Back Spasms -- The Inside Story

Back spasms catch us unawares

          so to speak.

But here’s the odd thing:  when a back spasm happens, it’s most often been coming for a long time.

The Back Story of Most Back Pain

Back during a period of prolonged high stress — maybe during an employment crisis or facing deadline after deadline after deadline — you got yourself used to driving yourself hard or used to being in a state of urgency.  Maybe you listen to too much news or talk radio and get "wound up".  Maybe you stayed too long in a situation you really wanted to get out of, or maybe you put and kept yourself in uncomfortable positions, by sense of necessity, that you would rather have gotten out of, and got part-way used to that, while keeping going.  Or maybe you just “trained” badly or trained on top of old injuries.  You’re musclebound, whatever the story, with a spasm in your back.

It’s been coming for a long time, your back spasm — you’ve been getting closer to the edge of cramp or spasm for a long time.  You got so used to being tense and stiff that, one day, you pulled on that tenseness and stiffness and it pulled you right back, something like an internally generated whiplash action. 

What If It Was a Whiplash Incident?

Maybe you were involved in an accident that yanked or jerked or jolted you a bit too much.

Then, you tightened up suddenly, got prone to sudden yank-back, and you knew you were caught — even if, at first, you didn’t realize it was a protective spasm you were feeling.

A Back Spasm Shows Brain-Muscle Conditioning

Caught in your own conditioning– think about that.  Your spasm is your conditioning.

We all caught in our conditioning, to varying degrees and in different ways.  Had you thought of it like that, before?

However, sometimes, it’s “just enough” (too much), and with just one more challenge we suddenly go hard-line, uptight, tense, caught in the grip of our own conditioning, in spasm, body and mind (two aspects of the same thing).  Think about it:  didn’t your back spasm stop you in your tracks? mid-step?  It wasn’t “a back spasm“; it was a "you spasm“.

The Problem with a "You Spasm"

Not enough reserve capacity, not enough tolerance for additional demand.  On edge, trying to be nice, perhaps.  Not much more capacity for stress, however.  Used up, or close to it, in the grip.

The solution?

Recover much of that reserve capacity by dispeling obsolete tension patterns.  Lose the excess tension.  Get back to normal.  Recover your reserve capacity.  Feel like a human being.  You may have forgotten what that feels like and you may not have known that you can do it, yourself.

Common Back Spasms are Simple

"Simple When You Know How"

Common Back Pain is a fairly simple condition to master.  It’s just a primitive “go” reaction (“Landau Reaction“) turned on too hard and too long.  You’re overheated; you’re idling too high.  You can learn to turn this reflex (Landau Reaction) down and up again, temper it, recover a bunch of reserve capacity, flexibility and freedom of movement.  No more spasm, no more back pain, more reserve capacity, more movability.

Back Spasms from Injury are More Complex, May Take More Doing to Clear Up

Back pain from injury may consist of a number of overlying contraction patterns.  However, bending over or twisting and getting a spasm isn’t an injury; it’s a malfunction that falls under “Common Back Pain”.  Recovering from a complicated injury isn’t more difficult, particularly; it just takes more steps, some sorting out, and more doing, of course.

The same principle applies, either way.

Recover voluntary (deliberate) control of the muscular grip and let it relax, then deliberately use it freely and so reclaim it.  Strength, reserve capacity, free control.  Security.

One Right Reason

That’s one very good purpose of somatic education — to get people out of pain.  It’s effective, it’s faster than more well-known or popularized methods, and it brings durable benefits under all life conditions.

Different -- and More Like Yourself

A larger effect of somatic education is to train people to free themselves from the excessive grip of their conditioning; to re-acquaint people with what it feels like to feel fine;  so people feel different and more like themselves.

Relief comes primarily from what the person does, secondarily from what someone else did with the person.  If you do sessions of this process, you contribute at least 50% to the change, moving between effort and non-effort (in clinical sessions), or more like 90% if you’re working at a distance from me (Lawrence Gold) following recorded instructional material and taking distance-coaching, as needed.

Because the person is contributing energy, intention, and intelligence to the process, and because they’re changing from within (if guided from out), the change is theirs — theirs to maintain or theirs to re-create, if necessary.  More than that, it’s faster than by externally operating methods, whether scalpel, laser, or stretching device ("spinal decompression"), longer-lasting than manipulations or interventions of many kinds.  It’s longer-lasting because it covers more of the bases and from the internal control center, the self, oneself, and faster because it works from the inside, out.


Esoteric Somatics and Tibetan Buddhism

In Tibetan Buddhism, the human being is regarded to have three interfitting "bodies", which correspond to the waking state ("Nirmanakaya" or dense/"gross" physical flesh/genetic body), the dreaming or imagining state ("Sambhogakaya" or "subtle" body), and deep sleep ("Dharmakaya" or "causal/most subtle" or "unborn, unmanifest" body). This entry discusses our experience of them and how they evolve as a given individual develops and evolves.

These bodies are not separate. I consider them "nodes" or octaves on a continuum. This continuum consists of the primal "substance" of existence, which is self-radiant awareness, which gives rise to "soma" (or "living, aware, psycho-physical person"); soma consists of these three "bodies" or nodes.

Of these three "bodies", two are manifest (limited and defined), consist of changing processes, and exist in time:  the Nirmanakaya (genetic body) and the Sambhogakaya (dream body). These two bodies are not static and unchanging, but exist as living, changing processes.

The third "body," the Dharmakaya, is transcendental, all-pervading, and is the ground of being from which the other two arise and in which they exist, consisting of self-radiant awareness.

This writing describes and explains the interrelation of the three bodies in terms of personal/conscious evolution. 

People who are just learning the process of deliberate growth and change, we call "proto-mutants"; people who are actively engaging deliberate growth and change, we call "mutants" -- after Thomas Hanna's usage in his book, "Bodies in Revolt".

"Pointing Out" Instructions

When the Nirmanakaya (manifested genetic/memory body) and the Sambhogakaya (imaginary dreamed-body) align (or attain a high degree of mutual congruency), as the individual remains consciously awake, volitionally present and at a sufficiently poised state of equanimity or balance (free attention), the Dharmakaya (deep, silent, formless body or field) may be intuited by feeling the content of experience and, while feeling it, feeling beyond it into what is deeper.

By "a high degree of mutual congruency", I mean that the genetic/memory body is sufficiently free of the grip, or "gravitational attraction" of habituated patterns to be able to transform freely and stably into new subtle perceptions captured by awareness in the dream/imagination body (Sambhogakaya).  Otherwise, subtle perceptions are fleeting and quickly replaced by the habits of dense memory seated in the genetic/memory body (Nirmanakaya).  They can't be captured, so subtle perceptions, new insights, and emerging abilities vanish and get missed.

The Dharmakaya is the "clutch pedal".  As the formless aspect of buddha-nature, "resorting" to it (or "taking refuge" in it) is the means of disengagement from, or relinquishment of, the memory-form of the moment.  Dynamic balance between the intuition of the Dharmakaya and intuition of the form and feeling of the Sambhogakaya (imaginary dreamed-body) allows the Sambhogakaya to transform.  Without that dynamic balance, the Sambhogakaya remains bogged in its current form, anchored by the Nirmanakaya's tangible memory pattern (present as physiological adaptation, neurological conditioning, and the patterning of the myofascia/soft-tissue), which feeds back the memory pattern to the Sambhogakaya in a self-perpetuating feedback loop.  You can't lift the foot you are standing on; you're using it.

The Nirmanakaya/genetic body is the densest seat of memory and is slower to (and more resistant to) change than the Sambhogakaya (dream-body), and so introduces a lag into the process of change -- which has survival value, but slows re-adaptation.

The "anchoring" of the Nirmanakaya is its habitual pattern; intuition of the Dharmakaya "lifts anchor". 

Ordinarily, the perception of the Nirmanakaya/Sambhogakaya dynamic fades in deep sleep, leaving only the Dharmakaya's formless nature.  This is rest.  Upon passage from the deep sleep state (Dharmakaya) into the dream state (Sambhogakaya), residual memories imprinted upon the Nirmanakaya (daytime body) "leak" into the emerging dream-activity of the Samghogakaya.  Dreams appear, whose elements are, every one, aspects of the dreaming individual.

The "Ins" and "Outs" of the Subtle/Dream Body (Sambhogakaya)

Though it has been said that dreams are the royal road to the Unconscious, it is better said that they are the royal road to pervading the Unconscious with Consciousness.  It is fruitless and misguided to consult "dream interpretation" texts for their meaning.  They are indirect, second-hand, and intellectually biased, if not outright arbitrary.

There is a better way:  Merely to remember each element of the dream and notice what you feel as you put your full attention on each element -- that action reveals the latent significance of the element attended to.  It's a "feel" thing.  The feelings are likely to be very familiar.  More than that, with recognition comes dissolution of the binding forces of those feelings.

With each recognition and dissolution come both greater access to intuition of the Dharmakaya and release of the physical form (Nirmanakaya) from hitherto unconscious patterns of contraction (or somatic/psychophysical shaping forces).  The body changes.

As the process of recognition and release continues, there appears a feeling of "straightening out".  The process gives meaning to a term that Castaneda used, "The Mold of Man".  (I think it was in "The Fire from Within").  The "straightening out" progressively approximates a feeling of more natural wholeness, of "self as you would prefer to be", which is The Mold of Man.

The process of that straightening out may involve passages through personal distortions, recognized as "damaged self", dysfunctional patterns or neuroses, some of which may be pretty hairy.  It gives meaning to the term, "Lions at the Gate" or "Personal Demons" or "The Dragon's Lair" or "The Green Knight" (but not The Jolly Green Giant).

