Lact - Palo Alto School Representative

Palo Alto School Representative

Center for training, intervention and research

Strategic systemic approach and hypnosis

      In her essay, Michele Ritterman analyzes human wickedness through Ericksonian hypnosis. It addresses the deep origins of cruelty, its impact on society and therapeutic means to confront it, offering poignant insight into human nature and healing.


      Why undertake this journey?

      When a colleague invited me to write this essay, I remembered the phone call I made to a woman who had helped prisoners in the prisons of the Pinochet dictatorship. She told me: “No, no, no, I don’t make chili anymore.” Like her, I hesitated and felt like the undertow couldn't take me back to the human rights work I had done, where I had begun to have I felt like I had touched the pulse of human wickedness, and I was shaken. The invitation instantly reminded me of the many ways I had been introduced to the subject.

      I remembered a behavior in my childhood home that led me to the door of hatred. I remembered learning that the crime of murder was permissible if the state committed it, when I studied the death penalty the year Kennedy was shot. In college, Malcolm

      So a simple and wonderful invitation allowed me to open a file on scary subjects that I had studied and written about. But I also remembered that it was through exploring this darkness that I began to see how therapists and others could help people break out of certain destructive patterns.    

      In 1983, I discovered the harms of hypnosis in troubled families and wrote about a mother who, in front of her entire family and an audience of students, unwittingly hypnotized her suicidal daughter and suggested that she suicide. 

      But it was after this session that I came to understand how therapists could break the spell of a dysfunctional relationship like that between mother and daughter, and create healing counter-inductions to help the whole family wake up. bad messages.

      In the 1980s, I interviewed survivors of torture, the state's countertherapy. I traveled to Pinochet's Chile, apartheid South Africa, and Costa Rica and Nicaragua where entire liberal Catholic Salvadoran communities were exiled.  

       When I returned home, my clients said to me: "Our problems here must seem insignificant and selfish to you. But that was not the case. I now knew that being free to work with them, with minimal intrusion by the state, was a sacred privilege, which should not be taken for granted. 

      It was by studying the worst social darkness that I understood how society could build people, all of us, and restore human dignity.

      When the inhuman acceleration of social time began in the 1980s with nanoseconds, faxes, microwaves, Nintendo and work time, for us, beleaguered creatures designed to be hunters and gatherers, the Foundations were laid here in America for the destructive forces to take hold. Our world has begun to operate at this pace that leaves too little time for the slow maturation of friendship or layered healing, which favors a managed rather than sincere system of care that offers legal drugs as alternatives to connection.

      Although we all know that it is social isolation that kills. 

      Thomas Lewis dedicated his book General Theory of Love to showing how therapy involves connecting therapist and client at the level of the limbic systems, that it is the connection, the reciprocal loop, that stimulates the adaptive unconscious , which stimulates the adaptive unconscious and helps regulate the client's limbic system, he also cites studies that demonstrate that ostracism and isolation from the community are the worst punishments. The removal of social ties, the lack of warmth and human connections kill babies and cause depression and heart attacks in adults. (Vintage, 2001) with Fari Amini and Richard Lannon).

      In the 1980s, we entered a social era where emphasis was placed on the negative aspects of connection, such as codependency, which became a disease rather than a wonderful idea.

      And an era in which there would be a pill for every illness, even one that involves needing the comfort of a warm body by your side.

      I'll never forget the first time my television caught my attention, as I was leaving my show to brush my teeth during a commercial. The TV turned up its volume.  

      She shouted, “Are you feeling lonely?”  

      • Wow ! Yes, I felt alone.   
      • “Do you feel socially isolated?”  
      • And how !  
      • “Do you feel uncomfortable in social situations?” Yes, I find certain social situations cold.   

      At this point, I'm levitating with my arms, my eyes are glassy, ​​and I'm facing the TV screen like a robot:  

      • “You may be suffering from social anxiety syndrome.”  
      • Wow. It's awesome. An explanation for all this pain!  
      • “You might benefit from Paxel.”

      Weren't they suggesting that social issues were all in my head. That....I would have to be crazy, or mentally ill, i.e. in need of a chemical rebalancing if I dared to think that it was society that needed to be changed?  

      This suggestion seemed downright evil to me.

      It was difficult for me to wake up after a single bad commercial and realize that everyone in the country watching television that evening had probably received its negative suggestions.

       After the end of the so-called Cold War when hate movements resurfaced at the Republican conventions, wasn't it clear to all of us that the gospels of hate were harmful? And that only political programs focused on care, reducing health disparities and providing economic opportunities for all can truly make a country a land of freedom?   

      These days, when I encounter couples in transition, who are lying and cheating on each other, or cheating on each other and even fighting, it brings me to the question popularized by my post-menopausal role model, Tina Turner: What what does love have to do with it?

      Either way, this question of how to respond to all this cruelty, it's a pretty hot journey to take. 

      So we travel this path, but only because we have to face it. We don't need to be seduced by it. Nor to follow it to the end. Our goal is simply to reach a certain clearing, with an opening of heart and mind, a brighter place at the end.  


      II - How to prepare for this trip? 


      How can we follow this path without becoming hardened, without despair, and without becoming bitter? Without deciding that ants, who are very cooperative, should perhaps make us the next dinosaur?   

      If we hate humans for their wickedness, we run the risk of being no different in heart and mind from the aggressor, detractor, or torturer.

      We may therefore ask ourselves what force is powerful enough to oppose evil among our loved ones, within our own families, within our governments or social orders, in racial arrangements, but which does not is not itself bad? 

      I'll tell you, I'll tell you, no one should enter this treacherous territory alone, without a guide. Neither you nor me.

