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L-Arginine, Arg.Vasopressin, Faith

C.S. Mills chmills at flash.net
Fri Aug 13 08:59:50 EST 1999


My personal experience several years ago using a combination of
l-arginine, prayer, and imagery has led me to believe that  this
combination can aid integration of the personality, and can amplify
creative common-sense in those people who are very sensitive to
l-arginine. (L-arginine is an amino acid, a growth hormone releaser, 
and a precursor to nitric oxide.)

		I would appreciate being allowed to post here the paper which I wrote
on my mind-altering experience of 1-1/2 years  in 1986. My analysis of
the experience indicates to me that this combination may affect the fork
out of which mental and physical health proceed. I experienced no
illnesses of any kind in the ten years following my experience, while I
continued regular use of the combination.

		I have not written "Unleashing The Unconscious" to provide any
answers, though I have stated my opinions; rather I have written it to
motivate people of science to ask questions not previously asked.  The
nature of this news group would seem to draw readers who might be
capable of scientific insight and further research concerning what
occurred. I would hope that the decidedly unscientific terms I have had
to use to describe certain aspects of my experience - "quest,"
"mystical," "religion," "Christianity," and even the psychological
self-analysis  -  will not cause readers to overlook  the issues of
biochemistry and neurology which the account  raises.

 		If the others in this news group should find the following material
inappropriate to this news group, please let me know, and I will cancel
my post.

Cherie Dawn Mills
chmills at flash.net
- - - - - - - - - -

UNLEASHING THE UNCONSCIOUS: 
A Quest from Mystical Consciousness to Creative Adaptivity
 -  by Cherie Dawn Mills -

Introduction:

		For 1-1/2 years, through intermittent ingestion of the amino acid and
growth hormone releaser, l-arginine, and through empathic prayer, I
brought to consciousness the contents of my unconscious. What I endured
was in many respects similar to the individuation of C.G. Jung, as
described in Memories, Dreams, Reflections. (Jung, 1963)  I developed
mystical consciousness and a heightened level of creativity through
struggles concerning the nature of God and the responsibilities of
humanity and of myself; I learned to make purposeful use of integrated
awareness - emotions, thoughts, intuitions - and finally arrived at a
reality-oriented personality. My spiritual orientation matured from that
of escapist, punitive Christianity to more humanitarian and
reality-oriented Christianity.

		During the initial phase of the quest I found my unconscious to be a
storehouse not only of memories repressed or at differing levels of
forgetting, but also of passions, primitive thought processes,
sensations concerning my childhood relationships, archetypes, complexes,
superstitions, allegories stored from a  lifetime of readings, and a
host of other materials. At a deeper level I experienced the myths and
other materials associated with the collective unconscious - universal
yearnings first felt in childhood and later focused upon in love,
worship and art. Additionally, I witnessed the connection between
childhood memories, dreams and visions, as sensations of childhood,
reexperienced, entered dream processing to develop compelling visions -
using the truths of the old puzzle to create a new picture.

		I had worked supportively with chronic schizophrenics for over three
years at a day treatment center as I completed undergraduate work for a
B.A. in psychology and graduate work on an M.A in counseling (mental
health). During that time I read extensively about the illness of
schizophrenia, and attempted to absorb as much information as possible
from those diagnosed of chronic schizophrenia in my relationships with
them. I came away from the readings and the relationships with the
feeling that the personalities of these people, in their sickness, were
mostly being overlooked by researchers of the condition. Much of what I
experienced during the most irrational phase of my quest  resembled
anomalies reported in literature about schizophrenia. I believe that my
quest experience and the peculiarities of my personality could shed some
light on the condition of schizophrenia, and therefore will mention the
similarities between that condition and what I observed about myself.

The Spiritual Quest:

		It is my nature to empathize deeply with people who matter to me, and
I tend to abandon my ego to them, allowing them to dominate the
relationship. This has come from my symbiotic relationship with my half
brother - 1-1/2 years older than myself - from infancy through early
adolescence. The impact of that early relationship colored my future
relationships with males even after my half brother and I became adults,
married, and distanced ourselves from one another. I began a prayer
relationship with my pastor upon learning that my half brother soon
would die of Hodgkin's disease, and quickly developed transference and
countertransference with this man whose given name was the same as my
half brother's - Rick. Through empathic prayer I sought to aid my
pastor's ministry and to find a place for myself in our church - for me
a representation of society itself. My mystical experience began in this
prayer relationship.

