With the turn of the new year, The Last American Vagabond has taken some time to elaborate on a few of the concepts that together encompass the inner mechanisms of the human mind, including rehabilitative neuroplasticity; the idea of a postmodern perennialism. This concept investigates recurring themes in all schools of thought throughout religion, science, and philosophy, and an investigation of theological belief in “magick” and the “mystical experience” through neurology, quantum theory, and anthropology. The culmination of these seemingly scattered areas of research are represented as such:
The theological representation of magick and mysticism is, at its core, a neurological categorization of archetypal (Jung, et cetera) symbolism; in further detail, it is an acknowledgement within the continuous present moment of this process of neurological synthesis of ambient stimuli through this archetypal symbolism. This continuous stream of neurological synthesis of data can be represented in a dualistic mode (commonly represented as a Yin and Yang symbol) and can be seen a:
– Negative/Traumatic experience, which results in a hinderance of cognitive capacity, or “un-skills.” The ultimate result of this could be considered “psychosis.”
– Positive/Transcendental experience, which allows and individual to “transcend” the conditioned, chain-link event of his ego’s neurological archetypal-synthesis, in order to further see the hidden truth in the objectivity of any given situation. The ultimate result of this could be considered “enlightenment.”
Where the traditional idea of magick/shamanism comes into play, is the realization of an individual to actively participate in another person’s neurological-archetypal synthesis in such a way that involves direct intention and attention. An allegory for this is perfectly illustrated in the wave/particle duality of quantum theory. Today, this is more commonly considered psychotherapy or clinical hypnosis, but in ancient cultures it was considered shamanism or, in consideration of black magick, possibly a hex under this explanation.
Much of the corresponding research was conducted and documented by Dr. Stanislav Grof over the course of the last 50 years.
“Stan Grof, M.D., Ph.D. is a psychiatrist with more than fifty years experience researching the healing and transformative potential of non-ordinary states of consciousness. His groundbreaking theories influenced the integration of Western science with his brilliant mapping of the transpersonal dimension.” – www.stanislavgrof.com
He refers to these “non-ordinary states of consciousness” as “holotropic states”, “holo” meaning “whole,” and “tropic” meaning “to further.” The bulk of Grof’s psychiatric research has been conducted with LSD-25 under the traditional scientific setting of psychotherapy directed toward an analysis of the self through calculated regressions of thought-complexes that have accumulated through neurological-archetypal synthesis of data in the continuous present moment.
Grof reffers to these phenomena of thought-complexes, as “COEX systems.” Abbreviated from “Condensed Experience,” these systems (elaborated by Grof and his associates throughout his work with innumerable patients under licensed practitioning) remain the single most accurate representation of the aforementioned Yin-Yang dichotomy of neurological stimuli. Simply referred to as negative and positive COEX systems, they are seen as a codex; a map through the archetypal assimilation of data that accumulates a human being’s cognitive experience. Listed below are the “holotropic states,” which serve as a series of possible context that all COEX system are produced from. They serve as the context for the symbolism that archetypal neurological patterns represent as well, and can be considered within the context of Jungian Collective Consciousness and the archetypal link of symbolism throughout ancient theologies.
First Basic Perinatal Matrix: BPM I — Primal Union of Selfhood and Universe/ Amniotic Union of Mother and Child
Second Perinatal Matrix: BPM II — Cosmic Engulfment/ No Exit/ Onset of Mother’s Birthing Labor
Third Perinatal Matrix: BPM III — The Death-Rebirth Struggle/ Karmic Interplay/ Dynamic states of Labor in Action)
Fourth Perinatal Matrix: BPM IV — The Death-Rebirth Experience/ Transition/ Separation from the Mother
The outcome of an individual’s experience during these stages, according to Grof’s research, characterize the template and foundation of an individual’s COEX systems. From here, the COEX systems are further developed primarily by the relationship of the parent/guardian with the child, or lack thereof. Oftentimes, a person will come to a realization in adulthood of these COEX systems, and will then begin a rehabilitative experience of un-learning these hindrances and neurotic tendencies, so that they can begin learning with a correct COEX foundation. This rehabilitative experience of tinkering with the balance of positive and negative COEX systems can be considered the dynamic therapeutic presence of neuroplasticity.
This can also be considered as the foundation for the development of ancient divination “sciences” such as astrology and numerology. Using astrology as an example, it soon becomes apparent to any practitioner that astrology has hardly anything to do with how the planets affect the human body in a traditional sense, and much more to do with how the human brain tends to synthesize this archetypal data into their neurological maze of COEX systems. In this regard, the use of traditional, un-diluted divinations can be seen to have benefit; becoming a possible compass through the mind’s inner systems.
(For more information on this subject, an article by Renn Butler is suggested, and can be seen here: http://www.stanislavgrof.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Richard-Tarnas-and-Stan-Grof.pdf)
To consummate this cross-analysis of ideas within these four articles, these COEX systems represent the most accurate representation of what it seems that ancient thinkers were trying to impress with the concept of “karma;” a link that Grof has acknowledged in his research as well. Having much less to do with some sort of supernatural force that “puts someone in their place,” “karma” translates to “action,” and improper action brings about improper karma. “Brain states become character traits,” and the same brain states used to conduct negative actions towards others will inevitably be the same brain states used when trying to conduct actions with one’s personal selfhood, because these will ultimately become pervasive character traits through unregulated COEX systems. In result, the more dysregulation that a COEX system is subjected to, the more autonomous it will appear, and the more neurotic an individual will become due to poorly conceptualized trauma.
In a final consensus of thought, apathy in the present moment will have long-term results rooted in neurological chaos that will leave a person driven by seemingly autonomous emotional mechanisms of the ego, and shows all individuals just how much work can be done with their selfhood.
Sources: http://www.gigerbook.com/?p=260, http://www.trans4mind.com/transformation/transform4.10.htm, http://www.stanislavgrof.com/articles/, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanislav_Grof, http://www.trans4mind.com/spiritual/meta.htm#Insight, http://www.scienceandnonduality.com/videos/what-are-holotropic-states-of-consciousness-stan-grof/, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/stanislav-grof-md-phd/science-and-spirituality-_b_680470.html, http://www.stanislavgrof.com/wp-content/uploads/pdf/Revision.Revisioning.Psychology_Legacy-9.2012.pdf, http://www.stanislavgrof.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Richard-Tarnas-and-Stan-Grof.pdf