Before a living being encounters trauma, it is in a state of cohesion. We could say that he or she is in a state of oneness or experiences wholeness in and of themself. Trauma is merely a state of emotional and mental distress caused by an experience that is not resolved. You don’t have to be abused or experience what a person would consider to be a tragedy (like war or sexual abuse or loss of a loved one) to experience trauma. It is traumatic to experience birth in today’s mainstream medical facilities. It is traumatic to a baby to be weaned. It is traumatic to a three year old to lose track of his mother in a grocery store. Even the best parents on earth cannot manage to raise a child in a way that the child will experience no trauma. The problem is that if we do not have a way to resolve and thus integrate that trauma we experience when we are young, we must dissociate from it.
Consciousness itself functions like water. Therefore, you can imagine the dissociation process as it occurs within consciousness by thinking about a river. If you are looking at a river from above, you can see that a large river often branches off into smaller rivers and each time this happens, there is less water available to the main river. At the moment of trauma, when we dissociate, part of our consciousness branches off from our main consciousness. Our consciousness splits, just like the river does. It is an act of self-preservation.
It is easier to comprehend of this process of splitting that is fragmentation in terms of how it effects our being by imagining that when our consciousness splits as the result of trauma, our ego splits in two. Our sense of self becomes fragmented. So even though we have one body, within that body, we end up with multiple selves. The best way to picture this is to imagine that inside your body, you have a collection of Siamese twins. They are technically all conjoined because they all share one body. But each one has its own identity, its own desires, needs, perspective, strengths, weaknesses and appearance. For example, inside my body, I could have an aspect of myself that is a warrior princess, one that is like a male war admiral, one that is a tiny crying child, one that is a queen, one that is a cat, one that is an extraterrestrial and one that is a demon. Some might even be able to give me names for themselves if I ask them to. There is really no limit to how many can be inside a person. I have seen as little as three and as many as hundreds. Each one has an opposite. In the moment of trauma, there is a split between the vulnerable self and the self that coped with that vulnerability so as to self preserve.
The mistake we have made within society is to think that only some people suffer from what psychologists call multiple personality disorder. The reality is that all people do. The question is… to what degree? Most people aren’t walking around calling themselves by one name one minute and another name the next. But how many people behave completely differently in one scenario than they do in another? How many people have multiple “sides”? How many people can’t make a decision because they feel torn? These are all indications that we have multiple selves operating within us at any given time. Our degree of internal suffering is about the degree of harmony or lack there of between these internal selves.
Our world today is a mirror reflection of the internal war between our inner selves. Not a day goes by that someone isn’t hurting, rejecting, shaming or killing someone else. There’s always some kind of war or genocide or human trafficking going on in our planet so far. Until we re-integrate, just like the world, there is always some personalities within us that love other personalities within us, some that hate others, some that protect others, some that want to control others, some that wont acknowledge the existence of others. And some that don’t even know others exist.
So, you know how I said that each one has an opposite because in the moment of trauma, there is a split between the vulnerable self and the self that coped with that vulnerability so as to self preserve? This is super important because we identify with the parts of ourselves that coped to self preserve. These aspects protected us. They allowed us to stay as far away from our vulnerability as possible. For example, given my career, you can see that I have identified with the aspect of myself that is a knower and a teacher. Perhaps this aspect of me that understands everything was created to cope with a blidsiding trauma that I didn’t understand. Perhaps within me is an aspect, an inner child self even, that is terrified and confused and that doesn’t understand.
Our personalities are in essence, fake. We come in with raw potential and that potential gets sorted by our life experience. Our personalities are merely the parts that we identified with so as to stay safe and away from vulnerability in the very specific situations that we were raised in. We suppress, reject, deny and disown the aspects that make us vulnerable or get us disapproved of in the world. By doing this, they become subconscious. They are buried outside of our awareness and we don’t know they even exist, even though they tend to be visible to other people around us.
Fragmentation is a function of consciousness and everything in this universe is consciousness. So this means, anything can fragment. This fragmentation happens in the body as well. In fact, the single biggest cause of ailment within the body is fragmentation within the consciousness of the various parts of the body as well. I’ll give you an example; a woman who experienced sexual trauma might have a womb whose consciousness is fragmented to the degree that each part of her womb has different feelings and desires. Let’s imagine that she is infertile but that the doctors can’t find any physical reason for it. If we imagine that her ovaries were like mini selves that could talk to us, they might say, “I don’t want a baby. Everything precious gets taken away from me”. This might be enough for the body to simply not produce viable eggs. In another woman with this same issue, this underlying issue within the consciousness of the ovaries might turn into Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome, where the body is literally holding on to and not releasing its eggs. If we talk to the uterus of this same woman, it might feel emotionally warm and nurturing and say, “I’m so excited to create life. I’m ready.” If we talk to her cervix, it may violently say, “fuck you, nothing is getting through me. I am not letting anything touch me ever again”. The cervix is serving as a protector against everything… including sperm. As you can see, only one part of many actually wants a baby and so all of her energy is not actually aligned with conceiving a child, even though her conscious mind might be totally unaware of it. She may look at you straight in the face and say, “I’m so desperate to have a baby”. Everything has consciousness and so, everything can be treated as an individual self so as to dis-identify with it far enough to really see it, understand it, learn from it and meet its needs so as to help it to integrate and become a more harmonious part of the whole.
