TRAUMA TRANSFORMATION

Source: Traumatology

Trauma, in spite of its brutality and destructiveness, has the power to open victims to issues of profound existential and spiritual significance. The displacement of the ego forces confrontations with deeper levels of self and reality. Trauma throws victims onto a path that mystics, shamans, mythic heroes and spiritual seekers have been walking for thousands of years. The difference is that victims of trauma must work this territory or be overcome by it.

Non-traumatised seekers have the luxury of getting off the path at will: for theirs is not a life or death struggle. Theirs is usually a gradual and volitional emersion. They are able to progressively assimilate the demands of this realm.

Victims are thrust into this realm against their will and with no preparation. Trauma forces victims to confront realms of Being existing outside of ego and collective consciousness. Various existential and spiritual vulnerabilities, such as the inevitability of one’s death, the lack of certitude and security surrounding human existence and the lack of substance and unity making up the ego or social self, demand acknowledgment.

Trauma displaces the ego and demonstrates that no one is a self-contained being around which the universe rotates. If health is to be restored then the help of the Spirit and others is required. Acknowledging this fundamental dependency is a critical milestone on the healing path.

Unfortunately many victims of trauma are misdiagnosed and socially isolated. Most are unable to find healers who recognise that trauma has thrust them on a path that spiritual seekers have been walking for thousands of years. In addition, most do not understand that an ego has to refortified or established before one can develop a permanent relationship with the Deeper or Transpersonal Self.

The profound struggles of many trauma victims are often spiritualised or psychologised by various caring professionals. Victims need safe and supportive spaces in which to walk amidst the ashes of their former organisations of self, reality and God, while dialoguing with the transformations taking place on every level of their being.

Eventually, the ego must be seen to be based on collective values. It is not the essence of being human. Relationships with the “Deeper Self” must be fostered and developed. In essence, traumatic experiences are one of the few things powerful enough to get the ego to release its tyrannical hold over the transpersonal dimensions of consciousness. In displacing the ego trauma creates access to the spiritual core of victims.

10 Responses

  1. Hi Laurie…Thanks for your personal and interesting comment…I did visit your website and look forward to its completion…I am a big fan of the 12 step program…it is the only therapeutic approach I know that gives “surrender” as the key to healing…Sid

  2. Hello Sid,
    I came across your blog tonight.. and frankly.. I am on my way out for the evening.. I happen to love the type that you have here.. and I also really do admire and respect all that you are posting here.. It’s a tropical forest of.. information.
    I myself have been traumatized.. I first discovered this last two years.. since week five in the womb when my father asked my mother to abort me since he was blacklisted and had no job and no money.. I can see that it was my fate.. to understand all aspects of trauma.. from death, the Holocaust, having a mother hospitalized at the age of 8 and diagnosed paranoid schidophrenic.. only to discover how brilliant she really was.. but no real spiritual or emotional guidance came from this society..
    I have a father who designed and invented the first computers and a mother who was a classical pianist and very talented.. and brilliant but not able to sustain herself emotionally in this culture and a brother.. who is also a very gifted and somewhat enlightened..man.. however.. struggling with anxiety, depression, ADHd and whatever diagonsis they want to give him such as OCD and bi-polar.. He’s a very wise and compassionate man who has not had any discipline since birth.. and because my parents felt so guilty for abandoning him.. they threw money at him and so he’s not able to support himself and he struggles with constant crack cocaine.. desire.. Just last weekend I received a call that he was beaten to the pulp by some very big and violent drug dealers.. and..so trauma has been around me from birth and it is still around me.. and it is a spiritual calling for me..
    I have been trained in 8 different modalities and I became a therapist because I felt so unloveable that this was a way for me to have connection and be needed..
    Now.. after a lifetime of trauma and caretaking.. I am in Alanon and learning how to have my feelings. and how to share and ask for support..
    I could go on and on.. and perhaps you might be interested in some articles that I wrote and/or an interview..

    Meanwhile.. thank’s for opening up this conversation..

  3. Thankyou for allowing me to read this, it made me feel that it is ok to go through your grief of the trama that you and anyone else has been through and it doesn’t mean we are terrible people or misfits, we have feelings too. I’m still trying to deal with some of the trama that happened to me as a kid and also as an young adult.
    Evan

  4. Hi mr Sid
    Decided to do a post on this, no point repeating what you’ve said. but would like to add something
    http://keytoann.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/imprinting/
    later
    walt

  5. Caught wordpress, it deletes everything between the left and right arrows. deleted *Trauma displaces the ego and demonstrates that no one is a self-contained being around which the universe rotates.* (I’ll try stars) and to wordsfromawoman, you’re right. doctors at the va are totally unaware of the epigenetic connection, cortisol level and other aspects of PTSD and are treating patients base on the DSM which I consider to be in the same class as voodoo, with the caveat that voodoo works better. When a naked priestess dances around you, shaking her beads and rattles it is definitely a mind altering experience.
    eLG

  6. Hi Mr Sid,
    Excellent, I think the core concept (at least to me) is which brings to mind the admonishment “do not allow someone else to occupy rent free space in your mind.” which is where most people are. This can be a gift which can be unwrapped but is usually treated as an aberration to be suppressed. Unaddresed, however, is the physiological changes trauma makes. This will scare the shit out of you.
    http://www.divshare.com/download/8628060-f2d
    part one of a 5 part series on PTSD, cortisol and epigenetics. In this part they speak of one year old kids with PTSD IE it can be inherited. This new insight has been ignored by mainstream psychology, who continue to “help” their patients by re-establishing a ego that suppresses the sub-conscious again. also see this;

    “Please don’t help me, I’ve done nothing wrong”
    Or……….I could be full of shit, I am crazy, don’t you know?

  7. MIchael,

    In William James book,”Variety of Religious Experiences”states the conversion experience leaves a bitter taste in all who have gone through it.

    Sid

  8. So I guess the best thing to come out of my PTSD from Vietnam is my spiritual ascent 40 years later.

    Hell, it may just have been worth it, Sid. But just like one of the Greek philosopher said when asked if he had lead a “happy” life, and I paraphrase my acceptance of this trauma-induced spiritualism:”I won’t know if it was a good thing until my Life is over.”

    Thanks for new thoughts to ponder . . .

    michael j

  9. Wise Woman…this approach is rather threatening to contemporary psychology which is focused on strengthening the ego…this article was presented by a psychologist identified with transpersonal psychology which has an interest in ego transformation….Sid

  10. Yet another good article. Based on this article I conclude that we often do not treat correctly military personnel returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with trauma and physical injuries.

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