As it proceeds, the energy-dynamic of the individual changes -- not wholesale and in some general fashion, but in specific ways energetically/vibrationally related to the material recognized and released.  A person gets more spontaneously intelligent in various ways.

The Special Function of the Formless or Most Subtle Body (Dharmakaya)

However, without the balancing influence of intuition of the Dharmakaya, transformation is slowed, rather than allowed -- hence the value of meditation -- and of a good night's sleep!  Paradoxically, as the process proceeds, the person may find (s)he needs less sleep and spontaneously spends more time in early-morning meditation.  Or maybe it's just insomnia.  But you can put the time to good use!

Now, as the energy-dynamic of the individual changes, the field of the individual tends to become quieter -- that is, less beset by occlusive noise -- more "resonant" to processes occurring within and outside.  The faculty of intuition becomes more available.  With less internal noise, the individual is more sensitive -- particularly to subtle forces guiding and shaping the emergence of actual existence.  In other words, the person may become spontaneously pre-cognitive, getting intimations of things to come through revery and streams of thought.  When those things come to pass, people call it, "synchronicity" or "signs of wisdom".

It's a natural result of doing "clean-up" which, by releasing the "glue" of memory patterns, allows the Nirmanakaya to change more quickly/fluidly, and the energy dynamic of Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya to be more congruent.  (The physiologically-based memory-"glue" of the Nirmanakaya makes it slower to change, and so less dynamic than the dream-body/ Sambhogakaya.  They get out of phase, as attention is trapped in memory.  Somatic education helps in the releasing of that "glue".)  As Nirmanakaya and Sambhogakaya become more synchronous and congruent, they seem more transparent and attention is more free to penetrate to the deeper layer or node of consciousness: the Dharmakaya.

As both Sambhogakaya and Dharmakaya are simultaneously intuited, spontaneous adjustments in the field of the Sahbhogakaya (dream body) occur in the direction of felt balance and centered wholeness (these words being metaphors for a felt experience), these being how the Dharmakaya manifests through or as the Sambhogakaya.  The Nirmanakaya undergoes corresponding evolutionary mutations (at a personal, not species, level).


This simultaneous intuition may be fostered by the presence of persons or objects imprinted with the harmonic of "Nirmanakaya/Sambhogakaya Manifesting Dharmakaya".  Such is the virtue of spiritual masters, the localities of such masters, and the relics of such masters, of teachings generated from such intuition, and of groups of practitioners.

What may start out as an idealized state in certain aspects of the individual's make-up broadens to include more of the individual's functions, with consciousness of the Dharmakaya progressively pervading the dream-body and its manifested-memory (neural/genetic) body, to the benefit of ongoing mutation or "personal evolution".

The End

Agency in Communion | Somatic Integration

The term, "agency", may have different connotations to some than to others.  Likewise, the term, "communion", may have different connotations to some than to others.

Let us clarify the airwaves.

A place where people go to find employment.  To be put to work, to take action. A place that deploys people to employment.  A place where a lot of people are employed.  A place where secret agents hang out.  No.

A religious ritual.  A religious experience.  A feeling of one-ness with (or as).  The experience of a group of individuals sharing that feeling of one-ness.  The experience of incoming experience.  Also, a name for an organization composed of such individuals.  A flock of priests.  OK.

What happens when you put them together?  What do you get?

Agency-Communion. The communion of agencies, a community of agencies, agencies secretly in communion with each other.  A Communist Agency! No.

As living beings, we experience agency as the sense of being a doer of things, being responsible for things, but also of being witness to our spontaneous actions; the taker of responsibility (respondent) as well as initiator of actions that return consequences to us.

But -- and here's the big question -- how do we know we're doing or being any of those things?


We experience it as incoming experience.  Received Feedback, The Formation of Information, The Belief Narratives of Myth, The Transparency of Truth, The Diversion of Fallacy, Emotions, The Body Sense, The self-Sense -- all Modes of Communion -- shaped at different levels of the being.

There's more than agency; there's also communion.

So.  Down to Earth.

We have incoming sensations and make movements that are at times outgoing and, at other times, incoming, returning to rest, floating at center (balance).

Communion doing the Sensing
Agency Moving Between Action and Rest
Sensibly Moving Among Action and Rest

There may exist more or less continuity of sensing ones one movements and state, as the senses depend upon memory for recognition purposes.  Disruption of ones sense of movement and of ones state (shock) creates a discontinuity of identity (amnesia), as memory can't keep up with the intensity of that change at the speed of that change.  the phonograph needle skips a groove, leaving a click (or glitch) behind.

Identity continues to live, moment-by-moment, as a continuous sensing of self and other (more or less) -- laying down or imprinting a stream of memory, most of which is in the background unless pleasure overwashes us or pain strikes.  Then, we experience heightened awareness -- more or less pleasant or unpleasant, but heightened -- and heightened awareness is like the laser that burns the groove of a phonograph record, CD or DVD.  Brighter and more focussed makes a sharper impression.

In disruption and discontinuity, a gap or abyss of unknowing encloses or encapsulates the memory prior to the disruption.  It separates the continuing identity from that part of what it was before the disruption.  That's the discontinuity.  It's a lump in the gravy of the mind, a skip out of the groove.  We do well the stir in the lump, to re-groove the groove.

But to do so requires magnifying the ability for communion and smoothing it out so it's fairly continuous.  Then, we can apply that ability, which is the ability to pay attention, to the trouble left behind in the disjointed discontinuity.  Then, we deliberately activate (agency) that sense of trouble  that we are already feeling (communion), acting in communion with our own agency and living in communion with the experience of our agency (responsibility).  We learn the way into it and we learn the way out of it.  We get free of it and free in it.

In other words, we do clean up.

The more we clean up, the subtler our sensing and the subtler our control.  Also, the clearer our signal and the better our ability to home in on others and on the signals of probability that pervade us; also, the more power goes into our actions -- with less effort than we're used to -- necessitating "retransformation" of the power of our intent (i.e., of our self-re-regulation) from time to time.  In general, a finer and more completely neurotic individual, you will never see.  It's all too much.  So, we "retransform".  Retransformation -- the ongoing occupation of proto-mutants  who are learning to transform themselves and their environments more intelligently.

This isn't from Outer Space.

Have you heard of synchronicity?  (who hasn't?).

Synchronicity is an unexpected synchronization of events that have recognizable mutual significance.  In other words, too blatantly related to be overlooked.  Resonant moments in the field of experience.  More likely to be recognized if the individual isn't already drowning in the conditioning of past memories, which cause him to lag behind in recognition of his present circumstances.  But, with most of humanity, as far as I can see, "fuggeddaboutit".

Still, synchronicities appear in movies, and even in the circumstances surrounding the creation of each movie -- such as the impossibility of filming the story, Don Quixote (not "Man of La Mancha" -- a musical) --- the state of grace that pervaded the filming of "Miracle on 34th Street" -- and the unexpected good fortune in which "Casablanca", not expected by the studio to be particularly noteworthy, emerged as a classic.

But I digress.  Not really.


Agency in Communion with Communion
and Communion Openly Informing Agency

There develops a finer clarity of self-expression -- the way agency retransforms itself when in communion with communion, to adapt more easily (except, occasionally, screaming); and in the way that communion communicates what's changing to agency, who listens and may adapt.  (Get the metaphor?  No?  Then I'm wrong.)

Sensation and movement are inner and outer perspectives on the individual (soma - body).

The correspond to

attention and intention.

Attention:sensation  || Intention:Movement

See how they go together?

Soma is sentient (sensory attentive and intentionally moving), developmental (faculties emerge), initiatory (pushy),  malleable (omni-plastic), and can be observed to undergo bodily changes as different memory patterns get activated by experience.  You know.  Nervous tension.

You want better self-expression?  Improve the vehicle of expression -- oneself -- activate and develop the full spectrum of our faculties.

The Immortal Harold Somaman -- What Keeps Him Going?


The thing we most take for granted is, ourselves.  We notice that we come into existence before we know it.  And, in fact, if you hadn't noticed it, thoughts arise before we know it, and our imaginings surface and rise into daydreams -- before we know it.

And the will, deliberately, to imagine also arises before we know it, as a growing impulse that we may perceive closer and closer to its root, as an intensifying of attention.

So, I think everyone's imagination is an arising from an innate place to go into places -- the places we think to look and their neighboring places.

It's just that some people's memories have a stronger grip than others', and so complicate and garble the arising imaginary newness, rather than allow it to arise in a more streamlined and more integrated (and so pristine) form.


The Vibrant Mystery of "We"

The Old Sage oversees the serene meditation
of his student.

The Fool laughs at the beneficent and peaceful Quon Yin.

We are not, 
when alone,
as we are 
when with someone else.
And we are not
with every "someone else"
as we are 
with any other "someone else".

Therefore, who can say what are the preconditions
for relationship?

For just as we cannot predict
how we will be 
with another,
we cannot predict
how an other 
will be with us.

Therefore, we enter into mystery
every time we enter into relationship.

And who can say
what attributes
will lead to a combination
of two "alone-ness-ess"
into a "we-ness"?

Since we don't even know 
what "we-ness"
might emerge
in any next instant
we converge.

And in the converging,
a meeting of boundaries
and then a slow sinking together
with softening boundaries
and softening movements
a converging into merging
with undulatory messages
flickering between.

