Matters of the Soul

by Judith Rich on May 24, 2009

The matters of the Soul (Capital S) have intrigued me for a long time. Somehow, I ended up doing my doctoral studies on the Psychology of the Soul, also known as Archetypal Psychology. While I’d done extensive inner work before starting my doctoral program, and had undergone enormous personal transformation already, this work took me deeper than I’d ever gone before and opened up so many new doorways to the inner terrain. I’ve since further deepened my work through journeys into the shamanic realm, and life has never quite been the same since! All powerful and transformative experiences, I might add.

The Soul covers a lot of territory! From an archetypal perspective, it’s ALL soul! So we have a wide range of topics and ideas we can explore. Learning to discover and connect with your soul’s calling, learning to live in alignment with that calling, will fundamentally alter the way you experience your life. It seems to me the Soul is the core, the very foundation from which to build a life. Yet most people live their lives going through the motions, doing what’s expected, following somebody else’s ideas about who they are and what their life is about, never really looking much beneath the surface.

If you’re going to look into matters of the Soul, you need to be willing to look deep. Be willing to look at what’s not pretty, because the Soul could care less about appearances. What the Soul cares about is learning, through any and all mechanisms. It matters not to the Soul how we learn. Just that we learn. The Soul’s agenda is to evolve, to come to completion. If that requires what I call “hard homework”, then so be it. The Soul is up for it all. The personality might not be up for it, but the Soul is game for everything. Hence, when life is dealing the hard lessons, you can be sure there’s soul work being done.

Here are some questions for starters. These are the things I’m wondering about and I invite you to join me in an inquiry. I’d love to hear what you come up with and I’ll share my discoveries as well:

What is your Soul calling you to, right now in your life?

What is the Soul of this moment in our collective experience?

How do you experience Soul moving through your life?

We’re just getting started and it’s a long journey. So I hope you’ll be a regular reader, invite your friends to join us and let’s engage in a community conversation about whatever arrives on the table. Since it’s all about the Soul, and it’s all Soul, almost anything goes. (I think) I just ask that we respect the opinions of those who comment here. Agree, disagree, just keep it civil and on topic.

Please feel free to leave your comments below. Thanks for being here!

{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Gregory Joseph May 27, 2009 at 4:14 AM

Referring to the quote that you have chosen, written by Ralph Waldo Emerson; While the concept is foremost in my intellect, I sometimes succumb to the lesser grade of communication led by events and feelings improperly remembered. Sometimes I forget the power of this most recent learning. The learning is that when I see a ‘dysfunction’ elsewhere, it is only that I can see it in my self. My next step would to be silent and heal that dysfunction in my self before attempting to heal or teach that lesson to another. I cannot see with out the experience of the same within me. Teaching is different than engaging others in my journey, and learning along the way. It is that I must humble myself, and learn from the balanced energies of others while they learn from the balanced energies that I enjoy. It begs me to delve deeper in to the thought that we are all equal, we are all Divine, we are indeed all One.
I am honored to be in the presence of your mind Judith.
Thanks for that inspiration!

Kathy Kane May 27, 2009 at 8:32 AM

Hello Judith,
There are no accidents. I can’t believe I have found my way here. Let me say that in answer to your first question, my Soul is calling me to alter the current trajectory of my life both figuratively and literally. I know where it wants me to go (the other side of the country) and against all logic, I am planning to visit. Other than that, I don’t know any other specifics. My fear at this point is that I will cave in to fear and the need to play it safe and ignore my Soul and eventually I won’t hear or be in touch with its voice. In fact, I think I’ve done this most of my life and I am here because I want to get back in touch with my Soul so that it’s no longer a faint whisper in my life but a vibrant, glowing presence. Thank you Judith. I’ll be hanging around here for a while.

Jenni O'dell May 27, 2009 at 9:32 AM

Dear Dr. Rich,

When I think of the soul concept, I now tend to lean more toward the term ‘mana.’ I believe that spirit or mana or soul, whatever term one chooses to use, can be present within objects, people, places, and events. The energy we leave behind, our impressions, may have more impact than we realize. Looking at different cultures around the world and knowing that we all share mana helps me to see that we all have more commonalities than differences.

My belief is that I am supposed to be helping society achieve enlightenment. How I define that or what causes that inner drive other than psychological aspects, I do not know. I do not automatically assume that there is some divine agency intervening in my daily life. I do believe in ethics and especially human rights issues of equality. I did spend several years getting to know my true self from the inside out before I sought to help others. I looked at my intentions and motivations and searched for meaning and answers. My realization is that life is a journey and it is alright to change and evolve, keeping the right intentions.

My methods of connecting with soul or mana are spending time in nature, researching history and mana objects, listening to trance music, and playing the piano. I also write poetry. When I connect with others intellectually it also makes me very alive. I can almost feel some sort of energy exchange, perhaps the serotonin in the brain is increased, but to me it is connecting with the soul. I am in my late 20’s, and it may sound strange, but I feel most in touch with mana or the soul concept while talking to elder generations.

Thank you for your insightful website, and I look forward to your future posts.

Barbara May 27, 2009 at 10:15 AM

From the scene at the top of the page to the welcome from Judith, the one word that fit was “home” – many ways to define home and many homes in our lives but this felt like home in the most elemental sense.

Lillie Gander May 27, 2009 at 10:48 AM

As I am at a crossroads in my life needing to make big decisions, I find myself looking deeply fiercely determined not to make a decision inconsistentwith my ‘essential nature’ described in Rhonda Britton’s book Fearless Living. Courage to listen to what your soul is telling you that you must do, and following through, is a mighty feat indeed.

