Psychological Vomiting

Psychological Vomiting – Self Regulation

Vomiting takes place because we have an inbuilt defence system that does its best when our body is attacked or injured to deal with, repair or balance what caused the injury. The process is called homeostasis – meaning any self-regulating process by which biological systems tend to maintain stability while adjusting to conditions that are optimal for survival. Or, if we put something harmful in us the process sicks it out again.

But textbooks seldom mention that the process is also active psychologically and is often called self-regulation. Jung, Hadfield, and people like Caldwell and Wilhelm Reich, have often written about self-regulation active in the mind and emotions.  Hadfield in his book writes, “Dreams are compensatory or ‘self-regulatory’. Hadfield says of this, “There is in the psyche an automatic movement toward readjustment, towards an equilibrium, toward a restoration of the balance of our personality. This automatic adaptation of the organism is one of the main functions of the dream as indeed it is of bodily functions and of the personality as a whole. This idea need not cause us much concern for this automatic self-regulating process is a well-known phenomenon in Physics and Physiology. The function of compensation which Jung has emphasised appears to be one of the means by which this automatic adaptation takes place, for the expression of repressed tendencies has the effect of getting rid of conflict in the personality. For the time being, it is true, the release may make the conflict more acute as the repressed emotions emerge, and we have violent dreams from which we wake with a start. But by this means, the balance of our personality is restored.”  See Self-regulation

Nightmares are an excellent example of Psychological Vomiting. for dreams are a process of self-regulation, and they push traumatic experiences that have caused us great emotional disturbance into our awareness as nightmares. But because we have an enormous tendency to pull away from pain we refuse to feel the fear or pain and so repress the nightmare.

Because if the self-regulatory processes of your being ceased their action you would be dead in a very short time. Even a brisk walk causes such enormous changes in the body it would kill you without the action of self-regulation. The production of lactic acid, unchecked, would destroy the system. Also, the drop in blood sugar, unless balanced by the release of glucose from the storage in tissues and liver, would result in collapse. The level after level of safety factors built into our system are nothing short of incredible.

Because Terry explored this dream with me, the nightmare depicts fear he experienced while a child during the war.

Example: ‘A THING is marauding around the rather bleak, dark house I am in with a small boy. To avoid it I lock myself in a room with the boy. The THING finds the room and tries to break the door down. I frantically try to hold it closed with my hands and one foot pressed against it, my back against a wall for leverage. It was a terrible struggle and I woke myself by screaming.’ Terry F.

When Terry allowed the sense of fear to arise in him while awake, he felt as he did when a child – the boy in the dream – during the bombing of the second world war. Understanding his fears he was able to avoid their usual paralysing influence.

 In the feature Self-Regulation, Richet says that instability is the necessary condition for true stability and consider how this works in the realm of the personality, we have some idea of psychological as well as physiological homeostasis. In a very simplistic sense if we are overcome by fear and feel unable to move, we will remain paralysed unless we are capable of releasing the trauma behind the fear. If our psyche is not ‘unstable’ or mobile enough, this compensatory shift cannot take place. These shifts, between the dynamic opposites of our nature — tension and relaxation; pain and pleasure; spontaneity and control, are vital for our healthy psychological survival. Factors preventing such mobility are causes for illness and even death. Locked feelings of guilt, shock or stress are recognised as productive of major illness. So, part of the healthy homeostatic action is to actually be ‘mobile’ enough to deeply grieve or release emotion, instead of being rigidly controlled or coping. The ‘control’ and the ‘out of control’ balance each other. If we are so controlled that we become ill through suppressed anger or grief, we are less in control of our life and wellbeing than someone who can let themselves cry uncontrollably for a while.

Also while we sleep our conscious self is largely or totally unconscious, and while we dream our voluntary muscles are paralysed – therefore another will or motivating force moves our body. So we have a Conscious Will, and what I will call a Life Will. The first one we have experience of as we can move our arm or speak in everyday activities; but the second will is in full operation when we sleep and in fact runs all our important life processes like heart beat, digestion and also dreams.

Vomiting physically or emotionally takes hold of your control and the action is spontaneous. The ability to really let go may need to be learned when it applies to vomiting up traumatic experiences and painful emotions. I find it helps if we create something of this feeling consciously, holding our body, our emotions, our sexuality, mind and memories as if they were keys upon which the inner life process can play. In a sense we are seeking to create a condition similar to sleep. As we fall asleep, we let go of our control over what we think, what we do with our body, and what we fantasy. Our ‘I’, our decision-making self has relaxed and left the stage free for the life process to create its realisations.  As a culture we are trained to repress anything painful. When we practice as a group, I have called the process Self-Regulation or LifeStream. See Opening to Life

I witnessed a woman who had just learnt to be open to the life in her relive a moment of her life seventeen years previously. She told me that she remembered she had just given birth to her baby and had agreed to have it adopted, but when it was taken from her she was overcome with emotion. On returning home her neighbour told her it wasn’t good to cry, and she should stop. She did so and seventeen years later she was able to release and find healing from that withheld agony.

