How do we evolve individually?
There are several models of physical, psychological and mental human evolution. In the end, they are all somewhat similar.
Here, I will be concentrating on the human development that leads to adulthood. Adulthood is a state that ideally synchronizes the physical, epigenetic (sometimes called etheric), emotional and mental planes and lets the individual regulate his basic internal functions to a point where health is the rule, not the exception. Adulthood is the first time a human reaches a state of internal self-regulation with respect to the caretakers that he once has been dependent on, his parents.
This is also a state that allows for truly rational decisions, meaning that we can balance our thoughts with our emotions as well as our own needs with the needs of others.
There are many more possibilities to evolve beyond the self-regulatory state of adulthood, but adulthood is a prerequisite for all evolutionary steps that come after it. I have written about the evolutionary principle of progression through inclusion here.
I find it very important that self-regulation be understood properly. Therefore, I will discuss it at some length here, although I have briefly introduced it here.
Generally, self-regulation corresponds with the ability to exert internal control without being affected by interference from the outside, regardless whether the effect of interference is potentially beneficial or harmful.
Simply said: Self-regulation implies the ability to keep up the function of the whole, no matter what is going on outside. A self-regulating entity neither needs nor is it thrown off by things or people outside of itself. The principle of self-regulation can be applied to organizations, machines and people.
Self-regulation is not autarky. It doesn’t mean that there is no interconnectivity between organizations, machines, or people. What it means is that a wholesome existence is possible without these connections.
I find it important to point out an obvious flaw of the above definitions: it doesn’t account for the fact that nothing will ever be able to do without energy. There will always be a need for for energy, otherwise disintegration or death will occur, as I have described here.
But the concept of self-regulation still makes a lot of sense if we understand it as something more than self-organization, namely the ability to intentionally manage energy without being affected by the external environment. If we look at self-regulation that way, it is very closely related to the concept of autonomy, which I have already discussed here.
From a different perspective, self-regulation can also be expressed as a “formula” in which self-regulation equals intentional energy management minus outside obstacles, which are represented by needs or other threats:
Self-regulation = needs – obstacles
Very few people who are interested in healing or development talk about about self-regulation, which is the basis for self-healing.
What I want to get at is to show you the difference between the “reductionist” and the “functional” way of thinking.
So let’s start with the premise that something in the organism must maintain the order of all bodily functions. In the best case this is you, which is where the problems start – but I am getting ahead of myself.
Our conventional medicine usually thinks reductionistically, while naturopathy thinks wholistically (traditional naturopathy) and in modern days also functionally (Functional Medicine).
From the functionalists’ point of view, all health disorders can be explained by the loss of a functional unit in the organism, while traditional naturopaths have always also assumed that there is one unifying principle that controls the whole body-mind unit.
Reductionists, on the other hand, look for the causes of disease in smaller and smaller components, trying to break down the nature of complex phenomena.
Don’t get me wrong, this reductionist approach also has a lot of advantages! Without it, for example, we would never have come up with the idea of looking for answers in genes.
At the same time, it has been shown that it is important not to lose sight of functions or the unifying principle if you do not want to end up with a pile of broken pieces of information, through which you are no longer able to recognize how a healthy body actually works.
But unfortunately, in my opinion, this is exactly a problem of today’s conventional medical treatment! In naturopathy, however, body, mind and soul are considered to be one unit. But it is rarely understood that the problem of most people is that their body, their mind and their soul are not (yet) a unit. With naturopaths, there is often a lack of detailed knowledge about the specific biochemical and psychological functions of the human body to know what is what.
In other words: the naturopaths rather know what to do, the orthodox doctors rather know how to do it. But only both perspectives together lead to useful treatment approaches in my experience.
Orthodox medicine has forgotten what it is all about, while naturopaths usually proceed unsystematically.
I find that both treatments too rarely achieve what they should be about. Namely, the ability of the body to maintain or restore its own health. In my experience, symptoms are neither arbitrary nor a lack of medication! The body is basically able to heal itself. But you have to understand how it ticks. Only then can you give the body what it needs to stay and become healthy. This whole process is called self-regulation. Self-regulation is a prerequisite for self-healing, which is a subtopic of self-regulation as a whole.
