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SEMINAR 7
The Great Web of Life
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"The Sleeping Beauty, the Prince and the Dragon"

An Exploration of the Soul

Seminar 1
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Seminar Main Page What is the Soul? click here
Seminar 2
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Seminar 2 The Origins of the Concept of Soul click here
Seminar 3
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Seminar 3 The Myth of the Fall click here
Seminar 4
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Seminar 4   Myths, Fairy Tales and Dreams  click here
Seminar 4A
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Seminar 4   Animals in Dreams 
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Seminar 5
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Seminar 5  The Roots of Depression click here
Seminar 6
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Seminar 6 The Child and the Parental Relationship click here
Seminar 7
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Seminar 7 The Great Web of Life   this page
Seminar 8
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Seminar 8 The Brain and the Neuro-psycho-immune System  click here  
Seminar 9
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Seminar 9 The Dragon: Integrating the Archaic Psyche and the Shadow click here
Seminar 10
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Seminar 10 Rebalancing the Masculine and the Feminine click here
Seminar 11
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Seminar 11 Base Metal into Gold: The Process of the Soul's Transformation click here
Seminar 12
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Seminar 12 Individual Soul, Cosmic Soul and Spirit
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Seminar 13
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Seminar 12 The Wisdom Texts
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Seminar 7

1. THE GREAT WEB OF LIFE
2.THE TEACHING OF KABBALAH

Healing the Soul through reconnecting Body, Soul and Spirit

©Anne Baring

The living spirit grows and even outgrows its earlier forms of expression; it freely chooses the men and women in whom it lives and who proclaim it. This living spirit is eternally renewed and pursues its goal in manifold and inconceivable ways throughout the history of mankind. Measured against it, the names and forms which men have given it mean little enough; they are only the changing leaves and blossoms on the stem of the eternal tree.
                                                               C.G. Jung, Modern Man in Search of a Soul

Healing is wholeness. To be healed and whole we need to reconnect body, soul and spirit through:
     1. Awareness of the Presence of Soul/Spirit in and as all that is.
     2. Developing a conscious relationship with and respect for the complex web of life we are part of.
     3. Bringing together spirit and nature, thinking and feeling, mind and soul, the masculine and feminine aspects of our being.
     4. Understanding the instincts and caring for the body with its miraculous integrated processes.

to recap: this Course is about:
Recovering the lost feminine dimension of the divine.
Healing the split between spirit and nature.
Discovering that we have never been outside an ensouled universe, outside a great Web of Being
Discovering that the soul is not only in us. We are in the soul. To repeat what I said in seminar 1 about the soul:

The Soul is:
The Feminine Aspect of Spirit
The Vehicle of Spirit
The Containing Principle of the Universe
The Principle of Relationship, Attraction and Participation

