Today we kick start the Depth Psychology Alliance book club look into Isis Code : Revelations from Brain Research and Systems Science on the Search for Human Perfection and Happiness.
Hi everyone, my name is Ariane Page and I am the author of this book. I will be your host this month. Together, depending on your questions and reactions , we will shed a light on some aspects of this book. I say some aspects because at 600 pages, it covers a whole system which, itself, covers all aspects of human life. A little bit daunting for a short month! Isn't it.
You will have to keep in mind that I am French, therefore my impulsive English writing isn't perfect and I must right away apologize for this.
This book took three full time years to write since I had to look into all the newest brain research results to see if the thousands year old system I refer to is in harmony with these results. And it is.
What does this means for us? It reveals that the greatest Traditions of humanity, through their texts have intuitively expressed this system therefore , reading these sacred texts puts us in contact with the expression of a balanced system- in fact, the mandate of these texts was similar and exactly that-.
In Isis Code, I use three examples throughout the book: the legend of Isis and Osiris of Egypt, the Five Books of Moses and the Tao. Those three Traditions cover both Eastern and Western Traditions and are built on the same system.
To get back to the physical book itself, it is also offered in a ebook formal through amazon and google as well as other. We will not cover the different chapters as a month is too short for this to be done properly. However, I can certainly answer your questions. The first part of the book, including Chapter 1 and 2 sets the system into our actual vision of the world and introduces the two polarities ( feminine and masculine) as well as the system itself. The following chapters take us on a journey through different aspects of our brain which are attached to different worlds. I have named these in consideration of the world they are attached to and of the physical structures they control. Hence, for example, the Reptilian brain introduces us to the dimension of space- the what and where level, the physical world and associated to the masculine polarity. We find here structures associated to the R-complex brain system. At the beginning of each chapter you will find all the correspondences with each brain aspects which really are little brains in themselves. The sum of all of these gives us the LIFE biosystem (Law Inherent to the Five Elements) which is another name really for Isis Code.
I suggest that this book be read little by little from one chapter to the other and this for a simple reason. It was written in the fashion of the sacred texts of old. The aim therefore is not to give intellectual knowledge to the readers, although it also does that- but to serve as an expression of the system, balanced. What does this do to the reader? It puts all the pieces together in a harmonious whole. Indeed, we all are like Osiris: we have been cut in pieces (physical, emotional, symbolic/ analytic(mental), social) but true health can only be attained through theses pieces rejoining and working together, in harmony . In the legend it is Isis and Isis only who can recover all the pieces and put them together. This is what happens when we read this book. Unconsciously, our inner Isis puts together the pieces. The dreams we might have during the process are a way to verify this. So, I suggest that this book be read a little amount of pages at a time and that dreams occurring during this period be written down.
In this first day, I wish to bring our attention to the question we all ask when we meet someone new and wish to define who this person is: "What do you do in life?" We all answer the same way with what we do to generate money for us and our loved ones. In fact it becomes the following equation: who we believe we are/ what society offered us= what we do which eventually becomes who we are. If the society we are in has no opportunity to offer us than who we are becomes very reductive and problems arise because humans are more than a what.. Any reaction on this?
Well said Kelly. As a group, through the choices we made we did exactly that. The problem is now that we are "stuck" at a level and cannot go forward. On the brain level, we go through different cycles (grossly of 7 years each) in which some brain structures mature. When a phase is ignored or undermined , it is the whole system which can't find its expression. Do this on a large scale and you are faced with endemic problems. The fact though that we can understand the system and the phases necessary to its health could help us regain control if people get educated on this level. Did anyone here, or people around you had "to conform the shape of themselves into places they didn't naturally fit?"
It is a pleasure to have you on board Gloria! and I salute your openness to novelty which is already a sign that your feminine polarity is active.
Also, I would like to add that if someone else has the same reaction to the thickness of the book, keep in mind that it is easy to jump over the text which serves more as a scientific proof of the system rather than serves the casual reader. As with a car, it is not necessary to know all the intricacies of the mechanics to drive the car but to have these elements available is a good things for say car doctors.. It is the same with Isis Code. Thank you for bringing up this point Gloria!
I have only now scanned the table of contents at Amazon... and I find it so richly compelling. I am currently studying with Bonnie Badenoch (How to be a Brainwise Therapist) and am so enriched in working with clients (and myself) with this new relational-brain model! I am ALSO looking at my compulsion to 'buy' & possess (the book) even when I will likely not have the time to attend to this delicious book for months. (sigh. Self control. someone sez it's a good thing.)
