Imagine that we are together, sitting outside around a fire, or sitting in circle. We sit quietly, contemplatively, in deep concern, and confusion about America. But we do not want to let our mind get hold of our concerns and begin speaking politics or giving our opinions, or dwelling on social concerns. All of these ways of thinking about America will be steeped in illusion and delusion in the absence of an inward listening-in-soul, and allowing the spirits of this land to in-form us.
What way are we using the term ‘soul’? James Hillman (Re-Visioning Psychology) gives a wonderful description of soul: “The unknown component that makes meaning possible, turns events into experiences, and is communicated in love. The significance soul makes derives from its special relation with death.”
We begin by turning inward in contemplation of America – this inward turn involves more than trying to ‘see’ our own depth. The metaphor of ‘turning ‘inward’ also involves the attitude of an inward soul/spirit ‘seeing’ of soul encompassing us in this contemplation. When we ‘see’ in this way, ‘outside’ is an octave of inside.
What we ‘see’ remains invisible to sensation, we see through the intimacy of feeling. Our soul touches, feels, comes in contact with the soul of this land.
The ‘spirits’ of America, heard through the depth of the soul – Who are they? Right now, attend to the way this manner of speaking strikes you.When I speak this unfolding view, it is present. When i speak about this view, it is no longer present. When you hear this unfolding view, it is present. When you take what you are reading as information, it is not present.
We are not attempting a ‘spiritual’ reading of America. For the original inhabitants of this land, speaking and listening to the ‘spirits’ was their way. We cannot get anywhere if we cannot find this Way, not as it was for them, but how the spirits of this land still speak.
We are not ‘going Indian’. We are attempting to come into harmony with the spirit-soul wholeness of this land – a wholeness that was broken the moment the Spaniards invaded this land, a wholeness that further fractured when the Puritans brought all their assumptions of a “New” land, and further fractures now as we have become nearly complete abstract creatures inhabiting a conquered place.
Another crucial aspect of soul — imagine soul as an ‘imaginal place, soul as precision of space rather than time. We move out of temporal thinking and historicity. We will speak and hear ‘history’, but when heard through soul, we feelingly know the qualities of the ‘space’, the place that is America. To be in soul, we sense the so-called ‘historical’ events inwardly, as happening now, with hidden, mysterious depths that begin to reveal themselves. This attitude of being within imaginal space is necessary, and somewhat difficult because, since the Puritans, the sense of the soul-space (soul-space is a way of saying the ‘myth’, the living myth, the living imagination) of America remains occluded. To be present, therefore, requires us to enter the occult, to enter what remains obscure to the 4% of usual consciousness. Surrendering to the other 96% of consciousness is required — the movement from “our consciousness: into consciousness. America is no longer space but a time, and not the time of the past or the present, but the time of the future. We call it development, progress, getting on with it, technology, investment, ownership….all the cliques we heard and have come to believe constitutes the ‘American Way’. It is the way of not-being here. Soul, though, remains, for it is not trying to get anywhere, it is all here. The moment we depart from it we turn from the soul of America to abstract ideas about America.
America is no longer space but time, and not the time of the past or the present, but the time of the future. We call it development, progress, getting on with it, technology, investment, ownership, innovation….all the cliques we heard and have come to believe constitutes the ‘American Way’. It is the way of not-being here. Soul, though, remains, for it is not trying to get anywhere, it is all here. The moment we enter the spacious here (seen/felt from the occulted 96% of consciousness) we are within the felt truth of America.