Defining the Soul-Directed Life (SDL)
Defining the Soul Directed Life has been an overwhelming task when I allow myself to be awash in the awesome ever-inspiring and evolving waves of experiences, characters and energies in my life. Even the attachment of words to the feeling-states of the SDL creates some constriction and panic within me, something about missing the conveyance of some potent yet subtle theme or missing my own on-going experience while taking time-out to share/write//teach, or just plain inadequacy or irrelevance. But maybe the latter is not mine to judge, dear co-learner and I can leave that up to you by your response and feedback.
The SDL looks like that person you admire who appears to be passionate, energized, productive, inspired, confident and self-directed. The SDL person feels good (maybe even awesome although a bit intimidating) to be around as you bask in the radiance and warmth of their reflected light and the charge of their power and presence. The internal positive experience is one of challenge, potential, limitless choices and possibilities. The negative experience may involve fear, panic, doubt and self-judgment, even to the extent of feeling overwhelmed and paralyzed. The line between “Lost in Space” and enlightened mindfulness is a thin one.
The SDL self (or out of self)-experience involves awe, wonder, peace, power, expansiveness, acceptance and both inner and outer-directed love, appreciation and gratitude. From this experience emerges the awareness of your soul, an inner vibration that seems alternatively separate and yet---absolutely essential. You feel it as your life-force which remains at the same moment both intimate and unknowable.
Your soul has a voice, an inner GPS that creates direction and yet also a fear of dependency and an illusion that it is competing with your Mind (see Science and Mind, Mary Baker Eddy mind vs. Mind) for the center stage of your particular play. It is the nurturing of and respect for this voice that creates an intimate relationship and a partner for peace, inner peace. Your authentic self (with forgotten instinctual and ancient memories) has been overlaid with family dysfunction, physical and emotional trauma (and the resultant survival defenses) and cultural conditioning. This authentic self was assigned a mission, your personal purpose for your creation. It also lost its androgynous nature and fell into the dualism of its component masculine and feminine (see HuG) aspects. The masculine (mission emphasis) and feminine (love emphasis) is thus engaged in a dance between what is experienced as opposing forces (see polarity). The voice of the soul provides direction to navigate your way from an outer-directed search for validation and approval to an inner-directed immersion in a magnificent, ever recharging pool of unconditional love and the reintegration of the opposing forces (union) to provide the battery for the turbo charged circulation of (see torus) receiving and giving and acknowledgement of yourself as the embodiment of divine energy.
Creating, or more accurately co-creating1 the SDL is the conscious contemplation/analysis and action required to live the life you are meant to have. It is a commitment to immersing yourself in the luscious, horrifying, inspiring, gorgeous, painful and joyous adventure of self-discovery, for the rest of your life.
The SDL creation process is a dedication to truth; Truth in your relationship to yourself, to others and to the Universe. There is a Jewish tradition that prior to entering this world we have all significant knowledge and that the knowledge then is hidden from us with the touch above the upper lip from an angel.2 And now the challenge of free-will and painful trial and error learning is required. We understand from this teaching that we are not required to “change” (what fear and panic and anxiety does that word raise?) ourselves so much as peeling off all the protective, defensive layers that prevent us from being our authentic selves. We call the core of the authentic self, Soul and the inner GPS mechanism, the Voice of The Soul.
The SDL is for those who sense that life is meant to be juicy, meaningful and fun and that joy and sadness, pleasure and pain and tears and laughter are all interwoven into the rich texture of life’s fabric. …and that our short visit on earth is meant to be of great benefit to all the players in the drama. …that the drama is a play between the forces of destiny and free will and that within each player universal archetypes3 fulfill their role in the script, the movement is provided by the Dance of the inner and outer masculine/feminine energies4 and the music is the pulsate foundational vibrations of the life force itself.
For those who want to experience the light of magic, The Soul-Directed Life is the container to receive it.
