Anatomy of My Own Illness

And how it may apply to you.

In early January of 2017, I came down with a severe case of Shingles and have been suffering the debilitating effects of post herpetic neuralgia ever since. While the rash and blisters are now gone, the nerve damage includes a numbness and constant burning sensation on the entire left side of my torso (front and back) from scapula to groin, severe back ache, hard chest wall, bloated abdomen, and the inability to stand, sit upright, or walk for long including just to be able shop. This is despite being very proactive with proper diet, vitamins and other supplements, and 6 different homeopathic remedies, as well as massive work to reduce stress and clear mental and emotion issues. Still, there has been no improvement.

Now I have had an abiding interest in Mind-Body healing for decades and actually am knowledgable enough to speak on this topic at various conferences. But I would prefer not to learn more about it from first hand experience. This health challenge is appears to be some sort of a diabolical research project dumped in my lap with a exam to boot. But in being a detective with my own health history, it may possibly be helpful to you.

There is always something more to understand on this puzzle of 

what causes illness, when, and to whom

what provides immunity and good health

what leads to healing and, hopefully, cure

While I had chicken pox at age 4 (decades ago), I knew nothing about Shingles, it’s evil twin. Consequently, I didn’t recognize the signs. In fact, I mistook the initial symptoms as  something else. The rash began on my spine as a dime size spot in the center of my back that I could neither see nor examine. That caused a delay in getting necessary medical attention in the first couple of days when antibiotics might have worked. When I did feel some small rough spot, I was swamped with work. Then the weekend came, and I put off seeing a doctor until Monday instead of going to the emergency room. In just a few days, the blisters had spread around half of my body.

Logically, there were other explanations for the early symptoms of the severe back ache and malaise I was experiencing including indications over the past year that something was brewing. And because of medically caused deaths of family and friends, I typically reserve allopathic medicine for avenue of last resort. I do, however, respect it’s ability to diagnose and to handle emergency care.

Immediate Lead Up to the Illness

It is important to look at what was going on before the onset of any illness. For example, with cancer, you inquire from six months up to two years before. This reveals the stressors that were there and which may still need to be addressed.

For me, there were a number of things going on with my farm and hypnosis/dowsing business over the past year. I had to put down a dog that I had had for over 12 years. One sow on my farm had 8 piglets stillborn. Another sow had two live births only, but which died within 2 days. Another sow had 6 but only 4 survived. I find dealing with the death of animals very hard. Then I had changes and disappointment with farm helpers, one of whom stole some expensive equipment. I had changes and disappointments with tenants. I traveled and spoke at several conferences, and traveled to visit family several times during the year. There was a great deal of work and repairs going on while I was constantly writing and expanding upon the books already written.

Warning signs of the Shingles started with unexplainable electrical buzzing sensations in one spot in the center of my spine on and off for a year. I thought it was caused by something else. Then last fall I felt another buzzing spot just a few inches to the left of it in addition. This later proved to be the virus moving along the nerve pathway.

Things got worse in December. My live-in farm worker got sick and I had double duty of hard, physical work to cover. Then she suddenly decided to move on only 2 weeks notice, which caused me to frantically search and find someone quick to move in and take over her job. This threatened my ability to leave and spend Christmas holidays with my family out-of-state. Once she was back on the job, I was having symptoms that could have been a heart attack. So I went through a battery of tests, which cleared my heart, but interestingly found a vertebral wedge in the very spot where I was feeling the buzzing sensations.

Just two weeks later, and a few days after the January snow storm and the new tenant moved in, a very severe case of Shingles erupted. The new live-in worker wanted all of the furniture supplied in the two rooms she was to occupy removed. So there was major reshuffling of furniture everywhere in the house. Then as a major snowstorm was about to hit, I worked excessively hard to get massive amounts of firewood in beforehand. My new tenant moved in the morning after the storm, so I had heavy shoveling to do on my own including a good deal of the driveway, even walking up the very long, steep driveway ( .2 mile) several times to lay snow melt down because the moving van started sliding off the road and down the hill and had to be towed out. 

However, despite all of the above, what I think really put me over the edge was the intense hatred, anger, violence going on in the States post 2016 Presidential election, with all the indications of deliberate fanning of the flames by certain factions. This disrupted my sleep. I have heard from several other people who also got physically ill from the political turmoil.

