Chapter 1 is about how we get started: the journeys of egg and sperm cells from their creation to the moment of conception, including some of the difficult or traumatic aspects of those journeys and how those issues were healed. I also describe what this journey was like for me.
Both sperm and egg, even before conception, are on the journey of life. Their purpose from the time they come into being is clear. It is to grow, learn, meet challenges, and become someone wonderful.
Imagine your maternal grandmother pregnant with your mother. As the fetus that would become your mother developed through the nine months before she was born, special cells were formed in her tiny womb. Years later, when your mother reached puberty, these cells would become viable egg cells. One of them was the egg that joined with a sperm cell from your father to become you.
Twenty-seven years before I was conceived, the egg that became me was formed within the womb of my grandmother, in the fetus that would become my mother!
When Grant and I began our research project, we did not begin at that earliest time. We instead chose a time about midway through my mother’s menstrual cycle when her body began to prepare for ovulation by choosing which egg to release—the Chosen One among the eggs, destined to unite with the Chosen One among the sperm.
I began the journey by using visualizations and breathing techniques to enter a deep meditative state. Guided by Grant, I moved to the selected point in time and found myself in my mother’s left ovary just as her ovulation began. I perceived all around me as though I were the size of an egg cell. Then with a thrill I understood that I was an egg cell, and that I was the Chosen One.
The moment when a particular egg is chosen to be released into the Fallopian tube is charged with anticipation and excitement. I was aware that I would not die and be released from the body as the lining of the womb was sloughed off in menstruation. Instead, I would be fulfilled. I would unite with a sperm cell, and in so doing, I would attain my purpose.
There was a beautiful innocence in this time. There was also a sense that I was loved by something immense, sacred, and powerful—a Mother of cosmic magnitude who cared about more than words can express. The feeling was like that of the Hallelujah Chorus from Handel’s Messiah, amplified many times. It was a moment of indescribable rejoicing.
Eventually I came to understand that this anticipation and excitement happens every time the womb prepares to release an egg, whether or not the egg experiences conception. I also came to understand that the Mother is Gaia (more on this later).
From a spiritual point of view, I the egg was held energetically within an enclosing sphere of white energy. Yet there was no sense of being protected, and therefore no sense that there was anything to be protected from.
I was in a continuous state of bliss! Up to the time of release from my mother’s left ovary, I was unaware of anything outside myself except love, other eggs, and a shared sense of destiny. I felt an absolute conviction that something momentous would happen soon. I was in a state of Oneness with all of creation—a beautiful experience of community consciousness.
It is no wonder that I, like many of us, yearn in our adult lives for that state of Oneness. We have known it already.
When I revisited this occasion later, I realized that these were some of the best, and last, moments of pure wonder for the egg. This wonder was almost completely unaffected by my mother’s life experience or her emotions.
I understood that the unripe eggs within a female baby are not sufficiently developed to be affected by the stresses of that baby’s birth. They do not remember their mother’s birth because they are in a state of deep dormancy that will not end until the girl’s body reaches puberty.
The development of the ego, which is so necessary for life, begins before conception for both egg and sperm. For me, as for all eggs, this process of psychological and emotional growth and strengthening began at the time of release from my place in the ovary.
Up to this moment, I had developed in an environment of safety and comfort.[i] Now that I was ready to deal with the challenges of conception, I left behind the familiar environment where I had spent my first years of existence (remember, my mother was twenty-seven when I was conceived). This minuscule being that was me—about one tenth of a millimeter or the thickness of a human hair in diameter, yet still by far the biggest cell in my mother’s body—was brushed into the Fallopian tube. There I awaited the arrival of the sperm cell that would merge with me.
I encountered a whole new range of experiences. One was separation from the serene and beautiful environment of the ovary. Another was exposure to—immersion in!—new hormones and chemicals, which I perceived as odors. They pervaded my entire being with new and sometimes unpleasant effects.
Sensing unfamiliar movement, I felt uncertain, which was unlike any sensation I had known before. Yet the impression was not frightening. It was like the first day of a new beginning. Remember your first day at school or university or your first time in a sports tournament? Most likely you were looking forward to the event, but could not imagine it because you’d never been there before. It was like that for me as I entered the Fallopian tube.
Then Grant instructed me to move ahead in time, to a few moments before conception.
As an adult I had read that there are millions of sperm cells “competing” to fertilize the egg. Yet as the egg in that moment, conscious of the sperm cells all around me, I did not have a feeling that they were competing with each other. I knew which one I would join with. The choice had already been made by a power greater than either the sperm or I, greater than even my mother. My role was to surrender actively, to carry out my part in the unfolding of this wonderful event.
As The One Sperm approached, I felt purpose and anticipation. At the moment of conception, as I enfolded the head of the sperm cell into my body, I felt absolute fulfillment—and profound violation.
The coming into existence of the sperm cell that became me was in many respects like the coming into existence of the egg that became me. The sperm’s journey began in the body of my paternal grandmother when she became pregnant with the male baby who would be my father. As this male fetus developed in her womb, cells were formed in the tiny testicles of that tiny fetus. After my father reached puberty, these “germ cells” divided and produced viable sperms. One of them was the sperm that joined with the egg cell from my mother to create me.
Sperm cells come into full maturity over a time of about ten weeks—up to a hundred million per day. Within the body of the father, the cells are viable for about five days. If the sperm is introduced into a woman’s body during this period, the nutrients there can keep it alive for up to five more days.
