Site Map: MAIN / A Reader's Journal, Vol. 2 This Page
A READER'S JOURNAL:
The Soul's Quest
Published by Goldenstone Press/CA in 2007
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2008
Like Us? Subscribe to Receive a Monthly Email
Reminder of New Reviews & New DIGESTWORLD Issues — CLICK
Nothing Remains the Same by Wendy Lesser
The Soul's Quest
Published by Goldenstone Press/CA in 2007
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2008
The Master of our Destiny,
Captain of our Soul,
Has his eye upon the map
his hands on the control —
He will not cut us any slack
unless that's what
we've come here for.
Above I have quoted my poem, "Soul Captain" which I wrote back around 1980. Who is our Soul Captain, that intrepid explorer who navigates the ship of our lives and takes us on amazing and otherwise interesting journeys?(1)
Let me tell you a couple of stories. A businessman whose shop I frequent, let me call him Frankie, recently was hospitalized for almost two weeks, and at the end of extensive tests, the doctors found nothing to explain his symptoms. They told him he had some unknown stomach virus, probably. When I saw Frankie, I immediately noticed he had lost weight and looked pale and unsteady. Already thin before this, the loss of weight made him look rather unhealthy. He told me his story and I could hear his expression of concern about what the illness was and that it might never heal or might come back. A day or so later, he wasn't busy, so we sat down and talked. I asked him two questions. These two simple questions I stumbled upon back in 1979 when I was studying psychotherapy. I have found them over the years to be useful for helping myself and others to understand the meaning of unfortunate events which happen to them.
Question 1: What did happen during the time of this event which would not have happened under any other circumstances?
Question 2: What would have happened during this time that did not happen?
To the first question, Frankie said, "Lots of tests, etc." Who visited you? "Just my wife." Anybody else? "Just the psychiatrist, who asked me questions about my childhood. No help." Then I asked him the second question and Frankie said, "Not much. Just work as usual." Suddenly I recalled that Frankie had started a luncheon café which wasn't going very well for him and was requiring a lot of his time. I hardly saw him any more in his coffeeshop that I frequented. I asked him about the café. "I had to close it while I was sick. Can't find dependable manager for it." There was the answer to what caused Frankie's mysterious sickness — his Soul Captain had steered him into a hospital bed to force him to close the troublesome café. Each day following our conversation, Frankie looked better and I never asked him again about the new shop. Hopefully, he will keep it closed and sell it, but if he should re-open it, he will be hazarding another bout of his mysterious illness.
What I have learned over the decades is that so-called mysterious events in my life were shore excursions planned for me by my Soul Captain, and by asking these two questions, I have been able to sort out the useful functions of those unexpected events. One time back in 1975, I came down with the red measles, which is a medical oddity because my mother swore to me that I had them when I was a child. So unusual was red measles in an adult, that I spied two doctors looking in a medical book while I was in the examination room. I was really worried when I saw my doctor consulting another doctor and then both of them looking up something in a medical reference book. When I asked my doctor later, he said they needed to confirm their diagnosis of this very rare condition in an adult. It wasn't until many years later that I applied these two questions and understood the events. Some things happened while I was home every day for a week which changed the rest of my life for the better. Thanks to this shore excursion, my life is where it is today.
If it helps you to remember the two questions, think of them as Permission and Protection questions. Question 1 allows you to discover the permission to do something that you would not have done otherwise. Question 2 reveals how you were protected from doing something that would have been bad for you. In the case of Frankie, he was protected from keeping his troublesome shop open. In the case of my red measles, I was given permission to stay home and notice what had been going on which I would have otherwise been too busy at work to observe.
When you ask these two questions and thoughtfully ponder them, you will be able to uncover the good intentions of your Soul Captain for these fortuitous circumstances in your life. And when you understand the benefits which have come to you from these seemingly harmful events, you will have begun to connect with your own "I" and that is the theme of this insightful book by Kristina Kaine.
People have asked me for a definition of “soul” and here is one, simply put: Your soul is the repository of your personal experiences in this lifetime; it contains all the sensory data which have impinged upon you and all the feelings which have arisen within you. Your soul does not determine on what excursions you will go — that is the job of the spirit, your Soul Captain, your "I". Your soul is the bellwether of your relationship to your "I". If your soul is not resisting the events which arise in your world, that is a good sign that your soul and spirit are in synchrony with each other — that your soul is connecting with your "I". Robert Sardello in the Foreword likens a good I-connecting to harmony in music(2).
[page xii] Many habits you have lived with for years and perhaps have been keeping you out of harmony can begin to be addressed from the place of spirit-I-being. We begin to understand that the activities of soul are autonomous and tend to go their own way until brought into right relation with our I. It is not that the I controls the soul; it does not. It is rather that the relation is like music. That is what is meant by sensing whether soul and spirit are in harmony. When we are in harmony there is a bodily feeling of being in resonance with both soul and spirit; we feel the sense of being within our destiny, a sense of ourselves, creative beings who are called to live every moment within the stance of the creative sense of the I, for that is what the I does — it creates. In the absence of feeling this creative core, we feel pushed into the comfortableness of habit and conformity.
If your soul and spirit are out of sync, the harmony is not present; you feel discontent and usually cannot put your finger on the cause. Only by realigning your soul and spirit will you feel content again. This book will help you to create that inner realignment if you will read it carefully and follow the exercises given within.
After studying the world of thoughts and ideas, especially those which are new in form to the world which we call creative ideas, I came to understand criminals in a new way. People are always talking about the latest criminal scheme or scam as if the person who perpetrated the scheme were some creative person. In reality, criminals are copycats — rarely will you find a criminal whose scheme was not an adaptation of a truly creative idea used in some non-criminal endeavor. Adapting useful business schemes to their nefarious purposes is an age-old strategy of criminals. Rightly understood, anyone who uses the original scheme of another person acts as a thief of that person's intellectual or primary property. Those who openly praise the so-called creativity of criminals are merely revealing that they are, out of their own awareness, taking others' primary property without permission or expression of gratitude, in other words, they are themselves primary thieves.
[page 2] The police have discovered that modern criminals model their life on movies like The Godfather instead of the reverse situation where writers base their scripts on the clever behavior of criminals.
A recent movie called Idiocracy portrayed the ultimate destination humanity would arrive at if the trend towards reality television were to continue indefinitely into the future: a certified average person of today would be deemed to be the smartest person in a world of the future in which everyone spends all of their free time watching reality TV. Living life vicariously through watching other's lives is a way of disconnecting one's soul from one's spirit. All of the creativity of one's spirit remains untapped when one spends one's life enjoying the exploits of others.
[page 2] How many millions of people now experience life through reality television? They have been hoodwinked into thinking that other people's lives are infinitely more interesting than their own. Furthermore, are we aware of the way advertising agencies define our standards and values through advertising campaigns on billboards and in the media?
This crisis can be understood differently if we look more closely at what is happening in our own being. If more people started today to discover the inner nature of their own soul and its relationship to their spirit, their interest in reality television may dwindle. It would be seen for the escapism that it is. Not only would their life and their social environment be more captivating; the voyeurism of reality television would no longer attract them as it used to.
