AwakeningBy Anurag Shantam
(With R. J. Doucette)
The soul centerThe Soul center, which is located in the area of the heart, is feminine. Her essence is love. Whether or not you believe in her, everyone has a Soul, for you cannot exist - you cannot anchor in your physical body - without her. She is like the roots of a tree, mysterious and hidden, from which we obtain nourishment. Just as the strength and height of a tree is directly related to its roots, our place in the material world - our individual expressions of Spirit and God in the world - are directly related to strength of our Soul.
The human Soul is also the most delicate, sensitive place within us, a feminine center that men have been taught to fear and despise because she is weak, sensitive, tender, loving and compassionate. Men have been taught to keep their Souls hidden in order to be safe in the world. Women used to be taught to embrace Soul – to be shy, weak, helpless, loving and caring. Spirit, representing freedom and independence, was denied to women.
With the growing emphasis at the end of the twentieth century on liberating gender, masculine Spirit and masculine God began to be affirmed in women as they had always been in men. Male qualities of competitiveness and aggression took the place of love and family as desirable feminine qualities. While it is empowering for a woman to embrace her masculine centers, she does so at the same terrible price as a man – loss of Soul. A man in denial of his feminine essence is lamentable, but a woman who denies her feminine center to embrace her masculine centers is unimaginable. For the human Soul feels the more natural comfortable center for the female, even as the Spirit center feels the more comfortable natural setting for the male.
Those who are out of touch with their feminine center lack a moral compass. These are the people whose souls are compromised by ego nightmare, their Soul’s light completely consumed by the darkness of the pain veil. Where there was feeling and sensitivity, there is now emptiness and deadness. As long as love’s light is consumed by the pain veil, we are unable to love. Not incapable of loving, but unable to love – to feel the world around us.
Soul is the first center from which we experience life. Our early years are primarily Soul years – the years not entirely lost in ego darkness – when one can still see her light before it begins to disappear into the ego-darkness and the veil of pain. In these early years one can observe in infants’ eyes the innocence and the unconditional love that is the luminous beauty of the human Soul. To awaken the Soul center is to reclaim this treasure.
One cannot speak of this time in a child’s life as being a very long one, for the distractions of today’s world are thrust very early onto our children. It used to be that an infant was kept quiet and protected. Now, there is only noise and stimulation. Is it any wonder that when the pain veil begins to grow, Soul embraces it as a wall, a buffer against the toxicity surrounding her? This is particularly true if there is a great deal of anger in the family, either expressed or repressed, for Soul feels the energy around her. Far from being welcomed into the world, she finds the world assaulting her, making it difficult for her to simply be. If she is unable to be, how can she ever relax and fully anchor in the human body?
Sometimes these early distractions are so terrible that from the moment many Souls enter this world, they focus on only one thing - how to leave it. Young people who contemplate or commit suicide are the result of Soul disappearing into the arms of pain. The pain veil seduces Soul with thoughts of non-being – of death – and to the illogical Soul this seems perfectly logical. To her there is no fear of death, for she is immortal and knows it. Only the presence of Spirit, and his veil of fear, keeps her here.
The infant, like Soul herself, is helpless and needs to be taken care of. This remains true of the Soul even into adulthood. Furthermore, she wants to be taken care of. This is her embarrassing secret, for even as she remains the part of you that secretly wants to be taken care of, she has been taught by life that it is wrong to be helpless - that she should be powerful and strong. Power and strength - these are attributes of God, not Soul. So while she may try very hard to exhibit these masculine qualities, she is destined to continually fail. She fails not because she is not good enough or smart enough, but because the essential truth for Soul is that she is meant to be taken care of by Spirit and God, both of whom are close by her.
Unfortunately, as we grow away from childhood, our Spirit and God become captured by ego darkness, enmeshed in their own veils of fear and anger. Soul’s perfect mate, the Spirit within, looks at her through a veil of fear. He fears love, the beautiful Soul of love. Is it any wonder that Soul seems overwhelmed and confused, when inside the beautiful Spirit, the perfect mate she searches for outside, fears her – sees her through the veil of fear, forever keeping her separate. The obvious truths of helplessness, vulnerability and the need to be protected become hidden and even condemned later in life, but they are truths nonetheless. They dissolve as issues only with the awakening of God, and His realization that all along, he was supposed to protect and take care of Soul.
