Dealing with Traumatic Situations

Question: How can uncovering repressed traumatic memories benefit a person?

Answer:  Our neurological and psychological systems have natural mechanisms to suppress and forget a traumatic situation to thereby avoid unbearable mental pain. Our body also goes into coma or faints when there is too much physical pain. These are mechanisms for survival which may give temporary relief but do not solve the problem. It is like ignoring a disease, a debt, or a house on fire. You can try to forget, but forgetting the disease, debt, or fire does not solve the problem at hand. Similarly, people may take to drinking or drug use to relieve themselves of stressful situations. While alcohol and drug use provide temporarily relief, they do not eliminate the cause of stress.

Rather, by uncovering, recognizing, and dissolving your traumatic experience, you resolve the issue at the root. This will give you renewed energy for your life’s work. Keeping traumatic experiences repressed requires tremendous mental energy. A person cannot experience the goodness of life; he cannot bloom in his life; his intelligence does not function properly. One thus afflicted may not be able to make beneficial life decisions.

Question: Why do some memories become repressed and others not? What purpose might repression serve?

Answer:  As said above, the purpose of repression is to relieve you from the immediate suffering. The traumas that one cannot assimilate or digest, tend to be repressed. The ones that you can tolerate or digest are not repressed. Not everything is repressed. Repression is a survival mechanism. Although it may not be a solution, it still brings some relief when one does not have the ability to deal with the situation. It is like a child that feels afraid at night and hides underneath a sheet to feel safe.

Question: How would I know if I have repressed memories/trauma?

Answer:  One indication is that you may be not making good decisions in life under certain specific conditions. You may have fear, feelings of insecurity, codependent behavior etc. under such circumstances. Some people have phobias or other idiosyncrasies. There may be even physical ailments, such a skin rashes, constipation, or IBS (Irritated Bowel Syndrome) due to repressed memories. 

Question:  Some persons say that they “blacked out” and don’t remember inflicting violence (rape, murder, etc.) on a victim. The perpetrators return to normal consciousness after the violent act. What is going on here? Assuming that the offender is speaking truthfully, is it repressed memory or is there demoniac possession taking place? 

Answer:When a person is driven by very strong emotions, he or she may act mechanically or impulsively, without conscious awareness. Then the person may not remember the act. Remembrance is possible when an act is done with awareness. The memory of acts done without conscious awareness is stored in the chitta, but it is not easy to pull such memories into the mind. We do many things in our daily lives without conscious awareness and may not remember them. For example, a person walking on the road, absorbed in deep thought, plucks a flower, then throws it away. He may not even remember that he plucked the flower.



10 thoughts on “Dealing with Traumatic Situations”

  1. This is probably one of the greatest problems of our time: repressed emotions rotting in the subconscious mind (citta). When pain was inflicted in early childhood or adolescence it will create trauma based defense mechanisms and various artificial personalities (MPD) also leading to pathological narcissism (NPD), borderline and psychopathy. If at all such emotions become conscious, be happy! The way to get them out of your physical and subtle bodies is to write them down spontaneously and NOT reading them back, but burn the paper when finished writing. The body stores undigested emotions in layers of fat especially around the waist. The burning of traumas worked for me: I lost body weight of 9 kilos in one year without a diet when I started burning my painful experiences, at least those I was able to remember. If you read back what you’ve written, you will also take back the emotions and nothing will happen – they will return into the body. Not reading back is essential for this method.

    1. Very interesting. Do you have any research that this approach has worked for others across a larger population, or is this some technique that works only for you? Also, do you have any research that shows that reading it out loud has the effect that you are reporting or is it just for you personally that this occurred?

  2. The method is called “Give Away” by the American Natives. It’s a habit they practise themselves, when they lit a fire everyday. Others have adopted it. It looks simple, it is simple, and it works for anybody every time. You should submit your grief to the paper in your own words and don’t be polite, tell exactly what you feel in raw language. Just throw everything painful out. If it is a person who has abused you, place him/her next to you mentally and start telling them verbally and loudly what they did to you and how they damaged you. Best way is to do it physically, but this is not always possible. When ready you forgive them AND YOURSELF, because subconsciously you invited them to do this to you… after all. The abuser reminds you of your neglect to bring your disowned pain to light. Traumas are coming in chains, one causing another and another and vice versa becoming pools of harm, abuse and trauma. Traumas may also become genetic. This was proven with mice, lately. A trauma will last for seven generations! Traumas are being ‘programmed’ into the next generations and the next. Therefore, they should be made conscious, be digested, EMBRACED and forgiven. If we do not embrace a legitimately painful experience and ‘disown’ it by repression, it sinks into the citta, where it will grow and ask for attention until it will explode with greater harm than the initial incident. It is of great importance to search out your traumas and work them out not only for one self but also for the social environment and especially your children if you have any. Thank you for you question!