How can one begin to take back control of one's life and move one's soul and spirit back into harmony with each other? It could begin with something as simple as a thought, a metaphor through which we can grasp the roles of our body, soul, and spirit, and Kaine offers us the apt metaphors of the artist and the gardener, which helps expand the simple definition of soul we gave above.
[page 3] Our "I", this 'self', experiences life through our soul and our body. The "I" is the artist, the soul his work of art and the body is the canvas. Similarly, the "I" is the gardener, the garden is our soul and the soil is our body.
What’s it like to be a gardener without a garden? Kaine gives us this example from current affairs. It involves a young boy who has a canvas and an artist, but the canvas remains blank. He has a gardener, some soil, but no garden of living plants, only barren soil. He is just an empty shell of a human being, created by modern medications.
[page 4] A suburban mother, when interviewed for a current affairs program, described her ten-year-old son on medication for Attention Deficit Disorder as an empty shell with no soul. This speaks of a growing awareness in the population in general that we are more than just a body, just a shell.
Clearly it’s important for each of us to be studying the soul and spirit in our lives, and to learn to recognize when we have a deficit of soul or a disharmony between soul and spirit. To everyone who passes by our garden, any deficit or disharmony is clearly obvious to them, no matter how we endeavor to conceal it. What we conceal at one level, we reveal at another — this is a basic rule of psychology or should be. We observe someone else’s garden, we recognize when harmony exists between the gardener, the garden, and the soil — this recognition comes naturally to us. But we lack the natural ability to recognize the causes of the disharmony when it arises in ourselves, up until now. This ability must be learned through often painful experiences.
We live in a society in which the results of a disharmony of the spirit, soul, and body may be equally obvious to everyone, but we are taught to attribute external causes as the source of the disharmony. In a medication-oriented society, the external causes are called chemical-imbalances, and drugs are created and prescribed to reduce the chemical imbalance. It is such thinking which led to putting the ten-year-old boy on medication in the example above.
Projection is the psychological process of looking outside of ourselves for the cause of things happening within ourselves. Projection is the favorite past-time of idlers — those who simply float through life without self-examination.
[page 4] Understanding how soul, spirit and body function and interact not only increases our own awareness of self, it helps us make better sense of our place in this increasingly complex and developing world.
Part of self-examination is understanding the connection between our soul and our spirit (our “I”). A careful reading of this book will definitely help one to make an I-connection. Kaine explains the importance of the I-connection in this passage:
[page 4, 5] Our consciousness arises from the relationship between our soul and our "I". By understanding them, and becoming aware of the way they work, we can change our consciousness. Do we think differently today than we did a thousand years ago? We can trace an evolution of consciousness throughout the whole of history that reveals that we do. With an understanding of the soul and the "I" we can also trace a changing relationship between our soul and our "I". Today, it is important for us to work on the I-connection in our soul. Our "I" can only connect up with our soul if we become aware of the activity of our soul. Do we have full control of our feelings? Do we use our thinking to the full extent? Are our actions always purposeful?
Are our actions always purposeful? This is a great question to ask. What about accidents which occur in our lives? Surely those are not purposeful, are they? What about those mistakes we make which get us lost or in some dead end? Are they purposeful? Consider how many things you have in your world which came to you, not because you purposely sought them, but they somehow showed up. As you begin to ponder such events, especially long after they occurred, you will be able to see the hidden wisdom in those random events which improved your life in ways that you would have never achieved consciously. This line of careful consideration will lead you to understand, perhaps for the first time, the behind-the-scenes action of your "I" or Soul Captain. Those mysterious purposes which you never claimed before will reveal themselves as the purposes of your "I", your spirit, your Soul's Captain, at work steering you into the very waters of life that you need to experience. The Soul Captain directs the course of our soul, but does not easily reveal to us each goal.
As the gardener expresses himself through his garden, our spirit expresses itself through our soul. The one modern psychologist who devoted his life to the study of the spirit was Carl Jung. He called the spirit the Self and taught people whose lives were empty how to contact their Self, notice and respond positively to their Self, and thereby become Self-actualized. He, in effect, taught those who had been idlers to pick up their instrument called soul and pick out tunes. Here's the musician metaphor as Kaine portrays it:
[page 10] It is the "I" that connects up with the soul by using feeling, thinking and willing as its tools. When the "I" does not connect up with the soul, our feeling, thinking and willing are automatic and unconscious. The "I" is the musician who tries to play the instrument that is our soul; the strings of the instrument are feeling, thinking and willing.
Each of us possesses a balalaika with the three strings of feeling, thinking and willing, but until our "I" begins plunking those strings, we will make no music. We will drift along like a long-lost hobo, riding the trails, until — one day — we discover our instrument, pick it up and begin generating harmonious melodies. Suddenly we are lost no more, but found.
During a return trip from Indiana last week, I had an urge to take a photo of a tall Chevron sign along an interstate. I could not put my finger on any reason for taking the photograph. It was just a very tall sign for a gasoline station and from the angle I was taking it, one could not see the chevron-shaped logo on the sign. As I took the photo, I switched my new SONY T300 camera to the setting that promised "rich blue color" because the sky was a beautiful blue with puffy white clouds. Okay, I thought, maybe I just wanted a photo of the sky, but why by that sign — I had no idea. Until we got back on the interstate highway with my wife driving, and a few minutes down the road, there was the tall space rocket at a park in Huntsville, Alabama. It was right next to the speedy highway, and I had wanted a photograph of it on the way up to Indiana, but we couldn't stop. I quickly pulled out my camera, now all set for taking a photo of a high object with a blue sky and clouds, and as we passed the rocket, I took a great photo out the window. But for the hitherto unexplainable photo of the gas station sign moments earlier, I would not have had time to set the camera up to take the perfect shot. My "I" knew that rocket was coming up and led me to take the photo at the gas station in order to be ready for the drive-by photo of the rocket. Here is an example of how our "I" prompts us when we connect up with it. For some people, it is a quiet voice in their head, for others, a vision. For many people, such urges are simply ignored for lack of a rational reason. For me, it was an unexplainable urge, a feeling in my soul which had connected with my "I". As I think of it now, both the sign and the rocket resembled a giant letter I rising into the sky.
Kaine describes how the soul develops in a new born baby:
[page 11] To further develop our understanding, consider that our soul gradually connects with our body after birth. A newborn is not conscious until its soul has taken hold of its body. We can observe the changes in a newborn baby as its soul begins to take hold. First the eyes become alert and gradually they take on their intended color. For instance, all babies are born with steel grey or dark blue eyes; they may stay grey or blue or turn green, hazel, or brown in the first months of life. After a while the baby develops the ability to communicate with its facial expressions, especially with its ability to smile.
The color of our eyes depends on the whether our ancestors lived in cold or warm climates. In a warm climate the blood flows directly into the eyes and creates brown, dark-colored irises; in a cold climate the blood is busy keeping the bodily organs the right temperature and there is no excess blood left to fill the irises. Consequently the eyes remain the steel grey color or develop the light blue colors typical of people who live in northern climates. A similar process takes place in the hair, causing the traditional brown eyes, dark hair of southern people and blue eyes, blond hair of northern people. The exceptions to this rule come about through migrations and the mixing of genes of northern and southern peoples over time. If our eyes and hair color are due to the climates our ancestors lived, one can expect that many other soul attributes are related to how our ancestors managed to survive in their climate.
