Energy Healing Strategy for Victims of Rape

There is an energy healing strategy that can support victims of rape and abuse.

To understand this healing approach, it is useful to know something about subtle energy anatomy. In this case, it is to do with the way that the fascia envelopes every part of the body and is mirrored by a webbing of subtle energy.  

Fascia is the thin, smooth, elastic, slippery tissue that sits between muscles and the skin, and that surrounds body organs. It is everywhere in the body, enveloping blood vessels, nerves and cells.

Fascia is also the interface between the body’s physicality and its subtle energy anatomy. It is the bridge, the connection, between physiological tissue and the stuff of the energy body – prana, chi, etheric tissue.  Fascia, for example, is the interface that enables acupuncture.

In the tragic circumstances of rape and abuse, the etheric webbing – the subtle energy fascia –  around the sexual organs and anus is penetrated.

The result of this trauma may be that the subtle energy webbing, the etheric webbing, is torn and remains open after the abusive event.  The integrity of the victim’s subtle energy anatomy is therefore broken.

The victim now experiences not only the psychological and physical trauma of the abuse, but also the less visible wound of the torn and open etheric webbing. This can create an ongoing existential sense of vulnerability and anxiety. For both therapists and victims, it is important to understand that this ongoing vulnerability is not just a psychological or physiological effect. It is also in the subtle energy body that has lost its integrity.

At best, over time, with patience, calm and trust, the webbing can reform and grow back into place. The patience and kindness of therapists, friends and family are crucial.

At worst however the wounded subtle energy webbing remains open.

This can have a tragic result.  Bullies, predators and abusers may sense this energy wound and be attracted to its vulnerability to repeat the abuse. The wounding, the opening, may therefore be further enlarged, creating more vulnerability and a cycle of abuse. This is very unpleasant, wounding and can obviously be very confusing for the recipient who cannot understand why it is happening.

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This energy healing strategy, therefore, is aimed specifically at repairing the subtle energy webbing so that it reforms back into a coherent, healthy and resilient state.  

This technique is not the usual energy healing strategy of hands-on radiation that is used for example in spiritual healing.  In fact, deliberately radiating energy into the wound might make things worse. It can overstimulate and excite the area, possibly making the tear bigger.

The healing strategy that we can use here is calm, receptive and holding. It is magnetic rather than radiatory. It allows and facilitates the web to reweave itself.

It trusts that there is an underlying DNA blueprint of health — an underlying archetypal pattern of a healthy webbing that remains there despite the wound. We need to let the webbing drop back down into its archetypal pattern and reweave itself.

Our technique then is to be very gently present to the wound with calm and patient care. No excitement. No radiation except patient compassion and love.

It is as if your loving and gentle hands are under the wound, and you are magnetically attracting and allowing the webbing to sink down and reweave itself back into its healthy pattern. This requires a very light touch; no sense of urgency.

To repeat: Allow the torn webbing to sink back down into its healthy blueprint which is always there. Sense that it is reweaving. Do not actively radiate or put any willpower into the strategy.

Energy healers – Be very careful about actually touching your client.

How many healing sessions are needed? I do not know. I wish everyone a graceful and speedy healing, but we know that this may take time.

You will know if the healing is effective and the webbing is back in integrity, because the individual will now consistently feel more confident and empowered.

Victims of abuse – If you are reading this, my strong suggestion is that you do this practice when you are in a very safe, relaxed and comfortable space, perhaps in bed or curled up on your sofa. Approach the practice carefully. Maybe feel your way into it just for a few seconds. Slowly build up to a few minutes. A few minutes practised regularly over several months may work very well for you.

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I wish everyone graceful healing.

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Below you can watch a video of  this blog

The Metaphysics of Depression

It took me a while to understand what people were actually telling me when they described their experience of melancholia and depression.  They nearly always spoke about the purely psychological dimension of negative thoughts and emotions, often so unbearable that suicide seemed a redemptive relief. They rarely acknowledged their embodied physical experience.

