DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition, Archetypal Field Theory, and the New Sciences

Pages: 104-115
Year: 2010
IASI - International Association for Structural Integration

IASI Yearbook 2010


DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition, Archetypal Field Theory, and the New Sciences

DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition, Archetypal Field Theory, and the New Sciences Brigitte Hansmann
Brigitte Hansmann was certified as a practitioner of DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition
in 1988 and as an instructor in DFA practitioner trainings in 1997. In the same year she
published her first book “Con los pies en el suelo–Forma del cuerpo y visión del mundo,”
published by Ediciones Icaria in Barcelona, Spain. She holds a diploma in Applied Linguistic Sciences from the University of Mainz, FAS Germersheim, and is currently in training at
the Assisi Institute for the Study of Archetypal Pattern Analysis. Contact her at [email protected], through www.ermie.net or www.dfa-europa.com.
True to the mandates of Structural Integration, the Duggan/French Approach to Somatic Pattern Recognition (DFA)1 works with the body in relationship to the gravitational field with the
aim of creating a more efficient and harmonizing alignment. Apart from recognizing gravity as the major force organizing shape, DFA addresses a phenomenon which is almost as compelling as gravity with regards to the generation of form: habitual patterns. Since early on in the history of life, habitual patterns have made a valuable contribution to the survival of individuals and species; however, such patterns may turn out to be highly restrictive in terms of individual and collective development, unless they are recognized as such and dealt with in an appropriate manner. Only gravity is more ancient than habitual patterns, and thus higher ranking in the hierarchy of shape-organizing forces. But in order to really be able to help clients find and sustain efficient alignment within the gravitational field, we need to have an understanding of the great power habitual patterns hold over our bodies and psyches.
Over the years, as our understanding of how these patterns get generated has grown, and as we have developed ways to talk about how patterns organize shapes and dynamics within body and psyche, another type of field that influences the structure of matter has become manifest.
Certain dynamics are part and parcel of particular stages and circumstances in life (for instance, the functions someone has in their work or social position, their place in their family or community, or the requirements of certain tasks), and the way we embody these dynamics shapes not only our movements and physical structure, but also our behavior and experience. These dynamics have influenced structure throughout the ages, through the lives of generation after generation who have contributed their experience to what Dr. Michael Conforti calls archetypal fields2, which, in turn, influence structure in the lives of present and future generations. The same as within the gravitational field, how one is aligned in relationship to a particular field determines whether its effects are generative or non-generative, that is, able to produce or originate results that further life or not.
After Janie French passed away, Annie B. Duggan, co-founder of DFA, encountered Dr. Michael Conforti’s Archetypal Pattern Analysis, which is absolutely coherent with our findings in DFA. This encounter and the community of fellow researchers in this field have offered a context in which to further formulate our understanding of the generation of patterns in psyche and body. In this paper I would like to present Dr. Conforti’s archetypal field theory, without going into his background in Jungian and Langsian psychoanalysis, through discussion of some concepts emerging from the new sciences he
acknowledges. I will comment to some extent on the work of biochemist Mae Wan Ho, her concept of coherence, and the importance of coherence for the exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness of living organisms to extremely weak signals. This sensitivity and responsiveness seems to me to lie at the root of the effect that archetypal fields have on the lives of individuals and societies alike, and also provides us with a means for responding creatively to them. I will outline correspondences with physicist Ervin Laszlo’s unified interactive dynamics in an in-formed universe and biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance and I will give a brief sketch of some of the features in zoologist Adolph Portmann’s work.
I will end with an account of an episode which seems to demonstrate the hypothesis that there is memory stored in something comparable to a field, but which is non-local, unlike the fields of physics which are local. Given the right prompt, this memory is activated and becomes played out in an individual’s life. It is my understanding that the organism’s exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness to weak signals has a decisive
role in this process. Unless it is made conscious, this response largely takes place outside the individual’s awareness, and then, one cannot help but be under the effect of that field. One becomes a victim to the circumstances of personal and collective history as well as the present circumstances, no matter how hard one tries to struggle and find a way out of the hold of a force one has no way of understanding. But our organism’s exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness to weak signals not only exposes us to this force, it
also enables us to gain consciousness of its effect on us, when we use the gravitational and archetypal fields as a frame of reference. This awareness leads us to discover what shift is needed for us to develop a generative relationship with those circumstances.
Mae-Wan Ho’s Concept of Coherence A number of scientists have been instrumental in Dr. Ho’s formulation of the concept of coherence. The first she credits is Erwin Schrödinger, who dedicated more than half of his book What is Life?3 to the problem of coherence and the question of how the organism
could function as a perfectly coordinated whole. She goes on to point out Ludwig von Bertalanffy of general systems theory4, Ilya Prigogine of the theory of dissipative structures5, and Kenneth Denbigh’s6 thermodynamics of the steady state, which Mae-Wan Ho extended, with his approval, to derive the “zero-entropy” model of the organism and sustainable systems.7

Harold Saxon Burr starting in the 1930s and Robert Becker in the 1960s to 1990s9 had detected electric fields in developing embryos and adult organisms, and provided evidence that electric currents and fields are what the body uses for intercommunication, to function as a coordinated whole, to heal itself, and in some cases, even to regenerate lost parts.10
Another scientist who greatly influenced Mae-Wan Ho was solid-state physicist Herbert Fröhlich11 who pointed out that the organism is densely packed with dielectric molecules (as in a solid-state device), which both react to and generate electromagnetic fields. He proposed that the energy the organism gets by metabolizing food could ‘pump’ the living system into a state of “coherent excitations.”12
Half by accident, in Ho’s laboratory a discovery was made that gave concrete evidence to Fröhlich’s hypothesis. They observed the larva of a fruit fly through a polarizing microscope and it appeared as a dynamic liquid crystal display flashing in all the colors of the rainbow as it moved with its activities13. This could only mean one thing: the molecules inside the worm, including especially the water molecules, which make up 70 percent by weight, are all aligned with their positive and negative charges pointing
in the same directions, making up a liquid crystalline continuum and moving coherently together. This is so in all living organisms. If we had a polarizing microscope big enough to lie down under, we could see the colors of the rainbow in the tissues of our own body14. As a matter of fact, very beautiful images of the liquid crystalline fractal structure in living human bodies are shown in plastic surgeon Jean-Claude Guimberteau’s DVD Strolling under the Skin.