Everyone knows self-healing from experience. You cut your finger; in a few days the wound is healed. But why does self-healing work with the finger, while chronic fatigue, hormonal complaints and other chronic diseases sometimes do not simply go away?
This is where it starts to get tricky. Self-healing requires the general ability to self-regulate. Self-regulation in turn has many facets. It must equally happen on the physical, emotional, and mental level.
I will now discuss the practical implications of the concept of self-regulation within health and human development.
From a more physical point of view, self-regulation can be equated with so-called homeostasis, which in biology and medicine can be defined as follows:
The “maintenance of an equilibrium of a dynamic system (blood pressure, body temperature, acid-base, water, electrolyte balance, metabolism) through internal self-regulation with the help of control circuits between the hypothalamus, hormone and nervous systems (autoregulation).”
Four conditions must be met for physical homeostasis to occur. In his book “The Wisdom of the Body,” (Cannon, Walter, Norton Company, New York, 1967 ) the godfather of homeostasis research, physician Walter Cannon, writes:
- constancy in an open system, such as our bodies represent, requires mechanisms that act to maintain that constancy – put simply, a good blueprint laid down in our genes as well as a good genetic expression.
- Stable conditions require that any tendency to change is automatically met with factors that resist change – simply put, resources that allow the body to maintain the organism.
- the regulating system that determines the homeostatic state consists of a series of cooperating mechanisms that act simultaneously or sequentially – in simple terms, a hierarchical order.
- homeostasis does not occur randomly, but is the result of an organized self-management – simplified, a unifying principle.
Another way to put this is:
Thus, homeostasis depends on good communication and regulation among all organs and tissues.
But each system must also be organized so that chaos does not arise. Therefore, there is also a hierarchical chain of command in the body to control all tissues and organs that is governed by the self.
So the question is who is in charge at the very top of this chain of command. And thus we come back to you. Do you control your body or does your body control you?
From the perspective of homeostasis, this question is very easy to answer. As soon as even one of the four criteria mentioned above is not or no longer able to make its contribution, the body’s balance breaks down.
Therefore, loss of function and ultimately also health complaints occur as soon as your blueprint breaks down, e.g. due to genetic or epigenetic disorders.
Should you have no more resources to react to life, e.g. because you lack energy, the command hierarchy will not be able to establish order in the body (anymore), e.g. when it turns against the body as in auto-immune disease.
In those cases, unity of the self is not given anymore.
In such a case, the body does not do what it should, but what it wants. In simple terms, we can say that health disorders occur when we are not masters of our own body.
However, if we know how homeostasis works, we will not only know what to do in case of trouble, but also how!
If you are now still wondering what all this has to do with the question why the finger heals, but chronic diseases may not, we have now found the answer.
Every non-healing injury or disease occurs when one of the components of homeostasis is disturbed. It may well be that the body still has enough resources regarding certain tasks, but not regarding more complex tasks. Or imagine that you have a genetic defect that ensures that you can break down alcohol only very slowly or not at all. When you drink, you might have a hangover, but your finger still heals quickly and well because the gene responsible for wound healing is intact.
It is important to notice that there is homeostasis in a broader sense and in a more specific sense. Since self-healing is part of homeostasis, one can say that it is given as long as the finger heals. Or one could say that homeostasis is only really given when everything heals quickly and permanently, such as in the absence of any chronic disease.
Homeostasis means balance, not necessarily perfect balance by definition. I have discussed the concept of balance here before, but let me explain it in some more detail because it is crucial if you want to understand disease or evolution. Homeostasis means that the body will do the best it can to react to a threat to its function by returning the body into stable conditions. What the body can do to stabilize conditions depends on its energy reserves. Therefore, good energy reserves allow the body to return to an optimal balance, whereas low energy reserves will allow the body to return to the best balance possible. Again, I am coming back to the survival mode that I previously discussed here. The return to optimal balance is what we call physiology, whereas the best balance possible is what we know as pathophysiology (that some people call pathology). In pathophysiology, the body is sacrificing some function it deems unimportant or less important for immediate survival in order to upkeep crucial functions under a suboptimal energy supply. Hence, if you are interested in health or evolution, you need to understand what allows the body to upkeep or to return to optimal homeostasis of physiology.