But almost without exception, when I continued to enquire about their ailment, they would begin to talk about extreme physical states: sensations of unbearable physical heaviness,  sluggishness, immobility, inability to rise from bed, a glued physical reluctance to engage in any activity.

No wonder, I thought, that they should have such distressing emotions and thoughts. Their internal physiological state, their inherent biological ecosystem, was in an awful state; and this was naturally mirrored in their sad emotions and thoughts, at their most extreme inclining towards suicide

As a mystic and metaphysician, I would then always contemplate the journey of their soul. I hoped that I might intuit some kind of coherent story, framed by metaphysics, karma and spiritual purpose, that threw some light on the darkness of their malaise, on their dark night of the soul.

Yes it was obvious, as with any illness, that there was an opportunity for spiritual development. But I always advise caution here, because it can be nasty and insensitive to assert that someone’s illness is a purposeful part of their soul’s journey. At its worst, this kind of statement can be a soulless, passive aggressive ‘you asked for it’ banality. (Even if sometimes there may be an element of truth to it.)

Stepping back from the idea that depression can be a deliberate developmental stage planned by the soul, there are however other metaphysical perspectives that are worth exploring.

I approach all this tentatively, because it is an idea that is work-in-progress and also because I want to be sensitive to the suffering of those who endure depression and melancholy.

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The key angle here is to focus on the physical experience of depression that I began to list in the first paragraph: the symptoms of sluggishness, heaviness and the effort required to move, as if one were being sucked into inertia.

Notice too how many of the therapies for depression encourage movement of the body, emotions and thoughts. Notice also the medicines administered for depression; their very prescription acknowledges that it is a biochemical embodied state.

But the physicality of depression is often ignored by those of us looking for a psycho-spiritual or metaphysical understanding and cure.

There are however two metaphysical perspectives, which can provide insight.

The first is from the writings of Djwahl Kuhl, particularly in his book, Esoteric Healing, dictated to his secretary, Alice Bailey.

The second can be found in many metaphysical philosophies, but is most explicit in the Yin-Yang approach of Taoism.

In explaining illness and the possible avenues for healing, Djwahl Kuhl of course talks about the karmic element. He also discusses illnesses, such as plagues and epidemics, where individuals have no choice but to participate in humanity’s collective karma and mass events.

Djwahl Kuhl also crucially discusses the inherent impurities in the stuff that makes up the body of planet Earth and consequently the inherent impurities that exist too in our human physical bodies. We may be brilliant, compassionate, enlightened saints, but our bodies are organic and carbon-based, and therefore contain inherent impurities that we share with Gaia. The substance of Gaia’s vehicle is not one hundred per cent pure. Gaia herself has karma.

This is a profound insight for metaphysical approaches to illness and healing. Some of our illnesses have nothing to do with our personal karma and dharma, but are simply part of the reality that we exist in an interdependent physical environment and we participate in its corrupt physical elements as much as in its gifts. That is just the way it is. (Try keeping your body healthy and alive forever!)

The physical experience of depression, then, may simply be due to someone’s physical body experiencing an impurity that belongs to planet Earth.

(Below: The Schwatzchild metric; gravity bending space and time.)

Then there is a second metaphysical insight. (I apologize in advance to scholars who may see this as an oversimplification.)

The Yin-Yang concept of Taoist philosophy expresses a crucial cosmic reality that is rarely articulated in a helpful and straightforward way. This philosophy asserts a fundamental truth, that there are two great forces continuously at work and continuously in balance with each other.

Expansion ↔ Containment

Yin  ↔ Yang

Yin — everything in the cosmos is in a continual state of containment, of gravity and magnetism; of taking on form.

Yang — everything in the cosmos is in a continual state of movement and expansion.

Without gravity and magnetism – Yin –  the cosmos would have no form, no solidity, no coherence.

Without movement and expansion – Yang –  the cosmos would be an unimaginable block of inert matter, a sucking black hole of density, never developing and growing.

