Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Family Constellations

Family Constellations

A friend invited me to join her to a lecture series by the Metropolitan Detroit A.R.E. (Association of Research and Enlightenment) Community, a non-profit organization which was founded in 1931 by Edgar Cayce. The subject was Family Constellations and the presenters were Vince Anthony Pitre and Robert Auerbach.

These men described how unconscious limits to success often stem initially from the unresolved and many times unspoken traumas, tragedies and transgressions that weave themselves into the energy, “fabric” and conversations of our family.

“We hold many of our histories in our bodies, in our flesh,” said Auerbach. “Family Constellations is a different way to heal resistant, stubborn patterns that might not be ours, or it might be an issue that goes back into past family generation trauma or transgressions that was never healed or resolved. This energy sticks from generation to generation because it’s an unconscious process.”

So they offer workshops to help detox from family pain and/or drama.

“It’s done without making anyone wrong, or putting blame on anyone,” said Pitre. “It’s about seeing where issues came from so we can find a resolution. You don’t heal by chasing light all day. You have to face the dark side as well.”

Through movement and unspoken words, people in the room get psychologically reconfigured. Not only is the person with the problem being healed but so are their family members, even if they are not in the room.

“In this process, new images come up that counters what the person thought of themselves growing up,” said Pitre. “The person leaves behind their old story. This allows their brain to rewire to this new image which they step into and move on with their life.”

Bert Hellinger founded this therapeutic method, which draws on elements of family systems therapy, existential phenomenology and Zulu attitudes to family. Hellinger was a priest whose travels to Africa led him to gain fascination of how the natives honored their ancestors, and the way in which they helped each other heal.

Although I am familiar with similar teachings, being myself an apprentice of Lynn Andrew’s shamanic school, I loved that this type of healing was evidently growing to where you can find them in local cities. For years, I have believed that holistic health is going to be as popular as yoga classes and I see it happening now. Such workshops, teachings and healings are especially beneficial for those who grew up in very old tribal mentalities that limit them from their full potential.

For more information, contact the Center for Healing Arts and Massage http://www.center4thehealingarts.com/index.html

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Wahhabism vs. Islam

Dr. AlSaedi

This morning I read that Saudi Arabia has postponed Friday’s public flogging of activist and blogger Raif Badawi on medical grounds. Badawi, who set up the “Free Saudi Liberals” website, was arrested in June 2012 for offences which also included cybercrime and disobeying his father – a crime in Saudi Arabia. The prosecution had demanded he be tried for apostasy, which carries the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, but a judge dismissed that charge. He was sentenced last year to 10 years in jail, a fine of 1 million riyals ($267,000) and 1,000 lashes after prosecutors challenged an earlier sentence of seven years and 600 lashes as too lenient.

I remembered a talk I had two days ago with my colleague Dr. Kamal Alsaedi, an Iraqi-American. Dr. Alsaedi and a group of activists started protesting against the Saudi Embassy in Washington DC in 2011. This group has been active through lectures and meetings with political officials in trying to bring awareness on the Wahhabi religion movement’s influence on our country and the rest of the world.

“The Wahhabis, not Islam, are responsible for the terrorism acts happening today,” he said. “Wahhabis consider themselves ‘the chosen people’ and so anyone outside of their religion is a sinner and ought to be killed – that includes me, even though I am Muslim.”

Because he is a Shia Muslim, Dr. Alsaedi is viewed as much a sinner as Christians and Jews. Non-Wahhabi Sunnis are also considered sinners, but they are given an opportunity to convert.

“Wahhabis look at all religions, all people as sinners,” he said.

The Wahhabi religious movement is a fundamentalist Islamic order that advocates a strict interpretation of the teachings in the Quran. It was founded in the 16th century in what is now Saudi Arabia as a reaction against the influences of Sufism and the Shia interpretation of Islam. The early Wahhabi leaders believed that Islam had become rife with superstition and what they believed to be deviant practices. These practices included invoking the names of prophets or saints for veneration, practicing magic and sorcery, and changing the accepted methods of worship.

“The religion for terrorists is Wahhabism,” he said, noting that between 1970 and today, there have been 250,000 individual Saudis involved in terrorism acts around the world. Before the Iraq war there were 459 nonprofit organizations inside of Saudi Arabia that collected money for terrorists. Right before the September 11th attack, the United States shut down 250 of them. And the obvious – 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.

The 9/11 Commission Report ultimately went on to explain why so many Saudis were involved in the hijackings to begin with. According to Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, the mastermind of the September 11 plot, as he toured Al Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan in the years leading up to the attacks, he found that the vast majority of the recruits being trained there (by his count 70%) were from Saudi Arabia (p.232). This assessment has been further corroborated by two other prominent Al Qaeda operatives who estimated that a full 80% of Al Qaeda’s members were from Saudi nationals in an interview with the PBS news program Frontline.

“Politics is above humanitarian issues,” he said. “It’s not about consciousness, it’s about money. The Saudis pay ISIS money to take down countries. The other problem is the media. Nothing negative is ever said in the news about Saudis. Never. Why? Because they pay the American news channels $12 billion a year.”

Dr. Alsaedi has started a petition urging that Saudi Arabia be listed as a country that represents, supports and sponsors terrorism. To learn more, visit: https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/UN_united_nations_we_want_Saudi_arabia_to_be_listed_as_a_terrorist_country/?copy