other times and places. 

But the movie also included perinatal elements such as stampedes of gigantic jungle animals and even floods. Here again we see beasts that can devour or crush one, but also enveloping waters. In fact, when the flooding waters came through the wall, to accompany this element there was even the “mandatory” fight with a toothy beast!

More recently we have the Stargate series of movies and TV programs. They all depict a round membrane portal through which one goes to another faraway world where dangers are faced and adventures are to be had. In the initial Stargate movie, one plot element that stands out is the trepidation and dread that the journeyers express about going through the portal for the first time. Much is made of this in the film. For there is no way of knowing what exactly lies beyond the portal. It is a complete unknown and one could easily be walking into death … into a place in outer space or inside of a lake or deep under the ocean where the lack of air would kill one. Alongside this, consider the feeling state of the prenate, about to be born. Would it not be much the same?

This “Dark” Unknown

In the movie, Jumanji, as in too many others, the “other side” is depicted as a dangerous and often deathly place. This points to the vital life threat that we go through at the times of our birth, leaving an imprint of fear of it for a lifetime.

This depiction of it and fear of it are both understandable and unfortunate. For, as I alluded to earlier, this idea of birth trauma has been vigorously resisted in our culture ever since it was first presented by Otto Rank. And we can attribute that resistance to accepting its reality to the fact that it triggers so much fear in people to even consider these perinatal influences.

Love, Fear Relationship

To put it another way, considering, as we now are, how imbued with death, fear, and pain is this time of our life, we are capable of seeing that there are good reasons why otherwise logical people would at all cost resist the idea of birth trauma and perinatal influences, the evidence be damned. We are fascinated by this time of our life. We play it out endlessly in our imaginations and collective dreams and, as we shall see in subsequent chapters, in our everyday lives. But we are utterly terrified of it. Indeed it is, as Janov once put it, the only time for most people that in life we come so close to death, other than our actual demise.

To Hell with It.… 

So to acknowledge birth is to face death and an inner memory of horror and a hell-like experience. These aspects of it are not going to lend to its being readily accepted among our intellectual currency.

Clients in the therapy rooms only face their perinatal memories when all other interpretations, memories, and early experiences have been made and integrated. The perinatal is the last and most gruesome of truths to face. It is faced only when all other options are gone and the truth alone will do.

In the same way — since it is not easy truth — its acceptance into the arena of our common knowledge has awaited its necessity to be known and acknowledged. It has required our species survival being at stake for us to consider the deepest roots of our problems.6

Face Me, or You’re Mine!

Central to this book is the idea that we need to face the ultimate and horrible truths if we are to save ourselves. Wounded deer are those people who suffer from closeness to these perinatal truths. Centaurs are those wounded ones who have accepted these facts of life; they have accepted the fact that fundamentally they, as all of us, are wounded. And in embracing it this way they become healers for those who cannot face their truth or who are struggling with doing so.

For not only are we closer to our perinatal unconscious these days, we are — because of the precarious nature of our times, which our ignorance and denial of the perinatal heretofore has set up for us — required to face the perinatal “monster” or we are doomed. It is now the time to uncover the truth, to get to the root of the problem, or there will simply, eventually, be no problem, because there will be no people to have a problem or to recognize a truth or root of a problem.

Fear and Freedom … Only a Membrane Away

Be that as it may, this recent development in perinatal imagery involving a membrane barrier between us and the perinatal realm is closer to our actual perinatal reality than any of the previous symbols put out in earlier times which showed a barrier between us and the perinatal. So this membrane depiction of the perinatal suggests an increasing closeness to the perinatal unconscious.

Perinatal Spamming

We have progressed in our collective consciousness beyond hard walls or mirrors separating us from our perinatal memories (and horror), now they are just a membrane away. They are only a thin, elastic membrane away. And from the other side, this part of ourselves calls out to us, pushing its face through — like the computer push technology, with all its annoying pop-up consoles and screens that won’t go away. Our births come spamming through to tell us what we need and to call us back to a realization of the truths we need to hear to save ourselves.

Getting back to the membrane symbol itself, the perinatal elements of this new depiction are rife. Obviously the late stages of pregnancy have one in an enclosed elastic, membrane container — the womb — from which one cannot escape. Also, the fetus’s features in the latest stages are somewhat evident, can be seen and felt, on the surface of the mother’s belly, something like faces pushing out of elastic walls. And one struggles agonizingly during birth and endures intense suffocation through a great deal of it, just like those in movies who are surrounded by elastic sheets.

All of this is then, in Western civilization, compounded after birth with tight swaddling. The newborn, curiously, is wrapped like a sandwich in a way that he or she cannot move freely. So rather than remember the earlier womb experience of blissful freedom and euphoria, it has its most recent hellish experience of the late stages of gestation and birth reinforced. There is no doubt that we are letting our newest members know they will not be able to move freely in life, have freedom, or express themselves freely. It is no wonder that depression is a pandemic in modern society and antidepressants are sprinkled over the masses like holy water.

Baby Abductees and Masked Medical Aliens

Finally, a later perinatal element is inserted in the Fire In the Sky scene in that the struggling abductee, covered in the elastic membrane sheet, is lying on an alien’s medical table. In the same way a baby, right after birth, endures the struggle for breath, caused by premature umbilical cutting, as it lies on the medical table and receives “processing” by medical personnel who to the fetus are alien-looking — that is, they have prominent eyes and lower face not pronounced because covered with surgical mask.

The point of bringing out the occurrence of these media images is that the projective systems of our culture — our art — are reflecting our collective changes in consciousness: Specifically, they are tracing the evolution of our consciousness as it is confronted by this unconscious pre- and perinatal material … or, as some psychohistorians would have it — though I could not disagree more strongly — the “collapsing” of our “ego strength” as we are “threatened” by these “dangerous” perinatal elements.

Birthing into Everyday Life

Whether these images are indicative of a healing crisis or are the opening of a Pandora’s box — that is to say, whether they will lead to the armageddon that many are predicting or to a consciousness evolution and a new Earth — will be something for us to consider further on.

Meanwhile, let us look at how these elements, not only show up in our collective media dreams, but fashion the very furniture of our everyday reality. We will now address the prenatal and perinatal matrices of human events.

 

 

 

PART TWO

THE PRENATAL MATRIX OF HUMAN EVENTS

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 11

Twenty-First Century and Its Discontents:

The Primal Screen

 

 

Dangling Above an Abyss

Beyond the entertainment media, it seems perinatal themes and elements are showing up everywhere else in our surrounding environment and culture. The scenery of our everyday reality consists of pollution of our air, water, and food; threat of death “at any moment,” caused by the knowledge of the power of nuclear weapons; fantasies of apocalypse of all kinds, magnified, perhaps, by the ending of one millennium and the end of the Mayan calendar — including fundamentalist Christian imaginings of an end to human civilization in an apocalyptic “rapture”; New Age fantasies of ecological, spiritual, and social utopias; and so on.

First, let us consider a few of the most blatantly birth-related of the events around us.

The Primal Screen: Aliens … Ooooooooooo … Sca-ry … .

Alien abduction stories, while a relatively recent addition to our cultural landscape, are unusual in the rapidity with which they have gained cultural currency and are telling in the extreme fascination the public has with them. They have catapulted more than one show — The X Files being the prime example, of course — to cult-like status. 

Fetal Aliens

Yet Alvin Lawson (1987) has pointed out how alien abduction stories are replete with perinatal elements: passing through walls, umbilical beams of connection to the “mother ship” — the placenta — either fetal-looking aliens or aliens whose eyes are most prominent and the lower parts of their faces undistinguished — similar to the way a newborn might see an obstetrician wearing a medical mask.

Then of course there are the elements of being medically probed, measured, samples taken from one, and being swooshed from one place to another with no say on one’s part — all remarkably like the experience of a newborn, right out of the womb.1

Pretty Much

While I do not think that the “alien abduction” phenomenon is just derivative of birth, as Lawson does, I do believe that we perceive these events through a veil of birth trauma, the likes of which the world has never known. My position is explained in the article, “Alien Abductors: Angelic Midwives or Hounds From Hell?” which is available online and easily accessed via search.

Mouth Suctioning … “Oh, What Pretty Teeth You Have, My Alien”

An interesting development in the alien face is the “shoved down the throat” thing going on. Similar to the Jacob’s Ladder kind of vegetable thrusting out, which was described in the last chapter, it was popularized greatly in the movie, Alien

As a neonate we cannot see the mouths of the masked attendants at our birth. In a traumatic situation, whatever is hidden is more feared than what can be seen. As in anything else, onto the unknown we can project the most magnified versions of our fears. When these images arise in us, then, it makes sense that if the mouth is shown it might be even more frightening than that above the mouth.

So in modern times, for the first time in history, we see something going on where these feelings are symbolized as a ferocious mouth coming out of the mouth. The fact that it appears like something that would gag reveals that this image contains elements of the trauma around ungentle mouth suctioning or clearing as well as the reveal of what might be under the mask of the seeming attacker, the obstetrician. Add lots of teeth and you have the perinatal vagina dentata as well, symbolizing the trauma occurring at birth, when actually emerging from the mother.

The Perinatal Veil:  Rock Concerts (For some, ditto)

Lawson (1994) has also described perinatal elements in rock concerts.2

Mosh Wombs

Keep in mind that rock music popularity and concert rituals are world-wide phenomena. Youth from nearly all countries are involved in rock culture. Among other things, Lawson, in his article, refers to placental guitars, umbilical mikes, and youths jumping into mosh pits. Mosh pits suggest birth feelings in that they simulate the crushing in the womb.

At birth our consciousness is filled with the feeling of flesh all around. The world is crushing, heaving, rollicking, bouncing flesh everywhere. During a non-cesarean birth one struggles and moves through this flesh to reach space, air, light … freedom. We re-create this pattern of struggle in order to reach the light, or freedom and space, throughout life. It is obvious that mosh pits are attractive, appealing places to re-create the danger of birth alongside the hope of being “held up,” uplifted, and reborn.

The Doors of Perception … Stormed

We could also mention the loud music, fireworks, and flashing and bright explosions of light at these concerts as perinatal in that they re-create the assault of sensation that occurs to the newly emerged fetus — an assault which in one’s mind is like unto a bomb exploding. 

The rock groups and their lyrics themselves are often blatantly perinatal. The most obvious example of this was the group, Nirvana, who came out with a CD titled In Utero. The fact that the leader of the group, Kurt Cobain, committed suicide is a strong indication of his closeness and access to his perinatal trauma … as I will soon explain.

Pacifiers, Trolls, and Collective Rebirth

Turning from rock, we see perinatal BPM III elements in the scenery of our everyday lives evident in the rising incidence of violence by children at ever younger ages.

In Europe, as pointed out by Mayr and Boederl (1993) it appeared a collective regression to the perinatal was going on, especially among the youth.

Collective Navel-Gazing

The forms this “regression” has taken include the surprising popularity of a pop song, sung by a very young child, expressing the difficulties of being a baby; the wearing of baby pacifiers as ornaments as a powerful fashion fad; and being enamored of troll-like dolls, which, according to the authors indicate a “regression to the womb.”

I would say a progression to the womb, by the way … I will soon explain why.

Overpopulation Bring Up in Us Uncomfortable Claustrophobic Feelings from Our Births

We have no-exit, claustrophobic BPM II elements manifesting in the crushing populations in major cities throughout the world. 

In the later stages of our womb lives, we are increasingly compressed with flesh all around. It is a time of ever more compression, constriction, restriction of movement, suppression of freedom, and suffering, which seems unending. However uncomfortable, we are compelled to manifest similar situations in our later adult lives, as in creating our crowded cities. We then find ourselves triggered into feelings like the ones we had back then.

Though it is irrational to draw suffering to oneself, it makes psychic sense in that consciousness seeks to integrate that which was overwhelming at the time. Think of this as a memory of a dire threat to one’s life that a part of ourselves remembers and tries to remove as a threat to our well-being by drawing it to ourselves repeatedly in life until we have managed to accept it — deal with it, perceive it differently than being a threat — so that we can go beyond it.

For the psyche’s main goal is to grow and heal itself. We see this intention of consciousness manifest in observing the body that Consciousness creates and which we see, which does exactly that growing and healing throughout life. Consciousness seeks, always, greater consciousness. Consciousness seeks unity.

Earlier we looked into how we do that seeking of psychological healing at rock concerts and with their mosh pits, in particular.

So we unconsciously create situations in life that make us feel like we once did but could not deal with at the time. And these feelings of course are uncomfortable … why else could we not deal with them originally? This does not mean that by bringing suffering to us we solve it and accept it. We would not be bringing it repeatedly to us if we successfully got beyond it.

No, we create suffering such as overpopulation because we are not dealing with, accepting, resolving, facing the memories that are making us continually manifest situations that should remind us … but do not. The fact that some people are facing these issues or are on the verge of doing so — those wounded deer and centaurs — is the hopeful message of this work. For this trend is auspicious for solving the biggest problems of all on Earth — those huge environmental and geopolitical woes that are threatening to do us all in. But I digress. Stay tuned, though.

We Manifest the Opposite of Crushing Populations Also — Floating Fantasies and Experiences

BPM I and “Birth” Day Parties

We also manifest the opposite of crushing, claustrophobic feelings for perinatal reasons. Remember that in the early stages of our womb lives, described as BPM I states, we are surrounded by flesh as well but it is not constricting. It is blissful and euphoric. 

No doubt we create our parties and festivals out of our desires to re-experience such wonderful, comforting feelings. In this situation, one moves freely, with people (flesh) at a comfortable distance. Ideally one wishes to be the “life of the party,” in other words, the reason everyone else is there and the person around which everything else revolves. For such is the case in the early stages of life inside one’s mother, in general. Everything that was going on at that time, around one’s embryonal and fetal selves, biologically speaking for sure, was about oneself; but more: It was about one’s overall happiness and well-being. As they say, it doesn’t get any better than this.

It is understandable that we would create “birth” days and bring people to gather around us at “birth” day parties. Certainly our births were fraught with discomfort and trauma. But we did make it out. And birthdays and their parties are ways we try to remind ourselves that life is not always the discomfort and struggle of birth or the aloneness, separateness immediately after birth — BPM IV — but can be the blissful love surround of unity with one’s mother in the early womb state. We try to cover over the struggles and alienation of life — which we are pushed to unconsciously manifest in our lives because of traumas around the process of coming into the world — with reminders of the most pleasurable time of our lives, our early womb existence — which we intentionally wish to bring about again.

BPM I and Dancing

People go to dance halls to surround themselves with writhing flesh in a way that they themselves can still move freely and, well, even acrobatically they would like to think. We want the freedom of blissful, perfect movement. Perfection and precise movement is sought, along with bliss, for our experience was of a process of biological perfection; precise and perfect beyond anything we would later experience.

It is even better if it defies gravity, as our experience in the womb seemed to. Gymnastics and break dancing are perfect re-creations of blissful womb experience. We can move euphorically in three-dimensional space, overcoming the constraints of gravity. This is exactly our experience in early womb life. We both do these activities and are fascinated by others performing them because of early memories of perfection and weightlessness.

BPM I and Weightlessness

Since our early life is felt as weightless, it is also the reason we are enamored of the gravityless experience in space. Not only does our media replay depictions of space walks and astronauts in floating zero-gravity environments, but we are attracted to and seek to re-experience this. I remember a reality show where the participants were rewarded with a weightless experience caused by an aircraft descending from high in the stratosphere at such a speed as to create it. 

BPM I and Floating

Plus, we sky-dive. And if we do not, we view with awe and appreciation via the media the videos of the most acrobatic and gravity defying stunts performed in descent by sky-divers. We have created machines where we on the ground can force air up strongly enough so we can experience floating in the air above it similar to sky diving.

I cannot leave the topic of floating without pointing to the most obvious and frequent activity of humans to re-create the weightless experience of BPM I — swimming. Being in water simulates the gravity-free state of our earliest life. It is one of the commonest activities of humans. It is also no coincidence that for a time in the Seventies and Eighties it was popular to try to re-create birth and perinatal experiences by doing warm water “rebirthing” in hot tubs. The water was often made to be body temperature. And, by the way, it did stimulate these early memories in a powerful — though perhaps not optimal — way.

Even our depictions of release from the constraints of physical existence are viewed through this BPM I veil of blissful weightlessness — whether it is the evangelical Christian idea of “the rapture” or my own depiction of transcendence via a Jacob’s Ladder style of transformation of human consciousness.3

The Human Nature That Is Not

Having looked at the most obvious perinatal propensities of the postmodern person in this chapter, let us go deeper. In the next chapter we look at how imprints from our early life in the womb affect us in many of the currently dire activities we are engaged in, for example, environmental destruction, war, capitalism, and imperialism. We discover that there are prenatal imprints for all these activities, which we normally ascribe to being rooted in our human nature — depicted as one of insatiable acquisition, violence and competitiveness, and desire to control and dominate. 

The fact that we find that they are not part of our nature but are instead products of some personality forming experiences — however early those experiential events may be — is auspicious in the extreme.  In looking at the prenatal blueprints for our self-destructive “human nature,” we learn why we do the things we do and realize we are not doomed to continuing to do them.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 12

Prenatal Imprints
of Our Unnatural Self:

Four Earliest Roots of War,
Bigotry, Capitalism, and Pollution

 

 

 

The Perinatal Pulls of Pollution: Air Pollution and Fetal Oxygen Starvation

Increased Carbon Dioxide, But Also Decreased Oxygen

One overlooked, but hugely pervasive perinatal element of these strange days is connected to the increasing carbon dioxide concentration in our atmosphere called the greenhouse effect, which occurs alongside the curiously overlooked yet necessarily corresponding decreases in oxygen levels. There is increasingly less oxygen as we use it up burning carbon-based fossil fuels and making carbon dioxide.1

We have more carbon dioxide for that reason and also because we are stupidly destroying the Earth’s mechanisms for turning that carbon dioxide back into oxygen … forests and ocean plankton, for example. This increased carbon dioxide is called the greenhouse effect. While this has been looked at from the perspective of it creating global warming and climate change, there are even stronger corporate (profit-motivated) as well as personal psychological reasons why we do not look at its most immediate effect on humans — the amount of oxygen we get from the air we breathe. 

We will steal at least a brief glance into some psychological reasons now and while we are at it uncover rich veins of understanding of and possible solutions for not only our current environmental problems but certain political and social dilemmas which we will find are operating dialectically with them. For there are provocative and profound influences from our experiences in the late stages of our womb life on the kaleidoscope of our current postmodern lives.

Air Pollution Bring Up in Us Uncomfortable Feelings From Our Births

For the increased carbon dioxide and reduced oxygen of the globe is analogous to the situation of fetal malnutrition, described by Briend (1979) and deMause, that occurs prior to birth, and which is the basis for deMause’s explanation of poisonous placenta symbolism. Keep in mind in particular that we experience this reduction in oxygen and increase in carbon dioxide in the form of air pollution, which is most pronounced in larger cities.

The Perinatal Pushes on Human Nature

Bipedalism Causes Birth Pain

But let’s back up a bit and put this in context. Because humans stand upright — are bipedal — in the latest stages of gestation/pregnancy the weight of the fetus, now nearly at its largest, presses upon the arteries feeding the placenta and bringing oxygen to the unborn child. Of course this is most pronounced when the mother is standing, as the fetus weighs down upon arteries between itself and the bones of the pelvis. Reduced blood and oxygen means the fetus is not getting as much oxygen as it wants and could use. The prenate cannot gasp for breath but one can imagine it having a similar feeling … recall the sensation of holding one’s breath under water.

Birth Pain Makes Humans Out of Planetmates

This is an uncomfortable situation for the fetus which goes on for a long time and gives rise to many of our adult feelings of claustrophobia and entrapment, depression, no-exit hopelessness. This is one of those specific birth traumas we humans have acquired because of becoming bipedal that other species, our planetmates, do not have. It makes us different and sets us apart from all other species in ways that are not often positive or beneficial, however human. It is something that is crucial to the understandings I bring forth in my book, Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014).2

Four Blueprints of Human Consciousness Are Written in the Womb

Looking more closely at it, there are four major feeling constellations involved in this late gestation discomfort. They, along with other imprints from our prenatal and perinatal experiences, are integral parts of the foundation of our humanness — that part which is normally called “human nature” and is considered to have a basis that is genetic only.

Crowded, Gasping, Poisoned, Dirty Are Molds for “Human Nature”

It is a joke to think that just because a trait exists in humans at the time of birth that it is rooted in our DNA alone. That thinking is as archaic as flat earth theories became after the heliocentric revolution. For there are a full nine months of individual experience prior to birth that, being the earliest influences on all experiences and perceptions after them, are far more important in determining who we become and how we act later on than anything that happens to us after birth, even if it also occurs to us early on, as in infancy or childhood. It is wholesale naïve and rather quaint that esteemed scientists and intelligent lay folk would subscribe to the idea that just because one cannot see something happening with one’s eyes, it doesn’t have observable consequences. By that reasoning, we would never attribute causation to molecular events and would have no science of chemistry.

So, no, there are profound imprints on the way we think, view and interpret our experience, view the world, and act in relation to ourselves, others, and the world, which are stamped upon our psyche by our earliest experiences. For now, let us look at the provocative and profound influences from our experiences in the late stages of our womb life. They are especially deep and far-reaching molds for all later experience because they are, in general, the most painful, uncomfortable, and overwhelming experiences we have in the entire first nine months of our physical existence.

Four Blueprints of “Human Nature”

These imprints on our psyche caused by uncomfortable experiences in late gestation that are molds for and roots of a great deal of the later experience and behavior of humans can be put in four categories — crowded, suffocated, disgusted, and irritated. Let me explain.

Crowded … “Back Off!”

First, we experience crowded, restricted conditions in the womb as we get larger and no longer enjoy the blissful uninhibited freedom of the previous time of our short lives.

I discussed in a previous section how we manifest this through overpopulation and then react to or run away from those feelings through activities like swimming and dancing. For now, suffice it to say we act this out as nations through wars in general (pushing back “lines” of the enemy), especially wars of “expansion.” Environmentally, we feel the need to push back and pave over Nature all we can. We will get more into these sorts of things soon.

Suffocated … Stifled … Gasping … “They’re Sucking the Very ‘Life Blood’ Out of Us!”

Second, because of pressure on arteries we experience a reduced blood flow and get less oxygen, therefore we experience “stuffiness,” suffocating feelings, feelings of need, want, and lack … and deprivation.

Later in life as individuals we are driven to gobbling up more resources than we need — greed. As nations we are compelled to exploit resources from those conquered territories we “expanded” into — colonialism and imperialism. It is fascinating how we act this out on both sides of class war and revolution also; that part is coming up soon. For now, I just want to give you an idea of the critical importance of the understandings just ahead.

Disgusted … Poisoned … “Don’t Feed Me That Bullcrap!”

Third, the blood we do receive is not as good as it was, so we feel what we do get is “poisonous” … deficient, unhealthy, harmful … even deadly and threatening as in the feeling we might be being poisoned to death. It is “bad blood.” 

This sounds like the deprivation/gasping feelings, but though it is related it has a different quality: The difference is between gasping for breath as in being held under water and feeling one will die for lack of oxygen, versus being in a gas chamber and feeling that the air we breathe is foul, unhealthy, smelly … and is deadly because of its toxicity. They are considerably different in that in one we feel we will die for lack of resources — the outside is withholding something we need. In the other the outside very much is impinging on one but in a bad way; it is forcing itself on us, and it is felt as an assault.

This crops up later … these feelings have fractals at all levels … as the difference between a child being hurt because he or she is ignored, abandoned, unloved, or left alone versus a child getting “attention” but in the form of assault, abuse, violence, sexual assault. The first is a lack of something; the other is an unwanted getting of the opposite of what one wants/needs. It is the difference between being “starved” for knowledge and being “fed” propaganda, not the “pure” truth.

An interesting aside and look forward into what is coming up is that it is because the Nazis in particular were so caught up in this kind of “bad blood” matrix of feelings in the policies they carried out that they even created the manner of death for Jews that they did — gas chambers. In other words, because they felt the “blood” (money) they were receiving was “poisoned” (tainted, manipulated) by the Jews, it made the most perfect sense then, when it occurred to them, to fight back against these sources of “tainted blood” (Jews) by forcing “tainted blood” into them also, until they died (gas chambers).3

Irritated … Dirty … “Eeew!”

Fourth, there are feelings caused by the fact that the decreased blood flow caused by pressure on the arteries providing blood to the placenta means that there will be reduced efficiency in removing the byproducts of oxygen combustion by the fetus. These are waste products or toxins of the biochemical process of food conversion into energy that are normally removed by the blood through the veins … to be expelled eventually one way or another back into the environment.

So there will be a backlog caused by the reduced blood flow, and the fetus experiences a buildup of toxins … think, stuck in a traffic jam and breathing in the exhausts of all the vehicles around. Any wonder road rage? The prenate feels increased “yuckiness” in its environment that is greater than anything experienced previously. 

Oh, the garbage man still comes to take out the trash … but think of it as the garbage man coming less often and one still puts out the trash just as frequently. Imagine how one feels watching from one’s window as it piles up on the sidewalk. Perhaps you lived in New York during the huge garbage strike; you would have an even better idea.

So, finally, there is the pain and discomfort of being surrounded by these toxins, forced to live in an environment that is felt to be dirty, “creepy,” ugly, toxic, threatening, filthy, slimy … “yucky.” And again this is related to the previous feeling complex but is different. For one can be forced to take in something noxious, or one can be immersed in something that is painful or uncomfortable like a bath that is too hot. In other words, this pain is on the surface of the body, not being forced inside, like the other.

How this noxious environment feels to the fetus can be that of irritation, uncomfortable heat, burning, and feelings of threat to one’s survival — thus alarm and panic — which those outside “impositions” bring up in a fetus. Historically this has been acted out on Jews and supposed witches: Jews were placed like wood in heaps and burned to get rid of them as the threat they were felt to be. Witches were often burned at the stake. As in the gas chamber example, “ordinary” citizens perpetrated on the victims the sort of suffering the murderers felt was actually coming at them … witches and Jews were seen as a source of burning … if nothing else in that they could be responsible for one burning forever in hell, so they thought.

And parts of this complex later on can be those of annoyance, yuckiness, being continually distracted by sensations (ADHD), creepiness, dirtiness.

We feel bugged, irritated. We overkill pests and overclean our houses, using an abundance of toxic “product” which only adds to the overall toxicity of our environment. This is the perinatal underpinnings of what Freud called anal compulsion. It actually leads to us employing strict toilet-training, if you think about it.

We feel “imposed on” by others, especially “visitors” who come to our “house.” We feel surrounded by “dirty” hippies … Jews …  blacks … immigrants…. You name it.

Roots of War, Bigotry, Pollution….

These feeling complexes sculpted by our early, uniquely human, prenatal discomfort and pain mold our politics, shape our wars and conflicts, determine how we treat the environment, and color how we see and treat each other.

We will now deal with each of these in turn and discuss the way we act them out as adults politically, environmentally, and interpersonally.

Crowdedness, Packed Together “Like Sardines”

Can’t Move Freely “Back Off!” … Cast Out of Heaven, Driven Out of Eden

The primary thing fetuses experience in the final stages of gestation is compression, crowdedness. We can no longer move in an uninhibited way. As we get increasingly larger, the womb seems to press in on us, as prenates, from all sides, restricting our movements, suppressing our freedom. It “won’t let us do what we want to do.” I discussed this in the previous chapter and how we manifest it through overpopulation.

This is quite a contrast, ever more stark and blatant as we get closer to actual birth, to the earlier euphoric feelings of all the rest of our lives at that point — that is to say, the previous seven-eight months of our lives since conception. This oppression from an overwhelming and pervasive Other is shockingly different from the unrestrained movement of the not long ago, with its gravity-free ecstasy, and blissful unity with an Everything, which was not at all threatening but just the opposite: supremely helpful, nurturing, and kind in the most perfect way. We remember the previous “golden age” and its easy, “heavenly” existence. This new existence feels like we have been driven out of Eden, cast out of heaven, and now must struggle and earn survival through the “sweat of one’s brow.”

Reactions – Swimming, Dancing, Mosh Pits, Religious Fantasy

I mentioned previously how our activities like gymnastics, flying, and skydiving are reactions to these uncomfortable feelings; they are attempts to run away from this discomfort as we continue to re-experience it as adults. I explored how we re-create and re-stimulate those blissful feelings in us through adult experiences of weightlessness, swimming, dancing, surfing, hot tubbing. I need to add loving sexuality to that — particularly in its re-stimulating blissful memories of re-union with an Other who is all-accepting, all-embracing, and eminently kind. I have explored how we seek resolution of these uncomfortable feelings through mosh pit “rebirthing” and warm water “rebirthing.” I need to add to that the seduction of the experience of being religiously reborn.4

I wish to add now, since it becomes especially relevant to what follows from here on, the specifically environmental and especially political aspects and act outs of these early uncomfortable feelings.

Politically, As Nations — Wars of “Expansion”

Politically, as adults we feel we need to push back “lines” of the enemy, to fight off “oppression” (compression), to go to war. We act this out as nations through wars of “expansion” and through “conquering” of new territories … through imperialism. We are always pushing back lines of encroachment from some “enemy” … creating and then railing against the opposition on these “front lines.”

We re-create the switch we experienced in the womb from easy existence to struggle and discomfort by “spoiling” our peace and going to war. No, it is not smart; but it is what we are driven to do because of these patterns from our earliest experience.

The point of knowing all this … the reason why I am writing this and sharing this information … is because knowledge of these irrational tendencies is the most important and necessary step in discontinuing them. We can only have hope for our children in going beyond these tendencies in us of tens of thousands of years and longer through actually facing and coming to terms with the absurdity of our “normal human” pursuits … like war.

Environmentally — “We Paved Paradise; Put Up a Parking Lot”5

We act out these same feelings just as illogically and self-destructively in our behavior in regards to the environment. Remember that, as prenates, the “environment” then was felt to be encroaching and blocking our easy movement. So, with these feelings now deeply ingrained in us as something we call “human nature” we hack back at actual Nature and push it all away to “make room” … excessive room … for ourselves … while conversely we make sure we will continue to re-stimulate these feelings through overpopulation, city life, dense and crowded neighborhoods, and traffic jams.6

We put ourselves in human zoos and struggle with our neighbors over “boundary lines” and where fences should actually be placed … we gather on freeways with their traffic jams and experience “road rage” at the same time as fighting back against the feelings these situations create through inane environmental undertakings: We remove and destroy all trees to make an empty space, though we add trees after the fact. Does that not strike you as a bit queer?

Environmentally, we destroy forests, we pave over Nature so that we can have huge houses and lawns — the bigger, the better … we want more “womb” — and speed around (the faster and more nimbly, the better) uninhibitedly in our cars (auto-mobile … free moving self … part of self capable of moving freely) …  we cut off others in traffic and feel trapped (encroached upon, constrained or suppressed) by drivers that cut us off and don’t let us “in” (move freely) … thus road rage.

Conversely, we take solace in speeding (though we risk tickets) and we take pleasure in watching racing and race car drivers and stunt drivers; also airplane and jet stunts and air shows and fighter pilots and jets.

Next:  Our Repetitive Struggles to “Breathe Free”

We will continue looking at the ways we act out our early imprints and how we can actually stop continuing this self-destruction which has now reached an apocalyptic peak. But now let’s turn to another terrifying feeling we carry over in us from that hellish time as prenates, which we act out, politically and environmentally, in disastrous ways. We look now at the horrifying feelings of oxygen starvation — gasping, suffocating, and feeling stifled — and the crazy things we do to “breathe free” again.

“Please, Sir, Might I Have Some More?”

The Psychological and Economic Repercussions of Fetal Malnutrition

There are four important qualities of pain involved in late stage gestation. One has to do with being crowded and unable to move freely. The other three come under the category of fetal malnutrition: 

  1. You get less oxygen because of the reduced blood flow in late pregnancy; you experience lack of abundance and feelings of deprivation, impoverishment, “starvation.” 
  2. With the reduction of blood, you get a reduction in nutrients and insufficient removal of toxins so that the blood coming into and flowing through you is not felt to be as “pure”; you experience being poisoned, “infected” … prenatal “disgust.” 
  3. Finally, you experience a buildup of toxins in your placental environment as the reduced blood flow does not remove toxins as efficiently as it previously did; you feel irritated, bugged, “dirty” … prenatally imposed upon by the outside world.

Oxygen Starvation

So there’s crowdedness in the late stages of womb life, increasing up to the time of actual birth. But there’s the experience directly related to the fetal malnutrition — the increased pressure on arteries to the placenta, which reduces blood flow hence the amount of oxygen the prenate receives — that occurs at that time. One feels “pressured” and “overwhelmed” as one becomes larger in the womb; but one also experiences not getting enough oxygen — the simmering panic of near drowning.

We Feel Recurrently Pressured, Overwhelmed, and Panicked

So there is the state of not moving; but there is also suffocation of sorts … they are related, but very different experiential constellations, both of which profoundly affect how humans will see their lives ever after … both experiences skewing our ability to ever see reality accurately — clear and “unfiltered.” Because of the distinctly different experiences humans have coming into the world — caused by our uprightness, our bipedalism — we are, unlike any other species, riddled with bouts of feeling “pressured” by events, “overwhelmed” by circumstances, and panicked by thoughts of suffocating for lack of vital resources — food, air, land, water, touch, interpersonal contact, tribal/societal belongingness.

The Struggles We Create to “Breathe Free”

We spend much of our lives struggling to “breathe freely,” to “get on top of things,” to “get out from under,” to “be ahead of the pack,” because of this time in late gestation when we felt stifled and in danger of dying lest our oxygen/blood supply be completely “dried up.” We cannot enjoy the blessings of the moment, for we are forever looking forward, fending off and steeling ourselves for possible unpleasantness in the future.

The lesson to be taken from this is not that our early life mirrors our adult, “real” lives. Something more important is being said: Having our lives suffused with these feelings is not necessary, and the perceptions and deductions one makes from them are not instructive … they are wrong interpretations of what is going on; they are “unreal” … when we once again experience them as adults. They are very early components of what will later be our unreal self.

These feelings are rooted in forgotten memories, imprints we carry from early experience, and they are not rooted in actual circumstances. Sure, we create a reality that matches these feelings, but the feelings are there first. And if we had less of these feelings, we would less often create situations that mirrored them. We would more often create our lives out of our earlier joy grids — rooted in earlier times in the womb, as cells, and before coming into Form — rather than out of the pain grids, the pain templates, if you will, which are created out of these experiences.

Gasping

The feeling we carry with us, below the surface in life, is of not being able to breathe, to get enough air … as I have said it is like the discomfort we feel holding our breath under water. We have a simmering panic of “drowning” … of our oxygen supply being “cut off” … which is kept constantly in check.

As adults our experience is colored through with that feeling in ways so subtle we can no longer tease it out even if we wanted to … that is, unless we go through deep experiential psychotherapy, wherein we discover this to be the case. But the vast majority of us live our lives with a barely-kept-in-check panic that we will at some point be cut off from something that we need to survive — food, water, air, other people … and their concomitants — land, transportation, money, family, and so on.

The Oliver Twist Economies We Insist On … “Please, Sir, May I Have Some More?”

We act out these fears through excessive control of all these resources and through controlling and sycophantic behavior toward others in order to try to ensure a steady supply of vital resources.

Prenatal Feudalism

Yet even as we wrap up so much of our time and energy in these pursuits, we make sure we will feel no relief from their underlying uncomfortable feelings. As in every other of these feelings, we both seek relief from them and at the same time create the circumstances that give rise to them. In early economic systems, such as a “strong man” economy and feudalism, there is a simplified framework of control-conformity, dominance-sycophancy.

Prenatal Capitalism

But in “evolved” economic systems, we make certain we will not feel relief from the threat of lack (oxygen starvation/ fetal malnutrition): For we insist on a “dog eat dog” competitive system like capitalism, with its underlying Dickensian threat of an Oliver Twist state of deprivation: We get enough to survive, but it is not free and easy and leaves us always a little starved, wanting “some more.” We form all kinds of rationalizations for not adopting a more prosperous, more egalitarian, more cooperative, less competitive, and less stressful economic style as exemplified by socialism, for example.

That barely kept in check feeling of being cut off from something we need to survive causes us to insist on economies where the vast majority of people operating in it would feel that they are, for example, only one paycheck away from living on the streets. So, not only do we insist on inflicting this kind of pressure and pain on others, by insisting on a capitalism that keeps the majority in want and by voting for Republicans and their kind in other nations, who insist on dismantling any societal safety net, but we unconsciously want to live in such a society for it feels right and familiar that one should be under such threat at all times. Nope. not rational. But then humans are not.

As for, why socialism? That is because in our natural state, the forest, Nature, was the safety net. By taking us away from Nature and by denying us access to it, we make it just and right that society should provide that safety net, that sense of ultimately being able to take care of oneself. But in current industrialized societies, we not only threaten people with being out on the streets, once they are out there, we punish them for being there by preventing their being in any public places, from sleeping, and so on.

Prenatal Socialism

Of course, there are societies who have done this historically. Many indigenous cultures operate harmoniously this way; and there are societies and cultures that are attempting to create such a workable harmonious system today. But there are reasons why we refrain from wholesale adoption of such easier existences and why we insist on our economic struggles not being alleviated. For to adopt a cooperative socialist framework for meeting our actual needs would be akin to re-creating the earlier style of existence in the womb that was easy and free … the one that was Edenal … in harmony with Reality and Nature.

We Are the Ones Who Block a Return to Eden

That would be smart, of course. But as always we insist on our pains. We are forever doomed to creating situations that confront us with their reality unless or until we actually face and resolve them. So, while we are capable of living in more enlightened styles, we are for the most part going to ensure our existence in a state of struggle. We are the ones who put the angels to guard the gates of Eden.

Coming Up, Why We Steal Fire

In the next chapter we will look more closely at how we re-create our early pain in one specific area that has dire significance today, for it concerns what we are doing to our atmosphere. We are driven to want to suffocate ourselves, and we will see how this is rooted in our particular human beginnings, making us the one and only species on the entire planet that is so enamored of making fire. For from the earliest campfires to the nuclear power plants of today, humans are seen to like to burn things. What we discover is there are reasons, deeply rooted in our psyche, that would make us the penultimate Prometheans on Earth.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 13

Oxygen, Fire,
and Fetal Malnutrition:

Why We Suffocate Ourselves …
Why We’re Big on Burning

 

 

 

Oxygen Hunger, the Greenhouse Effect, and Fetal Malnutrition

Let us now turn to how we bring this prenatal oxygen struggle, termed fetal malnutrition, into our adult attitudes toward and interactions with our planetary atmosphere and global environment.

Latent Worldwide Oxygen Panic ~ The Fetus’s Latent Oxygen Panic

Remember, what the fetus experiences in the late stages of development in the womb is a state of a reduced oxygen, which causes subtle but simmering uncomfortable feelings of suffocation and a feeling of latent oxygen panic. Keep in mind also that this lessening of oxygen intake correlates necessarily with an increase in the amount of carbon dioxide in the prenate’s blood supply.

These changes from the optimal might seem minuscule to us as adults, but we need to consider that the unborn child is living 24/7 in this environment. It might be thought of as comparable to being stuck in a cramped room in which the air has become stuffy and gets increasingly so … and one is not even able to open a window occasionally for some relief. Think about that situation and especially how it keeps getting worse, and you may already sense the beginnings of a panic. That is what I am talking about. And remember that you as a prenate had no way of knowing that you were not, in fact, dying; you could not either, as you can now, console yourself with the thought that you could go out and get yourself more air at any point if it got too uncomfortable.

Gag Me With Exhaust — The Greenhouse Effect

So, the prenatal situation is analogous to our current environmental one. In both of them there is an increase in carbon dioxide — called the greenhouse effect when referring to the atmosphere. Perhaps these reflections between the prenatal and the planetary are not made often enough because in each case there is a tendency to focus on different halves of the equation: In terms of the prenatal situation, it is more common to think about the oxygen reduction; whereas when discussing the planetary situation, it is almost always talked about as an increase in the carbon dioxide.

That We Don’t Want to See

In each case this seeing with blinders on seems unconsciously calculated to avoid another and perhaps harder to face unpleasantness involved. In the prenatal situation it is the increased carbon dioxide, mentioned above and analogous to the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere and air pollution in the cities … this will be dealt with below under the category of “bad blood.” In the planetary it is the reduced oxygen involved that is never brought up; this is the part that is directly analogous to the fetal malnutrition as it is normally thought of, that is, as just a deficiency of oxygen.

Oxygen Insufficiencies

At any rate, by this atmospheric rearrangement I mean that, while we reputedly have, and need, an oxygen concentration of twenty percent in our atmosphere, concentrations of oxygen these days, especially in heavily industrial areas, have been measured at much lower levels. For example, an industrial section of Gary, Indiana, was recorded at levels below that able to sustain human life.

Affecting Bodily Health

This is as reported in the book, O2xygen Therapies by Ed McCabe (1988). Other examples of lowered oxygen levels in various arenas of our lives are given in the book as well, and the book is thoroughly documented. It makes a convincing case for the lowered oxygen levels as they relate to the rising statistics of a number of diseases.1

Affecting Mental Health

The connection I am making here of this reduced availability of O2 to psychological states and mental screens of perception is my own addition. However, I am informed as well by an understanding of intake of toxins as they relate to mental and psychological states, which I first found detailed in George Watson’s rare and astonishing work, Nutrition and Your Mind (1972).2

Global Oxygen Hunger

Regardless of these blatant situations of oxygen insufficiency — related to particularly adverse environments as in the Gary, Indiana, example — and their effects on the bodily health of humans, there is an overall global decrease in oxygen, which, while not as extreme, is so pervasive and inescapable that it has profound consequences for all life on this planet.

Ocean Oxygen — Dead Zones and Overall Depletion

To get an idea of the distinction I am making, let us compare this atmospheric oxygen distribution with what we know of what is happening in the planet’s water supply, its oceans. The first instance of inordinate oxygen deficiency in particular locales on Earth might be likened to the “dead zones” we know to exist in the seas. In these huge areas, some of them hundreds of miles in length, no life exists for there is no oxygen in the water. The second instance of overall global oxygen insufficiency might be likened to the overall reduction in oxygen in oceans with the destruction of the oxygen-producing plankton and the other environmental pressures to lower the oxygen levels of the oceans worldwide. So there are wide variances of oxygen concentration in our oceans inside of a lowering of its oxygen level overall.

Atmospheric Oxygen

Similarly, there has to be wide variance in oxygen levels in air. Simply think of the differences we are aware of from indoors to outdoors, from one room, say one with an oxygen consuming fire blazing in the hearth, to another, say, with its windows wide open. So while there are wide variances in oxygen levels from location to location — some so deficient as to sicken, cause unconsciousness, and in extreme situations kill people — there is also the reduced oxygen levels, on average, throughout the globe — caused by our uniquely human compulsion to burn carbon-based fossil fuels — which though minute, is both increasing and has subtler but more pervasive and so more dire implications.

Globally, Beginning to Gasp for Air

The results of one study were released not long ago by the Scripps Institute. The Scripps study monitored the oxygen in our atmosphere on the whole over a twenty-year period. It found a .1% decrease in global oxygen by 2005 since the beginning of the industrial revolution in the late 19th century.3

So let us deal with each of these points in turn: that people are dying because of our insistence on burning stuff; that the overall global decrease though minute is serious and is having noticeable worldwide effects even as I write; and that this compulsion to burn stuff is uniquely human and what are the implications of that.

Global Oxygen Loss Has Dire Significance Physically AND Psychologically

In the previous section I discussed the worldwide increases of carbon dioxide and the consequent decreases in global oxygen levels, and I pointed out how they mirror the fetus’s environment in the womb in late gestation, which is known as fetal malnutrition. At the end I made note of the facts that, first, people are actually dying as a result of dips in the oxygen content of their immediate environment, resulting from the intentional burning of fuels. Second, I said that even the minute changes in our global atmosphere on the whole are having pervasive and dire consequences. Third, I queried why we of all species are the only ones to engage in burning things outside our bodies so as to increase carbon dioxide and reduce oxygen in our environments. Let us look more closely at each of these statements in turn:

People Are Dying, Yes

People do die for lack of oxygen and conversely carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide buildup in their cars, homes, and in cities … sometimes intentionally, most often not. If it is not the sole cause of death, it is a contributing factor, as in the widespread and mounting deaths from restricted oxygen intake caused in cities worldwide — especially noticeable on severely air-polluted days. We do not generally consider these deaths to be directly related to air pollution or reduced oxygen, for they are listed as caused by increased heart attacks and other fatal concomitants of bad air.

We also avoid the harsh truth by not wanting to look into how dips in air quality/ oxygen concentration affect our overall health in terms of greater rates of emphysema, allergies, and stresses to the heart — among effects too numerous to mention — which have effects on our longevity. Translation: Bad air kills folks sooner than they would die otherwise. So, people are dying, yes.

How Big a Deal Is a Minute Change in Atmospheric Oxygen

Now let us consider how important this tendency of ours is for us. How greatly does this reduction in oxygen affect us when the levels of overall effect are small enough to be usually considered insignificant?

The Greenhouse Effect Shows Us Small Changes in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide Are No Small Matter

First, remember that when we consider the other half of this equation, the carbon dioxide levels, minute changes of their levels are having major changes on our planet. We exist in a delicate ecosystem, finely tuned to operate perfectly but only within very narrow parameters. You go outside those finely drawn lines and you have major complications and developments, with minor changes here having major consequences there.

In the Lab, Tiny Changes in Oxygen/ Carbon Dioxide Determine the Rise and Fall of Bacterial “Civilizations”

As an example, specifically as regards the oxygen–carbon-dioxide ratios, remember that we are composed of cells … cells that take in oxygen and give back carbon dioxide. Bacteria also are cells. Many of them do better with increases of carbon dioxide and die when there is more oxygen; these bacterial organisms suck up carbon dioxide and spit out oxygen. So we find that if we create a Petri dish colony of bacterial cells and carefully monitor its oxygen/carbon-dioxide ratios, minute increases in carbon dioxide have major effects on the colony: It will explode in growth and quite soon overgrow its Petri dish environment. Meanwhile if the reverse situation is created and the oxygen level is raised, the millions of bacterial cells will die off in short order, as if infected with the plague to end all plagues.

We Are Losing Three Molecules of Oxygen for Each Increase of Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Now, remember that we are a collection of many cells as well. What do you suppose is happening with minute changes in the overall level of oxygen we get; or conversely the increased carbon dioxide? The book I mentioned by McCabe — O2xygen Therapies — goes into great detail explaining how we are seeing increases in cancer, viral and bacterial, and fungal infections — all of which do better in high carbon dioxide/ lowered oxygen levels. And we are noticing booming algae growth in areas of our oceans and are expecting flourishing vegetative growth on our lands because of the increases in carbon dioxide in each of them. Why would we not be experiencing effects on the other side of the equation — the loss of oxygen. Remember, as the Scripps Institute study discussed in the previous section detailed, for every increase of one molecule of CO2, we are getting a loss of almost three molecules of O2.

We Have Already Lost a Fifth of the Amount of Atmospheric Oxygen That Would Knock Us All Out

But I am adding the psychological effects of this oxygen loss to the already considerable statistically verifiable harm being registered to us physically. What decrease in oxygen stimulates prenatal memories of oxygen near-panic? Well, consider that a reduction of oxygen of only .5% is enough to cause unconsciousness and sometimes even kill a person — from 20% which is optimal down to 19.5% which is dire.3 So how much of a reduction is merely noticeable and uncomfortable? How much of a change means we will experience “stuffiness” … assuming we have a point of comparison … when there exists “outside” air that is different? It can’t be all that much, right? Not if a .5% reduction would darken our lights.

If ALL the Time You’re Getting Less Oxygen, How Would You Know? Wouldn’t You Think It Normal?

Okay, but there is more to it. Now ask yourself how you consciously know you are experiencing stuffiness or suffocation when there is no basis of comparison. If you experience reduced oxygen every instant of your life, do you consciously know it? I think not. 

So “stuffiness” that is our ordinary situation does not register to us as being stuffy. It cannot. But that does not mean our bodies are not registering a change and that we are not unconsciously being stimulated into psychological states, like I have been mentioning. And would these psychological states then also — with no basis of comparison now either because of it being an ongoing situation — not themselves be thought of as “normal,” though they would be somewhat altered from the way humans may have felt on our planet in earlier centuries?

Our Oliver Twist Atmosphere

So, environmentally — with oxygen starvation and air pollution — I submit we act out our unconscious memories of fetal suffocation by burning up fossil fuels, further reducing oxygen in the environment, destroying forests which release oxygen, moving to cities that have little in the way of trees or Nature, and allowing cities to bulldoze all Nature away and create suffocating sterility. We continually re-create the discomforts we have not faced. There is no escape from the things we have “put out of our mind.” That is the closest thing to hell that exists, though there is redemption in it.

Sure, we want oxygen, but we keep removing oxygen from our environment to put us back in that state in the womb when we needed air (oxygen) but did not get enough leaving us asking, “Please, mother, might I have some more”?

Why We Make Fire … Why We Suffocate Ourselves

Humans did not always do things to adversely affect the air they breathe, however. We were not always fire burners or food cookers. It is common knowledge that at a certain point in our evolution, we began harnessing fire for warmth, for cooking, and for other purposes, including entertainment. Consider that fact for a second … why are we the only species to do this? (And we are.) Now consider the aspect of our uniquely human fetal malnutrition as neonates and prenates we have been looking into. No other species needs to “burn” carbon-based fuels for survival; we only need a tiny amount of air to stoke our “inner fires” when converting food to energy. Yet we have added that incredible weight of setting things ablaze and burning fuels to our burden on the planetary resources and the environment ever since we began using fire.

Consider if the fetal malnutrition/oxygen starvation we created for ourselves as unborns by standing upright might be manifesting itself as the need to burn stuff and thereby decrease the oxygen in our immediate environment, and increase the toxins there. Is it possible that fetal malnutrition, which is the result of bipedalism, contributed later to our use of fire? For, as I continually point out, we are triggered into our unfaced early pain, at the same time as we seek to run from it, while we unconsciously act to bring it about, so we might at some point face it and heal ourselves (though we rarely do).

You think it a strange idea that we might be unconsciously wanting to re-create the “stuffiness” in the womb by burning stuff and creating air around us that mimics that state? Really?  Do you think it normal for someone to create tiny “fire sticks” and “suck” the bad air they produce? Do you not wonder why we are the only ones to burn tobacco and other vegetation so we might inhale the exhaust from it, the smoke from the fire we create? If we came across a culture where they built fires and stood around sticking their faces in the smoke to inhale it, how would we view that? How is cigarette smoking different? Yes, we are the only species that has that invention of cigarettes (cigars, pipes, hookahs … and so many more). And you think my hypothesis odd?

Yes, Billy Joel, We Did Start the Fire

Is it any wonder we portray hell as one of eternal fire? Not only does it coincide with the prenatal feelings of burning on the surface of the skin, which I will soon explore in more depth. But in that human beings are the ones being referred to when we speak of the myth of Lucifer; it makes sense that Lucifer’s home after being cast from heaven would be one of fire. Satan is always pictured in a cave — another womb symbol — of sorts. with fires all around him. Humans compulsively create environments in which they are surrounded by fire. Just look around you … automobiles, heaters, electrical energy created by combustion…. We also have myths that tell us alternately that use of fire is the great break with Nature that makes us humans, as well as myths saying that our being too reckless and getting too close to fire is what causes our downfall. When you think of it, am I not saying both of those?

Many ethnographies tell of Creation Myths that include a hero that brings fire, therein getting things started for those peoples as a distinct culture.4

Of Meat and Men

In Greek mythology, Prometheus stole fire for humans from the gods and was punished by being tied to a rock and forced to endure eagles picking away at his entrails for eternity.5 Maybe it is true that cooking food was not a great health step forward as many nutritionists schooled in naturopathy and wholistic health and enjoining about the benefits of raw foods have been pointing out.

As I have said, meat was the apple in the Garden of Eden and killing of planetmates was the first step in our downward slide into savagery. Since the primary difference that the use of fire made to the life ways of humans was allowing the cooking of meat — which helped preserve it and made it more storable, perhaps this myth of Prometheus is also referring to that negative turn in our diet … and nutritionists will tell you that meat eating is the primary cause of all the gut ailments we have — colon cancer and the rest — and that a diet high in it correlates with a sharp reduction in the intake of roughage and fiber, with all their health benefits.

