The five major ones are:
we will look at each in turn.
Rebirthing Breathwork describes various birth types or scripts:
premature/late births, held back babies, Caesarean section, transverse, breech, induced, forceps delivery, twins, cord around the neck, and drug-induced (i.e. when the mother is anesthetised).
It is believed that individuals develop characteristics consistent with their birth type. For example, held back babies might have a common tendency as adults to be late. Or breech births might grow to be impulsive, jumping in feet first, so to speak.
Alternatively, the person may go in the opposite direction and attempt, unconsciously, to ‘hide’ their birth script.
The severing of the umbilical cord ends the idyllic life of the womb and your physical connection to another person.
This moment of separation is the symbolic first death.
The thought we do not deserve to have life, that love is conditional, and relationships cannot last gets locked in at this point.
(Of course, it’s more correct to call this a trace, a neural imprinting, rather than a thought proper).
Further, as the throat is filled with mucus and amniotic fluid, the experience is like breathing through mud or sand.
So, even your first breath feels like death. Like suffocating!
In every subsequent crisis you will re-enact that primal fear by either reducing the breath, or holding it altogether. Such as, when you’re in an interview, or awaiting results in hospital.
People habitually do this. We shut down the very mechanism of survival – air – at the crucial moment when we need it most! This is probably an involuntary autonomic response, the body’s memory of separation, the first symbolic death.
At the moment of birth you make a decision about yourself.
And because it’s based on fear, it’s always a lie.
We then proceed to construct our self image on this. We literally live a lie.
The personal lie is the most powerful negative thought you have about yourself. It varies from person to person but generally runs along the lines of
‘I’m not good enough’, ‘I m not loveable’, ‘I don’t deserve to be here’.
Since it was taken in, literally, with our first breath the body thinks it needs this thought to survive. So, with every crisis that arises, you go, ‘oh my God I’m going to die’.
Experiences of being trapped and squeezed in the contracting uterine walls, as the child attempts egress, can lead to the psychological condition known as ‘no exit terror’, (in other words it thinks there's no escape).
Later this can manifest as suffocation in relationships,
‘I must get out of here’.
Same with separation anxiety.
The thought may be, ‘if I find love I will lose it’ (cut off). Or, that you need another person to complete you (re-attachment). This can lead to co-dependent relationships.
After transitioning from the Edenesque world of the womb to the harsh outside the first experience is often one of let down,
‘No matter how hard I struggle I can never find happiness’.
Or that pleasure must be followed by pain.
Don’t forget we also have a relationship with money, which can manifest something like
‘Everything has to be paid for’.
‘Nothing good can last’.
The personal lie is variously expressed, suppressed, or projected.
1. expressed means it's acted out.
Example: 'I don't deserve it', can manifest as low self-esteem, or 'I'm unlovable'. It can also express itself as a diffident or rebellious personality.
2. suppressed here it's often revealed in a covert way.
A show of bravado will attempt to conceal a lack of confidence. Popular adulation or fame may be sought.
3. projected is where it's placed outside the self altogether.
Someone else is to blame that the relationship failed, the business went belly-up. We blame anyone but ourselves.
Whatever your personal lie is you will seek confirmation of it in the world.
A great tool for uncovering the personal lie is the truth process.
Your primary relationship is with your parents, all subsequent ones are modelled on this. Therefore, any unresolved issues you have with one or both of your parents is being played out right now in your current relationships, with your partner, friends, even your boss.
Feeding time and toilet training are areas when parental disapproval gets imprinted. Even something as innocuous as placing a child in a cot to attend to another matter may be perceived by the child as rejection. It decides it has to compete with each parent for the other’s love and attention. As well as with other siblings.
The child learns that love is limited and there is not enough to go around.
This is where the child sees any withdrawal of intimacy as rejection. For example, when they’re too old to bathe together, or frolic naked. They think, there’s something wrong with me ‘down there’. The child makes the parent right every time and blames themselves.
Emotional incest must not be confused with physical incest.
As we grow older we create people to get angry with us so that we can re-experience the primal pain we felt as a child. You may think we meet people by chance and it’s all coincidental, but there’s a lot more going on that we’re not always aware of. The key is consciousness. Notice if you’re doing this in your relationships right now, or if someone is doing it to you. E.g., if someone habitually shows up late they may be seeking your disapproval. Often this is covert behaviour for ‘why don’t you love me?’