Thinking through your own health history may give you clues as to your own vulnerabilities and, therefore, what needs to be addressed for long-term care.

Before an illness can take hold, there has to be vulnerability from one or more source–even from things that occurred many years ago.

This vulnerability can stem from a

previous injury/weakness (In my case, a spinal vertebrae that was out of place and degenerating. This is the spot where herpes zoster virus first erupted. But I also had a number of falls especially on the farm, a car accident years ago, and lifelong back issues.)

previous illness (chicken pox, but also other illnesses with resultant antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals.)

physical stress or overuse of a part of the body (chronic heavy lifting)

disturbance of gut flora (two rounds of antibiotics from infection stemming from wisdom tooth removal work in September, but also with a history of candida.)

weakening of immune system ( gut disturbance)

toxicity from food, water, air, skin contact

parasites (in the past)

man made electrical pollutants –Electrical Magnetic Frequency (EMF), stray electrical voltage, smart meters, cell phones, cell phone towers, microwaves

radiation – X rays, natural & man made

emotional/mental stress

malaise or lack of meaning or purpose  

Healing has to address the underlying vulnerability, not just the disease.

Health History

It has come to my attention that it important to look at the entire health history in order to identify vulnerabilities. In my own case, I had a life-long history of a incessant sweet tooth, resulting in cavities leading to excessive amalgam fillings, root canals, crowns, bridges, and later extractions. Mercury plus high carbohydrate diet, plus antibiotics for various illnesses probably messed up the gut flora, seting up chronic candida, leading to leaky gut, which led to food allergies including one life-theatening one. Before I changed my diet many years ago, I was prone to severe hypoglycemic symptoms. 

I was like everyone subjected to toxicity from multiple sources including air (urban environment, fumes, mold and dust), water pollution (chloride, fluoride, lead and copper pipes, and other), vaccines and pharmaceuticals, dentistry and medicine, pesticides, herbicides.  Then there has been the stress of constant and rapid change, moving many times, keeping up with technology, being a caregiver, family responsibilities, financial issues, death of loved ones, relationship issues and divorce, job and career changes, and the constant overload of information, noise and stimulation of modern life. These are all common issues that wear down our ability to cope with disease.

I got dynsentery three times while teaching in India. While only there for a month, I continued to have issues with parasites for at least a few years afterwards that American doctors were unable to rectify.

On 9/11 I was just 5 miles away from the World Trade Center and I was breathing the dust was all over the streets and my car. One of my clients got killed, and another just escaped. This event was a major stressor that still effects me today because I still see on-going serious problems that were a direct result of that event, and because I see the groundwork for more occurring. While I have done massive emotional release work on it, I still am looking for the answers.

Both breathing the dust from 9/11 and the stress, I am sure, contributed to later incidence of pneumonia. Then I had multiple injuries, some on the farm or before. Mental and emotional stress was a major issue most of my life. Hence, I learned and continue to practice multiple ways to reduce it.

Here’s the point:

In thinking about my own health issues and that of others, I have come to the following conclusion that has relevance for everyone: 


Toxicity has to be addressed. 

This should include not just diet, eliminating food additives/pesticides and GMO’s, but also getting rid of heavy metals and other poisons such as pesticides that may still be in the system. 

The gut flora has to be repaired.

Parasites have to be removed if present.

The immune system has to be enhanced any way possible

The enthusiasm and joy for life has to be increased that overcompensates for any stress.

And mental and emotional stress has to be decreased.

In other words, you can’t just address the herpes zoster virus without addressing what made the body vulnerable to it in the first place. 

Dr. Joe Dispenza thinks that healing is possible with changing our thoughts and emotions alone. Certainly, it worked for him and some he has trained. Nonetheless, however important thoughts and emotions are, the other things above make good sense.

Copyright by Roxanne Louise. However, this article may be shared in other free online sources only if this copyright notice and link to and  are included with the content.

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Disease, Language & Metaphysics

Louise Hay & You Can Heal Your Life

Many years ago, Louise Hay wrote Heal Your Body, and then rewrote and expanded upon it  in 1984 with a new title, You Can Heal Your Life. These extremely popular books which are still in print after more than 30 years greatly popularized the belief that you create your own reality, including sickness or health through your thoughts, language and emotions, and that there is a metaphysical connection to problems of all kinds including ill health. By changing your thoughts, correcting your language, and healing your emotions, Hay claims that you can heal your life as well as your body. as she did from cancer.

