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Thomas Hübl on the Collective Trauma Online Summit

The Collective Trauma Online Summit, which took place from October 12 to 20, 2019, had an enormous impact, connecting more than 52,000 people in 176 countries with 29 speakers in interdisciplinary discourse. The importance of collective trauma and how to work with it has been explored from many different perspectives. Our intention to initiate a global exchange process on this topic has been very successful. (Here are all informations about the event)

Summit Speaker NetOur team worked intensively on the organization and implementation for more than eight months. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has contributed to this fantastic work from the bottom of my heart! A huge thank you also to all the speakers, and to all of you who took part and got involved with the topic! Many people gave us great feedback on the experiences they had during the Summit and the insights they gained.

The topic of collective traumatization has become my great passion over the last few years. From my point of view it is one of the core issues for humanity today and how we cope with today’s challenges.

The World is Traumatized

Thomas Hübl and Gabor Maté

Thomas Hübl, Gabor Maté

We are all born into a traumatized world. That is why we only know it this way, and it seems normal to us at first. Many individual traumatizations therefore, do not come into conflict with the surrounding group and society. The individual trauma in the life of an individual human being is not a separate and isolated event, but is embedded in thousands of years of traumatization, and also in the approaches to healing it.

When we look at the world, our society, and ourselves, we often say: “Yes, that’s life.” Much seems to have always been like this, and has condensed into “practical wisdom.” But that is often the wounded life! The effect of traumatization is part of it. This is an important difference that needs to be recognized.

Visolela Rosa Namises + Kosha Joubert

Kosha Joubert, Visolela Rosa Namises

Both, conditioned behaviour and many structures in our society are not just like that, but they are like that because we are traumatized and therefore, created them in this way.

More and more research results are being made available from the side of science which prove the existence of transgenerational trauma, and show the ways in which it is transmitted through the generations. It is becoming increasingly clear that we carry the tendencies and wounds of the past within us and suffer from them.

If you become aware that you are hurt, then you can take care of it with the right measures.

The Challenges of Today’s World

Many issues that are currently acute, including climate change, are affected. The climate crisis in particular has the potential to cause even more collective trauma in the coming decades.

Karen O'Brien + Terry Patten

Karen O’Brien, Terry Patten

We also see the effects of collective trauma in the economy, in the financial system, in how technology develops, in education, in healthcare, and in many other social issues.

And in the fact that military and armaments spending is rising worldwide. A huge part of our resources is used for fighting and destroying each other and not for cooperation.

The time has come for a joint development of high competence and awareness in dealing with collective traumas and for the development of resilience, so that we can become sustainable for the future and master the challenges of today with creativity, with with a sense of global community and in relation to reality!

Closing Panel

Closing Panel: Thomas Hübl, Christina Bethell, Monica Sharma, William Ury, Robin Alfred

However, many people are tempted to think that we can deal with the massive changes in the world that will take place in the coming decades from the present perspective, since things still seem “relatively normal” to us today.

The fact is, that when more panic and insecurity arise in a society, it can easily happen that we lose the higher functions of our humanity, such as compassion, multi-perspectivity, creativity, and rootedness, and find ourselves in fear of survival and the feeling of separation and against one another.

The Root of Separation

That is why it is so important that we illuminate and integrate the root of the separation, as far as possible beforehand, and make it a regular practice. This has been described well in many spiritual traditions.

Terry Real + Robin Alfred

Terry Real, Robin Alfred

Any serious spiritual practice must deal with the traumatizations and their effects in the individual and the collective, and show practical ways in which we can integrate the wounds of the past into the present state. This cannot be done through intellectual teachings and advice, nor through self-help recipes. What has been hurt in relationship can only heal in relationship. This is only possible in communities that dedicate themselves to it with all their strength and intention. And to establish a practice where we deal with each other and also with the help of trained professionals to become whole human beings and to reduce the degree of separateness.

The Need for Ethical Growth

Another important issue in trauma healing is, that besides the treatment and integration of symptoms, such as PTSD for example (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), fundamental ethical growth is necessary. Healing one’s own trauma means becoming a better person.

Peter Levine, Thomas Hübl

Peter Levine, Thomas Hübl

Each healing also involves the origin or cause of the trauma, the social and societal issue, and creates an ethical change. People who have healed and integrated their traumas can no longer easily fit into traumatized social structures and become change agents.

It is important that we, as humanity, once again align ourselves internally to the principles of life. This requires the correction of the old systems, which do not allow a harmony of man and nature, and the creation of new systems, which promote this.

The Integration of Word and Action

There is an established habit in the spiritual scene in which people have intellectually understood all sorts of spiritual principles and wisdoms, yet they cannot live them and integrate them into their lives. Often these insights are also not congruent with the inner experience.

Ken Wilber an Thomas Hübl

Ken Wilber, Thomas Hübl

It is a symptom of trauma that what we say and what we do is not the same.

Therefore, it is important that spiritual communities become more and more authentic through the integration of this division. For this we need each other.

Every single person and every community can achieve more authenticity and thus more effectiveness in their actions through the integration of unconscious parts, through the processing of individual and collective traumatization.

Communities that can develop such healing fields will become more and more important and their value will grow. They are the pioneers of the new and carry within them the potential of the future.

Thomas Hübl

The Summit is over. Each interview was free and online for 48 hours. If you didn’t attend it, it’s still possible to see two of the talks: here on the website you can find all information. The complete package with all 31 videos, all transcripts and bonus material can still be purchased.