[page 11, 12] We can also see in the developing child how it strengthens its abilities of feeling, thinking and intention. It doesn't take much to work out which ability it develops first. It is through feeling that a baby communicates its needs to its mother. This feeling can even be mistaken for will, or can even be called a feeling-will. At this stage, the child's ability to think is not developed, and it cannot control its actions. This is particularly noticeable in the uncoordinated movements of its arms and legs. As mentioned earlier, excessive wriggling is often a sign that the baby has to work harder to assimilate its soul.
Our soul develops by undergoing extremes of temperature, of light and darkness, of pressure and relief, and finds a way to produce harmony out of the perceptions which bombard our sensory apparatus.
[page 15] Through all this activity, we find three perpetual processes occurring in our soul:
1. polarisation, then;
2. improvement, followed by;
3. change or metamorphosis.
We can become polarized between love and hate. We can then adapt ourselves so that our dissatisfaction becomes satisfaction. Then we can change completely so that we cease to long for what no longer has purpose; in the same way that a butterfly won't nibble away at a leaf as it needed to when it was a caterpillar.
We must learn to adapt and modify our habits as we change. When we reach the age of thirty, our metabolism slows down. If we continue to eat the same amount and kinds of food when we are over thirty as we did when we were below thirty, our body size will increase. One has only to observe the size of people's bodies at various ages to understand the amount of self-awareness, of I-awareness, that they possess. The prevalence of obesity in our society indicates a much reduced level of self-awareness, up until now.
In this next passage, Kaine suggests that we trace back in our life to find when some feeling response was born.
[page 16] Why do we have the feelings that we do in some situations? Perhaps we learned them from our parents and it would be more suitable if we developed our own way of thinking and feeling. Why do we take an instant dislike to something, or why do we love certain things? These responses can often be linked to a point in the past when we were happy or sad. We can trace backwards through our life to discover the time when a response was born. The awareness of the real catalyst can restore balance in our soul. Thoughtfully observing how we act in a situation, and comparing how we act differently sometimes, can also give us valuable insights into the way our soul works.
This is a splendid suggestion, but unfortunately, most of those feeling responses were born before any of us can recall. Freud talked about childhood amnesia existing before five years old. The science of doyletics postulates that a transition takes place at that age which explains this "childhood amnesia." Before five, our body remembers every event which happened to us, but is only able to store the memories as bodily states or doylic memories. After five, our memories are stored as images and sounds which we can recall consciously in contrast with the bodily memories which have no image or sound components. Before five we have bodily memories, after five we have cognitive memories or what everyone just calls memories.
How can one trace down to when some feeling response was born, when one has no recall of the event? This process of identifying the original event can take years in psychoanalysis or psychotherapy to identify. Or one can use the efficient speed trace(3) of doyletics which allows one to hold the bodily state, go back in time under five years old to before the original event, and the original event will be stored as images and sounds and one will consciously be able to recall the event. Once one has done this, one will no longer be held in thrall to bodily states which are not helpful. This process of tracing takes place naturally as we age for such things as food dislikes. Most people over forty years old have dropped their childhood dislikes for green vegetables, for example, indicating we have an innate ability to trace down certain of these original events. In spite of that, one can find still people who will not eat an oyster, despise broccoli, brussels sprouts, grapefruit, mayonnaise, or even hate chocolate, well up into their sixties. Clearly there is a need for a efficient method that anyone can use unaided to eliminate bodily feelings that are counter-productive.
When we see someone with whom we shared good times, the mere image of them can trigger doylic memories which make us feel as we did during those good times. If we see a stranger, the feeling triggered may be more like the concern our mother felt when she told us to be wary of strangers. Thus, if we see someone we think we recognize, only to discover that it is a stranger, the good feelings are triggered then quickly replaced by the wary concern and we feel the emotion we call embarrassment.
Doylic memories can arise from: 1) actual images, 2) actual sounds, 3) other doylic memories, or 4) cognitive memories. This is especially true of the kind of cognitive memories we manipulate during thinking. The consequence is that the mere process of thinking can create a plethora of doylic memories in quick succession. Kaine gives us an example of this when a dark cloud leads to the idea of rain falling and how we might deal with it. And part of dealing with it is the feelings or doylic memories which arise from the possibilities we consider.
[page 17] In our soul, we decide what is useful and what is harmful. For example, if we see a dark cloud in the sky, the impression enters our senses and logical thinking tells us there is a good chance that it will rain. Our first thought may be that we don't have an umbrella. Feelings arise in response to these thoughts, for example, annoyance that our new clothes will be ruined. These feelings have to harmonize with our thoughts. When we become fully aware of the situation we will have developed a plan of action. We may have a cup of coffee or browse in a bookshop while we wait for the rain to stop; or go to buy an umbrella. This is the perpetual process that is our soul acquiring wisdom.
In the examples given below Kaine relates how automatic responses can arise from childhood events. There is a paradox about these childhood events which I hinted at earlier: if you can remember the event, the response will not arise. If the response arises, you will not be able remember the event. (The verb remember is used in this paragraph exclusively to denote recalling cognitive memory.)
[page 18] What usually happens is that our past memories rise up and they can have an automatic effect on our response to a situation. For example, we may look at a tree and respond to its beauty, or we may feel fearful when we remember that we fell out of such a tree as a child; or without conscious memory, the smell of paint may give us a headache because as a child we smelt the paint as we fell off a ladder and bumped our head.
This is where the speed trace comes in handy: it allows us to trace back using only the doylic memory while it is still present, and when you go back below five years old to an age slightly before the original event, the doylic memory will dissolve and will never return. The doylic memory is replaced by a cognitive memory and you will never be confronted by a headache from the smell of paint or become fearful when viewing a tree up close.
Our soul is on auto-pilot, as Kaine says, but we can intervene by consciously deciding to do a speed trace to remove the automatic responses which would otherwise continue to arise every time we see a tree or smell paint the rest of our lives. It seems to me from a decade of observing my own doylic memories and doing traces to remove them, that the events which seemed to plague me by triggering doylic memories seem to abate after I have traced away my doylic responses to them. In other words, if I seemed to spend a lot of time around places with fresh paint before I traced away my reaction to paint, after my trace, I no longer encounter places with fresh paint as often. But when I do, the existence of the fresh paint mostly escapes my notice. This seems to generalize to all levels of my experience and leads me to postulate that my Soul Captain leads me into situations to trigger doylic memories and once I have traced and erased them, he leads me into other situations which trigger completely different doylic memories. He doesn't cut me any slack and keeps me always on my toes for some new challenge.
In Chapter 2, we encounter the Human Self: the "I" which acts like the Captain of Soul. What is the "I"? What is it that remains the same if we haven't seen someone for forty or more years and suddenly they show up at a high school reunion? Here was a kid who you last saw in the ninth grade with a full head of black hair and now at 60, he is almost completely bald with just traces of white hair on the sides of his head. Yet, you look him in the eyes, and you recognize him. This indicates to me that our eyes, which are often called "windows to the Soul", are actually windows to the Spirit. Each eye is invisible to itself except through reflection.