Here is a man’s description of his psychological vomiting in LifeStream and his agony of being left in an orphanage.

“It began with a knotted feeling in stomach, went inside myself and found a lump that I had kept deep within that no one could touch or ever has done. I spilt the lump and there appeared two halves of a walnut with a picture of my mother and father in each half as they were when I was a child. As I looked the two halves crumpled into dust. This was the secret I have carried since childhood, that I had parents, unlike the other children in the orphanage, yet the truth was I too was left behind in the orphanage by my parents. The emotions really came to the surface and I really cried. After this wave passed, I was left in a very passive state. I then went into the telephone box that I had dreamt of, and tried to make the call to reconnect, but again another shock, there was nobody to connect with, again the realisation that I was an orphan. Another great wave of emotion tore me apart. I then turned toward the dogs – also in the dream – as they came at me, I began to feel the sickness that I have always experienced in sessions but I just shrugged and let the feeling wash over me. It felt like I have always ended up in hell by that route, and I realised afterwards that hell is hell and will never be anything else.

I felt that there was something deeper and so I kept to a centre line, again there was no feeling and so I turned toward the god dream that I had when Rob was here. The look of total love for me in those eyes gave me the strength to trust my own process. I then went into fantasy, God holding my hand and picking up all the people and events in my life and placing them all together on a stone altar, which he then placed me upon and told me to surrender and allow myself to die. This I did and images of great waterfalls, and molten lava flows filled my being. Then the crisis broke through, and there I was in the kids’ home as my father was leaving. I saw myself, or I should say my being go out to him. I felt that if I loved him, he wouldn’t leave us. I then saw that I was already bonded to my mother and in that moment of transference there was guilt and I was caught in the middle, then he left creating a schism in which was left in my spine with a personality on either side.

Schizophrenia is the word to that covers this state about: Schizophrenia a mental disease marked by a breakdown in the relation between thoughts, feelings, and actions, frequently accompanied delusions and retreat from social life. I then felt what I would call the primal scream emerge from my being and then I was through. I then saw the dogs as my anxieties that have taken up two thirds of my being constantly tearing me apart, also saw that as a kid I didn’t have enough information to redirect the energy elsewhere, but now I had taken a step beyond it.”

All the above is a modern look at self regulation, but the inner function has been known throughout the ages under different names. For example the most ancient of practices of SR –self regulation – are to be found in tribal religious practices where the non rational spill into the rational. “Colonial attitudes toward Africa have spilled over even into anthropological studies and left a legacy that often characterises the people as intellectually lazy and culturally impoverished. It is easy in the absence of indigenous historical literature to come to such conclusions. But whenever a study goes beyond the customary two years in “the field” necessary to justify a doctoral thesis, the results have been surprising. Unusually respectful and devoted studies made by several French scholars on the Bambara and Dogon people of West Africa, for instance, continue to reveal the presence of a concept of the universe that is equal in complexity and profundity to the systems of Pythagoras or Plotinus, Aquinas, Spinoza, or Bergson while owing nothing to them.

Nearer our own times are the ancient practices named the Indian Shaktipat; then there is the Tibetan Masters of the Buddhist secret teachings who say that the truth learned from another is of no value, and that the only truth which is living and effective, which is of value, is the truth which we ourselves discover. Its name is lhag thong – it means to see “more”, to see “beyond”, it is knowledge not learned but experienced as arising from within. They say that this Liberation is achieved by the practice of non-activity, It has nothing in common with the quietism of certain Christian or oriental mystics. Ought one to believe that it consists in inertia and that the disciples of the Masters who honour it are exhorted to abstain from doing anything whatever? Certainly not. In the first place it is impossible for a living being to do nothing. To exist is, in itself, a kind of activity. The doctrine of non-action does not in any way aim at those actions which are habitual in life such as eating, sleeping, walking, speaking, reading, studying, etc. What then is this activity from which one ought to abstain? It is the disordered activity of the mind which, unceasingly, devotes itself to the work of a builder erecting ideas, creating an imaginary world in which it shuts itself like a chrysalis in its cocoon.

Even nearer our own times is Franz Anton Mesmer.  He found that simply by stroking or touching the patient along the line of the nerves, the muscles would begin to twitch. This twitching, he said, should not cause alarm, even if it led, as it usually did, to an intensification of the patient’s symptoms or even convulsive movements. Throughout these releases, noisy and explosive though they were, he saw how patients could experience a healing of the distressing symptoms.

