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Editor's Blog
Applied Quantum

Applied Quantum
Quantum Spirituality is the recognition that at a quantum level we and the universe are one and are co-creators in the reality we see around us. In this section, Vaughan Wynne-Jones, author of Being Human - a Guide to Metaphysics, and Love & Gratitude - a Guide to Healing and Acceptance offers up some of his thoughts on this subject.

Soul Retrieval in the Modern World
By Vaughan Wynne-Jones
Have you ever experienced any of these sensations?

- Feeling 'scattered' and out of focus
- Worried, a lot about the future or another person
- Beaten yourself up about something that happened in the past
- Daydreamed with longing of times past, loves lost, opportunities missed

If you have experienced any of these either continually or periodically, then the likelihood is you have what is often termed a 'scattered soul'. Sometimes we say things that reinforce that concept:

"She stole my heart"
"My self-confidence went right out the window"
"A part of me died that day"
"I left my heart in San Francisco"

All of these can indicate a scattered soul also (Except for the last one if you happen to be Tony Bennett, In which case, it's an honor, sir!).

Shamans believed that part of the human soul is free to leave the body and that it will do so when dreaming, or to protect itself from potentially damaging situations be they emotional or physical. With trauma these pieces of the soul may not return to the body on their own, and a shaman may be needed to intervene and return the soul essence.

This then, is the essence of Soul Retrieval as it has been known in various forms around the world for centuries. With what we know (or at least think we know) about the way the body and mind work today, there are ways to not only understand this in contemporary terms, but also to 'repair' our fractured souls on our own - in effect, we can be our own Shamans.

Every experience, every person, every thing we see and do in life generates an emotion - a unique chemical signature that allows us to recognize it. These chemical signatures, neuro-peptides that interact with our cells, can be measured in a laboratory. What cannot be measured is the feeling that goes with that chemical signature.

For example, let's say that many years ago you fell in Love. A fleeting, passionate romance with someone who in that moment you would have lived, died and killed for. You lived and breathed that person. Every song on the radio was somehow about you and them. That person generated a unique chemical signature - an emotion, that allows you to recognize them - or reminders and associations with them - at any point in your life. However, years later, even if you still remember the person, the feeling has changed. With any luck, the experience has neutral buoyancy now - simply a moment in time, that neither feels good nor bad, but that exists as a memory in your past and is not your present experience. You may remember how you felt, perhaps with a degree of curiosity, but without the feeling itself returning.

Now let's say there was another experience, perhaps something traumatic that happened to you when you were younger. That experience may haunt you still. You may replay it in your mind, attempting to figure out what you could have done differently, perhaps beating yourself up for the choices you made. The experience may so color your view of the world around you, that everything you experience now happens in the context of that original experience. In essence, a piece of your being - a piece of your soul - is stuck in that past experience.

It doesn't have to have been a bad experience. If you spend all your time day-dreaming about a past event - perhaps a time when you were materially better off, perceived you had more love around you than you do now, then that can also trap you, because you are not living in the present moment, you are living in a past that no longer exists - a piece of your soul is trapped there, and cannot move forward.

I once had a very beautiful friend. When she was about 19, she married and incredibly rich man, about 60 years older than her. The song 'Lying Eyes' by the Eagles could have been written for her. All she had to do was stay faithful for a couple of years, and she would have been a wealthy lady for life. Well, perhaps understandably at 19, that was easier said than done. After about six months she kicked over the traces, got pregnant, and ended up on the street with nothing. The old man died six months later. When I met her, she was 33. Still beautiful, although three journeys through the windshield of her car when she was drunk had scarred her just a little. She was more scarred inside, and every time she got to drinking (which was pretty much from the time she got up until the time she collapsed) she would reminisce about how her life could have been different. She was completely and utterly trapped in the past. At 27, I was not much help to her, except as an emotional crutch for a while... I loved her, and I couldn't help her.

