COEX Systems

From The SpiritWiki

A COEX System (Systems of Condensed Experience) is a concept coined by Grof to describe the way the human brain organizes its experience. A COEX is basically a set of related experiences organized around a powerful emotional center.[1] [2] COEX experiences do not necessarily contain traumatic and painful experiences. " is the intensity of the experience and its emotional relevance that determines whether a memory will be included into a COEX..."[3]

List of Transpersonal Psychology Terms

COEX Systems, Grof, Stanislav, Past Life Memories, Perinatal Matrices, Perinatal Realm, Spiritual Emergence

Grof's Terms

Grof, Stanislav >

Related LP Terms

COEX Systems >

Non-LP Related Terms

COEX Systems > COEX Root, Dimensions of the Psyche, Perinatal Matrices


COEX systems are subordinated to Perinatal Matrices. [4] Perinatal Matrices may contain various COEX systems.

A COEX system "consists of emotionally charged memories from different periods of our life that resem- ble each other in the quality of emotion or physical sensation that they share. Each COEX has a basic theme that permeates all its layers and represents their common denominator. The individual layers then contain variations on this basic theme that occurred at different periods of the person’s life."[5]

"The personality structure usually involves a large number of COEX systems. Their character, total number, extensity and intensity varies considerably from one individual to another."[6]

"The nature of the central theme varies considerably from one COEX to another. The layers of a particular system can, for example contain all the major memories of humiliating, degrading, and shaming experiences that have damaged our self-esteem. In another COEX, the common denominator can be anxiety experienced in various shocking and terrifying situations or claustrophobic and suffocating feelings evoked by oppressive and confining circumstances. Rejection and emotional deprivation damaging our ability to trust men, women, or people in general, is another common motif. Situations that have generated in us profound feelings of guilt and a sense of failure, events that have left us with a conviction that sex is dangerous or disgusting, and encounters with indiscriminate aggression and violence can be added to the above list as characteristic examples. Particularly important are COEX systems that contain memories of encounters with situations endangering life, health, and integrity of the body."[7]

According to Grof, COEX systems are organized around a "root experience." The "root" of a COEX system (the COEX Root) is formed when a powerful and emotionally charged experience becomes imprinted in the neural structures of the brain. Subsequent experiences, which the Physical Unit perceives as related, will become "filed" along with the original memory trace.

According to Grof, COEX systems can be weak or strong. The strength of a COEX system is determined by its "root" (or nodal) experience (often to be found in perinatal or early childhood trauma) and any subsequent experiences that become imprinted along with the root. A strong COEX system will have a strong root experience and many subsequent reinforcing experiences. Weaker systems may have a strong root, but will have few to none significant reinforcement experiences.

COEX systems can also be positive or negative. Under healthy social conditions, COEX systems are primarily positive and not pathological. They are simply a means by which we organize our experiences in the human body. Unfortunately, under current social, political, and economic conditions, most of our experiences are negative. Beginning with the over medicalized, frenetic, and violent birthing program of this earth, our Physical Units are subject to continuous assault at emotional, physical, and intellectual levels. These experiences become organized in the brain around powerfully negative COEX systems that lead to Neurosis and even Psychosis.

A Negative COEX system is a system that requires constant energetic input. For example the Postnatal Authority Matrix, a matrix that revolves around the destruction of self esteem, is a negative COEX system that requires the individual to constantly seek out approval in order to avoid bad feelings about self, emotional depression, and even neurosis or psychosis. This negative COEX emerges as a result of the psychological damage experienced the child. It should be noted that, owing to the pernicious and violent imposition of an unnatural and psychological perverse System, the vast majority of individuals raised within The System suffer the consequences of several negative COEX systems.

According to Grof, "People sometimes carry memories of thirty, forty, or fifty hours of a life-threatening situation that generated powerful emotions and physical sensations. None of these could be processed at the time because there was no way of coping with them—expressing them, fighting back, or running away. The little crying that happens after birth is trivial compared to what would be necessary to achieve that."[8]

Like a positive COEX, a negative COEX has triggers. These triggers consist of "sensual" or "psychic" reminders of the original experience. There are an infinite variety of triggers, most of which are idiosyncratic (Grof, 1976), and therefore rules or guidelines for the identification of triggers are impossible to provide. However generally, a trigger is "created" when an organism focuses on a specific aspect of the negative experience (whether it is location, ambience, color, music, etc.). The trigger(s) is often, even normally, unrelated to the negative COEX and is selected in a process of "avoidance" (i.e., the organism selects a random feature in the environment in futile attempt to avoid experiencing the trauma of the body or mind). There can be one trigger or,in COEX systems which have seen continuous consolidation, many. Triggers may be added to the COEX in subsequent experiences.

