I came across an unpublished paper on integral psychology, and it dealt significantly with what is variously called the soul, psychic center, magnetic center (Gurdjieff), authentic self (Andrew Cohen) etc. This refers to that part of us that goes on before, during and after the life of our human (physical) self. In other words, it is the middle ground between our human self and Big Mind. And when we connect with more, it brings a great sense of fullness, meaning and richness to our life. It brings a soulful life.

This is something that was very alive for me when I lived in Norway – in my experience and discernment of what was happening, along with the divine mind (Big Mind) and my human self. And it did bring a tremendous sense of fullness, meaning and richness to my life.

As I got into more serious Zen practice, this level faded in the background. It is not much addressed in Zen, and so got left out of my own view and attention as well. And while this did help me explore Big Mind and the relationship between Big Mind and my human self, it also did leave out an important level and source of fulfillment and soulfulness.

It is a reminder of how any tradition and practice tends to emphasize some aspects of the terrain, and de-emphasize or leave out other aspects. And for me, it is a reminder of taking my own experience most seriously – even those parts not addressed by whatever framework or practice I am currently exploring.

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