My Agreement & Disagreement with Hay et al

As a Hypnotherapist, I am well aware of the mind-body connection, and the havoc caused by unresolved emotions and detrimental suggestion. And I know how information gets into the subconscious mind, which includes repetition, strong emotion, authority figures, subliminal messages, and going into a state of trance which occurs naturally many times a day to everyone. And so, I am in agreement with much of Hay’s philosophy, which stems from New Thought Christianity.

Language, emotions, beliefs and judgments form a powerful influence of  upon what happens to us in life. I have also noticed that some people with particular health conditions appear to share many similar traits and issues. And I have noticed that many times the body metaphors that we use in our specific language can have a negative effect upon us. Nonetheless, I argue that:

1. The root cause or contributors to any problem, including illness, are not always knowable or fixable.

However, it is still important to investigate and continue to work towards a resolution. There are many therapeutic interventions that can be done on a ‘can’t hurt’ basis. Even if they do not solve the problem or cure the illness, they can reduce stress, make a positive difference in quality of life and increase peace of mind.

2. While illness may stem from or be aggravated by internal factors of mind or emotion that can be changed by the individual, it may also come from external factors that are outside of their knowledge, influence or control.

3. Addressing emotional issues and cleaning up one’s self talk is always advisable, and is helpful in improving many, perhaps most situations, but it may not necessarily fix or cure any specific problem. 

4. It is arrogant and offensive to take these beliefs and push them onto someone else as if it is truth. And it is short-sighted to close the door on other possibilities even for yourself. Beliefs, no matter how treasured, should be considered as OPINIONS.

They may have some validity for some people, even many. They may even be the key in solving the problem for one or more persons, but necessarily all. Beliefs are theory, not universal law.

5. Explanations as to why things happen and what to do about them, no matter how widely shared, and regardless if they are claimed to come from a divine revelation, are not necessarily correct. 

There has been an age old search for meaning to explain life, why things happen, how we should live, how we fit into the world, and what man can do to survive and obtain health, wealth and other good fortune since the beginning of history. All such explanations change over time. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people all the time. 

The Importance of Language

In the beginning was the Word.” Genesis

Words are powerful. As the quote from the first book of the Old Testament above, creation starts with language. If you desire to have greater dominion over your life, to create more of what you want, and dismantle what you do not such as illness, it is critical to pay attention to your

  • language
  • thoughts especially the unspoken ones
  • feelings
  • beliefs and judgments

Thoughts, feelings, beliefs and judgments are revealed through language.

Listen to yourself

Be scrupulous with statements that start with “I”. The “I” takes ownership of whatever comes afterwards.  “I am ___,” affirms your identity.  “I can’t ___”  strengthens that inability. “I have ___“, owns it. Listen carefully to yourself, even your inner dialog. If you don’t want to reinforce it, don’t say it. Change the words. For example, Hay suggests changing “I should ___” (self judgment/criticism) to “If I really wanted to, I could ___”  (awareness of choice).

Likewise, stop putting anything negative (especially a disease) after the word “my”, such as “my cancer/arthritis/diabetes.” The word ‘my’ takes ownership, holding it close to you. Think of a  little kid clutching a toy and yelling “that’s mine! Don’t you take it away from me!” 

A way to tell the truth about a problem without making things worse is to change from using present tense to past or past progressive tense. For example, I advise clients to switch from  saying “I can’t___”, to “I had or I’ve been having a problem with ___. And what I really want now is to be able to ___” [your positive objective].  Put problems in past tense, and goals in present tense.

Continual repetition of anything becomes part of your subconscious programming. It has a cumulative effect upon your life, positive, negative or mixed. Watch out for body metaphors, figures of speech, expressions in your language that if accepted literally by your unconscious mind could possibly create an undesirable outcome.

Your unconscious is literal and will try to deliver to you according to your words. It doesn’t have a sense of humor or appreciation for colorful language. So it doesn’t understand that you really didn’t mean it when you said that “my head is exploding”,'”I ate so much I could just burst”, or “my time is up”. Likewise, it is unhelpful to say “it takes a long time to heal,” “I just have to live with it,” “there’s nothing I can do.” 

