Insofar as we observe illnesses through a watching and a listening that are biological, we realize that they all begin with a shock, a precise, punctual event in space and time.
8:01 8:02 8:03 8:04* 8:05 8:06 8:07
All is well until 8:04. There is a before. There is an after.
This event, indicated with an asterisk in the time line above, enters into the biology when it is not managed by its subject. For example, one day I see my daughter slapped in the public park. In a second, that enters me and becomes an agitation; through my senses it makes contact with my history, which renders a meaning – a meaning that becomes a sensation: "It's awful! Not right! Rotten! Embarrassing! Unthinkable! Depressing!"
And if I am without an immediately satisfying solution and this emotion does not get expressed, this sense perception becomes a biological felt sense: "It's indigestible" (which would affect the stomach); "it's suffocating" (which would affect the lungs); "dismantling" (bones); "disgusting" (colon); "a breakdown" (kidney).
Unspoken Emotions Reside in Our Organs
An event becomes a sense and then becomes a sensation. It enters through our five senses and then it tries to leave. When it is impossible for this sensation to be spoken, it moves into the unconscious, into the biology, into the mind, the brain, the body, the energy field. Each of these elements tells us about the others.
Taking a Chinese pulse informs us about the energy level of each organ. Since each cell of the body is connected to a group of cerebral neurons, which itself is linked to a biological function, observation of the brain allows us to determine the type of felt sense that has been hurt and remained unspoken and which organ is affected. And conversely, each type of illness, and therefore the cells that are affected, tells us about which felt sense needs to be freed for healing to take place.
If healing does not take place, the patient will remain under unconscious stress with respect to the shocking event – sometimes for years at a time – and a part of his being, of his energy, is appropriated.
As Carl Gustav Jung has written: "Everything that does not rise into consciousness comes back as destiny," and I would add that it comes back as a symptom, as an illness, as an accident, as a failure, as a discomfort; and au contraire: everything that rises into consciousness no longer comes back as destiny, as fate, as illness!
In the real world, when an animal swallows a bone (which is a biological danger for it), the animal has a biological felt sense of something undigested, for which the solution is to produce more hydrochloric acid. That is the archetype.
If a morsel of bad meat ends up in an animal's intestine, the felt sense is one of something rotten that needs to be excreted. The biological solution for survival in this case is to make a tumor in the colon in order to produce more mucus, so that this morsel of bad meat can slip away toward the outside.
If the biological stress is one of being attacked by the sun, the solution will be found at the level of the dermis. More melanin must be produced. We call that tanning, and it has the function of protecting us from solar aggression.
If I'm in a critical situation for which the biological felt sense is that I must do something very fast, this affects a precise area of my brain that then orders my thyroid to manufacture more thyroxine, which accelerates my metabolism and gives me more chances for getting out of a conflict of slowness.
Biological Reality and Reaction
Imagine an old stag who has his territory and his herd of females. This stag impregnates the females every year. Then one day in autumn a young rival arrives, and the two males fight. The biological reality of the old stag is that he risks losing his biological survival territory. He has to optimize, increase his chances for survival in order to hold on to the territory that sustains him. The coronary arteries are the organs that can help him with this. He will then ulcerate, scour his coronary arteries in order to allow more blood to flow, increasing the irrigation of his heart. In doing this, it will be oxygenated more quickly and fully, cleansed of all debris, and will be able to send more blood to his muscles, which then will receive more oxygen and sugar. In this way the old stag has more energy to devote to holding on to his territory.
These are primordial, biological reference situations, which we call archetypes.
A man came to consult me who showed signs of problems with his coronary arteries. He didn't have any issues with his harem, no one had come to butt heads with him and take his wife. . . . But just the same he did have a territory, or something he considered as such, and that was his small business. His son wanted to take over this business and told him one day, when he was in the midst of transmitting an order to one of the suppliers, "You don't have to order anything. This isn't your place anymore."
The father found nothing to say in reply. From one point of view he was happy that it was his son who was carrying on the business. But in one fell swoop he was confronted with the reality of the fact that he was losing his territory. But there was nothing to say. There was no solution. His felt sense at that moment was that he was losing his territory. And at that moment he activated an area of the brain in the right temporal cortex – the peri-insular area – which then ordered his arteries to be scoured.
It was senseless since it wasn't going to help him get his business back, but the order had been transmitted. To use a metaphor, it's a little like someone who shoots an arrow. Once the arrow has been released, it can no longer be stopped.
At a given moment, there was a felt sense and that was it – the coronary arteries were activated. This is the solution of biological adaptation that had been programmed into him, one that has been a solution for survival for millions of years and which has allowed us to adapt to the real world.
Real or Virtual: The Reaction is the Same
But sadly, our man was in a virtual world, only his brain didn't know that. His brain didn't know how to distinguish between real and imaginary.
