A glimpse into the cognitive and physiological flowering of Ease
This brief posting is about the interaction of physiology and our cognition, particularly where safety and well-being are at play. The side text refers to the image on the right, which you can expand by clicking/tapping on it. The logical steps discussed here are based on my understanding of the work of Dr. Stephen Porges together with my clinical experience over the last decade.
To understand what is written, we need to use the instinctive, feeling and intellectual parts of our experience together.
My interest is in the creative side of the experience and life of consciousness -that which is aware of the experience of my body writing; the same as that which is simultaneously aware of the experience of your body reading.
We need to sense the body, the flow of life within it. We need to feel the resulting sense transform into the information of how we feel about ourselves right here and now, and we need to use our intellect to clearly constate if these words that you are reading relate as a whole to your direct experience.
Please watch the accompanying video of one of our relational dynamics groups, that is where we can see these dynamics at work.
Within the first three steps of object/environment perception, the autonomic nervous system (ANS) is governed by the dorsal vagal complex (DVC) as part of the threat response cycle.
In the two subsequent steps the ANS has determined that there is no threat present, so it allows for curiosity and object relations from the ventral vagal complex (VVC) onward. The first horizontal dotted line is a threshold along which the ANS moves continuously.
The second horizontal dotted line implies cognition as awareness itself, which can see or be aware of the preceding ANS states - though they cannot be aware of it. This is our intelligence reflecting on its own awareness beyond objects.
Note that the pronouns and amount / character of the lines / circles denotes greater or lesser degrees of self-awareness, dependent upon the perceived degrees of relative safety and threat.
At this moment there is reading and writing taking place, and by allowing our self to remain in the background, we are with, yet separate from, both these activities.
According to Somatic Science® the foundation of happiness is relational safety. Relational safety is usually implicit, but we explore it explicitly within our lived experience of here, now. Relational safety is to know oneself as a whole together with whatever may be our experience at any given moment.
As long as our experience is managed by the DVC we are living in a world of relative threat. Only when the autonomic nervous system engages the VVC can we begin to feel safe and enjoy our humanity - unconditional presence.
You can view an example from one of our first groups where these different dynamics are made explicit:
The conscious use of the mind discovers the exciting truth of bi-directional (non-dual) relational safety. This dissolves apparent separation between you and any object within your experience. It is Somatic Science®'s organic approach to non-dual awareness...
References: The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation (Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology) by Stephen W. Porges