      When I studied Tai Kuan Do, the master of Do Jo, Mr. Yoshida, told me that when you enter a dangerous situation, you must have protection all around you, on all sides.  

      There is no need to understand everything or go through the subject. Just far enough to turn around and return to the light.

      So for this essay, I asked my friends, clients, and family to tell me how they react to maliciousness. I read Thich Nhat Hanh, Kabbalah, Victor Frankl, Eli Wiesel, Lao Tzu and Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, Etty Hilesum, a young Jewish woman who chose to share the destiny of her people and extend her love for all humanity, even as she and her family were pushed in the cattlecar towards Dachau, Ghandi and Martin Luther King,  

      I read through Beaudelaire's Les fleurs du mal and, of course, the muses of North America, William Carlos Williams, Walt Whitman and Alan Ginsberg. 

      And I pray that all these good souls surround us today to infuse our work with the best possible spirit.  

      Our journey is not easy. Otherwise, how can we prepare?

      Lao Tzu opens the Tao Te Ching, the basic teaching of Taoism, with a verse that suggests that the first part of a full life is a journey into darkness. 

      “Darkness within darkness, the door to all mysteries.”

      If we move forward correctly, and if we are blessed along the way, we will discover the light, the Yang, somewhere in this Yin, this darkness, this emptiness.

      The Old Testament, too, tackles this human dilemma head-on. No sooner has the great Spirit of healing and transformation rested on the seventh day than there is trouble in paradise.

      God gave Adam and Eve, who came from his partner's rib - "Bone of my bone. Flesh of my flesh" - an earthly paradise, in peace and abundance, with all animals, they would not know pain and they would not have sexual consciousness. What a deal! Who could miss this?

      God, perhaps through the voice of GILDA RADNER, says: "Do not eat the fruit of this little tree here in Heaven." But the newlyweds were not able to relax in Paradise. And once the serpent put his finger on it, they had to eat the fruit from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.   

      Now the couple feels embarrassed about being naked together and their marriage is riddled with conflicts and betrayals of trust, 

      Then God favors their son Abel and rejects the offerings of their other son, Cain. We now see that feeling unworthy in the eyes of an authority figure, if not the ultimate authority figure, cannot be good. How does Cain show his bitterness at seeing God favor his brother? Cain kills Abel.  

      We are only in the first chapter of the beginning of spiritual creation, but between the marital crisis of Adam and Eve and the deadly competition between brothers for the approval of the higher power, the master plan of Tibet and China, Muslims, Christians and Jews, capitalists against socialists, Irish Catholics against Protestants, bad relations of all kinds, is exposed in what Alan Ginsberg, in Who Be Kind To (Planet News, 1965), described as follows: "The Cold War (man) engaged in a process which resulted in the creation of a new system of justice: the Cold War (man) brought against his own flesh since the time of the serpent. 

      When I studied yoga in Bali, I observed Balanese Hindus attacking evil first thing in the morning. With tree leaves, they make by hand a small basket in which they place an offering of incense, flowers or food to evil, so that it is content to reside beyond the uprights of their houses and their doors.

      It is not surprising that spiritual texts and practices open up to the question of Good and Evil, but it is rare that a psychotherapy conference, which tends to speak in terms of science, objectivity, analysis and normal and abnormal behavior, addresses the question of evil. In 1968, my mentor, MH Erickson, wrote:

      "Throughout the ages, people have tried to believe that normal psychological behavior includes only what is socially good... Sometimes man's inhumanity to man is given a euphemistic label, but no effort is not designed to scientifically investigate the extremes to which the normal, good, average, or intellectual person or group will go if given the chance: Think of the Spanish Inquisition, the Salem Witch Trials, or the introduction of slavery into a country dedicated to everyone's right to equality and freedom... How is it that the noble goals of the Pilgrims led to the position that "the only good Indian is an Indian death” (pp. 277, 278).

      Burying people alive in pits, catching babies one by one on bayonets and burning them, inflicting maximum pain by electrification on another person - these behaviors may be within the norm in circumstances widely described as war.

      It is important to recognize the existence of natural evil at the mass level BEFORE we begin our journey today, as the Balanese do every day.

      The great North American poet and country doctor William Carlos Williams shows us how the SAME collective consciousness can naturally shift in an instant from a shared reverie to the pleasure of a group-minded sport of stalking men to murder them.

      At the ball game

      The crowd attending a football match is uniformly lively

      By a spirit of uselessness

      who delights them...

      All the exciting details of the chase

      And the escape, the error,

      the flash of genius...

      All this for no other purpose than beauty

      the eternal.

      So, in the details, they, the crowd,

      Are beautiful

      For that

      To be warned,

      greeted and challenged...

      He is alive, venomous,

      He smiles sinisterly,

      His words are sharp.

      The flashy female with her mother

      The mother understands...

      The Jew understood well.

      It's deadly, terrifying.

      It is the Inquisition, the


      It's beauty itself


      Day after day in them

      lazily... without thinking about it. (1969)

      So we have 

      1. recognized the existence of evil in the norm, in the masses, and 

      2. mobilized our good spirits from the past and our friends from the present to surround us. 

      3. What is the third thing we must do to dare to enter into this desecration of evil? We must begin to clearly separate the sacred from the profane.

      There is a notion in Judaism that spiritual practice establishes a separation between the sacred and the profane. A line is drawn. On one side of human time there is the work week, during which we are on world time, where we have economic and material obligations, but on Friday evening we draw a line and we say: " No.   

      The observant household keeps kashrut, which means clean. Cleanliness is separation, separation of milk dishes and meat. One should not drink milk after eating meat or poultry, because we should not symbolically wash the baby, the meat, in its mother's milk.  

      Abraham Joshua Heschel

      Today, in our own way, we must separate the sacred from the profane in our own hearts, to face our own demons.

