All my life’s work has been with people: as an adult education teacher in many settings, as a psychiatric social worker, as a private counsellor, trainer and supervisor of counsellors – and as a professional astrologer and astrology teacher. At the core of this apparent vocational diversity has been, I now understand, the same drive. It is that urge to find meaningful contexts for my own tiny, ephemeral spark of life, whilst offering some affirmation to others that their tiny flame matters too: it is worth struggling to get our light to burn with a purer and brighter radiance.
Something ineffable and charged can on occasions arise in deep communication between one person and another – those in the helping professions and their clients are by no means the sole partakers of this context. There is a moment in which the feeling of safety, intimacy, trust, empathy and openness of exchange becomes so intense that the level on which two people are interacting shifts from ‘ordinary’ to numinous.
In that moment, (to my subjective recollection) both souls are held, in a state of grace, in the palm of some vast invisible benevolent Hand. Both sparks of life are suspended in a sense of the sacred….
Such a state can never be evoked. It can only be bestowed – fleeting, memorable, perhaps life changing.
Coming across the following quotes recently thus struck a profound chord:
first, from Carl Gustav Jung –
“ That is why I say to any beginner: learn your theories as well as you can, but put them aside when you touch the miracle of the living soul. Not theories but your creative individuality alone must decide.”
Carl Jung from “Contributions to Analytical Psychology”quoted in Self and Society Vol 27 No 1 March 1999, p 22.
second, from ‘Gilead’by Marilynne Robinson, p 51 –
“ When people come to speak to me, whatever they say, I am struck by a kind of incandescence in them, the ‘I’ whose predicate can be ‘love’ or ‘fear’ or ‘want’, and whose object can be ‘someone’ or ‘nothing’ and it won’t really matter, because the loveliness is just in that presence, shaped around ‘I’ like a flame on a wick, emanating itself in grief and guilt and joy and whatever else …. To see this aspect of life is a privilege of the ministry which is seldom mentioned.”
(‘Gilead’, winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for fiction, is a wonderful novel in which, towards the end of Rev John Ames’ life in 1956, he begins a letter to his young son, setting down all that he wishes to communicate which impending death will otherwise render impossible.)
I urge you to read it for its humanity and its wisdom.
450 words copyright Anne Whitaker 2012
Licensed under Creative Commons – for conditions see Home Page
7 thoughts on ““…. the miracle of the living soul ….””
Anne, thank you for the miracle of this post about the Diamond Soul and those amazing moments when two of them touch in deep communication. These are the times for which I live, and I have heard few people describe them so beautifully.
An astrologer friend with young adult children told me once that her concern with her kids’ generation is that they have no sense of the sacred. Perhaps this is one reason being raised in traditional religions, even for those of us who abandon them for a more universal spirituality, need that experience–and I’m sure for many other reasons. Ultimately, one can only hope that those without having been brought to the sacred discover it, even if by accident, in these moments of open trust and “just beingness.”
Thank you, again!
thank you so much for this eloquent and wise reply. The sacred is always with us, I believe – and whatever one may think of traditional religious practices, they do provide a stilling of the spirit which, potentially, offers a route towards that profound sense of connectedness which being in touch with the numinous brings. Maybe our children are finding their OWN routes there – but just haven’t got around to telling us yet! let’s hope so….
Some time ago another blogger recommended “Gilead”. I think I ought to put it on the to-be-read list.
There’s another mystery that’s quite tangible and often discussed but rarely understood, it seems – the sense of deep communication that can arise between two bloggers who’ve never met. I think it would be terribly difficult to untangle – there’s the issue of projection, for example – but I do think it’s real. Sometimes I wonder if it’s nothing more (or less) than that we pay more attention to someone on the blogs than we often do to the people right next to us.
Yes, you certainly should! It’s on my re-read list for next year.
The communication issue you raise re depth of connection between bloggers is interesting. Perhaps a topic for a whole post?!
I agree the issue of cyber relationships and how deep they go is worthy of more conversation. My theory is that, online, we communicate mind-to-mind and heart-to-heart. There are fewer preconceived notions about someone, and the communication is between the essence of the individuals. In a lot of ways, it’s “purer.” We don’t see them (or maybe just their tiny photo) and there’s less tendency to put them into a box without cultural and geographical references. I have had some amazing relationships with people I have never met in person. I treasure them as well as those friends I love and can hug in person. It’s always a great moment in my life when I can meet one of my cyber friends in person and have them be both!
Thanks for putting this so well, Joyce.