Affective Core Consciousness, the Instroke and the Endo Self

In The id knows more than the Ego Admits, Solms and Panksepp have revolutionized our concepts of consciousness and unconsciousness. They bluntly state that consciousness is generated by the id, in the brain stem. It arises endogenously and is affective. Subjectivity – the self - is not corticocentric but located in the upper brainstem. Cortical consciousness is built upon this “basement” emotional “scaffolding” and could not exist without brainstem consciousness. But brainstem consciousness exists without the cortex! They argue that the classical internal body representation in the cortex is an object representation located in the same areas of the brain that creates all object representations. Instead, an internal subjective body exists in the brainstem. This is not an object of perception, but the subject of perception: body as subject! This has great implications for body oriented therapy. I review working with the instroke of the pulsation, how it lead me to the two understandings of the endo self state and how the relationship with the self is the most primary relationship. Then I show how Solms and Panksepp’s work helps to support both the instroke process and the interoceptive endo self state grounding this in the functioning of a brain stem based subjectivity. In addition there is encouragement for Reich’s basic model of the importance of the body, the vegetative system and working with primary, unarmored emotions.

Keywords: Reich, instroke, affect, core consciousness, endo self, brainstem, subjective body