To start I'd like to talk a little bit about what I mean by Curing Soul Sickness. Within Tlish Diyan cosmology there are 7 worlds. We have just left the 4th world and have now entered the 5th world. The 4th world is sometimes called the world of Soul Sickness, or Separation. The 5th world is sometimes called the world of Coming Together, or Illumination. The time charting of Tlish Diyan had us entering the 5th world a few years ago. The 4th world had lasted for around 750,000 years.
The first thing to note is that the 4th world is seen as important - it was the time in which humans built up a sense of individuality which has been very important for our evolution. We now find ourselves, though, at a place where we need to re-balance. Here are some thoughts on this shift...
We were all born into the 4th world of Soul Sickness. We were all born into a world where the story of separation was a strong one. Even though many of us might have known within that there was more than this story, we still had to find ways to navigate within the larger world stories we found ourselves in.
During my training, I have noticed that there have been shifts in the way I approach the world, and in the stories I tell myself to make sense of what is happening. Slowly, I am being immersed in stories that are more about the sacredness of life. I am finding that my perspective is shifting. There is more of a freedom to not immediately buy into a story that generates fear arousal, defensiveness, or separation. And let me tell you, those stories were rife within me.
Also, by stories here I don't just mean narratives. Stories are held within our actions. The way we respond to people and situations, the physical reactions of our bodies to events - these are also stories.
As an example, within my training we see everything as our relation. So one of the things I have started doing is to start talking to things. If a bird flies overhead I say thank you to it. If i find a landscape beautiful I tell it that I do. Now, this can get you some funny looks, but it's also helping me to shift my perspective. The world is shifting from something I observe from an abstract position, to one I am embedded in and related to. By communicating with it in this way my perspective and expectations are slowly transformed.
Which brings me to Curing Soul SIckness. A powerful way to do this is to start telling stories that affirm our connection. That find alternatives to the stories we grew up in that no longer serve us.
For example, saying prayers every day that affirm sacredness and remind us of our co-creative potential is one way. Smudging, breathing in the smoke of sage or some other plant, and letting it fill our lungs can be a very tactile way of telling ourselves a story of beauty. Meditation gives us the space where the old stories lose their grip on us, and we can discover new ones. Ritual can be a multi-leveled way of playing out stories of health and connection. Drumming can be a great way to get the body moving in a rhythm, where it will often find its own truths.
And the important thing is that we must practice these things daily. We are surrounded by people and media that are still caught up in old stories. With practice we can stabilize in healthier stories without closing to the world around us. This allows what we are doing to ripple out. We can also tune in to the ripples of other stories that people are generating which affirm our sacredness. Once we have the taste of the 5th world within ourselves this becomes easier.
So let's take time to tell ourselves and one another life-affirming stories. Stories that affirm the basic humaneness of human beings - and do the daily work of Curing Soul Sickness.
Most mornings I go out
To greet the directions.
In the South is the personification of Unity - Nakia.
He's a rainbow serpent with eyes the colour of the sky.
He's fun, and knows many things about life, sadness and growth.
In the West is a golden bear - Eo'to'to,
She shines with the setting sun
And the beauty of letting go.
In the North is an enormous buffalo - Tuma.
Sparks fly from his fur as he demands
I stand in what I believe and feel.
In the East is a Golden Eagle - Esau.
Who sings of unfettered vision
And the fresh winds up high.
Then I greet Mother Earth, Father Sky
Every living thing, and the flame that lives within.
Society clamours at me:
What is this?
Is this real or imaginary?
Well, I have done this enough times now to know that
Life has many more sides than that question allows.
And what I can tell you is that there have been times
When all of them have held me.
And that to dance with them
Is beyond worlds.
Steven Dances the Dream