		I began to ingest the amino acid, l-arginine a month prior to my half
brother's death  in the hope that it would, through growth hormone
release, increase my stamina, which had dwindled with my sense of
helplessness and grief. After my half brother died, I strove to come to
grips with the meaning of his life, which, it seemed to me, had been
tragic. He was witty, likeable, Christian and hardworking; yet at the
end of his life he had gotten little further ahead educationally,
financially, and socially than when he began work as a young man, and he
had had three bad marriages. I sought answers by praying several times a
day, and each day would read several pages of the Bible; thus, I was
continually immersed in allegoric imagery and in what for me were the
hypnotic effects of prayer. (Many who become schizophrenic engage in
just such behavior  prior to their psychotic break.) Under the influence
of these several factors, the natural barrier between my consciousness
and my unconscious diminished. My thoughts soon became very abstract and
finally became mythic when, as I prayed intently for world peace and an
end to human tragedy  such as that endured by my half brother, I moved
into the timeless, spaceless territory of altered consciousness. I felt
even at that time that I could at will flee my commitment; yet I chose
to cling to it, believing that important truths could be found by the
experience. I was at first very excited by the new level of awareness,
and by not knowing what to expect next - like Alice in Wonderland. This
heightened arousal created an hallucinogenic effect. On two occasions I
felt a chemical rush an inch below my tracheal opening.  These
biochemical rushes were as invigorating as adrenaline and had almost
immediate effect, triggering further sensations and fantasies which
incorporated imagery recently read, or seen on television, or even the
imagery of desires about which I had recently prayed. During times of
fear, the effect led to mild paranoia. I felt very light-headed and
dizzy following the biochemical rushes.

		Though I experienced no hallucinations, I received creative
"inspirations." I perceived in the here and now what I later learned to
be insights concerning the future. During this time of highest arousal,
I produced several drawings, improvised hymns on the piano, wrote
intuited poetry and prose, and sang my own improvisations of hymns.
Interestingly, my singing voice, which tends to be somewhat tense, for
these few days was very mellow, even according to my friends. The voice
seemed to originate in the depths of my being, and the range was greater
by over an octave since my throat remained relaxed. I had a sense of
being fully in tune with my instincts - a very physical sensation and at
times a sexual sensation - and I worked to remain passive within their
power. I experienced a brainstorming for the first three or four days,
during which time my mind raced about in verbal creativity. Puns came
easily to mind which focused upon vague relationships between homonyms.
This, incidentally, is the basis for some of the dream symbolism and
some prophetic imagery of the Bible. My brainstorming was similar in
nature to the manic's "racing thoughts," and the punning stage I
experienced was similar in nature to the schizophrenic's "word-salad" of
loose associations. It may be that these activities are the brain's
natural means of integrating verbal and symbolic memories for intuitive
problem-solving; though, for the mental patient, for want of sufficient
understanding by either patient or therapist, this usually leads to
nowhere.

		The several artistic behavioral anomalies which I exhibited are seen
both in schizophrenia and in the mania of bipolar disorder. L'arginine
is known to increase hallucinations in the schizophrenic, and has been
found to be at an increased level in mania, though low or nonexistent in
the depressive phase of bipolar disorder. (Sørensen, Gjerris and Hammer,
1985) Apparently, the physical result of l-arginine plus prayer plus
having my attention focused intensely upon biblical imagery triggered
within myself mania. I had several years before been diagnosed of
bipolar disorder, though I had only experienced the depressive side of
the condition, and had finally controlled my metabolism and depression
with megadoses of niacin. (See case history.) As I adjusted to altered
consciousness, and as my grief over my half brother subsided, my
rationality began to return. I recognized my artistry as manifestations
of feelings and intuitions which concerned my recent life changes, my
place in society, and the state of the world. The productions had so
lacked structure because the rational mind had no part in their
production - like a small child's art. I could not immediately interpret
these; yet, throughout the remainder of the quest, as my feelings became
more clear to me, and as political events occurred, the meanings would
come. Some of the prose would prove to reflect accurate political
intuition, such as C. G. Jung had experienced concerning WW1 (Jung,
1965) - intuition which apparently had come through my
countertransference.  Stein (1981) explained that national group fantasy
creates the social, political, military reality in which the fantasy is
acted out, and that countertranference is the most reliable tool for
interpreting the fantasy since countertranference remains true to the
unconscious. 
 
