Touching Your Core Self – Part 2

Core Experience is an everyday part of your life. Without it your heart would not beat, your food would not digest, your immune system would collapse, and the miraculous interplay of transactions and processes that take part within your body and consciousness would cease. Nearly all of us take this for granted. It is fundamental to our existence. But mostly we remain unconscious of any real meeting with our core. Many of us have no sense of the wonder and transformation this experience can bring. Also there are many things about our Core that are often not understood or are misunderstood. Sometimes these factors are simply overlooked, or not recognised as being deeply important. See: Self-Regulation

One of these concerns the things we decide to do. For instance we can decide to undress and have a bath, but few of us can decide to slow or speed the action of our heart. Many of the vital activities of your being are beyond the control of your will. Because this is such an ordinary part of our life we may not see, or have thought out, what the possibilities of this are. But if we continue a little further an extraordinary aspect of the Core begins to become clear.

During waking life you may not give much attention to the Core activities going on in and around you. That is normal because those activities take care of themselves. Or at least, they do in a general way. But many of the things we do, and many of the ways we think and feel can interfere with the harmonious working of the Core. We know for instance that continued stress, hateful thoughts or guilt can contribute towards illness. We know that alcohol is a poison that the body has to use resources to deal with. Likewise we know that tobacco and junk food are bad for our health. Nevertheless many of us still bombard our body with those things, and thereby call upon the processes put in action by our Core to deal with them.
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That type of lifestyle is often seen as acceptable because within our culture we are raised to look upon the functions of our body as a sort of automatic and insentient machine. We may accept this despite the fact that we as a person are the focused awareness and sensitiveness of life in the body.

If we branch off from this direction briefly we might be able to see how ridiculous that view is. We can do this by looking at another common experience – sleep.

During sleep all, or nearly all your conscious activities, the things you decide or will to do, fall away. In fact you cannot fall under the spell of sleep unless you surrender your conscious will. This surrender of self, of conscious will, is usually done without any real awareness. It is a habit, a pattern that enables us to drop into the extraordinary world of sleep. If you have difficulty surrendering your will; if you cannot let go of the preoccupations of your conscious self, then you cannot allow the healing process of sleep.

While you sleep the activities of your Core are hardly interfered with. But there is still some interference or resistance to the activity of the Core. The psychiatrist Freud pointed out that people who feel shame or guilt about sex do not dream directly about it even while asleep. Instead they symbolise it to avoid their feelings of guilt. To express this in a slightly different way, Freud was saying that the process of dreams was trying to release sexual feelings, but the conscious self was resisting the action through guilt or shame.

That is an example of two wills working against each other. In other words the conscious will opposes the Core will. This is an important point so I will reiterate it. You have two levels of will. You have a conscious will and you have a will arising from your Core. So at times your core will may be opposed by what you as a person wish for, fear, feel or decide to do.

This is so important, so much at the root of much of our human experience that I am going to take time to unfold the meaning of it. And I do this because much of the suffering we experience during our life comes about because of the conflict between the conscious personality and the Core.

First of all let us look at some of the things that have been learned about core activity during the last century. Many of the things, such as the general functioning of your body and the processes of the immune system are now understood by many of us in some degree. As already said, because our culture tends to lead us to a view of the body as being almost a dumb brute, we may look upon those processes as being interesting but with the thought, “What has that got to do with me?” The “me” in this case refers to what is usually called one’s ego, personality, or conscious self. The attitude once again shows how little connection is felt between “oneself” and one’s core processes. But there is a core activity which intrigues many of us. It is the process of dreaming with its surrounding and often strange phenomena such as sleep paralysis. (See Sleep Paralysis).
Dream Deprivation

Dreams only occur when your ego, your conscious self, is surrendered in sleep. While you dream you are in a completely different state of being physically and mentally than when you are awake. For a start, all your voluntary muscles are paralysed during dreaming. This is why when you try to run or move in some dreams, you feel as if you are made of lead. Some people begin to wake at this point and are terrified because they cannot move. This is called sleep paralysis. In fact there is no problem, nothing to be afraid of. It is simply another example of how our poor vulnerable conscious self has little or no understanding of what the Core does and wishes to do.

A number of experiments were made under test conditions of preventing people from dreaming. This was accomplished easily because when a person dreams their eyes undergo rapid movements. So each time the sleeping person exhibited rapid eye movements (REM) they were woken to prevent the dream from continuing. The results of experimenting with dream deprivation generally resulted in the person quickly exhibiting a confused state of mind and developing psychotic symptoms – that is, severe mental delusions.

During other experiments Allan Rechtschaffen and his co-workers in Chicago convincingly demonstrated that sleep loss could be fatal. Sleep-deprived rats failed to regulate their energy and literally consumed themselves metabolically. In experiments during which people were deprived of dreaming but not sleeping – that is they were allowed to sleep but not dream, and were woken each time they started to dream and then allowed to go to sleep again – they eventually have to be allowed to dream because they started hallucinating while awake and the urge to dream was imperative. So it is difficult to judge whether the rats died through lack of sleep or from lack of dreaming. But it seems likely that the sleep loss is less important than the loss of dreaming.
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These experiments are a classic example of the conflict between conscious will or decision, and the will or purposiveness of the Core. As is suggested, the conflict can end in death. But what is more important is that a lesser degree of conflict can end in mental instability, illness, depression, a sense of disconnection from those around us, and in feelings of meaninglessness.

However, there is yet another aspect of dreaming that further illustrates the relationship between ego and Core. The fact of rapid eye movement during dreaming is fairly well known. What is less known is that during a dream whatever action or movements, sounds or postures we take up in a dream, are sent out by the brain as signals to the muscles in the body. An area of the brain, the pons, blocks the signals to the muscles, otherwise we would be walking, running, making love, in fact performing all the actions we are in a dream. If you have watched a dog dreaming you can in fact see the tiny movements breaking through to their legs. In animals in which the pons has been damaged the animal actually runs, hunts, and acts out completely what it is dreaming. See Eugene Aserinsky.

Your core processes have not only overseen the whole progression of growth and maturity from conception onwards; they not only regulate the organs and functions of your body, your Core can also express as dramatic movement, speech, lovemaking, and storytelling – after all, animals do not have a conscious self to direct their activities. In fact, every aspect of dreaming from prediction, the creation of plots with beginning middle and end, the development of a full surround virtual reality, is part of the potential of your Core. It can condense your experience and present it has a summary and meaning of your life. It can scan the multitude of impressions you collect during your daily life and place them together as a profound perception of the underlying mystery of life. It can confront you with your own avoided pains and fears. It can attempt to heal and mature your personality, full as it may be with its own beliefs and opinions, its directions and conflicts. And all of these amazing possibilities can be worked with, can emerge more fully into consciousness, as we learn to open to the Core and recognise how and why it communicates with us.

Touching Your Core Self – Part 3

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