More on The Pair of Complementary Walking Patterns

I have written elsewhere about The Magnetic Walk, a rhythmic movement pattern that recycles, gathers, and conserves kinetic energy; and about The Old Scotch Geezer's Walk (or The Scotsman's Walk), which sets up a rhythm that oscillates right and left, and thereby dispels and disperses the conserved energy.

By alternating The Magnetic Walk, as a walking regimen, with The Scotsman's (or Old Scotch Geezer's) Walk, we set up an oscillation between gathering energy (or momentum) and dispelling and dispersing it.  It's a pulsation set in motion by alternating between the two patterns of movement.

That pulsation is the pulsation of our organizing ourselves for one walk and then organizing ourselves for the other.  The feeling is of a gathering of everything together around a center, then of letting go of the center and feeling sensation get more and more two-sided, then of gathering everything together again, and letting go, again.  That's a pulsation.

That pulsation is like a radar wave going through us, that we sense, showing us where we are creased, jammed, or broken.  The movement and breathing that go along with the pulsation seem to fuel a reorganization that solves some chronic problems.

Now, those who know The Magnetic Walk and The Scotsman's (or Old Scotch Geezer's) Walk can do as I have described.

And if you don't,
you gonna have to Get on the Train!

Shake Your Booooty!

There's moving because you want to
and there's moving because you have to,
and which do you do?

There's moving no more than necessary
and moving for the pleasure of it
and which do you prefer?

There's moving before you know it
and there's moving to show it.
Are you comfortable being seen?

There's moving to take it
and moving to escape it.
Are you that free?

There's moving a little
and there's moving a lot
and there's moving to show
that you're still hot to trot!
How old are you?

There's moving all creaky
and just getting along.
Are you satisfied with that?

There's moving in rhythm
and as in moving in song.
Is the spirit alive in you?

There's moving, "Look out"!
and "Wow! Look at that!"
as your eyes open wide
and you hold down your hat.

There's shakin' yo booty
to the tune, Twist and Shout.
How long has it been
since you moved it about?


Disproving the Myth of Aging (entry)
Disproving the Myth of Aging (self-teaching program)

Being and Doing

There is no experience of "being" without "doing" -- contrary to the stated opinion of pop-spirituality and self-help enthusiasts.

Here's why: We can experience only sensations that change. Anything that doesn't change rapidly fades from our awareness.  If we can perceive it, it's changing, and that's a kind of "doing".

Things that change are all "doings"; even inanimate objects are doing something, if only capturing and re-radiating ("reflecting") light, and that light creates a change in our experience that makes it possible to perceive something.

The notion that being and doing are separate and different leads, in those who seek peace or other spiritual attributes, to seeking for being -- a kind of doing.  They abandon "already being" for seeking being -- a kind of doing!

That being the case, all seeking for "being" or "peace" or other spiritual attributes is fruitless.  Not just frustrating.  Fruitless.

Now, oddly, the act of seeking is the action of "being, seeking".

All actions come from an unfathomable depth in ourselves.  That unfathomable depth is our being; it is "the seer which is unseen".  (If it can be seen, it's an object, not the seer.)  Doing emerges from being.  Something comes from nothing.  (Where do you think the Universe came from? -- or if you have a theistic view, What do you think God's nature was, before creation?)  Doing is the action of being, while being remains forever unseen, only the doing being perceptible.

In reality, we can never depart from being, nor can we be separate from it -- mainly because there is no "it"; all "its" emerge from, are pervaded by, are "made from" and abide within "it". 

So, don't worry about "achieving being"; you can only achieve "doing" anyway, which is the action of being.

The way to do is to be.
-- Lao Tzu

Do-Be Do-Be Do
-- Frank Sinatra

Hanna Somatic Education -- a look at the larger picture

The time has again come for us to take a fresh look at the status of Hanna Somatic Education as a world-level teaching.

By that, I mean our role in alleviating the pain of the billions of people who are presently at the mercy of "less effective" clinical modalities and of the "ten thousand natural shocks flesh is heir to".

We, who number in the small hundreds, represent the seed stock for what may be a body of practitioners adequate to serve those billions.

Puts things into perspective, doesn't it?

Now, to accomplish that end (which is a many-decades long project, even with exponential growth that we have yet to see, in the number of proficient practitioners), two things need to happen.

  1. We need to have a population of highly proficient practitioners.
  2. We need mass-media exposure.

Now, after nearly twenty-one years of practice, I can tell you this, from my experience:  Lessons 1, 2 and 3 are highly potent, virtually "sure-fire" as Tom Hanna said to us, Wave 1, students.  I almost never have to repeat a session with a client; one pass through virtually always gets the job of each lesson done (with rare exception).  I expect that to be true of any proficient practitioner.

A fair number of former clients of mine have gone to the Novato Institute and SSI trainings.  My point is that to receive good work has been their inspiration to become practitioners -- and I believe that highly proficient practitioners are, for now, our best source of more practitioners -- hence, the further importance of everyone developing and practicing at a high level of proficiency.

As the more highly proficient trainers age and retire, who is going to replace them? and what will be their level of proficiency? -- which is all they can transmit to their students.

I'm not talking about a higher standard; I'm talking about the minimum acceptable standard -- which is getting the results I get.  Why?  Because the students should exceed the teacher; if they don't, the teaching is in decline.

For my part, in addition to giving private sessions, I have created and am still adding to my website, which nowadays gets about 30,000+ visitors, monthly and comprises some 245 pages.  That means that, since 1996, some millions of people who were looking for help with chronic pain have at least been exposed to somatics.  Through that website, I do what Tom Hanna did:  I publish information about somatic education and I sell somatic exercise programs to people, worldwide.  (I'm now considering re-doing the look of the site -- another large task for which I'm hoping to find a shortcut.)

Let me add another perspective.  We are all aware of the "health care crisis"; we are all aware of the "economic meltdown".  What do you think is the relationship between the "health care crisis" and the "economic meltdown"?

How about this:  Pain management is a major cost in medical treatment.  Huge amounts of money are spent on pain management, on conventional physical therapy; huge amounts are lost in productivity due to the three reflexes of stress and the inability of the medical system to manage pain and lost mobility effectively.  Do you know how large the Medicare budget is?  how much is spent on medical insurance that covers procedures that get so little done so slowly, compared to what we can do so quickly?  I'm talking about a major proportion of our country's gross national product, comparable in scale to the military budget.  Kind of awes you, doesn't it?

We have a role to play in the recovery of the world economy.

Now, how are we going to do it?

One key is "mass production".  We can't mass-produce proficient practitioners -- not, at least, until we have enough highly-proficient trainers producing highly-proficient students who become trainers, to support exponential growth.  The only way it's safe to "slack the reins of control" is if exactingly high training-and-certification standards result in top-notch practitioners who become top-notch trainers.

What can be mass-produced are self-relief, somatic exercise programs.  We need to infiltrate social institutions.

Let's not be lazy; let's be creative.  Let's not cop out; let's develop ourselves and our skills.  Let's not sit on the sidelines; let's make the contribution only we can make.  Let's not "go with the flow"; let's be the flow.  Let's not be foggy-minded; let's be clear about our situation.  Let's not be old and tired; let's regenerate and rejuvenate ourselves and this teaching.  The more we do, the more we'll have the resources to do more, to more effect and with less effort.

I think it's a little like pulling a cork out of a wine bottle.  It's "stuck in there good".  So you pull and twist and wiggle and it comes out a bit.  You pull and twist and wiggle some more and it comes out further. 
That makes it easier.  At some point, it starts to come free faster, and then it's out -- with a pop.

We're the wine -- but still new wine.  Standard and most "alternative" practices and the mindset that they embody are the cork.  They should and will stay in place until the wine is ready -- and then they should be pulled from their closed position so we can pour out.  Maybe we can do that by positioning ourselves as "helpers" to them, but ultimately "the truth will out".  We're the vanguard.

Know that whatever we decide and do (or don't do) has consequences.  We need everyone's higher intelligence.

I have set myself to the task creating mass-producible instructional programs that address needs not being well-met by bodywork, therapy, and standard medicine.  My most recent was a program to address TMJ dysfunction.  I've also had new success with improving eyesight (mine) and with resolving deep pelvic pain and S-I joint syndrome.  People need a program for resolving neck pain, and I've got the essentials for that done in raw video.  I've developed a technique for multiplying the effectiveness of somatic exercises (fewer repetitions, less time, more accomplished) and written on somatics from "unusual" perspectives

Personally, I am more interested in training practitioners than in doing one-on-one sessions (which are about the closest thing to instant gratification that I know) or in producing publishable programs.  Training others is a way to multiply myself and the benefit I can bring to others.  However, I've delayed organizing trainings until I've gotten those other tasks done, even though I've had quite a few training inquiries in the past few months.

That's where I stand.

Lawrence Gold

LISTEN to the forward to
The End of Tyranny, by
Thomas Hanna, a voice in
the tradition of Thomas Payne:

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PTSD -- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) hinges on the interrelation of mind and body.  However, exclusive emphasis on chemistry or psychology misses the point.

The point is the relationship between memory, sensation, and action (or movement).

Every traumatic event triggers some sort of impulse to action (or movement).  If the event is intense enough or repetitive enough, that impulse to action becomes ingrained and habituated (memorized) as a chronic tension pattern, i.e., muscular involvement.

Every muscular tension pattern or action has a corresponding sensation.  The habituated sensations of patterns formed during a traumatic event are the sensations of the event, itself, the sensations of the tension pattern formed in that event.  However, the vary nature of habituation is its unconscious automaticity, so those sensations remain semi-conscious or unconscious impulses that get triggered and activated by similar, even remotely similar, events.