      Rabbi and scholar Abraham Joshua Heschel wrote the following,

      "If a man has seen evil, he may know that it has been shown him that he may learn his own guilt and repent; for that which is shown him is also in him." (p. 209, the Baal Shem)

      This means that at every step we must confront ourselves, our ability to carry malicious thoughts, release our own emotional negativity, or even inadvertently use the vulnerabilities of others against them. The potential for harm lies in the smallest details of each of us. A film called The Boy Next Door tells how an ordinary man is trained step by step to be indifferent first to his own pain, then to the cries of others, and heavily rewarded for inflicting pain on the enemy object, for eventually being initiated into becoming a torturer for the government.     

      I saw a client in her 60s who had been brutally abused by her mother when she was a baby. Among the many unspeakable cruelties she suffered, confirmed by medical reports, knives were used on the most intimate parts of her body.  

      At the end of our last session, as she was coming out of her trance, I made a remark to her that seemed quite innocuous to me about the sadness that was visible in her eyes, 

      After this session, she wrote me an extraordinary letter to tell me that she had stopped working with me. She told me the only hope she had was to look in the mirror and see light in her eyes. She recognized that I had not realized or intended what I had done, but that the brutality to which she had been subjected had made her extremely sensitive to cruelty. Because she believed in me as a healer, she encouraged me to seek help. “I know you must be in a lot of pain, no matter how sensitive and kind you are, to say something hurtful. I trusted her and requested a personal consultation the following week.

      Perhaps the fourth step, final preparation, is knowing that it is impossible to complete this journey perfectly. It is its very nature.

      At this point, the beloved Heschel speaks to us once again: “Doing the impossible is the beginning of faith.” (19, p. 214).


      III - Do the impossible

      One of the important things to understand is that

      You can use and abuse everything.  

      A hammer can build a house or break the ribs of a fickle spouse. 

      A toilet can be the start of hygiene. In Soweto, when I worked in human rights for the National Council of Churches and the African National Congress, during the vile incarcerations of Nelson and Winny Mandela, there was only one portable toilet. There was one toilet for every thousand people. Although the region was hot and dry like a desert, waste flowed into the gutters like muddy rain. But in Piedmont, a prominent surgeon used the same thing, a toilet, to flush his wife's head to punish her for questioning his fidelity.  

      A plane can cross the African veldt, as in Beryl Markham's West with the Night, where this extraordinary writer and female pilot rushed a person to a remote area to provide medical treatment; or this same plane can destroy New York's marvelous Twin Towers and bring untold pain and loss to innocent victims and their families.  

      Hypnosis can be used to work on the most delicate connections between body and mind. Using hypnosis, alumnus Kay Thompson, a lifelong student of Milton Erickson, performed a four-hour gum replacement operation without anesthesia. Hypnosis can also be used as in the case of an award-winning Chilean journalist and torture survivor I interviewed: after receiving electric shocks that almost killed him, he was taken to a hypnotist dressed in a doctor's coat, who took his vitals and told him to imagine he was in a beautiful field of flowers. The good doctor's goal was to help the reporter reduce his heart rate enough so that he could be subjected to the next round of peak pain, without it killing him.  

      In fact, when I traveled to Denmark to meet Inge Kemp Genefke, the founder of the world's first torture treatment center, she sent her secretary to tell me: "Dr. Genefke says hypnosis is what the torturers, and that she will not meet you." “Tell Dr. Genefke that I am part of the New Hypnosis (I invented the expression on the spot) which aims to empower the individual to combat the destructive suggestions of family and society. Bingo. Inge came out to welcome me with open arms.  

      Even compassion, which is the form of intelligence most likely to save the species and which is not even measured in our so-called standardized intelligence tests, can be used to forgive someone who is found guilty of a crime against humanity.  

      Compassion can be used to forgive someone who has wronged you and call for a second chance, or it can be administered prematurely and allow an abuser or government to continue harming.  

      Psychopharmacological agents may be prescribed restrictively and as needed to help a person through a difficult time, or they may become designer drugs designed to fit a designer diagnosis. Drugs can be misused by television advertising to invite an entire culture to drug themselves with legal drugs, until we have entire countries of people in a slightly hallucinatory, but legalized, oblivion, like the vision of which Alduous Huxley warned in 1932, in his book, titled 1984. It showed a world in which the government was forcibly administering to all citizens a happiness drug called soma.  

      Thus, one of the most pernicious events of our time is the so-called Diagnostic Manual IV, which has only evolved over a few decades and yet is more voluminous than the Old and New Testaments and than the Quran combined. 

      Someone has discovered that the mind is a terrible business to waste.

      The biochemical revolution is great, but when in doubt, now blame people's brains and biochemistry instead of socially idiotic politics. As if the poor brain was not already sufficiently assailed by the bombardment of continuous noises coming from fixed distances like highways from birds, breezes, leaves and the rhythmic cries of animals, by economic worries, from the stock market to layoffs, particularly in the arts....The brain is now accused of being defective.

      This is why we are sad, why we have mood swings, why we eat to the point of obesity or why we take illegal drugs. It is not a braoder public health of massive loneliness, social isolation, health disparities, joblessness, fears of terrorism, child abductions - no we suffer newly composed syndromes and a marvelous array of designer drugs that pop up rather quickly to treat each one individually. We are a collection of small problems that need to be fixed.

       Just as someone like Erickson emerged whose methods affected brain chemistry, who taught the importance of details in helping a person save their own life, we are virtually taking human brains on a global level to this stage and deposit them 24/7 into tested chemicals over a very short period of time. 

      That our sense of smell corresponds to flowers, that I can hear the nuances of music when my friend plays the saxophone. That we are designed with taste sensors that match the fruit of the vine, that I can smell you when you touch me and achieve bliss during lovemaking. A perfect balance. Our minds may be filled with junk by our society, but now we blame the brain!   