           As I suggested in seminar 1, there are two concepts of soul: one is the personal soul, the core of our being, source of our deepest instinctive feelings, hopes and longings. These feelings, hopes and longings will connect us, if we allow them to, to the greater entity in whose life each of us participates - an Entity, Being or Consciousness that is the life of the universe, the life of our planet (what we call nature) and of every stone, plant and creature on it. It is this greater consciousness, the ground of our own consciousness, this wider, inclusive concept of soul that has been lost. The extent to which it has been lost is reflected in this statement of a modern scientist: "I myself, like many scientists, believe that the soul is imaginary and that what we call our mind is simply a way of talking about our brains." (Francis Crick, Nobel prize winner, one of discoverers of DNA)
           The soul has been imagined in Christian culture as something within our nature - something that connects us to spirit and can act as a receptacle or vessel of spirit. Spirit has been defined in male imagery as something that is totally transcendent - outside or beyond us. But, as I hope I have shown in seminar 2, the whole of life, visible and invisible (in the image of the Great Mother) was once experienced as spirit - as something inclusive and all-embracing to which we belonged, a greater life or consciousness in whose Being we participated, something we were connected to, and through it, to each other and to all aspects of life. There was no essential barrier between what was outside us and what was within. Outside and inside were part of cosmic life: one part visible - the physical universe - and the other invisible, including our thoughts, emotions and imagination. Today we have accepted the separation between our inner life and the outer visible one of our environment, but this separation is the creation of our own consciousness. Before this sense of separation arose, we felt part of an invisible web of relationships that was the hidden life of the universe - a sacred matrix or sea or field of being. The role of the shaman, artist, poet or mystic was to connect us with this great sea of being, this dimension of cosmic soul. Even today, a modern artist has written, "Beneath our technological civilization, there still flows the living river of human consciousness within which is concentrated the life of the animals, plants, stars, the earth and the sea, and the life of our ancestors, the flowing generations of men and women: the sensitive and solitary ones, the secret inarticulate longing before the mystery of life."
         As I said in seminar 2 and 3, the religions of the last 2500 years - all formulated by men - were, not unsurprisingly, focused on the masculine aspect of spirit and neglected the feminine aspect of it. They excluded from the word 'spirit' nature, body and the material world. What was once imagined as the Great Mother - all nature and her mystery - came to be seen as separate from spirit and desacralised. (Giordano Bruno was burnt at the stake in 1600 for refusing to deny that God was present in nature). We need now to bring together body, soul and spirit so that life is not so fragmented, so that we know ourselves in our wholeness, know that our lives, our consciousness, our being and our body, are inseparable from the life and consciousness and being of the universe.
         The effects of the loss of the feminine aspect of spirit on our civilisation are incalculable. Instinctive knowledge of the holy unity of things, reverence for the complexity and inter-relatedness of all aspects of life, trust in the powers of the imagination and exercise of the faculty of intuition - all this as a way of relating to life through participation rather than through dominance and control, was gradually lost. Here and there, fragments of the knowledge of how to live in participation with the life of the universe survived and were treasured (Kogis, American Indians, Australian Aborigines). During the phase of separation from nature, we lost the vital sense of relationship and communion with an unseen presence that was immanent in the physical world, animating the great organism of the planet with all its mountains, rivers, springs, trees, plants and animals.

Effects of the return of the feminine principle:
Return of the idea of cosmic soul or anima-mundi.
Recovery of a sense of relationship with nature.
Recovery of a sense of the sacred.
Recovery of the instinctive, feeling values that are so vitally important for our connection with soul and spirit.
A better balance between thinking and feeling
Greater sensitivity to other people's needs and feelings in the field of human relationships. A sense of global connection with others.
A greater respect for the body (see seminar 8).

          Perhaps we can now understand that the concept of soul embraces an immense web or matrix of relationships which is concealed behind the veil of matter. But can we also understand soul to include visible nature; the physical aspect or manifestation of life which arises out of the invisible, out of what cannot be seen, rather like the stem of a flower arises out of the depths of the soil or the stars emerge in the night sky? We are directly connected to this unseen dimension through our instincts, our feelings and our emotions. These have their origin in this deeper dimension of soul and they connect us instinctively, as a child is connected to its mother, to the matrix of the planetary biosphere and the still greater matrix of cosmic relationships about which as yet we know almost nothing. All this is the vehicle, the dwelling place of spirit. This unity of seen and unseen is infused with the animating energy of spirit which cannot be separated from any part of itself. Nothing could come into manifestation withoutthe intermediary of soul.
         
