A Taxonomy of Triggers (Part 1)


A Taxonomy of Triggers (Part 1)

Dave Wardman


The observation of ‘trending’ phenomena on social media is essentially a study of the currents of a disenchanted sea or ocean. Categories of information, imagery, art, word and online behaviour all give us detail on the anatomy of Cerberus [the allegorical beast used within Physical Alchemy to represent the subliminal, specific ‘disenchantement layer’ of human mechanisation and habit existing in the world].

Today’s lesson is on the pop-psychology word ‘trigger’. I feel we all know quite well the general gist of the word. The Online Etymological Dictionary posits the verb form as being: ‘to cause an intense and usually negative emotional reaction (in a person or animal),1 – which is a reasonable summation of the general flavouring.

Delving a little bit deeper into the words’ history finds it traces its path from the Dutch ‘Trekken’ [to pull]; and has the meaning: ‘device by means of which a catch or spring is released and a mechanism set in action’. [ibid] (bold emphasis my own)

Combining the two, we get something along the lines of: ‘a mechanical recoil of usually intense and negative emotional tone, related to a perceived piece of information in the form of word, imagery, meme [word & imagery], video or otherwise; that is an affront to someones current world-view, ideology, identity, timeline, value structure or other held false self-image’.

What I want to introduce now is an idea of different classes of trigger.

This does not do away with the common understanding of the word – it supersedes and expands upon the content and categorisation of the word. The taxonomy of a trigger. One can [and does] have ‘triggers’ related to ones chosen worldview and its attendant philosophical ideas; one can, very understandably, have triggers related to real trauma one has experienced and encountered in ones life and in ones timeline; and one can have triggers related to the value structure one has [more on that in later posts].


There is a completely different class of trigger related specifically to Cerberus: a disenchantment trigger.

This is a submerged and subconscious class of trigger that relates to which of the three ‘heads’ [strains] of Cerberus the person is silently afflicted by. Occasionally there are a subclass of disenchantment trigger I call ‘conflagration-triggers’ – as they trigger all three heads at once. Their study makes up a special anatomical study [for later].

Disenchantment-triggers are not related to ones culture [Cerberus is an acultural phenomena]. It is not related to one’s politics [it is an apolitical factor, though it will bend ones politics from beneath]. It has nothing to do with one’s trauma or other timeline events; is unrelated to educational history, familial environment or religious imprinting. It has nothing to do with one’s gender.

By studying how human beings of incredibly varied backgrounds have the same disenchantment triggering, we are actually studying the apersonal anatomy of Cerberus [something I, at present, sometimes call ‘mindshape anatomy’; as I use the word ‘mindshape’ to describe individual heads of Cerberus. These function very much like a shape .. not a ‘shape of consciousness’, as would probably do as a descriptor for how the consciousness is commonly mispercieved, but more like ‘the shape of a lens or filter obstructing and refracting clear consciousness’]

By getting an anatomy of the aspect of the false self that is Cerberus, we can more effectively and efficiently work to remove its influence from our organism. This anatomy is very valuable in performing the ‘separation of fine from the coarse’ that is the alchemical work upon Cerberus – just as knowing the anatomy of an exercise properly aids in physical training or all sorts.

Similar to how one’s body will ‘cheat’ and wriggle out of performing exercises properly – something extremely common in my stretching classes; where perhaps the most basic principle is that we are trying to find the most exquisitely tight structures – and stretch and repattern them; rather than worry about the degree of perceived flexibility, or the imagery of the posture, overly. It is physical ‘shadow work’, not ‘Instagram Yoga’.

With Cerberus, because it is an active false self patterning, it will mutate and reform as we are attempting to work on its removal. Something akin to antibiotic resistance or a parasite evading removal. It is clever at cloaking its shapeshifting if one does not know the multilayered anatomy of the beast. But, because it is a mechanical artifice, it can only function in a complex but predictable fashion. Knowing this we can *stretch* the mindshape, as we would a muscle or sinew of the body.

To do this we set up a sort of ‘devil’s trap’ within the body in terms of a triangulation of body cartography skills and qualities. This is a deeper aspect of the why of my having at least two totally different orders of stretching syllabus: Repatterning Stretching and Alchemical Stretching.

Repatterning Stretching is itself already different that the common stretching, sportive stretching and what is called ‘yoga’ [again, ‘yoga’ is a subject for a future piece on the disenchanting current] in that it emphasizes structure and sensation as primary, over flexibility and movement [which are still there as secondary desirable qualities]. This forms a preprepartory work that also grants greater ease, decreased tension and increased relaxation, suppleness, ‘lightness’ and in general feeling very good in ones body.

Alchemical Stretching is where we assemble the alembic with multiple languages of body and essence, to hermetically seal and burn out the mechanisms of Cerberus within us. It is here we form a living symbol in the body that translates directly into whatever craft or art one practices [need not be a physical dominant art, this order of body work translates across]. It is also where we begin to embody the paradox necessary to forge living [sub]culture [outside the culture-binding chelation of the disenchantment].

Crafts of the body in this batshit crazy 21st century need to develop qualities of perception, insight and triangulation. It is not enough to be ‘fit’ or even ‘generalist fit’ or even ‘neuroplastically complex and with cogent aliveness’. The body is our instrument for navigating the cacophony of mechanical influence of this world age.

Once we have tuned the requisite qualities into the body, something quite remarkable happens. We begin to be able – in combination with the mindshape anatomy – to feel inside our own body the different orders of triggering and their attendant physical cascade phenomena.

It becomes clear that mindshape triggers are not at all related to timeline and trauma triggers – they feel totally different in the body2And they produce different flowerings whence they are worked, alchemically.

We are a fair way away from Cerberus patterning being an acceptable study, due in part to its heritage being within the ‘Triangular Taboo’ [yet another topic to come].

But, just as everything that is ‘new’ in the body at present [trauma, mindfulness, et al] existed long before its arising to primacy and popularity – so too does Cerberus exist and influence human behaviour in the vast majority of humanity, in spite of its currently being occulted from perception.

Some may even say it might never reach the popular masses. This may or may not be true; though that perspective is itself often part of a specific anatomy of one Cerberus head mutation patterning.

Regardless, what we are looking for is the secret paths that evade the slow mechanical progression around the outside of the circle. An Cerberus anatomy is one such path on offer within Physical Alchemy, for those willing to put in the work of body and essence.


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