And sure enough, we find that the nomadic, foraging early humans left waste material high in roughage — of indigestible cellulose and vegetative matter. Indigenous societies even today have strikingly different diets than more “civilized” ones. Medical anthropologists long ago determined they eat so much more non-meat foods that the average time it takes for food to pass completely through their body is twenty-four hours, whereas it takes the average Westerner seventy-two hours for food to be eliminated. They view this difference as the main reason indigenous cultures have so much less colonic ill health than modern societies in which gut ailments are rampant. Perhaps the Prometheus myth is detailing where we took that wrong turn and the health consequences we were punished with thereafter.

The Icarus Warning

Then there are the myths of being reckless regarding fire. One example, in a Greek myth, Icarus was given wings to fly, pasted on with wax. He did fly. But in getting too close to the sun … that big fire in the sky … the wax that held his wings melted, he lost his wings, and plunged to Earth and to his end. Might this not be a metaphor for so-called human “evolution”? Might it not be predicting the apocalyptic end we see before us, because of our misuse of fire of all kinds — the manic firing up of fossil fuels, the insane powering up of the atom for doomsday bombs and nuclear plants, and so on? In the next chapter we look into these questions and ferret out their implications.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 14

Promethean Hubris and
Re-Visioning Civilization:

Deep Thoughts on the Fall …
Civilization and Apocalypse

 

 

 

Meat-Eating and Apocalypse … First Falls and Last

After writing the previous section on fire, meat, Prometheus, and Icarus, and in subsequent research into the Prometheus myth, I found there is far more connection in the myth to the eating of meat than I realized. Also, the myth’s elements underscore the idea in the previous chapter that in stealing fire/ eating meat, we set off the developments that would lead to our apocalyptic prognosis today. Further, it is clear that the Prometheus myth is the Greek analogue to the Judaic myth of Eden and the Fall, which supports my thinking that the apple in the Garden of Eden represents meat — meat eating … hunting … the killing of planetmates.

The Greek Fall from Grace — Prometheus

Prometheus’s Meat Trick

In the Prometheus myth, the fire stealing started with a trick that Prometheus played on Zeus. Prometheus — midway between gods and men, a Titan — gave the god two offerings from which Zeus was to choose. He gave meat and bones. Zeus chose the bones, supposedly because it was packaged more attractively. This is said to be the basis for why humans eat meat, according to ancient understandings.

Zeus — Not Amused

But when Zeus realized the trick, he was pissed … understandably. He hid fire from humans in retribution. Subsequently, Prometheus stole the fire and gave it to mankind. But this angered Zeus even more. So, this time to take revenge, he sent the first woman, Pandora, to live with men.

Ha Ha … Very Funny, Zeus. Thanks a Lot for the Pandora

Pandora literally means “all gifts.” So it is that Pandora represents all the blessings that come with human advancement, represented by harnessing fire. But Pandora, as we all know, brings all troubles as well. She carries a jar that, opened, releases all “evils, harsh pain and troublesome diseases which give men death.”

Pandora shuts the jar but it is too late; many of the evils had already escaped. Interestingly, what remains in the closed jar along with the rest of the evils, but at the bottom, is hope. This is a theme that I return to again and again in this book and the subsequent one, Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014) in discussing what we need to do about our dire situation: That is, turn and face it, delve deeper into it and not turn away, for therein lies our only real hope.

Eden – the Biblical Fall

Life Becomes Endless Work and Struggle

But notice the parallels with the myth of Eden. In the Biblical rendering, the eating of the apple — which I say represents eating meat — results in the end of easy existence and that from then on humans survive only through “the sweat of one’s brow.”

The Original “Leisure Society”

Sure enough, the end of the nomadic and vegetarian existence of early humans — called the first “affluent society” because it required only three hours a day of work to garner what was needed for survival — occurs with the introduction of hunting, then agriculture, then husbandry.1

Strenuous Living, Slavery to Survival

And in the Bible, we notice that immediately after Eden, the “second generation” of humans is seen working strenuously to survive as represented by Cain and Able, who were one of them a tiller of the soil and the other a herder of animals.

That not bad enough, after Cain slew Abel, like a second fall from grace, God added an even greater load of hard work. Cain was told that to punish him, the earth that had soaked up the blood he had spilled would resist aiding him in producing his crops and he and those who came after him would have strenuous work in eking sustenance from her and a hard life in simply surviving.

As an aside, notice how whenever we talk about the deepest structures of our mind — and myths provide a glimpse into that — we see the perinatal gestalt. For the Earth here — the placenta — is no longer rich, nourishing, and helpful but, as is the case for the prenate in the late stages of gestation, is impoverished of oxygen and nutrients and less vital, less supportive of one’s continued living.

Promethean Fall

Defiance is Punished by Hard Work, Like in Eden

And the Prometheus myth also has this same sequence as in Eden and the Fall of a defiance of the ways of Nature and God followed by a punishment and suffering, but also by strenuous work as being the lot of humans from then on. For as Hesiod relates the myth, Zeus did more than send evils and diseases to humans in revenge for being tricked out of the meat of which Prometheus first deprived him … and for that you can read that humans took from God/Nature the determination of life and death, which in our deciding to kill planetmates, we most assuredly did, see further down … but Zeus also took from humans “the means of life.”

The consequences of this are similar to being cast out of Eden. For if fire had not been stolen … meat not eaten by humans … humans not adopted hunting, horticulture, husbandry, as Hesiod puts it, “you would easily do work enough in a day to supply you for a full year even without working; soon would you put away your rudder over the smoke, and the fields worked by ox and sturdy mule would run to waste.”

Deep Thoughts on The Fall — Meat-Eating

The Fall After the Fall in Eden 

There are more parallels between the Eden and Prometheus myths and tie-ins to the issue of meat-eating.

Cain Killed Abel, Sedentary Farmers Superseded Nomadic Gatherers

Some scholars see the Cain and Abel struggle as representing that between nomadic hunter-gatherers and the first settled farmers. Abel is the “righteous” man, a herder of sheep, and a nomadic type. Being a shepherd, he has an affinity with planetmates. Later, Christ is compared with Abel as being a martyr, but notice also that Christ is known as the Good Shepherd — that is, caring of animals (planetmates), too.

We need to think of the different ways herders and agriculturalists might view animals. The herder needs to raise and care for planetmates, regardless that they will eventually be killed. The farmer can view planetmates as a means only to an end — as slave labor or soul-less tools to be used in the raising of crops.

The Gods Want Meat = The Gods Want to Retain Determination of Life and Death

And in the Cain and Abel story, we have the same idea of an offering of a meat and a non-meat to a god, just as in the Prometheus myth. Again, meat is the accepted and more desired sacrifice by the divine.

The Gods Want Humans to Offer Meat – to “Sacrifice” That Right of Determining Life/Death

In the Prometheus myth, it all went awry because Prometheus did not offer the meat he should have to God. As I said, offering the meat as a sacrifice is the same as saying that it is left to God to determine the life and death of the planetmates (animals), not humans. And in Abel’s giving up of a lamb to the Divine, the message is that the humans represented by Abel, the nomadic herder-gatherers will be willing to not eat meat, to forego it, to “sacrifice” it.

Cain’s Story of Not Sacrificing Determination of Life/Death to the Divine = Humans’ Increasing Control Over Nature

But with Cain, the farmer, it is all about control. Cain does not offer an animal. Like Prometheus he gives the Divine a lesser offering — not quite a tricking of the Divine as Prometheus did but close to it; he is not willing to sacrifice as much. In giving up much more abundant grain and vegetables, the price he is willing to pay is much less than Abel’s offering of a fellow planetmate, a lamb, raised and cared for from birth. 

The unspoken part in this myth is provided by way of the Prometheus myth. For in not offering meat to the Divine, the assumption is that Cain will be keeping the meat for his own consumption … and by inference that Cain is keeping for himself the determination of life or death of fellow planetmates instead of putting that responsibility where it belongs — in the hands of Nature/ the Divine.

Deep Thought on the Falls — Murder

How We Started Our Slide into Savagery

Finally, the controlling, savage, and murderous qualities that come with increasing control over Nature — as I have described at length elsewhere — show up in that it is the sedentary, more controlling tiller of the soil, Cain, who has become capable of taking now, even, a human life. In Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014), I showed why that also follows: For once humans became capable of killing and eating planetmate flesh, it was not long before humans were able to kill each other.

Will “Progress of Man” Be Humanity’s Epitaph?

But all of these developments, these increases of control over Nature, are traditionally seen as the “progress of man,” the advance and evolution of humans. On the brink of ecocide and humanicide as we now are as a result of these developments, we have a unique vantage point for re-visioning these changes. Are these vaunted human “achievements” so great if they lead to species annihilation, species suicide, and ecocide as is becoming increasingly likely?

We now continue to look into these questions. And the very next thing we see is that even the myths from ancient times give us evaluations and prognoses on us that are surprising in light of our current rationalizations of ourselves as a species.

A Re-Visioning of “Civilization” in Light of Impending Apocalypse … 

Defiance = Birth Pain = Separation From the Real

Other aspects of the Prometheus and Eden myths fit with the interpretation I am making of it: Stealing fire/ eating the apple/ eating meat is the great act-out of the primal birth pain we created for ourselves by standing upright. It was a defiant act against Nature and Universal harmony, but it set us on the human path of being distinct from all other species. Without real access/ connection to the Real, we created substitute realities — culture, structured societies, status, language and writing, power relations, and abstract creative products.2

Prometheus Makes Us “Civilized” … and Doomed

Fitting with that, Prometheus is given the central role in making humans distinct from all species, creating humanity, in giving defining attributes to humans to set us apart from all species and these are said to be fire and all the civilizing skills. Prometheus is credited with, not only securing meat, fire, and all ailments and troubles (with Pandora), but also with bringing civilization and all its components of science, agriculture, mathematics, medicine, art, and literature. 

These endeavors are fine things, no doubt, but all are aspects of control of Nature, are opposition to the natural, are abstraction and alienation from the Divine and not harmony with it or balance in relation to it. Only now are we beginning to understand the price that comes with these, as indeed we are suffering the penalties allotted Adam and Eve, Icarus, and Prometheus for their over-reaching and hubris. We are nearing the end of the slide into apocalyptic oblivion that Prometheus, Adam and Eve, and Pandora set us on (poetically speaking).

The Answers

But within these myths lie the answers to our dilemma as well. These products of the consciousness of billions of previous humans — added to and refined over the millennia — prophesize the apocalypse looming before us, but these tensions cannot exist in myth except by being inextricably entwined with the very means of their release and resolution. So they lay before us the way home for us as well. And they predict our redemption and how it will happen. It is to this we now turn.

Before looking at the resolutions of the uniquely human apocalyptic dilemma we have created, let me address something that is no doubt on many readers’ minds.

How Promethean “Heroism” Set Off Our Slide into Alienation and Apocalypse

I know you are not used to hearing the Prometheus myth interpreted as a defiant act, not a heroic act. It is never compared with the defiant acts portrayed in the Eden or Icarus myths as I am here doing. Icarus is rightly said to be a tragic example of hubris or failed ambition, high-flying ambition. In Eden, Adam and Eve defy the sole Divine commandment. But they can all be seen as acts of over-reaching, certainly as acts of hubris. And in all of them punishment follows the selfish act; there is karmic retribution for upsetting the natural or Divine order.

On Defiance, Alienation from Nature, “Civilization,” Apocalypse, Marxism, OWS, and Ayn Rand

But remember that hubris and over-reaching was actually the earliest understanding of the Promethean act. It appears that time, understandably — as it does — provided a rationalization of the defiant act.3

As with everything else — language, culture, hierarchical society, and the like — humans turn their faults into achievements, their crimes into heroism, their cowering before truth into brave creations of castles in the sky. So it is that the Romantic poets Shelley and Byron saw this myth as a reflection of defiance against an oppressive authority, as in their time was the Church; French Revolutionaries saw it as a poke in the eye to the parasitic blue bloods of their age; and Marxists and other activists find inspiration in it for struggle against the suffocating prerogatives of capitalism and imperialism.

They are fine in finding inspiration where they can. I submit, however, that a deeper and more currently relevant understanding is the one I am presenting here and which was the earliest understanding. 

Despite all the rationalizing that has been done on it, this earlier understanding — the one making it analogous to the Eden and Icarus structures — does shine through at times. In my opinion, Mary Shelley understood its real meaning when in 1818 she subtitled her masterpiece novel, Frankenstein “The Modern Prometheus.” 

In it, she demonstrates a remarkably current, postmodern theme of the dangers of human hubris, of taking us into arenas of knowledge that we are nowhere near capable of managing … doing again, as we did at the beginning in wresting from the Divine the determination of life and death over the flora, fauna, and even other humans at times, mucking with the Divine order by stirring up the forces deep within the atom and the DNA, opening more and more of Pandora’s jars, which can no longer be closed, many of them. So, yes, Shelley’s understanding is closer to my interpretation of the meaning of bringing these “civilizing arts” to humanity. In other words, they are in their essence and therefore their ultimate fruits abominations!

If my interpretation of Prometheus is still not understood and one wishes to follow Marxist, revolutionary, romantic, and modern interpretations of Prometheus as a righteous defier of injustice and heroic bringer of boons — in a way as to make him a model for our real Occupy Wall Street and Arab Spring heroes today — then consider why it is that the person on the extreme other side of this revolutionary ideology, Ayn Rand, uses Prometheus as a model for her ideology of rapacious individuality, which she does in her novels Anthem and the fanatically worshipped, Atlas Shrugged

So, no. Ayn Rand’s rendering shows the myth to be, at its base, depicting the ultimate perversion of a natural benign order and a criminal defiance of Nature — as the industrialists and polluters of today show us — and not the revolutionary overthrow of an oppressive rule, as Marxists, Romantic poets, and French Revolutionaries saw it. 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 15

How We Look to the Gods and Return of the Centaur:

We Are the Centaurs, My Friends

 

 

 

Enter the Centaur: Wherein Lies Real Hope 

Prometheus Brought Us Blind Hopes

Another aspect of this is that Prometheus is said to have “caused blind hopes to live in the hearts of men.” Indeed, we are also now seeing how blind was our reliance on technology and the vaunted but vain “rational mind” — which has now been seen to be a rationalizing mind.

For we realize this self-congratulatory thinking has been keeping out uncomfortable truths and building illusory, manic Atman projects of escape from the consequences of our actions. None of which, we are now finding out, are capable of working.

Enter the Centaur: Real Hopes — Chiron

But to jump ahead. There is hope in the Prometheus myth as well. There is shown a way forward for humanity, which at this particular time in history appears to have been prophetic. For Prometheus is saved from his sufferings by the Centaur, Chiron. Chiron sacrifices himself — Christ-like — taking on Prometheus’s suffering and dying in his stead.

Return to the Centaur

Earthy, Sensual, Noble

The Centaur — half human, half animal — does not, like Icarus, paste on wings and try to separate from groundedness in the Earth. No. Centaur qualities are earthy, sensual, sexual. They embrace the noble qualities of the horse … reminding us that as primal beings, early humans, we were noble humans … as they say, a bit ethnocentrically, “noble savages.” We once stood, sure-footed and tall, and we walked confidently upon the Earth, knowing we belonged here.

Wounded Healers, Shamans, Gardeners of Consciousness, Poets … Brave and Foolhardy Journeyers Into the Unapproved and Hidden

Traditionally associated with intoxicants and with the bacchanalian, centaurs can see into other realities, nonordinary ones. They are open to altered states of consciousness. They are not averse to looking into their deeper natures, their “undersides,” their unconscious; that is how they came to be one with Nature in the first place.

Indeed, Chiron is also known as the wounded healer and is associated with the shamanic. Being, like Chiron, healers, centaurs are skilled in both physical and mental health. Thus they are wholistic and psychotherapeutical. They are philosophical. Plato was one. Walt Whitman was one. They are poetic.

Mystics, Scapegoats, Natural … A-mused and A-musing Not Deluded and A-mazed

They are scapegoated, like Chiron was, for the sins of society, and in modern times they have scornfully been referred to as “hippies” and “beatniks” — but they include the bohemian types of all times. Being rooted in a more fundamental nature or reality they are mystic. Jesus was one. Following a “different drummer,” as it were, they are the Wayseers.1

Connected to the real source of truth in Nature and the Divine, they are in touch with their muse … and are both a-mused and a-musing … but they are not into the maze of culture, the matrix, they are not fooled or a-mazed.

The centaur is completely in tune with her and his planetmate nature, the Divine and Natural order — as in the Jungian and mystic understandings of individuation as being a re-uniting with a fundamental and earlier reality — returning home, humble and prodigal-son like.

The Opposite of Ordinary Folks … Who Build Stairways to Heaven and Towers to Their Vanity

This is the opposite of most folks who spend their lives seeking to vainly build stairways to heaven, Towers of Babel to the divine, to be muscular Nietzchian supermen, or to struggle up Wilberian ladder-style paths for imaginary achievements and to an understandably elusive “enlightenment.”

We Are the Centaurs, My Friends

This self-sacrificing tendency in humans I will be talking about at length at the end of this book where I point out how we need to stop acting out and begin taking back the projections we make onto the Unknown and thereby stop the Promethean cycles of suffering going on for millennia. We need to, like Chiron, take upon ourselves the “sins of the fathers.” As Tom Waits sang it, “I’m gonna take the sins of my father (mother, brother, sister), down to the pond … I’m gonna wash them.”

Exactly that. We must make the heroic sacrifice of taking inside ourselves those perennial urges to act out on others what was done to us. In environmental terms we must make the sacrifices of lowering our standard of living and cutting back on the lavish appetites and lazy indulgences fed by excessive technology, cultural trinkets, and superfluous commercialism, which other generations were allowed to take to the limits of their times. For if we do not, then there will be very little left for future generations — assuming there will be any.

These cultural “achievements” — wrought of burning of fossil fuels, release of fiery energy from the atom, and despoiling of natural resources — all of them in some way rooted in the theft of fire long ago, which started it all, must be let go of. We must refrain from being driven by these addictions and substitutes for actual felt experience, take the “fire” within instead of burning it up without. So in physical terms we must bring those excessive urges home within ourselves and ground them in Nature, bring them back into our physical bodies; we must be centaurs. And within our bodies experience the discomfort of such a monumental millennial turnabout.

So, no. This is not easy or comfortable.

Open the Jar, Pandora

Real Hope Lies in Pandora’s Jar

In psychological terms, real change lies in peering deep into the Pandora’s jar of the unconscious to recover the real hope that is there. Remember, Zeus punished humanity for Prometheus’s theft by sending Pandora. Pandora opened the jar she was told never to look into — another broken law of the Divine, like that of Eve and Prometheus — and out came all the ailments that now plague humankind. It is said Pandora tried to close it but “it was too late.” Still, the legend tells us what was left inside was hope.

I do not think you have a better description of the way most folks, including most psychologists, handle the discomfort of early pain: They cannot help but be affected by it … some of it does “leak out.” But they expend all kinds of efforts toward bottling it up as much as possible, suppressing, repressing, using all kinds of defenses — including what mainstream psychotherapists call “healthy” ones.

Well, There’s No Sense Going Half Way!

Yet I can tell you as a primal therapist, breathworker, and primal person that is the exact wrong thing to do. From the perspective of deep experiential psychotherapy and holotropic breathwork, one must open the “jar” all the way up. One must surrender to the discomfort within — not acting it out but acting it in … or rather, surrendering to the feelings that come up and expressing them (opening the jar wide).

The jar is the personal unconscious, and what we find is that the only answer to all these troubles is to look deeply into them; for when we do we find the real hope that lies beneath the pain. Or as I have phrased it, there comes a time when one feels through the negative grids (the pain grids) to the positive grids (the joy grids). Therein is the hope.

What we find is that when one has faced and integrated perinatal pain, the blissful experiences from earlier in womb time open up. In Grof’s terms referred to earlier in this book, when one allows oneself to experience the depression of BPM II (constricted womb) and the tribulations of BPM III (birth itself), then one is open to the euphoria of BPM I (early womb experience). Rather than seeing through a veil of perinatal negativity and illusion and acting out from the unreal self or ego, one is getting closer to one’s real self as a positive, truly creative being.

This is not a fleeting experience, for it allows a completely new perception on one’s life, vastly different from what one normally thinks. One has access to positive patterns laid down in one’s life. One can build a life that works, for once. One can make choices that trigger one into happiness, not ones that are self-destructive and conducive to unhappiness.

This is true in therapy and on the spiritual path but also in ordinary life. For any time one confronts or looks deeply into one’s discomforts there is a time when there is release from it, there is a time when one is in a better place for having faced it. As the Tao symbol indicates, there is a seed of light in the depths of darkness. And, by the way, consider the parallel of that notion with the one of there being hope at the bottom of Pandora’s Jar of troubles.

Additionally, I can tell you that opening up even more to the reality of consciousness, as opposed to constructing egoic “castles in the sky,” leads to uncovering the spiritual grids beyond even the positive grids. That is when we go beyond even hope to actual redemption, re-union with estranged Divinity, faith, empathy, love, and finally compassion. And that is when we as centaurs go from being just wounded and suffering to being, like Chiron, healers … and caring teachers.

So, for centaurs, for those who take this path, it is more depressive than aggressive. And up to the euphoric culmination I described above, it is painful and ongoing as well, just as Chiron’s wound was incurable and tormenting. These become the shamans and wounded healers, like Chiron, throwing themselves into the fire, rather than shooting fire all about themselves at others. Centauric folks take on the suffering lest they end up being like all those before them who sheepishly and selfishly passed the burden down.

Return of the Centaur

In another part of this book I point out how there are, beginning with the Sixties, now generations who are doing just that — working out these pains, not acting them out. 

I just recently delineated the way these primal pains are emerging and how they are being worked through, not acted out, in younger generations and in alternative, rock music, and therapeutic cultures for a number of decades now.

Finally, in a related work of mine, Culture War, Class War (2013), I have written how the Sixties Generation is a centaur generation and how the Millennial Generation is continuing that tradition. I have pointed out Sixties folk are centauric in standing upon (sitting upon) the achievements of previous generations but also reversing the perverse Promethean human direction by reuniting with our rootedness in Nature.

Chiron Return … Every Fifty-One Years

This humble and correct primal returning has been done, is continuing to be done, and will keep on being done as the Sixties Generation continues working out its power struggle at the top, but now aided by a Millennial Generation — comprised mainly of their daughters and sons — who are rather centaur-like themselves … as this book and its related works — the Return to Grace Series — continue to show.

And who, because of this, following different stars grounded in realities both deeper and higher, they boldly confront their societies, bringing about change, creating rapid evolution, revolution; and in doing this they have already created an Arab Spring and an Occupy Wall Street movement. They will bring about profound change in that they are opposed to the powers that be, just as their parents were opposed to the “establishment” of their day and created a “counter” culture.

The Chiron cycle is fifty-one years, meaning the last time we had energies like we do now in 2016 was in 1965. If you lived through or know about that decade, you know that 1961 through 1971 were among the most transformative, progressive, and revolutionary years in the history of the world … and it indeed was a worldwide phenomenon. Considering the dire developments and challenges being laid at our feet, as this book has been laying them out … and requiring as much social but personal change as well … the centaurs could not have returned any too soon.

Prometheus Redux

Before leaving Prometheus for good, let us consider some other interesting aspects of its rendering that provide insight into this book’s exploration of the deepest psychological — perinatal — roots of our apocalypse now:

There are four legends of the Prometheus myth — all of them are reflected, coincidentally, in themes in this and its related books, Culture War, Class War (2013) and Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014). They are

According to the first, he was clamped to a rock in the Caucasus for betraying the secrets of the gods to men, and the gods sent eagles to feed on his liver, which was perpetually renewed.2

“Betraying the secrets of gods to men” includes the biggest Divine prerogative — dominion over death. Also, this implies that humans were given the forbidden knowledge which humans are incapable of controlling, which I dealt with at length in a previous section, using as modern examples our stirring up the forces of the atom and the secrets of the DNA.

According to the second, Prometheus, goaded by the pain of the tearing beaks, pressed himself deeper and deeper into the rock until he became one with it.2

One of the results of Promethean hubris was control of Nature but therein also detachment from Nature. As I have been showing, our birth pain led us to the Promethean mistake of fire and meat. Both of these contribute to what I have called the thingification of humans, especially in modern and postmodern times. By that I mean our extraordinary pain coming into the world and then in general in life causes us to split off from the feelings in our bodies. We objectify all of Nature: We remove all its feeling and spiritual components and leave Things as the only reality, including ourselves and other humans. We “thingify” our babies; and as adults we embrace thingification (repression, detachment, estrangement, suppression, alienation) as a way of defending against this pain.

According to the third, his treachery was forgotten in the course of thousands of years, forgotten by the gods, the eagles, forgotten by himself.2

This separation from the pain creates the personal unconscious. But as a species, we have created a collective unconscious — what I have called the Unapproved and Hidden of all cultures. And as I have said, the truth became increasingly invisible over time … our real nature, what we did, and the true cost of our estrangement became ever more buried, obscure … eventually unknowable.

According to the fourth, everyone grew weary of the meaningless affair. The gods grew weary, the eagles grew weary, the wound closed wearily.2

This refers to what happens when we face these uncomfortable truths and resolve them. Ultimately we leave behind these dramas when we have dealt with them so much they no longer have any charge for us. In other words, they become boring …  we “weary.” The patterns are still there, but they contain no charge for us.

So the first legend asserts that we are damaged and pained as karmic retribution for our defiance of Nature. And in these last three legends we have the ways we have reacted to the Promethean wound within us: “We become unfeeling, detached, rock-like. We become one with our defenses, thingified.

The second says that we repress this information and it becomes increasingly hidden (“forgotten”) as our species has “evolved,” but also individually, as we get older in life. This is generally what is done with the Promethean wound of birth pain. 

The third says that some of us face and deal with the wounds. Eventually they are gone beyond, truly gone beyond, as eventually all the charge on them disappears, they have no more control over us or pull on us, as we just naturally weary of them … they dissipate.

There remains the inexplicable mass of rock. The legend tried to explain the inexplicable. As it came out of a substratum of truth it had in turn to end in the inexplicable.2

Finally, inexplicable substratum of truth is a pretty damn good description of the Unapproved and Hidden … also known as the Collective Unconscious.…  But in my rendering of it — dealing with our species unconscious, not just personal, “racial,” societal, or cultural — it contains much more than Jung imagined and because of that reverses many of the interpretations and meanings arising from it from what the Jungians, Joseph Campbell, or Freud understood.

How We Look to the Gods

Finally Futility … The Gods Are Laughing at Us

One final message can be taken from these ancient minings of unconscious Truth which is also a commentary on our current mainstream reactions to the dire developments which are now reaching an apocalyptic peak:

Icarus Flapping LOL

In the Icarus myth, “Icarus kept flapping his wings but soon realized that he had no feathers left and that he was only flapping his bare arms.” I do not think there is a better image for the way we look in our actions in the face of apocalypse. The gods, aliens, Titans, angels, and the planetmates must be laughing their asses off at the sight of humans continued “flapping” about with ever more technology, pushing ever forward into the face of doom and apocalypse — the sun, the fire for Icarus — even as the Earth below us continues to fail, disintegrate, get polluted and poisoned, and no longer support our continued hubris.

We’re Falling and We Can’t Get Up

Oh, yes, we’ve started the Icarus fall … our wings of technology are “melting” — literally in the case of Fukushima — but ever faster we “flap” — seeking to build more nuclear plants, hiding from the populace the extinction level events that are happening right now at Fukushima, seeking to drill ever more even with the BP spill clear as can be in the rear view mirror, lining the Koch Brothers pockets in touting the benefits of coal as an energy source, melting the rocks around natural gas so that our tap water catches fire and poisons folks who drink it, and so much more. So, yes, even more furiously we flap, the harder for every increase in our fall. 

We furiously pick up litter as our organs rot from radiation poisoning. Oh, yes, we’ll die. But where we fall it will be tidy. 

We register voters as we add allergies and runaway infections to the Pandora’s lot of illness we already must endure. Oh, yes, we’ll suffer. But we’ll all be able to vote. 

We sign petitions decrying environmental destruction, as our children increasingly sicken. For certain they will not live a full life and the planet will die. But we will have expressed our disapproval of it in documents that there will be none alive to read.3

View from the Edge

We have had a long journey through the world of ancient myths and prehistory in delving into the way our prenatal state of oxygen insufficiency has pushed us to make fire and polluted environments attractive to us. We have seen how these early pushes have set us apart from all other species and placed us on an inexorable slide — which we in good time embraced and claimed as a goal and achievement even — to the edge of an apocalyptic abyss.

Next we look at how this unconscious state of an Oliver Twist style of oxygen deprivation affects us politically and socially … no matter any conscious or moral rearranging of “furniture” on the decks of our individual Titanics.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 16

Prenatal Hunger Games:

Oxygen Starvation and Class War

 

 

 

Hunger Games — Fetal Malnutrition and Politics

Prenatal Roots of War

In a previous section I mentioned how our human tendency to warring has its roots in the uncomfortable crowdedness we experience in the late stages of gestation — a pain and trauma that stays with us for life and drives us to act it out in trying to push back lines and make more room (womb) for ourselves in many areas of our lives, including politically. I said our psychological state preceding wars, in line with deMause’s work in this area, is akin to feeling stifled and wanting to “breathe free.”

Hunger Games — War and Aggression

Can’t Move

So of course our aggressions against others are connected to the long period of difficult immovability in the womb, but we can already see it is related to the reduction of oxygen at that time as well.

Looking into the feelings of latent oxygen panic rooted in fetal oxygen hunger, we see it has many more political implications, even, than war and aggressions toward others over space … over lines and perimeters and rooted in the feelings of being hemmed in — that constellation of “crowded” feelings I have previously teased out.

Can’t Breathe

In the “gasping” or oxygen deprivation trauma of late stage gestation, we cannot get enough oxygen; we feel suffocated … suppressed, stifled, repressed, oppressed. It is out of these feelings carried over and restimulated again and again as adults that we create class wars, revolution, and culture wars. For we feel there to be an oppressive force inhibiting our self-expression, keeping us from “breathing freely.”

Hunger Games — Greed and Oppression

But more: On the other side of those panicky feelings of suffocation we are driven to gobbling up more resources than we need — greed. We experienced oxygen poverty in the womb, so poverty and reductions in finances feel stifling and suffocating. It is less desirable to not have money, of course. My point is that this prospect drives us to overreact and build our lives around major act outs of it, as so:

Suppression, Oppression, “Sucking” From

(1) Being politically oppressed, we feel we can’t move freely (the crowded feeling), but, interestingly, we feel we can’t “breathe freely.” We act this out on both sides of class war and revolution: One side always feels this lack because it has roots in the unconscious and cannot be satisfied and so overcompensates and in doing so “sucks” up all possible resources (oxygen) from those lower on the totem pole … it “suppresses” the “masses” … it “sucks from” the masses.

Liberals hearts may “bleed” but not conservatives. For releasing blood is losing oxygen and conservatives have a prenatal “knowing” that you need every smidgen you can get to survive. You may even go so far as to try to “squeeze blood from a stone” (the aging placenta).

Sycophancy, Conformity, “Sucking Up”

(2) From another side of this discomfort we have a prenatal sycophancy showing itself. Conforming underlings, in a country’s economic array, act out their prenatal oxygen panic by investing all their energy in “sucking up” to those above them … seeking to ensure a steady supply of resources (money, oxygen) by sucking from the rich stream (blood stream) of money “circulating” among those on rungs above them on the economic ladder.

Suffocation, Starvation, Being “Sucked” From

(3) And the other component in this political triangle — those poor and working class directly opposed to the greedy forces “sucking up” from the masses — feels this suppression as suffocation, starvation, and stifling unto death. So it wants to “overthrow” or “throw off” the forces weighing down upon and suppressing/suffocating them.

Basically, if you’re not “sucking” resources (oxygen) from below, you are either “sucking up” to those above you or being “sucked from” and wanting to “overthrow” them to “breathe more freely.”

Hunger Games — Freedom and Revolutionaries

Injustice, Inequity, Struggle Throwing Off

This does not mean that revolutionary forces are act outs of early trauma and not real. It does not mean that oppression does not actually exist; it does not mean that struggles for economic justice are overcompensations. No. It is no more true that these are unreal than that struggles to save the environment are act outs. For we must remember that the prenatal forces drive us to actually manifest conditions that re-create our womb states. And just as we are driven to despoil our air and waters as act outs of our fetal malnutrition, so also our fetal oxygen panic causes us to create situations of dire inequity by pushing unnecessary greedy acts creating gross economic injustice. And these greedy forces are aided in their suppression by their sycophantic underlings, driven by their underlying panic of resource loss. Between the two, our fetal oxygen panic causes us to create situations of dire inequity by pushing unnecessary greedy acts creating gross economic injustice.

Free Speech Stifled, Inspire, Expire, Express … to Breathe Free

Interesting aspects of this oppression-revolution dynamic rooted in the fetal dynamic is the focus on free speech: The one side wants to suppress expression (expiration — release of air) of inspiration (to inspire — to take in air), thus directly slowing down the masses’ political equivalent of breathing, “stifling” its expression (its ability to “breathe out”). The revolutionary side of this wants the opposite: Folks want freedom of speech. They want to be able to speak freely (breathe freely), to be inspired (take in air or spirit), and to express this uninhibitedly (expire, let air out). These same dynamics apply to freedom of religion as well.

The oppressed masses feel they are deprived, cannot get enough of what they need (oxygen), want to “breathe freely,” and so need to assert self-expression, to expire (express) one’s inspiration freely as part of that “struggle.”

Hunger Games — Sycophancy and Conservatism

But the basic dynamic is about resources: One side out of oxygen panic wants to suck up resources from everywhere around and wants to keep those resources from others. And the other side wants to take theirs back. And that third part is the conforming fetus hoping to get more resources from “above” … to “suck up” … by not moving too much, by staying compliant with outside forces, by not being too obvious or “standing out,” and if moving to do so only in ways remembered as safe … strictly prescribed, ritualistic ways.

For our prenatal memory tells us that doing so is the way of getting a little more in the way of resources (oxygen). We experienced that by not struggling, by not moving around too much … and further complicating and constricting the blood flow through the arteries to the placenta (the bank) … more oxygen (money) seemed to flow. Also, by not moving too much, by “conserving” our energy, “holding our breath” as it were, we might be able to survive … that being too “radical” and free risked death.

Hunger Games — Culture War

Oppressors Orchestrate a Panicked Population for Their Profits

One final aspect to this prenatal dynamic acted out politically is the culture war that comes of it: The greedy forces manipulate the latent panic of the masses in order to suck more resources by telling each segment of the masses that another sector of the population is actually the part that is sucking all their resources, stealing all their benefits and money (oxygen). So we have the creation of minorities and scapegoats out of this interplay. 

But the reason it happens unerringly in societies is because it works so well. And it works so well because the forces of manipulation are orchestrating powerful drives and forces within the masses — tendencies of people born of desperation and panic, which have roots in the earliest months of one’s individual existence.

Next:  Hunger Games — Human Rights and Racism

In the next section we look more deeply into this manipulation of the masses, this scapegoating of minorities. We see how racism, bigotry, and anti-Semitism are themselves constructed out of prenatal pushes and pulls. We find out why we look at others the way we do, so that our errant ideas can be further used against us by the greedy ones. And we stumble upon the underpinnings of some of the most curious of human concoctions of thought — as in the ideas of vampires and blood libel.

Hunger Games — Vampires and Culture Wars 

We Needed “Fresh” Blood to Stay Alive, to Breathe

The driving force of this adult behavioral complex is the oxygen deprivation we experienced as prenates during late gestation. This lack involved feelings of desperate suffocation … oxygen starvation … panic … fear of imminent death. Our lives were dependent on getting enough rich blood — blood that was full of oxygen and nutrients … “rich” and “pure.”

So We Wish to Suck Blood (Vampirism), and We Fear Others Are Sucking Ours (Bigotry, Racism, Anti-Semitism)

There are two parts to this complex — wanting more for ourselves and fearing that others will take that which we have. In the section above I discussed how we act out both sides of that politically and in the framework of class war, with one side wanting — indeed, needing — more (deprivation) and the other side “sucking” up all available resources out of fear of the other getting any of what they are hoarding (greed, causing deprivation in others, class war). Let us deal with each of these in turn and see how they relate to ideas of racism, bigotry, vampirism, and blood libel.

Hunger Game — Vampirism

Because of fetal malnutrition, humans feel they are lacking in air and room and are starving for oxygen and they desire “fresh blood.” More than that, we feel that this desire is connected with our survival: For it was: We needed “pure blood” … or blood with a least the minimal amount of oxygen … to stay alive as fetuses.

Because as prenates we are starved for oxygen and experience the blood we receive to be deficient in providing it, we crave “rich” blood — blood that is full with oxygen and nutrients.

Ideas of vampires and werewolves — beings that need to “suck” on the blood of others in order to live … who “crave” rich blood — come of such unconscious memories of deprivation.

Vampires and Dracula “suck” others’ blood and in doing so make the victims just like themselves — needing to feed on the blood of others forevermore. In this idea, are we not saying that we wish to suck the blood of the Other … the Mother … so that we might live? And even that we will live forever if we continue to do so, as no doubt the fetus feels it needs oxygen-rich blood to live … without which it will die … getting which it will continue living on (forever, as far as a fetus feels/knows).

Notice other aspects of this vampirism symbology: Count Dracula lives in a coffin (womb symbol) and always in the dark, as was the case in the womb. Consider also that the vampire/Dracula will die if exposed to the light. Does not the fetus die to the womb state at the time of exposure to light … in other words, at birth? This shows how we remember our time of oxygen (blood) desperation coming to an end at birth: It is the end of living a hellish existence where one is fed by blood in the dark. Birth is a state where one lives in the light and breathes air in an environment where one can move freely, thus the other state is left behind or “dies” upon exposure to the light.

Vampires and werewolves will decompose and die if exposed to light, that is, if they are caught out in daylight: Backing up to political aspects of this, think of the greedy ones of society and their fear that if they are exposed … to the media … they will die. So they must suppress the media, at all costs; and they must keep the “light of day” from ever detecting them … the media “shining” its “light” on them. So, the greed in them has them “sucking others dry,” but they fear that if they do it “in broad daylight,” they will be caught “red-handed” (more blood), and it will be “curtains” for them.

The Hunger Games — Greed, Bigotry, Racism

Greed Hunger Game

They’re Leeches. They’re Sapping Our “Life Blood”!

This feared Other is seen to be stealing jobs, benefits, and resources — “oxygen” — which we need ourselves … for “real” Americans, Germans … in other words “pure blooded” ones. We say immigrants are taking all the jobs (we have no money or fuel … nutrients to a fetus … to live, move freely), using up all our resources (oxygen and nutrients for the fetus), being a “burden” (pushing down on the arteries to the placenta which feed the fetus) on the system (cardiovascular one bringing oxygen to fetus). The Germans had similar feelings about Jews.

Bigotry Hunger Game

  • We fear others will “suck us dry.”
  • We feel we “must destroy those undeserving ones feeding off our hard-earned money!” (blood)

We are forever feeling we cannot get enough resources (money) and that the lack of it means we are suffocated, cannot move freely, cannot breathe freely. We act out this fear in doing all we can to keep other folks from stealing or getting ours — our money … our “pure blood,” our pure children. We express our fear of failing this with the words that others will “suck us dry.”

Racism Hunger Game

  • Children are our “blood line.” We fear we must protect it and keep it “pure.”

We see our children as extensions of our blood (line), so some of us fear that others might want to use them to “feed” on: whether they be “communists,” “hollywood,” social agencies, or schools. We fear they will “suck” the goodness out of our otherwise “pure” children … our blood (lines).

Our children are also aspects of our social surround, our family. This is analogous to our placenta in the womb. This is another reason why we fear our children will have the blood sucked out of them by others.

  • For men, wives and family are the placental surround, which we feel must be kept “pure” at any and all costs.

If we are men, our wives are also part of that placental family entity and we fear other men might take their purity, their innocence, and such, through “impure” acts, “unclean” ones. We symbolize this sometimes with the fear of a vampire “sucking” on such a “pure” woman’s blood … after which they would be “tainted” and “impure” … a placenta lacking in pure blood.

The idea that this attack on our placenta / wife /social surround would come from another “blood line” /race abounds. Minds on fire with such fears will go to no end of murder and torture against the targets of such furious projections and deem it all justified in light of some higher honor and purity. It inspires the activities of the Ku Klux Klan (the KKK); their seminal artistic production — the film, The Birth of a Nation — is a robust and thoroughgoing depiction of such “heroic” depravity carried out within a crazed light of such “honor” and “nobility.”

The Hunger Games — Anti-Semitism, Blood Libel

Blood Libel Hunger Game

And this is an obvious reason that through history we have ideas of blood libel popping up … and being acted on in horrific ways. Blood libel is the idea Christians had that Jews wanted to abduct Christian children to be used as an ingredient in one of their foods … matzos, specifically. The idea was that Jews wanted the “purity” of Christian children to feast on, especially during one of their main holidays, Passover. When I first heard about this, I thought this a rather insignificant, isolated phenomenon until I found out how Jews had historically been put on trial and executed … or simply rounded up and murdered … based on this spurious … this insane … accusation.

 Anti-Semitism Hunger Game

Blood libel displays to us how we have this idea that some demonized Other needs to take our “pure blood” — our jobs, benefits … nutrients, oxygen — and will do it in some hideous way. And for this reason these sorts need to be destroyed. Remember, we, as vampires, need to suck up all resources around us out of our prenatal oxygen hunger (deprivation). But in this aspect of that feeling constellation, we want to fight off any and all who might be capable of or thought to be capable of stopping, slowing down, or reducing our resources (blood supply). We act the first out of lack or deprivation, the second out of panic and fear.

Scary Sarah … an Aside

We should not leave this issue without pointing out what this says of Sarah Palin’s use of the term “blood libel” to defend herself from attacks. She was saying that she is a martyr with pure blood — a “real” American! — and that the rest of the country and the media want to feed on her purity for they lack such. It is chilling that this idea is popping up again, considering what it led to historically.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 17

 “Bad Blood” Craziness — Poisoned, Infected:

Acting Out Prenatal Feelings of Sickening
in War, Psychosis, Racism, Xenophobia, Elitism, Homophobia … and Medicine

 

 

 

“Bad Blood” Aspects of Fetal Oxygen Hunger

There are three parts to this pain around fetal malnutrition, which defines us as humans and creates what we think of as “human nature” and most often as being genetic, but it is not. We have been dealing with the first part — deprivation … we fear there is not enough oxygen/resources coming to us to keep us alive. Another part has to do with the toxic quality of the environment we experience, which we will get to soon.

But the one I want to deal with next is the second aspect of oxygen starvation in the late stages of gestation. It has to do with our assessment of the “air” — the oxygen and nutrients — we do get.

We’re Getting Some Blood

As just discussed, we carry an underlying panic that our supply will end at any moment, but we are getting some oxygen from the blood that comes to us, however reduced its flow. It is the contrast from what we knew that is alarming. Imagine blood that is free- and easy-flowing, rich and bright red with oxygen.

But Is It Bad Blood?

Now, imagine blood that is more trickling than gushing, more depleted of resources — oxygen and nutrients — tainted, darker, barely able to sustain one’s life…. The first was our experience of earlier womb life; the second the way it gradually began being perceived.

To be clear, we cannot actually see our blood flow as a fetus, of course. This is meant to be an analogy giving you an idea of the difference in the feeling experience of the fetus in this changing situation. It must be close enough to what it actually was like, since out of it we form images and symbols in later life with these differing characteristics, as I will continue to show.

“Iron Poor Blood”

So we began feeling poisoned, polluted, decrepit, diseased. Our situation in the womb had portents of death and seemed a dire threat if it were to continue. We received blood sufficient to keep us alive, obviously, but it was felt to be degraded, to be “bad blood.” We began feeling that what we were getting was insufficient, even poisoned. The blood that comes is not only barely sufficient to keep oneself as a fetus alive … or certainly it feels that way … but it is tainted, impure … or certainly it feels that way. And one feels not just deprived but attacked.

“Don’t Feed Me That Bullcrap!”

So, the second aspect of fetal malnutrition and the third of prenatal discomfort is the feeling of being force fed something noxious and deadly. We feel we are being poisoned or infected by what we take in through our breathing or eating. What is coming into us is sour and unhealthy. 

This is, of course related to the previous feeling constellation discussed wherein we fear we are not going to get enough oxygen and so want “pure” blood. But this has to do with our feelings about the blood we do get — it is tainted, not pure. In the one you cannot get something you need, you are deprived (panic). In this aspect of it, you get something but it seems intentionally polluted to harm you (paranoia). Earlier I compared this to the difference between being starved for affection as a child versus receiving unwanted attention as in being sexually or physically abused.

Fractals, Abuse, Sadism/Masochism

The reason this can be seen so clearly at a later time of life is because these feeling constellations are fractals of each other: They occur in the same pattern again and again at different times of our lives exactly because of our tendency to re-create unerringly the discomfort we could not face originally (primally). The original formulation of this pattern in the womb sets up that we will act out on both sides of tendencies to deprive others of affection, as well as to subtly and unconsciously push others away. And because of the other aspect of it, we will also force unwanted attention on others and will assault them, as well as being unable to avoid such attacks. Traditionally, this last has been discussed under the headings of sadism and masochism.

Having dealt with the deprivation/greed aspect of this in previous chapters, in this chapter we will look at the poisoned and infected feelings and their sadistic/masochistic outgrowths. Unraveling this complex at its primal roots in the womb, we expose some fascinating revelations.

How “Bad Blood” Manifests in Our Thinking

In Psychosis — Food, Aliens, and Tin Foil

Though not the most common, I must start with the most obvious adult manifestation of this — the curious notion among paranoid psychotics and some obsessive-compulsives that they are being or are in danger of being poisoned. Certainly through the food they eat, but this also manifests as the idea that “alien” thoughts are being inserted into their minds/brains. I have seen walking neurotics (borderline psychotics) strolling around with wire pyramid or tinfoil hats to prevent this infection from above.

We have to wonder how much of conspiracy theory is itself skewed by this constellation in concocting the existence of forces that spy on us and influence our actions from behind the moon (behind the placenta) or some other unseen place. This is what happens when big thoughts are channeled through sorry states of mind.

In Collective Dreams — Myth, Fairy Tale, and the Evil Queen

We express this idea in our myths and fairy tales, of course — for they are the collective “dreams” we share that are given rise to by our unconscious dynamics. A salient example is Snow White. Consider her name, and remember the part about the purity of blood and children, which was felt to be the earlier situation in the womb.

In the same consideration of blissful BPM I experiences occurring prior to late stage, BPM II, discomforts, notice that Snow White enjoys an earlier, idyllic time living in communion with planetmates in the forest. She was supposed to be killed (aborted) by the huntsman (god figure), but he falls in love with her and lets her go, telling her to hide. She finds a tiny cottage (blissful womb), where she is aided by and lives in harmony with seven dwarves. The dwarves, as well as the planetmates, represent the forces of Nature aiding exquisitely perfect growth in the early stages of gestation in the womb.

But then, BPM II style, her wicked stepmother wants to poison her, but even notice how.

First the “evil queen” (mother symbol) wants to kill her by crushing her. She ties her tight with stay-laces. Remember that being compressed and crowded was the very first and most obvious aspect of late stage gestation discomfort.

And then begins the poisoning attempts: The evil queen tries to kill Snow White by brushing her hair with a poisoned comb. So, what does this mean? Well, our hair is thousands of tiny filaments that emanate out from our bodies, just as in the womb we have tiny filaments extending from our bodies — arteries and veins — which connect us to our mothers (evil queen). The wicked stepmother poisoning her by combing her hair is saying she is being poisoned through these filaments of arteries extending from her.

Next, the evil queen wishes to get the girl to eat a poisoned apple. Apple, as the ultimate symbol of food, nutrition in Western culture … it was an apple that was eaten in Eden, for example.

Now, why? Remember that a red apple is the same color as blood. So a poisoned apple represents the bad blood in the womb with its poor or “poisoned” nutrients … being given to one by one’s mother.

Notice that here as in many fairy tales it is a stepmother … in others it might be a wicked aunt or witch … who does the bad stuff. It has to be a stepmother or aunt, for we wish to preserve the idea that a “good mother” still exists. So we separate out an idea of a bad part of her, just as we come up with the idea of a bad god … a Satan … who is responsible for all the bad things that a good God would not be … thus preserving the idea of a good God/ good daddy here.

But there’s more. She fainted when she was tightly laced, and she collapsed again after being brushed with the poisoned comb. But then, finally being poisoned, she falls into a stupor and appears dead. Obviously she represents a prenate struggling with the “groggy” and lethargic feelings associated with being trapped, stifled, and poisoned/drugged … in modern times, sometimes having ingested actual drugs or toxins from smoking or alcohol through the placenta (poisoned through those tiny “hairs” of arteries).

And appearing dead, she is placed in a coffin. Womb symbol, anyone?

Next:  How “Bad Blood” Manifests in Our Doing

Having looked at how this early experience of blood degradation is manifest in our thoughts, madness, and creative product, let’s look into some really important, major act outs of this prenatal mental framework for construing things. This brings us to the ways we act out these crazy ideas, emanating from early experiences, in major ways as cultures, as societies, and even as nations.

How We Act Out “Bad Blood” in Our Actions 

This brings us to the psychotic acting out of these thoughts and feelings — rooted in unconscious discomforts and repressed memory patterns — by insane societies.

Bloody Games — War

In this aspect of fetal discomfort, a reduced blood flow to the placenta is experienced as a buildup of carbon dioxide and toxins, since they are not removed as efficiently as they were before. Lloyd deMause explains how this womb situation is universally expressed among humans as a fear of being “poisoned” by “bad blood.” He has found that feelings of being trapped and at the same time “infused” with bad blood or toxic energies of some sort precede the outbreak of all wars.

For these wars are the unconscious way humans try to “break free” from these uncomfortable feelings, which are for the most part just early unresolved memories from our beginnings in life. We see “bad blood” as coming from the enemy. We see the enemy as an attacking many-headed monster “encroaching” on the “home”land … a threatening multi-veined placenta, aging and filled with toxins, “filth.” So we wish to attack and destroy the enemy — this placental “monster” — so we can “breathe free” again and escape their “poisonous filth.” (See BPM IV.)

How We Act Out “Bad Blood” — Xenophobia, Blood Letting, Smoking

The perfect example, however, is the xenophobia that resulted in the Nazis treatment of the Jews around the time of World War II. I have already pointed out how these walking psychotics injected poisonous gas into Jews in gas chambers out of these prenatal feelings, which they framed in adult thoughts of being themselves infected with tainted money from these Jews. Let us now look at other act outs of this.

Racism, Classism, Elitism, Homophobia, Intolerance

This is the basis of racism … blacks are pollutants, as are Jews is what is thought. They want to take away our purity — our pure children … blood libel; our women’s pure virtue. And so we need to dress in white, indicating “pure” blood, to defend against these incursions (the Ku Klux Klan) of “bad blood.”

These feelings of being “sickened” at the end of our womb existence are the root of all xenophobia with its creation always of a toxic Other which cannot be allowed to infect the virtue and purity of people of “our blood.”

We see it in intolerance of others of all kinds. Several years ago, on May 21st, 2012, a Baptist preacher from the South made headlines everywhere by announcing from the pulpit that all gays and lesbians should be “rounded up,” placed in an “enclosure,” surrounded by an “electrified fence.” He imagined they could have food air-dropped to them until they died (obviously an insufficient … oxygen starvation … or poisoned … bad blood … amount.) At this point, I do not believe I need to unravel the prenatal qualities of the morass his mind was thinking in.

And why all this? His exact words are, because “It makes me pukin’ sick!” what homosexuals do. Need I say more?1

But this thinking is found in classism as well, where royalty calls itself “bluebloods” and only allows marriage between others of its class — from one’s own nation or another, interestingly — and will not allow its “blood” to be mixed with the polluted blood of the masses and “riff raff.”

University intellectuals have a more “refined” take on this primal disgust: They set up barriers to academic entrance in order to “keep out the unwashed,” without a clue they are coming across like scared fetuses inside a virtual womb (academia) trying to protect their continuing flow of blood (money).

This fetal malnutrition gives rise to bigoted ideas of keeping racial lines “pure.” It insists upon no mixing of the races … or ethnicities … for fear of affecting the gene “pool” (pool of blood), but it is always described in terms of “blood” that will be mixed, tainted, polluted, made impure, or degraded. Can you see how these are all instances of fear of encroachment by another from which one senses a threat of pollution and in conjunction with which one feels suffocated, made helpless, unable to move freely?