Contemplating all these ideas and the implications derived from the discovery made inher lab, Mae-Wan Ho imaged a mixed group of people dancing to the rhythms of a good jazz band in coherent patterns, without any choreographer telling them how to move, by just following the music; and a jazz band, with each instrument improvising freely, but all playing together as one coherent whole. This led her to the understanding that an organism is like an exquisitely tuned receiver (and emitter) for the widest
possible range of electromagnetic fields; its antennae are tuned to signals from many frequencies, those from the earth, the moon, and evenfaraway galaxies and it will respond to them withnew music.16 Just as each dancer is tuned into the other dancers and the musicians, the coherent ensemble (organism) of dancers and musicians is tuned into the music of the spheres.
One key feature of quantum coherence is phase correlation. In her talk at the European Quantum Energy Medicine Conference in Copenhagen (September 2008), Ho explained this with the example of the heart beat: The heart is obviously not a solo player inthe quantum jazz of life. Instead, it is in sym IASI Yearbook
phony with all other players, intermeshing, synchronizing and syncopating with their varied rhythms, reflecting the correlations and couplings in a system that is quantum coherent in the ideal. (…) The coupling between heart and other rhythms is quite precise, extending to phase correlations among all the body rhythms (…) An unhealthy heart, by contrast, is no longer intercommunicating, but falls back onto
its own intrinsic rhythm, which is why it appears superficially more regular while the dynamic hidden order is destroyed. 17
The quantum coherence of the organism seems to be a major indicator of health. Another of its salient features is the superposition of coherent activities on all levels, from the fastest to
the slowest, the most global to the most local, even ones going in opposite directions. While I am sitting at my computer, my whole body expands as I inhale, rests inside and towards the ground as I exhale, and I keep adjusting the relationship between the different segments of my body and the gravitational field of our planet, so that my shoulders and arms and eyes will not get overly tired and my lower back will not hurt; and
as my fingers type and my brain tries to find the clearest words to convey my thoughts to the readers in ways that will satisfy my heart, while it pumps blood through my arteries and veins, and my digestive system works to break down and assimilate the almonds and fruit sugar combined in a delicious panellet I had a while ago…
At the same time, quantum superposition is closely related with quantum entanglement. In the organism this means that different parts behave as one system, so that interacting with one part affects every other part.18 For example, if my breathing was restricted due to a bad relationship between the different segments of my body and the gravitational field of planet Earth, mydigestion would be affected, the flow of my
thinking impaired and my heart unsatisfied…
Then all my organs would have to work a lot harder and I would be unhappy and, in the longer run, probably less healthy.
Another important hallmark of the coherence of the organism is its local freedom combined with global intercommunication, which is made possible by its underlying liquid crystalline structure. I can move my pelvis in my chair to the music in my heart, while my fingers go on typing and my thinking flows. As a matter of fact, the movement helps my guts digest the panellet and my thinking flow. The clearer my thoughts, the more engaging becomes the song in my heart, the freer the relationship between my butt on the chair and everything above and below it…
Each part is as much in control as it is sensitive and responsive, a key not only in biological but also in social functioning.19 There is much to be said about this.
As a matter of fact, Dr. Ho argues that quantum coherence is the prerequisite for conscious experience.20 It is why we think of ourselves as ‘I,’ although our bodies are made up of myriads of cells as well as ten times as many bacteria, each going about doing their business and, ideally, contributing coherently to the healthy
functioning of the whole. Moreover, when “we say ‘I’, the little bacteria are saying ‘me too’ in chorus.”21
There is an instantaneous response in my clients’ bodies, observed both by them and by me, when they become aware of the ubiquitous liquid crystalline matrix Jim Oschman22 describes in great detail as extending all through our bodies into each and every cell, and even into their nuclei. When they picture the network of macroscopic and microscopic structures made up of protein (mostly collagen) and water as liquid crystal which allows for the transmission of information at close to the speed of light, it becomes much easier for them to let the wave motion, brought about with the manual intervention created by Duggan and French,23 go through their bodies. The motion releases part of the physical tension held in habitual patterns for long enough to allow a new option to stabilize, giving them time to explore the possibilities
inherent in it and, through contrast, learn how to recognize their habitual holding patterns, to understand their history and the ways in which these patterns interfere in their lives. With practice, clients can realize early on when they are, once again, trapped in their habitual patterns and can then find their way back to the new options of more coherent and freer movement.