		There are artists and poets who "see ahead" when their society is
about to undergo massive social upheaval. I had experienced the full
intensity of my intuitions by acting on them without thinking about
them. By giving myself that initial freedom, by remaining passive within
the powers of my intuition, I  ultimately learned a number of ways to
fully experience it. Later I would learn to  express the insights in the
more logical ways to which others would give credence.

		At the end of this artistic phase I felt my ego defenses torn away,
and immediately felt an almost overwhelming sense of shame over
long-repressed childhood misdeeds. This event shortly was followed by
sharpening of all of my senses and emotions, as if an anesthetic had
worn off. For lack of ego defenses, I was left sensitive and vulnerable,
for a time feeling that others could read my thoughts. I withdrew
socially, unable to respond vigorously as I had in recent months, yet at
the same time feeling at one with all humanity. The mystical phase of my
quest was complete. At the time, I did not understand all that had
happened, and did not even know whether anyone else had ever endured an
experience such as mine; I was at a loss to describe it coherently to
others, and since others treated me as mentally ill when I tried to do
so, I soon stopped trying. Further reading would explain some of what
had occurred. Walter Pahnke, M.D. summarized the criteria of mystical
consciousness, as he drew these from his study of classical mystical
writings:

1. Mystical experience produces an internal and external unity with
one's self and with  one's environment.
2. Mystical experience blends objectivity and reality in a direct
experience at a non-rational level of the essential nature of existence
both through the world and of one's self. 
3. The mystic transcends space and time and receives a perspective of
the timelessness of life.
4. Mystical experience produces a sense of sacredness, or a
non-rational, intuitive, hushed, competent response in the presence of
inspiring realities. This is similar to Rudolf Otto's idea of the
mysterium-tremendum. 
5. Mystical experience produces a deeply felt positive mood focused upon
joy, love, blessedness, and peace.
6. Mystical experience produces a paradoxical transcendence of the laws
of logic in which the person "feels out of the body" while still being
"in the body." This is similar to the experience that the apostle Paul
described in II Corinthians 12: 2-3.
7. Mystical experience, as James said, is ineffable, and the person
feels incapable of conveying his experience into words without
distorting them by rendering them finite and impure.
8. Mystical experience produces a feeling of transience, or the
temporary duration of the mystical consciousness as compared with usual
experiences. There is less continuity and durability to mystical
awareness.
9. Mystical experience results in positive changes in attitude or
behavior that increase the trust and warmth one feels toward others, a
sense of relatedness with others, and a relaxation of habitual mechanism
of ego-defense. (Pahnke, 1963, p.242)
 						
		When the ego is undefended, unconscious materials may move into
awareness to be dealt with. Because of a number of family circumstances,
I had reached adulthood with a sense of being weak and inadequate,
directly stemming from a feeling of having been rejected by both half
brother and father. Throughout my adulthood, most of my energies had
been spent in seeking to be acceptable, feeling crushed when I was not -
overall, a very anxious state of mind. The death of my half brother even
as I was experiencing several other significant changes in my life
triggered a massive identity crisis, successful resolution of which
required descent into my self and the recognition, acceptance, and
communication of my feelings within a safe relationship. Lowered ego
defenses would allow all of this to occur, through dreams and through
intuited writings, as I engaged in empathic prayer in relationship with
my pastor - a substitute father-brother.

		Through empathic prayer, the tenderness desired for oneself is given
to others in the name of God. By the very nature of empathy, the person
who prays in this manner also experiences tenderness and a sense of
acceptance, and begins to accept further the nature and the human
frailties of the other, of humanity, and of the self. This is an
interesting twist upon the ego defense of projection. Criticism of
others' shortcomings, which so often is but the projection of one's own
guilt onto others, can have the negative effect of strengthening the
faultfinder's defensive self-righteousness, thereby slowing or halting
emotional development. As I prayed for my pastor and his ministry, for
our church, for political leaders, and for the despairing of the world
with whom I related closely due to the now keenly-sensed pain of my own
childhood, I would experience nights filled with dreaming. Inspirations
for writing would follow these dream-filled nights, even as David told
of in the Psalms, and as prophets, mystics and artists have experienced
throughout the centuries. I found no need to interpret dreams or symbols
as Freud and Jung had done, but merely wrote down that which came to me,
knowing intuitively (from life experience, relationships, and reading)
that what I wrote of human nature was true. The writings made ample use
of vivid imagery. "A picture is worth a thousand words" insofar as it
reaches into the viewer's -  in this case the reader's - personal
experiences regarding that image. When such images can renew childhood
sensations, and personal dreams, they truly can touch the hearts of
others and inspire faith-filled action. I gained new awareness of
relationships through my relationship with my pastor, and shared this
awareness as answers for others' personal, social and political
concerns. Politics, I feel, need to be regarded as humanistic - best
dealt with by understanding individual psychology and the psychology of
relationships.