The name "I" is the only name we are known by which no one else can use to refer to us. When my Soul and Spirit are in harmony, they see eye to eye, and I feel good. When they are not in harmony, the Soul is wandering away from the plan of the Spirit and I feel bad, out of sorts, lost, confused, etc. The names for feeling bad are much more numerous than the ones for feeling good exactly because there is one way of being in harmony with the Spirit, but many ways of being out of harmony. In a book devoted to I-Connecting, we must expect help in understanding our "I" and learning how to connect with it from our Soul. Here is how the author starts her chapter on the "I".
[page 35] We know that each person is an individual with a specific character, a particular make-up, and each person expresses self in the world accordingly. This 'self' is the name we call ourselves when we say "I". The "I", the self, is the essence of the individual, it is our "I"dentity. Because it is an integral part of us, we often do not notice what it is, or how it works. The "I" is the kernel of our personality which we cannot grasp as we are not able to grasp our right hand with our right hand.
Our "I" enables us to function as beings of soul and spirit, not just as physical beings. Our "I" experiences the world through our soul and body; they are its vehicles. As we have been discussing, this is a developing thing, an evolutionary thing. Our "I" is not a fully conscious part of our being yet. Its connection with our body and soul grows over time; the more it grows, the more conscious we become. Then, the more we are able to have original thoughts and ideas, and also to be flexible about our thoughts and ideas. We could also say that meaning originates in the "I". For instance, when we speak, specifically about something we have thought about ourselves, the meaning from our "I" is expressed through the vocal cords of our body.
Our "I" can be found in our ability to concentrate, to be attentive by focusing our attention and by being observant. The more we can do this, the stronger our I-connection and the more conscious we are.
It is when the "I" shines its light into the body and soul that we become conscious. The light can shine brightly or dimly and fluctuate. If our "I" is only loosely connected to our soul this is because, in its natural state, our soul is in a dreamy sleep. Then our soul conducts our life through automatic responses of learned behavior stored in our memory. We could call this the 'pseudo-self' which gives us a sense of "I", but as if in a mirror. When our I-connection is strong, our responses can be more spontaneous, and possibly more appropriate. Our task is twofold; to awaken our soul and to work on our I-connecting.
The pseudo-self which Kaine refers to is called the little "self" or "ego" in Jungian terms while the "I" is referred to as the Self by Jung's works and by Ego in Steiner's works. The lack of a single name for the little ego makes for confusing reading across the range of literature which deals with the "I" and the soul. But there is one name, a generic name given to a person in literature who exhibits a strong "I" and that is the hero. When you are exhilarated by reading or watching the exploits of a hero, you can be sure that it is because your own "I" wants you to performs such deeds in your own life. "Surely," you may be thinking, "I don't have any fearsome dragons in my world to slay." If that is the way you think when you follow the deeds of a hero, you are completely missing the point. Your very "I" is letting you know on a feeling level how happy it would be for you to slay the metaphoric dragons and forces of darkness which indeed do exist in your daily life today. It is part of your task to identify those dragon-like impediments and evil forces, and that is the toughest part of the heroic deed for you. No one can begin a mighty quest who remains ignorant of the mighty challenges which lie undiscovered and un-faced in one's daily life, can they?
[page 37] The extent to which we can express our "I" depends on conditions in our soul and body. When we become aware of the difference between our "I" and our soul it becomes clear that the "I" can be expressed through our soul in varying ways; strongly or weakly, maturely or immaturely, and anywhere in between. The soul can indeed be a dark place if the light of the "I" cannot shine in. In this respect, the "I" is the hero, who works against the dark forces in our soul. It is not unusual for people to ask, "Where are the heroes in the world today?" The real answer is that the hero is now within us.
"Not me," you're thinking, "none of those incredible adventures can ever happen to me. I live in the real world, not on some Fantasy Island." Hang with me a bit, if you're thinking that way. Let us take some simple process that you experience, maybe on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, such as "disappointment." Have you ever been disappointed? "Sure," you think, "everyone has." Okay, now let's examine what must happen for you to be disappointed. You have a fantasy about the way something will turn out. Later the event happens. Then when your fantasy about the way the thing turned out turns out to be different from your fantasy about the way you wanted the thing to turn out, you feel disappointed, right? And, well you should. You deserve to feel disappointed. You planned ahead to be disappointed when you created the fantasy of how it would turn out. And you say that you don't live on Fantasy Island? A similar analysis could be done for depression, sadness, grief, boredom, and loneliness, among many other things. Did you know that you could choose to be alone instead of feeling lonely? Many people live alone, and never complain of loneliness. These people do not live on a Fantasy Island, but in the reality of their world and find a way to be content in whatever situation they find themselves. Such people are the true heroes of the world because they have fought and conquered the demonic dragons of their everyday life.
When we connect with our "I" we can no longer be brought low by events which bring disappointment, depression, sadness, grief, boredom, loneliness, etc. Events such as these happen, but we rise above them, we stand upright, we speak about them, we think about them. The "I" is what distinguishes the human being from an animal. No animal can stand upright for long; their natural posture is with their spine parallel to the ground. Man stands naturally upright because of his "I". The animal has no "I", but only a wise group soul which exists in a spiritual plane, whereas every human being has its own "I" growing within itself which it can call upon in times which require heroic responses. One sees in any drama when the change comes over a downtrodden person: their head lifts up to an erect position, they stand up for themselves, and suddenly what seemed impossible some months, weeks, days, or only moments before, they begin doing quickly and easily. They have left Fantasy Island and begun to live in the real world. What did they feel like?
[page 39] One person explained her experience in this way, "I have never forgotten that strange feeling that something tall and very old 'stood up' in me."
They begin to notice how the future hums in the present, they take actions which they cannot explain just because the actions feel right, and suddenly they are embarked upon the destiny they came into this lifetime for. Kaine gives an example here of a young girl who was later to become a cellist listening to the radio when her future began humming to her:
[page 39] Emma-Jane Murphy, the Cellist, tells a story about when she was three-and-a-half years old. She was playing with her toys when, on the radio, she heard a Schubert Sonata. Her mother tells her that she stopped playing with her toys and sat very still, listening to every note of music. When it had finished her mother said, "That was such a beautiful sounding viola." Emma-Jane said, "No mummy, it was a cello." Her mother insisted it was a viola but the three-and-a-half year old just knew it was a cello. To this day Emma-Jane cannot explain how she knew this.
Here Kaine shares with us her metaphor of the "I" as the Captain of our Soul:
[page 41] The "I" is like the captain of a ship navigating the swell and the calm of the oceans. This picture gives us a sense of the constancy of the "I" and how it can connect with the movement of the soul. The soul has a similar unpredictability to the ocean; the "I" has the discipline of a ship's captain.
