The Basic Perinatal Matrix Archetype

    The BPM archetype reveals a number of psychological aspects of human nature arising from the depths of the past, from the biological nature of the intrauterine and natal experiences. Inward attentiveness triggers this archetype. The BPM has an indisputable advantage over the other archetypes – the BPM phenomenon has for some time now been well described in several books by Stanislav Grof, who divided birth experiences into four phases that he masterfully described, attributing to them psychopathological syndromes, activities in Freudian erogenous zones, memories from postnatal life and experiences of extraordinary states of consciousness. I consider the four phases of BPM to be a well described archetypal scheme.

Basic Perinatal Matrix I (BPM I)

    The biological basis of this matrix is the symbiotic unity of the fetus and mother during the period of existence within the womb. If the fetus is not disturbed, his life will take place in ideal conditions, which elicits (in terms of the perfect symbiosis) similar associations from the collective unconscious of humanity and from the planetary or cosmic unconscious depending on the level of identification with a certain part of the unconscious. Also belonging here are various forms of life in ocean waters, of beautiful life-giving Mother nature in full bloom, of astronauts in weightlessness, spaceships orbiting planets, of celestial worlds and heavens.

Basic Perinatal Matrix II (BPM II)

    The experiential formula is not inextricably linked to the beginning of biological birth. The harmony of the existence of the fetus is roughly disturbed by mechanical contractions of the womb, the birth canal is closed and each additional contraction of the womb restricts the supply of blood (containing nutrients and, most importantly, oxygen) to the fetus. While BPM I causes positive and negative associations, BPM II is characterized only by negative experiences – cosmic engulfment, demonic manifestations, attacks by aliens, being devoured by a terrifying monster or huge earthly creature, recognition of burning visions of hell or imprisonment in dungeons. Sometimes the unbearable torment and suffering reaches the Treasure archetype for its experiences of unbearable suffering on a physical and psychological level by mythological heroes – mythical sufferers (Prometheus, Sisyphus, Loki, the Flying Dutchman and other similar figures of worldwide mythology). This unquestionably includes images of concentration camps, total war, nuclear bombs, chemical warfare, ecological disasters, terrorism, the Inquisition. An interesting BPM II experience is the senselessness and absurdity of human existence and ideas of the pointless farce of the world, which clearly brings to mind the mythological figures of the tricksters (the Nordic Loki, the Greek Hermes, the North American Rabbit, Hare, Raven, Jay, Coyote and other animals representing tricksters, the South American Botoque, the African Eshu and Ifa, the Australian Ngandjala  – Ngandjala, Wurulu – Wurulu, Unguramu, Agula, Mimi and Namorodo, and the Pacific Maui).

Basic Perinatal Matrix III (BPM III)

    The opened cervix and continued contractions enable the gradual movement of the fetus down the birth canal. The existentialism of BPM II is replaced by the struggle to survive and the final experience of death. Mechanical pressure of the walls of the birth canal causes excruciating pain and suffocation, and a poor positioning of the umbilical cord (wrapped around the neck, shortened by being wrapped around other body parts, pressed to the wall of the birth canal etc.) results in more traumatizing experiences. An integral part of BPM III is contact with a variety of biological matter: along with amniotic fluid, this includes blood, mucus, urine and feces. As with BPM I, BPM III elicits a broad range of positive and negative images: these can be titanic, aggressive – sadomasochist, sexual, scatological and demonic. While in BPM II we are exclusively victims, in BPM III a person can alternately identify with the victim or aggressor and can even be an impartial observer.

Basic Perinatal Matrix IV (BPM IV)

    The biological basis is the culmination of the struggle in the birch canal, the actual moment of birth and the vivid images immediately following birth. The fetus enters BPM IV the moment death eradicates the former personality and a new life with a new mind rises from the ash of the past. In reliving BPM IV, spiritual and mythological symbols appear before our inner sight. BPM IV is antithetical to the negative experiences of BPM II and can be considered entirely positive, through which all BPM phases are potentially offset:

BPM I             positive and negative

BPM II           only negative

BPM III          positive and negative

BPM IV          only positive

    I would like for all spiritual beginners to realize the importance of Basic Perinatal Matrix aspects emanating from the human unconscious in their full scope, and not to seek their own perversion and abnormality beyond the experienced images. The path to moral purity only leads through experiences. The experiences that we go through include a broad range that is full of allegorical twists in the unforgettable BPM archetype.

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