Until the God center awakens – as long as He is controlled by ego anger - He will be the part inside each of us that is condemning, judging Soul for being weak and helpless, calling her a hopeless romantic and dreamer divorced from reality. Only with the awakening of God is Soul’s place in the world finally secure.
Soul is also the inner scapegoat, the part of us that receives all blame and condemnation from within and without. This ancient role of the Soul is indicated in creation scripture. It was Eve who yielded to the temptation of the Serpent. It was Eve, the feminine Soul, who was blamed for the fall from paradise, and she has been blamed ever since. Strangely, there is a logical reason for Eve’s fateful choice. The human Soul is the love center, and love has no “no”. It is in a state of unconditional “yes” to existence. You will notice this state as the part of you that cannot say “no”. You have tried to fix this flaw, or condemned it. “Why did I say yes?” you ask yourself.
If you were in your Soul center and you were asked for a favor, or a salesman befriended you before delivering his sales pitch, you will say yes. You will do this not because you are weak or stupid, but because you are in your Soul center. You are in your “yes”. Scripture does not indicate that Eve is evil. The deeper truth is that she cannot say “no”. So the story of Eve and the Serpent does not point to the evil of the feminine, but points instead to the innocence, goodness, and perfection of Soul’s love.
Soul is also the shy one inside of us, the most hidden part of who we are. We reveal her, if at all, only to special people and in special moments. It is she who connects to the mystery that is intended to anchor us to life. People whom we sometimes think of as being ‘spacey’, or who experience themselves drifting out of their bodies, or even having out-of-body episodes, are manifesting conditions of Soul that relate to her inability to be in the world. It is understandable that if the pain and its subsequent feeling of separation makes life unbearable to the human Soul, it would appear perfectly logical to her to leave it. If she happens to discover drugs, or if meditation techniques seem to open a door to enable her to drift in dream worlds, or if she can actually leave the body entirely, these are very powerful and memorable experiences. Though she might be helpless in the material world, in subtler worlds she is very powerful indeed.
Once discovering a key to release, even temporary release, from the ego prison, she will not forget it. She will attempt to open the door again and again in order to escape, but will only find herself sinking deeper and deeper into addiction. When you condemn yourself for weakness, laziness, clumsiness, stupidity and addiction, you are in all likelihood condemning your Soul. If you are an addict, then condemning her will more likely drive her deeper into addiction.
To put it succinctly, God is attacking and blaming the very Soul he promised to protect for all the failure in life. It is as though a tree were to expend all its energy attacking, condemning, hacking away at its roots, blaming them for the tree’s inability to grow strong, flower, and take its rightful place in creation. If such a tree existed, it would seem mad to you. And yet that is what is happening to everyone possessed by ego madness. One part, strong and powerful, God, is deceived into attacking and blaming the most sensitive, innocent part for all failures in life. This is how the ego mindlessly turns us against ourselves. It is an inner war of destruction that is projected outside as well. Hell inside. Hell outside.
The Soul center is also that place of exquisite tenderness, where we can touch and merge with other souls, such as when we make love. It is the place where we feel grace, as though blessed from beyond. The exquisiteness of Soul becomes matter of fact in an awakened Soul. Different psychic gifts such as telepathy may appear as she awakens, though surprisingly, she is just as likely to disdain these gifts, as she is to embrace them. In all likelihood, she will be awakening into a world controlled by ego, a world that will continue to project conflicting thoughts to her. In an awakened state, she will receive messages very clearly. Awake, she is a delicate receiver, desirous of peace and quiet. But for a telepathic Soul, to receive the thoughts and feelings of others is like being in room full of radios and televisions, all loudly blaring trauma and drama. This when, after her long journey, all she desires is silence and peace. As the awakening deepens, Soul learns to utilize whatever gifts she holds in ways that serve, rather than disturb.
