Yesterday I talked about the importance of living and telling our stories – as a re-storying process – to aid our transition into a reality with a life-enhancing culture (click here to read). This is what I understand as The New Story.
I used the term ‘soul-centric living’ whilst discussing The New Story and I wish to discuss a little more what I mean by that.
First of all, the ideas that I’m sharing have been informed largely by Bill Plotkin and his book ‘Nature and The Human Soul’. In this book Plotkin puts forward an eight stage, cyclical model of soul-centric human development.
He argues there a 8 phases of life from a soul-centric perspective – ranging between childhood, adolescents, adulthood and elderhood. We presently live in a patho-adolescent culture.
“By “adolescence,” I mean a psychosocial stage, not a chronological interval coincident with the teen years. And the early adolescence in which the majority of post-pubescent Westerners sleepwalk through the rest of their lives tends to be not even a healthy adolescence but, rather, what I’ve called a patho-adolescence. This is an egocentric existence focused upon the attempt to look good to others; to conform and/or to rebel against the ordinary and mainstream; to “get ahead” in the dog-eat-dog competition for material possessions, financial wealth, and social status; and to minimize the experience of challenging realities by way of addictions (whether to substances or to compulsive behaviors such as shopping, impersonal sex, or gambling).”
Plotkin’s model serves as a map by which to live life and develop healthily. When we begin living a soul-centric life we open ourselves to the possibility of finding deep meaning through service to our planet, each other and to ourselves. We find meaning through our souls, which typically is encountered in stage four of the cycle – late adolescents. Soul encounter and initiation can be a challenging and difficult phase to navigate if unguided. Plotkin talks at length about this stage of life in his book Soulcraft.
Soul encounter requires us to descend to our depths and experience a death. An ego death.
To transition from one phase of life to the next, a part of us has to die. Of course, the ego will resist and do what it can to preserve its place and grip. This is why ceremony and preparation are necessary when embarking on a journey of the soul.
I will continue the conversation around soul throughout this blog, as it is a central theme of my life. Indeed, I’m heading to Romania in April to go on a journey of soul, which I will share more of in due course.
As a brief introduction to soul-centred living, this is enough, but for those of us sensing the convulsions of our being as it protests against the routines and lifestyle we subject ourselves to – know there is a way to find meaning.
Surrender to the Mystery and dive into the unknown.
Here is a video of a poem I wrote on a similar theme you may be interested in 🙂