And that is not only an energy problem, it is also a question whether all the other requirements of homeostasis are met, namely the order in the body, the existence of a unifying principle (self) and the existence of a good building plan or blueprint. It turned out that there were obstacles to all these requirements that needed to be explored and tackled.
There is order in the bodily functions if every tissue and organ know what they need to do. Therefore, the organs in the body are organized in a hierarchical order:
This particular order of self-organization requires the proper physical and emotional maturation of all organs. In a healthy individual, this development occurs in the following way:
From childhood to adulthood, humans pass through an evolutionary process called Ontogenesis. Ontogenesis is the evolution of an individual within a life-span.
The order of the organs is organized the way it is according to their importance for immediate survival. The nervous system and the psyche are more important than the immune system, for example.
Out of this order arises the unifying principle, the body’s own intelligence which consists of conscious and unconscious aspects that are directed by the sensory nervous system and the psyche. When all these systems know how to work with each other, integration has taken place.
So let’s continue with the unifying principle, which I haven’t discussed so far.
The unifying principle
Physical self-regulation can only work properly if there is also a psychological component. This psychological component is made up of a mental and an emotional component. Both require the proper evolution of the nervous system – the proper “wiring” of the “hardware” for the “software” in form of thoughts or emotions to work. The proper evolution of the nervous system as well as other organs can be considered as an intermediary step between physical and psychological homeostasis. Very few people realize how important the proper evolution of the nervous system is (including neurologists and psychologists) for a proper emotional and mental performance. I like to referr to the following analogy:
Proper maturity of the nervous system
Only a mature system is functional and can fully perform its tasks. Maturity is the completion of a physical or mental growth process at all levels. From the perspective of physiology, maturity means that all regulatory systems are fully functional to the extent of their assigned task. The scope of the task is fixed in our genes and is otherwise manifested by an optimal epigenetic yield of our natural blueprint (more on that later).
Our nervous system evolves for all our lives, a fact that most people are unaware of – most people automatically assume that it is “normal” to devolve as one ages. This unfortunate development may be normal, but it is far from being physiological or healthy for that matter. In a healthy individual, brains evolve becoming more complex over time. This complexity is brought about by new connections inside the brain, also called neuroplasticity. Until about 7 years of age, however, this process is much more dramatic than in later years. First, the brain itself needs to grow in mass in our early years, which can only happen while we grow physically. Second, big parts of the brain are not connected to each other in the beginning of our lives (both sides of the brain, for example). This basic “wiring” happens roughly in two steps. The first step can be called “Neuromotor Maturity” (more about this here) and should be reached at about 1 year of age. One of the biggest outward representations of Neuromotor Maturity is the ability to walk. The second milestone is called “Sensory Integration”. One of its biggest outward representations is the maturity to go to school (children used to be matriculated into first grade at the age of 7 for a reason). Until the age of 21, some more changes in the brain happen, especially when puberty hits and the brain gets flooded with sexual hormones. There is a lot to be said about sexual maturity as well. But it isn’t directly crucial for homeostasis until later stages of mental development that very many people may never reach to begin with because Neuromotor Maturity is the prerequisite for not only sensory integration, but also proper sexual maturation.
