What is a Social Healer?
Social Healing is an evolving paradigm that seeks to transcend dysfunctional polarities that hold repetitive wounding in place. It views human transgressions not as a battle between the dualities of right and wrong or good and bad, but as an issue of wounding and healing. Thus a key question driving the work of social healing is how do individuals, groups and nations heal from past and present wounds?
There is a need to move out of ancient punitive ideologies, theologies and crude use of punitive strategies for political manipulation and control. From neuroscience, integral medicine, social psychology, to peacemaking and social development perspectives we need new worldview frameworks which propagate ideas and practices linking healing and justice. At the core, are very complex notions around good versus evil which can end up in abstractions. Emerging worldviews tend to have inclusion, tolerance, and forgiveness as key markers. Some have looked at the dynamic tension between truth, justice, peace and mercy as cornerstone principles in a worldview where societal healing is central.
When our narratives begin to crumble, our very sense of self is shaken. Yet seeing the falseness of what we have always been told to be true can lead to the acknowledgment of a much broader reality, which may incorporate the truths of others.
James O’Dea is on the extended faculty and is immediate past President of the Institute of Noetic Sciences and a former faculty member of the Omega Institute. He is co-director of The Social Healing Project. He is an adviser to The World Peace Festival (www.worldpeacefestival.org ) and is former Executive Director of the Seva Foundation and a former Director of the Washington, DC office of Amnesty International. He is also a member of the Evolutionary Leaders group spearheaded by Deepak Chopra.
“Harmonic Humanity is the soul of conscious activism and societal healing. The future belongs to this kind of loving and inspired collaboration.”
This theme relates to another core issue in social healing work —the objectification of others and reductionist attitudes that stereotype people into limited categories. When people are facilitated to engage in deeper dialogue they begin to heal as they move beyond objectifying labels. Some people refer to this as experiencing inter-subjective truth. For those who have objectified others or been objectified themselves, experiencing another’s truth, or, having the experience of being seen for the first time, is profoundly healing. Movement of this kind inevitably shifts worldviews
The social healing paradigm utilizes the framework of wounding and healing instead of good versus bad. Violent conflicts, genocide, human rights abuses, and oppression create deep wounds that manifest directly as individual and collective trauma. Unhealed trauma can permeate memory and get passed down for generations, getting woven into personal and cultural narratives and creating a distorted relationship to current circumstances, which become viewed and experienced through the lens of past traumas. Finally, it all too often results in revenge, creating new victims and new cycles of revenge. Thus, the question of how wounds heal is central to the work of social healing.
The scale of wounding becomes an evolutionary road-sign that compels us to change or die. Many argue that it is not just change but transformation which arises when suffering pushes us over the edge of the known and forces us to move beyond the limitations of our conditioned realities.
Below is video of James O’Dea speaking about Social Healing and Love building. If you are an inspiring world-changer, take time to watch this video, it is nothing short of genius.
Buy his latest Book, “Cultivating Peace”, it will inform your heart and inspire your soul.
“This brilliant manifesto weaves science, spirituality, and social healing into a practical peace roadmap for us all.”
— Deepak Chopra, author of Peace Is the Way
“A wise and unprecedented guide to the social healing that our world urgently needs now.”
— Lynne Twist, author of The Soul of Money and co-founder of the Pachamama Alliance
“At once both tough and tender, this masterpiece is the finest map I know to the transformation of self and civilization.
If you read only one book this year, this is it!”
— Jean Houston, founder of the field of Social Artistry
If your up for reading a Powerful Document that is free, read this PDF, entitled, “The Social Healing Project” by: Judith Thompson and James O’Dea
This document is a window into the philosophy that is Social Healing. If you are a person that identifies with this subject do not hesitate to read this. We’d love to hear your commits.