Dr. Ho emphasizes the organism’s sensitivity to weak signals of all kinds as a result of its liquid crystalline structure. Everybody who has ever experienced it agrees that the sensation of integration within the gravitational field of the planet is at the same time both subtle and quite spectacular. This is entirely due to the coherence that the liquid crystalline structure makes possible. At the end of a session, most people, in one way or another, state the sensation of feeling one coherent whole, but every so often, there are moments when someone particularly sensitive feels deeply moved because s/he feels not only a coherent whole but also has the clear experience of being an integral part of one coherent universe. These are moments when one can actually feel one’s own jive swing along with the rest of the universal jazz band.
The Organism’s Sensitivity to Weak Signal and Archetypal Patterns. In my understanding, the importance of the organism’s exquisite sensitivity to weak signals in Archetypal Pattern Analysis and DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition cannot be overstated. We may not know the exact nature of archetypes, and we may never get to know it, but, as the Buddha teaches in the parable of the man who was wounded by an arrow24, that kind of knowledge is not of much use. What is useful is the realization that archetypal patterns do have a compelling influence on our behavior and the way we organize our experience in our bodies and our lives. Michael Conforti’s concept of archetypal fields offers a thought model that is very useful in helping us understand the dynamics of self organization and enabling us to develop a generative relationship to these fields.
In his presentations at the Assisi Institute in March and November 2009, Steven Cushing demonstrated the parallels between the concept of ‘fields’ in physical sciences and ‘archetypes’ in Jungian psychology, justifying the use of the concept of archetypal fields. The first are distributed through physical space and cause deviations in physical trajectories by modifying motion through this space, while the latter persist
through time and cause deviations in life trajectories by modifying behavioral responses to personal situations.25 In response to his question about whether archetypes could have developed through the usual processes of biological evolution, Cushing points to genetics and argues that, since genes can encode any kind of information, they have the capacity to encode archetypes, leaving the response of whether they actually do or not for the biochemists to figure out.26 According to Mae-Wan Ho, the information
that shapes us “is not in the genes, it is distributed over the entire web of nested organismenvironment interrelationships, extending from the social and ecological to the genetic and epigenetic.”27 Apart from the physical fields of nature, like the gravitational, electromagnetic, and weak and strong nuclear fields, I suggest that archetypal fields may also be part of this web, having developed through the usual processes of
biological evolution by means of the entire webof nested organism-environment interrelationships. In this sense, I consider archetypal fields the offspring of the initial fields of gravitation and electromagnetism. Through the influx of electromagnetic radiation from the sun, life could spring forth and unfold within the gravitational field of our planet, first as simple processes and then in ever increasing degrees of diversity
and complexity, through manifold processes and in myriads of shapes and forms. So gravitation and electromagnetic radiation, the archetypes of mother and father, give birth to life and shape the archetypal dynamics of the processes of life, which then evolve within the constraints of the initial fields. With every new generation, their life experience contributes to the way these archetypal dynamics unfold at the same time that it is constrained by them. As the German embryologist Erich Blechschmidt points out, all growth, or “developmental movement”, as he calls it, “takes place against a resistance.”28
Ho and Saunders hold that “the intrinsic dynamics of the epigenetic system is determined not so much by gene interactions as by physical and chemical forces of nonlinear complex systems in general, which are amenable to mathematical description.”29 It is undeniable that, among these forces, gravitation and electromagnetic radiation, with their correspondent fields, play an important role and, I believe, if Dr. Ho’s talk had been delivered in another context, she might well have added archetypal forces to the two she did mention. Ho goes on to speak about the high degree in which “generative dynamics can constrain the possible forms”30 (…) and shows us that the “power of dynamics–the syntax of form–is that it predicts the set of possible transformations, excluding all others. It also tells us how the possible forms are related by transformation.31
From all that Ho states about these dynamics, I understand them to be consistent with what could also be talked about in terms of field phenomena. In their epigenetic theory of evolution, she and Saunders proposed (…) “that the intrinsic dynamical structure of the epigenetic system is the source of non-random variations that direct evolutionary change in the face of new environmental challenges. These evolutionary novelties are reinforced (canalized) in subsequent generations through cytoplasmic/epigenetic mechanisms, independently of natural selection.”32 So, as Ho points out, it is the lived experience of the organisms themselves which may in the course of evolution make the dynamics of the processes more complex or simpler. In any case, Ho points out, when it comes to pattern formation, it is highly constrained.33 To me, this sounds exactly applicable to archetypal patterns and fields.
