Family Conscience

The below is an extract from: Unraveling Family Secrets. Bert Hellinger interviewed on Family Constellations, By Humberto del Pozo in Santiago de Chile, September 1999.

How is it that somebody is selected to represent an excluded person?

The force that operates to select somebody to represent the person excluded, that is the family conscience and it is unconscious. You see it by its effects. This family consciousness follows certain laws.

One of them is that every member of a family has an equal right to belong. Now if one member is excluded or forgotten he doesn’t belong any more. So the family conscience has a tendency to completeness of the family. This is one of the laws. And we can actually see by it’s effects which member of the family is subjected to them and who aren’t. Only certain family members are affected and may be entangled in the fates of other family members.


Is it the family who choose that person or the person who chooses to be a representative of the past?

Neither nor. It is the family soul or the family conscience which picks that person. And there is no one guilty of actually picking somebody. It’s a force that requires that somebody does it and the weakest one – as a rule- takes it upon himself. If it is a child, it’s often the youngest one that takes it upon himself. The one that can resist the forces least. But I don’t want to make that a generalization. I have observed it often, but often it is the first born, too, quite often it is, but it is always one in a weaker position, who does that.

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