How can we manage tragic historical developments individually and collectively?
Besides, if every person is a system himself, then everything that concerns him applies to the system he belongs to, read some extracts from what the well-known philosopher Bert Helinger has, among other things, he has lent to the dynamics of systems.
– Gradually it became clear to me that people have a strong tendency to use their power to stay in trouble and to avoid solutions. This has to do with the fact that psychological problems, misery or symptoms give us an internal confirmation that we are allowed to continue to belong to our team.
Pain is the proof that our child’s soul needs, that we are not guilty of our family. It safeguards and protects the right to belong to our family. Every misery, caused by some systemic involvement, is accompanied by the deep satisfaction that our knowledge of belonging is.
Therefore finding solutions to our problems is threatening and unpleasant. It has the deepest fear of losing our capacity to belong, it involves feelings of guilt and betrayal, the feeling that we lose our favor and our loyalty to the group we belong to.
When we look for a solution, we imagine that we are violating the family rules that we have so far obeyed and feel guilty. Solution and happiness seem dangerous, because we believe they will lead us to loneliness. On the other hand, problems and misery give us a sense of belonging. Often, this kind of feeling is more important to people than their happiness.
I can distinguish four different kinds of emotions
Primary feelings, secondary emotions, systemic feelings and meta-feelings. The main difference between primary and secondary emotions is that primary emotions support creative action, while secondary emotions consume energy, which could otherwise support change.
Emotions that produce effective action strengthen people, while all feelings that block effective action or that justify inaction weaken people. I call these emotions, which support creative action, primary emotions.
Primary feelings are simple and do not require sophisticated descriptions. It is intense, without drama, without exaggeration. For this reason, although they are intense, they bring a reassuring and calm feeling. Of course, there are really dramatic situations and then the dramatic feelings fit. For example, the difference between the fear felt by the soldiers on the battlefield and the fear we feel about a bad dream.
The most problems we face are secondary emotions. Their primary function is to convince others that nothing effective can be done, so they need to be dramatic and excessive. When you are under the influence of secondary emotions, you feel weak and those who are present have a need to help. If emotions are quite dramatic, those who intend to help do not see how, in fact, there is nothing that can be done about this situation.
When people are in secondary emotions, they need to avoid looking at reality. Reality is shuffled in their internal images, which are necessary for them to preserve their secondary feelings and to avoid change. When people who persist in their secondary feelings “work” in therapy, they often close their eyes and retreat to their own world.
They answer different questions from those you ask them, but they usually do not understand that they are doing it. It helps to remind them to open their eyes and look at the world. I tell them, “Look here. Look at me. ” If they can open their eyes and actually see, while they are left with the feeling they have, then it is usually a primary feeling. But if they lose the feeling, just open their eyes and look, then you know they are trapped in secondary emotions.
Regret, for example, may be both primary and secondary. Primary sadness is the powerful pain of separation. If we surrender to the pain, allowing him to do his work, regret finally finds his own accomplishment and we are free to make a fresh start.
But often people do not surrender to regret, turning it into secondary sorrow, self-deception, or attempts to distract others. Such secondary regret can last a lifetime, blocking a clean and warm separation, denying the fact of loss. It is a poor substitute for primary sadness.
Primary sadness leads to improvement. We naturally make the corrections that they can and need to do. We put the situation on the right path and we can live with anything that can not be changed.
Secondary emotions transform action into worry. They do not stimulate effective action towards change. People can come up with a good problem for years, as a dog has to be tortured with some bone, but nothing changes. They torture themselves and those around them, but without any creative change. People who, for some reason, need to avoid some positive change, turn their primary guilt into subordinate allegiances such as remorse.
The desire for redress may also be primary or secondary. Primary redress allows for reconciliation and is appropriate when it releases both the injured party and the one who hurt it. Secondary restoration maintains the wound and systemic imbalance, thus preventing the solution. An example is the racial retaliation that has been undertaken by previous generations. Avengers feel the need to avenge injustices that they have not suffered and their actions often target people who have not done anything wrong.
Anger has both primary and secondary forms. Primary anger cleans a relationship and passes without leaving scars. Secondary anger towards someone often follows when we ourselves have done something wrong to that person, who then has the right to be angry with us. By being angry with him, we anticipate the anger of this person. Secondary anger, like secondary guilty feelings, is usually an excuse for not to act.
In relationships, secondary anger is sometimes used to avoid the question of something that someone wants, in “You never notice it when I need something”. Another example is the guy who thought he had gained but eventually did not get it. Instead of going to his boss and negotiating the raise, he goes to his home and becomes furious with his wife and children.
When the pain is primary, people can withstand what they need to bear, and then they begin to gather the pieces of their lives and make a fresh start. When the pain is secondary, another round of pain begins. When someone complains about something, he is usually in a secondary refusal to consent to what is real.
The distinction between what strengthens and weakens is also applicable in many other areas, knowledge and information, for example. One can wonder: Does this knowledge lead to or prevent a solution? Does this information support action or hinder it? What happens empowers people or weakens them? Does it enhance effective action for positive change or undermine it?
