Patrick Obissier. Biogenealogy: Decoding the Psychic Roots of Illness. Rochester, Vt.: Healing Arts Press, 2006. Paperback, xii + 180 pp.
This book proposes a number of revolutionary ideas. Written in a very accessible way, it gives us a new perspective on illness and healing. The author, who is a therapist, accepts that health and ill health are closely linked to our mental state, specifically our emotions. In fact, he regards emotional stress as the root cause of all illness. Many holistic medical practitioners share this view.
But Patrick Obissier goes much further. In fact, he argues that acute emotional stress experienced by our ancestors can be transmitted genetically. In recent years, I have become familiar with this notion from high-potency homeopathy. This key idea gives a new practical meaning to the Indic concept of karma, as the author acknowledges.
To the idea of the genetic transmittability of emotional stress, the author adds two further important notions. First, it is possible to dissolve the emotional programming responsible for illness. Second, illness is a form of protective behavior, which encapsules whatever emotional trauma was its trigger. Among the many examples furnished by Obissier is diabetes, which he traces back to the feeling of powerlessness. Unless a person can resolve the psychological issue underlying diabetes (or any type of illness), he or she will pass the trauma and illness on to the next generation.
While this model clearly needs extensive testing, it strikes one as in principle sound. Certainly, the idea that illness is not necessarily a curse but a challenge to change one’s life is implicitly wholesome. Also sound and constructive is the associated thought that all healing is essentially self-healing—the kind of wisdom that has been an integral part of Yoga and other spiritual traditions for millennia. To see this wisdom spelled out in scientific (neurolinguistic) terms is very helpful, and Obissier’s approach and writing style are positively encouraging.
Copyright ©2006 by Georg Feuerstein. All rights reserved.
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