On Sunday 16th October the seed of SOULand landed on a moist sacred ground in Dartington, Devon, England. Suicide was our main guest of honour. She demanded to be heard. I spoke for her in deep yet fumbling ways, still unfamiliar with the gravitas of her words. It was the soft launch of SOULand.
Later on that day a conversation arose among our holding team. We realised with awe that we all had a member of our family who died of suicide. Our grand fathers, father and cousin... Having myself attempted to go to the other side many times, a familiar doorway opened up, an invitation was made one with a different waxed seal. This time it was not to follow suicide to the abyss but rather to deeply listen. As we followed the trail of our conversation we started seeing a new story emerge about Suicide. A new relationship became visible, one that included the sweet and painful realisation that perhaps the 1 million people who died last year in this manner were actually all calling for a Rite of Passage - an Initiation from one state of being a human to an other more mature state. Perhaps these people's life were not to be wasted at all if we could hear their call today and act on it by offering what they longed for.
As someone who also experienced the edges of that call I know that there is confusion at that threshold between a ‘part of us’ needing dying with the ‘whole ‘ of us needing dying. Suicide has been held captive for much to long. Can we set her free so she can tell Her Story, so she can share with us the Medicine of her Longing for us Human to mature into Soulful Human Beings again. Beings that remember how to listen to rivers and crows for the answers when crisis and heartaches occur. Humans who are guided by initiated sisters or brothers that contain and accompany them through the next stages of Being fully Alive and in service to all of Life.
To really look and seat with suicide’s new story is a very hard place to get to or to welcome home. Our deep time memory seems to get activated when these longing are released and heard. That illumination brings to light and into our bones a deep grief of not being met by the Village, by initiated people and by our wild lands. We have to feel the emptiness and the no one alive enough to respond to our call. So we carry on as ghost and zombies amnesiacs, wondering in unclear mazes, confused about the meaning and purpose of what we deeply sense is a profoundly precious and sacred experience.
In these times of great crisis, repetitive descents and massif thresholds, we are instead given medications and 6 weeks of counselling. Are we just being pacified? At worst we are locked up. We are taken even further away from our rivers, our trees, our village to be between white walls in a psychiatric wards where one is offered an increasingly large palette of pills and pathologies. Is that our way to find a place to belong I wonder? Being Bipolar, Manic Depressive or have Anxiety Disorder...they all sound like names of tribes to me. I flirted with them all myself for many years, almost giving up my Soul’s calling just to belong and have a shared language. I am grateful that Soul had my back, that she kept pushing me to the rivers, the mountains and to the people who offered a soulful container, more imaginative, beautiful and infused with mystery and sensuality.
Who can bring us to the Wild lands and Waters so we could be Initiated into the next part of the Longing of who we know we could become?...our society has become a Soul’s landfill where concrete suffocates not only a potential forest but also the Soul of the humans living on top of it. We cannot hear and listen to the resonance in our longing. ... We desperately seek anyone who seem to hold a thread of that ancient knowing. Indigenous and Aboriginal wisdom is deeply longed for by many. They have of course much to offer in the way of remembering and listening. However Soul’s language belongs to place. The river Dart here where I live has a different Song than the Seine in Paris or the Kelb in Lebanon.
I am starting to feel the massif gravitas of this SOULand call to Pray and Honour our people who died of Suicide. As we approach the Day of the Dead, Samhain and All Saints... Suicide is one of the most taboo subject and experience as a human being in our 'society'. Suicide not only mirrors the state of our relationship to life and death it also calls us to look at the state of our human species experiencing the state of our world. WHat happened to our imagination? We are after all the only species that is consciously and with real commitment attempting an on mass suicide of our whole species by destroying our Home, our host and our support system, Mother Earth. No other species destroy willingly the organism that sustains them.
Even though I am looking at the dark side of Life I am far from a pessimist, on the contrary. To look at Suicide with new eyes can change the story and bring forth a new way of Making and Initiating the World of our Longing.
The story that placed itself at the fire side of my heart is that each person who have died of suicide or have attempted suicide were calling for an Initiation into a more mature phase of their Life. Initiation always hold a part of death, the death of the part of self that does not resonate with the Soul of the Earth and the seasons of a life. I cannot stop seeing that our whole Human Family is Calling for an Initiatory Rite of Passage into Adulthood and Elderhood. The resistance is immense as we walk further and further away from a relationship to Death and accept our Life to be as small, as tamed, as controlled and disempowered as the fear mongers want us to buy.
To Make and Initiate the World of our Longing we will need us to transform what stops us. It will invite the composting of all that is outgrown into a fertile Soil and Soul , to make an offering of our Initiated Self to a world in crisis. We are at the edge of the biggest call for Initiation. I call for all the initiated ones to offer and share their knowledge and wisdom to who seek it. I call for all the people who died os Suicide to be honoured for their immense teachings in the sacrifice of their life so perhaps we could save the only one we can save...
This Sunday 30th Oct there will be a Grief Composting Circle dedicated to the 1 million who died os Suicide. We will Honour their Soul in Thanks giving. We will Pray for their family and friends to release any shame, anger and fear.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1147011542057244/ to join the Facebook Event. Feel free to join us where ever you live, to share your stories and pass on the invitation.
Azul for SOULand
SOULand’s vision is to Initiate and Make the World of our Longing one Human Soul at a time.
River of Words and Images by Azul Thomé: