Chp 7

Self-Revelation & Psychosis?

July 17th 2012, 7am. ‘Morning darling, sleep ok?’ The emotional rupture of the no money visa drama has been repaired, and the existential crisis of attachment loss, and its by now well documented trigger to my most potent manic mood swings has passed. After five years of consistent journal writing and writing as a tool to unpeel the onion of emotional torment, at the core of my mental illness experience. There is by now, convincing evidence of separation anxiety and the threat of existential isolation, as the key trigger to my euphoric heights of soaring mania. Although the attachment crisis has disrupted the groove I was in, writing a blog post about existential metaphor and its species meaning, as we move into this 21st century A.D. The practical reality of money and basic survival needs forcing me back into the rational and objective endeavor of completing a book now.

‘When you finish book and get money?’ My Thai partner wants know.

‘I can’t eat you spiritual mumbo jumbo - I need money for future, make us safe!’ She tells me with sincere existential concern.

‘I know,’ is all I can say in reply, our language barrier preventing a conversation about the process I go through and why I can’t force the kind of self-revelation that would make the book worthwhile and perhaps sell-able? How do I convey to her that I’m not motivated by the notion of making money or the outcome of completing this book. How do I relate a question of honor and a natural process, which I’m trying to unfold from within? How do I tell her that every time I try to be rational and logical about schedules and a timetable of goal oriented effort, I loose the plot. “Ironic David, in terms of seeking deeper truths and meaning, by a process of unfettered psychosis, that is.” Most readers will assume a definite loss of plot too, in any notion of positive outcomes to the experience of psychosis , in an at first sight reaction to these logically unreasonable thoughts? “Bad, bad, bad, is the common understanding of that word, with Hollywood’s dramatization in movies like “Psycho” and “The Shinning,” popular culture’s accepted image of a psychosis experience. A nightmare, the most popular vision of the dream like altered states of mind, the experience generates.

Here is the very core of my self-revelation thesis though? Its the stimulation of our objective logic and our sense of reason, as overwhelmingly sight based and stimulated by awareness of external objects, which creates a false subjective sense of self. The historical evolution of our languages and our private internal narrative, our story of a life. Is a fundamental misinterpretation of our internal reality? An internal reality, now increasingly exposed to the light of true perception, by our advancing age of super-technologies. The zeitgeist movement’s, hopes for a Utopian revolution from this new age of super-technology? Yet most likely, not until a new realization about the nature of the human condition breaks through a consensus reality, of to much OBJECTIVITY?

As my own breakthrough self-realization began to dawn in 2011, as I read and re-read Stephen Porges groundbreaking polyvagal discovery, my self-understanding underwent a dramatic shift in perception. Polyvagal theory, becoming a more grounded reality as I learned to use Peter Levine’s unique understanding of trauma release to allow Stephen Porges vital breakthrough, to enable a deeper personal-revelation. I’m an overwhelming, chemically constructed being? Literally made of Star Dust and all those chemical elements, yet previously lost in the subjective desert, of OBJECT like, self-perception. I slowly learned to FEEL the chemical frizz of my nervous system's orienting responses, which are my heart-toned sense of being alive? I began the slow process of re-wiring “unconscious” neural networks, which stimulate a negative expectation about life, my “neuroception” of an UNSAFE world, as Stephen Porges explains.

NEUROCEPTION: CONTEXTUAL CUEING OF ADAPTIVE, MALADAPTIVE PHYSIOLOGICAL STATES: To effectively switch from defensive to social engagement strategies, the mammalian nervous system needs to perform two important adaptive tasks: (1) assess risk, and (2) if the environment is perceived as safe, inhibit the more primitive limbic structures that control fight, flight, or freeze behaviors. Any stimulus that has the potential for increasing an organism’s experience of safety has the potential of recruiting the evolutionarily more advanced neural circuits that support the prosocial behaviors of the social engagement system. The nervous system, through the processing of sensory information from the environment and from the viscera, continuously evaluates risk. Since the neural evaluation of risk does not require conscious awareness and may involve subcortical limbic structures, the term neuroception was introduced to emphasize a neural process, distinct from perception, that is capable of distinguishing environmental (and visceral) features that are safe, dangerous, or life-threatening. In safe environments, autonomic state is adaptively regulated to dampen sympathetic activation and to protect the oxygen-dependent central nervous system, especially the cortex, from the metabolically conservative reactions of the dorsal vagal complex. However, how does the nervous system know when the environment is safe, dangerous, or life-threatening, and which neural mechanisms evaluate this risk?” The polyvagal theory: New insights into adaptive reactions of the autonomic nervous system. STEPHEN W. PORGES, PhD.

Please watch this clip from the popular documentary, "What the Bleep Do We Know?" Delving deeper into the relationship between quantum physics and human consciousness, this follow-on to What the Bleep Do We Know!? uses the story of a photographer (Marlee Matlin) in turmoil to frame its thesis -- that biophysics and quantum mechanics confirm long-standing ideas about spiritual self-determination. Animated instruction, dramatic vignettes and talking-head interviews combine for an entertaining examination of the human experience.

A documentary which has been attacked as emotive pseudo science by traditional objectively oriented scientists, with an adherence to the scientific method of testable hypothesis? Yet as an old argument espouses, how do we separate observer from experiments designed to prove a consensus reality hypothesis of "expectation?" Please watch and listen to descriptions of the brain and nervous systems, in their interaction with a quantum reality?

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As articulated above by the genius of Stephen Porges, my original experience of a traumatic birth was held in unconscious memory by my own internal environment, “neuroception was introduced to emphasize a neural process, distinct from perception, that is capable of distinguishing environmental (and visceral) features that are safe, dangerous, or life-threatening.” My mad month of June, when I went through another organic psychosis, was a natural process of reorganizing my original NEGATIVE state experience, into a new unconscious expectation of POSITIVE state experience? We need to recognize the new reality of self-realization, which our super technology age is making available to us NOW! In my experience of psychosis, a subjective label we use to describe a hidden internal process, my awareness becomes immersed in a deeper chemical reality, once rationalized as the Universe is speaking to me?

Euphoria, is the metabolic energy of the whole organism dedicated to firing the synaptic connections of brain? This is why mania in adults, has such a striking resemblance to the elation energy needs of our early childhood, during the practicing period of establishing a nervous system expectation, of a life to come. In my long night of the soul in Laos, I’d fallen into an unconscious expectation of mortal threat, still lingering like background radiation from my three day birth ordeal. Life as unconscious expectation, in the organism’s prime need to maintain an established homeostasis. The similarity of adult expressions of manic emotionality and practicing period elation has been well known, for a long time now, just as the chemical reality of internal function, has been well known. Yet why do we still think and speak about ourselves, using an evolved language, overwhelmingly descriptive of objects, of external image? Consider my first inclinations towards a new self-awareness as I began to read Allan N Schore’s “Affect Dysregulation & Disorders of the Self.”

“Tronick argued that the infant’s self-organizing system, when coupled with the mother’s allows for a brain organization that can be expanded into more coherent and complex states of consciousness. I suggest that Tronick was describing an expansion of what Edelman called primary consciousness, which relates visceral and emotional information pertaining to the biological self, to stored information processing pertaining to outside reality. Edelman lateralized primary consciousness to the right brain.

In light of research showing the involvement of the right hemisphere in attentional processes , interactive experiences of “joint attention” may act as a growth-facilitating environment for the experience dependant maturation of right hemispheric attentional capacities. Notice that during the heightened affective moment the child’s attention is riveted on the mother’s face. But this hemisphere is also concerned with the analysis of direct information received from the body.

Thus, in attachment transactions the child is using the output of the mother’s right cortex as a template for the imprinting, the hard wiring of circuits in his own right cortex that will come to mediate his expanding cognitive-affective capacities to adaptively attend to, appraise, and regulate variations in both external and internal information. It is important to note that these dyadically synchronized affectively charged transactions elicit high levels of metabolic energy for the tuning of developing right-brain circuits involved in processing socioemotional information.

Psychobiologists emphasize the importance of “hidden” regulatory processes by which the caregiver’s more mature and differentiated nervous system regulates the infant’s “open” immature, internal homeostatic systems. These body-to-body communications also involve right-brain-to-right-brain interactions. Indeed most human females cradle their infants on the left side of the body (controlled by the right hemisphere). This tendency is well developed in women but not in men, is independent of handedness, and is widespread in all cultures.

Manning and colleagues suggested that this left-cradling tendency ’facilitates the flow of affective information from the infant via the left ear and eye to the center for emotional decoding, that is, the right hemisphere of the mother. As Damasio indicated, this hemisphere contains the most comprehensive and integrated map of the body state available to the brain. Lieberman wrote that current models of development focus almost exclusively on cognition. In an article the “Infant Mental Health” journal she stated; “The baby’s body, with its pleasures and struggles, has been largely missing from this picture.”

Even more specifically, psychobiological studies of attachment, the interactive regulation of biological synchronicity between organisms, indicates that the intimate contact between the mother and her infant is regulated by the reciprocal activation of their opiate systems - elevated levels of opiates (beta endorphins) increase pleasure in both. In these mutual gaze transactions, the mother’s face is also inducing the production of not only endogenous opiates but also regulated levels of dopamine in the infant’s brain, which generates high levels of arousal and elation.

And in her soothing and calming functions, the mother is also regulating the child’s oxytocin levels. It has been suggested that oxytocin, a vagally-controlled hormone with anti-stress effects, is released by “sensory stimuli such as tone of voice and facial expression conveying warmth and familiarity.’ In regulating the infant’s vagal tone and cortical level, activities regulated by the right brain, she’s also influencing the ongoing-development of the infant’s postnatal maturing parasympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic and parasympathetic components of the autonomic nervous system, important elements of the affect-transacting attachment mechanism, are centrally involved in the child’s developing coping capacities.”

My new sense of self  began to dawn from 2007 onwards, when I first stumbled on Allan Schore’s book and began a new path of self-directed education. An education which has allowed me to make sense of my life long experiences of euphoria enabled spirituality, the reality of the chemical Universe within? As J.Z. Knight points out in the above “what the bleep do we know,” video clip, I’d been caught up in a mistake, a mistaken self-interpretation which had thwarted my internal nature, in its desire for continued growth towards, organism maturity. Given its own natural coarse towards growth and survival preservation, my brain-nervous system would have shaken off birth trauma, if it was not shut down by interventions designed to relieve the anxiety of the observer. Its our misinterpreted consensus reality, which is based a self-narrative of external object analogies, remaining unconscious to our hidden internal nature, and its electro-chemical self-organization of our life force energies?

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Its interesting to note the emphasis on developing brain and nervous systems, in Allan Schore writing, a well respected neuroscientist, some call the Einstein of neurobiology, and the so-called pseudo science of the documentary? An online article illustrates the history of the remarkable J.Z. Knight and her Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment.

JZ Knight was born in Roswell, New Mexico, in March 1946. She is the author of the bestselling autobiography, A State of Mind: My Story, the unique channel of Ramtha the Enlightened One, and one of the most charismatic leaders of the Schools of Ancient Wisdom and the Great Work in the world today.

About Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment:
Ramtha the Enlightened One is a Master Teacher who learned to transcend the limitations of the physical world and humanity in the dynamic times he lived long ago. His mission is to teach others what he knows. Ramtha first appeared to JZ Knight in February 1977 at her home in Tacoma, Washington, where she lived with her husband and two young children. At that first meeting, Ramtha explained to her that he was here to help her “over the ditch of limitation” and they would do “grand work together.” Ramtha prepared and taught her personally for two years so he could teach his message to the world using her body through the phenomenon he called channeling. It was Ramtha who coined the term channeling in the late 1970s, which became very popular during the 1980s. JZ Knight started channeling Ramtha publicly around the country and abroad beginning in 1978 and continuing through the 1980s. This period of their work together was called the “Dialogue Days.”

In 1996 and 1997, a group of independent scientists and scholars had the opportunity to study the phenomenon of channeling as it happens in JZ Knight. When their studies were completed, they reported that JZ Knight’s experiences were authentic and that there was “a real phenomenon taking place” in her which “could not be faked” as it involved dramatic changes in her autonomic nervous system.

Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment (RSE) was established in 1988, when Ramtha began a series of teachings which became the foundation of the School of Ancient Wisdom, The Original School of Consciousness & EnergySM. Using ancient wisdom and the latest discoveries in neuroscience and quantum physics, RSE teaches students how to access the extraordinary abilities latent in their brain and the tools to Become a Remarkable LifeSM. RSE has students from all over the world and all walks of life from six years of age to well into the golden years. Simultaneous foreign translation in seven languages — Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish — is offered at RSE to international students as needed.

Since 1999, Ramtha's School of Enlightenment has presented Beginning Retreats to more than twenty thousand students in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and over twelve additional countries. A stunning 84% to 90% of the students who attended those events reported that the Beginning Retreat was "the greatest week of their life, so far." Ramtha’s School of Enlightenment is truly a growing international school today. In 2007, there were more than 6,700 students in over 60 countries.

I must admit, when I first watched the documentary in 2007, not long after my release from an involuntary sectioning described in chapter two. I was intrigued and fascinated by the concepts espoused by the film and my recent experiences of altered state communication with something unseen, and rationalized as an awareness of “out there,” yet now understood as a deeper reality within, the chemical connection? In the months afterwards, when I needed to return to the work-a-day reality of basic survival need, my initial reaction to J.Z. Knight as a kindred spirit of bipolarity’s emotive life force, shifted to a more object oriented and defensive view of her, as a clever fraud. Just another feel good entrepreneur trading on peoples insecurity, innate dependency and attachment needs? Now I see that judgment as a closed defensive reaction of instinctual need, rather than an open minded perception of possibility. I read her words of ancient wisdom, with a new insight into my own nature and its hidden chemical reality.