To further underline my point, I would like to introduce the term metabolic field, coined by Erich Blechschmidt: Following an approach adopted in modern physics, one can describe biological processes as
taking place in force fields by using the concept of a metabolic field. A biodynamic metabolic
field is a field of force based on a locally ordered metabolism. Metabolic fields are those morphologically defined regions, at all different levels of spatial resolution, which contain spatially ordered metabolic movement. Biodynamic metabolic fields can be used to describe cells and cell ensembles (e.g., zones of loose tissue, zones of dense tissue) or whole areas of differentiation as the lung, the liver, or the thyroid gland.34
This is fully consistent with the highly interconnected metabolic network Ho describes as the base for the organism’s freedom from mechanic control and its interconnected and intercommunicating wholeness,35 its liquid crystalline structure offering support for long-range energy continua in cells and tissues36:
Not only are almost all enzymes bound to an intricate ‘microtrabecular lattice,’ but a large proportion of metabolites as well as water molecules are also structured on the enormous surfaces available. Aqueous channels are now thought to be involved in the active transport of solutes within the cell in the same way that the blood stream transport metabolites and chemical
messengers within the organism.37
I consider the liquid crystalline structure with its high degree of sensitivity for weak signals and the intricate microtrabecular lattice it offers for the binding and active transportation of solutes as a key factor in the way archetypes become manifest in any particular individual as well as in the individual’s ability to creatively relate to archetypes and contribute to shape them. As Mae-Wan Ho states: “the organism actively participates in shaping its own development as well as the evolutionary future of the entire ecological
community of which it is part. [It] (…) experiences its environment in one continuous nested process, adjusting and changing, leaving imprints in its epigenetic system, its genome as well as on the environment, all of which are passed on to subsequent generations.”38 One important feature of the environment could be
an archetype an individual cannot help but be sensitive to at a particular point in his or her life, and the way they relate to it will, in turn, leave its imprint in the way this archetype will affect future generations. Ho states:
In that way, the organism actively participates in shaping its own development as well as the evolution of its ecological and social community. We do hold the future in our hands; it is precious, be careful.39
I can only underline the great importance of this admonition. Understanding how our bodies respond to signals that shape our behavior, so that we may find alignments that promote both local freedom and global coherence, gives us great potential to reshape our lives as individual organisms, our immediate social community, and future generations. This is what makes my heart sing and these are the rhythms that move
me in my life’s work. Our organism’s ability to store energy and mobilize it at will, one of the features of its coherence, offers us the means to initiate and carry through such transformation.
The rest is a matter of awareness and continual practice.
Ervin Laszlo’s Unified Interactive Dynamics in an In-formed Universe Ervin Laszlo’s notion of a unified interactive dynamics40 in a creative cosmos seems to me absolutely consistent with Ho’s “maximization of
local autonomy and global cohesion, of universal participation, of sensitivity and responsiveness”41 as features capable of explaining how the organism’s development directs evolution.
What I find most compelling about Laszlo’s efforts toward defining a theory of everything are his writings about memory and its “distributedread-out potential and quasi-unlimited information-storage capacities”42 in an in-formational field with holographic properties, and about the importance of “feedback of relevant information in an otherwise random process.”43 “If the information is both perfect and compelling”, he
writes, (…) the reduction of the number of decision-points needed to reach a goal can be (…) dramatic (…) If it is neither perfect nor compelling, the time-reduction would not be as dramatic, but it could still be significant. Even an occasional and non-compelling ‘prompt’ could speed up randomly groping developmental processes. It could, for example, make the evolution of organic species fall within acceptable
On the basis of this aspect of Laszlo’s theory, sensitivity and responsiveness to weak signals are of utmost relevance in evolutionary change. They provide useful feedback, which helps to hone the manifold problem-solving strategies that have led to an ever increasing degree of complexity and diversity in life forms.
Instead of being governed blindly by archetypal dynamics, our organism’s sensitivity and responsiveness to weak signals make it possible to learn how to relate to these dynamics with our eyes open.
In The Creative Cosmos, Laszlo asks if a holographic field actually exists in nature and first
ooks to Einstein’s four-dimensional space-time as “a structured continuum that is more than a
geometrical abstraction: it is a fundamental field of which the reality can no longer be in question.”45 He suggests that beyond the four varieties of fields contemporary physics bases its concepts on–the gravitational, the electromagnetic, the strong and weak nuclear fields–there is a fifth fundamental energy and information carrying field at the interactive face of the quantum vacuum.46 As a matter of fact, Laszlo holds that the four fields known to modern physics would be emerging out of this fifth field, which he calls
the A-field, psi field, or Akashic field. Actually, instead of fifth, it should thus be considered primary.
The notion of this original field makes me think of the teachings of the Supreme Matriarch the Lotus Sangha for World Social Buddhism, Ji Kwang Dae Poe Sa Nim, who in her book One Dust Particle Swallows Heaven and Earth, explains that one pure and clear thing, the teakkl, is the origination of the universe, the origination of nature. From it, everything is created47. Beyond it is nothing but absolute energy–clean, clear, and bright.48 Actually, in Science and the Akashic Field:
An Integral Theory of Everything49, Laszlo shows that this fifth field is as consistent with modern science as it is with the teachings of numerous ancient wisdom traditions.
Rupert Sheldrake’s Concept of Morphic Resonance
In contrast to Laszlo, Sheldrake does not strive to present a theory of everything, but to find a solution to “the problem of form” which biologists have been struggling with for centuries. I first heard him present his concept of morphic resonance at a conference in Barcelona in 1989. More than any of his books I read subsequently,50 this talk has coined my understanding of his hypothesis of formative causation. All systems of any kind, he suggests, are shaped not by natural laws, which since ancient Greece have been held to be eternal, but by a unique morphic field containing a collective memory. He proposes that this memory is transmitted by what he calls “morphic resonance,” although, as he acknowledges, it would have to be a form of resonance that is different from any known kind of resonance.51 He suggests that the regularity of form observed in systems of all kinds, in physics, chemistry, biology, psychology, and sociology, is maintained by self-organizing patterns brought about by repetition of that which works. So it is habits, which can evolve, rather than eternal laws that determine, for example, the way crystals form. The way cooking salt crystallizes is due to the fact that it has done so for an extremely long time, because that is the way it works best; it has a
very simple structure and thus the habit is very stable.
According to Sheldrake, all self-organizing systems have morphic fields that organize them.