These two forces of expansion and containment balance each other to create all the forms and matter of life. Moreover their relationship is always dancing and in a state of transformation. They exist alongside and within each other.

At the same time, these two forces are felt in our bodies and our psyches.

Too much Yang, too much expansion and movement, and we become hyper.

Too much Yin, too much magnetism and inertia, and we get sucked into depression.

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So here we have a metaphysical perspective on depression. It suggests that the physical matter of someone’s body may be too inclined towards gravity, containment and magnetism; and has lost its balancing outwards movement of expansion and development. The depressed person’s cells and atoms are not moving and expanding in a balanced way. There is too much dense, sluggish gravity.

Why should this be in some people’s bodies? Yes, there is the possibility that it is the soul’s choice. But there are all the other more obvious reasons — ancestry, DNA, environmental conditions  — which come from being part of an interdependent species of planet Earth. Please do not get me wrong and start sending me emails stating that people can influence their vulnerability through changes in behavior and attitude. That is only too obvious. What is not obvious to many is how we share in the collective experience of the whole planet, sometimes willingly, sometimes innocently and by chance.  

Depression can be, so to speak, a natural event that occurs sometimes because our bodies are made up of matter over which we sometimes have no control. Birth and death are also indicators of this reality.

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Moreover, many people who do not suffer severe depression, do also experience cycles of melancholia, ups and downs. These are natural too and built into our biology.

Two of these cycles are very well-known.

The first is seasonal. Many people experience lows when their bodies are deprived of sunlight in the Winter; and then recover energy when stimulated by the renewed light of Spring and Summer. The warmth and rays of the sun work directly on the physiology to stimulate activity. Deprived of the stimulation, many bodies sink into melancholy.

The second cycle is the equally natural one of sadness following a period of activity or a peak of success. The body seeks balance. Having been in an extreme state of liveliness, it swings back into an extreme state of morose sluggishness. Some people, as we know, suffer lifelong swings of mood, not as disturbing as suicidal depression but nevertheless extremely uncomfortable.

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So to an important question. Can any of this approach to depression bring relief?

I do not know.

I do know however that anything that expands our understanding might in some way be useful. It progresses the conversation.

For people however who are dedicated to their spiritual development and have developed the practice of compassionate witnessing, then this approach may give them a new angle to contemplate. Possibly, better understanding their metaphysical and physical anatomy, they might intuit an insight into how they can mobilize themselves out of too much gravity into more expansion and movement. I do not know. I do however pray for the relief of suffering.

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Often my friends who suffer from depression and who have a spiritual approach, will say: I don’t belong here. I wish I had not incarnated. I want to go home.

I may then ask them about their sense of home. They always reply that home (usually in the heavens) is healing, safe, friendly and beautiful.

I find it very poignant when they say that, because I perceive extraordinary hope and optimism in their sense of home. We mystics who, fortunately, do not endure depression, are, in a way, always at home. I wish that for my melancholic friends too.

Self-Healing, Internal Martial Arts and Mystic Love

Self-Healing, Internal Martial Arts and Mystic Love

There is an important connection between the internal martial arts practice of ‘bone marrow breathing’ and the mystic concept that ‘God loves you.’

They are not philosophical or intellectual ideas. They are both felt experiences that positively support us. 

Moreover, both experiences have strategies for deepening them.

The internal martial artist may seem very different from the mystic, but they are working with similar principles.

I was thinking about this, lying in bed, recuperating from a tough couple of weeks. I had been knocked out by a kidney infection and then, partially recovered, found myself caring for other members of the family facing health crises. I was exhausted to the point of irritability.

But I teach and practise self-care. So, I turned up the volume on my bag of self-healing strategies. 

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How do we turn up the volume?

For stronger and deeper healing, we have to become softer. Our attitude and mood need to resemble the lightest touch of the most delicate feather.