    1. North-American Natives historically used neither script nor paper though. There does seem to be a recent (20th century) ceremonial tradition going by that name among Blackfoot and Cree but that doesn’t seem to resemble the ritual you describe, going from the freely available abstract to this paper. In the apparent absence of research into the efficacy of your ritual, can you provide any ethnographic sources dealing with its sources and cultural context?

  3. I got the method of “Give Away” from a psychic healer in the UK, Chris Thomas. The man is old now and wrote about eleven books on healing, diet, herbs, self-healing, he also removes subtle implants from malignant aliens and gets punished heavily for that practice. My intention was to give devotees a good and simple method to get rid of traumas without external therapies and practitioners. What is the use of focusing on the manufacturer of the method? Why not practice the knowledge and experience its effect?

    1. I can’t claim to be a devotee let alone a Vaishnava, but I don’t see how anyone’s health or service to the Lord can be furthered by hearsay, misconceptions and fabrications, however well the intentions are that they may be spread with. If a a material or spiritual medicine is efficacious it is so regardless of its cultural context, as you say. Yet, if something is presented with details that at first glance do not appear to check out, it’s right to investigate further and possibly ultimately reject ideas, even if they were presented with the best of intentions. As said, I can claim no authority to say such things, but it appears to me that it can not be requirement for bhakti to be credulous, but rather the opposite.

  4. Respected Babaji,

    Kindly correct my understanding:

    I feel that “ceto darpana marjanam”, the first verse of Sri Shisthasthakam, although not explicit about it, but it is inclusive of the repressed psychic content that can be tagged under 6 internal enemies. For instance, an experience stored in the psyche of dying in a war creates hatred for certain type of people, anger over humanity, fear of being killed, etc. However, when we focus only on the definitions of the internal enemies and not so much on their practical influence through examples and experiences, the healing takes longer. In other words, we may understand that my citta has the dirt of anger, lust, greed, etc. Unless we pay attention to how these reflect, what triggers them, the healing may be quite slow, even with the mahamantra, the progress may be slow. We can’t skip the psychological aspect of being human, after all Maya created it with the lord’s desire and approval, or can we?

  5. Dream analysis is said to be quite an effective way to deal with psyche’s repressed content. Some practitioners told me that the Lord (Paramatma/Brahman) guides us in dreams through symbolic language. He brings to our attention that which is NOT obvious to us in waking hours or that which we are not consciously aware of. We often wonder why symbolic language when only few can understand the meaning. I was told that symbolism activates our intuitive side, right hemisphere of the brain. The language consisting of words is a left brain function. We repeatedly hear what we should or should not do in waking hours but, the mind doesn’t accept the guidance always.

    Dreams are one of the ways through which the Lord heals us of our psychic traumas and counterproductive patterns.

  6. There may be even physical ailments, such a skin rashes, constipation….”
    In the past I studied a lot the “new medicine’, initiated by the Doctor R K Hamer (German) and then further developed in France under the name, “total biology or biological decodage”
    They said that this repression can cause many physical disease up to the cancer.
    In fact, it is by working on the cancer first that this concept was born.
    Hamer curred is own cancer and initiated this approach.

  7. So far I can read here: no wisdom and knowledge of Trauma and related diseases, nor know how of how to deal and heal this issue.
    For this theme one should have real experience with heavy cases of patients and bought them out of the mental disaster. So far every one who wants real knowledge about: Nuijenhuis Ellert.
    And one thing I have to stress much more: every one how thinks he or she can deal with trauma and has no experiences with patients nor has ever made self experiences in this kind of work, nor has put all his time in it for more than 8 years will harm others, especially, when others think they know, or have to know. only 10% of the psychotherapists and perhaps 5% of the psychiatrist have usable and action-oriented knowledge.
    so fare here some paradigms for all of you:
    a) our Body is not mechanical, its life in it.
    b) the body and all in it will live
    c) human system is biological, social, psychical, spiritual
    d) will / intention is inherent in personality and body
    e) never ever treat a traumatized Person with spiritual concepts, the person will take harm! Why: they become feel bad and healing will be prolonged! (shortened said)
    f) every trauma is a dissociation!
    g) Meaningfulness is important
    h) trauma includes motoric, senoso-motoric, vision, hearing, taste, feelings, meaning, age and so on.
    i) for to deal with trauma a person needs advices/support and training and has to go self therapy, means seeing, that therapy chances real and makes one integer.
    k) trauma therapy means integrate trauma with all the bad things in it. all other techniques: please consider this! do not integrate, they disintegrate and makes one more ignorant: means excluding reality, less activity of the frontal-brain less energy in body and mind et cetera.
    Hopefully some devotees will help this information, that the will suffer less in the spiritual path.

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