Blood Letting

For a long time in Western culture, it was thought that when one got sick that one had “bad blood” coursing through one’s system. The idea was that by bleeding a person one would rid the body of some of this impure blood and the person would get better. This bloodletting was employed for hundreds of years in the face of the evidence to the contrary wherein folks got paler and sicker from this “treatment.” But such is the power of these sorry thoughts rooted in unconscious dynamics.

Smoking Itself

I have already mentioned how we re-create the atmospheric imbalance of oxygen–carbon dioxide in the womb through burning stuff. The smoking of tobacco and other vegetation I likened to our pushes and pulls to re-create the bad air. But in ingesting this air into one’s lungs, we have a most perfect example of the drive to re-create the uncomfortable feeling of ingestion of “bad blood,” in this case, inhaling, bad air. With all rationality set aside, we are compelled to poison, infect ourselves again and again with bad air (bad blood). Again, of such depth is the grooves of the imprint created in our prenatal times and along whose lines we make our self-destructive decisions.

How We Make It Worse

How we add to this today … how we make it worse: smoking and drinking, taking drugs. We create and imbibe toxins in our food, our air … through the medications we use. The whole idea behind “medicine” is that a toxin (all drugs are) administered in a tiny amount will alter our blood flow in just the exact way to affect some currently felt experience of our blood being bad (sickness).

And in doing these things we reinforce the bad blood experience of fetal malnutrition the fetus will experience out of its being human. We insure we will pass along our bad blood experience to the next generation … we will multiply it even. For the mother’s ingestion of these compounds into her system — smoke, drugs, food additives, air toxins, water pollutants — are felt as receiving bad blood by the fetus, even worse than it would be otherwise just from pressure on the arteries restricting blood flow. Again we create that which we need to resolve, only this time it is the unborn child who will be “infected” with the bad blood and need to face these feelings later in life, again and again.

How We Make It True, Create It

Food Pollution/ Genetic Engineering and Propaganda

I cannot leave this without pointing out that, as in environmental pollution and in political oppression, it is all not just a figment of a past memory. There are those of us acting out this feeling complex by coming up with such odd creations that end up polluting the food of others … as in the tainted food coming out of corporations like Monsanto, with its Frankensteinian concoctions. There are those, also, who seek to inject alien ideas in others to make us do things we would ordinarily not do — whether that is to buy some unnecessary thing to fatten the wallets of these others (advertising) or to surrender one’s self interest or hand over one’s power and rationality of thought to these others for their political ends — as, for example, in propaganda … in America, Fox News.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 18

Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion:

Creeped Out in the Womb

 

 

 

Touch, Sex, Preadolescent “Creepiness” and Early Roots of Rape and Sexual Abuse

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

Now 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).

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

Returning 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. His 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.1

So 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. This threatening environment has a characteristic of filling up increasingly with toxins, bad blood. As in the Loki myth, the wife (the mother, placenta) 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.”

The 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. There is also the factor of an aging placenta. There is a feeling of skin irritation and/or slight burning. 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.

Skin Deprivation, Skin Irritation

This sort of early experience focused on the skin surface should be compared with that which Ashley Montagu (1971) has written about in great detail. 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. However, I would argue that the trauma I am talking about is very similar, but it is an earlier fractal. And just as before we saw how there is trauma from not getting enough resources (oxygen deprivation, emotional deprivation) but also from getting plenty but of the wrong kind (bad blood, child abuse), so also the skin trauma Montagu is mostly talking about is deprivation of contact, whereas what I am referring to is about trauma from stimulation of the skin in an unpleasant way.

Sugar and Spice … Snips and Snails

A 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 working out their own similar feelings but in a counterphobic way. 

This common, perhaps universal, behavior is a way that societies have evolved of dealing with these feelings so as to be able to propagate the species. For, obviously, if we acted 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!

Rape, Sexual Abuse

When 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.

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

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 do not want to discount the sense of dis-ease or sickness the fetus experiences 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.

How We Act Out Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion in Cultural Behaviors

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 will 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.

Tattoos and Body Adornments

This complex of feelings includes irritation. Think of it as like an itch that one cannot scratch. Pretty unnerving, right? We are focused on our skin in this way, though 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 is not 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.

But that does not 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 cannot be scratched. These rituals, though unknown in other species, are one of our unique human characteristics.

Gen X and Millennial Generation

When 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.

A prominent example of this is the fascination and addictiveness that Gen X and the Millennial Generation have with tattooing. This is a distinct contrast with the previous generation, the Boomers, and with generations prior to that. I do not 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.

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.2

And all of this intake is quite a bit different from 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.

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 does not 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.

Sun-Bathing

Another 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. We 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. 

Medically, 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.

And 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. They might build their lives around surfing … or being “beach bums.” 

I know of one person who has 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; though 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.

Having looked briefly at the human cultural behaviors that arise from these early 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 we 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.

We now turn to the issues of scapegoating, immigration, 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.

How We Act Out Prenatal Irritation-Revulsion Politically and Environmentally

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

The first aspect of this — surrounding and threatening — relates to how we 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.

We Are at War With Our Personal Environment

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

Obsessive-Compulsive Cleanliness … Severe Tidiness

The environment around us is always felt to be unclean, polluted. We cannot 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.

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.

We 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, so we want to “clean up the streets.”

“Don’t Bug Me, Man.”

We 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.

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.3

We Will Not Be “Bugged”

My 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 its roadway to wherever, or by noticing how some have 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. She is now terrified of them. I have had similar experiences with fleas. Don’t get me wrong, I do bomb them, when they get to a certain point where they might get out of control. But I have 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.

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.

“Dirty” Hippies and Other “Irritating People”

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 folks 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.

Politically — These Poisons Surround Us

There are these poisonous elements — immigrants, communists, socialists, hollywood ideas, teachers, educators, union organizers, activists, “hippies,” beatniks, unemployed, riff raff — who are 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!”

But There Was a “Golden Age” Before Them

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.

But, 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.

Racism, Bigotry, Anti-Semitism, Anti-Immigration 

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

So, because of these prenatal formative experiences, we place some folks “outside our circle” and see them as irritating, even revolting. They are “disgusting” (poisonous) abominations of bloodlines … criminals and rapists … whether they are Jews (not like the pure Aryans) or blacks (filthy, lazy, dirty, immoral, it is thought), who want our fresh pure blood (blood libel), our resources.

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

They are everywhere! We cannot 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.

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

These 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, we create overpopulation and a buildup of people who cannot be cared for … who will therefore be the “unwashed,” surrounding us. We fight abortion policies and contraception and so create overpopulation and 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, we 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.”

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

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.

The 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).

No long ago I 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 they 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 had no lavatories; of the 10 available, five were sealed because their windows offered a way out, and the others were blocked. 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.4

They had no recourse but to fill their own surroundings with waste matter; it was said the stench outside in the surrounding neighborhood was unbearable, quite foul. We see manifest here a pathological imposition of prenatal 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 have 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.)

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

At 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 (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 harmony, bliss, perfection. Everyone was happy; we were strong (BPM I). 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).

We felt that these alien others were infecting our purity of life by imposing upon and inserting themselves into our lives (BPM II bad blood). Everything around us seemed dirtier and more foul, and they were around us in increasing numbers (amounts), so it was their fault; and their continued presence would eventually kill us (BPM II poisonous placenta/ prenatal irritation, revulsion). It was they who were responsible for the loss of our pristine way of life. So 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.

In 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 general prosperity, and 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 hurts and hopes, bad TV and movies, even worse advertisements and commercials conveying an image of the way Americans really  had it (but did not), 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%.

In 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.

So sometimes how humans dealt with these threatening incursions of “poisonous” others was with all-out attack … and destruction. Those 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.

It continues to this day. In a previous chapter I mentioned the Baptist preacher — the one who got “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.

And ultimately … the “Ultimate Solution” … we wish to remove them altogether by burning them up in fires or 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.

In 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 have called “gooks” and other derisive terms.

To Summarize

Basically it comes down to the world being divided into filthy and disgusting things who 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 cannot know what is really going on behind that perinatal veil.

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.

 

 

 

 

PART THREE

GLOBAL HEALING CRISIS

 

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 19

Toxic Womb ~ Toxic Earth:

Gaia Is Calling

 

 

 

Toxic Earth Diagnosis:  Deepest Roots of Apocalypse — We Stood Up!

Basically, it warmed up pretty good in the interior of Africa millions of years ago, so our forebears headed “to the beach” — to the ocean shores, swamps, and lakes — where it was more bearable. We foraged for food in the shallow waters and found it beneficial to stand upright, for it allowed us to go into deeper waters and gather more, and for longer periods. Naturally, over time, bipedalism traits were the ones that won out through natural selection.

But when we became a standing species, it added birth trauma and premature birth to our “species set.” For with this rearrangement of our posture, we created a narrower pelvic opening and our prenates no longer hung loosely below us but pressed down upon the arteries below to create the fetal malnutrition, which I have been discussing in the previous chapters. The prematurity of birth was caused by the narrower pelvic opening, as the baby needed to leave the womb earlier than other species in order to make it out. This meant that we would do a great deal of our early life’s learning and development — much more than any other species — outside of the womb and in the context of society, not Nature; this is called secondary altriciality, which is something unique about humans.

With all of these developments — prenatal fetal malnutrition, premature birth, and secondary altriciality — we had greater pain and trauma at the beginning of our lives than any other species. We needed to grow a bigger brain — with an additional brain structure, vastly multiplied neural pathways, and a split brain — to deal with this pain in order to survive. The larger skull added further to birth trauma; it was even more difficult to get through the pelvic opening, and so it required even more prematurity of birth.

All this development outside the womb and increased brain size resulted in language and culture, with all its complexities. Split off from horrible early pains and discomforts, our minds created substitute reflections of our early memories in our cultural products. We created an artificial consciousness construct — an Ego — as an intermediary between the impulses from our insides, emanating from early discomforts, and the stimulus and information coming to us from our current reality.

Its egoic product — that is, what we end up thinking is real — would be the distorted amalgamation of the past — early pain and the learning built on early discomforts — and the present — our present-time situational reality, including the twisted cultural products within and without. So what the Ego came up with would not be true, for its purpose would be to allow us to survive, regardless of bothersome early imprints.

We’ve Created Our Own “Monsters”

We called the accumulation of cultural product the “advance of man,” and patted ourselves on the back for our Promethean achievements, deeming ourselves superior to Nature. To congratulate ourselves, we needed to ignore all the evidence of savagery on a scale not seen in the rest of our world, which we perpetrated on each other and on the world of Nature.

In all this abominable acting out, we were manifesting aspects of our early pain that we were clueless about, and so created a mirror image of our early experience and its horrific pain and trauma in Reality itself. So it is that all our early trauma has led us to unthinkingly plod to the edge of oblivion, as we re-create war, fascism, class war, racism and bigotry, environmental pollution, nuclear radiation, loss of ozone layer, threat of nuclear war, and all the rest of the dire threats I have been discussing as being act outs of our early prenatal discomforts — crowdedness, deprivation, disgust, and irritation/burning.

So, we stood upright; and now, unless something radical happens, it will lead to the end of life for ourselves and possibly everything else on this planet in short order.

What can we do about it? Strangely, many of us are determined to just die. But if you are one of those who would prefer not to, well, going up against all the others, don’t think it will be easy. But if you wish to fight to live, here is the starting point for effective change, which would actually save our lives and those of future generations and which comes out of this understanding of the early psychological roots of our otherwise apocalyptic propulsion:

Toxic Earth Diagnosis: How We Re-Create Human Prenatal Irritation-Burning in a Polluted Planet

Environmentally We Act Out

The second aspect of prenatal irritation/revulsion is that we cannot get rid of poisons that build up in the womb environment around us … like a prenatal environmental pollution. We cannot eliminate wastes as efficiently.

Toxic Womb ~ Toxic World

I have written a lot about this in other places of this book. I have talked at length about how we act out the deprivation part of late gestation experience in global suffocation — the greenhouse effect — by focusing on the reductions of oxygen. But remember that there are slight increases of carbon dioxide with the reduced blood flow for the prenate: These are a big part of the increase in waste matter, consequent upon a reduced efficiency of eliminating toxins. So, obviously this is analogous to the way we have created such an increase in carbon dioxide in our atmosphere called the greenhouse effect. We have done a good job of manifesting this … not easy to do. And we should be congratulated if it were actually a good thing and not another way we have become good at self-destruction.

We re-create the bad blood aspects of fetal malnutrition in air pollution. I can tell you from much personal experience in Southern California that indeed it re-creates the sensations of sickness at times. And this is when it is obvious to me; here I am asserting that it is stimulating unconscious memories of discomfort even when we are not aware of being sickened, consciously.

So that is deprivation and bad blood. Of course the other aspect of late gestation is crowdedness, which I have also dealt with earlier at length.

Prenatal Burning

So now, here let us just look at some of the ways we re-create, specifically, those irritating, burning sensations in our environment — the fourth aspect of late gestation discomfort and the third of fetal malnutrition. I mentioned in a previous chapter how we sit out in the sun and endure discomfort — sun bathing — in some odd re-creation of fetal irritation. The most obvious environmental correspondence with that is the way we have thinned out our protection from the sun, so now we can better be harmed by UV rays. With the huge reductions in our ozone layer, we are ensuring an increased burning of our skin and epidemics of skin cancer — not very comfortable I would imagine.

We have managed to surround ourselves with the prospect of burning up in a fiery inferno at any moment because of nuclear weapons we have created out of the suicidal deliriums of some of us. That would be prenatal burning acted out to the infinite power.

Prenatal Irritation

Some of this is the most obvious of all: Toxic Womb Environment leads to Toxic Environment. Again, good job, humans! If it were some kind of achievement. We have created a worldwide toxic womb, with a fractal equivalent of the situation in the womb — a buildup of poisons that cannot be eliminated anywhere: There is no longer any “away” to remove it to.

We have air pollution, water pollution, food pollution, radiation pollution. We are polluting the genetic codes of biological organisms on Earth. We are polluting our land by fracking, so water sent through it will poison us and catch fire. If there is anything else, well, I am sure we are polluting it somehow or other.

Just How Long Can You Not “Step in It” — 250,000 Years?

We have become the filthiest of species, essentially pooping in our own nests. We have landfills that overflow and encroach on residences, ticking time bombs of nuclear waste matter that have to be guarded for 25,000 years and are still deadly after 250,000 years. That’s a long time to have to avoid “stepping in it,” wouldn’t you say? And we are polluting and killing our oceans, creating the closest thing of all to a toxic, poisonous placenta, as from it, ultimately, we suck our necessary O2 and H2O.

Compartmentalizing Our Doom

I could go on but you get the point. We have done a great job of re-creating the discomfort of the toxic womb. And, as I said, yes we are sickened, whether we acknowledge it or not. And what I have observed is that even the most intelligent of us is trying like crazy to not acknowledge it, using all manner of denials and defensive maneuvers of consciousness. If nothing else, about our discomfort and its causes, we are “compartmentalizing” so we can go on with our lives.

Nature Balances HerSelf

We have done such a good job of creating the “toxic womb” in our planetary environment you have to marvel at the perfection of its replication. And with such perfection, there are reasons. 

As I have been saying, we re-create that which we need to experience. So, as we do this, we are creating the exact situation that we need to face in our earliest lives in order to heal them … and in this lies the hope. In fact, looking ahead, I will be telling you that this is the key to a solution for us. As I say, Nature Balances HerSelf, and we are part of her. We may or may not make it as a species, but certainly it looks like we are in the process of something that is perfectly set up to wake us into consciousness of what we need to heal, if we heed it.

Toxic Earth Prognosis:  We Need to Face the Monsters of Our Creation 

As mentioned, we always create around us a reflection of the kinds of issues we need to deal with “on our insides.” We have always done this, as a species.

They Can Be the Like the Wake-Up Knock from a Master

But we have added stimulus for these feelings today; we have greater prods to our waking up than ever before in our history. These will either be knocks on the head to get us to “pay attention” — as a Zen master might give to one of his students — or they will be the blow that will end our existence. It is up to us.

For as always, we both re-create and resist that which we have unresolved. In terms of oxygen “starvation” prior to birth, we both create and are made uncomfortable by air pollution … toxic air. Much like creating crushing populations, as discussed in a previous chapter, we create suffocating global air pollution for us to continually be triggered into uncomfortable unresolved feelings from our early lives. So, it is not like we are not being reminded of what we need to do — on both our “insides” as well as our “outsides.” We will never need a to-do list for this.

Toxic Earth Prospects:  Gaia Calling

Earth to Humans — Wake the F#$% Up!

Many ignore the warning blows, however, no matter how severely they are felt. There is huge denial about climate change, the invisible death upon us from Fukushima, and just about all the things I have been bringing up as important to look at, regardless how many deaths from tornadoes, tsunamis, and the rest. And from some quarters this refusal to see is deep, batshit crazy, and thoroughly intractable.

But now it is at least understandable. And as with everything else, knowing the nature of something gives us an edge.

The Tea Party and Anti-Abortion Type Response

But at this point can you see why the “worst” of us — the sickest in terms of being pushed around by such early pain — would not want to do anything about these environmental problems? Can you see why the most afflicted of us are fixated on the abortion issue … here pointing exactly to the source of their discomfort … that is, in their lives as fetuses? We would think theirs to be an honest concern for prenates driven purely by compassion were it not for the fact that these same people have little sympathy — in fact, the opposite! — for the folks already born, around them, who are suffering.

How Can You “Let It Go” if You Won’t Pick It Up?

One must have less of this fetal pain originally or have resolved more of it by facing, feeling, standing and dealing with it … not running away from it … and working through these uncomfortable unresolved feelings which arise inside oneself for one to have any kind of distance from their pushes and pulls, their sway, to tackle these problems and not wish to keep bringing them about and keep making oneself suffer. That is, one needs to deal with something before one can stop oneself from reminding oneself that one needs to deal with that something. Why would one think one can “go beyond” something by simply ignoring it, “letting it go,” or imagining, “meditating,” or even praying it away? It just doesn’t work like that.

The other night I woke in the middle of the night, feeling annoyed that I had not gotten a good night’s sleep. I felt irritated, and my mind went on about how this lack of sleep was going to affect my work, was going to stress my heart and contribute to other health complications, and would generally be a drag on my well-being and happiness, as I needed to catch up on some sleep I hadn’t gotten lately. Eventually, my mind came around to how I felt. I noticed I was perspiring a little: I was warm. That had made me feel uncomfortable. I also realized I was uncomfortable on the bed as I had allowed the bedclothes to get all bunched up beneath me in a way that didn’t feel good. I had unwittingly created some “prenatal discomfort” for myself. While I didn’t feel like I could do anything to get back to sleep, I did attend to removing some layers, so as to be cooler, and straightening out my bed so it would be flatter and more comfortable. And you know what? I fell asleep for an additional five hours and caught up on my sleep.

I know, this sounds like a silly example. But if you understand like I do the roots of our apocalypse and the utter self-destructive stupidity of humans’ behavior and the mind-blowing absurdity of the reality we have constructed in order to keep from seeing our problems, you cannot help but be struck with how simple and obvious and everywhere about is both evidence of the dire state we are in but also the obvious solutions. So, I’ve allowed myself to be facetious, to make this point:

In order to solve a problem, you need to face it.

We will continue making air pollution and suffering from it until we face our unresolved inner problems, just as we will have air pollution (and any other problem) until we face it and deal with it. The idea that we can make problems go away by ignoring them and acting as if they do not exist is nonsensical and an insanity in us. It is an irrationality borne of desperation, which we act upon but mostly deny that we do. It is that part of ourselves that continues to bring suffering upon ourselves and others.

This part, this thing about what can be done about our situation, is the part I elaborate on at the end of this book. All of it is based upon the simple idea that we need to look at problems we want to solve and the most dire problems are the most important to look at.

That is the most important reason we would want to know all this — that is, so we have some power or say in it … so we can do something about it.

So in the final chapters of this work, I deal with this in great detail, and I show where there is hope and where there are positive developments. I also indicate what we are doing wrong so as to continue manifesting that which we do not want … that is, where we are self-destructive, basically where we are shooting ourselves in the foot without knowing it … as well as what we can do differently.

So let us leave it at this for now and continue the diagnosis of our condition. For if we do not understand it, how can we do anything about it? I will be pointing out at the end that the biggest part of our continued self-destruction is our brain-dead refusal to understand our actions and face their consequences.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 20

Perinatal Printouts of Generations:

Regression in the Service of Society …
Prospects of Collective Regression

 

 

 

Perinatal Arising in Sixties and Generations Since

Other evidence for closeness to the perinatal unconscious comes from Kenneth Keniston (1965), who studied the youth of the Sixties. In Keniston’s widely read book of the time titled The Uncommitted: Alienated Youth in American Society, he described an increasingly prevalent, unusually influential, and relatively newly emerging personality type, which he discovered in his sociopsychological study of youthful college students.

Raging to Reenter, Digging Under Ground, Fantasy of Fusion

Among other traits, he found these youths to be characterized by fantasies of a “rage to reenter” the womb; and a “fantasy of fusion” with the mother, which took perinatal forms of all kinds including stories of wishing to dig one’s way back into the earth; a fascination with and wish to return to the past, the long forgotten, and the underground; and a desire to find oblivion in some enveloping medium … even at the price of self-destruction!

Existential Angst, Death and Dying, Peter Pan

Some of the other noticeably perinatal elements of Sixties youth were existential angst, being enamored of death and dying, and a refusal of “normal” adulthood. (See BPM I, BPM II, and BPM III.) And think about it. Are these descriptions also not a lot like what we have heard of the generation that followed Sixties youth … the so-called Generation X?

Vampire Apocalypse … It’s All So Black and White

For Generation X, black clothes, white painted faces, and black lipstick were the fashion statement of the Eighties and Nineties.

And what was this statement of that sector of Gen X youth — a statement that began in the Seventies among what was then called the “punk” movement, which includes now the fad of vampirism — except the same fascination with death as Sixties “alienated” youth … again. This mental set is an obvious reflection of the death/rebirth aspects of the perinatal I have been discussing. The “perinatal veil” through which they saw things was becoming more blatant.

Being Gratefully Dead

But this trend began with the Boomer Generation. Need I remind of this same theme of being dead and then reborn coming from the Sixties as in being “gratefully dead”? It seems that this trend toward easier access to and higher awareness of perinatal influences has been going on for a while now.

A Perinatal Printout Is Indicated by Drug Use

There are other perinatal similarities between the youth of the Sixties and the generations to follow — this time specifically with the Millennial Generation, the one that followed Gen X and who are predominantly the sons and daughters of Boomer parents. Millennials were born after the mid-Seventies; they are a different cohort from those born 1960 till roughly 1974 — Gen X; and those born 1945 to 1959 — the Boomers.

Drug Usage Rising Since the Nineties Shows Perinatal Attraction

Illegal drug use among youth, beginning in the Nineties, began going up again. This coincides with the coming into young adulthood of the Millennial Generation. Unlike drug usage of the legal and mind-debilitating kind (booze and tobacco), drug usage of the illegal and mind-facilitating kind (pot, LSD, speed, ecstasy) is an indication of an emerging perinatal unconscious. Drugs are intimately woven with perinatal influences in a number of ways. Not only can some drugs bring up birth feelings, as Grof’s work has shown, but the mother being drugged while giving birth to her child can result in drug abuse by that child later in life.

Generations – Their Drugs and Politics

Millennials Are Sixty-ish

There is another overlooked factor or aspect of this rise in drug use in the Nineties by Millennials: These youngsters were the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation who, in their own youth, as we all know too well, engaged in drug experimentation. In fact, this younger generation of drug users has sometimes been called the Baby-Boomer “echo” generation.

Gen Xers Are Fifty-ish

Millennials are quite a bit different from the previous “echo” generation — Gen X. The generation that came to age during the Eighties — Yuppies and Xers — had parents who were born during the Great Depression and World War Two, who had their young adult formative years during the Eisenhower–Joe McCarthy–Presley Fifties. So Gen X was influenced by their parents to conservatism, career-mindedness, and, for drug-of-choice, alcohol.

But this “echo” generation of Millennials has parents whose young adulthood was forged in the rebellion, drug and sex experimentation, activism, liberal-radicalism, and idealism of the Sixties, not the Fifties.1

Forget What You’ve Heard About Generation Gap

Generationally speaking, we know that children do not predominantly rebel to the opposite of their parents’ values. Kenneth Keniston (1968), for one, has made it clear — referring to studies — that children are paramountly influenced by the values and attitudes … conscious and unconscious … of their parents. So this most recent cohort of youth was of course going to be more liberal in their attitude to drug use than Gen X, even if their parents, in their coming into adulthood, overtly decry or are against the use of drugs. Keep in mind also that many of the Baby-Boomers have retained, not reversed, their acceptance of drug experimentation, and many still believe in and use drugs; many still considering the occasional use of certain types — especially the psychedelics, and to some extent, pot — to be an aid to self-development and/or spiritual awareness.

Family Lies not “Family Ties”

The myth that youth rebel against their parents’ values was expressed and propagandized by the TV show Family Ties. This was an oh-so-convenient portrayal, as it contributed to the pervasive scapegoating of the Sixties Generation by the Fifties Generation — the Eisenhower–Joe McCarthy–Presley generation — who came into their Triumphant Phase, that is, took over the reins of society as mature adults in the Eighties.

Rebellion in Youth Amounts to Being Uncompromising About Parents’ Values Not Defying Them

This Family Ties kind of rebellion, however inaccurate, seems to be credible largely as a result of the observation that youth do rebel against their parents. But it ignores the fact that when they do, and they do not always, they revolt or rebel, as in the Sixties youth, most often in the direction of being more insistent on actually living the values of their parents, not simply voicing them. As Keniston (1968) found out, for example, as he described in his follow-up to The Uncommitted in the book, Young Radicals: Notes on Committed Youth, radical youth had liberal (hardly conservative!) parents.

When Sixties youth were angry at their parents, it was out of their perception of their parents as compromising and not living out their own expressed ideals, as laid out to their children in raising them. Therefore, Sixties rage against adults came out of their disgust at their parents for “not walking their talk.” As we may recollect, there was the oft-repeated charge of “hypocrite” directed by some of these youth toward their parental generation.

Millennials and Their Sixties Parents

In this regard notice also that this latest crop of young — born mid-70s through roughly 2000 (Boomers had children over a longer expanse of time than generations previous and since, for reasons I have dealt with in other places) and being now in their twenties and thirties … the sons and daughters of the Sixties Generation — has also seen increases in voting for liberal or Democratic candidates. Their turnout for Clinton in 1992 was the first time since the Seventies that the youth vote went Democratic. Their support of Obama was widely given as the reason for his success. Currently, they are on the bandwagon of proclaimed Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders.

Occupy Wall Street … Sixties Gen Liberals, Millennial Revolutionaries?

In the Nineties we saw — despite the AIDS scare — an end to a fledgling “youth celibacy movement” — which had been a movement of Yuppie/Gen Xers encouraged by their Fifties Generation parents. The Millennials, echoing again their parents and this time the sexual revolution, were noted for early and/or increased sexual experimentation. This latest cohort of youth also has seen increases in idealism, activism, and volunteerism. It is no coincidence that we have finally seen a rising up of activism again in the Occupy Wall Street movement, with Millennials taking the lead and supported, taught, and inspired by their Sixties cohort parents.2

Perinatal Propensities in LSD Use

Lucy in the Sewer with Depression

Other connections between drug use and perinatal influence: Perinatal feelings are very often of the depressive, no-exit type, and some drugs are temporarily effective antidotes for that. Depression itself is epidemic nowadays, indicating the rise of BPM II feelings. There is widespread use of antidepressants in America currently.

No-Exit Wombs

Stanislav Grof has claimed, based upon the tens of thousands of sessions of exploration into the perinatal unconscious that he has personally facilitated and thus observed, that the roots of endogenous — that is to say, deep rooted and engrained, not just situational — depression lie in the no-exit BPM II experience in the womb prior to birth. Furthermore, my personal experience with depression earlier in my life and my primal re-experiencing of prenatal, womb feelings, as well as birth, confirms his statement.

Psychedelics and Birth:  Tune Inward, Turn Back, Drop Down

Finally, psychedelic drugs … LSD …  “they’re ba-a-a-ack.” Though they are more discreetly used these days and so are less obviously evident. Various psychedelics and hallucinogens are used at postmodern raves, among many other places.

Their increased use also points to perinatal influences in that it is known that psychedelics — LSD in particular — can help people to access and to some extent resolve perinatal trauma, when taken for purposes of personal growth.

Corrective on LSD Misinformation

For those who have cynically adopted the line that either psychedelics are another drug that blots out one’s Pain or that they are only used for recreational or sensual/hedonistic purposes or that the kinds of birth experiences that Grof describes as occurring on LSD only occur in supervised and guided sessions, like the ones he offered … for those who have dismissed psychedelics and LSD in any of these ways, let me say the following:

LSD is Hardly Escapist

First, psychedelics, especially LSD and to some extent, even marijuana, are known to act in the brain in a way almost exactly the opposite of the drugs used to escape from reality — such as, for example, alcohol, nicotine, or heroin — though this news flies in the face of the myth put out by the all-encompassing anti-drug propaganda machine, which puts all recreational drugs in the same category. This is common knowledge among researchers and scientists who study these things. For elaboration, see Culture War, Class War (2013), Chapter 3, “Drugs and Generations — Opposing Worlds” — especially the part on “Drugs and Consciousness” — as well as subsequent chapters of that book.

Drugs — Not Just for Fun Anymore

Second, that drugs are only used for recreational purposes is patently false. Though the vast majority of drug use is recreational, there are in print many examples, and the admissions of many authors, of the use of LSD by individuals and groups for purposes of personal growth. And, in my own limited exploration, personal growth was my motivation. In fact, many people are afraid to take the drug LSD, knowing full well that its effects are not always pleasurable or recreational. So why would they accept that risk if they did not have some other intent, like personal growth, for experimenting on themselves with it?

LSD and Birth Reliving

Finally, before I had ever heard of such a possibility of reliving one’s birth, let alone heard of Grof, or Janov for that matter, I learned that at least one person at my university on LSD found himself feeling like a fetus and then going through a process of struggling through a birth canal, and so on.

“Most Peculiar, Mama!”

In this book so far, we have considered the uniqueness of our times and the elements of the perinatal and prenatal unconscious. We have followed that with a look at the predominant underlying fantasies and myths of our times — our contemporary collective dreams as projected onto the silver screen, boob tube, and printed page, with a perinatal rock heartbeat of a soundtrack.

Our Nightly News and Neighborhoods

Finally, we have taken a look at the anomalous elements of our everyday reality —  those confusing and bizarre, newly emerging images that permeate our nightly news and neighborhoods, along with those totally unprecedented cultural, environmental, and social factors that weave the backdrops of our lives.

Going Forward, Explore Our Hells and Heavens

Let us now go deeper. Let us make the connections. Let us explore the way we have reflected our innermost intimate hells and heavens into the fabric of our times. And back again, let us uncover the way the warp and woof of these strangest of days has affected each of us, in our most superficial of behaviors to the most intimate and deepest of our minds. The way forward is down.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 21

Birth Wars ~ World Woes:

Our Global Crises Are Manifesting
Our Unfaced Painful Experiences

 

 

 

Perinatal and Global Situation Mirroring Each Other

The connections between the physical conditions and symbols discussed in previous chapters and the prenatal and perinatal unconscious should be obvious and may have already to some extent been spelled out. But let me finish connecting the dots, so to speak:

As Stanislav Grof put it,

[W]e have exteriorized in the modern world many of the essential themes of the perinatal processes that a person involved in deep personal transformation has to face and come to terms with internally. The same elements that we would encounter in the process of psychological death and rebirth in our visionary experiences make today our evening news. This is particularly true in regard to the phenomena that characterize what I call BPM III.

We certainly see the enormous unleashing of the aggressive impulse in the many wars and revolutionary upheavals in the world, in the rising criminality, terrorism, and racial riots. Sexual experiences and behaviors are taking unprecedented forms, as manifested in sexual freedom of youngsters, promiscuity, open marriages, overtly sexual books, plays, and movies, gay liberation, sadomasochistic experimentation, and many others. The demonic element is also becoming increasingly manifest in the modern world.

A renaissance of satanic cults and witchcraft, the popularity of books and horror movies with occult themes, and crimes with satanic motivations attest to that fact. The scatological dimension is evident in the progressive industrial pollution, accumulation of waste products on a global scale, and rapidly deteriorating hygienic conditions in large cities.1

Grof is saying, then, that we have manifested an external modern world that mirrors and re-creates some of the hellacious circumstances surrounding our traumatic human births.

No-Exit Car Jams and People Clusters

In addition to the myriad of ways that Grof has detailed … and there are many more he could have mentioned … I would like to add a few obvious commonplace examples.

We re-create on a daily basis in major cities the no-exit frustration-depression-rage prior to birth in the traffic jams and gridlock of commuter traffic.

Another one: the population explosion. Simple overpopulation of the globe sets up scenarios exactly analogous to the negative conditions that existed toward the end of pregnancy when we grew/expanded too much to be any longer comfortable in the womb. The way this global overpopulation impacts us: the overpopulation and frenzy in a big city, manifesting the situation of a crushing womb.

Global “Therapeutic” Carbon-Dioxide Chamber

I have already mentioned reduced oxygen in the atmosphere and its relation to fetal “malnutrition.”

However, there is an interesting sidelight to this. For both Arthur Janov and Stanislav Grof, at one time early on, experimented with a technique of carbon dioxide ingestion for getting people into primal and perinatal states. In fact, at the time — in the late Sixties, early Seventies — though not on a large scale, a number of professionals were experimenting with this procedure and even offering it as a means of “expanding consciousness.”

The point is that increased carbon dioxide and decreased oxygen naturally stimulate perinatal feelings. Lucky us, as we continue to turn the entire atmosphere of the Earth into such a “therapeutic” carbon-dioxide chamber.

“Don’t Cut Me OFF, Man!”

After all this, if you still do not believe that a perinatal unconscious is emerging at this time in history, I ask you how else to explain how the simple act of being “cut off” in traffic can trigger so much perinatal “no exit” frustration as to enrage an “otherwise normal” person to pull out a gun and blow another’s life away. Incidentally, I myself had a shotgun pulled on me in such a situation and only escaped through a high-speed car chase.

Birth Wars ~ World Woes

The upshot of it all is that somehow or other we have managed to create a world situation that mirrors in a way unlike any other time in history our perinatal imprints and thus triggers the emergence of this prenatal and perinatal unconscious.

Or, you might reverse that and say that an emerging perinatal unconscious — brought about by other factors, improved “child-caring” methods perhaps … more about that later — has resulted in our creating a world situation manifesting or acting out those unconscious perinatal elements, which are having increasing influence on our consciousness and on our behavior.

I suspect both of these processes are occurring — each one augmenting the other.

Noticing Our Underbellies

Let me make this latter scenario clearer. What I am saying is that we all have birth trauma and we must distance ourselves from this birth trauma so that we can function. If the birth trauma is extreme, or if subsequent child-caring is abusive and neglectful2 — as is the case in any of the “less enlightened” of deMause’s psychogenic modes of child-rearing3 — or both, then complete splitting, repression of the prenatal and perinatal, and dissociation from them occurs. Thus a person can project his or her perinatal unconscious onto the world and be completely unaware that it has anything to do with him- or herself.

Can You Look Your Belly in the Face?

However, with more humane child-caring modes — deMause’s latest psychogenic mode, for example3 — less repression, and less defenses, are necessary and total dissociation does not occur. In this situation, the perinatal is not completely projected onto the outside world. We have more access to it, hence we act it out and manifest it in lesser ways, which reflect back to us, for the times when we are able to see them, our perinatal underbellies.

On the one hand, the world is becoming increasingly perinatal and thus is stimulating more of the perinatal unconscious than previously. On the other hand, we have more access to and are closer to our perinatal unconscious so that we exhibit it more blatantly in our behavior and cultural creations and thus stimulate, again, in ourselves and others, the underlying perinatal matrices.

This is a chicken-and-the-egg process. And I suspect, in the same way, that these processes are going on simultaneously and hence augment each other.

Life or Death Matters

In earlier chapters — specifically, Chapters 9 through 11 — we entertained the notion that the reason things seem so much different nowadays than anytime we can imagine from the past is because they are different. We have looked at how the character and events of our age are remarkably like the feelings and events surrounding our births and, unfortunately: traumatic births, traumatic times! Lastly, we have considered a few reasons … more coming … as to why these times might be uniquely imbued with our perinatal events.

“Waiter, Check!”

Still, the biggest questions lie begging: What does this all mean for us? Is it the “end of the world,” really, like some are claiming? Or are we seeing the “dawning of a new age”? (Now why is it that I cannot restrain the strains of the group The Fifth Dimension, in full orchestration no less, intoning in my mind the song “The Age of Aquarius” as I write this!?)

What Can You Me Do?

These are not unimportant questions. And they have all the implications of life or death, again indicative of the perinatal, about them.

Will we live? Will we survive? Or are we doomed? Kinda important to think about, don’t you agree?

And if it is within our power to decide our fate, well, just what the hell are we going to do about it? What can be done about our situation? What can each of us — you … me — do?

What It Is That’s Happening Here

We have begun addressing these questions in “Part Three: Global Healing Crisis.” There are some processes of change in these times — processes of change unlike any that we normally encounter — that will weigh heavily on the outcome of the current emerging perinatal unconscious. These include not only the concepts and processes of the healing crisis — as stipulated in the next chapter, “Wounded Deer and Centaurs: The Changing of the Generational Guard” — but also that of macrocosmic processes beyond our human scope, as will be explained in Chapter 24, “Eden Arise: A Message to All Wounded Deer and Centaurs … Aided by Gaia We Rediscover Our Natural Self.”

Wounded Deer and Centaurs — Our Brightest Hope

Finally, having considered the perinatal nature of our times in Part One: Womb with a View — The Prenatal and Perinatal Unconscious (Chapters 1 through 10), and then the corresponding unique processes at work in these times in Part Two: The Prenatal Matrix of Human Events (Chapters 11 through 18), we can look at some likely propensities for our future (Chapters 22 and on). We will be able to look deeper, and we might dare to ask ourselves whether these developments will result in an apocalypse of unimaginable dimensions or will result in an Earth rebirth, of some sort. Considering what we know at that time, we will see that there are also some directions in which to look for a solution. We take that up in Part Four: The Necessary Hero. And we will see how crucial are the roles of our postmodern wounded deer and centaurs and why their appearance may be the brightest hope for humanity at this time.

But next we need to consider how in order to save ourselves we need to bring to the surface all the rotten ugliness of prenatal and perinatal trauma that for millennia our species has been keeping inside.

 

 

CHAPTER 22

Wounded Deer and Centaurs:

The Changing of the Generational Guard

 

 

 

Getting Sick in Order to Get Well

What does this all mean? What does this portend? What might be the outcome of this emerging prenatal and perinatal unconscious? In other words, consciousness evolution or apocalypse? And what is the meaning of this change in consciousness and of these wounded deer and centaurs? Is there hope in this development?

To answer what is the portent of these wounded deer and centaurs and what the emerging prenatal and perinatal unconscious might mean on a macrocosmic or societal-global scale, it is helpful to look at what an emerging pre- and perinatal unconscious portends on the individual or microcosmic level.

What we have learned from the experiential modalities — holotropic breathwork, primal therapy, rebirthing, vivation, and others like them — is that unerringly people need to get “sicker” before they can get well. This should not be news to psychoanalysts or any of the other mainstream psychotherapists or counselors either.

Healing Crisis

Basically, the underlying repressed material must come to the “surface,” must become more conscious … and obviously when it becomes more conscious its accompanying symptoms are exacerbated. This can be called a healing crisis in that the symptoms get worse, more obvious, more blatant; and there is a period of acting them out before integration and resolution happens.

One Must “Die” to One’s Sickness Before One Can Be “Born” Well

When Grof talks about birth/death scenarios in the perinatal unconscious, he is including these sorts of healings, where one must “die” to one’s sickness before one can be “reborn” into another way of being, without those sick patterns or symptoms.

Degrees of Disease

Dissociation – Completely Split Off

It’s YOU! YOU’re the F&^$#r!

We see a progression over the last century in which there was complete dissociation from the perinatal unconscious by those of the Fifties, the World-War-Two, and previous generations — hence complete projection of it on The Other — to lesser dissociations from it by the generations since, Baby-Boomer and afterward, which involve more awareness of it as being a part of oneself and less projection of it on The Other.

Wounded Deer

In this latter instance, there is more suffering from it and more individual acting out of it, so that in a sense one appears “sicker” — the perinatal is more obvious in one’s behavior, taking more individual forms, and it is more easily recognized and seen to be a personal problem … a “sickness.” Earlier I described this consciousness as being the way of the centaur, for it reflects Chiron, in ancient myths, having an ongoing wound but eventually becoming a teacher and healer.

To understand the ways the perinatal manifests depending upon one’s “closeness” to it, let us contrast the two extremes of being split off from it and being close to it.

Being Really Sick, But Denying It:  WWII Generation, Nazis, KKK, Right Wing, Tea Party

Can’t Know That You Don’t Know

First let us take a look at what the perinatal appears like when it is completely split off from one’s conscious personality. This complete splitting off from the perinatal entails a complete repression and denial of it. Consequently, one has absolutely no access to it, and thus one is in total ignorance of the underlying motivations of one’s actions. One unconsciously acts out perinatal elements and traumas and manifests them in one’s behavior, rationalizing all the while that one has really good — non-perinatal, “real world” — reasons for why one is doing the things one is doing.

What’s in Your Head, Zombie?

Psychohistorians deem this state to be such an oblivious one that they use the term trance-state for it, fully intending all the implications and connotations that term engenders. That is, they are saying that people who are this repressed and split off do their acting zombie-like and out of motivations completely hidden from themselves1.

Birth Woes ~ World Wars

In such total ignorance, and of course being totally ignorant that one is in ignorance, people in the past century have been able to act out their perinatal underbellies in ways to make such hideous and all-encompassing wars as World War I and World War II possible.

Leaving aside for a moment the myriad ways the perinatal has unconsciously been acted out in the last hundred years in creating the current situation in which we are on the brink of extinction — which can be considered the most serious consequences of this splitting off imaginable — simply focusing on the Twentieth Century’s major wars as evidence of perinatal acting-out alone is instructive.

The Nazis, in particular, were extreme in their dissociation from their perinatal, in their projection of it onto the Jews, and their consequent ability to act it out in horrific ways on them and others. Alice Miller and Lloyd deMause have each detailed the psychodynamics of this projection of primal pain — both pre/perinatal and childhood — in the creation of the people that Adolf Hitler and the Nazis became in their adulthood.2

The Nazis present us with the patterns of these processes of dissociation and projection in blatant and obvious relief. The way Nazis, especially in concentration camps, acted out pre- and perinatal trauma on their prisoners has been described in great detail by Grof as well.3

Being “Weller,” But Appearing Sicker — Wounded Deer and Centaurs 

Perinatal Awareness of Boomers and Beyond

As I said, contrasted with being completely split off — dissociated — from one’s pre/perinatal unconscious, as the Fifties and WWII Generation are predominantly, is being less cut off from it and having some access to its energies. This means that rather than being totally and blindly driven by these forces, which are acting on one indirectly, one actually feels them somewhat: One has a sense of their being a part of one’s experience as opposed to living within them so thoroughly that one has not a clue of their existence.

This means that one has more options than to act them out, but it also means they make one aware of one’s perinatal sickness. One feels them, suffers from them, struggles with them.

On the other hand, one does not suffer or struggle from unconscious energies that one is compliant with and that are completely manifest and supported in one’s social and cultural environments (for example, the worlds of the WWII and previous generations), however destructive that makes one’s actions.

Trancing Versus Suffering

This difference may be likened to the difference between being a fish in water and totally oblivious to that fact versus living out of water and experiencing a downpour. When one is in less of a trance state, one is aware of alternative ways of being; in the example, that would be being dry. Consequently, one suffers and struggles amidst these forces and options … and one has at least some ability to choose one’s actions.

I do not believe it is simply coincidence that we are currently going from the Piscean Age — symbolized by fish in water — to the Aquarian Age — symbolized by a water bearer. This change was a big part of the consciousness during the Sixties, and I think we are beginning to see why: Going from a state where one is oblivious to the forces around one to a state where one can see the things one is dealing with (carrying the water) is no small thing.

This analogy is especially intriguing when one considers that water is the symbol for emotions, feelings, and for rebirth. Water is malleable, like emotion; it rises up, like feelings; and one is reborn in it, as in baptism and going back to our state in liquid in the amniotic sacs of our mothers. Frequently when one is going through a period of a rising up of emotions, especially prenatal and perinatal ones, one will have dreams of water rising and of floods. 

Now, consider that this overflow of emotion, in humans, has its roots in prenatal and perinatal events and times and think again on the meaning of Piscean and Aquarian symbolism. In one, Piscean, we are immersed in emotion and our pre/perinatal matrices. We are immersed in “the matrix,” as it were. In the other, Aquarian, we have a distance from it, and being water-bearers, we are, like wounded Chiron, bearing it, suffering from it, are aware of it. And we can do something about it and manipulate it, to an extent. We see the water-bearer, often, as pouring water. 

Indeed, as Aquarians and centaurs, we have the ability, being in the witness self relative to our “drama,” our pre/perinatal “flood” of emotions, to pour out … to release … this negative pool of pain, as Janov phrased it. We can have “a pouring out of emotion,” a primal, an abreaction, a healing catharsis. A healing crisis is possible.

It seems everything about evolution in humans has something to do with being between two mediums and the advance/the added perspective that comes with that, going all the way back to being the only ape to take to the water so much as to become partly aquatic — placing our species between water and land, halfway between a dolphin and a chimpanzee. I think we are heading toward being like the fairies and angels we imagine — halfway between land and air — but that is a whole other article to write.

Another analogy I have heard of this difference between the two modes of being completely oblivious and somewhat aware of one’s unconscious is that between living full-time in an Arctic environment where one has to wear a heavy coat versus living in a milder climate. In the warmer climes, one is both aware of what it is like to not have a coat — one has capacity to feel better ways of being — as well as how bulky, obstructing, and uncomfortable it is to have the coat on — suffering more from it, suffering from one’s perinatal memories. Finally one is better able to decide when to have it on and not — one has more options. At some point I will discuss what this has to do with the increase of bipolar disorders, but not now.

One analogy I find especially provocative is the difference between watching a movie and being fully engrossed in it so that one does not know it is a movie, which is equivalent to acting out unconsciously from one’s early imprints. Compare this to watching the same movie with equal interest, but being aware that one is in a theater. You can see where in the second instance one would feel there are more options; and one would feel that one could step back before finding oneself caught up in horrific actions.

Wounded Deer and Centaurs

However, being aware of one’s discomfort (having “more access” to the perinatal), one suffers like the wounded deer — the innocent who feels things and so struggles with society’s sickness that many others are unconsciously perpetrating. But, with time and success in handling this pain, one can become the wounded healer — the Chiron.

Now, why and how would this occur? As I have said, some access to the perinatal and more blatant and direct acting it out is exhibited by many of the Baby-Boomer Generation. This is in large part due to their having been raised in a way that required less in the way of ego defenses to keep their primal pain suppressed. Psychohistorians like Glen Davis4 and Lloyd deMause have detailed a slow advance of child-caring techniques, with generations since the WWII Generation being raised with more attention to their needs and less harshness and cruelty … increasingly more love. 

“What the World Needs Now Is.…”

Before anyone begins thinking “permissive” or “spare the rod, spoil the child,” let me point out that I will be continually stressing how this development is not only a good thing (why wouldn’t love be good?) but is one of the few sources of hope for our future we really do have.

For less childhood pain and trauma means one is stronger and more able to face the even deeper perinatal pain.

Choosing Lesser Evils

At any rate, the extreme acting-out and total dissociation from the perinatal exhibited by the World-War-Two Generation was followed, in the generations coming after, by less relative dissociation and less horrific forms of acting it out. Quite simply, generations as a whole had better ability to refrain from the more blatantly evil act outs — wholesale murders and world wars, pogroms and genocide, inquisitions and witch-burnings, racism and slavery. They were more able to choose seemingly milder forms of suffering and self-destruction — polluting the atmosphere, water, and food; population explosions and crowding of cities; and traffic jams.

The common everyday traffic jam is especially instructive of perinatal dynamics as traffic congestions replicate asphalt birth tunnels where one not only breathes exhaust fumes from trucks and other autos — fetal malnutrition — but also can become gridlock at any moment, thus re-creating the intense frustration and no-exit hopelessness, and rage, of BPM II.

Baby-Boomer Perinatal Awareness

Other examples of the scenery of modern times where the perinatal is manifesting but is less projected onto another:

We Know THAT We Don’t Know … We Could Be Wrong

Many Baby-Boomers had enough access to their perinatal underbellies to question the absolute rightness of the Vietnam War and so they campaigned against it. This is indicative of closeness to the perinatal because it shows an ability to doubt one’s egocentric defenses — as given by society and family of origin — and to look at situations from the eyes of the Other.

So much was this evident in Boomers that some were even able to see the Vietnam War through the eyes of the enemy — exemplified by Jane Fonda’s trip to Hanoi, the waving of North Vietnamese flags at demonstrations, and the carrying of little red books of the sayings of Chairman Mao tse Tung.

But It’s Clear You’re Wrong

The Baby-Boomer — or Sixties — Generation also indicate their closeness to their perinatal in their campaigns against some of the act-outs of the perinatal mentioned above: These include actions against pollution; a rejection of city life, with its gridlocks, pollution, and crowding, and a return to the country, in communes or otherwise (trying in this way to re-create the blissful BPM I womb state, and to manifest joy grids that are our earliest template); an awareness and rejection of polluted foods and creation of a natural and organic foods movement; and actions against global overpopulation including support for birth control, a pro-choice stance on abortion, and delaying of baby-making on their own parts along with a reduction in the size of their families.

The sexual excess that is characteristic of the perinatal, specifically BPM III, was evident in Boomers’ free love and promiscuous sexual behavior.

Many more examples could be given. But the proof of their closeness to their unconscious dynamics lies not only in their actions — as mentioned above, in their more blatant acting them out or in their actual actions against the blatant acting out, both of which indicate closer access — but also in the study of their unconscious dynamics. As mentioned in Chapter 20, Kenneth Keniston (1965) found in his study of the psychodynamics of the Sixties Generation when they were in their youth an unusual amount of perinatal symbolism and self-analysis. (See “Raging to Reenter, Digging Under Ground, Fantasy of Fusion,” in that chapter.)

Boomer Rage, Perinatally So

We Shall Overcome

We also see perinatal feelings in the focus of the Baby-Boomers on empowerment. This word appears to come up in every area of their lives. It can be seen as the natural focus of a generation that feels itself inside to be a helpless fetus facing an overpowering obstruction of a womb.

Hence, Baby-Boomers are of course also closer to the frustration, rebellion, and yes, rage, that is part of the perinatal complex. We saw it exhibited by them in their anger at authority in the Sixties, their rebellion against the Vietnam War.

“Get the F&%$ OFF Me!”

Keep in mind that a huge aspect of the perinatal is feelings of restriction, thus frustration, and, consequently rage against large entities of obstruction — like the womb was in relation to the small and helpless fetus. In doing so, we see that the reason for their rage is simple and understandable.

Baby-Boomers and generations after them, characterized as being closer to their unconscious, especially the perinatal, have more access to their anger: This means they feel their anger and are less likely to act it out in more hidden, disguised, and dire ways such as war-making, racism, and anti-Semitism. You think everyone feels their anger? Herein we have another way of discriminating Piscean (split off and trancing) versus Aquarian (suffering and somewhat in witness self). Ask someone when they are exhibiting anger if they are angry. Largely, Aquarians will admit the feelings they feel within themselves; whereas Pisceans will shout, in all sincerity, “I am not angry!”

However, this ability to be aware of one’s anger does not mean their rage would not be troublesome. The perinatal lets no one get off scot free. We see lots of pre- and perinatal anger coming out in the last few decades in the phenomenon of the “angry electorate.” Let us look at that next.

The Angry Electorate and Boomers

More recently these Baby-Boomers have been coming into the triumphant phase of their lives. They make up the largest sector of the electorate, and their influence is reflected more as they come into positions of power in the media and elsewhere.

But Boomer influence has been diffused and confused because of the anger of some of them. Their irrational rage — combined with the reactionary consciousness of the Fifties Generation, many of the Fifties Gen children of Yuppies–Gen Xers, and the remaining WWII folks — has most often skewed election results against the Boomers’ interests and their true desires. Though not the majority of Boomers, enough of them expressed their rage to swing election results in favor of the other side.

1992 – “Mad as Hell”

Beginning in the 1992 and 1994 national elections, these Baby-Boomers exhibited their perinatal influences in contributing to the totally unexpected phenomenon of the “angry electorate.”

