Remembering My Birth
The focus of what I was exploring overall was to do with the question of why my everyday life has been so f****** painful. Why have I lost the simple pleasure of sitting in the sun, of walking in the warmth of the evening, of just being around other people. All the time I ached inside with such intensity I was robbed of any everyday pleasure or desire to be with anyone.
In looking at this feeling as it expressed in my body, and not blaming it onto present circumstances or particular people or events – but simply saying – why is this existing in me NOW – while I am by myself? – I felt myself sliding deeper into the body/feeling state of it. It was like everything else began slipping away, and the thing I was looking at getting clearer and clearer, with all its roots and branches. In this way I slipped right back into the most primitive of conditions – the infant state – prior to language or thinking. It was an extraordinary experience to enter so fully into this state and examine it so clearly. I wished I could somehow teach other people to do it. And strange as it may seem, even though I was deeply immersed in the state of infancy, my rational self was exploring exactly how it was happening, and what one would need to help other people to do.
What I was watching was the period of my development in the womb and after birth. At first I was simply an organism, a biological process, a bundle of cells. Even so I had deeply implanted patterns of response and behaviour – I suppose what we call genetic coding. But these genetically produced responses to development and environment were sort of inherited or what is today called hard wired. They werent a matter of personal choice. There was no person as we know it to choose. Nevertheless I was a responding, living being. There came a point however where the complexity of my development achieved a new stage. This was the possibility of learned responses, and these were quite different to hard-wired responses. It was incredibly exciting to see and realise this. It was the transitional point between being simply a biological process, and the earliest stages of the development of personal awareness. Here in fact, in the ability to learn a new or personal response, was the foundation of human intelligence and personality, with all its quirks and difficulties. This transition, I felt, occurred long before birth, although I had no sense of what period of prenatal development it was.
Part of the excitement I felt was to do with seeing how anything we learn at this most fundamental level, will colour all further learning. To quote from ABC’s of the Human Mind, ‘In addition to the psychological damage (and often physical abuse) that alcoholic parents may inflict on their children, a woman who drinks heavily during pregnancy can injure the brain of her unborn child, a condition called foetal alcohol syndrome.’ The book also points out that the foetus has stress reactions each time its mother inhales cigarette smoke.
I didnt see anything like that. although my mother was a smoker – but I did see the enormous range of possible reactions at this level, and the very start of personality differentiation. In fact this led on to the main event of what I experienced in this whole session.
Having seen how personal responses develop, my flow of experience moved on to what happened to me after birth. (The things that I experienced about pre-natal life in other sessions have all been positive.) What I experienced and gained insight into was that a whole scene was set and played out in regard to gaining my needs and relating to women after I was born. I learned certain fundamental personal responses that have set my personality in a particular structure since.
As already said elsewhere, I desperately needed my mother’s passionate connection with me at a feeling level. I needed her love and confidence to help me come through the struggle with breathing, with digesting, with existing as a premature baby without any of the intensive care such babies are given now. I needed help in facing fear of death, not as a concept or thought, or even as an emotion, but as a fundamental condition of my being fighting for life. I didnt get these from my mother. I did however get them from my grandmother. So at the basic level I split in two. My psyche forked off in two branches. This was like a revelation, and gave me an enormous feeling of connecting with myself as I am today. It explained so much about how I feel in the world. Strangely it isnt a new idea. I have touched on it many times in the past, but never quite so starkly.
The excitement I felt about all this was partly personal, but partly from looking at all the strange and wonderful psychological shapes people are due to such events in their early life. For me, trying to live the normal life has been incredibly frustrating. It is an enormous relief to admit to myself that I am not normal – that I am dual, and want both sides of my needs met, even though this might mean reaching in different directions. I felt I wanted to write about the strangeness of living as one actually is instead of trying to be the shape one is expected to be socially. For myself I feel a sense of, “Bugger the world I want to get on with being me before I die – even if that means being more ruthless than I have been in the past”.
After this powerful meeting with my twin self, I went into a strong feeling of simply existing, and gradually recognised it as another fundamental infant state. It is the state in which the infant is saying, “Love me, want me, feed me, as I am, without me making any effort to be anything other than myself”. It isnt a conscious thing, but I have a deep feeling that the baby expects this instinctively. It is a shock if it doesn’t get it.
As I experienced this – lay in it – I felt sure that quite a lot of people never actually emerge from it. They live life waiting for God/parents/ society/partners to do for them whatever their needs are.
The next step is to suckle the tit. At first this is simply getting ones needs given. But it develops into a relationship with someone other than oneself, and leads on in some way to the major change where one has to get out and dig ones own potatoes in one way or another. Again I felt sure that many people get stuck in the stage of wanting the tit to be forever held out to them, and never actually going out and digging their potatoes. See Surviving Love and Relationships
Of course, I was looking at where I stand in relationship to the world, because this was part of the question I was asking myself – How do I achieve a better connection with the world? This includes such details as getting more of a share of the worlds goods or money, a place to live, peace in ones personal and social relationship. There is certainly a part of me that is still in the infant stage of saying ‘love me, why arent you coming and picking me up’? My active go getting, dig my own potatoes self sometimes gets tripped up by that.
