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Logosynthesis in Times of Corona[i]

Dr. Willem Lammers

 

 

This essay provides an understanding of the current pandemic from the perspective of Logosynthesis. It also offers ways to overcome the problems that are manifesting in this situation. The themes are:

  • The current situation
  • Reaction patterns
  • Logosynthesis as a model to understand and resolve beliefs
    1. What others could have and should have done better
    2. What should happen now or in the immediate future
    3. What I should do more or different
  • Coping with losses
  • Overwhelmed by fear
  • Reconnecting with Essence

 

The Current Situation

The current pandemic has many aspects: medical, biological, epidemiological, strategic, governmental, behavioral, economical, psychological and more. It is a challenge to keep your mind clear in the flood of information reaching your senses. As we think about the current situation from the vantage point of Logosynthesis, it is challenging us all at a deep level. No one in the generations now alive has ever experienced anything like it.

It is fascinating to see how people react to this new phenomenon and how they attempt to reduce the complexity of this situation in which nothing is clear or secure. Most specialists—physicians, mathematicians, epidemiologists, psychologists, economists— tend to focus on what they know from their own discipline. They understand the new events from the theory, the methods and the history of their professional background. This mechanism is not especially useful when it comes to cooperation with other professions or with political leaders.

Politicians appear to understand the new challenge from their familiar frame of reference, either pleading to close the borders or to increase international cooperation. From that perspective, they make decisions that must be frequently revised because the usual stance worsens the problems instead of solving them. This becomes especially challenging in political systems that put a strong emphasis on the individuals’ responsibilities, with a maximum reduction of the task of the law, the state or the country. They must invent new strategies, which sometimes look like inventions of the most extreme opposition. Who would have thought that political leaders would ever seriously consider a unconditional basic income for each citizen?

Reaction patterns

In this overwhelming context, each of us must find ways to think, feel and act. In the context of the pandemic, we see several patterns of how the human mind processes this new information:

  1. Denial: The mind tends to deny that something new is happening. It activates thought patterns that have been useful as an explanation and as guidelines in the past. This is true for experts, politicians and other human beings. People on one side of the political and religious spectrum believe that this is God’s punishment for the recognition of LGBTQ ways of living, where on the other end a connection between the appearance of the coronavirus and 5G is established. Everybody sees their existing beliefs confirmed.
  2. Coping: In times of serious distress, the mind takes to evolutionary patterns of coping with the perceived source of the distress. The lack of experienced safety is met with archaic survival behavior, often according to the metaphors provided by the environment. If the culture puts a heavy emphasis on cleanliness, people will hoard disinfectants and toilet tissue, and if self-defense has a high priority, people will buy guns. The fact that finding a strategy to cope with the virus is declared as a ”war” is understandable in this context, even though it’s far from helpful. Wars tend to generate uncontrolled emotions and that is the last thing we need to manage the current circumstances.
  3. Compliance: A third way to create a predictable world is to find a substitute parent, who will them how to think and what to do to restore safety in a world that has been shaken up by the unknown. People suddenly start to comply with government directives. In that context it’s disturbing that elected officials grab their chance to establish a dictatorial regime.
  4. Blocking: The mind doesn’t process the new information; it gets stuck in reaction patterns designed during evolution, when enemies were animals and competing tribes, and danger could be met with ‘fight, flight and freeze’. You could attack the enemy and avert the danger, run away from it, or surrender and be killed, flooding your organism with endorphins to guarantee a painful transition to the eternal hunting fields.

None of the above mechanisms is really serving the adult, responsible individuals in times of an epidemic. Stories based on these patterns fill the news and social media, they may help to create some safety, but they don’t help you to come to your senses to manage the new in the now. So how can you start to feel, think and act again on a higher level than the patterns dictated by evolution to guarantee survival?

Logosynthesis as a Model to Understand and Resolve Beliefs

Emancipate yourself from mental slavery,

None but ourselves can free our minds.