In yoga and internal martial arts (Qi Gung) there is a saying:  the softer, the deeper. For the healing energy to sink more fully into your body, it needs to be soft, gentle and subtle, not vibrant and intense.

This is explicitly taught in the Taoist approach to health, Taoism being the source of Qi Gung and bone marrow breathing. In the Taoist model, the universe is a flowing, moving, ocean of change. It is essentially benevolent and to benefit from this goodness, we need to place ourselves in harmony with it and become part of its flow. One crucial element in this harmonisation is for us to soften, become lighter, more flexible.

Just as the Tao is benevolently harmonious, so too the mystic’s experience of deity is benevolent.

For the mystics who want a deeper spiritual connection and experience, there is also similar practical advice. They are asked to empty and yield softly to benevolence and love.

In mystic poetry this is often described as a form of swooning — but your lover is the Divine. Dissolve me like sugar in warm tea, wrote Rumi the Sufi mystic.

In practice, this mystic emptying and yielding is, I suggest, the same felt experience as softening to go deeper.  

I notice too that there are parallels in the practices of many spiritual traditions. The metta practice of Buddhism, for example, points in the same direction. May I be at ease in my own body . . . May I develop compassion . . .

Different cultures have different ways of expressing the same concept, practice and experience.

 

A Quantum Leap

To even better experience the softness, the love, the flow and healing, there is also a quantum leap we can make.

This is a sincere personal surrender and commitment to the love, benevolence and compassion of the universe.

You, and you alone, know whether you have made this shift.

Having committed to this love, we are not perfect. It is always work in progress. We still have the usual human faults, but essentially we are at peace with the universe.

This means that our self-care and self-healing can go ever softer and deeper. Good for us. Good for those around us.

 

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Be as comfortable as you can.

Patiently contemplate that the cosmos is benevolent.

Notice any good feelings.

Soften your attitude and mood.

Allow the goodness to sink into you. Yield. Breathe it in.

Practise this again and again.

Care versus Provocation for Personal Development and Spiritual Growth

Right now, with covid and global warming, my concern is that people will hunker down and seek to be soothed, instead of rising to the challenge of the provocations.

 

The Russian mystic George Gurdjieff was rumoured to have hosted orgies for his normally well-behaved middle-class followers. It is said that he created a seductive atmosphere and hypnotically inducted his party guests into their orgy. Then, when they were all fully engaged in their sensual activity, he would clap his hands and shout Wake up! Wake up! Do not be animals. Be fully conscious and awake!

True story or not, it hints at a long tradition of provocative activities intended to shift people into a new state of consciousness. Wake up, he was saying. Do not be robots. You have higher consciousness.

This startling tactic recognises the usefulness of discomfort on the spiritual journey to enlightenment.

Does the usefulness of provocation and discomfort have any relevance to covid and global warming?

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I once sat in a meditation class where the teacher hit my back with a stick to correct my posture.

I have also experienced workshops where the doors were locked and there was no organisation or structure. The group stormed, normed and were expected to enter new states of detachment and awareness. Sometimes the result was a good-humoured shift. Other times just irritability.

There are provocations that are more gentle, for example in the Zen and Sufi traditions where humour, riddles and paradox are used to shift consciousness. What is the sound of one hand clapping?  is one of the most well-known.

Shortly after a stroke which paralysed one side of his body, the American hippy guru, Ram Dass, wryly commented: I now truly understand the sound of one hand clapping. He fully appreciated the tradition of provocation and paradox.

In nursing and social work, there is an appreciation too of what is sometimes called post-traumatic awakening. In my own life I have had two long and painful illnesses. In both there were key moments when I realised I had a choice. Continue moaning, complaining and being victim — or shift into another state of consciousness.

The new state was more detached, but also kinder, more accepting and more appreciative of life in general. I understood that these painful experiences were an opportunity for growth and learning.

This is not to say that I applaud or want illness and pain for myself or anyone else. Equally I want to muzzle those cleverdicks who respond to others’ pain and suffering with a passive aggressive, know-all quip that someone’s suffering and misfortune are useful stimulants for personal development.