Of course, no one can help another person - not really. We can only offer them help. Whether it is a hand, a kind word (or sometimes a firm one), a hug, a kiss, a sandwich. It is their choice to receive. It mattered to me at the time that I couldn't help Lisa retrieve that piece of her soul from the past. It mattered to me, because I still had a piece of my own soul trapped in the past, beating myself up over my inability (at 17) to help my first love find a way to feel good about her life. She tried to kill herself. On the rare occasions, every few years or so, that I'm able to get in touch with her, it seems clear that she's been trying ever since. Trisha's pain came from things that happened to her when she was growing up - a part of her soul was, and by all accounts still is, trapped in that childhood. A part of mine was trapped with her, which is what made me reach out to and fall in love with Lisa, who had her own fractured soul, and so on and so on through the whole wonderful human drama.

Perhaps you worry a lot about another person - a sibling, friend, parent, child. A piece of your soul, the Shaman would say, is trapped with them. A lot of people seem to spend a lot of their time attempting to live other people's lives for them. Worrying may well be the most pointless human pastime every invented, and yet we do seem to spend an inordinate amount of time doing it. It boggles the mind to think what we could accomplish if all that brainpower stopped being focused on worrying about things we either know nothing about, or can do nothing about, and instead applied ourselves to some actual honest to goodness problem solving.

If the future fills you with dread, then you have projected a piece of yourself into a reality that does not yet exist and most likely never will, and again, your soul is scattered.

The less of you that is 'present' in the present moment, the less attention you can give to the enjoyment of the experiences you are having right now. To put it another way, the more of your cell receptors that are attached to events in the past or future, or other people, the less there are working for you.

Now, you may think this is a somewhat selfish approach to life. You may feel that surely we are meant to be in service to others. Without any room left for doubt, studies over and over again have shown that humans do better when they co-operate, than when they are simply out for themselves. The individual and the group elevates itself. The problem is, that our ability to serve others is directly proportional to how well we look after our own self and our own well being. If you don't Love yourself, and care for yourself, how can you possibly expect to be able to do that for another, without them feeling obligated to you? Service to others involves no obligation on their part. If it does, then we are acting out of ego, not out of Love; out of quid pro quo, not altruism. When you give something to someone - your time, love, food, money - do you expect something in return?

It surely may be noble in the moment to lay down one's life for a fellow being, but is it noble to live your whole life waiting for that moment, spending each day waiting for the day you get to die for someone else? What if that moment comes and you miss your chance? Or mess it up?

A friend of mine makes a clear distinction, between that which is freely given, and that which is asked of her. If it's freely given, then that's exactly what it is. But if someone asks something, sometimes (or at least at the time of writing), she has a tendency to wonder - where is the balance here? What have you done for me lately? What will I get in return? TANSTAAFL! as Heinlein used to say - There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!

Somehow, we sometimes feel that if we are asked to do something, it creates an obligation in us. Obligation by the way, comes from a Proto-Indo-European root which means 'to bind'. Most of us don't want to feel bound... well except maybe on special occasions... When someone asks us for help, or money, or food, a part of us usually feels 'bound' to respond. That is, in my opinion, a good thing, because it means that deep within the human psyche is a desire to help each other - to be subject to one another. So why do we rebel against that sometimes? Or why do we give out of a sense of obligation instead of giving freely?

I suspect it is because a part of us feels that by giving something to another, we are losing something of ourselves. Which brings us right back to the idea of loving and caring for ourselves first. When we truly Love who we are, this beautiful soul on this exciting journey in this miraculous body, then we cannot lose anything by giving to another, because we always operate from a place of Love and Gratitude. By the same token, if someone asks something of us that we do not feel comfortable giving, it is okay to say no, because if we trust in our journey, then we can trust in theirs also.

