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War and the Soul

book-war_and_the_soul"War devastates not only our physical being but our very soul–for the entire culture as well as for the individual. In war, chaos overwhelms compassion, violence replaces cooperation, instinct replaces rationality, gut dominates mind. When drenched in these conditions, the soul is disfigured and can become lost for life. What is called soul loss is an extreme psychospiritual condition beyond what psychologist commonly call dissociation. It is far more than psychic numbing or separation of mind from body.

It is a removal of the center of experience from the living body without completely snapping the connection. In the presence of overwhelming life-threatening violence, the soul–the true self–flees. The center of experience shifts; the body takes the impact of the trauma but does not register it as deeply as before. With body and soul separated, a person is trapped in a limbo where past and present intermingle without differentiation or continuity. Nothing feels right until body and soul rejoin."

from War and the Soul: Healing Our Nation's Veterans from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder by Edward Tick, Ph.D.

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