— Bob Marley, Redemption Song

In Logosynthesis, the patterns described above are understood as frozen energy structures. This understanding provides a framework to provide solutions. In observing the thoughts, emotions and acts of others as well as myself since I made the first screenshot of the Johns Hopkins corona website on January 30, I discovered three feeling and thinking patterns that can easily be resolved with the help of Logosynthesis sentences.

The opportunity for Logosynthesis during these times is to free your mind from bound energy. Energy can be bound in memories, fantasies, and beliefs. The first step out of Bob Marley’s mental slavery consists in finding out where your energy is frozen.

Belief 1: What others could have and should have done better

The first application in this essay on Logosynthesis in times of corona is the belief that people (politicians, scientists, economists) could or should have done better. The fact is that they didn’t. They ignored the available information. They did too little, too late.

The facts don’t keep people from believing something that could have happened or should have happened. This is known as the “If only…” phenomenon. The epidemiologists saw a pandemic coming years ago, but they couldn’t communicate the threat effectively. Neither was Bill Gates able to reach the decision-makers in his famous 2015 TED talk.

Do you believe in an alternative past? Are you binding energy in things that didn’t happen? Do you feel angry or sad because your preferred past didn’t turn into reality? Then you can start to free your mind by addressing that belief with the help of the Logosynthesis sentences.

To start the process, you identify the reality that would have been better, and you create a fantasy video in which things are going exactly as you would have desired them to go. Create that video in cinemascope and technicolor, so that you can dive deeply into it. Imagine that this video is your reality for just a moment.

A few ideas to choose from for this alternative reality:

  • The Chinese have closed their animal markets in Wuhan
  • The Commission for Disease Control has developed a strategy to contain the virus in an early stage, well-funded by the government
  • There are masks, gowns, and respirators all over the place, politicians have listened to scientists
  • The phone companies have found ways of tracking the virus.

In short: the ideal past. If your thoughts are circulating around the past that didn’t happen, you can now choose one aspect of the video to work on, preferably the most desirable one. Apply the Logosynthesis sentences for this representation, adjusting the classical third sentence of Logosynthesis to create a transition from fantasy to reality, in three sentences. You say each sentence softly and let it sink it for half a minute:

  1. I retrieve all my energy bound up in this imagined past and take it to the right place in my Self.

Let the sentence sink in.

  1. I remove all non-me energy related to this imagined past from all of my cells, from all of my body and from my personal space and send it to where it truly belongs.

Let this sentence sink in.

  1. I retrieve all of my energy bound up in all of my reactions to the fact that the reality imagined in this representation didn’t happen, isn’t happening and will never happen and take it to the right place in my Self.

Let each sentence sink in long enough until you feel a shift and drink a glass of water if you feel tired, dizzy or nauseous. Emotions may show up in the form of sadness, anger, or disappointment. Give these the time they need to process. Then you’ll arrive in the present, the first step out of mental slavery, ready to enter reality—as it is. Only from this position you can start to create the future, which may or may not be a rose garden.

Belief 2: What should happen now or in the immediate future

There are no shoulds.

— Frederick S. Perls

I’m reading many newspaper articles and social media posts nowadays, and these are constantly offering material to digest. The most exciting part of my feed, however, is not the news but the reactions to the news, the letters to the editor. They help me to understand at a deeper level what’s going on in times of corona.

After a while you get the facts about the virus: Contagion graphs are showing breathtaking exponential curves, the number of COVID-19 deaths is rising everywhere in the world, the virus is spreading faster in countries that don’t order a lockdown, more people are tested, we’re waiting for a blood test that proves immunity, labs are working hard, dictators feel encouraged to become more dictatorial, and there is no vaccine in sight. Lockdowns are prolonged, accompanied by voices that we are killing the economy while epidemiologists are warning that the peak of the pandemic hasn’t arrived yet.

For almost a hundred days now, the news can be reduced to those few lines; the maps and the numbers may vary. The letters to the editor represent another reaction pattern to explore. In Belief #1 people focus on what could have happened or should have happened.