This is a rough sketch of neuromotor maturity:
And this is a rough sketch of sensory integration:
Emotional self-regulation or the lack thereof greatly influences the ability for self-regulation and consequently also self-healing. In children, this component is provided by the parents and other caretakers. Children need to be regulated from the outside, they can’t do it themselves. This is not only true for physical needs, such as being fed and having one’s diapers changed, but also emotionally. Babies basically do not know what they feel. They do have sensations, but they do not know what they mean. Through their emotional skill and their empathy, parents supplement their babies with the emotional security they can’t produce themselves yet. Please understand that sensations and emotions are not the same. Sensations are a sensory matter (warm/cold/nice/not nice), emotions are an emotional matter (love, hate, jealousy). Emotions (at least in a substantial way) only start to develop within the first months of a person’s live (this is why babies have mistakenly been coined to be in an “autistic” phase in the beginning of their life); and the emotional development picks up speed from about the age of 2. Shortly put, babies do not understand their bodies and their parents need to feed them happiness and security until their body “knows” itself. This basic knowing happens through the neuromotor and sensory integration. At about the age of 7 (when sensory integration is complete), people are ready to become social creatures in a sense that they are able to understand that they are not alone in the world and that co-habitation requires compromises. That their wishes matter, is something they have already learned until the age of 7 while their parents catered to their needs pretty much unconditionally in the beginning. Ideally, from the age of 7 to about the age of 14, people learn to make good compromises between what they want and need and what others want and need. Only after this stage, are people ready to engage in intimate and romantic relationships, which is what puberty is all about. When everything goes well, emotional maturity is reached at the age of 21:
The development I have just described is enabled by the maturation and interconnection of certain brain parts:
The dominance of the brain stem should be suppressed by the limbic system at the age of 7, while the frontal cortex is able to balance the brain stem and the limbic system at about the age of 21. Emotional disturbances like narcissism for example, can be seen as proof for incomplete emotional development as opposed to their classification as pathology. Psychopaths got stuck at an earlier stage of development still, since they don’t really feel emotions, they can only mimic them (a baby starts smiling by mirroring its parents, not because he or she feels happy…).
Nowadays new agers and spiritual people like to talk about brain dominances, mostly referring to the more “masculine” left-brain as being somewhat “inferior” to the more “feminine” right brain. It is now known that brain tasks can’t be divided as neatly into categories. However, one can say that even if both sides of the brain may be responsible for the same task, they will differ in how they do it. The left brain thinks in a more linear fashion, while the right brain thinks in a more abstract fashion. The right brain gets “the big picture”, while the left brain takes care of the details. It is said that the left brain makes a very good servant, but a very bad master. And in this, I agree. But that doesn’t mean that we don’t need the left brain or that it is generally inferior. It really depends on the task at hand to determine which side of the brain is the more suitable one. Most people have one more dominant part of the brain, mostly, it is the left part of the brain. There are a few reasons for that emphasis on the left brain: cultural, psycho developmental and psycho traumatic. While there are advantages to be a predominantly right brained person, it does have its disadvantages as well, especially in our current left brain oriented culture. Predominantly right brained people often see connections where others do not. They are often more artistically inclined. On the downside, they have a hard time with routines and cultural techniques like spelling, math, sequential routines etc. What most people do not talk about is that proper psychological evolution requires a good communication between the left and the right brain. There are advantages of a good so called bi-lateral integration. One of the more obvious one is that daily life becomes more effective, whether you are right or left brain dominant. There is a better flow in all your activities from planning things to moving your body. Therefore, bilateral integration will automatically maximize any latent potential. But one of the true secrets of bilateral integration is its ability to let us become more conscious beings. I am not talking about consciousness from a spiritual or New Age perspective. I am implying that we are supposed to conquer our subconsious at some point in our evolution. Most people psychological volition comprises about 5% of their mental activity, while 95% are unconscious or subconscious. And the subconscious is much more connected to the right than the left brain. In my opinion, evolution isn’t necessarily about increasing our capacity to consciously compute much beyond these 5% (although trans-humanist will disagree with that). It is about the ability to harness what is in the subconscious on the one hand and to control our inner environment intentionally. Again, I do not think that we need a bigger brain to do this, we need a more connected brain to do this. And we certainly do not need more of a right brain to do this. If we assume that our right brains could function like a local entry to a large server (our own intuition and morphogenetic fields in the “ether” around us), we wouldn’t have to bother with a bigger hard drive, would we?
So ideally, psychological maturity also comes with an optimal bilateral integration:
The bilateral integration normally reaches its first milestone with sensory integration. But this will more concern the ability to tie shoelaces, move limbs independently, etc.. Only in adulthood would we evolve into beings have a bigger control over our internal and external environment by being able to handle more subtle forms of sensory information.