Bodywork, by contacting habituated muscular tension patterns, awakens corresponding habituated (and so, faded or semi-conscious) sensations.  That's why bodywork triggers memories.  However, it may or may not be sufficient to release the grip of those memories.

Somatic education, by awakening internal awareness of ones habituated states and by awakening from them into new patterns, supports a person's recovery from and growth past habituated trauma patterns.  This principle and process is the basis of Peter Levine's work (although his work intervenes at the autonomic level and not the voluntary level).

In my view, both psychological and sensory-motor approaches to memory are needed.

somatic exercise for Startle Reflex

The View from Inside The Big Bang (or The Big Flash)

Admittedly, we can only speculate – and there's something about speculating that involves a kind of inspecting -- and introspecting.  Let's follow the bouncing ball.

The Big Bang – or The Big Eye-Opening – was an emergence of “something” from “nothing.”

Leaving aside the question as to how something can emerge from nothing, for the time being, the nature of that “something” was very different from what we conceive of as, “something.” It was a “something” that was, in a basic way, indistinguishable from “nothing”; it had no form, it had no length in time, and it had no size. I’m referring to the immediate product of The Big Bang.

How can that be?

Here’s the first problem with the scientific description. At the beginning, before the Big Bang, science posits the existence of the “seed” from which everything emerged: a “naked singularity.” Everything was within that naked singularity in potential form; nothing was outside it. From that naked singularity, the entire Big Bang emerged, so it is said (never mind where that naked singularity came from, a point too easily glossed over, since it is really basic to the whole consideration … but even excusing that question, we ask …)

Where was that naked singularity? Since the naked singularity was the repository of all that could be, there could be nothing outside it, not even space, and certainly not a viewpoint from which to view the naked singularity. There was only an inside. (That, in fact is the definition of a naked singularity: a celestial body with no “event horizon” – i.e., defining boundaries.) There could be no boundary, no ‘skin,’ no limit, since such would have had to be a boundary between the inside and something outside, and there was nothing outside.

Outside was absolute zero. If you think you have a grasp of it, that cannot be it because that would be something.

The naked singularity, itself, had no size. It wasn’t “very small,” since size is relative and there was nothing outside the naked singularity against which to compare it, in size. All comparisons of size are based on what is “within” existence, which meant within The Naked Singularity, which at the time had no distinguishing features to permit comparison. Our conception of size is based upon ourselves; the “inch” is based on the approximate length of the thumb from tip to first joint. Since The Naked Singularity was The Only, comparisons of size are impossible.

Scientists who speculate about the size of the Naked Singularity, from which The Big Bang was said to emerge, do so in a very slippery mental environment, given the relative nature of everything. Size requires a frame of reference for measurement, and astrophysicists infer the size of The Naked Singularity from what they can see, today (which assumes certain things about the unchangeability of space – which astrophysicists say is expanding!). To The Naked Singularity, itself, from its own point of view, it had no size; it had only Itself, and not even any parts of itself by which to compare one part to another. Nothing can be said about its size in absolute terms or in relative terms.


The Naked Singularity existed in a “condition” of no space, no time.

Said to have expanded in a Big Bang, the expansion of The Naked Singularity took time. From astronomical data, scientists have arrived at an educated guess (based on a cosmological upper limit, the speed of light) as to how much time was required for the Naked Singularity to go from its seed state to the first stage of its expansion – raw energy of inconceivable magnitude.

The estimate of time is something like a billion times faster than the blink of an eye. The Big Bang, in a sense, was The Big Eye-Opening.

Of course, that estimate is based upon an objective comparison with time as we experience it.

But there was nothing outside or inside The Big Bang against which to compare it, in terms of length of time. Our conception of time is based upon ourselves, as the frame of reference: the “second” is the approximate length of time between a first heartbeat and a second heartbeat (hence the term, second). Scientists who speculate about the time involved in that Event do so with a bias: their own frame of reference, which didn’t exist at the time of The Big Bang. Time requires a fixed point of reference against which to be measured (which astrophysicists assume to be related to the speed of light and measures of distance). However, since there were no objects by which to measure distance, to the Big Bang, from its own point of view, it took no set amount of time, neither large nor small: it had only Itself and no frame of reference outside itself by which to compare its beginning to its progress.

At the moment of The Big Eye-Opening (if we can locate such a point in time), there was nothing – no form. The first moments of The Big Bang consisted of pure energy, pure motion, but nothing in particular to be in motion – again, no form – because no matter had condensed, yet. If you can grasp it conceptually, that’s not it, since concept-formation developed long after The Big Bang.

No size, no time, no form. The emergence of nothing from nothing. No problem.

Now, if we identify with The Big Eye-Opening, as if it were ourselves (which is in fact true – since existence continues in perfect continuity from then to now), what we might experience is, in a metaphorical way of speaking, the Rousing of a Sleeping Giant, perhaps something like what you may have experienced forcibly rousing yourself from a dream -- a primal urge to motion to wake up in possession of your full faculties. Only, The Big Eye-Opening had no faculties, other than that of the motion of emergence – the emergence of something from nothing – but with a lot of enthusiasm!

Let’s take a fresh look at The Big Eye-Opening.

First, a new assertion: The Big Eye-Opening didn’t expand into anything; what it did was divide itself -- another case of, “How Can That Be?”

Let’s try a metaphor. Among living creatures, reproduction (multiplication) is accomplished by means of division – whether division of a cell, of a seed, or of a fertilized egg.

Let’s use an egg as an example. An egg encompasses the entire potential of its lifeform. When an ovum, or egg, is fertilized, the first thing it does is divide (meiosis).

One cell, the egg cell, becomes two cells.
The two divide, and two becomes four.
Four becomes eight.
Eight becomes sixteen.
Sixteen becomes thirty-two.
Thirty-two becomes sixty-four.
Sixty-four becomes one hundred twenty-eight.
One hundred twenty-eight becomes two hundred fifty-six.
Two hundred fifty-six becomes five hundred-twelve.
Nine steps from one to five-hundred twelve. And the multiplication goes on. Multiplication by dividing. A spherical ovum becomes a spherical blastula, which then shapes itself to become an embryo, and away we go.

A blastula is bigger than an ovum, but it gets bigger by incorporating nutrients from its environment into itself. The Naked Singularity had no environment from which to build itself or expand into; all it could do was divide.

The act of division was the first creation of relative size. But from the point of view of the Naked Singularity, there was no size.

The Naked Singularity had no material existence; it was energy, only. Its very intensity precluded the condensation of matter; it was raw flux, pure motion, again inconceivable. If you can conceive of it in your imagination, that wasn’t it.

Let’s talk about energy and motion.

In our present Universe, light energy exists in a continuum (spectrum) of frequency, which we experience as color, from low (the red side of the spectrum and below) to high (the violet side of the spectrum, and beyond).

Again, in our present Universe, different atoms give off light at different and unique color combinations of the spectrum. Atoms can be identified by the light they give off.

But there were no atoms at the time of The Big Eye-Opening – no matter, no anti-matter, no nothing. At most, there was light (as in “Let there be …”) and since all light travels at the same speed in a vacuum (which was all there was, if that), there was no way of measuring time (which is only known in terms of motion) because everything was the same and there was no scale of differences in size by which to make comparison of distance from “here” to “there.” No time.

The first emergence, beyond mere timeless, sizeless formlessness, would have had to be the emergence of wavelength, or color, of light. In particular, it would have had to be with there being more than one wavelength, or color of light. The “oneness” of all colors would have had to divide, at minimum, into a basic, primordial “twoness,” or more than one wavelength, in order for there to be a difference, and from there, the full range of wavelengths along the mathematical lines discovered by physicists. Again, multiplication by division. There is a paradox inherent in this appearance of “more than one”; the paradox is that, at the time of The Big Eye-Opening, every ray of light exists at a certain frequency and moves at a certain speed, which is the same as that of all others; but from the position of any ray of light, all others exist at a different frequency, even if they all move at the same speed. Things that are the same appear different – another, “How Can This Be?”

For preliminary answers to these questions, we must do something dangerously anthropomorphic; we must speculate on a teleological (developmental) imperative – let’s call it, a tendency. We can speculate this way only because we have, as part of our nature, all of the attributes of our origin, and we have the tendency to develop, just as this essay is developing, and just as the Universe is developing. (The danger is in taking the analogy too literally, because the state of development of our attributes is different from their primordial state. But since they still exist on the same line of development, so we can make metaphors that give us some sense of understanding.)

Because The Big Eye-Opening happened, we seem compelled to allow that some tendency was at work.

Here’s the speculation: The tendency of emergence of something from nothing involves two beginning steps; there are more than two, but for simplicity at this point in our consideration, we will confine ourselves to the first two steps, and those are: awakening and differentiation. Awakening is the emergence into a new realm of existence; differentiation is the distinguishing of the features of that new realm of existence. The tendency behind the emergence of The Big Eye-Opening is the impulse To Be.

The first moments of The Big Eye-Opening can be seen as an emergence of (or into) something new – a new realm of existence -- physicality. But without distinguishing features such as size, shape, or time (motion), no experiencing of that emergence is possible, since there is nothing to experience and no one to experience it. But the impulse To Be, as a drive, has within it a Drive to Be Something. (I told you this line of thought is anthropomorphic.)

The Drive to Be Something has in it two faculties: an outward impulse (radiation) and an impulse to take things in (gravitation). These two faculties show up in living beings as (yang) the impulse to move into experience, intention, and as (yin) the impulse to take experience in, attention. Intention and attention. I’ll touch on this point only that much, for now, and go much more into it as we proceed.