At the time, pundits and media analysts were at a total loss to explain the rage of the electorate that was affecting these elections. In 1992, they were totally surprised by the showing of three men in particular — Jerry Brown, Pat Buchanan, and Ross Perot — who seemed to have one thing in common: the angry tones and rebelliousness that characterized their speeches, as compared to others.

The demeanor of these candidates was at such odds with the other candidates that when Bill Clinton one night responded angrily to a comment by Jerry Brown about Hillary, Clinton’s wife, it was that part of the debate — of Clinton being angry, all issues aside — that made the news that night!

Though the rage of the electorate in 1992 caused the Brown, Perot, and Buchanan phenomena, it was split among them, so Clinton ended up winning. This of course was also okay with the Baby-Boomers in that (1) Clinton and Gore were Baby-Boomers like themselves and (2) in the race against Bush, Clinton was the challenger, and thus the rebel; and Bush was the “bum to be thrown out.”

However, this rage did not go away after the election, which highlights its having perinatal origins. In fact, after the shortest “honeymoon period” in history, by some accounts, it became directed at the most likely target/center — the President, Bill Clinton, himself.

We all know how despite the successes and progress of Clinton’s first year, he was especially singled out for ridicule and denigration by the media. He could not seem to do anything right, and the most incredibly outrageous behaviors were attributed to him.

1994 — “Throw the Bums Out … Again”

This rage spilled over into the next year and, sure enough, during the midterm election — the issues be damned — the angry electorate was in a mood to “throw the bums out” again. It did not matter the party. I do not claim that all those of my generation are always as politically astute as they are angry.

The Republicans called it a “revolution.” It was simply the acting out of an electorate in the throes of perinatal feelings — that is, feelings of frustration, being “tied up” by red tape, an inability to go forward … that is, up the economic ladder — wages had been stagnating since the early Eighties … being overcontrolled and pushed around by regulations … big government being the big mother womb keeping the fetus locked in and unable to move … and out of all this, the consequent anger and rage.

1996 and 1998 — “To Hell With You!”

At any rate, succeeding elections bear out this analysis of an angry electorate. In 1996, despite the much ballyhooed “Republican Revolution,” sure enough, the electorate was spoiling to “throw the bums out” again — only this time it was the Republican Congress. So there were Democratic gains at the time.

And in 1998, when everything pointed to a huge Republican landslide because of the Lewinsky scandal, the electorate again showed their rebellion and anger toward both the pundits and the Republicans who had been lambasting them with details of the scandal for nearly a year by giving the Democrats gains again!

2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014 — Panicky Electorate

In 2006, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014, it was an angry electorate reeling against oppression; and in the case of 2010, 2012, and 2014, doing it mindlessly, against their own interests. If there were not perinatal charge to all this, Americans would not be so irrational about their choices.

Perinatal Rage

People have had good reasons to feel oppressed since the Eighties when Reagan began the giveaways to the rich and the budget cutbacks, continuing to this day, that have caused the masses to feel constricted and oppressed.

Yet, if this did not result in their being perinatally overloaded so that they cannot reason, they would not have been able to be led to fight their own interests as they were in 2010, 2012, and 2014 and in an ongoing way as exemplified by the Tea Party and the success of right-wing agendas and Fox “News.”

Reacting, Too Angry and Confused to Think

Another aspect of this irrationality on both sides of the political spectrum has to do with this idea that there is no difference between the two major parties. Feeling oppressed perinatally is characterized by a pressure from all sides simultaneously. There is an inability to distinguish or discriminate between forces that are helpful and those that are dire, as any and all developments seem threatening in situations of crisis. In a situation of overwhelm, further, there is an inability to think clearly. One just fights back, explodes, reacts. It’s no coincidence that Righties are called reactionaries.

Biting the Feeding Hand

The upshot is an inability to keep one’s own interests in mind. Under the pressure of perinatal feelings, provoked endlessly by actual oppression, economically, environmentally, socially, and culturally, there is a tendency to rail against any authority, to bite the hand that feeds one. This is exactly like the panicked swimmer who in danger of drowning fights off his or her rescuer.

Can anyone at this point still maintain that the politics of the last few decades had anything at all to do with ideology or issues?

 

 

 

CHAPTER 23

Healing Crisis and Consciousness Revolution:

The Psychology of Generations

 

 

 

Millennials and Their Opposites

One might also note the rise of “hate groups” occurring at the same time as the phenomenon of the angry electorate. Hate groups fill their ranks from folks on the extreme right and their actions are exemplified in the Oklahoma bombing tragedy and more recently in the Tea Party.

Perinatally Clueless — Right-Wing “Hate Groups,” the Tea Party, and the Fifties Generation

But notice again then that these hate groups are always on the extreme right of the political spectrum and thus exemplify a World-War-Two mindset in relation to their perinatal unconscious: Specifically, the mindset is one of being completely cut off from one’s unconscious dynamics and being in total denial of unconscious motivations so that one can have the complete certitude — lacking any access to the unconscious which would give rise to doubts — that makes violent actions possible.

However, the reason for bringing up the hate groups is to show how much their actions as well are dominated by perinatal — in their case, totally unconscious — dynamics.

For without exception their reasons for rising up against the government — representing the overwhelming womb — has to do with frustrations, like the trapped fetus feels, in regards to “oppressive” taxes, governmental red tape, laws, and other regulations that they feel restrict their freedom … to move freely, as one wanted to but couldn’t, in the womb.

Tea Party and hate group ranks are rife with Fifties Generation folks. The Eisenhower Generation — after the WWII Gen and before Boomers — were born just before or during WWII. They are mired in prenatal fears coming from the fact that their parents were living through such distressing times as WWII and the Great Depression when they were inside their mothers. They were “marinated” in the womb with fear and insecurity. They also were not brought up with the societal advance in child-rearing the next generation of Boomers, and those afterward, would be granted. So it is understandable they would be both cut off from perinatal access yet full of perinatal pushes and pulls to act out in confused and self-destructive ways.

Perinatal Access of Millennials

Being Boomer Kids, Wouldn’t You Kind of Expect That?

Now on the other end of this perinatal spectrum we have the most recent generational cohort to be making a mark. The Millennial, or Baby-Boomer Echo generation, shows the same inner access as their Boomer parents. They demonstrate as well their parents’ consequent refusal to act it out on a larger scale: It has been said that the greatest concerns of those in this generation, now in their twenties and thirties, are the environment and racism-bigotry.

Activist, Progressive

They show the progressive bent of their parents, also, in their having a lot to do with giving America its first African-American president. And to the environment and minority rights, we need to add classism, economic fairness, and human rights because of their phenomenal outpouring of support in 2011 for Occupy Wall Street and for union rights in Wisconsin and other states. They are showing global strength in opposing fascism, economic injustice, political oppression, and human rights abuses in Occupy and Arab Spring movements. They have filled massive demonstrations against the draconian economic policies of Republicans in Wisconsin. They are currently showing their strength in the surprising popularity of Bernie Sanders, the first Democratic Socialist to run for president in the United States.

Climate Change and The Environment

We know how pollution and action against pollution indicates a closeness to one’s perinatal. To put it another way, it is clear that only a total denial and disconnect between one’s consciousness and one’s unconscious perinatal dynamics would allow one to act it out unconsciously in the creation of pollution and in the denial of it as a problem or a mindless neglect of it. So the fact that these Baby-Boomer children, the Millennials, are so cognizant, concerned, and active in relation to global pollution and climate change shows their lack of denial of this perinatal act-out.

Multicultural, Resisting Racism and Oppression

But what of racism and bigotry? How is this an indication of a closeness to the perinatal. There are several ways in which this is so. As mentioned, a closeness to the perinatal allows one to doubt one’s given defenses and to glimpse alternate perspectives — in particular to look at things from the eyes of The Other.

In this way, the Baby-Boomer Echo generation is able to see oppression, injustice, and unfairness as it is played out in the lives of minorities who do not share their (predominantly) middle-class advantages. They simply don’t “get” racism, sexism, or bigotry of any kind; it is incomprehensible to them. They strongly oppose imperialism, colonialism, or oppression of any kind. Relatedly, they support animal rights and oppose animal abuse and cruelty. They do not understand torture and violence against fellow planetmates.

Naturally they were helped in that awareness by the gains of previous decades, beginning in the Sixties, which had them growing up with diversity of racial and ethnic heritages — seeing things multiculturally not narrowly — in their schools and in the omnipresent media. They grew up with the environmental awareness that was set in motion in the Sixties; they do not know of a world before recycling and energy conservation. Activism, demonstrations, and political action have been a part of their lives since they were born, unlike the several generations that preceded them and even their Boomer parents who grew up in a politically castrated Fifties.

But there is another, stronger element. This is the factor of oppression and unfairness itself. We experience compression (oppression), and frustration at our attempts to go forward, and what feels like hopeless unfairness and injustice, when in the throes of BPM II birth trauma. To see these facets of the fates of minorities, as in racism, or gender or sexual bias, points to this Echo Generation’s closeness to their own perinatal oppression; hence their ability to empathize with oppressed minorities.

This ability to realistically sense and respond to oppression is also the reason they would throw themselves in heartily in defense of unions, an increasingly oppressed middle class, and public sector employees.

Of Gen X, Goths, Anti-Abortionists, Pacifiers, and a Hierarchy of Healing 

A Hierarchy of Healing?

This idea that those close to their unconscious conflicts are more likely to act them out blatantly goes completely against one of deMause’s tenets. He wrote, “The higher the psychogenic mode of the psychoclass, the less it is necessary for it to act out its conflicts.”1

However, this is exactly the crux of my difference with his theory and is a central point I am making. For, from my perspective, the higher the mode of child-caring equals the less the defenses. Hence, the more it is likely that that generation’s conflicts will be close to the surface, seeking resolution … like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory. We might want to call it a hierarchy of healing theory.

In other words, our observing the supposed “acting out” of an underlying trauma does not mean that the group or person in question is actually or, at least completely, “acting it out” and defending against it. It may be that that group is resolving, healing, or integrating it — taking it inward rather than acting it out … in the world, on others … whether to a small or great extent. Using the analogy of Pandora’s Jar, described earlier, they are opening the jar, at least a little. And I disagree with deMause in that I wish to stress that it is healthier by far to do that. Let me explain:

The difference between acting out and resolving is whether the actions are done in total dissociation from the unconscious dynamics, that is to say, in a trance state — as explained earlier in regard to the World War Two generation and the Tea Party — or whether there is at least a modicum of insight into it occurring as a result of things inside of oneself, not completely projected onto the outside.

The attitude that leads to total dissociation and acting out was expressed in the 2012 military movie, Act of Valor, which depicted Navy Seals engaged in anti-terrorism activity. At the end, the manner of dealing with pain recommended for these American soldiers and “men of valor” was to “Put your pain in a box. Lock it down.” Saying “we are men made of boxes,” the younger man is instructed, about his pain, to “use it as fuel, as ammunition.” What the younger one is not told is that made invisible this way, it will do the determining of when and upon whom it will be released, dumped, acted out.

However, in non-acting-out — “acting inward” or taking back the projection — there is a tad of insight, as, for example, in the “overexamined life” of the “uncommitted” and the “self-analysis” of the young radicals of the Sixties Generation. Similarly, the rock concert revivification of all current generations except the Fifties and WWII ones, as I have mentioned, is about personal experience and growth, and it is not about acting out on another; whereas an example of the extreme other end of that would be engaging, trance-like, in a mass killing against a perceived political enemy, as Loughner did in Arizona, and as we do as nations in wars.

Another example of complete dissociation is the anti-abortion folks. They do not have a clue of the connection between their own unconscious prenatal pain and the feelings they have about unborn others. They are not wrestling with their feelings; they are trying to change the world to conform to their defenses around those feelings — that is, they want the world to suppress that womb time out of existence like they have done to it in their own minds. The proof that it is acting out is that it is all about changing others’ behavior, and it involves imposing one’s inner pain on others forcefully and aggressively — which we have seen in its extreme form with the murders of physicians committed by anti-abortionists

Generation X — Flaunting One’s Sickness Beats Hiding It

The self-analysis of the Sixties Generation was followed by a different mode of struggling with prenatal and perinatal pain by Generation X, which continues in abated form with the Millennial Generation. It was manifest rather strikingly with the Goth phenomenon and the vampire fascination that began in the Eighties, coincident with Gen X’s coming of age. Goth and vampirism show blatant perinatal dynamics that are not unfelt and completely repressed as in dissociation with its trance-state aggression against others. An example of Gen X perinatal acting out of these dynamics in total dissociation and trance state was given above in the anti-abortionists. But Goth and vampire culture show folks feeling and immersed consciously in these pushes and pulls and wrestling with them, trying to work them out as opposed to act them out.

Hey, It Was Tough!

This is rather clearly shown in looking at the “regression” in Europe, described by psychohistorians, which occurred in the Nineties. This behavior showed a bit of insight … and resolution happening … in that the baby song being hummed was about the very real hardships of being a baby. Therefore, an actual truth about their own lives was being faced there by those singing along with it. The song was not being used to deny or defend against those traumas.

One might suspect that as well in carrying around such blatant examples of regression as a pacifier. For someone in a more defended mode would be highly threatened by such an obvious symbol that they are really needy children inside. More defended folks would be terrified such overt behavior would make them look wussy or sissified or childish — that is, look like that vulnerable, frightened baby that they really feel themselves to be but are doing their damnedest to hide from everyone. Imagine how those Navy Seals described above would feel walking around sucking on a pacifier, for example.

So in actually carrying around a pacifier these youths were not only displaying an insight into their feelings of sometimes being needy babies, on the inside, but were actually flaunting this awareness, as if to shame, or slap the face of, or be “in the face” of a generation of their parents — the Fifties Generation for the most part — who did not see their needs when they were babies — however effortfully and obviously they sought to demonstrate them. Thus the symbols needed to become more and more shocking and obvious.

Look at What You Did to Me!

For example: the jeans with requisite holes around the knees was screaming out, “You did not take care of me; you made me feel like a poor, orphaned, ragamuffin child.”

The piercing of mouths, nose, ears, and even tongues shout,

“I am in pain, dammit! Can’t you see that when you stick needles in me as a little baby that I hurt? How can you be so insensitive? Can’t you see that when you refuse to breastfeed and thus nurture me orally that I am forever damaged there, ever painful there? What does it take, my sticking pins — safety pins make the point even more that it was when I was in diapers — in myself to make you see that I hurt there?”

And, of course, the black clothes, the hideous macabre makeup, and depressed, sullen expressions was exclaiming,

“Look, you might think we’re a wonderful family and everything is hunky-dory here; but I wish I were dead! I’ve felt so much pain, from in the womb, at birth, and right after birth, that I wish I’d never been born.

“Also, somehow in courting death, I have the feeling that I might somehow be reborn again into a good life, not like this place of torture and tears, right from the beginning, where my welcome into the world consisted of being drugged, handled like an object or piece of meat, blasted by bright lights, scrubbed by rough cloths, having needles and suctions stuck in me, blasted with noise, made to lie on cold stainless steel surfaces, and then bundled like a tamale so that I could not move … making me feel again like I was back in the hellish womb where in the later stages, for a time that felt like an eternity, I felt unable to move and was suffocating for lack of sufficient oxygen … and the only action that was possible was for me to scream my bloody head off for long periods of time or go into a stupor — which is what I did, alternating between them.

”Can’t you see that I’d rather be dead than live in such a world of insensitive zombies like you. Hell, in fact, to further drive the point home, I’ll even look and act like a zombie, I’ll try to appear as unfeeling and morose as you all seemed to me, especially at my birth. And I’ll go a step further and mirror yourselves back to you by becoming enamored of vampires….

“Can’t you see that you sucked my very life force, my blood, and turned me into an unfeeling vampire like you, by suffocating me in the womb, poisoning me with your toxic blood which you both sucked from me and then forced down my throat!”

The “Inconvenient” Revolution 

Different Levels, Different Defenses

It is instructive at this time to note that Arthur Janov once compared the defenses that characterized the youth of the time — the late Sixties, early Seventies — with those of their parents and older people in general and came up with findings that amplify my own assertions here.

“Mind’s Made Up, Don’t Confuse Me with the Facts!”

Specifically, Janov found that older people — clients of his as well as others of whom he was aware — were characteristically more repressed, more split off, more prone to dissociation, more defended and, most importantly for our uses here, tended to use defenses of denial and obfuscation against inner information and impulses. Correspondingly, they tended to use drugs that repressed and blotted out reality, such as alcohol and nicotine; and they tended to be sexually repressed. They were also more compulsive. They tended to suppress their tension and hold it in for all their worth.

“How Can You Have Any Pudding if You Don’t Eat Your Meat?”

Truth was greatly feared, and all attempts were made to fend off incoming information that might threaten the delusional reality set of the conscious mind. This left them open to the characterization: “My mind’s made up! Don’t confuse me with the facts!” which was leveled at them by anti-Vietnam War protesters. In more recent years, it is no wonder they have engaged in a war against education and against hollywood, as really they are at war with new information. Consequently, Janov found that the dominant mode of reaction, when threatened, was to act out aggressively against the supposed “oppressor.” Like prenates up against an overpowering womb, they are in constant war with overwhelm.

“Peace, Out.”

On the other hand, he found that his youthful clients — under thirty — tended to use defenses of excess, release, and addiction, or to be unusually lacking in defense mechanisms. They were more impulsive. They tended to have weak barriers to incoming information, to be open to negative unconscious content, even at the expense of their self-esteem, and to be tension expressers. They were therefore more likely sexually promiscuous than repressed, and they tended to drugs that opened them to information and unconscious knowledge — such as marijuana and LSD.

Consequently, they were less split off from their unconscious truth … though it made them uncomfortable … were less repressed, and, if anything, used defenses of masochism, self-denial, and self-inflicted aggression or depression. Truth was more important to them than emotional comfort. They tended to go out of their way to dig up negative information about themselves, and they accepted the low self-esteem and sense of self-worth that came with that kind of openness to truth.

Their delusional reality set — if it could be called that — entailed taking on the worries and cares of the world as their own, since their openness to their own cares and worries allowed them to empathize with others in obviously similar situations. When triggered into their pain, their dominant reaction was to take it inward and to take it out on themselves causing depression. In doing so they showed they would rather hurt themselves than hurt another.

Generation Gaps … Again

I don’t believe you need to be a rocket scientist to see that Janov was discovering an historical — one might say millennial — “changing of the guard” as regards access to the unconscious, openness to personal truth, and lessening of the tendency to act out early trauma in violent or belligerent ways. The older generation had more tendencies to blame others, to find scapegoats for their ills, and to act out violently on them. The younger generation had more tendencies to look inward and to blame and punish themselves … and to prefer to hurt themselves before hurting another. They would more likely cut themselves than cut another; they would more likely commit suicide than kill.

The youthful generation might also become alcoholic, addicted to drugs, or do something else to injure themselves … rather than act it out on another.

Less Wars, More Suicides

And this “acting in,” as opposed to acting out, is indicated as well in the rise of teen suicides in recent decades. So you might say that the tradeoff we are currently getting is a reduction in the use of wars and racism to solve problems — that is, a reduction in the tendency to act out one’s Pain on others and to scapegoat. But, since the perinatal trauma is still there, and one is even more conscious of it, we have increased suicides. We have not had a world war or dropped a nuclear weapon on people since World War II; but we suffer unceasingly from relatively less loss of life in regional conflicts and the self-inflicted harm of air, water, and food contamination and from radiation poisoning from nuclear power plants. We have not had millions killed in genocides or purges since World War II, but we have suffered lesser loss of life in uprisings for democracy in China, Iran, Syria, Southeast Asia, and the Arab world. We have not had lynchings and racial riots have ceased, but we have suffered less lethal damage from culture and class wars, increased incarceration, creeping fascism, and struggles for economic justice.

Overall then, less death, more suffering. Less killing in wars, more suicides. Less large scale atrocities, more depression. On a collective level, we are taking our conflicts increasingly inward.

As deMause pointed out,

Those considered ‘neurotic’ in each age may often be a higher psychogenic mode than those considered ‘normal,’ only they must stand the anxiety of not sharing the group-fantasies of the age.2

Away From Hubris: Nature Balances HerSelf

In this part on healing crisis, we have seen how perinatal acting out can be of two kinds: totally unconscious and trance-like, or semi-conscious with at least some access. We have looked at how a progression to more access to one’s perinatal underbellies has led to more acting in than acting out. We have seen how it has led to less violence and more depression.

Suffering Beats Dying

At this point, one could make the point that the tradeoff is worth it: That individuals suffering more emotional pain and trauma is preferable to the horrors of world war and nuclear or genocidal holocaust. Put bluntly, suffering beats dying.

But we are still looking at the situation from the microcosmic scale. We are talking and acting here like we are the only ones on Earth that matter.

This is natural of course, in that this is always the way we have thought of things — that is to say, as if all things were to be considered around the concerns of humans. This is called anthropocentrism — a form of species-centrism — in which Homo sapiens is considered the reason for the existence of the rest of the Universe.

With the Universe as awesomely and unimaginably large as it is, one might wonder at our hubris in our considering things in only this way — that is, from our perspective.

Likewise, with a mind-boggling number of species living or having lived on this planet alone — species numbering in the millions — again one might question the validity of choosing the perspective of our species alone in making our analyses.

How ‘Bout We Step Outside?

Yet this is the way we have always done it. And this is the way I have been slanting my perspective so far in this book.

But now let us do something radically different. Let us walk out of ourselves — figuratively speaking — and seek to stand upon that Archimedean point from which we might view the events currently transpiring.

From such an attempted non-species-centric viewpoint let us view this emerging prenatal and perinatal unconscious, with its wounded deer and centaurs, as it is currently manifesting in humans. However tenuous our attempt, let us at least try such a new-paradigm viewpoint. For certainly all old-paradigm ones — containing all the hubris of anthropocentrism that they do — have failed in their attempts to save our species and indeed have contributed to such a likelihood.

Let us attempt to see through the eyes of Gaia, now — from the viewpoint of Earth itself — as we look at how the current human predicament may in fact be an example of Nature balancing HerSelf. With both perspectives in mind, we can have a complete picture. We will return then to look at where there is cause for hope, what we are doing wrong as well as where there are positive trends and forces at work, and how we might let go of the self-defeating and instead apply ourselves to fostering the forces of good going on in global consciousness and the globe itself.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 24

Eden Arise:

A Message to All Wounded Deer and Centaurs … Aided by Gaia We Rediscover Our Natural Self

 

 

 

Through Gaia’s Eyes, Nature Balances HerSelf

The Heart of the Problem … How Far Astray

In doing the research for this book, I began to speculate on just how many people there are on the planet. Clearly the basic problem was there were too damn many of us here! I began to consider how far we have gone astray from any meaningful or sustainable path for our species on this planet. I reflected on how the effects of the changes we have made — for example, the reduction of oxygen in the atmosphere that goes with the increase of carbon dioxide, known commonly as the greenhouse effect — how it has been discovered that these effects keep people close to their unconscious pain, closer to their unconscious in general.

It is as if we as part of Nature are also regulated by Nature, that the very effects of our overpopulation and our straying from a cooperative ecological niche for our species result in consequences that are inevitably going to bring us back into lineone way or the other!

Going Inward

Knowing as I do that environmental pollution and lowered oxygen levels promote diseases, general illnesses, hay fevers, epidemics of allergies, and a general weakening of our immune system — all of which, since the Reagan Eighties, we are seeing in abundance — I realized that people are more and more being forced to go inward because they are less and less able to go outward in a healthy manner.

Chastened by the Environment We’ve Created, Gaia’s Cure

Another factor in this is that the deteriorating quality of air and the increasing levels of toxins that we ingest are also attacks on ego defenses, which has important yet previously unexplored implications.

As I said previously, both Stanislav Grof and Arthur Janov — and others as well, I am told — at one time used carbon dioxide to take people into a nonordinary state of consciousness where people would be more open to their repressed traumas, to their unconscious mind. They did this to help these people heal these traumas.

They found that slight increases in carbon dioxide inhalation invariably brought up primal pain and birth-trauma feelings — that is, repressed painful feelings from our experiences of birth and infancy that our ego defenses normally keep “safely” tucked away in our subconscious.

Consider for a moment what that means for those trapped in the pollution-ridden cities! Though keep in mind that increased carbon dioxide is an atmospheric problem that affects everyone on this globe. I recall a TV report when I lived in Denver, Colorado, in 1978. At the time, Denver’s air was rated as being the second worst in the country, behind Los Angeles, partly because the high altitude made for thinner air and thus higher percentages of toxins relative to normal air. Anyway, the TV report proclaimed how the number of hospital admissions for spouse abuse, child abuse, alcoholism, and related violence would soar on days when the air pollution index was high.

Air Pollution as a Psychedelic

Apparently, the reduction of oxygen in these situations acts similarly to a reduction of blood sugar or glucose to the brain, which results in an inhibition of the ego’s defensive ability to keep out unwanted information. Coincidentally, research has shown that this same kind of reduction of glucose to the brain is instrumental in producing the effects of certain psychedelics, including mescaline and marijuana.

But this reduction in defenses is not experienced or understandable only by those who have experimented with psychedelics. In fact, in at least minor ways we have all experienced it.

The workings here are similar to those in the common experience of being more cranky; irritable; irrationally emotional; more prone to depression, anger, and tears; more excitable; and in general, closer to one’s “shit,” when one is tired, overworked, or just gotten up from a sound sleep. In these situations as well the brain is inhibited — here because of fatigue — from being able to effectively fend off unwanted information, impulses, and emotions.

The evidence concerning heavy metal toxicity indicates that it, also, can have a similar effect at times on one’s mental and emotional state.

Global Cabin Fever

Also, there is the experience of “cabin fever,” which many people are familiar with. We like to think that simply the fact of being cooped up for a long period of time psychologically leads to wanting to break out and be free, to be irrational and highly prone to emotional outbreaks, and in the extreme to result in delusions and hallucinations. But obviously this is not the case or else these symptoms would be rampant in other situations where one is contained for a long period of time, and they are not. It turns out that there are biochemical reasons — not simply the fact of being cooped up — which account for cabin fever symptoms.

Consider that cabin fever describes a situation, most often, in which one lives in an environment that is insulated against cold winter weather — thus keeping out fresh air. And in which, very often, oxygen is further depleted by the burning of oxygen-consuming wood fires in fireplaces or woodstoves, or oxygen-consuming coal fires … whatever. With this in mind one can easily understand that that environment is going to be increasingly deficient in its oxygen level as time goes on. Add what we now know about lowered oxygen levels leading to lowered defenses and eruption of unconscious content, and we can see how such environments can lead to the symptoms that, combined, we call cabin fever.

When you consider that on a smaller scale, with the greenhouse effect, we are globally setting up the same conditions as that of cabin fever, we can see why there would be an emerging prenatal and perinatal unconscious occurring.

With the entire world suffering a low-level cabin fever, it becomes even more understandable why there is the current fascination with escaping the Earth and setting up colonies on other planets and in other solar systems. This idea we see in science fiction scenarios of all kinds — consider the popularity of the Star Trek programs and movies. But I have also heard it coming out of the mouths of NASA spokespersons.

At NASA, they have considered building colonies on Mars! A multibillion dollar project — talk about high-cost housing! But this fascination and irrationality is understandable when you think of it as a symptom of a global cabin fever. Apparently, we not only wish to break out and be free in traffic jams, we have magnified it to wanting to break free of our planet itself — as if Gaia, Mother Earth, were some confining, stifling Mother-womb that we needed to bust out of or die!

Of course, the other symptoms of cabin fever — being highly emotional, irrational, delusional, and prone to hallucinations — we have already discussed as being part of the furniture of our current global reality, so we need not go into them here.

Back to the Drawing Board for Our Species

But the consequences of all these factors taken together are inescapable: As we edge our way, in a myriad of ways, toward global destruction, we increasingly “sicken” ourselves both physically and emotionally, mentally in the process. And this “sickening” is one of an eruption of unconscious material that causes us to psychologically “return to the drawing board” and seek solutions — both inner and outer — to our misery.

Moratorium and Death as an Ally

Specifically, I am saying that inhibited brain functioning — whether through oxygen depletion, heavy metal toxicity, or other environmental anomalies — has the effect of heightened “mind” functioning … in the sense, at least, of lowered ego and defensive functioning. Thus, in the same way that psychedelic substances can open us to repressed perspectives by inhibiting “brain” activity, these environmental changes can be helpful in the sense of opening us up to suppressed individual … and global/universal … truth.

Therefore, this “sickening,” this seeming decline or going down, can really be an “up” — in other words, it can be viewed as part of a necessary “negative” retreat for the purpose of bringing in new information and re-evaluation. And we may then create anew our more harmonious ecological role based upon this more accurate information.

Now, I am not espousing environmental poisoning as a technique of higher consciousness. But I am saying that apparently Nature … and we are part of Her … has ways of balancing HerSelf.

Death as an Ally

In this respect I might note that our co-habitation with the bomb and with environmental destruction is a spur to our growth of consciousness in a way akin to the traditional spiritual paths that speak of the catalyzing power of “having death as an ally.” That is, that the realization of the imminent possibility of death, which is in truth our existential condition, has been known to act as a spur to taking life seriously, and spiritually, and to “waking up” in general.

“Pay Attention!”

The power of this spiritual attitude can be imagined by considering how one would live one’s life if one constantly asked oneself: “If I knew I was going to die tomorrow … or in an hour, or next minute, et cetera ... how would I live this day … hour, minute … before me?”

Indeed, a lot of the transformative power of near-death experiences is known to come from their ability to jog one into awakening to the fact of one’s mortality — the precariousness of one’s biological existence. In this light, we might view environmental damage on a global scale, then, as analogous to the bonk on the head from the stick of a Zen meditation teacher, telling us to “pay attention!”

The upshot of all this is that with this degradation of the external environment we are forced to go inward, to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, whether we want to or not. Illness in general and lowered oxygen levels in particular lead to a rising up of people’s repressed emotional pain, and they force us to confront the roots of our motivations and patterns of cultural engagement as well as our social and relational styles.

Moratorium

This “turning inward” is the essential meaning of the peace symbol, when you think of it. The upside-down cross pointing downward in a circle has rightly been used to symbolize moratorium — in other words, a period of halting of action in the world because nothing worthwhile can result from the ways we are currently doing things, and a turning away from the external world and looking inside to reevaluate. It is as if Nature, completely unbeknownst to us, balances us, pushes us down to our deepest programming and back to our earliest “grids,” individual by individual, and that this forces us to reassess our lives and causes us to create more meaningful lifestyles, more synergistic patterns.

So in a sense Nature’s reaction to our misconduct is to cause us — by means of the psychological effects induced by the biochemical alterations that are the result of environmental changes — to create new social and cultural forms. We cannot help but do this. And collectively, cumulatively, it cannot help but result in massive cultural changes of one form or another.

Eden Arise — The More Natural Self

Many have proclaimed, in these strange days, that it is our Western estrangement from Mother Nature — our particular need to control — that is at the core of the threats to the end of life on this planet. In such a case, one needs to regain harmony with Nature and acquire a consciousness of cooperation, not control.

It Is Cooperative Not Controlling

As Grof has claimed — and my personal experience attests — such a cooperative human nature is indeed our most fundamental human nature. In contrast to the “me versus them,” aggressive, and competitive imprint that is derived from our traumatic and premature human births, this more fundamental human nature is the result of a more fundamental imprint of symbiosis with the Other, as was the case in the womb surround during the relatively blissful prenatal period. The relation of the fetus to the mother at that time is one of cooperation, all needs met, flow in < —— > flow out, and synergy of intents.

And when, as an adult, we reconnect with this more fundamental human nature, this more fundamental imprint, it manifests in us as a tendency toward that same kind of reciprocal relationship — cooperative, synergistic, and mutually beneficial. Only, as an adult, the Other with which this reciprocal relationship is had is society and Nature. For these bear the same characteristics and relation to the adult as the womb did to the fetus.

Our More Fundamental Human Nature — Back to Eden

Furthermore, as Grof and I and many others have discovered, such a more positive human nature occurs naturally in a person when they have faced, re-experienced, and integrated their perinatal unconscious … as opposed to what is usually done, which is, completely denying it, projecting it on a scapegoat or enemy and engaging in wars and social violence.

So it is the recovery of this sort of more fundamental human nature — one in which we are in cooperative and mutually beneficial relationship with Nature, all life on this planet, and other humans — that would remove us from the brink of extinction. 

Looking Through Gaia’s Eyes

When you think of it, when you consider that all of Nature — the whole planet, Gaia — is threatened by the actions of our species, and that that Nature would want to avoid this by balancing the elements that are currently skewed, it may be just the kind of global situation we see now around us that Nature would need to create in order to save “HerSelf.” It’s simple: We either change or die. Hey, why the long face!? If Gaia doesn’t look out for HerSelf, who will? 

Yet, do not forget that this deeper human nature is inseparable from the joy grids I have been unveiling. Need I mention that this action by Gaia, ideally, makes us all happier?  

Acting Out

Granted, some people are not dealing in a healthy or positive way with the material that is arising. Instead of re-doing their basic programming, these people “act out.” Thus we have increased crime, aggression, hostility, one person against another.

And this fact is glaringly apparent in our big cities, where many who are not integrating this emerging information from outside their ego boundaries — from the unconscious — sadly are instead venting the energy of their Pain — which our degenerating environment is opening up to them or giving them access to — in violent, destructive, wasteful, self-destructive, and pathetic ways.

One can also look to the grasping at racism, nationalism, and fundamentalism, which are not primarily urban phenomena by any means. These conduits of hatefulness are also a response that people are using to the feelings of pain, uncertainty, insecurity, and doubt that rise up, especially initially, in conjunction with these emerging truths.

Similarly, a great majority of people in general in our society are using drugs of one form or other to gloss over and obscure this emerging material rather than facing and integrating it. All in all these kinds of responses add up to a tragedy. And it is something that, if these reactions end up prevailing, could actually do every one of us in.

Helping Out

But about these others, what can we do — those of us who are changing our programming and creating new cultural patterns? It may be practical and advisable much of the time to just get out of their way if the ones acting out choose to kill each other off.

But we are often not able to “get out of the way” of those who are trapped in negativity. In addition, since we are all interconnected, we are bound to at least be indirectly affected by their actions.

And most importantly, since we are One and these others are actually ourselves in different garb, to the extent we are able to show compassion and be of assistance, we should not always want to step aside.

Beyond this, it is incumbent on those of us who are able to do what we can to aid these others. In Chapters 29 through 31, concerning hopeful and helpful things, catalysts and resources, we look at the ways those of us who can might want to apply ourselves to helping in general and the ways we might put ourselves in positions to affect those others of us who need help. In those chapters, we will begin to look at possible solutions to our problems which have not yet been considered. 

In general, we are all helped by becoming more aware of our problems and by doing what we can to raise consciousness in others, by whatever mean of protest, of confrontation with powers-that-be, or of communication and education. There are also specific things that can be done to catalyze changes in the larger community and world. We will look at them in upcoming chapters, and they will be more directly focused on in Books Ten and Eleven of the Return to Grace Series.

“Eve of Destruction” or Scenery of Healing?

Getting back to this chapter concerning what Gaia HerSelf is doing to prod us along and to put this chapter’s theme another way: If we were to concoct a world situation in which we would be forced to take a quantum step in consciousness evolution by healing the nefarious elements of our perinatal unconscious, would not that world situation look something like what we see around us today? Would it not be a world rife with obvious prenatal and perinatal elements … and influences … with some people resolving and thus being healed of them? While others would act them out and self-destruct because of them … not to mention contributing to our collective global self-destruction, as mentioned earlier?

In other words, the situation today, as it looks, could as easily be seen as a prologue to an apocalypse and just as easily be seen as a healing crisis preceding a massive consciousness transformation. Put another way, this same situation can be seen by one person as the “eve of destruction” and another as the “scenery of healing on the pathway to peace.” So which will it be?

A Call to Centaurs

Obviously it is too soon to tell. But all things considered — an emerging prenatal and perinatal unconscious, the wounded deer and return of the centaurs, a consciousness transformation in generations, and Gaia aiding us by keeping us unable to look away from our problems — there is reason to hope.

Most important, this book shows that some of the things we have thought were problems and indicative of a disintegration of culture and personality are just the opposite: There is a healing crisis going on, and people are becoming weller, not sicker. If nothing else my hope is that those wounded deer and centaurs reading this will realize they need no longer despair about the suffering inherent in who they are and their lots in life. Certainly, you are different, but this does not make you less than others. Indeed, you are part of the change happening. You are the ones you have been waiting for. Your inner turmoil is not a sign of imminent collapse and is not dangerous. It is more likely leading to a break through, not a break down.

As Hesse expressed long ago, a bird in being born out of its shell needs to destroy a world before one can be born. We also are being born; we are part of the world’s renewal, the Earth’s rebirth. So above all, do not lose heart. Instead embrace your role in this transformation. We do not know whether we will succeed or not. But we do know that we are in tune with and participating in the most incredible transformation this planet has ever seen. We have the opportunity to be lifted up in the most righteous and magnificent of causes.

And in so doing we can step out of our individual sufferings by dedicating ourselves to an effort on behalf of all others. In so doing we can cease the endless pain and woundedness of the melancholy deer. We can, like Chiron, embrace our wound and transcend it by seeking the healing of all. We can ultimately lay our suffering down in sacrifice to save our Promethean world. It cannot do it. It is doomed without us. It is up to us. We are the centaurs, my friends.

 

 

 

PART FOUR

The Necessary Hero

 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 25

Activist Imperative of Prenatal/Perinatal Understanding:

How Crazy Is Insanity … How Deadly is Dead

 

 

 

Humanicide and Omni-Extinction … and a Sane Response:  What I Found Out

At this point in the book, let us summarize some of what I have said so far and begin to look at what can be done about all this.

Our Situation Is Dire

What did I find out, especially as it pertains to this book? I found out that we are in a unique time in history … a time unlike any other in the multibillion year history of this planet. And we are of a unique species where we are capable of ending all life on this planet very soon. And we are likely to do that. 

I found out that this situation is especially dire because we have not merely crazy people in charge and insane societies, as Fromm (1955) long ago pointed out and more recently deMause (1982, 2002) has been reminding us. We find that the starting point for doing anything about our precipitous plunge into oblivion is essentially a psychotic culture. We need to get there, from here. And here is a place where the overwhelming proportion of people are looking away from a threat that will shorten their lives, kill off their children before their time, and most likely end all life on this planet in their lifetimes. 

We Are Insane

Still, you balk at the word psychotic in describing current cultures and societies? First, remember that the definition of psychotic is not what comes to people’s mind … someone in a straitjacket pounding one’s head against a wall … a street person collapsed, unconscious, drooling, sitting up against a wall on a city street. No. the definition of psychotic is someone in their own world, one that is divorced from reality. Quoting now, psychosis is “a severe mental disorder in which thought and emotions are so impaired that contact is lost with external reality.” Psychotic societies and peoples would be groups who are divorced from reality, collectively. 

Now, would you refrain from using that word to describe a culture and people who could murder millions upon millions of Jews and others of nationalities or physical makeup dissimilar to themselves? I doubt you would have a problem labeling psychotic a Nazi society who went about systematic murder on such a grand scale. Now, you tell me how it is not psychotic — that is to say, completely dissociated from reality — to continue along with normal life with a holocaust of much greater magnitude approaching rapidly? 

Just Call Me Neo. Lol.

The only reason people do not recognize themselves as psychotic is that they cannot see themselves from a point outside of their disease; they are immersed in it and confuse it with reality. Think, The Matrix, for example. One has to be outside it to see it. I dare say that it is only because I have gone through a lengthy process of primal therapy, of being unplugged from the “matrix,” as it were, that I am able to see it. This is what I mean when I say that in the process of becoming saner and saner about ourselves in primal therapy, we eventually became saner about society and reality in general. Exotically speaking, we saw reality from outside the Matrix.

It Will Be Difficult

At any rate, in that we do live in psychotic societies, to address this problem of omni-extinction is necessarily going to be difficult. It is harder than it would otherwise be, because we cannot help but feel ourselves to be alienated from the larger society and culture when we go about doing exactly that which is in that larger society’s and culture’s interest and which they should be doing, or at least supporting us in doing. We cannot help but even question ourselves, our motives, even our sanity in this situation where to be sane means to have to split off so much from our social context — a context decidedly insane.

What is the definition of insanity, after all? Well, as Einstein saw it, insanity is continuing to do the same thing, which has failed, expecting different results. What else is it but insane to go about, in Icarus style, proceeding with the construction of nuclear plants, Chernobyl and Fukushima in our rear-view mirror; going along with the use of fossil fuels, unprecedented weather patterns and Hurricane Katrina just behind us; not addressing the plight of millions of species of planetmates going extinct at a rate one-thousand to ten-thousand times normal, in awareness that our survival depends on them; ignoring the collapse of an ecosystem in full swing, one in which we are immersed and upon which we are  fully dependent; and simply not changing our normal lives, even as we know that unless we do, it will have mortal consequences for ourselves and all life we know, including our loved ones? 

Just How Crazy Is Insanity?

Not insane enough? How about the fact that to top off all that ignore-ance we pat ourselves on the back, even deem ourselves especially “strong” in our “ego strength,” in being able to keep the awareness of the danger threatening our lives out of our minds … congratulating ourselves that we are “compartmentalizing” it? Does it, let us say, make any sense to continue working in one’s office in one’s house, while one’s house is on fire … saying we are “strong” and “healthy” for being able to do that?

No. Of course not.

So we have to save ourselves and the life around us, but in doing so we are going to come up against the insanity of our cultures and societies. We are going to be in conflict with them, and we are going to be stymied and set upon by our social environments, even as we attempt to address the fate of our physical environment — one in which they, as well, are immersed and upon which they are dependent.

How It Is I Was Able to Find It Out

Let me tell you that my unique understanding of our danger is rooted in the therapies and the prenatal and perinatal understandings I have been delineating in this book. 

After Physician Healing Herself….

For, as I said, early in my life I, like many of my generation, saw the problems and realized we had to go inward, first, before we could address them. We had to fix ourselves, first. I and the others of my cohorts who went into primal therapy got saner and saner in the process of it. We were able to “fix” ourselves. But something else happened.

As I just said, those of us who became saner and saner through this process of facing the truth about ourselves also became clearer and clearer in realizing the truth about the world, which is the knowing that everybody else is denying. Emboldened through facing ourselves, you might say, we were enabled to face as well other hard truths about realities outside ourselves. Just as in therapy people uncover the things about themselves that they have been hiding from themselves, so also, after a bit, we were able to encounter and face the truths that the world is hiding from itself. 

Just How Deadly is Dead?

The most important of those truths is that we are rapidly going extinct … we are rapidly ending life on this planet. Within anywhere between fifteen to thirty-five years half of the species now existing are going to be extinct.

There are estimated to be nine million species, excluding bacteria, on Earth. Another estimate has it at five hundred million; I assume that would have to include all kinds of things that are considered living, including species of bacteria. But still, nine million, at least. And consider that roughly half of them, or four and a half million of them, are supposed to be gone, to be extinct within mere decades … and likely within our very lifetimes. 

As for the exactness of those figures … the actual amount of extinction and the time frame … well, they are hardly relevant, though many reading this would want to take up that train of thought to avoid knowing this hard reality. Why?  You see, the actual figures are not relevant, as there is no need to quibble about how many species when any amount of extinction in any way in the same universe of these figures would be equally dire. 

For we are part of a fragile ecosystem. Do we really think we are going to be alive at that point, after anywhere near that level of extinction? Do we think that losing a good proportion of the species on this planet — many of which have been here for hundreds of thousands, even millions, of years — within a few short decades, within our lifetime, is not going to have consequences for our own lives? And what will be the extinction rate afterward? Do we think such a dying off of life on this planet would not accelerate thereupon, as the very ecosystem of this planet implodes with ever more consequences and increasingly less support for the life and species remaining? 

Quibble if it makes you feel better to do so, but realize also that the extinction scenario is a barometer of an even larger problem. Rather, problems. For the extinction rate is just one of the many things that are going on that are signs of omni-extinction and ecosystem collapse. You just have to think of the many new things we are putting into our environment that have never existed before and that will not go away or decompose, some of them, for hundreds or thousands of years. Plastics are only one example. All kinds of new, man-made, chemicals, with long-term effects unknown or deadly, we are pouring into our environment with about the level of concern of a drunken canine. It is no coincidence that currently we are inundated with zombie images and movies. A part of us knows how unconscious are the great majority of humans at this time.

Furthermore, we are still dangling on a thread, facing a nuclear apocalypse at any time. With the crazy people who are running the governments of the world, anything can happen. Additionally, we have Fukushima — an extinction level event — at this very moment radiating the planet and poisoning us to death. We have managed to construct numerous avenues to apocalypse. Global warming; nuclear radiation and war; uncontrollable outbreaks of new diseases now resistant to our antibiotics; continued loss of the ozone layer, making our very sunshine an increasing threat; dying off of the phytoplankton in the oceans, our oxygen source, leading to suffocation and death of all oxygen breathing species; ongoing deforestation augmenting that oxygen loss and suffocation; release of massive amounts of methane from melting polar ice caps, added to the already number one cause of global warming, the methane released because of animal husbandry — that is to say, “meat farming” — causing our weather and ocean levels to spiral increasingly out of control; and on and on.

The Activist Imperative

The point I am making is that, where I come from, not only have I been, in that aspect of it, facing the truth about, and trying to alert others to facing things we need to face, but I have also been an activist. I have been involved in the environmental movement for many decades. I was involved in the anti-nuclear campaign back in the Eighties.

Whoops!!

Back then, I was on the staff of Oregon Fair Share and was canvassing door-to-door on the anti-nuke issue. At that time, the nuclear power plants that were being built, in Washington State, were the WPPSS plants (Washington Public Power Supply System). They were facetiously called “whoops” plants, because they were way, way, way over-budget, over-cost, and they were going to end up costing the people in the Northwest part of the country roughly twelve-thousand dollars per household, over time, of course, through increases in their utility bills.1 And that price tag was just to mothball the plants, that is, to put the construction done on them at that point under wraps for a time when the construction might be able to be completed. Keep in mind, this cost to the residents of the Northwest would not get them any power for their money. We would be paying to cover the costs of the bad decisions made by those investors and municipal and regional officials who had decided on building them.

Well, we created an uprising in the early Eighties, in Springfield and Eugene as well as around the state, that resulted in the city of Springfield, in 1983, refusing to shoulder those costs and taking the loss in their bond rating that resulted. Specifically, our community activism precipitated a lawsuit, which, winning, caused the city of Springfield to default on the bonds issued to fund the plants. The lawsuit hinged on a piece of information dug up by the research arm of Oregon Fair Share: The City Charter of Springfield stipulated that its citizens could not be indebted above a particular specified amount without a vote of the people. The cost overruns at the WPPSS plants were such an exorbitant indebtedness, way above what the City Charter allowed. Since there had been no vote in Springfield, default on the bonds was the only legal course. Once Springfield defaulted, many other municipalities in the Northwest United States followed suit. The investors had to swallow the consequences of their bad investment.

Bailouts Do Not Foster Wise Decision-Making in Future Investments

If you do not see the magnitude of that, consider an analogy from more recent history. What if, rather than bailing out the banks, in 2008, from their bad investments that caused the Great Recession, which began at that time, the people of the United States had not ponied up their trillion dollars plus and instead made the investors suffer their loss? Remember, when the United States bailed out the banks, it was with taxpayer money. So we all suffered, and paid, for the bad investments of those financial “wizards.” Indeed, this refusal to capitulate to financial blackmail is along the lines of what Icelanders did about that same situation in their country, with phenomenally good results for their economy coming forth from it. What I am saying is, rather than continuing to be under the threat of further financial boondoggles in future times, emanating from a moneyed elite convinced they can risk others’ money without consequences, might we not be in a better situation now if the United States had done something like what Springfield did decades earlier?

But more than that, would not an action by the United States in 2008, similar to Springfield’s, have sent a clear message to the moneyed elite that if they did not make better decisions in this regard in the future, the people of the United States were not just going to roll over when told to? That investors would have to be wiser in their decisions? For then they would be risking all of their investment?

Well, that is what happened with nuclear plant investment after Springfield. Since it was clear as day to fat cats that entire communities were willing to lose their bond rating rather than submit to such robbery by the 1%, they stopped pursuing it. 

 Essentially that is what happened with nuclear plant construction from the Eighties on. With the investors being made to absorb the consequences of their misjudgment of investing in nuclear energy, no more applications to build nuclear power plants were submitted after that. Our actions in Oregon resulted in bringing down nuclear power plant construction in the United States. No more applications were filed, because power producers realized nuclear energy was not going to be cost effective. We stopped nuclear power in the United States. 

The point for my purposes here is, however, that we were against nuclear energy — a dire threat to our environment — and we did something about it. Many of those involved, including myself, were not so much concerned about it costing too much but rather because it is just one more nail in the coffin of our extinction. I mean, we can see that with what happened with the Fukushima plants. We were predicting such an event as happened at Fukushima, an earthquake creating a nuclear catastrophe, back then, in the Eighties. 

The point also is that we were successful in changing our future only by taking action on the issue. In Oregon, we changed things. In Iceland things changed. But after the Great Recession bailout, we are in the same situation in the United States in being threatened by future financial mismanagement, because the Bush Administration at that time kowtowed to corporate and elite interests.

Activist Imperative of Prenatal/Perinatal Understanding

You see, I have been involved in therapy and have been a therapist, facilitator, and teacher; I am involved in psychology, spirituality, and higher consciousness and have been an academic and researcher; but I am also an activist.

If you have been asking yourself, is this book an activist book? Or is it a book on theoretical psychology? Here is where I am trying to clarify that for you. For this book needs to be both. One cannot be at all effective as an activist if one does not truly address the problems at their actual roots or at least consider and include those understandings in one’s approach. On the other hand, one should not care about just knowing anything if one does not include in that to apply it to bettering the condition or situation of others in this world. 

Don’t Be a “Brain-Sucker”

Having knowledge without putting it into use or action leaves one depressed, overwhelmed, and dull. In fact, knowing without action is lazy, selfish, and is a form of intellectual self-abuse. I know, for I found many of these pseudo-intellectual sorts during my evenings “on the turf” when I was doing my anti-nuke canvassing. We used to call them “brain suckers,” for they would want more and more and more information … and they would argue about all of it … and they would say they have to look over the materials before doing anything, regardless how small. But rarely did they take any action. The actual number of those who did was roughly one in one hundred. So these brain-suckers merely got in the way of those of us who were trying to help and wasted our time. 

No doubt they never heard, or took to heart, what we used to say, “Either lead, follow, or get out of the way.” Nor either had they considered what we also used to say (and I hope some folks still do), “You are either part of the solution. Or you are part of the problem.” Both of those things are as true as they ever were, and yet there are many folks who would benefit from learning them, but they refuse to.

So, no, this book is not for them; it is not for the “brain suckers.” Indeed, this book is dedicated to folks who are not like them (see Dedication).

Thus, this is an activist book that presents a major theory in psychology … one needed for activism to truly be effective. 

Also, it is a book in theoretical psychology, which has an activist slant. For one should not merely know this, without putting it to use in one’s life. In truth, I doubt that anyone reading this could learn these things without wishing to put them to use. For they are too compelling and provocative; they provide the necessary urgency and the required hope for success. 

The point is that when one is really looking at oneself, one also encounters the truths about us all. And that is another reason that this book is, and needs to be, as it is.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 26

Crisis and Opportunity:

The Better Angels of Our Nature Are Being Summoned

 

 

 

Angels and “Demons”

Our Situation Is Dire, Yet It Presents an Opportunity

We are going over a cliff, yes. But I am all about making it the greatest adventure of all, making it the grandest thing, making it the most momentous raising of consciousness imaginable. We are all in this together for the first time ever, because all of our lives are at stake. Our children’s lives are at stake. There has never been a better time to raise ourselves to be the better angels of our nature. Indeed, this book shows just where those better angels of our nature lie within us!

No, there is no time like this. You think about all the other things that we are involved in … the petty disputes between countries and the economic this-and-thats. All of that pales in comparison with the end of all life, the dying of our children, within our lifetimes. 

The Better Angels of Our Nature

I mean, there will be the dying of ourselves, and many folks will adopt a macho air that they are above caring about their own mortality. Still, I suppose we can venture to say that most folks can go a little bit beyond themselves and care about their children and their family’s lives, at least. But even though their children are going to die and they are going to have to witness that, it remains to be the rare parent who is at all concerned or addressing this problem of our impending omni-extinction.