Mental self-regulation has been researched in self-regulation theory of adults. This theory is mostly concerned with the ability of adults to solve problems, to be able think abstractly and to make well-balanced decisions. Its basic premise can be summarized as such:
Generally speaking, mental self-regulation enables us to do things with more and more intent and less reflexively. Things like autonomy, self-organization and the ability to hold multiple perspectives require mental self-regulation. The basic ability of self-reflection and the ability to correct one’s behavior are characteristics of adulthood. But mental self-regulation continues to unfold long after adulthood – if things have gone well, which mostly, they didn’t. This is how mental self-regulation evolves over time (adapted from Robert Kegan):
In the beginning of our lives, we are subject to our mind, emotions and body. The more we develop, these things become objects to us, meaning that we have control over them.
I have also added further stages of development that unfold after adulthood, meaning the mental body, the sexual body and the spiritual body. All these “bodies” need to become autonomous, which means that they need to individualize and become our own over time.
Epigenetic and morphic stability
For many people, the idea of epigenetic or morphic stability in terms of self-regulation is an abstract concept, if they are familiar with it at all. This is why I will be introducing some theoretical background first before I get into its practical relevance for our personal evolution and our health.
In an evolutionary process, there will always be something that came before us. That is true for our personal timeline that extends into our parent’s timeline and for our collective timeline. This is another way of saying that the past matters. I have already discussed the implications of developmental trauma and developmental gaps in our personal timelines. But do these effects extend to what came even before us? In other words: Do we inherit our parent’s limitations? Unfortunately, I have made the observation that we do.
Indigenous people all over the world honor their ancestors. By ingratiating themselves to them, they hope to become or to stay healthy and prosper. Science mostly debunks this attitude as “magical thinking”. And it may very well be magical, just in a different way than current science believes. However, there has been emmerging science to corroborate my observation that we are conditioned not only by our own pasts, but also by the pasts of our ancestors and our culture:
“The possibility of the inheritance of acquired characteristics used to be denied on theoretical grounds because it could be explained in terms of genes. But there is good evidence that this kind of inheritance occurs, and both epigenetic inheritance and morphic resonance may help to account for it.” (Sheldrake, Rupert. The Presence of the Past . Icon Books Ltd. Kindle-Version.).
Therefore, the first explanation of why our ancestors could influence our lives quite directly, is through morphic resonance: “The conventional theory attempts to squeeze all the hereditary characteristics of organisms into their genes. Development is then understood as the expression of these genes through the synthesis of proteins and other molecules. The words hereditary and genetic are usually treated as synonyms, and inherited characteristics, such as the ability of an acorn to grow into an oak tree or of a wren to build a nest, are usually referred to as genetic, or as genetically programmed.” (Sheldrake, Rupert. The Presence of the Past. Icon Books Ltd. Kindle-Version.). The morphic resonance is enabled through an affinity of non-material fields to each other that “are a kind of pooled or collective memory of the species. Each member of the species is moulded by these species fields, and in turn contributes to them, influencing future members of the species.” (Sheldrake, Rupert. The Presence of the Past . Icon Books Ltd. Kindle-Version.)
Notice that “magic” is nothing else than sympathetic resonance, and thus we may have to start accepting the idea of magic as a scientific principle after all.
The handing down of behavioral traits has been a very hot iron among evolutionary scientists and most of them dismissed it on the grounds of Darwinism, although Darwin himself was convinced that traits can be passed on to future genereations. (Sheldrake, Rupert. The Presence of the Past . Icon Books Ltd. Kindle-Version.). All this changed with the discovery that genes are not as important in our lives as we used to think. That is true for health and disease, in which “single-gene disorders affect less than 2 percent of the population; the vast majority of people come into this world with genes that should enable them to live a happy and healthy life. The diseases that are today’s scourges—diabetes, heart disease, and cancer—short circuit a happy and healthy life. These diseases, however, are not the result of a single gene, but of complex interactions among multiple genes and environmental factors.” (Lipton, Bruce H.. The Biology of Belief 10th Anniversary Edition (S.27). Hay House. Kindle-Version.) But also, for evolution itself: “In recent years, molecular biology has shown that the genome is far more fluid and responsive to the environment than previously supposed. It has also shown that information can be transmitted to descendants in ways other than through the base sequence (code) of DNA.” (Jablonka and Lamb 1995; Kaiser 2005)
Simply put, epigenetics describe the way in which our genes are interpreted, rather than assuming that genes can only ever be expressed in one way only. An analogy may be that knowledge does not come from owning a library, but from using it. Depending on how many books your read, which selection you choose and so on will determine what knowledge you can extract from it. While someone else may gain a completely different knowledge from the same library.
