An initiated man is in a constant conversation with the life of the soul. His soul life is extremely important to him and he has various ways of paying attention to it. This conversation feeds him, it feeds his life, and it feeds those around him. Without this conversation, life wears thin. There is a danger of tedium settling in, and despair can easily follow. A conversation with the soul is necessary to give life it’s full-bodied aspect. It gives riches that are available to us all and necessary to live a complete, full life.
The conversation with the life of the soul is offered to us in dreams. Our soul often speaks to us in and through dreams. It wants to be known in the fantastic, limitless way in which dreams come to us. The soul may be sad and therefore offers up an image of rain drenching a forest. For some, though, that same image could be a communication from the soul of an undeniable thirst for an aspect of life that has been missing. The infinite possibilities that psyche holds can speak to us in dreams. We can know of forbidden fruit, of lost potential, of riches we carry that we have ignored. By conversing with the soul’s life through dreams, we keep in touch with those nether regions that our waking consciousness wants to slip past.
Another way of staying in conversation with the life of the soul is to spend time in wild places—forests, beaches, deserts—places with a minimum of human presence and development. When we cultivate a relationship with a favorite spot, our soul likes to meet us there. We can enter with increasing ease into that contemplative mode that allows our soul to come forth, to show itself, to be known. Time in places we call “nature” feeds our soul and gives a richness and dimension to our lives that lets us know we are living fully and large.
There are many other ways to keep holding this conversation with the life of the soul—engaging in music, art, writing, dance, or any creative activity that allows us to expand into ourselves and fully inhabit our lives. Silence and meditation also support this process. There are as many ways to hold the conversation as there are people. It is important to find one’s own ways and practice them.
Our next retreat, “Voyage into Masculine Soul,” will be Feb. 24-26 at Camp Whittier in the Santa Barbara mountains.
For more information, follow this link: Voyage into Masculine Soul
What is the Soul?
The soul is a red-tiled Mediterranean villa,
soaked in moss,
overtaken by tangled vines,
from the vineyard
the fountains are cracked,
the cats are hungry,
desperate cries of lovers pierce the moon,
children are on the roof laughing,
an owl swoops on a runaway rat
an old man with a beret
plays the violin,
and the long moan of notes
like burgundy wine
–Richard Palmer, from The Moan Inside of Things