I Am Here is based on the holistic philosophy of thought, feeling and physical sensation - or mind, heart and body. In the seven years since the first publication of I AM HERE, scientific, therapeutic, and cultural shifts have further validated its founding inspiration.
Polyvagal Theory and the work of Dr. Steven Porges[ii] has added to the field of Somatic Experiencing with tremendous insights around the role of the vagus nerve. This “wandering nerve” is the longest cranial nerve, stretching from the brain stem to the colon and with sensors on every physical organ. The vagus nerve is involved in energizing, awakening, and healing the physical body, physical heart, and physical brain. Yet most of the information it carries is sentient, meaning not only about physical stress or distress, but also emotional. The vagus nerve literally mediates between the part of our psychological physiology related to fear, conscious awakening, and shock, and that which is related to rest, digestion, processing, and contemplation.
That is, with fibers deep into the pelvic area, the vagal nerve allows the vibrational dance between the sympathetic part of the nerve system (which is involved with conscious awakening) and the parasympathetic (connected with sentient awareness). It is the perceptive information highway of physicality, sentience, and mental processing. When it is free, then experience is free. We are no longer hijacked by fear or afraid of being overwhelmed by any other kind of feeling or emotion. We shift from being captivated in agendas of survival as a separate entity, into the liberation of existence in the here and now. When this shift happens, the same neurological patterns reset to naturalness. Their natural function is in processing the miracle – in allowing the incredible charge of energetic arousal to move through the whole form and into the whole universe of forms. This deeper passion is motivational, inspirational, and fundamental to our sense of purpose and wellbeing. This in turn is immediately awakening the biochemistry of reward and fulfillment. The vagus nerve is now of service to the splendid movement of manifestation of our uniqueness as an inseparable expression of the unity of the whole. The deeper, more inclusive celebration of healing begins. The genius within this movement of passion is described in the book Nondual Passion.
From the sensory networks of the body to the cardiovascular networks of our endocrine and immunological systems, we find that a parallel, scientific, psychophysical revolution has occurred over the past decade. Through her research and in her book The Molecules of Emotion[iii], the late Dr. Candace Pert reveals to us through scientific evidence that has always been experientially apparent – that there is a direct and precise biochemical reflection of feelings and emotions.
The way we feel is not only the result of the biochemistry of the body, but it is also generating certain biochemistry. This means that the healing power of love, or perhaps even the effect of prayer is no longer unsubstantiated “woo-woo.”
Another development since I AM HERE’s first publication has emerged in the therapeutic arena of psychological inheritance. Research in the field of epigenetics has shown how trauma, or incomplete cycles of experience disrupted by stress, becomes encoded in the inheritance of the genes. Here, in the tiny, vibrational zone at the core of our physical cells, core disturbances generate emotional resonance and patterns of stress, thought, and behavior. This is such a clear example of how there is no such thing as “away” – an empty unconscious space where we can forever discard broken pieces of ourselves. The body keeps the score, stores the information, and releases it through an ongoing interplay with the environment out of which it is formed.
Only processes of emptiness – sometimes resembling a shamanic journey or a bardo state – have the power to release and reintegrate these lost and restless phantoms of pain.
As we look deeper, through an experiential lens, into the body, it becomes clear also that in the core of our bones – in that part of our anatomy that is considered most ancient and least alive – we are perpetually sourcing stem cells. Stem cells are the undifferentiated master cells of all life. Biologically seen, they are the equivalent of the field of infinite possibility. Like that field of the unmanifest that fills the emptiness, they take form according to the needs of the whole. The differentiation of stem cells into manifest forms happens according to the resonance of need. The more aligned we are to the deeper needs of the whole, beyond even the divisors of the separate self, the greater our physical attunement to wellbeing through all vibrations of form.
This new science invites us to take responsibility for the spiritual qualities of our true nature – those unconditional fields of resonance which are not pleasant accessories but rather are fundamental to our physical, mental, and psychological naturalness. As the current epidemic of stress, depression, and opiate abuse reaches unsustainable proportions, the need to rediscover, remember, and resource our true nature becomes increasingly immediate.
We are not passive recipients of an inert physical body, but the active field of conscious resonance through which the physical form manifests. When we find ourselves as that existential source of all form, through the windows of perception, we become observer participants, dancing through time in the unfolding of all creation through our conscious awareness.
Therapeutic fields that have grown out of these somatic insights have shown how powerful bodywork can be in processes of psychological healing, and how inseparable and permeable is the boundary between thought, feeling, and sense perception. All impressions arise, merge, and temporarily differentiate within the field of experience – the playing field of perception through emptiness.
This inseparability becomes apparent through the suffering caused where we try to exclude one of the perceptive windows – for example, to exclude the body in an emotional process, or to exclude the mind in a medical process, or to exclude feelings in either a physical or mental process. Yet inclusion is only possible through the liberation of the windows of perception – one way or another – in a way described by I AM HERE.
Just as in naturalness, a cat can be in one moment all-claws and in the next moment merging in seamless unity, and in the next, giving birth to her young with spontaneous knowhow and grace, so are we hardwired for the natural wellbeing and aliveness that comes forward when we move beyond the limitations of perception.
At first, this could be through becoming conscious of consciousness and witnessing our life beyond any local thought-form. Next, it could be becoming aware of awareness – resting as pure, unconditional sentience in an unconditional availability to any vibration. And of course, our passion, power, and purpose here are inherent to the movement moving as the miracle of physical manifestation – the vessel through which all thoughts and feelings are temporarily anchored in the miraculous touching point of being alive for real. In this moment of pure physical aliveness, heaven is revealed in the wildflowers of true nature.
We perpetually arrive to a home we find we never left.
Georgi Y. Johnson, December 2020
[i] Nondual Therapy – The Psychology of Awakening, Georgi Y. Johnson
[ii] The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation; Stephen Porges
[iii] The Molecules of Emotion: Dr. Candace Pert
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