These morphic fields are themselves shaped by the process of morphic resonance from similar systems in the past. He states that morphic fields are probability structures in which similar things affect subsequent similar things across space and time through a transfer of information through resonant patterns of activity. Each species has a collective memory that each new individual tunes into by morphic resonance, thus drawing upon and contributing to the species’ morphic field.52
When habits get repeated many times, they get very deeply grooved. Most of nature is deeply habitual, Sheldrake says. When habits become very well established, the systems behave as if governed by eternal laws. But eternal laws cannot be historical, and evolution is radically historical.53
The hypothesis of morphic resonance accounts for the great consistency of form, but not for innovation and the great diversity of shapes in the universe. For Laszlo this indicates a weak point in Sheldrake’s proposal. However, all systems are at all times in interaction not only with the morphic fields they are resonating with but
with all of nature, finding thus ever new challenges that need to be faced and overcome and
ever new opportunities to develop simpler and more effective strategies to interact with their environment. Consciousness seems to play a decisive role in this arena and Sheldrake speculates that it is not limited to living beings but permeates the entire universe.
Adolph Portmann’s Theory of Pre-formation
In Adolph Portmann’s exposition of his “insights into the prefigured structure of the finished human individual”54, what stands out for me is that he identifies the profound interrelationship and similarity between all living beings, long before images such as those of Mae-Wan Ho’s worm were possible. We truly are family with the tiniest bug. Beyond anatomical similarities between insects and vertebrates, including
man, Portman points out that “… all the essential forms of human behavior have their roots in the social uterine period with its special mode of development accompanied by learning.”55 The importance of Portman’s statement in relationship to the exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness of an organism’s liquid crystalline ground structure requires an exposition that goes beyond the scope of this article and will be covered more extensively elsewhere.56 Suffice it here to point out that Portman refers to the fact that human gestation continues for about a year and half after birth. During this period the prevalent development of the brain takes place in the right hemisphere, growing deep roots in somatic experience. This is highly significant for the development of the individual’s ground-laying beliefs about themselves, life, and the world at large.
After all, these beliefs shape our bodies and our way of being in the world.
Muguet, John, and Núria
The case of Muguet illustrates the existence of a field independent of space and time containing the memory of events. Muguet had no knowledge of these events, nonetheless, they had an irresistible influence on her life. Muguet conme, seeking supervision for her work with an HIV-positive client. In the first session something had happened that she could not understand. She reported feeling like some primal force had taken hold of her. It had happened when her client, John, told her that when he was born (at home), the attending physician had said to his mother that a child like that would not be able to live. His mother then decided she did not want to see him and had him put into the father’s study, where his grandmother made sure he had everything he needed to survive, which he did.
John was extremely bright and creative, and Muguet felt quite taken with him. She reported feeling extremely angry at the doctor and John’s mother. While she could understand her anger, she also observed that the intensity of the feeling was somehow off. She realized that something in her had been activated and she had to pay very close attention to what she did and said with that client. She worked with him for several months, keeping herself under close scrutiny through supervision with me and through therapy with a Jungian analyst of the old school, and was thrilled to see him respond very well to the treatment. Nonetheless, she could not help feeling obsessed with John, to a point where almost
all of her thoughts turned around him and it was as if her life’s sole meaning lay in saving his. Although therapy and supervision helped her keep her feelings at bay and stay professional with him in his sessions, she could not understand what had activated the Great Mother archetype that appeared to have taken over her life. Finally she came to the conclusion that she had to terminate the treatment, because she felt she could not trust herself to keep her professional boundaries in place, and she was running the risk of being
devoured by the archetype, together with her client.
It took her months to get over the disappointment she felt with herself for what she considered a great failure. It was the results she observed in her work with her other clients what made her refrain from giving up her life as a DFA practitioner altogether. Eventually, she recovered.
Years later, during a visit to her mother, Muguet found a photo of a tombstone with two names on it: those of her grandfather’s first wife, Núria, and their daughter Margarita. The daughter had died a month after being born and the mother died a year and a half later. Muguet had known about the existence of the first wife, but she had not known anything about a child or about the circumstances of the woman’s death.
Her curiosity was on fire. She tried to pull all the strings she could think of, but to no avail: no where was there any information to be found about what had happened. One day, on a walk with her mother, they ran into one of her mother’s school friends and stopped to chat. They lived only one street away from each other, but they hadn’t had a conversation in over twenty years. Muguet talked about her research, and her mother’s friend said that someone in her family was related to the first wife’s family. She offered to ask around to see if anybody knew anything about what had happened. The next day she called and told Muguet that she had talked with a great-aunt of hers, who was then over eighty and at the time had been four. This old lady still remembered very clearly how impressed she had been as a little child with the verdict of the physician who had been attending Núria in childbirth: “a child like that will not be able to live.”
When Muguet heard those words, right away she remembered the situation where she had heard them for the first time, even if they had then been spoken in a different language.
She was still on the phone with her mother’s school friend, when the whole situation with her ex-client John lay clear in front of her eyes. The primal force that had taken hold of her uponhearing those words during that first session with John about ten years earlier was the “field” of her grandfather’s first wife. In that light, she understood the intensity of her feelings and her drive to give her own life, if only she could save his; it is
what a mother would feel. Upon hearing those words, Núria had taken possession of Muguet; she had taken over Muguet’s presence with her client. Muguet had been clear enough to get help, but there had been no way to break loose from the grip she had been in, except by extracting herself from the situation to avoid major harm, although she felt it broke her heart.
