Background: the Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Emergency in Japan
After more than twenty years of working with inner selves (Voice Dialogue), I am used to it and almost take it for granted that selves do exist and that one can quite easily talk with them. Once in a while my inner Skeptic, Scientist and others remind me that speaking with inner selves/parts may seem normal and proven enough to me and to many others who have experienced it, but it may seem completely crazy to most other people on the planet.
It’s Getting Worse – Collective Selves
Now it’s even worse.
This year Tim Kelley and I have begun a new project in which we speak with collective selves/parts. This is an opportunity to thank Tim for bringing this subject to my active awareness.
Apart from our curiosity as explorers of the psyche, what drives us is a wish to contribute to processes of healing in our wounded world. This we do through classic Voice Dialogue, new ways of working with inner selves and purpose work. We work by ourselves and lead groups. So far two such meetings were held in Israel. I will write in more detail about all this in the future.
Working with Collective Selves
Our initial assumption was that, just as there are selves in each person, there are selves in all other human collectives: states, peoples, religions, organizations, etc. and that it would be possible to communicate with them.
For various reasons we started by talking with Jewish and Jewish-Israeli collective selves. In future we will probably work with other collectives as well, such as Arab collectives.
We did not know which selves would appear and were always surprised. It sometimes seems they are waiting in line for their turn.
The process is very similar to classic Voice Dialogue. When I am being facilitated, I allow various selves/parts/voices to speak through me. I feel what they feel, see the world through their eyes and speak their thoughts.
The process may be similar to regular Voice Dialogue work, but the experience is often much stronger. It seems that a collective self carries an especially powerful energetic charge. Sometimes it appears as a multitude. In addition, exceptionally surprising selves appear, who often have no relation to one’s personal life, experience and beliefs. This also happens in ‘regular’ Voice Dialogue, but it is even more apparent in this case. Once these surprising selves arrive, their existence suddenly seems very logical.
That is how me met, amongst many others, The Strict Rabbi who agrees to laughter once in a while but definitely not too often; An Old Jew who, when we began the work, thought the whole idea was wrong. Each day of a normal life without being killed is a good thing and one should leave wounds alone, he said. There was also six year old sweet and simple Srulik with his funny hat who felt shame and sadness about how things turned out in Israel and a Worried Jewish Woman in a constant state of anxiety that a pogrom or some other disaster was on the horizon. After we worked with her she calmed down and could enjoy simple chores at home and in the garden while peacefully glancing far away to see if there was any trouble brewing.
Meeting the ‘Children of the Holocaust’
One of the most important meetings was with ‘The Children of the Holocaust’. It shook me in a way I do not remember from the past. In spite of the horror and the pain, we could see how acceptance, attention, care, listening and patience begin a process of healing.
When we first met the Children of the Holocaust, their spokesman said “…it’s a world in which I’m lost. It is too much to take, too much to experience. It’s like people stripped of all flesh, skeletons, and everyone is feeling the horror….How can this be? How can this be? How can this be? It’s not possible. It’s not true. It can’t be happening…It scorches the soul….How can people be doing this to us?…. All soul is drained here. That’s horrible! I can’t tell you how devastating that is, like after an atomic bomb, just nothing left….And we’re still there, like living dead. Still waiting for an explanation, for help. Is there someone that can come and save us and help us?…”
At first, this collective self was numb and dead, then it could weep and wail and, at last, after we spent a long time with it, myriad little children appeared and finally a wave of warmth, love and hope passed them. It was an important first step, but these inner children need continuous care at the moment.
Humanity as a Self
A while ago, while writing this blog (the Hebrew version), I suddenly understood I wanted to speak with Humanity as a collective self and with the collective selves of Humanity. And then, yesterday morning, while working with Tim Kelley, the first collective self of Humanity appeared.
The background – the horrors occurring in Japan. The collective self – ‘The Children of Humanity’.
Welcome the Children of Humanity
The state of this collective self is very bad.
The Children of Humanity (as a self – we are not talking about physical children) feel that no one is listening to them, no one cares and they cannot be expressed in a healthy way. They live in pain and despair. “We feel so alone and deserted and so upset by everything. If they just listened to us, everything would be different….It’s like we’re an army of little, little kids, like four or five [years old], and we’re really, really angry. It’s like we’re so angry we want to cause damage already, because nothing helps. We’re so upset; I can’t explain how upset….We don’t know what to do….It’s like we want to kill the whole world already because we’re so upset and nobody listens. And we love this Earth so much! We don’t know what to do…”
In essence The Children of Humanity are full of love and caring and have the deep wisdom of simplicity. But as happens with all selves, when they are neglected and disowned things begin to deteriorate. Now they have lost all hope and are very angry with the ‘grown ups’ who have neglected them and the world for so long (see the nuclear disaster in Japan). They are having a tantrum and would almost destroy the whole world. They are not bad, of course, only desperate and in impossible pain.