		My dreaming and writings together proved to be stress-reducing; they
enabled me to fight instead of to flee. When I began the quest, I had
been experiencing a number of life crises as well as a mid-life passage
- all highly stressful  circumstances which in themselves could not be
changed. I had feelings which required expression; reaching out beyond
my personal circumstances allowed such expression. Relating to others'
despair intensified the feelings to the point of requiring me to act;
that was to be the key to impassioning myself for consciousness-raising.
		A state of deep despondency would ensue as I empathized with social
tragedy. The entire process resembled an emotional birthing which each
time covered several days. I would begin by entering deeply into prayer.
This, in a day or two, would lead to dreams, followed the next day by
intuitions which I would then write down almost word-for-word as they
came to me. L-arginine further intensified my feelings, dreams and
writings; so I ingested it as regularly as I dared. But too-frequent
usage would result in lethargy and loss of objectivity, so I learned to
limit its use. Many of the insights reflected universal truths. The
regimen seemed to trigger the primative brain - the site of instincts,
and the place where a lifetime of absorbed information concerning
relationships had been stored away. I sensed that these insights come
forth during major life changes, perhaps to integrate memories through
dreaming, for resolution of current problems - all through unconscious
processes during sleep when ego boundaries are lowered.

		I had, for a time, a sense of clairvoyance; yet I finally recognized
that my naturally introverted-intuitive mind simply was picking up
subliminal cues and was integrating these into the insights. (Because of
my personality type, I am not consciously aware of many of the details
around me which others normally notice; yet I absorb them at a
subliminal level.) I had taken numerous courses in psychology and
sociology in college, and even in childhood as a female I was made
keenly aware of the intricacies of human nature, particularly in my
close relationship with my half brother. I therefore understand, at
least intuitively, the principles of social cause and effect. The
"clairvoyance" was but unconscious application of well-learned
principles. Such "clairvoyance" is also seen in many people who exhibit
schizophrenia.

		I had chosen to write to a number of political figures and media
leaders since they are in the best position to transform social
injustice; yet, as I normally am rather shy, writing to powerful
strangers took considerable courage. The l-arginine, due to its variety
of effects, enhanced my normal level of faith; the result was a highly
irrational faith - barely based in objectivity. This heightened faith
became an impetus for my consciousness-raising correspondence.
Initially  I felt each letter to be inspired, with potential for great
national impact; yet, the first several letters brought forth no
response. Practice and increased objectivity would later produce letters
which received occasional response. These writings and the feedback
enabled me to learn step by step to express to others my deepest
beliefs. (See Appendix for a few examples of my writings.) 

		Schizophrenics believe their delusions; and because they believe them,
they initially believe that their delusions will make good sense to
others - will sound reasonable.  Yet, upon hearing the delusions, their
friends, therapists and physicians frequently seek to cause the
delusions to cease, by talk therapy and by medications.  These delusions
are a form of faith. Since such faith might be used as an impetus for
the mental patient to learn to express intuitions with greater clarity,
perhaps therapists should be careful to help  their schizophrenic
patients' to put their intituions into more rational form. I had the
advantage of going through the experience without any mental health
professionals looking on. If they had been, quite likely they would have
hospitalized me during the more bizarre phase, and I would never have
achieved the level of creativity and writing which  ultimately resulted
from the completed quest.