Ramtha is the Master Teacher at the school. He lived as a human being on Earth 35,000 years ago. He explains that in his lifetime he addressed the questions about human existence and the meaning of life, and that through his own observation, reflection, and contemplation he became enlightened and conquered the physical world and death. His philosophy reflects the experience of his own life. His teachings emphasize that each individual is responsible for their own reality, that your attitudes affect your life, and that you can change your life by changing the way you think. The form in which Ramtha communicates his teachings is through the phenomenon called channeling. He channels through the body of JZ Knight to teach his philosophy in person.

"The tenet of this school is based upon God's direct revelation with you. That has always been overlooked. Yet the training of this school is not through baptism and conscription. It is a volunteer school which is created to peel away layers of incarnation and lives that cover up this direct revelation. It is about peeling back and laying bare what you are. At the heart of this school is the concept 'Behold God.' Why? Because you don't know it. You only know it because I said it. You don't know it even when reportedly Yeshua ben Joseph said it. Just because he said it doesn't make it so for you. Within the statement itself is the empowering will of choice even to disregard, even to disbelieve, even to doubt. That is it. It is all that simple. The school is to take a neophyte and begin to train you in the art of the mind, which encompasses an enormous amount of knowledge that you barely can repeat, along with experience of that knowledge."

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Psychosis in Prophecy & Altered States of Perception?

At the height of my manic euphoria's the Christian Bible and the meaning of life always consume my minds attention. Its been that way since 1980, on or off medications, regardless of the trigger and my more normal, and perfectly rational desires. A gushing sense of spiritual oneness overwhelms me every time, even though between episodes, a return to everyday normality wishes it would just leave me alone. I just wanted a normal life! Yet as the decades wore on and damage done to my most important relationships became more permanent, a sense of no way around it took hold. A pursuit of these lifelong daydreams became a resolution of through approach and embrace, rather than the traditional avoidance, and shutting down of the experience. I've learned to give up my objective judgments and try to perceive what lies beneath the surface perception of my experience.

Objectively speaking it makes no sense that Biblical references should flood my over emotional experience when I'm high. Euphoria is absolute treason to my normal sense of reason? I've been a democratic socialist for Christ's sake, with an Atheist disbelief in God during long periods of my everyday social sense of normality. Yet during times of the manic flight, biblical stories mesmerize me with their sense of something deeper, something beyond their literal setting in external reality, as a description of our history. In heightened states of euphoria, I catch sensation glimpse's of deeper meaning, in these metaphor'd stories of human existence. The dilemma involved in the experience seems to be, distilling subtle body sensation and heightened sensory awareness, from a subjective state of mind, into which I pour my past experience?

Sometimes it feels like I'm right back there under those star filled, dark desert sky's, two to three thousand years ago, and absolutely filled with a sense of awe and wonder at the oneness of reality? A trick of the light perhaps? An illusion of form, and an earth bound sense of time? How could this current moment be an eternal now, for God's sake? Isn't everything separate, isn't this just my mania fueled daydream, I try to question, as I go through these altered states? When coming down from a euphoric high, with its impulsive energies of thoughts and behavior, I'm left to ponder just how and why? Wonder how my experience fits into a theory of my brains chemical imbalance which somehow fuels these flights of time enfolding illusion? Most Doctors agree, discussing the mindful content of a manic episode is unhelpful, preferring to observe physiological patterns. "How’s your sleep, your appetite and your libido" they ask, choosing to ignore the universality of existential content and heightened instinctual senses.

Certainly individual experiences of psychosis are many and varied, ranging from ecstatic states of a mindful sense of oneness to nightmarish hallucinations, of fearful sounds and images. Impulsive behaviors too, from shopaholic spend every cent land of milk and honey, sojourns, to promiscuous sexuality and frantic masturbation. Yet I can only articulate my own experience here, which has been overwhelmingly, one of ecstatic joy and spiritual questions of life’s belief system and faith in our ultimate destination? Heaven realized, here on Earth? A new Jerusalem on this third rock from the Sun? Example: In this spiritual aspiration mode of unconscious emotional projections, why is the savior motif so common in the madness-mental illness experience? Is it about subliminal expressions of meaning and our place, or immersion in the very fabric of the Cosmos? Are we not, its manifest form of perceiving its own quantum formation, through this sentient life form? Her Israelites, her chosen ones, this chosen human tribe, as her manifest form, of sentience, of life?