I am very struck by the image of having to re-assemble ourselves for the purpose (among other things) of finding love. This is the theme that called and caught me.
I suspect that because I am so heavily kinesthetic, my visual sometimes gets overloaded with online discussions. But I will TRY to keep up with the discussion here, as I suspect rich gifts are "right there"!!
Hello Katharyn and welcome to this discussion! Already I can say that you pinpointed one of the main reasons we should learn more about ourselves and it is right there on your reply- to find love! This is what allowed humanity to evolve until now and is the thread which can take us onto a new, happier level. Love motivates us and I hope I can properly convey that if we can more truly express the LIFE biosystem of which we all are fractals manifestations ( as is our brain) then we will feel so connected to each other that love will be there, visible and in abundance for each of us to breathe in and feel happy and alive from.
Who we are and the search for identity
Hello again everyone,
This week we can concentrate on this " who we are" I mentioned in my previous post. We all look for love because love reveals us. It gives us an identity found in the eyes of the beloved. This is why the end of a relationship can be so destructive.
On page 306 of Isis Code I say:
"The brain develops through its interactions with the surrounding material world.
The lover will see the mirror of his Self, of his feminine polarity, reflected in
the self of the other. When those relationships abruptly end, the victim feels
crushed and destroyed as the self seems to have been negated. The identity
is lost, most acutely in men."
The LIFE biosystem teaches us that a relationship in fact consists in two feminine polarities and two masculine ones interacting. The man sees the masculine polarity of the women (her physical body) as the manifestation of his feminine polarity, externalized. The woman sees the masculine polarity of the man (his physical body and/or social status) as the expression of her masculine polarity externalized.
The period of identity seeking is concentrated roughly between the ages of 14 to 21. Brainwise it corresponds to the maturation of the parietal lobe and midprefrontal cortex. It is directly associated with the world of symbolism.
In our present society, a great deal of emphasis was put on the masculine polarity and this at all levels. This masculine polarity is associated to the persona or personality and to the physical and emotional worlds. It has allowed the tremendous technological progress we are witnessing BUT the feminine polarity, associated to the Self, the symbolism and environment (including social) was neglected. The problem with this is that human's rationality is only the result of all these aspects working harmoniously together. In the present situation, we are not acting rationally , although we believe we are and the problems with the environment shows this.
The solution is to find a deeper identity (or should I say a more elevated one). Our consumerist society is going through an identity crisis therefore our need for love is even greater than before. You are welcome to add your thoughts, question this text or comment.
"Jung's notion of holding the tension of the opposites has been a guiding light for me but I have often felt there was something missing in the idea. This is it - the key to holding the tension of the opposites is Love (capitalised intentionally)."
To echo this comment, I would quote the sentence Bonnie pointed out during the interview. (On page xvii of Isis Code) This was something Jung said not long before he passed away.
“Somewhere there was once a Flower, a Stone, a Crystal, a Queen, a King, a Palace, a Lover and his Beloved, and this was long ago, on an Island somewhere in the ocean 5,000 years ago. Such is Love, the Mystic Flower of the Soul. This is the Center, the Self.” Then he added: “No one understands what I mean. Only a poet can grasp it.”
It would take a book to analyze this sentence but the point I would like to highlight is that Jung had found this key, the "something missing" of his idea. But his rational self could not see it or analyze it because the rational self associated to the analytic brain structures manipulates objects. Love is subject, not object.
Jung himself had experienced that confronted to a numinous experience, as soon as the patient uses analysis and awareness, the numinous effect vanishes. Why is this? The midprefrontal cortex, associated to the Human brain and to the symbolic or archetypal world is a filter which was put in place in the first 7 years of life when it is still the right hemisphere that dominates. This filter (information regulation) acts at an unconscious , or if you will at a subconscious level as a yes/no , accept/refuse filter. It is very active in the placebo effect. What it accepts will then be analysed through the Analytical brain structures.
In the epoch Jung lived and with his analytical background and desire to stay analytical, he could not have seen the key he was looking for. He was like Moses to whom the access to the promise land was refused. He could not see it because to bring his people there,he had to use the analytical aspect, he had to give them a structure, an object to walk by. But this aspect belongs to the masculine polarity. If you use only the masculine polarity, what is linked to the feminine one, to the subjects vanishes. Moses could see the promise land but would not have access to it because of his masculine polarity.
