PEACE AND WAR - CONSTELLATION

Documentation

May 21th 2016

by
Dr. Karl-Heinz Rauscher

and

Co-Authors:
(as far as they wish to appear with name):

Anngwyn St. Just,  Luis Alberto Martínez Rodríguez,
Marco Aurelio Navarro Ornelas, Marisa Artigas Diaz,
Veronica van Wielink

   

Read at first the corresponding Blog „Peace“



Introduction


The following is a documentation about a systemic constellation which took place during a workshop offered by Anngwyn St. Just Ph.D. (Social Traumatologist, USA) and Dr. Karl-Heinz Rauscher (Specialist for Systemic Constellation Work, Germany) during the recent Sowelu Institute Congress for Systemic Intelligence in Mexico City on the 21st of May 2016. Our workshop was entitled „Men, Women and Peace“s.


Following our  work with individuals, Anngwyn and I shared a feeling that we could offer a constellation, which would be relevant for our entire group. In relation to this inquiry, we wondered how to access whatever information present and available in the systemic field that could  be of benefit to the entire community in finding ways toward peace as well as relevant information for us about the relationship between peace and war? In short, we truly wanted to learn whatever, we as humans, can do in order to end war and create peace in our personal and family relationships as well as within our larger world?

While these shared  intentions were not openly communicated to our group at that time, but given the title of our workshop, they were definitely in the air. In order to avoid unduly influencing representatives, I (Karl-Heinz )suggested that I set up a covered constellation. As facilitator,  only I would know whom the representatives would represent during the first phase of the constellation. Anngwyn readily agreed and so this constellation began with 3 covered (un-disclosed) positions:


Position 1 (Peace),

Position 2 ( Man, meaning : archaic man)

Position 3 ( Woman, meaning : archaic woman)


In the interest of clarity, in the following text, systemic positions appear in bold letters.


Documentation


At first, these three positions stood separate from each other within a configuration similar to angles of a triangle. Man felt rejected by both Woman and Peace. He also felt like he would be insignificant and out of focus in comparison to Peace. At first, Peace felt confusion in relation to both Man and Woman. Then Peace became interested in Man. Peace felt somehow part of  Man and at  the same time Peace felt rejection from Woman. Peace approached Man and tried to reach him in a protecting way like a father.

Woman interfered, moved between Peace and  Man and vigorously pushed Peace away. Peace felt that Woman was claiming her ownership over Man. She was like a mother trying to protect her little child from the father.


When Peace saw that neither Man nor Woman showed any interest, an impulse to withdraw even further arose. But still Peace was unable to move far away because of a persistent concern for Man.

Both Peace and Woman stated, that they wanted to protect Man, with Peace coming close to Man, and Woman pushing Peace away from him. This statements caused an unwelcome feeling of insignificance in Man. At this point, Man and  Woman had no real contact.


The movements in the constellation stopped there. It became clear to me (Karl-Heinz) as facilitator that there would be no further understanding and no further movement if we were to  look only at these three elements and that there was at least one missing position. While I had an idea as to the nature of this Fourth Position, I let go of that notion and just set up a Fourth Position without naming it.

As soon as the Fourth Position was set up,  Woman became interested and said, that Fourth Position looked nice. Woman went to Fourth Position and admired some clothing materials, touching some pieces which she appeared to test with her fingers. Man didn’t react.

Then, as facilitator, I received  an impression that  Fourth Position could be war. So far only I knew what the positions were representing. At this juncture I set up a covered fifth position for War. The undefined Fourth Position and War were attracted to each other. Soon they stood side by side, very close. After a while both reported an impulse to merge, which is a good indication that two positions are really one. War said that it felt love toward everybody and everything.


At this point I opened the constellation and revealed the nature of each of the now named positions. I asked the representative of the Fourth Position, to sit down and go out of the role, because it was clear that the Fourth Position stood for War which was now already presented by another representative, and so she did. The representative of War said that her feelings changed as soon as she knew that she would be standing for War. Previously, when the constellation was still covered, she felt fine and filled with love. Now however, she felt uncomfortable and bad. For me, it was clear that her personal beliefs stood in her way to still perceive information from the field. And so, I inquired whether she felt comfortable to serve as a representative or would prefer for someone else to take her place. As she chose the latter, she got out of the role and returned to her seat, another woman volunteered for the role of War.


