Soul and all that She is
We, collective humanity WE, and most especially, therapists, healers and luminaries are taking enormous steps of courage towards a better understanding of living, relating and counselling. We are growing out of the reductionist model of separateness which developed from egoistic structures created in our early days of evolution. Humanity was “the species less likely to survive” in our developmental age of evolving from hairless ape to humans. We had little hair, smallish teeth and claws, and were ridiculously slow runners. To ensure our survival through the ice ages and other catastrophic global events that followed in our early days of evolution, we developed a brain that was bigger than other mammals, had great problem solving capabilities, embraced a negative bias and stubbornly avoids recognizing trauma with the sometimes dubious gift of being able to survive despite injuries, physical, mental and emotional.
A sense of separateness developed from these traumatic beginnings. You could say that all of humanity is suffering from three thousand years of PTSD, starting with the conquering of the Amazons in ancient Anatolia, and ending with our headlong rush towards species suicide. The old world view gave rise to patriarchy, dishonourable use of Gaia’s resources and a litany of suffering. But now we are starting to share a sense of intense dissatisfaction with this world view. We are experiencing unprecedented levels of dis ease- physical, mental and emotional-depression, anxiety, addictions and lack of joy overall.
Now is the time to share those experiences, beliefs and values which we know to be true and which challenge the reductionist model. We are so much more than our biographical present day incarnations in this body, in this time and place. We are expressions of a greater consciousness, which I call Soul. This aspect of ourselves has been called many things throughout our human history-God, Atman, Christ consciousness, higher self; Source…the list is almost endless depending on the spiritual tradition. Let’s not get caught up in the tribal frame for this universal idea. I call that which is infinite, not limited by time or space and which chooses many lives and will continue to have many lives in the future-Soul. I invite you to call this aspect what you want.
We must bring Soul into our new world view because it is the only model that makes any sense in the paradigm shift which we are all preparing for. Many of us in ‘the Work’ know this either instinctively or as a side long knowing without specific words. We are reluctant to speak or write about it, especially those of us in the academic world. The modern heresy is to speak about Soul, interconnection and sacredness! What a contradiction!
The prohibition against speaking about Soul arose because humanity was duped for centuries by priests, charlatans, warrior kings, criminals and economists who manipulated humanity for control and power using spiritual concepts. Now we have grown out of the cleansing phase when all spirituality was thrown out with superstition, political and economic manipulations. Now we can invite again into our collective world view the concept and truth of what the Greeks three centuries ago called Soul. Incidentally, those wise Greeks had plant medicine teachers, which is why their wisdom is still relevant and inspirational today.
If we step out of the constraints of the reductionist model of the universe, then we can better understand many present day mental health illnesses. We are creating a new epistemological basis for testing what is ‘true”. Trauma or unintegrated experiences are partly biographical, from this life time. There are also, as epigenetics is showing us, ancestral trauma from past generations. I have felt and know ancestral trauma myself. I still feel an almost overwhelming pull towards owning land, forming a strong sense of home and feeling utterly displaced and destroyed if I lose my home, however temporary that loss may be. My ancestors were torn from the land which they loved deeply and were forced by colonizers to leave Ireland and Scotland and re settle in Canada. I still feel the starvation of my ancestors of the 1850’s who were dislodged from their lands during the potato famine, put in ‘fever boats’ and taken to Canada. Many of those people were weakened and killed by hunger, disease and sorrow. A few survived, and those who did, were my ancestors. They had to make severe adjustments to their physical, emotional and spiritual selves to survive. Extreme hardships were imposed on those people by others who were also suffering from multi-generational and multi-life traumas which had wizened them into monsters instead of compassionate human beings. This collective illness and abuse necessitated the displaced immigrants to limit their world view to very basic requirements of life and death. They became harden and the more joyful parts of life were diminished. A survival of the fittest construct allowed them to keep living, but the price was compassion, connection and earth based spirituality.
