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Wellness as Embodiment

Andrew S. Bonci, BA, DC


Private Practice
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Disclosures
I stand before you with NO
conflicts of interest.
I make my living the way you
do, by lifting the burden of
human suffering with the aid
of chiropractic.
I have nothing to sell to you,
so relax and enjoy yourself
and your time with your
peers.

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Acknowledgments

Thomas Metzinger, PhD

Antonio Damasio, MD
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Objectives
Review of the perceptual elements and mechanisms
that the brain uses to construct maps of the body.
Review of the brain regions and the neurological
correlates involved in generating our sense of a
conscious self.
Review the implications this has for the practicing
clinician and their patients in bringing one to a state of
wellness.
Practical suggestions and practices anyone can employ
to embody wellness on a daily basis.

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Wellness
The goal of the homeostasis endeavor is to provide a
better than neutral life state, what we as thinking and
affluent creatures identify as wellness and well-being.
Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 35). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Homeostasis is the property of a system in which


variables are regulated so that internal conditions
remain stable and relatively constant .

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Embodiment
By using the term embodied we mean to highlight two
points:
1. Cognition depends upon the kinds of experience
that come from having a body with various
sensorimotor capacities.
2. These individual sensorimotor capacities are
themselves embedded in a more encompassing
biological, psychological and cultural context.
Eleanor Rosch, Evan Thompson, Francisco J. Varela: The Embodied Mind: Cognitive Science and Human Experience pages 172-173

Synonym: Incarnation

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The Lived Experience: Embodiment


Korper is the abstract body-in-general.
Leib concerns how we experience this physical
body.
The scientific measurement of the body overlooks
the actual lived experience of embodiment.

James Aho. Body

Matters: A Phenomenology of Sickness, Disease, and Illness (p. 2). Kindle Edition.

If you are conscious, the overall process of


perceiving, learning, and living creates a context for
itselfand that is how your reality turns into a lived
reality.
Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (pp. 31-32). Basic Books. Kindle

Edition.

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Disease versus Illness


By "disease" we mean an organic pathology
(korper) as discerned from one or more recognized
clinical or laboratory procedures.
"Illness" we take to mean a kind of non-quantifiable
lived experience (leib), not feeling well or lack of
well-being.
James Aho. Body Matters: A Phenomenology of Sickness, Disease, and Illness (p. 3). Kindle Edition.

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Wellness as Embodiment
Every meditator can confirm that you may settle into
a calm, emotionally neutral state, deeply relaxed
and widely alert, a state of pure observation, without
any thought, while a certain elementary form of
bodily self-consciousness remains.
Let us call this selfhood-as-embodiment.
Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (pp. 101-102). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

Wellness as embodiment is living from this better


than neutral, homeostatic state.

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Mind in Accord with the Body


The ancient myths were designed to harmonize the
mind and the body. The mind can ramble off in
strange ways and want things that the body does not
want. The myths and rites were means of putting the
mind in accord with the body and the way of life in
accord with the way that nature dictates.
Campbell, Joseph; Bill Moyers

(2011-05-18). The Power of Myth (p. 87). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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Siegfried
Full many a wonder is told us in stories old, of
heroes worthy of praise, of hardships dire, of joy and
feasting, of weeping and of wailing; of the fighting of
bold warriors, now ye may hear wonders told.
When Siegfried withdraws his sword, his hands are
burned by the dragon's blood. On tasting the blood,
he finds that he can understand the woodbird's song.
(Wagner's The Ring of the Nibelung)

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12

Caveat Chiropractor
The fool sees the reflection of the sun in the water of
a jar and thinks it is the sun. Man in the ignorance of
his delusion sees the reflection of Pure
Consciousness/Intelligence in his body and mistakes
it for the real I.
Shankara;Sankara. Shankara's Crest Jewel of Discrimination (Kindle Locations 604-605). Kindle Edition.

You are the Intelligence that animates the


body.
Intelligence is NEITHER Knowledge nor
Information.
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13

Chiropractic Principles
#1: The Major Premise. A Universal Intelligence is in
all matter and continually gives to it all its properties
and actions, thus maintaining it in existence.
#2: The Chiropractic Meaning of Life. The
expression of this intelligence through matter is the
Chiropractic meaning of life.
#3: The Union of Intelligence and Matter. Life is
necessarily the union of intelligence and matter.
Stephenson RW. Chiropractic Text Book. 1927.

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14

Dis-Ease as Dis-Embodiment
Accordingly, one is well when innate intelligence is
fully and unimpedingly embodied or expressed in
and through the body.

It is the local intelligence which has built a house for


itself and keeps that house in repair, and is the
intelligence to which the condition of the structure is of
supreme importance. (Art. 336 of the Senior Text,
Stephenson, 1927.)

Dis-ease is expressed when the unhealthy thoughts


of the autobiographical self are embodied or
expressed in and through the body.

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15

Phantom Limb Pain


A 30-year-old male patient received an above-elbow
amputation about eight months prior to seeing us for
an open fracture on the left radius and ulna due to
trauma.
He kept complaining about cramping pain in his
removed arm and electric-like pain occurring once
every few minutes.
He also said that he felt the entire shape of his
removed arm, and it was medially rotated.
Korean J Pain. 2012 Oct; 25(4): 272274.

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16

Phantom Limb Pain


Every day, he was prescribed gabapentine,
oxycodon, and amitriptyline, with other medications to
control the pain.
However, the degree of his pain relief was
somewhat insignificant and the visual analog scale
was 8-10.

Korean J Pain. 2012 Oct; 25(4): 272274.

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17

Phantom Limb Pain


Stellate ganglion block, thoracic sympathetic ganglion
block, brachial plexus block, cervical transforaminal
epidural block, and a subcutaneous infusion of
ketamine, were also done.
These too gave the patient only short-term
improvement.
Lastly, spinal cord stimulation was done for the
patient, but the treatment effect was very insignificant.
Korean J Pain. 2012 Oct; 25(4): 272274.

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18

Mirror Box Therapy


The patient performed mirror therapy.
After a week passed, the patient said that he could
feel his medially rotated arm was back to normal,
and his VAS level decreased from a 8 to 10 out of 10
to 7 out of 10.
One month later, he said that the previous cramping
pain was almost gone and the phantom hand and
arm returned to normal.

Korean J Pain. 2012 Oct; 25(4): 272274.