Woman approached War again. When Man saw Woman and War so close together he concluded that Woman was the troublesome one. Man felt a need to visually connect with War and therefore approached Woman and War. Woman tried to interrupt this visual contact between  Man and War, which upset Man. He reacted to Woman's disruptive movements with a determination to keep right on looking directly at War.

Peace felt a need to approach Man in order to protect him, both from Woman and from War, but had to wait for Man to ask for its help. Man did not ask and at the same time began to feel a certain rivalry with Peace. He began moving towards Peace wanting to face and confront  it. As Man and Peace faced each other Man felt awake, stable and full of energy. Man began to develop a good feeling towards Peace, yet felt incomplete. Plus he did not fully agree with Peace.

In that moment Peace felt like a kind of bodyguard, together with a sensation of holding a weapon in hand. Peace was certain that the games between Woman and War remain their business as long as they stood away from Man. Peace experienced stress when they came closer to  Man, but when Man started to walk towards Woman and War, Peace felt useless. As ManWoman and War gathered together, Peace felt a need to move and began walking around them in a close circle. Peace wondered:  „Why are they doing that? What is this need for conflict? Life is so magnificent. There are so many beautiful things in life. Why are they so stubbornly fixated within that kind of relation?“


At that point I received an impression that this constellation had become truly archaic and  may indeed concern all of us. Therefore, I suggested to our  group of about 50 people, that whoever was willing to stand up and take on some personal or archaic role was welcome to do so and slowly follow whatever movements that may arise out of their systemic position. Following this invitation, I added that it would not be at all necessary to know exactly who or what they might be representing and that they should simply proceed and allow themselves the experience of just trusting the field. Very slowly nearly everybody rose up from their seats. Many felt drawn toward the center. They began to form concentric circles around the center as though they represented some archaic human society or tribe.


As all these people arrived, Peace had to stop walking around Man, Woman and War with the impression that many of these people were coming to Peace, actually searching for Peace. Peace felt joy. After a while Peace slowly went toward War.  

War felt heaviness and a deep wound right through the core. This was a deep sensation. At the beginning it was very difficult for War to make eye contact with Peace, whom War viewed as a partner.

The closer Peace came to War, the more Man and Woman began to take notice, went near each other and then looked directly at each other.

While looking at and being near Woman, Man experienced a sequence of various feelings and postures. At the beginning, rejection, anger, rivalry from Woman as well as a need to try something different with her. His constant rivalry with Woman drove his desire to come closer and he took a step towards her. Man got the impression that the Woman was trying to seduce him. His rejection and anger began to decrease as Woman took a step closer. He wanted to know what she might do if he moved even closer to her. He also had a feeling that he might not like what Woman might offer him, but he was also sure that she desired to proceed toward the end of this process of approaching each other.

They became really close. It was nice and truly marvelous for Man to feel Woman caress him. It was wonderful for him to feel himself in connection and to cease feeling threatened and seduced by Woman.

Peace now moved away from War and found a position very close to Man and Woman, halfway between them and somehow strengthening their connection.


Within this situation I understood that we were witness to an archaic movement of the field and that it made no sense to try to lead this movement any further as a facilitator. I announced  that I would step out of the duty of facilitating right now and join the constellation as a participant. I said: „From now on it is only us.“

At this point, Anngwyn stood up, while remaining clearly outside of the constellation and held the energetic frame for all of us. She started tapping onto the microphone with a finger. It sounded like a heartbeat.

Upon relinquishing my role as facilitator, I took on a not as yet defined systemic position and moved toward the center together with many others. We were holding hands and moving to the center in concentric rows. Two or three people were in roles which obviously didn’t want to participate in this collective movement and went away from the center. They looked isolated from all the others.

Peace remained close to Man and Woman with War just a step or two away.

After a while War was coming closer to PeaceMan and Woman. Suddenly Peace saw War’s face. It looked so funny to Peace. Peace thought:

„Why? Why ever do they want to suffer? What is this need?“

In sudden recognition of this absurdity Peace burst out laughing and was enjoying this and was pleased when others joined in laughing with this emergent understanding of the importance of being happy and of laughing at War. War disagreed and felt out of control.

With this sudden outbreak of loud laughter from Peace there was relief and a touch of insanity, as well. As a representative of someone still unrevealed, I also began to laugh out loud along with others and we experienced several waves of this laughter. Each of these waves began with Peace laughing at War and the ridiculousness of taking War and conflict so seriously.


