Great essay, I'm on board with you about the collective wounds needing to be healed in a collective space and the time is ripe for that. I couldn't help but read through while holding another lens that I'm trying on since I came across it yesterday. In the write-up for Bayo Akomolafe's most recent course offering, he writes, "focus not on what gets in the way of healing, but on what healing gets in the way of." This line stopped me in my tracks. I've been digging into grief work and in reading that line, grief is what rises to the surface: To not let the project of collective healing get in the way of the collective grief that is bursting at the seams of our relating, both in the public & private spheres. Can we trust that healing will take care of itself if we make space for the immense grief that is present, without the agenda of getting the grief out of the way, without wanting the process to be different so that we can get to the healing already? The paradoxical theory of change proposes that accepting & welcoming what is present is all that is needed. So, what if we dropped our need to heal?

Expand full comment
Oct 11, 2022Liked by David Nicol

David, I appreciate your perspectives on the conundrum of trying to understand and hold constructively, with compassion, the social hyper-polarization all about us – a phenomenon that transcends international borders. The threat, as mainstream media points out, feels visceral and existential, linked to tribalized fears of identity-loss and annihilation – either of democracy and hopes for social equity on the left or of survival for those who fixate on anticipated loss of power and privilege on the right. What mainstream media and folks on both poles of the divide fail to recognize, as you point out, are the causal links between metastasizing polarization and centuries worth of collective trauma – an energetic field of socio-cultural stress so pervasive and numbing that it has come to feel, oddly enough, “normal.”

I think it is important to recognize that the compassionate group work of holding and facilitating healing for collective trauma, which you identify as necessary, has already emerged and is gaining momentum, albeit in a relatively quiet way next to the clamor of events highlighted by dominant media. There are numbers of groups, thought leaders, consciousness activists and “light workers” who are developing processes and training folks drawn to such healing work in its various branches. In my observation, people recognize and affiliate with others in this unfolding “movement” more through inward affinity than outer organizing. What many of these initiatives have in common is interest in scalable processes that can release the traumatic (karmic) plaque gumming up our systems. The more psycho-spiritually oriented groups are recognizing the need to heal the collective unconscious, which is where many distortions of our enacted social reality originate. One such group is Thomas Hübl’s Academy of Inner Science, which I mention because I am training there. Hübl has demonstrated a collaborative ethos that characterizes this movement by convening annual online Collective Trauma Summits with dozens of like-minded groups and practitioners over the past 4 years, pooling learning and resources (https://collectivetraumasummit.com/).

This is an approach that affirms what I find to be one of the most powerful statements in your article: “When a group of sovereign individuals voluntarily pool their consciousness together to form a coherent group field, they access depths of compassion, love, and courage exponentially greater than any one individual can reach on their own. As a result, the field becomes a conduit for healing powers of extraordinary magnitude.” However, I do suggest that one small adjustment in that framing would be helpful. In my perception, when a group of individuals comes together in this way, they do not so much pool their consciousness to form a coherent field; rather, they cooperate in bringing their attention to the subtle dimensions of consciousness that are already shared, and in this way, co-create a network that anchors that implicate subtle coherence into the mental-emotional-vital field of embodied human endeavors.

Expand full comment
Oct 7, 2022Liked by David Nicol

Mother has always maintained: "Healing is essential, but you have to know what needs to be healed first, and get the crying out of the way, beforehand." There is no better foil for a power-hungry extremist than someone who has been shoved to the sidelines and ignored, in perpetuity, by those in power. The antidote, simply put, is full-on sharing of that power, across the board. Your essay outlines this process intensely, yet also magically.

Expand full comment