      Biochemistry abuses the brain.

      We can heal or abuse our own bodies. These are the conditions, the preventable social, economic, and environmental stressors that tax our perfectly healthy, functioning minds and bodies and drive us crazy or sick.    

      We should not blame our minds and bodies when too much is asked of them and they end up producing the symptoms of what is wrong around them.

      I had a horse riding accident. My teacher neglected my needs as an amateur and, on my third lesson, put me on a bitter racehorse with a sprained right front hoof, in a cramped indoor space, while she had complete control of the loin line. When he ran away, I found myself with a crushed elbow. People have said to me, "Oh, so that's your bad arm? But no! I answer defensively, "That's my other wonderful arm." This one is special because he had to learn twice as much as the other. But they are both good.

      To hate your own body, to move away from it, is to take a step towards evil. Who should you be nice to? Allen Ginsberg asks the question.   

      "Be kind to your self, he is only one 

      and perishable 

      among many others on the planet,

      (Planet News, 1968, p.95).

      Walt Whitman left us this message, 

      "I sing the electric body,

      .....What if the body doesn't do as much as the soul?

      And if the body was not the soul, what is the soul? (1931, p. 97)

        So anything can be used or abused.

      And evil lies in the abuse of anything. Not in the thing itself.

      Not in consciousness, nature, body, tool, object.  

      The evil we must respond to is in the application. It is in the intention. And it's in context  

      and in the relationship that evil takes on meaning.

      To face evil, we must face fear.  

      The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing, he makes me rest in green pastures. Yes, even though I walk in the shadow of the valley of death, I will fear no evil. Goodness will follow me all the days of my life. (Psalms, )


      In terms of intention, it is still not easy to discern evil from no.

      Consider three hypothetical examples.

      Sitting here today, we might, God forbid, see a person walk through the door and wish us harm because they are a terrorist against citizens of the United States, or a freedom fighter for a group that hates Americans. Many people around the world today feel irrational hatred toward all Americans because of our government's policies

        A prominent Mexican architect who lived in the Berkeley Hills for 20 years and raised his two children here with his wife said, "I would like to see the whole United States explode because of Bush's policies." But Ramon, I told him, "your own children are Americans." He hadn't even thought about it. His revolutionary worldview would justify any atrocity committed in the name of overthrowing American imperialism.   

      Another scenario: An American soldier informed that we are not American could threaten us one day. There are many policies being implemented at the government level today that can be used to prevent people from freely assembling. This is what happened in El Salvador in the 1980s. Soldiers were allowed to take control of all Catholic churches suspected of practicing liberation theology. They killed Archbishop Oscar Romero in broad daylight during a service I saw on film. Death squads treated nuns and priests with such brutality that my friend, who has treated thousands of survivors around the world, said he didn't know if he could survive hearing about several accounts of abuses committed by the Salvadoran army. These soldiers did not think what they were doing was wrong.

      Or a third strange scenario: the angry person, like the brother of one of my clients, who chased her with an ax when her mother let her take care of him, and who, as an adult, is serving a sentence in a maximum security prison in Alabama for opening fire in a 7-11 store. Such an individual could harass us or anyone else, without any remorse, just a rage that, for him, is justified and justifies any action taken in his name. The world has been looking for such a man. He deserves it.

      Few of those who do evil do so in the name of wickedness. Most heinous acts committed within families and society are done in the NAME of good.

      The Christian Patriot Defense League is the name of a group that since 1979 has organized conferences called "freedom festivals" that combine weapons training with bigotry. In 1981, their workshops covered firearms and reloading, demolition and camouflage, anti-aircraft, anti-tank, and knife fighting (Anti Defamation League, 1987).

      My second book, Hope Under Siege, Terror and Family Support in Chile, tells the story of a young man who was the president of his high school under the democratically elected president, Salvador Allende. On the day Pinochet took power, this prisoner was taken to a specially prepared secret room, where he was subjected to repeated near-drownings, hangings and electricity.

      After searching for him frantically for days, like in the movie Missing, his mother found him, and when they took the hood off her son's head, and she saw her beautiful son with his eyes of a tormented animal covered in bloody wounds, she said: “Keep your head high, my son, you are a hero to your people.”  

      Was he a terrorist? Or a freedom fighter? Was he good, as human rights movements perceive him to be? Or bad, as the regime and its supporters perceived it?

      By the way, at Guantanamo, the American Family Therapy Academy has established a task force to investigate allegations of inhumane treatment of so-called terrorists being held there as we speak.

      Even systems that destroy millions of lives for many generations to come do what they do in the name of goodness. Last month I watched Hitler's famous propaganda film, Triumph of the Will. What's intriguing is that this video begins in light and not darkness. The film opens with us, the viewer, on a plane with Hitler himself, above the clouds so white, then we descend with dramatic music into our luminous overview of the German capital where thousands of soldiers march in a sunlit goose-step, while he, we, descend into a huge gathering of exuberant and hopeful citizens, bathed in sunlight, their right arms raised in levitation, chanting their mantra of Heil Hitler , the flags of patriotism flying strongly in a powerful prophetic wind.   

      Hitler is the savior par excellence who, after 22 years of degradation of the German people following the shame of the First World War, will restore their pride and assert their domination over the world. His cause was good. Just. Bright. Here is a democratically elected representative coming down with love to save his people.

      But from the second part of the propaganda film, we are plunged into another setting. A sinister and frightening scene. It's night, and all we see is a vast darkness with no visible edges, with smoke, fires, and burning torches here and there. It is clear that a descent into darkness, where acts that cannot be seen clearly, secret and mysterious things will be an important part of this project. There will be night, darkness and fire.   

