THE ART OF LIVING SOULFULLY
"SOUL" IS ABOUT BEING RECEPTIVE. SOUL IS ABOUT BREATH AND BREATHING
Feeling awareness. Listening in deeply. Experiencing directly. Sensing.
It is not about gaining understanding by reasoning and asking "what" or "how" or "why", outside one's own subjective experience. Nor can one understand by reading about it. Words can only be pointers. Images, music, poetry, prayers and parables, stories and myths, are more able to convey "soul".
That is why I made a documentary of my art, life story, spiritual practices and inner discoveries.
Inviting a wit(h)nessing. Taking to heart. Activating Self- inquiry. Intimacy. Inviting a "change of heart".
Soul is about sensing vibrations, atmospheres, energy-forms and words. Taking the outer experiences or strange unknown words or ideas inwardly in the heart space. Taking in thoughts, ideas and sensations. "Understanding" comes as a way of inner knowing through inquiring, contemplating and listening in. Then "knowing" comes from the inside. By expressing and moving with the insights they can become embodied, integrated. Lived through.
The soul is not a thing, a concept, an idea. "Soul" has to be invited in to come alive in body and mind,
like lightening a candle, or the two candles on Shabbat.
"Soul" has to do with Heart, Breath, Connectedness, Love, Beauty, Eros, the stream of consciousness, sensuousness, a sense of the sacred, the Mystery, Presence, the numinous. Intimacy." Being loved" and being "at home". A Chassid (a devout Jew) in a story by Martin Buber says: "As my heart beats in my chest, so breathes my heart in God's Heart".
Deep in the heart a God-spark, seed of Bliss, the hidden true Self resides. One can learn to see
from the heart. This inner Light/Love spark can be kindled and awakened more. From the depth,
this space or "Face", the inner fire of love, compassion equanimity and joy can "burn". With this indestructible Light we can cooperate, it can expand and we can cultivate its unconditional Love.
This "clear seeing and unconditional loving" can transform, transmute, integrate the lower "animal" parts (the Nefesh soul) of our soul/being, our unrefined wild life forces which can run "beastly".
And we can draw in (Ruach soul) more angelic, pure qualities and energies (Neshamma soul). Bridging heaven (higher more invisible soul manifestations as Chaya soul and closeness to the One, Yechida soul) and earth (Shechinah/Presence). We can learn to center in this open loving Heart/Soul Space and "follow the path of Beauty". Keeping on polishing our mirror (Body/Mind field).
Travelling through layers of soul. Connected to worlds/states of consciousness. We journey through a multidimensional reality. Life becomes a process of soul-making, soul-work, inner-work.
Soul is all about Inwardness, inviting God/Source to be Godding in and through us.
5 LAYERS OF SOUL (Jewish tradition)
We speak of someone or something "having soul", character, showing essence and beauty.
We can learn to "en-soul", bring back to life what seams empty/dead.
We can wake up, breath through suffering, trauma, false selves, mental constructions.
Become "a Mensch". Soulful.
Nefesh Soul is the most dense, physical "layer" of soul, the most earthy, connected to the blood,
primal life needs and impulses.The life force as vitality, body health or lack of health.
Also called "animal soul".
Ruach Soul is connected to movement, flow, emotions, the imagination. Is heart/breath/chest oriented. Connecting lower and upper body parts. it is both liquid, watery and like the element air. Ruach means wind, is called "spirit". Ruach draws, blows, pulls, penetrates, embraces, touches, "channels", lifts up, carries and transports words, symbols, memories, images. Inspires. Warms up. Gives aliveness. Energizes.
Neshamma Soul is the pure essence, God-spark Soul in the heart. The seat of light. The most pure layer of soul we can embody. This light spark needs to be awakened and cultivated so that Spirit,
the influx of higher layers of soul and blessings from the Source can be received and contained.
The neshamma soul is a spark of the Great Source of light/love. It is believed that during sleep
the Neshamma returns "home" and when we wake up we are grateful to see and find ourselves alive and well again and remember that our soul is pure. "Neshamma tehora hi". It is believed also that on Shabbat, the day of rest when the nefesh soul is calm because we let go of "doing" and "making", on Shabbat that part of the neshamma that is closest to the Source and the more finer Soul parts, comes down and unifies with our earthy/body soul parts. Allowing wholeness, peace, shalom to "descent".
Chaya soul, Life, the essence of Life Itself (beyond life and death) and Yechida soul, Oneness/Unity, are two layers of Soul, beyond the human body. They can be sensed or "lived", in special moments of ecstasy, or during "openings" (during dying and death or other conscious expanding moments) and while in "states" like "Shabbat consciousness". Stillness. No-thing-ness. Openess.
In the view of the Jewish (mystical) tradition this soul dynamic, expressing itself either very dense (body) or very thin (space/spirit/openness) is seen as a dance of Matter and Spirit. They are always in relationship. Never separate. Always together. When the soul is silenced, negated or suppressed (especially the emotions and imagination then inner movement freezes, the inner light, the light spark/unique core can not be fed) then the life-force will be encaged, compartmentalized and caught in the net of the mind and body. Split off. Then Trauma is fixed and fortified and clings. Survival patterns and instincts and anti-human live dynamics take over.
Body and soul belong together. The mind and fears can separate them. In the healing and wholing
process it is very important to anchor the soul in the body, discover body wisdoms and inspirit the body. Become Soulful.
THE SOUL AND THE CANDLE
"The soul is like a flame surrounded by multiple subtle fields. In a candle, the flame warms the wax which changes state from solid to oil. The Petila (Hebrew word for "wick"), draws the oil to the point of combustion, union, conflagration, passionate transultation. Davvenen or Tefilla (Hebrew word for prayer made with the same letters as the word for "wick") also serves as a wick to draw you in. Once your frozen life-energies are warmed and liquified by a flame of loving warmth, our prayers serve as a channel to draw you towards the threshold of your vulnerability. Passing through this threshold, you combust, unite, conflagrate, and passionately transmute, resulting in your mind emptying and becoming consciously, experientially, ONE with that with which you are already, mysteriously, united."
Rabbi David Wolfe-Blank z"l
"Neshamma ner Ha Shem". The soul is the candle of God. The Breath of Life.
May you listen to your longing to be free,
May the frames of your belonging be large enough
for the dreams of your soul.
May you arise each day with a voice of blessing whispering
in your heart that something good is going to happen to you.
May you find a harmony between your soul and your life.
May the mansion of your soul never become a haunted place.
May you know the eternal longing which lives at the heart of time.
May there be kindness in your gaze when you look within.
May you never place walls between the light and yourself.
May your angel free you from the prison of guilt,
fear, disappointment, and despair.
May you allow the wild beauty of the invisible world to
gather you, mind you, and embrace you in belonging.
John O'Donohue in Eternal Echoes.
A poem by Vimala Thakar
The Movement of Life
live in life
Ideas can not hold me
move with life
Ideals can not contain me
breathe in life
Knowledge can not arrest me
am the rhythm of life
Time can not bind me
am the perfume of life
Duality can not catch me
I am One with life
Death can not kill me