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Soul Retrieval


A Releasing Your Unlimited Creativity discussion topic

Copyright 2009 by K. Ferlic, † All Rights Reserved

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Soul retrieval is an ancient shamanic practice that was used, and often still is used, to treat certain types and kinds of illnesses. Its relationship to creativity arises from the way it views the origins of illness and disease and how it approaches the restoration of health. There are a variety of ways to look at illness. One of the more ancient ways was the loss of soul The soul or spirit was seen as that part which gives life or which animates our life. Illness, disease, lethargy, depression, and the like was seen as a loss of soul or a loss of the part of oneís soul.

Within the creativity perspective, soul retrieval views illness and disease as being created as a result of the loss of our creative spirit. In essence, one loses the creative ability to create health. To regain it, someone must take a journey to find it and retrieve it. A simply explanation as to why another is needed is that if we could regain what was lost by ourselves we would have already done so. How soul retrieval accomplishes the task of retrieving the soul can be viewed literally as described by the shaman or as an application of complex integration and the oneness of Creation.

What is interesting about the description people use to describe the journey of a shaman during soul retrieval. The typical description is the shaman leave this dimension to go to another realm of creation. They go into the realm that can best be described as residual emotional energy. They retrieve or obtain something (described as part of the soul or part of our spirit) from this other realm bringing it back into this dimension to give a different way of being in this dimension. The key to this process is that there exists other realms that cannot be fully comprehended or explained from a physical world view in which we can go, work solutions to our problems, and bring back these workable solutions into our physical existence. For all practical purposes, these other realities are out of time or out of phase with our normally seen world.

From a creativity perspective, energy can neither be created or destroyed, only transformed. If we fail to dissipate the energy in the experiences we have we bind our creative life energy and will slowly rob ourselves of energy. Robbing ourselves of our energy is like hiding a part of our being, forgetting a part of our being, or leaving behind an aspect of our being. Such actions scatter our energy and fragments our consciousness.

In these cases we need to call back our creative power and retrieve that which was lost. It is to go back and retrieval parts of our soul that have become fragmented and separated from our awareness. That is, we need to go back and retrieve the energy we left in our past experiences. Often this can be accomplished through a "soul" retrieval.

Concept of the soul

From the creativity perspective to understand the concept of soul retrieval, we can replace the concept of the soul as used in the term soul retrieval with the term creative spirit. Although the concept of soul and creative spirit are different, we can view them the same when discussing the concept of the soul retrieval. The concept of the soul as used in soul retrieval is more akin to the concept of spirit as used in spiritual and religious traditions. The relationship of the spirit of spiritual and religious traditions and the our creative spirit is discussed in the topic, "The Creative Spirit and the Spirit of Spirituality and Religion."

How it seems to work

The approach used in soul retrieval is that it views the origins of lifelessness, lack enthusiasm for life or illness and disease from the perspective that we lose a part of our soul as a result of traumatic or other similar kind of event or events in our life. The loss of that part of our soul then denies our ability to create a condition of health.

Within many indigenous traditions in which the shaman operates, if one has parts of themselves that are lifeless, lack enthusiasm for life or they are manifesting some type of illness or disease the interpretation is there has been the loss of an aspect of our soul. Often a soul retrieval of some type is attempted when faced with an illness or other discomfort by the tribal shaman. The shaman, using their unique and personal understanding and interpretation of Creation, journeys into the unknown and unseen realms of Creation to retrieve that part of the soul that was left behind, hence a soul retrieval.

Does one actually leave behind a part of their soul and/or lose it as seen by the shaman? This depends on what we think and believe about the nature of the Universe and who and what we are. The shamanic interpretation of what occurs in soul retrieval is very consistent with the creativity perspective and how we deny our creative spirit. Denial of an aspect of our creative spirit is in essence the same as losing a part of our soul and there is the need to someone to go back and retrieve it. The individual can do it themselves or, as with the shaman, another can do it for the individual through the use of the interconnectedness and oneness of all Creation and its holographic properties. Here the shaman uses their view of Creation and the incorporation of symbols, rituals and the process of complex integration to achieve the soul retrieval.