The first "I" made its appearance in the prophets of the Bible. They were able to speak for their people because of their connection to their "I". Moses changed completely after his experience with the burning bush. He told his people when he came down from the mountain that the "I Am sent me." Over the millennia since then, the nascent "I" in each person has grown stronger, so that no one needs another person to speak for them, if they will but exercise their own "I" and stand up and speak for themselves. We can relate to Moses’ reluctance to speak, but if we speak up nevertheless, we can with our "I" achieve great things as Moses did with his "I".
One group of men in colonial times in America chose to do exactly that. They proclaimed that no King should make decisions for them, ever again. They chose to exercise, to proclaim, and to put into effect a "new birth of freedom upon the Earth." This idea was the true American Revolution, not the seamy war which followed, and which has been allowed to co-opt the phrase in public imagination and public school systems.
We have now reached a stage where another new birth of freedom is necessary, a new evolutionary stage in which freedom from coercion at every level is recognized. Only then can the political, cultural, and economics spheres of human action become truly free. What is needed to achieve this boon? Kaine says it simply:
[page 45] Historically, we are in a transition from a time when inner responsibility and individual freedom must replace the outer laws of government created to control the masses.
Individual freedom and individual responsibility means that we would have a government of men instead of laws. This is rather shocking thought to any American who has pledged to support a government of laws instead of men. Obviously a transition is needed to such a new form of government with no man-made laws. Such laws will not be needed because every person will respect every other person's life and property at every level. How can that come about in a world in which self-interest still exists in human beings? It can only happen when some hero comes to the fore with a new technology — not a machine, but a new mode of thought — which will create responsibility and respect for the life and property of others. They will do this not because they are coerced by laws to do it, but because they will find life better for them and their families if they choose to do so.(4)
Before such a government can exist, we shall have to endure the collapse of the current fad of coercive bureaucracy. We have replaced King George's tyrannical rule over the colonies with a bungling bureaucracy ruled tyrannically by a vote of the masses. What's so great about oppressive taxation with representation?
Kaine points out how so-called Reality TV is actually unreal because it hinders the very process of I-connecting which is so important henceforth in our world.
[page 48] Another challenge for those with an immature I-connection is the rise of reality television shows. The maturation of our I-connection is threatened when it experiences life through the lives of others. We need real-life experiences of our "I" connecting up with our soul and shining its light there. Many areas of life, like reality TV, work against the I-connection. Of course, facing challenges always has a strengthening effect however, do we deal with the situation by emulating what we saw on TV or do we use our own soul-resources? It is not a question here of being critical of television programs, but of recognizing what helps and what does not.
"Be creative!" appeared near the top of a Betty Crocker Cake Mix box. An excellent suggestion for a cook, but the statement below those words explicitly removed any nuance of creativity: "And Here's How You Do It!" What part of creativity did the ad-writers not understand? It was Reality TV in a box. Here's how you survive on a deserted island, here's how you survive in a desert, or Antarctica, or a mud-filled obstacle course, and so on, ad nauseam.
What is the type of world that is being created by such mind-numbing but time-filling reality shows? The type that is portrayed so scathingly in the recent movie, "Idiocracy", which literally means "Rule by Idiots". The movie starts in earnest, 500 years in the future — in other words, after 500 years of Reality TV shows — at the time of the great Garbage Collapse. It seems that all the garbage created by the world has just been piled on the top of one mountainous garbage heap. When it collapses, our hero from this century who has been in suspended animation, is dumped into the living room of someone watching Reality TV and eating pizza, which he does every day, like everyone else, of course. Luke Wilson was chosen for this suspended animation project because he had been certified as an Average American. He arrives in the future and is soon discovered to the world's smartest human being. One memorable line comes when he must buy something from the huge discount warehouse called Costco. The attendant tells Luke that what he wants can be found at Mile 18 of the warehouse.
There is no doubt in my mind that is the direction we're heading in, and also that some revolution will be required to turn us around, a revolution of thought, which unlike the first American Revolution will not involve guns or war. True freedom, rightly understood, as created by Galambos' amazing definition, can be built one person at a time, and once built can never be destroyed. How will the masses learn about it? When they notice that the most successful people already understand it and want some of what they have for themselves. What they will obtain for themselves is something sorely lacking today at every level of society, especially in politics. What is that missing element? Morality. And why would the masses want it? Because they will have discovered that morality is life-enhancing.
You may scoff at me for even hinting that such a thing as I propose above is possible. How could I dare to suggest that freedom is something you build instead of fight for? That one could discover morality to be profitable? Yes, I get the picture. Scoff away. Do it right away, though, because you may find scoffing a bit harder after reading this next paragraph.
[page 49] We can be confident that the I-connection will mature if we work with it. It is not uncommon, when our connection with our "I" is beginning to develop in us, to feel threatened by others who have a more developed relationship between their "I" and their soul. This can reveal itself in scoffing or trying to bring the other person down to our level. So, if we are being scoffed at it could be a sign that our I-connection is strengthening. With a more mature I-connection we do not retaliate, we are patient with others in their journey to mature their own I-connection.
There is a perennial Science Fiction theme about an "Invisible Man" and recently I have seen some scientific attempts to portray how one might make themselves invisible. In hundreds of years of thought on the invisible man and invisibility, no one has ever made notice of a salient side effect of being invisible: one must necessarily be blind! In order for us to engage visually with the world, the retina of our eyes must provide resistance to light, in fact, our retina must almost completely absorb the light which hits it. The red eye phenomena of modern cameras shows us that some light can be reflected from the retina and recorded. But, whether absorbed or reflected, the one thing a working retina cannot do is allow light to pass through it, as it necessarily must be the case for the so-called Invisible Man. Our eyes must be visible in order for us to have sight because our retina must offer resistance to the light, either absorbing or reflecting it. Similarly our "I" must meet with resistance to exert its influence. Someone whose "I" does not meet with resistance leads a life of "quiet desperation" or a life "full of sound and fury signifying nothing".(5)
Kaine describes how we can engage with difficulties without struggling, simply by choosing the way we feel about things. If we feel bad as a result of our choice of fantasies about the way things would turn out, then we can choose another fantasy, point forward, which will make us feel good, no matter how things turn out. In the extreme, we can recognize that, in a life successfully lived, it's fantasy all the way down. In a sense, it's like recognizing that our Soul Captain never allows us to waste a mistake.
[page 49] We can engage with the resistance placed in our way as a kite must meet with resistance before it can fly. It does not mean we struggle with difficulties but that we acknowledge the difficulties, and accept them or deal with them as objectively as possible. This may mean that we walk around them. This also means that we do not hold expectations of our self that are too high. These episodes in our life are character building; they strengthen our I-connection and make our soul more active. The activity in our soul is generated by having to think new thoughts, by changing the way we feel about things and acting differently.
True freedom is not acting as one pleases. Only in a world that has no robust definition of freedom(6) is it possible to think that the young man in this story was exercising freedom when he walked along a sidewalk dropping litter along the way.
[page 51] I was walking along a busy shopping strip and outside a public building was a little oasis with trees and seats for shoppers to rest. One young fellow was picking the bits that he didn't like out of his salad sandwich and dropping them on the footpath. Later on when I returned by there, he had gone, but his discarded salad remained on the footpath.