My soul is demanding that I spend time in solitude and look within. I find little opportunity for exchange with others on this topic and it appears that my soul demands it be that way for now. My soul just demands that I sit still and listen to that small still voice and nothing will be put in my path until I truly hear it. It’s been a battle for me to ‘keep still’ as it was in elementary school when a teacher taped me to my chair when I did not heed her warnings.

I worry for our collective soul. I believe there is an effort about to bring people to basics, to the homefront, to the earth, to humility and simplicity. However, the attention span of the average person has become so limited and far too many profit from the distraction and the noise and the state of chaos. I fear that the return to basics and simplicity will be drowned out by the noise and busyness that people have become accustomed to. I hope I am wrong.

I’ve been reading Dr. Rich on Huffington Post and look forward to settling down on this website each day and seeing what new thoughts you have to bring to us.

Best of luck in your new adventure!

Arithrianos aka Samuel Bonney May 27, 2009 at 11:26 AM

Dear Dr. Rich,
you have really gone off the deep end here, in a good way, that is the only way to learn to swim. Right NOW i believe my spirit is calling me back to some sort of spiritual community, i have walked alone for years now, but the pleasures of solitude are begining to pale beside the joy of community, even the joy of virtual communities. This may be my breaking point, if i can rejoin a community, for to do so i must come to terms with my experience of wisdom. The real reason i abandoned the path in the first place is that the wisdom and power were too much, i guess i was trying to appropriate them as an aspect of personality, and as you know Spirit is so much bigger than personality, and it is terrifing not being in what ego calls “control”, not being able to manipulate the wisdom, in fact not being able to understand the wisdom. It is only recently that i have been able to see this, and seeing it should be enough to abandon the attempt to “pwn” wisdom, and just allow wisdom to “pwn” me.

gar May 27, 2009 at 1:48 PM

Greetings Judith,

As one who seeks harmony with Tao, the path has lead me here.

Looking forward to reading your blog

Judith Rich May 27, 2009 at 9:06 PM

Hello Everyone,
I’m still figuring out how everything works on my new site. I wanted to reply to each of your comments, but the formatting doesn’t seem to allow me to put it under your individual comments.
Just know that I’m checking in here and reading what you’re writing and love that you’re taking the time to share your thoughts.
Thank you all for your comments this very first day! We already have over 70 subscribers. Not bad for a day’s work…..
I’ll be posting something on Thurs. so see you then.

GFJones May 27, 2009 at 10:29 PM

Thank you Dr. Rich. The time is right for this. For all of us the quest is a very personal journey. I look forward to the sharing of ideas and experience and losing that sense of isolation. I see the potential for continued growth, filling in the blanks and opening my eyes to my blind spots that your site can provide. For me personally, this site is another synchronous piece of the puzzle falling into place. My quest started in crises over seventeen years ago. The past five years have been amazing taking me to places I never though possible. Yet there is so much more to learn and do.
Much thanks.

Judith Bott May 28, 2009 at 5:06 AM

Thank you for so graciously sharing your wisdom. The truths in 10 Ways to Nuture the Soul and very thought provoking. I look forward to more . . .

Kim May 28, 2009 at 7:08 AM

Hi Dr. Rich,

I am so happy to have found your new “soul site”. I look forward to visiting and hope that we can touch upon dreams since that is what my soul has been currently focusing me on in both my sleep and in my waking life.

I am especially amazed at the symbolizm of my awake dreams and hope you have some insight into this.

Thank you for creating a place to sit and talk with you and others on our peronal journeys.

Lisa Penny May 28, 2009 at 7:38 AM

I’m astounded to have found your blog, at the exact moment in time that I chose to embark on an expedition to find my own soul. I can’t imagine a better companion on this journey than a joyful woman with a sparkly tiara!

To begin with your questions, my soul seems to be calling for me to cast off all fear, demons & ennui, and create a new fearless genre of art. I think our collective soul is calling for the same break-out.

Henry Bamford Parkes wrote in “Gods and Men – The Origins of Western Culture” a historical analysis regarding Roman culture that feels eerily prescient as applied to the context of our modern era:

“…a lack of artistic creativity is likely to indicate some more general failure of vitality. It is the function of art to sharpen human perceptions and sensibilities, to communicate an awareness of the values and significances inherent in human experience, and thereby to enrich man’s understanding and enhance his capacity for enjoyment. That a society has become incapable of original self-expression means that it is deficient both in the apprehension of reality and in the power of appreciation. A society without good art is likely to succumb to a pervasive ennui and sense of futility and oppression, and to turn for stimulation to violent and morally shocking forms of entertainment. Only a people devoid of aesthetic sensitivity could have developed such a passion for watching gladiators. The strongest impression conveyed by the art of the early empire is that it was the product of an immense boredom. This is the simplest explanation for the decline of Roman civilization and may also be the truest.”

I feel our collective soul is teetering on a precipice, and my soul is out there with it. Hopefully we can all take a leap of faith together.

Tricia May 30, 2009 at 11:54 AM

Beautiful blog, Dr. Judith. There are no ‘accidents’ regarding affairs of the soul, in my humble opinion. The reasons I came across this blog will become increasingly more clear as time passes. For now, one small sign for me is explained in #5 of your article regarding 10 steps to nurture the soul. Yesterday, I was ‘dancing’ after coming through some pretty personal rough waters over the past several months. I bumped into your blog on my dance floor, turned to say ‘So, sorry ..’ and was met with a warm smile and ‘I like your moves .. ‘ sort of reply. Thank you.

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