Basic Perinatal Matrix III

From The SpiritWiki

Basic Perinatal Matrix III refers to the perinatal experience initiated at the stage of active labor.

Grof's Terms

Grof, Stanislav > COEX Systems, Dimensions of the Psyche, Inner Radar, Past Life Memories, Perinatal Matrices, Perinatal Realm, Psychedelic Therapy, Psycholytic Therapy, Usual Consciousness

List of Perinatal Matrices

Perinatal Matrices > BPM IV, Basic Perinatal Matrix I, Basic Perinatal Matrix II, Basic Perinatal Matrix III


At this stage the fetus begins its transition through the birth canal and it is at this point that the fetus begins to experience uterine pressures and concentrated electrical discharge arising as a result of the muscular contractions of the mother. Anxiety, fear, and panic are common emotions of the fetus now and throughout the subsequent labor and delivery process. In addition, there is the very real threat of fetal suffocation.  Intense physical pain will be experienced by both the mother and the fetus during this period.  Owing to the disruption of oxygen through the umbilical chord, and the powerful pressures on the chest of the fetus, suffocation may be the primary experience of delivery. 

In cases where there is a strong empathic bond between the fetus and the parents, in labor and delivery situations designed to minimize and mitigate the trauma, and if the subsequent life experience remains loving, warm, and supportive, healthy personality structures will develop. The individual will be grounded and situated in the realities of this world. The individual will be confident and trusting of people and circumstances, and physically, emotionally, and psychologically resilient. However, failure to adequately mitigate and dissipate the negative experiences of this (and the previous) perinatal matrix may lead, if subsequently reinforced by life experience or the imposition of negative and fearful symbolic tapestries (of the type often found in religious dogma and/or esoteric doctrine) to neurosis and/or psychosis of various flavors (see BPM II for suggestions).

It should be noted that even severely traumatic deliveries are not sufficient to create future psychological or social pathology. The experiences of the birth process form COEX roots, but these roots must be reinforced in subsequent experience if they are to grow into the foundations for neurosis, psychosis, or self destructive termination patterns. It is important to emphasize here that it is not only the parents who are responsible for recognizing and dissipating negative COEX patterning. All institutions of primary and secondary socialization are implicated in the development of healthy and fully functioning physical unit.


Grof, Stanislav (1976). Realms of the Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press

Grof, Stanislav (1985). Beyond the brain: Birth, death, and transcendence in psychotherapy. Albany, NY: State University of New York.