Case History:

		The following case history explains my reasons for experimenting with
nutrients which led to altered consciousness:

		I am a 45-year-old Caucasian woman. As a child, I was relatively
healthy. At age 15 (fall, 1958), I contracted Asian influenza, which I
believe resulted in a central nervous system-metabolic disorder. (See
Mickerson's study on influenzal pituitary depression - Mickerson, 1959.)
I was bedridden with the influenza for approximately two weeks while
suffering from breathlessness, a sense of exhaustion and muscular
weakness, and during the months following experienced bouts of
depression. From then on, until about age 41, I had intermittent 
sometimes severe depressive episodes, had poor memory and poor
concentration, almost no stamina and poor muscle tone, and would gasp
for breath upon minimal exertion, so could not endure normal exercise.
In my 30s, I would also manifest sleep apnea. Several psychologists,
psychiatrists, and general practitioners saw me and had me tested for
various physical conditions over the years; yet, upon finding no
substantial evidence for these, they treated me with tranquilizers,
antidepressants and psychotherapy - all to little avail
.
 	 	In 1979,  I obtained hospitalization for another major depression.
This time, because of the history I gave to them after I had read a book
about bipolar disorder, the doctors diagnosed depressive-type bipolar
disorder, and prescribed lithium and Norpramine. Together, these
medications lessened the depression but failed to improve either the
stamina or the breathlessness, though I  joined a physical education
class at college and made considerable physical and mental effort. I
remained on the new medication until May 1985.

		I had over the years  methodically tested my responses to a wide
variety of vitamins and minerals, yet found none of these to be
especially helpful in relieving the syndrome. In April of 1985, I tested
the effects of high doses of niacin, over the weeks working up to 3,000
mg. per day. Within three weeks, memory, stamina, concentration and
muscle tone markedly improved; depression disappeared; I no longer
gasped for breath with exertion, and nighttime breathing became more
normal. Within a few weeks after beginning the niacin, I was transformed
from an asocial, nervous woman who had been unable to tolerate minimal
stress into an individual who, much to my husband’s delight, began to
have a healthy interest in all phases of marriage, family, religious and
social life.

		In August of 1985, I began using 1,000 to 2,000 mg. of l-arginine
daily to increase stamina by adaptation to several highly stressful
situations in my life: the imminent death of my half brother with whom
in childhood I had had a symbiotic relationship; completion of over half
a lifetime of schooling; my husband losing much of his eyesight
unexpectedly; the total remodeling, by my husband, of our home; my
midlife passage (age 41). Use of this amino acid aided adaptation, and
stimulated intuitive insights regarding social and political problems
about which I had become concerned.

			I received a master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling the
following May, having completed for my thesis original experimental
research on the use of volitional imagery in the treatment of chronic
schizophrenia. (Mills, 1986) This work represented a giant step mentally
since, prior to beginning the niacin treatment, my undergraduate
coursework had been made extremely difficult by my low energy, poor
memory, and inability to concentrate.

Theory:

		This quest experience was set in motion and enabled by the following
factors: timing - several personal crises; wishful thinking; education,
and interpersonal experience concerning schizophrenic patients; the
trait of absorption, and biochemistry.

		During an identity crisis, contents of the unconscious move toward
consciousness for a new sorting through, as the self considers its
roots. This is a natural part of every significant grief process, and
was  a part of my own grief work concerning  my half brother; my new
occupational role; the significance of the home as extended self, as our
house was in the upheaval of remodeling; my new relationship with my
husband, who now needed more personal help; and the end of the first
half of my life.

		My religious views at the beginning of the quest were escapist and
fatalistic, a result of my religious upbringing. In my deepest grief, I
perceived the state of the world to be apocalyptic, and consequently
began to expect the Lord’s imminent return with miraculous resolution of
all of Earth’s troubles. In the wishful thinking of my grief, I yearned
for the face of Christ, and for a time even found it in one familiar to
me. Later, I would realize that I had been trying to return to a
relationship in which I would experience complete acceptance by someone
who had all the answers.

		During my studies for a B.A. in psychology and for an M.A. in
counseling (mental health), I had worked supportively for three years
with chronically schizophrenic members of a day treatment center. I
immediately had felt kinship with them. The conditions of these people,
and what they had experienced since they became ill, had stripped them
of facades. Their basic humanity showed through in a way I had not
experienced with the countless facade-armored neurotics I had known over
the years. These demonstrated humility, and compassion for one another.
It was because these people affected me as they did that I entered into
my quest with no fear of the unconscious; I had no doubt that God was
Lord of both my unconscious and my conscious mind.