Man felt that Peace was laughing scandalously and disrespectfully and began to feel restless. He developed profound feelings of shame and again feelings of rejection and insignificance. Man wanted to aggressively silence Peace.

After a while Peace calmed down and everybody else did too.


Shortly after War wanted to embrace Peace and share feelings. Although War felt that Peace was resistant, War nevertheless moved and embraced Peace. At that moment Peace felt at peace. After a while they slowly parted. Peace looked closely into the face of War now and felt an impulse rising to honor the power of War. To express that Peace deeply bowed at War. War placed a hand over the head and partly also the neck of Peace. In performing this gesture War longed to pass the burden of pain and suffering along to Peace. From my own perspective it initially appeared as a sort of blessing. However, the representative for Peace reported the impression that War was trying to subdue and control Peace.

The initial reaction of Peace was: If that is what War needs, this can be acceptable. But after a little while Peace evolved into a firm „Enough now! We need to end this fantasy. Peace is not the servant of War.“ And so, Peace pushed upward against the downward pressure of War, standing again, straight and strong.


At that moment everything changed for War. It suddenly experienced an urgent need to escape from everything and everybody, along with a sensation of a terrible vacuum inside. War felt its strength waning, it felt disintegrating until it lost the light that was leading its way. The great emptiness inside was still growing and soon War was prepared to take distance. It wanted to go away as much as possible and then started to go away. The people of the „society or tribe“ opened the concentric circles to let War leave.

It was beautiful for Peace to feel all these people around, who were in obvious resonance with Peace. Yet Peace was unable to look  away from War, who withdrew step by step, while  still looking toward the center, as circles closed again around the focal point where Man, Woman and Peace remained standing.

War withdrew to a distant corner and stood with its back to everybody, in order to avoid the risk of disintegration. Nevertheless War still felt a shared energy towards some individuals who earlier had moved away from community disapproving that the others were forming a society or tribe around Man and Woman. War sensed that those isolated individuals were suffering, but was unable to do anything about it.

While standing off in the corner War felt blinded by an immense force of light within and throughout the people in the center. It was difficult for War to remain standing. 

Shortly thereafter, War looked toward the ground, to the dead, and recognized what war was all about. As War met the piercing gaze of these slain, lying on the ground, as they looked back, War felt illuminated.


Man had a growing feeling of emptiness as War walked away, along with a sadness and a slight despair. Man could not let war go away so easily because it had been such an integral part of him for such a long time. He felt the need to calm that emptiness by following War and so he parted from Woman and started walking in the direction of War. Man felt that he needed another way of separating from War, maybe by saying farewell.

Peace felt a need to take the hand of Woman and lead her toward the soothing of Man, albeit with eyes always on War. Peace thought: „We must not  forget about War if we are to avoid an nasty surprise.“

As  Man began walking toward far away War, he was held back by concentric circles of people who barred his way. These circles narrowed in their attempt to hold Man back from following a path to War. Man then came to stand in front of me, only some 40 cm away as I was holding hands with people on both sides. Man, obviously in some absent state of trance , was unable to see me. He saw only War, which stood far away in the corner of the room. While I attempted to catch Man’s eye and bring him into contact I also knew, that this would not help. He just wouldn’t see me. He was absent, not here anymore.


A feeling  began to emerge that I was representing some version of archaic Grandfather for this young Man. As I took on this role Grandfather held the young Man’s shoulders in order to both gain his attention and hold him back from leaving. But, at the same time, Grandfather was aware, that this would not be sufficient. One person wasn’t nearly enough to hold him back.

Man reacted with frustration and resentful feelings of invasion as Grandfather stood in his way. The young Man wanted to face his elder and ask for an explanation. Why, he reasoned,  should he so drastically leave behind something that had been such an integral and important part of himself? 

Women around Grandfather began to approach the young Man and gently touched him on his arms, shoulders and chest. The eyes of the young Man became a little bit softer. But his gaze still continued to fixate toward War. Grandfather gently touched his cheeks and caressed him. Several people, mostly women, also gently caressed the young Man at the same time.

Now Grandfather could both see and feel the little boy in Man, the archaic elder was so touched that he began to cry along with many of the others.

The young Man's eyes began to slightly dampen, but still he remained unable to see Grandfather or any of the concerned others. He was still gazing toward War.

One of the women opened the zipper of the young Man’s jacket. Other women helped to very slowly remove his blue quilted jacket. Everybody got the impression that it was a suit of armor. The young Man allowed this to happen. Without this armor he became softer, he was no longer a soldier, but more a normal man. But he still remained unable to see Grandfather. This archaic struggle was not yet over.

