My Latent Self Anne Ricketts

My Latent Self

Recovering My Soul After Brain Injury
Recovering My Soul After Brain Injury

What Makes a Soul

Before we can make soup, we have to have the basic ingredients. Before we can become a person, we have to have the basic ingredients.

I know people who believe we are born, we live, we die, and that is it. We all have very different ideas about who we are, and why we are here. There is no right or wrong, there is only ‘different.’

There was a long-standing argument within the circles of psychological science about whether we are the product of nature or nurture. I believe the general consensus now, is that we are the product of both. This is certainly my view. There also used to be a very long-standing argument between science and religion – even these gaps are now being bridged…

After I fell on my head, one thing that I eventually came to recognise very clearly, was that whilst I was not being ‘me,’ there were aspects of my core brain character that were ‘still working’ in the same fashion and that they had always worked. The tempo may have been deliberate and slow but the weary cogs kept turning. It was as though there were core ‘drivers,’ laboriously turning away beneath the surface, driving the basic mechanisms of my physical brain.

It is thus apparent to me that my brain had its very own agenda for healing itself. When we think of all of life, one thing we can all recognise is that the instinct to live, to survive, to evolve, is paramount right from the quantum level. This drive, this desire, is, to my mind, existent throughout everything there is in the entire universe. It is existent within every cell in our bodies.

It is natural to relate these basic drives of nature as aspects of what we perceive from inside the perspective of our humanness, into the terms we use to describe our own psychology. We can see that life is tenacious, unlimited, self-organising, and spontaneous. If we take the simple step of shifting these perceptions from a state of observation, to one of inner recognition, we can begin to recognise that this life force is present within every cell within our bodies – including of course those in the brain.

I believe that the core aspects of our character are the product of our genetic code. Some are unique, some are inherited. I believe that nature provides the brain with its’ ability to be tenacious, unlimited, self-organising, and spontaneous. The brain gains its’ resilience from the survival instinct, its’ flexibility from its’ plasticity, its’ desire to live, to reproduce and to learn and its’ patience from the fact that our cells have no concept of time.  I also believe that we are born with a set of unique genetic core beliefs.

The evidence that our genetic code is subject to nurture has been established by scientists. Certain trends may remain dormant if the environment that a child is brought up in does not stimulate potential characteristics.

So, if our basic ingredients are our biological nature, that is added to by our nurture, then the other vital ingredient must be the energy, the life force, which makes this happen. By using and mixing chemicals in our brains, chemical reactions are produced – creating energy. When our brain chemicals are imbalanced it follows that our normally healthy processes will be out of sync.

Everybody has their own way of interpreting things, and personally, I love that we do. Variety sponsors evolution; trial and error is nature’s way of finding out what works and what does not.

I have known even the most sceptical of people to be surprised by their close brushes with premonition, déjà vous and feeling that they are not the island they thought they were. It is my belief that through our energy systems we are connected with everything there is and has ever been. When parts of your brain are broken, it seems to become plainly apparent that a part of the ‘self’ is missing. It is as though the energy connection we have to our higher mind that ‘reads’ and interprets the data that comes in via our energy field, is switched off. This used to be called the sixth sense and it was commonly thought it was the domain of psychics, or that it was part of the realms of the unexplainable.

It is now known that every cell in our body has a self- identifying receptor and it is believed, by some, that it is through this that we are able to ‘download’ information from the collective consciousness. Everyone has the facility… Everyone has a ‘navitas reader.’

When I speak of ‘self’ I am not speaking just of the psychological self that acts and reacts according to its own needs. I am speaking of the ‘Whole’ ‘Self’ that encompasses every experience and every perspective we have ever witnessed –from every source. The psyche identifies the self as a separate individual; it needs to, since this is a vital aspect of survival. The mind on the other hand, is able to incorporate higher levels of intelligence, past flight and fight, kill or be killed, steal of starve, and it is able to overrule our basic instincts, incorporate conscience and the wider needs of a familial, social or cultural group. Freud identified these aspects of self as the ego and the super ego. Both aspects are essential for our survival; when they work in balance we are in harmony. There is no need for people to try and quash the ego in search of their spiritual goals. I personally believe that there is a lot of misleading thought out there….

Anyway, I don’t want to diverge….

There are times when we are fully aware that we are ‘bigger’ than the body we inhabit. Sometimes our feelings can be so intense that the fullness of them seems to expand beyond our outer shell. Sometimes the information that we intuit, seemingly comes from beyond what we think we know about the data that we have stored during our lifetime. What we determine about our incoming data is unique to us, and these determinations lead to the establishment of our beliefs.

To my mind, from my perspective, it is our beliefs, whether they are our learned beliefs, our working / practical beliefs, or whether they are our core beliefs – all of our ‘new,’ at this-moment-in-time, thinking, is all based on the history that we have developed. Without beliefs we have nothing to judge our current experiences against.

Our beliefs give us a blueprint. Our beliefs can be genetically inherent; these are a part of the blueprint. It is this blueprint that gives us our core beliefs, the kind of beliefs that no experience in our life can really shake us from. We may suffer some kind of huge emotional, mental or physical trauma that causes us to look away from some of our learned or working beliefs, but when we become aware of what we hold at our very centre, nothing can rock our boat.

This blueprint is the design for our soul… Life adds our knowledge of what works and what does not work to this basic outline. As we live, the soul expands through learning. The brain is a rational and logical tool that enables us to capture our reality. We all experience being caught between the head and the heart. The head calls for the practical; the heart enlists our creativity, our imagination and our feelings. Our feelings are not the same thing as our emotions and they do not have the same source. Our feelings are the language of the soul and of our spirit. Our emotions are the language of the ego, of the psychological self. Mind encompasses the soul, the spirit, the collective consciousness. Mind works within the unconscious at a quantum level and it holds the ‘big’ picture, the knowing who we are…

Brain injury can wipe away all of the mental connections that we have made within our memory banks. It can wipe away what we made of ourselves at each point in time though our history, so that when we look back, we are devoid of knowing our own character, how we made choices, why we made choices, what things made us feel good, what things didn’t bode so well with our highest expectations of ourselves. Our ability to be kind to ourselves, to forgive ourselves our fears, to know that no matter what showed up ,we can see, looking back, that we were always doing the best that we could do armed with the self-knowledge and wider wisdom that we held at any one moment in time.

It is as though when brain injury removes our core beliefs and our experiential memories that our subconscious mind also no longer has this data about the ‘self’ to work with. In my experience, if you want your ‘Self’ back you have to free up the space in your head by practicing your routines until they no longer ‘fill’ your head and working memory. You need space within your consciousness to be able to start pragmatically sorting the wheat from the chaff so that you can focus on putting yourself back together again…

When the mental connections become broken the resulting feeling can be one of a loss of ‘Self,’ the loss of the soul…

We are born believing. A man bears beliefs, as a tree bears apples  –   Ralph Waldo Emerson

Click here to go to related excerpts from My Latent Self

My second book, Latent Beliefs, shares my thoughts and beliefs about the energy that ‘is’ life and I expand on all of the ideas that I have shared here. To be able to put the splintered parts of my ‘Self’ back together again, I had to ask some questions that I perhaps would not have thought of asking if I hadn’t broken my brain. Emotions are not the same thing as feelings. The soul is not the same thing as our ‘Spirit.’ God is not ‘outside’ or separate to us.

Excerpts From Latent Beliefs (coming soon)


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