The art of living soulfully
Puzzled and curious about what it means to be a human being, being a child of the aftermath of the Holocaust (denied trauma, cut off soul) and of the promise of the babyboom generation of "making peace", "creating a better life", "redeeming the feminine" and learning to express emotions (negative and positive), unmasking underlying unconscious thought patterns, pioneering in the human potential movement (with an inflated ego). I realize, my focus always was and is:
the well being of soul.
"Soul" as word, as pointer to this process of connectedness, is often called an instinct for religiosity. The mystics speak about soul, or rather FROM soul. The soul speaks in love language, symbols, the imagination, feeling/thoughts, dreams, poetry, music, dance and color and painting.
The challenge is to anchor the soul in the body, to live through direct experience. To let the body become an instrument of soul/God consciousness. The challenge is to embrace the mind and ego (self images, self- centeredness and needs to control. The identifications and attachments). Dropping the attachments, surrendering in Self, Openness, non-dual consciousness. No-thing-ness. One-ness.
This is easier said then done.
This work of unification cannot be done by a do-er. The ego/mind. As long as the survival instinct fuels fears and separateness, the ego (and id and super-ego) takes over. Self protection and reactivity and defensiveness may get so strong that our innate vulnerabilities and sensitivities are closed off, pushed under, muted, drowned, split off, overruled and deadened.
Only outwardness reigns.
The challenge in life is to stay connected or reconnect with our true nature. To develop a transparent ego, or let the ego become the servant of the true Self. Awakening the sleeping soul inside oneself, holding the ego in a loving embrace. Soul then can resonate to spirit and can become the magnet for Grace, Compassion, Loving kindness, Joy, Peace and Beauty. This shift from self-centeredness to openness into Self/Source is difficult (surrendering control/identifications) and needs to be invited consciously. "Discipline and dedication" is required. One needs to shift out of the thinking mind into deep listening into the depth of the heart. One needs to dare to see through the false self, find courage to be authentic and allow the true self to shine through. This is an ongoing process of CULTIVATING INWARDNES.
I also think that one needs "Soul-Mirrors". People, teachers, guides who embody unconditional Love and see through all the self-images, mirror one's deeper true essence, the soul. They are allies for one's soul development. They may appear in response to one's inner soul longing.
And one needs to rest in Stillness or in the spaces in between, in order to let go of judgmental-conceptual mind. Practicing a loving witnessing. A being with what is.
In our times, the other way around is often offered. The ego (the I and all my self images I identify with) expands and includes soul imagery, heart feelings and spiritual promises of happiness and success. A big false self is build. A big spiritual self image. No humbleness, no true fearlessness, no true intimacy can appear. This is a very complicated hard to unmask process in our culture, because our culture objectifies, focuses on "the truth", "personalities", on entertainment and consumption. On buying "soul- goods" of happiness and success. This is called "spiritual materialism" and "ego-inflation". The soul as the feeling/awaring agency is totally idealized and
devaluated. This "burn out" dynamic, created by too much organizing, manipulating, willing, pushing and externalizing is a very painful and very misunderstood phenomenon in our times.
The soul is not invited in. Cannot "live". There is no space for breath or pause or a tender loving being-with-ness.
The heart needs to be aroused. The soul awakened. Innerwork practiced.
Through contemplating, deep listening, breathing, closed-eyes sensing and meditating. Resting in silence. Opening to our true nature.
The soul does not contrive/invent/think/analyze/plan or tries to figure out things. Those are functions of the mind. The soul senses, breathes, awares, feels and receives. Insights. The heart knows, imagines, sings, sighs. Likes poetry and music and painting. The hands are seen as the instruments of soul.
May we be able to safely deal with our distortions, emotional torments, negativities and mental monsters. May we learn to be compassionate with ourselves and others. May the river of life flow, may we be able to do the work of unification, in ourselves and between each other, and serve this Self/Wholeness. This mystery of Life.
The seed of Bliss, the God-spark, unconditional unbroken LoveLight, the hidden Self in the heart can be discovered/remembered. Qualities like compassion, wisdom and purity can be cultivated. Soul matters.