Soul-Seeing Skills: Why you need ’em & how to get ’em

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FOR MOST OF US, the road to a stabilized “fullness of Being” is painful and bumpy. Over and over, life says, “upgrade your soul-seeing skills or suffer.” By grace, we eventually confess: It’s nothing short of masochism to abandon our true position as awareness, itself. Finally, we learn to move as a timeless Pisces presence enjoying a time-bound Aries point of view. What happens when we straddle this Aries/Pisces paradox well? Some call it “enlightenment.” I call it, “full spectrum vision.”

An intriguing phrase, no? But what, exactly, does it mean? Let’s begin with what it’s not: “believed-in mental commentary.”

The purpose of believed-in mental commentary about others is to keep ego undissolved and blind to the truth that observer and observed are one.
~Carl Jung

Here, Jung is asking us to encounter the world as a dreamscape and come alive to the language of archetype and metaphor. Why? So we can quit being yanked around by the veil of personality and master our latent soul-seeing skills. Can you think of a better definition of “full spectrum vision?

Collin Wood concurs,

Coming into this world has meaning only with a view to leading that which is metaphoric back to true being. There are no secret answers spelled out in words in some rare old book. The metaphor is the only way to the answers, if only we have patience and pay attention. Look around: what is life trying to say?
~Collin Wood

Indeed. And given that we are such social creatures, doesn’t it make sense that the bulk of our code-cracking happens interpersonally? Personality traits were not designed to be liked or disliked! They are archetypally embedded way-showers eager to point at the way souls sleep and wake to their pristine, unborn nature.

Okay, but which metaphoric sun glasses should one don? Well, one thing’s for sure: the symbolic lens had better be kinesthetically verifiable, time-tested, coherent and accessible to the western mind– four areas where modern, meditative astrology absolutely shines.

Joseph Campbell takes the importance of archetypal literacy even further, calling it perceptual “Apocalypse:”

Apocalypse does not point to a fiery Armageddon. Our divided, schizophrenic worldview, with no mythology adequate to coordinate our conscious and unconscious – that is what is coming to an end.
~Joseph Campbell

Think about it. Too the extent that we lack a revelatory lens that permits us to see the innocently evolving soul inside a full spectrum of egos, does not the mechanistic madness of mankind require us to harden, numb and distract?

Only a cruel God would plop souls down onto a mapless terrain lacking any homeward beckoning signs and symbols. Why do we act so insensitively toward the planet and each other? Thomas Paine knew:

Belief in a cruel God makes a cruel man.
~Thomas Paine

 

The Meditator’s Objection

Still, many meditators shun astrology. “Why would I cloud my eyes with archetypal stories when naked seeing introduces me to such bare bones beauty and equanimity?” A great question- best answered by Bernardo Kastrup and John Welwood:

Some say the purpose of Advaita is to eliminate all myths through which we interpret sensation. But you can overshoot. You can deny life and stop engaging with it. Something true is generating illusion and it is essential to interpret that illusion and derive meaning from it. To pretend that one can live life without myth is, itself, a myth!
~Bernardo Kastrup

Absolutely. John Welwood continues,

“Advaita-speak” can be very tricky, for it uses absolute truth to disparage relative truth, emptiness to devalue form, and oneness to belittle individuality. By suggesting that only absolute love or being-to-being union is real, these teachers equate the person-to-person element necessary for a transformative love bond with mere ego or illusion.
~John Welwood

Ick! I prefer the embodied god of astrology: a paradox-loving mystic-maker who keeps pushing us to straddle spirit and matter. Hello genuine non-duality!

I mean, think about it. Isn’t the failure to meet people where they’re at (lost in a trance of discernible archetypal me-stories) a form of spiritual narcissism? Developing the power to intuit others unique styles of waking and sleeping is, on the other hand, a Bodhisattva move. We are resisting the allure of premature spiritual escape and, out of compassion, returning to the automated play of egos in order to infiltrate them with lucidity and presence.

Still, let’s not be naive. Mainstream astrology is conceptual quicksand: a collection of superficial “trait bait” that hardens ego and justifies our giddy, interpersonal hopes and fears. Only when personality traits are seen and felt as the Supreme Being in various stages of Self-remembering are the insights of astrology truly helpful.

That’s the beauty of courses like The Styles of Awakening Training: they pull self-inquiry out of the philosophical clouds and re-aim it at our own (and others) unique karmic blind spots. In this way, we move more quickly through the three stages of seeing 1) seeing personality 2) seeing positive intention 3) seeing the Divine at play.

Bottom line: If we learn to perceive archetypes at play in people and do not learn to pause to appreciate the larger Being in which they rise and fall, we’re simply incubating a more virulent strain of separation and more sophisticated evidence of orphanedness.

Am I saying that students of archetype must develop deeper and deeper levels of humility, self-reckoning and perceptual purity? Absolutely. That’s what makes modern meditative astrology a bona fide spiritual path.

Until then, as Mooji puts it,

When we relate to personality, we are bowing down to conceptual shape.
~Mooji

Buddhists call astrology’s archetypal use of mind to transcend the mind, “skillful means.” Why is this psycho-spiritual stepping stone on the way to timeless union so important? Because we don’t wake up “from” ego; we wake up “inside” it. In other words, awakening means learning to define and catch our automated habits of mind playing out, on the spot. Only then can we claim a small sliver of free will.

In short, skillful self-inquiry requires a a shrewd, ego-busting language, and…

You don’t see something until you have the right metaphor to let you perceive it.
~Robert Shaw

Amen. And what is the first thing that the serious student of archetype sees? This: most human interaction is “Identity Bargaining:”

“You tell me I’m right about my unconscious archetypal me-story and I’ll tell you you’re right about yours. Deal?”

At this point in one’s mythological mapping, the world can get a bit darker before it reanimates as divine presence. Sure, we’ve always sensed that ego was a feverish identity-grab, but now we have heartbreakingly specific insight into how and why each mind grasps at its karmically inherited me-stories for fear of being dissolved by timeless presence. Our own and others egoic automation becomes more and more magnified and in-our-face, pushing us to spend more time in meditation. The deeper we get into archetypal seeing, the more we flicker: one moment our heart is burdened by the intractableness of God’s sleep; the next moment we’re lost in Rumi-like appreciation of the divine at play.

Nobody describes this transition from the “seer of separate somebody’s” to the “embracer of the One Being” better than Thomas Merton:

A life in which we love “god in men” is necessarily an active life. But the contemplative loves “men in God.” When we love “God in men,” we seek to discover him over and over in one individual after another. When we love “men in God,” we do not seek them. We find them without seeking them in Him whom we have found. The first kind of love is active and restless. It belongs more to time and space than the other, which already participates in the changeless peace of eternity.
~Thomas Merton

Or, in Mooji’s words,

There are no dialogues in the universe, only monologues. The human mind cannot cope with this knowledge.
~Mooji

And, finally, here’s Adyashanti,

What you really are is totally in love with seeing itself everywhere.
~Adyashanti

Here we arrive at the awakened endgame of all archetypal study: The beholding of human interaction as “awareness in love with itself.” Is this not the very heart of “full spectrum vision?”

 
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