It is the present situation for our society. We got where we are now thanks to this aspect of the brain. We are at the doorstep of the promise land but to get on the other side to it, we have to let go of that tool of the masculine polarity ( put it on the backburner because we now understand the structure on which everything unfolds) and breathe in. The promised land is not a place but a state of the mind.
Love indeed is the key because it is attached to this aspect in humanity that allows us to evolve, that allows the acorn to become an oak tree.
So beautiful and true. What S.N.M. means is that when I know my personality ( my physical incarnation and its attached masculine polarity) will one day vanish, I am in the world of knowledge and wisdom. When I know that my individuality (the immortal part of me and its attached feminine polarity) is eternal, I live in the world of Love. To know this is to be human.
Very good question Gloria! Thank you for asking. I will elaborate as soon as I have more time but for this early morning, let me say this: our masculine polarity is in charge of our physical, emotional and analytical reality, it allows us (both men and women) access to it while our feminine polarity is in charge of our archetypal, social and natural reality, it allows us access to it.
The whole book discuss these two poles of our manifestation. Chapter 3, 4,6 discuss the masculine polarity, chapters 5,7 the feminine one, chapter 8 when both are harmoniously working together as one without the other cannot be. Over stimulate one over the other and it is the whole system which cannot function properly. The result is that the regulator of this system will be over solicited and the human expressing this will fail to progress and evolve. On the scale of humanity, we will face a global regression and a multiplicity of symptoms of imbalance on many levels.
Today I will answer as succinctly as possible your question as it ties perfectly with the subject of this week: the feminine and masculine polarities. Please feel free to comment and ask questions.
In all traditions whether this is explicit or not, we have the One. The manifestation of this One is expressed by two seemingly opposite forces , always in tension. At the point of junction of these two opposite life forces, as we can observe on the material level through births, a third element become manifested. At the physical level, these forces must be kept separated but tend one towards the other and succeed in time one to the other. They are relative one to the other in the sense that, say one is + and the other -, they are always in correspondence. Also, the feminine polarity feeds the masculine one at the same time the masculine one protects the feminine one. An image is the Tajitu .
Love encompasses both the mortal and immortal. On the physical level, its first level of manifestation is seen in the tension between the two opposites and complementary forces.
The genius of Jung is to have understood that the inner aspect of women is animus. I went further and studied the brain structures used by biological males and biological females to uncover the fact that these polarities are not only active on the physical level but also on 4 more levels encompassing the complete human reality.
Women use their feminine polarity on the physical, archetypal (symbolic),analytico-rational levels and their masculine polarity on the emotional, nutritional and social/environmental levels. Thus, women are not more emotional than men for example but they express their emotions while men use their feminine polarity at that level. They will express these emotions at other levels and will use different brain structure to express these.
I will use the ex. of Tao since it was Jung's most revered tradition. Tao teaches us that the structure of all is in all- that is to say that the feminine polarity- at any level- has an aspect of the masculine polarity as well. To give an example of this, on the physical level, in the body, the feminine polarity will comprise the lung, heart and other structures. The lung is considered yin thus feminine while the heart is considered yang, thus masculine. In fact of all the organs of the Chinese tradition, the heart is the most yang of all.
Generally, our personality is vehicled by the masculine polarity of humans while our individuality is vehicled by the feminine one. Maybe this explains why the heart was seen as the seat of the soul by our ancestors. The dichotomy mortal and immortal is biased because in our tradition it addresses only the physical body's point of view. In fact, our physical reality is only a small part of our reality, the anchor of our being in this dimension of time and space.
As for the human personality, as you know the persona is the mask it is our mortal aspect although our individuality will carry its imprint eternally. The whole idea of karma and dharma of the Hindu tradition comes from this.The persona is closer to the material manifestation and uses the masculine polarity which is tied to the physical world. The individuality is closer to our immortal self and uses our feminine polarity to express itself in this world.This is why Jesus said that his kingdom was not of this ( physical) world. But it is coming since the goal of human evolution is to manifest both masculine and feminine polarities, consciously, in this dimension. It will be the acorn which has become the oak tree.
I wish to add here that only by understanding both polarities on all levels and how they manifest in humans will we understand men/women relationships. This was the goal I had set for myself when I turned 18! Once we have this key, we can "put labels on the bottles" so to speak. Understanding becomes possible instead of passing judgments on heart affairs and I must say, it brings a fair amount of peace and understanding into our own relationships! The more humanity evolves and our brain adapts, I believe, the more we will understand and appreciate the intelligence of it all.