HomeCoursesPolarityHunaMasterWorks StoreOnline CourseMartial Arts

August 1996


Top of the page



Email Masterworks

 Huna Article



by kuoha

We in the West tend to think of Therapy as a fairly modern phenomenon and yet for as long as man has been around on the planet people have come together to talk about their problems in the hope of finding solutions. However the old saying of 'not airing your dirty linen in public' tends to keep the discussion of family problems limited; so limited sometimes that even the other members of the family are often not involved in process. It seems it is often easier to talk to someone outside the immediate family rather than those whom we share our lives and our living space with.

Generally speaking therapy today consists of two people meeting together. They are alone. No one but them is privy to the hours of soul searching discussion, powerful emotionality and quiet despair that takes place weekly in an environment that is often somewhere between the sanctity and safety of the confessional box and the homely comfort of the front room of a dear friend. Most therapists will tell you that often the hardest part of the whole process is not the confronting of and coming to terms with one's deepest fears and darkest secrets; people will come to face these when they are able to deal with them appropriately if no force is applied on the part of the therapist; but the biggest hurdle is the integrating of the new 'you' into an old and familiar family set-up that has remained stoically unchanged throughout the whole painful personal process. As most peoples problems arise within the family unit it seems only common sense that this is the arena where to the problems should be played out and where a resolution must be sought. Of course family therapy does exist but it is not as readily embraced as the more solitary pursuit of dealing with one's 'own stuff '. Family therapy can be a minefield however where, if not guided by a very skilled therapist, one may exit more maimed then when one entered ! What is it that makes working with other family members so fraught with danger and how can this process be made as painless as possible ? Well the answer may well lie several thousand miles from here on a group of tiny islands in the middle of the Pacific ocean and it roots are buried in a culture that was practising family therapy long before anyone had even coined the word ' psychoanalysis ' and the concept of the disfunctional family would have been inconceivable.

To the ancient people of the Hawaiian islands the concept of the Ohana - the extended family was one that was very real to them. Family meant not only those related by blood but every living thing and even the gods themselves. Each family had its own Aumakua, or ancestral god who watched over the family like a great parental spirit - all loving and all seeing.

These strong family links had obvious benefits to all and kept family together in a strong knit band through all the generations. Ancestor worship was a significant part of their religious upbringing. Like all families however trouble did occur from time to time. Maybe there was a falling out between two members or a sickness in the family that did not respond to treatment; in cases such as this a family elder would consult a Kahuna Lapa'au or healer/priest and he or she would call a Ho'oponopono or family therapy session.

Everyone had to agree to attend such a gathering and come along willingly as the true desire to resolve the problem was a pre-requisite for all concerned. The Ho'oponopono differs from modern therapy in three important ways - the use of prayer and the involvement of the gods in the process - the act of forgiveness - and where appropriate, restitution.

Top of the page


Home/Courses/Polarity/Huna/Masterworks Store/Online Course/Martial Arts