In this context I often quote the professor of nursing, Margaret Newman. Between birth and death, she taught, everyone experiences cycles of health and illness. A nurse’s obvious role and calling is to relieve suffering. But equally important, she suggested to them, is that they midwife consciousness. Patients could make more sense, find greater meaning in their illness, if they woke up to a higher consciousness. To be more conscious, more discerning and more connected, can provide the deepest relief and healing of suffering.

And here we have the raw poignancy and paradox. There is a polarity. On the one hand we can relieve suffering through care. On the other we can relieve it through awakening.

Relieve Suffering
Care <–  or  –> Awakening

So when the meditation teacher struck my back with his stick was he helping to birth my consciousness or just being abusive? Was Gurdjieff perverted or strategic? Is the sound of one hand clapping just a cleverdick’s quip?

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It is surely obvious that when someone is in a state of trauma, it is offensive and abusive to use provocation to awaken them. Trauma requires care and patience.

But when someone is not in trauma, but just habitually complaining or just habitually unconscious in their thinking and behaviour, then provocation is useful.

But who is to judge whether someone is in trauma or not?

Over the last few years, the concept of trauma and its effects have become very well-known, almost fashionable. It has added deep and useful insights to our understanding of psychological distress and development.  There is also a problem here when trauma is wrongly diagnosed and is equated with the suffering that arises when people’s desires have not been met.

Not getting what we want, being thwarted in our desires, is not trauma.

No family, for example, is one hundred per cent perfect.  Therefore, is it appropriate to claim trauma because there was not enough affectionate parenting or kind schoolteachers? There is a difference between active abuse and a lack of love.

This is a difficult grey area and requires sensitive reality checking.

In Christianity the greatest symbol of this challenging ambiguity is Jesus on the cross — a messenger of unconditional love in a state of torture. I have several friends who in sincere states of spiritual enquiry have contemplated Christ’s passion and crucifixion. When in their contemplation they have approached his tortured body on the cross, Jesus smiled and winked at them with loving good humour. 

We are in a very grey area here.

Sometimes comfort, care and soothing are one hundred per cent necessary.

Sometimes to care for someone who is complaining, is to collude with them.

Other times a provocative kick is appropriate.

Occasionally the spiritual path asks us to take risks and throw ourselves into chasms of fire.

How can we steer ourselves through these raw ambiguities? The only way forward is an ongoing reflective practice in which we apply compassionate awareness and a moral compass. We learn our lessons, become more conscious, and perhaps wiser and more loving.

 

But this enquiry is not complete unless we also address the elephant in the room. This is the human shadow.

 

 

 

Here is a reality check and some unpleasant observations about human behaviour and psychology:

We can be obstinate, self-sabotaging, cunning, nasty and cruel. We are capable of ignorance, sociopathy and a complete lack of moral compass. We can be ingenious and self-sabotaging in how we deny and cloak our shadow behaviours, harmful addictions and compulsive polluting habits. We can invent so many stories and excuses to justify our meanness and closed hearts.

Look at any awful behaviour . . . There but for the grace of God go we . . .

It is therefore normal that our spiritual paths to more love, consciousness and connection can be fraught.

Our shadows do not go away just because we ignore them. We have to acknowledge, wrestle with, heal and integrate our shadow aspects. This is a normal part of personal development.

So although we may not appreciate or like it, it is crucial to identify and own our shadows.

As Carl Jung put it: One does not become enlightened by imagining figures of light, but by making the darkness conscious.

This then is another blessing brought by provocations and crazy gurus. They can wake us up and they can illuminate our shadows.

 

The injustice and suffering experienced by our fellow beings should be enough to provoke our awakening.

But when the pain of others does not trigger our hearts and birth compassionate mindfulness, then provocations and crazy gurus are surely to be welcomed, even invited, into the privacy of our growth.