Typically, reliving negative COEX experiences is not pleasing. A naive Physical Unit, or a PU which has been encoded with "repression" and "guilt" programming, will not see the value of reprogramming negative COEX systems and will resist reprogramming and Reconsolidation. In some cases where the COEX is extremely negative and frightening, and repression and guilt programming is particularly strong, resistance can be manifested in various forms of psychopathology ranging from neurosis (typically Freudian in nature) to psychosis to the organized and pathological efforts to avoid negative COEX triggers seen in Obsessive Compulsives Disorders.

The level of dis-ease may be discerned by considering the number of triggers, the strength of efforts to repress, and any pathological manifestations of the mind or body that may be observed. As a final comment, the absence of even mild pathology (as defined in classical psychology) does not mean the absence of negative COEX systems. That is, "normal functioning" in society cannot be considered an indicator of psychological health and the absence of negative COEX systems. When compared against the full potential of the Physical Unit, normal functioning is a parody of a fully functioning Physical Unit. All "normal" really means is that negative COEX experiences have been organized, filed, repressed, and boxed in so as to allow "productive" functioning. Sadly, even serious psychopathology can be contained within the parameters of "normal" life.

Negative COEX systems, or rather repressive and fear or guilt led attempts to avoid re-experiencing them, drain available energies from the Physical Unit and weaken the systems of the Physical Unit. This weakening may contribute, over the short or long term, to failures and breakdowns of various systems within the body.

Note, in addition to being organized around a root experience (or root experiences), COEX Roots and COEX systems are also shaped by ideas and archetypes. Christian conceptualizations of a violent patriarchal God who punishes for transgressions feeds into COEX experiences that feature authority figures, like a violent and patriarchal father, thereby reinforcing COEX constellations.

Note that an individual's ideas about authority and power are not randomly, mystical, or naturally derived but are part of an indoctrination process whereby archetypes are inserted into the individual's consciousness. A great example of this is the construction of the "mystical" Masonic Tarot by Freemasons. They created the "modern" deck to facilitate the indoctrination of their members and society at large.[9]. The Masonic Tarot] (a.k.a. the Fool's Tarot contains several authority-related archetypes, like the Hierophant which presents papal or church authority, and Judgement which presents a justification for the use of violence against others (if you break the rules, it is "just" that we should use violence to control and suppress you).


Negative COEX systems are treated through Reconsolidation. Straightjacketing (i.e., the application of Crown Stupifiers) only redirects energy internally. Straightjacketing may, over the long term, lead to physical illness and psychological breakdown of the Physical Unit

COEX Systems generally involve energy blockages. These blockages are typically associated with the major energetic pathways (i.e., Chakras) of the Physical Unit. When associated with major pathways, the energetic blockages that result will impair our ability to think (Crown Chakra), feel (Heart Chakra), communicate and express (Throat Chakra), create (Sacral Chakra), and ground properly (Root Chakra). When coupled with proper visualization technique, reinstatement of energy flow is unproblematic. However, reinstating energy flow inevitably leads to the rapid manifestation of COEX triggers. This may lead, as the triggers are invoked, to considerable mental, emotional, and physically manifested chaos.


  1. Grof, Stanislav. Realms of the Unconscious: Observations from LSD Research. New York: Viking Press, 1976.
  2. Olivetti, Katherine. “Dimensions of the Psyche.” Jung Journal 9, no. 4 (October 2, 2015): 98–124.
  3. Grof, Stanislav. “Psychology For the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research.” Spirituality Studies 2, no. 1 (2016): 3–36. p. 10.
  4. Grof,Stanislav. “Theoretical and Empirical Basis of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Observations from LSD Research.” Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 5, no. 1 (June 1973): 15–53. p. 388.
  5. Grof, Stanislav. “Psychology For the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research.” Spirituality Studies 2, no. 1 (2016): 3–36. p. 10.
  6. Grof, Stanislav. “Theoretical and Empirical Basis of Transpersonal Psychology and Psychotherapy: Observations from LSD Research.” Journal of Transpersonal Psychology 5, no. 1 (June 1973): 15–53. p. 22.
  7. Grof, Stanislav. “Psychology For the Future: Lessons from Modern Consciousness Research.” Spirituality Studies 2, no. 1 (2016): 3–36. p. 10.
  8. livetti, Katherine. “Dimensions of the Psyche.” Jung Journal 9, no. 4 (October 2, 2015): 98–124. p. 105.
  9. Sosteric, Mike. “A Sociology of Tarot.” Canadian Journal of Sociology 39, no. 3 (2014).