Healing Crisis and Trauma with Body, Mind, and Spirit

By Barbara Rubin Wainrib | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 12
Final Thoughts

Throughout this journey of exploration of varieties of traumatic experiences and approaches to healing, we have been quoting some very wise folks. As we attempt to recover the pain and healing of body mind and spirit, it is appropriate that we end with yet more meaningful words of wisdom.

Here is an age-old Sufi story:

Some “people” bought an elephant, which they exhibited in a dark shed.
As seeing it with the eye was impossible, every one felt it with the palm
of his hand. The hand of one fell on the trunk: He said “this animal is like
a water-pipe.” Another touched its ear. To him the creature seemed like a
fan. Another handled its leg and described the elephant as having the
shape of a pillar. Another stroked its back. “Truly,” he said, “this elephant
resembles a throne.”

Had each of them held a lighted candle, there would have been no contradiction in their words. The essence of our work is to light candles for those in the darkness of trauma. At the same time, we must always remember to nourish our own souls

Long ago, Rabbi Kook (1865–1935), chief rabbi of the settlement in Palestine, wrote:

So long as the world moves along accustomed paths, so long as there are
no wild catastrophes, we can find sufficient substance for our lives by
contemplating surface events, theories and movements of society. We can
acquire inner richness from this external kind of “property.” But this is
not the case when life encounters fiery forces of evil and chaos. Then the
“revealed” world begins to totter. Then we who try to sustain ourselves

-159-

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