Better to switch to curiosity or possibility. I wonder if ___,” or “If there was something I could do that would help me ___, what might it be?” “If I could___ (heal/get better/do ___), how would be helpful?”

Always task your unconscious with finding a solution, answers, or help in any area of concern. But it must be done without being frantic or desperate about it. Maintain a relaxed attitude of mind.

Delegate to the wisdom within and let go of it.

Body Metaphors

Consider what effect the following expressions (thought or vocalized) might have with prolonged use on your health:

  • he/she/it is a real pain in the neck,
  • I can’t stomach it,
  • I could just die for__,
  • this job is giving me a real headache.\
  • I can’t live with ___ (or I can’t live without ___).

If a that thought or judgment is highly emotionally charged, it can, especially if negative, have an immediate and lasting impact. Repetition is not necessary if it is internalized.

Metaphysical Meaning of Illness

Hay has done a valuable service in cataloging the metaphysical connections to many health conditions. However, such catalog should be read only as a partial, not definitive list, and as a possibility. Explore it as something to be ruled out on a “can’t hurt” basis, not to be taken as necessarily the true and only cause of the problem. It might apply to you, but then again, it might not. Or it might be partially applicable, but there might be another or much bigger issue or cause/s behind the condition.

Recently, a client of mine was told by her doctor that her breast cancer represented a fear of mothering. This client had been a mother, but that was decades ago. How could it have caused cancer now at 80 years old? 

I find this type of pronouncement problematical. For a start, you cannot find “fear of mothering” on any X-ray or lab test. It’s not like a broken bone sticking out of the skin, but rather a very subjective interpretation. Subjective interpretations or opinions are often wrong. That’s why patients are advised to “get a second or third medical opinion”.

Now, in referring to Hay’s listing of the metaphysical meanings of disease, it would make sense for this client or me as her therapist to use the references listed regarding to both breast and cancer AS A STARTING POINT FOR INVESTIGATION OR DISCUSSION– NOT A PRONOUNCEMENT OF TRUTH OR DIAGNOSIS. Determine if there is any relevance or truth to it and rule it out.

Her doctor might better have said, “sometimes breast cancer relates to issues with mothering, such as to how a woman felt that she was mothered, or about how she felt about taking care of herself or others.” He may have then asked:

  • How do you feel about how you were you mothered? 
  • How did you feel about being a mother and raising your children?
  • How do you feel you did as a mother? 
  • How do you feel about your children now?
  • How do you mother yourself? Do you feel you nurture yourself well? 
  • What feeds your spirit and are you doing it now?”

Then if any unresolved issues were uncovered in the discussion, various techniques could be employed to address them on a “can’t hurt basis”. I teach all of my clients the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) because it is both easy and effective for self-use. 

Any stress that is released (even if it does not refer to the main issue) frees up energy for the body to heal.

In this client’s case, I started teaching her EFT and will on her next visit make a point to clear any possible links Hay lists. For a start, it can’t hurt and it helps to be thorough. But I also told her that the breast refers also to nourishing or feeding anything that she is/has/or could give birth to. This could be her creativity, her writing, or some other very personal expression of the self. So if she, as a writer, made a point of writing on a daily basis, even for just 30 minutes, it could be a part of her healing journey. This could be done just because it makes her feel good.

Anything that feeds the spirit brings in energy that helps the body to heal or to stay healthy if already well.

Detective Work–Looking for a Possible Motive

It is important to consider that Hay’s catalog, or indeed, anyone else’s, is only helpful as a beginning guide in searching for clues as a medical detective. Just as a police detective might want to look to see if anyone had a motive for the crime, who could benefit from it, you could ask if the illness or condition is doing anything for the patient. In hypnosis, we call that benefit secondary gain. Secondary gain can include love, sympathy and attention, an excuse to get out of what you don’t want, or to get permission to do what you want,  and a way to atone for wrongs –real or imagined, etc. For more information on this see another of my blog articles entitled Secondary Gain – a Gain from Pain. 

In my experience both personally and professionally as a Hypnotherapist, the contributor to any problem can be THIS AND THAT, and THAT, and THAT TOO. So I have a problem with anyone telling someone else with authoritarian conviction WHY they are sick, or have any particular problem based upon their own (not the sick person’s) personal belief system. The client’s beliefs about their own life are very relevant to explore. Your beliefs about their problems are not.

