Monday, November 15, 2010

Soulful, Complex, and Completely Adorable


Hey Rapunzel! Let down your hair!!

I believe the Buddhists when they say that this existence - as a manifested human being - is precious. It really really is. In this form we are able to work through so much stuff - karma, life purpose, soul purpose - whatever you want to call it. Wow. In this form we are able to enjoy the five senses; we get to eat, hear music, make love. Also we get sick, bump our heads. Sometimes we go nuts for awhile. Working through any and all of the above, we resolve many issues. Through living, both the fun parts and the unpleasantnesses, our souls evolve, at least I think so.

In spite of the accomplishments that are possible within this precious existence, the paradox of an eternal soul living within a finite body isn't easy. Hello! It's no wonder soul retrieval has been practiced for tens of thousands of years in every culture I know about. In American society, we retrieve our souls through psychotherapy, prayer and worship, Chinese medicine, the arts, travel, and various feats of power like running marathons or climbing mountains, swimming in ice cold waters, etc. We don't call it soul retrieval, but I think that's what we're doing.

Within the strain of Mongolian shamanism I was initiated into, the belief goes something like this: every human has three souls. There is a "nature soul" that enters the body at birth and leaves at the moment of death. That soul incarnates as a human only once, then returns to nature never to live as a human again. Those who have strong nature souls radiate power and strength. Michelle Obama has a seriously powerful nature soul (for instance). In addition there are two other souls that dance in and out of the body, entering and exiting through the chakras. The energy of their dance creates the aura and is shaped somewhat like the snakes on a caduceus, looking a whole lot like the two strands of DNA models. I "see" that, I really do.

Sometimes one of the dancing souls gets lost, stolen or takes off for extended periods, spending time in the upper and/or lower worlds. Hence the need for soul retrievals because although we can live for awhile without the dancing souls, just as whales can stay underwater for a long time before surfacing to breathe, if we try to exist too long without them, we become very ill, emotionally and physically.

Does this sound crazy? Shamanism makes perfect sense to me.

I'm thinking about infinite souls in finite bodies today after looking at pictures of old friends I knew in high school and before. I see in each of these friends, by their postures and the details of their graying hair or whatever, how much all of them have worked through as manifested humans. The mileage of soul work is clearly visable. Amazing to look at these pictures. I marvel at the courage and strength, as well as the liveliness of these friends. Actually I am in awe. We humans are really quite extraordinary, we really are. Believe me.

19 comments:

jeanette from everton terrace said...

You always give me so much to think about. Now I'm wondering the best way to call a dancing sould back if you feel it is out and about. Are there people who can tell if a person is full or if something is missing? These are some of the things I'll be wondering today. Those and why on earth I can't seem to meditate.

Reya Mellicker said...

Meditation is HARD - it goes against the survival instinct which is what fires our ever shifting thoughts and attention spans. Have you taken a class? It really helps. Helped me tremendously, and when my practice gets stale, i go back and take another class. It's an ongoing practice, never perfected, never!

There are so many ways to do a soul retrieval, from the very most traditional - with a shaman, in a trance - to psychotherapy. Do you feel something has been lost? Look into your own eyes in the mirror. Is something missing?

Reya Mellicker said...

Jeanette there must be dozens of soul retrieving shamans in your area.

glnroz said...

extraordinary, indeed...

Reya Mellicker said...

Thanks, Glenn!! Wow.

Reya Mellicker said...

Just how it occurred to me that Michael Jackson had one of the weakest nature souls I've ever seen. Poor guy. Hope he's resting in peace.

ellen abbott said...

the idea of the dancing souls makes me think of the native american shaman healers who go through mystical ceremonies to cure illness. I get it now.

ZenMouser said...

Michael Jackson had one of the weakest nature souls I've ever seen

fwiw (&wadr), when I think of MJ, I think of someone who had an abounding nature soul from the get go, but his soul purpose/life purpose or whatever you want to call it involved balancing several very challenging systems, including the entertainment industry, whereby his light went out at 50. Recall what he was like when he was a child (Michelle Obama like spirit) yet by the time he was an adult, his nature spirit had gone subtle.

You can have a strong nature soul, but subtle. As human beings, we don't yet seem to grok the subtle nature soul, because all we understand and all that's pushed out into the fore are bombastics, exaggerations and characatures. Is there such a construct in Mondolian shamanism that allows strong/subtle to exist in the same spirit? Do we have any Western archetypes of the same? Peter Pan, maybe, but just saying that name, how well is it received? Here? Elsewhere? Yep. Context context.