Practically speaking that means that 98% of all your functions, your appearance, your behavior, your health etc. are notpredetermined. They are influenced by your internal and external environment.
Therefore, epigenetics play a huge role in physical as well as psychological development, as do fields.
In my personal experience, the role of epigenetics and of fields is largely neglected as a limiting factor in health, development and in evolution in our society today. There may be a slow change of paradigm in science and our collective consciousness. But on a practical level, there is little information on how to work with these principles practically. However, if fields and epigenetics play such a big role in evolution and in health, their regulation would necessarily have to be part of any program that wants to remove obstacles to evolution.
While so called “energy medicine” has assumed the existence of fields since its origins, the idea that they evolve is fairly new: “On the other hand, if morphogenetic fields contain an inherent memory, their evolution can be conceived of in a radically different way. They are not transcendent Forms, but immanent in organisms. They evolve within the realm of nature, and they are influenced by what has happened before.” (Sheldrake, Rupert. The Presence of the Past . Icon Books Ltd. Kindle-Version., pos 2441). That fields would have to evolve is apparent to me. Fields may be able to account for self-organization, but they can’t account for self-regulation, which requires an element of autonomy in order to be able to manage energy intentionally.
In any way, I knew that I needed to find a way to account for the evolution of fields in therapy. I had made the experience that the available systems of prescribing energy medicine simply didn’t work in a way that could reliably promote the evolution of an individual. After many failed attempts, I believe that I now have found a way to influence the evolution of an individual by removing blocks systematically with energy medicine.
The answer could be found in the periodic table of elements, but also in developmental psychology, which I will elaborate more here. For now, I want to introduce the idea that any kind of psychotherapy tacitly operates on the assumption that fields exist. One may be able to explain concepts such as emotions with neurotransmitters, but only partially. They can’t account for the fact that we feel drawn to or repulsed by certain individuals to whom we connect through resonance.
I am pretty much convinced that epigenetics and morphic fields are intrinsically connected, they may even be complementary aspects of the same thing. While epigenetics account for the material aspect, fields account for their immaterial counterpart. In any way, it is not debated that epigenetics influence the immaterial psyche and fields can have physical effects as well.
On a practical level, epigenetics and fields are practically dealt with micronutrients (more about this here), a specific kind of homeopathy (more about this here) and a specific kind of trauma therapy (more about this here) in Integral Evolution that would carry us away from the concept of self-regulation if I discussed them extensively in detail here.
Obstacles to homeostasis and self-regulation
But I do want to bring your attention to the general obstacles of self-regulation here. These obstacles obstruct physical, psychological, morphic and epigenetic evolution alike. There is not only a system in the unfoldment of evolution, but also a system in the development of obstacles to evolution.
This system of obstacles is closely connected to the availability of energy and the survival principle, as I hope to demonstrate.
I have already briefly touched on the state of survival, which is basically an automated response of complex bodies when threatened by a shortage of energy.
This response consistently occurs in three steps, which I have already introduced:
Resources are always energy of some kind, whether we are talking about cellular energy or emotional nurturing.
Please remember that traits and adaptive responses can be handed down to offspring. This unfortunately means that the state of survival can also be inherited.
What may not be immediately apparent to you (it took me a while to realize this) is that the state of survival can also be passed down to the next generation independently from an actual lack!