		The trait of absorption is associated with hypnotic suggestibility. I
have, since infancy, easily lost my sense of self in close relationships
with others. The trait has caused me a great deal of trouble over the
long-term because full absorption leads to loss of objectivity and of
boundaries. Tellegen and Atkinson have interpreted absorption   as “...a
disposition for having episodes of ‘total’ attention that fully engage
one’s representational (i.e., perceptual, enactive, imaginative, and
ideational) resources. This kind of attentional functioning is believed
to result in a heightened sense of reality of the attentional object,
imperviousness to distracting events, and an altered sense of reality in
general, including an empathically altered sense of self.” (Tellegen and
Atkinson, 1974, p.268)  The report indicates that persons exhibiting
high levels of absorption might be expected to have an affinity for
mystical experiences.

		Throughout my life, I had become absorbed with a number of
brother-father figures. Likely this was partly due to having been raised
without a father, and with a half brother who had to fill the protective
role as well as the role of sibling. As my half brother’s death
approached, I became emotionally needy. That neediness motivated full
absorption in church work and in the prayer relationship with my pastor,
upon whom I transferred half brother, father and, very briefly, Christ.
I became blind to the real life of the man who was my pastor. If he had
been a cult leader, my blindness could have proven disastrous. Since he
was so concerned with biblical end-time prophecies, several common-sense
writings on that subject arose out of my intuition. My intuition remains
intact even when my consciousness is tied up by absorption.

		The central nervous system metabolic syndrome from which I had
suffered for over two and a half decades may have been secondary
hypopituitarism, caused by diminished secretion of thyroid-stimulating
hormone. Assuming it was secondary hypopituitarism, the diminution had
been triggered by CNS damage from a lengthy bout with Asian influenza.
Whether treatment with GH at that time would have improved the state of
the central nervous system will never be known, but according to Zisman
et al (1969) “TSH deficiency occuring in childhood results in severe
growth retardation unresponsive to treatment with GH.” Franchimont and
Burger (1974) indicate that, cholesterol (blood free fatty acids)
inhibits growth hormone secretion, and that niacin has been shown to
lower blood cholesterol. Theoretically then, niacin, by reducing
cholesterol, might potentiate effectiveness of GH in persons suffering
from secondary hypopituitarism, which could be what occurred in my case.
If the problem was a TSH deficiency, the niacin improved the condition
by lowering cholesterol. This had the result of improving  my ability to
adapt to stress.

		Growth hormone is a regulator of carbohydrate, protein, and fat
metabolism. Cessation of human growth hormone production correlates
positively with several kinds of stress, with illness, and with aging.
Human growth hormone production is highest in childhood and adolescence,
and commonly slows down around age 30, usually ceasing after age 50, an
age, coincidentally, when many diseases begin to take a serious toll.
This hormone normally is released several times throughout the day; and
it is released in greatest quantity at the end of the first nightly
episode of slow-wave sleep, prior to the night’s dreaming. De La Fuente
and Wells (1981) in their study of human growth hormone in psychiatric
disorders have listed a number of physiologic, hormonal,
pharmacological, and pathological factors which have been found to
stimulate HGH secretion, as well as a number of factors which have been
found to decrease HGH secretion. I sensed in my own experience that
ingesting stimulants and sweets after 4:00 p.m. somehow upset either the
timing or the quantity of the nighttime GH release. Following such
ingestions, even when sleeping well the entire night, I seemed to dream
little and would awaken tired the next morning. The interplay of
circadian rhythms of arginine vasopressin release, growth hormone
release and slow-wave sleep could be important to stress reduction and
overall health.

		My daily ingestion of megadoses of niacin, even before beginning
l-arginine, resulted in a greatly increased number of intuitive
insights. On many occasions, I would abruptly awaken between 1:00 to
1:30 a.m., with answers to concerns about which I had prayed. These
insights occurred only a short time after the major release of growth
hormone normally occurs. The pattern continued as I began also to use
l-arginine. With the use of this amino acid, which stimulates both
growth hormone production and growth hormone release, the dream imagery
was sensed more intensely. DeWied and colleagues reviewed numerous
studies and concluded that arginine vasopressin may have a physiological
role in memory consolidation. They further concluded that this memory
consolidation might be mediated through action on catecholamine
substrates directly in the nervous system. (DeWied, 1984a, 1984b; DeWied
and Bohus, 1979; DeWied and Jolles, 1982; DeWied and Versteeg, 1979. See
also Koob et al., 1985.) These findings seem to explain my sense that
instincts, which are physiological and which are represented
mythologically within dreams, played a part in the integration of my
memories. With the intensified level of dreaming, even during times of
heightened stress, I would awaken in the morning relaxed and energetic.

