Healing This Wounded Earth: With Compassion, Spirit and the Power of Hope Paperback – 30 Dec 2010
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We have entered into a new era of transformation, perhaps the most significant one in the history of humanity - This lovely book puts us in touch with healing principles of spirituality and compassion throughout our lives so that we may all become catalysts for social change...with all of our hearts and minds and souls. --(Paul H. Ray, PhD, anthropologist and sociologist, co author of The Cultural Creatives - How 50 Million People are Changing the World)
She paints an inspiring picture of a possible future in which the soul takes its rightful place at the core of healing. --(Dawson Church PhD author of The Genie in Your Genes)
From the Author
This is a book about human behavior and our spiritual hunger, and a fractured world in urgent need of healing.
It is a book that urges us all to take responsibility for this world before it is too late. More than that, it is a guidebook that shows us how we can between us build a more spiritual, peaceful and happier life for us all.
Most of all it is a book of hope: because I believe that our world is at the dawning of a new earth consciousness, a new deep spirituality that will enable us to build this better world for all time if we only allow it to happen. Generations to come may look back and marvel at how it took so long for us to see such obvious need for healing change.
The world is in such a mess. It is clear that our economic system is flawed, that our materialistic outlook in science cannot provide all the answers, that spirituality has been marginalized. We have ecological destruction on a large scale, problems in our societies, and more dis-ease than ever before in spite of massive medical advances. We urgently need a new world -view, a change of direction, a New Renaissance.
This book is for all those who, like me, want to make a difference, for the sake of our families, our children and grandchildren. It is written for Cultural Creatives, for Sacred Activists, for those of any faith or none who can appreciate the need for a greater spirituality in our lives, to create a better balance between matter and spirit, to carve happier, healthier, safer and more fulfilling lives, to be catalysts for social change. I am writing for all those who over the years have bemoaned the state of the world and asked "But what can I do?" Here are plenty of ideas.
The book has grown out of an idea I had in 2004 in Turkey, whilst reading the contemplative books by the Roman Catholic priest Henri Nouwen, including his short bestselling gem, The Wounded Healer. These books had become valuable and reliable sources of comfort and support in my own pain as I was recuperating from a massive mental breakdown.
It came to me in one of those "ah-ha" moments that the compassion and vulnerability of the Wounded Healer could have a significance for healing our dangerously fractured world way beyond the realms of the pastoral and medical professions, where it is primarily researched and understood as a means of healing and where most of the literature is to be found. Where else, I mused, can we find the Wounded Healer in our lives? How, I thought, could we hope to heal this world when so many of us have our own unhealed spiritual and mental wounds, and so much of our destructive behavior is because of those wounds; when for so many of us it is not regarded as appropriate in our working lives to show too much compassion, let alone vulnerability.
But I had not realized just how big this project was, where it was going to lead me. My researches over the last five years took me deeper and wider into so very many other fields. Meanwhile the wounds of the world become ever more serious and the healing needs more urgent.
Never have spirituality and faith and the ancient wisdoms of all the great religions been more relevant than in today's fractured world and we need to appreciate these in a spirit of mutual respect and understanding. More than that, I believe there is an urgent need to integrate ancient spiritual wisdom and philosophy with modern scientific endeavors and rediscover the spiritual in all our material experiences. This is our responsibility and we have no choice if we are to halt the destruction all around us. This is a matter of faith for many and an obligation for all humankind.
So I write of all these things in the context of relationship and community, our economy, our environment, the medical and pastoral professions, and in creativity in all its forms, all woven together
I hope you enjoy the journey. Do let me know what you think. I love feedback.
Eleanor Stoneham December 2010
Top customer reviews
Eleanor Stoneham's personal ground embraces social, economical and ethical areas. She is a science research postgraduate of Sheffield University, a qualified chartered accountant, tax practitioner and a verger in the Anglican Church.
This work persuasively, passionately, yet gently wakens us up from the myth that we can do very little to affect change, or become part of the change we want to see. But, by no means is this a work that compounds upon any guilt we have about `not doing enough. Instead Eleanor, word by word, idea by idea, draws us into an entire web of hope of the things individuals, nations, spiritual and ecological communities are doing to enact healing and beauty. Far from being the sad sorry world that chisels out endless litanies of despair worldwide, there are groups of normal people like you and I who have chosen to act and plant seeds of hope on the broken places. Included in her work, is a vast repository of websites, papers, books which underpin her thesis.
But, she urges, we need to act.
In her chapter on the hope of a healed economy, she writes, "We must never lose sight of our part as individual players in the world economy. Whether we like it or not, we are all involved as consumers and investors." She adds; "The most effective and immediate impact we can all make is through changing our spending patterns. We are all in control of how we save, invest and spend, whether we choose ethical, products, or not'
With knowledge and insight, she produces an extensive chapter on `The History of Soul Medicine' and how this was based on `the wounded healer, from the mythological God Chiron, to the indigenous shamanic tribes whose expertise and skill came from their own inner battling with their wounds. She gives incidents of wounded healers throughout history, from Christ to Beethoven who suffered from depression and deafness, but wrote such compellingly beautiful music. Additionally, she defines the distinctions between healing and curing and the need to return `soul' and `spirituality' to the hospital care system that reduces patients to statistics. In turn, the patient needs to be encouraged to take responsibility for their own dis-ease of body or soul and find the message that is waiting for them there. I am reminded here of King Pallas, the Fisher King, in the Arthurian legends, was a healer but could not heal his own wounds. Indeed, Eleanor Stoneham, describes how her own dis-ease of body, mind and soul, led to a breakdown and she has certainly produced a `breakthrough' in writing this work, truly demonstrating her role as a wounded healer.
She also writes about creativity and some of the forerunners in creativity where eco-poets and writers such as |Helen Moore, Mary Oliver and Gary Snyder describe the responsibility they feel in bringing something of value into the world. In the chapter, Healing Creativity, she describes how Henri Nouwen, whose work The wounded healer underpinned much of her own journey, describes the impact of viewing a work of Rembrandt's, The Return of the Prodigal Son, had on him after a gruelling lecture tour. Seeing this picture, spoke to him on such a deep level that he experienced a complete new lease of life.
Dr Stoneham's work is refreshing, relentlessly explorative and resonates deeply with that wounded part of ourselves that believes there is very little we can do to alleviate the suffering in our environment and the world.
This is not a work embedded in the doom and gloom culture. It is a finely crafted repository of resources and ideas which invite the reader to make use of a vast emerging global network affecting change through bringing our conscience into alignment with all we can do. I cannot recommend this fine book highly enough. It is truly inspirational.
The book is beautifully crafted and Dr Stoneham's passion and genuine beliefs inspire me (undoubtedly it will other readers) to want to take more action to make the world a better place. As a strong believer in God, I am impressed by the inclusive approach in the exploration of and drawing from many religious and spiritual traditions.
One only has to turn on the television, listen to the radio or read the newspapers to understand what a sorry state the world is in. Every day there is news of an atrocity of one kind or another. Dr Stoneham believes that many of the world's problems are caused by our own bad behaviour and flowing from our 'unhealed woundedness'. This point is explored in depth, concluding that by rediscovering our spirituality, transforming ourselves individually and developing our creativity in our lives, a solution to problems, individual or worldwide, can be found. The message that the 'wounded healer' plays an important if not pivotal role in the healing of others is clear and persuasive.
Dr Stoneham's book is thought-provoking, highly persuasive and written with great insight by someone who has, herself, suffered and who can empathise with the suffering of others.
It is a book that everyone must read. I have been deeply inspired by it and I will read it over and over again. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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