When Muguet was finally able to make sense of what had happened to her in the work with John, it came as a great relief to her to understand what it was that had taken hold of her.
At the same time, she was utterly intrigued about how it could happen, and thoroughly grateful for the opportunity to learn from having such an experience in her own skin. And so am I, grateful that she allowed me to accompany her in this process and to write about it. When she came back to tell me about her discovery, I was involved in trying to gain a deeper understanding of the physical intervention used in DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition, so that I would be able to describe it to a professional community. I was particularly interested in the work of Mae Wan Ho and Jim Oschman and their description of the liquid crystalline ground structure extending through all levels of the body from the macroscopic to the microscopic, its exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness to weak signals, and its ability to transmit information at close to the speed of light.
When I described this to Muguet, she was thrilled: “Yes!” she almost shouted. “That is what happened.” She described the sensation that overtook her upon hearing John say those words (“a child like that will not be able to live”), as if she had been struck by lightning. A high level of energy flashed instantaneously through her body, and took hold of it through and through, from the macroscopic to the microscopic. Those words must have been the weak signal that brought about something like a coherent change in polarity of the water molecules throughouther organism.
“Actually it felt quite good,” stated Muguet, “it made me feel very powerful. I had fantasies about demonstrating to the whole world that aids could be healed. It would have been easy to let myself be carried away with it. It was incredibly appealing with its high level of energy. I am sure that it was my continual training in staying plugged into my awareness of the relationship between my body and the gravitational field what allowed me to realize that something out of the order had happened. The energetic charge of
my tissues kept pulling me away from the ground, and it was only through the realization that I was not really able to rest into myself and breathe as I usually could that I knew I needed help.” On one hand the gravitational field served as a frame of reference for her body, on another her commitment to the field created by the therapeutic frame guided her, as well as her awareness that the Great Mother archetype had being activated; together, these allowed for the restraint that kept Muguet from compromising the therapeutic relationship while it lasted.
Wondering how she had fallen under the spell of Núria’s field, Muguet discovered that her family owed the house they were living in to Núria, as well as another piece of land, which had been worth a small fortune. Muguet’s grandmother had always been adamant about taking good care of her predecessor’s grave, but
this appreciation for Núria was overshadowed by events and lost before Muguet was born. Muguet
grew up unaware of the dwindling wealth Núria had brought into her family. She had been vaguely aware of her existence, but knew nothing of the history. She was the heir to the house, by then loaded with a big debt to the point that her mother constantly feared the bank would force her out of the house. The piece of land had long been sold to cover part of the debt. When Muguet found out that the house and land had been the dowry Núria had brought into the family, she asked her Buddhist master to perform an ancestor ceremony for her. She was able to keep the house while her mother was alive, and afterwards to sell it and pay off the debt, and even come out with some money left at the end.
On a more intimate level, due to the fact that she could now see Núria, Muguet was able to differentiate from something that had possessed her not only since that first session with John but since she was born. In finding out about Núria and her history, some of the things Muguet had embodied in her life turned out to
actually belong to Núria and simply fell off her.
Upon acknowledging her presence among her ancestors, even though there is no blood relationship, Muguet became free to be and find out about herself. It was at first nothing but a sensation she experienced intimately, but with time, it became apparent that other people also sensed a change in Muguet and approached her with considerably more ease, among them a man, who had secretly been in love with her for years. He is now her husband. From the way Muguet described the sensations in her body, it sounded exactly like iron filings organizing in a certain shape according to the field generated by a magnet. The information was not so much in her body, but her body was under the influence of a force field that was absolutely compelling. She was able to become aware of its force and gain a certain degree of freedom of movement from it, because she kept track of her alignment to a greater force field, that of gravitation. But she managed to really come free of it, only when she recognized it for what it was, because that allowed her to create a relationship with it, which could satisfy the debt of recognition Núria was owed from Muguet’s
family. The lack of recognition for Núria’s contribution to the family had created a force field that Muguet had been born into. It was one of the environmental influences that had shaped her life, her behavior, her body… In that sense, it had become embodied in her; however I don’t believe the memory of those words was in her body, nor around it, but beyond space and time in a non-local field. When she heard those words being pronounced during the first session with John, the intensity of Núria’s force field got jolted up full-scale. It was just a few words, spoken in a different language, so it was not the words in themselves, but the devastating meaning they conveyed that “flipped the switch,” activating the field and forcing Muguet to follow its mandates.
Her alignment with the mandates of the greater force fields of gravitation on one hand and the sacred space of healing on the other, kept her from totally falling under the spell of the archetypal field of the mother willing to give her own life to save her child. But to a certain degree, it kept its hold on her until, in the course of her continued dedication to these greater fields, she eventually came upon the information that enabled her to break it. In any case, it takes time to recognize the different areas of an individual’s life that have come under the influence of such a field and, one by one, disentangle them from its influence. It is one
very important step to recognize the pattern, but then it takes time and practice to develop, incorporate, and embody an alternative.
The exquisite sensitivity and responsiveness of the liquid crystal ground substance of Muguet’s organism made her fall under the spell of a dynamics that had taken place before she was born. Her exquisite perceptiveness, which she had worked on educating during many years, made her aware that something untoward had happened in that first session with John; it was also what set her curiosity on fire when she saw the photo of the tombstone. The sensations taking place in her body kept her informed about dynamics which she could understand in their full scope only later, when she came to know the context in which they had arisen. However, her continual abidance by the greater force fields, gravitational and archetypal, helped her stay clear of what could have become a pitfall for her professional and personal life, had she let herself
be carried away by the dynamics she felt in her body. Even though she did not have all the information, she understood that being possessed by the Great Mother archetype would harm herself as well as her client.