In much the same way we leave a scent on clothing we touch and a dog can sniff it with the correct focus of smell, we can be seen to leave a trace of our energy of who we are on everything with which we have contact. We do so by the emotional energy we place on the experiences we have. In traumatic experiences, or at least experiences which the individual considers traumatic, we leave behind a greater part of ourselves than which is normal.

From within the energy consciousness model, the shaman allows their awareness to go into their nonconscious mind through the power of clear intention, mission or sense of purpose to explore the holographic and oneness of their inner world reflected in Creation. The shaman goes inward within themselves and their own interpretation of that inner world to the aspect of Creation where the individual has placed or lost the aspect of their soul. The shamanís world and view of Creation is used to call forth that aspect of the individual that was seemingly lost and brought back into the real world. In many ways this is the equivalent of what the rainmaker similar to what is discussed in the Story of the Rainmaker and that accomplished in the Hawaiian Hoíoponopono technique. It is just that the soul retrieval is a different tradition and has a different perspective as to what is accomplished.

Understanding about our creativity

What is important about the shamanic soul retrieval is the perspective that gives rise to the soul retrieval. Within this perspective there are several important understanding.

The first understanding that is provided is that usually a traumatic experience lies as the root cause of conditions where soul retrieval is most effective. That is, part of the soul is lost or our creative spirit denied, as a result of a traumatic event or, rather, at least by an event that is consider traumatic to our soul/creative spirit. Often what appears traumatic for one individual is not necessarily traumatic for another. So, what needs to be done will be unique to the individual. Here it needs to be understood "traumatic" does not necessarily mean severe injury, illness, accident or the like. It can be simply that the free expression of our creative spirit is somehow thwarted in such a way we never go back to use that aspect of our being. Becoming frightened or being threatened by some perceived authority figure may be sufficient to cause a traumatic experience as perceived by the free flow of our creative spirit.

In order to survive the environment in which we grew up we must energetically shut aspects of our heart as a child. We shut down our heart as a child in order to protect it but we end up putting it in a cage of our own making. Shutting down aspects of our heart makes the flow of creative life energy emanating from the heart to either go in directions which do not serve us or we simply fail to nourished ourselves in a way which meets our true needs are met. As a result, to regain what we lost and to access and regain our creative power, we must make a conscious choice to release our creative spirit from the cage of our own making for we have place it there and it is only us who ultimately can let it out.

The second is that even if we have a traumatic event, if we have the necessary support to feel and process our fear and/or pain, soul loss will not occur. In many ways our creative spirit is like a very small child when it get hurt or injured. When hurt or injured a very small child wants "a warm fuzzy place." It seeks to be held by mommy and be free to cry and process its pain in the way it needs to process it without any judgments or impositions from the outside.

This reaction to seek a warm fuzzy place is not exclusively limited to a child. It lies within the nature of our being. It is the preferred way our creative spirit processes its pain. However, rather than needing mommy to process its pain, the creative spirit needs a nurturing feminine creative energy that is able to give unconditionally to what the wounded spirit needs. Such a place is a safe and secure space in which the healing wisdom of the creative spirit is free and can do its healing work. As embodied in a human child, the creative spirit sees the nurturing feminine creative energy as its mommy. In reality mommy may not be the most nurturing feminine creative spirit that is available in a personís life. More often than not, she is not the one who can hold that space for the wounded creative spirit. One who holds the safe and secure space for the creative spirit to do its healing work cannot be attached to the individual or seek to hold or own them captive in any way at any level of being.

The nurturing feminine creative spirit can be found in either a man or a woman or even through a collection or composite of individuals, a community. In cases where neither mommy or daddy could not be available, or worse, could not be trusted, in the way the wounded creative spirit within a child needs to be held, the individual will need a community of individuals to provide a composite nurturing feminine creative energy. In any case, if some individual and/or some type of community support is not available which can supply this nurturing feminine creative energy as it is needed in the way it is needed (not the way the mind of individual or community wants to give it), it is likely some soul loss will occur and/or those lost fragments will remain lost. Similarly unless one possess and tremendous creative passion, or, if there is not an individual or community of individuals who can create a safe and secure space and provide that nurturing feminine creative energy, one will not be able to retrieve the parts of their creative spirit that were lost. Hence the need for someone like a shaman or a rainmaker to regain or revitalize that aspect of our being.