Prior to this time these convulsive releases were considered to be the work of devils or spirits. This attitude arose out of Christian belief, although Jesus and the disciples clearly used the same technique. In the New Testament are descriptions of people cured by these convulsive releases. Mesmer is a transforming link with our own times because his approach to these phenomena was an experimental and evaluative one. But as was usually the case he was when SR was released he was so badly criticised and the original method was lost and became hypnotism.

Carl Jung who was someone who obviously allowed, experienced and wrote about SR, says in his commentary on The Tibetan Book of The Great Liberation, “If we snatch these things directly from the East, we have merely indulged our Western acquisitiveness, confirming yet again that ‘everything good is outside’ whence it has to be fetched and pumped into our barren souls. It seems to me we have really learned something from the East when we understand that the psyche contains riches enough without having to be primed from outside, and when we feel capable of evolving out of ourselves with or without divine grace. . . We must get at the Eastern values from within and not from without, seeking them in ourselves, in the unconscious. Because of these resis­tances we doubt the very thing that seems so obvious to the East, namely, the SELF LIBERATING POWER OF THE INTROVERTED MIND. This aspect of the mind is practically unknown to the West, though it forms the most important component of the unconscious.”

RESISTANCES – yes, that is a word at the root of the enormous individual and social repression of anything that comes from anything but rational thinking and is stamped out and even feared. But letting go of ones mind, which involves itself in the building and erecting of ideas, and thereby creates an imaginary world in which it shuts itself like a chrysalis in its cocoon.

Why would I want to offer you this without asking you for money?

After all, it took me years of effort to discover the key, and bloody heartbreak sometimes to enter that magic world. Well, to start, the most fundamental of life forms, bacteria even share information with each other? They share what they have learned even with species of bacteria that are different. They give each other building blocks of what they have learned. If they have learned how to deal with a substance that is poisonous to them, then they will pass that information on to other bacteria. They give what they have learned. That is so fundamental to life even bacteria do it, and they do it without asking for payment.

Also, part of my travels took me under the surface of the world. I went into that strange place of the spirit where all things connect. I saw that my life is interwoven with yours in ways that are beyond understanding. I know that if even one or two of you make that journey and find transformation, my life will be the richer, and the world will have more light and love.

Who Am I?

I am a crazy old guy who fell in love with Life – that is Life, not living, which can at times be a trial. I was wounded on the way through youth, but who hasn’t been wounded, many through just being themselves. It takes a long time to really face yourself and admit your own tragedy. But I guess we are all wounded through being born in today’s world. I have licked my own wounds and have tried to lick some of yours. Also, I dared to search for answers, and I have written about the few I have found here on this site, so I encourage you to dare walking the same path. See Features Found on Site

In 1972 I experienced – after a long search – a breakthrough to a new dimension of experience. It healed me of wounds, transformed who I was, and so of course I wanted to share it with everybody. I have done that without any charge in the online features in Life’s Little Secrets – Opening to Life and Dimensions of Human ExperienceGoing BeyondGreat Dreams That Guide Us

What Resulted From Taking This Path

It isn’t a new path, for many, but many have worn a clear path through human troubles. They dare to take it. It means going beyond what you already know, so needs some daring, or maybe desperation. It needs your creativity, for creativity tears the old to pieces and builds a new form. Or it leaps beyond what you know and with brilliance creates and finds the new.

For me I no longer suffer from terrible emotions or suicidal urges. My life is a long experience of peace without constant ups and downs. I seem to still have a creative urge and still work. But here is a descrption by a woman the first time she dared to let go.

“Tony explained to us about letting whatever came, come. I did not understand too well, but lay down with the others and he came to each of us briefly and moved our arms, and left us lying (I left their arms in a position when the arms hit a tension). Perhaps two minutes passed when I felt a distinct twitching around my brow, which was repeated, and then it spread down my face, a downward pressing movement. My face was involved then in a big muscular movement, pressing down, seeming to flatten the face, and then spread down the body towards the feet. Gradually my whole body became involved in big waves of pressing movement which flowed down, lifting and tossing my legs, so that my heels were banging on the floor. Wave succeeded wave. I did as he said, and let it happen, using the skills to relax which I had learnt. I wasn’t afraid, although I couldn’t imagine what was happening to me. Instead I felt happy and elated, warmed through. I knew I had found something of great significance, but it was many months before I could put words to it. It remained an intriguing mystery, like a dropping away of chains, or a touching of promise, while I passed through the pain of divorce. I feel that my experience that day released considerable energy. It did not break my marriage – that would have happened anyway. But I received strength which I used for my needs at that time. Months later it came to me with the force of revelation, that I had been born that day.”

So Here’s The Deal

You are the survivors of countless generations of living creatures, going back to the beginning of life on this earth – or maybe even longer. You are the end product of an immense creative act – the Big Bang.

 

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