We are the product of about three thousand years of patriarchy and the era of the dishonourable warrior. We stand at the brink of our own and many other beings also, destruction. We pause at this cliff of self-destruction much like the Fool of the tarot. It appears we have been granted a moment’s reprieve. We can pause here at this abyss of environmental, species and social destruction and look back, reflect and perhaps decide to step away from this path. We are a species treating each other and other beings (mineral, plant and animal beings are included as the earth’s resources) in ways that can only be explained as this-we are utterly broken by trauma: individual, collective, ancestral, and originating from past lives. We are absolutely disconnected, alienated and dislodged from our natural heritage of belonging to the web of life on Gaia. We have an entire species of beings who are so traumatised by each other’s abuses that our survival strategies have become highly conditioned, concretized and unalterably self-destructive.
Now we have the chance to change, to grow into the truth of interconnectiveness, and go forward into a new paradigm which may save us.
In addiction counselling, there is a term- ‘the pickle line’, a pickle cannot return to being a cucumber no matter what. It is the point past which the addict cannot return to good health due to damage to body, mind and most importantly Soul. Perhaps most of humanity is past the pickle line. If that is the case, and I suspect it might be, then we must, all of us who see the truth of the species suicide pact, must opt out…somehow. In whatever way is still available to us.
What are those ways we can opt out the suicide pact of the dominate forces of humanity, and by association all life on Gaia? I believe that is the central question for every living being on Gaia at this moment.
Here’s a bigger context. The development of Soul and consciousness, which many of us in ‘the work’ have achieved, will never be lost. The development of Soul is like consciousness itself, once realised it is irreversible. Ashes cannot return to wood again, not ever. So too, once the interconnectiveness of all being is understood, or even glimpsed, this expansion of consciousness cannot be lost. We will grow, we will be realised, and we will re unite with Soul. But how that path will proceed will be decided by us in the next decades. If we resist this next step in our evolution, we will suffer vast species death, starvation, and social break down, environmental disaster. Perhaps a few of us will survive. Or perhaps a few of us can mitigate these disasters in these present times with deep ecology and the path forward will be less difficult.
The answer to all the ‘anxiety’ and ‘depression’ which is endemic in our communities at present is the answer to this question: How do I cope with the possible future of mass destruction , environmental degradation, species die off… and not allow myself to be overwhelmed with sorrow, hopelessness and despair?
Each person will have to answer that according to their own Soul path wisdom.
Here are a few suggestions.
1. Begin, if you haven’t already, with a daily practice which recognizes honours and invites Gaia into your life. This can be a simple practice such as lighting a candle and placing it in a shrine which has representatives from the three worlds of Gaia; plant, animal and mineral. For example, a flower, a bone and a crystal. Then state a prayer or intention for the day ahead with an appreciation of Gaia’s three worlds. This practice can change your immediate world energetically and in ‘reality’ by shifting future events for Gaia.
2. Practice Soul Catching every day. If you are unsure of what Soul Catching is, check out my other blog postings or my book, Soul Catching-finding sacred connections in our environments (Star,2007). This book explains how to bring appreciation of the environment into our everyday lives. Soul catching is based on the understanding that the environment is the greater Soul in which we live and die.
3. Step out of the human only world every day for at least 20 minutes a day. Go for a walk in nature and simply enjoy and send blessings to all beings who cross your path- cats, trees, clouds, rain, flowers birds. Bless all and see them for what they are-a mirror of your Soul.
4. Take time for self-reflection and to develop your Soul. Every Day! Even if it’s only for a few moments- a line of poetry, a quick drawing, a few moments of sacred dance or chanting. Be creative, notice the blessings of your life, notice this world of wonders, even if it’s just a nano second of appreciation for some small every day beauty-falling leaves, ravens croaking, waves along a beach, a small kindness of a dog.
5. Notice! Appreciate. Joy is the best revenge against those who hold to darkness, resistance to growth and who seek to destroy Gaia and our collective futures.
Joy in the journey.