These traits are the foundation for the SDL. In order to proceed to the how, you must search within and locate the primordial remnants of them and taste the sweetness that is contained within them. To learn the elaboration of this go to The Art of (TAo) Trust, TAo Faith, TAo Vision . . . under the Learning Tab.
Courage is the main ingredient required to enter the Soul-Directed Life; to ask for inner guidance and actually follow the voice. Carolyn Myss says “Today we live in a world undergoing a rapid-fire transformation and the impact of the changes in motion are touching all of our lives. If there was ever a time to confront personal fears, it is now. The conscious life is not a life lived in a bookcase but one reflected by the choices we make every second of our life. You are an intuitive, spiritual being and that inner voice is your most valuable resource, far beyond that of any logical, external advice you may hope to guide you in the months and years to come. You are your best guide, as frightening a thought as that might seem most of the time. It remains the truth. Ancient tribes established this measure of greatness not only with great clarity, but universally: Courage was the inner gold that would prove the true measure of a human being. Without courage, ancient wisdom stories tell us, a human’s character cannot hold intact. He/she cannot be relied upon to be trustworthy, honest or loyal, for all of these high attributes of the spirit are built upon courage.”5
Disclosure of Influences/Credits
Major credits/influences for this work have been: Carolyn Myss, Eckert Tolle, Rabbi Joel Bakst, Zen Master Thich Naht Hanh, Social Worker Jerry Kushner, Rabbi Bernard Kimmel, my Israeli Shevet (tribe), specifically Hadas Ofek and of course, my amazing and beautiful wife, Diane Powers who with her continuous opening and growing inspires me always.
1 By “Co-Creating” I refer to my belief that there is a higher guidance partnering with us in our life journey and we must remain humble and in constant recognition that there is a plan for us and we are exercising our free choice within that plan.
2 One source has it as a medieval Jewish legend, "Gabriel and the Infants," that goes like this: In the months before a Jewish child is born, it is visited in the womb by the Angel Gabriel. There, in the warmth and silence of the mother's body, the angel teaches the baby all of Jewish learning -- the Torah, the rituals, the holidays, the deepest truths of Jewish wisdom. The baby absorbs it all, just as it takes nourishment from its mother. But suddenly, as the baby is about to be thrust into the world to eat and breathe on its own, the angel presents it with a similar intellectual challenge. Right before birth, Gabriel strikes the Child on the upper lip, and all the teachings are instantly forgotten. Kabbalisticly it is the process of a soul making a dimensional descent from its abode in the highest dimension (Atzilut) down through the worlds. Each level “seals off” much of the data and “knowing” from the previous dimension until it reaches here in the form of the embryo having “forgot” everything. The source actually is Talmud (Jewish Oral Tradition), tractate Nidda 30b saying “…and they teach the entire Torah to the unborn child…as soon as the child emerges into the air of the world an angel comes and strikes him on the mouth and causes him to forget the entire torah.” The point made here is that since the lessons are learned in the womb the work later in life is to remember and not to totally learn anew but to understand from the experiential level. Listen to Sounds of the SDL, Return Again, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SDrf3VwABAw)
3 Universal Archetypes: The concept of the archetype—universal patterns of behavior—originated with the philosopher Plato and was expanded upon by the influential Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung (1875-1961). Over the decades, hundreds of archetypes have been identified. All are rooted in the idea that while we may play different roles or characters in everyday life, ultimately all our thoughts and actions are shaped by the archetypes at our core. http://www.myss.com/library/contracts/archetypes.asp.
4 Dance of the ChuG. ChuG is an acronym that represents the masculine (Chesed) and feminine (Gevurah) energies that define, contain and interact (dance) with each other within us and between us. Rabbi Joel Bakst, Beyond Kabbalah - The Teachings That Cannot Be Taught: Preparing for the Messianic Era and Beyond, City of Luz Publications, December 2013.
5 Courage: Carolyn Myss, Salon ,Understanding Your Attraction to Courage. Http://www.myss.com/cmed/salon/2011/1032011.html, September 2011.