Ingrid has kindly offered me an opportunity to post on her blog. I accept, in my role as an “old physicist” and current naturopath, energy worker and EFT therapist (11 years experience with clients in Tracy, MN). I share Ingrid’s passionate interest in attempting to help returning vets, perhaps because I have never served in the military.
If you’ve been reading Ingrid’s blogs, you know that there is concern about what appears to be a high incidence of Post Traumatic Syndrome Disorder (PTSD) among returning military. Knowing how bloody and traumatic war has been for eons, this is likely nothing new, although the labels change from war to war. Those of us who work with trauma patients (rape & accident victims, military, others) like to think that by using EFT (Emotional Freedom Techniques) or a variant thereof, we can fairly quickly reduce the emotional intensity of the trauma memories, and in my experience EFT works pretty well. I have found “unconditional forgiveness” to be among the most powerful tools, aided by EFT in the processing. But it is indeed a learning experience. In perusing Ingrid’s downloadable free e-book on treating vets with EFT, I found a most interesting section, dealing with the soul. I’d like to quote a paragraph from her important book:
PTSD and the soul
“The veterans and family members I have worked with feel that PTSD is not a mental illness but rather a symptom of the soul. They describe losing their soul, something breaking inside, or a disconnect from the world and from their own true selves. The soul seems to be gone, broken away at the moment of terror, when survival of the self was a moment’s decision that often caused harm and pain to others. After this break happened, things were never the same again.
It is easy to talk to warriors about their soul, asking, “When was the last time you felt connected? What happened before you felt your soul was leaving?” All the severely traumatized warriors I have worked with had a surprisingly clear answer to that question, and it is usually one of the core issues we will work with. They know that something is missing in them that they can’t access anymore. They don’t know how to get back to who they were, and they feel lost and hopeless….” (From Ingrid Dinter, An Introduction to Releasing War Trauma with EFT4Vets, p. 8; available at www.EFT4vets.com)
Does this really make sense? Can an individual really “lose his soul” and still be walking around? In my mind it’s consistent with many of the anecdotal stories we read, about patients leaving their bodies and floating above the operating table during surgery, about automobile passengers leaving their bodies just as a terrible collision happens. Author Doug Boyd shares a story about Rolling Thunder, a Native American shaman, handled such a case:
“…. As an example (Rolling Thunder) then described to me an episode in which he went in to the hospital to assist a young lady–a friend of friends–who had been in a head-on collision and was a long time in a coma. “I agreed to go in there,” he said, “not knowin’ what I was gonna, have to do, not understanding completely what was wrong with her. We went in during visiting hours, and I told one of my people to look up the hall and another to watch down the hall, ’cause I didn’t want some nurse or doctor walkin’ in on me. But the moment I took a good look at the body, I could see she wasn’t even there. I had to find her–go get her–and she was way out in the field where the car’d flipped over the cliff, and she was sittin’ on a rock. Her friend who was driving was killed. And this one sittin’ on the rock, she didn’t even know where she was. But, boy, she was determined to stay there. She was totally disoriented. I had to pull her, nearly force her back. Only time we can do that is when we know their own will isn’t working–otherwise we always leave it up to their own choice…” Author Boyd goes on to recount that Rolling Thunder “pulled” the woman back to her comatose body on the hospital bed. She then awoke, at the same time that he opened his eyes… (From Doug Boyd, pp. 77-78, Mystics, Magicians and Medicine People (Paragon House, 1989)
I am struck by the seeming similarities between a soldier who is “blown out of his body” (as by an IED) and the woman of Rolling Thunder’s story and countless others. The woman was indeed comatose in the usual medical definition, while the soldier was still mechanically functioning, perhaps in a “walking coma”….
In the world of physics, we physics professors were fond of pointing out to our students how in the late 19th century, it was understood that physicists had discovered just about all there was to discover. Electricity and magnetism worked, gravity was “understood”, the laws of mechanics and thermodynamics were considered reliable and dependable. There were only a few little glitches in Nature that didn’t quite add up. One of these was the phenomena called “black body radiation”– the radiation given off by a perfect radiator. When classical oscillator theory was applied to a collection of little vibrating oscillators of a warm object, it just didn’t work. The equations simply blew up. This quirk eventually led to the unsettling but “true” science of quantum theory, and now we have the gratitude of most of modern electronics for that little glitch that didn’t quite fit. Wouldn’t it be remarkable if, in order to really heal this common affliction of PTSD, psychologists had to actually buy into the concept that man has a soul!
Charles Reinert ND, PhD
Helping To Heal clinic