The second belief shows in statements about what should happen now or in the immediate future. The content of this pattern has generally changed since it has become clear that doing nothing will support the spread of the virus. The experiments with that strategy in the UK, the US, the Netherlands, and Sweden finally muted those who compared corona with the yearly flu and pleaded to ignore the warnings of the epidemiologists.

The original content of the shoulds has been replaced by discussions about the duration and the character of the lockdown measures, in which some readers are writing that we should follow the current strategy of those in power, while others think that there should be other options. On the surface, this looks like a more or less rational discussion, but at a closer look, we can see a pattern that consists of the following elements:

  1. A belief or a value system about the world and how it should be, expressed in a sentence that contains the word “should” and implies the reader knows better.
  2. An interpretation of what is going on in the world against this background.
  3. The conclusion that responsible experts and administrators are not behaving according to the reader’s expectations.
  4. A judgment about these officials considered accountable, varying from total support for the government to total rejection, often followed by a series of exclamation marks.
  5. An emotion that matches the discrepancy between the perceived and the expected world, like outrage, irritation, resentment, bitterness, cynicism, anger, disdain, or loathing, often expressed in less than sophisticated language.
  6. An assumption that others are causing the emotion under (5) and thus should change something to fulfill the reader’s expectation.

The common ground under all these elements is frustrated grandiosity. Here, the reader assumes an intellectual as well as political expertise and potency he doesn’t have (gender intended). The outraged letter to the editor is his only instrument of power in society, but the only ones who have time to read it are in the same situation. The beliefs of these readers are binding an enormous amount of energy, while they aren’t contributing to a solution.

In terms of Logosynthesis, the above pattern has all characteristics of second-order dissociation. It’s distracting from archaic underlying fears, offering the illusion of control over the person’s situation. The archaic fears are activated by the pandemic for which there is no known solution.

If you have discovered aspects of your own behavior in the lines above, don’t worry. You are human and humans need to reduce complexity. This behavior presents one solution. However, the emotional fallout of the pattern is standing in the way of your growth and development—you’re banging on a door that will stay closed.

If you’re aware of this pattern and want to resolve it, identify a belief in which:

  • you think you are better or even superior
  • others are less OK than you
  • you feel an emotion like indignation, outrage, or cynicism.

Now locate the field of the belief in space. You may find it inside your body in your head, heart, or belly, outside your body on your left, right, in front, back, above, below you. Then say the following sentences, letting each of them sink in for half a minute:

  1. I retrieve all my energy bound up in this in this belief and everything it represents
    and take it to the right place in my Self.

Let the sentence sink in.

  1. I remove all non-me energy related to this this belief and everything it represents
    from all of my cells, from all of my body and from my personal space
    and send it to where it truly belongs.

Let this sentence sink in.

  1. I retrieve all of my energy bound up in all of my reactions to the fact that this belief doesn’t match my influence on the world in the current situation and take it to the right place in my Self.

This exercise will resolve the grandiosity and redirect your attention to what you can do in the reality of this epidemic. It’s also possible that you become aware of a fear you didn’t feel before.

 

Belief 3: What I should do more or different

Don’t worry, about a thing

Cos’ every little thing

Is gonna be allright.

— Bob Marley

The first two belief patterns in this essay are based on second-order dissociation patterns from a life position in which one person is OK and another is not. These patterns are based on what others should have done or should do. The next belief exhibits a pattern of insecurity in which people wonder what they should do themselves. They believe that they should do more, less, or something else. If they don’t, the belief is that there is wrong with them.

In an unknown situation, things go wrong by definition: Nobody knows what to do, so any reaction to the pandemic will be guided by trial and error. Many trials and even more errors are slowly leading to learning: People must wash their hands and use disinfectants; masks and gowns must be produced, distributed and provided; respirators must be manufactured, and ICU’s created from nothing. The pandemic is a live laboratory for Murphy’s law: Everything that can go wrong will go wrong, even though all agree that it shouldn’t.

