We are human beings having human experiences, many of which are alive in beauty and pain. Yet overarching that we are spiritual beings, souls, having a human experience, all of which are alive in profound purposefulness. As a yoga practitioner and teacher, I am often faced with the notion of Karma. Karma is all about the soul and little about the human. That being said, it has everything to do with humanity. One’s soul is the main character of their Karmic purpose.
The cycles of Karma speak to living from a place of deeply rooted intention. If you as a human can’t grasp how to do that from a place of deep meaning, your soul will one day find its way back here on Earth, with another human, to have another go. So the goal of the gurus and of many contemporary practitioners who subscribe to the philosophy of yoga is to get to a place of oneness with themselves and those around them while they’re here, as this is one way we can get closer to achieving our purpose. This looks different to every person, but the intentionality behind it is the same. To achieve oneness as a human from a soul level is to free the soul from the bleakness of the Earth and promise its return home; to Nirvana, to the universe, to the freeing nothingness that comprises everything.
The existence of our souls is one of neutrality. Souls are like everything else when in their states of equilibrium; they just are. They are not good or bad, not friendly or rude, not excellent or subpar, they just are. My soul and yours are made out of stardust, cloud vapor, the cool ocean breeze, snow from the caps of Patagonia. They are here to take up divine space, re-filling this universe with the natural pureness that it bestows on us. Our free will and individuality are supposed to enhance this beauty.
Individuality is the art of the universe. It was gifted to us in the form of DNA, cells, neurotransmitters all situated at the brain stem and throughout the brain. Humanity carries the legacy of hyper-consciousness. We are the rebels, the uplifters, the creators, the ones capable of achieving a greatness that is so good only our brains can comprehend it holistically. If only our prefrontal cortexes, the part of the brain largely responsible for our individuality, led us to more of that beautiful, fulfilling creation and less to creative means of destruction.
The thing is, the art of individuality is an easy thing to get caught up in. We alone are only one piece of the massive artwork that is life. The pieces of this mural are beautiful individually and deserve to know that, to feel that, but a mural is not complete in its beauty unless all parts are together, in oneness. So why do we stand alone in this magnificent and decaying piece of art we call Earth? Our souls’ intent may not be to return, but they and we are here to rain on the drought of unintentionality. While we are here, there is sacred space to reclaim, the very space being taken up by settler societies and failing systems, and we can only reclaim and reinvent this space with the oneness, the soulfulness, that comprises community.
We are conditioned to leave our divine purposes out of our daily narratives and now more than ever that is an extreme harm. The consciousness of our souls is needed in our revolutionary lives. Our souls are ever present, and in a time where everyone from right-wingers to liberals are talking about ‘inclusion’, liberation-focused beings are still dropping the ball by forgetting to include the parts of us that are really here to run the show. I don’t expect mainstream media of any kind to group in our souls (or our humanity for that matter), but those of us who are committed to revolutionary labor, who are still here after the Occupy movement, after Standing Rock, after the 2020 uprisings, and during Fairy Creek, during several SCOTUS shit shows, and during late stage capitalism, cannot afford to not carry our souls on our sleeves.
We need to ponder our purposes in community. We must talk about what our points of view are beyond the 2 dimensions of everyday life. A higher purpose is always present, so no longer can we fail to include it. Our prefrontal cortex needs to bear witness to our souls, which means you need to know from day to day that your soul is there and it knows you, human. It needs you to use your individuality to group together with other souls and aid in the deliverance of the good Karma that our world deserves.
Late stage capitalism exists in austerity. I’m sure it reaches you, revolutionary. I’m sure it touches your emotional body in a way that is oftentimes overwhelming. I know and I feel the way it affects our capacities to be present in this work daily, to keep it going, to feel hope. But we are not alone. What an annoying cliche to hear… but I do not say that because we have comrades or loved ones experiencing similar things, not because many of us are currently laying the framework for a widespread, sustainable anti-capitalist and anti-Empire movement; it is because we are supported by your soul, which is my soul, which is their soul, which is our soul.
We are children of the constellations. In our very being we carry the vapor of cumulus clouds, the cool ocean breeze at dusk, the currents of the Pacific, the answers to all of the questions. I was born on Tycho’s crater, my neighbor in the darkness of the Mariana Trench, and you from a single droplet of rain. I was also born in Boulder, my neighbor in Vallejo, and maybe you in Kansas City. It’s all interconnected, beautiful, unimaginably real. We are all here together aching for existences that are easier and more worthwhile, coming to terms with the hard work involved in getting us there… and that’s okay. A huge part of the work is feeling into the spots that hurt. Next time you do so bear in mind that even though it may feel lonely, so many of us are also in that space. Often, it is our own personal experiences in that space which draw us to the work; so many of our purposes are born from that space.
Everyone that ever existed has been here at a specific time for a specific reason. That reason is usually unknown, and usually not the first thing we investigate (matters of the world around us are more appealing to investigate because they concern the ego and not the soul, but that’s another article entirely). The reality is that this is a time where so much of our work MUST begin from investigating why we are here right now. Look around you; what is going on? Now feel inside of you; what do you find lingering there in that space? Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and do it again. Somewhere in what comes up for you as you examine the world around you and the one inside of you is a clue to where your soul is leading you. Let it lead.
The town I’m from is ravaged by fires every year that burn houses, harm animals, and can take away days of sunlight. The sacred lands of my Mayan ancestors and relatives, the Q’eqchi, in El Estor, Guatemala are being desecrated by harmful U.S. backed mining practices. The lands I’m privileged enough to benefit from, whether culturally or materially, are center-fold to my soul-human experience. Rooted in my soul is a sacred connection to the land, and to the healing she and I can aid each other in. Time and time again, my purpose leads me back to our Mother Earth and the vulnerability inherent in us both. I wouldn’t connect with this inner knowing if I didn’t incorporate this spiritual and soul-full self study into my revolutionary labor.
While I research and experience some of these harms, I am also looking inward. I constantly investigate what is coming up for me, where and how it feels in my body, where I feel touched from a moral place, and I go deeper and deeper into those inquiries until something of value shows up in my being. I breathe into the discomfort of healing, knowing that the more I liberate my human body from trauma, the more my soul will take the wheel. It is in true grassroots movements that we find the power inherent within our communities, but to do so we must start from the root; ourselves.
Our humanity as Westerners is codependently attached to our Earthly stimulation. We tornado our way through life, taking down everything in our path regardless of the soul that is offered. We create, destroy, repeat, not keeping in mind the Karmic connections inherent in our actions, not keeping in mind the implications to us on soul levels.
When we embrace that our souls are suppressed bolts of lightning, we can learn how to invite their strike for our ultimate revolutionary benefit. I strike to save my Guatemalan homelands, I strike to return the land I reside on to the Patwin people. I strike to share my soul’s narrative, and reach folks who could use the perspective. I strike to liberate my body and yours through intuitive movement and breath. I strike for true freedom for all beings so that after my time here on Earth my soul, our soul, can return to the clouds, sunbathe at the top of Everest, and float amongst the countless universal orbits that become of us, all the while guiding the souls that will return back to Earth to finish the fight for good.