I am more interested in creative change and less to help people “externalize their feelings”. Externalizing emotions sometimes helps, but it also often hampers change. […]
My intention is not to change the experiences of others, but to direct their attention to their primary emotions, which are prerequisites for finding their own solutions.
Primary feelings go as far as it is good to go
– The third category of feelings are emotions taken by the system, systemic feelings, when what one feels as their own emotion is in fact the feeling of another person. For most people, it seems strange to think that what they feel is not their own emotion, but the feeling of someone else.
However, although it seems strange, it often occurs in representations and is usually very easily identifiable. Once you locate it, you begin to recognize it in other situations. Whenever you experience some emotion that belongs to someone else, then you are stuck in something you have not done yourself. That is why your efforts to change it usually fail.
– There is also a fourth category of feelings, which I call meta-feelings. These feelings have a completely different quality. They are emotions or senses without passion. It is a pure, concentrated energy.
Courage, wisdom and deep satisfaction are examples of post-emotions. There is also post-love and post-aggression. An example of post-aggression could be what a surgeon feels when he is doing surgery. Constipation could be called the consciousness of a higher order.
Every meta-feeling is crowned wisdom. Wisdom is connected with the courage, humility and energy of life. It is a metastasis that helps us to distinguish between what really counts and what does not matter so much. Sophia does not mean “I know a lot” but mainly what I am capable of determining what is appropriate in every situation that will occur to me and what is not. She tells me what my personal integrity demands in every case. Wisdom is always related to action.
The actions of a wise man do not come from first principles, but what is required by the circumstance is readily perceived. That is why the behavior of the truly wise is usually a surprise.
When the meditations appear, they are experienced as gifts. You can not make them happen. They come on their own as blessings. It is the reward for the experience of life – just like the mature fruit.
Guilty and innocence
The feelings of guilt and innocence are primarily social phenomena that do not necessarily direct us towards higher ethical values. Instead, by binding us so strongly with the groups that are necessary for our survival, our feelings of guilt or innocence often blind us to what is GOOD and what is bad.
A pure or guilty consciousness has little to do with good or bad. The worst atrocities and injustices are committed with pure conscience, and we feel somehow guilty of doing good when it deviates from what others expect of us. We call that consciousness, which we experience as innocence, personal consciousness.
Anyone who rents a room in innocence soon discovers that he has leased himself to guilt. It does not matter how strictly we are trying to follow our conscience, since we will always feel innocence and guilt (innocence in relation to some need and guilt over another). The DREAM of innocence without guilt is but an illusion.
@ Bert Helinger
Extracts from the book “The Hidden Symmetry of Love”, ed. Medicum
Bert Helinger was born in Germany in 1925, where he studied philology, theology and pedagogy. He worked for 16 years in South Africa’s Catholic Mission. After returning, he was trained as a psychotherapist in Germany and the United States. He followed an evolutionary path through Psychoanalysis, Group Dynamics, Primary Therapy and Systemic Psychotherapy until he developed the “Phenomenological Systemic Family Therapy”, which gave rise to the Family and Systemic Revelation in the mid-1980s.
At the same time he developed, together with his wife Maria Sophie Hellinger, the educational program “New Family Reformation”, based on a comprehensive concept through the “Spirit Movements”. It also created the international network ‘Bert Hellinger International’, which also includes the EIAS. He is the author of many popular books and conducts seminars in more than 80 countries around the world. He publishes the magazine “Hellinger Zeitschrift”, whose exclusivity in Greek is the EIAS. This effort has brought about a wide intercultural exchange and the confirmation of the universality of the method and the solutions it offers.
Also, Grigoris Gizelis (PhD Cultural Anthropologist, former director of the Research Center of the Greek Society of the Academy of Athens) told tvxs.gr about the changes:
The crisis especially in Greece has its foundation at the time when the Greek state gained its independence – acquired through the intervention of foreign powers which have since intervened in a variety of ways, not only political and economic, but also social.
It was then that, from 1830 onwards, with the effort of Kapodistrias and then the Bavarian power to create a centralized administration, it had the effect of destroying the community cell that existed in Greece earlier: On the one hand, “the family, the Greek, the Christian “and” the Turk, the conqueror, the Muslim “on the other! This was removed!
As a result, the Greeks turn to the family, the only social institution they could trust and create a dislike almost to the concept of the state, which saw it as something strange to them and they also exploited it as something strange!
Even today, when someone is appointed to the public we say “took a seat” in that public service! In the sense of conquest! In order to change this notion of mentality, to stop financial scandals and the wastage of public money, similar educational conditions must be created, such as what happened with the changes in the history book recently. That is, with new cognitive classes!
The crisis is different from one society to another. In Greece it has this specialty. This phenomenon does not exist in other countries (developed). It is truly unique, though it is a phenomenon of very traditional societies! This very traditional phenomenon creates many economic, social, political and ethical problems. A culture that will change this attitude and the attitude of Greeks towards their fellow men on issues of common interest must be the goal of facing this crisis!