      We must be careful, because we are in the bowls of evil.

      By what means ? Here we have the comparison of two men occupying planet Earth at the same time. A Hitler and a Gandhi.

      One way to help a group or family member elevate themselves is to dehumanize the other. The leader then gives the demoralized population or individual something to lean on, to rise.  

      To this end, a leader or family member in power must isolate by any means necessary the group or individual he is to dehumanize, and convince the demoralized people that the others they are to trample on are subhumans, animals or viruses. 

      A survivor I knew once said of the Nazi war against gays, gypsies, Jews and Catholics that everyone would die anyway. The worst part was not that we were killed, but that we were humiliated at every step. We had to wear yellow Star of David armbands. We couldn't work. Our property was confiscated. That our heads were shaved and our clothes were taken away. That we were prisoners. That we were slaves.   

      One of my Cambodian clients who fled the killing fields the night her father was captured by the Khmer Rouge described the humiliation she suffered leaving her family home forever without owning anything, without even wearing clothes. shoes. His feet were bare and torn, his father, forever gone.

      It is therefore in the will, the rupture, the intention and the cost for the other that evil resides. 

      Take the case of Ghandi. He lived at the same time as Hitler. By what means did he try to help the people of India rise? Ghandi did not seek to destroy the British in order to pay them back. He sought to awaken an alternative force more powerful than their disdain and indifference for the humble masses of India. And to appeal to their higher good, so that all can benefit and the struggle can help humanity evolve spiritually.   

      The goal is to appeal to a higher good of man and thus create social systems that promote our ability to cooperate and the spiritual evolution of man. Disagreements therefore become opportunities to achieve higher order integration.

      It is clear that right and wrong relate to the cost involved for an identified other. Good deeds, like Hitler's wish to rescue the German people from a sense of shame and inferiority, cannot be outweighed by the destruction and devastation of millions of other human beings.  

      Because one day these surviving victims, who have been demoralized so that others can replace them, will tend to rise above the bowls of inhumanity themselves, and if their methods are not better , the chain of pain will continue. It will be transmitted in the human community or in the human family, for generations to come.

      Malcolm So, as a middle-class person from the Midwest, able to accomplish what I worked hard for, I had to step out of my bounds to learn from people like Malcolm immigrants, rested on the backs of the African Americans, Indians, Mexicans and Chinese who worked here. Without special effort, the minds of individual citizens, the social mentality, the mass mind will naturally follow, to adapt to the predominant prejudicial system. This is what Malcolm X meant when he said that a chicken cannot produce a duck egg.  

      Once an identified person is targeted and labeled the enemy, scapegoating sets up a kind of reptilian vibration, a pattern that persists long after the event. Once the good and the righteous are those who elevate Americans at the expense of much of the third world, Irish Protestants at the expense of Irish Catholics, terrorists at the expense of innocent citizens, fundamentalist Muslims at the expense of Christians who elevate the Germans at the expense of the gypsies, Jews and Catholics,  

      Then, the individual who works within this system, like the man who pioneered the mobile gas chamber, to reduce the costs of cattle cars and the attention they received, we can only imagining his mother playing bridge with her friends, "Oh, my Heimele, I'm so proud of him, he was always so creative, he was the pioneer of the mobile gas chamber". Sadam Hussein, whom the United States had originally installed, surpassed this German pioneer by gassing the Kurds outside, on their own territory.

       Once systems tolerating cruelty to others exist, they also penetrate all subsystems, like our scientific systems, even here in America, not into an Axis of Evil, but rather into something resembling an hologram of evil.  

      Selective scientific work - in the name of good, just because it is science, without understanding the abuse of science. Beginning in 1932, the federal government used the Macon, Alabama, area as a "natural laboratory" to study the effects of syphilis on poor black men. When funding for a control group ran out at the time, researchers did everything they could to prevent human subjects from learning of their condition and receiving penicillin, even though it was a treatment. known.   

      It was not until 1972, forty years later, that work was halted, when a man named Buxton denounced the project, claiming that the men were human guinea pigs. It was not until 1997 and the Oval Office of Bill Clinton, who had a conscience in this matter, that the American government apologized.     

      What was wrong with this work called science? The cost to his subjects. This is an evil science, part of the vicious racial system that Malcolm X spoke of. She is part of the hologram of evil.

        We, therapists and healers who are perhaps thrown unwillingly into the scientific camp through medicine, diagnosis and care management, must face a science that denigrates what it calls subjects. In the name of what she calls objectivity, neutrality and data collection.

      So this issue of evil social systems and the hologram of evil that permeates individual decision making and aspirations 

      It is not a question of quickly taking sides in a conflict... If we think of helping in a conflict between East and West Germans, between Serbs and Croats, between Tibetans and Chinese, by belittling one either of the parties in conflict, we are seriously mistaken.  

      We are doing nothing but perpetuating hatred.  

      Taking a stand means taking a stand for certain values, not for the superiority of one people over another. We must reform entire situations, not individuals. Oppose governments and not citizens.

      As in working with couples in conflict. Our ultimate challenge is to find a way to transcend conflicting conflicts, in order to bring out the best in both opposing parties.  

      As Willhelm Reich wrote in his famous book "Listen Little Man", there is a little man inside each of us. 

      In the late 1900s, Stanley Milgram, a Yale psychologist, studied the conflict between obedience to authority and personal conscience. He recruited teachers to administer a shock to a learner for mistakes he was making. The learner was a trained actor, placed behind glass, who felt the pain realistically each time he received a shock, and even more so as the tension increased. Teachers were informed that the study aimed to examine the effect of punishment on incorrect responses. Even the uncomfortable teachers, who learned that it was the researcher who was responsible for the shocks administered, did not stop increasing the voltage administered to the actor/learner, before 300 volts, 60% are voluntarily went up to the maximum, 450.

