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Ancestral Healing


Sep 25, 2012
Planet Lunatic Asylum
Ancestral Healing

What Jung calls “participation mystique,” is the deep enmeshment that can happen in intimate relationships when an individual doesn’t do the inner-work to heal their unconscious pain. The wounds get passed through the generations, metastasizing through our relationships and literally shaping our children’s lives. The sickness will stay in the family tree until someone in the outer branches has enough support and awareness to face and move through that ancient grief.

» Dreamspeak: Ancestral Healing

A passage from page 45 – 49 of Falling into Grace:

Now I want to introduce a different type of suffering, one that can be particularly difficult to unravel. Over my years of teaching, I’ve noticed that there’s a particular type of suffering that is sticky, pervasive, and often very hard to find your way out of. I’ve come to call this “generational suffering.” The notion of generational suffering is based on the fact that each of us comes from a generational line, which goes as far back in time as we can imagine, back even to the original human beings, our original ancestors themselves. We’re actually the outcome of a long chain of many, many generations. Each of our family systems is imbued with a tremendous amount of beauty and goodness, and also carried within these systems, as we all know, is what we might call “generational pain,” or “generational suffering.” This is an actual energy that is unconsciously passed down from one generation to the next.

If you look closely at a particular family system, you’ll see the pain that tends to be passed down through a family lineage. For example, parents who have a particular tendency to suffer with anger or depression tend to produce children who suffer from the same afflictions, and then these children produce children who suffer with the same, and so on. Generational suffering is very insidious. It becomes deeper and deeper ingrained in a family as time wears on, and it forms the core of much of the suffering that people experience.

One of the interesting things to note about generational suffering is that it’s not personal. In other words, it’s more like a virus that infects the people within a family. It’s a way of suffering that infects a family and then gets passed on, almost like the flu or a cold, through future generations. When you’re born, without even knowing it, you’re actually being handed this generational pain. In response, you will complain about it, think it’s terrible, or otherwise resist it. But by doing so, you will come to see that denial or complaints about this pain only makes it sink more deeply into your being.

When you start to identify how this generational suffering operates in your life, when you see how your particular way of suffering is similar to the way others in your family suffer, it can open your heart and mind. From this wider perspective, you can actually start to let go of blame and see that those who passed down suffering to you through this generational chain were themselves experiencing the pain and quite unconscious of what was happening. This pain just came to them, and they manifested it in whatever way they did, and then they unknowingly passed it down to the next generation…

…Eventually, this energy comes to you, and you become the forefront of this generational pain. It’s easy to get resentful and blame this pain on someone else, but when you really see the nature of it, you see that it’s not personal, even though the implications for you feel very personal, and maybe the way it was acted out was also very personal. But the pain itself, the suffering itself, is really not you. It was handed down unconsciously from one person to the next, from one generation to the next. Of course the way it gets handed down is often extraordinarily painful, sometimes violent, because it seems that you are the target of this suffering as it manifests in you and in the family members around you. But if you can avoid getting completely lost in the anger or the resentment – even though, from a relative perspective, it’s understandable – if you can withhold your judgment for just a moment, you will start to see that the pain that you feel was in large part suffering from others in your family-and it does not have to be your own.

When you feel and can identify this deep pain within you, see that blaming others in your family is not the solution. When you feel the urge to blame, keep in mind that your generational line has lived with the same pain, too. It is highly likely that they never even imagined that it was generational. They probably took it very personally, and therefore their only option was to act it out. When you start to see this in terms of a long chain of suffering handed down from generation to generation, and you realize that you’re the one, here and now, who can become conscious of how this works, then you have the opportunity to put an end to it.


Well-known member
Aug 17, 2012
The West Country
Can see some really obvious examples of dynamics and traits passed down in my own family.
Have done ceremonies and things working on my own motherline.
It's definitely not easy or fluffy, but ultimately I think this kind of work can potentially become really empowering.


Jan 2, 2015
i read the post with great interest as I have been looking into to this myself in a few ways. Actual Lineage and also cellular memory. I'm hoping to see Carolyn Myss talk in London in March whose main body of work is about a persons "biography becoming their biology" Very similar to Louise Hays work on metaphysical causes of illness...I had a particular interest in this as I was adopted and went on to trace my bloodline where bizarrely I found that I was repeating the same emotional pattern and blueprint over and over almost identically to my birth mother and father which consciously I would have had no idea about.Sins of the father / mother visited on the children and all that.Karma I have a loose idea about but moreso in the context of genetic memory rather than instant cause and effect. I do feel now that I am at a crossroads where some real clearing must be done to make way for a less complex and snowballed future. Consciously and for other reasons not really necessary to discuss here, I made the conscious decision that my family bloodline and history book ends with me in order to once and for all clear this genetic snowball. There is a very angry sub personality that runs through the women in my family and also an abuse of power. If that has been the case i'm using the power now to stop it. There is also an unspeakable grief and sense of injustice which seems to have been carried into each generation which has got heavier and heavier. Im sure a lot of this is very much in most families but it does seem particulalrly pronounced in mine. In my adopted family the cellular "virus" as I call it is jealousy. Its been very confusing separating out two family lines. My user name basically sums it up as resentment is ruining my life and I cannot seem to get rid of it. My resentments are always triggered by a sense of injustice and the " underdog "not having a voice. This is why writing has become a way to save my soul as without this mode of expression I would have become very ill. X