A friend is having pain in her foot and heel, and assumes that anything with the feet is related to be”fear of moving forward in life”. While this belief can be traced right back to Louise Hay’s book, and even if she is right in her own case, there are many other things related to the feet and heel. For example, we have expressions like “crushed under foot, ground underfoot, feel like a heel, feel like kicking myself, feel like someone just kicked me, grinding in my heels”

For example, years ago I went to a rental house that I owned in order to get it ready to re-rent. As soon as I walked into the kitchen I banged my toe on the kitchen table leg. It really hurt and I had to sit down, and wanted then to just go home. My experience had nothing to do with fear of moving forward, rather my thought was “I could just kick myself for buying this stinking house with all of it’s problems.” So I tapped a few minutes on my resentment, and did what I needed to do.

Hay’s Background

Hay was a trained as a minister in the Church of Religious Science. Religious Science like Unity School of Christianity developed out of the teachings of Mary Baker Eddy, founder of Christian Science. And Mary Baker Eddy in turn was influenced and healed by Phineas Quinby, a Mesmerist (an early form of hypnosis after the work of Franz Mesmer). As such, the power of the mind, and of suggestion to heal or hurt are taken seriously. There is a lot of cross over between New Thought and hypnosis. For example, New Thought works a lot with positive affirmations. Hypnosis implants positive suggestions directly into the unconscious mind, and removes negative ones.

Hay says that we create our own reality, including disease, through our thoughts. Certainly, hypnotists would agree that our thoughts have a huge impact both upon what and how we experience in our life. And mental and emotional stress plays a part in almost all diseases. But I disagree that our thoughts are the only or even the cause necessarily.

Freud talked about cigars being a phallic symbol. But he also said that sometimes a cigar was just a cigar. Well, sometimes it appears that shit just happens! The oft repeated New Age statements that “things happen for a reason,” “you create your own reality,” “you’re 100% responsible for everything that happens to you,” and “there are no accidents” are all unprovable philosophical beliefs. 

Can we ever really know WHY?

Even if there is a reason, we may not know or cannot discover what it might be. The reason made have been caused by someone or something else, not you. Otherwise, everyone and everything would be at your mercy. They would be powerless to take action or make choices or decisions independent of your thoughts and creative power.

However, it is true that you do create much of your life through your mental, emotional and physical habits. You do effect how you experience your life by how you interpret your experiences as good or bad, as punishment or blessing, etc. You do make things easier or harder for yourself by your attitude. 

Illness as a Learning Opportunity or Gift

In an earlier blog post entitled What the Law of Attraction Misses or “Why Shit Happens (or doesn’t), I quoted Tom Campbell, author of My Big Toe. Campbell says we attract our experiences this way: 

If a particular occurrence is determined to be an effective learning opportunity for someone or everyone, the probability of it happening is increased. The system is designed to automatically deliver timely custom-fit individual learning opportunities — the presentation of such opportunities to individuals or groups is part of the feedback one receives relative to the choices one makes. Because the point of the system is to overcome fearand replace it with love…, if you have fear, the feedback system will manifest that fear in PMR [physical reality] to force you to deal with it (learn) or suffer the consequences.”

Overcoming fear and increasing love, which according to Campbell is the point of the experience, would then, according to my understanding, reduce or eliminate the need for that ‘learning opportunity’ (unpleasant experience), but not necessarily stop it, heal the disease, etc. It may bring healing, or just improve the situation. It may allow the person  to live with it with equilibrium but without improvement. Or it may bring closure, allowing the person to die with peace of mind.

Over the years, I have heard various people say that their disease or health issue was a gift. Indeed, it is helpful for all problems or challenges to be viewed as such. Doing so instantly reduces some of the stress, refocuses the mind on problem solving and taking constructive action. Ask yourself:

  • What can I learn from this?
  • How can this experience help me grow, get better?
  • Is there a message here for me? 