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19

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20

The Nerves in our Body


The nerves in our body carry the memories that
shaped the organization of our nervous system to
certain environmental circumstances and to the
demands of an organism.
Campbell, Joseph; Bill Moyers (2011-05-18). The Power of Myth (p. 87). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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21

Dr. Wilder Penfield (1891-1976)


He expanded brain surgery's
methods and techniques, including
mapping the functions of various
regions of the brain such as the
cortical homunculus.
His scientific contributions on
neural stimulation expand across a
variety of topics including
hallucinations, illusions, and deja
vu.
http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/aso/databank/entries/bhpenf.html

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22

Primary Somatosensory Cortex


The primary sensory areas are the main cerebral areas
that receive sensory information from thalamic nerve
projections.
Touch: The pariental lobe just posterior to the central
sulcus.
Taste: The postcentral gyrus.
Olfaction: The uncus on the ventral surface of the
temporal lobe.
Vision: The visual area known as V1, striate cortex.
Hearing: The superior temporal convolution of the
temporal lobes.
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23

Cortical Homunculus
A cortical homunculus is a physical representation
of the human body, located within the brain.
A cortical homunculus is a neurological "map" of
the anatomical divisions of the body.
There are two types of cortical homunculus; sensory
and motor.

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24

Visual Corticies & Retinotopic Map


The primary (parts of the cortex that receive sensory
inputs from the thalamus) visual cortex is also known
as V1 and the striate cortex.
The extrastriate areas consist of visual areas two
(V2), three (V3), four (V4), and five (V5).
Retinotopy is the spatial arrangement of where the
visual impulses are mapped in the visual cortex.

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Auditory Cortex & Tonotopic Map


Tonotopy is the spatial arrangement of where
sounds of different frequency are processed in the
brain.
Tones close to each other in terms of frequency are
represented in topologically neighboring regions in
the brain.
Tonotopic maps are a particular case of topographic
organization, similar to retinotopy in the visual
system.

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Visceral Maps: Insula


Your primary visceral map is a patchwork of small
neural swatches that represent your heart, lungs,
liver, colon, rectum, stomach, and all your various
other giblets.
You feel lust, disgust, sadness, joy, shame, and
humiliation as a result of this body mapping.
These visceral inputs to the psyche are the
wellspring of the rich and vivid emotional
awareness that few other creatures even come close
to enjoying.
Blakeslee, S, Blakeslee, M. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (2008) ISBN-10: 0812975278

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Monitoring the
Confluent Sensory Stream
You are only glancingly aware of your own
embodiment most of the time, let alone the fact that
its parameters are constantly changing and adapting,
minute by minute and year after year.
Blakeslee, S, Blakeslee, M. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (2008) ISBN-10: 0812975278

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Perception
Perception (from the Latin perceptio, percipio) is the
organization, identification, and interpretation of
sensory information in order to represent and
understand the environment.
Schacter, Daniel (2011). Psychology. Worth Publishers

Perception is sometimes described as the


process of constructing mental representations
of distal stimuli using the information available in
proximal stimuli.

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A Key to Sensory Brain Signaling


Humoral
Blood Stream

Damasio, Looking for Spinoza, 2003.

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Touch
Smell
Taste
Vision
Hearing

Exteroception

Neural

Internal Milieu
Pain
Temperature
Viscera
Muscle
Vestibular

Interoception

Sensory
Signaling
Available
to the
Brain

Internal Milieu

Perception involves Interpretation


Even the simplest act of perception involves
judgment and interpretation.
Perception is an actively formed opinion of the world
rather than a passive reaction to sensory input from
it.
Ramachandran, V. S. (2011-01-17). The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human (Kindle Location 1039). W. W. Norton & Company.
Kindle Edition

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Perceptual Process
(Minimalist View)

Transduction

Proximal
Stimulus

{1 n}

Transmission

Percept

Distal
Stimulus

Percept is subjected to multi-dimensional mapping and interpretation.

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Low-Dimensional Projection
Our conscious model of reality is a low-dimensional
projection of the inconceivably richer physical
reality surrounding and sustaining us.
Our sensory organs evolved for reasons of survival,
not for depicting the enormous wealth and richness of
reality in all its unfathomable depth.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

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Nave Realism
Nave realism (aka direct realism or common sense
realism) is a philosophy of mind rooted in a theory of
perception that claims that the senses provide us
with direct awareness of the external world.

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I was completely astonished by the beauty of nature.


Any natural scientist who was not a mystic was not a
real natural scientist.
Outside is pure energy and colorless substance. All
of the rest happens through the mechanism of our
senses. Our eyes see just a small fraction of the light
in the world.
It is a trick to make a colored world, which does not
exist outside of human beings.
Albert Hofmann, the father of LSD at 99 in 2006

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Representational Realism
Representationalism (aka Indirect Realism or
Epistemological Dualism) is the philosophical position
that the world we see in conscious experience is not
the real world itself, but merely a miniature virtualreality replica of that world in an internal
representation.
Thus, we know only our ideas or interpretations of
objects in the world, because a barrier (or veil of
perception) between the mind and the existing world
prevents first-hand knowledge of anything beyond it.

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Selective Representation
Modern neuroscience has demonstrated that the
content of our conscious experience is not only an
internal construct but also an extremely selective
way of representing information.
What we see and hear, or what we feel and smell and
taste, is only a small fraction of what actually exists
out there.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

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A Model of Reality
Your consciousness is actually experiencing your
mental model of reality, not reality itself.
You re-create the world within your mind because
you can control your mind whereas you cant
control the world.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 12). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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The Key to Dis-Embodiment


We take a handful of sand from the endless
landscape of awareness around us and call this the
world.
Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry Into Values

We mistake interpretive representations of the


body for the phenomenal body just as we mistake
interpretive representations of the world for the
phenomenal world. We thus choose, act and live
based on these mistaken notions of the body and its
perceived needs.

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Phantom Pain Model Revisited

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Body Schema/Body Image


Classical neurology hypothesized about a body
schema, an unconscious but constantly updated
brain map of limb positions, body shape, and
posture.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

The body image, stems from learned attitudes


about your body.
Blakeslee, S, Blakeslee, M. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (2008) ISBN-10: 0812975278

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Out of Touch with Reality


We never directly see, hear or touch reality; we
experience what the neurons eventually process as a
representation of reality.
Niebauer Ph.D., Chris (2014-03-10). The Neurotic's Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-brain Plays Unending Games of Self-improvement (Kindle
Locations 1514-1515). Outskirts Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition

Its as if each of us is hallucinating all the time and


what we call perception involves merely selecting
the one hallucination that best matches the current
input.
Ramachandran, V. S. (2011-01-17). The Tell-Tale Brain: A Neuroscientist's Quest for What Makes Us Human (Kindle Locations 1145-1146). W. W. Norton &
Company. Kindle Edition.

