Bird Photo by Alex Iby


Aedgar’s words are written like this.

Ruth and Nerida’s words are written like this.

R: There’s been discussion at this meeting about the collective trauma and I’d like to know if you can help heal—

The collective trauma?

R: [Becoming tearful] Having been born to two people who survived the camps, having come very directly from that, in me. And if it’s related to that, can also have your help in healing, the deep, persistent lower back pain?


Well, my dear. You know, you talk about big trauma. We call it ‘learning experiences’. [Background noise] We call them quick learning experiences, which means humans learn very quickly, very fast, through what you call bad experience.

You understand?


So, you come here. You choose what you’re going to learn.

And you can choose if you wanna learn it quickly. Or you take more time and make it a bit more pleasant. You understand?


It’s about volunteering to learn something quickly, even in a collective way.

If you see it from a distance, talking about the camps, it looks different from a very great distance, as we look at it.

Stone walls at Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo by  Martin Espinoza .

Stone walls at Machu Picchu, Peru. Photo by Martin Espinoza.

You want to learn about suffering. You wanna learn about happiness. You want to learn about pain. You want these experiences. You wanna take more time or less.

There are a lot of people that go and try to learn things in very quick succession. They call it collective trauma here.

It’s about an experience that’s chosen. It does not feel like it—if you’re watching it from the same level. We have all been here before.

We all have gone through—depending how many lifetimes you’ve had—you have been killed, you have murdered, you have done it all, even you. It’s the experience.

We’ve all been there.

You understand?

R: I do—

It’s a big picture of it.

You are carrying too much, the weight of the trauma.

The weight comes from the way you look at things.

If you experience things on this level, it’s too heavy for you to carry. It’s too much. That’s how it goes onto your back. You probably have shoulder pain a lot of the time, too.

Do you understand?

R: I didn’t understand the last bit—

Nerida: He said, ‘You probably have shoulder pain a lot, too’.

R: No.

It’s the weight, it’s too much for you.

R: I have shoulder dys-- but I don’t have pain.

Well, it goes down. It’s still onto you. You still try to carry it.

Try to get it off you. Try to see things from a different perspective. Do you understand, my dear?

R: I do.

N: May I ask a question, Ruth?

[To Aedgar] When I carried the trauma of my people, I felt that if I didn’t carry that trauma all the knowledge would be lost and that other people wouldn’t understand the suffering that had happened. Does it help for us to carry the knowledge of —

No. It does not help. Because it has happened already. You try to carry it on and on and on. This is not how it works.

Women in Bali carrying bricks on their heads. Photo courtesy  Artem Bali .

Women in Bali carrying bricks on their heads. Photo courtesy Artem Bali.

It was a learning experience for them, for all of them.

If you are carrying the history with you, the history of trauma and pain, how can it ever go away? You try to carry it on with you, you pass it on to your children and they carry it on in a different way. They have not chosen to do so.

That’s why they suffer. You understand?

R: There is a saying that those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it.


R: And the personal telling of my parents to me and Jews to their children is, ‘You mustn’t forget.’ If you could talk to how it can be taught without being embodied as suffering.

You can have it as a memory somewhere. You don’t forget. But you don’t have to elaborate on it. You don’t have to be carrying it with you and spreading the word about it.

The more you spread it, the more you reach people that are not here to learn these kinds of things. So you get either a reaction like, ‘I don’t care. This is something we are not interested in.’ Or you get people that say, ‘I’ve had enough of it. I’ve heard it so many times. I don’t wanna hear it anymore.’

And that’s the moment when you feel hurt because you think the world has forgotten.

Hurt man. Photo by  Maksym Kaharlytskyi .

Hurt man. Photo by Maksym Kaharlytskyi.

Keeping the trauma with you, carrying it further and further makes it more likely that it will repeat itself.

You understand?

You can keep it in your heart because it was your parents. It was your family.

They had chosen to learn these things, to have these experiences, with many others. This does not mean we say it was good thing or it was all right because they’ve chosen to do so. We just see it from a very different level. We have much more distance than you have.

They are back already, having different experiences. They have been there. They don’t carry it with them in this lifetime.

Do you understand?

R: Yes.

It’s a very complex system. Because you see it, mostly, from one level. You only have your three dimensions. We have a lot more.

‘They are back already, having different experiences.’ Photo by  3dman_eu.

‘They are back already, having different experiences.’ Photo by 3dman_eu.

R: Any enlightenment on the pain in my back would be a gift.

One aspect is the trauma, the weight of it, which bears down on your back.

The other is some, you could call it, mechanical issue. You have some roots of your nerves compressed. Not the spinal cord, the ones that go off to the sides. You understand?

R: Yes.

You can try and do some exercise to relieve the weight of it. Try to have exercise in the water with very soft movements. Don’t try to stretch too far. Just keep it moving, slowly. Try to get into a rhythm when you walk, to feel it’s moving smoothly. Don’t make quick movements, sudden movements to the side.

R: Thank you.

You’re welcome, my dear.