We can ask ourselves, instead, wishing to right that wrong, what can this fact that we are facing the demise of all on this planet … what can that bring out in the human spirit? How can we make this the grandest adventure, even if we are heading into an abyss of oblivion?

Regardless of what happened in decades past, and the success we had there, what I find, in 2016, is I find us in dire straits. My main thing is I want to see some kind of activist response. I have not given up hope. I know that it looks bad, impossible, actually. If you “crunch the numbers” we do not have much chance to reverse our course. Still, I think there is a grand opportunity in all this to do something important. I think the best response to an emergency is an heroic action, especially when other people’s lives are on the line. You know we have loved ones. It is not just our own demise we are talking about; we are facing the snuffing out of life of the innocents, that of the babes in arms, the children. 

You know, do we really want to just give up the world and let them suffer? To suffer an untimely death? Or just not to get to live out the lifespan that we enjoyed? 

I don’t think we do. I cannot imagine any parent not wanting to put their own life on the line to save their child. To throw their body in front of a moving car, if need be. And we are in that kind of a situation right now where things are so bad. Apocalypse is approaching like a freight train. And I do not see why, if people were to understand how serious it is, they would not do everything in their power to avert it. I mean they would expend themselves, not to get that extra dollar or that promotion or whatever, but to save the planet. To put some energy into consciousness raising. To do whatever their skills would allow them to do that would be helpful.

Oh, But Those Troglodytes

We, indeed, are in such dire straits; this goes far beyond the danger of the last world war. At that time entire societies and nations were enlisted in a war effort, and all of our nation’s productivity was targeted at winning the conflict. The threat at that time could not be more real, and dire. For millions died. Millions were killed. 

But that is nothing compared to the end of all life on this planet we are facing now. Yet, though more is required than at that time, are we marshaling anywhere near the kind of response it would take to even have a chance? 

No. Instead, what we are allowing in our ordinary lives is actually helping to bring about the unthinkable. We need to change our lifestyles, our cultures; we need to be active and confront the forces of annihilation and corporate greed; we need to raise consciousness, to bring awareness to our apocalypse emergency, on a massive scale; we need to enlist the media and to become the media to spread the word of what we are facing; yet we are doing only a smattering of what is necessary.

Meanwhile, from many sources, radiation is filling the globe. Not just from Fukushima, which alone would suffice. We have had nuclear storage leaks. Hanford comes to mind. But there have been others. There is the fact that nuclear power plants leak radiation under the best of conditions. We allow it. 

And Their Misinformation

Part of our problem in doing something, of course, is due to the misinformation being put out by corporate interests and the wealthy elite, blinded by their greed and invested in the status quo, who are putting their money and their efforts toward encouraging complacency and denial in the face of our threats. Some true troglodytes, somehow managing to get on stage in the national media and/or to run for and even attain public office, have it that radiation is good for you. They do not know about the difference between alpha radiation put out by plutonium which can puncture cells and alter DNA, for example, and other forms of radiation. Such alpha particles blow holes in cells and chromosomes, causing cancers and mutations. Yet these opportunists and blindly self-obsessed ones confuse alpha particle radiation with the little they know about gamma radiation, as put out by the sun, which passes through you without being able to disrupt cells. Though even too much of that is not a good thing and causes cancer. 

So there is the problem of nuclear waste and its storage. Nuclear waste has plutonium emanating alpha radiation. There is currently one hundred million gallons of nuclear waste in the United States alone. Over a million gallons were released from the Hanford, Washington, storage facility in just one accident, though there were others. A mere one gallon of that, evenly distributed and ingested, would kill all humans on earth.

Just How Long Can You Not Step In It?

What are we doing? For 25,000 years some of this radiation — as from plutonium, but there are others of even longer half-life — has to be guarded. This is just the nuclear waste, mind you. We are not even factoring in radiation losses from leaks, disasters, or nuclear weapon exchange. Furthermore, for 250,000 years nuclear waste is still deadly. Think, now, we have vastly different cultures and societies forming and morphing by the decade. Certainly we are nothing like what we were like 25,000 years ago. How can we expect societies of the future to maintain what we set into motion here and now? Can we even be sure they will know about us? Or remember us and the concerns of our moment?

Just what are we screwing with here? How dare we doom life, 25,000 years into the future? And do we really think there is going to be any future for anyone on this planet when we are doing that? When we are putting our planet in that kind of a situation? I mean it is not just humans that die from radiation, it is all life. There are only a few micro-organisms that can live around radiation. 

Yet, this is the story no one wants to hear. No one wants to know this. Many would rather get reassurances from insensitive right-wing politicians and troglodyte pundits.

Crisis and Opportunity

Despite all this, in telling this story, I like to point out the positive side of it. For whenever there is a crisis there is also an opportunity. 

And in this situation, we have the chance to be the best humans that have ever existed. 

Always Are We Here Helping

I had an experience back in 1980 where I received some information “psychically” … let’s put it that way … where I was shown what we have done to this planet over the course of thousands of years. I was shown it. Then I was told that many are being called upon now to do something about our situation. I will be specific about this experience in a chapter to come, Chapter 28.

At the time, and before the experience, I was feeling a lot of despair. Like, what do we do? I know a lot of people who are coming across this material now are going to feel considerable hopelessness. They are going to think it is impossible. This cannot help but bring up in us our BPM II pain of hellacious no-exit frustration, fear, doom. In truth, that is the way I was feeling at the time. Yet what I was told in that singular and profound experience was “Sure, it’s hard, but always are we here helping you.”

It was as if I was told that humans are not alone in this whole thing. Keep in mind, we can only see the entities around us. We are genetically programmed as humans to perceive only within a certain spectrum of human apprehension … perception. Only that. You know we simply cannot know of all of the life that exists in the Universe. Quantum physicists tell us there are many other dimensions, for example. All I know is I was told by this source, or sources, that we are not alone. 

It is even possible that what we are doing in this part of space and in this dimension, having to do with nuclear and with climate change, if not other things we are doing, might have repercussions on life and entities that we cannot know or perceive. They might have a vested interest in having us succeed at turning this around. It is also possible that there are supernatural helping forces at work here. I do not know. But what we are doing has such wide ranging consequences in areas, dimensions, and times that we cannot comprehend or even know about, so that anything like that is possible.

There Are Many of Us

Not only was I told we are and will be receiving help, but it was made clear to me that that I was not alone in my concern … or in terms of my action to do something about it. I was told there are many of us humans right now taking up this challenge, making use of this opportunity to be the best that they can be.

That is the other thing about this. We simply do not know how many people there are like us out in the world who want to make a change. We do not know that because it is not like the media is going around saying, “Hey, we’ve got a big problem. And here’s the people who are working on it.”

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised

The media is completely ignoring our situation for reasons having nothing to do with our survival … but theirs, as ongoing profit producing entities and corporations without conscience. So we will never know until the end … or until it is over, let’s put it that way, how many people are working right now to change things on this planet.

We will never know. It’s like it is going on under the surface, and at a certain point could very well act like the “leaven in the dough,” for it can affect everything. Our individual efforts might be cumulative in ways we cannot know or imagine. The results of our actions to change might then reach a certain tipping point, where everything changes. It could happen in an instant.

Some of my other experiences have led me to believe that there is a possibility it could happen that fast. Not as fast as the opposite of that, abject failure, as depicted in the dream of mine I relate below, but virtually overnight. Think, the hundredth monkey.

Revelations and Possible Futures

In my altered state experiences of various kinds, I have seen things and received information on these matters and our possible futures. You know, I have been heavily involved in holotropic breathwork and nonordinary states of consciousness work. It amounts to going into transpersonal spiritual states and getting information … mostly about oneself and about one’s growth and evolution, but also in general and about major concerns and challenges facing our humanity as well as important, necessary, and timely knowledge.

One cannot know exactly how reliable this information is, and I take it all with a grain of salt and subject to further exploration and research. Not all of what I have learned is true, at least not in the way I originally thought of it. Still, I have found much of it to be true and helpful, and what I cannot verify for sure, some of it, might just be very reliable.

If you think that’s crazy, just consider the times! I’ll wager any day my altered states information against the supposed sanity of the average person walking around in their daily life as if nothing is happening, when their very lives and that of their children are hanging in the balance … and it could happen at any time.

The point I am making is that … the information I got … is that “Sure it’s hard, but always are we here helping you,” but not only that, “but you’re not the only one doing it … there’s many others doing it at this time in history.”

Death as an Ally

Beyond this we are helped by the fact that in this emergency — when we finally realize it is an emergency — we can take advantage of the fact that the best of humans, their highest selves, show up in emergencies. That is what is being called forth now.

I pointed out earlier that there is a spiritual practice of having death as an ally. It is a very common one. It is one of the most common things that primal, unsanitized religions and robust spiritualities do. They take people close to death, to give them a death-rebirth experience. This is the original practice of baptism and similar death/rebirth rituals. Before the whole thing became watered down (no pun intended) and ineffective, the intent behind baptism was to take folks close to drowning, whereupon they would feel their mortality. This would lead one to wake up to the seriousness of life and to connecting with the deepest parts of oneself, which we might call God or Source. It had the same structure and intent as near-death experiences. They were meant to induce a rebirth by bringing one close to death.

What you can say happens is that when you face your imminent demise all of a sudden the things you think are important become trivial … because they are trivial. And the things that you thought were trivial, that really are important, become important. So it resets your priorities … in a good way.

The Bomb as Spiritual Catalyst

Now this kind of having death as an ally or being in the shadow of death is unprecedented to be happening as it is, now. This has never happened on a global scale. We have never had to have this happen on a global scale before. 

Nevertheless, ever since the Fifties, with nuclear weapons and other doomsday projects as part of our everyday awareness, people have more and more and more been becoming aware that their end could occur at any moment. There has been a consequent increasing pressure for a spiritual awareness or consciousness awakening. This has been going on since the Fifties. Since the Bomb.

The Reality of Nuclear Apocalypse We Refuse to See

Now, the Bomb is a terrible thing. You can barely get your mind around it, this idea of nuclear devastation. Indeed, depictions of it we see on television, even the supposed documentaries, come nowhere near showing the destruction in the graphic detail it would actually entail. We simply cannot comprehend this situation of there being a desolation so vast, apocalyptic, and long-lasting that you could only survive by staying underground for years. And even then, when you surfaced you would without a doubt die shortly … one simply cannot remain underground for tens of thousands of years. 

Yet depictions of this, as for example the TV show, Jericho, show people having nuclear fallout and then it being washed away by a rainstorm and then a few days later they are outdoors having a picnic … as if life actually would go on … that humans would persevere … along the manner of any major catastrophe … a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or such.

But humans would not go on. There would be no picnics, there would be no children playing … ever again! There would be no people! There would be no planetmates, no ecosystem! 

Yet folks will only look at it from this sanitized perspective. And though some would say that any looking at the problem is better than nothing at all, I would contend that any presentation of or depiction of it that does not contain an accurate representation of the absolute horror … and evil … of such an occurrence is worse than nothing. For it leaves people with the comforting feeling that life goes on … even if there are deaths, even if one dies, that life goes on somewhere somehow and that the human species survives. Or as one person put it to me once, the Earth goes on and on, there just aren’t any people on it. 

Well, this is not true at all. For we are talking about such a total ruination that we would be reduced to the ecosystem of something like the moon … or Mars. Indeed, I am aware of at least one theorist who claimed there is evidence that Mars did experience such a nuclear devastation at one point.

The problem with any depiction of nuclear holocaust that does not call forth the total horror of such an occurrence is that it enables people in their complacency; it derails any spiritual awakening that would arise out of a clear view of our situation; it mutes the response required of us for humanity to survive; and it encourages a superficial or wrong understanding of our predicament that enables people to go about their business as usual … the business as usual that is precipitating the environmental collapse. 

The Horror Revealed

Let me give you an example of a realistic emotional reaction to our current environmental-nuclear state, with the end of all life at any time being possible. This is a dream I had a few years ago. An unusually vivid dream. In it, I and a group of others were aware of an imminent danger to all life on this planet. If you have seen the movie, Melancholia, think of a situation like that.

However, unlike the movie, our danger was something we could at least try to do something about and a group of us were so engaged in that. Desperately engaged, in fact. I was moving from place to place in this and that kind of vehicle, some of them quite odd, as dreams can be. I was engaging with people, interacting and working with them, and finally showing up at the place of a device that held a hope of stopping the imminent apocalyptic event.

The point is that I was crying my eyes out the entire time. I was seriously “primal-crying” … like very deep, intense, and flowing with tears. In the dream, I was, that is. 

This, incidentally, is something I have done at other times, and it seems that while I no longer primal, that after all this time of doing it, I have acquired the ability to take care of primal material in a dream state. Not unconsciously, by the way, as these dreams are invariably vivid and I wake up having made the proper primal connections necessary to take me beyond whatever painful awareness came out in the dream.

Back to the story, however, while weeping piteously, I was totally aware of our situation and its consequences: I was aware of the immense, incalculable tragedy of the ending of life and how it had repercussions on all that had come before, wiping out the results of all that had ever been done, and had put the category of futility upon the efforts of all beings on Earth, particularly humans, of all times.

Despite this, I was completely and effectively engaged — while at the same time immersed in the full release of deep primal and tearful wailing — with averting the catastrophe and was part of the team to stop it. I am reminded of the heroic figure, vastly misunderstood, portrayed by Ralph Fiennes in the movie, Strange Days (1995). He also was fully consumed in his emotions, showing how one does not have to harden or toughen oneself in order to take positive, even heroic actions, while he fully and courageously faced and dealt with every threat and evil that came to him. I thought at the time how this sort of action, while retaining one’s full humanity, and one’s feminine and feelings side, was the kind of heroic attitude we needed today. For certainly macho, unfeeling demeanors and personalities in confronting the evils of the patriarchy only reinforce the problem.1

In any case, near the end of the dream I was at a device involved in the triggering of the event. I was trying to tinker with it to stop the imminent annihilation. The clock was ticking down on the device, and it was a race against time. I was making hopeful progress, but we were getting dangerously close to zero. 

As it ticked off its final seconds and hit zero, I was a bit astonished because this time, this countdown, went nothing like all the movies where the miraculous happens and the device stops ticking with only seconds to spare, saving everyone. No. This clock just went plodding straight to zero without even a nod to hollywood. It simply had no interest in our human delusions. Reality itself is hard, decisive, and irreparable, unlike our fantasies and films.

There was one poignant second after that device registered zero. Only one. Then there was an incoming instantaneous approach of something from the horizon and a flash.

And it was all over. Just like that.

What happened after that was rather interesting, too, and I will talk about its meaning when we are focusing on transpersonal and metaphysical aspects of our situation closer to the end of this book. It is not really relevant to my point here, but suffice it to say that I immediately felt myself “rolling forward,” as it were, into another life, another reality … just like that! There was not so much as a hiccup of a delay. I did not even know what kind of lifeform or species I had become. Simply, consciousness-Experience did not end. Like a river, it just kept rolling forward into something new. And when I awoke after that, and subsequently as well, I felt like I have gotten an idea what death is like, and I have lost a great deal, if not all, of my fear of it.

How Long Can You Stay Under Ground?

Back to the point, the problem with the sanitized depictions of our situation, as well, is that they give rise to such notions as was put forth by Thomas K. Jones, the man Ronald Reagan had appointed Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Strategic and Theater Nuclear Forces. He said, “If there are enough shovels to go around, everybody’s going to make it…. It’s the dirt that does it.” His comment was famous and led to at least one book which used it in its title; it was called, With Enough Shovels (1983). Jones asserted that “with enough shovels” we could withstand a nuclear war with Russia, and his remark was said to encapsulate the attitude of the Reagan administration toward nuclear war and the Soviet Union.2

Yes. I know what you’re thinking.

His insane thinking had him imagining that we could cover ourselves with dirt when the radiation came; three feet of dirt and a couple of doors will do it…. Until it passed. I’m thinking of a line from Bill Cosby, “Noah, how long can you tread water?” And my take on it is to ask Jones, “T.K., how long do you think you can survive under a blanket of dirt? Twenty-five thousand years?”

Jokes aside. This is a man who was at the center of government, smack in the middle of decision making about war and nuclear policy, who could be so cavalier about the murder of billions of people! If you look at the Republican Party’s offerings of politicians these days, especially Tea Party ones, you can see the situation is no better now and has actually gotten worse!

Troglodytes … remember?

The upshot of all this is that humans have simply no way of comprehending the magnitude of the tragedy we are rapidly bringing upon ourselves. Like tinkering with DNA, which we are also blithely and stupidly engaged in, dabbling in the release of forces of the atom is not anything that humans are capable of doing responsibly. At least, not at our stage of evolution … as you can see from the picture I have painted of our psychological underbellies, our human unconscious, as laid out in this book in chapters previous.

The Awakening

So the Bomb is a horrible thing, but one thing it told us was, “Hey! Wake up! Now is the time to wake up. Now is the time to open that mind and become enlightened, become awakened, whatever.” 

And I am not talking about awakened as in some intellectual sense or in some “woo-woo” sense. Awakening is not about just knowing these things I am telling you.

What I am referring to when I say awakening, and what is required for our survival if you think about it, involves a change in the person, not merely a shoveling of additional facts and ideas into one’s “brain pan.”

What I think awakened involves is becoming one’s higher Self, or becoming more aligned or in tune with it, anyway. It is becoming the best of that humanity that we are. It is about becoming that more fundamental human nature which is characterized by cooperativeness. The human nature that is tied up with the joy grids; that emanates from the true self, the creative self, of Winnicott; that is in tune with reality like the real self of Janov. The self that is self-confident, contented within itself, creative, and active in a hopeful and positive way. This is our more fundamental human nature. This is what we would all be if we did not go through the hellacious experiences of our prenatal and perinatal beginnings.

For this self is, if you were to think about it, what you would be and do if you were going to die in another day. In fact, give it a thought for a moment. What would you do if you knew your time was up?

Most likely you are going to be thinking about your loved ones. Most likely you are going to be thinking about what you might do for them. You might be thinking about what you might want to tell them before you go.

There are a lot of things you might want to do, but I think what would happen with most people, if they were going to die soon, if they knew their end was imminent, they would start doing the things they have been putting off that involved their compassion, their love, their heart … and their heroism.

They would start to take risks to do things for a higher cause that they have always wanted to do but have been reluctant to do and have been putting off.

The Necessary Hero

And what I am saying is that is what we need. These are the necessary heroes; we need … awakened ones. Awakened, compassionate, dedicated, active.

Right now, there is this coming together of a dire, deadly catastrophe … which is in the making, that is happening right now. It is going on. Extinction is going on at this incredibly rapid rate. So fast that we have been talking about the likely loss of half the lifeforms we are aware of within mere decades. And the oceans are dying. The oxygen producing plankton and the basis of all life on this planet is dying off, and all that.

At the same time, we have a growing awareness, since the Fifties, that is causing people to be more spiritually awakened. They realize they have to do this incredible thing of which they are capable within this lifetime. Because this is the lifetime to do it in; it can no longer be put off. This is the final act, you might say, in a play of many lives for a great number, if not all of us. And we have to do it, not just for ourselves, but for our loved ones. And it is going to bring out all the best that we are capable of. It is going to bring out the best of us, our best selves, our highest beingness … those better angels of our beings as well as including us in the ranks of a new humanity for the world.

So how is it going to go? How is it going to end up? Will we survive?

I don’t know. 

But it’s going to be an incredible … story … if nothing else.

And I think it’s going to be incredible to be part of. 

 

 

 

CHAPTER 27

The Necessary Hero — Wounded Deer and Centaurs

The Opportunity — The Solution to Misery and the Way to Happiness

 

 

 

Wounded Deer and Centaurs

There are the people facing the problems of themselves and the world who are willing to take upon themselves the burdens of their societies and cultures rather than to act them out. They know that folks have been acting out their inner turmoil on innocent others and in dubious worldly campaigns from time immemorial and that this is what has gotten us into our current crisis of civilization.

Wounded Deer — Sensitive and Hurt

Initially, however, facing and knowing these things is a depressing state of affairs. The problems of society, deeply rooted in oneself, are not easily gone beyond. I call these people wounded deer. You know them; you may see yourself as one. Wounded deer describes them. They are both sensitive … but obviously hurt. They do not seem to respond to the common remedies of normal cultures. For good reason. They are not dealing with ailments that involve not being in tune with or in touch with the culture around them. Very often, in fact, these people are the ones who excelled at the “games” of society and culture earlier in their lives. They are anything but disconnected from reality; if there is an opposite to psychosis, this is it.

But their “ailments” are intractable because they go up against the parts of society and culture that, by contrast, truly are ill. So, not only do they suffer for reasons they should ideally not have to … and a part of them knows it … but they often magnify that by the fact that they refuse to accept the common remedies. Something strong in them tells them that it is not them who needs to change; it is society. And that their instincts are true.

So, these are the wounded deer. Picture them as hurting … and sensitive … and refusing to opt for the normal act outs of society that would allow them to be “healed” in society’s eyes, but which they know would not be true or authentic.

Centaurs — Wounded Healers, Necessary Heroes

 Now, centaurs. Centaurs are the people who are then taking that horror and applying themselves toward doing something positive in the world … becoming healers … activists. Thus, wounded healers are the necessary heroes

Nevertheless, the path from one’s status quo in society to becoming a wounded healer is one of depression and, sometimes, hopelessness. Centaurs start out as wounded deer.

The Opportunity. The Seed of Light in the Center of This Darkness

I should know. As depressed as I became when I first learned of these threats to our existence and their immensity many years ago, now this awareness has enriched my life. For one thing, if nothing else, I know I am part of something big in doing something about our situation. And I know that people who are aware of these things, who get involved and take some action about them, when they align themselves with a higher cause like this, they realize they are a part of something important.

Think for a minute on how many people actually have lived lives where they were part of something important and whose lives were thereby enriched. Do you realize how many people there have been, and are now, living lives where they were doing something they felt was unimportant? Remember Freud’s take on the human condition, which is that we live lives of “quiet desperation.” (And there is a BPM II statement if there ever was one, by the way.)

On the contrary, there is nothing more important than this challenge to save life on this planet. Nothing. Never has been. 

It Brings Out Our Best and Even Magnifies Our Abilities

In fact, knowing an end is imminent can have a contrary effect of inspiring us in powerful new ways. We see that humanity blossoms in emergencies. For people put their all into their response.

You see, it is not just that the sense of emergency and the awareness of the closeness of death brings out our compassion, our love, and all that. It also brings out our power; it magnifies our abilities. A father might be able to pick up a car, if it falls on his child. In an emergency like, for example, an auto accident, a parent might be able rip open a car door to free their daughter or son.  I have heard stories like this. It has happened to people in my family; it is really common.

One can get kind of like these “superhuman” powers when you are in crisis, because all your being becomes focused on that, and only that.

Now, to a certain extent the more we realize how dire our planetary situation is, the more we discover that it brings out our greatest skills, our greatest talents, our greatest focus … our most powerful and effective selves.

So there is hope in all of that — the way people reassess their priorities toward compassionate and heroic ends and how folks have their abilities at their peak in an emergency. Not just in the way we feel about matters and the love we exude, not just that it brings out the best of us that we have to give, but crisis brings out our best efforts toward those important ends.

What’s It All About, Planetmate?

Let us put that in context. We come into this Earth every time, with each reincarnation, we come here to express whatever skills we are bringing in to that life and to manifest what can come from them.

So that’s what life is all about. Each life is an “experiment in truth,” as Jung phrased it. We bring in certain skills that maybe we have accumulated from previous lifetimes or whatever. These are skills, or tendencies, or desires that we come in to realize … that we come in to try them out. 

Well, in this lifetime, with humanicide towering above us, we have the greatest push to bring forward that essential I, to manifest those unique qualities more fully than ever. It is a strangely beautiful thing that in this shadow of death, this emergency, we are being drawn to experience our humanness in the grandest of ways. Even to shift to what is beyond that humanness. More about that in the final chapter, when I place this entire thing into its metaphysical context.

The Opportunity. The Solution to Misery and the Way to Happiness

So, for all I say about how dire our predicament is, I also see it as the most hopeful thing in the world, because a lot of spiritual practices, especially indigenous ones, emphasize the benefit of having death as an ally and/or to face death to experience rebirth. Indeed, there is nothing like thinking about your own end, your own demise, to spur you to a more serious or spiritual appreciation of life. I mean, if you were to say to yourself, what would I do if I were going to die in ten minutes, you would certainly think of something important! 

What if I was going to die in another day, in another week? What if my child was going to die? The point is that, just like the Chinese symbol for crisis, which is also a symbol for opportunity, every emergency is also a chance for us to grow. Endlessly we are called upon in life to reframe things, as psychologists say, to make “lemonade out of lemons.” Well in this situation, we are challenged that way to the utmost … to be the best that we can be, for nothing less will do.

You can look at this one of two ways: It is the end and you can be all depressed and morose. Or we can see this as the greatest opportunity ever to raise ourselves up to our higher nature, to be aligned with a higher cause. 

The thing that really makes people happy and fulfilled, the real answer to all our personal misery is tied in with exactly this.

I have been researching and practicing psychology all these many years. I have done and facilitated all this psychotherapy. I have looked long and hard and afar into all possible ways of growing and healing and helping and facilitating others. I have been student, and teacher, in this area; I have been facilitating healing and I have been writing prodigiously about it. And out of all that, I will let you in on a secret. This is the thing very few in the consciousness raising or personal growth paradigms know … and rarely acknowledge. It is most definitely alien to pseudo-intellectuals and armchair academics … those “brain-suckers.” Here it is:

The thing, the only thing, that brings people out of their own misery … finally and irrevocably … like nothing else … is aligning themselves with a higher cause. No, not just having a higher power, or higher Self, or aligning with the outlines of such. Rather, what takes people out of their deep unhappiness is identifying with and participating in something beyond themselves that is good, is positive, is helpful …. and is important! Aligning ourselves with efforts beyond ourselves lifts us up out of ourselves and has us move in clarified air and archetypal circles. Our actions become mythic, in a sense. We are most definitely close to Source and inspired by it in everything we do.

Now, consider, there is no higher cause than saving the life on this planet. There has never existed a higher cause than this. This is something … that we can do … that’s important!

How Do You Want to Spend Your “No-Form”-ity

It has never been clearer. We can go off into the No-Form State … you know, out of this physical realm … we could go out in to the beyond this life, whatever that may be, regretting and saying “My God, we let it all happen! And we didn’t do anything, and we were just greedy till the end!”

We could go through eternity knowing that. Or we could go through our No-Form-ity knowing that, even if we failed, “Hey, it was the noblest undertaking, it was the most heroic thing that we did, and we united with people in a grand cause.” And even if we failed, we had this incredible adventure. We turned it into this magnificent undertaking that will make one of the most inspiring stories that will be heard throughout the Universe!

I Would Prefer We Be Heroes

Consider this: It is awfully strange. I mean the figures are that there are twice as many people now alive as has ever existed or as many as has ever existed, depending upon what you consider to be humans, in our prehistoric ancestry.

That is a pretty astonishing statistic, when you think about it. I mean there are just so many people alive! That is the first thing that hits you. The second thing that might occur to you … or that comes to me, anyway … is that it is like we all showed up! To see the end of the movie. Or to be part of it. 

We all reincarnated to be here now, as if this is the most crucial time. And we are all going to be here to either watch the spectacle of the end or to help avert it … to be a hero in it. Or heroine?

I would like us to be heroes. I would like us to be the best people that have ever existed. And hopefully we have all showed up to be that.  

 

 

 

CHAPTER 28

For Earth’s Sake, Get Real!

“Sure It’s Hard but Always Are We Here
Helping You”

 

 

 

Let us, at this point, talk about what we are up against, what are our prospects for success, and a little about what we need to do and what will be required. Also, we should think about where are our windows to hope, to inspiration, to encouragement. 

This chapter lays out the difficulties involved in consciousness evolution and personality change required of us now, pointing out that it is necessarily going to involve hopelessness, even despair, at times. Further on, it details the spiritual experience I had in 1980, when I was taken up by such feelings, which set me on this path to help the planet and the planetmates. 

I was shown by unknown beings or the voice of the Divine the path of our devolution as a species, thousands of years ago, and was told that we need to turn this around immediately. I was told that there were many others at work right now doing the same thing, so I need never despair at the immensity of the task. Most importantly, I was told that we — all of us engaged in this tremendous undertaking — are receiving help … always … in our efforts. I was led to believe that these higher powers, of which we are yet to know, are fully engaged in our endeavor on this planet and assisting us at every turn.

The Spiritual Quest, for Earth’s Sake!

Now, let us back up a bit: In my book, Experience Is Divinity, I stressed the point that virtually all rituals are mechanical act outs of the structure of spiritual and transformative experiences, but they are not transformative or growthful for they preclude actual transformative experiences happening. In this sense, rituals, like Freud said of religion, are palliatives, and as Marx concurred, “Religion is the opiate of the masses.” To contrast with this, I pointed to actual spiritual-transformative experiences coming under the headings of primal and indigenous experiences like vision quests, walkabouts, experiences of nonordinary states through psychedelic substances, and in current times and culture, under the headings of primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, and some of the experiences catalyzed by certain mind-expanding drugs.

But if it is true, as I say, that ritual is a substitute for real, or actual, spiritual experience, what does true spiritual experience look like? What follows is an example of a spontaneous, unritualized, authentic spiritual experience. It is not one for which I went to a church or attended a workshop. No. It came, using the old-fashioned word, as a “blessing.” But first let me put it in its context. 

We Must Do What Has Never Been Done Before

It is no surprise that the activist sensibilities, especially around the anti-nuclear and environmental issues, have married so well with the spiritual/human potential ones. It used to be that activists did not take too much to that “spiritual mumbo jumbo.” In previous generations, activists’ ranks were often comprised of atheistic secular types of progressives who would ridicule involvement in inner pursuits as more woo-woo stuff, not much different from the major religions. And following Marx, who called them “opiates of the masses,” they would pity, if not cast outright scorn upon, any of their members who might have such leanings.

On the other hand, what was often true is that those involved in inner pursuits, and consciousness evolution, would be reluctant to “dirty their hands” in crass political and movement work or activities. Among human potential, growth, or new age groups, to get involved in crude group and political activity was considered too “negative” and too confrontational.

 Indeed, this division showed up in the countercultures of the Sixties and Seventies in the sense that there were two distinct alternative lifestyles — hippies, centered on the West coast mostly, and activists, centered on the East coast. And we still see a lot of this division going on today.

Beginning with a “Marriage” of Movements … a Melding of Inner and Outer Paths

But not as much. For beginning back then, coincident with a growing environmental awareness, there was more overlap in these two approaches than had been in previous generations. For it became clear quite early on that any change in human activity that would be effective would have to look to habits of human behavior going back thousands of years. Our problems did not spring up overnight and are rooted in a “human nature” — more accurately, what was thought to be that — that humans have exhibited throughout known history. Indeed, this need to look inward to find the roots of our problems is what a lot of this book addresses.

The Sixties changed that huge distinction between inner and outer ways. It might be because psychedelics opened formerly hard-core activists to spiritual dimensions that they would not have accessed otherwise. Perhaps it was because the environmental movement, following up the activity around The Bomb in the Fifties, touched so much upon human mortality and our existential situation and opened up heretofore unthinkable questions such as the possible ending of life on this planet, so that it opened upon spiritual dimensions. For whatever reason, we saw this early on, with the Beatles, especially John Lennon, who was vigorously involved in the arenas of culture and music, and spirituality … as for example, his involvement in transcendental meditation. He was equally committed to social causes and was an activist; he was involved in politics and movements of all sorts, including the environmental. George Harrison similarly, while noted for his spiritual pursuits, was involved in politics and social issues as well, as in his efforts in the Concert for Bangladesh. At any rate, in John Lennon there was no distinguishing hippie or revolutionary. He was both.

Thus, while the division between secular and spiritual, radical and hippie, persisted, these camps overlapped and “intermarried” more and more over the years, often pushed by the nuclear issue.

Along with this we had the feminist movement and the consciousness raising in general about overcoming inequality in gender relations. Activists and the human potential movement became equally involved in creating new-age, fulfilling relationships based upon equality, honest communication, sexual fulfillment, personal growth, and the freedom from restrictive sexist roles and so the blurring of tasks.

The point is that though all of these involved monumental changes in society, they also required major changes in personality. Consciousness raising and consciousness evolution were set alongside social evolution and cultural revolution … countercultural revolution.

We saw John Lennon go off into primal therapy, along with his political activities against the war and for social justice. The inner and outer paths were seen as equally necessary by many. As I said, the Sixties saw the first activist generation deeply aware of the maxim of physician healing thyself, first.

Still, No Thing Has Ever Been More Difficult Than Changing the Patterns of Millennia

Well, this is where I come in, for I was deeply involved in all of those movements and continue to be today. I was on the cutting edge of the experiences of those times. I can speak to the difficulties involved in taking all these changes upon ourselves.

For, beginning at that time, we realized that we needed to end the cycles of kill and be killed in our own selves and hopefully in one generation. Notice: Intentionally I am saying “kill and be killed” and not “kill or be killed,” which is what one usually hears. For part of the new awareness, as I show in detail in Planetmates (2014), is that thinking that it is a matter of killing or being killed is the problem. One does not save oneself by killing; one damns oneself for not being able to imagine a nonviolent solution. A clearer understanding is that killing promotes more killing. It does not reduce killing, as in the thinking that one might temporarily save one’s life by killing another. For killing begets killing and eventually comes back around to one. Or as they say, one lives and dies by the sword. Indeed, that is exactly the vicious cycle that needs to end. It has always been killing and being killed; hurting and then inflicting hurt; being abused by parents and then abusing one’s children; and so on. 

However, the specter of nuclear and environmental catastrophe is pushing and is speeding up this evolution-revolution to this new understanding. We know we need to end those cycles going back many thousands of years in our lifetimes, or not have life after ours. So to do what has never been able to be done, to go beyond the powerful pulls to be drawn into acting the way we always have, using violence, do we think that can be easy? The point is that it was hard… necessarily hard. And it remains a difficult thing to do. The point is that it involved sacrifice, and it continues to require that.

Ending the cycles of violence is and was fraught with emotional upheaval and difficulty on all fronts — in relationships as well as in other consciousness changing, as well as in facing the frustrations of societies that refuse or are reluctant to change, even as injustice and economic inequality deepens and the oppression of the circumstances of “normal” life become ever more apparent. There is also the frustration of confronting culture and human behavior that refuses to change even as we are on the brink of humanicide within our lifetimes. Put bluntly, there is the context of abject stupidity in which we must swim, in which we must do our work. These all add to the difficulty.

Looked at another way — as Ken Keyes (1982) pointed out in The Hundredth Monkey — the threat of nuclear disaster … we need also mention global environmental destruction … is a challenge to all of us. It is a challenge to go beyond the “us vs. them” kind of consciousness which has led us to the brink of catastrophe. As many of us know, we must raise our consciousness in a way that has not been demanded of humankind, as near as we can determine, on this planet ever before.

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

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

As for myself, as I revealed earlier in this book, I have been involved in spiritual pursuits since 1968, especially meditation. As well, I have been intensively working on unraveling my negative patterns through the powerful experiential modalities of primal therapy, rebirthing, and holotropic breathwork beginning back in 1972. These, especially primal therapy, have been my ways of dealing with the particular negative conditioning into which I was “raised” and which kept me stuck in behaviors and feelings that too often undermined my efforts to live a fully spiritual, a full loving life and to be active, constructive, and successful in our societal efforts to change and have peace. Peace and love, though much espoused, “don’t come easy,” as even Ringo acknowledged.1

However, we all have our ways of trying to grow beyond that kind of negative programming. It is important to recognize that each of us is working in that same direction however we go about it. 

Sure It’s Hard. The Task Is Immense for Our Point of Departure Is a Psychotic Culture

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

The psychiatrist Theodore Isaac Rubin (1983), in his book on relationships titled One to One, points out that the divisive competitiveness and us-versus-them striving that we see predominating around us in Western culture is learned. He writes, “We compete, we fight wars, we are compulsively concerned about our hierarchical position relative to the next person, because we learn to be so through a psychotic culture passed on from one generation to the next.”2 I will not quibble about when we learned that … obviously this book contends that we learned those things much earlier than he or anyone else would imagine … in the womb and at birth. Still in general I agree with him.

The point is that this is where we are coming from. Our point of departure is a psychotic culture or, as Erich Fromm (1955) put it, an “insane society.” Many of us are trying to reverse this violent and crazy trend, but it is understandable that it would be hard to make a 180-degree turn in orientation — from aggression to peace, from competition to cooperation, from fear to love. Furthermore, as my work shows, while these intractable, self-negating, and “psychotic” tendencies have roots deep within us, they are not instinctive or part of our underlying human nature as was thought. Yet, they cannot be changed and gone beyond through simply educating our children better, as Rubin implies. They have deep roots and require more thorough-going, even psychotherapeutic, efforts, to effectively undo them. Therefore, our culture is gradually coming to the realization that we are involved in a difficult process, and understandably so. Our culture is starting to realize the immensity of the task we are undertaking in trying to change our inherited and deleterious patterns.

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

Along these same lines, Herb Goldberg (1983), a psychologist, points out in his book, The New Male-Female Relationship, especially in his section on “Transitions,” that to think that it is easy is probably to be an impostor.3 He asserts that the people who are really making the changes in male-female relationships and becoming fuller human beings, you can expect, are struggling to do so . . . that it is a difficult process and takes time. In fact, Goldberg discusses at length his contention that real growth takes a lot of time and struggle, whereas “pseudo-growth” is the only kind of growing that occurs “overnight” and easily.4 That should be especially important to know for those newbie “aware” ones, who, having read a book or seen a youtube video, automatically go thinking they are “awakened” and that the rest of the world is stupid and sheep-like for not knowing that one thing that they learned. 

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

We Were Once Noble Humans 

All these things in mind, what I would like to share, now, is an experience that happened to me while I was in the midst of this very difficult process of trying to root out some of my own none-too-helpful social conditioning and primal traumas. Bob Dylan sang, “Don’t wanna learn from nobody, what I gotta unlearn.” Of course, we know that learning what we later need to unlearn is something hardly any of us are able to avoid in growing up in modern cultures. So, those of us serious about making change find we must change. We become involved in a lengthy, painful, and often onerous task of unlearning of what we “learned” in order to do that. I believe that that this experience I will now share may be helpful to others in their own struggling to be their better selves … the higher angels of their beings … their deepest and truest human nature.

A Cosmic Slap on the Back

In the course of my own struggling to change, in primal therapy, I was at a particular place in 1980 where I was very much in despair at the immensity of the task of changing the programming that was dragging me down — that was keeping me from being the full human being that I could see lying there in potential. It was therefore an encouragement to me when I had the experience that follows — like receiving a cosmic slap on the back, a gift from the Universe, and it helped me through that time. But I am convinced this experience has relevance also for all who are working hard at growing beyond their limited selves. I feel it might especially be of use to someone in a similarly hopeless-seeming place.

Before relating what happened, I want to say that although some might be tempted to call this experience a fantasy or a dream, it certainly did not feel that way to me at the time. I cannot doubt that an unusual thing happened to me, which was unlike anything else that I had experienced prior to it or since. It was related to certain experiences I was having in my primaling but was very different from “having feelings.” I was not under the influence of any drugs, nor had I been previous to the incident. I had one beer that night.

One other note: I will also leave the determination of who the “she” and the “we” were in the experience to the interpretation of the reader. I certainly do not know for sure who she and they were, though I have my ideas — all of them highly positive. Also, the following, except for some minor editing and for changing the name of my companion, is exactly the way I wrote it the morning following the experience:

Journal Entry of June 28, 1980:

I was lying in bed last night with Maddie. Couldn’t sleep, air conditioner too loud. Suddenly I was aware of all this energy coursing through my body. Was really scaring me. My body zinging, intense ringing (buzzing?) in my ears, rushes flowing through me. Was scared I was going crazy, would hurt Maddie, would become possessed or something, etc. Tried focusing on my third eye so as to control it like I did in Portland.

That may have helped some, but I could sense, and was scared of, other “presences” in the room. I thought I heard a woman’s voice behind me over my left shoulder and that scared me. Without realizing the transition, I found myself projected into this panorama of history and a woman’s voice was narrating.

She described how once there had lived “noble” beings. I could see vast and colorful panoramas of peoples exuding “nobility” and “integrity” (for want of better words to describe what they were like). They walked and paraded before me and were all around me.

Then the woman explained that the peoples degenerated and, as if in demonstration, I began seeing battles and wars played out before my eyes. I was in the midst of them!

However, I was still aware that I was in my body lying on my bed, because I could feel myself against it. Even so I was afraid that I would begin taking on the bodies of participants in the battles and would feel pain like they were obviously feeling. This feeling was especially strong when I was in the midst of the convergence of two groups of warring parties (their garb reminded me of Israelites or people of Biblical times or something). The group I was facing were going at each other with hatchets and I was afraid of becoming a participant and possibly feeling an ax chunking into my neck or skull. But although it was happening all around me, nobody in the crowd noticed me; it was as if I wasn’t there. In fact, at one point I believe they actually may have passed through me!

This scene passed, along with other dramas, and it was explained to me that now it was time for a regeneration of peoples on this “plane[?]” to regain their former “nobility[?],” “integrity[?]” (again for lack of better words).

Still feeling that I was conscious, i.e., knowing that it was all happening to me while I was really lying in bed; I let myself walk through many landscapes and terrains, which I felt I could easily have lived in at one time and which I felt had all existed at some time or place or did now exist somewhere in the world or Universe. I walked through small shack towns. I remember a small group of bedraggled people huddled together in one. There were many kinds of pastoral settings also: some beautiful with rolling, lush hills, and some not as beautiful — rocky terrain, etc. All seemed to be viable habitats for different people. I had the thought that these may have been places/lives that I had lived in at one time.

Certain places brought up bad feelings in me, foreboding, scared feelings. In fact, it can be said that the whole time it was happening I was scared about the experience. I feared meeting some dangerous and evil entity or being stuck in an undesirable place. When I was in one particular environ/habitat that wasn’t very pleasant, I remembered something that Seth had said about consciously altering and changing his environment. In line with that I decided to stop believing in the one that I was in and see what happened.

What happened was that environment went away and then there was a blank grayness as I waited for a new scene to appear. I continued to be aware that I was in a trancelike state and that I had a body lying in bed. I would at times vaguely return to the feeling in my body and would feel myself on my back, hands and arms outstretched, mattress against my back, in a very deep state of relaxation and suspended animation which had a feeling of heaviness or deadness about it. My body didn’t need to move and it was perfectly comfortable.

I could hear the air conditioner running, also, and even Maddie’s breathing next to me. Several times, I don’t remember exactly when, Maddie had reached over and put her arm around me, both times only for an instant, before she rolled back away from me. Neither of the times did it disturb the deep state that I was in or cause me to rise at all out of it. I simply felt warm and good towards her at the affection she was showing me. I even had the thought that, considering the fact that she only did it for a moment before turning away, that somehow she knew what was going on, in some deeper, nonconscious part of herself, and was reassuring or encouraging me.

Anyway, I was securely very deep and felt that I wasn’t going to be suddenly disturbed from it unless, perhaps, I let it. But I really didn’t want to do that. I was rather scared and apprehensive most of the time, as mentioned, but, more importantly, it was all so damned interesting! There is no doubt that I was thoroughly enjoying the color, the panorama, the expanse and freedom of consciousness, the fact that I was experiencing something important and that I had never experienced before, so that I dearly wanted to stay there despite the fear.

Sometime after the gray place, I believe it was, I was aware of some kind of light far off in the distance that I could travel to if I liked. At around that time I could hear Maddie saying to somebody (about my body in bed): “Is he moving at all? Is he breathing? Do you think he’s dead?” and so on. I remember thinking to myself how silly that sounded and that “No, I’m not dead, I’m just in this deep trance and everything.” But then suddenly I began to wonder if maybe I was dead! It had all been so strange that maybe I had actually died in my sleep!

At that point I recalled the accounts I’d heard and read about of people dying and not knowing they were dead, how they would often hang around and watch other people’s reaction to their death (and this could go on for days). I remembered how Steve had once told me something to the extent that if that should happen that one shouldn’t get carried away and fascinated by the after-death state but that one should “get down on one’s knees” (figuratively speaking) and search out the source and the presence of God. Thinking that was perhaps when I actually looked around and saw the light.

At any rate, I found myself wondering if I wanted to be dead. This place was certainly an interesting one, even with the apprehensions. And it sure seemed to be a change (so far, anyway) from the constant struggling to survive and grow. But I also felt that there were just so many loose ends left unresolved in my life. There were so many areas that I’d made good progress in but had not yet taken to completion. My love for Maddie (next to me), which was only just beginning, came to my mind as an example.

And so I decided to find out if I was dead or not, both to know if I should go heading for the light (if I was) or to reassure Maddie (if I wasn’t). I determined to get into my body and, with an effort and strain, I forced myself up from the depths, forcing my body to move and sit up. I was mildly surprised to find that I was able to do this, bringing myself into physicality and into a half-sitting position. In this position I looked over to see Maddie sleeping next to me, I could hear the air conditioner whining, and so forth. I realized then that she hadn’t “physically” been sitting over me, talking about me, but I also felt that some part of her must have. (We used to have this thing when we slept together that often we would feel like we had been communicating with each other on some kind of subconscious level the whole night long. We wouldn’t ever remember all that we had said but we would often both remark about it the next morning).

Realizing that I wasn’t dead, I lay back down and let myself drift back into the deepness. All I remember, after this point, is talking to Maddie, probably about what had happened to me, explaining it to her, though I’m not sure that was all of it. Also I remember at least one other time, maybe two, forcing myself to waking consciousness to see if Maddie was awake (as if in an experiment), because it really seemed that we were actually, physically awake and talking to each other. I thought we were lying in bed physically talking. It was hard to believe it when I forced myself awake only to find her lying beside me asleep.

After that there were some actual dreams, quite different from what had been going on earlier. I fell into sleeping and dreamed of being in my grandmother’s home. I remember reading a book, sitting in a chair in her kitchen. There were other people there also; they were sitting in the same kind of straight-backed, none-too-comfortable wooden chairs.

I remember that early on, when I was doing all the traveling and stuff, that I didn’t know how I’d possibly remember all the experiences that happened to me and all the things that I saw and learned. It seemed like a lot of time was crammed into that short period. I remembered hoping just that I would retain as much of it as I could, especially hoping that I wouldn’t just blot it all out as it felt important.

Don’t Despair, There Are Others Doing It with You, and We’re Here, Too

I feel like the meaning of the part about the regeneration of the peoples on this plane was an answer to my despair at working on getting through my feelings. It’s like it was saying: “Sure it’s hard! What you’re talking about is the reversal of hundreds of generations of degenerate and violent habit, custom, and activity. But we’re talking about changing that also, and you’re not the only one working at it. There are many others in your time period struggling to do it just like you.

And the feeling that left me with was/is “So don’t despair. There are others like you doing it, and we’re (out here) helping you too.”

The Sins of the Fathers

That concludes the entry of that day. Regardless of how you may wish to label the preceding experience, it remains one whose message has stayed with me through all the intervening nearly thirty-six years. It is a message that has rung true and helped me through other difficult spaces. In fact, I still reflect on it and cannot help believing there is a lot to it. Consider: Generation after generation of Western culture has engaged, with little awareness of the consequences, in passing down their personal pain and trauma, in some form or other, onto their offspring. And they in turn dump it on theirs. We know that child abusers were themselves abused as children; but this is just a very blatant example of how the pattern operates. On and on and back through into hazy unrecorded history this situation has existed; this vicious cycle has perpetuated itself.

But many of us in these extraordinary times, and goaded on by the specter of global catastrophe, for one thing are saying: “Let it end with me!”; “Let us not continue this madness any further!” Attempting to break the cycle of “kill and be killed,” of hurting and then inflicting hurt, attempting to halt the prevailing insanity, us wounded deer and centaurs make the Gandhian effort to take the energy into ourselves, to change ourselves lest we, also, be like the generation before — forever passing on the insane legacy.

So why should we think this would be easy?! We are trying to bring to an end, in our single lifetimes, the accumulated results of untold generations of our ancestors dumping their pain and insanity onto their descendants.

But Always Are We Here Helping

So of course it’s hard! And for me to realize this fact allows me to accept it. That is, it allows me to accept this task and to take up my place in the ranks of those arrayed in the purpose of undoing the craziness rather than to turn away in despair at the immensity of the task or to quaver in paralysis before it.

This experience has also provided me with a wonderful outlook on the people around me. I look around to the many people who are working spiritually to change themselves and this crazy world — who are serving, mending, and healing others and themselves. In doing so I have this sense of brother/sisterhood — that we are all engaged in an immense undertaking . . . that we are synergizing our energies in an endeavor which is not merely crucial, it is imperative . . . not just for our personal growth, for our personal satisfaction or well-being — although that’s not to be discounted — it is necessary for the very survival of this planet. We are all in this together, and many of us really know that now.

I feel that if this task had been easier it would have been done long ago by well-intentioned ancestors. Indeed, it may only be because the survival of this planet is now at stake that substantial numbers of us have at this point, finally, accepted the challenge.

Many of us are aware of the seeming intractability of the situation we face — both personally and globally. But what I feel now is not so much the despair at the difficulty of the task but rather, because of what I was taught through this experience, I feel a sense of belongingness, cosmic belongingness, if you will . . . a sense that I am not alone. I feel that many others are working at this same thing in this day and age. Our combined energies — along with the energies of the Universe that are working with us — together constitute an incredible force. Confronted with the enterprise we have before us, this force may just be sufficient to do on this planet what has never been done before here (as far as we know).

So to all who occasionally despair, I can only repeat, “Sure it’s hard, but always are we here helping you.” (“Now, get to work.” lol.)

 

 

 

CHAPTER 29

Hopeful Things …
Psychedelics and the Worldwide Mind … Things to Foster:

The Profound Significance of Knowing and Experiencing Alternatives …
for the First Time in History

 

 

 

How Do We Pull Off the Most Exhilarating Revolution in Consciousness in Human Evolution?

So our task is hard, more difficult than any of us could have imagined at the start, still, how do we do it? And how do we succeed? In the next three chapters, as we are nearing the end of this book, let us take at least a brief look at what might be done to help along the process of consciousness change, personality change, and reconnection with our deepest human nature that this book is saying we must have in order to truly change the world … save the world. In works to be published in the next few years, I deal with this in greater detail.1 For now, let us consider at least some obvious things. What might make it easier and what could speed up the process, as it is imperative we do to survive? What are the catalysts for change around us; what are the resources available to us; and what are some of the hopeful and helpful things to have in mind?

I have written over and over in this book how primal therapy and holotropic breathwork were helpful, indeed instrumental, to me in changing. My first recommendation to anyone is to do what I have done, of course. Holotropic breathwork, for one, is readily available and relatively inexpensive. 

Yet I realize not everyone can do … or can afford … that kind of commitment, especially as regards primal therapy. As well, we need this change to happen fast. We are in a race against time, as Grof wrote.2

In this chapter I want to present some thoughts on this and to point out a few avenues of possible light.

Psychedelic Drugs

Can mind-expanding drugs be used to speed up or facilitate the process of getting past one’s primal and perinatal pain to be better able to access true spirituality? Can they help to transform consciousness quickly on a mass scale so as to save our species, our planet, and all the life — our planetmates — on it?

This is something I have thought a lot about. I have also researched it a fair amount.

First, I hope that some of that drug/psychedelic experience can work and will be used … for we need something badly. It has to happen more easily and more quickly than has been the case in the past. The fate of the world and all life on it depend on something happening quickly.

Remember, Stanislav Grof’s work began with his LSD research in the Fifties, as incidentally, did Frank Lake’s. Indeed, what Grof did afterward in developing his modality of holotropic breathwork was to try to find a way to get the benefits of non-ordinary states of consciousness … where healing occurs and where access to spiritual/transpersonal consciousness is had … without the risk or the messiness of the drug experience. 

Profound Importance of Knowing Alternatives

Many drugs, in fact, give folks at least an opening and a vision of something better than they have ever known, which is an incredible thing in itself. For when one knows that one is fucked up, that there are better ways of being and states of feeling and consciousness outside of that of which one is familiar, and what a better way of being feels like, one has both the knowledge and direction to guide one, going forward. 

Keep in mind, such a knowing has been impossible in former times, in many ways. Though, in long ago times and cultures far removed from the Western, access to psychedelic experience was greater, there was a huge block to knowing a better way of being for oneself or to imagining solutions to problems of self. This block is unassailable culture. This governor on personal growth is omnipresent culture, which surrounds, comforts, protects and stymies and blocks as thoroughly as any matrix … as represented in the movie of the same name.

