Rites of passage – Soul Encounter

“To be nothing but yourself …in a world which is doing its best, night and day to make you somebody else – Means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight and never stop fighting.” – E.E.Cummings

For me a house only becomes a home when I have planted my herb garden, lemon and lime tree.The first time I ever became aware of the word herb, it was as if an ancient knowledge base awakened in me. You can say my soul naturally delights in the contact with herbs. For me, human beings without a soul connection, are like a potted plants. Yes it can be fairly healthy, but it seems to need constant first-aid. The potted plant is far less resistant than those with their roots in the earth. Just like a fish in a pond, it can only grow relatively to the size of the pond. When you plant a potted plant out in the earth, there seems to be an immediate added glow about it. We are just like that when we make soul connection.

“At its inception, the ego is naturally narcissistic, but if it develops wholesomely, guided by both soul and nature, it identifies with an increasingly wider slice of life. A mature ego understands the occasional necessity of surrendering to – or being defeated by – a far greater than itself, sometimes during the death-rebirth encounter (when the ego surrenders to soul) and other times during ego transcendence (when ego surrenders to spirit). Ego obstructs personal development when it gets stuck, lost, or entrenched at any life stage – when it resists change, loss, grief, or radical transformation at the hands of the gods and goddesses.” – Bill Plotkin

For us to develop to our full potential it is essential to move past “the stage-stuckness”. Many of us are stuck in the past without even realising it.

Before I go any further, I feel I must give my personal interpretation of what the ego is, as there are so many interpretations of the word, by so many, that it can be confusing.

The ego means I: It is that which I perceive as my present conscious self-awareness. That part of me that makes the decisions between right and wrong, between the choices I face in life. It operates through a personal paradigm, and cognitive style. One’s personality (persona – mask) is projected through the ego. The ego is the container of what you believe yourself to be.

When I speak of Divine, I speak of something being spirit based.

When I speak of Sacred , I speak of something being soul-based.

“Matter is the vehicle for the manifestation of the soul on this plane of existence, and soul is the vehicle on a higher plane for the manifestation of spirit”

Alice A. Bailey

When we are children our senses are open; we explore the world with an open awareness. As we grow older we all too often become too selective in what we choose to experience. Our sensual interaction with the world around us becomes habitual rather than open. We choose to loose our sensitivity rather than be subjected to pain, and so stop feeding our soul.

Modern Living impoverishes the soul. What does normal living in the rat race actually offer the soul as nourishment? The soul’s voice may be quiet, but persistent in its call for us to connect. This call will often manifest within us as a restlessness, a deep yearning for something, and of course depression.

Connecting with the soul, is however, not a Gondola ride, but rather more like White River Rafting. Yet, we need soul connection to evolve, to grow. It might just be the reason why extreme sports are so popular, especially amongst the male population.

“When Dagara boys undergo their initiation ordeals, the people of the village realise that a few boys will never return; they will literally not survive. Why would the Dagara be willing to make such an ultimate sacrifice? For the boys who die, this is certainly not a therapeutic experience. Although the Dagara love their children no less than we do, they understand, as elders of many cultures emphasize, that without a vision – without soul embodied in the culturally creative lives of their men and women – the people will perish. And, to the boys, the small risk of death is preferable to the living death of an uninitiated life. Besides when we compare Dagara society with our own, we find that an even greater percentage of our teenagers die – through suicide, substance abuse, auto accidents, and gang warfare – in their unsuccessful attempts to initiate themselves.”

Bill Plotkin

In South Africa every year, many boys die during the initiation rituals. Some of these “schools” are run by people just out to make a profit and many boys die needlessly in the hands of unskilled operators. Even here the culture of Materialism invades the once sacred institutions. Yet, despite the dangers, many young men will tell you, that they do not feel that they are men, until they have been through initiation. Western culture can numb us, but cannot still the call of the soul. The voice of the soul may be quiet, but it is persistent.

“Look around you. How many Americans, regardless of age, are caught in an adolescant holding pattern, waiting for the time when thet will magically become adult? In the meantime, they will dream the infantile American Dream of wealth and power, addict themselves to alcohol and (legal and illegal) drugs, become enamored of the glittering surface of the material world, fall into puppy love and get married, readily dream the clever dreams manufactured for them by media and politicians, fight their own kind with rocketships, lasers, and nuclear bombs, worship celluloid and stereophonic personalities, become obsessed with sex, wallow in the depths of narcissistic depression, persist in self-destructive excess, dislike having to be responsible for personal actions … These signs of cultural crisis, and many more, point to the inability of culture itself to provide meaningful rites of passage …into expanded stages of growth.” – Steven Foster

Deep inside us the yearning for soul connection will not go away. But not everyone is ready to enter the forge of the soul, and soul connection cannot be pushed. Just as you cannot push to be loved, it has to be earned. Sometimes it happens slowly over time, sometimes it strikes swiftly, unexpectedly. All you can really do is to make the conditions of the self-soil as fertile as possible for soul-growth.

What we lack here in Africa, in material terms, is abundantly compensated by soul experience. You cannot speak about Africa without speaking about the soul. Even the most insensitive soul can feel its tangible presence here. Africans that emigrate always long for it. Here, I have learned to trust the saying; ” What you need to know, will come your way when you need to know.” It has been proven to me over and over again, and sometimes it comes from the strangest sources. I can truly say that I lived a rich soul life, blessed by the humanity around me.

