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.