Falls from Grace, Introduction — The Radical Rational View of Us and It: “Normal” Truth Is Convenient Truth … and Is Anything But True
“Normal” Truth Is Convenient Truth … and Is Anything But True
Falls from Grace presents a radical theory of spirituality, evolution, child development, stages of life, purpose of life, human nature, and the human species. It is a comprehensive theory, which basically turns everything on its head to find the truth. For its premise is that human ego is a filter to truth and so, for the most part, turns truth into falsehood and vice-versa. Thus truth outside of ego, absolute truth—what exists when ego needs are filtered out—often ends up being the opposite of what humans’ egos have propounded as self-evident. Seemingly unimpeachable, these “normal” truths are only convenient truth, in actuality. They are meant to placate and prop up the human ego and have nothing to do with truth outside of that psychological need.
Still, while Falls from Grace is a radical view, it is in line with mystical beliefs, platonic thought, and even much of primitive or primal-like views of the world and Nature.
Falls from Grace — Description and Overview
This work brings the new information of pre- and perinatal psychology to bear upon basic spiritual and philosophical constructs regarding the nature of consciousness, child development, personal growth, and transpersonal “evolution.”
A Devolutional Model of Consciousness and Development
It utilizes the results of the phenomenon of re-experience of events surrounding and preceding one’s birth, as well as the more empirically rooted findings concerning our origins and our earliest experiences, into a coherent structure for understanding their implications. This structure is a devolutional model, meaning that the normal process of development is seen as a regression from or “forgetting” of prior, more aware states.
After an initial overview of the field of prenatal and perinatal psychology, that review of the current understanding and findings in this area is built upon in making a case for the legitimacy of prenatal spirituality. Prenatal spirituality means basically two things: (1) that regression to pre- and perinatal states represents a spiritual progression and a proximity to and increased access of spiritual states and awareness; and (2) that these earliest events themselves, as they originally occurred, were characterized by a similar heightened spiritual proximity and awareness.
Making this case is important for two reasons: For one, there is a strong tradition in the field of re-experience that reduces all spirituality and spiritual experiences to early traumas and neurosis. This is the dominant attitude in psychoanalysis, articulated initially by Freud. However it has been carried and promulgated forcefully into the field of re-experience by Arthur Janov — one of the field’s leading theorists. This idea that all spirituality is derivative of underlying primal pain, as Janov contends, is addressed and disputed here.
Second, just as spirituality and spiritual experience are denigrated in the light of primal experience by Arthur Janov, on the flip side of this Ken Wilber denigrates primal and prenatal experience in the light of spiritual experience. Wilber — the dominant theoretician in the field of transpersonal psychology — claims that preverbal states, like primal and prenatal re-experience, are the opposite of transverbal states — what he considers to be true spiritual experience. I focus on and dispute this aspect of Wilber’s thinking in making the case for prenatal spirituality in Chapter Two, but also throughout this work. That prenatal states are identical to, akin to, or at least leading to transpersonal states and that Ken Wilber has made a major mistake in contending the contrary is a central theme of this book.
Thus, the idea, presented initially — that there exists prenatal and cellular consciousness as well as an inherent spirituality or proximity to the numinous and transpersonal, if not also divinity, at these levels of development — is a crucial idea in all that follows. This case is made, in Chapter Two, on the basis of the available evidence in relevant fields and in particular from the viewpoint of findings in primal therapy.
Where Primal Re-Experience and Transpersonal Experience Meet
What will follow this analysis of the case for prenatal spirituality are examples of it from my own re-experience through the modality of holotropic breathwork — a technique of transpersonal access and reliving developed by Stanislav and Christina Grof. These pages should be seen as providing a sample of the sorts of experiences, insights, and perspectives that can occur through the phenomenon of re-experience. Though no sample could possibly represent the essence, expanse, or necessary outline of this highly individual and vastly diverse level of experience, my own experiences demonstrate clearly the overlap between the personal and transpersonal — between the biographical/biological and the spiritual/numinous — that characterizes this arena of experience.
“Normal” “Development” Is Devolutional for It Is About Gradual Separation from Divinity
Following immediately afterwards, are the chapters that present the ontogenetic model of consciousness and devolutional — meaning the opposite of evolution — development based on such inquiry. It is the heart of the vision of this book. This work, titled “Falls From Grace,” details a process of removal from divinity or a higher state during the process of coming into this world as a series of stages, four stages, in fact. These stages center on the events of conception, birth, the primal scene (around age four or five), and puberty or the identity stage. Astonishingly, they happen to correspond to Wilber’s (1977) levels of consciousness in his “spectrum of consciousness.”
Implications of This Are for an Overthrow of the Usual Ideas of Child Development, Parenting, Personal Growth, Psychotherapy, and Spiritual Evolution
Finally, what will follow is a presentation of the implications of this model for child development and parenting, for psychotherapy and personal growth, and for spiritual evolution and higher consciousness. This part carries forward some of the themes presented thus far to their logical conclusions in terms of their effects on current models and thinking and on society and culture. The earliest indications are that the implications from including the prenatal and primal perspective are vast. For indeed this new perspective, this new information seems to call for an overthrow, or at least a reversal, of many of the aspects of the dominant paradigms in parenting, child development, psychotherapy, and spiritual growth.
A Radical New Vision — Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology
So, now we look at an overview of the field of pre- and perinatal psychology. The findings from this new field of science make possible this radical new vision into ourselves, our place in the Universe, the purposes of our lives, and the directions along which our efforts to better ourselves might most fruitfully be aligned.
Continue with Everything You “Know” About Life You Learned as a Fetus: Foundations of Myth and Mind and my Personal Involvement with This Research into Our Actual “Human Nature”
Return to Four Falls from Grace … And Back Again — Becoming Human Is Love’s Supreme Act of Recklessness: Experience Is Divinity, Part Sixteen — Existence Is Fun
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