Back to the two faculties.

Scientists who discuss The Big Eye-Opening state that somehow, gravity trapped light and turned it into matter, starting with the simplest sub-atomic particles (if there is such a thing as a simplest particle) then forming hydrogen ions -- protons and free electrons, and proceeding through cosmic evolution (star formation, planetary formation and development) to develop all of the complexities of matter and chemistry we see, today.

There is a big, big gap in that explanation. First of all, if all light was radiating evenly throughout the nascent Universe (and it had to be, or some prior, organizing principle would have had to be operative), why would matter have congealed more in some places than in others? The tendency for matter to appear would have had to be the same everywhere; with equal distribution of forces, nothing could have congealed, anywhere, or everything would have congealed evenly, everywhere. Equal gravity everywhere, equal light everywhere, equal congealing everywhere, including in the space between particles. It is a puzzlement. Again.

So let's look at a "what if".  What if everything expanded outwardly, evenly, and no congealing of matter would happen throughout the expanding sphere of existence.  It would only happen when, at the end of the expansion cycle, the mass / motion at the center of that moving sphere gravitationally drew the periphery back into the center, where all would congeal with a single "clap".  Repeatedly.  If it made a sound, the sound would be, "wacka-wacka".

But that didn't happen, did it?  Noooo. Somehow, the works got stirred up.

The simplest way it could get stirred up was rotation.  Could have been a simple, down-the-drain type vortex --- but that only applies to rotation in a single plane, spin.  We're talking four-dimensional, here, pal, maybe five.

The point is -- TURBULANCE!  And we're not talking fluid turbulence, here.  There are no fluids.  What there are is movements of radiating light.

So, the question, How do you get mere outwardly-bound radiation of some wavelength to stop traveling in lines and to coalesce into localized spaces?  That's some pretty tight curvature.  Gravity won’t do it, since gravity, as the weakest basic physical force, can’t even retain an atmosphere on a celestial body as large as our moon, which, compared to you, is huge. How’s it going to get motion occurring at the speed of light to Hold it Right There! and form matter?

Question:  What force physically affects the physical manifestation of light (hint: "electromagnetic radiation").
Answer: magnetic fields, verrry strong magnetic fields, with innumerable magnetic vortices, or centers, many with features in common.  Patterns.  Strange Attractors.  Probability Wells.

Mere dumb physical forces is an insufficient explanation. There has to be an organizing principle beyond the organizing of inert matter by uniformly active forces. I’m not saying what that is, but let’s take a look at the usual way of explaining these things.

In science, the structure of organizing principles is defined mathematically. Laws of physics and chemical behaviors follow mathematically defined and definable patterns. It’s these definable patterns – predictability -- that give science it’s vaunted air of reliability.

But let’s pause. We cannot let the logic of this speculation escape unquestioned. When did mathematical laws come into existence? For that matter, why did mathematical laws come into existence? Why are there mathematical laws, at all? Why did things “develop,” instead of stay the same? The contemplation of these mysterious questions is “similar” to the contemplation of, “where did The Naked Singularity exist?” Isn’t it?

I suggest that mathematical structure isn’t a primary cause, but is a secondary development of The Big Eye-Opening, itself.

Again: from nothingness, somethingness indistinguishable from nothingness (oneness). From that somethingness (oneness), the emergence of difference (twoness). Awakening and differentiation. Now, for some smoke and mirrors.

The two different elements of a two-ness have no distinct existence apart from each other; neither can be known as “something” except by its difference from and comparison to something else. That’s the “mirrors” part.

However, I used the word, “known,” didn’t I? Oops. That implies a knower. In a dead, unconscious Universe, no knower, no perception, is possible. However, we know that the Universe isn’t dead, at least not completely, because we exist and we know, from our experience of the existence of things, that there is consciousness. Question is, How far back does consciousness go? We have no basis for asserting any beginning point other than The Big Eye-Opening.

Why did I raise this point about consciousness? The reason has to do with the imperative, To Be. I am developing a view of an increasingly sentient (conscious) Universe, starting with consciousness in its most primitive, primordial forms – the impulse To Be and the impulse to experience Being -- the Rousing of The Sleeping Giant.

Here’s a principle peculiar to all living beings: we perceive change, and that’s all we perceive. Stare into a mirror for long enough, features of your face start to disappear. To get them to reappear, you have to move. We perceive motion (or change).

From the first moments of The Big Eye-Opening (if there were any) to now, there has been only a succession of changes and that is what has kept The Big Event in view. But I get ahead of myself.

The driving impulse of The Big Eye-Opening (now, we have to change the name, since we know that a succession of events has been involved – OK, let’s call it “The Big Show”) the driving impulse has been To Be Something. To Be Something requires, at first, emergence, and then, differentiation (formation of differences), the pre-requisites for change to occur.

Differentiation is very nice, except it’s not the full story. (Nothing ever is.) Let’s take a look back at The Big Show, just after two or more frequencies (or wavelengths, or colors, starting with the first line of the Lyman Series, for all you physics fans) of light appeared within view of any viewpoint.    Wherever rays of light of any two frequencies interacted, by proximity, they formed a third frequency (or wavelength, or color) – just as by adding red light and blue light, we get yellow light.

That’s a way of looking at the process objectively. However, all experiencing involves, at minimum, two viewpoints: objective and subjective. Let’s speculate about the subjective side of things.

Working with the premise that the primal impulse or tendency of the Universe is To Be, and to experience Being, why the differentiation of one color of light into two? An answer: as a necessary continuation of the impulse To Be. Remember that experience fades with monotony. The impulse to experience requires the emergence of The New, and when your playing pieces are as sparse as they were at the beginning of the game, you use what you’ve got. The next possibility, from Oneness, is a movement of (or within) Oneness. To experience existence over a period of time requires movement. How does mere movement result in the experience of more-than-oneness?

Let’s bring in a little thought experiment. Paging Dr. Einstein. Paging Dr. Einstein …

A peculiarity of light is that it moves at a uniform speed in a vacuum, regardless of the speed of its source. If the source moves toward the viewer, the light gets to the viewer no sooner, but appears to the viewer to shift frequency in the “violet” direction of the spectrum ("Blue Shift"); if the source moves away from the viewer, the light appears to the viewer to shift frequency in the “red” direction of the spectrum ("Red Shift"), again, arriving from the light-source to the viewer (or view-point) in the same amount of time.

Remembering that peculiarity, let’s say that primordial light, all of one frequency, has traveled a certain distance since the inception of The Big Show. Let’s allow that the boundary of conscious existence (the world of form) exists at the farthest reach of all the light that has radiated outward and that this consciousness, as it fills or pervades The Big Show; let us allow that conscious existence gathers in primordial experience from all directions. At the boundary and facing outward, there is an Unknown, Unknowable Mystery; at the boundary and facing inward, toward the origin, is all the radiation that has yet to reach the boundary. Assuming that The Big Show is expanding in a sphere, light moving away from this side of the expanding sphere of The Big Show and toward the other side is invisible to us (assuming there was someone to view it, which there wasn’t). Light moving somewhat away from us would be perceived from this side as radiating at a lower (redder) frequency. Because opposite sides of The Big Show are moving away from each other at twice the speed of light, neither side of The Big Show could be seen from the other. However, lines of radiation moving somewhat in the same direction would be seen as being a slightly different, redder color from each viewpoint, even if both were vibrating at the same frequency. Oneness experienced as twoness, because of differences in direction of movement.

The phenomenon of attention works similarly: If you project your attention forward, you can’t perceive things behind you; if you project your attention forward in time (imagination), you still encounter an Unknown at the limit of your imagination. You can perceive things to your sides, but they always appear as being other-than you and different from you. And if you project your attention back in time (memory), there is a limit beyond which lies a mystery – the same mystery as exists forward in time.

Getting back to The Big Show … The mere difference in direction of lines of motion makes for a multiplicity of objects of perception, even if they are, in their essential nature, the same.

We’ve talked about the first two processes of emergence, awakening and differentiation, and we’ve discussed how differentiation follows naturally from motion, even the motion of light, by virtue of differences of direction of movement.

However, we haven’t discussed how matter forms.

See, in the primordial scheme of The Big Show, everything is light. The odd thing about light is that there is no way to perceive light without matter.

Consider: the stars in the sky radiate light in all directions; outer space is full of light. But the night sky appears dark except for points from which light comes directly into our eyes – stars, planets, our moon. Whether radiated directly or reflected from a material body, the outpouring of light from all the stars is invisible from the side and visible only when it strikes our retinas directly. Doesn’t that strike you as odd? The sky is full of light but appears dark, except as it impacts us, directly.

Consider the primordial Universe. Light everywhere, no matter anywhere. Light everywhere, darkness everywhere. The experience of light comes from the existence of a perceiver, and not just the physical existence, but the conscious existence that somehow interprets inanimate, mathematical vibration into living color. The universe generated lifeforms that could generate the experience of light from what was otherwise darkness. The experience of light comes from lifeforms.

The concretizing of light into matter comes not only from gravity, which is only a physical force, but also from the ingathering tendency of the primordial awareness. This is to say that awareness is an inherent feature of the Universe, a living element of the causality of existence. I’ll say more about this point as we get to the discussion of The Ladder of Experience, which shows the correlations of the basic physical expressions of the physical universe – matter and energy – with the functions of movement and sensation, intention and attention, attributes of living beings that experience life.

For now, let’s say that there is an organizing principle whose function is to generate centers, of which matter with gravity is one physical expression.

