Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What is the origin of the word "Soulworker"?
- 2. What is a "soul"?
- 3. What is "ego"?
- 4. What is "self"?
- 5. What is the origin and meaning of the term "pseudo-soul"?
- 6. What are some of the key aspects of a pseudo-soul?
- 7. How does one resolve the pseudo-soul challenge?
- 8. What does it mean to be spiritual?
- 9. What do you mean by "Essential" self?
- 10. Why bother?
There are many who are searching for more meaning in their lives along with a way of working through life’s questions that will work in the 21st century. Traditional methods and belief systems have left them wanting more. They see the results of this in their own lives and in the world. With the tools Soulwork offers they are able to understand and live their lives from a fundamentally different perspective. Soulwork brings the inner guidance they were born with to the surface and provides you with the tools to both see the bigger picture and embrace your role in it.
Soulwork begins and ends with the ongoing realization that all humans have access to qualities of a soul-inspired life that are essential to our True Nature. We begin with an awareness that a wide range of essential elements are available to us as our consciousness awakens to its true nature. Every day is filled with grace-filled moments where our soul is showing us examples of our essential nature along with what gets in the way of more essential elements coming into our consciousness.
There also special times on our spiritual journey when we are propelled into a heightened readiness calling us to move to a new level of awareness. This is a very ripe and juicy time when we are ready to let go and really examine what we may have been missing. These are indications we are ready to leap into a new, higher level of consciousness. Every major spiritual, psychological, and philosophical tradition recognizes these are the stages we all must pass through as our consciousness awakens, but most of us aren’t interested until it is our turn. Often this is a person whose life situation has brought them to the edge. They are “on the cusp” and ready to take the leap into the unknown.
A "soulworker" is a person who is ready to do whatever it takes to find the answer to their deepest questions, face their deepest fears, and align their life with their soul mission.
Our soul, at its very basic level, is both the life force that sustains us, and a pathway to a world beyond common reality. It is much more than the temporary human form it associates with in a given lifetime...
It’s been very recent in the history of human evolution that we are able to understand our soul in a tangible way. Through soulwork one learns to recognize how the soul manifests through the intellect, heart, and belly centers. You can learn to know the difference in your own body and in others.
There are a number of different terms we can relate to when we hear the term "soul". Here are some examples of words or concepts commonly used to refer to the soul: Higher Self, Point of Light, Inner Star/Inner Flame, Beloved, God/Goddess Within, Guardian Angel, Bringer of Light, Divine Spec, Psyche, Authentic Self. These terms are described in greater detail in the book Ego, Soul, & Beyond.
We come to "know" and experience our soul through getting to know its Essential qualities (see below in FAQ) as they manifest in our lives. This takes a conscious effort to learn and embrace this knowledge in our head, heart, and belly/body.
The word “ego” is typically used to describe how we have come to answer the question “who am I?” It includes our idea of our own importance or worth. This description includes our deepest secrets about who we believe we are. Many of these secrets are no longer in our conscious awareness.
Sometimes the term "personality" is used instead of "ego".There are many definitions of this term, some of them contradictory. It can be challenging to know what someone means when they use this term.
Our soul, on the other hand, transcends this ego identity and usually remains mysterious in its definition and in our awareness. The combination of ego and soul constitutes what I will refer to as “self”. A key aspect of any sincere and authentic spiritual path is to be able to consciously identify both ego and soul. Then the soulworker works on bringing both ego and soul into full awareness and actualization in a healthy and evolved way. Our view of who we are changes and expands as our soul awakens.
It was necessary to come up with a term that didn’t have all the visceral and intellectual baggage that is typical of many spiritual and psychological traditions.
Simply put, the pseudo-soul is that part of our consciousness that usurps control over our soul at a very young age. In order for a baby’s soul to survive in the world it develops an ego to be the interface with its new surroundings. The ego’s original and authentic role is that of a noble servant protecting and catering to the needs of the soul. As time goes by, the ego sees how the child has survived (no matter what the circumstances) and begins to take credit. This self-importance grows until it quietly assumes control over our consciousness while true knowledge of the soul with all its potential slips away. It creates a false identity that makes choices based on what it has come to believe the soul would want.
