Changes In The Dynamics Of Governing Systems
When the dosage is increased or the LSD sessions repeated, new and powerful mechanisms come into action and become available in addition to the above. Many therapeutic changes on deeper levels can be explained as resulting from a chemical intervention in the dynamic interplay of unconscious constellations that have the function of governing systems. The most important of these are the systems oj condensed experience (COEX systems), which organize material of biographical nature, and the basic perinatal matrices (BPM's), which have a similar role in relation to the experiential repositories related to the death-rebirth process. The essential characteristics of these two categories of governing systems were described in detail earlier. We could also talk about transpersonal dynamic matrices; however, because of the richness and looser organization of transpersonal realms it would be difficult to describe them in a comprehensive way.
According to the nature of the emotional charge, we can distinguish negative governing systems (negative COEX systems, BPM II, BPM III, negative aspects of BPM I, and negative transpersonal matrices) and positive governing systems (positive COEX systems, positive aspects of BPM I, BPM IV, and positive transpersonal matrices). The general strategy of LSD therapy is reduction of the emotional charge attached to negative systems and facilitation of experiential access to positive ones. A more specific tactical rule is to structure the termination period of each individual session in a way that facilitates completion and integration of the material that was made available that day. The manifest clinical condition of an individual is not a global reflection of the nature and overall amount of the unconscious material; it is dependent on a specific selective focus and tuning which makes certain aspects of the material experientially available. Individuals who are tuned into various levels of negative psychodynainic, perinatal or transpersonal governing systems perceive themselves and the world in a pessimistic way and experience emotional or psychosomatic distress. Conversely, those persons who are under the influence of positive dynamic governing systems are in a state of emotional well-being and optimal psychosomatic functioning. The specific qualities of the resulting states depend in both instances on the nature of the activated material. For a detailed discussion of the influence of COEX systems, BPM's, and various transpersonal matrices on LSD subjects, see the chapter on ppst-session intervals, (pp. 218-27)
Changes in the governing influence of dynamic matrices can occur as a result of various biochemical or physiological processes inside the organism, or as a reaction to a number of external influences of a physical or psychological nature. LSD sessions seem to represent a deep intervention in the dynamics of the governing systems and their functional interplay. Detailed analysis of the phenomenology of LSD experiences indicates that in many instances sudden clinical im-!■ provement during therapy can be explained as a shift from the psychological j dominance of a negative governing system to a state where the individual is under the selective influence of a positive constellation. Such a change does not necessarily mean that all the unconscious material underlying that particular psycho-pathological state has been worked through. It simply indicates an inner dynamic shift from one governing system to another. This situation can be referred to as transmodulation; it can occur on several different levels. A shift among memory constellations involving autobiographical material can be called COEX trans-modulation. Because of the functional interrelatedness between the COEX systems and the BPMs, most reexperiencing of traumatic childhood memories represents partial and mitigated reliving of a certain facet of the birth trauma. Similarly, positive childhood experiences can be viewed as partial restitution of the pleasant post-natal or intrauterine condition. A comparable dynamic shift from one dominant perinatal matrix to another can be referred to as BPM transmodulation. A transpersonal transmodulation then involves governing functional systems in the transindividual realms of the unconscious.
A typical positive transmodulation has a biphasic course; it involves intensi-' fication of the dominant negative system and a sudden shift to the positive.
However, if a strong positive system is easily available it can dominate the LSD , experience from the very beginning of the session, and the negative system recedes : into the background. A shift from one dynamic constellation to another does not necessarily indicate clinical improvement. There is a possibility that a poorly resolved and integrated session will result in negative transmodulation—a shift from a positive system to a negative one. This situation is characterized by a sudden occurrence of psychopathological symptoms that were not manifest before the session. Another interesting possibility is a shift from one negative system to another that is also negative in nature. The external manifestation of this intrapsychic event is a jemarkable qualitative change in psychopathology from one clinical syndrome to another. Occasionally, this transformation can be so dramatic that the patient moves into a completely different diagnostic category; a clinical illustration of this phenomenon was given earlier in this book (p. 219). Although the resulting condition might appear on the surface to be entirely new, all its essential elements existed in a potential form in the patient's experiential repositories before the dynamic shift occurred. It is thus important to realize that, in addition to working through unconscious material, the LSD procedure can also involve dramatic shifts of focus that change its experiential relevance,
I would like to mention in this context an interesting metaphor which one of my patients used to illustrate her eoncept of this process. She described the human unconscious as a dark storage house, full of various objects of all kinds, some of them ugly, others beautiful. The LSD process appeared to her to involve not only removing junk and garbage, but also changing the direction of a flashlight illuminating the inside space. Only those of the stored objects that were illumined by the flashlight could be perceived at a particular time. Similarly, only those unconscious contents that are in the spotlight of conscious awareness can actually be fully experienced.
An issue that deserves special consideration at this point is the relative therapeutic significance of negative and positive experiences in LSD sessions. The prob-,. lem whether the emphasis in LSD psychotherapy should be on reliving conflicts'^ and traumatic memories or on achieving transcendental experiences has been one of the most controversial issues between psycholytic and psychedelic therapists. According to my experience, working through the traumatic material and experi-ff, encing ecstatic states are both important and integral parts of the healing process. • Moreover, these two aspects of LSD psychotherapy seem to be mutually interrelated in a dialectic fashion. Energetic reduction of negative systems and working through of problematic areas opens the way to deep positive episodes. Conversely, .if LSD subjects experience profound transpersonal states in the initial psychedelic lj sessions, this has a very beneficial influence on the future course of therapy. They |1 transcend the narrow personal framework and see their problems in a cosmic context. This results in a generally optimistic attitude that is of great help in dealing with the negative psychodynamic and perinatal material when it emerges during treatment. An individual who has experienced transcendental states has a strong feeling of cosmic identity and knows the.ultimate goal of the treatment. The LSD ^ process is seen as work on the barrier that separates him or her from the Self, and jj not just a blind digging in the cul-de-sac of the individual unconscious. A i simultaneous emphasis on both aspects of the process with encouragement of its spontaneous course seems to be the best solution to this therapeutic dilemma. However, positive experiences are of fundamental significance to the therapeutic outcome, and every concept of LSD treatment that underestimates them is depriving itself of a powerful therapeutic principle.
Continue reading here: Therapeutic Potential Of The Deathrebirth Process
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