I saw that one of my earliest orientations with getting my own needs was in the way of information gathering, synthesising, interpreting, integrating and re-presenting. This still has a lot of possibilities for me, and is something I still enjoy. The other side is the help I can give people in home-building – i.e. practical skills. This is very much appreciated by people as most of us have powerful nest building instincts which connect with powerful emotions and drives. So anyone who aids us in such basic needs can find rewards. Thirdly, being premature related me to the world of the unconscious, to being unable to relate to the norm, much more fully than many people. I was born in a sort of sub-aqua world of the womb. I hadnt actually emerged psychologically. Because all my life I have been trying to find the womb again, find the self that didnt ever get its developmental needs met, I have access to the unconscious in a way most people find difficult. So I at times have something I can teach or share about this.
I dont know how these various aspects of self interconnect, but obviously behaviour connects with emotions which connect with past experience which connects with relationships, and so on and on. Whatever looped me back to the beginning now took me back to the sentence of You fucking bitch. I had already felt what came next many times before, but each time with some fresh insight. So what came was an experience of connecting with Chris physically, with entering the bliss of genital union. As I did so I went through the portal of her vagina, so to speak, into the world of my own deep self and vast experience – much of which has never been made conscious. Sex is a wonderful way to touch the deepest in one, to re-connect with the most fundamental aspects of oneself, the wonder of the womb, the pain or pleasure of longing and yearning for contact with another being, the opening of the senses, the release of passionate emotions, the loss of oneself in someone else, the absorbing into oneself something of the person one loves in this way, the meeting with life itself.
The penis I feel is – or can be – the same for a woman – a doorway to herself and all these wonders. In a way, although one may as a person help to create a special environment in which ones partner can the more fully discover themselves, I felt one shouldnt take it too personally.
We dive through the doorway into our own psychic world. We can, if we can meet the monsters of our own fears and pain, come to the garden of Eden, Adam and Eve – the life beyond the womb, deep inside beyond words and personal experience, and deep outside in the world.
All the bits were tumbling together at this point. As the baby, prior to the development of personal responses, I am in the Garden of Eden. At that point in my development I am at one with nature. I am biological and I am consciousness. But my consciousness has no differentiation between itself and the creative biological, genetic forces. Therefore I feel at one with life, and with myself – union. – ATC
At another time I went back to that primal birth experience and gathered some more insights and healing.
I explained to France that each time she touched my back there was a ripple through my whole body. I said this because she was moving across different areas too fast. The same one place could produce a prolonged enough response to discover what that part of the body connected with physically and psychologically.
Then I asked France to stay in one place, to keep the pressure on one area. When she did this I began to feel that the particular spot being pressed connected with my throat and my rectum. It has links downwards and upwards. I could also feel a small part of the brain lit into action as it was pressed.
As this was happening I began to feel that nature erected self-awareness because it was so wonderful for life itself to look back at itself and develop further understanding. It had the possibility of working with the other creatures, of being a part of the processes of life on earth. We could work with forces of nature. Instead of that it has become a sort of self idolatry thing. You know, look how great we are. Let’s do this for us! It is like that awful advert — “Because I deserve it!”
I asked France again to stay on one place so I could see if it were possible to explore the connections.
“I can experience this impulse going right into my brain. But it is also going straight down into the cellular level of my being. It seems to be stimulating different responses that my being is capable of. It is calling them into play artificially. I suppose it is like playing notes and causing a piano or musical instrument to respond in certain ways. So in a way it is like exercising my being. I can feel a part of me coming alive in some way. It makes me wonder what this conscious self of mine is; what part it plays in the body. It is lovely to feel it as part of all that is happening in my body at the moment.”
There is something going on in my body that I am barely aware of yet. Areas of sensitivity are touched that connect with past experience. Therefore the touch connects with those areas, with those feelings, with those memories. It goes on and on because those memories connect with habitual responses and the other levels of myself. France was pressing on the lower part of my spine where I think there was not much sensation. But it was bringing about the response in which my body wanted to groan and move. There was no pain attached to this it was simply an impulse arising from the pressure on that area of the spine. I allowed the moaning gasping sound to be expressed. I could feel the memory that was being touched and stimulated linking right back into the womb. A distinct sense arose that my body was just being formed — that I was just forming my body. As I was doing this things happened. I could feel my body as an integrated whole. The moaning struggle went on, deepening. I began to make baby like noises. As this happened I experienced complete helplessness with the overriding feeling of not being able to move. Like a tiny baby that did not yet have the capacity to move its own limbs because of the impact of full gravity. I knew in some way that this was how I felt when I was born. I couldn’t move and was completely inert and dependent. Completely without an ability to do anything for myself. There was just a big hunger.