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Enlightenment is living in full


awareness of the illusion

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Is it also possible that dis-ease


is a malady of altered perception?

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Article 26. The Chiropractic


Definition of Subluxation
A subluxation is the condition of a vertebra that has
lost its proper juxtaposition with the one above or
the one below, or both; to an extent less than a
luxation; which impinges nerves and interferes with
the transmission of mental impulses.
Stephenson RW. Chiropractic Text Book. 1927.

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Subluxation and Perception


Impingement on sensory nerves interferes with
perception by distorting transmission of the encoded
sensory input.
Distorted perceptual information is the result.
The brain will not find parity with existing body
schema or body image.

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The Brain Asks,


Does This Meet Expectation?
As it percolates up the cortical hierarchy, each area
asks: Is this what I expect? Is this what I predict?
Does this conform to what I already know is the
case? So your brain is constantly comparing
incoming information to what it already knows or
expects or believes.
Blakeslee, S, Blakeslee, M. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (2008) ISBN-10: 0812975278.

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Dis-Ease is In-Coordination
Dis-ease is the condition of tissue cells when there is
in-coordination.
It is the result of in-coordination when the tissue
cells do not do their duties coordinately.
Dis-ease is the result of the prevention of
something from within, coming to the outside.
Stephenson RW. Chiropractic Text Book. 1927.

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Body Schema-Perceptual Parity

Body Schema/Image

Fresh Sensorial Input


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Dis-Embodiment as Dis-Ease
Dis-Connected Re-Connected
Dis-Membered Re-Membered
Dis-Placed Re-Placed
Dis-Joined Re-Joined
Dis-Ordered Re-Ordered
Dis-Organized Re-Organized
Dis-Located Re-Located
Dis-Arranged Re-Arranged

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Embodied Self ... from Within


Your many cortical and sub-cortical maps are
intricately interconnected: the seamless sense of a
whole, indivisible, embodied self.
Blakeslee, S, Blakeslee, M. The Body Has a Mind of Its Own (2008) ISBN-10: 0812975278

Perfect adaptation results in health, and


imperfect control results in dis-ease
.

Stephenson RW. Chiropractic Text Book. 1927.

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If the brain actively maps the body,


then does the brain map the mental
functions of the mind?

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53

The Cartographer Brain


The human brain is a born cartographer, and the
cartography began with the mapping of the body.
Maps are constructed when we recall objects from
the inside of our brains memory banks.
When brains make maps, they are creating images
which is the main currency of our minds.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 1071-1072). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Mind Defined
A spectacular consequence of the brains incessant
and dynamic mapping is the mind.
The mind is a subtle, flowing combination of actual
images and recalled images.
Ultimately consciousness allows us to experience
maps as images, to manipulate those images, and
to apply reasoning to them.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Location 1182). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition

Mind is not the same as ego.

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The Mind is Non-Linear


Minds are not just about images entering their
procession naturally.
They are about the cinema-like editing choices that
our pervasive system of biological value has
promoted.
The mind procession is about value-stamped
selections inserted in a logical frame over time.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Location 1182). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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Non-conscious or Conscious
A critical issue is that minds can be either nonconscious or conscious.
Images continue to be formed, perceptually and in
recall, even when we are not conscious of them.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 1197-1198). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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The mind in its ordinary state


merely knows about things.
David Hawkins MD, PhD
The Eye of the I

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Mind Begins in the Brain Stem


The mind is not made in the cerebral cortex alone.
Its first manifestations arise in the brain stem.
Two brain-stem nuclei are involved in generating
basic aspects of the mind.

nucleus tractus solitarius


parabrachial nucleus

Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 1256-1257). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Does the brain make representational maps that


become your sense of self and ego?

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Rubber-Hand Illusion
In 1998, University of Pittsburgh psychiatrists
Matthew Botvinick and Jonathan Cohen conducted a
now-classic experiment in which healthy subjects
experienced an artificial limb as part of their own
body.
M. Botvinick & J. Cohen, Rubber Hand Feels Touch That Eyes See, Nature 391:756 (1998)
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

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The Phenomenal Self-Model


What you feel in the rubber-hand illusion is the
content of the phenomenal self-model (PSM) or
the conscious model of the organism as a whole that
is activated by the brain.
The content of the phenomenal self model is the
Ego.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

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The Ego
The ego is that part of the mind representing
consciousness.
It employs reason, common sense, and the power to
delay immediate responses to external stimuli or to
internal instinctive promptings.
Freud pictured the ego as a special organization,
which is closely connected with the organs of
perception, since it first develops as a result of
stimuli from the external world impinging upon the
senses.
Storr, Anthony (2001-02-22). Freud: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) (Kindle Locations 1029-1031). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

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Feeling of Ownership
Whatever is part of your phenomenal self model,
whatever is part of your conscious Ego, is endowed
with a feeling of mine-ness, a conscious sense of
ownership.
It is experienced as your limb, your tactile sensation,
your feeling, your body, or your thought.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

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Becoming Conscious
Philosophically a conscious self is endowed with a
sense of ownership, agency and location.
Whenever our brains successfully create a unified
and dynamic inner portrait of reality, we become
conscious.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

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Embodied Sense of Self


Emotion and embodied selfhood are grounded in
active inference of those signals most likely to be
me across interoceptive and exteroceptive domains.
Subjective feeling states (emotional experiences)
arise from active interoceptive inference.
Self-related predictive coding simultaneously
engages multiple levels of self-representation,
including physiological homeostasis, physical bodily
integrity, morphology and position.
Trends Cogn Sci. 2013 Nov;17(11):565-73.

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First-Person Perspective
By placing the self-model within the world-model, a
center is created.
That center is what we experience as ourselves, the
Ego.
It is the origin of what philosophers often call the
first-person perspective.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690.

