Welcome back to our second blog post, where we will be continuing to look at the “inner” immune system through the lens of evolutionary theories around the deep unconscious systems – that form a basis, not only for our emotional wellbeing and protection (emotional immunity), but are also theorized to be — and experienced as such – as deep wells of spiritual transformation, and sources as of practical solutions that are always being communicated to us in an encoded language. This is so vital to us because it is a means of self-empowerment.
The language of the unconscious speaks to us in dreams and daydreams, among other vehicles. According to Robert Langs, MD, we can develop a conscious dialogue with the deep unconscious – what he often calls our deeply wise and loving “inner god” – through various methods of decoding. This “inner god” lies within our own self and empowers us and our emotional healing.
Langs, is one of many contemporary psychodynamic theoreticians who teaches us specific ways we can practice becoming proficient in this language – by showing us how to decode the encoded messages that are constantly being broadcast to us from within our own psyches. This builds self-empowerment and self-reliance because we come in touch with something innate; we don’t need to find answers from the outside. We have all the answers to make our journey into emotional healing possible and unique to ourselves and our own unique lives and unique needs. We always carry this “inner therapist” within us – which is evolutionarily constructed to help us make better choices for our lives, heal past traumas, source creativity, and really get in touch with our own innate “gps” navigation system – as we talked about last time.
In the last blog posting we explore the foundations of this deep-unconscious or inner- immune system through the lens the evolution of the human mind, and how this system not only protects us daily from emotional barrages too intense to process at any one time – but also how it literally works non-stop to allow us to survive physically as well. Remember the daydreaming car driver in our last post? And who (or what) was driving the car, and allowed him to arrive at his destination safely – with no conscious memory of the ride? Robert Langs specifically speaks to this deep-unconscious system in terms of evolutionary survival; the survival is not only avoiding death but also the capacity to deal with death, which includes the capacity to cope with grief and loss – unavoidable aspects of human life. In the evolutionary theories of Langs it is working with this unconscious wisdom – and making it conscious – that profoundly helps us deal with all forms of stress and anxiety.
Today, let’s take a step back and look at some of the basics of decoding the language of this “intelligent” aspect of our deep unconscious. It’s not really that hard; it’s in a way so easy, that most individuals don’t even begin this process of listening, observing, and decoding the wisdom messages coming from within – because in some ways people believe the most complicated methods must be the best methods – meaning we then never get anywhere by not wanting to work too hard, and yet not trying the practices that seem too simple or too obvious. In terms of the process of decoding: it tends to be something that, once understood and experienced – reinforces itself over and over again. It’s one of those things you just have to try — in order to get! 🙂
Interestingly, our conscious intention itself – to begin to explore this aspect of ourselves – is actually what alerts the wisdom-unconscious to the fact that we are trying to dialogue – to see if it’s there, and if it’s real, and if it’s worth the effort. By beginning to speak – we are implicitly saying that we are open to listening. This is where the adventure begins and where we come often first face-to-face with: the guide. We can then develop a relationship to our own unique inner guide – and partake in a sort of “secular” religiosity – a spirituality that belongs to no one tradition of belief system but empowers us to find our own spirituality and inner and outer health. Because the deep-wisdom system unconditionally accepts us – it teaches us in our own unique way to find ways to accept our own selves – without conditions – independent of anything external. We learn to find our value and or worthiness from within.
So getting back to looking at how to learn to become fluent in the language of this inner guide. In our next blog post, we will begin by looking at a tried and true method of decoding by way of what’s called: a chain of associations.
We will look at a concrete real-life example through a story of a therapy session. Of course, a therapy session involves an exploration by two people – the client and the therapist – but I think this vignette will give you a taste of how this same process can be engaged with by oneself – through journaling or painting or some other method of exploring a chain of associations. I like this example, also, because it shows how dynamic therapists work – by seeking to uncover the source of a symptom – whether it be a relationship problem, a depression, anxiety, an obsession, compulsion or any of the things that bring us into therapy and seek ways to find healing.
Thus in dynamic therapy – as well as in individual decoding – a symptom isn’t only something to be eradicated or fixed. Rather, a symptom is something that is there to be listened to. It is speaking to us of something that wants to be addressed or expressed. In listening to ourselves we learn to accept ourselves conditionally and unconditionally – we begin to heal all the emotional and spiritual splits we carry inside.
In other words dynamic therapy seeks to understand and decode our symptoms in order to find the deeper sources of our suffering – encoded within a psychological symptom. When one works only to get rid of the symptom (even therapeutically), rather than listen to it, then one rejects an aspect of oneself that is crying for help. This is part of our journey towards unconditional self-acceptance – accepting ourselves in both our limitations and our strengths – in other words, our wholeness. And, rather than really going away, it only goes underground. Rather than decoding the meaning behind the symptom, we most often push it away. . . further and further into unconsciousness. As such, the deeper it goes, louder it must become to us in order for us to hear it – and take notice. In other words, the more deeply we reject, ignore, mask over, or “drug” our psychological symptoms, the higher the mental and emotional stakes become.
I hope you are enjoying reading these posts as much as I am writing them. I hope you will let the learning contained here sink into your awareness where it will be available for you when you need it and as we move more deeply into our exploration of the evolutionary dynamic aspects of our unconscious minds and how to join with this most wise dimension of ourselves as a real inner companion. We are never really alone when we are with ourselves. I look forward to exploring a real life example next week where we will decode an anxiety/panic attack and find the message in it, and the emotional healing of, such a distressing psychological and physical experience – one that many of us can relate to. See you next soon!