You see, when weaving a blanket, an Indian woman leaves a flaw in the weaving of that blanket to let the soul out. -- Martha Graham
Matters of the soul have been the focus of my writing here and on my personal blog, Rx For The Soul, since I first began blogging nearly four years ago. In my author's archive, you'll find at least 10 articles I've posted over the past four years that address various aspects of the soul.
I'm delighted to learn that HuffPost now has an entire section devoted to it! And rightfully so, for one might say that we are now living in those "interesting times" of which the ancient Chinese proverb speaks. And in these interesting times, we often find ourselves rudderless and in need of some kind of guidance system.
I find this idea of using technology to help us get and stay connected with the soul and learn how to nurture it in our daily lives an interesting concept, for I've always thought of the soul itself as our internal GPS. This concept expands the envelope of how we humans can relate to the soul, but something in me is not quite ready to jump on the technology bandwagon when it comes to addressing the needs of the soul.
I may be slow in coming to this party, but not because I automatically reject new ideas. Quite the contrary! I've always been an early adapter/adopter, at least for my generation. However, when it comes to technology and matters of the soul, for me, the jury is still out. What I do delight in, however, is the importance being placed on the place of soul in our lives and cultivating one's ability to be informed by the soul's calling.
The idea that the soul expresses our true nature is not entirely accurate. It would be more accurate to say that the soul serves as a conduit to our true nature and thus, when we attend to its needs, we will be brought into alignment with its agenda. And the soul's agenda is always about evolving in the direction of our highest possibilities. In this way, the soul is the guidance system that is always seeking alignment with its own true North.
But often times, perhaps even most often, the soul will take the deepest path to get to its destination. The soul is about deepening, for in the depths is where we'll gain access to the wisdom it seeks.
Wisdom is to the soul what health is to the body.
The wisdom your soul seeks is the very reason for your existence. What if we are not bodies with souls but rather souls with bodies? Kind of gives it a different perspective. Consider that you have taken on a body as a vehicle for your soul's journey. In this context, you are here to carry out your soul's agenda, which is to realize your true nature and to live in alignment with it.
Wisdom is essential for the soul's evolution and is rarely found at the surface of things. If that were true, we'd all be very wise souls and the world would be a much different place. If wisdom were easy to gain, we'd have already figured out how to solve the greatest problems facing mankind.
Wisdom might not be easy to gain, but the soul's wisdom is always available to us. The thing is, we're not always available to it. And this may be the very justification for using technology to nudge us in the right direction when we've gotten off track. I'm open to that possibility.
Crossing the Spiritual Desert
In my own experience, however, there is a purpose to be served by the very act of "being off track." It's not an accident. In truth, being off track is part of the awakening process. It's the soul's way of letting us know we've fallen asleep, made a wrong turn. It's the soul's course-correction process. There is wisdom to be gained in the desert of our journey. When we feel most lost and rudderless is when we finally can stop grasping for answers and solutions and become still. The soul finally gets our attention.
Granted, technology might be able to hasten the process so we end up spending less time in the desert. But there is something to be gained in that experience that a "quick fix" cannot heal. There in the desert, in the moments when you feel like you don't know where to turn, in the times when you've lost your moorings and all the things you've relied on to keep you going no longer work, is when you're required to deepen in order to discover what lies beneath all the old patterns.
For more about this aspect of the soul's journey, please ready my earlier post, "Crossing The Spiritual Desert." This post, written two years ago, still generates considerable personal email from readers, inquiring about their own process. It seems we all find our way to the desert at some point in our lives.
The soul thrives in the deep waters of solitude and stillness. It thrives in the darkness. It thrives in confusion and doubt. This is the very place where the soul can best emerge. Thomas Moore, who wrote The Care of the Soul said:
"It is only through mystery and madness that the soul is revealed"
Thus the Martha Graham quote at the top of this post: It is only through the cracks and the flaws that the soul is revealed. Consider that the soul will even craft the flaws in order that it might emerge. It's those "flaws" the ego considers mistakes. To the soul, cracks and flaws are just openings for new possibilities to enter and blossom forth.
So if technology can help guide us to the places where the soul can best be heard, sign me up. The trick is, however, when we're most in need of a tap on the shoulder pointing us in a new direction, is usually the very time when we're the least available to receive it. Ask me how I know.
In my own experience, when I'm out in the desert and on that lonely stretch of the soul's journey where no life seems to exist, I don't want to be contacted by anyone or anything. I need to give my soul a chance to grieve whatever is being lost, whatever I'm being called to release. And frankly, the last thing I want at times like this is an electronic device nudging me to move in another direction. The work is to trust and honor the call of the soul and follow its river wherever it leads. Can a gadget teach me to trust? I'm skeptical, but open to discover what lies down this path.
Arianna might be the Vasco da Gama of the soul. She might be the Christopher Columbus, the Buzz Aldrin, the Steven Jobs, the Jonas Salk. I wouldn't sell her short. She has proven herself to be a gifted pioneer in this realm of the Internet, and congratulations to her, the extraordinary reporting of David Woods, and The Huffington Post for winning the coveted Pulitzer Prize earlier this week.
GPS for the Soul: I can promise that I'll be an early adopter of this new technology. I'm inviting my soul to get on board and give it a spin. Given these interesting times in which we're living, one thing I know I can count on is that sooner or later there will come another tidal wave of change, and I'll be thrown off course. We'll see just how effective my new GPS system is when I need it. Stay tuned.
What's your take on this? Please weigh in with your comments and observations in the space below. While you're at it, do come over to my personal blog and website at Rx For The Soul, for all things concerning matters of the soul.
For personal contact, reach me at email@example.com.
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Happy soul travels!
For more by Dr. Judith Rich, click here.
For more on mindfulness, click here.
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