Rhizomal Soul

Rhizomal Soul

One aspect of the rise of immanence in our world is the recognition that Soul is rhizomal. A rhizome of course, is “a plant stem that grows horizontally under or along the ground and often sends out roots and shoots. New plants develop from the shoots; also called rootstalk, rootstock” (The Free Dictionary). The Greek word, rhizoma, literally means, “mass of roots.” This is a beautiful metaphor of Soul. Nature always provides us the best images.

The movement of the World Soul is horizontal. World Soul is a living organism that grows horizontally underground and propels its beautiful shoots toward the Light. Did you ever wonder why so-called “underground” art is so powerful? The underground music scene is where the best music is to be found. It is certainly not the type enjoyed by the masses of people who know nothing of the underground. It is the same with any other artistic or even political endeavor. In politics, “grassroots” movements are usually powerful manifestations of what is occurring in the collective underground. Some of the best art I’ve seen was created by patients in mental institutions.

Soul does not enjoy the limelight. Down deep in the rich and fertile soil is where you’ll find Soul, ever growing horizontally, from person to person, from nation to nation. Rhizomal Soul is about growing relationships between Souls and proliferating those relationships around the world. It is about people attaching themselves to one another in love and peace. In this way, Soul grows and propagates everywhere.

This is the reach of Immanence. Hierarchies based on transcendent power structures are crumbling. The roots of the World Soul continue to snake their way below the surface of our world, continually spreading their influence. Have you ever seen what underground roots can do to a road or sidewalk? They grow underneath and actually lift and tear at the cement until it cracks and deteriorates. This is what the horizontal growth of Soul is doing to hierarchical power structures.

Another similar metaphor is the horizontal movement of water:

In this model, culture spreads like the surface of a body of water, spreading towards available spaces or trickling downwards towards new spaces through fissures and gaps, eroding what is in its way. The surface can be interrupted and moved, but these disturbances leave no trace, as the water is charged with pressure and potential to always seek its equilibrium, and thereby establish smooth space (From Rhizome.net).

Rhizomal Soul is bringing humanity closer than ever before. Just thirty years ago, I would have never communicated with anyone from Europe or Asia, unless by phone. Now, we talk to others around the world on a daily basis with tools like Twitter and Facebook.   

Carl Jung calls immanence “the deep truth” and speaks of “the secret immanence of the divine spirit of life in all things.” In an age when most believe that ‘God is dead’, the idea of a ‘secret’ and ‘deep truth’ seems rather passe. But what if there really is a secret. What if behind all the signs and symbols and archetypes there is a ‘deep truth’ waiting to be discovered.

This process of coming into a deeper relationship with life is a process of coming into relationship with the ‘deep truth’. It is inter-relationship that is both with ourselves and with the world around us. It is a discovery, an immanent turn, available to those who have searched and found their ‘individuality’. It is a shift of focus from individuation to interrelation: from me to we. And thus immanence is love, but not libidinal love as desire. Instead, it is divine love, love for life, and love for being (Jung, The Deep Truth, by Dr. Jennifer Lilla).

We who are involved in the study of depth psychology have been focused on our own individuation for much too long. It is high time we begin to focus on the individuation and interrelationship of our species before it is too late. The Me Generation needs to transform into the We Generation. Thinking of the rhizome, as it relates to Soul, is one way to visualize it. 

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2 thoughts on “Rhizomal Soul

  1. This interconnectedness manifest in a tangible way when active imagination groups encounter similar realities in the field of a given meditation. The same dynamic that gets explored in the transference is in no way limited to the consultation room…

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