I look back at my life and I am filled with the wonder of the exquisite timing of my unfolding. With grace I step into my being. Through the radiance of my being, my living awakens the seeds of my becoming. Carefree as a child in loving embrace, I trust in my soul’s “knowing of being in place”, that strengthens my body to follow the destiny my spirit presents to me.

“Each individual, being a conception of the divine mind, is held in that mind as a perfect idea … We have been perfectly conceived and are always held in the perfect mind, as perfect beings.”

Trust in your unfolding.


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  1. #1 by tobeme on April 21, 2010 - 5:49 pm

    This writing is fantastic! This is the most valuable passage I have read in some time. Thank-you so very much for sharing this wisdom.

    • #2 by verewig on April 22, 2010 - 9:47 am

      Thank for visiting my musings and for your words of encouragements. I believe our world needs to understand more than ever now what transition is, if we are to mature beyond our present limitations.

  2. #3 by Pete Madstone on April 23, 2010 - 6:36 pm

    Salute Great Practitioner!

    America is certainly bereft of the initiation process. Your first cell phone, a new car upon graduation (for those beyond envy and with parents who have “means”), your first kill in a gang entitiling you to tattooing a tear by the corner of one’s eye to reflect the sadness that you SHOULD feel having killed another as a “warrior”, but this all provides only ego gratification in being accepted into a group that has cell-phones, cars, and hads killed.

    Foster certainly says it well. Thanks!

    Unlike South Africa, AMericans talk about the soul only in religious contexts, and only in the dogmatic model by which they have been taught and memorized. You will find no original thought in the American paradigm. Thank god there are there are intelligent free-thinkers abounding in that country, contrary to how the media presents it. There are good people there.

    It is a place I chose to leave because things were such that I could no longer be a part of – call it a divorce, of sorts. Of course, France really wants to be part of the modern “movement” as well, but I continue to live my life, and continue to facre my initiations.

    ;D Big smiles to you. You are so creative, I have a hard time keeping up with you, but keep up the Great Work!

    PAX et LVX,


    • #4 by verewig on April 24, 2010 - 7:13 am

      Salutations to you too, thank you, though I am just a practioner not a great one. There are good people every where they just do not get the publicity. I have American friends here who also moved from America for the same reasons. Each though seems to have its wounds. Here in Africa though the soul aspect is just so strong it just cannot be ignored. It is after all the motherland of us all. However, the lure of the great glitter; the great corrupter, is also making its inroads here with brand brainwashing. It seems to reflect the underlying insecurities that exist on all levels of the social structure. The glitter is a status symbol which would indicate your place in society but does nothing to still the inner pain and can never be enough; hence the culture of greed that is prevailing. Deep down most feel that they have not earned their place and are desperately surrounding themselves with false lights. Yet, inside I do believe the yearning for the true light cannot be deceived. Sadly in today’s world we are not taught to face our wounds, until the wound is faced the true soul connection cannot be made.

      As for being creative; creativity flows when a spark occurs, otherwise it remains in unmanifest potential, and this world abounds with sparks. Sometimes the world appears to me like a vast starlit sky on a dark moon night.


  3. #5 by Pete Madstone on April 24, 2010 - 6:07 pm

    eunti ac redeunti


    • #6 by verewig on April 24, 2010 - 8:24 pm

      Sadly, I did not study latin, though I wish I did. I only know a few phrases and bits I picked up. I am curious, please explain. I am always eager to learn more.


      • #7 by thevoicecontinues on April 25, 2010 - 6:53 am

        Hi Sophia –

        Just a response to your Hineni (which I had to look up) – means run and return. Surprisingly found in a catholic prayer book, original to Sefer Yetzira. That old church always had access to (and uses!) dreaded heretic concepts, never telling its people the sources of it “divine inspiration”.


      • #8 by thevoicecontinues on April 25, 2010 - 6:53 am

        Sorry, that was me, Pete ;D

  4. #9 by verewig on April 25, 2010 - 10:08 pm

    Shape shifting? Thank you for giving me the latin of running and returning. Very interesting. Was it an actual quote from Sefer Yetzirah or from (Ezekiel 1:14 The Chayot ran and returned.)

    Running and returning is so deep in meaning; the more you contemplate it the more applications you can see for it.

    BTW. I posted some musings on Hineini a while back.

    • #10 by Pete Madstone on April 26, 2010 - 10:39 am

      Yeah, the running and returning of the shapeshifting pheonix. Bird in glory burned on a pyra of its own making. A small “worm-like” (re/ Clement V – could wormlike be a serpent?) creature remains, only to start rising, growing wings and flying once again.

      and good call – yes it was Ezekiel, and probably the first of published run and return. Don’t know if Torah borrowed from early Kaballah, or vice versa. The old Kaballist Rabbis would say the Torah is, after all, a Kaballistic document, and study it as such, instead of seeing it as a religious doctrine. It’s the chicken and the egg, another alchemical shapeshifting event.

      Have you shifted lately, Sophia? ;D


      • #11 by verewig on April 27, 2010 - 5:49 am

        “She who would gain the prize of a newer birth Must seek it in these lands where death hold sway” De Ave Phoenice – Lanctantius (?)

        Ah, the Phoenix, “Adept of endless life by dower of death.” In whose mind and soul I wonder, was that wondrous bird first resurrected and took flight to grace us with awe and wonder?

        The Torah and the Gospels (despite some editing) still contains much Kabbalist teachings and practices in plain sight. So often great truth, truly “herectical” concepts are hidden in plain sight, underneath seemingly trivial aspects. As the old Kabbalists are fond to say, “Spoken of only to those who already know.”

        Always shifting – die daily

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