3 Days Later

Embryo at 8 Cells Old

Human Embryo at 8 Cells Old

As you recall from the last issue, I had a meditation at age 22 where I remembered choosing my circumstances in this life at the moment of conception. If you want a refresher, go here.

But it wasn’t until I was 47 years old that I became aware of what happened shortly after that moment. Specifically, what happened 3 days later.

It takes about 3 days for a human embryo to have 3 cell divisions. At that point there are 8 cells.

This is also a time when these cells go through several changes.

One of these changes is that the 8 cells (technically, blastomeres) begin to connect in an integrated way. This allows them to co-ordinate their response to physiological signals and environmental cues.

In other words, a rudimentary level of awareness begins developing. It is basic, but definitely aware of aspects of the environment. I would say this awareness is actually an ability to sense energy.

The other change that happens around this time is a process called “compaction.” This process creates a unifying layer around the cells. You can see it just starting to form in the above picture. It’s the circle surrounding the 8 cells. Compaction further helps the cells communicate with one another.

Why is this relevant to the story?

First, some back story.

My mother was one of 7 children. I think she might have been the 6th child. At the tender age of 3, her mother died while giving birth. You can imagine what the loss of someone’s mother must feel like at such a young age. It must have impacted her deeply. I also imagine that later, when she learned what had happened, it set up strong emotions associated with the idea of giving birth.

Back to my 47th year. That year I lived in Oregon. Through one of my patients I got invited to attend a series of invitation-only Native American sweat lodges. I’d always had interest in Native American spiritual traditions, so I jumped at the chance.

Luis, the man running these, was trained by the Lakota Sioux. The Lakota are widely considered to be the most authentic practitioners of the ancient native traditions.

These were no-nonsense, full-on sweats with drumming, singing and plenty of heat. They were intense and I loved them.

Over the course of a year, I got invited to around 45 of these. I’d get a call at 5:00 or so at the end of my work day. It would give me time to go home, eat a little something, pack up my gear and head an hour into the mountains to the sweat. We’d often get done after midnight.

About 9 months into the year, something unusual happened. It was between the 3rd and 4th rounds of this particular sweat. Everyone else had gone outside between rounds, but I just felt like laying down inside the lodge.

Suddenly, I became aware of a feeling of terror. I was more scared than I could ever recall being. My breathing got faster and I started shaking. At the same time, I felt oddly detached from the fear. That sense of detachment made it possible to try and figure out where the fear was coming from.

By this time I was well practiced tracing energy to it’s source from doing healing work. So I applied this approach to find the origin of the fear. After a few minutes, it became very clear that it came from when I was in the womb.

Further tracing it, I was able to zero in on it happening when I was 8 cells old. That’s day 3 after conception.

And, most importantly, I discovered that it wasn’t my fear. At that very early stage of development, I was feeling the huge, life-or-death fear my mother had about being pregnant. To her, it meant she was going to die like her mother did.

There is no way to know if she was aware of this consciously. But her body had known that feeling since age 3. And I was her first child.

As you might guess, at 8 cells old I didn’t have the tools to deal with this overwhelming fear. It imprinted me deeply. And it explained many, many experiences I’d had in my life.

This deep fear had affected me in very fundamental ways. It explained my extreme introversion growing up. It helped me understand things about my relationships, especially my significant personal relationships. And, as I learned later, it had been hiding underneath literally everything significant I had done.

After about a year, Luis stopped running these sweats because of family issues.

In the months after the sweats ended, meditation brought another gift. It was a new qigong exercise. This exercise cleared out this kind of energy from a person’s body and energy field.

Only after practicing this exercise for some time did I really understand how powerful it was. One day, as I was walking downtown, I suddenly realized that I wasn’t afraid any more.

It was particularly startling because I hadn’t known how pervasive and unconscious the fear had been until it was gone.

Of course something imprinted this early in life tends to permeate everything. And that usually means there are layers to it. In this case, these deeper layers came to light many years later. And they ultimately had surprising implications.

But that’s a story for another day.

All the best for your health and happiness,

Dr. Bruce Eichelberger

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