It also happens with people like Bret Farve. 20 year career in the NFL. Had his career BEST performance LAST WEEK (he's a grandfather, too). The energy flowing up and down the intertwined snakes, in the context of that game, with the teammates who showed up that day, etc. etc. Thing is, he has an overtly, obviously, strong nature spirit - and through the years there are real takeaways from the physical and the natural spirit. I imagine there's a recursive interplay between natural spirit and kundalini spiral. Farve would probably be playing FB into eternity if his natural spirit would let him.

Val said...

oh so much to think about here - dancing souls; soul retrieval. I am with jeanette - and shall be wondering and wondering about these things from tonight on.dont know of any shamans around here but there must be some eh?
oof yes meditation is so hard - that chattering monkey mind of mine - shhhh! now where was i..?
wonderful post Reya, thank you so much Vx

Reya Mellicker said...

Val, thanks for stopping by. I love my monkey mind! But sometimes I want it to stop!

Zen Mouser, I disagree about Michael Jackson's nature soul. He was too grown up, even as a kid. He didn't have that wildness, the carefree craziness of the nature soul. His other two souls predominated almost right away.

Strong but subtle nature soul? Oh my, yes. I hesitate to try to think of anyone we both would know about, because fame, by its very nature, includes extroversion, quite a different thing from a strong nature soul, I think.

How about Emily Dickinson? She had a seriously powerful nature soul, but there she was, pale and quiet, sitting at her desk, writing all that wild poetry. Does that work?

ZenMouser said...

I had to go back to your OP for the description of nature soul:

-There is a "nature soul" that enters the body at birth and leaves at the moment of death. That soul incarnates as a human only once, then returns to nature never to live as a human again. Those who have strong nature souls radiate power and strength.

In comments:
Strong but subtle nature soul? Oh my, yes. I hesitate to try to think of anyone we both would know about, because fame, by its very nature, includes extroversion, quite a different thing from a strong nature soul, I think.

Just to keep it simple (there's a multi-faceted multicultural conversation in there, for sure) -

How attuned are we, as human beings, to subtle strength? Is this a whole area waiting to be understood, to have built-in support, alongside of, as you call it, radiant power and strength? What of subtle radiance? Can we detect it? As easily?

As for MJ:
He didn't have that wildness, the carefree craziness of the nature soul.

Actually, I think he did. He had scads of it, but, if you've read any Jackson5 accounts, the kids were drilled by their manager/father and fed on by an industry with dollar signs in their eyes. Come to think of it, I don't even think the I/E either or construction is useful here. MJ is a great example of why. In his element, doing his thing - extrovert, outside of the arena/everyday life - introvert. The whole thing is a false dichotomy when what we're really talking about is equitable energy exchange - less about one's preference for charging one's batteries. Subtle difference. See it?

I get it about Dickinson, although along the lines of performance arts, I think a more apt description of what I am referring to is what happened with Susan Boyle. All the trappings of having exceptional performance art talent in this modern age was a bit much for her. I'm betting she's on a more reasonable performance circuit now. And if you know the story, all was well when they allowed her cat to come on tour with her. Go figure, now there's an accomodation ; ) Has cat will travel.

It seems like it's about energy exchange - seen and unseen.

lakeviewer said...

Yes, quite a paradox this life.

Angela said...

I feel like I am retreating into myself at this time. Concentrating on my inner core. No dancing, just listening and watching. Strange feeling. What is happening? I closed my blog, don`t feel like writing. But I`m not sad, just quiet. As always, I like your thoughts, Reya.

Pauline said...

In like this view of multiple souls - makes more sense than having just one and helps explain the strong connection to nature. Perhaps some folks' nature soul goes wandering and that allows them to dismiss and so defile the Earth?

Reya Mellicker said...

Angela, I'm glad you are entering a contemplative period. Glad to be in touch. I'm going to email you.

Zen Mouser, for more details about Mongolian shamanism, I recommend any writings by the late, great Sarangerel. Riding Windhorses is a really good one. I also highly recommend Ghenghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World by Jack Weatherford.

Reya Mellicker said...

Pauline according to the shamanism I studied, the nature soul can never leave the body. Once it leaves, we are dead.

Annika Lundkvist said...

Whenever I am next in DC I would like to set a bodywork appt with you. AND hear about this strain of Mongolian Shamanism you studied within. Your blog and background history become richer and more fascinating by day!

Autumn Thought.

Annika

Reya Mellicker said...

Annika? YES. When you make plans to come, email me on Facebook. Excellent!!

Karen said...

Thank you for this post! Doesn't sound crazy to me... sounds RIGHT. Inspiring, actually.