Of course, external provocateurs can be threatening, even traumatising. I do not want meditation masters hitting me or hungry ghosts jumping out of the shadows.

But I do know that risk and stretching beyond our usual comfort zones can be crucial in awakening.

Right now, with covid and global warming, my concern is that people will hunker down and seek to be soothed, instead of rising to the challenge of the provocations.

In times of crisis, we especially are called to model spiritual leadership and be the change that we want to see.

So if I have any advice for the coming year it would be:

Think, do and be different from your usual patterns.

Stretch beyond your comfort.

More spiritual generosity and good humour.

Stop complaining. Stop being surprised by the state of the world. Be surprised by yourself.

Throw yourself into the chasm of fiery enlightenment and awakening.

Relieve suffering. Midwife consciousness.

More love. More compassion.

Distant Healing – The Heart-Opening Technique

Many meditators, healers and people of goodwill are attracted to the idea of distant healing — that in meditation, contemplation and prayer we can help relieve suffering and pain at a distance.

But how exactly do we do this? I will share with you one golden rule, briefly list the most well-known techniques and then describe the strategy that I prefer.

First, the golden rule.

This is simple: Distant healing must always be done in a relaxed, calm and loving way. Otherwise, you may be sending agitated vibrations and energies. In particular, you need to monitor that you do not have any neediness that there be a healing.

If we are needy for healing, then we radiate neediness. Not useful.

So stay calm. The keynote is compassionate equanimity.

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The most well-known distant healing strategies are:

  • Kind thoughts
  • Sending healing energy (keep to the golden rule above and check you are not interfering)
  • Praying for help and intercessions from whichever tradition, gods, spirits, angels, saints, gurus, etc, who are in your culture.

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Then there is the heart-opening strategy that I prefer to use.

I like it because it is relevant to both suffering and the causes of suffering. It is also realistic about the fact that some illnesses and distress are chronic and long term, and that death is an inevitability.

This strategy is simple. It is a sense, a visualisation, a calm expectation that the hearts open of those who are suffering.

In the same way, the hearts open of those who create suffering.

In a calm state of compassionate contemplation, bring any person or situation of suffering into your loving awareness.

May your heart be open. May your heart be open. May your heart be open.

When someone’s heart opens, they move into a different mood. They connect with the benevolent flow of the universe. Their emotions and minds become more accepting and kinder. Healing at all levels becomes more accessible. Space is created for waves of grace.

There are other ways of practising this that may better suit you.

If for example you have a Christian background, then you may prefer some wording like this, which has the same effect: May the Christ within you awaken. Or May the Christ consciousness in you be fully awake.

From a Buddhist background, you might feel more at home with: May the Buddha within you awaken. Or May the Buddha consciousness in you be fully awake.

Of course, you are free to adapt the wording in whatever way works best for you.

Within the Buddhist tradition there is also the foundation prayer of Om Mani Padme Hum often translated as the Jewel in the Lotus. In many respects, this is a heart awakening mantra. Each of us is a lotus, a beautiful flower with stems beneath the water and roots deep into the earth. And within us is a jewel. Perceive it. Let it be fully present.

Again, this is congruent with the Hindu greeting of Namaste. I greet the soul within you. I greet your soul. I greet the Christ within you. The Buddha within you. The Goddess within you. All of these facilitate heart-opening.

Some people may prefer to work with the chakra system. You can sense-visualise-imagine the love petals of someone’s heart chakra opening with compassion and wisdom.

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I use this heart-opening approach when, in meditation, I send healing to the dictators and politicians who are oppressing their peoples. I sense their hearts opening. May your heart be open. I greet your soul.

Similarly, I use this strategy when contemplating those who are suffering with pain and fear. May your hearts be open. I greet your soul. Om mani padme hum.

Softly, gently, empathically, connect with suffering and sense heart-opening.

As always, you as an individual practitioner can explore and feel your way into the approach that is authentic for you.