Imagine the universe as a great Web of Life, a cosmic internet of incredibly complex interdependent relationships and networks within networks; shining filaments of light flowing like an unfathomable sea through the galaxies and the starry fields of space as well as through our bodies and the life of animals, plants, trees and landscape we see around us. The ancient tradition of cosmic soul says that this invisible Web in which we are embedded, this immeasurable Sea of Being is alive with consciousness and that this consciousness longs for us to awaken to awareness of it and to relationship with its "unutterable existence." The new physics says that we are not split off from this Web of Life as separate entities; we are part of it, continually interacting with it. Our molecules don't just stop at our bodies' parameters - they flow into a wider field - receiving and transmitting messages, information, consciousness. All living systems are networks of smaller components, and the Web of Life as a whole is a multi-layered structure of living systems nesting within other living systems - networks within networks. "Nature's language is a language of relationships." - (Gregory Bateson). Organisms are aggregates of autonomous but closely coupled cells; populations are networks of autonomous organisms belonging to a single species; and ecosystems are webs of organisms, both single-celled and multi-cellular belonging to many different species. (Fritjof Capra) The pattern of organization within all these organisms is always a network pattern. The capacity for self-organization exists within the pattern. i.e. the oak grows from an acorn. We grow to our full capacity from our molecular origins. This new concept of human consciousness draws together:

1. the interactions of the body systems (unconscious to us)
2. perception through our five senses - sight, hearing, smell, touch, taste.
3. emotions, feelings, instincts.
4. conceptual thinking and the ability to be aware of and explore both an external and an internal world and to reflect on them.
5. language and communication with others.
6. the ability to imagine.

          All these different modes of perception whether at a conscious or unconscious level connect us to our environment, both visible and invisible. Consciousness is the very process of life. We are a minute excitation on the surface of a great sea of being (the quantum vacuum). We exist in this sea of being like a bird in the air or a fish in water. We see ourselves and everything round us as solid matter but in fact we are a mass of vibrating atoms that are interacting with all other atoms. The vast unknown dimension in which we live communicates through instincts, feelings, emotions, intuitions, thoughts and through our capacity to imagine. If we do not pay attention to these, we can have no knowledge of this deeper level of our life and there is no way that it can reach us. We cannot be enriched and developed by a relationship with something greater than ourselves. Cut off from soul, we become impoverished and diminished. In compensation for the loss of the priceless treasure of a conscious relationship with this Web of Life, we become possessed by the desire for ever more power and control over life, driven to achieve goals which have nothing to do with the quest for and discovery of the hidden treasure of relationship with the ground of our being. The present time is demanding a total re-assessment of our values, a breakthrough to a new kind of understanding.
           Today we are beginning to realise that we need to treat the earth and the millions of different species on it with more respect, that we need to show more concern for the delicate ecological balance of the biosphere, that we are poisoning the earth, the seas and our own bodies with chemicals and pesticides, that we are inviting our own destruction through our continued aggression towards our environment and each other. Yet there are billions of people who have little possibility of being aware of these issues, who cannot or do not feel protective towards the earth, the sea, the trees and animals.
           Because of the duality in our thinking which came into being as we slowly separated from nature, we tend to think in terms of spirit and soul, masculine and feminine. I would like to go beyond this distinction (which exists very strongly in Jungian thought) and draw them together into an integrated whole or oneness, as the Taoist sages of China did (see under book The Divine Feminine). We can study the history of the concepts of soul and spirit as two separate "things" but we can also learn to imagine and experience them as a single energy with two "faces". If one has to make a distinction, soul seems to be the structure, the fabric, the containing web of relationships which provides the 'matter' or matrix for spirit to work on or through. Spirit is the dynamic energy which manifests at different levels of organisation and rates of vibration, producing different degrees of density and different "kinds" of matter - galaxies, planets, humans, animals, plants, trees, rocks etc. Soul is the matrix or subtle organisational field that holds everything together and in relationship with everything else.
           Physicists do not speak of God because they are working objectively as scientists to prove the hypotheses which belong to their particular discipline. But those who are working at the leading edge of physics have now realised that they cannot separate the organising energy or process (spirit) from the matrix or structure (soul) which acts as a transmitter of or container for that energy. "the interdependence of process and structure allows us to heal the split between mind and matter." (Capra, The Web of Life) These can't really be separated; together they form a single creative dynamic. So, it is ultimately impossible to separate matter and soul from spirit.
          