Would anyone have complained if the young fellow owned the footpath upon which he was walking? No, I don't think so. So he necessarily must have walking upon a footpath which belonged to someone else. In a world in which the fantasy of "public property" and confused definitions of freedom exist, such episodes as the one with the young fellow are likely to happen with increasing frequency. It's a slippery slope from that kind of behavior to Idiocracy.
As someone who has been divorced a couple of times, I can testify from my own experience that people who move to different stages of I-connecting will disconnect. After thirty years of marriage to my current wife, I can attest to the importance of both developing progressively stronger I-connecting over time. For one to progress and one to not progress can prove quite divisive.
[page 50, 51] The development of the "I" also brings with it problems, for the motto of the "I" is freedom and with that comes independence. The expression of individuality can be quite divisive at times. When we experience our "I" strongly we can make strong statements. We can dare to say things that usually would not be said. In this situation the other person is likely to respond by saying, "You are welcome to your view, I see it another way." While this seems to express individuality, and display a good nature in allowing you your point of view, it actually creates a gulf between you. True individuality does not encourage opposing views; it considers and observes many views in panorama, which gives a more complete view of the situation. We can never have a complete view of a tree by viewing it from just one side.
While we explore the I-connection, realizing that the possibility of connecting with our "I" evolves over time, we can see that not everyone is at the same stage of connecting.
Our "I" is our tool for understanding others. Father Brown of the G. K. Chesterton mystery stories was a master at understanding others. He once sat for hours in a dark room while a large banquet took place around him. Before the banquet was over, he understood that a great theft had taken place during the banquet of which none but the thief and himself were aware. He came from his room, apprehended the thief and returned the stolen property. He used the method of gaining information from a situation in an eponymous way: he in-formed himself by projecting himself into the people who passed his dark room unseen by him. He imagined himself walking at the exact same pace as those who passed and from that in-formation, he realized the only explanation was that a theft had taken place.
[page 55] When our "I" encounters something or someone outside itself, our "I" has to penetrate into the nature of the other person or thing, in order to grasp it. So when we meet another person, our "I" has to enter into them. We do know this because we talk about 'entering into a thing' as a measure of how involved we are with it. In order for this penetration to occur our "I" must surrender its own opinions, knowledge, understanding, etc. We can't enter into the other person with our own baggage.
Our baggage here refers to our illusions about the other person, which are, rightly understood, illusions about ourselves which we project upon the other person. If Father Brown had some illusion that waiters were lower class peons unworthy of his attention, he would never have informed himself of their behavior, but instead would have considered them unworthy of his notice.
[page 56] Our "I" constantly tries to bring itself into harmony with what it took back into itself from the other person. If what is outside warms us, we form a bond, we connect with it. These experiences that come to us are reflected in our soul life and influence our physical body. Here lies the key to why we often don't understand the other person; we are not prepared to set aside the contents of our own being to enter into the other person. Therefore we can't bring the picture of them back into our own being. So how can we ever know them?
The secret is to become an empty vessel, something which Father Brown had clearly perfected.
Has anyone ever raised teenagers and retained complete equanimity the whole seven years? Teenagers seem to rebel at all the values their parents hold dear just for the sheer pleasure of rebelling. Yet, the famous movie of the 1950s, "Rebel Without A Cause", clearly revealed many valid causes for the rebellion of its teenagers. Each of three teenagers played by James Dean, Sal Mineo, and Natalie Wood were true individuals in their own way, but one could see how they felt pressured by those around them to conform. This need to conform, at any age of life, is sure sign of an underdeveloped and unintegrated "I".
[page 59, 60] Teenagers see themselves as individuals but this is an expression of their graduation from childhood, not a sign that the "I" is integrated. Observing teenagers is an excellent way to understand the pseudo "I" or pseudo-self. The pseudo "I" defines itself externally, so is unable to be an individual that stands confidently alone. Among teenagers this shows in their desire to wear certain clothes, use certain words according to the fashions of the group to which they belong.
The paradox of teenagership is that the teenage boy must exert his individuality, but only so long as he conforms to every other boy in his group. With girls, the conformity is equally noticeable. But teens grow out of this conforming to their peer group usually. Sometimes the conformity of their teen years to a group is replaced by the conformity during their adult years to another person. This has been particularly true in Western society of women conforming to the expectations or requirements of their husband. A woman who has taken care of her husband for many years has extreme difficulty adjusting to his absence when he dies, and she is likely to develop Alzheimer's Syndrome. Someone who seemed strong and capability suddenly requires others to take care of her.
Many people consider forced ROTC to be a mistake, and as a result the requirement for a minimum of two years of Reserve Officer Training Corps at land grant colleges and universities has been removed since I attended college. For my first two years at LSU, a land grant university, I took ROTC courses each semester and participated in drilling and marching in parades. Given an option I would have skipped the marching and drilling, but it was an up-close-and-personal look at being the US Army. They don't call it infantry for nothing — they treat you like infants. That kept me from volunteering for the final two years. The reason I mention this is that ROTC forced me to learn about mortar sighting, something I would never have done under any other circumstances.
What's the big deal about mortar sighting? Well, it involves aiming at something you can't see. You have a forward observer who can see the target, but you cannot. You must set up the mortar and dial in some numbers and then drop in a mortar shell which flies out of your sight. Then the observer calls back and tells you if you hit the target. They teach you to always shoot long, to overshoot the target on purpose on the first shell. On the next shell, you always undershoot. Each time the observer reports back what he saw. On the third shell you strive to overshoot, but only by half as much as the first overshoot. This continues until you bracket in upon the target at which time the observer says, "Fire for Effect", and you unleash a continuous barrage of mortar shells. Later in my software designer career, I learned about the quickest way of finding an unknown object in a list was by means of a "binary search" which essentially was mortar sighting adapted to computer programming. The key was that you never start firing at where you think the target may be, but always make your biggest mistake first and then undershoot and begin dividing the difference in halves, and a binary search gets its name from the dividing in half strategy for each step of the search.
How this knowledge was important for me during my various careers was that I learned that I often made a big mistake early on in a new job, but learned from that mistake and grew faster than those who made very few mistakes. I have unofficially adopted as my motto "Make your biggest mistake first".
[page 61, 62] Some people take impressions in from the outside world, actively work with them, consider them, and then purposefully act on them. In a rhythmic way they move back out into the world with purpose, they affect and change the world. They are putting their stamp on the world by creating something that was not there before they acted. Here the "I" is productive and active in the world.
Personally I would not consider mortar crews as being productive today, but they are certainly active and put their stamp upon the world. Each of us who are creative and active in the world must attack targets which are out of our sight, must overshoot and undershoot them so we can then bracket on a solution. In other words, we must make our biggest mistakes first. As Kaine puts it, "An active 'I' gives us the boldness to act imperfectly and the courage to learn from mistakes." Those who try to avoid mistakes are imprisoned within their own limitations.
[page 62] We encounter an active "I" within a person who is prepared to 'have a go', even when they know that their resources may not be adequate. These people experience more and learn more. Unfortunately, social pressure often gives us the message that it is best not to act unless we can act perfectly. This imprisons and negates the "I". We are discouraged from acting, and through this, we miss out on experiencing things and growing. It is helpful to change our attitude about making mistakes when we are striving for a stronger I-connection. It is certainly better to have tried than never to have tried at all.
