I have recently been doing a little bit of work for California in relation to Conscious Parenting and what I like to call today Consciousness Parenting. It is now a well known fact that the fetus begins its Archetypal Development in the womb; both parents have a responsibility to understand what their roles play in this development.
We are becoming more consciously aware of the responsibility of bringing another creator into this world and every parent I’m sure would want the best possible advantage for their newborn. So below I have included an article written by Rainer Maria Kohler on the Jungian Psychology website. This is one of my specialties and if you have any queries or would like to book a session; if you are planning a family, would like to understand your family matrix on a more intimate level which would equip you to consciously understand why they are choosing the behaviors they are; then get in touch with the BT Wholistic Health and Wellness Clinic in Cape Town on 072-697-2383 and make sure your family matrix is a balanced one.
Archetypes and Complexes in the Womb by Rainer Maria Kohler
Psychotherapists, including Jungian analysts, are becoming more and more aware of the critical importance of the child’s prenatal development for the structure and functioning of the human brain and personality. A new book summarizes recent neurobiological research into the impact of the relationship of the embryo and fetus to the mother and her world on the development of the human brain and psyche: Gerald Hüther and Inge Krens, Das Geheimnis der ersten neun Monate. Unsere frühesten Prägungen. (The Mystery of the First Nine Months. Our Earliest Formative Influences).1
The authors never mention Jung, but I believe that their work and conclusions can be related to the constellation of the Jungian archetypes and the development of complexes already in the embryo and fetus. The mother archetype becomes active within hours of conception, and complexes, such as hyperactivity and depression, can constellate already in the womb. Learning commences in the womb and includes the evaluation as good or bad of experiences made since conception. The emotional lives of the mother and of the people in her world deeply influence the fetus both through direct physiological connection and through indirect sensory perception. At birth the child is already a combination of both “nature” and “nurture”, i.e. the result of a unique set of genes and the unique experiences made in the womb. Later nurture and therapy can undo or modify negative neuronal and synaptic patterns established in the womb and in early years and bring healing to the sufferer.
In 1917 Jung described the archetypes, inter alia, as “deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity” which are “grounded in the peculiarities of the living organism itself and … therefore direct expressions of life whose nature cannot be further explained”.2 As a Jungian analyst I had always accepted this description of the archetypes, and after reading the book by Gerald Hüther and Inge Krens I understood more clearly how the “deposits of the constantly repeated experiences of humanity” are transmitted from generation to generation. More importantly, I began to understand that the deposits are not immutable and that they can be positively affected by bringing about healing of even “generational or ancestral complexes”.
Hüther is a professor for neurobiology at the University of Göttingen in Germany3 and Krens is a Dutch psychotherapist with a primary focus on prenatal psychology.4 Although they never mention Jung (or Freud), my reading of their book suggested to me the possibility of integrating their neurobiological and emotional research with Jungian ideas. Then, towards the end of their book of 137 pages, on page 121, I came upon this statement:
A child needs all the accumulated knowledge, feelings, experiences, abilities and aptitudes from his mother, from his father, and from all the people in his culture in order to select and firm up certain [neuronal] switches and [synaptic] connections out of the [range of] neuronal switching possibilities and synaptic connection opportunities which are available in his brain, and in order to anchor and ground them in the form of inner representations [bold emphasis and italics mine].
It seemed to me that Hüther and Krens describe two stages of neuronal and psychic activity:
(1) Opportunities for neuronal switches and synaptic connections which are available in the brain (bold language). These are the phylogenetic patterns available to every human being by virtue of being human.
(2) Selecting and firming up of certain of the available switches and connections based on all the accumulated knowledge, feelings, experiences, abilities and aptitudes of the mother, father, and all the people in the child’s culture, followed by anchoring and grounding them in the form of inner representations (italicized language). These are the archetypal patterns which become active in each individual human being starting at conception.
The selection and firming up, or stabilizing, of the available neuronal switches and synaptic connections is not limited to the first nine months and does not end with the birth of the child. On the contrary, it continues vigorously during the first years of life into adolescence and probably beyond. It is Hüther’s and Krens’ contention, however, and I believe their merit, to have pointed out that this so-called plasticity of the brain, i.e. its ability to have available a range of neuronal switches and synaptic connections for selection and use by the individual human being, does not start and become effective only with birth but already with conception. Furthermore, they argue that the hoped-for normal and healthy selection and firming up by the embryo and fetus can, and often is, already negatively affected in the womb by the quality of the mother’s and father’s lives, and the lives of other people who relate to the mother and father. Emotional trauma can and does, therefore, occur in the womb.