Practicum of Soul

Practicum of Soul

Now that we know a few things about Soul and her movements, what can we do with this knowledge? In my own journey, I try to keep in mind the Hermetic axiom, As above, so below; as below, so above. This keep me thinking about correspondences between Nature and the Higher Planes, the microcosm and the macrocosm. I try to think mythologically when experiencing the world. I try to “see through,” as Hillman called it.

This makes for an interesting day. One of my favorite natural phenomena to meditate on are trees. They have an amazing story to tell, if you will only listen. When I think about trees, I am always reminded of Tolkien’s Ents in Lord of the Rings. The imagery of the Ents in the books are amazing. The movies are good, but there is nothing like seeing them in their native habitat, the Mundus Imaginalis.

One of the best things we can do to enter the world of Soul is to read, especially fiction. There are so many good authors who are true sojourners of the Imaginal. They are very gifted at painting images in our minds. I’ll never forget the experiences I had while reading books like Isaac Asimov’s Foundation series, or Dostoevsky’s Brothers Karamazov. When reading Tolkien’s, The Hobbit, I was transported to the Misty Mountains and the Lonely Mountain. I trembled while walking through Mirkwood, and watched in terror as Smaug attacked the town of Dale. Reading is a form of meditation. It connects one with the deep things of Soul, the Archetypes. Some of the fondest memories of my life have been spent in places of the Imagination.

Painting and drawing are obviously other practices that cause one to enter through a magical door into another world. Just gazing at a work of art can bring one to this place. It is actually very easy to cross the threshold of the Mundus Imaginalis. There are dangers there, but we always have our Daimon to guide us.  

Walking is another wonderful mystical practice. I like to walk at night, especially when it’s very clear and the sky is filled with stars and planets. Then, I can think about the myths and stories of them as gods. Walking is a form of meditation that clears the mind and makes it more receptive to the things of Soul. Many famous thinkers walked daily. German philosopher, Immanuel Kant, walked everyday at 3:00 PM. One of my favorite quotes about walking comes from the Dane, Soren Kierkegaard. He said:

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Everyday, I walk myself
into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have
walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so
burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. But by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill.
Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.

Whatever activity that ignites the fires of imagery within you, stick to it. Writing, walking, and reading do it for me. Find what does it for you and follow your bliss, to quote the great Joseph Campbell. Image-making is Soul-making. As Keats said, “Call the world if you please the vale of Soul-making”.

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