In the perspective of the soul retrieval as practiced by the shaman, essential to the soulís return is some type of external community support. The approach recognizes creation is not done alone and another is needed to give us the experiences we desires to have. One reason why a intervening person is essential in this approach is because often the individual is betrayed by society or those who are suppose to care for them and the root issue is a lost of trust in others. A loss of trust arises either because the community was not there to help process the pain or it was that community itself which caused the pain.

The individual is needed to hold the space because often one has been betrayed by society or those who are suppose to care for them and the root issue is a lost of trust in others. It takes another who is willing to enter the unseen world to retrieve that which is lost or to create a safe enough space for us to allow us to get back in touch with the part of ourselves which was betrayed.

It does need to be noted here that our mother and father are part of this community. Sometimes they are the individuals who cause the most significant loss of trust. In these cases were one parent or both play a major role in the loss of trust, the perception of the creative spirit of that sex is also tremendously impacted that can carries throughout the individualís life. In cases where both parents causes a significant loss of trust it will take a community of individuals to regain that trust. This is because there is no one single individual of either sex the wounded creative spirit can see itself trusting.

In any case, usually another individual is somehow or in someway related to how we lost our creative power and an individual will be needed to regain that ability. It takes another who is willing to enter the unknown and unseen world on the part of the individual to retrieve that which is lost or to create a safe enough space for allow the individual to get back in touch with the part of themselves that was betrayed.

A traditional soul retrieval would be done with the support of community. One individual such as the shaman does the essential work but traditionally the community would also be involved. However, often, the shaman, and their willingness to go and retrieve the soul, is perceived as that community support.

Regaining these aspects can be done in a traditional soul retrieval journey but can also be a simply intervention by someone taking an deep interest in who and what we are and they create the space for what is perceive as lost, that aspect of our being which has been shutdown, to come out and manifest. Here the intervening individual looks to bring back those part of the our creative passion that have been lost for whatever reason. In many ways, in their own way, this is what psychologies, counselors and the like try to provide for their patients.

From a creativity perspective, It needs to be understood that the material out of which we form, energy consciousness, is holographic. That is, each piece of energy consciousness contains an awareness of all that is. When consciousness awakens, similar to the way consciousness awakens as discussed in the Creation Story for the Creativity Perspective, it only remembers, recalls or focuses on a small fragment of all that it knows.

As consciousness awakens it defines itself by what it remembers and its acts. How consciousness acts and what consciousness remembers is strongly influenced by the environment in which we awaken. But the environment is not just physical. The environment is the composite of the spiritual, mental, emotional and physical conditions. If the energy consciousness never awakens it simply remains as a part of our creative spirit that is lost to our use. Unless someone, somehow awakens us, that part will always remain lost.

Because of traumatic events part of our spirit goes back to sleep or become nonconscious. It is here were a soul retrieval or someone taking a deep interest in our being is able to call this part of our being back to us. In someone caring enough to accept us for who and what we are and welcome us home, a safe space is created for that lost part of our creative passion, our passion for life, our soul, our creative spirit, to return home. The shaman or rainmaker fulfills this role

There is nothing really special about what the shaman does. It is just that they have developed an effective way of creating that safe and secure space and provide the needed nurturing creative feminine energy to retrieve that aspect of the soul they retrieve. This is way the shaman cannot heal all conditions. They can create a space to heal only those conditions where their nurturing feminine creative energy and perspective is sufficient to recall the lost creative spirit. Similarly, this is why many individuals can create a healing for individuals when they are not trained as a healer. They simply provided the necessary safe and secure space and nurturing feminine creative energy in a way that satisfies the need of the lost soul fragment.