In other words: if you inherit the state of survival from your parents or your culture, you may objectively live in a state of abundance of resources and still exhibit symptoms of the state of survival. On the same account, you may have had an objective reason to switch into the state of survival early in your life, but later, you have been able to overcome scarcity in your environment. And yet, you behave as if you are still experiencing a lack of resources. This mechanism is very well researched in psychology. It is called trauma. The scientific community is only now recognizing how epigenetics can keep people in a state of survival for generations to come, long after a famine has passed (Sheldrake, Rupert. The Presence of the Past . Icon Books Ltd. Kindle-Version., p. 3202).
I have come to call this a fixed state of survival.
You can find out more about how this fixed state of survival plays out in our bodies here.
What is needed for real change
The way we perceive evolution has often in itself become a paradigm. Paradigms are characterized by the fact that a certain belief system isn’t questioned to the point that real change can come about. Problems may be perceived, but solutions will not follow. People rarely know or even wonder about what is needed for real change to happen and that there are different kinds of changes. The psychologists Beck and Cowan in their work “Spiral Dynamics” describe seven variations of change (Beck, Don Edward and Cowan, Christopher C. Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, Blackwell, Malden, 2006, P. 93.) six of which are compiled of two aspects, either vertical or horizontal move. Only one type of change is what I will consider integration, see chart:
Beck and Cowan also examine the conditions for change. They identify three states: Open, arrested and closed. The open state means that there are no obstacles to evolution. Arrested means that there is some potential that can only unfold when some obstacles are removed. Closed means that there is no potential at all for change. They leave the question open why people get into a closed state: “Closedness can spring from two sources – the outside life conditions which activate the vMEMEs or one’s genes and wiring within. Thus far, there is no sure way to tell which dynamic triggers the closed condition. If it is from the life conditions and situational, the CLOSEDness may be alterable.” (Beck, Don Edward and Cowan, Christopher C. Cowan, Spiral Dynamics, Blackwell, Malden, 2006, P. 80.) With everything that I have discussed so far, I believe that this question can now be seen as solved. It is all a matter of resources as well as having appropriate tools to undo the fixed state of survival. See chart for a visual:
Evolution can be defined as a linear increase in complexity in which later stages include previous stages. Evolution is open-ended under the condition that self-regulation is reached as a milestone of adulthood.
Self-regulation is achieved through physical and psychological maturity.
There are obstacles to physical and psychological maturity when there is a lack of resources and the body switches over into the state of survival.
The problem is that we take self-regulation and self-healing for granted. We only miss them when they fail. Why, however, the finger heals and the current health disorder does not, is a question that is rarely pondered upon by layman.
Unfortunately, in my experience, doctors and alternative practitioners alike are not much more inquisitive – which I find quite shocking, personally. I had to come to this realization when I had to struggle with hormonal disorders for which neither doctors nor alternative practitioners could help me at first myself. Since I did not want to accept that my hormonal disorders should be excluded from self-healing, I started looking for answers on my own. I had lost confidence in conventional medicine. After all, orthodox hormones had brought me into my predicament in the first place. So called “natural” hormones only helped in the short term and brought side effects. The many naturopathic therapies I had tried had not helped me either. Therefore, I had no choice but to delve deeply into the functioning of the body and to understand how such a body-mind-spirit unit actually works. Integral Evolution as a method is the result of my findings. In the many years it took me to develop it, I realized that physical homeostasis depends not only on energy, but on a good integration of body, mind, and soul. I also realized that this integration was a huge problem for mostly everyone (including myself at the time). In other words, I found out that body, mind and soul are not a functional unit to begin with, but that they need to become a unit if we want to be healthy, develop our personality or grow spiritually.
Also, taking care of your energy demands intentionally is not really a choice you have if you want more than surviving at best and (self)destruction at worst if you live in a complex world and if you desire for a complex inner life.
This concept is a change of paradigm for most people who first hear of it. Therefore, I will discuss in detail what dangers lie in this lack of integration and in partial evolution.
None of the information on this website are medical advice. This information is based on my personal experience and opinion and does not always correspond with the official scientific point of view. Therefore, no promises to attain health can be extracted from the contents of this page. Never postpone any medical or psychological treatment because of the contents of this page. Always look for medical or psychological advice if you suffer from any kind of health condition or psychological condition.
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