The Soul is the place of abandonment – that is, the place where abandonment is experienced. Spirit shares this feeling with Soul, for Spirit ars abandonment. Literally, Spirit fears Soul disappearing into the pain veil, getting lost in the pain of abandonment. Scripture seems to indicate that abandonment began in the garden, when Soul and Spirit were cast out of paradise, abandoned by God. This is an incorrect interpretation. God has never abandoned Soul and Spirit. He is there, inside, where he has always been, hidden behind a veil of anger.
But for Soul, the ejection from the garden is experienced as abandonment, and living as she does in a timeless, boundless world, it is as though the events of the Fall happened yesterday. In fact, she has felt abandoned with such regularity, that she long ago began to expect being abandoned. Her reality in ego darkness is that whenever she connects with anyone, they will eventually leave her – they will abandon her. To Soul, this seems preordained.
It is preordained, for the ego pain will insure that it is so. As Soul’s light moves through the pain veil to connect with another person, the pain always reminds her that the ‘other’ will leave - will abandon her. Even as Soul’s energy seeks to connect, it is already corrupted, encoded with an expectation that the one with whom she seeks to connect will leave her. Though she wants these connections to last forever, it becomes her expectation that they will not. If she expects to be abandoned, she will be. Existence simply responds to her expectations. It cannot be otherwise. Where will Soul wind up after she is abandoned? She will be in the comforting arms of her pain - the very thing responsible for her abandonment. The pain will whisper I told you so, as it once again feeds off her perfect love and transforms it into darkness - a lonely Hell.
The reason that Soul’s sense of abandonment goes so deep is that it is a constantly re-occurring echo of what she has misinterpreted as the first abandonment by God. As I have pointed out, God did not abandon her. Rather, as the veil of pain descended around her (just as the veil of fear descended around Spirit), a long gradual separation occurred. In other words, abandonment is a misinterpretation of the gradual separation that occurred as the three centers of consciousness disappeared further and further into their veils of ego separation.
The Soul center is also that place of mysterious longing that even the presence of a lover cannot quell. This deep longing is sometimes focused on a lover, on family or community, but it is so deep and ongoing that no matter how connected you feel in life, this longing never really goes away. At best, it is the longing for home - that is, the feeling of home. This longing will not disappear until Soul and Spirit are awakened and back in Eden Consciousness. The awakened Soul recognizes home, and begins to understand that she was never abandoned, she never sinned, and she was never bad or evil.
The Soul is the part of us most associated with the body, since Soul anchors us to existence by anchoring in the body. This vessel has been called the temple of the Soul, implying holiness by virtue of what it contained. One way to gauge your attitude towards Soul, to understand how the ego illusion has distorted your relationship with her, simply examine your attitudes to your own body. For most people, Soul’s experience of body is a nightmare. Everywhere, manipulators from the beauty, fashion and healthcare industries, encourage rejection of the body. Far from being thought of as the temple it once was, it has now become the enemy. In this distorted world our bodies are not pretty enough, strong enough, healthy enough - in short, they are not perfect. Even the so-called ‘beautiful people’ reject the physical body. Models starve themselves, torturing and punishing and destroying, trying to attain some unattainable ego idea of perfection. Once you have been awakened, you discover that your body was always the perfect temple for you.
There are many ego masks through which soul looks and interacts with the material world - beliefs, conditions, rules supplied by family, church, society, and the media. All offer ready- made identities for Soul to assume. She has no choice. They are forced upon her, and in her innocence she accepts and assumes them. I will speak briefly about a few of these Soul identities, in order to help you identify your Soul states, to understand when you are in your Soul center, and to help you become familiar with them.
One of most common identities, or masks, is that of the romantic. If you consider yourself a romantic, then when you are in romantic thoughts or dreams filled with hope, or in gloomy thoughts and dreams filled with loneliness and despair, you are in your Soul center. You are looking out through layers of sadness, either at the ego dream of hope, of love fulfilled, or at the ego dream of despair, of love denied.
It is natural for Soul to seek love, for without it, she is not alive. She longs to feel that sense of aliveness that only comes with love, when her light and energy flow through the body and into the world. Though this feeling is exhilarating, it nevertheless contains the seeds of its own corruption. For the romantic is nothing but ego patterning and a set of beliefs about love.
