Learning From Your Soul


Learning From Our Soul

“If you neglect your soul, demons grow in your unconscious mind”
                                                                                                   Carl Jung

Learning  from Our Soul is a program of mental and spiritual practices designed  to awaken our Inner Guide and to activate deeper resources that have  been neglected.  The practices come from an integration of Carl Jung’s  vision of the human psyche with the methods of Family Constellations  begun by Bert Hellinger.  I list here some major points of the program.   More detailed information is given on the Family Constellation page and  the Jung page.

Each family has its own Family Soul  that envelops all members in a   collective BLOOD lineage — all of them  connected, at times “entangled” in profound emotional bonds that can  lead to suffering.

First we must accept the Fate of our family, and our own fate. Then we can go forward to create our own personal Destiny. The family Soul demands justice across generations.  It seeks redress of imbalances; and atonement for “sins of the fathers.” The human mind in inherently split —  between conscious and unconscious; Ego and Self; feminine/masculine, good/evil, etc. We live between many opposing forces that  Jung called polarities. The conscious Ego and deeper Self/Soul compete and conflict           
 to determine our identity and behavior in social contexts. Feelings are messages from our Soul. When we follow our feelings, through our Shadow, they take us to our true Self, our Soul. We live in an era of evolutionary shift to greater awareness, integrating conscious and unconscious, Ego and Self/Soul.
The Self as the center of all consciousness is our Inner Guide.  It encourages balance, wholeness, connection and creativity.  It is the Self that conveys life purpose and meaningfulness to the conscious Ego.
The ancestral energy of the Knowing Field of collective consciousness activates our unconscious mind and our soul. Soul watches our life’s challenges and may overwhelm us with  extremes  of love or terror,  and times of dramatic expressiveness, etc. Self and Soul are expressed in transcendent symbols found in The     Knowing Field, dreams, fantasy, meditation, creative activity,  chant, prayer, “falling-in-love”, and times of birth,  death and near-death. “Soul is the gift my spirit bestows upon the other.”  (M. Bakhtin)

Learning  From Our Soul provides tools to respond to the challenges we inevitably  face in life.  Some practices calm us, some energize, several release  harmful habits and painful states, many transform negative to positive  states.  The primary goal is to identify, clarify and follow what our  soul is calling us to.

Although we may feel defeated at times, it  is temporary.  When we access  our deeper strengths, we change  set-backs into opportunities to create a life of energy, peace and  success.  No matter what issue we face, the  soul deep within us has the  power to resolve it.  We need only to allow it. 

The  experience of living from our Soul takes us more deeply into our  essential Self —beyond how we think of ourselves.  It reveals unexplored  resources that have been dormant.  Getting to the soul level is a  journey to the source of  authentic inner power.  Not the external  “power” we see in the world, but the quiet personal power to follow our  dreams and desires. The effort to live from the soul may be  “painful at times, but the journey is essential.  It is a deeply felt,  risky, unpredictable tour of the soul, where memory is more important  than planning, art more compelling than reason, and love more fulfilling  than understanding,”  as Thomas Moore writes in Care of  the Soul. When  we are willing to get more in touch with our soul, our deeper Self, we  begin to experience an inner Guide.  We discover parts of ourselves —  talents and limitations — that had gone unrecognized.  Responding from  the level of soul surprises us with awareness and gifts our conscious  mind had not recognized. In this process we find how we are all  connected in the collective unconscious mind of humanity.  Moreover, we  begin to realize that we are all now involved together in an  evolutionary shift to higher consciousness.  (See Gary Zukav’s Seat of the Soul for an account of our evolutionary movement.  This is our soul’s  calling on the personal and collective level of awareness in our  specie’s history.


On the soul journey we  face difficulties.  Some are challenges from the world around us —  social pressures, economic hardships, the inevitable demands of others,  etc.   But more than we usually realize, many of our troubles come from  within.  We too often cause our own problems.  Some come from our  unconscious mind.  Some we inherited, others stem from poor choices we  made.

Learning from the soul addresses inner challenges in order to succeed with the issues we face  in the world and in ourselves.  In the soul journey process we must deal  with our Shadow (see Jung page for details).  Shadow contains those  aspects of ourselves that we have repressed —rejected, avoided or  ignored, whatever we find difficult to face, etc.  It also includes what  unconscious burdens we inherited from our family lineages.

Uncomfortable  feelings and thoughts are pushed out of awareness into our unconscious  Shadow.  This hinders our soul journey, temporarily, until it is  transformed.  The practices of Learning from Soul provide mental and  spiritual tools for transforming shadowy parts into fresh energy for the  soul journey.  These psycho-spiritual methods of transformation yield  enormous energy, courage and wisdom.

