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Soulcraft
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Author:  Hrvoje Butkovic [ 26 Jul 2010, 01:22 ]
Post subject:  Soulcraft

I’m busy reading the book Soulcraft by Bill Plotkin. He introduces a perspective that I haven’t come across before, yet that feels strangely appropriate. I will quote it from his book:

Quote:
My conviction grew that an essential distinction was being overlooked by all of the spiritual paths I had studied. After years of wondering and exploring, I began to suspect there were actually two realms involved in spirituality, not one. But none of the teachers with whom I had studied nor any books I read spoke about two realms...

...

One realm of spirituality turns upward toward the light... Soulcraft is an exploration of the other realm of spirituality, which leads not upward toward God but downward toward the dark center of our individual selves and into the fruitful mysteries of nature...

...

Most cultures, traditions and philosophies emphasize one pole of spiritual development or the other; few embrace both equally. The shamanistic traditions of indigenous, oral cultures emphasize the discovery and embodiment of our unique soul, as do the twentieth-century depth psychologists Carl Jung, Marie-Louise von Franz, James Hillman, Marion Woodman, Robert Johnson, James Hollis, and others. In contrast, the major world religions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam focus upon the realization of – or union with – spirit, as do the theories of some transpersonal psychologists such as Ken Wilber, or the lessons of contemporary spiritual teachers such as Eckhart Tolle.

...

Many ascent-oriented spiritual paths see the descent as simply unnecessary and avoidable, or perhaps as necessary but only a temporary diversion from the ascent, or, at best, an experience from which we can learn something that will help us return to the light. I have heard Buddhist teachers say that paying heed to a vision – even of personal destiny – is a distraction from the spiritual path. The light is seen as the only goal.

...

Although both are transpersonal, spirit takes you in one direction from the conscious mind or personality, and soul takes you in the other. The movement toward spirit is a journey of ascent, a journey of transcendence, while the movement toward your soul is a journey of descent, or what Thomas Berry calls “inscendence,” a journey that deepens.

...

A holistic approach to spirituality interweaves the ascent and the descent, rendering balance to the experience of both the upperworld and underworld.


Thoughts?

Author:  HavenMage [ 26 Jul 2010, 06:57 ]
Post subject:  Re: Soulcraft

One of the characteristics that I have noticed about some of the "ascendant" faiths indicated above is the ascetic nature of the original philosophers that formed the spiritual traditions. It is often the case that theses individuals have thought and acted in a polarized fashion, rejecting the value of self (certainly a central tenet of Buddhist thought). I do wonder sometimes whether it is safe to place such spiritual leaders in positions of such great importance, since so many of them seem to be "broken" in fundamental ways. (Cult leaders in particular I find to be a major source of "broken" personalities). I recall thinking on many occasions that these thinkers must have been lonely, bitter, even hateful persons.

On the other hand, the opposite polar pursuit often lacks any form of moral obligations or compulsion to do "good", whatever that may be defined as. Some persons do not need to have anyone "compelling" them towards good behavior, and a few "internalizing" traditions have some answer, but it seems the above mentioned "ascendant" belief systems are certainly better at compelling behavior.

Author:  Hrvoje Butkovic [ 27 Jul 2010, 08:24 ]
Post subject:  Re: Soulcraft

What I really like about Plotkin’s approach is the significance that he attaches to each realm of growth. He identifies three: ego (ordinary waking consciousness), soul and spirit. He also suggests a progression to this work – ego development first, then soul, and finally spirit. The reason is that maturity with one aspect needs to be attained before the next can be fruitfully sought. I find that “ascendant” faiths too easily neglect the everyday in their pursuit of the light, as if the purpose of our Earthly lives is to escape them rather than live them to the full.

Author:  HavenMage [ 28 Jul 2010, 05:56 ]
Post subject:  Re: Soulcraft

Hrvoje Butkovic wrote:
I find that “ascendant” faiths too easily neglect the everyday in their pursuit of the light, as if the purpose of our Earthly lives is to escape them rather than live them to the full.


A good way of putting it.

I am not sure that one can develop each one separately though. It seems wrong to me. I would think that one might want to focus on one for a time, but that building each one would change and open new paths on the others. I will have to read the book...

Author:  Hrvoje Butkovic [ 28 Jul 2010, 06:30 ]
Post subject:  Re: Soulcraft

HavenMage wrote:
I am not sure that one can develop each one separately though. It seems wrong to me. I would think that one might want to focus on one for a time, but that building each one would change and open new paths on the others.

Exactly right. They are interdependent, in a particular sequence. For example, one can't pursue the soul's mission until the ego is sufficiently mature to withstand social rejection that might result from one's authentic expression.

Author:  jacobanthony [ 06 Apr 2016, 03:52 ]
Post subject:  Re: Soulcraft

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Author:  kingsleytailors [ 11 Jan 2018, 04:43 ]
Post subject:  Re: Soulcraft

jacobanthony wrote:
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