When I first read The Field, I practically gulped it down like it was a mystery novel that I couldn’t wait to finish. As Lynne McTaggart notes, the new science the book covers “suggests that at our essence, we exist as a unity, a relationship — utterly interdependent, the parts affecting the whole at every moment.”

Yet current psychological wisdom with its marked individualistic view hasn’t caught up with this reality. What would collective psychology based upon field theory look like?

First of all, it would look at the greater family system, not just the individual. Second, it would access the knowing field of the family system, not just the thoughts and beliefs of the individual. Third, it would see beyond the personality level dramas to the field interconnection between family members. Fourth, it would not confine itself to the nuclear family but to ancestors and all those who belong to the family field. Fifth, it would recognize that limiting patterns arise from separation, suffering and trauma, while authentic resolution entails acknowledgement, inclusion, acceptance, and restoring dharma and compassion for all in the system.

Better yet, this is not just a theory. It’s something I’ve been blessed to practice over the last eight years in the process called Family Repatterning (www.familyrepatterning.com) and Family Constellations (FC). Rupert Sheldrake once told me that this was the first therapeutic based on his work. This process of working with the family knowing field was first developed in Europe and South Africa over twenty-five years ago by an 82 year old former priest named Bert Hellinger. Now it’s practiced in every continent of the world, typically in day-long (or weekend) workshop sessions, where participants join to form a virtual tribe.

In our uprooted society, this collective holding is necessary to safely re-open past traumas still lingering in the field, and to bear witness and resolve them. A person manifesting issues acts as the symptom bearer for their family system. In every case I’ve seen, their issue originates with unhealed past hurt, harm, losses, and disconnection, that continue to resonate within the family field where they impact descendents who experience ongoing, life-limiting patterns that recapitulate the original suffering.

With only one person per family in attendance, we work with each person’s family via other workshop participants, who enter the “family field” and “represent” key family members. Through the process, we can locate the hidden ancestral suffering, bring it to light, and enact a resolution beneficial to all family members.

By accessing the family field, amazingly representatives reveal information unknown to the seeker, or carry the feelings or physical sensations of family members not present. In one constellation, for a woman who claimed that men were “not there” for her, the family field revealed that the representative for her grandfather stared away from his family to an unknown woman, perhaps a bygone love of which his prominent family was unaware. His granddaughter denied that woman had ever existed. Then, as we watched, the woman representative reported feeling weak, dropped to a kneeling position, and joined her hands in prayer.

At that, Grandfather’s representative felt impelled to back away crying: “No, no!”

That was the ah-ha moment: the granddaughter suddenly recalled an old family story about a beautiful young maidservant who had for unknown reasons entered a nunnery. Marrying a servant was strictly forbidden in that epoch, but the granddaughter was able to later confirm the unacknowledged love, that had lived on in Grandfather’s heart. It was right there in the family field. Even though neither Grandfather nor his love were still among the living, their painful separation still resonated. Acknowledging their love restored connection to the family field so that in the months following the session, the young woman began to recognize men who were “there for her.”

For me, serving and bearing witness to the family field provides an ever evolving and embodied experience of the scientific and spiritual truths The Field reveals. Plus, when workshop participants sit there in amazement at the genius of the field, I can turn them on to The Field. Thank you, Lynne McTaggart.

Copyright, 2008, Alison Rose Levy. All rights reserved.

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