Remember too to practise basic health and safety. Your fuel, inspiration and safety come from your connection with Spirit, by whatever name you call it. At the end of any healing, bring your focus fully home to your own body and close your energy field like a flower at night closing its petals.

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I honour and respect activists who work on the front lines to relieve suffering and create safe space for all life to grow and fulfil.

I also honour and support the meditators, contemplatives and prayer-workers who work with distant healing.

Past Lives, Trauma and Autism

Past Lives, Trauma and Autism

Reincarnation and past lives are a natural part of Buddhist, Hindu, Jain, Sikh, Gnostic Christian, Jewish Kabbalah, some Sufism and most Pagan cultures.
Even if you do not believe in it, it can provide an interesting way of thinking about and understanding people. Often, when I do not understand why someone is behaving in a certain way, I contemplate them through the prism of reincarnation. Is there a deeper and longer back story?
Logically, I also believe in life after death. This belief is based in experience, mainly from a near-fatal illness in my twenties when I had a sequence of out-of-the-body happenings.

In this context of past lives and life after death, I think about my mother who died a few years back. Usually, when someone I love dies, I feel their presence or some kind of communication from them over the coming weeks and months. But I felt nothing from my mum. It was as if, once out of her body, she moved away from Earth as fast and as far as she possibly could.

Then in meditation a few weeks ago I found myself contemplating her again and wondering if she would reincarnate and where. Tuning into her soul I felt a great reluctance on her part to reincarnate. This was understandable because her last life had contained much traumatic tragedy. At the centre of this tragedy was her time in a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp. The secret police had decided that she was a spy and troublemaker because of her interest in braille — and they treated her with great cruelty.
As a result of her deprivations her first child, my sister, was born deaf. This led my mother into pioneering charitable work for deaf children.
My mum, Freddy Bloom, was well known for her courage. A book was written about her. She was an early subject of the television programme This Is Your Life. And she had a difficult relationship with my father.

So she did not fancy reincarnating. I felt her saying to me:
If I reincarnate, I do not want to feel all that pain again. I do not want to be so involved with people. I want my sensitivity allowed and protected. I will need to be very introvert. I won’t understand relationships.

Sensing this from her, I was reminded of all the presentations of autism. The NHS describes autism in this way. Autistic people may:
— Find it hard to communicate and interact with other people
— Find it hard to understand how other people think or feel
— Find things like bright lights or loud noises overwhelming, stressful or uncomfortable
— Get anxious or upset about unfamiliar situations and social events
— Take longer to understand information
— Do or think the same things over and over
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/autism/what-is-autism/

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Over the years in my work as an educator and carer, I have often wondered about autism and its relationship with past life trauma. I often have conversations with psychologists who also believe in past lives and contemplate whether autism might have its source in past life trauma. Imagine survivors of concentration camps — prisoners and guards; imagine folk killed or tortured in conflict; and so on — how might these souls choose to incarnate? What circumstances would provide the context for expressing their trauma and allow recovery?


Following my experience in meditation with my mother and her reluctance to reincarnate, I started to think about writing this blog. I hesitated. Would people believe it or accept it? Would it seem too weird?
As part of my preparation I googled ‘reincarnation and trauma. Google immediately responded with this academic paper: ‘Reincarnation Type Presentations of Children with High-Functioning Autism in Sri Lanka.’

The abstract for this paper reads as follows:

Here we describe three children from Sri Lanka claiming memories of their past lives and later diagnosed to have high-functioning autism. The first, a seven-year-old Buddhist believes he was killed by terrorists as a soldier in his previous life and attributed his birthmark to be an injury which caused death. The second, a five-year-old Catholic girl suffering from asthma claiming she died of breathing difficulties in her previous life where she was a Buddhist grandmother. The third, an eight-year-old academically superior child claims he was a monk in his previous life and demands parents to allow him to enter the priesthood. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29602719/

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Whether you believe in past lives or not, this way of looking at autism may be positive and useful. It provides a framework that reinforces acceptance, careful safety, space and time to be.