		Personal subjective observations seem to indicate that the post
slow-wave sleep GH release is both psychologically and physiologically
restorative, insofar as GH integrates, or stimulates biochemical
integration of a day’s events with conscious and unconscious materials,
for adaptive problem-solving. A study by Schneider-Helmert and
Schoenenberger (1983), who treated insomniacs with
delta-sleep-inducing-sleep-inducing peptide (DSIP), have suggested a
similar possibility. According to these investigators, regarding the
effectiveness of DSIP-induced sleep, “psychological tests and evaluation
by psychotherapists indicated modulation of ego function by DSIP in the
direction of improved stress tolerance and coping ability.”

		Yet another means of stress reduction, transcendental meditation, has
been found to stimulate production of arginine vasopressin. (O’Halloran,
1985) TM is a consciousness similar to that which I experienced in my
deep level of prayer, and TM has been known to cause hallucinations in
schizophrenics. Carrington has cautioned concerning the use of
meditation: . . . tension-release during ordinary meditation can produce
side effects which, at times, can make for difficulty if they are not
regulated. If meditation is prolonged for a matter of hours this process
of tension-release is magnified many times. When a person spends this
much time meditating, powerful emotions and “primary process” (bizarre)
thoughts may be released too rapidly to assimilate and the meditator may
be forced into sudden confrontation with previously repressed aspects of
(him) self
for which he is not prepared. If he has a strong enough ego,
or is doing the extra meditation under the supervision of an experienced
teacher, he may weather such an upsurge of unconscious material and
emerge triumphant. If he has a less strong ego or has a past history of
emotional disturbance, he may be overwhelmed by it, fragile defenses may
break down, and an episode of mental illness occur. (Carrington, 1977,
261, 262)

		Many schizophrenics pray extensively and with intensity, because of
sheer anguish over the illness and social stigma. Such prayer may well
act upon them as extensive meditation does, stimulating arginine
vasopressin and increasing hallucinations, perhaps even thereby
disturbing the circadian rhythm of slow-wave sleep and GH release.

		For numerous years, the commonalities among mysticism, creativity,
dream deprivation, manic-depressive illness, and schizophrenia have been
noted in scientific literature, but without satisfactory explanation. It
is hoped that this account of my personal integration of intuition and
thought  may alert the reader to issues previously  ignored.

Conclusion:

		This has been an account of a spiritual quest which began with descent
into the unconscious, resulted in mystical consciousness, and culminated
in expanded awareness with an integration of intuition and reason.
Several concurrent major life changes triggered the conscious decision
to enter the quest. L’arginine and empathic prayer, through some level
of dream integration, helped to lower normal ego defenses. The lowered
ego defenses allowed heightened receptivity to countertransference
materials, and ultimately enabled development of more creative
adaptations to life stressors.  It is my hope that this account may,
when the elements are considered together, shed new light on some of the
more bizarre experiences and behaviors exhibited in mania and in some
forms of schizophrenia. 

References:

		Carrington, P. (1977). Freedom in meditation. Garden City, N.Y.: 
Anchor.
De La Fuente, J. (1981). Human growth hormone in psychiatric disorders.
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Neurosci., 7, 62-64.
		DeWied, D. (1984b). The importance of vasopressin in memory. Trends
Neurosci., 7. 109.
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neuropeptides of hypothalamic-neurohypophyseal origin. In M. A. B.
Brazier (Ed.), Brain mechanisms in memory and learning: From the single
neuron to man. New York: Raven  Press.
		DeWied, D., and Jolles, J. (1982) Neuropeptides derived from
proopiocortin: Behavioral, physiological and neurochemical effects.
Physiol. Rev., 62, 976-1059.
		DeWied, D., and Versteeg, D. H. (1979). Neurohypophyseal principles
and memory. Fed. Proc.  38, 2348-2354.
		Franchimont, P. and Burger, H. (1974). Human growth hormone and
gonadotrophins in health and disease. New York: American Elsevier.
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J. D. Baxter, A. E. Broads, & L. A. Frohman (Eds.). Edocrinology and
metabolism. (pp. 151-231). New York: McGraw-Hill.
		Jung, C. G. (1965). Memories, dreams, reflections (R. Winston and C.
Winston, Trans.), A Jaffé (Ed.). Vintage Books: New York.
		Koob, C. F., Lebrun, C. Martinez, J. L. Jr., Bluthé, R. M., Dantzer,
R., Bloom, F. E. and Le Moal, M. (1985). Use of arginine vasopressin
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New York: Raven Press.
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Published Ph.D. dissertation, Harvard University.
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APPENDIX:

