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Birth trauma

Hi all!

I have got the suggestion from someone that identifying the birth trauma as a possible explanation for the origin of the fear of life can stand in the way of the actual message.

Has someone else heard something about this? Or is there someone here that sees this as a hindrance in the way that this work is presented?

This has never been a problem for me. Even though I think it is both logical and interesting, it is just a possible explanation. It is not necessary to believe in that. The fear of life though does not need to be believed in. It is obvious that most people live with a terrible relationship with their own lives. And I also think it is obvious by now that the problem is psychological and that looking inward heals the mind and adjusts the relationship to our own life.

But if the birth trauma as a possible explanation for the fear of life is a problem and a hindrance to some, I think we should talk about it.

All the best to everyone,

Niklas

Re: Birth trauma

Niklas

Hi all!

I have got the suggestion from someone that identifying the birth trauma as a possible explanation for the origin of the fear of life can stand in the way of the actual message.

Has someone else heard something about this? Or is there someone here that sees this as a hindrance in the way that this work is presented?

This has never been a problem for me. Even though I think it is both logical and interesting, it is just a possible explanation. It is not necessary to believe in that. The fear of life though does not need to be believed in. It is obvious that most people live with a terrible relationship with their own lives. And I also think it is obvious by now that the problem is psychological and that looking inward heals the mind and adjusts the relationship to our own life.

But if the birth trauma as a possible explanation for the fear of life is a problem and a hindrance to some, I think we should talk about it.

All the best to everyone,

Niklas

This is a good question, Niklas.

The idea that the birth trauma is responsible for much of the psychological illness in humans is not a new idea. It has had significant support in the psychiatric and psychological professions dating back to at least as far as Freud, in 1909. More recent research has identified the birth trauma as the cause of a debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder afflicting the majority of humans.

The paper entitled "The Radical Act of Inward Looking" by Freedman, Goldberg and Reichmann contains several references to the commonality of this insight into the trauma of birth and its wide-ranging consequences. The paper is available as a free PDF download on our website, and anyone interested would be well served by reading it. https://www.justonelook.org/articles.php

Of course, not all births are as traumatic and debilitating as those we believe to cause the fear of life to take hold. And there are many ideas and methodologies in use nowadays specifically designed to minimize that trauma; water birth comes to mind as one example. But the great majority of human births occur without such compassionate means, and the great majority of human beings are afflicted with psychological misery from the day they are born until the day they die. And the movement toward a more nurturing care of the newborn and mitigation of the traumatic effects of birth has come into being precisely because of this recognition of the damage caused by the birth trauma.

But unless you are speaking to someone who brings the subject up on their own during the conversation, there really is no reason at all to mention the birth trauma - even if you do speak of the fear of life as the guiding context of the personal psychological apparatus. And there is really no reason even to mention the fear of life at all.

It is a common understanding that the vast majority of human beings suffer from psychological misery. It is widely known that anxiety and depressive disorders afflict the majority of human beings in our time. And if you can get the person you are speaking with to agree to the widespread presence of psychological misery in human beings everywhere, that's all you need to continue on to presenting the looking as the cure for the misery. It is not even necessary that the person or people you are speaking with agree that they are among the ones afflicted with this misery. Understanding the problem and its cause is not required for the cure.

So, we pretty much agree with you that there is no need to speak of the birth trauma. If you look around our website, you will find that it is not so easy to find mention of the fear of life there, much less of our view that it begins with the birth trauma. You would almost have to be looking for it to find it. It is not in any of the menus, although we mention it in passing on the home page of RiverGanga.org. And there are links to ebooks and blog postings that speak of the fear and its likely origin, but we call little attention to them. And whenever we do make mention of the appearance of the fear of life at or near birth, we make it clear that this is only our opinion and that agreeing or disagreeing with this opinion is of no consequence to the core message of our work, which is nothing more than the inward looking at you, the person.

But I do think that those who have been with us for some time and have come to some understanding of the results of this work would be well served by looking into these matters so that they can deepen and broaden their own understanding of the scope of what we are doing here. A good way to do that is by reading through the material available on our website that lays out our thinking about this matter and provides support for our views. In particular, the ebooks The Fear of Life and the Simple Act of Inward Looking That Snuffs It Out and The Radical Act of Inward Looking, but also my blog posting titled Understanding the Fear of Life, and a number of other postings on my blog.

Thank you Niklas for the work you are doing here. You are a great help to us.

John

Re: Birth trauma

Hi Everyone

I am really glad that Niklas raised this point. I have been tempted to comment on the subject for awhile. My feeling is that the birth trauma argument is a good frame to explain the arising of the fear of life and there is good evidence to suggest that it could be the culprit but there are probably other equally good frames. For all we know, humans are hard wired, prior to birth, towards vigilance as a means of survival with all of the arrows of attention pointed outward and the birth trauma, despite not being the primary precipitant, kind of seals the deal. Who knows? The cause of a vigilant and fearful orientation towards experience could be debated. However, its presence seems indisputable. So, as John has said on occasion, confirming the cause is, in some ways, beside the point. The looking, over time, seems to ameliorate the effects of the FOL which really is the key point in all of this.

As an aside, I think this fear of life frame is so helpful in explaining lots of what we do in life and don't do and avoid etc. It seems like so many of my psycho-spiritual life pursuits were in the service of answering one question, CAN I TRUST THIS? ( With the default assumption being "NO!"). In my own experience as a client/patient in psychotherapy it was about, "Can I discuss and trust giving voice to my story/cognitions?" "Can I name and trust, and express these feelings?" "Can I trust this person or that person or this therapist?" In the world of work it came out as, "Can I trust myself, my competence or my colleague, employer, workplace, career decision?" In the path of spiritual pursuits it came out as, "Can I trust my breath in this moment, my body, this sensation, these thought forms, this teacher/Guru?" And with the looking I experienced a kind of flood of life that rushed in and my mind started to create all kinds of stories trying to make sense of it by casting it in an Advaita/Oneness frame, stories around enlightenment/ self-realization Yada Yada Yada. All desperately in the service of seeing if I could trust the immensity of life hitting me from all sides.

I don't believe that there is a place of being done in all of this. Over time, though, life seems less scary and more and more precious.

Paul

Re: Birth trauma

Niklas

Hi all!

I have got the suggestion from someone that identifying the birth trauma as a possible explanation for the origin of the fear of life can stand in the way of the actual message (...)

Dear Niklas and everyone here,

John read this posting and made comments about it during the Online Open House Meeting on February 12, 2014.

Carla

Re: Birth trauma

"Understanding the problem and its cause is not required for the cure". This is the case. But the cure is.

Re: Birth trauma

Thank you John and Paul!

Niklas

 

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