This is where the terms “The Great Fall” or “Great Betrayal” originate. Soulwork gives us the tools and insights to reverse this lifelong momentum putting our soul back in charge of our life with the ego once again becoming the faithful servant. We are free of fear and confusion while learning to celebrate life in a new way.
The dictionary's definition of "pseudo" is: "Not authentic or sincere, in spite of appearances."
A quote from the book "Ego, Soul, & Beyond" best explains its other important aspects:
"When human consciousness evolved into the present day’s very sophisticated state of awareness, this very same consciousness had already been usurped by the ego to protect its false domain and keep us from evolving further. It simply got carried away with its newfound power, as we will come to see throughout this book. Some have referred to this as the Great Fall.
The ego had to create mechanisms to keep its mission in the forefront of human consciousness at any cost or, it knew it would literally cease to exist — it feared its own death more than anything else. The terror surrounding the idea of its own death provided the desperate need for mechanisms to preserve its very existence. This is the fear of all fears. However, nothing it would be able to do could banish this terror, since it’s very own existence was the basis of the terror in the first place. How could it kill itself? It would be far better to find mechanisms to perpetuate its existence:
First, it must do anything it can to defend against losing its power and control of consciousness.
Second, it must do anything to appear lasting, secure, permanent, immortal, and the center of all-knowingness.
Third, it must keep its true mission secret and guarded to prevent its ruse from being discovered.
It is within this context that our present day soul entered the world. We are inescapably influenced by the world into which we have incarnated. The majority has molded our world — fellow souls that are more or less in a common stage of evolution and awakening. Thankfully, there have been a small number of much more advanced souls in human history who have evolved much farther. These are the sages, saints, and teachers who have shown us the way. They bring us insights, maps, and guidance on how to proceed. Unfortunately, their influence has often been diminished by the interpretations of their followers, humans still trapped in various stages of soul evolution.
We are challenged to peer through the veils all of our egos have created and to return to the core truths that have already been revealed to us by the masters."
This is a fundamental spiritual challenge that is approached differently depending on the worldview of a given spiritual system or an individual's own stage of development.
In most of the religions that we are familiar with, the primary way of dealing with shadow, darkness, and evil (with many names) is through dogma, commandments, and other religious admonitions often rooted in the fear of what will happen to one's soul if disobeyed. In addition, great importance is given to a community of believers that support one another in many, if not most aspects of their lives -- all based on the given religious views and rules that hold the group together. Typically there is little tolerance for challenging the rules or the authority behind them.
Soulwork includes and transcends this approach. First, it does not rule out guidelines, ritual, or spiritual techniques that allow each unique soul to manifest fully without fear or guilt as a driving force. We find many useful techniques and teachings within religions that speak to greater truths. Each soul is given the freedom and encouragement to discover its own unique qualities and contributions it can make to the greater good.
Nor does Soulwork try to "kill the ego." Instead it sees the ego similar to how one would view a best friend who simply doesn't understand how best to support you. This mis-informed friend with good intentions makes errors in judgment that create disharmony in the relationship and even worse, creates more unnecessary suffering. This is the Shadow, or pseudo-soul: "a best friend with noble intentions that truly feels it's way of helping you is right."
Thus, a fundamental part of any spiritual journey is one of bringing this best friend back into alignment and support of the True Self or soul. As this journey ripens the pseudo-soul slowly comes to re-learn both it's true role (taking direction from and is service to the soul) and how to behave on behalf of the soul's awakening.
Over time this brings great joy and peace to the realigned ego which gains critical mass in our consciousness and in our cells. As this awareness of our True Self deepens the realigned ego begins moving into a deepening devotional stance toward the soul it serves. It bows with great reverence and gratitude to its true master.
Finally, well into a fully embodied spiritual awakening, the individuated ego begins to directly experience through its entire structure (including all of the three soul centers) what Oneness means. This experience and knowing goes beyond what the human intellect alone can imagine or describe.
Through each of these three stages (service, devotion, unity consciousness) the awakened soul is able to channel The Source and Divine WIll through the realigned and purified ego.
What a wonderfully rich journey that never ceases to grow deeper and wider as life unfolds.
