Inspired by Ben's forum post on Baggage and some stuff I've been wanting to say for quite some time now, I've found some time to put down a few words. I have touched on the subject of what I call Cellular Memory, which is related to what Eckhart Tolle' calls 'The Pain Body', in quite a few other articles, but I need to say more.
As we journey through life beginning as an infant we have experiences and find ways of acting that bring us the attention we need and want. These experiences and learned behaviours build up and reinforce themselves as we make associations based on our perceptions and prior beliefs and experiences.
As we mature, these cellular memories and beliefs about life can influence our actions in negative and harmful ways. If we can become aware of these, we see them as our baggage, and only then can we do anything about changing them. Without the conscious awareness of them, there is nothing we can do accept become a victim of them. Even when we do become aware of them it takes a great deal of constant and diligent awareness and monitoring of our reactions to change them.
This is like a scratched record, where our needle of consciousness keeps wanting to follow the scratch and not play the true music. If we are not aware of how the music should sound we get used to and accept the clicks and repetitions as music. If we are aware of how the true music sounds or if someone else holds the needle in the correct grooves so we get to hear or see the music of the spheres, we now have the awareness. The next step is to consciously hold the needle in the correct groove every time our thinking and reactions come to the scratch. It can take a long time and a lot of conscious effort to eventually have the needle play the true music without too much added effort, however it is most likely that there will still be the odd click as the needle skips over the old scratch.
Sometimes experiences are unconsciously stored in our cellular memory. For example if one is travelling in a car where our parents are arguing (an unpleasant experience) the eye cells may store the image of a hot air balloon outside and one's unconscious association may store a relationship between hot air balloons and unpleasant experiences. From that time onwards we will have a bad feeling about hot air balloons without any factual reasons, and we won't know why.
With all these beliefs, baggage, and cellular memories affecting the way we think, behave and react to certain stimuli in our environment, life can sometimes feel like we are in Hell and at other times like we are in Heaven. Neither of these are actually good or bad, they are just our perceptions of reality; as I stated it the article 'Duality and the Order of Life and Energy', all things are actually both.
One of the mainstream modalities that can make a shift in the consciousness and thus remedy the destructive effects of such cellular memories, is hypnosis. In hypnosis the cellular memories can have the light of reality shone onto them so that there is awareness. Also it can actually change the cellular memories, thus totally changing our beliefs, behaviours, and actual memories of any given experiences. However there is a problem also with hypnosis, and that is that the cellular memories are so susceptible to change in this altered state of consciousness that if any other associations are made with any sound, smell, or words spoken etc. that the hypnotist is unaware of, then a change in cellular memory may be made worse.
Perhaps here you might like to play the following discussion that Eckhart Tolle' had with Oprah Winfrey regarding the pain body. Well I can't get two players working on the one page, and all the different browsers do different things with them; and that got me a laugh at least. I tried everything I know; even the old QuickTime player won't work now. So much for advancing technology!
To give an example of what I mean, I will use an example of someone with a cellular memory fear of the forest. This may have come about as a result of being bitten by a bull ant while in the forest as a child. Under hypnosis this person would be guided to see the forest as the natural beauty that most of us know it to be; they would be guided through suggestions of things that the hypnotist knows the person would associate with good, positive, and beautiful experiences. However if the hypnotist was unaware that the person had also had an unpleasant experience with a dog and mentioned seeing some happy people in the forest playing with their dog; the person could then make an association between the forest and the unpleasant experience with a dog; it only takes one word for a person in this state of consciousness to have a devastating effect on their psyche.
I have my own experience of this when I was hypnotised once. Just as I was entering what is called the alpha state of consciousness; the state sought for shifts of consciousness and to access the unconscious, the hypnotist mentioned my fingers interlaced in my lap. With that I made an associating with my father's hands and fingers, which I always thought seemed very fat. In fact my father, and myself to a lesser extent, are very stocky, and since my father's hands have always been bigger than mine, the association from that second onward made my fingers feel really fat. This uncomfortable feeling lasted for at least 20 minutes after I left the hypnotist's office. However if I didn't have my actual hands to keep looking at and recognising that they were in fact my normal hands, thus reprogramming my cellular memory to actual reality, I would to this day feel that my hands and fingers were fat.
So you can see what devastation can be accidentally made when there is nothing in the physical world of actual experiences to reprogram consciousness to be in harmony with reality. The alpha state of consciousness, by the way, is also pretty much the same as a meditative state and the state of consciousness that guided meditation uses, so these techniques are equivalent to hypnosis and the practitioner had better be aware of all possible associations of all their audience.
I won't go into a discussion of the possible outcomes of a little girl's unpleasant experience of being smacked by her father becoming distorted under hypnosis; especially where sexual connotations and suggestions are made by the hypnotist.
There is one important fact that needs to be considered when discussing consciousness, and that is the ‘Lock On, Lock Off’ principle. This principle affects every aspect of consciousness, not only what we see as reality, but also what we believe or perceive to be real.
Here is an example of what I mean. For every image of reality there are many possible ways of ‘seeing’, perceiving, or experiencing reality. The pictures below, at first glance usually looks like a cube with a small cube cut out of the corner. But if we close our eyes or blink so as to take it out of consciousness temporally, or turn it up side down, it can be seen to look like a cut-away room with a cube in the corner. Test it out for yourself.
Cube, box, or room?
Which side of this cube is facing you
Which boy is bigger?
There are many other versions of these illusions; some of you may have seen the spinning girl. The point I wish to make is that only one of the possible realities can be seen at any given moment, and that a shift of consciousness is required to let it go and to open up to other possibilities. In other words, when you lock on to one possible belief or reality, you lock off all other possible realities.
In most people’s lives the shift in consciousness only comes when the old belief or view, that is locked onto, becomes such a weak reality that there is little or no harmony between the belief and the actual reality, and the tension or stress becomes so painful and confusing that one is forced to let go and open up; or as Christians call it be reborn. This is also what Joseph Campbell calls the Knock Knock principle or the Twinkle Twinkle principle; you must see his videos 'Mythos I', 'Mythos II' and 'Mythos III'.