Humanity is learning most in crises, because all these trials and errors lead to solid experience. Since trials and errors run rarely along rational ways, the pandemic offers many opportunities to activate dissociation patterns in all of us. If something goes wrong some people will attribute these failures to others, while others tend to look inside themselves in their search for the culprit.

Do you feel shame, guilt or regret in the face of the current events? That’s probably an indication for a belief that something is your fault: You should feel, think or act differently. You’re at the other end of the man writing letters to the editor, and there is a good chance that you’re a woman. You should have done, or you should. But, as I quoted Fritz Perls above: There are no shoulds.

The search for and the resolution of the limiting beliefs follows similar lines as yesterday, but the beliefs and the attached emotions are different. We see the following elements:

  1. A belief or a value system about the world and how it should be, expressed in a sentence that contains the word “should” and implies that you are responsible for other people’s misery.
  2. An interpretation of what is going on in the world against this background.
  3. The conclusion that you are not behaving according to others’ expectations.
  4. A judgment about your accountability: too lazy, too stupid, too slow, too crazy.
  5. A negative emotion that matches the discrepancy between the perceived and the expected world, like shame, guilt, despair, fear, grief, or depression—anything under 100 on David Hawkins’ Map of Consciousness.
  6. An assumption that you should do something to fulfill the others’ expectations.

The common ground under all these elements is a reversed form of the frustrated grandiosity of beliefs # 1 and #2: You assume an intellectual as well as a political expertise and potency you don’t have. You have very few instruments of power in society, but you keep feeling responsible. It’s you who makes the mistakes and errors, or even worse: You ARE a failure, you know it, and you feel miserable. These beliefs are binding an enormous amount of energy, while they don’t contribute to a solution. They don’t match reality in the present.

Again, in terms of Logosynthesis, the above pattern has all characteristics of second-order dissociation. To avoid being totally abandoned, you take on all the responsibility others don’t want to carry. All drivers are in place: You have to be perfect, be strong, hurry up, try hard, please others, all the time and everywhere. You’re the scapegoat who takes on all the guilt of the tribe.

This is your way of avoiding archaic underlying fears for abandonment, offering an illusion of minimal control over your situation. The archaic fears are activated by the pandemic for which there is no known solution.

If you have discovered aspects of your own behavior in the lines above, don’t worry: You’re human, humans need to reduce complexity, and this is the solution you have found. Again, the emotional fallout of the pattern is standing in the way of your growth and development—you don’t learn from repeating a deeply ingrained pattern.

To resolve the pattern, identify a belief in which you feel inferior, not OK, and in which others are OK, better or even superior. That belief is accompanied by emotions like the ones mentioned above: shame, guilt, grief, etc. It may help to locate the field of the belief in space, inside your body in your head, heart, or belly, outside your body on your left, right, in front, back, above, below you.

Apply the Logosynthesis sentences on “this belief and everything it represents”. Say each of the following sentences softly and let it sink it for half a minute:

  1. I retrieve all my energy bound up in this imagined past and take it to the right place in my Self.

Let the sentence sink in.

  1. I remove all non-me energy related to this belief and everything it represents
    from all of my cells, from all of my body and from my personal space
    and send it to where it truly belongs.

Let this sentence sink in.

  1. I retrieve all of my energy bound up in all of my reactions to the fact that this belief doesn’t match my real influence on the world in the current situation and take it to the right place in my Self.

This exercise will resolve the hidden grandiosity that you’re responsible for everything that goes wrong while redirecting your attention to what’s realistic in the face of this epidemic. It’s possible that you feel relief now, connecting to an awareness of your real potential. You may also become aware of a fear you didn’t feel before.

Coping with Losses

Though I saw it all around

Never thought I could be affected

Thought that we’d be the last to go

It is so strange the way things turn

— Peter Gabriel

These times are not only filled with what should be, how you or others have reacted or should react. As the challenging times last longer, this also leads to losses. You have to say goodbye to resources and options. You can’t go out. You can’t go to work, meet people, shop, attend sports events, visit restaurants and the list goes on.