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You See with the Ego


The Ego is an evolved representational
phenomena, a result of dynamical self-organization
on many levels.
The Ego is a transparent mental image: Youthe
physical person as a wholelook right through it.
You do not see it. You see with it.
Metzinger, T. The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self. (2009) ISBN-10: 0465020690

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Ego According to Chiropractic


Chiropractic maintains that Innate Intelligence is
the power which governs the body; is the ego
itself.
You are your Innate Intelligence, and your
Innate Intelligence is you.
Stephenson RW. Chiropractic Text Book. 1927.

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Exercise
Place your arm on the table top in front of you.
Relax your arm and sit comfortably.
Without moving your arm, divorce yourself from your
arm and forearm.
Reconsider the ideas of ownership, agency and
location as your arm appears alien to you.
Consider what it means to embody your arm.

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The Eye of the Ego


Perception is the eye of the ego that, as it translates
the inexperienceable Infinite to the experienceable
finite, produces the perception of time, place,
duration, dimension, position, form, limitation, and
singularity.
Hawkins M.D. Ph.D., David R. (2010-09-15). The Eye of the I from Which Nothing is Hidden (Kindle Locations 423-424). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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From where does one's Neurological


Sense of Selfhood and Ego come?

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Neurological Model of Selfhood/Ego


The protoself is the seat of primordial feelings.
The core self constitutes a material me.
The autobiographical self constitutes an abstract
I, a social me and a spiritual me.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 456-458). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Perceptual Mapping of Self


Ego
Thoughts of a
Subjective I

Autobiographical Self

Feelings of a
Material Me

Core Self

Primordial
Feelings

Protoself

Emotions
See Damasio, 2003

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Maps of Augmented Maps


Each level of self is a dynamic neurological,
representational map under augmentation of the
mapped level below it.

Protoself is a first-order, neurological,


representational map of emotional body states.
Core Self is a second-order, neurological,
representational re-mapping and augmentation of
the Protoself.
Autobiographical Self is a third-order,
neurological, representational re-mapping and
augmentation of the Core Self.
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We must go down to the very


foundations of life. For any superficial
ordering of life that leaves its deepest
needs unsatisfied is as ineffectual as if
no attempt at order had ever been
made.
I Ching, Hexagram #34 The Well (circa 2500 BC)

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What are Emotions?


Emotions are actions or movements, many of them
public, visible to others as they occur in the face, in
the voice, in specific behaviors.
Emotional reactions of organisms are not the result
of any deliberation.
They are driven by prescribed, stimulus-response
mechanisms.

Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 28). Houghton Mifflin

Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

Ones posture and facial muscles signal


emotional states, not only to others, but to
oneself as well.

Levine PhD, Peter A. (2012-10-30). In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores

Goodness (p. 42). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.

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Role of Emotions
From chemical homeostatic processes to emotionsproper, life-regulation phenomena have to do with the
integrity and health of the organism.
All of these phenomena are related to adaptive
adjustments in body state and eventually lead to the
changes in the brain mapping of body states,
which form the basis for feelings.
Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 49). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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Primary Emotions
The frequent listing includes fear, anger, disgust,
surprise, sadness, and happiness the emotions
that first come to mind whenever the term emotion
is invoked.
The circumstances that cause the emotions and
pattern of behaviors that define the emotions also are
quite consistent across cultures and species.
Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 45). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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Secondary/Social Emotions
The social emotions include sympathy,
embarrassment, shame, guilt, pride, jealousy, envy,
gratitude, admiration, indignation, and contempt.
It is highly probable that the availability of such social
emotions has played a role in the development of
complex cultural mechanisms of social
regulation.
Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 45). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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4 Background Emotions
You are a good reader of background emotions if you
accurately detect energy or enthusiasm in someone
you have just met; or if you are capable of
diagnosing subtle malaise or excitement, edginess
or tranquility, in your friends and colleagues.
1.Well-being
2.Malaise
3.Calm
4.Tension
Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 43). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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What are Feelings?


A feeling in essence is an idea an idea of the
body, its interior, in certain circumstances.
A feeling of emotion is an idea of the body when it is
perturbed by the emoting process.
Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 88). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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Emotion versus Feelings


Emotions play out in the theater of the body.
Feelings play out in the theater of the mind.
Emotions are part of the basic mechanisms of life
regulation.
Feelings contribute to life regulation, but at a higher
level than emotions as they are related to sensory
neural mappings of body states.
Damasio, Antonio (2003-12-01). Looking for Spinoza: Joy, Sorrow, and the Feeling Brain (p. 28). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition.

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Role of Feelings
Feelings are the primordial constituents of mind,
based on direct signaling from the body proper.
They are also primordial and indispensable
components of the self and constitute the very first
and rudimentary revelation that the organism is alive.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 1261-1264). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Emotions Engender Thoughts


The mind is a survival mechanism, and its method of
survival is primarily the use of emotions.
Thoughts are engendered by the emotions and,
eventually, emotions become shorthand for
thoughts.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (p. 27). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Bubbles of Thought
A thought starts from the deepest level of
consciousness, travels through the whole depth of
the ocean of mind, and finally appears as a
conscious thought on the surface.
The deeper levels of the ocean of consciousness
are as though silent.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (2011-10-18). Science of Being and Art of Living (Kindle Locations 610-611). MUM Press. Kindle Edition.

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Maharishi Mahesh Yogi's TM

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Thoughts
Feelings

Emotion
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Thinking is a Dis-Embodying Act


When used by the intellect, the basic underlying
emotion is usually unconscious or at least out of
awareness.
When the underlying emotion is forgotten or ignored
and not experienced, people are unaware of the
reason for their actions and they develop all kinds of
plausible reasons.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (p. 27). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Cut off from the primal sensations, instincts


and feelings arising from the interior of our
bodies, we are unable to orient to the here
and now.
Levine PhD, Peter A. (2012-10-30). In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness (p. 76). North Atlantic Books. Kindle Edition.

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What are the Neurological Correlates


of Emotion, Feeling and Thought?

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What is Consciousness?
Most scientists and philosophers view
consciousness as an emergent property of
complex computation among networks of the
brain's 100 billion integrate-and-fire neurons.
Front Integr Neurosci. 2012 Oct 12;6:93.

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The Hard Problem of Consciousness


The hard problem of consciousness is the problem of
explaining how and why we have qualia or
phenomenal experienceshow sensations acquire
characteristics, such as colors and tastes.
Chalmers, David J. (1996-03-30). The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory (Philosophy of Mind Series) . Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition.

