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The Fractal Nature of Active Sleep & Waking Dreams

Iona Miller


Process Oriented Psychology (process work) is a cross-disciplinary approach that facilitates individual and collective change. It offers new ways of working with human difficulties, including emotional disturbances, physical illness or symptoms, relationships, and larger community conflicts. Process work has its philosophical roots in Consciousness Studies, Jungian Psychology, Chinese Taoism, and Shamanism. The hypothesis of Harvard biopsychiatrist, C.M. Anderson (1998) provides some enticing substantiation for psychophysical restructuring in shamanic journeys and other process work in therapy.  His work is centered around the psychotropic and oneiric aspects of the shamanic entheogen iboga, used by the Bwiti tribe of Africa, and employed therapeutically by Harold Lotsoff and Dr. Robert Goutarel for the elimination of chemical dependency and Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).  Other research supports some of these conclusions.

Drug-free shamanism shares many common features with this therapy: ego-death, initiatory waking-dream journeys, shamanic guidance, quick life review, psychedelic states of consciousness, spontaneous fetal regression and perinatal states, journeys to “the land of the dead,” and the induction and facilitation of Self-organized Critical States (SOCs) which result in restructuring of fundamental neural patterns. Stress or abuse in early life leads to hemispheric asymmetry which is implicated in a wide variety of disorders.  Process work allows us to “exercise” unused pathways and reinstate hemispheric synchronization.  Disorders of under- and over-arousal can be dynamically balanced, reinstituting organismic equilibration.  The fractal nature of REM allows us to process and restructure old emotional patterns, at the sensorimotor root by reviving neural plasticity.  CRP (Consciousness Restructuring Process) facilitates the Self-Organized Critical state (SOCs) which initiates cascading therapeutic reactions which are robust and persist over time.

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ISSN: 2153-8212