As I just said, personal growth is only possible when one knows it is needed. In more isolated societies, where one is mostly unfamiliar with the alternatives that other cultures have for satisfying human needs and desires and for beingness itself, one cannot know very well that one’s culturally derived way of being is anything less than ideal, let alone know what is otherwise possible, no matter how onerous is that beingness or how evil and counterproductive are the acts of one’s own and the other personalities in one’s community. 

One accepts whatever one has experienced and been taught through one’s culture as, not just familiar, which is a strong deterrent to change in itself, but also as unchangeable and unavoidable. This way of seeing everything is felt to be as final and unmovable as the stars in the skies. Quick examples: Even in modern, but less multicultural times, Freud did not know of any “normal” way of being other than one of “quiet desperation.” And Nazis, regardless of the brutality of their acts or the assaults they had upon one’s conscience, if one had one, or upon one’s humanity, could go about their abominable tasks thinking there was little alternative to do otherwise. One could also point to American culture in the South in the time of slavery. More about this in just a little bit when I discuss the hopeful spreading of multicultural awareness, worldwide. 

Profound Importance of Experiencing Alternatives

Here, my point is that altered or nonordinary states of awareness provide a kind of multi-beingness, if you will, which for some can give rise to notions of what freedom, happiness, contentment, fulfillment, awareness, and the other goals of life truly are like, as experienced … not just as concepts or vague enticements. Alongside this, one can be enabled, through the experience of different feeling states, in finding pathways to such elusive human aims that one would never have been able to come up with through reason alone.

However, ideally, we would have a world where folks like myself, and others who are trained in facilitating others in nonordinary states of consciousness, would be allowed to give LSD in guided, supportive sessions in safe and open environments. Perhaps some other drugs will be discovered to have even greater potential to take us forward. DMT is currently being touted as the “spirit molecule.”3 Ecstasy has also been used for purposes of personal growth.4 Specifically, MDMA (ecstasy) has a significant, though underreported, history of use in psychotherapy.4 Amphetamine has also been used by many to give such a taste of another and happier way of being … but it is highly risky. Still, to be honest, amphetamine can provide openings to more loving ways of being, if it is not abused. And when abused, its effects can very often be the exact opposite of what is needed here.

There are other compounds being brought to worldwide attention, which can be thought of as resources toward these ends. This includes ibogaine. Ibogaine is a compound from a plant found in Africa and is said to be able to help folks get over addictions in a fast and effective way. Ibogaine and compounds of similar effect might help those who have driven into the ditch — a not uncommon thing — in their efforts to evolve.

Drugs of the psychedelic variety would certainly be so much faster and so much less expensive than the route I took … primal therapy, holotropic breathwork, meditation … and that others have been forced to, here to date. 

What seems to be called for at this time in history is the same kind of effort that was brought to bear to “advance” civilization in the material and the technological sense to be focused on “advancing” human consciousness … er, actually, reversing human consciousness … to bring it more in line with our natural selves. To do so might bring about what is needed — a consciousness, and personality, that could navigate, negotiate, and rearrange the technological Pandora’s Jar we have opened in a way that it fosters and assists life, rather than undermines it as is currently happening. This coming together of a deeper human nature — an “advanced” consciousness for us at our current stage — and the technology we currently have in a way that they synergize rather than conflict is exactly what is meant by a primal renaissance, as I will explain more fully in a little bit.

However, working against this are the drugs being espoused currently by Western culture and being frantically sprinkled about to keep people in line and too content to object or to act on our dire problems. Antidepressants, specifically SSRIs, act to put blinders on minds. They are known to “help” people to be more “normal” — in the worst sense of that word. Indeed, what was discovered — Paxil was the specific SSRI studied — is that they reduce urges to act against any circumstances that are oppressive and induce a “conservative,” a conforming mindset.5 So just to note that is what we are up against.

Is LSD a Timely Gift?

As for the mind-expanding not mind-constraining drugs, if we consider what I was saying in the last chapter about the possibility that we might be being aided by beneficial powers or forces outside of our understanding, one might speculate that the timely discovery of these substances, LSD, in particular, might not have been just lucky or random. Certainly there is a spiritual way of looking at all events — one that is married well with the wounded deer and centauric mental set — which notices there is a perfection manifest in the Universe, which is only hidden from humans. But it is a perception that is pronoiac. This way of interpreting all events is the opposite of the paranoiac. In other words, as I demonstrate and elaborate upon for huge sections of my works, Experience Is Divinity (2013) and Funny God (2014), the feeling of pronoia is that the Universe is out to do good to you.6

This spiritual appreciation, characteristic of centaurs, is an apprehension that there is a superb synchronicity to all events, beyond anything we are capable of imagining. And that everything is a grand and precise symphony, of sorts, which we are better able to overstand and experience the further along we get in our personal and spiritual growth. From this perspective, we might see the emergence of and the understanding of the uses of these mind-expanding substances as being blessings, or aids, in pulling off this greatest of all, and most necessary of all, revolutions in consciousness and evolutions in our expanding to the feelings of compassionate unity, which is our essence, and which is our deepest human nature … our Divine human nature.

The Internet, the World-Wide Mind (WWM), Multiculturalism

One powerful but often overlooked factor in consciousness change has to do with our modern media and telecommunications and our postmodern multiculturalism. They are so pervasive and so woven through with our postmodern daily lives that we usually do not consider how much we are affected by them. And to see these forces, again, a contrast is needed. 

I have a little help with that in having been around on this planet for a fair spell of time, sixty-five years, so I have experienced differences in my earlier years to what is pervasive and considered normal now. You can probably understand that in my knowing of an age before television, email, smart phones, and the internet, and instead with newspapers, “dumb phones,” and the postal service as the only means of connection across culture, space, and personality, I experienced a vastly different world and culture than we have today. 

The amount of information one received in those times, especially of a kind that was different or even opposed to one’s cultural notions, was immeasurably less. Similarly, in the era before civil rights and feminism, the evils and injustices of racism — rampant at the time — and ethnocentrism, and misogyny … not to mention dominion over planetmates and separation from Nature, which are still pervasive … were virtually universally woven into one’s socialization

Socialization is another word for enculturation, which is the gradual process though which, growing up, people learn the tenets and requirements of their surrounding cultures and acquire the behaviors and values necessary or appropriate to their culture. And during the time I was going through that, in the Fifties, such woefully dangerous and hateful cultural elements such as racism, sexism, gender bias, religious and sexual bigotry … including homophobia … ethnocentrism, and dominion over Nature were instilled in us all. These nefarious cultural elements determined one’s ideas and behaviors; and, what was worse — but is, happily, no longer true — one had little awareness of there being an alternative to that (an alternative to those ideas and behaviors) … let alone, as we have today, good and effective alternatives. 

Again, Profound Importance of Knowing Alternatives

It is often the ones who are on the borderlines of cultures and ways, who have a contrast, who are most aware of cultural differences and are able to conceive of creative alternatives. These are also the qualities that stimulate genius, as Kuhn (1970), as well as others, have noted. One finds that it is often the one who bridged cultures or stages of life in her or his upbringing who becomes the anthropologist. The one who can lead others beyond their limitations is usually someone with this advantage as well. See, for example, Barack Obama, who experienced both African-American and Anglo ways growing up. The fact that we have increasingly more people aware of cultural alternatives is a reason for hope. 

Strangely, however, this phenomenon is thought of as a development bringing danger and as fraught with what is thought to be reasonable foreboding. It is called “loss of national identity” or “loss of cultural identity,” when cultures get “watered down” or mixed this way. But the danger being feared is exactly of the kind of healing crisis I have been describing as being necessary. For culture, in this way, where it is more straitjacket than helpful, is simply the grander version of personal ego, which, now necessarily, must receive a thoroughgoing unraveling and replanting, more in line with our actual human nature, not our culturally taught one.

Psychologists also complain about loss of cultural identity because their values are rooted in a capitalist system that does not value personal growth or long-term happiness but values productivity and temporary relief of or freedom from symptoms in order to bring about the behaviors of work and conformity to society that bring about such productivity. But in postmodern awareness — an understanding that sees beyond the constraints put upon us by economic systems — we, as psychologists, can assert that there is nothing at all negative in loss of cultural identity when it is replaced by an expanded identity with humanity and a global transnational consciousness and an identity united with Nature and cognizant of the consciousness and beingness of all life forms. Indeed, we as ecopsychologists need to set the record straight with traditional psychologists — particularly ego psychologists who support the idea of an ego strength being necessary — that ego is of no help in these times when the fate of the life on this planet is at stake.

Multiculturalism and the Worldwide Mind (WWM)

So among the hopeful and helpful things is this most recent phenomenon of full-gallop multiculturalism and a pervasive and interconnected worldwide mind (the wwm). They go together because the internet and social media, with convenient online applications that for the first time in history are able to translate from one language to another and to allow communication across cultures never before possible, contributes exponentially to understanding between peoples of different cultures and to the merging and intermixing of cultural elements. 

Again, whereas conservative-minded and fearful academics and psychologists, operating in the paradigm of the “modern,” following very old-fashioned information from Freud and the newer proclamations of the same sorts of things put out by ego psychologists, would contend that this undermines the consolidation of ego and so weakens the necessary ego strength, a more postmodern and primal understanding is that such coming together of elements contributes to grander integrations of personality and even “ego.” In such individuals, barriers between peoples and cultures are easily transcended and new cultural and personality items created that are more in line with the needs of the moment. Obviously this kind of malleable ego, open to change — as opposed to the strong but defended and defensive ego, which characterizes the culturally monolithic — is more likely to be helpful and appropriate in our current emergencies of all kinds — cultural, political, and environmental. 

Quite Simply,
Walk Away

In a very compelling way, Tom Robbins demonstrates this different, less culturally bound, individual in the character of Alobar from his novel, Jitterbug Perfume (1984). He dramatizes the perfect postmodern response to problems resulting from cultural prescriptions and proscriptions which do not mesh with reality as seen from the perspective of many cultures not just the blinders of one. Quite simply, the answer is, “Don’t do it!” Don’t participate in the insanity. Walk away from it.

Expressed in a real world way, the same idea comes out in the idea put out by peace movements everywhere, “What if they gave a war and nobody came?” In Robbins’s novel, it might be phrased, “What if in India they gave a suicidal burning to death for the widow of a recently deceased man and the widow said, ‘No’?” Or, “What if a society had a practice of killing its leader at the first sign of old age, and the ruler simply snuck away?” You see what I am getting at?

Yes, Alobar simply walks away. In the same way, wars would end if young men and women would be more exposed to other cultures, especially that of their enemy, and they would simply not show up for or participate in their militaries. This kind of exposure to other cultures is fed by the knowledge coming forth in the social sciences — particularly anthropology and sociology — but beyond the academy it is flooding all societies and cultures with a mixing of peoples and their ways and a dialogue, via the internet and social media, across and integrating all cultures. These factors contribute to understanding across cultures and between genders and individuals. In facilitating a mutual or shared understanding outside of cultural dictates, it makes possible creative, postmodern, and workable solutions to the world’s problems, not just the concerns of the singular individual, the interests of one gender over another, or the views of one nation as opposed to another. This is the main reason conservatives of all times have been at war with new information and have sought to suppress it.

So, there is hope in this positive coming together of peoples, cultures, and personalities. It catalyzes a process of going beyond the constraints and counterproductive strategies of cultures — strategies that fit with modern and premodern times and peoples but would be suicidal if continued in the face of a changing world with too many people in it, who are thrust together and forced to scramble over dwindling resources, and all within an environment perilously close to implosion.

Not So Relative Culture

What is unique about the perspective being advanced in this book is that it is directly at odds with the common pretensions of social science and psychology. These include the idea in anthropology of cultural relativism — that all cultures are equal and cannot be compared, for in the sense that they exist and continue, they are considered “successful.” The “sanity” of a culture or society is, then, defined as the fact that it exists and persists over time, thereby organizing and at least minimally “satisfying” the needs of its members. I feel an urge to make a snide comment that Hitler was also rather successful, as was Nazi society and culture. So also was the pre-emancipation South in America. 

Now that that is off my chest, let me continue by saying that supporting cultural relativism, the question is often put out, “From the mores of which culture would one evaluate another culture anyway?” The idea is that to avoid ethnocentrism, cultural value judgments cannot be made. Indeed, anthropologists often contend that cultures are totally incommensurate with each other: They are likened to enclosed systems, with no one from one culture truly being able to understand another’s.7

However, this tenet in anthropology was embraced in an era before we realized just how insane cultures and societies can be. How would one judge? Well, if a culture or society is leading to worldwide murder, suicide, and ecocide, it is about time we claim a universal value around minimalizing pain and of the value of life as opposed to death that transcends cultural relativism and would be applicable in evaluating all societies. In that sense, we must look at the long-term sustainability of a culture. One that leads to the death of its members, that is, the extinction of its society, at some point in the future, might be considered less viable than (less “successful” than), and can be judged from, a culture that has longer term viability. 

Certainly, along that measure, Nazi culture and Southern culture are lacking. Indeed, one might use the same measuring stick to evaluate civilization itself — which is a kind of meta-culture. As compared with the meta-cultures of our earliest forebears — who had a subsistence, a non-sedentary, a non-hierarchical one, and one in which goods were not accumulated and stored for long periods of time, all of which are distinctly at odds with civilization, and which relied on gathering and hunting as an economic system and was nomadic — civilization comes up severely lacking. For hunter-gatherer meta-culture served humans for hundreds of thousands of years. Meanwhile, civilization seems to be the poison pill that will destroy all life within a mere ten-thousand years or less of its dominance as a way for humans to be.

As I wrote in Experience Is Divinity (2013), from within the domains of culture, there needs to be a cultural relativity and there is no basis for comparison of cultures … they are incommensurate. But standing upon the deeper paradigm of our common biology, our species biology, comparisons can be made … and should be made, actually. For a culture that fosters inordinate pain, suffering, and or death, and the injustice that would have to be coincident with that, can be seen to be less or lacking in comparison to the culture that provides a harmonious union of needs, felicity, and cultural items.

This problem arises in the first place out of patriarchal values — culturally rooted ones themselves — which has it that power and efficacy are the predominant or only values as opposed to felicity, pleasure, and life-valuing, which are “feminine” values. It is part of the separation from Nature that characterizes civilization and its “transcendent” (separate from Nature and the body) values … in this case the abstracted intellectualizations of academics. For only patriarchal, abstracted, separate-from-the-body-and-Nature-type folks could manage to not notice the body with its pain, birth, death, emotions, and suffering and not see that all cultures must have a relation to them, must deal with them, and that some do better than others and that that is an, external to culture, “good” thing to do! It is a basis for comparison of cultures … they are “commensurate” … that is, they are measurable and comparable, “point by point.”7 Those points especially being biological facts related to suffering, pain, and death.

So cultural relativists do not realize just how culturally ethnocentric they are being in proposing radical cultural relativism. They are actually espousing a kind of transcendence beyond the physical, an espousal of transcendent platonic principles outside of culture related to power, efficacy, and productivity, which are actually the values of very limited patriarchal societies and cultures. “Matriarchal,” feminine values, in contradistinction, are those of felicity, peace, pleasure, love, compassion, life as opposed to death, contentment and other things related to states of the body, which all humans, in all cultures experience … to greater or lesser degrees.

Not So Out-of-Bounds Leaders and Nations

The tenet that this book’s perspective challenges in psychology is the one that has it that psychologists cannot … actually, if they were to be honest, should not … engage in psychoanalysis or any kind of interpretation or analysis, psychologically, of leaders, groups, and so on. However, this proscription came out of political considerations to begin with. 

Operating within a supposedly “democratic” system where leaders are chosen by the vote, a kind of “equal time” provision, similar to what is adopted in television to help toward fairness in coverage of candidates, was marshalled in to psychology as well. It was advanced, and then embraced, that since any side could put out propagandists to discredit the other side’s leaders, that psychologists should not get involved in looking into the early childhood and histories of its leaders for clues about the decisions they make while in power. In this sense, psychologists, seeking to avoid the messiness of conflicting and politically motivated analyses, chose instead to run away from confrontation. 

So, this was not a scientific decision but a psychological one — one rooted in personal dynamics of particular individuals who feared confrontation in their personal lives and had not the time or the inclination to be themselves politically aware. It might also have received help from the fact that psychologists, like academics in general, are dependent upon moneyed interests for their funding. Looking into the dark undersides of political figures aligned with those moneyed folks would hardly fit with the profitability or advancement of their careers, and psychologists and all academics know this. Thus, psychologists rationalized turning their personal preferences and their financial and career interests into psychological tenets that others were supposed to adhere to. Again, as in the cultural example from anthropology, the reformers ended up instituting the very “diseases” their proscriptions were meant to allay. 

Beyond their personal lives, they sought, as well, to avoid political controversy and confrontation in their associations and organizations. I have much personal experience with this as it comes out in associations. What that proscription of political awareness or communication is really about is that these organizations seek to expand their ranks and attract people to their field by putting on airs of detached professionalism … to those ends as well as for personal ego reasons … rather than go after truth which might have one venturing into areas that are controversial, confrontational, and messy … regardless of their being so much more interesting! In this sense, then, such associations are directly at odds with a work such as this which insists that knowledge requires an activist response and is of no use in isolation from society.

Similarly opposed to this notion that foreswears inquiry into the personalities of leaders and the psychological patterns of national events, we have the field of psychohistory and the fields of social commentary in which Lloyd deMause, Erich Fromm, and Alice Miller write. DeMause’s psychohistory aims to put “society on the couch,” for example. Erich Fromm (1955) in writing The Sane Society directly challenged the idea that cultures should not be investigated as to their rightness, or their desirability. Alice Miller wrote detailed analyses of Nazi society and culture and related it to patterns of child-”rearing” in German culture.8 The field of psychohistory has published much along the same lines regarding Nazi culture and the psychological roots of its insanity, along with analyses of many other nations and leaders and national events. Stanislav Grof, to some extent as well, has written on the psychological underpinnings of Nazi and other cultures. Such critiques of cultures are implicit in his findings regarding individual psychology and health and are scattered through his works. 

At any rate, this approach has it, resonating with my assertion of there being an underlying biological paradigm of pleasure-pain and life-death against which cultures can be compared, that there are biological and psychological needs that provide markers against which one can evaluate societies and leaders.

Next, Helpful Things

In sum, to the category of hopeful things … things to foster, we need to include the factor of the psychedelics, which allow people to experience alternatives to the experiential set dictated by their personalities, as imprinted by their early experiences. As well, we need to consider the influence of the postmodern revolution in telecommunications and the electronic media, especially the Internet, the WorldWide Mind, in facilitating a coming together of all thinkers globally, and along with it precipitating an erosion of ego, national, and other strict views, which leave out or cast aspersions on others, including other life forms (species). 

To these hopeful things, let us now look at some helpful things, things that are already in motion, catalysts for change and things we can rely on. In the next chapter, Chapter 30, we look at the influence of television which unwittingly has introduced better ways of parenting, better communications between people, better ways of being with each other and of being in relationship, and evolved attitudes toward race, religion, sexual preference, and gender differences to a worldwide audience comprising all classes of people … for the first time ever in history.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 30

Helpful Things and Catalysts … Sitcom Socialization and Talk-Show Soul-Searching:

Television and a “Quantum Leap” in Parenting … the Cultural Evolution Curmudgeons Cannot See

 

 

 

Television’s Profound … and Misunderstood … Role

Regarding the positive effects of this explosion of technology in the areas of telecommunications and media and the positive elements involved in exposure to contrasting cultural elements and even cultural items in direct conflict with one’s own, I wish to share one more personal story. This has to do with the effect of television on cultural and personal evolution as well as with what is often considered to be mindless, even “sappy,” sitcoms of TV’s earliest era. 

I feel compelled to say this because of a fatigue I have with the tedious old complaints of adult generations who are perennially up in arms over new cultural elements, forever pointing out the trite qualities, if not outright devilish designs, of such cultural changes. Curmudgeonly responses to changing cultural elements are hardly science; irritated expressions of doom and dismay put out by obviously frustrated and overwhelmed old farts of different generations and their conforming underlings of younger generations are hardly wise, let alone intelligent. Yet here we have decades of social science and social and political commentary decrying the cultural effects of low-brow culture, especially that of reality shows, talk shows, and the much maligned sitcom. 

Now, don’t get me wrong, I hate most sitcoms just as much as the next person. And I would find myself just as nauseous to be forced to sit through an episode of Keeping Up with the Kardashians as the best of us. Yet in Apocalypse NO (2013), I pointed to reality shows and talk shows as two of the cultural forces that are aiding our personal and cultural changes to the new forms required for survival. And to this I added sitcoms. Let me tell you why.

Societal Self-Analysis

We see the workings of opposing tendencies to look away from problems — denial and stagnation — or to embrace them — personal growth and cultural change and progress — by examining the reactions in America in the Nineties to the collapse of the Soviet Union just prior to that. On the side wishing denial and continued ignorance, the disappearance of this huge object for distraction from inner unhappiness, an entity about which one could rationalize the use of defensiveness and scapegoating, led to continued turning away from personal and cultural problems through the emergence, in America, of a search for other societal scapegoats and therefore the “Republican revolution.” Culture War replaced the Cold War as the way one could be comfortably ignorant of one’s insides and self-assuredly distracted, self-righteously engaged. 

However, another tendency — one toward growth and change — was also born. In America, we saw, beginning in the Nineties and significantly after the removal of the collective punching bag or scapegoat of the Soviet Union, a healthy turning toward the “darkness” within and a collective self-analysis in America. This reaction brought to the fore many of our social and political shortcomings, however woefully inadequate it showed itself to be in addressing our environmental problems. 

Indeed, these two different reactions to the loss of a scapegoat actually was the culture war being proclaimed at that time.

Talk Show Soul-Searching 

For evidence of the second, the healthier, response we notice beginning in the Nineties the rise of the talk show; the rituals of nationwide self-examination over issues of sexual harassment, spouse abuse, and race relations played out in the Anita Hill – Clarence Thomas hearings and the O. J. Simpson trial; the hashing out of controversial and formerly hidden personal issues around sex, lies, and marital fidelity, played out in the Clinton-Lewinsky Scandal; the reevaluation of matters of faith precipitated by priestly sexual abuse; and many other such national psychodramas staged on cable news networks and the magazine-style, documentary-type TV shows like Frontline, Nightline and the like. 

We also witnessed the rise of reality shows as part of this societal pull to see beneath the covers of what is thought to be real. Now, progressives and intellectuals have lots of fun vamping about how superior they themselves are to such interests, as exemplified in reality shows. This can only be the position of elitists out of touch with the ways ordinary folks live their lives. 

Sitcom Socialization

To make my point, let me back up a bit. The swagger that the Left, and intellectuals in general, display around reality shows is the same superiority they have expressed for decades concerning sitcoms. First, let me say that I consider most sitcoms and reality shows to be rather boring and a bit inane with their laugh and soundtrack framing. 

Yet, when I was a child, growing up in a medium-sized city in the coal country of Pennsylvania and coming from a very traditional family, it was only through such sitcoms that I had a chance to find out what a different style of family and parenting would be. Today, I would laugh at a Father Knows Best. Actually, it would bore me to tears. But when I was a grade-schooler, what I saw on the show was a step up and into better socialization from the “Father Knows Little” or “Father Not Around” of many in my social stratum when I was a kid. This exposure allowed me, and many of my generation, to seek for more in our life and for better interpersonal family relationships … and eventually better parenting. 

This presentation of better alternatives — middle-class, liberal, “hollywood” ones — to everyone in America has a lot to do with the fact that the Sixties were so explosive. It was the first decade after the introduction of a national culture through the medium of television. Much has been made of the fact that newscasts brought information into living rooms for the first time in that era — which is the factor in the change that was observed that academics and intellectual elitists will focus on, blinded by their quaint beliefs that humans are rational actors. It takes an experiential psychologist and social scientist like myself to notice that most folks act out of ideas and attitudes that are rooted in experiences and information that are hardly rational. 

So, the modeling of a more “advanced” way of family life — not perfect but for many better than the traditional ways they had known, which included things like spanking and attitudes like “children are to be seen not heard” and “spare the rod, spoil the child” — through the TVs and cinemas of America was vastly more influential in changing society than newscasts, whose information could just as easily have been shared through the print media. The sitcoms brought liberal middle-class values, especially those relevant to a more advanced child-caring, to everyone in America who owned a TV set; and this was a huge step forward at the time. And this is exactly why conservatives turned red at the thought of it.

A Modern “Priesthood”

This is where Righties are correct when looking to “hollywood” for many of the changes in our culture over the last sixty years … though they see that as a negative influence. But intellectuals and Lefties blow an opportunity and lose support among ordinary folks through an unconscious haughtiness and a cultural snobbery they are blind to but display in their turning up their noses at popular culture. Luckily, as an anthropological social scientist, I can study popular culture and get away with it, though not without some snide commentary coming my way from progressive and professional circles. 

They simply will never understand an intellectual who can speak to working folks because he is one of them. They simply do not get my attempts to package the crucial understandings of modern science and social sciences, on which the existence of our very world depends, in words that are not primarily directed to and meant to appease the gods of academia. They consider themselves important within their tiny professional circles, thinking they are changing the world, when no one even knows what they are doing beyond that constrained perimeter.

Keeping the People Down

Indeed, the attitude of academics and progressives about popular culture, especially talk and reality show TV programming and although they would be appalled to ever think it, is no different from the attitudes of the Catholic Church and the clergy about matters of faith during medieval times. There, too, we had an elite wanting to “keep out the unwashed.” There, too, we had a distinction between people in the know and the rabble, with the anointed ones requiring ordinary folks to go through them for matters of truth and faith. We had then also this sharp distinction between the “high culture” of the Church and aristocracy — exemplified in the chamber and symphony music of the time — and the “low culture” of the masses — exemplified by the folk music of the troubadours of that day.

Nowadays this poo-pooing of TV culture by intellectuals is the same kind of attempt to funnel reality to the masses, this time through the filters of a new “priesthood.” The cultural purists and intellectual elites would prefer that for truth you go through them in academia, where you have to pay a toll of course, just as the priests of the Middle Ages required you to pass their way on the road to the Divine.

Therapy for the Masses

At any rate, throwing off the snootiness of intellectualism, I contend, allows us to notice that sitcoms, reality shows, and talk shows serve functions in society that are, overall, beneficial in advancing our culture and catalyzing increased growth. They may not reflect, yet, where intellectuals and progressives think we should be, but for many they show something beyond where they are. 

We should know that they are overall helpful in our cause from the fact that conservatives want to attack hollywood and limit freedom of expression on any airwave. That many reactionaries want to keep their children out of schools, home-schooled, and away from TV sets should be telling progressives something about the value of popular culture

Rebirth Denied

My point is that the rise in reality and talk shows are coincident with a need for a kind of societal “therapy” that came about when America took back its projections from the Soviets and was forced to look at itself. I am saying this was a healthy way of doing it, and this was helping us, though it was tumultuous and difficult, in the Nineties. It is unfortunate — though it suited the forces of war and fascism — for the 1% to bring forth in the millennium the bugaboo of terrorism. Terrorism served perfectly in bringing about another endless feud with another concocted enemy to project our own darknesses onto so we could escape from having to notice them ourselves and bring about actual personal growth and cultural advance … let alone the cultural rebirth that has been trying to happen for decades.

American Rehab

Reality shows are like watching group therapy happening. It is not surprising that there was even one reality program that was about therapy — Celebrity Rehab. Reality shows also expose ordinary folks to what amounts to crude but informative sociological experiments. If academics could see beyond their pretensions they would applaud this sort of, however haphazard and imprecise, understanding of group processes and individual psychology arising in the masses.

If reality shows did not exist, folks would have a harder time knowing appropriate ways for men and women to act with each other. The gains of feminism would not have spread so widely or as fast if they were not being modeled and reinforced repeatedly on talk and reality shows. 

The same thing applies to civil rights and to combatting racism. That is another development raising the ire of Righties. Reality shows demonstrate respectful and effective ways for men and women to interact; they show a racial and sexual preference neutrality that is laudable and ahead of and leading the rest of Western culture; and they depict parenting and social skills — “politically correct” ones, in the good sense — to folks who would otherwise not know any better than to behave crudely and abusively. This powerful catalyst for change on social issues such as these infuriate people who are terrified of change … another reason for reactionary rage over TV and hollywood. Lefties should keep in mind from whose camp — a right-wing, conservative one — they are sallying forth in their charges against the popular media.

Overall, the much maligned reality, sitcom, and talk shows bring the world, geography, travel, and history to the masses. In this sense they are powerful in bringing down the walls of monolithic culture and catalyzing the multiculturalism of such bright promise!

Intellectuals quibble about the quality of that information, which whining comes across as quite childish. For it arises as if out of a jealousy of others getting the attention academics want and out of a fear of competition for informational matters around science, culture, and humanities. It strikes me as more than ironic that those on the Left who would wish people to wake up from their zombie slumber would want to push programs of literature or drama where truths are filtered through the consciousness, and unconscious, of the artist, while wishing to deprive folks of a direct look — however contrived, it is actual reality and not scripted — at the world around them and at people’s actual unplanned behavior and spontaneous reactions to unusual events. Such knowledge, indeed, is more likely to stimulate artistic expression rather than induce people to be passive consumers of culture created by another elite — artists and writers. 

Seeing people’s behavior in some of these reality shows does often remind me of the dynamics I have seen in therapy groups, and some of the personal changes in the participants mirror some of the evolutions I have watched unfold in folks undergoing deep experiential psychotherapy. The audience participation part often sounds like group therapy or an intervention. I have been struck by how some of the group processes in the shows remind me of family day in rehab, with folks reflecting back what they see in each other and how others’ behavior has affected them. These are all things that conservatives cringe at … actually hate. Yet liberals, except for notable exceptions like Jerry Springer, are not seeing the opening they have here. Lefties are fighting rather than using these forces, which are in the direction of personal growth and, cumulatively, much needed societal change.

As a psychologist and simply someone who loves people, I am fascinated by some of the things I see in these shows. They can be heart-wrenchingly real at times. So it occurs to me that folks who disparage these shows, comparing them with literature and dramatic productions, is another thing where some are wanting to have their reality filtered, managed, and packaged for them, lest it be too “disruptive” to their prejudices of things.

Television and a “Quantum Leap” in Parenting … the Cultural Evolution Curmudgeons Cannot See

The point I am making is that television has been a powerful force in fostering better parenting — which, as deMause astutely noted, is the “driving engine” of cultural progress — and that I can attest to that personally. Indeed, all my brothers and sisters parented their children vastly differently from the way we were ourselves raised. Astonishingly, their parenting styles represented that leap in human consciousness that we are wanting in the area of environmental awareness at this present moment. While not perfect, the way my nieces and nephews were nurtured and cared for throughout their childhoods and adolescences was a quantum leap in evolution forward from what we had learned through our experiences in childhood. 

This is one concrete example of the tendency I am calling for to end the cycles of viciousness in general in society with folks individually saying, “Let the madness end with me,” and thereby taking the pain inside themselves rather than acting it out. These changes by my siblings could not have come easily. For no kind of change or creative responses to problems come easy. However, they were aided by models of parenting that we all got from our TV sets growing up and those much maligned sitcoms. Later they were informed by talk shows and to some extent reality shows. 

The contrast of upper-middle-class culture, if you will, as presented by hollywood, with our lower working class upbringing was acute, but it had powerful positive effects. I can only assume these processes have been going on in other families and that they continue today, catalyzed even more powerfully by the internet and the pervasive multiculturalism of postmodernity. 

Thus, in terms of helpful things, things that are in motion, that we can rely on, we must think of the influence of television which unwittingly has introduced better ways of parenting, better communications between people, better ways of being with each other and of being in relationship, and evolved attitudes toward race, religion, sexual preference, and gender differences to a worldwide audience comprising all classes of people … for the first time ever in history.

While all that is not directly related to environmental awareness, and admittedly a focus on the environment in these shows is minimal, though it is there, it is all change in the correct direction of awareness of increasing compassion toward each other, understanding of each other, reduction of ego, lowering of defenses, and thus facilitates the connection with that harmonious, deeper human nature we have, not the egoistic one. 

It’s Only Natural

A special case is that acknowledgment of the injustices we have traditionally heaped upon minorities and women is a gigantic step toward the one of seeing how we have done the exact same thing toward planetmates and the world of Nature. When we acknowledge the feeling consciousness of planetmates, as well as indigenous and primal peoples, we are reminded of our deeper, more natural human nature as well. For we, like planetmates, are Nature, at our base, though we put ourselves above it out of fear and ego.

This separation from Nature, however, is so embedded in us that even those espousing a “return to Nature,” or a reunion, a reconnection with it have scarcely any idea what that means. Though our acknowledgment of planetmates and primal peoples could instruct them. If you want to “get in touch with Nature,” you are better off feeling for the plight of planetmates and your fellow humans and giving five dollars to a homeless person or playing with a kitty than simply going through the motions of unity with Nature by camping out, hiking, or hugging a tree. 

Nature is not “the woods”! Nature is the nature of your body, our biological functions and feelings, which we have split off from. Any corporate or academic cog can spend a weekend in the forest or on the beach, but to really re-unite with Nature, can they cry for the injustices of others? Or even for the struggles of their own children? Can they laugh uproariously? Can they burp and pass gas without embarrassment or feeling they need to go to another room? Can they fuck uninhibitedly? 

Can they participate in the birth of their child? Can they unashamedly curse and engage in sexual talk and banter without feeling they have to show their distance from and superiority to that by putting their nose up at it? Can they let themselves be a little dirty without feeling they need to wash their hands and shower about it? Can they refrain from the dictates of fashion and the push to fit in by wearing comfortable clothes and shoes, abhorring the deformation that comes with high heels and the discomfort that comes with tight clothing? Can they let hair grow on their body without feeling it is some kind of vermin or bacteria that needs to be beaten back and shaved away? Similarly, do they need to use “product” on hair, skin, or underarms before they can be in public? Do they need to paint their faces and have their hair and teeth perfect? I mean, can they be natural … or just ape it by going to scenic places … worse, taking pictures of them? 

Are they able to blush when embarrassed? Or is their aim to maintain a professional “adult” stone face, like any Spock or Clint Eastwood, showing the world how much they can look and act like robots rather than fleshy humans or the furry planetmates of Nature? Can they swoon, caught up in love and desire? Can they join hands with others on the front lines of a cause to stop the desecration of the planet, to save the planetmates? Can they hug? Or do they have to handshake? If they hug, can they do so for more than a second? Without maintaining an A-frame stance or melding it with a handshake, like “bro’s” do, with their hands in front keeping their lower bodies apart as if genitals are radioactive? Can they fall on the floor laughing? Crawl and roll around on their lawns playing “horsey” with their toddlers? Can they goof and be silly? Can they bawl their eyes out at the death of a loved one? Can they suffer for the extinction of species and/or give a tear witnessing the killing and bombardment of folks in third-world countries? 

You, see? I gotcher real Nature, right here! And it is our deepest human nature, too!

Next, Things to Put in Motion

 All that being said, let us now expand our survey of hopeful and helpful things … solutions and antidotes … to items related to direct actions individuals can take to raise consciousness for themselves and others. Let us look, now, in Chapter 31, at some catalysts and resources available to us … some things to put in motion, some things to initiate … in pulling off this most exhilarating revolution in consciousness in the entire history of humanity on Earth.  

 

 

 

CHAPTER 31

Resources … Things to Put in Motion:

How Do We Pull Off the Necessary Change in Human Nature Within a Matter of Mere Decades?

 

 

 

Breathwork, Shamanism, and Other Primal Ways

Another thing that seems to have potential to take folks into the places they need to truly change are related to the kinds of spiritual experiences I have mentioned above that are truly effective. These are the ones that involve access to authentic experience, not preprogrammed or ritualized ones, and they are almost always of the kind that have been used by humans throughout prehistory, before we became “civilized.” These would include sweat lodges, vision quests, walkabouts, ayahuasca and peyote ceremonies, firewalking, I suppose, and other forms of shamanic practice and journeying. In this category we might include milder consciousness altering practices such as immersion in evocative music, drumming, and energetic and/or lengthy periods of dancing. Meditation is a special category as it is of two kinds, the kind whose goal is simply a very relaxed state and the kind, in the category of watchfulness, which facilitates self-understanding and awareness … and personal growth. The relaxation or hypnosis or thought controlling variety is often married with positive thinking, use of affirmations, and focuses on attaining secular goals such as wealth, love, fame, power, sex. Thus it reinforces the separate and defended self, the ego, and is counterproductive to expanding to embrace and include the higher, and lower (more fundamental), self. 

Naturally, the current versions of these “primitive” practices, these primal ones, reformulated for us postmodern humans, are something to keep in mind. However, one should look out for and stay away from those that have been watered down and ritualized to make them more palatable (and more lucrative). Still, holotropic breathwork is one such open-structured, “spontaneous” modality, reflective of the ones of our primal ancestors, which is also extremely powerful.

A Primal Renaissance

This perspective points to another bright avenue in our otherwise darkening world. I termed this phenomenon, primal renaissance, in 1995, in my self-published book, as well as the journal of psychology I edited, each of which I gave that title.1 The point I am making is that in all these changes that are needed, we are aided by knowledge of the ways of pre-civilized times.

I will use my words of before, for the most part, as they are just as relevant now and they could not be more apt, here, considering what I have just written in this and in the previous two chapters. 

Are We Entering a Primal Renaissance? 

We live in exciting times.  Information hams it up before us at every turn.  This unparalleled info-glut brings fascination, paralysis, agony, insight, change, renewal, and inspiration.  In some ways it looks like a renaissance — take the incredible proliferation of technology, for example . . . the mind-boggling advances in computers.  But a renaissance of the “primitive,” the “uncivilized” . . . a primal renaissance?  How can that possibly be?

Paleolithic Consciousness … Eden

For weeks I had been working on several articles, my ardor suspending me above the landscape of a natural consciousness, a hunter-gatherer one.  Called paleolithic consciousness by one contemporary theorist, this mindstyle is reputed to exist among our hunter-gatherer progenitors and among some current “primal cultures.”  It is characterized by greater attunement with body and Nature, greater relaxation and well-beingness, more loving child-caring, greater sensory and aesthetic appreciation, more expanded psychic openness, fuller emotional and relational capacity, and greater “with-it-ness” (Witness) with reality in general.

The Earliest Yuppies and the Agrarian Revolution … Out of Eden

I was also focusing on how our civilization came to lose that primal expansiveness of soul — a la “ejection from the Garden of Eden.”  An increasing mistrust of Nature — and an inexplicable rebellion against an eternally old “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” philosophy — led to attempts to control Nature, and consequently body as well.  The supposed big “advance” of these earliest yuppies was the domestication of plants and animals.  In history, this first major “upwardly mobile” turning is known as the agrarian revolution, and it occurred variously between ten- and twenty-five-thousand years ago.

Renaissance

All of a piece it came to me that what was going on now, in Western culture, was exactly parallel to what had occurred during the Renaissance of the fourteenth through eighteenth centuries.  At that time, you may recall, the Catholic Church’s intellectual hegemony was loosening, which allowed ancient Roman and Greek texts preserved in the monasteries to be released into the collective culture.  There, our formerly repressed and forgotten “classical” heritage combined and cross-fertilized with views prevailing at that time to create the incredible flowering of culture and human potential that the word renaissance now conveys.

The View from the Brink of the Nuclear Abyss and Ecological Annihilation

It occurred to me that night how we, in the consciousness and ecology movements, are becoming ever more aware, once again, in diverse and various ways, of the vast legacy of feeling, perception, human fulfillment, and spiritual awareness and viewpoint that current child-“rearing” practices cause us “normally” to leave behind.  Similarly, we come to realize how much our species lost in coming into its much-vaunted “civilization” in its evolutionary history.  The view from the doorstep of nuclear and ecological annihilation allows such perspectives. 

Yet, through our different ways of healing ourselves, and to extents greater and lesser, we retrieve that lost and repressed legacy.

Multiculturalism

And we are, happily, not alone in that retrieval.  Increasingly it appears that our age is characterized, on a global scale, by an unprecedented multiculturalism wrought of technological advances in telecommunications and transportation.  Consequently, we are pushed to enjoying an ever growing awareness of the legacies of primal cultures, both current and historical.

Xenophobia Dissolving and “Ego” Eroding Information

At the same time and not coincidentally we observe our own religious, scientific, and Western-cultural hegemonies collapsing under that same weight of contrary and both xenophobia and “ego” eroding information.Moreover, this collapse is aided by momentous and far reaching occurrences as diverse as our mistaken engagements in third-world countries — our misadventures in Iraq and Vietnam, for example; the technological crisis of credibility wrought of the global ecological crisis; and the discoveries of the new physics with their concurrent death-blow to the pretensions of common-sense materialism.

Re-Integration of the Primitive and Primal … Return to Eden

It became clear to me that just as centuries ago we came out from under the thumb of a brand of cultural repression that scapegoated and repressed former cultures — specifically, the Greek and the Roman legacies, calling them pagan and heathen — we were now coming out from under the thumb of a cultural repression and consequent scapegoating of even longer duration — one extending back ten- to twenty-five-thousand years!  Along with this we were seeing not only the limitations and inadequacies of the Western civilization and technology which so many had sacrificed for, and killed for; we were seeing also the reintegration of long-lost knowledge and worldview — which formerly had been obscured and hidden beneath such pejoratives as primitive, savage, and uncivilized.

Shamans, Vision Quests, Sweat Lodges, and Drums

Some of us were learning this only too well, as it seemed necessary to search out the earliest or least “civilized” cultures possible for the only pertinent tips we could find on sane and healthy child-caring techniques.  

But the rest of our culture is catching on too, and in a big way!  Shamanistic practices, rites of passage, and indigenous rituals are enjoying great popularity.  Workshops on everything from vision quests, firewalking, and Native American sweat lodges . . . to nature treks, drumming, and “sacred arrow” ceremonies have begun popping up.  And currently we are even recognizing our Western patriarchal culture’s evil hand in the extermination of society upon society of indigenous peoples; we were rewriting the history books on the legacy of Columbus even as we passed the five-hundredth anniversary of his landing in America.

A Flourishing of Culture?

What’s more, in a manner analogous to the cross-fertilization of ideas that led to the medieval Renaissance, our culture is expanding and becoming richer through the inclusion of these alternate perspectives.  Those of us on the healing edge are uniquely able to sense the potential of this inclusion as we experience the effects that this kind of appreciation of the feeling, the affectionate, the intuitive, the natural, the body, and the senses has had upon our individual lives.  Why would we not think that this kind of cross-fertilization of repressed heritage would lead to a flourishing of our culture in the same way that it is has led to a blossoming in our lives?

This primal renaissance is indeed one happy prospect coming out of our postmodern times. And, as I explained, the book that will top off the Return to Grace Series, Book 11, Primal Return: Renaissance and Grace, will focus heartily on this phenomenon, among other hopeful ones.

The Brightest Light on Our Cultural Horizon

Indeed, many of us do feel that a “primal renaissance” is occurring on our planet.  Furthermore, many of us believe that this occurrence may be, in truth, the brightest hope on what otherwise can appear globally to be a rather bleak social and cultural horizon.

So let us not lose this opportunity to midwife the emergence of this primal renaissance, and, germinal as it may appear at this time, to nurture it to its fullest flowering.  We cannot change the past, of course.  But our efforts will work — one small measure at least — for righting the many wrongs of those who have come before us toward those earlier primal societies, and the deeply felt ideas and cultural ways they held dear.

Morphic Fields

There is another hopeful stimulus that I need to mention, an unseeable catalyst, if you will: That is, that what seems to be happening around this revolution in consciousness involving opening to prenatal and perinatal states is a kind of morphic resonance phenomenon. Put simply, morphic resonance is the experimentally validated discovery that the more often a particular thing has been learned or experienced by a species, the more readily or easily it is able to be learned and/or experienced by others of that species … without any physical contact or communication between the individuals involved. It points to a field theory … it is called a morphogenetic field … of Reality and knowledge (or Experience). It has been advanced and developed as a theory by Rupert Sheldrake in his many and profound works, going back decades. It is consistent with quantum physics, as well as with my theories as laid out in this and many other of my books, especially Experience Is Divinity (2013) and Funny God (2014). 

Be that as it may, how it applies here is that when I first had sperm experiences, I was one of the handful of people in the world who had such experiences. I re-experienced being a sperm prior to conception for the first time in 1984.

By the way, egg experiences, zygote experiences, and blastocyst experiences are all possible, as well. I have experienced them all; and they have been well documented in the works of Frank Lake and others, going back to the Sixties.

Well, it has seemed to be that the more that folks are having these experiences, the more that other folks are able to access them, too. Indeed, something similar to that happened earlier on with my having birth experiences. At one time, in the Sixties and Seventies, actual birth re-experiences (primals) were rare. But that changed in the course of a mere decade. Birth re-experience is not yet common in psychotherapeutic rooms and, for many reasons, it is not something to be sought out. In particular, there should never be an attempt to induce it outside of the natural spiritual and therapeutic growth process. But it does occur; and it occurs more often than ever, for reasons that I have stipulated in this book and especially in my work, Apocalypse NO (2013), which includes in its subtitle, The Emerging Perinatal Unconscious.  

So also now, with even deeper experiences, more folks have been able to experience these realities than ever before in history, and they occur more easily and sooner. And this has nothing to do with suggestion. 

Though it might have something to do with the fact that folks might be able to interpret these experiences this way because they know that it is a possibility than if they thought it not. Indeed, I pointed out how many of the experiences of Swami Guru Muktananda (1974) might be able to be re-interpreted in ways other than what he did at the time, now that we are aware of this ability to re-experience such early events in our lives, going all the way back to and before conception.2

Expanding the Potentials of Humanity Within Our Lifetimes?

Finally, I want to say that there is something wonderfully hopeful to be gleaned from all this. That is, that because of the number of experiencers doing this work and being healed and “enlightened” by these profound experiences, at this time in our evolution as humans, we may be on the verge of expanding the potentials for what humans are able to experience in spiritual and nonordinary states of consciousness. Astoundingly, we might be speeding up the process for, and extending the possibilities of, human growth towards liberation in one lifetime, far beyond anything that has been possible in the history of humanity.

And none too soon.

New Birthing Awareness and Procedures. New Prenatal Awareness and Bonding

Beyond considering the remedial, as in what social and cultural forces are or should be in play to facilitate solutions and what personality and consciousness benefiting techniques and therapies are available to heal individuals, we can still consider the preventative. Those being born today, with luck, will have an effect on the course of our planet and its ecology. This is true even if we just consider that it could begin for them while they are in their teens, and most certainly within eighteen to twenty-two years when they are in college. Doing our best to nurture, bond with, and parent in the most loving ways these new societal members will help us all and eliminate the need for the time-consuming and exhausting remedial measures to which the rest of society, those of us born previous to now, must apply ourselves. 

Remember that the best way to manifest that more fundamental human nature of cooperation, feeling, and conscience is in the first place to not facilitate the ugly “human nature” of competition, insensitivity, and violence to which prenatal and perinatal traumatic events give rise. There is indeed more hope in this than was thought to be for us when it was thought that we had base instincts of destruction, aggression, and outright insanity and psychosis, which could only be gone beyond or thwarted by a ruthless reeducation campaign, social and behavioral re-engineering, and a constant barrage of cultural affirmations, propaganda to be civil, if you will, which in the past was put out by the incessant drumming of religious and civil entities.

With this new information about the true roots of aggression and insanity in humans, we know there does not have to be a continual struggle to fix or control the behavior of adults, if we simply bring children into the world who will naturally have the opposite inclinations. Good-natured children, Divine-natured children, even, do not have the negative pulls we damaged adults do to egoistically contend with our social and physical environments; they do not need to run away from confronting the harsh realities we need to face in order to survive; and they are not driven by any “death instinct” or Thanatos to act against their own interests, their own survival and that of their families and to be suicidal and self-destructive. No. As we bring them into the world … and we have begun to do that … we will find increasingly that they will have much more to teach us about how to be real and how to survive and to face crises and problems and find solutions to them than we can teach them.

Keep in mind that what constitutes our human psychology and what makes up our human nature can be seen as fortuitous, in that there is hope therein … for our previous understandings of psychology, human nature, and our place in the Divine scheme of things did not lend itself to a very optimistic outlook. For the idea of a savage nature, and a genetic “kill or be killed” motive for existence, not to mention a view of humans as at base competitive, non-cooperative, aggressive, and greedy, while it provides a justification for a capitalist framework for economies, does not offer any hope. Hence, most folks have heretofore considered that we cannot survive. Or else they assume that surviving would entail some kind of totalitarian New World Order to control all humans, seen as irredeemably wayward. 

My books are saying that, simply, that is not the case, that those viewpoints were rationalizations for the status quo and were cultural creations which have a purpose of justifying the actions of an elite. But since they are wrong about what humans are like, then there is hope.

Compare what I am saying with the hope that is said to be at the bottom of Pandora’s Jar … or box. First notice that the original Greek understanding has it as a jar, an apt metaphor, because of its shape, for a woman’s body and in particular the womb. Through our understanding now, as laid out in this book as the prenatal matrix of human events, we can see why it would be a jar, for our “evils” do emanate from such a jar-like womb. That it became thought to be a box is an indication of our increasing separation from our primal selves and our bodies over time. Second, notice what an incredible metaphor for our damaged human nature is this Pandora’s Jar! Wrought of the stealing of fire, thus, civilization, this ugly human nature, riddled with prenatal pain, contains all the evils, sicknesses, and troubles of life. Yet there is, set at the bottom of it, hope. For that hope, you can read our more fundamental human nature.

And there is further hope in that our cultures are changing in ways to amplify those fortuitous possibilities. Where I live, in Eugene, Oregon, I was struck by a sign on a bus pointing out that in Oregon, one in five babies are born at home and with the assistance of professional midwives. Births facilitated in this manner are much more likely to foster children in tune with that positive human nature than babies born into insensitive, sterile, cold, and unfeeling hospital environments.

Many other developments, besides midwifery, are in play currently to bring positive changes to the ways we treat our newest members both in the womb and at birth as well as later in the ways they are parented and educated. Better prenatal care and bonding with our prenates is going on. More humane and gentle birthing procedures are being adopted and espoused. More advanced parenting — emphasizing loving attention rather than dictatorial control … not to mention foregoing corporal punishment such as spanking — is being embraced and utilized by parents of all social classes … and this for the first time ever in history. 

For that last part, we can thank the informational flood of awareness being catalyzed by television, as I was pointing out above, and the electronic media of all kinds. Much more in this direction needs to happen, but we must not forget that these forces are at work and that we have had some success in making the cultural changes that would facilitate the continuation of life on this planet of ours.

The Occupy Movement

You say you want more direct and immediate things that can be done and that perhaps you can do? No problem.

Hey, occupy Earth, for one. The Occupy movement, which began in October of 2011, was a firestorm of response to frustration about changing. And it was the first worldwide movement for progressive change seen since the Sixties. If you think it has gone away, you have not been looking. It fostered ongoing action for change in many disparate but all progressive ways. Furthermore, its mode of discussion as practiced in its General Assemblies represents a model for egalitarian dialogue and decision-making that goes far beyond the competitive and disputative modes (or the authoritarian, patriarchal ones) of virtually all other decision making groups, whether corporate and secular or civil and governmental. 

However, much more needs to be done to help the world, and Occupy needs to have a grander role and influence in bringing that about; and maybe it is you who is needed to help. (You can’t blame me for trying. lol)

Democratic Socialism

Political and economic changes need to happen, as well. They should not be overlooked, for the effect of small changes in political and/or economic processes are profound. They are wider ranging than ever imagined and are longer lasting than the influences of any individual or group. Any changes in the actual system, once it is established, effects change on an ongoing and automatic basis, requiring no additional personal or group effort to bring it about. 

This is one of the true benefits of activism over against mere personal growth. Civil rights movements do not have to be continually redone once its tenets have made it into law. The effects can also be unwritten and be equally long lasting. Once we halted nuclear plant construction in the United States with that lawsuit, it did not need to be re-stopped. Though of course that can change, as is true of any systemic progress. Still, institutional change is the longest lasting of all and is far superior, in changing a world, than any effects of individuals, however cumulative. For even those must result in institutional and legal change eventually.

So we need political and economic change, for it is the most powerful and longest lasting of all. But what kind of political change? What kind of economic?

It should be clear that capitalism is the epitome of civilization, with all of the faults civilization has that are contributing to our humanicide and the world’s ecocide — hierarchy, insensitivity to the needs of the individual, inequality, domination and submission, dependence on the value of power and control, and greed and the profit motive not just adopted, but actually enshrined … worshipped, even. On the other hand, at this very moment, Bernie Sanders, in America, is presenting a model of Democratic Socialism that would help, if ever adopted. 