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Humanity of the Body


You see, consciousness thinks its running the shop.
But its a secondary organ of a total human being,
and it must not put itself in control. It must submit
and serve the humanity of the body.
Campbell, Joseph; Bill Moyers (2011-05-18). The Power of Myth (p. 181). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.

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Neurological Correlates of Selfhood


Emotions
Neurohormonal Reflex Network

Thought
Default Mode Network
Autobiographical Self

Primordial Feeling
Protoself Network
Protoself

Conscious Feeling
Core Self Network
Present Moment Core Self

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Neural Chemical Signaling


The neural and chemical signals that describe body
states enter the central nervous system at many
levels of the spinal cord, the trigeminal nucleus in the
brain stem, and the special collections of neurons
that hover on the margin of the brains ventricles.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 3014-3016). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Recursive/Reentrant Signaling
and Mental States
What we experience as mental states corresponds
not just to activity in a discrete brain area but rather to
the result of massive recursive signaling involving
multiple regions.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 1446-1447). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Reentrant Neural Signaling


4
3
1
2

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The Substrate of Selfhood


Emotions
Neurohormonal Reflex Network

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Neurohormonal Reflex Network


Hypothalamus

GVA &
Hormonal
Messangers

Ventromedial
Prefrontal
Cortex

Principle Brain Stem Site:


Periaqueductal Gray
Amygdala
Basal
Forebrain

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Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology
The hormones from the endocrine glands and
substances produced by the immune cells directly
affect brain activity.
Chemicals from all these sources attach to receptors
on the surfaces of brain cells, thereby influencing the
organisms behavior.
Mat M.D., Gabor (2008-05-02). When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection (p. 88). Turner Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.

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First Order Neural Maps


Primordial Feelings
Protoself Network
Protoself

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Primordial Feelings
The primordial feelings represent our elementary
sense of existence, a hint of our basic emotional
states, that springs spontaneously from the protoself.
Primordial Feelings are bodily feelings of the very
beginning of the feelings of emotions.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 451-452). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Protoself Neural Network (Minimum Input)


Spinal
Cord

Vagus
Nerve

Insula, S2

Trigeminal
Nucleus

Nucleus
Tractus
Solitarius

Thalamus

Periaqueductal
Gray
Parabrachial
Nucleus

Damasio, Looking for Spinoza, 2003.

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Hypothalamus

Protoself
The protoself is a coherent collection of first-order
neural patterns which map, moment by moment, the
state of the physical organism in its many
dimensions.
Damasio. The Feeling of What Happens. 2003. p 154

We are not conscious of the protoself.


Language is not part of the structure of the
protoself.
The protoself is a reasonably stable platform and
thus a source of continuity as long as homeostasis
is maintained within its normal and narrow limits.
.

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Protoself
The protoself does not occur in any one place only,
and it emerges dynamically and continuously out
of multifarious interacting signals that span varied
orders of the nervous system
The protoself becomes a reference point for
internal body states which takes the form of
primordial feelings.
The protoself is the point where internal body states
realize neural mapping to fall under neural controls.
Damasio. The Feeling of What Happens. 2003. p 154

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Primordial Mind-Body Loop


The periaqueductal gray is intimately and recursively
connected to the parabrachial nuclei and the nucleus
tractus solitarius.
Laughter and crying, expressions of disgust or fear,
as well as the responses of freezing or running in
situations of fear are all triggered from the PAG.
The periaqueductal gray is a pivotal link in the bodyto-brain resonant loop.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 1610-1611). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Cosmic energy enters the body through the


medulla and then passes to the cerebrum, in
which it is stored or concentrated.
Paramahansa Yogananda (1893-1952)

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Second Order Neural Maps


Conscious Feeling
Core Self Network
Present Moment Core Self

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Conscious Feeling
It is the second-order nonverbal narrative of the
organism caught in the act of representing its own
changing state as it goes about representing
something else.
It first results in the feeling of knowing.
Damasio. The Feeling of What Happens, 2003. p172.

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Ownership, Agency & Location


The feeling of having a body is made up of various
subcomponentsthe three most important being
ownership, agency, and location.
Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (p. 77). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

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Core Self Neural Network


Protoself
Neural
Network

Midbrain
Tectum

Thalamic
Relay

Cingulate
Cortex

Damasio, The Feeling of What Happens, 1999.


Damasio, Looking for Spinoza, 2003.

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Basal
Forebrain

Midbrain Tectum
The tectum is the dorsal part of the mesencephalon
(midbrain).
The superior colliculus is involved in preliminary
visual processing and control of eye movements.
The inferior colliculus is involved in auditory
processing.
Both colliculi also have descending projections to the
paramedian pontine reticular formation and spinal
cord.

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Thalamic Relay
The thalamus serves as a coordinator of cortical
activities, a function that depends on the fact that
several thalamic nuclei that talk to the cerebral cortex
are in turn talked back to and that moment-tomoment recursive loops can be formed.
The purpose of the connectivity is not to deliver
primary sensory information but instead to
interassociate information.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 3813-3815). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Importance of the Thalamus


The thalamus contributes importantly to the creation
of the background fabric of the mind and to the
conscious or self-aware mind.
Consciousness is often described as the result of
massive integration of signals in the brain, across
many regions; in that description, the role of the
thalamus is most prominent.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 3799-3800). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Conscious Selfhood
Conscious selfhood is a deep-seated form of
knowledge about oneself, providing information
about new causal properties.
Selfhood as inwardness emerges when an organism
for the first time actively attends to its body as a
whole.
This inner knowledge has nothing to do with
language or concepts.
Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (p. 103). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

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Present Moment Protagonist


The mental profile of the protoself must be raised
and made to stand out.
Within the narrative of the moment, it must
protagonize.
The protoself with its primordial feelings, and the core
self, constitute a material me.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 3138-3140). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Core Consciousness
Core consciousness provides the organism with a
sense of self about one moment now and about
one place here.
Consciousness begins as the feeling of what
happens when we see or hear or touch.
Consciousness is a feeling that accompanies the
making of any kind of image -- visual, auditory, tactile,
visceral -- within our living organism.
Damasio. The Feeling os What Happens, 2003. pp 12-16.