Not only that. You lose money, because your clients are suddenly not there when you’re self-employed, or because your job isn’t there anymore, and nobody is paying you. The government helps some people and businesses, but not all and many people are suffering financial losses. Loss leads to grief, the emotion that emerges when you become aware that the world as you knew it is gone. It used to be benevolent and predictable: You knew what to do for yourself or together, in your workplace, with your partner and in the family.

This pandemic leads to many losses for many people, so there is an enormous amount of grief in society. It can take the form of anger, but when it lasts longer it often turns into sadness. The confrontation with coronavirus didn’t come at once, but step by step, until the full lockdown hit. Then the losses surfaced, and grief set in. Hope subsides that it would pass. We say goodbye to things of which we never knew they were illusions.

This is the core of grief: the realization that nature, events, people and things are not predictable. We thought things would happen because we planned them, prepared for them, invested in them. They didn’t happen. We didn’t only lose the money and the energy—we lost an illusion. In German we have the beautiful word “Enttäuschung” for disappointment. It literally means “un-cheating”. That is exactly what it is: There is no way around the facts.

The grief caused by coronavirus is deepened when it coincides with another loss, especially a death in the family. The rituals that society designed to cope with life events are forbidden: saying goodbye, hugging, grieving together at a funeral. Also, joyous events cannot take place. A wedding without guests is no fun.

In these times, you are forced to realize how much of your life energy is bound in structures that seemed to offer safety. You don’t know when the lockdown will end and what the world will look like afterwards. Will your job or your business be the same? Will your relationships be the same? Will you be able to make money and shop, dine, travel again in the way you were used to?

Logosynthesis may help you in these times because it is designed to reconnect you to what cannot be destroyed by the virus: Essence. Your Essence. When the predictability of our world, the Matrix, is lifted you can try to find other ways to structure your days. You can meet people online, watch Netflix or find new routines to keep your body in shape.

You can also use the opportunity to explore the apparent needs, routines, and beliefs you needed to feel good or better. Do you believe you need to exercise, shop, dine, travel, or go out? Who are you when you’re not spending your days in those patterns? Here is a way to leave familiar frozen patterns behind and to become aware of the new opportunities:

Identify something you need, and which is not available now. Then create an imaginary vision of yourself, in which this need is fulfilled. You can imagine this in your mind, or you can make a drawing. It is important that you are in the image yourself. Now find a place for that image in the space around you: left, right, front, back, above, below you. Then say the Logosynthesis sentences:

  1. I retrieve all my energy bound up in this image,
    and take it to the right place in my Self.

Let the sentence sink in.

  1. I remove all non-me energy related to this image and everything it represents
    from all of my cells, from all of my body and from my personal space,
    and send it to where it truly belongs.

Let this sentence sink in.

  1. I retrieve all of my energy bound up in all of my reactions to the fact that the reality represented by this image and everything it represents, does not exist in this moment in this place and take it to the right place in my Self.

Take an extra-long processing pause for the last sentence. Letting this sentence sink in will resolve the pattern of the need as you knew it. There may be tears, but once you realize that you’re more than a bunch of needs that must be fulfilled to feel good or better, you can open your eyes for the potential of Essence. With the angels’ choir in Peter Gabriel’s song:

Don’t give up

‘Cause you have friends

Don’t give up

You’re not the only one

Don’t give up

No reason to be ashamed

Don’t give up

You still have us

Don’t give up now

We’re proud of who you are

Don’t give up

You know it’s never been easy

Don’t give up

‘Cause I believe there’s a place

There’s a place where we belong.

Overwhelmed by Fear

The prior discussion has focused on avoidance. A part of you realizes that something is wrong or unpleasant, and you dive into a pattern: What others have done is too early, too late, the wrong thing or not enough. You could do or have done more for others. You don’t accept losses.

All of these avoidance mechanisms are played in the mind of adult people. They are defended and counter-defended with scores of arguments and alternative plans. At first glance, this seems logical and reasonable. However, as you start listening more carefully, you notice that you don’t react to them as rational.