When  Man was prevented from following War he felt having been defeated by all those people around him as well as by the tears of Grandfather. He could find no choice other than to just accept that he was living and that he was not able to change that. And that he was unable to change the fact that War was leaving either.

But his eyes searched again for War. By this time Grandfather understood that the women were not enough to hold young Man back and that he needed to be restrained by a man. Grandfather then took a step forward, embraced him and softly pulled the young Man’s head upon his old shoulder. Now finally, Man began to weep. After a time, he took a step back and looked at all the people and now he could see Grandfather and all the others. Deep down, inside, the young Man knew there was a gain in the limits that the people and Grandfather had imposed: A calm connection to Woman.

Some words emerged, seemingly from the air (from the field):  „Welcome home !“

Grandfather expressed this out loud: „Welcome home!“

Many around Man repeated this in Spanish like a Mantra: „Welcome home, welcome home…“

Man looked at all of them and, at long last, a genuine smile appeared on his face. 

I understood: Now we are done. 


When Peace felt that the people (the tribe/community)were able to hold Man back from following War, Peace started to walk towards War because it was still convinced of a need to somehow control War and prevent explosions.

As Peace reached War, way over in the corner, it made an attempt to take War’s hands. But War resisted. Now War and Peace stood side by side, but looking in opposite directions. Peace was facing the center, War was looking to the outside.

Then War was looking again to the dead on the ground. While doing so War had a growing feeling of disintegration. Finally War let go completely.


Peace continued to gaze toward the humans in the center with the thought: „Now they can handle their own affairs as adults, grown up humans, they don’t need us anymore. But we must not forget about War, we always have to keep an eye on War to avoid surprises.“


At this point I, as Karl-Heinz , re-entered my role as facilitator and brought this constellation to an end.


End of the documentation.



Comments of participants (selection)


After this constellation many participants told or wrote to Anngwyn and Karl-Heinz communicating the effects of their experience in this constellation:


Participant (female, psychotherapist):

The phrase of Peace „I have the need of protecting Man from Woman“ rocked my entire body. I felt a deep pain in my soul. It was very painful to acknowledge my own violence, born many years before my existence, where pre-Columbian Americans didn’t have the freedom and opportunity to take care of their women and children; the violence in which women had to exclude men in order to take care of themselves. 

This constellation led me to thinking about how and where we have become lost to ourselves as humanity. All the time I was wondering: Where is this disconnection from each other?

With the statement of War (while still covered) „I feel a lot of love for everyone“, I blanched. I didn’t think, I didn’t feel, I didn’t move.

When the whole group was invited to join the constellation my body responded to the responsibility for my being in this world, I stood up from my chair and realized that quite a few of us had made this same movement. I still remained connected to my own impulse moving towards that loving War. I started getting closer and closer to that area and, at some point, we were face to face with each other, each in our own reality, but together, as a wounded humanity. Now it was a very well known collective chaos.


Participant (female):

A deep silence came over us, when everybody was invited to become part of the constellation.

When Grandfather said to the young Man „Welcome home!“ the tension went down. We all started to move into a collective embrace and started laughing.

I walked away from that room with a feeling of having unknowingly participated  in a sacred ritual. At last, we had woken up our true being. Peace and war ceased their opposition.

What did I receive through this constellation?

The archaic memory of the essence of a human being. I understood: Peace is love.

I will keep this memory even when lost in times of confusion. This constellation revealed the sacred encounter of being in the field of our collective memory, clearly displayed with all the strength of love in an experience of "we".


Participant (female, psychotherapist, psychoanalyst, family therapist):

This couple, generous therapists, full of information, professionalism and affection, generated a touching experience and along with significant infusions of hope. Together, they opened a real possibility of ending any perpetuated war and taking back peace.


Participant (female)

It was wonderful for me to be in this workshop. We don’t have weapons but tools to solve events and now instead of men, woman and the war, we have men, woman and peace.

It is excellent to know as a woman that I must give men their place.


Participant (male)

War went away from Peace and it seemed that everything was finding and taking its place. I was surprised that I ended up side by side to Peace and many of my classmates. My sister in law was at the other side of the room. Everything in a moment took place in a little micro-cosmos.

Afterward, I felt something so intense that I needed to sit down and breathe deeply and try to assimilate these deep feelings. I can only say that it was something truly beautiful and a great learning.      

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