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Feelings Cause Thoughts


It is the accumulated pressure of feelings that
causes thoughts.
One feeling can create literally thousands of thoughts
over a period of time.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Location 375). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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You are Not Your Feelings


Feelings come and go, and eventually you realize
that you are not your feelings, but that the real you
is merely witnessing them. You stop identifying with
them.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 514-516). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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How We Handle Feelings


We have four major ways of handling feelings:
1. Suppression
2. Repression
3. Expression
4. Escape.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Location 387). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Third Order Neural Maps


Thought
Default Mode Network
Autobiographical Self

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Thought: Abstract Reality


Thoughts masquerade as genuine reality. Put simply,
we mistake our thoughts about reality for reality. Most
are so caught up in mistaking symbols of reality
(thoughts) for reality that it might be considered
insane to even try to point out the differences.

Niebauer Ph.D., Chris

(2014-03-10). The Neurotic's Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-brain Plays Unending Games of Self-improvement (Kindle Locations 121-122).
Outskirts Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

Thoughts are higher order abstract maps of lower


order emotions and feelings.

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Shift From Me to I
The body model now becomes a self-model in a
philosophically more interesting sense: The
organism is now potentially directed at the world
and at itself at the same time. It is the body as
subject.
Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (p. 104). Basic Books. Kindle

Edition.

We undergo a fundamental shift from the body as


the object of neural patterning to an abstracted,
subjective I.

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Default Mode Network (DMN)

Posterior Cingulate Cortex (PCC)

Precuneus

Anterior Cingulate Cortex (ACC)

Medial Prefrontal Cortices (dmPFC and vmPFC)

Medial Temporal Lobe (MTL)

Inferior Parietal Cortex (IPC)

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DMN Anatomy

Sandrone S , and Catani M Neurology 2013;81:e172-e175

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Autobiographical Self
Autobiographical selves draw on the entire compass
of our memorized history, recent as well as remote.
The social experiences of which we were a part, or
wish we were, are included in that history, and so are
memories that describe the most refined among our
emotional experiences, namely, those that might
qualify as spiritual.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 3251-3253). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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Radio WNST
Theres a radio playing in our head, Radio Station
NST: Non-Stop Thinking. Our mind is filled with
noise, and thats why we cant hear the call of life, the
call of love. Our heart is calling us, but we dont hear.
We dont have the time to listen to our heart.
Hanh, Thich Nhat (2015-01-27). Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise (pp. 3-4). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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Theres no way to find your essence without


giving up your (autobiographical) self.
~Rumi~

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Exercise
Let's take 5 minutes to simply sit quietly with our eyes
closed and watch our thoughts.
Sitting comfortably, allow your breath to move in and
out naturally and effortlessly.
Let us see if we can identify from where our thoughts
originate.

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Thoughts and Breaths Analogy


Spontaneous, automatic respiration is to the
respiratory centers as ...
Spontaneous, stimulus-independent thought is to the
default mode network/autobiographical self.

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Thoughts and Breaths


Stimulus-independent thoughts, wandering thoughts,
spontaneous thoughts arise and fall in very much
the same way as your breath arises and falls.
Just as your automatic, spontaneous breath has a
neurological trigger so do many of your selfdefining, stimulus-independent thoughts.

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Endless and Self-Reinforcing


Thoughts are endless and self-reinforcing, and
they only breed more thoughts.
Thoughts are merely rationalizations of the mind to
try and explain the presence of the feeling.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 502-503). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Mind Wandering
Mind wandering is the common mental state whereby
task-oriented thoughts are hijacked by internally
generated, unrelated, or wandering thoughts.
Trends in

Cognitive Science, 15, 319326.

If our attention is on something other than what


we are doing, we can feel empty and numb.
A cascade of reinforcing mindlessness can create a
world of thoughtless interactions, cruelty, and
destruction.

Siegel, Daniel J. (2007-04-17). The Mindful Brain: Reflection and Attunement in the Cultivation of WellBeing (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) (p. 14). W. W. Norton & Company. Kindle Edition.

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Just Thinking
People typically do not enjoy spending 6 to 15
minutes in a room by themselves with nothing to do
but think.
They enjoy doing mundane external activities much
more with many preferring to administer electric
shocks to themselves instead of being left alone
with their thoughts.
Most people seem to prefer to be doing something
rather than nothing, even if that something is
negative.
Science 4 July 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6192 pp. 75-77

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Mind Wandering
Participants reported that it was difficult to
concentrate (57.5%) and that their mind wandered
(89.0%), even though there was nothing competing
for their attention.
And on average, participants did not enjoy the
experience very much (49.3%).
Science 4 July 2014: Vol. 345 no. 6192 pp. 75-7

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Dreading a Moment of Aloneness


Dreading a moment of aloneness we engage in a
constant frantic activities: the endless socializing,
talking, texting, reading, music playing, working,
traveling , sightseeing, shopping, overeating,
gambling, movie-going, pill-taking, drug-using, and
cocktail-partying.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 422-424). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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You're Not Okay Inside


That voice talks because youre not okay inside, and
talking releases energy.
If you watch objectively, you will see that when theres
a buildup of nervous, fearful, or desire-based
energies inside, the voice becomes extremely
active.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 11). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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Why We Give Life a Narrative


The narration makes you feel more comfortable
with the world around you. Like backseat driving, it
makes you feel as though things are more in your
control.
By verbalizing it mentally, you brought that initial
direct experience of the world into the realm of your
thoughts.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 11). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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Trying to Feel Empowerment


If you cant get the world the way you like it, you
internally verbalize it, judge it, complain about it, and
then decide what to do about it.
This makes you feel more empowered.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 12). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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Conceptualizing is Dis-Embodying
Concepts are disembodied in the sense that they
are not tied to the particular mind that experiences
them in the way that images and other sensoria are.
Johnson, Mark. The Body in the Mind: The Bodily Basis of Meaning, Imagination, and Reason (Kindle Locations 293-294). University of Chicago Press. Kindle
Edition.

The brain has a defense against disembodiment


through the embodiment of the autobiographical
self.

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Homework
Listen for a moment to the voice that you hear talking
inside your head and imagine it as a person talking to
you on the outside.
Just imagine that another person is now saying
everything that your inner voice would say.
Now imagine spending a day with that person.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 19). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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The Bottom Line


The bottom line is undeniable: If somehow that
voice managed to manifest in a body outside of you,
and you had to take it with you everywhere you went,
you wouldnt last a day.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 20). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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(Re-)Embodiment Loop
Thoughts implemented in the brain can induce
emotional states that are implemented in the
body.
Damasio, Antonio (2010-11-09). Self Comes to Mind: Constructing the Conscious Brain (Kindle Locations 1567-1568). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle
Edition.

