I have been thinking a lot about soul making lately. The coniunctio oppositorum – union of opposites. The bringing together of all of the disparate parts of the self in order to fund the growth of a balanced, open and engaged self. (Individuation as the firm followers of Jungian Psychology call it). James Hillman, one of my favorite authors in the archetypal/psychoanalytic realm speaks about the soul as an acorn. He notes that as we grow we unfold in varying levels and that all of these levels hold an unerring knowledge of the self: we are who we are from conception to death. When zygotes meet and merge and separate there is this fusion of baby material and ZING! everything is in there contained in those melding parts: our beginning, middle and end. How we choose to move through the chaos o life. Who we choose to love along the way. What our children will become. How we die. All of this is encoded in the fibers of the self as we are being made. Think about that for a minute…as each string of who we are comes into being…we are crafted with an endogenous understanding of the width and breadth of our time on this earth.
Remember my post about Baudrillard and how he posited that the meaning and object of our social consciousness have slowly unwound from one another? That our reality is being replaced by symbols and signs so fully that the signs are starting to dictate the way society is created rather than vice versa? Well, Hillman mirrors this symbol argument in a similar but totally different sort of way: He indicates that the symbols we’ve put in place to identify the self are faulty because ones true self already has a different set of symbols imprinted from before birth. A priori. Our lives have been tattooed on each cell, writing our story in indelible ink and because of this, our growth has nothing to do with free will, nature or nurture or any other symbol set forth by society to define why we are who we are. James Hillman removed such ego from the soul making equation, made the soul the great mover- that which determines our growth, our needs and our purpose.
I get into these wonderfully deep conversations with the Grand Chu about philosophical ethics and the meaning of morality, purpose or the self in the world. After a couple of hours it just…breaks me open. I could sit for days trying to determine which philosophy to chase. It is hideously beautiful. Hideous because many times I don’t feel like I have enough space inside me to accommodate the vastness of these thoughts and it physically hurts to try and embody them. Beautiful because feeling so lost in this chase makes me feel alive and radiant and human in the face of some heady and at times depressing material. Do we matter? Does the soul matter? Am I really alive? Are you? Why are we alive? Sometimes I think that there must be some magic seed I could eat that would make my organs shift and my neural pathways fire in a different way so that I can take in the meaning and intent of these philosophies and birth a greater knowledge. That there is something out there that works to separate the truth from the dross of humanity and leaves behind a golden ratio…a model to work from.
How many pomegranates would I eat to find that one blood red seed….
Hillman helps me when I get to this place – Hillman and remembering the subtle energetic body and how this informs and connects us into a big fuck off web of humanity. Every living thing on this earth is, creates and consumes energy and in this way we are all one. Nadi’s tied to nadi’s. In the end my purpose is the only thing and no thing. Through Hillman’s lens I am beautiful in my constantly unique qualities. No one else holds the same litany written within them. No one has been given the same drive – I am also a pulse of light strung about 7 billion strong across the face of mother earth. I am everything and nothing. I am a macro cosm and microcosm and at this moment I am the union of opposites. Thing and no thing.
So yeah soul making. Or the soul pre-made…or perhaps just a symbol of the soul and then…? Regardless it is where I am at this present moment and it is a beautifully aching place to be. I think that here will be more on this soon…or something on Seva because I need to let go the heady stuff for a while and hold on to something tangible – like giving back to the world -
“The soul is its own source of unfolding.” Heraclitus.
- to find “a world ensouled.” (ourownsweettime.com)
- Some Carl Jung (nataliaperezpuyol.wordpress.com)
- The Soul’s Code – James Hillman (booklolly.wordpress.com)
- What we leave behind (justaddfather.com)
- Simulacra and Simulation (requiredreadings.ca)
- Imagination and Cosmos (knowledge-ecology.com)
- James Hillman on Metaphysics and Cosmology (footnotes2plato.com)