I haven't read Prof. Bernstein's masterpiece but it brings to mind the same 'philosophy' which undergirds the wilderness therapy movement. The likes of R Rohr, Dr. B Lane, Dr. D Woods and others have spoken of persons who have undergone their own "painful transformations" through rites of passage (and adversity). These are the same souls who "wild animals can finally relate to" again! Some men have come out from their MROP experiences with wild stories of having been greeted by desert lizards, coyotes, ravens, etc. and them realizing, maybe for the first time in their lives, that they're part of a greater consciousness and the Cosmos!
I'm also reminded of one of my favorite poets, Michael Leunig, who once penned this poem about the sacredness of the "wounds & the gifting" in our lives:
When the heart is cut or cracked or broken,
Do not clutch it,
Let the wound lie open.
Let the wind
From the good old sea blow in
To bathe the wound with salt,
And let it sting.
Let a stray dog lick it.
Let a bird lean in the hole and sing
A simple song like a tiny bell,
And let it ring.
~ Michael Leunig
I have been thinking a lot about this poem lately
about how we relate to suffering
I was working as a counsellor in a small Maori community
Among other things all I did was treat 'emotional' wounds
and try to help them to find optimal conditions for their transformation of healing...
the pain in the soul...
how to heal it?
perhaps it is our tendency to deny the 'wound' that makes it necessary
to expose it in order to heal
that it isn’t the healing in it self that is painful , but that we cover up
hide and try to pretend we are okay when we're not.
So then it is the trust to open and let the wound be seen for what it is
that is painful ...the process of coming out in open air…
Feeling the real pain (and the concomitant joy) of being a ‘borderlander’, possibly? Alan
This is my first visit to this group. I want to read the Bernstein book, and I'm also somewhat afraid to. I've had the same type of experiences as Vonda mentions. It is so very painful! I do donate to groups for humane farming, but I can no longer read the material or see the pictures. I remember driving through SF's Chinatown about 20 yrs ago, and being stuck behind a refrigerated truck unloading dozens and dozens of butchered young pigs hanging from hooks at the top of the truck. I was stuck there for about 20 min. All i could do was cry and pray.
Alan thanks for your post and Michael Leunig's poem!