So, now, we have identified some.
  1. The primary impulse of all impulses is to Be.
  2. Differences of movement make two objects that may otherwise be identical apparent as two different things, and thus knowable as “something” different from “something else.”
  3. The multiplicity of objects starts with the multiplicity of their directions of possible movement.
  4. Experience is possible only by means of contrast, differences between two or more objects – at minimum an experiencer and an object of experience, which must seem different from each other, when regarded individually, conceptually, but experientially, cannot be distinguished as "two".
  5. Light, or free outgoing motion, is invisible unless met directly by a material object, and is then experienced as incoming experience.
  6. Gravity is the incoming counterpart of outgoing light, just as attention is the “gathering” counterpart of intention, which is outgoing.
We are verging on a discussion of the next process of emergence: integration:
  • step (1) awakening
  • step (2) differentiation
  • step (3) integration
Integration is the gathering of things into a pattern, a whole that, by virtue of the pattern, is more than a mere collection of different things. Integration of things brings into existence a new pattern of function.

Back to light and matter.

Light can’t be perceived without matter. In fact, it can’t do anything but move outward without matter. Even if rays of light intersect, they still can’t do anything but move outward. All we have is motion.
The only way to know something is moving is to have a fixed point of reference. Matter provides that. The appearance of matter came into existence as a necessary means by which to witness the nature of light as a distinct, observable “something.” (Observation always requires a viewpoint separate from that of that which is being observed.)

This line of consideration, as worded, implies some sort of intelligent intentionality, a Primordial Impulse. To entertain that viewpoint, of course, flies in the face of scientific materialism, but dovetails with our own living nature and that of all living beings. (Just an aside to chew on, for a moment.) This conception of the impulse behind The Big Show requires a shift of point of view from that of the Universe as a dead process of mechanical objects haphazardly assembling themselves into chemical processes called, “life,” to that of an ongoing emergence of a living impulse, islands of organization coalescing within a sea of chaos.

We’re at the point where matter emerges to provide a fixed point of reference from which to experience motion, present as free light.

Matter has this handy little property: as soon as a fixed point of reference appears (matter), something else appears: gravity. Gravity didn’t cause the appearance of matter, its congealing from light; it coincided with the appearance of matter as a simultaneous expression of the impulse to gather experience of a new kind. Of what kind, we ain’t sayin’, yet.

Let’s just say that just as the primordial light became divided/differentiated into different frequencies of light, the spectrum (or continuum of color) of light consisted of frequencies of light that were multiples (or fractions) of some constant:  Planck's Constant (or the Planck Length). There was a mathematical order to that spectrum – a structure, a regularity -- another dimension of experience to be known.

To experience light required a contrast of some sort to be introduced, some sort of variation. Gravity provided one variation: it could bend light. This bending exists in contrast to the straight lines in which light otherwise would tend to travel (Law of Inertia), if it weren't being bent up and wriggled along by gravitational fields along its path of travel. Gravity also causes changes of the speed at which bodies of matter move, providing variations (frequency shifts) in the spectrum of light, making things appear redder or more violet, according to the speed and direction of the movement of material objects radiating or reflecting light.

(deep breath)

Our Universe, such as it is, provides examples of how gravity bends light, but no examples of how light might behave in the absence of gravity. That’s because gravity extends throughout the Universe; it pervades it, strongly or weakly. Magnetic fields, on the other hand, also extend throughout the universe, and they have a strong influence on light at a much more local (smaller) scale.  Conclusion:  Light is there to be bent.  We’re now at a stage in The Big Show where the interaction of energy, matter, magnetic fields and gravity are at Center Stage.

Matter provided another variation in the experience of light. Light could change from a freely moving phenomenon to one almost completely stopped, and then reappear again as a freely moving phenomenon going an entirely new direction and at a different frequency or set of frequencies – the process of reflection of light by matter, which is really absorption and re-radiation of light by matter. New behaviors! A little bit like a rabbit being chased.  How novel!

The emergence of matter is a new integration of tendencies of experience: speed, duration (time), and transformation. By itself, light doesn’t transform; it just goes. Matter transforms light.

And light transforms matter. Thing is, matter can’t be known in and by itself. It can only be known by the energy (light or electromagnetic radiation) it absorbs and re-radiates and by the distortion of the gravitational field. Even its motion can be known only by the motion (behavior) of its fields. The kind of matter is known by its electromagnetic (electrical field) properties, which underlie and are part of its chemical behavior. The behavior of matter has a structure that is related to the structure of the light spectrum. We see these differences of kind and behavior categorized in the Periodic Table of the Atomic Elements.

With matter, another set of experiences emerged: attraction and repulsion. Whereas rays of light neither attract nor repel other rays of light, they do repel matter; they exert a pressure upon matter, both a physical force and an electro-magnetic force. Light (or energy) induces matter to vibrate, to radiate light, and even to disintegrate, both at the level of molecular structure and at the level of sub-atomic structure. Think "microwave oven", which uses radiation to make water molecules vibrate -- or for you retro types, think "radiometer" (a kind of toy with a four-paddled rotor mounted balanced like a compass on a needle point in a bulb containing a vacuum, made to rotate by light). Radiation exerts pressure.

Both | matter/congealed gravity | and | light/radiation | are needed for experience to happen. Light provides a way to have a "matter" experience, even as matter provides a way to experience light. Light and matter are interdependent.

Now, it’s one thing to know these things as a matter of scientific theory and another thing to experience them, directly. You might remember that the theme of this essay is, “The View from Inside the Big Bang.” Inside.

And we have a view, from the inside, of the interaction of matter and energy (or light). It’s our experience of being alive.

Now, we don’t generally experience the molecular, atomic, and sub-atomic subtleties of matter. We experience matter at a higher level of organization. Remember, I made reference to integration. As living beings, we have a physical existence as organisms (somas), which has both common and unique characteristics of organization, relative to non-organismic matter. Likewise, we have an experience, from within, of those unique characteristics. Those characteristics are the characteristics of the body (and world), as sensory experiences.

Our being alive is a way of The Big Show experiencing the emergence of yet another dimension of experiencing: not only are we centers of experience with characteristics of both light (sensation) and matter (motion); we are moving centers. Not only are we moving centers (planets move, as do other inanimate processes affected passively by physical forces); we are self-moving centers.

It seems that the emergence of something from nothing has gone full-circle in us, living beings. We all seem to come out of nothing; we know life and we know ourselves by means of contrast of ourselves with our environments and relationships; we grow in our experiencing by moving into new domains. We distinguish ourselves from others and we integrate our lives with those of others.

With us, first comes The Big Eye-Opening, then, The Big Event of Emergence, then, The Big Show. We know ourselves by our reflections from others, from the ways we are stopped by life and the ways in which we are redirected, the way we put our lives together and by the changes we go through as our lives disintegrate and reintegrate in epochs of universal ("kosmic") and biological ("somatic") evolution.
The Universe emerged as a way of experiencing (existence), first in inanimate ways with no center and then in self-moving, animate ways with centers. The Universe persists by transforming; so do we. But we are not the same as the inanimate Universe, or rather, we are a new emergence of its potential and its new potentials emerging.

The Universe is expanding not only its physical limits (into what we do not know), but also the range of possible experiences within its potential. We are the product of The Big Eye-Opening without a break from ancient time and we exemplify its principles in our conscious life, which is still emerging at an accelerating rate, it seems. We are the Big Eye-Opening Experienced from Within, pressing outward into the Unknown and taking experience in. The Big Bang (or "Big Flash" or "Big Eye-Opening") isn't something that "happened"; it's something that is still happening, and we and our current universe are IT.

On Deep Creativity

Deep creativity is a name for the deliberate creation of new forms that, when contemplated (by the creator or by others) open a window to intuition of our silent, formless depth. It's the steadying of attention, the integration and transcendence of experience (ref: "Form is emptiness; emptiness is form").

We distinguish "deep" creativity from "superficial" creativity by both the process and the outcome.

The primary characteristic of deep creativity is unified intention. "Unified intention" means non-distraction, coherence, cohesiveness of directed attention. It is the creation of a "space of attention" into which a new creative impulse may emerge.

The tangible form we create in such a space of "coherent attention" ("dhyana" or absorption of attention) reveals, when we place our attention upon it, two "layers" of existence in addition to the tangible manifestation, itself: 1) a subtle communication of a feeling intuition and 2) silent empty space (without center or boundary) perfectly coincident with manifested fullness, our own essential self-nature.

The evident characteristic of superficial creativity is the lack of cohesiveness or of intuitive depth; it lacks simple integrity and communicates scattered attention. Most creativity and "art", stemming from mental ideation rather than intuition, falls into this category.

When we create from a deep place, we are engaged in a process of deliberate feeling-attention, with intention poised for new intuition. Deep creativity is not "random" creativity, but deliberate, coherent creativity, not synthesizing from existing parts from a mental place of "good ideas"; deep creativity manifests "something from nothing" using the creative medium to make something more than the mere sum of parts -- a holon, not a pile. We create from source; we create as source. The distinguishing characteristic of such deep creation is a sense of wholeness, of singleness, of unified integrity that gathers and steadies attention in contemplation.

We start by directing attention into what we intend, holding attention there in a disposition of expectation with creative intention poised, as a cat stalks a bird. We are, at once, open, receptive, and poised for activity. This is "active samyama" -- the contemplation of an object (even the emergence of a subjective object -- a creative impulse) until its essential nature is perceived.