This certainly applies to the companies who put lead compounds into their paint and gasolines and asbestos into roofing shingles and automobile brake pads. Given the best information available at the time these two were the best available products and imminently well-suited for their use. The managers of these companies considered the well-being of the human race at the time, and we do ill to look back upon these companies with disdain. They suffered more than enough from the information which unfolded during subsequent generations when their forward observers reported that their "mortars" were unexpectedly hitting innocent victims.
Some one, I think it was Carl Jung, said that the larger a corporation becomes, the more it acts like a large dumb animal, in other words, it acts like an animal soul which is a level below the human soul. (Page 64). This goes even more so for any coercive government agency. Dumb animals have no I-connection and neither does the average governmental agency. Neither can exert itself without coercion. The agency has no power except that of coercion at the point of a gun if its rulings are not followed. The brute force of an angry grizzly bear is obvious. We have progressed precious little since King George's time, rightly understood.
[page 64] When we are led to form ideas about human-animal behaviour there is an inclination of governments to over-regulate which weakens rather than strengthens the I-connection. We strengthen the connection to our "I" the more we are able to make moral judgments using our conscience. These are the signs of the mature I-connection.
In a pruning metaphor, Kaine says ". . . a branch from a tree is hanging over the garden path. We can either remove the branch by pruning it, or we can accidentally bump into it and break it off — perhaps even being injured in the process. Pruning, the act that is undertaken consciously and purposefully, is obviously more timely and harmonious." (Page 64) What Kaine says makes sense to me, except for the image conjured of being injured. I agree that conscious pruning can be more timely and harmonious than unconscious pruning, but I see the "I" at work in the unconscious pruning. Even accidents which cause injuries can have an overall harmonious effect, both on the tree pruned in the process and person injured.
One need only ask the two questions of protection and permission to flesh out the good intention of the pruning incident. When Hurricane Katrina hit our home in the New Orleans area, our live oak tree underwent an enormous pruning. We had less shade for a time which helped the St. Augustine grass grow under the tree in areas previously barren. Hurricanes are one of nature's ways of pruning dead growth from trees which provides them extra light and a growth spurt. One does best if one sees both intentional and unintentional prunings as beneficial. If you take my advice, however, don't complain to me if you have nothing to complain about.
Once we have identified our "I" as the Captain of our Soul, then we take the good and the bad with equanimity and always look for the good intention behind the action. If we strive to do this, we will catch a glimpse of the knowing Captain smiling at the helm of our ship of life.
[page 69] Using the analogy of the "I" as the captain of our soul, the captain gives commands to the crew according to the impressions (impulses) that come to him through his senses, as well as through his calculations (reasoning) and through his wise experience (awareness), so that the ship will move through the water in the intended way.
It all sounds so good — what could go wrong? Well, we know that mutiny is possible on a ship full of rebellious passengers and crew. This causes a detour of the Captain from his projected course for us and inescapably results in a retardation of our growth. We eventually reach whatever destination the detour bypassed, but only much later. Perhaps with different passengers and crew.
[page 71] Using the analogy of the ship's captain again; our soul and "I" work together like a crew works with the captain of a ship. All is harmony and smooth sailing if the "I" is in charge. However, if our soul's forces act on their own, without following the lead of the "I", confusion, disharmony and even catastrophe can result. Then we can say that our soul has mutinied.
On the other hand, if we work with the crew and the Captain, we become conscious more and more of his intentions and agree with them. It seems to us at such times of clarity that it is as if we are the one steering the ship because we are so delighted with the places the Captain is taking us.
[page 73] The more we work with our I-connection, the more often we are conscious of it. In other words, our "I" becomes conscious of itself and the power of that awareness maximises our efforts. There is a synergistic effect. When we develop inner strength, our "I" is given room to tame our soul and create harmony and balance. The strengthened I-connection gains a momentum. We can become 'self-propelled'!
The area of feelings is something I have become a bit of an expert on, mainly because I spent the first half of my life not knowing what they were. Remember I make my biggest mistakes first. Sure I had feelings, but I was a scientist and thought feelings to be ephemeral illusions and without any reality. They were a bother, basically. What I considered to be real feelings during those days were simply those which existed in my body as sensory perceptions. With that misguided way of understanding feelings, I strove to eliminate the illusory ones and concentrate on the real ones. As a result, my soul life was grossly deficient.
Then one day, I read Jane Austen’s novel, Emma. During the reading of that novel, I was suddenly aware that Austen was writing about feelings — the illusory kind that I had been striving to systematical conceal from my thoughts and writing, Austen was revealing in her novel. She wrote of the kind of feelings that I had minimalized, up until that time. I was dumbstruck! How could I have been so oblivious to those feelings that I now understand as soul expressions? The answer was that I had carefully taught myself to eliminate them as being worthy of consideration. I immediately undertook to value my own soul feelings equally as much as my sensory feelings (perceptions). What I wouldn’t have given to have had Kristina Kaine’s "I-Connecting" book in my hands back during that time. I gained a new appreciation for all novels from reading Jane Austen. My life opened up for me in ways I had never anticipated, but always secretly wished it to, since I was a little boy.
When the author writes of people who don't seem to feel much, she is describing me as I was for over thirty-six years, basically a soulless engineering-scientist type of person. I just existed in the world as a physical body and remained oblivious to the experiences in my soul, so I was constantly being surprised by events in life which betrayed the existence of soul, but which still did not convince me of my folly. What about you, dear Reader, do people consider you as “not having much life in you”? Or do you experience both types of feelings listed below?
[page 85] Feeling is the prime quality of the first soul region and as such is the interface between the world and our soul. So feeling therefore is tied to the sensations that enter us through our bodily senses. In this way we either:
just exist in the world as a physical body; or,
experience the world within our soul.
We come to the real quality of feeling when we experience the tension between what is external to our soul and what is internal to it. When we look at a rose and experience the feeling of appreciation, the rose outside us stands over against the feeling inside us. In this way we become more aware of our self and our inner life.
Feeling is actually experienced as inner life because it gives life to our inner experiences. Think about the different expressions of feeling we experience in our friends and family. Some people don't seem to feel much and we may even describe them as not having much life in them.
My reviews are an exercise in I-connecting. I would never have thought about that possibility before I read this book. Yet, I cannot mistake that aspect of my writing because the next passage so accurately describes the process I go through while writing a detailed review of a book, a process that I am literally going through at this very moment as my fingers dance across the keys and words appear on the screen in front of my eyes. I read this book, made notes in it of important passages to me, and now as I write my observations of the book, I inject my own thoughts which reinforce or modulate the thoughts of the writer. In the process of writing I learn more about myself, and in the process of reading you may learn more about yourself.
