Methods of the Soul

A DuVersity event – March 22-5, 2001, Claymont Court, WV
A seminar-dialogue in the series that began in 1997 with All of Everything

The English word ‘soul’ comes from the Germanic sawol (one meaning of which was the lungs). ‘Soul is sometimes used to translate the Greek word psyche. In some traditions, the soul is taken always to be feminine while its complement, the spirit is considered masculine. Others take the soul of a man to be feminine and the soul of a woman to be masculine. Some claim to know how to ‘make a soul’ while others say there can be no such method.

The soul is the sediment of education – G. I. Gurdjieff quoting an ancient text

In western culture, we are body, soul and spirit and each, including the body, is a complex mystery to understand. The words soul and spirit are often used interchangeably and no one is ever sure what their distinction is, though custom has it that the soul is feminine and the spirit masculine in nature. The soul is maybe what we are, sometimes called an inner body, or the body within the body. It cannot be contained in space and time and has the feel of eternity.

Spirit may be related to the act of paying attention, without being subject to the pulls of interest or the stimulations of impressions. Free attention is always creative, never anything itself, capable of linking soul and body.

There is a divinity that shapes our ends, rough hew them as we will – Shakespeare

A great number of people would confess that they have no idea what the soul is, or even if they have one: can it grow and diminish, does it have to be made, does it span many lives, is it to be purified, can it be joined to others, can it ever be made manifest and known? John Bennett’s view was that nothing can be real unless subject to hazard – one might say the hazard of experience because the core meaning of the word experience is to put to the test – and human life seems to fulfill any criterion of hazard we can possibly imagine. If we have a soul, then it is put to the test by life; and, if we do not, then what we choose and do in this life may serve to bring one into being.

When the soul wishes to experience something, she throws an image of the experience out before her and enters into her own image – Meister Ekhart

Our seminar-dialogue is offered in the spirit of enquiry and we hazard to look into things we cannot know, suspending both belief and argument. Some speak of the soul salvation, others of its binding power in communities, others of its making by spiritual techniques, and others say it does not exist at all, or in such a subjective way that no comparisons are possible.

Our seminar-dialogue is a gathering to follow meaning together, which does not exclude any point of view and uses a variety of participative methods to enable us to create our own images and dwell in them. Amongst these methods are the Movements of Gurdjieff, the tissue paper collage method of Edith Wallace, the Median Group process of Patrick de Mare, the logovisual technology developed from John Bennett’s structural communication, the sweatlodge of Amerindian tradition represented by Joseph Rael, as well as inner exercises and body work. Presentations include the Jungian view, the Tiwa vision, the place of the body and the deconstruction of belief in the fourth way of Gurdjieff.

This is a gathering to engage in practice and theory, combining methods with ideas in dialogue. The presenters are (in alphabetical order)

Anthony Blake, Director of Studies of the DuVersity
Mae-Wan Ho, geneticist
Joseph Rael, North American Indian medicine man and author
Elan Sicroff, pianist
Karen Stefano, psychotherapist and artist
Jerry Toporovsky, holistic health practitioner and consultant
Dr Edith Wallace, Jungian analyst and artist

The program includes methods and ideas from various sources: the ‘fourth way’ of G. I. Gurdjieff, modern group and analytical psychology, research initiated by John Bennett into thinking and communication, and the Amerindian tradition of North America.
inner exercises – movements – body work – chanting – median group – sweat lodge – tissue paper collage – logovisual technology

Presentations will address the question of method 
and the history and cross-cultural aspects of understanding ‘soul’
we want to encourage a diversity of viewpoints
let’s see if we can ‘put ourselves together’ so that we can see more than we can see when we are separate

the seminar-dialogue is residential
beginning on the evening of March 22nd 
ending the afternoon of March 25th

For information on costs, location, facilities please contact Karen Stefano at [email protected] or tel. (304) 725 0061 and for more information on the DuVersity please visit our web site