coppia cerca uomo Livorno I’d like to take this idea of the separation between the left and right brain (ego and soul) one step further by bringing in the mystical ideas of creation. On the first day of creation God created earth out of the light and dark properties in the spiritual world. On the second day of creation God created the firmament separating heaven from earth. This firmament is the gulf between time and eternity.
donna cerca uomo Trieste A similar separation is seen in the brains of all vertebrate animals. The left brain (ego) is concerned with time and the right brain (soul) is concerned with eternity. When Jesus said, The kingdom of heaven is within, he meant it literally.
The right brain gives us access to heaven through meditation and active imagination. As ego is the center of our personality in the world, soul is the center of our identity in heaven. An aphorism of the new age movement — we are all connected and one — tends to make more sense when we understand that our soul is a spark from the lights of heaven, or what Jungians would call Anima Mundi, the World Soul.
The dichotomy between time and eternity, between man and God, between earth and heaven, manyness and oneness is embedded in our bilobed brains. With this said so many spiritual concepts begin to settle into a new light. The light of both and. We are both animal and spirit. We are both on earth and in heaven. We are both dual and nondual.
This post attempts to explain the one-sided error existing in modern psychology, i.e., Psychoanalysis, Ego Psychology, Developmental Psychology, Object/Relations Theory, Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, Transpersonal Theory, and Integral Theory, etc.; all schools of psychology that do not recognize the eternal soul in addition to ego exist in a materialistic one-sidedness. Jung recognized this one-sided error when he was working with Freud. Their difference in theories drove Jung and Freud to break their ties. Modern psychology finds its roots, if it ever researched its lineage, in Freud’s theories while Jung’s theories were deemed too mystical for science. This may be true about Jung’s work but to slice our psyche’s in half is a travesty.
We are both material and spiritual beings. We are influenced by instincts (Freud) and archetypes (Jung). We are both individual (ego) and collective (soul) beings. By nature the physical world is dual (dark and light, good and bad, etc.) and the spiritual world is nondual; thus we exist in duality and the nondual. Our egos are concerned with surviving in the physical world; our souls are concerned with redemption in the mystical world. Ken Wilber (Integral Theory) distinguishes these two selves by calling one the inner self (soul) and the other the outer self (ego). Transpersonal theorists have wrongly stacked these selves on top of each other in a hierarchy of development: pre-personal, personal, and transpersonal. I posit they stand side-by-side with one foot in the space-time world (manifest) and the other foot in the eternal world (unmanifest).
In previous posts I have connected the ego to the left-brain and the soul to the right-brain but that is not completely accurate. It would be more accurate to discuss the connections our brain has to our heart. Most people are familiar with the triune brain: reptilian (brain stem), mammalian (limbic/emotional-cognitive), and primate (neocortex/verbal-intellectual). In the last 40 years or so in brain research a fourth part of our brain, called the prefrontal cortex, has been identified. This part is responsible for the synthesis and integration of the lower brain systems; it is the executive center of the brain. But that is not the end of the brain’s development journey. There is a fifth developmental stage involving the heart. About 60-65 percent of the heart is made up of neurons. The heart’s neurons connect with the limbic system, the emotional brain, which has a direct connection with the right hemisphere of the brain. This hemisphere is responsible for dreaming, intuition, and creativity, the activities often attributed to soul.
The heart cells are unique in that they produce strong electromagnetic signals extending as far as twelve to fifteen feet from the body in the shape of a torus. The heart acts as an axis to this torus. (See Figure.) “This torus function is apparently holographic, meaning that any point within the torus contains the information of the whole field” (Pearce, 2002, p. 58). The torus is our connection to the eternal realm. In fact, the earth, the solar system, the galaxy and perhaps even the universe is formed in the shape of a torus. “Some scientists conjecture that all energy systems from the atomic to the universal level are toroid in form. This leads to the possibility that there is only one universal torus encompassing an infinite number of interacting, holographic tori within its spectrum” (p. 59). The universal torus encompasses the solar system which encompasses the earth which encompasses the human (mind and heart).
In the end, I am not faulting modern psychology for making this split. They have clung to the brain as the biological correlate to psyche; and traditionally religion held sway over the soul and everything spiritual. In its effort to overcome the oppression of the Church science claimed matter as its playground leaving the spiritual for the Church. Needless to say, the Church has utterly failed caring for the soul. The time has come for us to expand our understanding of our psyches to include the toroid soul which ironically houses the time-space bound ego self.
Main Source for this post is Joseph Chilton Pearce’s (2002) The Biology of Transcendence.
I can’t tell you how many times people tell me, “I’m lazy;” and I never agree with them. Not because the evidence shows the contrary, but because I know there is a deeper reason for their inaction. There is wisdom in inertia. The question is – why has this individual’s psychic energy gone underground, why has it sunk into the unconscious? I don’t believe it is a choice to be active or not, one needs inner motivation to truly act. The question is – why has this individual’s light of awareness gone out leaving them victimized by their own unconscious impulses? It’s like they are half awake and half asleep simultaneously unable to partake in life.
