The Language of the Soul

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Those of us who venture out (and in) to the realms of the soul can find ourselves within vast reaches of unexplored territory that is hard to evoke with words. Soul speaks a language that's oftentimes felt rather than heard.

There isn’t the vocabulary in place for all of the subtle feelings and intuitive insights that one can experience in this realm. You’ve got anatomy to provide you with scientific names for all the portions of your physical body; you can learn the technical names for all of your bones and muscles if you have the interest; but where’s the terminology that you can apply to the inner regions of the soul?

Not only that, but what few terms exist aren’t in general usage. They rather belong to specific “schools”; like, if I say The Nagual one must think of Carlos Castaneda; “spacious mind” is a term put forth by Jane Robert's Seth; “Collective Unconscious” was coined by Carl Jung; and yet these can all be (depending upon the circumstances of their usage) descriptions of similar phenomena.

And the essence of such phenomena can’t really be captured with language.

To Evoke rather than Describe

This is where I think the great poets have the right idea, because they use language to evoke experiences that can’t be described. If you're receptive to the poet's words, you may arrive there for yourself and must find your own way of articulating it.

Or you can enjoy the vistas and not worry yourself about setting it down in some kind of form (in antiquity, this was the shaman’s vocation) or communicating it to others (the arena – ideally – of a spiritual teacher of the West).

It will be interesting to see how language might evolve if and when the experience becomes more common among human beings. There will be so many nuances to explore with these newly invented words. I think of the myriad words that Inuit peoples have for "snow"; or, the many ways that desert-dwelling peoples have of describing sand.

And communication will definitely be fostered if the people who explore those realms, serving as pioneers of sorts for the movement, can get over the fearful need to jealously guard their terminology and claim ownership of it.

None of us are really inventing these concepts anyway. What we are doing that is new and unique, though, is learning to live with them within the context of a modern cultural environment the likes of which has never been seen before.

Experiencing universal truths as they apply to one’s unique, individual life; that’s the essence of the soul journey. So the myths tell us, anyway.

Spiritual Braille

In the first Edge of the Known novel, What Casts the Shadow? , Brandon Chane (the conflicted and struggling musician who narrates the tale) describes (among many other things) his songwriting process...

Because he is a visionary creator, there are no road-maps that he can follow to either produce his work or to try and convey it to others. He often feels as if he's groping around in the dark, trying to give form to insights and sensations that there are, as yet, no names for.

They felt like they {the songs} were already “there”, full cloth; I’d sense the faint outlines, sketch them out with some phrases or maybe a chord progression to start with. Slowly, all the pieces were laid into a pre-existing groove. It’s like learning to read a form of spiritual Braille.