Physiology instead of Pathology
Integral Evolution is a method that focuses on physiology and not pathology. From this perspective, we need an understanding about the workings of a healthy body and why it produces forseable pathophysiological symptoms under duress. In my view, all real pathology is man made through iatrogenic diseases. Chemical drugs, among other things, confuse the body-mind unit and it may produce symptoms that are indeed chaotic, whereas all pathophysiological demonstrate our body’s wisdom in the face of challenge.
Those are the tools that we need to first return the body into its physiological state (rebooting), that will then automatically trigger missing developmental stages:
Radical Responsibility for Oneself
The first step on your way to Integral Evolution is to take up radical responsibility for your own life. That also means that you don’t make yourself a victim of the circumstances you have been born into or that you have brought over yourself. It is important to see any adverse circumstance as an opportunity for learning. It is my experience that owning an experience allows for learning. Learning does away with the necessity of the reality of the experience. Then suffering stops.
It is important to acknowledge that unwanted symptoms on a physical and emotional level are never random or fated, but a demonstration that our body and our reality are trying to communicate with us.
It is important to look the truth about one’s own life square in the face. As long as something in our lives is not going the way we want it, the narrative we are telling ourselves about it will not be congruent with the truth. The actual truth about oneself, one’s family, relationships and reality itself is usually hidden under many layers of distortions that we have been entrained to believe by others and ourselves.
Integral Evolution is only possible once you are prepared to unpack and analyse all aspects of your life. Very often, changes in life style need to follow suit, like the cessation of toxic habits, toxic relationships or toxic professions.
Integral Evolution is neither a quick, nor a magic solution, but the most thorough system to build and rebuild a healthy and functional body-mind unit. Integral Evolution is often a painful process. It requires diligence, discipline and patience. And above all, Integral Evolution is something you will need to do on your own. While a clever person will learn to delegate many things, one’s own evolution is one of the few things that will ever be a personal business. The commitment to oneself needed on this path equals the idea of “initiations” of old. Initiations are a statement of autonomy and responsibility at their core , a confirmation that one is out to earn one’s own merrits without the protection of one’s tribe. And it all starts with the confrontation of our biggest enemy: ourselves.
Therefore, the Integral Evolution facilitator can only advise and hold space – no more.
Therapy vs. Treatment
One should keep in mind that there is a difference between therapy and passive treatment. In therapy, the therapist holds space for the client to actively work through his issues. In a passive treatment, you get something from the therapist (a massage, energy, emotional support). Treatments can be helpful and they do often feel good. But they never substitute for active therapy.
Real therapy is not restricted to therapy sessions. In fact, sessions are needed for the exchange of information mostly. Actual therapy takes place in between session, through the confrontation with one’s life. Therefore, therapy sessions should only ever be considered as self-help tools.
Real Power is the one we wield over Ourselves
Newest findings about epigenetics demonstrate that our genes do not determine our fate. We are what we make of ourselves. I agree with the neurobiologist Candace Pert that the state of our bodies correspond with our subconscious mind. 1see her presentation Your Body Is Your Subconscious Mind
Nothing produces more distortions and suffering than looking for power outside of ourselves. We need to stop taking from others what we think is ours and we need to stop manipulating others into giving us what we want and need. Because so far, the world operates on these two principles. It is always about power over others. Broken down, this mechanism equals the theft of energy, while the thief deludes himself that he is entitled to receive energy without giving some in return. It doesn’t matter if we are talking money, personal attention or any other resource. Parasitism contradicts relationship. Fixed hierarchies contradict cooperation. The quest to control others is a dead pan sign of emotional immaturity and lack of self-regulation. It is horrifying to realize that existing power structures and all auxiliary phenomena that are needed to enforce power are actually a sign of defeat and helplessness of the ones being dominated as well as the ones dominating. Lack of self-empowerment betrays frustrated basic needs at a very early age, when dependency on others is a biological imperative. Growing up on all levels will always be the only way out.