Just imagine . . . One day I found myself among delightful friends where there was a stunning cocktail. The cocktail I'd been served consisted of lemon juice with a dash of strong mustard. If I tell you that I've prepared this same cocktail for you, some of you are going to wince. Why? Does it burn? But it hasn't touched your mouth! You're completely in the virtual world and yet you're already disgusted.
For this businessman it was just the same. All at once, his mind, his brain, and his body received a shock. All at once, there was a memory, an association with an ordeal; in the second that followed, a belief appeared that consisted of: "Without territory, life has no meaning."
There was this felt sense: I'm losing my territory. There was a void. There was nothing left. Then came the survival solution in the biology: I scour my coronary arteries, I get the blood flowing.
Down the road our man managed to resolve his conflict. After a few months, he was finally able to say, "How wonderful after all – I don't need this business anymore!" He dropped it, he let go. He could then begin to reline his coronary arteries, because there was no longer a conflict with the young stag. He also healed his right temporal cortex. A little cholesterol came to the help of this relining; it's a reconstruction material that allows the body to be repaired.
What Is the Illness Intended to Heal?
Jung said we aren't here to heal our illnesses; our illnesses are here to heal us.
A woman came to consult me one day because she had a tumor in her left breast. We looked for the strongest, most dramatic event she had lived through and was able to speak about, because once we speak of something, it is expressed. If it is not expressed, it is imprinted. In biology what is not expressed is imprinted.
The first breast that a right-handed woman usually gives to her baby to nurse from is the left breast. The infant then has its right ear over her heart, it hears the cardiac rhythm and it is calmed by that. But what is the biological meaning of the breast?
The breast is the only organ that has no use for its owner – it is for someone else. If both breasts are removed, a woman can continue to live. The breast is for someone else. A problem in the breast is therefore a problem in relation to someone else. The breast is there to make milk, to nourish someone else, to give of oneself.
So I explained to the woman, Mrs. L, that with this felt sense there was someone else, a child or someone in maternal relation to her, who had been in danger. We moved back in time, Mrs. L "rejuvenated" and suddenly she collapsed in tears. She then related this story:
She had been at a fairground with her grandson. Wanting to ride on the ghost train, the child had rushed forward and fallen with his hands on the rail just as the train arrived. Within one second, Mrs. L envisioned the child's hands cut off, and all the problems this handicap would cause, including her daughter's depression. Mrs. L immediately saw one thousand and one things and felt guilty for each one. It was unthinkable. She would have wanted to do something, give something of herself, but there was nothing that could be done. She was caught in a maternal impossibility. What she told me in the course of half an hour took place in her head within one or two seconds.
In fact, the child was unharmed. He had long sleeves and his hands were not on the rail, but she hadn't seen that. He was just fine, with only a few scratches on his knees. But at that moment, a very sharp emotion had entered into her. The arrow had been released. After the incident, using her reason, she convinced herself that all was well and the child was safe. But the important element was not what she thought in her head. What counted was what she'd felt in her body – what happened in her "gut." This accident could well happen again, and this time for real. She began to have nightmares about it. She relived these possible events in her guts. In her head, she was settled; there was no problem. In her gut, she was no longer living in the present; that moment in time was fixed, frozen.
When scientists drill into an ice floe, they discover dust and gas that date from prehistory. Similarly, all the stories are present in the history of a person, in the deep layers. Everything remains.
And for this woman, if a few years later she happens to see something on television – a child in trouble, who falls or is knocked over, anything like that – that's all it will take for there to be an effect, for that previous experience to be awakened and unleash a symptom of adaptation.
Someone else who has not experienced the same ordeal and has not then been programmed for that event will not experience the events in the same way. Mrs. L, on the other hand, has been programmed and she carries within herself the thought that it could happen. She has this program in her mind, in her memory, in her cells, in the nucleus of her cells, in the genetic code of the nuclei of her cells – which eventually manifests as a tumor in her breast.
If she were to conceive a child following this event, she would unconsciously assign the child a mission: she must give the child all the winning solutions, all the things that helped her, everything that was important for her. One of the winning solutions for her is always to be ready to help others, to be a mother for others. That's in her neurons and in her genes. In giving birth, she would transmit this program, either through her genes or through education, or from brain to brain. . . . And perhaps this future child would be named Christian, Christine, or Christopher. . . . That is, he or she would be like Christ in caring for others, in his disregard for self. Perhaps he or she would become a nurse, a therapist, or a social worker, but, in any case, he or she would be a pair of breasts. In a professional way and in a physical way, he or she would incarnate unconscious fidelity, unconscious loyalty to this survival program.
This explains how we can meet people, both men and women, who have a strong chest and are very sensitive to the troubles of the world without their knowing why this is so. When we look into the line of their ancestors, we can find the program that was installed at a given moment.