Jung called our Inner Guide  the Self - the center of all consciousness.  When we learn from our Soul  to trust our core Self, we find confidence within, and we are much  better equipped to thrive in the world around us.


Following  the path of Soul, we go beyond the surface of the daily roles we  perform.  The fleeting feelings we experience in performing daily  functions,  especially those we avoid, I call “persona emotions” as  distinct from deeper feelings.  These are the routine emotions we  express in the roles we play.

In learning from soul we choose  to stay with our feelings, going to deeper levels, allowing them to move  toward the deepest layer of forces comprising our soul.  In Jung’s  vision individual souls arise out of the primal archetypal forces in the  collective unconscious mind that we inherit.  Experiences of soul  concern intense depths of love and fear, and issues of life and death.   While the often lives in fear, Soul thrives on love.

So, how  can we thrive in our work projects and in our love relationships?  The  conscious ego-mind must make all decisions.  But it needs to remain  stable.  So we must be able to tune in to deeper wisdom.  Listening to  the guidance we can receive from the Self in our unconscious reveals how  to respond to the difficulties of love and work with strength and calm  effort.

It takes willingness, courage and commitment to try new  practices.  Are you willing to make adjustments in your thinking?  to  shift your attention to a higher level of awareness, beyond the limits  of our ordinary mind?  If so, ancient practices and recent research  offer useful and powerful ways to release what holds us back from the  full potential of our mind and heart .

Living from the Soul  requires that we “watch” the automatic activity of our ego-mind — the  mental chatter and troublesome feelings that lead us away from deeper  awareness.  This awareness goes beyond thinking and activates the  authentic power waiting within.  The power to create a life, love,  laughter and the work that our Soul calls us to.

If we ignore our  soul, as Jung warns, we lose touch with the Source of vibrant life  within us.  All the social roles we perform can harden into a “power  politics” of relating, even in our marriages and families.  We forget to  express the love that we are made of.  Without the strength of our soul  we become victims of the world

Soul is the source of love. Rilke, in​ Letters to a Young Poet, advises us: “Believe in a love that  is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in  this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can  travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.” realm

In  the inner work of learning from soul this program combines three wisdom  traditions to re-connect our mind to heart and soul — to achieve full  health and mental peace.  These are family constellations, Jung’s vision  of the human Psyche (mind-body-spirit) and the “Knowing” energy field  of our ancestors. We follow the sacred path of deeper feeling through  levels of the unconscious to arrive at Soul.

Family Constellations, Jung’s Vision and the Knowing Field

Family  constellations (see web page) release unconscious blocks to our growth  and happiness by settling unfinished emotional business in our self and  with our family.  We become conscious of all that we inherited, so that  we can own it, release or transform it, and then empower ourselves to  heal our own psyche and our family wounds.          

Activating  Carl Jung’s teachings (see Jung pager) and practices about our true  Self, as well as our Shadow and archetypes, takes us into the deeper  feelings that are waiting to make us more whole.  We transform Shadow to  Light, using its energy to balance conscious and unconscious mind.  We  become more creative with our life and work.  We become more  compassionate to ourselves, with our family and with others.

When  we enter the shamanic “Knowing Field” (see page) ancestors bless us  with energy, strength and wisdom to live a better life.  In turn they  become more proud of us, and can then rest more in peace.  In  constellations we release the "soul entanglements" that we blindly  "carry" for love of family.  This family soul demands justice across  generations.  Constellations re-balance the family system.

When  we invite the presence of ancestors into the energy circle of our  efforts in constellations, their wisdom guides us, blesses us and gives  us strength.  Jung’s vision of the natural psyche sheds light on the  journey.  And the “Knowing Field” stimulates the rise of our emerging  consciousness.                     

The process requires our  willingness to open up to deeper parts of us.  We need to be willing to  allow whatever feelings come up, and to commit ourselves to staying with  them.  We need to simply be curious about and notice what comes up.  We  need to notice what appears on the screen of our mind.

But  habits of mind —mental chatter, judgments, emotional reaction, without   expectations, comparisons, any avoidance of feeling — all these  interfere with the inner path to soul.  The process also involves  various breathing techniques to prepare ourselves for successful  journeys.  We need to notice how sensations cluster up in parts of our  body, how feelings deepen our awareness, how surprising images flash in  our mind, and how intuition leads to solutions.  