Now the moans continued and my body jerked into being curled up in a ball. I was gasping and groaning with pain. It was pain I could actually feel in my solar plexus. I am a little child locked into that part of my development and its pain. It is the memory that was deep in my bones. I want. I want. I am just a huge want. That’s all I am, just a bloody great want! I want! I want! I want! I want! I really want!
Then I was talking to that part of me as the adult who was experiencing it, saying that I do love you little wanting being. You are a part of me and I am trying to help you. So I am holding you and trying to feel what you want. It’s awful to know that you have been feeling that want for such a long-time.
I realised as I was experiencing this that this tiny part of my being was being cut off from the umbilical cord before the process of growth in me was ready to survive independently. I was too tiny to be able to feed properly in any other way. So the pain in my solar plexus was caused by an immense hunger, a sense of loss, a feeling of being cut off from the flow of life, from the flow of life that gave me existence. And it was painful. All I knew was a longing to be reconnected to the umbilical cord once more. As I understood this I then imagined this tiny part of me being connected to my own flow of blood so it could be nourished. It desperately needed that sense of connections that feeling of nourishment and life flowing into it. And when I did that, when I imagined that connection, I could feel it relax and the pain of hunger and the fear of dying subsided. Quite quickly I could feel it developing. The impulse to suckle was emerging, but still a long way from being established. (The next day while listening to France I felt twitches in my lips and mouth, and when I allowed them my mouth made the beginnings of a suckling movement. I realised that the tiny part of my being that I contacted was already beginning to develop and its process of growth was going on within me even though I was only barely aware of it.)
Suckling the teat was not enough. After all I did not have the strength or the ability to suckle yet. I needed to be connected. If it was at the breast, then I needed to be connected in the same effortless connection that I had with the umbilical cord. Suckling was not an option. In my actual afterbirth period I had to make enormous efforts to get what I wanted. This has left an indelible mark on the emergence of my personality. I have to make a bloody great effort to get what I wanted, and that has set me up for life. I will not get what I want unless I make a fucking great effort. It felt like a superhuman effort. I was just a tiny bundle of cells not ready for the outside world.
As these experiences were felt and I gained insight into them it was obvious why my sexual orientation had developed in the way it has. I had been cut off prematurely from connection with the umbilical cord and my whole need was to be reconnected. I could feel very distinctly that the level of development I had reached had no ability whatsoever to give of itself. Its whole program was to receive, to be nourished, to draw into itself. And that level of my being was programmed to connect. As the sperm and ovum it had connected to the wall of the uterus. It had developed that connection in a life-giving way. It had maintained that connections via the placenta and the umbilical cord. Its whole existence was about connection and nourishment. Connection and being nourished. As I could see from what I was experiencing, that part of my being had never developed beyond that point. It was only now, through being connected, beginning the process of further development. Yet here was the foundation of my experience of connection with another being. My experience was that I have not grown beyond the point of only being able to receive. So when my body grew and started the connection with another being through sex, the deepest part of me only knew how to connect in the process of receiving. It had not developed the point where it could in any way give. It had not developed anything to give. So my sexual experience was one of being ripped apart, of being vampirised, of being sucked dry of the energy that I needed. As I saw this, as I understood this, I felt that perhaps if that part of me that I have now contacted could grow and develop, there may be a time when connection through sex would lead to a very different experience.
France was touching other parts of my spine and I found that when she touched the back of my head there was an enormous reaction. My whole being jerked away from the contact. Yet I was still a tiny baby in what I was experiencing and so it was a terrible effort to try to avoid that pain. I asked France to touched the area very gently. When she did so my body went into very powerful movements and I feel certain I went through being born when my head and neck were crushed and pressed creating this memory of great sensitivity of the back of my head.
Following that, I felt as if I wanted to die. I didn’t want to breathe. I didn’t want to live. This was all too much to bear. So I just lay quietly for a while wanting to disappear back into whatever I have emerged from.
Gradually this changed and I felt a new impulse coming in, the process of being born again. By experiencing those moments of babyhood, of being newborn, with the struggles and torments that existed for me, it seems to offer the possibility of being born again without that torment, without those pains. It reminded me of the saying, you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven unless you become as a little child.
This experience of responding to pressure on different parts of my spine has led me to consider the possibility of what I give the tentative title to of Responsive Massage. It seems to me that if one understood the principles at work here, and used it with that sort of slowness and understanding of being able to respond, this could be a very helpful technique to enable people to find those deeply buried early memories in the womb and out of the womb.
As I came out of the experience of my premature birth I had a great feeling of love and sympathy for other premature babies. I felt as if, because of the work I have done on digging down into myself and meeting the experience of being premature, I was something of a pathfinder for other people who had been born prematurely. I had a spontaneous image of myself as being like a large ship, big enough to enable many smaller boats to connect a line, a lifeline to me. I felt as if I could give support, or I was giving support in a psychic way, to many other premature beings.
I know many people ask to help the suffering of others. But I feel the best way is to lift ones own suffering by being able feel it in a way that transform it.