Such relationships can lead to interdependency.
Disapproving and being disapproved of are really the same energy. When you disapprove of another person you are disapproving of something in yourself. The people we have the most resistance to are our greatest teachers. If someone really bugs you see if there’s a correlation in your own life. It’s likely that you’re secretly disapproving of that, while playing parent to your emotional self, and projecting it onto the other person.
Conception trauma is often spoken of with birth trauma (say we’re conceived as the result of rape), which can lead to a general inability to trust. It’s important to remember that the past rarely happened the way we perceive it. If we are willing to stop disapproving of ourselves (the parent in our head) then we can start to see our past in a new light.
That’s why we breathe, so that we can re-member the past.
The unconscious death urge states that everything around us in the world is a reminder of our death. When we get sick, even just catching a cold, a part of us has invited death in. Also when someone close to you dies your death urge gets activated.
Even your computer crashing or the video breaking down can be a sign of it. This happened to me just last year when practically everything in the house stopped working. I had to take notice.
Just take notice when things start 'dying' around you.
The unconscious death urge can also show up in appetite too. Are we trying to kill ourselves with food, or are we starving ourselves?
The notion of food and scarcity become twinned in some people's minds.
It can manifest in other guises as well, such as if you ‘can’t find’ a job, or if your business isn’t doing well, i.e. no one will ‘feed’ you.
It’s also very evident in love and relationships.
Underneath is the idea that there is not enough.
Often people die at the same age as one of their parents, and sometimes from the same ailment. Previously this was put down to genes but, as we saw, the parental relationship is re-enacted in all others. And this can even result in when and how you die. So it’s important we clear up on issues with our parents. This can be done on an energetic level even if they’ve passed over.
It begins with forgiveness.
People expend so much energy trying to avoid death, while at the same time inviting it in. In that way they make it real. But death is not real in itself, it’s the idea of death we need be concerned with. Death is the culmination of the birth script and the personal lie.
From our perspective we ‘look back’ at birth and think that’s the beginning, while we ‘look forward’ to death and assume that’s the end. In reality they are both at the same point.
I prefer the term ‘other lives’, as opposed to ‘past lives’. The latter seems to imply that all of metaphysics is linear and depends on fixed notions of time and space, which, of course, is not the case. There’s no reason not to suppose a memory from another life did not originate in a parallel one you’re having now, or even a future one.
It is postulated that the birth trauma, and consequently the personal lie, may be the re-enactment of death (or other unfinished business) in a previous life. E.g., if you die of strangulation you may experience ‘cord around the neck’ in your next birth process.
The trauma is now in your current life where it can be integrated and cleared, thus circumventing the necessity of remembering all our other lives. The dynamic for it will be found in the birth process itself.
Some, however, do need to revisit other lives, for whatever reasons, and experience memories of same while breathing.
I know some people are uneasy about reincarnation. Personally I find waking up in a new body no more bizarre than waking up in a new bed, or a new day. It’s still your life, you still carry the same issues, only now you do so from a different perspective.
Just don’t use the idea of reincarnation, or other lives as a means of escape from the present one. I think some people do that.
Leonard used to talk about this in the early days. Perhaps the term is somewhat ambiguous. My own take on it is that to die, to be mortal, is to be different from that which created you. It’s almost like getting one over God. It’s arrogance when you think about it.
‘Physical’ immorality is really saying you bring your body with you when you leave this earth (as Jesus and some others did), as opposed to some protracted longevity into unending decrepitude.
But I agree the term is slightly misleading.
We don’t know who we are without our pain, without our fear. When we choose to get rebirthed, in a strange way, we re-learn how to breathe. We become whole again.
Also in this series:
[Footnote: 2016. while the kind of Rebirthing Breathwork described in this series can be an amazing therapeutic tool, I've more or less outgrown it and find some of its supporting theory slightly reductive. Also I think many of its effects were due to hyperventilation. However, this should in no way be seen as a disqualification of if, and should you feel the call to be rebirthed then please do so with my blessing EM]
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