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Bridging the divide between Eastern and Western spiritual practices offers us a profound opportunity when seen from a 21st century perspective. Here is a recent reflection that captures the essence of this opportunity:
“Your vision will become clear only when you look into your heart. Who looks outside dreams. Who looks inside awakens.”
“A person of integrity seeks self-mastery; a person obsessed with power seeks to control others. A person of integrity takes action, works hard and struggles to overcome his or her inner weakness; a person driven by lust for power forces others to work for his own selfish purpose, never reflecting upon himself..”
Joseph Campbell relates this story about a young student of Buddhism:
The young student said to his master, “Am I in possession of Buddha consciousness? The master said, “No.”
The student said, “Well, I’ve been told that all things are in the possession of Buddha consciousness. The rocks, the trees, the butterflies, the birds, the animals, all beings.”
The master said, “You are correct. All things are in possession of Buddha consciousness. The rocks, the trees, the butterflies, the bees, the birds, the animals, all beings—but not you.”
"Not me? Why not?"
"Because you are asking the question."
Lao Tzu tells us this in no uncertain terms: "Know the male, but adhere to the female.”
In “Alice in Wonderland” the White Rabbit sings: "I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!"
What is the White Rabbit late for? Perhaps Lewis Carroll, the author of “Alice in Wonderland” offers us a hint in his personal writing. Is he sharing his soul’s journey with us when he writes: "Who in the world am I? Ah, that’s the great puzzle."
The rabbit leads Alice down the hole and returns throughout the tale to prompt new perspectives. We all have our own White Rabbits that help us when we get stuck. However, by itself the rabbit does not supply the answers, only inspires movement. It’s anxious refrain plays a pivotal role in Alice’s story.
Whether we realize it or not we all have White Rabbits that help us through challenges. These rabbits act like crutches to get us moving when we’re stuck. These crutches are helpful and necessary tools that perform an important transitional function. Many people use tools like Tarot, ruins, prayer, ritual, nature, amulets, music, friends, teachers, astrology, books, meditation, mantras or mudhras to focus their attention and provide stimulation.
I’ve recently given a few talks where I invited those present to reconsider the word “god.” As my life has unfolded I have come to recognize a deeper and wider experience of what this word points to. All words are pointers to an experience, a symbolic way of re-membering. As we learn to feel into what is behind words we naturally become more present, more of us shows up in the moment. Even the word “present” doesn’t have to be static, but an ever-deepening invitation to be more fully present with more and more of our embodied consciousness.
One night a man was crying Allah! Allah!
His lips grew sweet with praising,
until a cynic said, “So!
I’ve heard you calling our, but have you ever
gotten any response?”
The man had no answer to that.
He quit praying and fell into a confused sleep.
He dreamed he saw Khidr, the guide of souls,
in a thick, green foliage.
“Why did you stop praising?” “Because
I’ve never heard anything back.”
“This longing you express
is the return message.”
The grief you cry out from
draws you toward union.
Your pure sadness
that wants help
is the secret cup.
Listen to the moan of a dog for its master.
That whining is the connection.
There are love dogs
no one knows the names of.
Give your life
to be one of them.
No matter what gender a soul embodies it understands its co-creative role in the birthing of the next wave of human evolution, of consciousness itself. In the same way a mother cannot stop the birth of her child, any human can feel into the core of their being that they are participating in a birth that cannot be stopped. There is no other choice. It knows a birth is coming and it will do its best to prepare for it in whatever way it is invited. Both the pain and joy of the experience are welcomed and embraced.
As much as both parents are consumed with joy and awe at the birthing of their child, an embodied soul is intoxicated with the joy that comes from being an integral part of creation itself. If you’ve been present during the birth of a child then you likely can recall the depth and meaning this experience evokes. If not perhaps you can contemplate your own birth from your soul’s perspective.
It gets better. Can you fathom what it would be like to be the Doula, the parent, and the birth child all at the same time? An awakened soul is able to hold this embodied awareness fully in the core of its knowing. This knowing magnifies the meaning of the word “awe.” This expanded awe comes from an awareness that this evolutionary birthing cannot be accomplished alone but only in communion with other like minded souls working together. It is truly a communal undertaking like none we’ve ever had.
The pseudo-soul (false self/ego) is trapped by its small and limited view. It cannot understand or sense something that is not inherently part of its awareness and identity. Because its awareness is built on its limited experience of this lifetime, it can only generate pseudo-Eros based on the limitations of its imagination. It is trapped by its own identity, neediness, and attachments to its beliefs. This often leads to depression, anxiety, or a gloomy outlook on life.
It is commonly constrained in at least two ways:
First, it’s motivation is derived from how one answers this question: “What group or subgroup of our planet do your choices primarily support?” While every person and group need to be supported and honored, we need more than Ego or Ethno centric motivations if we are to give birth to the next evolutionary wave of our species. An awakening soul holds the view that each individual and group can only thrive and evolve when supported by a healthy and thriving larger group. A new world-centric worldview emerges that integrates all views, all people, all groups. Its motivations are driven first by what best serves the whole.
Second, a pseudo–soul is often unaware or unable to literally feel into the evolutionary impulse of Eros. Thus it cannot feel into the universe’s (Agape’s) invitation and call to evolve and awaken further. Its pseudo-Eros shows up in “earthly desires” that are of limited and transient value arising from a hunger that can never be filled. Its true role in the unfolding human story is subsumed by its own narrow needs and desires which block its ability to understand, embrace, feel, or even contemplate the Eros of the Universe calling it into greater communion with it’s True Nature, to Oneness with all.
Our species is in the birth canal and the head of the next epoch is beginning to crown. How much of this evolutionary impulse are you able to feel? An awakened soul knows a successful birth of this next epoch can only be accomplished in communion with other souls. A critical mass of sufficiently awakened souls will become the new Doula that ushers in this epic event. Each unique soul will embrace its particular role in this birth.
Check out all of Soulworkers Centre Spring events including workshops, free public events, and a new class starting soon in Sacramento on our updated calendar. Click here for quick access:
Here’s a brand new up-to-date explanation of Soulwork and where it fits in to a fast-growing worldwide spiritual vision that is attempting to meet the needs of our global community in this 21st-century.
The landscape of human spirituality is changing. Our species continues to evolve on all levels. As we begin this new century an all-inclusive shift of what it means to be spiritual is taking root around the world. Bob Mackura is one of a growing number of visionaries who are ushering in this shift in consciousness through Soulwork and Soulworkers Centre in Grass Valley, California.
Soulwork, under the seasoned guidance of Bob, is at the heart of a co-creative process that is giving birth to the next evolutionary step in human consciousness. Our primordial evolutionary impulse invites us to come together by focusing on our shared essence rather than what keeps us separate. Embracing this pioneering impulse is driving the emergence of World Spirituality and is supported by a long list of contemporary spiritual luminaries and teachers.