Soul retrieval then, in the world we live in today could be seen to be about bringing back the pieces of you that feel scattered, obliged, worried, regretful or afraid and reintegrating them in such away that the cell receptors that are given over to these futile activities can be re-focused on helping you become centered as a loving, grateful spiritual human being. If you can identify a moment in time where you were one way - a way you enjoyed being - and then something happened and you felt that part of you die, or leave, or get pushed away, then you have identified something for which soul retrieval may be a useful exercise, allowing you to reintegrate the confidence you lost, your sense of humor, your ability to love, freely.

Children are not born afraid. The crying is mostly because their pissed, frankly. If I'd spent nine months in a hot tub, fed and cared for, then was suddenly hurled out into this blinding light with a fifty degree drop in temperature, butt ass naked, half blind and gasping for air, I'd be pretty pissed too. In fact by all accounts, I was! Children are born curious, fearless, loving and open. It is the things that happen to us which curb those qualities, and separate them from us.

Now, because the events that scattered our parts are usually key moments in our life, Soul retrieval is not an exercise that you are likely to be doing on a regular basis. It can be a very emotional experience, as you reintegrate into yourself those parts of you that carried and hid trauma from an earlier time. However, there is a maintenance technique which you can do regularly once you have gone through the Soul Retrieval which is simply a means of ensuring no parts of you have wandered off the reservation.

Let's take a look at both the Soul Retrieval exercise, and then the Soul maintenance technique.

Soul Retrieval Exercise

Start by identifying a point in your life where things changed suddenly for you. This is where we will need to go looking for the part of your soul that was left behind. It may be in the past, in another time and place, or it may be with another person.

In your mind's eye, imagine what that piece of your soul would look like. A crystal perhaps? A shining point of light? An old shoe?

Take yourself into meditation, and back to the location, person or time where you last had that missing piece. This is a memory, not a real, present event. View it without emotion, without feeling. It cannot harm you.

Within the misty, ethereal scene before your eyes, locate that part of yourself. Visualize it having more solidity than the rest of the scene. Do not worry if you have difficult finding it at first, it is there, and you will find it. When you do, focus your attention on that piece of yourself and greet it. Communicate with it. It is part of you, and you can talk with it. Tell it the things that have happened to you since it has been gone. Ask it how it feels about those things. Let it tell you how it sees these experiences from it's perspective.

Ask if it is willing to rejoin with you now, or if something needs to change first. Perhaps this part of you is still a child and needs to grow first. If that is the case, it can do that before your eyes as it absorbs the experiences you have had since you were parted.

If it is willing, then welcome that part of you back. Tell it how happy you are to be together with it again. Let it know you will keep it safe. Spread your arms to welcome it back, hug it as it is absorbed back into you.

It's possible that this part may not be ready to re-integrate yet. There may some additional work that needs to go on, or it may be that the process of re-integration will take several days or weeks. But you have identified and found where it has been hiding, and communicated with it, and that is an important first step.

With most people, there are likely to be several pieces hiding away somewhere that need to be retrieved. It may take several visits to this meditation to retrieve all pieces. Once it is accomplished how there is some maintenance work that can be done, to prevent future separation.

One of the main reasons that we lose part of ourselves in the first place is because of attachment. We become attached to people, things, places. And when we are separated from them, either emotionally or physically, that part of us that attached can be separated also. In a sense, we are all attached to each other all the time. There is no reason to add another layer of attachment, especially because the outcome of such additional attachment frequently causes problems.

The Love that we have inside of us shines the brightest when it is centered. Imagine it as a collection of tea lights. When the lights are clustered together, you have a single source of bright light. But if those same lights were spread out across a wide area, perhaps carried by other people, perhaps lost to sight because they are trapped in the past, then the light that remains in the center shines less brightly, less vividly.

In a very real sense, we are the light that we shine. We can be more loving, nurturing, empathic and compassionate when we are centered in ourselves. The following exercise is intended to help you remain centered in yourself and to remove any attachments that may have built up, subtly and unexpectedly.

Maintenance Exercise

This is best done at the end of a meditation in which you have thought about people in your life that you care about in some way. I would recommend doing this regularly, perhaps once a month or once a week, depending on how prone you are to build up attachments.