Every romantic has certain romantic conditions, and since every ego is patterned differently, each ego romantic has different conditions about what constitutes love. To insure that the lover will fail these conditions, most of them are hidden. Nevertheless, holidays provide some obvious examples. Valentine’s day is a day like any other - you may feel in a loving mood that day, you may not. But woe unto you if you neglect to shower the loved one with special attention and gifts on that day. Only the most adept romantic will navigate this one safely.
Each romantic is assured of failure in love by the nature of ego conditions. These conditions have nothing to do with love, and everything to do with pain. If you are not attentive on Valentine’s Day you will be accused of hurting the beloved. Ego’s beliefs about love are learned beliefs about how to do something imperfectly, clumsily, that your Soul already knows how to do perfectly, impeccably. Learned beliefs about love are different in each culture, and in fact differ from individual to individual. The single thing that can be said about the ego beliefs and conditions surrounding love is that they make love impossibly difficult and confusing. Fortunately, we have no end of experts to instruct us. Unfortunately, Soul is not a worker. The more difficult you make love, the less your Soul will be there. She has a naïve belief that love should be simple, and of course Soul is right. It is simple and easy to love the pain surrounding her – it is difficult and impossible to love anyone through the pain – through the ego conditions and walls defending the pain.
No one can figure out hidden conditions of the ego romantic, and when they are or are not met. If they are not met, ego will punish you by withholding love and denying you Soul’s light. Over time, love will disappear because it was not love being nourished or protected, but rather the veil of pain. The ego romantic is a minefield, impossible to navigate. The Soul, perfectly loving and sustaining the ego, will be rewarded with failure, heartache, and blame.
There is one simple fundamental to understand about Soul and relationships – this is, that she has a secret, ancient lover, who has never abandoned her. This lover is pain. Pain doesn’t want Soul to love anyone else, for without her love, pain would die. And so whenever Soul attempts to love anyone outside, this secret lover inside whispers “they will hurt you” – “they don’t really love you” – “you aren’t good enough” – “you aren’t pretty enough”. Endless messages sent from an ancient evil voice to the innocent Soul.
The ego dreams of love are based, as is ego itself, in pain. One could describe love dreams as anti-pain dreams, dreams that hold the promise of love, hope, and an end to pain and loneliness. We say that hope is eternal, but it is only as eternal as the pain from which it springs. Those who have loved, have experienced the remembrance of love’s ending as an awakening from a dream, as though hope and love were the illusion, and pain and loneliness the reality. In fact, pain is the heart of the illusion from which the hope, and the dreams of love are generated. This is why, as the dreamy Soul awakens, what she first experiences is loss of hope. Then she experiences loss of pain. Hope is the ego projection into the future - the thing that helps us avoid what appears to be the present - pain. So, in awakening to the present moment, first we experience losing the future projection, which is hope. Then we experience its place of origin, the pain. In the end Soul is left in the present moment, which is the only reality there is.
In this simple state of beingness, if love appears, she is ready. If love disappears, that is also acceptable, for awake, the Soul is what she has always been - unconditional love. She is no longer starved by the pain veil, no longer needy for love, no longer a beggar. She is more like a flower, releasing her fragrance whether or not there is anyone to appreciate or receive it.
Another ego mask is the caregiver. This is a natural expression of Soul, for in man she is the natural conduit of the mother, the goddess … existence. Through Soul, existence strives to take care of other souls. We are all connected, or we used to be long ago. Without ego, existence would take care of all of us, seeing that the perfect person would be there at the perfect moment, with perfect assistance. Soul can understand this, for unless she is totally lost in the ego darkness, she still believes in magic. She might even have dim memories of lives filled with magic.
Ego has destroyed the magic that used to exist, and replaced with the soul-lessness of science and technology. As Soul has been driven from the world, so has magic – the easy interaction with the natural world. As she has been driven from the world, so have mystery, holiness, and the sacredness of existence.