Health is a collateral of Integral Evolution
Integral Evolution is the formation of one coherent self. That also means that there is not a path of development and another path of health. Both will have to be one and the same. There is no mistery about the origins of disease. It is the human refusal to evolve that creates and upholds it. That is even true if we are talking about nutritional deficiencies. Our soils are depleted and corroded because of human near-sightedness. We chose technologies that do are not compatible with nature.
True evolution and health require us to listen to the laws of nature.
Realistic Tools for the Development of Self
Longing and hope for a better life usually play a catalysing part in change. Our collective and individual subconscious seems to reveal what we all long for: a fullfilled life, meeting personal goals, a supporting social environment and true romantic love. These hopes and dreams are often portrayed in myths, tales, books and movies, but often ina a stereotipacally transfigured or cliché way. Therefore, happiness either comes magically or through the grace of destiny.
But there are no shortcuts. We either go through the steps of evolution or we experience no real change for the better. Self-regulation on an emotional level is the absolute minimum requirement for true personal and spiritual development to start. We all should have gotten there at our 21st year of age. Due to adverse circumstances, however, most people are lagging behind in maturity.
A system that is out for success needs to consider that fact and devise practical tools that can trigger missing developmental stages long after they should have been completed on an ideal schedule.
Body, Mind and Soul need to become a Unit
Most wholistic approaches assume that body, mind and soul already function as an operational unit. That is not true in my experience. Body, mind and soul need to become a functional unit.
The good news is that it is never too late for integration, that is the beauty of nature.
Practical Consequences for a physiological Therapy
The following need to be part of an Integral Evolution:
Organic Ability to harvest Energy
Without energy, there is no growth or repair. Without nutrients, there is no physical energy. Therefore, it becomes a top priority to restore the body’s ability to harvest energy. The proper nutrition as well as nutritional supplements suitable for the individual will take care of that.
Many people have inherited nutritional deficiencies that have been magnified through the generations. The Walsh test can track these epigenetic nutritional deficiences in order for proper supplementation to take place.
Any past intake of chemical drugs, hormones, recreational drugs as well as environmental toxins may have disrupted the body’s ability to self-regulate, which is why they need to be detoxed.
The integration of persisting neonatal reflexes will allow the nervous system to mature. This tretment consists of specific movements that are practiced daily.
The emotional plane matures mostly through the therapy of trauma, especially disruptions of attachment and symbiotic disturbances. It is paramount for the client to be enabled to act from his adult and healthy executive persona, instead of just playing out his or her defense reactions in order to protect his dissociated ego states.2see Ruppert, Symbiose und Autonomie, 2017, S.78
In order to be able to take charge of one’s own trauma process, a person will have to have reached a certain level of autonomy already. Otherwise he or she will not be able to hold upcoming emotions or somatic reactions appropriately and constructively. Especially upcoming physical pain is a sign of long suppressed emotions.
I agree with the psychologist Bessel van der Kolk who laments that many people subconsciously choose to continue visiting doctors and to treat symptoms than doing the necessary emotional work to confront their demons of the past.3Kolk, Bessel van der. The Body Keeps the Score: Mind, Brain and Body in the Transformation of Trauma, Kindle-Position 1755
Any therapy that works will bring up suppressed emotions. In the beginning, many people deem these emotions negative, because they will mostly consist of fear and insecurity. Often, they expect consolation or pastoral care. It is not the place of the therapist to assuage these emotions. Part of growing up emotionally is to process upcoming emotions oneself. This is not heart-heardedness on the part of the therapist, but true compassion. Evolution can’t take place if people are allowed to dump their anxiety on the therapist. What is needed on the part of the person going through the pain is compassion for oneself.
A therapy according to the principles of Integral Evolution is complex and consists of many building blocks. People who have a week structure of self (generally called weak ego structure) will probably be overwhelmed by it. More on that here.
If you are interested in our therapy concept, please carefully consider what will be expected of you and if you are able and willing to commit to these expectations.
Find out more about the practical process here.
Picture credit: Fanny Chambers Gooch Iglehart, Wikipedia