The World Also Has a Soul

David Whyte

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Awakin Feature"There is a core delusion at the center of our struggles in all organizations. A core delusion that narrows our sense of self and ignores the greater world beyond the organization. It is a world that can inform us of our personal destiny, but also a world that we have lost the time and inclination to investigate thoroughly. Trying to ignore this greater world, we forge a small identity held within the narrow corridors of the building in which we work. Rather than breathing life and vitality into work from the greater perspective which is our birthright, we allow our dreams and desires to be constricted and replaced by those of the organization and then wonder why it has such a stranglehold on our lives."

"The first step to preserving the soul in our individual lives is to admit that the world has a soul also, and is somehow participating with us in our work and destiny. That there is a sacred otherness to the world which is breathtakingly helpful simply because it is not us; it is not defined by our human worries and preoccupations, and it never will be. Its refusal to concern itself solely with our personal ambitions is its greatest mercy; it reserves itself for another kind of nourishment, one we come to when we are ready to drop our reflexive self-concern and look beyond our exhausting self-importance. As the poet David Ignatow reminds himself:
'I should be content
to look at a mountain
for what it is
and not as a comment of my life.


"Looking at the mountain for it own sake opens up a life that can be descried only in the numinous effulgence of poetry or the self-forgetfulness of vital prose. This self-forgetfulness is the essence of firsthand experience. We no longer see our experience as useful for getting something out of someone else, or getting us quickly somewhere else, but as the primary touchstone of both our individuality and the strange way our individuality depends upon everything else. In such experience there is nowhere to go because the experience of interdependence is complete in itself. This experience of belonging satisfies a primary hunger that lies at the center of our soul life; it holds both restful and fiery qualities simultaneously, it is not an easy out.

Taking the first vulnerable steps into our own experience, no matter how small or hidden at the beginning, opens us to a more generous life, where what we have to give figures as largely as what we receive. We stop trying to draw infinitely from a finite world and begin to learn how little is necessary to live a life that honors the soul of the world. We learn that in many respects our world works as a partner, sometimes friendly, sometimes terrifying, but always true to its own necessities and by its example drawing us toward our own.

Seed questions for reflection: How do you relate to the notion that the world also has a soul? Can you share a personal experience where you felt the soul of the world, that it was a partner in your life? How do we practice being true to our own necessities?

Add Your Reflection:

18 Previous Reflections:

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    On May 7, 2014 Dominique wrote:
     I couldn't agree more, it takes daily commitment to practice this This is why I am creating an upcoming radio show where I interview leaders from both nonprofit sector and private sectors on collaboration and social innovations. My vision for Giving Warriors is to make this a collaboration movement where these leaders are provided with a wealth of opportunities to learn, engage, and connect with each others on issues of vital importance to business and social impact.    We invite leaders to join in these conversations who share our passion for a collaborative, action-oriented approach to rethinking the role of business in society. An invitation to step up our game to make the greatest contribution.   I am inviting all of you here to join in this movement.    WILL YOU JOIN IN THE CONVERSATIONS OF CHANGE MAKERS?   You can learn more about this movement here:   Facebook.com/GivingWarriors   Thank you everyone and Keep... [View Full Comment]

     I couldn't agree more, it takes daily commitment to practice this

    This is why I am creating an upcoming radio show where I interview leaders from both nonprofit sector and private sectors on collaboration and social innovations. My vision for Giving Warriors is to make this a collaboration movement where these leaders are provided with a wealth of opportunities to learn, engage, and connect with each others on issues of vital importance to business and social impact. 
     
    We invite leaders to join in these conversations who share our passion for a collaborative, action-oriented approach to rethinking the role of business in society. An invitation to step up our game to make the greatest contribution.
     
    I am inviting all of you here to join in this movement. 
     
    WILL YOU JOIN IN THE CONVERSATIONS OF CHANGE MAKERS?
     
    You can learn more about this movement here:
     
    Facebook.com/GivingWarriors
     
    Thank you everyone and Keep Giving It Forward!
     
    PS: I am looking for help on the areas of writing shownotes as well as audio editing, if you have these skillsets and would like to be apart of our team, I'd love to connect
    [Hide Full Comment]

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    On May 6, 2014 Amy wrote:

     A few years ago, our church was blessed with a pastor who very much revered the church grounds.  Surrounded by nature and all the creatures in it, he was fruitful and multiplied it's goodness.  He had the vision to create an outdoor sanctuary of varying sorts.  Places/spaces for private and public meeting, reflection, celebration . . . he imagined and made it come to be.  
    This special Father is no longer physically here . . . BUT, through "Heaven and natures soul", he is very present.  Just yesterday, there were 9 deer grazing about one of the sacred spaces he created.  There is a "sitting stone" on which I sit if I want to be close to him in prayer.  His rock sings (just as he did when he was here).  His soul has touched many blades of grass.  Yup, even the grass tells his story.
    Thankful to walk on it.