As perception of the essential nature of the thing you are creating emerges, we experience an "originating intention" -- creative insight that can be enacted deliberately as an act of creation. Still in subtle form, an originating intention has sufficiently developed (in a kind of intuitive gestation) when creative energy (attentional force) congeals into a coherent intention (morphogenetic field) characterized by sufficient intensity -- creative thrust -- to bring it into tangible form.

Creating a coherent originating intention (morphogenetic field) involves recognizing and releasing/dissolving any ideas, feelings, or intentions that are influences upon your creative process other than what you are creating. These "other influences" surface as you exert effort or intention into the process of developing your originating intention. (Again, to create a coherent originating intention involves placing attention in the direction of what you want to create; those "other influences" appear as distractions to that creative process).

We then create a form that expresses that originating intention ("Upper Left") by acting deliberately upon a creative medium (words, paint, sound, resources, something "Upper Right") -- a creative process that might be termed, "tangification" -- the act of making something tangible (ref: Y.Y. Meru -- "The Creative Spiral", as presented in books, "Origination","Mastership" and "Attunement", and the Creative Spiral Opuses). To do so requires sufficient mastery of attention, intention, of our own actions, and of the medium in which we are creating to create deliberately. In a way of viewing it, creativity involves bridging between subjective interiority and objective exteriority, the capacity to view manifestation from both viewpoints, simultaneously. The simultaneous fidelity of inner and outer and the difference-in-appearance of inner experience from outer expression make all creativity an act of paradox (ref: Da Free John -- "The Paradox of Instruction").

The tangible "creation" becomes a feature of culture ("Lower Left") and a component of cooperative society and its infrastructure ("Lower Right").

In the case of this present writing, for example, the act of deep creativity required setting an intention -- to create an essay on deep creativity, the time needed to formulate an expression that fulfills that intention, recognition of what that expression would be, and sufficient mastery of language to implement that intention; in other media, other kinds of mastery pertain, but the same requirements for creative intuition and adequate mastery of the medium of creation apply. The combination of an originating intention and mastery of the medium make possible a creative act with a high degree of fidelity between originating intention and tangible result.

Once a creation has been brought into (or taken) form ("tangified"), it is available for contemplation. Contemplation of the tangible creation reveals the degree of its fidelity with the originating intention, allowing for refinement of the tangible expression. Sufficient fidelity between subtle perception ("originating intention") and its tangible creation, such that the subtle and formless layers may both be intuited, constitutes a successful "deep creation."

Once the tangible expression has been brought to a high degree of fidelity with the originating intention, its place within the milieu of already-manifested-actuality may be seen and understood by means of observation of that milieu, and reflection and consideration of the place of the "new creation" within that milieu; once that reflection has reached maturity, we may offer that "new creation" for integration into that greater milieu.

Then, we may begin the process again in a cycle of awakening, differentiation, integration, and transcendence.

For examples of deep creativity in sound, click

Somatic Spiritual (Evolutionary) Practice -- The Big Pandiculation

Hanna Somatic Education® is a highly accessible doorway to spiritual practice. It provides means for integrating and transcending psycho-physical (somatic) limitations and instant feedback as to the success of the practice.  

It's primary technique, "Pandiculation", puts principles into operation that apply equally well to subtler and "inner" aspects of the human being, i.e., the emotions and thinking mind, and the mind of subtle intuition -- the emotional and mental psychic fields -- as they do to the "outer" physiological body/organism.  So, I refer to the grand process of human evolutionary transformation as, The Big Pandiculation.

This essay explains how this is so, and also identifies the advantage and limitation of Hanna somatic education as an element of spiritual practice.

An entire human life may be summarized as moving from one state and degree of contraction to another -- with varying degrees of habituation.

Spiritual practice may be summarized as "increasing involvement with and increasing transcendence of" the conditions of life -- increasing involution and increasing evolution -- awakening to what we are constantly doing and being. I suggest that one of the most powerful means of spiritual practice is pandiculation -- applied not only at the sensory-motor level, as in Hanna somatic education, but also at emotional, mental, and intuitive levels.   I call this, The Big Pandiculation.  Correspondences with Kinetic Mirroring and Means-Whereby (explained here) also apply to those other levels. For non-participants in Hanna somatic education, I explain the term, "Pandiculation", here.



Spiritual practice has two aspects:
  1. awakening to and outgrowing (transcending) archaic, habituated patterns of function and perception
  2. awaking into new faculties of function and perception
In the language of somatic education, (1.) addresses "sensory-motor amnesia" or "attentional-intentional amnesia" -- indicating that the person is suffering (a) the results of inherited, unevolved habits of thought, feeling and action and (b) impairments of their functioning from injury or emotional trauma.  (2.) addresses "sensory-motor obliviousness" or "attentional-intentional obliviousness" -- indicating that the person is suffering from the lack of faculties that have never yet awakened.

The first category is that of loss; the second category is that of limited development.

I know that's a lot, and I'll clarify, as needed, below.

For students of Ken Wilber, let me say that these two aspects of spiritual practice correspond to what he characterized as "state pathologies" and "stage pathologies" -- where a state is analogous to "weather" and a stage is analogous to "climate".  All problems from category (1.) stem from functional impairments that occur within a given stage of development (broken personal integrity); all problems from category (2.) stem from functional deficiencies that occur because the person needs to mature to his/her next-higher stage of development.

That said, what is the role of somatic education?  To answer that rhetorical question, I should first define my terms.

The term, "somatic" (derived from the ancient Greek word, "soma") refers to the experience of our faculties -- awareness and control -- from within -- autonomy, self-regulation, freedom and responsibility.  The term, "education" (derived from Latin "e ducare") refers to the drawing out and making functional an individual's latent faculties so that they come alive.

In this day, both words, "somatic" and "education", are abused and misused in popular parlance.  "Somatic" is used to refer to the flesh-body or to cells of the body (as opposed to the mind), so that the word, psychosomatic is not recognized as the redundancy that it is.  (Remember, "soma" includes both bodily (or incarnated) existence and awareness, from within, of ourselves and our faculties.)  Likewise, education is used to refer to mental learning of more and more things -- facts and rules, without the recognition that such mental learning relies upon a more basic learning -- the learning of how to pay attention and to exercise intention in action (to get specifically intended results).  These abuses of words point to the degeneration (category 1.) and unevolved stage (category 2.) of our human culture.

So, we have to rehabilitate these words and their meanings for this essay to be meaningful.  If you accept that rehabilitation, read on.

Somatic education does two major general things:  it awakens perception (sensory awareness) and it awakens self-control (and by extension, control of things and others).

Understanding that point is "huge", since it is the basis of entire human lives.  Somatic education increases the effects of ones actions upon oneself and others.  It frees (and in effect, causes) one to be more aware of what one tends be, and, as habitual functional patterns are set free, to be more intensely "what's left" -- in effect, a surfacing (like the body of an iceberg as the top melts) of unconscious/subconscious habitual material.

The enterprise of spiritual practice appears in many forms in human culture -- everything from nature-spirit worship to organized religion to self-transcending practices.

For the purpose of this writing, I especially mean self-awakening and self-transcending practices.

At this point, we have to rehabilitate another slippery word:  transcendence.

People commonly use the term to mean "being above" and dissociating from some kind of experience -- not experiencing it anymore.  That's a formula for neurosis, pathology and breakdown; it's not transcendence.

The proper understanding of the term is "being inclusive of and more than" some kind of experience -- experiencing it consciously, with understanding, with mastery.  This understanding goes along with Einstein's declaration that "It is impossible to solve a problem from within the frame of reference within which it was created."  To solve a problem, we must first have mastered and transcended its original frame of reference.

This kind of mastery involves two stages:  differentiation and integration.

Differentiation means clearly seeing the distinctions that define something as it is.  When cooking, it is "helpful" to distinguish the taste of salt from that of other ingredients so that we can regulate how much salt we put into the cooking.

Integration means putting things together into a satisfactorily functioning whole so that all the parts complement each other.  When cooking, it is "helpful" to balance the taste of salt with other tastes.

We can't know how much salt to add by tasting the salt we are adding; we must taste both the salt and the rest of the dish-in-progress and balance them with each other.  By so doing, we transcend both the taste of salt and the taste of the rest of the dish -- we include them and occupy a frame of reference that is greater than either.

The somatic principle we have identified as applying to this situation is, "Somas perceive by means of contrasts."  The corollary is, "Whatever doesn't change fades from perception."  Try staring at something, sometime, and see what I mean.

How does this pertain to somatic education?

First, we understand that all of our experience gets processed through the body via the senses -- brain-based learning of how to interpret experiences.  This interpretation applies to physical sensations, to emotions, to mental processes, and to higher intuitions that don't have physical objects but which are felt (e.g., music and other forms of coherent art).

Secondly, we understand that that process of interpretation is subject to the distortions of Category (1.) and to the obliviousness of Category (2.)

Let's clarify how injuries and emotional trauma distort both perception and function.

Memory consists of two aspects that make up ordinary experiencing:  sensation and response (or movement, or behavior).  All memories exist as states of "readiness to respond", manifested as patterns of muscular tension that keep us ready for action.  The common term is, "nervous tension".  A technical term would be, "motor habits".

All experiences leave imprints on memory; intense or repetitive experiences leave intense imprints on memory -- and stronger patterns of muscular tension.

These imprints overlie each other as patterns of tension that show up as posture and "body language", breathing patterns, body-sense or the sense of "self", and also thought patterns and emotional responses.  "I" am patterns of memory, in action.

"Don't ask me to relax; it's my tension that's keeping me together."

