Expanding the Realms of Consciousness

Sharon Joy Ng*

Expanding the Realms of Consciousness.

One of the more satisfying aspects of the transpersonal approach to understanding human behavior is its emphasis on the experiential nature of investigation. This implies that we can best understand the nature of human consciousness through our direct experience of the various states of consciousness available to us.

Traditional psychology acknowledges and applies the theories that explore the unconscious as described by Sigmund Freud. Jungian analysts add an additional realm to their explorations, namely the collective unconscious. Few psychological theories have posited the intrauterine experience and birth process as significant factors that shape our psyche, but Grof argues that unless we consider three realms of consciousness, therapeutic interventions may not effectively address a person’s psyche.

There is some argument that the trauma of birth is not “remembered” by the infant because there is insufficient hyalinization of the cortex at that stage of development. However, Lipton  describes the epigenetic process that unfolds while we are in the womb and demonstrates that the fetus has awareness and responds to the external environment. The mother’s emotional state, hormonal environment, and intake of exogenous sources, such as drugs, all register in the experience of the neonate and fetus.

If there is a memory of the nursing experience, there must be a memory of the birth process. Traditional psychological approaches do not seek to access or explore this realm, generally focusing only upon the post-natal experiences when searching for a causative experience for mental
disturbance in later life.

Psychol Cogn Sci Open J. 2016; 3(2): e2-e5. doi: 10.17140/PCSOJ-3-e005