A Telephone Conversation
 March, 1952

 Sometime in March 1952, "N" had a telephone conversation with one of the people who had participated in the January, 1952 discussions. During the course of this conversation, talk turned to fundamental aspects of certain environmental challenges faced by the fetus in the prenatal state. Recent research [1] has confirmed that many of the environmental factors mentioned do indeed modify early development and thereby set the stage for the infant's further non-verbal behavioral postulates, typically formed in the first few years after birth. Thus, these prenatal environmental factors can and do directly relate to how we subsequently construct our identity and reality.

Fortunately, this conversation was recorded. What follows is a transcript of that portion of the conversation dealing with the impingement of pre- and early post-natal environmental factors on subsequent development. The transcript begins with N's comments regarding a letter which had recently been received - N's statements are indicated here in normal type, while italics denote the other person's remarks:

The content of [this] letter led me to believe that this person had not contacted prenatal material. He only contacted those items concerning his service facsimile [2], which does not necessarily have to do, of course, with prenatal material. I would only suggest that [some] persons will contact prenatal material. In fact, they should, in order to thoroughly decontaminate themselves. They should make a working referent for their entire existence, and I feel, at this moment, on the data I have, that until they do this they may be stable -- but they will not be as fully stable as they could be.

OK. Now, one of these other questions. Somebody wanted to know what the types of basic [prenatal] insecurities are -- or, are they as variable as people are?

For my particular species [3], I can give them to you: One of these is insecurity of food supply -- actually, on a cellular basis. The cell responds in a peculiar manner in its early existence to the presence of food -- coming, normally of course, from the mother. When this food supply is contaminated or decreased, you have what amounts to a pseudo-spontaneous abortion. A great deal of material can at that time accumulate as non-survival activity. Now, what will this mean?

This will mean that the change…is in biological activity which can, at some future date, affect the individual, even though he is consciously unaware of "why." This is one of the reasons certain diseases are so terrible, and others are practically insignificant and ineffectual.

Hmmm. A sort of non-verbal postulate.

Yes. And there are others.

And you're not acquainted with any of the others for other species, are you?

Yes, I am -- but not as fully, of course, as with my own.

Could you give a sort of brief outline of several of them?

Again, the first one I have given to you will apply to almost every species that I have knowledge of. It is generally able to apply to protoplasm that has definite directed activity. The next most important one would be a change - how shall I say it? - a "contra-dynamic," in a general sense. This will mean the wishes, the basic needs of the individual, are somehow thwarted or diverted, turned aside, by the dynamics of the other individuals in conflict with the first one.

This can occur, of course, in a mother's case, when she is harboring a child in her womb. It can occur with the doctor, with the nurse. It can occur with a childhood sweetheart, and, of course, with the wife and the children.

This is a very general way of saying that, when one individual steals from another the first individual's right - or ability - to grow, and to live, you have (of course) the basic insecurity. And again: the mother, influencing the unborn child, can profoundly direct the sense of insecurity to various sexes, [to] voices, pressures, et cetera.

Counter-dynamics, by the way -- by that, do you mean anything acting counter to your own dynamics?

Not exactly in that manner. I mean something which definitely tends to reduce your ability to survive.

Oh, I see. Something that reduces your own dynamics -- in that way.

It will, indirectly, of course.

Yes, I see.

But again, basic insecurity is laid, not so much in the post-natal area as in the prenatal area. Not in words, but in sensations and in causal effects in the nervous system. These changes that occur in cells, and about cells, and in cells, are far more important for the individual in the first six months of life than words -- and actions -- that occur in the environment. It is -- some minute changes in the cells and the motions of those cells in contact with them [when] that individual begins to gaze at the world around him.

I have another question: How important, in general, are weaning and toilet training?

I would say they are extremely important. For me they were profoundly aberrative.

Would you say they were basic, in postnatal material?

They could be. That's a very general question. I can't give you a direct answer to it.

[extract ends]


1. See, for example, the research discussed at http://www.esalenctr.org/display/confpage.cfm?confid=5&pageid=60&pgtyp

2. (in this context) any coherent set of beliefs, emotions, and physiological configurations maintained by an individual, which expresses a behavioral/conceptual image based on prior experience judged to be successful. Occasionally as "service facsimile," denoting its perceived utility.

3. the word, "species"  is used here in a biological, not a taxonomic, sense. "N" postulated that the human race has biologically evolved into a number of groups that transcend racial origin, each generally aligned toward the achievement of a specific "species" goal. There are other references to this notion in "The Second Session," "Humanity's Blueprint," and "The Third Session."

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