I've been saying that I coach or mentor people in 'emotional intelligence' for over 20 years. This past weekend that changed. Suddenly. Bang. New download. “Ego and Soul Integration” takes emotional intelligence and its core principles to a whole new level.
We were hanging out with ten other people in an 800 year old chapel room at Charney Manor, now a Quaker retreat center, outside of Oxford England. Richard Barrett, who has written numerous books on values driven organizations, leadership, consciousness development and entropy had gathered us, odd ducks, for a three day brainstorming on how to catalyze the evolution of consciousness around the integration of Ego and Soul. We riffed on a central question: What does Leadership, Education, Healthcare, Business, Politics & Relationships look like when we view the world from Humanity Consciousness with Soul Awareness and a deep understanding that we are all interconnected?
I met Richard 20 years ago at a conference on business and spirituality in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico just after he started his company, the Barrett Values Centre. He'd given up his job as the Values Coordinator at the World Bank, deeply dismayed by the lack of accountability between word and deed. He's written 10 books since then and assessed the values of individuals in 6,000 organizations. Now he's assessing the values and evolution of consciousness of countries. Obviously a bold move, but he's an inspired engineer who values measurement. Over 20 years ago, Richard began to link values to seven levels of consciousness, essentially the seven chakras. It works brilliantly to plot out individuals’ and organizations’ values.* Since values are metaconcepts determining what is deeply motivational for people and groups, I've used his tools on a large number of projects. They are simple and brilliant and easy to understand. Richard defines living a values-driven life as a necessary step in integrating Ego & Soul.
I've always liked to use the word Soul. For a lot of reasons. It speaks to me. I integrate it in my work with clients. Depending on the situation I might use other words to describe it, such as.... authentic self or unique self or even daimon or genius. In any case, it's why we are here..... to be our best selves.... to be our best unique expression of the Cosmos. People get depressed and anxious when they are not being their unique selves, or when their Egos are not aligned with their Souls.
This provided me with a much healthier way to look at symptoms..... if a client is distressed, their Ego and Soul are out of alignment. Ego and Soul alignment can't happen until people individuate from conscious and unconscious patterns of family and cultural conditioning. Not many humans make it to this level. They are too busy surviving. Sufi healer, John Wyrick calls this kind of alignment with the Cosmos.....”naked soul”. The Japanese concept of Ikigai is particularly relevant here. When you are on purpose your Ego and Soul are aligned. This is the highest form of pleasure.
The classic Five Core Principles of Emotional Intelligence are: know yourself, manage yourself, know others, manage your relations with others and motivate yourself.** As usually defined, emotional intelligence revolves around successful ego adaptation to the external world. This is an important first step in an individuating process, but there is so much more.
So let's revisit the Five Core Principles of Emotional Intelligence. We are going beyond Ego here. We are going beyond... 'me first' or 'America first' or anything first... for that matter. We are also going beyond being spiritual. We are trying to get at the Truth. The emergent truth. This isn't something that is determined by our neocortex. It has everything to do with losing our minds and coming to our senses. It involves the gorgeous sensory systems extending well beyond feelings and the continuous triggering of our adapting egos and belief systems.... so determined by our experiences, memories, traumas, and victories.
If you are in Humanity Consciousness, the reason you get up in the morning is to align your Ego and your Soul with your work/play in the world. That is what literally gets you out of bed. What are you doing with your precious life?
The Hafiz poem speaks to me:
The one regret, Dear World
That I am determined not to have
As I am lying in my deathbed
Is that I have not kissed you enough.
Have you done your work/play? Is it a 'good day to die'? If your Ego and Soul are in alignment, you will be doing your job of manifesting your unique spark of the divine or cosmic consciousness. You don't need to do anything else. It is the highest form of pleasure. Some people associate this with being in Flow. Don't expect to stay there, but enjoy your moments. The Hero's Journey will get you on the road.... leaving the familiar. This motivational path is deep and different. It's about Being and Doing. It is definitely a 'road less traveled'.
You might want to check out the 8 Forms of Capital, which has been very helpful to me.*** I've done a strategic life plan base on the 8 Forms of Capital for the last five years. When I first did it, I realized that although my Financial Capital resources were limited (at the moment), I possessed other forms of Capital... Social Capital.... Intellectual Capital...Experiential Capital...Spiritual Capital that I wouldn't give away for millions of dollars. I was incredibly wealthy and I was living in a 180sq/ft cabin (same as Thoreau) where I had converted a chicken coop into a home for $1,800 that allowed me to thrive through a Vermont winter.
The 8 Forms of Capital help me to break out of enculturated patterns of success and failure and make plans and decisions on what is most important. Our most precious form of capital is our temporal capital.... the literal hours that you have left on this beautiful planet. How are you motivated to spend your day? Have you kissed enough?
Simple. A Life-long journey. First tuning into your senses and then tuning into your intuition. “Losing Your Mind and Coming to Your Senses.” Hard to do if you bank hours of television. Hard to do without some mentoring and certainly hard to do without fellow travelers and community. My Beloved, Amelia, likes to call it her “Soul Family”. Fact is “You” are far more vast than you have been familiarized or enculturated to think. In Soul Awareness, you are individuated from family and cultural indoctrination. In any case, you have left seeing yourself as a victim, no matter how historically victimized you’ve been.... far behind.
If you are going to manage yourself and your anxieties and your inner judge, you are going to have to have 'practices'. I prefer to orient myself towards.....Pleasure. I encourage it in my clients. It involves practicing ‘fearlessness’, which is feeling your fear and not having fear stop you from doing what you know you need to do. I used to practice traditional meditation... Vipassana. Now I sit in Nature and listen to the world around me. I get my downloads from the Universe while sitting in Nature... often before sunrise. As an introvert (ambivert actually) I need a lot of time alone. I need to work with my hands as well as with people. I try and make beautiful and useful objects out of wood. I live in a cabin that is 'off the grid'. About 12 hours a day, I get no signal from the Internet. This give me pleasure.
Others are not projections of your unconscious and unexplored needs. They are, in fact, other Souls on journeys. They are not your destination. They are Unique. Can you see that? Can they see you seeing that?
Manage Your Relationships with Others
In Soul Consciousness, you manage out of Love not out of Fear. What is Love? It's clearly not the pablum that is passed down unconsciously in most familiar patterns and not what is put out by the Media.
Amelia and I start by defining Love as Truth. We tell each other the Truth. Secondly, we see ourselves in our “Soul Marriage” as being here to facilitate and catalyze the integration of Soul and Ego. That's it. In our Soul Family, we are all doing this for each other.... consciously. As we wander in the world doing our work and our play, we are conscious in seeing that everyone, no matter where they are on the spectrum of consciousness, is on their own Soul Journey and every act we take can be either out of Love or Fear.
The only answer to the immense suffering caused by Fear and the violence of needs driven by wounded Egos is....... Love. And that Love is defined from the perspective of the Soul. The only response to outrageous suffering and pain is outrageous love..... truth... simplicity.... presence.... tenderness....an Ego whose agency is devoted to integrating with Soul.