Our Final Breath #Defenses

Our Final Breath

October 14, 2015

At some point, every one of us avatars animating fleshy machines will draw our final breath.

Our inner maestro, conducting our symphony of cells, will note the last molecular exchanges, and begin our closing number.  Our cells will then dissolve walls, singing the apoptosis apotheosis.


And as things start to shut down within your skin empire, your brain cells creep to a crawl, gridlocked in the fading thought jam.  During these final moments, I wonder what the mind think of it all?

I don’t necessarily mean your CONSCIOUS mind; which, for me, will probably be screaming :

‘Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit, I’m going to die, I’m going to die, I’m going to die’


While I worry about feeling terror, as death’s cruel marinade begins to stain my soul, I wonder if it is truly over.

Or perhaps another system kicks in, separate from our depressed consciousness. Maybe something else saves us from the feeling of used mortality. I am referring to your UNCONSCIOUS mind, which will be none too pleased with these recent developments.

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It is the unconscious mind that produces Defenses, first made famous by Freud.  Your unconscious mind wants to stay alive, like a benevolent Wizard of Oz, behind the curtains of your Preconsciousness.

freud wizard3

Even though we can’t see that other unconscious side, we know it is there.

It can do just about anything, to keep reality going.

This unique system of defenses reveals its amazing ability to alter our perception of reality. Several unconscious mechanisms can help you overcome previous challenges, or apply blinders, when you would not psychologically survive the truth.

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It moves monsters out of shadows, and suspicion out of indifference.  It numbs us through the worst things, by causing DISSOCIATION, trauma’s provoked self-meditation.


It may even be a starting explanation for ‘Out Of Body’, or ‘Afterlife Experiences’.


It is difficult to consciously appreciate that this part of our existence software has a primary function to try anything it can to promote survival.

It works feverishly behind the scenes, to make sure we are as comfortable as possible, distorting reality as much as necessary.  It figures out a way to keep us in The Game, especially when the stakes are high.  When the mind meets matters of actual life and death, are any contracts higher?

But it is also important to remember the tremendous power within that unconscious part of us.  In the unconscious mind, time is essentially immaterial.  Swimming in an infinite sea of your past life are quantum stored memories that one can pluck out at our leisure.

For example, right now in your mind:

you could become your Previously Ignorant, 3 year-old-self in an instant,

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and in the next, be pushing 30.

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Your unconscious mind has the ability to turn parts of you on and off, as it calculates positions of the sun and moon, to produce appropriate melatonin in your pineal gland, without your conscious awareness.


It plans the weather inside your body; the pulsing of the heart’s heaves; the movement of your Breakfast Biomass.  It can take your conscious awareness to other places, and hold it there, until the danger has passed.

It is quite active while you sleep, helping paralyze your body while you download files from every time frame. It let’s your only movements be your eyes, scanning a surreal slideshow, fabricated on primary process fantasies.

It lets you dream grand dreams, spanning vast epochs of time, in mere instances.

I have conquered armies on other planets, only to realize the ‘armada’ took place in the 7 minute span of my SNOOZE alarm.

It is these unique abilities that do provide me with some reassurance, as I inhale deeply yet again, and march one more respiratory step towards my last.

It is possible, as the walls are crumbling, and the light starts to fade, that the unconscious mind takes over.


Perhaps, it takes over completely, defending us against the end of our perceptions.  And summoning the skill used in weaving our dreams and ignoring time, it creates the final thought stream.

This something resembles a dream in that it seems to last forever, even though we are only dreaming during our last second, stretched for an eternity.

If this actually occurred, we would continue to perceive existence, in that final twilight zone REM state, without any perception of any time passing.  Even though, the next NON-experienced thing that happened, was the unconscious mind itself, biologically dying.

But it is possible that we would remain suspended, 1 second before this, stuck in a permanent dream state between SNOOZES.

Wouldn’t that be a trip?


Simon Trepel, MD

Simon Trepel, MD FRCPC, is a practicing Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, in Winnipeg, Canada.

Check out his Blog at  Simon Says Psych Stuff


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