No-one has put this more clearly than Jesus in the gnostic gospel of Thomas: Cleave a piece of wood, I am there; Lift up the stone and you will find Me there.
          
A kabbalist text says:

The essence of divinity is found in every single thing - nothing but it exists. Since it causes every thing to be, no thing can live by anything else. It enlivens them; its existence exists in each existent. Do not attribute duality to God. Let God be solely God. If you suppose that God emanates until a certain point, and that from that point on is outside of it, you have dualized. God forbid! Realise, rather, that God exists in each existent. Do not say, 'This is a stone and not God.' God forbid! Rather, all existence is God, and the stone is a thing pervaded by divinity.

2. THE TEACHING OF KABBALAH

I have found the teaching of Kabbalah extrardinarily helpful in understanding our connection to unseen dimensions of reality - dimensions that might be called The Great Web of Life. I have therefore included this very brief description of it as part of this course. In my view, Kabbalah explains better than any religious teaching why, in Blake's words, 'Everything That Lives Is Holy'. I would suggest that anyone interested in taking this further could read the books by Warren Kenton and Gershom Scholem. One Kabbalist has described Kabbalah as "a symbolic representation of the relationships believed to exist between the most abstract Divinity and the most concrete humanity...a family Tree linking God and Man together with Angels and other Beings as a complete conscious creation." (William Grey, The Ladder of Lights)

"Kabbalism is the inner and mystical aspect of Judaism. It is the Perennial Teaching about the Attributes of the Divine, the nature of the universe and the destiny of man." (Warren Kenton) It was imparted by revelation to men who devoted their lives to contemplation. In the course of its long history, it has had many rich and varied images of reality, expressed according to the comprehension of the many individuals who studied it. Legend says that the angel Razael gave Adam and Eve a book when they were cast out of Paradise on how to find their way back to it. Kabbalah is that book.. The word 'Kabbalah' means to receive. The hidden oral tradition of Kabbalah was called 'The Voice of the Dove'. Kabbalism is some 4000 years old with deep roots in Egypt and Babylonia. A great chain of teachers passed the teaching orally from teacher to pupil until the 13th century when a book called the Zohar (The Book of Splendour) was written.
           The fundamental teaching of Kabbalah was the doctrine of emanation and, because of this, the fundamental oneness or unity of life. God is not only transcendent but, through emanation, is present in every particle of the visible, created world. The aim of the kabbalist was to unite the Above with the Below, the Divine World with our Manifest world. Unlike other spiritual traditions, Kabbalism did not reject this world but saw it irradiated by the light of God. It saw nature as the garment of God. This mystical tradition taught the direct path to God. It taught that whatever we do in this world affects other invisible dimensions or worlds and vice-versa. It taught the inter-connectedness of everything, visible and invisible. It taught that the soul becomes enlightened over many lives through contemplation of and communion with the higher worlds. We cannot bear the radiance of the light of the divine ground all at once. As the relationship with the divine deepens, so our consciousness expands to include awareness of the deeper dimensions of being and we gradually begin to radiate the light and love of the ground of being.

He will first open for them a tiny aperture of light, then another somewhat larger, and so on until He will throw open for them the supernal gates which face on all the four quarters of the world…For we know that when a man has been long shut up in darkness it is necessary, on bringing him into the light, first to make for him an opening as small as the eye of a needle, and then one a little later, and so on, gradually, until he can endure the full light…So too, a sick man who is recovering cannot be given a full diet all at once, but only gradually." The Zohar, 13th century Spain

THE TREE OF LIFE
(see diagram at end of seminar)