Apart from the sorrow for their suffering and the damage the state they’re in does to us all, when a self feels this way – it really can be dangerous. These are real forces operating on a psychic level and they have enormous influence for either better or worse – depending on their well being.
In spite of their anger and despair, the attention Tim and I gave them allowed them to ask for help and experience a bit of warmth and hope:
“…Some wind of warmth is going through us. It’s like a wave of love and sweetness….It reminds us a lot of that tsunami. We’ve all become a little pinker….It spreads over the whole of the Earth. It’s like the whole planet is held in loving hands. It’s a very very small and delicate feeling still, but it makes everything relax a little. We feel very weak and gentle pulsations of love going through the whole planet. It’s like we’re the heart of the planet, also. It’s like we see hands that are very gently holding this planet and us….It’s not that the terrible stuff is gone or that we don’t feel pain; it’s like for now we can have a break, a rest, and feel a little different for a minute….”
“…We really need a lot of help. We understand that it’s not easy to stay in touch with us. But we need to be expressed and we need people to know about us. Things are moving so fast now. When we children feel good, you feel so good all of you. People can’t even imagine how good it can feel when we feel good…”
I realize that our work with ‘The Children of the Holocaust’ and ‘The Children of Humanity’ and other fascinating selves we have met and will meet in the future is just a beginning. Perhaps it is opening new possibilities for others as well, perhaps it blows a bit of hope into the forces that influence us all even when we are blind to their existence. It seems, however, that there need to be more people who will agree to work this way and allow a healthy, non-judgmental expression of all our collective selves.
Yesterday, after meeting them for the first time, I thought the pain would finish me off. Tsunami waves of pain went through me all day. The horror was not as poignant as with ‘The Children of the Holocaust’ but presumably the size of the collective makes a difference. It was hard to bear the pain, needless to say work while feeling it. Around noon I took a break and went to the beach. I bought the kids ice cream (though I don’t like it that much). It seemed that ice cream gives even ‘The Children of Humanity’ a moment of sweetness in their terrible pain.
Healing the Vulnerable Children can Balance the Whole System
One of the things anyone working with Voice Dialogue notices after a while is that working with vulnerable selves, and especially with the inner children, influences many other selves and helps to balance the whole stormy system. What works in the individual, I think, works for collective systems such as Israel, The Jews or Humanity. And so, as the state of our world is pretty bad, there is an urgency to help the collective children.
Again I must remind that we are not speaking of actual, physical, children (although they will benefit from the work) but of an energetic, collective self – something more akin to an archetype.
Would You Like to Help?
If what you’ve read so far touches you, you can try to contribute to the work.
In order to help, you don’t necessarily need to feel all their pain. People who are afraid of the pain or are not meant to do this type of work can help in other ways. And, naturally, the healing, the clearing of the mind and the magic that happen are not only collective – they have a positive effect on any person sharing this work.
Whenever we deal with selves it is important to work without any judgment. So, if you feel judgmental towards the sensitive children, please don’t work with them. It may do more harm than good.
Here are a few ideas for working with these collective selves, but there are others as well:
Talking with The Collective Inner Children
If you are experienced in Voice Dialogue, you can talk to ‘The Children of the Holocaust’ or ‘The Children of Humanity’ by writing or with a facilitator. You can hear what they have to say and give them attention and care. This in itself can be very healing.
Remember that working responsibly means doing nothing by force. If you feel resistance or fear – you probably need to do some preparatory work before continuing.
As in ‘personal’ Voice Dialogue, here too it’s important to work with opposing selves, so as not to remain identified with the selves you channel (among other things).
Healing, Reiki, Shamanic Work
If you practice some sort of healing, you can try to direct healing to these collective selves. Remember you are asking for help and channeling it and not using your own power. It can be good to do such work in a group.
Connect with one of these collective selves. Feel the emotions, the sensations. Be with the kids and listen with no resistance, fear, wish to heal or any other aim. Just be with them and what they are going through. This can be deeply healing.
Remember the ‘Children of the Holocaust’ or the ‘Children of Humanity’, say a kind word, light a candle for them, conduct a ceremony for them, pray for them, remember how wonderful and important they are and that we all have such sensitive, beautiful, children inside us and that sadly, most of them, are very neglected and join the miserable chorus of the collective self. When the children feel well, we feel well and the entire system can adjust in a more harmonious way.
Other Ways of Supporting this Work
So far, Tim and I have been financing the group meetings with some help of the participants. It will be difficult to continue doing so for much longer.
It will be easier for us to work with groups and do more work if we get some financial help. Any help is welcome. For details write firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you know people this may speak to and that would not ridicule this work, I’d be glad if you direct them to this blog.
More info can be found in my book in Hebrew, ‘The Demon, the Nun and the Magical Child’, in my website and in Hal and Sidra Stone’s books and website.
*Tim tends to call them ‘parts’, I usually go for ‘selves’ but it’s the same thing.