I chose this example because the existence of a non-local in-formational field storing memory seems to me the only explanation for the overwhelming effect of those words on Muguet.
As for the intensity of the signal, a simple sentence sure seems weak, except for the emotional impact it had on the person it had originally been addressed to. In one way or another a correspondence with that emotional impact or the event it arose from got laid down in Muguet’s body during its development, be it within her mother’s womb or within the social womb of her family; morphic resonance seems like a reasonable explanation for how this might have happened.
Beyond this special case scenario, archetypal fields offer a frame of reference comparable to the gravitational field in all walks of life. As professionals in the field of health care, we can align with traditions that have been healing and helpful throughout the different generations and cultures of humanity. As people offering a professional service, we can align with the universal principles that make up fair trade: truth, justice, value, safety.57 The functions of mother and father may be different from species to species and in different human cultures, but common features are siring, gestation, containment, protection, nurturance, education and preparation for adult function. In archetypal terms, maternal functions tend to be directed more towards the inner aspects and paternal functions to the outer aspects of life. However, except for siring and
gestating, both men and women can fulfill maternal and paternal functions, provided they develop the corresponding aspects in themselves.
The archetypal fields of childhood, adolescence, adulthood, old age each show certain propensities and tendencies in behaviors and experiences that change, as a person advances in life from one stage to the next. In one’s fifties, for example, searching for love and acceptance would be an indicator of being stuck in an earlier stage of life, be it childhood in trying to please mom and dad, adolescence in making acquaintance with sexual desire, or young adulthood in trying to find a partner. The governing principles of the second half of life go beyond the plans of the tribe. It is a time to rescue the parts of oneself that have fallen victim to one’s efforts of adaptation to the standards of the collective and to develop them so as to be able to make
one’s own contribution to the collective and thus further it. That doesn’t mean one cannot find love in the second half of life but, in the long run, it will probably be satisfactory only if one has managed to get acquainted with one’s shadow as part of oneself and gained a certain degree of integration between the male and female aspects of one’s psyche, so that one won’t expect the partner to carry disowned aspects of one’s
own psyche.
These are but some examples of life dynamics constrained by archetypal fields. A generative alignment with them strengthens the individual and furthers personal as well as collective development. Non-generative alignment brings with it stagnation and a general degradation of health.
DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition uses a physical hands-on intervention to create freer and more coherent movement and structural integration in the gravitational field and to educate sensory perception. The purpose of much of our habitual holding is to keep sensations we don’t like outside our conscious experience; it renders certain areas of the liquid crystal opaque, so-tospeak. DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition aims at recovering their transparency and becoming aware of sensations that would otherwise remain underneath the threshold of the unconscious.
The greater force fields, gravitational and archetypal, not only offer a frame of reference which allows us to develop conscious awareness of body shapes and psycho-social dynamics, they also offer support for growth and development, when we are able to recognize their effect on us and move accordingly. That is why an education of sensory perception in relationship to these greater force fields will greatly enhance one’s ability to develop a generative alignment with them.
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2. Conforti M, Field, Form, and Fate–Patterns in Mind, Nature, and Psyche, Woodstock, CT: Spring Publications,
3. Schrödinger E, What is Life? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994.
4. von Bertalanffy L, General System Theory: Foundations, Development, Applications, New York: George Braziller,
5. Prigogine I, Introduction to Thermodynamics of Irreversible Processes, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1967.
6. Denbigh KG, The Thermodynamics of the Steady State, New York: Mathuen & C, Ltd, 1951.
7. Ho MW, “Quantum Jazz”, SiS 32 (Winter 2006). Based on lecture delivered at Artists Review Meeting,
Goldsmith College, London University, 20 September 2006. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/QuantumJazz.php (29-
8. Burr HS, Blueprint for Immortality: The Electric Patterns of Life, Saffron, Walden: The CW Daniel Company, Ltd,
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10. Ho MW, “Quantum Jazz.”
11. Fröhlich H, “Long range coherence and energy storage in biological system,” Int J Quantum Chem Vol 2, Iss 5 (1968): 641-649.
Fröhlich H, “The biological effects of microwaves and related questions,” Adv Electronics and Electron Phys 53 (1980): 85-152.
12. Ho MW, “Quantum Jazz.”
13. Ho MW, “Quantum Coherent Liquid Crystalline Organism,” invited lecture at European Quantum Energy Medicine Conference, Copenhagen, 19 September 2008. http://www.isis.org.uk/QuantumCoherentOrganism.php (visited on 29-12-2010) Ho MW, The Rainbow and the Worm: the Physics of Organisms, 2nd ed., Singapore: World Scientific, 1998, reprinted 1999, 2002, 2003, 2005. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/rnbwwrm.php Ho MW, Haffegee J, Newton RH, Ross S, Zhou YM and Bolton JP, “Organisms as polyphasic liquid crystals,” Bioelectrochemistry and Bioenergetics 41 (1996): 81-91. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/polypha.php (visited on 29-12-2010) Ross S, Newton R, Zhou YM, Haffegee J, Ho MW, Bolton JP, and Knight D, “Quantitative image analysis of birefringent biological material,” J Microscopy 187 (1997): 62-67. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/jmic.php (visited on 29-12-2010)