[page 94] Thinking takes energy and we are often too tired or too lazy to invest the energy. Creative and energetic thinking is the greatest tool for strengthening of the I-connection. The more conscious we are, the more observant we will be of everything in our environment. Then when we reflect on our observations and inject them with our own thoughts, our I-connection will give us new understanding. Our "I" will then have greater control over our soul faculties and we will be more harmonious and balanced. When we are placed in a position of thinking a thing through, we should take time to think creatively and originally by putting more energy into the process.
Just as we may be getting a feeling of power from all this I-connecting stuff, Kaine tosses us a big bender, a curve ball which comes out of nowhere to startle us: The Power of feeling Powerless. I'll let her words explain this seeming paradox to you, but some homework will be required if you do not immediately understand it.
[page 107] There is a final matter for consideration in this journey of self-understanding. As we start to experience the inner workings of our soul a feeling of powerlessness can arise within us. As we become aware of how often our soul's automatic processes take over we can feel powerless to do anything about this. There is, however, a secret in this feeling of powerlessness. If we allow ourselves to experience it our I-connection is strengthened. Essentially the feeling of power in our soul is usually connected with our egotistical feelings. If we can quieten them down by accepting the feeling of powerlessness, we will suddenly become aware of the presence of our "I" in our soul and how it has a different sense of 'power' . . . [a] quiet confidence and self esteem.
If we apply all this information in our daily lives, if we make a habit of vigorously thinking things through as we move through life, we will be strong and vital citizens. Each of us is different and these processes work in each of us differently. Only we can understand the working of it for our self. This means that how one person applies the information in this book is not good for all. The framework of the information is solid and lends itself to being adapted and personalized easily.
As we approach the end of this book together, I have a confession to make: I was the oldest of six children. I was a petty tyrant and didn't know it. I was left in charge of my brothers and sister often either explicitly or implicitly. If my mother was busy inside I made decisions to keep them from bothering her. I was imposing my will on my siblings and some of them resent me for that to this day. I was too young to know that what I was doing was wrong, but having made my biggest mistake first, I soon learned as my brothers grew older and got bigger than I was that just telling them to do something was not going to work. I had four children by age 25 and here I was the oldest again. As the oldest, I sought the company of men older than I was as a means of balancing the otherwise unbalanced life of my youth. I did not do a good job in managing people during my work career because workers do not like to have another's will imposed upon them. I got the work I was assigned done, but had unhappy workers. I was faced through a large portion of my life with a bootstrap effort of learning to work with other people, and I found it difficult to learn the things that my younger brother David knew intuitively: how to gain the cooperation of other people without commanding them. Getting along with others is what the youngest child seems to learn naturally and without effort.
[page 143] When we become more conscious we have more choice in our life and hence more freedom. The beginnings of freedom can be as simple as the awareness of choices. The urge to freedom is inherent in our being and restlessness is often its birth pangs. How we apply our will to direct this restlessness and, in turn, how we express freedom is pivotal to the health of our soul. An important step is to become more aware of the subtle way we use our will. Do we try to influence others by imposing our will on them? This can be as simple as trying to convince others of our own view of things. Or do we express ourselves as individuals in community with other individuals? The greatest test for this is how strongly we cling to our own ideas without remaining open to the ideas of others, and whether our own ideas evolve or stay the same.
I was restless and unhappy about this part of my life — restlessness is movement in search of meaning — and I knew that I was searching for something. I found that meaning when I became conscious of the relation of my birth order as oldest child to the difficulties I had faced. My position as oldest child led me to wish to be a manager, but it did not prepare me at all for managing adults! I had much learning yet to do, and still do. But through it all, my Soul Captain keeps steering me through interesting venues which continue to challenge me. In the words of the title of this book, I was on a journey of I-Connecting, my Soul’s Quest. I was in searching of blooming.
[page 144] As we experience the work of our soul and our "I" within our being we realize that there is much more to know about ourselves than we know at present. This is the quest of the soul; to become conscious enough to know self and to know others. This quest is not particularly arduous; it is simply a journey of increasing awareness, of becoming more conscious day by day. The pace of the quest is completely optional and each step changes us forever. If we awaken our soul it will never sleep again. Once a flower blooms it cannot un-bloom! If we are determined to engage more fully with our "I" then our I-connection matures and influences our life henceforth.
The journey is apace, it is a journey into God, and we are launching our ship into the future. Our "I", our Soul Captain is at the helm. There will be quiet seas and stormy seas. Days of clouds and days of sun. We will all bloom in time. There may be some delayed blooming, but there is no un-blooming. Let us enjoy the heady cruise that we are on. We punched our ticket at birth and began this new journey together, you and I. Some of you came on board this great ship Earth before me, some after me. We have taught each other and learned from each other. Always I strive to keep this motto ever before me: Thus a Teacher, So Also a Learner. Let us all bloom together.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1. Those readers of you who might add the adjective "boring" to describe some parts of the journey of your life, I recommend highly to you that you study the uses of boredom as described by Rudolf Steiner in his book, From Mammoths to Mediums .Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Footnote 2. Note the absence of the quotations around "I" in the passage by Sadello from his Foreword to this book.Return to text directly before Footnote 2.
Footnote 3. The speed trace has been learned by thousands of people across the world, and the full instructions are found on the doyletics website here: http://www.doyletics.com/introduc.htmReturn to text directly before Footnote 3.
Footnote 4. This probably sounds as far-fetched today as the thought that free men could govern themselves without a King did in the 1700s, before the ideas of Thomas Paine became public knowledge and fired up the imagination of the heroes-to-be of the American Revolution. The original ideas for this new technology of the new millennium was created in the 1960s by Andrew Joseph Galambos. One can read about it in his book, Sic Itur Ad Astra, a transcript of his first course in Volitional Science. One can be sure that the revolution which occurs from Galambos's ideas will not result in a war which fights for freedom, but that instead it will build freedom, one person at a time.Return to text directly before Footnote 4.
Footnote 5. Henry David Thoreau wrote that "most men lead lives of quiet desperation" and William Shakespeare in his "Macbeth" wrote the line "full of sound and fury signifying nothing".Return to text directly before Footnote 5.
Footnote 6. The only robust definition of freedom I have found is the one created by Andrew Joseph Galambos. It is one that anyone who studies the matter in great depth will come to understand and accept as a definition which is both necessary and sufficient in all matters. See my review of Sic Itur Ad Astra for the definition.Return to text directly before Footnote 6.
~^~List of Steiner Reviews: Click Here!
Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne
To Obtain your own Copy of this Reviewed Book, Click on SteinerBooks Logo below.
Click Left Photo for List of All ARJ2 Reviews Click Right Bookcover for Next Review in ListDid you Enjoy this Webpage?
Subscribe to the Good Mountain Press Digest: Click Here!
CLICK ON FLAGS TO OPEN OUR FIRST-AID KIT.
Do you feel like you're swimming against a strong current in your life? Are you fearful? Are you seeing red? Very angry? Anxious? Feel down or upset by everyday occurrences? Plagued by chronic discomforts like migraine headaches? Have seasickness on cruises? Have butterflies when you get up to speak? Learn to use this simple 21st Century memory technique. Remove these unwanted physical body states, and even more, without surgery, drugs, or psychotherapy, and best of all: without charge to you.
Simply CLICK AND OPEN the FIRST-AID KIT.