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The Hawaiian Practice of Ho'oponopono: Healing the Collective Consciousness and the Planet

by Dr Daniel Benor(more info)

listed in healing, originally published in issue 152 - November 2008

All appears to change when we change.
Henri Amiel

Introduction

There is fascinating, impressive research evidence suggesting that a collective consciousness exists. There are rigorous studies of telepathy, clairsentience (knowing intuitive information from material objects), precognition (knowing the future) and psychokinesis (mind influencing matter - as in healing the human body, and altering random number generators and throws of dice). Statistical analyses confirming these studies of collective consciousness are of such a high confidence level that the chances they are random occurrences range between less than one in a million and one in ten million billion billion [Radin, 2006].

If we accept collective consciousness as a fact of our existence, then each of us is like a brain cell in the mind of the All. As we release angers, resentments, hurts and other negative feelings from our personal consciousness, then we are clearing our former negative contributions from the collective consciousness. As 'brain cells' that are functioning more clearly and positively, we are helping the collective mind of humanity function in more healing manners.

Releases of collective negativity could be enhanced even further if we set the intention that all of our personal releases will, at the same time, invite releases of similar negativities from others in the collective consciousness, of which we are a part. This includes our inherited consciousness through our family of origin, as well as the consciousness of our families of choice, community, nation and the globe.

If it isn't global, it isn't going to work.
Riane Eisler

Therapists can help to release major collections of negativity by systematically facilitating with their clients similar releases as individuals - plus a load of collective negativity. This sort of concerted focus to clear collective negativity could help to transform the negativity of humankind.

This is vitally important, because humanity carries enormous collective post-traumatic stress residues that are expressed as the abused becoming abusers. This is one of the core psychological mechanisms bringing us to the point of collective self-destruction of humanity through heedless exhaustion of our natural resources, pollution of the environment, and our suicide, plus the genocide of countless other species on this planet through global heating.

There are simple ways we can contribute to healing the collective consciousness. We can extend our therapeutic techniques with individual clients in order to release the angers, fears and hurts that lead us collectively to behave in these destructive ways. At the same time, each of us can be using our own individual healings not only to release negativity, but also to build positive, healing energies in ourselves and the collective consciousness.

Historical Perspectives on PTSD in the Collective Consciousness

Each difficult moment has the potential to open my eyes and open my heart.
Myla Kabat-Zinn

Human history is one of incredible angers, hatreds, wars and other cruelties on the one hand, and hurts, pains, anxieties, fears, losses, grief and bereavement on the other. The Bible, a guide to moral principles in Western society, is full of bloody annihilations in wars and territorial conquests. Recent history demonstrates ever more efficient ways to annihilate those who are labelled as 'others' and enemies. For example, the indiscriminate use of firepower in Iraq produces 'collateral damage' of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians killed and many more injured.

Many of the abusive behaviours seen in groups of people resemble very closely what is labelled post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in individual psychopathology. A PTSD may develop following severe traumatic experiences, such as a severe injury, rape or wartime experiences. Symptoms of PTSD may include: becoming overly emotional under minimal stress, phobias about situations and relationships similar to the original traumas, low self-esteem, a variety of physical symptoms, and, most relevant to this discussion, temper outbursts and re-enactments of trauma – against others.

In the past two decades, potent methods have been developed for dealing with PTSD. Research shows Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) is highly effective in rapidly clearing PTSD (www.emdr.com). However, EMDR can produce heavy emotional outpourings and is, therefore, recommended for use only in the therapist's office.

Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is another approach that is excellent for releasing stress and distress. EFT involves tapping on a long series of acupressure points while reciting an affirmation. The advantage to EFT is that it does not produce heavy upwelling of emotions; the disadvantage is that people find the long series of acupoints difficult to remember and frustrating - when they are under stress and most need them.

WHEE (the Wholistic Hybrid developed from EMDR and EFT) releases the symptoms of PTSD without producing heavy emotional upwellings, and is so simple that children learn to use it in ten minutes [Benor, 2008]. It is, therefore, effective and safe to use on one's own.

