Tikkun Winter 2019 (34.1) - Page 28

The instinct to numb our feelings can be a shield from feelings that might otherwise shat- ter us. But it also demands a high price. What we split off will one day demand a way back into our consciousness. More to the point: when we shield ourselves from our feelings, we cut ourselves off not only from others but from our own selves. This schism is one of the great- est tolls of patriarchal trauma. III. HEALING THE LEGACY OF FEAR AND TRAUMA I fled my own Jew- ish patriarchal home early on, taking refuge in my physical body. There in my still uncolonized sensual self, I found endless secret pleasures. I discovered the many aromas of nature, the glistening eyes of ani- mals, and a new kind of intelligence that was deliciously free of the cerebral orienta- tion and frenetic pace to which I was accus- tomed. I volunteered to be a model in a deep tissue massage class. As the instructor demonstrated the technique on the intercostal tissue between my ribs, I felt a strangely evocative pain. Before I knew what was occurring, my breath took me on a journey. I was transported into a place of sheer agony, a darkened chamber where I experienced the screams and moans of masses of people; then the terror of suffocation, ac- companied by clawing gestures and desperate pleas for help. By 25, I had left the Jewish world far behind, drawn to the newly emerging field of body- mind healing and the work of Wilhelm Reich, Alexander Lowen, Marion Woodman, and oth- ers who approached the body as a living map of the interior psyche. Studying the intricate wed- ding of mind and body, I found a miraculous form of wisdom revealing itself. I seemed to have tapped a reservoir of pain that went far beyond anything I had personal knowledge of. It had its own life, its own ori- gins, and it was far greater than mine alone. A powerful timeless field was constellated that day. By some unnamable osmosis, some twenty classmates watching the demonstra- tion witnessed it too, later describing the scene of inescapable suffering in full detail. One rather shocking event stands out. Mid- way through my training in the healing arts, This was the beginning of a profound unravel- ing that has continued to this day: the healing 28 W W W .T I K K U N . O R G WINTER 2019