Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Alice Miller died a couple of weeks ago in her 80's. As a psychoanalyst and then as a writer she is best known for her fierce championing of the rights of children and her brilliant books. In her book entitled Breaking Down the Wall of Silence, she looks at the childhood of Hitler, Stalin, and other tyrants and finds there the roots of their later tyranny. To a large extent, the oppression we receive in childhood, is first repressed as a memory and acted out in adult life in the personal and in the social and political realms. Today the actions of Israel in intercepting the convoy for Gaza are in the headlines. All these actions and the decisions around them and all of Israel's policies towards Gaza are done by the children and grandchildren of the Holocaust. It is no wonder, from the perspective of Alice Miller and her lifelong work; that they created in Gaza a giant concentration camp. What we cannot heal; we enact. It is the tragedy of human history. I often feel that the work we do in individual healing is so small compared to the collective trauma, however healing creates a different resonance in the field. I hope the ripples can spread.