When my family ask me to get back to the consensus reality we label normality, are they speaking of the social adaptation through suppression, of our vital instincts for life and survival? Are they speaking of a fearful suppression which has been a necessary aspect of our civilizing process, in learning to adapt our vital essence, those life sustaining vitality affects, so maladapted in affective disorders? Affective disorders like my own bipolar 1, mad, mental illness? And those strange twists and turns of a consensus normality, which happy to acknowledge altered states and madness in creativity, or spiritual leadership, yet lightning quick to judge and condemn when the social rhythm of normality, is distressed and disrupted? When sufferers unhinge, not just their nervous disposition, but those around them and the threat of emotional contagion, hangs heavy in the air?

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My Profound, Nervous Dis-Ease? My Bipolar Type 1, Affective Disorder?

Back in June, while experiencing another six week long euphoric psychosis, the debate about madness and mental illness prompted many posts on A twin-fold need of articulation to myself and others, accompanied my lifelong need of secure attachment, a need of proximity and connection with others. There were comments about Allan Schore’s articulation of the neuroscience of human attachment, and that strange word which kept popping up in my early introduction to new science, affect? Here is one such comment from the online webzine;
What is affect/emotion? The question, “what the hell is an affect?” Set me of on a five year journey to uncover and understand the organic nature of my Bipolar type 1 "affective" disorder. Within a week of stumbling on Allan N Schore’s “Affect Dysregulation & Disorders of the Self,” my body and its (homeostatic) feedback systems, as much as my brain became a major interest. Yet the commercially funded research we notice in the mainstream media is always focused on brain research alone?

Is there a cultural need of denying the raw power & the contagious affect of emotion, in our denial of the body’s role in mental anguish, our so-called mental illnesses? Is such a denial, part of the reason we “prefer” to focus on the brain, in our mechanically minded assumptions about mental distress? How many in our survivor & recovery community have heard of Sylvan Tomkins, the father of affect theory? If not, is that because we get lost in HEADLINE focused, foreground attention, and don’t access a wealth of science research in the background? Why are all the great investigators of somatic experience and a holistic approach routinely ignored? Do we really “know” how we function at an “unconscious” affect/emotion level? Is there authoritive science research that could sway psychiatric understanding, away from pharma funded, “drug” oriented, research? Are there people out there like Allan N Schore & Stephen Porges, that we never bother to access, because we have been hurt by “science?”

“It is well established that the transfer of emotional information is intensified in resonant contexts. At the moment when a system is tuned at the resonant frequency it becomes synchronized - vitalized. Sustained facial gazing mediates the most intense form of interpersonal communication. Eye to eye contact gives non-verbal advanced notice of the other. The temporal structure of gaze, the most immediate and purest form of inter-relation, provides clues to the readiness or capacity to receive and transmit social affect.

Face to face transactions may be registered in long term memory as inceptive ‘flash bulb’ memories. Flashbulb memories occur during high arousal states and are an important adaptive for survival. Mirroring Gaze Transactions and the Dyadic Amplification of Positive Affect: Dyadic mirroring gaze transactions thus induce a symbiotic, physiobiologically attuned affect amplifying merger state, in which a match occurs between the expression of rewarding arousal. This process of interpersonal fusion generates dynamic “vitality affects.”

"A nine month old girl becomes very excited about a toy and reaches for it. As she grabs it, she lets out an exuberant 'aaah!' and looks back at her mother. Her mother looks back, scrunches up her shoulders, and performs a terrific shimmy with her upper body, like a go-go dancer. The shimmy lasts about as long as her daughters 'aaah' but is equally excited, joyful, and intense."
Exerts from “Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self,” by Allan N Schore.

The spontaneous, “unsuppressed” expression of affect/emotion in the scene between mother & daughter, is stimulated “unconsciously,” and the pure joy “acted out” is nature & her beauty personified. We are really thrilled when we see “nature” acted out in this way, yet when we see nature’s negative expression we get “distressed,” the observer, as well as the sufferer. We move to shut it down because it upsets us. Has there been an historical need to deny “emotion,” in order to suppress its capacity to create “chaos,” because raw affect/emotion, is contagious? Is it a societal suppression of our own nature, which blocks an honest and open approach to sufferers of mental anguish?