My journey as the sperm cell was similar to my journey as the egg in other respects as well—leaving a safe and familiar place, adjusting to a new environment, and facing an unpredictable new experience. For me as the sperm, however, the uncertainty was mostly dispelled by urgency. I was driven by an irresistible impulse to move and a powerful intention to be The One.
After I had entered a deep meditative state for this session, Grant directed me to enter the consciousness of the sperm cell that would be The One. For a moment, my rational mind resisted as I could not understand how it was possible for me to know which sperm that would be. Then I effortlessly found myself in the consciousness of one sperm cell.
Immediately, I knew I was not just any sperm cell. I was The One. Among all those others, I was destined to become a fully formed human.
I was excited to know that I was The One. I did not know, nor did I care, whether every other sperm cell might also feel that same way. I was not interested in them. I regarded them as my competitors in this final stage of my journey to conception, and I felt the triumph of my imminent victory.
Later, when I revisited the journey of sperm cells, I discovered that we were working in concert. This was contrary to what I had assumed to be true. I had thought that we were all in do-or-die competition against each other. For many of us this was true, as we swam vigorously toward the egg. But when I went back again to that moment, I realized that some sperm cells give up their own sense of purpose to assist others. The discovery that they gave their lives to help me toward my destiny was humbling for my adult consciousness.
For me, and for all other sperm cells there was no question about the direction in which we needed to move. I felt my own strength and purpose, and felt that same strength and purpose in other sperms around me.
As he had done with the egg, Grant then instructed me to move to a moment just before conception.
I became aware of the egg as a glowing and inviting presence ahead. She felt like a loving mother calling me home. I was welcomed, taken in, enfolded, and fulfilled—and I was annihilated.
For both sperm and egg, joining together at conception is simultaneously traumatic and wondrous.
The trauma is an almost complete loss of individuality with a feeling of destruction on one side and violation on the other. The intensity of this experience, particularly at this early stage of existence, is greater than anything we have experienced before.
Grant’s intent in this meditation was to investigate the traumatic aspects of the coming together of egg and sperm. From his point of view the experiment was a success. For me, having been deliberately guided to experience the traumatic aspects of conception, the unexpected pain was extreme.
I wanted to be free of that pain. After conception, I wanted my fetal self to not be affected by that earliest trauma, and I wanted the healing for the benefit of my adult self as well. So, soon after this journey through the experience of conception, I revisited the event on my own with Grant nearby. I healed the sense of violation on one side and annihilation on the other, applying the process described in chapter 5.
When I did so, my perception changed profoundly. The sensations of trauma were gone. I understood that it was necessary for the sperm and egg cell to lose their identities in order that a new being could be created.
After this healing, the event of conception had the feeling of a royal wedding where I was both bride and groom. It was the most beautiful of experiences, like an exquisitely choreographed slow-motion dance.
I felt the loving support, pride, and pleasure of many beings joined in a great chorus of celebration. Then I became aware of another, even grander presence. This was the unified consciousness of the Earth, a single being that I instantly knew as Gaia.
The Gaia hypothesis, developed and refined by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis fifty years ago, is named for the Greek goddess who personified the Earth. Its central idea is that the organic and inorganic components of planet Earth have evolved together as a single living, self-regulating system. This living system automatically regulates global temperature, atmospheric content, ocean salinity, and many other factors in order to maintain its own habitability. “Life maintains conditions suitable for its own survival.”
The living system of Earth can be thought of as analogous to any organism, which is capable of controlling its own body temperature, blood salinity, and so on in order to maintain health. As an example of adaptation by the Earth to changing conditions, consider this: the luminosity of the sun has increased by about 30 percent since life began almost four billion years ago, yet the system (i.e., Gaia) has responded in such a way as to keep surface temperatures at levels that support organic life.[iv]
My experience of Gaia includes all this and more. When I met her (definitely female!), the immense Gaia consciousness transcended and included the individual consciousnesses of all other beings, organic and inorganic. She felt like an adoring grandmother, ancient and eternally youthful, surrounded by her family.
Below are the words that I spoke as I completed the healing of the traumas of my conception.[v]
The music is part of me now.
Conception is a moment of triumph. It is an enormous expansion.
Conception is one of the highlights of our entire existence. There are two entities, both of whom are whole, and they are merging. WOW! It’s like this intense huge golden light.
I’m swamped—immersed in it like it has no end.
I felt rapturous. There was a shared feeling of joy and accomplishment among all observing consciousnesses. Many of the witnesses were sperm cells. They joined in the celebration of the union, the crossing of the threshold of creation. None of them felt disappointment or sadness when it became evident that they were not to be the “groom”—only delight for The One and for the success of conception. This was pure attainment of destiny.
It is not surprising that sometimes the mother herself is aware of the moment of conception!
And almost immediately, of course, there were other impulses, other guidance and imperatives to be followed.
[i] There are exceptions: think of a woman who struggles with alcohol or drug dependency, or a girl who experiences ongoing trauma and whose system is constantly flooded with cortisol and worse. These can affect the development of the egg.
[ii] Joseph Chilton Pearce discusses this state in The Biology of Transcendence: A Blueprint of the Human Spirit ( Rochester, Vermont: Inner Traditions International, 2002). He describes it in the context of adolescence, a feeling within young people that something big and wonderful is about to happen in their lives.
[iii] I refer to the sperm as “he” because the sperm feels masculine regardless of whether its genes are male or female. Similarly, when I refer to the egg, I use the pronoun “she.”
[v] I express my deep gratitude to Grant for making available to me the recordings and transcriptions from our work together.
Posted July 6, 2021