Read the personal stories of 25 of our graduates: how hypnotherapy helped them personally and professionally. Click here to read more..

Wellness Institute Blog

How the Birth Journey Teaches Us About the Unconscious (with 8 Questions to Ask Yourself)

Posted by David Hartman  May 1, 2015 9:00:00 AM

The vast majority of people go through life mostly unconscious or unaware. Due to this pervasive unconsciousness, most of us are not aware of our Soul’s journey to this earth, not aware of our actual conception experience, and very unaware of our time in our mother’s womb and how those womb experiences are affecting us now. Just because we are unaware of these experiences, does not make them insignificant or unimportant in our human development.

What does the word unconscious mean? It means being unaware of the deeper consciousness within us. There are layers to the unconscious, so first let’s explore each of those dimensions.

  1. Personal unconscious – The part of the mind that a person is not aware of but that is often a powerful force in controlling his or her behavior. The part of mental life that does not ordinarily enter the individual's awareness, yet may influence behavior and perception or be revealed in a ‘disguised’ form (as in dreams or in ‘slips of the tongue’). We have stored all the memories of everything that has happened to us, but obviously we can’t carry all of that in our conscious awareness. So there is a vast archive in the unconscious, and a retrieval system that once we learn to use it allows access to all of those memories. Some of them, of course, we have deliberately tried to hide from consciousness through repression or suppression.
  1. Collective unconscious – The aspect of a human being’s motivations, beliefs, emotions, and longings that are instinctual, i.e., arise from the deeply shared commonality with humanity itself, the great collective. Here we find the meaning of myths and of the enduring recurring existential themes, throughout history and across cultures.

  2. Spiritual unconscious – This is a higher dimension of the unconscious which offers connection with ancient Truth, celestial beings (e.g., angels), departed loved ones, and the transcendent states of consciousness available to meditators, lovers of the arts and music, and lovers of all kinds.

Traditional psychology refers to consciousness beginning at age six months. Through Heart-Centered-Hypnotherapy and other age-regression techniques, we have discovered that our developmental stages begin at conception, continue on as a conceptus through fertilization and into the womb. Over the past thirty five years, we and many others have discovered how consciousness actually does begin at conception (or before, but we won’t go there for now).  If you can set your critical thinking mind aside for a moment, you may just become open to new possibilities. New that is to you, but certainly not new to people who have studied and developed transpersonal psychology, subtle energy psychology, and pre-and perinatal psychology, Altered State Breath work and Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy.

Begin to expand your thinking, just for a moment, to the idea that developmental stages are actually limitless, since we are always developing. We are always becoming more and more conscious especially as we begin to do altered state therapy. This is also known as Transpersonal Psychology.


So let’s begin as an egg and a sperm. In hypnotherapy, folks actually regress back to these times when they are a sperm, literally swimming for their lives to make sure they don’t die and that they connect with an egg. Others begin by entering the egg and my be passively waiting for just the right sperm to connect with them. Or they may find themselves hiding, hoping that the sperm doesn’t find them. Survival is an intense drive and yet, for some souls, that drive is tentative. How and why would that happen?


What we have learned from years of trance work in psychology, Heart-Centered regression work, and breath work (Stanislav Grof) is that some souls come into this lifetime reluctantly or worse than that, come in resistant and not wanting to come here at all. Let’s explore that concept for a moment. Just use your imagination and picture that you have been invited to a large social gathering  and you find yourself dragging your feet all the way there. Perhaps you know who is going to be there and it may be someone you don’t particularly like. Or perhaps you don’t like the location, the food that will be served, or the atmosphere in general. Some folks are introverts and would rather stay home and read a book than interact at a social gathering.

Perhaps you begin to make excuses to others who are expecting you to show up or to the people who invited you. This is called resistance. There are many expressions in our language which reflect this experience of resistance. Some may ask, “Why are you dragging your heels/feet?”  or “What is in your way or why are you being so stubborn?” or, “You must be an introvert.”

Just like such an experience of social resistance, many souls likewise have resistance to life. This form of dragging your heels is a much bigger form of resistance. This resistance is reluctance to coming to this earth or to this particular body, family, culture, race, religion, or gender.