We find the image of the Tree of Life in Hindu, Buddhist and Chinese mythology, usually connected with the image of a Great Mother. Indian mythology says that the Buddha's mother holds on to a tree as she gives birth and he sits beneath a great tree on the night of his awakening. Paintings from ancient Egypt show the goddess Hathor/Isis reaching out from the Tree of Life to offer the water of eternal life to the soul of the deceased. A tree always stood in the temples of the goddess in Mesopotamia, Egypt and Greece as a symbol of her gift of life and abundance - particularly a pomegranate or sycamore fig with its milk-like sap. So, in the Tree of Life mythology there are ancient traces of the Egyptian goddesses Hathor and Isis and also Mesopotamian and Greek ones. There are also elements of the Platonic concept of the Great Chain of Being connecting the god-head with our world. The Tree of Life in Kabbalah is a clear diagram of worlds within worlds, dimensions within dimensions - an image of the Web of invisible relationships which integrate spirit with every aspect of what we call nature and matter. At the deepest, innermost level is the unknowable god-head, at the outermost the physical forms of matter. All is one: one life, one pulsing energy, one containing, animating spirit. We are, each one of us, that life, that energy, that spirit. We are atoms in the being of God. Kabbalah offers us one of the most ancient images of the inter-relationship of all aspects of life.

Here are a few examples of this great connecting image of the Tree of Life:

Then I was standing on the highest mountain of them all, and round about beneath me was the whole hoop of the world. And while I stood there I saw more than I can tell and I understood more than I saw; for I was seeing in a sacred manner the shapes of all things in the spirit, and the shape of all shapes as they must live together like one being. And I saw the sacred hoop of my people was one of the many hoops that made one circle, wide as daylight and as starlight, and in the centre grew one mighty flowering tree to shelter all the children of one mother and one father. And I saw that it was holy.
The Vision of Black Elk

And the angel showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was…the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruits every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. (Rev. 22:1-2)

I am the root of the great tree of the universe which has its beginning above in Me. The trees on earth receive their nourishment from below and their form grows upwards, while this universal tree has roots above, in the Absolute; it gets its life force from Me and manifests as branches, leaves, fruits and flowers.    Krishna in the Bhagavad Gita, chapter 15.

A friend of mine, a man in his late seventies, had a wonderful dream. He dreamed that he saw a tree covered with golden pomegranates. He took this to be a confirmation that he had lived his life as deeply and completely as possible. Was this his own tree, he wondered, the tree of his own life which now bore such ripe, golden fruit, or was he a fruit of the great feminine principle imagined as the Tree of Life?
          
In Kabbalah the Tree of Life is a diagram or template of the levels of consciousness and the complexity of the invisible relationships flowing through four worlds, connecting the innermost (not the uppermost) divine source or god-head with outermost manifest creation, connecting the invisible with the visible. (for a modern scientific explanation of this idea see David Bohm's Wholeness and the Implicate Order). There are two fundamental aspects of the God-head. One aspect is utterly transcendent, non-being, the Void. The other is the totality of being - the Full or the All. The oral tradition of Kabbalah says that 'God wished to behold God.' God created a void in which the mirror of existence could be manifested or reflected. A ray of light penetrated the darkness of the Void and the Emanation of and from the divine source began. It proceeded to manifest through ten Vessels, Attributes or Divine Powers called Sefiroth (also called the Crowns or Faces of God). These structured the outpouring of light into a specific archetypal pattern which formed the model on which everything that was to come into manifestation is based. This model is called the Tree of Life. The network of relationships set forth in the primal archetypal Tree underlie the whole of existence. (see Warren Kenton's Kabbalah from which this description is drawn).
          
