• Tag Archives daimon
  • Working with Qualities of Soul: Other

    This concept of otherness didn’t seem to be present yesterday. One idea I was pondering was needing to honour this blogging process at the end of the day rather than the beginning. The idea that I’m spending half the day working on the blog of the previous day shortens the time being able to experience the intention of the current day.

    This may require being more conscious of and then journaling my dreams.  Dreams haven’t been embedding themselves in my awareness lately. The ones that are the most vivid I tend to remember. Then there are the smaller dreams that make a sort of cameo performance – I remember them in the morning but have forgotten them by the end of the day. I read somewhere that dreams are the psyche’s way of working with what is unresolved within us. I guess the vivid dreams are the more interesting things not resolved while the ‘cameo’ dreams are perhaps less interesting. Both can be equally important to the unfolding of the soul journey.

    Having said that I do remember a dream from early this morning. I encountered a man, a friend I worked with over 15 years ago. As well as being a chef he also had a great mind too and could quote Shakespeare and many other poets. He was a example for me that though a chef and really focused in the physical, work wise my soul could also be further nurtured through other arts as well. I hadn’t been in contact with him for a few years though I was aware that he had Parkinson’s disease. In early January I was informed that he had passed away late last year a shell of his former self through his struggle with the disease. I experienced him in my dream as being younger than I remember him. Vibrant, brilliant, gentle, smiling. Still with that beard that he seemed to have forever though I only knew him for a few years.

    Beards seem to have become a thread in my life. In the face of the dislike of beards from family and friends I have persisted with my beard. I shave it right back when it begins to look unruly and let it grow right back again. I tell people I’ve just become lazy. Who knows it may be more than that. I know I’m fascinated by the Greek God Oceanus who is depicted with a beautiful beard. I encountered him when I took a shamanic journey, a guided interactive meditation, to meet my daimon. I felt his gentle and playful nature.

    At times thought to be the origin of all things, this is the god of the backward-flowing river Ocean, which bounds the earth and from which all rivers flow and every sea, and all the springs and wells.

    Oceanus
    Oceanus

    I’m fascinated by the description of the backward-flowing river. Is it about always returning to our source? Acknowledging that at times the soul journey requires a backward step? Is it about feeling the energy of Earth flowing upwards through our bodies, after all Gaia was the mother of Oceanus and so intimately connected to him.

    He always seems to have a troubled, yet gentle air about him in images. That gentle quality is indicated by his refusing to enter the conspiracy of his siblings to destroy his father Uranus. There is compassion in his nature. I feel that gentle but troubledness within myself.

    I mentioned the daimon in The Soul Part 2 in conjunction with this sense of otherness. The deities of any of the pantheons, Greek, Roman, Asiatic, Norse, Celtic are all originally nature deities or have evolved from them. It is when I take time to be in nature and away from my urban existence that I feel the sense of this other that is also me. This other seems totally at peace with himself.

    Thomas Moore mentions something similar in his audio retreat Soul Life. He recounts a story by Mircea Eliade that when he experienced this “otherness that was also himself” there was a sense of profound happiness.

    Moore also mentions W.B. Yeats who felt he’d be fencing with this other back and forth, back and forth, neither one seeming to gain ascendancy. For me that begs the question – Is there a need for any ascendancy or is it the honouring of the process that is unfolding that finally allows this other to be at peace within the psyche?

    I return to not having this feeling of this otherness about me. I’m not sure whether that means that all is right with my world. Am I exactly where I need to be without needing my soul consciousness to fence with me or needing to inform my innerself that I’m essentially happy.

    I noticed when I was at work that there was a difference to the atmosphere of the place. Some of the staff there the previous day weren’t present. The sense of finding my feet was less and a sense of urgency had faded.  I still felt nervous and though there was less assistance at service time I managed ok, finishing earlier than I had on Saturday.

    I enjoyed connecting with these new people and to feel the energy of their personalities. It takes me back to the uniqueness of each person’s experience and how they contact the world. To see how they relate to each other, to listen to the banter that unfolds among them gives a sense that they’re enjoying what they’re doing and being together.

    Blessings

    Resources:

    Thomas Moore
    Soul Life:How to Nourish and Deepen your Everyday World. Available here
    Thomas Moore’s site:Care of the Soul

    Greek Myth: Oceanus



  • The Soul: Part Two

    What follows are ideas from the Soul Life audio retreat of Thomas Moore. A peaceful resting place on the journey to discover what a soul-connected and soul-centred existence might feel like. The qualities Thomas Moore speaks of regarding the Soul outline an internal rather than external reality.

    Qualities of the Soul

    Individual – He describes the soul as being individual. For me this idea asks that when I engage my soul consciously I may have to form my own values rather than those I inherited from my parents, my peers, teachers, politicians and others to whom I may feel beholden. I make my own choices of how my life will unfold, of how I imagine my identity in this world. This is a concept of having freewill. And in this I may have to be eccentric. What is it that is eccentric about your life? What is it you do that makes you different? Are you celebrating that difference?

    Vast – The soul is vast as the words of Heraclitus expressed in the previous post. I see from my bodily perspective the physical universe, our solar system, the galaxies far beyond our reach and yet I may have something similar going on in my spiritual self. A vast potentiality within. A universe of possibilities to explore as a human. Logos, Moore explains as being the “mysterious, unfathomable nature of soul”. I was drawn to the word as it is used in English to describe the study of different areas (geo-logy, astro-logy). In a way this soulpath is a way to discover the mystery of who I might become in this physical existence. My Creative Mythology for this lifetime. From this vast potentiality within, what will I become?

