The Pristine


When we are conceived or come into being we enter a Primary World that knows nothing except itself, it is in this state that we experience at a somatic level, omnipotence, that which is fully capable. There are many definitions of this state of being:

  • At-one-ment with the Universe
  • Enlightenment
  • True Being-ness
  • Finding Infinity at the centre of the Self
  • Unitive or Non-Dual consciousness
  • Some may even call this God

However here we shall call this state ‘The Pristine’, that which is untouched.

This state has no inside, no outside, no space and no time - just existence, just essence. In the Pristine there is no difference between the real world and the Primary World.


Figure 3

The Core Self

Our Inner World shapes us as individuals; our Primary World develops around the ‘True’ or ‘Core Self’ and determines our personality. This is all founded on very early somatic parts, feelings and functions.

The self or you in your present Primary World is, through your filters/boundaries, hiding you from your True Self, it could be said that this you is a ‘False Self’ keeping the Core Self safe (see here for more).

This True or Core Self is our central self, the one at the core of our being. The one that existed before the real world made itself known to us, before we were impinged upon by our environment.

The Loss of The Pristine

The Pristine is usually found between the ages of 0 to 5, after which time a person begins to lose their adjectival complement, or the phrases they come into the world with. Those phrases might begin with “I am young and innocent” and they might change to “I’m afraid” or “I don’t know who to trust”.

Defining moments that knock The Pristine could be the first day of school or kindergarten or moving house early on. Also the arrival of a sibling might mean we are no longer the centre of the universe. Other earliest moments of trauma may simply include: being left alone in a cot with the light off, or stuck in a pram and not having any control over the perpetual movement, or hearing parents arguing and not being able to stop them, or even just a watching a curtain move for the first time.

When these moments arise, our internal representation of the world is not able to understand the real world, and we become scaled differently from the world around us. When we are forced to move outside of the world we know, our cosmology collapses because our world changes and through this it changes us.

During Emergent Knowledge processing, the client is directed towards discovering their Pristine. This is called ‘pulling back the person’. The purpose of pulling back you or another pronoun to find The Pristine is so that the client can build up a picture of their world in the Pristine and discover their ontology so that they can take it back with them to their Primary World, the you in the here and now.

No Sense of the Pristine

David made the following reference regarding clients whom had no sense of their Pristine state:

Some clients may not have a sense of their Pristine. They are more easily traumatised because they have no sense that they belong in the world. This set of people may not have a sense of belonging to the family or culture they were born in to. They may have vivid memories of a time of great anxiety or that they were untimely born or unwanted. They may have never had the perception we are trying to find in the pristine.

It is important to establish this characteristic of a client because when they are been pulled back they may need to go further than where the Pristine should be. They may need to be pulled back to the place ‘from whence they came’. This set of people who have no sense of belonging must however know what it feels like to belong. In order to say “I don’t fit”, they must have had the experience of ‘belonging’ or ‘fitting’ somewhere else to know that they don’t belong here.

The question to find out ‘from whence you came’ is:

  • “Where did you come from before you came here?” or
  • Through processing take the client back to whom they were before the Pristine.

Cosmological Orders

Moving a person back in time or space requires them to be in different positions within their self (not physically). There are different times in our life where we know what we know in that period of time only. Each time period is a cosmology. There are six main cosmological orders in a person’s life:

  1. The cosmology the client is currently in
  2. The cosmologies where the problems occurred
  3. The Pristine
  4. When the client came into the world
  5. Before coming into the world
  6. From whence you came

Within each cosmology there can be different cosmologies where a person is caught up in a space that only knows what they know in that space from that perspective.

David wrote the following about the transitions between cosmologies:

When a person is moved from one cosmology to another, their mind changes, a different world is created and the person is re-genesised – the genesis or beginning of their being is reformulated in each cosmology. When we pull out of one cosmology we can find a solution in the other. A different cosmology gives a person a different perspective.

In one cosmology a sense of where a person comes from can be different to their sense of where they came from in another cosmology. Our view of our origin may be closer in the cosmology of us as a 5 year old, than in the cosmology of us later in life.

Problem domains and cosmologies are defined by boundaries. When a client is at the edge of their cosmology, they may need a push to get them through the edge to the other side where they will find themselves in a different cosmology.

Finding the edge may require several moves to adjacent spaces, looking for the right clues. To get through the edge will require either asking the right questions when clues arise (see next chapter on Navigation) or sometimes a directive from the facilitator such as:

  • “Turn around and face the other way.”
  • “Take a step, or move backwards.”
You could leave a comment if you were logged in.