Most of these memory imprints are below the surface and only get activated by circumstances, but reside at a low level of "idle".  When activated by circumstance, we call that "emotional reactivity".

For a more detailed and elaborate discussion of how these memory imprints show up as neuromuscular tension patterns, I refer you to "An Expanded View of the Three Reflexes of Stress", "Is the Body 'Self' or 'Other'?" and "Sensory-Motor Amnesia is Not a Disease."

Now, we get into it.

Somatic education provides a means of shifting those memory patterns from "automatic" to voluntary, turning "emotional reactivity" (for instance) into "emotional responsiveness" -- not in a wholesale manner, but progressively and specifically, and also activating latent faculties to which we are oblivious.

Just as muscular tensions can be brought under control by the three basic techniques of Hanna somatic education, "Means-Whereby", "Kinetic Mirroring" and "Pandiculation", so the logic of those techniques can be applied to emotional, mental, and intuitive levels of the being.

In general, three effects make somatic education useful in spiritual practice.  (1) It shifts unconscious/semi-conscious habits from unconscious to conscious.  (Some would say it integrates the mind-body connection, but it just awakens what is already the case.  Please see, "There is No Mind-Body Connection | There is No Mind-Body Split) (2) It awakens and integrates more of the "neural network" of the brain to make possible more complex and more finely articulated perceptions and behaviors, and (3) It re-activates awareness of personal functions that has been lost in Sensory-Motor Amnesia, so they can be integrated.

These effects correspond to (1) incarnation, (2) maturation, and (3) integration of "shadow (psychological) material".

Mere conception is not incarnation, nor is mere birth.  Conception and birth begin the process of incarnation, which involves identification as "body/mind" (soma), so that we experience the body "from within", as our "acting" selves.

The "incarnation" step applies especially to people who tend to live in their dreams, thoughts or emotions, whose fantasy or mental life substitute for engagement in relationships in the world.

Development of our capacity to experience and to act is progressive and proceeds by the formation of memory patterns along the developmental lines outlined by Piaget, Rogers, Maslow, and others, which involve progressive development of perception, conception, and action (behavior).  It's the development of functional sophistication (more or less).

The "maturation" step applies especially to people who have unevenly developed competence in various areas of their lives.

Integration of "Shadow (psychological) Material"
Shadow material consists of behaviors and feelings that have previously developed and then been distorted by reactions to traumatic experiences of various kinds.  They're ways we "won't let ourselves be", but which we still have impulses to be.  They're actions "stopped mid-step", both active and opposed by us at the same time.

The "integration" step especially applies to people who have been traumatized.

I'll tell you a few personal stories to illustrate my points.

Incarnation.  I grew up in an emotionally dissociated (but financially well-off) family, in which my emotions and wishes felt generally invalidated, even as my material needs were satisfied, without much social contact or play time for ten months out of every year (required to practice piano during the time when the boys on my block were out playing, together).  At home, I lived in frequent anxiety, boredom and alienation; in school, I feared for my physical safety and suffered frequent humiliation from more aggressive boys.  I was small for my age, but intellectually well-developed (which earned me the name, Peabody, after the brainy cartoon dog-character on "Bullwinkle" -- "Sherman and Peabody" -- from one of the boys).  In my free time (after piano practice), I read copiously -- astronomy, paleontology, anatomy, physics, chemistry, science fiction, and the entire World Book Encyclopedia, cover to cover.  In physical education classes, I had the least prowess of anybody and was always the last chosen for team sports.  So, I was mentally well-developed, emotionally intimidated and alienated, physically undeveloped, and socially out of synch with my peer group.

In my teens, I developed incapacitating tendonitis in my right hand/wrist that resulted, ultimately, in my getting Rolfed.  The point of this narrative is that my "incarnation history" led to this:  My rolfer described me as being "like concrete" and "the most contracted individual" he had ever worked on.  I was largely oblivious to my condition, and I had so little bodily sensation that my forearms and abdomen felt as insensate as wood.

Rolfing was the beginning of my somatic education, and in the process, what aroused my great interest is that I was starting to perceive myself, my body, and my behavior, in ways that had never before awakened.  The awakening of feeling and the changes of how I was moving were giving me a viewpoint for self-perception other than the one with which I had been identified -- the contrast making possible new self-observation.

My process of maturation gradually progressed, with Rolfing, and accelerated with movement practices designed to speed the integration of the changes from Rolfing.

The movement practices had the same effect of awakening new self-observation (by means of contrast between the state I generated with movement practice and my habitual state) and it had a further effect, development of a kind of psychic sensitivity.  I recall one afternoon, working the counter at my father's print shop, when the front door opened and a man came in, and with him, an emotional field that I would characterize as "a downer".  It came in with him, specifically (and not the same way with other customers), so it wasn't a matter of "oh, another customer"; it was about, "wow, feel what just walked in the door".  Practice of the Structural Patterning Movements typically magnified that psychic sensitivity by calming my mind and quieting and sensitizing my nervous system -- a lower "signal-to-noise ratio".

I stayed with Rolfing for about twenty years, and in so doing, built up a mass of contrast between my physical state and my habitual subjective state (memories of "how to be" and "how I am").  It was to be the basis of a rending, wholesale transformation (that has continued to this day).

At age 36, after a fairly easy divorce, but also during a wrenching time of change during which I went back to university to train as a physical therapist (living in the dorm with 18-21 year-olds), and during which I lost my entire social network, accustomed diet, work and living situation and had no source of income.  I was fairly maxed-out on stress.

Shortly after the end of my university studies, I returned to my previous town in a completely different situation than the one I had left, without friends or income, still maxed out on stress.

During that time, my Rolfer plopped a copy of Somatics, by Thomas Hanna, onto my lap and said, "You might be interested in this."  The book contained somatic exercises "for neuromuscular stress", which I began to practice.  Surprisingly, instead of reducing my stress, they made it worse.  Much worse.  The exercises, by surfacing unconscious processes and developing more responsiveness in my process, intensified both my awareness and my manifestation of my state of stress, physically.  The exercises made me experience more the state I was in.

That may not seem like a good thing, but by intensifying my experience of stress, it also made me available (and irresistably compelled me) to undertake further spiritual training and intensive inner work to "disarm" the stress.

When I entered training in somatic education with Thomas Hanna, I was in so much stress and so intense that I deliberately wore a red tee-shirt with the words applied to it, in white letters, "Too Intense".  Mutual practice of the somatic education techniques among students alleviated my stress by about 50%.  At the conclusion of training, we had a celebratory barbeque, at which time my peers burned that tee-shirt.  As one of my peers said, as testimony to their acknowledgement of how much I had changed, I wasn't wearing the tee-shirt when they burned it.

After training with Thomas Hanna, circumstances brought me into contact with a teacher of The Avatar Course, which consists of methods that have the same underlying principles as Hanna somatic education.  Using those methods has been instrumental in disarming so much of the accumulated stresses of my earlier life, intensified and revealed to me through somatic education.

This is a fairly summary recounting in which I omit a lot of details -- but the essentials are present.

Spiritual practice does not occur in a vacuum or in a state of obliviousness.  Bliss is not oblivion.  It's equipoise -- which means active, participatory ease or grace -- what Thomas Hanna termed, "the fair state".  It entails both momentary deep intuitions of the formless self-nature ("original mind"), emotional peace,  and progressive deepening and integration into life.

Somatic education awakens human faculties so that we come more awake as we are, develop our faculties, and see more vividly the ways in which we are "stuck" in unconscious memory-and-action patterns that befoul attentive consciousness and prevent the awakening to increasingly free being and transcendental intuition.

In practice, clearing up each habituated action-pattern frees and integrates creative energy (attention and intention), so that we have more of ourselves available to put into action.  That means we get more effect from the same amount of felt-effort as before.  We also feel that effect more keenly and also feel "what's left to do" more keenly.  We become more "how we are" and get more sensitive to ourselves and to others, more keenly discerning.  As a result, we experience a progressive revelation of our habituated state, to ourselves, leading to "the next thing to clear up", and that progression happens faster and more intensely than before.  The term, "the Fire of Practice" attains meaning.

Somatic education activates the great Truth Teller -- our actual feelings, apart from idealistic mental notions or deluding spiritual enthusiasm.  "The Body Doesn't Lie."  It decreases the likelihood of "spiritual bypassing" -- in which we assert idealisms rather than working with our actualities.

By the same token, Hanna somatic education has a limitation -- its greatest strength is sensory-motor integration, with the secondary emotional and mental benefits described earlier -- however, at some point, the somatic limitations seated at the sensory-motor level have essentially been dealt with, and habituated limitations remain in the subtler "bodies" -- emotional, mental and intuitive.  These remaining limitations must be dealt with at those levels on their own terms, even though they may show up as problems in the physical body.

At that point, one must engage processes that apply the principles of somatic education in techniques analogous to those of somatic education, but that apply to those higher bodies.

In summary, the effects of somatic education on spiritual practice are:
  1. relieving impediments left behind by trauma
  2. organizing attention and intention to a higher level of integration
  3. increased effectiveness of intention and action
  4. increased sensitivity to the effects of intentions and actions
  5. progressive revelation of somatic habituations, leading to
  6. progressive integration and transcendence of habituated adaptations

The Big Pandiculation is exactly that process of conscious incarnation and transcendence, awakening experiential awareness and control, and coming out of the habituated state of identity that characterizes the unawakened individual so that (s)he can be her or his free and responsible, unique self.


Here's a link to an internet interview on clinical somatic education, as found on Happiness After Midlife (

"The Immortal Harold Somaman -- What Keeps Him Going?"