    1 reply: Madeline | Post Your Reply
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    On May 6, 2014 Madeline wrote:

     
    Soul for me, is in, as and through All that IS. Often, when I'm outside, there is a presence that is me and everything.  At these times, I know without thinking, feel with All there is. It's like poetry, not understanding and experiencing Oneness. It's not something, it's not anything. Just an All encompassing knowing for All Time and Space of an immutable presence. What ever I call it, God, Source, Spirit or Soul, would limit it in another's experience. It's like a cool breeze or the sound of the ocean or the experience of a long hug.


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    On May 6, 2014 river wrote:

     Nature has always shown me the beauty and mystery of the worlds soul. The trees, the water, the animals that live there - their only purpose is to be true to themselves, to share and express all the beauty they contain as a tree, a squirrel or a lake. And I feel that my purpose is to be authentic and true to myself. When i trust who I am as a wild and sacred part of the soul of the earth/universe then I find that the world reaches back to me and says Yes, yes.  Fear will always send me into a constrained and small existence, forgetful of my place among all beings.
    It's true that there is a sense of vulnerability to this reaching out to the world, a shakiness that calls up to our true warrior nature. I feel held in partnership with the soul of the world if i can remember that i don't just belong to the family of humans but all life. That really  we all belong to the universe.


    1 reply: Ofmin | Post Your Reply
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    On May 6, 2014 Alain Deguire wrote:
      For me, there is no doubt about this... I am very close to Nature, living in a rural area where I can go for a walk in Nature everyday. I am regularly communicating with Nature, Nature Spirits and "All That Is". As an example, last week, I felt drawn to take a specific trail that brought me to a little stream where there was so many garbage all along the trail and stream. Such a sad sight... Walking along, I strongly felt challenged... Fairies were asking me to come and clean this stream by removing all the garbage. I wondered how I could proceed to do that and immediately the answer came to mind. I commit to the Fairies that I would do it. Yesterday,I started the cleaning and while I was doing it, I constantly felt attracted to some specific places where there was garbage to pick up... They were clearly guiding me to find all there was for me to pick up... I took out from this site three full big green bags of garbage and I have to go back for at least two ... [View Full Comment]

     
    For me, there is no doubt about this...
    I am very close to Nature, living in a rural area where I can go for a walk in Nature everyday.
    I am regularly communicating with Nature, Nature Spirits and "All That Is". As an example, last week, I felt drawn to take a specific trail that brought me to a little stream where there was so many garbage all along the trail and stream. Such a sad sight... Walking along, I strongly felt challenged... Fairies were asking me to come and clean this stream by removing all the garbage. I wondered how I could proceed to do that and immediately the answer came to mind. I commit to the Fairies that I would do it. Yesterday,I started the cleaning and while I was doing it, I constantly felt attracted to some specific places where there was garbage to pick up... They were clearly guiding me to find all there was for me to pick up... I took out from this site three full big green bags of garbage and I have to go back for at least two other times to complete the task I commit too... this is such a magical experience to be team working like this with the Fairies, the Nature Spirits, the Soul of the World. <3

    [Hide Full Comment]

    2 replies: Mish, Mish | Post Your Reply
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    On May 6, 2014 Christina Thomas-Fraser wrote:

     I am a bubble who is part of the Sea. All people, all creatures, the earth itself with all its variable, magnificent expressions, and the great vast sphere of divine presence everywhere washes over and through each experience. I am contained and included in life's infinite love -- circumference nowhere, center everywhere.


    1 reply: Lfm | Post Your Reply
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    On May 6, 2014 Marisa HarNadh wrote:
    With enough time ... and become presumptuous that who what and how we are...  will remain just as we experience them... unwittingly inter acting with each other   assuming that  there will be time to retrieve an unkind word a cruel gesture or unloving touch.   We begin... with so much optimism or pessimism for ourselves and others only to find out otherwise.   We spend our energy on something thinking IT IS everything only to find out IT IS nothing.   Experiencing time IT has shown us what we do right how and why we do wrong ... again and again.   Do we listen to how we feel? When our throats tighten up tummies go in knots as our breath staggers in pseudo-hyperventilation and everyone around is dissatisfied.   Can we stop ourselves from choosing fear and its offshoots? ... When our addictions to validation n victimization compels n initializes ALL we do.   Can we stay still whe... [View Full Comment] With enough time
    ... and become
    presumptuous
    that who what and how
    we are... 
    will remain
    just as we experience
    them...
    unwittingly
    inter acting with each other
     
    assuming
    that
     there will be
    time to retrieve
    an unkind word
    a cruel gesture
    or unloving touch.
     