The caregiver, being a natural expression of Soul in the world, used to be drawn naturally to healthcare, a field that has now been taken over by science and technology. Science has created miracles, but healthcare is now a business – rushed, disconnected, artificial and uncaring. As the natural intuitive healer within, Soul seeks harmony and balance. She knows inuitively that harmony and balance are the sources of health and well-being. When you re feeling ill, your natural inclination is to withdraw - to minimize noise and stimulation, and seek quiet and rest. But in the ego world, time is money, and money is the god we worship. Instead of following Soul’s wisdom, we act more like machines rather than delicate natural beings. Soul’s gentle healing skills are no longer valued. Rather than become technocrats and slaves to machines, caregiver Souls instead leave the healthcare professions, where like so many professions formerly open to Soul, she is no longer valued – she is not efficient, you see.
Reflect on your life – on how much time the healer within has spent lost in depression, listening to ego darkness. Those times when Soul energy has been consumed by the pain veil, generating negative thoughts about your life and your body. Has Soul ever felt at home, relaxed and accepting in your body? Reflect too on how much of your own inner healer’s energy has been transformed into rejection of your body, and you will see just a glimmer of the damage that ego is doing to your health. Recent discoveries of the effects of stress on the body are just the tip of the iceberg. Ego is the spiritual dis-ease that is creating the majority of physical diseases.
For those who cannot afford America’s healthcare system, there is an alternative. That alternative is awakening. If you remove the veils that are destroying your energy, you will experience your body coming into harmony for the first time. As long as the veils are in place, they will constantly stress your body with negativity. The ego transforms the beautiful light of God into a mindless, dis-harmonious chaos, never ever allowing the physical body to operate harmoniously. Without harmony and balance the body is always in a state of dis-ease. If one’s ego patterning is such that there is a total rejection of the body, then the power of the God within is being used to attack it. Awakened, you will look back and wonder that your body was able to survive the constant assaults and poisonings of the ego experience.
Some caregivers give compulsively. In the world of ego patterns, such a caregiver is someone who never receives – they do not know how to receive. In the ego world of impossible conditions, such a Soul is not allowed to receive until everyone else is taken care of. A Soul so obsessed will never attain this goal, because it is unattainable. As a result, she will never receive.
Another mask of the Soul is the victim. When this mask appears, you are very close to the pain veil – very close to Soul herself. This is the darkest mask, for it is closest to the darkness shrouding the human Soul. The victim is a black hole of neediness, helplessness, and vulnerability. One’s Soul is instinctively drawn to a victim, because she sees not only another Soul, but also her own inner lover – her own pain.
In fact, when we say in empathy ‘I feel your pain’, it is not an accurate statement. What we are really feeling is our own pain, pulsating in resonance to another Soul’s pain. You cannot feel another’s pain until your own wall of pain is removed. Though it is then possible, once a Soul has been liberated, she does not want to connect with another’s pain. Once she understands the reality of the pain, it would be illogical for her to want to connect to and feed the ego tormenting another Soul, no matter how much that other Soul lost in darkness might want or demand it. To give attention to another Soul’s pain – to feed its pain – is to simply strengthen the pain veil tormenting that Soul. In such a case, the ego illusion feeds not only off of the Soul inside, but also on the Soul feeding it from outside.
None of the love or energy that you give reaches the hurting Soul unless the Soul herself actually appears, in which case there will be felt a deep love and tenderness. That is why some people seem to be energy vampires, needing attention that seems to disappear into a bottomless hole. You cannot heal their pain veil. It consumes love to exist, and the more you love it, the greater its appetite. Victims will cause burnout in caregivers more quickly than anything else, for Soul is delicate and can be quickly depleted if not protected.
Soul has been taught that pain is there to teach her lessons about love, caring, tenderness and sensitivity, and over time, pain assumed a spiritual patina, an aura of holiness. Suffering and self-sacrifice were taught as virtues, paths to holiness and perfection. If anything in this life could be called holy, it would be the human Soul, but as the ego darkness deepened and Soul’s light disappeared into the dark veil of pain, the pain itself began to claim the mantle of holiness, while Soul seemingly disappeared from existence.
Pain has nothing to teach your Soul. Pain begets pain, isolation, loneliness and despair. It is not holy. It is, instead, the very heart of the evil within.