Open your mind for a moment and imagine that as a lingering little soul, you have the ability to look down from heaven and take a peek at the life that has been designed for you here on earth. You look down from your comfortable place above with the Divine, the angels, the beautiful place known as heaven, and suddenly you feel a strong tugging, like a small child tugs on the pants leg or skirt of their parent. You look down and see that the powers that be are sending you a strong message that it is time to return or perhaps for the first time, to go to earth. Perhaps you feel some resistance, “No, I am very happy here in the light, I think I’ll stay here.”

But your attention continues to be more strongly pulled to look below at the earth that is beckoning you.

As you look down you may sense a very unhappy family that is awaiting you but also beckoning you to come and perhaps rescue them. (See Breaking Free from The Victim Trap). A family where there is poverty, drinking, fighting and all sorts of ugliness. Or siblings that don’t like or want you. Or perhaps you sense a country that is in war, in poverty and there will be a great deal of struggling. Your resistance becomes stronger and yet the pull to go also becomes stronger. Perhaps your soul has work to do there to complete something that is unfinished or a lesson that you need to learn for your soul to become strengthened so that you can stay here in the light when you come back.

8 Questions to Ask Yourself

Regardless of the karmic struggle that your soul enters this world with, what you may be bringing with you is a lifetime of resistance to life.  I know this may be difficult to accept; however, ask yourself some questions and list your answers.

  1. Have I struggled in my life, perhaps making things more difficult than they needed to be?
  2. Has it been difficult to commit to things, or when I do does my commitment waiver?
  3. Am I in my mid years and still find myself struggling about my education, my career, my relationships, my purpose in life?
  4. Have friends, co-workers and family pulled away because they can’t count on me?
  5. Do I pull away whenever I’m asked to make a commitment or to follow through on something?
  6. Do I find myself procrastinating on things I say I want to do?
  7. Have I been feeling bored, depressed or anxious over the months or years?
  8. Have I been using a variety of unhealthy foods, substances, beverages and behaviors to numb myself from the constant internal conflict?

If you have said yes to many of these questions, you most likely have resistance to life as an existential issue. Now you may be wondering ,”What is an existential issue?”  The idea of having an ‘issue’ has been borrowed from psychotherapy and is now popularized through the media to include every little snafu in life. But let’s separate all these minor ‘issues’ to the most important ones in each of our lives, our own existential issues. This is about what the meaning of our existence is, our own true purpose in this lifetime. This is not something that we can just think about and determine. This is not something that we can figure out with the 10% of our limited conscious mind. This is certainly not something that any type of rational or cognitive talk therapy can figure out. Our conscious mind is so limited. It is limited to thinking, figuring out, planning and debating. It is akin to the old typewriters that had no memory, no programs and could not store information.

The layers of the unconscious mind, in comparison, which are available to us through hypnotherapy and other altered state experiences, are akin to computers that can store vast amounts of information, organize them into meaningful files, and save them forever. It is through the wisdom of this complex technology stored in the unconscious mind, that we can truly discover who we are, what our purpose is on this planet and in this lifetime.

In the deeper and more advanced work that we do, we begin to explore the unconscious mind. This is the gift that Dr. Carl Jung and others have given to us. Exploring the depth of the unconscious mind definitely requires us to have removed the outer layers of our mistaken beliefs about ourselves so that we can see clearly. The gift of Heart-Centered Hypnotherapy is that we learn to feel safe in exploring new territory within our own minds. This provides the ladder that then transports us deeper into the unconscious mind into true self-discovery and Personal Transformation. And that ladder allows us to descend down into the depths of the personal and the collective unconscious, and that same ladder allows us to ascend up into the heights of the spiritual unconscious.

In this deeper transformational work, we move beyond our family issues and into our existential issues. We discover what the purpose of our existence truly is, what may be blocking us from getting there and finally how to move through those blocks into enlightenment. Now imagine looking back down at the Earth from way up above, just as you did earlier. Except now you are clear about your place with the Divine. Looking down from heaven and taking a peek at the choices of lives that have been designed for you here on earth, you may feel the tugging from earthly existence as before. But as you look down you may not be attracted to a very unhappy family, to poverty, drinking, fighting, to people who don’t like or want you, to war, poverty or struggle. Imagine that you have learned all that those lessons could teach you. Imagine that the existential ‘issue’ tugging at you is spreading loving kindness, contributing to a peaceful heart in every life you touch, or creating a legacy of dazzling beauty or profound wisdom. Just imagine.

Click here to download the guide