Agreement Between Campbell, Hay and EFT 

Hay thinks that thoughts of being not good enough, self-hatred or criticism, resentment and guilt are the most destructive to our health. In her current edition of You Can Heal Your Life, she references the channeled work Course in Miracles that claims that all disease comes from lack of forgiveness. And that if a person is ill, they need to look at who or what they need to forgive, focusing on forgiving whatever is the hardest to forgive. Whether or not forgiveness is the key or just one of the keys to healing, certainly it plays a major role.

To forgiveness, Hay adds self-acceptance, love and releasing the past as the most healing. Perhaps this is part of the power of the Emotional Freedom Technique wording, “Even though I [feel]____, I deeply love and accept myself.”

Unforgiveness can be considered a form of ‘stuck’ energy. The philosophy behind many forms of Oriental medicine such as acupuncture, acupressure, is to remove blockages and allow the energy to flow easily throughout all parts of the body system thereby enhancing health. The Emotional Freedom Technique combines tapping or rubbing specific acupressure points, while admitting our darkest thoughts and feelings, and ending with affirming self acceptance and love.

Agreement Between Campbell, Hay and the Infinite Intelligence Process

I like the Introduction to Hay’s seminal work in which she says:

“In the infinity of life where I am, all is perfect, whole, and complete. I believe in a power far greater than I am that flows through me every moment of every day. I open myself to the wisdom within, knowing that there is only One Intelligence in this Universe. Out of this One Intelligence comes all the answers, all the solutions, all the healing, all the new creations. I trust this Power and Intelligence, knowing that whatever I need to know is revealed to me, and that whatever I need comes to me in the right time, space, and sequence. All is well in my world.”

This paragraph sums up a good deal of the philosophy behind the Infinite Intelligence Process that I teach and write about in my own book, Accessing More–Tapping Into the Eternal, Unlimited Self with the Infinite Intelligence Process. available through my website and link above. 20170516_AccessingMoreCover

The moment you trust that you have access to a greater wisdom and resources within you and can rely upon to solve any problem, there is a profound inner peace.

If you, like Campbell, believe that the core of your being exists outside of this body with all of its experiences, then you are More than any physical or other limitation. As Campbell says the real you exists beyond this computer simulation that we call life, and continues beyond whatever happens to the character that occupies your current body and has your current name.

I believe that there is a part of you that is always o.k.

This attitude gives me great comfort.

Copyright by Roxanne Louise. However, this article may be shared in free online sources only if this copyright notice and link to and  are included with the content.

New Edition of Accessing MORE

20170516_AccessingMoreCover.jpgJust back from the printer, the new edition of Accessing MORE–Tapping into the Eternal, Unlimited Self with the Infinite Intelligence Process. Expanded 25% to 117 pages, yet held at the old price of $24.95 plus $5 for shipping.

Here is a powerful, yet simple 4-pronged healing modality designed to tap into your inner resources on the soul level to solve problems, heal issues, and relieve stress, all below the level of conscious awareness. This system can be done anytime, anyplace as well as with meditation, hypnosis or  dowsing. It includes instructions on grounding and centering, unconscious healing, clearing blocks in beliefs or emotions, tapping into the truth of your spiritual nature, clearing non-beneficial energies, healing physically, releasing guilt, shame and the need for self punishment. The Infinite Intelligence Process can be adapted to the Emotional Freedom Technique, the Law of Attraction, Emotion Code, Ho’oponopono, Hiring the Heavens, and Spirit Releasement. 

Whether it is suddenly being able to solve problems that had previously defied solution, having creative breakthroughs, superhuman strength to save the life of another, or responding protocol perfect to a never before encountered emergency, people have amazed themselves and others when they have spontaneously accessed this greater wisdom, intelligence, strength, ability or knowledge. Sometimes it has come as a result of a necessity or out of nowhere during an emergency, and sometimes it has come in quiet moments after working on it for a prolonged period of time through normal conscious means and then letting their mind relax.

Here is an earlier post Accessing MORE–Tapping into the Wisdom & Resources Within

Roxanne is known to be comprehensive in every topic covered. Here she emphasizes how important it is to extend your personal healing to all of your existences, as well as to your ancestors and progeny in each of those existences. Then she suggests that you offer that healing to the world in a can’t hurt, ethical way that is wanted and customized by the High Self of others.This creates a tsunami of healing around the world.

First written in 2013 with additions made in 2014, 2015 & 2017, it is a very powerful yet easy way of both releasing stress and solving problems below the level of conscious awareness.