14. Ho MW, “Quantum Jazz.”
15. Guimberteau JC, Strolling under the Skin, Cerimes, ADF Video Productions.
16. Ho MW, “Quantum Jazz.” Ho MW, “Quantum Coherent Liquid Crystalline Organism.”
17. Ibid.
18. Ibid.
19. Ibid. Ho MW, “The Biology of Free Will”, J. Consciousness Studies 1996: 231-244. http://www.isis.org.uk/freewill.php (visited on 12-29-2010)
20. Ho MW, Quantum Coherence and Conscious Experience, 1997. http://www.i-sis.org.uk/brainde.php (visited on 29-12-2010)
21. Ho MW, “Quantum Coherent Liquid Crystalline Organism.”
22. Oschman J, Energy Medicine in Therapeutics and Human Performance, Edinburgh: Elsevier, ButterworthHeineman, 2003.
23. Hansmann B, “DFA Somatic Pattern Recognition.”
24. A man was wounded by a poisoned arrow and, in order to save his life, it was important that it was removed from his body as soon as possible. But the man said: “I will not allow anybody to remove this arrow unless I know what man I was wounded by, what cast he belongs to, what the name of his family is and what kind of stature he has.” This man, the Buddha said, would surely die. Just like the view that the world is eternal or finite and other such questions, it is of no use to know these things. Knowing how to put an end to suffering, that is useful. From The Seeker’s Glossary of Buddhism, edited by Minh Thanh and P.D. Leigh,
http://www.sinc.sunysb.edu/clubs/buddhism/story/index.html (visited on 1-4-2010, 11-1-2010).
25. Cushing S, “A Formal Framework for Archetypal Fields–Mappings, Codings, and Pre-figured Forms,” presentation at the Institute for Archetypal Patterns Analysis, Brattleboro, Vermont, March 2009. (quoted with kind permission of the author)
26. Ibid.
27. Ho MW, “How Development Directs Evolution–Epigenetics and Generative Dynamics,” invited lecture for Evolution and the Future Conference, Hotel Continental-Beograd, Belgrade, Serbia, 14-18 October 2009.
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/howDevelopmentDirectsEvolution.php, (visited on 12-29-2010)

28. Blechschmidt, E, The Ontogenetic Basis of Human Anatomy: A Biodynamic Approach to Development from Conception to Birth, revised, edited, and translated by Freeman B, Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books, 2004, p. 22© 2004 by Traute Blechschmidt. Reprinted by permission of publisher.
29. Ho MW, “How Development Directs Evolution–Epigenetics and Generative Dynamics.”
30. Ibid.
31. Ibid.
32. Ibid.
33. Ibid.
34. Blechschmidt, E, op. cit., 22.
35. Ho MW, “The Biology of Free Will.”
36. Ibid.
37. Ibid.
Wheatley D, Clegg JS, “Intracellular Organization: Evolutionary origins and possible consequences of metabolic rate control in vertebrates,” Am Zool 31 (1991): 504-513.
38. Ho MW, “How Development Directs Evolution–Epigenetics and Generative Dynamics.”
39. Ibid.
40. Laszlo E, The Creative Cosmos, Edinburgh: Floris Books, 1993, 119.
41. Ho MW, “Organism and Psyche in a Participatory Universe,” invited Lecture at the Assisi Institute, 1998.
http://www.i-sis.org.uk/organis.php (visited on 12-29-2010).
42. Laszlo E, op. cit., 126
43. Ibid., 126.
44. Ibid., 127.
45. Ibid., 129.
46. Ibid., 133.
47. Dae Poep Sa Nim JK, One Dust Particle Swallows Heaven and Earth, Brussels: Dharma Sah International, 1990.
48. Dae Poep Sa Nim JK, Daily Fragrance of the Lotus Flower, Daily Sutra, Paris: Social Buddhism Publications, 1994.
49. Laszlo E, Science and the Akashic Field: An Integral Theory of Everything, Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 2004.
50. Sheldrake R, The Hypothesis of a New Science of Life–Morphic Resonance, Rochester, New York: Park Street Press, 1995. Sheldrake R, The Presence of the Past, Morphic Resonance and the Habits of Nature, Rochester, New York: Park Street Press, 1988. Sheldrake R, Chaos, Creativity and Cosmic Consciousness, Rochester, New York: Park Street Press, 2001.
51. Sheldrake R, The Hypothesis of a New Science of Life–Morphic Resonance, 117.
52. Sheldrake R, “The Nature of Life–A Scientific Debate,” Cambridge Science Festival, 20 March 2009,
http://www.sheldrake.org/B&R/audiostream, visited on 1-25-2010, 11-1-2010).
53. at Lambeth Palace, Cosmic Evolution and Continual Creativity, http://www.sheldrake.org/B&R/audiostream (visited on 1-25-2010, 11-1-2010).
54. Portmann A, “Metamorphosis in Animals: The Transformations of the Individual and the Type,” 1954, Man and Transformation, Princeton, New Jersey: Bollingen Foundation, 1980, 297-325.
55. Ibid, 322.
56. Hansmann B, Breathing with Trees, as yet to be published
57. Anna E. O’Brien writes: “The fair trade frame is a preexistent form incorporating four archetypal or
universal patterning processes, (truth, justice, value and safety) for the purpose of informative pattern
reading anywhere but most especially the marketplace.” Hawk Wisdom: Self Defence For The Marketplace, in the process of publication, [email protected].

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