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12 Healing the original wound

Simon House Karnac Books ePub

“‘People become so proficient at avoiding these things that they cease to realize they are doing it… . It becomes habitual’, maintained Dr David Bohm.

‘The wound remains’, agreed Krishnamurti.

‘We remember to forget, you see’, added Bohm.

‘We remember to forget’, affirmed a psychiatrist from New York City, Dr David Shainberg, ‘and then the process of therapy is to help the remembering and the recall—to remember you have forgotten, and then to understand the connections or why you forgot; then the thing can move in a more holistic way, rather than being fragmented.’“

Krishnamurti, The Wholeness of Life (1976)

“You are nothing but a set
Of obsolete responses.”

T. S. Eliot, The Cocktail Party

A common thread runs through ways of healing. It is the immediate sense of being loved. Simon House writes:

I was starting my first course teaching Re-evaluation Counselling. We were a group of sixteen people. I was just going to explain how it worked when one of our children ran in from the garden with (a grazed knee and) a pained look on his face. He quickly spotted his mother’s face. As their eyes met he burst into tears. I said, “That’s strange. The sight of his mother made him cry.” We soon agreed that once there was the safety and loving support of the mother, the tears of relief could come, the pain of hurt and shock could be felt and released as the hurt heals. [House, 1999]

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6 Echoes of womb-life: bliss and distress

Simon House Karnac Books ePub

“see all, nor be afraid.”

Robert Browning, Rabbi ben Ezra

The French dramatist and critic Jean Cocteau described in his diary an interesting experience he had when he revisited his childhood home in 1953 (Cocteau, 1988). He was interested to see whether by going back he could recover some of the feelings he had when he lived there. Could he relive his childhood?

The man who lived at his old home would not let him in. Cocteau looked around at the street and the houses and found that everything had changed; he wondered if it was at all possible to bring back his childhood memories without going into the house.

Cocteau then recalled how as a child he would walk close to the houses in the road and trail his finger along the wall. He did this again, hoping that memories would come flooding back. But they did not. There were a few memories, but they were thin and pale.

Suddenly, he remembered that as a child his hand had trailed along the wall at a different level. He was, of course, much smaller at that time. So, bending down and closing his eyes, he again moved his finger along the wall. The result was remarkable:

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1 Beginning and adapting

Simon House Karnac Books ePub

“The universe resounds with the joyful cry I am.”

Alexander Scriabin, Poem of Ecstasy

The New Zealand gynaecologist, Professor A. M. Liley, pointed out that although in the temporal sense we spend a very short time in the womb, about 1% of our life, in terms of the division of cells, our physical development—apart from stature—is almost complete by the time we are born (Liley, 1977).

We begin life as a single cell; 45 generations of the doubling up of cells by growth division are needed to reach the thirty million million cells of an adult. Of the 45 divisions, 41 take place before birth. Yet even before this single cell there is “life before life”. The sperm’s life can be traced back months to its genesis in the testes, which were already formed in the father when in the grandmother’s womb. The beginnings of the ovum itself existed in the mother when she was still in the grandmother’s womb, where it is known to have been susceptible to the grandmother’s environment. Nor should we lose sight of the genetic trace unbroken down the generations:

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7 Preventing the imprint of violence

Simon House Karnac Books ePub

The sense of peace, well-being, and prosperity is combined in the word “salaam” or “shalom”, which are basically the same. The spiritual quality most needed to achieve shalom/salaam is compassion, or empathy—terms that are central to religions. Destroying and negating these qualities are violence, depression, and degrading poverty. The great religions are often the first to work against these negatives, keeping to their original purpose of inducing salaam/shalom by enlightening people. Not that they are not alone in this; and religious elements have often notoriously shown themselves distinctly devoid of compassion or empathy, even exhibiting atrocious violence, however remote that may have been from the intentions their founders and true leaders.

Science, though no alternative to religion, has contributed to health and prosperity, although its record in drugs for mental disorders is mixed. Yet scientific evidence is now clarifying the effects of specific nutrients on a person’s feelings and behaviour. This will help us to safeguard the qualities of shalom/salaam and empathy/compassion in the human make-up. Attention to both nutritional and emotional needs can contribute powerfully to peace and reduce personal violence.

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11 Ways that a mother affects her child

Simon House Karnac Books ePub

“Following 2000 women through pregnancy and birth, Dr Monika Lukesch, a psychologist at Constantine University, in Frankfurt, West Germany, concluded in her study that the mother’s attitude had the single greatest effect on how an infant turned out.”

Thomas Verny, The Secret Life of the Unborn Child (1982b)

In all societies there have always been those who believe that the outcome of pregnancy depends largely on the mother’s own feelings and experiences, which are imprinted on the child in the same way as a film projector throws an image onto a blank screen. For thousands of years the Chinese have believed in creating a pleasant, relaxing atmosphere for the pregnant woman. The unborn child has been regaled with song and poetry. He is treated as a human being from the moment of conception. When the child is born, he is regarded as being one year old—presumably allowing three months for preconceptual preparation! This much, at least, modern research endorses.

Many Vaishnav Hindus believe that reading aloud religious literature—not fiction—throughout pregnancy influences the intelligence and moral character of the newborn child and makes it easier, later in childhood, for him to learn the verses (or slokas) he had heard in utero.

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