It is essential for the return of lost soul fragments that at least one person is available to help process the pain and lost one has experienced. However, to move forward with our life, one will need to find one, and preferably two or three individuals who also want to move forward with their lives. This is why programs, like the Twelve Step Programs, can be so powerful in an individualís life. They provide a safe and nurturing environment for the lost soul fragments to return to a community and grow into life with the community. This aspects is captured in the Fifteen Creative Steps/Guidelines and is one of the primary reasons for their creation.

This community support can be strengthened and enhanced if these individuals come together to create and participate in some mutually agreed ceremony and/or ritual which supports one another in their continuing soulís journey. In this regard, this is what many spiritual and religious practices try and do. However, what is often misses is the need for the individualís creative spirit to be free to express itself and unfold within the community in its unique way, not in the way any other wants it to unfold or tells it to unfold. Otherwise, the creative spirit is suppressed and the creative power and creative ability associated with it become lost to the individual and/or it remains bound.

From a creativity perspective, well intended as they may be, this is were many religious and spiritual traditions and social traditions fail to provide the creative spirit what it needs. They do not give the space to the individual to freely express the truth of their being. Most religious, spiritual and social customs and more interested in harnessing the creative spirit to do what the tradition requires. They are not focused on teaching the individual to access and utilize their own unique creative powers and abilities. Similarly many healing modalities do not always work because they do not address the root of what the creative spirit within the individual is, or is not, being addressed. Often, the reason why the shamanic soul retrieval is successful is that the shaman works outside the social, religious, spiritual and political system which caused the loss of trust.

In regards to a part of our creative power and creative ability being lost or denied, that loss or denial creates a void within our being. A void is created when for whatever reason we do not act to fill with life. The void is then experienced as a loss of enthusiasm and passion or is filled with something which challenges our creativity such as a accident, illness, disease or other type of challenge in life. Or, it can be experienced as a entity unto itself giving rise to the concept of being possessed by an alien entity of some type. If the void is filled by some awareness totally opposite from what a person consciously believes it acceptable to believe, the void will be perceived as demonic or evil and possible exhibit what would be called demonic or evil characteristics and/or desires. Yet the void is only and aspect of our own being which we fail to consciously embrace and/or recognize to fill with life.

What many do not realizes is that we can sense these voids in our life about an issue, a place or a person. This is why it is so important to become aware of what we feel and be open to feeling. It is in what we feel about a person, place or situation that will tell us where our creative spirit is, or is not, being denied, supported or otherwise available to us. We can use this ability to feel the voids to help create a self generated soul retrieval to either regains fragments of our creative spirit which we have denied or to prevent their loss when we are creatively wounded.

For the soul retrieval to work, the individual must believe in the shaman or rainmaker at some level of their being and choose to have the shaman be that outward representation of what is happening within. All healing ultimately comes from within the individual. Those external can help create the conditions to heal but it is our own creative spirit which does the healing. And, in the end, it is ultimately done the way our creative spirit wants to do it. So the question is, "What is it that our creative spirit really wants to experience and express?"

One has to choose to reconstitute themselves and their creative spirit which is reflected in, and a reflection of, their creative power and creative ability. They may think and believe they cannot do it themselves and need the help of another, but nevertheless, they have to choose to act. One can create a self generated soul retrieval if they so choose. But, more often than not, what is needed is simply the nurturing feminine creative energy provided in the proper way. When that proper nurturing feminine creative energy is provided, what are called miracles occur.

Whether we are male or female, no matter at what age, in what time period, or reason, our creative spirit was wounded, when we find that nurturing feminine creative energy our healing is spontaneous. However, usually our problem is that our creative spirit has lost trust in another, or others, and it takes time to regain that trust for our lost or denied creative spirit to regain its trust and return. So we do not normally see the spontaneous healing. What we see is a process where we learn to regain trust. Yet, spontaneous healing is possible. The faster one can regain trust in themselves and then in others for the lost and denied parts of their creative spirit to awaken and return, the faster, easier and gentler way one can find to heal any condition. The question is, "What is the key that one needs to find to open the door to the restoration of their creative spirit?"

A more modern way to view the soul retrieval within the creativity perspective and through the use of our creative imagination  and things like metatheater and ritual is discussed under the topic of complex integration.

Related topics
Complex integration
Accident, illness and disease

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