Is it our own mechanically minded “cause & effect” logic, that now needs up-dating to a systems approach, which is not so “black & white,” as “us & them?” Allan N Schore, wants to take the profession back to its roots in psychoanalysis, by using new cutting edge science to make understanding the human soul, what its always been. An ART form? (link)

Since 2007, what has stood out more than anything in my self-education, is the constant references to the autonomic nervous system, by leading writers like Schore, Porges, Damasio, LeDoux and host of others. Yet this aspect of the generation of altered states of mind in a mental illness experience, is hardly ever found in the mainstream media? I’d started reading Schore’s book on affective dysregulation, fully expecting to learn about my brain, in line with my then general knowledge and awareness about mental illness. Over a twenty seven year experience, I was aware that mood disorders are also described as affective disorders, yet any psychiatrist I asked about this, would quickly dismiss the question with, “its just a another term for emotion.” Yet as Schore points out, affective states, constitute the very core of our being, the word affect meaning far more than its simple, common association with emotion. Affective states of being, are embedded in the most primitive functional layers of our brain stem and nervous systems, and constitute our prime orientation responses to life. Hence when experiencing an existential crisis, like the attachment loss of a precious lover it is these primary aspects of my human nature, which affect my mind towards such abnormal states of awareness.

Such awareness, was once common knowledge, “his nerves are shot to pieces,” was a common expression for soldiers suffering from shell shock, during and after the first world war? Yet these days the same existential crisis of fearful dread, is sanitized with dispassionate descriptions like PTSD. Is this to ensure that the observer is not unduly affected by the visceral impact of raw, affect/emotion? The professional, needing to remain cool, calm and collected, in their OBJECT diagnosis of an unfortunate other? Here is another example of my mad month of June, and all the “coming out” comments made on, can illustrate just why we would diagnose an object, using our wary mind reading attitude towards each other? An unconscious postural attitude, denied by our subjective view of the way we function? Consider;

David Bates on June 7, 2012 at 7:48 pm said:

Another black & white “Hero” article Bob?

Is there a false assumption about human nature in your article & your exposure of the predatory nature of “them.”

Where’s the justice! People scream, as if this is some statement of fact about human nature & its motivation? For those interested in a meta-analysis of the human condition, do the maths on the overwhelming humanitarian response to Jim’s predicament.

As long as we’re stuck fast in such black & white logic about us & them, and deny our own functioning, nothing will change.

Our aspiration ideals are wonderful, and well projected into a better future, yet will we realize these ideals by “acting out” the same old us & them reactive nature? As long as we cling to an outdated “I think therefore I am,” view of ourselves, we will not address the feet of clay, Descartes error stands on.

As Daniel Fisher points out, its time to turn Le Superior Frenchman on his head & shake the cobwebs out of our subjective illusion about “them.”

What Murray Bowen says about our emotional projection process, is that for every action there is an equal & opposite reaction at an unconscious level, which either enhances or depletes one’s sense of self.

The emotional system of human societies is going through a chaos phase transition now, which will bring a new order of stability. The way forward is NOT more “us & them,” unconscious projection, its a deeper realization of what we are, and our common humanity.

The best thing we can do for psychiatry, is pile up the research and knowledge base which points out natural cause, to highlight the way forward. You cannot effectively shift a delusion by destroying it (by fighting), nothing will change until the solid platform of new ground & new direction is clearly articulated.

Yet instead of seeing this we get caught up in unconscious reactions of us vs them fighting & simply sustain the status-quo. We do this because we are less than honest with ourselves about our own self-preservation motivation, preferring to believe we are righteous, when we are simply projecting an emotional need, like everybody does.

To see how this “unconscious” self-preservation need works & is rationalized, browse the comments on any thread topic, & contemplate how people choose to take from an article/essay what they need, & leave the rest.

We do this by “scanning” for emotional resources that will enhance our sense of self, rationalizing our response as intelligence & critique? When the topic is “charged” we do what Bowen describes as emotional projection, or Fritz Pearls “one up, one down – top dog, under dog,” and we really need to be more realistic about our own functioning before we can hope to change anything.

Your nervous system unconsciously scans at millisecond speeds, seeking resources for survival, the reactive choice is made long before your reasoned rationalizations? See Stephen Porges “Orienting in a Defensive World.”

Why is the Oracles advise to “Know Thy Self,” written above a cave? The cave is your body & its instinctive nature, that constituted “matter” which is the shore on an ocean of being. Realization, is what is needed, not more bloody Revolution. More “being” and less re-actively doing?

When you feel the “black hat, white hat” need to “fight,” are you certain you “know” the reason why?