      Obedience itself can therefore be abused to excite normally good people, like those Stanford professors, their little man. 

      Part of cruelty requires the awakening of a natural state of mind which is then sustained long enough to commit atrocities. As we have already seen, evil is a prolonged state of hatred. It's one thing to say I hate this person or group, but to live in lasting hatred is to enter the heart of darkness.

      I was watching the Weather Underground movie. Initially, my companions had nothing but the purest desire to end a war in which honest Americans were out of control, blindly following military orders, shooting women and children in the head. unarmed in their rice fields in Mi Lai, riddled with bullets the bodies of lying unarmed men so that their bodies do a macabre dance until death ensues.   

      But the Weathermen went too far, and after the war ended, they tried to violently bring the war home. They participated in the bombing of the Army Mathematical Research Center, one of the technological brains of the Vietnam War, at my university in Wisconsin, in which an innocent man was killed.   

      There is also something else to do with timing in good and evil. There is a time to do something, to protest, to speak out against something, and there is a time to stop doing that thing. You have to know when to stop. Defensive actions are good until they're not.   

      It is about each of us being internally integrated and thinking on the level of all humanity.

      Evil systems give rise to and sustain our most destructive individual mental states. Indifference is perhaps the worst culprit. Indifference. Indifference to others. Even to the enemy. We should not rejoice in the suffering of our enemies. We only wish that they would be ashamed of themselves and stop their cruelty.

      The Chilean woman I interviewed who was tortured with rats in her vagina followed by systematic shocks while tied to a sort of electrified wire bed base told me that the worst thing ever happened to her arrival was when the torturer stopped to call his wife and ask her what was for dinner. Until then, she had managed to hold on, to a certain extent, by making sense of her suffering.

      indifference and loneliness

      Eli Weisel, the Holocaust survivor who was my son's college professor and author of numerous books that address the situation from all angles, said that the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. It is indifference that allows hatred to take root. The indifference of the witness group, not the perpetrators. The indifference of each of us when we are apart.

      Indifference to the suffering of others. A prolonged state of indifference is the breeding ground for hatred.  

      Abuse itself is interactional, systemic and hypnotic. And it's often hidden or embedded in other things. It is therefore not enough to take sides. It’s about breaking the spell of the evil interaction. In violent relationships, the abuser hypnotizes the abused. There is nothing more difficult than leaving an abusive relationship. It is important to understand this.

      A classic Cannon article on voodoo death explains what I mean about toxic interactions. If the tribe decides to scapegoat or turn against a member, and that member believes in voodoo, simply circle the individual and point at him in the center of the circle so that he dies of sudden cardiac arrest. Sudden death Heart attack! by social consensus. The method, the social isolation, the scapegoat. You, the other one, die!

      So we have to take care of human interaction. The ties that unite. Connective tissue. Often, it is not enough to choose a side. And even less to dwell on it for too long, whether it concerns countries or individuals.

      Just after the fall of the Wall, I was invited to help a group of East and West Germans overcome the ordeal of war.

      of East and West Germans to overcome the hostilities that had developed when one side of the country was communist and the other capitalist. At the end of my workshop, they told me that I had helped them overcome these hostilities. They now knew that they did not hate each other as East or West Germans, but only as Bavarians and Prussians!

      We cannot control the river of old resentments. But if both sides have enough to eat, enough work, adequate education and health care, feelings other than hatred will be invited to come to the fore.   

      Resentments may be in the background, but they don't need to be awakened.  

      Mel Gibson's film, entitled The Passion, has recently sparked strong polarization.

      On the one hand, we have people who love the film and who have said: "After seeing this film, I don't understand how anyone can even remotely imply that the Jews killed Jesus. This is not the case. He made me realize that my sins killed Jesus." And he advises us to remember that the Gospel stories to which the passion is faithful were written by Jewish men who followed a Jewish rabbi. And that Mel Gibson gives a gift of love. That apparently he didn't appear in his own movie, except that it was his hands that nailed Jesus to the cross, to show that it was his own hands and the hands of everyone in the audience that nailed Jesus to the cross.

      Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun agrees that  

      Jesus was a great Jewish teacher whose message was love, kindness, gentleness and compassion. 

       “Rabbi Michael Lerner recognizes that Jesus was a great Jewish teacher whose message was love, kindness, kindness and compassion. 

      He asks why Gibson didn't emphasize the resurrection and its message of hope overcoming despair? 

      Or that the true way you treat God can be measured by the care you show for the poor? Or that the truly blessed are the peacemakers?

      He suggests that 

      "the choice of subject matter for this film was a highly political choice - and that's why it became so popular with right-wing Christians who twisted the message of Christianity into a defense of their willingness to support budget cuts for the needy, to spend hundreds of billions on a bloated army, to support the economic and military expansion of the United States in the rest of the world.

      Two worldviews clash: one claims that the world is inherently scary, full of hurtful people, and that our primary task is to defend ourselves from others by being "realistic" and learning to dominate and control them before they do the same to us. 

      The other view holds that the world is made up of human beings who have been created in the image of God and who long for loving relationships, gentleness and kindness - and that, therefore, the way to achieve security is to build cooperative relationships. The first worldview leads to conservative politics and a justification of militarism and narrow self-interest. This is the policy of George Bush and Mel Gibson.  

      This is why this film draws our attention to violence and cruelty. 

      The second worldview leads to a policy of sharing our resources with the world's poor, paying tithes of what we have and breaking our swords into plowshares. This is the policy of Jesus, of Martin Luther King and of the great teachers of all religious and spiritual traditions.”