1) On the center of a piece of paper, write your name, put a circle around it
2) In the next circle out, put the names of people you think about frequently
3) In the next circle out, put the names of people you think about less frequently but pretty regularly
4) From the outside in, scribble through each name and say "I love you, and release you"

Sometimes people have a hard time doing this. It may feel as if you are in some way cutting your ties with these people. Which is precisely what you are doing. But you are not cutting away your love for them, simply your expectations of them and your attachments to an outcome they may not be able to deliver. You are disconnecting yourself from expectations of them.

If the human experience were a river, then we could think of each of us on our own rubber tire drifting down that river. The river always carries us forward. Sometimes we bump into other people, and sometimes we drift away from them. It is the river that carries us on our journey. We may be able to control our own tire somewhat, but we cannot control theirs, and if we try, we may lose control of our own.

Trust in your journey, and let other people experience and trust their own journey. Be grateful for the times you come together, but always remember that they are simple moments in the journey. The river rolls on, the journey continues. Each of us on our own tire, yet all of us on the same river.


Vaughan Wynne-Jones is author of Being Human - a Guide to Metaphysics, Love & Gratitude - a Guide to Healing and Acceptance and various articles on spirituality. If you have any questions about this article or wish to publish it elsewhere you may contact him via MySpace. Parts of this article are included in his new book, Love & Gratitude, A Guide to Quantum Spirituality, due out in Fall 2009. Potential publishers contact vaughanwj@gmail.com for more information.

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The Battle between head and heart
Soul Retrieval in the Modern World
Five Ways to Practice Being in Gratitude
Recognizing and Releasing Negative Associations
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The Gut Instinct
Why we are here
Understanding Grace, Gratitude and God
Dolphins have Names
Why is it so hard to see beyond our current existence?
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Mortality and Morality
Understanding the Kabbalah

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Comment on this article
NameComment
GypsyMagickRaven@comcast.net - 2008-12-16 15:59:19:Oh thank you for this execise im going to try it!
Sandi - 2008-12-17 03:57:39:I cannot believe as I read your article how much this is me. I have tried to go on with life but feeling so detached. I did try to commit suicide when I was a teenager, and there are times when I feel that desire again. I dont of course because I am chicken I suppose. I really do need to read your book and I am truly grateful my path sent me to your article. Thank you so very much for writing it. Blessings.
Lara - 2008-12-26 10:21:55:Wow! I love this article. I can hardly wait to real the new book coming out. :)
Misti - 2008-12-31 07:16:31:This article couldnt have come at a more perfect moment...your insight and the sharing of your life expierences have soaked inside me like a sponge..I am so thirsty..TY
Mia - 2009-01-02 16:49:36:Hi Vaughan, Glad my tire bumped into yours. Its great to read something which includes an action plan! Great work, thanks for sharing. Aho
Mia - 2009-01-02 16:50:29:Hi Vaughan, Glad my tire bumped into yours. Its great to read something which includes an action plan! Great work, thanks for sharing. Aho
VabsArbitstib - 2009-01-12 23:25:26:I think you are thinking like sukrat, but I think you should cover the other side of the topic in the post too...
Enlargement - 2009-01-15 15:05:56:I am amazed with it. It is a good thing for my research. Thanks
whiteangel1963@yahoo.com - 2009-01-17 04:27:24:I came across this article at a time when I needed to find "my scattered pieces". Thank you for this. I have so many scattered pieces that maybe one day I can be whole again. You have given me a way and hope to do this.
reepkeerporge - 2009-01-20 14:03:32:I am unable to understand this post. But well some points are useful for me.
h-build - 2009-03-16 01:15:41:I am unable to understand this post. But well some points are useful for me. http://h-build.ru
aravika - 2009-03-16 04:49:51:Useful information , great post . Thanks for sharing !! ______________ http://aravika.ru
eurobuil - 2009-03-16 08:48:48:Good work! Thank you very much! ______________ http://eurobuil.ru
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