February 05, 2006

Primal Spirit Center for Human Evolution

Blossoming Within the Lotus Wheel of Consciousness Mary Lynn Adzema
An Essay Review of Roger Woolger's Other Lives, Other Selves: A Jungian Psychotherapist Discovers Past Lives Primal Spirit Magazine, Vol. 3, No. 1, Winter, 2004
In the chapter "Eros Abused" Woolger describes the pendulum swing in our incarnational histories between male/female, victim/perpetrator, and assorted other dualities, which we appear to have to experience before some kind of transcendence and integration can take place. For example, he points out that thousands of years of violence against, and suppression of, women has created an enormous Shadow in this regard in our collective unconscious. Past-lives therapy helps and is needed by both men and women if a healing resolution is to take place, first in individuals and then in society at large which is only now and with great reluctance beginning to let go of its patriarchal character. Men need to "own" and heal the buried feminine in their own past; women need to heal and "own" the violent and/or cruel male in their past in order to make peace with and benefit from their masculine side. In addition, Woolger takes pains to point out and emphasize (as in the case of Madeleine earlier described) that "Not just the victim, but the bully and the rapist in all of us also are in need of healing and forgiveness" (p. 212).
In closing I feel that Woolger not only sets an eclectic example for psychotherapists by providing references to a wide range of therapeutic modalities of this and the last century, but also he shares the valuable gift of his own experience in eliciting healing components from each, which he has used to such good effect in his Jungian past-life therapy practice. He does this humbly and articulately. Perhaps for this reason the case histories he shares stand on their own merits by demonstrating in instance after instance how his clients were not only empowered to release their Pain but also, and as importantly, to weave whole cloth out of the ups and downs, the triumphs and tragedies of past lives. Because this therapy includes a spiritual or transpersonal component, clients who persist in their process may often be rewarded with a coherent picture of their own soul’s evolution, thereby becoming empowered to realize as did the poet: "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul."3 Many more narrowly focused or nonexperiential therapies simply do not provide the same depth of healing — not to mention liberating vision — as the unique path Woolger shares with us...
Finally, I found this work a call to all of us, therapists and lay persons alike, to persist in our own healing process in order to win the sacred prize of inner peace and wholeness. Ultimately, I felt, it does not matter whether we define our predicament here according to a linear model of successive "lives"; or whether we prefer Seth’s concept of an extended Now wherein all of these "dramas" are happening simultaneously for our own mysterious ultimate good; or even whether we prefer the Course in Miracles’s approach, which, like Buddha, neither confirms nor denies the "truth" of past lives. Whichever of these scenarios is "true" really is not the issue, as Woolger so brilliantly intimates. What does matter is the healing. I know that I feel a sense of gratitude to the author for helping me to refocus on my own process. To borrow Shakespeare’s metaphor: on this stage, with its backdrop of eternity, it seems we have all played many, many parts. I do believe that, even as I felt motivated by my reading of Woolger to finally ring down the curtain on all "the sound and fury" of my this-worldly sojourning, just so will other persevering readers be motivated by Other Lives, Other Selves to indeed "get on with it!"

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