Valuable post at The Conversation on the internal resistance that trauma victims face in taking the first step towards healing: talking to someone about their experience.
Over the last fifteen years, I’ve had the privilege of being passionately committed to the service of two spectacularly beautiful feminine personalities. Unfortunately, as women like that tend to have a lot of dirt dumped on them, neither of them understood the depth of their beauty. In the second case, I finally found myself whispering across a crowded room, “Please, please, please. Please come into yourself. We need you here so badly.”
While I’ve been physically lonely for a long time, this process of calling beautiful women into the world has its positive benefits. I dance alone most Saturdays, but I dance with the joy of knowing that my loving is connected to a purpose that I find to be precious.
Many women respect that intention, but there are those that see my devotion as a resource to be turned to their benefit. The methods they use are pretty crude, and I have to say: after you’ve been sleep deprived for long enough, being beaten on by lust tends to lose its luster. So I really appreciate it when a woman approaches me with the attitude that she just wants to know what it feels like to step into devotion. Most of the time they finish dancing with me and go off into bliss with their lovers.
My most powerful experience of the impact of psychic wounding came under such circumstances. At the venue I haunted, a man in a rainbow tunic would show up occasionally on a field trip with a group of emotionally disturbed followers. One evening, I noticed a woman – let’s call her Deanne – staring at me. She seemed really timid, so I asked her to dance with me. When we got to the dance floor she announced “But I can’t go away with you or take my clothes off.” Realizing who I was talking to, I agreed. The song was a little forward, and Deanne looked uncomfortable. She agreed that she didn’t like the music, so I told her to come and get me when she heard something that she liked.
I kept on dancing by myself, and Deanne finally joined me again. Her movements were really wound up, and I just tried to invite her to move around into the space I left behind me on the floor. She began to play a little bit, and I had this strange sense of her opening up. Putting my hands on either side of Deanne’s head, I took hold of the threads of personality that she had wound up so carefully in herself, and attached them to the joy that my friends and I had built on the dance floor. I was overwhelmed by this glorious surge of energy, the likes of which I had never before experienced. Deanne just smiled and returned to her friends.
Scott Peck, author of People of the Lie, remarks that ‘evil’ is ‘live’ spelled backwards. From the physicist’s perspective, living is the process of investing the world with our spirit. Somebody had pounded Deanne out of the world, leaving her not even her body to inhabit. What happened that night, though, gave me an absolute conviction that evil is impotent in the face of love. That surge of energy was the joy of spirits welcoming Deanne back into the world. It was as though they had been waiting for her to reclaim them.
When we are first taught about sin, it’s as a prophylactic against evil. “Thou shalt not kill” definitely qualifies. Most of the Law of the Pentateuch (the Jewish holy books) can be interpreted in this way. The goal was to avoid corruption in the relationships between the people, the sacred land, and the God they worshipped.
The problem with the law is that it yoked guilt to evil: it created sin. This was the uniquely human evil that entered the world with the fall of Adam and Eve. Before that time, evil happened and living creatures just shrugged it off and moved forward. Man ate of the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and began to ask “why?” From that point, whenever evil happened, our questioning minds looked for a place to affix the blame, and our materialistic tendencies led us to assign fault to the person that committed the sin.
When Jesus died for the forgiveness of sins, he sought to liberate us from this burden of guilt. As he put it “It is not the well that need a doctor, but the sick.” Implicitly, he is asserting “Who cares why it happened? Shouldn’t we just fix it and move on? Here: let me show you how love works.” In the most impressive case: the oppressor Saul goes blind on the road to Damascus and is healed to become Paul, the foremost Christian evangelist of his time.
Healing through love is the absolute bedrock of Christian ethics. Those that prefer to judge sinners might better focus their energies on learning to emulate the master that they adore. You’ll have a lot more fun when love moves freely through you. Assigning guilt just gets in the way.