The Four Worlds of Kabbalah emanate from the God-head - a great fountain of light and love flowing from the heart of God. This fountain of light emanates through the ten Vessels or Powers or Attributes of God which are connected by 22 paths. The first Vessel (Kether) is a state of perfect equilibrium and contains all that was, is and will be. The divine impulse towards emanation moves the energy to expand beyond the first Vessel to the second; it is then received and contained by the third Vessel. This process of expansion and containment is repeated three times until this Tree is complete and the emanating energy balanced. The process of emanation then proceeds through the three further worlds, and the laws or archetypes which govern each world or level of creation come into being. The Tree of Life can also be imagined as a lightning flash and as an octave of the musical scale. One may also see the four worlds as a single Tree of Life with the Vessels or Powers arranged down the central column. (see diagram at end of seminar)

1. The World of Emanation = the divine world
2. The World of Creation = the world of archetypes (blue-print, laws)
3. The World of Formation = the invisible soul-forms of life
4. The World of Manifestation = our physical, material world

The World of Emanation is the divine or eternal and unchanging world - the Divine Ground of Being is perhaps the closest definition we can reach.

The World of Creation is where distancing from the divine world and imperfection and evil begin. These are of necessity woven into the fabric of the further emanation into the next worlds or levels of becoming. In this world or dimension of reality time begins. This is the level of the archetypal laws of life, the blue-print of all possible universes. The archangels are the agents of the creative emanation at this level. Occasionally we can receive a vision or a dream from this world. (See painting of St. Francis and the Red Angel).

The World of Formation is the dimension where the archetypal or soul-forms of life come into being. Rupert Sheldrake's discovery of what he calls Morphogenetic fields or patterns of life reflect these soul-forms. "The Garden of Eden." The place of origin of myths, fairy-tales and dreams. The Collective Unconscious. The memories of all of humanity's experience are held here. The "Treasure House of Souls" where souls "exist" between incarnations. In Egypt this dimension was called "The Fields of Ra" and in Greece "The Elysian Fields". Ideas, images, feelings, emotions, instincts flow from the world of Formation into our consciousness. At this level, angels are held to be the agents of the process of emanation.

The World of Manifestation: In taking on bodies or coming into incarnation in this dimension of reality, we move from the level of the soul to the physical level of life on this planet. Embodiment is experienced as a constriction for the soul; a narrowing of focus. The soul dons a "coat of skin" and loses the memory of its place of origin.

In Kabbalah The Birds of the Air are the Archangels; The Fish of the Sea are the Angels; The Beasts of the Field are the life of our manifest world - the life of the planet.

Fire is the symbol of the Divine World
Air of the World of Creation
Water of the World of Formation
Earth of the manifest world


Left hand column of the Tree = Pillar of Severity. Containment, holding. Path of intellect: the scientist; hermeticist, seeker after truth and insight. The receptive, containing, holding principle.
Right hand column = Pillar of Mercy. Expansion. Orphic path, ecstatic: the path of the artist, poet, musician, healer, shaman. Revelation. The active, dynamic, expanding principle.
Central column = Pillar of Equilibrium. Path of compassion; union through love - Christ/Buddha and all those who serve humanity and the planet. The focus of balance, union, harmony and relationship.

The greatest myths direct our attention towards these higher and inner worlds to which we can have access through the refining of our consciousness. The great theme of the quest for the Grail gives us an image of the Cup or Vessel which holds the love, compassion and abundance of the Holy Spirit -which is another name for Cosmic Soul.
           How can we strengthen our relationship with these worlds? Transforming the deeply ingrained habits of centuries and imprinted structures of thought is as difficult and arduous as melting and recasting metal. The first thing needed is to set aside time for just sitting and wondering about these things - even five or ten minutes a day. Make a space for dreaming, for being, for imagining the sense of connection growing. Make the place where you sit special with a flower or a piece of cloth or a favourite picture. Allow your heart to open, your deepest feelings to be heard, your deepest longings to be expressed. Into the space you create something new will appear, shyly, like a fawn entering a glade in the forest. Make time for listening to music, for dancing, singing, painting, writing a fairy story; doing something that is completely different from what you usually do and that you have never had time to do before. Do not try to turn what happens into anything to begin with and do not show what you do to anyone. If you feel like crying, let the tears come. Slowly (or for some people, suddenly) a sense of relationship with an invisible world will grow and strengthen. Do not kill this fragile awareness with criticism and intellectual disparagement. Banish the inner critic! Become aware of the constant stream of thoughts, feelings, fears, anxieties, hopes and longings that make up the content of our daily lives. The ability to observe these and to detach from them rather than continually identifying with events, moods and patterns of behaviour may take many years but it is astonishingly liberating. Gradually the process of observing and detaching from what is observed will strengthen the sense of serenity that develops and the space for relationship with a deeper dimension of reality will expand. For a long time there will be the experience that you are now in touch with everyday reality, now with an invisible one and this will be disconcerting and disturbing but gradually the two will come closer together and will not be in conflict with each other. You will be able to live in relationship to both dimensions, although the focus of your lives and your priorities will change as this process develops. Find the approach to the invisible reality which most appeals to you - whether it be Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zen, Kabbalah or the writings of the mystics of all traditions (see The Mystic Vision).
          