I remember another patient who had been told that her son was autistic. That very evening, she had milk flowing from both breasts. One diagnosis was enough and no follow-up was needed. In some cases, the shock is so strong that, right away, the biological program appears.
The Onset and Phases of Illness
The following list summarizes the biological progression of the onset of illness:
The Phases of Illness
All illnesses have two phases: The first phase extends from the shock to the resolution of the shock. This is the stress phase. The second phase extends from the resolution until the return to normal. This is the inflammatory, healing phase.
All of our biological reality, whether it's the mind, the brain, the body, the energy meridians, the Chinese pulse, the spots in the iris – all develop at the same tempo. If the person is in conflict, then the whole is in conflict. If the person resolves things, then the whole is resolved.
One day a man came to see me because he had developed a rectal tumor. He had been passing blood from his anus since the month of February. I asked him what was the positive thing that took place for him in February.
The man was stunned. It didn't seem logical to him. But if there's blood, if there's a large inflammation, it means that someone is in the process of resolving something. He was in the second phase.
He found the ordeal, which had happened one year before. He had five children, and his second child (who was like him and with whom he got along the best) brought his fiancée home with him for the first time. And all during the meal, she continually made jabs at his son by making embarrassing remarks about him. It was the father who experienced a shock at that time, but he was unable to say anything about it. She was his son's choice and he loved his son and respected his choice. But when he spoke to me about it, he said, "Oh, my goodness! It was hard." And he made certain movements with his hand. So I asked him, "What is your hand telling us?"
"Well, I wanted to get rid of it. It was crappy what she did in my home." This man was speaking to me with his rectum. His felt sense at the time of the ordeal was that someone had deposited a rotten bit of meat in his home, in his territory, and he wanted to get rid of this rotten bit but he couldn't. It was stuck.
Then, at the end of January, his son called him saying, "It's over. She's a pain in the ass. You'll never see her again." He had no idea it had been an ordeal for his father, who was no doubt delighted at this breakup. The next day, the father began passing blood. Because at that moment, he was resolving his crappy conflict. There was no longer any need to manage a filthy, rotten item. He had moved on to the repair stage, to the solution.
The delay in the appearance of symptoms is very variable depending on the felt sense. It is unleashed in the same second as the original event, but the symptom itself appears after a delay. For someone who has a conflict that is at the level of the skin, the symptom appears quickly, since the skin is immediately visible. If it's a decalcification at the level of the bone, it will take time, months even, before it's noticed. The delay depends on the organ, and therefore on the felt sense.
Sometimes it seems to me that the human is like a passenger seated in a vehicle.
A woman came to see me, saying, "I want to have children." At that moment, it's the passenger in her who is speaking, and who is suffering from being sterile. She wanted to go to the right, toward the forest of fertility, and yet her car kept taking her to the left, into the desert of sterility. I explained to her that it was her unconscious that was driving the car. This sterile woman carried in her unconscious mind a memory that was a message: there is a danger in being pregnant, even a danger of dying. Her grandmother had died in childbirth; therefore, in her unconscious mind, pregnancy was dangerous. Within it's own system of logic, the unconscious mind is always right. It goes toward life, and in this case, life meant not being pregnant. Once she understood that, she could deprogram, and then make babies with the conviction that this problem was a "granny" problem and that there were lots of other women who make babies and survive!
So, it's a question of becoming aware of who is driving, who is at the wheel. When I do this or that, when I produce a symptom, who is directing my life, and why?
Another woman was into bodybuilding. She went to the gym every day for an hour. One day, right in the middle of a workout, she became aware that she was doing this as a compensation, connected to her father, who put her down all the time, telling her, "You're ugly, you're thin. . . ." She had forgotten that but it was still there. Right in the middle of a workout, she realized, "I'm doing all this for him! I'm boring myself stiff just for him." She took off her outfit, took a shower, and never went back. She was doing it only in terms of a compensation. That's what was driving her car. There was no passenger inside who wanted to do bodybuilding. Bodybuilding could be continued if there was another reason. But when it's just that one part that wants to do bodybuilding or that wants to be sterile, for example, in such circumstances there's no reason to go on.
The Electrochemical Whispering of My Cells
The appeal and specificity of the biological decoding of illness is to propose a biological meaning – in the emotions, never in the intellect. If we could find meaning only at the intellectual level, it would be annoying or amusing. But when it relates to our personal history, it's no longer intellectual, it's emotional.
Emotion is the song of the cells, it's their whispering; it's the electric light, warm and chemical, the subjective reality of the nuclei of the cells. Emotion is a little cell speaking about itself and showing itself to be fierce animal, modest monk, naked artist. It tells itself this openly, with satisfaction or in frustration.
The BioGenealogy Sourcebook: Healing the Body by Resolving Traumas of the Past
by Christian Flèche.
©2008. Reprinted with permission of the publisher, Healing Arts Press, a division on Inner Traditions Intl. www.innertraditions.com