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(Re-)Embodiment Loop
Anterior
Cingulate
Cortex

Default
Mode
Network

Ventromedial
Prefrontal
Cortex
Autonomic
Outflow
Endocrine
Immune
Physiological
Changes

Hypothamic
Nuclei
Pituitary
Hormones
Psycho-neuro-endocrin-immune Axis
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Psychoneuroimmunoendocrinology
Fibres issuing from the central nervous system
supply both primary and secondary lymph organs,
allowing instant communication from the brain to
the immune system.
The hormone-producing endocrine glands are also
directly wired to the central nervous system.
Mat M.D., Gabor (2008-05-02). When the Body Says No: Understanding the Stress-Disease Connection (p. 88). Turner Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.

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Mind-Body Influence
The energy of our blocked-off feelings re-emerges
through our hormonal and autonomic nervous
systems and causes pathological changes leading to
disease processes.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 446-447). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Buildup of Nervous Energy


The mental voice talks for the same reason that a
teakettle whistles. That is, theres a buildup of
energy inside that needs to be released.
If you watch objectively, you will see that when theres
a buildup of nervous, fearful, or desire-based
energies inside, the voice becomes extremely active.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 11). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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Source of Stress
Stress results from the accumulated pressure of
our repressed and suppressed feelings.
The pressure seeks relief, and so external
events only trigger what we have been holding
down, both consciously and unconsciously.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 445-446). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Muscle Tension as (Re-)Embodiment


Unmoderated
Stimulus
Independent
Thought

Default
Mode
Network

Sympathetic
Outflow

Gamma
Motor
Outflow

Intrafusal
Fiber
Outflow

Enhanced
Muscle
Tension

J Anat. 2015 Jun;226(6):542-8.


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Tension Myositis Syndrome


TMS is a painful disorder in which the brain orders a
reduction of blood flow to a specific part of the
body, resulting in mild oxygen deprivation, which
causes pain and other symptoms, depending on what
tissues have been oxygen deprived.
TMS is mediated through the autonomic-peptide
system and is related to underlying rage in the
unconscious mind.
Sarno, John E. (2009-10-13). The Divided Mind (p. 11). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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Eventually you will see that the real cause


of problems is not life itself.
Its the commotion the mind makes about
life that really causes problems.
Michael Singer
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself

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Rumi on (Re-)Embodiment
All the practices that Rumi mentions are remarkably
body oriented.

Eating Lightly
Breathing Deeply
Moving Freely
Gazing Raptly
Johnson, Will (2010-01-19). Rumis Four Essential Practices: Ecstatic Body, Awakened Soul (p. 7). Inner Traditions/Bear & Company. Kindle Edition.

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Breathing as (Re-)Embodiment
As you breathe in, breathe into the felt awareness of
your entire body.
As you breathe out, feel your whole body exhaling.
From the Satipatthana Sutta
Johnson, Will. Breathing through the Whole Body: The Buddhas Instructions on Integrating Mind, Body, and Breath (Kindle Location 55). Inner Traditions/Bear &
Company. Kindle Edition.

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The Breath Embodies


When I heard Ajahn Chahs teaching, the practice
became gradually clearer. He taught me to relax and
feel my breath carefully, which helped focus and
quiet my mind. Then he taught me just to mindfully
notice the stream of thoughts and sensations
without reacting to them as a problem. This took
some practice.
Kornfield, Jack (2008-04-29). The Wise Heart: A Guide to the Universal Teachings of Buddhist Psychology (Kindle Locations 673-675). Random House Publishing
Group. Kindle Edition.

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Clear Gazing as (Re-)Embodiment


Vipassana: (Sanskrit: )
Vi means through. Passana means seeing or
perceiving.
Vipassana means to cut through the curtain of
delusion of the mind suggesting discernment a
kind of seeing that perceives individual components
separately.
Vipassana means intense, deep or powerful seeing. It
is an immediate insight experience having nothing
to do with reasoning or thinking.
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When you run out of words and


sentences, you do not fall asleep: you
just watch and listen.
Damasio. The Feeling of What Happens, 2003. p187.

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The Unspoken Voice


The unspoken voice of the silent, but strikingly
powerful, bodily expressions as they surface to
sound off on behalf of the wisdom of the deeper
self should be our primary focus in healing.
Levine PhD, Peter A. (2012-10-30). In an Unspoken Voice: How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness (pp. 45-46). North Atlantic Books. Kindle
Edition.

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Silent Embodiment
Silence is essential. We need silence, just as much
as we need air, just as much as plants need light. If
our minds are crowded with words and thoughts,
there is no space for us.
Hanh, Thich Nhat (2015-01-27). Silence: The Power of Quiet in a World Full of Noise (p. 22). HarperCollins. Kindle Edition.

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Silent Storytelling
The brain inherently represents the structures and
states of the organism, and in the course of
regulating the organism, the brain naturally weaves
wordless stories about what happens to the
organism immersed in an environment.
Damasio. The Feeling of What Happens, 2003. p189.

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Meditation
Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains
the mind or induces a mode of consciousness,
either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply
acknowledge its content without becoming identified
with that content.
Trends in cognitive sciences 12 (4): 1639.

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Diminish Autobiographical Self


Meditators strive to diminish their sense of self,
letting their thoughts drift by instead of clinging to
their content, attentively but effortlessly letting them
dissolve.
Metzinger, Thomas (2009-03-17). The Ego Tunnel: The Science of the Mind and the Myth of the Self (p. 120). Basic Books. Kindle Edition.

Through meditation we learn how to dis-identify


with our thoughts, feelings and emotions and to
simply be the intelligence in this lived body
experience.

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Just Objects
Long-term mindfulness practitioners report
experiencing thoughts and feelings as objects
without any self-reference.
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 680407.

Recall how we can alienate ourselves from a limb by


redefining our sense of agency and ownership to
the limb. This is identical for thoughts and emotions.

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Dis-Embodied and Dis-eased


The inner voice of the autobiographical self is the
highest level of bodily abstraction. It is a most disembodied experience.
When the autobiographical self becomes overly
concerned with the past and the future, our
experience of life becomes further dis-membered,
dis-connected, dis-torted, dis-embodied and, hence,
dis-eased.