      Regardless of which view one takes, our country is deeply polarized today, and the film only intensifies the divisions. For my part, I perhaps identify more with the idea that we should focus on love and not violence,   

      How can I make peace with people like Gibson, who, to me, focus on the pornography of violence, when I need to focus on love?  

      All I know is what Rebbe Nachman of Breslov wrote:

      “The highest peace is peace between opposites.




      Ghandi says that when all violence dies from the human heart, only love remains.

      Tich Naht Han says that a teaspoon of salt placed in a glass of water will make that water unsafe to drink. But this same teaspoon, thrown into the river, if the latter is clean, the river water will always be drinkable. So, he says, when we are faced with evil, with the teaspoon of salt, it is up to us to become bigger and become the river. We have no choice but to do it. WE MUST BECOME THE RIVER.

      To bring evil back to its proper dimension, it is important to understand that evil seems greater than it is. In reality, it takes very few people to do evil.   

      In the 1980s, I had the privilege of hosting speakers who had managed to leave apartheid South Africa to tell the world what had been done to them in the name of maintaining white domination there. country. I was part of a team of supporters of a black South African Lutheran pastor, Tschenuani Farisani, who had been mentally and physically raped by government-trained breakers for many years, but was eventually released. I was trying to get Rolando Cartagena, the prisoner I wrote about in Hope Under Siege, out of Pinochet's prison for human rights.   

      One day I said to him: "Tschenu, who brought you out? I'm racking my brains. I wrote to the Pope, to Amnesty International, to the Red Cross, to all the senators and members of Congress to whom I can think. Who brought you out? The French government, the Germans? A united church organization? Rabbis for peace? Psychologists for social responsibility? Doctors Without Borders? Who? He smiled, clasping his large hands. "EVERYONE.  

      It takes everyone to save a man's life, to do something good. It takes one man to make another person's life hell on earth. But what Tshcenu taught me, and what people of faith teach me, is that there is more good than bad in the world.  

      Another understanding that helps us put evil in its place in the background is to realize how long it takes to make a baby, to build a wonderful building, and that evil seems very great, passes itself off. for something huge, but only because it works quickly. It destroyed millions of people in minutes in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, it destroyed the Twin Towers in minutes.   

      But much more is human effort to create, procreate, build and maintain. 

      Charlie Garfield, who flew on the Apollo flight, told my ex-husband that the spacecraft was only on course 3% of the time, which is not without error. There is room for error and should not deviate us from our trajectory.

      But the media tells us about all the ways we veer off course. My friend's daughter came home one Saturday night to tell us the news she had heard in the car about a sniper, bombings, and domestic violence. What if they were mistakes, but we were basically still on the right track? Why not hear as news that two people fell in love, that someone did someone else a good service. That a glorious peace is maintained in the majority of countries which are not at war?

       Today I like to remember Martin Luther King. He continued Gandhi's work. He gives us some advice on how to begin to emerge from the darkness within the darkness, the path to all mystery. It says: “Healing society, the beloved community.”

       “It is not about defeating or humiliating, but about arousing a feeling of moral shame in the adversary and thus creating the “beloved community”.

      It also draws a distinction between the desire to defeat "evil forces" and "people who are victims of evil." Finally, he affirms that the underlying principle of nonviolent resistance is "agape", that is to say "an overflowing love that seeks nothing in return"

      “When we love on the agape level, we love men not because we love them, not because we like their attitudes and manners, but because God loves them. (Carson, King Biographies III, 1996 Internet biog.)

      There is no formula for how to walk the path of agape. Every situation is unique. We can't say "turn the other cheek" on every occasion, otherwise we will all be cheekless. But it's best to look for the answer that will do the most good in the moment, while keeping an eye on the future.

       "We are living in revolutionary times. All over the world, people are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and from the depths of a fragile world new systems of justice and equality are being born... Every nation must now develop a primal loyalty to humanity as a whole. When I speak of love, I do not speak of a weak sentimental response....but of that force which all great religions have considered as the principle supreme unifier of life.    

      MLK April 4, 1967, Riverside Church during the Vietnam War appropriated during this new American war against Iraq.

      It’s about committing to humanity.

      What is agape? What is love, really? It's in the details. During the Vietnam War, I made a blue velvet quilt. I wrapped my babies in it many years later. When I was working to help Rolando get out of prison, his family and I were trying to give him something like a microcosm of a world of love outside of his macrocosm of hatred. On the inside of a shirt, when he was allowed one, we embroidered a small symbol, a star, or a love letter, a heart or a flower, anything that defied the context. Just as hands and feet are overrepresented in the brain, we can make the small symbol the world and the context a passing madness. A small message on tissue paper, the writing of which is so tiny that you need a magnifying glass to read it, hidden under the eyelids, in the vaginas. In a special place inside a shoe. Anything that can be penetrated by any means that gives hope. I finally managed to give him that blanket, to literally wrap him in family love and resistance to war. Eighteen years later, Rolando has just written to me about this cover from Sweden, where he lives in freedom with his wife and son. He told me what he thought about it. He told me what she meant to him.

      I would like to add that I am not as big on forgiveness as some of my colleagues. If we forgive, that’s good. But for me, some things are worth never forgiving. To forgive is to let go of resentment.   

      . I don't think I can ask my Cambodian client to forgive the Khmer Rouge for kidnapping her father and marching him to Thailand, losing a third of her family along the way. I don't think I can ask a Palestinian mother whose son was killed in this conflict to forgive an Israeli soldier. Can't I ask the mother whose son accompanied my son to his Israel peace program and who was blown up at the Hebrew University to forgive the bomber? I can't do this.

       As Erickson once advised me about my childhood family, I instead offer what I would call “getting.” That's to say. Put it aside for now. Not to deny that it took place. Forget it. Don't worry about it for now.    