    We begin... with so much
    optimism or pessimism
    for ourselves and others
    only to find out otherwise.
     
    We
    spend our energy
    on something
    thinking IT IS
    everything
    only to find
    out IT IS
    nothing.
     
    Experiencing time
    IT
    has shown us
    what we do right
    how and why we do wrong
    ... again and again.
     
    Do we listen
    to how we feel?
    When our
    throats tighten up
    tummies go in knots
    as our breath staggers
    in pseudo-hyperventilation
    and everyone around
    is dissatisfied.
     
    Can we stop ourselves
    from choosing fear
    and its offshoots?
    ... When our addictions
    to validation
    n victimization
    compels n initializes
    ALL we do.
     
    Can we
    stay still when
    predisposed to move
    Choose self knowledge
    over knowledge of others
    Lend a hand
    instead of
    taking a hand?
     
    Can we
    Give breath
    rather than
    Take breath
     
    just becoz
    .. You Feel deeply
    just bcoz
     
    Eventually
    We
    get tired
    of fear and its
    disappointments
    anger, resentments
    depression, worry
    and separation
    from each other
     
    at some point
    WE
    BE gin
    to risk vulnerability
    and
    attempt
    To Love
    even
    IF
    we know nothing
    about love
     
    Discovering
    that
    We are
    indeed
    Sacred
    and part
    of Everything
    We
    Resist and Accept.
     
    NOW
    Life
    Be gins....
     
     https://www.facebook.com/notes/marisa-harnadh/we-begin/10150594899341946

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    On May 4, 2014 david doane wrote:

    The world has Soul.  Soul takes on form in every plant, animal, rock, and each of us.  My personal experience is my coming to realize that each of us and the world are expressions of the same Soul, realize that we and the world are one, and realize that what we do to the world we do to ourselves.  We don't own the world.  We and the world are kin.  We are to work with the world, not conquer and exploit it.  In harming the world we harm ourselves, which is insane.  We practice being true to our own necessities by learning what our necessities really are, and letting go of the unnecessities. We try to have so much that we don't need.  Someone said we can never have enough of what we don't really need.  Ten percent of people hogging ninety percent of resources isn't necessary.  We can be compassionate, work together, and share.  We can help one another and the world to have its necessities.


    1 reply: Me | Post Your Reply
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    On May 2, 2014 Conrad P Pritscher wrote:
     I have some difficulty separating my thinking from my feeling. As souls are at least semi-incomprehensible mysteries, I think our world is an incomprehensible mystery and in that sense it has a soul. My experience of the universe leads me to believe the universe is an incomprehensible mystery. As God is an incomprehensible mystery, I see the universe as God, and that the universe is not only my partner in life, the universe and I are one. In that sense the universe is my life. One may believe we practice being true to our own necessities by noticing our present experience and accepting it. "It" is both the universe and mone's experience since I believe the universe is like a hologram in which my one part includes the entire whole. I can be more certain this is true for me when I am compassionate and kind. Being compassionate and kind is something like mindful, wise living. Most of what I state I don't know in advance until it comes to me, and in that sense, I know nothing, while... [View Full Comment]

     I have some difficulty separating my thinking from my feeling. As souls are at least semi-incomprehensible mysteries, I think our world is an incomprehensible mystery and in that sense it has a soul. My experience of the universe leads me to believe the universe is an incomprehensible mystery. As God is an incomprehensible mystery, I see the universe as God, and that the universe is not only my partner in life, the universe and I are one. In that sense the universe is my life. One may believe we practice being true to our own necessities by noticing our present experience and accepting it. "It" is both the universe and mone's experience since I believe the universe is like a hologram in which my one part includes the entire whole. I can be more certain this is true for me when I am compassionate and kind. Being compassionate and kind is something like mindful, wise living. Most of what I state I don't know in advance until it comes to me, and in that sense, I know nothing, while at the same time I know everything I need to know at any given time. Warm and kind regards to everyone and everything.,

    [Hide Full Comment]

    1 reply: A | Post Your Reply
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    On May 2, 2014 Kristin Pedemonti wrote:

     When we are in harmony with our gifts & talents and authentic self, the world also becomes in harmony with us; it becomes a two way street by which we can more easily share our gifts because the world provides opportunities for us to do so. As long as our eyes & hearts are open to seeing the possibilities in the world. I hope this makes sense. HUGS from my heart to yours and out into the world! 


    1 reply: Bella | Post Your Reply

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