At the surface level you can follow the argumentation, but you feel an emotional undertow. It isn’t logical or rational, not translated into words, concepts or plans. It’s leading a life of its own, and in the end, it determines more of people’s behavior than anybody would ever expect. It’s causing and creating the defense mechanisms we can observe on the surface. It’s fear.

When I saw the graph of Johns Hopkins University for the first time, on January 30, there were 8’235 cases and 171 deaths. I felt it was important enough to make a first screenshot. I started following the news and made more screenshots in February. Initially, I was curious. I know something about epidemiology and immunity, so the news appealed to my investigating, rational mind.

Soon this rational processing was overwhelmed by the sheer power and intensity of the coronavirus trend. My mind went blank. It wasn’t able to make sense of the flood of information that came on all channels. It came from scientists, politicians, officials and ordinary citizens – all with their facts, figures and feelings. I couldn’t think about coronavirus, let alone write.

The facts, figures and feelings were not only about others. They also involved me and my family. I learned early that I’m in a high-risk group: 65+, male, with a chronic condition. Bergamo and Brescia are two hours away in Northern Italy. The virus spread to the Engadin, the valley parallel to the Rhine Valley in which we live, and within weeks we had a first case in a hotel by my office.

In February, we were invited for a hotel viewing in Davos, during which we spent an evening with many Italians in a tightly packed club. My lung condition wasn’t good at the time. As my condition deteriorated, a nameless, formless black shade – a big Nothing – showed up at the horizon: fear. I felt a deep relief when test results came back negative.

Facts and figures are published every day. In the newspapers, people are getting tips on how to spend their days in isolation, how to stay fit with Nelson Mandela’s techniques from his time in prison, which video conferencing apps to use, but the fear under the surface is remarkably absent from the reports.  Logosynthesis can offers an explanation as well as ways to resolve the underlying fear.

Reconnecting with Essence

Between stimulus and response,

There is space.

In that space is our power

to choose our response.

In our response lies

our growth and our freedom.

— Viktor E. Frankl

The key characteristic of this pandemic is that we don’t know what it is and what will happen. There is no predictability, no known cure and no vaccination. Nobody alive in this world has ever gone through this before. That means that all normal measures we have at our disposal to reduce complexity don’t work, and that we’re thrown into existential insecurity, as individuals, as families, as organizations and as society as a whole.

In this situation, everybody will first react from their favorite second-order dissociation mechanism. If it’s adaptation, you’ll adapt. If it’s withdrawal, you’ll withdraw. If it’s rebellion, you’ll protest. If it’s alcohol, you’ll drink. If it’s putting the cause of misery outside yourself, you’ll look outside yourself. If you like gathering information when you’re insecure, you’ll do that. If it’s taking care of others, you’ll take care.

If that doesn’t work—and for many it doesn’t—you’re confronted with the full weight of childhood trauma, birth trauma, the conception shock or the black hole as described in the book I finished in these days.

Essence isn’t touched by coronavirus or the pandemic. Overwhelmed bodies and minds are affected.  It is easy to lose the connection with Essence. In this situation bodies and minds are doing all they can to survive, and to reduce insecurity. For some people, their own physical survival is in the foreground. For others, it’s economical. Still others focus on the wellbeing of others.

To create and maintain stability, people create patterns. The coronavirus has the fascinating quality to disrupt all usual patterns: physically, emotionally, socially, even on the level of organizations and governments.

Under this stress, our connection to Essence is also easily disrupted: The intensity of the experience of broken patterns is simply too high. This leads to fear on many levels, and fear interrupts higher brain functions.

In these times of high distress, the application of Logosynthesis can help you to reconnect to what you really are: Essence. Your body and mind are the vehicles in the service of your mission in this manifestation of the Matrix:

You are more than your body.

You are more than your mind.

You are Essence, and Essence doesn’t fear.

[i] Thanks to Cathy Schenkels-Caswell for a first edit of this essay.