Relevant to our discussion of healing for the collective consciousness is that people who have suffered PTSDs and other levels of physical and emotional trauma that is untreated are likely to vent their negative feelings upon others. Sexual perpetrators often have suffered sexual abuse themselves. Soldiers with PTSDs often have violent tempers. Bullies were often bullied themselves, frequently by their parents.

Does this ring a bell when we look at societal patterns of sectarian violence? The Irish and the Catholics, the Jews and the Arabs, and many other cultural and national groups have vented their angers at each other over generations.

These cultural problems worsen with time, as the collective hurts and angers accumulate, and as abusing groups come to devalue those they are abusing, labelling them as 'others.' This label allows the abusers to suffer less guilt in displacing and venting their frustrations and angers (from causes unrelated to their targets of abuse) upon people who are different from themselves.

Abuse is also vented frequently upon displaced targets. Teachers who suffered abuse may vent their buried, festering hurts and angers upon students, employers bully employees, doctors and nurses who were abused during their training are in subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) ways abusive to people under their care.

The same is true of the collective consciousness. And one of our displaced targets is Gaia, our planet. Humanity has been abusive to many life forms. Consider our over-hunting and over-fishing to extinction of many species, our pollution of the environment, our exhaustion of natural resources, such as water and trees; and more...

Healing the Collective PTSD

We are at the edge of peril, but the same dynamics that have brought us too close for comfort also offer the potential for a moral vision that's based on our interconnectedness...
Elizabeth A Debold

Spiritual healing does not appear to have any limits in the effects it can produce. Healing can be sent from many miles away and still be effective. In addition to helping individuals, healing is reported to improve relationships of individuals, couples and families. Not only are improvements seen when all the family members are receiving treatment; it also is noted frequently that relationships with non-participating friends and relatives shift on energetic levels, perhaps through telepathy or collective consciousness.

Such healings occur also on a broader level. A variety of research studies show that Transcendental Meditation reduces local angers and negativity. When one percent of the population is meditating, there are lower rates of violent crimes, auto accidents and terrorist attacks [Maharishi, Web reference].

A common recommendation of spiritual healers and transpersonal therapists is that the best way to heal humanity's collective traumas and psychopathology is for each person to heal herself or himself. As each of us becomes a clearer and brighter pixel on the screen, the screen becomes clearer and brighter. The limitation is that clearing of individuals is a slow way to brighten much of the screen.

However, we can further extend our therapeutic and spiritual healing interventions to invite a greater healing in the collective consciousness. We can broaden the focus of our intent when we are facilitating healing to include all of humanity.

Ho'oponopono Teaches Us Proxy Healing of Collective Negativity

Proxy (surrogate) healing is taught as a form of spiritual healing. One person can resonate with the problems of another, clearing negativity through the collective consciousness link.

A variation on this form of healing has been taught in the Hawaiian system of Ho'oponopono, in which the healer acknowledges the negativity of others within him or herself in order to clear them. The healer says, "I am sorry. Please forgive me. I love you. Thank you." This clearing of our own negativity can produce profound changes in the individuals we are addressing [Len, Web reference].

... first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out
the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Matthew 7:5

A striking example is the Ho'oponopono healer who worked in a hospital for the criminally insane in Hawaii. He never saw the patients. He simply read through their charts, clearing within himself the negativities that resonated with those of the people whose life stories he was reading. Many of the patients were dramatically improved; some were even released from the hospital.

There is every reason to believe that if we broaden our focus, we can broaden and deepen the effects of our clearing for PTSDs within the collective consciousness. During therapy sessions, we can ask to clear the same hurts, angers, fears and other residuals of traumas that we are clearing in ourselves and/or in careseekers who have come to us for help, "...from any and all beings who are open to releasing these issues of anger, hurt, etc. due to PTSD, anywhere on earth, through all time."

How far could this sort of clearing go? Since spiritual healing knows no limits, we could clear negativity not only in individuals, but in their present relationships. We could also clear abuse and other negativity from past lives – all the way back to 'Lucy,' the single, earliest human from whom all present humans are descended (per genetic mapping).