T r e a s u r e d F r i e n d

You are my hope.
You meet me where I am, and love me there -
		not pushing, nor blaming, but only rejoicing
		with me, or lending me your handkerchief.
You gently hold me earthbound in the blackness 
		of my fears, or during my endangerment from
		flights of fantasy.
You do not fear the depths of my weakness,
		nor the heights of my strength.
You ever see in me the wondrous possibilities
		that my sins and sorrows and daily concerns 
		have caused me to forget.
Your love empowers me to give my love to others -
		to mold the dirty clay of my feet into
		sparkling angel wings.

Copyright © 1988 by Cherie Dawn Mills

N a t i v i t y

Firetenders, come to blow alive the tiny flame 
of this mewling god who calls each one of 
you from your everyday labors.
Shepherds and wise men and inn keepers; slaves 
and freemen; men and women of all races,
Bend your knees to meet me at my place of need.
Hold me gently, and sing to me; teach me; 
protect me.
Reach inward to your own pure spirit to find 
what I will need each day to keep the flame 
from dying.
Then love me even when I become as large as you -
That we may together kneel down before our 
Maker, crosses borne  upon our backs as Christ 
bore His, and begin to blow upon new flames.

Copyright  © 1988 by Cherie Dawn Mills

J e r u s a l e m

Flow, Freedom,
		In splendor surpassing all the stars of heaven.
Arise from your everlasting wellspring
		To purge away old hatreds bosom-clutched
			too long like precious gems.
Renew humanity in your cleansing lifeblood
			of Christ-grace - of sacrificial Love.
Calm man’s trembling spirit with your healing tears -
		Loosing him to gambol,
		Bidding him to soar beyond the clouds,
		Inspiring him to pass on to others your celestial flame.
Speak now, for Lazarus awaits your loving voice.

Copyright © 1988 by Cherie Dawn Mills

W e   M a k e   T h e   H a n d s   of   G o d

How did American Christianity lose its common sense? WE create the
earthly hell or earthly heaven where each of us will live in old age.
What we do today - to our children, to our political environment, and to
everyone whose lives and friends and enemies affect tomorrow - creates
the world within which we will be the dependents.

Alexander Lowen, M.D., states the following in Narcissism:  Denial of
The True Self, (p. ix, Introduction) . 
 
"Narcissism describes both a psychological and a cultural condition. On
the individual level, it denotes a personality disturbance characterized
by an exaggerated investment in one's image at the expense of the self. 
Narcissists are more concerned with how they appear than with what they
feel.  Indeed, they deny feelings that contradict the image they seek. 
Acting without feeling, they tend to be seductive and manipulative,
striving for power and control.  They are egotists, focused on their own
interests but lacking the true values of the self - namely,
self-expression, self-possession, dignity, and integrity.  Narcissists
lack a sense of self derived from body feelings.  Without a solid sense
of self, they experience life as empty and meaningless. It is a desolate
state.

“On the cultural level, narcissism can been seen in a loss of human
values - in a lack of concern for the environment, for the quality of
life, for one's fellow human beings. A society that sacrifices the
natural environment for profit and power betrays its insensitivity to
human needs The proliferation of material things becomes the measure of
progress in living, and man is pitted against woman, worker against
employer, individual against community. When wealth occupies a higher
position than wisdom, when notoriety is admired more than dignity, when
success is more important than self-respect, the culture itself
overvalues "image" and must be regarded as narcissistic."

When we are frail, or alone, or out of money, or out of political power,
or even out of our minds, those hearts and hands we molded by our care
or by our carelessness will be in charge of our lives. Today's acts
create our posterity. Our posterity will mete out our earthly heaven or
our earthly hell.

Cherie Dawn Mills



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