Our first responsibility to ourselves, our families and community, and to humanity, is to heal ourselves of whatever traumas we may be carrying. Every person who embarks on this journey represents a step forward for humanity.
In their latest book, Hope for Humanity, Malcolm Hollick and Christine Connelly describe and investigate the impact trauma has, both on the individual as well as on our society. Malcolm and Christine lived in the Findhorn Community for seven years from 1997 to 2004, where Malcolm was involved in the establishment of Findhorn College of which he was the first principal. His wife Christine worked for 35 years as an occupational therapist in Australia whilst exploring many alternative therapies. She trained in specific techniques of trauma healing, continuing to learn and develop her own unique style of therapy.
Their view on trauma is broad — not only major catastrophes like war or rape cause traumatic conditions, but it starts from shocks and illnesses a mother might have gone through during pregnancy, from ignorance to violence during childhood, sexual abuse, life-threatening illnesses, loss of ancestors, natural disasters. Trauma can also be inherited and transferred through education and social learning from parents and grandparents.
The book describes this violent and destructive face of humanity and traces the origins of dysfunctional behaviour.
The last part of the book is about healing trauma individually and collectively and refers to authors and therapists like Boris Cyrulnik, Viktor Frankl, Peter Levine and Babette Rothschild. Sandra Ingerman and shamanic healing methods are also described, as well as meditation, psychotherapy and self-help techniques.
On the community level Malcolm and Christine envision how the evolving of a Partnership Civilization can lead the path towards healing our personal and planetary crisis.
Here is what Malcolm and Christine say about their book:
“Do you ever wonder why the planet is wracked by so many crises? Do you ever wonder why humanity seems unable to meet the challenges of creating peace, protecting the living systems that support us, and ending poverty? We believe a root cause is trauma. Trauma warps our personality, blights our health, stunts our development, and condemns us to living well below our potential.
“In our book Hope for Humanity: How understanding and healing trauma could solve the planetary crisis, we document the nature, history, prevalence, mechanisms and impacts of trauma in more detail. We then go on to develop strategies for healing the huge numbers suffering from past trauma, and for reducing the creation of new trauma. We also provide general guidance on choosing a healing modality and therapist. Perhaps the most important step is for each one of us to recognise and accept that we are probably personally affected, and to start our own inner journey of healing despite our natural resistance to facing the hidden pain. Spiritual approaches such as meditation work in some cases, but often need the support of skilled therapists to enable us to break through the terror, or to open our awareness of memories that we have locked away in secret vaults. Similarly, therapy often needs the support of spiritual practices to achieve long-term personal transformation.”
Most of us think of trauma as something that happens to other people as a result of childhood abuse, war, famine, accidents or sickness. But trauma is universal. Few, if any, of us are unaffected by it. At every stage of life, from conception to death, we are exposed to potentially traumatic experiences.
Not only are we all exposed to potentially traumatic experiences, but also we inherit trauma from our parents and grandparents. Partly, trauma is transmitted by social learning and education. But the new field of epigenetics is rapidly revealing how it is also transmitted genetically. Traumas suffered by your parents did not change their genes, but they did affect which genes are active – which are switched on, and which are switched off. And those patterns of gene expression will have been passed to you. This effect even extends to your grandparents.
Trauma has been linked to many life issues. In severe cases, it can lead to debilitating post-traumatic stress disorder. It is also implicated in most mental illnesses from anxiety and depression to schizophrenia. It may lead to angry, aggressive and violent behaviours. It is a factor in eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. It is linked to heart disease, cancer, immune system dysfunction, chronic fatigue and other major illnesses. It also is associated with migraine, lower back pain and other psychosomatic conditions.
Once we recognise the prevalence and impact of trauma, we can take action to change the situation.
For there to be real hope for humanity, it is vital that we each embark on our own healing journey.
You can buy the book online from Amazon.co.uk by clicking on the link to the left, and from Amazon.com by clicking here.