“Differentiation of Self: This concept is a cornerstone of the theory. The concept defines people according to the degree of fusion, or differentiation between emotional and intellectual functioning. This characteristic is so universal it can be a way of categorizing all people on a single continuum.

At the low end of the extreme are those whose emotions and intellect are so fused that their lives are dominated by the autonomic emotional system. These are the people who are less flexible, less adaptable and more emotionally dependant on those about them.

The concept eliminates the concept of normal, which psychiatry has never successfully defined. The concept of differentiation has no direct connection with the presence of symptoms.

People with the most fusion have the most of the human problems, and those with the most differentiation, the fewest; but there can be people with intense fusion who manage to keep their relationships in balance, who are never subjected to severe stress, who never develop symptoms, and who appear normal.

At the fusion end of the spectrum, the intellect is so flooded by emotionality that the total life coarse is determined by the emotional process and by what “feels right,” rather than by beliefs or opinions.

The intellect exists as an appendage of the feeling system. It may function reasonably well in mathematics or physics, or in impersonal areas, but on personal subjects its functioning is controlled by the emotions.

The emotional system is hypothesized to be part of the instinctual forces that govern automatic functions. The human is adept at explanations to emphasize that he is different from lower forms of life, and at denying his relationship with nature.

The emotional system operates with predicable, knowable stimuli that govern the instinctual behavior in all forms of life. The more life is governed by the emotional system, the more it follows the coarse of all instinctual behavior, in spite of intellectualized explanations to the contrary.

At higher levels of differentiation , the function of the emotional and intellectual systems are more clearly distinguishable. I used the term “undifferentiated family ego mass” to describe the emotional “stuck togetherness” in families.” _Murray Bowen.

A later comment attempted to point out the practical reality of an unconscious emotional process;
David Bates on June 8, 2012 at 6:05 pm said:

To see how this “unconscious” self-preservation need works & is rationalized, browse the comments on any thread topic, & contemplate how people choose to take from an article/essay what they need, & leave the rest.

We do this by “scanning” for emotional resources that will enhance our sense of self, rationalizing our response as intelligence & critique? When the topic is “charged” we do what Bowen describes as emotional projection, or Fritz Pearls “one up, one down – top dog, under dog,” and we really need to be more realistic about our own functioning before we can hope to change anything.

Your nervous system unconsciously scans at millisecond speeds, seeking resources for survival, the reactive choice is made long before your reasoned rationalizations?
See Stephen Porges “Orienting in a Defensive World.”

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An end of day Synchronicity Moment?

As I finish writing for the day, feeling tired yet content to be moving forward in my attempts to articulate an unconscious internal processes, and again wondering why I'm bashing my head against the brick wall of a consensus reality, which prefers to remain unconscious, and in denial about the foundations of the human condition? I check the webzine, in that unconscious urge for attachment feedback, on my comments there. A new essay by Sascha Altman DuBrul, the co-founder of
The Icarus
where I "acted out" a psychosis in 2010, has just been posted. I spend some time reading Sascha's essay and the story of how the famous Esalen center for radical thinking came to be. All my thoughts and sense of a chemical Universe, which first broke through my normal awareness last November, are complimented by the words of a very famous writer. Aldous Huxley

David Bates on July 17, 2012 at 5:44 am said:

Great essay Shascha,

I appreciate the links to the early story of Esalen.

“I’m really interested in what a popular movement would look like at the intersection of radical mental health, social justice politics, and disciplined spiritual practice. To change the way our society thinks it is going to take a combination of inspiring vision, face to face organizing, while being grounded in practices that enable us to tune into something greater than ourselves. A Mental Health Recovery Movement is a good start, but frankly I am more interested in a movement that uses the language of “transformation”, a movement that recognizes the powerful of our collective potential to transform the world, that isn’t willing to compromise our visions of a better world, has the ability to captures many people’s imaginations, and is capable of building coalitions across many boundaries. I want us to resurrect the visionary power of the Human Potential Movement from where it got lost in the 1980s so that we can remix it back into a 21st Century Radical Mental Health Movement.”

I found it interesting to note your use of phrases like disciplined spiritual practice and the language of “transformation.” Trans-formative language throughout history seems to hinge on new discoveries or revelations about the nature of reality? Ideas who’s time has come, seem to evoke revolution through a new realization of what is always right in front of our eyes?

Another famous visitor to Esalen was Joseph Campbell who advises; “If you want to change the world, you have to change the metaphor.” _Joseph Campbell.

