When I designed business cards for We All Have Souls, I put the following words under the title of the book: “A book, a blog, a movement.” The book is written. You’re reading the blog. I had an idea of what the movement would look like, but the past two weeks have made my conception much clearer.
During that time I met with independent bookstore owners and librarians at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association fall trade show. I also went to the King County Library System Celebration of Independent Publishers and taught my first class coming directly from the book We All Have Souls. Over the course of those events, many of my allies made suggestions for ways I could improve my message. I’d like to share my current message about the movement with you.
The We All Have Souls movement is centered on the idea that we, as individuals, would be better off if we all paid more attention to all the parts of our souls. Our practice communities would be better. And the world would be better. The book supports the first three parts discussed below.
Movement, Part 1
The first part of the movement offers proof that souls exist. After talking to people over the past two weeks, I’ve decided that a bit more than half of us believe we have souls. Many were a bit taken aback when I said that souls weren’t really part of our culture. They didn’t need a book to prove it.
But it’s deeper than that. We talked about soul experiences like dreaming about something that would happen the next day. Or seeing a mother’s soul pass out of her body when she died. Or having conversations with rocks. Or a person getting hit in the back of the head with a piece of Play-Doh thrown by a grandmother who was no longer alive because she was too close to the television. The universal feeling was, I could never talk about those things in my work life. Everyone would think I was crazy.
That’s the truest measure of what is accepted in our culture. We can’t talk about soul reality at work, or with most of the members of our family, or in casual conversations with, say, a bookstore owner or a librarian or a policeman.
Even though many people believe they have a soul, souls are not actually accepted as a reality in our Western culture. The We All Have Souls movement offers proof that backs up those who have had soul experiences when they are talking to doubters. The proof is good enough that some of the doubters continue to explore the question. For those who are sure that souls don’t exist, I accept their beliefs.
The evidence only speaks to those who are ready to hear it. Part one of the movement is to make sure the evidence is there when someone is ready.
Movement, Part 2
The second part of the movement provides a model of the soul. The intention of the model is to include insights from all of the models of souls that I could find. I think the model I put together comes close, but there is still so much more to discover.
One thing this model offers is the intent that all of us who do healing soul work will learn to work together. When people who do healing soul work look at the model, I hope they see that everyone else who does healing work is an ally. We may not see things exactly the same way, but that doesn’t matter. The first step is to bring souls into our culture. The next step is to understand souls better. Any model that helps us heal the world deserves our respect.
Another thing the model offers is a way to find unhealthy practices in our personal soul work. The unhealthy practice that bothers me the most is that many people try to do their work totally from the Heart. This is a really bad idea. Here’s why:
The Heart connects with others. When we understand another person through our Hearts, we understand her pain. The Heart rallies the other parts of our soul to provide for her needs. And we totally lose who we are.
Our own wishes, even our wishes for survival can be shut down. If she is doing something that is not for her highest and best good, our Will is not allowed to demand a change. Our Mind seeks ways to help her with her pain, but the Heart overrides any attempt to find ways to change what she is doing to cause herself pain. We may give and give and never receive anything back until our life force is totally drained.
So the second part of the movement, with the model of the soul and life force, makes it clear that we need to follow our Wish — we need to keep ourselves alive. We need to use our Will and stop things that are not for the highest and best good. We need to use our Mind to find ways to change what is causing the pain. Then in our sovereignty we can use our Heart to connect with the Heart of the other person to offer help in a way that is healthy and respectful of ourselves and the other person. We need to help others without destroying ourselves. Part 2 of the movement supports that.
Movement, Part 3
The third part of the movement offers new frontiers. We’ve explored all of our planet. We’ve gone very deep in scientific discovery.
For most people there isn’t much in physical reality to give them a purpose in life. But with soul reality, there are still many exciting worlds to explore. It’s time we decided as a culture that exploring those paths is meaningful. And it’s time to offer training in exploring those paths.
Søren Hauge, at the recent Gaianeering conference put on by the Lorian Association, laid out the following idea: We are changing our relationship to wildness. He used the term “wildness” where I usually use the term “soul reality.” I love his term because it expresses the draw these other worlds can have on our souls. You can read more about Søren’s work on the English portion of his website. Here’s what he had to say at Gaianeering.
In the past we humans reacted to wildness with instinct. We knew it was there and we did our best to appease it. We were scared. If something seemed to work, we kept doing it. It was an unconscious wildness and our reactions to it could legitimately be called superstitious.
In the present we are in an age of intellect. We use our rationality to tame the wildness. Where the plague was once seen as a curse from the gods and we once needed to beat drums to stop the sun from being eaten during an eclipse, we can now explain these as part of physical reality. The hope of rationality is that all things can be explained in similar ways. If that happens, wildness will be in the past.
But we aren’t going to tame the wildness. See part one of the movement for the reasons why. Instead, we have learned a vital lesson in the present that changes everything. We have learned that we are sovereign beings who don’t need to fear the wildness any more. We can stand in equal partnership with the beings in it as allies. In our way we are just as wild as they are.
So here’s what the future can be. We can bring the wildness back by using the insights we have found in the present. As awakened beings, we know wildness is what we seek. Think of a surfer riding a 20-foot wave. He doesn’t want the wave to be two feet high and safe. He’s riding this huge wave, reacting to it with his experience and his intuition, responding to its subtle movement, riding unfettered in the here and now. Riding in his sovereignty.
We can do the same in the soul worlds, if we choose to. That’s what part three of the We All Have Souls movement is all about. It talks about how we can heal our sovereign souls to ride through the wild worlds of soul reality for our highest and best good.
Movement, Part 4
Please join me in the movement. The details you need are in the We All Have Souls book.
Read the book. It’s written very simply, so the insights are available for anyone in high school or older.
There are several ways to get the book. My favorite is to get it from a library. If your library doesn’t have a copy, request that they buy one. Then it will be available for everyone in your community. Of course, you might want your very own copy. The books have a loving nature and will be a welcome addition to your personal library. You can buy books directly from my company. Or you can go to your favorite independent bookstore and order them. It’s on Amazon, too, if you prefer.
Recommend it to family and friends, maybe even buy them books.
And take a look here at the wisdom of Calvin and Hobbes — true explorers of the wildness.