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Life Abstracted from Living


The vast majority of things going on in the skull are
ideas about other ideas, or ideas about ideas
about ideas.
We are only relating one thought to another thought
but at least one that is closer to what is real, closer
to reality.
Sensations are our first interpretations of reality
and this is why they are so often the focus of
meditation.
Niebauer Ph.D., Chris (2014-03-10). The Neurotic's Guide to Avoiding Enlightenment: How the Left-brain Plays Unending Games of Self-improvement (Kindle
Locations 1534-1535). Outskirts Press, Inc.. Kindle Edition.

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Who You Really Are


You are the one who hears the voice. You are the
one who notices that its talking.
If youre hearing it talk, its obviously not you.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 9). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

You are that Intelligent Awareness that is a witness


to all of your thoughts, feelings and emotions and the
entirety of your sensoria.
You must always remain mindful of this.

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Wellness as Embodiment
The true embodied experience is what the Intelligent
Awareness (II) experiences as it expresses itself
through the body.
True wellness happens when the body, mind and
three layered self submit and are in the employ of
the Embodied Intelligent Awareness.

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Mindfulness is the
miracle by which
we master and
restore ourselves.
~Thich Nhat Hanh~

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Mindfulness State
The state of mindfulness is characterized by a
nonjudgmental and choiceless monitoring of
moment-by-moment cognition, emotion, perception,
and sensation without fixation on thoughts of past
and future.
Complementary Health Practice Review. 2007;12:1530.,
Trends in Cognitive Sciences. 2008;12(4):163169.].
Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012; 2012: 680407.

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Mindfulness Flow
Autobiographical Self
Default Mode Network
Conscious Verbal Narrative
Preoccupied with Past and
Future
Core Self
Midbrain-Thalamus
Conscious Wordless Narrative
Orientation is on Here and
Now

Full Minded
Happen-ness

Mindful Joy

Protoself
PBN, NTS and PAG
Sense of Primordial Feelings
Temporary Neural Patterns of Body
States
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Practice of Mindfulness
Mindfulness, a core element of diverse forms of
meditation, includes two complementary components:

maintaining attention on the immediate


experience; focused attention.
maintaining an attitude of acceptance toward this
experience; choiceless awareness.
Clin Psychol. 2004;11:230241.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 13, 2011; 108(50): 2025420259.

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Focused Attention
Focused attention on a single object of awareness
(typically the breath) is intended to help individuals
retrain their minds from habitually engaging in selfrelated preoccupations (such as thinking about the
past or future, or reacting to stressful stimuli) to more
present moment awareness.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Dec 13, 2011; 108(50): 2025420259.
Gunaratana H. Mindfulness in Plain English. Somerville, MA: Wisdom Publications; 2002.

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Choiceless Awareness
First allow yourself to have the feeling without
resisting it.

Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 494-496). Veritas Publishing.

Kindle Edition.

Next do not vent it, fear it, condemn it, or moralize


about it. Just drop judgment and see that it is just a
feeling.

Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 494-496). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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View Your Thoughts Objectively


The best way to free yourself from this incessant
chatter is to step back and view it objectively.
Dont think about it; just notice it.
No matter what the voice is saying, its all the same.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 9). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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The Mindfulness Practice


Focus your organs of perception on your

Breath as it moves in and out on its own accord


Feelings and Sensations as they arise and fall on
their own accord
Thoughts as they cycle and recycle on their own
accord.

Just watch and experience your body, self and


environment.
This a bottom-up approach.

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What to Do When Mind Wandering


Take a purposeful breath.

Draw it in and release it with focused attention.

Push back from your thought and feelings.

Surrender yourself to them with choiceless


awareness.

This is a top-down approach.

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Letting Go of a Feeling
Letting go involves being aware of a feeling, letting
it come up, watch it, and letting it run its course
without wanting to make it different or do anything
about it.
It means simply to let the feeling be there and
letting out the energy behind it.
When we relinquish or let go of a feeling, we are
freeing ourselves from all of the associated
thoughts.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (Kindle Locations 493-494). Veritas Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Anger
Anger may vary all the way from rage to mild
resentment.
It includes revenge, outrage, indignation, fury,
jealousy, vindictiveness, spite, hatred, contempt,
wrath, argumentativeness, hostility, sarcasm,
impatience, frustration, negativity, aggression,
violence, revulsion, meanness, rebellion,
explosive behavior, agitation, abusiveness,
abrasiveness, smoldering, sullenness, pouting,
and stubbornness.
Hawkins, David R. (2013-08-01). Letting Go: The Pathway of Surrender (p. 123). Veritas

Publishing. Kindle Edition.

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Anger in Action
When you are angry with someone you feel like
telling them off.
Just watch how many times the inner voice tells
them off before you even see them.
When energy builds up inside, you want to do
something about it.
Singer, Michael A. (2007-10-03). The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself (p. 11). New Harbinger Publications. Kindle Edition.

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More, Better or Different


One of the central messages of forgiveness training
(Stanford Forgiveness Projects) is that only three
core components underlie the creation of any longstanding hurt and grievance:
Luskin, Frederic (2010-08-17). Forgive for Good . HarperCollins.

Kindle Edition.

The exaggerated taking of personal offense


The blaming of the offender for how you feel
The creation of a grievance story

More, better or different

(Grief Recovery Handbook)

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Preparing to Meditate
Let's take 5 minutes and observe our own
thoughts, feelings and emotions with particular
attention being paid to Anger and its many faces.
Just sit quietly with your eyes closed.
Focus your attention on your breath as it
passively moves in and out.

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Awareness and Focus


Become choicelessly aware of any feelings of
emotion.
Watch for any feelings related to anger.
Allow your focus to fall upon it.
Remain with it as long as it stays with you.
Allow it to come and go as it pleases.
Don't dialog about it just observe it.
Do NOT integrate these feelings into your
autobiographical self narrative.
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Let it All Go
After a brief time spent in gentle focus and loving
awareness with anger, you will notice:
Anger comes and goes of its own accord
Anger is biologically rooted
Anger is a survival strategy
You are NOT your anger
In these realizations, you can radically change
your relationship to the anger that you
experience, thus letting it go.

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"Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear are not 'yours.' It's


not personal. They are conditions of the human mind.
They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is
you."
Eckhart Tolle

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Deep thanks to the MSCA DII for allowing me to have


this opportunity and outlet to express my thoughts.
Thank you for your friendship.
A special thanks goes to those who have served as
critics and sounding boards for my work:
Ragan R. Fairchild-Bonci, BS, DC
Mark Jankelow, RN, MSN, PMHNP

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