A wise-guy character in David Mitchell’s The Bone Clock glibly quips:
“power is crack cocaine to the ego and battery acid to the soul”

Our  conscious ego mind (who we think we are) creates our dilemmas.  Our  unconscious (dreams, etc.) can solve our problems.  Living from the  deeper consciousness of soul, we respond to difficulties with a calm  sense of inner power.  We can simply choose to allow our conscious  ego-mind to receive input from the deeper Self in our unconscious mind.  

The  Ego has worked well for us to help us survive as a species until now.   But when we want more out of life, we need to allow more of our greater  consciousness to arise and become integrated into our consciousness.   Ego has at times protected us, but it has also kept us limited.

 While  staying good friends with our ego, we can safely expand our horizons.   With some effort we can expand exponentially.  Authentic personal power  comes from within, from tapping into resources that have been in our  unconscious mind.  True wisdom comes from our dreams, fantasies,  intuition, faith and surrender to higher guidance, perhaps from the  god-of-our-understanding.

Both the ego and the unconscious  constantly try to influence our thought and behavior.  We are their  playing field, or battleground if you like.  Which parts “wins” depends  on which we pay attention to and trust.   At the deepest level of mind  we “find” our soul.  It was never lost, but we lose touch with it.  We  can choose to follow feelings deep within, through shadowy levels,  allowing powerful archetypal forces to arise and go through us.  When we  face that challenge, take that leap of faith, the pay-off in energy,  courage and wisdom is enormous.


Family Constellations are a fairly new and unique way to heal  discomfort, to resolve conflicts, and to solve problems. It is one kind  of systemic constellation.  In our Tucson Wednesday Meetup group members  take turns being clients and supportive representatives to have a  family constellation, a constellation for a big dream, one for social  justice issues, current events or for some big decision.  Constellations  release blocks in our unconscious mind that limit  our health or growth  or happiness.  A constellation is recommended as an effective solution for:  

  • patterns of stress or inner conflicts
  • physical pain unresolved by medical treatment
  • conflicts in relationships
  • failures in achieving goals
  • major personal or professional problems that remains unresolved.  

Constellations  activate the natural healing process within us, and bring solutions  into our awareness.  They reveal  negative images in our unconscious  mind that causes us to suffer or stay stuck in a problem.   We inherit  and "carry" these images as  unconscious blocks out of love for family  members. For example, failure, illness, conflict and other problems are  often revealed to be connected to past family events such as adoption,  accidents, abortion, secrets, abuse, crime, early deaths,  major crisis  or trauma.  In constellation work two powerful forces operate –  one is a group conscience and the other the love in the "child’s heart"  within us. These forces combine and lead  to personal problems and to  their solutions. The group conscience in every family system operates  like a memory that demands justice across generations. When an ancestor  has been excluded (ignored, scapegoated, etc.) an "entanglement" often  arises in a future family member. A child’s blind love unconsciously  identifies with that ancestor and suffers for or with them, as if to  atone for the exclusion. It is a more conscious love, revealed in a  constellation, that leads to resolution.​
The principles guiding solutions in a constellation are called  “orders of love.” Observing these orders allows love to flow in a  family. Violating them causes suffering in future generations. Some  examples of these orders of love are:  

  • Everyone in the family has the right to belong, and needs to belong, and each one
    deserves positive bonding
  • Parents must bring equal “weight” to the relationship, so as to maintain a good
    balance of give and take
  • Precedence is honored: those who come later take from those who came earlier
    (whatever the price); ​parents give and children take
  • All must be honored and respected, and given their right place in the system
  • Events must be acknowledged, and family secrets must be eschewed
  • Guilt and merit belong with whoever earned them.  

​In  constellation groups people volunteer to be clients, and they are asked  to be clear in their own mind about the issue they want to resolve. The  facilitator encourages the client to ask group members to represent the  client and the issue (whatever that may be) and sometimes to represent  the spirit of other family members. [The facilitator may add additional  representatives (e.g., a resource, illness, corpse, guide, etc.] The  client, by intuition about “how it was,’ places the representatives into  the first scene in the field of family energy. This reveals the deeper  family problem, and often the client’s unconscious block. The  constellation works toward an image of resolution for the client.  Representatives  are asked to relax and center themselves, to leave their own feelings  behind and to open up to experiencing another’s inner reality. They  almost always take on some of the feelings, behavior and images of those  they represent, without knowing much about them. This is the great  advantage of this work. As the scene unfolds, the entanglement is  usually revealed, and the facilitator intervenes by changing the  positions of representatives and offering them the “language of the  soul” to say to one another.

Copyright © 2015 John Dore. All rights reser