So I read with interest, of Aldous Huxley’s ideas of a chemical metaphor, something I’ve been advocating since last November when the “chemical” affect of increased synaptic connectivity enabled that well known psychotic state of eternal oneness, to breakthrough my normally “defensively” oriented, everyday conscious awareness? Consider;

“As with all intellectual systems, there were gaps, stress-points, contradictions. Nowhere was this more apparent than in the realm of ethics. Thus, for example, Huxley seems personally puzzled over the strange moral conditions of his hybrid vision, that is, the suppression or destruction of the personality, which the perennial philosophy understands as the “original sin.” But he accepts the textual facts for what they in fact seem to be and then illustrates them with a telling chemical metaphor that we might now recognize as an early traumatic model for the mystical, perhaps best expressed in this story in the mystical life and psychological sufferings of Dick Price. Here is how Huxley put it in 1944:

Nothing in our everyday experience gives us any reason for supposing that water is made up of hydrogen and oxygen; and yet when we subject water to certain rather drastic treatments, the nature of its constituent elements becomes manifest. Similarly, nothing in our everyday experience gives us much reason for supposing that the mind of the average sensual man has, as one of its constituents, something resembling, or identical with, the Reality substantial to the manifold world; and yet, when that mind is subjected to drastic treatments, the divine element, of which it is in part at least composed, becomes manifest.”

I find it sad that a Radical Mental Health Movement, seems unwilling or unable to embrace a new awareness which is now staring us in the face? The super technology age into which we are firmly moving, has provided new insights into our hidden body/brain systems of motivation. And what is glaringly obvious is our internal “chemical” makeup, the very reality of life’s evolution and the cosmos within?

It seems to me that we mislead ourselves with language of self-interpretation, using external object analogies to describe our own makeup, as if we are an elaborately assembled French clock? We seem to think and communicate in a narrative of a parts like description, which reflects our instinctual awareness of duality?

A mind-body split which has become dangerously lopsided in our intellectualized, cultural zeitgeist? Is it time for a brave new world to embrace a new idea? That it really is a chemical Universe and we can learn to feel it within, if we can change our metaphors of self-awareness and stop trying to sanctify the mind? That self-deluded Emperor, with no clothes?

Peter Joseph seeks a Utopian future, based on technology and all those shiny objects of an “out there,” consensus reality, not yet realizing that the real territory and the keys to the kingdom, lie within?

A Moment of Synchronicity?
In a defensive need of quick judgement, and the ever present urge to move on, we tend to dismiss such moments as nothing more more than meaningless coincidence? Yet as I wrote in chapter one; is something more to the mystery of synchronicity, an experience which people in all walks of life give some credence to, just as they do experiences of déjà vu. At a time in my life, when I'm trying hard to bring forth from within, a deeper sense of my own reality, has encouragement been granted by this coincidence of "timing?" On a surface level of perception, the moment is nothing more than coincidence and meaningless to others? Yet to me, I'm faced with a choice of how to view the "timing," of this endorsement of my changing self-perception, and wonder about timing as the key element of synchronicity?

As I end this chapter the next morning, I look for the much needed human attachment feedback on madinamerica, and Shacsha's response warms my heart.

Sascha Altman DuBrul on July 17, 2012 at 6:42 pm said

Hi David – thanks for the nod to Aldous Huxley and all your thoughts.

“I find it sad that a Radical Mental Health Movement, seems unwilling or unable to embrace a new awareness which is now staring us in the face.”

I wouldn’t lose hope too quickly. I think you’re bringing up something really important points and I think sometimes it’s really hard to translate our own internal processes into language that a lot of other people can resonate with. I’m well acquainted with feeling like I’m the one stepping out of Plato’s and telling everyone they’re just watching the shadows on the wall. That’s a lonely place to be. When I think about the difference between a “Human Potential Movement” and a “Collective Human Potential Movement”, one of the immediate things that comes to mind is that group communication has to be primary. Learning how to work in groups can be really hard, and sometimes it starts really small. I love using the internet for exchanging ideas, but it can be just awful for other types of communication. Maybe we’ll continue this face to face sometime.

"That’s a lonely place to be." Shascha's comment reminded me of a quote from that giant of human understanding, Joseph Campbell as I sit and ponder, timing, meaning, Aldous Huxley and chemical metaphors of self-interpretation;

“Furthermore, we have not even to risk the adventure alone; for the heroes of all time have gone before us, the labyrinth is fully known; we have only to follow the thread of the hero-path. And where we had thought to find an abomination, we shall find a god; where we had thought to slay another, we shall slay ourselves; where we had thought to travel outward, we shall come to the center of our own existence; where we had thought to be alone, we shall be with all the world.” _Joseph Campbell.

Chapter Eight: >>

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