Hugh of St. Victor connected to the deeper dimension in this way:

I will speak in secret to my soul, and in friendly conversation I will ask her what I should like to know. No stranger shall be present, we will talk alone and openly to each other. Thus I need not be afraid to ask even the most secret things and she will not be ashamed to reply honestly. Tell me, I ask you, O my Soul, what is it that you love above everything?

          
Secondly, pay attention to your body as if you were becoming aware of it for the first time. Think of how casually you have treated it and the constant demands you have made on it for years and years. Are you destroying its miraculous organism through smoking, drinking, drugs and casual sexual relationships (not grounded in love and respect for the other person)? Ask your body how it feels and listen to what it says. Is it continually immersed in a daily routine of immersion in the "10,000 things"? Consider making fundamental changes to your life if your body says it is exhausted. Ask it what would make a difference to it.
         
Thirdly, look at the environment in which you live. Are you happy in your house or flat? Is it well-loved space, clean, well cared for or is it neglected? Is there anything you would like to change? Can you make a small change? Even a single flower, a new rug, a cushion, can change the atmosphere of a room. What do you feel about cooking? Is it a hateful burden? How do you see food and do you enjoy eating? Do you crave food to satisfy an emptiness in other aspects of your life? Look at the objects around you with new eyes, see them as part of soul, something precious, in need of your care and love, something that has been created out of the body or substance of the earth. Life can become an opportunity for dreaming, imagining, expanding and freeing the soul and the body from the iron grip of the inner critic or the compulsion to achieve and control. Look upon your soul as a house that you set aside a certain time of each day to enter. When you enter this house you are leaving the day world which is so governed by constant activity and by trying to achieving goals. You are moving into the inner world of the soul where you come into contact with a deeper level of consciousness. We are so used to living only through our focus on the external world. If we become more aware of our inner world of dreams, myths, longings and the imagination and our attraction to whatever fascinates and enchants us we will more easily discover our soul purpose and be able to live it in the world. We can slowly bring these two worlds, inner and outer together. Our soul purpose will reveal itself to us through some kind of creative work or activity that brings us satisfaction, fulfilment and joy and will, like rain, fertilise the earth of our daily lives and the lives of those around us. To discover your soul purpose, never force things or try to control them but follow the thread of what strongly attracts you and make time for it to grow and develop. Trust your life path to unfold. "Follow your bliss."

one diagram: The Tree of Life in Kabbalah (from Warren Kenton's books with his permission)
see seminar 11 - Lead into Gold: The Process of the Soul's Transformation and seminar 12, Individual Soul, Cosmic Soul and Spirit.

The Tree of Life as in the diagram below is a clear and wonderful template describing the Web of relationships which connect spirit with the fabric of life in our world. At the innermost level is the unknowable god-head; at the outermost the physical forms of nature or matter. All is one life, one energy, one spirit. We participate in the energy which informs all these mysterious levels of reality, unseen and unrecognised by most of us.

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