Love and the World: A Guide to Conscious Soul Practice
- Love and the World: A Guide to Conscious Soul Practice
(c) 2001 Sheridan Hill-- originally published in Parabola, Fall
What is most unique about Love and the World, Robert Sardello's
fourth book, is the logical presentation of these notions: that
world soul exists; that soul has a connection with the current of
the future that has been largely overlooked; and that the human "I"
is the verb between soul and the future.
In the realm of soul logic, what is healthy is usually at first
unsettling.... A sign of health is that more questions are raised
than are answered, and that the nature of such questions does not
carry the character of doubt but rather the inspiration to go yet
further."--Love and the World Sardello's great talent, perhaps his
genius, is to penetrate the wisdom of the ancients, weave it into
the precepts of new thinkers (central among them is Rudolph Steiner,
the Austrian philosopher and esotericist), and present us with
practical, spiritual tools that are both timeless and carefully
forged for this moment. At the same time, he makes it clear that
there is no easy fix.
In this and previous books, Sardello's writing offers immediacy,
synthesis and depth.
The book skillfully traces world soul through dozens of spiritual
traditions, details how psychology has stopped short of addressing
soul, and explains how to go about the continuous creative act of
love. This love requires a new sense of self--one that does not
exist for its own sake but rather to serve the soul of the world.
"We have for too long now confined the notion of soul to the
interior of the human being, leaving the world to the exploitation
of need and greed. If there is no soul in the world, then the notion
of the human being as having soul is nothing more than pious
abstraction and bad theory."
The primary myth expressing world soul, Sardello writes, is told in
all cultures of a spiritual being called Sophia. Sophia is Isis, she
is archetypal wisdom. She is the world as imagination, the world
coming to be. Sophia appears apocalyptically in Revelations 12:1-2
as a pregnant woman clothed in the sun, the moon under her feet, a
crown of twelve stars on her head, crying out in pain as she is
about to give birth.
What is felt in the new millennium as an emerging, urgent turning
toward soul is, Sardello contends, preparation for a Sophianic
world. It is time, he writes, to realize our capacities as creators
in the world who are neither plagued by a sense of separateness nor
motivated by a hungry ego.
Sardello effectively argues for a reuniting of art, science and
religion. He repeatedly calls for psychology to be re-imagined with
a primary interest in what is coming to be rather than what has
passed. He reasons that people enter therapy to find a new way of
being and that on a daily basis we meet the world not only with what
lives from the past but also with an intuition of what is coming.
Through Sardello's eyes, the Grail stories make a picture of the
possible future of the human being. "Each of us already is the
Grail. We just have to realize it ." The future, then, is a soul-
filled, timeless activity that we engage in by consciously
practicing love, which is the essence of our being.
Helpful distinctions and connections are made between individual
and universal aspects of love, soul, and self. "True self-love is an
activity without an object living individuality [stet] is living
ever increasingly into the world with immediate perception
uncategorized by concepts from the past; it follows that loving is
the same as being ever more aware of the world as activity in which
the I is engaged."
A chapter devoted to grief as the activation of conscious soul life
shows a masterful understanding of the etheric body and its
relationship to the physical body, the ego, to all of humanity and
the living being of Earth.
Subsequent chapters illustrate that the heart is an organ of
perception, discuss soulful relationships, and introduce a way of
working with dreams that emphasizes not content but the creative
Sardello's refreshing insights on soul and spirit in literature,
psychology, and mythology arise from 20 years' work as a depth
psychologist, including as a cofounder of the Dallas Institute for
Humanities and Culture and of the School of Spiritual Psychology. As
James Hillman said, "Whatever Sardello touches breaks open with new