Friday, July 25, 2008

When soul is present, nature is alive

"When people observe the ways in which the soul manifests itself, they are enriched rather than impoverished. They receive back what is theirs, the very thing they have assumed to be so horrible. That it should be cut out and tossed away. When you regard the soul with an open mind, you begin to find the messages that lie withing the illness, the corrections that can be found in remorse and other uncomfortable feelings, and the necessary changes requested by depression and anxiety" - Thomas Moore, Care of the soul

Hmm, methinks. Could my soul be acting out because it's not getting what it needs? Soul, are you acting out? What is it then, that you need? Pray tell, for I would love to give it to you.

Oh, so you're not going to make this easy? I see.

Why do you pout? Why do you flare up in anger? What is the cause of such vile self-loathing? I don't think your motive is to destroy your being, but sometimes I think you would find that path easier than the path of illumination. At least give me a hint. Still no? This dance isn't going to be easy to learn, is it?...I didn't think so...


"Is there something in me that is like this pool? Do I have depth? Do my feelings and thoughts pool somewhere so off the beaten path that it is utterly still and untouched? Is there someplace wet in me, not the place of dry intellectualism but rather of moist feeling and green, fertile, shady imagination, far from human influence? Do I find myself in rare moments caught in a place of reflection where I have taken a break for reverie and wonder and there catch a glimpse of some unfamiliar face that is mine? If so, then Narcissus, the cure for narcissism, may be stirring in me...when soul is present, nature is alive." - Thomas Moore, Care of the Soul

So, ladies and gents, turns out I'm a negative narcissus. I am focused on self so much, but rather that in love with self, I am in loathing of self. So much so, that it consumes my being. I see my self as one big mass of emotion and quandary. However, there are specific traits if mine that are individual of each other and, may I argue, of myself? So, Moore says I must see these traits objectively and accept them for what they are. My first step, however, is to acknowledge that I have them, I think. I am in so much denial against having anger or a pouty part of me, that I disregard them as even being a part of me. They are rather, a blip in time where I become unconscious of my doings and this otherly part, my evil twin, the devil on my shoulder, whatever caricature she may have takes my mind and body hostage while she acts out in her unlovely ways.

However, are these really traits of mine? Or are they my soul - this otherly part - acting out? Throwing a tantrum like a child - wailing, screaming, rolling on the ground - all for attention? All these questions I am posing to myself, to my soul. I have only become aware that they exist, these questions, this objectivity to one's character. I am still asking, just thinking about what could possibly be an answer. We will see...hopefully.

On one last thought of these passages: I find it very difficult to grasp the idea of loving every part of me - proud of it or not. This notion that I am me, I am not ______ (fill in the blank, or the thousands of "blanks" that I've compared myself to in my lifetime), and I should love or if not at the very least try to accept these traits as a part of me, is a very weird and foreign concept. It goes against everything my perfect-driven mind has ever thought.

1 comment:

mme. bookling said...

Ah yes, so much meat here indeed. His words are so diffuclt and rich for me to wrap my head around.

But you didn't really expect it to be easy, did you?!

The soul can be so damn demanding - mine sure is...AND it flares up in the most socially inappropriate times and in the most annyoing of ways. But I know that if I supress it in that moment of flare up - it will make it last MUCH longer and the consequences (fights and words i didn't mean to say to joel, for instance) are more grave and harder to repair.

if instead, we can say "what do you want, soul" in those moments (and NOT just when we have quiet time, but in everyday situaions), with a CALM and nuturing voice - it will for sure make itself known - it won't be mysterious.

but one very simple way to get there (if you don't know) is to ask yourself:
what feeds your soul?

when first asked this question, i had ZERO answers. as i began this quest, i discovered that i could answer it more and more because i was taking the question to my everyday life.

and i think you know yourself better than you give yourself credit for. the pouting and such - this is all things you have told me a long time ago...and you often even know WHY you do it.

so perhaps you will never cure this pouty part...but instead maybe you will begin to nuture it, see it as your soul needing something, and then you can meet your own needs instead of requiring anyone else to do this for you.

so what feeds your soul?
when do you feel most alive?
what are your natural hobbies and tastes?

just re-read the chapter on self-love, just to stay current with you. fascinating stuff.

just a few thoughts. :)