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  OLIVE LEAF:

A WEBSITE FOR HEALING OF

SOUL, MIND, BODY TRAUMA
 
 

iktor Frankl, in several books written both before and after Auschwitz, discussed the importance of meaning, rather than of sex and power, as essential for the health of the body, the mind, the soul. A group of us, some members, priests, some, monastics or formerly so, some, lawyers, some in psychiatry, but most of us victims in some way or other to trauma which have caused loss of meaning, have collectively been studying the evidence. The results: with sudden, meaningless natural disaster, or with war trauma, or with sexual abuse, especially in incest or by clergy or religious, or with birth trauma, or with abortion, or with language loss, as with 'English Only', or with political torture, there can be an effect on individuals' souls, ranging from numbing to depression to alcohol and substance abuse, to bipolarity, to multiple personality disorder, to self-harming, to suicide. The evidence is that such trauma, seemingly unjustifiable punishment to innocent persons, can effect neurophysiological changes to the chemistry of the brain and the human personality. Where the abuse is an isolated instance it may be more easily treated and healed, especially if help comes soon after the event. Where the abuse has been repeated and the condition ignored, or covered over by denial, the prognosis is less favourable. It can be deliberately induced in order to control allegiance to evil.

igmund Freud had thought the greatest drive was for sex, Alfred Adler for power, while Viktor Frankl spoke movingly of the need for meaning for true happiness. Anna Freud noted that children involved in war-bombing needed to tell of their trauma for healing to take place. Sigmund Freud initially found most cases of mental illness were caused by childhood trauma and sexual abuse within his patients' families, then turned away from his own discoveries, represssing them. Gradually psychiatry has returned to Freud's initial findings, though not to his perception as to what consists man's most important drive. It is God, the search for God, the love of God, which most heals. As Alcoholics Anonymous has found. Even if God may only be termed one's 'Higher Power'. But for many that royal road has been destroyed with terrible land mines, injuring innocents, maiming and killing bodies, minds and souls. Religion itself is infected with trauma-inducing practices for evil. It has been deliberately made meaningless. One loses God where one considers oneself superior to others, one causes the loss of God to others where they are despised, why Pharisees so angered Christ. God despises nothing he has made. To love one's neighbour as oneself is to find God. Julian's 'even-Christian', even beyond that boundary, include the Samaritan, the woman, the leper, the Gypsy, the child, the Syro-Phoenician, the cripple, the famine victim, the broken as well as the whole, the marginalized at the centre.

ur particular group, dealing with trauma within churches by clergy, found that we could in turn help others in similar situations at the onset, victims of bomb trauma and other disasters, where victims are innocent and the deaths and injuries meaningless punishment. We have sent blessed olive leaves to Nairobi, Kenya, to Omagh, Ireland, to Göteborg, Sweden, Melbourne, Australia. Many individuals worldwide now possess these fragile small blessed olive leaves from Montebeni and Settignano in Italy. They became bookmarks in Bibles in Kenya. They work between warring nations, within warring nations, between warring families, within warring families. We have particularly turned to theology for this healing, as ourselves wounded healers. In the life and teachings of Christ, who lived and died, traumatically, under oppression and injustice, we see a mirror held up to our own time. Our perspective is both Christian and ecumenical, based on the Sacraments, the Gospel, upon simplicity and charity, the love of God and neighbour, recognizing no boundaries, God despising nothing that is created. Even the chrism of the Messiah is made from the fruit of these trees, with which we too are 'Christened'. We see in our work that we are dealing with the seeds of war, racism, terrorism, rape, abortion, madness and much else, and that with greater understanding of such trauma and its effects it could become possible to help heal individuals and nations. Olive leaves come literally from those at Gethsemani in Israel and these around Montebeni and Settignano in Italy. They reflect Ezechiel 47.13 and Revelation 22.2 of the heavenly Jerusalem's leaves for the healing of the nations.

his website is yours! It is open to victims of such trauma and to those seeking ways to end such meaninglessness. Its methods are drawn from the healing by each other of Alcoholics Anonymous. It draws as well upon the observations of Anna Freud and Leslie Marmon Silko, of the therapy of the telling of tales. Writers, Julian of Norwich, Charlotte Bronte and her sisters, Emily and Anne, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Nathanael Hawthorne, Fyodor Dosteivsky, Virginia Woolf, and Alice Walker, orchestrated their own great abuse and its 'Logotherapy' healing with that of their readers. In the Sacrament of Baptism all are equal. Where one group, whether because of gender, handicap, class, language, education, race or nation, is held to be less than another, trauma is inflicted. Christianity is based on the outsider, Peter speaking the despised Galilean dialect, Mary Magdalen as the fallen woman, Jairus' twelve-year-old daughter, the woman in the Synagogue, 'daughter-of-Abraham', stooped with osteoporosis, unable to climb the stairs to the woman's galley, the woman with the issue of blood touching Christ's prayer shawl fringe, the Syro-Phoenician woman speaking of crumbs for puppies under the table, the Samaritans (the woman at the well, the man on the road), the leper, and the thief on the cross. Christianity's God includes and heals all in the One Body of Christ, Son of Adam, Ben-Adam, our brother, who says we in doing the will of the Father are his brothers, sisters and mother. But churchmen and women may err in practicing exclusiveness, being Cain rather than Abel, in so doing destroying religious faith for others and themselves. We seek to heal Cain into the resurrection of Abel. We invite submissions of essays, stories, and reviews. We can send blessed oliveleaves to all those in need of them. They are especially beneficial to their recipients if given in turn to their abusers - for their healing. And to abusers, dead or alive, - for this illness can last beyond a lifetime. Sometimes we may need to heap graves with blessed olive leaves. Friedrich Nietzsche, in Thus Spoke Zarathustra, wrote: 'For that man be delivered from revenge, that is for me the bridge to the highest hopes and a rainbow after long storms'. Likewise the healing stories submitted to this website are never vengeful, victims being literally truthful, but with healing coming to retell their trauma as poetry: 'Pearls are like poets' tales, disease turned into loveliness', Isak Dinesen wrote. I believe this is what Julian of Norwich did in her Showing of Love.
 
    

CLICK ON THE ESSAY TITLES BELOW TO READ THEIR CONTENTS:
 

Naomi Klein, The Shock Doctrine: http://books.guardian.co.uk/video/2007/sep/07/naomiklein
UMILTA WEBSITE || OLIVELEAF WEBSITE || JULIAN OF NORWICH, TEXT AND CONTEXTS || BIRGITTA OF SWEDEN, REVELATIONES, WEBSITE || CATALOGUE AND PORTFOLIO (HANDCRAFTS, BOOKS ) || BOOK REVIEWS || BIBLIOGRAPHY || FLORIN WEBSITE ©1997-2010  JULIA BOLTON HOLLOWAY
OLIVELEAF PORTAL



Blessed Olive Branch, Kenyan olive-
wood bowl, William Morris Print