WHEE Adds to Ho'oponopono

Many therapies follow the medical model of treating problems - to ameliorate or clear symptoms and cure diseases. WHEE, taking a lesson from EMDR, teaches ways to insert positive cognitions and feelings after releasing the problems. For instance, after clearing some measure of fears, angers and hurts from a personal PTSD, a person could insert and strengthen beliefs about having had growth-promoting lessons in dealing with the PTSD, and learning to connect with and strengthen feelings of trust, love, acceptance and forgiveness with appropriate people.

WHEE extends this into wholistic healing, including spiritual applications. In this instance, WHEE (and other therapies) can be used in offering healing to the collective consciousness. After clearing the negatives within ourselves and inviting the collective consciousness to release whatever resonates with our personal releases, we can invite the collective consciousness to connect with positive awarenesses and healing and to strengthen these.

Connecting with the Oneness of All Reconnects Us with Our Planet

Mother Earth as the ultimate teacher. At few points in history has the need to rediscover
this teacher been greater.

Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski and Betty Sue Flowers

In addition to offering individual and collective healings to others through our personal healings, the process of enhancing awareness of the collective consciousness also reconnects us with Gaia, our planet. As we become aware that we are part of the All, we become more sensitive to what is happening to our environment. Any potential harm or damage to our planet is immediately seen as a harm or damage to ourselves.

When enough people waken to this elemental awareness, hopefully we will be able to stop the global heating that threatens the continued existence on this world of all life as we know it.

In Summary

Do good unto others because they are you!
Larry Dossey MD

We can facilitate healings of traumas in the collective consciousness that are contributing to what is, in effect, a collective PTSD. This may be a way to promote planetary healing and to avert the suicide of humanity and genocide of all other living beings on this planet.

References

Benor DJ. Healing Research: Volume I, Professional Supplement. Southfield. MI. Vision Publications. 2001. Only the research studies, in great detail, including statistics.
Benor DJ. Healing Research: Volume I, Spiritual Healing: Scientific Validation of a Healing Revolution. Bellmawr. NJ. Wholistic Healing Publications. 2006a. Healers describe their work, research in parapsychology as a context for understanding healing, brief summaries of randomized controlled studies, pilot studies.
Benor DJ. Healing Research: Volume III - Personal Spirituality: Science, Spirit and the Eternal Soul. Bellmawr. NJ. Wholistic Healing Publications. 2006b.
Benor DJ. 7 Minutes to Natural Pain Release: WHEE for Tapping Your Pain Away, the Revolutionary New Self-Healing Method. Fulton. CA. Energy Psychology Press. 2008.
Brown LR. Plan B 3.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization. New York. WW Norton. 2008.
Hawken P. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being and Why No One Saw it Coming. NY. Viking/ Penguin. 2007.
Len H. www.hooponoponotheamericas.org/article3.htm (Accessed 5/18/08).
Maharishi effect - miu.edu/m_effect/index.html (Accessed 5/7/08).
Radin D. Entangled Minds: Extrasensory Experiences in a Quantum Reality. New York. Paraview Pocket Books/ Simon & Schuster. 2006.
Vitale J. Ho'oponopono www.educate-yourself.org/zsl/hooponopono25jul06.shtml

Further Information

Daniel Benor MD will be giving workshops on WHEE (Wholistic Hybrid derived from EMDR and EFT) in Oxford, London, Bristol and Exeter 10th-14th October. Details on these and further materials on wholistic healing and WHEE at www.WholisticHealingResearch.com.

For further material on wholistic healing and WHEE visit www.WholisticHealingResearch.com.
An expanded version of this article can be found at www.wholistichealingresearch.com/heal_collective_consciousness.html

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About Dr Daniel Benor

Daniel J. Benor, M.D. is a psychiatrist in New Jersey who blends wholistic, bodymind approaches, spiritual awareness and healing in his practice. He is the author of Healing Research, Volumes I-IV and many articles on wholistic, spiritual healing. He appears internationally on radio and TV. He is on the Advisory Council of the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychotherapy (ACEP). He is editor and producer of the International Journal of Healing and Caring ­ On Line www.ijhc.org See more by and about Dr. Benor at: www.WholisticHealingResearch.com

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