From the Introduction of "Ego, Soul, & Beyond": "At its core, “spirituality” can be defined as one’s relationship to consciousness. Consequently, depending on an individual’s depth and breadth of conscious awareness, their definition of spirituality will change, as will their definition of God.
Often what stands between authentic freedom and our reality is the way society frames the concepts of God and Enlightenment. If we are to set our soul free to experience its highest attributes, then we must look at everything that might stand in the way. Consequently, Chapter 4, The Holy Grail, speaks to one of the greatest challenges we face in finding the ultimate answer to all of our questions — how our pseudo-soul has defined God. We come to find the Holy Grail does exist, just in a different form than we were led to believe."
The spiritual journey and what is behind the scenes of religion is really a journey intimately linked to the time our pseudo-soul (ego) struck out on its own and took over our identity and sense of self. An ego separated from its soul emerged and the spiritual journey unfolds. We continue to lose sight and conscious knowledge of our soul as we age.
Until we are ready to readdress our true identity, our pseudo-soul grows stronger and more entrenched. Fortunately our soul remains persistent in trying to reemerge. Grace doesn’t stop flowing, but the pseudo-soul has a hard time seeing it. Many of us will work at trying to find our way home via a spiritual path. If conditions are right, we are blessed by something out of the ordinary occurring that causes us to awaken from self-deception and ask the really tough questions. Then we begin to break the shell, and the veils the pseudo-soul has created begin to part.
Each of us has an "Essential-self" that is at the same time unique to our individuated soul and in unity with everything. This can only be experienced directly. It cannot be understood or described with the human intellect. Many spiritual traditions speak to this in a variety of ways. It is the same with trying to describe essence. It can only be experienced directly.
The dictionary describes essence as "the intrinsic nature or indispensable quality of something that determines its nature. Philosophically it is a property or group of properties of something without which it would not exist or be what it is."
Thus, we come to "know" our Essential-self through the dismantling of anything that obstructs our awareness and embodiment. Our Essential-self comes into our consciousness from the Void, the Un-Manifest. As it emerges we come to know it through its "intrinsic nature" and "indispensable qualities" that manifest. For instance we find these qualities in the grokking of deep peace, joy, spaciousness, vulnerability, curiosity, innocence, passion, knowingness, oneness, love, compassion, freedom, and many more which are described in Bob's book: "Ego, Soul, and Beyond."
On the other hand, what is not our Essential-self becomes evident as we gain insight into our True Nature, our True Self. For example, we are not our job, our family, our status, our intelligence, our beliefs, our fears, our suffering, or our body (although the soul temporarily manifests through our body).
The great joy of a spiritual journey is coming to know and embrace our True Self, our Essential-self. When 51% or more of our consciousness is awakened to (embraces and embodies) our True Self, it might be said we are enlightened. However, it is important to note that this is when the big challenges really begin, because we can no longer use pseudo-soul driven excuses or techniques to run from our soul's true mission. We are Self-realized, but this in no way means the journey is over. There is much remaining to discover, embrace, experience, and enjoy.
There's a famous TV personality that popularized the phrase "How's that working for you?"
With radical honesty, if we were to ask ourselves: "Am I living as fully, freely, lovingly, authentically as possible …and is the world and my role in it filled with love, honoring, peace and prosperity for all?" What would be your truthful answer?
If we were to admit that there is more, even if we have little or no idea what that "more" is, then we can begin to see the critical importance of: "Why we bother."
In fact, there is so much more waiting for all of us. Part of our soul's very nature is the primal impulse to bring "much more" into our lives. If we allow ourselves the opportunity to tune-in we can hear the deeply felt call to "come home." In this case, "home" is our True Nature which is filled with so many essential qualities like universal and unconditional love, peace, joy, curiosity, passion, reverence, fulfillment, properity, freedom, and so much more …for everyone.
Rumi, the famous Sufi poet has written: "the longing itself is what we are looking for." It is by following our impulse, our longing to go to our true home that brings us great joy, great challenges, and a sense of well-being.
The words written over the entry into the Temple of Delphi in Greece say it all: "Know Thyself." Everything else is secondary and flows from this primal impulse. Everything other than making the knowing of our True Self as our primary mission will likely create unnecessary suffering for ourselves and the world.