    Madness – Plato says the soul may require me to do something that to others will appear crazy. This mad act may be, by all appearances, detrimental to the life I’m living at the time. If, as has been suggested, that we have a sacred contract to fulfil in this lifetime then this madness may precipitate learning experiences for us or move us on towards the very things we have contracted to do. Or maybe open us up to a new way of being and give us a fuller experience of life itself.

    Complex – Moore says the soul is also complicated. I wanted the explanations for the way my life unfolded to be simple so that I could just put it behind me and get on with living. Moore suggests that there are many influences woven together that make up our lives. And some of those influences come from the way our extended families functioned. I imagined that if I could lay the blame for what appeared to be my dysfunction in this life to parents or grandparents then all my problems would be solved. Not so. These threads that I inherit and spin together with the threads I have been given are part of the weaving of the larger tapestry that is life. I may not know how some random act of kindness I perform will affect the beauty of that larger tapestry. So I embrace the threads I am given and acknowledge those who played their parts in my creation.

    Cyclic – The wheels of soul turn eternally in the grand scheme of things. And as I spiral upwards I may require in the interests of the divine evolution, a downward slide. And it maybe one step forward and six steps backwards with the soul. The same themes may come up. Sex, money, relationships. Why the difficulties with these universal themes? Have I not got it yet? Have I not yet understood the difficulty. And there maybe only one theme behind it all. The soul crying out for me to be conscious of it. Difficulties are the soul calling to me. What does it want? And as the soul engages the difficulty may fall away. I breathe a sigh of relief and with the next revolution my tyre is punctured in another way. Life is never boring with the soul engaged. An extra gear that clicks in when Life might be at its lowest, or perhaps I’m racing ahead and getting out of touch with what is important.

    Shadowy – Another reason why I felt these ideas may hold a key to what I’d been going through was based on some of the ideas of Carl Jung. He spoke of the animus & anima. The animus being the male aspect within the female; and the anima, the female aspect within the male. And both being integral to the nature of the soul. Why are they shadowy? In today’s world these aspects are little understood and what is not understood can lend shadow to our world especially if these aspects are making their presence felt in the unconscious. Because they want to be acknowledged. They are part of the archetypal realm. In that, they are a part of the shadow world, they are formless, even though on a subtle level they have a certain power. They are abstractions, and enable us to form experience around them. They engender emotion as they present themselves. Jung’s description of archetypes include the images of them being; “active living dispositions, ideas in the Platonic sense, that preform and continually influence our thoughts and feelings and actions”; and he also calls them “inherited possibilities of ideas.” The ‘idea’ being an image that holds the deepest or greatest potentiality, in the grand scheme of things. And those potentialities remain in shadow until they come to the fore in the ebb and flow of life. As they come into our consciousness the light of our awareness shines upon them.

    Jung also protrayed the anima as having four stages in it’s development.

    First Stage: Purely instinctual and biological relationship.
    Second Stage: Romantic and aesthetic level still with sexual characteristics.
    Third Stage: Love with the aspect of spiritual devotion.
    Fourth Stage: Wisdom going beyond even the most holy and most pure.

    I can understand the first three stages from my own experience and also the fourth. My imagining is that a wisdom that goes beyond what is most holy and most pure would not be easily understood by everyone. My understanding is that all experience even that which does not appear outwardly to be holy or to be pure is honoured in the Godhead. And so a sense of detachment is required. Honouring the pain, and the darkness of our existence while acknowledging that it will in time pass.

    Also the shadowy nature of the soul can manifest through those experiences that we envision as having dark overtones in our lives. Those times when we go through a passage of suffering, when the only friend we imagine having is our misery, when we’ve sunk into a blackhole and are unable to find a way out, the list goes on. And yet it is through these experiences, if we can allow ourselves to feel fully the emotions which arise, and to embrace the darkness that we begin to see the beauty of this shadowy place.

    Other – When I mention the anima/animus aspect of the soul I’m drawn to Moore speaking about an otherness quality to the experience of our individual soul and also his ideas about the daimon, which he translates sometimes as angel or guardian. He talks about living in tune with the daimon. Honouring what the daimon requires of us in this lifetime. Being in accordance with what the daimon wishes to evoke within us he refers to as “eudaimonic living”. “Eu” in Greek meaning good. To the Greeks the daimon was a personal intermediary between god and human. They make possible the birth of the soul into the physical body. In some ways we both possess and are possessed by the daimon. The path to be able to fully express through our daimon is blocked on occasion by experience of the demons of our nature.

    Sandra Lee Dennis has written of her experiences in “Embrace of the Daimon” and for her the imagery was what might be termed demonic until she allowed herself fully accept it in all its montrous nature. When this happened the imagery transformed into something beautiful. What seemed most figural in her stories were snakes, either singly or as groups and there were other manifestations, human and animal. And this seems to tie in with Moore’s ideas that this other may present not only in one manifestation but also as a multiplicity of images.

    Resources:

    Thomas Moore
    Soul Life:How to Nourish and Deepen your Everyday World. Available here
    Thomas Moore’s site:Care of the Soul

    Sandra Lee Dennis
    Sandra Lee DennisEmbrace of the Daimon

    Carl Junghttp://www.cgjungpage.org/

    Anthony Stevens – Archetype: A Natural History of the Self