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Segmentation: The Resilience Challenge of Body, Mind and Society

Segmentation is how we describe what happens when one part of an organism ceases to cooperate with other parts of the same organism.  When we store emotional trauma as neural patterning and energetic blockage, and that blockage finds a home in a particular part of our energy system, causing health problems, tension and so on whenever that neural pattern is triggered, that is segmentation.  Right there, our neural, emotional and physical lives all become segmented.  In other words, some part of the system is disrupting all of the others.  Something is out of alignment.  As human beings, we are many-faceted creatures, and in order for us to live healthily and fulfill our potential, all of those facets have to find a way to pull together.  Consider the ancient Greek phalanx.  The Greeks discovered that when all of their soldiers stood and moved together in a coherent pattern, they were far more effective than if they were operating as individuals.  Segmentation is as though a small group of those soldiers decided to move in a different direction from all the others. 

Dealing with this phenomenon, clearing these segmented blockages, is the first stage in many ancient systems of health and spiritual work.  Taoist dissolving meditation is a prime example.  This kind of work is the prerequisite for everything else, because as long as the body, mind and emotions are segmented, we cannot align our whole being toward achieving the state of being we desire.  Many of you are familiar with acupuncture, acupressure and tapping techniques such as EFT and TFT used to clear energetic-emotional blockages.  In the video below, you will see a modern take on this process from B.E.S.T. (Bio-Energetic Synchronisation Technique), a method that grew out of chiropractic medicine and has gone through forty years of refinement.  B.E.S.T. is a direct and effective technique which has proved able to address many deep-seated and otherwise-intractable physical, emotional and psychological problems.


Segmenting the Organism of Humanity

Interestingly, the same word, segmentation, has been used in another, related context: as the fundamental precursor to war in human society.  Dr. Raymond C. Kelly, a Professor of Anthropology at the University of Michigan, was dissatisfied with existing theories about the origins of war.  In his book Warless Societies and the Origin of War, he examines both archeological evidence and the anthropological studies of the warless societies which continue to exist today.  These warless societies have one thing in common: a lack of bounded groups.  A person is related to his or her parents and siblings and their families, marries into the family of his or her spouse, and has all the family relationships that implies- but there is no defined boundary, no one discrete group, no “us” that stands separate from “them.”  There is no clan group based on a specific lineage, no chief or king, no distinct unit that can organise to inflict violence on another unit.  Warless societies, then, are unsegmented. 

Wars begin when segmentation begins.  It starts with the infliction of an injury, such as the murder of a group member.  This is generalised to be an assault upon the group, and the group exacts revenge on the same principle- that killing any members of the group to which the murderer belongs is the same as killing the murderer.  And with that, we have the fundamental basis of war- that members of the same group are objectified, substitutable pawns in service of their group identity and must suffer the consequences of their leaders’ action.  There are of course many more steps of development before we reach even the sort of warfare found in the Middle Ages, but this fundamental basis of alienation between segmented groups and objectification of the group’s membership has remained up to the present day.

Many ancient traditions regard humanity collectively as a great organism.  Kelly’s findings suggest that within that organism as well, segmentation, manifested in the formation of alienated groups, constitutes disease.  This is not a call to some sort of artificial sameness, but rather to accept diversity while transcending the basis of segmentation- alienation and objectification.  By transcending the dualism of “us” and “them” and instead accepting all people on the basis of our shared humanity, we undermine the basis of war, violence and victimisation. 


Survival Mode in Macro and Microcosm

Survival Mode, the state of the traumatised individual, is fundamentally one of fear and anger at a hostile world.  In that state, we recognise only two categories of people- those who can help us and those who can hurt us.  We objectify others relative to what we can get out of them.  That is the same logic of objectification that exists in war, that exists wherever there is an “us” and “them.”  This worldview that is expressed in moments where our survival is imperiled becomes embedded in our social organisation.  It is the experience of being treated as objects that is behind the majority of human trauma.  It is a vicious cycle- trauma begets trauma. 

We segment, we form exclusive groups, as a defence against the hostility of the world.  The more we treat each other as objects, the more we are traumatised.  The more we are traumatised, the more society segments, the deeper the alienation becomes, and the more trauma we inflict.  It is a cycle that reaches from the totality of the human species to our emotional, energetic and physical health, and back again. 



By dissolving our internal segmentation, we cease to inflict that inner discord on the world, and by transcending our social segmentation, we reduce the internal segmentation of others.  Alignment begets alignment.  We align our inner state to conform to the outer world we want, and we align our thoughts and behaviours to create the inner state we want.

Ask yourself, how badly are YOU segmented inwardly?  What are you doing about it?  Do you consciously seek inner harmony on all levels?  Very few people do.  In fact, in my experience teaching Qi Gong, Hara and related disciplines, I’ve become convinced that the majority of people have become so used to unnatural tension that they don’t know what deep relaxation, deep harmony would feel like. 

As you start to search for harmony, though, a funny thing happens: tensions and segmentation appear everywhere within you!  That’s recognizing where you’re really at and, although it may not feel so good, it’s a great sign!


~ Dr. Symeon Rodger