There are several strategies to use for the re-integration of fragmented parts. We first need to become aware of them. Any time an energetic shift happens within us or we notice ourselves reacting to things in strong ways, we can consider that one of our parts has taken over within our body. We can then use this opportunity to become aware of this specific part within us. As well as the part of us that is opposite of it in the split. For example, perhaps the personality presenting itself is a war general and the personality to the exact opposite of that shows up as a daisy flower.
One method is that we can close our eyes and ask to see this part in our minds eye. We let the image appear however it appears. If it helps us, we can see if this part within us has a name. We can begin to observe it and study its behaviors and perspectives and wants and needs and motivations. We can ask it questions. We can explore its relationship to other parts within us. This is in fact the strategy used by methods like inner child work and parts work and voice dialogue and internal family systems therapy. If you are interested in getting help to explore your own fragmentation, I highly suggest looking into these methods and even reaching out to experts in one of these methods for help. Long story short, we can choose to resolve the pain contained in this part that is keeping it fragmented from the rest of us. We can meet its needs with our imagination and subsequently implement the changes this part of us needs in our day-to-day life. We can also improve the relationship that each part has with every other part within us. By doing this, we create internal peace and integration. We can restore ourselves back to a state of internal peace. This is perhaps the safest way of going about this process of exploring fragmentation but I am going to expose a much more radical way of exploring fragmentation.
Everything in this universe is made of consciousness. We like to think that we are limited to only our own consciousness. But what a method actor knows is that they can actually take on the consciousness of someone or something entirely different by letting go of their own consciousness and perspective first. They can get into character so deep that they don’t even relate to themselves anymore and often die tragically after their darkest roles for this reason. When this is happening, they aren’t ‘pretending’. In pretending, you are using your mind to imagine what it might be like to be something else. When we are pretending, we are experiencing something else through the filter of our own consciousness. What a method actor is doing is removing this filter entirely. He or she is consciously choosing to become possessed. It is a form of willing possession. They are allowing their body to be taken over by another consciousness.
A method actor usually has a very poor grasp of their own identity. This is why they find this process so easy. But we can all do this in fact to the degree that we are capable of stepping away from our own consciousness and identity and inviting another consciousness to take over our body. We can also split so part of us is possessed and part of us is watching that possession.
Intentional possession can be used as a technique to understand anything that is hidden from the conscious mind. It can be used to heal and to improve the relationship between different consciousness’s within you that have fragmented. There are many more applications for it, but I won’t be going into those in this particular video because some of them are too risky for most people to use.
For example, using the previous analogy, you could decide to allow the consciousness of your left ovary to take over your body. State internally to yourself or choose with your intention, “I accept to become my left ovary.” Then surrender and allow the energy of your ovary to fill in the spaces within your whole body. Then, you can talk or write as your ovary. You will write or speak in terms of “I” but, “I” will be your ovary speaking, not you. Don’t think about the answers you give, just give them as if you are doing a steam of consciousness exercise. Know that anything that is said or felt during this exercise is valid and has appeared for an important reason. If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can also have someone else accept to become your left ovary so that you can have a conversation with it directly so as to understand it and figure out how to resolve its wounding and meet its needs directly. When you are done, you can state internally to yourself “I now release myself from being my left ovary” and remind yourself of who you are and what year it is and where you are so you can accept your own consciousness back into your embodiment.
Make sure when you do this that you don’t do it with the attitude that any part is bad or has to change or that it must unify with other parts. All of this is resistance to the individual parts. It is disapproval for their fragmentation and I can tell you, they had good reason to do so. Do this with the attitude of compassionately and genuinely wanting to understand it so that you can better meet its needs and bring it closer to yourself rather than pushing it away from yourself.
The goal of re-integration is not to force these aspects within you to become one. Nor is it to become identified with whatever ones you like the most and eradicate others. Instead, it is to realize that you are simultaneously all and none of these aspects. Your own consciousness is like a witness that sits in the center of them all. It can hold the extreme polarities and even facilitate harmony between them. It can be compared to the center point on the infinity symbol. Your consciousness is the point in the center of both extremes. It is pure awareness between consciousness and unconsciousness. And that awareness is able to create harmony between the fragmented aspects of you simply through the loving witnessing of them.
I am aware that this episode, being about such a wide and extensive topic with all of its plethora of implications, will leave you with a lot of questions. I have left it like this intentionally because I want you to think this week about what I have said. I want you to begin to recognize fragmentation within yourself and within the world. I want you to ponder the implications of this state of being within yourself and within the world. After all, it is the worldwide disease.