      You killed my son. I killed yours. This is unforgivable. I never want to allow this to happen again. But if you lay down your arms and I lay down mine, life goes on for our other children and other people's children. What I mean by that is that you have to draw a line in your heart, in the name of the mind and the soul, that says stop. But also say, and NOW.....

      This is what my son does. He works full time for this vision, this photograph of Israeli and Palestinian boys in kefia and yarmelcha, walking with their arms around each other's shoulders, to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians, who are, after all, cousins.

      At a conference in Richmond, Mr. Kusinich declared that "poverty is a weapon of mass destruction." Poverty is the root of all evil. My daughter is studying public health.   

      It's health disparities, she tells me, that are now clearly identified as the cause of our epidemic social problems in one of the richest countries on the planet: depression and obesity. We must eliminate poverty. So that everyone feels that they are important.   

      At the hospital, my ex-husband says the doctor isn't the only one who is important. Healing begins at the information desk. The nurses. People who take your blood. The x-ray technician, the maintenance staff. It is a community that heals us. Each person who makes it up is important to this process. Braulio Montalvo used to say that Skinner's research could be understood by observing the loving hands of the woman who took the birds in and out of their cages. True behavioral results can only be interpreted with love.

      A principle for the revolutionary who said, "at the risk of appearing ridiculous", that he "was guided by feelings of love", wrote Che Guevara: A human life is worth all the wealth of the richest man in the world ". 

       “When there is no truth in the world, anyone who wants to turn away from evil has no choice but to play the fool,” said Rabbi Nachman. “So why don’t we dare to do the fool ?

      Scott Peck, in his introduction to the book The People of the Lie. reminds us of Saint Augustine's advice to hate sin but love the sinner.  

      Saint Augustine, The City of God, ed. Bourke Image Books, 1958 ed.), p. 304

      (The people of lies: the hope of curing human evil, 1983).

      Likewise, as Buckminster Fuller said: “Reform the environment, not men.” 

      To heal means to make whole.

      Make holy.

      The task before us is nothing less than HUMANITY for the ENTIRE human community. 

      We have been given life and death, light and darkness, good and evil: Choose life.

      As I conclude, I turn to Etty Hilesum, who wrote during the Holocaust: July 3, 1942-

      “Very well, this new certainty that what they seek is our total destruction, I accept it.

      I know this now and I will not burden others with my fears. 

      I will not be bitter if others fail to understand what is happening to us Jews. 

      I work and I continue to live with the same conviction and I find that life has meaning, yes, meaning." -

      "I rest in myself. And this part of myself, this deepest and richest part in which I rest, is what I call 'God'."

      My own upbringing, both good and bad, taught me to believe in miracles.  

      Never let the impossible stand in your way. 

      Your path will widen. 

      The waters part. Wait for the opening.   

       See the light when it comes. 

      You can cross the sea of ​​​​suffering  

      to the land of milk and honey.

      Borrowing again from Michael Lerner, I suggest that we visualize ourselves, you there, me here, together, in this essay, and around us, people living their lives in Berkeley,

       and the rest of California, or whatever state you are in, 

      and we see ourselves located along the Pacific coast of the North American continent, 

      and we can see our continent among all others, with the war in Iraq, 

      torn and dusty exiles returning to Bamyan and Kandahar, 

      and children with bellies swollen from hunger, all over the world, 

      there are organic farmers who plant for the fertile season

      and new babies are born, 

      there are people sipping wine looking at the azure blue of the Caribbean Sea,

      people dancing salsa and making love,

      watch sitcoms and do laundry, 

      and pet their cats and dogs, and we see that we are all here on planet Earth together at the same time.  

      And no matter how old we are in a hundred years, everyone on the scene will be gone, 

      and we will be replaced by other people.  

      So this is our time on earth, this is our time to tip the boat going down the river toward good.  

      It is time for us to break the cycles of pain and cruelty where they confront us, it is the best we can do.  

      Sometimes it will just be an inner act of faith in a humanity of which we do not see evidence around us. 

      We must then rely on ourselves. 

      Other times we can peacefully overthrow a government that brutalizes the rest of the world.  

      But it's our precious time 

      to breathe what is useful, 

      exhale what is not useful 

      and become all that we are capable of being, 

      to dare to be the madman who tackles the impossible, 

      and begin to have faith, 

      that the Garden of Eden was given to us.  

      That there is a vine and a fig tree for everyone.

      And that all we have to do is choose life.


      • Ellison, Ralph. The shadow and the act. New York: Signet, 1966.

      • Erikson, Erik. The challenge of youth. Garden City, New York: Anchor Books, 1965.

      • Erikson, Erik. Childhood and society. New York: Norton, 1964.

      • Erikson, Erik. The young man Luther. New York: Norton, 1958.

      • Erikson, Erik. Youth Identity & Crisis New York: Norton, 1968.

      • Hawthorne Nathaniel. The Complete Novels and Selected Tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne New York: Modern Library, 1937.

      • Kozol, Jonathan Death An Early Age. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1967.

      • X, Malcolm. The Autobiography of Malcolm X. New York: Grove Press, Inc, 1966.

      Is there online hypnosis training?

      LACT offers master's training in hypnosis :

      This training in hypnosis allows you to master the instruments and methods of Ericksonian hypnosis through an interactional and systemic approach, to learn how to establish a therapeutic relationship that is both direct and secure, to guide the individuals to access their own resources, use language rich in sensations, place people at the heart of their experiences in the moment, develop a meaningful goal for the patient in a narrative context.

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      A team of more than
      50 trainers in France
      and abroad

      of our students satisfied with
      their training year at LACT *

      International partnerships

      The quality certification was issued under
      the following category of actions: Training action

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