Inertia has a biological purpose for all animals: to replenish one’s power. All warm-blooded animals require large amounts of sleep to replenish. In some animals, inertia is a self-protective move, i.e. like rabbits freezing and playing dead in the presence of a predator. But for humanity quiescence is not an appropriate response to life, nor is it an appropriate defense mechanism. The question is – what is it defending against?
In Christian theology sloth is one of the seven deadly sins. This moral judgment often causes more damage than we recognize to the poor soul sunk in inertia, for nothing saps one’s energy than the unfocused feeling of guilt. On the other hand, one could revolt against this moral judgment condoning his laziness as natural and harmless, believing he can rise from it when the time comes. However, that time often passes him by without stirring his soul to action.
Psychologically, sloth represents a loss of psychic energy, of libido. Many times we find some poor soul pulling himself up by the bootstraps moving into some compulsive and useless activity to oppose his slothfulness, unfortunately this move does nothing to free him from his unconscious boundedness. “The inertia cannot be overcome simply by action, slot and restless activity are a pair of opposites that frequently alternate, without producing any improvement in the underlying situation” (Harding, 1947/1963, p. 45). After the individual has exhausted his little won psychic energy he falls back into slothfulness, losing self-esteem each time he swings from sloth to restlessness and back.
There are legitimate reasons for the withdrawal of psychic energy: emotional loss, physical illness, stress and anxiety, and psychological transformation. It is critical to recognize the deeper reason for inertia. For whatever reason when psychic energy is zapped it is not available for consciousness and the person has regressed to a lower level of functioning. When an individual loses a loved one, the loss dims one’s consciousness and they often become depressed. This is a legitimate reaction to loss. When an individual’s body becomes ill, all the energy in their system is needed for recovery which also depletes psychic energy. Stress and anxiety is most known for lowering one’s level of consciousness causing one to act out in very primitive and unconscious ways. Sometimes there is a legitimate reason for the stress and anxiety, but most often there is not. Finally, when a new level of consciousness is on the horizon psyche requires a time of rest allowing it to garner the necessary energy to transcend the present level of ego conscious into a new level of consciousness.
The question remains – what is the meaning of one’s laziness? Is she on the seasaw of rest and restlessness never moving the ball forward? Is she suffering from an unresolved physical illness or emotional loss? Is her psyche preparing for a new birth? Or is she suffering from pathological inertia where no quantum of stimuli will unrest her soul into movement? In the latter case, the person has fallen into the dark mood of depression from which only the most drastic experience can rouse him. Perhaps even the desire for food has disappeared which is nature’s sharpest urge to overcome inertia. Or perhaps this individual has been disappointed in love, then nature’s second urge, sex, to overcome inertia has failed to do its job. Lastly, perhaps this individual is suffering from existential “emptiness.” Either way these people cannot take any adequate part in life.
That psychic energy is not within the privy of consciousness does not mean that it ceases to be; it still exists. A deficiency in psychic energy can mean: 1) it has fallen back into the unconscious; 2) or it never was available to ego consciousness, clinging to the depths of the unconscious. “One of the most important contributions that modern depth psychology has made towards the understanding of life is this principle of equivalence, which postulates that when energy disappears from one psychological manifestation it will reappear in another of equivalent value” (Harding, 1947/1963, p. 52). Psychic energy swimming, as it does, in the sea of unconsciousness often comes back in the form of new symptoms, peculiar dreams, or strange, fleeting fragments of fantasy. These manifestations often “form themselves into a symbolic image that contains the energy lost from consciousness, together with an additional amount of energy whose attracting power was responsible for the original loss” (p. 53). This symbols holds the clue to overcoming the impasse that has formed between consciousness and the unconscious. It only comes when the mind has exhausted its efforts to understanding the impasse.
When life presents us with a new problem, a new chapter of experience for which the old adaptation is inadequate, it is usual to experience a withdrawal of the libido. For one phase of life has come to an end, and that which is needed for the new is not immediately at hand. This withdrawal will be experienced in consciousness as a feeling of emptiness, often of depression, and certainly of inertia, with an overtone of self-rebuke because of what seems like laziness or sloth. (Harding, 1947/1963, p. 57)
This is what psychologists call regression in service of transcendence. Psychic energy sinks into the unconscious conjuring a symbol of transformation for consciousness to unravel.
Under these circumstances it is obviously necessary to accept without self-reproach the withdrawal of the libido from consciousness, and to concentrate one’s attention on the inner scene. This is the only way in which the lost energy can eventually be restored, and in which the capacity to take up the creative task of living can be renewed. (p. 58)
Inspired by Esther Harding’s book Psychic Energy: Its source and its transformation