Not coincidentally his proposals include a robust program addressing climate change. This should not be surprising, for our interests — survival, the health of our children — are obvious and ever more pressing, and real people, actual people, cannot help but respond to them. It is primarily the mindless monster of the corporation, feeding itself on greed and self-interest, that is the barrier to real change. So anything that takes the seat of decision making out of the hands of those whose only interest is profit and the material advance of themselves alone — which cumulatively create the monster with no conscience whatsoever, the corporation — is a helpful and hopeful thing.

The point is that socialistic and utopian schemes can work, if we focus on a parallel consciousness revolution and an environmental campaign to save the planet to go along with the political ones. This brings in the Marxist material for a complete rebuilding, not a mere tune-up. For indeed, socialist revolution was itself founded upon understandings of humans and human nature and of our relation to Nature that, while the movement was considered utopian, were wrong and were doomed to failure. You cannot build a utopia peopled with folks motivated in the way we have been seeing them in modern societies, which is to say, as self-obsessed and materialistic. 

So, only a thorough reformulation of what is human and what is human nature and what are the possibilities for consciousness change and what are the possible ways of facilitating changes in consciousness on a mass scale (See Chapters 32 and 33) can provide what is needed for a radical restructuring of societies and economies in a way that would save the planet.

Next Stop:  The Everything

As I mentioned earlier, this topic of solutions will be addressed again and again in my many works, as well as that most solutions are embedded within the problems themselves. For most deleterious processes and events the answer is simply, “Stop it!” as comedian Bob Newhart once so humorously put it.3

Yes, to put an end to most things that are taking us to oblivion, the solution is to simply stop doing them. Beyond that, one need only look to any of the readily available alternatives to any such procedures or practices. Still, as I said above, I will address these topics of solutions and ways and visions and possible futures in my works, Prodigal Human and Primal Return, which are to be brought into print in the next few years. Furthermore, my book already in print and the one previous to this in the Return to Grace Series, Apocalypse NO: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious speaks to this topic and points out some hopeful and helpful developments in postmodern times, resting alongside the growing problems.

For now, however, I want to take this entire discussion even further. In the next two chapters, the last two in the book, I want to place this entire unprecedented dilemma and challenge within its proper metaphysical context. For these times have significance far beyond ourselves and our trivial concerns. Affecting the planet and the entire biosphere and being the most significant lifetimes for us out of many, we are uplifted and comforted knowing that our actions fit into a cosmic, or metaphysical, and certainly meaningful, pattern, within which we find vision, direction, and encouragement. Beyond this we find that our roles have consequences and importance beyond what we could ever imagine. As I put it, and it is particularly relevant here again, in Funny God (2015):

 “…many will feel inspired and enthusiastic about participating in some of the grand and singular undertakings of our current age — an age that Funny God reveals to be affording an opportunity for a life of fulfillment and wonder unlike any since the beginning of time:

“these times are the coming together of heaven and earth….

“we walk in realms of the mythical, the archetypal….

“we are embraced by arms of Divinity … and find ourselves as fingers of God Herself….

“we are the myths in motion … are witness to secrets of eternity finally revealed….” 

“we are players in epic stories of ends of days and beginnings of time….”

 

 

 

CHAPTER 32

Centaurs, Shamans, Sacrificial Lambs, and Scapegoats:

Reflections on a Collective Shadow and Experience as Primary

 

 

 

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

In one final look into hopeful and helpful things, this chapter addresses that larger theme of self-sacrifice … central to this book … in a multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious context: Are there people who take on the “sins” — or “Pain” — of others?  For while Wounded Deer and Centaurs is hardly a religious text, it does address the theme of certain people, like Chiron, the centaur, from mythology, sacrificing themselves for others, for others who cannot help themselves.

But now let us look at this idea in an even larger, spiritual context. Are there people who take on the karma — in an Eastern sense — or the mistakes and evil of others who are not able to handle the consequences of their actions? 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 chapter is not about Christ but about that theme of extraordinary individuals with a Divinely-inspired mission of suffering for the sake of others … others who cannot “help” themselves out 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 myself, have theorized is commensurate, that is, equal, to all of Nature, including humanity — each and every one of us? 

Assuming this, in this part I discuss 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 I put forth the proposition that there is a collective “pool of pain.” 

Janov, in The Primal Scream (1970), introduced the idea of a primal pool of pain, which each of us has and which is built up out of the unfelt traumas and pains of our early lives. It is something we each need to access, release, and integrate in order to be well, or at least weller. The thesis I am proposing is along those lines, except I am suggesting there might be a collective one which we all, somehow, share and which needs some ones — heroes? centaurs? chirons, perhaps? — to address and release, and thereby to help us all out, make us all “weller.” 

The idea of a collective pool of pain is not as strange as it might at first sound as something like this has been advanced by Jung in his writing on a possible collective Shadow, even a national one. While to my knowledge he never advanced the idea, as I am doing here, of individuals helping in the resolution of that Shadow — this was, after all, in the era before we knew of the kind of resolution of pain that is possible, as we see in primal and similar modalities — he saw there were patterns of pain and integration that transcended time in the lives of nations. Others have used this idea, however metaphorically or speculatively, to bring otherwise unseeable insight into the events of nations unfolding in the course of their histories. My suggestion, also, is that we think of it as a humanity-wide phenomenon as well, a species-wide one. Considering Jung’s ideas of collective unconscious, collective consciousness, and collective Shadow, it is a speculation I think Jung would heartily approve.

This is relevant for our purposes here in several respects. I mentioned earlier this need to “wash away” and even to “atone” for the “sins of the Fathers” — that is, the acts of hundreds of generations of promethean humans, in particular, male ones … “fathers.” Saying we must atone for or redeem the efforts of promethean fathers is significant, for indeed these ultimately planet destroying ways of greed and domination of Nature are interwoven so thoroughly into patriarchal ways of being as to not be visible. Certainly, war against Nature and other humans was not a part of our earlier matricentric and more “feminine” ways of being, which were characterized by harmony with Nature, sustainability, and more feeling and egalitarian modes of interaction.

At any rate, now, I am asking you to consider something beyond that, beyond mere self-sacrifice to compensate for the unwitting actions of forebears: 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.

Let me relate how I first began to think about this notion. It goes back several decades to a conference I had attended in my field of holotropic breathwork.

The Community’s Inner Dragon

She’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 had ever heard. 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 into, if one is sufficiently open … and ready.

Since this type of thing has come up, as well, in my own inner journeying, I would like to suggest that what we are 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 that 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

Similarly, 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 access 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.

I am reminded of how certain African tribal “kings” (they are called “kings,” but chieftains would better describe them), 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.

Along these lines, I can tell you that I have experienced what appears to be this phenomenon on more than one occasion. It is quite common to pick up on, and feel, the feelings of those for whom one is “sitting,” facilitating, in deep experiential psychotherapy. One can call this empathy, of course. Nothing necessarily unusual with that. However, I have also experienced where someone I was facilitating was unable to feel the events they were remembering. They were obviously too horrible and painful. One occasion I remember vividly was when a client was relating how she and her sister had been raped at gunpoint by two men. She could not emote about it, but I did. Of course I did not do that in a way as to interrupt her process, but in a quiet way at the time — tears and the like — and afterwards, uninhibitedly, I did. And no, I had not been raped in this lifetime either. (Another lifetime? That’s another story.)

If nothing else, there is a kind of field of energy that both sitter and experiencer share. Many psychotherapists know this. I am talking about when it is that, but it goes beyond that — to where the primal work, the healing work, that is too overwhelming for the experiencer to embrace and feel, at least at that time, seeking release as it will, finds its way out — expressed, emoted — through the sitter. It is as if the sitter functions as a kind of vent pipe or overpressure plug on a pressure cooker. Writing this, I am reminded of some of the functions of shamans when they attend to the sick. In at least some versions of this, they participate in the experience of the sick person, they might even take on some of the symptoms or, perhaps this is metaphoric, enter the consciousness of the afflicted, find the lost soul, and bring it back.

Similarly, it was not uncommon for me to begin experiencing the primal pain and symptoms of those I was sitting for in primal therapy. One primal buddy of mine had tremendous asthma, which went back to his being in the womb when, as a tiny fetus, he had a major trauma that entailed a rupture along what was his just forming chest. He responded at the time, saving his life, by making a desperate and intense effort to contract the tissues of his fetal chest to bring the cells together to be reknitted. This contraction of his chest was the way he responded to all stress from then on, thus asthma. During my time of buddying with him, I began having asthma symptoms in my own primaling as well. It was as an adjunct to the other material that was coming up and out of me; it got included in it, you might say. Yet never before or afterward did I have those symptoms of asthma in any primal or other experience.

From these things, it appears as if everyone in a community does not have to, or is not able to, “work” all of their own stuff. It seems 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

In 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.

It 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 is done. Obviously there is 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!”

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, or 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.” And for the bush, we can read the Unconscious or the Universe or the All That Is. That is, everything truly outside oneself.

Consider also the prevalent idea of “turning it over” to the divinity or the item of worship … as in “let go, let God,” as another variation on this pattern. In the same light, we might look at the recovery prayer, which asks to be given “the serenity to accept the things I cannot change” (turning it over), “the courage to change the things I can” (incorporating half), “and the wisdom to know the difference.” So here also, the bush is asked to take half and we are responsible for “consuming” the other half, and integrating it.

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 … or one’s primal, one’s prenatal/perinatal Pain.

Perhaps doing this integration, for oneself and others, is behind the meaning of someone being “a saint.” Perhaps this is what is involved in becoming “enlightened.” I don’t know.

At any rate, it is something worthy of speculation. It is something of which wounded deer and centaurs should be aware.

Experience Is Primary

Nevertheless, it 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. Yet 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 have ever existed. To consider it again is part of that primal renaissance I mentioned earlier, in fact. It is something we lost in venturing into our rationalistic, our “civilized,” humanity. 

Lastly, these ways of seeing Reality are consistent with the furthest reaches of our understandings of physical reality itself, as we are learning from quantum physics. And there are other modern scientific discoveries bringing forth these “primal” understandings of the primary nature of the Universe as Mind or Experience and the interconnection of all things and beings.

Shared Experience:  Morphic Resonances and COEX Systems

Let me explain. Earlier, I brought forth this phenomenon of someone experiencing trauma that had not happened to them, this idea of experience being shared. Now, I must tell you that a similar idea has been coming out of people having rape fantasies, both men and women, where apparently there has been no sexual abuse. It is becoming ever more common. I can tell you this from my many decades of experience in psychotherapeutic circles, groups, conferences, conventions and from talks with colleagues. 

It leads me to ask, is it that in some way when we are violated as children, psychologically and emotionally, that it is part of a gestalt or resonance — Stanislav Grof would say a COEX system; Rupert Sheldrake would say a morphogenetic field or morphic resonance — that includes actual physical violations from a collective pool of pain?

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

UFOs:  Is That Gaia Calling?

Another item related to this pattern is the current UFO abduction experiences — the incidence of which is also increasing. One interesting explanation for such experiences of being abducted and then examined, probed, and sampled — which corresponds to this collective pool of pain theory — is derived from the idea that, literally, the Earth herself (Gaia) has consciousness and is therefore part of a collective consciousness to which we also belong. This idea of an Earth hologram is propounded by Goddess theorists and by others as well. Joseph Chilton Pearce (1980) claims we have primary access to such an Earth hologram as children and lose it later through our normative indoctrination into society.

He writes:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Volcano-Jumping for Bliss and Profit

For whatever they are worth, I offer these speculations in the hope of stimulating renewed appreciation of the roles of journeyers and shamans — as they have reemerged in their modern form in the deep experiential growth modalities such as holotropic breathwork and primal therapy, among many others in these days of primal renaissance.

As for its connection to the role of wounded deer and centaurs as related to our promethean fathers and to the others around us who cannot or will not awaken and be of use here, it may be that we have as well taken on an ancient role. That is, that in all cultures of all times there have been that small minority who, it seems, are destined to be the ones facing the underbellies of their cultures, for the rest of their society cannot. The others have not the capacity or ability to do that.

Furthermore, if it is true, as I am saying here, that we are all interconnected and that our pains, problems, and past actions are shared and are a common responsibility, not an individual or personal one, then two things follow: 1) We are adopting an ancient and necessary role and can consider ourselves to be like shamans, even in our activist roles, in rectifying the results of actions of truly culpable others. And since we are all interconnected, there is nothing unfair or even strange about that. And, 2) we can expect that our efforts toward those salubrious ends will be magnified, even multiplied, beyond any expectations that we could possibly have. This would pertain, because any progress, changes, or healings of our own consciousness, and the actions that result from them, flow into and enhance the consciousness and abilities of others and the humanity around us in ways that are seeable and measurable, yes, but also in ways that are not visible and that are merely, albeit profoundly, psychic or of the nature of our consciousness, our direct Experience, our common Subjectivity: We are One.

 

 

 

CHAPTER 33

Funny God … the Cosmic Overstanding:

Our Deepest, Compassionate Human Nature Abhors the Murder Implicit in Ecocide … It’s All in You and Up to You

 

 

 

Now, dear reader, this is the chapter where I set all of this — all this pre/perinatal psychology and activism — inside a metaphysical framework which adds immeasurably to our understanding of both thrusts of this book — the consciousness expanding and the activism encouraging. This is the final chapter where I give you the “best stuff,” shake you by the hand or give you a fist bump, and pat you on the back/ slap you on the butt: “Go get ‘em, champ!” As I send you out the door to be your own raging maniac of change, hope, and planetary and planetmate survival.

Funny God 

Last year, 2015, I published my book, Funny God: The Tao of Funny God and the Mind’s True Liberation. Briefly, it is a macrocosmic look at our times and our challenges. It is the highest overstanding of our situation. Some of its ideas are relevant here, as well. 

Still, some of its notions might seem at odds with what is being said here. I can easily see that someone who would understand the idea, put forth there, that we, and all life, are essentially immortal for they (we) are all aspects of a One Consciousness, a One Experience, which has no beginning or end and which only changes and transforms, might wonder then at why we should at all be concerned with this dying off of life on our planet. One might be tempted to cop a pseudo-spiritual or transpersonal stance to bolster one’s dark forces of denial and complacency and might feel that my work supports such apathy, such cowardice. That is hardly the case, and here I will explain why.

God Is Us

You say, “funny god”? God is funny? 

While I think there is something to that — to God being funny as in having a sense of humor — which I get into in other places, the main point I am making with funny god is that God’s a trip, to put it in the vernacular. More accurately, God is funny, because we’re fallible, we’re funny, and God is us. God is funny because we as God are pathetic, dramatic, foolish, forgetful of our true nature as Divinity, and more. We “ape” that we are intelligent, superior to Nature, and transcendent to Nature with our pretension of having the ability to reason. Yet, as I said in Chapter 15 about the “gods” reaction to us as we continue our blind plummeting into an environmental abyss, with the evidence of our mistaken ambitions all around us, they are no doubt laughing at us. Yes, we are ultimately God, but damn we’re funny as humans!

You see, in addition to Funny God, I wrote Experience Is Divinity (2013). From my experience and understanding … experience and understanding that is not that uncommon in these psychedelic and mystical days … the highest truth that we can know is that we are all One and that One is the All That Is. And that All That Is includes us.

I mean, we say, “We are stardust.” Well, like, so what? I mean physically we are stardust, but the important thing about being stardust is that we are part of the Universe. We are part of the Reality of the Universe.

We are not separate trying to get to heaven. We are not separate, trying to get to God. We are part of … God. God is the All That Is, and we are part of that. We are not “above” Reality, looking down on it — the way we imagine of that deity of ours, who we say we are not yet act like we are in trying to control everything around us. No. Big surprise, we are part of Reality. And Reality is the manifestation of God, it is God, seen from our diminished human perspective. Reality is not some separate, machine-like thing which a different “thing,” a God, sets in motion, adjusts, and repairs, like some gigantic watch maker in the sky.

Our misconceived and fraudulent religions have us thinking that we are separate from Reality and separate from God, and that we have fallen.

No, we are part of God. Always have been; always will be. But what we have done is that we have forgotten that we are God. Consider how much we forget about our deeper human nature of cooperation and joy in the process of going through the prenatal/perinatal pain and trauma that I have delineated in this book. Now, consider that part of that pain, as well as even earlier trauma that I get into in Falls from Grace (2014), has us forgetting our even deeper Divine Nature, actually Identity, as well.

Forgetting (Voluntary Limitations) Make Life Fun

So I see Reality in terms of funny gods, and a Funny God. Basically God is funny because we, as God, each one of us, decided to forget that we are God, so as to have a trip — the human trip.

It is kind of like playing a game. You know, when you play a board game, you forget that the real world exists out there. You’re playing Monopoly or whatever, and that’s your reality for that moment. You have certain rules.

And you are operating with other people, other entities. It is a back-and-forth kind of thing, action and reaction, communication and response, play and counter-play. And it’s fun. We are engaged and wanting to see what our opponents are going to do. What will be their next play? How will we react to it?

But, in order, for it to be fun, we have to forget that it is not real, that there are no real, or at least very important, stakes. If it is a card game, we have to forget that we could walk over behind our opponent and look at the cards in their hand. We have to refrain from knowing their next play by staying on our side of the table. Those are the rules. 

Similarly, in the game of life, we have to forget that we know it all. We have to keep out of our mind, while playing, that there actually is no duality, there is no I and them, there is no time, that everyone is One and all time is Now and all awareness is within us. We have to forget all that and pretend there are limitations and separations and that we do not, indeed, know it all, including the next “play.” Though we do! In a part of us, which again we have forgotten, we do!

In this play of life, we know even what our opponents are going to do. Indeed, a part of us knows the entire script of our lives as well as everyone else’s. But what fun is it to read a novel that you already know by heart and whose ending is clear in your mind?

No. It’s not going to be fun if you know what their next play is going to be. 

So, we know even what our fellow players, our other us’s, are going to do, yet we have to limit ourselves in order to fully participate in the game … the experiment in truth that is each individual life … in order to enjoy it. And enjoying, despite all we have been told, is the essence of God, is our true essence, and is the only reason for existing and for Existence Itself.

Let us take another analogy — that of a play. In this sense, being alive is like being an actor on a stage. So we are an actor on a stage, playing a part. But we have forgotten that our Divine Nature is that we are everything and that we know that we are on a stage and all that is involved with that. A part of us knows that is the truth of our situation, but we block out that truth to better play our parts … just like actual actresses and actors must consciously do to better perform their parts.

So that’s what is Funny God and why we’re funny god and why God’s funny. Remember that funny is fun, is laughable, but also is odd or strange. “That’s a funny way of doing things,” one might say. “Something smells funny,” that is, strange or odd. Well, God is funny, also, because we as God do a “funny” thing in creating life. We turn ourselves into beings who, especially human beings, forget who they are in order to make infinite stories and thereby glorify existence. And we invent time so as to better savor those stories. Just like a book contains all the narrative in its many pages, but we read through it, over time, beginning to end, one sentence at a time, in a way that it is appreciated and the enjoyment of it magnified.

More interesting that way. More enjoyable. Still, a funny thing for an all-knowing being to do, wouldn’t you say?

Next time I see God, I’ll tell Her, “You became human! What a funny thing for you to do!” lol.

Experience Is Divinity

Furthermore, Funny God is the idea that what exists is pure consciousness, or is … what I call it … is Experience. I stress this difference, because consciousness is not something just “mental.” It’s what we feel. It is all that we feel.

When we have an experience, like in a breathwork experience or some other experience that we say is growthful, it is the entire feeling gestalt — including all mental, perceptual, emotional, and aware, and only somewhat aware, components — that we are talking about.

All of life is just experience. And that experience overlaps with other people.

I mean, all of us together is just one infinitely large “ball” of Experience. Yet we think we are separate.

We have roped off separate areas of that. But those “things” of us — our experiences — they overlap and mix. That’s why there is telepathy. That’s why there are all those other things of the paranormal. That’s why you can feel unity with other people … empathy, compassion … why their pains and joys can become yours. 

And ultimately you can feel that unity with God. Because we are part of that All. Our boundaries can be limited to our human form or they can be expanded so as ultimately to include the All That Is.

So that’s what Funny God is. Funny God is about us … about the fact that we leave the Godhead … for the fun of it. And why? Because it makes the whole even grander, more glorious. 

Knowledge by itself is just knowledge. It is not all that interesting. But Knowledge + Time equals Experience. And that’s us. That’s God become us. Being facetious, you might say that God, like myself, also does not believe there is much value in knowledge for its own sake and holds that one must put it into action.

We, as God, wanted to make everything greater, for God is nothing if not the greatest. (Apologies to Muhammad Ali, by the way, who will have to settle for just being good.) So we forget, so as to create Experience, as well as to manifest this incredible infinite variety of experience, which is God’s grandeur.

There is No Death

Now, none of this — though mostly wrought of the discoveries coming from modern consciousness research — is all that dissimilar from the spiritual literature, the stories you get out of India, and so on, going back thousands of years. They tell of life and immortality and how we come into and out of life as in the blinking of an eye. They acknowledge our Divine Identity … Atman is Brahman, is the way that is expressed … which is to say, “I am That.” In other words, our individual identity is commensurate with, is equal to, the All That Is, or Brahman, or Reality, or God. Like ancient quantum physicists, these wise scribes of long ago reveal to us that time is an illusion … that it is a construct … a mental thing that we concoct for reasons that have to do with our beingness as humans.

Breadcrumbs from Ourselves as the Divine

So, in these tales, we are telling ourselves something. Our collective psyche, outside of time and space, comes through to remind us of our origins, our true Nature, and the direction in which to go in order to re-member that again and become One. There is something in us ever telling us, putting out, like, little bread crumbs from the Divine within us, to show us the way home. It keeps putting out the information in every form around us, if we are watchful, if we are aware. Kind of like it gives us hints that “This is the real truth. Here. Look over here!”

It is like there are all these clues to tell us— that we as God have put for us to tell us — that this is all just an illusion. It is as illusory as any dream seems to us when we awaken at dawn. These clues say, “You’re all just playing a game. You’re each just having an ‘experiment in Truth.’ Every one of you is adding to the infinity of Experience that is Divinity and thereby magnifying, indeed glorifying, the All. More than that, you are each, by being forgetful of the All, creating actions, experiences, events that would not be possible without this game of duality and separateness. Thereby you are bringing joy into it, en-joy-ment; bringing passion, emotion, excitement, and drama into it, making it interesting; bringing fun into it, making it funny; and bringing pain and separation into it, creating that beautiful pain of poignancy, so as to better appreciate the joy, the fun, the pleasure, the love … of it.”

We tell ourselves our true Nature even in the things we like to do, the things we invent, too. There are so many analogies I could use, so many “bread crumbs.” 

For example, take amusement parks. You know? We go on a roller coaster, or we traipse through a haunted house, all the while knowing it is not real. The coaster is not really going to crash. There are no real ghosts in that house. So why do we do it? For fun! We invent a set of parameters within which we have an experience, and in a sense we pretend that those parameters map out a real thing, something with real consequences. Though there are none. And we do it all to maximize our en-joy-ment, our pleasure, our fun.

Or take the example of watching a horror film. Oh, it’s horrible. Oh, it’s scary. Yes, we’re tense. We find ourselves gripping the arms of our seat, in spite of ourselves.

But then, why are we watching the darn movie?

Well, because it’s stimulating. It’s titillating. It gives you an experience out of your normal life, providing contrast to that life so as to better appreciate the serenity and lack of real horror in most people’s actual reality. The flick kind of gets you excited. It’s interesting!

Similarly, God does all these horrible things, including the painful and gruesome things of life, because She knows there are no real consequences. He knows there is no actual evil, only seeming ones. There’s a part of us who knows there’s no permanent harm in anything that ever happens and that sadness and pain are ultimately just experiences to bring out, by contrast, real happiness and pleasure in our life experiences and, as God, to glorify Existence by infinitely expanding the manifestations of Experience, which is God’s essence.

There Are Only Seeming Tragedies

Part of that is the notion of death. One of the parameters of this game is this mistaken belief in an end to our experience, our consciousness, our existence. But just as there is no way to end consciousness and no time, there is also no death. And what that means is that ultimately everything is a comedy. Yes, funny god, again. There is no tragedy. There are just seeming tragedies.

Those Butterfly Eyes

My friend, Peter Melton, from Extinction Radio/Activate Media,1 talks about this phenomenon of being aware of your immortality while still alive as having your “butterfly eyes.” That is, while one is still the caterpillar. Clearly he is saying that a caterpillar with “butterfly eyes” knows that it is not going to die when it stops being a caterpillar, it is going to become something greater; it is going to transform. He is making the analogy that some humans, too, might have butterfly eyes in realizing, also, that there is no death or ending of consciousness, only transformation, only changes of states, status, or dimensions, as quantum physicists and scientists in related fields are beginning to say.2

To that I add that, yes, there is no death, only transformation. But the way I picture it is that when we do “die,” when we become that “butterfly,” and we realize our immortality and look back at our lives, we’re laughing our butts off! 

We’re thinking, “Man, that was a trip!” That is another reason why I call it, Funny God. For what I am saying is that the thing that we share with the Divine is laughter.

Why? Because it is like we, as God, but thinking we are human, are constantly goofing on ourselves, forever playing this game of Divine peek-a-boo. You know, like we are constantly scaring ourselves with the things we bring to ourselves in life, the experiences we have.

But then, at some point — and maybe for some especially tragic events in our lives it can only happen after death — it comes to us, there was no reason to fear. We think, “There’s no problem. It’s fine.” How many times has that happened in your life, you know? How many times have you thought something was horrible and never ending and that your life was irreparably changed and then, all of a sudden, the clouds part, the sun shines through, and you’re happy again. And you go “Wow. Okay, that was all just to get me here.” 

Suddenly all that we abhorred has meaning for we see what part it played in our becoming who we are. Sometimes we can even acknowledge that if it had been us creating a plan to get us to where we needed to go as a person, to learn and become what we needed to, we might ourselves have chosen those same events for ourselves. (We did, by the way.) We see a pattern in our lives that is meaningful. Indeed, we see it all as perfect.

Of course no one sees that for all the experiences of their lives, except maybe the truly enlightened folks. Some events are left causing us anguish when we think of them, and we do not see any meaning in the pain that happened or any benefit in them toward making us a better person or anything. Still, remember that many of the painful experiences of our lives did not reveal their meaning or value to us for a long time … sometimes decades, sometimes not till the end of our lives. We needed to learn more. We needed to have other experiences to get us to a place where we would be able to understand their meaning. I am asking you to entertain the idea that for those events of which we can fathom no meaning or value there will be revealed exactly that in some “time” beyond this time, after “death.”

Therein we have those butterfly eyes. We see death as a transformation that makes sense of our lives: We view it as the event after which we become all happily zig-zagging butterfly-like, leaving behind the plodding and slow self, which we now see to be dull, dim-witted, by comparison … and thoroughly not getting it — though the truth was only a membrane, an instant experience of death, or in the case of the caterpillar, a cocoon experience away.

How Gilgamesh Misunderstood His Bread Crumbs

In fact, I have used the analogy of the butterfly myself, in writing about death and immortality, in my book, Funny God (2015). I also used the analogy of a snake shedding his skin in that book. 

I wrote about the story of Gilgamesh and how we completely got that story wrong.3 Gilgamesh was looking for his immortality and the traditional understanding is that there was none to get and that instead one should focus on the projects of one’s life that will live on after them.

Totally wrong. No. Gilgamesh actually got the immortality he desired. Rather, he had it all along and the forces in his story (today we would say, the Universe, the All That Is … or God) tried to get him to see that.

Oh, it was a tragedy, for sure. Traditionalists got that right, though in the wrong way. For the tragedy was not that he failed to achieve immortality but that he did not realize that he had it all along and could not possibly even lose it!

How did the Universe do that? Well, It showed him a snake slithering away from a skin that it had shed.

Now, a snake shedding its skin is a symbol of immortality, because it is kind of like when we have a life and we die, supposedly, it is like the shedding of a skin. We just go into another “form” … more accurately no-form state. And the thing that we leave behind is the corpse … the skin.

What I was saying in Funny God is we look at the corpse/skin and we say, “Oooh, he’s dead, he’s gone,” you know? “The person’s gone.” But it is only because we cannot see the new “snake” that remains. We cannot see what the deceased person has transformed into. 

From the perspective of caterpillars as regards butterflies, you can just imagine the caterpillars hanging out. And this one caterpillar’s making its cocoon. And the friends of busy caterpillar are going “Aw, he’s going to die. He’s caught that cocoon-making malady we’re seeing so much of these days. He’s going to be gone. She’s going to be gone. She’s making her coffin. Aaaaww. Too bad.”

And why? Because they don’t see the butterfly that emerges later. You can imagine that they, like us, do not have it within their species-determined perception set to see it. The butterfly might as well be invisible, a ghost. The caterpillars do not know what happens after cocoon comes and spirits their friend away. They don’t have their own butterfly eyes, if you will. So they don’t know. They think it’s the end.

Now, wouldn’t that make them a lot like us? After all, we only see the things that we are programmed to see. If we are not used to seeing “butterflies,” so to speak, we are only going to see dead “caterpillars” and coffins … or “cocoons.”

So we are convinced there is an end to consciousness at death. But there are people, now, at this stage in history with advanced medical technology making possible ever more instances of people being brought back to life after clinical death, who have found their butterfly eyes. There are people who have had near-death experiences (NDEs) as well as death-death experiences (DDEs) — as one of my friends who experienced it insists it should be called — who are aware of and indeed are in ongoing contact with people in the No-Form State. There are others; there are legitimate mediums, in fact, who are aware of people in that other dimension and can even communicate with them. Still others, whose special gift is unaccounted for, have back-and-forth communication with those who have passed on, usually close relatives, spouses, or friends.4 The instances of such occurring that I am personally aware of are so astonishing that I am wary of telling of them lest I lose any credibility I might have left. lol. Perhaps another time; perhaps it will be a book.

Put simply, these folks can tell you about the deceased: They’re not gone! They are simply in a different place. One “deceased” man told his distraught wife, in a vision, “Why do you grieve? It is only like I have gone into the next room.” As I said earlier, some ideas coming out of quantum physics are that death is about going into another dimension.2 My own grandmother told a story almost exactly like that, throughout her life, about her own daughter, who passed away as a child, appearing to her at her gravesite to comfort her … and to tell her she was not gone, just in a different, a better, place.

So the dead are alive. They’re “here,” in a sense. Just that we can’t see them. Just like those caterpillars can’t see the butterflies.

Then, Is Earth Life Unimportant?

How I think this all fits together with the extinction thing is that I believe we are being spurred to these realizations by the fact that it is so important that all our focus becomes on this lifetime to get it right. To get right what in other lifetimes we did not.

As I said in Chapter 3, my generation and I have been trying to get it right since the Sixties. Even for things that had been wrong for thousands of years, we wanted to see if we could get it right. And we’re still trying to.

But anyway, as an entire globe now, we’re trying to get it right, or else! What I am saying is that part of that death as an ally thing — with annihilation on our doorstep — is that we are having these realizations … profound realizations of all kinds unlike anything before, indeed only possible now. And some of us are realizing our butterfly eyes while we’re still the caterpillar, okay?

More and more of us are realizing we are immortal. 

Our Higher Self Abhors Unnecessary Pain and Suffering. It Is Compassion and Love

Now, does that make it, like, oh it doesn’t matter if the life on Earth goes away? Like, there is no death, so what’s the problem? Just drive it till the wheels fall off? It doesn’t matter if everybody dies? 

Noooo. Because also our higher self, our immortal and Divine self, interwoven as it is with our deeper human nature, is also our compassionate self. It is love. And of course as love we don’t want suffering. Unnecessary suffering, we detest the most.

So, since we don’t want suffering, death is still not a good thing because it’s a painful thing.

Our Higher Self Abhors Murder

I mean death could be fine. It could be just a transition. It could be a “graduation.” But when it is going to happen for billions of people, and if it is going to happen for the estimated nine million non-bacterial species, it’s no longer just “Oh, I’m accepting death.” I’m just all spiritual and above all such concerns.

NO! It’s frickin’ murder … murder on a scale beyond our wildest imaginings. 

Now I personally do not want to go into the afterlife or into the No-Form State with that on my “mind.” I don’t want to spend my no-form-ity knowing that I was part of the murder of an entire planet because I didn’t do anything to help at the time. Do you?

So I think that, yeah, we realized we’re actually free from death … there’s nothing to worry about in that respect. But at the same time knowing that brings out our higher self to want to make this story, this life, the best one that can be … the one in which we have contributed most to reducing the inherent suffering of life … and not one where we have aided in the near infinite magnification of that suffering … throughout humanity, across all species, and for all we know for multitudes of unknown beings. Yeah, I think the second possibility to be a “bad” thing.

 But to aid us in making the right decision, we have our deeper human nature filling us with compassion. With love and compassion. And with that in us, we cannot help but align ourselves with the forces on Earth working for life, for sustainability, for stopping the out-of-control extinction. We are compelled to do everything in our power … now or never.

In an on-air comment, Peter Melton (2015) phrased it, quite well indeed, this way:

Understanding the urgency and the emergency will bring that [higher self] out in you…. Our culture is so death phobic and grief phobic we think that [grief and pain] are bad feelings to have. But what we’re coming to remember, slowly but surely, is that those things actually spark this new aspect, this grander aspect of humanity … is this remembering that it is temporary for us individually and that that sparks us to live more passionately5

You see, we have been taught that human nature is riddled with aggression, competition, selfishness, even murder, and all kinds of other hunter-like and patriarchal qualities. However, truly, even more basically, below the pain or prior to the pain, our actual human nature, which we share with many of our planetmate relatives, by the way (see Planetmates, 2014.) brims with love, is cooperative, self-sacrificing, empathetic of others, and Divinely beautiful. 

And that’s linked in with the necessary hero.

It’s All in You … And Up to You

We are going into a stage in history — hopefully not an all-too-short one — where there will be heroic people who are going to do incredible things and make a grand story….

Or else we’re not….

In which case we’re going to be some footnote in the Universal registry.

You can imagine beings of the future zipping by the planet, its epitaph reading “Stupid ape.”

Or, like the gods laughing at us now, they will be or have been entertained spectators of our trials and tribulations. A horror story, for them … nay, a disaster movie.

Sadly not a good one, though. One and a half stars. 

”Lousy ending, nobody lived!” 

“Hell, they even killed off the heroes! Who does that?” 

“No sequel, that’s for sure.”

However, what I believe is actually going to happen in these times is this: People like you, you wounded deer, you centaurs, are going to reconnect with your deepest and most beautiful human nature and be redeemed and freed from conflict and petty strife. You necessary heroes are not going to shirk doing self-sacrificing things. You may very well perform acts of pure heroism, knowing that all else, all life, depends on it. And together we are going to be lifted up into the grandest and most fulfilling cause this world has ever seen.

It is all in you … and up to you.

 

 

 

AFTERWORD

Continue with Book Six, Planetmates, The Great Reveal, and About the Return to Grace Series

 

 

 

Right now the important thing to do is to address the crisis of our times, the environmental one. It is dharmic to do that. For if we fail there, theoretical psychology will not matter and there will be no one around to read about or learn about these subjects.

Planetmates:  The Great Reveal

With that in mind, in the next book in this Return to Grace Series of eleven books titled, Planetmates: The Great Reveal, I introduce you, readers, to the voice of the planetmates. We share this planet, Earth, with numerous other life forms. We have species numbering up to nine million and up to five hundred million, if you include bacteria. In Planetmates these other species tell us what they think of what we are doing to the planet we share with them; they tell us what they think of us; they tell us how they have viewed us for millions of years and how they view us now. They tell us how we became human, what are the roots of the apocalypse we are facing … they relate it to a factor in our evolution occurring millions of years ago. But most of all they let us know where we went wrong and how we could go right again.

While I use the voice of the planetmates to make our environmental case, this book, next in the series, is more than just an exhortation. It is a sweeping overview of our evolution and an incisive autopsy of what became of us and how we are different from Nature. While this isn’t pretty, it is helpful. And the end of the book presents a prophecy from the planetmates: “Something wonderful is going to happen.” 

Planetmates also brings perinatal understandings of the origins of human consciousness, human separation from Nature, and human neurosis — as being a result of a fetal malnutrition which was the result of the bipedalism we uniquely experienced in our evolution — to bear upon our current environmental crisis. 

I relate the process of evolution from our pre-primate forebears through prehistory to civilization and then to current days, through the lens of perinatal trauma and the current apocalypse. With “planetmate assistance,” I detail how we lived initially in a state of Nature; but then, as a result of an “aquatic ape” phenomenon, we gained an evolutionary advantage by becoming bipedal while foraging in water, which eventually and gradually led to being bipedal on land. I describe how this resulted in pelvic bone changes; a birth trauma that is unparalleled in Nature, which resulted in a bigger brain to manage the trauma and keep memories repressed, creating an unconscious; which larger skull resulted in more birth trauma; widely varying terms of gestation; secondary altriciality, which is that half of the brain’s growth is accomplished outside of the womb, and, importantly, under the direction of all too flawed humans, as compared to other species for whom that development occurs en utero and with a kind of a biological near perfection.

I show how this birth trauma has led to humans being the crazed and overly intellectual species, capable of incredible achievements of creation of civilization as well as destruction of life and self. In this book, Wounded Deer and Centaurs, I have shown that humans are crazy and what are the roots of that, in each of our lives, and how it goes back to our time in the womb, especially late gestation, and at birth. In Planetmates, I unfold the story of how that all came to be in our evolution. 

I link our evolutional story to common human understandings and misunderstandings that are at odds with our planetmates. I show what we lost … but what we could also get back, if we lower our species hubris a tad. Along the line I account for many of our common understandings, which differ from the world of Nature and the rest of our planetmates, of work, play, life, death, faith, trust, truth, religion, emotion, feeling, sexuality, and so on, as being an outgrowth of this primary trauma. 

The Return to Grace Series

This is a good place to give an overview of the totality of the Return to Grace Series of books. You can see where this book and the one to come, Planetmates, fit into the overarching narrative of a “return to grace.” 

The Return to Grace Series is a sequence of eleven books I am bringing to print in the years 2013 through 2017. Wounded Deer and Centaurs is the eighth book completed. What remains to be put to paper are three books — Book 2, You Say You Want a Revolution?; Book 10, Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man; and Book 11, Primal Return: Renaissance and Grace. In this series of books, I lay out in great detail where we are, how we got to where we are, why we are here, why we need to change from being here, and where to go from here … and how to do that.

Book One

Book One: Culture War, Class War: Occupy Generations and the Rise and Fall of “Obvious Truths” describes where we are politically as a result of recent history. We are in a dire state — politically and environmentally — because a natural evolutionary development of consciousness and generational succession, begun in the Sixties, was derailed by moneyed interests with a profit motive. Because of this advance being monkey-wrenched by selfish interests, we are in a quandary in all areas of public and environmental life. 

Book Two

Book Two, tentatively titled You Say You Want a Revolution? or The Monster Is the Corporation is not yet in print but exists on line as Chapters 17 through 32 of Culture War, Class War, at the site of the same name.1 It elaborates on the dire quality of our times, requiring drastic measures at all levels and in all areas … a new paradigm of economics, politics, individual life purpose, human achievement, and relation to Nature.

Book Three

Our environmental predicament, in particular, is introduced in all its severity and urgency in Book Three: Apocalypse Emergency: Love’s Wake-Up Call. This book is both an appeal to our highest beingness and a call to action, wrapped in a psychological and spiritual look at why we are not alarmed at the moment, though we should be. 

Book Four

Book Four: Apocalypse NO: Apocalypse or Earth Rebirth and the Emerging Perinatal Unconscious details an alarming and yet possibly opportune development of our times, existing alongside our current environmental and sociopolitical dilemmas. It shows how, through means apparently generational and psychological as well as environmental, we are seeing a rise of perinatal material in the consciousness, motives, and personalities of ourselves and everyone around, including and significantly those in power in these times. 

I show how we both manifest and act out our perinatal pain in our physical environment, but also in our social environment at all levels, from individual, to group and to national, as exemplified in our politics, and to international. I show where we can place the lever of human effort and activism in order to bring about the change we need in order to survive. It is revealed within our perinatal patterns.

Book Five

In this book, Book Five: Wounded Deer and Centaurs: The Necessary Hero and the Prenatal Matrix of Human Events, I carried those themes forward, focusing on two factors in particular — the deepest roots of those perinatal-apocalyptic upsurges occurring in modern life … and I trace them to actual late-gestation prenatal events of even more significance than the birth elements … and the phenomenon of the self-sacrificing individual required to take us forward from these times. 

This necessary hero, it turns out, is not only apparently coming to our aid and is manifesting in greater numbers, but is imbued with just the kind of access to their own pre- and perinatal material as to make possible their leading us beyond these ties — these prenatal traps keeping us in bigotry, violence, greed, and fear and away from our deeper nature of love and compassion — which have been holding down humanity from real progress for thousands of years.

Book Six

In Book Six: Planetmates: The Great Reveal, as I have said, I have all of these — a plea from our planetmates for us to wake up; a vision of who we are in Nature and in relation to them that shows how and why we have strayed and how it has to do with perinatal factors; a revolutionary view on civilization and evolution that puts us in a new and non-complimentary light but also reveals places for change and renewal never before seen; a new-paradigm understanding of a way of being in the world and in Nature that is more natural, primal, and in touch with our basic nature; and a prophecy that in humans taking up the challenge presented, “Something wonderful is going to happen.”

Book Seven

Book Seven: Funny God: The Tao of Funny God and the Mind’s True Liberation describes the new paradigm of activism required of the necessary hero as the “Tao of Funny God,” which has it that only true and radical responses not rooted in the paradigms we confront can be effective. It details old paradigm patriarchal perspectives and how they are wrong and why they need to be gone beyond. And it explains matriarchal new paradigm ones that are needed. 

In its second part, it lays out, in story format, a prophecy and a vision of a potential wondrous future, coming soon, something along the lines of that “something wonderful” of Planetmates. This vision is consistent with the findings about Nature, reality, and psychology, which I advance in other parts of the series. And in its final part, “The Mind’s True Liberation,” Funny God presents an expansive, indeed, towering, overstanding of human life and its purpose in a cosmic, a Divine scheme, along with a vision, a revelation on the nature of God, human life, life purpose, and on existence itself.

Book Eight

Book Eight: Experience Is Divinity: Matter As Metaphor, explains the nature of reality and human consciousness that is consistent with the views of quantum physics and modern consciousness research, especially that of the kind I have experienced in deep experiential psychotherapy and especially in nonordinary states of consciousness brought about spontaneously and via primal, meditation, and breathwork experiences of many years.

Book Nine

In Book Nine: Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness I bring to light the devolutional model of consciousness. It tells how we got to where we are in each of our individual lives and where we need to address our attention to return to the state of grace, which is our birthright, indeed, is our true identity.

Book Ten

In Book Ten: Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man I bring together the ideas of Falls from Grace and Planetmates in describing the evolutionary/devolutionary arcs of humanity and the individual, founded upon growing edge views from our current sciences. Beyond that I outline our possible return — that “something wonderful” again — and show why it is necessary as well as how it is truly possible, as seemingly impossible as the notion might seem at the outset. 

Book Eleven

At this time there is also a plan for a Book Eleven of the Return to Grace Series to be titled Primal Return: Renaissance and Grace.

It will detail the specific ways we might change our current trajectory and it will paint a compelling, a comprehensive vision of a possible society, a possible humanity, a possible Earth, and a possible future congruent with and enlightened by the prenatal and perinatal understandings that have heretofore been overlooked in previous attempts to present a workable model for humanity. 

For comparison on what this work will be like, see the worker’s utopia proposed by Marx. My vision will be different from his, for his was merely an addendum to the unnatural plight of “civilized” man — a man still beholden to the hierarchy, but himself a dominator of women, indigenous cultures, and planetmates and utilizing, still, those as resources to fuel selfish gains and advantages, regardless how equitably distributed, or “fair,” they would be. A more just slavery, coinciding with oppression and exploitation of others outside the group of male human slave worker “elites” is hardly compelling, let alone utopian. 

My utopian vision, to the contrary, will be constructed on our actual human nature, our primal one … which happens also to be congruent with what we have learned about ourselves from prenatal and perinatal psychology. And I will fashion a template of where we could, and should, ideally end up …. as a vision to pull us forward and aspire to. Also I will detail the steps we can take to get from where we now are to there.  

Return to Grace 

That is the overview of Return to Grace, the series. There is also an idea to condense the entire eleven books into an abridged version of Return to Grace, as a single book. For Return to Grace, the book, think of it as a kind of “favorite hits” book.

Next, They’ve Got Something to Say

For now, however, I wish to bring your attention to an astonishing development. This “development” could not be better timed as after reading about our predicament in this book, and being aware of what we are up against, a fair number of readers might be kinda bummed. You know how that goes. It’s hopeful to be given the knowledge so you can do something. But I’m sure we all have that feeling right after hearing something like we have in this book, which is, “Yeah, I’m better off for knowing; but I sure felt better when I was dumber.”

Wounded deer most certainly will be taking these problems of all problems of all times to heart. Indeed, how can anyone be unaffected by knowing our plight? But, at least at this point don’t let yourself wallow in despair. In the process of going from wounded deer to centaurs, to applying oneself to the problem, the next book can actually be helpful. For though our planetmates go even deeper into unraveling the problem for a clearer look, I daresay this message from our globe-mates is actually positive and good.

Realizing the positives in truth, especially dire truth, sometimes takes time. Let me explain how I see our situation based on what I have been saying in this book and what is coming in the next. 

First, our planetmates show us where we foolishly rebelled against a beneficent Universe, or God — one that is equated with Nature and Reality. We chose instead to take over, to control, basically because we hated the one stipulation imposed by that Universe — which stipulation was in retrospect so trivial, being analogous to having to wait until Christmas morning to open one’s gifts. So this is a message of good news. Actually, if we could accept only that some disruptions in our lives chosen now are far better than our untimely deaths, not chosen, occurring at any time — what could be more reasonable? — we’d have a chance.

But, then, many of us know how insistent people are in their refusal to look at this…. And if that prospect comes across to you as more hopeless than hopeful, as it does to me.… well, I’ve got something that’s seeming far better and more hopeful.

Spirit “Word” Has It:  Earth Citizens Planning The Great Reveal

I want to tell you about some big news I received that could be really, really good. I have gotten word that the Earth Citizens are planning The Great Reveal, as they put it. From what I’ve been told, it goes further in giving us insight into the matters that humans have struggled for centuries to understand. All I can say, for now, is that you may be surprised afterwards as to who are the “dumb animals” on this planet. 

You Will Need to Choose

Sounds harsh, but I’ve been given some idea of it, and, well, if Jesus, or Mohammed, or Abraham, or Shiva, or well, you fill in the blank, came to us in this time of extreme need, in the form of an animal, and was able to help you to understand and to take you beyond your previous ideas about God, goodness, and so on, and show you something much more wonderful, and yet much more in keeping with science and with what we’ve come to know to be true and to be more reasonable, not containing the nonsensicals of many religions that we are told we must accept on “faith”  … well, would you listen? Would you accept the benefit…?

Or opt for the familiar?

Unfortunately, we humans have a huge tendency to be afraid of change even when it seems really positive and when the alternative, which we know, is very bad. 

That’s how we’ve ended up in this situation — where we put off changing for so long that now it’s more hopeless the longer we wait. But, just keep that in mind. For that is what I suppose the majority of people on this planet are going to have to do — get used to change, and try to remember that it’s change that’s good, and not what we’re used to or familiar with.

Would You Be the Hero?

So, that in mind: Would you be the hero, the individual, who wouldn’t be able to turn her or his back on Greater Truth, and facing it, it would be yours? 

And would you see your initial isolation in viewing it that way as a great opportunity to tell others the good news?

Or would you turn away? Would you leave it to others … or to no one … to do what is needed to be done to save your family, your children, the life on this planet, yourself? 

Give that all the thought you need. But remember, the planetmates are waiting. 

In the meantime, and if you dare, I urge you to turn, now, to the message from our planetmates in Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014). 

See you there.

 

 

 

 


ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

the doorway is hardly the creator of those who walk through

 

 

 

This book was forged in fire in more ways than I dare reveal. This is the only time, within these pages, you will hear me withholding anything.

Okay. I’ll relent. A little. Let me just say that the heart of it — the prenatal matrix — was written in the middle of some very trying circumstances in the spring of 2013. These circumstances had nothing whatsoever to do with the book, for the book came plodding through, day by day, undeterred by the events of that time. I was astonished. Some of it was written on a shoulder of Interstate 5 in a stifling metal box — which at other times we called a 1966 Aristocrat travel trailer — waiting for assistance in nearly one-hundred-degree heat. A good chunk of it was written in the lot of a Ford dealership in Firebaugh, California.

Unexpected angels nurtured it, unknowingly, by helping my wife and me along. They will never know what they contributed to; they will never know the depth of my gratitude. One in particular was Debra Mendoza, a sales manager at Westside Ford in that town. She and her husband, Jose, played crucial roles, though we did not know them beforehand and our meeting was simply the winds of fate swirling us together for a bit. Yet their assistance persisted for over a year, in one particular way.

A most unusual angel was Carmella Abbattista, who ran a tiny Mexican restaurant, El Buen Comer Taqueria, on the corner of 8th and N Streets, right next to the dealership. She provided wholesome and delicious complimentary meals to me and my wife over that two-week period, yet we had been total strangers heretofore. 

Some of this book was uploaded to my blogs and social media using borrowed wifi from the West Hills College Coalinga, North District Center, building on the corner of 9th and O Streets in Firebaugh, as I sat with my laptop outside in my car or at one of the metal tables near its entrance. Jimenez, the maintenance man at the community center, ever smiling and helpful, played a role in bringing this about.

For two weeks, my wife and I had a startlingly unusual life that fate alone orchestrated. While it should have been a horrible time for us, we were held above it and carried forward. We crowd surfed these events, held aloft by these angelic hands. And throughout, with a mind of its own, this material of “Part Two: The Prenatal Matrix of Human Events,” showed up every morning inside of the twelve by seven confines of the trailer we were living in while on the road.

Those days were the birth of this book. You might say it was midwifed by these unexpected angels. Of course the majority of its growth came afterward over the following nearly three years. 

So you might say its infancy and childhood were assisted by my wife, Mary Lynn Adzema. Ever stalwart and unfailing, she lent me her strength at its birth, in Firebaugh. She is the only person I know who uses the phrase that someone is “a real trooper.” Not coincidentally, I am amazed at how, her age notwithstanding, she embodies that, herself. She also held its hand as it grew. She listened and gave feedback, supported and nurtured both it and me.

However, the book’s conception came much further back, in the Sixties. It was conceived in the erotic heaving of an astonishing age, as I explain in Chapter 3. The spirit of those times made centaurs of so many of my generation. The personalities that in particular aided my transformation included an Albert Sallitt, my high school wrestling coach and guidance counselor. I tell the story of his assistance in Chapter 3, as well. 

Others who played crucial roles at that time are Jan Chwiej and an upper-class floor monitor, his name long ago forgotten, at my freshman dormitory at East Stroudsburg University. I am surprised I do not recall his name. I should. For not only did he inspire Jan and I initially in the arena of philosophy and spirituality — he turned us on to Plato, for one, and other philosophers — but, his father being a bail bondsman, he traveled all the way up to Port Jervis, New York, and stood with us in front of the judge and got us out of jail … suspended sentence. That was the morning after a night where a drunken Jan and I did what we thought inebriated eighteen-year-olds were supposed to do during a night on the town. We had watched too many cowboy movies in our childhood, that’s for sure. In our defense, we at least didn’t have six-shooters. Now, it’s just downright funny (god). Especially it is hilarious to remember the way Jan and I, in separate cells, sang Simon and Garfunkel and Beatles songs together, hours into the night, until an unappreciative “audience member,” a guard, told us to shut the hell up!

It is about time I thanked Joe Rose for his part in my life. Here it is appropriate for, not only was he my friend beginning in the first grade, he was my companion during a hugely important time in my life. Together, we made the necessary pilgrimage, of my generation, to California, in 1969. Together we were mocked by a pickup truck full of rednecks in Texas, because we wore shorts; together we were chased out of a convenience store in Oceanside, California, by the owner with a shotgun, because we had long(ish) hair. Together, we were stormed by the California Highway Patrol, CHP, with a crowd of other hippies, on the avenue outside the Newport, California, rock festival. Together, we experienced the euphoria of the love fest inside, as everyone held hands out to and assisted each other. And by the way, CHP and hippies, outside and inside, contrast much? Together, we saw Joplin and Hendrix there. And together, later that night in our motel room in Long Beach, we took our first acid trip … one of only several that I’ve had.

Like many folks who do interesting things, we thought at the time that our hitchhiking journey to California, our adventures in California, and the rides and people we encountered as we “thumbed” our way back cross country had the makings of a book. That was, of course, before more important things to write about began arising in me. In the last correspondence with him, a Christmas card in 1975, he toasted our life and good times. Well, here’s to you, Joe Rose, wherever or everywhere you are. Damn, they took you too soon.

Charlie Pikas is another friend from childhood I want to acknowledge as having played a role in those important times in California. Then, and again in 1973 when I, my brother, Jim, and his friend, Ed Geiser, were traveling from Santa Cruz, California, to Mexico, and then back to Pennsylvania in my VW bus, he was an important actor. He, also, shared our experience with the CHP and Newport, though not the acid trip. Thanks for bribing that guard to get us into the festival, by the way, Charlie. And let me tell you, you were the funniest of cheerleaders. I’m serious. He really was.

Other classmates at East Stroudsburg University and King’s College, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, played crucial roles in the “making of one centaur,” this one, as also I tell in that chapter of the same name. Peter Lehmann and my classmates at Franklin and Marshall College had similar helpful roles, mostly in the deep conversations we shared, where every aspect of existence, politics to war to God, received, at the minimum, the light of our attention. 

And very importantly, Professor Richard French began this entire journey and revealed the first map of it with his course, “Religious and Psychological Approaches to Self-Understanding,” in 1969, and other courses and independent studies after that in the years 1969 through 1972. Yes, this book was a lifetime in coming. I will merely say thanks to him here. For he is the unnamed professor I refer to in Chapter 3.

I need to mention from those times and that institution, F&M, also the inspiration of Professor Charles H. Holzinger, who inspired in me a lifelong interest in anthropology. Also, his speech at a teach-in on the war was instrumental to my getting a different understanding of that conflict from what the media was giving me. To hear a person of such high intelligence and acumen address the issues of that conflict in such a thoughtful, measured, and rational way truly opened my mind on the war, yes, but showed me the alternative view, which, on all matters, is needed for growth, as I explain in Chapter 29. 

I can still remember some of what he said. He addressed the war issue informed by his multicultural understanding, steeped, as it was, in anthropology. I was able to see the conflict as though with the eyes of a neutral observer, a world observer, if you will, and not just through those of a working class white American male growing up in the very traditional and religious coal country of Pennsylvania. I can still see him in my mind’s eye giving his talk at that teach-in. Indeed, he and the others who spoke began my activism career: first, against the Vietnam War and, later, with environmental causes.

I have praise and thanks to send the way of Professor Thomas Hopkins, at F&M as well, who did the same for my fascination with Eastern spiritualities and philosophies. I have to laugh when I remember his reaction to my explaining my understanding of spirituality and reality — one which forty-three years later evolved into the book Experience Is Divinity: Matter as Metaphor (2013). He paused for a second … thoughtful. Then he said, “Why can’t all of my students see it that way?” lol

John Lennon later inspired a major turning, when he and Yoko Ono revealed their participation in primal therapy. Others whose influence was especially significant include Arthur Janov, who brought primal therapy to the world; Jules and Helen Roth, who fostered it, and me, at the Certified Primal Therapists’ Center in Denver, Colorado; Warren Baker, M.D., who was my primal therapist for my Intensive and was friend and counselor for my many years there; and Kathy Buchenauer, who also was a primal therapist there and dear friend, counselor, and inspiration. 

With Emily Easton I did the majority of my primal work. We “sat” for each other virtually daily, 1975-1976, sometimes two to three times a day, for almost a year, sometimes emerging from the rooms at the primal center as long as six hours after going in. That kind of dedicated primal work for that length of time, I believe without a doubt, is what accounts for the depth of my primal work, which is far beyond what most people get out of it. I also learned the bulk of my skills in facilitating primal therapy with her, as well. Thank you, Emily Easton, wherever you are.

The late Peter Lavender, a very dear friend and primal buddy, as well, helped me through some of the most important experiences of my life as he sat for me in a number of primal sessions. He was also instrumental in helping me to tap in to those “joy grids,” you hear about in this book. It was through my interaction with him that the ideas came to me that became “Unconditional Acceptance and the Primal Process” and “The Second Half of ‘the Cure.’” I will have to give special thanks to him in the books, Primal Spirituality: Primal Process and the Rest of “the Cure”; Womb with a View; and Cells with a View, forthcoming, which evolved from that work as well. And he gave surprising assistance to me after his passing.

Steve Dott, another primal friend and housemate, steered me, with our many substantive conversations, into looking more deeply at the spiritual components of my primal path, crucial to my understanding of the “spiritual grids.” And Sharon Coggan, from my bachelor’s committee, a philosopher and friend, a confidant and supporter, through many meetings helped me to formulate my primal and spiritual understandings and encouraged my sharing my work professionally, in scholarly journals.

I want to thank Hollis Orr for her role in my continuing primal growth — for she and I also “buddied” together — and for her companionship at an important transition in my life — from Denver, Colorado, to Eugene, Oregon … from primal person and taxi driver to anti-nuke activist with Oregon Fair Share. 

Which reminds me, I am forever indebted, for their influence on my transformation into activist, to Sinde Fitz, Gary Kutcher, Michael Carrigan, Shirley Chase, Bruce Stockton, and Laurie Hoffman — all of whom worked with me at Oregon Fair Share. The memories and experiences I have had with each of them are chiseled in my mind and my heart. When Neil Young sings, “There is a town in North Ontario, Dream comfort mem’ry to spare, And in my mind I still need a place to go, All my changes were there,” my mind goes to Eugene, Oregon, and those times I shared, on the turf and off, with those friends there. I will never forget you guys, and I am forever grateful for what I learned with you and for the growth I had with you there.

Robin McGinn, another friend and primal buddy, midwifed my earliest sperm experiences and a past-life memory. In that and many other ways, she had a huge influence on the making of this centaur, on my life. Bruce Stockton, a good friend, housemate, and fellow activist, was the first to hear about and validate those sperm experiences. I need to thank him and Rich Platz for their friendship at important times of my life

During my experience as a doctoral student in psychological anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, I was especially touched by the mentorship and personalities of Fitz John Porter-Poole (psychological anthropology) and the late Marc Swartz (cultural anthropology), as well as Jim Moore (physical and biological anthropology). I am also grateful to Don Tuzin (social anthropology), also now deceased, and my doctoral student colleague at the time, Ken Kroesen.  

During my Santa Barbara days, where I truly connected with my spirituality with the assistance of Sathya Sai Baba, I was immensely influenced by Muriel Engle, his sincere and wise devotee. She helped Mary Lynn and me; in fact she introduced us, and she officiated at our wedding, for which she also provided her house and grounds. We miss you, Muriel. Tim Conway, author, Women of Power and Grace, friend, and teacher of mine at World University, Ojai, California, comes to my mind in gratitude for our talks and the spiritual views I learned and shared with him. Patty Kelly, now deceased, shared with me and my wife her friendship, her ideas and passionate inspiration, and often her house as a place to stay when we visited Santa Barbara later in life. John Steensma is someone I wish to thank for his friendship during those days, as well. And, of course, I, like millions of others, am grateful to Sathya Sai Baba for the influence he has had, past and continuing, on my life and my works. His wisdom continues to inspire and guide me, particularly in times when none other fits or works.

I want to single out for mention two of my mentors at Sonoma State University, who were on my Master’s committee and who oversaw my work on my thesis, which later became the book, Falls from Grace (2014). Phil Clayton (philosophy) signed on first and foremost to encourage my, at the time, rather unusual work and path. Brock Travis (humanistic psychology) was eminently helpful and supportive, also. Gardner Rust (interdisciplinary studies) and Diana Divecha (developmental psychology) also played important roles at SSU, for which I am grateful.

The late Graham Farrant, M.D., primal therapist in Australia, played astonishing and helpful roles both before and after his passing and was my first true colleague in the arena of cellular consciousness. We came upon our discoveries and insights completely independently. It was an entire decade before we found out about each other and were able to cross-fertilize those ideas. For a while there, it seemed we were the only two people in the world who “got it.” In time, more and more people were discovering these things and coming to nearly identical conclusions. Some of them I mention by name in Chapter 7. My wife and I also did some training in primal therapy with him.

One of those who got it was Elizabeth Noble. Educator and author of Primal Connections, she inspired and helped through the knowledge she shared with me, through her friendship, and through her writing. The late Jeanine Parvati Baker, midwife, teacher, and author, Conscious Conception and other books, also assisted both before and after her passing. 

The late Terry Larimore, a primal therapist and primal colleague who worked closely with Graham Farrant, also assisted, with her friendship and through the work my wife, Mary Lynn, and I did closely with her in the International Primal Association (IPA) and especially at its conference in San Francisco, in 1996, which the three of us put together. She initiated my becoming the editor of the IPA’s journal, which we titled, Primal Renaissance; she publicized the work of Graham Farrant on cellular consciousness, some of it with my assistance, with several highly important articles; and she had a hand in helping me and my work after her passing as well. 

I want to mention the late and ever jovial Louis Mezei; our dear friend, Mary Thompson, primal therapist, deceased as well; the dear Barbara Bryan, primal therapist and close friend; and Dan Miller, (for brevity sake just keep including “dear” for the rest, lol), primal therapist, friend, and author, The Unseen Universe: Of Mind and Matter. Alec Rubin, primal therapist and director of New York’s The Theater Within, is someone I will never forget for the inspiration I received from him. I wish to acknowledge the mentorship and warm friendship of Arnold Buchheimer, who was the IPA’s journal editor before me. And Barbara Findeisen, friend, primal therapist, breathwork facilitator, and founder of the therapy and educational center, Pocket Ranch, Geyersville, California, was important in our personal and in my professional life. 

William R. Emerson, therapist, educator, and innovator of perinatal remedial therapy for children was ever so helpful through our talks and the assistance he gave in renting us our workshop space till we had our own. I want to thank Barbara Findeisen and William R. Emerson for their agreeing to guest lecture each semester in the class in Pre- and Perinatal Psychology I taught at Sonoma State University. 

All of these “primal people” played important roles in my understandings and personal growth during those days with the IPA and at SSU and were the best of all possible friends. Let me just mention a few more of their names, there are many others: Stephen Khamsi, primal therapist; Belden Johnson, primal therapist and author; Paul Hannig, author, The Feeling Child, and primal therapist in Los Angeles; Agnes and Ernst Oslender, primal therapists, British Columbia; Brian Scheffer, primal therapist, Olympia, Washington; and the late Lance Wright, primal therapist, New York.

Stanislav Grof was and continues to be a huge influence and inspiration, both through his works as well as through the training my wife and I did with him. The late Christina Grof as well had a role both before and after she had passed on. Holotropic breathwork facilitator, director of training, and author of The Wide Open Door and other books, Tav Sparks had a significant and positive role in my holotropic life, as did his wife, Cary Sparks. In that regard I must mention, Jarvin Heiman, M.D., holotropic breathwork facilitator in Santa Monica, California, for his mentorship along those lines in 1989. Diane Haug, holotropic breathwork facilitator, and Jane Hollister, holotropic breathwork facilitator, Tampa, Florida, are two others I am grateful to for the same reason. During my days of training in holotropic breathwork I worked with, trained under, and learned much from Amber Kim Williams and Karen Pearle, to both of whom I owe a debt of gratitude.

I give a nod to the late and beloved Alice Miller, author of the book The Drama of the Gifted Child and many others, for the immense inspiration I received from her books as well as the nudge she gave me late one night, as she called from Paris about my work with primal and the journal of primal psychology I edited. Jean Liedloff, author of The Continuum Concept, garners my thanks for the same two reasons — her inspiration and our conversation. I apologize to the many others, authors and therapists and friends, who also helped, but I have not the room here to mention. Still, I am grateful for all they have given me and contributed to this work.

Lloyd deMause played a great part in my understanding through his books as well as personally. As I mention frequently through this book, the approaches and understandings of Stanislav Grof and Lloyd deMause, as well as, of course, Arthur Janov and Sathya Sai Baba, comprise the foundation, along with my personal experience and my professional work, upon which this work, this book, are built.

I want to acknowledge Jim and Sharon Adzema, my brother and sister-in-law, for everything they have done to assist me and support me and Mary Lynn. Always a haven, their home and hearth have provided a warm womb of family to mend in, be nurtured in, and be supported and loved within. Jim also played a highly significant role in my learnings during the Sixties and early Seventies; he was there for a lot of it and we learned a lot together. Not the least of those learnings was how to rebuild the engine of a VW bus alongside a stream off the road of Interstate 80 near Donner’s Pass in record-breaking time of two weeks, while hitchhiking to Reno for parts and one time lugging the crankcase to be machined … leaving as the snows were just beginning to fall for the season. Getting dark, snow falling, and facing a fate similar to the Donner Party … except, god forbid, for the “feasting” … we were shocked that the engine fired up. One more “peek-a-boo” in life. Thanks, Jim, for all you are, all we’ve shared, and all you will always be to me, my brother.

Mary Elisabeth Dupont had a huge influence on my work since she entered my life in April of 2014.  The full story of her contribution to my life and work is the only other thing I will need to withhold here, for now. At some point the entire story will be told. It is too amazing to share, just yet. I feel I am already stretching the credulity of my readers with what I have presented so far … and in this book. Love and eternal gratitude, now and for all no-form-ity, is what I wish upon this colleague and multi-lifetime friend.

Debbie Condon, my very dear friend, facilitated the completion of this work. Over the course of three years we discussed these ideas. She assisted with feedback and comments at every stage of it — from the initial blog posts of sections of it to the completed draft. She provided much insight and has been the strongest supporter of all my work. It was while my wife and I stayed with her in Ensenada, Baja, Mexico, in the fall of 2015, that the final form of this book was conceived and received its gestation. While there, she participated in readings of parts of it, which were recorded along with her and my wife’s comments. Some of those recordings are available at this time on youtube. I am ever so grateful for all of her assistance.

Some of this book’s content had its earliest incarnation with Peter Melton, when he interviewed me several times in 2015 for his segment of the radio show, Extinction Radio, which is broadcast by Activate Media, formerly Occupy Boston Radio. I can only thank him for his continuing friendship and for his assistance in the ongoing work we are doing together.

Michelle Apparcell, Kevin and Tracy Crockett, Ceila Levine, Pete Radford, Erv Singer, Kathy Smith, Julia Sloane, and Deane Lange all played crucial roles in this book’s coming into adulthood, becoming its final form, that is, through assistance that was provided my wife and me at the time, just recently. Most of them have little to no knowledge they are contributing toward this work as well as us. I wish to thank my friends, Gib Hayes, Will Winget, Anand Holtham-Kealey, Star Holtham-Kealey, Ambrose Holtham-Kealey, Katherine Catherwood, and Kelsey Weilbrenner for their friendship and for the lift above circumstances that they provided, though they knew not what else they were contributing to at the time, either.

Last but not least I need to acknowledge my mother. After all, who but her informed me initially about my prenatal experiences? And Doctor Fischer played a role at my birth, which led to many understandings in this book, however unconsciously he performed it. As for my mother, whose mother is perfect? Yet my mother was loving, sweet, delightfully childlike at times, and wise … and much better than most. 

In fact her loving nature was clearly born of the influence of her own mother, my grandmother, Mary Derzak, and her father, my grandfather, Andrew Derzak. So acknowledgements need to go to Mary Derzak for radiating the love that was passed through generations … she is the only true “saint” that I have known personally. And I can never sufficiently thank my grandfather, Andrew Derzak, the first “sillygod”/”funny god” that I knew, for his love, his light-heartedness, and his sometimes silly, and always welcome, humor. Certainly my grandparents’ love and humor were powerful propellants to the life I have lived and the work that came of it, particularly this book. 

Back to my mother, her role was the most important before I was born, of course; but she also had a small part in my work after her passing, amazingly, as did my father, Joseph Adzema. By the way, thanks for letting me know, Dad. It is help I carry with me, now.

To these and to many others whose influence went into this book, many more than I can mention, I am grateful. Like this book, my adulthood has been forged in fire — much of that being of another tumultuous time, the Sixties. Yet about that, I feel damn lucky. My generation and their acts and inspiration provided the “good womb” to offset the earliest one. I was fed and nurtured by wounded deer and centaurs, activists and healers, thinkers and experiencers, everywhere and at all times around me. My ideas were gestated in a wondrous world, with beaming and brilliant people, during amazing times. I am blessed, there is no doubt. 

***

 

The Doorway Is Hardly the Creator of Those who Walk Through

The ultimate in ego-loss, return to grace

is when you realize your only job is to witness

when you realize that you are not the navigator, controller, director, or ANYthing

that you are the leaf, forgetting it is part of the tree

that you are the wave, forgetting you are really the ocean, and thinking that it is under your power and through your decisions you make it to shore

that does not mean you do not act…

it means you participate fully

but not with any attachment to consequences … for good or ill…

you can forgive yourself for your shortcomings, knowing whatever was done was you in the process of getting somewhere further along

you cannot really take credit for your charms or your accomplishments, though…

for you are only the final doorway into manifestation of much activity of the Universe that was actually responsible for what came through you.

 

 

 

NOTES

 

 

 

Chapter One

  1. For my previous works on our apocalyptic situation today, see Apocalypse Emergency (2013), Apocalypse NO (2013), and Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014).
  2. For more on morphic resonance and morphogenetic fields, see any of Rupert Sheldrake’s many works, which include his books, A New Science of Life (1981) and The Rebirth of Nature (1991), and his articles, “Is Nature Alive?” (1991) and “Nature As Alive” (1995).

Chapter Two

  1. My blogs, currently, in order of priority, include 

Michael Adzema, Author at
http://sillymickel.blogspot.com/

Culture War, Class War at
https://culturewarclasswar.wordpress.com/

Becoming Authentic at
https://mladzema.wordpress.com/

The Great Reveal by SillyMickel & the Planetmates at
https://angelsinnature.wordpress.com/

Apocalypse NO at
https://apocalypseknow.wordpress.com/

SillyMickel’s Blog of the Obvious Unspoken Things at https://sillymickelsapocalypticwakeupcall.wordpress.com/

Funny God at
https://funnygod.wordpress.com/

For many of my blogs, sites, and social media, I use the pseudonym, sillymickel, incidentally.

In order of my involvement in them, my main social media pages are 

Facebook … https://www.facebook.com/sillymickel 

Tsu … http://www.tsu.co/sillymickel

Twitter … https://twitter.com/sillymickel

youtube … https://www.youtube.com/user/sillymickel

Google Plus … https://plus.google.com/+MichaelAdzema/posts

Linked In … https://www.linkedin.com/in/mickeladzema

soundcloud … https://soundcloud.com/michael-adzema

Though I have for years now directed my activity toward my blogs and social media, much material is still extant at these older sites:

Primal Spirituality at
https://sites.google.com/site/primalspirituality/

Apocalypse Emergency at
https://sites.google.com/site/apocalypseemergency/

SillyMickel Adzema’s Life — Autobiography at
https://sites.google.com/site/sillymickeladzemaslife/

My original site, Primal Spirit, which was online for two decades, is now defunct and the material is for the most part in the newer sites and blogs and is spread throughout social media.

I have much other content and writings spread throughout the web in places too numerous to mention.

And the Michael Adzema Author’s Page on Amazon, where all of my books are listed and can be purchased is at 

http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Adzema/e/B00J7F0URC/

Or simply google/search me using, in order of priority: Michael Adzema, sillymickel, SillyMickel Adzema, Mickel Adzema, Michael Derzak Adzema.

Chapter Three

  1. This is the book by Todd Gitlin, Years of Hope, Days of Rage (1987).
  2. I can point to one account that captures it the way it was. An absorbing account that speaks to the character of the times that I think is most important is David Farber’s The Age of Great Dreams: American in the 1960s (1994).
  3. Culture War, Class War (2013). Also see “The Last Educated Generation: It Had Become Clear to the People at the Top They Could Better Manipulate the Masses Without Free Thinkers in the Way” on my blogs, Michael Adzema, Author and Culture War, Class War, among other online sites.
  4. The Jetsons is an American animated sitcom produced by Hanna-Barbera, originally airing in primetime from September 23, 1962, to March 17, 1963, then later in syndication, with new episodes in 1985 to 1987 as part of The Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera block. It was Hanna-Barbera’s Space Age counterpart to The Flintstones.

As explained by Wikipedia, “While the Flintstones live in a world with machines powered by birds and dinosaurs, the Jetsons live in a futuristic utopia of elaborate robotic contraptions, aliens, holograms, and whimsical inventions.” This is from “The Jetsons,” on Wikipedia.com. 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Jetsons 

  1. The “adventurous, the creative, and the foolhardy” quite often went together in single individuals, in a way not at all negative. Foolishness for some folks can be merely the perception by others, or even oneself, of stages in a process of creativity or adventure. More about this later when we talk about wounded deer, centaurs, and the characteristics of recent generations in Part Three: Global Healing Crisis.
  2. For a true picture of the Sixties as a worldwide phenomenon, see Arthur Marwick’s (2000) The Sixties: Cultural Transformation in Britain, France, Italy and the United States, c. 1958 – c. 1974.
  3. See “John Lennon: The Rolling Stone Interview,” by Jann S. Wenner. 21 January and 4 February 1971. The entire two articles, and a podcast, are now available on line at 

http://imaginepeace.com/archives/4385

  1. Gandhi’s autobiography; Edgar Cayce: The Sleeping Prophet by Jess Stearn; Fromm’s The Art of Loving; Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet.
  2. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones by Paul Reps; Plato’s “Allegory of the Cave,” in his Republic; Watts’s The Wisdom of Insecurity.
  3. While in 1975 I began the process of publishing that work, The Dangers of Mysticism for Modern Youth, subsequently, and especially after having gone through primal therapy, I decided to refrain from publishing it. While its ideas were later espoused by Ken Wilber in many of his works and received renown, I knew that primal therapy changed everything and that I and Ken Wilber, and Carl Jung, for that matter, were wrong in some major respects. 

My idea was based on the Jungian tenet that the process of encountering the unconscious and starting the process of individuation must wait till the second half of life, after one had established enough ego strength to be able to handle it. This was based on the idea that the encounter with the unconscious, and especially the Shadow, was dangerous. Jungians have all kinds of ideas that the unconscious cannot be encountered directly but only indirectly, as through its symbols, dream interpretation, analysis, and so on.

However, in primal therapy I learned that the unconscious is only “dangerous” when it is not felt. It only seems dangerous. It is actually just one’s Pain … one’s primal pool of pain, as Janov phrased it.  That feeling one’s feelings, surrendering to them, was the technique to handle one’s Pain at any stage of life … indeed, it worked better, or maybe only, for those who took it on earlier in life, before one’s defenses had become too embedded in oneself to change, as usually happens after the age of fifty. Note that this encrustation of ego defenses is what Jungians are referring to as ego strength. Sadly, it is that in former times, before primal therapy, it was thought one had better wait till the time of life at which one could get the least from the process of individuation in order to begin it.

You might say that Jungians have a Pandora’s Jar version of the unconscious and do not understand the part about there being hope at the bottom of the jar. They also do not know about the body and its wisdom, that one need only surrender to be healed. So in not knowing this, they feel that the ego and consciousness needs to control, not surrender to, what lies deep within. Along those lines, it makes sense that one should not open oneself to the unconscious or the Shadow while one is already undergoing, in youth, what already amounts to an encounter with the unconscious in going through the identity stage of life, at that time. This was the thesis of that first work

All that being true, Jungians were wrong; Ken Wilber and ego psychologists are wrong; I was wrong. Still, I might yet publish a version of that book for archival or historical purposes. There is still much to be said about the fact that inner work must needs be married with action or self-actualization, which is the way I, following Maslow, put it at the time. As I said in the closing sentence of the book, encapsulating the heart of the book’s message: “Cosmic consciousness is dependent upon self-actualization.” There is still much to be said of value around that idea.

  1. See, to compare, “The Last Educated Generation,” in Adzema, Michael, 2013, Culture War, Class War, p. 13.
  2. See John Updike’s (1962) The Centaur for this idea of a centaur representing a younger generation’s “sitting” upon the achievements of the generation, or generations, before.
  3. For more in relation to my years of deep inner mending, see especially Chapter 8, “Return to Grace,” and Chapter 28, “For Earth’s Sake, Get Real!” 
  4. Seven books published so far are Culture War, Class War (2013); Apocalypse Emergency (2013); Apocalypse NO (2013); Experience Is Divinity (2013); Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014); Falls from Grace (2014); and Funny God (2015). These are all from the Return to Grace Series.

Not included in the list above are The Dangers of Mysticism for Modern Youth (1970, 1975), which are as yet unpublished manuscripts, and Primal Renaissance: The Emerging Millennial Return (1995), self-published.

In addition there are the books still to come in the Return to Grace Series, You Say You Want a Revolution (2011), available at this time online as chapters 17 through 32 on the blog, Culture War, Class War, and Prodigal Human: The Descent of Man, forthcoming, with some of it available now on the blog, Becoming Authentic. 

Other works forthcoming in the next few years are Primal Return: Renaissance and Grace; Authenticity Rising; Primal Spirituality; Womb with a View; and Cells with a View. In the works, with much work done on them, for future years are The Centered Path through Hell; Regression, Mysticism, and My Generation; Smoke, Lies and Revelations; Conception: The First Fall from Grace; Birth, The Second Fall from Grace; Primal Scene: The Third Fall from Grace; Puberty/Identity: The Fourth Fall from Grace; The Four Stages of Self-Understanding; Sensory: The Return to Self, Stage One; Recollective Analytic: The Return to Self, Stage Two; Symbolic-Existential: The Return to Self, Stage Three; Integral: The Return to Self, Stage Four; and the four books of my novel, Remembering, which are Leaving, Looking, Arriving, and Being Here.

We’ll see what kind of time the Universe provides me to finish it all. lol. There’ll be others, natch … ones that will appear along the way and demand expression.

Chapter Four

  1. Regarding re-experience appearing 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, see  Grof (1976, 1985); Hannig (1982); Janov (1971); Lake (1966/1986); Noble (1993); and Stettbacher (1991), among many other works and authors, which could have been named.
  2. Concerning prenatal re-experience and especially that of sperm, egg, and zygote states, in addition to my work, Falls from Grace (2014) and here as seen in Chapter 8, “Return to Grace,” see also Buchheimer (1987); Farrant (1987); Grof (1976, 1985); Hannig (1982); Janov (1983); Lake (1981, 1982); Larimore (1990a, 1990b); and Larimore and Farrant (1995).
  3. For deMause’s writing on poisonous placenta, fetal malnutrition, and related matters, two good sources are his seminal work, The Foundations of Psychohistory (1982), and his piece in Verny’s (1987) anthology, Pre- and Perinatal Psychology: An Introduction, titled “The Fetal Origins of History.” 
  4. See, A. Briend, “Fetal Malnutrition: The Price of Upright Posture?” British Medical Journal 2 (1979): 317-319.
  5. The works where I explain in the most depth, using research from anthropology and related fields, how fetal malnutrition is a product of our becoming bipedal are Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014); and Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness (2014).
  6. Outside of what is coming in this book, for more on how our difference from other planetmates in Nature, that is, our birth and prenatal pain, is resulting in ecocide and humanicide at the moment, see Apocalypse Emergency (2013); Apocalypse NO (2013); and Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014).

Chapter Five

  1. See, Casriel, Daniel, M.D. (1972), A Scream Away from Happiness. Note, this is the way he advertised his therapy: “Now you can release pent-up pain, anger, and fear through Dr. Casriel’s own technique of ‘scream therapy’ — often more effective and less expensive than traditional methods.” New York Times Book Review, October 8, 1972, p. 14. 

Chapter Six

  1. Thomas Verny, 1981, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child, p. 118.
  2. Thomas Verny, 1984, “Birth and Sexuality,” p. 48.
  3. The idea of “brain as reducing valve,” goes back to Henri Bergson (1896, 1934) as well as to William James. It was brought forward by Aldous Huxley (1954) to explain the expanded awareness that comes about in psychedelic states.
  4. As Huxley (1954) explained it in his work, The Doors of Perception (p. 23):

Reflecting on my [mescalin] experience, I find myself agreeing with the eminent Cambridge philosopher, Dr. C. D. Broad, “that we should do well to consider much more seriously than we have hitherto been inclined to do the type of theory which Bergson put forward in connection with memory and sense perception. The suggestion is that the function of the brain and nervous system and sense organs is in the main eliminative and not productive. Each person is at each moment capable of remembering all that has ever happened to him and of perceiving everything that is happening everywhere in the universe. The function of the brain and nervous system is to protect us from being overwhelmed and confused by this mass of largely useless and irrelevant knowledge, by shutting out most of what we should otherwise perceive or remember at any moment, and leaving only that very small and special selection which is likely to be practically useful.” According to such a theory, each one of us is potentially Mind at Large. But in so far as we are animals, our business is at all costs to survive. To make biological survival possible, Mind at Large has to be funneled through the reducing valve of the brain and nervous system. What comes out at the other end is a measly trickle of the kind of consciousness which will help us to stay alive on the surface of this particular planet.

  1. Both of these articles — “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” — are available online in several places including my blog, The Great Reveal by SillyMickel & the Planetmates, and in my book, Experience Is Divinity (2013).
  2. Among Stanislav Grof’s many works are Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research (1975); LSD Psychotherapy (1980); Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy (1985); The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration (1988); and The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives (1993). See References in this book for additional works by Stanislav Grof.
  3. See, for example, Barbara Carter (1993).

Chapter Seven

  1. Frank Lake, 1981, Tight Corners in Pastoral Counseling, p. 35.
  2. For Farrant’s important work, see “Graham Farrant Interviewed at Appel Farm, Sunday, August 31, 1986,” Buchheimer (1987); “Cellular Consciousness,” Farrant (1987); and “Egg and Sperm Memory: Universal Body Movements in Cellular Consciousness and What They Mean,” Larimore and Farrant  (1995).
  3. For Wasdell’s work, see “Toward a Unified Field Theory of Human Behavior” (1979); “Primal Perspective” (1985a); “Foundations of Psycho-Social Analysis” (1985b); and “The Roots of Social Insanity: The Pre- and Peri-Natal Ground of Socio-Political Dynamic” (1990).

Chapter Eight

  1. Michael Adzema, Falls from Grace, 2014, pp. 81-82.
  2. For Nandor Fodor, see Search for the Beloved (1949); and New Approach to Dream Interpretation (1951).
  3. For spiritual grids, joy grids, negative grids, pain grids, and positive grids, see, among other places including unpublished manuscripts, “Reunion With the Positive (Self), Part 1: The Other Half of ‘The Cure’” in Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, Vol. 1, No. 2, Autumn 1995, pp. 72-85; and online at 

http://www.primals.org/articles/adzema01.html 

  1. In several places, online and in print, I made this assertion that “unconditional acceptance” was necessary for “the second half of the cure.” See, for example, Michael Adzema, “Only Half a Cure: Unconditional Acceptance and the Primal Process” (1993); as well as Paul Hannig, “Borderline Personality Disorder: Profile and Process of Therapy” (1995).
  2. See especially, for falls from grace, Michael Adzema, Falls from Grace: The Devolution and Revolution of Consciousness (2014).
  3. The aquatic ape theory was proposed by Elaine Morgan and was brilliantly presented in a number of works, including The Descent of Woman (1972); The Aquatic Ape (1982); The Scars of Evolution (1994); The Descent of the Child (1995); and Aquatic Ape Hypothesis (1999).

Chapter Nine

  1. This chapter is titled with appreciation and admiration to The Kills for their recording, “U R A Fever.” The lyrics go, “I am a fever, you are a fever, we ain’t born typical….” and so on. The music video accompanying it is similarly brilliant and tells the story I am telling about the link between perinatal pain and our insanity in a much more provocative and entertaining way. The video contains levels of meaning that are only obvious on subsequent viewings. 
  2. In the Pre- and Perinatal Psychology Newsletter I was applauded for being the first person in the United States to teach the subject of pre- and perinatal psychology at the university level and — as it was said, remarkably — for doing it while still a student. I did this at Sonoma State University, in Rohnert Park, California, in the years 1994 and 1995, beginning while I was a graduate student there. 

My graduate thesis became the book, Falls From Grace: Spiritual and Philosophical Perspectives of Prenatal and Primal Experience, which is listed in Wikipedia as a reference under the topic of prenatal and perinatal psychology.

Subsequently, I became the editor of the professional journal, Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, formerly published by the International Primal Association. Much of the contents of its issues were later posted to my website, Primal Spirit, and from there some of them made it into my books, blogs, and social media.

I have had my writings published in The Journal of Psychohistory, including some that later became part of this book. In fact, I presented the material of this book originally at an Institute for Psychohistory Association convention; and its earliest publications were in The Journal of Psychohistory under the title, “The Scenery of Healing: Commentary On deMause’s ‘Restaging Prenatal and Birth Trauma’s in War and Social Violence’” 23/4, 395-405. 

These are among my many credentials in this field of pre- and perinatal psychology, where I have studied, facilitated, and trained from 1972 till this day.

  1. Stanislav Grof, Realms of the Human Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press (1975); LSD Psychotherapy. Pomona, CA: Hunter House (1980); Beyond the Brain: Birth, Death, and Transcendence in Psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press (1985); The Adventure of Self-Discovery: Dimensions of Consciousness and New Perspectives in Psychotherapy and Inner Exploration. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press (1988); The Holotropic Mind: The Three Levels of Human Consciousness and How They Shape Our Lives. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco (1993).
  2. Lloyd deMause, “Restaging Early Traumas in War and Social Violence. “The Journal of Psychohistory 23 (1995); The Foundations of Psychohistory (1982); and The Emotional Life of Nations (2002).

Chapter Ten

  1. For an analysis of the pre- and perinatal elements of “Independence Day,” see Anne Marquez’s article: “‘Independence Day’: Pre- and Perinatal Adventure in Film,” Primal Spirit magazine, spring, 1995.
  2. The text for “Birthing, Forgetting” can be found at “My Beginning, At Least the Part Anyone Could See: Birthing … Forgetting (a short story)” on my site, SillyMickel Adzema’s Life – Autobiography. The url is

https://sites.google.com/site/sillymickeladzemaslife/Home/Birth-Forgetting

It was originally published in Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, 1996, as “Birthing, Forgetting (a story).” 

  1. Pics of the mouth eruption scene from The Outer Limits can be seen on my blog at the url

https://angelsinnature.wordpress.com/2012/12/13/projecting-the-perinatal-zeitgeist-everything-youve-managed-to-forget-about-being-born/ 

Or google my name and “Projecting the Perinatal Zeitgeist: Everything You’ve Managed to Forget About Being Born.”

The episode that the pics are taken from was broadcast 6 April 2001, titled “The Surrogate.”

  1. See “Part 1: Reality, Human and Otherwise — Biologically Constituted Realities,” of Experience Is Divinity (2013). See, also, my “Biologically Constituted Realities: An Anti-anthropocentric and New Paradigm Perspective” in Primal Renaissance (1995).
  2. I saw this movie in the Nineties, and for the life of me I cannot find it now. In it, people are sucked into the walls of a house. Anyone who knows the film, please contact me — sillymickel@gmail.com or Michael Adzema on Facebook — so I can add its name.
  3. See Stanislav Grof on this point that our species survival requires integrating with our perinatal material at “Planetary Survival and Consciousness Evolution: Psychological Roots of Human Violence and Greed,” in Primal Renaissance: The Journal of Primal Psychology, spring, 1996.

Chapter Eleven

  1. For perinatal elements in UFO abductions, see Alvin H. Lawson, “UFO Abductions or Birth Memories?” Fate, March 1985, pp. 68-80; and Alvin H. Lawson, “Perinatal imagery in UFO abduction reports,” in T. Verny (ed.): Pre- and Perinatal Psychology: An Introduction (1987).
  2. For perinatal elements of rock concerts, see Alvin H. Lawson, “Placental Guitars, Umbilical Mikes, and the Maternal Rock-Beat: Birth Fantasies and Rock Music Videos.” The Journal of Psychohistory, 1994, pp. 335-353. 
  3. For my prophecy regarding Jacob’s Ladder and my use of it as a metaphor for our imminent future, see Funny God (2015) and Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014).

Chapter Twelve

  1. This obvious though insistently overlooked fact has scientific support, of course:

According to a study conducted by scientists from the Scripps Institute there is less oxygen in the atmosphere today than there used to be. The ongoing study, which accumulated and interpreted data from NOAA monitoring stations all over the world, has been running from 1989 to the present. It monitored both the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decline in oxygen. The conclusion of that 20-year study is that, as carbon dioxide (produced primarily by burning fossil fuels) accumulates in the atmosphere, available oxygen is decreasing. 

Carbon dioxide seems to be almost the total focus of attention in the climate change model as it exists today. After reviewing the results of this study and talking with Dr. Ralph Keeling (one of the lead scientists on the study), it seemed to me that the consequences of atmospheric oxygen depletion should be included in any discussion of atmospheric change….

For the rest of this article, google: “Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Fall as Carbon Dioxide Rises” or use the url 

http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-fall-as-carbon/#ixzz1ru2460V8

  1. For how birth pain makes us human and separate from all other planetmates, see the Seventh Prasad: “Becoming Human — Bipedalism, Big Brains, and Birth Pain,” in Adzema (2014), or do an internet search for “Bipedalism and Birth Pain” and my name.
  2. It would be interesting to find out what in particular was the cause of such inordinate fixation by Nazis on this aspect of early prenatal pain involving tainted and poisoned blood. For example, did Germans have more of this kind of pain as fetuses because German women did much more standing … being hard workers, perhaps … in the late stages of pregnancy than others? Such are the kinds of things that can make such differences.

And if women doing standing work right up to the time of birth correlates with excessive fetal malnutrition, what of women in primitive agrarian cultures working — in the fields or similar places — until practically the time of birth? Does this have anything to do with the increase in war and conflicts we observe in agrarian cultures over nomadic ones? Is there a corresponding increase in psychosis, ritual, and superstition … scapegoating and sacrifice … as, for example, with the Mayan and pre-Colombian New World cultures? No doubt there are many factors involved in these things, but are these prenatal contributing factors some important overlooked ones? If so, how important?

Finally, what of the tendency of women today to want to work right up until the time of birth?

  1. I differentiate between legitimate attempts, conscious or unconscious, at birth pain resolution — primal therapy, holotropic and other breathwork, water and breath “rebirthing”/vivation, and mosh pit “rebirthing” — from false ones like being religiously “reborn” or otherwise experiencing a “second birth” as in some social initiation. In the healing modalities, there are continual attempts to resolve something that needs such attention and in fact can never be fully resolved but only improved upon. In the second instance, there are actual feelings of rebirth, when one is religiously reborn; it is true. I know. I experienced it as my first experience of rebirth forty-four years ago.

The problem with religious “rebirth” has to do with this idea of trying to recapture ever afterward what is essentially a one-time experience and yet taking steps to insure no further such experiences or transformations will occur. One loses the feeling, feels “sinful” again (see upcoming posts on the BPM II elements of “bad blood” and “dirtiness” or review the overview of this in this chapter) and because one has barely touched it, let alone resolved the pain, needs “saving” over and over again, futilely. The fact that it is not really resolved is proven in that the proponents of religious rebirth need to convert others to the experience in order for them to feel they have achieved it; this would not be necessary if one had. Further, the other components of birth pain seem to be more, not less, prevalent after religious “rebirth.” One feels “sinful,” “dirty,” and that others are “dirty,” “defiled,” “filthy,” “unwashed,” “toxic,” “impure,” and more. Again, see upcoming chapters for details.

So it is not that religious experiences of being “reborn” are not legitimate and part of a psyche seeking healing and growth. It is that the experience is hung on to, looked back on; one is stuck in it. One says Christ will do it for one (He has died for one’s sins), so one does not have to experience the discomfort of facing these pains and discomforts from the womb oneself. The experience is institutionalized and never experienced again, though one surrounds oneself with true believers affirming the opposite, along with this idea that one does not have to suffer again … Christ has done it for one; or one can confess sins and the priest will take care of it … and so one is distracted from the discomfort that precedes any more growing or being born or transformed any further. As I like to say about such glancing experiences of real truth: Yes, it’s legit. But don’t make a fucking religion out of it.

Worst of all, the institution or social group takes over and restructures one’s self along the lines that will benefit it, not oneself, so one is not reborn into one’s real self but into an inauthentic fabrication benefiting some manipulative social group — Marines, evangelical group, secret society, ethnic group, or simply the normal adult neurosis of one’s culture.

  1. Quote is from Joni Mitchell, on her song, “Big Yellow Taxi,” released 1970, on her album, Ladies of the Canyon. I wish to note the environmental concern expressed in other of her lyrics of that song:

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot
Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got
Till it’s gone
They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half to see ‘em
Hey farmer farmer
Put away that D.D.T. now
Give me spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees
Please

  1. As concerns creating the situations that bring up these early discomforts, as in unconsciously being drawn to create traffic jams, notice as I have, when you’re driving, how often folks will have two or more lines to go to, in traffic especially but sometimes in retail establishments as well, and will line up behind each other in one line, foregoing the empty ones. Not everybody does that; but explain the ones creating that line … what is driving them to act like lemmings and feel restrained when they could have it easier? This is not restricted to queues however, as we will see it is a metaphor for human irrationality rooted in these imprints.

Chapter Thirteen

  1. See O2xygen Therapies by Ed McCabe (1988). See also, online,  

http://www.oxygenhealth.com/

  1. See Nutrition and Your Mind by George Watson (1972). See also, online, 

http://naturalbias.com/your-nutritional-individuality-and-unhealthy-emotions/

  1. As reported in the article, “Atmospheric Oxygen Levels Fall as Carbon Dioxide Rises” at  

http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-fall-as-carbon/

It reads partly as follows:

According to a study conducted by scientists from the Scripps Institute there is less oxygen in the atmosphere today than there used to be. The ongoing study, which accumulated and interpreted data from NOAA monitoring stations all over the world, has been running from 1989 to the present. It monitored both the rise of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the decline in oxygen. The conclusion of that 20 year study is that, as carbon dioxide (produced primarily by burning fossil fuels) accumulates in the atmosphere, available oxygen is decreasing….

Carbon dioxide seems to be almost the total focus of attention in the climate change model as it exists today. After reviewing the results of this study and talking with Dr. Ralph Keeling (one of the lead scientists on the study), it seemed to me that the consequences of atmospheric oxygen depletion should be included in any discussion of atmospheric change … .

 …  we are losing nearly three O2 molecules for each CO2 molecule that accumulates in the air….

Since the beginning of the industrial revolution we have removed .095% of the oxygen in our atmosphere. True, that is only a tenth of one percent of the total supply, but oxygen makes up only 20% of the atmosphere. I looked up safety rules regarding oxygen concentrations and according to OSHA rules on atmospheres in closed environments, “if the oxygen level in such an environment falls below 19.5% it is oxygen deficient, putting occupants of the confined space at risk of losing consciousness and death.” What happens if the world’s atmospheric levels of oxygen fall to 19.5% or lower? Are we all going to have to carry little blue oxygen tanks with us to survive? Not a pleasant possibility….

Plants and certain bacteria take in carbon dioxide, combine it with water to form glucose and produce oxygen as a byproduct in the photosynthesis reaction. The current increase in carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere indicates that this cycle is no longer in balance. It shows that we have reached the point where the biosphere of the planet can no longer process all of the carbon dioxide that we are producing….

We currently make estimates of how many years we have left before excess carbon dioxide becomes a bigger problem than it already is but we aren’t really sure of their accuracy. However, to the best of my knowledge, we don’t have estimates of how long it might be, if oxygen continues to be depleted at its current rate, until it might become a problem. After all, while most of us may be willing to wait out the effects of excess carbon dioxide in the atmosphere for a time just to see if we really do get warmer weather and more abundant crops out of the deal; how many of us want to wait and see how little oxygen we can survive on?

Read more:  

http://blogcritics.org/scitech/article/atmospheric-oxygen-levels-fall-as-carbon/

  1. On the theft of fire and the beginnings of culture in world mythology:
  • According to the Rig Veda (3:9.5), the hero Mātariśvan recovered fire, which had been hidden from mankind.
  • In Cherokee myth, after Possum and Buzzard had failed to steal fire, Grandmother Spider used her web to sneak into the land of light. She stole fire, hiding it in a clay pot. 
  • Among various Native American tribes of the Pacific Northwest and First Nations, fire was stolen and given to humans by Coyote, Beaver or Dog.
  • According to some Yukon First Nations people, Crow stole fire from a volcano in the middle of the water.
  • According to the Creek Native Americans, Rabbit stole fire from the Weasels.
  • In Algonquin myth, Rabbit stole fire from an old man and his two daughters.
  • In Ojibwa myth, Nanabozho the hare stole fire and gave it to humans.
  • In Polynesian myth, Māui stole fire from the Mudhens.
  • In the Book of Enoch, the fallen angels and Azazel teach early mankind to use tools and fire.

From “Prometheus” in Wikipedia at 

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

  1. Promethean parallels in other mythologies include
  • In Georgian mythology Amirani challenged the chief god and for that was chained on Caucasian mountains where birds would eat his organs.
  • In Norse mythology, the god Loki (often associated with fire) was bound to a rock. Above him is a large serpent which drips toxic venom upon him. His 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.

From “Prometheus” in Wikipedia at 

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

Regarding the Norse myth, remember what was said in the previous chapter about one of the feeling complexes in late gestation being the discomfort of being in a toxic womb environment. I will discuss this feeling constellation in more detail in an upcoming chapter, where this myth will be even more illustrative.

Chapter Fourteen

  1. In Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014), I go to great lengths to detail and explain this devolution of humans through the stages of foraging, hunting, agriculture, and husbandry. 

See, also, “From Hunting and Gathering to Sowing and Reaping” by Kat Morgenstern. In her words,

Cultural evolution can be defined as the process of developing the tools and skills to deal with certain challenges. Therefore challenges present the key stimulus for any kind of development. The challenge to survive as a hunter/gatherers is not inconsiderable – and early humans met the challenge for hundreds of thousands of years, without depleting their natural environment. Agriculture was invented about 10000 years ago and many of the environmental crisis we face today are directly related to this paradigm shift, from the destruction of the world’s forests in order to grow crops, to the depletion of land due to monocultural plantations, to salination and a thousand other woes.

Early humans were nomads. They roamed within a certain range. Trespassing into another group’s range could result in conflict. However, due to population limits, each group’s range was quite extensive. It is often assumed that finding food must have been incredibly challenging and time consuming, yet, research has demonstrated that in favourable habitats only an average of 3h per day are needed to collect food, plus some more time for preparation. Anyone who has ever even partially lived on foraged foods knows that nature supplies plentifully – each thing in its season. It is also a popular idea to imagine that people were moving around constantly, only remaining in one place for a matter of days. But there is no reason to assume such restlessness. It seems far more likely that people would move from campground to campground in accordance with the seasons, in tune with the things they would find in each place. And it seems reasonable to assume that they would remain in each place long enough to gather and process for transport whatever gifts Mother Nature had offered. Only in areas that are particularly hostile, such as deserts or the circumpolar regions, would frequent moving be necessary since food supplies are less abundant.

At the 1966 ‘Man the Hunter’ conference, Marshall Sahlins presented a paper entitled, “Notes on the Original Affluent Society,” in which he challenged the popular view of hunter-gatherers living lives “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short,” as Thomas Hobbes had put it in 1651. According to Sahlins, ethnographic data indicated that hunter-gatherers worked far fewer hours and enjoyed more leisure than typical members of industrial society, and they still ate well. Their “affluence” came from the idea that they are satisfied with very little in the material sense. This, he said, constituted a Zen economy.

More at “From Hunting and Gathering to Sowing and Reaping” at 

http://www.sacredearth.com/ethnobotany/food/civilization.php

  1. See the Twenty-Seventh Prasad chapter in my work, Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014). You could also check out that chapter’s online version doing a search for “The Great Reveal from the Planetmates, The Twenty-Seventh Prasad: A-mazing Cultural Maze” or by using this url:

https://angelsinnature.wordpress.com/prasads-chs-33/ch-35-twenty-7th-prasad/

  1. On “time, understandably, as it does, provided a rationalization of the defiant act,” do a search for my work online titled “A Blessing for You … To Choose or Refuse” — The Great Reveal from The Planetmates: The Complete Prasads,” or find it at this url:

https://angelsinnature.wordpress.com/2012/04/09/the-prasads-of-the-great-reveal-from-the-planetmates-complete-and-by-themselves-a-blessing-for-youto-choose-or-refuse/

At that location, you will find an overview of the Prasads from the planetmates, and you can click the links to go to the full text of them. You can see the progression, or devolution, of humans as we became increasingly more controlling and rationalizing of our defiance. See especially, the Fourth, Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Twenty-Sixth Prasads. Better yet, look to the finished versions of those parts in the book, Planetmates: The Great Reveal (2014), under the titles

  • 4th—Ego:  The Origins of Ego: Human Superiority a Defense Against Actual Inferiority Relative to Planetmates
  • 13th—Resistance:  Breaking with Divinity, Resisting Divine Assistance … Roots of Apocalypse
  • 14th—Apple:  Defying Divine Assistance … Eating the “Apple” … Human “Sickness”
  • 26th—Arrogance:  That Ego That You Do, You Do So Well: Ego Towers Over Everything 

Chapter Fifteen

  1. On youtube, check out “The Wayseer Manifesto” (2011) by Garret John. This particular video has gotten a lot of attention and rightfully so. Garret John wonderfully captures the feeling of being a centaur, as a Wayseer. Search for it or use the url:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OPR3GlpQQJA

  1. These legends are as described by Franz Kafka (1929), as related in “Prometheus” at wikipedia.com
  2. Every time I look at this, it looks worse than I thought. This one makes me think there’s no way any of us will survive this. And if we do, then our children won’t. It’s that bad. And what pisses me off is that progressives want to poo-poo this.

Chapter Seventeen

  1. Pastor Worley’s actual words were

Of our president getting up and saying it was all right for two women to marry, for two men to marry, I tell you right now, I was disappointed bad. But I’ll tell you right there, it’s as sorry as you can get. The Bible’s agin’ it, God’s agin’ it, I’m agin’ it, and if you’ve got any sense, you’re agin’ it.

I had a way, I figured a way out, a way to get rid of all the lesbians and queers, but I couldn’t get it passed through Congress. Build a great big large fence, 100..50 or 100 miles long. Put all the lesbians in there. Fly over and drop some food. Do the same thing with the queers and the homosexuals. And have that fence electrified ‘til they can’t get out. And feed ‘em. And you know what? In a few years they’ll die out. Do you know why? They can`t reproduce.

If a man ever has a young ‘un, praise god it’ll be the first one. All of these …  It’s just as well … I’m gonna preach the hell out of all of them. Hey I’ll tell you right now. I ain’t gonna vote for a baby killer and a homosexual lover!

You said, ‘Did you mean to say that?’ You’d better believe I did!

God have mercy it makes me puking sick to think about … I don’t even know whether you ought to say this in the pulpit or not. Could you imagine kissing some man? My god I love you fellas, but not that much.

Chapter Eighteen

  1. The quote about Loki is from “Prometheus” in Wikipedia at  

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

  1. The quoted section that follows 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 at 

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

  1. For a related perspective, see my work, Experience Is Divinity, Chapter 24: “The Rest of the World, Given the Chance, Is Out to Love You: Expect Less … and More … from Your Wasps.” Or check out an online version of it by searching Expect Less … and More … from Your Waspsor use the url

https://apocalypseknow.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/matter-as-metaphor-part-three-expect-less-and-more-from-your-wasps-the-rest-of-the-world-given-the-chance-is-out-to-love-you/

  1. Quote is from the article, “Vélodrome d’hiver,” published at Wikipedia.com.

Chapter Twenty

  1. See my book Culture War, Class War, or my blog of the same name, especially Chapter 2: “Matrix Aroused, the Sixties”; Chapter 4: “Drugs of Choice and Generational Cultures – Concocted Worlds”; and Chapter 5: “The King Won’t Die – An Aborted Changing of the Guard.”
  2. These aspects and generational phenomena are spelled out in more detail in my work-in-progress, Regression, Mysticism, and “My Generation (1993). Right at hand, however, you can read an elaboration of some of these ideas in the chapters mentioned in Culture War, Class War — especially Chapters 1 through 7 and the post, “Awakening Millennial Generation Occupy Global Revolution.” You can google it or use the url

https://culturewarclasswar.wordpress.com/2011/10/11/awakening-millennial-generation-occupy-global-revolution/

Chapter Twenty-One

  1. Quote is from page 23 of Stanislav Grof’